Thursday, September 16, 2010


Alternative Title: 'AMG I SAW THE BLOOD QUEEN'. Because as excited as Tam was to see the Lich King, that's how excited we were to see new content. And it matters very little to us that other people think this stuff is easy and old news by now.

As previously mentioned, Wednesday is our new progression night and last night was excellent. We were actually successful in finding people to extend the lockout, which was a very pleasant surprise. We had to rearrange our team a little bit and I think Ann and I both managed to save both our priests and our casters to this raid ID.

I believe I also mentioned we have two new guildies. Colvar brings us a warrior, a warlock, and a rogue. He's... interesting. He actually seems... skittish. He reacts to our questions and clarifications as if, at any moment, we were going to boot him from the raid/guild/life. He's eager, though. Colvar started the run last week on his warlock, as did I. This week he brought his warrior and switched to his rogue midway through. I think he probably managed to save the most characters to one raid ID.

Dru brings us a tanky-druid and a shaman. Tanks always seem to be in short supply at Memento, so this addition is particularly welcome. He's also eager. Dru organized a short weekly trip earlier in the week that went very smoothly. I think Dru started with his shaman last week and brought his druid this week.

Mord actually came as a healer on his paladin, something that happens very rarely. Militia actually came as Militia; the first time he's been on his paladin in a long time. We ended up with a raid group that looked like this:
2 Tanks (Militia-paladin, Dru-druid)
2 Melee dps (Colvar-warrior/rogue, Batra-dk)
3 Range dps (Ann-mage, Barheim-mage, Goticus-warlock)
3 Healers (Myself-priest, Takk-shaman, Mord-paladin)

Probably could have used a Spriest or a Boomkin, but for us that's a surprisingly well-mixed raid group.

Last week was the second week we managed to go 7/12 in one night, so we started with Dreamwalker. Yeah, started with something that's been a complete failfest in the past.

Takk and I focused on healing the raid while Mord healed the dragon. From the strategies I've read this is somewhat unusual. In general, one healer stays on the raid and two go to the dragon. The sad truth of it, though, is that my priest cannot really be relied on to heal the entire raid in an unfamiliar fight. Takk could have handled the raid with his shaman, but I'm not personally convinced I would have made a difference on the dragon.

In the end it didn't matter too much. We wiped our first attempt at 92%. Our melee were spending too much time running around and one of our tanks died at an inopportune moment. We rallied for a second time and upped that dragon to full 100%. It was a matter of melee knowing where to be, and range calling out Blazing Skeletons, and me managing my mana as best as I know how.

The Blood Prince Council is every bit a beautiful, unholy mess as I could have hoped for. We wiped here several times. For silly reasons. Because its one thing to listen to your raid leader or raid assist to explain the fight. And its one thing to read about empowered blah blah in the guides. And its one thing to watch videos of other people pulling it off. It's totally a different thing altogether to be THERE for the first time with your screen exploding in color and warnings and ALL THE HEALTHBARS ARE GOING DOWN. Which is not the direction they're supposed to go.

And DBM has this handy range feature that tells you who is within X range of you - very nice for Empowered Vortex. But mine kept disappearing for no reason that I could fathom.

As a raid, we had huge issues with getting blown around the room. Whether because of too many people standing too close to vortexes or those cursed Kinetic Bombs, I'm not sure. But it's very disconcerting to FINALLY find a good place to stand where you can reach almost everyone with your healing spells and then get thrown 30 yards across the room. It sucks.

Sure, its a tricky thing. You find out a vortex is near/on you and you have to move 10 yards away from everyone without ranging all of your healers. And when your healers are more or less grouped around the center, this can be difficult.

But it still sucks.

In the end it was messy and unorganized, but we succeeded. Defeating them was an excellent thing, but I'm left wondering if it will take any fewer attempts the next time we try it.

I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to be the ranged tank for Keleseth on my warlock. Not that Militia didn't do a great job, but that I would still really like to try it one day. Maybe after we get some more practice.

So then we went upstairs. To the chamber of the Blood Queen.

Trying to explain this fight to people who have never been there and never watched others do it is an interesting adventure. Especially when your own knowledge base is largely theoretical. We think Militia has been with his other guild, but for everyone else it was our first time.

Several weeks ago, in preparation for this triumphant event I downloaded the Blood Queen addon. And I was the only one who had it. It posts to the raid who is supposed to be biting whom and when. I set it up to give an 8 second warning, since known of us had ever been there before. The first priority list it cranked out was kind of bizarre so I adjusted it. We set out to try it out.

We died EPICLY (still a word in maraland).

There was so much confusion with the red ribbon between people and no one could see what was going on and our pug-mage got bitten first and was like 'wut?'. He couldn't find his target so we told him to bite another dps rather than get mind controlled. Instead, he bit Mord. A healer.

We died.

We died several times, really. And everytime it was "Ok, everyone, chill out. I know this fight looks like a really quick mess, but take your time. There will be a raid warning for when it's time to bite targets and then you have 8 whole seconds to get there. Calm down. Don't worry."

Finally, we got everything settled. Ann arranged to take the first bite, which seemed to help. I got better with my fear ward (not great, but better). It was another success that was messy and hectic but oh so full of excitement.

Personally, I have love/hate relationship with coordination fights. When everything goes the way it's supposed to its a well choreographed dance. Everyone performs their role, there's good communication, genuine support, and the thrill of triumph at the end is truly sweet.

When everything goes wrong, it's huge mess of color and sound and bewilderment. At the end of poorly executed coordination fight there's a tendency towards finger-pointing. It leads to arguments and general bad feeling.

The Blood Queen was kind enough to drop her nail, the much-sought-after wand upgrade (over this well-used piece) for everyone who wears a sissy robe. I got lucky. Aioka's been lucky recently, winning the wand with something like a 48 and the T10 pants from VoA with a roll of 5.

And I realized, my nooblet priest is not so... nooby anymore. She has good gear. Not just 'decent' or 'ok' gear, but good. In some cases, great. I still have some pieces with hit on them and I'm still rocking my PvP bracers, but of the first 10 bosses in ICC I have healed 9 of them. It kind of blows my mind.

Not that it has anything to do with myself. We have a good thing going right now and a great group of people to be going it with. Dru signed off last night with the following message:

"Thanks for letting me be a part of your guild. I've been looking for a long time, and I'm glad I finally found a good one."


  1. That Brimstone Igniter for Aioka is not a well used piece. You just got it :P It just happens to have +hit and is not the prettiest thing for a bubbleflinger to be using.

  2. I didn't mean for Aioka. :p Her Brimstone Igniter was just old enough not to get returned to the vendor. I meant for all sissy-robe wearers. Everyone uses that wand; being relatively easy to get and extremely hard to upgrade from.

  3. Ahh. :)
    Ann got lucky enough to not have to use it, as the soulsplinter she's currently sporting she got relatively early after hitting 80

  4. Any new content is AMGworthy, quite frankly. Besides, currently all I've done is LOOK at the LK and sit on his lap.

    Also words cannot express how much I HATE the Blood Princes. I don't think it's possible to defeat them in anything other than a messy and disorganised way - I spend my whole time on Vent yelping.

    Glad everything is going to so well with the guild - sounds like you have a great team.