Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Siege of Ulduar (Part 2)

We were feeling pretty good at that point, so we doubled back to the Colossal Forge and began working on Ignis’ trash.

I took the first Molten Colossi while my Death Knight kited the other one back towards Flame Levithan’s room. That worked well and we were able to down them both. They had left a DoT on the raid that jumped from member to member and made the rest of trash a bit more interesting.
The Golem type mobs weren’t much of a problem. The Fire Revenants on the hand were interesting. They have an ability to summon a flame tornado that will go around the room. It knocks you up in the air and does a fair bit of damage. It didn’t hurt me too bad. We didn’t have any melee DPS so that wasn’t a problem. Most of our team ran away from them just like they should have.

We finally cleared one side and we were all able to dip into the pools and remove the jumping debuff. My theory is that some developer watched the ‘fun’ people had with throwing Leather Balls around a raid and thought up the whole jumping DoT idea.

With the trash cleared we prepared for Ignis. I would be tanking the Boss and my Death Knight would have the task of picking up the Constructs. He’d pull them over to a Flame patch that Ignis leaves on the ground. There, our Boomkin would root them so they would get molten. Then our Death Knight would pull them over into the water where they would get brittle. Once brittle, our Boomkin would Starfire them. As long as you 6k in a single attack, they shatter. It’s important to shatter them because every time Ignis spawns one he gets a buff that increases his damage by 10%. Only by shattering the construct can you remove it.

You have to move Ignis out of the flame patch once he puts it on the ground.I was using a Grobulous type of kiting pattern. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, my Death Knight showed me a new pattern to kite him in. The pattern resembles a baseball diamond. The two pools are 1st base and 3rd base and you imagine about where Home and 2nd should be. Everytime he drops a Flame patch, you go to the next base. That worked out much better.

The other problem we had was that our Boomkin would be thrown in the Slag Pot so we wouldn’t have our rooter.

We had several rough attempts, including a couple where I got instagibed because we had too many Constructs up. Finally the kiting, the rooting, the shattering all came together and we were able to snuff out Ignis once and for all (at least until the instance resets). One thing we are going to do differently next time is have either a Shaman shatter the adds, or have our Boomkin do it with Wrath. Starfire is too long a cast. The Brittle Constructs have a 50% Crit debuff against them. Couple that with a players 25% to 30% Crit chance and you are looking at 75 to 80% chance to get a Crit. Our Boomkin reported he was criting with Starfire every time he attacked one. With that much Crit, even a Wrath or Lightning Bolt should be enough to shatter the Construct.

But there’s still more! See we had some time left before the raid was over and despite my Raid Leaders concerns for our lack of Tank Interrupts, we marched on over to Iron Council.

The trash was more of the same we had seen earlier, without what would have been a much less comical explosion.

Iron Council is a 3 Mob Boss Fight. The Bosses are all different sizes to help keep them straight. I would take the largest mob, Steelbreaker, and head off to the left with our DPS. My Death Knight would grab the other two and get away from everyone else. One of the Bosses had an aura or something that would kill you if you got too close.

The middle Boss, Runemaster or something like that, would put Runes of Power underneath the other Bosses. These were something like the spotlights in Opera trash in Karazhan. If the mob stands in the circle, they get a damage buff, if the players stand in the circle, they get a damage buff. When I saw a blue circle under Steelbreaker, I had to move him away from it, and our DPS would jump on it. This is most similar to the Spark mechanic in the Malygos encounter.

One of our ranged got a little confused. He saw the blue circle under the mobs that my Death Knight was tanking and promptly headed over. He was corrected in vent, and managed to get away from the mobs with only a sliver a life remaining.

Steelbreaker is the hardest hitter of the bunch, but the damage of his normal attack is nothing compared to Fusion Punch. Fusion Punch doesn’t hit for much itself, but it leaves a ticking DoT on you that ticks for over 12k. Ouch.

Paladin Tanks have the advantage of being able to remove the DoT ourselves. Watch Steelbreaker’s cast bar and when you see him winding up Fusion Punch, stop your rotation. You want to be sure you aren’t caught in a Global Cooldown. As soon as you get the debuff, Cleanse that bad boy off. If you are quick, you can even get it off before it ticks, saving a ton of damage. We also found it helpful to have a Priest watching the Tank. Between the two of us, we got it quickly more often than not.
Our wipes were generally always to Steelbreaker bursting me down with a combination of Fusion Punch and melee, and then going and having some quality time with the Holy Priest and Resto Druid that were healing.

Once we managed to kill Steelbreaker, I would run over an taunt the Runemaster (middle sized mob) off the Death Knight and take him back over to my side of the room to be killed. He gave us a little trouble when he dropped a Rune of Death. This is a huge AoE spell, something like Death and Decay or Consecrate, but it hits far harder and much faster. Our healers were once again amazing and kept most everyone up.

We finally got him down and just had Stormcaller left. For as much as I was digging being a Paladin tank for Steelbreaker, I was having some serious Warrior envy when it came time for Steelbreaker. He has a Lightning Whirl that needs to be interrupted. The Death Knight and I would trade interrupts, but mine was on a 30 second cooldown. I have no idea what the Death Knight cooldown is.

To my eyes, the fact that one part of the fight has an advantage for a Paladin and another plays to the strength of the Warrior shows good encounter design.

We lost a couple people to Lightning Whril, and we were cutting close against the Enrage timer. Our Boomkin observed “this would go much faster if I was alive.” Of course our Resto didn’t have his Battle Rez.

We cut it close, but we managed to kill him. Woo hoo! 6 Bosses in Ulduar defeated in the first reset. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

He dropped some Plate Spellpower shoulders which I reluctantly took. They have the same model as my Tier 8s, so I plan to wear them around Dalaran. From all reports, Holy is back to the one button spam, only this time it’s Holy Light instead of Flash of Light.

I’ll reroll before I go back to doing that full time. Fortunately, Paladin Tanking has never been better, and I really feel like I’ve got a good rapport with my Raid Leader and Raid Team.

I can’t tell you how excited I am that Blizzard adopted the 10/25 man model. If we were still under the old Burning Crusade model, we’d be forced to either continue to run Naxx, or have to move to 25 man guilds for Ulduar. I took that trip once in Burning Crusade, I’m not so sure I’d want to take it again. Luckily, we can continue to bang away at the new challenges in Ulduar10.

I hope Blizzard does find there is an audience for challenging 10 man content. That’s exactly what Heroes Inc is looking for.
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