The Clover is the Key

Yesterday I honestly did not have it in me to make a post.  I won’t lie, the raid Tuesday night was pretty horrific.  Combined with the feeling of general uselessness that I had been feeling, the general “badness” of our attempts the night before pushed me in to a stupor.  This combined with not having a good deal of time to even formulate my ideas (still pushing up against a tough deadline at work), caused me to fail once more to make my daily post.

I spent a good deal of the day bickering back and forth with one of the other raid leaders, trying to figure out what went wrong and how to keep it from ever happening again.  The source of my frustration is that, we as a raid backslid.  The previous week we fought hard to down XT, and when we finally did I thought we had reached that magical click moment, or at the very least it felt like a click.  However this week, in our push to get some solid attempts in on Kologarn, we skipped Razorscale and Ignis and instead spent the night wiping over and over on the big dumb bot.

The failure of a few players to be able to react in a timely fashion to bombs caused us to wipe over and over.  There is nothing more disheartening than having a perfect attempt go south when a single player detonates the entire raid.  We fought valiantly, and our players kept trying to recover from the same few people failing to react.  I tried my best to keep calm, but officer chat quickly became a long string of obscenities abbreviated by the bit of sentence structure. 

We finally adjusted our strategy to be a bit more forgiving, and managed to pull out a win, but the whole process left me angry beyond reason.  The last thing I needed to post were back to back “emo rants” about how players need to “pull their heads out”.  So instead I refrained from posting anything at all.  Today I am feeling more confident and looking forward to playing cleanup on the bosses we left behind and then pushing on to get those illusive tries on Kologarn.

Springtime for Ignis

Last night I logged in not really sure what I would be doing.  Wednesday is usually the night I end up tagging along with some non-guild/raid friends on 10 and 25 man instances, getting a much needed break from tanking on one of my other raiding alts.  After the “failure to launch” of a 25 man Naxxramas, and the horrible fail that was a PUG 10 man Malygos, I settled down to dps as my retribution paladin in a 10 man Ulduar run by a friends guild.

I am one of those players that learn most by doing, and whenever given a chance I like to tag along with a different raid group and see how they approach fights differently.  Last nights run yielded an amazing gem.  Up until now we had been doing what I like to refer to as the “Box Method” for Ignis as illustrated by the Tankspot video.  The basics of the strategy are to move ignis in a 4 point path around the room as to minimize the scorch damage. 

The negatives of this method are that it causes the raid to spread out, and you have to have players capable of doing 5k single hits watching both pools.  This makes the healing assignments fairly spread thin, and AOE healing becomes fairly inefficient.  The other major issue you have is that during the fight Ignis will run to a random player and dunk them in the fire pot at his crotch.  Because of the travel time for players on the outskirts of the room guarding the pools, it can cause Ignis to lay patches of scorched earth in unpredictable locations.

I’ve drawn this diagram to help out my raid adjust to the new strategy.  Because of the way it looks on the diagram I have decided to start calling this method the “Clover Method”.  The melee becomes the stem of the clover and the scorch path I will make with the boss becomes the pedals.  The pull starts with me standing on the horizontal line that divides the room directly between the pulls.  One of our hunters will misdirect Ignis onto me, and as he moves into place, I will spin him so that my body is standing on the A in the diagram.

The first scorch always comes quickly so I will need to move to where I am standing on the B within a few minutes of the initial pull.  I will be standing just out of the range of the first patch of scorch.  The melee should not have to move to stay in range with the backside of Ignis.  The diagram places the Ignis dot for scorch B a little higher than it would actually be, but the diagram is easier to read this way. 

I will continue to move him to point C at the next scorch, still trying to make sure the melee can have constant contact with the boss.  When the third scorch lands I will circle strafe until I am back on point A, which should now be clear thanks to the timer of the first patch.  This process is repeated for tanking the boss until he dies.  The next issue in the fight is managing the adds.

Always in the past we have had 2 casters that are capable of shattering the constructs guarding each pool.  In this scenario the only pool where a construct will be shattered is the left side.  This allows us to have fewer casters tied up tending to the pool, and gives us a greater ease of recovery if one of them happens to go down.  We will continue to alternate our two deathknight offtanks, but the scorched earth will be in closer proximity and should allow for the adds to become molten faster.

This strategy worked beautifully on 10 man last night, and I am thinking it will translate extremely well to the 25 man version as well.  It takes care of many of the issues we seemed to have with the fight, and should make it more recoverable as a whole.  The biggest piece I believe is that the add maintenance should be far more reliable, since we are only really working in one smaller quadrant of the room.  Healing assignments should be much easier to maintain as well, and with everyone being clumped up we should be able to finally utilize our chain healers.

Raiding 101

BOY_SCHOOL_SWEDEN Apparently players are starting to think I actually know what I am talking about.  How I managed to fool them is a complete mystery, but Nibuca of Mystical Chicanery has asked for my assistance on her newly adopted project:  Raider 101.  The goal of the site is to be a Wiki document to help players who want to improve their raid game by offering tips, tricks and tutorials.  I’ve only just learned about the site’s existence today, but in the small amount of time I have looked around it seems like a rather valiant effort.  I will be looking through some of the warrior related information specifically and helping to tweak it a bit, so I will try my best not to screw things up.

It definitely looks like a great resource to send your guild, raid and friends to who are looking for help answering various class related issues.  Unlike wowwiki or elitist jerks, the information is distilled down into easy to read basic howto guides.  If you are looking for some assitance, especially with alts, I would highly suggest you spend a bit of time browsing through the wiki.

A Pirate’s Life For Me

ed3cheeks2 The last little bit today is a shameless commercial plug.  One of the founding members of House Stalwart,  Ed/Saggart/Sgian/Shadoes, has been working on a side project for the last several months.  At great personal expense to sanity he has become a member of the pirate band, The Musical Blades, and over the course of the summer has been touring the renfaire circuit with his unique brand of showmanship and musical prowess.  Many bands that frequent that scene are what I would call a Gimmick band, but in the case of the blades they are all truly amazing musicians capable of standing up against any act out there.

This past weekend they released their latest CD, “Live at Pubs and Pirate-Core”, which is a compilation of live recordings, piratecore and a few unreleased bonus tracks.  From what I have heard of the various tracks of the course of several lunch outings I would say its a good release.  I know over the past weekend at the St Louis renfaire they sold a good deal of copies.  While it still lacks my favorite track, “Run out the guns”, which is waiting in the wings for their next studio album, I was glad to see Derelict make its debut.

I would check out their myspace music page for some good examples of their repertoire, or if you are in the greater St. Louis area, they will be playing the next two weekends at the St. Louis Renaissance Festival.  I’ve gotten to hear a good deal of their unreleased material, and I have to say the next Studio album will be pretty amazing.  This is coming from me, who doesn’t normally go in for this style of music.  The festival atmosphere combined with perfect five part harmony is pretty near impossible to beat.