Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Naxx clear

Part two of our raid from Sunday has just finished, and given Grulnak his first clear of Naxx.

Sapphiron wiped us twice before we downed him, so getting him on the third attempt felt really good. Kel'Thuzad by contrast was a bit of an anti-climax, as apart from one player failing the "don't step in the red stuff" test it never felt like he'd beat us.

The other highlight of the evening was doing the Four Horsemen the fast / proper way, with myself and just 1 dps tanking the ranged bosses. There's something I like about that sort of assignment - partly the individual responsibility, but also the way that you know your job is done when the rest of the raid turn up and start helping out. Reminds me a bit of one of my first proper raid experiences, healing an add tank on Gehennas in Molten Core.

The lowlight had to be that we got bitten again by the token gremlin with two more tier 7 "Lost Vanquisher" tokens that we couldn't use.

Overall my feeling is that Naxx is much, much easier than Karazhan ever was, probably excessively so (albeit that I like that raiding is more accessible now). Before the Wrath-is-coming final raiding nerf some bosses were always challenging, or at least required you to be on your toes, even when we outgeared them - the Prince, Netherspite's beams, Nightbane with the Charred Earth, even Aran if you got bad timing with the polymorph / elementals part. Currently in Naxx, with our group that still needs a fair number of drops from there and is by no means overgeared, and usually with one or two players learning the occasional boss, as long as everything is set up correctly we generally one-shot a boss, and failing that get them the second time. Aggroing a patrol while clearing trash is "oh, time to pay attention" rather than "oh, #@!%". I need some more gear before I'm ready for Malygos and more still for Ulduar, but already I feel I'm done with Naxx 10.

Although the Undying title would be nice.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The RNG hates us

Interesting Naxx run last night, the upside of which was that, on my second visit to Heigan, I seem to have the dance down pat. No excuses from now on...

The downside was the loot drops, which were a bit of a travisty. Our group consisted of 3 shamans, 3 priests, 2 paladins a warrior and a lock. So of course both tier 7 tokens that dropped were the Lost Vanquisher - Rogue, Death Knight, Mage and Druid!

All the non-plate healing gear that dropped I also had, except that I replaced my ilevel 200 blue leather helm with Noth's Curse. All in all, the Random Number Generator was not shining on us.

The lack of mages or hunters also made Gluth a bit interesting, but between a paladin tank (well, more a paladin aggro-and-run-away) and my frost shock and earthbind we managed the adds just fine and one-shotted him. In fact we one-shotted all the bosses except for the Grand Widow, where our attempt to get the Momma Said Knock You Out achievement didn't go so well.

Back on Tuesday for part two, which seeing as we've cleared 2 2/3 wings already should give me my first Naxx clear.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

The Wyrmrest Accord

Exalted with the dragon folk now. A nice pair of gloves, and (once I've found another 4000g) a rather cool new flying mount.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009


For some reason (perhaps that we're generally older than the average player) our guild rarely has a shortage of healers, and at the moment seems to be quite full of tanks. Consequently in the last couple of days the later evening heroic runs tend to be looking for DPS more than anything else, and having reasonably decent elemental gear (a lot of which is my raid resto gear) and not being due to raid for a week or so I thought I'd respec and try a different role.

Having done three runs over a couple of nights as a DPSer, my general impression was that I'd rather be healing!

In Wrath, as a damage dealer, you're judged pretty much entirely on your damage output, and mine is frankly not really up to it at the moment. Partly this is lack of practice (and no doubt skill), partly it's that I'm not really fully prepared - I still have my healing glyphs and enchants, so I'm not properly optimised, and also I've not specifically targeted damage gear on previous instance runs so have a lot of wasted mp5 and consequently I'm lacking in other areas. Although that said my raid gear (when viewed as elemental gear) is as good if not better than would be expected on someone just starting out on heroics.

Although damage output has always been a primary consideration, previously the mark of a good DPSer was the other aspects of their class - the ability of a hunter to chain trap, for example, or a quick-thinking rogue pulling a lose mob off the healer. In Wrath, with AoE tanking, crowd control is rare if not totally absent, so the damage meter is all that counts.

I did enjoy raiding Karazhan as shadow on Tukkillen, but there at least was wanted for shackles on Moroes, and group buffing with Vampiric Embrace / Vampiric Touch.

So, for now, it's back to healing.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Doing the dance

Last night was the first night of Grulnak's second Naxx raid, and my first experience of the Plague Quarter. The Heigan dance was quite fun to learn, although it took me longer to get the hang of than I'd hoped. I was a popular target of combat resses (because of my Disease Cleansing totem), so had more "learning experiences" than the other players who were new to it. I'll find out in the next week or so whether once learned it sticks with me the way it should. Loatheb was also fun in a slightly sadistic way - seeing how many heals you can get into the 3 second window. Fights like this though are presumably tuned on the assumption that you have raid warning addons, which presumably in turn makes them difficult to impossible without them..?

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Naxx first / second visit

My first proper visit to Naxxramas today which was somewhat more detailed than Tukkillen's Mind Vision tour of part of the place when it was still in Azeroth.

We started slowy as we had 2 or 3 new players plus at least one new character who were new to the place, but after clearing the Arachnid Quarter with no real trouble took a step or two up to the Construct Quarter.

It was good to actually walk around the place, and see bosses I'd only read about, but given that over half the raid were familiar with the place and well geared it wasn't the challenge you'd normally expect on an early visit. Still, we had some good learning experiences on Grobbulus and Thaddius, killing them on our second attempts and everything else first time.

A couple of loots - a Band of Neglected Pleas and Pendant of Lost Vocations to help kick start my next gear-up grind. However, I doubt I'll be up to speed by the time Ulduar arrives, so no first-kills for a while...