Tag Archives: sindragosa

A frosty reception

We got Sindragosa to 25% last night, for the first real night of attempts on her.

Had a solid hour and a half to work on her and we made some serious progress. People learned the ice blocks, towards the end I don’t think we were losing anyone to Blistering Cold, and the idea of Phase 3 was starting to form itself in everyone’s heads. Good ol’ fashioned progression. I love it.

Next week we’re basically dedicating Wednesday to Sindragosa. I expect the following day I’ll be gracing this blog with a kill shot.

As for the fight itself, it didn’t seem too rough from a tanking perspective. The hardest part, I guess, was positioning. Picking up Sindra initially and turning her in a way that her side is perpendicular to the stairs, and avoiding cleaves right off the bat.

I also decided to go with wearing 2 pieces of Frost Resist gear, which in hindsight seemed a bit overkill. Having 313 FR was great for neutering the Frost Breaths, but I don’t think I needed that much. I wish I had run a log of the fight (I accidentally turned it off after BQL) last night so I could check damage from breaths vs melees and see if I was taking more physical damage than necessary to mitigate the frost damage. More dataz are needed!

I’m curious how much, if any, FR you all run for Sindragosa-25?

Overall I’m very optimistic about our chances in this fight. I think ES will be seeing Arthas sooner than later.

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.

Better Late Than Never Friday, 4/9/10

Better Late Than Never Friday is a random monthly feature where I pull a bunch of search terms from Google Analytics that landed folks here and try to answer questions that may not be directly answered at this site, as gleaned from their keywords used.

best paladin tank enchant waist 3.3

Well, technically the only waist enchant is the Eternal Belt Buckle. If you’re an engineer though, you have two supplementary choices for some additional AOE damage. Using the Frag Belt or Personal Electromagnetic Pulse Generator tinkers on your belt (stacks with the buckle) can give your big pulls a little more oomph. The former obviously summons a bomb for you (with a neat little stun) and the latter can set off an Explosive Decoy for a chunk of physical damage. Both pretty handy.

nightmare tear does it give 10 to dodge also?

No, but it does give 10 Agility, which translates to some dodge. Though, not as much as 10 Dodge Rating would give.

glyph of judgement or command low level

Command is pretty nice at low level for the free mana it gives. That’ll make the early levels much easier to suffer through when going OOM is a constant, looming shadow.

sindragosa parry haste

Sindra does indeed parry haste (confirmed in this thread). This shouldn’t be much of a worry for two reasons: her breath is her biggest source of damage rather than her cleave, and dps will die if they sit in front of her, so you don’t need to worry about a clueless warrior causing you trouble, he won’t be up for long.

what kind of damage is putricide dealing? amplify magic

To the raid it’s either Shadow or Nature damage, depending on the attack. Your tanks will be taking a huge chunk of Physical damage from Putri’s melees, but even then there’s a lot of magic damage (especially in phase 3) and you don’t want to risk a tank gibbing ruining your attempt. I would recommend against amplify magic, honestly.

can i exchange my voa sanctified for emblems and mark?

Ye gods no.

does armor penetration stack with hammer of the righteous?

The damage is Holy, so it’s already penetrating armor.

does judgement proc seal of command cleave?

It does if you have at least one point in Judgements of the Just. It isn’t the judging the procs the cleave, it’s the application of the JoJ debuff. Probably a bug, but I’m not complaining.

festergut melee parry gib?

Festergut has parry haste turned off, so there is no danger of that.

Back in the seat

Muscle memory is a huge convenience. After a week spent in the icy tundra of Orlando (I brought a cold snap down with me, sorry Floridians), I came back from the conference this weekend and was bamboozled into an ICC-10 run last night. Still sitting on a raid lockout I had the foresight to extend before leaving for my work trip, I reactivated it and we hopped in right to Sindragosa.

And despite having not tanked in a week and being incredibly rusty feeling, my fingers apparently were able to jump right back into the flow and managed to do the thinking for me. I couldn’t for the life of me remember what key Holy Shield was mapped to, but when the point came in 969 to use it my middle finger instinctively shot up and pushed 2 down. I felt like Doc Ock with his sentient mechanical tentacles.

I was just, as a lark, reading the wikipedia article on muscle memory and it mentioned that you need to repeat an action 740 times for your brain/muscles to “memorize” it. I have no idea if that’s true, but think about how many times I use Holy Shield over the course of a raid. According to this log it was almost 200 times in one raid.

Sorry, stupid digression–I just found the whole concept fascinating. Some people use muscle memory to make repair cars better, some for surgical procedures, I use it to lower my reaction time while tanking.

