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Razorgore Discussion
First off, I'd like to say that I consider last night a success. I think we learned a great deal about what to expect and saw how the mechanics of the fight work. Most of the battles in Blackwing Lair are going to take more wiping than we're used to, so last night should be considered the norm for encounters there.

Ok, so strategy. I would like to set some ground rules on discussing the strategy, to hopefully channel it constructively so it isnt all over the place with the direction of suggestions.

1) No finger pointing. This one is obvious. We deal with individual mistakes and correcting them in tells. We identified a few here and there, some of them my own, and we're working to correct them.

2) Please stick with things you actually observed, and think about the cause or effect. For instance, "I observed that the spawns on my end ran to the orb even when Rawne wasn't there, and then headed for a target". That's an observation. "Things were running all over the place in my corner" is still an observation, but only of an effect, not a cause, and it likely isnt helpful.

3) Do not suggest kiting Legionaires. I know many people want to, but I would ask that you actually give me a little credit here. I read every strategy for a fight that I can find before we do the encounter, often LONG before we do it. But more importantly, I also keep apprised of the WoW boards and several raid guild forums so I know when things with an encounter change. The kiting strategy is no longer reliable.

I will explain that a bit more. When 1.11 came out, things changed with aggro. Bosses started not just "in combat" with everyone, but they also started with a small amount of threat on everyone. This was a major change for certain pulling methods, specifically iceblock pulling and paladin shields. At the same time, the mechanics of threat reducing talents and abilities were modified to all be consistent.

The effect on Razorgore was VERY pronounced, more-so than any other fight in the game. Guilds that had been 1-shotting it while kiting were suddenly wiping over and over because more than just the kiter had aggro on the mob. This happened to the Rottens quite profoundly, causing them to not kill razorgore for several weeks after they had been working on the Broodlord. Even before this, kiting was not entirely reliable as the slightest mis-step would result in a wipe.

The idea of killing the legionaires had been discussed even before 1.11, and everyone who has tried it agrees that it is far more stable once you have it down. My choice in fights like this (Arlokk is another good example) is to always go with the most stable strategy. Any fight in WoW can be simplified down to eliminating the random elements of the fight and minimizing chaos. That is what this strategy tries to do, and based on the progress we made last night, I believe it will work.

4) That said, there is no "1 absolute strategy that always works for every guild" for this fight. Not even the one we've chosen. Many people make that mistake when reading a guide. What we do is choose a base model that fits our raiding style, and we work from there. That's why it needs tweaked to work better for us. Much like Arlokk again (more on that below), if we continually practice and refine the things we do, even after we're 1-shotting an encounter, it will always be what works best for us.

5) Anything else is fair game. Class positioning, tasks, targetting, gadgets, consumables, etc. We only ask that the strategy involve killing the mages and legionaires while crowd controlling the dragonkin in some manner (which could be kiting, please don't confuse that with Legionaire kiting).

As an example of refining our strategy: Arlokk. One of the patches changed Arlokks panthers a good bit, making them start stealthed and with aggro on someone. Many guilds stopped cage tanking entirely, declaring it "impossible to do anymore". They chose chaotic routes such as continuous AE fears, chain healing whoever was marked, and kiting. We didn't... instead we read up on what people observed, took a guess at what was happening, and we adjusted our cage tank method as well as added hunter flares. The result? With a little practice, our warriors are tanking the cages better now than they did before the change.

So, now that you're through all that, please fire away with observations and suggestions.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
Efluvia Wrote:Yup. We fought a big dragonkin and he beat on eggs. Meanwhile tanks ran frantically in their corners as one or two of the corners got horribly trampled by mass spawns and others had nothing to do. Elsewhere DPS teams smashed things. And somewhere Efluvia noticed that her healer had died, dropped shadowform, watcher her group die and then healed herself a lot.


