Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Horridon Down

  A combined group of our two raid groups downed Horridon the other night. I wasn't expecting to even raid at all, really. Every week there's a raid scheduled titled TOT/TOES/Something, and this week that something was success!

  I have improved my add-killing ability significantly, primarily by switching to Marked for Death (MfD). I had been using Anticipation, since it's combo point efficiency is amazing, but that's a moot point when targets die before 5 combo points can even be built up. Using a few combo points on Rupture on a few adds along with plenty of 5 point Eviscerates from MfD increased my DPS significantly. I got this tip from Icyvein's Rogue specific ToT guide.

  I've also started doing random battlegrounds. There's quite a difference between killing adds on Horridon and killing other players in PvP, but I've got a gut feeling that being good at one will help with being good at the other. I'm probably not going to go all out with rated battlegrounds or arena. My intention is just to hone my skills.

  In retrospect, I think that playing in PvP is one of the activities that has consistently helped me master any given class. I very quickly became a good Hunter in Wrath, but I didn't get really good in the sense of using the full tool set of the class, mastering movement and survivability, ect. until I'd done some random battle grounds other than the occasional Wintergrasp faceroll. Learning how to jump-Disengage was a very handy trick that has kept me alive in raids ever since.

  I started raid healing on my Priest in early Cata, and I was good at it, but after doing rated battlegrounds, I gain a lot more positional awareness, by which I mean the ability to visualize the battlefield and where other players were (specifically the tanks), how far away from me, how far away from each other. Being able to hypothetically close my eyes and point to where I knew someone is added a final polish to my ability to keep tanks up.

  Currently, my tough nut to crack is how to handle the melee of adds. Switching a talent point gets me halfway there. I didn't think to get a screen shot of the damage meter, but I'm sure it was good all around. I'm also sure there's still room for improvement, and that means increasing my time on target. That itself means I need better movement and positioning.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Horridon Is Still No Joke

  My regular raiding group is in a state of flux, and we went back to ToES for some reason (when I'm DPS, I don't ask, I just DPS). Frustrations are building, and I'm not certain why, but I think we should just be making more attempts on Horridon. It's the only way to progress.

  Last night, we 7-manned Heroic Firelands, and I tagged along as tank. I normally hate doing old content, but it wasn't too bad. We had to do some funny business since we out level the place. Apparently bloodworms are enough to throw off steering on Ryolith, so I couldn't melee the whole time. Smoldering Egg of Millagazor dropped and I won the roll. I still think it was mostly boring.

  Then someone suggested ToT, and I started saying how much I hate that place, since I was back in Cata mode thinking of Tot4W. Nobody liked that place. But they were talking current content, so I was totally on board again. We got our empty slots filled up and went and got Jin'Rokh down pretty quick. We even got 3 good attempts on Horridon before our flasks expired and we called it on account of being so late.

  We were getting to the third gate pretty steady. Raid damage became overwhelming there, especially since I was tanking adds and I'm undergeared (ilevel 488, blue weapon and ring). Being undergeared on a single target isn't too bad, since I only died to Triple Puncture once. More judicious use of my health returns fixed that fast. Getting snap AOE threat is a bit difficult for me though, since using up runes on setting up diseases and Blood Boil spam cuts into my Death Strikes. It was a ranged heavy group, so as usual, it was like herding cats. We can't exactly stack up though. I think I just need to get better at picking up adds. I also need to improve my gear at least 10 ilevels, so more ToT LFR runs are in order, as well as finishing Kirin Tor Offensive for the ring. I could also run ToES LFR a lot and roll on Sha over and over for a chance at a good 2h, but maybe just buying one of the new BoE's would be a more economic use of my time.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jin'rokh Down Again, Horridon Is No Joke

  We spent all Tuesday night wiping on Jin'rokh before downing him for our second time late in the evening. Frustration was beginning to build since we had already downed him as a group the week before. He hits like a truck, though, and raid damage is no joke either. We got him near the end of the evening, late enough that we called it at that. Skada for the fight was:

  Dammit, I was not the highest damage done. I had been holding that spot throughout our attempts, but I think the burst phases aligned with my 2 and 3 min cooldowns were throwing the numbers my way for shorter attempts (i.e. wipes). For the kill, we had a longer burn phase where our damned Warlocks crept up on me.

  Curiously, Deadly Poison is doing the lion's share of my damage. I don't know if this is typical of Assassin's damage profile. I should know this stuff. I'm a very bad Rogue.

  On to Horridon, or more precisely, Horridon's troll adds.

  They hurt.

  The Wikipedia article on the word melee opens with "Melee generally refers to disorganized close combat involving a group of fighters. A melee ensues when groups become locked together in combat with no regard to group tactics or fighting as an organized unit; each participant fights as an individual."

  This fight is that. The kill order is established, but we have to face the facts:
  1. We need 88k DPS from everyone.
  2. We don't have that.
  3. We are getting killed by sand traps (our bad), raid-wide damage (healer's bad), adds loose (tank's bad)
  4. It's all bad.
  5. This fight sucks.
  In all seriousness, I'm confident we have what it takes. We're geared enough for it (mostly around 500 ilevel average), so that's not an issue. All we have to do is tailor a good strategy to our group and practice it enough to get the kill.

  My DPS is the first that needs to improve, since I'm now at the bottom, between the tanks. I'm terrible at handling adds while on interrupt duty, and I'm the only melee DPS. I've changed my spec to Marked for Death rather than my default Anticipation, since adds are often dying before I can even get to 5 combo points. The reset should let me spread a lot of 3-4 point Ruptures around while also putting out free 5 point Envenoms.  I intend to mold myself into an add killing machine.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I should post more.

  I'm not actually going to write about anything substantial right now, errands to run, but I'm going to write about writing. I'm a novice in every way. I post infrequently, and don't follow up on ideas, i.e. the Choosing Professions guides (1 2 3) I had started last year, Building a Raid (1 2), and the MSV Tank Training I'm still working on. I'm starting guides in a hypomania of creativity and coffee, and when the buzz wears off, they get shelved. This is what makes me a bad writer: I don't write.

  I think part of the problem is a lack of structure, so I'm going to start a few specific weekly pieces to keep me consistent. I level my Monk a lot on Mondays, (except when I do last minute LFR runs), so I'll do Monk Monday. I tanked LFD up to 60, switched to healing for a few levels, just to get a feel for it, then switched back to tanking. BC dungeons are where things get interesting, so a weekly post on my Monk playing experience should yield decent material. My Rogue raids Wednesday and Thursday, so a Friday morning raid review is in order. My team is in a state of flux, but we're keeping it together. I've even geared up my DK so we have another tank available. Expect DK tank themes in the future.