Archive for the 'Tanking' Category


Thoughts on Rotface and Festergut

Time for fun?

After killing Rotface and Fetergut on both 10 and 25 man, I will have to say that so far so good in Icecrown. Blizzard has made some fun encounters and some brilliant art work and mechanics. Last night was void of any tank gear, and we actually disenchanted quite a bit of loot as well, which is always disappointing because upgrades are good, and if no one wants them, then we aren’t benefiting from the loot that is dropping as a raid. I always love new encounter nights, they are long and painful, but very much enjoyable. I was up well into the wee hours of the night raiding because of the server lag and its influence on the speed at which we could clear the instance. We walked into the instance at our usual raid time, and immediately began to pull trash. That is when it happened, the lag set in and before we knew it, we had all 6 packs on top of me. We called for the raid to reset the pulls through the door, and I stayed back to be the meat puppet.

All of a sudden, everyone is running away, and I am at 0 health. My Ardent Defender proc’ed but I didn’t die, and I didn’t get healed back up. I was standing there tanking, and I looked like I had just popped an Ironshield potion. I was all blacked out, and taking no damage, so I decided to run, to save my repair bill. Through the first archway I went, and as I passed under it, the heal from AD proc’ed twice, two more animations, and 60% hp on the health bar. This was a sign that it was going to be a beautiful evening of oddities.

To tank or to kite

We started the night clearing up to the new content, and then starting to pull the trash. Contrary to some reports out there, the trash is AoE’able. Now we didnt do this on purpose, however the lag on the night caused a few more careless pulls, netting us two abominations, and ALL the adds behind them. It was an AoE fest with a few deaths, but nothing too serious. The real fun came with Precious and Stinky. After a wipe on Precious due to the fact that we pulled him along with a few adds who seemed to buff his damage, we had no problem with him. His counterpart, stinky was another story. I am pretty sure our healers were not ready for the decimate plus poison pulse, and we ended up killing him with most of the raid dead.

We picked ourselves back up, walked over to Rotface, and I went over the information that was known about the fight. Since I didn’t know how hard the boss hit, I put myself on the boss on our warrior on the adds. That was my first mistake. Our warrior was trying his best to kite the oozes, but was getting hit like a truck and went down. He got a battle rez and went down again shortly thereafter. At this point we made a bit of a switch. I went on the adds and our warrior went on the boss. The adds were a bit easier for me to handle between pursuit of justice, avengers shield, and my cds. The most difficult part of the first few kites is getting the first two oozes together. This is where your trusty mage comes in…

PRO TIP – The small oozes can be frost nova’ed by mages, if you are having problems with the first two oozes merging into a Big ooze, have a mage follow out the first person who gets mutated infection. When you cleanse it off of the person, the mage frost novas and the ooze is rooted in place. All you have to do is have the second infected victim run on top of the frozen one, and you get an instant Big Ooze

Once I moved onto ooze duty, the fight got a lot smoother. There are still a few more things you have to know about the off tank job. First off, the ooze floods are not completely random. They will only happen in a section of the room that has not already had a flood. This means that you want to start away from the nearest ooze flood and run towards it. By the time you get there, it should have disappeared, the ooze should have about 3 to 4 stacks on it, and you should not have taken any damage. If you have a problem with the randomness of what corner of the room has an ooze flood, it is better to freedom yourself and run through the ooze than to take the big ooze into the raid (as they have a AoE damage aura). Thats about it, rinse and repeat for nice shiny epics.

Somebody light a match

Festergut took about the same learning curve and Rotface for us. A few wipes to clean it up, and then a kill. Because the room starts off with all of the gas in it, and the shadow damage is quite potent, we opted to Bloodlust off the bat to give the healers a bit of extra power for keeping the raid alive till the first round of spores showed up. It is important as a tank to get the spore debuff, but not vital. You should not run away from the boss to try to get to a spore at any time. For tanks this is a simple taunt when i have X stacks type fight (similar to gormok’s bleeds or gluth’s ms stacking debuff). After we worked out all the kinks in the plan, we sent our less geared tank in first to take the damage when Festergut hits the lightest. He starts out hitting quite soft, but quickly ramps up to taking 30k off your life every swing, so it is imperative to have your better geared tank taking the damage when he has done his last inhale.

