Thursday, 14 January 2010

A tale of progress

After an extended christmas holidays our raid group finally got back together in the static composition yesterday for another shot at Icecrown Citadel. We were a bit late to start and had some debate about whether to do the weekly raid quest first – shame on us, really. However … it got much, much better from the start.

We cleared the trash to Marrowgar without wipes and still managed to trigger all off the juicy big skeletons for extra faction. Go us! We managed to move into position on Marrowgar, tank him through a tank-crash and only lost one little tree due to his deforestation move. Beat him up with time to spare – and yes… we are aware he was nerfed, but still .. this was sooo much better than last time.

By this time the first few people had enough rep for their rings (or ring upgrades) and trundled back to the entrance. We charged back, stronger and more powerful than before and killed the trash before Lady Deathwisper. Just like that. All two groups and all two priests – without anyone dying. If I remember the amount of trouble those priests gave us on the first attempt – ha! is all I’m going to say. We may unfortunately possibly have had a wipe on the Lady herself. Caused by … erm… me, I suppose.

You see… we left our poor retribution paladin on the lady all the time – no sense running after adds when there is a shield to beat up. The shadowpriest, boomkin and two hunters focused on downing adds first, bringing down the shield second. Notice something already? No? No worried.. I didn’t either. Once the shield is down, the two tanks (bear and warrior) rush forward to intercept the lady and pull her down the stairs. No line of sight issues and all that. She casts another death and decay and we twitch a little to position her better. She casts a “frostbolt” (which in actual fact is a frostbolt volley of DOOM™) and I sort of forgot to shieldbash it – or was out of rage (which sounds a little better). So one of the tanks dies. And the other can’t hold aggro. So I get a battleres and charge back in and see her cast a frostbolt – clearly targeted on the other tank… and was a bit slow on the shieldbash again … and … and I expect the results are obvious by now.

So what changed? Last time we tried this we had a rogue along. A rogue that has a tenuous grasp on the concept of aggro and spell interrupts at best (usually) – but who was shouted at to interrupt any frostbolts he saw. And he did. Without fail. And the real kicker? Much like the general in Ulduar, the frostbolts come every 10 seconds. And the protection warriors spell interrupt is timed at 12 seconds. So there is no reliable way I can properly do this alone. Hmpf.

Oh yes.. we wiped.

And ran back in. All except for the retribution paladin that is. She may possibly have been playing too much in the new instances, but her swift spirit griffon took her all the way over the entrance to the Pit of Saron before she noticed. Did I mention I love teamspeak? So while everyone is buffing and eating their food to get ready for the next attempt the husband of the retribution paladin has to explain to the raid that she will be a minute.

“Issy has gotten lost on the way from the graveyard – she’ll be here in a moment”.

Bonus points for push to talk sticking a bit… and everyone hearing the shouted “I am not lost, I’m exploring!” leading to much hilarity. Ah well. There goes my sexlife for the next four years.

Of course … she didn’t make things better by missing the teleporter, running all the way up the ramp past Marrowgar and then leaving autorun on through the group waiting for pally buffs and straight for the face of the Lady. In her defence: She did stop before triggering the boss, but it was close. And the raid once again got a dose of “You might want to stop before you run into her” – “I am not going … oh oops. I was just making sure it was safe for everyone!”

Another 10 years.

Second attempt went smoothly, though. We bashed, stunned, smashed and interrupted stuff. We didn’t stand in the green. We got loot.

Up the ramp and into our mandatory ice-cream break. Every proper raid needs an ice-cream break.

The “PvP Encounter” at the top drew a little bit of comments from people. I suppose the Faction Champions in ToC still lingers and haunts peoples sleep. I think our tree trundled off to pull the frostwyrm at the last platform before the boat … ship … whatever.

And then we sank our boat (for some silly reasons best left unexplained) and didn’t really have a clue what was going on. Well… me, at least. Hey I’ve never seen this fight before.

Wipe, mopup, back to work and this time it was a blast.

Our hometeam consisted of the druid tank, all two healers, the boomkin, the shadowpriest and the elemental shaman. The gunners consisted of retribution paladin and warrior tank (<- that’s me! *proud look*). The away team was the two hunters and anyone else who could be bothered, really. We didn’t send a healer to the other side, instead relying on the away-tank/gunner to bring the boss close to our own boat for tanking.

Wheee.. those cannons are fun. Button 1 fires and does a little damage and generates a little heat. Button 2 fires, using up all the heat and doing a little more damage. The cooldown is extremely low (definitely less than 1 second), so the gunner game plays a lot like typing a text – or spamming heroic strike on patchwork (111 111 111 112). On the second freeze I even learnt to use my number 2 one last time just before the enemy mage reached the centre of his ship. It wasn’t hard and it was really entertaining. Although I suspect that’s because I had the two most fun roles to play this time. Gunner and Jetpack – huzzah!

I think we managed to wipe again on the Saurfang Deathbringer-thing after that. Again – first time for me, and I was crap. The two tanks supposedly taunt the boss off each other as soon as he casts his “Mark of Blood” on one of them. Deadly boss mods announces this – both in text and with a timer for the next one. The second tank was in my group – and I have debuffs turned on, so I should have seen it. I also had him as my focus target, so his healthbar with debuffs was pretty much in the dead centre of my screen. And still … still it is surprisingly hard to remember to actually taunt.

We rock two hunters, though, so at least the blood beast handling was really easy. Traps and arrows of death took care of them – or so it seemed. I’m sure I managed to hit them once or twice by accident. It seems the glyph of sunder armor is not an optimal choice for this fight.

In a mere two attempts we got that one deaded as well. Not bad at all. Of course by then it was pretty late and people got lost and our fearless raid-leader got steamboiled – great for low calorie cooking, I’m sure.

Note for people new to the second wing of Icecrown Citadel: White steam kills. If you are running through the entrance area to the Plagueworks, stop before the cloud of white steam. Unlike the fire-things in movies, there is no complicated sequence to learn to avoid being boiled – just run through to the next one, stop, move past it when it stops. Well… or pop shield-wall and run, but who’d do such a thing just to get the shadowpriest killed?

The Valkyr in the entrance area path a really large patrol pattern around the area – so large one seriously has to wonder who hired the security in Icecrown. I mean… one could march an army through there unnoticed. Not very far – that’s true, but a team of special forces, equipped with jetpacks and a bit of rope…

Well no. Because you can’t vault over the sides of those platforms. When our fearless paladin healer asked if we’d be able to plummet to our deaths there … all ten of us tried. Each and every one. Smashing their noses on the invisible walls separating us from instant death. You could hear the disappointment in the “No … we’re safe”.

We wiped once more on trash – in this case the little dog “Precious”. A silly thing, but we tried to get the zombies under control – being misled by their resemblance to stinky ol’ Gluth we feared heals and being overwhelmed and the thing even cast a decimate. Just on us, though, which should have been a hint. Tip for the professionals: Don’t kill the zombies – even your healers will survive them. Beat up the dog like you mean it!

The two bosses look exactly identical – and we ran out of time for proper tries. But a good go for a late start anyway. And next week we’ll find a new way to get rid of our raidleader *nodnod* something gory and unpredictable.

1 comment:

  1. Koch, for the love of God please change your comment settings to accept anonymous comments otherwise I have to be Snottydin.

    Oh bless Issy :D

    Grats on the run though - sounds awesome.

    And I shall demand ice-cream breaks in my own raids.