A Note about Mother Shahraz Post 3.0

A comment from Xserisi has been brought to my attention. I figured it would benefit many players if they knew about it as well so I decided to turn it into a blog post.

Last night we saw BT, we stopped before Mother Shiraz, seeing we ran out of time and were unsure about our health if we would go in with with low or nill shadow resist gear. (anyone tried after patch?)

Yes. I can say with certainty that you don’t need to have full Shadow Resist gear on for Mother Shahraz. Prayer of Shadow Protection or Shadow Aura from the Paladins should be enough to get you through it. DPS has to be high. You don’t want to take more than 3 or 4 teleports. She should be able to go down relatively fast.

Keep in mind, everyone has to commit. If you go full Shadow Resist, make sure every one does so. If you want to go for the blitz method, then keep your raiding gear on. Soak tanks are still important. Your healers have to stand on their head (hockey expression for goalies making unbelievable saves).

As my ancestor Napoleonicus once said:

There ain’t a problem in the world that can’t be solved by copious amounts of DPS.

Normally, I Don’t do Loot Posts but I’ll Make an Exception

Normally, I Don’t do Loot Posts but I’ll Make an Exception

mace-stun

The Staff is being placed back on the rack in favor of a mace. I now officially have the best possible gear I can get from Black Temple and there’s no real reason for me to go back there. With the expansion so close, I’m tempted to just shut down for a while and conserve myself.

Of course, arguments can be made that what’s the point of having all the gear if I ain’t going to use it, right?

Indecision 08!

csk

Here’s the beauty on the right. It’s a shame it had to come so late in the expansion. I went all in on the mace with 324. I’m almost certain that has to be a record for most DKP spent on an item in the guild.

Wait until you see my new Off Hand that I just snagged and purchased! Keep scrolling down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

whale

Yeah. Respect the Whale.

Aside from that, Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadian readers!

EDIT: Oh yeah, we got our first War Glaive as well (But honestly, War Glaives are overrated ^^)

EDIT 2: Realization that both Wyn and Syd will probably skin me alive for using said off hand. But I like the mini wand.

EDIT 3: Have 2 articles on WI pending for 2 PM and 3 PM release Pacific Standard. Its an overview of the new talents, suggested builds, mana management, gemming, spells, and other healing info for the raiding healing Priest. Don’t forget to check it out! (I’ll try to remember to link them later or maybe I’ll bug Wyn to do it. Give her some <3!).

EDIT 4: I’m taking the day off from blogging. I write way too much. I don’t think I’m a bloggerholic though. Am I? Nah. In an ideal world, I’d just come up with ideas and delegate them to people. Some people can’t seem to spark ideas. I come up with too many. I think we’d be a perfect match! =)

EDIT 5: Bed. Flopping into it after a long day has to be the best feeling in the world.

Troubleshooting Gurtogg Bloodboil: A Healer’s Perspective

breaking

syderatagimageIn my mind, Gurtogg Bloodboil is the toughest boss to heal in Black Temple. Many guilds stagnate at 4/9 in BT, and others continue to have difficulties with Bloodboil long after their first kill. From my own personal experience, nothing turns a happy tree into a miserable pile of mulch faster than an untimely Fel Rage! This boss is never truly on farm status: every time you bring a new healer or try a new group composition, you might spend hours relearning the fight. The lessons of Mr. Bloodboil are important ones for any healer to learn–they reveal how Blizzard conceptualizes endgame healing and healers’ roles in a raid. The skills you must master in order to take this boss down consistently are the same ones that will allow you to succeed in any of the demanding fights at the finale of the Burning Crusade.

This article will help your raid win at the Bloodboil encounter even if you do not have the ideal group makeup. In a perfect world, a guild would always have ten healers and two shadow priests just itching for a chance at this encounter, but in practice, we all have to learn to work with the tools we have available.

gurtoggbreakfast

The Boiling Basics

This encounter alternates between two phases, both of which are fairly hectic.

