ICC (10 and 25 man normal) Crib Sheet – The Frostwing Halls

Well Friday I finally saw Sindragosa on 25 man as part of a PuG.  Saw would be accurate as on the first air phase the mage Iceblocked.  Not the ‘I’ve been hit by an icy spear of dragon breath’ kind of Iceblock, but rather the ‘I am a complete noob who just hit my Iceblock spell’ kind.  The result was inevitable.

So here it is, better (very late) than never – the Frostwing Halls.  Just the Lich King to write up now.

Valithria Dreamwalker

  • 1 tank on 10 man, 2 on 25 man.
  • 3 healers on 10 man, 5-6 on 25 man.
  • The ‘boss’ is the big dragon in the middle of the room – you need to heal her to full to win.  Assign 1/2 healers to stay outside at all times and 2/3-4 healers to take the portals and focus on Dreamwalker.
  • When a healer enters the portal they cannot get out until the phase is over.  They will swim around the Emerald Dream popping bubbles which give them a buff.  Timed correctly, the buff will never wear off and they will heal for more and more as the fight goes on.  Use Hero in the last 20% of the fight to manage this.
  • The fight starts when you pull the adds around her.  In 25 man the raid then splits into two equal parts, one on each side.
  • Blazing Skeletons need to be dps’d down as soon as they appear – they are priority number one.  The don’t need tanking.
  • Blistering Zombies need to be kited and killed by ranged dps.  They explode when they die.
  • Assign 1 dps to kill Supressors in 10 man – in 25 you will take them as part of your side.
  • Risen Archmages should be tanked.  Interrupt their AoE Icebolt.
  • The Abominations must be tanked, and do a frontal poison so angle them carefully.  When they die they spawn small worms which need to be AoE’d down ASAP without drawing aggro.
  • As the fight goes on, the adds spawn faster.
  • Stay off anything blue (tosses you into the air) or purple (eats mana).

Sindragosa

  • 2 tanks.
  • 3 healers on 10 man, 6-7 on 25 man.  The extra healing is needed in phase 3.

Phase 1

  • Arrange the raid on the stairs and tank Sindra so her side faces the stairs.
  • Caster dps will get a debuff called Unchained Magic. This will cause stacks to build on the player.  When the stacks expire, they will take a spike of damage relative to the number of stacks.  Stop casting to minimise the stacks.  You should be aiming to take 4 only.
  • Melee/physical dps will all get random stacks of the debuff XX applied.  It works the same way in terms of damage done to the player.  At 4 stacks stop and move away until they expire.  She has a HUGE hit box.
  • At some point most of the raid will get pulled into Sindragosa.  You then need to IMMEDIATELY run out as fast as you can.  She will cast Blistering Cold hitting everyone for a lot of damage relative to your distance from her.  The closer you are when the pull starts, the more time you will have to get away from her.

Phase 2

  • In phase 2 she will take off.
  • 2/5 people will be marked with arrows indicating they will become Iceblocks.  All other players should be 10 yards away from them.  In 10 man they stand in the points of the T at the bottom of the stairs and the rest of the raid should wait a little way up the stairs until they have been blocked.  In 25 man they make two walls on the stairs and the rest of the raid should wait at the top until they have been blocked – alternatively you can spread out along the bottom of the stairs in 5 spots.
  • Once they have been blocked, run in and hug the iceblocks.  You need to use them to stay out of the line of sight of the spear of ice Sindragosa will throw at the ground.  These can be seen by a mark on the floor, surrounded by a swirling white effect.  It is these that will be the source of the damage.  There will be four spears.
  • During this phase you need to reduce the health on the tombs but not break them until after the fourth spear has landed.  Once the fourth spear has landed players will begin to asphyxiate and they need to be broken out ASAP, so get the blocks low but don’t destroy them.
  • In 10 man, you can do this with only 2 air phases.  Use Hero after the first one to achieve this.
  • Phase 1 and 2 alternate until you hit 35% at which point phase 3 begins.