This fight is pretty straight forward and is more of a dps check and coordination check. While I say that, it is just as much of a tank gear check with the damage numbers that were flying around for us last night. There are a few things that you can do to help your raid out if you are in trouble. On the 10 man that I ran later in the night, Our warrior got rocked and died and we did not have a battle rez. The stacking debuf that festergut puts on you is cleared by your bubble. When I was at 8 stacks, the spores spawned and I called for everyone to move to the ranged spores (as they were both out there). At that point, I quickly mashed my /cancelaura DS macro, and cleared the stacks. This allowed me to tank him for over two minutes straight, and enough time for our dps to kill him before the enrage timer went off. This is more of a last resort thing for now, but later I am sure that our guild, and many others, will try to single tank it to see how fast we can kill him.

Gear Sets for the fights

While a few of my colleagues at MainTankadin were fortunate enough to be able to wear their threat sets to these fights, I was in full effective health gear with a double pot of an Ironsheild potion. Unless you are in a cutting edge progression guild, I would suggest that you go into the fight in your full effective health set, to see if your healers can handle the damage, and then move on to your other sets if you feel that your survival is not in danger. I may be completely off in my estimations of survival from last night because our server was lagging a lot (and as a result our healers may have been slow to get heals off), but its always better to be safe than sorry.

On to Professor Putricide tonight, as the encounter is “working as intended…”


Rotface, Festergut, and the Good Doctor

The nerf bat is quick

I wanted to talk a bit about Rotface and Festergut because those are the two bosses we have the most information about in the upcoming wing of ICC which was released today, but I would like to start with another small rant pointed in the direction of blizzard. They have decided to nerf Lady Deathwhisper already and make her easier to kill. While I understand that not every guild is like ours, and some people struggle with this encounter every week, what is the point of creating any difficult content if you make it easier 4 weeks after it came out. There is no reason for a challenge if you remove the challenge so quickly.

1/5/10 The Lady Deathwhisper encounter has seen the following changes in the 25 player normal version: mana pool has been reduced, the health on all adds has been reduced, and Adherents will wait a little longer after spawning before they start casting.

This fight was never “hard.” It was challenging for the first few attempts and as you gained more perspective on the keys to killing the boss, it became much more trivial. Our alt raid usually gets overwhelmed once a week, however its nothing that we can not over come. Part of me can understand nerfing something like Lady Vashj or even KT back in the SSC/TK days, or nerfing Sunwell when 3.0 came out, but most of the nerfs in this expansion pack have not been that warranted. There are times where the community cries out that a nerf is necessary to kill a boss like Yogg +0, then Stars comes along and laughs at all of us with their kill shot. That is about as extreme as it got in Wrath of the Lich King. Most nerfs were too early.

Speculation on Rotface and Festergut

There is a very nice write up of the Rotface encounter over at StratFu, so I wont spend too much time doubling its efforts here. I will, once we get some kills in, add some information to the Icecrown Citadel section of the blog. From reading up on the fight, and understanding most of the encounter from a high level perspective, this fight should be quite straight forward for us as tanks. If you are the main tank, your job is about as easy as it gets. I would compare this fight to a combination of Lord Jaraxxus and Grobbulus. As the main tank you can stand still and build threat for most of the fight, occasionally moving the boss out of the Unstable Ooze Explosion.

As for gear for the Main Tank, we have yet to see how hard the bosses melee hits are, however with Slime Spray (Raining Green Ooze. Deals 6k Nature damage to enemies in cone in front of the caster every second for 5 seconds) there is a descent amount of nature damage being thrown around, so a full armor set will not be as beneficial as a max stamina set.

