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

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Self Fail

Sorry about the recent lack of updates. I’ve been scouring sources for internships for this summer as well as planning future grad school possibilities, so I haven’t had as much time to play WoW, spare regular raid times. And even then, we’re likely not going to raid on Saturday, due to the possibility of raiders being absent.

In regards to tonight’s raid, it wasn’t the most successful venture ever. Ang, our second tank,  was having serious internet issues, and we were bringing in a fresh raider (literally fresh – it was his first raid, if I’m not mistaken), so although we one-shot Halfus tonight, we couldn’t get Valiona/Theralion down to save our lives. Eventually, we decided to move over to Baradin Hold, since the Alliance had recently won the fight for it, but we had to swap out tanks, since Ang finally gave up on his internet. We ultimately called it a night after BH because we only had 30min left, so it wasn’t worth trying to pug the spot away.

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!

/yeargh: How to Murder Massive Multitudes of Rapidly Respawning Pirates

As some of you may remember, I mentioned in a prior post that I was going to be raining havoc and death upon the Southsea pirates of Tanaris to build my Steamwheedle Cartel reputations up to exalted. At the time, I speculated I would need 14.5 hours of time grinding this rep to reach my goal, and so, I devised a simple, yet effective, method for attacking this hurdle in short, timed bursts – using my seals. As any paladin (or nearly any seasoned player, for that matter) could tell you, a paladin seal currently lasts for 30min. Since I need to have an active seal to use Judgement, I decided it would make my efforts easier to manage if I activated my seal when I was ready to start slaughtering helpless pirates and to continue until the seal had worn off. By limiting myself to these 30min sessions, I can easily make a commitment to do one per day, which will hopefully help stave off boredom while allowing me to slowly work my way towards having the four Goblin reps to exalted. Considering I’m now sitting on 12 hours remaining, this means that I have a maximum of 24 days (baring any unforeseen troubles) until the Goblins love me with their whole hearts (not sure if that’s good or not o.O).

Also, in an effort to make my sessions more effective, I respecced my second talent set to retribution. Now, thanks to Long Arm of the Law, I’m bustling over the sandy, blood stained dunes at a significantly faster pace than in my prot spec. And to top it all off, my Avenging Wrath is sanctified (that was a horrible joke, I know ^_^’), so I can gleefully throw hammers at my victims every 2min. The road to insanity is going to be fun, my friends =D

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

I must be going… INSANE

As of yesterday, I’ve taken up my “official” new off-time hobby: working towards “the Insane” title. I had entertained this idea after Cata dropped, but I quickly dismissed it when I discovered how massively hard the Booty Bay Bruisers were to kill. Random rep grinds like this are something I do solo, and I don’t like to drag in additional folks to fuel my randomness. Needless to say, you must have a group with you to put any serious dent into gaining Honored with the Bloodsail Buccaneers (I did manage to solo a bruiser down, when I was testing how hard they were, but it took every last tanking cooldown, and it nearly killed me ^_^’).

However! I found out yesterday, that you no longer need Honored with the Bloodsail and the Steamwheedle Cartel at the same time, which is good news for me, since I’m an ex-pirate (I trashed my previous Revered rep with Bloodsail to regain the ability to quest with goblins, during my pursuit of the Loremaster title). What this meant now, as cheap as it felt to have it made somewhat easier than it was prior, achieving Insane in the Membrane became possible solo again, if I put in plenty of work. So now, I spend copious amounts of time slaughtering helpless Southsea pirates, slowly regaining my Steamwheedle reps (I estimated about 14.5 hours of necessary time, to make this happen). Once I’m done with the Goblins, I’ll have Darkmoon and Ravenholdt left, and since I have a fast flying herbalist, an inscriptionist high enough to make Rogues Decks, and a rogue who can effortlessly pickpocket LBRS/UBRS clean… I’m on the track to going insane.

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!