Archive for the “Recap” Category

This last week, I’ve been running frequent random Twilight heroic instances in search of a weapon upgrade for a certain Death Knight Cub.

Alas, the drops have not been forthcoming in terms of weapons, but Valor and Justice are always welcome. Alex turned to me yesterday and announced he bought a Wooly Mammoth!

Yep, tooling around Dalaran, he spotted the Exotic Mounts vendor and checked out the wares on sale. Imagine his astonishment when he found you could buy a Wooly Mammoth to ride as a mount, and instead of costing gold, they cost Justice Points! He happened to have over 3000 Justice Points at the time, so one impulse buy later, he’s huge and hairy riding something huge and hairy.

Speaking of bears on camels, oh wait, that was my run with Precious and Soft. That’s for a different story.

So really speaking of huge and hairy, as I was saying, I’ve been tanking up the heroics for the insta-queue thing.

I thought I’d seen it all, but last night actually gobsmacked me, left me flabbergasted, boggled my brain and blew my cool.

It was wild, man.

We gathered up an all-guild run for a random Twilight Heroic, with Alex on his Death Knight, Cassie whacking all the things on her Shaman, BB throwing the red fire on his Mage and Ursi healing on his Priest from the Hellscream server.

I, of course, was bringing the butt.

The instance we got was Hour of Twilight, which elicited a groan from me. No weapon drops coming from THAT son of a bandersnatch!

Ah, well. Maybe next time.

As I bounced from place to place in true poohtigger style (you can call it Bearcatting all you’d like, I know who I draw my inspiration from), the comment was made that bears bouncing all the time must be a guild thing, since so many of our guild Bears do it.

I made some throwaway smartass remark about having done it for years and years now, as it’s the only way to exercise those rear haunches. Big butts are all well and good, but those legs have got to be strong to launch me into the fray. A wimpy Feral Charge would be a terrible thing, just terrible.

Apparently, my remark taunted the Priest. Sigh.

We blasted through in good time to the final boss, and gathered around while we waited for Archbishop Benedictus to shut up and give us go time.

Was I bouncing as I waited?

NO.

No, I couldn’t bounce as per Standing Order: Bear #1369, though, because that bastard Ursi abused the Priestly powers granted to him for no other reason than to prevent our bouncing.

When I ran into the chamber under Dragonshrine, Ursi cast Levitate on me, and then on every other member of the party including himself.

No bouncing! There was no bouncing! I wanted to turn around and say to Thrall, “There’s no bouncing with Benedictus! Thrall, there’s no bouncing! Make it stop!”

He did this with enough time to waste that we were able to comment on how I looked freaking cool bear paddling through the air. Cassie transformed into Ghost Wolf and we noted it looked like her wolf was standing on a flat plane of air rather than doggie paddling. There was plenty of time to pass for the posturing pontiff to propose the primacy of powa, the pontificating prick.

Being in this cooldown period, and having nothing at all to cause damage to pop the Levitate off me, I let it go and shifted to caster form. As soon as we got to about 12 seconds before the boss activates, I popped Bear (Furor +10 rage) and then Enrage (+20 rage +10 over time and prevents Rage decay) so I’d be all up and ready to throw down the bigbuttbeatdown.

What followed was instant epic karma.

The WoW gods are clearly Bears, for never before have I seen such sinister, swift justice to a misguided miscreant.

It all started with a Levitate, and went straight down to hell.

We’re all floating around Archbishop Benedictus, I’ve shifted out and in and have Enrage ticking and I’ve got my Rage bar full enough to get it going.

Boss goes active, I start with a Mangle to set the Bleed, Feral Faerie Fire, Lacerate stack going. My Tidy Plates/Threat Plates addon is solidly in the green. All is right in the Bear tanking world. My rage bar is filling nicely from all the damage I’m doing.

Except the boss isn’t facing ME, he’s facing Cassie and his back is to me! 