Festergut has some interesting mechanics which will make the fight a bit more than a tank and spank, but not by much. I see his mechanics aligning slightly with Algalon, minus the huge burst and the need to have a TON of health. He places a debuf on his current target called Gastric Bloat which Inflicts 12k damage and applies Gastric Bloat to the target, increasing damage done by 10% for 1.67 min (100 seconds) and will cause a Gastric Explosion at 10 stacks inflicting massive damage to nearby allies. This means that you will have to taunt before the stacks get too high. While most of the PTR videos I watched had tanks have much less than 10 stacks, this may be a change from the PTR to the Live version. Either way, you will want to watch your debufs when tanking this bad boy this week.

This fight seems more like a healer check than anything else, as the need for healing oscillates between a lot of raid damage and a lot of tank damage based on the number of breaths he has taken. Because of the ample amount of shadow damage that is flying around the room, you will once again see a mixture of magic and physical damage which will make a max hp set more viable for survival, and armor will be less of a benefit for preventing spikes which will cause tank deaths. This assumption is based off of Theck’s new formula which I talked about a while back. The reasoning behind this is that, unless the physical damage is substantial, more than a good percentage of your total damage taken will result in non physical damage, making stamina more powerful than armor.

Professor Putricide

Little is known about the good doctor, and I do not care to speculate too much about the mechanics of the fight, so I will leave all of my comments on this fight until after we have seen it. It is important to remember that there is an attempt counter for the encounter so It is advisable that you are putting your best foot forward when walking into this encounter. For those 25 man raiders, running your 10s first will give you a good idea if your 25 man can handle what he is throwing out there.

Good luck to everyone tonight, may the epics fall from the skies. I hope to see you with some fresh kill shots tomorrow!


SoComm Versus Vengeance/Corruption

More numbers and graphs!

Just in time for the holidays, Theck has created more pretty colored graphs! This time we have some definitive information regarding Seal of Command, aka SoComm. The reason that there is so much buzz going around about this SoComm is because of the fact that Blizzard very stealthily put in a change to our biggest snap threat mechanic in the arsenal, Shield of Righteousness. ShoR now is considered melee damage, and can be dodge or parried, where as before that was not the case. While most of you sharpen the pitch forks to complain that we just had a threat loss, hold that thought. Because ShoR has been changed to become a melee attack, it now procs SoComm as well! What this means is that you have a seal of absolute crazy mad dps when tanking packs of three or more mobs, and should be using SoComm as your seal of choice.

SoCom, an Old Friend with Big Numbers!

What you see above is Thecks latest headache, a graph that illustrates the different dps disparities between Seal of Vengeance / Corruption, and Seal of Command. As you can see by the legend, he has four different graphs that show a mob with three stacks of Vengeance / blood corruption, with and with out the Libram of Valiance and a mob with five stacks of Vengeance / blood corruption, with and with out the Libram of Valiance. According to Theck, here are the particulars:

The vertical axis is the difference between SoV DPS and SoCom DPS, so a positive number means that SoV does more damage, and a negative number means SoCom does more damage.

The plot is pretty clear, but it’s also misleading. If you can maintain a 5-stack on every mob, then in the many-mob limit SoV is bound to win since SoC is limited to 3 procs. In that sense, the plot seems to reflect things accurately. As you drop to 3 stacks of HV, SoCom gains enough ground that it’s a better choice for 2-4 mobs.

What makes the graph misleading is that it ignores ramp time. It takes a few seconds to build a 5-stack on a mob, but it takes over 10 times as long to build and maintain a 5-stack on 10 mobs. For ballpark figures, if it takes 5 seconds to build your single-mob stack, it takes nearly a minute to build a 5-stack on 10 mobs with tab targeting. So if the mob pack dies before that minute is up, SoV’s value drops thanks to ramp-up effects. It also ignores fall-off, which is a distinct worry for large packs of 6 or more.

