Monday, January 28, 2008

Turning Green into Purple

Ok, you've waited long enough. This time, not a week-long absence due to a need to diffuse negative feelings, but rather a raging case of RL hit me and kept me distracted. On to the fun...

Tuesday night, the guild ran our first scheduled, organized, all-guild Karazhan run. And it was full of win.

My story starts out about an hour before the run. I already had all my supplies stocked up from the night before, so I was doing some daily quests up in Blade's Edge Mts. This is the first combat action I'm seeing since my talent respec and pet respec. I had been using the BRK recommended levelling spec, and now replaced with, big surprise, the BRK entry level raiding spec.

Instant panic, because this is pretty different. I'm there, solo in BEM, and it is made painfully clear to me that Cringer is much less of a tank than he used to be. Fighting one of those lvl 71 boars, I see his health dropping way too fast, and my threat is through the roof. Not a whole lot of room to kite up there as the mobs are packed close together, so a bit of scrambling but we're ok. I try a few more and then realize the problem.

Without the 2 points in Bestial Discipline, his focus generates much more slowly. He was either starving for focus because I wasn't shooting (and therefore criting) to manage aggro -OR- he had focus to spare because I was shooting and criting, but I was then pulling aggro. Catch 22. I tried shutting off dash and claw, leaving only growl and bite active. This worked much better.

What a way to inspire confidence, just moments before my first raid.

20 minutes before start time, everybody but one was logged in. Invites went out, people congreated at the stone. A substitute for the absent guy was chosen, and was OK with waiting on standby, knowing he'd get the boot if the originally intended member showed up before the scheduled start time. He didn't so the sub got to run. We zoned in right on time.

As none of us is accustomed to 10-man raiding, we spent a bunch of totally disorganized time in the entry area of the zone discussing various topics like healing assignments, buff assignments (keep your salvation for the mage, pls, i'll take kings and might, ftw), party groupings, whether to focus fire or have each party take its own target (focus, ftw).

Ok, everybody's set, so we get started on the stables. Pretty straight forward. I do enjoy the added complexity that having lots of tanking, CC, and healing options gives you. We did have some communication issues among the healers regarding assignments, and we had lots of chatter of strategy tips and advice and not enough listening to the raid leader, but that improved over time.

I notice immediately that my new spec and buffs will require me to watch my aggro. I was using Flask of Relentless Assault for the first time, and on the trash, Warp Burgers, in addition to the Blessing of Kings and Might. At times, I was having aggro problems even with just white damage, and while being distracted from DPS with trapping. I'll have to talk to the tanks about that, but oh well, for our first run, I'll just pay closer attention to my threat meter, and get proactive on my FD's.

Made our way slowly through the stable to Attumen. Get Midnight down to 95% and Attumen shows up, and one or two shots some healers and we wipe. Ok, next time, off tank be ready to pick him up.

Run back in, buff up, start the fight, and then a bunch of newly spawned horses jumped on us. I had been calling out the time remaining on the respawn to the Raid Leader, as some addon of mine (perhaps BigWigs, or perhaps Cool Down Timers because it looked just like the cooldown timer graphics), but we were just too slow. Ok, wipe.

Not sure what to do about the respawns, we decided to wait for them to all respawn and then start over. While not a speed run by any stretch of the imagination, we did move more quickly though the trash. Got to the boss, and same deal as the first run, when Attumen showed up, the off tank didn't pick him up quick enough. Wipe.

Next try, lets have one of our handy hunters misdirect onto the off tank to help him out. kk. Oops, I messed up the misdirect, more specifically, didnt fire it off, so the threat all went to me and I was promptly dealt with. Watching the fight sucked. And it dragged on forever for lack of DPS, until healers went out of mana, and tanks went out of health, and raid went down. I'll take "credit" for that one.

Still time for one more boss try before respawn again. And this one was a charm. Everything went smoothly and boss went down. Our warlock and other hunter died mid-fight, so it took forever, but Amava was packing heat that night, so we were able to get it done. First fight I was ever able to use Beastial Wrath twice, and multiple mana pots. And stupid me, I forgot to apply the Superior Mana Oil I had in my bag. I didn't want to waste it on wipes, and it wasnt until 2 days later that I learned the effect lasts through death, so I forgot it for the boss fight. Oh well, dead boss, so its all good.

And, 2 hours into our first Kara run, what drops...Stalker's War Bands. And for whatever reason, the Tiki God of Randomness shined down and granted me my first PvE epic gear.

And a mage won some gear that those caster types like. I don't know, I wasn't really paying attention as I was running around my house throwing my clothes to the wind, cheering. lol, its ok if you're scared. What can I say, I was happy to replace my second-to-last greenie with an epic pair of bracers.

After some cheering, dancing, chatting, and a wave of incoherent guild chat by one member (ZOMG WE R AWSOME F-ING KARA BITCHN WE KICK HORSEMAN @SS) which I'm sure cemented the upcoming feather ruffling amongst the guildies, but I digress. We decided to go for Moroes. I'm not sure "decided" is the right word, as I don't really think you have a choice as a brand new party. Sure, you can pick a different direction to go in, but realistically, do you have a choice? Lol, not with a combined 2041 raid DPS.

Either way, spent a good 45 minutes clearing the stairs. I've heard so many horror stories about pet pathing issues on the stairs I used Cringer very reservedly, and always with my hand hovering over Ctl-2 to recall in case of emergency.

Got to Moroes. Spent quite some time discussing strategy. Wiped a couple of times and called it a night.