Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Twilight Destroyed

So... Last night my guild *Stands In Bad* and myself finally, on our 3rd week of semi-halfharted last minute attempts (no... that's not fair... we spent the entire night fighting him last night, and probably 2 hours previously) finally took it to Barney and gave him what for.

Yep... That's me dying at the same time Halion did... LOL oh well. We killed him and that's all that matters. How did I die? Well, I was the shadow realm tank, of course. I got so spazzed at seeing him below 100k health I turned him too fast and stepped right into a damn shadow cutter... hahahah oh well.

Now, i'm not going to post a full on strategy for fighting Halion, because that's longer than I want my usual posts to go, but I do want to give a few pointers to anyone who might be tanking in the shadow realm.

After you enter the portal at the start of p2, turn him so he's not facing it. There's nothing worse than having 7 people enter behind you right as Halion cleaves or shadow breaths, insta-killing 3 people.

Watch the orbs at all times... Whether cutters are out or not. What we ended up doing was simply rotating him the entire time in p2, so he was always in the same relative position to me, the cutters, and the DPS/Healers. This took a few tries to perfect, but I found a great point of reference where one orb along the back was right near my spell timers (in the top right corner if you look at the image) it would almost never hit me, and was really nowhere near my DPS.

If you're NOT a tank, for the love of god don't leave a soul consumption within melee range of Halion. This wasn't a *big* problem per se, but it was something that did happen a couple times. While I was rotating him, I had to turn him extra fast a couple of times so I could run through a big gaping pit of nasty on the ground. That's extra damage the tank shouldn't take, and it can be avoided.

Disc priests are <3. Seriously.. We have one priest who's dual specced holy and disc, as well as a resto druid in the shadow realm. I first thought "Go holy! That'll help with the tree deal with all the AOE damage people take in the shadow realm!"... Which it did, but it was countered by the fact that without the love of a good disc bubble, i was taking probably 1.5x the damage I normally would. And i'm a well geared tank too... but MAN was I Taking a shit ton of damage. After about our 4th wipe we had him go back to disc and all was right with the world again. Make no mistake, I was still taking a lot of damage, but holy shit the difference between a disc priest and a holy priest is just immeasurable.

And finally, my last little bit of advice...
Don't watch his health bar too much. Seriously... If you wipe the raid at 2% because you spazzed from seeing him get low health and think "We're finally gonna do it this time!", and step into a shadow cutter you will be picked on for it. My raid was amazingly understanding at the time, and sure enough our next attempt was the killshot... but still. I could've absolutely self-immolated for that mess.

Halion's a hard fight. If you're too used to that ICC buff you'll wonder where the fuck your DPS numbers went... where your health bar went... where your big heals went, etc. But aside from all that, it requires a LOT more cohesion and situational awareness as a group than all but the toughest of ICC normal mode fights... and some of the heroics too. It's definitely harder to tank (in the shadow realm at least) than any normal-mode fight in ICC is... even The Lich King.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Is the honeymoon over?

Ugh.. My apologies ahead of time to anyone who sees my post in your feeds as a blank post or anything like that... I accidently hit "enter" after typing the title, and apparently that defaults to "publish post" on here.. silly Anyway...

Today's title comes from something one of my guildies asked me a couple weeks back. A little background information is probably in order. Back when I first joined my current guild *Stands In Bad* I remember talking to this very same person (an officer, I should probably mention) about what an amazing experience it was, how much fun I had had raiding with them, and how glad I was that I decided to bring my druid over to that server. Since then, i've become the official raid leader for the guild, and an officer in my own right. So, a couple weeks back after a frustrating night of raiding... and wiping on things we had no business wiping on, he posed this question "So, is the honeymoon over?"

I found myself stopping to think about it for a bit. My gut reaction was to instantly say "no" because I didn't want him to think I wasn't genuinely enjoying raiding with them, or regretting spending the money to transfer a couple toons to this server, or anything like that. I don't even remember exactly what I said to him at the time. But it's really kind of an interesting question, if you stop to ponder it for a minute. How many of you have joined a guild or a raid group, REALLY enjoyed yourself for a few weeks and then found yourself getting bored or looking for another group? I know I've done it before. I bounced around to a couple different raid groups and guilds over the past few months before finding myself at home in SiB.

Here's the thing though. What is it that makes SiB different than the other guilds i've been in? Why, in spite of frustration and irritation some nights, do I call myself happy here? Why isn't SiB just another stepping stone to another guild? In other words... what makes *Stands in Bad* my home? It's a hard question to answer, but I think i'm going to try and give a brief rundown.

