Archive for the ‘Strategy Planning’ Category

Monday Musings – Mistakes Edition   23 comments

Monday.  You know, I often ponder why everyone hates Monday so much.  Sure, it’s the start of a new week.  Sure, it means that the long haul to the weekend is just beginning.  But I think I’d love it if someone had a much more positive outlook regarding Mondays.  How about a TGIM button?  No?  Alright, fine.  I suppose instead I’ll offer my (somewhat) weekly brain dump here.  RIGHT AFTER I GO TO KINKO’S FOR TGIM BUTTONS FOR YOU ALL!

On Raiding and Mistakes

We did well this week, and I’m quite pleased with how we performed.  Mostly.  We snagged a heroic Shannox kill in roughly 10 pulls on Wednesday night and then started to put some work on Heroic Rhyolith Thursday evening.  It did not go as well as we’d have liked it to go, and it was clear that we needed to shore some things up in our strategy.  So there was lots of conversation about what to fix, how to fix it, etc.  And we decided that we’d take two hours of time on Sunday to continue working Rhyolith. Read the rest of this entry »

T-Minus Five   7 comments

Five Days. That is the amount of time I have until the mover arrives to cart all of my worldly belongings from point A to point B – leaving me to desperately stare at the boxes he leaves in his wake and hope beyond all hope that they will somehow magically unpack themselves.  Why am I telling you this? Because I want to explain why I will be somewhat sparse over the next week or so!

The craziness starts tomorrow.

Much to Brade’s chagrin, I have decided that the plain cream walls of the new apartment are insufficient for my needs, and I am going to be adding a few accent walls.  Which means painting.  Which is great – because it’s the kind of DIY (do it yourself) project that Brade’s parents love, and we get to couple some expert help with visiting with his parents.  It’s pretty much win/win.  I’m going to be adding a deep red wall to our living area and a gold wall to our spare room – and perhaps to our bedroom (shhhhh, don’t tell Brade about that third wall – he can’t do anything but groan once the paint is up!).

While the ladies are playing with paint, the gents have their own tasks…invovling power tools (hah hah hah – that is my Tim Allen grunt, by the way).  They are going to be bringing the television over and mounting it above the fireplace, as well as connecting all of the appropriate cords for our peripherals.  I have even purchased a lovely cord hider thingy from The Container Store so that the cords aren’t a huge mess all over our walls!

Once they’ve finished that project, they will be jaunting over to Home Depot to pick up our new Grill.  I enjoy grilling – and hopefully this one is small enough to satisfy Brade (Mr. “why do we need a grill that big”), and large enough that I can easily cook on it.  This, my friends, is supposedly how that whole “compromise” thing works.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

You see, I absolutely love to grill.  And you know what we will be having for dinner while we unpack on Sunday?  Probably McDonald’s.  But Monday or Tuesday, I’m going to light that sucker up and make some steak, potatoes and corn on the cob.  It will be delicious.  Trust me on that one.  This particular meal is one of my specialties 🙂

(I’m still trying to convince Brade that I need that cute little 3 piece patio set I saw at Home Depot while I was looking at grills.  I mean, a girl’s gotta have someone to rest her feet with a glass of lemonade while slaving away on dinner, right? RIGHT?!?!).

In addition Wednesday’s activities, we’ve still got to finish packing and get our mail changed (I swear, I meant to do this already).  I did, however, take my own advice and schedule our internet set up to occur before the move – which means that Saturday post 4 pm is going to be a night out for dinner and movies (assuming we’ve finished packing…).

Between tonight at 4:00 pm when I pick up the keys (ok…more like 9:00 pm after we finish our raid) and Sunday at 9:00 am when the mover arrives, we will no doubt be ferrying anything we’d prefer to move ourselves to the new apartment (Computers, China, USRD (useless shit requiring dusting – aka knick knacks).  Oh and buying more bubble wrap – you can never have too much bubble wrap.  Seriously.

So if you see less of me than you might expect this week, that is why!

In other, non-moving type (and more WoW related) news, Brade and I secured tickets to Blizzcon again this year and will be in attendance.  I’m looking forward to it, and I’m sure that I will blather on more about it as it gets closer to the date – and I’m not in the process of moving!

Monday Musings: One Crackle or Two Edition   5 comments

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!


