1 0 Tag Archives: icecrown
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I’ve had it up to HERE with this achievement

Neck Deep in Vile, how I loathe thee. Thankfully, the first batch of it is done. Six more folks to go and everyone in the raid core will have their drakes.

There’s really not much to say about the achievement other than what a huge pain it’s been for us. We typically have very melee-heavy raids, and last night was just about the most ranged/casters we’ve ever had going. And this is including the two healers I made go dps offspec.

We had a few close calls, at one point getting LK to 11% when the achievement was failed, forcing all to quickly cascade of the edge in hopes that dots wouldn’t push him over. Thankfully, we died to fight another day.

Last night was also the first time since the patch we’ve downed Heroic Sindragosa, thanks to various difficulties in the previous weeks (for example: half the raid not being able to see the swirl of a Frost Bomb in the distance).  The biggest issue was Frost Breath continues to not fall off once the timer elapses (instead, just ticking off a stack), unlike prior to 4.0.1.

In the past, I’d tank Sindy from start of the fight to the first tank swap in the sub-35% phase. Last night, Ana and I had to switch off every air phase so that going into P3 I wasted burdened by 6 stacks of the speed debuff. Not a huge deal, but an annoyance nonetheless.

Anyway, unpleasantness aside–drakes! Woo.

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October 28, 2010
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Nerf pallies, or something

Like Voss said.

Here’s my entry for the ShoR crit contest (though I’m not really participating):

104,692 damage. The stuff dreams are made of my friends. And that was with normal tanking gear, no dps pieces! Just lined up all my ducks in a row (9 stacks of Gaseous Bloat, almost-max Vengeance, wings popped, Sacred Duty proc) and fired.

I even let Ana tank first too! (Hence the faux-gquit, and the horse head I woke up to in my bed this morning.)

For my victory lap I murdered Antigen’s mage’s eponymous Frost Elemental.

There can only be one.

MMO-Champ also has the latest beta changes from build 13221. They seem to be missing the ShoR nerf wowhead is showing. Hrmm.

Update: ShoR was definitely nerfed.

We changed Shield Slam and Shield of the Righteous to do more base damage and scale less with AP. This was to fix a problem where numbers became absurdly large with a lot of AP, especially under the effects of Vengeance, dwarfing the damage done by druid or DK tanks. With these changes, a tank in heroic dungeon blues should deal the same damage with no Vengeance, but Vengeance will have less of an impact.

The coefficient for Shield of the Righteous was lowered from 120% to 60% at 3 Holy Power. The coefficient for Shield Slam was lowered from 75% to 60%.

But apparently Word of Glory was not.

We buffed Word of Glory base points for Holy paladins. We nerfed the Ret and Prot talents to keep it about the same for them.

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October 27, 2010
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Finding our footing once more

Up until that first pull of Heroic Marrowgar I was terrified that last night was going to be a repeat of the debacle that was the raid on Wednesday last week. The first time we tried Heroic Marrowgar last week I think I was two shot, ingloriously. The offtank followed suit with much haste.

Last night–much better! We had no problems dropping Marrowgar. In fact it felt like pre-4.0.1, except for dps was much higher, so the fight didn’t last as long. Then on Heroic LDW we had a somewhat clean one shot. With everyone’s additional health I’m sure that there were survivors to some unnecessary ghost explosions. I’m sure we wouldn’t have pulled it off that attempt if not for 4.0.1, but at this point I’m beyond caring about these externalities. I just want the night to go well.

And so it did. We pretty much rolled over everything in our path, cleanly one-shotting Heroic Putricide and only stalling at Heroic Sindragosa at the end of the night. With Put in particular I was convinced there were some boss damage hotfixes, because I was reduced to a paste by his normal mode last week, and yet last night I wasn’t taking that much of a beating. Lo and behold, there were.

Per the crab,

We’ve made some Icecrown and Halion changes already and we may need to make more.

He didn’t go into details but I’m certain that they nerfed boss damage in ICC and RS. On just about everything except for Sindragosa (who is still very truck-like in her damage) I was sitting pretty with very few “oh crap” moments, if any.

