Ulduar Nerfs and Bugs

Looks like there were some undocumented changes made to Ulduar.

Check out this post on Main Tankadin. (Thanks Honors).

Here’s a quick summary from various sources (Forums, direct observations, things I heard second hand).

Flame Leviathan

  • Seems to be bugged. Doing FL with 2 towers is fine and dandy. But FL still has the 3rd tower buff on him even though there’s only 2 towers up.
  • Vehicle targeting reticule looks really good.
  • Gnomes have been busy. Enhanced the handling of vehicles. They turn much better.
  • Choppers can pick up Pyrite and drop them wherever they like.

XT Deconstructor

  • Deconstructor seems to spawn a bajillion ads. Look at the main tankadin post above for a screenshot.
  • Now throws Light and Gravity bombs during tantrums.

Thorim

  • Chain Lightning only blows up 2 targets.

Freya

  • Iron roots: You can trinket out of them. You can blink out of them. Hand of freedom. Bring a Shaman with Earthen Power and call it a day. Shapeshifting works. Anything that can get you out of snares will work.
  • Sunbeam visual effect seems to be missing. But the debuff on players is still there.

Mimiron

  • Phase 3: Don’t have to place the mines. The player loots it, uses it, and the head will automatically drop down. Mimiron has upgraded to smarter magnets.

General Vezax

  • Vezax’s health reduced by 10 million.
  • Saronite Animus health reduced by 2.5 million.
  • Animus spawns after 6 clouds instead of 8.

Check the comments for other nerfs. I’ll try to update this post with extra information.

Ulduar Fights Where It’s Just Not the Healer’s Fault

I’ve experienced just about type of death in Ulduar. I’d die to Constrictor tentacles. Early on, I’d get rocked by Hodir’s Flash Freeze. Sometimes I’d get unlucky with a Rocket Strike.

Today’s post is designed to help you identify under what situations a healer is at fault and when it is simply out of their hands. Keep in mind there are several exceptions. In most cases, tanks are the one that will be bearing the brunt of these abilities. If they die, odds are good they weren’t at full health. If it were any other player, well let’s take a look shall we?

This is a really long post. I’d consider using it as a reference when trying to troubleshoot your raid to see if there really was anything that could have been done to keep players alive.

Flame Leviathan

Nothing much here. I don’t send healers onboard the tank. I usually send up hybrid DPS who are able to heal in addition to DPS.

Razorscale

You died because of:

  • Devouring Flame – Your fault. Should not have been standing in them. It’s the blue stuff on the ground.
  • Flame Breath – Your fault. Don’t stand in front of Razor when this happens. Tanks are an exception.
  • Fireball – Our fault. It’s only 11000 damage or so. However, there are times when a player does get gibbed by these. I’ve been hit by this twice in a row in the span of a half second. I happened to have a shield up which saved me with a 15% health left.

Ignis

You died because of:

  • Scorch – Your fault. Why on earth would you stand on a big giant tower of fire?
  • Flame Jets – Our fault. Players should be in the green when Flame Jets connect.
  • Slag pot – Our fault. You can help even more though if you can. I cast Lesser Healing Wave on myself when I play my Elemental Shaman to help the heals out.
  • Construct explosion – Your fault. Run the heck out before it gets detonated.

Deconstructor

You died because of:

  • Gravity Bomb – Neither. It’s the job of the guy who got Gravity Bomb to get clear. If he’s too close, he pulls you in and detonates. Bomb guy’s fault.
  • Light Bomb – Both. It’s the Light bomb’s duty to also get clear. But the raid will take 2 or 3 ticks of Light Bomb damage. Our job is to heal that up. Requires effort on both parts.
  • Tympanic Tantrum – Our fault. We should be able to outheal the damage done by Tympanic Tantrum.
  • Bomb bot – Your fault. Should not be within proximity of these things when they explode.

