ICC update and finally Putricide

A quick toon update, with great news everyone… Mortigen finally got a Putricide kill, which completed the Plague-works achievement for him. As my best geared toon (especially in dps set), it was odd to have it done as an undergeared tank (5kgs). I have only respect and awe for the healers keeping me alive through all that, and for the way everyone finally got our roles right. We took a set of characters which were not perfectly geared or experienced, and still managed to kill him. While I think some folks might have been frustrated by that, I was darn pleased that it worked. Any of a few folks would have preferred different roles, but the team got it done.

Huzzah Insidious-Nagrand!

At the very end the fight felt very epic, with us running out of health, mana, B-res, and floor space. In the final seconds I was inching backwards into a corner of free floor space, trying to survive long enough to ping my tank cooldowns again. Every second counted.

The fight is interesting, in that the degree of randomisation in the placement of goo pools and thrown goo, really makes or breaks the fight. I am still unsure why we use a strategy that has the tank walk the boss between two points, rather than in an ellipse, which seems more logical to me. Keeping two paths were the tank can run the boss feel better.

The Abom/Tank can assist by trying to keep some walking paths through the muck clear, but sometimes there is literally nothing than can be done, as I saw on many attempts. It is a great mechanic and somewhat frustrating to see a goo-ball fly out and strike somebody, especially when that is where you’re walking backward towards. With Aussie lag, I’m never sure if the boss is moving when being kited or not till a little later than I’d like, and often folks are calling for a move after I’ve started to go, but before the boss has any idea.

Can a Tank turn side-on and angle-strafe move him, rather than backward walking? Seems that if he is still in the forward 180 degrees it should be ok.

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Finally Raided ICC

Icecrown citadelIts been a while, but I finally have been able to see some of the 10 man raid content in ICC. Here are my initial impressions; the short version is that I am impressed.

General observations

It is far better than the new 5 mans offered in ICC. Story is great, tactics are far better, and group composition is flexible.

It makes sense that ICC would be full of guardians, servants, and gates to be unlocked, and also is excellent that these bosses are different in appearance from what we have had elsewhere. Lord Morrowgar for example looks fantastic as a boss model, his trash is appropriately difficult, and you need a team to be on their game to get to the fight.

What I can’t speak to as yet is the difficulty the bosses as I’ve only seen some of the them once or twice. From a melee dps perspective all fights required me to pay attention, but did not need sadistic levels of multi-tasking. You’re doing 3-4 things at a time on average, and that is not unreasonable to expect given this is the last dungeon crawl in the game.

Tanks too have a bit to watch, but not much more than any other instance. Basically the Tanking requirements are unchanged, although the gear needed and numbers are tweaked.

I really felt for our healers in Morrowgar and Saurfang, mainly due to the spread healing, and thought the tactic for range dps on Saurfang was good, but in one run our raid lacked the players with range dps characters to kill the ads (meaning we were melee dps heavy, not that the range were not doing a good job).

DeathWhisper (or as I call her the talking machine) is a great fight. Waves of adds, dps her bubble, and kill priorities with random stuff to adapt to.

Well done Blizzard story and devs, I really like ICC. Can’t wait to see the later bosses like the Blood Princes, and I can forgive the “poo” jokes around the two fleshy bosses.

Gear level for ICC Raids

Icecrown citadelWhat gear level is needed for raiding ICC?

Its a question that has been raised on chat, in our guild catch-ups, and all over the various community forums. And while I’ve seen a lot of wrong or misguided answers, there is really no short perfect answer either.

So instead here are my thoughts as guidelines for how to measure yourself against ICC’s requirements.

Firstly Gearscore is mostly ok, but flawed. It should be used as a guide only.

Short version: A good guideline for ICC is to aim for ilevel 232 in every gear location possible. This should be ok for entry into ICC. The reason for that is that ilevel 232 is what drops in the new 5 man ICC heroics and also in ToC, which are the places to gear up for ICC.

The other easy answer is to get the best gear you can from Triumph and Frost badges, and everything else on your character of the same level. Simple really, however… Continue reading