Archive for the “Raiding” Category
PvP – Where big bear butt is the OTHER white meat
Gnomer wrote a post recently that would have had me blushing if I were still capable of it, and along with the love he called me out big time on being a slacker. Which, of course, I am.
What is the one aspect of the game that I have chosen to remain willfully ignorant of?
Shout it out with me, friends; PvP!
Now, I’m not entirely ignorant of what PvP is, just mostly ignorant.
Believe it or not, I have dipped my paw in the PvP pool before.
What, when? Why, back in Burning Crusade, when there were some sweet PvE rewards you could purchase for honor points, especially weapons and high-armor Leather items my Bear craved for the multiplier values.
I took my Druid into battlegrounds… and I took my long abandoned Priest, too. I wanted the epic PvP spellpower mace to help me Shadow it up in Karazhan.
Yes, I know, surprise! Bear has a Priest. A Priest who has been abandoned since the day after WotLK came out. And now we move past the Priest, thank you very much.
Okay, Priests for 5 more seconds. I have tried to resurrect my Priest several times, and failed miserably. Lately, some Priest bloggers I read, and some Priests I know in Band of Misfits, have all made it look so damn cool and fun to heal as a Priest that they’re tempting me. But no! I cannot! Must. Stay. Focused.
I played in some PvP battlegrounds in Burning Crusade. I did! I wanted those points from the BG daily quests for bonus honor, so I saw all of them at the time, plus my favorite BG when it wasn’t the daily, Alterac Valley.
I liked Alterac Valley. I liked taking part of a massive battle fought in that valley, with multiple objectives, tactical opportunities, spoiler attacks, flanking manuevers, supply lines to cut (graveyards), the whole thing. The scope of Alterac Valley was pretty awesome.
I know this may sound stupid, but I also really liked the story and lore between the Orcs and Dwarves fighting over control of the valley. I did Alterac Valley a bit during vanilla WoW, back when the quests led you towards upgrading your Trinkets, and I still have my own trinket in my Druid’s bags. I enjoyed taking part in that story, it felt so epic.
So, if it was all so damn great, why did I grind out the honor for the gear I wanted, and never went back?
What kept me out of BGs was a combination of three things; I don’t like PUGs, I don’t like trash talk, and I don’t like being part of a chaotic mess.
I don’t like PUGs. I don’t like playing with silent, faceless strangers. If I’m in a group, I like to be able to chat with them, hear them yell in joy or anger, shout in frustration, bitch when they get eaten by a grue. Vent is king. Plus, coordination and response is much stronger with friends, even if you’re NOT on vent.
I don’t like trash talking, name calling, blame throwing or errant bullshit spewed on chat channels, and from what I’ve seen over the years, that’s about the norm in BGs.
And I don’t like chaos. There is a learning curve to anything, and when you are first introduced to a new BG, with a map that is unfamiliar, names you don’t know, and objectives that aren’t spelled out for you, it’s all a mad swirl.
That’s fine, because even if you don’t read up on them, it doesn’t take long before you understand what’s going on and learn where things are, and what people mean by “Head for ICG!” or somesuch.
What fascinates me about BGs is that, no matter how long they are out, it seems at least half of the group, every single time, doesn’t know anything at all about where things are or what to do or why to do it. Even after all these years, half the people in a BG act like they’ve never set foot in one before.
Are that many players really trying battlegrounds for the first time every time? Am I just fortunate in my zone timing? Or are that many people just incapable, or unwilling, to learn?
I don’t know, but the larger the scope of the battle, the more chaotic it gets, and when you want to win, that is irritating in the extreme. Win or lose because you were outfought and outplayed by the other side, not because your side had the greater number of lost children and fools.
Last night, I entered Tol Barad with nine other guildies, and we proceeded to run around and kill people, and that was a lot of fun.
There were other guildies chatting in vent so there was some fun buzz, and that helped me completely ignore typed chat so I didn’t even see the usual idiocy until people in vent brought it up.
There was lots of tense battling, as Horde defended and we attacked. Excitement! Chills! Thrills! A raid run hanging in the balance!
We lost, but that was okay. It was fun.
Except… if the rest of the guildies hadn’t been there, all the things that MADE it fun would have been gone. What would have been left was fighting for the sake of fighting in a chaotic melee, while people bitched in chat. Meh.
It’s not going to be my last time in a BG. I want a seagull pet, and they can only be acquired through PvP in Tol Barad. So be it. I have a goal. And, much like my time in Burning Crusade, once I have enough points to achieve my goal, I will vanish once again.
The only thing that would keep me going back would be going with friends and having fun with friends, chatting in vent while we lived and, more often, died.
