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Stormwall Blockade overview
#1
The next boss, after Mekkatorque, is the Stormwall Blockade.  We saw this fight a week ago and got a good feel for it.

This is a two phase fight.  During Phase One the raid will be split into two equal halves, and each will engage a mini-boss on a separate ship.  Once the mini-bosses die (very close in time to each other) we will regroup on a common platform to kill Laminaria.

Phase One

In this phase the raid will be split into two halves. Each will take a pterrodax to their assigned ship, where they will each deal with a mini-boss, Sister Katherine or Brother Joseph.

Sister Katherine

On the Eastern ship the raid will engage Sister Katherine.  She has lightning abilities.

Unavoidable raid-wide damage ability:  Her Jolting Volley does high nature damage to everyone on the ship and is unavoidable.  

Crackling Lightning:  She will target a random player with Crackling Lightning, which will mark that person with a big light blue swirl for 4 seconds.  Then player's current location will be marked for 2 additional seconds, then the area will explode (Thundering Boom) with damage and a silence and will remain on the ground for a while. The duration of the silence is inversely related to the distance from the impact point. 

--> Players who are marked with Crackling Lightning need to run to the side of the ship and away from others to drop their explosion to minimize the affected area.

Lightning Orbs:  Katherine's Voltaic Flash ability will summon a series of lightning orbs along one side of the ship.  These will shoot across the ship in straight lines, dealing high damage to everyone in their path.  Their path is marked with a thin blue line.  They can appear in many different patterns, but these are predictable, and they can be countered by standing toward the middle of the ship and reacting appropriately to get out of the way.

--> Get to the middle of the ship before Voltaic Flash to give yourself maximum chance to dodge the orbs.  Get out of the thin blue lines to avoid being struck.

Shield + Interruptible Cast:  Katherine will cast a shield on herself called Electric Shroud, then will start to cast Storm's Empowerment.

Storm's Empowerment gives Laminaria energy, which is very bad -- if he reaches maximum energy he will cast Catastrophic Tides, which instantly kills the entire raid.  We need to keep Laminaria's energy gain to an absolute MINIMUM to ensure that he never casts Catastrophic Tides.

--> We need to damage the shield to remove it, then interrupt the Storm's Empowerment cast.

Summary for Sister Katherine:

* If you get Crackling Lightning, run to the side of the ship.
* Before Voltaic Flash get to the middle of the ship, then avoid the thin blue lines to avoid the orbs.
* Damage down her Electric Shroud and interrupt Storm's Empowerment.


Brother Joseph

On the Eastern ship the raid will deal with Brother Joseph, who has water based abilities.

Unavoidable ship-wide damage:  Like Katherine, Brother Joseph has a ship-wide damage ability, called Tidal Volley.  This can't be avoided and just needs to be healed through.

He marks players with Sea Storm, which does damage and causes them to drop a Sea Storm void zone.  This does low frost damage and reduces player movement speed.

There are two strategies for void zone placement:

--> Players place void zones along the middle of the ship, to create a large area of Sea Storms which can slow the movement of players who are being sucked in by the sirens.

--> Players place void zones along the edges of the ship to keep the middle free for DPSing Brother Joseph.

Joseph also summons a Tempting Siren add with Sea's Temptation.  This will summon a siren to appear at a random edge of the ship.  The siren will mark a random, non-tank player for 3 seconds.  After 3 seconds she will cast Tempting Song at them.  Tempting Song causes the affected player to walk toward the siren.  Upon reaching the edge of the ship the player will leap off the side of the boat to their death.

--> The player marked by Tempting Song has 3 seconds to get as far away from the Siren as possible!  Ideally this will be beyond a large patch of Sea Storm void zones.  Or stand within a far Sea Storm void zone.  These players can also be gripped back by priests' Leap of Faith.  All DPS on the ship needs to focus down and kill the Tempting Siren before the player reaches it.

Shield + Interruptible Cast:  Like Katherine, Joseph will shield himself with Tidal Shroud and channel Storm's Empowerment.  

--> We need to damage the shield to remove it, then interrupt the Storm's Empowerment cast.

Summary for Brother Joseph:

* Take your Sea Storm void zones to the middle of the ship.
* If you get marked with Tempting Song, get as far away from the Siren as possible.
* DPS focus and kill the Siren.
* DPS the shield and interrupt Storm's Empowerment.

End of Phase One

The bosses need to die very close to each other in time, because when one dies its ghost will channel Greater Storm's Empowerment, which grants Laminaria energy, which can only be interrupted by killing the other mini-boss.

If one boat finishes their mini-boss first, players can use the Translocation Pedestal to travel to the ship with the other mini-boss to help finish it off.

Once both bosses have died, players on both ships can use their Translocation Pedestals to return to the dock and engage Laminaria directly.

PHASE TWO

One player -- a tank -- must always be in melee range of Lalminaria.

