Facing Ingvar the Plunderer

The Saturday night after Christmas found us arrayed again before the doors of Utgarde Keep for another fun run.  Our lineup was:

71 Warlock – Bungholio
71 Priest – Skronk
71 Mage – Ula
71 Paladin – Vikund
72 Warrior – Earlthecat

Only Earl had played much over the intervening two weeks, so you might ask why we thought we would do better than previous attempts if not much had changed.  Laziness?  Lack of initiative?  Determination to press on?  Insanity?

You can speculate, but we’re not telling.

We decided to skip anything that we could get past.  That meant that we only killed two of the three groups working the forge and only three of the enslaved proto-drake groups while sneaking past all the rest.

That brought us to Prince Keleseth again.

We killed his four minions and then debated as to whether we could just bypass him or not.

Watching his pacing back and forth, we thought it might be possible, but decided to take him down just to be safe.

We wiped on the first fight due to bad positioning.  We positioned ourselves off to the left, then were talking about the fight when Prince K walked into aggro range and started attacking us.  We nearly pulled it off all the same, but didn’t quite make it.

The second fight, started from a little further back, went much more smoothly and the Prince K went down.

Since last time I had installed the addon “recount” that was suggested by some people as a damage parser.  I reset it before the second Prince K fight, just to see how much a pally with a shield was holding back the group.  The results:

uk4pkdamagemeters
A pally with a shield still does pretty well DPS-wise when it comes to undead I’d say, but I’m afraid to ask what this damage output says about our group overall.

We moved on, plowing through to Skarvald the Constructor and Dalronn the CFO/Controller.

Discussing Year End Results

Discussing Year End Results

This fight took us a few tries.  We seemed to be coming close each time, bringing down Dalronn but not lasting through Skarvald.  His charges during the fight were causing too much damage, even when Earl was tanking Skarvald and Vikund was tanking Dalronn and most of the charges were hitting Vik.

Skarvald Charges, But Pays Off His Balance Every Month

Skarvald Charges, But Pays Off His Balance Every Month

Eventually we went to the web and read that Skarvald has a minimum range on his charges and that if everybody just sticks close, he does not charge.

With that bit of information on our side, we handily won the next fight.  Piece of cake.

Skalvard and Dalronn Down

Skalvard and Dalronn Down

And suddenly we were in new territory.

We fought our way up some more stairs and out into the open, the final battle taking place on the roof of the keep.

Fighting Atop The Keep

Fighting Atop The Keep

You can look out and see all of Howling Fjord around the keep.  Or at least the instanced version of it.  We fought our way onward.

Spiritualist Is A Female Dominated Profession

Spiritualist Is A Female Dominated Profession Among The Vrykul

Until, at last, we faced the final boss.  Ingvar the Plunderer stood before us.

Ingvar Awaits

Ingvar Awaits

His head would finish the last quest and end the instance for us.  We just had to kill him… twice.

You see, you kill Ingvar, which isn’t so tough, and then he comes back from the dead and you have to kill him again, which is a bit tougher.

We had a soul stone handy, so we knew we had at least two tries in us.  We nearly did it.  Both times in the second fight, one of us did not get out of the way of Ingvar’s dark smash in time, an attack that is a one shot kill if you are at all down on hit points.

After our two fights we had to release and start the run back through the instance.  However, as happened last week, we ran into respawns.

Couldn't You Have Taken The Night Off?

Couldn't You Have Taken The Night Off?

The hour was late and we did not want to fight our way back to Ingvar again, so we called off further efforts; so close to our goal, but not quite there.

We took a portal Ironforge where we played with the Crashin’ Thrashin’ Racers we all got for the Feast of Winter Veil.  Vikund even got the associated with the racer for crashing into other racers 25 times.

We’ll be back for Ingvar soon.

22 thoughts on “Facing Ingvar the Plunderer

  1. Mordiceius

    Okay, so I was trying to figure out in your previous posts about why you all had so much trouble with Utgarde Keep. Those damage meters tell a lot.

