Archive for the ‘Hard Modes’ Category

Healing Heroic Warmaster Blackhorn (video guide)   1 comment

It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and done a guide, and truth be told, I almost didn’t do this one. Partly because this was our fifth Warmaster kill and I wasn’t sure if people would find it helpful or if it would be outdated already (I missed Frapsing our first two kills, and our second two kills were a mess!). However, Kurn nudged me a bit, and so I decided to go ahead and sit down to get this done. In listening to the replay of the encounter, there isn’t really a ton of druid-centric advice, but I think that’s because the encounter is fairly straight forward from a healing perspective. That being said, if you have a question please don’t hesitate to ask! I will list a few additional tips below!

As always, this video is viewed best at one of it’s larger resolutions.

Tips and Tricks!

  • You mentioned that you have the raid take Onslaught 2 and 4, but what about the rest of them? For Onslaught 1,3,5 we utilized fire mages and shadow priests. As long as you have a minimum of 3 people in the the onslaught and don’t let too many barrages hit, your boat should be OK. Fire mages can take every onslaught with cauterize, however your shadow priests can only do 1/5 or 3 as dispersion, even glyphed, will not be up for 1/3 or 3/5.
    • Druid Tip: Pre-hot your mages taking the onslaughts to ensure that they receive adequate cauterize healing.
  • Can you go over those barrage groupings again? Sure thing! We use 4 groups, 1 for each quadrant of the boat. Each group will have 3-4 people in it, and will be comprised of ranged DPS and healers – with the healers split up between the groups. Each group is given a “group leader” and the group follows that person to know what barrage to soak. It is exceedingly important for the raid to keep their group alive by moving as a unit. Too many deaths early on will be a wipe. During onslaughts 1, 3 and 5 those groups that have mages and shadow priests will refrain from soaking to prevent deaths – and if you are grouped with a shadow priests or mage don’t let their tricky mirror images and apparitions fool you!
  • ToL and Tranquility. We used two druids for this encounter, so we split our tranqs to maximize them. She tranqed on the second onslaught, I tranqed on the fourth. I utilized my ToL for the second onslaught to split the cooldowns. This allowed me to have both cooldowns available again for phase 2 when there is a fair amount of raid damage. If you are the only druid on your raid team, feel free to swap the order of when you ToL and Tranq to better fit within the other cooldowns being used, just be sure that you utilize both abilities early enough in the encounter to have them back up during phase 2.
  • Any Special Times for Nature’s Grace? You can try to time is so that you have it up going into onslaughts, but there is usually enough damage going out during the fight that a nature’s grace proc isn’t wasted. During the second phase, try to time it as you are hotting up the raid for a shout to maximize your rejuvs and WGs!
  • Do You Do Anything Special in Phase 2? I do not! Just run through your basic raid healing routine to keep the raid up. Make smart use of nature’s grace, don’t forget to utilize your trinkets, WG as needed for damage and SM as needed for damage. If you find yourself going OOM in the second half of the encounter, try using a little less rejuv – but lean on rejuv as much as your mana will allow and pre-hot in preparation for for shouts as you are able.
  • How Do You Decide Who to Swiftmend in Phase 1? Since we ask the teams to stick to their team leader, I’ll often times try to SM that person. However, I’ll also use it on the tanks or melee as well. Since everyone is supposed to stay relatively grouped up, it shouldn’t matter who you SM, as it should hit the maximum number of people in that group.
  • Why Does My Raid Suck At Barrages and What Can I Do to Fix it? If only I had a good answer to that question! The truth is that phase one is really the meat of this encounter. Once your raid learns to prioritize the barrages and sticking together, it gets easier. Outside of making sure that there is enough damage on the adds, there is nothing that is more important than working as a team to soak those barrages. I recommend zooming our camera out as far as you can, and looking down on the screen, so that you can see the entirety of your quadrant without ever having to move the camera. This is really one of those fights where everything just “clicks”. In fact, that’s how I missed FRAPSing our first kill. I was like “eh, half the raid ate solo barrages, we’ve still got some work” – and the next pull somehow he was dead!
  • When do you Bloodlust? One of the most important things in this encounter is to make sure that you have one set of adds down before the next set arrives. When we were learning this fight, in order to facilitate that, we would use personal CDs for the first set of adds, Bloodlust the second set of adds, and use Potions on the third set. However,when the 10% nerf came we had a devil of a time in phase 2 because our boat was covered in fire all of the sudden. The reason ended up being because we were now killing our adds too fast and it changed the timing of the encounter for us such that we were getting fresh fire at the end of the add phase instead of during the third wave of adds. To remedy this we stopped bloodlusting the second wave of adds so that we’d take longer to kill them, and now bloodlust when Goriona lands. However, if you are struggling with killing the adds timely, do not hesitate to lust one of your add waves – if you can get through the adds, you can kill Blackhorn so don’t worry about not having lust up for him!