Anyhoo, Sunday night. Raid. Sindragosa.

We did a few attempts on the crazy harpy (BETRAAAAAAAAYS YOU) each time doing fantastic and then having some issues with phase 3. After a chunk of attempts people got the hang of getting away when targetted for ice blocking, breaking people in their group out, etc. The second to last attempt we got her to 5% or so, then the last one it was a photo finish, killing her with a few people dead and two people blocked, along with the boss nearly almost enraged. It got to the point where people shouted out “ignore the blocks! Kill the boss!”

So we did and then she dropped. It was messy, but the way attempts were trending we were probably going to kill her cleanly the next time. I’ll take a sooner messy kill over a perfect kill ten minutes later. Time is always a luxury.

Another digression: let’s talk about raid leading philosophy for a second. What did in the 5% attempt was two people got extra-blocked (ie, stood too close to the targeted person) and the attempt fell apart. On the run back I named names and stressed paying attention not just to where you are when targeted but also where others are when they are targeted.

I was then (jokingly, though) accused of bitchery. In your raids, do people get called out when the make mistakes? I know personally I usually let people chastise themselves in private, but lately I’m not so sure that’s effective. I feel a dignified public shaming would better reinforce “oh hey, standing next to this guy is a bad idea” the next time around.

Whenever I screw something up my first response is to apologize in vent and explain how I screwed up. I’m just extending that courtesy to everyone else now, haha.

But, again, I digress. After Sindra was downed we excitedly bounded over to the Upper Spire and then up the teleporter to the Frozen Throne. We all posed for pictures with Arthas (hence my pic above) and then kind of dawdled about how we were going to deal with the fight. It was a Sunday night and already kind of late, and as much as I’d like to take a 15 minute break to watch the video, we didn’t have the time for that.

I alt-tabbed and browsed stratfu’s strategy a bit (I know, for shame, not being prepared!) but I got lost in the mountains of descriptions and all the cascading diagrams. Ironically (maybe) for someone who writes a blog and guides about fights sometimes, but I for the life of me, cannot learn a fight by reading a description. Words just blend together and I get bored of what I’m reading. I’m a much more visual learner, or at least I need to wipe a few times for something to “click”.

Anyway, we decided to wing it. Yes, wing Arthas. We had about 20 minutes, we weren’t going to kill him that night, might as well have some fun.

We had some basic understanding of how Phase 1 worked based on how much we read before giving up and after the second try we were basically getting through it pretty easily, once positioning was worked out.

The Remorseless Winter phase went a little oddly with us dying in new and exciting ways each time we tried it. The first time we weren’t expecting the floor to crumble when it did (I blame Gandy’s saronite bombs) and a few of us tumbled to our deaths. Another time one of the ice clouds burst too close to a few of us and we got blown off the side of the map.

Like I said, we didn’t have a shot in hell of dropping Arthas in our short time window. I’m rolling over the lockout to next weekend and we’ll get a full night on the sucker then. At this point I doubt many people care about the 251 gear or the easy badges, we want our Kingslayer titles.

Better Late Than Never Friday, 2/26

Better Late Than Never Friday is a random monthly feature where I pull a bunch of search terms from Google Analytics that landed folks here and try to answer questions that may not be directly answered at this site, as gleaned from their keywords used.

Apologies for not posting yesterday, I got swamped and I didn’t really have anything good to write about. I mean, not much has happened this week in the world of tanking other than the warrior and DK buffs. There’s a Dev Chat tonight on Twitter and I’m eagerly hoping some interesting revelations about design philosophy or Cataclysm will be revealed. I have a question banked, but if any of you non-Tweeters have a good one share it in the comments and I’ll steal it if it’s better than my standby.

Anyway, the column!

if icehowl charges you what do you do

Gotta go when the volcano blows. Hold down your left or right strafe key as soon as you hit the wall and run off as soon as you unfreeze.

amplify magic festergut

There are a lot of fights in ICC that Amplify Magic wouldn’t be a bad idea for, at least for the tanks. Marrowgar the tanks should only be taking physical damage and skittering out of the coldflame post haste. On Saurfang literally all the damage is physical, even his “spells”, so everyone could have Amp Magic. Festergut the tanks are going to take mostly physical damage (with only trivial nature damage from the gas in the room) but there is still some magic damage to be had, so it’s a risk.

