Thursday, January 8, 2009

My First Heroic

Last night I took at shot at my first Heroic. I was out working on my Sons of Hodir daily quests when I see someone in Guild Chat asking for a tank for Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle.

I hesitated for a moment because I wasn't sure if this was the best Heroic for me to begin with, but I figured I'd give it a try. I had thought it was an all Mal Katai group because I got the invite from Guild Chat. I was wrong. This was a PuG.

It was myself and Death Knight from Mal Katai, a Holy Paladin from Dominion, an unguilded Warlock and a guilded Warlock from a guild I didn't recognize.

The Holy Paladin seemed to know me from Dominion, but I didn't recognize his name.

I've had to PuG most of my groups since going back to Mal Katai. I'm hoping to start getting invited to some guild runs soon, but in the meantime I need to do everything I can to improve my gear and be ready once a spot opens up in a guild run (5 man, 10 man, whatever). I know I've got to be patient. I basically disappeared for two weeks right after I hit 80 and most people have their groups established. It's going to take a little bit for me to reestablish myself in Mal Katai.

This was my first Heroic and I was pleased that it started out well. The Holy Paladin didn't seem to be having any trouble keeping me up. We didn't have any problems on the first boss, so I felt like our DPS was sufficient.

We did have trouble with a 4 pack of Vyrkul mobs that included two casters and two melee. I tried to line of sight pull, but it didn't work and the casters just destroyed me. The Holy Paladin apologized, but I wasn't entirely sure it was his fault. Of all the classes in WoW, Warlocks and Death Knights are the ones I'm least familiar with. I should have asked them what kind of options they brought for humaniod CC, but I have to admit, I gave into my pride and didn't want to look like a 'nub' and ask.

We managed to down the second boss as well although I had some really close shaves on the animal minibosses.

Then we get to Skaldi and his gauntlet. I've done gauntlets before and done the gauntlet in Shattered Halls more times than I can count. I know how to round up a gauntlet. The problem is the Utgarde Pinnacle gauntlet includes hunter type mobs that move out of my Consecrate and warlock type mobs that just sit there and fire off Shadow Bolts. At some point the Warlocks would get aggro and get killed.

So the next time up, I slowed down the pace a little and we made it all the way to the end of the gauntlet. For some reason, no one manned the harpoons and we fought waves of attackers until the Holy Paladin ran out of mana and we all died.

Eventually, we made all the way and got Skaldi to come down out of the air. I figured we had it. I ran out of the whirlwind and everything seemed to be going fine. Then I got burst down. I'm not entirely sure what happened. It was one of those moments where you are cruising along at 60 to 75% and then BAM you're dead. The Death Knight picked him up but he was burst down as well.

At this point, the Holy Paladin asked if we needed a better healer, or better DPS. I can't for the life of figure out why he didn't include a better tank. The Holy Paladin was pretty sure it was a low DPS issue. I had left Recount off so I couldn't tell what kind of DPS the Warlocks and Death Knight were running.

After three more unsuccessful runs, the party broke. This PuG was much more resilient than most I've been a part of. Two or three wipes max and those groups break up. Maybe it was because we were already saved, I have no idea.

What's crazy is that all I've heard about is how easy mode everything is in this expansion. I certainly didn't feel that way after Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle.

As was my case early on in Burning Crusade, the drops were not kind to me. But I did manage two more Emblems of Heroism and about 1000 rep with Wyrmrest Accord.

I'm going to keep working on my gear and my rep, but in retrospect, Utgarde Pinnacle might not have been the best Heroic to start out with.


Donovan said...

UP is very nasty, if you get a chance I would suggest trying a Nexus run, it's probably the easiest of the heroics and offers the most faction rep as well. I would stay away from UP and HoL on heroic, Loken is incredibly difficult, until you've been able to gear up a bit. Best of luck working your way through the end game content, it can be a lot of fun!

Darraxus said...

UP is not what I would call an entry level heroic despite the fact it was the first one I ever did. I would imagine the DPS was just low. Warlocks have been terrible for the most part, and I have seen 80 warlocks pumping out much less than 1k dps. I have seen bad DKs as well, but less of them. The Warlock class is broken, and I would not suggest doing a Heroic with one unless you know them to be decent. Warlock CC is the Succubus. I dont know that DKs have any type of CC. Repentance is not a viable form off CC as well, so it is not too much to ask the Holy pally to use it on a large pull assuming you arent just doing the AOE thing.

Azrak said...

I'd give UK a try. As far as heroics go (and mind you I've only ran a few more than you at this point) that was is by far the easiest. It is almost identical to the regular version and really doesn't feel much harder than any of the 77-80 instances on regular mode.

