Archive for the ICC Category

The Lich King gets his smackdown

Posted in ICC with tags , , , on October 8, 2010 by zarigar

Finally.

I can cross the biggest thing off my Wrath bucket list. Funny that he finally went down right after getting an official release date for Cata. Now I won’t feel like I’m forgetting to do something before moving on to the new expansion.

Tuesday started interesting. For some reason, people were gathering in Obsidian Sanctum first before ICC. It wasn’t the weekly, so I’m not sure where the idea to take down Sartharion came from. Anyway, Lorethos got the invite, accepted the summons and to OS we went.

Oh yeah. My priest had never done OS before.

So, yes, I got Sartharion and Lich King first kills in one night.

After that it was off to ICC. The raid lockout was extended so it was going to be a night of just LK attempts. Oh yes, there were many attempts.

Such silly mistakes I couldn’t remember them all. Trying to get that last frost sphere in phase 2 and falling to my death when the ground disappeared from beneath me. Thinking I had a frost sphere targeted and killed but then running into it.

And apparently my pockets were filled with Valkyr snacks or else the Lich King was paying them on commision based on how many times they threw me over the edge.

Also, it sucks how quickly you can lose a decent attempt based on one poorly placed defile. Not just placing it in the center of the raid, but when the stupid Valkyr decides to fly someone right over one already dropped. Bah.

I didn’t think it was going to happen. I don’t know how many attempts we did, but we were coming up at the end of raid time and we basically had one more attempt.

What made that last attempt work I have no clue. Nobody got blown off by an errant sphere (giggity). All the grabbed players were broken free before getting tossed off the edge. The defiles weren’t dropped in horrible places. (Or if they were, adjustments were made smoothly to work around them.)

But we’d gotten fairly far before and then just falled apart to a silly mistake, so it wasn’t until he was around 12% that I thought “Oh my God, we might do this.”

And then we were dead:

oh noez!

Yay, I had never been so happy to die before. We had won, unless, as Zug suggested “we all leap off the edge after we were brought back to life”. >.<

Suck it, Arthas!

So got The Frozen Throne achievement for killing Arthas, but no Fall of the Lich King. Sindragosa still has yet to die by me. Whoops. Oh well. The big guy went down and that was still very satisfying. (I don’t know why all my sentences sound dirty with double meanings.)

I guess it’s a good thing that I went ahead and decided I would have “co-mains”. Because otherwise I might be sad that Zarigar wasn’t the first toon to do it. Maybe he could try to be the first one to take down the endboss of Cata.

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Raiders gonna raid

Posted in ICC with tags , , on September 9, 2010 by zarigar

Tuesday night was SR’s first raid as a guild since last week’s leadership reassignment. It wasn’t even a formally planned raid; it just kind of got created due to there being enough people online. There was some initial talk about ICC10, but I think we were stalling for time and did the raid weekly: Razorscale.

I’ve kind of ignored the raid weekly in the past. Unless it was Marrowgar, we didn’t really schedule runs as a guild and I don’t need emblems enough to go out and pug it. The same is kind of true with VoA; though what usually happens there is someone will suggest doing it only to find out it is the one time that week that Alliance has control of WG.

So this week’s raid is in Ulduar. We go in and grab our vehicles for Loot Leviathan. I end up in a chopper and, when the boss is down, I end up with the 3 Car Garage achievement. Excellent start.

We start up Razorscale and….somehow Zug is dead. Not in a “haha Zug can’t control his aggro” way, but in a “did people forget he was a tank and didn’t heal him” way. Whoops. Thankfully SorakEpicHeals~ is now SoracEpicTank~ and he solo tanked the encounter.

We trampled all over Zug’s corpse while we dodged blue flames and killed mobs and ended up with the achievement for not letting her into the air more than once. One day I will finish Ulduar.

But not today, because, after some character swaps, it was into ICC.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve done a few ICC10’s but mostly I’ve stuck to the 25 version. For a while our ICC10 options were limited to a hardmode run (nope, computer would have gone into orbit), an alt run (which I tended to skip so that people who needed those runs to gear up could go) or pugging.