    I’m going to try to sound as inoffensive as I can about this… but… the DPS of the group is abyssmal.

    Here’s is my character by character rundown of opinion:
    Ula – Needs LOT of spellhit. The character is at 1.25% spell hit and needs to be at 8-9%. For DPS classes, hit rating is your number one stat above everything else. It is more important than, int, stam, crit, mp5, spellpower. Once you max your hit, then you start worrying about your other stats. With max hit, Ula’s DPS should almost double.

    Bungholio – Again with the spell hit. This character is at .96% and again needs to be at 8-9%.

    Earlthecat has .71% hit and Vikund has 0 hit rating. If a tank has low hit rating their threat will be reduced as well.

    Skronk could use some more mp5 but nothing too terrible there.

    All in all, your downfall seems to be the lack of it. If everyone maxed their hit rating, the groups DPS would almost double making your lives a helluva lot easier.

    Just my two cents.

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  2. Mordiceius

    Yeah, the biggest advice would just be to get the hit rating up there. You’ll see your DPS go down on your character sheet but it’ll go up in practice.

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  3. Rohan

    I think your DPS has bigger issues than gear. This may sound harsh, but they could probably significantly improve the quality of their play. Use a better spell rotation. Maybe tighten up their talent specs. Above all, cast more often.

    For example, looking at your meter, Ula has higher DPS than Bung, but lower damage. Since DPS stands for Damage-Per-Second, we see that Ula was active for 115 seconds, while Bung was active for 138 seconds.

    DPS is not trivial to improve. It can be opaque and require outside research. I wrote a bunch of posts about it. They are on the sidebar of my site. Why are DPS Players so Bad? is the first.)

    If you’re serious about improving, I’d suggest taking a look at a couple of blogs or even Elitist Jerks. As well, go to the training dummies in the capital cities. There’s a level 70 dummy that will be ideal for your group. Attack it with different rotations and see how high you can get.

    Despite your gear level, I think your DPS has the potential to improve by 75 -100%, and that will make instances vastly easier. It is not unreasonable to set 600 DPS as a goal for your level and gear.

    Finally, one of your shield wearers should respec to an actual DPS spec. It would probably help a great deal.

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  4. Spectre

    Hey Wilhelm! I actually just did Utgarde Keep for the first time tonight myself and we got through it twice with almost no issues (except one wipe on Ingvar). I was kind of curious why Ula’s DPS was so low as I am also a Mage and was able to put out way more than 50,000 over the encounter. I went and was nosy and found your friends talent build:

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Eldre%27Thalas&n=Ula

    Your friend might want to redo his talents a little bit if he wants to be most effective as a frost mage. Maxing out things like Ice Shards, Elemental Precision, Artic Winds, Chilled to the Bones and Fingers of Frost will result in a HUGE increase in DPS. Fingers of Frost especially is almost mandatory to be an effective frost mage versus unfreezable instance and raid bosses as it provides the huge critical spell chance from the Shatter talent against bosses (like Ingvar) that cannot be frozen.

    If he wants a little bit of a guide as to what I am suggesting, he can check my build here:

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-talents.xml?r=Stormreaver&n=Meegle

    Sorry if it seems like I am being an arrogant ass with this comment, I really don’t mean to be. Regardless of how you are spec’d and how effective you wind up being, having fun should really be the most important aspect so I hope that you and your group keep having fun with the game over everything :)

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  5. Greg

    On the last boss, Ingvar, if everyone but Earl, who I assume is main tanking him, stands behind the boss, the smashes will be much less of a problem as only Earl will be hit by them.

    I also agree with what the others have said, particularly about either you or Earl switching to a DPSs spec. As a ret-paladin myself, I’d recommend you make the switch as I find ret-paladins currently one of the highest damage dealers in 5man dungeons right now. You should still be able to off-tank as needed.

