Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~Albert Einstein
Archive for the ‘Raiding’ Category
Just a few quick musings today, as I seem to have run a bit short on time!
This past week has been fantastic on the raiding front. We snagged kills on both Heroic Al’Akir (10 man) and Heroic Nefarian (25 man). Not only that, but we somehow managed to pick up realm firsts for both kills, which is something I’m not sure we’ve really ever been able to claim before! And I would be remiss not to say that it was somewhat exhilarating watching the spam flash on my screen. Everyone was very excited about both kills, I just hope that it doesn’t go to people’s heads and we keep trucking along with clean, progressive play – egos firmly in check.
I do, however, have a few comments to offer on both of the encounters. Read the rest of this entry »
Conclave of Wind is the next encounter that I decided to tackle in video format! For this encounter, I am on Anshal’s (nature) and Nezir’s (frost) platforms, so you will not see any excitement from Rohash’s (wind) platform in this video. This video was taken pre-4.1, so you also won’t see any of the new toys or shorter cooldowns in use during the video. I am primarily tank healing again for this encounter, so it will be similar in perspective to my Halfus video. In addition to adding some notes below, I’ve also added a couple of notes into the video!
A friendly reminder that this video will be viewed best at one of the higher resolutions and in full screen, the notes added may not be readable at lower resolutions.
A few notes!
- Beru, why are you on the boring platform? To answer simply – because I put myself there! But in all honesty, I lead our raids which from time to time does have an effect on my play. I was concerned that I would not be able to give the appropriate attention needed for the wind platform while leading and would be a detriment to my raid over there. We also have a very competent healing team, and I knew that any of them would be up to the task! We usually use the a Holy Priest, Resto Shaman and Disc Priest on Rohash’s platform – but have also had a resto druid as part of that combination as well.
- How do you druid the Rohash Ultimate? Now, I have never had this responsibility, but as I understand it from the druid that does it regularly “it’s the easiest job in the fight”. Once Rohash tosses you into the air, you pop into ToL and put a 3 stack on both yourself and your partner in crime (we use a shadow priest who can disperse during the ultimate, but rogues work well too), along with rejuvs and swiftmend as necessary. As Rohash finishes his Ultimate and drops you, shift over into cat form to reduce your fall damage. Your priest will be levitating themselves. Wait for the calvary to arrive, and head back to Nezir’s platform.
- Why two people for Rohash’s Ultimate? The reason you want to place two people on Rohash’s platform for the ultimate is because it will mean there are more targets for him to select for Slicing Gale. This in turn means that one person won’t have 7 – 8 stacks by the end of the ultimate and there is a more even, and survivable, split of damage during (and after) the ultimate phase.
- When do you know it’s time to jump back to the wind platform? With good communication! There should always be communication about the status of the wind burst between those currently on the platform to those who are returning to the platform.
- WoL on Rohash’s Platform. While you are learning this encounter, it’s very beneficial to make sure that you have someone on Rohash’s platform uploading WoL so that you can determine exactly what is happening over there – as that is likely where most of your trouble with the encounter will be. If you are on the Nature/Frost platform your parses will not pick up everything from Rohash’s platform. We generally upload two different WoL each night we see this encounter: one from me, and one from Brade on Rohash.
- Mind those frost patches! Towards the end of Nezir’s ultimate, the raid should scatter so that your entire raid doesn’t eat a frost patch (as you see happen in the second ultimate that I am on Nezir’s platform). You will inevitably lose folks if this happens.
- What is your platform split? We use the following:
Anshal’s Platform: 1 Tank, 2 Healers, 1 Frost DK kiter, 6 DPS (combination of ranged and melee).
Rohash’s Platform: 3 Healers, 7 DPS (combination of ranged and melee, basically people who can navigate the platform well). One thing to note here is that to use 3 healers here, your DPS needs to be sufficient to bring the storm shield down. If they are slow, no amount of extra healing will help. You may need to consider 2 healers and 8 DPS on this platform, depending on your raid.
Nezir’s Platform: 1 Tank, 2 Healers.
I’ve put myself in a bit of a pickle. Not the friendly kind of pickle that you may have played with your coach during baseball practice, but rather the kind that you see in a world series game where the players are vicious and it’s only going to be resolved through a risk on the runner’s part or the baseman’s part. The kind of pickle that generally ends with the runner sliding into his base and a somewhat dubious call being made by the umpire that everyone will contest anyhow and will be analyzed in close up replays for the next four episodes of sportscenter.
