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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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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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Ten of one, half-score of the other

I had forgotten how much fun 10man is. And no, that isn’t sarcasm, last night’s ICC-10 was the most fun I’ve had in WoW in a while.

25s is all business for me (I can’t help it, I’m too focused on the success of the raid to really ever enjoy myself), but 10s is where I let down my hair. So to speak.

Last night was the first time in a long time I’d managed to get “Team Alpha” together for an ICC run. We initially were going to go and bang out some more hardmodes, and hopefully catch up to the much-more progressed Bravo Team. Unfortunately, the OT didn’t show, so Cendra got on his 232-geared Druid tank and we still went through the first three hardmodes. We opted to skip Saurfang’s hardmode, because the general consensus was both Cen’s Druid and the healers weren’t equipped to handle a frenzied Saurfang mashing up some bear paste.

As we were headed towards Princes to maybe get the guild first heroic kill for that (our 10s are woefully unprogressed, as you can see) the OT logged on. We did a quick roster shuffle with Gulliveig dropping out, since he was having router issues. Cendra got back on his hunter, and Nordic came in to OT.

We then proceeded to one-shot heroic Princes.

It was a little hairy, with Princes being one of those fights that is markedly harder on 10man than 25. The room stays the same size, and you have to cover orbs that spawn throughout the width and breadth of it with fewer people. Rather than having one pet class watching each corner of the room, I had one on each half. A little too close for comfort!

Having two melee for the attempt made it a lot easier. Rather than a pack of floor-huggers-to-be scattering like cockroaches when the kitchen light is turned on, I had to worry about two Rogues breaking in opposite directions every time Valanar went to do an empowered vortex. Indeed, tanking Valanar is a pretty boring affair. I mostly spent the encounter just watching other people and agonizing over perceived eventual demises that would be visited upon them. And judging when possible to get the Heart of the Crusader debuff up.

We then plowed through heroic BQL, Festergut, and Rotface until we reached Putricide. The goal was to put away an actually meaningful hardmode kill, and match Bravo Team in the tennis game we call competitive progression. It was about an hour before end time so we’d have to move fast.

It’s a pretty hectic fight, to say the least. But a lot of fun. There’s so much crap going on you’ll find your head spinning.

We did about six attempts, getting it to 27% our last try. The biggest thing we need to work on execution (obviously) considering this fight is like an execution ballet.

What usually did this in was diseases being passed to the wrong person, or hitting one person in melee, then another immediately, throwing off the order. We got six solid attempts in, making progress each time. Despite having to call it, we’re all pretty pumped for future attempts and will probably end up downing the sucker on Sunday.

And then the 264 Unidentifiable Organ will be mine. Oh yes.

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Lock, stock, and …

Ok, back to Sindragosa tonight. It didn’t go too well last week, but I’ve made some roster switches and some strategy tweaks and I think we’ll have a better shot at her tonight.

Last night was a huge pain, with the game seemingly intent on neutering my goal of killing all farm bosses (10/12) and having a clean slate for Sindra tonight. We had a few roster switches on the way to Saurfang, thanks to various emergencies popping up. That delayed us a bit. Then, when we finally downed Saurfang the door to the Upper Spire wouldn’t open. Awesome.

I herded everyone out and we jumped to Naxx to kill Razuvious for the weekly while I ran a 20-minute timer awaiting a soft reset. After 20 minutes we went back and (thankfully) the door was now open. But that was 20 minutes behind on the clock we then were.

Everything went swimmingly, including BQL, which we three shot. And the two wipes before were enrage wipes with 1-2% of her health to go. We probably could have killed her the first time if I didn’t get DI’d. I was planning to just bubble and taunt and hope the dps killed her during fixate. No dice though, my DI (while well-meant) just made me drop aggro and let BQL blow everyone up. Of course, I blame myself but the true fault was with people who died in the second air phase or whenever and made us miss the enrage. I know mistakes happen, but gah.

Anyway, I’ll digress for now. Let’s focus on the positive: not one mind control in any of the three attempts. /bask

We dropped BQL with about thirty minutes left in raid, if we were going to 10 server time. So 30 minutes for Rotface/Festergut/Putricide. Eek. I chain pulled more or less to Rotface, we quickly one-shot him, then dodged over and dropped Festergut post haste. That was done at around 10 server though, so I more of less begged people to not drop so we could hopefully kill Putri rather than forgo his loot.

Amazingly, we one-shot the good doctor as well. I was pleasantly surprised to say the least.