What this means is that unless you are the master of tab targeting constantly on mobs with very large health pools, SoComm will be your best bet for pulling large trash packs, and dealing with more than 2 mobs in any situation because of ramp up time. To sum up the rule of thumb, Theck gives us the lay mans term TLDR…

Rule of thumb for choosing seals:

  • SoV for 1-2 Mobs and bosses
  • SoV for AoE tanking things that live for 40+ seconds and that you can reasonably maintain a 5-stack on (so ~6 or fewer mobs at most)
  • SoCom for 3+ mobs that die in 30 seconds or less, and basically anything else

Alternatively, if you’re lazy and don’t feel like tab-targetting, you can simplify this to:

  • SoV for 1-2 mobs/bosses
  • SoCom for 3+

“I’m ok, my TPS is awesome” or “I dont know what to drop”

Oh contrare mo fraire! (sorry for the Van Wilder reference and spelling debacle) Firstly, you TPS may be just fine on trash, and you may be able to wrangle in those adds, but your snap threat is not as good as if you use SoComm, and your DPS and TPS are definitely less than what they could be if you respeced. In ICC this past tuesday, I was second on the dps meters on trash with a whopping 8.7k dps for a sustained fight of pulling the entire first room. Don’t ask me why the rest of our dps were sucking, they turned around and all broke 15k on the next round of trash, but I definitely woke them up when they realized that they were not going to pull off me.

SoComm is a great utility to use and it is not that hard to pick up. While I am a die hard tank at heart, and I have two protection specs as my dual spec options, each accompanied with different glyphs, you dont have to do the same thing. You can take the point out of Conviction (aka 1% crit) and place it into SoComm. For those of you who live a bit more on the edge and want to dual spec prot, I would suggest the following spec with glyphs to boot. This is what I use on our Hard Mode Anub’arak kills, and I usually pull 6k dps. While the Glyphs are specifically tailored for me to interrupt the mobs, you can remove the Glyph of Holy Wrath and replace it with HotR, giving you a nice dps boost.

All in all, I would suggest that any tank that ever ventures outside of Trial of the Crusader, and has a trash pack or two to deal with, pick up Seal of Command and use it. It works best on any trash pack, as well as tanking Lady Deathwhisper and your Ship’s portal on the Gunship Battle.


Icecrown Strats

New Section on Avenging Wrathy

I wanted to put a brief post up to let everyone know that I created a “tricks and tips” section for Icecrown Citadel on the blog which highlights most of the little things I picked up last night from tanking the encounters. As I learn more, I hope to share more with you guys to make your jobs easier. I know that MainTankadin has the ICC forums, but as of today they are still locked so I will post things here until they open up. Good luck to everyone in ICC!


The Door Boss and Icecrown Citadel

The door boss has crit you for 1 hour

The patch day has come and gone, and after looking back on the night, I am quite impressed with how well it went from a stability stand point. I would have to say that for our server personally, this was one of the smoothest major patches I have had the pleasure of experiencing. I still remember the opening of the gates with AQ 40, (even though it wasnt actually the patch day) and how crappy the servers were. I remember Ulduar, and the door boss. We would get 20 people from our raid into the instance while the other 5 were sitting at loading screens. I remember servers going down every 15 minutes because of one thing or another. Last night, the server was up all night, and with the exception of the door boss, everything went smoothly.

When I logged in last night, I was surprised to see the server so stable. We started up the raid group and I tried to get into the instance so that we could seed it and start piling up in there to get ready to kill some new bosses. I was hovering high above Icecrown Citadel on my drake when I logged in because I did not want to get stuck in an endless cycle of logging on and disconnecting because of the sheer volume of people in Dalaran. I flew down to the instance portal and ran in….

All I saw was a loading screen with no blue bar! It took us nearly an hour to give up and check on the 10 man instance. We had sporadic people in the 25 man instance, but most of us could not get in. At the same time, we kept receiving messages that Crisis, the best guild on the alliance side was in and killing bosses already. We made an executive decision. 10 mans or bust. We split our raid into two 10 man groups, reluctantly leaving out some of our main raiders. We had such a showing that we couldn’t get everyone into the 10 mans. While 20 of us zoned into our respective instances, the other 15 were blindly running in and out of the instance portal trying to get into the 25 man.

Lord and Lady who?

