Monday, August 30, 2010

The 75000% bank fee...

Totally off topic...

So I had a $0.02 check that I had held on to for awhile (since May...) because I didn't really want to spend the time to go to the bank for $0.02.  But I got another check I was taking, so I took it to the bank along with me last week, cashed my two checks, and went on my way.

Then last Friday I saw two charges on my account, for $0.02 and $15.00.  Fifteen dollars for processing a check that didn't go through, and the two cents for the check itself.

I realize the $15 is a flat fee - but that's 75000% of the check itself.

Fun times.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Once Bitten, Twice Cheesy... and also, MOAR DOTS!

Ok, so I can't help myself with the cheesy achievement title ripoffs for post titles.

One week after our first ever BQL kill, we downed her again - this time I was DPSing, and picked up the Achievement for being both bitten and not.  Despite this, I was mildly disappointed in the run.  Even after we down a boss the first time, I expect the next few times we kill it to continue to be difficult, especially if we rotate in new/less geared/less skilled/whatever players.  We did wipe once, due to bite issues and an early DPS death, but the second attempt saw her down with 5s left on the enrage timer - an eternity compared to our first kill - without any real drama.  Am I being silly, thinking that it should still be a challenge for another few kills after the first?  Or perhaps for thinking that it WASN'T a challenge the second time around?  Or maybe even just for being disappointed?  I don't know.

Even so, I'm still very pleased.  We had issues with disconnects (not during the fight) and such all night, and still managed to deal with things and get the run as far as we were going to get it.

On the upside, since we hadn't got Fester and Rot the first night, we went to do them and I stayed all feline-ish and managed on Fester to place 2nd on our DPS chart.  I'm certainly pleased with myself for it - even if a couple of our heavy hitters weren't quite doing what they could, the fact that I was even in the ballpark is impressive to me.  Someone who doesn't normally DPS outside of raids, hasn't really DPSed at all in several weeks, and even then was not quite in the top rank having just started doing this a couple of months ago... yeah, I was happy.

I can't remember if I've said it before, and I'm too lazy to go looking through my archives to find out, but pretty much the most difficult thing for me to learn, to get my DPS to the next level, has been that there are times as a Feral Cat that the best thing to do is NOTHING AT ALL.

When I first started, I was unknowingly locked into the idea that the way to increase DPS was to constantly be hitting buttons - obviously, if you're doing something with your energy you're doing more DPS than if you're not, right?  And that's true... for every individual second in time.  But when you look at the whole...

It becomes a delicate balancing act between available energy, combo points, buffs, and debuffs.  It becomes very easy to mash buttons to get MOAR DPS NOW!! but then, in 10 seconds when you need to rebuild your combo points very quickly after your Savage Roar so you don't lose uptime on your Rip, you don't have the energy to Shred in quick succession to do so, and it becomes better to just sit and watch white damage - which should be, by around a 10% margin, the biggest percentage of your DPS anyway - so that when you need that burst, you have the energy to do so.

Something else that it's taken me awhile to really understand is that when the priority system says "keep up Savage Roar" at the top, it really means that we need that buff up no matter what.  Don't wait for 5 CP, don't force another ability off first, just make sure that buff stays up, because it buffs every single thing you do.  If that means hitting it with 1 CP, so be it - but understand that you're going to need to do it again fairly quickly in that situation, and be prepared for it.

To critique what I did wrong on that fight, that I could do better:

92% uptime on Savage Roar.  I spent 21 seconds of the fight without my most important self-buff.  Need to be more precise.

91.6% uptime on Rake.  22.5 seconds downtime is too much.  I also clipped this several times - poor energy efficiency.

80.1% uptime on Rip. 48 seconds downtime.  While it's expected that there will be a *little* more downtime here - you need to build up CP at the beginning of the fight for this - it's still too much downtime.  20% of the fight I didn't have it going.  Have to be careful with clipping here as well, although I've noticed that for some reason it occasionally won't let me clip it.

It's hard to tell, in retrospect, if I had proper use of Berserk and Mangle - I only used Mangle twice and we had a couple of warriors who were keeping Trauma up, and I used Berserk the maximum twice allowed by the enrage timer.  Given the warriors I probably should have skipped Mangle altogether, although it's entirely possible I just fat-fingered it a couple of times, as it's right next to Shred.

Hope that was a helpful look at things for somebody.