Would I run with the Gnomer? You bet your butt I would! Wouldn’t you? If only to toss a flare on him so the other side could see him more clearly just as his internet took a lag spike and threw him into freeze frame.
What are friends for?
Internet Dragons – Awww, hell yeah!
In other news… I can now do what all Druids should aspire to; I can assume my Dragon form.
When I played AD&D, the Druid class was one of my favorites there too. I loved the concept of nature as the ultimate weapon, and I loved Druids being able to shapechange into any other animal form they were familiar with, depending on the hit dice of the critter they were taking on. The higher in level you were, the more powerful an animal form you could assume.
Those might be house rules we ran with in the service, to be honest I can’t remember what the actual first edition Druid rules said about shapeshifting.
I do remember when someone decided to take on humpback whale form, because we all wanted to slap the silly bastard for jumping the shark breaking the genre. Just because the rules say you CAN do something doesn’t mean you should.
I also remember the sad day when the ruling was made in our group that Dragons were not natural creatures, but instead inherently magical due to the wingspan issue, so they could not ever be a Druid form.
A Druid well studied in archaeology might take a Dinosaur form, however.
I always wanted to be the Druid that could turn into a dragon. Always. Surprise ambush by Rogues in the woods? Dragon. Attacked by an army of the damned? Dragon. Bar fight? Dragon. Behind in your taxes? Dragon.
It’s the best answer to any problem. Once you apply Dragon to it, it goes away.
Last night Bigbearbutt learned how to transform into a dragon.
Now, Cassie doesn’t really see why I’d be so excited. After all, I can’t herb in Dragon form. The claws are just too big to get ahold of those itty bitty herbs. And it takes more time to shift into Dragon form, because hey… it’s a Dragon. A fast bird is a little thing of feathers and fluff, but we’re talking Dragon. It’s gonna take more time.
But utility ain’t the POINT. I’m a freaking DRAGON.
Wanna go for a ride?
Raiding – looking for more, please have a sense of humor. I need to be kept entertained.
In other news… Band of Misfits on Azuremyst has three raid teams, Team Teddybear, Team Snuffalupugus, and a third team whose name escapes me at the moment. I feel bad, but I can’t very well look it up right now.
I am in Team Teddybear, and Team Teddybear’s co-raid leader, Matheo, would like me to let you know that there is a strong need for a healer to join us in our raids. He’s looking for, hopefully, a Paladin or Shaman healer. The server is Azuremyst-US, on West Coast time, and the raid times are a fixed 5:00 PM start going for three hours Saturday and a 5:00 PM start going for 2 hours on Sunday.
The raid team is working on Nefarian in BWD, and is looking in a menacing way at the Ascendant Council in BoT.
If any of that is of interest to you, please send ingame mail to Matheo to let him know.
I ain’t raiding this weekend at all myself, since, you know….
The TERRY PRATCHETT convention is going on this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin! And I’m gonna be there!
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I’ve been wondering how you feel about raid accessibility and progression lately.
During Wrath of the Lich King, the raids started out at one level of difficulty, and then were reduced in difficulty over the course of the expansion. Raids kicked it big, and then as new raids came out, old raids got the ol’ nerfbat swung at ‘em.
Even the last big pre-Cataclysm raid, ICC, saw planned gating with the group buff that got beefier the longer the expansion was out.
The most recent notes from patch 4.2 indicate that all existing raids in Cataclysm are about to meet with the same nerfbat treatment, just in time to ease the difficulty/speed the progression of those working on them to get people into the Firelands sooner.
We know for a fact that the easing of difficulty in the name of accessibility did not die with the Lich King. Also, Valor gear for Justice points, coming soon to a vendor near you.
So, how does that make you feel?
I’m interested in this, because for the first time in the game I have a character that could keep up with progression and see Firelands with my guild as it’s released.
In all the years I have played World of Warcraft, I was never one of the players on the leading edge of content progression. Of course, I’m still not on the leading edge, it’s the guild I’m in that is. But I’m kinda going along with them, running like hell to catch up, and I’ve been the beneficiary of their largess with pity epics.
That, plus some seriously focused playtime on my Hunter have placed me on the “wtf, I can raid?” chart as a backup/fill in. If content gets nerfed, then it will be the raids I’ve actively seen that are getting the axe. Including the one boss I haven’t seen die, Nefarian.
It’s my opinion that the nerfs aren’t needed, not on the basis of difficulty level.
I have now done the raids with two different groups, and I’ve had the chance to see how things look from both sides. One group has the content on farm, and the other has about half of it on farm and is tackling new bosses each week.
I’ve also done the heroic dance, getting the gear and figuring out what to get for Justice points, and what to save those precious Valor for.
What I’ve seen is that the content as it is, is excellently balanced.
