Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Its been quite the journey

Well first off, a week and a half ago my DK hit lvl 80. Not only did I fail in posting about it… I wasn’t paying attention when I hit 80 so all I have is a crappy screenshot. This makes my 10th 80, one of every class in the game. I started this blog June of 2009 with 4 lvl 80’s. Mid June my mage hit 80 and since then I have gotten another 5 characters to 80.

I’ve healed at 80 with all 4 classes, tanked with 3 and dpsed with all of them to some extent.

Who I’ve been playing

Skyru- Obviously I’m raid leading and tanking on Skyru in ICC. We are working on Sindrigosa on 10 man (grumble 2% wipe) and all of the end wing bosses on 25 man. Progress is going slower than I would like but we are still moving forward. Last week we had an impressive one shot on fester, rotface, and blood council in addition to the first wing. BQL down to 16% before the enrage… our issue is keeping people alive during the blood whirl. There are always vampires that have to bite someone during the first whirl and it leads to people dying from too much damage or a vampire getting MC’d.

When I’m not raiding I’ve been doing a lot of pvp. I’m sitting at 1183 resilience and 35k health in my arms spec. Kobeck’s druid and my warrior stopped our games this week at 1337 because well… we are leet. My 3’s team finally got together this past weekend and we went from 1300- 1653. We peaked at around 1683 but started to get sloppy because… well it was 5 am at the time and I was half asleep. Hopefully this week we can push to 1800!

Llina- About a month ago I was digging through my bags and found that I had quite a bit of healing gear… in fact my healing gear was on average of better quality than my tanking gear. So I decided to respect holy with the intention of becoming a pvp holy paladin. Since then my paladin has become my go to character when healing is needed. I run a straight pvp spec for bg’s arena and heroics… but switch off to a pure holy (bubbledin) build when it comes to raiding. So far I’ve healed ToC 25 and the first 4 bosses in ICC 10 as well as VoA 10/25.

I’m embarrassingly still using a

blue shield out of a heroic but other than that my gear is a spattering of pvp and pve raid gear. As a result my mana regen is absolutely terrible and I’m only at around 24k mana unbuffed meaning that in a raid environment I have issues keeping up holy light spam. I’m still struggling to find that balance between overkill and not enough.

Skylu- The big news obviously is hitting 80. I leveled entirely as a tank from the second I left the starting area. Obviously I had dual spec so had a straight damage spec for questing… but I was always tanking when it came to instancing. You may remember that I decided to create this dk in the first place because as my horde dk was nearing 80… the thought of going through the gearing process completely unaided just seemed brutal. My biggest regret was leaving kobeck’s warlock.

Well that problem was solved when Kobeck transferred his warlock named kobeck and did a faction transfer… with the new name Kurses. Together we finished out our grind to 80. After hitting 80 I threw together some crafted bits of gear along with some boe drops I had been collecting from heroics on other toons and when all was said and done Skylu was sitting at right around 24k health while defense capped. It also helped that luck was on my side and

the defense trinket off of loken actually dropped when I was on a tanking toon!

I had enough emblems that I picked up the 245 sigil right off the bat. I’m dual wield frost and so far have gotten 2 nice slow tanking weapons, one off of the first boss in H UK and an axe off of the second boss in H Occ. The biggest shock I got was when I queued for a random heroic, with 27k health, and got Heroic Forge of Souls. I waited a minute or two for people to start complaining… but it never came. So I started pulling. We had excellent dps and even with my terrible threat output we got through the run in under 20 mins without a single wipe. I got a complement from the healer for doing an excellent job with such a low gear score. I’m more convinced than ever that the key to tanking 90% of the time is self confidence. I knew my abilities, I knew the pulls inside and out, the only thing I didn’t know is if the group was with me. Thankfully they were.

Latest Patch

I have to say I’m loving the new battleground system. I’m a very indecisive person… as are some of the people I run bg’s with. So being able to let fate decide for us makes me a very happy person. The one thing I have noticed is that wow this brings out a lot of people who you normally wouldn’t see in pvp. I’m not complaining… after all a pve geared warlock with 20k health drops very quickly when my warrior crits their face for 8k. But it does bring about issues that come about when you look at the disparity in skill and gear level. Sure going 19-0 kills in a 5 min EotS is fun… but so is having an epic battle for 10 mins fighting over a single node.

In arena the quick insta gib matches can be fun… but the fight Kobeck and my holy pally had last night vs a druid and hunter was just epic. Kobeck did 1.1 million damage throughout the match and they far out geared us (lich king 25 weapons). We won thanks to a target swap from the hunter to the druid with a hammer of justice, followed by a strangulate and both of us going all out.

Can’t say I’m upset about the warrior changes… 12k revenge crits and the 3% stam increase puts me at over 47k unbuffed. I did 3700 dps on rotface and I’m definitely having a lot less troubles keeping agro on trash pulls.

I haven’t turned in all my battleground tokens yet… 10 characters takes a long time… I know for a fact my druid has 100 AV and WSG tokens alone. So I just turned it in on the toons I am actively working on.