As per the Raiding Channel thread, here's a spot to talk about last nights field of death in BWL - your perceptions, your failings, your whinings and your suggestions. Do it now or fall forever!
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
Oryx Wrote:My snap observations:

1. The mages and legionnaires bolt away from their corners very quickly when they spawn. Unless a shaman tags them, or a rogue/warrior takes the time to pull them with a ranged attack, they slip away from the corner team and cause trouble for the DPS and dragonkin control teams.

2. CCing the dragonkin seems really complicated and tough. Not sure how you guys are doing it! But I assume any mage/legionnaire activity in the middle messes you up. Anything that breaks CC is a problem.

3. Seems like until dragonkin got into the corners, we have enough healing, tankage, and DPS in the corner groups. Once the dragonkin start to cause trouble, legionnaires slip away and turn into a roving pack of DPS-stompage.

My resolution for next time: make absolutely sure that I tag every mage/legionnaire spawn in my corner. I was able to tank one legionnaire, but not two, so I'll make certain to transfer it to my tank.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
Ok, I moved the posts by Efluvia and Oryx under this thread to keep the discussion in one place. Sorry for any confusion this may have caused.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."
For those of us not in the first raid, would someone mind posting the strategy that was used and a summary of the fight. I have read the strategy suggested in the link by Oryx below, but I was just curious if there were changes. This would help bring the whole tribe up to speed.

If this is too much work, don't worry about it. Just curious about what happened. Of course, you know what they say about curiosity.

The strategy link, plus a summary of it that I wrote, are posted here; we used the DPS strategy exactly as described in that post and my summary.
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The way the three attempts went for us, from my perspective:
1. Phase 1 was no problem. We killed the controller, and Rawne grabbed control of Razorgore and started popping eggs.
2. We moved quickly into our positions and started dealing with spawns. They come at a steady, but fast, rate. I was surprised how much they ran when they spawned -- they frequently would run all the way across the room immediately.
3. The four tank groups continued to grab and kill spawns; dragonkin were getting CCed; Rawne/Razorgore was making steady progress on the eggs.
4. Usually, somebody would call out, "I've got dragonkin in my corner", or "I've got lots of legionnaires in my corner". About 10 seconds later, a tank went down. (didn't actually watch what happened here!)
5. Over the next 30-45 seconds, a large group of mobs - usually legionnaires, sometimes with a dragonkin or two - would move across the room taking things out. The tank groups would make heroic last stands.
6. On our last attempt, the only eggs we had left were the six on the platform opposite Razorgore and perhaps one down on the floor. That probably represents 75 seconds of Razorgore time.

(edit to add summary of our experience)
Oryx - Jadox - Koryx - Atorax - Cabochon - Hargrim - Morwen - Stillweaver - Talindrys
Couple things to note:

1. Pinto and I were in the left front corner. The first few mobs to enter the room were fairly easy to pick up. After that things got a bit chaotic. As the mob density increased for us - we frequently had legos ignore us completely and run completely across the room. We would also try and switch targets immediately to engage the mages when they appeared. Is there any logic in trying to keep a freeze trap dropped in the corners, etc - to slow the entry of the spawns once they show up?

2. Need to get a handle on how the healing aggro can be managed. Dannae did a great job for us - but in almost every instance she got mobbed and destroyed long before we did - there were just too many to manage and try to pull off of her in a timely manner.
Key here initially may be soulstones, potions, smaller heals that do not generate as much aggro. Anything we can do to delay the aggro increase for the healers will be a help.

3. I submit that all warriors need to be in tank gear. I had on my DPS set at the start as I was not initially a corner tank. However - as the mob density increased - I really need to be in tank configuration to assist Pinto with the additional mobs that showed up. I see our function as really standing up as manny mobs as we can until the raid dps can blow it to smithereens.

4. I think we are close to getting this down - just need to perfect the CC a bit and survive another 75 seconds and we will be on track.

