Hi folks. I hope everybody had a good Fourth of July (or Canada Day, or just a normal) weekend. Welcome back to your workweek! (No, I’m not actually this chipper. In fact, I’m dragging like crazy. But I read somewhere that more people read your blog if you’re happy and upbeat, so I’m faking it. Ssshhh. Don’t tell anyone.)
A few random notes from the weekend…
– After 8 months or so of Wrath of the Lich King, Linedan finally has himself a title: Linedan, the Argent Champion. All it took for the final push was two deadside Stratholme clears, each one good for about 4000 rep with the Dawn once the 14-15 different Scourgestone turn-ins were done. The Seal of the Dawn can finally get retired to the top shelf of Lin’s bank. Now, 57 more quests in Kalimdor and around 260 more in Eastern Kingdoms, plus 20 or so (mostly group) quests in Icecrown, and he can get Loremaster. I’m not pushing hard for that one, though, it’s more of a long-term I’ll-do-it-as-I-have-time thing.
– Moktor, my orc death knight, hit 80 on Sunday. She is my fourth level 80, and I celebrated by taking her to a few heroics. I think it’s an indication of just how crazy the death nugget class is in general that I can walk into heroic Gundrak, Drak’theron, and Stratholme in a mixture of mid-70s dungeon blues, quest reward greens/blues, and one kickass piece of gear (a Titansteel Destroyer Linedan made her)…with me having very little of a clue about how to work a rotation on multiple mobs…and still pulled 1500 dps for all three runs. And I thought beastmastery hunter was faceroll easy.
– Friday night, I was just chillin’ like a villain on my dwarf Beltar when my guildleader Tarquin whispers me: “So, I hear your raid fell through this week.” (The Anvil had too many people out of town for the Fourth, so we took the week off and Linedan got a bit of a rest from offtanking.) I answered “yep.” So Tarq says, “want to come to Ulduar with us?”
Tarquin also runs Totally Raiding, Inc., a successful, in-character, roleplay 25-man multi-guild raid. Want proof that you can mix roleplay and raiding? Try a “RP raid” that’s 12/14 Ulduar, with only Yogg-Saron and Algalon to go. And he was asking me–Beltar, in his oh-so-l33t Naxx-10 welfare epix–to head to a 25-man Ulduar not just to kill a few bosses, but to be there for TRI’s first serious pokes at The Yoggster. I think my reply was something to the effect of “well, you know I’m undergeared liek woah, but if you’re crazy enough, HELL YEAH I’D LOVE TO GO.”
They were crazy enough, and I got to go. So I got to see Vezax and Yoggy for the first time on my undergeared dwarf alt, not my raiding Tauren main. Go figure.
Vezax is a fun fight to be a hunter on. No mana regen? No problem! Just pop Aspect of the Viper. OK, we’re only doing 60% damage, but that’s 60% more than the mages are doing while they’re standing around waiting for a Shadow Crash puddle to stand in. Bang bang > pew pew, biatch. The mechanics of the fight are interesting without being too nasty, but then again, I’d say that as a hunter because that’s a simple job–know when a Shadow Crash is incoming and get clear of it, know when to pop saronite bubbles, throw a Silencing Shot in on Vezax to help back up the interrupters on his wicked flame AOE, and otherwise, just lean on the trigger until one of you goes down. I might have a different opinion of the fight once I see it on Linedan, either as tank or as offspec DPS.
And then, there’s the Yoggmeister.
That fight had to have been designed by a bunch of half-drunk Red-Bulled-up Blizzard developers who got together and decided, “OK, listen, we’ve got all these cool mechanics in Ulduar…let’s put all of them in one fight! It’ll rock!” And thus was created Yogg-Saron, god of death, insanity, and HOLYFUCKTENTACLES.
It looks so innocuous to start with. There’s Sara the Vrykul, floating above the floor in Yoggy’s bachelor pad. (Aside: “Sara?” “SARA?” What the hell kind of Vrykul name is SARA?!?) She is surrounded by orbiting clouds of pee, I guess because she’s been in there a really long time with no bathroom break. Anyway, the pee clouds orbit like planets, in fixed orbits around her with a clear space in the middle where she is. They cover maybe half the room or a little less. It smells bad.
The trick is, if anybody touches a pee cloud, it summons a big Faceless Horror with 900k health, and he’s pretty pissed at having to clean up the Sara pee that you’ve gotten all over the floor because you bumped the cloud, you big oaf, so he starts beating people up and throwing 6k+ Shadow Bolt Volleys all over the room. I think more of the things are summoned on a timer as well. The only way to get to phase 2 of the fight is to kill the Faceless Horrors next to Sara 8 times; each one knocks 12.5% off her health, because they explode for a metric shitton of damage when they die, something like 20,000.
So the strategy TRI used was to have one of three tanks grab each add as they came out, and pull them to the pee-free spot near the door, where they would be beaten down to about 30%. At that point, DPS switched to another target, and the tank would drag the wounded add–slaloming through the pee clouds so as not to summon more Faceless Janitors–over to Sarah. There, a designated “center group” of 4 or 5 ranged DPS, including yours truly, would finish them off, all the time dodging both pee clouds and the lethal explosion when the add died. It’s basically a “don’t stand in shit”–uh, “don’t stand in pee”–fight, except that the consequences for bad positioning are much worse than taking a little damage. Too many adds will wipe the raid in very short order.
Assuming you blow 8 Faceless Janitors up next to her, phase 2 starts. The pee clouds go away. This is good. The downside is that they’re replaced by tentacles. LOTS of tentacles. We’re talking a hentai fan’s wet dream here. Yoggy pops up and starts taunting people while the tentacles go to work. There are ones that grab people and crush them (think Kologarn’s right arm). There are ones that cast nasty debuffs. There are big ones with ridiculous health that crush people near them. And they’re EVERYWHERE, man.
At some point during this madness, portals open into Yoggster’s brain. People run into the portals and kill stuff and DPS his brain (the only way to damage him) and have to come out quickly or they’ll get mind-controlled, yadda yadda. I didn’t get that far. I was too busy shooting every tentacle I saw before it tried to do nasty, nasty things to me.
Our best attempt was 91% on phase 2. Might not sound like much, but trust me, that was serious progress. Phase 1 is much tougher than it sounds, because you need to put serious DPS on the adds but not too much or they’ll die away from Sara, which is wasted time. Your tank and center DPS have to get the add on top of Sara and kill it, all the time dodging pee clouds, failure of which will wipe the raid under a swarm of Faceless Janitors. (Although it’s fun to have a feral or rogue hit Dash/Sprint once you call a wipe and see how many he can spawn. Our record was 27.)
So that was my weekend. When I wasn’t WoWing, I was cleaning out a flooded dishwasher. Judging by the smell, I think I’d rather have been dealing with more pee clouds.