Posts Tagged ‘Progression


Armor and Egos

The internet is full of egos

I wanted to discuss something that I tested with quite a bit of success this weekend, however there was a thread up on MainTankadin which bothered me enough that I need to address it prior to continuing on. Most of the contributors to MainTankadin are very civil and reasonable people who like to discuss tank gearing, mechanics, and philosophies based off the the scientific method, e.g. I have a theory, I test said theory, and I provide data to support conclusions surrounding said theory. Well this past weekend we had a new member from the warrior community, JamesVZ who decided that numbers, facts, and data are not necessary to prove a point.

This person claims that if you have been tanking for 5+ years, that stamina sucks, armor is king, and all of the theories on gearing and stat prioritization that Theck has worked so hard on are false, and that Theck is just posting lots of numbers to stroke his internet ego. Well I was two pages into the discussion before MT went down and I have yet to see a single shred of a legitimate argument from the original poster. His arguments are full of heresy and lacking any sort of data driven conclusions. He furthermore does not understand the concepts for which the new Total Effective Health formula and concept should be applied.

In the end, he comes off as pompous and egotistical, as well as uneducated as he has based his accusations on less than all the facts, and has yet to back them up with evidence to counter our general beliefs on gearing. While I assume that 90% of everyone who reads this has been to MainTankadin and contributed in one form or another, I feel that it should be emphasized that these arguments are quite baseless and childish in that they simply seem to be for the fact that the poster wants to yell at the wind.

Blood Queen and Armor

Unfortunately I wanted to talk about how awesome armor is for particular fights, but this dilettante seems to have overshadowed my thoughts on this subject. I was thinking about Blood Queen and the best way to mitigate incoming damage for both myself, and the damage I do to the off tank, and it occured to me that either avoidance or armor would be the best course of action.

My motivation for reducing damage was so that the healers could focus on the raid as much as possible, as it is a very healing intensive fight. After looking at our parses from the 25 man attempts, I decided that the amount of damage that was coming in would better be mitigated by armor. I set up a gear set of my best effective health gear, and then swapped out what I had to wear the Cataclysmic Chest, Guantlets of the Kraken, Pillars of Might, Unidentifiable Organ, and Glyph of Indomitability. I was buffed to the teeth with bonus armor, and still sitting in a comfortable position with respect to my health pool.

If you look at this parse where we wiped (yeah we sucked last Tuesday), you can see that the average hit size I took was 22k.

Now if you look at the damage from a fight with a different gear set, one that increased the amount of armor by ~7k, I took an average of 18k damage. These are unmitigated hits. Most hits had absorbs and blocks added to them. There was a relative damage decrease of 19%. That is quite siginficant. Now once you incorporate those numbers into the fact that you have actually reduced incoming damage by 6k and not just 3k, it becomes much more obvious that armor is a very powerful stat for this boss.

While this is only one instance of the application of armor and its relative benefits, it is a powerful one. As we double our benefits based off of blood mirror, this is a perfect example of a fight where armor is extremely powerful. This will however, not translate into armor being king on other fights. In conclusion, if you understand the mechanics of the fight and tailor a gear set to augment your ability to perform to the best of your ability during said fight, you will be a better tank and a better player as a result. There is no end all be all for gear, each encounter will have different mechanics which will make that BiS set better or worse.

Oh and don’t be a douche, it is really just not worth it, rise above antagonistic pre pubescent teens who feel they need to exert a force for which they do not have.


10 man is serious business

I’m not kidding, the crimson hall is very challenging…

The Crimson Hall

Last night we decided that we needed to see the Blood Queen in 10 man before we pushed any more of our attempt counter. So, with that in mind, we split our raid up into three 10 mans and went into ICC 10 for a shot at the title. The first seven bosses died in quick succession, and we even picked up a few achievements on the way. I personally felt pretty good about our group, we had some solid players who really knew what they were doing. Each dps was averaging upwards of 7k minimum on most fights, our healers were some of our best, and I was tanking with our fury warrior in offspec tank gear that puts our new recruit main tanks’ loot to shame. Then the crimson hall hit us like a brick wall.

