Posts Tagged ‘Trial of the Grand Crusade

15
Jan
10

Bosses Who Parry Haste

I wanted to create an individual blog post about this, so that I can reference it later on. Below are the links to a few MainTankadin thread where we are discussing parry haste, and providing parse information as to whether or not a specific boss parry hastes. This is very important because, as I mentioned yesterday, expertise has moved way ahead on my priority list of stats to gear for inside ICC with the caveat that the boss must still have parry haste activated. There are a few bosses where it has been confirmed that blizzard has turned parry haste off, but for the rest of them, the majority of the tanking community seems to feel that it is still active and kicking.

From Theck’s post on Calculating the Avoidnace value of Expertise, which happened to be the source of inspiration for my blog post from yesterday, he mentions the following:

“Most bosses” is a bit of an exaggeration. Last I checked, it was only a few isolated hard-hitting slow-swinging bosses. So far on the compiled list, only Gormok, Jaraxxus (still no idea why they chose to do this on him), Ignis, Kologarn, and Patchwerk have it disabled. If anything, “most bosses” have parry-haste enabled, not disabled.

We’ll have to do some testing on ICC bosses to see for sure, but it’s unlikely they’d turn it off for the newer breed of weaker-hitting faster-swinging bosses. I could maybe see the Gunship captain and Festergut being ones that might have it turned off, since they can both hit pretty hard under the right conditions. Maybe marrowgar too, if his sabre lash is a special ability rather than a regular melee swing.

Now while the list is fairly incomplete, as it is a work in progress, we already see that some of the bosses in Trial of the (Grand) Crusade have parry haste turned on, and have been empirically proven to be able to parry haste. As we go through Icecrown Citadel and acquire more data from parses, we can start to understand which bosses parry haste in that instance. Once this is known, an Effective health set with expertise will be very valuable at preventing spike damage. For discussions sake, here is the list of bosses in ToTGC which we know about:

The List

Halion – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed here

ICC
Lord Marrowgar – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed here, here
Lady Deathwhisper – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed
here, here
Gunship (Saurfang/Bronzebeard) – –
Deathbringer Saurfang – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here
Festergut – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here
Rotface – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here
Professor Putricide – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here, here
Prince Taldaram – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here
Prince Valanar – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here
Blood-Queen Lana’thel – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here
Sindragosa – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed
here
The Lich King – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed
here

Onyxia’s Lair
Onyxia – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed here, here?

Crusader’s Coliseum
Gormok the Impaler – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed Here
Acidmaw – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed Here
Dreadscale – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed Here, here
Icehowl – Parry Haste Enabled – Confirmed Here, here
Lord Jaraxxus – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed Here, here
Faction Champions – Not looking for these as they’re not a tanking encounter
Fjola Lightbane – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed here
Eydis Darkbane – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed here
Anub’Arak – Parry Haste Disabled – Confirmed here, here

Since I am getting all of my values from the thread linked earlier on in this post, please reference that thread for all links to evidence.

10
Dec
09

Another Tribute…

Mad Skillz…

Last night was a very successful night for our guild. We went into ToTGC with a bit of hesitation because of some of the changes that the 3.3 patch has brought us. However, we walked right in, and one shot everything with relative ease up to anub’arak. 50 attempts left and we were getting ready for the pull. A flawless phase 1, and the kiting began. All of a sudden it fell apart and Tribute to Insanity was lost, along with Wrathy the Grand Crusader.

Such is life, we got back in there, and went from 17 attempts remaining to 48. A marketable increase from our first kill. As usual, our guild has always prided itself on farm status the week after we kill something for the first time and this encounter did not disappoint.

Busy Busy Busy

Today was a very busy day so I do not have time for a long discussion on my thoughts about what we have ahead of us, with the advent of the daily random heroic, the three new dungeons, the need for lots and lots of badges. However, tomorrow is another day. Good luck to everyone in their ICC journeys.

03
Dec
09

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!

02
Dec
09

The only good bug is a Dead Bug!

Anub is down, finally after a really long and difficult road, and I dont mean the attempts. I would estimate that we used no more than 100 to 115 attempts to get him down in total, but the attendance issues were very frustrating.

Call of the Grand Crusader!

