Ow, my face.

What a week it’s been in Ulduar. We one-shotted Flame Leviathan, spent the majority of the rest of that raid (Tuesday) wiping on Razorscale. Wednesday, we got Razorscale and went on to XT-002. We spent an hour and a half wiping on XT on Wednesday, 4 hours on Thursday and 3 hours on Saturday. Then we spent an hour wiping on Ignis trash and Ignis himself. Then we said screw that, and went to Council, where we spent an hour and got them down. Monday, we walked in and worked on Kologarn, eventually getting him down.

Kologarn down

That’s me, the pally with the wings, on top of the head. I felt like sing-songing “I’m the king of the caaaaaaastle”. That was pretty darn cool, even if I did die on the kill. Actually, I got killed, then got a BR, and then instantly killed again. Way to go, AOE damage, way to go.

And then we came to Auriaya.

She can kiss my ass.

We finally got some semblance of a pull working, after a ton of wipes. Really, it’s the coordination of the Maulgar pull, with the randomness of Archimonde’s fire/etc pulled in, because if all four of her adds hit the same tank, guess what? That’s right. You don’t have that tank anymore. But we finally got the pull mostly down (it involved, two death and decays, a zombie pet and a consecration, plus liberal use of Guardian Spirit) and then, after a couple of attempts, I mis-timed my heal.

Auriaya Pull

Oh God, my face. 22363 Physical, 31779 Overkill, Critical. OW. I was VERY careful in timing my heals thereafter. :P

So, with regards to my new bracers, what I ended up doing was plugging in a +27 intellect gem in there, replacing the +27 intellect in my shoulders with a regular +16 intellect gem since it’s a yellow socket, after all, compared to the blue socket on the bracers. I gained about 800 mana, a bit of haste, lost just a smidgen of spellpower and lost about half a percentage of crit. So I now have 23249 mana, unbuffed, along with 2168 spellpower, 29.07% crit (34.07% holy, 40.07% holy light/holy shock) and 520 haste (20.62%).  Which, you know, is pretty sweet. I’m also casting 1.3-1.4 second Holy Lights or something ludicrous like that.

That is, as long as we have a damn ret pally in the raid and I can manage to keep JotP up. Not gonna lie, it’s really hard to do on Auriaya. I feel like I never stopped casting except when I was feared.

Other stats of the night:

– Raid length: 4h

– Number of times I died: 35

– Number of times I died through my own stupidity: 2 (mistimed heal on Auriaya and I got hit by eyebeams and failed to notice on Kologarn)

– Symbols of kings gone through: 394. I remember when I’d bring 300 to each raid in BC and would go through MAYBE 180 at most. (I tend to bless kings on 10 classes now. on. each. pull. Thankfully, I’m glyphed for it!)

Imperial Manta Steaks eaten: 35

– Flasks of the Frost Wyrm taken: 2 (I love mixology)

Anonymous WWS, and PRAISE JESUS, they’ve started splitting bosses again! I’m Gemini again, BTW. How I managed to do 3.5 million more healing than the other holy paladin, I don’t know. How I managed to beat any priests, I don’t know. Must be all that haste? Heh.

Anyways, small patch coming out today, we’ll all need to respec once again. BE CAREFUL where you assign your points and check your glyphs FIRST to make sure you’re matching the right points with the right glyphs.

Then tonight, back to Ulduar. Hopefully we’ll get FL and Razorscale down quickly and be able to work on XT-002. It would be excellent to down them ALL on Tuesday and then work on perfecting Council and Kologarn before spending the rest of the raid nights working on Auriaya, Thorim, Hodir, Freya and the others.

Auriaya…

The pull for Auriaya is worse than the pull for Maulgar and Archimonde combined. IMHO. Our tanks are getting 3-shotted, but are getting those hits all at the exact same time.

Ouch.

Ugh.

Working on Kologarn.

Habs lose their third playoff game.

Makes me miss the days of wiping on Vashj while the Habs beat the Bruins last year.

Even if we did just down Kologarn and I just got loot. Yay for Unfaltering Armguards? More haste and more spellpower than my last bracers, off Razuvious (which are mail), but less crit. Which makes me cranky. Maybe a nice +27 crit rating gem in there? Hm.

Deconstructor, Iron Council down.

It’s been a really, really, really long time since I spent more than a couple raid nights in total on a boss before the boss died. The last time it happened was probably either the Illidari Council or Archimonde, back with Apotheosis.