The Blood Princes

Yesterday, I did not have much to say about this trio of blood elves, as our 25 man made quick work of them. During the 25 man, I was concentrating so hard on avoiding stuff, cleansing off the spirit finger sparkles, and using all the utility I could muster between my hands spells and raid wall (DS/DG). Last night was another story. I had some quality time to analyze the fight and see it from every aspect as we wiped over and over again. All three of our 10 mans were having major issues with the princes, and were all stuck there for a very long time after plowing through the first seven bosses.

Our particular 10 man group was having problems with a few key issues of the fight. Namely, the empowered flames, the initial pull before our lock could get enough of the nuclei on him, and the nock backs from the shock vortex’s sacking on the raid. We tried a lot of things. And each time we tried something, a new issue creeped up and bit us.

We initially tried to two tank it with me on Valanar and Taldaram with our lock on Keleseth. With a priest and shaman as our healers, and the requirements of spreading out constantly, we found that there was way too much damage on the tanks. I was doing fine, but would every now and then drop to about 30% because I would take back to back hits from both princes. We decided that it would be easier on healers if we went to three tanks, so our fury warrior went back to tanking and we had one person per boss. At this point, we were running into issues with shock vortex.

While the issues with shock vortex’s knock back were short lived as people were good about spreading out, the shock vortex itself was a bit more problematic a few more times before we got our kill. There were plenty of times where our lock tank just dropped from the damage, and there were quite a few times when the empowered conjured flame was the source of our wipe. We were also victim to some unlucky combos of shock vortex and empowered flames. Finally we conceded that we needed three healers. So, our dk logged over to his disc priest, and we one shot it.

Apparently we should have thought about that earlier….

The Blood Queen Lana’thel

With a fresh set of attempts, and this time 15 and not the 10 we got in 25 man, we started in on the queen. Once again AoE damage was really plaguing us and our ability to sustain. We were watching people die to the first bite damage, Delirious slashes, and pact of the darkfallen. This fight seems pretty straight forward if you can heal through the raid damage. I was main tanking with our warrior OTing the mirror. The biggest hit I took was in the 11k range, and that is easily healed through when i have around 56k hp in 10 mans.

The encounter got me to thinking about the gear that you should wear for this fight to minimize the damage done to both the main tank and the off tank. I am conflicted in my opinions. Part of me wants to say that I should be stacking pure armor to mitigate the damage as much as possible. This will enable me to take less damage and as a result will double dip with the off tank taking less damage too. The other side of me is wondering if an avoidance set would be powerful. There were strings of 10 seconds where the MT/OT were taking 0 damage because I was avoiding all of the hits. While this is not a sound plan for surviving burst damage, that is not the concern of this fight.

We may have found our first fight where avoidance as a MT is truly rewarding. She does not hit that hard, and her swing timer is fairly slow, leading me to believe that avoidance is the best solution to damage prevention. I know that we have squashed the theory that avoidance is as good as stamina in ICC, however this may be one of those exceptions to the rule, and a fight where it may truly shine. Stacking stamina in this fight does nothing to prevent the incoming damage. We say that stamina is beneficial because it allows you to take more burst damage, of which there is none on this fight, as well as extending the range of Ardent Defender. Extending AD would be great if I got below 35% but I did not once drop below 50%, making more stamina worthless.

In the end, we called the raid with 9 attempts remaining because it was late and we all had work in the morning. I think I am going to give the avoidance set a shot when we get back in there for the last 9 attempts, and see what happens.

