Silly SSC Mistakes

I’ll have to skip out on my usual digest post this week sadly. It’s exam week and as a result, lower time spent. Don’t expect anything else until Tuesday evening.

This is the kind of stuff that can easily turn a 3 hour run into a 6 hour run. Kudos to the folks at Fallen Heroes for allowing us to borrow their instance (Lurker down). In this really short post for today, I’m going to let you in on some of the stupidest mistakes that top tier raiding guilds can make. You look at these errors and mistakes and it seems so plainly obvious. But when you’re actually in there in the heat of the moment, things can go from bad to oh crap at any given moment. We popped into SSC due to the lack of manpower for Hyjal ops.


Wipe 1: Shadow Priest stood on the wrong side of the “line of scrimmage”. He didn’t wait the requisite 3+ seconds for our tank to secure Hydross. Sure enough, Hydross crossed and we pulled 8 elementals. Positioning is oh so very important! Make sure you stand on the side that Hydross is on. At least if you pull, you won’t make 4 new friends!


Wipe 2: Simple miscommunication here did us in. We were at the 27% mark and our bear tank was going to mosey Tidewalker up from his spot and tuck him into the side between the pillar and the wall. Problem? Healer’s didn’t hear the tank. Yeah the onus was probably on our end to move up with him. By the time we realized what happened, he had already parked himself out of line of sight and took several shots to the face. He did call out that he was moving him in vent. Unfortunately, no one heard him. So if you’re in charge of calling out a particularly relevant and important piece of information, make sure you speak up. If you call it out and don’t so much as get an acknowledgment, yell it louder until you do.


Wipe 3: My fault but my hands were absolutely tied. I think the worse time to get a disconnect in WoW is DURING a pull. What makes this worse is that I’m the only healer on the Hunter tank. You can kind of imagine how that worked out. I noticed too late that we were standing around much to long and vent was far too quiet. This was right after a ready check, as well. It just goes to show that players can fail under the most ordinary and routine of situations.


Wipe 4: Oddly enough, we didn’t even wipe to Leo personally. We wiped to his 3 cronies in front that kept him in place. True it had been about 6 – 8 weeks since we last foray’d into SSC. We also had 3 players that we’re trying to key up to increase utility. Like a bunch of sheep, several of the players stacked up in one area attempting to DPS down Leo’s mobs. What they forgot were the AOE mind blasts that those mobs cast. Every once in a while, players need to be reminded that they are not supermen. Just because you’ve picked up flashy T6 level gear does not mean you can stop doing the simple lessons that kept you alive in the first place. In this case, it was to take down 1 at a time.

Lady Vashj

Wipe 5: We breezed through most of phase 1 and half of phase 2 with no real difficulties. As luck would have it, we hit a crimp in our plans when our Strider kiting Warlock bit the bullet and went down. Our Shadow Priest took a multishot to the face. I also think we lost a mage there at some point. It all took place within a space of 10 seconds. The boss took a note of that and called a wipe immediately so that everyone could run to the stairs. What he erred out on was that our Shadow Priest got the call for a battle res and our warlock chewed down a soul stone to get back up. What was a deficit of 3 players was now of 1 player. We might have had an outside chance for that. I think what happened here was that our Raid Leader made a judgment call far too early without ascertaining what kind of resources were free to get the dead players back in action.

Wipe 6: This one takes the cake for the most stupidest wipe of the night. We forgot to change it from group loot to FFA loot. The first core was only lootable by our MT who is busy trying to stave off the Naga’s coming up those stairs. By the time he got to it, it had already despawned. Repeat that another 2 times and you can see that we were way behind the game on that one and would have been eventually overwhelmed. There are encounters where FFA looting is a requirement. Make sure you check to see if the encounter you are doing is one of them!

3 Approaches to Guild Progression


Does this sound familiar? Your raiding Guild has been at the same boss for a while and you’ve reached a wall. Night after night your Guild continues to throw themselves at the boss to no avail (Does 40 raids and 40 wipes sound familiar?). Some of your raiders begin to show signs of frustrations to the point of threatening to leave if there are no additional signs of progress.

