Lei Shen Is Dead (Video Included)

19 08 2013

Two words: Hell, yeah.

So after progressing through Durumu and killing Primoridius and Dark Animus for 2 weeks, my raid team starting extending our lockout. We agreed we would hold the lockout until Lei Shen died. Well, folks, 2 weeks later, he’s dead.

Allow me to send a major shoutout to my raid:

Trespando – Paladin, Tank
Beernaked – Druid, Tank
Killercroc – Warrior, DPS
Kateara – Rogue, DPS
Ivarrikka – Monk, DPS
Valente – Priest, DPS
Flashbolt – Priest, DPS
Thelon – Shaman, Healer
Zekwu – Monk, Healer
Gooseigaly – Druid, Healer

It was an absolute privilege to be able to raid with you guys and I look forward to 5.4.

For those wondering, I still have Iron Quan and Twin Consorts to upload.


Raiding Update 7-25-13

25 07 2013

Just a quick raiding update:

Since my last time posting we have gotten Ji-Kun on farm, downed Durumu twice, killed Primorias, killed Dark Animus, and have gotten a few attempts on the next boss (forget his name). What does that mean for my raid team? We’re 9/12 normal. Damn, that feels good to type out. Even better, last week we destroyed the first 7 bosses on our first raid night, a new record for our team.

In other news, someone ran their van into my truck yesterday while I was at work. They say they put it in park to run into the gas station where I was working that day to get a drink and the van must have dropped into gear. Don’t ask me, I’m letting the insurance handle it.

Proving Grounds are an interesting feature. I have tested them and have completed Gold level healing. I can get to wave 6 of Endless, but wave 7 absolutely destroys me. I’ll be doing a post on Proving Grounds in the next week or so. As usual with me, things will calm down once the month is completed.

So, how are your raid teams doing? Post your status below.

Raid So Far

30 06 2013

Alright, partly for my own records and just to get them all out there at once, here are the kill videos on Jin’rokh, Horridon, Council, Tortos, Magaera, and Ji-Kun.

Solid Progression

29 06 2013

Continuing on last week’s progression, my raid team walked into ToT last night and 1-shot the first 3 bosses. Tortos took a few attempts; I think we were starting to get too comfortable with ourselves. We moved on to Magaera but had approached our 2 hour raid time and I think we were starting to wear out. The intent is to go in tonight and down Magaera and Ji-kun, followed by progression on Durumu and Primordius. Finally, things seem to be going well.

Oh, and I finally got to replace my 502 bracers. Now if only I could get some replacement shoulders for my 486s…

So when we first downed Tortos I did not have the footage for proof. Here you are, folks. I’ve uploaded this for your enjoyment and as a preparation measure for other healers in my guild who will have to do the turtle kicking.

I also recorded our Jin’rokh, Horridon, and Council kills. I have them converting now and will upload them after raid tonight.

What Happened to the Raid Team I Knew?

24 06 2013

I’m serious. I ran with my normal group Friday night and swore I had stepped into the wrong raid group. We blew through the first 4 bosses inside of two hours. We usually spend two nights working to get that far. And then, on top of that big bowl of ice cream, we threw a cherry on top as we downed Magaera in 4 attempts, Ji-Kun in 3, and got a few solid attempts on Durumu. I was so proud of our raid team those two nights.

(Best watched in 1080p for all it’s shining glory)

So a few thoughts on Magaera.

First, the fight really isn’t that hard if everyone keeps their heads on straight and follow the plan. Stack when you’re supposed to stack, spread out when you’re not stacking. Stay out of green crap on the ground, it will very nearly one-shot you.

Second, when we first started our attempts we had 3 stack points for the various Rampages. I liked this when we first started out, but our raid team had problems with dropping junk on the stack points. Ranged DPS like to stand on the next stack point, so when the ice came out, it was on the stack point. Couple that with tired raiders and a general lack of common sense on our first night attempting Magaera (last week), people died. So when we went back in Saturday night, our raid leader opted not to use stack points and instead marked our most raid aware and fight-studied melee DPS with a skull for stacking. When rampages came, we knew to stack on him. When we were spread out, we were told to stand at maximum range.