10 man difficulty

I know that there are quite a few people on the MainTankadin forums that are claiming that 10 man ICC is srs bsns and its a joke in terms of difficulty level, but they must be in a different instance than I am. I took a group of 10 people in 258 gear into the instance and spent three hours on the Crimson Hall. One of our three groups cleared the hall, but they did it with a Resto Shaman, Holy Priest, and Holy Paladin. In my opinion if you cant heal through any type of damage with those three, you should consider getting rid of your healers.

There is a known bug on the 10 man Blood Princes encounter which made me feel a bit better, and allowed me to congratulate our group after wiping for so long. The bosses hit as hard in 10 man as they do in 25 man. The damage was not scaled down, and as such your healers will be stressed to the max. For all of you who have cleared it, your healers are excellent players and deserve a pat on the back, I know ours do.


Blood Prince Council and The Queen

Blizzard is just out to get us

So while I am a huge supporter of the attempt counter, blizzard had promised me that we would get 5 more attempts last night with the new wing opening up. THEY LIED! We had our usual Tuesday attendance of a crap load of people, we probably could have cleared AQ40 at level 60 with the raid we had, but we got our 25 and got the raid going. After plowing through the usual lag fest of the first four bosses, we went right to the Crimson Hall and had some fun times with the trash. I was having flash backs of Tempest Keep with all those evil blood elves.

I will come back to our Blood Pricnce Council fight, the mechanics, lessons learned, and a bit of story telling but I wanted to jump forward to the big bad girl at the end of the hall. We went up to the Queen’s room and immediately noticed something was fishy. We had an attempt counter, but it said 10 of 10. Now WTF, I thought we were going to get 5 more attempts with the new wing. We were a bit taken back by this, and we are all hoping that Blizzard fixes this ASAP so we can get some quality attempts in on the old hag. I have not seen any blue posts, and I have not heard from anyone else first hand on our sever that they are experincing the same issues, but I have asked around to a few guild leaders on our server about it. While I patiently await their responses, It is time for the Blood Princes break down.

Three Dudes and tons of balls

Hmm, that didn’t sound right. Oh well. We cleared the trash in the BP room and proceeded to talk about each of the princes abilities. The fight itself seemed straight forward and other than it being akin to the Council fight in Black Temple, we went in blind as usual. I took Valanar and tanked him in the middle Our other tank took Taldaram and tanked him on the right side of the room facing away from the raid, while Keleseth was tanked by our resident Lock tank. The first pull was as expected, messy and full of “oh crap what was that!” lines in vent. We figured out a few things about the vortexes, balls of fire, nuclei, and spirit finger sparkles!

Honestly I don’t have much to say about this fight currently because the kill happened so fast. We had a few wipes to figure out that you had to run away from Valanar when he cast his abilities, and then on the Third pull, everything just clicked, I was tanking and dispelling like crazy, and then all of a sudden I had loot bubbles on my target. I will have to say that even though our kill was probably a bit sloppy, it was too quick to even evaluate any real difficult parts of the encounter.

I have heard from multiple sources that if you put an imp or another pet on the Kinetic orbs, you can bounce them into the Queens room and burn an attempt. We had our hunters on the orbs at all times.

The Queen and My impressions

We gave the queen a few attempts, even though our counter was bugged out, just to see if she was a pushover. Now while she was not a pushover, the fight seems fairly straight forward. The key to the fight is managing your bites and ensuring that your whole raid has stellar environmental and debuff awareness. This is not good news for the likes of CF. While we are a great guild and we power through encounters, it takes us a little while to get used to these specific mechanics. Now normally there is no reason to be of concern, however with 5 less attempts than we were expecting, it concerns us.

In the end we gave it two attempts, plus one lagged out aggro pull, and called it there. We are going back in tomorrow to kill her after getting some experience and hoping for less lag from our server. From a tanking perspective, these two fights are lackluster. They dont seem to be tank checks in any way, shape, or form. I was never below 50% health the entire night on these two bosses, and both encounters are basic tank and spanks with a small amount of movement.

