I’ve Chosen the Third Blogger

Sydera is the third blogger! She’ll be co-blogging alongside Wyn and myself from here on out. Unlike Wyn and I, she is not a Priest and will be blogging from the perspective of a… tree.

So let’s all extend a welcome branch to Syd (I can hear the groans over the pun already)! I’m sure she’ll come along later and say something.

Joveta, you did really well. It was an extremely tight race between the two of you. I was on the fence at times where I’d go one way then change my mind and go the other. Pleeeeeease don’t be discouraged. If you decide to pursue blogging, I will do what I can to help you set up.

Week 3 – Critiques by Matt and a Special Guest Judge…

This is it. This is the final week. After this, SYTYCB will end. Despite how brilliant everyone’s been, I only have room at the moment for one additional writer. Who will it be?

In addition to the critiques from Wyn and I, there will be a special guest judge adding their 2 cents. The guest judge is a fairly prominent member of the blogging community but I will be withholding their identity. Think of them as the Simon Cowell of blogging.

PS, Wyn’s remarks will come later (depending on level of busy-ness).

Both bloggers have performed exceptionally well to get into the final week.

In any case, on with the show!

Sydera: Troubleshooting Gurtogg Bloodboil: A Healer’s Perspective and Future Overachievers Anonymous: How Achievements Will Rock the Social World of Wrath of the Lich King

Although blogging can be about virtually anything, I’ve tried to set the standard for my blog to be about virtually anything beneficial. It’s a strong principle of mine that a post should contain value and this one post about Bloodboil certainly does that and it does that really well. While it may not be as specific as Bosskillers or a WoWWiki, that’s not really what I’m looking for. The intent here was to see if you could write a piece about something educational that players could potentially benefit form. With Wrath on the eve of debuting, you’ve done that here even though it’s on a boss that most people are getting to or that most people will not be able to get to. You’ve used tables, block quotes, emphasis, and other formatting techniques flawlessly. Both skimmers and readers will be able to read through it and find out what they need. I love the creative use of images and the way this post has been structured.

Your second post I found quite wall of texty. Again, very glad you included emphasis throughout so I could speed read it (lecture and note taking and all). Outgoing links are a plus. All of us should make more of an effort to link outward. You’ve supplied strong arguments on all 4 of your points.

Biggest weakness: Tree.

- Matt

Troubleshooting Gurtogg…

  • Boss strategy overview presented nothing that couldn’t be found just as easily on Bosskillers or other boss strategy resources
  • By the time I got to reading phase 2, I was already snoring
  • Healing tips present no information that a conscientious healer raiding at that level wouldn’t already know
  • Healers that don’t already know the information presented are probably the type to be too lazy to go looking for it anyway
  • Article should’ve presented NEW information: that’s the entire point of a “teaching” post, to show the reader something they didn’t know or hadn’t thought of
  • Should have covered information like: when to pop certain trinkets, when using innervate/shadow fiend would be most appropriate, etc

Future Overachievers…

  • The second article doesn’t present any new information
  • Article appears to simply be an amalgamation of all the viewpoints expressed elsewhere about the new achievement system
  • No new spin or opinion was presented about the new system, and no fresh insight was added to the discussion
  • Article lacked a “summary” for skimmers to get the gist of the article without reading it in it’s entirety and the headings didn’t provide any insight into what stance the article took on the subjects discussed

- The GJ

The Utility of Utility and Death and the Priest

Your post here was aimed at outlining the differences and the benefits that IDS and COH bring to a raid. Your arguments were sound and perfect. You went out of the way providing an example table with numbers that helped underscore the point that you were making. The rule of thumb you wrote at the bottom of the post about which raid makeup would benefit the most is a real eye opener to some Guilds, I would imagine.

The second post consisted of something that I wish I would see happen more often. You publicly disagreed with a blogger. Not only that, you backed up your disagreement with opinion and sound logical reasoning. As a crim student, how can I possibly not admire that? In both posts, excellent use of bolding to emphasize your main point. You did a great job at the bottom summarizing and adding on more ways for readers to participate. A skill that I’ve noticed a few bloggers not having acquired yet is that of reader participation. Give them some room to chime in. If you intentionally cover all the bases, opinions, viewpoints, what else is there left to say? I even gave a lecture about that to Auzara once (and she listened). The points you made, I think, helped encourage that.

