How many hard modes?

Don’t you just hate it when your job gets in the way of your blog?!?!

I told everyone in the guild, after they asked, that I would be putting up a post about our week in raiding, how we managed to react to the poor showing we had last week, and what we encountered on the first two days of raiding. However, I have been swamped at work the past few days and have no time in between work and raiding to post. Well, now you get the week in review all in one post!

What do you do when you fall off the horse?

Back in College (University to those of you from outside the shelter of America), that was our mantra when it came to having fun, you got RIGHT BACK ON IT. Well, in raiding it seems that that is what we did. Blizzard seemed to have pity on us, and one of them must have read my rant regarding our poor performance, the new patch (aka the lag boss), and my overall discontent.

We are happy to inform Crypt Friends that we will be implementing an emergency patch on the Rampage Battlegroup, patch 3.3.LOL, which has temporarily added a larger wheel to the CPU and a generous upgrade from the hamster model to the common tabby cat model. Hopefully this will eliminate the excuse that it is our fault that you suck!

Now that we had the awesome Pentium III Tabby in the instance server, we found that the lag subsided substantially. We pulled the trash as usual and got ready for Marrowgar Hard Mode. Flasked, well fed, pre-potted, and ready to go, I pulled and low and behold I was still having response. My abilities were going off when I hit the key, and i was getting a descent fps. The first bone whirl came and went, and everyone was alive. This was a good sign. Soon enough, Marrowgar was dead, and we had our first “Farm Status” hard mode. Loot went out and deathwhisper went down on normal mode. LOLShip was its usual free epics, and we were even still lag free.

Deathbringer Saurfang, Beacon, and You

After a long night of wipes last Tuesday on deathbringer saurfang, we had a healthy discussion in the officer forums about how we could make this fight more manageable. Everything that I knew pointed to putting our two holy paladins on Marks 1-4, however with the amount of tank damage going around when his rune power got over 50%, the paladins, and all our healers, were not comfortable with this, so we did what we could, brought another holy paladin. When in doubt, more paladins are better than less paladins! We had our ret pally spec holy and he was in charge of two Marks, nothing more, nothing less. This allowed our two main pally healers to heal the tanks and one mark a piece.

With this strategy in place, we had one of our healers go dps, and with three holy paladins, we started the encounter. We pulled, we fought, we one shot. As many people around the blogosphere, and the wow community in general, have voiced, paladins make this encounter and the mechanics behind Mark of the Fallen Champion easy. I was skeptical about that until we brought three to the encounter which we had wiped on repeatedly for hours and hours the week before and turned around and one shot him. I picked up my new shiny T10 277 badge and skipped along happy to know that I was that much closer to BiS gear. We now had 3 of 12 of the hard mode bosses down!

The Upper Spire and some Friendly Guild Competition

The previous week of raiding, we had stumbled, killing only two hard mode bosses, and a guild which has never been ahead of us in Wrath of the Lich King succeeded in passing us to get 5 of the 12 hard modes down. This was something which most of our guildies were not happy about. As much as I play this game for myself, my own challenge, and the fun that i derive from that, I am still fiercely competitive and will not stand for a guild who I know we can beat passing us in the server rankings. I think a lot of our guild shares my passion. Now while they went and killed what are coined as the “Easier” hard modes to get their rankings and get their loot, we wiped for four hours on one of the harder ones. This was something that was fresh in our minds when we teleported up to the upper spire.

We went straight to blood princes. While the mechanics of this fight are not much different in hard mode than they are in normal mode, the added pressure of people not being able to move with out taking damage was something of a hurdle for our guild. We run with quite a few melee, it is just the nature of our guild. After quite a few attempts where our melee were a bit too conservative in their distancing during empowered shock vortex, we settled on a strategy that was conservative yet effective when it came to said shock vortexes. We found that the only problems we were having were that the melee just didn’t have enough room to run, so with an enrage timer which was non existent, we decided to mitigate this risk by having the melee simply not dps during Valanar’s empowerment. They were only tasked with dpsing during the other two bosses. This immediately solved our biggest issue, and the boss died. We were now 4 of 12.

