Tag Archives: raiding

Overwatch & Um–No News?

I haven’t posted in a while and there are reasons for that, but more to that momentarily. There are bigger fish to fry:

OVERWATCH Stress Test Weekend

I haven’t been this excited to buy a brand new game ever. I know there are a few people in the beta/stress test weekend who didn’t enjoy it, and that’s cool, but I enjoyed the hell out of it, and I want to play again (and again, and again).

Play of the Game seems to be connected to multikills/ultimate abilities, and as such it seems like Bastion & D.Va are (imo) the two easiest heroes to get PotG on, so here’s a couple of mine:

Thoughts on the Game

The Good

  • Objectives. I prefer objective-based play over deathmatches (most of the time), and I feel like the objectives are mostly balanced and equally achievable by both teams, which is one of those things that’s pretty important but you don’t usually notice it unless it’s a problem.
  • Heroes. There are a variety of heroes to choose from that fall into 4 different sort of “categories:” tank, support, defense, damage. Don’t get too caught up in that, though; not only do the playstyles differ between the categories, they differ strongly from character to character. For some maps, for instance; you’ll want to start with one tank and finish with a different one. On some you may choose to not have  a tank or support at all. Feeling it out is the best way to get to know the heroes. Though it’s tempting to play one hero when you get comfortable with it, try to play around so you have a small collection.
  • Pace. The pacing in Overwatch is perfect. You don’t have long periods of waiting for fights (thanks largely in part to the objectives), but matches usually last a good 10+ minutes. Every once in a while you’ll be part of a shutout that happens in 5 minutes or less, but I didn’t see this much (and hey, at least then it’s over and you’re already starting the next game).

What Could Be Better

  • Bastion (Bastion is a robot hero that can either shoot on the run or deploy as a shielded turret). I hate writing this because there is nothing better than setting up Bastion in sentry mode on a defending team and just thumping away at the enemy team. But having been on both sides of the onslaught, Bastion is just a little overpowered right now. If he’s in sentry mode against a wall or a corner, the only way to kill him is to get close enough to him to get on top of him, bomb him, or pin him, and that limits the heroes that can take him down and the circumstances during which that can take place. Put two Bastions down supported by a team on an objective, and as an attacking team, you feel pretty hopeless. The nerf I would suggest to fix the problem is make the shield a little less durable–just enough that if I’m targeting his shield and putting significant damage into him, it actually breaks. 
  • Personal Stats History. This may be something in the works that just won’t be live until the game is, but I have done exactly 0 reading (sorry!) so I’m going to mention it anyway. I like the commendation system and the cards and the ratings, but I would like to be able to see more than just my current match and averages. Somewhere I should be able to view my entire history on each hero with similar stats to what we see at the end of a game. Kind of like how you can look up your match histories on League of Legends–I want to do that for my Overwatch stats.

The game is super addictive. Really, really addictive. I’m going to have to set parental controls for myself when it comes out, but it’s addictive because it’s fun.

Okay, The Non-Update

One of the reasons I haven’t posted in a while is because my guild is no longer raiding. 

We were on Mythic Mannoroth, averaging (good) pulls in the 15-20% range with 70 attempts when the tank we had taken on and geared up to replace our druid tank evaporated. He stopped showing up to raids at all without warning. Last I heard, his work schedule interfered with raiding too much (which would have been something nice to know beforehand).

This lead to a few weeks of trying to do Mannoroth with offspec and alt tanks. This lead to regression, and if you’ve raided much, you can probably guess how the rest went.

In the end, the decision was made to take a break from progression. As you might expect, half of the raid team left to find new guilds, another portion went AWOL, and the rest of us are just off doing other things and occasionally checking back in.

We did come together just enough to get our moose mounts, so at least there’s that. I’ve been spending most of my time playing EVE Online and Hearthstone and cleaning house in preparation for the holidays.


In other words, I’ve got nothing newsworthy to report. 



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I Don’t Like Flakes

flakesRaiding for the purpose of progression at any difficulty is a time commitment–at least, if you intend to be even moderately successful at it.

Experience and consistency go a long way in re-clearing farm content and killing new bosses in a timely manner. It’s not everything, but it’s definitely something.

When you flake out of your raid group, you’re being a selfish prick. There, I said it, and I’m not taking it back.

Am I saying that you shouldn’t quit when you’re tired of playing? That you shouldn’t back out when something in real-life supersedes in-game shenanigans? Of course not. But there are ways to handle these situations and still be considerate to the rest of your raid group.

