Thursday, 6 August 2009

Enter Ulduar & Call of the Crusade

My first footsteps into Ulduar were very tentative ones. Although I have known most of the people in my "new" guild for quite a while, I still feel the need to impress them with my playing skill, high DPS and knowledge of tactics.

Although it's useful to watch tankspot videos and read up on how-to: guides, nothing really prepares you in identifying buffs and debuffs, finding where you should be stood, when you should move and how to avoid upsetting 9/24 other players.

According to Ensidia Fails, a nice addon that barks out when avoidable debuffs or damage isn't avoided (I've got it set to inform me privately at the end of the fight) I didn't stand in the fire as many times as I'd expected. Also, according to World of Logs, I had the highest DPS in the party - rocking in at 3500 personal or 4041 if you count my imp's firebolts. I could squeeze more damage out if I used Curse of Agony, but I prefer to keep Curse of the Elements up on boss fights, as it both reduces the amount of threat I put out and it helps the casters by reducing resistances and buffing magic damage by 13%

Starting the siege with Flame Leviathan, I was given the job of demolisher passenger and asked to Take Out Those Turrets. To be honest, I think our DPS was enough to skip that phase, as the boss was at around 2% by the time I was finished with the second turret. It was nice to be up close and personal with such a massive boss though.

Moving swiftly on to XT-002 Deconstructor, this was a fun fight. Being bugged and throwing out dozens of adds, we wiped once before quickly regrouping and changing tactics. Nerf Scrapbots. Nuff said!

Razorscale, by comparison was a fairly easy fight. Analysing the fight I can see that although my DPS was again the highest, my "uptime" was pretty low. I spent too long repositioning myself to kill adds (running around aimlessly looking for things to kill). Now I know where I should be, my next attempt should be much better. That said, it was still a kill, and I am now sporting Binding of the Dragon Matriarch with a fresh buckle and a +23 spellpower gem.

Besting The Siege of Ulduar required dispatching Ignius the Furnace Master, and this was certainly my favourite fight. I excelled under Heroism bashing out a peak of 9300 DPS as Embrace of the Spider, Now is the time!, Empowered Imp, Backdraft, Pyroclasm and Elemental Oath all procced at the same time. Great healing got me through the Slag Pot and Hot Pocket flashed up as I ran back to the caster group to finish off Ignius.

Kologarn was also pretty straightforward, getting high DPS on the right arm. Must make a macro to quickly switch targets from arm to head and back and try to keep up DOTs on both for maximum damage output. Seems the ideal fight to have Curse of Doom and Immolate up on the head as much as possible while spamming immolate, conflagrate, incinerate and chaos bolts at the right arm. I love the way the corpse becomes a bridge into the next part of the instance, such a nice way to make bosses mandatory.

Auriaya, again, was surprisingly easy to defeat - concentrating on quickly downing the adds and staying out of void zones I was quick to grab Nurturing Touch - a nice upgrade over my old nerubian wand. Losing a small amount of +hit is good to get extra spirit and crit, along with a small amount of stamina, intellect, spellpower and all-out dps come wanding time...

Hodir took a couple of goes to nail. He ended up hitting me for 55,000 damage on the first try. Not really sure why he was hitting me, I think the DPS was suffering, and that was partly my fault. Although I'd watched the fight and knew about flash freezes and standing on snowpiles, I wasn't really concentrating on setting the friendly targets free and wasn't capitalising on the buff areas. My first fight where mobility is everything, I spent far too long running about avoiding the biting cold and not enough time killing the cause of it.

Our second try was pretty much textbook. Learning quickly from my mistakes I quickly freed the friendly adds and got myself hooked up with stormpower for 48% of the time and a toasty fire 34% of the time, meaning less running around and more boom, reaching a peak of 17,000DPS when all the buffs fell into place. Downed him and picked up Staying Buffed All Winter and I Have the Coolest Friends.

Not wishing to prolong the raid past our intended length, we finished there and half of us decided to go have a look at the new instance. Having a quick go in 5-man normal, we decided the fight was easy enough to push through the heroic, and downed that too. Picked up a replacement for my crafted ebonweave robe and a new ring, Embrace of Madness and Emerald Signet Ring now leaves me with just the trinket short of the epic achievement.

Wishing the 10-man was as easy. Wiped about 6 times learning the first 2x Northrend Beasts. We've got the first one on farm now, but the giant Jormungars are proving tricky. Will read up about them soon and adjust our tactics before we try again.

Outside the guild, I have picked up the 10-man achievements for Emalon and Archavon to go with my earlier 25 man progress, and finally got myself back into Sholazar to complete my Oracles rep grind. Picked up another egg, and will see what hatches next week.

When handing in my second daily quest I was surprised by an achievement popping up. My first thought was "but I calculated I'd need all three to get exalted" quickly followed by elation as I realised I'd just rolled over 10,000G from quests.


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