First thoughts on the Ruby Sanctum

The Insidious regulars charged at the Ruby Sanctum last night, and by golly it showed us who is boss. The patrolling trash is to be respected, and the need for cc and stun/interrupts makes this content a true pug wiper, at least for a while.

I loved it!

Wiping on new content is so much better than doing old 5 mans, and a great way to start our raid night. New tactics, really nasty trash, and the fact that it is not technically mandatory for progression mean that I can be keen to do this content, and so will so many others that we have a chance of folks actually learning what to do.

A conversation started around the topic of how hard the instance is meant to be, and we generally agreed that it will be darn hard while we learn and there are no boss warning, but get pugable as time passes. I think this is true to a point, but think it wil still be one of those places where a screen-licker will fail, and potentially make others fail.

A description of the trash: “This is technically the trash’s trash…”

Which makes me think that it is totally unacceptable for somebody to not move the third time they are targeted by something bad. I mean come on, how hard is it? (rhetorical question)

If you need more than a very large Red Arrow pointing at the top of your character that something bad is about to happen, then you are a bloody idiot. Plain and simple. It could not be made more obvious, and we had just spent a few minutes talking about how people need to move away from each other.

So we didn’t win at all. We did kill one of the mini-bosses, but the patrolling trash with the Commander kicked us enough times to make the first five bosses in ICC seem like more fun and better use for time, so the crew will return at a later time. I’m sure some guilds went in and one shot it, and sure others fought hard and got through.

That isn’t us, we wiped, but I still enjoyed.

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Grumbling on the Midsummer Festival of Pugs and Lag

I’m not sure if there is a correlation between the start of the Midsummer Festival and the terrible increase in lag; but it feels like it. Last evening it was bad enough in instances that I jumped offline instead of waiting 2-3 seconds for each button press to be recognised.

Dalaran was a total ghost-town of empty mounts, or so overloaded that it was impossible to move.

Grumble: Much later in the evening I came back online and the lag was better, but still far worse than the game was 2 nights before.

A few guildies agreed that everything was slower, and a few others said that they were not having an issue at all, which means it could easily be related to the ISP or to the routing in use between Australia and the USA; or even something odd in my house. In support of my suspicion I can say that the Dungeon Tool was heavily populated with players, and the Ahune queue was very short.

Draw your own conclusions.

Speaking of Ahune, and his wonderfully random selection of cloaks, the implementation of this boss is good, but has really exposed us to the worst of the player base.

It is wonderful as it gives any character the opportunity to run the boss until you get each of the cloaks for all of your specs, and as these are ilevel 232 items, and very well specialised for their roles, they have real appeal for PvE. Consider it mandatory to get all your roles covered in the days where the festival is on.

The negative side affect is that as these are cloaks anyone can need on these, and the experience from 11:30pm to 1am for me was a rinse-repeat of people rolling need when they have absolutely no need for the item. I’d say most need for sale or DE; which is just terribly bad form. This is the worst kind of behaviour, and exactly the circumstance that the armour type need vs greed modification was made to loot rolls, and such a pity that there is not a way to preselect classes for gear.

Initially it might be argued that needing on these items is no such a big deal, as it can be re-run over and over, so the selfish player will always need. To paraphrase a comment from last night – “you can always run it again buddy”. But what it does not take into consideration is that the actual drop is random, and by needing you are taking an item from the toon that may actually need it.

Then add to the case that some cloaks seem to be rare. Of my 12+ runs last night I saw the tanking cloak once, and was lucky enough to win. On almost all those runs I saw somebody needing on an item that was either totally incompatible for their class, or rolling need when they came using an off-spec.

Larger grumble: Needy bastards should be spiked on the SW gates.

My advice is to run this boss with known people, so they don’t Need/Quit the group after Ahune is killed. Get guild mates to keep you company. The fight is easy enough for most classes.

Largest Grumble: Tanking as Frost DK on Ahune is frankly frustrating.

As a Death Knight Frost tank, my primary range affect to grab single mobs, and 50% of primary source of damage is useless on the boss and on the mobs. Imagine what that does to the fight when mobs spawn in random locations, attack random targets, and the player base has no idea on good tactics.

