Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Faction Champions

Tuesday night the team was really excited because a new Boss was opening up in the Coliseum.

But first we had to take care of the previous two Bosses. We felt like we had Northrend Beasts ‘on farm’ as the saying goes. So we decided to try for the achievement where you keep two Snobolds alive through the whole fight. That was fine for Gormok, but when Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum showed up, it got to be a bit much.

We lost a couple of people during the Jormungar Worms, and it took everything I had (both trinkets, healthstone, healthpot, Divine Protection, Lay on Hands and Ardent Defender) to survive Dreadscales enrage.

We were left with just 1 healer and 4 DPS still breathing for Icehowl. Since Ellevis (Blood DK) had picked up Icehowl, I threw him a couple of Holy Lights. Because my mana pool is so constrained in tanking gear, I have to ‘cancel cast’ whenever I want to help out with healing. This means I start casting a big ole Holy Light and if Ellevis hadn’t taken much damage I hit escape before it goes off to cancel the cast and save the mana.

At some point during Icehowl, I seem to remember our Resto Shaman coming back to the fight. I don’t know if he used his ankh or got a battle rez from our Boomkin. It was a slow kill, but we managed to one shot Icehowl.

This is the first time since Patch 3.2 went live that I can say without question that Ardent Defender saved us from a wipe. Of course it’s not necessarily true that any other tank class would have died as they all have different cooldowns and ways to get through a tough spot. The difference with Ardent Defender is you KNOW you would have died otherwise.

I did a double take when the loot came up. Those couldn’t be tanking bracers, could they? After 3 months farming Flame Leviathan and never seeing the bracers drop, I had resigned myself to the same fate with Northrend Beasts. But there they were, Dreadscale Armguards. (I took the screenshot right after I got them and didn’t have them enchanted yet.)

I had previously been stuck with Bindings of Hapless Prey. Ellevis was using Bracers of the Unholy Knight. One of the problems with Block not being a great mitigation stat, is that Block Tanks (Paladins and Warriors) tend to not value Block gear against avoidance gear. The result is that all 3 Plate Tanks pretty much want the same offset pieces. If Block was truly the mitigation stat it needs to be, I could let Ellevis (Blood DK) have the non Block stuff, then I would go for the Block stuff. But that’s just not how it works right now.

Ellevis was kind enough to pass the Bracers to me, and you better believe I’m going to return the favor next chance I get.

With the Northrend Beasts taken care of, we prepared for Lord Jaraxxus. I love the intro to Lord Jaraxxus. This gnome comes out and summons him for you, then the first thing Lord Jaraxxus does is wtfpwn the gnome. It’s pure comedy gold. Maybe on Hordeside, it’s an Orc Warlock who summons him or maybe they get to cheer the Gnome’s demise.From a tanking perspective, this fight falls into the Tank and Spank with Adds category. I was assigned to Add duty. There are two types of Adds that spawn during the fight. The first is a Mistress of Pain. She spawns from a huge square portal that looks exactly like the ones we used during the Level 70 daily quest in Blades Edge Mountains. It was pretty simple to stand under the portal, drop a Consecrate and pick her up.

The other adds come from a volcano he drops that spews out Infernals. As soon as I heard about volcanoes I started having flashbacks to Supremus. They are much more difficulty to corral but luckily they don’t have much health and we burned then down without much problem.

The team had defeated Lord Jaraxxus last week when I was on vacation. In fact, they one shot him. So we were going for an achievement of leaving the Mistress of Pain adds up.

I have to agree with my raid leader. Lord Jaraxxus could use a little more health. Just when things were starting to get interesting, the fight was over.Now came the moment we had all be waiting for, the new Boss, the Faction Champions. Faction Champions is a PVP/Arena type fight. The mobs don’t have a traditional aggro table, so I switched over to Retribution.

There’s a little dialog between Tirion, Varian and Garrosh where basically Garrosh ends up sending down his little contingent of Hordies to kill you instead of Tirion’s Grand Champions.

You face off against 6 NPCs. They jump down and get into two neat lines and wait for you to initiate the encounter. This gives you a chance to identify each one and see what ‘matrix’ you got. We were concerned they would just jump down and start attacking.

We got Boomkin, Rogue, Warlock, Priest, Shaman, and Ret Paladin.Ellevis got the ball rolling by Death Gripping the Priest over to us after Ofn (Rogue) sapped the Shaman. Then I feared the Fel Hunter, Donk (Mage) sheeped the Rogue. Ofn (Rogue) moved to stun lock the Warlock while we poured DPS into the Priest.

At least I think that’s what happened. This was the most chaotic and exciting Boss fight in the Coliseum so far. Vent was alive with people communicating. When I heard the Rogue had gotten on our Disc Priest, I quickly put him in a Hand of Protection. I lost track of the Warlock’s Fel Hunter at one point but Dottiez (Warlock) was able to banish it.

Then someone announced the Priest was down, so we moved over to the Shaman. I threw Repentance on the Ret Paladin and Hammer of Justice on the Boomkin. Then the Shaman was down and we moved onto the Rogue. Then to the Boomkin, the Lock, and the Ret Paladin.

Usually new boss kills are accompanied by an exultant cheer on vent. This was found more of a bemused chuckle. For the second week in a row, we had one shot the new boss.

The predominant feeling in vent was that we were really bummed out we would have to wait a whole week to do that fight again. It’s easily the most fun fight in Trial of the Crusader thus far.

Is Trial of the Crusader supposed to be this easy? I can’t imagine we overgear the place.

We are mostly Ulduar 10 geared, and we’ve killed Yogg. We’ve even done a couple of Hard Modes (Hodir, XT, FL+4, Freya +1).We still haven’t gotten Lose Your Illusion (Thorim Hard), or Firefighter (Mimiron Hard), or Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood (Freya +3) or Saronite In the Morning (Vezzax Hard).

Is this level of gear/skill supposed to be able to basically one shot the new tier on ‘normal’ mode? With the 4 different flavors Trial of the Crusader comes in, guilds have a great opportunity to find their level.

From what I’ve read of Big Bear Butt’s guild, Sidhe Devils, they might be really happy with Normal 10 man. My guild looks like we are going to be a 10 man Heroic guild. My friends over in Limitless will likely be a 25 man Normal guild, while my old Tier 6 guild Dominion will probably be a 25 man Heroic guild. The real beauty of the design is that each guild gets a real shot at clearing all the bosses in Trial of the Crusader. So if you are finding Trial of the Crusader a bit easy right now, it might be because your ‘mode’ hasn’t opened yet.

It is my sincere hope that Blizzard will continue with this approach in future tiers of content. A guild can choose what kind of guild it wants to be and players can find a guild that fits what they want to do in the game. Everyone gets to ‘see the content’ and clear the dungeon playing their own style and with as large a group as they are comfortable with.

I can’t wait for next week, bring on the Twins!
Post a Comment