It is very challenging to learn initially as a group, because each battle has multiple phases, slick gimmicks, and is balanced for groups with a good mix of melee and ranged. learning everything about each fight as a cohesive group takes time. I don’t care who you are.
The most challenging aspect of each battle seems to be movement.
There is a choreography for each fight, a timing and rhythym. They aren’t as rigid as the Safety Dance in Naxx, but timing is still critical.
The most interesting thing to me is that you can control the timing of your group. If your DPS is too high for some fights, too unrestrained, you can trigger phase changes at the wrong moment for your tanks to handle. You can choose whether or not to kill adds or kite them, and deal with the repercussions your own way if you feel up to it.
You’ve got more control, and the better your group is able to flow as a team, the easier the fights get over time. I like that. “And you can dance… for inspiration.” Oh, sorry, I didn’t really type that, did I?
The thing is, once your group has learned these things, then the encounters are fun and thrilling without being a pain in the butt. When you finish a battle, you know you still had to do it right and do it well, you don’t snooze through. There is still definitely a strong feeling of “Hell yeah, baby, beat his ass again, roll him and grab his wallet” to it.
They’re not nerfing raid fights because they have to. They’re nerfing raid fights to make them easier to get past, and they’re doing it at the same time as they released troll heroics that are farmable for epics, and when they’re making Valor gear go for Justice points.
It’s all about accessibility for more people.
I clearly remember how I felt when all this happened in WotLK. I was glad that there was new content for me to do (the ICC heroics), and I was glad that my friends in Zug would soon be seeing even more tasty fun content.
I even got some benefit out of it, in that the old heroics defintely became a much easier proposition in ICC heroic gear.
But at the same time, there were problems.
The old heroics were shunned, because why run one of those when there were fun heroics that had epics? Sure the old ones were easier and you could gear up in them to be stronger in ICC heroics, but a lot of people queuing up didn’t seem to care. As soon as iLevel gating said they could do ICC heroics, in they were. Carry me!
So that begs the question, is the current iLevel gating to the troll heroics forcing people to be much better geared in comparison to what we dealt with in WotLK?
Then there is the problem of how you feel, working so hard and taking on challenges, only to have them nerfed, then bypassed by stuff that people won’t get upgrades from if they can get into the new stuff instead.
Will the current raids still feel as epic, when I know that they used to require a tighter group? Will guilds that were struggling feel cheated that they didn’t clear it before the nerbat was swung?
Or will people feel too excited to get into the Firelands?
With Firelands out, will we see the same change in priority we saw in Wrath of the Lich King? Guilds that run the old stuff as little as possible in order to get into the tasty loot-dropping new stuff? Players that run the two new heroics with epic drops exclusively to gear up to hit Firelands, skipping the old raids entirely?
I’m really wondering. I wasn’t part of the raiding scene when ICC was released, so I never played with anyone that had been struggling on content, only to have everything they were doing flushed when ICC and the new heroics got released.
Is your guild already farming hard modes and bored, waiting for Firelands? If so, will you ever return to BoT, Throne of the Winds or BWD?
Is your guild at the point that you’re could be done and farming the current raids, but have chosen to focus more on farming the new heroics for easier (and repeatable) chances at troll epics?
Are you still struggling to get full raid clears (much like I feel I am) and if so, how do you feel about the upcoming nerfbat, and where will the Firelands find you? Eager to enter, or determined to finish what you started first?
I’m surprised to admit that I’m interested to see what happens next in the story… but at the same time, I feel a strong sense of familiarity about the whole thing. I wonder if the content shift in the next patch will work smoother, or if we’re about to hit that bumpy patch in the road.
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This post goes out to Fulguralis, and all those like him, that bring skill and dedication to everything they do.
In Fulguralis’ latest post, he mentioned that he and his raid team just successfully destroyed the Omnitron encounter, like so;
I have to admit, I was a bit jealous of the Bear earlier in the week. I mean, some of us have been toiling away for months over here, and he strolls in all casual like and passes us up in progression in just one day! Also, to add insult to injury, he did it on his hunter.
Fortunately, we downed Omni last night for the first time as well, knotting the score, as it were. Not that there’s any sort of race going on, just… he hasn’t raided in forever. He usually doesn’t even write about raiding. And he then steps in. And on a hunter. And. Just. Blech.
I was overjoyed that Fulguralis attained the satisfaction that comes from setting a goal for yourself, working hard to reach that goal, and finally tasting that hard-won victory.
At the same time, reading the beginning of his post made me feel a little sad. I hadn’t stopped to think how it might feel for someone working their ass off and fighting every week to read that. To strive so hard, and then see some complete noob and raiding dilettante just pop on in and get it first.
