[VIDEO] Immerseus on Flex Mode

I took the liberty of running the Flex Mode version of Immerseus over the weekend. Did manage to kill it within a few attempts. Our gear was scaled to 506 item level. Our group consisted of 10 players so we didn’t get a chance to check out the dynamic scaling in action. Players that are deep in the normal mode of Throne of Thunder shouldn’t have much difficulty with this boss. Check out the video and make note of the healing tips.

Curse Lei Shen!

On Monday, we had multiple attempts where we were able to push him down to 2%.

Two percent!

But we couldn’t put him away. We simply suffered too much damage and he casted us aside like dolls. The team has gotten better collectively when it comes to the intermission phases. We’re ending the second main phase on an Overcharge and this is where it gets a little tricky for us. Lei Shen will hit the second intermission at 30%. I tend to call for players to split and head to their assigned corners at around 33%. Around this time, we’re going to get either an Overcharge (the donut) or the AoE balls.

  1. If I prepare for the Overcharge but call for the stack, we phase him too early and everyone won’t be in position on the other corners resulting in deaths.
  2. If I hold DPS to eat the Overcharge and then dispatch players to the corners, we run the risk of either Overcharge catching players and stunning them or we don’t have enough punch to force him to phase before the lightning balls come out. If lightning balls do come out while we’re spread out, we’d have to contend with them during the second intermission.

Last night, I blew two calls directly leading to wipes at that time. On one of those wipes, we were short two DPS (we would’ve been on track had them been alive). I’m debating handing the steering wheel to someone else instead because it’s taking me long to get it right. Wouldn’t be so bad if it’s a 10 man. It’s only 10 people that get pissed at you. The pressure is amplified in a 25 man though. I sure as hell don’t feel the most confident waltzing into the final phase. We’re going to try to have range loosely surrounding Lei Shen (not max range) and AoEing lightning balls as they come. I feel overloaded.

We need to crush this guy!

Zone Healing

Zone Healing

Ever play Ultimate (or Ultimate Frisbee)?

The rules are quite simple. You have two teams starting at opposite end zones who attempt to advance the disc to the other team’s end zone. Once the pull (like a kickoff in football) is initiated the teams can start jockeying for possession. A team that advances the disc to an end zone secures the point.

Kicker: The person with the disc can’t move. They can pivot on one foot but they can’t move. The opposing team gains possession whenever any pass is incomplete, intercepted, or received out of bounds .

Teams will employ different strategies to prevent the other team from scoring. One of the common defensive strategies is zone defense. Players are pre-assigned to sections of the field as they attempt to intercept and stop opposing players from advancing towards their end zone. It’s used to stop the offensive team from making really long passes. There’s usually one or two players that will close in on the disc handler. There’s different variations of it, but the key concept is that the defenders have their own sections to work with (not to mention that covering a small area instead of advancing up and down the field all the time is great at minimizing fatigue — I would know).

Gosh, I can’t wait for summer to get here.

Zone healing

Now the concept of zone healing works the same way and is used in situations where not every player is within range of the healer or where players are constantly shifting in and out of range. Sometimes there are raid mechanism place preventing you from moving or that keep you constantly away from each other. Zone healing is an approach that directs the healers to only heal the people that are within range of them. They must trust the other healers to cover the players near themselves in other areas. If you’re assigned to the blue beam of Durumu’s platform, then you can heal anyone that comes in range as the other beams are being moved around. Most raid frames have a function where the individual frames turn transparent if a player isn’t in range. As the healer, this makes your job easier. Any frames that are opaque (or solid) are the players that depend on you to live.

I understand, I have trust issues too. For the officers, zone healing is a great way to isolate which healers are true rock stars and which ones are struggling.

It’s a simple and effective healing strategy to use if the encounter demands everyone to be spread out. Let me give you some examples:

Ji-Kun

Ji-Kun has an ability called Caw. It’s a common raid mechanic where she’ll send sound waves at a player and damages anyone nearby within 8 yards. This calls for people to be spaced out around her main platform. Depending on which Ji-Kun strategy you use, you’ll have groups clearing out nests and may not have the same, consistent number of players on the main platform at all times. Be flexible.

