Peaks and Valleys

This game is full of ups and downs. One minute, you’re on top of the world, the next, you’re nothing but food for Deathwing.

Apotheosis has had an interesting week, to say the least. While I don’t want to be constantly talking about my guild, I do want to share what’s happening in my WoW life. I hope that what I’m sharing has some resonance with others, despite the specific circumstances we’ve experienced.

The Peaks:

– We took a fury warrior app, turned him into a prot warrior app, threw him into the fire and he did remarkably well.

– Despite not having two of our main-spec tanks on Sunday and only six healers available to us, we still cleared Bastion of Twilight that night.

– Even though he gave us fits at the end of the raid on Tuesday and all of Thursday, we killed Nefarian again. It’s always tricky to introduce new players to a fight that isn’t quite on farm. It’s somewhat embarassing to wipe as often as we did, though, after previously 4-shotting him.

– Due to the generous donations of various guildies, including the ever-awesome Toga, we got the Better Leveling Through Chemistry achievement and, therefore, access to the Recipe: Big Cauldron of Battle. (I never want to make flasks again, I swear to God. I probably made about 700 of those flasks over the last 2-3 weeks.) This is going to allow us to provide the vast majority of raiders with flasks every raid night, although we’re looking into ideas as to how to make it sustainable. For this first week, we’re not requiring anything of anyone, since we have a ton of flasks in the bank due to pushing for the achievement, but making it sustainable would be lovely. (Would love to hear your suggestions, too!)

– We hit Level 20, so we have access to the new heirloom helms and we get 30 flasks per Big Cauldron of Battle versus 20. (My 44 mage alt has the helm, the shoulders, the cloak, the chest, the staff, the trinket and the ring. She has +40% experience from killing monsters or completing quests. How ridiculous is that?!)

– We got a new holy/disc priest app who interviewed very well and so we extended a trial position to her. She transferred over on Sunday evening and will be in the lineup tonight!

– We got our balance druid back after he had to be away for about three weeks due to visa issues.

– We got another healing priest app that we have an interview with tomorrow.

It was a pretty good week for the guild, given all those peaks, right? Some stabilization of the roster, clearing content, getting gear for people, getting shards for the bank and people’s enchants, pushing the guild level and getting that cauldron… Really, on all fronts, that was a pretty decent week. But then… Then you have the valleys.

The Valleys:

– While we did 5/6 BWD in about 90 minutes, Nefarian took us the next 4 hours of raiding to get down. After 4-shotting him on the previous Sunday. That sucked. Off nights happen, but ugh.

– No progression. The plan was to play with heroic Halfus on Thursday. That was assuming that Nefarian would be dead on Tuesday. When he wasn’t dead on Tuesday, we still figured we’d easily get 90ish minutes on heroic Halfus on Thursday. Except we didn’t, because we spent the vast majority of Thursday night on Nefarian.

– Sunday, without two main-spec tanks (our tank officer is on vacation for a week and my brother was out celebrating at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade), was not the optimum moment to go back to heroic Halfus attempts, so we did it on normal and it went fine. Valiona and Theralion were one-shotted as well, but oh God, the messiness. /facepalm I don’t know what it is about this fight, but people just do not do it well. It’s so bad that last night, I dreamt that we wiped on them 8 times and that a specific warlock was eating some ability every single attempt and they were completely unaware until I was like “Yo, what is UP with you eating (ability) and dying on every single fight?!” and the response was “Oh. Is that what’s killing me? Huh.” (My guildies are not like this, but there are people who do struggle with the fight.) Council and Cho’gall were similarly rough, but we persevered and got through, despite only having 6 healers and our new prot warrior who’s never tanked those fights before, never mind killed those bosses with us.

– There was an incident between two raiders between Council wipes that required Darista and I to tell them to cut it out. The incident led to the officers and I debating what to do with one of the individuals involved, who had previously been warned about their behaviour. As the GM, I wrote to the individual and explained to them that they’d been previously warned and that the officers were now going to take action, although we didn’t know what that would be and were currently deliberating. Rather than wait for our decision, the individual declared their intention to leave the guild yesterday. They did so later in the day. As a result, we are a weaker raid group, without question.

This is the first incident of a raiding member of Apotheosis /gquitting and searching for a new home due to circumstances within the guild. We’ve had a couple gquit due to their own personal availability issues that they had not informed us about previously, which is fine. We’ve had a few people just stop playing the game, too, so losing a member isn’t new. But losing a member due to conflict is just not cool.

In general, if you leave my guild, you are dead to me. I don’t take kindly to people moving on to greener pastures, nor do I tolerate impulsive /gquits that stem from anger or misunderstandings. This was neither of those; this was the individual in question choosing to take their fate into their own hands. Rather than wait even 24 hours for the officers to discuss the issue, the individual took the decision out of our hands and into their own.

While I’m not happy with how things went down, I wouldn’t do things differently. Warnings only go so far before action must be taken. Threatened action must have that follow through, lest no one take said threatened action seriously in the future. Similarly, the individual must have thought they were doing the right thing for them, and I can’t fault them for doing what they felt needed to be done, despite the fact my team is weaker for it. But it still sucks.

– Relatedly, someone who was almost certainly from my guild then chose to troll the aforementioned individual’s new “hey, I’m available!” recruitment post. This is probably the most disheartening part of it all, so I hope they’re reading this. This troll is a coward, a jackass and someone I don’t want in my guild. They made me act like an adult and intervene in the individual’s recruitment thread to indicate that the troll’s comments were not my feelings about the individual, because it was the right thing to do, both personally and professionally. News flash: having to act like an adult when I’m already pissed off and already struggling to be civil in general is one of my least favourite things to do, so on a personal level, I’m seriously angry. To this troll I ask, why not let sleeping dogs lie? You didn’t like the person and you were rid of them. Congratulations, you won. It could have, and should have, ended there with a quiet celebration on your part.

