One messed up spec…

So I’m currently, are you ready for this…


So disturbing.

I’m trying it out with regards to Yogg for the Sacred Cleansing, Divine Sacrifice and Guardian’s Favor. Not sure if there’s a difference yet due to the Cleansing, but I’ve used BOP, er, hand of protection, a lot more than previously. Haven’t used Divine Sacrifice yet, though.

Currently at the 2h6m mark of our “mega-raid”.

Still not out of Phase 2 on Yogg and Razorscale is down, but it was oogly.

And so it begins.

Prior to leaving my dear Apotheosis, I wondered if I could do the cog-in-the-machine/minion thing. After being GM for over a year and being one of the primary raid leaders for the entire time Apotheosis was a guild (and then before that, in Fated Heroes), I had to reasonably ask myself the following question.

Can I really be just another pawn in a raid leader’s arsenal?

I thought the answer was yes. I know for a fact that I do not want to lead raids. I know for a fact that, given raid leaders who know what they’re doing and raiders who do what they’re told, I would be quite happy.

The problems arise in two situations.

1) Raiders don’t do as they’re told. I’ve mentioned this before, but our interrupters are terrible. Horrible! I don’t even understand how someone can fail so much, so often, much less a WHOLE GROUP OF THEM. So when people are obviously failing, I get cranky and I try to figure out where the issue is. I’m okay with this. I write detailed explanations of our areas of weakness and point them out to the officers and, honestly, I like it. It makes me feel like I’m doing something to help the guild.

2) The raid leader isn’t succeeding in his or her role. This is what I have a problem with. If I’m being led “properly”, that’s cool. I’m more than happy to sit back, relax and chill out, doing what I’m told to do. If I’m not being led “properly” or efficiently or whatever, that’s when MY inner raid leader starts twitching.

I’m willing to give anyone who’s leading me a fair amount of free reign. If someone is in the position of raid leader, I usually assume they’re there for a reason. I assume that they know their shit, that they have control over the raid group and that the raid group has at least a modicum of respect for the leader.

The relationship between a raid leader and a raid group is a very interesting one, in my not-remotely-humble opinion.

On the one hand, the raid leader has to trust that his or her group will be doing what is asked of them. So, as a raid leader, you want a group of people who will follow your instructions, even if they don’t quite understand what it’s for. But you also want people who will think a little bit independently, who will decurse without being told to, who will interrupt various casts without instructions to do so.

For a raid group, though, you want Superman to be your raid leader. No joke, no kidding. If your raid leader is a solo raid leader who doesn’t rely extensively on his or her support group of officers/role leaders, you want Superman. The best raid leader is one who SEEMS to be on top of everything on every aspect of the fight. I honestly don’t know if that’s possible.

I know that when I was a raid leader, there were certain fights where I micro-managed EVERYTHING. Every single aspect of the fight. Like Vashj. I knew everything about that encounter and assigned people to their tasks and by golly, I KNEW exactly how and where and why people would fuck up and I would retool the strategy if it was consistent. But I disgress. That kind of encounter, where ALL of it was on my shoulders, was rare.

Take Kael, for example.

I knew the fight very well. But I didn’t micro-manage it. Instead, I let my DPS officers figure out a good order for the weapons. I chimed in that the mace and staff needed to go down quickly, but it wasn’t me who decided that just the hunters would work on the bow or that the shield would be tanked over there or any of that. It wasn’t me who decided which tank was on which add or weapon. We had our fury warrior (also an officer — really, this was a great fight for him to lead) DPS-tanking the mace to get it down quicker.

Sure, I’m the one who then assigned healing, and I helped our warlock tank out in tanking Capernian — and I healed the living crap out of her, too — but the distribution of weapons wasn’t up to me.

But to the raid, it seemed like we were a well-oiled machine. If someone asked a question, the person who was in charge of organizing that would answer. If someone was unsure about healing, I jumped in. It was a really great team effort.

And because of that, that’s basically how we did things from then on. We’d actually started doing that in Hyjal, to be honest, because I was NOT good at sitting down and figuring out how to deal with each wave. Our fury warrior officer was amazing and quick on his feet, and he knew exactly how to deal with each wave as it happened. So he handled that. Our prot pally officer dealt with tank/raid positioning most of the time. I handled Archimonde positioning, but really, I was very hands-off for Hyjal, except for healing. Same thing for BT, with the exception of Naj’entus. I always organized groups so people would have a frost aura/totem and a healer in the groups and we were all spread out.

