Monday, June 23, 2008

Zul Aman: Initial Excursion

Well. For the first time, I led a raid that I knew going in would wipe multiple times. I was a bit nervous about it. I went over the fights again and again (even though I'd done them a bunch of times already), and got all set up to roll.

I brought Abs in, because I totally screwed up and managed to get Pos saved to ZA the day before. I blame Blizz. The timer went from 12 hours to reset to 2 days overnight. Needless to say, I was a bit peeved on that one. Kathe filled in awesomely, as always.

I had a friend of mine, a Healadin, come in for heals. She'd been interested in joining KoU so I figured, what a good way to get her to meet the group. I told her it was progression. I told her we'd run 2 hours. Well, 1/3rd of the way through, after our 2nd wipe on the last pull before Nalorakk, she sent me a tell "If we wipe again, I'm leaving" well, we didn't wipe again, and she left anyway, as soon as we downed the first boss without a word.

I wasn't exactly happy. Although, I kept it to myself. I won't be grouping with her again anytime soon.

Anyway, our crew.... Owaru and Kathe as tanks. Two of the best healers ever in Boon and Orzag (although one of them has an ego problem, and one is as humble as.... umm.... who's really humble?) DPSers: Absitively, Ravensfire, Neshura, Wolfinme, Harikin.

We only had real problems with the last pull before the bear boss (Owaru kept dying, I blame Boon) once we had it down, and I seduced, we were alright. We one shotted Nalorakk, with one awesome move by Owaru, who bubbled with Kathe's taunt was resisted.

Just... <3 his mad skills.

Ravensfire got a new belt (yeah, maybe I'll link it eventually), but I'm lazy and I'm tired tonight... and K wants more posts.

Then, we ran the gauntlet. I completely messed up my explanations to people on what to kill and such, I don't think I was quite clear enough.

We got to the top our first attempt, but just got overwhelmed as a couple people (myself the aoe-er included) went down.

Second time, I tried to give out new orders, but, yeah. I sucked at that too.

Third time, I got everything right, and we kicked ass. It felt smooooooooooth

Then we tried the Eagle boss.
We got him to 54%, but our DPS was a bit on the low side (3 money DPSers were there, 2 of our Kara ready but-not-kara-Geared dpsers were there at that point)

We pulled Kathe out of tanking, and made her heal. In retrospect we might've brought in Kikidas instead, but we didn't plan ahead for that.

3 wipes, and we ran out of time on the boss, and the gauntlet respawned and we called it.

It was a good learning experience. I'm excited for our next run.

I plan to go for the first timed chest from the first boss. Which loot is amazing!

Friday, June 20, 2008

All time top 5 wipes....

New job, new training, less wow... so, I'm blogging..

I was reading through old posts by my favorite tankadin (Owaru) and I read about his 5 worst wipes.
Well...I do like all time, top 5 lists, so, I figured I would post one of my own.
Now, these may or may not have been my own fault.. they are just the 5 best that I remember.

5) BWL - First Boss
A quick explanation for the uninformed we were doing Razorgore, this fight is part of one of the level 60 40-man raid zones. It was, needless to say, a heck of a lot of fun, but also a royal pain in the rear. A fight, unlike most, that you could lose on, even when very much over geared. My guild was doing forays into Naxx at the time (I wasn't attuned, being a late-to-get-60er, didn't have AD rep), we were, way over geared for the first boss. So, the pull came. As dps, I was assigned to kill caster spawns in one of the corners and sheep if needed. Then, things started happening. Our kiter died. Our secondary kiter died. We couldn't figure out what was going on. We had a trio of healers that was nutorious (due to RL constraints) for getting there exactly at raid time, no earlier. This night was no exception. They log on, get invited, zone in, we pull less than a minute later.
Until 3 of our 10 healers spoke up after the pull... and wipe... "Um, guys, we thought you were around the corner, we were talking in /heal channel.... we're not in the same raid instance as you."

The lesson? Sometimes, it isn't the healers fault he didn't heal you.

4) The Intentional Wipe
Sometimes, when I'm with friends, I goof around. I screw around. I mess around. I do silly things. While we're talking on vent, and certian people are talking smack, sometimes I don't talk smack back... I just... well... get everyone killed.
A really good place to do this is normal Slabs. See, with a group thats used to running heroics, and cruising through them, its hard to get killed in normal slabs. I happened to be running with a Pally tank and another warlock, (for anonymity's sake, lets call them K. Iltic and T. Iandrah) and we were in the room before the 2nd boss (the 5-6 mob pull rooms). Well, the pally wanted no CC. He was going on and on about how easy it was doing normal speed runs and how he'd never die... (our Priest, wonderful Orzag, was keeping him up, like a champ) So, while the pally was tanking the first pull (the medusa looking chick) I whispered Orzag "I think he needs to die" Orzag said "Not on my watch!" "Close your eyes, or... run to the zone then"
At which point, I ran out, cast curse of shadows on the mobs on either side of the door, sent my pet to attack a 3rd pack, and then ran for the zone... right across the paladins consecrate. Giving him a /say PAYBACK! as I ran by (see #1 for what the payback is from)
Yes. I am. Awesome.
The lesson? Bubble Hearth can't save you when you just used your bubble.

