Friday, February 22, 2008

Lurker Down

I find myself starting post after post, but then getting busy farming, raiding or just plain chatting with folks in my new guild, and hence I have many partially completed, but mostly abandoned, posts.

I'm going to aim for a bit less detail in order to get some updates on the site. On Wednesday, we made our first foray into SSC. We really beasted through the trash - very little problems at all. We were pretty shocked when, only moments after the first bobber hitting the pool, Lurker came flying out of the water - we had been prepared to wait even as long as 20 minutes. We made several attempts on Lurker, but it was taking us time to get down the timing of things and adapt to the fight. On our best attempt, we got him to... 2%. Dang, we should have had him :( He only had about 200,000 health left at that point. A couple more attempts, but folks were tired and we decided to hold off for the next night.

On Thursday we went back in - had trouble all the way in. Silly deaths on trash, really sloppy work. But we made it in to Lurker and got him down on about the third attempt. We had a few folks with us that had missed the night before, but all in all, it was really fun and a great way to end the week of raiding... almost.

It was too late to go start on Void Reaver, so a few of us decided to run Kara - a speed run through. Apparently this guild has pretty much always run 3 healers in kara. My friend Mondas (yay, he and Cianna were some of many that came over from Asgard recently) had put up a little challenge on our guild forums and got our MT really itching to try a run through with only two healers. Mondas and I went in. We had a great time - and full-cleared. It should have been in about 3 hours, but we had a couple of issues on Nightbane and it ended up being a 3.5 hour clear instead. Oh well, next time will be faster.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

To Rez or Not to Rez

Essy was in Kara recently with a druid healer and a boomkin and began pondering the timing/use of battle rez's. Of course, playing a resto druid, I'm subject to all sorts of second-guessing, though I do try not to. In the three boss fights we did (with more than one attempt on two of the bosses), not a single battle rez was thrown.

This got me to thinking about the all-too-valuable battle rez (BR) and how/when I use it. I was certainly surprised that neither of the druids in that group used the rez, particuarly as it would have been well-spent, at least on one or two of the fights.

Now that the BR has a 20 minute cooldown (instead of the previous 30 minutes), you can theoretically throw 3 an hour per druid, which is effectively (at least in lower level raids), one per boss fight.

There are clear times when you wouldn't use a rez:

- when you are clearly going to wipe, even if you use the rez
- when it is clear you will down the boss in very short order and you have enough dps/tank/heals (with the CD, better to save it for the next fight)
- when you are fighting Shade of Aran and he does flame wreath (note on this one that you CAN rez, but the person should not accept until flame wreath is over - otherwise it counts as someone moving and you wipe)
- when you are fighting trash and almost to a boss fight. I find it is better to save the BR for the boss fight rather than waste it in a trash fight

When you *should* use a rez is a little less clear, but nonetheless important. It certainly can be subjective. Here are a few of the things I look for in making that decision:

- what percentage health is the boss? The lower his percentage, the more likely you're going to kill him - and the extra dps could make a difference in getting it done
- healer goes down. If a healer goes down and you're not clearly in a wipe situation, that person will nearly always get my BR.

On a separate note, whether to BR a tank is entirely dependent upon the situation. In some fights (like Prince), the tank will probably never be able to get threat back. In others, not only will he, but someone else can tank in the meantime until he's up and his health is back. In fact, last night in Mag's (that attempt still ended with a wipe, but it was a really good try), our main tank went down. One of the other tanks grabbed him, so I BR'd the main tank and he managed to get threat back rather quickly. Our problem in that fight was more with everyone being so knocked off balance by our MT's death, that we missed the next click when a dps or two died.

I'm sure I've left lots of other situations out, but these are some of the main elements in deciding whether to use by BR. If you have other things to add, I'd encourage you to mail me or comment.

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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Gruul's and Mag's

So, a lot has been happening lately. On Tuesday, Deressy went to Gruul's Lair for the first time with Distant Beliefs. Her only other attempt there had ended rather quickly so this was her first time to see anything beyond the High King. We had a couple of minor wipes, but downed both Gruul and High King! Woot! Since she wasn't part of the guild, she wasn't able to roll on the T4 gear that dropped (others were wanting it), but she did manage to pick up Cowl of Nature's Breath, which was a very nice upgrade for her.

Tonight she headed into Magtheridon's Lair. This was a progression run - her second time into Mag's (both times with Distant Beliefs). The first time was really not very successful - we had a hard time with the clicking, the staying alive etc. Tonight, the Raid Leader was trying a new strategy - 8 healers. I lost count of the number of attempts we made, and don't really want to count 2 of them at all; not once, but twice, someone right clicked a warlock to start the event - when not everyone was ready or even in the room. If you total up my durability loss for the night, I'd be somewhere around -80%.

We did, however, get better and better with each run. Our best attempt had him down to 10% - unfortunately, we lost a bunch of people to cave-ins and then some folks missed clicking their cube (likely because they were dead), and it ended up our tank and offtank (both pallys) trying to kill him and stay alive. We'll be trying it again on Tuesday, so I'm quite looking forward to that.

Now, I don't use damage or healing meters at all - have always been a bit concerned about people focusing more on the meter rather than on what's best for the raid. But twice last night, I had one of the other healers whisper me to let me know I was 'catching' him on the meter - later I found out I ran second in every fight. Not sure if that's good or bad - I was on raid healing though, so it's no surprise I'd have high heal numbers. What I don't know, and would have like to have seen, is how much of that was overheal. Oh well...maybe if I can find a semi-reliable and very non-intrusive meter, I'll install it.

On a separate note, after a very long and difficult process, *zul and I decided to leave our guild and join Distant Beliefs. We really loved Asgard and the people in the guild, which made this decision even more difficult. However, given some real life issues which may limit our time playing this game, we felt as if we would progress more and see more end game content by making a move. Everyone at Asgard has been incredibly encouraging - I can't recommend that guild enough if you are on Runetotem looking for a guild. They've also picked up one of my favorite resto druids - and one who I learned a lot from (grats, Asgard and Mondas).

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