Last night was also a great chance to get more comfortable with the rotation and all our new toys. I’m much happier with 939 than I’ve been since it was first devised. It’s still annoying to CS every other attack, but the 9′s are not as locked in as they used to be (there’s some fluidity) to make the rotation require some thought. Plus, I’m really liking the choice presented by Shield of the Righteous and Word of Glory.

The former you use at the start to establish a threat lead, then once you’re comfortable with your position you can use Word of Glory to boost your survivability. A lot of times I found myself with a good 10% or so headstart on the dps and started popping the self-heal/absorb. I like any choice we get and any choice that rewards us for not choosing poorly. I think WoG is one of the those things.

Perhaps my favorite part of the night, though, was Heroic Festergut. Thanks to Vengeance and the the damage buff he slaps on the tank, I pulled off an 85,665 damage Shield of the Righteous crit. I’m sure I could have done much better with AW up, or some dps gear, though I was at least using my Bloodvenom Blade.

In any case, I close out my post with this demand: I want to see your crits. Email me screenshots of ShoR crits on your scrolling combat text or Recount, from Festergut. Your personal bests, the biggest number you can push. Next Friday I’ll do a post showing off the biggest ShoR crits I received. You can email your screenshots to rhidach [at] gmail [dot] com.

Housekeeping note! Tomorrow morning I’m flying out to California for Blizzcon. Blogging here will of course be light to non-existent, since Anafielle is also going to be there. However you can follow both of us and our Blizzcon-related ramblings on Twitter! Here’s my Twitter page, and here’s Anafielle’s.

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October 20, 2010
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A brave new world

Tuesday night was a clusterfark, as most patch days are. Despite making a checklist for the guild to help them get ready and everybody waiting in Mumble and chomping at the bit for the servers to come back up, yours truly was frantically still attempting to patch because I forgot to start the updater when I left for work that morning. Complete and utter fail. I finally got in about an hour after everyone else.

The plan originally was to maybe raid if timing was good and everyone was settled, but between addons and confusion and terrible guild leaders, there was just no way it was happening. People spent most of the night trying to hammer together a working UI and then running heroics to get an idea of the new mechanics.

When I finally got in, the first thing I did was dodge off to Silvermoon and train everything and then reforge my gear. Just like on the beta, I block capped and without having to use Heroic CTC to do so. I then built both specs–single target and AOE–and glyphed both. Lastly, I regemmed all my gear so that any agi/stam gems were swapped out for strength/stam gems. My thinking was to grab the extra threat and the free parry from strength, but I have absolutely no clue how optimal that is. I suspect it’s not really a good idea, so I’m going to have to revisit that.

I also took a lot of joy in applying the mind control tinker on my helm for the free stamina, a parachute on my cloak, and getting tuskarr’s vitality enchanted on my boots. It’s not the same as Pursuit of Justice, but it’ll do.

Once the dust was settled a bit, I ran Heroic Gundrak with a few friends to find my legs. Switched to my AOE spec and went to town. Unfortunately, one of the dps was a mage, and I basically spent the heroic alternating Hammer of the Righteous and whichever taunt was off cooldown. I don’t think I had a good grasp on the mechanics at the time, but we were so overgeared that everything just blew right over without protest, so it was just about impossible to gauge much.

Before I logged that night I took a quick flight on my Argent Hippogryph, now benefitting from the same 310% speed that my less attractive mounts were blessed with. Perhaps one of my favorite quality of life changes this patch. I hated flying around on some godawful proto-drake just for the convenience of speed.

Another gorgeous change is the new water system. Yesterday I was taking a taxi down to Grom’gol for some ZG farming, and flying over the water with the sun reflecting was… wow. The world seems so much more vibrant now. I can’t wait to see that match up with the new terrain/textures coming in the actual Cataclysm.

Speaking of Zandalar–one of my biggest pre-Cataclysm goals was to hit exalted with that rep before the Zul’Gurub raid disappears. (I’m a sucker for Feats of Strength.)

I was pretty close when I started yesterday, measuring my progress in how mana Bijous it would take to hit exalted (assuming 125 rep from destroying the Bijou and then using up the honor token) and I started with something close to 60 Bijous between me and the finish line. When I landed in Stranglethorn I headed over to the Zandalar’s island and cashed in the mountains of coins I had accumulated. At the end I was something like 40ish Bijous away.