Marrowgar was a pushover in 10 man, you didnt even have to avoid the whirlwind or the flames. The damage was negligible. We had a harder time with learning the trash, than we did with the first boss. I will have to say that I love the fact that most of the mobs are undead because my Anub’arak spec was kicking butt. 15 second Holy Wraths and SoComm were tearing up the TPS and DPS meters. After we figured out the trash, which we unintentionally AoEd most of it at once down, we stepped up to face Lord Marrowgar. One pull later we had shiny purples and we were about 5 minutes ahead of the second 10 man group (I know because Elayn, our DK tank, who sits 3 feet from me was in the other group and I kept looking at his screen).

The two officers in our 10 man assessed the situation and decided to plow onto the second boss, while the first 10 man killed the first. So on to Lady Deathwhisper we went. The 10 man version of this fight was disappointingly easy, we were done with the second boss before the first group finished up Marrowgar. Mid way through the second boss, we got news that the people that were not in the 10 man groups had gotten into the 25 man instance. So with a few new 251 purples in our bags, we headed off to clear the first wing of ICC.

Normal Mode impressions and loot!

After seeing the trash on the 10 man version of the instance, we were a bit better prepared for what was to come. In 10 man we had pulled multiple big guys at once, and we didnt want to make that mistake in 25 man so we started out with an ample amount of crowd control. This quickly gave way to an AoE fest, and once again pulling two big guys at once. It was still easily manageable, and we survived with the raid standing. Even after killing Lord Marrowgar in the 10 man instance, I was surprised at how quickly he died. However, he did take a small piece of Crypt Friends with him in his last percent, ME. With about 1 percent left, I was backing him out of the raid after P2, and I got ahead of my off tanks. I got Saber Lashed for about 55k (1k overkill), and ended up with my face in the dirt. This tells me that on Normal mode at one point you will be able to single tank this.

Before I was resurrected, our raid leader was asking over vent, “Wrathy who do these go to?” I have to admit I wasn’t really paying attention to loot, I was looking at what killed me and If i could have done something to survive it. I looked at the loot that was linked and did not recognize anything. Of course I wouldn’t, because I have never seen the gear in this place. After a quick glance, I picked up some shiny new bracers and we headed off to the next boss. For those of you who do not know, we run a DKP system for loot distribution, however we loot council (aka Wrathy-council) tank gear.

Lady Deathwisper and Empowered Adds…

So far we were one for one on boss kills in Icecrown Citadel. We marched up to Lady Deathwisper and pulled. Everything was going fairly well, but the adds were not dying fast enough. I had assigned too many people to damage the mana shield. We were plowing through the shield, but the adds were getting out of hand. A few of them got empowered and our DK went down. Wipe number one of the night in the books. After a bit of talking, we found out that it wasn’t the empowered adds that were causing the most problems, but the single spawn at the back stairs that was getting to the healers and distracting them. We had tried gripping and silencing the add that appeared there, but it just wasn’t controlling the adds that spawned there enough. We ended up having a third tank for the back adds. I feel that if I was a warrior, it would have been a different story, but my lack of interrupts made it really hard to pick up all the adds.

The next pull went much smoother, and before you knew it, we were in phase two. The tank debuf was interesting, and I am glad to say that you can taunt the boss, but aggro was still a bit of a problem because we first thought we could not taunt the boss. I can only assume that the first taunt we tried was a miss and not an Immune. After that small issue, we had another boss down and more epics. This encounter would set the pattern for the night. One wipe to figure out some small part of the encounter that we were unaware of, one kill.

Call me the Rocketeer!

We moved on to the Gunship Battle after clearing some more AoE trash. We CCed the first pack only to find that they hit like kittens and pulled the next pack as if we were back in Naxx. I personally had assumed that the lag boss would get the best of us and so I didn’t do any research on the last two bosses. I spend some time reading the information that was available on this fight, and then explained the fight to the raid. Ironically as I told the raid some of the mechanics, I was on such an auto pilot, I was not paying attention myself. First pull and I let the stacks on bronzebeard get too high. One wipe, then one kill. This battle was kinda boring from my PoV. I tanked bronzebeard  till 20 stacks, retreated until the stacks wore off, then repeated. That was it.