The main thing about SiB... We're not douchebags. We're normal people and we treat each other like normal people. Hell, more often than not I refer to people by their real names instead of their toon's name. That to me brings a level of familiarity that not all guilds have, and that's huge as far as i'm concerned. We're social, but we also raid and we're relatively successful at it. Now, keep in mind, we're not in line for any world firsts or server firsts... but that's perfectly fine by us.

I feel like i've rambled on enough, so i'll wrap this up. To answer my guildy's question... Is the honeymoon over? Yes it is, and i'm loving every second of it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

She's gone from suck to blow!

Okay so I had a very long post written out, but I just went in and deleted it... Why? I wasn't saying anything. Or rather, I was droning on about a lot of garbage that everyone knows. Operation Gnomeregan/Zalazane's Fall is live.. Patch 4.01 is on the PTR. Blah blah blah, Cataclysm's coming.. We know that. On to other things kay?

Yesterday an interesting thing happened in my guild. I was officially promoted to an officer, and given the "official" title of Raid Leader as well. Now, like i've said before, i've kinda taken up that mantle over the last few weeks, but having it made official, announced to the entire guild is still kind of nice to have that recognition. Enough patting myself on the back though. I do that enough on this blog and i'm sure you don't give a shit, so who am I to pander to myself? Oh wait... this is my blog... Well whatever, moving on.

The last couple of weeks in SiB raiding have been a bit harsh. 2 weeks ago we went into the raid with the goal of putting in a few attempts on heroic Saurfang, but something happened.. I'm not sure what it was, but hardmodes we'd beaten relatively easily before... we were just unable to bring down. Marrowgar and Deathwhisper stymied us. So needless to say, we didn't attempt to H-Saurfang. We started picking ourselves up, and went through the plague wing relatively easily, killing Putricide just before the raid-end time. The next night... brought an entirely different group of raiders. I don't know what happened, but we went in and *destroyed* the Blood wing, Frostwing Halls and even went on to one-shot Arthas... Something my guild has yet to do up to that point.

Now then. With downing 4 bosses in an hour's time span, we still had 2 full hours of raid time available to us... "Ruby Sanctum?" someone piped up in raid chat... A quick ready-check vote, and off we were heading, to Wyrmrest Temple, to try our hand at a different sort of actual progression. A couple name hops and one personal replacement later (our GM wanted to go do something IRL... silly), we gave everybody a 15 minute break to watch the Tankspot strategy video for RS 10... Then, off we went.. Ruby Sanctum went something like this. Things in quotation marks are my comments. Italics are comments by others. James was the main tank, and Solt was the offtank... I was huntering it up for RS this week.

Pulled our first pack of trash and wiped...
"Wait, what happened? Oh.. You mean those guys shockwave... Well that would explain why all the melee went down at once.. Right.. hafta remember that." Clear trash, clear trash clear trash..
Miniboss! "Anyone know what she does? (Saviana Ragefire, for the record)... No? Well hell.. we'll wing it." *fight fight*
"Oshit, enrage, Tranq sho----.. Right we have 3 hunters." *fight fight fight*
"Sweet! She's down!" More trash more trash more trash more trash.
"Oh shit.. we have to seperate that pack of trash.. Right.. Run back and rebuff everyone." Trash trash trash.
Miniboss! Baltharius the Warborn. "Anybody know what he does?"
Uhm, I think he splits in half at some point, and the two need to be tanked away from each other...
"/shrug. Sounds good to me, let's do it." *fight fight fight fight*
"Oop, there's the split mentioned.. Solt, pull him away.... good deal." *fight fight fight fight*
"OH SHIT JAMES IS DOWN AUGH... Oh.. boss is dead.... the hell?"
*last packs of trash*
Miniboss! General Zarithrian. "What's this guy do?"
*crickets chirping*
"Right.. Thought so.. Oh well, winging it seems to work for us so far" *fight fight fight*
"Adds incoming, one on each side, Solt pick them up if you don't mind"
(random raid member) Don't we need to tank swap at some point?
(James) Oh fuck! I've got a debuff up to 5 stacks taking 20% of my armor off each stack.. OH GOD SOLT TAUNT HIM OFF ME! *taunt swap*
"More adds guys.. James, can you pick them up maybe?"
(Solt)Uhm, he needs to taunt the boss off me, cause i'm at 3 stacks
"Right.. Range, burn the adds down then"
(several people at once) Fuck Intimidating Roar
*fight fight fight* Boss down! Oh look.. Barney is in the middle... Man, he's got a cool voice actor. Okay well... Everyone's watched the video? Yeah.. These people stay outside in p2. Uhmm... P3... A and B go back out, C, D, and E, stay in
*Fight fight....* (warrior DPS) Fuck... I'm DC'ed..
"It's fine, just log back in as soon as you can"
*he logs back in to find that he's outside the ring of fire*
"Well.... fuck..."
"Hrmmm.. I wonder how close we can get to Barney without facepulling him." *Someone goes in and promptly facepulls him, getting eaten alive for my trouble* "Right.... that was too close. Looks like you can get just inside the ring though. Can someone Rez me before Barney respawns?"
*Pally starts rezzing, Barney respawns*
".......fuckit I'll run back"

