Archive for the ‘Hard Modes’ Category
I’ve been admittedly dragging my feet putting this video together, and it took me awhile to figure out why. But as I was lying in bed this morning, going “Beru, get your Staghelm video done today!” I realized that the reason I’ve been slow with it is simply because there just isn’t much to heal in this encounter! There is less about healing in this particular guide than in my others, but there are still a few druids related tips that I offered.
(please note that this video will be best viewed in one of its higher resolutions)
A few notes!
- The Healers – We use 5 healers, because our healers help to soak orbs because of our melee heavy roster. A lot of guilds will use only 4 healers (one in each quadrant), and have their healers keep legendary concentration through the orb phase to assist with the healing. Ultimately, you will have to decide what works best for your raid team and build your strategy.
- The Tank – This is a one tank encounter. Not much changes for the tank between heroic and normal, so they should be able to easily translate things like cooldown usage easily into heroic.
- Tranquility – I actually break one of my rules here, and don’t maximize my tranquility. Really, outside of the orb phases there isn’t much use for it. I do try to use it in both orb phases, however in this particular pull where I have the clumped up orb, I just don’t have the time to stop to cast with the constant rotation. When there is just one orb up, it’s very easy to communicate to my soaker partner that he needs to move because I’m tranqing. When push comes to shove, use it when you feel it’s best and will give the best benefit to the raid.
- Barkskin, Baby! – There are a lot of optimal times in this encounter for Barkskin. Orb soaking, searing seeds, cat leaps. Don’t hesitate to utilize it when you are going to be taking damage! It’s a very short cooldown, and can help save your life, or at least make it easier.
- Telegraphing Cat Leaps – I mentioned in the video that as the fight goes on, those cat leaps become more potent. To the point that if you aren’t already moving when he lands, you are likely going to die. The best way to do this is pay close attention to his energy, when he hits 100 already be on the move if he’s coming your direction. Don’t wait for him to land before you take action or you will likely end up dead.
Searing Seeds Power Aura
Here is the aura that I use for the searing seeds. I have it set to go off at 7 seconds so I have ample time to get clear of everyone else, you may wish to adjust the timer to suit your play.
Version:4.21; InvertAuraBelow:10; buffname:Searing Seed; bufftype:2; texture:10; alpha:1; sound:25; y:171; timer.h:3.42; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:104
It’s not Monday, and I’m a bit behind on everything, so here is my weekly brain dump on, er, Wednesday. But with good reason! Which I will tell you about later. Maybe.
Things are pretty static on this front, without much to report! Which isn’t necessarily bad. We snagged a second Baleroc kill (not without some effort, but it wasn’t too painful) and ended up with a good amount of time to flirt with Heroic Ragnaros for the first time. Except it was a holiday weekend. And no matter how many times you ask people to give you a heads up on their holiday intentions, it’s always a scramble at the last-minute when raid time comes.
That means we only got one of two nights to focus on him – but were able to go in an 24 man Heroic Cho’gall and Sinestra on Sunday with a few friends and family members tossed in to help. Alas, she was stingy with her Shard of Woe, which made us all a little sad. But Monday, with the healers showing that they don’t believe in vacations and free beer, we were able to go in and play around a bit with the big fire kahuna. And it was a lot of fun.
I’m quite sure that after week 3 the novelty of finding new and interesting ways to wipe on Heroic Rag will wear off, but for now it’s still fresh enough that people seem to be enjoying the progress. We have approached the fight with the mentality that this will take months to master, and each night we look at the next small step we need to accomplish to get to the end goal – a kill. Breaking the massive encounter up into smaller pieces of progression markers makes the encounter a little less intimidating for me, and I’d like to think others as well. While the end result is still a kill, we are trying to make sure that we don’t burn out our guild trying to get there. Each small achievement is one more step down that path. And eventually enough small successes will combine themselves into a large success.
