Sunday, 17 July 2011

Ragnaros Defeated

This week we killed Ragnaros, the Firelord. In my opinion we spent way too much time on this guy, when the fight was actually pretty easy and predictable. Most of the time spent was mastering each phase and roster changes. Ragnaros requires very good raid awareness, communication, coordination and just really good play amongst all your raiders. If everyone gets to the point where they aren't making any mistakes until phase 3, then the fight is pretty much won. This is how we beat it.

Phase One: Everyone is positioned 6 yards apart and the tanks engage the boss. The only major tanking mechanic is tank swapping once the tank takes too many stacks of Raggy's debuff. Other than that you just watch out for flame waves from his Sulfrus Smash mechanic. You can do this by either being up in melee or positioning yourself at a diagonal  from the impact point.
  Throughout the fight he will do a single target knockback and an AOE knockback called Hand of Ragnaros. Just make sure you don't get knocked into a lava wave or a magma trap and I usually cycle my defensive cooldowns for each Hand. We didn't fully understand where it came from but we believe that if your casting within 6 yards of another player (or are in melee) when he casts one of these effects you could be spell locked for a few seconds.
  Finally Ragnaros throws down fire traps that will detonate if someone stands on them and launch the unsuspecting shmuck into the air to fall to his death. We had a priest detonate these and then slowfall himself since they will stay active the entire fight if not detonated. Eventually we switched to our Mage who could apparantly safely blink through them and then they would detonate.

First Intermission: In this phase Ragnaros smashes his hammer down in one of three places, which summons 8 fire dudes who speed straight towards his hammer. If they hit it they do massive damage and then wipe the raid. We had big elaborate diagrams to deal with this but they were too confusing so we ended up just assigning DPS to each add spawn depending on the position of the hammer.
   The adds move fast but slow down the lower their health is so the best way to deal with this phase is to tab target once the adds are half health and then finish them all off before they get to the hammer. We also used stuns, knockbacks and death grips to buy more time.

Second Phase: This phase is probably the hardest and most chaotic. It seems completely random and hectic but actually it isn't. It's a 100% predictable because all of the mechanics occur in exactly the same order. The only RNG is where the Engulfing Flames will appear but you can anticipate and avoid them easily.
  Sulfurus Smash returns as well as 2 other mechanics. Seeds will drop every minute on all raiders and if your quick you can actually dodge the impact. Everyone has to remain 6 yards apart or else you can take splash damage. They then will detonate and do damage depending on how far away you are from the seeds. Finally they spawn a bunch of elemental adds that can't be tanked and get AOEd down. How we handled this for the most part is grouped up 6 yards apart on one side of the platform and when seeds landed ran to the other side. Raid cooldowns were effective here to mitigate the damage from the seeds and the elementals.
  The final mechanic is engulfing flames, which is a simple fire wall that takes up one of three areas of the platform. Stay out of this. Our biggest challenge was after grouping up for the seed detonation either a flame wall or a smash will appear and kill a few players. We realized this was the predictable part and I'll explain the chain of events.
  Phase, Group up 6 yards apart east side. Smash. Seeds. group up west, 6 yards apart. Flame wall. Kill adds. Avoid smash by standing in melee. spread out, avoid wall. Seeds. Group up east in melee to avoid smash. wall. Spread 6 yards avoid smash. Seeds. Run west. Wall. Kill adds. Phase. If this makes sense to you, phase 2 is easy.

Second Intermission: Same as the first except a little tougher since two large adds spawn that have to be tanked. DPS ignored them and killed flame dudes. The large Scion adds put a debuff on you like engulfing shadows which leaves a flame trail in your steps and heals the little guys so you just kite away. We left one little add up but slowed to prolong this phase and killed one scion and brought the second down to like 30% to be finished off in phase 3. We would kill the little add and transition.

Final Phase: Sulfurus smash and Engulfing flames remain but are easier to avoid. The only change is he summons big rolling meteors which chase random player and must be kited around until they are hit, which then they change targets. Throughout the phase more will spawn and I think we had 4 out when we defeated him. How we tried to handle this is keep hitting the balls away from the raid until they targeted our Mage who would just blink kite them around all day. Other than that you just dps him until he's defeated.

  A pretty challenging fight but pretty simple once you master the mechanics. We didn't actually realize we beat him when our achievements popped up and he disappeared. We were like "huh, did we bug him or something?" but nope we just didn't know he was defeated once he hit 10% and felt cheated by how anti-climatic it was lol.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Firelands Normal Cleared

Well it's been 2 weeks and we have cleared all of Firelands normal mode content and in my opinion we could have cleared it a lot faster. I haven't posted in a bit because I've been very busy grinding my face off on Ragnaros. Well we killed him last night and he surprisingly isn't that hard if you have a good group with raid awareness.
Here are my thoughts on  the bosses we've downed since Ryolith.

