Category Archives: raiding

My SECOND favorite raid is…

It’s no real secret that my favorite raid in the entire game is Karazhan. But what’s my second favorite?

latestThis guy right here.  Naxxramas, my friends.  Naxx is brilliant.  Just utterly brilliant.

Now, I never did do the level 60 version, so my experience with Naxx comes from Wrath of the Lich King.  And friends, I know it’s hard to believe now because years later I think most people consider WotLK to be one of the major high points of WoW (if not the high point), but I tell you what, at the time there was a LOT of griping about the expansion and this raid in particular.  See, Wrath launched with three raids.  Two of them could be done in like twenty minutes, and the third was Naxx.  So everyone spent months in Naxx and everyone got tired of it.

Except for me!

naxxLook at these bosses.  I just love them all.  Want one of the greatest boss encounters in the entire game?  Here’s Four Horsemen.  Want to test your DPS on a Patchwerk fight?  Well I’ve got some great news for you, this is where the term Patchwerk fight came from!  Want to Safety Dance?  Say hello to Heigan.  Want Warcraft 3 lore goodness?  Kel’Thuzad and Sapphiron are right here!

Everything about this raid is great.  I love the design in its simplicity and elegance.  And you know, I was never too big into the 2spooky Halloween aesthetic, but if you’re gonna do it, this is how you do it.

Oh, also, Mr. Bigglesworth.  The most important part of the raid, bar none.

So yes, Naxxramas.  Learn to love it if you don’t already, because it’s just fantastic.

PIKE’S VERDICT: 9/10

P.S. I also did this raid on my druid and two-healing Patchwerk (on ten man) was the most intense fight of my life.

And the Pike Award for BEST RAID BOSS goes to…

"I am not some simple JESTER!"
“I am not some simple JESTER!”

This guy.

THIS GUY.

Do you see this guy?  Do you remember this guy?  Do you remember the infamous chant played on Ventrilo before every pull?

This, my friends, is Shade of Aran.  For my money it’s probably the best boss fight in the game.  It’s hectic, it’s fast-paced, there are a million things to remember, everyone’s running around like crazy, and it felt amazing when the whole raid was in sync and you managed to successfully beat him.

He also comes with some seriously fantastic lore.  Imagine being Medivh’s dad, dying because your son basically exploded with power, and then being a ghost and eternally watching your son mess everything up.  Yep.  Despite all of this, as he was awfully fond of telling you, he was no simple jester.  Confirmed by an in-game book.

Also: he dropped a great cloak that lasted me through Naxx in the next friggin’ expansion because the hit rating on it was great.

Speaking of Naxx:

THE RUNNER UP AWARD GOES TO:

Fourhorsemen_original_TCGFour Horsemen, another absurdly intense fight with a great mechanic.

What are YOUR favorite boss battles?

PUMPING UP With Hans and Franz

I imagine I’m late to the party here, but apparently there is a boss fight in Blackrock Foundry starring Hans and Franz.

And guys.  Guys.  This fight is the most fun I’ve had in a raid since I don’t even KNOW when.  Like, there’s a conveyor belt?  And there’s stuff coming down from the ceiling to smash you?  And there’s terrible Austrian accents?  And you’re running around dodging stuff and trying to keep up but it never gets overly annoying and is just fun the entire time??

I don’t know.  I’m having a blast.  SO EXCITED FOR RAIDS TO RESET TOMORROW SO I CAN DO IT AGAIN!

1416529603575

Hunter Kindergarten: Damage Meters and You

Long ago, in a blogosphere far away, a wise man told me that the job of a hunter is to provide Massive Quantities of Sustained, Ranged DPS.  As I said, wise words from a wise man, but this is only part of the story.

Your job, as a hunter, isn’t just to top Recount.

It is also to look stylishly good while doing it.

Althalor demonstrates
Althalor demonstrates

Oh, wait, wrong thing.

Your job is to provide utility to the raid.  Back in the day, this meant things like crowd control, kiting and the like.  These days it usually means either “Don’t stand in the bad,” or “Stop DPS’ing the boss and DPS the adds”

Let’s talk about this last bit.  Say you’re fighting Brackenspore in Highmaul and those plant shooter things straight out of Plants vs. Zombies show up.  Unless told otherwise by your raid leader, your job is not to show Stabbymcstab what’s up by staying on Brackenspore.  Your job is to put both yourself and your pet on that plant shooter thing until it is dead.  Same deal those big tangly plant adds that look like they walked right out of Underbog show up (I’m not good with names, okay.)