But then you had to post in their recruitment thread like a gloating 12-year-old? Seriously? You’re an ass if you feel you have to get in the last word just as someone’s left the guild and try to prevent them from getting guilded elsewhere because you happen to not like them. Get the hell out of my guild immediately. You are not the type of person I want in my guild. That’s not how we roll. We try to treat people with respect, dammit, and if I ever find out who you are, I’m gkicking you for being such a stain on our guild’s reputation and culture.

It’s seriously disappointing to discover that someone who is apparently so insecure about their own sense of self-worth that they need to troll a former member’s new thread is almost certainly in my guild. I honestly feel dirty.

– Right. Back to the valleys… Our tank officer is still out of town until Saturday so he won’t be around until Sunday’s raid, which means we may not get a chance to do any progression until then, unless things go very smoothly in BWD, which would open up some time for Conclave and Al’Akir on Thursday.

– One of my healers is in the hospital at the moment (should be back home maybe as early as Thursday?), another is halfway out the door (for life-is-busy reasons. He’ll continue to make most raids just in case until April, but not tonight.) so various circumstances mean I have 5-6 healers for tonight. Good times?


It’s been an interesting week, sort of in the Chinese curse sense of the word (“May you live in interesting times.“), but an interesting week nonetheless. Seriously. This was my inbox yesterday:

Anyways, up next for us is probably either heroic Halfus, Al’Akir or maybe even a peek at heroic Maloriak, if I can convince people to do so tonight. ;)

Finally, Apotheosis is still recruiting a second elemental shaman, a second moonkin and would consider a second restoration druid. None of these are bench positions; we swap people out pretty equally and even I’m sat out now and again. Apply today!

Nefarian Down, Blackwing Descent Clear!

It was not the most auspicious of beginnings.

I’d been out all afternoon at my parents’ house because my dad’s laptop was stubbornly refusing to boot. So I went over, rescued pretty much all of his data, then we wiped it and restored the laptop to factory settings, using the restore partition. The whole process, plus dinner, lasted from 3pm until almost 8pm.

So I got home and promptly looked over the raiders for the evening and split them up into three groups for pillars on Nefarian and we eventually got the raid started.

For the first time, we dropped Cauldrons of Battle! I made 3 of them at the start and 3 of them after our break. We had an EP drive the other week for herbs and other flask mats, so I have made a TON of flasks over the last couple of weeks. We’re selling the procs to fund our repairs and keeping the base amounts in the bank for cauldrons. Well, we had enough mats to make all six cauldrons we needed and had a ton of spirit flasks (since Cauldrons don’t give you spirit as an option), so I gave out 3 spirit flasks to every healer who wanted them, while Walks and myself used the Cauldron for +intellect. The purpose? A little morale booster to show people we wanted to get this sucker down. Also, just to see how it all worked. I was amused that Mixology now seems to work and so my own Flask of Battle lasted three hours.

So I dropped three Cauldrons up front and then three of them again at the break. Each Cauldron gives 7 Flasks of Battle and, due to Chug-a-Lug (Rank 1), each flask lasts 90 minutes for your regular non-alchemist.

The first attempt wasn’t bad and got us to the P2/P3 transition. Except that at least one Chromatic Prototype was still up. Wipe!

Try 2: A disconnected healer and a Nefarian tank death in P1.
Try 3: Nefarian tank death in P1.

This happened a few times and I was like “WHAT THE EFF” because I hadn’t changed up healing strats. It was the same strat, I just had people on different assignments.

Turns out that, without being asked to by me, some of the healers had taken to spot-healing/helping out on the Ony and Nef tanks in, you know, all of our past attempts. Without asking me or letting me know. And since we’d not had any P1 tank death issues, I’d never gone through to see what the deal was. So when I kept the assignments the same, but switched a couple of healers around, one who typically spot-healed the Nef tank wasn’t able to do so any longer. Dead Nef tank.

Communication is key, people. And I now know to assign spot-heals on the tanks in P1.

Thus began the Blast Nova wipes.

Try 4: Dead healer in lava, then some Blast Novas. Wipe.
Try 5: P1 Nef tank death. (We were still figuring out the issue.)
Try 6: Blast Nova wipe.
Try 7: Blast Nova wipe.
Try 8: Blast Nova wipe.
Try 9: Hm, what’s this, oh, right, Blast Nova wipe!

Try 10:

I believe that was the attempt that  saw us get to 12%.

We took our regular 7-minute break here, since it was 10:30 and our Flasks of Battle were running out.

I made some swaps. I don’t like being the bad guy, but I had to swap out some people for a variety of reasons. Either they couldn’t get out of the lava reliably or their overall damage was lower than expected or whatever. They’d had 90 minutes to perfect doing their jobs and they just… well, some of them didn’t. Practice makes perfect, but I had to swap them out to try to get the boss down. I really hate that, but I like that I CAN swap people and then stack the raid comp appropriately.

Anyways, back to Nefarian.

Try 11: Oh, look, a return to Blast Nova wipes! /sigh.

Try 12: 14%!

Try 13:

On the pull, my holy priest got crit by Onyxia and died. We popped her up and continued.

We lost a healer on a platform in P2, but it was the third healer (we run with 7 healers, so one platform gets 3 healers) and we got him popped up in P3.

We went through two Electrocutes in P2, the second one at the tail end of the phase, right as we were hopping off platforms. It was definitely tight.

So we popped up the healer who had died in P2 and went to town on P3, with Nefarian under 60%.

