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Archive for the ‘Raiding’ Category

Game, Set, Match!

The week Part 4 of LFR came out, we tried to get through it.  We got up to and pulled Garrosh a number of times… I think we were up to 4-5 attempts when we just ran out of time.  The group was pleasant enough but we just couldn’t attempt anymore, and the person who’d been leading it had put themselves in charge of the add on the side and missed it a few times, causing most of the wipes.  I wasn’t particularly upset – just assigned one of our people to help after a couple of those.  I mean, it was new of course – so no rage induced there.

I requeued later and got the most fantastic group I’d had up till that point.  We walked through every boss with no more than a few wipes – 1 on Siegemaster, 0 on Klaxxi and 3 on Garrosh.  Everyone was upbeat and excited about the content [an attitude that is contagious by the way though I suppose it would only work for new LFRs] and on Garrosh it was “Okay what did we do wrong?  Okay let’s fix that!”  I think we only had a couple people leave on the Garrosh attempts.  And we had a leader who had done the fights before and knew how to boil it down.

After carefully listening and watching, I was pretty sure I could walk an LFR group through the Garrosh encounter if they’d obey mechanics and listen.

Wednesdays are typically our LFR night but we’ve had people sick and we’ve had to play catch up for a few people who missed earlier sections.  So we caught a few people up in parts 2 and 3 and then hit part 4 last night.  I have to admit, I was a little disheartened when we got to Siegemaster and asked which dps were doing the conveyer belt and got no responses.  I can say I haven’t done that so I can’t explain it.  I probably should sometime so I CAN explain it.  I know one of the three adds has to die and it determines what other two abilities hit the raid.  I know you can die if you get off the conveyer wrong or something, but I don’t know.  Anyway, that aside, Ven assigned a couple of our dps in vent to take care of it.  All good.

Random healer: “OMG CAN WE PULL ALREADY OMG THIS IS TAKING TOO LONG”

Irritation rises for a split second, but I push that away and ignore them.  They’re one person and ironically died every fight multiple times and were by far the lowest on heals [perhaps because they died so much].  Suffice to say a healer we picked up on Garrosh outhealed them overall.  We should probably have kicked them but I didn’t even realize it till after the run was over.

We one shot Siegemaster – messily but done.  All good.  We move on and kill all the Klaxxi trash and before we can blink, someone has clicked the crystal and the encounter is engaged.  Probably would be wise to only permit queued tanks to click that.  But no matter, we one shot it too.  Ven and I threw out enough aoe in the beginning that we both ended up with a couple stacks of vulnerability to our respective targets but 20% extra damage taken didn’t prove to be fatal :)

We got to Garrosh – and by the way, the trash to him has been massively nerfed since we were last in there.  Or we had amazing dps and healers.  Or both.  We were able to pull the humanoid packs and not die.  Those reaper stuns are ANNOYING as a tank though!

We get to Garrosh and now it’s time to prove what I’d bragged to the hubby about.  Here’s how I explained it, in case it helps any other LFRs.

I put two marks down on either of the center [where the little points come out] and told the dps and healers to stand on one until a weapon appeared, move to the other and dps the weapon down.  Rinse repeat.  Melee focus on killing the riding add [it heals the boss].  I had one of our dps assigned to the side add.  I did forget to mention that the melee should mind the fel iron star, but they seemed to learn after the first one or two.

When you get sucked into the scenario, run to the end, kill all the things, don’t stand in Garrosh’s smash aoe.

In Phase 2 and 3 don’t be off by yourself.  The boss will MC three people and they will start to MC the raid.  DPS them out and interrupt.  [We almost lost control of that once but the raid recovered very well].

Other than that… don’t stand in bad.  I think that was pretty much it.

We lost a few melee to that first fel iron star and lost one person in a scenario who managed to hit every one of Garrosh’s aoe smashes… how I’m not overly sure.  Because of battle rezzes we ended the fight with two dead and one shot it.