I’m rambling and nostalgic, but my point here is that I didn’t even pretend to do it all on my own for most of our raids after, you know, Magtheridon. I was usually the person who had the long-winded explanations, but honestly, it was a team effort.

All of this is being written because I’m seriously questioning my current raid leader’s wisdom in various decisions. All’s well and good when we’re progressing, but the Hyjal thing had me lose confidence in him. We have a “mega-raid” scheduled for tonight, from 6-12:30 and I’m dreading it, but I’ll show up, because I’m a dedicated member of the guild. Honestly not sure if the raid will even happen, because our healers are mostly unavailable. But I imagine we’ll give it a shot even if they’re missing.


I’m speechless.

We just wasted an hour of raid time by doing Mount Hyjal because the RL had the genius idea to do Archimonde to teach us all a lesson about Yogg-Saron clouds.

I nearly /gquit.

General, Yogg and nostalgia…

Been raiding, but I haven’t been playing much. Other stuff is more interesting these days. I think that stems from the fact that my *friends* who play WoW are scattered around various servers.

Anyways, another reset come and gone and another reset without killing Yogg. We have some fights that keep kicking our asses — Thorim’s given us trouble, Mimiron’s pissing us off, and even General is being annoying.

My poor old guild, Apotheosis, had some failings. It did. I’ll be the first to admit it. But one thing our members could do was freaking interrupt casts. Maybe it was how we did Aran back in the day or something, but our melee was fan-fucking-tastic at interrupting things. Of course, our resident gnome DPS warrior, whom we affectionately called Football, was absolutely amazing at his role, which helped. Our enhance shammies were very good and, when we HAD a rogue in the fight, all of them could be relied upon to kick when needed.

So it stuns me when we’re standing there on General and there’s a DK tank, 1-2 DPS warriors, 1 enhance shammy, 2 rogues and a DPS DK standing there and Searing Flames gets off. I mean, really. We even have to have our mage as a backup. Where is the difficulty in watching the cast bar and not using a global immediately before the cast so you CAN interrupt it? It’s a two second cast. It’s not like it’s instant, it’s not like it’s half a second.

Yogg attempts are… interesting. We’ve only had a few ventures into Phase 2, but we’re still getting used to it, I guess. Worst thing ever is people standing in green clouds. This is the part of Ulduar where I’m mostly glad I’m not leading my old guild through it, because we would spawn a zillion extra adds and I AM NOT JOKING. Weird that I’d pay money to have my old guild with me on Vezax and yet I know that we’d spawn too many adds on Yogg to ever reliably get out of phase 1.

And speaking of Apotheosis, it was formed on June 1st, 2007, just over two years ago. Our first Vashj kill was on June 2nd, 2008. I need to finish up the retrospective (of this past year) when I have a chance. Some amazing moments in the eight months we raided/played together before things went to hell.

At the same time, I MUST not be overly nostalgic, because then I’ll start thinking about getting the old crew back together and that MUST NOT HAPPEN because I’ll just be way too stressed out again and it will not be as awesome as I thought it would be, but they’re my friends and I’ll feel obliged to suffer through not being able to kill Thaddius again. Or something.

But it’s still nice to remember the good times.

Off to go figure out where our epic failure on Mimiron was last night. 14 wipes. Eesh.

Woot. (Ulduar Reset 6, Night 2)

Went in, did Hodir (1-shot), Thorim (3-shot — with a new tanking tunnel situation) and Freya (1-shot) and then worked on General Vezax.

Got him DOWN.

Most hilarious part of the raid: someone asked if I’d gotten a GM to hack my account and add more mana to my mana pool. Why? I had 30989 mana while raid buffed with:

Flask of Distilled Wisdom, Blessing of Kings, Improved Mark of the Wild and Arcane Intellect.

