Weekly Raid Roundup: April 2 – 8

Mythic Night 1

Champions of the Light

Most people on the Mythic team have already seen and/or killed Grong as a result of Jibbles’s Gob Squad runs on Sundays. That said, a number of new people were with us for the kill, and there were only 3 deaths. No Angelic Renewal casts got off, and Divine Mallet damage was comfortably low. That said, Atesies and Coldryder were (I believe) the ones with new Champion kills. We forgot to take a picture. Whoops!

Grong

Grong was fun, but challenging. Everyone we spoke to suggested it was a 5-healer minimum. But since we hate listening to directions and hate the easy route we stuck with 4. (This also means we either hate or love our healers. Use your own discretion.)

We had a few problems. Initially, our second orb holder kept dying because he wasn’t receiving enough direct heals. We assigned a specific healer to watch him during tough spots, which solved that issue wonderfully. Another problem was syncing when to use the item to cancel Throw while also draining his tantrum as low as possible. A third was part of the common Heroic issue: people not running out far enough with Throw, while also remaining stationary long enough for the tank to land and not be horrified. We improved communication as the fight continued. Myself and Kamahl (orb holders) got better about recognizing when we would need externals (without memeing BIG HEALZ); tanks got better at recognizing when they would be in trouble during Throw; the group coordinated interrupts smooth like butter.

In the end, we only needed 13 pulls for the kill.

Jadefire Masters

After Grong, Jadefire felt…easy, really. The hardest part of Jadefire is staying alive during multi-sided strike. However, once it was pointed out that the pattern of colors always remained the same (BLUE GREEN RED GREEN BLUE) and I threw together a quick Weakaura to show the color order, most people were able to survive the transition. There were still problems, of course – it’s mythic! We initially killed one explosive orb to start, baited magma traps, then moved on to the second explosive orb. Unfortunately, there was simply too much damage and bad timing with the third explosive, multi-sided strike, and the transitional phase. We eventually evened out timing, but still only managed to just down Mestrah twice – once with Manceroy around 30%, and later, with 19 total people, Manceroy around 18%.

Thursday Logs

Mythic Night 2

We had a rough start to Jadefire as new people joined us for the night and had to re/learn how to do multi-sided strike. However, we overall had better damage to orbs and got a new strat: we burn both the first two explosives, THEN bait magma traps, then kill the third explosive. By that time the third explosive was either dead or close to it before the transition happens.

We had 14 pulls total between both nights for the kill.

Opulence

Opulence will be our first real problem and the first boss we spend a lot of time tinkering and restrategizing on. It’s likely that we will swap healers around going into this week, as certain specs are better at dealing specific types of damage / situations. We’ll also be reinforcing a useful graphic that we pulled from <Am I Muted>’s discord, which will help with the lightning orb drop points significantly.

We also don’t want anyone running 3 stacks of Treacherous Covenant on Opulence or onwards until we have them downed a few times. The extra damage taken and loss of DPS, especially in poison room / dot situations, is enormous.

Downing Jadefire put us at #7 on the server. In order to gain ranks, we have to defeat Opulence, Conclave, AND Rastakhan.

Friday Logs

Heroic and Normal

I was not present for the Saturday Heroic run, but it looks like everything went well and the run was slightly over 2 hours. In the future, we may decide to do either 2 or 3 hour runs, depending on what people feel like. We may also save lockouts from the previous weeks to try to push AOTC for those that need it. We will try to announce this ahead of time.

Monday we originally planned to concurrently run heroic and normal. In the end we opted to run only normal, as a number of people who were originally going to do heroic either could not make it or didn’t feel well enough. In true alt-night fashion, we 1-shot every boss including Jaina, and came in at just over 2 hours. This is an excellent return to form and we know it boosted some spirits. It was nice to see people able to gear alts and run characters they haven’t been able to during progression runs.

Saturday logs
Monday logs: 1, 2, 3

Loot Rules

In the face of a Mythic team and the return of alt nights, we’ve tweaked the loot roll rules for alt nights and clarified what to do with loot we don’t need.

Check out the updates to Loot rolls.

Mythic Team

After much deliberation amongst one another and a vote on time slots, the Warlords chose Thursday and Friday for Mythic progression, replacing Black Team raid times.

The following individuals are part of the Mythic roster:

TANK:
Telann
Rip

HEALERS:
Corignis
Phallamore
Liv
Ubernuts

DPS:
Zextol
Lillithh
Quetzie
Kamahl
Foxxie
Harmesi
Fokolamagexd
Lineda
Niraffe
Donkay
Demonestra (transitioning to Houndmaster)
Grimmbrew
Jibbles
Cameltotem

BACKUP/FLEX:
Coldryder
Urostek
Atesies
Bulborbish
Bellelina
Shaynanigans

These individuals were chosen based not only on the numbers performance of their main spec, but also on mechanics, listening to directions, flexibility to other roles / classes, communication, availability for times, and most importantly, attitude.

This is NOT a permanent roster. If you think you were unfairly excluded (example: maybe you can make the times and we didn’t think you were able), please feel free to reach out to us. If you are on the roster but wind up benched because of underperformance or attendance issues, please don’t take it personally. We’ll work with you to show where you can improve as best we can.

