Friday, March 28, 2008

Watch the Birdie

Mal Katai took another shot at Al'ar last night.
Al'ar seems to be the most complex fight I've seen thus far, especially as it relates to tanks.
We seem to have gotten Phase 1 about down. 2 of our wipes were caused when Al'ar tanks got quilled as they were trying to pick him up. It looks like there is a specific path or place the tanks must go in order to get back to Al'ar to prevent Flame Buffet but not get killed by Quill.
The other major problem in Phase 1 was that we still didn't completely understand where on the lower ring Quill hits. On one attempt, I was tanking the Ember and when he died, the explosion threw me, and I died. When I checked the combat log, I saw that I had received damage from Quill after the Ember died. My theory is that I got thrown into the Quill area.
I feel like I have a really tough job in this fight. I have to wait until the first add spawn, then wait while either a Hunter misdirects it onto me, or a healer pulls aggro and brings it down.
Then I need to pick it up and move it to a safe place to tank it away from the raid and any Quill area. All while I'm moving I have to keep generating good threat so DPS can kill the Ember. What seemed to be happening was that DPS couldn't kill the Embers fast enough at least in part because I couldn't get my aggro generation into full gear until I had it positioned. We lost so much time waiting for the Ember to come down and get positioned that the next one was usually up before the first one was down.
But after a couple of attempts we were consistently getting through Phase 1.
Our problem in Phase 2 was taunts. Al'ar puts a nasty debuff on the tank that basically requires that you exchange him between two tanks every minute. If one of those tanks gets his taunt resisted, Al'ar puts out massive (and almost certainly unhealable) damage to the other tank.
Our best attempt of the night was 15% to go in Phase 2, but both of Lanorah's (Warrior) taunts were resisted and Al'ar cooked our other tank, Brindall.
Meanwhile he's spawning two adds at a time. It was a real struggle to grab both adds, generating good threat on one and keep them positioned properly while avoiding the Flame Patches on the ground. It also appears that Warriors can no long Spell Reflect a Flame Patch to put it out.
Our final attempt of the night showed us a possible new way of us doing this fight.
I died near the end of Phase 1 to an Ember blowing me into a Quill.
What happened was 2 of our DPS Warriors picked up one add each. This worked great until DPS got split and blew up both adds within a couple seconds of each other.
So next time, what I'm going to suggest is to have the DPS Warriors, or Feral Druids (if we have any) pick up the Embers in Phase 2 and use me as a backup in case a taunt gets resisted. Also, if one of the other tanks gets a taunt resist while I'm tanking Al'ar, I can Divine Shield which should cause Al'ar to look for another target. I wonder if I can also clear the Melt Armor debuff with my "flash" Divine Shield macro (Divine Shield and then immediately click it off).
We are making some really strong progress on Al'ar. I think we would have had him in the 15% attempt if not for the taunt resist. We'll definately have him next time.
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