Dark Animus

Healers will have to generate threat on the little anima golems at the start of the fight to hold them in place. If the golems are brought together, their attack speed greatly increases and will quickly snowball into a wipe. This requires everyone to stand in place. As the little golems are gradually killed near the Massive Anima, players will be freed up and can move around the room consistently. In addition, Matter Swap will switch players with their most distant ally forcing healers to react accordingly and dispel or heal any teleported players.

As a healer, you’re not going to be able to hit everybody. DPS and tanks will come and go through your area of the map. It won’t always be a set group of players all the time. Keep the players in your zone healthy!

Heroic Garalon Killed: What a Buggy Encounter

Heroic Garalon Killed: What a Buggy Encounter

After two and a half weeks, we finally scored a kill against Garalon. Every encounter after the first six progression hard modes is an exercise in patience and grinding. Our first (and only) Spirit Kings kill was a huge sigh of relief. By comparison, the Garalon kill was falling out of the chair from exhaustion. During the pulls pulls where everyone gets a good look at the new mechanics, people play a little more cautious. Everyone’s testing the boundaries of what they’re capable of. They’re experimenting with their specs and retuning themselves specifically for that fight.

But once people start getting the hang of it, it gradually gets easier. Once the strategy is ironed out and the team is exposed to the rest of the phases, it’s a mammoth of a DPS and healing check.

Our kill on heroic Garalon mirrored our kill on normal. I swear Garalon was mid-air just before the enraged Crush was about to connect. Healers were busy throwing as much DPS as they could in the final seconds. All the pulls earlier on in the night were all over the place. It’s easy to tell when players are losing focus.

They trip into the crush-zone.

They’re sloppy on Pheromone passes.

They get caught by the cleave.

Chalk it up to nerves. Maybe they’re gripping the mouse too hard. Who knows? Everyone deals with anxiety and pressure differently. Garalon’s pretty damn nerve wracking as it is.

All the strategies that are used on normal still apply. Keep the DoT classes working on the legs while the ranged players focus down the torso. Melee players will be jumping from leg to leg. We like to open the fight with Heroism but it’s not uncommon for it to be used in the final sub 33% phase.

  • We opened our Pheromone kite order with 2 tanks, then all the ranged DPS, then all the healers. You might want to pick a melee player two as the final backups in case your kiters suffer casualties along the chain.
  • Players that are next on the kite order should be in position when the current kiter has anywhere from 6 – 9 stacks as you’ll be passing around 13.
  • Given the option, it’s okay to get rid of the Pheromone before a crush even if your stack isn’t near 13. I had to hand mind off at around 10. Had I waited to pass it after the crush, my stacks would have reached 15.
  • The kiters near the stairs should leave a few gaps in Pheremone puddles as they drop them. This gives more path options for the kiters further on down the assignment chain.
  • Crush is no longer coupled to Pheromone passing. Have a raid-wide defensive cooldown planned for each Crush.
  • Healers should spike low health individuals in the few seconds leading up to a Crush so that they don’t take lethal.

Healing Priests

  • Spirit Shell gives you an edge. With two, it’s possible to alternate that on Crushes.
  • Atonement DPS on legs (especially within the blue circles) is a major plus.
  • Echo of Light is also amazing.

As a Shadow Priest, I feel like I’m the worst DPS class on this fight. Maybe it’s just me. Nothing like seeing myself in 16th place consistently.

The next boss for us is heroic Lei Shi. Right now, our biggest hurdle is consistently handling the Protectors as they spawn at the 20% intervals. They seem to ace and crush our healers quickly. How did your group  handle them?

Devise Your Own Strategy: Jin’Rokh

Devise Your Own Strategy: Jin’Rokh

Ever wanted to come up with your own raid strategy instead of relying on videos and write-ups from people in the community?

Here’s your chance.

One of the recent raid tests on the 5.2 PTR was for Jin’Rokh. He’s the very first boss of the instance. He serves as the DPS and mechanics check for the  Throne of Thunder. In today’s post, I am going to show you Jin’Rokhs abilities. I won’t tell you how to beat it. You’re going to put on your raid leading tactics hat.

