As we delve deeper into the recesses of the Black Temple, the bosses get meaner. At least their names do. Gurtogg Bloodboil and Teron Gorefiend sure sound like they could oneshot the raid, but fortunately the learning curve isn't all that steep. Teron is arguably the easier boss of the two, with the only real hard part being the contruct killing. That part of the encounter is quite enjoyable though, and I appreciated seeing some open air again. Blizzard has obviously put a lot of time into the design of BT, and as much as I've grown tired of damp dark dungeons with low ceilings, so far I haven't felt that mindnumbing 'we're never getting out of this place and this trash will never ever end' feeling you used to get somewhere after Firemaw.
Beforehand we read Archimonde was the ultimate retard check. Some guides suggested using 23 or 24 people rather than taking people who can't avoid a huge burning patch or who find it difficult to click on an item at the right time. Sadly, this is Quartz - if we raided without retards it would be a small raid indeed. The 'can't make a single mistake' bosses are bad enough, but when I found out this encounter also included no AE whatsoever, I was tempted to just cancel trying Archi altogether.
It was a Tuesday, like any other Tuesday. Except we had a Zul'Aman speed run planned. About 30 min after the planned start time we can finally get started. Everyone gets buffed up, flasked up and eat some food. We bang the gong! kill the first waves of trolls. We rushed up to the Gauntlet! A great battle commenced... and then we wiped even before the first boss. Okay maybe not this week.
Ah, it's been quite the month. Azgalor died, the Shade of Akama bit the dust, Archimonde wipeage has started in full force and the collective gathered in what can only be described as a real life version of Orgrimmar, complete with campfires (or should I say Azfires) and a drunk Morbo mispronouncing every word.
In the absence of our glorious leader we were lead by two mutes and an enhancement shaman, the ever victorious army once again set out to conquer the loots and new encounters.
After the initial â€œuhm, anyone know where the boss is?â€ we got started and promptly turned around and walked the other way.
Trash didnâ€™t give us any problems and we soon set our eyes upon the Warlord Naj'entus a surprisingly good first attempt at 47% really lifted our spirits. Not even respawning trashmobs killing dorks like me running back put much of a dent into that. A couple of attempts later the Warlord lay at our feet after an attempt that could best be described as clockwork. I have a feeling this encounter will much like Hydross cause us to wipe once or twice for quite some time as people remember what they were supposed to do.
The collective celebrated their success by wiping on the next pack. After getting our feet put pack on the ground we performed like a well oiled machine until we encountered Supremus the giant burning baby. This is where the machine broke down and half of it decided that flames donâ€™t really hurt that much, they were wrong! A couple more attempts working out kite paths, making sure everyone spread out and move in phase 2 and soulstoning the person with the most hp. Supremus was dead and the raid ended. A good night in the new instance, I look forward to seeing the rest of it.
Mount Hyjal is a nice change of pace. Tanks like the fact that aoers in cloth have higher repair costs than they do. Aoers enjoy being able to pump out 5k dps on a core part of the instance trash. Healers, well healer, enjoy yelling the names of people who die on TS. The raid as a whole enjoyed killing 2 bosses the first night on them. After 8 waves of aoe death we meet the lich, who promptly decides on Death and Decaying melee to death. Even with that the first attempt ended at 7%. Rather anti-climactic, considering butting heads with Kael has been our main occupation for a while. Next up was Anatheron, who probably would have been killed on the second, rather then 3rd (or was it fourth?) attempt had people not been so fond of fondling Jaina, making half the people in the raid miss the tactics in raid chat. Seeing all mages die at the same time was a beauty though. The raid would probably have ended sooner had someone learned the lesson from earlier in the evening and not fondled Jaina before who got what loot was decided. Such is life in Quartz. All in all it's nice to see this instance opening up, with encounters much like the ones in Zul Aman, which are quite interactive and rely on execution rather than being mad dps races.
What can I say about Kael'Thalas that hasn't been said in the many WOOHOOOs that graced our raid chat last week? It truly is an epic encounter - and after getting every guild member their Vashj vial and ditching SSC, we had plenty of time to experience the fight in all its glory. The fight has basic retard check phases - arguably the hardest for a guild like Quartz, and an insane AE spam phase - arguably the easiest for a guild like Quartz. We've always been blessed with an uncanny ability to find the best ways to AE pretty much any raid content, and Blizzard actually rewarded us for our AEing with legendary weapons this time. I think that's proof enough that AE is ALWAYS the right answer.
The reason this Solarian kill story has been so long in waiting (we killed it weeks ago) has everything to do with the somewhat anticlimactic battle that Solarian turned out to be. We collectively decided resistance fights suck, so we never did Solarian before the patch - but what they have turned him into can only be seen as free loot on the way to Kael. It's quite possible that Blizz felt bad about the return of the geddon bomb - that wiper of so many raids in the old days - that they decided the rest of the fight should be really really easy. But these days, with your entire raid on TS or vent and having done so many retard checks in SSC and TK already, a silly bomb ability won't wipe your raid anymore.. right? Right?
It's been two strange weeks. Our site was hacked, we had some bad raids and people were frustrated with the little time our slacking raiding schedule left for new content. Vashj is simply not an encounter you can practice for a single night now and then - it felt like we spent more time remembering what on earth we were supposed to be doing than actually improving, not to mention having to introduce new people to the wonderful world of core tossing.
The story of our grand victory over the Flaming Parrot is long overdue - which belittles the epic battle it was. Tanks jumping off platforms, staying in line of sight - it's pretty much a recipe for disaster. Since it's a two phase encounter (which encounter isn't these days) we figured the second part would be the extremely hard part - but really, once you get there it's just a matter of tank and spank - hardly any jumping needed. I have to admit I was happy with Blizzard's choice to start Al'ar easy, so you have a chance to get into the swing of things, but after a couple of wipes phase 1 is boring more than useful. Fortunately you can entertain yourself trying to blow up the rogues or mocking Bladewing, so all is not lost. Special thanks to Cookie for spending all his badges on fire res gear. You will be rewarded in a later life, I am sure.