3) Agony in Heroic Slabs
The scene: Pos tanking. Kiljara was there healing. I'm pretty sure Owaru was there in some form or another (maybe he replaced Dhark?) We'd pugged a rogue. Opalure. Pugged another DPS, I believe.
We went along fairly well. Pos is a good tank, he can handle heroics no problem and multi-tank mobs, no problem.
We got to Murmur. Murmur on heroic is a royal pain. We wiped the first time, because 2 of our DPS died on the first Sonic Boom.
We wiped the second time because 2 of our dps died on the first Sonic Boom.
We wiped the 3rd time, because 2 of our dps died on the first Sonic Boom.
(sending a pattern yet?)

The Rogue died. Every time. EVERY TIME. On the first sonic boom. One of our DPS left (not the Rogue). We replaced him with an ex guildie hunter. Solid guy.
He came in. Kept dying, first or second Sonic Boom. The Rogue was becoming very abraisive to our suggestions on how to avoid getting killed. Refused to change. "What I'm doing should work, because it should work" was his attitude. That just reminded me of our old raid leader.
I refuse to boot people from pugs, especially on the last boss of a daily. So, we kept trying.
Finally, on the 7th or 8th try, Kiljara, Tasogare and I managed to knock off the last few (8... so... 1/5th of his life) percent by ourselves.
I haven't gone back to heroic slabs since. F you Murmur.

The Lesson? There really are some DPS worse than Dhark.

2) Karazhan Chaos. Lots of wipes in Kara, lots of things have happened. Still, the biggest WTF moment I've ever experienced came in a pug. We were buffing outside of Shade's room, when suddenly, ALL of the spell shades showed up. Like 20 of them. And whooped us all.
Now, apparently, this is a (link) known bug, but, still. It sucked. Royally. I mean. Really. Longest run back for a bug wipe ever.

The Lesson? It happens. What, shit? Sometimes.

1) The Punting (sounds like a bad horror movie, doesn't it?... yes, I've trademarked it)
The scene: Heroic Blood Furnace. Just before the 2nd boss.
I'm pretty sure we are clearing the room out to get to the (hellish) second boss. Bad pull. 6 mobs instead of 3. We run. Its not far to the zone. Abs, being the good gnome he is, pauses, and casts aoe fear to get the mobs off the Paladin. We run. Mobs are still beating on the Paladin. We're running down the stairs, right near the zone....
Paladin bubbles.

What do the mobs do? They switch to the loyal, amazing, wonderful gnome warlock. Now, those warrior mobs, they do a big knockback. When you're running down the stairs... .its a really big... flying... knockback. Abs got punted down the stairs to his death. They punted the gnome.

The lesson? Never, ever, ever trust a Paladin.

Lan Parties and (more) Pugs

Since my HD died, and I've been crazy busy, I haven't been online really, since Monday. I wanted to do a quick recap. Saturday, we were supposed to do Kara, 7 people signed up, we knew we had 2 more, no problem. We can roll on through and snag one pugger.

Well, I agreed to jam w/ some friends, at their place, and run the raid from their place. I ended up having a blast... except... no one logged on. It was a bit crazy. 5 of the 9 didn't log on, so, we weren't gonna pug with 4 people :)

We ran heroic Shattered hell insead. It was the daily. It was a pain. All in all... it sucked... but we finished it. Yet, it was one of my best experinces to date in Warcraft. I'd never been sitting next to the people I'm playing with before. That in itself, was a total blast. I can see how playing Quake at LAN parties was so much fun for my friends back in the day.

I think I'll definitely have to run the whole lan party thing again with them when we have a for-sure Kara raid set up.

Abs ended up pugging Kara with a random group.... Well, it was a bit rediculous. 20 badges (didn't kill Nighbane) in just over 2.5 hours. It took our 5-some almost that long to finish Heroic Shattered Halls.

One of the DPS was running under 700. He was the enhancement shaman who wouldn't get on vent, and died on every boss fight in every way you could as a melee. Not running out during Prince... or during Shade's arcane explosions. Everyone was actually glad when he died there... as he wouldn't kill us with Flame wreath.

2 healers, 1 pally tank, 1 fury war with a shield, 6 other dps. Abs was 2nd from the bottom. It made me really appreciate how well some pugs can work... and how terrible others can be... and how 70's can be way over geared for Kara.

The guy running it was solid, knew the fights and trusted people not to mess up.

As a comparison: the two pug raids Pos joined. 1 on Mags, one on Gruuls, both run by the same mage... we'll call him... T.Toes, wait, that's too obvious, we can go with Tipp T. It was a "Hi, invite me" type of raid, no one was geared, half the people didn't know the fights, and... yeah. When NONE of the DPSers are putting out enough DPS for Kara, you're not gonna do well. I left after the 3rd wipe on Mags. After the first to High King in Gruuls. It was.. well... pathetic.