If you’d like to try out for the Mythic roster but haven’t raided with us before, please get ahold of a Warlord. We’ll run you through Heroic and M+ to evaluate your performance and where you might best fit on the team. Assuming you’re approved, you’d start as a fill / bench before being placed on the main roster.

We’re looking to have fun but also be successful. If you think you can provide a class / role / functionality we’re missing, please reach out. We’re going to work hard in the coming weeks to gear people’s alts / off specs in M+ and heroic / normal raids, practice rotation, provide WAs, etc.

That said, we’re still a casual guild. Nobody expects Cutting Edge, and we’re not looking to recruit hardcore mythic raiders to replace the friends we’ve been playing with for months or years. When we reach a point where the best of our best can no longer proceed, we’ll likely halt progression to simply farm lower bosses or do other fun activities as a group, catch up AOTCs, etc.

If the stress of Mythic becomes too much and you stop having fun, there is no shame in sitting out. We chose the above individuals because we think they can take the stress of Mythic raiding, but this is a game and everyone should enjoy themselves. If you find it’s not what you expected, don’t feel that you have to keep coming for our benefit. We’d rather everyone have fun, and we can find someone to fill your slot in the future.

Current Teams / Names / Designations

At some point I need to update the Raid Team Roster page. I can separate the Mythic group out from the rest of the Vanguards; move the Mythic team to Black team and move everyone else to Red; keep Red and Black roster the same but add a separate Mythic roster; combine our (incredibly large) roster into 1 listing; give the Mythic team a brand-new designation; or any other number of things. If anyone has suggestions, please get ahold of me. Otherwise I will use my best judgement, and then nobody is allowed to bitch about what I choose :^)

Loot rule changes / clarifications

As some of the raiders move into Mythic, the Warlords decided to adjust the rules regarding loot rolls. We also added some rules we’d mentioned in Discord that never made it to the online sheet, some from way back in Uldir!

Old Loot Roll Rules:

Once loot has been received, players who wish to offer up an item for roll will whisper the item to Telann. All loot rolls will be posted and closed by him (highest roll from 1-100 wins). Main spec rolls will be offered first, followed by off spec, and lastly character alts. Transmog and Disenchants are allowed after those priorities. BoE items belong to whoever receives them and may also be offered to others for roll at that players discretion. You are not required to offer an item up for trade.

New Loot Roll Rules:

Once loot has been received, players who wish to offer up an item for roll will whisper the item to Telann. You are not required to offer any item up for trade. Telann will then call for rolls in order of roll priority (below). If you win the roll and find you don’t need/want the loot, it then goes to the next runner up.

Roll Priority:
Main spec upgrade, Azerite or Trinket side grade *
Side grade for main spec
Off-spec
Transmog
Disenchants

* If a raid night is an “alt night”, alts / newbies are given main-spec priority rolls over those characters who are in main progression runs, as higher-geared characters have more opportunities to get the pieces they need. During alt nights, progression characters are considered “off spec” in the loot priority listing.

Note: BoE items belong to whoever receives them, but may also be offered to others for roll at that players discretion.

Reasons Why

Azerite and Trinkets may be ilvl side-grades for many classes, but the difference between a BiS trinket or trait is phenomenal (as an example, my BiS azerite trait does more damage than my spam / builder spell).

Characters who are not in the core progression groups (whether we’re on Mythic or Heroic for a given tier) have fewer opportunities for upgrades; it’s important that we give everyone opportunities to get gear. Progression characters going to alt runs are generally there to supply loot to alts / newbies who need it. We may make an exception for incredible titanforges above Mythic-level loot drops.

If you win an item and find you no longer need it (maybe it wasn’t a good upgrade via sim), please return it to the original owner or pass it off to the next-highest roll, rather than a friend or someone you “think” should get the item. You are also more than welcome to cancel your roll and say “No, I don’t really need it, give it to [person who rolled next highest]”. (As a one-trick, I do this all the time if I see the next-highest roll would be getting a massive upgrade, or if someone is gearing a new progression toon.)

If you’re going to roll on a piece for transmog / disenchant, hold off until you’re sure there are no upgrade rolls. Telann will call for “need” first, and then for “transmogs and DE” if nobody rolls on upgrades/sidegrades.

This is going to be a slight change for everyone, so it’ll take some time to get used to. If someone rolls out of turn, don’t get mad at them.

Take a refresher on all the Rules and Regulations, but you don’t need to re-confirm them with us.

Monthly Raid Roundup: March 2019

Let’s just skip the part where we all know I’m behind.

Heroic Boss Kills

Geeks and Freaks:

Geeks and Freaks – Mekkatorque – 3/11/2019
Geeks and Freaks – Stormwall Blockade – 3/16/2019
Geeks and Freaks – Jaina – 3/18/2019

Masters of Mayhem:

Masters of Mayhem – Mekkatorque – 3/01/2019
Masters of Mayhem -Stormwall Blockade – 3/14/2019
Masters of Mayhem – Jaina – 3/21/2019

Mythic

There is / will be some restructuring as we move into Mythic. More on this will come in tomorrow’s roundup.

Mythic nights will be taking place on Black Team times, though the Mythic group will comprise both Red and Black team members. We haven’t decided whether to keep the team names / identifiers the same, change them, lose them entirely, or something else. If you have opinions, let us know!

Raid Roundups will likely majority cover the Mythic raids, though will mention saturdays and mondays here and there.