Iron Council

You died because of:

  • Fusion Punch – Our fault. Unless none of the healers are dispellers. Then it’s the dispeller’s fault. That debuff has to come off quick.
  • High Voltage – Our fault. Steelbreaker’s aura. Everyone gets hit by it no matter what. It just has to be out healed.
  • Rune of Death – Your fault. Shouldn’t be standing in it.
  • Chain Lightning – Both. It depends on how much damage you take. If you die to a chain lightning, check to see if you were properly spaced up. You can stay with 1 or maybe 2 other players nearby. That type of damage is survivable. If your health was too low for a period of time, then its our fault for not getting you back in the green quick enough.
  • Lightning Whirl – Both. It should be interrupted. It’s normal to see 1 or 2 ticks slip through. Most players should be able to survive that. If you didn’t survive it, then chances are you weren’t topped either.
  • Overload – Your fault. When the little guy stops moving and starts doing his Kamehameha move, run out of the blast zone.
  • Lightning Tendrils – Both. It’s difficult to outrun this. Some players are going to get caught in them. At the same time, a concerted effort should be made by those not being focused to run away from it, not run towards it. Focused players are taking 3000 – 5000 damage per second. It’s possible if its one or two players. It’s a nightmare if it’s five or so.
  • Melee hit for 30000 – Not our fault. Ideally a cooldown will be popped. I know when I see Steelbreaker on the tank, I’ll drop a Pain Suppression reflexively on the tank to buy some extra time to get him repositioned. Sometimes Murphy likes to come along and crap on your raid with a Rune of Powered up Fusion Punch. One word: Screwed.

Kologarn

You died because of:

  • Shockwave – Our fault. No player should be that low when Shockwave connects. Otherwise they’re dead.
  • Stone Grip – Our fault. Gripped players just have to be kept alive until the arm takes enough damage.
  • Focused Eyebeam – Your fault. On the one hand, your health should be high enough to eat a tick or two if necessary. On the other hand, if you have several seconds to run and kite the beam before you start registering damage.

Auriaya

You died because of:

  • Seeping Feral Essence – Your fault. It’s basically a void zone. Get out of it.
  • Sonic Screech – Neither. Some players weren’t stacking up when it went off. Obviously if you’re at 5% health when it hits, you’re probably going to die. Should be in the green as much as possible.
  • Sentinel Blast – Our fault. It’s healer duty to heal up the initial parts of the blast. The faster the interrupts, the less we have to worry about it.

Hodir

You died because of:

  • Biting Cold – Your fault. Keep jumping. Keep strafing. Keep dancing and moving.
  • Flash Freeze – Your fault. Weren’t fast enough getting into a snow drift.
  • Icicles – Your fault. You can see the blue runes on the ground. You know where they’re coming from.
  • Frozen Blows – Our fault. There’s nothing you can really do to avoid it. It’s up to us healers to play triage on the whole raid.

Thorim

You died because of:

  • Charge Orb – Your fault. Should be standing near the center of the room to avoid this when in the arena.
  • Smash – Your fault. Should not be standing in front of the Rune Giant in the gauntlet.
  • Shockwave-like ability – Your fault. Dodge them.
  • Rune Detonation – Your fault. You see the fire shield above the target, get clear of them.
  • Chain Lightning – Both. Don’t stand with more than 2 other people. There’s only so much space in the room and you do have to dodge Lightnign Charges.
  • Lightning Charge – Your fault. When you see the streams coming from the wall towards Thorim, break off quickly.

Freya

You died because of:

  • Detonating Lashers – Our fault. Unless your raid manages to precisely kill all of them at the same time.
  • Nature Bomb – Your fault. When you see these big green balls on the ground, that’s your cue to move.

Mimiron

You died because of:

  • Napalm Shell – Our fault. We have to be able to heal this through.
  • Plasma Burst – Our fault. Tanks and healing cooldowns must be used so that they can live.
  • Shock Blast – Your fault. We can’t outheal 100000 damage all at once.
  • Proximity Mine – Your fault. No comment.
  • Heat Wave – Our fault. Shouldn’t be a problem healing this up.
  • Rapid Burst – Out fault. No good reason why we’d die to this either.
  • Rocket Strike – Your fault. Stand out of the red stuff on the ground.
  • Laser Barrage – Your fault. Nothing we can do about this either. Up to you to make a run for it.
  • Bomb bot – Neither. These things do a lot of damage when they explode. By now, your raiders should be able to survive at least one of these with you at full health. Hopefully the rest of your raid can kill these before they become an issue.