But just keep working at it. The one thing I've noticed this expansion is that there's a lot to be said for a tank who knows how to tank, not just the one with all the shiny gear. =)

Drew said...

Something to try on the gauntlet is having one person run in to the hallway and getting the boss to fly up into the air, then run back in the the room you came from where the rest of the party will be waiting. I think it is about 10 seconds and all the mobs disappear long enough for you to make your way down to the other side of the hall into the little room. From there, you can kill the mobs, get the harpoons, and then wait for the boss to land and engage him.

Ken said...

The Gauntlet in UP is one of the more difficult encounters in my opinion. I hated it on normal mode so I have avoided it on heroic, although I need the Red Sword from the final boss.

In my experience, the easier heroics are Utgard Keep and Nexus. DrakTharon Keep was not too bad either, and Violet Hold depends on which random bosses you get and having enough DPS.

I've had some great luck on drops lately, and I pray that yours improve on your next run!

kyrilean said...

Some heroics have been easy mode, but not all. UP, HoL, CoT, and OK are not easy with new 80s.

I agree with Donovan. Do Nexus. The emblem to ease ratio is good.

I've seen UP done two ways and not entirely sure if either is better.

1 - get to the end and bring down the drake.

2 - go halfway and collect enough spears before getting to the end and bringing down the drake.

#2 seemed to be easier for heals as the healer could stay to the right out of the ice breath the entire time without moving. #1 sometimes has you running into the hallway out of los.

Anonymous said...

I feel for you, I did H UP many many times to get the Red Sword of Courage for my warrior. A good 75% of the time my groups would fall apart at the gauntlet. I would always feel like it was my fault because eventually the casters and hunters add up and they're just really hard to keep aggro on.

Then a few weeks ago my guild asked me to switch to DPS and I got a chance to run it a few times as dps and got to see it from a different point of view. I'll tell you right now it's most likely the dps fault. Not for not doing dps, but honestly if the boss isn't brought to the ground within 2-3 times of him being in range (once you reach the end of the hall) you're dps is seriously failing with the harpoons.

Anonymous said...

Drew is pointing the way to the correct strategy for the UP gauntlet. You don't have to gauntlet it at all.

That to the side, UK and Nexus are the easiest heroics. Violet Hold is fairly easy as long as you know exactly what to do on the bosses, and the tank really REALLY has to know. VH has epic tank legs, too.

I would do those three for starters, until you have whatever items you want from them (there's a ring at least in UK and a helm in Nexus). UP and CoT:CoS will be high on your list because of the epic sword and shield. Gundrak has shoulders on the second boss.

I have yet to run either difficulty on HoL, HoS, Occulus, or Drak'theron Keep. One of these days I'll do them just to do them, but they didn't really have any loot I wanted (epic ring in DTK but no Def on it). H. Azjol-Nerub has the awesome 111 STA trinket as well as an epic belt - the last boss needs high DPS for the add phases. H. Ahnkhet has epic bracers and is a bit of a pain.

What am I saying all this for, you made a spreadsheet with all the loot! XD

Almost anyone with 540 Def can tank or at least off-tank Vault of Archavon, which is easy emblems plus a random chance of gear. You can probably offtank Obsidian Sanctum, too. Heck, Naxx 10 has few gear checks until the end. Go out there boldly and get your face smashed in.

Anyway, best of luck!


Lethario said...

UK, Nexus, GunDrak are easy
I'd think of Strat, UP and VH as medium
Occulus, AK, Old Kindom, HoL are hard

I've set the standard that when pugging DPS I ask what kind of sustained DPS they can do. If they can't tell me, or are under 1500 I'm very hesitant. I can do 1100dps in tank gear without really trying so they have to be able to do better than me.

That gauntlet is also a decent place to rep farm - provided the tank and healer can sustain it, the group can sit int he room at the end of the hall killing spawns indefinitely.

As far as Holy pallies go - I've found that being good at holy is harder now than it used to be. The first day I tried to heal it was awful. After with some research and of practice with all the new tricks, I got rather good. As always, gear does not make the player, skill does.

Good luck with the heroics Honors!

(your armory page was not loading so I could not compare our gear)

Honors Code said...

It won't load for me, either. Grrrrrrrr.

Here's what you would have seen.