Utility of Utility

  • Biggest complaint: The article focuses partly on talents found in the Disc tree, but makes no actual mention of Disc priests (as if they don’t exist)
  • It should be mentioned within the article that, if your guild/raid group has reliable Disc priests, or at least 1 Disc priest that shows up habitually, then the argument is moot: Holy priests can spec out of IDS if they so choose
  • When discussing the effectiveness/usefulness of IDS, stats were mentioned for Holy priests, Resto druids, etc, but again no mention was made of Disc priests (how much more effective would a Disc priest’s heals be with IDS + Power Infusion, for example?)

Death and the Priest

  • Instant bonus points for totally disagreeing with your “boss” so blatantly
  • Images or screenshots within the body of the article would’ve enhanced the points being made
  • The article takes an interesting stance on a subject many can relate to, and forms an emotional connection with the reader (enticing them to comment)
  • The article encourages longer “visits” by referencing an article already on the site (increasing the likelihood that the user will continue reading other articles and/or subscribe via RSS)
  • The article is “skimmer friendly
  • The article presents a good opportunity for a follow up that expands on other moments players encounter while raiding

- The GJ

Death and the Priest

bad-title

This week, we were given the option of a freestyle post.  I’m sticking with that, though I am using one of the topics presented in the competition to do it.  Matt, I’m sorry but I totally disagree with you when you advocate letting your dark side out and forcing a wipe. 

So Who Calls It?

Wipes happen, every group has been there.  It may be due to a bad pull, lack of focus, or simply the process of learning a fight.  It sucks, and can feel like a waste of time.  However, it is not the job of anyone other than the raid leader to determine when it is time to throw in the towel.  The raid leader is the person you agreed to listen to in raid, they are the person you hopefully trust to tell you what to do.  I’m not advocating a blind following of everything said to where you forget your own common sense, but the authority of the raid leader is totally undermined if one of the 24 other people in the group go over his head and make these decisions without him.  If you think it’s hopeless, poke the raid leader to call it, don’t make that decision yourself.  If you are making that decision, you need to ask yourself why, if you’re not going to let him lead, is he the raid leader at all?

Why not call it?

There are really only two kinds of wipes out there; the wipes that happen on farm content because of fluke or lack of attention, and the wipes that happen while you’re in some stage of learning a fight.  In neither of those instances are early problems reason to give up immediately. 

Everyone has experienced the shaky pull, where you lose one healer and a dps or two fairly early on, and still manage to beat it.  We’ve had Bloodboil on farm for months, every week is a one-shot.  But last night, we were running with 7 healers (where we usually run with 8 ) and lost one early on to Fel Rage (he was picking through the healing crew) bringing us down to 6.  It was stressful and crazy.  Then one of our warlocks got double-boiled because someone else hadn’t been paying attention.  You guessed it, he was the next Fel Rage target and died.  Bloodboil turned and Acid Breathed the tanks, costing us two of them.  With our highest-aggro mages and warlocks “off-tanking,” we still brought him down from 20% to dead with only our pally tank up.  It was a slow kill, but it would have wasted more time to wipe, rez/run back, and start all over from the beginning.  Problems are not a guaranteed wipe. 

As for giving up early while learning content, well, why show up to begin with?  Most bosses are not the type which look at you and fall over, offering up their shiny loot because you scare them so much.  Learning a boss can be hard!  You can spend weeks, 5, 10, 15 wipes, just trying to get a boss down once.  My raid group is currently working on Kalecgos.  It’s going slow, it’s frustrating, and it’s mainly due to the expansionitis that most raid groups are facing.  We don’t call it when the first healer dies.  We don’t even call it when the first tank dies, when we know it’s a guaranteed wipe at that point.  We still need the practice on when to move, keeping our portal rotation, where to stand, how to manage the details of the fight.  There’s a lot of learning that can be accomplished by pushing forward, even if you know you’re not going to win.  If you give up at the first sign of trouble, you are never going to improve.