Phase 1

Tanks: The fight requires three main tanks, all of whom will trade Gurtogg’s aggro around like a hot potato. They will suffer a stacking debuff called Acidic Wound, and all three will need consistent healing even when they are not the boss’s active target.

Healers: Split them between the main tanks and the bloodboil groups. Melee needs some, but not much, attention. Heals over time are extremely useful for the two tanks who are not Gurtogg’s current target.

DPS: Your mages, warlocks, and other aggro monkeys can pew-pew as usual, with the caveat that they must stay below all three tanks on threat.

Bloodboil: Gurtogg applies the “Bloodboil” debuff to the five players furthest from him every three seconds. This damage over time spell is En-Ay-As-Tee-Why. To survive the dreaded boils, a raid must rotate the players who soak them–the ability stacks, and if a person gets “double-boiled,” well, she’s a goner. Typically ranged dps and healers make up the bloodboil sponges. We designate groups 3-5 as bloodboil groups, and we have a caller whose main job in the fight is to indicate when groups should move into the waterfall area furthest from the boss to take the DoT.

Phase 2

Fel Rage: Gurtogg afflicts one lucky player with Fel Rage. If this is you, congratulations! On the plus side, you become a giant version of yourself and gain 30,000 health and 15,000 armor (sweet!). Moreover, your healing done increases by 100%, and your damage output increases by 300%. Sounds great, right? However, on the minus side, Gurtogg has been buffed too, and now he’s targeting YOU. If you are the victim, you must do everything you can to heal yourself or mitigate the damage.

Bloodboil: You guessed it! Still ticking.

Geyser: Gurtogg casts this AoE damage spell on the Fel Rage target at the beginning of the phase. Spread out to avoid too much splash damage.

Tanks: Acidic wound continues to tick, so they need maintenance healing. Heals over time are ideal.

Healers: Healers must pick up the Fel Rage target immediately and spam that player with with their largest heals, always of maximum rank. If the Fel Rage target dies, Gurtogg will revert back to the tank with the highest threat, and in his strengthened form, he will make mincemeat of him. Meanwhile, raid and tank healing must continue.

DPS: Every player except the Fel Rage victim receives the (resistable) debuff “Insignificance.” The insignificant ones can unleash all the pain they desire on the boss without fear of pulling aggro.

In order to take this boss down, your raid has to survive the horrors of Phase 1 and Phase 2 multiple times. How is this possible? It isn’t easy, but the tips below will certainly help. These tips will carry over into the rest of your Burning Crusade healing–master them, and you will be ready for Illybeans, Archimundo, and the whole Sunwell gang, who deal out the splash damage like candy on Halloween.

gurtogg defeated

Four Key Tips
Tip #1: Make detailed assignments

For this boss, healing assignments must be exact and phase-specific, and they must suit the individual healers’ abilities. See the table below for sample healing assignments by phase and class. Many groups, including my own guild, find that this fight is easiest with ten healers, but an experienced raid can use eight. If your raid is learning this fight, asking a priest to re-spec for Pain Suppression can be very helpful.

Healer

Ideal Class

Other Options

Phase 1

Phase 2

1

Paladin Priest Gurtogg’s Current Target Fel Raged Player

2

Paladin   Gurtogg’s Current Target Fel Raged Player

3

IDS priest (extra credit for Pain Suppression

Paladin Gurtogg’s Current Target Fel Raged Player

4

Druid Shaman

HoT all tanks

HoT all tanks

5

Shaman Priest Melee

Fel Raged Player

6

CoH Priest

Shaman

Bloodboil Group #1

Bloodboil Group #1

7

CoH Priest

 

Bloodboil Group #2

Bloodboil Group #2

8

CoH Priest

 

Bloodboil Group #3

Bloodboil Group #3 (until the debuff clears, then Fel Raged Player)

9 (optional)

Druid Any

HoT all tanks / Swing Healer

Fel Raged Player, subs for any other healer who is Fel Raged
10 (optional) Any Any

Gurtogg’s Current Target

Fel Raged Player
Tip #2: Change targets efficiently (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Macros)

Make sure you have macros that let you switch targets in a timely manner. To pick up Gurtogg’s target, my guild’s healers use the following macro:

/target gurtogg bloodboil

/cast [target=targettarget,help] [] Holy Light

For “Holy Light,” sub in your largest heal. You will need it for the Fel Rage victim!

