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Posts from the Instances Category

IntoheroicsThe time has finally come. My average iLevel has crept over the magic 328, so a-Heroicing I shall go.

And, let's be honest, I was a little nervous. From every blog post I read, from all the chatter on Twitter, Heroics in Cataclysm have more in common with the nightmare days of the Burning Crusade, than the facerolls of Wrath.

Sunday morning. A druid doing dailies. A guild heroic run looking for just one DPS to make it an all guild group. 

Reader, I joined them.

It did not go well.

The random number generator through us into Grim Batol, a dungeon I've yet to run on normal, let alone Heroic. The trash – wasn't too bad. We had a single death in the entire run to the first boss, despite the ineptitude of a confused druid meaning that the bombing run was less effective than it should have been. But the boss. Oh, the boss. After half a dozen wipes with little sign of progress, we called it. And I'm going to call it as my fault. I'm not used to DPSing in instances, I'm not used to Heroics, and I'm new to the dungeon. It wasn't to be.

We hit the RNG again, and dungeon findered our way into Throne of the Tides. This one I have done. And the trash went swimmingly again. But the first boss saw our little part-time boomkin spread over the floor by a whirlwind. And that was that. At this point, I bailed in favour of a better-geared and more experienced guildmate, and they went on to clear the instance. 

At this point, I wasn't feeling great about my readiness for Heroics. And that was just super timing – because tonight was guild Heroic night. In the build up to starting raiding next month, we're having a night a week of Heroics, just to help the old gearing-up. The group formed, with me in my familiar healing role, some well geared-guildies and one slightly under-geared warlock. And off we went to Vortex Pinnacle.

The trash went down pretty easily. That seemed familiar.

We got to the first boss. That seemed to be familiar.

We one-shotted him. That most certainly wasn't. (And we were ahead of the other Heroic group at this point, which was satisfying).

The second boss? Down on the third attempt.

Another couple of wipes on trash between there and the end, and the  we engaged the windmill for the final boss. Half a dozen wipes, mainly due to casters getting caught outside the magic, sparkly triangle. A final attempt, when I finally, completely ran out of mana, with my potion and Innervate blow, with the boss at 5%. The result?

1stHeroicLet's see that again, in slow motion:

My Heroic cherry is well and truly popped.

My conclusions? Yes, Cataclysm Heroics are hard. But they repay skill, organisation and persistence. I felt way more comfortable as a healer than a DPS – but then I've been healing instances for five years, and barely ever DPSed seriously. We were on Vent, we had a skilled tank, and a DPS who could guide us through the fights. It was good natured, and we persisted and saw the results. Yes, gearing does play a huge part. Our under-geared Warlock was getting brutalised compared to our well-geared Mage. That's life. Some more Heroic and Justice gear will give us a little more room for error. 

I think I enjoyed tonight's Vortex Pinnacle run more than any single Wrath Heroic I ever did. And that, I think, is rather the point. 

It's been a good old week for our guild on the progression front. On Monday night, Deathwhisper went down:

And not long after, we triumphed in the gunship battle on the second attempt:

And then, this evening, on a VoA jaunt after we'd done the weekly raid quest:

Three new bosses in one week. Not bad at all.   

So, most people are busy working their way through Icecrown Citadel. Us? Well, we're continuing in the noble tradtion of being two patches behind…

XT-002 Deconstructor went down for us for the first time last night:

Nerf!And so did Razorscale:

I'm glad I got that achievement… my client locked up during the fight and I had to force reboot my iMac. Luckily, the fight was still going on when I logged back in, and about a minute later, the boss went down. phew

And then we continued on to drop Kologarn.

Mind you, I'm beginning to suspect my guildies of chaining heroics. Several of them seem to be wearing full Tier 9 and "the Patient" title… Might make clearing Ulduar a bit easier. 🙂



OK. I know that many of you reading this had Naxx cleared about 3.4 minutes after Wrath was launched but, for us, a small, friendly, casual guild, this is kinda a Big Deal. We only just finished clearing Kara with any frequency just before Wrath, so this means we're well ahead of where we were a year ago.

Oh, and our first Kel'Thuzad kill was done with 9 people. 🙂

Onwards to Eye of Eternity and Ulduaar!



Literally months after most of the people reading this, I should imagine, I hit Naxx for the very first time last night. And it wasn't a particularly auspicious start, to be honest.

We had nine people signed up for the run, and when the start time came we had but seven online, and a quick phone call brought us one of the missing two (the other, we later discovered, had been called away by a family emergency). Eight people for the guild's fourth trip to Naxx. Not good.

Naxx2 Still, off we trundled, one DPS and one healer down. We went through the trash like a knife through butter, and found ourselves at the first boss. And nearly dropped him. A little more care on positioning from the healers, myself included, and we got him second time. We were, to say the least, surprised. He'd been a real issue for the full 10 man teams we'd sent in the past, yet he fell. As did the Grand Window, on the first attempt.

However, we bounced off the third boss once too often, the lack of an extra healer and my tendency to get cocooned costing us dearly.

So we pootled off to Obsidian Sanctum, sliced through the trash, and dropped the first drake – not bad for our first ever trip in there. And then we called it a night.

It was a bizarrely encouraging restart of raiding for the guild. Sure, we were two people short. But even in a combination of quest blues and greens, plus some badge and crafted gear, we could put out the damage and healing to get bosses down. With a couple of extra people, we should be gearing up pretty fast.

OK, just a BoE Blue, which I still need to figure out what to do with, but it's an achievement, right?

And from there onwards, it was plain sailing:

And that answered the question "can you get the non-heroic achievement on heroic mode?" with a definitive "yes". 

As we were on a roll, we went to peek our heads round the door of Utgarde Pinnacle on non-heroic, as it was the daily:

Oh, yeah. Easy

So we tried it again on Heroic, sailed through the first two bosses – and then I can repeatedly turned into splinters on the gauntlet. Ah, well. No point in running before you can walk…