Monday, July 28, 2008

We came, we saw, we kicked its ass

3 guild firsts in 2 days. Friday night, we ran Karazhan, and after getting started a little late, we snagged Neshura (for half the run, then Wolfinme replaced her, gallantly), and dragged Siiro along, who's becoming more and more uber every run we make.

We had Kathe doing an awesome job main tanking, and we brought in Morphos (and his damn accent) to offtank/kitty dps. Boon and Shougeki healed, and were blessed with the presence of a pugged shadowpriest named Katsue, who was awesome.

Leghumper provided massive frostie DPS and Harikin casted seemingly random mage spells all night long.

Rounding out the 10-some was a terrible warlock named Absitively.

We rolled. We had 1 wipe on Shade, due to someone accidentally moving on flame wreath, and 1 wipe on Netherspite, because I neglected to tell the tanks and Boon to stay out during the banish phase - which caused our DPS to get 1-shotted as soon as he unbanished.

I think, Spite, from now on, will be on farm. Having both a Warlock and a Shadow Priest really helped, as neither of us required much healing tanking the blue beam, and there was no dps-blue-beam swapping.

Next time I'll work a bit more on ranged positioning so we can run to the windows easier.

Having the Druids swap red/green beam tanking also was huge.

Sunday, was Zul'Aman. Our typical 2 hour progression run. We once again procured the services of Katsue, and we rolled in with Pos and Owaru tanking, Boon, Yorkshire and Kiljara doing the healing. Leghumper, Neshura, Wolfinme, and Gobblez being our other 4 DPS.

We took down the Bear, in record KoU time. We got the first chest for the first time EVAR!

Then, we went on to Akil'zon. After 1 wipe on the gauntlet, we went onto him.

First time, we lost people due to the Storm, and not getting collapsed in time.

The second time, we had everyone turn off their sounds, except for Ambient. Turn their sound up. Turn their ambient up.
You can hear the storm coming in then. (Thanks, Nesh!!)

We didn't miss a single collapse. We lost two dps unluckily early. Which sucked, but... we got down to his enrage timer.

3rd time. He went down. Another KoU first. Leghumper got a new ring, he was jazzed about.

A ring with a slot in it. Amazing.

Party on guys.

And, if you're interested, here's the WWS from the run...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A case of the rambles...

Casual Raiding.

So, we're doing it. As a guild, we're pulling off casual raiding. Our guild had a major hemorrhage a couple months back, but we've stabilized, picked up a few awesome people, and we're just cruising along.

We've broken into ZA, the first boss is on farm. Obviously, he's just the first boss, but for a guild that struggles to field 10 during any given week, that's a pretty big deal.

Our fearless raid leader wants to open up recruiting. I think he has a plan to do it, but I think he wants it to be perfect before he tells us about it.

You hear me, Byouki... its time to start brain storming. COLLECTIVELY!

Honestly, the best recruits come from pugs. We picked up an awesome druid (who's gone MIA... but... that happens), we run with good people and we invite them along for our ride.

I need to start pugging more. Breaking up my 5-some that I always run with. I love running with them, but, maybe, if we split up, we can meet more people. Have more fun.

We ran with a warlock the other day, he said he had a blast.

I get tells from other people I've run with, from other guilds, asking me to bring my chars to tank, to run raids. If these raids need more people, they'll ask me if guildies want to come. I am glad for that.

I've gotten some people into places they wouldn't have seen otherwise as a result.

Heck, I've gotten into places I otherwise wouldn't have. I got Abs into BT to do trash last week. Then Pos into Sunwell to do trash the same day.

Yep. I've tanked Sunwell.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Epic Fail

That's what happened in Karazhan on Saturday night.

For the first time since I started this blog-thing (way back in April) a KoU run didn't down Prince.

1 run a week for 4 months, and we'd done it every time in about 4 hours, give or take.

Wow. I'm a pretty awesome raid leader. Eh? :)

Anyway... we didn't get Illhoof down, we couldn't get Shade down... our Melee dps, while great at interrupting spells, were collectively terrible at getting out of Arcane explosion.

We lost 2 of them the first time, and 3 of them the second time. Benefit of being a gnome? Escape artist on that fight can save you if you get a late jump. Click it. Run fast.

Oh, and when the elementals are up, go ahead, intercept the one near the wall, it will get you there quicker.

We had to pug 5 people for the run, so I wouldn't really call it a KoU run, but... yeah.