The worst way to handle it? Stop showing up. That’s it–if your goal is to try to set your raid team back and be labeled a flake, that’s all you have to do. Easy, right?

If you are part of a raid team and you have real-life get in the way, tell someone. That’s it. Two seconds. “Hey, man, deal with itI’m really sorry, but my cat just developed super powers and is being taken to a private testing facility for magical creatures and I have to go with him. I won’t be available for the next few weeks.”

Granted, whether or not I believe your cat is teleporting around your living room is questionable, but hey, at least you told me.

If you decide you’re tired of playing/burnt out/not having fun anymore, warn your team and give us some time to find a replacement. “I just can’t get excited about the game anymore. I hate logging in and I’d rather snort glass than kill these bosses again. I’ll stay for the next two weeks, but then I’m done.”

Granted, it’s not as easy as just flat not showing up, but it’s also a) less of a dick move, and b) leaving your bridges in tact. Which may, as it turns out, be handy to you if you decide to come back in the future.

I’m an old lady, guys. I gotta stick by at least a few of my old-lady principles, and this is one of them. I love corn flakes and frosted flakes and honey-bunches-of-oats flakes (no, that’s a lie, I like the clusters). I don’t like raid flakes.

sad kitty


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Mythic Hellfire Citadel & I KNEW It Was Legion

Mythic Hellfire Citadel Progression

Good Time with ArchimondeIt’s been about a month and a half since we all started venturing into Mythic Hellfire Citadel, and so far it’s my favorite instance of this expansion. That’s actually saying quite a bit since I was a fan of Highmaul and Imperator remains one of my favorite fights in my raiding history.

So far, <Check Please> is 9/13 with a frustrating amount of sub 25% wipes on Tyrant. Xhul’s next on the target list, and then we get to step into the exciting world of Mythic Mannoroth and Archimonde, and man, Archimonde looks like a good time. 

I will say, though; for having some fun fights and looking cool, HFC also has one of the least enjoyable boss fights in Warcraft–can you even call Assault a boss fight? It’s a Mythic trash pull that isn’t even as uh–exciting–as the trash before Tyrant or Fel Lord.

But hey, there’s green fire and some fun mechanics and a lot of great stuff to die to (COULD YOU PLEASE THROW THE EYE? NO. OKAY. THANKS), so all-in-all, not bad. 

P.S. We stream our raids! Catch our main tank and GM Kinas on http://twitch.tv/almondstv or if I’m streaming, http://twitch.tv/ambermist. 

I Don’t Mean to Say I Told You So, But…

demon hunterObviously, the biggest news this month in WoW (aside from flying in Draenor coming September 1st!) has been the announcement of the next expansion, and I knew that I knew it was going to be a Legion expansion.

I could use this time to discuss how I remembered that day 2 or 3 years ago when a Blizzard developer made the comment about there being a bridge expansion followed by a legion expansion, and I knew that it was going to be a legion-based xpac, but instead I’m going to discuss the fact that almost no xpac predictions were wrong.

There have been a lot of discussions about the future of World of Warcraft going on for a really long time–forums, Twitter, fansites, blogs–and if you look at what we’re getting in Legion, you’ll see that there’s a bit of Oprah in this expansion. I said it on Twitter the day of the announcement: “Did you think the xpac was going to be Legion? You’re right! Emerald Dream? Yes! Azshara? YES!”

I’m not on the edge of my seat for this expansion, nor am I holding my breath. I also haven’t jumped on the Hype Train…


But it looks like it could be fun to play, and I haven’t stopped yet. Besides, the last time I wasn’t hyped (okay, the opposite of hyped, really), I ended up loving most of the expansion, so I’m along for the ride. Choo choo?

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Heroic Hellfire Citadel: Kilrogg Deadeye, Kormrok, & Gorefiend

So far, I like Hellfire Citadel. It looks cool, I like some of the bosses and I don’t absolutely hate any of them (yet). We’re 7/13 Heroic in Group #1 half mains, half alts, and 6/13 in Group #2, similar comp.


Hopefully your experience in there hasn’t been too bad, either! I’m gonna take a look at the next 3 heroic bosses as quickly as possible. :-D


As before, clicking on the boss’s name will take you to the video.

