Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Game of Inches

Last night, our team went after finishing Trial of the Grand Crusader. We only had Anub’arak up and about 25 attempts left on the timer.
Our team consisted of Boston (Blood DK), Honorshammer (Protection Paladin), Blackhaus (Holy Priest), Stark (Resto Shaman), Bluetide (Arms Warrior), Muddled (Arcane Mage), Donkatonk (Arcane Mage), Neovomonica (Destro Warlock), Ofn (Combat Rogue), and Lakini (Boomkin).
There are multiple points in the Anub’arak fight where you can make a wipe inducing mistake.
Our main issue is keeping Boston alive in Phase 3 while simultaneously healing the Leaching Swarm and Penetrating Cold. Our Holy Priest loses two GCDs (Global Cooldowns) taking care of Penetrating Cold and then we lose Boston, usually right after he takes a Freezing Slash.
But it was hardly our only issue. On multiple attempts, we would lose people to the large Adds not getting interrupted. They cast a Shadow Strike which will one shot a raid member if they complete the cast. On a couple of occasions, I got my cast of Holy Wrath off, but it didn’t interrupt. I think they resisted the stun and kept on casting.
There were a couple of attempts where I struggled to wrangle the adds. I never realized Resto Shamans put out so much threat healing, but if the Add had to go a long way, a Hand of Reckoning sometimes wasn’t enough to hold it.
We lost a couple of attempts to poor kiting. Sometimes our kiters tried to kite just a little too long and it cost us. A couple of times, we didn’t have the DPS to push Anub into Phase 3. The two attempts where he submerged a second time, despite being under 30% were very frustrating.
The one aspect of the fight I don’t feel we have down yet is the little Adds in Phase 2. Sometimes a very manageable amount of adds would spawn. Other times, the amount of adds was overwhelming.
But we had several very solid attempts where we pushed Anub to sub 5% before we lost Boston and the raid buckled. One attempt I was the Last Man Standing. I did everything I could to stay alive, but the Bubble was locked out because I used Divine Protection early in Phase 3 to limit the healing I needed so I couldn’t Bubble and hope the DoTs finished him. He despawned with 56k health. You here in football or baseball sometimes called a game of inches; we were inches from a kill. Just a couple more seconds and we would have had him.
We all felt like a couple of those sub 5% attempts would have been a kill if we had had Replenishment. On several of those attempts, our Healers and DPS just ran out of mana as Anub'arak got low. If we had had Replenishment, they might have lasted out long enough.
We used up every last attempt, even pushing a little past our normal time, but we left ToC with Anub still standing. Well that’s not technically true, he despawned after our last attempt was used. But we didn’t get him.
During the whole process, I was continually amazed at our team. Regardless of what happened, everyone kept their cool and kept focusing on improving. There was none of the sniping that you sometimes hear on a wipe night: DPS blaming heals, heals blaming Tanks, Tanks blaming DPS. It didn’t happen. I’m sure things were said under their breath or without the Push-to-Talk key, but nothing was said publically. We hung together as a team. I was very proud of that.
We’ve hit roadblocks before. We hit a roadblock with Firefighter in Ulduar and now it seems like Anub is a roadblock in ToC. With Ice Crown here now, I don’t know if we’ll get back to finish our business with Anub. It would have been great to have gotten him down, but now we can turn our attention to Arthas.
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