General Vezax

You died because of:

  • Shadow Crash – Your fault. Outrun these. We’ll do what we can to heal up the player or two that gets hit by it.
  • Searing Flames – Neither. Someone missed an interrupt. This should not be going off at all.
  • Surge of Darkness – Neither. Depends on the strategy. With defensive cooldowns, it shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Mark of the Faceless – Neither. Again, this requires the efforts of both. The target has to run out fast. Those nearby need to be healed up quickly.
  • Saronite Vapors – Your fault. Be very careful about staying in too late. As a Priest, I Prayer of Mending on stack 6, and Shield myself on 7 and escape with about half my health. Others may not be as lucky.

Yogg-Saron

You died because of:

  • Shadow Nova – Our fault. Unless your raid killed like 5 guardians at the same time.
  • Death Ray – Your fault. These green beams start off harmless at first and don’t move. When you see them, get clear. It amazes me how many players still stand there after it’s been there for several seconds. Drop what you’re doing and move.
  • Crusher Tentacles – Your fault. Shouldn’t be in melee range of these. They will kill with one blow.
  • Brain Link – Technically our fault. But run towards each other quick!
  • Squeeze – Our fault. We have to keep you alive long enough for the DPS to break you out.
  • Sanity – Your fault. There is nothing we can do if your sanity reaches zero.

And there you have it! Use this list only as a rough guideline. There are always exceptions to everything. Look into the context of what happened before making a judgment. You don’t always have to assign fault. But it is important to find out what happened so you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. You’ll notice that a lof of these deaths are easily preventable by healers. But there are some rare cases where there’s just nothing we can do short of a psychic Guardian Spirit on a player.

Yes, you’ll notice I didn’t add any comments on Algalon. I haven’t engaged him and it won’t be for a while.

Orbit-uary Post Mortem

Well, the crew and I managed to spend a solid 150 minutes on handling four towers tonight. It was nothing more than a simple continuation of last week’s three tower attempts (but slightly longer).

Yeah it’s been nerfed slightly. But on the raid kill satisfaction scale, I’d probably set it at 7.5 out of 10. It felt good though, for sure.

This is the third hard mode/meta achievement related boss we’ve accomplished since we killed Yogg. Last week, we managed to take down Heartbreaker on Heroic which allowed us to leapfrog ahead of several guilds. Good for top 20 on an extremely competitive PvE progression server (WoW Progress ranks the server as 7th in the US).

The Strategy

We utilized this strategy detailed on Tankspot. This involved having 2 launch teams consisting of 3 players each. It was practiced extensively on the week before with only 3 towers up. Last night was when we’d put it to the test. Despite having a slightly different launch team, overall I was really happy with the outcome. I think we only suffered a handful of deaths at the end but we managed to get the kill all the same. Working on flawlessness can come later.

The main hurdles that we had to focus on is coordination. Specifically:

  • Fire launch team
  • Retrieve launch team
  • Load second launch team
  • Fire second launch team

It took us around four successful shutdowns before we took him out. A great thing to do before the encounter is to spend a minute or two seeding the entire area with Pyrite. Blast those suckers down as they come in.

Anyways, the main problem we had for the majority of the evening was retrieving our launch teams intact. Our bikes had difficulty pinpointing where they were on the ground and which demolisher to bring the teams back to.

After a variety of tactics, assists were automatically handed out to everyone. This allowed them to mark themselves.

The launching demolishers were assigned three marks. The launch teams were also assigned three marks. Every time a player was launched, they would designate themselves.

Let’s say we had a Demolisher launching Bruno and Broseph. The Demolisher would be marked with a star. If Bruno was about to be launched, he’d tag him self with a square when he landed. This way, he can coordinate with the chopper that picks him up (square to star). Just as Bruno is about to be delivered, Broseph who is manning the guns on the Demolisher would then load himself in allowing Bruno to jump into the gunnery position of the Demo. Once Broseph gets launched, he’d tag himself with the square.

The other launch teams did the same thing and the overall efficiency increased. Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint Gnomes on the ground. That’s when the lucky charms come in handy. A script and macro that Amava figured out helped immensely. Try these:

Here is the macro that all the Launch Team members need for FL.

