Tag 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!

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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.)

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 ^_^

Lazy Sunday Screenshots

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Color-coordinating Bears. It was cute. =D

WoW_EpicAchievement

This is the achievement I got after winning The Greatest Piece of Loot I Have Ever Won In Any Event Ever. To be fair, I used the trick where you just stick it in one trinket slot and then move it to the other, so really, I am still rolling with one non-qualifying trinket (Curse you, Mirror of Truth!)

In any event, I had a big night, and now I’m off to go lovingly cuddle my new trinket as I fall asleep~

*is not in any way obsessed with her new trinket*

*may not be telling the entire truth*

You shall not hold me down, Cough!

Have at ye! *wields cold medicine*

This is what I did today, in spite of having said persistent cough:

WoW_CallOfTheCrusade10Player

I got a ring out of it, which means for the first time in my entire WoW career, I am wearing all purples. Took long enough, dontcha think? =P I mean, I’ve only been playing the game for, I dunno, two and a half years at this point…

The fights were, for the most part, fun and interesting. I look forward to writing up a guide once I’ve ran through this joint a few more times.

WoW_OnyxiasLair25Player

Ah Onyxia, the classic. I’m kind of disappointed I never got around to solo’ing her before the change, but at least I do have the Sinew in my bank so I can theoretically still do the Rhok quest (if I can ever get into a Molten Core group without five or six other hunters who also want the Leaf). I am also glad to say that four of my best friends and myself took her on at 70. It was glorious. I made it a movie that can’t go on YouTube because it’s like thirty seconds too long.

Anyways, here’s a hint for the current Onyxia: if your computer can’t handle lots of things onscreen at one time, do not look at the whelps when they are being AoE’d. Trust me.

So a pretty darn nice polearm dropped. I won the roll, but then traded it to our bear tank afterward, because I know she really wanted it. Or at least the weapon that it turns into.

But then we found out something interesting.

See, when you turn it from the ranged-oriented weapon into the melee-oriented weapon, you keep the original weapon. So you basically have two polearms.

And that first one can be traded within that 2-hour period.

So, she kept the copy, and I got the original back.

I have no idea if this is intended or not and I’m half expecting Blizz to take it away during the next wave of rolling restarts, but until then, we are Polearm Buddies:

WoW_PolearmBuddies1

WoW_PolearmBuddies2

So yeah. This week shall be known from here on out as “Let’s see how many raids Pike can stuff herself into and still maintain her sanity.”

In other news, I’m come up with some super interesting Beast Mastery and pet related math on the online spreadsheet as of this latest patch. I’ll go into more detail on a later post, though, because the NyQuil is gonna knock me out in T minus ten… nine… eight… …

Yo Yogg-Saron, I'm really happy for you, and I'mma let you finish

WoW_Yoggy

…but C’thun was the greatest Old God of all time! The greatest Old God of all time! Peace.

(Okay, so really I just wanted an excuse to make that joke. Sorry. D= )

So yeah, I have now officially seen every boss inside Ulduar, and killed them all except Yoggy*, whom we wiped on a couple times and then we started doing really well before suddenly everybody had to leave (myself included, sadly.)

I have to admit I’ve been feeling some compunctions about raiding and my aptitude at it lately; it feels like 50% of my boss kills and achievements happen with me facedown on the floor, and while there are times where my DPS shines, it also seems like as time goes on and I get into harder content and as my fellows acquire better and better gear, my position on Recount just seems to be slipping. It is probably partially because I cling to a less-than-ideal spec, but also I think because I just really stink at climbing the raid boss learning curve. I really don’t want to be Donald from Dark Legacy Comics, but sometimes I worry I am turning into him. >.>

Hopefully it is just a phase and will pass as I get more practice. It just takes me a little bit of extra time to learn what stuff my pet shouldn’t be hitting (Giant Tentacles and Freya Mario Party minigames, I’m looking at you), or what I should and should not be standing in (Vezax can DIAF). I may not be Ensidia or Death & Taxes material, but hopefully I will at least be halfway competent with a little more practice.

I am signed up for ToC25 and Ulduar25 this week, and Ulduar10 seems to be in the cards as well… holycrap, does this make me a real raider? It seems so surreal! x_x I hope my poor alts don’t feel too neglected… D=

* And that one guy who I’m never going to see ever

The Hunter's Mimiron Experience

1. Your pet dies
2. Your pet dies again
3. Your pet dies, yet again
4. Is your pet dead? No? GOTO 1
5. Watch your pet die as he stands next to you
6. Watch your pet die while you spam Mend Pet
7. Be content that your pet is at 100% health, glance the other way for two seconds, glance back and notice your pet is dead
8. Forget about your pet and switch to your Marksmanship dual spec
9. Get the Power Rangers theme song* stuck in your head…

WoWScrnShot_091809_213341

10. Stare into the pretty laser beam coming out of the guy’s face… and die.

* I swear to you, when I figure this fight out I am going to FRAPS it and set it to the Power Rangers theme song. Cross my heart, hope to Feign Death.

"Well, DPS… it's all up to you."

As a DPS, I normally don’t feel under the same pressure that I do on say, my healer (or as I imagine a tank would feel, though I haven’t tanked so I can’t say.) I mean sure, we’re sort of fighting against this nebulous “enrage timer” but for the most part, “DPS faster” or “DPS more” just means I’m gonna… press my buttons a little harder and hope it somehow turns into more DPS. It doesn’t really feel like I’m contributing something tangible, so much.

Enter “Iron Council Medium Mode”.

See, today I logged on, went to go do Icecrown dailies, and received a whisper from someone I hadn’t heard of it in a long time. It was my old Naxx group. The one I went to Naxx10 with every week for a good few months earlier this year. They invited me to a 10-man Ulduar. I had nothing better to do and I was excited to see some people I hadn’t played with in a while, so I accepted.

…so…

…so, in the time between us struggling our way through Naxx10 and now, they got good. And also got some friends in high places. We were smashing through achievements left and right with tanks who had close to 50,000 HP.

Anyways, Iron Council, aka Falcon Punch. Apparently the order you kill the guys in determines how difficult your encounter will be. We opted to go for a “Medium Mode”, which involves little elementals that spawn every ten seconds or so and must be AoE’d and slowed and kited and pretty much killed immediately, or Bad Things Happen.

Due to group makeup, it was pretty much up to me, a warlock, and a mage.

…and I dunno if I’ve ever felt like so much depended on me as a DPS. If we died, it wasn’t cause the tanks failed or the heals failed or because of something passive like a lack of gear. No, this time, if we died, it was all on the heads of the DPSers.

WoWScrnShot_091609_221707

As a hunter on this, your job is a.) keep your pet on the boss, b.) Keep an eye out for the purple circles, c.) lay down Frost Traps as available, d.) Volley the heck out of the purple circle, e.) pick off any stragglers that snuck past the AoE, f.) avoid the crap on the ground, and g.) somehow manage to keep your mana up throughout all of this (curse you Volley, you mana-sucker you.)

It was not easy.

But man it felt good afterwards.

WoWScrnShot_091609_221745

Warlock, mage, and I all got specifically thanked by name afterwards for our work.

DPS frequently feels like a thankless job, but I felt good today. Kudos to Blizz for (perhaps finally) making an encounter where it feels like all depends on you and your active efforts, my fellow PewPew-ers.