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Archive for September, 2011

A Good Move

I had plans for writing something more interesting but I’ve been fighting a nasty Trojan invasion on my gaming rig for two days now and I still hope to have it fixed by raid time, so no quality assurances here.

This weekend marks one year since Reversion and I transferred to Winterhoof to pal with Crits and Giggles. I’m so glad we went. We knew then that with Cataclysm coming we wanted a guild that matched our style; casual, but competent. Fun, but serious when it needs to be. Family friendly. Active. Alt-friendly.

There’s lots of guilds out there like that but this one’s ours. I did not expect to start a raid when we came over; it just happened. I’m so glad, because raiding with friends is awesome. I look forward to Friday and Saturday nights all week. Even weeks when Log is out and I’m tearing my hair worrying that the substitute might fall through.

If you’re bored with WoW and need a shakeup, if you’re not happy in your guild, or don’t have one; if you’re looking for more – or less, if you see things changing for you in 4.3 or 5.0, make the move. Find a good guild. Crits is awesome. There’s the Effer guild that people like the Murlocs (Murlocparliament.com) are in, it sounds like so much fun. Other bloggers are recruiting all the time – Khizzara over at Blog of the Treant put out a call last week, if you prefer the horde side.

Going to Crits and Giggles is about the best choice we’ve made in this game – other than playing together. Looking forward to more years of raiding with you guys!

I

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Easy come

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The Upside of the Nerfs

We went into Firelands Friday and promptly wiped on Shannox, Beth, and Ryo. Because we were doing Falahla’s epic staff quest and wiped on purpose. Then we went and killed the special boss for her, went back and one shot everything. Even with the extra stuff quest, we were staring at Ragnaros at 9:30.

Did an hour on him, broke up feeling really confident. Came back Saturday to find that our substitute couldn’t make it, so we cleared trash and then played the “so…. now what” game until Bocat noticed we were talking to her and agreed to come help. Yay! But she had to watch a video, so ok, 15 minute break.

Finally, an hour into raid time, we were ready to start. We made some great progress. Kerick and I got cocky and switched to two healing it. We had a 1% wipe. A 4% wipe. A 5% wipe.  But in the end, we couldn’t pull out a kill. Oh well.

So – upside to nerf – we’ve got scheduling issues coming up again. Falahla and Ado are out Saturday, but we can easily get 6/7 on Friday and keep working on Falahla’s staff. Log’s out both nights, but our substitute tank will have no problems. In two weeks Rev and I are out both nights – and I feel sure the raid will down 7/7 that weekend unless they’re working too hard on heroics.

We’ve been turned out to pasture, so we might as well enjoy the sunshine and hay.

Seriously, Blizzard, don’t do this again.  Not like this. It sucked.

 

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Floating resumes

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Shannox:

Boss tank: Tank the boss. Move when the traps spawn under you. Watch for the spear throw. When it happens pay attention to how far the dog will go to get the spear back to the boss and if it is trapped. If kitting will buy you enough time to drop your stacks, kite. If not, stay there and prepare to use a cooldown. Don’t stand in traps. Position the boss so there is room for the melee to hit it.

Dog tank: Keep the dog off traps. Find a crystal trap. Park the dog near it but not on it. As soon as the red appears for the spear throw run around the trap in a tight half circle. The dog should be trapped. Don’t trap it before the spear throw. When the dog is taking the spear back check your stacks and run away if you need more time. If you run too far, come back when the stacks drop. Don’t get the dog too far from the boss. Don’t stand in the bad.

Beth:

Boss tank. Taunt down two Spinners. Take the web up to the top ONLY when more than one web is down. Pop a cooldown as you arrive up there. Don’t stand in bad. Jump down when she flickers. In the final phase don’t stand on the raid and don’t stand near the other tank and pop plenty of cooldowns when it is your turn. Taunt when the other tank gets kissed.

Offtank: Taunt down spinners when you can reach them. Pick up Drones. Taunt them in a safe spot on the left, far from the small add spawn points. Taunt spinners when you can but always be ready to pick up a drone. In the final phase don’t stand on the raid and don’t stand near the other tank and pop plenty of cooldowns when it is your turn. Taunt when the other tank gets kissed.

Ryolyth:

AOE the add packs. Pick up the Sparks whenever they are up and drag them away from other people. Don’t stand in bad. In the final phase taunt the boss and blow all your cooldowns.

Balroc:

1 tank strat: Pick up the boss. Tank it. Do max DPS by blowing dps cooldowns as needed. When a devastate comes pop ONLY cooldowns that increase dodge or increase healing taken (damage absorb of block cooldowns don’t work on that move). When the last swing is done, pop a cooldown that lowers damage taken.

2 tank strat: same as above but taunt swap between swings of devastation. Be sure the 2nd tank has tanked the boss before the first devastation to get his Stam up (I have never done this with 2 tanks so I might be wrong about something here).

Alystrazor:

Stay out of the center line of the ‘room’. Assign 1 tank to each side. (marking it helps) Grab 1 feather. Be near the egg when it hatches.  Dodge fire. Pop cooldowns when tantrum goes off and get near a worm fast. Don’t leave works up when your add is about to die (eat them all). Dodge tornados. When the boss is stunned, find the add that spawns on our side and keep it stunned and interrupted.

Pick up the boss when it wakes up. Pop cooldowns then. Taunt swap when one tank just can’t take the damage

Staghelm.

Don’t move on the stack up phases. Pop only light duty cooldowns then. Save the big ones for cat. Pup big cooldowns later in the cat phases. Don’t move the boss unless it is for planned amounts on the cat phase. This movement will depend on your teams strat. Don’t move the boss when it is time to stack up.

