Tag Archives: Chi Cerca Trova

Sometimes It’s Just Right

Ladies and gentlemen, last night was a good night.

Sometimes you don’t have good oozes. Sometimes you don’t have your normal healers or the purple debuff stacks a little to high. Sometimes tanks die. Sometimes adds overwhelm the raid or you stand in the Searing Blood or you don’t kill the Mana Void near the healers or you stack up when you’re supposed to spread out.

Sometimes you don’t have the dps. Sometimes button-pushing is hard. Sometimes Fading Light only gives you a three second warning or you aren’t paying attention to the Hour of Twilight castbar or someone forgets to soak and the raid erupts. Sometimes you try to push dps to the last second. Sometimes computers lag. Sometimes tanks die.

And then sometimes–sometimes it’s all just right.

You have the people you’re supposed to have.  Everyone heals what they’re supposed to heal and bites their fingers to keep from healing past four stacks. Everyone dpses what they’re supposed to dps and doesn’t try to pad the meters too much. Everyone stacks when they need to stack and spreads out when they need to spread out and switches targets when they’re supposed to switch targets.

Sometimes everyone pushes the button at the right time and tanks survive and we have an extra battle rez. Everyone pre-pots and uses their cooldowns and pushes the meter just enough. Everyone who is supposed to stay out stays out and no one erupts. Sometimes the healers switch through their healing cooldowns perfectly and everyone m0re-or-less lives–everyone except the boss, that is.

And sometimes, on those nights, these things happen:

Job well done last night, guys. Grats to us!

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The Expansion is Ending?

In Trade yesterday, someone mentioned that the expansion is ending. Someone replied, “what do you mean, ‘the expansion is ending?'”

Mists of Pandaria is around the virtual corner. Some guesses put it as soon as June, some as late as September, but regardless of when it comes, we’re wrapping up Cataclysm. We’re in the last tier of content, we’ve killed the Big Boss, and Blizzard has repeatedly confirmed there will not be a filler raid between now and MoP. Further, beta started this week. The door is closing.

I don’t do postmortem breakdowns. There are plenty of MUCH more qualified people doing that (specifically, Blizzard itself). I’d feel remiss, though; if I didn’t go back and ruminate a bit on what Cataclysm was for me and figure out how to wrap it up in proper style.

Story

I’m going to be honest, even if it’s a bit fangirl-ish: content-wise, I loved Cataclysm. My introduction to World of Warcraft lore took place in three parts, or more correctly, one story in the parts: War of the Ancients. Knowing that I would get to team up with and face off against the characters and dragons I’d read about put me on the edge of my seat for the expansion.

I enjoyed every raid. Really. Okay, I didn’t love Throne of the Four Winds, but I adored Blackwing Descent. It was everything I wanted the first raid to be. The fights were fun (okay, maybe being a moonkin on Atramedes when Lunar Shower still rocked made it a little more fun, but still) and everything felt fresh again. I needed fresh after months and months of Icecrown.

Although I took a several month break from the game and missed the introduction of Firelands, I’m glad I got the chance to see it. I never got to see Ragnaros in Molten Core, at least not when he was the Big Boss. I liked the environment and the fights, even if the instance and I had our disagreements. Plus:

I mean, even I can’t argue with that.

I grinned all the way through the 4.3 heroics, despite the fact that I don’t like the Tyrande’s voice acting (not because the acting was bad, but because I don’t feel like it fit the character). While seeing Deathwing meet his “end” was a little anticlimactic since I fought him in LFR before we ever got to him as a guild,  I still liked the encounters and the story.

My Raiding Experience

I started out on a great foot when the expansion began. I knew that I knew my class, and I proved it over and over again. Even when things got rocky and the guild I was in switched to 10-mans, I did pretty well in every role I was asked to fill (which often ended up being healing).

The only thing I wasn’t completely comfortable with was tanking, but this is where I have to give a shoutout to the awesome people of Ephemera who encouraged me to try and gave me  ample opportunity to practice. They were persistent and non-judgemental, and I love them for it.

After my several month break, I returned, ready to raid again. Things had been in a bit of an upheaval, and I ended up returning to my guild Chi Cerca Trova while I got my feet wet in Firelands. What a culture shock. I’d never taken a lengthy break from raiding like that, and it took me a while to get my bearings straight.

