Tag Archives: Looking For Raid

Last Minute Molten Core

Blizzard has had a few things going on to celebrate the World of Warcraft 10th anniversary.  You got a molten corgi pet just for logging in during the anniversary period. (November 21 to January 6th now January 13th, see addendum at the end of the post.)

There was also the special Southshore vs. Tarren Mill 40 vs 40 battleground.  I played through a few of those, was on the winning side my first time out, so go the achievement and the “Tarren Mill Terror” title right away.  And, I must admit, despite my skepticism about this being able to bring back the ad hoc PvP battles that used to rage where Horde met Alliance in that zone, it was actually pretty fun.

When the goal is just to kill the other side you tend to end up in two big groups with people trying to run out and snag people, with the road running outside of Tarren Mill being something like the line of scrimmage.  It worked and felt chaotic enough.  In that first match we were absolutely stomping the Horde for a while, then ended up chasing them well past the road and into the area where the guards roam.  They jumped on us and suddenly our big lead fell by the wayside until we got everybody back on our side of the road again.

Another anniversary event was a special Molten Core raid.  It was the classic, 10 boss, 40 person raid redone for level 100 players… well, level 100 LFR players… with some special drops at the end and a mount in the mail for everybody who got to the end and killed Ragnaros.

That catch was that you had to get to level 100 and get your item level up to 615 before the event expired… and it expires on January 6th, just about 24 hours after this post should go up, if I read things right.

Not that getting to level 100 is that hard… I managed to meander there with a month to spare… but the item level aspect takes at least a bit of effort, and after the first few weeks of Warlords of Draenor I wandered off to winter in EverQuest II for a while.  So I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to give the whole thing a go.  I ended up at item level 614 with about a week to spare largely due to my garrison followers picking up items, my engineering goggles, and a couple of lucky upgrades on drops.  But that wasn’t enough, so I slouched forward into action.

I ran through the Proving Grounds and got my silver rating for DPS on the first go.  It actually didn’t seem like that big of a deal, which appeared to be a good sign.  Maybe I had actually, you know, learned to play after all these years.

With that in hand I was able to queue up for heroic instances.  However, those did not go very well… or, rather, they went exactly as well as heroic instances tend to go in my experience.  I have no achievements for heroic WoD instances because I did not finish a single one in four tries.  But I only needed four incomplete tries, as during the fourth instance an item level 630 cloak dropped, which was enough to boost me to 616.  I didn’t even mind when the tank kicked me from the group after we wiped on the final boss… on our first try… because I did not keep him alive after the healer went down.  I had my item, so good riddance to all that.

I got up Saturday morning, logged into WoW, and queued up for Molten Core.  The queue, was predictably at that time of day, a bit long.  I was going to wait for an hour or so.

MCRF_1HourWait

I did my garrison routines, ran out and did the fishing daily, trapped enough game that I should be able to get the achievement required to upgrade the bard to level 3 by next weekend (125 work orders required for the achievement, they take 3 hours each (well, actually 4 hours each, as somebody noted in the comments), and you can only stuff 19 in the queue, so it takes a while), and wandered about while waiting for the instance to pop.

I did get a bit concerned at one point when the queue started showing very short average wait times.

MCRF_10minwait

I am going to guess that the person who did this queue timer previously did the timer that estimates file transfer times in Windows explorer.  I did have a moment of “something’s broke, I had better leave and queue up again,” but decided I had better not.  And a few minutes later the queue eventually popped and I was in.

More after the cut because of too many screen shots.

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The Downfall of Garrosh Hellscream

I returned to Looking For Raid this past weekend for the final Pandaria raid.  I had to re-do a couple of the previous raids during the week to get a drop that would bump my item level up to the required 496 for the Siege of Orgrimmar.

As with the earlier Pandaria raids, the Siege of Orgrimmar is broken up into segments.  In this case, there are four distinct raids, each with its own bosses.  I will attempt to recap my experiences.

Vale of Eternal Sorrows

This was the first on the list, and I ended up doing the bosses for this one… well, not backwards, but not in order either.

When I first queued for it, I ended up getting pulled into a group that had already done the first two bosses.  I have been very lucky so far on that front, only once before having been pulled in later in a raid.  I have managed to start with fresh groups all other times.

