Wednesday: Single-Target Boss Runs

Whether by plan or by accident, Wednesday was spent working on single-target bosses we haven’t gotten many kills on.

Imonar the Soulhunter had a late wipe on account of too many dying during the bridge crossings; 3 died before the first one was complete, and too many died on the second crossing. Some people also criss-crossed lasers. By contrast, the second run (and subsequent kill!) had nobody die from either bridge crossing or lasers, so there was much improvement.

Kin’Garoth was more of a struggle. Too many people are not moving fast enough – maybe to Ruiner, maybe away from purple balls, maybe moving their mechanics to the outside edge. Eventually, we had to cull a few people just to get a kill on the boss. Raid Leader Tips: Look around! Be alert! You need to be incredibly cognizant of the location of other raid/party members. Much like Coven, running into one of your allies can lead to both of your deaths from botched mechanics.

Remember, there’s a set timer for when he can and cannot take damage:

0:00: Kin’Garoth Damage
0:30: first add phase
1:10 : Kingaroth open to dmg
2:30: 2nd add phase
3:10: Kin’garoth open to dmg
4:30: 3rd add phase
5:10: Kin’Garoth open to dmg

This means you should use 30 second cooldowns at the start of the boss fight; 1 minute CDs when he opens up to damage after the first adds; 2 minute cooldowns on the first add phase; and 3 minute cooldowns at the second add phase. Alternatively, you could use your 3 minute cooldowns on the first add phase, to have it up for the 3rd add phase. RLs may be revisiting strategies on this boss.

Wednesday’s Warcraft Logs

Saturday: More Coven Practice and Easy Kills

Unfortunately, our planned “hand picked” group had too many absent members, so we ran with a group that included several people we did not anticipate running with and who were not as well prepared for the boss fight (I was also on an unfamiliar computer. RIP my timers and addons). We never progressed past 50% health on the boss. We still have a lot of people dying to avoidable damage. But, there was much better organization on add kills (assuming the RNG wasn’t poor in combination with Storm). We also had 2 people go from being the most killed last week to being some of the least killed, so it shows great improvement and that practice does work. With luck this week we will down the boss.

After it became apparent that there wasn’t going to be any real progress on Coven beyond 50%, we brought our spirits up a bit by doing some quick kills on Eonar and High Command. Eonar was about the cleanest and fastest we’ve ever done it – most mobs didn’t even make it to the tree. High Command was likewise very clean – only one (late) death throughout the whole fight from too much bomb damage.

Raid Lead Comments: if you intend to ever do Heroic Coven with us, you should be practicing Heroic Coven in other groups during the week. Also, we will start running Normal Coven on Mondays so people practice the Normal mechanics.

Saturday’s Warcraft Logs

Monday: Alt Night and Cheevo-Chasing

Monday was a good night all around. There was one wipe the whole night, on Aggramar, from a “whoopsie” tank moment where adds did not get repositioned. Otherwise, clean throughout. This says good things about some of the up-and-comers, as well about the patience and skill from our seasoned raiders. On a side note, alt-night Argus often takes us over 10 minutes. For  a fast kill, we should consider lusting at the beginning of the fight, just to get his HP pool down.

Most interesting, we got the present members a few achievements towards Glory of the Argus Raider. Specifically, we did Worm-Monger, Hounds Good to Me, and Spheres of Influence.

Monday Warcraft Logs (not useful on Garothi or Felhounds)

Wow Audit Spreadsheet

Do you feel like you can’t keep track of your gear, or what your next goal should be? Maybe the Wow Audit Spreadsheet can help. Take a look at this post on another useful tool for Raiders.

(Author note: This post and the attached link are best viewed on desktop rather than mobile due to the size of the content)

A few weeks ago, I added a link to the Raid Announcements channel on discord: a Ministry of Defense WoW Audit.

https://wowaudit.com/us/aerie-peak/ministry-of-defense

This is a useful tool for Raiders and Raid Leads alike. I’ll walk through the basics of each sheet.

Summary

The Summary is not really an important page. It’s a neat comparison to see how you stack up with other Raiders on ilvl, artifact traits, and other (generally) inconsequential stats. There is a useful “missing enchants/gems” box in the upper corner that covers all raiders, but we’ll get to that later. The ilvl shown is “all bag items”, not necessarily what you’re wearing.

Overview & Rankings

This is useful for Raid Leads especially, though is easy enough to read for Raiders as well.