A few weeks ago Brade and I began discussing Heroic Al’Akir, and more specifically were discussing how a lot of guilds were doing it on 10 man as opposed to 25 due to the relative ease of the encounter on 10 man. The pros to taking this approach were plentiful, including getting a set token that can be used for head/shoulders, and getting some experience with the encounter, which would be of benefit for everyone in the guild. We figured we could take in a solid group to learn the fight over a night or two, and then rotate people in for the fight until we were ready to tackle it on 25s. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve had several people ask me about the Al’Akir encounter in general, and I know that it’s a fight that has been a point of consternation for a number of guilds. As such, I thought I’d give a shot at a video guide for Al’Akir to see if folks found it helpful. I know that it’s not a hard mode video, but with so many guilds struggling or skipping the fight, I thought that it still might be relevant and helpful! Something that I did differently for this guide is that I added some text notes into the encounter for some of the things that I forget to mention in the audio, but think are important to know for the fight. They will be easiest to read if you watch the video in full screen at one of the higher resolutions. Just in case they are hard to read, or you can’t watch the video at a larger resolution, I’ve added the notes below as well
A few notes!
- Tranquility – I use tranquility in phase 2 as our stacks start to grow. However, it’s important to time when you utilize the spell so that you aren’t forced to move right as you start casting. I have found the best time to use tranquility to be right after a squall line passes, so that you know you will have time for the entire channel.
- Squall Lines – We have people call out where the gap is in the squall lines and which direction they are coming from. So, for example, “Right Back” would indicate that there is a squall line coming around from the right side and that the opening in the line is at the back of the line. Additionally, you can add the debuff “Squall Line” to your raid frames to track who gets picked up in the tornadoes.
- Movement in Phase 3 – I use “x” to move down (my sit button) and space bar to navigate up. This works well for me, but if “x” is an awkward or clunky key for you to use, consider rebinding your sit button to another key that is easier for you to navigate.
- Camera Angle in Phase 3 – I have found the easiest way to manage phase 3 is to adjust my camera so that it’s in line with me, and I’m looking at Al’Akir from the side. This allows me to easily judge if I am in the proper plane and if I am out of the lightning clouds.
- Lightning Rod – Raid members affected with lightning rod should move 20 yards to the left or right of the raid (never up, down, forward or backward!). Once the are out of the raid, make sure they receive heals for the duration of the debuff. We generally assign the tank healers from phase 1 and 2 to heal the lightning rod targets in phase 3.
Also, because I’m really pleased with how it turned out, have a sneak peek at an un-narrated (music) Heroic Omnotron Defense Council video! I should have the narrated guide ready later in the week
Halfus Wyrmbreaker is the next in my series of narrated Resto Druid guides. Halfus is probably the easiest of the thirteen hard modes in this tier of content, and is likely the first one that you will encounter. I’m actually tank healing for this fight, so it will have a slightly different perspective than the other videos that I’ve done to date. As always, I’ve added some additional notes below the video
A friendly reminder that this video will be viewed best at one of the higher resolutions, and either on YouTube or in full screen.
A few notes!
- Atonement – In before half the internet corrects me, atonement is FIFTEEN yards. I mistakenly indicated that it had a sixteen yard range in the video, so have everyone take one step closer.
- Hand of Protection – You heard me state that I received our “first Hand of Protection”. I forgot to mention that we HoP a healer for each roar – and if we are out of HoPs our paladins will bubble the roar.
- Power Word: Barrier – While this isn’t as vital as it was before they changed the mechanics of the encounter, it is still helpful to drop a PW:B under your tanks during the roars. (The tank tanking Halfus at the time of the roar should also utilize a cooldown as well).
- Four Dragons? – We only free four of the five dragons (we never free the one that stuns Halfus). We found that our damage was sufficient with just the 400% buff, and not having to worry about healing two tanks through the roars made them much simpler to deal with. However, there are benefits to having that last drake active, as the stuns to Halfus to mitigate a fair bit of damage. (Most people that I know that free him, don’t kill him, just free him after all of the other drakes are dead for the benefit of the stuns). You will have to decide which strategy works best for your raid team
On Being Completely Off-Topic – Most of today’s musings don’t have much of anything to do with WoW, so if you came here looking for something druid, or WoW, related you may want to check back tomorrow! Today I’m going to talk about the family of squirrels that have been living in the wall of our apartment.
This whole Squirrel Saga started back on April 1st – which is oddly fitting when you come to think of it. You see Brade heard what he thought was a squirrel fall down our chimney. We called the office to inform them that a live squirrel was in our chimney only to be repeatedly told “sorry, we can’t do anything about it until Monday”. After listening to it bang around and cry for 24 hours, we decided that “waiting until Monday” was insufficient.