/script SetRaidTarget("target", n)

Where "target" is a toon name in quotes, and n is:
1. Yellow 4-point Star
2. Orange Circle
3. Purple Diamond
4. Green Triangle
5. White Crescent Moon
6. Blue Square
7. Red "X" Cross
8. White Skull

example:

 

/script SetRaidTarget("Matticus", 8)

This will put a skull on Matt’s head.

All in all, a fairly fun encounter. Excellent work by all the players involved and those that were here for previous attempts but could not make it.

Paladin Healing in Heroic Ulduar

This is a guest post by Adgamorix with some tips for Holy Paladins working their way through Ulduar.

3.1 and Ulduar are upon us, and the tears of Healadins fill the forums, feeding Yarg-Saron and keeping XT’s joints lubed. Bloggers and forum goers alike lament the death of Flash of Light as a useful heal, and wonder if the new Infusion is even worth it. 10% extra crit on a Holy Light? I want my haste back! I need to raid heal!

Can you taste the tears?

My question is what is the real issue? Granted, my guild hasn’t cleared Ulduar yet, but we did get six bosses down in the first week (no hard modes), and I haven’t seen the problem. As we’re a 25 man raid guild, we typically run with seven healers: two Paladins, Disc priest (dual spec’d for Holy which some Priests just aren’t good enough to do *wink*), Holy Priest, two trees, and a Resto Shaman. Our tanks are a mix of all the tank classes, and we run a fairly balanced mix of melee vs. ranged (though we do have a lot of hunters – fortunately no huntards).

Given a balanced raid makeup, I’m very happy with where paladin healing is right now. On any boss fight that we’ve done so far, I’m confident in putting my paladin partner and I on the tank and letting the other healers take care of the raid, off tanks, etc. Between Beacon of Light and Sacred Shield, we can run a steady rotation on the tanks, and it hasn’t failed us yet. Granted, I haven’t seen the fights in 10 man yet, but I’m confident that it’ll be ok.

Note that I’ve said ‘balanced raid makeup’ a couple of times here. Even though we’ve been told to “bring the player and not the class”, I don’t think anyone would reasonably expect to waltz through Ulduar with nothing but a pocket-full of rogues and no ranged DPS… at least not for a while anyway. Having a mix of buffs and abilities is part of what makes raiding so much fun. It’d be boring if any 25 people (regardless of class/spec) could walk in and down the content during the first week.

I think the problems being experienced by some paladins can be explained with the same explanation we had when our MT pulled XT with his face the first time, leaving all his healers 40 yards behind him.

“You’re doing it wrong!”

Ulduar isn’t Naxx, and I’m glad. The trash is harder than most Naxx bosses, and “gasp” we have to use crowd control again. XT’s trash brought back nightmares of old Kael’Thas trash (with a mix of Void Reaver), and it takes some getting used to. Healers can’t snipe any more, and target assignments are crucial. Trusting your raid mates to do their assigned task, and focusing on yours, keeps the raid alive. I generally can’t spare the GCD to hit someone else, and I count on the raid healers to cover me when I’m not beaconed. Sure, I’m lower on the meters than I used to be, but our strategy works and bosses die.

I won’t disagree that it would be nice to have another tool in my box, but I love the healing aspect of my paladin so much that my Resto Shaman has been collecting dust for two months. I like the challenge of healing without a designated ‘raid heal’, and learning new ways to cope with the incoming damage.

Here’s how we’ve pulled off each boss so far

Healing rotation: This healing rotation is similar to what we use for every boss we two heal. My partner will spam HL while I run FoL/HS rotations. I generally keep my SS up on the tank, and we beacon an OT if they are close, our we just beacon ourselves. After about one minute of this, we switch roles, and she hits DP to start her regen (I usually hit Illumination right at the start – I also pop my haste gloves). This continues for one minute, and then we switch again (this time I Plea). With this rotation the MT is getting around 30k in healing every 2 – 2.5 sec (lag depending), and there is always a heal landing.

Flame Leviathan: All I can say is, flying through the air with a boom-chicken by your side is worth it. I beacon the boom-chicken and unleash my holy DPS on the turrets. Instant FoLs on myself are enough to keep us both alive without any stress (hard mode may be different).