Some players are so inherently selfish and don’t seem to understand what progression truly means.

The Definition of Progression

My Guild has been stuck on Kael’Thas for the past several weeks dating back to early December. I know I’m not the only one that had problems with him. But we killed him and that’s the bottom line.

Or is it? Are boss kills the only way to measure progression?

That’s the first thing that needs to get changed. Your perception of what progress means has to change. As boss encounters become more complex, the measuring stick must also become more complex.

Progression used to be measured in boss kills a week. Some Guilds and players still follow this old school belief.

It’s time to change it. By changing your approach to progression, then you will a suitable way to benchmark your Guild and set realistic targets . Consider looking at progression in 3 different ways.


Last week, you took Lurker down to 80%. This week, you brought him down to 50%!

Congratulations! That’s progress!

Players appear to be a lot more negative lately from what I’ve been noting. It’s either “kill” or “wipe” and nothing in between. Thinking like that is poisonous and dangerous.

The bottom line is that your Guild knocked a progression boss down by 30%. Don’t let the naysayers get you down by saying “but oh we didn’t kill him this week!”

Use that criticism as motivation to edge him down another 10%. Start thinking glass is half full and not half empty. By chipping away slowly at the boss, you’ll eventually kill him


Bosses like Lady Vashj and Al’ar within the encounter. There are different steps to take during each phase in order to reach the goal of downing a boss. I like to think of them as mini bosses similar to the last boss in Arcatraz.

Think back to your days in school when you were assigned to write a large paper. Instead of rushing from start to finish, the boss fight should be broken up into chunks.

Your progression can be measured by how far you get through these stages. You beat down Lady Vashj phase 1 and now you’re working on getting the cores to the generator to shut down her shield. Think of each successful core as an individual step along the way. Last week, you got down 1 core successfully. This week, you were able to get 3 down.

That is progress.

Player Survival

As a healer, I have always preached about this in my blog:

I don’t care how much spell damage or healing you have. If you’re dead, you’re useless to the raid.

The longer people stay alive, the easier the encounter is. Simple concept right? This can also be applied in the Zen of progression. What’s the difference between having 3 DPS dead and 3 DPS alive between the transitions from phase 3 to phase 4 on Kael’Thas? They represent 12% more player activity. Sure you can easily get to phase 4 with only 3 players dead. But if you have them alive, it sows confidence that yes your Guild can this with the healers you have available.

I measure my personal progression how many players I can keep alive until the raid buckles.

To Summarize
  • Don’t be a downer
  • Look at the bright side of the raid
  • Progress in any shape or form is good

Now I can Heal in Style

Cowl of the Avatar

Does it not reek of complete and utter awesomeness? I finally got my Cowl of the Avatar! What good timing too since Carnage will no longer be running SSC as much anymore. We’re going all in on Kael.

The T5 helm now brings me up to having 3/5 T5. I also picked up another item to replace my Ribbon of Sacrifice. From Lurker, I managed to collect Earring of Soulful Meditation (it’s the class trinket at the T5 level). I lose a slight drop in healing (a whopping 7) but if I manage to remember to activate the Earring, I’ll gain 300 spirit for several seconds to further increase my longevity in combat. Combine the earring with Pendant of the Violet Eye and I will be able to sustain myself for a long time.

Before and after effects of Earring of Soulful Meditation

Yikes that’s a substantial increase!

The 12 Hour Raid

I didn’t really want to do it. It just… happened! Honestly!

12 PM to 330 PM

Keruen and I set up a half Carnage raid to go in to Zul’Aman (We didn’t actually start pulls until 1 PM). We spent a few hours in there downing Bear Boss easily within three shots. The [item]Robes of Heavenly Purpose[/item] dropped. Unfortunately, I was on my Resto Shaman so they went to Keruen since he was the only healing priest in there. I think we’re a few weeks from being able to go for the time trials. We don’t have a consistent number of personnel to go in with at the moment. Then we tried clearing to Lynx, but we had a number of players drop out. By then it was around 315 and with our SSC raid starting in a few minutes, we had no choice but to abandon it.