Vanguards and AOTC

Vanguards who wish to keep Vanguard status but are not on the Mythic team will only have to come to 50% of the remaining raid dayss (saturdays and/or mondays) until the next full tier to keep Vanguard. The requirements for new raiders to earn Vanguard are the same (5 raids in per month).

That said, we still have a number of guild members and raiders who need AOTC. Keeping on top of raid mechanics, continuing to run M+, etc, will help ensure that we can get AOTC for them before the next tier. We had 6 successful AOTC runs in Uldir. We’ve already done AOTC twice on Jaina. Let’s shoot to get everyone AOTC who needs it, just like Uldir!

Crucible of Storms

Once Crucible releases we’ll be running that on Saturdays and Mondays instead of Heroic BfD, at least until it gets cleared or people get bored of it. The Mythic group may run it during their time as well, or we may decide to split into 2 groups on saturdays / mondays. Essentially the schedule for the Mythic group doing crucible is TBD, but everyone else can plan for Saturday / Monday to be Crucible runs when it releases.

Mythic Raiding Writeup: Tiraffe Teachings

How To Become a Mythic Raider in Less Than 20 Minutes:
Being a Better Player and Notes on Mythic Raiding

Hey guys, Mythic raider and card game enthusiast Tiraffe here. Given the recent announcement from Uro about looking at the possibility of pursuing Mythic Progression, I figured I’d whip up a guide to help out those that are looking to improve their play or are afraid that they wouldn’t make the cut for a Mythic roster now or in the future.

Continue reading

Ministryofdefense.net anniversary

Can you believe it’s been over a year since we launched the guild website? (It launched on March 17th, 2018)

We’ve seen a lot of changes over time. The original site didn’t even have a search function. We didn’t have a PvP section, either. We didn’t have a way of tracking raider attendance, or even showing off our raid team. We changed the way the menus work on mobile, and added submenus to the raiding and PvP pages. We changed a page about discord bots into a page for our social media. We added a calendar and, briefly, a page to vote on the guild Halloween contest. We have an updated tracker for our raid rankings, and dozen of other tiny tweaks.

What’s your favorite website functionality? What would you like to see from us in the future?

Quetz is back! Yay! You can expect Raid Wrapups to return, as well as a brief overview of the screenshots from previous boss kills that we didn’t cover in March. I currently have a huge backlog of changes to make on the site as well, obviously. The Attendance and Raid Team pages need to be updated, as they’ve been outdated since February. There are a full 18 plugin and WordPress updates. Expect the site calendar to be brought up to speed as well. I’d like to thank everyone for being patient with me during a very difficult March, and am looking forward to a much more fun April and beyond.

Weekly Raid Wrapup: February 18 – 25

Opening Night:

Earlier bosses are cleaning up nicely in both groups. Opulence is now mostly cake for each group, though we are monitoring performance on basic mechanics and trimming down where necessary.

Depending on the class stacking, we have been getting creative with CC. For example, Opulence with 4 monks makes for a square of Ring of Peaces in order to trap adds:

Conclave

Conclave continues to be a tricky one for both groups. Gronk is not falling when he needs to (before the first Paku wind), so we’re struggling a bit to make up for that. Gronk is our first major DPS check of the tier – and a major mechanics one at the same time.

Too many people in both groups were continuing to get hit by Krag’wa’s wrath. There are also a surprising number of buffed raptors making it around.

Masters of Mayhem

Black team got their first look at Rastakhan. He has several new mechanics that make for a steep learning curve, right up through phase 3 of the fight. Too many people are being hit by frogs, and there is too much tank damage being taken from avoidable mechanics

Masters of Mayhem Friday Logs
Freaks and Geeks Saturday Logs

Closing Night

Conclave

I missed the first hour of Red Team’s attempts on Conclave, so I cannot comment on those pulls. However, I gathered that many people were still not bringing Kimbul’s Wrath out of the group, and others were not paying attention to the Krag’wa circle in time to move. When I did join, we got the kill, and it was an incredibly clean job well done – no noticeable overlaps of Kimbul, very few people hit by Krag’wa, and nobody died to raptors. All in all, massive improvements from everyone involved.

Freaks and Geeks

Rastakhan

Rastakhan adds several new mechanics to Heroic. For one, there’s a brand new add in both Phase 1 and Phase 3. Two, there’s a soaking mechanic in Phase 1. Three, there are flame totems in Phase 1. Oh, and that plague of toads? They leave puddles behind.

Nothin’ to it.

Black Team spent two nights working strategy for this. In between breaks and wipes, tanks opted to move Rastakhan at specific markers so the flame tongue totems would not be within range to strike after being placed. The tank holding Rastakhan would call out when toads were coming. This would allow plenty of time for the DPS and the other tank to move / follow the adds out of the way of the toads and their deadly puddles. The second soak has a nasty overlap with a tank mechanic for damage, so it’s good for healers to pop a cooldown here (one of ironbark, barrier, spirit link, etc) to help offset.

Moving into phase 2, the tank swap mechanic is much the same as on normal. Fire spreads faster, so it’s more important to stay as spread as possible. Be careful not to AoE the totems controlling players – it may be beneficial for priests here to MC a melee character away from the totem so they don’t die.

Red Team made slight but strong strategic changes to aid in dropping death gates in useful locations in Phase 2. They tanked Rastakhan slightly closer to the throne, allowing ranged DPS to spread more in the direction of the door where we enter the room. This allows ranged DPS to more effectively drop the death doors where the Phase 3 death realm participants can reach them.

