Too many melee?

May 9, 2009

For along time melee has been great at DPS, bad at staying alive.

My raid group has been running very melee heavy since 3.1.  We had several people who went on a hiatus during late 3.0  (mostly melee) that have returned to the game.  The difficult part is they are all good players with good deeps numbers, which makes it hard to determine who is and who isn’t going to get slotted.

Until this current boss our overabundance of melee hasn’t been to much of an issue.  We have been running (brace yourself) 7 melee deeps and 3 tanks for a total of basically 10 melee.  Which is probably 2-4 more than we need.  Like I said though we’ve managed with this number and done fine on most fights.  They are decent players so they move quickly and there isn’t much of a problem.

Last night we started working on Thorim in Ulduar25.  He’s an absolute cake-walk on 10man.  We thought we’d trounce in and pound his face, collect loot and move onto Freya.  Not so.

After getting the right group makeup in the Arena and working out the kinks in the Tunnel group we started making it to Thorim himself.  My 10 melee go in, start pwning, and a chain lightning rips through them.

Melee dead.

I thought, well, we have 4 tanks so I’ll just have two of the tanks stay out of melee to help stop the chain.  The 6 remaining melee deeps can stand in two groups of 3 which should prevent it from chaining to much.  This kind of works but not always.  Even if the melee live a little longer they can’t really move so the charged lightning volley that Thorim does ends up killing them later on in the fight.

This fight has been a nightmare for us.  We’ve spent more time on this boss than any of the others.  We have the DPS to kill Thorim, if I can figure out how to keep the melee alive long enough to do actual do that though…..

Anyway, our raid is about to start so wish me luck all!  And if you have any advice on how you keep your melee alive on Thorim just lemme know.


Razorscale Strategy

May 6, 2009

Updated: 5.8.09

After killing Flame Leviathan you come to a cross-intersection.  To the left is Ignis, straight ahead is XT-002 Deconstructor and to the right is Razorscale. Razorscale is an optional boss however he is a relatively easy fight with some substantial pieces of loot in both 10 and 25man.

Raid Requirements:

2-3 Tanks
7 Healers
15-16 assorted DPS

Razorscale

Health:

10 –  3,900,000
25 – 12,550,000

Abilities: Two phases (air / ground) that she rotates between, triggered via the raid.

Phase 1: Air Phase

  • Devouring Flame – Inflicts 8,788 to 10,212 Fire damage to a player, and additional 8,788 to 10,212 Fire damage every 1 second to anyone within 6 yards of the initial impact, for 25 seconds.
  • Fireball - Inflicts 12,025 to 13,975 Fire damage.
  • Dark Rune Adds – Adds will come in waves from mole machines. One mole can spawn a Dark Rune Watcher with 1-2 Guardians, or a lone Sentinel. Up to 4 mole machines can spawn adds at any given time.

- Dark Rune Watchers – Cast Chain Lightning and Lightning Bolt, hitting for ~10,000 and ~5,000 Nature damage respectively.
Dark Rune Guardians – Cast Stormstrike, which increases the Nature damage done to the target.
Dark Rune Sentinels - Vrykul model.  Cast Whirlwind, hitting for ~9,000 Physical damage on plate.

Phase 2: Ground Phase

  • Flame Buffet – Increases the Fire damage an enemy takes by 1,500 for 1 minute, stacking up to 99 times.
  • Wing Buffet – Knocks back enemies in 35 yards radius around the caster.
  • Fuse Armor – Reduces armor, attack and movement speed by 20% for 20 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. 5 stacks will render the tank unable to act.
  • Flame Breath – Inflicts 17,500 to 22,500 Fire damage to enemies in a cone in front of the caster. Affected by Flame Buffet.
  • Devouring Flame - Inflicts 8,788 to 10,212 Fire damage to a player, and additional 8,788 to 10,212 Fire damage every 1 second to anyone within 6 yards of the initial impact, for 25 seconds.
razorscale-strat

Setup Map

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Run Through:

Razorscale starts in an air phase.

Before the event is triggered the raid needs to move into position.  A hunter preferably (but anyone w/high HP) needs to stand around where the number 1 is on the setup map.

Razorscale’s Devouring Flame ability targets the person closest to her.  The closest spot to her will be directly under her. This ability works kind of weird.  When you start the fight you have a PLAYER standing on/around the 1.  They will get all of the Devouring Flames.  After she goes back up into the air the second time she is in a new spot (2).  At this point she will target pets for her Devouring Flame ability and you can leave a hunter pet or felhound on her.  It takes very little to keep the pet healed.