I’m trying to move him to the side in preparation for the waves and he ain’t going, but my bars are all green, so I should have solid threat, and he doesn’t have one of those “ignore the tank” mechanics, and WTF is going on? Cassie is a badass doing 28k – 30k DPS, but who the wha the how the fuh fuh fuh fuh

I use Growl to taunt, nothing, I’m doing the “Well DPS harder, damnit” thing,s no dice, I’m still green Threat Plates across the board but Cassie is on vent saying she has aggro, get it off me naow, what kind of fail tank are you, Ursi is healing Cass for all he’s worth, BB and Alex both die from lack of heals when the wave comes through, and it’s just freaking chaos, and I’M STILL FLOATING.

I was still floating.

I was still floating as the party died around me, Growl and Challenging Roar did nothing. My attacks all caused damage exactly as normal, but they seemed to have no Threat component at all. Nothing. But Threat Plates clearly thought I was generating Threat just fine. KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!

All I could do was float there, watch folks scramble, and search frantically among 20 little buff icons under my portrait for the Levitate one to click the damn thing off.

By the time I clicked it off, there was just Cassie and me left standing. Wimps.

We killed the boss, of course, I mean, Bear and Enhancement Shaman, c’mon. Chomp chomp.

That was the single freakiest thing I have ever seen on live. I’ve tanked that powa-ful idiot many, many times and I’ve never seen that happen.

In fact, I’ve done it so many times I’ll admit I was complacent and horsing around. I wasn’t taking him seriously. It was a point of pride in my skillz that of course I’d be full of Rage and ready to pop a claw in his skull the second he came off rant, but that was just because it’s that thang I do. It wasn’t out of fear of losing aggro or anything.

Woke my ass right up.

So of course, the only thing to do was get on my Priest, queue for an Hour of Twilight immediately, take a full PUG group in (Death Knight tank) and Levitate everyone at the same point on the Archbishop just to see what would happen.

It wasn’t to be mean, it was FOR SCIENCE!

Sigh. Nothing out of the ordinary. We won, no excitement, no screams or panic-filled chases. Bummer dude.

I don’t know whether there was some weird confluence of Talents and Abilities that just happened to create the conditions for a perfect bug, but I think I know what the real cause was.

The Bear Gods really did frown on Ursi preventing me from bouncing. And they took swift and powaful justice on the offender.

Let this be a lesson to you all.

Does a Bear bounce in a PUG?

YES

And don’t you even THINK of trying interfere. You’ve been warned.

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Please note, there has been an update to be found at the bottom of this article on April 14th, 2012.

So, you know how I was amazed at how bad that LFR run in Dragon Soul was as a healer?

Yeah. Second round was even worse. I blame Red, I went in for more healer gear.

What we had tonight could have been a good run, except for one thing.

A single player held the fun of 24 other souls hostage… and that players name was Dalra.

Yes, that says Dalra of Icecrown US. 

Would you like to see a picture of Dalra, proud enhancement shaman, in action on the Spine of Deathwing?

Just in case that is difficult to make out, here, let me zoom out a bit.

There in the center you can see the raid group on the Hideous Amagamations in the center, up and down the line.

And there, up in the upper right hand corner, you can see Dalra, all on her own, killing a tentacle. As an Enhancement Shaman. All there, all alone, killing tentacles. Spawning adds. Lots and lots of adds.

You see that title she has? Destroyer’s End? Yep. Solid Enhancement Shaman DPS. Dual wielding, got 4 piece tier, yay.

Too bad she queued as a HEALER.

The whole Spine of Deathwing fight, Dalra did nothing except single-handedly destroy tentacles, spawning endless waves of Hideous Amalgamations and the bloods that follow.

And here is something I didn’t know. If all the tentacles are dead, a new tentacle spawns, so there is no chance of your ever accidentally killing every Hideous Amalgamation and being left with no way to nuclear blast the plates off to expose the tentacle.

I. Did. Not. Know. That.

But now I do, and I have Dalra to thank for that. So, thanks!

24 people in a raid trying their best to win and move on, and those 24 people are subject to the whims of one person, a person who has the achievement and the title of having completed it on normal, who knows what it is they are doing, and who chooses to try and screw everyone else intentionally.

For fun, I guess.

And there is nothing anyone can do about it. that is the point of this post. Once the boss is pulled, that’s it. The group has no control in any way over the outcome from that point on.

You’re done. Wipe it or push on, beat it despite them, and give them their ‘fair’ chance at loot.