It was pretty rotten of me to do, and for that I offer my apologies to Ful and to anyone else in the same position who might have felt that I was, well, a cheater.
That’s kinda what this post is about.
You see, the way I look at it, if you’re going to go and post something that causes folks to feel bad about their progression, leaping ahead without really trying, you should go the full monty.
You should really break out the total double rainbow side to side, baby.
So, let Uncle Bear tell you about the raid he went on yesterday.
The afternoon started much like any other… wandering around in WoW. In this case, I believe I was on my new Warlock alt, seeing what kind of craziness I could get up to.
I get whispered out of the blue to see if I could take an empty DPS spot in one of the raid teams in the guild.
Now, I’d been asked to raid already by my very good friends, Matheo and Hedwig, but I’d had to turn them down. The email I had said their raid time started at 8 PM, and went for about 3 hours. On Azuremyst, I’m two hours ahead of server time, so I took 8 PM, added two hours, and said thank you but no, I can’t raid with you. 10 PM to 1 AM would normally be just perfect for me, but in this special case Sunday was going to be my sons first communion. No way could I stay up til 1 AM raiding on the morning of so much preparation.
Now, here I am getting invited to a second raid for Saturday, to raid with one of the other serious raid teams.
Mind you, my total iLevel is around 342. I’m not being invited because of my stellar DPS skillz. I’m being invited because there are three kickass raid teams of ten people each in the guild, and there are simply no other unclaimed peeps. Everyone else that might be available are claimed on some other teams lockout. If one person can’t make it… well, when that happens they usually have to pug in someone to fill the raid.
I’m also getting invited simply because there were eleven signed up for the alt run raid on Thursday, and I wasn’t able to go. So, there was some kindness at work there too, which I certainly appreciated.
I’m getting invited, and hey, this was what I had hoped to be able to work towards someday. Being the guy that might not be in a regular raid team, but is able to fill in if he’s needed once in a while to help people out. And hopefully, not suck.
For this raid, I’m told the time will be from 4 PM to 7 PM server. Well heck, 6 PM to 9 PM my time, I can make that work. At least, I can this time. If Cassie feeds the cats for me at 6:30, and if we rush and get dinner done before 6:00 start time, and if we don’t go too far past 9:00. I run it by Cassie, and kind-hearted soul that she is, she lets me go ahead and be available.
So, here’s how the evening goes.
With a 3 hour raid window, I think we have time for maybe one solid shot at a raid instance. i just don’t know where we’re going.
We head to Bastion of Twilight.
I’m pretty excited, because while I’d taken part in killing Halfus, the alt run I was in didn’t clear Valiona and Theralion. Twin dragon deaths! Something to look forward to seeing, and hopefully this time I’ll live through it.
My greatest hope was that I’d see Bastion of Twilight in it’s entirety before raid time was over.
What happened instead was nothing short of amazing.
We went in and one shot Halfus, then Valiona and Theralion, the Sanctum of the Ascended, and Cho’gal. Pretty much at a dead run.
Did I live through everything? Err, no. I don’t think I did terribad, but at the same time the rest of the team moved like a well oiled machine. A machine lubed with vodka and everclear, but lubed nonetheless.
I was told who to pew pew, and when, and the more complicated stuffs were handled by those more capable at the finer elements.
You heard me right, I got carried through Bastion of Twilight and got the Achievement.
I received a very nice upgrade as well, a new necklace, the Necklace of Strife from Valiona. A raid with tons of stuff to see, and loot too? Verily, my cup be running over.
At this point, I naively thought the evening’s entertainment was done. They raid two nights on the weekend, so I figured they saved Blackwing Descent for Sunday.
Not so! Off we went to take on BWD, at top speed.
In short order Magmaw, Omnotron Defense System, Maloriak, Atramedes and Chimaeron went down.
That’s right, everything except Nefarian.
T’was at that point that the raid was called, Nefarian being held for the Sunday raid, which I, of course, would not be attending. Not just because I was busy, but also because my DPS just be too damn low. I stayed right around 12k to 15k, and that’s just not right.
So, time to go to Stormwind, and then off to bed, just as soon as I had purchased a Gnomish X-Ray Scope for my new bow, Themios the Darkbringer, which dropped on Atramedes and was passed to me with something akin to relief, with a few comments along the lines of “Hey, for once we don’t have to shard the Hunter loot.”
Yep, loot whore, one each.
So, after I got the new bow enchanted, someone said, “Okay, now for Al’Akir.”
Wait, what? We’re not done yet?
We went straight into Throne of the Four Winds, where we proceeded to finally wipe, on Conclave of Winds.
Now, don’t get me wrong. They usually have no problem one shotting Conclave of Winds.