Ignis: Pallies beacon themselves and do nothing but roll heals on the MT. We have our Disc priest on the OTs, with the druids dropping HOTs on them as they race by with the constructs. Raid healing is covered with the shaman and holy priest, and the druids kicking in after a flame jet.

Razorscale: This fight is a lot less coordinated. Generally I sit on our DK who picks up the whirlwinders and also stays closest to Razor so he gets her fire patches. I beacon myself, and just roll FoL on him until the fight ends. I’ll also run in and hit the boss a few times while she’s harpooned, that way I have a full mana bar at the start of phase 3 (phase 2 if you don’t count the chained phase) so I can just bomb the tanks with HL.

XT-002 Deconstructor: We handle this fight just like Ignis. Prot pallies on the tank, Disc Priest on the add tank, and the rest of the healers on the raid. The only change up is during the earthquake/pound one of us will switch off the MT and drop HL bombs on the melee to help with the damage.

Kologarn: See previous strategies. I usually beacon the add tank on this one, since he’s close enough to always receive my heals. Only one of the tanks holding Kologarn should be taking a significant amount of damage, so we focus on them individually. A Resto shaman is also amazing for the folks caught in the grip.

Assembly of Iron: This one we switch up just a touch. We’ve only downed this once, and that was in the ‘easy’ mode. Here we flip the disc priest and a holy paladin, beaconing the off tanks and healing through the damage. A shaman is an ideal healer for the tank on Stormcaller, as they can interrupt the chain lightning and the lightning whirl.

Ulduar Almost Cleared and Some Priest Notes

Ensidia has cleared out Yogg-Saron. Only Algalon remains. I only have time for a quick post today. I have an exam on International Politics coming up in around 4 hours. The similarities between inter and intra-nation relations and guild relations is eyebrow raising. But that’s a post for another time.

Healing strategies for Razorscale and Ignis are on the way. I’ve got them written down from various PTR notes. Just a few corrections, some screenshots and they’ll be up within days.

I’m going to expand on and revise my Flame Leviathan tips a bit more. I forgot to mention the amount of vehicles there were. There are 15 in total. The Siege Engines and the Demolishers have spots for a driver and a gunner. I set group 1 as Siege Engine drivers, group 2 as Siege Engine gunners, group 3 as Demolisher divers, group 4 as Demolisher gunners, and group 5 as Choppers. That made organization and overall raid direction much easier.

Quick notes regarding the new Divine Aegis from Duct Tape and a Prayer. Wanted to get this out there quick for Priests who were curious.

If you or another Disc priest casts another critical heal on the same target, the Divine Aegis effect refreshes its duration (back up to 12 seconds), and 10/20/30% of the second critical heal is added to the remaining shield from the first crit heal. For example, I establish a 1.5k DA on the Tank, the Tank takes 1000 damage, and then I cast another crit heal on the Tank for another 2k shielding, which makes the total shielding 3.5k and the remaining shielding 2.5k (since the shield absorbed 1k damage between the first and second crit heal).

Etherjammer has got more information regarding Divine Aegis. Go check it out and remember to subscribe to his blog while you’re there.

Now if I can just remember the 6 points of a “Just War”…

1-0 Canucks.

Healing Ulduar: Flame Leviathan

Healing Ulduar: Flame Leviathan

flame-leviathan

For other bosses in Ulduar, check the Ulduar Healing strategy page.

I managed to squeeze some PTR time on this boss earlier in the weeks before. But here’s a step-by-step break down of what you need to do in order to get through the encounter.

Quick notes

  • Vehicular fight
  • Trash should be cleared using your vehicles
  • After ~two attempts on the boss, trash will respawn (not sure if there’s a link to time)
  • Four towers control the difficulty of the boss
  • Vehicle health is based on item level not stats

Map

fl-map 

Trash phase

This is not a Hyjal style waves encounter. Your raid group will have access to vehicles first. When your raid is ready to move out, speak to Brann Bronzebeard to engage the Iron army.

bronzebeard-thumb

(Click image for dialogue)

Tower information

Your targets are the four towers throughout the area. The difficulty level of Flame Leviathan can be controlled based on which towers you leave up. Towers are easily identifiable because of the color of their glow. Location of the towers are shown in the map above. Use your vehicles to bring them down.