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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 🙂

Posted April 11, 2011 by Beruthiel in Brain Dump, Hard Modes, Raiding, Strategy Planning

That Last 20%   13 comments

Last night after our 25 man raid, our 10 man group got back together for some more HM LK pulls. We had roughly 90 minutes of time before our Disc Priest had to go to work. This is the first time ever that we’ve gotten back to back pulls on this encounter without having at least a week in between pulls. Every week we’ve had progression, but last night we had something new: consistency. The morale of our raid, including mine, from Sunday night to last night got a huge (much needed) boost.

We took a total of 7 pulls, and 5 of those 7 made it into the final phase. This isn’t the first time we’ve made it into this phase, quite the contrary we’ve been here sporadically over the past 3 or 4 weeks, but this is the first time we’ve pushed into the phase consistently. We had 5 pulls in a row where we made it into that final phase. And of those 5 pulls, only one of them fell apart because someone (or three someone’s, to be exact!) died during harvest soul. Hell, we are making it through several Harvest Souls even!

So, what is killing us? Vile Spirits.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Fury of the Vengeful Shade   3 comments

Dear Vengeful Shade, how I loathe thee. Let me count the ways!

If you guessed that I’ve started working on Hard Mode Lady Deathwhisper, you’d be right! We spent about 3 hours on Wednesday night with the fine lady, and another 2.5 last night with her. It was a learning experience, for what is proving to be our biggest challenge in Ice Crown Citadel (outside of the Lich King) to date.

Our first night of attempts was largely spent working through actually getting to phase 2, which required a fair amount of tweaking to our strategy, and by the end of the night we were getting there fairly regularly. But we were rough on the transition from phase 1 to phase 2. Even so we still saw roughly 60% on our first night. We had 37 vengeful shade explosions.

In our second night of attempts we were fairly successful in making it to phase two, and by the end of the night had smoothed out the phase 1 to phase 2 transition. We saw somewhere around 55% in our best attempt. We had 69 vengeful shade explosions. However, it should be noted that we made it into phase 2 significantly more than the prior evening.

Now, you may think that is no big deal…because in normal mode, it really isn’t. But the fine lady, in her heroic iteration, has her takes out her vengeance not only on the player that the shade hits, but on everyone within 20 yards of that player. And that vengeance is to the toon of 20k damage!

Just because I need a sounding board and need to think through my thoughts, let me walk through what’s working for us, what’s not and what changes I think we are going to make next week with her. I do think with just a little more tweaking we will be set for a kill.

Read the rest of this entry »

Post Patch Day Thoughts   6 comments

Living on the West Coast has some significant advantages when it comes to patch day.  Most namely, the servers being live by the time I get off of work 😉  I did not have to sit around and wait for them to go live while twiddling my thumbs, which was nice.

I was able to get most of my mods updated, but I am still missing a few that I don’t know if there are updates for (anyone know if oRA2 updated?).  And for those using X-perl as your party and target frames, there is a fix for the “target” issue over on WoWAce, just download the most recent “beta” version, and you should be fine.

By the time I got logged in last night, the server had already been live for at least and hour, if not two.  We  had 40(!) people online in our guild.  Most of them were already taking advantage of the new 5 man zone, I was still working out all my mods.  In fairly short order, however, everything seemed to be functioning, and I seemed quite ready to raid. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted December 9, 2009 by Beruthiel in Ice Crown Citadel, Shadowmourne, Strategy Planning

Thoughts on 10 Man Hard Mode Anub’Arak with Healing Tips!   3 comments

I am going to start out these thoughts with something that it pains me to say because I am a huge proponent of finding a way to do an encounter without “stacking” your raid.  Monolith has always had an odd mish mash of players, and we’ve done all kinds of things that people have said “can’t be done” with those players because we have found a way to alter our strategy to work with what we had available to us. 

What I am about to say, I do not say lightly.  However, it is a fact that having the following two classes in your raid for this encounter will make the ease of learning this encounter increase significantly.  That is right, not just a little easier, but they make a large enough difference that I feel the need to be upfront and comment on it.  Those two classes are: a Holy Paladin and a Shaman of any flavor.  Sadly Beacon of Light and Bloodlust do make that much of a difference.

Can it be done without them?  Yes.  Is it significantly more difficult to do so?  Yes.

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down do the fight shall we? Read the rest of this entry »

Getting Grid Ready for Crusader’s Coliseum Week 4 – Twin Valkyrs   2 comments

For three weeks we have been challenged by new content in the Crusader’s Coliseum.  As we approach week 4, it is time to start thinking about how to prepare for our newest challenge:  The Twin Valkyrs.  This fight looks to be quite interesting and fun, and I am looking forward to it very much!

