Freya = Mana Battery

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

FreyaWhile I’ll go a bit more into this week’s Freya attempts in my “This Week in Raiding” post tomorrow, I just wanted to point out this one thing I found quite helpful during the fight.

I know mana is supposed to be a non-issue during 25-mans.  That’s never held true for me, at all.  I run out of mana in no time, and I almost always have to switch to Viper more than once each boss fight.

Freya is a looong fight.  Six waves of adds before you can even touch her!  That’s a lot of mana to be using.

Assuming you are getting to the level of play where you have a chance at getting Freya down, there’s no doubt that you usually have a few seconds between each wave of adds.  You could spend this time trying to pad the damage meters by giving it to Freya hard, but I recommend this:  Shoot off a Viper Sting at her, and if you’re a Marksman, a Chimera Shot as well.

That’s 24% of your mana back right there (plus an additional >15% if you use Chimera). It’s as good as the ol’ Feign Death and drink tactic!

In fact, feel free to use 1 GCD to lop a Viper Sting her direction whenever it’s off cooldown and you’re running low.  Viper Sting is on a 15 second cooldown, and I doubt you’ll need to use it THAT often.  The special thing about this fight is that Freya isn’t your main target, so you won’t be losing DPS by putting Viper Sting instead of Serpent Sting up like on most other fights: You can maintain your Serpent Sting on your main focus while the mana just drains away on Freya!

Of course I’d recommend saving your Chimera Shot for real DPS while there are adds active, and only hit her with it when you’ve got down time… but 24% is still an incredible boost.

This whole idea might have been obvious to everyone… but I just thought I’d point it out to those who may have forgotten about this little gem.  So instead of  swapping to Aspect of the Viper, pop a Viper Sting (+ Chimera Shot) .  You won’t lose much, if any DPS because Freya is essentially invulnerable during the add phase!


(BTW, Ulduar is the porridge)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

nerfI’m not going to read another post from my Google Reader that has any combination of the words “Ulduar” and “nerf” in the title.  And I certainly won’t dare to venture onto any sort of forums at a time like this.

Have you ever heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? For some, the porridge is too hot, for some, too cold.  And then for others it’s juuuust right.

So you’ve managed to clear through 9 bosses already. /cheer! Good on ya! I’m happy for you and your raid.  But I don’t need to hear that obviously Ulduar is too easy because you’ve accomplished this.

Still haven’t been able to get Razorscale or Ignis down? That sucks, I hope you can pinpoint the issues and get through it.  But I don’t need to hear how obviously Ulduar is too hard.

Blizzard is continually balancing these fights. It’s only been out for just 2 weeks, and maybe they didn’t do as much testing as they should have.  Maybe having only the best guilds being the ones who really test boss fights isn’t the best idea, because when things seem just right for them, it won’t be the same for <Goldie ‘locks> when they venture in with raiders who have only experienced WotLK raids in their history.

I’ve had my own issues with Ulduar, and I’ve blogged about them.  But I’m not blaming anything on Blizzard or Ulduar – our guild is out of practise and we’ve never had to coordinate with this particular group combination before.  So much of our raid has changed since our BC raiding days, it’s taking a lot of time to learn the playstyles, strengths, weaknesses and limits of our fellow raiders.

Other guilds are still playing with the same people they’ve played with since vanilla raiding days, and some guilds just have a great group synergy.  These are all factors that influence how enjoyable and successful your raiding experience will be, a much bigger influence than reducing the damage some lightning bolt does could ever be.

So I ask of you, please stop calling out nerf, whether you are for or against it.  Be proud of your group for the strides you’ve made with the content as it is available to us, or work hard to improve yourself so that you can make those strides that you have yet to make.


This Week in Raiding… Ulduar!

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

This week was our first real week of 3.1 raiding, and it was quite the mixed bag of emotions for me.

On Tuesday we pulled together 25 people and headed in to Ulduar.  We managed to get Flame Leviathan down last week after a few messy starts, so this week the plan was to try it with one tower up.  I got to try out the Chopper this week!  It was fun.  So far I’ve tried everything but driving the Siege Engine… and I don’t know what I like the best!  They’re all pretty fun.

We got Leviathan down really quickly… but it turns out no one actually turned hard mode on, and we didn’t get the achievement.  Oh well!  We’ll try next time.  I did manage to pick up Gloves of the Fiery Behemoth – FINALLY netting me the Epic Achievement!  I had to respec and regem to allow for the loss of hit… but it’s completely worth it.

We hammered away at Razorscale most of the remainder of the night.  We had a couple of good attempts, but the best we did was getting her to about 57% at which point she enraged.  From what I can see, we have two major problems right now:  People are dying in crap, which should NOT be happening.  The solution to that is simple – just don’t do it.  The second issue is that our DPS is not up to par.  We are carrying far too many people.

We’ve got some people who are trying out DPSing for the first time.  Personally, I think Ulduar is not a good place to learn a new role.  Spend some time in a few Heroics first, or at least with a test dummy… but Ulduar isn’t Naxx – we can’t carry 5 DPS doing less than 2k, it’s just not going to get us anywhere.  These people either need to practice, get better gear, or get replaced if we want to make any progress.

