« Archives in October, 2011

Baleroc 10 Man Heroic

Our raid composition for Heroic Baleroc was a single tank, three healers, three ranged and three melee. We had planned to learn the mechanics with three healers, and drop down to two if the enrage timer turned out to be problematic.

The first couple of attempts were just chaotic. Spreading the tormented debuff, dealing with countdown, and inadvertantly refreshing timers debuff timers lead to a feeling of crushing despair as the entire raid became tormented and we could no longer deal with the shards.

However, as we learnt each lesson and gave ourselves plenty of space to handle the countdown mechanic, our attempts quickly gelled into a nice rhythm. We used two melee and two ranged DPS to deal with the shards, using the remaining two DPS to substitute in when countdown (and a refresh on a tormented timer) prevented the regular rotation. Having everyone able to communicate during the fight over mumble was key to our success, and it was great fun having the healers call their rotation onto our tank at the same time as we were organising DPS into the shard rotation queue.

Having three healers was fantastic, as it gave us the flexibility of rotatiing fresh healers onto the tank if the current tank healer became tormented. Three healers (when we generally only have have one tank healing at a time) leads to some very high vital spark stacks since healers are only on tanks at least one third of the time rather than at least one half.

Alysrazor 10 Man Heroic

Heroic Alysrazor is a good concentration check, with the first phase becoming 3 mini phases for each of the hatchlings. Dambrath and I had great fun with the hatchlings, and the addition of a ranged DPS requirement into a meteor added a little spice to the fight for ranged DPS on the ground.

Bioderm (pictured siphoning Smouldering Essence from the corpse for the legendary staff) had a great time flying through more scattered rings in the air, dodging more fire and ducking down to line of sight behind meteors in between.

Ulduar 25

<Fidelity> hosted a Ulduar 25 run this week, blasting through achievements and hard modes alike. Advanced signups through the Fidelity gulid forum gave us the bulk of the people required, and made the group creation nice and efficient. We had a couple of characters arrive close to the event, but mostly were able to get on Mumble without too much fuss.

A big thanks my fellow guild members who supported the event (and I can’t wait to have those who couldn’t make it, come along next time) and to members of <The Ancients> and <Wrath of Kaos> who made up the bulk of the raid.

A major part of my motivation to run the event was to obtain Jondayla’s missing [Fragment of Valy'nir]. Hopefully the drop rate was a little on the low side, with only one dropping all night.

We had a full group of 25 characters, and quickly realised that it was a little overkill for most of the bosses, hard modes and achievements in there. I was pleasantly surprised at the overall quality of performance, which was cemented in just how quickly some of the bosses died. Flame Leviathan was a blast, with some talented demo drivers just ripping into the boss, and even an expansion on the engineering loot was one of the most contested rolls of the night (did we forget to deconstruct XT?). Ignis practically exploded, and I realised that some of my time spent brushing up on strategies for the instance might be a little excessive. It was relaxing to have the details in front of me, so I didn’t strain my brain remembering the details. I know how much my guildies enjoy the phrase, “watch out for that boobalyboo”.

I expected Kologarn’s Disarmed achievement might cause some issues, just due to the level of DPS, but while certain rogues got a little nervous towards the end of the fight, the execution was pretty flawless. I was so glad that we actually got a flash freeze for Hodir, and it made me chuckle that because it came at under 5%, so many people blinkered themselves into getting frozen. Mimiron was a little easier than I expected, and fortunately while we missed out on laser barrage in the second phase, we did get to see it in last. Laser barrage just looks so cool.

Since the run was going so well, I wanted to try Yogg+0, which was a little ambitious given how many people hadn’t had experience with the fight before. Some unpleasant memories resurfaced for me in the first phase, with people just blasting the crapper out of Guardians that were no where near Sara, making things a little more difficult than they had to be, particularly with only two tanks ferrying them to and fro. We even had some spectacular cloud clipping on occassion, while using a strategy that kept the bulk of the raid out of harms way. It did improve over a couple of attempts, even with people manically kissing Sara throughout the entire first phase.

Brain link still manages to cause some issues, but I think that was people mostly new to the fight. I feel like I ought to have gotten that priests phone number and called them this morning after our brain link, since our in unison movement was just that synchronised, if felt more than a little intimate. The brain room team improved over two attempts, enough that we really should have gotten them to give the ranged DPS more time to finish off the tentacles before forcing the fight to phase 3 the second time in. It was some good experience for people new to the fight in only a couple of attempts, and we’ll certainly get Yogg+1 done next time before we go back for a chance at Mimi’s head.

All in all a great night with lots of achievements and gear for transmogrification. If you’d like to attend our next run, please sign up at this thread.

Pet camper to the stars

I love pets.  Particularly, I love rare and unique pets.

I also love in game pursuits which require patience and persistence.

So, it was with great sadness and a more than slightly queasy feeling that I dispatched Loque’nahak to complete the Frostbitten achievement in Northrend.  Why, Blizzard, why?

To make amends in some small way for my display of uncharacteristic violence, I am pleased to announce my Loque’nahak Memorial Pet Finding Service for hunters whose paths I’ve crossed or share.

If you have a rare pet you’d like to tame, I am happy to camp it for you!  If you’re not online when it pops, I can provide a reliable spawn time at the very least.  If you are, Have Group, Will Travel means it could be yours!

Majordomo Staghelm 10 Man Heroic

Majordomo Staghelm on heroic mode is fantastic. We really enjoyed the fight on normal when we first killed the boss, and as we progressed and geared up were quite close to avoiding the Orb phase completely. That’s to be expected as you progress into heroic content. Then the 25% nerf hit, and guilds that had not previously seen the fight were able to two shot it without dealing with the Orbs at all. Oh Blizzard, forgive this rant… but you seriously could have put a little more thought into the nerf to guilds new to the fight could still get it down, without being robbed of the experience. Last time we did it on normal, we didn’t get past the second scorpion phase… and while a nice novelty, did seem like the nerf was way too drastic.

Major nerfs got you down? Try Heroic Mode!

For heroic mode, we had our mage, hunter and sneaky rogue out for the first scorpion phase. We pushed 10 or 11 cleaves and went into the cat phase for 7 jumps, back to the scorpion plus seeds phase and out again just shy of 50%. Third scorpion phase we reverted to just sitting our mage and hunter combination at full concentration. We entered the cat plus Orb phase at around 30%, and when we had the boss under 5% before transitioning to the last cat phase before the enrage we knew we were in front of the enrage timer for a clean kill. It was a great feeling having the boss so low on health in the last scorpion phase and having to pick and choose cooldowns to shore up the kill.