Phase 3

  • This is a ground phase.  She will continue to do all of her Phase 1 abilities.
  • The raid should line up with the front leg of Sindragosa.  When marked, the Iceblock targets should line up with her back leg to drop the blocks.  The raid then moves behind them and destroys them, while the new targets move to the front leg.  Rinse and repeat, dpsing Sindra in between.
  • She will also cast a stacking debuff on all players that increases damage taken called Mystic Buffet.  This can be removed by hiding behind an Iceblock so that they don’t get reapplied.  All the raid needs to keep these low.
  • The tanks switch the boss between them so they can run and reset their stacks behind an Iceblock.  Make sure there is one available for them.
  • This is a control phase.  You should have ample time on the enrage timer.  Standing the same place and resetting Mystic Buffet are more important than that last bit of DPS.

Fires, Dreams and Nightmares

Its been a busy couple of days. The gear list posts are coming. In the mean time if you take a look at the gear list you will see I have already added some more items.

A Beacon Fire
As any blog reader cannot fail to have noticed, there is a new ‘thing’ in the blogging community – the blogging guild Single Abstract Noun run by Tamarind of Righteous Orbs. Its based on the Argent Dawn-EU server which is an RP server. I’ve got a few very low level alts kicking around on there. And now I have another one – Morrighann the Blood Elf Paladin. I’ll link her once shes high enough to even appear on the armory! From my brief time there last night it seems a very nice community. My time there is going to be a bit limited as I try to juggle it with work, life, Dreamstate and blogging, but I do want to make the effort to go over there. I think everyone has ‘the blogger they most want to meet’ over there too. For me its Larisa from the Pink Pigtail Inn who encouraged me to rant more early in my blogging days.

Nightmares
Tamarind has been through an experience recently I can sympathize with, which is being forced out of his guild due to his blog. I’ve been there. I blogged about something that I had found particularly offensive in the guild, and which the officers had failed to deal with. And that saw me kicked from the guild. I had never made my blog a secret, and I had blogged about similar things before. But this was just a step too far for the guild. (Don’t go looking for this post btw – I took it down after the server troll found it).  I’ve not really blogged or talked about this since, and I’m not sure I will more than this because I know my old guild is going through some tough times right now.

Tamarind said something that made me realize how unhappy I was in my previous guild. He talks about how his blog has/had become the reason he plays. The gaming supported the blogging rather than being a side interest. In my last days in my old guild the blog definitely meant more to me than playing the game. My unhappiness with some of the people, with the guild management, etc. had made the game a place where I was unhappy and my blog was an escape from that, back to the times when I enjoyed the game.

Now I might regret that more if it wasn’t for what happened afterwards. Some friends of mine, also unhappy with the direction the old guild was taking, formed Dreamstate. Dreamstate is a totally different place to be. Its friendly and fun. It’s a completely different experience to be in a guild like this. I have now reached the point where I play the game because I enjoy it again. I still enjoy blogging, but I also love raiding again.  The game, for me, is very much a social thing.

Dreams
On another note, last night we made our GM’s dreams come true. Or at least ended one of his nightmares! We downed Firefighter in Ulduar 10. We had been working on this a while back, but setting up the new guild got in the way. Last night we went back and down he went. Dreamstate now has several Algalon keys and will be taking out the last achievements needed for our Rusted Proto-Drakes (I Love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning, One Light in the Darkness).

Our last attempts on Firefighter had been so close. They literally gave our GM nightmares. Everyone was so glad when it went down last night. It was relatively easy – we do over gear the fight somewhat. This let us deal with the tricky stage 3 by zerging the head. I was on the adds (the only melee with one tank). The second tank and one ranged dealt with the bomb bots. Everyone else nuked the head.

I enjoy doing things like this, as they allow the two raid teams to come together and we had people from both teams and the Casual Raider rank (who aren’t assigned to a team as these are generally people who can’t raid as often). Thanks to all who came, especially the one member who didn’t really want to raid that night and came to help us out.

How to wipe in Trial of the Grand Crusader

Last night Forgotten Heroes downed Northrend Beasts in Trial of the Grand Crusader 25.  We welcomed a lot of new members over the weekend as another guild joined with ours and it made all the difference.