For the most part, I think most hunters I see are doing this correctly.  In fact, the better hunters I see are doing this and still showing Stabbymcstab what’s up.

If you weren’t aware of this, though, that’s okay!  You’re probably newer and that’s what my Hunter Kindergarten series is for.

Remember, at the end of the day when you’ve hung up your bow or gun for the night and you’re sitting by your pet at the fire in your Garrison, the damage meters aren’t the only thing that count.

(But they’re up there.)

(So is looking stylish.)

(But I digress.)

This Imperator Guy Was Serious Business For About Ten Minutes

So I’ve been doing some Highmaul LFR.  It’s a blast even if it is a bit silly.  It’s not the world’s most memorable dungeon, design-wise, but that’s okay because ogres are BRO-gres.

Anyways yesterday I did this Imperator Mar’gok guy.  It took more than one attempt, and lemme tell ya, the first attempt successfully managed to bring me way, way back to my old raiding days.

I felt like I had to keep pulling magic tricks out of my hat to dodge this, DPS that, and simply stay alive.  We got him down to maybe 15% or so before we all finally bit the dust, and I’m glad to say that apparently I’m still a bona fide hunter since I was one of the last ones standing.

11081447_822495554486989_4313686457103711036_n
my actual face as I realized that this was actually like the old times

…of course, this is LFR, which means that after the wipe we realized that something like two healers as well as a few of the DPS had been AFK the entire time!  We kicked them, got some replacements, and then the second attempt was an absolute joke.

But still!  For about ten minutes there I was back in Wrath!  I kid you not!

Anyways, remember about a week back when I said that I couldn’t fathom playing a hunter wrong in 2015?  Scratch that; there are some truly special hunters in LFR.  Maybe there is still a need for Pike after all.  /cracks knuckles

 

Pike vs. The Anxiety Boss: So uh guys, I did a raid

Pike vs. the Anxiety Raid Boss chronicles my quest to beat a bad case of “gaming anxiety” that crept up on me a few years back.  Exciting!  (Or not!)

Let me tell you, briefly, about my raiding history.

My raiding history involves raiding during Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King.  It required lots and lots of tactical discussion on voice chat.  It required lots and lots of commitment.  It often required spending hours on one boss.

So hopefully you can’t blame me when the idea of pugging a raid kept me far away from LFR for a long time.  I was convinced it was all a big train wreck waiting to happen.

Boy, was I wrong.

LFR is a glorious – and glorified – loot pinata.

WoWScrnShot_031915_152230

It really felt quite weird.  More than feeling like a raid, LFR felt like stumbling across some world boss, pulling together a hodgepodge group of random people, and then jumping right in.  Oh, there are some gimmicks here and there, of course – you know, the one’s you’ve seen before if you’ve done any dungeon boss at all ever (Stay Out of The Bad, Move Away From/Towards The MacGuffin, Move Away From/Towards The Raid).  But there was never really any sense of danger or urgency.  Possibly because this raid has already been out for months.  Or possibly because LFR really is that easy.  Maybe it’s a mix of both? I’m not really sure yet.

The veteran cane-waving side of Pike who did hard modes back in the day found it all kind of underwhelming and perhaps just a bit silly, but the gaming-anxiety-riddled side of Pike was ecstatic.  This was fun, easy, straight-forward, and dumped purples on me.  And as silly as it sounds, it did wonders to boost my WoW self-esteem, and now I’m looking forward to more raiding adventures.

TLDR: If you have similar anxieties, I recommend jumping into one of the lower level raids in LFR.  I promise it’s not nearly as scary as it sounds. 😀

 

 

Favorite Things

I’ve been trying to get some raiding done before my account expires– gonna go out with a bang and all that!

10-man ICC is, I am very glad to say, not nearly as lag-erffic as the 25-man version. I did the first four bosses with Tawyn. I liked the Gunship Battle simply because it was airships and I like those (Pike’s Law: anything can always be made more awesome with airships), but the Saurfang battle directly afterwards made me even happier.

