Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The First Forays into Naxxramas

I took my first steps into Naxxramas this week. It started out when my friend Essara invited me to off tank Naxx 25 for him. I repectfully declined, due to the fact that I didn't know the instance, and didn't feel confident in my gear. He directed me to, which is a great resourse, and told me to watch the kill videos there to familiarize myself with the fights. So I did. I took about an hour and burned through all 13 videos, begining with Anub'Arak and ending with Kel'Thuzad. This was on Sunday.

The next day, I logged on, and found one of my guild's major officers trying to pull together a group to finish off her Fall of Naxxramas achievement. Apparently the group had called it after wiping on Kel'Thuzad, and with the reset looming, she wanted to get it done soon. This was for Naxx10, and as I just had gotten my Bracers of the Herald from the Old Kingdom Heroic, and had my enchanter friend throw the Major Stamina enchantment on them, I felt more confident in my abilities. So I volunteered to serve as a tank for this down. We ported into Naxx, and ran up to Kel'Thuzad's chamber. The raid leader informed me that I was going to be serving as the MT on this kill. Kel'thuzad ten man is a fairly simple affair to main tank. The first phase consists of several adds while KT himself just sits on his throne and yells at us. The second phase is where I go to work. Kel'Thuzad comes down, and I have to pick him up and move him to the middle of the room. From there, for me, it's pretty much tank and spank. I have to be careful not to get too close to the melee DPS, because I might get chain frost tombed, but KT never actively targets the MT with his instant kills on ten man. At 40% health, there spawns two Guardians of Icecrown that the off tank has to pick up. Other than that, it's more of a check on raid waide healing and damage than any sort of coordination check.

We engaged KT, and burned through phase one. Kel floats down, and I pick him up. We start going to town on him. Kel'thuzad begins to throw around void zones, these red circles that explode a few seconds later, instantly killing whoever happens to be dumb enough to still be standing there. The very first void zone is spawned underneath a melee DPS, who swiftly moves out of the way. Then, from somewhere off the screen a warrior charges KT. He runs right into the void zone, and gets blown away. *Sigh* Thankfully, we brought the big DPS and heals for this try, so I'm barely ever not topped off, and KT is taking a hurting. I accidently wandered a little too close to a melee DPS, and got frost tombed, but I got big heals immediately, and we survived my mistake of the night. Kel'Thuzad drops down to 40% health, and the two guardians of icecrown spawn. I see one wandering across the top of the room, and watch as it locks aggro onto the healer. Where's the OT? I glance at the raid designations, and remember that idiot warrior who ran into the first void zone? Yeah, that's the OT. So I fire a taunt onto the Guardian to keep it from eating my healer. I pan around to try and see the other Guardian, and I notice that our hunter is kiting him expertly. Yay! Then the hunter misdirects onto me. So now I'm tanking Kel'Thuzad, and both adds. My healers are having heart attacks trying to keep me alive. Fortunately, the DPS kicks it into overdrive and burn Kel'Thuzad to the ground in short order. Our only casualties were the OT and a melee DPS who got frost tombed after I picked up the adds, and as such, the healers couldn't spare enough to keep him alive. No significant loot dropped for me, but it was nice to actually start getting some experience.

The next night, I was invited to off tank a PuG Naxx 10 by a friend of mine, a ret pally that I tanked 5 H HoL runs for while he tried to get his Colossal Skull Crusher from Loken. I thought it was a good idea to OT first to get some experience. So I accepted, and we started to pull the party together. I got one of the better healers on my friends list, a top notch Resto Shaman, to come heal, so I felt confident in the run. Then the raid leader brought in the guy he wanted to main tank the raid. Remember the OT on Kel'Thuzad who commited suicide 2 minuted into the fight, and left me to tank the Arch-Lich and two adds? He's back. /facepalm.