Goodies for Wrathy

I have been pretty stagnant on my gear acquisition over the past 7 weeks, only picking up a few pieces over the course of our progression in ICC. There are two reasons for this. First, we are gearing up some new tanks and I have passed two sets of shoulders, a belt, chest, helm, bracers, and ring to our other tanks. Secondly and more importantly, my 258 loot is more than sufficient for the tank checks in the instance so far. I have not really come in danger of wiping the raid by dying more than a few times since the instance came out. However last night, the tank loot fell from the heavens and I was a greedy little pally. I scooped up 4 pieces for my gear sets, and I can’t wait to see where they fit in. I picked up the hit helm, the avoidance belt and gloves, and the effective health neck. While I am happy that I have the options for avoidance and threat, the neck is by far the sweetest upgrade so far.

It is difficult for me to take so much loot, but the other officers reminded me that my two off tanks have been in the guild for a few weeks at most and will get their gear in due time. The biggest problem our guild has right now is the guilt that the officers have for sitting 12 people last night for the main raid, including two tanks. We have a great roster filled with some quality players, and we want to be able to provide the experience of the main raid for everyone, however its just not in the cards when you have that many people. Luckily we have our alt raid to take the last 12 people to, where they can pick up all the gear they want.

Thoughts on my gear and Emblems of Frost

With the completion of most of the 25 man last night, I am sitting pretty in the mid 240’s with Emblems of Frost I am once again feeling the temptation to buy some gear. While I am very partial to Tier sets and the free bonuses that come along with them, more and more people are leaning towards the offset gear. There are a few pieces that I can not pass up, namely the Chest. I am working my way to transmuting 12 titansteel bars so that I can make my Pillars of Might, and I am getting less and less confident that there will be a huge brick wall of magic damage coming before the end of the instance, which is leading closer and closer to buying the bonus armor pieces.

For my progression set, I know I will wear the T10 helm, and possibly the shoulders. I know that the shoulders off the Gunship battle have more stamina, but I am a sucker for more damage. After hopping over to Chardev, I took a look at what I could do but the simulation was missing way too many peices of gear including the expertise gloves, the expertise boots, the weapons and the shields. More on that later I guess.

For all of you who are still waiting on your Queen attempts, good luck and hopefully I will have some kill shots for you tomorrow!


The good doctor is dead

Fun, Fight is Fun!

Honestly going into last night, I had very low expectations of what we needed to do. Both our 10 mans didn’t kill putricide last week, my group was 2% away from the feat, but still no kill. It seems that all I need to do to fix our attendance issues is talk about it here, because I logged on with 5 minutes before raid start time and there were 32 people in our raid, including one of our priests who left. I was happy to see that we had the “who do we sit” dilemma last night. Well the night was a productive one, and I was impressed with our guild to say the least, but once again that monkey on my back called attendance makes me wonder where we would be if we would have burned even a few attempts on putricide last week.

Thoughts on Putricide

The night started out pretty normal, we one shot every boss up to putricide, and even a ton of tank loot dropped, the threat pants, helm and chest dropped and even though these items were no where near BiS for progression sets, they were welcomed for our two new tanks who are considered undergeared when standing next to me. When we got to putricide at 8pm the officers had a little discussion, namely will we burn our attempts now on putricide or should we go to ToTGC and clear it first. In the end, it was my opinion that we had our A team in the raid and there was no reason to waste that on old content.

We walked up to putricide, went over the strat and assigned our fury warrior to the Abom. I know, I know, why would we ever put a dps in the Abom when we need three tanks and that just gimps our dps so much. Well two of our tanks were underegeared and had not done the abom yet. On the other hand, our fury warrior has a full set of tank gear (which coincidently is better than our other new tanks) and did the abomination for my 10 man. We sat one of the tanks that had received an invite to the guild less than 24 hours earlier, made our Fury warrior go prot, and pulled….