I actually kind of forgot how smooth it can go when you aren’t trying to herd 25 people through. The funny thing is we brought in a new person who “had watched some of the videos a while ago”. He even tried to claim it was his first raid ever. Lies! We had just done some of Ulduar 😛

So he would get the quick-and-dirty explanation before each fight and off we would go. I think the Lady Deathwhisper one confused him the most: attack the bubble, then attack the mobs, wait, attack the one with a skirt, watch out for empowered ones, then get back on the bubble, watch out for green shit on the ground, when bubble breaks attack boss, watch out for ghosts, interrupt frostbolts if you can. Listening to someone else explain, it makes perfect sense if you’ve done it 50-11 times…if it is your first time, though, some of it might as well have been in Swahili.

He did a great job though. RNG made sure to test him out by giving him several slimes on Rotface and having him be one the joined people for Pact on BQL. By the time we called it after BQL, he had the achievements for Lower Spire, Plague Wing and Blood Wing. Not bad for someone’s first time.

And did I mention that every boss got one shotted? In fact, I don’t remember if anyone died at all during the run. It was a good run, and it was especially nice to see some people return. Hopefully it’s a good sign of future things.

The Me Factor

Posted in ICC with tags , , on August 12, 2010 by zarigar

I am not a guild master. Or a raid leader. Or even an officer. I’m just a raider.

Unfortunately for some, I am a raider with a blog. So I get to chatter on about the things I see around me. I’m not intending to cross a line or offend someone, but if I do I ‘m sure someone will let me know.

SR finally joined up officially with the guild we had been raiding 25’s with for a while now. As with–I assume–other guilds, some of their players are great and some of them less so. I’ve mentioned several times how I generally feel about 25’s, but one of their redeeming features is it allows you to include more people and there are less concerns about people having to sit out.

It’s nice that we can bring in 25 people all with the SR tag. The rare times we’ve had to sit people out usually happens when they log in after the raid and we are already full.

Even though we’ve been raiding together for a while, there is still a “getting to know you” phase going on now that we are one. Some people that came over we haven’t raided with at all. And I think there are still a few kinks the leadership is working out.

Now, for the actual point of this post: people are selfish.

I know, it’s not very groundbreaking or shocking. And people will say “I like to raid to have fun and I want to see people succeed and accomplish things.” I do not doubt that there are some people who feel this way. But, unless you have every BiS piece and every title and every achievement, there has to be something selfish that you want.

And being selfish is not necessarily a bad thing; greed can be a powerful motivator. If you have your eye on a certain piece of loot or a certain boss kill to finish your achievement for that wing, then in theory you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

The problem with being selfish and making it all about “mememe” is when it impacts the rest of the raid. As per standard MT protocol: no one is being specifically identified, but if somehow the person I am talking about reads this and recognizes themselves, please realize that is not meant to be taken personally.

The ICC buff is a huge help to us, but it will not carry everyone. We have raiders with different skill levels and gear levels, and frankly we do take some people with us that may not necessarily be ready for it. Recognizing that, it’s probably not a good idea to bring in your undergeared alts when you have a perfectly geared toon who can raid much better.

Our raid leader is actually very good at allowing you to bring in alternate toons if the raid can support it. Lorethos would not be geared if he insisted I only bring in Zarigar each week. On the flip side, due to certain raid comps and the people available, I have been asked occasionally to bring in a different toon that the one I was planning on.

Is ICC25 the best place to bring in the undergeared? Probably not. We do have an ICC10 scheduled for alts, but if people can’t make that time then they probably are just trying to take what they can get.

We had several people in our last 25 bring in alts, and for the lower areas it was fine. But when we get to the harder content and hit a wall, some decisions have to be made. So do you bring in your better toon (thus saving 2 to one lockout) and help out the raid or do you keep throwing yourself at the boss with your weaker toon and hope it somehow goes down?

I’m actually pleased that many people chose option 1 and they appeared to do so of their own choosing. We didn’t get the boss down, but at least people were willing to switch things up and make some changes.

We got the boss down to under 1%–so friggin close. We are going to try the next day and we are going to get him down.

Next day: raid time and we don’t have all our 25 back. I don’t even think we have all the people who accepted. Apparently there were a couple of people who knew they would not make the raid start time but still accepted for it anyway.

Real life trumps WoW. Obviously. Stuff happens all the time. If I’m going to miss or be late to something I signed up for, I may text Arioch and let her know, but I don’t intend for it to be a guarantee that she will hold a spot for me or have the raid pushed back. If I know I can’t make the start time but would be available later, I use Tentative.

