Archive for the “Effing raiding” Category
It has been months – months! – well, since, like July – since we’ve raided in anger. No tasty new treats to loot or DE, no goodies to keep even the most discerning loot whores sated. Nada. Bupkis.
Week before last, we had possibly the worst combination of Stone Guard evar, and while we got it down into the 20s or 30s, we never really clicked. The chains, especially, are horrible, and it’s even worse when you’re chained to a hyperactive druidkitty. Move. Keep up. Because she doesn’t care if you keep up or not. Honestly, I have no idea how others manage to do that, but they often make it look easy, while I feel like I’ve stumbled into one of those secret levels in Descent. AAAAH I AM NOT PREPARED.
When the raid leader says "DPS needs to do 50K DPS each for us to make the timer" and you’re thinking "I just barely made 40K in all BIS gear in DS!", yeah, there are concerns. And without our two DPS divas around, we had to make up for it in some way.
I guess the old saying about age and treachery overcoming youth and vigor has a kernel of truth in it. For I’m pretty sure we fell short, individually and collectively, of the DPS goal, but somehow we managed to down the Stone Council early in the evening. Brain’s fuzzy – might have been a one-shot, but I seem to think we wiped the first time. Still, not bad. And I got a nice shiny chest piece out of it. Hunter loot: achieved. After seeing almost nothing but plate in every heroic I’ve done, that’s a nice treat.
Feng’s the next fight, and I’m convinced that we would’ve taken him down this weekend except we didn’t have enough signups to go in on the 2nd night. We got him down into the teens a couple of times. Most of our wipes were due to learning the new abilities and strats. We may not have downed him, but I doubt anyone walked away feeling we didn’t do well.
Eff the Ineffable isn’t cutting edge by any stretch, but we’re progressing nicely on current content, and that’s not a bad thing for a more or less casual weekend warrior kind of guild. Everyone involved should feel pretty darned good about it.
I’m desperately trying to put together a gear plan, but time just doesn’t seem to appear. And Mondays I’m usually pretty useless if there’s anything new from the Top Gear guys.
An aside: what the heck happened to Mr. Robot? All of a sudden his reforge recommendations are frittering away all of my +hit and +exp well short of the cap. And all haste all the time? I don’t know if other classes were affected or not, but for BM hunters, things are pretty weird.
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As can be expected of mere mortals, we didn’t get Stone Guard down last night, but we made steady progress to a point, with constant improvement in duration, damage, and survival.
The fight poses many challenges.
- The tanks have to get REALLY good at coordination in order to swap statues around.
- DPS has to stay out of the bad and still be able to quickly switch to the appropriate statues.
- Ranged DPS has to keep within range of a healer or two.
- Melee DPS is constantly on the move as the statues get swapped.
- Situational awareness is a big deal. It’s nice that the RL calls out which statue is up and what you can do about it, but we need to be doing that ourselves so that he can focus on calling swaps.
There are also a few class / spec challenges for myself:
- Having a pet with an AoE or cleave will help since the boss is a shared health pool, and damaging more than one of the statues will kill it faster.
- If you have Glaive Toss as your level 90 talent, positioning is important as well as which statue you’re DPSing, otherwise the glaives’ path doesn’t pass through both statues. In other words, every time the statues are shifted between the tanks, you’re going to have to reposition.
- The removal of the movement restriction on Cobra Shot can’t come soon enough.
- If you get chained to a feral Druid, do yourself a favor and just go stand in a big purple pool and die now. Those DPS Kitties bounce around like furry superballs fueled on amphetamines and Red Bull. You just end up running around a lot, doing no DPS, and wishing that Concussive Shot could be used on friendlies.
My DPS output wasn’t … horrible … for Heroic Morchock. But estimates show we need 50K DPS out of all bodies, and I wasn’t achieving that. Few people were, and nobody was consistently. But in a way that’s okay since we’ve never hit the enrage timer yet.
Our biggest challenge? Not murdering each other with the damned chains. I think I’ve mentioned my biggest challenge there. Second biggest challenge is reading your partner’s mind and not running LEFT when he goes RIGHT after a pool appears under your feets.
While some bemoan that our first raid boss is a Council-style fight, I’m more inclined to view it as a challenge to overcome. When you get these fights down, they’re all kinds of fun, for the most part. And the only reason Magmaw was the first boss in BWD is that nobody wanted to take on Omnomnomnomitron – a council fight – as the first boss – but we had that option. This is a decent gating boss – if you’re not ready, you won’t make it.
A lot of mumbling about gear. I’m less inclined to blame my gear for my performance, but this week’s gearing adventures provided that it can indeed make a difference. Fair enough be this, say I. While the temptation to rush into LFR is strong, I’m going to take some time this week and develop a gear plan to map out what goodies are where. I still have to get Jas up to speed, but MWF I can dedicate to the cause of getting geared, for a while.
