Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Positively Progressing!

As you may have read in my last post, lots of changes have happened recently in our guild. Hence, my long silence. Let me focus for now on our post-2.4 progress (it's easiest to remember).

*zul and I were mostly absent last week, though we did sub in on a couple of raids when we had freed up from our real life commitments and others needed to leave. Our guild has turned its focus to Al'ar, particularly since the changes to Void Reaver in 2.4. Besides, if we could down Al'ar, then we could stop having to reclear his trash every time we head into the instance. Last week, we made some solid progress...getting him to 9% (then he enraged and we all died), then 7%, then 6%, then 4.5%. This week, no questions asked, he was going to die!

However, Monday nights (the start of our official raid week), we cleared Gruul's then Mag and then some of us continued on for a full clear of Kara. This was actually my first time killing Mag (though my guild had done it before without me). Our Kara clear was the fastest ever (at least since we started timing it) - 2:27.

Last night, we headed into Al'ar with victory on our minds. We had gotten him lower than ever before and he simply wasn't going to live one more night. We also had fewer healers than ever before - down to 6 on this attempt (we have had as many as 8). We had a couple of botched attempts at first, but finally, with all but one of us standing at the end of the fight (although two battle rez's were used during the fight), Al'ar fell! Woot! We had FINALLY killed that annoying bird! And we still had lots of time left in the raid!

So what else but to head off to Solarian, who we had never killed before either! We had about two attempts, I think, while folks got used to what it looked like to "be the bomb". Incidentally, I was never the bomb - only the one who got blown up! On our third or fourth attempt (it's really a very easy fight), this happened:

Yay! That's two first kills in one night! And lots of DKP for Deressy! Nothing dropped that she wanted, but other folks got some nice loot!

And tonight you ask? What's on the agenda? Why...Kael, of course!

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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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