Wiping on Deconstructor the first night of attempts, after Razorscale went down, wasn’t a shock. What WAS a shock to me was wiping on him for the next 7+ raid hours after that. It was definitely all night Thursday (4 hours) and then just over three hours on Saturday. I know I went through at least one flask BEFORE we killed him, and I’m an alchemist.

At the kill, though, it was achievement-central!

deconachieve

Thank the good Lord. We really needed the moral victory. And hey, people stopped being dumb about the scrapbots and gravity bombs, although not the light bombs, apparently. Seriously, the collective unconscious of a group of 25 people is so WEIRD. I’m sure that my entire raid was comprised of reasonably intelligent people, but people act so oddly in groups that it calls their competency into question.

Anyways, we played with Ignis trash (horrible!) and Ignis himself (horrible!) for maybe an hour or so and then said screw it and went off to the Iron Council. Finally, a boss encounter (aside from Flame Leviathan) that we’d had experience with on the PTR!

They started me out healing the tank on the Stormcaller, but after three attempts, they switched me to the tank who was on the big dude who packs a serious punch, named Steelbreaker. He hits for a LOT, plus has this stupid ability called Fusion Punch:

Inflicts 35,000 Nature damage to his target, and deals additional 20,000 Nature damage every 1 second, for 4 seconds.

Are you kidding me? 20,000 per TICK? Every SECOND? It wasn’t getting dispelled quickly enough. So we had 4 healers on that tank and every time I got the raid warning for Fusion Punch and saw that he was casting it (go go /focus), I stopped my cast and just started spamming my cleanse button. I only messed up on that once because I’d forgotten to /focus Stormcaller. Whoops. In my defense, it was after midnight, I’d been raiding since 7:30pm and had had 6 hours of sleep in the last 30 or so hours. :P

Anyways, the first attempt in which we managed to down Steelbreaker was our kill for the encounter.

councilachieve

That reads Stormcaller Brundir.

It went remarkably well after Steelbreaker died, except, oh yeah, WE HIT ENRAGE. 10 minute enrage, if anyone’s curious. But that’s because half the raid was dead from various Overloads and lightning… thingies or whatever. Should be much cleaner next week, now that a lot more people know how the fight works. I have to admit, it was a lot easier for me to heal the encounter, having wiped on it about 20 times on the PTR. Server lag when cleansing Fusion Punch FTL. We had our prot pally tanking Steelbreaker on the PTR and made her use Cleanse on herself AS WELL as one of our priests doing it. And still, we would wipe. Freakin’ PTR POS… Anyways. Council down.

Monday, I guess it’s Kologarn, another boss we tried on the PTRs. Didn’t do too badly, as I recall. I ALSO recall that the frigging eyebeams suck a LOT. Stupid movement fights drive me crazy. I can toss out Holy Shock, hope for an Infusion of Light proc and then instant Flash of Light… and there’s always Lay on Hands if needed. I really do miss my reduced cast-time on Holy Light, though. I honestly don’t ever notice if I crit extra after Infusion of Light procs.

I hope we get to Hodir on Monday – it’d be nice to get him down. I’m fairly sure we’ll be able to do it, because he’s the last boss we had experience with on the PTR. We all got pretty good at standing on snowdrifts. I do occasionally feel like I’m running around like a chicken with its head cut off when I heal that fight, mind you, but hey, as long as we’re staying alive, it should be fine.

Ulduar is proving to be challenging, but not so challenging that I think it’s ridiculous. I would put these early bosses at about… maybe about the same difficulty/coordination level as Karathress, when you’re not quite geared for him and your healers are running OOM and praying that the tank remembered to hit shield block or whatever. So far, the mechanics are pretty simple. Don’t stand in bad shit. Don’t group up too much.

Nothing good is dropping in terms of loot, either, so I’m sitting pretty at the top of the DKP list for basically anything I want. Plate bracers dropped off Deconstructor, but to be brutally honest, my MAIL Bands of Mutual Respect off Razuvious were pretty much better than the ones that dropped. With a gem, the mail ones were just about equivalent in spellpower and better in crit than the Horologist’s Wristguards. Plus the Wristguards have mp5 whereas the Bands have haste. Now, admittedly, I’m getting seriously close to the 1-second GCD cap and drop way under that when Heroism is up, so I’m getting very close to being haste-capped, but honestly? Those Wristguards are TOTALLY a sidegrade compared to my current bracers.

Some preliminary research on loot from MMO-Champion showed me the other day that most of my real upgrades are off hard-mode loot tables. Does that mean I’m going to have to sit on my DKP until we get those hard-mode fights down? Or does that mean I’m actually going to have to settle for MP5-heavy sidegrades for the next couple of months? Stupid Ulduar itemization…

Oof.

