Archive for wherein we kill stuff

It’s been a long time coming

Posted in Achievements, Druid, Raiding, Tanking with tags , , , , , on April 10, 2012 by Aeliel

This is not the post I was originally going to make. That post had a few screenshots of me turning the rest of my raid group into bunnies throughout yesterday evening, and the reactions.

This post? Well…


Madness HM is finally dead.

Without the nerf.

We got very close yesterday after swapping out a shadow priest and swapping in an arms warrior for the extra slow on the phase 2 blood, with several 2% wipes. “Okay, we’ll get him tomorrow, this works” we told ourselves.

Today, our warrior informed us that he had an eye infection, and couldn’t raid. Cue a collective groan and facepalm, because our bad luck on this fight has been legendary. Seriously, it’s like we were cursed.

Witness:

– A shadow priest trial, key to our original strategy, decided he wasn’t enjoying his shadow priest and wanted to go back to his previous main, and quit without warning.
– Our main tank and our second healer quit on the same day, again with no warning, citing too much stress and lack of enjoyment.
– A death knight trial just… stopped showing up to raids.
– A hunter got himself poached by another guild (apparently being with a guild for a month and going from 4/8HM to 7/8HM with them doesn’t make them deserving of your loyalty).
– An elemental shaman trial decided that raiding five days a week was just not for him, after barely a week of raiding.
– A balance druid disconnected mid-raid, then logged the day after and quit the guild, again with no warning, with the only explanation being “it’s for the good of the guild”.
– Our amazing second mage had a sudden attack of massive real life issues, rendering him unable to raid for quite a while (he’s still not back).

Add to that various real life issues, illnesses, injuries, connection deaths, power cuts, computer deaths, and so on (you have no idea how many raids we had to cancel or cut short because a key member of the raid couldn’t attend).

So we sighed, swapped the shadow priest back in, arranged for our rogue to be our second slow, and prepared ourselves for an evening of wipes.

And then we promptly two-shot it.

Bonus screenshot (Drexi being our warrior with the eye infection, who had to sit out):

It dropped No’Kaled for our lovely enhancement shaman, Kiril for me (which puts me three items from full BiS gear, four counting a ring I’ve been passing to every other agility user in the raid because crit/haste is ew – why yes, I am ridiculously lucky)… and the rare Blazing Drake in addition to the 100%-drop Life-Binder’s Handmaiden.

We’ve had the Blazing Drake drop once before. A social member won it. I promptly bought it off him for 30k gold and gave it to Alieth. (Because nothing says “I love you” like giving your significant other a ridiculously rare mount. ;))

Karma and the RNG gods came through, and I rolled a 97 on it, which made me quite happy.

And then Alieth rolled a 90 on the other mount, which made him quite happy.

And then we went to Firelands to kill Ragnaros HM for the mount (and some upgrades, such as the necklace off Staghelm for our mage and the necklace off Ragnaros for me), and I rolled a 70 on that, and nobody else rolled higher than 37. Which made up for the two times I lost it rolling 95+.

It’s been a good night!

Oh god still shaking

Posted in Achievements, Druid, Raiding, Tanking with tags , , on February 22, 2012 by Aeliel

Turns out raiding 4 hours a day, 5 days a week is fairly incompatible with writing regularly on a blog, at least coherently. (I have a bunch of half-written posts I should just complete and hit “Publish” on, but I’m far too self-conscious about my writing.)

That is, however, not what this is about.

I have had, historically, extremely bad luck with raiding at the end of expansions. Didn’t see Kel’thuzad in Vanilla (the guild I was in at the time barely managed to kill Razuvious), didn’t kill Kil’jaeden in TBC (killed up to pre-nerf Twins, then the guild I was in imploded), and didn’t kill HM Lich King in WotLK (I did kill HM Halion 10man, but then we had guild implosion of the worst kind). When Dragon Soul was announced, I was in a tiny little guild that struggled to get 2HM down in Firelands, so I figured I would – at best – kill NM Deathwing and maybe HM Morchok, and that would be it.

Then Reunion started, and, well…

On our first reset, we ended up with 3/8HM (wiped a bunch on Hagara, then just killed her and the rest on NM).

On our second reset, we wiped a bit more on Hagara, then killed her and just pushed over Ultraxion.

On our third reset, we killed Blackhorn.