Even as a resto druid, I find this macro very useful, as it helps me identify either the tank of the moment or the unlucky soul with Fel Rage. I use it with Regrowth, but if I am healing the Fel Rage target, I will switch to Healing Touch spam after some initial HoTs. I also use a separate macro to help me pick up each of the three tanks. In this fight, there is no time to waste on targeting! If you hesitate, someone will die. I find some version of this basic macro useful in many different fights.

Tip #3: Don’t be a hero

In earlier content, a healer might get away with covering someone else’s assignment. In this particular encounter, it will always look like there isn’t enough healing on group 3, or the tanks, or the Fel Rage target. Healing is a scarce resource in this fight, and the whole darn thing is an emergency situation. You must stick to your assigned target, no matter what. Several weeks after we first killed Gurtogg, my guild spent an entire evening wiping to him. When we looked at wws, we found that healers were not adhering to their assigned targets–when you try to “save” people in this fight, you let your whole raid down.

Tip #4: Do a post-mortem analysis

It’s entirely possible that your healing team is already following tips 1-3. Yet, Gurtogg is still laughing in your faces as he slaughters the Fel Rage target every single time. In order to identify problems and difficulties, use both your own powers of observation and diagnostic tools like Recount and wws. When my guild has had trouble with Gurtogg, it has always been due to one of the following five classic blunders. Take this boss as a primer in troubleshooting: if you can diagnose the problem with Bloodboil, you can do so again when you face the end bosses of T6. For each boss you encounter, keep notes on the usual causes of failure–never let your research go to waste.

Potential Problem Areas
Problem #1: Your bloodboil rotation is off

This is the primary thing that has killed Collateral Damage while we were supposed to be “farming” Bloodboil. Check and make sure that people are moving in and out of the waterfall area with perfect coordination. The bloodboil groups are performing a lovely little dance–make sure everyone else isn’t spoiling the ballet by being too far off to the sides. You must also have designated bloodboil substitutes in case one of your original soakers dies.

Problem #2: The healing assignments don’t suit your group

Healers should confer with each other after unsuccessful attempts. If someone was unable to do his job properly, find out why! It may not be his fault. Many times, the arrangement that worked for a previous group has to be adjusted when new players enter the field. You can still win if your healing roster isn’t ideal–try scrambling around the assignments after each attempt until you find what works.

Problem #3: The Fel Rage targets are caught by surprise

Everyone who gets Fel Rage must do everything possible to lessen the burden on the healers. Panic is deadly–every player should have a Fel Rage plan before the boss is pulled and stick to it when the time comes.

Problem #4: Fel Rage healers are over-confident

Some Fel Rage healers forget that healing needs increase throughout Phase 2. You have to keep spamming those heals, even if your target looks stable. In a moment or two, they won’t be.

Problem #5: Your raid’s dps is low

Sometimes it’s just not a healer’s fault. Even if the team is doing everything right, Gurtogg will eventually overwhelm the raid if you go through too many Fel Rage cycles. I’ve seen us lose people to Fel Rage and still win, but only if the dps is good. The bad news is that the wipes will always look like the healers’ fault. You will need to check wws to see if your dps was on track for the attempts in question.

In summation, Gurtogg Bloodboil is a complex fight, and a win or loss depends on many factors. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to that perfect one-shot.