The KoUers were solid as always, I was helping out a new Warlock get her feet wet raiding as well. We picked up a solid mage too. The other 3 puggers... were all kind of.... hmm. meh. The off tank warrior went and respec'd dps halfway through the raid (I said it was okay) and ended up doing less dps than when he was tanking. The rogue was doing decent trash damage, but terrible boss damage, and... well... died a lot.

And, cupcakes.

I learned something new, though.

Having two warriors and not an extra off healer on Shade, sucks.... yep. Sucks.

Big time.


If I do that type of run again, I will bring a 3rd healer.

One positive thing?

I made Owaru be ready to bring 3 different characters. Again.


Monday, July 21, 2008

So close... yet so far...


So close to getting that first chest. We were a minute to a minute and a half off of getting him down in time.

Just needed a teensy bit more DPS, or a death-free run. We never wiped, but we had 4 or 5 deaths on the trash pulls.

So close.

Then, Ravensfire DC'd before we started the second boss and we called it.

We went to do Heroic MrT. Magisters Terrace.

Pos had just run it recently, and I twisted the arm of my guildies, and we took Gobblez, Kikidas, Tasogare and Boon along with Pos tanking.

It went pretty smooth. 2 wipes on the second boss. 1 wipe on the 3rd boss. And I think we took Kael down on our first try (if I remember right)

Not a single trash wipe.

Also, the last pull before Kael, which used to be 6 mobs, and a huge pain... is now only 5, and no different from 10 other pulls in the instance.

Pos got a new axe, which he'll break out if he ever goes fury (and when I dual wield now...)

I hope to run it lots.... as there's two trinkets Pos wants from the 3rd boss. Both the expertise trinket and the signet of kael'thas.


I wonder where there's a purple ring Pos can get...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I don't have a main anymore...

It used to be, I had a main. It was a Shaman. Level 60. Geared in greens & blues. Matoskah, I was enhancement, and waded in with my totems and beat stuff down.

Then came Tulu. Tulu was a troll mage. He, to put it simply, rocked.

Leveled fast, aoe style, uber pwning all the mobs. The best was whooping up the slow green guys pre-Mauradon nerf. 5 levels, averaging 4hrs/level. Mind you, this was before quest experience got the huge bump :)

Tulu was purpled out, at 60, mostly bwl gear, with bits from MC still. Then came the expansion. I was busy, fell behind in rep grinds, and couldn't keep up with my guildies who were running heroics, and Karazhan. I took a very long hiatus from the game then (about a year).

Came back, new server, and found my mid-30's Warlock. Gnome. Absitively. Started leveling. Leveled mad-crazy-fast.

About level 63, I pugged with a really bossy druid tank in Slave Pens. Plus a shaman healer. Plus a really sketchy hunter.

Joined their guild. Got ran through the mount quest. I was shocked how nice these guys were being to me. It was awesome.

Leveled to 70. Busted. my. butt.
Started running Kara. Loved it. Got Abs almost as geared as I could. Now he's a tad better geared. Simply, he's awesome.

Decided I wanted an alt. Posolutely began to be leveled. Shot up to 60 faster than Boon shoots with a dwarf paladin.

Started tanking. Loved it. Practiced. Read. Instanced. Hit 70, barely having quested in Nagrand.

Blued out. Started collecting purples. Started tanking heroics. Ran SSO dailies like crazy (thanks Tasogare).

Started tanking Kara. Started running with Gruuls/Mags pugs. Suddenly, all in purples (well... aside from 1 ring, and 1 trinket...).

Now, I'm the main tank for our guild. Sort of. There's an uber pally who is also our main tank. :)

So here I am, reading about Wrath of the Lich King, and I have no idea which char I will take to 80 first. Which I will want to instance with. I'm even leveling a druid up now, for a healer. I don't know if I'll make it to 70 with him or not (the spriest experiment is on hold... for a little while), but we'll see.

Then when wrath comes out, there will be a 3rd gnome added into the mix. Yes. I will be making a Death Knight. I'm still debating on the name.

Any suggestions?

I keep thinking... bring... pink haired gnome female named Splendiferous. I don't know if I can do it though.

Maybe... Geronignome?

Ha. Terrible.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"I don't know what hit me, but it one shotted me."

The words of a pug paladin healer when Pos was leveling up in Mana Tombs.

This was on a 3 pull, Pos was practicing holding aggro on multi's, I was 68 or 69, and well overgeared for the instance.

I know none of the mobs killed him.

How do I know? Pos had Divine Intervention on.

Yep. He killed himself.

I tried to explain what happened to the pally (this was like the 3rd pull in the instance), only to find out, on the final boss, that the pally had no idea what Divine Intervention does.

So, yep. We wiped twice.