We’ll get a kill on our time, and my only goal is to see that happen before the next content patch. Personally, I’m looking forward to the challenge. Read the rest of this entry »
Heroic Baleroc. The “healers” fight for this expansion. I think I’m going to rename it to “the fight where your disc priests and paladins completely kick your ass!”. I jest! In all honesty, when push comes to shove, this fight is more about the raids situational awareness and ability to meet the enrage timer than it is about the healing. I’d say that it’s probably 60% situational awareness, 20% DPS, 10% healing and 10% OH GOD TANK USE ANOTHER COOLDOWN! There are a lot of moving factors with the encounter, but once you get it down, it’s a lot of fun. Oh, and don’t sit idle if you are told that you can’t heal this fight. We used a 1 paladin, 2 disc priest and 2 resto druid healing combination to learn the encounter and repeat our kill. We are absolutely viable on this encounter ;)
With such a quick encounter, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time in the videos for much information outside of just walking through how I heal, so there are quite a few tips that I couldn’t get into the video below!
As always, please note that this video is best viewed in one of the higher resolutions.
A few tips!
- Save your glory for another fight. You will not be able to keep up with your Holy Paladins and Disc Priests on this encounter. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try! Just don’t be discouraged if they more than double your healing done. To give you an example, on our second kill I think I ranked like 68th in the world on WoL at ~23k HPS while our disc priest ranked at only 123 with just under 42k HPS. Also, don’t fight your disc priests and your paladins for the chance to supercharge their spark stacks. They have the best tools to keep your tanks alive on this fight, and they really are going to be your strongest healers for that job. It’s ok! You are still viable, but they truly should get the juicy roles this time!
- Don’t Believe Everything You See. While both Skada and Recount do a fair job in attempting to track absorbs, they aren’t 100% accurate, especially on this encounter. I don’t know why, but they seem to struggle in allocating which absorbs are being used. You can see in the video the pink bar just dominates across the top of my healing/absorb meter. However, when you upload the parse into WoL it tells you a vastly different story. The reason that I’m sharing this is so that if you have struggles while learning the fight, you know not to rely solely on recount/skada to review what may be healing issues.
- Power Building Spark Stacks. You probably heard me mention “Power building” a few times. Let me explain what that is! For our first two ranged shards we have a shadow priest that “solos” the shard. This allows the healers that are on that shard to build stacks very, very quickly. The way that this works is that at 11 stacks the shadow priest gets a Pain Suppression. At 19 stacks the shadow priest disperses. By the end of the shard, they will have ~25 stacks of torment and healers that are focused on them can really juice up their vital spark stacks. The two healers who will be the main healers focused on the tank should be assigned to these two shards so that they can build >100 spark stacks in that time and focus solely on the tanks after that. (You will notice that in the video I mention I try to sneak a few quick heals in to boost my stacks as well).
- The Numbers. We use 2 tanks, 5 healers and 18 dps for this encounter. This really requires your DPS to push themselves hard to meet the enrage timer (you saw we came just short of it in the video). Some people utilize a one tank strategy for the encounter, but that puts a lot of extra burden on your healers during decimation blade. A two tank strategy is the more stable strategy if you have the DPS to navigate the encounter. As a side note, our first kill also came just shy of the DPS timer, but our OT that night (a feral druid aka Brade) saw it coming and lined up some hefty magic (aka hax druid cooldowns) and was able to tank out the last few seconds of the fight after the Inferno Blade tank died.
- The Healing. We set up the fight in the following fashion. Shard 1: Disc/Paladin ranged shard (shadow priest), Resto Druid melee shard, Disc/Resto Druid Baleroc Tank. Shard 2: The same as Shard 1, only the paladin swaps over to the Baleroc tank when his shadow priest is at ~19-20 stacks of torment to help smooth the transition. Shard 3: Disc/Paladin/Druid on Baleroc Tank, Disc on ranged shard, Druid on melee shard. Shard 4: Disc/Druid on Baleroc Tank, Paladin builds stacks, Disc/Druid same as shard 3. Shard 5: Disc/Paladin on Baleroc tank, Druid on tank/building sparks as able, Disc/Druid same as Shard 3. All remaining shards are the same as Shard 5. Now, there are a few times that the healers change. If one of the two torment healers receives the tormented debuff, they are paired off with another healer and they swap assignments while tormented is active. So the tormented healer heals the tanks, while the non-tormented healer heals the shards. Our disc priests are paired up and our resto druids are paired up. Now, if BOTH end up having tormented, other healers need to step in and help with the torment targets. This healing strategy may not work for everyone, but works well for us.
