Archive for the Raiding Category

The quest for a new 2-hander

Posted in Player vs Player, Raiding, Warrior, World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

I’ve been splitting my time about 25/75 in WOW lately.  25% of the time, I raid.  The other 75% of the time, I pvp.  I’ve got what I consider a pretty solid starter set going.  I’m 5-piece Hateful gear, Deadly neck, cape, wrists & boots and Wintergrasp belt and trinket.

The only PVP upgrades I’m missing at this point are rings, one trinket and my weapons.  I say weapons half-heartedly because when I say weapons, I mean my ranged weapon.  Sure, I’d pick up an Arena weapon if I managed to get my rating that high, but for now I’m just itching to get my hands on an Ulduar weapon.

Fortunately, my guild is currently downing three bosses in Ulduar who drop 2-handed weapons for me, two of which are on “farm status”.

Ignis drops Relentless Edge.  Relentless Edge is a polearm, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it lacks the STR of other weapons in favor of pure attack power.  This wouldn’t really matter to me in Arena, as I don’t have a pally partner to give me kings.  This thing comes with a crapton of crit, but the speed is a little fast and the topend damage isn’t nearly as high as others.  Still, this is a solid upgrade over the Destroyer.  This weapon would probably be my last choice of upgrades, if I got to choose.

Flame Leviathan drops Ironsoul.  Ironsoul is the easiest Ulduar weapon to get because you have to get by Flame Leviathan just to have a chance at any of the others.  Ironsoul is also a very solid upgrade to my Titansteel Destroyer, packing Armor Pen and a whopping 131 more topend damage.  It loses some AP from Strength, but it has more Stamina and CRIT, which the Destroyer sorely lacks.    Ironsoul would be my second choice of Ulduar upgrades.

Hodir drops Stormedge.  This would probably be my first choice of upgrades.  For PVP, it’s probably not QUITE as good as Ironsoul, but I’m really itching to switch to Axe spec and get that 5% crit chance & damage.  With Axe spec, this thing moves ahead, as the 5% crit would definitely be more than the crit from Ironsoul.  It’s got STR, Stam, Armor Pen & hit.  Hit is usually not the most heavily weighted stat in PVP, but the fact is I’m a little under the 5% hit cap on Randul, so it can’t hurt.

The good news is, I have access to these weapons.  The not so great news is that I’m second in line to pick them up.  (Third if you count hunters for the polearm)  A guildmate is still using the Collosal Skull-Clad Cleaver and DPS is his main raiding spec, so he’ll get dibs over me.

HOWEVER, once one of these drops for him, I’ll be swooping in and getting the tools to take my Arena team to a new level.  Speaking of my arena team, my partner & I went 9 – 1 last night and broke 1,000 rating.  We stopped while we were still fresh, but we weren’t showing any signs of slowing down.  The one loss we had was truly a fluke.  A hunter disengaged, I charged to get the killing blow and he just happened to disengage on top of the pillar in the Orgrimmar Arena as it was going up.  There’s no possible way he planned that.  RNG strikes and kills.

On a side note, as I said above, DG has killed Hodir.  Thanks for playing, please come again.

Tank Fight of the Week: Auriaya

Posted in Raiding, Tank Fight of the Week, Tanking, World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Time to come back with a new Tank Fight of the Week.  This week I’m going to talk about Auriaya, as I feel I finally have enough experience with her to give a good walkthrough.

Abilities

Auriaya has:

  • Sonic ScreechA Sonic Shockwave that deals 60125 to 69875 Physical damage to all enemies in its path.  The Shockwave damge is split between all targets in its path.
  • Sentinal BlastA massive blast that inflicts 3500 Shadow damage and increases Shadow damage taken by 100% for 5 sec.
  • Terrifying ScreechThe screech strikes fear into the hearts of all nearby enemies, causing them to flee in horror for 3 sec.
  • Guardian SwarmTargets a player to be assaulted by the Guardian Swarm.

Sanctum Sentries have:

  • Savage PounceA savage pounce that inflicts 2775 to 3225 Physical damage and an additional 2313 to 2687 Physical damage every 1 sec for 5 sec.
  • Strength of the PackThe presence of other members of the pack increases damage done by 30% to all members of the pack within 10 yards.

