Light & Leafy

Archive for the ‘ulduar’ Category

Woot!!!!!!! We killed Yoggie-Poo last night  for the first time! We were getting to the brain with 40 seconds to spare each portal phase during phase 2, so the tentacles were dying quickly. And I taught someone how to use a mouseover macro, and whaddaya know, he actually dispelled people! So proud! There was joy, homemade apple pie, and maybe a squeak or two of delight captured on vent.

After rewarding ourselves with an Ony kill (by the way, lulz @ the dps/healers who weren’t be careful and died on Ony after we had a superb and fairly clean Yogg kill), we went to Trial of the Grand Crusader. We thought it wouldn’t be so bad since 20 of the 25 people there had gotten up to Anub’arak in the 10 man version. Maybe it was the saronite dust in our eyes. Maybe it was the surplus of giddy energy. No matter what we went into the scary portal (seriously, the skull on the heroic raid portals are TERRIFYING) and…

Wiped. A lot. Which, honestly is to be expected. People don’t just waltz in and get super uber loots. Well, maybe some do. Not us though. What REALLY surprised me though, more than anything else, was that our normally strong dps section couldn’t make a dent in Gormakk before either a. he killed a tank or b. the twin jormungars came out and spewed icky stuff on the raid. A few people were whispering various officers to tell us we just weren’t going to be able to do the encounter. And to you naysayers out there, this is what I  have to say to YOU:

If you see that the boss isn’t dying, chances are the raid leaders notice it too. Saying “we just can’t do this” isn’t constructive. It doesn’t fix the problem of why can’t we do this. The raid leaders chose the raid that night more than just for shits and giggles. We knew it was going to be difficult, and we knew it wasn’t going to be something we one-shotted. It wouldn’t be “progression” if it were that easy. You might argue that we should be raiding regular Trial of the Crusader instead; what do we do when most of the raid team doesn’t actually need more than 1-2 upgrades from there anymore? The only way to conquer progression content is to actually see what we’re up against and to recognize our weaknesses. Are we loosing because people aren’t getting out of fires? Are snobolds interrupting the healers leading to our tanks dying? We’ve gotten to the point where we can’t say that we’re undergeared for our content. Now, it’s resting soley on playing skils and strategy development to get us through. And if we never try, and fail, we can’t learn from our mistakes. We’re doing it because you, the raiders, asked to be brought here. And we’re doing it because it’s an actual challenge, not something we can do blindfolded. It can be really frustrating to wipe so much, but take it as a learning experience, and give your fellow raiders the benefit of the doubt that they can pull through it together. Besides, it’s not like you have to pay for your own repairs =)

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I spent literally 4 days coming up with a new color scheme and header image for this blog. 3 of those days alone were spent using paint.net (a free image editor) to create a header I enjoyed. Why, pray tell, did it take so long? Because I am nothing if not a perfectionist. To a fault. As in, that yellow is .00001 shade darker than the other! I need to fix it! Ah well, I am content and I can use the time at work I’ve spent trying to get the 2 sidebars even (they are!) on actually writing things. A few other realizations:

  • I don’t have to be perfect to enjoy what I’m doing. 
  • It’s far more interesting to think outside the box rather than try to be right and educational all the time
  • I need to get glyphs for nearly all my characters, and Sairyn could DEFINITELY use some new enchants
  • For the above to happen, I should really get back to doing my dailies. 
  • MUST. LEVEL. NESME. MORE. 
  • About now is a good time to go back through my spell books and remind myself of all the spells I underutilize. I have a habit, especially with my non-priests, of just not casting spells because I forget they’re there. And once I start getting into a rotation, getting me to change is kind of like convincing a kobold you’re REALLY not after his candle.

Tomorrow is raid night again. I was actually really happy on Tuesday. We were a little sloppy in Onyixa and Trial of the Champion, but we were making really solid progress on Yogg’Saron. The brainbusters were getting really REALLY good at shattering the illusions while the others on the outside were clearing the tentacles  lickety split. Dispels even seemed to go up after a few reminders to the healers (but that is a whole ‘nother topic for discussion). We only have 15 people signed up for tomorrow though; I think people are ok with going back into Ulduar so long as they’ve gotten a chance to go somewhere profitable first. On the second night, no one seems interested in going places where gear isn’t a vast improvement. We were thinking about starting tries at the Trial of the Grand Crusader, but that seems unlikely giiven so many people decling their invitations. We’ll see. Maybe my old Zul’Aman group (i.e. the group of officers/in-person friends) will do a quick 10 man Trial of the Crusader for triumph badges then work some more on the 10 man heroic version.