The lack of absolute stack points helped a lot due to Ranged having to be at max range; ice was dropped well away from stacking locations, our melee DPS are very reactive and could haul butt when Cinders was placed on them (a shoutout to Killercroc, Ivarrika, and Kataera), and overall the areas around the heads were fairly clear. Until the end of the fight, that is, but that’s to be expected with all that crap coming out.

The downside to not having designated stack points is that the stack point may move Rampage to Rampage if your desingated DPS isn’t aware of your healing abilities. Inform them on your Mushrooms and ask that he try to keep stacking at the same spots. I really didn’t have to say anything to Killercroc, he’s just good enough to know. Instead, I had to learn to plant my Mushrooms based on him. Two wipes and I had his pattern down, so it’s not that big of a deal. We ended up only having 2 stack points, which made coordination a lot easier. Oh, and Mushrooms are going to be HUGE for you on this fight. Use them on every Rampage. You may not get them fully charged each time, but try to get them charged as much as your can; this very much becomes a balance of knowing that you are wasting mana in overhealing in order to have the needed burst healing to carry your raid through the damage phase.

Now, as you can see in the video, one of our raiders got hit with the poison bombs consistently. This is a major no-no and you need to get this straight with your raid. Tunnel-vision happens, but it is no excuse. I really wasn’t aware of why one of our DPS had died until I rewatched the videa about 10 times and happened to see him on the very corner of my screen take the poison bomb full on in the face. There will be a discussion had about that one.

Third, healing cooldown coordination is huge on this fight. We learned that we didn’t need to use our cooldowns early in the fight as damage was low(ish). It isn’t until the last 3 heads that really needed those cooldowns. Sadly, after watching the video, I realized that I didn’t use my Tranquility. Bad Druid. If you watch the video and see a Tranquility going off, I’m pretty sure that was our bear tank. Check my spell bar, Tranquility never went on cool down. I’ve already discussed this with my main co-healer and he’s already fussed at me about it, so you guys can take a pass on that one.

Now, Ji-Kun was an immensely enjoyable fight. I was placed on the nest team because, of the three healers, I was the only one that had done the nests in LFR. There will be words had about that later this week with the other two. However, I was surprised at how well this worked out. I didn’t get much time to look at what was going on with the boss, but if you are not on the nest team, I highly recommend having Stampeding Roar on your cast bar to assist the raid during Down Draft. I do know that our tanks were soaking up some of the green puddles, but I am unsure how many they soaked.

Pro tip for those on the nest team: you have to refresh your feather stack on the third nest so you’ll have enough to do the top nests. It may seem trivial at first, but the 1-minute debuff you get when picking up the feathers can really mess you up. This debuff prevents you from picking up another feather to refresh your feather stacks. Remember you only get to use the feather 4 times before the stack falls off.

Killercroc ended up not refreshing his feather properly and was not able to fly to the third upper platform, leaving me and the hunter to deal with the eggs. We managed to kill one, but I died in the attempt and we wiped. It turns out that you have to kill the eggs quickly on the lower nests; if you take too long killing the second nest your debuff wears off and you refresh your feather stack. This will screw your heading into the third nest as you will not be able to refresh the stack then for the upper platforms. When you kill the first nest, haul butt to the second. Burn them as quickly as possible and get off of the pad, heading for the third. You want to be off the second nest by the time the debuff falls off. After that the fight is a cakewalk; at least my part was.

Once you get the boss down to about 35% you will likely stack with the rest of the raid and burn the boss. At one point during the main fight as I was nest hopping I had to Brez one of the DPS on my way to the upper nest. Doing that after having just come from the bottom nests and are about to leap into the air toward the upper nests is just….ahhhhh. I just can’t explain how much fun this fight was for me.

Durumu was enjoyable as well, believe it or not. He is not as complicated in 10 man Normal as he is in LFR. Well, that is to say that the maze is much easier to deal with. Your best bet? Have all range stack on melee and move together. It just makes it easier that way. We haven’t killed this boss yet, but I imagine we will get him next week; we were simply too tired by the time we got to him to be able to learn a new fight.

Oh, and a bit of humor: if you happen to have a bear tank, keep a close eye on him. There’s nothing like seeing a bear go from zero to warp in no time flat. It’s especially funny if you can time a “Engage Warp engines, Mr. Sulu” perfectly.

