So, my guild leader wrote a book, and another one of my guildies illustrated the cover! He’s asked me to take a look at it and write about it to raise awareness. It’s hard to write something coherent and cohesive in the first place let alone something over a couple pages, so he deserves at least that! Here goes.
My guild finally achieved its most sought-after goal, the defeat of Garrosh Hell
derpscream. We beat him in flex, which I was present for:
And in normal, which I was not. (I suspect this maaaay have something to do with why they succeeded!) The raid team has now elected to start working through the heroic version of Siege, which is a goal that frankly scares the ever living sheeyit outta me. I don’t mind heroic content when it’s “OLD old,” like heroic Mogu’shan Vaults or even heroic Dragonsoul. After all, Bombelina’s outgeared that stuff to the point where her item level literally compensates for my ever present derp mechanisms. (ToT is probably still scary, though.)
Maybe it’ll be kind of like normal raiding, where I eventually get used to the concept and manage to derp around decently. Or maybe I’ll just freak out and drop dead the moment Immerseus the Heroic looks me in my tiny goblin eyes, because OMFG normal is hard enough, Jeebus Tapdancing Cripes. Take the Klaxxi Paragons fight, for example. Since the regular raiders are of course REGULAR at this, they got the Official Kill Order memorized. Welp, I don’t. It’s more of a “TELL ME WHICH THING TO SHOOT AND I’LL SHOOT IT” thing for me. Or during the Garrosh fight, let’s say we need to go left at all times to avoid the Desecrated Weapon, EXCEPT WHEN x, y or z happens. But because I haven’t really practiced going RIGHT when z happens, well … I go left, since
left is habit I’m left-handed, which means left is OBVIOUSLY the better direction.
TL:DR summary: Basically, I think I need a lot of work before I’m remotely helpful in heroic. Getting rid of my last pieces LFR gear would be nice, of course, but I’m thinking more along the lines of practice at doing things like “not dropping Siegecrafter Blackfuse’s sawblades into the group AND not standing in the damn sawblades once they land.” Or running the same direction as everybody else instead of the opposite (I always do that because the opposite was closer). When it comes down to it, I do die in normal, but sometimes I live too, and this gives me hope that maybe there could be more living.
I just don’t want them to have to carry my 100% useless corpse any more than they already do.
And the completionist in me is like, HENRY CLAY FRICK*, I haven’t killed normal Garrosh myself yet! I want to do THAT!
* So, Henry Clay Frick was apparently a gigantic jerk in his day, and his name STILL makes for great cursing. It’s like when your parents refer to you by your full name because you are in Serious Trouble, but BETTER, because you are going to CAUSE the trouble. For everyone.
When we first entered the area where we would fight Siegecrafter Blackfuse, I felt amazement because OMFG PIPES AND THINGS! At last, I had found something cooler than a big evil cavernous hole in the ground filled with fire and angrypants crazyass orcs!
Because this was the first time I’d been in this fight, I automatically suffered a bad, bad debuff to my critical reasoning, spatial awareness and overall level of comprehension, mostly because I was too busy taking screenshots and freaking out about all the things. The raid had the good sense not to put me on the conveyor belt team (because belts move and stuff happens, duh), so all I had to deal with was the crap on the main floor.
As a result, the fight seemed quick. Easy, even! Well, unless you count the lines. At one point, folks started to tell me not to stand inside the yellow lines, but I didn’t see any yellow lines to stand outside of. Nope, thanks to my color settings, I saw orange lines. Given the debuff mentioned above, it is probably no surprise that I thought orange lines CLEARLY could not be the yellow lines my teammates mentioned. No, there must be yellow–yellow lines that I’m not seeing! Must look for yellow lines, need to be on the lookout for yellow lines! Turns out that they ARE the same (duh #2), and if you stand inside the lines, you’ll get machined into a million pieces by sixty billion drill bits from the depths of hell. Whoops!