A healer should be standing between the Harpoon Turrets and where the pet / player is absorbing the Devouring Flames.  The healer heals themselves as well as keeping the pet alive.  The healer is also responsible for notifying the raid to move in for grounding Razorscale.

Note: I use a priest here as Power Word: Shield and Prayer of Mending greatly increase the healers ability to live since they will be responsible for themselves (read: OOR to everyone else).

During the air phase Dark Rune adds will be spawning.  If dwarves spawn (Watchers / Guardians) then the Watchers should be killed first as they do a chain lightning ability.  If a Sentinel spawns (they are the only Dark Rune add with a Vrykul model) one of the tanks should pull it away from the raid and the ranged needs to burn it down as the whirlwind will eat melee in 25man (not quite as vicious in 10man).

When the healer calls that the harpoons are ready the raid needs to begin moving into the center while he activates them.  After activation Razorscale will become grounded and take extra damage.  All cooldowns need to be blown as you need to burst Razorscale to below 70% (heroism / bloodlust should be used at this time).

Grounded and above 50% – After 30 seconds if Razorscale is still above 50% then she will fly back up into the air.  The pet needs to be repositioned where the number 2 is and the healer can stand in the raid.  Rinse and repeat the air phase.  It is highly unlikely you will burn Razorscale to 50% on her first grounding (60-70% is what you should shoot for).  No adds spawn during this 30 seconds so whatever is still up should just be off tanked while the raid burns the shit out of Razorscale.  Healers should be nuking / dot’ing as well.

Note: If you fail to get Razorscale to 50% on the second grounding it is highly likely you will run into her hard enrage timer (10 minute enrage timer).  You will also need to reposition the Devouring Flames pet closer to the raid, roughly between where 2 and the raid are on the setup map.

Grounded and below 50% – Once Razorscale hits 50% she becomes permanently grounded.  She needs to immediately be picked up by a tank (read: taunted).  All healers need to switch to the main tank at this time. The easiest option is for the tank to continually walk backwards around the circle on the ground.  It’s the easiest way to make sure you moving in a uniform manner.  The ranged stay within the middle of the circle and the melee attack from the inside as well, making it easier for them to avoid the Devouring Flame patches.

She will also be doing an ability called Fuse Armor on the Main Tank (MT) which stacks to 5, each stack decreasing the movement speed by 20%.  At 5 stacks the tank will become immobile and lose aggro.  I suggest around 2 or 3 that an off-tank (OT) taunts off the MT and they simply keep switching as to prevent either of them from completely losing aggro.

After grounded Razorscale will be applying stacks of Flame Buffet.  This is mostly irrelevant to the raid itself but does not bode well for the MT.  At higher stacks the MT can easily be one shotted by Flame Breath and will take large chunks of damage from the Devouring Flame patches she spawns.

Note: As she’s being slowly moved, melee need to pay attention not to stand in flame patches.

Healer’s Note:  I wasn’t quite ready for the burst damage that is hitting random players.  The Fireballs come fast and furious and be ready with quick heals to keep people alive.  Priests, when she becomes grounded the second time is a great period to use your shadowfiend as it will do increased damage (thus returning more mana).


Thur-Sun Recap

April 19, 2009

Wow, this week has been intense for me.  I go to work during the day and rush home to login for some Ulduar raid.  I have a bit of time before clearing Tier 7 content this morning (ugh!) so gonna do a quick recap.

Thursday we ventured back into Ulduar 10 for more pwnage… I don’t remember the Molten Colossus doing an earthquake ability on Tuesday that did 5-8k dmg and stunning everyone but Thursday night they were.  The ability is line-of-sightable though so just have the tank stand at the corner with the mobs blocked from your healers.  It’s been ALONG TIME since we’ve needed corners for anything.  The fire elementals though are still proving very troublesome.  We found slowly kiting them to be slightly helpful but not significant enough.  There is a VERY fast cast time on the ability and we tried to curse of tongues & interrupt it but my interruptors failed at it so I’m not sure if it interruptable or not.  After several deaths to these guys we flipped the bird and moved on.

Once in the Antechamber you have a very easy pack to kill and then two Iron Constructs (I forget their names).  They do a frontal fire cone attack that is pretty nasty so make sure the tanks have them pointed away from the raid (and one tank on each).  They also throw a Fire Rune at someone.  They throw these Fire Runes at where a player is standing, similar to Void Reavers lightning balls.  While melee don’t really have a chance ranged can move and avoid getting the rune debuff.  If they do get the debuff they need to move OFF of the big red rune on the ground.  You will still explode and pop up but if you are on the rune you take extra damage.

