Posts Tagged ‘ raid ’

L2Dragon

Whew! So, TigerCon ’08 has wrapped up, we’re now firmly into ’09, and come hell or high water <Unemployed> is going to step into 25-man raiding this week!

Or so help me….. *shakefist*

ANY-hoo, during my few weeks’ absence I have been relatively active in-game. We’ve now cleared 10-man Naxx (twice), wiped up Obsidian Sanctum quite a bit, and shaken our fist at Malygos from our spots on the floor of his lair.

That post I was talking about before was a guide on killing dragons. So, in that spirit I offer you this image, featuring the ever-fluffly chin of Malygos.

l2dragon

Now, I’ll start my breakdown with one small caveat: Every dragon is different. Hitbox sizes are quite variable and sometimes the cleave radius changes. I’ll note these exceptions when I see them.

General Information:

On the whole, all dragons have a similar strategy. They have either a cleave or breath weapon (sometimes both) and a tail swipe. I’ve found that the frontal attack does more damage while the rear attack often has a knockback component. Ranged players are usually far enough away (as long as your tank isn’t parading said dragon around will-he-nil-he) that they don’t need to worry.

Melee is not so lucky. For most dragons it’s safe to make sure you’re attacking from the side. Throughout my dragoning life I’ve just made sure to be whailing at about a 50º angle to  the line of the dragon.

Until, that is, we started on Sapphiron. That dragon has a MASSIVE cleave radius, seriously, it’s massive. I can’t stress to you enough how big (and painful) it is. Rogue-man & I quickly found that the only real way to be able to safely dps the big guy was to strike up a steamy love affair with his back leg.

On the flip-side we have Malygos, who doesn’t have a tail swipe (or so I’ve been told, I’ve only ever tanked him so I don’t have first-hand experience). I don’t think he has a cleave either, but his breath weapon is pretty painful. You hear that healers? If the tank has to rotate him so the dps can get to a spark you’d better move!

So there we have it, a general dragon strategy! Whenever our guild tackles a new one the raid lead always starts out by saying “Ok, regular dragon strat except for -this, this, and this-” and then we continue on as normal!

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Happy Tuesday

Well, if you don’t have to work (like I do) and are twiddling your thumbs over server downtime then maybe it’s not so much of a happy Tuesday for you. But I’m very excited that it’s Tuesday at least!

Why?

RAID TIME!

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are raid nights for Unemployed and I am crazy excited. I’m hoping we’re able to step into Naxxramas tonight. If we can’t I’m not too sure I’ll even be running heroics. You see, other than me we’ve only got 2-3 tanks up to level 80. Why can’t I tank? Well… last night showed me in no uncertain terms that I am NOT prepared.

I ran Heroic Halls of Stone last night with a couple of guildies and a couple of guys from Exiles. I wouldn’t call it a miserable failure, but we only managed to kill one boss. I’ll call it a learning experience. I’m not upset, they weren’t upset, so why bandy around words with such negative connotations?

My tanking kit is still mostly the same as it was when I was lvl 70. That is a problem. My spec for last night was my leveling build. My leveling build is a mess, points all over the place. That was also a problem. I think if I’d had my spec in order and maybe one or two pieces of better gear we’d have done ok. As it was, the Maiden of Woe (Despair? can’t remember) was just a little too much for us. We killed Mr Big Rock Guy with absolutely no problems, but then he’s pure physical damage, something druids excell at.

I also had a lot… I mean a LOT of trouble with the dwarven gauntlet boss/encounter thingie. I just got overwhelmed. Mobs would get past me, start whailing on everyone else and things would just fall apart. That fight was excruciatingly frustrating. I don’t know what was the big problem, I’d like to think I would be able to tank it with a swipe, was my lack of Consecrate or Death & Decay that much of a hinderance? I just don’t know.

But, I did get my first Emblem of Heroism, and learned that if I’m going to be tanking anything I at least need to have my spec in order.

Tonight, at least, I’ll be out of the hot seat and running as DPS. That’s something I know I can do a good job at even with the questing greens and blues I’ve got. Three days slotted as DPS will give me a chance to raise some funds for myself, perhaps craft some new armor, and start working on assembling a tanking kit.

Hmm… that brings me to another thought. I’ve noticed many other blogs talk about gear lists, where to get what and how many of what stat such and such a class needs. I’ve noticed my blog is severely lacking in such information.

Do you miss it?

It’s not an avenue I really see myself traveling down. If you’re interested in comprehensive gear lists for druids (both cat and bear varieties) I reccomend heading over to Think Tank. He’s done all the hard work for you (and me). As far as I’m concerned, for now, I’ll be perusing his bear and kitty lists for pre-Naxx gear and letting him tell me if my new leather pants make my bear butt look big 😉

Da Bullz!