As always, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions! Good Luck and Have Fun!

Posted March 16, 2012 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Video

Healing Heroic Morchok (video guide)   8 comments

Ah, a new tier, a new set of nerfs and relearning how to kick ass at your class.  Sounds like fun! I’m going to start Tier 13 with Hard Mode guides, as I get through them with my guild.  However, if anyone has a specific request for a guide on any of the normal mode encounters please don’t hesitate to ask me if I can put one together.  I do have footage of most of the normal mode encounters, and would be happy to toss something together if people feel that there is a need for the information.

As for Heroic Morchok, he’s quite a bit of fun, but can also be a little stressful from a healing standpoint – especially as a druid with our notable lack of burst AE healing.  There is high raid damage that needs to be dealt with fairly quickly so that your raid is prepared to take subsequent incoming damage.  It can be tricky, but it’s definitely possible for you to perform well on the encounter.  Let’s take a look at how I navigated the encounter!

As always, please note that this video is best viewed in one of the higher resolutions.

A Few Tips!

  • How many healers did you take? We used 6, three for each side. The enrage timer on the boss is fairly strict, so unless you have some seriously standout DPS you will probably not be able to take more than 6 healers at this stage in the content.  We used a priest/paladin/druid combination on the left side and a priest/shaman/druid combination on the right side.
  • Tank Cooldowns.  Something that I neglected to mention in the video is that the tanks receive a debuff after each stomp that causes them to take increased damage.  It will be important that the have a personal or external cooldown for each stop, and that the tanks and the healers work out a cooldown rotation in advance.  We even had our ret paladins assisting with a bubble/sac to ensure that we had enough cooldowns for every stop.
  • Raid Cooldowns.  As I indicated in the video, the tricky part of the fight isn’t having the raid survive the stomp, it’s having the raid survive the crystal after the stomp.  This becomes more challenging as Morchok’s life decreases and his damage ramps up significantly.  As such, we found it far more beneficial to utilize raid cooldowns to mitigate the crystal damage as opposed to trying to mitigate the stomp damage.  This opens up a world of possibilities, as the crystal damage is shadow based, making thinks like Aura Mastery and Anti-magic Zone excellent options for mitigating some of the damage.  Similarly to the tank cooldowns, work out your raid cooldowns in advance, and be sure that you have a cooldown for every crystal in the 25-0% portion of his life when he gets really angry.  Once you’ve done that, navigate the cooldowns earlier in the encounter to they are back up again for that last part, to assist with easing the burden on the healing.  We used our raid cooldowns in the 75-50% portion of the encounter, and again at the 25-0% portion of the encounter.
  • Oh god, my mana.  Because of the damage patterns of the encounter, and our noted lack of burst healing, you will find that you rely very heavily on rejuv to manage the healing on the raid.  Be sure that you innervate early and often, and conserve mana when and where you can. Try to line your first innervate up with a power torrent proc for the extra mana – you will have a need for it by the end of the fight. The “ooze” phase is a perfect time to utilize a concentration potion, so be sure to sneak one in during that down time.  (I actually think I missed doing this in the video, and ended up using a normal mana potion as a result – and my mana at the end of the fight kicked me for that mistake!). Additionally, don’t be afraid to set up Hymning with your priest during the encounter either.  The “ooze” phase is another perfect time to take advantage in the lack of healing needed.