Once that boss is pulled, that player is free to do whatever the hell they want for the rest of the fight.

I want to be clear on this.

The issue is not Dalra. Dalra is nothing.

Nothing unusual or special or even especially irritiating went on tonight. If Dalra logged off with warm fuzzies knowing they got a second Deathwing Axe and relic drops tonight (according to the Armory) by queueing as a healer for insta-queues, doing enhance DPS while the group was down a healer, and even intentionally screwing people by trying to wipe the run if what she wanted didn’t drop… well, most people didn’t even notice.

Apathy and expectations are so low at this point that nobody really cared. It was just faceless, nameless asshat number 45862. As the picture shows, the tone of comments weren’t outrage, just tired acceptance. “No joke, I’m tired of morons in LFR.” That’s not nerd rage, that’s apathy and acceptance that stupid is just stupid.

We went on with some other faceless clown in LFR, and finished the run. Most people, I imagine, don’t even realize that it was on purpose. They are probably so used to stupid people by now, that if anything, they just pegged Dalra as being another in a long chain of incredibly stupid players, and went on with their lives.

I know better, because after Monday night I went into Spine looking at all the tentacles to see if I could identify another asshat and get some screenshots for my own fun. AND I DID. I watched while healing my whack-a-mole frames, as Dalra didn’t even start on the normal group tentacle. Right from the start, they went to an untouched one, destroyed it very fast, went to the next, destroyed it, and so on until all four were dead. Then kept killing tentacles as they respawned. Then, when the first plate lifted, killed more tentacles. As fast as they could pop.

There was no mistake, no confusion. It was a dedicated attempt by Dalra to wipe a raid from the second it triggered Spine. And I caught it early, notified everyone, began asking for Dalra to stop right away. There was nothing anyone could do to stop her. Just watch, and do our best to heal and kill.

If anything, anyone in the guild Shining Star Crusaders should feel ashamed that Dalra is carrying your torch, representing you. I don’t know anything about Shining Star Crusaders, maybe it’s a guild on Icecrown famous for shenanigans and being trolling asshats. Maybe it’s just some dude in a basement that is so ineffectual in real life that they have to do stuff like this to feel some kind of connection with someone else. Some kind of desperate bid for attention, any kind of attention, to rise out of the meaningless morass that is their pathetic excuse for a life, something to try and prevent themselves from feeling so cold and alone in a world that hates them. And they’ve got a personal guild full of their alts. I don’t really care.

My take is as likely to be accurate as anyones, and mine at least is based on personal experience seeing one of their guild members at play when they didn’t know they were being watched somewhere that it might turn up in public later.

Update: Some folks in reading this thought it was an actual slam on the guild mentioned. I thought I had stressed in the post, fairly bluntly, that I was speculating wildly on the kind of guild that had Dalra as a member, while at the same time knowing nothing whatsoever about the truth of the guild. That I was speculating like this or ‘musing aloud’ to prove the point that Dalra was serving as my only window on the kind of guild SSC might be, because in LFR cross-server activities, I didn’t have any way of knowing anyone in that guild prior to seeing one memeber in LFR be an asshat, which is entirely UNLIKE the old style single-server runs where guilds could form lasting recognizable reputations. In point of fact, after this post went live and word about Dalra got out, SSC took immediate action, removed Dalra from their roster, and took further action to make it clear that kind of behavior was not representative of their guild in real life. Clearly, in real life the guild SSC is not actually a single kid in a basement. Some of the responses (on each side) also showed me pretty clearly that a lot of people fail at reading comprehension. At least, they do where imagined insults and direct attacks are concerned. End of update, I now return you to the original post.

Dalra is not important. This post isn’t really about Dalra.

I am simply USING Dalra as my little bitch to make a point about an extremely serious issue in live LFR.

There needs to be a check on anti-group asshats after the boss is pulled.

There has to be a way to remove or curtail intentional trolling or flagrant wipe behavior.

“But Bear”, I hear you cry, “You can’t let people boot other players once the boss is engaged, people might kick them right before the loot rolls like in the bad old days of Argent Tournament.”