Feral Defenders have:

  • Feral EssenceEach essence increases the damage dealt by the Feral Defender by 50%.  The Feral Defender can revive itself at the cost of one of its Feral Essences.
  • Feral RushCharges an enemy, dealing Shadow damage and interrupting spell cast for 6 sec.
  • Feral PounceThe Feral Defender pounces the target stunning them for 4 sec and inflicting Shadow damage every 1 sec.
  • Seeping Feral EssenceThe Seeping Essence of the Feral Defender Inflicts 4500 Shadow damage every 1 sec.  (aka, bad stuff you do’nt stand in, occurs on death)

The Pull

First thing’s first, you have to nail the pull.  She’s not like other bosses where you just charge in screaming or use a ranged attack to pull, no sir…not this chick.  Whoever pulls this chick better not be the person who gets hit first or they are gonna die all over the place.

You see, Auriaya has two kittens (Sanctum Sentries).  They are cute and all, but they have some serious leaping and clawing ability.  If you are far enough way from them when they aggro, they pounce and you bite the big one.  The idea is for the puller to either transfer the aggro (via Hunter’s misdirect) or not be in LoS when they pull (via Death Knight”s Death and Decay or Shaman totems).

sampson-1

The pull is easiest with a hunter.  We have everyone stack up on the tank (see my fine art illustration) while the hunter goes out and misdirects to the tank.  The cats and Auriaya come screaming around the corner, but when they see the person they have aggro on they are too close to pounce!  Good news.

auriayapic

As the tank during the pull, my job is to live and get snap aggro.  As they are running towards the corner I am hitting shield wall and blood rage so I can immediately thunderclap and start beating on them with my normal rotation.  My job, once things stabalize is to keep Auriaya on me while the Pally tank holds the kitties.  The DPS kills the kitties one at a time and, for me at least, it becomes more of a tank and spank with a twist.

Other methods we’ve used to pull are the Death Knight dropping Death and Decay to get aggro while the Pally drops concecrate on the group.  The bad guys get aggro on the DK, but when they move into the Concecrate they get aggro on the Pally.  I’ll usually taunt Auriaya while the Pally keeps the kittens.  The craziest method we’ve done is to have the Paladin bubble himself and walk around in plain sight of the cat lady like he’s lost.  They aggro on him, but can’t damage him because he’s bubbled.  So they come looking for someone else to eat, which is supposed to be me.  This works because once they get to him and see they can’t eat him, they look for someone else, but everyone else is too close to pounce.

The Fight

Once things have stabilized and the first two Sanctum Sentries are down, I pull Auriaya out of the corner and put her back to the stairs she just came up to get to us.  At this point in the fight my responsibilities are fivefold.

  1. Don’t die.
  2. Hold threat.
  3. Keep her from standing on/near the Seeping Feral Essence.  (Bad stuff that is black and round and you can’t miss)
  4. When she casts Terrifying Screech use Berserker Rage so she doesn’t fear me.
  5. After using Berserker Rage to not get feared, interrupt her Sentinel Blast.

That’s it folks.  The hardest part of this fight is most definitely the pull.  Once you get the pull down, your job is to not get feared and interrupt her Sentinel Blast.  That’s why I am so awesome for this fight.  I never get feared, thanks to Berserker Rage and I can always interrupt thanks to Shield Bash.

Progress Smells Like Burning Flesh

Posted in Raiding with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

It smells like my burning flesh to be exact.  Well, Randul’s burning flesh, but he’s an extension of me!  Once again, the Dinner Goat crew only got two shots at Ulduar this week, Friday and Sunday.

Friday

On Friday, we started out a little weak.  We wiped on Flame Leviathan.  After we got the jitters out of our system by downing FL, we one-shot Razorscale, XT-002, Kologarn and Auriaya.  I finally picked up the Flamewatch Armguards off of Flame Leviathan, which made me a happy dwarf.

After we finished up with Auriaya, we didn’t have much time for Hodir, so we decided to go get a look at the Iron Council.  We wiped hard on the first few attempts, but soon realized the trick.  Steelbreaker‘s Fusion Punch puts a debuff on the target that makes them take a TON of damage.  As we realized this little tidbit, we called it for the night since we were over on time.