Good Luck, have fun, and please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions!

Posted December 13, 2011 by Beruthiel in Druid Healing, Hard Modes, Healing, Video

Reflections of a Firelord   41 comments

388 pulls.  That was the final number.  It included every pull that someone face pulled Rag.  It included every pull someone was in the wrong gear.  That included every pull that we took before the Great Firelands Nerf (roughly half of them).  Most of the kill was a blur to me, partly from the cold I had been fighting all weekend, but partly from the shock of realizing that it was finally over.  I had to pinch myself this morning just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming again.

I’m sure there are those of you who are thinking “thank fucking christ, she will finally start talking about something else”.  And you are right, I likely will.  But before I get there, I do want to take a minute to reflect on things from the other side of the fence. 

But, before we get into that I want to offer out some deep felt thank yous.  First, to my guild. Has it really been seven years? Regardless of our struggles and our shortcomings, you guys are part of what makes kills like this worth fighting for, and victory taste so sweet. The experience wouldn’t be the same without you.  Next I’d like to give a huge thank you to Vixsin and Derwent. You both offered strength and advice when I needed it most, and there aren’t words to express my gratitude or to thank you enough. And lastly to everyone here who stayed along for the ride and offered kind words and encouragement. Every bit of it helped, even if I didn’t tell you at the time.

Let’s move onto those reflections, before I have to grab a tissue. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 7, 2011 by Beruthiel in Achievements, Deep Thoughts, Hard Modes, Raiding

Raiding and The Book of Job   20 comments

Caveat: This post is somewhat unorthodox in that it is actually a repost of something that I posted for my guild today on our forums. We have had, arguably, two of our best nights working on heroic Rag – yet everyone’s morale (including mine) seems to be tanked. Because of that, I spent a lot of time last night thinking. And, ultimately, this is what came out of those thoughts. The reason that I’ve reposted it here, is because I am somewhat fascinated with the fact that of everything else – this is where my brain made a connection. And I think the topic and similarities in and of themselves are extremely interesting. As such, I thought it was something that a lot of my readers would enjoy and would spark a fair bit of conversation, which in turn I think would be equally as fascinating. I am very much looking forward to everyone’s thoughts. However, since standing alone it may read a little strangely, I thought that adding context was important.

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I am not an overly religious person, but at some point in my education I was tasked with reading a play called J.B.. It is exceptionally good, if you are interested in it, and I believe it even won a Pulitzer prize. Anyhow, the play is essentially a modern day version of The Book of Job, which consequently I was also tasked with reading.

Right about now, you are probably wondering why the fuck I am bringing this up, and exactly what does it have to do with raiding. Well, I’ll get there. Eventually.

The Book of Job

As I said above, I’m not really a very religious person, but the story of Job really resonated with me and is something that has provoked many of my thoughts and outlooks. The Beru’s notes (I’m trademarking that shit as soon as I’m done typing this…) version of the story goes something like this (please forgive me any missteps that I may have in my retelling of the story, and note that I’m not going to go into much of the theological debate surrounding the story, as I’m hardly qualified to do so):

Job is an incredibly pious man. Satan comes to God and theorizes that the only reason that Job is as devout as he is, is because God has afforded him many luxuries in life and Job has never really known hardship. Satan and God have a debate about it, and eventually Satan asks God if he can prove his point by testing Job. God agrees to permit it. Over time Satan, with God’s blessing, takes away everything that Job had and cared about – his family, his livelihood, his home. Job’s wife pleaded with Job to forsake a God who could be so cruel, and yet Job was unmoving in his beliefs and devotion. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted November 4, 2011 by Beruthiel in Deep Thoughts, Hard Modes, Raid Leadership, Raiding

Monday Musings – Almost There Edition   5 comments

It’s been awhile since I’ve done an update, but that’s partly because I don’t know how much there is to update. In the game not a ton has changed. I mean, some things have, but mostly things are the same. However, there are a few things that I’d like to say, and I figure this is as good a place as any to say them.