Things to remember

  1. Discreetly forcing a wipe just means you have something to hide.  If you have something to hide, why are you doing this in the first place?
  2. Playing this off as an innocent mistake means you know you’re in the wrong and are looking for plausible deniability.
  3. Communication is key, as is trust.  Forcing a wipe totally ignores both of these things.

In short, if you have a problem, or things look dire, talk to your raid leader, don’t take over his job yourself.

Future Overachievers Anonymous: How Achievements Will Rock the Social World of Wrath of the Lich King

Ever since the first articles started coming out about the Wrath Alpha, I’ve been intrigued by the achievements interface. Most writers in the blogosphere are excited about the change–at the level of the individual player, the achievement system will enhance the fun factor of playing the game. Check out this article from Matticus to see what I mean. The achievement panel as it currently exists in the Beta is a detailed look at your character’s past, and it serves as a scrapbook or photo album of that character’s virtual life.

sydera best achievements

On a personal level, I could not be more excited about the achievements. Many of the cleverly-described feats on Sydera’s achievement screen took very real blood, sweat, and sleep deprivation from my entire guild to accomplish, and seeing them spelled out makes me feel quite proud. As for the personal achievements, I feel nostalgic when I see how many quests I did in certain areas or how many horde fires I extinguished during the Fire Festival.

While the achievement system may be new to the World of Warcraft, it’s not exactly an innovation in the gaming universe. The WoW achievement system is a descendant of the character progress-tracking systems in console games and single-player PC games. High score tables such as those found on old-school arcade machines like Ms. Pacman or Donkey Kong are among the earliest achievement systems. When video games first invaded the living room, Atari pioneered a system of clothing patches you could earn by mailing them a photograph of your TV screen. In more recent years, achievement systems have become a fully articulated means to track one’s virtual progress and experience. For example, in Neverwinter Nights, my heroine’s feats were described at length in a journal, to which I could add my own notes if I wished. I really enjoyed reading through that journal at the end of the game–while I’m not a roleplayer per se, I do delight in story and character.

The direct ancestor of achievements in Wrath, however, is the system developed by Microsoft for the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 achievement system is unique in two ways: the console stores achievements independent of specific games, and all Xbox 360 games are designed to have achievements. The company also intends for players to view and react to others’ achievements through Xbox LIVE gamer profiles. As their website cheerily declares, “Half the fun comes in comparing your own achievements to those of your friends and competitors.”

In Wrath, players will similarly be able to “compare achievements” when they inspect each other, opening up a whole new avenue of uses for the system.

isidora compares achievements

The crucial difference between Wrath and Xbox LIVE is that Warcraft is a fully-fledged social universe with millions of citizens who constantly interact in profound and diverse ways. The revolutionary aspects of the new WoW achievement system will thus be in the realm of player interaction. And now, I will break out my fuzzy pink [Future-Predicting Dice of the Monkey] and prophesy for you what will happen when the WoW community meets the achievement panel. Based on my observations of the current social customs of WoW players, sweeping changes will occur in the following four areas.

1. Guild recruiting

This is the potential change that interests me the most, as I really enjoy interviewing new players for my guild. With the achievement system in place, my interview criteria are going to change. In addition to a chat over vent, I will start requiring a character-to-character interview. The recruit and I will have a seat in the Pig-n-Whistle, and we will mutually check each other out. One of my main goals will be to read the character’s achievement panel and ask interview questions based on what I learn. Even if the achievement panel ends up as part of the armory, it will still be useful to go through the achievements in “person,” if you will.

At the most basic level, the achievement system will allow a guild recruiter to verify the information that a potential new member shares about himself. Up until now, I have had to rely on very limited tools–mostly my own intuition–to decide whether someone could be trusted. The following questions always go through my mind: “Is this player who she says she is? Did she really clear Naxx back in Vanilla WoW?” The achievement system will effectively give me a way to do a background check. In addition, it will also let me get to know the recruit a little better than I might otherwise. Like a series of Twitter updates, individual achievements don’t say much on their own, but considered together, they reveal a lot about a player’s personality and how she chooses to spend her time. If I see that the recruit has many holiday-based achievements in addition to her string of boss kills, I might guess that she would enjoy the silly social aspects of my guild as well as the raids.