Now with some progress wiping going on, we have to learn to wipe again.  The nature of Wrath raiding is that pretty much everyone has to live.  So heres some tips for what to do when a wipe is called.

General Tips

  • Stop healing!
  • Stop tanking – you WANT the boss to rampage insanely around the room now.
  • Actually die.  Using Divine Intervention, Feign Death, etc. does two bad things.  It means the person who did not die still has a Heroism debuff.  And it means that the wipe is slower as the boss takes longer to reset (or it sure feels that way to the people standing outside the door).  Only use these abilties when someone uses a StupidNinjaPuller Wand on members of your raid.  They dropped off the Headless Horseman, you know.

Northrend Beasts
Phase 1 – Stand in the fire!
Phase 2 – Stand in the slime!
Phase 3 – This one is trickier.  You basically need to stop healing and wait for him to kill you all.  Stand close to the boss to get damage from his knockback and clump up so more people are targetted by his icy breath.

Demon Lord Jaraxxus
Stand in the fire!

Faction Champions
Stop dispelling.  Stop healing.  Stand in the Hellfire/Whirlwind/Consecration/etc.  All group up together so that mobs will come close to you.

Twin Valkyr
This is an easy one.  Run around the room like a nut taking every opposite coloured orb you can find! This one is possibly more fun than the boss…

Anub’arak
Phase 1 – Again you need to wait for him or his adds to kill you all.
Phase 2 – All gather up in the middle to get spiked.
Phase 3 – Just stopping the healing should be enough.

Updated  21 November 2009

Achievement fest, or how a bad night turned good

So last night. Raid invite time comes and where am I? Still on a train. Meetings ran late. I missed the raid. The guild ran ToTC 25.  Realising I was at a loose end I decided to do a few things I wouldn’t normally be able to do on a Wednesday night.

Did you notice the Headless Horseman drops rings?
First I logged onto Arianrhodd to do the Headless Horseman. I had a bonus summon, never having done it before, after having quickly put out the fires in Brill. I went, I summoned, I got the Ring of Ghoulish Glee, I was happy. I now have two epic rings at least! I missed out on the sword, but maybe I’ll try and go back each day and get it and the helm.

The Saviour of Hallows End ACHIEVED!
Bring me the head of … oh wait ACHIEVED!

GNERD inspired PvP
So that being done, I moved on to Morrighan and started looking for some GNERD infused honour kills. I found most of the 50 I needed in WG. It’s the first time I’ve done WG since the limit on the number of people was introduced. Is the lag better? Yes. Is it still awful? Yes. But I got some honour, some quests and most of my kills. Then I hopped into a quick Eye of the Storm. We ran, we took towers, we realized it was going rather well. Then the message came up – Too few players, battleground will close in 2 minutes. But with four towers and a few flag runs, we won in less than 2 minutes. 1600 to 0.

The Perfect Storm ACHIEVED!
Flurry ACHIEVED!

Ulduar Revisited
By then ToTC 25 had finished. The guild was off to Ulduar. The GM was sleepy so he handed over the reins to a fellow officer and went to bed. I replaced him. Wahelen, in his wisdom, decieded to try FL hard mode.

First there was some debate about what FL hard mode was. For some reason a couple of people were convinced it was 3 towers up. This is because they couldn’t see the achievement for four towers, which only appears after you have killed 3 towers. /facepalm

Then we decided to do Dwarfaggeddon. Try one – epic fail. People killed dwarves they shouldn’t kill. We took out the spider bots and the giants our biker brought back and waited a few seconds before we tried again.

Dwarfaggedon (25 man) ACHIEVED!

Then we had a couple of fail tries on FL. The most irritating thing was that it showed up what people cleared didn’t know how to do. Given we had some warning that we might try FL this irritated me. A lot. Added to that someone decided not to die and I died twice just trying to use the teleporter. I was not amused. The tactics for FL are not that hard. People weren’t messing up on Freya’s adds or Mimirons flames. They were failing to understand being launched from a Demolisher! I’m a terrible raid leader because I always expect people to be prepared. If they don’t understand tactics – ask. If they haven’t read the tactics beforehand – why not! I don’t expect to down things fast, I don’t mind wiping. But I feel we should never wipe because of something you could have read on Wowiki.  Action point for all raiders going back to Ulduar hardmodes: go back and reread the Ulduar tactics. Its been a while and the hard modes need you to understand not just the hard mode mechanic, but also the original tactics!

