1 0 Tag Archives: lich king
post icon

Making Neck Deep in Vile less of a pain in the neck

Wednesday night was declared “the last night we were doing this achievements BS ever again” by yours truly. 22 or so of the raid core has their drakes and four were on deck to wrap up their metas that night. We have another two that need to wrap up some earlier achievements like Boned and I’m On a Boat, but those won’t delay our starting our “victory lap” attempts on the Lich King’s hardmode like All You Can Eat or Neck Deep will.

Anyway, we’ve been trouble with that achievement for a few weeks now, because our raids tend to run really melee heavy. Most guilds might have two or three warlocks or shadow priests. We have one warlock and one shadow priest (with one healer that can offspec as a spriest) to cover those two. Combine this with the AOE nerf that hit a lot of classes and we were going to have to scrape our way to victory. Finally we pulled it off last week, scoring the achievement and the drakes for a good swath of the core.

Sidenote that will be pertinent in a moment: Towards the end of the night, Zilga (the healer with the shadow offspec) came on, and I asked a melee to volunteer to step out so we could bring another ranged dps in. As soon as I finished talking, Antigen whispered me to offer up his spot.

In preparation for round two against the Vile Spirits this week I followed up on some tips given to me via comment and twitter that suggested it’s much easier to do the achievement by having your ranged stay on the LK during the second transition. Pop bloodlust and let them go to town while at max distance. Then, when you hit phase 3 you’ll have that much less time you need to deal with the Vile Spirits.

In our case, we entered P3 with two Raging Spirits up (though one was near death) and the Lich King at 22%. We finished off the Raging Spirits, then when Vile Spirits spawned, melee followed the Lich King and I to the opposite edge for some quality time while the ranged went through the motions of downing the spirits.

Another helpful tip I picked up in my belated research was that a DK’s Army of the Dead is godly for the Vile Spirits. Once the LK is far enough away, one of the DKs would pop armies . Ghouls would taunt the spirits and assist with dps and (best of all!) the Vile Spirits would not explode upon contact with them. As a result you have the whole lot of them basically rooted for the ranged to pick off without too much trouble.

We only had one spawn of Vile Spirits. When the LK threw up the second batch on the edge I dragged him to he was at 12% health and we burnt him down to Fury of Frostmourne before the spirits could descend. All told we finished the fight with a new record of just under 4 minutes.

Of course, when Fury of the Frostmourne hit, Antigen was disconnected. Not a big deal, I thought, we’d wait for him to log back in before we actually killed the Lich King. We did the same on our first LK kill months ago when Falowin disconnected during Fury, this wouldn’t be a big deal.

Unfortunately, when Antigen logged back in his corpse was at the entrance of the dungeon. And despite my hopes, when we finished off Arthas, he didn’t get credit for the achievement.

Considering he stepped out last week so the raid could wrap up the achievement, this injustice was not going to stand.

I don’t want to steal too much thunder from the eventual post Antigen will do detailing the nonsense that followed, but suffice it to say, Antigen got credit for the achievement. And then later credit for the meta as well since Glory of the Icecrown Raider didn’t recognize that everything was then done.

25 support tickets and about two hours later, everything went better than expected.

Leave a Comment
November 5, 2010
post icon

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.

Leave a Comment
October 28, 2010
post icon

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…

Leave a Comment
post icon

A night of frost and glory

Interestingly enough, I haven’t done a raid recap post in a long while. Nothing much to report lately–we’ve been plugging along on Heroic Sindragosa, having our first real night on her last night. Our showing wasn’t very impressive, we’re having some trouble with the whole buffet of what the fight demands: block positioning, Unchained Magic people not blowing others up, etc. Survival issues.

So, I’m thinking next week we’ll do what we did when we were learning normal Sindragosa: max survivability. DPS wears extra frost resist gear, add a seventh healer, then the goal is to live til the enrage timer. Once we make it that far we’ll dial back survivability until we can find the sweet spot that gets us in under the clock.

This is a strong contrast to last night with our second kill of Heroic LDW where we were mastering the hardest parts of the fight, people were failing at the easiest, most fundamental part of the fight: the ghosts. A ghost would pop up next to someone–melee, ranged, heals, whatever–and they wouldn’t notice til it exploded, or notice late and not be able to get away. We did about four attempts of differing degrees of success, each splashed with the delightful stench of ghost ‘splosions, and each time I got a little closer to completely Franking out. (Yes, it’s a verb now.)

