May 7, 2009

Another Crazy Night

It all started out innocently enough. I picked up my fishing and cooking daily quests in Dalaran and headed up to Icecrown for the Argent Tournament Dailies. They were quickly completed and I went back to Dalaran to fish in the sewers for some Corroded Jewelry. It wasn't fun as there's usually 10 to 20 other people fishing down there so you can't just listen for your own bobber. So after about 10 casts I was getting antsy and annoyed with the whole process when finally I fished up the jewelry. But what came along with the jewelry?? A Giant Sewer Rat! Finally. After spending countless hours fishing by myself down there in the sewers without any luck whatsoever, I get the rat after spending just a few minutes while looking for Jewelry! Old Ironjaw, I'm coming for you next!!

So that left me with just a cooking daily to do. I sent some cooked rhino dogs over from my banker, only to find out they were Mighty Rhino Dogs. But time had run out. It was time for Ulduar. Luckily, on the way up to the Ulduar entrance, there's quite a few rhinos out there so I quickly picked up my four rhino meat and got ready to start a new ten man raiding week.

The plan for the night was to attempt Flame Leviathan and XT-002 on hard modes. So we got assembled, got into our vehicles, and headed out. We left just one tower up and proceeded to one-shot the Flame Leviathan earning us some nice Emblems of Conquest along with some nice loot, including Firesoul for my nice new main hand weapon.

After the Flame Leviathan, it was time to start working on XT-002 in hard mode. We were able to break his heart each time when trying, but his resulting "Heartbroken" mode is quite taxing. First you have adds to finish off before you can focus on XT, then you also have to worry about void zones left by gravity bombs and light sparks left by light bombs. On top of this, his tantrum hits for more damage and he also has a short enrage timer. After a lot of attempts (probably 8-10), we were really getting the fight down - knowing when to use cooldowns, where to drop void zones, if we should kill the light sparks or not (I think you have to, but focusing DPS on them makes it tougher to get the XT-002 down before his hard enrage timer). Eventually, we abandoned the hard mode. We might not have the gear at the current time to do it or we just need a lot more practice healing through all of his various attacks. We did learn one important thing though. And welcome to Tiddly's first boss fight explanation with drawing...

So here we have XT-002's room. You enter from the south where it says "Entrance" and have four scrap piles around the room. He usually stays near the stairs at the north side of the room. What we found is that if you pull him over and tank him between two scrap piles on the side of the room, he will only spawn adds from the two scrap piles furthest away from him (denoted by the incoming red arrows). During our multiple attempts, he spawned various levels of trash. During one attempt, he spawned one group of small bots (easily killed with one Blizzard). During another attempt, all he spawned was one bomb bot. But then during one of our last attempts, he spawned 2 sets of small bots, one bomb bot, and one pummeler. So your spawns will vary from fight to fight, but he will only spawn them from the two scrap piles with arrows. Never from the two piles right next to him.

So with this information in hand, and knowing we could take the heart down to almost killing it, we set out to see if we could get Must Deconstruct Faster. And the short answer is, yes, yes you can. We killed him in 173 seconds, well under the 205 required by the achievement. With adds spawning from only two scrap piles, I was easily able to take them down on each pass with our offtank picking up the pummelers and since we were able to do so much damage to the heart, we basically chained heart spawns. If you manage to do enough damage to his heart, it will immediately take him from 75% to 50% and spawn the heart again. You can then take him from 50% to 25% and so on. So yeah, 173 seconds. Not too shabby. But unfortunately, not hard mode.

We continued on, one shot Kologarn, headed to the Iron Council and two-shot them and then went over to Auriaya where we quickly one shot her. We had about 30 minutes left so we decided against going for Mimiron's trash and went back to take on Razorscale and try and get A Quick Shave. So yeah, one shot that. Not a problem there. We got him down to 67% on his first landing and easily got him under 50% on the second landing and destroyed him after he landed. So that didn't take the 30 minutes we had left. So let's go over to Ignis.

The first time we killed Ignis we zerged him. It's not a quick zerg, but you can do it - ignore the adds and just focus fire Ignis down. This time though, we thought it'd be a good idea to kill him the correct way. shot. So that pretty much ended a great Wednesday "pre-clear" night. Our Wednesday night group is new and the sole purpose is to clear out the early bosses in Ulduar so our Thursday night Gold Team run can work on new content. For example, we have everything down right now up to the Tier 8 bosses. So tonight we'll probably work on Freya and then Mimiron with Thorim or Hodir coming next week. But even though we were done in Ulduar, we weren't done for the night. Not with the Alliance controlling Wintergrasp.

Let's go get some Tier 8! So we headed over, lost one player, picked up a pug mage (drats! competition on Tier 8), and quickly one shot Emalon. Tier 8 dropped for our healy druid, Dylana and he becomes the first in the team with any pieces of Tier 8. We then played around with Archavon who is a joke these days, got an offspec piece of Tier 7 for our pug mage, and I got a PvP cloak (because you know how much I PvP...).

And thus ended our fun night of raiding. In the end, I got a few great achievements, including Three Car Garage
on our Flame Leviathan Hard Mode take down and I'm sitting at 6,420 points. Tonight, Freya and Mimiron are on notice and tomorrow the 25 man Gold Team makes our first foray into Ulduar. And then Saturday, Crusader Tiddlywinks. A fun few days coming up.

May 6, 2009

4 Down, 1 To Go

Last night, I got my Exalted Champion of Darnassus title and luckily, for the fifth and final faction (Exodar - just because it's last in the row of NPCs), I will finish in 4 days. The key here is there are three random daily quests you can get from the factions - A Blade Fit for a Champion, A Worthy Weapon, and The Edge of Winter. Theoretically, you can earn 5 Valiant's Seals a day. However, when you turn in your 25 seals for The Valiant's Charge, you can then immediately pick which faction you are going to champion next. As long as that faction has a different quest of the three random daily quests, you can do it, allowing you to earn 2 extra seals on the day you switch factions.

The problem I ran into is that after finishing my first faction (the gnomes, of course!) I didn't get that extra quest, so I've been 2 behind people who got lucky that time. But just 2 seals back doesn't save you a day of quests. Luckily, when switching the next three times, I got the extra quest, so I'm 6 seals up right now and will be able to complete the last leg in just 4 days! So even if people got lucky each time they switched, they will be on the same timetable as me. All I know right now though is that I'm going to be up early Saturday morning to get my Exalted Argent Champion of the Alliance achievement and become...Crusader Tiddlywinks!

((And when I do get that, think of the achievement spam in Guild chat...Champion of Exodar, Exalted Champion of Exodar, Champion of the Alliance, Exalted Champion of the Alliance, and Exalted Argent Champion of the Alliance))

Also, this weekend, a grouping of the Gold Team and Group 2 went into 25 man Vault of Archavon and took down Emalon with ease. Unfortunately, no T8.5 for mages, but we had just one wipe due to a priest mistake within the first 15 seconds of the fight. We regrouped and essentially one-shot him.

In that Emalon fight, I was quite happy with my DPS. I've been experimenting with arcane and just haven't been able to figure out how to sustain high DPS with it. I ran arcane through the first half of our 25 man Naxx run last weekend and it just wasn't doing the damage I expected. I was using the right rotation and though it was tough to time my evocations properly, I did have minimal down time to regen mana. Yet each fight, my DPS seemed to be lower than what I could have gotten with Frostfire Bolt.

So I'm back to Frostfire Bolt because A) I think it does more DPS and B) I know the spec and rotations and know how to maximize my DPS with the spec. So here's where I ended on the Emalon fight.