On the flip side of the coin, for offtanking Blood Queen and tanking Sindragosa, Amp Magic is a terrible idea. Way too much spell damage to split the difference.

how hard does festergut hit

During his three-stack major-pain phase (in 25man), he was hitting me for 25k a swing. Humorously–or maybe not–in heroic mode he melees for an average of 37.5k according to this thread. I like the way one guy described it, “like Brutallus dual-wielding Algalons.”

can you fight sindragosa without downing dreamwalker

No. The door to Sindra opens after Dreamwalker is rescued.

drinking game ulduar

Every time someone asks where to port to you take a drink.

best professions for a tankadin

I like my combo of Jewelcrafting (+63 stamina) with Engineering (+885 armor). You can’t go wrong with JC/Blacksmithing (+60 stamina) for an all-purpose combination, though.

1 tanking festergut

I suppose it’s possible, with a Paladin tanking him up to nine stacks, Hand of Recking, popping Divine Shield and cancelling it immediately to drop the stack. I’ve seen Festergut dropped in 10man before the second tank switch, and an additional dps would facilitate that. Not sure about 25man with the crazy dps requirements needed to kill him there before a second tank switch.

best mobs to level weapon skill on

I’ve been trying for weeks to get my 400th point in Unarmed for the achievement, but to no avail. I’ve been just putting up Seal of Light and afking while punching those giant elite skeletons. I suppose it would be easier to try those unkillable ogres in Dire Maul… but, meh, Feralas is so far away.

conviction or socomm

If you’re choosing one over the other I’d say SoComm. That seal has been pretty handy for snap aggro in ICC, particularly tanking Defense on the Gunship or when Rotworms spawn on Dreamwalker. Plus makes the daily heroic a breeze.

does judgement of justice work on rotface ooze?

JoJ works by preventing a player or mob from speeding up past run speed (ie, faster than 100%), not slow them down, like the popular misconception seems to be. Big Oozes never speed up, so JoJ doesn’t really work.

does seal of command proc off avenger shield?

No. Only single attacks.

parry haste icc

Gravity has a great post compiling which bosses parry haste in Icecrown. Short answer is only Deathwhisper and Sindragosa, which pretty much kills expertise as a survival stat if you’re tanking in ICC. Just consider it for threat now.

so sick of elemental shamans knocking me off take your face off the keyborde and watch where your going

I know! Those ele shammies are the worstest!

The epic weekend

Over the last two months I’ve been steadily accumulating various pieces of Holy gear. Some spellpower plate offspec drops from ICC-10/25 (gotta love guild only having one raiding Holy paladin), ToGC-10, and the new heroics. Altogether I have a pretty decent set with (pardon the GS reference, I do it just to help you imagine the iLevel) about 5250 gearscore. The one glaring issue with my gear is my offhand. It rates a 10 for RP value, but I can enchant or block with it, so one could say it’s lacking a bit.

Nonetheless, I gemmed everything with int, more of less, then enchanted it and Saturday afternoon I was off to the races to heal my first heroic.

And… I don’t know how you Healadins do it. I mean, it’s generally pretty straightforward: Sacred Shield and Beacon the tank, Flash of Light for the little, steady damage intakes, Holy Light for bigger hits. Beacon is doubly awesome because I can generally ignore the tank and just heal the rest of the party. I find myself consistently forgetting to pop cooldowns or remembering to occasionally judge to keep Judgements of the Pure up. Stuff to work on.

All in all I healed four or so heroics this weekend: UK, OK, ToC, and HoS. Each was pretty easy (I didn’t have any of the hard ones, thank god) and no crazy wipes except for in Old Kingdom when the tank pulled a huge pack of spell flingers and everyone died in about 3 seconds. I barely had time to urinate myself. (Sorry, gross joke.)

It was interesting seeing heroics from a different point of view. In Halls of Stone we zoned in and I started blessings and the tank just up and took off. I’m sitting there blinking and yelled “hey wait for meeeeee!!” while running far behind without even Pursuit of Justice to help me catch up. Damn inconsiderate tanks. The Brann event was a little more lively than any of the boss encounters I did before, just had the aforementioned tank Beacon up and kept HLing anyone who stood in the beam.

Tons of fun overall and has definitely shaken up heroics for me. I’m tempted to start doing my daily random as heals, but I’d like to get an actual shield first before I expose myself to the piercing gazes of full pug groups.

More Uld10 hardmodes

Partly spurred on Tijeras’ recent scoring of a Rusted Protodrake, and thus my incessant nagging to do so, a group from my guild got together again to start work once more on Uld10 achievements.