Then we started wiping on Spine. Wipewipewipewipewipe–

Fourth reset, clear to Spine, wipewipewipewipe–

Fifth reset, clear to Spine, wipewipewipewipe–

Second to last day of the reset, we had a shortened raid. (My mother is visiting, just for a couple of days, and “Sorry mom, I’d rather raid than spend time with you” doesn’t really work.) Wipewipewipewipe–

On the last few wipes of the night, we changed the tactic slightly, and something seemed to just click. Suddenly we went from dying horribly shortly after the second plate gets pried up, to dying horribly just before the very last tendon exposure phase. We extended the raid for one hour, wipewipewipewipe–

Last day of the reset. Shortened raid, again, same reason.

One wipe to a stupid mistake. One fairly close wipe. One incredibly dumb wipe to a series of stupid mistakes. One very close wipe. One wipe to a stupid mistake…

And yes, we screamed on Vent. A lot. I half expect my mother (who was asleep two closed doors away) to ask me, tomorrow, what exactly we were screaming so much about.

This feels so good. (Even though we got mildly useless loot. The cloth gloves made one of our mages very happy, but the strength trinket went for offspec. Sigh. At least the paladin it went to actually uses his Ret offspec for Spine, so it’s all good.)

And yes, we’re most likely extending the raid and seeing about getting Madness HM down. :D

What I’ve been up to

Posted in Achievements, Druid, Healing, Raiding, Tanking with tags , on January 23, 2012 by Aeliel

Haven’t posted for about a month, I know. Life happens.

More specifically, a guild happened.

See, for pretty much all of Firelands, I was in a guild that wasn’t terribly good. We struggled with attendance and we struggled with recruiting, especially since the guild was Alliance-side on a Horde-heavy PVP server. So we killed Ragnaros normal mode (and it took us ages), killed the easy hard modes (Shannox and Staghelm), and then hit a brick wall.

In the meantime, Alieth parted from the raiding guild he was in due to disagreements with the leadership, so he started helping out my guild with raiding.

And he started thinking.

My guild had a few good people who wanted to raid more and were competent enough to perform at the level required for competitive hard mode progression, but were being held back by the “whoops, sorry, stood in bad again” players we had to fill the raid with.

We also had some friends scattered across many servers we used to raid with, some years ago.

[cue light bulb going off]

Let’s all move to a server that’s 1. PVE and 2. has a healthy Alliance population and start a guild together!

So that’s what we did.

The guild was founded near the end of December. Our first raid was the 4th of January, and we didn’t have enough people to fill the raid, so we ended up taking three PuG people from trade chat and cleared 8/8.

We recruited a bit, but the next reset we still didn’t have enough people to field a full raid. We did have eight, though. We got two PuG people from trade chat and pushed over Morchok HM. (Hard boss, that.) Then we spent some time wiping on Zon’ozz HM, then we just killed it normal mode and moved on.

We recruited some more, and this reset was the first time we had a full guild raid. Morchok HM fell over again (no surprises there), then we went to work on Zon’ozz HM some more.

Wednesday, we had “growing pains” wipes. Figuring out the healing, the movement, the bounces, and so on. (Good heavens, the healing on that boss is a massive pain. I know that firsthand – I had to sort out and gear up a healing offspec for it. God bless LFR.)

(And yes, I still hate healing. The things I do for people I care about.)

Thursday, we had some more “growing pains” wipes, then something clicked. We consistently got to the berserk timer, although we still had a few things to figure out with the bouncing and therefore we never got a clean burn phase.

Friday and Saturday were free days. Today we went back.

We cleared trash and adjusted our strategy slightly, and in a couple hours he was dead.

(And we all got to mock Alieth for forgetting to put on master looter. Fortunately, we’re all honest and there was no ninjaing to be had.)

Then we went and had a go at Yor’sahj HM. Most guilds kill that particular hard mode long before Zon’ozz, so how difficult could it be?

Turns out, not very. Took us all of three pulls, and we even got through the Germany ooze combo without Heroism in some way or other (probably thanks to the Awesome Power of Bear Tranquility™) and only realized at ~20%.

Then we went and had a few goes at Hagara HM, and then we called it a night. We’re going back tomorrow – we’ll see if Hagara also falls over before the reset or not. Either way, that was extremely satisfying.