I Love My Guild
As I often tell the guild, this is something I don’t think I say enough. So I’m going to just say it. I have the privilege to raid with a group of people that for the most part I genuinely enjoy spending time with. Maybe some of them stand in the fire more than I’d like, but as a whole there is no one in my guild that I just can’t stand. And I believe that is a pretty rare thing.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, it’s kind of two fold. Firstly, anytime I use my blog as a brain dump/stress relief/dear diary therapy I invariably get that one comment about how maybe I need a break, or need to find a different community for my raid time. I’m just going to put it out here: I don’t. One of the reasons I started this blog was to get thing out of my head. To put my stress in a medium that isn’t me screaming at my raid.

And you know what? It’s worked. I’m a significantly calmer raid leader because I have a venue where I can dump my thoughts and stresses, and where I can get feedback (or commiserate) on the struggles that I may be facing. I’m pretty open about everything that happens, and I like that. So, I wanted to let people know that I really do love where I am and the people I am with.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 31, 2011 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump, Deep Thoughts, Hard Modes, Raiding

Are 400 Pull Kills Good Design? Are They Fun?   70 comments

(image by Dan Scott can be found at Dan Scott Art)

On September 1 we took our first three pulls on Heroic Rag, to “see what he was all about”.  On September 6, we started working the fight in earnest.  We are now some odd 345ish pulls into the fight, and each additional night that we work on the fight a small part of my soul dies.  I no longer have the energy to get angry when people make mistakes. Many times the first two phases of the fight feel mostly like just going through the motions.  It’s like a dance that I’ve done 100 (well, more like 300) times.

For about the first 250 pulls I was energetic.  Enthusiastic.  Excited. But somewhere between then and now I just feel…tired.  At one point, if I was asked if the fight was “fun” I would have said that yes, I was enjoying the progression.  But that point has long past.  Now it’s mostly just frustrating. I have little patience for my own mistakes, and less patience for others.  Spending 7 minutes just to have a son hit the hammer because someone made a bad decision makes me want to put my fist through my monitor.  Spending 9 minutes to get into our new “progression” phase, only to get 60 or 90 seconds of “progression” and then having to start over makes me want to kick a kitten.

Which brings me to the question: Are 400 pull fights good design? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 25, 2011 by Beruthiel in Deep Thoughts, Hard Modes, Raiding

The Dream   9 comments

I had a dream last night that we killed Heroic Ragnaros.

In a swimming pool.

Well, more on the deck of the swimming pool.  There were only five people alive: myself, our moonkin, our two tanks and another healer (but I can’t for the life of me remember who it was).  The tanks kited Rag around the deck of the pool.  And myself and the moonkin were on a white mat on the deck.  And I screamed at ANYONE who got close to our mat, much like Joe Pa might when it is clear the Ref cashed the other team’s check before the game.  DON’T YOU STEP ON THAT MAT AND BLOW US UP!  I SWEAR TO CHRIST I WILL KICK YOUR ASS ALL THE WAY TO CANADA IF YOU DO!  The tanks ran round and round.  The moonkin dps’d.  And I…screamed.  A lot.

When he died, everyone jumped into the pool in celebration with our moonkin doing a cannonball to put all other cannonballs in history to shame.  And then I woke up and remembered that no, he wasn’t dead.  Yes, we are some 300 odd pulls into the fight and still haven’t killed him.  I wanted to curl back up and find sleep again, in that dream where it was all over. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted October 18, 2011 by Beruthiel in Deep Thoughts, Hard Modes, Raid Leadership, Raiding

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