XT’s trash?  Ridiculous!  I’ve been told it’s been nerfed since, but we really weren’t expecting it to be so hard, and it kicked our butts thoroughly on Tuesday night.  I got to do some trapping, but it’s difficult to trap a mob that pounces and stuns you!

Wednesday night we went in with another strategy for trash:  we kited them back to Razorscales room and ran around in circles taking them down.  It was messy, but it got the job done.

We didn’t have a full 25 at any point on Wednesday.  That was not a good start to things.  We still haven’t solidified a strategy for Razorscale, and we haven’t gotten her down.  We made some halfhearted attempts at XT, but again, no really solid strategy.

In the end, we split into two 10-man groups.  My group ended up taking down Flame Leviathan, and the other got Orbital Bombardment and a couple of XT’s achievements.

To be honest, I think we should be doing 10-mans regularly.  And I know the gear isn’t AMAZING, but we wouldn’t be doing it for the gear.  What we need is focus and practice.  I’m sure the people who were in the other 10-man and got XT down have a better feel for the fight now, and I wish I could have been there.  If we could all get a chance to try it without the chaos of 25 people running around, I think we’d do a LOT better stepping into 25-man.

But this has been discussed and the leaders have stated that we are a 25-man guild, not a 10-man guild (although I’m sure they didn’t mind getting those achievements and boss kills).

We spent Thursday night in 10-mans again.  I had so much fun, and I learned a lot… in fact, I wrote about it all yesterday.

treasure_chest1This Week in Raiding… is my weekly Saturday post where I allow myself to brag about new gear, bosses, achievements, and such.

Come back next week for another dose of epeen and QQ!


This Just In: Raiding CAN Be Fun!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

I was going to save this for Saturday’s post… but I just couldn’t do it.

10-man Ulduar is so much fun!

Last night, I remembered what made me start raiding.  It was fun, once upon a time.

We had some trouble getting 25 people together and motivated this week.  We still seem to be nowhere near getting Razorscale down with our group.  It’s been stressful, drama-filled and depressing trying to push on, and I’ve even been tempted to say “Screw this!” and retire myself from raiding.  That’s how much I am disenchanted by the guild and our raid group right now.

Wednesday night we ran out of people and decided to switch to 2 10-man groups instead.  We all headed in to take out Flame Leviathan – our group didn’t have a proper composition, so that’s as far as we went.  The other group managed to get Razor and XT down as well, and even picked up a few achievements!

Thursday we didn’t have enough people, so we decided to continue on with our 10-mans.  It took a little scrambling to get 2 semi-properly composed groups, but we managed.  We headed in and our group banged away at Razorscale making very clear progress, getting her down after about 5 tries.

Mistakes were made, but the nice thing about 10-mans is that it’s easier to see where the problems are and improve them.  I forgot to go over after the first harpoon was ready a couple of times, but I learned, and I improved and then we achieved our goal.

We also took down XT and even had a visit with Kolgarn.

10-mans are more focused, and each person is more responsible for their actions.  This is a good way to learn how to do real raids again.  We can all find our weaknesses and improve on them and see real results from it.  This is the learning experience we need before we can even think of getting further in Heroic.

I learned and enjoyed myself exponentially more last night that I have since the day Ulduar game out.  We were taking down new bosses, learning new strategies, and were ACTUALLY PROGRESSING.

We weren’t spending 3 nights making the same mistakes and dying the same way on Razorscale like we do on 25.

The leadership has said we are a 25-man guild, so we’ll continue at 25-man raiding.  But to be honest, I think it’s silly.  I think everyone got more out of the 10-mans than they did when Razorscale just continually wiped the floor with us.

The gear in 10-man Ulduar may not be better, but for the level of skill we are at right now, the experience most certainly is.

If we end up doing 25-mans next week… I think I might cry, because now that I’ve remembered what fun and education I can get from raiding, it’ll make it just that much harder to go back to wiping repeatedly on Razorscale.


Highlights from the Blogosphere (04/10-04/23)

Friday, April 24th, 2009

This one is spanning two weeks because I didn’t bother with one last week.  I’m going to focus on great 3.1 guide posts, mainly Argent Tournament and Ulduar!

The Argent Tournament Tourist Guide @ Banana Shoulders
Siha has a 3 part (only 2 parts are published so far) series explaining the ins and outs of the Argent Tournament.  It certainly helped me when I found myself lost and getting my Aspirant butt kicked!

Healing Ulduar @ World of Matticus
They’ve posted up a few very helpful boss-specific guides to healing at WoM, as well as overall strategies.

Ulduar Boss Fight Videos @ The Angry Butterfly and Less QQ, More PewPew
Neg and Dro have both posted up videos of their boss fights so far in Ulduar.  I haven’t watched them all yet, but I really prefer to watch videos instead of just reading strategies.  I tend to forget what I read, but videos help to really understand what’s going on and answer more questions.

highlightsHighlights from the Blogosphere is my weekly Friday post to share some of the interesting, funny or informative blog posts I’ve read over the past week.

You can check out all the blogs I read on my list of Other Peoples’ Blogs!