Kilrogg Deadeye

We’ve had our eye on this guy since the beginning of the expansion… >.>

Okay, seriously though, here’s what you need to know:

  • Heartseeker is a projectile launched at a player. It displays an arrow targeting the person, then a few seconds later it travels to the chosen target, doing damage to and spawning a Blood Globule add on anyone in the path. We just split the raid on two sides and had the person targeted run to the middle of the room as far back as they could go.
  • Blood Globules will explode if they reach the boss for a ton of damage, so don’t let them.
  • Salivating Bloodthirsters are adds that spawn throughout the fight, 2 toward the back of the room and one in front. If they reach the pool at the front of the room, they become Hulking Terrors. The one at the front will always transform but the two in the back should be killed before making it to the boss.
  • Hulking Terrors need to be tanked and interrupted when they cast Rending Howl.
  • Death Throes is a raid-wide AoE that does less damage the further from the boss you are while also launching fire around the room that you should avoid.
  • Shred Armor does damage and causes a stacking tank debuff. The debuff will not be applied if the tank has active mitigation running when it casts.

There’s one other very important mechanic to know about: the Visions of Death.

When Visions of Death is cast, the boss will place 3 glowing rune circles on the ground in the direction he’s facing. One player needs to stand in each rune, and these players will be teleported to a second realm where they need to kill adds and survive.

As players kill adds in the realm, they will receive a stacking buff that increases their damage for 1 minute. The goal is to survive and kill enough adds to get to 20 stacks. When players die in the realm, they are transported out to the main room, at which point they should use their CDs to pump out damage with the active buff.

We sent in 2 alternating teams of 2 dps + 1 healer each and getting the 20 stacks was not a problem.

Handle mechanics, kill the boss, it’s really not more complicated than that.



Okay, this guy is big and ugly and whatever.


  • Waves – He spawns waves from around the room (how many depends on where the boss is at and which pool he has most recently jumped into). Just dodge these. They’re a little obnoxious when empowered (coming from all 3 sides), but even hitting a wave won’t kill you. Hitting 3 or 4 of them probably will.
  • Grasping Hands – Similar mechanic to Kromog, but you don’t have to stand in them, they’ll grab you automatically. Stack up before they come out and AoE them down. When they’re empowered (green pool), they will drag you towards the closest pool, so kill them ASAP.
  • Runes – These runes explode on the raid if left to their own devices, so players need to pop a cooldown and run over them, soaking the damage and preventing the explosion.
  • Explosive Runes – These have to have their own category because there’s a trick to dealing with them. After Kormrok jumps in the red pool, the next runes will be empowered, and when a player runs through a rune, it will spawn a new rune directly in front of that player. Handling this: Have a team of players prepared to handle runes. These players will walk through the runes while facing the middle of the room, forcing the runes to spawn towards each other. When the runes get close enough to each other, they will start canceling themselves out until there’s only one rune left (you can see how this is handled at 4:57 in the video).
  • Pound – Unavoidable raidwide AoE that can be mitigated by spreading out 4 yards from other players and requires a healing cooldown.
  • Tank Junk – Tanks in this fight get knocked back (Swat), grasped by a big hand that must be targeted down (Fel Crush), stunned and forced to explode on the raid like Mark of Chaos (Explosive Burst), and be taking increasing magic damage (Fel Touch).

Honestly, the fight itself is pretty straightforward, and the execution isn’t terribly difficult. Ezpz.



This fight has a lot going on, but you can break it down pretty easily, I think. This guy, though; dat belleh.

The Main Room

  • Spread Out. You’re constantly doing damage to each other, so stay spread 5 yards.
  • Touch of Doom targets a player with a debuff that will explode when it expires and leave a puddle at the player’s feet. Move to the edge of the room before it expires.
  • Shared Fate connects 3 people by beams of light. One of them is rooted, and the other 2 players must run to them to free them.
  • Kill/Kite Adds. Adds spawn throughout the encounter. If one is attached to you, run away from it, otherwise kill the adds quickly.
  • Don’t Stand in Swirls. Purple swirly circles spawn on the floor in a spiral shape, don’t stand in them.

The Belleh

If you die in the main room, you aren’t immediately killed; instead, you’re sent inside Gorefiend’s stomach. Some players will be debuffed with Shadow of Death, as well; which will kill you and put you in the stomach.

While there, your first objective is to kill adds (or if you’re a healer, heal the friendly NPC) before they get to the middle. Roots and knockbacks work, as well.

Your second objective is to run to the center when your debuff is about to wear off so you don’t die inside. If you die inside you’re really dead.

Also, if you die shortly after coming out of the stomach, you die permanently.

Feast of Souls

This is like the boss casting Evocation. During the channel, he takes 100% more damage. He also spawns adds that move toward him and will explode for aoe damage upon touching a player.

