Archive for the ‘ Guild ’ Category

Every day we’re raidin’ and raidin’…

Quick update on our raid progression, since I’ve been lax about updating on it: the hunter became the hunted, and Shannox went down… And earlier this evening, we got Beth down ^_^. This was, of course, after my healer yelled, “Stop plundering the Beth’s hole!” many, many times. But that’s besides the point! We had fun, and that’s what mattered.

On a side note, we did a BoT run afterwards, that consisted of three PUGs, a guildie who hadn’t done the raid at all, and a guildie tank who’d DPSed all the bosses but only tanked up until the Ascendant Council. In the end, we cleared the place with no wipes ^_^. Sure, we had a death or two, but I was VERY proud of my folks for clearing everything as cleanly as they did.

Until next time!

Nefarian! You are not prepared!

Woohoo! Tonight, Far Riders completed two progression kills: Maloriak followed by Atramedes! Maloriak went down rather quickly, taking somewhere in the neighborhood of 3-4 attempts. Atramedes… took longer (/cough 20-25 attempts? /cough). We suffered from every kind of minor mistake from standing to close to the boss (harder to dodge the sound discs), to forgetting which way to run (Me in vent: “If he targets you, you run clockwise… Like a clock. If not, then run counter-clockwise… Unlike a clock), to getting caught on imaginary steps while running from the fire breath in air phase (that was me – I swear, there was nothing there!). Regardless, I was very proud of the guild tonight. We made some serious progress! We spent our remaining time killing off Halfus and the Twins for the sake of gear, but next week, Nefarian is going down!

Shockingly enough, I remembered to take a guild photo of our kill of Atramedes /gasp! Totally forgot to do one for Maloriak, but considering I also forgot to grab one for the other 6 bosses we’ve killed… I’m not surprised.

What? He was handicapped? ... The kill still counts!

Incoming!

My apologies for the delay in posts. My guildmaster and I have been dealing with issues within the guild for awhile now, but tensions reached a peak over this past week. On top of that, my university’s spring break was this past week, conveniently at the same time as the release of Pokemon Black and Dragon Age II (/cough DA2 is awesome /cough).

All of that aside! I’ve been inspired to continue in the footsteps of Idkittens, a blogger over at Sword and Board. I first started tanking as a full-time job when Cata hit the servers (prior to that, I did it as my off-spec), and whenever I had issues with a particular boss in a regular or heroic dungeon, I consulted the tanking cheat sheets posted by Idkittens. I continued the trend of following the advice posted on Sword and Board when my guild first began to do the cata raid content, and I was deeply saddened by the fact that only three were posted (Halfus, Magmaw, and Omnitron).

So… Since I found the advice in those posts so informative, I’m going to follow the trend and do some similar posts here. I don’t intend to do anything Idkittens already posted – just continue where the posts stopped. Look forward to those coming out sometime soon!

And on a quick side-note: Far Riders currently has 5/12 down. Halfus, Valiona and Theralion, Magmaw, Omnitron, and Chimaeron (and Argaloth, if you count him). Maloriak is the next intended target – we’ll see what the week holds!

I’ve a work in progress upcoming, detailing the methods I use for tanking

Blackrock Schmackrock

No, the title doesn’t really make sense, and also, my apologies for my silence lately. There hasn’t been much to talk about! Lol. Well, that’s not entirely true – just nothing I wanted to talk about in a blog, really.

This week’s raids for Far Riders started off relatively uneventful. After a week of raider troubles last week, we hit Bastion this Thursday with a good stride, easily plowing throw trash and Halfus alike, but ran into some issues with the Twins and one of our two regular healers having a power outage. We ended up calling it relatively early, and a friend and I had fun on a bun with arena.

We came back today (Saturday), cleared Argaloth, and made our way to BWD. We quickly dealt with the local worm infestation, loot was doled out, and we began working on our progression in BWD with the Tron Council, since we were already there (fly to Bastion? too lazy!). After some work (5-7 tries?), we finally nailed the buggers, but just barely, considering only four people were left alive. The reason for this was simple, actually: Ang, my fellow tank, died to a poison add at the last minute. Hell broke loose because despite my throwing a taunt at Toxitron, he gleefully continued to roll over the faces of my fellow raiders. Luckily, I managed to regain control just long enough for the DPS to kill them off the second after I died. /insert manic grin here o_O

At this point, we were already in BWD, so I polled everyone using the fabled readycheck poll to figure out who wanted to do what: continue in BWD or go down the Twins. The majority wanted to stay, so we delved deeper into Netharion’s little hell hole. Enix, our paladin healer, was the first to reach the elevator, and he jumped over the edge and after a quick bubble, trotted up to the trash. Now, apparently Ang didn’t notice that Enix bubble jumped because he walked right off the edge – and promptly died. Our rogue laughed at him, jumped over as well, and used his parachute – which resulted in him swimming in molten magma. Needless to say, big “lolz” were had ^_^. We quickly made our way up to Chimaeron, and after rushing through a rough and dirty explanation of the mechanics, gave the fight a whirl.