Oh and on a side note… the most terrifying team I’ve seen in 3’s so far… a Shadow Priest, Elemental Shaman, and Moonkin. Just… ow. We fought that team 3 times… insane burst damage, heroism, 3 different forms of CC, starfall, treants, 3 classes that can emergency heal, 2 knock backs, and a disarm from the priest? How do you beat that? I went from 100% to dead in 4 seconds flat at 1193 resilience. All while my healer was feared, hexed, or cycloned. /cry

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Till I'm killed or you find someone better

Two weeks ago Thursday Nikkyo, our GL, asked if I would be willing to step forward and become a raid leader. My response was basically that if Nik and the other officers thought I was capable and able that I would take the job... till I'm killed or they found someone better.

So that Saturday before ICC 25 started Perp, OG and I were all promoted. Perp would be helping with recruitment, OG would be our public affairs person to the guild members, and I would be leading raids. The current officers that we have were spread pretty thin between real life and general stress. Thus the three of us were promoted to help share the load.

The other official raid leaders are Curinir (who is in the military and thus overseas every few months), Vei and me. Ethren and Nikk are sort of co guild leaders and often have to lead raid themselves. Vei is the paladin tank that I usually co-tank with in raid's. So while I'm happy to help out... I'm kind of sad that I won't be raiding with Vei and Curinir as much in 10's because I will be leading raids as well.

I used to work for the local county government in the Mosquito Control department. It was an interesting job and I worked first hand with an extremely intelligent Biologist. One of the things I at first hated about him is that, if I asked him a question, he would make me go look up the answer and tell him. After awhile though, I realized that he was helping me find solutions on my own. Sure he could have told me... but me researching the answer myself meant that I could do the same the next time.

Well during the last few weekend raids I've felt like I was there again. I would ask a question in officer chat about how we wanted to do something... and he would respond with "well you tell me?" This was infuriating at first because I didn't want to step outside of my comfort zone and make a mistake. I'm very good at following directions... but giving them and coordinating the run is a different matter.

I'm glad he is taking this approach though because I'm settling into my role and becoming more open with my thoughts and idea's. That Saturday raid saw our first downing of Festergut on 25, though I can't take credit for that... but the following day we actually had enough sign ups to run our second night of ICC 25 (amazing what pushing the start time back and hour can do). We did some learning attempts on Putricide, and then I directed them to blood princes. I explained the mechanics and we did a solid learning attempt. The next attempt we killed them.

This past week we added Dreamwalker to this list putting us at 8/12 with some very promising attempts on Blood Queen. Things are definitely progressing now that we are getting 2 ICC 25 man nights in and morale on the whole is going up.

Loot Drama

Our guild has a raider rank that with it comes priority on loot. What that currently means is that raiders can damn near roll on anything and win it over padawans (our raider in training) and members. Well the last few weeks we had raiders rolling on items they already had equipped and even some that were side grades. The outcry from both raiders and members was enough that things had to change.

With new blood comes new ideas. I proposed a loot change and initially the other 2 new officers readily agreed. Slowly the rest of the officers also agreed and in 2 weeks the new system will be fully in place.

Serendipity has never used a DKP system and a majority of guildies have been against using any such system for a long time. However, with the recent unrest a lot of people were starting to think DKP was the best way to go. Well my idea was simply..

BiS Priority

As part of the raider application process in SD every raider has to create a Best in slot list. This list as of current serves absolutely no point other than the fact that someone went to elitest jerks and copied one of their sheets. I thought it was about time we started using these lists for some good.

Thus when an item drops... everybody in the raid that can equip the item for mainspec can roll. Raiders, members, padawans it doesn't matter. However, if a raider rolls and that item is on their BiS list, they get priority on that piece of loot. This ensures that raiders are rolling of gear that they know they need. If no one rolls BiS then whoever had the highest roll wins the item.

One of the big issues we were having with signups is members saying "well what is there for me?" Essentially members were being asked to sign up and fill in but with virtually no shot at getting any loot. This gives them a chance, albeit not the greatest, to walk away with a very nice piece of gear. Raiders can still get gear that may be a temporary upgrade for them without losing the chance to win a BiS piece.

The raiders have another 2 weeks to finalize their lists before it becomes set in stone. Only a well written reason why an item must be changed will be excused. The system will be subjected to peer review (some of our members will be checking up on others for sure) and the penalty for trying to cheat the system is a demotion. All of the lists are kept on our forums and so the date stamp at the bottom of the post will let us know if something has been changed recently without authorization.

Finally our guild will be implementing a Matching system for crafted gear. Essentially if they provide half of the primordial saronites, then the guild will provide the other half from the stock we get out of ICC 25 drops.

I think the matching system is a good idea... even if I already slaved away to craft both BiS tanking pieces for my warrior.