After that I finally went into ZG itself, donned the AOE spec, and started moving from one trash pack to the next. Seal of Insight is amazing for low-level grinding, to the point where I barely miss the old block–ok, that’s a lie–and Hammer of the Righteous is just godly for AOE. Round up a huge pack and whittle it down in no time at all. The only real trouble I got was on the tiger boss where constant silences made it nigh-impossible interrupt those heals. After a long war o attrition I managed to get all three guys down and push into the last phase of the fight.

A few more bosses and a score of Bijous later, and I had enough in my bags to push to exalted. Over at the island I cashed everything in and scratched another item off my Cata bucket list.


ICC at the end of the night was something else. That’s about the best way I can describe it. I’m sure you’ve heard that AOE threat is rough in a raid environment and I can surely attest to that. Unless you tie down the dps and force them to wait a few seconds for you to establish aggro, which is the exact opposite instinct that’s been instilled in them since the beginning of Wrath, there’s just no way you can control a pack without constant tab-taunting.

I was posting something like 6th damage overall on the pre-Marrowgar trash thanks to HotR, but in light of some casters (like the damn boomkin!) there was just no way to hold back the tide. Good practice for Cataclysm, I suppose.

One the bright side, nothing has warmed the icy cockles of my heart like the ShoR crits I was getting last night. With a full stack of Vengeance I could reach out and touch the face of 30k. Indeed, if there’s one thing every tankadin that reads this blog needs to do before Cataclysm comes out, it’s do Festergut and see the highest ShoR crit you can pull with Vengeance and the stacking debuff from that fight. When I first saw that giant 50k crit I started cackling like a maniac, and the 54k that followed almost put me in a diabetic coma it was so sweet.

Doxa tweeted me last night that he hoped I was using WoG, considering the massive threat lead I had on that fight (you can see it in the screenshot) and I’m tank enough to admit I was too busy chasing my next hit with ShoR to even think of that. Hence the sweet justice that I died around 3% and Ana had to pick up Fester, bubble off her stacks, and guide the fight to completion.

Single target threat as a whole was not that bad. The trick is to get that first ShoR off ASAP, and you’ll have an okay lead from there on out. I’m still getting used to the muscle memory of 939 and internalizing what buttons to push when, but for the whole I’m in a good place.

There were a slew of annoyances last night. Some minor, like having to constantly switch specs before/after fights. Some were major, like Blood Princes bugging and refusing to actually stand up and engage. The 30% buff also decided to drop off for half the raid some time before Sindragosa, and then after a wipe it dropped for the rest of us. At first I thought it was a display error, but I definitely had a lot less health than I would with the buff.

I felt that missing 30% hp acutely on Professor Putricide, who once he hit phase 3, ran me over like a mack truck. In the space of three seconds I took 80k damage. No crit, just pure pain. Healers were not ready for that kind of punishment and I was so shocked I didn’t even get my Ardent Defender off in time. I know we’ve taken a huge loss in damage reduction from the talents pruning and all the armor we lost, but fer crissakes. Not to mention the damage done by just about everything was increased. All told, that adds up to a floor stain in the form of yours truly.

Over the course of the night, everyone seemed to run the gamut of emotions from diabolically giddy (Zilga the disc priest) to power mad (Ichi to boomkin) to despondent (the holy pally) to consistently knocked offline (Falowin the rogue). I’m hoping that the raid didn’t make anyone lose hope or experience some kind of crisis of faith. It was a rough night, truly, and would be a huge step back if this was still pre-4.0.1. But obviously a lot changed and we’re still adjusting to it.

The theme of the night was the long-running guild joke of “doooomed”, per the following Futurama clip:


I know we’ll be fine, but it’s a bit painful at the moment.

Oh, some final recommendations for gearing. One is to avoid the 4pc bonus if it’s onerous to gear for it. In the past, it was worth it because our cooldown toolbox was much more limited and that extra dodge was handy. However, in this brave new world of 1 minute Divine Protections and clicky-Ardent Defenders, the 4pc is subpar at best. And this is coming from one of its most vocal supporters. Not to mention, Divine Plea is now on a 2-minute cooldown, which means you get to use the bonus half as often as you used to. So yeah.

