Difficult raid.

Last night was a difficult raid. One of our raid leaders couldn’t make it, another couple of officers couldn’t, which somehow left me as not only the sole holy paladin, but the only paladin, period. With the bug about Drums of Forgotten Kings (you can’t gain this buff if you have any existing paladin buff!), we ended up going with Battle Shout and Mana Spring totem, as well as kings.

As the lone paladin, I was also the only one judging and I had to decide if light or wisdom was going to be more beneficial to the group. We tried Dreamwalker (so my judging is very temporary anyways, literally judging to get my buff up and that’s it) and Sindragosa and heroic Putricide (and regular Putricide) and regular Lich King. I elected to judge light in all of those situations, for better or for worse.

Anyways, we had a rough raid but I helped the guild get Portal Jockey (25), which I got two months previously, to the day. We tried a bit of All You Can Eat (25), which is pretty much my most unfavourite achievement ever and I think people got the timing of it down for the tanks to be able to switch okay, but we had people iceblocking others and such.

Then we tried Heroic Putricide. Honestly, not as good as last Thursday, but not bad. Everyone’s getting a lot better with the plague, but people weren’t running away from the gas cloud, people weren’t stacking up for oozes. So we killed him normal mode and then moved up to Lich King.

I don’t know if it was just that it was the end of the raid or what, but we didn’t get him down. Raging Spirits killed three people in the first transition on the first attempt (including me!), Infest got others… We lost our priest on that first attempt and he didn’t come back, so we tried five-healing with me, two resto shammies and two resto druids. Infest is painful in general. :(

So it was a rough night but the thing about it is that I still enjoyed myself and we still accomplished something and practiced for other stuff. No LK down? Meh, we got Portal Jockey instead. No heroic Putricide down? Meh, we got some good practice with the Unbound Plague. No All You Can Eat? Meh, we practiced that and made some progress.

Not sure what I’ll be able to get done around Ye Olde Corner today, since I have some RL stuff to attend to, but we’ll see. Should get a Q&A up later tonight, at any rate. :)

Raiding and progression.

It’s kind of a weird situation I’m in, I keep realizing. My guild is working on heroic modes, right? They were 7/12 when I joined and then we got Dreamwalker that week. (All they were missing was a kick-ass holy paladin, obviously!) Then we did some work on Lady Deathwhisper the second week. Didn’t get her down, but worked on refining the strategy.

The third week, last week, we went out and downed Lady Deathwhisper. And Halion (on regular), too. Then we worked on some heroic Sindragosa. I swear to God, it’s my least-favourite fight in the instance, but I know it pretty damn well at this point. ;)

So this week, we got LDW down again and one-shotted heroic Saurfang for the first time. (The first four marks were all on healers, if you can imagine.) We also got Princes down that night and then went on to Halion.

Last night, though, we were short a healer. We’re seriously in need of a priest and another pally would be great. But one of our priests had his wisdom teeth out or something, so he wasn’t going to be on.

We did BQL, Festergut and Rotface all on heroic with five healers.

And then decided to play with heroic Putricide, which the guild’s never seen before.

I actually really love the heroic Putricide encounter. Malleable Goo sucks ass, don’t get me wrong, but I LOVE the heroic Putricide encounter because I happen to be GOOD at dealing with the stupid Unbound Plague.

In the first night of attempts, and not even a full night, mind you, but we’re talking less than two hours, my new guild almost pushed phase 3.

Of course, it’s going to be HILARIOUS to see their reaction to the insane, incomprehensible amounts of raid damage once we hit ~2 stacks on each tank in P3, ahahahaha. I’m really looking forward to the reactions on Vent or in raid chat, because it’s going to be freaking hilarious. The one warning I gave the healers was something along the lines of “if we make it to P3, don’t worry about me. I’m going to Beacon myself and heal the active tank. Just worry about yourselves and the raid.”

We didn’t make it to P3, but I feel as though in less than two hours of work on him, we did as well adjusting to the mechanics as my previous guild did in about six or seven hours.

I really feel good about the raid group. We did a lot of plague swapping without calling it out and had a few (of our 9? 10?) attempts where the plague swapping was, honestly, PERFECT. We were killing Putricide in my last guild (with AVRE still in use!) and not getting plague swaps that clean.

Speaking of, HudMap on this encounter is freaking phenomenal. I kept messing with my settings and accidentally turned the entire thing OFF at one point, but it does a great job of showing you who has the plague and how long they’ve had it for, which is the difficult part of the encounter. According to the Curse page, it’ll show you who you can’t give it to, too (or rather, shouldn’t, due to Plague Sickness), but I didn’t even see that. I didn’t really need it, given my experience with the encounter, but it might be handy in general.