The long story short – Brade and I ended up contacting someone to come out and remove the squirrel from the chimney. Only to find out that it’s not a squirrel that had fallen down our chimney – a momma squirrel had gotten into the wall behind the chimney and had nested. So there was now a momma squirrel and 3-4 baby squirrels living in the wall behind our chimney. The banging we heard were the baby squirrels moving around, and the crying we heard were them letting momma know that they were hungry.
Somewhat dissatisfied with how things had gone to date, we figured we’d just get it resolved quickly so that we can move along with our lives. Only that didn’t happen. Not only did that not happen, but on my first call with our apartment’s management the woman made me so angry that I immediately called Brade and told him that I wanted to move. I hate moving.
He told me to wait a day and see how I felt then.
So I waited a day. In fact, I waited over a week and a half to hear back from the apartment management (who was going to contact me “tomorrow”) on how they were going to resolve this issue. And still, we heard nothing from them. Finally Brade called them – deciding that almost two weeks was pretty much sufficient time for them to have gotten back to us. And after that phone call calm, level headed Brade called me to advise me that “that woman” (the apartment management) was “a piece of work”. Not only did she deal with him poorly – but she actually hung up on him. HUNG UP. On a four year tenant.
Many phone calls later, including a conference call with the apartment management and a conference call to the corporate office, everything is still pretty much unresolved. Well, that is not entirely true. Brade and I pretty much resolved to move. And now, 17 days after the original incident, our resolve to move is still pretty much the only thing that has been sorted out.
We went out this weekend and searched high and low for a new place to call “home” and were fortunate enough to find a new place (squirrel free! and with 24 hours maintenance 7 days a week!), where we will be moving at the end of May. (Oh God – the packing).
Why am I telling you this? Partly because the saga of the Squirrel has been dominating my life for the past 17 days. (No, really, it’s driving me nuts!). But mostly because I wanted to let you know that if I’m somewhat sporadic over the next month it’s because I’m packing, scheduling the appropriate appointments, and pretty much in a constant state of panic about the upcoming move.
If you email me, it may take me longer than usual to get back to you, so please don’t be offended! The same will probably go for replying to comments the closer it gets to our move date. Also if I seem grouchier than usual – don’t take it personally! Just blame the damn squirrels!
(Oh, I suppose there is some WoW thoughts after the break…if you’ve made it with me this far!) Read the rest of this entry »
Continuing on with the narrated guides for this tier of content, I asked several places what people would like to see next – and almost universally everyone responded with Maloriak. So I tackled Maloriak next, and you’ll find the video below. I actually think that I remembered most everything this time, but did realize that I forgot to give a note about healing assignments so I’ve again added a few additional notes below.
Another friendly reminder that this video will be viewed best at one of the higher resolutions, and either on YouTube or in full screen.
Just a few things to mention:
- Breaking Down the Healing Assignments - we assign two full time healers to the Maloriak tank, the same resto druid/holy paladin combo that you saw heal for Magmaw. We assign one healer responsible for keeping up the swill tank – who will also heal him while he’s tanking the aberrations (Usually a resto druid or shaman). And one healer to heal the second aberration tank (usually our disc priest). Both of the aberration healers also assist with healing the raid. We have three healer assigned full time to the raid, who will also assist with the Maloriak tank during Engulfing Darkness (usually a holy priest, resto druid and resto shaman). All of the healers help cross heal during key parts of the encounter as needed.
- Barkskin - this is another encounter where there are lots of optimal barkskin moments. Scorching Blast, Consuming Flames, Ice Blocks, anytime in phase 2.
I received a lot of positive feedback from my first attempt at a narrated guide (thank you, everyone!), so I’ve been working through some of the other encounters that I’ve taken footage for and have started adding commentary to them as well. The next encounter that I decided to tackle was Heroic Magmaw, and you’ll find the video below. As I did with the Chimaeron guide, I realized after I’d finished recording that I forgot to mention a few things in the commentary so I’ve added a few notes additional notes below.
Just a friendly reminder that this video will be viewed best at one of the higher resolution, and probably a tad larger. Because of the way wordpress auto embeds, I’ve yet to find a way to embed the videos in a larger viewing size.
A few notes that I forgot to mention in the video (one of these times I’ll say everything I mean to say!)
- Tree of Life – I mentioned that I use ToL fairly early in the encounter, but then don’t talk about when I utilize it after that. The answer is pretty much every time it comes off of cooldown, as long as we aren’t in a head phase. There is constant damage in the fight, so you will generally always be able to maximize using it.