Para-gones of the Klaxxi
See wat I did thar!? The Klaxxi were generous to Electrika and gave her the leg token for the tier, as well as a dagger on roll. THANK GAWD, is all I got to say. She was previously using Amun-the-heck-is-this-thing (I mean, WTF? An intellect fist weapon?) and do you know how few good fist weapons there are to mog!? Beyond that, most of what I remember from this fight is “lsa;fdkjas;lfkjas;lfj bugs.” I guess they have different abilities and crap. One even likes math! Still, they’re trying to kill me! Somebody get the Raid! SEE WAT I DID THAR AHAHAHA
Okay fine stopping now.
A cut here for the people who care, since this is like, THE MEANING AND CLOSURE AND STUFF of the expac.
Quoth Blizzard, emphasis mine:
“Players who stuck around after the completion of the Dark Heart of Pandaria scenario may have had some inkling that they would be facing off against Malkorok someday in the near future. This is our ‘Patchwerk-style’ boss of the zone, though of course he does have a couple more mechanics than Patchwerk did.“
So there’s this lovely Ancient Miasma thing Malkorok’s got that prevents healing from actually restoring HP, and instead converts it into an absorb shield. This stuff has a taste reminiscent of asbestos and turns all healers into wannabe Disc priests, whether they actually wanna be or not. Ancient Miasma also renders me absolutely terrified of having to do something other than DPS down in the Underhold, because there’s no way what have I done to deserve this I don’t understand. I mean, what does Blizzard want from me? To think and heal at the same freaking time? I can’t multitask like that unless it’s panic and coffee!
When we first dabbled in the fight on Normal mode, Ancient Miasma + ALL THE OTHER SHEEYIT HALP was like a cancer of instadeath. While I can’t say that we cured cancer or removed asbestos from the world in general, we did finally master the use of Ancient Miasma in Flex mode (well, mostly). Ancient Miasma builds a shield that has three levels of strength, indicated by a single buff/debuff square that’s up on your screen with all the rest of the damn squares you always have. (Why hasn’t DBM built in a magic sensor or summary box thingie yet?) Generally speaking, if your shield is on low and you try to soak one of the Imploding Energy purple swirlies or get caught in something else, it’s been nice knowing you.
For me, at least, the most annoying thing was the Arcing Smash + Breath of Y’shaargh combo. Arcing Smash of course hurts like hell, but that’s not really the problem. No, the problem is that you have to remember what three sections of the symmetrical, circular platform have last been hit by Arcing Smash, because if you are standing there when Malkies uses the Breath of Y’shaat, you are effed. There is no indication of what area’s been affected, so you literally have to rely on your already overtaxed brain to keep track.
LFR IS DOOMED. DOOMED, I TELL YOU.
I have to say that even though I’ve seen it before by now, I still don’t like the “Coalesced Turmoil” name for the bag you get when you fail to land loot. It doesn’t immediately scream “I’M A BAG OF GOLD” at you, so you mistakenly think that maybe you got a trinket called Coalesced Turmoil! It totally sounds like a trinkety kinda thing, doesn’t it? But no. Gold, and most of the time, it’s not quiiiiiiite enough for repairs. Man, if I could figure out why there’s an inverse relationship between my luck and my desire for luck, I’d win a Nobel prize. (p.s., EFF YOU MALKOROK. FIRST you don’t pay my fellow goblins in full, and THEN you turn out to be a cheapskate here too? GAWD.)
Next up was the Secured Stockpile of Pandaren Spoils. Quoth Blizzard, emphasis mine,
“It’s been a long time since we’ve made a Raid encounter that didn’t have a single conventional ‘boss,’ but the objective here is simply to shut down the security system before it blows you all up.”
First thought upon approach:
OOOH A THING MUST TOUCH
What you should actually do:
Don’t touch it.
First thought upon encounter beginning:
HOLY CRAP BOXES MUST OPEN THEM ALL OOOH OOOH OOOH
What you should actually do:
Don’t touch it.
Sadly, it’s not a good idea to have DPS open whatever box seems coolest at that particular moment, which broke my poor little goblin heart.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Kor’kron have the weirdest problems with boxing crap up. Usually, you’d consider it a great idea to make sure whatever is DEAD before you stuff it in a crate, but nobody apparently thought of that here. I do gotta say that this time, the Kor’kron habit of putting ONE THING per box actually works in our favor (unlike the stupid crashed resource caravans in the Barrens), since the things that are in the boxes are universally not dead enough until you kill them.