Raid redundancy is key

We’re a casual guild, we don’t enforce mandatory attendance percents, people are generally free to come and go as they please, though the more consistent people are favored for invites. One of the huge issues we’ve had in the past though was, with the old system, we protected the spots of about 30 people and didn’t invite or gear beyond that. And, after time some burnt out or stopped showing up and we brought in new faces but we were totally screwed a few months ago when we were getting 7-8 no shows a night from the core.

To prevent this from happening in the future and killing raids, I started recruiting a lot more folks, to the point where we have about 40 raiders now that can come in and keep me confident I’m not hurting the raid. And we still have about 8 people or so night to night who can’t make it, and thanks to the redundancy in the system we haven’t missed a raid night since I started bringing in those new recruits.

Last night we had three different people drop because of various emergencies–one crippling lag, one a friend in a car accident, and one not explained but it sounded urgent. I had plenty of folks on standby though and the only delay was in summoning a standby person to come in. The system worked.

But, part and parcel to this, people need to go on standby sometimes. And sometimes, the standbyers need to be the vets or officers. The system can’t work if it isn’t fair, you know? One officer I had on standby last night bitched to me for no end since he saw on Sunday night he was on standby for Tuesday, and this was the first time in… well, since the new system was instituted that he was benched. And this was for one night.

Last night when the raid started the bitching did not cease. He sat in vent and sarcastically shot little snarks across my bow about his position. The kicker? This guy’s a frigging officer, and he was conducting himself like this. I had half a mind to at least demote, at most gkick, and wash my hands of this. If you’re an officer you are supposed to set a frakking example for the members. How will they react when they see an officer bitching in vent over being benched for one goddamn night? Ugh.

Like a nail in the head, I need that.

Let’s dance, Sindy

I alluded to some strategy changes earlier in this post. They are basically minor tweaks to ameliorate issues we had with people getting hit by Blistering Cold more than I would like. For example, if people don’t have a run speed enchant or talent, they need to get Tuskarr’s Vitality. And a hearty facepalm if they didn’t already have some kind of speed boost. Especially, the dps. Likewise I’m making sure ranged dps/healers stand behind the melee rather than at max range.

Also, I’m asking everyone to bring two pieces of Frost Resist gear. That might be overkill, but my main goal is to make it to the enrage with everyone alive then dial back survivability until we find the right balance between that and dps.

I think we have a better shot of Sindragosa tonight. We know the fight a bit more, I’ve cut anyone from the raid tonight who was a constant disaster last week, and the increased focus on survival should bear fruit. I hope.

Alright, let’s do this.

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On a roll in ICC

Last night we ran out of bubblegum in Icecrown and posted our best night yet, speed-wise. Invites went out at 6:28 server time, first pull was at about 6:40, and Saurfang was down by 7:30. This was probably the fastest we ever made it into the Upper Spire. Things were looking good.

We easily one-shot Festergut and Rotface and then rolled into Putricide. Unfortunately it took five goes to drop him (one day we’ll get him on the first go), thanks to some awesome RNG-arrific attempts. However, at least when we did kill him everyone was up.

Once the Plague Wing was cleared it was about 9:15. 45 minutes left in the raid.

So we headed over to Dreamwalker and easily one-shot her. Er, one-saved her. Something like that. Honestly, I’m disappointed with how long we put off this fight. Once you get the hang of it and your dps internalize the kill order (and the healers get the hang of the orbs), it’s total cake. With Dreamwalker down, we had about 20 minutes left, so we went and banged out the Blood Council.

This now sets us up for tonight with Blood Queen (which should be doable within an hour) and then we’ll have on Sindragosa for the better part of the night. I’m expecting a good two hours to learn the encounter, get everyone some experience on it, and teach them the fear of magic betrayals.

Personally, I am very excited to have so much time for progression tonight. A month ago we were terrified of Putricide (confession: I still kinda am), completely unable to do the BQL fight, and seemingly hopeless against the future challenges of Icecrown. What a difference a month makes. I think it’s reasonable to say that within a few weeks we’ll be working on the Lich King.

I’m especially happy with the fact that we took two new raiders with us last night, and both did pretty well. We’ve been recruiting a little lately, just to keep the “buffer” up (my goal is at least 35-37 capable raiders to make up for people not showing or not signing up, which seems to be working well so far). These last two pick ups were already 245 geared, and with the core already pretty much decked out in off-set drops, they should be gearing up pretty quickly soon enough.

It feels so good to be optimistic about 25man raids.