More explanations.

Then the turning point came. Then finally we had a good try. We wiped because the second team launched too soon. And then, on try 4:

Nuked from Orbit (25 Player) ACHIEVED!
Orbit-uary (25 Player) ACHIEVED!

Some people got more than that too!  Credit for this kill goes to a few people. I want to mention Girion, who did awesome amounts of DPS as a Demolisher driver. Also Hitmerules and Cheesygrin who did a great job there. But in particular Wahelen, who remained calm throughout, who had faith we could manage it. Wahelen is unflappable in the face of failure. Hes encouraging, praises gradual progress, explains calmly and does a great job of leading raids.

More dwarf killing
Then we moved on to Razorscale and decided to kill some dwarves. One tank took the guardians, some ranged took their health down to a low enough level. Then she landed and we let her take them out. That’s when the bug became evident. Not everyone got the same number of kills each time. Consequently, by the time he enraged not everyone had the achievement. We came back, screwed up stupidly and while we were all lying dead on the floor he killed another batch of guardians. And all of the rest of us got our achievement.

Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare (25 player) ACHIEVED!

Apart from one. Hitmerules still needed 1 dwarf! So in our kill we carefully selected a victim, got him the achievement, took it down and got the speed kill achievement for the few very new people who didn’t have it. Credit for this one has to go to Elfbabe and Melanai who masterminded it. Elfbabe in particular did a great job telling people when to dps the guardians, when to stop and getting them in place.

It was the most fun we’ve had in Ulduar for AGES. It was great. It follows a 6% try in TotGC 25 Northrend Beasts and having cleared everying in TotGC 10 apart from Anub with two raid groups this week.  It seems after all the changes FH is finally starting to gel and the progress is coming.  The Ulduar achievements maybe are helped by us being OP.  The TotGC ones aren’t so I’m quite pleased with them.

And the icing on the very large chocolate cake – getting to tell the GM that while he slept we managed all these achievements. Its like the time he missed the guilds first Yogg kill because he had to go and rescue someone on a boat. I replaced him then too. Mwhahahahaha!

And just to finish off the night, with yet another Eye of the Storm victory (it was the daily – that’s normally the best chance you have to win anything on my realm as Alliance):

GNERD rage ACHIEVED!

Reported for spam.

Dragon Killer (Sartharion, Malygos and Onyxia 10 and 25 normal) Crib Sheet

Obsidian Sanctum (Sartharion)

Dragon mini bosses (Vesperon, Shadron and Tenebron)

  • 1 tank for the dragon, 1 to take adds inside the portal (generally)
  • When the portal appears everyone but the dragon tank and his healer goes in and kill the adds/eggs.
  • You can Zerg Vesperon and Tenebron, but not Shadron as he is untouchable while his portal add is alive.
  • Get out of swirly blue things before you die!

Sartharion

  • 1 MT tank, tanking where she stands but facing right.
  • Stay away from the head (cleave, breaths) and the tail (swipe).
  • 1-2 OTs take the fire adds; collect and drag to the melee for AoE.
  • If a fire add gets hit by a Fire Wall it enrages and a hunter or a rogue should de-enrage it.
  • Stay out of Fire Walls.
  • Fire wall spot one: when Fire Wall comes from the right the spot is roughly in the middle of the island.
  • Fire wall spot two: when Fire Wall comes from the left the spots are towards the top of the island (for the tank) and towards the bottom of the island (about 1/3 up) for everyone else.
  • Pop CDs in the last 10% when the number of adds spawning increases – ignore and nuke the boss.

The Eye of Eternity (Malygos)

Phase 1

  • 1 tank facing him away from the raid.
  • Incoming orbs should be slowed using snares and destroyed next to the boss so all dps and healers can stand on them for a dps boost.  Use cds when you have two stacked.
  • Keep the raid topped ready for Vortex – you can only use instant casts during Vortex.