Then I switched my gear around: T8 chest, 4-pc T7.5, Greaves of the Rockmender, plus my Figurine – Sapphire Owl (with 2×16 int) and… the pièce de resistance… the Pendant of the Violet Eye. That’s right. From my very first Aran kill. Of course, I’m also a JC, so I have 3×27 int gems in various spots in my gear and I’m an alchemist so instead of 65 int from the flask, I get about 98 intellect, with help from Mixology AND Divine Intellect.


So that’s two new bosses in two nights. Things are going well, progression-wise. Yogg-Saron next. It’ll be nice to get Sara to shut the hell up. She’s more annoying than Jaina was.

In other news, some old friends from Apotheosis have made alts on my new server and so I’m transferring my shammy over before she’s hit 77. She’s, uh, still 70. /sigh

But she brings with her a ton of Northern Spices, some gems, a frozen orb, some odds and ends, and 1400g. Not that my pally really needs more money, but it’ll go towards getting the shammy epic flying and cold-weather flying at 77.

Ulduar, Reset 6, Night 1 (plus some bitching)

We didn’t get Mimiron on Monday night. We wiped 23 times on Mimiron on Monday and didn’t get him.

So Tuesday, the goal was to hit Flame Leviathan, XT-002 Deconstructor, Kologarn, Auriaya and then focus on Mimiron until it got *done*.


Keepers of Ulduar, bitches. That’s right, Mimiron down. And it only took us six tries tonight! Granted, that’s about … well, it’s more attempts than I want to add up, in total. But Mimiron DOWN.

I spent half the fight dead on the ground. The ONLY Rocket Strike I have taken on that fight, EVER, and it happens on the kill, as I’m running back to my spot from Laser Barrage! I was watching Grid and auto-running towards my spot and by the time I noticed where I was and tried to strafe left to get out of it as fast as I could, it landed on me.

So Mimiron went down, then we did Razorscale, Ignis and Iron Council. So that’s 8 bosses in one night, which is pretty fun. Also fun?


Just rackin’ up achievements. :)

Continue reading “Ulduar, Reset 6, Night 1 (plus some bitching)”

Ulduar, Reset 5, Nights 2-3.

Maybe I should just do a weekly wrap-up or something…

Then again, I’m having to check wowwebstats to figure out what we DID on nights two and three. The ol’ brain just ain’t what she used to be.

Oh, okay, so Iron Council, Kologarn, Auriaya, Thorim, Hodir and Freya. Righto.


Did six tries on the ol’ Iron Council with Runemaster Molgeim last instead of Stormcaller Brundir last. True, all our tanks were dead, along with oh, 75% of the raid (at least), but we got it on the sixth one! It’ll be less sloppy next time. Me and my priest buddy were on the Steelbreaker tank and he did a great job keeping her up while I cleansed Fusion Punch. Good teamwork. :D

Kologarn was pretty easy, though it was the first time E (the priest) had ever done it. It only took us two attempts, which isn’t too shabby.

Auriaya was a one-shot. They’ve nerfed the living crap out of her and that makes me a sad panda. That said, the priests in my guild love me and keep giving me fear ward. <3

So all that was Wednesday, in the span of about 75 minutes, maybe 85.

And thus commenced the wipes on Thorim.

Thorim. On whom we’d had a perfect kill last week, with 0 deaths. (Or, at least, everyone was up at the end.) Thorim. On whom we had 11 wipes on Wednesday and STILL didn’t kill him.

And then, on Thursday, we had another 5 attempts before we killed him on the sixth.

I would not NEARLY be so frustrated if it weren’t for the fact that I kept losing my damn tank in the tunnel. I solo-heal the tunnel and have done so since our first week of attempts on Thorim. Granted, I hate being the tunnel bitch, but our holy priest can’t handle it, either by himself or with a resto druid helping. ><

But I didn’t understand WTF was going wrong. It just seemed like the tank, a DK, was taking obscene amounts of damage.

The DK is generally blood DPS. But he was speccing Frost as his dual spec in order to OT for us. Last week and the week before, anyways. This week, he was blood. 45/5/21.

I’m not a death knight. My DK is level 58 and sits in Stormwind as a glorified bank alt. So I REALLY don’t know what’s available to DKs. But it seems to me that a deep frost build has SO many more things to help mitigate damage than the blood spec he’s got.

