Boom Beach: Are Ice Statues Useful?

I find it oddly common where many bases contain Ice Statues. The most popular proposed play strategy in Boom Beach is to go purely offensive and worry about defense only once you’ve finished hitting HQ 22. If that’s the case, why are there so many Ice Statues, especially MP defense ones? Are they really that effective?


Boom Beach: Why Keeping Your Armory Upgraded Is Critical

Your Armory is one of your most important buildings to maintain as you gain levels. Around the midgame maintaining your Armory starts to take its toll in competing for valuable resources with your base, Gunboat, Statue, Vault, Radar and other critical defenses like Rocket Launchers and Boom Cannons. Because of the high cost in resources to keep it going, it becomes an easy artifact to ignore since you might be more intent on rushing your HQ. Still, it’s not something you can ignore for long.


Boom Beach: PSC Statue or Not?

PSC (Power Stone Chance) statues are an interesting type that I’ve read as being labeled for “advanced strategies.” Are they worth employing in your grouping? Or should you just try them whenever you receive one? Also, when should you boost them? I’ll attempt to answer these questions from my own experience.


Boom Beach: How to Avoid Being A Complete Noob

I’m going to come out of the closet right now and say that I’m a Boom Beach addict. Yes, I killed one addiction (World of Warcraft) for another. Now that I’ve gotten that part out of the way, I wanted to share some strategies that I’ve been learning over the past year or so of playing this game. I’ve made my share of mistakes and when I watch other, newer inexperienced players, I see the same mistakes being made, which is utterly frustrating and unnecessary.


Baldur’s Gate 2: Best Route Quest Route?

When you play Baldur’s Gate 2 a few times, you eventually learn what works for you in terms of the game progression. Shadows of Amn is pretty flexible in giving you a fairly non-linear setup so you’re essentially open to do the various quests in almost any order you want (outside of certain key story areas). The real question becomes, “Which is the best questing path to take?”

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World of Warcraft: Siege of Orgrimmar Wing 1 LFR Guide

Now that Siege of Orgrimmar is on farm for me for LFR, I decided to post some tips on doing well. The thing is that there’s a huge variance of difficulty mostly due to how certain bosses had been nerfed or were pre-nerfed while others still are overtuned and can cause trouble for groups because of mechanics that people never bother paying attention to. The key to success with the Siege of Orgrimmar LFR though is that no matter what, patience and a positive attitude with perseverance will win out (unless you’re time constrained).


Baldur’s Gate 2: More Class/Party Discussion

I finished Shadows of Amn once again yesterday and began Throne of Bhaal but have made little progress thus far. The play through on my party consisted of a human kensai/mage, human undead hunter, half-elf ranger/cleric, Jaehira (half-elf fighter/druid), human wizard slayer/thief and elf fighter/mage. Mostly, I just powered my way through and did most of the Watchers Keep to gain a few levels (mostly for my kensai/mage and wizard slayer/thief to get their best abilities) then slaughtered the end. My only regrets in playing this round were that I started the stronghold quests too late in the game and not doing any of the NPC quests. Most of that was probably because I kept Jaehira in my party the entire time and did not have a rotational spot available. With that in mind, I decided to re-think my party strategy and look at other party combinations by re-examining certain classes a little more in depth then seeing what is needed at the end.

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World of Warcraft: Siege of Orgrimmar LFR Part 1 DPS Guide

Since I’ve done Siege of Orgrimmar LFR Part 1 now roughly 8 times on several toons, I decided to write up my experiences as a DPS, both ranged and melee, on how I handled each fight. I will cover Part 2 once I have more experience, although I think I have a pretty good handle on that section as well.

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World of Warcraft: Throne of Thunder LFR Guide (for the Uber Casual DPS Player) Part 4

Now, for the final part of this guide. Part 4. By now, you should be pretty pumped to defeat the current adversary of LFR. And the final encounters are more or less decent with Lei Shen being mid to hard depending on your group. At this stage, I think most groups can one shot him and it’s all about communication. But let’s start with everything leading towards the conclusion of the Throne of Thunder.

First, you’ll pick up the last area where you’ll face spiders, blobs and lizardmen en route to your first boss. None of these are challenging and some tanks might just try to gather up as many as fast as possible since these mobs don’t pose a great deal of threat to the raid. Once you reach the door, you’ll face a group of stone lions and two mini bosses. Pretty much you can go AoE nuts on these mobs until you face the mini bosses. The mini bosses have a cone ability and knock back. But truthfully they aren’t much of a threat and provide an additional 20 Valor Points.

