Step up, take a hit, love it

Last week of irregular 5 mans and 3/12 impromptu ICC10 runs were enough to give me enough Frost emblems to purchase some tanking upgrades. It takes a while to acquire 120 badges of Frost, so I am rather looking forward to the difference that it might make to both tanking characters.

Death Knight Tank set upgrades for Mortigen – which somehow only inch my overall ranking forward slightly, but looking at the items a GS of around 5400 seems reasonable to me fro ICC10 man (yes I know gs is no measure of skill, yadda blah blah, but it does work if used properly).

  • Verdigris Chain Belt (60 frost emblems), which swaps this ilevel 264 monster belt with an old-ish ilevel 226. The change also dropped me a significant amount of hit, so I also switched to the Citadel Enforcer’s Claymore as the 2H of choice. Having two of those is a real advantage.
  • Scourgelord Pauldrons (60 frost emblems)

Druid-Bear Tank set upgrades for Quendalon

– Ikfirs’s Sack of Wonder, by donation from the Guild (ya, thats a huge gift!)

With all the upgrades it is time to Step-Up, Get Hit, and darn Love it.

Then the team was ready to roll into ICC10 and kill the LK again, right as my partner sprang a last minute critical task (ie. RL > WoW… grumble). So offline I go while the guys go to get the Kingslayer title. Shit, damn, bloody-hell, snap, etc.

But I am happy that they did it, and some nice loot was handed out.

Then we went through RS and killed Halion. For me that was a first too, as getting into RS has been a lower priority that other fights, so overall darn happy.

Then over the past few nights we did some hard modes in Ulduar, which was a huge buzz. Most I had never attempted, and all of them still hold some challenge as they require attention to strategy and awareness, not gear.

What was interesting is that now that we over-gear the instance so much, the strategy is still totally dependent on having the correct instructions, but needs to be modified so that the team does not do too much damage at once. Kind of funny to be saying “stop dps” in a hard mode fight. We missed the Kologarn hard mode for this reason, but only by a smidge (damn it).

  • Orbital Devastation
  • Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare
  • Nerf Engineering
  • Heartbreaker
  • I choose you Steelbreaker
  • Crazy Cat Lady
  • (and the Freya ones, all at once)

And Mimron-Firefighter kicked us around a lot, buy hey – its is darn worth it.

This week if the gods of MMO glory are kind to me, I’ll be a Kingslayer.

Happy killing.

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Raid leading Ulduar 25

A few nights ago I led my first 25m Ulduar, and it was certainly a challenge. Raid leaders have always had my respect, and as a participant I tend to follow the instructions from the leaders even if they make little sense. You never know when somebody has a method or tweak that will change the encounters. That said – its a prick of a job.

It is a strange sensation to lead a raid rather than just do my job. Kind of like thinking in two spaces at once, the first is my normal role of melee dps killing the mobs, and the second is watching what else is going on, seeing and correcting the actions of others.

Raid leading seems like a good role to keep the game interesting. I’ve always been an advocate for knowing the roles of other classes, and understanding what powers, strategies, and potential the Tank, DPS and Healer roles use. And now I get why often raid leaders have several alts, in each of the three roles in the game.

My concerns were:

  • Trying to give brief instructions to the players who had not seen the content, without covering everything and boring the experienced players to tears.
  • Moving at a pace that let us not feel to slow. Now to my mind, the last run was really slow, especially in the first prep. I aim to speed this up significantly.
  • Giving advice without being a prick, or sounding too harsh. I hate saying the same thing 3 times, and if a set of players are just not doing what they’re told that irks me. (eg. melee dps need to switch to the XT002 trash if it is getting too close to the boss)
  • Being ok, or not being ok when instructions are not followed.

I find in the heat of battle people stick to what they know rather than what they’re told to do in advance. That means that moving them mid fight will help, but also saying it afterward will help too. Post-wipe looks to me to be a good time to outline what we might have to do better. I think it willstick more in everyone’s heads after a small beating.

What went well:

  • Considering it was the first time that a lot of the raid had seen Ulduar 25, and first Ulduar run for a few players we did ok.
  • Killed Flame and XT, but had a frustrating time with Razorscale.
  • Morale was good, they’re happy to be seeing 25m stuff.
  • Overall everyone did what they had to in a really efficient way.

What I’ll do next time:

  • We tried Suicide Kings for the first time in the run too, and I think there was a lot of confusion. I am definitely going to re-cover the loot rules at the beginning.
  • Quick in, and expect players to know the fights. Get in, play, wipe if we need to, then cover next steps. Better to start playing that spend 20 minutes talking about it. Setup and go in 5-10 max for a new group.
  • Next run will be Flame, XT, then Kolo. Razor can be killed when we’re all a little better geared and more coordinated.

I want to see Algalon one day

I saw a YouTube video of the first part of the Algalon encounter in Ulduar. This is a major spoiler, but damn – it looks fantastic. I want to see this for my self one day. Hard work? Yep, I’m ready (but maybe not prepared…).

YouTube – Algalon Sneak peak

Never mind he’s hard mode only, or that we’re only 8 bosses in for 10 man. This is a true goal worthy of aiming at. I love the fact its damn hard to get to, and its even better that nobody anywhere has downed him. The enounter looks drool worthy.

Ulduar finally gets some Unhinged loving from me

dragonsteel-faceplateLatest news just in, our motley crew took me in with them to Ulduar 10m.

There was much success with Flame Leviathan (tank toys), Ignis (great fight for positioning), Razorscale (who pissed me off because of her damn wings), XT-002 (painful because of the voice), and Kologarn (discovered we needed two tanks…) all downed in night one.

We returned the next night and killed Observer Auriaya (the crazy cat lady) and the Iron Council (who were tough but so much awesome fun). I hope to see more dead bosses in the near future.

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