2. Bragging rights

As if trade chat weren’t bad enough now, just wait till hundreds of achievement points become available. Any time a new standard of comparison is created, the trolls come out from under their bridges to celebrate. Who’s got the most achievement points on your server? You’ll know soon enough. As an example of the chicanery that might result from the new system, consider the case of a certain infamous druid on Vek’nilash, who I’ll call Stinkleaf. This person was a highly ranked arena player, and he made sure everyone knew it! When Stinkleaf got Season 3 shoulders, he spammed Trade Channel for days calling himself “The Best in the World.” Every time I would run into him in Ironforge, he would harass me for my obvious adherence to PvE: “OMG wut is dat PvE crap, durids R for arena!” Let’s just say I was really, really happy when this person left the server for an easier battle group. We may see similar things arise in Wrath with achievement point griefing.

3. Alt discrimination

isidora and syd worry about discrimination

I have three characters at 70, all of whom took quite different paths to get there. Marfisa, a paladin, was my main all throughout Vanilla WoW. Sydera has been my main and my only raiding character in BC. Isidora, my delightfully evil affliction warlock, is my farming character. When I look through the achievement panels for all three, it’s really clear which characters have been alts and mains at different times. Any character who has been an alt during any phase of the game will look inexperienced. Sydera was only level 40 when BC hit, and of all the achievements in Classic WoW, she’s really only done the Deadmines. Marfi, however, has credit for most of the 5 man dungeons, all the world exploration, and many of the quest-based feats. Isidora, however, has practically nothing. Since the process of awarding credit for old instances is uneven, she doesn’t even have points for the few dungeons I did take her to. What would happen if I wanted to do what I did when BC came out and switch mains? Isidora has no titles–she hasn’t even been to Karazhan. She would look like a colossal n00b, even though the player behind her has a great deal of raiding experience. The achievement system might, for the upper tier of raiders, lock players into sticking with their longtime mains instead of branching out to try something new. That would sadden me, because alternating among my characters is one of the things that keeps the game new and fresh for me.

4. Roleplaying

I’m no RP expert, but I’m fairly confident that the achievement system will offer RP-ers new conversation-starting tools. In order to start a roleplaying style conversation with a stranger, you have to have something to talk about. Players will learn to inspect the folks they encounter and quickly compare achievements. Anything might spark a conversation; for example, you could say: “Hail, slayer of Van Cleef! What news from Westfall?” As you can see, I’d be a terrible roleplayer, but the potential is there. Any time new information is available about a character, the possibilities for story creation increase.

These are only four possible consequences of the new achievement system, and only time will tell if the changes have long-term good or ill effects. Personally, I can’t wait to see them implemented–for me, the good outweighs the bad. However, if I ever want to raid with a new guild as Isidora, I think I’ll have to bring Syd along for the interview too.

The Utility of Utility

IDSvCOH2

I consider myself to be an okay tank healer, but an excellent raid healer.  I love Circle of Healing, and when you catch me off-guard enough to admit it, I’ll say my favorite spells are the ones I can cast while pounding my spacebar and hopping around.  Yes, I am “that type” of raider.   I also seem to be in a rather unusual raid group where, up until recently, we had a surplus of single-target healers (paladins coming out our ears,  our only resto druid is a Dreamstate-wants-to-be-a-doomchicken Healing Touch spammer) and raid healing came from one Shaman and a few CoH.  We had no priests with Divine Spirit on our roster because we simply couldn’t afford them.

Unfortunately for me, I’m also a spirit junkie.  I would LOVE to go into every raid with an extra +50 spirit, not to mention the +10% dmg/heal the buff gives as well.  Even though my group’s makeup needs raid healing, not to slot a priest in a tank heal, IDS utility spot, I decided to turn the question around (for purely selfish purposes, of course).  Circle of Healing is an awesome spell in T6 raiding, but if IDS is considered mandatory, what exactly will it bring to the raid?