So I ended up coming in for the Norushen vs. the amalgam of corruption fight, in which I managed to hit things constantly and consistently and which was a success, though how much I contributed was, as always, debatable.

That moved us on to the last fight, the Sha of Pride, a fight with a mechanic I never figured out during the encounter.  And we had to do it twice, as we wiped the first time.  The Sha of Pride helpfully said:

Blame your companions!

Which made it sound like it knew we were and LFR group.

After the wipe I went off to read about the right quickly, but came away no wiser.  So I just swung my sword a lot and we won the second time around.  We always seem to win the second time if we wipe.  But groups in LFR get a determination buff that boosts some key parameters by 5%, so you go in stronger the second time… and, one would hope, a bit wiser.

That done, I had to queue up again and managed to get a group starting off on the first two bosses.  Immerseus was fun… probably because I actually figured out what was going on and was able to actively help during the fight.

And then there was the Fallen Protectors.

This was one of the more chaotic fights, in part because it was handled by those who knew about the fight entirely through negatives in the group chat.  There are three bosses and numerous adds in this fight, and you have to change targets multiple times throughout the fight.  Rather than somebody calling the target for DPS, all I saw in chat were statements to stop attacking one of the bosses.

Get off Rook!

Stop attacking Sun!

Why are you attacking He?!?

I couldn’t figure out who I ought to be attacking at various points during the battle, but I was well informed as to who not to attack.  And I was apparently not alone.  After the battle somebody said that we managed to drag that battle out longer than he had ever seen.  I will compare this to the later, similar fight at the Paragons of the Klaxxi.

That finished the first stage for me and I left the group, dooming some other DPS player to have to play through the last two bosses.  Sorry about that.

Gates of Retribution

The second stage actually put us outside of Orgrimmar, which I must admit was pretty cool.  It started with a fight over cannons and towers in a battle I couldn’t quite follow.  About par for the course when I get into something chaotic.  At one point somebody was calling for more DPS at one of the towers, but by the time I got there the sub-group at the tower ran back to the main group.  So I went with them.

We managed to win.  My comprehension is not required for that.

Then it was off to the front gates of Orgrimmar to face the Iron Juggernaught, a fight that went off well enough.  After that it was into what I think of as the main square of Orgrimmar to face the Kor’kron Dark Shaman.  We managed to wipe on this one.  I gather that the healers all stood in the wrong spot and got died at one point during the fight, which lead to the expected result.  The second attempt played out better.  As always, we won on the second try.  Then we slaughtered the residents of Orgrimmar.  The auction house was given particular attention.  I don’t know why.  Goblin hate?  And then it was into the city and down into Ragefire Chasm where we found the final boss, General Nazgrim.

This last fight went very smoothly… at least relative to what I had seen up to that point… because somebody took the time to tell the DPS what to hit during the fight.  So we cleaned up adds quickly and the General went down.  End of instance.

The Underhold

Since the sections of the raid are divided up, and since I waited a day before I got to this section, I wasn’t quite sure where it was relative to General Nazgrim and Orgrimmar.  I guess it was through the door Nazgrim was guarding.  Maybe?  No matter, we were there and after the first boss, Malkorok, who is one of those raid bosses who appears to spend his days standing in the middle of a giant circular platform.  It is just a raid boss thing.

At this point all I remember was that we won and that I managed to not die.  Go us.

Then it was on to the Spoils of Pandaria, which I totally remember because we stopped and somebody divided us up into two groups and explained what we had to do to win this fight.  It appears that Garrosh and company had been looting the Pandaria and we were going to go get it.  Only the treasures were crated up in two location… hence two groups… and appeared to be coming alive, breaking out of their crates, and attacking us.  So we ran two parallel fights, which both succeeded.  Go team informed!

The final fight was with Thok the Bloodthirsty, a giant armored raptor.  And when I say “giant,” I mean that my character, a human male, was about the size of one of his talons.  Giant.

