Thursday, 29 April 2010

Sarfang Heroic Down!

So last night on the last gasp we finally got Sarfang down on Heroic 10 man in ICC. The extra 5% buff helped us out as it was a close run thing and was preceded by 2+ hours of solid wiping on the bugger.

Now our problem on this being a strict 10 man guild is there are in total on the raid team 13 people. Three of those are healer Me the tree of Awesomeness, our Disco priest who is usually our tank healer and our resto Shammy who heals his ass off and doubles as hard core dps. All the other team are tanks or dps with various offspecs.

Can you spot the missing puzzle piece in this kids? Yep we don’t have a holy pally (well we do but its one of the tanks offspec….) and for this fight it really really helps to have a bomb healing holy pally that can heal two people at once with Bacon.
The reason for this is that Mark of the Fallen Champion is unavoidable and you will get at least two before he is dead. Also it hits like truck if you take your eye off the person with it they are going to die this also get worse if they have boiling blood on them as they are then taking additional damage. If the marked person dies its game over as Sarfang will heal and the enrage will hit.

So to tackle this we had to run with two healers to meet the DPS requirements. Our Resto Shammy went Enhancement leaving our Disco priest and yours truly to heal the fight. As our Disco priest isn’t ideally suited for raid healing he took the tank and I got the raid along with whoever got the mark.

Talk about having to use all you talents to get through this healing the marked person is basically like healing a tank with a crap health pool who is taking about 50% of their health damage ever 2 seconds. I was running 3x stack lifebloom, Rejuve, Regrowth while throwing in Swiftmend and Nourish when I needed it. I was also dropping Rejuve on raid members who got boiling blood in any gaps I could find. Even then it was still too much when two marks hit as I found if the marked person got a boiling blood as well the damage was overwhelming and I couldn’t keep up on two targets.

After some review a nefarious plan was hatched. Basically once the second mark hit our tanking pally as soon as he didn’t have agro from the boss popped a Divine Intervention on the Melee that was Marked. This essentially took the mark out of the fight for Three Minutes and left only one mark + the raid for me to heal.
Obviously this also killed the tank but a quick battle Rez from yours truly (in between everything else J) got him back into the fray ready to taunt off the surviving tank at the correct time.
Last try of the night and it went to the wire! The fist mark landed on our dps warrior, which was good as its physical damage and he’s got lots of health/ armour so healing him was a bit easier. The second mark hit our rogue so he got a DI from our pally tank who I promptly battle rezzed.
Then we were into end game with the last 10% and one dps out of the fight. Mana was running low and a 3% a third mark appeared I was healing like a madman running blooms on both marks along with every other healing spell I could squeeze into a GCD. The last 1% went on for an eternity with me watching about fifty different things at once then he finally dropped and we completed the Storming The Citadel Achievement on heroic!

Also while all this healing and tanking shenanigans was going on our esteemed ranged DPS team were killing off blood beasts who in heroic can really move and also cant be allowed to hit anyone.

Overall it was the sweetest kills I have had for ages against the odd and using every trick and talent in the book with the team we had to get the kill in. I have never healed so intensely in my life and it showed to me how 10 mans can really push you use your toon to the maximum with all the talents they have to get a boss down especially as druids are normally raid healers and don’t have all the OMFG bomb heals and damage mitigation buttons that classes such as pallys have.


Tuesday, 27 April 2010

No disparity in Raiding anymore

So Blizzard have done what to be honest I thought they would never do and put 10 man and 25 man raiding on an equal par for Cataclysm.

I never saw this coming as all through Wrath Blizz have put 25 mans on a higher pedestal i.e. you want Shadowmourn get in there and do 25s or you can whistle. The only thing I would have thought Blizz may have done was share the raid lockouts so you cant do 25 man then do 10 man on off days. This would give strict 10 man guilds a chance on server firsts as the 25 mans guilds would be unlikely to burn early raid time lockouts doing 10 mans.

However it looks like they have gone the whole hog with 10s and 25 mans sharing loot table and lockouts. The only advantage in 25 mans now is better droprate on stuff and the chance if you have a bigger guild to all raid together rather than in separate teams.

I checked out a lot of the blogs I read Such as Pink Pigtail Inn, Big Bear Butt and a few others who tend to be good barometers of the community.
Opinion seems to be split as you would expect. Some people being worried that 25 mans wont be worth the hassle now especially with the logistical difficulties of getting 25 people together at a time. While others see this as a chance for 10 man content to be taken seriously and 10 man only guilds to have a shot if they want it at server firsts and cutting edge progressions which has previously been the domain of the high end 25 man guilds on the servers who can come in with better gear straight away.
I have not really had time today to check out the official boards but my guess is there is so much QQ going on as there is for most changes that Noah better build another Ark.

My personal view is that I am all for this! As I have stated before the thing I didn't like about 25 man raiding when I was organising it was the huge amount of pissing about I had to do just to get the signup sorted and people in the right groups etc etc etc. Yes this was in BC where you had to worry about shammy buffs only being group wide etc but most of the difficulty wasn't in the actual raid it was in making sure everyone knew what they were doing before we started.

Compare this with Wrath and my strict 10 man guild and we are busting some moves in heroic ICC already and are making great progress at only two nights a week we have a tight team who plays together all the time and are moving in the same direction i.e. there is no dross who you have to take to make up the numbers. Also as a druid healer I don't just get to cast rejuvenation and wild growth all day on the raid I can find myself tank healing on Blood Prince Council or a bit of both on Lady Deathwisper.

How will this change the landscape of 25 mans I don't know. But I suspect there will be a lot more 10 man guilds in Cataclysm or guilds that run two 10 man teams. I think it will have a big impact as a lot of people do raid for gear and to "keep up with the Joneses" so if the incentive of gear is gone some guilds will fall or "downsize". One thing I will say for Blizz is they have no fear of throwing a Nuclear hand grenade into the game now and again.