To that I say, I don’t care anymore. If it salves your conscience, let them have their roll at loot if they were in the group after the boss was pulled, so long as they were kicked and not disconnected or left of their own free will. Maybe require 10 people to all click “Accept”.

But you have to give us some options here. This shit isn’t even remotely funny. This one person tried to cause intentional mental anguish to 24 other people. Whether anyone else in the group felt strongly affected, or if they just blew it off and kept going, the intent was the same.

We asked Dalra not to kill the tentacles, we begged them, we told them they were kicked the second we wiped if they didn’t stop. They did it anyway, with grim dedication, and in total silence. No taunting, no smack talk, just a dedicated pursuit of wiping the raid.

And when we wiped, we did not kick them, because they left the second we wiped.

We queued, and Dalra was added back to the raid. And left on her own. And was added back. And again. AND AGAIN!

The LFR raid finder KEPT RETURNING DALRA BACK TO THE RAID, because Dalra had succeeded in wiping us once, knew we were going to kick her, so had left on her own and requeued AS A HEALER to find a new raid to screw over.

So, since they hadn’t been kicked from us, we kept getting her right back. Five times, in and left, in and left, with the raid in growing amazement at the way the system was being played.

We finally stopped queueing and did it short a healer.

That’s not just stupid, that’s broken.

Blizzard, anyone out there, I know you care, I know you’re trying.

Please. Just take action, let us find out what it is after you’ve got a plan, but fix this. To have asshats free to wreak havok to this extent on a raid is an embarrassment.

Updated (April 14th 2012): I have had two emails from the purported guild leader of Shining Star Crusaders stating that Dalra was a member for only 4 days, and regardless is now gone from the guild. The guild leader is emphatic about wanting to have the name of their guild dissassociated with Dalras action while a part of their guild, and I certainly don’t blame them.

If you are following this article, or have come here from a followed link, please be aware that there is no character named Dalra that is a current member of the guild Shining Star Crusaders according to WoW Armory, and please do not direct any unprofessional or inappropriate comments to the guild members. 

Thank you for your consideration.

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Last night felt like a very, very long night.

I raided for what felt like hours.

Hold on, it really was hours. It really only felt like minutes. The time just sped away on the wings of angels.

Evil little raiding angels with black wings taking delight in the death of online baddies, but angels nonetheless.

After my last post about the LFR difficulty issues, I had some thoughts on how someone who wasn’t a raider could try to take advantage of the fluctuating skill situation.

My thinking was pure speculation, but it went kinda like this;

If I was a raider, then I would know my scheduled raids were coming up. I’d want to be as powerful as I could for the raid. Therefore, I’d want to get my mains into the LFR as soon as I could after a reset, so that I could get my first shot at any ‘free’ upgrades, and get them all gemmed and enchanted and reforged (and transmogrified) before raid time, whenever that may be. 

Some guilds do raid on Tuesday night right after the reset. Those folks might have changed to using the LFR Tuesday night, or they might not.

Why change to an LFR Tuesday? If they raided Dragon Soul normal before the LFR, they might send a good upgrade to a person that proceeded to get a comparable item (at a slightly lower level) the very next night, a wasted opportunity to benefit the team as a whole.

If tank A just got a 384 tier shoulder, do you give a tier shoulder from normal mode to the same tank the very next night, or do you spread it to the other tank instead who is still wearing 378s?

The way I figure it, however the guilds are raiding, the majority of leading-edge progression gamers would probably try to get in on the LFR Tuesday night after the reset to get their ‘free’ upgrades, maybe Wednesday, and be as powerful as possible going into their ‘real’ raiding for the week.

Now, more pure speculation, those same raiding guilds would probably end up queueing as groups instead of piecemeal, since they don’t like idiots any more than casual players do, and bringing your own tank/healers has always been a time-honored method of reducing the chances of failure. Or annoyance that affects performance, anyway. I’m not saying an entire raid team would queue as one, just that the likelihood seems high to me that folks that raid together and know each other well would probably be able to find five buddies online at a given moment to queue with.

Plus, it’s more fun to scoff at other players when you’ve got a group of like-minded friends to hear your snarkiness. I know that’s how I roll.

That was my thinking.

How to put it into action?

