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We Might Have Killed Heroic Paragons? It’s Complicated…

August 7, 2014

Paragons of the KlaxxiThese guys are jerks.

Last night we were working on our current progression boss, Heroic Paragons of the Klaxxi.  (We skipped Heroic Blackfuse and are going to work on him next.)  It was intense!  We were nearing the end and suddenly a few DPS died, and then our Disc Priest died so that I was the only healer, and then our Monk tank died, and then I didn’t see the amber pool forming under my feet and I died like an idiot, but by then we only had one boss left to kill and he was about half dead.  So with one tank and 2-3 DPS alive they were ahead of the enrage timer and everything looked good… But then the boss jumped into the air to throw the amber pools, and while he was out of range they fell behind the enrage.  However we knew it wasn’t a hard enrage, so people spread out so he would have to kill them one by one and everyone loaded the boss up with as many DoTs as possible.

As the boss ran around one-shotting the last few DPSers we were counting down the remaining health on vent… 1% health… 500k health… OMG they could do it… Then the last DPS died and we were filled with despair.

But suddenly– what’s this?!  Victory music from Big Wigs and a bonus roll popped up!  WOOT!  The boss had died from DoTs just as he killed the last DPS!  We were victorious!

Guild News Thinks We Killed ParagonsAt least someone got bonus roll loot.  Heaven forbid it should be me.  Stupid gold.

Except…

We didn’t get any achievements.

The body of the boss despawned.

Because the body had despawned, we couldn’t loot.

Raid Lockout Thinks We Killed ParagonsThere were probably two pieces of BiS Resto Druid loot too.

Well, that’s sure weird.  But the Paragons WERE dead… The door to Garrosh was open.  We had been allowed to roll on bonus loot, and several people won gear from the rolls.  The Guild News page listed us as having killed the Paragons.  WoW Progress updated and said we had killed them.  But the armory was not showing credit for the kill on anyone’s individual page.

The best we can figure is that the last boss died from DoTs just as he was resetting, which bugged out the credit for the kill.  Somehow it ended up giving credit to the guild but not to the individual players.

WoW Progress Thinks We Killed ParagonsAt least our guild rank should be accurate, and that’s what really matters, right?

So, now what happens?

We decided to put in a ticket to Blizzard to see if they can sort it out for us.  We’d like for them to give us the loot that was on the boss, which they should be able to see in the files, since raid loot is generated when the raid instance is generated.  However, I’m not going to hold my breath for that, because once we killed Elegon during the phase when the floor had disappeared, leaving the loot chest floating in mid-air, unaccessable, and Blizzard’s response to our ticket was basically, “We know this bug happens, but we’re not going to give you loot, because we don’t care.”

No Achievement for Killing ParagonsThose 10 achievement points are very important to me.
No, getting them next week isn’t good enough, geez!

More importantly, we’d like to get our achievements for the kill.  Also, we aren’t sure if we should go on to kill Garrosh in this lockout or not, because maybe Blizzard can just re-set the Paragons this week so we can kill them again, but better this time.  (We still have one more raid night on Monday.)  We’re not sure what Blizzard does in these sorts of situations.  Maybe they’ll strip us of the bonus roll loot and say our kill was invalid!  That would be sad.  :(

Armory Doesn't Think We Killed ParagonsI hate those little yellow “incomplete” bars. Someday, all the bars will be green!
(Healers… always obsessed with making the bars green.)

We were recording the kill, so a video will be available at some point, but it hasn’t been uploaded to Youtube yet.

(What’s this?  Two blog posts in two days?  Madness!)

I Design Raid Encounters In My Sleep

August 6, 2014

*dusts off blog*  Oh, hey!  I have a blog!  Fancy that.  Hi, everyone!

I have a lot of WoW related dreams.  Originally, they were about questing, or practicing my rotation, or farming herbs, or other mundane things that I was actually doing in-game.  However, more recently my subconscious mind has started designing raid encounters (and other new game features) in my sleep, sometimes in surprising detail.  Last night I dreamed of an encounter that was especially “complete”, so I feel like I should write it down.  For posterity, or something.