Its a total mess. So in the spirit of getting folks on the same page, here are some tips for how to make the Ahune fight very easy.

  1. Manage the ads well. If you have fast reaction time and can avoid the circles then stack up on the Tank. But if you’re expecting randomness from the players, then spread out 10-15 yards apart. The mobs will spawn and attack random folks, probably the healer. To avoid the Tank running between all the players, staying close and using AoE is the best way to handle the wave of initial monsters. The mobs will eventually even get sick of standing and firing frostbolts, and run in toward their target, so if everyone is standing close, the odds are that everyone can kill them faster, and the tank can grab them faster.
  2. Remember to hurt the boss during the first phase. It is critical that targets switch, or even dedicate a single range dps to just focus on Ahune. Kill him fast and the fight finishes faster – simple.
  3. Save cooldowns for the stage where the small ads are gone, then go bananas. No threat, no boss, just a big rock to destroy. It is a dps wet dream and you should prep and focus for it.
  4. Expect the healer to get targeted, and try to look after him before the dps. A simple thing, but easily forgotten that many healer types are very squishy, and will need some help.
  5. Consider using different auras, as the amount of Frost damage in the fight is strong (so I suspect), so getting a pally to Frost up will help a lot.

Anyway, that is all for the grumble-post. Happy pug’ing Ahune, and I hope your cloaks drop and your rolls are appropriate and high!

Let them burn

Blog Azeroth shared topic: When should Healer let folks die in the fire?

Ha! All the time. First mistake is free, the next one the dps should burn. Let’em use bandages.

The context I’m imagining is a random PUG five man normal or heroic at any level, but feel free to answer in any way that moves you

I think the content of a 5 man should be so well known, and so over geared by most folks that standing in the fire is not an issue. That is to say, the content can be done even with the idiot standing there, so no real issue; not at all that the person should stand there without feeling like a fool though.

Applying a rule that everyone gets one chance to be a moron; the first mistake is ok and totally forgiven. But the second time they should at the very least apologise for the mistake, and not keep doing it.

Third time I’d be happy for a Hunter or Rogue to MD to them constantly so they quit the group.

An example – In AN “pound” by the last boss is something that used to kill Tanks. Now a tank can pretty much be healed through it, but it still kills dps. This is ok and the way it should be.

If the Tank didn’t move because they were doing something else, then that is ok too, but generally the Tank should know better and should have moved. The Damn dps who do that deserve all they get, and should not be a priority in healing. Period.

Have a great raid, and I’ll leave you with some inspiring words: Give a man fire and he’s warm for a day, set a man on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life.

Positive Random Dungeon Stories

Do I need or Green on this?...as a Hunter...

Need or Greed...Blizzard says no loot for you!

A shared topic via the TNB folks was about Positive Random Dungeon Stories. Now don’t get me wrong, I do have a lot “standard” pug stories where it works out OK; and sometimes a good event.

Often though the memorable is a bad event rather than a good event. Human nature to remember that way.”

So here goes – some good things that have happened…

It’s all Hunter Loot.

Did a quick SM run on my mid 30s Hunter and cleaned up on loot random rolls. We all rolled Greed on everything, but somehow I walked away with almost everything; in the order of 6 of the 10 random drops went to me.

I just had to laugh and keep rolling greed.

UberHeals in leveling run.

A GunDrak run was recently made a total laugh for my 74 Tankadin, where an 80 Paladin healer allowed us to zerg through almost everything. Doing 3 pack pulls as a level 74 Tank is too much fun to have. No idea why that happened in terms of “random dungeon”, but I can’t say I’m unhappy.

Quick solid run, plenty of polite and fun chatter in /party, and only the Warlock dps in the group died; which is par for the course for Warlocks.

Arkham the Warlock is back!

Along with my Tankadin, I’m also dusting off my old Warlock to see what he can do – Arkham is back with destruction on his mind. At 72 doing the random group dungeon run is just a blast (or is that a Conflagration?).