Storm beacons will summon additional units. Destroy them to stem the tide of incoming spawning mobs.

Roles and vehicular abilities

There are different roles that each vehicle plays. I’ll break them down below.

Carrying capacities

Chopper: 1 driver + 1 passenger
Demolisher: 1 driver + 2 passengers
Siege engine: 1 driver + 1 turret + 2 passengers

Chopper abilities

Sonic horn (20 energy): Conical DPS within 35 yards to all enemies
Tar: 10 yard pool of tar that slows down enemies by 75% (important)
Speed boost (50 energy): Increases vehicle’s movement speed by 100% for 5s

Demolisher abilities

Driver

Hurl boulder: Throws a really big rock at variable range. Think Wintergrasp or Strands type. Ignites Tar upon impact.
Hurl pyrite barrel: Using 5 pyrite, will do ~30000 damage
Ram: Damage and knockback effect
Throw passenger: Used only when the passenger is in the catapult. Dwarf tossing is finally a reality (important)

Passenger

Cannon: Fires a missile. Upon impact, deals damage to enemies within 10 yards. 50 yard range.
Grab crate: Uses a hook and chain to grab crates. Lets you pick up pyrite off the ground.
Increase speed: Uses pyrite to add extra speed to the demolisher. Lasts 1 minute.
Load into catapult: Self explanatory. Passenger gets into the catapult. (important)

Siege engine abilities

Driver

Ram (40 energy): Damage and knock back effect
Electroshock (38 energy): 25 yard conical, interrupts spells, and 4 seconds of locking out the magic school (important)
Steam Rush (40 energy): Sort of like a sprint effect.

Turret

Anti-Air launcher (10 energy): Fires missiles at aerial targets.
Cannon (20 energy): Up to 70 yard range. It’s a gun that shoots stuff.

Siege Engines

The Flame Leviathan will only lock on to one siege engine at a team. The targeted engine must kite the boss around.

Non-kiting siege engines will have to stay close to the rear of the Leviathan as much as possible and should interrupt Flame Jets. After 30 seconds, Flame Leviathan will switch and target a different Siege Engine and chase after that. Use Steam Rush to build up some distance.

Here’s a kite path you can try out.

kite-path

Blue line: Opening route. The boss will be weapons free at this time (as in engage-able).

Siege engine passengers should be targeting pyrite ammo that’s floating in the air. If there aren’t any available, switch fire to the boss.

If you’re out of siege engines, FL will go after demolishers or choppers.

Choppers

There should be 1 chopper following the targeted siege engine. Choppers will be laying down tar directly in front of the Flame Leviathan to slow him down and the tar can be ignited by Boulders from demolishers.

Choppers also have to extract the FL Unit (explained further).

Demolishers

Stay as far away as you can. DPS with Hurl Boulder. Firing Pyrite Barrels should be held off until FL is stunned.

Demo passengers not being thrown up will need to work the catapult to load up Pyrite.

Flame Leviathan stun unit

Your demolishers have the capability to launch players onto the Flame Leviathan. The FL unit is going to comprise of:

  • 3 DPS (Suggest Druid, Death Knight, Rogue)
  • 1 Healer (Suggest Paladin or Druid)

I suggested those classes because they’re going to be under fire from various guns while up there. You’ll want maximum survivability.

Both players must be in the passenger seat of the demolisher. There’s an ability called “Load into Catapult” which places them in the throwing arm of the demo as a projectile. When it’s called for, your demo’s close in. The driver then hits “Throw passenger” which launches the passengers on top of the Flame Leviathan.

When the FL unit is on the back of the boss, they will be able to take out all 4 turrets. When the turrets explode, there’s a button. You hit the button which starts a 10 second channel resulting in a stunned boss and a damage taken by Flame Leviathan by 50% and resetting his speed.

The FL unit will then be ejected and parachuted off the boss. Your choppers must swoop in and extract them back to the demolishers. You’ll want to stun Leviathan while he’s in a tar’d area.