The Setting

Thousand Needles Rocks SmallI obviously don’t have screenshots of a boss fight that doesn’t exist, so here, have some rocks.

This encounter takes place in a large, rocky arena; either a bowl-shaped valley surrounded by steep cliffs or a subterranean cavern with a high ceiling.  It’s a bit larger than the chamber Tortos was in.  In the center is a large, mechanical contraption with various valves, tubes and machinery, digging into the earth and putting out tendrils of pipe that meander across the room, sometimes disappearing underground and then reappearing in other places.  The rocks are all colored in rich browns, rather like the rock formations in Thousand Needles.

Around the room there are several chambers or alcoves set back into the cliffs.  Each alcove contains 4-5 caster mobs with low health pools, but which deal very high damage if aggroed.  These casters are trash mobs, which do not participate in the boss fight unless you get too close to them.

The boss stands just to the right of the room entrance and has a fairly large aggro radius, so you can’t get very far into the room before he pulls.  This prevents you from getting near the alcoves to kill the casters before engaging the boss.

Phase 1

Bastion of Twilight Trash Cropped SmallPretend this is a rocky alcove full of caster mobs.

The boss is immobile, so is tanked right where he stands.  My dream didn’t provide me with much detail about the boss itself at all — I blame the fact that I don’t tank.  I have no idea what it looked like, or what it was doing besides standing there meleeing the tanks.  It probably had a tank swap mechanic, because every recent boss has had a tank swap mechanic, so why not?  I do remember that the boss was partially protected by a mechanical shield contraption that caused him to take 50% less damage in this phase.

Otherwise, the first few seconds of the fight is pure tank n’ spank.  About 30 seconds into the encounter the boss becomes inactive and big mechanical construct-type adds spawn around the entire room, spaced about 30 yards apart from each other.  There are about 6 adds per 5 players.  These constructs are also immobile, as well as untankable, doing nothing but channeling a single spell.  They have to be killed before they finish the channel, which lasts about 20 seconds, or else they drop a large explosive boulder where they were standing.  Each explosive boulder has about twice the health of a construct, and must be killed within 10 seconds of spawning.  If not killed in time, the boulders explode for massive amounts of AoE raid damage.

Killing the constructs in time requires a fairly high amount of DPS.  It also requires DPS to quickly spread out around the room to kill the constructs at the opposite end from where the boss is standing.  In my dream, we had every person assigned to a construct, with DPS players helping tanks and healers kill their constructs after their own were dead.  Then everyone worked to quickly kill any leftover constructs or dropped boulders.  It might be possible to survive 1-2 boulder explosions using strong raid cooldowns.

After the constructs and boulders are dead, the boss re-activates and needs to be picked up quickly by a tank.  This is back to tank n’ spank mode, except approximately every 20 seconds the boss does a raid-wide knockback.  This is a lot like Iron Juggernaut’s knockback, in that it knocks you back until you are stopped by an obstacle.  Luckily, there’s a giant piece of machinery in the center of the room to stop you.  However, if you miss hitting the machinery, you can easily be knocked back into one of the alcoves and aggro the casters there.  This is nearly guaranteed to wipe the raid, as the casters will likely kill the person knocked into them, and then run out of the alcove to pick off other raid members.  (If you are reminded of Onyxia’s whelp caves, so am I.)

At this point the tank n’ spank/knockback part of the phase alternates with the construct/boulder phase until Phase 2 is triggered.  Each tank n’ spank section lasts about a minute, with constructs/boulders taking about 30 seconds.

The Gimmick That Triggers Phase 2

Goblin Machinery SmallThis doesn’t look like the machinery in my dream at all, but it’ll do.

In order to trigger Phase 2, you have to destroy the machinery in the center of the room.  The machinery cannot be DPSed — instead you must collect explosive resources that spawn randomly around the room and place them into the machine.  When enough resources have been collected, someone can pull the lever on the side of the machine to detonate the explosives.  In my dream we assigned a Disc Priest to run around collecting explosives, because there wasn’t a lot of healing required in Phase 1, (unless boulders exploded), and because he could use Angelic Feathers to keep up a near constant speed boost to help him get to resource spawns.