I am firmly on “Team: Start Raids On Time”. Unless there was a prior arrangement that a spot would be held or we would hold the raid back a bit, it’s unfair to everyone to be upset if the raid continues without you. It is just as unfair to the other 20+ people you wanted to have wait for you. And it is just as unfair to the raid leader to have to be put in that position.

The raid leader was apologetic to the people left behind, and that’s fine. But in no way should he be made to feel bad or feel guilty because he carried on without you. At the very least, hopefully this will show other people that raid start times are serious business and we will go without you if you are not here.

And the “so I got 2 toons saved this week?” was a cheap shot and unnecessary. You chose to bring that lesser geared toon into an ICC25 and have them be carried through much of the lower areas. Why does it matter if both toons got saved? Did you have plans to save your “better” toon for a different ICC25 that wasn’t a guild run?

I know that people are selfish. I freely admit I am. (I want the Professor down, dammit!) As long as people carry their weight and work together we can all get what our selfish little hearts desire.

I miss raiding

Posted in ICC with tags , , on August 3, 2010 by zarigar

Apparently I’m getting older than I think. I’m pretty sure we didn’t run our normal ICC25 last week and I can’t remember why. Or else we did run it and I don’t remember it. Or else it did get ran, but I wasn’t on and didn’t go.

I think it didn’t happen at all, but I can’t verify that one way or another. I also didn’t run any ICC10 last week. But my shammy and my priest got saved to separate LK attempts, but neither one did anything more.

And I kind of missed it.

It isn’t really the same when you gather up some people and throw them against one boss repeatedly. Maybe I would think differently if LK went down, but it doesn’t really feel like a raid without doing all the lead-up stuff to it. I don’t think either of my toons particularly need anything out of the 10-man version, but I still enjoy doing them anyway.

I understand why we leave a raid lock-out at LK every week. Many people (myself included) don’t yet have a LK kill, and it makes sense to have one ready for honing our attempts. It isn’t really practical to think that every week we would be able to make a thorough run all the way to the end and still have the time/people/motivation to work on LK attempts.

Still I can’t really muster up the enthusiasm to solely concentrate on the LK. A part of that, for me, is that neither of my toons even has a Sindy kill down yet. So even if LK went down (giggity), I would still have an incomplete part of that raid. The end boss would be dead, but I still wouldn’t have accomplished everything.

Why does my pathetic magic keep betraying me? /cry

The LK attempts were not without its amusing moments, though. I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but it made me chuckle anyway:

no faith in the healer?

And then one attempt got glitched oddly:

"Don't mind me. I'm just hanging out."

I wish a flappity bitch would drop LK off the edge…

Oh, well, it looks like we have a number of raids planned for the week, so that should be promising.

***

Quick sidenote: Happy birthday to Arioch. Hope she is spending the day doing something terribly naughty.

More 25’s hate

Posted in ICC with tags , , on July 21, 2010 by zarigar

Apparently I’m just a big, old liar. Especially when I present an opinion or thought and put it into writing. Zarigar going into retirement? Ha, fooled you, he’s back in ICC the next week. I’m bored and have nothing to do? Oh, hey look, I now have an interest in this druid I haven’t played for 17 months.

I’ve ranted about 25’s before. And then I had to go and comment that 25’s are not so bad. Which means I now have to go back to my original stance on 25’s.

I think what lulled me into a sense of fun was that I was taking my priest in. I love raiding with my priest much more than my shammy. (What is that sound? Is it the sound of a troll heart breaking?) My shaman is a smidge better geared than my priest, but the difference isn’t very big–per GS the difference is maybe a couple hundred IIRC.

There are usually other shamans and priests in the 25 man so it rarely comes down to bringing a certain class because we are lacking one. If anything, there are a lot of both priests and shaman. >.<

But I’m veering off track here. 25’s hate…stay focused.

In my original 25 hate post, I mentioned the stress of having to manage 25 people and that is true today. I think there are some people that don’t really care about their performance in a big group. Or they take advantage of the fact that these bigger raids need people to fill them so they manage to snag an invite before they may be ready.

Now, I will admit that when I started to bring my priest in, I was totally counting on that second part. My priest had maybe been in a few ToCs but nothing else really, raid-wise. I, the player, did have the experience via Zarigar and I was going from caster dps to caster dps, so I had fingers crossed that the ramp-up would be minimal. Still, I was expecting and ready to switch out to my shaman if it turned out my priest was underperforming badly or holding the rest back.

