Last night started with me getting a whisper from my GM about going to Archimonde. I would have to spec Holy and heal because Archimonde is a one tank fight and Kee, our talented and well geared Warrior, would be that one tank.
My GM was kind enough to pay for a +88 Healing Enchant to my healing mace. The mats for enchants on the Auction House on Altar of Storms have just been ridiculous lately.
I went and laid out my 50g to respec, and eclipsed 1800 +healing with my full Holy spec. My gear is still in need of some work.
So I get the invite and I'm just about ready to head to Caverns of Time when my internet connection goes out. I text my GM and let her know what's going on. I called my ISP and "gently" complained about my service going out. Didn't they know it was raid night? It turned out to be an area wide outage and they didn't have an E.T.A on a fix.
I kept trying my connection every 15 minutes, and within about a half hour I was back up and running. I've got to give Knology (my ISP) some praise. Every ISP is going to have problems from time to time. They got it fixed very quickly and I generally have a really solid low ping connection with them.
The Raid had already started of course. I logged in and apologized. Then I started talking to some old friends in Heroes about running Heroic Magisters Terrace. We were starting to get the group together (and I on my way back to Ironforge to respec back to good ole Prot) when my GM whispered that one of our Holy Paladins had basically flipped out and ninja logged (logged with little or no warning).
Put me in coach, I'm ready to play, today.
The first test for me at Archimonde was to use my tears. I messed up the first two times. Lucky for me, Thunderbolt noticed that I wasn't jumping off far enough and hitting the mounting. I was supposed to jump mounted. I nailed it the next two times (no fall damage) and we started getting ready.
If you've never seen Archimonde, he looks something like a taller version of Prince.
The fight really tests your raid awareness. You have to make sure you are spread out because he does a targeted AoE called Air Burst that throws you up in the air. You have to use your Tears of the Goddess to slow your fall. Timing is everything when you use your Tears. He randomly targets someone for Grip of the Legion which is like Curse of Agony on steroids. Each group has a decurser (mage or druid) assigned to it to remove Grip.
Okay, so far so good.
The major problem is called Doomfire. It's a trail of fire that spawns near Archimonde and snakes out towards a random player. It doesn't target them, so you have no idea who it's headed for. If it's headed in your general direction, you have to run from it. Get caught by the fire, and you'll be the proud owner of a nice fire DoT.
Archimonde also does a zone wide fear. You can get feared right into a Fire.
Rule #1 of WoW Raiding, "Don't stand in the fire!"
"A precise hit will start a chain reaction which will destroy the station. Only a precise hit will start the chain reaction." - General Dodonna
A good attempt on Archimonde can go bad real fast. If someone dies, Archimonde gains a Soul Charge. When he uses it, he deals 4000 damage to everyone in the raid and knocks you down. Not a good thing to have happen when you are running from Fire. (Fire is bad, mmmkay?)
Guess what, this damage might kill someone, thereby granting him another Soul Charge.
At first we weren't even DPSing him, just trying to stay alive. Some of our attempts ended in literally 30 seconds. He hits really hard on the tank and the healers are running around all over the place, trying to stay alive and keep the tank up.
Keeping our Main Tank alive seemed to be one of our primary obstacles. I was assigned to heal my group from any Grip, Doomfire or fall damage. Easy enough. I was also to throw heals on the Main Tank if my group was okay. The problem I had was most of the heals I gave to the Main Tank ended up being overheal.
Once we were living for over 2 minutes, our GM authorized the DPS to start up on sebsequent attempts. Archimonde is kind of squishy to be honest.
Our best attempt of the night, we lived for about 5 minutes, and got him down to around 51%. It was our 2nd to last pull. It was a great morale boost to see that kind of progress. Our GM wants to bring as many of the same people as she can for Monday. I'm not sure if I'll spec back to Prot over the weekend or just play my Hunter and Warrior alts. I've got to get some dailies done because I'm really starting to get low on gold.
I was a little surprised when I found out that our GM had stayed Prot instead of respecing to Fury as she said she would for this fight. One of our Druids was healing as Feral. I probably could have just stayed Prot in my Holy gear, I don't think anyone would have known the difference. As it was, I kept the points in Improved Righteous Fury. Since it was a survival fight, I figured the 6% damage reduction from Improved Righteous Fury would help. If I could pull threat from just from healing, we've got bigger issues.
Since we made such good progress, the GM did say she would respec for the Monday night attempts.
I'll be really glad when we get back to doing more in Black Temple. Basically, I should be needed as a tank for pretty much every new boss we do between now and Illidan. Bloodboil needs 3 tanks, and Requilary Phase 3 is one of the few fights were Paladins have a distinct advantage. I just hope our GM decides to use that advantage for our Guild.