Friday, January 23, 2009

Taste of Twenty Five

My guild finally decided to venture into 25 man Naxx. I have been looking forward to this moment for a long time!

We had a well balanced group. The tanks were a Death Knight, a Warrior tank and a Paladin tank (myself). We had three Priests, two Shamans and a Paladin healing (where did the Druids go?).

We clobbered six bosses in about three hours and eventually killed Patchwerk.

Details? Well, we started off with the Arachnid Wing. I got to MT Anub and he was pretty easy. I would kite him around the outside ring every time he started casting Locust Swarm. I think there was some confusion because some people's timers were off for when to expect the incoming swarm. Mine were dead on (latest version of Big Wigs) which made the fight easy. There was a window near the end of the kite where I would be in Locust Swarm. Since the healers were still adjusting their positioning, I ended up getting dangerously low an health and there was nothing I could do other than pop a potion, hit a trinket etc. I did die right near the end w/ Anub at about 100k health but we killed him without a problem. The death was a combination of the already existing range problems, I was impaled right at the end of the last kite (then the healers exclaimed "red range!"). Talk about bad timing. Well we killed him, time to note what can be done better next time and move on.

Faerlina was unexpectedly easy. I was the adds tank for that one (QQ). We had a little mishap where Faerlina was enraged for a good 25 seconds. The healers and MT for the fight did a phenomenal job! I think we could do the [Heroic: Momma Said Knock You Out] achievement next time to kill her in the 25 man. We did do [Momma Said Knock You Out] without a problem before.

Onward to Maexxna! Cake! Sort of. Most of the players had done this fight numerous times so they knew what to expect. I was MT for that fight. I took quite a bit of damage during the immobilization phase. I anticipated as much as possible and hit some damage mitigation abilities immediately before the freeze. One stupid thing that I did was not trust the healers midway through the fight and hit Divine Protection with the hopes that the DPS would burn her down before the immobilize during the enrage part. Well I was wrong. Near the end of the fight, Heroism was hit and the DPS burned hard. We still got immobilized with about 200k left on Maexxna. The HoTs stacked were not enough and I hit the floor again. We still killed her though. There was certainly something to be learned from a tanking perspective during that fight.

Because of the group composition, the Plague Wing appeared to be the next best place to go for our first Naxxramas-25 adventure.

Noth was 1-shotted. Not much to discuss there. The MT had no problem on Noth, the DK and I picked up the adds fairly quickly. Easy.

Then onto our favourite boss in the instance - Heigan. Aside: one of the biggest differences that I have noted between hardcore raiding and casual raiding is the ability for players to move. This fight is 95% movement based which can get a bit hairy with a casual group. End Aside.
I was MT for this. This is one of my favourite fights to tank; it's very different from most encounters so it presents some variety in encounter types. I have been trying to increase avoidance values on this fight, so I have been strafing in such a way that Heigan is still facing my block radius. This is easier said than done, but it's a good exercise for a tank. Most of the usual suspects in the raid died. Some of the players who most often die didn't die which was very good, it shows a definite improvement in movement skill for those players from when we first started doing this encounter. Great job!

Next we decimated the healers' adversary Loatheb (an anagram for "healbot"). Our raid had exceptional DPS so this fight was a breeze. I was the MT for this affair. This is one of the easiest encounters to tank as a Paladin because I can heal myself during the 3 second healing window (usually with LoH near the end). I have seen the healers in this raid do an exceptional job in the 10 man raids that I have done with them, and the 25 man was no different. Kudos!

Since we cleared all that without a problem, where to next? We could have easily done the Military Wing. I suggested that we do Patchwerk in the Raid Leader channel, with the justification that he is a good gauge of how strong our raid is as a whole and will reveal weaknesses that we may have for eventual completion of the instance. Off we went to Patchwerk!