Rough night, last night. We spent 4 hours wiping on Deconstructor.

You know how many times I died? 31 times. At about 8 gold a pop. I DIed people 4 times, so that’s 27 times 8 for repairs.

That’s 216g.

That doesn’t count the 31 Imperial Manta Steaks I ate, nor the 353 symbols of kings I used in casting Blessing of Kings on 10 classes prior to each pull, tossing it again if there were late-comers or battle rezzes…

Best attempts: 16%, 6% and 3%. We hit the enrage all those times. And some other times, too, but we made a good deal of progress, even if he didn’t go down.

It’s kind of clear to me that you burn him down to 75% (hopefully avoiding a tantrum), then blow all your cooldowns and burn the heart – without killing it – so that when he comes out of his heart mode, he’s down around 55%. Wail on him for another 5%, push DPS through another heart phase, bringing him down as close to 25% as possible. Without heroism again, we got him to around 35%. Then it’s just staying alive, getting through another heart phase at 25% and praying enough people are alive to get him down beyond 15% or so and then go to down executing, hammer of wrathing, kill shotting and all that other fun stuff.

MAJOR issues with people not moving the hell out of the raid. If it were MY raid, as in, if I were the raid leader? I’d have actually yelled. Something along the lines of:

“GUYS. For fuck’s sake, why the FUCK do you think a skull or X is on your head? It’s NOT for your health. You are KILLING YOUR GROUPS and wiping the raid. I don’t want to see anymore ‘i have to finish my cast’ bullshit, either. MOVE IT. If you’re on the left side and you get gravity, go left. If you get light bomb, move right. If you’re on the right side and you get gravity, go right. If you get light bomb, move left. IT IS NOT FUCKING ROCKET SCIENCE, PEOPLE. Now quit fucking around and let’s get this guy DOWN. We can do it. We have the tanks, the healers and the DPS, if only people would stop killing their own raid members.”

Okay. Maybe I wouldn’t be that harsh. It’s shades of Solarian, though. We once had a terribad rogue who, despite all of us yelling at him, ran out of the raid on Solarian, then stopped. Then hit sprint and CAME BACK TO THE GROUP. I think a warlock also blew us all to smithereens. And I see the same dumb shit here. Pallies not bubbling. Mages not iceblocking. People not moving. The same damn resto shammy killed me FOUR TIMES with light bomb because he was “finishing his cast” and THEN ran.

We have the fight, I know we do, but it was a long and somewhat frustrating night.

Anonymous WWS, no boss splits, sadly:

http://wowwebstats.com/ns4f6js3borjm

I’m “Cancer”. And yes, you do indeed see me 3rd on healing and casting virtually nothing but Holy Light. As such, every heart phase, I’d run up a few yards, smack Judgement of Wisdom on that sucker and melee with Seal of Wisdom on. 404,822 damage from my non-crit white hits with a 1H caster mace, haha. 324,144 mana back from Seal of Wisdom hits and 32,256 back from Judgement of Wisdom.

Not too shabby! Makes up for the lack of Spiritual Attunement.

Seriously, though, the tanks can be 2-shot by this bastard. That’s why there’s so much freaking overheal and why I’m chain-casting Holy Light. It’s certainly not by choice. I even have to be careful when I judge, lest I need that global to heal the tank. I’m looking forward to downing him on Saturday and moving on to fights we really actually tried on the PTR.

We had a LOT of experience with Hodir, some with the Iron Council and then some with Kologarn. And Iron Council and Kologarn (at the least) are available after Deconstructor. I think we’ll come back to beat on Ignis later on. Can I just say that I LOVE that his trash looks like Molten Giants or Molten Destroyers?! I think it’s sad that I sort of miss Molten Core enough to get excited by trash that looks like trash from there.

Anyways, rambling. Done now.

Ulduar: Razorscale and Deconstructor.

Second night in Ulduar, second boss down, second boss achievement.

heroicquickshave-041509-1104

Not too shabby, although people still fail to get out of the fire and we had SO many issues with healing the tanks at the end of Phase 2. In the end, all three tanks were dead and we pew-pewed Razorscale the remaining 3-4% without a tank. Hilarious. Got server-third and faction-second, I believe.

Deconstructor… ow. Why must the tanks get hit for so freaking much damage? Really. We did the encounter (didn’t down him) with six healers. Probably could have used a seventh, to be honest. For whatever reason, DeadlyBossMods isn’t properly warning people when they have a buff/debuff, so people are dying stupidly, but that’ll improve with practice and/or an updated DBM.