And of course, the obligatory note – if anybody reading this plays on EU servers and is interested in a fast-progressing, tight-knit 10-man guild, look us up! We’re Reunion on EU-Silvermoon, raiding Sunday to Thursday (5 days a week) from 8pm to midnight server time, currently looking for a few more good DPS. To put in an application, visit our website.

Well what do you know…

Posted in Miscellanea, Mounts and pets, Undermanning with tags , , on July 26, 2011 by Aeliel

Yes, Malygos did indeed cough up one of his mounts on our weekly visit this time around. Hooray! But I lost the roll with a 9 to Alieth’s 19. Awww.

(I’m trying not to begrudge the mount to him too much. Maybe just a tiny bit is okay, since blue is my favorite color and Skadi still hasn’t coughed up the Blue Proto-Drake and my paladin got three Blue Drakes from bloody Oculus and and and grrrrrrrr.)

Ahh well, we will be back. For those keeping track, results from our undermanning activities so far:

Sunwell: 1/1 Thori’dal.
Black Temple: 0/1 blindfolds (I swear to God this thing should be legendary for how rare it is), 0/2 glaives (not that we have any characters that can even wield them… need to move my death knight over).
Tempest Keep: 0/2 Ashes of A’lar.
Vault of Archavon: 0/2 mammoths.
Onyxia: 0/2 drakes.
Malygos: 1/2 Azure Drake, 0/2 Blue Drakes.
Molten Core: 2/2 Sulfuras (and never ever going back unless I get the itch to get a Sulfuras for my paladin, hooray).
Blackwing Lair: still hasn’t coughed up the last Tier2 bits for either of us. (Not that we go very often, but still.)

All that weekly effort and not much to show for it, yeah? Eh, they’ll all drop eventually.

Two-manning: Vault of Archavon 10man

Posted in Strategy, Undermanning with tags , on June 27, 2011 by Aeliel

We did this a few days ago, but I only just now got around to posting it. There really isn’t much special about VoA (and if you wonder why bother to do it, the answer is “Grand Black War Mammoth“), although some bosses can be a huge pain to kill due to their mechanics.

Archavon is pretty much a pushover. I started tanking him with my pet and Alieth was DPSing as enhancement. He does pick up pets, so we ended up taunting him with my main.

Koralon is also pretty much a pushover. He does hit hard, and Alieth was spending Maelstrom Weapon procs on healing my pet, but otherwise he’s easy. My main died sometime midfight because well, she wasn’t doing anything so why bother keep her alive?

Emalon wiped us a few times before we settled on a winning strategy. Said winning strategy boiled down to “ignore the adds”. I tanked Emalon with my hunter’s pet, while Alieth was restoration keeping himself and my pet alive; adds would inevitably go on him, and overcharged adds would explode. He healed through the damage, I burned Emalon down.

Toravon was the hardest. The DoT he applies stacks… well, pretty much to infinity and beyond. What we ended up doing was keeping Alieth as restoration, tanking Toravon with my pet, and once my pet had 20+ stacks of the DoT my main taunted Toravon and started taking DoT stacks. Alieth healed my main as much as he could, but eventually my main died (because the pet version of Taunt, for some reason, does not seem to work on the VoA bosses), and at that point the DoT on my pet had fallen off and my pet could pick Toravon back up. Alieth also took care of Frost Orbs (since he’s specced into Telluric Currents, it helped regen his mana).

And of course, no mount dropped. For all the clearing of old content we do, the only thing we’ve had luck with is Thori’dal in Sunwell. No mount from VoA, Malygos or Tempest Keep, and Illidan the bastard still hasn’t coughed up my blindfold. Here’s to better luck in the future.

Further adventures in two-manning Sunwell

Posted in Achievements, Hunter, Miscellanea, Strategy, Undermanning with tags , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by Aeliel

Guess what we did! (Epic Kil'jaeden screenshot courtesy of Alieth.)

(Two-manning? Well, sort of. Some bosses took three characters. There’s still only the two of us, though.)

Last we’d done anything in Sunwell was back in February, when we killed Kalecgos. Then we’d taken a few shots at Brutallus, got stomped into the ground and went back home with our tail between our legs.

Earlier today, we were discussing what else we could go kill when it was occurred to us that we hadn’t tried Sunwell for a while. Having seen the Hunter solos Brutallus YouTube video, we figured that although it was very doubtful that my hunter could pull 30k+ DPS by herself – well, her pet could tank, and Alieth could help DPS as enhancement, so we might be able to kill him.