Saturday

On Saturday, quite a few of our raiders couldn’t make it, so some of us decided to throw a 25-man Naxx pug together.  The wife needed Spider & Plague Quarters to get her achievement, so we asked to start there.  On the first boss of the day, Anub’Rekhan dropped Pauldrons of Unnatural Death, which I snagged immediately.  I’m losing my two-piece set bonus from my t7 gear, but I think overall these are an upgrade.

We downed Faerlina, Maexxna and Noth before I had to head out to go to a work event.  The wife got Heigan down which was all she needed for her achievement.  I’m not sure how much longer she made it after that.  Apparently most of the puggers were complaining loudly about the pace of the raid.  She doesn’t like whiners, so she probably bolted immediately.

Sunday

On Sunday, we ventured back into Ulduar and went after the Iron Council again.  This time, the Raid Leader put me on lightning guy so I could interupt and stun his abilities.  We had a cat druid go bear to tank the Rune Guy and our Paladin tank on Steelbreaker so he could cleanse himself of the Fusion Punch debuff.  It worked out well, but the healing assignments were a little screwy at first, with a Disc Priest on me, a Disc Priest on the Pally and a Resto Shaman on the bear.

We decided that I wasn’t taking nearly enough damage to warrant a Disc Priest, so the shammy came to work on me while the wife went to heal the bear.  After that, things went smoothly and we made all three of them fall down.

Now we had a decision to make.  Hodir or Ignis.  Either fight would be progression, even if Ignis would be optional progression.  We decided we wanted to take a stab at Ignis.  This is where the burning flesh from the title comes into play.

Ignis sucked.  I have to admit, I was completely frustrated trying to deal with his adds.  I felt worse after every attempt.  I felt like I was completely failing at the task I’d been assigned and completely failing the raid.  The biggest hurdle for me was the aggro reset after they became molten.  We had more than a few attempts that ended before 60%.

Demoralized, we came back in for our final attempt.  The kitty druid was making an attempt at helping me corral the adds.  On what was called as our final attempt of the night, I found my groove.  I was doing so well, in fact, that halfway through the fight the bear decided I didn’t need his help anymore and just started dpsing.  I had finally figured it out.  As a result of me doing my job, we downed Ignis.

ignisdown

And there you have it, the end of Ignis the Funace Master.  At least for this week.  As a side note, he dropped what could quite possibly be the oddest piece of gear I’ve seen.  Gauntlets of the Iron Furnace…Armor Penetration…on tank gear.  What the…?

Anyway, this weekend I got lots of achievements, but the ones I’m most proud of were clearing the Siege of Ulduar and the Antechamber of Ulduar.  We are about halfway through the raid, and we are coming for you, Hodir!

Another one bites the dust

Posted in Raiding with tags , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

The Dinner Goat crew had what I would consider an acceptable raid weekend this weekend.  We didn’t get the three days in Ulduar we’ve been shooting for, but we did get two!

As has become the norm, we flew threw Flame Leviathan and his trash.  We had a crazy time on Razorscale.  We one-shot him, but it was awkward and ugly.  Our first tank went down after she landed.  I picked her up easily enough, but soon had five stacks of fuse armor on me, which not only immobilized me, but also dropped my aggro.

She ran rampant throughout the raid until our DPS Death Knight could grab her and tank her for a bit.  Luckily enough, as soon as he died, my fuse armor wore off and I got her back.  Me, all three healers and a rogue finished her off.

We wiped once on XT due to a Gravity Bomb in the middle of the raid, but we came back and dropped him the second try.

After XT, we had do decide whether to go back for Ignis or onward to Kologarn.  We chose Kologarn, and we wiped the place with him.  Kologarn is fairly simple now that the tanks don’t have to switch on 10-man.  I managed to snag Stoneguard, which is a pretty pimp sword, even if it doesn’t have Defense on it.

After Kologarn, we slammed our faces into Auriaya until the end of the first raid night.  That pull is hard without a hunter.

On our second day of raiding, we didn’t have enough people to do 10-man Ulduar, so we used ourselves as the core of a 25-man Naxx instead.  I picked up both the Breastplate of Tormented Rage and the Cloak of the Shadowed Sun off of Heigan.  I rolled a 95 on my Tier Shoulders, but someone else rolled a 100.  /frown

With the Emblems of Valor I had acquired, I picked up the Signet of the Impregnable Fortress.  We called it a day after killing Gluth.  We just ran out of time.  We had cleared Spider, Plague & Abomination up to Gluth.