To make a long story short, many deaths occurred, more explanations were given (since we didn’t explain it right the first time; whoops), Ang died after falling off the elevator again (Elevator boss – 2 | Ang – 0), and we ended up calling it a night after about 5-6 attempts. I can’t remember for certain, but I believe our best attempt was approaching 50%, but most of them ended up in the 60% neighborhood. It was a very good night for raiding, and I couldn’t have been prouder of us killing the Tron Council, despite Ang’s close encounter of the poison kind. Chalk one up to the laidback raiding!

At one point, Ang decided to test the merits of tanking as a plant. This didn't last long =P

Many Snakes… Handle it!

Saturday night’s raid wasn’t exactly a… normal raid. Leading up to that day, I had been receiving word from a couple of raiders saying that they weren’t going to be able to attend, so upon reaching Saturday, I posted in our guild notes and on our calendar that the raid was cancelled. Naturally, a mere 15 minutes after posting this, I received word from a couple of raiders that amounted to “I said I wasn’t coming?” (insert /facepalm here). The guild notes and calendar were reverted, but the damage was done, and come raid time, we were short by 3 members. I didn’t feel comfortable pugging 3 raiders, so I asked everyone what they would like to do instead of a progression raid.

Ultimately, it was brought up that we should do a “critter raid”; that is, work on the Critter Kill Squad guild achievement as a raid. Enough folks liked the idea that I couldn’t help but say, “Sure. Why not?” The one raider who wasn’t interested left, we brought in a couple of other random guildies who wanted to participate in the mayhem, and the hunt was on! I quickly pulled up the achievement page on Wowhead, and after skimming over the comments, I told everyone to make their way to Zul’Gurub – specifically, to where High Priest Venoxis was located.

Located in and around this alcove were rapidly respawning critter-class snakes, which we took great pleasure in mass murdering. Our resident warlock Dark was the perpetrator of most of the carnage with his Inferno-fortified Hellfire. He actually made a couple of joking jabs at me and my ineffective prot pally aoe >_< /sniffle. Overall, I believe it took us a little longer than 30min to grab the achieve, since we only had 5-8 people at varying points of time (a couple of folks decided to go have fun in Gurubashi arena for awhile =P). Unfortunately, none of us could claim our fancy, schmancy Armadillo Pup due to no one being exalted with our own guild yet o_O.

And so, the moral of the story is: Mass murdering copious amounts of snakes is A-OK… if you get a spiffy pet out of the deal. Until next time, folks!

Magmaw no mo’

In another successful raid night, we downed Magmaw last night. We used the same setup that I described from last time: myself tanking the giant worm o’ death, Ang kiting the parasites, and everyone else grouped up on the other side of Magmaw. We used hero on the very first “exposed” phase, where Mag’s got his head stuck on the pike. For those paladin tanks who may be interested, I did some seal swapping at regular intervals during this fight (I minor glyphed both Truth and Insight, to help with mana).

I started the fight with Truth active, then after establishing a good aggro lead, swapped for Insight. While I can’t remember if I looked at recount or not after the fight, I do remember feeling like that was helping contribute to keeping my health up. Once I was pulled into his mouth (go go gadget chewtoy?), I switched back to Truth. Now, this portion of the encounter has some fun tank damage on it, but at that point, the tank has access to Magmaw’s head instead of his body, so by popping CDs reguarly, I was able to pump out some nice dps here. I kept Truth after being dropped, and after Mag freed himself (and I established another aggro lead) it was rinse repeat.

We went on to fight with the “Tron Council,” and we had mixed success. This was mainly due to us needing to replace DPS twice due to internet issues, meaning fresh folks (no one we brought in had done it before then) were being mixed in intermittently. We almost downed them at one point (I believe they got down to 4%), but I was single tanking by that point due to Ang dying, so we weren’t able to make it, ultimately. We’ll be continuing on Thursday again, so stay tuned! Well, as “tuned” as you can be to a blog o.O

Twins Valiona and Theralion Down

After having fun pulling together a raid again (/sigh), myself, my fellow Far Riders, and our one PUG flew ourselves over to Bastion and proceeded to have some good ol’ fashioned trash wipes. Ahaha. Despite the initial difficulties, we fought our way over to Halfus and found we had the Slate, Nether, and Storm drakes this week. Initially it was suggested to release Slate and Nether, with our DK tank (Angimar) on the drakes and myself on Halfus, but that wasn’t working well for us. Per a guildie’s suggestion, I tried kiting Halfus to drop the healing debuff, but this quickly proved ineffective. We finally worked out that we should be releasing Nether and Storm instead, and I flip-flopped with our DK, since my main mitigation is blocks which allow the debuff to continue to stack. Within an attempt or two, we had Halfus down, loot was distributed, and we proceeded onwards.