Cause I really wasn’t sure what to get and suddenly these adds came out and one was running toward me and without second thought I was Concussive Shot’ing, kiting, jump-shotting… oooh. It felt good. When was the last time we had to do that in a raid? Like… Gluth? (I hated kiting on Gluth by the way. Haaaaated. I always prodded the DKs into doing it.)

But yeah, it was awesome fun, and a great feeling.

Then yesterday I healed a 25man ToC with my Tree.

…apparently I’ve been using rank 13 Rejuvenation. For months. (15 is the max rank.)

I would like to thank the random PuG member with RankWatch for pointing this out. This explains a lot. *cries tree tears*

ToC got hilariously easy by the way, now that everyone pretty much overgears it. Aaaanyways.

I like healing. I’m gonna miss it. <3

Lagcrown Citadel

Sooo I was chucked an invite to ICC25 today, for the first time ever. Originally I was asked to go healy on my druid, which sort of surprised me because my dear little Tree is still sporting at least two blues, but then we realized that we hardly had any hunters in the raid (for once) and I got to go on my hunter instead. (Five minutes after I logged onto my hunter, about three other hunters joined the raid group anyway, and we eventually wound up with a total of six. As opposed to two druids. Go figure.)

Now.

I’d like to sit here and tell you how awesome this raid was. I’d like to tell you that I was blown away by the fights and by the scenery and by the atmosphere. I’d like to give you all sorts of details on my thoughts on the fights from a huntery perspective. You know, the whole shebang. Unfortunately, I cannot.

Because from the moment I stepped into that raid until the moment I teleported out, I was never over 2fps.

…aaaand I frankly have no idea why.

I shut down all my other programs. I tried sans-Vent. I turned all my video effects down to zero (which meant that I could no longer see stuff on the ground). No dice. The second either a.) A boss or b.) more than one trash mob showed up on screen, I was essentially out of commission.

Now I know some of you guys are used to playing with poor computer setups and have learned to compensate for having a downright atrocious FPS, but I’m quite spoiled and I, well… haven’t. So at the end of every boss fight I’d pull up Recount, look at how absolutely horrific my performance was, and beg my guild to let me leave so they could replace me with someone who could actually contribute.

And my guild, bless their hearts, insisted that I come “see the new stuff” so they kept dragging my sorry butt all over the place.

We only did the first wing, for which I was grateful, because by that point I wanted to curl up in the fetal position somewhere and cry. Though, the Saurfang boss wasn’t too bad. Mostly because it was a Patchwerk-esque fight since I had a viable excuse to Not-Shoot-The-Adds (when you’re sitting at SUB-1-FRAME-PER-SECOND, you’re excused from shooting adds, I think.) So I was able to concentrate on my rotation, as much as I could for having, well, SUB-1-FRAME-PER-SECOND.

I gotta hand props to Wash here for picking up the slack. Lucky guy lives in the game world and doesn’t have to worry about this stuff. *mutters*

Needless to say I don’t think 25man ICC is gonna happen for me. It’s something in that dungeon, I’m quite sure, since I did an Ony25 just the other day with absolutely no issues.

Let’s hope 10-man is at least playable…

OH!

I got a new bow.

I haven’t used a bow since Valanos’ Longbow. Dead serious. The bow animation kind of weirds me out…

Our Raid: Kills Bugs Dead

…bad joke is bad? Sorry >.>

I’m Pike: I keyboard-turn, I click (unless I am healing), and I get about 3fps max on 25mans. Didn’t stop this from being awesome, after a good few weeks of attempts:

(the music is all MegaMan 2 remixes. Whaaat?)

I was Beast Mastery in this fight. Since our ret paladin had to leave, Wash’s Ferocious Inspiration contributed 3% bonus damage to all DPS in the raid ^_^

It's About Time…

…that this happened to somehone who isn’t me:

WoW_LoseYourIllusion

Still a hunter though. Bwahaha! We shall take over the world, soon enough.

Note: Cause I know someone’s gonna bring up all the Marksman stuff on my bars: I am experimenting with raiding as Marksman when there’s a ret pally in the group already bringing the 3% damage buff, since it overwrites Ferocious Inspiration anyway. I want to get good with Marksmanship, and then someday, I swear to you, I’ll be good at Survival too… maybe… /bangs head into wall