Friday, April 18, 2008

Progress Is Progress

Mal Katai has a little unfinished business with one Fathom Lord Karathress. We were all a little torqued by the 1% wipe that ended our last attempt on Tuesday. We formed up Thursday night and headed back to face him down.
Tanking assignments got handed out. Druid on the Shaman. 2 Warriors on the Hunter, 1 Warrior on the Priest. Paladin on Karathress himself.
That Paladin would be your humble author.
I pull Karathress to his tanking spot. I've really got to work on my movement skills. In order to move quickly I try to "strafe" like I would in a first person shooter. This is faster than walking but still allows me to block, parry and dodge. Unfortunately, I got it wrong and ended up eating a crush as I moved him into position. Luckily our healers were on the ball and I never went down.
Our initial problem was losing healers, mainly to the Spitfire Totem. We had to emphasize to DPS that the totem must go down.
We regrouped and pulled again.
Our healers communicated really well. One of them couldn't heal me and he asked one of the other healers to help out. It was really cool to watch.
The most dangerous part of the fight to me is after the Priest dies. Karathress gains the AoE Ice Block power of the Priest. While Ice Blocked, I couldn't parry, or dodge or block. I also couldn't refresh Holy Shield. There is no warning for when he will do this, and I'm already banging away at my Holy Shield key well before the cooldown is up.
The good news is that by this point in the fight, we have a couple of extra healers to keep me up, so eating a crush isn't the death sentence it might otherwise be.
We managed to defeat him on our 2nd attempt. 1 of each token dropped along with a Mace called World Breaker that made our Retribution Paladin warm and fuzzy.
The tokens went for max bids, and I stayed out of the bidding. I was one of the last to get my Tier 4 Pants, I'll be one of the last to get my Tier 5. I have both Unwavering Legguards and the Badges saved up for Inscribed Legplates of the Aldor. My Realm is only 30% away from the Badge vendor.
I'm saving my MKP for Shoulders and Gloves.
Then it was on to Leotheras, where I once again found myself in the Main Tank seat. Being a Main Tank (the guy on the Boss himself) is a blast, but I think sometimes the position is overrated. Every single person in my 25 man is crucial to the raids success.
Yes, if I die, we pretty much wipe. But I can only stay alive as long as my healers do. Without my healers, I'm a dead duck. Without our sick DPS, the fights would stretch out too long and would exhaust our healers mana.
I got a sense that one of our Prot Warriors was feeling a bit useless, as he was complaining about not adding much to the fight. We lost him to his inner demon nearly every time he got picked. He seem to take some perverse joy in being mind controlled. "Oh look out, hit you for 125! Fear bomb, wooo!"
We still lost a couple of people to Inner Demons. Again, it seemed our Hunters and Warlocks struggle the most. I honestly don't know what Blizzard expected an Affliction Lock to do their Inner Demon. The Inner Demons are resistant to Shadow and Fire and Affliction is not really build around burst damage.
My biggest when I get picked is targeting the Inner Demon.
I downloaded a new version of Deadly Boss Mods and lo and behold, it had my Whirlwind counter. I had some near flawless pickups. But I had some troublesome ones as well. I'd hit him with Avenger's Shield, then Judgement, then he'd run off for a Fire mage or Hunter. There is no way I should have lost aggro that quickly!
We also had trouble keeping our Lock tank up. I'm not sure what the exact issue is. I expressed my concern over our strategy of having me responsible for the Lock Tank's Fire Resist Aura. I chase Leo around all over the place during Human, and then I have to find the Lock and get into range so he gets my Aura. One of the Holy Paladins with the Aura Range extender talent would be a better choice.
We worked on Leo the rest of the night.
In what turned out to be our last attempt of the night, we actually got him to the split. We would have had him, but we had lost too much time and hit the enrage timer with Leo at 11%. He hit for an 18k normal main hand attack. Ouch. We just need a little more DPS on him and we've got this. Unfortunately, it got too late.
We lost a ton of time in the raid to people going AFK. I know too many cooks spoils the meal, but I may need to take a stronger place in leading the raids and getting us and keeping us pulling. I think if we keep the pulls coming fast and furious people will be less likely to go AFK. In order to do that, I'm going to have to learn the pulls better. With Drew or Lisa or Rob leading, I kind of just take my target and own its threat table.
It's analogous to driving somewhere as a passenger then trying to navigate there driving yourself. You just don't notice as many things riding shotgun as you do when you are driving.
We didn't kill Leo but we made progress nonetheless. His days are surely numbered.
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