Black Team tried to have CC on adds the first night, focusing down one at a time. On night 2 and on Red team, both teams said “to hell with that” and focused on interrupting when possible, cleaving adds as best they could.

Both teams struggled with the Death Realm successfully making it out, but it seems that proper Death Door placement affects this significantly. There may need to be changes to add some stronger DPS to the death realm, much like moving stronger DPS to the left side of the Opulence fight.

There is a lot of mess involved in Part 4 a Rastakhan kill. We’re assured this is normal…

…and both teams are proud to say they downed Rastakhan this week.

Masters of Mayhem
Freaks and Geeks

Mekkatorque

Masters of Mayhem spent several hours working on Mekkatorque. There is 1 new mechanic: Wormhole Generator (teleports everyone in the raid to a random player’s location), and a big adjustment to a familiar mechanic: only those within the robots can see colors.

To be covered in a later section, but this requires a lot more radio silence than other bosses. It also requires knowing how the fight plays out. For example, the second wormhole generator happens 3 seconds after people get the gigavolt bomb planted on them. This means WAITING to cast movement abilities until AFTER the wormhole goes off.

There is ONE Wormhole Generator in the last phase. This will include shrunk people AND big people. If you are shrunk, you move first. I cannot stress this enough: If you are large and there are shrunk people, DO NOT MOVE. Even if you think it’s safe, triple-check that there are no little people under your feet before moving.

It’s imperative to dodge the blaster cannon. For the most part this is easily avoidable. Ranged DPS and heals have NO excuse to be hit by it.

Callouts for robots will happen as follows. For example:

Lillith, Coldryder, and Urostek get into robots. Coldryder calls out “Cold is lead. Lillith red, Uro green. Uro, what am I?” This will repeat until everyone has their colors listed.

If there is a tank that needs to get into a robot, they take priority. For example:

Telann, Bellatori, and Corignis are in robots. Corignis calls out “Corig is lead. Telann, red. Telann, blue. Telann, red. Telann, out.” Then, he will call “Bella, red. What am I?” to which Bellatori will respond “Corig, Blue”.

If there is a person with no / crappy /muted mic and a tank, call out the tank but the tank WILL NOT LEAVE UNTIL TOLD. The rotation will be as follows:

Quetzie, Atesies, and Avarkus are in robots. Quetzie calls out “Quetzie has lead. Atesies, red. Atesies, green. Atesies, red. What am I?” Atesies will call out “Quetzie, blue. Quetzie, yellow. Quetzie, green.” Quetzie says “Atesies, out” and proceeds to call Avarkus’s colors while Atesies leaves her robot. Once all of Avarkus’s colors are called, they can exit.

Masters of Mayhem Friday logs
Freaks and Geeks Monday logs

Raid Callouts

For our sanity and yours, we’re cutting back significantly on raid-wide callouts. I may adjust this list over the next few days.

Champion:

  • Only calling out add / boss DPS swap. We will not be calling out blind unless the add is right in the middle of everyone.

Grong:

  • Calling out add spawn / swap.
  • May reactive call-out when people need to move if they are being thrown at if they do not move immediately.
  • Individuals will call out when they are using the Apetagonizer Core.
  • We will not be calling out the rocket fire spawn

Jadefire:

  • Call out which bomb to swap to
  • Call out add
  • Individuals will call out when they are clearing magma traps
  • We will not be calling out magma trap spawn

Opulence:

There should be very little need for callouts in the gauntlet. Learn to pay attention.

  • Topaz individuals will discuss stack count with one another
  • If a person is going to be BoP / Immunitied OR if they are going to self-sacrifice and die so the raid takes less damage
  • Individuals will discuss CC order on the adds

Conclave:

There is no need for anyone to call out if they are silenced by Akunda unless you have been silenced for over fifteen seconds (half the duration). Generally, the healers will get to you. Just sit tight.

  • Individuals may call out if there are adds remaining. If there is an add on a tank, it’s imperative to kill that first. Tanks, please call.
  • We will not call out hex, leap, etc, unless…
  • We may reactive call-out if a person is not bringing Akunda, Kimbul, etc to the back of the Paku circle

Rastakhan:

  • The tank taking Rastakhan in P1 will call out when Toads are coming
  • We will not be calling out fire circle
  • We will not be calling out death’s doors
  • We will continue to call out when the groups need to move to get to either death or living realm

Mekkatorque:

  • We will not call out when people get the Gigavolt charge
  • We will not call out every time Buster Cannon goes off. Only if it’s pointed at a place where a player is hiding with charge or if it’s right down the middle.
  • We may reactive call-out when we need big people to stand still so shrunk people can move.
  • Individuals should never call out when they are shrunk. (We don’t care. Also we can see that you’re shrunk.) Only call out when you are in a robot and taking lead or answering back (as above).
  • Individuals do not need to call out what rock they are going to with Gigavolt. If you see someone else with the debuff nearby, quickly comment “Quetzie will take red, Lillithh you take yellow”
  • Reread the comments about about robot callouts in the Mekkatorque fight discussion above.
  • Avoid calling out if you need external heals unless you are at <50% health and have none of your own.

