Bring it SSC!

Last week, my guild (Dooms Assailants) made our way back into the depths of Serpentshrine Caverns (SSC). Our first attempt at this 25-man was the week before. We downed the trash mobs, learning the pulls all of the way up to the bosses. We skipped Hydross (the first boss) because he requires all four tanks to have resist gear. The main tank must have full Frost Resist, the off tank must have full Nature Resist, and two other OTs must have a combination of the two (half frost, half nature). The first boss we attempted was The Lurker Below. He’s an interesting fight. Before I get into that however, let me give you an idea of what SSC even looks like.

When you enter SSC you must take an elevator way down under the Coilfang Resevoir in Zangarmarsh. Once you are down, you will see a large room, held over nothing but water. Now, this water is littered with fish mobs that will tear you to pieces if you are one of the unlucky few to take an accidental dive into the depths. If that happens to be you, your raid members will laugh and make fun of you, all night long. There is only one way to go in SSC, and that is forward. You literally make your way across scaffolds that keep you above the water. On these scaffolds there are six groups of mobs that must be killed. When they do, the water below heats up to a boiling temperature, and all of the fish will die. You must then jump into the water, taking 500 damage a second, and swim to the center. There you will find a circle of wood floating. This, is where you fight Lurker.

Lurker
Lurker

You need someone with 375 fishing to fish in the center of the circle. That is how the Lurker is summoned. The idea of the fight is to have him tanked in the water so that the Lurker doesn’t knock the tank back. Every so often he will do a spout attack where he blasts water from his mouth and moves in a circle. The raid needs to hop into the water so that they are completely submerged. If you are under the water, you will not get hit by the spout. If you do get hit, you will most likely die and be tossed across the entire room. He also will submerge himself in the center of the water. When this happens, a group of mobs will attack the raid from all sides. The raid needs to split up in groups, tank, CC and burn down these mobs. When the Lurker comes back to the surface the MT must grab aggro once more, and the fight continues. That is the entire strategy in a nut shell.

 
Needless to say, we wiped on this guy for an hour before calling the raid. So, Lurker still lives in DA’s book. The next week however our tanks had all of their resist gear, so instead of passing Hydross, we decided to stick it out and attempt him. Hydross is a large water elemental. Around him circle smaller elementals that hit hard but can be burned down quickly with AOE. There are banners on either side of Hydross, a bit in front of him. When he crosses these banners, he switches element, from Frost, to Nature. Every time he passes the banners he also summons four small elementals that will be of the element that he is at the time of their summon. The idea is to have the Frost resist tank to tank

Hydross down
Hydross where he is. The OTs with half Frost, half Nature have to gather the adds and place them directly under Hydross where they can be AOEd down. Once they are dead, all dps on Hydross. Now, as time goes on, Hydross places a debuff on the tank that will eventually cause the tank to take 250% damage. Before that happens, the raid needs to stop dps and run to the other side of the banners. Once there, the tank brings Hydross across. Once over, he switches elements, drops aggro, and summons four more adds. At this time, the Nature resist tank must grab Hydross and the other OTs have to once again get the adds under Hydross for a quick AOE. Once down, all dps on Hydross again. He will begin placing that debuff on the tank and the raid must stop dps, move to the other side of the banners, allow the tank to bring Hydross across, and then he becomes Frost element again. From here on out, the fight is rinse and repeat. I am proud to say though, that after three attempts, DA downed Hydross! 

So now that we’ve downed Hydross, the next step is obviously to kill him again. But, once he bites the dust this week, we will move on to Lurker. Woot! Wish us luck.

Phrixus’s first Kara run

This past Friday I was able to run Karazhan for the first time with my guild. I had been looking forward to this for quite some time now. When I first started on this new realm, it was my sole intention to get a toon to 70 and for the first time raid. That is one of the reasons I went with Gitr and started all over again with my current and only 70 Warlock, Phrixus. Now, I realize I could have found a guild on one of the many other realms that I have high level toons on, but this guild is different. I have fun when I log in and look forward to talking to the people in the guild. That to me means a lot. (unashamed guild plug: Dooms Assailants on US:Silvermoon:PVE)

For my first ever Kara run, I have to say I think it went well. There was only one wipe all the way up to Prince, and that one was just bad luck on our part. The Raid consisted of 3 Druids, 3 Warlocks, 1 Pally, 1 Priest, 1 Hunter, and 1 Warrior. I was given the sole job of applying Curse of Weakness or Curse of Tongues, depending on the mob. Well that and causing mad DPS. From what the damage meter said the few times it went up, was that I was 3rd or 4th on DPS all night.