  • Stack up together in the middle of the room in melee range.
  • Assign soakers (we had tanks and warlocks doing it) to catch the adds that are going to attempt to blow up on the raid.
  • Pop CDs and go as hard as you can.
  • Healers will need to have healing CDs planned for the entirety of Feast of Souls.

It sounds complicated, but once you see it, it’s really not.

We’re doing flex tonight (Thurs 6/25) for fun and tier, then Heroic again Sunday @8pm Eastern on twitch.tv/ambermist. :-D

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6.2 First Impressions & Heroic Hellfire Citadel First 3 Bosses

Ahhh, do you smell it? Fresh ocean breezes, cannon fire, blood in the water–smells like new content!

6.2 First Impressions

CaptainLet’s go ahead and say what most of us are thinking, shall we? PLEASE MASTER PLAN & GARRISON MISSION MANAGER, WE NEED YOU! How many of you, like me, didn’t realize how good you had it until it was gone? I want them back and fully functional, please and thank you.

Until then, I’m using Garrison Commander as suggested by @thegoldqueen, and it’s working beautifully!

Commander Captain Ambermist has arrived, okay? I’m enjoying the ship missions so far, if not the wait time between them…or the fact that I can’t 100% anything at all yet. Heck, I was excited to get a 94%! But c’mon, I’m a captain.

And then there’s Tanaan Jungle. So far it’s just a thing to do–I go there, I do some quests and bonus objectives, aaaaand that’s about it.

Heroic Hellfire Citadel

Last night we took our first split run group of half mains, half alts into Heroic HFC and blasted through the first 6 bosses, so here’s a look at those in the most TL;DR I can get.

Clicking the boss’s name will take you to the video.

Hellfire Assault

Hellfire Assault

I’m not exaggerating when I say this is basically a really big trash pull. You have 2 cannons that you need to protect from mobs and siege engines until they’re full of ammunition.

Ammunition drops from siege vehicles and lands on the ground in a big green glowy box when you kill them, and you just need someone to be responsible for picking them up and running them to the cannons.

Kill priority is roughly:

  1. Crushers – big sieges that go straight for your cannons
  2. Felcasters – cause ouch
  3. Siege vehicles
  4. Everything else

Sure, I could be more specific, but trust me when I say that’s more than enough to get you through it. Watch out for things shooting at you. If it looks like it can hurt you it can.

If you get marked with Howling Axe, run away from the raid and wait for it to smack you before running back.

That’s it. All done.

Iron Reaver

Fire is Hot

This one gave us the most hassle because of the need to spread out and cause fire burns. Oh, and because the boss likes to suddenly swing around and Blitz in a random direction sometimes. RIP.

Phase 1 Abilities & How to Handle Them:

  • Unstable Orb – Hits random raiders and does splash damage. Spread 8 yards.
  • Barrage – Boss targets a player and launches fire on the ground in a cone. Move away when she faces you.
  • Blitz – Boss charges in straight line, picking up whoever is in her path and doing damage to them. Don’t be in the way of her charge.
  • Pounding – Raid-wide AoE requiring cooldowns.
  • Immolation – Fire left on the ground by Barrage. Don’t stand in it.
  • Artillery – Debuff placed on the tank that does raid-wide AoE when it expires, reduced by distance. Tank runs away to let it expire and no one hugs him until he’s done exploding.

What worked for us was splitting the ranged kind of in half with healers on each side of the room. This gave us more space to spread out for Unstable Orb and more flexibility for dodging Barrages. Healers responsible for Pounding cooldowns would move into melee before casting their CD to maximize raid coverage.

Phase 2 Abilities & How to Handle Them:

  • Fuel Streak – Boss spits oil on the ground that will slow anyone standing in it.
  • Um, FIRE – Boss lights the oil on fire. Don’t stand in it.
  • Uhh, BOMBS – Boss drops bombs all over the room that do a crapton of raid damage if they explode. Kill them ASAP.
  • Artillery – The raid-damaging debuff on the tanks from phase 1 will now target a few random players who will need to run away from the raid before the debuff expires.

That’s the fight. Stay away from dangerous things, kill the boss, kill the bombs. Easiest.

I really do recommend finding a way to spread out your ranged and healers, though. Getting people to watch their range meters when resetting after Barrage is turrible, and having more space makes it way easier.

Hellfire High Council

Three bosses, a multi-dotter’s wet dream. We cheesed this a bit…

The three bosses are: Dia Darkwhisper, Blademaster Jubei’thos, and Gurtogg Bloodboil.

We opted to just burn down Bloodboil, eat the decreased HP debuff, and basically put him out of commission for the entire fight.