On our third raid night, we went back into Ulduar.  Our first attempt of the day on Auriaya went very well.  We had the pull under control and got her to 40%.  The next few attempts went very poorly.  She killed us pretty much immediately.  Finally, we got the pull down, got her under control and went the distance.  Shieldwall of the Breaker dropped and I won.  If you haven’t seen this shield, it basically looks like I tore her head off and am carrying it around with me.  It was also a nice upgrade over Crygil’s Discarded Plate Panel.

Typically I would have had to pass the shield to the other tank, since I already won the sword.  However, he had already won the Stormtempered Girdle, so we both had a shot.  He rolled an 85, I rolled an 86.  I think I can still hear him crying.

After Auriaya, we started down Hodir’s corridor.  We had a few trash pulls that were inconvenient, but we made it to the big guy.  He took our cookies, crumbled them up and dropped them on the floor in front of us.  It was seriously not a good experience.  We are tenacious, however, and we will get him.  Eventually.

Overall, this was an excellent loot weekend for Randul the Dwarf.  We plan to go back into Naxx25 tonight if it hasn’t been completed by puggers.  I’ll be throwing a Tank Fight of the Week: Auriaya down for you on Friday.  Don’t miss it.

A Naxxramas Oddity

Posted in Raiding with tags , , , , , on May 19, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

This weekend, our primary raid team was only going to be able to get together for one of our regularly scheduled raid nights, which meant only one night of Ulduar.  On the scheduled nights that we couldn’t get our Ulduar team together, we journeyed into Naxxramas for an “alt run”.

The Team

These runs weren’t a true alt run, in that some of our members only have one level 80 character so they had to go on their mains.  On our final night, we killed Gothik, 4-Horsemen, Sapph & Kel’Thuzad with the following team.

The mains:

  • Paladin Tank
  • Disc. Priest
  • Holy Priest
  • Rogue (left & was replaced by a shadow priest on KT)
  • Frost DPS Death Knight

The alts/undergeared:

  • Kered, my Death Knight in his tanking offspec
  • Holy Paladin
  • Rogue
  • Warlock
  • Warlock

The Oddity

This was easily our most successful Naxxramas run ever.  Half of this group was either on an undergeared alt or an undergeared main and we owned Naxxramas like we’ve never done with our primary raid group.  We got new records for time on nearly half of the fights.  Two of these folks had never even been through over half of the raid!

To what do I attribute this insanity?

A few of things.

  • Our Ulduar  DPSers more than offsetting our lower dpers. When we were last in Naxxramas with our main group of raiders, all of our DPS were between 2k & 2.5k damage per second.  With this group, while we brought three dps that were lower, our Ulduar raiders were pushing 3k DPS.
  • Kered’s tanking dps versus Randul’s tanking dps. Randul is a strong tank and I love playing him, but Kered consistently puts out two to four hundred more dps than Randul does when tanking.  That adds up.  (I have no intention of sidelining Randul for Kered.  I only tank on him because our guild has a grand total of two players who tank, so when we raid with alts I still have to tank.  Kered is my DPS character, not a tanking character)
  • Familiarity and strong raid leading. Yes, two of our raiders didn’t know most most of the fights, but those that did know the fights knew them backwards and forward.  Our Raid Leader also did a superb job of explaining the fights to the newer folks.

The Lesson

I have to admit, I was shocked at what was happening on this run.  We were knocking out bosses faster than ever before.  We one-shot Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad’s second phase (we had a small hiccup with the add phase) with people who had never been there before.  Not only that, but our two newbies (I mean that affectionately as the folks who were new to the fights) stayed alive through both fights.

The lesson here, in my opinion, is that skill, paying attention and doing your job goes a long way toward balancing lack of gear and experience.  These alts aren’t quite ready for Ulduar yet, but they are getting there and I’m looking forward to taking them.

Congrats to Katrit and Rolanda on their first Naxxramas clear!

Kologarn…Down!

Posted in Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on May 18, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

I’m happy to announce, the Dinner Goat raiding crew brought down Kologarn last night.  I was very impressed with our group.

We one-shot Flame Leviathan & XT-002 and downed Razorscale on our second attempt.  We had an “oh crap” moment with 2 tunnelers popping right as we forced her to land.  Our inability to get the adds under control wiped us.

