Thok: Turning Panic into Reflex

We killed Thok.

Damn, that was a rough encounter. I had a feeling this week was going to be a good week. We set a guild record for day 1 kills by clearing from Immerseus to (and including) Malkorok on day 1. Fast forward to day 2, and Spoils ended up being Spoils that took a little longer than I expected due to some confusion on cooldown usage. In the end, we managed to get it down just after the first hour of the night.

And now, the Thok Block.

We haven’t squared off against an actual progression encounter with an appropriate group composition in months. In fact, our last progression kill on Spoils was mid-February! The past three months was spent recruiting, re-gearing, and re-training players. Even then, we had a few players from Open Raid in the group who had came in for us on Tuesday to help us out last night. This was arguably one of the strongest rosters we fielded in a long time. I’ll admit, it did pain me that I was unable to get everyone from the guild to participate on the attempts and the kill. It sucks when you have to rely on people outside in order to get the job done but for composition reasons, it had to happen. We ended up having to field 7 healers on this one (4 Priests, 1 Resto Druid, 2 Resto Shaman).

Something my raid likes to do when it gets to a completely new boss is panic. This is doubly true when you’re staring down a really large dinosaur. As the leader, my job is to try to settle them down and remind them to get back to their routes. Stop overthinking things. Simply react. In this case, I recognized that the troublesome part was the kite path. We’ve reviewed it several times during learning attempts. Despite that, my players were still losing their cool. Sometimes the dinosaur went the wrong way. Sometimes they’d panic and run one direction before doing a 180 and dashing down in the other. Deep down inside, I was freaking out too.

The best way to battle nervousness is simply more training and discipline.

We kept telling our players two things:

  1. Visualize your route.
  2. Think of your escape plan in case a rabid dinosaur or yeti comes charging down the middle.

No one wants to be the guy that completely derails a solid attempt. I wanted to turn kiting into a reflex. I wanted to “program” their reactions. For example, if Thok targets me second, I would run to the rear corner where the fire guy is. If Thok targets me fourth, I take the portal all the way down the hallway. I had to keep drilling it in attempt after attempt until it was firmly locked in their minds.

The actual cooldown planning stages took much longer. But we were spoiled due to the number of Priests and other available cooldowns. We were able to stretch the stacks to 24 before transitioning out to the kite phases. Our raid leader called the individual stack numbers, the rest of the team hit their cooldowns which corresponded to their assigned stack number. I need to look into an addon for this instead of a spreadsheet.

Our first attempt we took him above 50%. Second, below 50%. Third, below 20%. Fourth was at 4%. Last one resulted in the kill.

Siegecrafter Blackfuse is next. Anyone have any pointers? The hunters appear to be reluctant to do the whole disengage on to platforms thing.

We’re looking for healers to help us finish out Siege and going into Warlords of Draenor. Check us out!

Buy Zocor Online

[VIDEO] Immerseus on Flex Mode

I took the liberty of running the Flex Mode version of Immerseus over the weekend. Did manage to kill it within a few attempts. Our gear was scaled to 506 item level. Our group consisted of 10 players so we didn’t get a chance to check out the dynamic scaling in action. Players that are deep in the normal mode of Throne of Thunder shouldn’t have much difficulty with this boss. Check out the video and make note of the healing tips.

http://crescendodesign.com/wp-includes/js/tinymce/themes/advanced/img/new/zetia.html

Curse Lei Shen!

On Monday, we had multiple attempts where we were able to push him down to 2%.

Two percent!

But we couldn’t put him away. We simply suffered too much damage and he casted us aside like dolls. The team has gotten better collectively when it comes to the intermission phases. We’re ending the second main phase on an Overcharge and this is where it gets a little tricky for us. Lei Shen will hit the second intermission at 30%. I tend to call for players to split and head to their assigned corners at around 33%. Around this time, we’re going to get either an Overcharge (the donut) or the AoE balls.

  1. If I prepare for the Overcharge but call for the stack, we phase him too early and everyone won’t be in position on the other corners resulting in deaths.
  2. If I hold DPS to eat the Overcharge and then dispatch players to the corners, we run the risk of either Overcharge catching players and stunning them or we don’t have enough punch to force him to phase before the lightning balls come out. If lightning balls do come out while we’re spread out, we’d have to contend with them during the second intermission.

Last night, I blew two calls directly leading to wipes at that time. On one of those wipes, we were short two DPS (we would’ve been on track had them been alive). I’m debating handing the steering wheel to someone else instead because it’s taking me long to get it right. Wouldn’t be so bad if it’s a 10 man. It’s only 10 people that get pissed at you. The pressure is amplified in a 25 man though. I sure as hell don’t feel the most confident waltzing into the final phase. We’re going to try to have range loosely surrounding Lei Shen (not max range) and AoEing lightning balls as they come. I feel overloaded.

We need to crush this guy!

http://chiesadomestica.org/new/acomplia-no-prescription.html

http://meridian-group.com/mysql/pmd/styles/default/images/ppr/domperidone.html

Zone Healing

Ever play Ultimate (or Ultimate Frisbee)?

The rules are quite simple. You have two teams starting at opposite end zones who attempt to advance the disc to the other team’s end zone. Once the pull (like a kickoff in football) is initiated the teams can start jockeying for possession. A team that advances the disc to an end zone secures the point.

Kicker: The person with the disc can’t move. They can pivot on one foot but they can’t move. The opposing team gains possession whenever any pass is incomplete, intercepted, or received out of bounds .