Anyways. I feel like heroic Putricide is within our grasp. We called the raid a little early last night and left him up for Monday, along with Dreamwalker, Sindragosa and LK. If I were running the raid, I’d spend 2.5 hours on Putricide, then roll through heroic Dreamwalker, regular Sindragosa and LK. Even if we don’t get Putricide on heroic this week, I have a good feeling about next reset.

I think the coolest thing about this is that even though I’m not the one getting achievements like Heroic: Storming the Citadel or Heroic: The Plagueworks… it still feels like progression to me. Even though it’s not new to me, even though I’ve wiped for countless hours on all of these encounters before and then stood in screenshots over their bodies. This is awesome forward momentum. This is progression for the guild. I WANT to get these people their heroic kills, I WANT to get these people their drakes. I want to wipe on heroic LK with these people. I want to wipe on heroic Halion with these people.

I think the end of Wrath of the Lich King will be a great time for me and it is SO NICE to feel that way and look forward to raids instead of dreading them.


Thank God Tuesday is our day off. I am totally burnt.

We spent half of Thursday and all of Sunday and some of Monday wiping to heroic Putricide, whom we’d gotten down precisely once thus far. He finally went down again tonight, which was nice, but boy, talk about a herculean effort.

We spent some time with heroic Sindragosa, which is nightmarish as always. Finally, we decided to stop wiping and just do it on normal so we could get to the Lich King with plenty of time to do our last achievement for Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25). (Incidentally, I got a GM to confirm that Neck-Deep in Vile (25) is required for this achievement! Good thing we got it done last week.)

That last achievement was Been Waiting a Long Time for This. I don’t even actually know how we did this, but I do know that I was totally out of mana moving into the first transition phase. I learned early on as we were learning (and wiping regularly on) Lich King that meleeing Raging Spirits during transition phases isn’t the safest way to regen my mana, but, by golly, that’s what I did tonight.

The reason I was out of mana was because of what Necrotic Plague does. See that little bit right there? “The Lich King’s power will increase”? Yeah. See, he normally hits my MT for about 25k before absorbs, blocks and the like.

As we went through the achievement, he was hitting him for 43835 towards the end. No freaking wonder I was oom!

Anyways, we let the plague stack to 30, pushed for the transition and went about our merry way killing him, without quite knowing if we’d done it right or if it had bugged out, since you only get the achievement once he dies.

BOOYA, got it. :) It’s my first-ever “Glory of the something” drake and, might I add, it’s freaking cool looking. Makes me wish I were a gatherer on the pally so I could fly around looking awesome.

That said, it’s been a long raiding week. I increasingly want to wring the necks of half my guildies, particularly the dipshit DK who keeps bitching that he’s not getting kings for some reason and actually spammed the raid with like 10 lines of him saying “kings on dks!!!!” while on heroic Putricide… when he’s the only death knight in the freaking raid. The best part? He HAD kings, albeit the 10m version (someone’s addon was screwy, I guess), so it’s not like he didn’t HAVE the buff.

He released after falling off the side tonight on LK and so didn’t get his achievement, drake or any loot.

I laughed out loud when I realized he wouldn’t get it and really enjoy the prospect that Mr. Asshat won’t be flying a drake for at least another week.

Yeah, I’m mean. I know. But it still made me laugh. :D

Kurn's Q&A #17

Man, it’s starting to get bright super-early over here. 5:34am as I start to write this and I can see across the street in the early morning light. I’m clearly up wayyyyyyy too late. :P And I can’t even blame it on raiding!

Ah, well. Time for another bunch of keywords that led people to the site.

1) shadow priest sindragosa heroic 25

I have to come out in favour of this. Vampiric Embrace is very useful on any fight with a persistent aura, such as Sindragosa or Blood Queen.

2) “pit of saron” tips skip riding

Okay. First of all, I hate people skipping the last few trash pulls. If you time it right, you can skip three of the last four groups of trash. This is, in my mind, an exploit. You are not MEANT to skip this trash. This trash is blocking the path you need to take to the final boss of the instance. That means it’s not optional. Man up and interrupt the flame caster guys on the first two pulls.

3) 16 int or 30 spellpower holy paladin

Bracers, right? I prefer 16 intellect because I’m a Holy Light-style paladin. Obviously, if you’re a spellpower-stacking, Flash of Light-style paladin, you want 30 spellpower. And if you’re new to 80 and don’t have 2000 spellpower yet, you want 30 spellpower.

4) bringing in kingslayer to trigger hard modes

Lame. True, you can probably kill Marrowgar and definitely Gunship on heroic modes without too much trouble, but lame, lame, lame. Go kill the Lich King first. Then you can trigger any hardmode you want.