Even now, I don’t feel like I’m back to where I was. I struggle to see the numbers I want to see. I get irritated with myself for not performing the level I feel is acceptable. Right now I sit in a place of deep frustration, and if I can’t find a way out of it, Mists might see me taking on a new role or even a new class. Tastes Like Death…Knight? Tastes Like Holy Priest?

I intend to moonkin to the best of my ability until this expansion officially ends. Time (and beta) will determine where I go after that.

What to Do Now?

We’ve got 3-6 months before we’re standing in line at Gamestop to pick up our copies of Mists of Pandaria. It sounds like a long time, but in Warcraft time, it’s not really. What are you doing to pass the time until we’re rolling our monks?

These are the things I’m doing:

What are you doing to say goodbye to this expansion, and are you ready to step into Pandaria?

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My Little Raid Leader

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Icecrown Citadel, The Plagueworks: Rotface

TLBC Strats: ICC

Maybe you’ve already killed Festergut, or maybe you’ve decided to try Rotface first.  This fight is all about awareness and coordination, so if you’re ready, let’s get to it!

There’s a lot of things that happen in this fight, so I’m going to try to explain everything in the order in which it generally happens:

The Pull We’ve found the best positioning to be three groups forming a semi-circle around the boss.  The tank runs in and grabs aggro, swinging Rotface around.  Melee and healers stand directly behind the boss, while the ranged are split into two groups, one of them 90 degrees to the left of the boss, and one of them 90 degrees to the right.  One sucker–I mean, offtank–stands at the edge of the room.  You’ll see why this poor guy is pretty darn important soon enough.

slime spraySlime Spray We have found that Rotface doesn’t target a player for this, but he does turn in the direction of a group of players, which is why we’ve split into three groups.  He will choose one of the groups, turn, and cast Slime Spray.  Once he turns, he won’t move, so if the boss is facing your group, you need to run to the side or behind him.  He will do Slime Spray in a cone in front of him which does just enough damage to kill a person if they stand there without a heal (or even with, depending on the cirumstances).  Don’t stand there, kk?  This will continue, happening every few seconds, throughout the entire fight.

Mutated Infection Sometime right around the first Slime Spray, someone will get Mutated Infection.  This is a disease that hurts  A LOT.  Please, healers, for the love of all things holy (or resto, or discipline), heal the person with Mutated Infection.  The person with Mutated Infection must immediately run to the poor offtank on the outside of the room (really, this is the suckiest job ever).  They must be cleansed (you need ONE PERSON assigned to do the cleansing, at least until 20%.  You may find you need a second cleanser at that point).  When they are cleansed, a small ooze will spawn at their feet (if a person dies with Mutated Infection, they will spawn TWO oozes.  So don’t die!).  It cannot be taunted, but it can be CC’d to some extent, if necessary. This will happen continuously and with increasing frequency throughout the fight.

The first person to get this ooze is going to have to stay with the offtank, as the offtank will be unable to taunt him.  The second person to get the Mutated Infection will run to the offtank and the first ooze.  At this point, the two oozes will merge, and the affected players can go about their business.  The offtank will taunt the big ooze and kite it around the room as it does a ton of AoE damage.

For the rest of the fight, everyone who gets Mutated Infection will need to run IN FRONT of the big ooze, get cleansed, make sure their small ooze has merged with the big ooze, and then return to their original position.

Professor FarnsworthThe Poison Slime Pipes Your offtank will be kiting the add around the room and simultaneously dealing with big puddles of slime on the outside edge of the room.  Professor Putricide will announce that the poison is coming.  At that point, one of the spouts positioned around the outside of the room will begin to sputter slime.  A few seconds later, a huge slime pool will fill the edge of the room on that side.  While the offtank can probably run through this pretty safely as long as he’s got healers, keep in mind that the slime hurts and slows you, so those with Mutated Infection should NOT run into the slime.  Wait for the offtank and meet him on the other side.

Unstable Ooze Explosion When 5 small oozes have merged into the big ooze, it will stop where it is and begin casting Unstable Ooze Explosion.   When it explodes, it will send slime flying through the air, landing where randomly-chosen players were standing when it was casting.  As soon as it starts to cast, our entire raid clumps in the middle of the room, on the boss.  When it finishes its cast and starts to spray, everyone runs for the outside edge of the room.  This way, the explosion lands in the middle of the room, where (hopefully) no one is standing.  Once the big ooze has finished exploding, you start again merging the oozes.

