Monday, May 4, 2015

Blackrock Foundry: Iron Assembly

10/10 Normal,10/10 Heroic, and 2/10 Mythic! This is also my excuse for not posting, I've been too busy wiping on Mythic. Downed the sucker a while ago, so my excuse was gone until we start on a new Mythic boss.

I've continued to enjoy raiding, even (and especially) when it has gotten more challenging than anything so far. Being in the same guild with Zae has helped, especially since Fox upped his guild and joined ours. I've befriended some people in the new guild, got proposed to at the guild Anniversary naked LFR run and been working on my cosplay. After these BRF posts I will make a proper update on Sona's helmet.

The Iron Assembly! This has arguably been the most wipe-rich section of the whole Blackrock Foundry so far. The first boss found from there is Beastlord Darmac.

I've met the Beastlord three times now: on Normal, on Heroic, and Mythic. The main point of the fight on Normal can be summarized with one phrase: "Don't stand under the spears!" Darmac likes to toss around spears which cause white swirlies on the ground. Standing under the mentioned swirly will get you pinned by the spear, rendering you unable to do anything.

Now, you'd think that even on the lowest graphics, a white swirly on the ground would be easy to see. Unfortunately there are some people who insist that they can't see the spears and continuously fail at moving from under them. Rare are the fights where nobody gets pinned.

I love my guildies even when they do stand in fire, but... Okay, so I've gotten pinned a couple of times as well, but I still find it incredibly difficult to understand why is dodging a spear so difficult. The swirly is on the ground like... forever.

Well, maybe I've just done my homework.

When in Heroic and Mythic, another thing becomes important - staying at the distance of 8 yards from your fellow raiders. Otherwise you will cause your healer to run out of mana because of the continuous damage. That, and moving from the spears, moving from under the animals, not stacking up...

I think we, as a guild, have managed to make every single mistake possible in this fight. Maybe that has been a helping factor in us finally downing him in Mythic - a learning experience.

(Our attempts got significantly better after our guild leader started to motivate us by saying he'd tell us the color of his panties if we would succesfully down Darmac. I think half of the guild has the biggest crush on his deep british voice, so...)

(Yes, me included.)

Moving on! Choo choo!

Operator Thogar was the boss we were warned about beforehand. Our guild leader requested that all of us download an Addon called ThogarAssist. The basic gist of this boss, in all difficulties, is that you fight a boss on a room with four railways. With trains coming through the room every now and then.

I think you can see where this is going.

There is something particularly amusing about a train coming through the room and half of the raid flying through the air. As soon as we managed to memorize the safe lanes and the order of trains, the rest of the fight became almost boring in difficulty. No idea how it will be on Mythic, but looking forward to it.

The most memorizable experience I have of this boss is a certain time when one of our tanks got disconnected right when the fight started. DCs are a running joke of our guild because so many of our guild have them (strangely, they only seem to happen during progress runs; that, or we just don't care enough to notice them on alt/normal runs) and we're used to recovering from them, but in this case the horrendous death of the tank would be imminent.

Fortunately we had a solution for this. All the priests in our guilds (except me of course) are, erhm... kind enough, to sometimes lifegrip (Leap of Faith) people to safety. In here, one should note that safety is a very relative term and can mean "away from the fire" as well as "on top of an Imperator mine". So we're kind of assholes like that. (Except me of course.)

(Or at least I wasn't before the other priests of the guild, Shadow and Holy, started to corrupt me.)

Yay, using lifegrip for good!
It was the most interesting start of the fight. We set up a leaping rotation (something we usually jokingly talk about setting when we wish to bring demise upon someone) for gripping the tank to safety, and by the time all the grips were on cooldown, he managed to get back online. Good times.

Then, the final boss of the Assembly, the Iron Maidens. The Maidens of Nope, the Wipe Maidens, a dear child has many names to call them with.

This fight demonstrates the importance of being able to pay attention to many things at once. You need to be wary of the health percentage of the maidens in order not to make then swap phases too early, and especially in Heroic difficulty you need to pay attention to your positioning. Why? Because

Penetrating shot targets one person in the group, and unless the person in question has damage mitigation comparable to hunter's barrage, everyone needs to step on the red line it forms in order to help soak the damage. Easy when there's nothing else around, but becomes difficult when there are exploding bombs on the ground and you need to pay attention to both soak the shot AND not to stand in a mine.

Bloodsoaked Heartseeker targets three players at once, and all of them need to get as far from each other AND the boss as possible - so, in different corners of the arena. Not only your positioning, but also the positioning of the others matter.

Blood Ritual is a twirly red line targeting one player, and the person targeted with it must move away from the others.But not in the front of the hooks which are mandatory for an assigned group to head across to the boat when it comes closer.

And, in the final phase, there are the turrets. Nuking down the bosses with their abilities is not enough, but you must also dodge fire as you bombard turrets with all conceivable damage you can gather!

There is a lot of room for failing here. In most cases one mistake can be enough to cause your raid tremendous difficulties, so you really need to be awake for this fight. I can personally admit to hating this fight with passion, not because it would be particularly (or too) difficult - but simply because it stresses me out a lot. My shoulders are always stiff to the point of numbness after healing through that one.

There are not many things which can stress me more than the entrance exams right now, but that fight manages it all right. I'll try to find time to write about my latest adventures in the world of Civilization 3 at some point.

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