So the first question for this was 'who will MT and OT due to the mechanics?' The Warrior and myself were hovering at ~35K HP raid buffed and the DK had about 33K HP raid buffed. The DK was a newer face in the raids and we figured he should have a shot at MTing something, and he certainly had enough gear and skill to do it. This is the first time I was a Hateful Strike tank. Every time I for whacked with a hateful, my heart skipped a beat. It's certainly a different experience. Now I know what all the Druid Hateful Strike tanks had to go through.

After the first pull, the DK picked Patchwerk up but accidentally touched the poison puddle cutting his HP in half and then he died immediately. Well perhaps that can be is "initiation" to MTing for this guild. We laughed about it, he shook it off and did another attempt. The second time, we got a little further into the fight. The healers would sometimes get behind in healing the Hateful Strike tanks and the Warrior died. In the gaps between when I was healed to full, Patchwerk subsequently went on to one-shot the melee DPS. It was a wipe but we made progress. It was suggested that the majority of the non mana melee DPS stand in the sludge to have their HP cut in half so they never get a Hateful. This was met with some resistance, even though that's the way it's supposed to be done... well if the melee wants to die, that's their choice I guess. Normally we don't assign healers but it seemed to be necessary in this case. Healers were assigned, fine positioning was discussed and with that in place, we killed Patchwerk. The new DK did a great job Main Tanking Parchwerk, the healers got into the right mindset for healing the Hateful Strike tanks and the DPS did their job with ease!

This proved to be a useful benchmark for how raids this week will go. I think that our accomplishments prove that Naxx 25 can be cleared with this group or a comparable one.

Obsidian Sanctum with Tenebron

The guild's other pursuit for new 25 man content was 25 man OS with Tenebron up. I was initially waitlisted for this raid and I did not expect to be called upon to go. There were four no-shows! Ouch. So I was asked to attend. I was assigned to tanking Tenebron. He's a slippery dragon for sure. I missed Tenebron's first landing which resulted in him killing a couple of healers (oops). So I asked the hunter for a MD and such. He's a difficult mob to pick up for me, I'm trying to figure out what the problem is. Firstly, he becomes untargetable for a while while he's flying above our heads, so I need to target him as he is landing. When he lands, it appears that there is a 3 second window in which you can shoot him not it does nothing to his aggro table.

Position & Confusion

I tried tanking Tenebron facing the same direction that Tenebron's Tail was facing, near the middle of the platform (like some videos of the fight had showed). This was too intrusive and some people got it by Tenebron's breath. So then we decided that I would tank him parallel to Sartharion. This was not necessarily a good idea as both tanks were getting hit by Sartharion's fire breath. After the first couple of bad pickups, I managed to get him into a safer spot on the corner of the square island (closer to the portal side) as was suggested by a member in the raid. Meanwhile this is occurring when a lava wave is incoming and the whole place is lagging to hell.

We killed Tenebron a few times during the encounter but just couldn't hold on to kill Sartharion. Despite some bad starts, learning positioning and everything, what the real killer was was the Fissures that appear on the ground throughout the encounter. This was frustrating to watch as a fissure appears beneath five or six people and they are toast within five seconds. This is again where movement problems are staring us in the face. No gear improvement can prevent people from being killed in that situation.

Despite some ongoing issues with people getting killed in the Fissures, we killed Tenebron numerous times and just couldn't hold on with all he whelps and fire adds pouring in. Each attempt got cleaner and we were working well as a group. However, it was decided that the raid would be called early. Personally I would have liked to see a few more tries because each attempt was more productive and we really were not in OS for that long. Perhaps more time can be allotted to this cause during a weekday when the attendees can concentrate a little more.

Upcoming Raids

This week looks like it will be a great time for guild raid progression. There are a ton of signups for all raids. We will have two full nights in 25 man Naxx and get to return to the Eye of Eternity to take another shot at Malygos. It appears that the Malygos groups will be about the same as last times, however we have better gear and more practice so this week looks promising for a Malygos-10 kill. Malygos will die!

No comments:

Post a Comment