We blew through the trash before the Twins, and after a quick recap of fight mechanics and placement from our raid strategist (not an official title, but that’s really what he does ^_^’), we began chipping away at their health. I can neither remember the exact number of attempts nor methods we worked through, but we finally downed the dragons (just barely, but we did it) despite our melee heavy setup. We had three melee, plus Angimar (he switched specs for this fight, since it only needs one tank on 10man – not sure about 25man), and two ranged dps, so we used this method:

During Valiona’s ground phase, I tanked Valiona, and the four melee stood at the four corners of her massive hit box, leaving 10yd range all around. The ranged and healers stayed nearby, and for Blackout, everyone except myself ran to the tail of the dragon. Naturally, we got out of harm’s way when Devouring Flames was being cast. When Theralion was on the ground, I again tanked with melee stacking on me and the ranged/healers forming their own clique (heh ^_^’) behind the dragon. This resulted in almost all (if not all) void zones being cast on the ranged group, who simply moved in a clockwise circle around the boss, leaving the melee and myself to wail upon the dragon. When Valiona came charging through with her deep breaths, we moved as a group to dodge. Eventually, the Twins went down, more loot was distributed, and we decided to head over to BWD and put in some time on Magmaw.

After the trash was cleared, Ang went frost again, and using his specially setup spec (Chilblains + Glyph of Howling Blast, I believe), he kited the parasites that spawn during the fight. For positioning, I was on one side of Magmaw’s spike, and everyone else was piled in on the other side, with Ang running around with his parasite buddies. After having initial difficulties with dying at the end of Magmaw’s Mangle, I realized that it’s possible to use Ardent Defender or Guardian of Ancient Kings so that the length of the ability would fall over the end of Mangle, thus saving myself from a chewy end. The beauty of it though, was that whichever ability you used for the first Mangle would be up in time for the third one, so either ability was always up in time for the next Mangle.

Unfortunately, the PUG healer we had with us for Halfus and the Twins was going to be doing a guild run of BWD the following night, so he was unable to come with us. One of our melee DPS switched toons to his Disc Priest to cover the healing slack, but no one else was available at the time, and since we were so close to the end of our raid time, we decided to simply 9man the fight. As it turns out, we ALMOST got Magmaw down (I believe the last wipe was somewhere around 6% health remaining?), but during our last run, our warlock’s computer decided to shutdown (a proper, full sequence shutdown too – not a “I just lost power,” instant shutdown), so we hit the enrage timer before we could finish the fight. Despite being unable to kill the accursed worm tonight, I know that if we could’ve nearly 9man’d Magmaw (with a dps absent for 2/3 of the fight), then we can definitely down him on our next raid night with 10 raiders.

I’ll continue to keep you posted on Far Riders 10man progression, so stay tuned! Also, if you noticed that we could’ve used a different tactic to make a fight easier, then please leave a comment telling me how. I’ll be sure to keep any suggestions in mind!

WTB level 85, PST

Without boring you with my many leveling adventures, I feel I can safely and summarily say that I have screwed around with leveling multitudes of different toons, spare no class (except Warlocks – they never did strike my fancy…). Lately, I’ve been leveling two in particular: a holy/ret paladin named Nehmend and a resto/kitty druid named Ehks. I mention this because when I do level these toons, I find that they level abnormally fast, compared to my other high level toons. So, I did some quick calculating. Currently, you can get:

  • +10% XP for Heirloom Helm (requires Guild level 20)
  • +10% XP for Heirloom Shoulders
  • +10% XP for Heirloom Chest
  • +5% XP for Heirloom Cloak (requires Guild level 10)
  • +5% XP for Heirloom Ring (from wining Kal’uak Fishing Derby)
  • +5% XP for Guild level 2
  • +5% XP for Guild level 6
  • =50% bonus XP

According to Wowhead, there are currently Heirloom legs and more rings in store. Counting those in, you can receive an additional 15% for 65% total bonus XP. Depending on how often you play these alt toons, you could earn up to 150% of a level (that’s 30 of the small bars/bubbles) in rested XP over the course of 10 days, which doubles the experience gained from combat. And on top of all of this, there are other situational bonuses that you can receive, such as holiday buffs (like those obtained from the Fire Festival, Pilgrim’s Bounty, etc) and the Recruit-a-Friend bonus of 200%. Of course, to receive this bonus, you need to be within 3 levels of your friend, but they can also “grant” levels (that’s right, free levels) to any of your toons at a lower level than theirs for every 2 levels they earn.

