Pre TBC Raiding

 We’ve had a great year that started with us learning MC and finished with us learning Naxx.  It wouldn’t have been possible without each person’s time and dedication.  Thank you for such a great year. 

 We have 4 more raids before TBC is expected to come out.  These will be the last raids before everyone starts to level again and will most likely our last 40man raids for many months.  We hope to see you in BWL on Tuesday, Jan 2.

 

 

 

 

Fully Rested beats 5 bosses in Molten Core!

I posted a Molten Core signup for tonight, starting 1 hour later (8pm server) than our normal start time.  Sorry for the late posting, but I hope people see this in time and can make it.   We have about an hour left in MC, so hopefully starting late is not a bid deal.

Alt loots:  Alts get for free if no main wants it.

Nefarian down to Phase 2 on Sunday

After a chopping spree through Molten Core (which we cleared < 3 hours), we decided to practice on Nefarian a few times before BWL reset. After refining our technique for Phase 1, we found a setup that got us all the way to Phase 2 with minimal deaths. We actually survived Phase 2 for a long time even with our first exposure to class calls and Nef in dragon form. I believe he was between 75-80% when we wiped.

 Barring disaster this week, we should be able to clear BWL up to Chrommie  on Tuesday and then beat both Chromaggus and Nefarian Thursday. Since our Chromaggus and Nefarian colors for the past week were pretty rough it’s likely to even be easier this time around. I may be wrong, but I think you’ll see a Fully Rested Nefarian head handing in Stormwind Friday AM.

WTS Two Dragon-Dog Heads

Chromaggus is down!

Not only that, but we got Nefarian to phase 2 on our first try, even though we drew the worst combo of spawned dragons for him.

It’s worth pointing out that this was our first real attempt at Chrommie. We fought him before, but mostly to say we’d done it and to see what breath weapons he would use (turned out to be red and green). We wiped 3-4 times while perfecting our healing on the main tank, but you could see our technique gradually improve every try. Healers have to rotate to keep enough mana for massive healing. Melee have to run away from the dragon whenever he breathes. Hunters have to keep a Tranquilizing Shot rotation up to keep him from frenzying. Decursers have to watch for the brood afflictions that can eventually turn people into Drakonids. It’s a very technical endurance fight, but we pulled it off. He’s not on farm, but I don’t think it was simply luck either.

I’ll save more details on Nefarian for next time. Basically, he spawns in a ton of Drakonids until you kill 42, and then you get something of an Onyxia fight on steroids. The fight takes place on a balcony on the very top of Blackrock Mountain with a great view. Has a nice climactic end to all the time you spend in Blackrock’s 5 instances.

Good guilds can wipe on Chromaggus for weeks, but somehow I had a feeling we’d pull it off. While every little bit of gear helps, several of us have the impression that the “gear check” aspect of some of these encounters is overestimated by WoW players. Learning the mechanics and the timing seem to go further than the +5 or so to stats you get from a gear upgrade. (Though again, it eventually adds up.)

I never thought I’d see our little guild actually reach Blackwing Lair, let alone beat it. Only two or so of our members have ever been on successful Nefarian kills. It was interesting to see the transition of boss fight descriptions go from “Do X, Y and then Z” to “Um, I guess we should fight him over here.”

It may take a few more weeks, but we’re going to beat it. No doubt.

L00t:

[item]Pauldrons of Wrath[/item] – Barflez
[item]Dragonstalker’s Spaulder[/item] – Pinchy
[item]Chromatic Boots[/item] – Rooke
[item]Elementium Threaded Cloak[/item] – Airra

BWL Cleared for a Night of Chromaggus Attempts

Just a quick note. We cleared BWL all the way to Chromaggus (second to last boss). I think it’s fair to call all other bosses on farm, though Vael continues to be random since you can randomly lose a healer early, and the suppression room continues to be punishing (how did that monstrosity get through playtesting?)   

We’re set Thursday to try over and over on Chromaggus, and I predict we will beat him, though it may be a frustrating night. We took one quick run at him just to learn his aspects for this instance ID.

Chrommie has two aspects at random each time you go into BWL, which he keeps until the instance resets. Our version for Thursday is the red and green one, which will put two damage-over-time effects on the main tank. This is probably the second hardest version of the boss we could have gotten. Aside from keeping the MT up (which will be hard), the fight is based around staying out of his dual breaths, and making sure we have enough mana to last for a long fight. I’d advise everyone to read up on the encounter a bit.