Phase 2

  • 2 tanks on the ground adds.
  • DPS down the ground adds first.  Melee should get on the discs as they appear to take out the flying adds.  You won’t take damage from Malygos while flying on the discs.
  • If you are on the ground stay in the bubble!
  • Run from bubble to bubble on full health only and don’t get caught outside during Deep Breath which will do a lot of damage.

Phase 3

  • All group together before you fall onto your dragons. Stay together and stay 30 yards away from Malygos.
  • Assign 2-4 healers who just stack Revivity and proc Lifeburst to heal everyone around them.  All players hug the healers.
  • Keep enough energy at all time to proc a shield if he turns his gaze on you.
  • Move together (normally clockwise) from Static Field.
  • The optimum dps rotations is 1-1-2 (Flame spike-Flame spike-Engulf).
  • Don’t die!

Onyxia’s Lair
This fight has 3 phases – ground phase 1, air phase, ground phase 2.

Ground Phases

  • 1 tank on Onyxia, 1 tank on the whelps
  • Melee on Onyxia.  Stay away from the tail (swipe) and the head (cleave).
  • Ranged take down the whelps. Stay away from the whelp caves so tanks get aggro.
  • On ground phase 2 don’t stand on the cracks in the floor.  Tremor totems ftw.

Air phase

  • 1 tank on whelps, 1 on whelps/large adds
  • Melee on adds, ranged on Onyxia (if you have enough melee)
  • Take down the large adds first.
  • Run out when the adds do Blast Nova.
  • All run to the edge of the room when she does a Deep Breath.  DBM gives you plenty of warning.

Obsidian Sanctum
Wowiki tactics
Tankspot video

The Eye of Eternity
Wowiki tactics
Tankspot video 10 | 25

Onyxia’s Lair
Wowiki tactics
Tankspot video

Why I miss the 0.3% wipes

Generally I like Wrath better than TBC.  I definitely like the accessibility of raids.  But there is one thing that bugs me.  We don’t really get those 0.3% wipes often any more.

In the arms of Kologorn
Last night, for reasons best know only to himself, our raid leader decided we should try and get the achievement to kill Kologorn without killing his arms.  Its not part of the Glory meta so I was a bit miffed.  But whatever.

We got it.  The trick is that when he drops people he yells ‘Oblivion’.  If you really control your dps you can save 3-4 sets of people by dpsing the right arm after they get swiped.  Every time you hear ‘Oblivion’ go back to the chest fast.  Don’t DoT him.  When the arm is on about 15% stop doing this, shufty the melee over to stand under the left arm where they won’t hit the right so often and dps while you still can.

What was good, was the excitement of a 0.3% wipe.  With people dropping like flies and only one tank and a healer up, they died and the fight was over.  And I realised that those fights were something I missed from Wrath.

The secret of Wrath raiding
Don’t die.

Thats it.  If every single person manages to live, 85% of fights, including hard modes go down.  For the other 15% everyone needs to live and do good dps/healing/etc.  Just don’t die.  For progress guilds on hard modes death=wipe.

I don’t really like the hard mode mechanic much.  The fights tend to be gimmicky and repetative.  They either aren’t different enough or have an added gimmick that makes them a bit silly.  I really hope Blizzard can find a better way.

The other thing the hard mode mechanic does is make the difference between a success and a wipe much wider.  Someone died?  Take the wipe.  Most wipes are quick.  The 0.3% wipe is something you see so rarely because if everyone lives, its a kill.

I really dislike this.  TBC raiding managed to be challenging without requiring this.  I remember these low % wipes.  Lots of them.  While you pushed the edges of an enrage or how many people died or whatever.

What I would like to see
More hard modes where success wasn’t defined soley by keeping 25 people alive for 5 minutes.  Maybe players have to successfully do something, or even you know you are going to lose some players but have to work through it like the Kologorn achievement.  All of the gimmicks are belittled at the moment by the need to keep 100% of players alive.