I want you to tell me how your team is going to beat it.

There are four statues in the corner around the room. Jin’Rok will throw a tank against the statue (Thundering Throw). The tank takes 250k+ in damage. Nearby players within 14 yards will take 200k and become stunned temporarily. The impact of Thundering Throw creates a pool of water on the ground. All players standing in this gradually growing circular-shaped pool gains Fluidity (40% increased healing, 30% increased damage done, but 80% nature damage taken). The pool increases the damage of any nature damage dealt by the boss to anyone standing within it.

jin-1.jpg

Every so often, Jinrokh spawns an orb close to him (Focused Lightning). The orb will target a player and slowly travel toward them (Note the eyes above the player). When the orb reaches a player, it detonates and creates a mini-lightning spike (called a Lightning Fissure).

jin-eyez

If a player kites an orb into an existing Lightning Fissure, it will explode for lethal, raid-wide damage on contact. If an orb contacts a player inside the water, all players will be hit for 150k+.

After the pool expands to a quarter of the chamber, Jinrokh summons a lightning storm inflicting 70k damage per second to all players for 15 seconds. In addition, this storm electrifies the existing pools rendering players unable to use them for appropriate buffs and taking massive damage.

jin-2.jpg

The question remains.

How is your raid going to defeat Jin’rokh? Where should they stand? Where does the boss get positioned?

4 Strategies Later, HM Zon’ozz Down

4 Strategies Later, HM Zon’ozz Down

Progression stonewaller Zon’ozz has been taken down at least. Feels like the Sindragosa of this tier.

We tried using individual soakers with no luck.

Having one large group standing on Zon’ozz’s butt didn’t work.

We tried splitting into a ranged and melee group and actively removed debuffs. Nope, no dice.

Then we just rolled down our sleeves and brute force healed phase 1 without worrying about running out or dispelling. Amazingly, that did the trick.

Conquest’s next efforts will be focused on heroic Blackthorn on the gunship. We’ll be taking shots on it tonight and raid boss Logan has the strategies all laid out. Fun part’s going to be ensuring all the players have gone through it.

Any individual tips or pointers are appreciated (if you have any). We do have a few approaches in mind but we’ll be making our first shots today.

Phase 2 healing

When the raid splits into four different groups to handle the tentacles, there tends to be one healer assigned to each group to keep them all alive. DPS players have to do their part in shutting down and interrupting tentacles as best as they can. Your job as a healer is to keep them alive long enough to do it.

As a Holy Priest, I switched from Chakra: Sanctuary to Chakra: Serenity. I valued the instant, single target healing over the raid healing benefits. It felt as if some players were taking more damage than others. With everyone in the raid taking constant damage, I lit off Binding Heals targeting two different players and activating Serendipity for a hasted Prayer of Healing on the group. If one players got too low, I leaned heavily on Serenity to give me the buffer I needed to propel their health back up to manageable levels.

Ran out of steam

After we got Zon’ozz down, I felt this incredible burden just lift off my shoulders. I’m sure everyone in the raid felt the same thing. At this stage, I had to tag out and attend to some personal business. I felt the next few bosses were on farm and that there shouldnt’ve been much difficulty in getting by.

Nope, I was wrong. The crew had a hard time getting by Hagara.

Looked like the raid that night hit it’s peak against Zon’ozz and most of the players just ran out of energy.

I remember reading a study once where the idea of patience and willpower is finite. There were two groups of participants in a room that had chocolate cookies and other type of desserts. Some participants were allowed to snag some cookies. The people who were in the willpower test group were asked to eat radishes instead. After that, both groups were given a skill testing puzzle.

The catch? The puzzle couldn’t be solved. Those in the radish group gave up much quicker and easier than those in the chocolate cookies group.

I wonder if there’s a relationship.