The fight was pretty much the same as 10 man, but the health pool on the slimes was much higher, and the first comment in vent was holy crap they have a lot of health. Our first attempt on 25 man got us to 63%. While no where near a kill shot, it was a very solid first attempt. The next few attempts saw us steadily progress from the 60’s to phase 3 and a new learning curve for healers and tanks. I suggested that we employ the same tactic for focusing our raid as we did on the night we killed Anub’arak. So, with half our attempts left, we gave our raid an ultimatum, get the boss to 20% or we are going to ToTGC. We got him to 10%, then, 10% or we go to ToTGC, and he was dead.

The fight was one of the more fun fights I have had in a long time, lots of running around, kiting, environmental awareness, and strategy when it come to killing the slimes, positioning of the boss, etc. It was a nice feeling to kill a boss that was “challenging.” Now I will quote that because it only took us 7 attempts to kill the boss, making it no where near as tightly tuned and difficult as Sunwell or even Anub’arak hard mode, but it was definitely up there in the coordination skill-o-meter.

Movin’ on up to the east side…

With that kill we moved into the number 1 position on our server. Now while I do not think that most of us care too much about the position on the server, it is truly nice to take a server first. It’s a nice achievement that shows the talent of our raiding core. I don’t know exactly how it happens, but 2 minutes after we killed putricide, I had alliance whispering on alts asking if we killed him. It is amazing how fast news spreads. While notoriety and the prestige of killing him first is nice, I am already looking into the future, to the next wing and the next few bosses. The next wing opens up on this coming Tuesday, and I have yet to read up on any of these fights. I am sure there is a small amount of information which should help us in killing them next week, and I want to absorb all of it.


The power of knowledge

Raiding Pains

This past week was an interesting one. First off I had to raid on Sunday on a laptop because I was at my company holiday party and a long ways away from my home desktop. It was amazing how much harder it was for me to see certain things with the blizzard UI. I had to drop my addons down to practically nothing so that my computer could handle the raiding environment. I was getting like 2 fps in ToTGC and that was not going to cut it for Putricide.

In the end, it was a painful night; we had quite a few new people in the raid, so Anub’arak was left up with 45 attempts because people sucked at kiting the spikes. One of our guildies put up a really funny youtube clip on our forums from Austin Powers where the guy dies to a Steam Roller. It basically summed up that encounter. The spikes are slow, and you get a BoP, how hard is it to just run to the patch and stand there. It wasn’t even that the new people were the sole source of bad play. We had people that have been there every week for the kill playing poorly, and there was just no excuse.

After ToTGC, we went into ICC to clear out our putricide attempts, and I am sad to report that the end of my night finished with my raid dead, me alive hacking away at the boss, one attempt remaining on the counter, and Putricide at 2%. Next week folks, next week…

Knowledge is power

On to the bread and butter of what I wanted to talk about today. This is not a topic of discussion that is exclusive to tanks, but it is one that I feel is more important for tanks to understand. So, once again I digress from theory craft, gear discussions, and thoughts of guild management to discuss something that every great player should be doing, but seldom maintain. I am talking about the power of knowledge, more specifically research, preparation, and understanding of mechanics.

We can specifically talk about the mechanics of fights, knowing what is coming so that you can be able to react, and be better for those first few nights of progression. Or, we can talk about a more general discussion of knowledge based off of class abilities, gearing strategies, and understanding of mechanics and statistics. However, in both cases this is what separates a good player from a great one. I know people that can pull 10k dps consistently, or can tank and hold great threat, but if you do not understand gearing philosophy, encounter mechanics, and general strategies, then you are not a great player, because knowing these things could make you that much better.

There are people with in my own guild, casuals, raiders, and officers alike, who do not play at the level that they should because they are not knowledgeable about these things. They think that at the level that we play, you can still log on, hop into a raid and hope for the best. Now while the demand on proper, prior preparation is more essential at the end game progression level for cutting edge guilds, it makes any player who is good, better.