Dia Darkwhisper’s Abilities

  • Mark of the Necromancer – Puts a debuff on a player that jumps to two people when it’s dispelled. It starts as a green debuff, then changes to yellow, then red. Dispel on red.
  • Reap – Removes all Mark of the Necromancer debuffs but leaves puddles at the feet of those who have it. When Reap is cast, players with the debuff should move to the edge of the room.
  • Wailing Horror – Raid-wide AoE that also spawns voidspawn-type spirits on the edge of the room. They’ll fly in a straight line from where they spawn doing damage, so move out of them.
  • Tank Junk – The boss casts Void Bolt on the tank instead of meleeing, and every once in a while she transforms and does a bunch of damage to the tank. Do tank stuff and live.
  • Sub 30% – She stops casting Reap, so the debuffs never go away and require careful dispelling and healing.

Blademaster Jubei’thos’s Abilities

  • Felblade – Boomeranging sword that goes out and comes back in a straight line noted by an arrow. Don’t stand in the path.
  • Felstorm – Unavoidable raidwide AoE.
  • Windwalk – Blademaster disappears and summons Mirror Images that do either Felblade or Felstorm. Kill the Images quickly.
  • Sub 30% – Occasional, unavoidable raid damage.

Gurtogg Bloodboil

  • Bloodboil – Damages the 5 furthest targets, but isn’t a lot of damage, so you can practically ignore this mechanic.
  • Fel Rage – The boss fixates a player, granting them a defensive buff. His attack speed increases every time he hits the player, so use a cooldown near the end of it if needed.
  • Demolishing Leap – The boss starts jumping around the room; avoid swirly circles.
  • Tank Junk – Puts Acidic Wound on the tank, a stacking, armor-reducing debuff.
  • Sub 30% – Debuffs everyone with lower HP, stacking by 10% until he dies.

Regardless of whether or not you try nuking Bloodboil down like we did, the kill order will be Bloodboil > Blademaster > Darkwhisper.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about the fight right there, easy peasy.

I’ll post the next 3 tomorrow, thank you, friends! <3

We’ll be doing Heroic HFC again tonight (Wed 6/24), starting a fresh clear in a second group and working on the bosses we haven’t killed yet, as well. Tune in to watch at 8pm Eastern at twitch.tv/ambermist!

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Check Please vs Mythic Blackhand Videos!

Our Guild Kill Video:


Balance Druid – Ambermist

Prot Warrior – Kinas

Rogue – Tomi 

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On Mythic Blackhand, Guilds, & My Missing Appendix

April is the cruelest month.” 


First, there’s Mythic Blackhand, the tyrant hanging over our heads for the entire month of April. There’s something about that boss, man; he’s really good at making people exceptionally tense.

Getting him down felt good. Not the same way Imperator felt good–the Imperator kill felt like a perfected dance, a 5-star performance on opening night kind of good. Blackhand felt like a battle won, like putting away our swords and wiping dirt and blood off of our faces with a resounding “Hell yeah, we’re still here.”



This month has been a different sort of interesting for me, as well. Some people and situations within my guild pushed me to the brink of leaving–far enough into the gap, in fact; that I applied to other guilds (and met some pretty cool people, I might add).


I felt obligated to stay through the Blackhand kill, and during that time there’s been a concerted effort to make things a little less frustrating. This left me at a difficult juncture: do I leave my guild and the friends I have here and try something new with people who seem nice? Or do I stay with the people I like, deal with the ones I don’t, and give my guild a second chance?

In the end, I believe I’ve opted for staying home. Maybe I’m screwing myself over, but I love this guild, I just want it to like me back.

I Didn’t Need It Anyway

sick-day-lolcatsWe killed Blackhand on a Monday night. The Sunday previous, I’d started having lower right abdominal pain. I took some ibuprofen and pressed on. Monday was miserable, but I sucked it up, a little more ibuprofen, and we killed the boss.

The next morning, I could no longer ignore the pain, and a visit to the ER later, I was being scheduled for surgery to remove my appendix.

The Twitter community was, of course; as supportive and cool as they’ve ever been, sending me well wishes and virtual hugs throughout the process. I’ve said it a hundred times, the WoW/Gaming/Geek Twitter community is one of the best, and you’d be hard-pressed to convince me otherwise.

I wish I could say the process was painless; it wasn’t. It mostly sucked. My belly button hurts, my back hurts, my side keeps cramping, and I’m under these pesky orders not to do much of anything. But hey, I’m home and not dead, so I think I came out on top.

I’m kind of glad April’s over, though. I need May to be chill.

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