Video

For a visual “how to”, see this video below. Actual encounter starts around 20 seconds or so in. Note the positioning of siege engines and how the tar is laid out.

Healer drops

Heroic

Constructor’s Handwraps – Cloth gloves

Embrace of the Leviathan – Cloth belt

Freya’s Choker of Warding – Necklace

Glowing Ring of Reclamation – Ring

Steamcaller’s Totem – Ranged slot

Steamworker’s Goggles – Mail Helm

Boots of Fiery Resolution – Cloth feet – (Hard mode only)

Shoulderpads of Dormant Energies – Leather shoulders – (Hard mode only)

Flame Leviathan Thoughts

Flame Leviathan Thoughts

flame-leviathan

Yeah there’s going to be a buttload of spoilers here. You probably don’t want to read any further than this.

Tuesday afternoon, Blizzard announced the new PTR boss testing schedules for the week. Flame Leviathan (Normal) would be open from 4 PM onwards. But it looks like someone was trigger happy and they decided to pop it open an hour earlier. I happened to be on right as it opened up and sounded the alarm on Twitter, my guild, and in the WoW Insider war room. Alex Ziebert, shadow Priest extraordinaire, was able to join me. Once we filled up, we got the ball rolling.

So what kind of vehicle does a big, badass Dwarf drive around when he’s feeling bloodthirsty?

siege

That’s right. It’s the only vehicle fit for a dwarf. It’s big. It’s got rams. And it’s got guns. I let someone else drive while I manned the guns on top. After talking to Bronzebeard, we started the event and the Alliance 1st Armored division rolled out of the garage. The division consisted of two tanks, two demolishers and two choppers (bikes). The two siege engines lead the way absorbing the brunt of the Iron army. Demo’s formed up on the rear and attacked at range while choppers were cleaning up anything else that got behind the siege engines.

1st Armored decided to start off with gunnery training. Most of us had no idea what to do so it made sense to start firing on anything that moved and any structures that were destructible. We literally rolled over the opposition with little difficulty.

WoWScrnShot_030309_152037
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Click on pictures to enlarge

I found the gun controls were quite stiff to move. It’s like the engineers forgot to add WD-40 to the damn turrets or something. If you’ve ever done Wintergrasp, the controls for aiming are quite easy. You hold down your right mouse button to aim the direction of the camera and the targeting reticle changes direction accordingly. But it’s different in Ulduar. I found that it wasn’t as fluid nor as smooth.

After clearing out the towers, one of the recon choppers noted what looked like a repair pad on the side. We gathered up and repaired our vehicles to full health. Up ahead there was a gate flanked by two Ulduar Colossi.

WoWScrnShot_030309_152927 
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Up: Repair pad
Down: Ulduar Colossus

The Colossus is pretty damn large. But the larger they are, the harder they fall. They more really slow, too. I told my driver to switch with me because I had a hunch the vehicle would have a larger vehicle pool. Blizzard did say vehicles would scale with gear. Sure enough, my tank jumped from ~750k health to ~810k.

Matticus was in the hot seat now.

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Left: Matt tries to take on the Flame Leviathan to no avail
Right: Matt flooring it after realizing the above the strategy is not working

“Matt! Run! Hit the gas!”
”WTF do you think I’m doing?! Twiddling my thumbs?!”

We didn’t last much longer after that. But I found it a lot of fun. And it is absolutely nothing like Malygos phase 3. Players who have an aversion to vehicle encounters should definitely give this a try at least. And if they hate it, they’ll hate it. But at least try it with a clean slate. Worse comes to worse, if you don’t like driving or shooting, you can be one of the brave souls willing to be thrown on to the top of the Flame Leviathan.

WoWScrnShot_030309_164623

Pretty neat bug where a demo has grappled another demo. There’s still some quirks to be resolved. Towards the end, Alex grappled me onto his demo. I was unfortunately stuck and had no idea how to eject myself. I don’t think I was loaded into the launching arm.

Our best attempt was around 35% before our live raids forced us to cancel out.

Ignis is going to be available for testing today. Try to be on about an hour earlier to avoid the queues that is going to be prevalent. I’ll be in there at around 3 to see if I can scramble some players.

For Flame Leviathan strategy, try checking out Stratfu.