And the Screenie… Gratz Crypt Friends

02
Dec
09

Blizzard revisits old encounter mechanics

As if the hard mode version of the Anub’arak encounter was not challenging enough, we seemed to run into even more problems over the past few nights of attempts. We finally got a raid together to get back into ToTGC. For the past three to four weeks, we have just let Anub’arak fester with more 48-50 attempts left on the counter, and people were getting frustrated. Attendance seemed to be at a new low for wrath of the lich king standards, and even though multiple guilds disbanded for similar reasons over the past month, recruitment was spotty at best. Then, we finally got the people online, in the raid and ready to go, and it seemed like blizzard started patching 3.3 a bit early.

The return of a brutallus mechanic

For those of you that never had the pleasure of fighting Brutallus pre nerf, it was quite an encounter, healing was extremely stressful, and dps has to be at the very top of their game, and tanks dropped like flies. Most guilds’ first kills were after the enrage timer, ours was with all of our holy pally’s bubbled and taunt bouncing him with RD. As if Sunwell was not already perfectly tuned for the top end guilds, which I believe it was, Blizzard introduced a new mechanic to the game.

Brutal PWN – Brutallus targets multiple raid members and instantly severs their connections to the blizzard servers, causing them to disconnect.

The last two nights of Anub’arak attempts were littered with this mechanic, most prevalently by one of our disc priests mid phase three and our main tank in the phase 1 to phase 2 transitions. Every attempt at some point during the encounter, our tank would disconnect. And, every attempt with in the first minute of the phase three transition our disc priest would disconnect. The tank disconnects were painful but we could recover from them with tricks, salvs, and pro grips of extra permafrost when anub burrowed right on top of the patch where the add were being tanked by yours truly. It was quite a bit harder to survive the encounter when one of your two disc priests disappears when he is needed the most.

Needless to say, last night was riddled with painful wipes deep into phase three. While we have plenty of attempts remaining for the rest of the week to get him down, it seems as though blizzard has decided that this will not happen. our best hunter, our best druid and one of our best priests seemed to downgrade their computers and internet connections with in the past few weeks, and we have been suffering as a result.

Coming up next…

I know that I was suppose to work on gear comparisons for all of the Icecrown loot that is going to drop in the next few weeks, but I got side tracked by the EH calculator and raiding. Really I think that calculator will provide all of the answers that are needed with respect to the bonus armor versus set pieces debate. We shall see where today takes me…

27
Oct
09

Breaking Down Anub’arak Damage

Damage intake and what I can do

Since it seems as though most of my first time patrons are looking for information on Anub’arak unhittable sets and the ability to be the off tank for that fight, in conjunction with the massive amounts of discussion going on over at MainTankadin on the subject, I wanted to do a bit of out loud analysis on the gear set that I have chosen and the modifications I can make to decrease the amount of damage I take. As of our first week of real attempts, It has become glaringly obvious that I am taking significantly more damage than my warrior counterpart, and I feel that it is my duty to fix this issue, regardless of talents or disadvantages that we as paladins are faced with.

When you first analyze the differences in our gear, you see that we really are wearing almost the same set, and I actually have more block value than he does. The Critical Block talent that warriors have is more than likely accounting for most of his damage reduction, and seeing as I do not have the ability to spec into the warrior prot tree, I have to raise my block value enough to compensate. The best place I can see this happening is my helm slot. The helm has 43 block rating, which when all is said and done is a good chunk of percent block. I can swap that with the T9 helm to gain 189 block value plus a bit more from the strength on the helm. If i do this, I lose approximately 3% block rating for the ~200 block value.

This makes sense if I can stay near unhittable, however the problem is that I was using the cushion that I had with respect to the unhittable mark to gain more hit to ensure that Holy Wrath had a better chance of landing on each of the adds, and as a result stunning them when the Shadow Step cast is queued up. Below are some of the raw stats that came out of our last night of attempts:

  • I took 30% more damage when compared to my warrior counter part
  • I took 2381 blocked hits over the course of the night with an average damage intake of 2294
  • I avoided 4289 hits or 62.8% of all incoming attacks.