Random Thoughts for Thursday

  • Guild bank infiltrated. 80 hearts taken and many epic gems lost
  • Our bank was not the only one
  • Mages need another rank of conjured water
  • 1 healer means the difference between doing Black Temple or Mount Hyjal
  • Warlocks have something which allows them to increase healing done on them by some percentage
  • The feeling of dread is universal be it an exam the next day or a deadline to face
  • My Spiritual Guidance column is almost done and will be ready over the course of the weekend
  • I need to find more free stock photo websites
  • Freedom happens after 6 PM
  • Learning is not about regurgitating what is taught to you, it is about applying what you learn
  • Profs make more sense when you speak to them one on one than in lecture
  • How did Kael’s forces take over Quel’Danas?
  • Raiding on an empty stomach is not fun
  • Running Hyjal with 6.5 healers with the .5 being a Prot Paladin
  • Bocelli helps a lot with stress relief
  • Contemplating writing another RP post on a slightly larger scale
  • Dirty D is liveblogging tonight’s raid. Go check it out!

Brooding Over Bloodboil

For once, I’m at a loss here and I’m hoping to garner some insight or advice from the readers. My Guild had started to work on Gurtogg Bloodboil. We were working on Bloodboil for a few hours on Sunday. I used to think that Najentus was considered a heavy healing fight.

Boy was I wrong.

I won’t go too much into an explanation, but here’s the WoWWiki link for the strategy.

Loadout

  • 4 Holy Paladins
  • 2 Holy Priests
  • 1 Discipline Priest
  • 1 Resto Shaman
  • 1 Resto Druid

Directions

Phase 1

3 Paladins on each tank. We use 3 to rotate aggro on the boss. I, the Holy Priest, heal the tank who is actively being attacked by the boss. The rest of the healers are assigned to the bloodboil groups healing (Resto Shaman, Priest, Paladin) or raid healing.

Phase 2

This is where things get dicey. The 3 Paladins that were on the tanks immediately jump the player with Fel Rage. I heal up the melee before switching to tanks and then raid healing. The Resto Druid covers the 3 tanks. 1 Paladin and 1 Resto Shaman are raid healing. The other Holy Priest and Discipline Priest are also on the player with Fel Rage.

If the player is a clothie, Pain Suppression gets applied.

Problems

A player with Fel Rage has the following effects:

  • increases armour by 15,000
  • increases health by 30,000
  • increases healing done by 100%
  • increases damage done by 300%
  • increases size by 100%

The raid gains a buff called Insignificance where every spell they cast has no threat. One problem is that if a clothie gets hit with Fel Rage and Pain Suppression is applied, the player dies just as Fel Rage is about to wear off. Gurtogg gets progressively stronger during this phase. I can’t help but wonder if it would be a better idea to delay Pain Suppression for about 5 seconds before it becomes applied.

In our case, it’s not just the person with Fel Rage who is dying. Other members of the raid seem to be dying from a lack of heals or other miscellaneous reasons.

I can’t help but wonder if it would be better to stack all four of the Paladins on the Fel Rage’d player immediately along with the Discipline Priest and then have the Holy Priest switch to raid healing instead. This would essentially give us a picture of something like this:

  1. 4 Paladins and a Disc. Priest on Fel Rage
  2. 2 Holy Priests, a Resto Shaman, and a Resto Druid on the raid divided up accordingly

By switching the Holy Priest to the raid, this opens up a lot more options that the healer can use other then Flash of Light spamming.

Another problem that isn’t so urgent is our DPS output. Gurtogg has a 10 minute enrage encounter. I notice that when we hit the ~50% mark, the timer is around 4:45 or less. Granted we did lose 1 or 2 players at this point.

I seriously hope the Recount Death meter gets fixed as soon as possible. With that tool being down, we have no way of ascertaining the cause of death when players die. As a result, healer blame has increased in recent weeks and has gotten me irritated. Most of the time, it’s never justified. It tends to be the result of a fight mechanic that players seem to forget about (some raiders mysteriously forget that Najentus’ spines can be removed). Therefore, the "blame healers" catch all is used. I’m afraid that I might one day lash out if I see another "healers fault for wiping" comment in the raid.