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  6. Barix

    I noticed a couple of you are still wearing Carrot On A Stick. That’s officially useless now that you’ve all dinged 71. Not to worry, there’s plenty of quest reward trinkets out there for you (none involving a mount speed increase, but oh well). Go find Orfus at the Ancient Lift to get into a series of quest chains that should net each of you a couple of useful trinkets. Then the only problem you’ll have (as I often do) is remembering activate as often as possible ;)

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  7. TheRemedy

    I think the key thing that myself and everyone else who have been playing arm chair quarterback have forgotten to ask… are you guys having fun?

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  8. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I’m not sure I would use the phrase “arm chair quarterbacks” to refer to the people who know what they are doing, or at least appear to know so better than we do.

    But I expected some responses along these lines when I posted the damage output screen. In fact, I rather hoped for it because, while we are having fun, and overcoming some of these guys as the noobish group we are does represent a satisfying victory, it is also nice to progress and see some new scenery now and again.

    I think Rohan’s post on “Why Are DPS Players So Bad” has a key point in it. While WoW tells you how to do many things, when it comes to optimizing your damage, boss fight behaviors, and the like, the game is pretty quiet. So a group like ours that basically learns by playing the game one night a week and does not often go to outside resources is at a disadvantage.

    I hope we’ll get through Utgarde Keep this week… tonight actually… but we won’t have a lot of time before hand to act on much posted here. I went out and re-spec’d (again… when is dual spec coming in? I really like to be protection when I solo or on weeks when I play the tank), but I don’t know that I’ll tip the balance being retribution, carrying a 2h club, and wearing more hit rating gear.

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  9. TheRemedy

    The dual spec thing should be out in 3.1 which I expect around march or april.

    And since you don’t mind the feedback, I think the key thing first is to make sure you guys have the basics down.

    Are you marking your targets?

    Are you using effective crowd control?

    Are you all focusing on the right target?

    Are you all communicating?

    The key is the first, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a SS on here with a target that has had an icon. If you guys are marking, then I apologize, but marking and establishing a kill order is crucial. If you guys are doing this, then get your alls spell rotation down, after that work on gear/gems.

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  10. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    1. Marking targets – Oh, mais oui! I think there are some older posts where I have noted the size of a given mob relative to its target marking. Skull is always the target, moon the mob to be sheeped, diamond the warlock crowd control, square the tank’s responsibility to hold or off-tank if required, and circle is usually a warning for a nearby or patrolling mob about which we need to remain aware.

    2. Crowd control – We are quite good in that regard. Groups of three or four elites are generally not an issue.

    3. Target focus – Everybody hits the guy marked with the skull, unless otherwise noted.

    4. Communication – We’re all on Skype together and do pretty well I think.

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  11. Kilanna

    Sounds like you have such fun with your little group. *giggles* I am lucky that I have “my boys” to do all the leg work in checking all this stuff out when we do our instance runs.

    At the end of the day though, how satisfying it is to take down the bad guys with your buddies, whether in Azzeroth or Norrath!!

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  12. pockie

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with Mordiceius a bit here. Hit rating is by far the most important stat… for a raider. For doing a 5 man-instance where the mobs are not really above your level, you do not actually need that much hit rating (probably about 6-7%?).

    Furthermore, getting that hit rating up alone definitely will not double your dps. Remember that hit simply reduces your chance to miss. If you have a 5% chance to miss, then that just means your dps is lower by around 5%. There is a bit of give and take due to other issues such as mana and crit, but definitely not a 100% increase.

    I’d have to agree with Rohan that there are other issues besides gear that you can explore. I understand that you guys are very casual, but I find that WoW is much more fun when you put in some research and you get more out of your character. Talent specs are a start, as is making sure that dps classes are always casting something. I don’t know how averse your group is to advice, but I think gear alone isn’t going to solve the problems and it will save you some headaches further on when you guys finally reach the level 80 dungeons :)

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  13. Toxicwaste

    btw you don’t need to reset Recount before a boss…there’s a feature enabling you to select just that fight

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  14. *vlad*

    I agree with Pockie. Hit is important against bosses in raids but in instances it doesn’t make a lot of difference if you are running it at the right level. Yes you will miss now and again, but not enough to worry about.
    The fight in particular is not quite tank and spank, so your figures are probably a bit lower than they could be.

