Pirates vs Marrowgar (round one)

As mentioned before, we came, we saw, he killed us but not before we had him down to 57%.  For a nine-man team of non-hardcore raiders I think that was pretty bloody good.

Of those in the group, three have raided him and got kills in 10 & 25, six have never seen him in the flesh and of those one had seen him via tankspot.  So given that most of the group were working on descriptions of the fight I think this was pretty excellent.

So, things to focus on, things to remember, what’s missing

  • Tanks, some more mitigation on our bear (I think we’re going shopping)
  • Tanks, make sure we’re calling which way we’re moving during the spank phase
  • Melee, a little more time to get him positioned, and potentially moved, particuarly when he’s against a wall, that was a pain to handle.
  • Melee, dodge those coldflames
  • Ranged, we need the pewpew mage, between Oxana and Keone the spikes are dead in no time, which means the melee don’t need to spend time running which means more boss time.
  • Spikes, kill them, kill them quickly
  • Heals, not much I don’t think, lots of healing, and make sure there is cover when one healer is spiked.
  • Heals, do we need additional healing to smooth things out?

Marrowgar is an execution fight, more about making sure we deal with the problems he throws at us and staying alive than raw damage on the boss (there are plenty of pure DPS checks inside ICC but we’re not anywhere close to those at the moment).  The motto in this fight is “stay alive”.

Enrage timer

In 10-man normal he has a 10 minute enrage timer, the rough numbers from Sunday indicate we’re popping 24k raid dps (just short of 5 minutes to nuke him down), so with an additional ranged and experience we’re going to be completely safe on the timer.


So everyone can line up their shopping list…


Primordial Saronite

I was wrong when I stated there was no Saronite on Marrowgar, he drops one.  The current plan (had a discussion with our glorious leader), the plan  is to flog the saronite for the best price we can get and use the proceeds to give a payout to the team to cover raiding costs.  Now if that’s not an incentive to get him down I dammed if I know what is.

Pirate Raiding – cw11 – TotC/VoA/ICC

Once again due to real life we were nine-manning content, and one of those has a broken collar bone (thus proving that retadins can faceroll :))

TotC10 (Beasts and Jaraxxus) – Beasts gave us a little trouble, it was Ari’s first time tanking the worms and they do need a bit of special handling, they’re the hardest part of the fight on normal mode.  Dusted ourselves down a few times, dead beasts, happy skinners.  Jaraxxus got better when ‘wolf went on the adds, Paladin AoE threat is a win on that fight pulling the adds under some form of control.

VoA – By the gods (all worship Yogg!) we have Wintergrasp, so as the bulk of the raid had never seen the bosses we dive into it before we get kicked out.  All three early bosses nuked, no problems and pretty much no gear thanks to the way the RNG was playing with us.  Oh thank you very much Blizz.  We need to go back in to wallop the new guy, I’ve only looked at him once and to be honest I don’t remember much of the encounter.  Emalon I think was the hardest for the team to work out, particularly when I failed to call the charged add (oops), but he died, we didn’t and we’ve learnt another execution fight.

ICC – The trash up to the final pack died without any problems, we then managed to pull pretty much all of the big adds one after the other causing one wipe and a few iffy moments (but the rep is nice).  Marrowgar, two attempts at nine-manning him.  We really did miss the additional ranged dps our resident dps nutter brings to the raid, which made getting the spikes down harder than it should have been.  More in a followup post

Introducing the DeathGnome

Namtar, now despite what some people thought on seeing her name it is not “ratman” spelt backwards, Namtar is named after the god of death from Mesopotamian mythology.  So let’s get that sorted out right now.

Namtar == deathgnome, bringer of death and decay

Namtar == Stupid reversal of a name

So, now that’s cleared up what is she?  The where I go to smash things around without the pressure of being a tank, I get to wallop and let someone else take on rounding them up and giving me a kill order.  What came as a shock last night wasn’t the dps she’s pumping out (peaked at over 3k in Heroic DTK) but the gear she’s wearing, the chest drop from Novos was an upgrade….  So, time to get her running more heroics for badges, she can pump out so much more I’m sure when some of the lower bits are swapped out and I actually get round to gemming and enchanting her gear

Priority order:

  • Gem (she’s a JC, so this is trivial)
  • Enchant (talk to swmbo)
  • Replacement kit (get running heroics rather than tanking with the ICC25 paladin in 5-man content)

All aboard the lag train is…

… actually it’s going nowhere.