Tempered Saronite Helm, Burning Skull Pendant, Crusader Square Pauldrons, Cloak of Peaceful Resolutions, Silver Plated Breastplate, Tempered Saronite Wrists, Refined Ore gloves, Tempered Saronite Belt, Daunting Leggaurds, Tempered Saronite Boots, Band of the Eternal Defender, Kurzel's Warband, Scarab of Displacement, Commendation of Kael'thalas, Hammer of Quiet Mourning, Saronite Bulwark

Nibuca said...

I play an Affliction warlock. I'm pre-Naxx geared and usually get ~1.5k on trash(if we're not AOEing, 2.1k if we're AOEing) and 2.2-2.4k on boss fights. Make of that what you will.

Warlock CC: Fear(doesn't work on undead/mechanicals), Banish (elementals/demons), Seduction (humanoids)(most warlocks are very bad at this and it's a very fragile CC so don't depend on it)

I agree with other commenters that H-UP gauntlet is very difficult. There is a way to make it easier.

Just past the animal boss, run into the gauntlet and tag the boss to get him to engage. Then backup to the starter point of the hallway. As long as you stay south of the first set of columns in the gauntlet the boss's breath can't reach you. Stay there and kill the incoming mobs until the designated harpoon-ist has 7 harpoons.

Once you have 7 harpoons run back into the animal-mini-boss area. Keep running until you drop out of combat.

As soon as you're out of combat run back into the gauntlet room and run all the way up to the harpoon guns. Sit, eat, drink.

When the party is at full health/mana send one person (dpser with no/poor AOE) down to engage the boss. As soon as he's engaged the whole gauntlet will spawn. You'll have to tank 7-10 mobs and AOE them down. This is most stressful on the healer. Once the AOE pack is down have the harpoonist shoot the boss.

Once the boss drops it's a standard tank and spank. Be sure to kill off any remaining adds before focusing on the boss. Run out of whirlwinds.

Collect loot.. good luck on the blue proto-drake.


Kinzlayer said...

I won't say that the gauntlet for H UP is a cake walk but if you tackle it in five waves (I really do mean waves as you need to pick them up and then stay in one place to dps them down) and make use of the room at the end of the gauntlet to pick up more mobs when they spawn then you should be able to avoid most of the Frostfire damage as well as to pick up the harpoons. The key is not used them one at time, have the 3 dps pick up at least 6 harpoons before shooting at him right before he lines up for his Frostfire run, with 3 ppl using the harpoons they should easily get 2 volleys when they see the emotes that tells you he's in range. Typically we let him do his fly over four or five times before we have enough harpoons to get him down.

On a side note, the state of warlock's dps is pretty sad but if you are stuck with one next time, make a suggestion that they Rain of Fire for the AoE there, if they are using Seeds of Corruption, as it generate a bit less threat and still provide plenty of dps to help take out the adds.

wtfspaghetti said...

"What's crazy is that all I've heard about is how easy mode everything is in this expansion. I certainly didn't feel that way after Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle"

Don't worry about it too much Honor's. Alot of people, including myself, have had alot of trouble in heroics...especially our first heroics.

Once you start getting a little more geared it will become alot easier.

Dont just blame yourself either, your dps and healer have to be equally good for a smooth run.

Good luck

Taryl said...

I'd like to respond to Darraxus' comment about Holy Pally's and Repentence. Quote "Repentance is not a viable form off CC as well, so it is not too much to ask the Holy pally to use it on a large pull assuming you arent just doing the AOE thing." Repentence is so far down the Retribution tree that I wouldnt call that Holy/Retr hybrid that has Repentence and the rest of their points in Holy skills even a viable Heroic Healer. Another thing that is bad about Repentence (at least until next patch) is that it breaks on Hammer of the Righteous.

Ferth said...

We had some problems in UP as well, ultimately there were 2 things that helped us succeed.

1) I had all DPS focus on the ranged/hunter/type DPS mobs(single target DPS), and I focused more on rounding up the melee's..this helped thin their numbers significantly.

2) Be very cautious aproaching the last row of mobs by the harpoons, I think they are all ranged (or at least they were for us), making it the most difficult group to deal with...we made sure we had the previous group, and respawns down before engaging them...accidentally engaging that group too early wiped us several times.

Crofe said...

I know this is late, but I needed to comment on this since UP was almost my first heroic as a Tankadin as well.

I say almost because there was a naysayer in the group who thought I wouldn't be able to handle the gauntlet with Def cap and 22k unbuffed HP. It was a PuG, none of them had seen me tank, it was straight up numbers. About a day later I went in with my guild and downed it with little problem.

I actually OT'd 10man Naxx clearing the spider and 2/4 abomination wings before that almost heroic run and said so, but that didn't matter. I wonder if they got through it ok. . .