I hate this encounter because of all the unopened boxes, sitting there within reach, constantly tempting me to click on them and wipe us all. “Open me,” they whisper. “There could be loot inside! Okay, probably not, but you like opening things, right?” I DO. I LOVE OPENING THINGS.
And I love this encounter, because while I may not be allowed to open any of the boxes, this whole thing’s been engineered by my favorite race ever. So sheeyit be crazy! Yeah, you read that right – that particular instakill “Kills everyone, their friends, and distant family members in the immediate area.” So don’t bring your momma to raid, because when we goblins blow sheeyit up, we BLOW SHEEYIT UP. Mimiron’s Self-Destruct mechanism GOT NOTHIN’ compared to this.
It also happens in like four minutes. HAHAHAHAHA. Haha. Heh. … sheeyit.
I don’t really have a whole lot of screenshots of the Nazgrim fight, on either flex or normal. My memory of both is crystal clear despite that, so I can tell you with 100% accuracy that I set a new guild record for deaths in a single fight during the flex run. It was like, ADDS OGOD down went the dinky, derpy shaman! BUT SHE WAS NOT DEFEATED. Reincarnation! WAIT WHAT THE HELL HIT ME down she went again! But the guildies got her covered, so she’s up to fight once more with a Soulstone! But HOLY CRAP ADDS and she’s down yet again! After that, they had to leave me on the floor there.
So it was something of a miracle when this occurred in normal:
Yeah, it took me a minute to realize he was dead, so I was still mashing buttons like hell for a couple seconds afterwards. Upon figuring out that the fight was over, my train of thought was something like this:
I know, I think real hard when reacting instinctively.
So while everybody else was mourning deep mourns for an NPC with a long and respected career, there was a goblin experiencing zero grief who was just barely resisting the urge to dance because she was alive and she could.
Ever since I rolled my first character, I have been constantly trolled by stairs without rails, elevators that insist on going up or down at the exact wrong time, visual illusions that make me think there’s a floor where none exists, ledges that pop right beneath my feet, and the continued existence of the numlock key. The latter is troublesome because I will sometimes hit said key without realizing it, which subsequently causes me to freak the hell out about how I can’t stop my character from running forward what’s going on, and CRAP, there’s a cliff, SOMEBODY HELP MEEEE!
In fact, I’ve only beaten the gravity god once in all this time – there was that day when Mech lagged out of reality and started trippin’ in the Valley of Four Winds …
So it figures that the Siege of Orgrimmar would feature towers. Orcish towers, of course, much like the ones in use for the zeppelins. Clearly, orcs do not give a flip about architectural improvements or lawsuits over broken necks, because they didn’t add any rails to the stairs in these towers, either. SIGH.
The guild started methodically smashing through the raid already, so I was not present when they cleared everything up to Galakras. A couple of the regulars had to call off on this fateful, towerful* night, however, so I was summoned to heal. It’s funny – once upon a time, I would have considered my healing spec’s 510 gearscore to be amazingly hot sheeyit! But after listening to the raid discuss gearscores (520s was a definite must), I felt kinda like I was running into this battle wearing a pretty dress and not much else, just like Aethas Sunreaver. (Spoiler: HOLY CRAP, AETHAS SUNREAVER HAS A FACE.)
At first, I was on the “tower team.” This meant that whenever the raid leader said, “my team, let’s go,” I’d run like hell up the hill to the tower (hopefully AFTER somebody else). We’d then smack some orcs around and run up the stairs in order to take on the dude at the very top of the tower. Defeating him would let us wrest control of this tactically important feature for ourselves! That was the idea, at least.
In reality, where was the tower team’s healer? Ummmmm, well …
A.) Your healer fell down the rail-less stairs and had to run up a second time.
B.) Your healer got knocked the hell off the tower and plummeted to her doom. (What, you didn’t hear her screaming on Vent? The healer had the mic on mute, you say? Oh. Good.)