We start out in the arachnid quarter. Anub'Rekhan requires a lot of kiting. The MT does a good job kiting him, and I pick up the adds. We one shotted him, and I think maybe Kel'Thuzad was just a fluke, he's got better gear than I do, and he did a good job on that fight. We move on to Grand Widow Faerlina. I tank the followers and he tanked the widow. The fight went a little longer than it should have, we took a hard frenzy after the fourth follower was killer, but we one shotted her too. She dropped the Gloves of the Master, which I picked up. I check my recount, and I'm sitting at third on the DPS meter. I think the DPS might be a little sub par. We move on to Maexxna, Here's where thing get icky. Maexxna is a one tank fight, so I'm stuck acting as a DPS. The raid leader asked me to do my best to catch the spiderlings as they spawn. We engage, and the MT starts going to town on Maexxna. I go through my attacks, and make sure to drop a consecrate whenever the spiderlings drop. To my amazement, I start getting Omen warning immediately, so I scale back my DPS. I continue to drop consecrates on the spiderlings, and keep getting Omen warnings, despite simply autoattacking maexxna outside of the consecrates and seals of vengeance stacks. We wind up wiping on the hard frenzy at 30%, when Maexxna eventually web sprayed the MT, killed him, web sprayed me, killed me, and then proceeded to one shot the rest of the raid. I pull up the numbers on omen while running back, and can't believe what I'm seeing. the Main Tank was only pulling 1.3k threat per second. Suddenly I realized why the DPS numbers were low. We were threat capped. I talked to the raid leader about possibly taking over as MT to alleviate the situation, but he didn't want to have a first timer MTing his raid, so he declined. We wiped twice on Maexxna, before finally killing it on the third try. Maexxna dropped the Aegis of Damnation, which I picked up for my holy set.

We entered the Plague Quarter next. Noth the Plaguebringer was the first fight. My job was to pick up adds that spawn from the three piles of bones in three corners of the room. The Tankspot video detailed that the MT should tank Noth in the fourth corner, ensuring that all the adds are coming from the same direction. Our MT tanked him in the middle of the room. I had to range all over the place to grab the adds before they got to people. Oh well, at least it was good practice. We one shotted Noth, and moved on to Heigan the Unclean. Heigan is a movement fight. It's known in raiding circles as the safety dance. The room gets split into quarters, and only one quarter is safe at a given moment, and you have to run from corner to corner. I turned off Righteous Fury so I wouldn't pull aggro, and DPSed Heigan when I could, but mainly focused on not dying. We lost three people to the dance, but one shotted him as well. The final boss of the healing quarter is Loatheb. Loatheb is a check on snap healing. He projects a necrotic aura that suppressed all healing, save for a the second window every 20 seconds. He doesn't do much damage, but it builds up, and you really need all the DPS you can get on him. So I kept Righteous Fury off, and went to town on him. Thanks to the fungal creep buff, the DPS didn't have to worry about pulling aggro, and their numbers went up significantly. We got him down before the damage mounted too high. Loatheb dropped the helm of the corrupted mind, which gave me another piece for my holy set.

We began to push into the Construct Quarter. We began to make preperations to fight Patchwerk. Patch is a famed gear check. He's not hard to beat, but if you don't have the gear to do it, you're gonna get torn apart. The MT tells me that I need to make sure not to pass him on the aggro table. The MT might not be able to generate threat worth a damn, but he's got much better gear than I do, about 2k hp more and about 10% more avoidance. I told him that he should be taking the hatefuls, and the Raid Leader aggreed with me. I was freed from threat capping, for at least this fight. I pulled Patch, and went to town. The beautiful think about having a tankadin in your group is that Blessing of Sanctuary makes raid bosses an infinite mana/rage/RP situation. On a tank and spank boss like Patch, I can just spam my rotation, and watch the threat fly. Even the MT, taking Patch's hateful strikes, got his threat up. The MT's threat peaked at 3.4k TPS, which was enough to take the shackles off the DPS. My peak threat broke 8k TPS, and generally hovered around 6-7k. Patchwerk got burned to the ground. We moved on to Grobbulus. Grobbulus is another coordination fight, akin to Anub'Rekhan. The MT picks him up, and kites him around as he lays poison gas clouds down. Every once in a while, he'll spray green goo all over the place, and it'll coat anyone in front of him. From this spawns a fallout slime add that needs to be off tanked. It's prefferable not to have anyone in front of him save the MT to limit the number of adds. He also give a mutagenic injection to random players, this causes them to spawn a cloud of poison after a short period of time. This is a recipe for disaster for a group that can't coordinate themselves. Fortunately, despite his threat problems, our MT is a good kiter. Some of the DPS got in front of the boss, and caused several fallout slimes to spawn at times, but it was nothing I couldn't handle. Grobbulus dropped the Skull of Ruin. I was the only person who rolled on it. Oh, happy day! The rest of the raid congratulates me on my new shield, and just as the RL goes to loot it to me, the MT rolls. A 64 to my 62. It kind of hangs in the chat window. The raid leader isn't sure what to do, and winds up apologizing to me as he loots it to the MT. *sigh* Oh well, time to move on. We go on to Gluth. The MT falls through the hole in the pipe right before we jumped. Nice job. We regroup and jump back in. We wind up wiping twice. The MT complains about how he's been top aggro when all the decimates came. I guess he didn't know that it hits everyone. It's already 1AM by this point and the MT decides to take my shield and go to bed for the night. Some of the DPS contemplate calling the raid, but the raid leader finds us another MT. A fellow tankadin. We load up into the tube again, and take another swing at Gluth. The new MT puts up 6k TPS on him and times his taunts perfectly. We down Gluth over a minute before the enrage timer. The Slayer of the Lifeless drops. Well, At least I can get a better sword. I roll, then the new MT rolls. He beats me by one. He cites his Red Sword of Courage saying that it's an upgrade. I mention the fact that I'm still using the infantry assault blade, and he decides to graciously pass the loot to me. We move on to Thaddius. Thaddius is yet another coordination fight. There are two mini bosses before hand who have to be killed within five seconds of each other, they fight on two platforms, and they throw the tanks from one platform to the other every 30 seconds. It's a little disorienting, but it's managable. After you down them, you have to jump from their platform to Thaddius' platform. Thaddius gives every member of the raid a charge, either positive or negative, and you have to stand with like charged players. If you stand next to a player with a different charge, then you blow the raid up. We pulled it off flawlessly. Thaddius drops the Repelling Charge, which is a prime tanking trinket. I roll on it, then the MT rolls on it. I win. But seeing as the MT passed the Slayer of the Lifeless to me, I pass the Repelling Charge to him.