Maybe that’s not a big feat because as people tell me, it IS LFR but my alting friends in vent were saying they don’t want to go back without us there leading it.  The truth is ya’ll were there to back us up and take those utility roles that might kill your dps.  Group effort!

My point is that a little leadership and organization can really make or break these LFRs.  Ideally you shouldn’t have to, but at times it’s been the choice between suffering a horrible extended floundering run or adding just a touch of organization [raid permitting] to just get it done.  And I’ve organized Lei Shen kills on a healer and a dps.  I admittedly haven’t done much Siege on alts but I think the principle applies.  And I’ll grant, if you’re not a tank you don’t automatically have marking and the tools to lead.  And if people won’t listen, it doesn’t really matter what role you are.  And by leadership I don’t mean bossing people around – I mean giving the raid what direction it needs.  Some LFRs need very little  beyond a mark on the floor and clarification of that and some require more handholding.

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I’ve been accused more than once of not having my own mind. Anyone who knows me knows how ridiculous that statement is. But since I’m a Stay at Home Wife and Mother and since I often defer to my husband in public, the accusation comes about.

We’ve been called backwards because of how we handle our marriage… because I address any issues in private rather than make a fuss in front of friends. Even because we made the choice that I stay at home with any children – something I was told that I’d never be satisfied or fulfilled by doing [boy were they wrong]. I mean, my husband is also my best friend – I should have his back and he should have mine and we do. Bringing that kind of teamwork and attitude to raid is a blessing.

And yet, despite being called backwards and such, we keep running into these strange creatures in WoW… these strange creatures that seem to believe that woman’s place is behind the controls of a healer – or caster dps and has no business being in the tanking business… that’s for the menfolk don’t you know?! Which one is actually backward there?

I see the topic come around occasionally in the blogosphere as it has recently on Blessing of Kings and Hypercriticism.

Back on our old server in our first guild, my husband actually tried to get me interested in tanking… kept saying I should give it a go because I might like it. I never gave it a second thought until I stopped enjoying my warlock and my husband couldn’t keep a reliable or sober offtank. That part you’ve heard before, I know. I got a few reactions of what amounted to “Look at the cute little girl trying out tanking” but my husband was determined that if tanking was what I wanted to do, he’d help me learn how… just as he always has with every dream I’ve pursued or goal I’ve had.

I was the offtank for my husband in our ten man and the alternate tank in the 25 man… meaning most of the time I was paying my dues by going dps back then. I wasn’t great at it then either but it was a casual guild so it was alright. Our main tank at the time was our GM who played a paladin. Our main offtank was another DK who was blood. Ven was the third tank in the 25s. I wasn’t given much thought for a few weeks until our normal DK couldn’t show up for one. Ven moved up to the secondary tank position and I consequently got the third position. I was psyched. And then our GM lost a piece of tanking gear to me. And suddenly I was a threat. It was all fair and by the book – we used a straight SK system for 25 man and he’d lost pieces to OS tanks [both of the tanks for the third raid were MS dps] before and it had not been an issue… but I was a woman. This, somehow, made a big difference.

I didn’t really understand what was going on… I was feeling pressure but I was having the most fun I’d ever had in game. I’d discovered my true role… and yet somehow I was being treated as a threat. One of the officers finally pulled me to the side one day and explained that our GM believed that women didn’t belong in tanking or in the officer corps. That’s “just the way he is”. Basically that I was going to have to fight for every scrap I got. I was going to have to work twice as hard to be thought half as good. Whatever. In truth, I was really upset. I mean I’d looked up to our GM and he’d been right good to me, until I started tanking.