- Tormented. This is really the bane of this encounter! It is essential to have a game plan for how to deal with back ups when one of your shard soakers has tormented. It’s also pretty important for you melee to have a “game plan” for how to move, so that they don’t infect each other. We work out back ups in advance, and often have to have a ranged back up step in to help the melee. The biggest piece of advice that I can give anyone about dealing with the tormented debuff is to have good communication. Once you work that out, the debuff becomes a lot easier to manage. The second piece of advice that I can give regarding it is to set designated “clean” areas that people should stand in if they aren’t afflicted with torment and “dirty” areas where they should be if they are. This should help prevent unintentional spread of the debuff around the raid.
- MORE DODGE! I can’t say that I know a lot about tanking this fight, and I’m not going to pretend that I can give you much advice on that front. However, I will say that your decimation blade tank will be your healer’s best friend if s/he can dodge as many of those decimation blades as possible. Decimation blade tanks should work to build avoidance sets specifically for this fight. How they go about doing that is beyond my knowledge, but I’m sure you can find the information with a few clicks and a google search!
I almost forgot! Power Auras! I added two new auras for this encounter. One to let you know when you have the tormented debuff and one to let you know that you have countdown and how much time is left on the debuff.
Version:4.21; buffname:Tormented; x:-307; bufftype:2; alpha:1; owntex:true; y:142; texmode:2
Version:4.21; buffname:Countdown; x:200; bufftype:2; alpha:1; owntex:true; y:92; texmode:2; timer.h:4.05; timer.enabled:true; timer.cents:false; timer.y:48; timer.x:240
Once your healers get into a groove, this fight really becomes less about the healing and more about the raid focusing weaving through the torment mechanics. Between the video and what I posted above, I think I covered most everything, but if you have any questions (or I missed something!) please don’t hesitate to let me know! Good Luck and Have Fun!
Happy Monday, Everyone! Why is Beru so happy on a Monday? Well, mostly because after some very long travel I am finally back home. It feels good to come back home after living in a hotel for 10 days and raiding at the mercy of hotel internet for that period of time. And believe it or not, it feels good to actually cook a meal. Eating out really does start to lose its luster after about day four (and the five pounds you add in the time you are gone). Anyhow, I have some musings to dump out of my head after so much time. Forgive me if they ramble a bit, but I really need this brain dump.
Raiding has been very good to us as late. Last week we knocked out Heroic Staghelm. This week we saw Heroic Baleroc tumble after just two nights of work on him. Not only that, but the raid team surprised me with a one shot on heroic Staghelm and over 30 seconds left on the enrage timer. Truth be told, I think everyone was expecting a second Staghelm kill to take a few pulls to shore up and most people were as pleased as I was when we walked in, high on our Baleroc kill, and knocked him out fairly easily. We had a few deaths at the end of the second set of orbs (I let my co-soaker die :( ) but we pulled it out beautifully.
Healing Staghelm is a bit odd. There really isn’t much healing to be done on the fight outside of the orb phases – which are pretty healing heavy. Other than that it’s mostly just keeping the tank alive and topping up people who took damage from seeds or a leap. In fact, we have one priest who goes smite spec and DPSes everything but the orb phases. It hard to tell if I have a good grasp of the best way to heal the fight, as I help to soak an orb, which means I have lower legendary concentration up time. So it’s hard to tell if I should be doing certain things differently, or if I am doing things properly but see lower healing output than I’d like (comparatively) as a result of lower concentration. Read the rest of this entry »
The next Tier 12 boss that we tackled was Heroic Alysrazor. In all honesty, this has been one of my favorite fights so far this tier. I don’t know if it’s the running around rampantly while casting, or just all the different aspects of the encounter. I just really had a lot of fun learning the fight. The video that you see below was our second kill. I made a few large mistakes that I wasn’t happy with in our first kill, so I captured our repeat performance for the video (which I also make mistakes in!). Because the fight is so long, I was actually able to cover most everything in the video, but I do have a few things to add below.
