Lord Marrowgar Hard Mode
Last night was our first time to the big show. We gathered together at our normal raid time, swapped our instance over to hard mode and started to clear the trash on the way to Lord Marrowgar. We have at least 20 people in our raid who had seen Marrowgar on hard mode in 10 man, so they knew a bit of what to expect, however we were not prepared for blizzard’s oldest encounter mechanic, which was revived just for us and our push to get as many hard modes down on Tuesday as possible.
Ghostcrawler: We have assessed the current hard modes and realized that they were slightly under-tuned. As a result, we have implemented a hot fix which rolled over today. Now, when Crypt Friends engages a boss in 25 man Icecrown Citadel, the server will wait 5 seconds before responding, creating significant lag. This will employ new found difficulties, because they will think they are out of the fire but the are really standing in it. LOLZ eat it….
It was quite frustrating that we would get some good attempts in, show progress on understanding the movement and positioning of the raid but then you would have a 6 second delay between the activiation of an instant cast spell and the actual spell landing on the boss. We wiped once because the entire raid looked like they were far away from Marrowgar, only to have people across the instance drop from bone whirl.
In the end, we started seeing some progress even with the lag and were pushing him further and further towards death. On our best attempt we were sub 30% when a lag spike wiped out all of our melee. We decided to combat this with very specific and extensive positioning for bone whirl. I feel that this is something that will help everyone in combating him and avoiding massive raid damage, regardless of lag. We split up the raid by groups and gave them designated positions (red circles) on the “compass” on the ground. They were to crash to those spots 5 seconds before bone storm.
Once they were in their positions, and bone storm starts, we designated two “Crash” areas (in light blue circles) where you can run to if he targets your group. This makes for very predicted positioning for the healers to know that someone is not going to run out of their range. It also makes it easy for us to BoP or DS/DG a bone spiked person in the Bone Storm. Once we sorted this out, we one shot the boss, even with huge spikes of lag. It was messy, and people were dead, but so was the boss, and we were on our way in Hard Mode ICC.
Gear Set and Tanking Thoughts
People always ask me what gear sets I use for what fight, so I figured that now is as good a time as any to tell you what my gear setup was for this fight. I found that it worked quite well, because I never felt like I was taking too much damage. I went into the night prepared for the worst, and it came with Saurfang, but that is another story for another time. For Marrowgar, I was wearing a tweaked effective health set, geared towards max armor while maintaining 60k health. To do this I wore my full effective health set, while swapping out the Skeleton Key for the Unidentifiable Organ. This buffed me up to 60k hp and about 43k armor after all was said and done.
This was the first encounter since Northrend Beasts where we needed three tanks. This was an interesting development and problem for our guild. We currently have four main spec tanks who are geared enough to tank ICC 25 normal, and two who are up to snuff for hard modes. We also have four DPS who have respectable tank sets. Swapping people in and out for gear is something we regularly do, but swapping people in and out because we need x class or x role is something we do not do. We run sans (with out) shadow priest, and have for a very long time.
Because of this issue, and the fact that we heard you need three tanks to absorb saber lash, we had one of our fury warriors go prot for this encounter. With three tanks standing up front, I found that saber lash tickled for anywhere between 8 and 11k. It was definitely hitting our off tanks a bit harder, but nothing that isn’t two tankable once you have the gear from hard modes. Marrowgar hits hard, but this is definitely not a tank check or really a healing check. It is more of a coordination check for your entire raid and ensuring that your healers can swap and heal x person fast.