Pookies Is Not A Bear

What can he Lifebloom for you?

All’s well that ends in boss deaths May 30, 2008

Filed under: Raiding — Pookies @ 8:46
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Last night saw our return to BT to butt heads with Supremus once again. After a quick briefing on why we epic failed against Supremus on Tuesday, we proceeded to one-shot that SOB.

It was impressive how few deaths we had (only two or three). I was personally lucky with volcano spawns, which helped a lot. Our new strategy involved splitting healing between the MT and OT, as on Tuesday a lot of the healers were struggling to be in range of both tanks (which, BTW, involves standing right underneath Supremus … and even then we were having range issues).

Next week I have to focus more on following the MT around during kite phase as to eliminate the possibility of being out of range when tank ‘n’ spank phase starts again. We had some close calls this week.

After giving out loot and taking a group picture, we proceeded to clear trash up to Shade of Akama. The first pulls consist of six demons: four satyrs and two felguards. We had six locks last night. We banished all of the satyrs and tanked the felguards, turning these pulls into super severe easy mode. But resto druids still have to be on their toes! I didn’t heal too much during these pulls because there is a lot of decursing and a little bit of poison abolishing to do (AoE CoA FTL). One curse in particular will stun its victim periodically (think Remote Toy) and lasts three minutes. Decurse that shit.

The majority of us were able to turn in a quest in the courtyard outside of Shade of Akama’s room and pick up the quest to kill Shade. After a couple of hiccups trying to clear the trash in Shade’s room (pulling both pats twice and actually surviving the second time by some act of God), we began our attempts on him.

Our first attempt went very well. I had the “easy” add side (east), the side that didn’t have the Defenders spawning out of it. Everything was going fine until the last Channeler was taken down. At around that time, a tank on the west side died and his adds went around killing everybody. We wiped in short order, and poor Akama got pwned.

On our second attempt, Shade was ours. People say that Shade of Akama is the Chess Event of Black Temple, and I can see why. It’s not even a tank and spank–when Shade of Akama gets out, it’s just a spank. Free epics all around!

It’s finally the weekend, and you know what that means: raid vacation until Monday!

 

Ass-galore eats dirt May 29, 2008

Filed under: Itemization,Raiding — Pookies @ 11:05

You never know what’s going to happen on a raid these days. For the past couple of weeks, we have generally been restricted to T5 content (and our Rage and Anetheron farm, of course) because we usually only have five or six healers on a given night. But thanks to a couple of healer recruits and a couple of respecs, we have been able to run T6 so far this raiding week.

Tuesday night was spent in BT. We downed Vagentus (my first time ever seeing the encounter), and then cleared trash up to Supremus to get some attempts in on him. Our best attempt ended with Supremus down to 14%. They say that Supremus is supremely easy, which I’m sure he will be as soon as we have a solid strategy for kite phases.

Last night we picked up a paladin who had apped for the guild and headed to MH. Rage and Anetheron, our farms, were down in short order. We wiped once on Kaz’rogal due to too many people blowing up, but we got him down on our second attempt (I was a good druid and abused the shapeshifting trick at every opportunity).

On to Azgalor, who was a one-shot for us. We knew this was coming as we had gotten him down to 18% on our first attempt ever the previous week.

Here’s what I learned about Hyjal this week:

They say that if you wear your BT attunement neck and have a priest’s shadow protection buff, you can resist a lot of Kazrogal’s mana burns and Azgalor’s silences.

Well, that’s bullshit. Maybe I’m just the unluckiest person alive, but I ate almost all of those mana burns, and I only resisted the silence twice (I was counting).

Unfortunately, it’ll be a while before anyone will have the rep to purchase the pattern for the shadow resistance cloak from Ashtongue Deathsworn. I’m wondering if it might be worthwhile to purchase some green shadow resistance gear from the AH? Can anyone weigh in on this?

 

WHEW May 26, 2008

Filed under: 2.4,IRL,Raiding — Pookies @ 11:34

I have been wiped. Just wiped. Getting up for work at 07:00 and then not finishing my raid until 01:00 from Monday to Thursday is just killin’ me. But I guess that’s the price of killing two bosses in one week.

That’s right.

After Kael’thas on Monday of last week, we went into Hyjal the next day to down Kazrogal’s trash and Kazrogal for the first time (we had never made it through his trash before … those gargoyles are a PITA). We also got Azgalor down to 18% on our first (and only) attempt on him. T6 gloves, here we come.