Ignorance is not bliss; the intelligent suffer

Knowledge is the key to success. The more you know, the better prepared you are for the unknown, and the quicker you can react to dynamic conditions. I am astounded at some of our dps for not knowing the mechanics of a fight. I have heard responses such as:

I just have to sit back here and cast my spells, who cares what the boss does.

Now while I am confident in my assessment that this statement and mentality alone is not the reason that this raiders is one of our lowest performing on a daily basis, but the attitude in general is the main contributor to the lack of performance.  If you do not understand the most recent gearing philosophies, rotations of abilities and management of cool downs, then you are wasting the gear that your guild gives to you.

Exceptions to the rule

Now while these thoughts reach those of you who do not need to hear this, and fall on deaf ears to the ones who do, I still feel that it is an important topic to bring up given the push for progression that we are facing over the next few months. Almost everyone who reads this is already well versed in researching abilities, skills, and encounter mechanics. If you weren’t, you wouldn’t be reading a blog or MainTankadin, you would be online, gabbing away in trade chat that you have the highest gear score on your realm, but have 5 points in Divinity and none in judgements of the just.

We are the exceptions; we are the unique snowflakes that shoulder the responsibility and progression of our guilds.  I wanted to talk about this today because I had a conversation with a few of my guild mates that opened my eyes to the fact that even in very progressed guilds, there are people who don’t know their head from their ass. It started with our one of our very best dps talking about armor trinkets and how OP they are on a fight where there is quite a bit of magic damage.

It never dawned on me that people do not have the resources that we do at MainTankadin. The information is out there, but not for most. Tankspot is a great place to go for warrior theory crafting and boss strategies, however I feel that theck and our brain trust at MainTankadin goes a bit further when it comes to analysis.  It took me 15 minutes to explain why he was wrong, explain the new equations for effective health, and the role that armor plays in our damage mitigation.

This lead direction into one of our casuals talking about how much chill of the throne sucks and how he is now the worst tanking class. I almost choked on my drink, because he is a druid. I began to explain to him that he is sorely misinformed and that he is currently playing one of the best tanking classes in the game for progression, and that his effective health is greater than any other class when you take into account cooldowns. This is where it got down right scary (and the true ah-ha! Moment for why I wrote this thread). I started to tell him about the druid T10 four piece set bonus, its uptime percentages, and its ability to mitigate a substantial amount of damage.

He replied: oh, well what is my T10 four piece set bonus? Well that’s just 12% that’s nothing.

For those of you who only play a paladin and missed my discussion on 4 piece set bonuses, here is a link to the blog post where I outlined why druids are king of the mountain when it comes to effective health and being able to take the hits like a champ. This guy didn’t even know what his own set bonus was, or why it was so important, or that he had two stacking cool downs that were both on a 1 minute timer, or that he had a 20% uptime of a 32% damage reduction, making him more powerful at taking a hit than any other tanks in the game.

The moral of the Story

As most of you know, research and discussion of mechanics, abilities, and rotations is important to your ability to play the game to the best of your abilities. What I learned last night is that, while I am a contributor to the paladin tanking community and the blogosphere, where many people may consider me an expert in gearing philosophy and tanking, my own guild was not receiving the same level of information. How can I love teaching complete strangers and not teach my own guild mates. So I leave you with a final thought:

While most people in your guild will probably get tired of your theory and discussion if you are as active in gchat as you are on forums and blogs, the occasional educational session will benefit your guilds greatly.


LFM again? You’ve got to be kidding

This is becoming a monthly occurrence

So once again I am back ranting about the same issues over and over again, and it is starting to get me truly frustrated. I got home a bit late on Wednesday for the raid, which was suppose to be either ToTGC for some 258 upgrades and Professor Putricide attempts. Our raid invites go out at 6:15 server and we take on time at 6:30. Well I logged on at 6:30 something, and there were less than 20 people in the raid. I just do not understand how we can go through such a good night of raiding the night before, killing two new bosses on both 10 and 25 man with little effort in the grand scheme of things, then not show up the next day for the real progression encounter.

