Friday, March 14, 2008

Fluke or Flounder?

What? You find my personal stories boring? Skip to the WoW.

Small aside from WoW: All my family lives spread throughout the state of New York. Aside from the aside, why they bustin' on our poor poor guvnah? Its not like that sort of thing doesn't happen to all of us, like three or four times a year? Am I right? Ok, back to the first aside.

Since the reson we're spread out geographically is that we really function best when not around eachother, we more or less have to force ourselves to get together every so often, lest we forget eachother's names. As it is, my mom calls me her brother's name or her own dog's name regularly enough, so we gotta get together, at least once a year. In her defense, my name and her brother's both start with the same letter, so let's cut the lady some slack. The dog's a girl though.

The men, manly men, of the family like to go on a fishing expedition in the summer. By "expedition", I mean drive 2 hours down to the Jersey Shore, go on a boat for a couple hours, and drive 2 hours back home. Not quite as intense as Nat Pagle's Quest, but fun.

When I think of deep sea fishing, immediately images of swordfish leaping through the air and the Old Man and the Sea conjure up in my mind. Man vs. Beast.

Well, this year, we went for fluke. If you've never heard of them, they're pretty much like small flounders. Little flat fish that lay on the bottom waiting for some random piece of meat to bounce off their head and into their mouth.

Once you hook one of these suckers, well let me tell you about the battle you're about to can barely tell you've even got one. I actually think they swim to the surface when hooked, so you get less resistance reeling them in than if you were simply reeling in your bait and sinker. Just silly if you ask me, but the single one we caught that was big enough to keep provided each of us with the single tastiest fork-ful of fish I had in ages.

Had a great time though, which is really the only reason we're there. Its like taking down a new boss, but not getting any loot. The fun is just being there. The tasty morsel the fish dropped is icing on the cake.

So back to WoW...

The Kara team suited up on wednesday for a fresh raid instance. The goal was to prove that several of last week's accomplishments were not a fluke.

Most specifically, we are interested in moving swiftly through the content we're pretty familiar with, take down several bosses, and set the stage for the rest of the week to be progression fights.

Attumen - Believe it or not, some trouble here. The tank who was on Midnight had some trouble generating threat. Then 3 of the DPS'ers completely ignored their threat meters and kept going nuclear. Ended up with a horse wildly mule kicking three of our damage dealers into the ground. Left Amava with a mighty fine time of blasting away. Took him down in a one shot, but that sort of blunder is not really a good start.

Moroes - Lacked a suitable third tank, and everybody still has a bad taste in their mouth from our earliest days of trying to non-tank the guests, so we decided to use our Balance Druid as a tank for the first two dinner guests. He had some limited tanking gear, so lets give it a whirl. Right before the fight, somebody says these ladies are casters so he should be in Moonkin form to tank. ????? No, they deal physical melee damage to their top aggro target, and they cast nasty spells at others (like breaking their friends out of shackles, or burning your healer's mana, or healing themselves). But sometimes people don't like to listen to Amava, so they say go boomer.

Druid dies right as the second dinner guest goes down, so although he was sacrificial lamb, he did his duty. The rest of the fight was uneventful and we took Moroes out. Put him in bear form, even with sloppy tank gear, and that fight goes perfectly, says I. I want a re-do just to test the theory out. Have to wait till next week.

Maiden - We didn't have any pally, and nobody wanted to try to do it without Blessing of Sacrifice to keep a healer alive through the Repentence. In an effort to expand our bag of tricks, I wanted to try having the two priests both keep renews up on the main tank through the Repentence, and then have the tank kite Maiden over so her consecration wakes one of them up quickly. Nobody wanted to try it out. Ok, that's cool...on to Opera.

Opera: The Crone - Second time we've seen this one. Planning this time was a little more interesting than before. Last time we had two rogues to serve as evasion tanks on Dorothee and Tito. This time, no rogues available. I re-read the wowwiki page on the event and it would appear that Dorothee has no aggro table, so no need to even attempt to tank her. Good. Now for tito, we'll have the Druid DPS on Dorothee, and as soon as Tito shows up, switch to bear and tank him.

Its the first time the Druid has ever seen the event, so he thought Roar was the doggie. Tito went unhindered. By the time I could switch and get my pet onto Tito, he had torn up one healer. Also, during this time, the tank on the Strawman lost control of him and he killed a bunch of us. Not sure what the story was there, but I got to watch as the remaining few killed off the beginning actors, then took the Crone down to 26% at which point they ran out of mana.

The only good part of the wipe is that I learned that my cat is a viable tank for Tito, which will definitely increase our options in future attempts.

So second attempt, lets have Cringer tank Tito. Everything's going fine, Dorothee burning down fast, Tito nicely focused on my pet, my pet's health doing ok with a Mend Pet running, then Roar goes nutty. The Warlock who was chain fearing him couldnt re-target him and he slapped both healers down. :-(

Druid Battle Rez, FTW. Boomkin changes form and brings back a priest. The rest of the fight was uneventful. The casters were very pleased at the Ruby Red Slippers. I'll take my badges, tyvm.

I talked to the Warlock afterwards and suggested he create a Roar Fear macro so he doesn't have to shift targets. He seemed pretty gung-ho on the concept, so I'm excited to see it in action next time we get this event.

Curator - Started off with some discussion about Arcane Resist Potions. The very first time we faced Curator (wipe) everybody drank Arcane Resist potions. I was against the idea because it messes up my "drink early, drink often" approach. I drink my first Super Mana Potion as early into the fight as is sensible, rather than waiting until I'm out of mana, thus leaving my potion cooldown ready for another drink well before I'm out of mana. We wiped on that attempt with Curator at 2% and with everybody out of mana, then on the next try, with no Arcane Resist Potions left, we took the boss down. I stand by my position that drinking the potion f-ed up my potion cooldown timer, so no thank you, I shant drink your resist potion.

All the other DPS'ers drank one. We took Curator down, nearly a minute faster than last time which is nice. Most of the DPS was out of mana for half the fight. I went out of mana right as the fight was ending. Couldn't have been happier with how my mana management went. Also couldn't have been happier with my DPS which was above 1000 again, and a little bit higher than last time, due to even more proactive target switching between flares and Curator (ie, spamming the target macro), and also my new fancy arrows. Also happy with my 96% damage time, which is up from 90%, meaning that the proactive target switching really kept things active.

No WWS link because I'm getting lots of errors on the report that I ran and the report my teammate ran. I was able to view it last night, but not now :-(

Fluke or Flounder?

Seems to be flounder, as we were able to repeat our performance of zipping through a bunch of familiar bosses and trash on our first night in a fresh raid instance, and learned some different ways of handling the same fights.

And that's all folks.

Well, not quite all, I did get some more badges....

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