Tag Archive: Cataclysm


First Glance: Cho’gall

Lowered Expectations takes down Cho'gall after 2 nights of attempts!

 

This won’t be as in-depth as previous ones, but to more or less give some information about the fight that helped us finally drop the big, two headed jerkwad that coughed up the 2-handed axe (went to the Death Knight), some mail kilt (went to a Shaman), and the T11 shoulders (that went to yours truly)!

Lowered Expectation’s raid composition…

  • Protection Warrior
  • Protection Paladin
  • 2 x Restoration Shaman
  • Restoration Druid
  • Unholy Death Knight
  • Combat Rogue
  • Feral DPS Druid
  • Destruction Warlock
  • Shadow Priest

Here are some tips for each of the archetypes of raiders:

For everyone…

  • Conversion is bad, do something about it! No matter your role, you can have a huge impact on the fight if you can interrupt/stun/fear/anything to prevent stacks of “Twisted Devotion”. Each stack increases damage by 10% for Cho’gall. This sucks when combined with moving around to kill adds of the oozing and corrupted variety, and especially if it’s interrupters or healers.
  • Conversion After-Effects: What you do to break conversion will affect the raider after the MC is broken. A stun will keep them stunned, a fear will still follow through… Desecration can still slow you, an Earthbind will too. Be careful about what can happen when a specific person gets Converted.
  • Conversion affects pets and totems! Be careful. You may want to make sure you are not getting the wrong target with the conversion.
  • Two types of orders: Flame’s Orders will cause Cho’gall to deal additional fire damage and spawn fire circles on the ground. Shadow’s Orders will make him use three pulses of AoE shadow damage to the raid. Both are extremely healing intensive.
  • What are Corrupted Adherents? Cho’gall will summon them after/before every Fury of Cho’gall cast. They have an AoE shadow damage attack called “Depravity” that must be interrupted, or the raid takes damage and Corruption.. These adherents will also use a Shadow Crash-like ability where a shadowy vortex will appear and a missile will hit there soon after. They cause Corruption. When killed, Cho’gall will use their dead bodies to spawn oozes that must be killed by raiders.
  • Maintain corruption levels… more corruption means more attention and more damage taken in general. Every point of corruption increases damage taken by 3%. This means during “Festering Blood”, where oozes spawn, you must avoid being hit as much as possible to make the Burn phase (at 25%) much easier.
  • What does corruption do? At 25%, you get a debuff that can be dispelled. 50%, you start barfing on raiders… healers can just turn away to avoid hitting people with it. Melee should be the most careful, followed by tanks— communication is key to staying alive. 75%, you grow a tentacle— this can be outranged. 100%, you do double damage and spell casts are all instant! This is a soft enrage mechanic that really impacts your raid during the burn phase.
  • The burn phase, what is it? A t 25%, Cho’gall starts spawning eye stalks from the ground called “Darkened Creations”. They can be stunned, interrupted, and killed… which they should be, as they channel an ability called “Debilitating Beam” which reduces healing and damage done by 75%. It is paramount that your raiders take care of these… we had the most mobile (e.g. less affected by moving in terms of DPS) damage dealers take care of them fast. In 10-man, there are 4. Recognize that during this phase, Fury of Cho’gall still happens— tanks need to keep swapping!

For the Tanks…

  • Fury of Cho’gall: A debuff that increases fire and shadow damage taken. You should rotate your tanks. Keep in mind during around this time, he will spawn an add the other tank will need to pick up quickly and prepare to interrupt.
  • Rotate cooldowns while you have Fury of Cho’gall! When the tanks have to swap after the first Fury, each tank will end up taking a bit of overlap from the previous Fury. If you are able to, make sure to rotate cooldowns to help your healers, who will be healing a lot of damage in this fight.
  • Positioning is key. Note that the adds you find in this fight, the Corrupted Adherents, should be moved to the back of the room at the base of the stairs to give your ranged and melee the chance to DPS those oozes efficiently and quickly. Cho’gall, himself, is best placed in the outer-most pattern (you see it in the center of the room, two patterns of different shades). Know that you will need to move the boss if a flame circle appears during “Flame’s Orders”.
  • Use abilities to interrupt Conversion! I would save my Shockwave for this purpose only— to stun our raiders as we were all clumped up at Cho’gall’s feet. This made keeping those nasty stacks of damage-increasing debuffs low.
  • During the burn phase, take care of some of those Darkened Creations! Warriors can keep one locked down completely via stuns and interrupts and silences… and kill one almost, too!