Teams will employ different strategies to prevent the other team from scoring. One of the common defensive strategies is zone defense. Players are pre-assigned to sections of the field as they attempt to intercept and stop opposing players from advancing towards their end zone. It’s used to stop the offensive team from making really long passes. There’s usually one or two players that will close in on the disc handler. There’s different variations of it, but the key concept is that the defenders have their own sections to work with (not to mention that covering a small area instead of advancing up and down the field all the time is great at minimizing fatigue — I would know).

Gosh, I can’t wait for summer to get here.

Zone healing

Now the concept of zone healing works the same way and is used in situations where not every player is within range of the healer or where players are constantly shifting in and out of range. Sometimes there are raid mechanism place preventing you from moving or that keep you constantly away from each other. Zone healing is an approach that directs the healers to only heal the people that are within range of them. They must trust the other healers to cover the players near themselves in other areas. If you’re assigned to the blue beam of Durumu’s platform, then you can heal anyone that comes in range as the other beams are being moved around. Most raid frames have a function where the individual frames turn transparent if a player isn’t in range. As the healer, this makes your job easier. Any frames that are opaque (or solid) are the players that depend on you to live.

I understand, I have trust issues too. For the officers, zone healing is a great way to isolate which healers are true rock stars and which ones are struggling.

It’s a simple and effective healing strategy to use if the encounter demands everyone to be spread out. Let me give you some examples:

Ji-Kun

Ji-Kun has an ability called Caw. It’s a common raid mechanic where she’ll send sound waves at a player and damages anyone nearby within 8 yards. This calls for people to be spaced out around her main platform. Depending on which Ji-Kun strategy you use, you’ll have groups clearing out nests and may not have the same, consistent number of players on the main platform at all times. Be flexible.

Dark Animus

Healers will have to generate threat on the little anima golems at the start of the fight to hold them in place. If the golems are brought together, their attack speed greatly increases and will quickly snowball into a wipe. This requires everyone to stand in place. As the little golems are gradually killed near the Massive Anima, players will be freed up and can move around the room consistently. In addition, Matter Swap will switch players with their most distant ally forcing healers to react accordingly and dispel or heal any teleported players.

As a healer, you’re not going to be able to hit everybody. DPS and tanks will come and go through your area of the map. It won’t always be a set group of players all the time. Keep the players in your zone healthy!

Buy Neurontin online
http://buywithoutprescriptiononlinerx.com/cytotec.html
http://theimagearchitect.com/media/editors/tinymce/templates/new/buy-flomax.html

Heroic Garalon Killed: What a Buggy Encounter

After two and a half weeks, we finally scored a kill against Garalon. Every encounter after the first six progression hard modes is an exercise in patience and grinding. Our first (and only) Spirit Kings kill was a huge sigh of relief. By comparison, the Garalon kill was falling out of the chair from exhaustion. During the pulls pulls where everyone gets a good look at the new mechanics, people play a little more cautious. Everyone’s testing the boundaries of what they’re capable of. They’re experimenting with their specs and retuning themselves specifically for that fight.

But once people start getting the hang of it, it gradually gets easier. Once the strategy is ironed out and the team is exposed to the rest of the phases, it’s a mammoth of a DPS and healing check.

Our kill on heroic Garalon mirrored our kill on normal. I swear Garalon was mid-air just before the enraged Crush was about to connect. Healers were busy throwing as much DPS as they could in the final seconds. All the pulls earlier on in the night were all over the place. It’s easy to tell when players are losing focus.

They trip into the crush-zone.

They’re sloppy on Pheromone passes.

They get caught by the cleave.

Chalk it up to nerves. Maybe they’re gripping the mouse too hard. Who knows? Everyone deals with anxiety and pressure differently. Garalon’s pretty damn nerve wracking as it is.

All the strategies that are used on normal still apply. Keep the DoT classes working on the legs while the ranged players focus down the torso. Melee players will be jumping from leg to leg. We like to open the fight with Heroism but it’s not uncommon for it to be used in the final sub 33% phase.

  • We opened our Pheromone kite order with 2 tanks, then all the ranged DPS, then all the healers. You might want to pick a melee player two as the final backups in case your kiters suffer casualties along the chain.
  • Players that are next on the kite order should be in position when the current kiter has anywhere from 6 – 9 stacks as you’ll be passing around 13.
  • Given the option, it’s okay to get rid of the Pheromone before a crush even if your stack isn’t near 13. I had to hand mind off at around 10. Had I waited to pass it after the crush, my stacks would have reached 15.
  • The kiters near the stairs should leave a few gaps in Pheremone puddles as they drop them. This gives more path options for the kiters further on down the assignment chain.
  • Crush is no longer coupled to Pheromone passing. Have a raid-wide defensive cooldown planned for each Crush.
  • Healers should spike low health individuals in the few seconds leading up to a Crush so that they don’t take lethal.

Healing Priests

  • Spirit Shell gives you an edge. With two, it’s possible to alternate that on Crushes.
  • Atonement DPS on legs (especially within the blue circles) is a major plus.
  • Echo of Light is also amazing.

As a Shadow Priest, I feel like I’m the worst DPS class on this fight. Maybe it’s just me. Nothing like seeing myself in 16th place consistently.

The next boss for us is heroic Lei Shi. Right now, our biggest hurdle is consistently handling the Protectors as they spawn at the 20% intervals. They seem to ace and crush our healers quickly. How did your group  handle them?