The Soft Enrage Rotface doesn’t have an enrage timer; however, like Saurfang’s marks, eventually so many people will be getting Mutated Infection that there will be slimes everywhere and your raid will be overrun.

CCT v Rotface

That’s it, that’s the entire fight.  It sounds pretty easy, but there are so many ways to wipe the raid, you’ll probably work on this one for at least a little while.

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Heroic Ulduar: Yogg-Saron

It’s long overdue, but I just can’t walk away from my Ulduar guides without covering Yogg, so as quickly as I can, the Yogg-Saron encounter:

Trash – Rejoice!  There is none.

Overview

Even if you’re doing this fight for the first time, you’ve probably seen the room.  Loudmouth Sara is in the center, floating above a pool of what appears to be liquid saronite.  Clouds rotate around her randomly, and all looks fairly peaceful.

When you walk in the door, you activate the encounter.  Hopefully you’ve activated all the keepers (you do this by talking to them; they’ll appear in Yogg’s room as they’re activated) and will therefore have their buffs, most of which work on their own with or without your cooperation (like getting frozen by Hodir when you’re actually trying to wipe), but Freya’s gift you need to take note of and use, probably frequently.

At the beginning of the encounter, you are given a debuff called Sanity.  It starts out at 100, but over time things during the encounter will drain that Sanity.  It is very important to watch your sanity and someone might need to call out occasional “check your sanity” reminders throughout the raid.  Let’s say that one more time for emphasis:  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO WATCH YOUR SANITY.  If your sanity gets low you need to stand in one of Freya’s green light wells positioned around the outside walls of the room.  You can’t dps while standing in them; they decrease your damage.  You walk in, get your sanity up, and then get out.  If you reach 0 Sanity you will go Insane and be MC’d by Yogg and he will use you to start killing your friends. You will have to be killed, and you cannot be rezzed.  If you’ve gone insane, a rez will bring you back still insane.  This wastes time and especially when you’re still learning the fight will most likely cause a wipe.

Phase 1 : Focus Your Anger and Hatred on His Minions

During this phase, Sara spawns Guardians from the green clouds around the room.  You need to kill them next to her to kill the avatar and move to Phase 2.  Most of the time Guardian spawns are random; however, if anyone in the raid touches a cloud, an extra guardian will spawn.  More than two and you can all clump up at the door and die, as you’ll be too far behind to catch up.  The solution is easy: don’t touch the green clouds.

No, not that kind.

No, not that kind.

We handle this phase by doing what I like to call the “Guardian Shuffle.”  Most of the raid clumps up at the door, with the exception of the tanks and one or two healers.  We have 4 tanks for this fight (some do this in dps gear).  Our MT stands next to Sara in the middle; here he is safe from accidental cloud spawning and he is in the right place to damage Sara by killing Guardians.  The other three tanks take turns grabbing spawns and carefully avoiding clouds as they drag them up to the raid where we FOCUS FIRE (split dps is bad bad bad).  In order to better control our dps so we don’t kill them before they reach Sara, we have the majority of the raid stop dps when the Guardian is around 40%.  The tank starts dragging them down at this point, and our mages and hunters get them from 40-10% and then kill them once our MT taunts it and gets it close to Sara.

This is both easier and harder than it sounds on paper.  It’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds once you’ve done it, but execution is a bigger issue.  We spent a week just getting to Phase 2 because we had people dancing in clouds and killing Guardians early.  This is not about the damage meter; this phase is all about control.

Easy achievement alert:  the Heroic: Kiss and Make Up achievement is great for when you’re learning this fight, because the first few times you manage to make it to Phase 2, you’re going to wipe HARD.  Take advantage of this, and make a macro that says

/tar Sara
/kiss

And spam it as you enter phase 2.  That’s it, achievement earned.

Phase 2:  The Time to Strike at the Head of the Beast

During this phase, Yogg spawns tentacles of various shapes, sizes, and abilities.  They stay in place, and you have to move to them.  We have a caster who runs around with a purple diamond on his head so we all know where to go next.  Splitting dps is still bad bad bad.