Wish us lucky either way =D

This time Divine Illumination section has decided to take a well deserved vacation on a remote tropical island far, far away from the snows of Northrend. Think somewhere in the South Seas, only with less Bloodsail Bucaneers. At any rate, it’s not like there’s actually any healing done in this fight, but if you don’t get past it, you’ll never get into the rest of the instance!

Fear not! We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled program next time, but for now, let’s explore some vehicular machine-icide in the Flame Leviathan fight. FL is a fairly interesting fight, though its easy enough for most PuGs to get past. I know on my home server, there were a lot of groups going into Ulduar when it first came out just to down FL and get started on the tier 8 loots. Please note, this guide is for those looking to beat the first boss on his easiest mode. It can be used as a jumping off point for the other modes of this encounter, but we really won’t get into the detail of those specific fights.

 The Vehicles
In order to combat Flame Leviathan, you’ll have to either be riding in a vehicle or driving one.

Siege Engine Driver – Controls the movements of the siege engine. Has an interrupt with a 6 second cooldown, as well as a burst of speed which uses 1/2 of the steam power the siege engine is constantly regenerating (like rogue or kitty energy) and a ramming manuever to take down buildings.
Siege Engine Passenger -Mans the Anti-Air Turrets to kill the choppers found in the trash before FL and to take down the pyrite barrels which fuel the demolishers (can additionally be used to damage FL). Can use the cannon to damage FL directly. Also controls the shield that protects the siege engines.

Demolisher Driver -Launches passengers onto Flame Leviathan’s turrets, lobs regular cannonballs as well as special pyrite cannon balls that do massive damage with a stacking damage over time (stacks 10 times).
Demolisher Passenger – Can load themselves into the catapult to be launched on the back of Flame Leviathan, picks up pyrite to keep the demolisher driver’s ammunition stocked and controls a burst of speed to get the demolisher out of harm’s way. Also has mortar and anti-air rockets to do limited damage.

Motorcycle Driver – Can drop oil slicks on the ground which can be ignited. Picks up people who are tossed off of Flame Leviathan’s back, and can transport them or pyrite to nearby demolishers.
Motorcycle Passenger – Sits back and relaxes until they are put in a demolisher

Flame Leviathan’s Special Moves
Flame Vents – 10 second channel that does massive fire AoE around FL. Can, and must, be interrupted by siege drivers
Battering Ram – Knocks back melee-ranged vehicles and inflicts a debuff which increases damage taken by 100%
Gathering Speed – Speed increased by 5%. Can stack up to 20 times.

Basic Breakdown

Firstly, you’ll want to organize your vehicles before the encounter starts. In 10 man, a good jumping off place would be :
      -2 Siege Engine drivers
      -2 Siege Engine passengers
      -2 Demolisher drivers
      -2 Demolisher passengers (should be ranged dps, or dps who can target the additional turret should the other passenger die)
      -2 Motorcyle drivers
25 man gets a little more complicated, but the strategy my team found to work the best involved 2 teams of demolisher passengers:
      -3 Siege Engine Drivers
      -3 Siege Engine Passengers
      -5 Demolisher Drivers
      -9 Demolisher Passengers (1 demolisher permanently retains their passenger. The other 4 start with one passenger in the catapult and one in the passenger seat. After the first team of 4 turret destroyers are jetted off of FL’s back, the passengers who started in the passenger seat climb into the catapult so the first wave of turret destroyers can get back into the demolishers).
      -5 Motorcycle Drivers
 While clearing trash, it can be useful to have the 4 people who are going to be launched 2nd onto FL’s back to be riding in the empty passenger seats of the motorcycles so the demolisher drivers can still use all their moves).

