Srsly, how long until someone makes a machinima movie of some shirtless human spinning around in a circle in the Crusader’s Coliseum and /yelling that phrase?
Um, but anyways. Last night was the first time ES walked into the Col25 raid and there was a wide range of opinions on how the night would go. Some doom-and-gloomers (shockingly, not yours truly) were expecting a wipe fest. Others just wanted to stay upbeat and put some good learning attempts in. The daring few (ahem) read this whole patch as being basically a wet kiss to casual players, and with the splitting off of a heroic difficulty setting suspected that the encounters would be a cakewalk once learned. Well, I was sadly right.
I say “sadly” only because I recall our first night in Ulduar with masochistic fondness. It was a huge knock on our ass that made us recognize that we’d been coddled by Naxx, and that raiding was much, much more difficult than Kel’Thuzad let on. And even though those early days were overtuned (and subsequently toned down) Ulduar continued to be a major headache for us all throughout 3.1. We never finished the place, and yet, with the easy gear of this patch… and apparently this raid, if the rest of it follows the same pattern… we’ll probably be storming back in short order brandishing 245 gear and suffering from a severe lack of chewing gum.
We started the night with a very productive guild meeting where I outlined my pet project, the DPS improvement initiative, and put everyone on notice that thanks to the Conquest badge change they were in charge of running heroics to get to the 226 level if they weren’t there yet, and to hit a 4k dps minimum baseline. Everyone seemed on board with that, so we’ll see how the dps situation goes from here.
As for the raid, we rolled in at 8 server time with a very strong group. Two developments I’ve been very happy about are the returns of Falowin and Morvain, two of our premier raiders that dropped out of the game a few months ago for various reasons. I’m sure it wasn’t just them being there, but there was a much different atmosphere to the whole raid than we’ve seen in the last few Uld weeks. It was… refreshed.
That’s the beauty of new content. It’s new. You haven’t been wiping on the same boss the last few weeks and aren’t yet sick of the lead up to some encounter; everything is exciting and fresh. This was definitely something the guild needed as a whole to get that awful taste of Ulduar out of our mouths.
To speak briefly about damage taken before I get into fight descriptions–I heard one of the tanks remarking that everything hit really hard in 10man. He didn’t elaborate, but from the tone of his complaints it sounded like bosses were going to hit much harder than any Ulduar boss. They didn’t. Honestly, if you can survive not getting instagibbed by a boss in Ulduar, you should be fine here. I had about 45k health last night and I was good to go.
Now, the first boss encounter is actually three bosses.
Gormok the Impaler
Biggest thing from a tank perspective is this: you get stacks of Impale (a bleed dot) which means you want a tank switch. On 25man the Impale stays up for a long time, so ideally Tank A racks up 3 stacks, Tank B taunts and holds it, then Tank A lets his stacks drop off and taunts back, Tank B does the same, rinse and repeat.
During the fight little Snobolds will get tossed onto random players. DPS needs to burn those off. If someone in melee has one on them and you’re not tanking, might as well help knock it off them. Name plates being enabled are a life-saver for spotting these.
Oh, and don’t be silly like me and cast Exorcism by accident during this phase. The boss will do an interrupting ground stomp and lock you out of the Holy school for around 8 seconds. Not good!
Dreadscale and Acidmaw
Two Jormungars! One will always be above ground the other just sticking out of it. Dreadscale applies a debuff on the tank called “Burning Bile” while Acidmaw applies a debuff called “Paralyzing [Something]“. You need the burning debuff to remove the paralysis debuff. The worms switch spots after a short while, so at one point the moving worm tank will be at risk of paralysis and need someone with the Burning debuff to remove it, other times the tank needs people with Paralysis to run over to him/her before they freeze up completely and die. Mobility is a big part of this phase.
The moving worm also needs to be constantly moved, as he drops acid clouds ala Grobbulus.
And be sure to kill Acidmaw first so you don’t get stuck with Paralyzed people and no Burning debuff to remove it.
Probably one of the more fun fights I’ve done in a while. The entire fight consists of everyone spreading out around the boss while he’s tanked in the center. Every so often Icehowl will do a “Massive Crash” sending everyone to the walls. He’ll then target a random person and charge. People in his path have a speed buff to help them get out of the way. If Icehowl runs over anyone on the way to the wall (even if he didn’t call your name out) he’ll enrage. The enrage can be tranq shotted off. If he doesn’t hit anyone, Icehowl will run into the wall and be stunned, and take extra damage for a short time.
Just make sure everyone knows how to move out of the way and this is easy sauce.
After Icehowl goes down you’ll get 3 Emblems of Triumph, along with the normal smattering of loot. I picked up the Hauberk of the Towering Monstrosity, which at 180 stam and 2 gem sockets is just… monstrous. Not to mention 90 defense. What an amazing item.
The next time you talk to the starting npc he’ll bring out a gnome that pales in comparison to Milhouse Manastorm.
…As Jaraxxus will then prove.
This fight was hilarious to do last night because there really weren’t any strats to refer to other than ability lists. We were more or less were going in blind, having to figure out what the hell was going on. The first attempt was just chaos, people running around like crazy, and then when the first person got hit with Incinerate Flesh all the healers spun on a dime to pour tps in them, allowing Jaraxxus to quickly murder the tanks. Eek.
After a few more attempts we refined our technique where the second to last attempt we got him to 3% when he enraged. 10 minute enrage timer, bee tee dubs.
To sum it up from the tank perspective, you’re either on Jaraxxus or you’re on adds. If on Jaraxxus you need to move him away from stuff when they pop up. Move Jaraxxus away from portals, and move him away from any infernals that roll over to root themselves next to you. Infernals won’t move while casting their AOE, so you just need to drag them away before the melee gets wiped out.
If you’re the add tank, grab a Mistress of Pain whenever she emerges from a portal and drag her over to the boss. Everyone focuses her down then switches back to the boss. Cut and dry. When a volcano emerges, pick up each infernal as they spawn and mark one for ranged to dps down. The infernals will periodically roll away from you, but don’t worry. Just let people know if they don’t see a roll ball of green doom siddle up next to them. It’s hard to miss, I’m sure.
So the second to last attempt was a 3% enrage wipe. The following attempt everything clicked, everyone knew the deal, and we burnt him down in record time with not a single death. It was a thing of beauty.
I’m fairly certain that next week we can easily one or two-shot these guys.
How refreshing, 2/5 of Col25 being easy farm already.