Deathbringer Saurfang

We got off the gunship and started the Saurfang encounter only to be presented with a one minute speech for the lore junkies. While a lot of people enjoyed it, I don’t really care for lore at all. I already can tell that I am going to hate this fight when we are doing it on heroic, and not because of the encounter, but the 1 minute of yapping before you can pull. It is like ToTGC all over again, talk talk talk….

We pulled and we were doing fine until the first set of adds spawned. The blood beasts were aggroing on our resto druid and not making it to the frost traps. Even after this set back, we got him to about 7% when someone said something in vent about his health. Our dps immediately got tunnel vision and stopped killing the Blood Beasts. This started a chain reaction of events that ended up wiping us. Healers got aggro and started dying, our DK tank subsequently died, and I had the Rune of Blood. Needless to say, people quickly got marked and he got healed, A LOT. After we got our required one wipe in, we walked back in and promptly killed him. The chest was opened, and we had the same beautiful loot that we did on our first anub kill, DOUBLE VANQ. Stupid vanquisher….

Well this one got pretty long, but I have to say that it was Tuesday night and we were done with ALL progression fights, 10 and 25 man. Back to ToTGC for us tonight, and hopefully Mad Skill / Insanity (Gasp) and some Conqueror tokens or a shiny new weapon and ring.


Icecrown Citadel is Upon Us

You are not prepared!

I am sure everyone in the blogosphere will be commenting on the drop of patch 3.3 today, and since I have nothing better to talk about today, I wanted to touch on two topics. First, with the advent of patch 3.3, Icecrown Citadel, and Chill of the Throne, I wanted to talk about my change in gear, gems, and enchants. I also would like to talk about the first boss, namely positioning, tanking strategy, and gear choices based off of the information that we have, as most of us will get in there tonight with out ever stepping foot on the PTR.

I need more STAMINA scotty!!!

After the announcement of chill of the throne, and subsequent lengthy discussion on the maintankadin forums, it has been identified that your best relative gains out of enchanting and geming your gear is pure stamina. There is a bit of a contradiction here when it comes to gearing philosophies, at our current levels of gear and avoidance in 245 to 258 gear, avoidance is a very attractive statistic for yours truly. Each additional percentage point of avoidance gets you that much closer to becoming passively unhittable with mostly avoidance (and not block rating). As your avoidance increases, each additional point of avoidance is more valuable. I slapped on a gimmick set to do Crazy Cat Lady a few nights ago and broke 70% avoidance while maintaining a respectable health pool.

However, with the advent of Chill of the throne, the opportunity cost of getting that next percentage point of avoidance is not worth the steep diminishing returns which are beginning to set in. Stamina, which does not suffer any diminishing returns, and also gives you a direct increase to your effective health, is the most attractive stat when it comes to TTL so far in ICC. With that being said, each one of my item level 258 items has pure stamina gems in then (Save one), and has stamina or armor on it as an enchant. Going forward I will be taking a bit more damage, but relatively speaking, the healers will see the hits getting “Smaller and smaller” as my health pool grows. I am currently walking around with about 44k unbuffed hp in my effective health set, and I plan on getting that up a bit more in the next few weeks with the new trinket and a few new pieces of gear.

So, in the end, the avoidance advocate of the MainTankadin community is finally stepping off his soap box and crossing the picket lines to the stamina camp. /nod mel.

Lord Marrowgar

The first boss of Icecrown Citadel is named Lord Marrowgar and he is a big ugly skeleton thing. He has several abilities of note, and most of them have to do with the “rest” of the raid. What we will be focusing on today is his damage intake on the tanks, and what we can do to properly prepare ourselves for this encounter. Below are his abilities in no particular order:

Bone Spike Graveyard – Hurls a massive bone spike which impales any enemies in the way. 3 sec cast
Bone Storm – Attacks nearby enemies in a whirlwind of bone, which causes them to bleed for until cancelled. Instant
Coldflame – Inflicts 9000 Frost damage every 1.0 sec for 8 sec. Instant
Saber Lash – Splits 300% of normal melee damage to an enemy and its two nearest allies. Melee range. Instant
Saber Lash – Prevents the target from being impaled while tanking. Unlimited range. Instant

The first thing that sticks out in my mind is FROST damage, as we are better at mitigating physical attacks, and we gear this way for the most part. However, upon closer consideration, we can predict that this is an ability that does not target the tank. While you can be targeted by it during P2 (we will get to that soon), when you are being hit by the boss, you will hopefully not have to worry about this. So, what do you have to worry about?