Spellpower

One of the largest arguments against IDS is the fact that it’s only a significant buff to holy priests and tree druids.  None of the other healers or DPS have a spirit focus, so the damage or healing they gain is minimal.  I decided to check and see how minimal the gain actually is.  I used my guild as an example, and spent some time with the Armory and a calculator.  Unsurprisingly, our Holy Priests had the highest spirit out there.  We ranged from ~550-650 unbuffed spirit, and the gain from IDS gave each holy priest somewhere between 60 and 70 +heal.  What did surprise me was the fact our mages tied our DS druid for second place in the spirit race.  They ran from 250-350 unbuffed, which left them getting 30-40 more damage or healing.  This is roughly equivalent to nearly two Teardrop Crimson Spinels for the druid, and three Runed Crimson Spinels for the mages.  Paladins, Warlocks, and Shaman tied for third, each in the 100-200 spirit range, got 15-25 damage or healing.  If your raid group is heavy on priests, druids, and mages, IDS’s utility increases.

Talents

If the results of IDS on mages is so surprising because they are not a class that gains much from spirit, what about the classes which have a spirit focus, or talents specifically relating to spirit?  That’s right, I’m talking priests and Trees. 

For priests, those talents are Spiritual Guidance and Spirit of Redemption.  Spiritual Guidance increases dmg/heal based on 5%/10%/15%/20%/25% of the priest’s total spirit.  Spirit of Redemption, in addition to that whole “heal while dead” thing, gives a flat 5% increase to total Spirit.  Those two spells work beautifully together, and are a must for every healy-priest regardless of spec.  Both of these talents are also multiplicative, meaning the more spirit you have, the more you’ll get as a result.  We get the 60-70 +heal IDS grants at base, plus another 13 (25% of the 50 spirit of the buff for Spiritual Guidance) and 3 (5% of the 50 spirit of the buff for Spirit of Redemption) added on. In T6 gear, the average increase in +heal a priest gains from having IDS is 75-85. The healing Priests get from IDS is equivalent to the +heal to weapon enchant.

For tree druids, there are also two talents which deal directly with spirit: Tree of Life and Living Spirit.  Much like with priests, these talents were designed to go together.  Tree of Life also increases healing based on 25% of the Tree’s spirit, but instead of the healing done by the tree, it’s healing done to anyone in the tree’s group.  Living Spirit increases spirit by 5%/10%/15%.  As we don’t have any trees in our guild, I can’t use guildie figures for this, but poking around other guilds at our level of progression, their trees seem to have spirit numbers on par with our holy priests.  That gives the same 60-70 +heal from IDS at base, in addition to another 7 (15% of the 50 spirit boost) to everyone in the tree’s party.  In T6 gear, the average +heal gained by the tree’s party is increased by 65-80.  Tanks in a tree group healed by holy priests with IDS using max-coefficient spells will see an increase in healing received by 140-165 per hit.

Regen

In addition to the healing gained based on spirit for both holy priests and tree druids, regen must be taken into account as well.  Both have equivalent spells.  Meditation for priests and Intensity for druids each give 10%/20%/30% regen while casting.  The formula for determining regen is the same regardless of class as well:  Mana Regen = 5 * sqrt(Int) * Spirit * Base_Regen

regen

All names slightly tweaked as I didn’t speak to them before posting.  Jadey is a tree, whereas the bottom four are myself and 3 other priests in my guild.  Both Int and Spirit numbers are unbuffed and pulled directly from armory.  OOC and IC refer to out of combat and in combat regen numbers.  OOC IDS and IC IDS show how the numbers change if we’ve got IDS up, and the final columns show the differences between buffed and unbuffed stats.

Buffs

Moving back to the general raid utility, because the gain in spellpower due to IDS is based on a percentage, the amount can also be increased by use of buff food and elixirs.  Blackened Basilisk, that favorite of DPS casters everywhere, gives 23 damage and 20 Spirit.  With IDS, suddenly it’s giving 25 damage.  If you use Bloodberry Elixir in Sunwell, in addition to buffing your stats, you’re picking up 6 extra spell damage.  Priests that use Draenic Wisdom will see an increase of 11 healing (versus the 7 they get from it without).  The buffs you give yourself anyway become more powerful with the addition of IDS.

Is IDS awesome enough to be considered “mandatory” in today’s raid environment?  It’s really going to depend a lot on the group composition you have available.  If you have more healing priests and druids than you have paladins and shaman, or more mages than warlocks, you need IDS in your raid.  Find the raid healers, put a priest on tank healing so they can have the buff.  But… not me.  I’m going to be over here, hopping around and spamming my CoH button.

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.