Finally, before the last attempt I snapped and let Frank take over. I told everyone that we were not going to spend two hours on the fight. I don’t care if we wipe, but it was not going to be to ghosts. Everyone was on notice, one more ghost-induced wipe and we would switching it to normal and move on. I felt like crap after declaring that, cause I don’t want to be that raid leader, the Troxxed-style douchebag that issues ultimatums and leads by making people feel bad.

Frank was vindicated when we then went on to perfectly kill H LDW, with no deaths by ghosts. It was… shocking. I don’t know if I should feel good that we pulled it off, or worse that it could so easily be done. I guess we’ll see next week!

Anyway, back to last night. As I tweeted yesterday we were starting the night with our Shadowmourne guy, Nordicslayer, having 48 shards. He’s been collecting them slowly, but surely, since May 11th and we’ve had the extra drop chance of heroic modes since the beginning of June. His poor luck aside, the raid was pumped for him to finally finish the damn axe that night. Or to listen to him cry when he only got one shard from the five bosses we were doing. Either way.

Much to my surprise, a shard dropped off of heroic Festergut, first boss of the night. And then the last one he needed dropped off of heroic Rotface. Finally, some luck!

A parade of us then ran downstairs to watch him turn in the quest and the shards and finally collect his damn axe. Nevertheless, this was months in the making–congratulations Nordicslayer!

I tried to get a nice screenshot of him for the guild site, but he must have moved at the last second, only leaving behind the swirling soul that apparently used to inhabit Antigen’s mortal shell.

We reached Sindragosa at around 7:45 server time, giving us a good 2 hours or so to work on the fight. But you know the rest.

To give us a break, I switched it to normal and we dropped her easily and then moved on to the Lich King to collect the Sealed Chest. The Lich King was another clean kill, excellent for the second wave of dpsers getting dropped off the side of the map. Oops. Personally, I was most excited that that was the first time in a long time I didn’t have to go into a rambling 10 minute explanation of the fight for some new person. I’m sure everyone else was pretty stoked about that too.

Nordic looted the Sealed Chest, and per our agreement he kept one of the vanity items for himself and gave the other four up for the guild. He chose the mount, I took three items to hold to give as prizes in a series of off-night guild events/games, and then per my constant nagging requests over the last four months, took the tabard for myself.

It’s weird. Achieving Shadowmourne feels like we’re turning the page on one of the last chapters in ICC. I know we still have Heroic Sindragosa to kill, then Putricide–and then by some miracle a choir of angels is going to come down and push Arthas off the side of the Frozen Throne for us–but it feels like we’re running out of time in there. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to get some major ennui about ICC. Not bad ennui (if there’s such a thing), just… 9 months is a long time to do an instance, you know? It’s time to move on to bigger Internet dragons.

But then again, we have a much more literal Internet dragon to work on right now.

Sidenote on the latest beta build: I’m not going to do too much prodding with the changes, because we know things will be majorly changing again soon. I will however check out how hard ShoR is hitting for tonight. I’m hoping to have a post titled “IT’S OVER 9000″ tomorrow.

Leave a Comment
post icon

Not a fluke

Like I said on Thursday, I was concerned the make-up raid scheduled on Sunday wasn’t going to happen. Thankfully it did, everyone showed along with some standbys and on-time we assembled inside the instance.

The menu that night was Heroic Dreamwalker, then normal Sindragosa and Lich King. Assuming we made it to Arthas, this would be the first time we’ve faced him since our first kill a few weeks ago. We’ve been bogged down progressing through hardmodes, and with our two raids a week schedule, didn’t really have the time to get to him on the second night. However, after our amazing showing on Wednesday, he was definitely within reach.

Anyway, Heroic Dreamwalker first. If you’ll recall on Wednesday (last callback to an earlier post for now, I swear!) we had some wipes. In hindsight this was clearly because one of our best portal jockeys was having connection issues and DCing, based on the success we had when he could actually stay on and heal. Last night, we were going through the paces, as I frantically tried to manage adds on my side and keep healers from getting eaten (I think a zombie got through).