Lastly, I’d recommend ditching the Greater Inscription of the Gladiator and grabbing the new Greater Inscription of the Pinnacle. Before, the latter enchant was a huge pile of avoidance, which was kind of meh, but now that the dodge it gives it definitely worth the tradeoff of 8 stamina. Likewise, Resilience provides zero crit immunity now, so the Glad enchant is overall not worth it anymore.

Anyway, everything aside, 4.0.1 has been interesting… to say the least. Now to pick up the pieces!

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October 14, 2010
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Winding down

I can’t take this ennui anymore. Last night’s raid was eerie, in the same way that you might feel walking through a house you’re preparing to move out of. But that’s not really true is it? The house is still going to be there next week, just the furniture might be swapped around or something. We’re not really moving, we’re still going to be plugging away in that frozen hell hole, but we’ll be doing it with somewhat different abilities.

I’m hoping that the patch next week (assuming it is next week) will make ICC a little more “fresh”. We’ve been in there for 10 months now, which is an obscene length of time. Not to mention we never took a break from raiding over the summer. I’m shocked (and humbled) by the utter lack of mass burnout in the raid even after all this time. We definitely have some pretty dedicated folks in guild.

Anyway, last night was a pretty good raid night. Whereas last week was spotty and a bit rough, we rounded out the edges yesterday and didn’t really stumble at all. We knocked out Halion pretty quickly then started working through ICC, only to wipe twice on Heroic LDW, and then continue the march through H Lootship and H Saurfang.

I picked up the Heroic Corpse Tongue Coin off of Gunship because it feasibly will be worth having in the interim period between 4.0.1 and Cataclysm when we have Mastery but are stuck at level 80. My goal is to reforge the dodge to mastery, which–if my numbers are right–should give me 3% block. (172 dodge rating x .40 = 68.8 mastery rating / 45.8 mastery rating per skill at 80 = 1.50 mastery skill = 2% per skill x 1.5 = 3% block from Divine Bulwark.)

Correct me if I did that wrong please, basic arithmetic is not my strong suit.

In any case, combining a new respect for dodge in the 4.0 ruleset with my fetish for the new block, and the preciousness that is the armor proc… H CTC could have its uses. Of course, straight stam will likely be the best choice, especially with Vengeance, but I love playing with new toys. Hence the pickup.

Another side note: I hit 50053 armor (with an armor pot) on Saurfang. Not too shabby! And the best part was we killed him in under 4 minutes, so I was able to roll the extra armor throughout the entire fight. I love it.

Anyway, once inside the Upper Spire we went about banging out another raft of achievements and hopefully finishing Blood Wing and Plague Wing achievements for the guild, once and for all. If I read the spreadsheet of achievements correctly, all we have left for some folks is Portal Jockey and LK achievements. Tonight when we do Neck Deep in Vile we’ll be scoring a huge swath of drakes for the raid, which is very exciting. I personally could care less about the Frostbrood mounts, but everyone else is pumped and I’m glad we could get them the ride and the free 310% flying come next expansion.

Speaking of achievements, tonight I finally got bit on the 25man and screwed it up fantastically. Having none of your buttons showing when you are working through your rotation is fine, but when you need to hit a specific one it really doesn’t help. I, of course, got mind controlled but thankfully didn’t wipe the raid.

They should have left me on the floor, along with my credibility.

Like I said, tonight should be pretty straightforward. Going to do H Dreamwalker, H Sindy, then Neck Deep. Probably will be a short night.

ES Olympics, Round 3

On entirely different note, on Monday night we did the third ES games designed to dole out the Sealed Chest items from crafting our second Shadowmourne. This time around we did a scavenger hunt. The rules were pretty simple–I’d stand at Tirion’s hut in Eastern Plaguelands and give everyone an item to fetch at the start. As each person came back to give me the item, I’d whisper them the next in the series, until we hit the end and there was a winner.

Obviously people couldn’t use mage or engineering ports, or any other item that would jump them a significant distance. Hearthstones were allowed, and thankfully no shamans so I didn’t have to deal with Astral Recall. Crusader Aura was also deemed illegal by majority opinion.