The Opera Event and the Chess Event were my favorite parts. Both were unique and just fun to do. Though I learned a valuable lesson, don’t talk to NPC’s unless you know what will happen. Yeah I kind of started the Opera event without everyone being ready. Yeah I was that guy. No harm though, we got the Wizard of Oz event and just wrecked it.

The end of the raid though did not go so well. We wiped 4 times on Prince, and with that we called it a night. I am not really sure what went wrong, but there was hope. We were supposed to try again on Saturday, to no avail though. Only half of the people showed up for the retry, so it was called off. The whole thing took about 4 hours and there were some long breaks in the raid to boot. I was able to get to very nice pieces of gear. The Nethershard Girdle and Boots of Foretelling, I guess it helps that I was the weakest geared player there. No biggie though, there is always next Friday and believe me, now that I have had a taste of the good stuff, (i.e., shiny purples) I plan to try to raid as much as I can.

Raid Was a Bust; Members Fined With /gkick

Gitr went on the raid Friday night, but life has been too busy to report back. Now is a good time, but I don’t have time to get into all my details about dumping Alchemy and hitting 300 Engineering or getting up to 8k honor and having enough BG marks to get an epic when I get the honor it takes. You’ll have to come back for that. I just realized I didn’t send the screenshots to my Gmail account this morning, so this will be sans Kara screens. Sorry ’bout that.

I got to the raid an hour late due to commitments. My late arrival was planned upon, but not the pally and priest who just decided to not show up. Runnik spent the next hour getting those spots filled, and got a priest from another guild while they waited for me to OT because they were still down a healer and our Arms/Fury warrior apparently refuses to tank.

As I logged in, they cheered and then immediately boooed when the priest sent Runnik a /w and said she had to go raid with her guild. They were screaming at her. We tried to persuade her to stay and offered her a permanent spot on Team 2. I believe she is considering it for this week.

After another hour of searching, we finally got another healer who was both properly specc’d and not saved to another instance. Morons. For some reason, which (judging by the amount of cussing on Vent) infuriated the members of Team 1, there were always 2-3 people per pull that could not get it in their heads that you need to hug up against the spectral chargers to prevent the… Charge! Every friggin’ pull was a near-disaster. By the time we got to Attumen and I pulled Midnight for off-tanking, a charger… Charges! in and knocks me on my keester.

So there I am, tanking a boss and a 71 Elite at the same time. That is, until the heals didn’t come because the charger feared my healer. We spent another 45 minutes fighting our way back to Attumen and trying to slip in on a good time for the respawns, but the timing was never right. We never got all the way back before everyone was either totally broken or under 15% armor.

Our dps warrior declared the raid a bust to the raid and left. Then he told the guild in nice green letters that the raid was a bust and basically said that Team 2 sucked. Runnik and our MT had had enough. This was his last straw from a number of offenses, and they kicked him then and there, before we even got out of the instance. Within 30 minutes, our guildie healer was doing some talking and got herself kicked and banned from the forums. Yesterday when I logged in, I noticed our member count was down about 16 toons. I asked if there was an exodus or a mass-kicking. It was the latter.

The leadership had finally reached a boiling point with people being impatient with the second team, forgetting that they had progressed very slowly through Kara themselves. I heard stories of entire nights of wipes, but no one put them down. Now the Team 2 members are surrounded by a supportive group of people. Progress will probably be delayed a little, but it’s a much nicer environment now.

Looking For Guild…

Skychaser at 60This weekend I came to a rather sad conclusion. The guild I’m in is going nowhere. They’re all great people, good pvp’ers and very helpful – but they’re going nowhere. By nowhere, I mean they’re not going to be progressing past the Outland 5 mans. Individuals in the guild might see Kara, but it will only be because at some point down the road, they’re going to attune themselves and jump to a different guild. Beyond that? Forget it. Right now – I have good money that says more than half of them will never hit 60 – much less 70.

Now in the past, this wouldn’t have bothered me in the slightest. For the two years or so that I have played this game I have been an unabashed master of ALTs. *Progression* was a dirty word for me and the skum-sucking bastards that left guilds in order to do more end-game were the worst sort of WoW-player imaginable. Now, after all this time and all the drama-dragons and end-game bashing I’ve experienced, I find myself in a particular quandary.

The coin has been flipped. My alts languish, my main levels at a dizzying rate. I want to raid.

Progression. I crave progression. I want to sheath my Warlord’s Bludgeon in the brain-pans of instance bosses, I want to breathe the rarefied air of the places only a small percentage of WoW players go, I want to be a champion of the naru and to stand, calm and proud in T6 gear while mongoose enchants flicker and spark off of paired epic battle-hammers.

