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Method Jdotb Q&A #4 - M+ Professions, Pushing +20 Keys, Weekly Affix Advice
27/3/2018 em 14:27
Our fourth Q&A with Method Jdotb is now live which includes advice on Seat of the Triumvirate, making the jump to +20 keys, professions for M+ and his advice on this week's affixes of Bursting, Skittish, Tyrannical.
The Time Trials phase has started today and Jdotb is currently streaming Method NA's Time Trial runs on his Twitch.
Check out our previous Q&As with Jdotb:
Method Jdotb Q&A #4
Want to ask Jdotb a question? Leave a comment below and we'll pick some questions for Jdotb to answer in the next Q&A!
Jdotb plays a Resto Druid and will be participating on the Method NA team in the Mythic Dungeon Invitational. He has achieved multiple
and currently holds many of the top times in the NA Region. He frequently streams his Resto Druid gameplay. Find him here:
What are some of the things to consider as a healer when you want to make the leap from running a weekly 15 to trying to push 20 and higher?
There are a lot of things to consider, and most of these are universal and not strictly a healer thing.
First, you’re going to want to start putting thought into your group composition. You’ll hear a lot about the M+ “meta” which is shorthand for describing which classes are strong in M+ currently. There are a lot of specs in the game right now that for one reason or another just aren’t great for dungeon content. As a healer, if you aren’t playing a holy paladin or a resto druid, you’re going to have a harder time pushing 20+ keys. If you’re a good player with a good group, you can probably play any healer class you want up to the 23-25 range, but beyond that you will start running into scenarios in dungeons that your class just isn’t equipped to handle. This goes for the other classes in your group as well (R.I.P. shamans and priests), and you’ll even want to consider how you split up ranged vs. melee. M+ is a scary place for melee DPS, and having more than one makes some boss fights a lot more difficult than they need to be.
Second, you need to start trying to build a consistent group. The enemies in 20+ keys will start living long enough and dealing enough damage that mechanics that you were either able to ignore or didn’t even realize existed in 15 keys will become real issues when you start pushing past 20. Your group will need to communicate to call for interrupts, external defensive cooldowns, etc. It’s possible to PUG higher keys but you’ll always be expected to jump into voice chat for coordination.
Finally, start considering each boss individually in terms of your gear. Is it possible to proc
Segredo de Sephuz
on this boss consistently? Will the boss hit me hard enough that I’ll die without
Prydaz, Obra Magna de Xavaric
on? Is there an ability that will be mitigated by avoidance? You’ll want to swap your gear around depending on the encounter, and that will mean spending some time looking at your legendaries and trinkets and being thoughtful about which ones will be useful and which ones won’t.
What do you think of the new keystone changes announced for BFA - Tyrannical/Fortified on level 2?
The short answer is “it depends”, but if this were implemented on live servers right now I don’t think anyone would even notice. I think most people are running keys that are at least +10, but even if there is a strong contingent still doing 2-9 keys, the scaling at those levels combined with the ilvl in Legion currently just wouldn’t make
a big deal.
There are a few reason why “it depends”. The first is that you have to consider the chronology of an expansion. When Legion first came out, doing a +5 key was a legitimate challenge, and doing a +10 could easily take a few hours. Adding
at +2 would’ve made the beginning of Legion a LOT more difficult. As the expansion goes along and more ilvl is added, the difference between
at +2 vs. +10 will become less and less meaningful because more people will be doing keys that are above +10.
It also depends on whether these two affixes are re-tuned in BfA. If they’re unchanged from the Legion status quo then they will have a dramatic effect week-to-week on the difficulty of the keys. But if Blizz adjusts the numbers (most likely downwards) to compensate for the affixes being present all the time, then the impact of universal
affixes will be muted.
A lot of people are frustrated with
currently because it is objectively more difficult than
, but a lot of that discrepancy could be eliminated if
was nerfed (mostly the 40% health aspect). I don’t know that anyone particularly minds the spirit of the affixes -- some weeks the trash is harder, some weeks the bosses -- it’s just that the current implementation makes the difficulty of keys swing wildly from week to week and has a chilling effect during
Hopefully the decision by Blizz to put these affixes in at +2 is an indicator that Blizz wants them to add a distinct flavor to each week but also not be overwhelming.
What are your thoughts on the current state of Seat of Triumvirate?
is a good example of a dungeon that is potentially interesting and fun but just overtuned. Even after multiple nerfs, it’s clear that the dungeon suffers from math-related issues. It’s frustrating to run, and objectively it’s obvious that the dungeon is more difficult than its peers when you look at the M+ leaderboards and always see Seat lagging a few key levels behind.