The Day Ultraxion Fell (Heroic)

The Day Ultraxion Fell (Heroic)

Took us about two weeks and around 7 hours of attempts. Managed to crush Ultraxion last night just before the expected nerf that kicks in today. Some of the pointers I can offer you:

  • We used 4 healers
  • Use your 3 minute cooldowns at some point between the first and second hour. You’ll want it up again around the 5 minute mark.
  • Tank 4 piece bonuses are a godsend. Finish those as quick as you can.
  • Respec and glyph specifically for the encounter. Cut out talents you don’t need (like movement speed bonuses).
  • Get in position for the coloured crystals early so you can run back earlier.
  • Use Mana potions instead of Concentration potions if you find you don’t have the 8 seconds to spare.
  • If a healer is using a Hymn of Hope, have another priest counter with Divine Hymn to offset their 8 seconds of inactivity.
  • Put the team on your back and carry them like you’ve never carried before. :)
  • Sadly, no VODs of this encounter yet. Largely because I didn’t want to compromise my computer’s performance during the raid. Will try to get one this week though.

    Crappy part of killing a new boss? Having to update every single recruiting thread and forum across all the different sites you have ads up on.

    Oh, and if you’re reading this in an email or an RSS reader, I changed the look of the blog. Keeps many of the same colours but I’m aiming for a simpler approach.

    I also changed my permalink structure. So if you’ve linked to any of the posts on the blog, chances are it’s not going to work. Just modify the URL so that it removes the date from the slug (For example, worldofmatticus.com/03/26/12/post-name is now worldofmatticus.com/post-name).

    Forgot how exhausting this process can be. But, time to raid!

Heroic Morchok Down: Where Next?

Heroic Morchok Down: Where Next?

Managed to score Heroic Morchok on Tuesday. Ended up using 6 healers. Another classic 22% wipe, then a 16% wipe, then a 13% followed by an 8% then a kill. Actually, the numbers aren’t precise. But that’s what it seemed like anyway.

How to Land 3 Healing Spells in Under 2 Seconds

It seems impossible, doesn’t it?

Note that I didn’t quite say I would cast 3 spells only that I would land them. You have to be precise when it comes to timing and you need to be ready to pounce on the next spell the moment the other one is finished.

We were working on heroic Morchok for a total of 6 – 8 hours (over 4 weeks, with raid hours lost due to a healer shortage). Our longest attempt was just under 6 minutes. Most of the wipes occurred between 2 – 3 minutes. The trickiest part for me was maintaining tank health right after a stomp. A common occurrence I noticed is that after Kohcrom stomped, he would attack the tank around 2 seconds later. If I timed it right, I could land a Flash Heal and a quick Holy Word: Serenity. But sometimes that wasn’t enough. I needed another way because those two spells just weren’t consistent enough. Sometimes the tank lived, sometimes he died. I wanted a better (and consistent) way in keeping that tank alive.

It all revolved around the Stomp.

After a few wipes, I realized the consistency of his melee swing following the stomp. I didn’t want to focus exclusively on the tank to the detriment of the group. But at the same time, if the tank dropped it was game over.

Timers from DBM gave me a 5 second count down on approximately when the stomp would land.

I ended up watching the animation of the stomp. The moment the foot start rising up, I’d target the tank and hit Prayer of Healing ensuring it would land just after Stomp connected with the group. This gave me time for a quick Flash Heal (Or Binding Heal) followed up with Serenity (or a Circle of Healing if the tank was sufficiently high enough.

Credits to

Lodur for gemming all strength reforging to Mastery giving him the ability to really stabilize players and allowing me to spike them back  up.

The DPS warriors on my side who picked up on the fact that when I frantically called their name, it meant I wanted a Rallying Cry (and giving us that buffer after a fumbled heal).

Logan of the LeetSauced podcast (and soon-to-be host of the Matticast) for remaining calm, collected and patient after enduring hours of frustrating incidents beyond his control.

Tanks with 4 piece bonuses. Seriously. More bonuses like this in the future.

Old Spice. I smelled awesome that raid.

Now what?

What’s the next hard mode boss that you went to after Morchok (25 man as I understand 10 man has different priorities)?

Hagara?

Ping pong guy?

Ooze boss?

Seems like we’re going to take a hard look at Hagara. Pointers?

