Monday, July 27, 2009

Slump? What Slump?

After our exciting adventures on Tuesday, I was curious as to what our Thursday would turn out to be like. It would actually turn out to be pretty good.

We started off with Hodir. We run 3 Healers to help out our Holy Paladin who was really struggling with the Raid damage in this fight. We were actually going for Hard Mode. We made some solid attempts, but our Raid Leader called for us to wipe it when it didn’t look like we were close.

Then we had our Rogue die, only to get battle rezzed, and we were really cutting it close. This was going to be a kill, but whether we hit the Hard Mode timer or not was anyone’s guess.

2:59, I kid you not. I figured since I had just gotten Titanguard, Shiver was sure to drop.

In the chest was none other than the SAME FREAKING STAFF that’s dropped ALL 4 TIMES we’ve killed Hodir Hard. Sorry to QQ about the loot. It’s frustrating. I’ve killed the Boss, I’ve ‘earned’ a Shiver or a Boreal Guard, but because the RNG doesn’t fall my way I’m stuck with same Shielwall of the Breaker than every other tank on my server seems to have.

I know random loot is random, but I hate the way it works in this game. I know they have the Emblem system which helps when the RNG hasn’t been kind to you. My bracers slot is forever thankful. But you know what two items you can’t upgrade through Emblems? Weapon and Shield, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to get out of Hodir Hard.

What if Blizzard allowed you to prefill the chest before the encounter began? You would still have to ‘earn’ the loot by killing the Boss/Hard Mode. Ghostcrawler has written about the problem of bloated loot tables. This is part of the reason why they went to consolidated gear, to help eliminated ‘wasted’ gear in raids. Well if you could preselect the items that would drop, that would completely eliminate ‘wasted’ gear. No Warriors, Shamans, or Hunters in your raid? Don’t put any Protector tokens in. Got a new Priest you are trying to gear up, drop in some Conqueror.
Of course, that would really speed up the rate at which players would gear up. So do the Developers care about ‘wasted’ loot or do they just give that lip service while really wanting a system that makes you run the instance over and over again?

The night was still young and we headed over to Thorim. This Boss has been my nemesis in Ulduar as we try to start transitioning him to Hard Mode. I’m too slow in the tunnel, and I would always lose people in the Arena.

After another unsuccessful Tunnel run, I was back in Arena, determined to keep everyone alive somehow. I reached into my bag of tricks and pulled out the old ‘zoom it way out’. Our Tunnel Team was still too slow getting to Thorim so we just killed him normal, but for the first time since I set foot in Ulduar, no one died in the Arena with me tanking it. It was the First Person Shooter skill of seeing your target and getting an attack on it immediately that I really needed to work on. I was also much more liberal in using my various taunts. To help prepare myself for the next patch, I’ve tried to use Exorcism less and less. Since Exorcism will have a 1.5 second cast time added to it (thanks to our PVP Retribution brothers for that one), it will not be useable on the run for picking up adds at range.

Next up we went and knocked on Freya. We originally tried One Elder up, but when that proved difficult we went for a zero Elder kill. However, we decided to try to get Attuned to Nature. This is an achievement where you kill her with the last set of Adds still up. You need more DPS since she’s getting healed from Nature stack she will have up, and you’ve got to control the last set of Adds while you DPS her down.

The easiest set of Adds to get this achievement is the little flowers. We were not so lucky. We got the 3 Elementals. Ellevis (Death Knight, I think he was Blood this week) was tanking Freya and I had the Adds. I tried to not put too much DPS in the Snaplasher. It hits harder the lower on hit points it gets. Then the Water Spirit would randomly run off and charge someone. Holding them didn’t seem to be a big deal and we downed her to get the achievement. We didn’t have time to get Mimiron so we went over to Ignis and picked up the Stokin the Furnace speed kill.
All in all it was a very good night. Our ‘slump’ seems to have been rather short lived.
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