Anyway, I also managed to pick up a couple of pieces to keep my healing set from falling waaaay too far behind, just in case I'm ever called on to really respec for it or I decide its time to go back.  Not spending frosties on it, at least not until I have all my crafted patterns bought, but I'm still trying to keep a reasonable set together.

We didn't get a chance to go after PP - we didn't push hard for progression this week.  Next week after we down our usual crew we're looking at locking out for a second week, to get good shots at PP and Sindy in.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How to 22-man Lower Spire

Step 1: Have a regularly-scheduled 25-man raid.

Step 2: Have a couple of your regular players be in the military and get deployed.

Step 3: Have a couple of your regular players get married.  To each other! (GRATS to Trukaos and Daphne)

Step 4: Have a couple of your regular players out for a few weeks while they deal with having to move from Kentucky to New Jersey.

Step 5: Have a couple of your regular players take a pre-Cata/RL overload/etc. break.

Step 6: Have one of your regular players have random company at their house.

Step 7: Show up to said regularly-scheduled 25 man raid, with only 22 players available.

Step 8: Love the 30% buff.  Faceroll through Saurfang.

Step 9: ???

Step 10: Profit

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

And then there were two...

Two bosses between EA and the Lich King.

After a few false starts, tonight the Blood Queen fell to the might of the Epic Adventurers!!

We had wipes at 6m HP left, 4m HP left, and 2m HP left (as well as a couple of "oops the first bite died"), but in the end we were successful.

Nice job everyone, now lets get Putricide and Sindy.

Edit: Now that it's morning, and my brain is caffeinated again...

In the end, of course, it all came down to execution.  No DPS deaths due to:

1. Not biting in time.
2. Biting too early (and thus messing up and running away in fear during the NEXT bite phase).
3. Not being able to bite due to location/bug/etc.
4. Standing too close when she makes it rain.
5. Standing in fire.
6. Not getting close fast enough when connected by red lines.

...and only one healer death, who was promptly rebirthed.  Our regular crew includes 4 druids; if a battle-rez will fix it, we're usually good.

The only sad part, IMO, is that even with the 30% Strength of Wrynn buff we only had 3 seconds left before her Berserk.  Sheesh.

Our 10-man progression crew has killed the Lich King, and from what they've said and what I've read, the Sindragosa and Lich King fights are even more unforgiving of mistakes than this one.  It'll be a long hard road, but I'm sure we'll get it done.

I'm on a BOAT!

*smiles* I stood in the middle of *OUR* boat and swiped/mauled for 5 minutes straight.  I guess that's worthy of an achievement?  I dunno, but I lol'd anyway.

The Blood Queen escaped last week - some of our team really hasn't figured out how to bite the proper DPS, or stay far enough apart not to die when she rains fire down upon us.  Or something like that.  In any case, we didn't get as close as we did the week before.  But another venture tonight, I hope, will provide the cure!

The good news is that instead of having Dreamwalker and Blood Princes still up, only Dreamwalker remains this week among bosses we have downed.  We 24-manned her last week, so even if we are down a player or two I don't expect a problem there this week, and we can spend most of the night working on Blood Queen and/or Putricide.

On a completely unrelated note, my daughter starting teething while we were at GenCon 2 weeks ago.  She's got 2 on the bottom, and (we think) one through on the top... and she's been amazingly not hard to deal with the entire time.

Before you know it she'll be driving the boys wild!  ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wish us luck

So I'm back from GenCon all ready to go, we downed our usual Lower Spire + Fester and Rot last night (and on only my 3rd time tanking Rotface, first time on 25, first time truly tanking the slimes!), and we're going in again tonight.  We'll probably go after the Princes and then Dreamwalker before giving the Blood Queen another shot.

Last week we wiped with her at 1% and 0.1% (She had 620 HP remaining.  Yep.) so I'm confident we'll get her tonight!  Wish us luck!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Comings and Goings

It's fun to have a title for a post that sounds really really interesting but the post is nothing important.  Although I don't think I can afford to piss any of my (2) readers off....

Anyway, we had some trouble last week (already down a tank and then my cable went out) so we decided to extend our ICC-25 lock out for this week.  Wish us luck - while we've downed (upped?) Dreamwalker once, it's the only boss remaining that we HAVE actually completed.

In other news, this will probably be a lighter-than-usual week for me, since I'm headed off to GenCon with the wife and little one Thursday, and won't be back until Sunday afternoon.

Thanks folks, and I'll be back!