I don’t really want the fights to be made easier.  Just different.  Its quite hard to explain.  The challenge, when you first went to see him, of Gruul was not 100% survival.  It was keeping enough players alive to kill him before he was too much to handle.  Make the hard modes more challenging in terms of what players have to do and the hoops they have to jump through.  Don’t just add one little gimmick and insist no one dies.  Then, since the challenge lies here, make the deaths a little  more forgiving (losing 1-2 people from 25 should not necessitate a wipe).

Not to make the fights easier.  To make them more fun.  Wrath wanted to get rid of 15 minute boss fights.  I would like to get rid of 30 second forced wipes in Cataclysm.

Altaholism

So now I’m no longer an officer I have some time to spend on other things.  I’m indulging my Altaholism at the moment.  Trial of the Crusader/Onyxia and the Emblem changes are such that both my alts can raid.

Akandra the Discipline Priest
I did Trial of the Crusader 10 on Akandra the healer.  I can feel the difference healing on her as opposed to being on Morrighan.  Probably because I used to have on Akandra what I now have on Morrighan – that kind of instinctive experience with my class that means when the going gets tough I can pull out all the stops in a split second.  Knowing instantly where my buttons are and what does the things I need.

That being said, no one died from my failure apart from me.

It was a clear, a success and a great deal of fun.  And as some of the blogs I continue to read and my Horde experiences remind me, not everyone has waltzed around and cleared Trial of the Crusader even with their mains.   So I am very please to be able to go with my alts.

Plans for Akandra – Trial of the Crusader 25.  I took my main to our alt run this week as she didn’t get in on the main run.  But hopefully I will this week and then I can bring Akandra to the Friday run.

Enalla the Feral Bear Druid
Now for me its the other way around.  Trial of the Crusader was my nostalgia moment, healing on my priest.  I never did Onyxia at 60.  But my friends Rincmaster, Uvejret and Wahelen were putting together an Onyxia run so I offered the services of my suite of characters.  And knowing me as they do, they let me bring Enalla my feral tank to what I called Enalla’s First Raid (which is especially nice considering Rinc loves to tank so thanks especially to him).

It was a one shot.  I tanked the lady herself.  It was HUGE fun. I loved it.  Special thanks go to Mokelok, Lela and Morningblade for controlling their aggro so well.  Yes I know I need a new weapon.

Plans for Enalla –  Ulduar 10 to start with.  With a new weapon I could also manage Trial of the Crusader 10 most likely.

Arianrhodd the Frost Death Knight
I’m just trying my hardest here to get her some gear.  Without the kind of support that a large and friendly guild like Forgotten Heroes its much harder to gear up.  Right now I am busy upping my weapon skills after the dual wield switch and farming rep, rep and more rep.

I’ve found having this character an incredibly useful experience.  It reminds me of how hard things are still in this game for some players.  It makes me feel even more angry when I see people complain about ‘welfare epics’ and ‘raids are too easy’.

Plans for Arianrhodd – PuGs and lots of em.  Especially in 3.3 with that PuG achievement out there.

Levelling
I am levelling two characters at the moment.  Morrighan the Blood Elf paladin with my husband and his hunter, Hesttia the Drenai shaman on her own with a full set of Heirloom gear.  Both are in their 40s and on the last run up to Outland.  Hesttia will probably have to spend longer in Azeroth, levelling her Engineering.

Plans for the levelling characters – get them both to 80.  I will definitely try some PvP levelling too on Hesttia – probably in the last run up to 58.

In other news …
Morrighan had some tries on Anub’arak on 10 man hard mode last night.  For my first time on the hard mode version it was good, I only noob died once.  We tried with just two healers, but thats not enough.  What we need to down him is 3 good healers, 2 good tanks and 5 dps good enough to ensure we only had one burrow phase.  We had a few problems with crashed login servers, etc. and never quite got enough tries once we had that setup.  But he will die.  Our very first attempt was 9%!!!  And it wasn’t the only one where he went low that night.  Its close.