Pucker Moments: Well, At Least He Trusts Me

22 08 2012

So here’s a bit of comic relief.  I was in LFR the other day running a guildy through.  Killercroc, as I’ve mentioned before, has been strictly DPS/Tank in the past.  He decided to try his hand at healing on his Paladin, so off he went to get gear.  Once his gear got good enough, I queued up with him in LFR to see how his healing was doing.  Overall?  Pretty dang good for a guy that likes to stand in fire just because he can.

So we’re on Spine of Deathwing and I’m main-tanking on my Pally (yes, I have a Tankadin).  The off-tank acted like he knew what he was doing, so I let him “handle” the bloods.  Note the sarcasm in that statement.  Not sure if he had ever worked adds before, but they were going everywhere.  Everywhere?  Everywhere.

“How did the adds get out of hand, Goose?”

Well, another ingenious thing happened at the beginning of the fight:  the DPS killed 2 tentacles at the beginning of the fight.  So once I positioned the first Amalg and got good and settled in for the spanking part of this tank and spank routine, suddenly we had another Amalg running lose in the raid.  Awesome.  So I taunted the bad boy over and, much to my pleasure, the DPS only focused on the first Amalg.  I was overjoyed.

But then I noticed a problem coming up on the horizon.  Two Amalgs, lots of dead bloods, and the main tank is usually the one to move the Amalg around to pick up the dead bloods to make the Amalg go supernova.  See the problem yet?

With the way that the bloods were currently running everywhere in the raid, and the off-tank tanking what few bloods he had ON TOP of me, I knew I wouldn’t be able to communicate any sort of battle plan with him and it work.  But then an idea hit me:  Killer is a healer…wearing plate.  And Holy Pallies don’t have to shapeshift to taunt like my Resto Druid does.  I ran the simulation through my head a hundred times and could not find a flaw.  I smiled to myself with confidence as I came over Vent. Read the rest of this entry »

Chat Time: Healing Dummies? I’ll Take 24

21 08 2012

So I came across an article on WoW Insider this morning before heading to work.


The article discusses something I’ve dreamed about for a long, long time.  Healing dummies.  And I’m not talking about those players you find in LFR.  I don’t care what anyone says, LFR is not good practice.  I’ll discuss that later.

But really, DPS have training dummies that they can smack around at their leisure.  They get to test talent builds, gems, enchants, rotations, everything.  But what about the healers?  We get to heal these ” ‘leets” in dungeons and raids.  That’s it, that’s our practice.

Now, admittedly, I like to think I’m a pretty good healer.  Naw, really, I have saved a raid or two…or three…or four…or-

A lot of that was luck, a perfect storm of damage, healers OOMing, a well-timed Tranq or Rebirth.  A lot it was the combined skill of two healers making calls in vent while the raid leaders and tank shut their traps for a moment and pray the healers can pull it off; we’ll worry about the broken bones later.  But where does this experience come from?  Dungeon runs, dungeon wipes, raids, and raid wipes.  Lots and lots of failed attempts go into the developing of “OH SHI-” buttons.   Did I Tranq too early when Wild Growth and several Rejuvinations could have done the job?

“Goose, healers learn to heal as they level.”

Yes, I DID level as a resto druid.  But guess what?  I have a guildy that leveled his Pally before trying to heal.  He healed dungeon heroics for a few days before healing DS10, in low-level gear….AND STRENGTH TRINKETS!  Ok, ok, it wasn’t his fault that trinkets wouldn’t dropped in his dungeons runs.  Also, our guild was so intrigued by his shift in perspective (he had never healed before….ever…since Vanilla) that the 10 man he was in place him between 2 very solid healers and let him have at it.  The result?  They downed Deathwing.  Not really unexpected at this point with the debuff values and such.

But not everyone gets that opportunity.  A lot of healers only get to run dungeons for practice; and let’s face it, dungeons aren’t hard at all if your tank is geared.  Dungeons aren’t hard if your group is decent.  Not much practice to be had.  And let’s say that you do find a group that doesn’t have the gear to carry your noob butt through the dungeon, what happens.  “Vote to kick.  Reason:  healz blowz”

“But they’ll eventually learn, no big deal.”

