Wednesday, May 13, 2009
So the Ulduar progression train keeps right on running from station to station. Self-congratulations incoming:
My guild is only the 3rd horde guild on our server to down Mimiron in any form. We killed him no May 5th.
I have never server 3rd'ed anything before. But as Ixo so graciously says in his ingenious blogroll button: we are teh 10-man pwnzorators.
I've started poring over Guildox to see concrete proof of our success. As I am extremely fond of repeating until your ears bleed, this raid team earned an Amani War Bear without ever having set foot in BT or Hyjal. In scrub gear, we did something that was supposed to be reserved for tier 6+ guilds. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to see my chiropractor, as I seem to have pulled a muscle in my arm from patting myself on the back so hard.
Anyway, GuildOx tracks progression using achievements, which is way more dependable than stupid wowjutsu's gear-tracking method. The downside is that it can't tell if you've killed a boss unless you got an achievement.
Auriaya was bugged during the first week, and her adds would respawn mid-fight even though they weren't supposed to. This meant that if you killed her that first week, you automagically got the "Crazy Cat Lady" achievement, which allows us to track who killed her the first week, and when. I had to change my pants again when I discovered that we had a server 2nd kill of Auriaya 10. And that's not just horde side, that's server-wide.
On Monday, we downed General Vezax after much wipeage, likely another Horde server third. I have seen Yogg-Saron, and it turns out that he hurts.
But seriously, enough of my bragging. We're doing well at...a game. It's not like we won the Tour de France after recovering from ball cancer and still having single-nut sex with our supermodel girlfriend on top of a pile of million-dollar bills while having an awesome last name like "Armstrong".
Mimiron, like Freya and Thorim before him, was another case where after the first 3 pulls, I thought there was no way we'd ever win this encounter. It just seemed too complex, and the arm section was just brutal in phase 2 (and 4). It was even worse than those, though. It was the first fight in Ulduar that reminded me of the difficulty of old-school vanilla wow raiding, where you wiped on Chromaggus or Twin Emps every night for weeks and loved it.
But just like those other Keepers, once you learn the fight and embed it into your muscle memory, it's quite doable. We downed him last week after 3 nights total of attempts spread over 2 weeks. We cleared straight to him this past week, prepared for another night of wipes. We one-shot him. W. T. F?!?
Still, the hardest boss I'd seen the game to date (I learned how easy he was after trying Vezax). Phase 1 is easy enough if your ranged can just learn to spread out and move when the napalm comes. The healers will need to have tight coordination with each other to heal the napalm victim while keeping the tank up through Plasma Blast, so named because it makes even geared tanks bleed. The #1 killer on this phase was a ranged dps standing too close to a healer and getting them both napalmed. Spread out, and watch where the tank's turret is pointing so you know if you are the next Napalm target. As melee, I just had to position myself so that there was a clearing in the mines right behind me so when I turned and ran from an electric explosion, I wouldn't gib myself on the land mines. If you are an Unholy DK like me on this fight, you have three ways to save your ghoul from certain death from this electric explosion:
1) If he is buffed enough, he can survive it. This requires at least full naxx 25 gear plus Kings, Fort, and MotW on both you and the pet.
2) Huddle. You may not even know that your ghoul has this ability, but it reduces incoming damage by a large percentage for 10 seconds.
3) Little-known fact: your ghoul's Leap ability can target friendly players. Create a macro that makes the little guy leap to you, and hit it once you've cleared the mines. The macro is:
/cast [target=YOUR NAME] leap
Phase 2 makes healers cry. Every time we start phase 2, our healing lead starts begging any god she can think of to please make it stop. The gun turret in the center of the room randomly blasts people, and pulses aoe fire damage, and fires rockets that will land on your head for ONE MILLION DAMAGE (not making that up!), and since that clearly wasn't enough, when he starts "spinning up", you either get behind him or get riddled with bullets. To death.
We finally got the hang of keeping the casters close enough to the boss to easily get behind him. It helps the healers a lot if I pop my defensive cooldowns, like anti-magic shell, when the aoe pulses are happening. The main thing is to call out on vent when you see a big red rocket fire off of his back into the sky, so everyone in the raid can check their feet for a red circle that indicates the spot they are standing on is about to become a nuclear fallout zone. It's pretty safe to just strafe a bit as soon as you see the rocket launch. If it was going after you, you should now have moved enough to avoid it. I do this reflexively now.
And it's on to Phase 3. You can blow through this phase FAST if you do it right. Avoid the temptation to aoe down the adds. Instead, focus single target dps on the Assault Bots, then have a melee pick up the electromagnet off the boss and call for dps on the boss while he's down. Two big tips for this one that will save a lot of wipes: 1) set loot to free for all so I can pick up the magnet, and 2) drop the magnet DIRECTLY UNDER THE BOSS. You can't do what I did at first and just drop the magnet willy-nilly. You have to overcome the difficulty of 3-dimensional space on a 2-D screen and make sure you drop the magnet right under him, or it won't work, and you'll prolong the phase. Just rinse and repeat this 2-3 times as quick as you can. As soon as the helicopter lifts back off, get back on the bot so you can do it again immediately, and just let the tank hold the little adds until the end of the phase. You'll have time to clean them up with aoe while V0L7R0N (hardy har har) forms.
Phase 4 defies description. He has 3 parts that have to die at the same time. There are mines, and double rockets of death, and Pewx2, and OMG RUN OUT. Your tank has to be really careful to strafe slowly and carefully when moving around when the center is spinning up. If he causes the base to move during the spin up, you might end up with the gun pointing directly at your raid. It feels buggy, honestly, and I know we're not the only raid group to think so. Just be careful.
Funny story: he drops greys. Our Master Looter stepped over to loot him, and reported that his corpse contained no shiny epics or badges, just some grey-named engineering-themed vendor trash?
Panic ensued on vent until the boss despawned and we saw that he had been hiding within him a giant glimmering treasure chest full of...treasure.
Having killed Vezax, I now look back on Mimiron and laugh at myself for thinking the robo-gnome was "hard". But I definitely see him being a big roadblock for most guilds attempting this. It takes the raid to a whole new level beyond anything else in Ulduar. Best of luck to anyone attempting him. Your reward is going to a sea of saronite-flavored tears.