Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Victory in the closing moments of The Burning Crusade.

The halls of Karazhan are silent now, naught but the distant echoes of battle can be heard. The bash of shields, the screech of some monstrous creature as it is filled with daggers, swords, and magical blasts.

A colossal roar tears through the halls, and is shortly followed by the sounds of cheering and weaponry clattering off the ground as the band of adventurers achieve their final goal. Karazhan stands free of the Draconic menaces that have haunted its presence for too long.

For the first time since I started raiding in Kara with my guild, we have completely cleared Kara. We have had a long standing curse with Netherspite, in which even our most powerful groups that have cleared the place in one night have fallen repeatedly at his feet. But not tonight. We assembled a strike force of willing members within the guild with one goal: Repair bills or victory. The weeks run had cleared all bar Netherspite and Nightbane, and this was the last chance to prove to ourselves we can defeat Netherspite before the patch hits and everything becomes oh so much easier.

My organization of the run was not fantastic, it was literally a case of “Netherspite attempt in one hour. Whisper me if you want to come.” We had PVP geared rogues, under-equipped people, and people who had never set foot in Kara against either of these bosses. Thankfully we had a resident expert who helped with some of the details of combat, and the guild leader who kept people in check - I have no leadership experience and was more focused on making sure people knew their jobs on the fight.

I suppose my recount of this victory would be worthless without at least going over how we done it, so here’s the scoop!

The first two attempts on Netherspite:

Group makeup:
2 Prot warriors
1 Resto Druid
1 Resto shaman
2 Mages
1 Warlock (first time here)
1 Retri Paladin
2 rogues in PVP gear. (first time here)

The tactics:
There are many variations on the tactics for this fight, but I had the one in mind we were going to do, that would minimise the workload for our two healers.
  • Our two best geared warriors, were to alternate between taking the red and green beam for a phase. The one on the red beam, does the side-step dance to try to minimize the debuff stacks.

  • We had a retribution paladin who would be a backup beam grabber if something happened. He was also the person that had experience here and provided much invaluable advice to help the attempts go smoother.

  • My mage, and another mage allocated ourselves blue-beamers for a phase, then our new warlock was to take it for the second phase and drain life off Netherspite to stay alive.

  • During the periods of phase out, everyone was to scatter to the farthest away point they could (Intention was for this to be the window, but hes a tricky one to position for tanking on every phase.)

Attempt 1:
The tanks done their job perfectly from the get-go. They held the Red and Green beams, alternating after each phase out and proved no problem to keep alive, whilst denying netherspite two of his beams consistently.

Our biggest problem was the blue beam and the void holes. More often than not people would forget about the void holes and a couple of people were lost due to the low health caused by these (me included).

For the first phase, I took the blue beam and after call outs, at 22 ticks the Warlock took over – it was supposed to be the mage. The phase ended ok, and we went back in for the second round. The other mage took the beam, at 25 ticks I realized no one was going to relieve him of the beam, so I stepped in as my debuff had literally just worn off. At 20 ticks I was receiving too much damage and no heals, I called for someone to take the beam, and someone did – a rogue I think, but just as the beam was taken, a void hole opened finishing me off. The other mage also promptly died to one due to low health.

From here the attempt went downhill fast, the rogues alternated the beam but eventually fell – people died in the AOE due to being too close, and the raid wiped one by one. The lowest we managed to get Netherspite was 80%.

Attempt 2:
Same tactics again, but this time me and the mage took the first phase, the warlock saving himself for the second. (As planned)

The other mage died thanks to too many ticks with a void hole under him. The warlock took over but died, I took it over on the next phase - and died. The rogues took it over, and I believe on this attempt we got him to about 45% health before wiping.

Our third try was a little different. I noticed the biggest problem we were having was that the healing was a bit sparse – The two healers were more than capable enough but due to the nature of this fight, it can be problematic getting in range to heal the whole raid, so it can be difficult to reach those in need, when they need it - such as us three on the beam dying on Attempt 2.

For this third attempt I let the rogues know they were going to be allocated blue-beamers aswell, and I was going to get my priest on to help with the healing – my primary focus was to keep the blue beamers up, and anyone that doesn’t notice a void hole. I noticed that even with the two primary DPS down, we were still whittling away Netherspites health, but it was healing on the blue beam that was the biggest issue. Anyone can technically take the beam if healed.

Third and final try:
Asterra gets summoned in, after a minute or two of trying to get her set to the instance (got kicked out to my hearth point due to a bug) I was resummoned, and we begun.

This time things were a lot more hectic with the lack of my mage on the blue beam. We even had the healers jumping into the blue beam on one phase due to the random spawn point of the beam and everyone else being on the otherside of spite. (The risk of crossing the red or green beam was too risky.) I assisted on the healing, chucked in some renews, some prayers of mending, the occasional greater heal to keep the tank topped up, and focused on the blue beamer, chucking in the occasional burst of DPS onto netherspite when I could.

The one and only casualty in this attempt was the mage. I was spam healing him as fast as I could, but at 38 ticks, when he finally dropped the beam on the warlock, he dropped dead. With the drop in DPS the fight went a bit slower, but with all the healing we had and the fantastic “Anyone in the blue beam is enough” mentality, and the fantastic working of our warriors, we downed him. Bonus: I got some nice epic healing pants to replace the blues I spent 200G on last night… A bit of a pain (considering I proceeded to spend another 300g on gems and healing spell-threads for these ones that dropped) The new warlock also got to replace his offhand with something distinctively more Warlocky.

I shall never forget how Team-speak lit up with cheers, and how it was such a fantastic place to be.

This is a long-living obejective. Previous attempts were usually abandoned after one or two wipes, and to get this done the day before the patch, with a “guild pug” (in other words, anyone that was willing with no prior organization bar me making sure we had enough of a spread in classes) was a fantastic achievement. In fact, Nightbane who is usually a walk in the park took 5 or 6 attempts to take down due to the weak group setup for him. (No hunter, untrained people and mainly melee DPS – not to mention me with a 7k buffed healthpool dying in almost every rain of Bones if I spam-healed.)

What was your last Pure Burning Crusade glory moment? As of today, things are going to be a lot different!



Cassini said...

Big congratulations! It's always nice taking down new bosses, and I remember Netherspite being one of the toughest bosses to face at that stage of progression. I'm glad you managed to acheive your goal! :)

Velk said...

Thank you, and I agree completely. Recently with the addition of the Hallowed End boss in Karazhan I have been enjoying learning new fights again. I believe the guild are attempting some higher eschelon raids soon for the first time thanks to the nerf - it should be interesting to see!

And congrats on bursting the comment virginity of my blog!