(As usual, links to a bigger version)

I believe that tonight is going to be our attempts at downing Kael’thas for the second time. I’m hoping we’ll have the attendance (today being Memorial Day in the USA). I’d like to think we cleared the rest of TK for something! …

 

For real this time: KAEL DOWN! May 20, 2008

Filed under: Raiding — Pookies @ 10:05

Since I joined EoTS (it’s been about three weeks now), we have struggled to put a decent raid group together to actually get something accomplished, being stuck at 6/6, 3/4, 2/5, and 1/9 for the longest time.

Last night we actually went into an instance with a full raid group, albeit starting forty-five minutes after invite time. We went in with five healers, which was probably a first. I thought, “Five healers? And we’re trying what now? KAEL’THAS?!”

But man, did we have the damage. I think it’s because we had less prot warriors and less healers than usual, but all the adds went down incredifast. Like … stupid fast. Axe and shield were both dying within the first couple of seconds of phase three, which was just amazing. Ranged DPS was owning up Thaladred in phase three, and with our new kill order for advisors, Sanguinar was following closely (to free up our Kael’thas tank). On our first attempt of the night, we got all of the advisors down and got Kael’thas down to 56%, which is almost to phase five and the absolute lowest I had ever seen him.

Spirits were very high. We all knew this was the week that Kael’thas was going to die.

Two attempts later, weapons died very quickly again, giving us a lot of time in phase three. With only a wounded Capernian still up at the end of phase three, phase four was set up to go very smoothly, which it did. I don’t know how it went so smoothly. I have no idea how our DPS managed to coordinate keeping up weapon buffs/debuffs and bursting Kael’s bubble and interrupting his spell casts and avoiding the phoenix and killing the egg and crowd controlling the MCed and dispelling MC. Don’t ask me, they’re just amazing like that. I just healed like a tree on speed while trying like mad hell to avoid Flamestrike. Then, towards the end of phase four, I got disconnected. And our MT got disconnected. Some other people also got disconnected. O. M. F. G.

I scrambled to reconnect. I zoned in right as a Gravity Lapse was happening. I started swimming away from Kael’thas, and then I noticed that Grid had not loaded. O. M. F. G. Again. My thought process went something like this:

“OK, no time to panic. NO TIME TO FUCKING PANIC, GEOFF, SO GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF. Target Kael’thas and heal his target during ground phase. Heal myself by using my self unit frame. Why can’t I heal my party using their unit frames? Why can’t I click on their unit frames to target them? No matter. Bring up nameplates during Gravity Lapse to target nearby raid members to and heal.

Oh shit, I’m lagging again … I feel another disconnect coming up and Kael is at 15%!

No, I got lucky, it was just a lag spike. Continue to heal, Kael’thas’ health bar is ticking really, really low …”

And that was it. Kael’thas is now dead to EoTS. Congratulations to everyone. It kind of blows my mind how well everyone just worked together this fight. All of the tanks were so attentive. I think we went through three of them in phases four and five (a warrior and two bears). We killed Kael’thas for the first time with FIVE HEALERS. That’s just insane, and it would have been impossible if DPS wasn’t doing everything they were supposed to be doing (see above and the long list of shit they were responsible for).


(Links to bigger, less cropified picture)

After giving out loot (and a bunch of people going to turn in their MH quest) we went to SSC to blaze through Lurker and one-shot Vashj (my first Vashj down ever). I got both of my vial remnants in one night, and now have the honoured SotS ring sitting in my inventory (I’ll wait for at least the revered version of the ring before enchanting and equipping it).

EoTS has now cleared T5. I know I joined them after they had already toughed their way to 6/6 and 3/4, but I’d like to think that I had a part in making Kael’thas happen.

Hand of A’dal titles all around (not yet for me though—I still need a Rage Winterchill kill to finish my BT attunement, which I expect will happen this week).

 

Raiding Resto Druid Professions in 2.4 May 14, 2008

Filed under: 2.4,Itemization,Professions,Raiding — Pookies @ 17:16

Each profession was designed to offer advantages exclusive to the players who chose to spec in that profession. This exclusivity comes in form of BoP items, required profession skill level items, etc. How do these advantages cross over into the raid environment, and specifically for a resto druid?

Well, in no particular order …

Gathering professions

What you get: nothing

No serious raider, regardless of their class or spec, should have a gathering profession. Alts are for farming. Dailies are for gold. Take two crafting professions.