Iron Qon

Most of this fight will be a tank-n-spank + stay out of shit type of fight. Your tank will pick up Iron Qon and for the first phase, you will be focused on dpsing him. The one mechanic you need to watch out for is his throw spear. When the spear lands, a small maze of fire will spread in various lines. You need to avoid this fire as it will give you a debuff that causes you to burn. If you can’t attack him, don’t try skipping over the fire but try running around. Hopefully, your tank will position him correctly.

After you nuke down his mount, he will mount a new one and take to the sky. You will be sucked into the middle of the room where tornadoes spawn. You’re supposedly to fight your way out of the center. Sometimes, warlocks might create Demonic Gateways to the safe zone. If you’re caught in the tornado, you will be stunned and swirled around. So do what you can to get to the clear end of the room.

At that point, he will continue chucking his spear to create two more sets of lines in lightning and ice. The ice will slow you so you’ll want to avoid it as much as possible. And it will cause a debuff on you as well. During this phase, he will put up two shields. A good tank will position him so that you can move around him and attack his unguarded sides. I believe you can also get “glued” to the floor during this phase if you stand in the ice. So again, you want to avoid the lines on the floor.

Once you destroy his mounts, you face Iron Qon himself. Here’s where you want to blow your cooldowns and bloodlust. It’s very damage intensive so you might want to stack up so your healers and lay their AoE heals down on you.

Next you’ll face another group of adds which aren’t too tough on the way to the Twin Consorts.

Twin Consorts

This fight is another pretty easy fight. There is a mechanic of doing some odd drawing thing but leave that to the experts. Most of this fight you will be facing one add or another. There are two: blue and red. You start off fighting blue and this phase is pretty straight forward as it’s just a tank-n-spank fight. Red is slightly more difficult as the consort ends up being a slight chase type of fight. Your tank will kite this add towards the blue ice crystals around the room. At the same time, the red consort will rush off and return causing the Flames of Passion to spawn in her wake. Just avoid stepping in these. The objective in this fight is to typically get each add to 20% (or whatever low percentage) health then nuking red and finally blue. Not much of a description from me just because this fight is pretty simple overall.

The next group of adds are pretty damage intensive. You’ll face a Lightning Guardian and Thunder Lord twice in two separate rooms. The main issue is that they have an ability called Conductive Shield. When it’s on, you want to avoid attacking the add because you’ll damage yourself in the process. There will be a ton of lightning damage going out, so you’ll want to watch your health as you fight these adds. Again defensive cooldowns and any extra healing helps here.

Defeating the first pack, you’ll go up a stair way en route to the next group. You’ll want to rush up the stairs because it becomes charged. Ranged can stand where the platform is on the outside to avoid the damage. So again you’ll want to just avoid taking too much damage. Once you kill these two off, you’ll face your final encounter.

Lei Shen

I think at this point many groups are one shotting this boss. You’ll have your occasional rotter group with the poisonous jerks who’ll do things to grief parties. But mechanics-wise this fight is actually pretty easy. The first thing is that the raid leader needs to set up signals around the room on the four corners with separate colors. At that point, someone (preferably the raid leader) needs to define the groups who will be assigned per corner. Because LFR is 25 man, you’ll have 4 main groups with the 5th group spreading. Each corner should have at minimal one healer. To figure out which group you belong to, look at your toon’s portrait. Above it you’ll see a small “Group #” denotation. So if the group says purple group #3, then during the intermission phase, you need to run over to the purple signal that your raid leader has set up.

Once the tank pulls, you’ll essentially run around the room to each corner. For the first phase, you need be wary of the lightning whip (which looks like a giant grayish mark on the ground) and the Thunderstruck abilities. When you see these, stand on the opposite side so you don’t get hit.

After moving to each corner of the room, you’ll enter into the Intermission phase. This is where the setup that I mentioned earlier plays a key part. Once you group up, you’ll face 1-4 mechanics. First, you might see someone turned into a giant (Overcharged). Everyone needs to stack up on that person in the group. Second, you’ll see someone with a blue arrow above their head, which is the Static Charged mechanic. Again stack up with that person. Next, you’ll see a pool of blue on the ground (Diffused Lightning). Make sure each person covers them in your area and cover spots that are empty. If you miss, an add will spawn.

Eventually, the intermission phase ends and you will face Lei Shen again. This time, one section of the room will be charged up so most people will avoid it during the second intermission phase. Some of the key differences in this phase while you’re fighting Lei Shen is that you may encounter more bouncing balls and tons of adds. DPS adds if they appear and make sure you cover the bouncing balls area before they hit the ground. This will repeat until you reach the intermission phase where you repeat the tactics from the previous paragraph again.