Holy God. The Nef tank doesn’t take a HUGE amount of damage, but the Electrocutes come so damn quickly in P3 with all your DPS focused on Nefarian. I’d been calling out Electrocutes all night long and I missed at least two of them on Try 13 because I wasn’t expecting them to come that quickly.

We popped Time Warp (as opposed to heroism, since we only had one shaman in the raid and she was a healer who was basically oom) at 25%. And the whole damn raid was still alive. I think it was right about here where I felt “we might actually GET this!” but I knew that all it would take to wipe us was a bad shadowblaze and our add tank would be dead.

Majik and our other mage made use of Rings of Frost to slow down some adds and our add tank ran them through them here and there.

Of course, like most people’s first kills, our add tank died at 5%.



But what I didn’t see… was this.

That’s right. With our add tank dead and our “backup” add tank dead, they were looking at me.

And decided to beat me.


We did it!

Crazy, crazy times. 11/12 normal modes on 25-man.

We then went to Throne to try to knock out Conclave and didn’t quite get them down for a second time, but I REALLY was not expecting to go there, so no big.

After the raid, Apotheosis got another achievement.

Yup. Got the It All Adds Up guild achievement. Ouch. 50,000 gold on repairs hurts when you think about it!

Overall, a great raid week, an awesome raid night and we creep ever-closer to going 12/12. We’ll probably play with heroic Halfus this week and definitely try to repeat the Nefarian kill and see if we have time for Al’Akir. I think, anyways. :)

(Interested in joining us? Apotheosis is looking for a balance druid and an elemental shaman! Apply today!)

Blessing of Frost Pimpage, Short Update

Episode 11 of Blessing of Frost is live! Go check it out at! Our special guest this week is Stoneybaby of the guild Big Crits and our topic is raid progression.

We also got a new iTunes feed and the new episodes will be added shortly after they’re up on the website, so subscribe to the Blessing of Frost feed and rate us up! If a Tuesday goes by and you don’t see a new episode, hit up the website to be sure you don’t miss a single ep. :)

In other news…

Yup, Nefarian to 22% on Sunday night. A couple of hiccups here and there, but there’s definite progress happening. We’re engaged in a bit of an amusing (and very informal) “who can kill him first?” battle with Conquest of Ner’zhul, the guild that THEEEEE Matticus heads up. They’re a good 12 pulls ahead of us, best as I can figure, and wiped on him at 4% tonight and are going back in tomorrow. That gives us at least 13 attempts to tie them, if they get him down on the first attempt tomorrow. I think we can do that.

It means nothing, of course, but it’s fun to engage in a bit of inter-guild competition since there’s very little 25-man competition going on over on Eldre’Thalas these days. I’m fairly certain that Epic Again, the #1 25-man guild on the server, is 12/12 regular modes by now and Free At Last was 10/12 before they split into two 10-man teams, so that makes Apotheosis the #2 active 25-man guild on the server. The nearest “competition” to us is a Horde guild that seems to be 6/12, so… yeah.

Speaking of the ol’ guild, Apotheosis is still looking for non-cloth-wearing casters! Moonkins and elemental shaman, this means you! Apply today, would you? ;) Also looking at resto druids, probably all good on resto shaman, definitely full on priests, warlocks, mages, death knights and not seeking tanks at this time. Feel free to email me at kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com if you’re interested in applying and you have any questions. I’ll be happy to answer you. :)

In the meantime, if you’re a holy paladin, check out the Alliance guild Choice of Skywall or the Horde guild Big Crits of Sen’jin as both are looking for good holy paladins!

Lame update, I know.

Anyways, this is going up at about 9am ET (I love setting a future publishing time) so a bunch of people see the post while maintenance is still going on and I’m still asleep. ;) Have a great day and enjoy the latest Blessing of Frost episode!

Lord Victor Nefarius and Lady Katrana Prestor

I’ve been playing WoW for a long time. More than five years, now. One of my earlier memories is getting the Rallying Cry of the Dragonslayer. I remember being VERY confused about it when I got it and that’s when I started researching stuff.

And that was my introduction to Lord Victor Nefarius (better known as Nefarian) and Lady Katrana Prestor (better known as Onyxia). Brother and sister, both children of Deathwing, Nefarian was the end-boss of Blackwing Lair in vanilla WoW and Onyxia was the only boss in what is appropriately named “Onyxia’s Lair”, a raid instance in Dustwallow Marsh. Ony was a 40-man raid and then retuned during Wrath of the Lich King to be a 10 or 25-man raid. Personally, I loved the Ony raid. I only killed her twice on Kurn at level 60, once in a pug run by some of the better players on the server and once with a bunch of my guildmates at the time, although we had a lot of outside help.

I never did kill a Blackwing Lair boss at level 60, so I was nowhere near getting to kill Nefarian.

So why all the background?

In Blackwing Descent, the end boss is Nefarian. And he has resurrected Onyxia. And we did our first 17 or so pulls last night.

For all of Phase 1 of the Nefarian encounter, you’re dealing with Ony and then Nefarian lands partway through and you are fighting BOTH of them. Hilarity and awesomeness!

They get a buff called Children of Deathwing, hilariously enough, if they’re within 60 yards of each other. Also hilarious and awesome!

I’m not a huge lore person, but because I KNOW these characters, and especially because I unmasked Lady Katrana Prestor to be, in fact, Onyxia, at the end of the exceedingly long attunement quest chain to be attuned to Onyxia’s Lair, back in the day, it means more to me than some random dragon.

The Valiona and Theralion fight in Bastion of Twilight means very little to me, despite the fact that you actually fight Valiona in Grim Batol. There’s no history for me.