At the start of the fight, Flame Leviathan will break down the far wall of the square courtyard in which you fight him.  He will immediately mark either a demolisher or a seige engine to chase after. That vehicle simply needs to kite Flame Leviathan around the courtyard, preferably in the largest path possibly. As soon as a vehicle is marked for following, the demolishers should launch their first passenger from the catapult. The demolishers should be launched one at a time to prevent missing the turrets (we found that if 2 people were launched at the same time, the encounter would try to put both players on the same turret, and one would end up falling to the ground and dying shortly there after). While the players on top destroy the turrets, the demolishers should be picking up pyrite and damaging Flame Leviathan, while the seige engine drivers should focus on interrupting the flame vents. Seige engine drivers should make sure there is enough pyrite on the ground. Stacking the pyrite dot on Flame Leviathan is the most effective way to burn down the boss. Also, keep in mind that Flame Leviathan will be gathering speed (which will be reset after his stun) and will be target changing about once every 15 seconds. Once all the turrets are destroyed, Flame Leviathan will be stunned and the players that were on turret duty will be ejected and need to be picked up by the motorcycles or by their demolisher partners if they are nearby. During the stun, Flame Leviathan will be taking increased damage, so it’s important to make sure that demolishers are stocked up on pyrite and are able to shoot their cannons (i.e. no one should be in the catapult). After the stun wears off in 10 man, the demo passengers should make sure the pyrite has been refilled then load themselves into the catapult. On 25 man, as soon as motorcycles bring the ejected players to their demolishers, the current passenger should load themselves into the catapult to allow the ejected players a spot in the passenger seat of the demolisher. Demolishers should then launch the catapult players onto FL’s back once more. Usually, this cycle repeats 3 times before the enrage timer is over. One last thing to note for any drivers – your vehicle’s health corresponds directly to your average item level. Therefore, if you are driving a vehicle you should put the highest level item gear you have on, as you will not actually be using any of your own spells. Passengers, especially those in demolishers, should wear their regular gear.

Tricks!
No good boss fight would be without some tricks, now would it? If you feel like you aren’t getting the pyrite refills you need as a demolisher, you might want to limit the amount of times you actually use the pyrite cannon. To keep the stacks from falling off, a good rotation can be something along the lines of *pyrite–cannonball-cannonball-cannonball-pyrite* This will keep the stacks rolling, but it should also help you conserve precious pyrite. Another tips is that ejected players will ALWAYS come down in front of Flame Leviathan. If your motorcycles aren’t there, during the stun phase it’s perfectly safe for demolishers to quickly grab their passengers before Flame Leviathan comes to life again. Another thing to consider is to mark demolishers with a raid icon so they stand out and so that motorcycles can find their passenger’s demolishers more easily.

Hardmodes –
The hardmodes get significantly more difficult with the more obstacles you add to the fight. On top of their own mischief, each tower gives Flame Leviathan 50% more health. It might be a good idea to try each of the towers by itself so you can get a feel for each of their challenges before you combine them.

Tower of Life (Freya’s Ward) – Decreases fire damage done to Flame Leviathan and spawns 1 large and 3-5 smaller adds which will attack vehicles. This can easily be killed if kited to a burning tar patch.
Tower of Frost (Hodir’s Fury) – Light blue beams which will follow vehicles around. If it catches a vehicle, it will stop moving and after a moment will call down a cascade of snow which will entomb the vehicle in ice, draining 1% of the vehicle’s health per second. The frost tomb can be broken by fire.
Tower of Storms (Thorim’s Hammer) – Flame Leviathan’s physical damage is increased by 25%. Once during the fight, Flame Leviathan will activate Thorim’s Hammer, causing pillars of light to appear which after a few seconds crash and deal AoE nature damage similar to Loken or Emalon’s lightning novas. If a player is directly upon one of these beams of light, the vehicle will take approximately 10% of its total health in damage, but because the beams are usually quite close to one another, it is easy to be hit by multiple beams and destroy your vehicle. Regardless of location, every vehicle will loose 1% of their vehicles health to each beam’s AoE damage, loosing about 20% of their health in total.
Tower of Flames (Mimiron’s Inferno) – Flame Leviathan’s fire damage is increased. Periodically will call down Mimiron’s Inferno which will cause fiery orbs to fall in a diamond shape path starting where Flame Leviathan enters the courtyard and moving clockwise, damaging everyone who is underneath it. The fire remains for a while, dealing damage to anyone crossing or standing in the flames.

Best of luck to those who attempt any of Flame Leviathan’s hardmodes! And let us know your favorite combinations of towers to have up!

Our raid team isn’t hardcore, but for 8 hours a week we sure do make a lot of progress. We’re able to do 25 man Trial of the Crusader and Onyxia within an hour and a half or so (including travel time from her lair to the tourney fair grounds).

A lot of our members are used to us succeeding; most of them weren’t there for the wipefests we encountered in Burning Crusade. Some of them seem to even forget the amount of trouble Razorscale gave us due to lack of player attention. But that same complacency seems to have gotten our goat where Yogg’Saron is concerned. The fight is supremely complex and does require a lot of attention to surroundings. And I have complete faith in my raid team’s ability to overcome the steep learning curve. The problem, as I see it, is the motivation. Most are happy to spend time working on Trial of the Crusader or even Trial of the Grand Crusader rather than going into an instance where the gear up grades are marginal if they exist at all. My fellow raid leaders and I all have the same desire to complete what we’ve started.

So wish us luck tonight in finishing off the last of the ancient god’s mouths =D