Friday, October 23, 2009

Four Alarm Fire

We've been extending our Ulduar Raid ID with the express purpose of finishing off the hard modes in Ulduar that have eluded us to this point. Our current target is Mimiron's Firefighter hard mode.

This was our second night working on Firefighter.

Our first obstacle we face is keeping your humble author alive during Plasma blast in Phase 1. I can Divine Protection the first one with no problem. After that it gets dicey. Our healers are a Holy Priest and a Resto Shaman so our external cooldowns are limited.

This just happens to be a mechanic that really shows the weakness of Ardent Defender as a cooldown. It will proc, but I will still die on the next pulse. While it would be easy to say that I'd survive with Last Stand/Survival Instincts/Vampric Blood, I can't say for sure. I might have died with those, too.

On our initial attempts, we went with 3 healers, and that usually meant we got a 3rd plasma blast. We were pretty much out of tricks at that point. I kept thinking about the Warrior Tier 8 4 piece bonus (20% damage reduction on a 40 second cooldown). Man, would that be nice to have for this fight.

(Now I would tell relate to you the story about how Honors (the character) and I (the player) actually debated this for a while in my head. I'd also mention how he worked in a nice jab about not being entirely happy about the race change, but if I did, I'm sure you might think me even stranger than you already do).

What Honors and I came to was the the conclusion that if the Warrior 4pc would really make that big of a deal, I should try it. Of course, I can't get Warrior T8 gear, but I can get another 20% damage reduction cooldown.

So after the raid, I sent a mail to our guild glyph maker asking for a several Glyphs of Salvation and Glyphs of Righteous Defense. I'll swap between the two and see if Glyph of Salvation can make Phase 1 easier. Then I'lll flip back to Glyph of Righteous Defense of taunt sensative fights like Gormok.

We switched up to a 2 healer setup. That meant we'd only get 2 Plasma blasts. If the napalms were kind and people kited the fires well, our two healers could get me through the second blast.

We started see Phase 2 with some regularity. The raid damage really kicked it up a notch. Both the boomkin and myself were trying to help out. With all the raid damage, I found it very easy to keep my mana up and toss some Flash of Lights and Holy Lights. I wanted to stay out of melee range. The less people we have in there the less likely Mimiron will start a fire there.

A couple of times we actually pushed it into the Phase 3 with the raid mostly intact. That's when we discovered the sheer joy of the Emergency Fire Bots. These small bots run around and try to put out some of the fire that's all over the room. Well that's just dandy. The only small drawback is they have a loud siren which silences anyone with 15 feet of them. Generally not a good thing to have happen to your healers with all the major raid damage going around. Then when they do put out a fire, it's a nice little 20 yard radius. Now if you happen to be in that radius, you'll eat a 20k frost damage blast. Good times indeed.

I think what is important for my team to keep in mind is we did make progress. Our first night we barely even got to see Phase 2. Last night we were pushing to Phase 3. That is progress. We can do this, eventually.

What was so heartening to me was that after an hour of wiping, I detected absolutely zero drama. We were working through suggestions and trying to figure out our strategy, but there was a welcomed lack of the kind of sniping I've seen in other guilds, or in PUGs.

At that point, we left Mimiron and moved on. We knocked out a one shot of Sarth3D zerg. My rolling luck was just about as good as always, so no mount for me.

After Sarth, we headed up to Ice Crown and knocked out Heroic Beasts (1 shot!) and Heoic Jarraxxus (2 shot!) before once again having the Faction Champions give us a nice beat down. We did actually last a little longer against Faction Champs than we did the first time we tried them, but we still managed to kill exactly 0 of them. I was on the Shaman and it seemed like my Avenger's Shield silence simply didn't work on him. Very odd.

In other news, I'm still working on my UI post. It's becoming a bit long so I may need to break it up into a multimost.

And finally, there is about a 50/50 shot I'll be on Twisted Nether's Roundtable podcast tonight. I had originally thought I was going to be able to make it, but then I remembered Mrs. Hammer and I were going out tonight to celebrate our 14 years together as a happily married couple. So if we get home in time, I'll jump on and if I don't they will have to somehow make due without my tremendous intellect.
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