It went pretty smoothly overall, with only one major hiccup because I didn’t anticipate an item being available off of a vendor as well as farmed. In case you’re wondering, some of the items requested were: a Scum Covered Bag, Giant Clam Meat, a Colossal Parachute (especially proud of this one), Black Coffee and a Dalaran Donut, a Twilight Cultist Robe, a Runn Tum Tuber, and some other things I can’t recall.

After about three hours the winner finally emerged, Ichioso the Boomkin and his pal, Starfall. Rounding out second and third place were Antigen and Pallybella the holydin. Congrats to them for a great showing, especially Antigen who jumped a few places ahead on the last item to snatch up second place. That was pretty impressive.

I still have two Sealed Chest items left, and I’m not sure what to do with them. If anyone has an idea for another game, I’d love to hear it.

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Better news, everyone

Back in March… or April, whenever it was… when we were working on Putricide for the first time and wiping endlessly on him, I would drive home from work at the end of the day and say to myself “this night can only end two ways–one is with Putricide dead, the other is with him alive for another week.” It was initially a mental exercise meant to brace myself for the inevitable disappointment that characterized those interregnum days.

Then, of course, one day I posed that question to myself and the former outcome was the one fate handed to us. Putricide was dead, and the renaissance of ES began.

I revived the exercise for our weeks of learning the Lich King. It was hard fought, but after about 4 nights of solid attempts spread out over a month (so it goes with a 2 day raid schedule) we finally nailed the guy to the way. The exercise metastasized a bit from devouring my attention on that long car ride home up 95 to on a bike ride I would take after work in the local cemetery.

I know that sounds creepy, but paved roads and no cars. Win-win my friends. And it’s quiet. (Ba-dum-bum.)

But I digress. I dwelled a lot on the fight and the viability of victory, and eventually inevitability won out. Like it usually does. And as we started working through hardmodes I didn’t really need to spend a lot of time agonizing on possibilities, because we usually downed new hardmode fights the first week we tried them.

Things changed of course with Heroic Sindragosa, which took us about four weeks to eventually down. A pretty epic ride, and you can bet that old saw came back in full force. And then after Sindragosa, I revived it for Putricide, but prematurely. It took us 57 attempts to kill Heroic Sindragosa. It took us only 16 to kill Putricide. And that’s with 11 of them being done with a suboptimal strategy.

An amazing turn around between the two fights, I think.

When we stood there in front of Putricide last night, I articulated a new strategy and some tweaks I wanted everyone to operate under. This is in addition to a commandment to download and install an addon called Plagued that tracks through /yells about someone’s head if they have the plague and counts down until they need it taken away from them. Last week, we were making people with the plague go to a safe spot.

This week, I told everyone to spread out, stay put, and put on their raid awareness hats. People were to call out in vent when they were taking it from the plagued person. Everyone needed to be cognizant of where those massive red yell bubbles were.

Other tweaks: pets had to be on green slime whenever up, and the DKs were taking turns popping armies onto the green slimes during transitions, for extra damage soaking.

The first attempt with this new strategy, we got Putricide to 50% before wiping, beating our previous record of 51% by inches.

Our second attempt we got him 12%.

Suddenly everyone was energized. We hadn’t even seen phase 3 before on heroic, and suddenly we just coasted right in to it. The raid was infused with equal doses of terror and excitement.

We proceeded to do a few more attempts, each time hitting phase 3 with ease and wiping due to the soft enrage. Something had to change. On the last attempt, I made a risky decision: when the orange slime comes down in the second transition, rather than hanging back and waiting for it to pick a target, melee go in and start wailing on it. In the attempts thus far, orange was up with at least 20% when Put activated, and we needed that dps time on the big guy.

Luck shined her golden countenance upon us, the first target orange picked was at range. My gambit succeeded. Orange died right as Put activated. Everyone was alive. It was go time.

We started rounding the outside of the room, and Put’s health was steadily dropping. We lost a few people here and there, but everyone was focused. We were going to make this happen. Suddenly I heard that a healer had died, and I popped a cooldown, and then my assigned raidwall.

We held it together as the numbers. Tank swaps continued until I believe Nordic drew the last tanking turn with 3 stacks at around the 2% mark. We held it together–along with our breath–and finally push the fight over the finish line. Putricide keeled over and coughed up his purples.

No Last Word, unfortunately.