I honestly thought we were going to wipe that attempt, we hit the 75% mark–”Press on heroes!”–and then a blazing skeleton got three ticks of Lay Waste off. Miraculously, no one died. Probably thanks to the warbling solo provided by Garrosh. In any case, we pressed on, and before I knew it the dragon stood up and blew the Scourge all to bits.

At the moment we succeeded I felt like I was drowning in a rotting sea of zombie parts, all hope lost. It was kind of amazing seeing the dragon suddenly lift up and end the encounter. Like Gandalf cresting the ridge, but less dramatic, and I don’t remember any white light.

Dorkiest simile ever; I apologize. Either way, it was pretty sweet to one shot the fight after the initial trouble we had Wedne–DAMMIT.

After Dreamwalker came Sindragosa and this was going to be the first time we did her since AVR was broken. As I’ve always maintained, I loved AVR for its ability to put marks on the ground, which removed a lot of the thinking from Frost Beacon placement. … Ok–ALL the thinking. Nonetheless, I read off the beacon placements and everyone wrote it down on a piece of paper in front of them (how… antique) and we got to work.

We didn’t have much of any issue with the beacons and easily dropped her. There was a short hiccup at the end where I disconnected but thankfully I’m not that critical. It was at like 3% and everyone autopiloted the encounter to its conclusion.

Two one shots and we were only like 45 minutes into raid time. That gave us a solid (almost) three hours to go tussle with the Lich King. And, dontcha know it, we one shot him too. Scored achievements for a swath of folks that couldn’t make our first kill, along with the 2H sword and the caster staff. Of course, by the time that was done we still had about two and a half hours left in the raid.

There was some discussion what to do with the rest of the night and we eventually we decided to go to Ulduar and bang out some hardmodes and hopefully grab some more shards for Ildara’s Val’anyr (heh, now that’s a work in progress to say the least).

We ended up getting Orbituary, additional Ignis and XT achieves for those who needed them, and then spent about 30 minutes working on the Iron Council. A lot of people left between ICC and Uld and unfortunately we didn’t have enough folks to push that last 20 seconds of the fight. On the bright side, we did get a shard for Val’anyr, so that expedition wasn’t a complete wash.

One day we’ll finish that stupid mace. I’d like to do it now, but it’s impossible with our two-night schedule to dedicate any time to a raid two tiers back, so the pieces that Ildara has now will continue to rot except for occasional half-hearted attempt to augment their numbers. Even if the mace still BiS, from the looks of it.

At least we’ll be making a Shadowmourne pretty soon! That’s a bright spot on my otherwise abyssal Legendary record.

Leave a Comment
post icon

… And knock ‘im down!

I originally wrote this title in my head last week as the companion to the post titled “Line ‘em up!” My thinking was Tuesday was another easy 11/12 clear and Wednesday would probably be the coup de grace, so the two work well together. Alas, my hubris got the better of me, and Wednesday we spent most of the night working on Phase 2. I decided that night we’d take what we learned and roll it over to immediately jumping to Arthas on Tuesday. The lockout was to be extended, the Lich King was to fall.

And last night was definitely a long time coming. We’ve been working on the fight for a total of four nights now. Which, for a guild that only raids twice a week for about 3 hours at a time, is no mean feat. Lots of blood, sweat, and tears have been shed. Ulcers have expanded like an ill-placed defile. Slowly but surely we clawed our way up there.

Last night I noticed as we were working through phase 2 during the first two hours something seemed different. Defiles usually were a bit scattered in previous weeks, but last night there were invariably perfectly placed out of the way every time. There were a few slip ups but nothing as major as a Defile being accidentally dropped in the middle of the room (aside from the second Defile which was always iffy because of how it lined up with Valks), which meant I never had to act on my threat of immediately wiping raid if Defile was dropped in the middle.

I love when no one calls my bluffs.

And, of course, it was key that even after weeks of defeats everyone stayed overwhelmingly positive. There were some lighthearted moments, mostly involving my propensity for letting Frank (my supposed ulcer has indeed been named) take over in vent. The first time we hit the Phase 2.5 transition with everyone up I yelled in vent to everyone “Don’t screw it up!”

At the time I meant aggro on the Raging Spirits, whom I hate, as you know, but everyone took that more existentially.