Rag:

No idea. I have only pulled him a few times so far.

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Free advice

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Tanking Shannox, trap timing

If you are a  tank who is still wiping on Shannox or it seems overly hard, READ THIS.

I thought this was obvious but the offtank we had last night clearly did not get it. Look, the goal of tanking the add is to clear stacks; the stacks of the off tank and the stacks of the main tank. There is only one way to do this ‘right’. To clear your stacks you want to have as much time as possible with the dog not hitting you… that clears the off tank stacks. But you ALSO need as much time as possible with the boss NOT HITTING THE MAIN TANK WITH HIS SPEAR.

That is, you wait until the spear throw is starting and you trap the dog THEN. This gives you two segments of time for your stacks to drop. The first segment is the time the dog is in the trap and the second segment is the time for the dog to grab the spear and run it back to the boss. If you, the off tank, just trap the dog over and over, like our offtank did last night then you MIGHT get lucky. If you get lucky the dog will come out of the trap just as the spear throw happens. If that happens you will get both of those segments of time back to back. You will have the dog in the trap (not hitting you) followed by the dog running with the spear (not hitting you). If there is no gap between those two then you end up with plenty of time to clear you stacks. That is if you are lucky. If you time it wrong the dog hits you between those two (before running to the spear) and your stacks are refreshed.

If you trap the dog BEFORE the spear throw then the main tank gets NO extra time to clear his stacks. You might as well not be trapping the dog at all from the MT perspective because if you just stood there and tanked him the MT would get the SAME amount of time to clear stacks. That time the MT gets will ONLY be the time for the dog running to the spear. What the MT needs is for the time when the boss does NOT have the spear to be prolonged as much as possible. This ONLY happens when you trap the dog just as the spear is thrown. Not just before. Not well before. The boss has to not have the spear in his hand while the dog is in the trap. His spear has to be stuck in the ground while the dog is trapped. This and only this will give the MT a safe margin of time to clear stacks.

If you, the off tank, just chain trap the dog, and you get lucky, then you might clear your stacks every time. The main tank, if he gets lucky and kites the boss a very long way, and someone is slowing the dog (like a frost mage), then the main tank MIGHT get lucky and clear his stacks. Or the MT might regularly get to 10-11 stacks like I was doing last night.

Remember the dog gets a debuff from getting trapped. You should ONLY be trapping the dog right as the spear throw goes off. It is very easy. Find a trap. Stand next to it while tanking the dog. When the red mark appears for the spear throw, run around the trap in a tight circle just far enough away that you don’t trigger it. Done! Yeah, if you just trap that dog over and over like a moron you might get lucky sometimes and occasionally down the boss. Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut.

It amazes me how many people out there completely fail to understand a fights mechanics but sometimes still manage to down things. I think it is tragic that they will never get what they were doing wrong and will still get stuff down. Is it elitist of me to not like nerfing things until the clueless get them down? Oh well. Then paint me as a wanna-be elitist.

So I have to disagree with my wife. Yeah you have to ‘handle the mechanics’ but only sort-of. That off tank was doing the dog as wrong has he could have possibly done it without trapping himself. And we still got the boss down…

Of course that was just the first boss. We tried Beth a couple times and that was beyond bad.

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This Just In: Fire Still Hot!

Last night Reversion and I decided to see how badly nerfed Firelands was by taking our less geared alts, some guildies, and some trade chat pugs in. We had Reversion’s other druid tank who is pretty well geared other than having a blue weapon, my mage who can manage11k on trash, 13 on bosses, two well geared shaman healers from guild, Bocat, and two other guildies: a well geared dps warrior who knew the fights, and a somewhat geared mage who also knew the fights. Then we grabbed a resto druid and two dks from Trade, one dk as a a tank, and headed in.

Trash was fine. Our dps was so low that the nerfs meant things died about as fast as I’m used to. My dps was the worst at 11k, I believe, but only Bocat and the warrior really performed well. It was a bit painful. The dk tank was pulling about 5k so no help there.

After we got it cleared, it was Shannox time. Everyone said they knew the fight so we pulled. We had a couple issues:

The dk tank was on the dog and was using a different strat than we used…. basically trying to trap the dog before spear time, not after. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, and often Reversion couldn’t clear his debuff

The dps was low. We had the melee staying on Shannox and Rageface just would. Not. Die.

People were standing on traps. To be fair, it was mostly two people who did had known computer issues (lag and addon problems). But that didn’t make it easier to deal with the traps.

The resto druid wasn’t a raid -level healer. His spell choice was bad (did not want to use Lifebloom. Seriously?)  and his gear was light. It wasn’t a deal killer but it hurt.

Did I mention the dps was low? I’m an arcane mage, I ought to be able to do more than 13k. Bleah.

On the third try (Reversion: was it only 3? I think it was 5 or more. Ug.), we got Shannox down. That was the first time everyone stayed alive to phase 2. P2 didn’t take any time and the healing seemed way less intense.

So basically, the nerf meant a group that had no business being there could kill the easiest boss, after a few fails.  But it wasn’t a total pushover. The “bads” that some elitists seem worried will get “free loot”, won’t. If you couldn’t down Shannox before it’s probably because of mechanics, not raw numbers, and the mechanics still have to be handled.

I may be complaining this weekend when we go in with our real crew, but at least it’s not a complete joke.

Oh, and did anyone else notice a buffed epic drop rate? We cleared Shannox trash, got one, and Beth trash and got another (Rev’s other bear now has a purple weapon!). Could be coincidence but after all the nights we’ve gone in there without a single BOE trash drop… Got a crafting ember on our one boss kill too, but that’s not a big enough sample size to make any guesses there.

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Keeping a low profile

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Trial period

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