We started with Orbituary for those that didn’t have it, which was a total breeze. I completely wrecked the dps chart on that fight with my Demolisher tricked out by my 264 gear. Flame Lev never had a chance.

Razorscale’s dwarf cooking wasn’t really seriously attempted. Although funny enough, all this time I assumed the counter reset every week or something because my total was always zero. Just turns out I’ve never managed to roast any dwarves before. I got three last night.

For Stokin’ the Furnace I single tanked Ignis and we got him down about two minutes into the fight. Heartbreaker went similarly well. Ditto I Choose You, Steelbreaker, who we killed before I even got to explode. I just DI’d a healer to defuse myself.

At that point we started racking up sigils from the wing bosses. Hodir was pretty straightforward. Thorim was interesting to say the least. With two healers, one in the arena and one in the gauntlet, right at the end a chunk of the gauntlet team bit it but two of the survivors (just dps) managed to make it back to the arena with Sif. Poor Ildara then went on the single-heal the second phase while I single tanked it, Unbalancing Strike and all. I think she nearly had a stroke by the time Thorim dropped.

Freya was a bit more tricky, with a couple of missteps thanks to your truly starting to feel the effects of my chain chugging drinks during the raid. At this point I was about half way through a bottle of gin (I like to drink like I raid–with class–ok?) and getting a little sloppy. The first attempt I got too close to the shore trying to kill a tree and managed to pull the adds on the opposite side. The second try we had to reset because a few people died during phase two. The third try we knocked her over easily and scored all three versions of Knock on Wood.

After Freya we dug in for Firefighter, which eluded us the last time we tried Ulduar hardmodes. The good news is, last time we failed miserably to fires, and this time we got Mim to 10% on our best attempt, which was also our last attempt. That was also the attempt, I’m told, where during P4 I yelled out “he’s spinning up!” ran directly away from the boss, banged a 360, and then ran right back into his Laser Barrage. I have no recollection of this.

We had to call it after Mim because one of the dps had to go, but it was then drunkenly decided in officer chat that we’d go try Undying with whoever was left… because why the hell not? And we did a lot better on that than I expected, managing to get all the way to the second boss before someone died.

No reason to continue we left Naxx and the soused express rolled on to Wyrmrest to do Sarth+3. I barely remember the fight (my gin-life-force nearly extinguished) but apparently we killed him.

And then, because dammit, we were drunk and the world was our oyster, we should go do ToGC-10. So we did, and by some alcohol-fueled miracle we completed the place with 43 attempts to go. No mad skill unfortunately, but we did it nonetheless. I think this was also the first time we’ve done it with three straight healers (rather than making a healer go dps, or switch out for one, like we did when learning the place months ago).

I passed out sometime after that, though truth be told I barely remember anything after Naxxramas. It was a good night.

Some honest-to-goodness ICC progression!

After shaking off my hangover, Sunday night was spent rerolling the Wednesday crew back into Icecrown Citadel to finally bring down Dreamwalker and get some cracks at Sindragosa. We experimented a bit with group make-up, initially trying two tanks, five dps, three heals but that wasn’t working as well. We then swapped some specs around and went two tanks, four dps, four heals, which was getting the dragon up a lot faster, but the adds were taking a lot longer to die. After a few more close attempts (with one at 92%) we then tried me single tanking, five dps, four heals.

Single tanking Dreamwalker wasn’t so bad, the only thing that really needed to be tanked were the Aboms. We settled on a kill order where dps would burnt Blazing Skeletons when they appeared, then Aboms, then Suppressors, then anything else still up. A hunter was in charge of kiting any Zombies. Towards the end it was getting really hairy, we had two Aboms, a Zombie, and a few casters on me. It looked like we were about to wipe. I had no idea what the dragon’s health was at but imagine my surprise when in my darkest hour suddenly Dreamwalker stood up, bellowed, and nuked every add. It was pure awesomeness.

Great encounter. I enjoy it more now that we can actually kill it.

It was a fun surprise after Dreamwalker when we got into that weird hallway with the giant circle room and cobwebs everywhere. It was obvious what was going to happen. I still feel like I wasn’t prepared for all that trash though!

Only downside to our inevitable victory was the healers that kept running back into the room to skin the spiders. Bad healers.

Finally, it was time for Sindragosa… and what a fight that was. We didn’t have enough time to get some serious attempts in, but honestly, it didn’t seem that bad. The only hard part seemed to be dealing with the awful, intense, bellowing, Scottish woman that was apparently trapped inside her. That voice was terrifying.

I’m half tempted to extend the lockout next week and just jump right back to her. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get people to go for that, though.