Please note that this video is best viewed at one of the higher resolutions.
A few notes!
- Mana – It’s pretty much a non-issue on this encounter. This is largely because you get a full mana reset every full rotation. You will likely have to innervate in phase 1 the second time around (and perhaps the third, if you have a third) because you do go through a fair chunk of mana during the AE, but I was never really pinched on mana to the point that I felt I needed to hold back or be particularly “smart” about what and when I was casting. Don’t hesitate to bomb your tanks as needed, you will have the opportunity to refuel :)
- Haste Cooldowns – Outside of the big damage phases at the start and in phase 4, there really isn’t a huge need for saving your haste cooldowns. Use them freely to help heal the tank during heavy damage phases, such as tantrums.
- Tank/Healer Communication – I did touch on this in the video some, but I wanted to reiterate it here. Communication between your tanks and your healers is important. You tanks should communicate when they are going to make fast transitions to a worm (such as heroic leap or feral charge), and they should also communicate when they are going to take a tantrum without a cooldown, or for an extended period of time. Additionally, tanks should communicate meteor navigation so that they don’t end up out of LoS of their healers while moving around meteors that spawn in their worm areas.
- Dodging the Bad – It can get kind of hairy, and can be tricky to navigate everything going on during the fight. You will get into a grove after some practice, and it will become almost second nature to dodge fire worms and the brush fires. However, it is important while you are learning the fight that you make a concerted effort to stay clear of things that will do damage to you. The extra GCDs that it takes to fix those mistakes at the wrong time could potentially be the death of a tank. Once you get the hang of running around while casting, it gets hard to remember that you cannot run and cast on every fight!
- Tornadoes - Remember, you are only responsible for you in tornado phases. You cannot save stupid here, and you will likely kill yourself trying. If you are comfortable enough to toss out a heal or two, go for it. But do not risk your life because someone else got careless. You are number one in this phase of the fight and everyone else needs to be responsible for themselves. I will swap my LB to myself for this phase and Barkskin right as the tornadoes are spawning as an extra precaution.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions. Good Luck and Have Fun!
So, this weekend I saw Cowboys vs. Aliens. I will come out and say right now that the only redeeming thing about the movie was getting to see Daniel Craig in chaps for two hours. In fact I’d even go far enough to say that I got more enjoyment out of wiping to Alysrazor all night on Sunday than I did watching that movie. I mean, to be fair, I really didn’t have high expectations for the movie from the start. I mean, the concept just seemed…off to me. Be that as it may, even Brade rated it as “wait for video”!
We have been working on Heroic Alysrazor. Contrary to what my raid may believe, I find it a really fun fight, but that might just be because I get to run around and cast ALL my heals while doing so. Feathers own. Anyhow, we’ve been working on the encounter and have pretty much narrowed a kill down to “everyone surviving”. If people live, we will win.
We had a 7% wipe last night, after just a night and a half working on the fight.
People have died to any number of things during the fight. Worms, brushfire, tornadoes, meteors. You name it, someone in our raid has probably died to it. Unfortunately, a kill on the encounter will boil down to individual play and survival. If our raid can live, we will have a kill. If our raid cannot live, we will wipe.
We are sub 50% after the first burn phase. We are usually low 30’s for the second burn phase.
As a leader, I feel somewhat impotent on this encounter. It’s mildly frustrating to have nothing to offer your raid outside of “just please, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, stay out of the bad”. It’s not something that can be fixed on the macro level of the raid, but rather needs attention at the micro level of each player. Of course, after a few hours of the fight when I see someone die my inner monologue goes something like this: COME ON! I can bloodly well heal the tank, heal your brushfire eating ass, heal your tornado hitting ass AND still dodge the bad. WHY IS IT THAT YOU CANNOT DO YOUR JOB AND DO THE SAME?!?!? RAWR!!!