Patch 3.2 – how it all worked out

What I like:

  • Releasing one boss a week on Trial of the Crusader – gives you time to savour those victories. They’ve been pretty easy so far for my guild, averaging about 3 tries to down a new boss. It also means that by the time heroic arrives we’ll be practiced on the kills and that will help a lot. I prepare the tactics each week so I’m going to write some up here.
  • Trial of the Champion, or as I call it, alt-loot-heaven. Saturday night a group of us decided to farm it on normal for trinkets. I took my little druid Enalla who is now 80 and got some very nice loot. Still missing the Armor Pen trinket from normal and all the pretties that heroic holds for my new feral druid.
  • The badge changes. I don’t care if it means everyone has my head. You know what? Good for them. Its a great change for new players and a great change for alts. As someone who came to serious raiding late in TBC the Sunwell patch was the only reason my guild managed to get into BT and MH when it did. We could never have made all that gear up in tier 5 raids in time. These patches aren’t an evil plot to persecute those with shiney loot. They’re designed to keep the pool of players who can support middle to high end raiding large enough to be viable.
  • Druids. As I said, Enalla is 80. It makes me appreciate the faceroller comments about paladins a little more when I play her. You have to be properly behind mobs, not just in the general vicinity. Easy on a boss, harder on large groups of mobs whent he tank is running around. I get the feeling this will make me a better paladin. I can also appreciate the difficulty in getting and keeping things running, which is not easy on a druid.
  • I got my first piece of gear from Trial of the Crusader – Armguards of the Nether Lord. A big upgrade from Bracers of Unrelenting Attack although I currently need a hit gem to be capped.

What I don’t like:

  • I’m a little disappointed that Trial of the Champion is as easy as it is. I, like many others, was hoping for another Magister’s Terrace. For those who didn’t play in TBC, Magister’s Terrace on heroic was hard. Even for those in full Kara gear. I can remember failing to kill Priestess Delrissa and her band of evil buddies on multiple occassions. That being said, I am aware that I find Trial of the Champion easy because I’m overgeared for it. I was reading Big Bear Butt’s blog this morning on the train and hes clearly had a much harder time of it. However, with the new badge changes that won’t be an issue for long.
  • Its taking me some time to get used to the paladin changes. I’m still not remembering to change my Seal as often as I should and I find the need to get and keep up stacks is meaning I’m losing some of my utility. The rotation is more comfortable after a week or so of raiding than it was, but I’m still finding I have big gaps with nothing to use.
  • New General Vezax. It took us several wipes last night before I remember reading about a change to him – he casts Searing Flames more often. We rejigged our interrupts for a kill, but it was pretty irritating at the time. He now casts searing flames more often and our old method – two alternating interrupters of any class that can interrupt – failed. Instead we went with a rotation of three. However, my rogue and enhancement shammy tell me they could probably do it alone as their spells lock out the fire school for longer. I suspect this might also mean you need two interrupts on 10 man, which we never needed before. Also, with our DK tank being nerfed, we needed to use some other saves for Surge of Darkness. DK > Pain Suppression > DK > Blessing of Sacrifce > DK > Pain Suppression > etc. got us through with ease. It just needs to be a save that reduces damage rather than saves from death (i.e. not priest wings).

What I’m looking forward to:

  • I have a tier 9 token. We have a new dkp system for Trial of the Crusader. All existing members got a small amount of started DKP based on their attendance and DKP earned over the last 60 days. I took a gamble and spent some of mine on this now, thinking it will cost more later. I spent 10 of my 15 DKP. I’ll let you know how that works out. Now all I need are the Emblems of Triumph to buy it. I currently have three pieces of tier 9 (I’m using the Steelbreaker’s chest for my expertise cap) in Head, Legs and Hands. Hands have expertise and Legs have hit so I think I will buy the shoulders. The Paladin shoulder token from Yogg rarely drops and is going to cost more DKP than I have on the Ulduar system, so I intend to buy that. That means I need 45 Emblems of Triumph.
  • Should I buy the tier 8.5 chest for the set bonus? Not yet sure. Expertise has taken a nerf but the cap is still a good thing.
  • Getting the new gear lists up so I (and you) know what to go for.
  • Respeccing my druid with two specs – bear and cat.
  • The promise of a new Onyxia. Can’t wait. Must go kill her and get the achievement on my paladin before they remove the old her.