At a glance, you can see whether you’re missing any gems or enchants (whoops, time to go enchant my cloak!), what tier pieces you have / are in your bags, and what ilvl your pantheon trinket is. You can also see your ilvl and artifact traits, much like on the Summary page. Raid Leads intend to pay more attention to this on farm / alt nights to see what bosses we should be focusing on. For example, we can tell at a glance that most people have back pieces (High Command) and Chest (Eonar), but not a lot of people have the head piece (Aggramar) or shoulders (Coven). Depending on raid comp, we may decide to forego or nail down specific bosses for tier sets.

Roster

The Roster page is not immediately useful to a guild like ours. In larger raiding guilds, this would be used to more easily pick who will be filling what roles, who should be on what spec / character for good loot rolls, etc.

Single View

This is the most useful page for an individual to view. You’ll see links to your Raider.io score, Warcraft Logs, and more. Next, you get a quick glance at your missing gems and enchants. You also get to see what you have equipped and can follow Wowhead links to each. On the right you’ll see your tier pieces. In the middle, there’s also some need flavor information about your total collected mounts, pets, reputation, etc.

The bottom column, “legendaries owned”, is a bit finicky. Apparently it only tracks legendaries it has seen you wear, so it’s not the most accurate thing. Also, in the column above, the third relic slot can be tricky as well. I do not, in fact, have an 870 relic.

Raids

The last page, Raids, shows how many of each boss you’ve killed in each raid tier and each difficulty. This is useful for tracking what bosses you need the most practice on, or for understanding why you haven’t gotten certain loot drops yet.

Final Thoughts

Just like addons and Warcraft Logs, the Wow Audit is just a tool. It’s up to you to use it strategically. My suggestion would be to check it before raid starts, just to make sure you have all your best bits in place. You can also have a more informed opinion of what bosses you’d like to tackle in a given night.

Also, as a caveat: the audit sheet automatically updates every 3 hours or so from the armory. This means you need to log out and wait a while to see any changes.

Not a part of the WoW Audit? For the most part, only regular raiders are included (regardless of Raider status) because of limited spots. Show up more regularly and you’ll be tracked! Or, remind Quetzie, and she’ll add you, if she’s forgotten.

Those of you active on the Discord may have noticed a new channel and feature: a Raidbots bot.

For those unfamiliar, Raidbots is a dps simulation website that runs off of SimulationCraft / SimC. (Sorry, tanks and heals, you’re unsupported at this time.) You can download the SimC addon and run your information in game, then paste the result into the site, for the best results.  You can also compare gear in your bags or compare talents to find out what will output the most DPS on a per-fight basis.

We’ve added this functionality to our Discord server to make simming your dps even easier for you!

Quick Sim

A “quick sim” shows your current DPS in a single-target, no-movement style fight, use the following command:

!sim [yourname]

However, the Raidbots commands can be much more complex, allowing you to test almost anything available on the full site.

Change Fight Style

To test your damage in a fight like Varimathras, you might run the following command:

!sim [yourname] -fs HeavyMovement

In this case, “fs” stands for “fight style”. The above simmed fight style is heavy movement.

There are a ton of different options for fight styles :

Patchwerk: 1 boss, no movement
LightMovement: Infrequent movement – Move 50 yards every 85 seconds
HeavyMovement: Frequent movement – Move 25 yards every 10 seconds
HecticAddCleave: Regular add spawns, frequent movement
CastingPatchwerk: Patchwerk that is always casting, can be useful for simming interrupts
HelterSkelter: Movement every 30 seconds, interrupts every 30 seconds, boss invulnerable every 120 seconds
Ultraxion: [no information given] Beastlord:  [no information given]

Change Boss Count

Lots of fights have more than one boss. To change the boss count, just add the -ec command

!sim [yourname] -ec 2

This spawns a sim with 2 bosses. You can add up to 10 bosses with the “ec” command.

Talent Compare

If you’re not sure how certain talents stack up per-fight, Raidbots can lend you a hand.

Each tier of talents has 3 choices. Going left to right, choose the number of the talent on that tier. In the above image, the talents on the left would be 3133232, while the right would be 3133112.

To sim and compare these talents, you’d use the following command:

!sim [yourname] -ct 3133232 3133112

Compare Items

Let’s say that you get a sweet new drop. But, you’re not sure if it’s better or worse for your damage than your current gear. Or, maybe you have a few items to compare.

First, look up your newfound item on wowhead. Select the correct version of your item using the “Item Versions” dropdown, and then click the “links” button. Select the “SimulationCraft” box, highlight it all, and copy it.