Interesting evening, to say the least. Shades of healing techniques from Archimonde, to be honest, at least on the Deconstructor pull. I was popping Sacred Shield on the tank (as per usual) and then popping Divine Favour to force a Holy Shock crit to proc Infusion of Light to get an instant Flash of Light, all so that the tank wouldn’t get two-shotted as he ran in to the boss and then moved him around.

Also, let’s hope that legendary mace doesn’t have any spirit on it. Apparently, I am second in line for the crafting of it in our guild, to be given any fragments that drop when our first healer isn’t in the raid, or has his completed.

Not quite sure what to think about that, really. Could very well be a sort of bribe to stay with the guild despite some key departures of late. Or they could realize I am teh awsum.

Yeah, yeah, bedtime. I’m goin’.

Ulduar: 2 Achievements

We walked into Ulduar and promptly got two achievements. And a legendary drop.

heroicshutout-041409-1005

emblemofconquest-041409-1006

flloot-041409-1006

I didn’t get the fragment, and I’m okay with that. It went to the priest class officer. That’s cool. I’m new to the guild, he isn’t. I do wish the distribution had been more openly discussed, but c’est la vie.

So we one-shotted Flame Leviathan and MISTAKENLY got the Heroic: Shutout achievement. That was fun.

We then got stuck in combat. For quite some time. And then began the wipes on Razorscale. We honestly think Razorscale is bugged because we got 3-4 mole machines of 3 adds, I think it was, something like 3 times before we could bring Razorscale down from the sky. I think our best attempt was about 70% and then half the raid was dead and she enraged, killing the rest of the raid.

Patch related issues:

– Grid’s aggro indicator was not working in the sense that I had to disable Grid on Flame Leviathan until I had a few minutes to re-enable Grid and then disable the aggro indicator.

– I want my new glyphs, dammit!

– XPerl needs an update to be posted to the curse site (I got it at wowace) so that people can right-click on others again to trade and stuff or to right-click on themselves to leave a group.

– I made just over 1000 gold by selling flasks and Shifting Twilight Opals. Paid for my dual spec quite nicely.

– I did Northrend Alchemy Research today. Nothing except two mixtures of Endless Rage. (4 Flasks of Endless Rage.) So don’t waste your herbs.

A moment of relief, and sadness.

So I’m reading up on the Razorscale fight in Ulduar.

And I’m like: “Crap, crap, crap, I should have read about this sooner. I don’t know who to assign to what and … and.. wait… wait just a second here. I don’t have to assign anyone to anything. I’m not an officer. I’m not a guild master. I’m not a raid leader.”

Relief actually flooded my body. I get to stand there and be told who to heal. I haven’t done that in new content since the first few bosses in Karazhan, in March or April of 2007.

And then, I realized, with a bit of sadness, that I won’t be leading the charge through new content. I was usually a raid leader who’d done research on upcoming bosses. I’d sat there for hours, pouring over our roster and figuring out positions and jobs for Vashj. I told the healers where to go to begin for Karathress and who to switch off to once their tank was done tanking. I organized Bloodboil and eliminated cross-healing from that fight pretty much on my own, especially when I realized at least one of my officers was cross-healing.

I won’t need to worry about healers spreading out, the way I did for Azgalor and Anetheron. I won’t need to pick a warlock tank, if such a thing is necessary. I won’t need to do any number of a dozen things within a raid that I’ve always done when faced with new content. I haven’t had to do anything behind the scenes, either. I haven’t worried about policies or DKP resets or anything like that. The only thing I’ve had to say about the legendary mace drop is that I’m likely going to be interested in it, and that ultimately, so long as it betters the guild, it’s fine if I don’t get it.

It’s kind of sad, to be honest. I’m going to miss organizing people the way I did in T4, T5 and T6 content. I’m going to miss being the one to sit there and analyze the mistakes we made as leaders and the mistakes raiders made as cogs in the greater machine.

So Ulduar starts tonight. New content starts tonight. The Wrath equivalent of SSC/TK starts tonight. And while I’m totally ready for something new, I’m not sure I’m ready to not be someone to lead people through this. Which is funny, because I’m not ready to lead anyone through Ulduar yet.

What’s also new is that my current guild has the possibility of getting server-first kills. We’ve done Flame Leviathan on 10-man on the PTR. We one-shot him, once the PTR was stable. This is entirely new and foreign to me. My first guild started raiding ZG two months before Naxxramas came out. Apotheosis started raiding Karazhan well after SSC and TK had received nerfs. We’d only been raiding as a guild for 19 days before they removed attunement to SSC and TK.