Phat purps:

[item]Dragonstalker’s Gauntlets[/item]  – Fly
[item]Dragonstalker’s Greaves[/item]  – Fly
[item]Dragonstalker’s Bracers[/item]  – Pinchy
[item]Bloodfang Gloves[/item]  – Sharted
[item]Judgement Sabatons[/item]  – Escian
[item]Belt of Transcendence[/item]  – Coradyn
[item]Stormrage Belt[/item]  – Calidort
[item]Nemesis Bracers[/item]  – Pyrolock
[item]Rune of Metamorphosis[/item]  – Airra
[item]Aegis of Preservation[/item]  – Tambrath
[item]Rejuvenating Gem[/item]  – Studboy
[item]Legguards of the Fallen Crusader[/item]  – Narut
[item]Band of Dark Dominion[/item]  – Taelwyn
[item]Styleen’s Impeding Scarab[/item] – Barflez

To Chromaggus in one night!

We’re still off of our normal Tue-Thr schedule, so we originally were just going to do MC tonight. But there was so much interest in BWL we went back there, knowing that we wouldn’t get a second day with the instance before the reset Tuesday, but that any loot we got would only help our progress for the future (and the haul below is evidence that this was a good idea).

We decided to buy Flasks of the Titans for the 4 main tanks (+1200 hp and lasts through death) which is something we’ve done a couple of times when we’re on a tight schedule and want to prevent a wipe or two. It’s expensive, but we aren’t a raid 5 times a week guild (and it’s scary how many there are out there) so we have to make concessions like this sometimes.

Findala really wanted to try a new strategy on Razorgore. He thinks what we’ve been doing (kiting all the mobs around) wasn’t what the designers intended, and may be more work and more random than it’s worth. There was some grumbling since we really wanted to get through Razor in one try, but we were low on paladins (main healers for this fight) anyway and so decided to try it. We divided up the raid and just killed all the spawners, except for the beefier dragons, which were kept slept or feared.

It worked like a charm. We had far fewer deaths than normal and had all 4 tanks still up at the end.

Vael was messy as always. The first two tries he randomly took out too many healers early, but then we nailed him. We also got Broodlord, Firemaw and Ebonroc on our first try. There was a wipe on one of the hard triple dragonkin pulls, and then another on Flamegor, but still far fewer deaths than we are used to. We had cleared the instance to Chromaggus (minus one more tough trash pull) which is pretty amazing for our 5th foray into a freshly reset dungeon. It’s probably too optimistic to say we’ll get Chromie next week because there is a lot of randomness in his fight too, but stranger things have happened.

I still think Blackwing Lair just shows that Blizzard really learned a lot about designing raids. It’s so much better than Molten Core (though not perfect – see supression rooms).

L00tz: 

[item]Nemesis Gloves[/item] – Taelwyn
[item]Netherwind Gloves[/item] – Hatweweaver
[item]Bindings of Transcendence[/item] – Holybeards
[item]Handguards of Transcendence[/item] – Holybeards
[item]Bracelets of Wrath[/item] – Beardoh
[item]Stormrage Boots[/item] – Fungi
[item]Dragonstalker’s Belt[/item] – Pinchy
[item]Helm of Endless Rage[/item] – Ultava. Guess we get one of these every time.
[item]The Black Book[/item] – Zirk
[item]Lifegiving Gem[/item] – Barflez. Nice.
[item]Scrolls of Blinding Light[/item] – Studboy
[item]Styleen`s Impeding Scarab[/item] – Ripderius
[item]Dragonbreath Hand Cannon[/item] – Amren
[item]Band of Dark Dominion[/item] – Ezmeralda
 

Three Drakes down in Blackwing Lair!

 A good night tonight. We played on a Monday since Bronzebeard will be down all day Tuesday for hardware retrofits. Plus, we had a half-cleared Blackwing Lair from the previous week that we didn’t want to lose with a Tuesday reset.  In between Broodlord (third boss) and the final two tough bosses are a series of 3 drakes (small dragons). These are pretty easy as BWL bosses go and require similar strats of keeping the fire-breathing end of the dragon pointed away from the raid.Firemaw we had already beaten once before. He does a huge fire AE attack. Ebonroc comes next. He debuffs his main target and then heals himself each time he hits that person, so there is a lot of tank rotation going on. Third is Flamegor, who enters a fire-belching frenzy state and must be Tranquilizing Shotted by the hunters just like Magmadar back in Molten Core. We wiped plenty of times learning these bosses, but we did get through them all.There are a few really tough trash pulls too, easily tougher than many MC bosses. The worst of these have 3 of the drakonids (dragon humanoids) who are attuned to a different element that you discover after the fight starts. For example, a red attuned mob causes a lot of fire damage. These are frenetic, crazy fights with many deaths.