We enter the last quarter. The Military quarter. Instructor Razuvious is the first boss. At this point it's about 2:30 AM, and we can't really afford a wipe. The Raid Leader asks if I mind if he uses the mind control orb because he's done it before. I was fine with it. Things went well, the MCers worked cleanly, and Razuvious drops like a fly. We progress to Gothik the Harvester. Gothik is an interesting fight. It's kind of a preview for the Kel'Thuzad fight. The first phase is dealing with a bunch of adds. The twist here is that your raid is split into two sides. Live side and dead side. On live side, adds spawn first, and continuously on timed intervals. When those adds are killed, they create an undead counterpart on the other side that the other half of the raid needs to kill. After four and a half minutes of this, Gothik teleports to Live side. Then after a pre set amount of time, he teleports to dead side where the other half of the raid must pick him up. This is a fun boss to tank, because the constantly spawning adds keep it interesting for both sides. Gothik dropped... The Slayer of the Lifeless! The new MT got to have his cake and eat it too. He deserved it, he did a fantastic job. Once he came in, the raid DPS went up, I could actually maintain a rotation without worrying about ripping aggro, and we never came close to wiping again. I still could have used that Repelling Charge though. The final fight of the Military Quarter is the famed Four Horsemen. The Four Horsemen are a coordination fight. It's reliant almost entirely upon the tanks, and their ability to switch targets. Each horseman has a mark that stacks as long as you're in their presence. Too many marks, and it kills you, so the tanks have to switch horsemen every three marks. A missed taunt could wipe the raid here. Thankfully, no one resisted the taunt, so we breezed through it.

We had now downed all four wings of the necropolis. The only things left were Sapphiron, then the Arch-Lich himself. Sapphiron is a massive damage sink. He has a frost aura that deals constant damage to the whole raid. He summons giant blizzard storms, and has a large cleave and tail whip. The healers hate life during this fight. Furthermore, every once in a while, Sapphiron flys off and entombs two players in ice tombs, then drops a frost bomb. The frost bomb deal in excess of 100k damage to every player. Needless to say, that's pretty much an instant kill. The solution is to LoS the blast behind one of your frozen brethren. This, combined with the blizzard's slowing effect can create some of the most agonizing moments in the game. The fight went very well. Only one person ate it on the frost bomb, and that was due to a disconnect. The healers got stretched a little thin towards the end of the fight. As the fight didn't require an OT, I tried to take some of the pressure off them by pulling out of the blizzard and healing myself to full when I was taking too much damage. When Sapphiron dropped, the raid leader won the focusing crystal that summons Malygos. It was the only roll he won all raid.

We pushed on to Kel'Thuzad, at nearly 3:45 AM. The kill took a little longer than my first one, because the DPS wasn't as pro, but the fights mechanics went a lot smoother. I OT'd the adds without rushing into a void zone, and no one else died during the fight either. He dropped the T7.10 helm for paladins. The Holy paladin, myself, and the Ret Paladins raid leader all rolled on it. The warlock won it. *sob* Oh well. Life goes on.

I quickly logged off after that, seeing as it was 4AM and I was freaking tired. I spent most of the next day reenchanting and regemming my gear to make use of the new upgrades.

No comments:

Post a Comment