Both times because the healer cast Divine Intervention on the main tank, while everyone was alive.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Offtanking in Karazhan

An offtanks (aka, newbie warrior's) guide to Karazhan

I'm posting this, moreso for my own refernece, while its still relatively fresh in my mind (Pos's first Kara run was less than 3 months ago, still).

First things first.

Minimum requirements?

490 defense. This makes you uncrittable. Its kind of a big deal. Like Ron Burgandy.
Now, obviously, that is warrior specific, other classes have their own minimums.
The realization of how important keeping sheild block up is.
A solid set of threat gear, and knowledge of what the best threat rotation is for trash and bosses.
Really, the rotation is easy...

Shield slam, revenge, devastate, devastate.

Personally, I have macro's for all 3 of those skills that look like this:
/cast Revenge
/cast Shield Block

So even if I forget to hit my shield block hotkey, it will be hit on the next 1.5 second cooldown.

Those are your highest threat-per-rage abilities. To burn off excess rage, use heroic strike. If you're rage starved, don't be afraid to use shield bash. It amazed me how few warriors know about this rotation.

Thunderclap is awesome. 20%. It slows the bosses attacks by 20%. It takes the prince fight from a royal pain in the rear, of randomly taking a crushing blow, to a cakewalk where you never take one... sometimes it takes longer than it should for this to set in to a gnome warriors head.

Trash doesn't really need it, but most of the bosses (Shade being one exception), you should keep this up. Especially if you're the only warrior, and especially if you aren't tanking!

Yes, you may do a little bit less DPS, but, if you're prot you're only doing like 12 dps anyway.

A basic knowledge of what you'll be expected to do (and thats why I'm here, writing this).

Trash pulls: Entirely up to your raid on what they want you to do. As a warrior who runs a lot with a paladin tank, I let him tank 2 or 3, have my target be the first one down, then pull one off of the pally for the 3rd target to die.

As an OT, it can vary if your mob dies first or second, a lot of times, it will be second, because then you'll have enough threat for the DPS to go full boar into your mob.

Other times, your mob will die first, as it puts out a ton of damage and no one wants you to die or the healers to run oom.

So just be heads up.

Tricky fights as a first timer?

1) Attumen. You'll probably be getting the job of picking up Attumen when he spawns, this is when Midnight is at 95%. Pick him up, quick. Thunderclap, as you can keep it on both Attumen and Midnight. Once they join, you're on Sunder & Tclap duty the rest of the way.

2) Moroes: You may have to tank one of the adds, but your biggest goal is to try to stay second on the threat list because he stuns the MT once in awhile and you want to hope he will just attack you right away then, not someone else.

3) Maiden: All you'll do here is DPS or offheal. Once again, TClap, devestate, Demo shout.

3a) Pulls before Opera: there's 5 mobs which will iceblock whomever is highest on the threat list, so you'll want to stay second on the list. As a main tank, if someone is a bit undergeared or having problems generating that threat (ie a paladin), I will let them pull, and I'll be the second one on the list. Up to your raid how they handle it.

4) Opera: Depending on which boss it is, you'll be in charge of either tanking one of Romulo or Juliane, kiting Tin Man, or just screwing around on big bad wolf.

(And around to the back door we go)

5) Nighbane: Thunderclap and demo shout, keep sunders up. Stay out of charred earth, and melee from between his legs. Air phase, help keep the skeletons under control as best as you can.

6) Curator: You'll be asked to help DPS down the flares, just melee away and have fun.

7) Illhoof: You'll be asked to tank the little wonderful Demon named Kil'rek. He's a pushover. Doesn't hit much harder than a normal trash mob. Enjoy it. Tank him. Let your group kill him. Watch your warlock cackle with glee as they run about 2k dps exploding stuff.

8) Shade of Aran: No aggro table here, so go berserker stance, and make sure you have pummel up. You'll be tasked with interrupting one type of spell (either Frostbolts or Fireballs) so stay on top of that and help your crew keep his mana above his health.

9) Netherspite: Beams. Fun. When I run it, I try to have the tanks tank the red beam followed by the green beam alternately. Its a tough fight, due to the coordination needed, but do a bit of reading and it should make sense.

10) Chess: Move a pawn, so the king and conjuror can get out.

11) Prince: Melee. Don't die. Keep thunderclap up as best as you can. If you don't die, you're better than 87.2% of melee on this fight.

Well, that's a brief summary. Post comments, questions, anything else you may have. I hope it made sense.

I came from being a DPSer who hardly paid attention to fights (seriously... I didn't know about Curator's hateful bolts until I was asked to be the bolt soaker guy on my 10th trip to Kara or so) to being an offtank to then a main tank.