Enchanting

What you get: ring enchants

Two Enchant Ring: Healing Power (required skill: 370) will net you a solid 40 bonus healing across two rings, which is not a laughable buff in the least. Also consider that Blizzard’s gift to us for leveling our enchanting this high is that the ring enchants don’t cost jack shit in terms of mats. There just isn’t much else to say. 40 healing!

Alchemy

What you get: one kickass trinket

Redeemer’s Alchemist Stone, craftable at 375 skill upon reaching exalted reputation with SSO, is the trinket with the highest passive healing bonus in the entire game as of 2.4. The only other trinket in its league is Memento of Tyrande, which requires that your guild is downing Illidan.

Since our regen was buffed ever-so-generously in 2.4, one of our biggest concerns as resto druids now is output. And when it comes to output, this trinket delivers.

The buff to pot chugging really doesn’t hurt either, and is really useful in those “OH SHIT” moments. (I’ve gotten Spouted and lived.) (Try not to question why I got Spouted in the first place.)

Leatherworking

What you get: drums and crafted BoPs

Drums are awesome. The healer-friendly drum, Drums of Restoration restore 600 mana and health every two minutes, which comes out to a minimum of 25 mp5 and 25 hp5 if the drums are used every cooldown. You can also use other drums if your group doesn’t need the regen. For instance, popping a haste or attack power drum can help your tanks build aggro faster if you’re in the tank group.

The three-piece epic leatherworking set is just gross when compared to the Primal Mooncloth set. Yes, you gain some armour and stamina (who cares?) and a small amount of intellect and spirit by sacrificing a lot of healing and mp5. I think any druid worth his or her salt can work out that the intellect and spirit you gain from the Windhawk Armor is not worth 17 mp5. If you are going to spec leatherworking solely for this set … don’t!

For Sunwell Plateau druids, Leather Chestguard of the Sun is a BoP craftable with awesome stats and is very cheap to make for its item level, outshining the T6 chest in terms of output and regeneration (but not considering set bonuses).

Tailoring

What you get: an awesome three-piece set until T5/T6

As mentioned above in the leatherworking section, the Primal Mooncloth set outshines the Windhawk Armor set in terms of healing and regen, which are two of our main priorities when it comes to resto druid itemization. This set will last you well into SSC, and even then, you might not take the resto T5 set bonuses over the Primal Mooncloth bonus if you had to choose one over the other.

Jewelcrafting

What you get: BoP gems and crafted BoPs

Until they make the BoP gems non-unique-equipped, all you gain from these BoP gems is a meager eight bonus healing (26 bonus healing from the epic BoP gem over 18 bonus healing from the rare one).

There are a couple of healer-friendly craftables. Enjoy your Amulet of Flowing Life …… again, if your guild is in Sunwell Plateau. Druids revered with SSO can also craft the regen trinket Figurine – Seaspray Albatross, which gives a minimum of 43 mp5 … but who doesn’t have enough regen in 2.4? Who? It’s better to suck it up and eat your own Innervate to put bonus healing trinkets on (see: alchemy).

Engineering

What you get: a BoP helm

Wonderheal XT40 Shades can be crafted at just 350 engineering, and have been touted to easily last until the T5 helm (I would personally take T5 over this helm for the stats even though you’d lose a little bit of output).

Also, with the new patterns available in 2.4, engineering headpieces can now be upgraded to Wonderheal XT68 Shades. The schematic for the upgrade drops in Sunwell Plateau and is BoE. Even if your guild isn’t in Sunwell Plateau, you could conceivably pick a schematic up for what I’d expect to be a huge sum.

Blacksmithing

HA HA HA HA HA HA …

Recommendations

I think that every resto druid should have alchemy. In 2.4, druids really are all about output, and the Redeemer’s Alchemist Stone will last you until the end of TBC. Pair it with Lower City Prayerbook at first for some solid trinket output, or the traditional Bangle of Endless Blessings if your regen just isn’t there yet. Eventually aim to pair it with Memento of Tyrande (237 bonus healing from trinkets alone).

As for a second profession, it really depends.

If you are still raiding mainly T4 content and not often enough to collect badges for full 2.3/2.4 badge gear, then go tailoring. Build the Primal Mooncloth set for yourself, and spend your badges on the other slots. This is most likely your best bet for building a solid healing set for yourself for the short to medium term. Tailoring will afford you three pieces of T5-ish gear, whereas engineering only gives you one piece.