I’ve ALWAYS been way behind in the progression game. We usually made up for it with some burst progression at the end, but we were almost always months behind top guilds. We were even a month behind in Wrath content.

Tonight, if the servers ever come up… I might be part of a server-first kill.

I kinda like that possibility. But I’m still kind of sad that I’m not leading the charge. I’m sure I’ll feel less sad about that and happier about being a cog in the machine after our first 15 Ulduar wipes.

Ugh, so tired.

Tired, going to bed soon, but I wanted to gripe a little bit. It’s not a big deal, but just voicing my feelings and opinions will make me feel better.

Tonight, well, technically last night. Monday night. Anyways, we did Malygos. And the Elevated Lair Pauldrons dropped.

I have the T7.25 helm, shoulders, gloves and pants. I have the T7.1 (heroes) chest piece. I have, in case you can’t do the math, my four piece set bonus and I have equipped the best breastplate for me at this point in time.

Malygos loot is item level 226, as is Kel’Thuzad loot and some drops (2 drakes+) from Sartharion.

In Ulduar, it is important to wear all your highest item level gear for the Flame Leviathan fight. Even if it’s not your spec, even if it’s cloth and you can wear plate, item level stuff is important as it adds to your vehicle’s damage done and health.

Without knowing until after the raid that 3.1 was being deployed today, the 14th, I considered bidding on the shoulders. But they suck. No haste. No gem slots. And to keep my 4-piece bonus, I’d have to go back to wearing my heroes’ chest, which is really crappy compared to the chest off Sartharion.

But I was considering bidding on the shoulders for the Flame Leviathan fight. Ultimately, I didn’t want to waste my DKP (I’m already in the negatives) when I don’t have best-in-slot gear in all my slots. I could use a cloak upgrade, a trinket, a ring and, oh yeah, a MAIN HAND WEAPON. So I decided I’d pass on the shoulders.

And then got informed by the raid leader that if I didn’t have 226 level shoulders already, I should take them.

Take them? For one fight? Because God knows I will never wear them apart from that one fight. And you’re going to charge me 12.5 DKP for them, bringing me down to -45.5 DKP? When I have four upgrades from Naxx and Sarth I could actually use? When we’re not sure the patch is coming out this week?

As it happens, the patch is being deployed today and T7 DKP will be wiped and we’ll start earning T8 DKP. And we’re not going back to Naxxramas or Sarth or Maly, either. It’ll be all Ulduar. So I got a piece of loot, dipped even deeper into the negatives than I was, but all that will be wiped.

But I’m still a little cheesed off. What if I’d had to bid against someone for a main hand healing weapon off KT? Or the cloak off Sarth+2? What if I’d had to bid and then I’d lost because of this truly useless piece of gear?

I think the raid leaders should, for the most part, trust us to make wise gear choices. I understand a raid leader trying to ensure a smoother raid in new content, believe me, but I was a little cheesed off that a mage was trying to tell me what to do with my DKP with regards to my gear. 20mp5? REALLY? Ugh. I feel dirty even looking at them.

Then, to compound matters (all this after NOT succeeding on 6m Malygos), the port they put up outside was to freaking Ironforge. Thanks, guys.

So I hearthed, after thanking them sarcastically on Vent, and the mage raid leader was like “anyone who took the port to IF, there will be a port to Dalaran there in just a minute” and I was all “Already hearthed, thanks.”

And THEN, the thing that cracks me up, is that the mage raid leader then has the TEMERITY to ask me to go heal Sarth 10 with 3 drakes up.

Hi, you made me wipe 13 times for a total of over 120 gold in repairs tonight, not to mention 13 food buffs and over 130 symbols of kings. Thankfully, I used a flask. Then you told me how to spend my DKP and forced me to take a piece of crap pair of shoulders. Then your port brought me to frigging Ironforge, so I blew my hearth ANYWAYS. And then you have the nerve to ask me to go do something draining and, no doubt stressful, like Sarth 3D on 10-man?

Even if I HADN’T had studying to do for finals, even if I HADN’T had a killer headache, there was no chance in hell I would have healed for him.

Not that he’s a bad guy. I quite like him, actually. But wow, was I feeling bitchy last night. Not sure I’m entirely in the right, either, but I don’t think I’m entirely in the wrong.

Ulduar this week, raids on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Monday. Looking forward to it.