So I respecced my secondary spec (which is used as “whatever spec we need to kill whatever it is we’re killing”) from Beast Mastery to Marksmanship (largely because of the healing from Chimera Shot; the spec I used was 7/31/3 – I just picked what I hoped would help me and my pet stay alive while outputting decent DPS), and off we went on our merry way.

Kalecgos was uneventful; we knew we could kill him, we killed him fine, nothing to comment on there. He really can be done with any 3 people, as long as all three can stay alive while having their face beaten in by bosses.

Brutallus was… uneventful as well all considered.  We stuck my druid in a corner to just stand there and look pretty (had our hands full controlling one character each and doing decent DPS), got my valiant pet turtle in front of Brutallus with Camouflage and pulled. We had one wipe very early on in the fight, because I’d forgotten to take the turtle’s cooldowns off autocast and I didn’t have an easy indicator of when Brutallus would Stomp the poor thing… so splat went the turtle, and splat went the rest of us.

And then we pulled him again, and the turtle stayed alive, and with our combined 28k+ DPS we were well ahead of the berserk timer, even with Alieth spending Maelstrom Weapon procs to help heal the turtle. No flasks or consumables needed.

Continue reading

More undermanning: Sartharion 10 with 3 drakes

Posted in Mounts and pets, Strategy, Undermanning with tags , , on June 17, 2011 by Aeliel

This all started because I didn’t have a Black Drake. I’d killed Sartharion 10 with 3 drakes up several times, but never really gotten lucky on the mount. So I went to Alieth and the conversation went more or less like this:

Me: “You know what I was thinking? We could try to two-man Sartharion 10 3 drakes, we haven’t done that and I still need the mount.”
Him: “I know you still need the mount, but I don’t know if it would be possible…”
Me: *puppy eyes*
Him: “Fine, let’s go.”

As usual: I’m a feral druid tank, 355 average ilvl in my tank gear (I have more 359s than 353s at this point, but the two blue 346 trinkets drag my average down). Alieth is a restoration shaman healer for the purposes of this particular fight, wearing mostly 372 gear with a couple of 359 exceptions.

Basic strategy rundown:

  • Keep your camera zoomed out as far as you can, with 3 drakes plus Sartharion plus whelps and fire elementals there’ll be a lot of ground clutter.
  • Move out of lava waves and void zones. (Duh, but I ended up eating the occasional void zone and one lava wave simply because there was so much stuff on the floor that I had nowhere to move.)
  • The tank will be the primary source of damage, but the healer needs to have some way to kill stuff semi-efficiently.
  • The healer needs to have very good mana regen, since there will be periods of very heavy damage on the tank.
  • DPS Sartharion until Tenebron lands, then switch to DPSing Tenebron as soon as she becomes active.
  • Ignore the portal; the tank needs to pick up fire elementals and whelps off the healer without getting the healer hit by flame breaths.
  • Tank picks up Shadron and Vesperon when they land. Ignore the portal for the time being. Once Shadron spawns his acolyte in the portals, Sartharion will go immune to all damage.
  • Once Tenebron is dead, kill Shadron, then kill Vesperon.
  • After Vesperon is dead, the tank should burn survival cooldowns and the healer should go inside the portal and kill Shadron’s acolyte to remove the damage immunity from Sartharion, then get back out and top the tank up.
  • DPS Sartharion. Once it’s safe to do so (but as soon as possible) the healer should go back inside the portal and kill Vesperon’s acolyte. This can be done in multiple passes, if necessary, as the acolyte’s health won’t reset if nobody is inside the twilight realm. The death of this last acolyte will remove Twilight Torment from you, reducing the damage you take; if you feel your healer can deal with the additional damage, you can ignore the acolyte instead and just burn Sartharion down, but we went the safe way.
  • At this point the fight is pretty much won – keep avoiding flame waves, and of course the tank should still pick up all the fire elementals off the healer.

Interestingly, I’m not sure if this can be soloed by anybody. Unless you can burn him down within 75 seconds (which is when Shadron lands), Shadron’s acolyte will need to be killed to remove the immunity shield from Sartharion, and if you’re alone and go into the portal the encounter will most likely reset. The damage you’ll take is also pretty massive. Maybe a hunter with a turtle or beetle and 2T5, if the turtle does not despawn when the hunter goes into the portal. I don’t know, I haven’t tested it.