For the Healers…

  • There’s a lot of damage to be healed. With two tanked mobs at once, a raid spread out, massive AoE damage, massive tank damage… yes, you have to make sure you are picking the right heals for the job. Everyone has to do their job very well! Be aware of the tank that has Cho’gall and that swapping occurs perfect… and not to stand in fire, or face the raid during the burn phase to keep damage low.
  • Yes, you can too help on Conversion. Shaman have Wind Shear. Priests have Psychic Scream. Paladin have Hammer of Justice (which can be dispelled soon after). Druids have… well, at least Horde, have War Stomp. Blood Elves have Arcane Torrent.
  • Shaman, help out with slowing the slimes down with your Earthbind Totem! We had one in the back by all of the dead Corrupted Adherents.
  • Mana cooldowns— rotate them! If you have multiple Shaman, have them alternative their Mana Tide totems. Druids of all flavors, priests of all flavors can help from a little to a lot with their own mana cooldowns. Make sure to communicate when to use them.

For the DPS…

  • Cooldown usage is key! Use your personal cooldowns early to use them during the burn phase later. The fight is long, roughly 8-9 minutes or so if you do it properly, so most classes can use their cooldowns 2-3 times in a fight.
  • Conversion! Interrupt, stun, fear, do something. Silence is good too. Know that once the MC is gone, they will be hampered by those same effects. So if you stun a friend, they stay stunned the entire time until it runs out. Think carefully!
  • Melee… be aware of your surroundings at all times. If your corruption level is past 50%, you are going to vomit on others and hurt them if they are in front of you. At 75%, your new-found tentacle buddy will shoot bolts at people close enough to get hit. With slimes/oozes up, don’t get hit if you are helping the ranged drop them. Also make sure you interrupt on the Corrupted Adherent to prevent AoE damage and corruption!
  • Ranged… those oozes are a huge priority. Huge. Your positioning can also prevent a lot of damage taken by the raid, if you are in the right spots.

This fight is extremely fun, and by fun, I mean requires a lot out of your raiders. So enjoy it. Take it in. And kick his ass.

Have any comments, questions, concerns, additions? Comment! Shazaaaaaaam!

My Tauren Priest!

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty focused on leveling alts already during Cataclysm. My priest, shown here, has actually been involved in a few raids. I’ve also PUG’d Baradin Hold a couple of times on my hunter (shown below, but he’s a Tauren too).

I actually have been loving my characters, and luckily, there is a good reason to actually have multiple alts ready for raiding (and with the achievement Ready for Raiding, too): because we are a 10-man raiding guild, and having that sort of flexibility is pretty great.

The problem is, whether a player (and not just me) can fit in multiple roles and succeed in them! I think that some people level alts and expect to raid, but then can get crushed when they realize they may not play as well as they think they do as them. This is happened to me before, too, but I suppose I am fortunate in that I don’t really suck too much as any of my current alts.

I think that people should find ways to make a class, or group of classes, similar. One way that I’ve been able to do this is through my hunter and my warrior. At first, the comparisons are extremely slim— one class uses the Rage mechanic, based on hitting and getting hit. The other relies on a slowly building resource that can be filled up through crits or using a different type of castable shot.

The one way that these classes end up being similar is through the use of a dump mechanic. For Hunters, Arcane Shot seems to be the big focus dump right now (with Marksmanship possibly using Kill Command with a talent called “Resistance is Futile”, requires a mob to be running for a KC to be used for free). You use it at a certain threshold, usually when you have an excess of Focus outside of being able to use your major abilities.

The same idea can be found with Warrior DPS: Heroic Strike is a rage dump, for those times when you may have too much rage from actually hitting the boss (see: Fury Warriors), or when you use “Deadly Calm” as an Arms warrior, an ability that makes all attacks cost nothing for rage. Heroic Strike is also great when you have “Battle Trance” up as any DPS warrior, which allows you to make a special attack at no cost (as long the cost is greater than 5 rage).

Other than those two, hard to find any other ways to relate the two DPS classes. I believe every class has a way to manage a DoT of some sort… though, some are easier than others to maintain (Arms warriors have to keep up Rend, while Hunters in general can keep up Serpent Sting through Cobra Shot or Chimera Shot for Marksmanship; Shadow Priests can Mind Flay a Shadow Word: Pain up forever, but still need to re-apply Devouring Plague and Vampiric Touch… just some examples).