The problem was, according to vent, a combination of poor Kissinger the Mage getting actively hacked while we were on the platforms, and of my bringing too much DPS to the raid, compared to who they normally would pug in. I was rushing them to go all out sooner than usual.
Isn’t that great? I screw the raid by trying to do my best. You can’t beat that, my friends.
Poor Kissinger. Sitting there on vent raiding, and poof, you are booted from your own account and taken over.
He got it seized back quickly and changed the password, and he talked to a GM about it, but there was little else he could do. He has an Authenticator on the way, but it’s not in yet. Talk about screaming frustration, right?
To cut it short, we beat Conclave of Winds despite some incredibly embarrassing blunders by me, and moved on to Al’Akir.
Al’Akir is an amazing encounter. Truly amazing.
I also did something I can’t ever recall doing before.
I pulled the boss while the raid leader was still telling me the strategy.
That the team almost one shot him that try anyway just says how badly they were carrying me, but, um, yeah.
See, it’s totally my fault, but at the same time, well, shit.
I turn using my mouse. I hold right-click and change facing by moving the mouse around.
Al’Akir has ONE HUGE F’ING HIT BOX.
I pointed the mouse I swear at my feet, right-clicked my mouse to look around, and shot the boss in the ass.
I’ll long remember the raid leader saying, “Make sure during phase three that when you get lightning rod you move down 10 and out 40, then WHAT THE HELL?!?!”
Yep, that was me that did that, yep!
One night. About 3.5 hours.
Bear got, on his still shiny new Hunter, blasted through every normal raid boss except Nefarian.
Umm, Fulguralis, I think at this point I should say something like, I’ll see your Omnomnomotron kill and raise you a please don’t kill me, please please please I’m sorry I’m sorry.
Not that we’re racing or anything. :)
Seriously though, what this has proved to me is one thing.
If you want to have success in raiding, having skill and gear is good, but joining a guild full of uber accomplished raiders that are willing to carry you is even better.
Okay, no, that’s not what it proved. I’m sure the more cynical would say it is, but meh.
What it proved to me is that skill and coordination and talent all play the largest roles… even to the point of a very good 9 person team being able to deal with a horrible noob and still come out on top. At least, as long as that noob ain’t a tank. Or a healer. Or one of the people needed for CC.
Now… THAT is how you’re supposed to write a post about leaping ahead in raid progression without earning a single bit of it.
I now return you to your normally scheduled blah blah BBB blah.
Oh, wait… I know what this post is missing. Screenshots!
Okay, huge blind internet dragon swooping in for the kill… poor little guy. If only he heard about Lasik Eye Surgery!
The gong show… my favorite show ever? Not really, but I always loved the Comedian in the Paper Bag. Of course, I think I was five when that show was on the air. Everything on TV is funny when you’re five, if it involves stupidity or farting.
Nezir, I think AnnCoulter would like a quick word with you… just be careful, she may be a hideous, deformed thing with a massively huge snout and ginormous mouth that roars incoherently all the time, but if she grabs onto your nuts with those teeth, it ain’t gonna be pretty.
Ahhhh, Al’Akir. You poor, poor Elemental Lord. You are huge, you are powerful, you are one of the four elemental lieutenants that had once led the armies of the Old Gods. Your power rivals that of Ragnaros himself, and you are worshipped by all that love the sky.
I’m really, really sorry about these arrows I’m about to shoot at you. I mean, the angle, what I can see here… it’s just not dignified, and I want you to know, if I had it any other way, I wouldn’t be about to do this. No, I mean it, I’m really sorry.
I’ll tell you what. Those arrows? You keep ‘em. No, really, you can have them. I don’t want those back. You just… you just hold onto those. Just please… don’t mention it. We can let them be my gift to you.
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Hi folks! Today we’re going to talk about raiding.
No, you’re not confused. Get back here! This IS the Big Bear Butt, I’m just gonna talk about raiding.
No, really. Stop laughing, damnit, I’m serious.
Last night I joined an ‘alt run’ raid in Band of Misfits – Azuremyst with my quickly rising Hunter, Beartrap.
Since I write a blog, surprise surprise, you get to read about it the day after. Hopefully, this will be more entertaining and informative than a “look at me, I raided, see my loots’ style thing.
Hopefully. I make no promises.
The alt run was done in fine Band of Misfits fashion, as in, everyone but me seemed to be drinking heavily before we even started. At least the ones on vent were. Okay, the raid leader was, and the rest didn’t seem far behind.
We started out by going to Bastion of Twilight. My first Cataclysm raid experience began with me asking, “Hey, where the hell IS Bastion of Twilight, anyway?”
Go figure, it’s in Twilight Highlands, on a platform waaaay up in the sky over that mountain all the Twilight Cultist goons hang out at.