But Nefarian? I spent a long time in vanilla WoW wondering if we’d ever get to set foot in BWL as a guild. (We did not.) I spent time inspecting those awesome T2-geared hunters and paladins (Judgement is still the coolest set of all time, despite the fact it’s all healing gear now. Whatever happened to the strength, spirit and agility that was on that set?).

I’ve killed Level 60 Nefarian a couple of times since 4.0 dropped, while Football (our gnome warrior we used to get to pull the Beast in UBRS, who would then get punted, hence the nickname) was farming up mats for his Thunderfury, but I never killed him at the appropriate level.

Apotheosis got Nefarian to 47% last night.

That’s with:

– one no-show
– one very late cancellation by a tank
– one late “oh crap, I’m going to be late” notification
– three officers missing

So we ran with two offspec tanks (an Unholy-turned-Blood DK and a Retribution-turned-Protection pally). Didn’t have a feral druid in the raid. Didn’t have a frost DK in the raid. We were missing some pretty important buffs: 3% damage, increased melee speed and increased bleed damage (until I realized the bleed damage thing and got Toga to pull out his hyena).

And we still got Nefarian to 47%.

Not only that, but I’m dogsitting at my parents’ house for a week while they’re away and I have had nothing but computer issues. My laptop refuses to stay connected to the wireless network here, while my dad’s desktop refuses to run Mumble. So I was on Mumble on my laptop and on WoW on the desktop and kept dropping off Mumble but then also got dropped out of the game a couple of times. /facepalm. So I eventually said screw it and just plugged my laptop directly into the modem (using the one ethernet cord my father apparently has in the entire house) and played from my laptop, as I normally do.

So even with my ridiculous technical issues and despite our DK DCing a couple of times, we did great. 47%!

There was this one attempt where we’re in P2 and I’m on my pillar and I look and neither our elemental shaman nor the DPS DK who were interrupting were still alive.

I then realized that it was up to me and the Blood DK to interrupt Blast Nova. And while my Rebuke was on cooldown, I would be healing the crap out of the people on my platform, along with one of our disc priests. Believe it or not, we got through that attempt without me or the DK screwing up and/or missing. And I don’t mean “oh no, my attack didn’t hit”, since even with just one point in Enlightened Judgements, I’m melee hit-capped for a raid boss (… is Rebuke a spell-hit roll or a melee-hit roll?) and the Chromatic Prototypes we’re interrupting are level 85, but with zero communication between us, the DK and I managed to keep that sucker locked down, in a proper rotation. It was pretty awesome. :D

Well, it’s awesome in retrospect. In the moment, I was like “Oh God, he’s dead… she’s dead… OH GOD I HAVE TO INTERRUPT. ShitshitshitshitREBUKE.”

Still, makes for a good story. ;)

So Nef to 47%. And we can clear out 5/6 BWD in about 2 hours, with any luck.

I think our priority this week is a repeat Cho’gall kill, a quick run to Conclave for a repeat there (?) and definitely some more Nef work.

At some point, in the not-so-distant future, I will finally kill Nefarian at the appropriate level.

This makes me giddy. :)

Have you pulled Nefarian? Killed him? What are your impressions on the fight?

In which I remember I have a blog…

Right! I have a blog! ;)

Hi folks.

It’s a busy time to be a guild master, especially one that’s heading up what is essentially a new guild. Lots of new personalities lead to a new guild atmosphere. Not everyone adores each other, but I like to think everyone respects one another. Still, being on top of things to help diffuse misunderstandings is something I’m having to do now and again. Everyone responds to things differently and some jokes do not go over well.

Plus, there’s Blessing of Frost (new episode, #9, is out — iTunes stuff still pending due to the move, but you can download it right from the website) to deal with and, well, that whole “raiding” thing.

We took 13 whacks at the Twilight Ascendant Council on Monday night. Monday isn’t a normal raid night for us, but Sunday was the Superbowl, so we went on Monday. Wasn’t an optimal group comp, but it was okay. We had 25 people! ;)

Of course, the disconnection monster ruined us. Our tank officer kept getting knocked offline, then half the Canadians (myself and my brother Fog included) got thrown off… We had several people with super-high latency and so we called it an hour early, rather than reclear trash for 40 minutes of potentially sub-par attempts at Council.

Honestly, it was demoralizing and probably not just for me. You could just tell people’s hearts weren’t in it and that they were frustrated.

So we called it and I told people to be ready for this week, to be ready to focus, to take on these new encounters, because we were going to spend a lot of time on them. Meaning Council and Cho’gall.

Our plan was to go into Blackwing Descent on Tuesday and go 4 of 6 or thereabouts and hope for 5/6 and then start fresh in Bastion on Thursday. By 11pm, we were 5/6 in BWD.


I think my precise words in officer chat were:

“Uhhhhh. So… now what? haha!”

We’d talked about extending our Bastion lockout so that we could spend even more time on Council and hopefully Cho’gall, but we elected not to do so and went in to go splat Halfus.

By 11:55pm, we were done with Halfus and done with our first-ever six-boss raid night.

We one-shotted Magmaw, had a quirk with Omnotron, then three-shotted Chimaeron (disconnects are BAD!), then one-shotted Atramedes for the very first time. We’d killed him in two attempts a couple of times, but it felt good to get Atramedes down that quickly. Then a quick one-shot on Maloriak and we were off to Bastion.

We one-shotted Halfus, too, despite a bad wipe on his trash.

If we can always bounce back from a sub-par raid night with a superb effort like we saw tonight, I will never be concerned about a sub-par raid night again.

And it WAS sub-par. Frustrating, some mistakes, some misunderstanding of various mechanics on everyone’s part… Hell, I even had a tank die on me. Totally my fault, too.