Now.. i'm gonna put a break in here to explain that the warrior dps who DCed on our first engagement of Halion... he'd been having some sort of addon conflict. Anytime an encounter shows up that pulls up seperate boss frames (Blood Princes, Gunship, and apparently Halion), it causes his comp to lag so hard that he gets booted right our... once he comes back in he's fine though. This caused a lot of trouble with us before because he was our main tank when I first started raiding with SiB. Anyway.. Back to the battle.

*take 2...3 if you count my facepull*
(warrior with DC problems) I'm gonna buff up, sit just inside the ring, and log until after the pull
"Works for me" *raid proceeds to buff, and he logs.. MT pulls* "Right.. Go ahead and log back in now."
*fight fight fight* (warrior again) FUCK. I DCed again
"/sigh" *raid wipes due to completely unrelated circumstances.... Barney respawns... Warrior logs back in, damn near on top of Barney"
*After he despawns, I rush in on my hyperspeed boots, hit the warrior with my gnomish army knife, and zoom back out... Warrior takes the rez, and makes it JUST out of the ring in time for Halion to respawn again.... Raid promptly dies laughing at what just happened*

Long story short (too late), we didn't down Halion, but we had a LOT of fun with those attempts. I daresay the most fun the raid as a whole has had in a couple weeks given everything that's happened. I'll put another post up early next week to explain what happened with THIS week's raid lockout, and more fun from the Ruby Sanctum...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Achievement Spam

Holy cow, followers, it's been a crazy week for me. Expect a lot of pictures for me, and not a lot of words.... except in places where not all of the achievements can be seen here. Hell, some of them I needed to look through my own armory's feed to see what they all were... SO, without further ado, let's bring on the pictures!

I'm starting off with an achievement that's been a long time coming. "Burning Crusader" is the achievement for getting all 5 BC Dungeon reps to exalted. Honor Hold (Thrallmar if you're horde), Cenarion Expedition, Keepers of Time, Lower City, and The Sha'tar... All of them finally exalted, after stalling and procrastinating and doing other things. Go me.

This achievement: "Exalted Argent Champion of the Alliance", is coupled with "Ambassador of the Alliance".. I know they're pretty common achievements these days, but the reason i'm advertising them is that it's my first time for either one. It's a long, boring grind, and I don't plan on doing it again for any of my toons anytime soon.

This, you might recognize as Ulduar. I was actually substituting for my guild's Ulduar achievement run... Their usual offtank couldn't make it for one reason or another. As far as I can tell, the guild just wanted me to help blitz through most of the bosses to get to Mimiron where the normal group could work on whatever drake achievements they could get from him, as well as bypassing the Iron Council, Ignis, and Razorscale for a couple remaining achieves on them. The achievements in the screenshot above are "I'll Take You All On" and "Lose Your Illusion"... Unintentional hardmode achievements, from what I was told... As you can tell, I was killed just before Thorim went down. I'm not entirely sure what happened to be honest... I just know that Thorim hits *hard*, and I kinda felt good getting these achievements wihtout even meaning to.

Con-speed-atory. I've heard people consistently bemoan this achievement... with damn good reason. There is a LOT of trash in Freya's room, and some of them hit rather hard. Now, 20 minutes is kind of a broad window, especially with a group of people who are ICC geared... but also keep in mind. I had to be explained *EVERYTHING* at this point. I'd never seen the Freya or Thorim fights before, let alone the trash leading up to them. It made me feel pretty good to know that I didn't hold the group back too badly on this one.

Now, this achievement isn't really a big deal... but out of the numerous times i've gone through the Flame Leviathan fight, "Unbroken" has never really crossed my mind for one reason or another. Someone mentioned, as we were blasting our way through the trash, that we should just not repair... It sounded like a good idea at the time, so we went with it, and proceeded to eat FL for breakfast.

I think that's all for my achievement whoring today. I'm not a huge achievement earner... mainly because I have the WORST case of alt-itis ever (As it is, i'm working on another DK, who is now 72), so it seems like a waste of time farming all those nerd points for one toon... But this was a lot of fun for a substitution and a little over 2 hours time before work :D