Long story short, leveling has become easy. With the right amount of effort to obtain heirlooms and balancing of alt play time, you can earn numerous levels every hour. This leads to more higher level toons, but does it subtract from the leveling experience? Please feel free to comment with your thoughts on the now “easysauce” process of leveling.

Too many raiders!

Brief post today: my GM and I are currently attempting to organize a second 10man raid for our guild, since there seems to be enough raid interest to sustain it, if a couple of us raid on both. I’m actually pretty excited about this because while it won’t be the same as DPSing on Nehmen, I’d be playing my mage Feuere for the second raid, meaning I’d get both the tanking and DPS perspectives of the new cata raids. The challenge, of course, becomes finding times that work for both without conflicting with one another.

The ultimate goal of having these two raids is to provide in-guild raiding opportunities for more of our members while doing our level headed best to avoid “burning out.” To accomplish this, I believe we’re going to shorten our usual raid time of 4 1/2 hours (6:30-11pm) down to something closer to 2 1/2 hours (8:30-11pm). In the past, we’ve found that raid productivity tends to decline towards the latter hours of the raid from progression wipes and/or sitting in one place for that long, so if we can maintain a decent rate of progression with shorter hours, then why bother holding longer, tedious raids? Also, most time conflicts that members run into tend to occur earlier in the evening (“my folks wanted to have dinner,” “work got off late,” “traffic was horrible,” “I had a ridiculous amount of homework,” etc), so starting later may help avoid those.

I’ll let you know if this ends up working out, and if we had to make any changes to find success with the raid structure/scheduling.

Heroic Lament

Heroic Stonecore, how I hate thee. I’ve successfully completed two heroic Cata dungeons as a tank, and yet I can’t get past Corborus on heroic mode SC. Yesterday evening, my guild’s raid leader invited me to tank for a heroic group he was forming, and I accepted, hoping to have some challenging, but fun attempts at downing a heroic dungeon. After everyone joined the party, I suggested that we do a random heroic, since I hadn’t done my daily random. The group agreed, we queued up, and into heroic SC we went. … And not much further than that.

We cleared Millhouse and his buddies without any real issues, and upon reaching the bottom of the first passage, we were ready to kill some gyreworm. After pulling, we quickly realized that something was amiss, and instead of gyreworm being on the menu, we were on its menu. While reseting, we reviewed the strat, covering the new heroic abilities, and confident that we had the right idea, we charged in a second time. 24+ attempts later, I finally had to tell the group I needed to leave; I had to go to work, and we had yet to get the bloody worm below 600k HP.

After returning from work, I logged on because I still wanted to get in a successful random heroic. One insta-tank queue later, I found myself in… Oh, bloody hell – heroic SC. I expressed my frustration to the party, who reassured me with comments that generally amounted to “we’ve got this – it’s easy when you know the fight.” Now, call me crazy, but when someone makes a comment along those lines, it says to me that they’ve completed the fight before. So, reassured that I was likely with a better group, I reviewed how I was tanking the fight with them, and besides one small adjustment they suggested, I found I was ready to go. We breezed through Millhouse’s folks, and quickly found myself face-to-face with the dreaded worm, once more.

To skip some unnecessary story, I soon found myself recovering from our fourth wipe. Now, to be fair, I normally stick with groups for longer than that, but considering this was nearly my 30th wipe of the day on this horrible fiend, I gave the group my apologies and left the party. I went on to queue again, and thankfully, I found myself being loaded into heroic Throne of the Tides. The trash in here is, without a doubt, extremely difficult – even with CC – but after a couple of painful attempts and wipes, we made our way to Neptulon’s throne to take down Lady Vaz’jar. After some more painful attempts and wipes, working out exactly who needed to CC what and reminding everyone to dodge the tornadoes o’ doom, we got her down. Yes! First heroic boss of the day down! And to make the victory sweeter, the tanking ring Entwined Nereis, dropped! /roll… And here’s my… Huh? The kitty dps won?

Immediately, our healer scolded the bad kitty (heh; had to say it) and told them to give me the ring, saying, “If you want  tank gear, then queue as a tank!” The druid made a half-formed comment along the lines of “I need it too,” then left. Yes, remember the title of this blog post? A lament generally contains few happy moments – lol. After requeueing, we acquired a warrior and went on to down the rest of the dungeon. Several folks got some spiffy gear, and I got my heroic done, but I was left feeling slightly empty inside. That PUG reminded me of why I typically run with guildies… I can trust them (for the most part) to not pull shenanigans like that. Ah well – live and learn, I s’pose.

Have any stories about the new cata dungeons? Feel free to share them below!