After the two constructs you have another easy 3 pack and two guardians.  Everyone needs to get into melee range ASAP.  He’ll do a charge like ability to anyone far enough away and when he turns back to go to the tank he usually does his frontal Shockwave that’s pretty nasty.  He also spawns a lightning orb that does insignificant damage.  There are two of these guardians, one on the left andone on the right.

Once this bit of trash is down you can go left to the Iron Council, straight up the stairs to Kologarn, and right to the locked door.  We’ve made some attempts on Iron Council but it is a difficult fight.  Lots of little things going on.  We moved to Kologarn where the fun began!

I absolutely love this fight.  Killing parts of a boss is AWESOME!  It took a bit to nail the strategy down and we tried a few different things but settled on killing the right arm and then focusing on boss.  When he chose his eyebeam targets it seemed he always choosing someone that was ranged and then that person can run it wherever.  I wanted to test the theory, put everyone in melee but a hunter and see if he always chooses a ranged target but didn’t get the chance to.  Will try that next week.

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thought-break4-rtw1

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Friday night my guild went into Ulduar 25.  We were going to attempt Flame Leviathan with 2 tower ups but we failed to realize you had to ‘activate’ those towers.  You clear everything you need to then you go back to the front and talk to the guardian guy thats standing at the base of the stairs.  Because of this we one shotted Flame Leviathan (which I’m not complaining , but everyone whose zoned in knows this guy is super easy).  I was hoping to take him with two towers for some nice bonus loot.

Razorscale was pretty easy on 10man once we got the strat down and I was hoping it wouldn’t take to long for the raid to translate that over to 25… and it didn’t.  We 3 shot’d him which I was really proud of.  I also found out that Razorscale will do the fires on whoever is closest to him.  You can put a decent HP tank in the center that just kind of runs around with a healer helping to watch him.  That tank also needs to pickup the big Vrykul guy that likes to whirlwind.  Just have your ranged focus fire to burn him down when he pops out cuz he can tear stuff up quick!

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thought-break4-rtw1

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Oh Saturday, poor poor Saturday, it was tragic.  We went in with the plan of killing Deconstructor, Kologarn, and then moving deeper skipping Iron Council.  Instead we wiped on Deconstructor for 4 hrs.  Our 10man strategy did NOT translate well to 25man.  In 10man we had 2 tanks, 2 melee, 3 ranged, 3 healers.  We split a ranged on each side to watch adds and the 3rd just roamed to help out. The healers had no problem and the melee stayed on the boss.  Everything worked out GREAT.  We did this on 25man and it fell apart pretty horrendously.  The spreading out just enough to not be able to light bomb the people around you turned out to be to rough on the healing as someone would invariable be OOR to that groups heals.  A misplaced Gravity Bomb would yank a bunch of healers or random people while they were trying to heal causing a loss of people.  All in all it went horrendously.  We shook it up, tried different things for 4hrs and it was a no go.  It was a sad day of afternoon of raiding.

A short break after that raid ended and a pitcher of margarita’s found me gettin’ the group back together for Ulduar 10.  After the trouble with the Iron Council we decided to just go deeper and skip them.  A few attempts found us pwning Auriaya.  She felt more like a miniboss than anything else.  The initial pull is probably the hardest part.  Once you have that down it goes pretty easy.  Just LOS her on the pull (we used a hunter pet to aggro her so she would run around a corner) and have everyone standing on the main tank.

Then we went and 3 shot’d Thorim.  I’m sad at how easy this fight was.  We made some attempts on Freya and found her trash was as usual, a bitch to kill.  We cleared it all, engaged her and got in some good attempts before we figured out her mechanics and then trash respawned.  We moved on.  The Champions of Hodir are quiet difficult.  They randomly target someone and do a freezing breath attack that does huge amounts of damage.  Some worms and elementals also in the tunnel but not difficult at all.  Hodir is a pretty kewl fight.  He has the same you debuff as Keristraza from Heroic Nexus, where you have to keep moving.  It was 3am by this time so we called it.

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thought-break4-rtw1

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As promised, my Discipline Spec.  I went back to Holy a bit before 3.1 so I could readjust to the healing style.  I found I was having to do a lot of Flashing since Renew’s were being sniped or almost useless.  Greater Heal is nice, no doubt about that, but after having Penance & Flash Heal all the time I’ve become very spoiled.  Suffice to say my playstyle has adjusted well to Discipline, and I’m not willing to go back to Holy habits.  I was reading over at Holy Dueg a very nice post about Serendipity.  Basically you are into a Discipline rotation where you are spamming Flash Heals until you build up the buff to cast hasted Greater Heals, ie. spamming Flash until Penance is off CD.  I figured if I’m going to be doing that I might as well do it more efficiently.  The loss of COH doesn’t feel that significant (although it really is amazing).  The targetable POH combined with the large amount of haste Discipline Priests (and Borrowed Time) make it pretty nice.  The Renew talents are awesome as well but as a whole Renew just feels… slow.  Damage feels like it comes out to often to allow for Renew to do its ticks to heal things.

soo… I’ve spammed y’all enough today.  I need to make sure and not lapse on updates or figure out how to paraphrase better.  I wonder how many peeps actually make it to this sentence lol!