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For Eff the Ineffable, it’s opening night. Invites sent and accepted. Gear shined, mogged, and tweaked. Pets selected carefully and arrayed in the Port-a-Pet. WeakAuras set up. Gear gemmed and cogged so that …
/whips out the Port-a-Anvil
/cogs like a fool
Okay, AS I WAS SAYING … we’re all cogged up and ready to go!
I’ve mentioned before and it bears repeating, mostly because I babble when excited, that this is the earliest in any expansion’s release cycle that I’ve been part of a raiding team. As such I’ve not quite settled in to the new features and gearing needs. Our RL found the gearing inadequate so he dropped a few PvP mail pieces on me, and some mats so I could make the gun and goggles and scope, so I’m more or less around the 450 iLevel now. Can’t complain. The tweaks fetched me another 30-ish% DPS output on individual targets, so all I need to do now is fine-tune to spread that out to a more average output.
Going back to Icy Veins to study some more, and we’ll be ready to roll.
Today is a good day to wipe.
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In Burning Crusade, I had just started playing in earnest as a Hunter. I just kinda joined in with the group once I got to level 70. In Wrath of the Lich King, we had a serious guild blow-up so nobody was ready to raid until after 3.1. In Cataclysm, Eff the Ineffable was still getting it together and we didn’t start raiding until around February, a few months after release of 4.0.3.
So here we are in Pandaland, and I find myself a bit rushed. Raiding starts this weekend, and until last night, I wasn’t even the right level!
In a way, I illogically resent the need to hurry. I prefer to take my time, smell the Peacebloom, and take it all in.
But, nobody’s holding a gun to my head. I don’t HAVE to be in that first raid. I might not have a guaranteed place in the future, but that’s the price you pay for being less committed to raiding than your team mates.
So the truth is, I want to be there, if there’s a spot, and I made that choice without any coersion. So I should put on my big dorf pants and get as prepared as I can in the time remaining.
I’ll still have a chance to lollygag. Jasra, Flora, and Illume are all going to progress through the content a bit slower, though Jas may have to hurry a bit if the Bunnies start thinking about raiding in the near future. But that would be unusual, that’s one laid back group of peeps.
It’s pretty odd, by the way, to ding 90 and be nowhere near the final zone of the expansion. And I didn’t even start out with rested XP.
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As a public service, I share this advice.
If anyone in your raid suddenly types or says the equivalent of "BRB, roach emergency!", it is probably not because he dropped his doobie down his pants.
I defy anyone to raid effectively with a three-inch Florida Palmetto Bug at large in the living room.
Or with a spouse that is in that situation.
That is all.
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As of Friday night, I am Grimmtooth, Destroyer’s End, and that feels pretty good.
It also makes me stop for a moment and consider what I am doing next.
Imma splain myself.
When our little guild started to disintegrate – over half our prime raiding core bailed for SWTOR – I figured our raiding days were numbered, and evaluated my options. Since all the people that I moved to Azuremyst to raid with had left, I had fallen back to motivation #2, which was, simply, to raid. And with the big hole in our raiding team, that didn’t seem likely.
Our new GMs busted ass to fill those holes, however, and found some fine candidates that have proven their mettle time and again. So, the raiding has kept going, and kept me going with the Effers. I figured, things would break up before we downed Deathwing, and then I’d probably transfer back to my old server, assuming the Bunnies would have me back. I really didn’t have prospects elsewhere other than SWTWOR, and that’s not really doing it for me.
But Eff the Ineffable Mk II’s success in DW has given me reason to stick around. Oh, I’m sure we’ll lose some bodies to attrition in the waning days of the expansion, but I really do believe we’ll have a viable raiding team when Pandaria comes along, or shortly thereafter. And while a lot of the old familiar faces won’t be there, we’re forging new bonds between us and the new kids.
It’s not the same guild I joined, not by a long shot, but success makes its own strong argument. This is the first time I’ve taken down an endgame boss while the boss was still part of the actual endgame, and I’m still not sure I fully grok the significance of that. Pretty heady stuff when you’re used to lagging significantly by a tier or three.
This was best said by a former GM in a galaxy far far away when she proposed the outrageous notion of a guild((Yes, I know, Douglas Addams. Gimme a license for leeway here.)).
Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable, let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
Eff yeah. I’m not going anywhere.
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Since Grimmtooth Actual’s system died, I haven’t set foot in a progression raid. Flora’s been working with the Bunnies on old content (about which you already know) but given how tight timing is with progression raiding, I declined to subject myself or my guildies to that brand of failsauce.
Now that the ol’ tronbucket’s back in action, I’ve been looking forward with two parts excitement and one part horror to my first progression raid in weeks. Just before the system died, I had upgraded some gear and gotten some advice on increasing my DPS, which I had not implemented yet. Coming back, my advisor was nowhere to be found and I had to scramble to enchant and gem my gear.
We’ve gone with a new UI setup, based off of ElvUI. I chose it for simplicity and utility. For the most part it has worked out.
I’ve also given WeakAuras another try, this time having a lot more success, and it’s actually helped a lot to keep me on my toes. My DPS has improved somewhat, but is nowhere near where it should be for someone that’s got his T13 four-piece bonus already. More research into a respec is clearly needed.
