Friday, October 29, 2010

Heroic LK 25m Phase One (Add Tanking)

My intention last night during my guilds 25m heroic Lich King attempts was to record a video to illustrate how I handle add tanking in Phase One, the first transition, and what I do in Phase 2. But I think I received a sign from the WoW gods or the blogosphere gods (your pick) that convinced me maybe recording our attempt(s) wasn't such a great idea.

Running Fraps on my computer is hit or miss first of all, sometimes when I boot it up and start recording in game it's extremely choppy and unplayable, especially in a 25 man raid. Last night though it was running really smoothly, I did a couple test recordings right before our first serious attempt and I didn't have any sort of lag. So step 1 of my plan - check!

So the very first attempt (maybe it was second, admittedly I might have forgotten to hit record for the very first), I hit my Fraps record button (F9 if you were wondering, I don't have the function keys bound to opening my bags for this very reason) and the fight progressed like normal. I've broken it down into a sort of time line and I'll comment on anything I think is important. I'll get to why this wasn't such a great demonstration later, but if you watch the uploaded video before you read further, you'll figure it out on your own! /splat

0:05 - I always wait until about 5 seconds before the pull to pop into Bear form so I have 10 rage (from Furor) to start as soon as I hit Lich King. It's important to start building up your rage because you'll need to use Swipe as soon as LK summons his adds and it's also useful, if you can, to get a 3-stack of Lacerate going so you can Pulverize right before you Swipe the adds and move into position.

0:10 - Hello Clearcast procs...hehe, I'm a lucky Bear.

0:20 - Pulverize, removes 3-stack of Lacerate and gives me 9% extra crit to help pick up the ghouls. A couple of seconds later I Swipe, I managed to hit two of the ghouls and LK, good enough and you'll see how I handle the third ghoul a couple seconds later. (Future post about my Power Auras set-up, showing Lacerate and Pulverize)

0:25 - You have time before the Shambling Horror spawns, so I use that time to whack the ghouls that I miss with swipe.

0:30 - The first Horror spawns, and I lose threat on one of the ghouls, it makes a beeline for a Boomkin (hmm..I wonder why, *cough cough* Starfall), I target the ghoul, taunt it, and then switch my attention to the Horror. A quick 9k mangle and then I make the move for the middle ground between the ranged group and the melee group.

0:37 - I always over compensate a bit when pulling the adds to the middle. Doing this ensures you have the Shambling Horror lined up in the middle with you and they aren't facing sideways towards the ranged or melee. So when the person with Necrotic Plague runs over to be dispelled then don't get murdered by a cleave.

0:55 - One of the worst things happens that you need to be able to handle in Phase 1 as the add tank. First a Shadow Trap targets me, so I need to move back (North on the radar, away from the throne) and at the same time, and what makes this a bad situation, LK just finished spawning 3 fresh ghouls! So they are further away from me than normal.

1:05 - Luckily we have a rogue using Fan of Knives with a Tricks of the Trade so the adds start heading my way, on top of that I target them one by one and use Faerie Fire for some extra threat. Most important thing to note at this point of Phase 1 is to be extra careful with when and how you use your taunt, Growl. Right now it's okay to use them on the Ghouls, because as you can see on the right side of the screen I still have a solid 15+ seconds until the second Shambling Horror spawns.

1:10 - Rocket Bear exclusive moment right here. I actually move fairly close to the melee group/LK to sneak in a quick swipe! It's almost like cheating and possibly too risky especially if you have a ranged that is trying to reach you for a Necrotic Plague dispel, but...hey...I'm the Rocket Bear! Just make sure to move back to the center as quickly as possible.

1:15 - Try and keep up Pulverize amid the chaos.

1:30 - Ghouls spawn, I manage another swipe mixed in with a Faerie Fire, and then Shambling Horror number two spawns. Target it, 5.1k Faerie Fire (yay, Vengeance). Once the Horror is in range I toss out another Swipe.

1:51 - Make sure you keep up Demoralizing Roar on both of the Horrors and make sure you hit them both with a Maul or Mangle to keep Infected Wounds up.

2:00 - Ghouls spawn, single target them to grab their attention, awesome 6.2k Faerie Fire! (Vengeance is really ramping up from the damage I'm taking now)


And there's MY sign. I didn't even bother recording any other attempts where we actually did get into Phase 2. I figured "Hey, if I'm going to be taking hits for 138992 (before Absorb and Overkill) I might want to keep the rest of these attempts to myself and bury them deep within my proverbial Combat log and never speak of them again.