I didn’t give up – obviously. But I did have to fight every step along the way. Worst of all were mornings – especially if the GM and I were the only ones online. I’d finally made officer at some point in this mess. Ven had gotten promoted probably 7-9 months before based on raids that we organized together. Anyway, I started logging into an unguilded alt to see if any officer besides the GM were on because if it was just him and I, Officer chat was pure nastiness. A Vault of Archavon pug we both happened into one day sealed that deal. They made me the main tank and he gave me nothing but grief in officer chat. Oh how bad I sucked… oh how I couldn’t keep threat off him going full bore… despite pretty badly outgearing me. The group lit into him for refusing to tank swap and I was ready to throw up my hands and leave… but the taunting in officer clinched that I was absolutely going to stay this time.

Why didn’t I ignore him? One of the rules of the guild was that you were not permitted to ignore any guildies – it was literally grounds for a gkick. Most of the other officers supported me… we needed the tanks around and our GM was being simply ridiculous. A couple of them taught Ven and I how to raid lead and organize raids – sometimes by showing us the best way and sometimes by showing us what not to do. And then our GM took a hiatus.

By ToC our other DK had dropped out… he was apparently upset that I had managed to match him. He came back later on a resto druid until one of our druids outhealed him. At this point I did what every tank was supposed to do – when you find someone of your class interested in your spec, you mentor them and help them. We had a caster who was interested in going to his blood dk and he came to me for advice. I was thrilled beyond belief. Until I started getting reports from his raidmates that he was infatuated with me… and he was friends with Ven, knew we were married and started hitting on me in a creepy way anyway. It was a very weird situation that ended with him leaving guild to my relief.

Our GM came back during this period and was with us into ICC. Tanking with him in ICC was an exercise in frustration. Imagine the stereotypical LFR pug tank. Any mob I was assigned, he’d taunt off me – even with his own still up. Not many people would dare give him what for over vent but Ven had had enough by this point and told him off. It still kept happening periodically when he thought Ven wasn’t watching. Ultimately he ragequit his own guild, leaving a friend of ours in charge. Lots of animosity ensued.

I still run across the same breed of person now and again. You know the “get back in the healing/caster dps and make us mana cakes” type? They still exist and it’s a sad thing because you should be able to do what you love in a game [how does this bode for these people in the real world?]. Some of the best healers and caster dps I’ve ever known have been men. And some of the best melee types – whether dps or tank have been women.

Just because Jaina is a mage doesn’t mean I need to be. if I want to be a tank, I can be a tank.  I am a tank and I am a woman.  I am proud to be both.

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We had such a fantastic time tonight!  Monday night is when we run our retro stuff and tonight we were in Firelands.  We finished Glory of the Firelands Raider for 8 people in the raid… just needing to finish “Do a Barrel Roll”.

 

Glory of the Firelands Raider!

Glory of the Firelands Raider!

 

We cleared the rest of the heroic modes for the other two who needed them and ended up calling it early to take screen shots of us on our new mounts at Shrine.  Apparently created a little stir too… had a couple people standing on top of us and asking about the guild :P so all in all, not too bad

 

Purple Purple!

 

 

After that, I got a note from Endyme of Unholy Randomness [whom I happen to know in Real Life] and got invited on her guild’s alt run of Mogushun.  We cleared the first three bosses on heroic mode and ended up doing a few attempts at Spirit Kings.  Ven and I both ended up getting heroic Jasper Clawfeet for our offsets but the look at the four heroic modes was fantastic… can’t wait to bring that back to our raid.  Endyme’s guildies are completely psychotic… but in a fun kind of way.

 

Apparently I'm not the only one who likes the in game toys!

Apparently I’m not the only one who likes the in game toys!

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shadowmourne

 

Yup, I finally managed to finish out Shadowmourne after what, three years?  I remember doing the infusions at level… well 2 of them at least.

 

I honestly don’t have a lot to say, other than that I appreciate the members of both my current guild – Band of Misfits and my old guild on Thorium Brotherhood – Wrath and Retribution, for banding together to help me finish it.  Almost everyone has their metas finished, with only a couple people who couldn’t attend regularly missing a few things.