There were at least 3 Channelers still up each time Mag spawned, only 2 dpsers were doing over 500 DPS. 500! Thats what a 70 in all blues puts out. Only 2 others were doing over 450. As I said as I left, "If you're running Mags with DPS that couldn't handle Kara, you aren't gonna down Mags"

Sigh. Oh well. Hopefully I can run tomorrow with Resolve.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Server Crashes, Karazhan and Pugs

With Alleria once again hiccuping (hooray!) and me not being able to get my last 15 badges for new pants for Pos, I'm just gonna type up another post.

Yes. I'm awesome. I am posting all the time now. Soon, I'll be posting even more than K.

We ran Kara yesterday, it was good... K and I tanked. Boon healed. Jerkfase came and picked up with us and healed.
Strange things happened though. The priest kept dying. I don't know how, or why, but he kept dying. 3 or 4 times just on the way to Attunmen. I'd never seen that before. I couldn't figure out what was going on or why he was dying.

It wasn't to the Chargers, either.

The run took just under 4 hours. We wiped once on Opera (Oz) and twice on Shade. Those 3 wipes added almost an extra hour to the raid.

Today, I joined a 'guild Kara run' on Abs. Well, 2 hours in, with no wipes, we downed Maiden.

I left after that. It was agonizing. We sat there for 15 minutes after Attunmen died while they tried to decide loot. I tried to speed things up. They had a 17khp unbuffed uber warrior tank there. He tried to speed things up. Everything just plodded. People weren't drinking. People weren't listening. No one was moving with the tank. All because the 'raid leader' really had no clue what he was doing. I watched a priest run around in circles on Maiden, trying to decurse people. Everyone was on the step, I told him he should be on the step too, but he insisted on running around in circles.

I had my 5 badges, Abs went and bought his 100 boj robe. Got a Great Lionseye to put in it.

Yep. Thats all I've got for today. We'll see if K can come up with some fancy links now that I've tried to teach her how...

Friday, June 6, 2008

Being a Raid Leader...

First off... like the new logo? Been playing with Photoshop and wow-model-viewer lately.

I've become my guild's raid leader. Admittedly, we aren't running much new content, just Kara as of right now, with a push to go into ZA on the horizon.

I haven't had many problems being a leader, now, maybe thats because of how I am. Maybe its because our guild is so small, there's no drama. Maybe its because we've only run trivial content.

Every raid, I am a bit nervous. Every raid, I try to delegate certain responsibilities: If I'm tanking, I won't master loot. That's a DPS's job. I'll mark, pull, and go over basic reminders for boss fights.

If I'm DPSing, I leave the marking to the tanks, I play loot master, and I try to keep the raid moving... "Everyone but me, go start the next trash pulls while we figure out loot"

I'm especially nervous now about ZA. I'm worried that this group of people, who's used to rolling through Kara will get frustrated when we try to pull off a 'progression' type of run.

I think I can keep it together, though. What I'm most worried about it getting talked over. Getting 87 different suggestions on strategies. I'm worried I'll have to lay the hammer down. "This is how I want it done, so lets do it that way."

I'm a dynamic person and up for suggestions, but, sometimes, they just aren't viable. a 2-healer approach for Netherspite has to be different than a 3-healer one.

I get to see, soon hopefully, how well our guild can perform with progression fights.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Future Gear Goals, Badge Things I want:

So, both Abs and Pos have a lot of badges.

85 and 65 respectively. Now the question comes, what do I do with them?

With Abs, the choice is relatively easy. He's saving up 100 badges for the uber new badge chest piece.

After that, he'll save up for new gloves and new boots.

So, he's short, 165 badges.

Future gear goals: As Abs has given up on ever getting a t4 chest... the goals now slide to what we may be able to complete and what I may be able to pug.

Drops off of Void Reaver (helm and t5 shoulders) are within Abs's reach, as are a few drops from ZA.

Pos, on the other hand.... well... I have no idea. I'm going to start knocking things off the BoJ pick list over at, but I'm not sure what order to go in. Right now I'm debating if I go for the (current) belt, or the (current) legs first.

Suggestions are welcome. I'm leaning towards the belt.

As for Pos's future gear goals, I'm clueless. Really. I have started to look and hunt for upgrades, but other than the BP off of Nightbane I haven't seen many readily available pieces.

I'm just bad at looking, I suppose. Go go gadget... Badge of Justice maker!

Pos's slots & gear:

Helm: Freaking Uber.
Neck: Very nice from SSO
Shoulders: Blue, but very good (There's a tiny upgrade in Heroic Sethekk halls, but I hate that place)
Cloak: Pretty nice, especially for threat. Badge vendor has a couple upgrades.
BP: Mentioned.
Bracers: Badge Vendor, great for threat.
Gloves: Off of Maiden, equivalent to t4.
Belt: Mentioned.
Pants: Mentioned.
Boots: Kara random drop. Battlescar Boots from Chess would be nice.
Rings: Are pretty gosh darned good, but once again: badges.
Trinkets: I don't see upgrading these anytime soon.