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.

heroic-molgeim

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.

http://www.wowhead.com/?talent#j0EGqc0Iof0rosZ0xZ0xhhxck:pGi

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

and

CharDev.org

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…

50-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!

heroic-3car

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.

/facepalm /headdesk /sigh

I really, really, really need to stop logging raids and then going through the parses.

I really do.

Why?

Because it makes me angry.

Last night on Hodir, I set up a Blessing of dammit! Hand of Sacrifice/Pain Suppression rotation for the Frozen Blows portion of the fight.

It would go thusly:

First Frozen Blows: Me

Second: Prot Pally in Healing Gear

Third: Holy Paladin

Fourth: Disc Priest

Fifth: Guardian Spirit or back to me if HoSac was on CD, then restart the whole thing.

I’m going to say that I wasn’t perfect on the night. I wasn’t. I accidentally hit a priest with Hand of Sacrifice on a Flash Freeze instead of the tank on Frozen Blows on an attempt. I laughed at myself for that one, but kept the damn tank up when FB came on.

But… looking at the parse… Oh, God, why do I torture myself?

Log parse below the cut.

Continue reading “/facepalm /headdesk /sigh”

Ulduar, Reset 3, Night 4 & Reset 4, Night 1.

I REALLY have to make the effort to update this after every raid night, because they really do start to blur together…

We got Freya on Monday. She wasn’t too bad, once people realized they couldn’t kill all of one kind of a mob all at once. They did that the first attempt and blew the raid to smithereens.

Then we worked on Mimiron.

Trash to him isn’t great, but the tram is fun. The worst part of Monday night was, just before our last attempt, the numbskull of a tank decided to pull the bombs just outside of Mimiron’s room INTO THE GROUP who had ALREADY gotten past them. Blowing us up. And then he laughed about it. SIGH. I told the RL that if that guy pulled that shit again, I’d leave the raid. So I hear on vent “enough screwing around” etc. And then I wrote back to the RL “no, not just tonight. I will leave the raid if he does that shit EVER AGAIN.”

“Oh.”

I understand having fun, but purposely wiping the raid is the lamest of the lame.

Anyways, Mimiron to phase 3, nearly phase 4, on the first night of attempts. Not too shabby.

Of course, last night was Tuesday, so it was back to Flame Leviathan and everyone else.

Last week, they killed Ignis after I had to leave the raid, so when we did him last night, I got two achievements:

heroic-hotpocket

heroic-siege

That’s always nice. :)

We did FL, IG, RZ, XT, Iron Council, Kologarn, Auriaya and Hodir. 8 bosses. No wonder I was so exhausted I nearly fell asleep while trying to write this up last night.

When Hodir died, the priest lead wasn’t in the raid. Which is good. Why? A Fragment of Val’anyr dropped.

And guess who’s second in the guild for the crafting? That’s right. Me.

fragment1

So, hooray for that, I guess. Now that I have one, they basically HAVE to keep giving them to me if the priest isn’t in the raid. ;)

Tonight, Thorim (where I will doubtlessly be running through the tunnels, because I don’t SUCK), Freya (which isn’t a very difficult fight, to be honest) and Mimiron.

It’s nice to get through to new content on the second raid night of a reset, to be honest. In Apotheosis, as much as I loved my guild (and I really did), there were weeks where we wouldn’t get as far as we had in previous weeks. I really don’t understand where we would lose all this speed. Our raids were always glacially slow except in Hyjal when, you know, we couldn’t be slow. And then eventually we mastered BT trash and powered through that stuff, too.

Ugh, I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I’m cut out for this cog-in-the-machine thing. I like it, but it has its own frustrations. At least I KNOW the frustrations that come from being a leader… Whatever else I do, I have GOT to stop daydreaming about the BC days and wishing we could put THAT team, more or less, into Wrath content. It’s hard, because I KNOW we could do better on some things than my current guild. We just didn’t have the people, ultimately.

And it still makes me sad. :(

Ulduar Reset 3, Nights 2-3; Noble Garden & Orphan's Week

Dear Lord, so much to catch up on.

Basically, nothing happened in Ulduar on Wednesday. Except that we died. A lot. On Thorim. What a bitch that guy is.