I picked up my last 264 tier piece last night, giving me the 4pc bonus. I like the idea of an extra “cooldown,” especially now that we’re doing ICC-10 hardmodes where it’ll be a boon on some fights. However, I am not liking the fact that I have to somehow balance my gear around a tier chest with no defense, the Pillars of Might with no defense, and the Boots of Kingly Upheaval with no defense.

And not to mention I like to sport the Bloodvenom Blade on farm content… I’m suffering a major crisis here. I’m going to just make a special set just for the 4pc for specific fights and stick to the Cataclysmic Chestguard for the rest. The CC is still better than the tier chest until 277, anyway.

But, I digress. On a different note: I’m going to leave you with why I hate Gearscore.

Gotta love that reasoning.

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April 21, 2010
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Addons I Love: AVR

When I set out to write this post I didn’t realize how behind the times I was with this addon. While AVR (short for Augmented Virtual Reality), in the version I have downloaded and setup, works with BigWigs for Icecrown boss encounters, apparently there’s been a shuffle with the mod making it so BigWigs is not longer needed. So, I’m thankfully spared detailing the dance you need to do to make this addon work with BigWigs while not clash with your bossmods of choice.

Instead, just grab the base AVR pack, and then AVR Encounters.

Now, I’m sure the functionality has remained the same, so let’s talk a bit about the Encounters side of this glorious piece of work. While you can use to the mod to put custom textures down on the ground for everyone in your raid to see (provided they have the mod), the really amazing part of this addon is how it streamlines (perhaps “dumbs-down” is a better word) certain boss mechanics.

For example, on Festergut, the mod will put a massive red circle under the spores.

This will show everyone the range of the spore so they can be sure to stand in its fungus-y embrace. For myself, as the tank and raid leader, it especially facilitates my job by making it take a split second to see if there are two spores in melee so I can order one to run out.

In the Rotface fight, AVR is a lifesaver. When a Big Ooze explodes and fires its slime rockets into the air, AVR will put red circles on the ground under where everyone was standing so you can guess where a rocket might hit the ground, making dodging them a cakewalk.

Once I get everyone in the raid to get set up with this addon, this will finally kill the much-maligned “Leg Shuffle” strategy. Rather than “everyone move to the other leg,” I can just say “don’t stand in the red circle, ya idjits.”

On Putricide, AVR is unfortunately a little buggy, but still a world of help. It will put a red circle under where a Malleable Goo is going to land.

Unfortunately, AVR only tracks one of three goos. But, at least it will mitigate some of the damage and help melee know in P3 if they’re about to get murdered by a goo falling on their heads. Alternatively, there’s an option for Putricide where you can have AVR put a red circle under everyone when Malleable Goo is cast, so people just need to not stand in a red circle to avoid getting it. That would work well, but I can see it being a headache for melee.

Lastly, we only saw a little bit of Sindragosa on Wednesday night (sidenote: first time we got to her, woo) but AVR demonstrated its effectiveness in all its glory for this fight. It puts a circle under every Frost Beacon so they can space themselves out and hopefully people won’t go into their circle and get frozen as well. We only got two tries in, but I can see this mod making the learning curve a lot more forgiving on this fight.

According to the AVRE page, they cover Marrowgar, Lady D, Blood Queen, and Lich King as well now. I can’t wait to try out these fights with the new version.

If you are using this mod I’d like to hear your impressions of it.

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Back on track

Last week was a particularly low point for the guild. We had a bad Tuesday with multiple dumb wipes, and the night ended early when we fled ICC before we could suffer further humiliations. The determination was “well, we don’t have the group for stuff past farm, so nothing left to do.”

Then, to follow it up, Demo announced later that night he was going on extended hiatus and stepping down as guild leader. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Wednesday the raid didn’t even happen due to various attendance issues, my own included.

The question became, was this a TKO for ES?

In the interregnum period between last Tuesday and last night, I did a lot of thinking about what I was going to do to right the ship of state, so to speak. My main priorities were first and foremost to get us back on track for ICC-25 progression and get the latest Thorim, Blood Queen, good n’ dead. Concurrently, I also wanted to expand ES, make it more than just a raiding guild–that is, give people reasons to log on other than ICC on Tues/Wed. Promote some good ol’ fashioned esprit du corps that would make for higher morale in the trenches of Icecrown.

So last night I had a brief meeting, just to inform everyone of my coup and talk about my goals for the guild, not the least of which was a new emphasis on optimism. That is, no more of this “we don’t have the group for this” BS. Nothing kills morale faster than hopelessness, and we weren’t going to play that game anymore. I gave a dopey little pep talk about how we’ve accomplished great things as a guild, how we were the only 25man guild on the server in the first week of Icecrown to down Saurfang in 245 gear (ie, the only guild that killed Saurfang but was not doing ToGC25).