But we pulled it together tonight and blew through BWD. I even had the opportunity to sit myself out of Magmaw and Omnotron. To date, I’ve sat out of one, maybe two Baradin Holds, so I’m glad I got to sit out some actual fights. No one is exempt from being sat.

Hilariously, this means I missed one of my SHADOW PRIESTS getting mangled by Magmaw. I sat there, staring at my raid frames in disbelief, clearly seeing the mangle debuff on him. Go, go Dispersion. I have NO idea what the hell happened there, but it was a fairly clean kill anyways.

Also tonight, much mocking of me by the raid. They’re all fired and I imagine the Twilight Realm (where I tend to order my healers to go if they displease me in some way) is getting pretty darn crowded right about now. >.> It was pretty hilarious at points, though. Have you ever tried to do healing assignments while being mocked or teased AND laughing? No? Try it, sometime. ;)

In other raiding news, holy cow, did I get gear.

Over the last week or so:

Wyrmbreaker’s Amulet
Burden of Mortality
Relic of Norgannon
Darkmoon Card: Tsunami
Vibrant Alchemist Stone
Maldo’s Sword Cane
Flash Freeze Gauntlets

Pretty nuts. I’ve updated my chardev profile and the only thing that’s not right is that my JC trinket (Dream Owl) is now replaced by the Vibrant Alchemist Stone.

By the way, it’s pretty awesome. I took a mana potion tonight on Maloriak: 14487 mana back. With 351 intellect (301 + 40 int gem + 10 int socket bonus) and mad amounts of haste AND the 40% extra from mana or health potions… Very pretty.

So Tuesday was an amazing start to our raid week. Valiona & Theralion on Thursday, followed by Council work and hopefully Cho’gall.

Oh, and our tank lead uploaded a bunch of videos of Apotheosis vs. various fights. Sadly, his voice doesn’t come through on fraps for these, so just imagine a dwarven pally tank calling out things. ;) You do get to hear a bit of raid chatter, though, which I always think is fun.

Apotheosis vs. Maloriak (25)
Apotheosis vs. Atramedes (25)
Apotheosis vs. Halfus (25)
Apotheosis vs. Valiona & Theralion (25)

And here’s our channel link:

More fights to come, more recruitment videos, more fun stuff.

On that note, definitely bedtime for moi.

I do hope to be able to post paladin-related stuff soon. I didn’t feel particularly nerfed on Tuesday, though, if that even means anything, but it’s probably because of all the gear I’ve gotten in the last week.

My Chimaeron Job, Spec & Glyphs

I mentioned the other day that I have myself on group healing for Chimaeron. A commenter, ambient, asked this:

You haven’t group healed on your paladin in ages…is there a reason you put the druid and priest on tank duties and gave both the paladins group assignments?

I put the resto druid and one of my disc priests on the two tanks because we’d tried resto druids on groups on our first night on Chimaeron and it didn’t work out amazingly. I like to have one disc on a tank on any given fight because she prefers tank healing while the other prefers raid healing.

So why give the paladins group assignments?

Walks, the other holy paladin in Apotheosis, loves group healing. I stick him on the raid and tell him to beacon a tank and while he’ll need some help to keep the tank up, he’s excellent at using Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance to their maximum effects to keep up raid healing. He’s also just a great healer in general and a very strong player. So I gave him the melee group (group 2). While he wasn’t going to use Light of Dawn on them, he was comfortable with healing a group.

I, on the other hand, was not, but, by golly, if Walks could do it, so could I! Or so I reasoned.

I went in to our second night of Chimaeron attempts (where we killed him) with a really sub-par spec for the encounter. I have two specs. My “primary” is one I don’t use often, actually, and is the one I use to switch up things. My “secondary” is a very safe tank healing spec where I don’t presume that all my Holy Power will go to Light of Dawn and where I have Eternal Glory and all that jazz.

My spec last week that I used for Chimaeron didn’t have Eternal Glory. Which is pretty fail. We won anyways, but I knew I could do better.

So this week, this was my spec: 31/5/5

A Tower of Radiance-less, Aura Mastery-less spec with Blessed Life, of all things, that still had Last Word, Eternal Glory and a bit of extra judgement range, since I knew I’d be standing with a ranged group. My glyphs were Holy Shock, Seal of Insight and Word of Glory, plus Divinity, Divine Protection and Salvation. I made a macro to bind my Divine Protection use to Holy Radiance, which I used on every Feud, so that I wouldn’t be a complete idiot and FORGET to use Divine Protection, as I am prone to doing. It happens when you see EVERYONE IN THE RAID at one health, you know?

With Word of Glory, Holy Shock, Infusion of Light procs for faster Holy Lights/Divine Lights and Daybreak procs, it’s really not too hard for a paladin to group heal. Your attention CANNOT waver, though. No blindly clicking your heal button on a single target while you look around the screen at various timers or indicators, nothing like that — at least, not for me. As soon as my attention would slip, people would die. (I did apologize to my party beforehand.)

So I was a lot more prepared last night, thanks to my screwy spec. I kept Light of Dawn over Aura Mastery because my plan was to have some Holy Power saved up to blast a Light of Dawn now and again on Feuds, but hey, that didn’t work out. At least I remembered my Holy Radiance!

Anyways, I did want to share that. And I do want to talk more about the state of paladin healing, but I’m not ready to tackle it yet. Part of that post will expand on the answer I’m about to give for the second of ambient’s questions:

Why is it that you hate PotI? Did you mean to say that you love it? Cos I can’t see what the downside of it is.