Thursday, we got Thorim down after about 2 hours, after some practice with a slight change in our strategy that involved me, a holy paladin, being the sole healer in the tunnel. As opposed to Wednesday night. When a holy priest and a resto druid were in there. Or as opposed to earlier Thursday night, when just the one holy priest was in there.

<drums fingers on desk>

Right, so you substitute the LEAST MOBILE healer in the entire game for the two MOST mobile healers in the game for a portion of the fight that includes a lot of running around.

<drums fingers on desk>

I had a couple of hairy moments in general, sure. And one pull, I lost my tunnel tank entirely — looks like it’s because he had two adds on him at once. Maybe a mage screwed up?

Anyways, in the span of 3.5 seconds, he took 45000+ damage and was only healed for 5519 from a non-crit Holy Shock, about halfway through. Nothing I could do, I was still casting.

But apart from that, it worked really well.

So here’s my question: Am I really that awesome or do the TWO healers who did the job on Wednesday truly suck? Because, really, there is no WAY I should have done better in the tunnel than either of them. But I kept the group up pretty much the whole evening. Lost the tank once, lost one mage once. Aaaaaand that was it.

I mean… priests just have way too many tools to not get through that. Prayer of Mending. Renew. Power Word: Shield. Seriously. Just… so many tools. Meanwhile, a druid may have fewer tools, but they have the mobility that I lack. While strafing left and right, they can use Lifebloom, Wild Growth, Rejuvenation… I have Holy Shock followed by an instant Flash of Light IF Holy Shock crits.

So, really. I don’t get it.

Anyways, due to the fact that I was in the tunnel group (and will likely be stuck in the tunnel healing forever, now), I got an achievement.

heroic-takeyouallon

Of course, our Thorim kill was extremely messy. How messy? Four people standing, that’s how messy.

heroic-thorimdead

1 elemental shammy, 1 enhancement shammy, 1 warlock and 1 disc priest.

This is how I died:

Thorim Chain Lightning hits Madrana for 52531 Nature. (23927 Resisted)

Yeah, he kind of enraged, too.

Due to various circumstances, I had to log at that point for over an hour, came back and they just had killed Ignis and then called the raid. No raid Saturday this week or next, so my next raid is Monday.

Which is good, because hi, Noble Garden and Orphan’s Week, you pieces of crap.

Like I said in a previous entry, Kurn gets the world events and their titles, Madrana gets raid stuff.

Thank God, because no WAY was I going to do Noble Garden on Madrana after doing it on Kurn. NO WAY.

Camping/running around for eggs? Dumbest thing in the entire universe.

Laying an egg in Un’Goro when you can only turn into a bunny when a friend casts it on you? Also dumb.

I managed to get it all done, but WOW, did it suck.

kurn-ng

Last achievement was Desert Rose, dropping a flower just across the border from Tanaris in Thousand Needles.

Which meant that I was now free to focus on Orphan’s Week. Oh, the joy.

It’s actually not a hard bunch of achievements… just do some dailies with your orphan, eat some food… and do some battlegrounds. Oh, God, the pain.

First of all, Arathi Basin’s assault a flag is stupidly easy.

1) Get into a fresh AB.

2) Run like hell for Stables, make sure you’re mounted and have your Orphan out.

3) Cap Stables.

Seriously, it was that easy. Not so bad, right? Well, not yet.

WSG’s return the flag sucked. I played like, four games (I know, I know, but remember that I hate to PVP and that four WSG games is equivalent to 100 matches for anyone normal!) and finally got that portion of the achievement while clicking so furiously on the horde PROT WARRIOR with 45k health that I didn’t even realize I’d gotten it when I saw the flag vanish.

kurn-flag-wsg

Woot!

Incidentally, since I don’t BG much (read: at all), I was amused to get:

kurn-damagecontrol

300,000 damage or healing in a single BG on players. Sweet. I always thought I’d get this on Madrana, since I have been known to go in and healbot through things on very rare occasions, but nope, she doesn’t have it yet and Kurn got it tonight.

AV took me three turtles to get the achievement. I did that by miraculously getting Crusader Aura and jumping ahead to Iceblood Tower, hauling out my orphan on the way up and being the first to assult the flag by literally a second. Thank you, goodbye, /afk.

That means all I have left is the flag in EotS (uggggggh, I hate that place, but at least there are many, many flags in the course of one match) and Utgarde Pinnacle. Then I can actually finish the quests with my Draenei Orphan (already did the Human one) and then be done with this accursed holiday.