Baleroc: We cleared this on 10 man before 25 but it's generally the same concept and requires very high coordination and communication amongst all your raiders. Basically imagine it as a lineup to use the bathroom and you have a strat for this shitty boss. Basically one person stands next to a crystal that spawns calls out the next person and they switch and you repeat that till he's dead. Healers have their own round robin strat that involves healing the sharded people (not SHARTED) to gain a buff and then switch to the tanks when a new crystal spawns. Tanks have their own switching thing to deal with as well.

Alysrazor: I think this boss is kind of fun although quite long and repetitive. Basically from my POV as an Unholy DK I would do the following:

Whole raid stacks up against the front wall close to the boss because there's a safe spot that will stop you from getting knocked back. I AMS the fire damage to get RP, blow CDS on the bird and follow behind it picking up 2 feathers for a speed buff. After that I DPS an add on one half of the room, avoid his brush fire and interrupt his fire cast. He dies and i go to the other side of the room and do the same to another add. This repeats twice for a total of 4 adds although there's kind of a lull between the 2nd and 3rd add where I pick up a third feather and fly up DPSing Alysrazor while getting the ring buffs before coming down and killing adds. Any other time where my add is dead, I'm running to the next or whatever free time I have, I DPS the Tank's Hatchling.

Phase 2 I finish off the Hatchling, start running counterclockwise down the "center track" and when Tornados spawn I hit AMS just in case I get clipped by a spawn. Then I pretty much chase down a tornado, run through hoops and when a tornado is about to catch me I switch to a different lane, turn around and chase one of the tornados going the other direction. Lots of people have trouble here but it's pretty easy as long as your chasing a tornado and not running straight into one. Finally I pop CDS, DPS Alysrazor as much as possible, drop my Anti-Magic Zone on the raid until he takes off and phase one repeats. Easy but fun fight.

Majordomo Staghelm: Once again another easy fight, pretty much a tank n spank fight for melee. The key to this fight is pushing Staghelm's adrenaline stacks as far as your specific raid can handle. There's no key number here, we can handle 10 stacks of his scorpion form although I'm sure other guilds cant.

Scorpion Form: Melee stacks up in front of the boss to soak damage and runs out when you wanna switch him to cat. That's the gist of it. A good tip for melee is you can DPS his arm and not get parries while still being enough in front of him to soak the damage. If you get molten seeds, just run out of the raid when you have 5secs left on your debuff.

Cat form:: DPS boss, DPS cats, Burning orbs not really your problem.

Stay posted cause I'll be writing about my Ragnaros experience next.

Friday, 1 July 2011

So You Really Want to Kill Shannox

So you want to kill that meandering one eyed huntard? Well I did and I'm here to help you out. Not going to go through his abilities and what raid composition, that can be found in an earlier post. The biggest issue people are having is the fact that Shannox and Riplimb are untauntable. With these following tips you won't even need to worry about threat.

First off you have your entire raid just focus fire Rageface down, the extra damage on the tank is completely manageable and since your healers don't have to worry so much on the raid damage they can be redistributed to the tank.

Meanwhile your Main tank builds threat on Shannox and since the raid is on Rageface it shouldn't be a problem. Our biggest problem however was our tank stepping on fire traps and getting rocked by the boss. To combat this our tank just kited the boss around a large circle and since he was always moving there was never a chance of stepping on a trap. The bonus to this is the raid has to move as well to keep up so they have a lesser chance of stepping on traps.

The hardest part of this fight is having the Riplimb tank in charge of dropping both tanks debuff stacks. Once we figured it out the theory was pretty easy while the execution could be tricky. Whenever Shannox throws his spear he can no longer apply the tear debuff and Riplimb ceases to as well since he runs over to the spear and then brings it back to his master. By timing it right we were able to bring Riplimb into a crystal trap just after the spear's explosion freezing the dog in place for about 8 secs. During this time both tanks run opposite directions from the spear so when Riplimb breaks free he has to travel to Shannox and then back to the Riplimb tank which if you've done it correctly, both tanks debuffs have dropped.

Easy fight once you figure it out.

Firelands Week One

Patch Day. I'd have to say this was the smoothest patch day I have seen yet. Came home from work, logged on and ready to raid. No Server crashing, bugs, addon or DC problems, quite pleased. Before getting into how our raiding experience was I'd have to say the new dailies were pretty fun. Not a lot of time necessary and they generally had a sense of progression and reward. Now onto the good stuff.