I hate passive healing. I loathe it. Can’t stand it. I think every single heal that I cast should be something I meant to cast. I resent that Protector of the Innocent automatically heals me and I hate that it transfers through the beacon. I am a huge fan of pre-emptive healing and reactionary healing, but passive healing? Not something I dig. I feel strongly that my heals should be measured, careful, decisions, not “oh here, here’s a free heal for you AND your beacon target!!!”.

And I’ll get into that some more when I eventually tackle a post about some different ways of paladin healing in Cataclysm. :)

Atramedes Dead – What a Relief!

Last night, on our Infamous Last Attempt, which is a tradition that has persisted for us since the old Fated Heroes days, if I’m not mistaken, we got Atramedes down on 25.

What a relief. I cannot express to you all how absolutely relieved and gratified I felt and how proud I felt of my raid group. I slept like a freaking baby after this kill, for the first time in a couple of weeks, it feels like.

It’s funny, because I looked at the logs and there were only 26 wipes on this guy over the course of three nights. 26 wipes? That’s nothing. My first XT kill in Ulduar was the result of 8 hours of wiping, my first Mimiron kill was easily 80+ wipes. Heroic Sindragosa only died three times for me and I wiped on her probably in excess of 200 times total, with two separate guilds.

So 26 wipes? Why do I feel SO relieved? SO gratified? SO proud?

Because this is my crew and we didn’t give up. We went in expecting to flatten Atramedes, pretty much. At least I did. I didn’t think he would give us as much trouble as he did. I soon grew to loathe the encounter, not understanding what the hell was going on and sifting through the logs, which is something I normally love to do, was painfully slow.

So thanks to everyone’s comments on my last post, I refined our strat. Those videos linked by Neara and Palaria were very helpful, and everyone’s information really helped solidify and confirm a lot of what I was understanding.

Ultimately, I have to credit Beruthiel (again!) for her sharing that they use 1 gong during Ground (Searing Flames), 1 gong at the start of the air phase to reset everyone’s sound and 1 gong during air phase to re-target.

That was basically the key. It prevented us from losing people (most of the time) once they were targetted during the early parts of the air phase, because everyone had 0 sound at the start. Beautiful.

We ran out of gongs once and took that as “hitting enrage”, which was great. Just needed for more people to stay alive and kick some ass. And, despite the early use of our last gong (meaning the whole raid at Searing Flames at the end, but some of us LIVED!!!), we actually managed to finish him off.

Being part of a team is a very different feeling from leading the team. 26 wipes? I wouldn’t have batted an eyelash at that back in Ulduar, back in ICC heroics. But it’s a very different feeling when you see the group you’ve assembled battle back against the mechanics and improve in the fights and come out victorious.

I’m so pleased. :)

And thank you, all of you who commented to share your Atramedes strats and tips. You definitely count as part of the team for this one. :)

Here’s my addition to the communal knowledge on this fight:

– To see how many discs people are eating, go to your World of Logs dashboard for the attempt (or all the attempts) and scroll all the way down to the Spells List. Find “Sonar Pulse”. There should be two listed, one with a brown S and spell ID “92417” and one with a purple S. Click on the brown S with the 92417 spell ID. Damage done is useless. Click on the Power Gain tab. There you have all the people who got hit with discs, thereby gaining 5 sound on each hit.

– You can see how much sound people gained individually throughout the encounter by going to their specific character and going to “Buffs Gained”.  You can then click through to the abilities, and see people’s overall damage take and, through Power Gain, see how much sound people generally took from these abilities.

Hope my two cents is useful to people out there struggling with this fight!

(PS: Still recruiting a resto shaman, a resto druid and a moonkin!)

Atramedes – Your Take

Okay, so my guild has spent a few hours playing with Atramedes over the course of two nights.

It’s pretty clear to me that a LOT of the mechanics don’t work the way they’re described on various strat sites. For example, you take more damage from Modulation based on your sound at the time, I believe.

I’d love to hear what you’ve discovered about Atramedes through your own attempts. I’d also love to hear how people deal with the air phase and gong usage in particular.


1) What mechanics work differently than you thought they would, based on pre-raid reading or watching of videos? How are they different?

2) How do you deal with the air phase?

3) Have gongs ever respawned and been usable to you during the fight? (I’m getting conflicting reports of this.)

4) Do you find overall raid damage difficult to deal with or is it due to avoidable damage not being avoided?

Looking forward to your comments!

Also, I find it really sad that I was SO looking forward to this fight and now I’ve grown to genuinely not enjoy it in the least. :(

Updates, Kills, Nerfs and Stress!

What I like about blogging is that your blog is always there when you want to write. I’ve actually wanted to write a lot in the last week, but I rarely have the time these days. Being a GM means a LOT of your free time (and some of your non-free time!) goes to guild stuff.

It’s not even in-game stuff, it’s out of game stuff. Planning. Reading parses. Dropping notes to people. Figuring out promotions. Oh, and then what to do about Cauldrons? And how can we incent the raiders to give us Lavascale Catfish?!

I have a break in my day today that allows me to post here because a lot of the stuff that’s been consuming me over the last week has been dealt with. Our first batch of promotions went out this morning to those with whom we’re happy concerning performance and if they’ve been to all 9 of our raids thus far. Welcome to Raider rank, kids. :)

Aside from that, I’m pretty pleased with our raids thus far. Every week, we’ve killed everything we killed the week before AND a new one.