So, firstly Blizz please stop redefining time such that “instant cast wild growth” means “five minutes from cast to spell”.  The 10 minutes stuck at the loading screen for ICC25 was fun, particularly listening to the fight going on without me.

Finally, work out what you’ve broken with the battlegroup database and fix the damm thing, it’s not only broken it’s been taken down the tip, shipped off, recycled and reused as cuddly toys

Dear Blizz…

Don’t get me wrong, Wrath is excellent, the changes which have been announced for 3.3.3… neat, I can finally clear some of the pile of orbs, however.

Before you roll this out on the servers, please fix the fucking lag, being able to run from the monkeys at fraggle rock up to the refuge while still in combat with an invisible mob, while still trying to loot the first kill with no damage showing, then to drop dead… it sucks, it sucks harder than an electrolux.

Musings on raids, gearing and the dance

Some interesting experiences and thoughts on comments made over the weekend. The AB guild did what is becoming regular weekend event and spent a few hours kicking some raid content. This isn’t as simple as it sounds as getting 10 players online all at the same time is “interesting” at times as we’re a small social guild.

However the new weekly raid quest is a good incentive.

So this week Anub in Naxx needed a kicking, nice and clean, we almost got him down before the first locust swarm and finished him off before it finished. No problems, easy, we can zerg this stuff. This is only partly true. So we moved on to see the big dragon where we were painfully reminded that tanks need time to get threat so smacking the dragon before this is done is a bad thing. We lost dps on the pull and to a nice, but unfortunately timed crit while he was dropping the frost bomb (mage got insta squished on the land).

However through some frantic running around, lots of popped cooldowns, combat res and dps mashing for all they were worth we got him down. Not the cleanest of kills, not the ideal method but a good reminder that for raid content gearing is only part of the story, there are some parts of the encounter which cannot easily be zerged.

Bosses in Naxx can kill dps with a single swipe. If you catch a crit then you’re going to be watching from the floor, tanks get to survive that but only at the cost of lower dps. Dodging the frost bomb is still essential, the damage is very painful, so run and hide, there’s no shame to it. Threat is an issue.

KT went partly the same way, though this was largely due to the raid build. At this point our mage had to bail or get an earful from his raid leader, so we 9-manned KT, with one ranged dps. So that’s two healers, one ranged and six melee. Anyone who’s seen KT will know this is sub-optimal, particularly when most of the raid have never seen the boss before. Frost thingies locked out melee a couple of times (makes the tank’s job “interesting”), purple zones of evil caught dps thanks to lag and so on.

However, and again this is the biggie. The boss died on the first shot. By my count five of the raid had never seen KT before, and of the rest most of us have actually seen him less than a handful of times.

So the Naxx scorecard : AB – 3; Bosses – Nil

Were the kills flawless, no. Is AB an uber raiding guild, no. Did overgearing help, hell yes, did the players pull things back and learn the fights on the fly and get a kill. Hell yes.

Coming soon… musings on tanking, threat and 40-man level 60 raids done at level 80.

I suppose this means I should post some decent content…

Thanks to Leafshine for the blogroll link, I guess this means the blog becomes a little more of an obviously public place rather than a place for really random witterings.

Anyway some ponderings based on something I was reading earlier, is ICC too much of a leap from TotC, is it “just too hard”.  I’m not convinced.  Ok I started raiding recently, the alliance I joined (Even Odds) was busy working Ulduar 25 and had recently managed to beat up Vezax if I recall correctly and was spending serious pain time kicking a god in one of his many sets of spare teeth.   From the point of view of a tree who hadn’t done masses of healing in a raid setting (though I had pugged up OS & Naxx on the tank) it was hard work but nothing the team wasn’t handling.  Wipes were on the bosses which we all learnt were trickier (Thorim, Crazy Cat Lady and Mimi).

The hard modes tended to be much harder and there are still some which haven’t been properly nailed down (I need to get back in there for the drake).  Either due to much higher situational awareness requirements or simple healing or dps checks in blowing the boss down before the enrage.

