Monday, February 16, 2009

A Weekend Recap and a Naxxramas Run

Friday night we went out to Outback Steakhouse because we had a $50 giftcard from Christmas and we needed a break from the routine. Of course being V-Day weekend, we hit a 55 minute wait. Sigh. At least we grabbed seats at the bar and watched some terrible celebrity basketball game at NBA all-star weekend. Service was relatively crappy once we got our table 70 minutes later, but the food was outstanding. Crab legs and steak FTW.

Got home and logged on because baby was not tired enough for bed yet. I decide that it's long overdue for me to kill Sartharion. So I start up a group and grab a couple guildies including Ethecs as well as some PUG's. A couple PUG's that our guild normally runs with joined up based on our reputation, so all of a sudden my first raid lead has responsibilities! Anyways, we down the first drake without much of a strategy, but after that we get the strategy down for the two healers and the two tanks. We get to Sartharion and start the lava dance. Since I couldn't figure out how to make a raid assistant for the tank, I marked myself as "who to follow" in the lava dance. So my healing was probably a little worse than usual, but I had to keep the group alive! After screwing up on the third wave and almost causing a wipe, I led people through the lava competently and we had no trouble finishing off the black dragon. Only thing I rolled on was the Dragon hide Bag, which I won (22-slot). What made the run even more satisfying is we overcame a 12 year old huntard who did not know he could train certain weapon classes and so on. He wiped about 10 seconds into the Sarth fight lol. So we 9-manned the raid basically. Woot!

Saturday morning was slow waiting on wife and baby to get going, so I had time to play around with. I logged on and WG was about 15 minutes away. I ended up grabbing on a heroic VH group who needed a healer, but right as I join they decide to go battle in WG. Sigh. So I go with them and we actually take the castle from the Horde! Woot! I then decide to play double or nothing on my raid leadership and try to put together a 25-man Vault of Archavon (I did 10-man Tuesday). Well I end up with about 10 people from WG battle and slowly fill the rest through guildies and LFG. This included Ethecs, Eitrin, and Cazaldora as I recall. Anyways, that place is such a joke. We cleared it easily, and I really built some repoire or friendship with Ethecs in the two raids. So that's cool, even if he can be a royal d-bag. Our two tanks were the only DK and Warrior in the entire 25 man raid, so of course those pieces dropped for them. How lucky!

Saturday we went around to 15 houses. We found 3 that are possibilities and some real train wrecks. So not a very successful day! Once we got home for a minute I logged on and Vowain was asking if I could heal Naxx day 1. I say I'll be backup for later on, but I've got dinner plans. Turns out Hanity did not heal, so the Illuminati really took their A-team in for Saturday night including Ruach, Ronei, and Clapp on heals. They 1-shotted all 11 bosses I saw last week, so I was excited about Sunday prospects. Did not do much when we got home from dinner at our local Mexican place, had a nice evening.

Sunday we had looked up a few more expensive and promising listings, so we headed out for day 2 of house looking. This was far more fun as we ended up with 4 more possibilities out of 7, including my two front-runners. We also dropped by 4-5 random Open Houses since Sunday afternoon is the day for that. Most were slightly out of our price range, but we met some realtors and had a good time. The last open house we wandered into, we knew it was way out of our price range just driving into the neighborhood. However, we'd had a long day and needed to look at a dream house. The place was $300,000, but it was a steal for the high quality of the house. Tis nice to dream, if only for a few moments.

So on the way home from all this, Kelley calls her parents and asks them when their next couple of days off are to come look inside some houses. We were thinking a week or two from now. Well my mother in law says, why don't we come over tonight. WTF LOL! So while I entered Naxx with the guild, Kelley was in the background trying to set up house viewings and such for the super-short notice. Long story short, she managed to get one of the realtors we met yesterday to agree to take them through some houses today.

Obviously Aurys kind of summed up Naxx pretty well. I cursed at the screen when Aurys rolled under a 9 for the Tier Shoulders, but that's one of the final pieces Ruach needs anyways. We took 3 tries on Gluth the dog mainly because I was having trouble keeping Vowain (our kiter) alive. I got back on top of my game and by then the DPS also had improved their routine, so we got him down. It took us two tries on Thaddius and neither was very pretty due to some people dying to polarity shifts, plus I was on DPS most of the fight which is not efficient. Nevertheless, we got the job done and moved on to Sapphiron. We one-shotted him and it was not even stressful to be honest. Taxing on the healers to an extent, but not stressful. Which led us to Kel'Thuzad with about 1.5 hours left on our 4 hour block. We wiped FIVE times on him. The first attempt was a learning experience, and we lost some people to Shadow Fissures that pop up and Ice blocks that deal 104% damage to a player over 3-4 seconds. Anyways, we only got really close one time, having 8 people alive through Phase 2. Phase 3 starts at 45%, and adds come in that have to be kited for the rest of the fight by an offtank. The worst thing that can possibly happen at this point is the Offtank gets iceblocked. Of course Shishioh gets iceblocked right away. Sigh. Shishioh dies, Ruach dies, we end up wiping at 25%. Although we clearly have the capability to clear him, it will take everyone on top of their game to do it. So we left him for another time.

Here's my take on the Kel'Thuzad fight. As a healer, we basically determine whether the group wipes or wins. This is not like Patchwerk, a DPS race against a timer. First thing, everyone must step out of the bright red swirly shadow fissures when they pop up around you. They one-shot you in about 2 seconds, so that's everyone's own responsibility. The Ice blocks hit one random non-tank person and everyone within 10 yards. So you try to space out the raid accordingly, or else you have 2-4 people getting Iceblocked at once. We healers are lucky if we can shoot off an instant heal to the right ONE person fast enough, let alone worrying about multiples. Clapp, Ruach, and I were doing a pretty solid job, but it's all a matter of being fast with the trigger finger on PWS, Prayer of Mending, and Circle of Healing. Clapp and I were both saving CoH cooldowns for Icebolts, which worked fairly well. Still, you have to heal that person back up to 100% and keep everyone basically topped off the entire fight because of the 104% damage possibility at any point. If you can manage this on 25-man without losing anybody (The Immortal title), wow. Furthermore, we had 5 melee DPS and vowain last night, so we were stuck stacking 2 DPS at a couple locations even with Kel'Thuzad's huge hit box. That made things much harder. Anyways, it is doable and probably easier with more ranged DPS, but this fight is no picnic on healers.

So that's my perspective on the weekend. As I mentioned, the realtor set up a bunch of house viewings today startin at 3:30 PM. My two top prospects are in the bunch, so I am going. I may be sporadic after this on emails for those reasons, but I'm sure you understand. What a crazy weekend!

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