Probably doing a Naxx 25 tonight (Sunday) for fun — maybe I can actually get an upgraded ring or trinket, maybe my 7.5 chest?

Ulduar, Reset 2, Night 5 and Reset 3, Night 1.

Well, I can definitely say we’re improving.

Got Hodir down and got an achievement:

heroic-coolestfriends

We basically ran into Hodir’s room on Monday and one-shot him. There was some excellent hand of sacrificing by the pallies, a pain suppression by a disc priest app, judicious use of Guardian Spirit… It worked well. :)

Then we were miserable on Razorscale for a while, but got him down and then went to play with Thorim.

It seems to me that Thorim is a fight best attempted with the raid leader being very familiar with his or her raid members, their capabilities (both in terms of class and personal strengths) and weaknesses. Our regular RL wasn’t leading on Monday for some reason, so we had some regular member lead us through Thorim attempts.

I asked about healing assignments.

Dude didn’t even know who in the raid was a healer.

/siiiiiiigh.

Still, we got Hodir and Auriaya down that reset, both of which were new, plus all the other bosses we’d previously killed (FL, Razorscale, XT, Council, Kologarn), and got some experience on Thorim.

Tuesday, we walked in and did FL, XT, Council, Kologarn, Auriaya and Hodir. In just over four hours. So we’re learning! YAY!

Auriaya continues to be a fight that bores the crap out of me, but if I don’t pay attention, I die. Still, she dropped Greaves of the Rockmender for me! I was the only holy pally in the raid at the time. (Another pally got the same helm I got last reset off the Council, so they’re getting geared. It’s good.) I lost a whopping 55 haste by swapping out Poignant Sabatons, but I gain more crit and intellect and only lose something like 6 +healing. Still, I like my haste. What the hell is this MP5 BS? At least the boots have a yellow socket, so I could drop a 16 int gem in there without worries. Hooray for the 2mp5 from the socket bonus and the 22mp5 on the boots. I’ve just added about 30% of my total mp5 from that acquisition.

They are, however, ugly as sin.

mad-boots

They don’t match my outfit at ALL. The old boots did! But ugh, these are as ugly as my stupid Ancient Iron Heaume. :( Guys… I actually miss Lightforge. And Crystalforge. This T8 nastiness better give way to an awesome T9.

In other news, I find myself filing away little bits and pieces of information to use in the future, should I ever lead a raiding guild again. I know, shoot me now, right?

I wish I’d known about Big Brother back in Apotheosis. It lets you know, at a glance, who is flasked (or elixired) and food buffed and who isn’t.

(Names blurred to protect the guilty.)

bigbrother

That’s also just a small portion of the raid, but you can see that 1 DK has a Flask of Stoneblood on while the others have Flasks of Endless Rage and all but one have a food buff. A druid has no food or flask. Another druid has no food. A hunter has no food.

It kind of astounds me because someone ALWAYS drops a Fish Feast. Always. So I don’t get why people aren’t food buffed.

I use Imperial Manta Steak instead of the feast, though. 40 haste is going to do a lot more for my throughput than 46 extra spellpower.

Anyways, the mod would have come in SUPER handy in Apotheosis. Except that this one officer, who rarely ever flasked, would have been gkicked halfway through BT for not flasking on progression fights. His argument was always “but I’m not running out of mana” or “my heals hit hard enough” or “I’m topping healing meters already”. Thing is, if he buffed himself even more, he might have been able to make up for similarly-geared and buffed, though less skilled players.

And he never really understood that.

Note to self: if you ever run a guild again, ensure that all members will use consumables. Period.

And, in still more news, my hunter is getting the thrill of doing Noblegarden. When I realized I’d be raiding on the paladin in Wrath, I decided to do the world events solely on Kurn. Kurn gets to be Kurnmogh the Noble, Eldre Kurnmogh, etc, while Madrana is Twilight Vanquisher and Champion of the Frozen Wastes.

Noblegarden sucks. A lot. I’ve spent about six hours running around Dolanaar and Goldshire, looking for freakin’ eggs. Should be able to accomplish it, but damn, I am not enjoying it. >< Children’s Week will probably be similarly sucky, due to PVP components. Mommy. I am scared.

Ulduar: Reset 2, Night 3

(or, “And I thought I hated his Sons…”)

Remember all my optimism with regards to Hodir? Throw it out the window.