Saber Lash

Saber lash is a frontal cone attack that hits the tank and his two closest friends. What this means is that you will more than likely have three tanks for this encounter, and two of them can go /afk popcorn for 2/3 of the fight. Saber Lash is pure physical damage, and the only magical damage is avoidable, so an armor heavy, stamina heavy gear set is what I recommend, I will be going into this fight with my highest AC possible, ensuring that I can mitigate as much damage as I can. This seems like the perfect chance to test out Theck’s new formula, and my new spreadsheet.

During Phase 1, which is a tank and spank for us, you will be tanking the boss in his spawn location, and facing him away from the raid. The pull will be executed by running through his body and turning him 180 degrees. At this point, you and your off tanks will settle into a nice little tps rotation for 1 minute.

At the end of 1 minute, Phase 2 starts. Phase 2 is a 30 second whirlwind extravaganza with all of the goodies to boot. Marrowgar still sends out blue flames at random raid members, and uses bone spike (unconfirmed). You will have to spread your raid out, and for the three off tanks, it just means running to the back wall and spreading out. At this point, your job is to avoid blue flames and ensure that you are in range when the music stops, so that you can pick him back up and position him correctly. Once the thirty seconds of P2 is complete, you can rinse and repeat P1 and P2 until you have your very first ICC shiny purples.

Good luck to everyone tonight with both the first wing of ICC, and the more important and devastating boss, the hamster powering your specific server. I know that from personal experience, I should not expect too much out of tonight, and that I should have a movie in the BluRay player so that I am entertained through the “world server is down” messages, but I really want to see some server firsts tonight!


Weight off my shoulders

The calm after the storm…

Last night I was a bit too tired, and a bit too excited to put  a lot of effort into a post so I thought I would just drop the screnie and the achievement completion on the blog. Now that I am rested, fully overwhelmed with work to do, and in need of a break, I thought I would comment a bit further on our epic kill and answer some of your questions. First, I am no photoshop wizard so I give you the prettier screen shot, courtesy of one of our officers:

p.s. thats me with the wings and the oversized monk on the left…

The Encounter

Over the past few days, now that we had a full raid to go into ToTGC to kill Anub’arak, were promising with respect to the attempts that we had. We were seeing progress with the modifications of our strategy from three tanks to two tanks. I had a steep learning curve when it came to picking up all four adds, and it took me a while to get everything perfect. Really the hardest part of this fight is seeing around Anub’arak’s gigantic hit box when trying to target the adds. I found that the best way to do this was literally turn your camera 90 degrees, and look at the encounter from the side. Once I figured this out, I was able to target the front to mobs and pull them with AS and Hand of Reck.

We had a mixed bag when it came to issues that caused us to wipe. The major issue that the officers knew needed to be fixed was the penetrating cold healing. Now this is not to say that our healers were screwing up or that they were not capable of doing their job. On the contrary, they were pretty pro at it. The problem was that they needed to see enough phase threes to get used to the mechanics and the fight. The past two nights of raiding did just that. We were successfully getting deep into phase three quite often and they were getting better and better at keeping people alive.

I think that one of the turning points last night in our raids performance was when our raid leader decided to start setting benchmarks. If you didn’t get to phase three this attempt, we are calling it and going to do some ToTC 25 man normal. Once that was said, we got him to 10% with out anyone screwing around on the kiting phase, or pulling aggro at the start of the encounter. After that, it was “better than 10% or we are calling it…” Unfortunately I dc’ed on that attempt as soon as we pulled. I ran in got on top of the permafrost, targeted the first add and nothing happened… I was off line.