Week 1: Argaloth, Magmaw, Omnotron, Halfus, V&T
Week 2: The above plus Maloriak
Week 3: The above plus Chimaeron

And we also got Atramedes to 28% on Sunday. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


We did it with the following group of healers:

2 holy paladins, 2 disc priests, 1 holy priest, 1 resto shaman and 1 resto druid

The individual assignments:
Group 1 – minus the two tanks: resto shaman
Group 2 – melee: holy paladin (not me)
Group 3 – casters on left side of the room: holy paladin (me)
Group 4 – most of the healers: holy priest
Group 5 – mostly ranged on the right side of the room: disc priest
MT – resto druid
OT (double-attack tank) – disc priest

First of all, let me just state for the record that prior to Chimaeron, the last time I healed a GROUP in a 25-man raid was almost certainly on Naj’entus in Black Temple. You know. Back in 2008.

Second of all, huge props to one of our discs for digging up this little nugget of awesomeness from the PlusHeal Chimaeron 10m thread:

Way we did this was to add Low Health debuff to Center Icon on Grid and the other debuff (Caustic Slime) to Border indicator (set the aura to a yellow colour).

That made things SO much easier, at least for me.

So the groups were more or less taken care of. The tanks were more or less taken care of.

How to deal with Feud and the multiple Caustic Slimes the entire raid had to absorb?

Well, I looked at our lineup and I coordinated everyone’s cooldowns/abilities. Like, every single one. I assumed the following:

– Feuds would happen an average of 1m apart with the occasional one 30s after the last and the occasional one 90s after the last
– We would have no more than 5 Feuds

This was sparked by Beruthiel and Vixsin‘s comments on this post of mine (so many awesome suggestions there!!! Thank you, everyone!):

Vixsin: Surviving Feud is all about coordinating raid CDs and having all your non-healers use their group healing spells. Ret and Prot pallies should be hitting HR. Elemental and Enhance Shaman should be dropping Healing Rain. Feral druids should use Tranq. Personal CDs also make a huge difference, along with a raid leader who screams “click the lightwell!!”

Beru: during feuds have them work out a Tranq/ToL cycle. They should not utilize both CDs for the same feud. For example: Feud 1: Druid 1 Tranq, Druid 2 ToL, Beru ToL; Feud 2: Beru Tranq, Druid 1 ToL, Druid 2 heal; Feud 3: Druid 3 Tranq – the other two ToL when it’s up and if it’s needed.

I also seriously considered making two healers be a “Slime Team”, as per Vixsin’s suggestion:

For quick and easy topping, handle “Low Health” like you did Penetrating Cold–assign healers to specific groups. (Priests on ranged, R-Sham on melee).

It was definitely still in my mind as a possibility if what I came up with just flat-out didn’t work. But… it did. And here’s how we did it.

First off:

1) ALL Paladins should hit Holy Radiance when we’re clumped up.
2) ALL Shaman should get Healing Rain down on the clump spot ASAP.
3) ALL Resto Druids should get an Efflorescence up on the clump spot ASAP.
4) ALL Holy Priests should get a Sanctuary on the clump spot ASAP.

Then we did this:

Feud 1:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier
– 1x Lightwell
– 1x ToL and LB/WG spam, using Regrowth w/ OOC procs and keeping Swiftmend on CD for Efflorescence
– 1x Mana Tide Totem (and again on cooldown anytime we’re clumped up)

Feud 2:

– 1x Divine Guardian
– 1x Barkskin/Tranquility (resto druid)

Feud 3:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier (other disc)
– 1x Divine Hymn (shadow priest with PI and Lifeblood for maximum ticks)

Feud 4:

– 1x Divine Guardian (other pally tank)
– 1x Barkskin/Tranquility (feral DPS druid)
– 1x Lightwell (should be back up)

Feud 5:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier (first disc)
– 1x ToL and LB/WG spam, using Regrowth w/ OOC procs and keeping Swiftmend on CD for Efflorescence (same resto)
– All kinds of personal cooldowns, including Healthstones

I know what you’re all thinking. “Wow, Kurn, that’s some serious overkill and overplanning!”

On our kill, we had 13.3% overhealing. So not a lot of overkill. And while it was a lot of planning, I think it was just the right amount of planning. So far as I can tell, everyone did what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it on all 8 of our attempts. We never had more than 5 feuds.

What is something that really surprised me is this:

182823 raid DPS
85376 raid HPS (effective, not raw)
98423 raid HPS (raw)

The average DPS and HPS on a kill, according to World of Logs:
228673 DPS
88908 HPS

I’m pretty sure the average HPS is raw, because otherwise I don’t know how we won, basically. I’m chalking it up to our outstanding healing, which allowed us to overcome the issue of having substantially lower DPS than the average.

That’s the sort of thing that makes a healing lead proud of her team. :)

For reference, here’s what my Grid looked like throughout the vast majority of the fight.

Chimaeron is not for the faint of heart! You can clearly see that five people have the Low Health debuff and that they also have Caustic Slime on them (yellow border). My groups go from 1 on top to 5 at the bottom so there I am in the second position in Group 3 benefitting from Protector of the Innocent. Lord, I hate that talent. Having said that, it was usuallyNOT enough to keep me alive. I had to watch my health carefully, lest I die. And for that fight, I was definitely specced 3/3 PotI. (I’m normally 2/3.)

And speaking of talents. And being a paladin. And such.

There are nerfs a-plenty in the new PTR patch, including a likely live hotfix to our passive Walk in the Light, which now supposedly only adds 10% to our healing spells instead of 15%. I am so tied up in my paladin that I don’t think I have any choice but to continue as my paladin, even if I’m unhappy about a variety of changes. I’m hoping 4.1 will show us more love than 4.0.6 is, thus far.

With regards to stress, I find myself remembering why being the GM sucks. It’s not just the work, although there is that. It’s not just the constant stream of whispers and PMs, although sometimes that does get tiresome. It’s the loneliness. I’m surrounded by great officers and we do a lot of things by vote/committee/etc. I’m not a dictator, I’m not a monarch. I’m the representative of the officers that takes what’s said behind closed doors and announces it. I’m the one who pushes the officers to discuss things. Basically, I’m a facilitator.