- Barkskin – Something that I forgot to mention is that using barkskin for as many of the lava spews as you can will really help mitigate a lot of damage.
- Power Word: Barrier – While not druid related, I meant to mention that while our disc priests bubble the ranged and healers, we do drop barriers on the melee for lava spew as often as we can. This is a little less important since the hotfixes went in, as the melee are no longer in a constant state of being barbequed, but the mitigation is still extremely helpful!
I hope that you found the video helpful! Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any feedback or questions!
Last night I had my first date with Heroic Nef – and much to my disappointment, after 3 hours he rarely let me get past first base and made me buy dinner! Of course, after that date I am riddled with questions on what I (we) did wrong! Because I have so many questions that I’m trying to work through, and we barely had the chance to tickle phase 2 last night, this musings post is largely going to be a brain dump of my thoughts and questions. I’d love any feedback or insights that you may have and/or want to offer!
- One Crackle or Two in Phase 1? I’ve watched videos ad nauseam and the truth is – you see both pretty equally. Last night we had some pulls we pushed successfully with two crackles, but it was always very close. Conversely we had some pulls where Ony exploded. Something to consider is that we run 3 tanks (although our feral does some pretty beefy damage if he gets MC’d after he’s rounded up all the adds) and 7 healers (with our healing make up, I do not feel it’s reasonable for us to do it with 6 healers – and I believe our DPS is strong enough to support 7).
- Related to question 1 – if we take only one crackle will that negatively affect us in phase 3? I’m really concerned about pushing 81-83% of Nef’s health in phase 3. More specifically, I’m worried about keeping our kiter standing for that much of Nef’s health. Maybe I’m just being a nervous nelly about it – as DPS will only continue to increase as everyone grows more comfortable with managing the MC mechanic.
- Nef DPS vs. Ony DPS? How much do you allocate to each? I’m not entirely sure that we had it “right” last night – which means I’m not entirely sure that we can make an adequate assessment of our ability to push two crackles. I feel that we are missing something fundamental in when, how, and how much DPS to allocate to both Ony and Nef to facilitate the crackles. On our most successful two crackle pulls I moved 3 people to Nef as soon as he landed (2 hunters and a warrior), kept everyone else on Ony until she reached 50%, then had 6 DPS stay on Ony and everyone else switch to Nef.
- WTF is with Ony’s Threat? Seriously. I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, or if it’s something that we are doing that makes her go all weird – but we’ve had the following happen with any number of tanks that have tanked Ony: Tank jumps down, pulls Ony and starts to move her to position. Hunters/Rogues MD Ony into tank. Omen clearly shows that tank has threat on Ony. Ony doesn’t care that the tank has threat and bounces around as if threat is on several people. In fact, one time last night I had Ony threat – and she thought I was very tasty indeed. At the point I had threat, I’d done almost no healing outside of a LB stack and a rejuv on the tank. Do other people have this problem? Is it an issue with how she reads threat? Is it an issue with how she reads MD threat? WTF is going on with it?
- Are you spamming “2″ fast enough? I think we had some people far more successful with managing the MC buff than others. Those that were most successful mapped “2″ to their mousewheel down and just spammed that in addition to mashing their “2″ button. As we spent more time in phase 1, I definitely think people got better at handling this, which means their DPS increased, but I think some people still struggled. I have absolutely zero insight on this, as I break my MC as soon as it comes up. Anyone have tips on how to “mash 2 harder”? (And yes, we had traps/earthbind totems for everyone).
- To trinket or not to trinket? We’ve not made a definitive decision on this yet, but we have asked everyone to get their ass out to Tol’Barad and start working the dailys for tokens until we do decide. Last night, I’m not sure that we lost anyone to a crackle. We had a barrier and a raid wall to mitigate the damage – and even if we missed our barrier as long as people were topped up they survived. While I think that it would help mitigate damage, I’m not entirely sold on it being “necessary”. Things to consider: We will likely always have two disc priests and a raid wall – at worst we will have two of the three.
- Phase 2 healing? Even though we didn’t get a lot of phase 2 time last night, and the times we did get there we either blew people up or missed interrupts, the times we did get there had me question how to heal the phase. I’m wondering if it would be best to have a healer that focuses on the cinder people, and another that focuses on the non-cinder folks – cross healing as necessary. Does it need to be that dictated? Am I over complicating it?
Even though our date last night was a little lackluster, Nef did kindly ask me out again tonight. I’m hoping to spend more time in phase 2 tonight, which will, I’m sure, only create more questions! But to get there, I think I need to answer the first set of questions with regards to phase 1. I’m completely open to (and welcome!) any feedback and/or experiences that anyone may want to share