I mean, Vampiric Blood and Bloodworms are nice, but they’re no Frigid Dreadplate, Improved Frost Presence or Unbreakable Armor. And Vampiric Blood and Bloodworms are procs or abilities to use, instead of a static 3% less chance to be hit, instead of a flat 2% reduction in damage.

I’m not sure that’s the case, though. I’ve been playing with a spreadsheet to compare the numbers. I wish I were kidding. It LOOKS like, on the mini-bosses in the tunnel, at least, that while tanking as Frost, the DK took anywhere from 40%-60% of the damage he took while tanking at Blood.

Runic Colossus (frost vs. blood):

54k vs. 157k

67k vs. 104k

61k vs. 89k

102k vs. 92k

And the Ancient Rune Giant (frost vs. blood):

30k vs. 95k

115k vs. 157k

100k vs. 174k

Anything could really explain those numbers — who was in the group? Did I get Hand of Sacrifice on him? Was Sacred Shield up? Etc. The sociologist in me is smacking myself for drawing conclusions on such a small sample. So I’m gonna finish comparing some numbers and hopefully they will support me as I petition my RL to make the DK go back to Frost tanking in the damn tunnel.

Right, so Thorim eventually died. :)

On to Hodir! It went well, just a couple of attempts. And he dropped two T8 chests, as he is prone to doing. So I got my Conqueror’s Aegis Tunic. I need to juggle my gear severely. I picked it up because I was using my Heroes’ chest, with Valorous shoulders, gloves and legs to get my pretty, pretty 4pc set bonus, while still using my Ancient Iron Heaume. Now, I’m thinking I’ll swap the Heaume out for my T7.5 helm, put on my T8.5 chest and maybe even go back to the Poignant Sabatons so as not to lose *too* much haste. But the 8.5 chest is just SO much stronger than the 7.10 chest.

Compare the Heroes’ Redemption Tunic and the Conqueror’s Aegis Tunic.

I mean, 17 int, 60 crit, 30 spellpower, but 60 less haste, just at base. Which hurts, which is why I’m wearing the Poignant Sabatons again. But with the yellow gem socket, that means I can drop a 16 int gem in there, which is another 8 int compared to the Luminous Monarch Topaz I’ve got sitting in my Heroes’ chest. So 17+8 = 25 more int than the Heroes’ chest, with 60 crit, 30 spellpower. Uh, yeah. That’s an upgrade. Except it almost isn’t.

Sigh, I have got to learn to do my math before picking things up.

T8 chest, T7 4-pc with Poignant Sabatons:
1304 int
2178 spellpower
30.14 crit
470 haste

T7.1 chest, Heaume and Poignant Sabatons:
1289 int
2154 spellpower
28.99 crit
596 haste

T7.1 chest, Heaume and  Greaves of the Rockmender
1309 int
2151 spellpower
29.5 crit
541 haste

I’m pretty much better off with the Heroes’ chest, the Heaume and the new boots too, aren’t I? Less spellpower and crit, but more haste and int, which will lead to more throughput.

Still, I had to get the chestpiece at some point, and because it’s purchasable with Emblems of Conquest, there was very little competition for it when it dropped. It was me and another holy paladin. I don’t mind paying DKP since I go to virtually every single raid. I can save my emblems for stuff that there IS competition for. Still, I feel a bit bad that I snagged that when my current combination was working pretty well.

Note to self:

Pallymar’s Ulduar BiS Post


are to be checked out before the raids so you know what you’re aiming for. I was a lot more organized for Naxx, Sarth and Maly, to be honest.

Anyways. Speaking of Emblems of Conquest…


Woot. Got that as we killed one of Freya’s adds.

Then we decided screw it, we’d just clear to Mimiron to get started on attempts right away on Monday and then we went to Emalon, whereupon I got the T7.5 prot gloves, I think. Something, anyways. Free of charge, due to it being the previous tier. I really should grab E and go tank something with him healing me. Just to practice a little.

Anyways, no raid this Saturday because of the long weekend in Canada (Happy Victoria Day!) and we head back in to Ulduar tomorrow night for some FUN TIMES with Mimiron. Hah, I can’t wait for E to see how often we can die in one night.

Relatedly, I will be seriously annoyed if we kill Mimiron and Pandora’s Plea drops and I can’t get it because I don’t have the DKP for it. I have been drooling over that trinket since 3.1 was on the PTRs.

