Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Random Tally Thoughts - cluster 2,300,221

As of the last post, we did sucessfully manage to take down the Illidary Council! The two days of practice paid off, and with the help of my faithful warrior companion and husband, we were able to keep the mischievous rogue under control. We got into a pattern of rushing Veras Darkshadow and pummelling him for all that our trusty weapons were worth, as well as taking turns stunning him with bash, backing up for intercepts and feral charges. Once he vanished we would dance around the fire and blizzards on the edge of the raid rather inbetween the raid members and where we are trying to keep the rogue spawning and tanked at. With two sets of eyes watching for him it is far easier to spot where he spawns and charge in with lightening response. The fight overall is very long and each member had their own particular job to focus on while also dancing away from the deadly fire and ice patches. We consumed large amounts of potions, elixirs, flasks, and healthstones.. it was a merry bunch of players when we finally succeded. My warrior companion was awarded the sweet DPS plate helmet that dropped to replace the very ugly one he was using that made him look a lot like a murlock! Imotheap was often heard Murbolling in perfect murlock imitation whenever Grendu appeared.
And then.... the lock barring the massive doors to the final destination within the Black temple was broken with multiple rays of colored energy... and we all trotted up stone steps to come face to face with Illidan himself..
I thought, "Wow, here we are at the final boss.. after all this time.. and well.. he seems shorter than I thought he would be.. hehe"
Isn't that what Anakin Walker says to General Grievous when they first meet also?
We did a few practice "getting the feel" attempts on Illidan and died extremely pathetically each time in the second phase of the fight.. wherein lies yet one more tanking challenge for myself and one of our top two protection tanks, Aggresser. It will be simple task of mimicking the informational U-Tube videos, and practicing until we get the patterns and attack cycles down... and watch out for the blue beam of death while dancing with our firey lime-yellow elemental friend.... I guess we shall see how it goes...

Monday, February 11, 2008

The Challenge of Disappearing Targets

A very popular "disappearing target" is Moroes from Karazhan. This elusive skeletal figure will beat on the main tank for a period of time, then suddenly vanish to award some random party member with a garotte that is not dispellable. Moroes will then re-appear and return to the tank that has been working up his agro on him from the beginning of the fight. The fact that the agro is not reset makes him rather easy to tank as long as no one surpasses the main tank in agro drawing the boss to themself instead.
Imagine what it would be like if Moroes disappears, but has a complete agro wipe before he re-appears in some random location in the raid.. That is what the mob I was assigned to tank last night did. A druid was selected to tank it because we can easily charge the mob when it re-appears and maul or mangle it rapidly to rip the agro back onto our furry armored bodies..
Sounds rather simple.. but to make things more complicated.. occasionally, the mob will have a shield making it immune to phyiscal attacks. ... So a druid can pop out of bear and Moonfire it to try to rip agro back... So here comes this mob back over to a more squishy druid who has to be quick on the reflexes and pop back into bear, then quickly mangle again to keep agro...
The Mob I speak of is the challenging Veras Darkshadow (rogue) of the Illidari Council in the Black Temple.
I was ready for the task... I had my macros all set: Macro One: /targetexact Veras Darkshadow /cast (Maul rank 8), and Macro Two: /targetexact Veras Darkshadow /cast Feral Charge. I also set the sneaky rogue to my /focus, and had a /cast [target=focus] Moonfire all set for him... I drank my agility potions, threw on my Hit and Tank gear and got ready... Our brave Paladin steps in and gets a Blessing of Protection to avoid instant death from the initial pull of the whole Illidari Council, and I move in and hit Veras with a Fairy Fire.. He heads over to me and I Maul and Mangle him and throw on some Lacerates. (I have my Lacerate and Maul on the same key because they have no cooldown). Things are going well, and my dedicated Paladin healer Hiro keeps me alive easily as I dodge most of the rogue's attacks... La la.. fun fun.. and then **Vanish*** so I wait a few seconds and start to look for the sneaky devil to pop back up.. ~~come out come out wherever you are!!!~~~ And I get impatient.. so I start to hit my Feral Charge macro... and suddenly I charge in and hit one of the other Council members! Why didn't my /targetexact work? ZOMG.. so I back away and finally the rogue pops back up... How convenient.. Right in front of me!!! So here goes.. I hit my /targetexact Veras Darkshadow /Maul button... and Um.. it's not working... ZOMG I'm totally out of Rage!!! He runs off and kills some healers and the Main tank dies, and we wipe..
Okay well.. This is the learning curve right? I will not be rageless ever again.. I discover that Boss Mods has a nice timer for us to see exactly when he will re-appear, so next time I will be ready..
Bopstar heads in for the initial pull again.. He's BOP'd and I pull again with Fairy Fire, and run toward him to Maul and Mangle and OH wait... My enrage must have agro'd everything before Bopstar could engage them! Gathios the Shatterer (paladin) smacks me for about 8k, then my lovely target, Veras, comes over and procedes to destroy me for 4 sucessive hits of 3k each. Somehow I didn't dodge a single one... Curse you Enrage button!!!
..Okay so.. Try again..
This time I throw on more Tanking gear and less HIT gear...
The pull begins.. I'm dancing on my toes all ready to pull without my enrage.. I decide to Moonfire him instead, then pop into bearform and tank him. Moonfire hits, but he runs away to the other side of the room anyways as well as a few other Council members... We wipe again.
HMMMMMM... Why does something so easy end up being so complicated??
Anyways.. That was our first time setting foot into the Illidari Council room.
I learned that my Hit gear is more important than the tank gear because one missed Maul or Mangle could lead to the rogue running off and killing someone else. I will just save my Badge of Tenacity to dodge his attacks. I also learned that I can go and beat on some other Council member during the Vanish period to keep a lot of rage for when he re-appears. And finally I learned that .. if the moonfire is needed... pop into bearform VERY fast or else it's instadeath for my little furry self when Veras turns his evil eye back on me and pokes those sharp objects into something other than my armored bear fur!