The running joke after some wipes was “Frank’s taking over!” which warranted a “There is no Rhidach, only Zuul” at one point. I’m glad no one took my spazzings personally, I’d rather people recognize that I tend to just get … carried away … so to speak. As long as everyone knows I’m not yelling at them, that’s all that matters. I’d be a terrible raid leader if everyone thought that I thought they sucked because of one mistake.

But, speaking of sucking, there was honestly not much of it to be had last night. I already mentioned how pro Defile drops were, which warmed the cockles of my heart. There were some clutch moments in Phase 3 with the Vile Spirits, which we basically had no experience with prior to tonight. Originally my plan was to kite them and have ranged burn them down, but that obviously wasn’t working, so we switched to the tried and true soaking method.

I worked out an order with the Paladins, and in one attempt that was generally leading to a wipe, all the Paladins were out of commission or dead, or Forbearanced, and in our moment of darkness I saw Sheepin (a mage) run into the fray and drop to the ground with a heavy thud, completely encased in ice. He then soaked up a huge chunk of the ethereal doom that was headed our way. It was a pretty clutch move, and something I completely didn’t think of. Major props to him for that initiative.

At around 9:30 server time, thirty minutes before raid end, I had to swap out a dps so we could keep going. Not a big deal, but it pointed out for me the mortality of the raid, we didn’t have much time left. I asked everyone if they could spare maybe an extra thirty minutes and everyone agreed down to a man (or woman). No dissent, everyone was gung ho on a kill tonight.

Right before the dps swap we had one attempt that ended with a 11.6% wipe. It was probably the third or so attempt that brought us into Phase 3, and the first that started with everyone alive in that phase. We kept losing folks to attrition, finally hitting around 15% with 10 people up. Every Harvest Soul fed Frostmourne, and I did my best to kite LK while hopefully the dps burnt down what remained of his health. Unfortunately I bit it at around 13%, though Anafielle sprung into action and picked him up. She, Sheepin, and Slorail (resto druid) did their best but the numbers were against them.

It was a heart breaking wipe, though it cemented for us all how imminent our victory was. Post-dps switch, we had a few more attempts consistently getting into Phase 3. Finally, at around 10 server, we had an amazing go taking us into Phase 3 with everyone up. Two attempts prior I really saw dps pick up as everyone seemed to hit a stride. Raging Spirits were dying before the next came up, Valks were only making it halfway to the edge, rather than 2/3rds of the way. There was an audible click, like someone hit the Pro button.

As we proceeded through that attempt, and steadily made our way through Phase 3, everything was coming together. Soakers were soaking, the remainder Raging Spirit died easily and no one walked in front of his screech. Arthas’ health was slowly but surely depleting.

At around 14% with 23 people up, this wave of calm washed over me. Time slowed down, that throbbing hum in my ears diminished, and I could hear a dulcet voice beckoning. It was Frank, mellifluously whispering, “you may have won this round, but I’ll be back.”

14% melted slowly into 13%; it was happening. You know that absolute moment of clarity you get the first time you are about to down a boss? That point where you realize that, holy hell, this was it. I could feel it, that endorphin rush paired with an enveloping wave of peace.

“Hold it together guys!” I shouted encouragement on vent. “We’ve got this, just lock it down!” 13 became 12. 12 became 11.”One percent to go!” Finally, 10%. “Oh, jesus, here it is! We did! Don’t release, ok?!”

Frostmourne was raised aloft and our lifeless corpses were laid low. You know the rest at this point.

When the dust cleared, there we were. Enveloping Shadows, 12/12 in ICC25 normal. Hot damn. Not bad for a plucky little guild that a year ago couldn’t clear Ulduar!


We’re now the 10th guild on our server to down LK25, and once we start working on hardmodes we’ll probably end up being the 3rd most progressed Horde guild overall. I honestly need to confess that such a possibility was unthinkable to me a year ago. I saw a guild that couldn’t even get passed Ulduar and thought we were doomed to be backbenchers for the rest of the expansion. A lot came together though, we brought in some awesome people, developed as players, brought in some amazing folks to round out the core, and improved as a guild. We deserve every inch of our victory. I am so very proud of each and every member of this guild.