Now, how am I supposed to be expected to know that a Twilight raid entrance was in the Twilight zone at the Twilight mountains over the Twilight Cultist hangouts? I mean seriously, who would have thought to look there? Cut me some slack.
We entered as a brave ten person group, and I proudly brought AnnCoulter the Devilsaur to display my Beast Master heritage for all and sundry. If you’re gonna piss someone off, I figure I might as well get it out of the way before we get too far in.
Surprisingly enough, nobody said anything about it. Perhaps the drinking had gone far enough that they couldn’t tell what that thing was I had with me?
We smashed our way quickly to this big platform open to the sky, and with joy I saw that there were lots and lots of internet dragons. And whelps! Oh my, this was gonna be fun.
I hurriedly checked on the most important part of my rotation… yep, my Misdirect macro was ready to go, all I had to do was add in the name of the healer and set it next to my Multi-Shot and I was all set for a Whelp fight.
Hey, you prepare your way, I’ll prepare mine.
This boss encounter turned out to be what you experienced types call Halfus Wyrmbreaker.
I’d like to tell you how I did in this one, but it went by so fast that all I remember is there were many whelps, there were internet dragons, and then there was some loot. Huzzah!
After Halfus we went to tackle the second set of bosses in BoT, a pair of dragons called Valiona and Tharalion. More internet dragons! Blizzard loves us, this I know, because the dragons tell me so…..
The raid leader gave all sorts of instructions for this fight, but it all boiled down to ‘run inside, run back out, run in circles, scream and shout’. I followed these instructions to the letter, but I kindly refrained from keying my mike during the ‘scream and shout’ portion. I was, apparently, the only one.
After two or three highly entertaining wipes and a VERY close up view of a purple dragon poop chute (Run under the tail! Run under the tail! Jeez, okay, I should at least get double crits for where I’m sticking my arrows, man, c’mon) we decided to shift direction to Blackwing Descent, and to shift our drinking to shots.
As a Hunter, I’m highly proficient in many different types of shots. I can offer up just about any kind of shot you could imagine. Except for Steady Shot, I don’t have much use for Steady Shot.
Blackwing Descent, here we come!
This time, I knew I could find the entrance. Umm, I think. Huh, not in the mountain? Really? It’s got to be in the mountain, Blackwing is always in this one damn mountain. Oh looky, I took so long they tossed me a pity summon. Sweet!
We entered, ran in and beat up Magmaw like the squirming squirtle snake thing that he is. It went by so fast that, again, I really can’t say much more about my experience than that it involved a lot of shooting, a lot of running back and forth with the rest of the ranged peoples, and a bunch of staying out of the bad. It tested my abilities to focus on shot prioritization to their limits, but I came through okay. I’m happy to report I didn’t spill a drop.
I said I didn’t have much use for Steady Shot. I never said I didn’t know how to use it.
(That’s a Quigley Down Under joke, btw. In case you’re a real hunter wondering wtf I’d be doing using Steady Shot for reals and all)
After the one shot Magmaw kill came the truly entertaining part of the evening; Omnotron Defense System.
Even I, as intentionally clueless as anyone that plays WoW can be about group raids, has heard of Omnomnomotron.
I did not know anything whatsoever about this fight before we pulled. I have tried my best, since Cataclysm was released, to remain spoiler free and worry free about the instances and raids. I know that I have to study them now that I’m going to be doing them, really study, but I wanted to stay clean as long as possible. Last night, I was as noobish as you can be about what to expect.
I was paying attention in vent to any possible instructions, and you know, damned if I recall anyone even mentioning what was gonna happen or what to do before we pulled.
That first pull was a LOT of fun!
It turns out that there ain’t just ONE critter in there… there’s bunches! And it turns out there ain’t jest one mechanic… it’s like, a collection of every ‘get out of the bad’ mechanic I’ve ever seen in the game, all rolled into one encounter, and then thrown out in stages over and over.
Shit, I had so much fun I was grinning ear to ear.
Now, we wiped the first few times, but I learned a lot.
The biggest thing I learned was that the folks who’ve programmed Deadly Boss Mods deserve some serious thanks and your money. WTF, over. I can see learning the fight and doing it without DBM, but sure as hell not without a LOT of teamwork and confusion first. And never as part of the first time walking in.
There are all sorts of things to avoid, there’s things not to step in, there are things you SHOULD step in, there are adds that spawn, there are times you really don’t want to be doing damage on the dude you were just whacking… it’s most excellent.
Okay, let me paint you a picture of what it was like from a Beartrap point of view, if you’ve never seen Omnotron before.
We walk up some stairs and stand there on a landing, looking into a large chamber, It’s all dwarven styled architecture, so square blocks and granite walls and right angle shapes.