Not to say that’s some huge, earth-shaking achievement, but it proves we can play with the big dogs when we set out mind to something, buckle down, and don’t get bogged down in dumb mistakes.

Anyway, what I basically said was we weren’t living up to our potential, and we were going to fix that.

Post-meeting we shuffled off to ICC and started the run. The plan was bee-lining for the Plague Wing and putting some serious work on Putricide, who at that point we had only killed once, and after some serious effort and two weeks of attempts. Following that, we tried to shift focus to Blood Queen and neglected the good doctor, but that didn’t bear much fruit.

Last week, as I said, the “don’t have the group for this” card was played and we didn’t even try him.

But not this week, things were differently baby! We stormed into Putricide’s lab, wiped spectacularly the first time in one of those “shaking the rust off” wipes where everything that can go wrong, does. The second time we stomped Putri (well, “stomped” maybe isn’t the word, but we got him nonetheless).

I am filled with hope and other warm, squishy emotions. If we could down the sucker with three new people last night (and what could be described as “not having the group”) then, dammit, we can farm him.

After Putri, we took a quick breather and steamed over to VOA to rock Toravon and decompress a bit. Afterwards we jumped Koralon in the off chance that something would drop that one of the newer folks could use. Luckily, the WoW gods smiled on us and Ghrayrynn, a feral druid, scored the 245 tier gloves. So my insistence that we do big smokey had some payoff. Statistically, it was bound to happen.

Back to ICC we went just to clear out the Blood Princes and set up a straight shot for us to Blood Queen the following night. After the pull there was a huge lag spike and it kind of went to hell very fast. A few melee got ‘sploded by the Empowered Vortex, and then on the Keleseth phase, some one managed to kill all of the orbs protecting Slyke (the spriest ranged tank) which then led to him getting squished.

We wiped it and ran back, and while we were setting up for the next attempt I admonished everyone to be careful with Slyke’s balls. This, of course, set off a wave of laughter and a torrent of jokes involving Slyke’s balls. One of the officers whispered me about what a great sign that was–when was the last time we had a good laugh in ICC25? Probably not for a month or two. It seemed a weight came off people’s shoulders with that Putricide kill. Everyone was getting more optimistic.

Now lets parlay that into another great night in ICC. Blood Queen is long overdue for a stomping.

Lastly, I want to congratulate on of my guildees, Ulkjen, for finally getting his epic flying. Ulk isn’t very good with his gold, and for the longest time didn’t even have cold weather flying (until someone loaned him the 1000g). I remember back in Naxx having to go outside to summon him because he couldn’t fly back up from Venomspite.

To help him save, over the last few months he’s been sending me random deposits of 100 to 200 gold and I’ve been keeping them in my pile. Last night he finally hit the magic number and bought the epic training. Like Jgalt said, “if there was ever a ‘SS or it didn’t happen’ moment, this is it.” Grats to him.

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March 31, 2010
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How to tank Putricide in Phase 3

Well, I can claim some authority on this based solely on how many times I’ve done this fight now… although, actually I suppose that’s a lot like Danny DeVito’s character from The Rainmaker claiming authority on taking the Bar Exam. Er, but I digress. Putricide. Phase 3.

Putricide in Phase 3 is a bastard if there ever was one. Basically as soon as everyone gets control of their characters back after the tear gas transition, you have 120 seconds (give or take) to drop Putricide or you’ll terrifying–and perhaps a little joyfully–rack up killing blows against every member of your raid. Not to mention triumphantly top the healing chart for that attempt.

If you’re doing 10man, you want to space out the Mutated Plague debuffs across two tanks like so: 4 on one, then 4 on the other. This will give you the smoothest transitions for the benefit of maximizing dps.

For 25man you need 3 tanks splitting the stacks like so: 2/2/2, then 4/4/4. There are more arcane patterns you can do if you want to squeeze every last drop of dps out before the soft enrage, but the textbook way is good enough.

Do note: if any tank gets 5 stacks it’s generally lights out.

Now, when the phase starts you’ll want to immediately run towards Putricide as a group and take him to the wall. Start slowly kiting him backwards, barely moving only if a puddle or flasks are dropped. Make sure to beat it into your dps they want to be directly behind Putri, because those flasks will pop up next to his legs and the middle is a safe zone. If any of your dps eat a -75% hit debuff that is murder in such a tight dps race.