Personally I think Seat is a fun dungeon conceptually. There are a good mix of bosses:
Zuraal, o Elevado
has a single target burst window,
has sustained AoE,
has priority adds, etc. And
is probably my favorite boss to heal in all of Legion. It’s a fight with punishing damage but it always feels mostly “fair” in the sense that you can prepare for the spike damage and the RNG is fairly low. The trash features some novel mobs -- stealthed patrolling Tricksters, Voidbenders that require you to spread out or else take group damage, and Grand Shadow-Weavers that conjure adds that have to be killed quickly or else explode. It’s a distinct dungeon with it’s own flavor.
Seat’s biggest issue is that it’s last two bosses, Viceroy and L’ura, just have waaaay too much health. On high
keys it’s not uncommon for each of those bosses to take over five minutes to kill. Viceroy is a difficult fight to heal because the damage pattern is complete RNG. Random members of your party will get Void Lashing stacks, and members of your party will randomly get multiple Void Lashings cast on them simultaneously. This makes it very hard to pace your cooldowns and mana because you never know when someone is about to get dunked on. L’ura is more straightforward with its damage but presents a new wrinkle: the stacking damage buff. Growing Darkness keeps adding more and more damage to the fight the longer it goes, so when Tyrannical gives L’ura 40% more health it’s guaranteed that Growing Darkness will be adding significant damage to the fight.
These problems have been apparent for a long time and it’s late enough in the expansion that we’re unlikely to see any changes. I think the Seat designers wanted to make sure their dungeon wasn’t a joke when it was released and swung too far in the other direction, but since Seat was released halfway through Legion it just got ignored by casual players that didn’t want to learn new dungeons and avoided by the hardcore crowd that realized how punishing it was. All the Legion dungeons introduced after day one had similar issues; Karazhan and Cathedral both needed to be nerfed multiple times. Seat was probably just too late in the expansion to warrant saving.
What is your general advice on using battle res? Should it always be saved for the tank or is it okay to res your DPS?
There aren’t many set-in-stone rules for how to use battle res. It varies from dungeon to dungeon and group to group. Generally for my groups the tank is the person least likely to need battle res, so it’s almost always saved for a DPS or me. But if you’re running with a PUG tank then maybe you don’t have that same confidence that the tank is gonna be the last man standing.
What’s important is that you have a gameplan for battle res. Certain dungeons have mechanics that routinely kill people, and after you’ve done those dungeons a few times you get a feel for where those danger zones are. For example, Hyrja in
Halls of Valor
is a battle res vacuum. My group will always done Fenryr first then go to Hyrja just so that we have time for one more battle res charge to build up. We know that even a “good” Hyrja pull is probably going to end up with at least one death, so we will do whatever we can to have battle resses stockpiled for that fight. That means potentially letting someone stay dead on Hymdall or Fenryr -- even if that significantly increases our risk of wiping on either of those bosses -- because we know that Hyrja is going to kill people.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are some dungeons where battle res might never get used in the normal course of business. In Vault of the Wardens, e.g., after you kill Tirathon there aren’t many lethal threats left in the dungeon. If someone faceplants in the middle of Ash’golm, you can probably “waste” a res on them because the chances you’ll need it at any other point are fairly slim, especially if you have more than one.
If you find yourself in the middle of a boss fight where you really don’t want to use a battle res but also aren’t sure that you can survive if you don’t, a common tactic is to cast battle res on the dead person but tell them not to take it unless things get dire. If the dead person never clicks “Accept”, the res charge is never consumed. If you end up stabilizing, the dead person declines the battle res and gets ressed normally. This gives you a bit more wiggle room during the fight.
What are the best professions to have for M+ keystone grinding?
The two standouts are alchemy and engineering because those will be the source of most consumables you’re using. Alchemy will let you craft your own flasks and
Poção do Poder Prolongado
and give you two hour flask duration instead of the usual one hour. It will also let you make
Poção do Passo Celeste
s. Engineering lets you craft
Pilar Detector de Falhas
and item repair items like
Additionally, Engineering gives you access to some enchants that are useful in M+. The most obvious is
Cinto de Fragmentação
which allows you interrupt groups of mobs and is critical for big pulls in high keys. Another is the
Forro de Flexitrama
which lets gives you a slowfall effect and can be useful in some dungeons with Z-axis elements.
Enchanting can also be useful because it lets you disenchant the (many) items you will get from M+ that aren’t useful. This can be a significant source of income if you grind a lot of keys, and it generate a modest amount of
Sangue de Sargeras
if that’s something that interests you.
No other professions do much for M+ specifically, but it is worth mentioning
Court of Stars
. CoS has several items distributed that give buffs if you’re able to use them. Each profession has an item associated with it; the usefulness of those items varies rather dramatically. Some of the items summon Talixae Flamewreath’s lieutenants and aren’t particularly desirable. Those professions are Leatherworking, Mining and Jewelcrafting. Some professions give buffs: Inscription and Skinning get movement speed (meh), Enchanting gets a damage buff (now we’re talking), and Herbalists get haste (winner winner). Alchemy will let you poison a flask that will kill Gerdo instantly at 25% health. The big ticket professions, though, are Blacksmithing and Engineering. Blacksmithing gets access to a trap that instantly kills one of Talixae’s lieutenants, and Engineers can use an orb that disables every Guardian Construct in the dungeon. The amount of time saved by these two items is tremendous, and not having someone in the party that can activate them is a significant impairment. Engineering is common enough that most groups will have an Engineer without trying, but Blacksmiths are rare. I have brought people to my Court of Stars groups specifically because they have Blacksmithing.
