(or, “And I thought I hated his Sons…”)
Remember all my optimism with regards to Hodir? Throw it out the window.
First, we went to Emalon in the Vault of Archavon. Can I just say… how dumb is it that a Tier 7 boss and a Tier 8 boss are in the same instance that you can get saved to? What if you go to Vault of Archavon to kill Archavon? Then you’re saved to an instance where Emalon is up, but still can’t go to any other raids apart from your own. This hasn’t happened to me — I elected to stay the hell out of the Vault of Archavon unless it was going to be with my guild, because I didn’t want to get saved.
So we did Emalon. Sadly, it took three attempts.
Two PVP pieces and two pieces of T8 dropped, I believe. Shadow priest gloves and hunter gloves. The shadow priest gloves may have been disenchanted (? Or vendored if you can’t DE them.).
Then, we headed to Ulduar, whereapon we fought Hodir for close to four hours. And did not down the bastard.
Most of my guild did, however, get Heroic: Staying Buffed All Winter.
I was the first person to get it, though, completely by chance. And it lagged my casting and the MT died. Whoops. :)
The first major issue was that people were being dumb about the falling snow. There are these blue circles that show up. You don’t stand in them because icicles/snow fall there and you take, oh, 14,000 frost damage if you don’t resist any of it.
The second major issue is that we had four pallies healing, one druid, two priests and a resto shammy. We actually swapped out our backup tank for another paladin healer. This is one of the most difficult fights I’ve encountered as a paladin so far in 3.0. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It is a difficult fight to heal well as a holy paladin.
There are several reasons.
1) In order to avoid the Biting Cold debuff (think Keristrasza at the end of The Nexus, only worse — you have to keep moving/jumping to get rid of one debuff at a time, and this one deals damage), you have to move. Pretty darn constantly. Cast twice, move, cast twice, move. Cast on the move with Holy Shock and Infusion of Light procs as often as possible.
2) Stay the hell out of the circles. The icicle circles of doom are constantly appearing all around the room. You MUST avoid them. Not that my guild really did, but that’s why we didn’t kill Hodir tonight. :P
3) Flash Freeze. When the BIG circles appear during Hodir’s Flash Freeze cast, wait for the snow to drop, then go stand on top of the snow, lest you get frozen. And while frozen, you take increasing stacks of Biting Cold damage! Hooray! So you’re constantly watching for those circles and then booking it to their edges so you can get on the snowdrift for safety.
4) Haste buffs. There are these circles of light that come down that boost your haste to AWESOME amounts. Like, perpetual heroism speed, as long as you stand in them. They look like the Lunar Festival spotlight things. So obviously, while you’re chasing your tank, you want to stop in these every so often. Run, move, run, move. Ideally, from one circle of light to another. But that’s rarely possible.
5) Toasty Fires. The best thing since Divine Plea. These fires, created by the mage NPCs, allow you to just STAND next to them without letting Biting Cold touch you. They’ll be extinguished if icicles fall on them or a Flash Freeze happens, but will protect you from the damage of all three of those effects until extinguished and you’re in range. Beautiful for a healer or any other casters who can’t effectively cast while running all the damn time. So when you see one, you try to run to it while praying your tank doesn’t die because you can’t cast while running!
That said, I had a blast healing it tonight. I didn’t top healing, nor should I ever do so, really, but I did cast Blessing dammit Hand of Sacrifice on the tank 1-2 times an attempt. I’d bubble the first and beacon myself for the second and heal the tank/myself for that whole time. I felt useful! I was dodging icicles, only got caught in Flash Freeze twice, both times because I was like, five meters yards too far away to get to the snowdrifts in time. (Well, I also got caught in it on attempts where the RL had already called for a wipe, but those don’t count.)
It wasn’t just spamming the tank with Holy Light. It was keeping beacon on me, sacred shield on the tank, using Holy Shock and any Infusion Procs on the run for either myself or the raid members. It was looking for a smart place to stand to cast Holy Light. It was judging on the run. It was wondering when a good time to use Divine Plea was.
A very challenging fight to heal *well*, to be honest, and I really did enjoy that challenge.
Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like for him to be dead, mind you, but I’m sure that once my guildies get the hang of NOT standing under icicles, we’ll be fine. It took a while for most people to check off “Show Projected Textures” in their video settings to be able to see the blue circles of death on the ground, and I’m not entirely convinced that everyone even DID. But experience is a good teacher and we’ll go back in there on Saturday and kick some ass.
In other news, they seem to have fixed the Blessing of Wisdom/Improved Mana Spring totem stacking bug. When Improved Mana Spring is down, I can’t buff BoW or GBoW. Time to train the shammies out of dropping it. You would think that they’d make Improved BoW be 92 mp5 instead of 91, like how Improved BoMight is one AP more than a warrior’s Battle Shout, because they kept overwriting each other, wasting rage and reagents. Well now, they’re wasting mana and reagents. Not a lot better.
Oh, and the armory is seriously messed up. It’s currently displaying your stats JUST from gear. No talent-based stats (increased crit, spellpower, etc) are showing up. I panicked when I saw my own pally’s armory profile earlier today and saw 1905 spellpower and 22.9% crit across the board. I was like “OMG I HAVE BEEN HACKED”, even though I have an authenticator and all my gear was present and accounted for. So were my talents, though. But then I thought there’d been a server reset and talents were being reset again, because that was the only explanation for me dropping over 200 spellpower and 11% Holy crit in the same gear.
And no. It’s just the Armory being dumb.
Anyways, I’ve rambled enough for now.