Ulduar, Reset 5, Night 1

So, Mimiron didn’t die on Monday. Still not entirely sure what the reason for the suckage was, but there was definite suckage going on.

That said, they made me an officer. My friend Majik tells me that I fail at being mediocre. I blame my all-girls, private school education, which had a focus on leadership. I had no idea I had leadership skills until a few years ago, but hey, apparently I do and apparently they’re not all that rusty.

“While we wait, I have a quick announcement. I’m happy to welcome a new person to our Officer corp. She has exhibited exemplary skills and will be a strong asset to the Guild leadership.”

Anyways, that was Monday.

Tuesday, the RL decided to go after FL with towers up — hard mode. So we spent about an hour and a half or so working on +2 towers (Mimiron’s and Thorim’s) before just ruining Mimiron’s tower and doing +1. And I did it in a siege engine, completing my 3-car garage achievement. Woot!


Then we tried 4-minute Ignis, also known as Heroic: Stokin’ the Furnace, without a ton of success. So we just killed him after about 8 or 9 attempts and then went across to kill Razorscale. After that 1-shot, we had a couple tries on XT before getting him down and called it there.

And then, one of my old healers from my old guild got an invite to my new guild. He’d applied a couple days ago and we’d had the interview on Monday evening, and he transferred over last night. I cannot describe the awesomeness of  having another healer there that I know I can trust. Healing is definitely a weak spot in my current guild and I hope to help fix that… but having this particular healer with us will make a huge difference to my own personal attitude, primarily because he is AWESOME and also because I know how he heals and he knows how I heal. That familiarity is going to be nice — I won’t have to watch his targets out of the corner of my eye, nor will I worry about him missing Pain Suppression.

In fairness to the healers in my current guild, I trust two of the priests a lot, but it’s just not been the same as my old group 4 from Apotheosis. I mean, there was me, this priest, a resto shammy, another paladin (usually) and sometimes a resto druid or another priest. Group 4 was the healer group, usually. And it was fun! We bonded. Group 4 represent! Never mind that this priest is the ONLY member of Group 4 I still speak to… It’s nice to have an actual friend over there.

I feel moderately bad that he’s come over to my new server, though. I left behind a lot of friends on ET, people I’d played with for years. I really needed a fresh start and to establish myself as a healer, not as a raid leader or officer or GM. And I still feel bad about leaving the server and all those people. So that my guild is an opportunity for this priest makes me feel like I poached him, although I didn’t. He told me he wasn’t happy in his current raiding guild and wanted a place that approached it a little more like a job, and was my guild recruiting?

Given that our weak spot is DEFINITELY the healers, I asked him if he was sure, then told the recruitment officer about the possibility. Then he apped and the members were like “interview immediately” and “not sure why he’s got spirit when he’s disc, but other than that, looks good” and stuff. We had his interview and he was offered a spot and that was that.

Hopefully he’ll get into the raid tonight. I’d love to heal with him as soon as tonight. I imagine he’d be on the Steelbreaker tank with me, on the active Kologarn tank with me and I might see if we can get him to run the tunnel on Thorim, although he’s never done it before. Well, that might be a little mean. ;) Really, a holy priest would be ideal for the tunnel with all the prayer of mending, renew, shield, CoH goodness. But I don’t have that many issues, personally, and even a disc priest would have more mobility than me.

Anyways, I ramble, therefore I am.

OH, and at least ONE of my guildies has discovered this blog. I’m kind of glad I’ve left all kinds of names out of my various bitchings. ;) /wave to M. ;)

Still so, so strange…

How long is it going to take before I realize that Sundays are off-days in this guild? I’ve been a member for two months and a bit and I STILL feel like Sundays are a raid day.

I blame the, oh, two years in which my Sundays were always dedicated to my old guild. Officer meetings, raids, office hours, etc.

Anyways, not much new to report from Wednesday (except that I was in the tunnels on Thorim and that our kill was perfect with 0 deaths, as opposed to 21 deaths last week) and that Mimiron can kiss my ass. It was my birthday on Thursday, so I didn’t raid, but apparently that’s the overwhelming sentiment with regards to Mimiron on Thursday, too. Guess we’ll have a fun night with him on Monday.