At the far end of the room are several large stone giant statues of the kind you are used to seeing guarding dwarf areas. Think the stone golem bouncer in the Grim Guzzler, but larger. All of them seem dead or deactivated.
Okay, so we stand there, we buff up, and then the raid leader yells “Go!”
I go running in with the group, and one of the stone giants comes to life. It’s got a name. It has a health bar. It has as much health as a full raid boss all on it’s own. Therefore, this must be the infamous Omnotron, right? Funny, name says Toxitron, I must have missed something. Wow, a simple tank and spank fight? Well, okay. I’ll have to stay on my toes in case something else happens.
The stone giant dumps a cloud of green shit that hangs in the air. Okay, so get out of the green bad stuff. That’s cool. I can do that. Is that it?
Then DBM announces “Poison Protocol”, and Toxitron spews a stream of green stuff on the floor like it’s peeing on the tank. Peeing green? Ewwww. Dude, one word; penicillin.
From out of the green puddle, little green toxic oozes pop up. What, he has crabs, too? Oh look, adds! Cool, switch targeting to take down the adds. Raid leader tells people to run if they’re Fixated. I store that nugget of wisdom for later.
We’re burning him down and then DBM tells me to switch my target right the hell NOW!
Oh shit, there’s another of those stone bastards! OMIGOD HE’S GOT A GAZILLION HEALTH TOO!
Okay, this guy is throwing fire around in an AoE, and I can’t get out of it. Grrr. Hey, what the hell is that, a laser beam? GET IT OFF GET IT OFF… oh shit, I bet he blows up everyone around the target, I gotta run the hell away from everyone else…
I hear the raid leader say ‘Don’t leave the room’, so I come back into range of heals… and sure as hell, big badda boom on me, but at least I ain’t near anyone else.
DBM says to switch target right NOW! Oh shit, again?
WTF IS WITH THE HEALTH ON THESE PRICKS?!?!
Arcano… oh shit, he dropped a big purple circle on the floor, run away, run a… hey, everyone else ran INTO the circle, RUN IN, RUN IN…. oooh, damage boost! Yummy!
Lemme guess… right on time, yeah yeah, switch targets, fine, whatever… Electron? Lemme guess… yep, that there would be lightning. Chain lightning. Yawn.
Okay, what the hell is that on me, I’m sparking like an incipient blue flame generator… oh shit, that’s gonna be one of those ‘you blow up the rest of the raid near you, but you live’ kinda things, ain’t it? RUN AWAY FROM THE RAID, RUN AWAY!
Oh damn, I pooped ball lightning… oh, okay, I don’t have to run out, I can just run away from the raid and run in circles pooping lightning, I can do that. Oh, and ewwwww.
All right, we’re back on the green dude again! Okay, switching…
And then there was this big kaboom, and we wiped.
Here are a few actual mechanics things I picked up over the course of the evening, which thankfully contributed to my still being alive and useful when we downed the encounter and got our loots on the third go around.
The first thing I learned (from our first wipe) is that if you do NOT switch off of the mob you had been targeting when the next one gets activated, then what you’re doing is whittling away at the mob’s damage shield, and if you break through, the mob blows up, killing folks. So when DBM was telling me to switch, that ain’t a suggestion that your own particular raid leader might not want to follow. Nope, that’s what you do. So do eet!
In order to adjust my game to that little factoid, I made sure to HASTEN my retargeting as soon as the new mob got activated, commanded my pet to change targets just as fast, and also stopped refreshing my Serpent Sting dot at the ten second warning DBM gives you prior to the next guy activating. I didn’t want that dot ticking away at the shield. I also made sure to fire off my Explosive Trap at the beginning of each activation so it would have faded before it was bubble time. DoTs ticking away at shield = not good.
The second thing I learned was, the four things share health. You do not want to stay on one that’s almost gone and ride it down and hope the bubble doesn’t pop… you switch targets. They all have one big shared health pool. Hey, that wasn’t readily apparent the first go around, and knowing it made me breathe a sigh of relief.
The third thing I learned was it’s very, very good that I was burning down the adds. It looked like they did hellacious damage if they hit who they were fixated on. Oh yeah, didn’t I mention? Those oozes weren’t just random adds. They all fixate on someone like a guided missile, little green bombs, and they slowly make their way towards their targets. Burn them bad boys down.
That purple circle Arcano drops? Yep, good to stand in, bad to leave boss in. Note to self, watch fer those suckas and love the extra damage.
We wiped a few times, and you know how I finally found the entrance to the raid? By following a long, long, LONG stream of dead players all making their way back up to the landing. Must have been a rough night, man.