    This is the way damage should be – at the bottom, the healer.
    2nd from bottom, the tank (even in these days of tank aoe spam).
    3rd up, the hybrid – probably Vikund in this case, but at your level ret Paladins should be top of the meter.
    1st and 2nd on the damage meter – your pure dps classes : Mage and Warlock (notwithstanding the Paladin comment I made).

    First time I encountered damage meters, I was firmly at the bottom, so think of them as a tool to improve your gameplay, rather than as a criticism.

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  15. Centuri

    I would have to agree that the DPS for that group seems pretty low. If you really want us to break down your play for you just run a WWS log next time and post it up here!

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  16. Windrunner

    DPS is low, as many are ready to point out. The problem is, so many came into Wraith with Kara or better gear that they are giving advice that does not match your playing style. It is a lot easier to get “hit capped” or lots of spell damage gear if you run instances 5-10x. That is not how your group plays (I have been reading for about a year and following BC progress).

    So how can you tweak your style for WotLK? Two things: bit more questing and professions.

    Questing — WotLK has some REALLY nice gear on quest chains. Each character should look at their weakest item and spend up to one hour questing for a WotLK green or blue to improve it. It is relatively easy to do at 70-73.

    Professions — until you are raiding, professions are a good compensating factor for those that don’t play as much.

    Quick fix is cooking and alchemy. WotLK has many “buffs” that are cheap and you need all the help you can get. Cooking especially. You need ONE cook and everyone helps them with the meat. At 70 in WotLK, everyone should have a “well fed” buff.

    The crafting professions are slower fixes, but good to take a look at.

    Finally, everyone should take 10 minutes and spend on a good theorycrafting site like Elitist jerks. I realize their focus is raiding, but it is good to look at for talent builds, spell rotation, and making sure you all have the right glyphs. That can help a bunch.

    Good luck.

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  17. dave

    I like your blog because it reminds me of how I played when I started.

    I experimented with my character and didn’t read up from outside sources on how to increase my DPS and squeeze out every possible last point.

    It’s a double edge though. After I started doing all the tweaks and tricks I researched, I got to see much more end game content, but I miss some of the simpler times when it was just a bunch of 5-10 friends screwing around.

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  18. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Windrunner: Funny you should mention cooking. Vikund is on that track and spent some time Saturday afternoon getting food supplies appropriate to the team ready. As Relmstein said, cooking now rules the secondary professions.

    Like

  19. whitekitten

    Wilhelm,

    I know you’re trying not to hurt feelings, but please don’t be “afraid to ask,” or raise issues, within the group. As far as I can remember, before this expansion, we never had a serious DPS problem. We were running a damage meter then, and it usually went Warlock, Mage, Paladin, etc – or, Mage first in some cases with a lot of AOE.

    I know that I personally haven’t taken the time to research changes in speccing and playing the mage since the expansion, because of my current crazy work deadlines. But, I did realize that there was an obvious DPS problem during that last round with the meter on, and it’s something we need to discuss.

    ~Ula

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  20. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Ula,

    I posted the damage output because I had no idea where we stood on DPS, good, bad, or indifferent. I certainly did not mean to hurt feelings and I apologize if you felt singled out somehow.

    But now we know and we have some suggestions. A win to me. Plus we can say we were low DPS and we still made it to Ingvar, which seems to prove that we’re doing a lot of things right.

    I will say that that fight is not representative of Vikund’s DPS overall, since it was, as I mentioned, a battle versus undead where he gets an serious boost. Vikund was in third or fourth place for other fights.

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