After the exhilaration wore off, we trucked over and up to Arthas and did the Been Waiting a Long Time for This achievement to begin the long march for getting everyone their 25man drakes. A necessary, if not annoying, first step.

Oh, and duty and tankadin camaraderie compels me to congratulate Ana on ranking #57 on the Festergut 25H dps ranks for prot pallies. She’s been working really hard, and I’m sure in the next few weeks she can place even higher!

Ultimately, I think my favorite part of the night was right before LK when one of the dps said “I totally called this last week when I said Rhidach was going to come up with an amazing strat and we’d kill him easily.” That was a much needed confidence boost after the stomping my RLing ego took the other night.

Apparently some of them have faith in me, haha.

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Highs, lows, and creamy middles

Well, despite my initial fears that the RNG gods had smitten me for my hubris, I was rewarded with another drop of the heroic Icecrown Glacial Wall. It’s exciting to have the BiS shield in the game, though for some reason it doesn’t carry the same level of excitement that the first one did for me.

Perhaps this is because I’ve seen upgrades to this shield at level 82 on beta. Ah well, dust in the wind, my friends!

On the plus side, the new shield gives me a huge chunk of armor to add to my pile, which makes hitting the raid boss cap all but inevitable. And speaking of, during Saurfang last night somehow I failed to beat my previous record…

I had a Mongoose proc when screenshotting last week, so I think that number was abnormally high. Maybe I’m fine, but I have this lingering doubt that I had the 251 version of the Unidentifiable Organ equipped still after having scored the heroic one on Sunday night (I apologize for not bombarding you with six links for this item, heh). In any case, I’ll need to double check that when I get home.

Tonight I’ll finally re-enchant my Ardent Guard for Major Agility, make sure my armor set is correctly set up, and then prepare for glory.

As for the raid as a whole last night, it was another pretty great night. We knocked out Halion, then everything in ICC as heroic for the first wing, plus Blood Wing, and Dreamwalker. Sindragosa we had to do on normal to get our third Shadowmourner-in-waiting his frost infusion, so he can start accumulating shards as early as next week. The second Shadowmourner, Morvain, is already at 42 shards after five weeks.

We have Heroic Put on deck for this evening. I’m hoping for some major progress to be made, so cross those fingers!

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September 15, 2010
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Icing the Frost Queen

I’m still in shock we pulled this off. I mean, not completely, I did know it was going to happen. Mathematics demanded a kill, and we gladly complied. Still, it’s a pretty big deal for the guild that all our hard work paid off. I could not be more proud of our raiders, this was a kill we all needed to keep the faith.

We started the week with a rough patch, to say the least. Tuesday was… brutal… and we’ll leave it at that. So Wednesday we had something of a chip on our shoulders that demanded satisfaction. We buckled down and righted all the wrongs that held us back on Tuesday and still managed to get to Sindragosa with the usual 2 hours left in raid. Our game faces on, we got to work.

The first attempt was ok. We had a flawless first air phase, then a disastrous second. The second attempt we did immaculately until the third air phase, then the attempt collapsed. Shaking the rust off, as we say.

Subsequent attempts were so-so, generally requiring battle rezzes to be used in air phases, which was killing me. At least at this point we were hitting phase 3.

Finally after another attempt where the same mage (who I don’t often bring, but was dragging along as an Unchained Magic human shield) died for the umpteenth time to a Frost Bomb, I removed him from raid–something I should had done attempts ago–and brought in a newly recruited shadow priest.

Around this point we also imposed some pretty severe discipline onto vent. Basically, the rule became in phase 3: no talking unless it’s a healer announcement, a tank swap, or something life threatening. Everyone else just focus and lock it down. I think this was a huge key to our success.

The next attempt we got the fight to 7%. It was going fantastically, but Ana was cut off from heals momentarily and died, and then I went to pick it up but was eventually rocking way too much buffet stacks. Still, everyone was filled with hope. There was not a single air phase death that attempt. There was even a great raid awareness moment where a block got dropped the opposite way from where we were taking them, and everyone got out of the way, and then we kept the correct direction going afterwards. All in all, the mojo seemed to be back.

