ICC25 Hard Mode: Them Bones

Try to recover, but we collide with each other. We spin out of control–Kotov Syndrome, Rise Against

And now the real fun begins. Progression over the past two instances has been considerably different, from a mental point of view, than every previous tier. In Black Temple when we finally downed Illidan the feeling in the raid was “woohoo we just beat the game!”  Now that has completely changed. You down The Lich King, the (supposedly) final boss of the expansion, and you say to yourself “sweet! now we can start raiding for real!”

In a way this is like a second round of leveling. The goal (for raiding focused players) when starting a new alt is getting that character leveled, prepped, and ready to get into a raid instance. You get your ratings as close as possible to their minimal caps and collect some crafted/5-man gear, but you can’t really do anything until you hit 80. The same thing happened in ICC25. We worked decently hard to get those 12 bosses down (at least the later ones), and we finish the instance. Well, not really. Now we can actually start to raid at a level we’re accustomed to.

We have some hard modes to do. Will we achieve a Lich King 25 Heroic Kill before Cataclysm? That is certainly our goal and last night’s raid was our first big step toward achieving it.

Lord Marrow…what? You spin me right ’round, baby

World of Logs

It seems that I’m destined to die during this fight. I can’t keep myself from trying to chain heal inside of a cold flame. Good thing Shamans get one mulligan per boss fight now.

My unfortunate slip-up aside, this fight just seemed off. There is the rare occasion where Blizzard manages to scale a 10 man encounter in such a way that, relatively speaking, the 10 man version becomes harder than the 25 man. Maybe it’s because my 10 man team has no Druid (1 soul stone, and me). Maybe it’s because we were just a little lazy, but the 25 man version of Lord Marrowgarr was not scaled at all.

The first round of bone spikes went up and then were quickly beaten back down like the DPS was trying to win the BIG prize at the carnival. No extra raid damage yet, nothing special.

Bone storm happens, everyone spreads out (surprisingly, exactly as instructed). One person dies, all of the spikes get broken. At this point everyone in the raid was aware, but didn’t dare say out loud, that this was going to be very easy to one-shot.  Barring the healers ignoring the tanks or players losing some focus during bone storm, that’s what was going to happen. And it did.

A nice warm-up hard mode, but the bone spikes definitely need more HP. It’s the one thing that makes the Bone Storm dangerous. The longer you need to be on them, the more danger you’re in.

Something to make the raid spread out during the time between bone storms maybe?

Intermission for Lady Deathwhisper. Healers kill DPS with offensive spells, laughter ensues.

Gunship Battle Those 13 iLevels went straight to your hips

Not worth mentioning, the fight is the same. I’m willing to hear suggestions on what could make this harder, though. The more doomfire the better, I say. Bonus points for photoshops that may or may not include the Hindenburg (maybe that picture, but “Kor’kron Blast Kills 0”. Too soon?

Intermission for Saurfang. Another Deathbringer’s Will drops. The melee wonder if it will ever drop in heroic mode. It won’t.

Rotface Hold my hair while I puke on your melee

World of Logs

Finally we made our way over to the Plagueworks to start in on one of the other low hanging fruit hard modes. It’s the same Rotface you know and love except that he now has 47 Million HP. By now you’ve heard that Professor Putricide will assist Rotface by afflicting 3 random raid members with Vile Gas.

The problem with Vile Gas isn’t that it can hit your ooze kiting tank. It isn’t that it takes some DPS or healing out of commission or possibly traps them in an ooze flood. It’s that you can move…while puking your guts out. This poses a problem when 3/4 of your raid is standing in melee range, one of them runs out to merge their little ooze, and then runs back into melee range puking.

Since the fight lasts much, much, longer than normal mode, the ooze explosions will be frequent after the first two. Rotface has this funny knack for making your raid members go insane and start doing ridiculous things when they aren’t even affected by debuffs. If you’ve seen The Crazies (original or the one recently released), one of the minor themes is trying to tell who is really infected or who is just simply buckling under the pressure and losing their mind. By the end of the night, I certainly couldn’t tell, but we did finish him off on a gloriously epic BRM style first kill that was eerily similar to our first normal mode kill.

Moral of the story: Keep your head straight after the second ooze explosion. Don’t run into melee range with the Vile Gas. Don’t run near other people that are puking.

Blood For Blood

Tomorrow’s raid will mark our first entry into Heroic: Crimson Halls where we’ll go for our first Tier 10 Heroic Tokens. Time to get out the real heavy pipe hittin’, blow torch wielding DPS.

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