Do-overs are ok

I got back in and we got him to 8%, not much of an improvement, but progress none the less. The very next attempt started off great, phase 1 down, and anub was especially low. Phase 2 went well, with a clutch BoP by yours truly on the second person being followed. Rinse and repeat, nothing special to see here folks, just keep plugging away. All of a sudden, phase three was upon us and it came quickly. I slammed my armor pot, picked up the first four adds, and they were dead before I knew it. Second set came and went. At this point I was getting nervous, we were doing well, most of the raid was up, and Anub’arak must have been taking enough damage to be quite low.

Third set of adds spawned and people started dying to PC. At this point the raid encounter gets a little fuzzy, and I am doing everything I can to stay alive, bubble wall, lavanthor’s talisman got activated, health stone, and all of a sudden I heard over vent, “Screw the adds, PUSH THE BOSS!” The officers had decided that if we get him to 5 percent and the adds were above 70% hp, then we were going to swap all dps to Anub and see if we could beat the spawn timer of the next set of four adds.

People were dropping, and army of dead was taunting the crap out of the adds. Then it happened, screams. The boss was dead, and I was one happy pally. It was so nice to know that I did not have to tank another attempt of that fight, because its quite stressful as the off tank, tricks of the trade and MDs aside, you still have to do everything in your power to get that initial aggro, and I continued to switch mobs the entire time that they were up so that the mages would not pull off me. Combine the constant tab targeting with the interrupt that had to go off every 30 seconds, and you have one stressful job.

To the victor goes the spoils

As soon as he was dead, I didn’t really know what to do, I usually check the loot on the bosses and see if there are any upgrades for me (yeah I know, I am a loot whore, but only so I can perfect my gearsets). This time, I didnt know what to do, I took a deep breath, and got up to stretch. When I got back to my computer, I checked the loot, and there was nothing on his body that I could use, Plate DPS boots, a melee dps cloak, the pole arm, and the caster mace. No go there, but wait, I am the last tank standing in the guild with priority on loot, maybe there were some juicy items in the cache. Alas, double vanquisher. Well, better luck next week for me, and for our happy DK and ret pally, who snatched up two pieces each, nice upgrades to already overpowered dps. Our dk pulled 11k dps overall on the Anub fight, while our mages were fast on his heels with 10k a piece.

Interesting side notes

The highlight of the night was deffinately the kill, however there was a close second that left us all with a unique story to tell for a while to come. We had been getting a few applicants to the guild here and there, but nothing to crazy. Two nights ago, a mage approached a few of our members and said he was interested in joining our guild. Now normally I do not get excited about mages, as we have two excellent mages that push their dps quite well. However, this particular individual has been on our server since the days I was a warrior who loved to PvP (aka a LONG TIME AGO), and he has always had a reputation to be an excellent player. I regularly remember charging at him with my Hand of Rag and hoping that I got some lucky burst before his POM pyro macro toasted me. He was online on Wednesday night, and we had talked to him about joining our guild. He said that he wanted to run a “trial” run to see how our raid atmosphere was, as the guild he was currently in was not his style.

We made room for him in our raid and took him on a trial run to Anub’arak hard mode. Most initiates would not get this type of chance, but he was part of the first alliance guild to implode who was in the top 100, and had many attempts on anub in the past. Having him in the raid gave us a bit of a twist to our great kill of anub’arak, as he was still a member of his former guild (also known as Titans of Industry, the guild that was competing for top horde spot on the server). The minute we killed Anub’arak, his guild got a nice little spam that said:

Snufyy has completed [Call of the Grand Crusade (25 player)]

He was promptly gkicked from his guild, and we invited him to ours to make him feel welcome in his new home. Now you have to understand that our guild prides itself on letting our actions talk for itself. We dont post on the general forums or spam trade or general chat when we kill bosses, we prefer our competition to find it our for themselves on the progression sites or wow armory. However, with this new development, the entire horde side of the server knew what we did by the time we got back to Dalaran, and I got no less than 10 whispers of congratulations in the first 10 minutes after the kill. That was a new feeling. Now, all that is left is my title and some loot, GIMME!


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