To compare the item to one you’re already wearing:

!sim [yourname] -ci trinket1=acrid_catalyst_injector,id=151955,bonus_id=3610/1472

There are two ways to compare items. The first is on an individual basis: “Is this tinket better than this trinket? Is this shirt better than this shirt?”

You can query both of these at once by using -ci for each item you want to compare:

!sim [yourname] -ci trinket1=acrid_catalyst_injector,id=151955,bonus_id=3610/1472 -ci chest=bearmantle_harness,id=152124,bonus_id=3610/1472

You can also compare sets of items. For example, you can ask “Is this trinket and shirt combination better than my current trinket and shirt combination?” To do this, you separate items with a space only (no additional -ci notation):

!sim [yourname] -ci trinket1=acrid_catalyst_injector,id=151955,bonus_id=3610/1472 chest=bearmantle_harness,id=152124,bonus_id=3610/1472

Multiple Queries at Once

Let’s say I want to run a quick sim to see what sort of damage I can do in a fight like Coven of Shivarra – but then I remember that I don’t have my multi-target talents selected.

No sweat! Choose your correct talents, change the enemy count total, and set the boss fight style.

!sim Quetzie -ct 3133112 -ec 2 -fs HeavyMovement

Crucible Information

The first time you run a sim in the Discord, you may get a little error message (even though the sim still runs):

Notice: No Crucible data available. Run a Quick Sim (https://www.raidbots.com/simbot/quick) on the website using input from the SimC addon to populate Crucible data for your character.”

You may also get a warning instead:

Notice: Armory and Raidbots Crucible data do not match. Run a Quick Sim (https://www.raidbots.com/simbot/quick) on the website using input from the SimC addon to update Crucible data for your character.”

Without the correct Crucible data, your sim damage will be lower than it should be. Run a quick sim on the website to get your Crucible information, and then you’ll be able to sim within Discord until you change your relics.

Raidbots Documentation

Full command list:

Command prefix: !raidbots!rb, or !sim
Character format: region/realm/character
Alternate character format: -z region -r realm -c character

-s-scaling Run a stat weights simulation
-i-iterations Iterations (default: 10,000, options: 5,000–50,000)
-fs-fightstyle Fight style (default: Patchwerk)
-fl-fightlength Fight length (default: 300)
-ec-enemycount Number of Enemies (default: 1)
-v-version SimC version (default: nightly, options: nightly, weekly)
-ptr Run sim using PTR data
-ci-compareitems Add an itemset
-ct-comparetalents Compare a talent set
-rl-resourcelinks Include links to Armory, WCL, etc
-pt-pantheontrinkets Set the number of Pantheon Trinkets in your raid (uses the legendary Aman’Thul’s)

Fight styles: Patchwerk, LightMovement, HeavyMovement, HecticAddCleave, CastingPatchwerk, HelterSkelter, Ultraxion, Beastlord

For more information, including how to set your defaults, check out https://medium.com/raidbots/raidbots-discord-bot-5a342f19809b

A Final Thought

Remember, Raidbots is a simulation. Your numbers may vary. Use your results as a guideline, not a book of law. Not all fights are easily simmable. Run your own Warcraft Logs if you really want to see how your choices stack up.

Time for the third installment of our weekly roundup!

Wednesday: Heroic Farming

Notably, this was the first week we 1-shot Varimathras. We went from bashing our faces in with a dozen wipes to a 1-shot in a matter of weeks. Great job, everyone!

Kin’garoth gave us some trouble because people are not paying attention to the positioning of the giant purple orbs, or the location of their explosive circles. Remember, run explosives to the outer edge! Save movement cooldowns for Ruiner+explosives, so that you don’t kill the raid trying to escape.

We gave Coven a few shots, just to get a taste for it, and it went about as well as could be expected.

Wednesday Heroic Logs

Saturday: Coven Practice

Hoo boy. We knew going into this it was gonna be rough. Guys, make sure you’re watching the videos. The Raid Leads can’t stress it enough. It became painfully obvious that some people either have not watched the videos on Coven, or have not watched them in a long time.

Over time, it was clear that our patience and practice was working. We were getting further into the fights, and Storm was causing fewer problems than at the start. In the end, our farthest push was to 42% health.

However, there are quite a few issues. People are not paying attention to themselves or their neighbors when they have Fulminating Pulse around them. This is especially deadly when combined with Storm of Darkness. Please be careful. Storm is also deadly combined with Fury of Golganeth. Don’t just hone in on rushing the adds once the Storm clears!