Moreover, I am so very excited for the future. I always knew we were going to get to this point (though there were disagreements about the time table), and I’ve been mentally preparing myself for hardmodes for a month now. Our time has come, let the 277 loot flow like wine.

This was the most satisfying post I’ve ever written.

Leave a Comment
June 9, 2010
post icon

Raging Spirits are bastards

I was watching Week 3 of Big Crits (words can not express how much I love this show) and a moment that really stuck out to me was when they were working on the Lich King and their tank was having issues with the Raging Spirits. My sympathy goes to that guy, cause boy howdy those Spirits are huge pains in the butt.

They spawn during the transition phases, immediately knocking down whoever they are cloned from and if not quickly picked up they’ll murder someone in close range. This makes transitions something of a panic time for me. I’m watching DXE to tell me when a new Raging Spirit has been cast, the name of the target (though that seldom helps since I don’t know where these people were standing), and then frantically searching the screen for the Spirit to appear.

I’ve found that the threat plates addon I have is immensely helpful, because as the Spirits appear and grow larger the bar is huge, easy to click on, and easy to grab. Which, then of course brings up the second issue: threat.

My dps are great but they can be very trigger happy. Like, they could beat Dick Cheney in a “shoot a rich guy in the face” contest. So to speak. Anyway, we had several occasions where as soon as the Raging Spirit came up they immediately went to town. I get parried, suddenly fall behind in threat in that crucial first three seconds, and the Spirit manages to disintegrate one of them. On another occasion or two, someone at range would end up out-threating me in that initial window, the mob would turn and then nuke a whole column of the raid. Not pretty.

The best solution I can think of is to force the dps to count to three before they open fire. That seemed to work well in the latter part of the raid night.

Anyway, don’t mind me, I’m just a man-obsessed right now. I am so ridiculously pumped to get back on the Frozen Throne next Wednesday and finally put this to bed.

Leave a Comment
May 28, 2010
post icon

We’re getting there

Last week we spent 3.5 hours on the Lich King and we consistently getting roadblocked at the second Defile. Last night we spent another 3.5 hours on Arthas, and this time we saw Phase 3 a few times. It’s definitely getting better.

We still have work to do on Defiles, and the slows on Valks were definitely not as optimal as they could be. For the former I’ll continue to hammer home constant vigilance and training everyone to keep an eagle eye on their focus target frame. For the latter I’m looking up the best slows to use. It seems like a DK specced into Chilblains can be a huge help, as well as a Warrior using Piercing Howl. I don’t think we’ve been doing slows correctly at all, and I’m kicking myself for that.

The foundation is there. There are improvements to be made, and I think next week we’ll make a much better showing.

Leave a Comment
May 27, 2010
post icon

Clipping Sindragosa’s wings

Wednesday night my guild took down Sindragosa on about the seventh attempt of the night. I made several tweaks to the strategy (as I detailed in a previous post) which I think made the difference. That is, in addition to the experience we had built up the last two times we faced down this frosty dame. Here’s how we did it:


I used AVR to around a scene of seven meshes. I’ll go into further detail on how to do this in a future post, though it’s pretty simple. Put five raid symbols on the stairs–skull, cross, triangle, square, and circle–and arrange them with three in the front and two in the back. Put 10 yards between each symbol. You can test distance by drawing one and having someone stand in it, moving 10 yards away (checking a proximity detector to confirm distance) and then dropping a new symbol.

We also put two green circles out on the main floor. This is where people would be dropping frost beacons in phase 3. More on that in a bit, of course.

Sidenote: When people are positioning themselves on AVR-drawn objects, make sure they pan their cameras straight down. Because the stairs are on an angle the AVR meshes don’t sit well on them, kind of float, and can look like they’re in a different spot if viewed at a weird angle. Just pan the camera down and they’ll be in the right place for everyone.

Phase 1

When picking up Sindragosa you want her sitting on top of the west-east line that crosses the area horizontally. When she’s coming down stand in the southwest corner of the circle and swing around to hopefully position her in the proper place.

You melee want to stand at max melee range (to prevent getting Tail Swiped) and your ranged want to park themselves directly behind your melee. The reason ranged need to be so close is because when everyone gets sucked in for Blistering Cold, those that are farthest away are going to land after everyone else does, and thus have less time to run away from the aftershock. The closer the ranged are the bigger their headstart is.