5) can’t keep people alive in trial of the champion

You know what? That’s not horribly uncommon. I had a hell of a time keeping people up on my resto druid when I was a fresh 80. You just need to be aware of the various abilities. Turn around to not face Eadric the Pure so you don’t get stunned. Cleanse various debuffs off your party. If you get Paletress, Tremor Totem, Fear Ward, whatever you got to keep yourself from being feared. Having said that, though, if it’s not an exceptional environmental thing you can’t heal through, check your gear, your spec and glyphs. Maybe you’re just not ready to heal it.

6) does having someone suicide in phase 3 on professor putricide hardmode work?

Interesting idea. I presume you mean someone with Unbound Plague running out and dying to it? Maybe, although I doubt this is what the game designers had in mind when coming up with the fight. It’s very possible to do it using the more traditional method of dealing with Unbound Plague which is to pass it around the raid. (FYI: you still get it with Divine Shield up!)

This sounds a lot like the whole “let the first mark die” on Saurfang thing. Which just makes me roll my eyes.

7) dont wanna go to zangarmarsh

Hahahaha, yeah, me either! You can stay in Hellfire and do all the quests which should ding you 63-64. Once you hit 64, you can hit up Nagrand. You can probably start getting Terokkar quests around 62-63, too. Congratulations! You’ve skipped Zangarmarsh!

8) glory of icecrown raider total hours spent

Wow, that’s a very interesting search. I only have 25-man experience, so let’s see…

Considering all I’m missing is I’ve Been Waiting a Long Time for This achievement on Lich King, I have to say a LOT of my recent raid time has been taken up by driving towards this achievement. I’m taking into consideration how long it took us to down heroic modes like Sindragosa (weeks!) and also Gunship (first attempt). Probably anywhere from 30-40 hours of dedicated wiping just for the heroic modes, with additional wipes and issues on Boned, Full House, I’m on a Boat, Portal Jockey, All You Can Eat… So maybe 40-50 hours of wipes.

Yeah, now I want to quit…

9) what’s the priest bubble shield speed boost

It’s a deep holy talent called Body and Soul.

10) what does eh mean paladin

Well, I’m Canadian, so the first thing I think of is “eh?“… but you’re probably talking about EH — Effective Health for tanks. Your effective health is what your health actually is due to mitigation provided to you by things like armor.

Here’s an effective health calculator from my favourite warrior tank site. Go nuts. :)

Beta Beta Bo-Beta…

As I wait in the interminable Bloodlust (Alliance) queue for a dungeon, waiting for someone to need a level 68 healer, I thought I’d drop in my two cents about the upcoming Cataclysm Beta.

I got into the Wrath beta, thanks to my RL friend the resto druid. She had a spare beta key that she gave me and I spent much of my time screenshotting things, getting my hunter to 73, laughing my ass off when Unholy Blight would crash world servers and generally exploring things. I remember when Infusion of Light would cause an instant HOLY LIGHT, not just a Flash of Light. I remember when there was only a 25% penalty to healing when using Divine Plea, not a 50% one.

I really enjoyed my time in Beta. I got to see half-finished mobs in Dragonblight, I got to experience quests before others. You know the quest for Nexus called Quickening? You kill the big ol’ tree things in the zone and get Arcane Splinters. In Beta? They weren’t group loot. There were like, 10 of them available total or something. I wrote feedback, recommending group loot or 25 total so that all five people could get their quest items if all five people were on the quest. Guess what? That’s what happens on live. :D

I also really enjoy just learning the new mechanics before things go live. One thing I hate about expansions is that it’s a near-total knowledge reset. By the end of Burning Crusade, I could have tanked on a warrior at 70, even though my own warrior is only level 16. I had done my research. I could have played just about any spec of any class adequately throughout any encounter from Kara to BT. I might not have topped damage meters or healing meters or been able to hold aggro from our resident fury warrior while I was tanking, but I knew enough about what abilities were available to everyone and when they should use them that I could have done an okay job.

Come Wrath, most of that knowledge was gone.

“Vigilance?” I remember asking, “What the hell is that?”

It typically takes me at least a full year to be relatively acclimated to the game changes an expansion brings. Beta knocks off a bit of that time and lets me learn about my own classes right off the bat so that I have the knowledge that’s most important to me already subsumed by the time live hits. When live hits, it’s about learning about other classes, newer quests and instances I never tried on beta and such.

I’m hoping I get into Cataclysm’s beta early on so that I can learn about some of the big changes — guilds, mastery, archeology and the like — as well as my own classes so that when Cataclysm comes out, I am ready to hit the ground running.