Healing Lord Rhyolith

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Can’t drive in real life? Maybe you’ll do a better job against Lord Rhyolith.

Imagine if you were driving a bumper car. The catch is that there is no steering wheel. Instead, you have to lean in a certain direction in order to get the car turning. Not only that, the accelerator is locked in place. You can’t stop, you can’t slow down and every few seconds it randomly decides to just give out before restarting again.

Oh, and if you make it to the side of a room, you explode.

That’s essentially Rhyolith. I haven’t even mentioned the numerous fire effects yet.

Your job as healers is to buy your raid group enough time for them to steer him into volcanoes and get rid of debuffs.

Dividing the raid

Drivers: About 7-9 total DPS (As much melee as possible)
Ad control: Everyone else that’s not driving
Healers: 6-8 (Recommend 7 to start)
Main tank: Pick a tank to exclusively pick up Fragments of Rhyolith. Their job is to stay near the center of the room and snap all of them the moment they spawn. If they’re not dead within 30 seconds, their explode and deal half their remaining health to a random player in 25 man (they deal their current health to a random player in 10 man)
Off tank: Infernal Rage are giant fire elementals that need to be snapped and dragged away from the group to the edge as fast as possible. They AoE any players within 12 yards. Their damage gradually increases every 5 seconds but the good news is that the amount of damage they take also increases every 5 seconds. Don’t let that fool you. Kill them fast.

Pick 1 player to call out the foot that needs to be DPS’d. Our caller experienced success when he was positioned to the side of Rhyolith instead of behind him. Rhyolith’s body has a habit of obstructing the view. Going from the side should at least give you a rough 270° degree field of vision which includes the direction Rhyolith is facing.

Dividing the healers

Main tank: 1 healer
Off tank: 1 healer + 1 raid healer who can float HoTs or shields
Raid: 4-6 healers

Phase 1

With his 80 stacks of Obsidian Armor, the firepower in your raid group is going to get blunted until they whittle that armor down by steering the rock dude over exploding volcanoes. The only way to steer it is for your players to DPS the foot that you want him to turn.

For positions, instruct the the raid to stay near the middle of the island (and your drivers are exempt).

Tip: Enable name plates as it clearly labels the legs.

For starters, pick a leg to get started with. We like to open up on his right leg first just to get him gradually spinning around.

Concussive stomp: He lifts his foot up and then stomps the ground. Contrary to popular belief, it appears that jumping at the precise time of the stomp does not negate the damage. There is a slight chance you may resist it.

Volcano: When Rhyolith ignites a volcano, every player is going to 36000 damage or so over 6 seconds to 6 players on 25 (3 players on 10). When a player is hit, they gain a debuff (Eruption) causing them to take an additional 10% Fire damage every 14 seconds. If your own stack goes above 8, use a self cooldown.

Heck, use a raid cooldown until they wear off.

Crater: This is the most dangerous ability. It will catch players unaware. There is a chance that a crater will cause a stream of lava to stream outward. Any player caught in the path takes 70000+ damage. One or two players eating that is no problem. Raid healers can take care of that easily. When you have a dozen players getting ripped by that with the fire debuff, it becomes a problem.

Tip: Designate a specific player or 3 to specifically call out streams when the ability kicks in. With the amount of stuff on the ground, it’s easy to miss.

Once Lord Rhyoliths’ stacks drop to 10 or less, your group doesn’t need to worry about steering as much. Enough armor has been shaved off to the point where you can bring him down to 25%. That triggers the second part of the encounter.

Phase 2

The last phase is extremely straightforward. Once you get to that point, you essentially have the encounter in the bag. He can now be tanked. Regroup your tank healers on your main tank.

All healers

Pay attention to your individual stacks of Eruption. I found that if exceeded 8 stacks, the damage would be almost unbearable and a wipe would be imminent. Raid cooldowns are needed until the stacks drop off.

The biggest threat are the fire veins that seem to sprout from volcanos. Between that and the decreased fire resist, players will die if they’re not watching where they’re standing. You might be able to eat the initial burst. I’ve had to do it once or twice to close the distance to a tank. I certainly don’t recommend doing it unless you know what you’re doing, have little to no stacks and have a self heal (or a healthstone) to negate the damage.

