« Archives in November, 2012

Imperial Vizier Zor’lok 10 Man Normal

Imperial Vizier Zor’lok just destroyed us the first peek we had at him. It was the end of a raid night, we quite have our regular team and Force and Verve decimated us. We assigned our groups, got under bubbles and just blew up, if not for the first one, but the second. When we went back after finishing off Mogu’shan Vaults it was a completely different ball game.

For Force and Verve, we marked up our healers and had one healer and two DPS for one bubble, melee and tanks in the central bubble and two healers and one DPS in the last bubble. We consumed a modest rotation of cooldowns and got breezed through the phase. I think it was at this point everyone silently agreed that he was going down.

Attenuation took a little bit of practise, and the response to the patterns formed by the discs and the path through them was almost like a rorschach test. I think everyone has a preference for the direction they would like to move in, right?

For Convert, we had some interesting philosophical discussions about which cooldowns to blow before convert and which to keep for people that were converted. For example, is it better to use up a stun (on the boss, even though he is immune) before convert so that you can’t use it to CC a guildie or save it to CC the guildie after they have been converted? Some of our conclusive discussions were:

  • Dambrath gets to save her CC because the tank doesn’t get converted
  • Velletara needs to blow deterrence before convert (since it’s really had to hit him through that)
Make sure you leave your list of abilities and pros and cons in the comments.

In the last phase, we found that the most important thing was to clear the converts quickly since there is usually another major mechanic just around the corner.

Will of the Emperor 10 Man Normal

Will of the Emperor is a hectic fight, that while most of the mechanics are simple, it takes some practise to put it all together for a kill. While learning the fight we had a number of compositions from one or two melee to no melee and 6 ranged DPS. The changes weren’t so much for experimenting with composition but getting the raid together; we had a total of 15 different players pull this boss on different nights before the kill. We got to play with a couple of raiders that haven’t been regular since Cataclysm and a couple of our friends from Dath’Remar.

We spent some time three healing while learning the fight, which helped with the high tank damage and gave tanks and melee an opportunity to learn the dance of Devastating Combo avoidance. With three healers, it requires quite a lot of DPS to manage the adds and we found that at some point during the fight they would get away from us. With two healers, there was a much higher risk of tank deaths, and any messing about with the adds would run the risk of raid member deaths or healers running out of mana. We placed an emphasis on killing the last Strength before a Titan Gas phase so the raid could more easily group up for the intensive healing required.

Our kill included two melee DPS, and Esta (Carboxylate) would tank the strengths. Mist would attempt to finish off the current Devastating Combo if things were under control before assisting with adds. With two healers, a great time to blow heroism, even if the raid leader is indecisive, is the third gas phase since all going well you should never see the last (and permanent) Titan Gas.

It was great to finish of Mogu’shan Vaults, onto the Heart of Fear!

Elegon 10 Man Normal

Elegon deserves not just one but two bananas, as he was quite a step up in difficulty from the previous bosses this tier. We ran with 2 tanks, 2 heals, 6 DPS and were lucky enough to have Dries back in the mix for the kill.

Phase one is a great example of where active mitigation for tanks makes tanking a lot more engaging. Depending on the number of stacks of Overcharged, Celestial Breath hits pretty hard and it’s all magic damage. Trading extra physical damage mitigation for absorption and healing can prevent the healers from freaking out. Active mitigation isn’t just about reducing overall incoming damage as much as possible, but helping to smooth out the dangerous damage spikes.

Whipshamazin gave a great show and tell, standing right on the edge of the circle with the Touch of the Titans debuff, and then only jumping to clear Overcharged. The goal is to have as much uptime of titans as possible while clearing overcharged efficiently, particularly when large amounts of damage are about to hit (e.g., when the Protectors and Energy Charges die).

For the second phase, we tried a number of different allocations, but what worked for our kill was having two tanks on one energy charge, 5 DPS on their own energy charge and the last DPS free to multi-dot them all. Esta (Carboxylate) spread diseases to all the Energy Charges which did a whole lot of damage as well.

We killed four Energy Charges each time for our kill, but it took a significant amount of practise to achieve this consistently. It makes quite a big difference to the damage into the raid how people deal with their overcharged debuff during this phase, as the Energy Charges deal damage as they die.

For the third phase we had each of the DPS on a different Focus and earned the achievement: Straight Six. The achievement is nice, but our primary focus (if you’ll pardon the pun) was to reduce the incoming raid damage from killing the focus one at a time and stacking Overloaded on the boss for an unnecessary length of time.

Dealing with Cosmic Sparks in the third phase is non-trivial, particularly with the amount of raid damage. We had one tank, one healer and 3 DPS on each side and used a combination of stuns, roots and kiting to kill them without being squished. They hit pretty darn hard. Bastards.

Once we got into the last phase cleanly with 10 stacks of Draw Power it was a mater of stacking up and zerging the boss, with only the tanks running out to reset their stacks of Overcharged. Despite what seemed to be a very tight enrage timer, once we could get through Energy Charges consistently we killed the boss at 9m01s, very comfortably in front of the enrage.