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.


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


Lochagos said...

Haha - gratz man & good luck.

Pippet said...

Congratulations. The Lich King fight is tough, but good luck with it!

Grimadin said...

Hurry up and get the LK down so you guys can carry my sorry Prot Pally butt through that fight!

Grats again on getting Sindi, I know everyone was very excited to make it past that hurdle.

Joar said...

One of the most captivating raid stories I've read in a long time! Congratulations!

Superconqui said...

I quit playing wow over a year ago, while Sath+3D was the main event. But I have been able to stay current with all that goes in the WORLD (of warcraft) thanks to you and stories like these. it makes the breaks that I have in between work fun. Thanks for keeping me posted. Been reading for a while so while I know that your horde now, I still envision a Dwarf paladin during this journey.

Keep up the good work

Prot mage lawl said...

Good luck Ted!

You should read my QQ blog today lol


chillen said...

Thank you for this post. It saved my raid last night and will allow us to see the LK for the first time tonight!

My 10-man team this past week was in the same situation as you were about a month ago. All bosses down except Sindy and LK. We focused on Sindy all week, and finally took her down last night after spending most of the night wiping with her around 15-20%. Then, with less than 30 minutes left for our raid, something just clicked all of a sudden for everyone (frost beacon people were moving away from the group, people were managing their debuffs) and for the first time we pushed her sub 10%.

As her health continued slowly decreasing, we lost our OT and our moonkin, and we had two frost tombs out at the same time (things were breaking down...)

Then I remembered this post; her health was around 6-7% and there was 30 seconds left on the enrage timer. I called out in vent to focus all dps on the boss and leave the ice blocks up.

I called out the last few few percentages as they were ticking off, since my job was now relegated to a simple tank and spank. I knew our healers were in overdrive considering no one was watching their debuffs anymore, so I popped all my CDs to give them a little breathing room. And before I knew it, I called out 0% and she fell over! We all took screen shots.

At that point we had 20 minutes to clear either plague or blood wing before our priest turned into a pumpkin (parental controls locks her out of the game at midnight, server time). We hurried over to plagueworks. I've never had so much fun kiting Rotface's oozes or smelling Stinky's decimate, knowing that when we finish the rest of the bosses tonight (and fortunately the rest of the bosses are safely on "farm"), we're going to be facing down Lichy himself.

It's a very exciting time, and I look forward to finally tanking the Lich King.

Thank you again for this post.