Likewise, if you find your raid is having trouble running out of Blistering Cold there are two tricks you can use to give them some breathing room. Have a warlock put Curse of Tongues on Sindra, and the cast time for Blistering Cold will go from 5 seconds to 6.5. Also, when everyone lands, have a hunter turn on Aspect of the Pack, and then quickly turn it off right before the spell hits everyone. We had issues with some slower people and coupling those two changes made a world of difference keeping everyone alive after a Blistering Cold.

Also, I noticed that when Curse of Tongues is up, Sindra won’t lunge forward after casting Blistering Cold like she usually would.

Phase 2

After a period of time, Sindra will go up in the air and mark five people to be turned into ice blocks. We had DBM enabled on a raid assist and that threw up marks on each of those five players. They then ran to their respective spots as delineated by AVR.

Everyone else who was no marked was instructed to run to the wall of the stairs and hug that spot until the blocks went up. As soon as blocks formed we jumped in, knocking down the back two blocks, then the front three. You’ll find the farther apart the blocks are, the harder it will be to get them down in time. Splash damage goes a long way in this phase.

As the tank I was watching the timer while dpsing my own private block. Sindra casts four frost bombs and as soon as that fourth one hits you want to run out into the wider area and prepare to pick Sindra up and position her like you did when first aggroing her. Remember: on top of the east-west line is ideal.

Rinse and Repeat

Phases 1 and 2 will cycle until you hit 35%. For this reason you probably want to use Bloodlust/Heroism right off the bat, to get the best and most use of it, and hopefully restrict the fight to no more than three air phases. More than that and you’ll have Enrage timer issues.

Phase 3

This is where the fight gets interesting. Sindra will stay permanently grounded, but you’ll still get a frost beacon regularly. For this purpose we have those dots on the floor past the stairs. That’s where you want beaconed people to run and drop their block. Everyone else should be parked on the north-south line to avoid being caught in a chain block.

Have two to three dual wielding melee (we used two rogues and a frost DK) to be on permanent block duty. They’re going to have issues dpsing Sindra thanks to Chilled to the Bone, so we maximized raid dps by having the blocks demolition crew occupy themselves with that task while the rest of the raid only used the blocks to drop their Mystic Buffet stacks.

Train your dps and heals to watch the timer of Mystic Buffet, which has an 8 second duration, so that they can just park themselves next to a block and continue to dps or heal, and only break LOS when they have 2-3 seconds left on their timer. Once the timer expires, if LOS’d, they’ll drop their Buffet stacks. They might as well continue to dps/heal because just hiding behind the block and twiddling their thumbs won’t make Mystic Buffet fall off, the debuff has to tick to 0 first.

Phase 3 is not a dps race, it’s an endurance test. If your raid panics and starts blowing cooldowns you’re going to get chain blocks and wipe. Just reassure them to pay attention, exercise situational awareness, and always stand in the middle if they’re not dropping a block or their stacks. Slow and steady wins the race.

As for Frost Resist

I made everyone in raid wear two pieces so we could work on surviving to the end of the fight. On the sixth attempt we reached my big goal: wiping to the enrage timer. The seventh attempt we killed Sindra with a few seconds left on the timer (although, funnily enough we were 24 manning it because one guy had to go pick up his daughter–I never expected that to be the attempt).

Now I think next week, since everyone has seen a kill, we can dial that back to one piece of FR and probably none in a few cases. I’ll let the healers make that call.

Personally, I wore Belt and Boots again for little more than 300 FR. I’m happy with damage intake with that number.


Killing Sindragosa was a huge morale boost for the guild. We’d been kinda stuck on her for the last two weeks and now that she’s down I’m sure the next kill will be a lot easier.

After dropping her I was so happy to be able to lead the raid up to the Lich King. At that point we were mostly farting around, without much effect (although Phase 1 is kinda down now, haha) but I was just happy to let everyone see the fight and the area. There was much “ooing and ahing” from those that aren’t party to my 10man runs.

Somehow I need to figure out how to finagle the schedule so we can get some meaningful attempts on Arthas every week. I suppose if we start three shotting Sindra every week that’ll be about two hours every Wednesday to learn him. That could work.

