Thoughts on Icecrown

Zone spoilers ahead: Icecrown is obviously designed for flying mounts, with the dramatic geography and quest hubs huddled way up in the mountain ranges, a fairly new concept seeing as flying wasn't available until level 70 in the previous expansion. I don't imagine hoofing it being all that practical or even possible...

Out of all the new areas this zone has been one of my favorites to quest in so far. It has a lot of fun quests packed with story. The Matthias quests in particular are swank for reasons that I won't state because I don't want to spoil it for you. I also really liked Bridenbrad's story; It was a simple but touching quest line that tied into the lore nicely.

One of the main lore gripes that folks seem to have is that continuity has in the past, only been seen within the instances. You down a boss, stuff happens within the instance and then it resets next week as if nothing at all had happened. Icecrown more than any other zone that I have quested in so far makes use of the phasing system for story progression.

The actual game world changes as you complete certain tasks. The Shadow Vault for example is hostile until you win it back for the Ebon Blade, in which case it turns into a neutral quest hub. The zone unfolds in a way that makes you feel as if it is being progressively won back, I really like that.

Level 80 Crit Cap = 540

  • Posted on: November 24, 2008
  • By: Keiya
  • Category:

Crits hurt. Your first gearing priority as a tank should be to become uncrittable. The formula: (83*5)+(5/0.04) = 540 Defense Skill. Remember that 540 is the crit cap as in, the cap for mitigating critical strikes. 540 is not a hard defense cap. Defense will still continue to increase your dodge, parry, and block by 0.04%.

The explanation: The chance to land a critical strike is modified by the difference between the attacker's Weapon Skill and the defender's Defense Skill. All mobs have a Weapon Skill of Level*5. So a level 83 boss will have a weapon skill of 83 * 5 = 415 Defense Skill.

All mobs also have a base 5% chance to land a critical strike. Recall that every point in Defense Skill increases your critical strike mitigation by 0.04%. So in order to negate the 5% crit chance you will need 5 / 0.04 = 125 Defense Skill.

By the power of math, 415 + 125 = 540. You need 540 Defense Skill in order to be uncrittable at level 80.

Yay Heroics

I hit level 80 at around 5pm on Saturday and then started running heroics an hour later when more level 80 guild members logged on. I might have rushed through 79 for the sake of catching up with everyone >_<. Instance completion is retroactive in the sense that, if you run heroic before you run normal mode for a particular dungeon, credit for both achievements will be given.

Don't forget to pickup a reputation tabard before you start doing the high level dungeons. I want my Red Drake Mount, which requires exalted Wymrest Accord (I am 5929 into revered at the moment). There are three daily quests for that faction: One at the Wyrmrest Temple and two in Coldarra, each giving 250 reputation a pop (275 for humans).

I intend on farming HUK every damn night until those DPS pants drop. Oh, I'm still retribution spec by the way. I don't plan on specing back to protection until there is a need.

  • Heroic Utgarde Keep is the easiest of all the heroic 5-man dungeons. The difficulty is about the same as a standard level 80 instance, easily doable in entry level 80 gear. I don't think that there was anything different about the encounters in comparison to normal mode.
  • Heroic Nexus: A little harder. We ran into a few problems with Keristrasza and her enrage eating the tank (most of us had pretty much, just hit 80 and were in half-assed gear). There is an additional boss in heroic mode, just about where the quest book is found. Kill or control the adds, stay out of whirlwind.
  • Heroic Violet Hold: Fairly easy. If you get Xevozz, remember that if the orbs touch him, he gets a mega buff and will start one shotting people. Just kite him in circles around the room (up the ramp and down the other, repeat). Casters and healers might want to pre-position themselves, to make sure that they won't go out of LoS, since the tank will be continuously moving. I'm not sure if the teleport is random or line of sight related.
  • Heroic Drak'tharon: We couldn't do King Dred. We are either missing something strategy wise (the bleed eww) or just hit a gear wall.

My very first level 80 epic!

Looking to the Sky to Save Me

I CAN FLY AGAIN. Umm anyway, this site needed a logo so here you go: Two minute Photoshop job for the win!

Despite the fact that I have been gaining a level a day, I have been taking my time and thoroughly enjoying the new content. I am very pleased with the new quests so far, many of which break the standard kill x gather y formula. The vehicle missions are fun and as are the shit quests lol. Shit as in quests related to poop or pooping. There is also a fair amount of quest continuity; If you have paid attention to certain NPCs, quests and events from the previous content, you might see a few familiar faces out and about Northrend!

On the other hand, there are also plenty annoying event trigger quests which must be done one group or person at a time. The Amphitheater of Anguish events (WotLK version of the Ring of Blood in Nagrand) was a massive cluster-fuck on Tuesday. We had the misfortune of grouping for the event at the start of Australian Prime time, and ultimately gave up in favor of doing it another day.

Monday: Ding 75. I spent most of my time hammering out the quests that I skipped in Borean Tundra for the sake of obtaining the achievement, which I guess is a reasonable zone completion marker (I know that the zone achievements don't include 100% of all quests, but I'm not that anal). Since the starter zones aren't crowded anymore it's pretty fast XP. Ran: Azjol, Drak'tharon Keep and Gun'drak. I got a nice breastplate in one of those instances.

Tuesday: Ding 76. I quested in Grizzly Hills for the entire evening, which is a fun area with a few fun quests (I really liked the horse ones), even though the entire zone was irritating to navigate. There were way too many hills to navigate up, over and around (I am bitter because I AFKeiya ran off a cliff and died).

Wednesday: Ding 77. I finished off the Grizzly Hills achievement early in the evening and then did Gun'drak, Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightning. Yay my very first level 80 instance! Pro-tip: A level 76 retribution paladin isn't all that useful in a level 80 instance. I forgot to repurchase the Wyrmrest tabard before start HoL, so all of the rep that I gained went towards Valiance Expedition, which is fairly useless given that exalted is easily reachable via questing.

I started the Shalizar Basin quests, leveld, trained Cold Weather Flying, and then logged off for bed at a reasonable time for once! I am glad that Blizzard chose to disallow initial use of the flying mounts in Northrend, it would have ruined so much of the immersion. But that said, I am glad that I have my flying sperm mount back. Running is annoying.

I need to start thinking about my tanking gear set one of these days. These are the "decent" new world items that I have so far: