Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heroic Zon'ozz & Heroic Hagara & Deck Defender

Last week we killed Heroic Zon'ozz. It was glorious to see him dead at our feet. It was also interesting how we had to alter the strategy for heroic mode. The healing requirements reminded me of when we were first killing regular Zon'ozz. That fight is just brutal with all the damage, aoe and tank, going out.

It is also amusing that so far, our successful strategy involves sacrificing a rogue. In the first and second black phases we kill the tentacles and then reposition outselves for ball bouncing when the phase ends. But after the third black phase starts we just burn the boss. Lust is popped and all tentacles are ignored. In the two kills we've had thus far we've not managed to kill him until after we're back to the regular phase. So when the void spawns, the rogue is sent out to bounce the ball back into the group. In theory he can use Cloak to not get wiped out by the ball, but in practice we end up with a dead boss and a dead rogue.

After we got Heroic Zon'ozz down last week, we did a few pulls on Heroic Hagara. Just enough to see the mechanics and get a feel for the fight when it's not normal mode.

This week, we again worked on H Hagara after we killed that bastard Zon'ozz. We didn't get her down on Tuesday, but we'd started to get the coordination for lightning phase. Frost phase we didn't have a coherent strategy, and we were still trying different things. So I did a bit of research before our Thursday night raid and at our warlock's insistence (he really needed a bio break) I did a quick mid-raid video review. Honestly, he'd explained the change he thought we should make perfectly fine, but insisted that I watch the video so that he wouldn't feel bad about asking for a bio break... It was kind of cute, though I hope I'm not coming across as an iron-fisted Raid Leader.

Anyway, when we got back from the bio break we changed our ice strategy to just have everyone RUN. Our hunter popped aspect of the pack, frostflake was dispelled immediately, we all dodged falling ice, and ran and ran and ran. The frostflake slowing patches were just barely negated by aspect of the pack. It worked pretty well, though I'm glad we only had one ice phase. There were a few hairy moments near the end of the fight as one melee dps died and got a rez and one of our heals died and popped and then another healer really died. But when the final tally was in, the boss was dead and the rest of us were alive!

We killed H Ultraxion like usual. There was a small amount of confusion about who was taking which Hour, so we only got it on our second pull. We almost managed to recover and get it the first time but I think I messed up the taunts while trying to sort out who could step in to take an hour. I'm pleased that we've got H Morchok, H Yor'sahj, and H Ultraxion pretty firmly on farm status. Too bad that ALL the heroic tokens this week were conqueror. Ah well, our pally, priest, and warlock will be well outfitted.

After Ultraxion we swapped back to normal mode. I didn't want to mess around with H Blackhorn. Instead we assigned quadrants and went for Deck Defender. I was afraid we'd missed a couple of the little purple swirlies. However I was fabulously pleased to be wrong and see the achieve pop up at the end of the fight! This means that we're only missing three achieves for the meta Dragon Soul achieve. Of course, they are the last three heroic bosses, but we're making excellent progress.

We were running a bit late by the end of the night and our new dps warrior had to go. However, we pulled another guildie in for Spine and Madness. I enjoy cut scenes, but I swear that someone always crashes or gets disconnected for the start of Spine. We have one life grip and can save the first person who says they are lagging/crashing, but if there is more than one, well, someone is getting flying lessons from the roll...

For Madness I had though we'd just do Ysera first. Between the lateness and the pulled in guildie being a little undergeared I thought it might be better not to strain for a harder starting platform. However our fabulous priest mentioned that he didn't have Nozdormu for Chromatic Champion. So Noz first it was! Even with a slightly undergeared rogue it was cake. We made sure that there were no blistering tentacles overlapping any other ability, and it was quite a smooth kill. I think that it's currently the case, between our gear and the 25% buff, that there just isn't a hard platform to start at anymore. Yes, they still all require coordination, but, as long as people listen and do their job, normal mode is not hard regardless of where we start. Clearly we're ready for more heroics. :D

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I have mentioned my past travails to get a white bear.

Because it's been well over two years since I'd been trying to get a bear I had almost given up ever actually getting one. Oh, I still did the quests, but I didn't actually expect to get anything other than yeti cheese or snowballs in my spoils bag. I even went so far as to gather the necessary Darkmoon Tickets to buy a Darkmoon Dancing Bear

Commonly called the "consolation bear" by DraNgNon, it was my sole bear. I refused to buy the brown bear, and I've had bad luck finding any successful capital city raids to get the black bear.

Just in case you're wondering, raiding Stormwind or Ironforge at 9pm on a Friday or Saturday night is not going to result in any sort of Alliance leader kill.

But I was doing my usual daily quest circuit the other day and I got lucky. I usually do the Orgrimmar jewelcrafting quest, the Dalaran jewelcrafting quest, and, while flying off to gather a proto drake bone or iron dwarf brooch, I'll stop by the Brunhildar village and pick up their daily.

I don't even remember what the quest was. Likely it was beating the mine slaves, Mornara seems to get that one all the time. And she's always a little sad and proud when the Vrykul slaves decide they don't want to go back to work and instead want her help committing suicide.

Anyway I opened up the spoils bag and there was a mighty squeeeeing! There was no yeti cheese or mountain spring water or snowballs. There was my bear!

Finally, years later, I have a white bear! It's so very awesome looking. I'm half considering finding some armor that is white and red instead of black and red to go with it, because my bear is just that excellent.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dragon Soul: Zon'ozz Dialogue

Warlord Zon'ozz is either the second or third boss in the Dragon Soul raid. I tend to do him third because his mechanics are such a monumental pain in the ass.

Warlord Zon'ozz whispers: Once more shall the twisted flesh-banners of N'Zoth chitter and howl above the fly-blown corpse of this world. After millennia, we have returned.

Similar to Yor'sahj he starts whispering to you as soon as you mount the green drake to head to his lair.

Once you get to his lair you've got three groups of tentacle trash to kill. This trash used to be brutal, but with nerfs and increasing gear it's just mildly annoying now. It's all spaced out so that you must do single target damage, aoe won't hit more than one mob at a time anyway.

Zon'ozz uses the same giant cockroach/lobster model that General Vezax and Erudax do.

Zon'ozz switches between two phases. Ping pong phase and black blood phase. He starts out in ping pong phase and the raid controls when phase change happens. The transition is triggered by allowing the Void of Unmaking to hit the boss. Then he'll do a relatively short black blood phase before going back to ping pong phase.

Ping Pong Phase

Warlord Zon'ozz whispers: Victory for Deathwing. For the glory of N'Zoth!
Warlord Zon'ozz whispers: Gaze into the heart of N'Zoth.

Warlord Zon'ozz whispers: The will of N'Zoth corrupts you.

For ping pong phase the raid is bouncing a Void of Unmaking back and forth between the ranged and melee camps.

Warlord Zon'ozz whispers: Your suffering strengthens me.
Warlord Zon'ozz whispers: Your skulls shall adorn N'Zoth's writhing throne.

The raid is also getting hit regularly with Disrupting Shadows, a rather nasty dot with a knockback component.

Warlord Zon'ozz whispers: Your agony sustains me.

Black Blood Phase

For the normal Black Blood phase everyone stacks up to make heals easier and beats the crap out of Zon'ozz since he'll take more damage the more you bounced the ball. On heroic mode there are a lot of tentacles to kill. Those need to go down asap, since they buff each other.

Warlord Zon'ozz whispers: To have waited so long... for this...

This fight is my least favorite fight in Dragon Soul. The ball bouncing is just such a massive pain in the ass. Far, far too often we've had a ball go sideways for no apparent reason, or, even worse, have a ball double bounce on one of the camps. I'm sure that there is some logic, but as tank all I see is the ball careening sideways as I frantically try to maneuver the boss to the right location...

Though I don't enjoy the mechanics, they are creative, and I immensely appreciate seeing his dead body on the floor.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dragon Soul: Yor'sahj Dialogue

Depending on order Yor'sahj is either the third or second boss in the Dragon Soul raid. Personally I prefer to kill him second. He's not a particularly hard fight, and I am not a fan of Zon'ozz.

