Question: When do you Call a Wipe?

Keeping the post really short today. Whether it’s in a 5 man, a 10 man, or a 25 man, I’m curious as to under what circumstances your raid leaders call a wipe.

Does it ever frustrate you when your raid leaders do?

Does it annoy you when they should and don’t?

For the raid leaders, does farm versus progression content impact the times you call wipes?

I’ve called snap wipes when we lose 2-3 people in the opening minute of a fight. I’ve called for a continual push even when we were down a half raid.

What’s your take?

13 Express Methods to Wipe Your Ulduar Raid

13 Express Methods to Wipe Your Ulduar Raid

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It’s been done. Your main tank is dead. Your healing corps is decimated. It seems as though your stealthers continue to be found and shredded. Plate armor is sundered and scattered across the battlefield. The clothwearers torn apart with nothing left aside from their robes.

It’s a wipe.

What’s the best course of action you can take to assist your raid?

Suiciding yourself and wiping along with them.

Don’t give me the rallying cries of “Mimiron will never take me alive!” either. You can’t solo a boss unless he’s within one or two spell casts of death. How many times have I witnessed a player single handedly declare victory against a raid boss? I can count that number on one hand.

So don’t be a hero unless you can actually do it. Here’s how you can make yourself useful when a wipe’s called. Ever wondered what the fastest way to die on each boss was in Ulduar?

Oh and a special note to healers. When a wipe is called, there is thing that you have to actually do that can help hasten the process.

Stop fracking healing!

Flame Leviathan

Wipes when: You’re down to 3 choppers, no tanks, and maybe a few demolishers. Unless the bucket of bolts is at a ridiculously low level, you’re done.

Methods: Jump out and close within melee range of the boss. If the Flame Vent doesn’t get you, the rockets will.

Ignis

Wipes when: Main tank is dead with no other alternatives or when a Construct gets pulled into the raid and gets stupidly detonated taking out the entire crew.

Methods: Jump into a scorch. Cast a spell before Flame Jets connects. Hug a Brittle construct before blowing it up.

Razorscale

Wipes when: No tanks are alive and that big honkin’ Titan guy does what Right Said Fred sings by doing more than a little turn on the catwalk. Yes, I’ve seen pickup raids demolished by that one trash mob. Also consider a bailout when an off tank isn’t able to tank quick enough and the debuffs continue to stack too high on the main tank.

Methods: Go die in a fire. Literally. The blue fire will do the trick. Give big honkin’ Titan guy a hug. If it’s phase 2, the plan is to try to pop a breath mint into Razor’s mouth by getting in front of him. I’m sure he’d appreciate some juicy fruit when you’re being blasted with his Flame Breath.

Deconstructor

Wipes when: Completely pounds the crap out of your main tank. Or when Joe Paladin forgets to run out of the raid with a light bomb. Also happens when Deconstructor wolfs down some grilled repair bot burgers. Oh yes, and if your raid forgot to eat their wheaties this morning and managed to close in on the enrage timer.

Methods: See that guy that’s glowing white? Give him a big hug. Let’s not forget the guy in black and purple either. Run to him! Tantrums, when they occur, will auto-slaughter the raid.

Iron Council

Wipes when: One of the tanks gets Falcon (Fusion) Punched. Raid eats a green rune and is too slow getting out of it. Anytime those Iron Council folks are basking in blues of glory. There’s a multitude of causational factors that could lead to a wipe.

Methods: Do everything I mentioned in the last paragraph. Oh, and hug the small Iron Dwarf. He’s the lonely one of the bunch. Gets frequently picked on all the time. When he’s doing that Overload thing, he’s just trying to unload his problems. It doesn’t hurt.

Much.

Kologarn

Wipes when: Eyebeam fail. Stone grip fail. Tank-falls-off-ledge fail. No one in melee range of Kologarn fail.

Methods: Just repeat everything above. Stand in beams or jump off the ledge or run far away from him.

Auriaya

Wipes when: Not enough players absorb a sonic screech. Alternatively, difficulty with the pull. If you can master the pull you can master the boss. But the pull is what gets to raids.

Methods: Just get eaten up by the various cats. Stand in the void zone.

Hodir

Wipes when: Frozen blows dominates your entire raid. Tank dies. Raid doesn’t know how to either keep moving or watch for camp fires.

Methods: Stop moving. Avoid the big snow drifts and get flash frozen. Stand under falling icicles.

Thorim

Wipes when: Either the arena team doesn’t hold out long enough or the gauntlet team is too slow. In phase 3, it happens because a taunt’s not quick enough.

Methods: During the second phase, if you’re gauntlet, do run into the line of fire. Do stand next to the guy with the fire shield icon above him. If you’re in the arena, make some friends. During the third phase, dive into the lightning streams.

Freya

Wipes when: Have you heard the phrase:

“Oh what the frack. Who killed the Stormlasher/Snaplasher/Water elemental before the others were down?”

