Holding Out For A Hero

19 March, 2010

A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.–Novalis

Heroism/Bloodlust is an essential raid buff on nearly every encounter. On some it’s just a way to get it over with a little faster. Other fights require it to meet a benchmark or cover all of the healing required.

This is a simple post that simply lists in a simple fashion when I hit (or call for) Heroism:

  • Lord Marrowgar (Normal/Heroic): Start of the fight.*
  • Lady Deathwhisper (Normal): Start of the fight.*
  • Gunship Battle: By the time you’ve read this far into the guide, you already have won
  • Deathbringer Saurfang (Normal): When Saurfang frenzies at 30%
  • Deathbringer Saurfang (Heroic): When you think you can win in the next 40 seconds.
  • Rotface (Normal/Heroic): Start of the fight.*
  • Festergut (Normal/Heroic): As the first gas expunge is casting.
  • Professor Putricide (Normal): After one complete tank rotation (All tanks have 2 debuffs). This generally lines up with ~20% and will aid the raid healing quite a bit.
  • Blood Prince Council (Normal/Heroic): First time the Darkfallen Orb passes to Taldaram. The melee doesn’t have to move.
  • Blood Queen Lana’thel (Normal/Heroic): After all 16 vampires are active.
  • Valithria Dreamwalker (Normal/Heroic): After portal #3 or #4, depends on how fast you are moving. Make sure GS is ready to go up on her when you exit the Dream/Nightmare.
  • Sindragosa (Normal): Final ground phase (generally ~40%), this will allow you to push back the enrage and also not put your DPS in jeopardy if you use it later (Mystic Buffets!)
  • The Lich King (Normal): During the second Remorseless Winter when the first Raging Spirit spawns.

As a bonus, I’ll throw in To(G)C:

  • Northrend Beasts: After the first Jormungar burrow, when Acidmaw is mobile for the first time.
  • Lord Jaraxxus: Start of the fight*
  • Faction Champions: Start of the fight, when the melee are actually on their target (wait for them to run in).
  • Twin Val’kyr: After the second vortex, or when you see a good number of dps empowered. On Heroic Mode we tended to use this as late as possible regardless of empowered just to guarantee we had the healing to power through the last 20ish%
  • Anub’Arak: Start of Phase 3 (Leeching Swarm, phase). This is the best way to counter the massive amount of healing done as he transitions over.

*Make sure the boss is fully debuffed before activating Lust/Heroism (Sunders, Ebon Plaguebringer, etc.)

UPDATE: The above are from a 25 man point of view, but also all work for the 10 man versions of these encounters.

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Approaching Hard Mode ICC25, A Road Map

15 March, 2010

To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some may say that non-linearity is the true way to create interesting content. It provides choices and perhaps a different way of doing things. In reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe you get to choose a different path through the instance when farming the content, but that is quite inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

What Raid Leaders want, and look for, is the best path through an instance. If they don’t know what to choose, the choice will quickly be made for them. Let’s take a look at the “First Four” bosses of the original Naxx:

  1. Anub’rekhan
  2. Noth the Plaguebringer
  3. Instructor Razuvious
  4. Patchwerk

One of these things is not like the other.

Even if an ambitious raid leader wanted to tackle Patchwerk first, he simply could not. What he will fall back on is either experimentation (if he’s one of the first in), or the experiences of guilds that came before him. In the case of Icecrown Citadel Hard Modes, the latter is where most of us fall.  Plotting out a course of action based on the science of guilds that have already tried (and failed, in some cases) is the best way to create an effective map of hard mode progression.

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ICC25 Hard Mode: Them Bones

10 March, 2010

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.

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Icecrown 10 (Kinda) Hard Modes: Round 1

9 March, 2010

The difference between a man and a boy is: a boy wants to grow up to be a fireman, but a man wants to grow up to be a giant monster fireman.–Jack Handy

Our 10 man finally got back together after our initial hard mode debacle, and started working on hard modes. The plan going in was to knock out all but the end wing bosses at the least. We ended up killing 8 hard modes, but it wasn’t exactly the eight we had planned on going in.

World of Logs Night 1

World of Logs Night 2

Tuning Fork

Out of all the wings, the mostly oddly tuned was Crimson Halls. It just seemed completely backward as far as what should and shouldn’t be hard.

Blood Prince council introduced several new mechanics that had to be dealt with:

  • Shadow Prison: Reverse Hodir. Every second of movement applies a dot that ticks for 500 shadow damage per stack. Only ticks when moving. Removed if you stand still for 10 seconds.
  • Glittering Sparks: Now more sparkly, reducing movement speed by 40%
  • Kinetic Bombs: Drop like rocks instead of beach balls.

Blood Queen Lana’thel introduced:

  • Stuff hits harder.

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