Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Go For Two

When we last left our intrepid team of Heroes, we had just cleared Naxx. We only had the dragons, Sartharian and Malygos left alive before the reset.

We zoned into Sartharian and proceeded to kill trash and first drake. As you might have guessed from the title, when we got to Tenebron (the egg laying drake, I mix up the names), Ellevis, our raid leader instructed us to go around and not to engage him.

I swallowed hard. I had spent some time preparing for Malygos. I hadn’t spent time studying up on Sarth plus Drakes. We worked our way around to the last drake (I think it was Vesperon), but we left him alive as well.

So we were going to engage Sartharian with two of his drakes left alive. Prior to my joining Heroes, this raid team had successfully killed Sarth plus one, but never Sarth plus two.

Ellevis explained the game plan. Our Feral Druid would tank Sartharian on the left front corner of the island. The entire raid would run to the back of the island. When Tenebron landed, Ellevis (Blood DK) would pick him up and they would start to kill him.

My job was to grab the Flame Blazes (little fire elemental guys), and also grab all the Whelps that would spawn from the portal that Tenebron would summon. AoE tanking required? 'It’s just like beggar’s canyon back home'.

Well not quite. It was a complete and epic failure on my part to pick up the Whelps while I had 3 Flame Blazes on me. What I needed was more visibility. I used an old macro I had made from Archimonde of all encounters to zoom my camera out, way out.

This gave me great visibility, but I felt like I was moving in molasses. I got the first spawn of whelps, but the second spawn didn’t go as well. Shardaron Vesperon landed and I went down.

Ellevis determined that we weren’t meeting the DPS budget to kill Tenebron fast enough. He told the DPS to not wait as long for him to get a threat lead but to really go all out. We got closer, but we still wiped not long after Shardaron Vesperon landed. But we actually killed Tenebron that attempt.
I was getting better at picking up the Whelps. One thing I learned is that they don’t spawn right at portal but around it. Consecrate pulses, something like a Shaman totem. If they spawn between pulses they can fly right over the Consecrate, and I won’t get aggro. That happened back in Burning Crusade as well when we were fighting Dragonhawk in Zul’Aman.

In addition, Consecrate doesn’t seem to be the aggro magnet it once was. It used to be that once something got into my Consecrate, it was game over. Now a days, I need to cycle through targets applying Seal of Vengeance DoTs with Hammer of the Righteous to keep stuff sticking to me.

About that time in the evening, we saw another member of our raid team log in, an Elemental Shaman. Ellevis wanted to get him in. Yes, this guy does very good DPS, but we also wanted his buff, Heroism, to help us kill the first drake faster.

So our Warlock volunteered to sit, and we got the Elemental Shaman into the raid.

We tried again but lost a Mage early on to a blue circle.

As we prepared for the next attempt, he started chanting in vent. “I will not die….I will not die…. I will not die…”

We waited until Heroism was off cooldown and pulled again.

There seems to be a large RNG (Random Number Generator) factor to this fight. Some attempts I’d have Fire Blazes right from the start and two to three on me when the Whelps spawned. While in other attempts, there wouldn’t be any Blazes until the Whelps were already spawned. The Fire Walls also add a bit of randomness. If we got ‘good’ placement on the Fire Walls our range would hardly have to move and would have more time on target. If we got ‘bad’ Walls, our range would have to move more and have less quality time to DPS.

I had three Blazes on me as the Whelps spawned. Our DPS had done a fantastic job on Tenebron and we were able to AoE down the Whelps just a moment after Shardaron Vesperon landed.

I started looking around frantically for the portal that Shardaron Vesperon would spawn. I had to get in there and tank the Disciple/Acolyte add. When I did that, it would be up to Ellevis to pick up whatever Flame Blazes I was tanking at that point.

The first portal spawned right inside Sartharian’s back leg. My cursor kept changing from a cogwheel (to take the portal) to a sword (to attack Sarth). I’m frantically clicking away. Finally, I get into the portal and grab the Disciple. He went down pretty quick. I started picking up Blazes again, until the next portal spawned. Everything so far was going good.