First, we went to Emalon in the Vault of Archavon. Can I just say… how dumb is it that a Tier 7 boss and a Tier 8 boss are in the same instance that you can get saved to? What if you go to Vault of Archavon to kill Archavon? Then you’re saved to an instance where Emalon is up, but still can’t go to any other raids apart from your own. This hasn’t happened to me — I elected to stay the hell out of the Vault of Archavon unless it was going to be with my guild, because I didn’t want to get saved.

So we did Emalon. Sadly, it took three attempts.

Emalon down.
Emalon down.

Two PVP pieces and two pieces of T8 dropped, I believe. Shadow priest gloves and hunter gloves. The shadow priest gloves may have been disenchanted (? Or vendored if you can’t DE them.).

Then, we headed to Ulduar, whereapon we fought Hodir for close to four hours. And did not down the bastard.

Most of my guild did, however, get Heroic: Staying Buffed All Winter.

heroic-stayingbuffed

I was the first person to get it, though, completely by chance. And it lagged my casting and the MT died. Whoops. :)

The first major issue was that people were being dumb about the falling snow. There are these blue circles that show up. You don’t stand in them because icicles/snow fall there and you take, oh, 14,000 frost damage if you don’t resist any of it.

The second major issue is that we had four pallies healing, one druid, two priests and a resto shammy. We actually swapped out our backup tank for another paladin healer. This is one of the most difficult fights I’ve encountered as a paladin so far in 3.0.  Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It is a difficult fight to heal well as a holy paladin.

Why?

There are several reasons.

1) In order to avoid the Biting Cold debuff (think Keristrasza at the end of The Nexus, only worse — you have to keep moving/jumping to get rid of one debuff at a time, and this one deals damage), you have to move. Pretty darn constantly. Cast twice, move, cast twice, move. Cast on the move with Holy Shock and Infusion of Light procs as often as possible.

2) Stay the hell out of the circles. The icicle circles of doom are constantly appearing all around the room. You MUST avoid them. Not that my guild really did, but that’s why we didn’t kill Hodir tonight. :P

3) Flash Freeze. When the BIG circles appear during Hodir’s Flash Freeze cast, wait for the snow to drop, then go stand on top of the snow, lest you get frozen. And while frozen, you take increasing stacks of Biting Cold damage! Hooray! So you’re constantly watching for those circles and then booking it to their edges so you can get on the snowdrift for safety.

4) Haste buffs. There are these circles of light that come down that boost your haste to AWESOME amounts. Like, perpetual heroism speed, as long as you stand in them. They look like the Lunar Festival spotlight things. So obviously, while you’re chasing your tank, you want to stop in these every so often. Run, move, run, move. Ideally, from one circle of light to another. But that’s rarely possible.

5) Toasty Fires. The best thing since Divine Plea. These fires, created by the mage NPCs, allow you to just STAND next to them without letting Biting Cold touch you. They’ll be extinguished if icicles fall on them or a Flash Freeze happens, but will protect you from the damage of all three of those effects until extinguished and you’re in range. Beautiful for a healer or any other casters who can’t effectively cast while running all the damn time. So when you see one, you try to run to it while praying your tank doesn’t die because you can’t cast while running!

That said, I had a blast healing it tonight. I didn’t top healing, nor should I ever do so, really, but I did cast Blessing dammit Hand of Sacrifice on the tank 1-2 times an attempt. I’d bubble the first and beacon myself for the second and heal the tank/myself for that whole time. I felt useful! I was dodging icicles, only got caught in Flash Freeze twice, both times because I was like, five meters yards too far away to get to the snowdrifts in time. (Well, I also got caught in it on attempts where the RL had already called for a wipe, but those don’t count.)

It wasn’t just spamming the tank with Holy Light. It was keeping beacon on me, sacred shield on the tank, using Holy Shock and any Infusion Procs on the run for either myself or the raid members. It was looking for a smart place to stand to cast Holy Light. It was judging on the run. It was wondering when a good time to use Divine Plea was.

A very challenging fight to heal *well*, to be honest, and I really did enjoy that challenge.

Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like for him to be dead, mind you, but I’m sure that once my guildies get the hang of NOT standing under icicles, we’ll be fine. It took a while for most people to check off “Show Projected Textures” in their video settings to be able to see the blue circles of death on the ground, and I’m not entirely convinced that everyone even DID. But experience is a good teacher and we’ll go back in there on Saturday and kick some ass.