 

Oh, here’s me in the tabard, glowing:

glowing

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My main’s doing quite well at this point in the expansion.  I’m exalted with all the reps except Shadopan [16k/21k] and August Celestials [9k/21k].  I’ve maxed out every profession at least once, so I have access to them all on my main server.  I’ve gotten two alts to 90 – including my horde alt on another server [yay achievements!]

I’ve killed Heroic Nefarian, finished the “Glorious” achievement of killing the rares, managed Galleon kills two times [got nothing], am best friends with everyone on the farm and even have my second alt to 90 exalted with the tillers [and all I did on her was login, replant her farm and do the tiller dailies in 15 mins or so].  I’ve done a couple Firelands retro runs, and even killed the first boss of Mogushun Vaults with whomever we could pull together in guild and a couple out of guild friends.  We also got the second boss to 26%.

Pet Battles have been what’s fallen to the wayside.  I know they’ve captured most people’s attention instead of all the other but for me it’s been the reverse.  I really want to do more for that in the coming few weeks as I’d like to get the upper level pets and I’d be ready for 5.1.  It just… well the grind to get a level 25 pet seems so painful looking.  My highest level pet is 10 right now.

I would post some screen shots, but at the moment I am without my computer :(  The hard drive died and since I have the laptop [and access to Venoym's computer during the day], we decided it would be easier just to wait till the weekend to swap some drives about.  So, when he can move the data over, I will have some screenies, though I have posted a few things on twitpic.

National Novel Writing Month is this month and I have written a bit thus far…  I’m still not sure I’m participating.  I’ve already written 125k this year [my goal was 100k, but I revised that and raised it to 150k] so I’m not sure I want to push myself to cram another 50k in but I’m writing daily as is…  I may just see what happens.

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Askevar is 90… hit it Friday in fact [with Venoym].  This was the fastest and hardest we’ve ever pushed to level.  I know a lot of people like to savor initially, but we both prefer to just get our main to 90 and worry about savoring later with alts.  That’s why they exist after all?  Anyway, Askevar’s main set is going along well.  I do a couple scenarios a day as well as a heroic or two in the evening.  All my pieces, save a 442 blue ring, are 450 or better, with several 463 items.  I’m doing my daily rep grinds and I’ve maxed all my professions both primary [Inscription/Jewelcrafting] and Secondary [Archaeology, First Aid, Cooking, Fishing] and I got access to the end food for the Way of the Oven [aka the tank tree].  I also have all my on server alts parked at Halfhill to farm various veggies to max the other ways or to create the max Oven food.  By the way, if you do this, the Outpost Zhu flightpoint in Krasanger is the one that connects the Jade Forest initial town to Halfhill.

For that matter, I’ve now maxed out every profession on my account except Blacksmithing and Skinning.  Suffice to say, our guild has the heirloom legs already, and not just through my efforts either.  Sadly they are only good through 85, which I think is a little silly, but I was able to buy a pair for my level 20 monk.  Oh, we also have the guild shirts because a group running scenarios last night saw we were only two away and decided to finish.  They’re kinda cute but you can’t see it with my armor on [as it should be for a tank].

My offset gear is crap [its unholy now, gave up frost] and a quarter to half the pieces are still level 85 stuff that I need to replace, but, on the flipside, I’m quite a hardy tank right now.

Honestly, I don’t see any of my alts getting to 90 very quickly.  I’ve got 2 at 86 – my bank alt/gatherer and my horde pally [the horde pally would net me 2 account achievements].  With our guild not even discussing raiding for another two weeks, I might get one leveled but who knows?  My main priority, as always, is going to be getting Askevar’s tank set raid ready – everything else is bonus.