Detonating the explosives also prevents more constructs from spawning, and (more importantly) removes the boss’s damage reducing shield.

Phase 2

Frank Hellfire 1 Cropped SmallI don’t have a picture of a boss burn phase, so here — have a picture of Frank casting Hellfire.

This is a pure burn phase, very much like the final phase of Galakras or Shannox.  The boss deals increasing raid-wide AoE damage until it overwhelms the healers and wipes the raid or you manage to kill the boss.  The key here is to whittle enough health off the boss in Phase 1 to be able to finish him off quickly once his shield is gone.  Since players have control over when he transitions, it’s a matter of balancing how many construct phases with their high burst damage requirements you can handle vs. how much raid-wide AoE damage you can survive at the end.  It would probably be a good idea to save Bloodlust/Heroism for Phase 2, as well as to transition to Phase 2 after a tank n’ spank section instead of after constructs, so that you have as many DPS cooldowns available as possible.

Of course, in addition to the soft-enrage of increasing raid damage in Phase 2, there’s also a hard enrage at about 5-6 minutes, which should help prevent people from simply remaining in Phase 1 forever.

Don’t Quit My Day Job?

So, what do you think?  Did my subconscious mind do a good job?  Do I have a promising future ahead of me as an encounter designer?  Or is this just a sign that I definitely play too much?

Plushie Lil’ Derpion

May 7, 2014

*tap tap*  This thing on?  *blows dust off of WordPress*

Hi there!  Apparently, I still have a blog.  I’ve just become really, really bad about writing things up.  You see, when something interesting happens or I have some sort of thought, I usually just whisper or IM a couple people about it and then it’s out of my system and I no longer feel like taking the time to type it up.  I know, I know, I’m so very lazy.

But this HAS to be a blog post, because it was inspired by another blogger.  You see, back in February, Kamalia posted about finishing her quest to make little plushies of all the WoW dragon whelplings.  They were so cute and awesome that I wished out loud for a sewing machine so that I could make some too.  My husband was like, “Would you really like a sewing machine?  Would you make stuff with it?”  And I was like, sure!  Why not?  So he totally bought me one for my birthday!  (I think he just wants to encourage me to have more non-gaming hobbies, heh.)  And since Kamalia had kindly posted her whelpling pattern, I was good to go!

Of course, I hadn’t used a sewing machine in decades, so I knew it would take a bit of practice to figure things out.  My plan was to start off with simpler projects, and I did sew together a nice little pillow with a sort of quilted pillowcase, but then I just threw caution to the wind and dove straight into dragon making.

Monster PillowcaseThe mostly completed pillowcase.  I’m far too lazy to go take a photo of the finished product.

Introducing Derpion, Aspect of the Derp Flight!

 

Plush Dragon SittingHe’s sittin’ so pretty for the camera.

Since the little guy is a bit awkward looking, I was going to name him something like Derpy, or Derptar, or Derpistrasz.  When I mentioned this to Prinnie, she yelled, “DERPION! Aspect of the Derp Flight!”   Which is far too perfect, I must agree.  So little Derpion he is.

Anyway, because I knew my first attempt was probably going to really suck, I didn’t want to use very expensive fabric.  So I just bought the cheapest cotton I could find to make a practice dragon.  And yeah… I made quite a few mistakes and there are a number of things I’d do differently next time.

Plush Dragon SidesHanging out with himself and showing off his side views.

First of all, I didn’t read Kamalia’s instructions very closely or study her photos to see how she’d done things.  I had a pattern, what more did I need?!  So I uh, totally didn’t notice that she hadn’t included seam allowances on the pattern.  >.<  So the body and hind legs turned out smaller than they would have been otherwise.  I finally noticed the lack of a seam allowance when I tried to sew his little front legs and my sewing machine tried to eat them.  I had to redo those and allow for a proper seam, so his front legs are proportionately bigger than his hind legs, at least compared to Kamalia’s whelps.  I also re-drew the wings to include allowance for both the seam and the pipe cleaner armature-thing.