Credit Note: This is not my screenshot, because I keep forgetting to take one. >.>

Crusher Tentacles

These are the main priorities for ranged dps.  Melee can’t get close to them because they get a stacking buff that increases the damage they do.  We have one warrior who runs in and out stabbing it occasionally to get the stacks to fall, but other than that, these are all up to ranged.  They have a lot of health and each one lowers damage dealt by 20%.  If you let more than 2 get up at a time, you’re done.  At one point, the room will freeze, and the tentacles will cease to do damage.  When that happens, use your treants if they’re up to help catch the raid up so you have time to kill a few corruptors while you’re at it.  Also, healers can dps during this time as no one will be taking any damage.

Constrictor Tentacles

We generally have 3 or 4 ranged assigned to killing Constrictors as they appear.  This is another reason it’s important for the majority of the raid to stick together: Constrictors randomly target a person in the raid, pick them up, and squeeze.  The constricted person needs to be healed while the assigned Constrictor killers get it down.  The good news is that you can still cast while your constricted, so worse case scenario, at least as druids we can heal ourselves if necessary.  For you mages out there, Ice Block immediately releases you (and you suck).

Corruptor Tentacles

Ah, fellow moonkin, pull out your Decursive mod or get your mouseover macro ready:  you will probably be at least assisting in decursing through phase 2 and 3.  In order to maximize our dps and not distract our healers, I am the only decurser (and during last night’s kill, I broke my decursing record with a whopping 97 dispells).  Corruptor Tentacles throw curses, diseases, and poisons around the room, all of which REALLY REALLY need to be cleansed.  I decurse and we usually have a pally who takes off poisons and diseases, although I try to help out with the poisons if I notice it’s becoming a problem.  Crushers are certainly the priority, but go into Phase 3 with too many Corruptors up, and you’ll be too bogged down with curses and poisons to do any good.  For this reason, whenever we kill a Crusher we move right to a Corruptor until another Crusher spawns, and if we have extra melee, they focus on Corruptors specifically.

Brain Link

This is the other important ability you need to be aware of.  Occasionally, Yogg will Brain Link two players and a colored line will appear between them.  These two players need to stay close together until Brain Link fades.  If the line is green, you’re doing it right.  If it’s red, you’re too far away and you will lose 2 Sanity for every second the line is red.  That’s bad.  Don’t let the line stay red for long.  If a ranged or healer is linked with a melee headed into the brain room, that’s okay: run with them to the portal because the Brain Link will sever when they enter.

Melee & the Brain Room

Really, I don’t know much about what goes on in there.  Good thing this is a moonkin blog!  Portals will open up around Yogg, and we have 10 melee dps assigned to enter the portals.  They kill their way through the room that spawns and then into the Brain Room.  The really important things that happen in there is that a) they need to keep their backs to the floating skulls in order to keep their Sanity, and b) they need to get out of the Brain Room before Madness ends, or they will go Insane when they come out.  We have someone who calls this for the melee, so it’s rarely a problem anymore.  It’s important that melee do enough dps to get the Brain down in 3 portals, otherwise the raid gets easily overrun with tentacles.

Phase 3: Muwahahaha

This phase is tricky, but not overly complicated once everyone understands how it works.  Immortal Guardians will begin to spawn, and they live up to their name.  You can only kill them to 1%; at that point, Thorim will strike them down.  They hit very VERY hard at first, and do less and less damage as their health decreases.  For this reason, we all stand close enough to our MT so that a convenient Thunderclap or an in-range taunt keeps Guardians from killing the raid.  We let melee handle the Guardians (no aoe and no splitting dps, kk?!) while the ranged focus on Yogg.

The best advice I can give you for this is to turn up your speakers and pay attention.  If you’re decursing like I am, this is where your dps will start to really show the strain (and that’s okay if it’s your job to decurse), because the Corruptor tentacles that are still up will not die until Yogg dies.  However, you can still dps, but you need to be careful.

Frequently throughout Phase 3, Yogg will cast “Lunatic Gaze.”  You can’t possibly in a million years miss it: it looks like a bunch of pink streamers coming from Yogg to the raid.  When he does this, turn your back to him.  For every second you’re facing him during his Gaze you lose 4 Sanity.  This adds up quickly if you’re not paying attention.  Here is the super top secret to knowing when to turn back around, are you ready?  Okay: he laughs.  I know, it sounds dumb, but I know Lunatic Gaze is really over because he laughs throughout the Gaze with an added laugh at the end.  After that last laugh, it’s over and you can safely turn back around.  You’ll also get a feel for how often he casts it and might even be able to pretty easily predict it once you’ve done it for a while.