We killed ‘em all and sorted the loot, and I walked away from the fight with a shiny new Voltage Source Chestguard. Oh wow, raid loots!
Now, if you expected a real guide to any of this, well, sorry to disappoint. I was having fun flying by the seat of my pants.
If you really want a serious guide to this encounter, you’re not going to find it here. Instead, I’d recommend you pay a visit to Tankspot, the home of some truly wonderful narrated video guides. Now that I’m stopping my intentional ignoring of strats and spoiler videos, you’ll be able to find me there. That’s my first stop for resources on how things work and what to expect.
Aside from researching individual boss and mechanic functions on Wowhead, of course.
Have a great weekend everyone, get out and see Thor! It was awesome!
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With the difficulties of the new Heroics being the topic of the day on many blogs and popular websites, and discussions on tanking and healing and threat and crowd control flaring up like nasty little brushfires, there’s something that’s been revived to go right along with it.
I’m talking about the word ‘casual’ being used to mean ‘not as skilled as me’.
We’ve gone over this ground, people. Over it and over it and over it.
I had thought we’d beaten that horse to death.
No, really. Hell, I thought we led the horse out of the barn, beat it to death, raised it from the dead in a terrible ritual under the light of the new moon, beat it to death again, and then fed what was left to the sharks. Then fed the sharks to the seals.
Then we blew up the seals, boiled the oceans, nuked the coral beds, filled it all in with asphalt and gravel and held a “pave the earth’ party to celebrate.
But nooo…. here we go again.
I even saw it in a recent post by Fox Van Allen on WoW Insider, and I know darn well he knows better.
It’s insidious, and not in a darthy way.
It seems to creep up on otherwise perfectly normal people, people who for whatever reason start using the term.
Not everyone that uses it buys into the whole idea that if you don’t live every waking moment in a raiding guild, you’re a scrub with no skills, easily flustered by any instance or raid that requires teamwork, coordination, knowledge of class abilities and talent. But using that term makes you come off as if you did.
So, hopefully for the last time, but I won’t hold my breath.
Time spent playing past a certain point DOES NOT EQUAL SKILL. Time spent playing in a raiding guild DOES NOT EQUAL SKILL.
SKILL EQUALS SKILL.
Just because a person can follow the directions of a raid leader while raiding, with the advantages that voice communications over Ventrilo brings, with clearly delineated roles and duties assigned to them, does not in any way mean that same person can play well while in a group of strangers, using solid personal judgment, displaying skill and timing in the proper use of class abilities, and following a stranger’s lead without copping an attitude because the tank doesn’t have a ‘kingslayer’ as a title.
You can develop solid skill regardless of the amount of actual time you spend in the game raiding. Identifying your classes’ abilities, seeking out personal opportunities to practise those skills, and being clued in and able to turn a seconds’ crisis into an opportunity to ROCK does not require spending 20 hours a week plugged in.
What it requires is the dedication to be the best that you can be, the intelligence to know to identify what your class can do in advance of needing it, the wisdom to research the methods others have used to accomplish those things to find multiple ways and means, and the patience to go out and do it yourself with the time you have available.
From that point, it takes practise and the development of personal skill.
The only thing a player can not acquire without spending tons of time in a raiding guild is actual direct experience of the content of the day… something that many such skilled players overcome as best they can through watching videos of raiding guilds working through that same content, and reading strategy guides for individual bosses. Tankspot has long been a great source for these kinds of training and guidance videos.
So, can people please pull their heads out of their collective asses and stop using the term ‘casual’ to mean idiot, scrub, noob, moron or loser?
If you want to call someone an idiot, use the term idiot. God knows I’ve met a million of them from leet raiding guilds, people who have long grown used to substituting brute force and high gear levels for finesse and skill.
I hate to break it to some of you, but if you’re an idiot, you’re an idiot, and no amount of time spent being carried by a really good raiding guild will change that, any more than any amount of practise or trained leet skills will get a player awesome epic loot if that person never runs in a single raid.
Casual doesn’t automatically mean idiot any more than raider means skilled. Get over it.
If you have to use a term to describe the influx of poor players that are emerging in the level 85 Heroic pugging scene, how about you use “immature” or “bloody damn asshat wanting to be carried instead of having to think and play well for a change”. As descriptions go, they’re far more accurate.
Immature can be used in a sentence such as the following; “Boy, I was really excited when my pug dungeon finally popped after waiting in queue for 45 minutes, but it all fell apart when the immature tank dropped group in the middle of the first pull for no reason whatsoever. What an asshole.”
See what I did there? I used immature instead of casual, because casual would have been an unwarranted assumption on playing time I have no actual data to make, but immature is factual, based on my direct observations of the asshole in question.
Are there any further questions?
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