Hopefully.

In other news, they seem to have fixed the Blessing of Wisdom/Improved Mana Spring totem stacking bug. When Improved Mana Spring is down, I can’t buff BoW or GBoW. Time to train the shammies out of dropping it. You would think that they’d make Improved BoW be 92 mp5 instead of 91, like how Improved BoMight is one AP more than a warrior’s Battle Shout, because they kept overwriting each other, wasting rage and reagents. Well now, they’re wasting mana and reagents. Not a lot better.

Oh, and the armory is seriously messed up. It’s currently displaying your stats JUST from gear. No talent-based stats (increased crit, spellpower, etc) are showing up. I panicked when I saw my own pally’s armory profile earlier today and saw 1905 spellpower and 22.9% crit across the board. I was like “OMG I HAVE BEEN HACKED”, even though I have an authenticator and all my gear was present and accounted for. So were my talents, though. But then I thought there’d been a server reset and talents were being reset again, because that was the only explanation for me dropping over 200 spellpower and 11% Holy crit in the same gear.

And no. It’s just the Armory being dumb.

Anyways, I’ve rambled enough for now.

Ulduar: Reset 2, Night 2

I was ready to just faceplant after my raid ended at 12:30am.

Why?

We spent four. hours. on. Auriaya.

I hate her.

We downed her. But I still hate her.

heroic-antechamber

So there’s my achievement for Iron Council, Kologarn and Auriaya.

I suspect we’re headed to Thorim and Hodir on Thursday. Like I said before, I’m quite looking forward to Hodir, just because we have some experience there from the PTRs. Should go much more smoothly than Auriaya.

As to gear, I wound up pimping out my Heroes’ Redemption chestpiece with +27 intellect (I love JC cuts) and 250 mana to chest. By doing so, and equipping my new Ancient Iron Heaume, swapping out my chest from Sarth and my Valorous T7 helm, here’s how my stats changed:

T7 Helm & Sarth Chest:

Spellpower: 2168

Haste: 520

Crit: 29.07%

Mana: 23,249

Ulduar Helm & Heroes’ Chest:

Spellpower: 2159 (-9)

Haste: 560 (+40)

Crit: 28.89% (-.18%)

Mana: 23,414

So with just a smidgen less crit and spellpower, a ton more haste and 165 extra mana, I decided to equip the new helm and my crappy chestpiece in an attempt to keep my T7 bonus, plus use the helm. I feel dirty, using my 10-man chest instead of my sweet chest off Sarth, but hey, the set bonus is the important thing, right? And I’m losing a very minimal amount of spellpower and crit and gaining a bit more mana and a chunk of haste.

Speaking of haste, annoyingly, somewhere along the way, I got my math wrong (like THAT’S a shocker…) so I updated a previous post to remove mentions of getting haste-capped. With Wrath of Air, Swift Retribution and Judgements of the Pure, I can get to 1.03 seconds on the GCD (and FoL).

Elitist Jerks says: Its important to note that all haste effects (Wrath of Air, Sanc Ret, JotP, and Gear) stack multiplicatively. So with all of them you only need 20.6% haste from gear to get haste soft capped (50%, for 1sec GCDs)

560 haste is good for 17.08% haste. 1% haste = 32.79 haste rating. 32.79 * 20.6 = 675.47400 haste rating to get to 20.6% haste and be down to 1 second GCDs with Wrath of Air, Swift Retribution and Judgements of the Pure. For some reason, I thought 520 was the cap, so we’ll attribute that to lack of sleep and examine my haste now. 560 haste + 40 haste from a food buff = 600 haste or 18.2982617% haste. So I’d ideally like to get another 76 haste on gear somewhere.

The thing is, I don’t want to gem for haste. I’ll enchant for it on my cloak, obviously, since there’s nothing else I should get to cloak, but I don’t want to gem for it, giving up valuable intellect. Intellect gives me mana, more mana back from Replenishment, Divine Plea and Mana Tide totem, spell crit and spellpower through talents. Haste… gives me haste.

I guess it’s time to go hunting through wowhead and MMO-Champion and maybe maxdps.com to look at loot lists and see where I can viably acquire another 76-116 haste without ruining my other stats. My rings are kind of really sad, so I would expect an upgrade or two there would be helpful.