If I, as a non-raider, wanted my best chance at playing with serious, talented people in LFR instead of idiots and offensive asshats that spend more time typing hate than targeting adds, then I would want to queue up Tuesday night.

A theory is just a theory until it gets tested. Accordingly, I went into LFR last night to see what it would be like.

I ran the Dragon Soul LFR three times last night, back to back. I played on my Warrior for the first wing, and then on my Hunter for the first and second wings.

Every group went smooth. Every group had complete success. Through the entire night, there was only one wipe.

The first run of the evening had myself, Cassie and two fellow guildies. The rest of the group was composed of non-guilded random people.

There was a little confusion on colors, the whole “green ooze does not aoe in LFR, you don’t have to prioritize it” thing that keeps throwing people used to studying normal mode. Our one wipe came from haste. In the future, mister strange tank, please try not to pull the boss while you rush across the big open space to get to the next trash pull. Shortcuts are fine, shortcuts THROUGH the big boss-circle-area on the floor, not so much. ‘kay?

Even with that, it was a far cry from the runs of just the night before, where everyone had a chip on their shoulder and felt the need to belittle everyone else rather than, oh, you know, do their own part. Unless typing a lot of bullshit equates to skill. /sarcasm.

There were two more runs for me that night, and on each run more members of our guild’s raid teams joined in. Or drove it forward, as the case may be.

I felt some of the raiders out a little, and got some comments along the lines of, “I want to knock the LFR out now so I have any loot before we raid.”

Anecdotal evidence, granted, but clearly there are some raiders right in my own guild that were certainly thinking, “Get in, get it done, get gone.”

Those last two runs?

The first one was the first wing again, smooth and clean. About ten guildies, plus random scattered people. At one point, Baddmojo the guild figurehead and raiding Rogue from Team Wanda broke over 52k DPS. Intentionally. Yes, that is a five and a two, followed by ‘k’, and it doesn’t stand for karat. Yes, I do feel that any character breaking 52,000 DPS on a single boss fight is overpowered and ridiculous. What frightens me is the idea that once raiders really get cooking in Dragon Soul Heroic, 52k might seem… quaint.

The second wing raid was more interesting. We were now in Azuremyst evening prime time for gaming, and we queued with about twelve guildies all together for it, including one tank and three healers.

The raid group we got was forged of just three guild groups.

Seriously. There were three guilds represented in the raid, almost no solo players.

The run was so smooth it went even easier than the first wing.

It became clear early on that the entire raid was formed of experienced raiders knocking the LFR out early.

It was my first time completing the entire second wing from start to finish as one raid. I have seen the middle two encounters a few times, but that was always as a replacement for people bailing in a failing group.

The tone of the discussion in vent was mostly amazement and disbelief that nobody did x stupid, or died to y from not moving out of the fire, or targeted the wrong mob, or ran the wrong way, or whatever.

It was one night, and maybe it was a fluke. But I have to compare the runs last night with the ones scattered over the last week and weekend, and there is no comparison in quality.

Last night just was… nicer, and far FAR more professional.

Not serious, just… no stupid bullshit.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a story that Yalani shared in guild chat the other night, a story about Yalani’s Priest and LFR. The name of Yalani’s Priest has been concealed to ensure the story will continue to have a happy, repeatable, ending.

Turns out, Yalani was in the LFR, doing the first wing.

There was this asshat in the raid, I’m sure that comes as a complete surprise to you, who kept typing elitist smack during the run. You know the kind of thing only too well, I’m sure. Constant criticism and offensive bullshit heaped on others. 

The raid progresses through the bosses until they are on the last boss of the wing, Hagara the Stormbinder.

For those of you that haven’t done the encounter yet, at one point Hagara will stand in the middle of the vast circular platform and channel the Frozen Tempest. Hagara hides in a Watery Bubble, four pylons form at equidistant staitionary intervals along the outskirts of the platform, and four equidistant lines form that transform into Waves of Ice that travel in a clockwise direction around the platform.

If you get hit by an Ice Wave, you take a shitload of damage and, generally, you die. 

Ice Waves are considered extremely easy to avoid. Before the waves form Hagara shoots red beams out to clearly show where they’re gonna be. At that point, you’ve got lots of warning to move your ass to a point in between any two lines.