5. Whoever is controlling Razorgore - can he not nuke the room once or so during the encounter (thought I read that somewhere in one of the strats)? If so - when should this ability be utilized to help with the number of mobs in the room?

6. Kosath at one time moved his group up onto the podium near rawne to help control the mobs running up there. Any possibility to put a warrior or aggro class (mage to freeze..traps...etc) there to pull those mobs to the corner groups.

7. Good to have a repair bot on hand for these encounters - will help with multiple wipes as we do this more often and increase our raid time in zone. Not sure how many folks have this ability....but worth looking into.

Prol more later....just some of my impressions from the encounter.

Because the healing aggro issue to mentioned hasn't been demonstrated to be an issue in other corners I'm going to ask that it be dropped in this thread for now. We're discussing it in game and I think it there were other problems that caused what happened there. Suffice it to say that I don't think most people think through what kind of events lead to healing aggro.

You may be right about the tank gear, I'll leave that to the other warriors to discuss. It would reduce your damage taken and thus damage needing to be healed and thus healing aggro, but if the mobs die a lot slower they live longer to do more damage which is more healing aggro. Heh. However, groups with only one tank were doing alright so if we can figure out what could be improved in a corner we'd really prefer some warriors be in DPS mode. Especially since we bring extra of you in rogue slots when short rogues. That aside I won't argue with more tanking, it should be helpful.

Kosath moved up onto the podium because the opposite corner group was dead and he was holding out as long as we could, not a normal thing. Rawne also had moved off the podium while controlling so mobs up there were no threat to him.

We had a repair bot but it shouldn't be necessary until we get close enough that we end up doing more than 3 attempts at a time (number of attempts is not up for debate here with the strat). We have several people who have made them for us and we are husbanding them for now.

The CC isn't as complicated as it sound on a per-person basis. The CC have worked out who is picking something up next on a side and they do it. Each person is responsible for just one mob. Not breaking CC is vital though. NO multiple attacks should be used. No cleaves, whirlwinds, sweeping strikes, cones, multishots, nothing. Some CC was being broken last night and it is up to everyone with multiple attacks to carefully avoid them during that fight. That will let us survive longer.

Shaman helping tag spawns is important, I saw it help a lot last night. Priests who happen to have Mind Flay should use it when healing is under control too, Efluvia and I found it to work well along with Silence on errant orcs.

There were not significant changes to the strategy link provided last night. We were testing it "as is" and I think it went very well. If next time we can prevent a corner group from collapsing relatively early I think we can win this without a grueling struggle.

Also, healers remember that we have not one but two ways to get mobs off of us in a pinch - Fade and Psychic Scream. If you have dragonkin on you or coming for you (use the CTRA function to let you know when you have aggro) fear them if it is cooled down. That buys a bit of time for a CCer to get it back under control without a tank having to pull it off you and make it difficult to get back under control.

Also Fleethoof found it relatively easy to heal while CCing as it is not necessary to change targets to heal. Just be careful to not change targets and be aware of the command to target the previous target (which I don't recall right now).

My thought so far on the issues posted and a few others. I really think that minimal change is needed, just a few clarifications. Oh, Razorgore's ability to nuke is pretty dangerous to use as it can get aggro onto him, but we'll find out what advice to give Rawne about that. If he uses it the hunter/mage groups have to prioritize anything aggroed on Razorgore immediately! If he dies to them while we are alive he wipes us all and resets.

"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
Targeting the previous hostile enemy is, by default, bound to the "G" key.
Oryx - Jadox - Koryx - Atorax - Cabochon - Hargrim - Morwen - Stillweaver - Talindrys
Here are some observations about the fight, from a rogue's perspective:

1) Tagging: I was able to intercept the mages and legionnaires and bring them back for the tanks to grab. If I missed one I shot it with my bow (one shot was enough). Sometimes I'd stop DPSing to tag another mob before it got away from us. This seemed to work well.