Of course, it’s just a few minutes after having such thoughts that I usually do something stupid and am forced to eat the words of my inner monologue. I guess that’s karma for you.
I think we will probably spend an hour or so with the fight tonight to see if we can net a kill out of her. We have a working strategy. We aren’t failing at the DPS check. So ultimately, it’s going to be up to each individual to determine our success. We will either get it done tonight, or we won’t. I’d like to think that we will – but I watched too many hours of people standing in the bad for it to be a sure thing ;)
Read the rest of this entry »
The third Firelands heroic that we tackled was Beth’tilac. It was a fairly fun fight to heal, and I definitely felt growth in how I approached healing it during our attempts leading up to the kill. For the encounter I am assigned to heal one of the spiderling/broodling DPS at their assigned cave. Of the three heroics we’ve done so far, I feel that this one has the biggest healing push as well as DPS push to get through it. It has challenging moments during phase 1, and takes literally everything you got by the end of phase 2. I had a lot of fun with the encounter, and I hope that you do as well!
Please note that this video will be best viewed at one of the higher resolutions.
A Few Notes!
- Barkskin – Even if it’s something that you regularly forget to use, you should be using it here. If for no other reason that to try and conserve some healer mana. Barkskin every time that Beth rains on the raid in phase 1, and then on cooldown in phase 2.
- Timing Haste Cooldowns – I touched on it very briefly in the video, but wanted to address it in more detail here. You should make every effort to time your haste cooldowns, when possible, for when you need more burst healing in the encounter. During the rain in phase 1, and anytime during phase 2. I like to start the fight with my SoW for my first WG and Rejuv on my soaker and myself going into my opening tranq and then coming out of the tranq activating NG to help stabilize the raid, even if it’s just a couple of GCDs worth of WG. Maximizing when you use that haste will be extremely helpful for this encounter.
- Managing Your Mana – I have yet to have any other encounter this tier that has taxed my mana they way this one has. I work very hard to try to manage my mana going into phase 2 so that I enter into it at at least 75%. I innervate after the first spew phase as soon as power torrent procs, and then on cooldown afterwards. I make a conscious effort not to heal more than needs to be done during the first phase. I use nourish as a filler on my soaker when I can get away with it, and even though it’s not the most effective use (hps wise) of efflorescence, I still rely on swiftmend to help get my soaker topped up because it’s cost effective and if he stays in the efflorescence, it’s cheap healing. I’m careful about how much rejuv I toss out in the first phase. I always pot. I usually use a mana potion, but I think I could probably sneak in a concentration potion early into phase 2. However, we have a number of healers who are hurting significantly more for mana than I am, so I usually yield that time for them to pot. By the end of the fight, all of your healers will be feeling the pinch.
- Tree of Life – I’m not 100% sure that I like my second ToL timing, and I’m still debating if it would be better to use that latter in the fight when you are more pinched on mana and Beth is hitting much harder. It’s a tough call because you want to conserve as much mana as possible early in phase 2, but there is still a fair bit of healing to be done. Which, ultimately, is why I opt for ToL at that juncture. I’m going to play around with moving where I use this cooldown in phase 2, and would encourage you to find a time in the phase that you think it fits your healing, and the needs of your healing team, best.
- The Healing – We use seven healers for this encounter. We’ve used any combination of our healing team while learning the fight. We send only two healers up to the web (a Holy paladin and a Resto Druid or Holy Priest), have one healer assigned to each of the three caves/soakers, and have two healers assigned to the drone tank/raid. When Beth spews on the raid in phase 1, everyone does what they can to help keep the raid alive. In phase 2, we have two healers on the tanks and the other five dealing with the raid damage.
- Communication – I cannot stress enough how important communication is for this encounter! Your broodling teams need to communicate with each other, as well as their back ups when they miss one, are focused by the drone, etc. If a broodling makes it to the raid during the spew, it’s likely that you are going to lose members of your raid. The best thing you can do is communicate. It’s equally important that your web team have strong communication as well. Your web tank should call out when he’s up, the web healers should communicate when they are up, and the DPS should only go up after those two things happen.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions! Good Luck and Have Fun!