Once that phase is over, Lei Shen will be in the middle and most tanks end up tanking him there. This part will be a semi-movement heavy phase, combining different aspects of the previous phases into this one. You have to watch out for the conductive ground and will need to once again watch out for both the lightning whip and the Thunderstruck mechanics. This time, you’ll be put into a pushback type of mechanic similar to Lei Shi. So you need to move behind him asap. Again at this phase, blow all your cooldowns, bloodlust and nuke him down while avoiding the whip and other mechanics.

At any rate, that’s my little LFR guide to Throne of Thunder. I hope you enjoyed it. It’s probably not the best guide out there by a long shot but I hope to give you enough of an overview of what to look out for just to get you started. Some small pieces of advice in addition to all of this:

  • Focus on mechanics for boss fights above all else. Don’t worry about being a turret and tunnel vision on a single monster. Worry about the environment and get a feeling for how an encounter is structured.
  • Focus on survival next. That means always be wary of mechanics in a fight like watching out for stuff on the ground or watch out when you’re health rapidly drops. Always be mindful of debuffs you have and avoid situations where your stacks grow too high.
  • Always let the tanks pick up the threat. I’ve been in too many situations where I became overly enthusiastic, started attacking a boss then would get one shot because I ended up becoming #1 on the threat meter. If you need it, get something like Omen to help you monitor your threat. Fights like Ji-Kun can inst-kill you if you’re not careful.
  • Learn the environment. Study it. Get a feeling for it. Ask questions if necessary. But don’t be a dunce head and dive in head first before everyone. Let people guide you so you don’t make the mistake of others. In short, try following and not leading.
  • Be patient. For myself, it takes roughly 3 tries before I feel comfortable on these encounters. With 10 90s, I have a lot of opportunities throughout the week to master these encounters. It’s all about patterns and learning where to be and what to do at the right moment. But you need to give yourself the chance to learn and master these encounters.
  • Communicate with your group. Never forget the Golden Rule. Be respectful and if things go really well, mention it to people. LFR has a horrible reputation because people with negative attitudes contribute their mental damage to others and this disease spreads like AIDS. However, you should give praise to help mitigate this damage and compliment your group when things do go well. I believe that LFR is a great tool but a lot of the damage can be reversed through proper communication and having a positive attitude.


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World of Warcraft: Throne of Thunder LFR Guide (for the Uber Casual DPS Player) Part 3

Now, it’s time for Halls of Flesh-Shaping. Let’s get started.

The first thing is that you’ll be faced with a bunch of swamp like-monsters circling around a platform. As you DPS down these foes, occasionally you’ll be ported over into a purplish-maze and must fight a tiny creature. Keep in mind how this maze-like prison works as it’ll play a significant role in the upcoming boss encounter. Once you down the three bog creatures, portals around the room will open up, where giant versions will appear. Your tank ought to pull one at a time (for a total of four). Lots of AoE damage will go out and you’ll be forced to find a hidden add that you need to down quickly to prevent more AoE raid damage from going out. Once the fourth large add goes down, move back towards the entrance (or at least get out of the center of the room) to face one of the most difficult bosses in LFR to date:

Durumu the Forgotten

Quite honestly, this boss has been nerfed significantly to the point where groups can now one shot Durumu. The fight is really easy at this point except for a single phase. Despite all of this, people can still screw up because they’ll most likely panic and do something stupid. The first thing to know in this fight is that the shit on the ground is always going to be bad. So avoid it at all cost as much as possible.

Next, you might occasionally be targeted by a Lingering Gaze effect. If that happens, run out of the center to drop a puddle of purple stuff. Along with that you’ll see some purplish stuff from the “Force of Will” cone that looks similar to the maze formation you might’ve witnessed earlier. You need to get out asap or you get knocked off the platform.

Sometime after, you’ll see three distinctly covered beams that may or may not target you. If you’re targeted, run in a circle around the room to uncover adds. There will be three adds that will spawn once you uncover them. When you find them, nuke them down. If you’re not focused, DPS the boss until the adds are uncovered.

Lastly, is the most infamous mechanic of any fight that I’ve seen that has caused a great deal of grief to LFR and required all the nerfs just so the people in LFR can survive. It’s the maze/Disintegration phase. This phase is the raid wiper and has garnered an enormous amount of hate. At the same time in it’s current format, you can still one shot the boss (I’ve seen it where we only had a single death, which might be an LFR record). So let me get into this aspect.

Once Durumu starts the Disintegration phase, you must run to the guide. Someone might have a marker to indicate being the leader. The most important aspect to this phase is surviving. Forget DPS unless you know the mechanic. You have two options in this phase, an inner group or outer group. I highly recommend the inner group because it’s easier to navigate. Most people will gather up in one spot, which I believe is near or under where the beam will spawn (but it won’t start dealing damage). Once people are gathered, you need to navigate through the maze. The maze will deal damage if you hit it and if people weren’t careful in dropping off their purple puddles, you might step in some. Some people might blow defensive cooldowns while healers try to drop as much healing as possible. The thing is that the openings to the maze (i.e. clear/safe spots) slowly. So don’t panic and move through as much as possible without taking damage. You must avoid the eye beam at all cost though as it can one shot you.