TotC25, or as I shall refer to it from now on “The 10th circle of hell – The Boring One”, we mostly blew through the normal mode bosses.  Champs gave and continue to give some problems simply because the mechanics of the fight are so different from the more traditional PvE fare.   I think on balance it was a useful change to keep raiders slightly off balance.

The hardmode version of TotC25 was just that, brutal.  The dps check to get through the beasts had us smashing our faces into the various phases for weeks.  However once the beasts fell (after the enrage timer had tripped on the first kill) we rolled through the Gnome and his Demon friend and the champs went down surprisingly quickly.

So… ICC25

Firstly, Trash!, we’ve missed you.  Yes I like trash, they’re what we need to reset our poor raiding brains before and between bosses, warm up time, time for the comedy wipe because the mage decides to pull both packs in Deathwhisper’s room and so on.  The best bit, they’re not trivial faceroll material.

Marrowgar, he’s a dps and healing check.  The dps need to keep on their toes, keep moving and kill those spikes dammit!

Deathwhisper, watch out for the solo trash on the sides of the room, the AoE damage from them can be pretty nasty if you’re not prepared.  She’s an interesting fight, again lots of target switching needed by the DPS and they need to be on top of their game here to make sure the dangerous targets are nuked quickly before they cause major problems for the tank or the raid.  Then it’s a tank, spank and heal like hell through the AoE from the boss in phase 2.

The ship.  Flying bear butt!!!  Blizzard get your fingers out of whatever you’ve got them in and let me fly as a tree, please, pretty please.  This is just the fun loot fight, nothing special for the healer.

The Deathbringer…  It’s all about nuking the adds and keeping the number of marks under control, the healing is heavy at 30% and gets worse.  More on him in a later post.

So coming back to the difference between TotC and ICC, the jump between TotC25 normal and ICC normal is going to be heavy but let’s be honest it’s progression, it’s meant to be hard.  The relative jump is higher than from U25 to TotC25 but this is it, we’re going up against the BigBad of this expansion, Arthas, that dude we’ve been taunted by all the way through since November 2008.  We want him to be hard.

So in summary, it’s not going to be an easy raid to pug, there is a requirement for co-ordination which isn’t normally found without a group used to working together, happy to accept the direction of team and class leaders and who can keep quiet on vent when it matters and finally, who turn up regularly and on time to work through the wipes, the many wipes without any QQ.

Is that such a bad thing?

Plate tales, respec time

Wolf has been mucking about with a ret spec recently but it’s not where his heart is, if he’s whacking something in his mind he should be front and center, have the full attention of eveything in sight (particularly his favourite healer) and be kicking the boss in the wossanames while the dps cut it down to size.  This running around trying to keep within range of the mobs as they run around just isn’t his thing.

So… tanking remains the first love and healing comes back into the picture as the backup spec.  Based on the gear sites he’s actually naxx ready, not that I believe this for a second as I know what’s wrong with the kit (enchant and gemming for starters).

However the is another ulterior motive, guaranteed LFG runs.

Time to be selected when joining as tank or healer… seconds

Time to be selected when joining as dps… 5-10 minutes

Stress level balance Tank > Heal > DPS

So for grinding instances healing is the high throughput minimum effective stress option.

Go go emblem farmer!

3.3 Pugging

Well the new interface works, it just works, nicely. As a team we pugged twice last night and Namtar took a random dungeon from the queue as well.

Forge of Souls (FoS)

The boomkin we were lined up with was a silent type, but seemed to be pretty effective, though possibly a little pewpew happy while I’m trying to get aggro on the mobs (which hit hard….), we lived apart from a double pull of the Wardens.  By the gods those buggers need to be taken one at a time.  Got slightly snarky at one of the need rolls but what the hell it was an upgrade for the party which meant better healing for the final boss (he’s a sod).

Pit of Saron (PoS)

Damm fine DK, knew his stuff and was relaxed enough about the wipes on the bosses.  Unfortunately we couldn’t get the end boss down, I think we have some gearing work to do on the dps and heal side, pushing up my avoidance is going to help as well.  Remember kiddies, these bosses are bigger and badder than anything else seen in the 5-man world so far.

DTK (on Namtar)

15 minutes, hooked into a guild run, and we just nuked through….

So on balance, bring it on, more pugs please