On top of that, we are once again short people as not one but two of our priests bailed on us. One of them had to leave for school for the second time this expansion. Now while its frustrating, killing Anub’arak and Professor Putricide is no where near as important as your education and real life. When I saw that, from a raiding perspective, it sucked because we just got him completely geared up again and ready for content. However, the other priest to jump ship was a even more frustrating. One of our officers and legendary maces just cryptically said that he doesnt miss the game and wont be coming back after the holiday break.

While everyone is entitled to do what they please with their monthly subscription fee, I personally fell that officers, and people who have received a weapon that truly belongs to the guild have a higher obligation. I personally am losing the motivation to play with our guild, but it is my obligation as a MT to stick it out till at least the expansion pack. I think a lot of people don’t see this. Now beyond the amazing amounts of gear and legendary that we lavished our officer with, he was never much of a active leader, so from that perspective we are ok. The biggest problem with these two leaving is that they were two of our better healers, and we still have more than enough to do the encounters, however not enough to have the flexibility for the hard modes, as well as the attendance on our less stellar days.

Obligations and Exits

This has gotten me to think about how I feel about my role in the guild and the game, and how I would make an exit if my time has come. From my perspective, I already know the day I am going to hang up this game, and it has been predetermined by my loyalty to the 15 people that show up day in and day out. The day that the Expansion shows up, I will exit stage left. I am already longing for that day, as dealing with some of the more colorful characters in my guild is not an enjoyable experience, and I feel that even though we are an exceptional guild, who was in the upper echelons of this game, we are still burdened with the casual attitude of carrying less than stellar players because they have earned it by staying around for a really long time.

There is a small part of me that wants to enjoy the truly hard core, where if you are the bottom of the charts, or the guy who always gets hit by flying spell x, you are kicked and a more willing and eager replacement does a better job. However, my loyalty and conscience keep me from that. I have taken more gear than any raider by a considerable amount, and I am the only truly geared tank with any respectable attendance. This is just not something I can do to the friends I have made in my guild over the past few years.

The fork in the road always leads to recruitment

So here is where I go, once again, as we do every other month. We are going to open up recruitment and try to find another diamond in the rough. We are not a high enough tier of guild where we can just say we want some new priests, and tons of people are willing to server transfer. We have to recruit from with in Destromath. A few months ago we got really lucky. We were in need of another rogue, as a few of ours had school conflicts and were just not meeting the attendance requirements that we wanted. We picked up a friend of one of our best raiders, who was vastly under geared and in his first raid his dps was so so at about 5k dps. In a few short weeks of 100% attendance and a lot of gear, he has moved from close to last on the charts to a 10k plus dps machine. If we could get even one more of those in the priest department we would be set.

I know I shouldn’t be complaining, We are a top 500 guild with the capability of clearing pre nerf content with the best of them, in a very small amount of attempts. But for once I felt like our guild was in a great spot when we left for Christmas, we had 35 people in ever raid when we opened up invites, we got Anub hard mode on farm, ICC was a joke, and we were looking forward to clearing some great content. Now we are back in that place of uncertainty, looking for more, and its just frustrating. We will surely survive, we have for 5 years. We will clear almost all of the content, killing more than most, but not reaching that full potential on the cutting edge.

Professor Putricide

The good doctor is stitting with 10 attempts left on him in both my 10 man and the 25 man main raid. here is to hoping that we can get a raid together for Sunday to give it our best. I honestly think that we can kill him this week if we get our A raid in there. We have stellar dps, You only need one tank for most of the fight, and our healers are great. We have always killed things in a very small number of attempts and this would be no different, we just have to get in there.

Gratz to the few of you who have killed him, and good luck to those of you who are still waiting to for a shot…


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…”


  • What is this nonsense? HoPo and a total overhaul. It's going to be a long weekend of playing around.. 8 years ago