Drakonid


 Ultimately, nothing stood between us and Nefarian, the master of Blackwing Lair except for a single gate which was guarded by Chromaggus, a huge two-headed dragon dog.Lore diversion: One gathers that Chromaggus may have been an MC ancient core hound corrupted by Nefarian in his quest to make “chromatic” dragons from the 5 different dragon colors (red, blue, green, black and bronze). There are dissected and mutilated dragons all over the lair, and if Chromaggus breathes on you enough times, you can turn into a drakonid. (Ask Fly – happened to him.) Maybe this is where all drakonids come from. In any case, the corrupted dragon theme is more compelling than Molten Core, which is pretty much just “Evil fire guys.”
 
 Chrommie has a random breath weapon from each head that you don’t discover until the fight begins, and each of which requires a different strategy. It is also an endurance fight since he has something like 1.4 million hitpoints. We only had one shot on him and I suspect it will take us a few more tries to really beat him, but I think we can certainly do it. (Especially when you consider that as with Molten Core, we flew through BWL in only 8 trips so we are really under-geared compared to what many guilds have by the time they reach Chromaggus).

Chromaggus
 

Razorgore the Untamed – down
Vaelestraz the Corrupt – down

Broodlord Lashlayer – down
Firemaw, Ebonroc, Flamegor – down, down, down
Chromaggus – first attempt
Nefarian – ???

L00ts: [item]Nemesis Gloves[/item]– Dingly
[item]Nemesis Gloves[/item] – Ezmeralda
[item]Black Ash Robe[/item] – Holybeards
[item]Drake Talon Cleaver[/item] – Rooke. (I wish I could show you images of some of these weapons. Many are dragon-themed and most are very cool-looking.)
[item]Emberweave Leggings[/item] – Pinchy
[item]Aegis of Preservation[/item] – Asfxziatr
[item]Doom’s Edge[/item] – Fly

                    

     

 

 

Blackwing Lair, Night Seven

At the end of my last thrilling recap, we left our heroes high up in the Blackwing Lair. Although I wasn’t present for Thursday, the group managed to get down one new boss, the drake Firemaw, who is capable of insane amounts of area damage with his flaming breath.

Tonight we returned to a fresh version of Blackwing Lair. We struggled on both of the first two bosses, Razorgore and Vaelestraz, though a big problem was the constant disconnects that 3-4 players (some with very stable ISPs) experienced. We eventually got them both down, though we used up a lot of our available time — the guild went to Molten Core on Tuesday, so this was our one shot this week for BWL).

We did hack our way through the suppression rooms with great speed and took down Broodlord on our first try. That dude hits really hard – he killed our main tank three times in the fight.

Following Broodlord are a few interesting trash fights with “Technician Packs.” These are mixed groups of orc casters, drakonids (the bipedal dragons) and hordes of goblins throwing grenades. These are fairly technical for trash pulls since each mob can do something different. We had time for one shot on Firemaw, but we were tired and I had never done the fight before, so it wasn’t a great effort. I expect next week we’ll get him and wouldn’t be surprised to get a shot at the next boss or two as well. For starters, we were down 3 of our best rogues (Laeus, Sharted, Blackcat) who probably account for 13-15% of raid DPS all by themselves.

From a guild raiding perspective, one of the challenges we are dealing with now is the sheer number of instances to run. It’s hard to really call Molten Core or Onyxia complete, since they drop the tier 2 legs and helmet to go along with the other 6 pieces that drop in BWL. But since BWL alone can take two nights, we’d be looking at a third official raiding night to be able to fit it all in, which I suspect is more than our semi-casual guild can support. For now we are going to try alternating MC and BWL on different weeks and hit Ony every time she is up. It’s sad that what was once an awesome battle against Onyxia is now tedious for just about everyone. Sadly the game design forces you to keep fighting her over and over in order to get the 40+ helms the guild needs. That is 20 encounters minimum, and likely many, many more (we’ve had one warrior hat drop for instance).

L00t:

[item]Nemesis Bracers[/item] – Frak

[item]Netherwind Bindings[/item] – Dplezz

[item]Waistband of Wrath[/item] – Barflez

[item]Judgement Belt[/item] – Escian

[item]Judgement Sabatons[/item] – Studboy

[item]Judgement Sabatons[/item] – Nemorama

[item]Helm of Endless Rage[/item] – Rooke

[item]Maladath, Runed Blade of the Black Flight[/item] – TrinTodd