No, really. When the Ice Waves form and begin moving, you can easily stay right in the middle of two waves, running around the rim of the platform. If you have some form of run speed enchant on your boots, it’s extremely easy. Just run around, destroying pylons as you come across them, and when the last pylon falls the Ice Waves vanish.

It is SO easy for someone prepared for the fight to avoid the Ice Waves that whenever someone new to the run dies by being hit by one, the asshats in the raid WILL mock them and call them stupid, noobs, morons, and all that other stuff. It’s one of those things people like to use to show disgust, as if they were born already knowing to avoid the Ice Waves, and as if it wasn’t the responsiblity of the experienced to make sure the raid is prepared for the encounter and questions are answered before pulling.

So, back to the story.

The raid is fighting Hagara, the Ice Waves form, and the raid starts running around the circle.

Yalani hangs back near an Ice Wave and Life Grips the asshat to her.

Asshat gets hit by Ice Wave and instantly dies.

Said death by Ice Wave is noticed by all, but not why. Immediately, all the OTHER elitists that like to mock people (but not nearly to the extent this one asshat did) just tear him a new one for being a stupid noob dying to the Ice Wave.

Asshat descends into frothy-mouthed nerdrage.

I like to actually picture the asshat seated at his (or her) computer (in his or her mom’s basement, of course), literally frothing in rage.

Well done. Well done indeed.

This is officially my favorite thing of the expansion.  Not the patch, the expansion.

Thank you, Yalani. Thank you OH so much for that. May you continue to bring swift internet justice to asshats on Hagara, and cause them to tread oh-so-lightly in the presence of any Priest they encounter from that point forward.

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The new boss is up and smoking in Baradin Hold, and his name be Occu’thar.

This be what he looks like alive;

And this be what he looks like all deaded and stuffs;

Now, let’s say for a moment that you’re a Druid trying to go all Feathery on Occu’thars’ butt.

For the people doing DPS, there are two things to be real careful of; staying the hell out of the big red circles on the floor (Focused Fire), and being set to drop massive AoE on the Eyes of Occu’thar.

See, the big dog randomly picks somebody and does a Focused Fire that stays on where that player had been standing, burns for a second, then spawns a large red stationary circle (12 yard radius) at it’s gaze point, a circle that does 35k+ damage per second, for several seconds. Needless to say, anybody standing in the bad gets eaten alive.

The other thing he does, is he casts the Eyes of Occu’thar, which spawns one eyeball per player in the room; the eyes travel to each player in a cloud, stick on the heads of the players dealing damage as they burrow in, and then once they are done (10 seconds), they detonate, doing Shadow damage to everyone. If all the Eyes detonate, they are doing cumulative damage. It’s a wipe. You can survive one Eye, say the one on the tank as long as the tank doesn’t currently have the 100% Shadow damage debuff from Searing Shadows.

Before the Eyes get cast, you want everyone but the tank of the moment to be all huddled up close, and you’ve got about 9 seconds to blast the shit out of those eyeballs before running like hell, because immediately after the Eyes pop he’s gonna shoot that Focused Fire right where you’re standing.

You want to have somebody or some place marked that you’re all going to fall in on, someplace close to the melee, so everyone know that when it’s time to deal with Eyeballs, we be moving to ‘x’. We had a big blue square over a melee DPS player for our fall-in mark. We tried a stationary mark on the floor first, but since the doggie likes to cast Focused Fire on you, that meant if the Focused Fire was on the mark, we didn’t have a second fall-in point to run to.  With a melee marked for us to fall in on, the other melee didn’t have very far to run to stack up. All this means is that, with the tanks swapping the big dog back and forth between them due to the Searing Shadows breath debuff, the melee will keep shifting position at least a little. If the Focused Fire circle drops on a melee, you’ll be shifting your movement a lot.

But it worked, damn it, it worked.

So, this is basically what he does.

When you pull him, he’ll do a Focused Fire on somebody. Everybody starts all spread out, using /range with a 12 yard distance if DBM doesn’t have it set up for you yet. That way, when it picks somebody, there is just one person hustling to get out of the circle before it goes boom.