Likewise, during tank transitions avoid those flasks at all costs, or else pray for the gods to look kindly upon your taunting attempt.

Keep pacing him around the wall, with no jolts or dashes ahead that will pull Putri out of range for your melee. Tank transitions should be clean, with you stacking on the current tank and then taunting and continuing the kite flow.

Once you get the 4/4/4 range don’t be afraid to pop Divine Sacrifice/Guardian. Your healers will thank you.

I’m not going to lie, Phase 3 is rough at first, and could take a few attempts to get the flow down so no one trips up on anything or eats a wayward flask. It took us quite some time to get down pat on 25man. Best of luck!

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Good news, everyone!

First, yes, the title of this post is meant to be ironic in the sense that I pre-excoriated everyone prior to Putricide coming out, telling them not to title their kill-posts with that famous line from Farnsworth/Putricide. Although, I guess it’s not as ironic if I have to explain it… hrm. And it probably isn’t ironic at all to begin with… double hrm. Hrm hrm.

But, good news indeed, and this doesn’t involve the Death Zone, or the Zone of No Return, or for that matter anything from the Galaxy of Terror… we did it, we killed Putricide!

First and foremost I’d like to thank Renne of Malfurion (apologies if I got your name or server wrong, doing this from memory) who rolled a level 1 alt on the Hoof to wish my guild good luck and offer encouragement. That was totally unexpected and helped motivate people to know that others were rooting for us.

The night started off with Demo offering a poll via ready check: yes to do Blood Queen, no to go back to Putricide. Just about everyone hit no, it was an overwhelming response. Indeed, everyone was gung-ho about finally downing the sucker and reclaiming our honor. Poor Morvain had recurring dreams that night before that we were fighting Putricide, getting him down to 4%, and then the fight would reset. If anything, we had to do this so Morvain could sleep once more.

For about the first hour we were trying a tweak strategy that involved more movement to attempt to minimize opportunities for raid damage. That didn’t work though, dps was slowed considerably. Where we used to get to P3 with 3 minutes left, now we were getting there with 1:30 left.

When we finally switched back to the tried and true method we had a few attempts with people dying to the same old stuff. Once we worked that out though, we were starting to get cleaner add kills and the boss’s health was dropping ever more precipitously. Once he was dancing around the 38% mark I had to play footsie with his positioning. He couldn’t stay in too long or he’d push over to P3 with an add up. Stay out too long and we’ll get another add. We needed that Goldilocks middle where I get him to 36% with cleaves, then drag out and whittle him down to 35.1% myself, and then bring him back in as add was dying to be pushed over.

I managed to pull it off, getting him to dps at about 36% as the green ooze died. With five seconds til the next ooze cast, everyone gunned it and quickly pushed him to P3. All the slime was gone and… holy cow… everyone was still alive. This was our most perfect shot at P3 yet.

Phase 3 was crazy, with everyone nearly panicking (me especially) as we tried to push him down as soon as possible and as fast as possible. The first two stacks went up on each tank, then I got it to 4, Demo to 4, and Nordic took it. At the 3 mark people started dying with Putricide at under 3%. 1:30 still on the hard enrage timer.

We pushed it with all our might, the healers doing their damnedest to keep the tanks up and when it hit about .5% this golden light washed over me, all sounds on vent ceased, a radiant warmth shone down, and I was granted peace in the knowledge that our long weeks of struggle were finally coming to fruition.

With a gasp, Putricide keeled over and coughed up his purples.


Great job, ES!

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March 4, 2010
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5% faster, higher, strong

What is Hellscream’s Warsong? I like to imagine he’s yelling out the Olympics anthem for us. I know that would inspire me to give 105%.

Last night was probably our best night ever on Putricide. One attempt we got him to 9%. Another, our best attempt, we had him at 4%. And that was with us going into P3 with 3 dps dead. If those three were up, it would have been lights out for the good doctor.

After all this time and all the struggling, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I think our biggest problem is the strat allows for too much raid damage. We currently camp on the green side at all times, so we eat 2-3 green slime explosions each time one is up. That gives a lot of room for error for someone to get targeted and destroyed with others no having the time to stack on them. I think we can fix that issue with a strategy tweak…

Sidenote: sorry for the light posting this week. I’ve been swamped at work. I’ll be traveling to Orlando in two weeks, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I have a feeling the guild is getting back on track. Attendance is a lot better, buoyed by new recruits, and nothing would improve guild morale more than finally dropping that malodorous malpracticer.

And if part of our victory is due to a 5% buff… so be it. I’ll take the kill without reservations.

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March 3, 2010