2) The hardest mobs to see were the ones running along the wall perpendicular to the ramp. I didn't see those during the first two attempts.

3) Anything that slows or stops the mobs without breaking dragonkin control is helpful. From a rogue's perspective, mobs can be stunned and slowed with crippling poison. I suggest that rogues have crippling poison on at least one blade.
So granted I wasn't there last night, and my perspective of this fight has always been as a healer (priest from my other server), but I think I can offer a little help with some of what I think you guys encountered last night.

Slowing down the swarms of mobs around you is an incredible boon to taking them down and minimizing their impact on your groupmates that should not be getting hit. Hunter frost traps, crippling poisons, earthbind totems and warrior piercing howls are great at helping your companions avoid mobs attacking them whilst tanks and CCers get them under control. I do believe that one of the creature types, perhaps the dragonkin, were immune to this however. I'm sorry, I am having a really hard time remembering this fight in it's entirety Undecided

Also, I talked to a friend of mine that is still in my previous guild, his role is generally an off-tank, and he said that one of the things they did to help combat the small amount of aggro that everyone has at the start of the encounter was to battle shout early a couple of times in as quick succession as possible. It only generates ~50 aggro per ally that it hits, but every little bit helps, and it generates that aggro on all of your opponents within range...

I'm sorry if this doesn't help much, but I'm offering what little I can Smile
From a warlock's perspective, the CC was fairly trivial. Only on the second attempt did I get intercepted by a few mobs in the center of the room, while chasing down my dragonkin. They didn't kill me, though, and found someone else to bother soon enough.

Things I noticed and thought about while running about:
1. A few multishots hit my target. That doesn't break fear, but it does break other forms of CC. I agree that AoE damage spells are to be avoided like the plague.

2. For groups trying to control spawns, its really important to stand at an "appropriate" distance from the spawn points. The observation that spawns tend to just run out is fair, and you have to find a region for your class where you can cast your tagging spell or use your tagging ability as they run by you. For me, that region ended up being near one of the eggs in my corner.

3. Voran's suggestion of laying out frost (freeze?) traps every time a hunter feigned death seems like a good one. So long as we don't use AoE damage, that should hold a large number of spawns for a significant period of time.

4. Would AoE fear effects help, at any point in the fight? I know this adds chaos, and probably gains warlocks more aggro than they would like, but near the end of each of those fights there were always a large number of uncontrolled spawns running around the room causing havoc for all.

5. Also specific to warlocks, I had my voidwalker out, but it was really easy to keep my target fear-locked and I never had to use him. Being MD spec'ed, it pains me to suggest it, but could imp stamina buffs help out any of the corner groups enough to consider spreading the warlocks out again? There's really no benefit to having us all in the same group, aside from if the other groups need to be set up a certain way.

6. Spreading the warlocks and druids to assigned corners throughout the room would make the imp placement easier. We could just as easily say "druids sleep the first dragon, warlock fear the second" for each corner, and then each corner would also have an imp.

While I consider last night a success, I wouldn't consider the number of eggs we had left a good indicator of how close we were to getting to phase 3. Its no good to get there when almost all of the raid is dead. Smile So ultimately, practice makes perfect, but we need to find a strategy that can reliably control the number of spawns we get during the time it takes to destroy the eggs...and that might require some kiting near the end.

I think kiting is unreliable, but its reliability goes up the less time you depend on it. So if it was just something we used for the last 30 seconds, when we're out of CC (which we run out of long before we run out of eggs), then it could lead to a generally reliable technique. But for it to be reliable, hunters have to know exactly when they need to take over and when CC has reached its limit.
The imps and druids being the tank groups aren't that important IMHO. It's already pretty trivial for druids to heal without changing targets and the healing isn't that painful. The corner that died first each time was taking much more damage than they should and I believe it was because they were tanking dragonkin.