This was a very active fight because you have to stay out of Thok’s sweet spot or he will one-shot kill you.  I speak as somebody who spent half the fight on the floor dead.  I was lucky that somebody spared a combat ress on me later in the fight.  Then it was up and back to running around trying to stay close enough to hit him while keeping far enough away to not get popped again.  Being melee can be exhausting.  I missed some parts of the fight laying around on the floor as a corpse, but we won in the end and on the first try

Untergang

Somebody will get that reference.

And then there was the final series of encounters.  I queued for this on Sunday and was nearly an hour getting into a group.  But at least I got a fresh group.  It was a paladin heavy group though, with the followers of Uther the Lightbringer making up a quarter of the group.  This was apparently a bad thing, as we had a rough time of it.  We got ourselves into the instance and lined up to get to the first fight… I like how the game uses your group in the cinematics integrated with the NPCs… and managed to clear the path there no problem.

I'm in the back on thefar left

I’m in the back on the far left

Then it was time to jump into a big pipe and drop in on the first boss encounter, Siegecrafter Blackfuse.

That went badly the first time.  Again, a lot of confusion and things going on and no real direction to the group.  Part way into the fight, somebody asked who was on the conveyor belt… something off to the side that delivers adds… and the resounding silence indicated that nobody was on the conveyor belt.  And so there was a wipe

Nicely arranged corpses

Nicely arranged corpses

We were not fighting in a nice little circle, the raid just dumps all the corpses there when you wipe, no doubt to aid in clean up. You can see my big pink sword sticking out at about 5 o’clock.  (It is the Claymore of the Prophet used to transmog my current weapon.)

The second time through there was a bit of planning up front (a conveyor belt team was picked) so, along with the determination buff, we were able to pound on through.

And then things got a little awkward.

We lost one of our tanks after that fight, so the group was put in the queue to pick up another tank.  But it looked like we were queuing for a DPS a the count put us a two tanks still despite there clearly being only one tank.  The the other tank left, which appeared to fix the problem, but which left us now queued for two tanks.

After about 30 minutes of this we were back up to a full strength group and were on to the Paragons of the Klaxxi fight.

This fight is vaguely similar to the Fallen Protectors fight mentioned above, in that there are multiple bosses and the DPS needs to be on the right boss.  However, rather than retroactive yelling at people who didn’t know what was going on in the first place, somebody took charge and told the DPS just to kill the boss they marked.  And then they marked one boss after another and we mowed them down and there wasn’t an iota of drama.  As I am fond of saying, it was like we knew what we were doing.

And then we all died to trash in the tunnel just after the fight… TWICE… because LFR.

The raid lay strewn about the tunnel

The raid lay strewn about the tunnel

Such a deal.

Eventually though we made it down to Garrosh Hellscream’s throne.

Garrosh Awaits

Garrosh Awaits

We got ourselves together, checked buffs, ate some stat boosting food, and generally prepared.  Somebody laid down three markers on the big circular floor (again with the big circles), didn’t bother to explain what they meant, and then the fight started.

The first part was Garrosh, who weighed in at a paltry 150 million hit points there, along with some ads.  No big deal.

And then, as we wore him down, he suddenly changed and were were pulled into different locations, which were, if I read right, the Temple of the Jade Serpent, the Temple of the Red Crane, and the Terrace of Eternal Spring.  Each one involved killing some trash to work our way to Garrosh.  Then, after beating on him a bit, we would be pulled back to the throne room, only to be pulled out to another of the locations.

After this Garrosh was transformed into a sha-touched version of himself and then the work really began.  Garrosh now weighed in at 567 million hit points and was mind controlling people now and again… I got tapped twice in the first fight… and generally getting out of control.  We pressed on, but at around 125 million hit points… or a long way into the fight… the wheels came off and there was another wipe.

The dead piled on yet another floor

The dead piled on yet another floor

My sword… a transmorg job… does make me easy to find amongst the corpses.

Anyway, we had to do it all again, which at that point was really starting to feel like a lot of work.  Melee DPS on raids has me running all over and the fight itself ran for quite a stretch.  Still, I was there and I didn’t want to have to queue up again to start from scratch, an opinion shared by most of the group it seems, since few people opted to  leave.

So we stood up and started over.  This time we managed to hang on through the last phase.

Too close to fail this time

Too close to fail this time

And then he was down and the achievement popped up along with my reward, which was actually a decent pair of pants.