Dps the boss when Gaze is not up, turn your back on him when it is, and keep an eye on your Sanity, running back to wells when you get under 30.

Survive all of that crap and the enrage timer, and you win.

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A Short Tale About an Old God

Once upon a time, a terrible fiend burst through his watery prison and corrupted the stalwart protectors of the land of Azeroth.  It became clear that something had changed within the walls of the Titan palace known as Ulduar, and a band of twenty-five strong, dedicated adventurers (under the banner of Chi Cerca Trova and the united Alliance forces of Azeroth) dared to find out.

After fighting through the corruption and facing several outright monsters, the adventurers approached Sara, a woman who appeared to need assistance.  In truth, the great monster only used the form to masquerade himself.  He was great and terrible; a deceiver and murderer who could devour the minds of any who came upon him unprepared for his trickery.

He sent waves of Guardians against the adventurers, but they stood firmly against them, turning their destructive might against the avatar of the beast.  His illusion shattered, the monster appeared from the depths of his prison and thrust his many tentacles at the adventurers.  Those with swords and daggers hacked at the twisting, poisonous limbs, while the spellcasters in the group held off their vicious curses and unleashed their magic upon the biggest and most lethal arms of the beast.  Some of the adventurers were lured into visions, but bravely fought their way out, keeping their wits about them as they attacked the very head of the monster.

The Old God roared in pain and unleashed terrible minions upon the group, trying to overwhelm them to the point of insanity, and some were lost.  Those who remained steeled themselves against the forces of the evil one, and though each expected a fatal blow at any second, they fought as though they expected to live forever.

And suddenly, victory fell within their grasp, and each of them fought twice as hard.  They rained blows upon the monster and his minions, until the last of his awful resources had been extinguished.  The remaining adventurers focused on their intended goal, and held their collective breaths as the final spells whizzed towards the beast’s head and the last dagger slashed into his grotesque flesh.

And suddenly the monster Yogg-Saron fell to their might, and lay very still among them.  Those who had fallen in battle were resurrected, and there was great rejoicing among the twenty-five and among the citizens of Azeroth.

Now they have uncovered a new challenge — the waking of the Titan creation Algalon, who exists to cleanse Azeroth of the imbalance in its Keepers.  Can they save Azeroth from a certain end?  Only time will tell.

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A Smattering

Smattering: a small scattered number or amount.  That’s what this blog is; a smattering of information.

First:  Progress.

freya copy

thorim

We made a few passes at Mimiron last night, and it’s safe to say Phases 1 and 2 are pretty well under our control.  If we can figure out exactly what works for us when it comes to the bots, we’ll have it.

Second: The Forums

I actually contacted WoWInsider about it, because let’s face it, they have a lot more influence than I do.  I haven’t heard anything back yet, but I’ll certainly pass along what I find out, if anything, for my fellow (and now, sadly, former) forum people.  Wow, that was some serious alliteration.  Go me.

Third:  Solar vs Lunar Rotation Stats

While rolling through Elitist Jerks this week I stumbled on an interesting conversation about Solar vs Lunar rotation.  Supposedly, if you choose Solar (that is, casting SF to proc Wrath), you need to stack crit over haste because Wrath haste caps at 400.  Are any of you trying out the Solar rotation?  What have you found?

I doubt I’ll be switching to Solar myself unless there’s a significant change.  I prefer the way Lunar rolls for me, and I’m pretty attached to my haste right now.  The fact that my Wrath cast matches the GCD makes me crazy hot.

Fourth: State of the Battle Chicken

We’re kind of in stasis right now.  I’ve fallen in love with the game again, which means (not surprisingly) I’m playing more than I’m writing.  I promise not to neglect the few of you who still wander over here, though.  I appreciate it more than you know!  In the meantime, here are some things to check out:

Update on Graylo’s Ulduar Gear List

Live chat with Warcraft novel author Richard A. Knaak

Awesome Machinima series “Inventing Swear Words”

Upcoming Blizzcon – Check HERE to see the murloc pet that looks like he walked out of Halo.

Fifth: A Chuckle at My Expense

I’m not going to give you the background information; it’s neither here nor there.  Here’s the conversation on vent last night:

“Well, someone broke the sheep that time…

Someone with moonfire…

Hmmmm…”

Whoops!

Happy Hunting, Everyone!


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