Monday, March 15, 2010

Your Magic Betrays You!

Thursday night we headed back into Ice Crown Citadel. Tuesday I had had ridiculous lag to the point I could barely function. And it was ONLY on Altar of Storms. I tried one of my alts on Mannoroth and had no lag whatsoever. So we had our new DPS DK, CombatCow, switch to tank spec and basically 9 manned the first three bosses. I offered to drop out and have someone replace me but Boston wouldn’t hear of it. There will be some other night when one of our other team members is struggling and we’ll carry them too. I know ‘carry’ gets a bad wrap but when it comes my guild mates, I don’t mind carrying them. They aren’t heavy, they are my brothers. The Blizzard Techs did a great job, and by the time we hit Saurfang my lag was gone. I was so happy I jumped around the platform the whole time. Tuesdays are a short night for us right now so we only had time to get the lower spire and then clear Dreamwalker. We were going to ignore the rest of the instance until Sindi (Sindragosa) was dead.

We had had a heartbreaking wipe on Monday where Sindi was literally at 0%. She enraged and we all died. She despawned with like 400k health. That's just a couple of good Starfires from Lakini. (Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.) The coolest thing I’ve noticed is that this whole time we've been struggling with Sindi, our morale has stayed high among our raid group. Boston asks what happened, and we figure out where we can do better, and that's about the end of it. You don't see any of the Tanks sniping at the DPS, or the DPS sniping at the Healers, or the Range sniping at the Melee. Yeah, we get frustrated wiping like anybody else, but we don't tend to take that out on each other. It's really cool.

The first hurdle for us is getting through Phase 1 & 2 without anyone dying. Our first pull, we had someone die on the first Blistering Cold. That is what we raid tanks call an inauspicious beginning to the evening. Assuming we can make it through the first two phases with everyone alive, then we worked on Phase 3. Our obstacle in Phase 3 is getting enough DPS on the boss to kill her before she enrages while getting people out of Ice Blocks. That's what has been killing us. We also struggle to keep everyone alive. There are 3 important debuffs for everyone to track: Unchained Magic/Penetrating Cold, Frost Beacon and Mystic Buffet. In Phase 1, you only worry about Unchained Magic/Penetrating Cold. In the Air Phase, you only worry about Frost Beacon. Mystic Buffet is added in Phase 3. In addition, you have the other two debuffs to worry about as well in Phase 3.

We had several solid attempts but we kept making early mistakes or hitting the enrage timer. Then on our 5th pull of the night, we again lose someone to the first Blistering Cold. We don't usually blow Battle Rez, Ankh, Soulstone that early but Boston (Raid Leader, Blood DK Tank) decided to this time.

We get through Phase 1 and 2 without any more problems and launch into Phase 3 almost as soon as she lands from the 3rd Air Phase. Tanks switch off so the other tank can go loose their stack of Mystic Buffet. The debuff makes you take increased magic damage and since Sindi is 99% magic damage it makes all her attacks hit harder. Once Boston taunts, I have to locate the current Ice Blocked person and get behind it to line of sight Sindi. The mechanic is similar to the Frost Giant guy in Heroic Pit of Saron where you have to get behind the Saronite block to loose your debuff. Only DPS can't wait for the Tank to get there and lose his debuff. They need to get the Ice Blocked person out as fast as they can so they can get back to the boss. So I usually have to wait for the new person to get blocked and hide there for a few seconds to drop my stacks and go relieve Boston.

It was looking like another down to the wire attempt.

Sindi was at 11% and we had 1 minute to go. Boston started calling for people to be sacrificed. Basically, we leave them in the Ice Blocks and have all DPS just go 100% to the Sindi. We kept whittling away at her, and it looked like we might just get there. Then all of sudden we have an Ice Block hit our Mage, who is standing right next to our Priest. The Priest dies. Our Mage got Unchained Magic and Frost Beacon at the same time and missed that he had Frost Beacon. We battle rezzed our Priest after he did his angel thing. The enrage timer was ticking down fast. Our DPS Warrior, Tree Druid, and Rogue were already dead and we had two more guys in an IceBlock. Ardent Defender proced and I was running out of tricks. My Key was already on cooldown and the 6k absorb shield was used up. Health Potion was down. Our last DPS capable of hitting the boss was our Kitty and he got a Frost Beacon and ran out. My Mystic Buffet stack was up to 6 and she was about to cast it again. Another tick or two of her Frost Aura and it would be lights out on this attempt. I held off using Bubble Wall because I was saving my full immunity bubble. If I was the last man standing, I would give the DoTs and Bleeds 12 seconds to finish her off. The Enrage timer ticked down to zero and I hit Divine Shield.

Just as I did, Sindragosa cried out "FREE..AT LAST..!" Suddenly achievements filled Guild Chat and popped up on our screens. It took a moment to realize what had happened. We had done it. Ding, dong, the witch was dead! We passed out the loot, a cloth chest and some DPS plate and took a well deserved break.

Of course, both Blood and Plague were still up. We quickly went and cleared the plague wing. Then we got ready to do Blood and had a problem. Neither our Hunter, nor Warlock was available. So we went with our Boomkin. We had trouble keeping him up, especially if Keleseth got empowered second. After two wipes, we decided to switch things up. I would tank Taldaram and Valanar, and Boston (Blood Death Knight) would have Keleseth. That worked fine and we downed them. I passed on the tanking shoulders because I already had my Tier 10. We cleared up to the Queen and made quick work of her. I even got an achievement.

11 Bosses in Ice Crown Citadel lay dead at our feet. Only one remained. It was late, but it was time. The moment my gaming experience had been building to for 4 years was upon us. It was time to go see Arthas.

We ported up to the Throne room.

There he sat. I saw poor Bolvar. The guy looks rough. Tirion was there as well. Frostmourne and Ashbringer together again. The Champion of the Light, and the Champion of the Shadow. Like Illidan before him, Arthas doesn't aggro until you talk to the NPC. I walked all the up to the Throne and back down again.

There wasn't time to explain the fight, so we just decided to pull. Our Shaman, brave soul that he is, ported out right.

It was, without question, the most glorious wipe in my history with the World of Warcraft.

I had done it, I tanked Arthas. Frostmourne clanged against my Neverending Winter and was turned back. Frostmourne turned aside by my Bonebreaker Scepter. Arthas and his legion of Undead got the better of us, but we got him down to 85%. Not too bad. Now Monday night, the battle of the ages commences in earnest. Devolve versus the Lich King. The Holy Mightstone that I’ve been saving for this fight since Level 50 is ready.

HEY ARTHAS!!!

IT'S HAMMER TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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