Priests

Desperate Prayer really helps here. Watch the ground for any fire veins before using your hymns.

Shamans

Lay down Healing Rain somewhere around the middle of the map. Your players can spot the blue circles and stand on top of them easily.

Druids

Not uncommon to see Rebirths being used on the encounter. Get away from any craters or volcanos before using them. Watch the ground for any fire veins before using Tranquility

Paladins

With so much rampant fire damage going around, there is no wrong time to use Aura Mastery throughout the first phase.

Lord Rhyolith Resources

Discuss

Plus Heal thread

Guide to 4.2

Just in case you missed it, the Matticast crew talked about the imminent patch 4.2 drop. Things like the valor cap, the new Encounter Journal, class changes and the Legendary quest.

Healing changes

You can find more detailed information in the latest patch notes. But here’s what they are at a glance.

All healing critical strikes now heal for 2 times a normal heal (+100%), up from 1.5 times a normal heal (+50%).

Priests

As a result of the critical strike change, Crit appears to have become attractive. It’s possible to see some 50k absorbs. Otherwise, no additional changes have been made to Priest healing at this time.

That’s not a bad thing.

Druids

Symbiosis (Mastery) has been removed and replaced with Harmony. Harmony increases direct healing by an additional 10%, and casting direct healing spells grants an additional 10% bonus to periodic healing for 10 seconds. Each point of mastery increases each bonus by an additional 1.25%. Healing Touch, Nourish, Swiftmend, and the initial heal from Regrowth are considered direct healing spells for the purposes of this Mastery. All other healing from druid spells is considered periodic.

Paladins

Many healing spells have had their mana costs adjusted.

Illuminated Healing (Mastery) has been adjusted slightly so that if a paladin refreshes an existing copy of his or her own Illuminated Healing on a target, the new absorption amount will be added into the old absorption amount and the duration will be reset. The total absorption created can never exceed 1/3 of the casting paladin’s health. Paladins are now Val’anyr!

Shamans

Improved Water Shield has been redesigned and renamed Resurgence. When Water Shield is active, Resurgence causes critical direct heals to restore mana (Resurgence rank 2 is roughly equal to 150% of the old Improved Water Shield value when a Healing Wave or Greater Healing Wave critically hits, and scaled down accordingly for faster or multi-target spells).

Mana Tide now grants 200% of the caster’s Spirit, down from 400%.

Glyph of Unleashed Lightning (new Prime glyph) allows Lightning Bolt to be cast while moving. Handy in tandem with Telluric Currents.

Legendary Thoughts

Start the quest if you like to check it out and such. But don’t force your guild to give it to you. It’s for the casters this time around.

Lack of Spirit Cloth Gear

Yeah, I’ve seen a whole ton of discussion about this around. There aren’t a whole lot of drops and it seems that most of the stuff is going to either come from faction vendors or Valor vendors.

Look, they didn’t forget anything. This was done for a reason. We can still rely on reforging to get the additional spirit if necessary. Prioritize Spirit trinkets to help offset the loss. The Jar of Ancient Remedies is something you’ll want to keep handy (as in, don’t sell it or get rid of it otherwise).

It was my fault.

I used and abused spirit mechanics too much and they the nerfed drops because of me :(.


Firelands raid bosses

It seems that reputation for Avengers of Hyjal are only obtainable from the Firelands raid instance. You can get up to Honored with taking down trash (I just got up to Friendly after about 2 hours and chain dropping battle standards).

You can find the Firelands raid instance out in Mount Hyjal. Just head to the big, flaming castle in the southern part of the zone. No attunements are needed. Feel free to zone right in. Recommended boss order is to start with Shannox, Beth’tilac, Lord Rhyolith and Alysrazor before finishing out the last three.

Need to know where to get started for healing?

  • Beth’tilac
  • Lord Rhyolith
  • Alysrazor
  • Shannox
  • Baleroc
  • Majordomo Staghelm
  • Ragnaros