Even though I wanted to play a certain character, I had to be prepared for the possibility that he would be holding the raid back. It’s kind of dorky to be like “yay, team” but a raid is a team and should feel like one.

Often it does not.

If the raid leader says “focus target skull”, why does he then need to repeat several times to stop doing AoE? People are in vent, do they just pretend to not hear? The ice shards from your blizzard are not invisible; we can all see them and know where they are coming from.

Last night’s raid had 3 shadow priests, all of us forsaken. And in shadowform we all look pretty much the same. So many times I would hear the call to focus on a target and just as many times I saw the telltale purple beam of Mind Sear. Being cast repeatedly.

Every time it would piss me off.

Not because they were obviously trying to prop up their numbers (I truly don’t care about that). More because they didn’t care to listen. And since the 3 of us were all basically twins, I didn’t want to be mistaken as the one who was not listening and just off doing whatever the hell I wanted.

There is a reason certain targets get called to be focused down. Often it’s because they deal the most damage and have abilities to hurt the raid severely. Focusing on a target when told to is usually in your best interest. Continuing to AoE when everyone else is focusing is selfish in that someone is putting their own personal numbers over the well-being of the whole raid.

Yes, the trash gets cleared even with some people not listening. But what if everyone just decided to not listen and boost up their numbers as much as possible? There would be aggro everywhere and people pulling god knows how many and our corpses would be scattered all over the floor.

The selective listening continues in other ways. Festergut is freakishly easy on 1o man; in 25’s it’s a nightmare. There is always some issue with the people out in ranged. Usually it’s because people don’t collapse or the one person in ranged with a spore runs off. Last night we had more tank issue problems then ranged, but it is still a fight I kind of dread on 25.

(And I will totally call myself out for dying last night on Fester. I opted to not get the spore debuff and instead Disperse myself through the blight, only I slipped and hit Disperse too soon and pretty much knew my CD wasn’t going to be ready again in time. >.<)

Unless you have the same 25 people each week, I think it’s difficult to get the “team” mentality from a lot of them. In the smaller 10 mans, there is much more accountability for each individual raider.

I still like some aspects of the 25’s and will still continue to be a part of them; I just find some parts of them to be frustrating. When the 10 and 25 raids are changed to drop the same loot, I don’t foresee a whole lot of 25’s happening.

Why bother?

Mom and dad are away this weekend!

Posted in ICC with tags , , , on June 11, 2010 by zarigar

No guild leader or raid leader! Whoo hoo! Party time!

Since this is WoW, though, we party by raiding. (Omg, did I really just type that?) There were a couple of people who kind of weren’t feeling the idea of raiding, but we made them come anyway. (giggity) I think Njeri and Nel even flipped a coin to see who had to got to come along. Njeri “won” and brought along her mage for yummy strudel and Int buff.

The rest of the raid was a mix of main toons and geared alts. I know I’ve said this before, but the toons on screen may be different, but the people at the keyboards were the same. Skill > gear.

We go in and I get a little Mind-Sear-happy on trash and die. Release and run in. It’s just habit by now. No lookey loos waiting for rezzes in the raid! Our worst luck comes when we someone trigger ever trap in the place and we have 3 giants running around.

Wipe…however….we won’t do that again for a while. Even though it started a bit rocky, that ended up being a very smooth run.

Lower Spire: bam, bam, bam everything down. I do have to offer a special “fuck you” to Marrowgar for insisting on bone spiking me 50-11 times. And I did get a little nervous when the Blood Beast would get uncomfortable close to me. But otherwise it was business as usual.

Oops, I lied. We did have one more wipe, and that was when we got the rotting-giant-pass-the-disease-around weekly. We ended up pulling the trash and the giant, so our first attempt was a bit of a clusterfuck. The second time was like a well-oiled machine. Slice was calmly telling people where to go, who to pass the disease off to next.

And what happened? Not one single person died that second time. People say it’s an “easy” weekly and I never really agreed, since my only experience with it was people dying constantly and running back in in a repeating pattern.

Rotface and Fester go down. Boom boom. Someone remarks that it seems like the bosses are going down faster than normal. Professor…down. Again, I don’t think we lost a single person in the wing.

Blood Princes. No pet classes. Oh well, will have to watch for kinetic bombs ourselves. Boom, Princes are eating dirt.