C.) That one time your healer got bounced off the tower but DIDN’T die on impact, she tempted fate by expressing her surprise. So she got shot up and THEN died.
D.) Your healer was really concerned about NOT getting knocked off the tower. Therefore, she was trying really hard to see the “don’t stand here” stuff on the ground that wasn’t there yet, so YOU died. Sorry.
E.) Obviously, gravity slows the casting of healing spells by a factor of four. That’s your healer’s story and she’s sticking to it.
F.) All of the above.
Correct answer: F.
So then they put me on the “ground team.” Basically, the ground team stays on the ground, which I bet you didn’t expect! They take on every opponent that comes down the path while preventing the Important NPCs from getting themselves killed, because if one of them goes down, everybody else spontaneously gives up and goes home.
Since gravity is SUCH a downer, you’d think that being on the ground team would be a great improvement for me. It was, sorta, since I no longer had to explain my inability to ascend a spiral staircase at a run. But it kinda sorta wasn’t, because then I had to explain my inability to stop standing in sheeyit. (“But it’s everywhere” isn’t considered an acceptable excuse.) Poison clouds got me sometimes, but my #1 biggest, most overwhelming issue was fire arrows.
I swear, it was like I was being constantly bombarded with the things. You’ll always take some damage from them, but you can avoid the rest of the damage by moving a bit. Seems like the obvious solution is to never stop moving! So, um, why’s the healer dead?
A.) I DON’T KNOW BUT IT HURT
B.) Spiritwalker’s Grace was on cooldown, so when they shot me in the face practically constantly and I had to keep moving, I couldn’t get any freaking heals cast on myself or on anybody else, and I got overwhelmed by the initial damage. Again.
C.) I tried to run away from some fire arrows, but then I ran into some poison instead. Again.
D.) Actually, I didn’t see what killed me that time either, but I’m pretty sure some fire arrows had something to do with it.
E.) All of the above.
Correct answer: E.
I felt bad for the other ground team healer, who was pretty much carrying the whole thing despite saying that he couldn’t solo heal it. I don’t know if it’s a lack of practice or what, but it’s like I just can’t make the right decision at the right time – hold still and finish casting this heal at the cost of eating some fire arrows? Avoid eating more fire arrows at the cost of not finishing the cast? Either way, this is going to hurt. Enough consecutive bad decisions and down you go. I WANT to live, it’s just that I don’t know HOOOOW.
Honestly, I don’t mind being backup. It means that I don’t always have to be there, which is good, since the guild raids on Pacific time. (I like shinies, but I also like sleep.) Being backup does have its challenges, though, because I will always have a lower gearscore and less experience. The lower gear means I have less oomph to my heals relative to the damage we’re taking, and the lesser amount of experience means that I move a fraction slower than would be ideal. These things aren’t always fatal, but in current raid content, that sliver of time can mean a lot – especially when it’s a lot of little unconscious hesitations that end up adding into a ton of damage.
* This is a totally legit way of describing things. Got a lot of towers? This place is towerful. Are the towers very important to the whole encounter? Those towers are towerful.
I admit it: I gave up on the Timeless Isle pretty fast. Actually, really fast. I would’ve given up on it even sooner if it hadn’t been for Cav, who insisted we kill some things and at least do some of the quests. It’s not a “I QUIT THIS FOREVER” sort of thing. As others have said, it’s a great way to gear alts, and Gawd knows I have a lot of them. It’s just that … there are problems. WRA is a high population realm, so what with the coalesced business and everybody and their mother being at the new Isle, I didn’t have a sense of “THIS IS AWESOME” so much as I had a feeling that was like, “holy crapbuckets, all the lag!” I had maybe 10 FPS at best. Elegon, is that you? Oh wait, no, there aren’t any sparkly star people around.
Problem number two: sure, seeing others in an MMORPG makes you think that the game’s still alive … I guess. It’s just that, there’s practically nothing left alive on this island … oh wait, there’s a yaungol right there! Nobody’s tagged it! I’ll kill that! Well, that turned into “OH CRAP FIRE HELP OW BAD,” especially when three more yaungol spawned right there and aggroed on me. I guess that’s why the yaungol are still alive but hardly anything else is.