330 PM to 9 PM

Spent the 30 minutes getting something to eat and getting flasks and such (By the way, you know all those Apexis Shards you have? There’s a use for them now at the Ogrila Quartermaster as you can use them to purchase Level 55 Potions for 50 shards and some silver).

Lady Vashj started off well enough. We were able to get her consistently into Phase 3. The main things that were killing us was a combination of Static Charges and poisons. After some more minor adjustments, Lady Vashj went down fairly cleanly as evidenced by my new Flickr shot. Her loot? Well, nothing I would be interested in:

[item]Vestments of the Sea-Witch[/item]
[item]Krakken-Heart Breastplate[/item]
A Champion and a Defender token

Then we jaunted over to Tempest Keep and here’s where the fun began.

Al’ar went down after two shots. Void Reaver apparently has been modified or something. I noticed his bolts now come at us in an arcing fashion. I don’t know if that has altered the speed at which they arrive, but we had some issues with him for tonight and wiped about 4 times before we killed him. By this time, it was about 830 PM and that gave us only one shot at Solarian.

We didn’t get her down sadly. I really want her [item]Ethereum Life-Staff[/item]. It’s a fairly sizeable upgrade over my [item]Crystalheart Pulse-Staff[/item]. What I plan to do is slap 81 Healing on one of them and Spellsurge on the other. I haven’t quite yet decided which for which.

9 PM – 12 AM

My real life friends and I decided to go in and tackle Zul’Aman. This time, I would go in as my Priest. We came, we saw, and we conquered the Bear Boss after 4 attempts. Ironically, the same Robes that dropped earlier in the day dropped for me again and the other Priests were kind enough to pass them (We had four, COUNT ‘EM FOUR Priests).

After that, we strolled over to the Eagle Boss. We didn’t have a Rogue and could not exploit the gauntlet, but we did discover something intriguing.

One of the Shadow Priests had the brilliant idea of mind controlling one of the spawns that come up behind us. Shortly thereafter, the gauntlet waves stopped. The Troll he mind controlled disappeared. We were initially stunned at first but continued to press forward. Sure enough, the Troll on the steps who we’re supposed to kill was not there. Like the Rogue infinite sap technique that GMW informed us about, I fully expect this one to get fixed at some point in the future. It was an interesting bug, to say the least. We didn’t let it to go waste either.

Eagle boss went down in one shot. The [item]Mojo-mender’s Mask[/item] dropped. It went to our Elemental Shaman. Sweet deal indeed. We started plowing on over to Lynx Boss but we alas, we could not complete it due to people having to leave again.


I still had plenty of energy. I haven’t done one of these in a long time. I know there’s no way I’d be able to consistently do something like this. But it was fun all the same. Most of my work was completed on Saturday so I had the entire Sunday free. All of that just to upgrade my PMC Robes.

By the way, for all you aspiring Priests out there, I made my [item]Primal Mooncloth Robe[/item] since the end of March. It is now halfway through November. Those Robes lasted me seven and a half months before I upgraded to the ones I have today. I cannot stress the uberness of those Robes anymore then this.

Sure you can try to gun for the Opera ones, but really the odds of that dropping have been quite minor for me. I have never seen it drop on my Priest. Not only do you need to get the correct boss, there’s the item randomness factor. So bear that in mind if you decide to wait.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, we raided Zul’Aman with four Priests. One of them was Discipline specced with Pain Suppression. Amazingly, he worked out great! On bosses like the Bear where tanks were taking enormous amounts of burst damage, he activated Pain Suppression which made healing much easier. There were a lot of clutch moments. His healing wasn’t terribly gimped either. I encourage more raiding groups to consider the viability of a Discipline priest until we can fully ascertain it’s benefits. But for the most part, it looks good. Real good.