I would suggest the following to those who are looking to play multiple characters that may raid at any time:

  1. You still need to prioritize one character. If not for your sake, for your raid leader’s and guild master’s. It’s hard to build a raid group around two separate characters. Pick one and be done. If you are asked to play your alt for a specific role, make sure you can do it, but don’t ask to use an alt over a main. I end up DPSing on my warrior to ensure the success of the group sometimes, but that doesn’t mean I will DPS and force someone who DPSes as a main role to tank.
  2. Don’t be *that* guy. If you’re going to play multiple characters, as stated earlier, make sure you are beyond just competent. You can’t be doing so poorly in DPS or healing that you force others to have to push their expected limits. Be able to keep up with the rest of the pack.
  3. Think about the buffs and debuffs you may need for the raid. If you level an alt, see what things your guild may need when it comes to raid composition. If you bring a necessary one on your main, but not on your alt, see what you can do to compensate.
  4. Professions! It’s great to level an alt for professions. I’m always okay with this. For example, my priest is an alchemist and herbalist while my warrior is a blacksmith and miner… and my hunter, a leatherworker and skinner. Many other people in Lowered Expectations have similar ideas with their alts. Not only does leveling a profession give you more things to farm for and save gold for raids… but you can also get some fancy guild achievements!
  5. Have fun and learn! I think the best thing for me, especially as a raid leader, is that I can understand how to correct certain things with the raiders in our guild. I know how to make things better and people can ask me questions on the classes I have some knowledge on. It makes my job, their job, and the raid’s job a lot easier— bossing bosses for fun.

And below, here’s my hunter! Thanks for reading.

Hunter!

This is what happens when Maloriak dies... you get to take a SS of your guild!

Maloriak is a crazy chemist who occasionally feels like making his rejected experiments make quick work of your off tank (or you can use a kite, but we did not… screw that). Here are some observations that might make your group kill him easier.

***We did this in the 10-man version with the following group composition… remember, your mileage may vary.***

  • Protection Warrior on Maloriak
  • Protection Paladin on Aberrations
  • 2 x Restoration Shaman
  • Restoration Druid
  • Unholy Death Knight
  • Assassination Rogue
  • Feral (Cat) Druid
  • Shadow Priest
  • Destruction Warlock

So I heard there are adds involved in this fight…

  • There are two types of adds to worry about. Prior to hitting his second phase at roughly 25-28%, there are creatures called “Aberrations”. However, when you enter that second phase (where his abilities change), he summons two more big adds called “Prime Subjects”.
  • Maloriak only has the capacity to summon 18 Aberrations and 2 Prime Subjects!!!
  • During this fight, your off-tank or kiter will be dealing with things called “Aberrations”. These rejects are nasty, as not only do they gather in groups of 3, but they give a stacking debuff to others (and the boss) if they are nearby. The debuff is called “Growth Catalyst”, and will reduce their damage taken by 20% and increase their damage dealt by 20%. This means that if anything, you do not want to have anymore than 9 out at a time— unless you’re doing the achievement! It’s also crucial to not have any small adds enter the fight during the “Prime Subject”/second phase… they will make the fight much, MUCH harder.
  • The “Prime Subjects” also have this buff, but also have Fixate— meaning, they will target a player and cannot be taunted off. You can handle this by kiting them around, or hoping your off-tank picks them up first. If you don’t use the off-tank method, then you certainly do need to kite… and not near the boss, as the “Growth Catalyst” can be an issue if you increase its damage by 20%!

So, I heard this guy likes to throw things into cauldrons?!

  • First and foremost, watch out for the ability called “Remedy”. He’ll cast it and it’ll heal him up very fast. Don’t let him do that. Dispel, Shield Slam, Spellsteal, Purge…
  • RED vial enables Maloriak to breath fire on the raid (“Scorching Blast”), which can be mitigated through the raid stacking up in front of the boss. Maloriak will also drop the debuff “Consuming Flames” on a random raider. This person needs to book it from the fire breath, as any magical damage taken will be more effective, and most likely one-shot that raider! Red means cluster!
  • BLUE vial allows Maloriak to freeze a random raider with “Flash Freeze”. The person inside will take damage over time, and when broken out, will do AoE damage around the block. Ranged should be taking care of this to avoid melee damage. The chemist will also use “Biting Chill” which summons a ring of frost around the target that will deal damage to those around him. Blue means spread out!
  • GREEN vial means Maloriak will knock everyone back and douse everyone in something called “Debilitating Slime”. The slime is crucial to downing the adds, as they have a buff that reduces their damage taken and increases their damage done! At this time, he restarts his “Release Aberrations” casting… so take care to have interrupters still on the boss to take care of the “Arcane Storm” then “Release Aberrations”. Green means you have 10 seconds to kill adds without having to muscle through a bunch of damage reduction debuffs!

Your major mechanic for this fight is add control via interruption. We had many people who could interrupt, but it came down to two people who specifically went after the two casts!