I really do want to restart my dear old Apotheosis (most of the time, anyways!) and the best way for me to do that is to go into 4.0 filled to the brim with knowledge about how things work in Cataclysm.

The thought of going forth into the beta and the next expansion really reminds me, too, that a lot of the content I post here, the informative stuff, is technically time-sensitive. My Holy How-Tos are going to be all but useless come the expansion. Definitely something to bear in mind, going forward. Every patch, every expansion, things will probably change, which is something I haven’t had to deal with since I only REALLY started blogging in earnest after 3.3 hit, despite the fact I started this blog up around 2.4!

Anyways, should I get into the beta, I WILL be posting stuff here. I’ll put it all behind the cut, though, and my blog subjects will be not-too-spoilery. :) This is your notice!

The queue still hasn’t popped. In other news, I got Portal Jockey and I’m on a Boat last night!

… yeah, that’s about it for now, I guess. This queue is awful. I think I’ll try my hand at some AV.

Thoughts on Glory of the whatever Raider

The drakes-as-reward for people doing all kinds of ridiculous achievements always seemed way unimportant to me. In general, I still think they are unimportant. More importantly, in some cases, the hoops through which you had to jump to get them were just INSANE, particularly with 25 people involved.

Take, for example, Glory of the Raider, the original one dealing with Tier 7 instances.

There were a lot of easy achievements as the requirement here, but, among the difficult ones were Sarth 3D, 5-6m Maly and The Safety Dance (no deaths on Heigan in that kind of lag? Please.). And then there was The Immortal. While poor old Apotheosis never even got Thaddius down, much less Sapphiron or KT, I know raids who had one person die unexpectedly on KT every week, people who DCed through Thaddius attempts… These people never got their drakes and I imagine that honestly few people did. The Immortal, and its 10-man cousin, The Undying, were just ridiculous requirements, particularly given the obscene lag Naxxramas suffered in early Wrath. (And no, I never did get my Undying run done.)

So then Ulduar was coming out and the devs recognized that hey, we’re going to outgear all this crap and so they would remove the drake as a reward. Good on them.

And then Ulduar came out and they introduced Glory of the Ulduar Raider.

Honestly, while The Immortal was just dumb in terms of how many things can possibly go wrong, I think that the Ulduar challenges are more difficult. A lot of them aren’t gear-based, but based on co-ordination and a metric assload of cooldowns, which is why these are still attainable. It’s about knowing the fight, knowing what you have to do and sure, your gear now makes it easier, but it’s still HARD.

Some of them are super-easy, like Disarmed, or not too hard with a bit of planning and gear, like Stokin’ the Furnace and Heartbreaker. But Steelbreaker last? Freya with 3 adds? Yogg with only ONE keeper? GEEZ. Having done Steelbreaker last (albeit with my current guild who had practiced it over and over and done it several times before I joined), GOOD GOD, that is hard. I’ve done Freya with 1 add when Ulduar was current content and that was shitty enough for me, thank you very much.

Then, of course, Icecrown Citadel came out and with it, Glory of the Icecrown Raider.

There are 17 achievements in Glory of the Icecrown Raider and four of them include killing all the bosses, save Lich King, on heroic. Which is HARD. Heroic Putricide and Heroic Sindragosa are right up there with Steelbreaker last and what I imagine Freya +3 would be like. There’s just SO much personal responsibility and personal awareness required on everyone’s part in both those fights that if you can get those done, you bloody well deserve a little something to show off.

Of the 17, I have 10 done. The four heroics, Boned (shut up), Nausea…, Once Bitten, Full House, Made a Mess and Orb Whisperer.

This reset, the raid leader and guild officers have decided to work on getting 25 of us our drakes. We are, more or less, the people who have been there since the LK kill who have maintained 75%+ attendence. So we’re going to do a bunch of regular modes slightly differently (Flu Shot Shortage — OMG, Festergut without Malleable Goo again? ECSTASY!!!) and do a couple hard modes this week and save heroic LK attempts for next reset.

This is the closest I’ve ever been to getting a drake this expansion and, like I said, it’s never been important to me, it’s never been a priority. But that the guild is deliberately putting off progress to give us a bit of a break and a bit of a reward makes me feel good. It makes me feel like a real part of the guild, a real part of the team, and it’s based on my dedication, perseverence and attendence, which are all important things to me.

Go go achievement spam. I’m ready to put in the effort to get my Reins of the Icebound Frostbrood Vanquisher. And even though it’s less important than killing the bosses on heroic mode, it’ll remain a testament to all the effort I’ve put into the guild and the game over the last several months.