Yor'sahj starts talking to you as soon as you hop on the bronze drake to head to his area.

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping whispers: Our numbers are endless, our power beyond reckoning! All who oppose the Destroyer will DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS!

Before you can actually engage Yor'sahj you need to clear his room of sets of slimes. It's a bit of a warmup for what his abilities will be.

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping whispers: You will drown in the blood of the Old Gods! ALL OF YOU!

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping whispers: SEE how we pour from the CURSED EARTH!

Yor'sahj's abilities change depending on which slime he absorbed. You do get a chance to kill one of the slimes that pop out, so you can remove one set of new abilites. On normal mode you get three slimes at a time, and on heroic you get four slimes at a time. This means that the slime kill order between the two modes is almost entirely different. Fortunately the Yor'sahj Automatic RaidWarning addon is here to save the day. It's a VERY handy addon that turns this fight pretty trivial. Or at least turns the raid leading part of the fight trivial.

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping whispers: All praise Deathwing, THE DESTROYER!

And at least he doesn't taunt you when you die...

Yor'sahj the Unsleeping whispers: O, Deathwing! Your faithful servant has failed you!

Yor'sahj is a fun fight. It's a nicely dynamic fight, that changes every slime phase.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Dragon Soul: Morchok Dialogue

Lord Afrasastrasz yells: Advance to the front!

Lord Afrasastrasz yells: The siege must be broken. Wyrmrest Accord, defend the line!
Morchok yells: I will turn this tower to rubble, and scatter it across the wastes!

As soon as you zone in the raid is greeted by Afrasastrasz and Morchok yelling at each other and you. This continues as you make your way closer to Wyrmrest tower and Morchok.
It's very jarring that they had the same voice actor for Lord Afrasastrasz and Tirion Fordring. I'm always half inclined to start reciting "We'll grant you a swift death, Arthas."

Morchok yells: No mortal shall turn me from my task.
Lord Afrasastrasz yells: Wyrmrest Accord, Attack!
Image of Tyrygosa yells: They have broken our defenses... the very earth turns against us in Deathwing's name.
Image of Tyrygosa yells: You must hurry... Wyrmrest falls as we speak... all... is lost...
Lord Afrasastrasz yells: Tyrygosa yet lives! We must press on, to the temple!
Morchok yells: Cowards. Weaklings. Come down and fight or I will bring you down.

Having fought your way to the base of Wyrmrest Tower you can now engage Morchok. He's a rather stolid stone giant.

Pretty much the only interesting things he says are when he does his Black Blood of the Earth ability.

Morchok yells: The surface quakes...
Morchok yells: ... and you drown in the hate of The Master.

Morchok yells: The surface quakes...
Morchok yells: ... and there is no escape from The Old Gods.

Morchok isn't a terribly interesting a fight on either normal or heroic. Big stone giant has crystals and is stompy. He'll yank you all in for the aforementioned Black Blood and you need to run from that. If you have the misfortune to be in LFR you'll be able to snicker at the person who fails to run all the way out of it. If you're on heroic you'll meeds to make sure your group stays together for stomp soaking.

As is usually the case, Morchok was not expecting his own death. Too bad for him!

Morchok yells: Impossible. This cannot be. The tower... must... fall...

Lord Afrasastrasz yells: The Twilight's Hammer is retreating! The tower is ours; fortify your positions within!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Post Hiatus Braindump

Darkfall has been on a bit of a hiatus recently. For the first two weeks after Diablo came out we didn't raid at all. I, and just about everyone else, was busy playing through the story in Diablo 3. Of course, this WoW playing and raiding hiatus has led to a bit of a blogging hiatus.