What else do you suggest we measure our progress by? The eggs are the benchmark I see since we aren't damaging the boss yet. 8 eggs may not mean 56-80 seconds later we'd be good to go, but it gives an impression of how far we got and that's enough for me. Razorgore has been killed with only a quarter of a raid standing if it's the right mix of people and I think once we get phase 2 down we will be able to bring plenty more than that to bear.

Throwing a freeze trap wherever a hunter happens to be anytime he feigns I like. Hunters running to the corners to drop them I don't care for so much.

I think AoE fear is not a bad thing to use but if they become necessary things have probably already gone wrong. The tank groups really need to live at least until really close to the end of the phase. Using AoE fear to get mobs off of you or to keep us going with a collapsed tank group or so right before the eggs are all destroyed is a good idea.

Re: "some kiting" note that there cannot be more than 12 spawns up at once. We try to have 10 CCers. The Orb controller can also have Razorgore sleep dragonspawn. While we will have a minor amount of dragonkin kiting at times most likely the point of this strategy is that it's entirely possible to CC all (certainly all but 1 or 2) of the mobs if you kill enough Legos and Mages to spawn all dragonkin. We really /won't/ run out of CC long before we run out of eggs unless people are dying. It is key to understand this.

The goal should be pictured such: Mages and Legos have been killled repeatedly and gradually the spawns have become all dragonspawn. 5-7 of them are sleeping peacefully and another 5 are running scared. Razorgore moves among the last couple of eggs. At least egg all these dragonkin despawn and we fight Razorgore. The strategy is about gradually sifting control out of all the chaos.

I see the absolute number one issue to be keeping that beleaguered corner up longer but that's not really for this thread. Otherwise I think a number of these ideas will be helpful as long they folks don't get overwhelmed with the dynamics of the fight + additional ideas. Better to keep it simple and know what to do than have anyone turning around for a few second deciding what they should be doing next. We can't spare those seconds.
"She is a soothsayer. She’s a mystic. She is a witch doctor, able to see into people’s hearts and minds. She’s also touched by the elements." -Naomie Harris
While it may be that, under ideal circumstances, we won't run out of CC, the same argument can be applied to kiting techniques. I'm not suggesting kiting is better, but I think its prudent to plan for having less CC than theoretically possible, if all goes perfectly.

Assume that, for many more attempts, we won't have 10 out of 12 spawns CC'ed by the end of the phase. 2-3 folks may die for one reason or another, 1 will have screwed up targetting. Sure, everyone's trying to do their job, but a good strategy can withstand a few mistakes, especially when it requires 10 people to CC. We've had CC break issues with majordomo and 6 mages on 5 targets, in the past. Now we have 10 players on 12 targets.

So perhaps, if we do near the end, we'll have 3 extras running free. And while that might not seem like a lot, imagine having 3 of Drak's guards running free while you try and kill him. I'm not suggesting that people decide for themselves what to do with the extras, but to have a coordinated plan for it. Have a call where kiting should begin, to relieve the stress on CC, inform the hunters that this will happen, and to watch for it.

By the time CC becomes overtaxed, the DPS portion of the encounter is less important than the survival, by my understanding, so taking hunters out to kite doesn't seem like it would hurt the current strategy. Even if a hunter dies, there shouldn't be enough free things running about that the leftovers can't be tanked/kited around.

Kiting isn't the only answer, but it seems like adding more to the plates of the tanks is not viable, at this point. Eventually, maybe we won't need to worry about leftovers from broken CC, but wouldn't we like to succeed until then, too?
<nods> That's a point I had been thinking about today Elyana. There are two possible ways to handle it toward the end:

1) Hunters pick up the extras and kite them.

2) The orb controller mass aggroes the room with a razorgore AE and then lets him go, which supposedly transfers all aggro to the controller, who then kites.

It may be worth trying both... not positive the second method would work that smoothly.
Kosath Whitehorn
"The Tribe is my weapon.  I am their shield."

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