Spiritus over at tank spot has again done an analysis of how he thinks the encounter is going to work.  There is also a very good video of the 10 man version embeded in his link that is work watching.  I have also uncovered this video of the encounter that is worth a viewing.

Getting GRID Ready

There are a few abilities that should be considered bring added to GRID to assist with tracking what is happening with the encounter (please keep in mind that at this point, this is mostly speculation, and that you may need to update or make changes based on your own experiences with the encounter):

  • Touch of Darkness – Will cause damage to the affected player and those around him (speculated) under the effect of Light Essence.
    • Light Essence will absorb light essence and deal bonus damage to dark targets.
      • You may want to track this so that you know who may potentially be taking extra damage from Touch of Darkness.  This may end up being information overload, however, and you may not want to see all this information.
  • Touch of Light – Will cause damage to the affected player and those around him (speculated) under the effect of Dark Essence.
    • Dark Essence – Will absorb Dark Damage and deal bonus damage to light targets.
      • Like the Light Essence, you may want to track this so that you know who may potentially be taking extra damage from Touch of Light.  This may end up being information overload, however, and you may not want to see all this information.
  • Twin Spike– I am not entirely certain if this will be a debuff on the tank, or a buff on the mob.  I will be adding it to my GRID on the first night just to be safe, as if it is a debuff on the tank, it will be important to know.  However, I do suspect that this will be a buff to the mob.
  • Empowered Darkness and Empowered Light – You may want to consider adding these to Grid to know who has what debuffs, although it looks like players are visually marked on their characters to reflect this.  I suspect that it will be more information than you need to see in your UI, and I will probably not be adding it to my GRID…however if I do, I will add it as a corner box.

A Few Notes of Import for Healers

There looks to be a few things that healers are going to want to be aware of throughout the course of the encounter, as extra healing will be required:

  • Power of the Twins – This buff will increase the damage dealt by 30% and allow the twins to dual wield for 15 seconds.
    • What this means as a healer is that your tank will not only be getting hit harder, but with more frequency.  You will want to make sure that you are aware of this buff so that you can boost the healing that you are doing to your tank.  You may also want to rotate tank/healer cooldowns for this.
  • Dark Vortex and Light Vortex – Will cause ~6000 damage every second for 5 seconds
    • The raid should be “attuning” themselves to avoid this damage, however healers should be ready to heal if a tick or so of this gets to anyone in the raid.
  • Surge of Darkness and Surge of Light – Will cause 1500 damage every 2 seconds to dark/light enemies.
    • While most of this should be mitigated via interrupts (I think!), be ready for someone to be slow and need some extra healing.
  • Unleashed Dark and Unleashed Light –  Will cause ~13000 damage to enemies within 8 yeards.
    • Tanks and healers may want to rotate cooldowns for this as it happens.  Raid healers should be ready to top off the melee after this ability is used.
  • Twin Spike – Will cause 100% weapon damage and increase damage taken by 20% for 15 seconds.
    • Another ability that healers will want to be aware of, and perhaps use cooldowns to help make healing a bit easier.

I hope that this is helpful for everyone that is facing this encounter over the next few days.  I will update this post with any changes, thoughts or suggestions that I have after I have some first hand experience 🙂

Have Fun and Good Luck!

Getting Grid Ready for Week 3 Crusader’s Coliseum – Faction Champions   4 comments

Oh boy!  This one is a doosey!  You hate PvP?  You hated that third boss in Magister’s Terrace?  That will be your tough luck, unfortunately!  The third boss in the Crusader’s Coliseum appears to be a flat out arena event, in which you must use your team prowess to beat the other team.  There really isn’t a lot you can do to prepare for this, other than to think of a general strategy (i.e. Kill/CC healers first), and be ready to deal with any of the combinations that you are confronted with, as you will never receive the same combination two weeks in a row.  Each guild will need to find their stride and what works best for them.  We will probably run 7 healers (as that is what we took for Jaraxxus), and try to heal through the DPS while we take out the healers.  One key thing that will be extremely important is teamwork, and making sure that everyone works on their assigned target.

I did find a couple of videos on the Faction Champions encounter, but they will be of limited help in preparing for tomorrow.  However, they are still worth taking a look at to see what happens during the fight.  The video in the second link shows the champions encounter towards the end of the video.

I will be focusing on the Horde NPCs, as I am a horde player, however the alliance do have their own set of mirrored NPCs as well.  Both sets of NPCs can be found here.  (Per my edit at the bottom, the NPCs listed currently are the ones that the alliance will face.  The Horde will face the mirrored alliance ones).