  • Make sure you have a casting speed debuff on the boss! Curse of Tongues, Slow, Mind Numbing Poison… a hunter’s pet… anything. This is a huge requirement, it makes the cast interrupting much easier.
  • “Arcane Storm” is an ability Maloriak will channel that hits all people in the room. This can be interrupted and should be done immediately. Note that during the RED phase, the person that has “Consuming Flames” may take extra damage. During BLUE phase, note that depending on your role, you want to make sure you keep this on interrupt to prevent healer strain.
  • “Release Aberrations” is the key ability that controls the number of adds you have during the fight. Because he has a limited amount of adds to summon, it is very important to control how many your off-tank carries. They hit relatively hard, and when near each other, have a buff that increases the damage they do and reduces the damage they take. Our guild decided, because we have extremely skilled DPS, that we have our ranged kill the first group of adds before joining up with the rest of the raid! This allows the tank to only need to hold onto 6, which is very helpful for your healers!
  • The interruption order that we did was let the first Release go, then interrupt the next two, then let the last two go. Maloriak will usually have 5 “Release Aberrations” cast before going using the GREEN flask. During the GREEN flask phase, he’ll cast his “Arcane Storm” and his “Release Aberrations”… so either keep an interrupt up, or let the first Aberration go.
  • Of course, we can’t simply have nice things without a bit of RNG. Sometimes at the beginning of the fight, the boss will interrupt his own “Release Aberrations”, making it so you will only get 4 of those casts during the first vial phase. This means that you want to still let at least one cast get interrupted.

This boss has two phases!

  • During the second phase, Maloriak’s skills change. First, he will release all aberrations still alive… which means, as stated earlier, you need to kill all 18 during 2 GREEN vial throws (meaning, 9 per 1 GREEN vial throw). Recognize “Prime Subjects” will be let loose too, so either your off-tank picks them up before the Fixate, or make sure people kite.
  • Maloriak will use three abilities, one avoidable. His “Magma Jets” leave fire and deal damage in a line from where he faces (or who he faces). He’ll also drop “Absolute Zero” ice orbs in the room… if the sphere comes 6 yards close to anyone, it’ll explode and knock people back. Finally, he does an “Acid Nova” that deals damage over time to all raiders.
  • The “Absolute Zero” orbs are annoying, much more than the fire. Try to keep those controlled.
  • Neither ability will kill you outright, sans standing in fire.
  • The main tank on Maloriak may experience being knocked straight up into the air during this phase, meaning fall damage. Unless I’m an idiot. That is a possibility.
  • This is when you hit Bloodlust/Time Warp/Ancient Hysteria to kill the boss. Please do it fast. Your tank will love you more.

How did Lowered Expectations handle this fight?

  • First things first: we set the interrupts. Our DK took care of any “Release Aberrations”, and I took care of any “Arcane Storms”. Other raiders knew not to interrupt anything unless we called out specifically that we couldn’t. We kept Curse of Tongues on the boss rather than have our rogue use Mind Numbing Poison.
  • We let the first one go, to let our ranged DPS kill the “Aberrations”. We interrupted the next 2, then let the last 2 go through. This changed due to our RNG issues, though. The boss kept interrupting his own cast, so we ended up still letting the first one go through.
  • We assigned a healer to our off-tank while he tanked the “Aberrations”. In our case, it was one of our shaman.
  • For the RED vial phase, I turned the boss so he was facing south. That way, our off-tank and whoever had to run from the debuff didn’t catch on fire. If the RED vial was second to the BLUE vial, we recognized the off-tank would need a bit more healing due to the “Scorching Blast” that happened to the entire raid.
  • The BLUE vial phase was pretty simple. Ranged took care of the ice blocks to avoid the melee from taking too much damage. However, our off-tank really liked getting picked for “Flash Freeze”.
  • Finally, GREEN vial phase was also pretty simple. Letting the first Aberration cast go was smart, as it enabled our DPS to still eliminate that group.
  • Things got a bit iffy as we got into the second grouping of vial throws. Because our DPS was so high, we had to slow our DPS down so we could get to the second GREEN vial. We stopped at around 30%. As soon as we hit that GREEN vial phase again, the DPS nuked the adds and got the boss to where it needed to be.
  • From that point on, we hit Bloodlust and dropped the boss. Yeah, it was really that simple.

Where can the breakdown be?

  • Simple enough, dead off-tank. Those adds hurt. They hurt more when there is raid damage involved. Just remember to keep your OT alive.
  • Or even better, bad interrupting. It took us a few times to really work out what we wanted to do on interruptions. It’s the simplest when you have only a few people taking care of it.
  • Pushing into the last phase too quick is bad too… if you haven’t gotten to a second GREEN vial, then you might be in trouble, as the remaining adds will spawn on you and will probably wreck your raid.

Whew, this was a doozy! If there are any problems or questions, lemme know. Thanks!

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