Seriously though, I’d just be happy if I could get my guild-mates off of their alts long enough to get through Slave Pens.

I know the life of a raider isn’t what it’s all cracked up to be. The guild infighting, waiting for slots to open up in a run, gear drama, dkp, wipes, repair bills. Worse it probably also means that my enhancement Shaman will have to retire his matched battlehammers and replace his +STR and +AP gear with +Healing a shield and a kilt of flowery-heals. But I’m ready for it.

I’m sure a lot of it has to do with the fact that I’m in the military and that I’m going to deploy this year. I will spend a good 9-12 months with no WoW at all. This time constraint coupled with my ALT-itis going into remission seems to have galvanized me. I have goals – I want to run instances. I want to progress. This sudden focus has caused me to look at the game and the guild I’m in with new eyes.

The irony alone is enough to make anyone who knows me to /snork a little. Most of them know me from my time helping found and *build* an Alliance guild that is currently running two full time teams in Kara and progressing through Zul’Aman. They will progress further. It’s just a matter of time. I raided with this crew back in the pre-BC days and enjoyed it as much as someone that would rather be on their alt possibly could. In the end, I moved on – they were focused – I was not. If I were willing to go back to my Alliance toons and finish leveling them I know I’d have a raid slot on their B-team. I know the company would be good and the drama minimal.

But I’m Horde at heart. I’ve committed a lot of time and effort to leveling my Shaman and continue to chug along, my current guild tag still in place. Every night I try to schedule an instance. We have enough mid 60’s that we could be running a myriad of Outland’s plentiful 5-man dungeons – but we rarely do. My favorite druid healer has rediscovered her troll-hunter and is pew-pew-pewing in Alterac Valley. The rest of the guild are either folks that just can’t seem to get out of the 30-39 bracket, or they’ve shelved their higher level toons in favor of grinding battleground rewards in 10-19 Warsong Gulch. Our guild leader has been benched at 59 fully intent on gathering both warlord’s 1-H swords and the full epic pvp armor set before heading into Outlands. He’s been at it for about three weeks now. I fully expect him to start (another) alt either halfway through this work, or immediately upon achieving his goal. He’ll never tank or off-tank an instance with us.

The most bitter pill to swallow in all of this is that each of these players is me. They’re doing things I’ve already done. Just because I’m suddenly all bug-up-the-butt concerned with raiding and running instances doesn’t mean they need to change their game to suit me. It also means that I know how little luck I’m going to have in trying to get (any) of them to follow a schedule. I’ve tried. When go-time comes around the players that committed to the run are nowhere to be found. One or two show up late and are obviously hesitant when I shoot them an invite. No, no – our healer hasn’t logged in yet. Yeah – go ahead and play on your ALT – I’ll let you know when she logs on and we can go.

Normally, I end up pugging the instance – or having to forgo it altogether. The necessary team-members either never show up or show up so late that it’s obvious they never intended to go in the first place. Lately, when I try to schedule a run, my queries are met with silence. It’s that nasty silence – the kind you get when your newest level 15 recruit is crying on guild chat for someone to run them through Wailing Caverns. Everyone heard you – and everyone is feigning afk in hopes you’ll just go away.

Part of me figures I just need to relax. Spend the next few months finishing the drive to 70 (not much longer now) and play casually until the deployment hits. After all, the game will be here when I return and there are *other* things to do besides WoW. Another part of me wants to at least get a shot at running some regular instances with folks that know what they’re doing. I don’t need the perfect tabard and I’m not particularly worried about dkp. In fact – I can even forgive a really pretentious Latin guild name if it means that I can clear Underbog and Slave Pens together in one night.

So give me grief, call me a faithless guild jumping hypocrite that’s getting exactly what he deserves. Who knows, you might even be right. But until then, I’m looking for some guildies that know how to finish what they start and who can keep even the most minimal of schedules. I’ve been in plenty of fly-by-night “family friendly casual raiding guilds” and know that most of them (are) family friendly and (aren’t) raiding guilds. A the same time I doubt I can commit to the brutal schedules of the hard-corp raiders.

If you are:

  • Horde
  • Raid 3 nights a week between 8-12 CST
  • Not Ass-Hats
  • Need an enhancement shammy or even a (cough) resto shammy … Heck – I even have a 65 warrior that I could toss in on the bargain

Give me yell. We can tear stuff up together.

Gitr’s Top Posts According to Google

I have my list of popular posts in the sidebar, but that isn’t what is drawing the traffic at this point. Almost 80% of my traffic is coming from Google searches, so I obviously have some cornerstone articles that are bringing in the traffic to answer peoples’ questions. Here are the top posts according to the Google search clicks: [Read more…]