We took another crack at the Lich King Monday night. We had made some good progress on Thursday and we hoped to continue that on Monday. I was still tanking the Lich King in Phase 1. Boston was gathering up all the Adds, so that meant dropping Consecrate from my threat rotation. I also had to be careful when I used Hammer of the Righteous. If I cast it while Arthas was summoning the little ghouls, I'd pick one or two up. It wasn't a huge deal if I did, but the more Boston had on him the better. The disease can jump form ghoul to ghoul and gets stronger so it really hits the Shambler hard when it gets to him. I started working Exorcism in whenever Arthas would summon the ghouls. He channels the cast so I was safe to wind up and cast Exorcism on him.
It took a couple of attempts to get ourselves back into the flow of the fight. The RP dialog at the start is really cool, but it's already old. We've los probably one or two attempts worth of time to waiting while Arthas and Tirion chitchat. After the first pull of the night, we should be able skip the opening RP. We have Phase 1 down. We don't always execute it well, but we have it down.
We did start running into a strange bug in Phase 1. 3 times last night, during Phase 1, Arthas turned around and ran over to Jag (Survivalist Hunter) and one shot him. He wasn’t anywhere near me on Omen, but the log clearly shows a melee swing. My first thought was he hit Distracting Shot, but he says it’s off his bars. He wasn’t getting an Omen warning and says he does when he used to misclick Distracting Shot. We had him on Tranq duty, taking care of the Enrage on the Shambling Horrors. The 3rd time it happened, Jag feigned and the Lich King returned to me, so it does seem to have a threat component. It was the fastest Feign Death I’ve ever seen him pull off. Our best guess is that Tranquing the Adds is ticking Arthas off, but it’s not showing up on Omen as threat. I thought Omen read directly from the Blizzard API, so I don’t see how it couldn’t register it if it was causing threat. Very odd.
Now the transition phase had been giving us trouble Thursday. We'd go into Phase 2 with 2 Raging Spirits up. Monday, we were doing much better in this Phase. I don't know exactly what changed, but we generally get the Spirits down in time for the next one. Boston (Blood DK) taunts the last Spirit and I run in and grab Arthas and we get ready for Phase 2.
Phase 2 is about Val'kyrs and Defile. Thursday night, we might have killed 3 Val'kyrs all night. We knew we had to get better at handling them. I actually changed my spec up from Thursday night, dropping Divine Guardian aka Raid Wall, and picking up Improved Hammer of Justice. I then edited the target macro that has served me well going all the way back to Tier 5 raids. When the Val'kyr timer is about up, I start spamming my target macro. It’s just a simple “/target Val” (without the quotes). Once I have her targeted, I slam her with Hammer of Justice. That gives our DPS 6 seconds of 'quality time' with the Val'kyr. Then Ofn (Rogue, maybe Combat?) is ready with a Kidney Shot. With Improved Hammer of Justice, I have it ready to use for every Val’kyr spawn.
We tank Arthas just off center and I use cooldowns to survive the first Soul Harvester. The first Val'kyr goes down pretty well now. Once she's dead, DPS switches and finishes off the last Raging Spirit. Boston and I start trading the Lich King back and forth so who ever has Soul Harvester doesn't have Arthas also meleeing him. The second Val'kyr is where things start to get sketchy. The Val'kyr shows up, and I get my stun off and DPS lays into her. Then Arthas starts to cast Defile. If it hits one of our melee, we're in deep trouble. All the melee have to run out. If they don't run out fast enough, Defile grows so fast that half the platform is covered. Even if they do move fast enough, the Val’kyr is now inside the Defile and our Melee can’t touch her. Once she finally emerges, we don’t have enough time to get enough DPS on the Val'kyr to kill her before she drops our team mate to his death. Once we lose one DPS, it's nearly impossible to get the next Val'kyr down.
We spent the whole night working on Arthas. We had some bad attempts, and we had some good attempts. Towards the end of the night, we were starting to fell the rhythm of Phase II. Val'kyr, Defile, 2, 3, 4. Our best attempt, we killed 5 Val'kyrs and got him to 46%, just 6% away from Phase III. I know we'll get this guy.
The raid was split 50/50 on working on Arthas for a 3rd straight week or going back to doing a full clear. I can understand the guys who want to do something different. It's got to be getting frustrating spending two weeks doing nothing but wiping to the same fight over and over. They probably need a change of pace. As I logged off last night, the consensus seemed to be if half the raid wanted to reset, we probably should do just that.
Further complicating matters is that I'm unavailable for large parts of the next two resets. I've got to travel out of town for job training. I can use the hotel’s Business center to get online. I can blog, and read forum posts, but I can’t play WoW. (I don't own a laptop, so if you here of one, on the cheap, drop me an email.) It's exciting stuff that I’m going to be learning, but I'm going to miss my team. I can raid tonight (Tuesday) and Thursday, but then I'm unavailable for Monday. And I'm unavailable for Tuesday and Thursday of the next reset. While nothing would be as special as being with this team on the night we kill Arthas for the first time, I can’t help it that my work requires me to go away for a week. I truly hope when I returned after Easter, I come back to a bunch of Kingslayers!