Ulduar: Reset 2, Night 1.

I daresay we actually learned stuff last week! I only died 27 times tonight! ;)

I was a bit late to the raid, so I missed Flame Leviathan, which is fine by me. I loathe vehicle fights. But I got pulled in for the rest of the night, which meant XT-002 Deconstructor, the Iron Council and Kologarn.

Let us discuss XT-002 Deconstructor TRASH for a moment, because that took us longer than killing the boss did. Last week, the trash was very bugged, so Blizzard removed it. Well, it was back tonight and boy, did we have trouble with it. How do you CC crap that’s mechanical? Everything from kiting, to Chains of Ice…

Of course, until we figured out that we had to CC at least some of the pull for the trash mobs, they had their way with us.

Deconstructor Trash
Deconstructor Trash

Ouch. And I wear plate, too!

Anyways, once that got taken care of, once we got the hang of the trash and STOPPED PULLING the damn boss by mistake… We did that three times. >< First time was one of my fellow holy paladins. Second time was the raid leader’s mirror images. Third time was a resto shammy. Really infuriating to die three times to a boss you weren’t even trying to pull.

The sweet part is that after eight and a half hours of attempts on XT-002 last week, we got him on our second try tonight. And a fragment dropped for our priest lead, bringing his total to, uh, two fragments. We also got Heroic: Nerf Engineering and Heroic: Nerf Gravity Bombs like last reset, which was nice for the new people in the raid. I understand they also got Heroic: Shutout on Flame Leviathan again, too.

Off we went to Iron Council! Just like Saturday, I was on the Steelbreaker tank, healing and mostly responsible for Fusion Punch cleansing. Which, I might add, I did like a damn champ. I think my cleanse key might still be angry with me because I mashed it so hard. :) We only did it three times, downing the council on our third attempt. Once we had Stormcaller Brundir down to about 50%, I popped my Iron Boot Flask for Heroic: But I’m on Your Side, as did about half the raid.

And so the gear juggling begins! Ancient Iron Heaume dropped. Stat for stat, it’s better than the Valorous Redemption Headpiece: Higher ilvl (good for FL), more stam, more int, more armor, more crit, more haste, less mp5. I took it, because I was the only holy paladin in the raid at that point, because it’s a better helm than my T7. But it might just have to sit in the bank for a while, because how can I give up my 4-piece set bonus?

I currently have helm, hands, legs and shoulders from the Valorous Redemption set. I also have my Heroes’ Redemption chestpiece. But I have (and am using) the Chestplate of the Great Aspects. That’s 3 Int, 2 Sta, 57 Armor, 27 Crit, 22 Haste,  38 Spell Power more than the Heroes’ chest. Given that I just gave up some crit in switching around my bracers, do I really want to lose another 16 crit to swap to the new helm and a very poor chest? I’m going to have to mess around with it all a bit, I think. But once I break my T7 up, that helm is gonna be my new one that I wear all the time, that’s for sure. Its stats are so yummy!

Of course, the helm itself… not so yummy.

Ancient Iron Heaume
Ancient Iron Heaume

Then again, it’s not like the Valorous Redemption Headpiece is much better, right?

Valorous Redemption Helm
Valorous Redemption Helm

I’m so glad we can turn off our helms…

Anyways, off to Kologarn we went. That was the longest part of the night, really, just dying to dumb eye beams and AOE damage. That said, I’ve been making use of Grid’s debuffs to easily identify people who are light/gravity bombed, slag potted and stone gripped, so that makes things a little easier. Never mind that I’m rarely on any of those people — I R TEH HEALZOR 4 TANK.

Seriously, I was on slag pot duty on our brief attempts at Ignis on Saturday and didn’t have the debuff view enabled because we went there unexpectedly, but seeing Stone Grip tonight on Kologarn is pretty damn awesome.

Kologarn died and we called the raid, since it was almost 12:30 anyways.

So, not a bad raid night. We skipped Ignis and Razorscale and, in one 4-hour raid, downed 4 of the 5 bosses we’d downed last reset. I expect we’ll go back for Ignis and Razorscale for progression or loot’s sake later on in the reset, but Wednesday, we head for Auriaya again, then probably Thorim, Hodir and Freya.

Should be a fun week!