Monday, July 7, 2008

ZA.... my bane.

So close, yet so far...

We downed the bear boss again, 1 badge, 1 loot... plate healing helm, which went to our pally tank for offset, as our pally healer didn't need it. Then, we decided to go to the Lynx boss, instead of Akilzon. We freed the troll, and let a few people get +15 stam gems for finishing that quest, and then we rolled on over to the Lynx. We made 4.25 attempts at him (really... the first one doesn't count, as Pos was down within 20 seconds of the fight starting).

Our second attempt was the best, we got him down to 25%, but we'd lost a DPS early, and another later, and our healers eventually got drained of mana, and couldn't keep the tanks up.

I'm honestly not sure if we can do these fights yet. We're close, I think myself and Owaru are there, and ready. I think our DPS is close to being ready, and I think our healers are ready. The problem is, we're all just barely ready, and when 10 people are like that, it makes it really tough and everything must go flawlessly for us to beat an encounter.

Do I think we can do it? Yes, I truly do, and I'm glad people aren't getting frustrated, and I'm glad we are learning the encounters.

I feel as though we have the squad, but we aren't quite getting there... and I feel as though that makes it my fault.

Admittedly, I don't know the pulls as well as I should. I'm terrible at keeping my shouts up as a warrior. I've finally been working a lot harder at keeping thunderclap and demo shout up on the bosses.

Pos got a belt upgrade. I don't know if it was the belt, or the belt + boots combo, but my threat generation has been crazy now. I'm sure our hunters MD's help a ton (I don't even ask for them anymore, they just happen), but I'm doing about 600+ tps, which means with Salv, I easily out distance anyone doing under 800 dps (who has salv...).

Getting there. Slowly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Some things are just worth it....

Sometimes, you go on vacation, and your characters end up without their hearthstone, and only wearing a dress in Orgrimmar.

Kara and ZA

Kara & ZA

So, we ran them again. Kara on Saturday, ZA on Sunday. Times were good. We tried Nightbane on Saturday, despite not having a hunter and not having a paladin tank. We did very well, all things considered. Since Owaru and Nesh had people randomly show up at their house, we ended up having to pug a healer and a DPS.... well, actually, 2 dps, as Wolf had to bail as well.

Picked up a shadow priest (Exorcist - great name) who was awesome, a Rogue who was cool (Dakston), and a healy Druid named Vinxx, who I'm pretty sure is insane.

Vinxx ended up joining the guild, that very night and seems a good fit for KoU.

Well, we ran the first 4 bosses smoothly, without a wipe, I believe. Although Jerkfase kept dying. I honestly have no idea how he dies so much. I really and truly don't. Thats two runs in a row where he had a few random deaths.

We went to the back door then, and ran right for Nightbane. Time to try him. Paladin tank for the skeletons? Nope. Hunter to MD Nightbane when he lands? Nope. Oh, what the heck, lets try it anyway.

So we did.

We failed, got him to 24% though, which was pretty good considering we had pretty much the worst possible makeup to try him.

The best part? When our druid battle rezzed Jerkfase, and Nightbane just decided to... well... run away from me, and go plunk him. Yep. He died. Twice, within 30 seconds. High comedy (at least, for Antiplatty).

So we rolled on the rest of the way, up until Prince, where we wiped once. Mostly due to whomever was tanking him being stupid and forgetting to keep Thunderclap up during phase 2 and then eating a crushing blow as a result.

I wonder who that was?

*whistles innocently*

So, along came Sunday.


We're gonna roll and try to get the Bear boss. Get him quick. Get the first chest.

We roll in, a solid 10-some. We were short 1 DPS going in, as Antiplatty wasn't feeling well, but the amazing Yelena happened to log on at the perfect time (plus we were short a mage!!).

We head to the Bear boss. We are cruising. I mean. Rolling. Fast. We get to the last pull before the Bear boss, and my mobs go down, then suddenly people start dropping. People are on the wrong target. Healers die. So close. We wipe. We run back in, but the damage is done. The bear has won.

Well, sort of. We went back and whooped him up.

Pos got new boots.

We went onto the Eagle boss, wiped once getting to him (stupid gauntlet, silly warlock went explodie, then splat).

So we get to the Eagle boss.

We wipe. We wipe. We get him to 18%, we collapse. We wait. He doesn't call storm. We wait. We wait. Finally, at 14% he casts storm. We wipe, as we'd been standing on top of each other for 45 seconds.

I'm gonna read up more on strats, and try to figure out what to do.

Just... randomness wiped us. We had him.