One down, two to go!

15 February 2011 § Leave a comment

In what surprised me as a fairly quick kill, Cho’gal died last Monday. Ridiculously, he died on the first pull of the night, after we had spent about 3 hours on him on Friday. I may do an impressions post on the fight, which was nice but utterly crazy.

We poked Al’Akir the rest of the night, and got him to 37%, so I think we basically got him, aside from some tweaking to improve uptime of feedback (and, you know, get to P3 before the healers just give up in frustration). We have not even started on Nefarian (aside from a couple of pulls at the end of the night just out of curiosity), but I’m still pretty happy with our progress. Heroics are close, and they seem to be pretty hard (albeit Halfus seems to go down more often than the girls at Berlusconi’s parties, after the patch) – but I’m kinda looking forward to them. So far, though, I have thoroughly enjoyed the fights in this tier of raiding, so let’s hope that continues!


We win

12 November 2010 § 3 Comments

It’s taken us way, WAY too long, but finally, here we are. I’m going to reflect a bit more on this, and post something soon with my reflections and thoughts (most of which should not surprise my fellow raiders, given we had about an hour to talk about these same thoughts after the kill).


25 Kingslayers

30 October 2010 § 2 Comments

The 25-man raid run by Dawn Vigil, my guild, managed to kill Lich King tonight, after a fairly remarkable progression. We extended once again, dispatched Sindy in 3-4 tries (last week she was pwning us), and then proceeded to go poke at the Lich King. Now, keep in mind that I am not sure we had ever got to P3 (I’m pretty sure *I* never got to P3 with the 25-man, but I know I missed a couple of progression nights), and the last we had seen LK was ages ago, as we focused on doing Heroics and getting a Shadowmourne done (we had a couple of Kingslayers from another raid who had kindly taken some of us along).

The raid proceeded to work incredibly well, to work out the MANY problems that were there at the start (from people not focusing on valkyrs to people not spreading out correctly, to defiles…) and steadily progressed to P3. With 30 mins of raid time to go, we got to P3 and 25%, and the following pull, the last pull of the night, everything came together and we managed to get through the whole fight. It wasn’t pretty, our tank died and got b-rezzed because of a failed Soul Harvest management (he may in fact have died twice – soulstone + b-rez – but I’m not sure, I may be mixing attempts up), but in the end, with about 10 people up, we wiped, rezzed, and pwned.

I know I normally just focus on 10-man achievements on this blog, but I want to recognise the effort of everyone in that raid: because of our relatively casual style, the “flexible raid lockouts” (please note the inverted commas of sarcasm) hit us fairly hard, as people were forced to choose whether their main and best characters were going to the 10 or 25-man version of ICC. So, 3 weeks ago we found ourselves with a third of a raid in 264s and 277s, and a third barely in 251s as some of the alts were not exactly the top geared ones. Mad props to Malicent, who since April has managed to lead this ragtag band, and to keep both the “hardcore progression” people and the “social/casual/farm content” people happy.

Personally, I know it took me a long time to stop trying to “backseat raid lead”: this is not my 25-man, and it will not always do what I would like to do. In the beginning, I think I tried to have the advantages of raid leadership (influence, deciding what to do, choosing strategies) without the hassle, and it just didn’t work. After a couple of tense moments with Malicent (which we fortunately solved through tells, posts and other relatively private channels), I’d like to think I’m a much more positive contributor to that raid now. I appreciate the fact that Mali took the the time to answer every time I wrote a /rant post, and I think in the end I’ve become a better raider for it.

Going forward, I think I’ll put my weight behind trying to keep the 25-man going in Cataclysm. My “hardcore fix” will always come from the 10-man: the team we have is likely to go further, and we can push towards hard modes, achievements and all the things that frustrate me to no end, but also get my adrenaline going. I believe however that a 25-man raid serves an important function in a guild as a glue that keeps the community going. Once Cata is released, there will be a flurry of activity as people level their mains and alts, gear up in dungeons, do quests and achievements and grinds. After a few months, though, all though will run dry, as it always does, and the main focus will be on raiding. People will log on during different times, because of time differences and schedule and life styles (and the fact we have people in Europe, Australia, and the US…). Without a 25-man to hold us together, I think we will go back to being effectively a group of smaller communities, and this will make us lose something. Beru posted a great collection of ideas about preparing your guild for Cataclysm, and while we are certainly nowhere close to Monolith’s size, I think her post started me thinking about what we can start doing now, so that Cataclysm doesn’t catch us unawares.

