Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ebony and Ivory

No 3.3 today. MMO-Champion seems to think it's next Tuesday. I'm still of the belief, based on the Blue's communication that we won't see it until after the ball drops (New Year's Eve reference).
I love extended raid lockout. I absolutely love them. For a guild like Devolve, it means that we can attempt Hard Modes when the mix is right and leave them up when the mix is wrong. We're not so much a casual guild as an OTA guild (Over Traditional Age). Most, if not all of our members are 25 years of age and older with real life responsibilities like families, jobs, school, etc. The nights you get on, you get on and we love having you. The nights you can't, you can't and we understand.
We've been extending our raid lock out for Trial of the Grand Crusader 10 man for two weeks now. We were fairly confident we could get through Heroic Beasts and Heroic Jarraxus, but none of us wanted to face down Heroic Faction Champions again. So instead we extended the lock out and start learning Twin Valkyrs. We made our first several attempts at Twins two weeks ago when we first downed Faction Champions, but it just didn't click.
One really nice thing about Crusader's Coliseum is you have plenty of opportunity to layout and practice the fights before you actually talk to the NPC to begin them. The game plan for Monday night went something like this. Everybody was White except for our 3 healers, Lakini the Resto Druid, Stark the Bloodlust; I mean the Resto Shaman, and Blackhaus the Discipline or Holy Priest, who were Black.
Team Black's job was to intercept all the Black Balls before they headed into Team White. We tanked both bosses side by side at the Black portal. This strategy helped keep the raid damage at manageable levels and gave DPS easy access to either Twin.
There is a certain RNG element to this fight. Every minute or so, they will do a "Special Move". It's one of 4 different things: Shield on White, Shield on Black, Black Vortex, White Vortex. Either Vortex means everyone has to become that color. Shield means that the Shield has to be brought down and then the Heal interrupted.
"Han will have that shield down. We've got to give him more time!"
Our first problem was the Shield. One Twin shields herself, and that Shield has to be burnt down and the heal stopped. It's not a huge heal on Normal, but it's a freaking humongous heal on Heroic. If we needed to DPS the shield off the White Boss, the DPS had to switch to Black and get it down.
The other problem with the Shield is that the unshielded Twin will go all Prince Malchezzar on you, duel wielding and hitting like a Mack Truck. Sorry for the Burning Crusade reference.
I was on the Black Boss and Boston (Blood DK) was on the White Boss. When Boston's Boss would get Shielded, I would use Divine Protection. With the 4 piece Tier 9 Bonus and the infrequency of the Shields, I was able to Bubble Wall anytime Boston's Twin got the Shield.
Color Me Happy
The fight reminds me a Thaddius in a lot of ways. Everyone has to make sure they are the correct color at all times. Boston and Blackhaus helped out as much as they could but if someone missed an ALL BLACK or ALL WHITE Vortex move from the Boss they were toast. The Enrage timer is tight and losing even 1 person usually meant we weren't going to get the next Shield down.
We got a little lucky on our kill and got more Vortexes than Shields, but it was still nice to get these two down with over 30 attempts left to learn Anub'arak.
Bug Me
We spent the rest of the evening learning Anub'arak. Everyone had a lot to learn from Spike kiting to proper handling of Adds both big and small.
I had a difficult time wrangling down the Adds. I needed to get initial aggro and then pull them to an Ice patch so they wouldn't submerge. I'm very happy to report that the Block Set I made specifically for this fight work amazingly well. I was getting full blocks on most of their attacks.
I was also able to interrupt the Shadow Strikes with Arcane Torrent and Holy Wrath, although some got through.
As we learned about Spike Kiting, I was in a bit of an awkward position. The kiting routine seemed familiar to me. I finally remembered it was very similar to the kiting you had to do in part of the Kael’thas fight at the end of Tempest Keep. Only no one in the raid (expect myself) had really done Kael’thas in Burning Crusade so it wasn’t going to help. It would have also brought back up how I had abandoned this group of guys to go chasing 25-man raiding during the latter part of Burning Crusade. So the Anub’arak, Kael’thas connection was left unsaid.
By the end of the night, we were making progress towards Phase 3. Our main problems in Phase 3 are a sloppy transition from Phase 2 which I'm sure we can get cleaned up, keeping Boston (Blood DK) alive, and getting him down before the healers are out of gas.
We left Crusaders Coliseum that night with Anub'arak alive. Our morale was high. We really felt like we could get him, so we again extended the raid lock out. His time will come very soon.
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