So we lined up again, and after a quick stupid wipe, we did what was destined to be the money shot. Air phases were nearly perfect, we had one death because someone was DC’d, but we kept going. Phase 3 starts and I get to work. Ana and I swap like clockwork, blocks go down with expert precision, healers are calling out roles and switches through vent without interruption. Finally we hit the single digits and it’s just gogogo time.

The enrage timer was ticking down, leaving us about a minute at that point. Everyone just pushed it as hard at they could and as I watched Sindy’s health slowly tick away from 3%, to numbers I never dreamed could lie beyond that. The “holy bleep” moment of “this is going to die” hit me in a euphoric wave, and then the Frost Queen crashed over dead and coughed up her purples.

I scored the 277 token from her for a hefty, hefty amount. Worth it nonetheless. Everyone was elated, and for some reason we rode that high over to heroic Putricide just to throw in some faux-attempts and get some idea of the mechanics of the fight.

Obviously we didn’t get very far. This is indeed our next dragon to slay, so to speak. I look forward to our coming weeks together, Putricide.

Oh, and as a humorous sidenote: remember how I said I was going to start rolling for Abom Duty? Well, prior to the first pull Ana, Nordic, and I rolled off for the right of riding the Abom. Nordic always wins, and I thought I finally had him when he rolled an 11. I then rolled a 6. Ok, well, Ana could be our last hope, right? Wrong. She also rolled a 6!

Curse you Nordicslayer.

Nonetheless, with five minutes left in raid we swapped it over to normal mode and quickly did the achievement in preparation for our eventual drakes scramble.

Great raid night overall, and a fantastic end to an ignominiously beginning week.

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TIL: The Putricide Abom is a lot of fun

Why wasn’t I told?!

10man last night and I was tanking with Morvain, the Death Knight with the cat problem, and when we got to Putricide there was a moment of pause. Usually Nordic just takes the Abom, or him and Ana roll off for it in the 25man. And yet last night, on a whim, I decided to take it for a spin.

I knew the long and short of it: mash 1 when standing on a puddle, 2 to slow (though we were doing the achievement, so no slows), and apply sunders with 3. I spent the fight running around, gulping puddles, and applying sunders as needed. And I had a blast. It was a nice change of pace over just ducking around with the good Professor in tow.

I need to start ninjaing that job in the 25man.

The rest of the night we wrapped up some outstanding achieves that various people needed, like a Heroic Blood Princes kill for Gulliveig, and Portal Jockey for myself.

We then moved on to Sindragosa to finally put away the heroic kill. It took us three shots but we finally got the old girl down (in 10man at least). One of my main goals last night was to use the spinning strategy and to prove to myself that it can be done, and that it doesn’t hamper the raid. It seemed overall to be a huge help, if only to keep blocks uniform, so I’ll remain firmly in the “pro-spinning” column.

We had issues with the enrage timer because we’d lose a dps here or there in phase 3 to what appeared to be self-inflicted wounds. Namely, Chilled to the Bone being stacked too high. I’m sympathetic to the idea that if the healers can get you, you’re golden, but crunch times happen, Unchained can be unkind, and healing might be stretched. And then suddenly having so many stacks of that debuff is going to kill you.

In any case, good practice for Wednesday I hope.

With the heroic Sindy kill, a bunch of us got our drakes. (This is the part where Ana comments “MONTHS BEHIND!”) It’s a nice achieve to have, but I don’t particular care for a boney dragon. I’ll probably still to my Rusted Proto for now, I like the cut of his gib far more. Is that weird?

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Been waiting a long time for all you can eat

Another step closer to getting my ICC drake, as we wrapped two of the harder achievements in the 10man meta last night. One was the terrifying All You Can Eat, the other the endurance-testing Been Waiting a Long Time for This. With these two under my belt I need only Portal Jockey and a heroic Sindragosa kill, and I’m golden. Or… boned… in this case.

And yes, I know Ana’s team has had their drakes for a few weeks now. But Team Alpha is all about catch up! It’s how we roll.

Anyway, I digress. Let’s talk about how we did each achievement.

All You Can Eat

The first attempt we did for this achievement was using a zerg strategy that Anafielle had touted in the past. I’m always very wary of zergs, and this was no exception. Having one healer get consistently Unchained was not fun, and having two mainspec healers go to offspec roles that they don’t typically raid with didn’t help either. We quickly wiped.