Yeah. Happens to us. Too anxious on the trigger finger. AoEing detonators is also a very bad idea…

Methods: …But AoEing detonators leads to a speedy death. If it’s on ‘shrooms, look for the player who is flashing lightning and stand next to them. Lashers are a bit of a pain to die to however. Freya’s one of the worse bosses to wipe on because it can take a while for everyone to die.

Mimiron

Wipes when: I don’t even know where to start. Missing tanks? Nuked healers? Not enough DPS? It could be any number or combination.

Methods: Here’s a quick list.

  • Phase 1: Run into land mines
  • Phase 2: Get up close to the boss. Let the fires engulf you or have the entire raid stand in one direction and simply eat the arcane guns.
  • Phase 3: Run into any bots you see. Bomb bots are great for this.
  • Phase 4: Run into land mines.

General Vezax

Wipes when: Healers run out of juice with no Saronite vapors around. Lack of interrupts on Vezax. Tank faces a super saiyan General Vezax who dishes out 50000 damage. Yeah. Happened to us before too. Not pretty.

Methods: Stand in a Saronite vapos for more than 7 ticks. Hug Vezax without interrupting anything. Let him warm you up some.

Yogg-Saron

Wipes when: Anything bad that can happen will happen. Players become magically blind to the color green. It happens.

Method: Run into clouds and run into the green beams emanating from Yogg-Saron.

Death and the Priest

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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.

Raiding Horror Stories and the Opportunity it Brings

Cracking a 25 man raid roster is not the easiest thing to do in the world, especially when it’s been set in stone for a while. Every now and then, a slot or two will open up which could allow any other player in the guild to fill it. They just have to be given the opportunity to step into it. Benching a raider is a strong message to deliver and it should only be used sparingly if that player’s performance is not up to par. On the other hand, it allows another person the chance to replace them. But when do you determine who gets to sit and who gets to go? Surely the following will help you shape your opinion.

Stories

Every Guild has their AFK stories. Every Guild has their horror wipe stories. These are all true stories, I guarantee you. They’ve been collected from friends and colleagues of mine as well as my personal experience.

We clearing to Kael and as we enter the room, one of our mages appeared to be quite fidgety. So he starts strafing left and right because the raid leaders is going over trash or something. Before you know it, the mage goes from the raid group to the middle of a kael trash group and promptly dies. Turns out his blink key was bound to his “f” key. I can say with absolute confidence that he no longer has blink bound to a key.

We’re doing Al’ar and it’s phase 1. It’s right after a flame quill and one of our tanks goes rushing up the platform to pick up Al’ar. He grabs him and oversteps the platform and falls off the edge. Goodbye Charlie.

FPS problems are a plague for some players because it drastically affects their ability to perform. During the Pre TBC era, there was a boss called Baron. He’s essentially like Solarian. Every now and then, a person gets a debuff and he explodes taking out people around him within a certain radius. There was this player who raided with about 3 FPS. Now at the time, it’s a 1 in 40 chance of who gets the debuff. Sure enough, he gets chosen. His bomb warning is processed too slow which leads to a slow reaction time which leads to him literally taking out half the raid. Does anyone believe in lightning striking twice? Yup, minutes later he gets debuffed again and blows up another half of the raid. The policy now was that this 1 player gets his OWN position without anyone around him. You can’t make this stuff. You just can’t.

There’s this Gruul’s run. The Guild’s in the ready position. Out of no where, this Paladin darts straight ahead right into Gruul. Over vent you hear cries of “WTF” and “OMG”! And then there was silence. The Paladin sheepishly says “Sorry guys, that was my kid on my lap and he was just smashing the keyboard!”

Players who alt tab back in the game when they hear “Shatter” over vent during Gruul.

There was this Gruul’s run. While the main tank was on High King, one of the Paladins DI’d the main tank! Naturally you can kind of guess what happened.

Opportunity

For the GM’s

There’s going to be players in Guild’s that display similar behavior or rationality like the ones I mentioned above. This is a GREAT time for you to try out that new guy in your Guild. You know, the one that joined a few days ago. He’s shown up on time and ready to go. He expects to get shot down but he waits outside the instance logged off in the event hes needed.

Give them that opportunity.

For the new guy

This is your chance to show of your ability and skills. Don’t squander it. If you’re ever unsure of anything, ask. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Work hard and you’ll get your shot soon enough. Turn over in Guilds can be low but they are by no means non-existent. There’s always a player that has to leave at some point and there are always going to be players to take their spot.

Here’s a brilliant example right here. Ryan Shannon is hockey player with the Canucks. He hasn’t fully transitioned to the big club. He’s usually on the farm team (minor leagues). Whenever there’s an injury on the Canucks or if there’s a hole in the lineup for some reason, players are called up from the farm team to help fill their positions. Sometimes, you just never know what they’re going to do. You just have to pray that they’re going to do their job and do it well.

In this case, Shannon not only does the job well, he looks good doing it. Remember, minor leaguer called up to play in the big leagues.

By the way, I know I can’t be the only raider with some stories to share. I’d love to hear your funniest wipes (or most stupidest). So how about it GMW, Karthis, Phaelia, or Galadria?

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.

Hydross

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!

Tidewalker

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.

Fathom-Lord

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.

Leotheras

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!