When last I was in, we were still working on Blackhorn. Coming back, the effers have downed him twice. Fortunately, we were using the same strat as before, so after a few mis-steps I was able to get into it, just in time to be taken down by a lag spike in phase 2. But we downed him, and that’s all that matters.
The good news is that the GMs have been working hard on recruitment and brought in some new talent that appears to be working out nicely. Lots of new faces, it’ll take a while to get used to it.
Overall, though, it’s good to be back. Tomorrow we tackle Spine, and, Light willing, Madness.
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The end of the year has come and gone and Eff the Ineffable is (a) still around and (b) still kicking and © still recruiting. This comes as a surprise to some since things were looking dark at the end of the year. The fact that the Holidays always wreaks havoc on raiding schedules is still an endless source of surprise to many, and when you’re feeling a little bit vulnerable, as we have been, it ceases to be an academic issue.
Still, you have to admit that losing a GM and over half the core raiding team is a pretty difficult obstacle. Throw in the fact that the new GM has some stuff keeping her away from the game for a few weeks, and conditions are ripe for the typical collapse cycle.
Fortunately, there are many things that mitigated these factors. First of all, the new GM was quick to let people know what was going on, so the usual ennui on the part of the rank and file did not occur. Secondly, we have some individuals that are willing and able to take up leadership roles – interim or not - and maintain a sense of order that a guild needs to survive. And, thirdly, efforts to recruit are bearing fruit – whether to get new members, or to build a guild alliance, remains to be seen, but progress has been made and thus far the new faces have been met with amity and approval.
The net effect this weekend was that we actually had to sit some people out for our weekend raiding. Oh, sure, the new faces were a factor, but that’s the point of bringing them in, or getting together, or however you want to put it.
The ultimate result is that we’ve managed to move on to 4/8 Normal. I realize we’re not talking world or even server firsts here, but it is achievement, it is progression, and I don’t think anyone walked out muttering bad things about anything.
As usual, I am not satisfied with my damage output. There were one or two fights where I did exceedingly well, but for the majority I’m close to tail-end Charlie by the numbers. On the second day, I realized that I had some gemming and reforging issues, which I’m not sure how happened, but even that didn’t improve things much. I have some time this week, so I’m going to investigate a Survival build. I hear that’s the hawtness these days. Always in motion, the future is.
So, anyway, the future of EtI is far less full of woe than it once was, and I consider that to be a good thing.
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"You guys are just … wrong. That’s why I love you." – — Alas, over Vent.
I don’t think I need a better introduction, ever.
Despite stooging trash pulls like a boss, we managed to pull off 6/7 FL in less than three hours. Alas is closer to her legendary staff, Nym got her 25th ember/shard thing, and much leather was dropped into the eager mitts of our favorite rogue. I’m sure that’ll just make him that much more uber than I can ever hope to be, but that’s alright.
It’s funny, but I totally kick ass on trash. Give me a boss with … things to do, though, and I’m nuking like a T11 raider, baby.
Yeah, those 4.3 buffs to BM can’t come soon enough.
But what the hell. I may not be top spot on the DPS charts, but I came out of this raid feeling like I didn’t totally screw up. I call that a win.
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Last night, Flora got benched so I could participate in a unique guild event. So, thanks, Flora, for not setting my Cheerios on fire this morning.
When the nature of 4.2 and the introduction of a new Legendary staff was clear to us, we actually had a vote ahead of time to pick who would get the staff fragments, should it ever drop for us. Well, it did, indeed, drop for us, and our esteemed GM, Alas, was the designated recipient – a choice I highly approve.
Last week, she obtained the final fragment and thus began the harrowing next steps, which apparently includes soloing a special instance of The Nexus – one of the rare times that such back-referencing happens. I wish I could have been a bug on a wall for that, from a lore perspective. Alas avers it was extremely difficult. Well, that’s fitting, it’s a Legendary staff, after all.
Last night’s event, then, was to obtain a branch of Nordrasil that Ragnaros’ chums had obtained. To do this required us to go in as a raid and engage several bosses long enough for her to obtain bits and bobs, and then a new, special boss encounter for the branch.
I can’t speak to the lore aspects, but from a gameplay perspective, I gotta say I like the way this is going. Engaging to the recipient, difficult but not impossible, and engaging to the whole guild. This is a great thing. It promotes esprit de corps, strengthens the whole guild identity thing.
As a guild we chose the one to whom this staff went to, and as a guild we are there helping her complete it. That’s pretty awesome.
I have yet to see the endgame for this from within, but so far, it looks like Blizzard hit it out of the park.
A note: somebody in vent was saying there was like nine months of full clears to go in order to get the rest of the stuff for the final staff. Mathematically, that’s not possible. I’ve seen several people get this staff already – you can’t miss it if you live in Stormwind – and 4.2 hasn’t even been around for nine months. So if you see exceptionally large numbers presented in guides, seek a second opinion. I have reason to believe they are wrong.
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