One last thing I think helps out a lot... Veras Darkshadow is Stunable... so I call out when he is about to appear so that the paladins can be on the watch for him and Hammer of Justice him into place to buy me some time to charge in and maul and mangle him... Teamwork often is the key to making things work out... especially when your target just won't stay put!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Planning Raids and getting people to come!

How to plan events....

1) "WHEN" Communication!!! First of all, the guild should select specific days of the week as "Raid Days". This works far better than using a guild calendar and scheduling events on it for several reasons. The Calendar might not be updated early enough for everyone to see the event and plan to be at the raid. Many of the members may not have the Calendar add-on installed. They might not know they even need to get one, or they might have been told, and didn't find it to be "essential"... and still have not bothered to get it. The Calendar is not necessary if days are selected and remain static. The "Raid Day" method always seems to work better because of communication. If someone us unsure of when the raids are, almost anyone else in the guild can tell them exactly what days are the "Raid Days". If the Calendar is being used, usually only one person, or a handful of people will actually be scheduling the events and times. There may even be a miss communication problem between the people scheduling them causing confusion.. Again.. just simplify and have "Raid Days". For example, My guild will always raid on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Raiders are expected to show up for the raids, and should let raid leaders know if they can't come.

2) "WHAT" Communication.... So the first step is knowing WHEN, now what must be communicated is knowing WHAT to expect... This is best done through a simple guild message of the day explaining what the raid will be, and what any other future details.. Also, our raid leader gives a very precise summary of what we will expect to accomplish at the beginning of the raid, and at the end of the raid, his evaluation of how well we did, and what to expect to happen in the next raid day, as well as any type of consumables or equipment that will be needed.

Even with great communication expressing raid times and expectations, there still might be problems with raiders not showing up. Some raiders will quit playing or leave the guild, or their computer breaks down, or they just have a lot going on in life that pulls them away from raiding for a period of time... These things are to be expected, and it seems recruitment is an on going process.