A trick for Storm: get to a corner. There are usually at least 1-2 circles within quick running range of one of the tanks. Ranged DPS or high mobility classes might want to aim to get to a corner opposite the tanks, so that those Storms don’t get too crowded for other mechanics.

Melee DPS, there is never a reason to be attacking Noura. Attack one of the other two bosses instead. They share a healthpool, and being on top of Noura is too risky.

Tanks had trouble swapping the bosses, causing undue work for not only the other tank, but also healers.

It’s almost a guarantee that you will have to re-talent on this fight compared to other fights, just to get the proper CC. Druids must take Mass Entangle, for example.

If you’re curious how you stack up, here is a graphic showing the time you died on a boss VS the total time spent on the boss:

Pink/low numbers died sooner than yellow/high numbers. Your average is on the left; individual fights are on the right. If you are consistently in the pink zone, you are dying too soon (one or two times may just mean that you got unlucky, or someone else killed you with a bad mechanics. It happens.). You are putting undue stress on healers, wasting battle resses, or simply outputting 0 dps/hps for the duration. Figure out how you need to adapt. Are you not getting to storm quick enough? Are you taking tons of fire damage? Examine the logs. I (Quetzie) would be more than happy to sit down and work with individuals to analyze their combat logs and figure out what is killing them and when.

This is very important:

The Raid Leads have reached a consensus that we will be assigning specific people to specific roles. This is to ensure that we have the best chance of downing this boss. We will also be hand-picking people to sit in or sit out. If you are assigned to a role that you don’t enjoy, or are asked to sit, please take the time to reflect on why it is that you were or were not chosen for a specific role. This is not us “playing favorites”, this is us ensuring the majority of the raid gets AOTC before the deadline. Low DPS, constant early deaths, or other fuckups will cause you to be sat. This is one of the few bosses where fewer people = greater chance of survival, as mechanics get more difficult in a bigger crowd. We may also be prioritizing ranged DPS slots over melee. Practice the fight on your own throughout the week. We can tell who has done a lot of work and who has not!

We are likely to start employing a more strict policy over who is and is not able to come to heroic raiding from here on out. While there are 4-5 bosses we have on farm, the rest we are pushing true progression on, and cannot carry those who simply mess up too many mechanics. 940 is not enough anymore to secure your slot. You must also pull your weight.

Coven Wipefest Logs

Potions and YOU!

I’m going to repost this here, because it’s “part one” of my planned “buff breakdown” analysis to help people improve. We’re starting with one of the easy ones – potions of prolonged power. Check out my writeup and stay tuned for future writeups on how to best manage your buffs and steroids.

Monday: Alt Night

OK guys, I get it. “It’s alt night, who cares!” Well, we care. Please ensure you have Discord, DBM/Big Wigs, etc. And that you not only have DBM, but that you fucking pay attention to it, holy shit you guys. Things like DBM / Big Wigs are great tools, but they’re only great if you actually use their potential. That being said, our only wipe was on Argus at above 95%, so even our lowbies did well. We got lots of tier for lots of people (including some new 2 set bonuses), and even a legendary for kitty Lvana!

Alt Night Logs

One of joys of Raid Leading is number crunching and analysis.

…I promise, Raid Leading IS a joy.

In order to get through Heroic, we need everybody to use every buff, boost, and steroid they’ve got available to them.

Right now, I’m looking at DPS specs and Potion usage (healers and tanks have different needs, though pre-potting is still important). Specifically, I’m tracking Potions of Prolonged Power.

Here is a usage chart for Potion of Prolonged Power on May 12th:

There were a number of DPS that did not use a second potion during the fight, and a few that didn’t always remember to use 1. There are also DPS missing from the chart entirely – those who didn’t use any at all. This is a lot of damage that we are missing!

What Good is a Potion?

“Who cares? How much of a damage difference can a single potion make, anyway?”

I sat in my order hall and spammed Solar Wrath for 1 minute on 1 target dummy. I did a total of 25,318,538 damage. I had 3 trinket procs, but I otherwise did not buff my cast times, damage, etc in any other way.

Next, I popped a Potion of Prolonged Power, and repeated the experiment. I did 49,836,519 damage…and had only 2 trinket procs. I did almost double damage for a full minute just by using a single potion. Now, there were probably a few other factors at play between the two tests, but pure luck and RNG can’t account for a 24 million damage difference between the two! Consider the damage boost if I combine it with well-timed trinket procs, steroid spells, and other buffs available.

