Thursday, August 14, 2008

Making progress on Magtheridon

In a guild-first, we formed up a 25-person raid two nights in a row. You probably dont think thats much of a milestone, but for us, in the middle of summer, struggling with pre-expansion blues, its big.

And we also made more progress on the big guy. Not the kind of progress I'd really like, but we did get him down to 21% in our best attempt.

It was a blast though. Really feels like a crazy fight. I can only imagine what it was like before the semi-recent nerf, but ho hwell. Nerfed or not, he is our big obstacle right now.

One important difference about this night over previous nights was the choice of the clickers. And more importantly, the choice of the click leader. We made sure that it was all in-guild clickers who we trust (both skills and latency) and one out-of-guild clicker who has done the job several times before and was confident. For click leader, the big change was to have someone besides the Raid Leader perform the job. In previous night, I served as both RL and Click Lead, and it was just too much to handle. Before the raid, I got the officers together and asked them to nominate a person, who wasn't me, for the job.

The click leader was almost exclusively concerned with watching Maggy's cast bar. The moment the boss de-selected the tank, it was time to call out for clicking. As soon as the interrupt was successful, he called for the clicking to end. He was spot-on with his timing and communication.

I was one of the clickers. It was reasonably straightforward, although it was some what stressful when Magtheridon's bouncy move would get you out of position. Also gimped me by about 200-300 DPS, so looking forward, may want to pick someone else for the benefit of the raid. Part of that gimp was due to not really getting appropriate attention from any healers, so I was bandaging pretty much every time the cooldown was up.

We did figure it out though and were reliably interrupting most Blast Novas through the night.

We did much more tweaking of the small things. Maybe some of these tips will help any new guilds coming across Maggy.

Short on tanks, we needed to free some people up to help contain the Abyssals. So we put one tank on the first Channeler, and a second tank on the next two Channelers. Previously, we had our Main Tank handle the first two Channelers. The reason for this switch was to free up that first tank more quickly so she could handle Abyssals. And we had proven to ourselves that we very reliably had those first 3 (and 4th and nearly 5th) Channelers down before Magtheridon became active. This helped tons.

Once that first mob was down, we all moved over to the Main Tank who was handling 2 Channelers. We were DPS'ing the X, and he was also tanking the blue square. In early attempts, square was healing X with Dark Mending, so I adjusted and had a Rogue and a Mage go directly to the blue square and interrupt everything they could, and not participate in DPS on the X. Worked like a champ, Dark Mending pretty much never got through.

Ultimately, it was the Officer's night to mess things up.

In one attempt, our Tanking Officer started the pull when he was on 3 of his countdown from 5...0. Wipe.

In another attempt, our Healing Officer had a momentary brainfart and forgot to heal, resulting in MT death shortly after Maggy activated. Wipe.

In another attempt, our Guild Master and Lead Clicker forgot to press his push-to-talk button when calling out the signal for the clickers to begin clicking. Wipe.

In my personal favorite (read: least fav), our Raid Leader got nailed by some effect that pinned him in place, about a millimeter out of range of being able to click his cube. Wipe. With Maggy at 21% and the raid going really strong at that point.

I was really upset that I messed that one up. We really had good momentum, carefully managed the transition past 30% and the roof collapse, and nearly the whole raid was still alive, in good health, and enough mana to bring Magtheridon to his knees. If I had only positioned myself directly behind the cube, rather than behind-and-to-the-left of the cube, I'm confident it would have been a boss kill.

After that attempt, we had two failed attempts that never really got off the ground. I think everyone was getting tired and losing focus, so I called it a night.

On another note, one strange thing happened that has me, wearing my RL hat, puzzled. Early on in the 21% fight, a solid DPS player died. Unclear of if it was due to pulling aggro on a Channeler, or if he got nailed by 3 shadow bolt thingies from 3 different Channelers simultaneously. Irrelevant. He was dead very early on. Our only Druid calls out on voice "Amava, you want me to battle rez [dead guy]?" "No"

I needed to save the battle rez for later in the fight, in case one of our two Maggy-capable tanks went down, or for a healer.

Short while later, while the fight was still going on, [dead guy] disconnected. Could have been a hardware/network issue, but I find the timing suspicious. He's otherwise a great member of the team, has traditionally never been involved with drama or spiteful behavior, but this one will require some attention, because I won't tolerate that.

In the end, the night really built our spirits up. We showed that we know and have exactly what it takes to kill Magtheridon, and had the whole team stretch and adjust and accept a variety of different roles and small performance tweaks along the way.

I'm pretty stoked and can't wait to get back in there. Hopefully wednesday will be the night!!!

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