Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fish Feast, FTW


You saw my spoiler yesterday, or maybe you read about it here, so its no surprise.

And now I have to wrestle between being Chef, Elder, or Twilight Vanquisher. I suppose its not all that hard to pick for the time being.

All those moving parts I tried to enumerate yesterday clicked.

On the winning attempt:

A) People stayed alive through fire walls and fissures.

B) Adds of all kinds were handled properly.

C) I-Kill-You-Now effects mitigated through perfect coordination of cooldowns by three players.

D) A few players attribute a benevolent RNG that helped with the timing of one of the I-Kill-You-Nows, but I'd challenge that and say it was just our turn after a long string of malevolent RNG's. /cross-arms-and-glare-defiantly Next week's repeat performance will confirm my defiant glare was not for naught.

E) See (A) above

The Beauty of the Fight

Here's the beautiful thing about the encounter, that'll take me a minute to get to. Read on!

Each time you add another drake in the progression from +0 to +3, the fight is mechanically the same, only the complexity skyrockets.

As a team that's been practicing three drakes for a few nights, when we succumb to the clock and raid ID reset schedule and kill one drake to finish off the night with a +2 kill, its just a complete and total cakewalk, because your mind and senses are tuned for the hyper-complex +3 environment. Mechanically though, its the same.

So doing +3.....the first drake flies down. The complexity is evident, but nothing too bad yet.

Then the whelps and elementals (who then quickly enrage as flame wall comes). Complexity increasing.

Then the second drake comes down. For the period of time that these first two drakes are both alive, the chaos spikes, ridiculous like.

Then the first dies, and the third arrives, which brings with it the lovely Twilight Torment (when you do damage, you are inflicted with damage, like that guy in Heroic VH or Zul'jin of ZA fame during his tornado phase), and you're at an all-time-high level of insanity with melee players leaping into portals, immense numbers of adds all over the place, plus the usual Fire Wall/Fissure/Meteor/I-Kill-You-Now routine.

If you're waiting for me to get to the beauty, we're almost there.

There's a pivot point, it would seem, about 80% of the way through Shadron (the second drake).

If you make it this far, you have illustrated that your raid knows how to handle each and every mechanical component of the fight. You no longer need to question your strategy at all, and the only thing that's in your way is execution.

You could feel it in the air as Shadron dies, leaving essentially an OS25+1 fight left (with a massive quantity of adds left over from the early parts of the fight)

And now for the beauty...

You've gone through this spike in chaos, eliminated most of it, BUT the fight is still got a long time left.

Vesperon (last drake) and Sartharion himself have a lot of health.

And for that whole time, you can just feel it, coursing through you.


Sure, there's still a million and one things that can go wrong, and everybody needs to stay on the ball.


I'm not sure if Blizzard intended this feeling or not, but I'm a big fan.

Contrast it with a fight like Prince Malcheezar. Fights that kinda increase in complexity over time, resulting in the last few seconds being the most stressful. At the start, you've only got one Infernal to worry about, and over time, there's less and less safe spots, and then the axes, and then his crazy attack speed and power buff. Granted, Prince is a strange example, because there's so much randomness in there, but work with me, its an analogy.

In 3D you experience the apex of intensity in the early parts of the fight, and then get to bask in the glow as you finish off the job.

The Ugly

A few forms of ugliness reared their...well...ugly...heads during the the progression night:

1) Discipline - I wrote about this one yesterday. During an early attempt, an overzealous DPS'er pulled aggro on Sarth while we were waiting for the first Drake to land. Although the tank regained aggro and nobody died, the DPS Lead ordered an immediate wipe then and there to prove a point. Absolute correct move. There is simply no excuse for this. As described above, the ending phase of the fight is not an issue, so claiming the value of carving off an extra 2-3% of Sarth's health at the beginning does not compute. When the Officers ask for "no dps", they're doing it for a reason. Discipline!

2) Radio Chatter - As the fight moved through the ultra-intense early parts, into the less-ultra-but-still-very-intense middle parts, and then on into the intense-but-starting-to-feel-good end phase, the Vent radio chatter increased. Inane stuff like "if you need help with those adds, just call out for it and I'll help you" by non-Officers. Sorry bub, but this type of verbal communication is unnecessary and can derail the team. (A) Its useless because if the guy needs help, he's going to call out for it without your permission or reminder, (B) you're occupying the voice channel and may obstruct actual necessary comms, and (C) you're encouraging more of the same, snowballing the whole thing down hill. Sure, we're all feeling the rush of impending victory, but that's exactly the time to NOT lose composure, only to silly wipe.

3) My DPS - Yeah, I'll call it ugly. Somewhere around 2.9K DPS for the encounter (going off memory of recount, I can't hit our WWS parse from work my preferred blogging location). Knowing its a Hunter unfriendly encounter, I compare myself with Brass, who did phenomenal during the kill. So I can't blame the nerf. Areas that need attention (1) ensuring I'm at max range to take advantage of Sniper, (2) more effectively managing Lock and Load to ensure I'm neither overwriting DoT ticks, nor wasting any time after the last DoT tick before reapplying Explosive Shot, and (3) actually using Rapid Fire, which is simply negligent oversight. But, I survived through the fight, so I'll give myself that pat on the back :-)

The Truth Behind How We Won

All those wonderful things described above (aka, not dying in fire), are great.

But you wanna know the true secret to victory?

I got two words for ya.....

Fish. Feast.

I spent the hour before the raid flying between Grizzly Hills, Borean Tundra, and Sholazar Basin fishing up Glacial Salmon, Musselback Sculpin, and Nettlefish, so I could fry up some vittles while sitting inside OS waiting for the raid to start up.

A little extra stats spread across the raid, and a little extra stamina for everybody.

A new title to show for it.

Harder than the coordination of the I-Save-You-Now abilities was the feast-dropping rotation between the Hunters.

Fish Feast, FTW


Slava said...

You have a very nice blog, mate. I miss my WoW days a lot...

I also created a blog on World of Warcraft tips and secrets based on my experience:

and a t-shirt and souvenirs shop with cool WoW designs:

Durgan said...

Congrats again!

Quick question that I've never seen answered anywhere else.

How do you most effectively level up a new pet. Raptors and cats don't come as lvl 80 and I don't want to take my sub 80 pet into any dungeons and I'm trying to find a quick way to level up the pet.

Switched to Survival last night, I'm enjoying the change, makes for a new challenge, almost like using a new class.

Amava said...

The fastest way I've found to level a pet from 75-80 is in heroic dungeons.

You blow through it pretty quickly that way. Sure, you gimp your DPS, but contrary to popular opinion (or maybe just BRK and his commenters), I have no qualms about bringing a below-max-level pet to a heroic, especially a guild run. I don't really look at damage meters in 5-man stuff, and if people have a problem with it, I'm probably not running with them in the first place. Your mileage may vary.

The other way is good old fashioned grinding, which is probably not what you want to hear. I did 3 levels on my Ravager Condoleezza in two days while on a cooking binge, killing every mammoth, rhino, and worg I could find.

I just got a raptor also, and I'm getting annoyed at how slow its going, so I think I might try to get into some heroics this weekend for that purpose.

Two methods I find very ineffective:

1) 10- or 25-person raids. Pet barely gets any XP at all in a raid.

2) Daily quests. So many WotLK dailies involve vehicles or other things that do not generate pet XP. Sure, do your dailies for rep/gold/whatever, but don't expect your pet to level up anytime soon.