Respect your fellow Raiders

You are not in a vacuum when you raid. Your actions or inaction have effects on others and their ability to enjoy the game. Please do not intend to waste 6 hours of people’s time a week because you do not intend to behave like an adult.

Those who are absent, or those who are absent minded, make it hard for us to recruit for what is missing in either group. A person who shows up “sometimes maybe” with no warning, or who shows up but then takes long breaks, or who doesn’t pay attention, will find themselves replaced and put on the sub list. We’ve done it before already this tier, and we will do it again.

Distractions

We’ve noticed a number of people recently that haven’t been giving their raid their full attention. Real life comes first, but if you’re here physically, then you should be here mentally, too. Long breaks, phone texts, typing in chat during fights, drunkenness, etc all take away from 20 other people’s enjoyment of the game. We certainly understand if something comes up unexpectedly (hurt kiddos, surprises at the door), but try to plan around having these 3 hours of the night committed to the group. If you can’t commit to the full 3 hours then we will work with you as best we can.

Absences and Tardiness

Tagging missing people in Discord every week gets irritating. If you know you won’t be here or will be late, you need to tell us ASAP so we can find a replacement for your role. Accidents happen and problems arise unexpectedly, but if you know you have work, school, or family commitments, you need to tell us (though you don’t need to tell us details). We’re not going to be tagging people as much, if at all, on Discord anymore to remind them to get on.

New Warlords

As you’ve likely heard by now, Harmesi and Lineda have been promoted to Warlords. As the remaining Black Team Warlords phase out, Harmesi and Lineda will be taking over the responsibilities for Red Team (there is potentially room for advancement for others as well). Harmesi and Lineda will be taking full responsibility of the team’s decision making from hereon out, with the rest of us providing support and advice where we can. Please cut them some slack in this transitional period.

This is the first step to bringing back alt nights for the teams. The more you support everyone involved, the sooner those will return.

Raid Comp, Trades, and Recruitment

We’ve taken steps this week to adjust raid composition to fill in missing roles, trade people whose time slots will work out better, and put out feelers to fill in gaps where teams are missing roles. We will continue to do so. As a general rule, if you think there’s a gap on either team, we probably noticed it weeks ago and have been working on it this whole time, shut up about it, we know, we’re fixing it. These things take time. We cannot magic heroic-level raiders out of thin air. If you know anyone who can fill in missing roles from either team, or who wants a spot on the raid team, we will work with them to see what can be done.

PvP Fundays back on the calendar!

Arianrhod ran a number of people through a fun, casual night of PvP on Sunday. She writes:

Thank you all for joining PvP for Fun today! We all had so much fun and did amazing! Many people got achievements (like The Grim Reaper, Damage Control, Know Thy Enemy, Honorable Kill counts, That Takes Class, and various map Victory ones) and everyone got a brawl win!

I’m so happy you all joined and I’m hoping to see you all soon again, maybe on Wednesday latest on Sunday!

She’s looking to organize something for this week – Tuesday or Wednesday – so pop into Discord and join the discussion in the PvP channel!

Weekly Raid Roundup: Feb 12 – 18

Sorry I’m a bit late – wasn’t sure about some information to include this week or next. Will include it in the next!

Opening Night

Both groups had easy clears up through Opulence. There are a few mishaps on Grong with tank throws and the people with the orbs dying, but otherwise both groups are getting very comfortable with the first three bosses.

Opulence

Opulence took 6 tries per group to get down. For Red Team, the solution was to put the heaviest-hitting characters on the left side (reducing the number of awful overlap mechanics they needed to face). Going forward this should lead to much faster kills. Black Team had a few missteps but should be able to apply what Red Team learned to the boss to down him faster in the future. Red Team went from an entire night spent on Opulence last monday, to downing him in 6 tries not even a week later.

Freaks and Geeks

Masters of Mayhem Thursday logs
Freaks and Geeks Saturday Logs

Closing Night

Conclave of the Chosen

Conclave is a tough fight for both groups. Black Team pulled in a third tank to help reset the stacks on Paku and Kimbul. This allowed the bosses to not cross/overlap and made tank swaps faster and more reliable. Red Team followed suit.

If a melee non-tank taunts off of Paku or Kimbul, the boss continues to gain stacks. This means that taunting at 12, a melee person will get hit with a 13 stack Paku. Then a 14…etc. Taunt-offs with melee DPS need to be exact or the dps will simply be 1- or 2-shot. It’s much safer for us right now to have a tank taunt off, resetting stacks to zero.

Both groups are having a ton of problems with the Krag’wa and Paku overlap. Both groups should have the tanks off to the sides and the majority of DPS way on the edge of the circle. This will hopefully draw Krag’wa to the DPS, who will then run back and forth between the front of the circle and the middle repeatedly, drawing them out. There should be a couple dps towards the back to ensure it’s never a tank that gets jumped on.

This is a good theory, of course, but it doesn’t always work out in reality. We’re still fine-tuning as best we can, so people have to be ready to move. The Krag’wa circle IS bigger than Darkness, and DPSing during Paku isn’t important. So simply yank your camera over your head and look for the white swirly, then run out of it. It’s very easy – even as a DPS who sits on the outside of Conclave as froggy bait, I can count the number of times I’ve been hit by him on one hand.

Killing Gonk before the first Paku winds seems to be the key to success. Groups may have to trim down excessively just to ensure that Gonk loses health fast enough. That said, Red Team was missing a few key DPS players from their run – hopefully they’ll be back in action this week and make for a smooth kill.