Ulduar 10 – First 4 Bosses

April 15, 2009

Well 3.1 went live yesterday.  My server, Silver Hand, came up about an hour before our scheduled raid.  We were all super pumped to go to Ulduar.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many people so energized to go somewhere.  Everyone was talking about which mods were working, where to get it, initial strategy for the first boss.  We were ready yo.

We got in our vehicles and started clearing the trash and I was like awesome, this is actually difficult.  We cleared all the trash up to Flame Leviathan and then got him to about 80% before we were just annihilated.  We got back to the zone, got back to Mr. FL and managed to get him to 50%!  OMG we were so psyched.  A boss that we didn’t 2 shot?!  Was this zone going to be actually hard?!  We all started running back…

“Did someone turn it to heroic?” asked a random raider.

“What?” I said over vent.

“It’s on heroic!” someone managed to giggle out.

/commence raid laughing their asses off

so yea… I realized that I hadn’t turned it off heroic when we entered.  We managed to waste an hour clearing all the trash for Flame Leviathan and then we managed to get him to 50%… with 10 people.  A friend txt’d me and asked if we just couldn’t wait till Friday (that’s when our Ulduar25 is).  We reset it to Ulduar 10, mowed through trash and made it to Mr. Flame Leviathan.

Our second attempt on 10 manning Ulduar25 Flame Leviathan we realized what was going on with the overload so we were going to attempt to employ that tactic on 10man.  One of our peeps missed getting shot on top of the Mr. FL and I figured it was a wipe.  We kept on anyway and one shotted him.  We also ended up with Achievement: Shutout which was kewl.

After FL I figured we’d head over to Ignis.  Give him a test out since everyone pwn’d him on the PTR.  Well, apparentlly they buffed him a lot and bugged his butt out to.  It was hotfixed this morning, but last night when you would kill one of the constructs he spawned he wouldn’t lose one of his stacks of bonus damage.  We also found that the adds spawned REALLY fast on 10man.  REALLY FAST!  We could barely get a construct to molten before we’d have 2+ more adds spawned.  When he does the Flame Eruption and knocks people in the air he goes after someone for the Slag Pot.  Living through the Slag Pot earns you, Achievement: Hot Pocket (Kraylessa says, “Best achievement name eva.”).  Problem is he drops aggro when people are in the air so when he grabs a person for the slag pot he melees them.  22k melee hit on our holy paladin was bad sauce.   We made a couple more attempts on him and decided to move on.

Next up we tried Razorscale out.  This fight definitely has that ‘been there, done that’ feeling just with a new flavor.  The fight is hectic and I can’t say that I paid much attention to what the harpoon fixin’ dorfs were even doing.  The Iron Dorfs spawn in waves and have a few different abilities.  One of them does a chain lightning, which we found out is pretty nasty if you try to clump up.  We had to split the raid into a North and South team because of this.  We also had an elite-elite spawn that whirlwinds and srsly fux your melee up.  We got Razorscale to the ground twice before we ran out of raid time (only had it scheduled for 3hrs and wasted an hour trying to 10man Ulduar25).  This fight is definitely doable though.

After you kill Mr. FL you are at a cross intersection.  To the left is Ignis (I didn’t talk about his trash cuz it is awesome trash and I don’t want to spoil it).  To the right is Razorscale and his dorfs (which is racist cuz all the soldiers are dorfs and the Captain is a human).  Directly ahead is the Deconstructor who has 2 sets of trash.  They were bugged last night, linked together so you had to deal with two groups (Hotfix this morning removed them).  We decided to take a shot at Deconstructor before we called the raid and about 5 of us went in to test him out.  We got him down about 1mil of his 6mil health before we wiped.  We didn’t get the adds to spawn but overall the fight seems REALLY simple.  We did way better than expected with just 5 people on him.  We laughed a bit more and everyone headed out to go do random shit before their bed times.

We had a fuckton of fun in Ulduar.  The trash (so far) is innovative enough and fun at the same time.  The bugs were to be expected so not a big deal.  I give the game two thumbs up and can’t wait to go back tonight.  Which is gonna be rough because I have a Naxx25 (4-7pm PST) and then Ulduar10 (7pm-10pm PST).  I think we’ll kill Deconstructor tonight and should be able to get Ignis or Razorscale.


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