I was THERE!

I made a baby tauren, named her Tigerfeet, rolled her as a hunter, and spent most of the day leveling in preparation for taming Mazzranache and naming it Floyd. Well, I couldn’t find Mazzranache, but I did tame a white tallstrider just in the nick of time to take part in the Run for Ezra.

It was a phenomenal event, truly wonderful. Thank you so much to BRK for putting it on, and a huge thanks to Heifera who was tirelessly handing out free tabards to the 500+ new guild members.

Running around a Mulgore packed with new baby druids was a real treat. I had boycotted WoW for its first few months of existence and wasn’t high level enough to experience the joy that was Hellfire Penninsula on opening night. In retrospect it sounded like a rather painful experience, but leveling this past Saturday was the farthest thing from painful that I could think of.

There were people literally everywhere. The random spawn generator did a valiant job of keeping up with the mass genocide of Mulgore wildlife, and if I had to wait my turn for some of the more rare mobs, well, people were more than willing to group up so that we could all share the kill. There was no camping, and there were no name-calling.

Everyone there had clustered for one reason. To remember and respect the memory of a small boy who was tragically taken from this world much too soon. While I was checking my track beasts so I could find Kyle the Frenzied for Ahab I was getting teary eyed. I stood for a moment and listened to him speak. Ezra’s voice, to never be heard again, was preserved here as the voice of this one seemingly inconsequential NPC. I was quite touched.

Unfortunately BRK’s epic battle was to never be. The GMs intervened and asked everyone, for the sake of server stability, to disperse, which we did quickly. I logged out having just cleared Booty Bay, deleted little Tigerfeet, and meandered on back to Hydraxis. I did make sure to make a pit stop at the Make A Wish foundation and donate what I could.

So thank you BRK, and thank you citizens of Argent Dawn for putting up with us. It was truly epic!

Blaze of Glory!

It’s new lingo time calves and kittens!

e-man | Verb

  1. To intentionally attack a boss while alone or with companions such that victory is impossible, thus dying in a blaze of glory. That rogue and I totally just e-manned Lady Vasj.
  2. To intentionally enter into an encounter either alone or with companions such that victory is impossible, thus dying in a blaze of glory. Hey! You and I should totally go e-man Mount Hyjal later.

………………………………………………………………………………

There, now don’t you all feel smarter? I sure know I do!

What prompted this daily dose of random-ness? WELL! Remember that little doodle I did yesterday where I claimed I needed to tank the Lurker Below to wash of the taint of idiocy? Well apparently my raid leader reads my blog, because that’s exactly what happened.

But wait, it gets better!

I did fine, even with a slight learning curve (I got stuck under the platform once after a spout). Then we went and cleared the trash on our way to Leo. The moment the last mob went down, it felt like, people started to lag. One group seemed to be completely incapacitated. Then, as we watched, people winked out of the raid group one by one.

I heard mayhem coming from our other computer room where Mr. Tigerfeet, attempting to wrestle his guild into a coherent group to run Karazhan (an activity akin to herding cats), was having the same problem. His entire guild was having issues as well.

Friends, readers, colleagues, we were in the midst of a server crash.

So, with the raid dropping around us like flies a few intrepid explorers decided it would be a good idea to go take a look at Lady Vasj, just so we could get an idea of how her room was laid out before we actually got around to making our first attempt at her.

Well, by the time I’d had a good look around a good 3/4 of the raid were out of the game. I wiggled my whiskers and looked over at a rogue-flavored applicant that had been running with us that night. In the same instant we both expressed in /s our desire to go test our mettle, mano-a-naga.

We laughed, and with a nod of the head ran in to e-man Vasj. I tried to tank, he tried to dps. He pulled aggro early and died. I lasted slightly longer then died too. Upon our death the server decided it wasn’t going to coddle us anymore and we were booted. Now, I wasn’t paying ANY attention to this rogue before now, but when a server crash is imminent and someone agrees to run up and kamikaze with a crazy tank and risk a repair bill well, that guy is ok in my book!

Hooray for Wipes!

I logged in this morning after a delightfully confidence-boosting one-shot of Kara last night to see the following thread on the <Unemployed> Forums:

Something Everyone Needs to be Aware of About T6

T6 you say? Tier SIX?!? I mean, I know we just downed Karathress last week, and took an exploratory jaunt into Mount Hyjal… I know, intellectually that Hyjal = Tier 6 content but somehow the fact that I was in Mount Hyjal meant I was now working on T6 didn’t quite click. Until today.

A call has gone out to all guildies high and low to start farming mats. Specifically Primals Shadow and Life, or others that will transmute into Shadow and Life. We’ll also need Fel Hide and I, as a skinner, have decided that’s where I can start to help.