Pre-Potting

There is a term you’ll hear us throw around, called pre-potting. Normally, you can only use 1 potion during a given fight/encounter. The potion remains on a permanent cooldown until combat ends. However, there’s a small “cheat” you can use to take advantage of how Blizzard timers work, to get 2 potion uses during a raid fight.

Every raider is required to have DBM, and thus every raider gets the pull timers. (For those that don’t have timers enabled, we do yell out “three!” when the counter hits 3.) This is when you use your first potion. The potion starts to go on cooldown, because you aren’t in combat. This gives you a 57 second bonus on your opener damage. This is your pre-pot, or “pre-fight potion”.

Combat Potting

Knowing when to use your potion during combat (second potion, or “post-pot”) is a little more tricky. I generally find it useful to break down the fight into the following flow chart:

 

Coincidentally, this is also a great flowchart to use when determining if you should use your “steroid” spells and buffs.

Remembering to Use Them

The easiest way I’ve found to remember to use my Potions is to situate them on my bars in a spot close to my other steroids / buffs. As a Troll Boomkin with no on-use trinkets, that looks like this:

Berserking, Celestial Alignment / Incarnation of Elune, and Potion of Prolonged Power are all very close. When I hit one, chances are, I’ll remember to hit the others! (I also have a WeakAura that displays when my buffs are active, just in case I miss something).

Example Potion Usage in a Raid

(ignore percent numbers; those are irrelevant to the chart)

  • On a week with 10 pulls and 6 kills, a “perfect” use of potions would be 16 potions spent. That’s 10 pre-pots and 6 post-pots.
  • An “average” use of potions would be 10-15. Generally, that means 10 pre-pots, and forgetting about the post-pots.
  • Anything less than 10 would be “below average”; they didn’t use all their pre-pots, and probably didn’t use any post-pots.
  • Multiple people weren’t even on the above chart, as they’d used 0 potions at all.

I will be tracking potion usage during Heroics every week, and calling out those who need improvement – or congratulating those who have shown improvement 🙂

Final Thoughts

Don’t stress out about perfect usage if you’re only just starting to use potions. Set yourself a reasonable goal – shoot for half of all pre-pots. Then, the following week, shoot for all pre-pots. The week after that, shoot for all pre-pots and all bloodlust pots…so on and so forth.

Also, feel free to use Potions of the Old War instead of Potions of Prolonged Power, if they’re better for your class. They’re more expensive, though, and most people will be OK using Prolonged Power, especially since the guild will supply any members who need them.

Remember, this is mostly aimed at DPS. Healers and Tanks will all want to pre-pot, but they will know when the boss enters phases for them to use their own potions – usually when they pop big cooldowns during major damage phases, which is usually the opposite of when most DPS will be popping theirs.

Comic credit to kagesatsuki.wordpress.com
Screaming Moonkin “Crit Chicken” credit to twitter.com/jstroopek

(I know, I know. I missed a few weeks – I’ve been absent a few Saturdays due to IRL business. I don’t remember a lot from previous weeks, but I’ll try to fill in important notes where I can)

Time for our second Raid Roundup!

April 24-30

I don’t remember much, except for Portal Keeper being a struggle. Positioning was a big issue for everybody that stayed with the boss. Lots of people being hit by lasers.

Logs: April 25, April 28, April 30.

May 1 – 7

Portal Keeper continued to be a struggle / DPS check. Eonar and Felhounds are on farm. I was absent for Saturday’s raid, so no commentary from me.

Logs: May 2, May 7 (alt night)

May 8-14

Raid Lead Comments: We still need to really nail down the mines on High Command. Lots of people are not watching their feet. We also seriously lack the DPS to take this down efficiently – partially because people are dying so early. This is also the first week where we proceeded to wipe a dozen times against Varimathras. Tanks – PLEASE be aware of your positioning. This fight is 95% you. We also had a few wipes due to DPS not understanding the rot-spread mechanic.

(On a side note, May 9th we had a bomb-ass demon hunter for a while named Kath. Tank DHs, check out the logs if you’re curious to improve!)

This is the first week where I started to analyze Potion of Prolonged Power usage. You can see usage for all fights on May 12th here.

That being said, we got our first Varimathras kill this week on May 12! Congrats everyone!

Logs: May 9, May 12,

May 15 – 21:

High Command was a struggle again. Too many dying too early, too many people stepping in bombs. Imonar was an issue as well…DPS are not running their Sleep Canisters away from others fast enough.

Logs: May 16, May 21 (alt night)