Oh and on that note... my warrior has come a long way sitting now at 33k armor and 46k health unbuffed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Quick Rant on ICC Buff

So yeah... the ICC buff went live... and I can tell the difference. Last night we went into ICC 10 and One shot every boss from the citadel to the plagueworks and then Blood Princes. Sure we had killed them all before... even multiple times. But we had new people in this run who hadn't even seen these fights and we still one shot them.

I should be happy right?

Well I'm not. At least not entirely. How do I know it was us? How can I be sure that it was because of our improved coordination and execution. The gear we had worked hard on... or the skill of each of the players coming together in perfect harmony. Fact of the matter is I don't. We did the entire thing with a 5% buff to healing, damage, and hit points. Putricide went down in record time for us... was that because we were all dealing 5% more damage?

I scared the hell out of the healers on the initial pull on blood princes and dropped down below 5% health... would I have died without the extra stamina and healing? Or was it because I used every cd I had to stay alive and it was my skill as a tank? I'll never know.

Tonight we are working on BQL and probably VDW after... if we defeat the encounters.... did we really defeat it?

Revised Putricide Strat

I am shamelessly reposting this from a post I wrote on my Guild's Forums under the same title. The pic is me getting my groove on in the abomination... and yes that is the raid UI that I use. Messy as hell I know... deal with it!

Last week while tanking putricide I decided to change up the traditional way of tanking the boss. Normally we start on the far left side (as facing where the boss initially is), then after the green ooze is down or while in the process of downing the green ooze the tank would move putricide to the far side of the room. This process would repeat until into phase 3.

While this strat works... it has some issues namely it is very movement intensive on the healers and dps who have to constantly switch sides of the room. To combat this, instead of moving the boss to the right side of the room (north) after the green ooze, everyone would instead move to the center of the room where there is a giant circle on the ground. The ranged dps and healers form a sort of semi circle around where the gas cloud spawns. This way the ranged dps can begin burning down the gas cloud while it is targeting. Whoever the gas cloud targets will then start kiting as normal around the room but since the healers are all in the center it makes it easier to keep up the targeted player. The melee dps can continue to attack the boss and then switch after the cloud targets someone.

After the Gas cloud is down everyone heads back to the left corner and continues to dps the boss till the green ooze spawns. This repeats through phase 2 and dps just has to be mindful of the transition into phase 3.

Phase 1 is really short and depending on the dps of the group it is beneficial to not move to the center until you push the boss past 80%. You should be able to kill the first green ooze and get the boss to 80% before he has a chance to summon the gas cloud. If you do this it will skip an ooze summon giving you extra time to dps the boss and it will pick up on the gas cloud on his next summon.

During Phase 3 we were letting the stacks build to 3 on the first tank before the second tank takes over. This way it isn't so healing intensive right off the bat. The tanks should also start using cd's after the second stack to reduce the tank damage. After both tanks get 3 stacks you should trade off at each additional stack after. If you manage to get to 5 stacks... you are probably going to wipe from the raid damage so saving dps cd's for phase 3 is very important. Heroism should be used when he gets into phase 3 if available.

Now for driving the abomination you should have a psuedo priority on what you should be doing throughout the fight. Your priority should look something like this...

- Eat ooze Pools
- Slow gas clouds and green oozes
- DPS gas clouds and green oozes
- Keep the sunder armor debuff on the boss
- DPS the boss

Basically as soon as a puddle spawns you should be moving to it to drink up the pool. If the boss is positioned near the pool you can still drink and dps on the boss at the same time because the 2 abilities do not share a global cd. Starting out, you should just finish drinking the last pool, as the green ooze begins to form. At this time don't wait... but run over to the mob and start using the sunder ability on him. Watch his cast bar and just before he finishes casting use the abomination slow ability on him and then continue to melee/sunder the ooze as it moves towards its target.

DPS on the oozes as the abomination really makes burning them down a lot easier for the raid dps. Generally speaking I can get the green ooze to 80% before the first dps even gets a hit on it. That is why this is a higher priority over debuffing the boss. You can ensure that the oozes die before it reaches its target which minimizes risk to the raid. If you are able too.. by all means try and keep the debuff but eating the ooze pools and dpsing the adds should be your highest priority. Its the dps' job to kill the boss after all.

With the strategy above for positioning the boss, you won't have to leave that half of the room to drink the ooze puddles. That means you should be close to where the gas cloud spawns and once again after all your slime pools are gone begin dpsing the gas cloud. The same tactic applies, wait for the gas cloud to almost finish the cast, and then slow the target. Ranged dps should already be attacking it as soon as they are able.

Other hints
-Rogues can vanish just before the tier gas for phase 2 and 3 to avoid getting hit.
-Mages can blink while rooted by the green ooze. This doesn't break the root but can get you 20 yards in a different direction giving extra time to kill the ooze.
-The warrior sunder armor and the abomination sunder ability count as the same thing. If you apply the sunder as a warrior you won't be able to apply the abomination debuff... but it still does the damage.
- The putricide tank can DPS the green ooze and gas cloud while it travels to its target to help get it down faster.