I’m not sure how many attempts it took us to get Kologarn down.  Probably five or six, but I don’t remember the exact numbers.  We had some Random Number Generator (RNG) disasters and we had some RNG blessings I think.

I feel very confident on FL, Razorscale & XT-002.  Unless something very bad and/or unlucky happens, we are going to one-shot these guys from this point on.  Kologarn, however, is a different matter.  If we get very lucky, we’ll be able to drop him.  If we are unlucky, we will struggle mightily.

That’s the nature of this fight, in my opinion.  We have three healers.  If one healer gets eye-beamed and is running for their life while another healer is gripped and the raid gets Shockwaved, bad things tend to happen.

What the heck am I talking about?

Kologarn has an ability where he shoots an eye beam at random raid members.  When he does this, they have to get the heck out of dodge or they will die.  While they may have some instants to cast while moving, they are still losing a lot of their spellcasting arsonal.  He also has a Shockwave ability where he damages the entire raid.  Let’s not forget the Stone Grip, where he grabs someone, incapacitating them and dealing damage to them every second until his arm takes 100k damage.

This scenario played out multiple times on us.  Our Resto Shaman was running from an eye beam, our Holy Priest was Stone Gripped while the raid got Shockwaved.  That left us with our Discipline Priest trying to keep me up while our Shaman was trying to heal the raid on the run.

If we were uber geared in 25-man gear, we could probably push through “oh crap” situations like that.  We aren’t.  We are 10-man geared, for the most part.  Which means it’s going to take a lot of luck to get through a bad situation like that one.

We did it though, and I’m very proud of our group.

I came away with two pieces of loot for the evening.

The Power Enhancing Loop for my DPS set and the Fervor of the Protectorate for my tanking set.

The Fervor is interesting, because it has no Defense on it.  However, I just happened to have enough of a Defense cushion to be able to equip it.  I’m not exactly sure how the lack of Defense makes it compare to the Chained Military Gorget, but it has a very slight edge in Avoidance, more Stamina, more Strength, more Armor and gives some Expertise.  I consider it an upgrade, as long as I can wear it.

We also saw the Flamewatch Armguards drop, but the other tank outrolled me.  Grats Jamason!

I intend to do a Tank Fight of the Week: Kologarn this week, complete with my usual illustrations.  You may want to stay tuned for that.

On a side note.  In a previous post I asked for suggestions on good Shaman Blogs.  I also tweeted that request.  Now I’ve got Real Life Shaman following me on twitter.  /sigh  I’m not interested in RL Shamanism.  Just the WoW variety.

No News on the Kologarn Front

Posted in Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

A quick shot today, since I did promise news of our downing of Kologarn.

Short version:  We downed XT-002 in one attempt, but we failed on Kologarn.

Long version:  We got started about 45 minutes late.  We had a 3 hour raid night planned, so that cut it to about 2 hours and 15 minutes.  The reason for being late was one of our dps’ cable had gone out.  All of our normal DPS are typically packed together, but he is a consistently strong dps, so it is never good to lose that.

We did end up picking up a rogue that did very good dps, so I can’t really blame him.  After we finally got started, we went into XT-002 who had been a jerk the night before.  We one-shot him, as we usually do when bosses give us trouble.  We go back the next night and own their face.

The main difference between this attempt and our failures before was our Off-Tank.  He started tanking before as Retribution.  I didn’t know that was the case, I found out after the fact.  When asked to go Protection, he decided he’d rather bring an undergeared Druid to Off-Tank instead.  Did he cause our wipes on the previous night?  I can’t say one way or the other, but he certainly didn’t help matters.

We got our normal guy back though, and he rocked XT’s adds.  Way to go Jamason.

After downing XT, we head to Kologarn.  At first, it just wasn’t looking good.  Our first few attempts stagnated at about 50-60%.  However, we gradually started whittling him down a little more each time.  We got him to 5% and 1% on two attempts.  I am happy to say, I did not fail to hit a cooldown on the 1% wipe.

I am pretty sure we would have taken him out, but the end of the scheduled raid was rapidly approaching and one of our healers had to go to work.  Thus, our Monday night raid ended in failure, but we learned a lot and we made a TON of progress.  We will get him this week, and I’m looking forward to it.