Shoulda and Coulda had Barkskin/Enrage/Survival Instincts going...but didn't.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vengeance is fun!

Firstly if you haven't been keeping up with Bears (and tanking in general), Blizzard introduced a new mechanic to help tanks steadily build up threat throughout a fight. The intention of said ability, Vengeance, was to help make sure DPS didn't start to creep up on you as the fight progressed. It's not really intended to help too much with snap/initial aggro, but of course since it's a buff that increases every time you take damage and diminishes when you don't take damage it is possible to have some amount of vengeance increased AP when a new mob spawns or you pull the next pack.

Ahh, the power of vengeance:
White Bear, FTW!
I snapped this in Phase 2 of the heroic 25m LK fight, the attempt was leading to a wipe but previous to this I popped Frenzied Regeneration (puts me around 128k HP), so as you can see I was sitting around 20,000 Attack Power. /drool

It's interesting the kind of numbers you see from your abilities when your Attack Power gets to this level. Mangles start hitting for well over 20,000! It adds a whole new element of fun to tanking, and with this new range of damage and the other changes for bears it's been an amusing pre-expansion patch.

Also like I mentioned above, vengeance can be used for more than just keeping your lead late in an encounter on the main target, it's also useful if you need to pick up new adds. A great example of this (and one I hope to illustrate by either picture or a short video later) is with Faerie Fire(Feral). I've been designated as "add" tank for Phase 1 of the fight and nothing snaps ghoul aggro from cleaving DPS like a 6.5k FFF.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm still here..

..tying up some loose ends before Cataclysm and the world explodes, raiding and getting use to the new (and improved) Bear.

An update in the form of achievements:

October 22nd, 2010 - Hero of the Zandalar Tribe

This was mandatory for obvious reasons.

October 22nd, 2010 - World Explorer

Why did I wait so long to run around Azeroth for a couple of hours? I'll never be able to give a non BS answer to that question..seems silly now that I'm done and have all of those yummy chieve points.

October 23rd, 2010 - Champion of Ulduar

For the longest time all I needed was to kill Mimiron without a death. A group of guildies went in and made quick work of the place. Flawless run...except a over ambitious and probably a tad nervous Boomkin pulling threat from our Paladin tank on General Vezax and going SPLAT. A couple of people in the group didn't get the achievement so we'll be going back soon to finish it up.

October 23rd, 2010 - 3000 Quests Completed

Pretty nice title, but I had my eyes on a much more specific prize.

October 25th, 2010 - The Loremaster

It was a good thing I leveled heavily in Kalimdor and before heirlooms were introduced. When I started to consider doing this achievement I was already half-way done, just from questing. So I started off slow, testing the waters if you will to see if I could hack it, and then plunged head first into Kalimdor. Slowly but surely Easter Kingdoms followed.

My biggest advice for fellow wowies looking to complete this time consuming achievement. Download these three addons:
  1. Light Headed - Enables a panel that extends from the in-game quest log that shows comments and some general information from WowHead. This addon is priceless.
  2. Every Quest - Adds a small button to the in-game quest log, that has every quest in the game, listed by zone and organized to show the ones you've completed, are on, abandoned, and still need to do! It's probably the most useful tool for Loremaster.
  3. Tom Tom - This addon pairs amazing well with Light Headed. Basically it allows you to click any coordinates that show up in-game (addons, chat, etc) and it will show a GPS type arrow to guide you to that coordinate. (This addon is also incredibly useful for "discovery points" while doing the World Explorer achievement. People on Wowhead have taken the time to create macros that will add a waypoint for every discovery point in a zone, then it's just a simple matter of following the arrow until the zone is complete.)
October 25th, 2010 - The Horseman's Reins

While I'm rushing through Loremaster to finish as many quests as I can before I start to lose steam, my significant other forces me to do the Headless Horseman, just in case the mount drops. Much to my surprise I get the mount, nice little bonus as I work through the last 75 quests in Easter Kingdom.

October 26th, 2010 - Classic Dungeonmaster

I had some really random dungeons to clean up. Gnomeregan, Uldaman, Stratholme to name a few.

October 26th, 2010 - The Argent Dawn/The Argent Champion

A product of finishing Loremaster of Eastern Kingdom.

Still no Heroic Lich King, not in 10 and certainly not in 25. I'm hoping this changes in the next month.