Ka-ching!

Ka-ching!

Well, decent when it comes to stats… a serious upgrade for me… but they looked like hell.  Seriously, I had to transmorg them into something else… anything else… once I got back to town.

But it wasn’t quite time to go back to town yet.  There was the end of the tale to see.  King Varian Wrynn and the alliance and Thrall back with the leaders of the horde showed up to help tee up the next expansion.  Then it was time to speak with Lorewalker Cho who had a quest for me that lead out of the instance and to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms where we spoke to the spirit of the late emperor about what had transpired.

Shaohoa's praise

Shaohoa’s praise

The emperor seemed a little deluded about just how much had changed in Pandaria… the place was still a mess as far as I could tell… but the story came to a close.

I feel like I got to see the finish of the expansion.  The closest I have come to that previously was when our group finished off the final five person instances in Wrath of the Lich King.  And there we had to leave Arthas alive.  Not that we didn’t try to go back and kill him in the five person instance.

GHLichKingOneHP

But they couldn’t let that happen.  We might have to go back and twink through the WotLK raids as a group when we hit 90.

Anyway, while I have always been willing to accept that not all the content should be available to me, I am glad that I was able to go through this with LFR.

Now would I do it again?  I am not sure.  I think I am done with Vikund doing LFR for now.  It is frankly tiring as melee DPS, even if it isn’t exactly the most important job.  I might go for it with my hunter at some point.  We shall see.  But LFR will certainly be on my list for Warlords of Draenor.

Now for some snapshots from the Siege of Orgrimmar, available after the cut.

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Raid Tourism – Being the 25th Man

It isn’t as though I have never raided before.  It is just that my raiding days are pretty much deep in the past at this point.

I used to be very active in such things in TorilMUD back in the day.  It wasn’t called raiding back then, it was “doing zones” and it required a full 16 person group with the right mix of classes.  While well shy of the 40-person peak in WoW… and whatever the raid sizes got to in EverQuest… 75 people or some such… that does put it smack dab in the middle of the 10 and 25 person marks that WoW uses today.  And in a community as small as TorilMUD’s was even at its peak… a few hundred players with maybe 100 online at peak times… 16 players was a big group.

And it also meant that if you were not a complete screw-up, you would get invited to do zones pretty frequently… if you had the right class.  Or even the wrong class.  I played a druid, which was more of a utility class and you really only needed one per group for a zone.  But druids could also do some damage and act as backup healers (heal the casters and such), so if a group had an open slot I could end up going along all the same.

And so I ended up in Jotunheim, City of Brass, Tower of the Elementalist, Ice Crag Castle (ICC long before Ice Crown Citidel was a thing), and a dozen or so more raid zones.  I even went on the big big zone once, Tiamat’s Lair, an all day affair that involved fighting through the astral plane and into Tiamat’s throne room.  As I recall, we made it to the room outside of the throne room before time and wipes ended to effort.

There were (and still are) lots of zones, big and small.

But that was also a point in my life where I could come home on a Friday night with a pizza, some snacks, and a few sodas and say good-bye to the world until Monday morning.  But life moves on and those days are behind me.  Since then, raiding hasn’t really been a thing for me.

There was a brief resurgence of it when our guild leader in EverQuest II declared that our guild would become a raiding guild and started yelling at people for not keeping up to date with the guild calendar and raid schedule.  I tried to play along.

Almost everybody in this raid went off to WoW

Proof I was at least in a raid group

I think the move to raiding actually pushed the guild over a cliff.  The guild still remains, but most of the players went off to World of Warcraft.  Those we remained in EQII went off to other guilds.  The guild remains… and my character Nomu is still in it… mostly as a marker.

I was one of those who ended up in WoW, where raiding is a big part of the game.  It has just never been part of the game for me.  I have been happy enough with single group, five player content.  That is my niche.  I like it and I do not begrudge any effort Blizzard spends on larger group content, so long as they throw smaller groups a bone now and again.  I have given no thought to actually getting involved in raiding in World of Warcraft in all the years I have played.

Until Blizzard introduced the Looking for Raid option.

More after the cut… because verbosity and me.

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