I’ve spec’ed deep into Destruction, hardly need the pet, and just nuke everything. I don’t even care about dying, as repairs are just so damn cheap.

Bear druid is Tank -Rawr

Lastly my Druid now has a solid 5 man tank set that can do almost everything. Halls of Stone is cake, I actually like doing packs of mobs, and even the painful tunnel in PoS is not the bitch it can be as a DK tank. Having a huge HP total helps too.

Cooldowns? Nope, just use Swipe.

Mob packs? Easy, just use AoE taunt and Swipe.

DPS with Threat fever? Taunt, maul, etc. Kids stuff.

Happy randoms to all, may your loot drop and repairs be cheap.

Rather be pugging than helping mates? (rant)

DaggerIts a shame, but after a Ulduar run with some mates, I’d rather be puging. It will most likely be the last run I do with them, at least without saying I want an equal roll on loot.

As back story: I’ve known some of these guys for quite a while and are mates with a few in real life.

When the opportunity to do 5 mans comes up, I don’t hesitate. They’re a solid set of gamers who all have a good attitude and spirit. But on Guild runs there is a policy of only giving loot to the extra folks if a guild member does not want it. Which is rotten for the pugger (me), but most of the time I don’t want the loot anyway. Historically I’ve been past over at least 10 times. Most of the time they’re doing things that I’m past, and I’m there for fun and the odd badge. So generally this is OK. I don’t sweat it.

Until I join them in an Ulduar progression runs. They’re learning, and have not done much of the Ulduar content yet. We are all wiping, we all use mats, flasks, feasts, etc. We all have repair bills. Then an item drops that is an upgrade for three people, and I win the roll, but it is assigned to a guildie instead. Well bugger me, now I feel like a sucker for coming along.

To put it another way – if they had pug’ed that 10th spot, they would have had to share openly on rolls. That means that a stranger has better chance of loot with them than somebody they’ve know for ages and has helped them in the past. That is why I’m miffed.

My lesson is to now speak up front with their GM, and state that no loot means no run for me from now on, and wish them luck. The worst that can happen is that they say they’d rather run 9, or wait for a guildie, in which case I save gold on wipes and pug something else.

(I know, a loot drama post. But its been a while; and its the basis of most wow threads)

3 Stories, 1 Night, Much Swearing

A few days ago I had a day of WoW that was like playing Snakes and Ladders. Here are the three stories that made up another “learning experience”.

Story One: The BF PuG that couldn’t.

Cast: My Tankadin, Hunter-1, Huntard-2, SPriest-DC, Priest-Heals, Mage-Gone.
Started the night with a Heroic BF run.
– I pop into LFG and get messaged to see if I’m a tank and up for a BF run. Well as its the daily, so of course I say I’m keen, and I join group.
– Upon join we have Tankadin, 1x Hunter and a Heal and Shadow Priest. For BF thats not ideal as they have reduced AoE, but thats not an issue if we keep on the game. Having me as AoE tank is the real cheat mode for BF, so we’ll be OK.
– We are one dps short, but that should be easy to fill. I jump into LFG and start looking.
– The Huntard says he needs 10 minutes before we start, and his mate will join us. OK, free DPS is good, and 10 minutes is not a train wreck.
– Leave LFG
– So we wait, the time passes and finally after 15 minutes we have a new player. A mage. Well he pops in, asks a few questions and we get rolling.
– Summon everyone.
– Summon one of them again, as they are not ready.
– Except the SPriest disconnects, so we wait.
– Then SP is back, so we zone in.
– And the SPriest disconnects, and we wait.
– All on, and buffed, so I check in chat that everyone is ready.
– OK good, mark, and first pull.
– Skull and X make a quick beeline for me and start swinging. Nobody else has moved, Hunter then sends in Pet and Mage starts damage. Healer does sweet fuck all, and I go down due to 2000, 2000, 6000, 2000, 2000, plus some other hits. Dead tank. Group makes for the door.
– Priest survives and we get res’ed.
– Take two is better, I use a Sheep mark and the Mage does a perfect sheep. We drop them no sweat. Continue reading