But I’m still the guild master. And even though it doesn’t mean a whole lot as compared to my brother or Majik or any of our other officers, I’m still “the face” of the guild.

People act differently around me. I have to wonder how to act around various people. Can I shoot the breeze with a guildie about stuff that’s going on or is that best left within /o? Am I allowed to make mistakes like a moron or is that going to reflect horribly on my ability to lead? It’s as though I’m always putting on a public face that’s there “for the betterment of the guild and the raid group” and I don’t get to relax in-game at all. As such, I haven’t been in-game a lot over the last few days. I’ve been working hard to get all these promotions and attendance things taken care of and help plan out our progression route (right now, Atramedes, Council, Cho’gall, Nefarian and Throne somewhere in there), so it’s not like I’m sitting here doing nothing. Oh, and I’m recruiting, too. (Resto shaman, resto druid, balance druid! Apply now!)

But it’s still lonely.

Toga, one of our officers, was the original GM of Apotheosis when we formed. We signed the charter that Majik bought, decided upon officers and the officers basically voted unanimously (there were like, 10 of us at the time) to make Toga the GM.

I’m pretty sure Toga has never forgiven us for that. ;) I thought that as the primary raid leader back in BC, I got a lot of whispers and messages. I thought wrong. When I became the GM when Toga stepped down midway through SSC due to RL stuff, I was flooded, inundated. And I realized that I was the go-to person people would come to about stuff that would impact their raiding.

“Kurn, I can’t go to the raid on Tuesday, I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay, thanks for letting me–”
“My mom’s… well, this is hard to say, but…”

And the person would launch into an extremely personal story that I didn’t need to hear. I mean, you can’t make the raid. Okay. Thanks for the heads up. I don’t need to know more.

But I knew the people coming to me with these things needed to tell me. There’s something about telling someone you kind of know over the Internet some personal things, so you can vent about how you’re feeling without any RL repercussions.

This is when I realized that I needed to start sharing my WoW stuff with my RL friends. One of them is extremely kind to listen to me babble. She knows the names of many of my guildies, past and present. She doesn’t play at all and has no interest, but when I told her I got the Kingslayer title, back in the day, she was thrilled for me!

I also talk to my RL Friend the Resto Druid, because it’s always nice to have an objective opinion from someone who knows the game and how guilds work, first-hand.

So it’s lonely in-game sometimes, but, thanks to some of my awesome friends, I get to vent to them about the in-game frustrations I have and no one in Apotheosis needs to be witness to that. Which is probably a good thing.

Anyways, invites in less than 6 hours. I need to comb through the Atramedes log from Sunday and figure out why it looks like I failed so badly the parse doesn’t seem to be picking up various things and counting others as double damage and the like. I’ve been very pleased with WoL in T11 content, but DAMN, Atramedes is messy as hell.

Sorry for the long-winded update, but not writing for a week totally meant this was going to happen sooner or later. ;)

Exit Maloriak, Enter Chimaeron

Tuesday’s raid ended with us wiping at 1% on Maloriak, mostly due to two disconnects (one by a healer, one by a DPS) and a lack of Remedy dispels.

On our second attempt on Thursday, we kicked that guy’s ass.

And then, it was time to face Chimaeron.

It’s sort of like the worst parts of heroic Anub’arak, plus the insanity of healing the ENTIRE raid to full like with Gluth, in Naxx.

I tend to sort of “adopt” a fight, each instance or tier, that I just *KNOW*. I mean, I know all the fights, but there’s usually one that sticks out for me that I know every single detail about. It was Sindragosa in ICC, it was Anub’arak in TOGC (that damn tank who insisted on solo-tanking those adds… MAN, that still pisses me off!), it was probably Hodir in Ulduar, it was… maybe Heigan? Or Loatheb in T7.

I have a feeling that Chimaeron will be That Fight for me in T11, or at least in Blackwing Descent.

After the first wipe, I asked my healers how they felt.

Me: Okay, how’s it feeling for everyone? hahaha
Disc priest: FML
Me: Apart from panic inducing?
Resto druid: I need a pancake
Disc priest: All I use is GHeal
Disc priest: And I’m sad

15 attempts, we got from “oh god FML” to getting the boss to 40%. Not easy. The worst part is when he casts Massacre and there goes the Bile-o-Tron. I just don’t know if we have the healing, to be honest. Not a knock against my healers, but maybe we need more time before worrying about him? I don’t know. Maybe we’re getting to the point where the class really is making a difference. Maybe resto druids just aren’t cut out for this fight, maybe I should stack priests. I’m not even sure. It’s going to be fun to do research on that fight over the next few days.

Sunday, it’s back to Bastion to knock out Halfus and Valiona & Theralion again, with any luck. And maybe even pull Council, if we’re lucky? I should probably put up info on that fight before Sunday. (read: I should actually look at the fight myself before Sunday.)

I’m seriously proud of the Maloriak improvement between Tuesday and Thursday. There was some outstanding work by everyone on that fight. And some kick-ass healing on Chimaeron, don’t get me wrong. Just not quite enough.

In other news, we’re definitely looking for a resto shaman — one who will drop their Mana Tide when assigned, unlike the one we currently have. ;D — so please do app if you’re around 338 ilvl equipped in your resto gear, have a desire to push content and be challenged and don’t mind a holy paladin as your healing lead. Oh, and can make our raids! We’re swapping people around and are pretty good at it, so you might not be in for every single fight ever, but you should be in fairly often, depending on your level of play, of course.

Apply today, shammies!

(Fad, Fug, I miss you both desperately!)