Moreover, the guild’s designated Shadowmourne person completed the last of the Unholy/Blood/Frost quests and will start collecting shards next week. Very exciting!

Leave a Comment
May 7, 2010
post icon

Azeroth was screwed

At Azeroth’s darkest moment, it depended on a motley crew of about 20 heroes (and that is questionable) to defeat Archimonde and keep him from destroying the world tree. I pity the world if they really were saved by the group of people I joined in Hyjal on saturday night. The pug consisted of about seven people from my guild, six from a 70-capped raiding guild called Glory Days, and a smattering of other random 80s.

It must have been a full moon or something, because there were some colorful personalities in that pug. The leader spent the entire raid falling behind and taking forever to dispense loot. There was a ret pally who was constantly screaming in all caps for a SUMMON to Hyjal, or for some friend of his to be SUMMONED, or for him to be SUMMONED because he fell off a cliff. I use all caps because that’s how communicated, petulantly and in a demanding, infantile manner. I wanted to reach through the Internet and slap him.

He must have been some 12 year old kid spending a saturday night being babysat by the Internet, because I can’t imagine a high-functioning adult could ever behave in the way he did. It’s just not possible.

When we were meeting in the Night Elf village to head down to Archimonde, the warlock ran off the cliff, somehow aggro’d Archimonde, was one shot, and then caused the boss to immediately kill everyone in the zone. I was standing up next to Tyrande, saw everyone suddenly drop dead and a golden sheath of light burst from me. “Oh, hey, AD procced.”

Once we pulled it became obvious that, of course, many of the assembled dopes didn’t get their tears and eventually fell to their deaths. It was fun watching the squares on grid of each mouth-breather one by one turn grey to reflect their easily prevented-demise.

And let’s talk for a second about the stupidity of this strict-70 raiding guild that organized the run. How are you a strict TBC raiding guild when you depend on 80s to carry you through lvl 70 content? Like the old robot adage goes, “does not compute.” Basically they organized the run (and I use that word as loosely as possible), took all the loot they wanted since they could make the loot rules, barely contributed (if at all–most of the mouth-breathers were wearing Glory Days tags), and then when we finished were like “ok, let’s go to Sunwell!” I could not drop group faster.


After we fled that clusterfark, those of us that went to Hyjal continued our bored old-school raiding antics and went to BWL at someone’s suggestion. I am always game for BWL because I’m trying to compile a full Judgement set. After scoring the Judgement Spaulders off of Chromaggus that night, I’m now at 5/8. Just the chest, boots, and belt to go. I think my ultimate goal is to assemble the full judgement gear, my Thunderfury (still waiting on your binding, Garr, you jerk), and some equally awesome shield, and then (if this is possible with the new system) queue up for a random Stratholme and run some levelers through the place. It will be bewilderingly awesome, especially since as an 80 nothing will be able to hit me for much, regardless of what gear I’m wearing.

Three more Kingslayers

Last night finally saw the end to the latest 10man lockout I’ve been running. I do a 10man once a week in ICC and we usually just extend the lockout until we finish it up, then shake the roster up a bit. My big goal for this lockout was to get the LK kill for some people that run in other groups, so we could have a second 10man doing hardmodes and getting some 264 loot. Now that that’s done, the next lockout I run will be more focused on hard mode progression and less on another LK kill.

Our second LK kill wasn’t anymore difficult than the last one, I think we got him on the fifth attempt or so. Defiles are pretty much cake once you get everyone focused and hyper aware (though, I say this in 10man, where I can weed out those incapable of paying attention) and Valks are a non-issue with a 15% buff. We had some initial trouble with Infest, but that’s only because we were so used to having our pro disc healer neutralizing them before they ever became an issue. How complacent we were.

I’m mostly looking forward to taking my guild into the 25man version of this fight, but also terrified at the thought of it. We’ll see how it goes when the time comes for the greater group of us to face down Arthas.

Three years in the making

Happy birthday Gulliveig!

Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t wish a very happy birthday to my pal, Gulliveig.

Check out the cake my girlfriend (she of the Rhidach Cake) made for his birthday party Friday:

A pug shaman surrounded by troll totems. Celebrating his two loves–pugs and shamanism. That pug face is kind of haunting, though.

Many happy returns, buddy.

Leave a Comment