When the 3rd portal spawned, Ellevis called for our DPS to burn Shardaron Vesperon. There was a little bit of confusion on vent. Ellevis had wanted me to stay outside with the Blazes (which I already had on me) and he would take the portal since Shardaron Vesperon was down. The only problem being that I had already taken the portal.

If Ellevis clicked the portal as well, we’d both be inside and there would no one to handle the Blazes. I communicated in vent that I was already inside the portal. I communicated this about 50 times it seems.

Ellevis had not taken the portal and grabbed the Blazes while we killed the final Disciple. Now it was back to good ole Sartharian. I continued to pickup the Blazes as our DPS laid into Sarth. At around 5 percent, we got the massive spawn of Blazes. I dropped a Consecrate, but I also dropped a Hand of Protection on our Resto Druid who seemed to be the favored target of the Blazes. That kept the Tree safe until I had the Blazes under control. The Fires liked the Tree, it makes sense. I was going to do everything in my power to make sure the Resto Druid did not die as long as I drew breath.

The last couple percentages of life were drained from Sartharian. We had done it. For the first time, Heroes Inc had killed Sarth plus two! It was really amazing to see what a difference Heroism had made. Five unsuccessful attempts, then we killed him on the second attempt with Heroism. I’d like to see Blizzard give the Heroism buff to another class or two so that 10 mans aren’t so reliant on a Shaman. I love having our Elemental in the raid and he’s a great player, but we should be able to get along if he wants to take a night off.

The fight was insane, crazy, frustrating… and the most fun I’ve had since I installed Wrath of the Lich King. For the first time since I hit 80, I truly felt like I was raiding again. We wiped, we struggled, and we overcame. It was so much better than watching Dancing With the Stars (go Woz!!)

I did receive a purple from the raid, but not the kind you are thinking. I would say that seeing these purple pixels meant as much if not more than the purples that dropped from the boss. This was just one of a couple of whispers I got. I wish I had gotten a screen shot of all of them. Each message was thanking me and letting me know I was an integral part of the success of the raid. That felt really good.

Of course, the night was still young, but more on that in another post.


Kalon said...

Nice job. :)

Your raid leader made your life significantly harder, though it's probably good prepwork. You kept Tenebron and Shadron up; if you instead kill Shadron and keep Vesperon, you have a huge amount of time to kill Tenebron and deal with whelps. If you can consistently kill Tenebron with only one set of whelps spawned you'll be in good shape to do Sarth3d, and having the Tenebron->Shadron transition down is good for that too.

Josh said...

Congrats on OS-10 2D, Honors! You guys did it the hard way! Usually if people are going for 2D and not 3D, they *kill Shadron* and leave Tenebron/Vesperon up. If you can handle 2D with Shadron in the mix, you guys can get 3D :)

Honors Code said...

It's also entirely possbile I got the names mixed up and we did kill Shadron instead of Vesperon.

Ellevis said...

We left Tenebron and Vesperon up and Killed Shadron.

Josh said...

Ellevis is on top of things, it seems. I know all dragons look alike, Honors, but Shadron and Vesperon have very different effects on the raid :) Shadron up makes high DPS on Tenebron crucial and opens up the possibility of your tank getting one-shot by a super Fire Breath from Sartharion.

I take back my statement about going for 3D right yet, but grats on 2D! Tune your DPS and transitions up and then take a look at adding Shadron to the mix :)

Honors Code said...

Posted edited to help remove the name confusion.

Ofn said...

This was a satisfying kill, wasn't it? I was worrying about several things (blue circles, flame walls, dps rotations, not pulling aggro away from Ellevis, not getting in front of Tenebron, etc.) so I wasn't thinking too much about what else was going on. But you, and everyone, did a great job to get this accomplished. It was a lot of fun.

Gowron said...

The pinnacle point in 3 drakes up is the second whelp-spawn, if you dont get it, that's step one.

Also Divine Guardian works wonders here. Like I figured out last night.


thedoctor said...

Mucho gratz bro, hopefully my guild will follow in your foot steps.