Masters of Mayhem

King Rastakhan

Rastakhan seems to have only one difficult phase on heroic – phase 3, where we split into 2 realms. Keeping adds CCd is going to be vital. Otherwise, the other mechanics aren’t too bad. People need to pay attention to the frog path – if you have the absorb debuff on you, move out of the way of the frog! Tanks and healers run the risk of taking damage from from the fire snake totems in phase 1. However, they’re easy to dodge once you get into the rhythm. Practice will make perfect here.

We may change up who we put into the death realm in the future. The faster we get Bwonsamdi down, the better. The living realm is all about soaking and priority killing adds until the death realm people show up again.

Masters of Mayhem Friday logs
Freaks and Geeks Monday logs

Normal

In the spirit of getting off-tanks used to mechanics and teaching some new people how we run the raid, we ran through normal on Saturday morning up through blockade, and finished Blockade and Jaina monday night. Blockade and Jaina were incredibly small groups – 16 people on Blockade and 19 people on Jaina. Small groups with good execution of mechanics are vital for both fights. Every boss was 1-shot except for conclave, blockade, and Jaina, which were all 2-shot.

We’ll likely run this again in the future before we officially bring back alt nights (which we’re in the process of – very soon!)

Champion – Rastakhan (logs gave out at one point)
Blockade and Jaina

Black Temple Timewalking

For those interested in Black Temple Timewalking this week, Tiraffe is setting up a run for people. Check out the pinned post in Raiding Discussion on discord:

Hey guys, Tiraffe here. I’m planning on hosting a Late Night Timewalking Black Temple shortly after red team finishes this Saturday, starting at 8:15pm est. Planning on going until 11:30pm est. Demonhunters come and get your Warglaive of Azzinoth tmog.

If you’re interested, react with something so I can get some kind count of who’s thinking of coming. The more folks we have, the easier the bosses will be. I’ll be posting a quick guide later on how to optimize gear for Timewalking stuff too.

Make sure to find and react to his post so he’ll know you’re interested!

Weekly Raid Roundup: Feb 5 – Feb 11

This week, both teams headed into heroic for the first time!

Opening Night

Champion of the Light

Black team had a very good first pull on Champion, but still has problems with “add wrangling”. Too many people are getting hit by Wave of Light,  and Blinding Faith is a continual problem for some people on both teams (though it’s made harder when adds are improperly placed).

Both teams are generally awful at interrupts. It only takes a second to tab to one of the healer minions and interrupt them, but most people aren’t doing it.

Both teams had similar, clean kills; only 3 deaths. 2 of them were tanks and the remainder was someone else dying at the end from boss damage.

Freaks and Geeks

Grong

We had a few discoveries this week – for example, adds dying too close to the boss gave him bonus energy, which made tantrum more deadly. We tried a variety of different styles of stacking for large ranged groups – from 1 group to 2 groups, moving when able. That strategy was quickly abandoned as being too complex.

When the tank gets thrown at a player, it’s important to stand still and wait. The tank will be stunned for 1-2 seconds and unable to move, meaning if you abandon them, they’ll get feared. It’s important to stay with the tank during this phase. As soon as a tank gets picked up, a melee DPS needs to stand on the other tank. When the thrown tank lands, they need to walk back together. A potentially helpful weakaura is located here.

In the end, the boss kill is mostly about team comp. We had 4 healers for fewer people on Black team, but we needed an extra healer on Red to make up for the larger team size. As soon as we added an extra healer to Red, they 1-shot the boss, after having 14 previous wipes. Black only took 4 pulls on him to adjust to the heroic changes.

Masters of Mayhem
Freaks and Geeks

Jadefire Masters

The important thing for this fight seems to be clearing moving away from magma traps and clearing them efficiently. There’s a pretty long windup on the cast, so there’s not much excuse for being hit by them as they spawn. Certain classes can clear them without incident – rogues, hunters, and paladins can all remove multiple traps at once. Other classes can negate fall damage with blinks, jumps, teleports, slow falls, or even a good priest-yank back to safety.

Healers need to be on top of dispells (we had a few pop off for tons of raid-wide damage) but for the most part, we haven’t had issues.

The Xuen tiger add is annoying and we learned to adjust as time went on. During explosive, every DPS would get inside an explosive orb and kill the add while cleaving the orb for maximum efficiency.

The pattern for the monk puzzle will always be Blue, Green, Orange, Green, Blue. This week they’ve made it easier to see, so if we do miss the DPS push threshold, hopefully it won’t be an issue.

Masters of Mayhem
Freaks and Geeks

Masters of Mayhem Thursday logs
Freaks and Geeks Saturday logs

Closing Night

Face, meet wall. Repeatedly.

Opulence

Both teams suffered the gauntlet here. There are no new mechanics compared to normal, but both teams still struggled with then regardless, which was perplexing to raid leads.

Right-side add always turns clockwise, and you should always be stacked on his butt unless there’s a potential fire-laser mechanic. Even then, the fire-laser mechanic doesn’t do a ton of damage. I’ve said it a number of times and I will say it again: getting fire-laser out of the group is less important than staying alive. There is too much complaining about “fire being under the boss!”. That’s just going to happen because of the fire-spin mechanic coinciding with lasers.