Nope, still problems.  I remember back to the release of 4.0, Cata pre-launch.  I was still trying to PUG into a group to down the King.  Now, I hadn’t paid attention to the Patch notes (learned my lesson) andwent into Blood Queen later that week, first time healing since the patch drop.  Result?  I was nearly kicked from the raid.  Why?  Let’s see…Lifebloom wouldn’t stay on my targets as I tried to blanket the raid, the bloom (when I guessed mid-fight that they weren’t going to stay on the target if I tried to put it on another target) wasn’t returning mana, rejuvinations were hella expensive to cast, and my Tree Form was now a CD.  WTF happened to my precious druid???
Read the rest of this entry »

Pucker Moments: Gooooose!

14 08 2012

As I continue to explore the topics that I want to discuss on this blog, my time spent in ICC with Big Bear Butt and friends has brought to mindone particular funny incident.  This incident will be the first in a series of posts that I will entitle “Pucker Moments.”

Now, I am sure that most of you will understand the term “Pucker Moment,” but for those who may not, let me explain…you’ll know one when it happens.  That said:

It was back in late Wrath, just prior to the release of Cataclysm.  That would have made it, what, August/September of ’10?  Anyway, I was trying to get my first King kill, my raiding guild was turning to shambles, and I had never been past Festergut.  I managed to PUG into another group’s run and had a successful run all the way through Sinestra.  The group called it a night and I was stuck with a lockout at the King.  Well, you can guess what this Druid did.

Extended lockouts were still relatively new, and I put them to good use.  I extended that lockout for weeks, PUGing 5 nights a week and trying to raid lead through a successful kill.  There was a steep learning curve involved, both the fight and how to lead a raid.  Thankfully I had a few patient players that helped me out tremendously.

All that above is setting the stage for the real point of this post.

One particular PUG I had was really only half PUGed.  Phoenix was with me as feral cat, an old friend Sadie was DK tanking, and I think there may have been one more friend involved.  We had another tank (can’t remember the class) who had a terrible time holding aggro, and multitarget aggro was beyond their comprehension.  While I really needed my good tank, Sadie, on the King, I had to move her to the adds to keep them from running amuch in the raid.  She wasn’t happy about it, even once I explained that it was because of what she was doing RIGHT that I had to move her.

So the tank on the King was bad.  How bad, you ask?  Let is suffice to say that I had to tell the raid that the only two people allowed to do anything for the first 15 seconds of the fight was the King tank and me (healing them).  15 seconds to build the aggro they would need to keep the King on them for the rest of the fight.  Even then some of the DPS had to throttle themselves.

Phoenix had a particularly rough time of it.  Something about the mixture of feral cat and the way he built his spec made him a aggro machine.  Mind you he was not necessarily the top of the DPS meter, either.  It was during this learning period that I discovered the true usefulness of Omen Threat Meter.

“12….13….14…ALRIGHT, GO!”

DPS unloaded and the fight was on.  Things were going fairly smoothly.  Infest was healed through, Plagues were being properly dropped.  Check the DPS meter, should have enough overall to do this.  Glance down at the threat meter while I have a second…

“Phoenix, watch your aggro, please.”

“I was only pulling 7.7-”

“Phonix, watch YOUR AGGRO!”

The King became annoyed with the little kitty tearing up his tail plating.  DING!


Phoenixed Cowered with 1% health remaining and I went all out trying to get him back up.  A drop in output from Phoenix allowed his threat to reduce to normal levels and I have him the go ahead to unload again, warning him to watch his aggro.  Well…you guessed it.

“Phoenix, watch your aggro.”

“I was only-”


DING!  You could almost hear the King say “And stay down!”  I laughed, Phoenix cried, we wiped soon after.  This story is one of the “legends” that he and I still bring up from time to time. 

For those curious, I did eventually down the King with a PUG about a week afterwards.  I say I because Phoenix transferred back to Sen’jin (We were on Cenarion Cirlce at the time, my home server).  I was pushing my raid to get the kill as we continued to wipe.  We were recovering from a particularly ugly wipe and were just about to make the pull when my Real ID lit up from Phoenix linking me his achievement and title.  A quick ugly word in return, pull, and 15 minutes later I linked him my own title.  He still gives me a hard time about getting the kill before me…

Tune in next time for the epic tales of Throne of Tides and “GET ‘EM OFFA ME!”

