Favourite instance

It’s the time of year to look back and do lists of the good, the bad and the puggy.  So here’s a quick thought on my favourite instance as triggered by today’s WoW Insider article.

5-man content

While I didn’t start in Wrath it’s the first expansion where I was there for the start and not level at the back of the curve constantly trying to catch up.  As a guild we never really looked inside much of the TBC, however we go

TBC – The Steamvaults : Which I have a soft spot for in a “damn that hurt, but we got him” way.  It took us ages to get the end boss in there nailed.

Wrath – The Old Kingdom : It’s long, it’s painful, the “Room of Many Wipes” was a hell of a challenge before the “great nerf of 2010” but from a tanking persepective it’s a bloody interesting instance to handle.  Lots of awareness needed, good pulls, hell even CC is a benefit at level.

Cataclysm – Vortex Pinnacle : This currently has my seal of approval, the look of the instance is wonderful.  Blizz have outdone themselves.  The trash hurts and needs planning, the mechanics make for interesting fights and then there’s the windy dragon on heroic.  Possibly my favourite boss at the moment to tank.

Team Pirate – The ongoing plan

As the team is aware numbers are currently an issue, this combined with the arrival of the big dragon in a few weeks means I’m going to re-assess our current plan.

I am going to make the last formal “let’s try and get a raid together” for the 28th of November.  This takes off any pressure as we hit levelling time and removes the whole “everyone is off partying / drinking / being social in the real world” until well into the new year when the credit card bills have landed and we’re all looking for something to do which involves very little spending of extra money.

From there the aim is to resume in 2011, I reckon the 30th of Jan is a decent date.  A certain person will have ten level 85’s by then and I’m sure there will be at least a few more in the guild.  The plan at that point will probably be the new dungeons, possibly heroics if we have enough 85’s and working on Ulduar.  Yes I want to see that dead on my Paladin.

If we have enough people online during the hiatus for the normal slot there’s nothing stopping us going to kick something in the shins.

So, Team Pirate, what say ye?!  Does this look like a plan.

Team Pirate : Ulduar, facetime with Yoggie

As predicted, we came, we saw, we had our arses kicked but he might well be ours next week.

This was our first serious week on Yoggie, after nuking down the weekly (FL) on 25-man we decamped back into our 10-man raid and wandered down for some ‘discussion’ with the old god on the nature of the universe.

Phase 1 :  Dances with Guardians

We’re getting better, of the course of our normal raid (3hrs) we went from “dying to lots and lots of guardians” to “only getting a couple of extras at the end of the phase”.  The critical thing to learn is if it looks like you “might just get through that gap” then there isn’t sufficient room and go round the long way.  Yogg is a survival fight, it’s about control and making sure that each phase has it’s issue kept under control.

So take your time, wait for the mobs to reach the Sara tank.  The “collecting” tank will be wandering around as needed, don’t pewpew his mobs as he’ll be more interested in moving safely than holding onto them against aggressive DPS.

Phase 2 : Tentacles?  When did this become Anime?

Avoid constrictors where possible, do your own damage to constrictors rather than passively waiting to be released (easier for casters than melee types).  One tank (and only one) is needed on the Crushers to dance in to interupt the channelled spell, the rest of the melee should be on the Corruptor.  Ideally this is where our bear tank goes kitty for some extra damage.  Portal people, take the time to get into place before they spawn, this gives more time in the illusion and therefore more time on the brain.

More brain time means we have more clean up time outside and a shorter overall P2, this is good.

Sanity.  Particularly for portal people, get out before the cast is finished, if this means cancelling a spell, go for it, run away.  Spend time standing in pretty green, it’s nice.

Phase 3 : Errr… what, we got here?

This was the (very pleasant) surprise of the raid.  We managed to burn into Phase 3, which did have it’s downside as we han’t briefed on it.

Phase 3 is about raw numbers on the boss, keeping the guardians tanked and being focus fired down in order and sanity, watch the sanity.

Where do we go from here

More practice and I reckon we have ourselves some Old God Sushi.

Then Razorscale & The Council and we have ourselves a cleared instance.

Team Pirate : Yogg Saron

Ladies, Gentlemen and Gnomes.

This is our target, take a good look and then go drink something strong.

Yogg Saron, The old god of death, or as we will be referring to him from this point on “Yoggie“.

Firstly a video

Now, some tactic guides, I’m going to be following these pretty much out of the box, with some juggling of who goes where in P2.

http://www.wowwiki.com/Yogg-Saron_%28tactics%29

http://aotp.dkpsystem.com/guide.php?t=Yogg-Saron,

Portal positions for Phase 2, I can’t find a decent image online yet which shows the 10-man positions, just the 25-man.  Once we’re getting to that part of P2 regularly we’ll sort out exactly where they are and how it’s going to actually work in reality.

The key to the portals is for those designated to go down to be at the portal positions for when they spawn (no running to them after the spawn, watch your timers) and be nuking as hard as possible in the illusion and brain room and get out before the timer ticks.

