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.

Keyed for Karazhan

Last night saw Gitr through the super long, 18 wave fight in Black Morass with 3 guildies and an orphan Holy paladin in CoT. It was a trial by fire, and I didn’t even know it. I’d been getting along swimmingly with one of the veteran mages in the guild, Pandara, and he was more than happy to come along to get me keyed for Friday’s milestone walk into Kara.

It was a great time for me MTing the instance with such powerful dps in the ranks (Hunter, Mage, and dps Shammy) to rip aggro away from me. The most that happened most of the time, was an occassional turn to the shammy that I taunted right back, followed by a Revenge and a couple of sunders. Being a Fury/Prot spec definitely met me with some challenges, but most of them were my own dealing with how I had my spells on my toolbars. I need to re-arrange things tonight or tomorrow before the raid.

Dark Portal done

The thrills started when Pandara ripped aggro one time and the Rift Lord shot right for him and killed him. Today I found out that one time he rocked my world by accident… that time, he did it on purpose to see what I’d do. It was not until today that I became aware that Pandara is Bp’s alt. The significance there is that Bp is our MT for Kara Team 1 and Team 2… at least until I get geared for Team 2. After that, I have no idea what Runnik’s plan is, but Bp said I have no worries about Friday, even as an OT build, and that he’d be making me do a couple of pulls to get used to taking the reigns.

Outside Kara

To recap yesterday, I got over 2k Honor, 4 BG marks, 30 Engineering points to 261, got the shoulders off of Aeonus (Pauldrons of the Crimson Flight), and got completely keyed for Karazhan. Boy did I sleep well.

Key Fragment #1: Check

Last night, I was joined by my fellow warrior guildie, Alaron, for a PuG through SL for Gitr’s first key fragment. It was an unusually quiet night for the guild with only 4-5 of us on all evening, so I was thankful to have one comrade.

He was leader and explained the fights I had not experienced yet quite accurately and successfully. We didn’t wipe until our first attempts on each of the last two bosses, but alas, no tanking loot dropped.

I was neglegent in e-mailing myself the screenshots this morning because I simply fell asleep at my desk after I got out of the shower and my wife had to wake me up to go to work. Maybe staying up until 1:30 in SL had something to do with it…

We had a very durable group, which made it much nicer than constantly rezzing the squishies. We had Gitr at MT, Alaron as dps, a ret shammy, a holy pally, and a hunter of unknown spec. My final screenshot showed me taking 38% of the damage, if my memory serves me correctly. I was at 50% until the wipes began. I was dead for nearly the entire last fight when the Sonic Boom and The Bomb were in the same area and I had no idea what to do about that.

What last night did was really instill the confidence to tank for a raid that my recent (and historical for that matter) experiences with PuGs weren’t feeding me. When the group pays attention and has a vested interest in getting to the very end, it’s amazing how much better a run goes. I almost can’t remember the feeling of raiding with 39 others for a common purpose, but I’m halfway to experiencing Kara, which sounds like it’s totally PuGgable on Silvermoon at this point.

I’ve seen several guildies in Kara on non-raid nights, so what are the odds of getting in on a LFG request for Kara as a MT/OT? I’ve been included on the Team 2 Kara raid for Friday nights, so we’ll see if I get to play next Friday.

Patch 2.3 Opens New Doors for Level 70 Raiders and Non-Raiders.

Patch 2.3 Badge ChangesMost people know how badges work, and if you didn’t here’s a quick “readers digest” version on what they are and what they’re used for.

Ever since the release of the Burning Crusade, level 70s have been able to run heroic instances in Outlands (if of course they’re revered or higher with the instance’s faction.) In these heroic instances 5 level 70 players are given the opportunity to try their skills for upgraded armor and badges. Every boss in heroic instances drops only level 70 gear (the final boss dropping one epic item and a primal nether) and Badges of Justice, which are used to purchase epic items (and a primal nether for 10 badges) from an NPC in Shattrath’s Terrace of Light named G’eras.

Outlands gear at 70 is *nice*, but pretty much pales to the drops from Karazhan. Also, it’s not easy to get enough badges required to get all of the items you could use from G’eras when all you would get was 3 badges in all heroic instances except for heroic Mechanar (in which case you got 5).

Now though, Blizzard has made it easier to get that epic gear that G’eras has to offer by allowing badges to drop from all bosses in Karazhan and the newly opened Zul’Aman (some bosses drop more than one badge that can be picked up by every player in the raid). But wait! That’s not all! Blizzard also introduced new badge loot that rivals and at times beats out gear from Karazhan and Zul’Aman. Now that raiders can get badges from these two 10-mans it won’t be unheard of for each player to receive 20+ badges per week, without stepping a foot into a heroic instance at all. With this new way to receive loads of badges Blizzard decided to give the new gear a very high price tag compared to the previous epics. The cheapest items (which are Librams, Idols and Totems) are 20 badges and the gear gets more and more expensive capping out at 75 badges for the best items.

Although most raiders benefited from badge system thus far, Blizzard didn’t forget to help the non-raiders out as well. Remember those heroic instances? Well, with Patch 2.3’s release it became possible for players to run heroics with only an honored reputation for that particular faction. All in all it’s a win-win for raiders and non-raiders alike. I know for non-raiders the easiest way to get epics is battlegrounds (Season 1 arena gear can now be purchased with honor points!) and arena teams, but especially for players such as Moonkin druids (who aren’t usually considered for raids) this new badge system benefits them the most (a lot of the new leather gear for example is balance druid gear). Either way, if you raid or if you enjoy the freedom to actually go out weekend nights, Patch 2.3 has something for you.