So we started doing it the non-cheese way. For the next two hours (and I know it was two hours because we had trash respawn), we kept breezing through phases 1 and 2 and then crashing hard in phase 3. People would stack a debuff too high and die, or blocks would go in the wrong place (since we were trying to keep them close to the head)… in short, it was a series of clusterfarks.

A lot of us were tired, some were hungover, and basically the general raid wasn’t operating at peak efficiency. I was questioning whether this was going to happen.

After the trash respawned, I had a brain storm: positioning blocks and getting them in the ideal spot seem to be our biggest issue, so why not change how we drop blocks? We’ll drop that first block in that ideal spot, and then every time we need to put down a new block, the tank rotates Sindragosa slightly so that a new ideal block spot opens up to the left of the existing block. Then there’s a close, pristine block to hide behind for the tank swap, and dps can instantly identify which block to nuke down.

Here’s a terrible diagram (nothing to scale) to demonstrate my crazy talk:

Sindragosa starts with her face at position A. First block goes down just to the right of her face where that white dot is. Next time someone gets frost beaconed, the current tank rotates Sindragosa to a point halfway between A and B, and the block goes to the next white dot. Old block is burnt down, raid has a close block to hide behind, and dps still have access to Sindragosa’s stomach.

Just crazy enough to work, I thought. And anything else was preferable to the same old that we were doing and wiping with for so long.

So we tried this new strat, and got the achievement on the first try with it.

I’m so going to try this strategy with our 25 heroic run on Wed.

Anyway, some other helpful tips–and apparently I’m the last one to know this–but if you’re LOS’d at the 2 second mark on your Buffet debuff, it’ll fall off. So you can start running at the 1 second mark, which gives you a whole ‘nother two seconds to beat feet and relieve the other tank so they can drop their debuff. Moreover, the RaidAchievement addon is amazing for this. Will instantly tell you if someone screws it up so you don’t kill Sindragosa and miss the achievement because some dope wasn’t watching their debuffs.

Been Waiting a Long Time for This

We went into this achievement with an equal mix of tiredness (it was 30 minutes before raid end), confusion, and ignorance about the mechanics of the achievement. After talking with Ana about the rules (you need to get >30 stacks and hold that til transition) it became obviously that no one did their homework. Thankfully, Ana is an achievements expert.

So anyway, first attempt we did the first phase like normal, stacking diseases and just holding off transition, and by the time the disease got to about 20 it started murdering ghouls instantly. The disease fell off and we had to wipe.

Again, didn’t do our homework! We consulted Ana and she explained with great patience that we should RTFA and actually do the strategy: basically, cleanse the first disease far away so it doesn’t pass to the group or the mobs, then dispel the second disease onto the mobs, then after that dispel the rest of the diseases far away so no one gets it.

You skip the first disease so you can gather up the first wave of ghouls, giving you time to build up a solid base of fodder for the plague. I know this now because on our next attempt the first person to get the plague forgot and ran to the mobs. Diseased passed onto the mobs, and we just shrugged and kept going. But the plague hit >20 stacks, it was quickly murdering mobs left and right. We had the LK at 72%, and held him there, and I frequently had to run back to him and get the disease passed either to a freshly spawned ghoul or to a teammate to keep it alive.

Utter chaos.

Finally, we had it up to 32, and pushed LK hard. We finally pushed him over with the disease on someone at 31 stacks, it got cleansed, passed to ghoul that somehow survived, I pulled them aside on the edge as we worked through the transitions. Each ghoul dropped dead in short order, then I self-cleansed the plague off of me, removing it from the fight.

We then went back to autopilot through LK10, eventually downing the fight with the only moment of difficulty being when Gandy the Rogue accidentally overshot the ledge while his rocket boots we active and plummeted to his death. We almost wiped because people started laughing, but Frank whipped everyone back into line.

Towards the end, I was eyeing the enrage timer nervously. We were down one rocket man dps and had about 3 minutes left at the 30% mark. My fears abated, we hit 10% with 1:30 to go. …I so did not want to have to play plague-juggling again.

This achievement is definitely easier than the Sindragosa one, but the tradeoff is it’s a much bigger pain.

And now that both of those are done, time to start worrying about Sindragosa 10H for next week…

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