Blood Queen. A tiny issue with not running when the dark shadow were chasing someone and all the bad got kind of clumped up in the middle. But no one freaked out. Boom, down. I even got the “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” achievement.

Dreamwalker. Someone said it took a long time to heal her up, but I was just focusing on killing and killing. Boom, she goes….up?

Just to clarify: every boss up to Sindragosa was one-shotted. I have done the Sindy fight many times but she has never gone down for me (giggity). Was tonight going to be the night?

I won’t keep anyone in suspense: no.

The odd thing is I really like this fight. There are a shit-ton of things going on and it requires everyone to be aware at all times. One random slip-up from someone is all it takes to make everything come down. Still, I think this fight is a lot of fun and it will be that much sweeter when she finally dies.

I got to be the DE person last night and awesomely there wasn’t a whole lot to DE. Most of the drops were usable by someone, so that’s always a good thing. I even wrestled some bracers from Njeri’s mage. Don’t feel bad for her, she went home with many prizes; 3 different spellcaster staffs dropped and she had her choice of them.

Giving a special shout-out to Slice for stepping up and keeping the raid together in the absence of our usual leadership crew. And a big cheer to everyone else who came in and did their job and made it a fun experience.

Potential

Posted in Alt, ICC with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2010 by zarigar

I rescued this post from the nether black hole of DRAFT status and saw that most of it really didn’t apply anymore. For the most part it was me wondering aloud if Lorethos was destined for healing or dpsing.

Back when I started this post, I was still farming heroics for badges. Going in as healer, it was very quick to get in, get your badges, get out, and queue up again. Triumph badges were super easy to get, and I was able to get the T9 sets for both specs in a fairly short amount of time.

The problem was I still hadn’t settled on what would be my “mainspec” for this character. I had leveled up as shadow and liked it, but I had farmed mostly as healing and liked that as well. (As holy even, though apparently disc is the place to be. Party people!)

Sidenote: this may be a reason why my mage doesn’t end up in the DELETE pile;  I will never have to make the “heal or not” choice with her.

Lorethos had gone into a couple of ToCs as shadow and picked up some pieces for both specs, but that was the extent of any raiding he had done to that point. Meanwhile, I was slowly accumulating frost badges and that was adding to my dilemma. Frost badges aren’t as easily farmed as triumph, so whatever spec I chose to spend those on would by default become the main spec I would concentrate on.

An ICC run would help, but who would be crazy enough to take my lesser geared priest into ICC?

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Tirael.

I declined the invite for ICC 10 because I swear there were already more than enough people accepted when I looked at the invite. Now that Zar has his cloak I wasn’t going to fight my way into a raid if there were other people who needed to get in and gear up.

Because of that, I had just planned to run my random then do some bank cleaning and call it a night. So I was surprised when Tir announced that he didn’t have enough people for 10 ICC and for us to get our asses into the raid NAO!!! I was even more surprised to see the invite pop up while on Lorethos.

I was expecting a “I AM NOT CARRYING THAT WEAK ASS UNDERGEARED PRIEST OF YOUR THROUGH. WE WILL WIPE ON MARROWGAR AND IT WILL BE ALL YOUR FAULT AND EVERYONE WILL YELL AT YOU AND YOU WILL BE BOTH RAID AND GKICKED!!!!”

Then other people started bringing in their alts. Here was Selwyn. And Tel swapped out for his druid. Our whirlwind loving warrior brought in his hunter. Even our normally resto shammy went enhancement. It was a raid composition that I haven’t seen before with this guild. The characters & specs might have been different, but the people behind the keyboards were the same.

And what happened? In one night Lorethos went from seeing Marrowgar once when he was the weekly, to seeing Sindragosa for the first time. Zarigar has yet to see her. If Sindy had gone down, then Lore would have gotten farther in one run than Zar had in all the times he had been to ICC.

As for the loot, I ended up with 4 pieces of spellcaster hit gear. I guess that made my choice for me. Unless I get in a raid with Selwyn and I can nab some healer pieces she already has, it seems that my shadow spec will be the one I will focus on for now. But…my healer spec will not be tossed aside like it was with Zar. There will be some healing, bitchez. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow….but one day.

The gear and the emblems were nice, but I walked out of that ICC pretty happy for other reasons. I was half-expecting a “switch to Zar pl0x” request and hope that, since I didn’t, it means my little priest was kind of able to keep up.

Or at least not drag everyone else down.