Sundays have become achievement night and due to lack of interest from our guild [a lot of people are still busy leveling and that's alright], we’ve been pulling from cross realm friends.  We’ve gotten a lot done though and we’ve had a blast doing it.  We even managed to 9 man Heroic Chimaeron just before MoP hit – with 3 healers, 2 tanks and the rest dps – and that’s what we managed to get… we had intended to 2 heal, but with everyone wanting to try out their mainspec, extra heals never hurt :D.

 

I will admit, at times the dailies feel almost endless, but once I get the reputations to max, I’ll be gold.  I’m already revered with Order of the Cloud Serpent and well into honored with most of the rest so it’ll get there :)  And I’m not finding these dailies near as painful as some have been in the past either.

 

Goldwise – I’ve already spent a ton between buying the Grand Expedition Yak and speed leveling some professions.  Despite that, I’ve actually managed to make money on Askevar and I’ll make back the rest and then some when I level the alts, so it’ll all work out.  Hey, don’t look at me that way… I saved and ground for that Yak for several months before MoP dropped and I’m darn proud of it!  There is nothing like achieving a goal you set out to complete.

 

Speaking of achievements, for the first time since I was maining a warlock, I have finally passed my husband in total achievement points.  Now, so it’s said, that won’t last as he’ll do all those achievements and catch right back up… but for once it’s nice to be ahead!

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So, Heroic Yor’sahj died.  Took us about 10 pulls last night I think?

I’ll grant that the buff was up another five percent, but we would have done it anyway.  We are the 20th guild on the server to down Heroic Yorsahj and the 18th to down him on 10 man.  I don’t usually get hung up on server rankings… as a casual guild you can’t really do that, but that’s freaking awesome!

We tried to follow a couple different strategies, but we ended up having to craft our own, pulling from several different guides on what oozes to hit.  Our hunter was having issues being up under the boss and dpsing… it kept telling him that his target wasn’t in front of him [silly glitches]; so we moved him to managing the mana voids and we were able to keep the rest of the dps off of it except when we needed to pop one.

Our healers were beastly.  Our pally healer micromanaged healing on purple phases to exquisite detail.  Our druid healer had everyone topped back off once the debuff was gone.  [Our priesty healer went shadow and was doing a great job with the rest of the deeps :)]

What Ven and I really loved was the fact that everyone had some input about one of the first couple of wipes… about problems they were having or foreseeing.  Ven took all that in, made a decision and everyone went with it.  It turned our 50% wipes immediately into 20% wipes :).  As raid leaders we can’t see every problem people or having, or how the healing is, so input is fantastic.  But when it comes time, Ven makes a decision and we do it :)  I’ve told him he’s crazy for ideas more than once.  However, I went with his decision only to find it worked.

The funniest thing about the kill?  Our guild vent died.  But the raid took that as a challenge rather than a detriment!  Venoym had gone dps, so he just marked himself and they followed him to the ooze he’d selected.  Everyone did their job to perfection!

To say we were jazzed after that would be an understatement.  We had already gotten H-Morchok, had a silly wipe on regular Zonozz and one shot Hagara, H-Ultraxion and boat.  The raid chatter got a little silly but hey… killing a new boss does that.

I actually need to do a post about my Heroic Ultraxion strategy as a death knight tank because I do a couple things that are completely counter-intuitive to being a tank [at least in my estimation] but I may do that later today.

I’m so proud of you guys!  FAN-TAS-TIC job!

 

Yay for Multishot :)

 

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I’ve felt a little off this week and so I’ve devoted the time I’m online to grinding those few annoying achievements I hate [ie: rep grinding].

But first, look who I found out at Netherwing Ledge!

 

(more…)

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We killed 8/8 tonight in 3 hours!  WOOT!  What a Valentine’s present to ourselves!

Group Makeup:
Tanks: Paladin/Death Knight
Healers: Paladin/Druid/Holy Priest
DPS: Paladin/Rogue/Hunter/Mage/Priest

 

Gratz guys and fantastic job!  Go Firestorm!

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Not bad for a casual guild who raids 2 nights a week, three hours each :D

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