Wednesday, December 16, 2009

3.3 and ICC10

3.3 has been great so far. We jumped into ICC25 as a guild over the weekend, got the first boss down and sampled a taste of the second. We only spent one night raiding, but a smaller group of us started doing the 10 man. I enjoyed the group, and I have always loved 10 man raids. We had three short sessions where we downed one boss each night.

I suppose I should mention my behind-the-curve raiding history. 3.3 is the first level of content that I have ever been ready and waiting to do. Sure in BC I took my priest into the first part of Kara (it was in patch 2.4), but my paladin wasn't 80 till after most guilds had Naxx on farm status. I didn't get into Ulduar or ToC in a timely manner, either, because I declared my priest my "new main" and leveled her to 80, and then I decided I needed a druid. Somewhere in the middle of 3.2 I dusted my poor paladin off, got her into ToC, and joined a raiding guild.

So this is the first time I've ever jumped in and progressed in new content. I can see how in a few weeks these bosses will be "ezmode" but right now we earned our victories. We had to communicate. We had to adopt strategies. We had to push harder/faster. We had so much fun.

There's loads and loads of good information on the new bosses (check out Life in Group 5, Moar HPS!, and Gray Matter, just three examples) and it seems diluted to just agree with players who play more confidently than I without posting something new and interesting about this new raid.

So what is new and interesting about this new raid? For me, it's definitely been the awe and wonder of experiencing the fight for the first time as a group and not letting wipes deter us from jumping right back in and working harder.


I wrote the above portion before we went into ICC10 again with a group of mostly the same people as last week. We one-shotted Marrowgar, 2-shotted Lady D, had a blast one-shotting the air ship (that fight is so easy but jet packs are FUN), and got in a few solid attempts at Deathbringer.

Blessing of Kings has an awesome post about DB and how this will be a really hard fight for casuals as they will get more heavily penalized with marks. I can see it already - the adds can get out of control very easily if you don't have a focused team. I remember some of the casual raiding groups I was in for fights like Saph, Hodir, and Jaraxxus, and I feel for the healers in those groups. DB is going to be hell if you have casual DPS who can only mash buttons at the boss.

I think we have it. When we were doing well, DB gets marks very slowly. It feels like it works like it should. However, there is a fine line between being in control of that fight and not - when we screw up and give the boss marks, we aren't just giving him one, the avoidable marks seem to come in stacks. The difference between a perfect game and the shit hitting the fan is a few seconds when there are loose adds. It's worse when I'm the one who has to kite, because not only am I giving the boss extra marks, now the boss is hitting harder and I can't heal it because I'm running around trying to avoid giving the boss more marks. Several times we were able to recover from situations like these but when it happens before 75% it's demoralizing. I know we could very well wipe if it happened again, or, it's possible that was the wipe and we will just have to let it run its course.

At one point we wiped because the Mark didn't reset on a ranged DPS. No one caught it until we entered the fight and suddenly our hunter is taking 5,000 damage every time DB swings, from the start of the pull. On that pull, we had also just switched to two healers so it felt like it wouldn't be possible with two. Once we figured out it had been bugged, though, we wiped it and started over. I think that's the only bug we've ran into in two ICC runs, which isn't bad. This is a two-healer fight. The healing doesn't get intense until there are marks on the raid, which will happen less frequently with six dedicated DPS instead of five.

I want this boss dead. Normally I'm not a competitive person (although we have a few in the group who have decided that "Group 1" needs to be the guild-first clear), but we are so close and DB's death will be satisfyingly personal. We have a group that can work together, stay focused and keep it easy.

I think that's going to be the success in DB - if we can all make it a priority to keep it focused and easy, it will be. It's possible we just don't have the DPS for it but most of our group is geared from 25 ToC. It seems pretty unlikely we are just failing it as a DPS check - we just need to control the adds better and I think we can do it. We got him to 30% on several attempts, and a couple of those he hadn't even assigned a Mark yet.

We're going back in on Saturday. Honestly, I can't wait and I wish we were going back in tonight.

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