Chat Time: Let’s Talk Battle Rezzes

9 08 2012

Battle rez, B rez, Brez.  The sound of those words are just…ahh.  Nothing like it.  I love having a battle rez probably as much as I love being a druid.  Let’s set aside the fact that druids HAVE the battle rez and take that sentence for what it’s worth.

Glyph of Rebirth:  Players resurrected by Rebirth are returned to life with 100% health.

Now, I’m not one to force talents and stuff on other people.  I will give advice, STRONG advice, but everyone has to play their own way.  That said, I really see no reason why any specced druid would not have this glyph.

I understand that glyphs help us do more damage, or in my case helps to increase healing throughput.  Usually there are two good glyphs for your spec and then a spare glyph for playing around with.  Yes, I know that you can fill up all three slots with glyphs that will have constant benefit.

However, I want you to remember that, regardless of your spec, you are a druid.  Well, gee wiz, Goose, that was obvious.  Yes, but one of the major bonuses of being a druid is the ability to Battle Rez.  “But, Goose, DKs and Warlocks can rez in combat too!”  Yes, but have you already forgotten the beginning of this post?  We get a Glyph that lets us rez someone and give them 100% health.

Now, from a Resto druid’s point of view, the advantage of this is plain as day.  Even as DPS and Tank specs we can understand the importance of brining someone back with 100% health instead of 20%.  Bringing someone up at only partial health is a strain on the healers. 

Just the other night I was in Firelands raiding with my guild and one of the DPS went down.  The Raid Leader called out for one of the DPS to bring him back up.  Before I could get in range and bring the guy up myself (I was healing), a soulstone was popped and the boss immediately did an AoE slam ability that 1-shotted the just-rezzed DPS.  We wiped, and probably would have wiped even if I had brought him back with 100% health.  However, the rez was wasted because the DPS was immediately killed.

Let’s look at this from another angle.  Let’s say that you have a few seconds before the next big AoE and you bring a DPS up with 20% health.  The healers are now struggling trying to heal this guy, diverting attention from tanks and other DPS to focus on this one guy.

Alright, enough lecturing on that; I’m beating the dead horse.  Just know that that in some cases it’s a life-saver, and other times it’s a quality of life thing.  If you are not Resto specced, your healers will love you for being considerate.

Now, RAID LEADERS.  Yes, I’m talking to you.  If you have a druid in your raid along with a DK and/or Warlock, you need to inspect that druid to see if they are glyphed for Rebirth.  If they are, use them over the other rezzes when heavy raid damage is coming/about to come.  During those low damage burn phases feel free to use one of the other rezzes.

I have heard Raid Leaders tell me that they don’t want to call on me (as a healer) to Rez someone because they don’t want to pull my attention away from healing others.  My response:  you’re joking, right?

If so much damage is going out that you don’t think the druid has time to cast that rez, I can just about promise you that the person rezzed will be dead in short order; you’re just adding another low-health person to the list of concerns for the healers.  Aside from that, I can’t say that I have ever been in a situation where somewhere within a 20 second period I could not spare the 2 seconds needed to cast the rez.  Even early expansion periods have periods, even in the high damage phases, where time can be taken to cast the rez.  And if it’s really so bad that you don’t want to waste GCD, a druid can macro his Nature’s Swiftness into his Rebirth and you do away with the cast time.  You’ve invested 1 GCD to bring a DPS up to 100% health, and the healers don’t have to activate the Kai-O-Ken technique to get them up in short order.

Final thought:  I also have Glyph of Rebirth active in my Feral tank spec.  Nothing like being the offtank and brining a healer back up.

As always, leave your thoughts below.

ICC Cross Realm Remix

7 08 2012

Alright, I’d like to thank everyone for their patience.  Believe me, yours made up for my lack thereof.

A little information on this one:  was really only planning on this being a template for a future rendition, but after 10 hours editing and hearing one of my favorite songs for the entirety of it, I think I’ll just let this one stand.  Some of you will recognize the ending footage as our King kill 2 weeks ago.  I didn’t have anything more recent and that footage was good anyway.

That said, please enjoy.  I highly recommend cranking up the volume, but don’t get in trouble over it.  Leave me your thoughts.

PS:  If you think the video overlays at the end were a bit too much activity, it’s easy enough to edit them out.

Rank 4 Healing Touch

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The BigBearButt

Warcraft through the eyes of a Restoration Druid.