In the future, we may simply ask those with fire laser to make as small a circle – wherever they are – as possible. The tank can then move the add away from this when it’s happening. Or, if it’s happening during a fire-laser-spin, move the miniboss after. The real issue with the fire-laser comes from getting more than 2 instances of it. We’re losing DPS to 1-shot mechanics when we need them alive to kill the miniboss before we get 3 instances of fire-laser on the ground.

Left-side…I’ve never been on. However, both groups had issues with people running the static ability out and dropping it out of the group.

This fight is very important to be fast-reacting with mechanics. If you try to finish a cast, chances are you or someone nearby you will die, much like Blockade.

In the future, Warlords are going to be comping down significantly sooner than we have been. People dying to avoidable 1-shots, especially without using any defensives, are not doing anything but adding HP to the boss and minibosses.

Once in the last room, however, the fight is very simple.

Conclave

Black team managed to reach Conclave, and we’re in for a trick here. Multiple ranged DPS – especially those with the Incandescent Sliver trinket – spread out from the group around the center of the room. This allowed the new Krag’wa mechanic to aim for only one person and thus only make one person have to move at a time.

It is much more imperative that the DPS and Tanks are properly situation in a Paku wind blast. Otherwise, mechanics like Krag’wa or Kimbul will wipe the raid, as they combo into massive damage.

Raptors do significantly more damage and also gain buffs. It’s imperative for mages to spellsteal both these buffs and the haste buff from Paku’s aspect.

Masters of Mayhem Friday logs
Freaks and Geeks Monday logs

Mythic Champion

Jibbles through a quick guild group together on Sunday to down Mythic Champion of the Light before LFR started. The boss went down in <10 pulls and much loot was enjoyed. He intends to run it again so hopefully that gives both groups a leg up on goodies for their runs!

(We also peeked at Grong and had many regrets.)

Mythic Champion combat logs

Thoughts

Warlords are going to trim down groups much earlier than they have been. We’ve been trying to give people chances to make up for mistakes, but some people do not seem to be showing improvement on certain bosses or mechanics. We’ll work with you when we can, but it won’t be able to be done mid-raid. If we’re able we will reach out and provide assistance – maybe helpful WAs or addons, practice runs on normal, etc.

Please don’t whisper warlords graphs and stats during a raid, or if you must, only do so once. We all have the combatlogs, we all have details or recount or skada, and we do pay a lot more attention to those around us than the average raider does. We’re aware of what you’re showing us. If we’re not addressing it, it’s either because we can’t address it at the time, or we’re not sure of the best fix and will need to think about it.

Weekly Raid Roundup: Jan 29 – Feb 4

Opening Night

Both teams started with very solid reclears, 1-shotting bosses that made us struggle and squirm last week. Nothing to cover here – we simply refined strategy and honed in on what works and what doesn’t. Black had 1 extra pull on Conclave due to tank damage using battle-res’s.

Mekkatorque

Surprisingly, both teams had to have additional pulls on Mekkatorque. We have people who are not moving the raid-wide damage close enough to the wall, and others who are not helping themselves with the robot mechanics. We wanted only those inside robots to be calling out colors (as that’s what’s going to happen in Heroic), but people either couldn’t find another robot, or they completely forgot. We only had 1-2 times that was successful in each group.

We’re asking that people start by using https://wago.io/wT9PCFmVW to help callouts. Hopefully as time goes on there will be other auras that will help callouts. In the meantime, if you do not have a microphone when we get to Heroic Mekkatorque, you either: a) need to get one b) need to be fast with typing c) need to sit.

Stormwall Blockade

Both teams reached Stormwall Blockade with only a few pulls left in them. Black had more practice on the pier, and thus downed the boss in 3 pulls. We wound up completely ignoring adds eventually and just burning the boss down while the timer ticked (if anyone remembers our first MOTHER kill, it was a lot like that).

Red reached the pier every time, but only had enough time for 2 pulls. Much like Black’s previous week, Red had a practice day on Sunday to work on the mechanics of the stormwall fight. It was a relaxed atmosphere and we spent a good amount of time discussing what worked, what didn’t, what each buff/debuff did, and expectations of individuals within the fight re: soaking, slows, etc. We were missing some key players (all of our hunters, for example) but had some very solid pulls. We also had a new strategy of having a side-soak group to pick up any Ires on the far side of the dock.

Masters of Mayhem Thursday logs
Freaks and Geeks Saturday logs part 1, Freaks and Geeks Saturday logs part 2

Closing Night

Masters of Mayhem

Black Team spent the night progressing on Jaina. We were missing a few key players here, but we worked around their absence. We learned before the start of the fight that the adds in the boat phase can be Mind Controlled and walked off the boat, so we had our priests hop to. This left the DPS with more damage on the boss. We organized specific ranged DPS to have specific cannons to fire (for example, I was always the front-right cannon).

When we got to the second phase with barrels, we marked specific barrels and moved clockwise from barrel to barrel. We also assigned specific people to get to Jaina first and interrupt her, while the rest of us sat back and just dodged mechanics (speedy rogues and shamans worked well here).

We opted to lust when we got the first or second mirror image add, depending on who was up and how we were progressing.

RLs made some mistakes with jaina’s health percentage (she needs to get to 30% and we kept thinking 40%) but recovered well.