The Glorious Icecrown Raiders!

25 May 2010 § 1 Comment

Just as we programmed, we completed Glory of the Icecrown Raider this week, which means we now have 10 frostwyrm mounts! We may need to run some of those achievements this week too, to get Jarbel his mount (he was missing last week, given our regular 11-man roster, and the fact he had been away the previous 3 weeks or so).

The achievements left were actually kinda fun. Full House is crazy towards the end, as you are juggling the adds, the spirits, the D&Ds, the frostbolts and trying not to AoE/cleave the adds to death. The Plagueworks ones are easy. As expected, the really tough one is All You Can Eat. I heard some people are using 3 tanks, and I can see why: the dps check is non-existent anymore (we had 3+ mins spare on our kill), and a third tank really makes transitions a lot easier. As it was, we did not have that luxury, so we were stuck with two tanks who had to transition almost perfectly every single time. The good news is that by now we are getting Sindragosa to P2 after only 2 air phases, so attempts are faster and you hear her voice less.

Our kill attempt was a cliffhanger, because, after 4+ hours of wipes on her total (over two nights), everything was going perfectly until, at around 2% health, our resto/boomkin, Tildie, yelled that her stacks had just ticked over to 6. Of course, it was too late for us to stop, but we somehow still got the achievement. I’m not sure whether there is a time buffer (don’t have 6 stacks for more than x seconds, x being very small) or a “stealth nerf” of the achievement (you cannot have more than 5, but really, it’s more than 6 that makes you fail). Either way, we’re not complaining! I have to say, I have enormous admiration for any raid that manages to pull this achievement off in 25-man: it was crazy enough managing 10 people and their stacks; with 25, it would be absolutely insane.

Now, I’m not exactly looking forward to playing with the Lich King, to be honest…

The King is Dead!

29 March 2010 § 7 Comments

After struggling for a week or two, we got everyone on a much nicer mood, got a new healer to replace Chabi who could not make our raid times anymore, and had a week of seriously good attempts. Today we were finally managing to get the Lich King consistently to P3 and so we finally could get some practice on the spirits. So, after almost four hours, having managed to use all my brownie points to stay raiding much longer than I should have, I finally call “Last pull of the night”. Readycheck comes back ready, we keep chatting as the intro goes on, then as usual I shield, PoM and penance the tank as the LK is going active…. and get instagibbed by it. Apparently, Ezma had been attacked by her daughter, and thus did not realise what was going on. We call a quick wipe, release, run back, rebuff and restart – and this time, Jarbel (our dps warriorĂ  is clearly afk and not moving. We go through a (much longer than usual) P1 and transition, and Jarbel still is not moving – we get lucky that Necrotic Plague from him jumps to a mob and not to someone else in the raid, but he’s not going to survive the platform demolition. As Arthas switches to P2, he comes back apologising – apparently, someone was at the door .

So we proceed through a flawless P2, a very smooth transition, and get into P3. We get the first 2 Vile Spirit spawns down, it’s my turn to be sucked into Frostmourne and I heal Terenas up (although I probably could have done it better/faster). Come back out, do 2 move Vile Spirit spawns, and Lyshai, our tank, goes down. Ezma picks the Lich King up perfectly well, and we start scrambling. He’s only at 16%, which makes this already our best attempt, but we have the tank and 2 dps down. Ezma goes down as he’s at 11%, and with 2 healers (Naieve and myself) and 2 dps (Pootar and Jarbel) up, we somehow manage to roll him over.

I really don’t think we could have cut it any closer than this…

Anyway, he’s dead, I got a new shiny staff, and we did it just in time to reset the instance and start on hard modes.

And I think that fight just aged me about 20 years…….

I’ll put up some considerations/tips for the fight tomorrow. I would also like to try my hand at writing some story about this – the death of Arthas is actually a pretty big thing for Tsark the character. As always, no promises though.

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