If you manage to survive the eye beam phase and most of your raid is alive, then burn the boss as fast as you can. With the exception of Lingering Gaze and Force of Will, you can ignore the other mechanics in this fight (i.e. the add portion). Just make sure you nuke Durumu down before he goes back to the maze phase.

In general, the two things I focus on are staying alive during the maze aspects and DPSing the boss down as hard as possible. Blow your cooldowns at the beginning including Bloodlust. You want to make sure Durumu is nuked down as fast as possible before the maze phase since there’s no guarantee how many people are left.

If you succeed in killing Durumu, then LFR for the most part will seem pretty easy from here on out with a few smaller hiccups. After that, you’ll face another add gauntlet. Your tank will pick up these red oozes. Don’t DPS them until he stops. Eventually, he’ll gather a large group up along with a Malignant Ooze. Now, you’ll have to be a little careful here because upon killing these oozes, they explode causes a great deal of raid damage. So just mindlessly AoEing them might destroy them fast, but you’ll still face the risk of killing your raid (unless your healers are superior). I tend to go single target for these to bring down the risk.

Eventually, you’ll end up in another chamber where you face Primordius.


This encounter is fairly simple but it can be confusing the first time through. The thing is that you need to wait for your tank to pick up Primordius and then waiting for these red oozes to spawn from around the room. Focus on killing these oozes. Once they die, stand in them to receive a buff. You need 5 of these to become transformed for which you can start nuking Primordius. Your tank will kite Primordius in a circle so it’s important to keep up as much as possible.

While that is most of the fight, you have to pay attention to your buff. Once it goes away, you’ll need to pick up another 5 stacks. I’ve heard that you don’t need all 5 but it’s probably easier just to keep the transformation aspect up. So you might have to kill more of the oozes. But keep on the look out for the remnants of other oozes. You will want to pick them up before Primordius as they can buff him instead. Also, you’ll want to be wary about the raid wide damage going out. The other thing is to avoid purple puddles as these are considered bad. Overall not a hard fight but most of it is just environmental awareness.

The next part is a few simple add packs. The two guards at the door are simple. Just make sure you attack from behind because they can stun you. Then you will fight a group of Dark Ritualists. Honestly, there’s not a lot which makes this fight special except that they have a buttload of life and it feels unnecessarily long. There is a Dr Who culture reference in the achievement but that’s not important.

Dark Anus….I mean Dark Animus

Before I talk about the strategies of this fight, I want to share this little anecdotal on one of my LFR encounters.

Raider1 (right after porting in): “Which boss are we on?”

Raider2: “Dark Anus”

Raider3: “That’s what she said.”

Me: “LMAO.”

Sorry, I can’t call this encounter Dark Animus anymore after hearing that. Heck, even typing Dark Animus out, I’m always tempted to change the “i” to a “u”. That said, after dealing with this hectic fight, there’s good reason to call this along the lines of the rectum. The fight starts off chaotic but slows into a boring tank and spank. So what to do?

The first half of this encounter involves three types of adds where you face four sets of golems that start off in great numbers and are smaller, leading to activating Dark Animus. The first set of golems (Anima Golems) will spawn on two sides of the room. Most times the tanks will split up, each one taking one half of the golems. People might focus on one group of golems while the other tank holds their half of golems. Single target these smaller golems so that the Large Anima Golems will be activated.

Large Anima Golems are what end up causing wipes. The thing is that if you kill too many of them quickly, a large number of these guys will spawn. But the problem is that they have an ability called Crimson Wake, which causes these puddles of red on the floor. Quite often, the uninitiated will leave tons of these Crimson Wake puddles around and people will stand in them, causing chaos and the raid to wipe. If you get targeted by Crimson Wake, you need to find a corner of the room to drop it off.

The object of that phase is to eventually activate the Massive Anima Golems. Usually, what I’ve seen is that once one group is activated, people keep switching to the next bigger group, up until Dark Animus. With the Massive Anima Golems, the only thing you need to deal with Matter Swap. That’s more of a healer mechanic, but you might find yourself slightly discombobulated when you switch spots with the furthest person in your raid. But just DPS these until Dark Animus is activated.

Once Dark Animus is activated, focus all your attention on this thing. Pretty much at this point things become a tank-n-spank encounter. Avoid casting when Interrupting Jolt hits or you’ll be silenced.

Next I’ll cover the last part of Throne of Thunder.