Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Holy Boom-Stick Ekat!

Although it is officially Patch 3.2 release day and they finally released the Priest Q&A (both of which are probable topics for discussion this week), I digress because something wonderful happened for Ekaterinae last night. Keep in mind that Ekat's only runs in Naxx-25 have been pretty much awful, including getting maybe 2 pieces of gear total. So as I mentioned yesterday, The Illuminati cleared 13 of 15 bosses in Naxx-25 Sunday evening, which only leaves Sapphiron and Kel'Thuzad. As I've never seen either drop in a heroic Naxx and both drop awesome gear, I signed on to fill a heal spot in last night's raid. All of the usual suspects were there, including Cazaldora and his pretty wolf:

By the way, I just love the look of the frost resist robe. I'll likely keep it even after the other FR pieces outgrow their usefulness. The healing team included Ruach, our best Shaman player, Clapperoth, a great Holy priest, and Atleen, our beligerent Holydin. A fun group and lots of skills to be sure. As is usual with my poor luck, between replacements and explanations and such we more than made up for the efficiency of Sunday night, as our scheduled pull time was 7:45 and I believe we did not pull until 8:25. Grumbles...

PRO TIP 1 - When replacing people without a Warlock in the group, leave 2 people outside Sapphy's lair to summon.

You see, once you get in Sapphiron's frozen zone, you can't walk back out without someone dying. So we had 2 people who needed summons with hearthstones set to random non-Dalaran places and 23 people in the lair. Not good. This among other things brought down what could've been a solid quick night of raiding. Nevertheless, I had Paige on the office chair beside me and I played with her and such for much of the downtime so it was OK. She loves listening to people in vent on the headphones or the game sound through the speakers!

Oh, is there a dragon behind me? Cool...

PRO TIP 2 - You see that snow I'm standing on in the doorway to Sapphy's lair? Well in case you don't know, if someone gets ice blocked close to this snow, DO NOT STAND BEHIND THAT ICE BLOCK!

The snow is considered out of the room and the Deep Breath will one-shot you automatically. We did not know and so over half our raid wiped on one attempt. Disappointing, but we only failed twice. The first failure was because people did not max out on Frost Resist and did the usual start of night stupid stuff like not watching for Blizzards. We did get him down on the third attempt, which I pretty much sat out on since I got killed in the middle of the fight. Sapphy dropped nothing but the DPS caster neckpiece, which I'm not interested in. So I did not roll on anything off him despite only having two bosses to kill.

On to Kel'thuzad. Now this fight, as far as a healer is concerned, is one of the most difficult fights to do. Phase 1 where the 5 rooms of adds slowly attack you is a borefest. Some healing has to be done, but mostly to tanks so it's not really a Holy Priest's place to waste mana on this. I fix the group when we have a skeleton explode too close to the center circle and throw up renews on tanks for this phase, but it's pretty much wait and wait and wait for the real fight to begin. What makes K'T such a tough fight is Phase 2, where you actually engage the boss. K'T does pretty solid group damage that need to be healed through, but you cannot stand within 10 yards of anyone or else you risk disaster.

K'T drops void zones that 1-shot whomever is in them if they don't see it in time. K'T has a more dangerous ability called frost block that deals 104% damage to all persons within 10 yards of the target over 4 seconds or so. This is a healer's nightmare, as you have to target the correct people and very quickly get off instant heals, then top off each ice blocked person quickly before more group damage comes in. This is more complicated by your attempt to spread everyone out more than 10 yards from each other, as healers can only cover part of the raid. With Clapp and myself, we had 2 Circle of Healing, which is bar-none, the best answer to this ability since it finds the most appropriate 5 targets in your range. When the melee gets hit and 3-8 people get frost blocked, that's a lot of things to fix in little time. If you can manage to survive this and the guild can handle 4 adds as well as 2 mind controlled raid members, then you will prevail. But it is a lot to handle.

More than any other fight I've experienced in raiding WOTLK, the healers will determine whether you can do this fight. We have to be on top of our game and work together all the time to get the job done. The actual fighting against K'T was agonizing as we had people making mistakes on void zones and dying, people not watching their range and causing 5-8 person ice blocks, etc. Despite this poor play, we managed to get K'T below 15% health on 4 straight attempts after our first fail (caused by a pet macro in Phase 1, it happens). The last fail was the most agonizing as K'T dropped to 200k health, which is about 0.5%. We buckled down on the next attempt and the healers kept all 25 up despite two early frost blocks on the melee that chained to 5-7 people. Needless to say, I was annoyed with all the wipes considering how well the heal team played, but we got tons of compliments on our healing over the entire night when the boss went down from other raid members who know what a rough fight that is. So the loot drops and I've never seen K'T loot so I go take a peek.

Holy crap! Not only did the priest tier 7.5 head token drop, but a nice caster cloak and the BiS (pre-Ulduar) healer mace. I've been loving my BiS for tier 7 10-man mace (Ice Spire Specter from Malygos-10), but this mace blows that away. Additionally, it's name was...


Oh my goodness, are you serious? Not only is this a massive upgrade, but it's perhaps the best RP weapon I could ever receive since I leveled Ekaterinae Holy, which means a lot of Holy Fire jokes! Nevertheless, her backstory is that she grew in the world by channeling the power of the light, and more specifically, Holy Fire. So although we were rolling on the items in the order I just listed, I wanted to lose the first two if I could just get that mace. First item is the headpiece and I roll a 14, so I lose. Caz wins the hunter headpiece, so I was happy for him there. I rolled a whopping 6 on the cloak, but Clapp won so it went to a fellow Holy Priest. Then the mace comes up...the RNG is due...I roll a 66...and yes, it sticks despite 5 other rollers!

Here's a screenie of me comparing my new baby to my old one. I'll keep the ISS as well because it looks very sharp, but it will never compare to the RP and coolness of my new weapon. I officially just lost a bank slot somewhere down the road for life, as this will never be deleted.

And one more picture of the new baby, adding even more holy glow to Ekaterinae on the character selection page. Sexy Holy Boom-stick!

So tonight assuming the servers come back up, the stories of the Argent Coliseum and the new boss in Vault will be filling our server chat and our monitors. My alts and Horde main are all right around level 20, which means it is mount time! I'm sure there will be more on these new valiant steeds later.

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