Firelands Trash
  Have to say that Firelands trash is pretty damn annoying, basically everything was designed for melee players to feel useless and/or a flaming smear on the ground. Large golems that kick you into turtles. Turtles that knock you into exploding scorpions. Scorpions that chase you into roaming packs of snake men. Speedy elementals that show up and knock you into other elementals. Basically it all sucks and you have to kill a ton to make Shannox show up and if you don't kill him in a timely fashion you gotta start all over again clearing trash for another hour.

We expected Shannox to be the easiest boss to start with but ended up being the hardest we had to face this week. Go figure. The most irritating thing about Shannox is he pats all around the zone and it takes around 5 mins so if your not ready to pull when he comes around you gotta sit on yer ass until he comes back around. He's got to be the biggest Huntard in wow. We spent about a day and a half on Shannox until we downed him.

The biggest curve ball despite all our preparations was the fact that Shannox and Riplimb are untauntable. This is pretty much what set us back from the start and it wasn't until wednesday that we found the right way to handle this. We tried several things such as 3 tanking with one tank on riplimb and two on Shannox. Threat was the biggest issue with MDs not really being much help and glyph of salvation giving moderate success in alloying the tanks to drop their stacks. Our best attempts were with 4 tanks however, adding another to Riplimb.

On our kill we just used two tanks, one on shannox, one on Riplimb. We discovered that if you time it right and trap Riplimb after the boss throws his spear, both tanks will drop their stacks because Shannox only gives stacks with his spear. Another big tactic was killing Rageface right off the bat which made the damage of the raid much more manageable as well as on the tank. To combat melee and tanks stepping on traps our Shannox tank just kited the boss around. First Boss downed.

If Shannox was the hardest boss we fought Beth was the easiest. We pretty much followed the strategy that I posted last week with some minor tweaks. We used 2 tanks, one top, one bottom. We sent a few melee up with the tank and 3 healers, who got the boss down around 78%. Down below we split up the ranged dps in 3 groups with frost traps on spiderling spawn points and one rogue with crippling poison and 2 warlocks with glyphed shadowflame in the other 2. This ensured that all the spiders were slowed between 50-70% and could easily be DPSd down. We had 2 melee on drones full time and the rest of the dps would hit the drone if they had nothing to do. My job as an Unholy DK was to deathgrip and taunt the spinners down and kill them. Once the team was up top I just attacked the drone until Smoldering Devestation then I would switch back to spinners.

The final phase was just a raid cooldown rotation and DPS burn. Easy.

Lord Ryolith
  With some attempts on Alysrazor we decided to hit Lord Ryolith first. In theory this fight is quite easy but we over complicated it so much that it took us about 3 and a half hours to down. The biggest issue was steering the bus as we liked to call it. We all had different ideas of how it should be done and it seemed people got confused because everyone was making calls in which way he should be turned. Basically what would happen is Ryolith would get way too close to the lava and just stand there pivoting slowly until we got him back on track. By that time there were way too many volcanos going off that we wouldn't be able to keep up.

I generally decided as an officer that we should just keep him constantly moving on a path which can kinda be seen on the terrain. That way he wouldn't be slowed down by hard turns and could just mow down volcanoes in his path even if we narrowly missed a couple. That worked but I was still competing with what other people  felt was a better way  to handle it. Finally on our kill attempt I got our raid leader to silence vent and I just made all the directions. I honestly just watched ahead of me  and backed up the boss like a truck into a parking space and kinda keep the next two volcanos in focus. I would call to walk straight into the nearest volcano and begin calling for a left turn to line up the following one. This worked, we won, last phase is a joke.

I'd have to say that this fight is 100% steering the raid and not the boss.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Words, Words, Words, the Master Wants Murder

Day 2 on Heroic Cho'gall.

Weird lag issues in raid tonight affecting everyone. The kind that lets you chat but not being able to do anything in raid. Despite all Cho'gall's abilities, this appears to be the most puzzling. 47 mins after it seems we are ready to pound Cho'gall's face(s).

Today we didn't change much into the strategy, only add management being a factor. Purely range on elementals so melee doesn't have to be out of the group in case they get MCd.. The melee would switch onto adherents as soon as they entered and alternate assigned interrupts. So far however we've made zero progression and only seemed to step back, rarely reaching a second set of adherents.

Another case of the wednesdays for EL it seems where everything just seems to be going wrong and no one seems to take the encounter seriously.