Problem number three: HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING FROM THE COMMANDERS IN THE BARRENS, BLIZZARD!? For eff’s sake, I am SO SICK of trying to loot and having to wait for like two minutes while everybody else does the same, because “That object is busy.”
Problem number four: I am also sick of specialized currencies and charms and crap, enough so that I’d shove my Timeless Coins in somebody’s eyeballs if I could. You want how many of these damned things again? Oh, I’ll give them to you, all right. IN THE FACE.
So basically if I’m going to keep my sanity, I gotta wait until the place cools down and becomes less “OOOH SHINY NEW” to people. Or go there at like 6 a.m.
I’m quite behind on the legendary questline (hey, at least I got my 40 trillium bars even if I haven’t done anything with them yet), so I haven’t paid much attention at all to the latest and greatest installations of it. At least, not until all my guildmates started showing up with WEIRD SHINY WINGS. Crap, man, weird shiny wings! Now I GOTTA finish this. A cloak alone is like, eh, even if the item level IS really high. Insufficient motivation there. A cloak that gives you WEIRD SHINY WINGS, though? Oh yes, oh yes, I’m interested in that! (FYI, if you are a tree, your wings will be on sideways. Sorry.)
The guild started the flex raiding for funzies, and we pretty much facerolled the place until the third fight.
Immerseus: easy as hell on Flex, although probably a nightmare on normal mode. I really don’t like mechanics that force healers to heal NPCs (in this case, good, purified, innocent and happy blobs) in addition to their team. I feel like, what with the sheeyit-ton of damage a raid dishes out, healers got enough trouble to deal with without having to nurse some NPC back to full health. Give me more than 300k mana, and then maybe I’ll change my mind.
The Fallen Protectors: harder than Immerseus, but still not bad on Flex. I dread this fight on LFR, because you really do need to coordinate targets based on their HP, and Gawd knows that LFR’s not really all that hot at coordinating. In any case, we
wiped them all out uh, I mean, we released them from their suffering. Right. I know that I’m supposed to feel bad about what happened to the Golden Lotus. But I don’t. It’s possibly the goblin in me saying, “You had it coming” for all the times they tortured me.
One of the things I like about this guild is that one of our raid leaders is British, so you get to hear him give commands/curse/whathaveyou in what is possibly the best accent ever. Getting told to target This Thing or That One becomes twice as awesome when it’s said in a British accent, trufax.
Norushen Amalgam of Bad Things: Oh man, I do not look forward to this one on any mode ever. EVER. I really don’t know why they say you’re fighting Norushen here, as he just sticks you in a shiny box that he may or may not blow up if he determines that the Amalgam is Super Bad or something. You’re actually facing the Amalgam and the adds.
This fight comes down to holy crapbuckets, puddles of something somewhere are hurting us bad but where are the puddles!? CAN’T SEE AND WE’RE DYING. Also, there’s an enormous rotating death beam, which is slow (and that’s nice), but which also seems to pop randomly, sometimes on your head (and that’s bad). And adds. Lots of those. Oh, and for some reason you start off at 75% corruption, which reduces your DPS quite a bit …
You’ve gotta work out who soaks up the evil bad puddles of hurtiness, as well as who uses the shiny golden orbs to reduce their corruption. Reducing the corruption means you do more of whatever it is you do, as well as enabling healers/tanks to soak up said crap. We did get it down, but the fight was definitely a sudden stop to the facerolling party we had been having up to that point.
That said, Flex raiding is pretty much the difficulty I imagine “normal” ought to be. But my standards are low and I like things easier than most, because I really don’t get what’s attractive about wiping 20+ times to any particular fight just because of one stroke of bad luck here or one bad choice there.
[Edit! I want to add an illustration of bad luck.]
I got a shiny ring, and I almost cackled with glee – until I remembered that I have like, 900 gold total after my LAST round of reforging/reenchanting/regemming. It’s time to make all the alts donate every last spare piece of gold, man.