Did I mention how… astounded I am? I mean, we just downed Karathress (I got to be there for that whee) and now we’re charging headlong into Hyjal and soon after that it’ll be Black Temple! Is this what progression feels like? It’s fast, exhilirating, enough to make my head spin! I know, that when I signed on with this guild that I would be getting geared quickly. I was told that as a bear tank it was insanely easy to get me ready for T6 content. (T5 isn’t terribly useful to me) But the sheer reality of the situation didn’t quite penetrate. During my first few runs I was doing a whole lot of “OMG we just downed Curator and I wasn’t screamed at ONCE!” – “OMG I can’t believe I’m in Gruul’s and Mags there’s so many PEOPLE!” – “OMGHOLYCRAPBBQ I’M TANKING AL’AR!” and so on and so forth.

During this whole ‘freak out’ time I was steadily getting upgrades. I don’t think a single night went by where I didn’t get some piece that I needed. In the case of my T4 Shoulders and Breastplate, I got both of those tokens in the same night!

I’ve always tried to hold myself a bit aloof of the drops. I knew I was getting geared quickly and systematically by my guild so that I could be useful to them in the coming progression encounters. I know that once I’m caught up the gearing progress will slow and I’m perfectly OK with that.

There’s a trade-off you get when raiding, I’ve discovered.

You can get gear quickly by running with a guild that has all your needed instances on farm, who know the encounters inside and out. This way is very quick and does grant you needed gear, but you don’t have much opportunity to truly learn the fights. For example: I know certain members of High King Maulgar’s council need to be kited and never touched by melee EVER, but I don’t really know why. Well, I know that bad things will happen, but the consequence isn’t real to me because I haven’t been through the learning process. I was just given a job and trusted to do it. If all you’re after is gear then this is a wonderful way to get what you want. You’ll join a guild, gear up to wherever they are in content, then hop to another guild that has the places you want to go on farm. You’ll get outstanding epics, amazing character stats, and be a very lonely person.

The other side of raiding is the one I’m currently enjoying. I feel like I’m being ungrateful for the speed-gearing process I went through. My beautiful, almost-complete full set of Malorne armor is wonderful, and I love it, but to me it’s just a means to an end. I got my first taste of that end last Thursday.

Thursday was our third attempt on Karathress as a guild. It also took us three attempts before we worked out the kinks and killed him. As a bear with my zomgarmor and my zomghealth I was tanking the shaman. Even with all my mitigation abilities he was still hitting me easily around 3,000 per swing. The first two tries I went down in 6 to 8 swings. It was in this encounter that our healers learned the value of pre-casting. Once they started doing that I stayed alive! It was a beautiful feeling. “Omg, look at my health! OMG it’s a yo-yo! OMG I’M STAYING ALIVE”

After two wipes where my face met the floor within the first ten swings I was ELATED. That feeling of being a part of a group and overcoming an obstacle that had beaten you into the ground before was just amazing. Then, once he died we went into Mount Hyjal to get a first look at everything. We made it to the 8th wave, but when wave 8 hit we still had some of wave 7 up and it was a wipe. That was ok though, because we were just going to take a look.

THAT is why I like to raid. I appreciate being geared quickly, I enjoy being a part of the group on those first kills. More importantly, however, I enjoy being there on the first wipes. I am really enjoying being present as everyone learns the encounter. It makes that moment when 2% ticks down to 1% and then 1% to 0% and the boss hits the floor all the sweeter.

Oh Irony, How Do I Love Thee…

Let me count the ways.

Remember how I posted about getting my Earthwarden just this past Sunday? I was all ready to make an ‘OMG EARTHWARDEN’ post extolling its virtues and offering up a side-by-side comparison to its predicessor, Braxis’ Staff of Slumber. Last night I went with my guild to Serpentshrine Cavern. I tanked. I rocked. I was truly amazed at how much of a difference the Earthwarden made, so I had planned to make a big fancy side-by-side comparison thing.

I’ve said that already. Yes, I have a point.

You see, one trash pull before Leotheras the Blind Irony decided to smile upon me. With a laughing face surrounded by cries of ‘Grats!’ from my guildmates, she bestowed upon me a Wildfury Greatstaff.

Ha! A-ha-ha-ha-ha! Aaaaaaaah….

/wipe tear

Granted, I’m thrilled at the drop, really! It’ll make me that much more useful to my guild, which is outstanding! The irony though… aaah sweet irony, how you do me in!

Note: said side-by-side comparison post coming later, now with 3 weapons evaluated!

I Tank With My – OW!