My warrior counterpart on the other had took the following:

  • He took 701 blocked hits over the course of the night with an average damage intake of 3179
  • He completely blocked (as a result of Critical Block) 2103 hits
  • He avoided 3964 hits or 57% of all incoming attacks

I am not sure what exact block value is required to completely block their incoming attacks, but I do know that when the Lavanthor’s trinket’s on use is activated, I take 0 damage from the adds. This means that if I can gain an extra 440 block value while still staying unhittable, I could completely avoid all damage. However, I do not have the ability to do that and stay unhittable. With that being said, if I can close that gap, I may be able to significantly decrease the amount of damage I take during the fight.

Leeching swarm and the healing factor

Why is this something that is worth dealing with if I have not died to add damage and all information suggests that taking damage in p3 to keep me low is a good thing? Well the problem is that if I am constantly taking a significant amount of damage, somewhere on the order of 12k damage taken per second, then I am receiving that as healing, and in turn so is anub’arak. By curbing the amount of damage that I take as a result of tanking the adds, I can effectively lower the amount of healing that anub’arak is healing in p3. Now as I have mentioned before, I pop the on use skill provided by Lavanthor’s trinket when we go to 30% however that only gives me 40 seconds to mitigate the damage completely at which time if Anub’arak is not dead, I start to significantly impede the progress we are making at getting Anub’arak’s health to 0 before ours.

In the end, I believe that if I can stay unhittable and get more block rating, then it is my duty to do so. Therefore, after one more trophy, and a bit more gemming and enchanting, I will be trying out a new piece in my unhittable set and we shall see where that takes me with respect to damage that I take from the adds.

My prediction

P.S. My prediction was not fulfilled (as I honestly expected) because of the fact that a significant number of our raid was not the same as it was on Wednesday, and the dps and execution was severely lacking in comparison to the first round of attempts. 40 attempts was not enough, but I am confident that 40-80 more will be regardless of who shows up.

24
Oct
09

Achievements and Titles

Starcaller Wrathy, the tank of insanity?

Last night was a very, very successful night for us. Even though the night started out quite slow and stressful, we ended on a Big Bang! When I logged on last night, there were 12 people online, so I went to go solo the Headless Horseman to have a shot at the achievements. After nothing worth noting dropped, I got into the raid for the night to see that we amassed 15 people for what should have been a 2 x 10 man night. After some juggling, some respecing, and some stress, we had a raid, we had 5 bosses dead, and we had 50 attempts remaining.

We then went into Ulduar and dropped Algalon. I was pretty impressed at how quickly it was done, I spent a total of 1 hour and 15 minutes on him before he died. I went in for an hour a few months ago, and never went back until tonight. When all is said and done, those were the great results for the night, but how we got there and some of the details are just as juicy.

ScreenShot_102309_205556

Jaraxxus near wipe

After we killed Northrend Beasts in a quick fashion, we started in on Jaraxxus. We had everything we needed to play it safe, two tanks, three healers, a mage to spell steal, and a shaman to purge. The fight was going smooth, the portals were dying fast, and then something happened. Our mage died to a fire, then our shaman got one shot by a 5 stack chain lightening. It was starting to look like a wipe. We were at about 20 percent with a few seconds left before a Nether Portal spawn, and people were dropping like flies. In the end, we were at about five percent when our last healer got one shot by the boss. We were looking at a wipe on one of the earlier bosses in the instance, and blowing our chance at insanity.

With 1% left the last dps was dropping fast, and I was still near full life. The end of the encounter looked something like a 1v1 in a long 5s arena. I was bubbled, beating away at something with a sliver of life, and if I didn’t get it down before the bubble wore off, I was toast. Then the boss dropped, and we saved a wipe. I got myself a killing blow, and last man standing! Too bad you don’t get an achievement for that…

Block set results

On Anub’arak again I used my block set and I saw similar results to last week with respect to damage taken. As you can see I took a total of 33k damage the entire fight from the Nerubian Burrowers. The only other two people that took damage were Mokk who pulled one of them off me and proceeded to tank it for a few moments, and Puhlaydin who was a victim of a slow pick up at about the same time that Anub’arak was at 10%.

Screen shot 2009-10-23 at 9.18.22 PM
Algalon schnanigans

Algalon was fun, and it was quite obvious that we completely over-geared the instance, but none the less, 10 achievement points and a title is still a nice cherry on top to the 258 cloak and the mount that we got a half an hour earlier.




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