Flame Warden Morrighan, slayer of Yogg-Saron

The Flame Warden
I spent last weekend doing the Midsummer Achievements. I have to say I liked this set. They were time consuming, but none of them are luck based so all it took was some dedication. And as a nice reward for your hours of running and flying, you get around 600 gold for the fire quests at level 80.

The most challenging achievement is definitely stealing the flames from the opposite faction’s cities. I suggest picking a quiet time on your server to do this. Undercity’s flame is in the courtyard, so this was quite easy. I then ran on up to Silvermoon City and since it was quiet just ran up through the city quite easily. Basically run in the main entrance, turn right and follow the sections upwards until you find the flame. Orgrimmar was the only place I died. I ran in the side entrance and follow the road heading north where you can to find the flame in the Valley of Wisdom. Between some guards and some Horde, I stood no chance there. Thunder Bluff is great as a paladin as you have a built in escape hatch. The flame is on Spirit Rise. Take the lift up (follow the path up from the Tauren starter town and take that one), run on over and grab the flame. Then, having been spotted by Horde, you can make good your escape. Leap off that cliff! Bubble, land, hearthstone.

Yoggy
But this is the highlight of my week. My guild hadn’t killed Yoggy on 10 or 25 man thus far. We’re a 25 man guild, so we haven’t had extensive tries on him in 10 man. But our 25 man tries were starting to come together and this definitely made 10 man easy. I wasn’t in the group at first. I’d been there for General and then had to go and nip out to buy some tickets for a music festival this weekend. But our GM got called away … to rescue his brother’s stranded boat! I kid you not! So the raid leader (that being my lovely husband) called me back in. And we one-shotted him.

It was a clean kill. No deaths, no insanity. It wasn’t a tidy kill. The first phase was a mess and we ended up killing the first three adds before they reached Sara – so much so that I stopped DPS for a while because it was safer! Someone then hit a cloud and a few more spawned. I think that kinda balanced it out in the end. This being 10 man, the tank just stood in the middle. I ran in and dropped Consecrations and hit Divine Storm before hightailing it out to safety. The ranged kept up the DPS and all those extras blew up right in Sara’s face.

Phase 2 arrived and we had one add left up. We grouped up. Melee killed some small tentacles. Ranged focused on the big one, with one tank running in and out, hitting them to interrupt the reduced damage buff. Portals came up and down we went. It was the three groups of tentacles room – my personal favourite as a paladin. Second time down we had the guards standing around the edge. The brain room was opened fast and all of a sudden we realised we were gonna hit phase 3. The tank down with up ran back up and as soon as phase 3 hit we lept on out.

This is as far as our 25 man group had gotten. We could get to phase 3 on 3 portals, but tended to fail on the transition, which I know is tricky on 25 man because those adds hit like trucks! But on 10 man it went smoothly and we found a spot and took him down. Once you get past the transition, the phase is easy. We tanked the adds close to Yogg so that the melee AoE hit him too. You can Judge Yogg without facing him, so if there was no add I did that. Once he was below 20% I even turned round for a few Hammer of the Righteous throws and I kept up Consecration and hit Divine Storm as much as possible. Phase 3 is a long, slow phase. We kept calling for Sanity checks and reminding people just to take it easy and not take any risks. And he was down.

So gratz to all who were there and gratz to Forgotten Heroes (Ethanuel, Drasinia, Noela, Phaese, Alaka, Nightlynx, Nosuf, Melanai and Zilina). 25 man Yogg is looking imminent now.

Shameless Plug
Forgotten Heroes is recruiting at the moment. We intend to keep raiding over the summer, but with holidays that can be hard so we’re expanding our raid roster a little and looking for skilled dps and healers from all classes. We’re based on Darksorrow-EU which is a PvP server with a good progress record. Its active in PvP and PvE.

We’re focused on 25 man end game raiding, including hard modes, and we raid Wed, Thur, Sun, Tue from 1845-2300 and you need to be able to make 3/4 of those. You need to be geared for Ulduar, preferably with some Ulduar experience and have a good understanding of your class. We expect raiders to be prepared with tactics and consumables and to be able to learn from mistakes and wipe constructively where required.

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