We recommenced raiding this past Tuesday. It was funny how we were all a bit rusty. There were more than a few wipes on Heroic Morchok. Some of those can be chalked up to our Korchom tank not being used to tanking, but most of them can be chalked up to someone trying to move via left-clicking. It took us Tuesday and Thursday to kill all eight DS bosses, but we made some excellent progress. We killed Morchok, Yor'sahj, and Ultraxion on heroic. None of those were first kills, but it was gratifying to see that we'd not lost progress from our break. We also tried a couple of pulls on heroic Zon'ozz. Sadly, I think he is still my least favorite boss; it's just too easy for the ping ponging ball to go completely sideways and mess everything up. That said I think we'll get him next week, since we did manage to hit the enrage timer. Our healers were sucking fumes by the end, but they did an excellent job keeping us mostly alive until enrage, so we've just got to tighten up positioning and we'll get it.

We also managed to get a few achieves for the rest of DS. Holding Hands and starting on Nozdormu's platform for Chromatic Champion. We'll start on Kalec's platform next week, and hopefully get that achieve. It was lovely to see the Mutated Corruption going down every time before the Elementium Bolt was spawned. It certainly made me fear large smacky death less. In fact, starting on Nozdormu's platform was quite easy. We were missing our fabulous holy priest, but got around not having that cooldown for impale by following the order: Nozdormu > Alexstraza > Ysera > Kalec. So we all hit Dream as often as we could and I saved Icebound Fortitude for the Impale on Kalec's platform. We'd also tried a pull or three on Heroic Blackhorn (boat boss) just for grins. That didn't go well, but no one was really expecting it to, so there were many jokes about how many seconds we'd live.

I didn't schedule our usual Sunday run or Monday fun run. Since we've killed all of DS Sunday would have either been alts or old content. I think that the best thing to do for next week will be to have Sunday be an alt run and set up Monday to be some sort of old content. Possibly Tempest Keep or Serpent Shrine Cavern. My druid needs some more pieces of the T5 druid set.

I do want to get back to the Monday fun runs. I strongly feel that they are what actually knits the guild together. It's all well and good to go through DS and slaughter stuff, but the guild truly becomes a team and friends when we get a change to goof off as a group. And that means smashing through old raids. It's always fun to reminisce about running that stuff for real, and even better to show someone the fight for the first time. Even if some times the bosses don't have time to do more than gape at us before they are dead.

I'm having a lot of fun playing Diablo 3. DraNgNon and I are playing cooperative and it's a ton of fun. We started out with her Barbarian and my Monk playing together. Separately she is leveling a Demon Hunter and I'm leveling a Wizard. Possibly once the Demon Hunter and Wizard are a bit bigger we'll swap to have Barbarian/Wizard and Demon Hunter/Monk playing together. The Barbarian and Monk combo is a lot of fun, but we quite often feel the pain of no ranged. With no ranged along I truly hate the evil trees in Act I, and I'm not a big fan of the wasps in Act II either.

I'm a big fan of the Monk. She is so very stoic and severe. Never joking and always searching for balance and the best way to serve her gods. She is going to get stuff done, and woe to all who get in her way.

My Wizard has an ego the size of a house. He is hilarious, every time he levels or kills more than seven mobs at a time he makes some sort of proclamation that boils down to "I'm the most awesome ever!" He has been running around with the Templar, and the interaction between the two of them is funny. Especially when they were doing the Zoltan Kulle section of Act II. The Templar ranted about foul wizardry and then tripped over his tongue apologizing that he didn't mean the Wizard.

But between the stoic Monk and the Templar's Initiation I miss playing Mornara. The first time I heard how the Templar was chained up and beaten and whipped until he lost his memory I was quite forcibly reminded of how Mornara became a Death Knight. And thinking about this again I realize that Morn is a very no nonsense orc. She is there to make sure that whatever they are fighting against doesn't kill anyone else, and especially not her healers or her dps. She rarely, if ever, does the silly emotes. Not that she doesn't have fun, but she has had a hard life and now has the guild and raid leader responsibilities weighing on her, and really doesn't have time or inclination for goofing off all that much. Though she does often fly her Dragon Kite.

I am looking forward to working on Heroic Zon'ozz more next week. We'll likely try out Hagara on Heroic as well. Though it depends on how much progress we make, if we have a serious set of attempts or just allow people to see the fight and then let it percolate for a week in their brains. I feel like we get the best results, as a guild, when people have a chance to see the fight on heroic before we actually try to kill it.