Monday, December 14, 2009

Assault on Ice Crown Citadel

I was very excited as we formed up the Raid for Ice Crown Citadel.
Please note, this is a description of my night raiding Ice Crown. There are spoilers in this post. Read on at your own risk.
Our team consisted of Boston (Blood DK Tank), Honorshammer (Protection Paladin extraordinaire), Blackhaus (Disc/Holy Priest), Stark (Resto Shaman), Lakini (Boomkin/Resto), Donkatonk (Arcane Mage), Neovomonica (Destro Lock), Danath (Arms Warrior), Blueshield (Arms Warrior), and Ofn (normally Combat, but has switched to Mutilate for 3.3).
Once inside I checked my toon and saw that my Dodge was at 7.09%. This wasn’t unexpected but it still made me a sad panda to see it.
The atmosphere of Ice Crown is really well done. The art is beautiful and the music really sets the mood well. We started up the event and listened to Arthas and Tirion yelling at each other. We learned the fate of Bolvar Fordragon and set force to save him.
It was actually nice to have trash again. I guess it took an instance without any (ToC) to make us appreciate it. The amount was about right and the mobs were interesting. Some packs we AoE’ed and other packs we used single target and crowd control.
We had Ofn disarm the traps after Stark was so kind as to find one. Before long we were face to skull with Lord Marrowgar.
I was one of the few people in our raid group who had fought Leotharas in Serpent Shrine Cavern, but that experience really wouldn’t help out too much. Marrowgar does a whirlwind like Leo but getting hit by it doesn’t leave a Bleed DoT on you, and the damage is actually pretty small even on Cloth. We still tried to avoid as much as possible, but of all of Marrowgar’s tricks, the Whirlwind was the least threatening.
Our group did a pretty good job of avoiding Cold Flame and seemed to break people out of Spikes pretty quickly.
What we found really challenging was the Saber Lash. It hit me and Boston for about 12k a piece every second or so. The damage was manageable but our healers, and especially our Priest was hurting for mana before Marrowgar was even at 50%. We again lacked Replenishment in our raid.
I’m not the Raid Leader, and I probably talk too much in vent as it is. Boston is very patient with me. But after our issues with Anub’arak “What’s My Main Again” had put in the comments about a Warlock spec that included replenishment. I suggested our Warlock respect to Soul Leech.
He was a little resistant at first. I’m not sure why, but Blueshield pointed out to him that any potential loss of DPS would be worth it. You don’t tend to argue with a large plate wearing Tauren carrying a sword twice your body length.
After doing a couple of fights with Soul Leech, Neo was sold. He loved the spec because he had to Life Tap much less, which also helped out our healer’s mana.
Our Priest felt the difference immediately. It was like he had extended his mana bar 3 times.
Marrowgar went down two pulls after that, but not without some heroics from Blueshield.
It was about three quarters of the way through the attempt, and we were transitioning from a Whirlwind phase back to a normal phase. Boston and I were a little slow getting back together to soak the Saber Lash when Blackhaus got impaled. Our DPS freed him but we lost Boston. I hit Divine Protection (Paladin Shield Wall) and was able to solo Tank him for a few moments. We got a Battle Rez on Boston but DP was running out. Blueshield slapped on a Sword and Board, hit his own Shield Wall and leapt to my side. He got killed but he bought us enough time to get Boston buffed and healed up and back into position.
Marrowgar went down. Ofn got a new Cloak and we blew up the Spellpower plate. I refuse to take any healing gear.
We continued on and got to Lady Deathwhisper’s room. Several of us noticed how similar the room and the mob layout was to Blackheart the Inciter’s room in Shadow Labs. If she had said “Time for Fun”, we all were running for it.
She started her little speech and all of us were like Shut up already! The trash went down pretty quickly using a bit of CC and single target DPS. I love Avenger’s Shield but I am insanely jealous of Death Grip. Boston can get those Casters right where he wants them.
The two spiders ended up being a bit of a challenge, but we got them down without losing the raid.
Deathwhisper herself wasn’t too bad. I had expected Marrowgar to be the easier of the two but it was the other way around. We handled Phase 1 without much of a problem. Lady Deathwhisper puts up a mana shield that you have to burn down while Adds spawn. The Adds periodically become immune to magic or physical. You don’t see immune, you see Absorb. I had no trouble holding threat on either type of mob so I’m thinking Holy is something of an exception.
We went into Phase 2. I never noticed her Mind Control anyone but my back was to the Raid so maybe they just handled it without me realizing it. Lady has a debuff she puts on the current tank that reduces your threat by 20%. Boston and I didn’t manage it well and at one point each of us were working multiple stacks. Our Boomkin actually pulled aggro but Lady is tauntable so we got her right back.
We one shot her. Loot was given out and we headed for the elevator.
The first trash pack to the Gunship battle gave us some problems and actually wiped us. That’s when the bugs began.
We reentered the raid and started to walk back to the elevator which is located in Lady Deathwhisper’s room. As soon as we got into her room we were put into combat and one by one ported up to the trash mobs. After a couple of times of doing this, we all zoned out, dropped the raid and reformed it. But the same thing happened again.
So we buffed up at the entrance and made sure to stay together. We got ported again, but I was able to grab threat on most of the mobs and the healers kept me up long enough for us to get organized and start taking down their healers. Finally, we got that pack down.
We boarded our Gunship and assigned Gunners, Boarding Party, and Repelling party. I was in the repelling party.
My job was to repel boarders that came from the Alliance ship. I was actually glad that Boston hadn’t asked me to be on the Boarding Party. I really didn’t want to tank Muradin Bronzebeard. Muradin was one of my favorite characters in Warcraft and I really didn’t want to fight him. I don’t have as much of a connection to Saurfang as I do to Muradin. My inner dwarf was quite conflicted.
Muradin himself was no slouch and he put a hurting on Boston. After we wiped, Boston figured out Muradin puts a debuff on him if he wasn’t in melee range. So Boston made sure to stay in range and Black was able to keep him up.
As we got near the end of the attempt, we lost Boston. It was a race now. Could we finish off the Skybreaker before they summoned another mage to take out our cannons? We heard Muradin yell for a Sorcerer, and we knew we were in trouble. Then the Skybreaker went down with Boston, Blackhaus and the rest of the boarding team still on it.

They zoned back in, and ported up to Deathbringer, but Ogrim’s Hammer had stopped in midair. We could open the loot chest, but everyone who tried to loot it got an error message that said we weren’t eligible. I could see a Shield inside, Neverending Winter or something like that.
Boston and I both put in tickets but as of Saturday the only thing we had heard was that the ticket was being elevated.
It was past our raid time so we had to call it. We’ll give Deathbringer a try come Monday.
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