Lessons learned this weekend:

  1. Do not trust your auto-attack to pick up Nightbane. Perhaps a /cast Moonfire – /cast Dire Bear Form macro would be more reliable.
  2. Never stop building aggro… EVER. Do NOT turn your autopilot on to lean over and get a bite of dinner, do not look away at what the cat is doing. When you look back the healer will be dead, and soon so will you.
  3. Do not play too much with your group’s CC abilities. If you are having the two hunters freeze-trapping the ads don’t suddenly decide the rogue and warlock need some love too. People get into rhythms, rhythms=smooth run. Happy fun CC russian roulette=confused group, lots of wipes, and a very painful, long run.
  4. Do not pull by the seat of your pants. It’s better to wait for the pat to be sure you KNOW when it’s at it’s maximum range as opposed to pulling when you THINK it’s at it’s maximum range and, if not pulling more than intended and wiping the group, then certainly giving everyone a minor heart attack.
  5. Call out what you’re going to break. Sap is one a one-time deal. Mobs can be re-frozen and re-seduced, but not if the succubus is dead.
  6. ‘Oh Sh!t Buttons’ are good. Use them. Love them. Have their babies.

I think that about covers it. Now it’s story time.

On Friday I stepped into Kara and was promptly told I would be Main-Tanking. My reactions were ‘Yay!’, ‘Wow, really?’, ‘Oh, you sure?’, ‘I um… don’t have an earthwarden…’, ‘Hey am I doing this right?’, ‘Oh crap the healer died.’

The most important thing I learned? Main tanking is vastly… let me repeat… VASTLY different than Off-Tanking. When Off-Tanking I was given a mark and told to tank it. This job wasn’t all that different from DPSing. I was given a kill order and sent in. But with Main Tanking… oooooh, with that? You’re expected to actually LEAD! Oh holy crap.

As a person I tend to be more of a follower, it’s comfortable and if I’m given a role I feel confident I can complete it, simple. I’ve been a leader before, but I don’t feel comfortable in that position unless I’m knowledgeable enough about the situation to be able to think fast and plan for contingencies.

Now, <Unemployed> has taken me into Kara quite a few times now. I’m familiar with the trash, even more familiar with the bosses. I’ve got a pretty good handle on how things are supposed to work and what’s supposed to be going on. All I lacked was the experience. Last Friday my guild decided it was time for me to get that experience.

Things were a little rocky on the start. I don’t think the first two pulls were wipes, but they weren’t paragons of efficiency either. Healers died. Thankfully I had a very good tank to back me up. He’s tanked for upwards of three years and so had a great deal of good advice for me. It all felt a little overwhelming.

Here’s the blow-by-blow:

  • After a couple of jerky starts we took Attumen no problem
  • Learning curve stepped in and ballroom pulls had a couple more ‘Oh Crap’ moments before I got the swing of things.
  • We got to Moroes and cleared his room. I pulled the last skeleton frighteningly close to the mobs on the wall, but once again the gods of surgical pulls were with me and disaster was averted.
  • We took down Moroes with little problems. He dropped his Lucky Pocket Watch, and now it’s my Lucky Pocket Watch. /glee
  • From Moroes we headed off to Maiden. Maiden was no problem, but it does beg the question, what is the Maiden of Virtue doing at the end of a hallway filled with all manner of Ladies of Ill Repute?
  • Somewhere in there we did the opera event. The Big Bad Wolf came out to terrorize our Little Red Riding Hood. I had some trouble, being in the thick of things, noticing that I was no longer a giant bear and was now a tiny gnomish female and I didn’t run fast enough. Despite my fumbling we killed the beast and reaped the rewards.
  • I know that next we went and took out Nightbane. I think he took three tries. I had the most trouble with him, namely picking him back up before he barreled back into the caster. The other tank was a huge help with this, and I like to think that by the time he was lying in ashes I’d learned a few things and improved.
  • Finally, as it was getting late by this point, we decided to head to Curator and then call it a night. I got to play fetch and pull the trash, that was fun. Tanking Curator is actually a bit easier than dpsing Curator. All I had to do was make sure he didn’t go anywhere and stayed facing me, and not the raid. I didn’t have to worry about running around after sparks like my tail was on fire. Needless to say he was tackled with little problem and then we called it a night.

I was dissapointed that in four hours we only got to Curator when normally Kara is cleared in four hours. I’m hoping it wasn’t all my fault, but from the heroics I was in later that weekend I’ve realised I’m a bit of a slow tank. Despite this, I’ve been assured that mostly what I lack is experience and, probably, the confidence to be a true group leader. No matter, I’m sure this will all come in time.

In the meantime, like I mentioned above, I now have my very own Lucky Pocket Watch and, after Sunday’s Heroic and Normal Dailies I found myself exalted with the Cenarion Expedition. I’m sure you know what this means… that’s right, these Tiger toes are now clutched lovingly around the haft of my very own Earthwarden!