The outline plan is

  • Plenty of wiping on Yoggie so we can learn the fight, three phases and an enrage of 15 minutes if  I recall correctly.
  • Raid breaks – So we can get a kill in to break the wiping pain
    • Ignis
    • Razorscale
    • Iron Council
    • Onyxia
    • Obsidian Sanctum

Team Pirate : Ulduar 10 pt3

Amazing progress this week.

Mimiron – two shotted, though it was damm close at the end with tank, healer and one ranged dps left standing.  I think the final part went down a second before the self-repair happened.

Freya – Two shotted, and a damm clean kill at that.

Vezax – Two shotted, it felt a little tight at the end due to some mana issues (as ever only two of the raid had ever seen him in any depth), but a dead boss is dead.

Yoggie – We died, multiple times.

So initial plan for next week.

Yogg-Saron, plenty of wiping and learning on his many and varied abilities.

Homework will be put up here soon, including links to the guides, videos and random commentry.

Loin-girding – Build up those funds, make sure enchants and gems are polished and let’s put an old god’s head on a spike!

Team Pirate – Ulduar pt2

We came, we saw and we died a fair bit.

On the plus side Crazy Cat Lady, Hodir & Thorim all fell before us.  Mimiron, who was always going to be a tough cookie, we got down to ~20% multiple times.  It’s clear that we need more practice on him and more awareness on the part of melee (including both tanks) when the shock is going to happen to get well clear before it pops.  For reference it walloped ‘wolf for 72k after mitigation which hurts a little.

We also need the extra head for dps numbers, looking back on Hodir we had two problems, people dying to not getting on the snow quickly enough (also some problems with the frost nova spell which locks people down) and not breaking the icicles quickly enough.

Thorim just needed some tweaking to get the balance between the arena and passage right, an error in my initial planning there.

So, what next, next sunday the initial plan (Pirates, let me know if there are any other suggestions)

  • Weekly raid quest
  • Mimiron
  • Freya
  • Ignis
  • Vezax

If it looks like we’re on a roll we might go straight in to have a look at Vezax once Freya & Mimiron are down.

[World of Logs report : U10 pt1 pt2 / TotC10]

So.. isn’t one tank enough for you?

Actually no.  Ok to a certain level I enjoy DK dps but melee dps has to be my least enjoyable form of the game because of the sheer amount of faff in keeping within the hit box when the tank is moving the mob all over the damm place (guys, trust me on this, where you can keep the mobs parked).

So we currently have Korenwolf, the raid geared wrecking ball who has always been and remains the “main”, he’s the class I understand the best and where the muscle memory is setup the best.  I know what to do when things go to hell on trash packs (like last night where we ended up with two large packs of adds, a couple of casters and a big skeleton in PoS at the start thanks to a face pull by the dps).  Everything got picked up and brought under control, including the casters sat at range (thank you shield for your caster stun effect).

There is the dead gnomish girl, I’ve got the hang of how to pick up and hold aggro on her (nothing like seeing a gnome tanking a toenail) it’s not as instinctive as ‘wolf but she’s getting there.

Now, as part of team pirate we have a bear tank, he’s solid he knows his stuff but we’re seeing threat generation issues which I need to understand properly so we can either fix or work around.  So to that end the boomkin spec is parked and tree boy goes bear for a while.  Now to get my head around rage and all that sort of thing.

Random links for reference

Of rough raids

Team Pirate is definitely not hardcore, it’s a relaxed atmosphere and with the aim of getting down what we can do and not spend too long wiping.

EoE proved to be a stumbling block, partly due to people learning the fight mechanics, ensuring clean pickups, handling the sparks etc etc  (all of which were near perfect by the time we finished) but what really beat us was the UI bugs on entering P3.

Dear Blizz, please fix the UI shifts between normal and vehicle mode, it’s a raid killer.

So… they died…

Marrowgar (2-shot), Lady Deathwhisper (1-shot) & the boat (2-shot)

Marrowgar, we need to remember we have to cluster in melee due to our general weakness in the ranged department, keep everyone including the healers nice and close to melee so they can wallop on spikes without having to go for a jog first.

Lady Deathwhisper, I admit to being impressed, I was expecting more wipes on her before we got it nailed but everyone worked perfectly and the adds all fell over in order, target switching worked well and the big adds chased me all over the room before falling over.

The boat, bit of practice as it was the first time most of the raid had seen it (need to get the PotC theme running over vent next time for the pull).  Things to remember:

  • The mage doesn’t need tanking
  • dps can go to town on it without any fear.
  • Saurfang needs picking up before the dps land and pulling to the edge closest to the home boat.  This puts the tank within range of the healers.
  • Once the mage drops the dps leg it.
  • Once the dps are clear the tank runs away.
  • Don’t leave pets or totems behind.
  • While the mage isn’t active melee help out with the adds on the home boat
  • Mage has priority over the adds
  • Cannons aim at the axe throwers
  • Loot! (once the boat has docked, we’ve had it bug before)

Team Pirate continues to rock ICC10.