In order to down her, we had to comp down significantly – we simply had too many bodies on the field, causing a number of problems that wouldn’t arise otherwise. We went with 3 healers and 8 DPS, which dropped Jaina’s health a significant amount.

Our kill was our cleanest pull – only lost 2 people right at the end, and had incredibly few people be frozen solid.

Masters of Mayhem Friday logs

Freaks and Geeks

Red Team spent most of their night progressing on Blockade. We were missing some key players again, so we had to make due with some fills. There were a number of really well-done pulls on the pier. Cleaning up the sea swells is becoming easier as people group and re-orient themselves back to where they need to be more often. More people are remembering to use CC to slow the adds. All in all it came down to a question of when to lust, and when to hold off. We wound up with a cleaner Blockade kill than black team because of persistence and practice.

Jaina

Because we downed Blockade with time to spare, we also wound up getting to look at Jaina. We again assigned ranged DPS to specific cannons, and had groups rotate around the room barrels to clear stacks. Our reaching Jaina went about as expected- too many people got frozen. We need to find some specific people who can reach her fast. However, we reached her phases pretty quickly, so I suspect it won’t take long to get a kill on her.

Freaks and Geeks Monday logs

This Week: Heroic

Both teams will begin progressing Heroic this week. If anyone who missed a Jaina kill from Black, or those from Red want to give her a shot, we will consider doing that on the second night (or when we hit a wall on heroic, whichever comes first). But it hasn’t yet been decided. Feel free to PUG normal regardless. We’re heroic progressing full-time now!

Because Heroic is more tough than normal (duh) we’re going to start being less lax about benching people for repeated mechanic failure. If you mess up because you’ve never seen a mechanic before, that’s fine! Don’t worry. Nobody expect perfection. But if you mess up after seeing the mechanic a 5th time…well…that’s a problem. Raid-wipe mechanics are more prevalent in Heroic and if the same people are causing them we’ll sit you temporarily until something can be figured out to help you improve.

Attendance and Breaks

No-call no-shows are starting to hurt the groups. If you cannot attend regularly, please consider bowing out and moving to our backup roster. There are going to be people that we are going to start doing that to this week because we are simply not receiving communications from them. If you know that you will be absent, let us know ahead of time so we can plan for it. We will never penalize someone for known absences, or if something extraneous comes up (illness etc).

Stop taking breaks at unassigned times. We’re losing valuable time to people getting up to pee, getting drinks, etc during non-break times. Some nights it seems like every pull that someone has to leave “for just a minute” (could be upwards of five). Pee during trash, get drinks when you’re dead (and unlikely to be resed). The more this happens the more likely you will find yourself losing your spot. We understand, again, if something extraneous happens (internet goes out, kid fell), but we’re noticing a trend that’s causing us to take too much time between pulls.

At the moment, both teams are lacking reliable attendees of some classes or specs. We’re going to start looking into recruiting reliable people to come to raids and benching the no-call no-shows. This will be a bit of a transition. If you know hard-hitting, mechanically-oriented players who would do well on either team, have them reach out to us. We’re not looking for all specs, but we’ll take names down anyway.

Complaints and Concerns

I’ll start by saying that your complaints aren’t falling on deaf ears and your voices aren’t unheard…provided we get a chance to hear them. If all you do is complain in private or make snippy comments in discord text channels, we won’t be able to properly address your concerns (many of which are likely valid). If you’re afraid to reach out to a Warlord, you are always welcome to reach out to Urostek. He’s a pretty chill bro.

Moving to two teams has been rough. It’s been stressful for you and it’s been stressful for the raid leads. I haven’t had a night off in over 2 weeks, between raiding 5 nights a week (including pickups) and bowling for 2 nights a week. 6 hours per group + pickups = 15 hours a week raiding. And that is not even counting the pre-planning, review, followups, and more than the raid leads do for each group, separately. That’s a lot of hours – basically a part-time job. Chances are I’ve been unduly unkind as a result, and I know the other raid leads have snapped as well. We apologize if we’ve been rude to anyone. We’re trying to make this work the best we can, but we’re only human. That said we’ve all taken some time to step back and breathe and be less intense about our feedback mid-raid. Hopefully it smooths out over time.

At the moment we’re somewhat resistant to change because we want everyone to give this time to work, and we want people to be patient as we work through the kinks. If it seems like we’re being stubborn, it’s because we want you to give us a little slack right now. We’re doing this for fun, and for you guys to have fun.

That said, we’re open to suggestions and are happy to work with you on what you think we can do to improve. Resulting from discussions, we’ve halted the search for an extra healer for Black team; we added a pickup day for Blockade for red; we posted a poll about the Saturday times (a time that is inconvenient for the Warlords won and we stuck with it); we’ve spoken to people comparing the teams unfavorably or too competitively;  we’re bringing back alt nights (soonTM).

We’re getting a lot of negative, hurtful comments about our character as a result of how we’ve chosen to run things. It really stings to be called names when I and the other Warlords doubled up our time and energy to provide a fun environment for the largest group of people we could. If you have any feedback on the way things are run or how things are going, please take a breath and try to come up with a viable solution before reaching out to us. If you can’t come up with one, at least be patient when you talk to us, because we may not have a way to address your concern immediately, either. But I can promise we’ll try.

We know that not everyone is happy we moved to two teams. Unfortunately the alternative was to bench 30+ people, including some of our longtime friends. We’re not changing this decision. Everything else is open for discussion.