Very shortly after that very first Focused Fire, he casts the Eyes of Occu’thar. Everybody that can, fall in on your marked spot. As soon as the cloud of eyes descend upon you, blast the shit out of them. Then, SCATTER! The first of two Focused Fires that follow each Eye summons will immediately (and I mean immediately) begin. I mean right the heck NOW!

You get away from the Focused Fire circle, continue DPSing the boss. Stay spread out. After a short break, the second Focused Fire cast since the Eyes spawned will appear. You are now safe to immediately fall into position on your Eyes AoE mark, there will not be another Fire before the Eyes are cast. When the Eyes appear, AoE them fast, then scatter again before the next Focused Fire of the cycle hits.

Rinse and repeat. It goes 1 Focused Fire, then a repeatable sequence of; Eyes of Occu’thar summoned, first immediate Focused Fire, delay of a few seconds, second Focused Fire, then stack up for the Eye sequence, then begin again.

There is almost exactly 1 minute between the very beginning of the first Eye summons and midway through the second Eye summons. I know this, because I cast Starfall (1 minute cooldown) in the middle of the first Eye spawn, and it still had 1 second cooldown remaining at the end of the second Eye summons.

As a Moonkin, I understandably felt under the gun to deliver some AoE here. You keep hearing how awesome Moonkin AoE can be. You just have little margin for error, you’ve got to burn all those Eyes down fast.

When the Eyes spawn, you’ve got about 9 seconds that the little bastards have to be dead before you’re running from Focused Fire. You do not have time to screw around with tab-targeting and Moonfire/Insect Swarm. You have to have a clear tactical plan in place for what to cast, when, and why.

As things began, I quickly pushed my Eclipse bar into a Solar Eclipse, to gain powerful Wild Mushroom effects. I am currently, stupidly, specced for Lunar Shower, dumbass that I am, so I couldn’t spam my Sunfire like I should’ve on the boss between Eye phases. Why? Because my Moonfire/Sunfire would give me Lunar Energy and push me out of Solar Eclipse.

I tried using all sorts of other spells, like pushing my Starfire a lot, and what I found out was my mana currently can’t handle my all out DPSing the boss AND doing AoE, because I have to use Hurricane each time. I had to carefully eke out my Starfires and Insect Swarms, so as to regain some mana before each Eye.

As I said, I pushed into Solar Eclipse, kept some DPS up on the boss, and waited until Focused Fire was done and we knew the Eyes were next. I started positioning my Wild Mushrooms on the fall-in mark, recasting them on the fly if we needed to adjust. As soon as the Eyes were summoned, I fired Starfall to get the cooldown started in anticipation of the next round, detonated my Mushrooms, backed off a step and kicked off a Glyphed Typhoon (does larger AoE with no knockback), and then I used Hurricane to channel them down the rest of the way.

Then, I ran like hell, of that I can assure you.

Hurricane eats so much mana it’s a sin to use, but there is a reason we have it; sometimes, you just need AOE and everything is on cooldown, and you don’t have time to recast three Mushrooms. 

I really should never have been specced into that Lunar Shower, that kept me from using Sunfire on the boss, and that was a lot of lost DPS.

Every wipe we had was from failure to clear 100% of the Eyes within 9 seconds. Wild Mushrooms just do too much damage in Solar Eclipse to let it fall off. The best solution that I can see is to drop Lunar Shower, and practise the timing on popping Starfall, Mushroom Detonate, Typhoon, and then rapid-casting three more Mushrooms and seeing if the Detonate is off cooldown in time to use it. I really don’t think there are enough GCDs in there to do all that in 9 seconds, but right now I’m too tired to try.

Still, we did it, Occu’thar is dead tonight at the hands of two different Band of Misfits raid teams, and it felt like a solid win.

I hope that all of you enjoyed or will enjoy similar success this week, and dear lord, I pray that you don’t try to pug that. It is enough to break the strong and drown entire cities in the tearful cries of “Get the hell out of the red! No, you’ve got to burn the eyes! Stop DPSing the boss, and kill the EYES! FUCK your damage meters!”

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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.

It’s WONDERFUL!!!

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!

Wait, what?

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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