If you are at the point that the gear you are collecting from raids/badges is passing Primal Mooncloth in output or you have some silly aversion to wearing cloth, then take enchanting for the ring enchants. The 40 bonus healing you get on your rings is 40 bonus healing no matter what rings you’re wearing.

Alternatively, if you’re all about even further expanding your raid utility at the cost of personal output, then go leatherworking, craft drums, and abuse ‘em. Just remember that for this to be worthwhile, you have to craft all of the drums and use them circumstantially.

While engineering and jewelcrafting have their pros, I feel that their raid usefulness deteriorates around the T5-level of progression (where the bulk of guilds are, IMO) and requires T6 progression to be even remotely worthwhile, making them sub-optimal raiding professions for T4/T5 resto druids in 2.4. With the other professions, you hone your profession skill and bring the benefits into raids, instead of waiting to bring the benefits of your professions out of raids.

Just my $0.02!

 

Kael down! … May 13, 2008

Filed under: Raiding — Pookies @ 9:33

… to 97%!

Well, last night was supposed to be a major progression raid. We ended up giving Kael some (seven or eight) attempts. Our GM (priest) was sick, and one of our other priests also couldn’t make it, so we were looking at going into this with five healers. Or so I thought, until I summoned one of our moonkins to Cosmowrench and he appeared … AS A TREE!!!

The entire night we were shorthanded, however, and on most attempts we had 23 raiders. But that didn’t deter us. The officers were determined for us to make some progress, and we did.

You may remember that we were previously having a lot of trouble transitioning from phase two to phase three. By moving Thaladred closer to the midpoint between Telonicus and Capernian, the transition was going a lot smoother because our warlock tank and his healer weren’t getting Thala-punted. On one attempt, we got a minute (or so) into phase four and all weapons and advisors were dead. Our MT got gibbed by the first Pyroblasts because everyone was freaking the fuck out and almost no one was on Kael and his shield, but it was an exciting attempt because we had never gotten all of the weapons and phase three advisors down! … AND WE DID IT WITH 23 RAIDERS!

Apparently Kael is going to be a huge focus for us in the coming week. I want him to die so badly.

 

We are in deep, deep … T5 May 9, 2008

Filed under: Raiding — Pookies @ 10:59

I was invited to join EoTS as a recruit the day after my trial run with them, and I have been raiding with EoTS every night since.

The past two nights have been mostly devoted to Vashj and Kael. We’ve made some good progress on both bosses, having about five new people present on both nights who had never even seen them before (myself included).

The key to Vashj is, of course, finishing phase two without getting overwhelmed. We made it to phase three a handful of times, but not with enough manpower to take her down. I know that a few people must have been /headdesking because EoTS has been able to take Vashj down in the past, but, considering that we had a handful of newbies, five prot specced raid members, and only six healers, I think we did well! Vashj was called after about eight attempts and we just took down Karathress instead.

As far as Kael attempts went, we consistently made it to phase three, usually with only the axe up (five locks and one mage = a lot of AoE). On our last attempt we actually made it to phase four (albeit with two advisors and the axe still up and a lot of people dead). This we also did with six healers. The transition from phase two to three is really killing us. We are having a lot of bad luck with the different advisor effects affecting the tanks of other advisors and their healers, which I don’t understand because we really keep them spread out. But we did manage to solve some major problems last night, such as weapon positioning during phase two. Cosmic Infuser is slated to die first, so that the healers can loot it. However, what was happening was that the Cosmic Infuser was dying and none of the healers could click the corpse to loot the weapon because it was lost in a sea of tanks, melee DPS, and other weapons. What we ended up doing was having a tank who wasn’t tanking one of the other weapons taunt Cosmic Infuser at about 5% and drag it off to the side, where it was finished off. Then, all of the healers could run over and loot it without having to use a /target macro, look for the little selection circle, try to click the little selection circle, miss and pick up another weapon that had died right on top of the mace, etc.

Anyway, I’m guessing that Monday will also be devoted to Vashj or Kael (mainly because everything else is dead), so we’ll see what happens then. Until then, feast your eyes on this screenshot I took from phase two. We actually use five weapon tanks, but obviously I can only keep four Lifebloom stacks up. Most important are Borzak and Sandball. Borzak tanks two weapons (mace and shield), and Sandball tanks the axe.


(Links to beegger picture)

In other news, some hunter bought T5 pants from my guild for 5000g. Vis Maior doesn’t even charge that much for T6. Free repairs for everyone!