And it’s back into the breach for us with a couple more nights in Ulduar this week. The question I’m seeing around on blogs and bulletin boards at the moment a lot is whether Ulduar is too hard/easy.
Truth is, it’s mostly irrelevant to me whether a semi-professional hardcore guild can clear all the ‘easy’ modes in a week. And I’m willing to bet that it’s also irrelevant to the majority of other players. Because if they couldn’t do that then either one of the fights is bugged, something is tuned so hard that it’s effectively impossible without a few weeks farming gear and hoping for lucky drops, or else there’s some gimmick involved (like needing to gather resistance gear which only drops in the same instance) which makes it physically impossible to clear in a week.
If you handpick your players and you have practically unlimited hours to throw at learning a fight, there aren’t many other things that could stop you. Maybe a particularly off-the-wall puzzle, but … it’s unlikely. (Although it would be kind of cool to have an encounter that could only be solved after the raid had won a game of Peggle against a really hot AI, I’m only saying that because I’m good at Peggle )
So, not really relevant to me what they’re doing although we hope they find the bugs for us before we get there.
This is not to say we don’t follow the hardcore guilds with a mild interest, if only to see whether they are enjoying the raid instance and finding the fights fun. If they all say it’s dull and frustrating, then it would be time to think hard about whether or not raiding was worth the effort. The lure of cool content, fun encounters, and shiny loot ahead of us is one of the big motivators.
With that out of the way, I’m really happy with the way the instance is tuned at the moment. It’s been very tough for us, but we’re definitely making progress. With each progression wipe, we learn a bit more and get a bit better. In fact, Ulduar feels tuned perfectly for our raid right now, it’s a good challenge but with more practice and focus we can definitely beat the encounters I have seen. Just it won’t be in a week.
25 Man Raiding
We came in this week and took out Flame Leviathan with a turret up. It’s difficult to really call this a hard mode, maybe ‘slightly less easy mode’ . I still think the vehicles are good fun, regardless of how easy the actual fight is.
This time I had my husband’s warlock as my siege tank gunner. Back seat driver, anyone?
We moved on to Razorscale. With a slight change to the tactics (switching to tanking the adds in two camps rather than all together) we started to see some real progress on the fight. Last week we struggled to get her to phase 2. This time we were into phase 2 reliably, so got a chance to practice tanking it.
It is definitely a hard dps fight for us. And on the last attempt we just called for everyone to help when she was on the ground, including tanks and healers. I dragged my pile of mobs over so I could apply some sunders too. Then we were into phase 2 — keep out of the fires, watch the debuffs, watch the other tank, get ready to taunt, yell on teamspeak.
And she died with about 2s left on the enrage timer. There was (happy) shouting. This is where I’m coming from with fights being well tuned for our raid. Because getting that close on a first kill is very exciting.
Six men came to kill me one time. The very best of them carried this. It’s a Callahan full bore auto lock. Cutomized trigger, carbon gauge. It’s my very favorite gun… I call her Vera.
And yup, I got a new gun. Hurrah!
We had time for a couple of attempts on XT-002 (who I hate because it does aerobics, and shouty aerobics instructors are On My List). The next night I wasn’t there, but he duly went down. And by all accounts that was an exciting raid also.
I’m in the slag pot but I’m not a slag!
Then yesterday we had a night’s worth of attempts on Ignis. He of the jiggling codpiece. Once this was pointed out, it is not possible to look at him the same way again.
And again, although we didn’t get him this week, there was noticeable and definite improvement over the course of the night. I don’t know for sure if we’ll get him next week but I don’t feel that it’s an impossible fight for us. A good challenge? Definitely.
In any case, he was at about 42% on our best attempt which was the second last. Last try, even though we were tired, was still below 45%. I think we all felt more confident with the tanking, although he hits like a bastard. I ended up using avoidance gear and the healers were saying they found that easier than healing a stamina-geared druid tanking the boss. The add tanks in particular were getting very very smooth with the kiting around and I think they did a sterling job and were responsible for a lot of the improvements.
There’s a crazy amount of healing needed on this fight. And it’s been fun for me to see how the different encounters that we have seen test different parts of the raid.
So, two more down this week and good progress on a third. Onwards and upwards! Also v happy because my feral friend is back from holiday and I like tanking with her.
We did sneak in a 10 man raid this week, people were very nice and organised it for Sunday. We picked off Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, and XT-002 without any problems. Had some learning wipes on Ignis and Kologarn. So everyone who was there was now up to speed on the tactics and encounters for the 25 man raids.
I’m not ashamed to say that I screamed like a girl when Kologarn popped up. Does it still count as screaming like a girl if you actually are a girl?