Secondly, I forgot to add the little top piece for his head.  I don’t think it’s noticeable unless you know it’s supposed to be there though.  His head is just smaller and narrower than it should be.  I think it looks a bit more like a dinosaur or a turkey vulture this way.

Thirdly, I kept getting better as I went along, so the second of each pair of legs/wings turned out better than the first one, and usually slightly larger too.  It’s especially noticeable in his wings.

Plush Dragon TopThe left wing is clearly better constructed than the right wing.  Poor lop-sided Derpion!

Fourthly, I wasn’t sure how the feet were supposed to be sewn together, so I tried two different versions on the front and the back legs.  I’m not sure which I like better.  There’s probably an even better way to do them that I just don’t know about.

Finally, I had no idea how Kamalia had intended to sew the limbs on, so I kinda just made it up.  I used buttons to attach them, which makes them semi-poseable.

Plush Dragon WindowSuch a big world for such a little dragon.

However, there are some things that I think work well.  The quilting-type thing I did on the wings looks pretty good.  The zig-zag stitching in particular helps give the wings a bit of texture that I like.  The semi-poseable legs are also pretty cool, in my opinion.

I’m sure I’ll try again using different fabric and trying different techniques.  I may even look up how to do things next time!

 Plush Dragon Wants Out SmallTime to fly?

Taken at the Moment of my Death

August 30, 2013

Our guild is now 10/13 heroic Throne of Thunder.  The only bosses we have left to kill are H. Dark Animus, H. Lei Shen and Ra-Den.  It would be nice if we could get them down before 5.4 drops, but there’s not a lot of time left.  Also, these encounters are HARD.

Like, “Well, at least we’re wiping quickly” hard.

Heroic Dark Animus Wipe 2Stomping on our bodies to add insult to injury.

Last night Dark Animus went something like this:

OW!  Ow ow ow!  Why are they hitting so hard?!  Oh god, why?!?!

SPLAT!  Tank dead.

SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT!  One healer and two DPS dead.

RUN AWAY!  Try to brez someone but– SPLAT!  Now I’m dead.

“This is a wipe guys.”  NO, REALLY?!?!?

“You have wiped on Heroic Dark Animus at 1 min 4 sec.  You have 20 wipes on this difficulty.”

…Thanks for rubbing it in, boss mod.

Beautiful Image of Death

In between wipes I was chatting with Prinnie from That Was an Accident! on Real ID and she reminded me to take some epic screenshots of fail to post for everyone to enjoy.  I’m usually really terrible about remembering to hit Print Screen, especially when I’m in combat.  (I mean, come on, I’m trying to keep everyone alive, hitting Print Screen is dangerous!)  But there were a few moments (warning: understatement!) when death was inevitable and it really didn’t matter if I stopped to document our demise.  Though I had to be quick, because the wipes happened so darn FAST.

My favourite is this one.  I think it really gives a sense of what a clusterfuck last night was.

Heroic Dark Animus WipeI don’t think healers are supposed to have aggro on ALL the things.

I’m taking melee hits of over a million.  Also, I grabbed the shot just as I died.  Xperl is showing me as dead but Healbot hasn’t quite got the memo yet.

We did improve over the course of the evening though.  We’re hoping that if we get the first two minutes of the fight down the rest will be relatively easy.  *fingers crossed*

Heroic Twin Consorts Kill Video

July 11, 2013

I know this video is long, but I just love how even on progression our raid atmosphere is usually so calm and full of banter.  And if nothing else, you should really skip forward to about the 10:15 minute mark for some after combat hilarity.

 

I have a whole list of blog posts I want to write.  I really need to get around to writing them…

FEAR THE TREE!

July 2, 2013

As many of you know, I play a Resto Druid, aka, a Tree.  Trees aren’t known for their offensive capabilities.  We do have a few DPS options now, but not many.  It’s a running joke with me to yell, “FEAR THE TREE!” and then run up to something and start tree-punching it in the face for a little extra DPS from time to time.  At least one friend ironically refers to me as Scary Tree.

So today a friend and I were discussing what raid boss we would most like to be, and I naturally said a giant Tree of Doom.  I would scream, “CAN YOU OUT DPS MY HOTS, MORTALS?!?! I THINK NOT!!!!”