On to blood queen, where we had a few stumbles, however for the most part this fight is the same on hard mode as it is on normal. Proper execution will get you a kill, poor bite management and deaths will get you a wipe. Needless to say, Blood Queen went down and we were sitting at 5 of 12, we have caught up to the guild which passed us. And better yet, we had killed two end wing bosses, so in my eyes we were ahead. It was late, we had a great raid night, and we called the raid, knowing that we had frost wing, plague wing and Arathas left for the week. I was hoping for the best, a solid 8 of 12 hard modes.

Modified strategies

With a new raid night came new challenges. First things first, after a great night of raiding where we killed three new bosses, we had a horrid turn out. At 7pm, a whole 30 minutes after we should have started, we only had 24 in the raid, with no one else to supplement it. In a guild where casuals and friends are allowed, it skews the numbers and makes nights like this one frustrating. We had 37 people online, and only 24 raid capable. One of our other tanks logged on, and we decided that we should bring him in, and he could help with add control on dreamwaker. We knew that the other guild had already killed dreamwalker, and as such we knew we could as well. On our first pull we immediately ran into some issues with add control, interrupts, and dps, even though we had three tanks. The adds came fast, they had tons of health, and they hit quite hard.

After a few wipes with three tanks, we decided to do a bit more, and swap up to 4 tanks, one for each door. Once we did this, the add control was much better and we were making marketed progress, wiping multiple times with dreamwalkers health above 98%. One last tweak, or clarification rather, was made to tank positioning and we had it. Each tank was to stand at the partition in between both gates and pull thier adds back to said partition. This helped our two healers with knowing where the raid was going to be, and prevented LoS and range issues. We pulled, we started tanking, and all of a sudden Dreamwalker emoted, I looked, and the boss was already at 75%. I went back to my task at hand, and apparently everyone else did, because a short while later, the encounter was over, and everyone was shocked at how quickly it went! We are now 6 of 12 hard modes!

On to rotface and *gulp* festergut!

On rotface we used three tanks, to be safe with oozes both from an initial control aspect because of the fact that the kiting tank can get vile ooze, as well as the fact that the oozes get a bit overwhelming towards the end. After a few attempts for everyone to get their legs under them, this boss fell in a lack luster fashion, once again coughing up purples. Then, after reaching 7 of 12, we moved to the other side of the wing to face what was our nemesis last week. We modified our positioning and the way that we approached the encounter to ensure that we put our best foot forward. Festergut was tanked near the balcony on the side of the room where Putricide appears. On the opposite side of the room we placed warlock teleporters where the collapse points would be so that spores were always in the same place. Each of our ranged spread out equidistant from each other and the portal. When the spores went out, everyone collapsed, two ranged groups on the teleporters, and one melee group on the boss.

Even with this hightened bit of coordination, we still had one hell of a time keeping people alive from vile gas, getting the healers in the right spots where they could reach all of their targets, and keeping everyone alive for long enough to kill the boss. Finally, as we usually do, he dropped in true CF fashion on our last attempt of the night. We had everyone up with 10% to go and plenty of time remaining. Then something happened, and people started dying. Bodies were dropping right and left and we had hit the enrage timer with less than 1% on his health bar. Our OT Bubbled, and hit him with everything he had as the dots were ticking down. With precious few seconds left on his bubble, and the enrage timer already passed, Festergut fell over, with one man standing. An epic end to an epic night.

We were 8 of 12 hard modes!


3 Responses to “How many hard modes?”

  1. 1 Kihra
    March 19, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    If you needed 4 tanks for Dreamwalker, it’s probably because you tried to tank the zombies along with other mobs. The fight really only needs two tanks as long as you let other people handle the zombies (so you don’t get Corrosion stacks).

    DKs and hunters are both really good at kiting the zombies, so you can do the initial zombie pickup and then let them pull it off of you and kite it. This will really cut down on the damage taken, and you probably won’t need to keep using so many tanks for this fight.

  2. March 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Alternatively, just tank the zombies as well, still using 2 tanks. Using the positioning you described (tank between the two doors on each side), it’s really not overly demanding.

  3. 3 Vorian87
    March 19, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Grats. Look like some solid progress 🙂

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