The Horde NPCs are as follows:

  • Death Knight –  Gorgrim Shadowcleave
  • Druid (Moon Chicken)  – Birna Stormhoof
  • Druid (Healer)  – Erin misthoof
  • Hunter Ruh’kah – with lion
  • Mage  – Ginselle Blightslinger
  • Paladin (healer) – Liandra Suncaller
  • Paladin (ret) – Malithas Brightblade
  • Priest (healer)  – Caiphus the Stern
  • Priest (shadow)  – Vivienne Blackwhisper
  • Rogue – Maz’dinah
  • Shaman (caster) – Thrakgar
  • Shaman (melee) – Broln Stouthorn 
  • Warlock – Harkzog – with felhunter
  • Warrior – Narrhok Steelbreaker

These NPCs appear to have all of the abilities that we have as players, and they use them.  They appear to be able to be contained by CC, however it would also be prudent to assume that they are equally effected by diminishing returns.  Tanks from the PTR have reported that they are “un-tankable”, meaning that they do not have a set agro table, however if their AI is similar to that in Magister’s Terrace, all of the pets are tauntable and tankable.  This is not confirmed, however, and everyone should give it a try as you are first matched up!

Also note that the NPCswill use all of the abilities given to them.  So yes, that healer that you are working down will likely receive a Hand of Protection as his life gets low.  That shadow priest may use dispersion to mitigate some of the damage she’s taking.  The shaman will bloodlust (it must be removed immediately!  Purge, Mass Dispel, Spell Steal).  The mage will sheep, and the warlock will likely banish.  You need to think outside of the box and be ready for anything.

So…the title says “Getting Grid Ready” for this mess.  Well, how in the heck are you supposed to do that?!?!  Easy!  Make sure that you have any and all debuffs set up to make sure you can see what is going on.  Some people may find it easier to use colors for all of this rather than raid icons, so that they only have to worry about “magic” “disease” “curse” etc.  However, it is going to be important that you are aware of how your team mates are afflicted!  Here is a non-exclusive list of potential maladies that I was able to think to add, I have highlighted some of what I feel may be the more important ones:

Ice Nova
Hammer of Justice
Ice Trap

Entangling Roots
Psychic Scream
Any Kind of Poison
Flame Shock
Shadow Word: Pain
Power Word: Shield
Sacred Shield

Curse of Tongues
Any kind of Disease

If you can think of anything that I have forgotten, or have any additional thoughts or ideas, please do not hesitate to let me know!  Remember to think unconventionally and creatively to deal with this encounter!

Good Luck Everyone and Have Fun!

edit!  So…I am a total noob (what else is new?) and the faction champions listed above are indeed the “Horde” champions.  What I failed, in grand fashion, to realize is that those are the champions that the alliance will be challenged with, not the horde 🙂  I will update the alliance champions to my list tomorrow!

Posted August 17, 2009 by Beruthiel in Crusader's Coliseum, Grid, PvP, Raiding, Strategy Planning

How Matticus Saved My Sanity (aka Helpful Info on Northrend Beasts!)   5 comments

You all remember my panic from yesterday, right?  Well, since the patch hit today, I’ve decided to embrace it and take the bull by the horns.  I started searching for anything and everything that I could find regarding the first encounter in the coliseum, in my attempt to prepare for my raid to face the Northrend Beasts tomorrow night.  (If the servers are stable, I imagine Monolab will go into the 10 man for some exploration tonight).

I read through all of their abilities many times and started making notes on potential ways to deal with them, adding questions I had on what I read, and different things that might be worth attempting.  There is a surprisingly small amount of information on the encounters currently available, which makes the strategy planning part of the raid kinda fun, but puts my OCD self very much on edge.

And then I found this (spoiler warning, don’t click if you don’t wanna know).  If you have not discovered it yet, I would whole heartedly recommend trekking over and giving it a once over.  There is some wonderful information available, with healing advice, to give you a jumping point on the encounter, as well as a video of the encounter (which is rare!).  I certainly will be sharing it with our raiders before tomorrow night!

Dear Matticus, if you make it over to my small corner of the world, I would like to say thank you so much for putting the time and effort into putting the write up together.  You have no idea how much calmer I feel after having read your thoughts (and realizing that I was spot on in some of my thinking, and not so spot on in others!).

Good Luck Everyone as you enter the Coliseum!!!