My friend replied, “If this were your base model, I’d be sold, ” and linked me the image behind the cut.

(Beware, madness lies within…)

Read more…

Hunter Pet Raid Buffs and Debuffs — A Handy Chart

June 10, 2013

I’m in UR Woods, Shootin’ UR Mobs

Kami and Penumbra Small

For the last few days I’ve been leveling my Hunter and oh man, is it ever fun!  I’d almost forgotten how easy everything seems as a Hunter.  Round up a dozen mobs and nuke them down?  Why yes, I can do that.  So far my pet has only died once to an overzealous pull, and by that time there were only two mobs left so I finished them off myself with no problem.  Run across a Pandaria rare spawn?  No worries!  I don’t even have to bother about most mechanics because my pet eats the damage while I stand safely at a distance.  I’m not even Beast Mastery — I’m specced Survival and just use the Glyph of Misdirection to keep aggro on my pet.  It’s awesome!

Not to mention all the taming of new pets, of course.  Whoever convinced Blizzard to expand the pet stable to 50 slots has my undying gratitude!  I randomly came across tracks for Savage,  the Hunter-only rare spawn white tiger, and totally managed to tame him!  It was an adrenaline pumping experience — the dark green tracks were so hard to see on the green Jade Forest background and I kept getting jumped and dismounted by nearby mobs — but I eventually caught him in my flare and got him.  I was so excited!  I renamed him Penumbra and he’s my new favorite pet.

I’ve also picked up a few other pets, but I won’t bore you with a full list of them.  Suffice to say that I’m starting to worry that 50 slots won’t be enough.

Oh, and I went out and tamed one of every color of Pandaria tiger, just so I could have a rainbow Stampede.  It’s hilariously epic.

Kami Rainbow of TigersOf course, getting them all to face the same direction is like… herding cats.  *Ba-doom TISH*

Yeah, Yeah, Enough With the Stories, Where’s This Chart You Promised?

So as I was running around collecting 10 different colored Cats, I started to wonder what pets I really need for providing group buffs.  I mean, what if I fill my stable with adorable Cats and then discover I have to abandon a bunch of them to make room for Sporebats and Spiders?  To find out which pets I still needed to collect I decided to make myself a handy-dandy chart.  This chart includes the minimum number of pets a Hunter needs to cover every necessary raid buff or debuff, which buff/debuff each pet brings, what other classes/specs bring the same buff/debuff and then, for my own reference, which pets I have that could cover each one.

Before I post my chart I need to acknowledge the two sources of information that I combined together:

  1. The Hunter Pets Buff List and the Best Hunter Pets by Frostheim of the Warcraft Hunter’s Union
  2. Mists of Pandaria Buffs and Debuffs by Zarac on WoWhead.

This may not be the prettiest formatting ever, but it’s concise and (hopefully) easy to read.  I hope someone out there finds it useful!

Hunter Pets and Raid BuffsClick to embiggen.

If you want to download the Excel spreadsheet for your own use, click here: Hunter Pets and Raid Buffs Downloadable.  If it opens as Read Only just use “Save As” and you’ll be able to edit it.

A Few Additional Notes

There are three Buffs/Debuffs not listed on the chart:

  1. Attack Power (+10% melee and ranged attack power). Brought passively by all Hunters, so if you’re a Hunter and you’re in a group, good job.
  2. Weakened Blows (-10% physical damage done).  This is provided by every tank spec.  If your raid doesn’t have any tanks then, um… good luck?  But if you really want to have your bases covered then a Bear or a Carrion Bird can provide it.
  3. Mortal Wounds (-25% healing received).  I figure this is more of a PvP debuff, and if there’s ever an encounter that requires it you can cover it yourself with Widow Venom.  But, again, if you want to cover your bases a Devilsaur will provide it, but you’ll need to be Beast Mastery to tame one.

If anyone who plays a Hunter as a main sees any errors, please let me know.  Also, I use Open Office instead of Excel, so let me know if the spreadsheet gives you any formatting errors.

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