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Trial of the Crusader 25 /Try 1

Yesterday, our raid went into the new 25man raid instance for the first time. There was some talk about the raid beeing too easy but I have to say that the raiders have not seen the instance in the 10man version, the bosses are quite challenging.

We had a little bit of trouble in beating the northend beasts encounter. The first one went smoothly after a few tries but our healers had some trouble in dealing with the damage spikes on our deathknight tanks. Both really went down almost instantly in some cases and it made us wonder if there are some ways to mitigate more damage that we have not thought about yet.

So, after a few tries we changed to a paladin tank and a warrior tank. Suprisingly the damage spikes did not seem to be as high on these tanking classes and so we managed to get through the first and the second phase of the encounter. The snow kobolds and the acid debuffs were still a small problem but our damaged dealers managed to get those little buggers down quickly and also to move out of the green clouds as well.

One small tipp would be to look for the shadow on the ground when one of the kobolds is thown. We were told that one can quickly determin which player will be hit by it this way and judging by the speed at which they were killed, that tip seems to work.

The third part of the beasts encounter really seems to be the most easy one. As long as everyone moves out of the way of the yeti when he charges all should be well. After he has charged he takes considerably more damage and during that time it is very easy to get the raid back to full health.

It is a different story if Icehowl manages to hit a player. If he does that, he enrages and unleashes a world of pain upon the unlucky tank standing in front of him. But gneraly it should be possible to move out of the way in time since the players receive a buff that makes them move faster.

So I would say that once you manage to get into phase three you should not have a problem to get the loot for the fight …

Tanking with PUGs

PUGs are something that almostall players seem to run across at some point. And, if you are not a member of a guild that has at least a moderate amount of active players, a pick up group is something you will have to rely on to get yourself into an instance.

Since my deathknight turned 80 I tried to get through some of the heroic instances to improve my gear. And since I am guildless at this moment I had to get some random players together to get going. Now, it seems like I hade a little bit of luck since most groups that came together really went well but I had my share of wild folks and strangeness. Which is why I thought I might share a few thoughts about how to PUG as a tank.

Fist of all I thing that it really is necessary to know your own limitations while tanking. If there is an instance that is beyond your skill or current gear, do not try to tackle it with a random group. It will only lead to a tremendous repair bill and to frustration on your part and among the other members of the group. For me the Occulus is such an instance at this moment. I really hav no clue how the last boss fight works and before I try tanking that instance I am going to learn how the flying boss fight is going to work.

Before you start an instance make sure that the others have a basic understanding about what you are going to do. For example, if you are marking the targets, let the group know which target is to be hit first and so forth. Also make sure that the damage dealers give you the time you need to safely grab aggro. If things go real smooth with the first groups, then its time to speed things up a little bit but I think that it is important to get a feeling for the group first.

The start of an instance is also a good time to check the loot rules. If you have an enchanter it is important that only the enchanter rolls on the stuff noone needs so that shards can be created. And how or if those shards are devided should also be briefly discussed to avoid some discussions later on.

Also I found it helpful to give some pointers before every bossfight so that the others know what you are going to do and how the fight will be going. Some fights can be won in different ways and knowing which tactic is going to be used mostly helps to get through a fight more easily.

One thing I have made a habit out of is taking screenshots of the group composition if things really went well or if they really really went wrong. Since I am not that good with names I wanted to keep a reminder about which players I had fun grouping with and also about players I wanted to avoid. The friend list ia also a good tool for building a network of players to group with but I really like the screenshots. I also place a summary of the Recount window beside the portraits so I also have some basic information about damage done and dps if I want to check that as well.

I am sure that there are more tipps that should be here but that will have to do for now. So, good pug-ing everyone …

A minty fresh level 80 Death Knight

Alright. I have not written on my blog for some time because I have been busy with some things. Some had nothing to do with the game but one sure had. I have leveled a new death knight up to level 80. Now, naturally I had to think about what I wanted to accomplish with that character.

Since there is still a tank shortage on the realm I am playing on I already was forced to tank almost all instances I wanted to got to while I was leveling up. And because I do not really think that is going to change now that my dk is at the max level, I decided to make him a tank. But now there is that small issue of getting the right gear to be able to go and successfully tank the heroic dungeons. The most important stat obviously is the defence rating. A defence rating of 540 is necessary so that bosses that are three levels above you cannot hit you critically anymore. Now, 540 seems like a high value to reach but with some of the items that can be crafted and with a few runs through normal instances, that should not be a big problem.

In my next post I will go over some of the starting gear and where to get it.

Countdown to Cataclysn

Last night our small guild managed to get a ten man raid together and headed to the obsidian sanctum and naxxramas after that. We downed Sartharion on our first try without adds and since this was our first time there we were really wondering that everything went as smoothly. Sure, it was a bit hectic dodging all of the waves and getting the small elementals down. But all in all our tank held the big one without a problem and our druid collected the small adds very well. We had three healers in the raid and on that side there was not much of a problem.

In Naxxramas, things did not go as smooth but still we cleared the spider wing and the plague wing. Heigan with the lava dancing gave us some small problems but even he fell ln the third try. I am not sure if I found Naxxramas too easy. For me as a healer who is not really equipped too well, the challenge was that I had a lack of mana on certain fights. When mana was there, the damage was manageable and with our three different healers we gelled quite well.

I guess it will become more easy with every run since the gear gets better with every boss that falls. The next bosses from the deathknight and abomination wings will be a bit more challenging but I think that we will get them down as well. So, after our next raid we will know a bit better where we stand.

What to do

Yesterday our raid was canceled. Not because there were not enough people online but rather because everything was done for the week. Naxx was clear, the sanctum was cleared and even Malygos was down for the count.

So, I was wondering what to do. I settled on playing one of my many twinks who I am trying to get ready for the heroic instances and ultimately for raiding. But if I only had my main character I think it might be somewhat of a problem. There are not that many raiding instances around and if you have cleared all the 25 Man content there is not that much need for the heroic instances anymore. And since the gear get better as the raids go on it becomes more and more likely that the raid will clear naxx in a quick run and even sartharion and malygos on the same night.

There still is the arena and pvp but some people do not find that all that enjoyable anymore so the question what to do becomes more important. I myself have always enjoyed twinking so I have options and I am not completely through with all factions on my main so the heroic instances are still a must for me. But I guess Blizzard will have to come up with something to keep players busy. And I doubt that one new raid instance will do the trick …

Malygos cleared

Yesterday the raid I am with managed to down Malygos for the first time. That means that we have cleared the available raid contend that Wrath provides thus far. Sure, there still is that Sartharion thing with the adds but I guess that it won’t take long to get that done as well, since already most of the gear from Naxx is going towards the enchanter.

I really hope that the raid keeps going and that there soon will be some new raid instances that we can explore. With all the blogs and sites being full with comments about the lack of things to do ingame, Blizzard should really consider giving some more content to their players.