You can’t go wrong with Alchemy and Engineering, and Enchanting and Blacksmithing both have uses. The rest of the professions won’t much affect your M+.
Weekly Affix Advice
The affixes this week will be
Dungeons Most Affected by Bursting:
: Lower Kara is loaded with pulls that can get out of hand quickly with Bursting. The Spectral Patron packs can easily go above 20 stacks of Bursting if you aren’t careful, and Phantom Guest and Ghostly Understudy pulls can reach similar numbers. You can pull smaller in Lower to compensate but it will slow the dungeon down considerably.
Eye of Azshara
: The Bitterbrine Scavengers and Seaspray Crabs will toss up so many stacks of Bursting that many groups opt to just have their healer stand out of range Bursting range so he or she can res rest of the group who pulls everything and accepts their fate.
: The Enchanted Broodlings will generate a bunch of Bursting quickly; while Manafang Devourers won’t reach quite the same number of stacks, they will occasionally jump to ranged players which will make them die slower than the rest of the pack because they aren’t in cleave range. This will often cause high stacks of Bursting to get refreshed when the stragglers are cleaned up at the end. The Plagued Rat pull is already dangerous by itself, and Bursting almost guarantees some deaths here.
: It’s easy to lose track of the Vileshard Crawlers and Tarspitter Slugs during big pulls and get a double digit bursting stack that keeps extending itself because DoTs continue to kill off low health mobs.
Dungeons Most Affected by Skittish:
: The Wyrmtongue pulls after Illysanna are difficult to pull together with Skittish. If you’re trying to do the Felspite Dominators on the stairs up to Smashspite, your DPS will need to be very careful.
: Trying to pull all the trash at the start of the dungeon will be very difficult this week since the tank has to maintain aggro on the move. Pulling all the Rockbound Pelters after Rokmora will be very dicey this week as they can easily aggro a DPS and start casting on nearby DPS.
Seat of the Triumvirate
: The adds on L’ura are already tricky for a tank to pick up without nerfed threat, so DPS and healers need to have their heads on a swivel this week. Tricksters are always dangerous but will be even more difficult for a tank to corral. Trying to pull a lot of trash in Zuraal’s room will require a lot of coordination to keep mobs from peeling off.
Dungeons Most Affected by Tyrannical:
Halls of Valor
Trompa da Bravura
will get dangerous, and Fenryr will start taking long enough that
DoTs will have a chance to stack up and cause problems. But the real showstopper is Hyrja whose
will start one-shotting people. Add in
Olho da Tormenta
for good measure and you’ve got a fight that will likely require multiple battle resses at a minimum.
Corrente de Ar Descendente
combo will be difficult to keep up with, and the fight will now last long enough that you’re going to run out of healing cooldowns at some point. Xavius will start one-shotting people with
Seta de Pesadelo
Devorar os Fracos
will be scary.
might kill some people, and the extra Tyrannical health on Xavius means the second half of the fight will last long enough that he will eventually get some empowerment stacks and do even more damage.
Seat of the Triumvirate
: Viceroy Nezhar and L’ura both become fights that will likely last four or five minutes on higher keys. Viceroy’s random heavy single target damage will tax your healer’s mana. L’ura’s
becomes very dangerous with the extra Tyrannical health -- everyone in the group will be taking significant damage by the end of the fight.
Court of Stars
: Talixae Flamewreath’s
will deal heavy damage as the fight progresses, and her adds will become more and more difficult to keep CC’d. The
from Advisor Melandrus will require a lot of healing in a very short window, and classes without good defensive abilities will struggle not to die every time it’s cast.
Dungeons Least Affected by This Week’s Affixes:
Court of Stars
: There aren’t many big pulls for Bursting to get too out of control, and most of the mobs in Court aren’t likely to one-shot a group member if the tank loses aggro. Mostly you’ll just need to be careful on the Mana Wyrm pulls.
Vault of the Wardens
: Bursting can get a little hairy at the start of the dungeon, especially with the additional Teeming mobs, but you won’t have to worry about Bursting for the rest of the dungeon after Tirathon. Tirathon and Inquisitor adds can be a bit more dangerous on Skittish so the tank needs to pay attention when they spawn.
Cathedral of Eternal Night
: You’ll have to slow down a bit in Thrashbite’s room on the Hellblaze Imps with Bursting, but otherwise Cathedral’s trash won’t be too impacted by Bursting. Nal’tira’s spiders can cause issues with Skittish pretty quickly so be careful.
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