Laminaria will cast Sea Swell, which creates a patch under each player's location which will explode, dealing moderate AoE damage and leaving a Frozen Tidepool Patch at every player's location.

--> The raid should form two groups, one in melee and one at range.  These groups should move as a single unit every time the Sea Swell zones appear.  This will keep the tide pool patches as stacked as possible, which will conserve space while also making it easier to eventually clear the patches.

Laminaria will also apply Storm's Wail to a random non-tank player.  This is a debuff that deals low damage every second, and ALSO allows that player to permanently remove Frozen Tidepool patches by running over them.

When the debuff expires an add called an Energized Storm will spawn at the player's location.  It won't attack the raid, but will move toward the boss.  Once it reaches the boss it will channel Energizing Wake, granting Laminaria energy.  This can only be stopped by killing the add.

--> The player with Storm's Wail should attempt to clear as many Frozen Tidepool patches as possible, before moving far away from the boss for the Energized Storm add spawn.  The raid should slow the add and focus it down before it reaches the boss.

When the add dies, the add will apply Storm's Wail to another new random target.  This player should then run around clearing patches before moving far away for their own add's spawn.  As more and more Storm's Wail debuffs are applied throughout the fight, the raid will need to handle more and more Energized Storm adds.

--> The raid must find a balance between controlling the adds and dealing damage to the boss.  Ideally, the adds should be killed just before they reach the boss to maximize boss uptime.

Anti-tank attack:  Every melee hit applies a stack of magic debuff called Kelp-Wrapped.  This stacking debuff does low damage and reduces movement speed.  When it expires, the tank will apply the debuff to all nearby players AND adds, with a 10% damage increase.  The damage increase stacks too.

--> Tanks must taunt off each other to keep the stacks of Kelp-Wrapped under control.  Try to time this for when an Energized Storm add spawns.  The tank should move to the add and and be dispelled, which applies a large damage-taken debuff to the Energized Storm.  This will allow the DPS to kill the adds more easily.

Soakable explosion Environmental effect:  Laminaria will frequently cast Ire of the Deep.  The boss mark a location in the encounter space.  This location will explode after a while, dealing damage to the entire raid and spawning multiple Freezing Tidepool patches. If a player stands in it, however, they will take the damage and prevent the Freezing Tidepool patches from spawning.  The damage is split by everyone standing in it.

--> When an Ire of the Deep area spawns, at least a third of the raid should soak it.

After an Ire of the Deep area explodes, an addition zone will appear, meaning that more and more of these areas will need to be soaked.  This leads to increasing damage.

--> Healers may need to stagger output and defensive cooldowns.

The raid needs to defeat Laminaria before becoming overwhelmed with Ire of the Deep exploding zones and Energized Storm adds.  We will use Bloodlust at the start of this phase.

Summary of Phase Two:

--> The raid will form two groups, one in melee and one at range.  These groups will move as a single unit every time the Sea Swell zones appear.  This will keep the tide pool patches, which conserves space and makes it easier to clear the patches.

--> If you get Storm's Wail, run over as many patches as you can.  Move far away from the boss before your debuff expires do drop your add.  The raid should slow & focus down the add before it reaches the boss.

--> Tanks must taunt off each other to keep the stacks of Kelp-Wrapped under control.  Try to time this for when an Energized Storm add spawns.  The tank should move to the add and and be dispelled of their stacks, which applies a large damage-taken debuff to the Energized Storm add.

--> When an Ire of the Deep area spawns, at least a third of the raid should soak it.  Healers may need to stagger output and defensive cooldowns.
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#2
Additional notes from last night:

The Sea Storm void zones should be placed in the middle of the ship OR along the edge.  Each strategy has advantages and disadvantages (regarding safe places to stand + slowing the enchanted person).  We have been trying to put them in the middle, but it may be worth a shot to try putting them at the edge.

Laminaria's Catastrophic Tides:  It's important to remember that when Laminaria reaches 100% energy, he will cast Catastrophic Tides, which will wipe the entire raid.  Laminaria gains energy in several ways"

a.  From Brother Joseph and Sister Katherine's Storm's Empowerment.  Joseph and Katherine's shields must be DPSed down as quickly as possible so that the cast of Storm's Empowerment can be interrupted.

b.  From the adds that reach Laminaria in Phase Two.  If they reach him, they give him a HUGE amount of energy with Energizing Wake, which gives him 6 energy every 2 seconds until the add is killed.

Note:  When Phase Two starts, Laminaria will be casting Catastrophic Tides.  Interrupt this as LATE as possible to gain some valuable DPS time and allow the healers to regen some mana (this is a good place for a channel potion).

Depositing Sea Storm void zones in melee:  We had trouble with melee running out of space to stand with all the Sea Storm void zones. Last night we had three markers in melee range and moved from one to the other okay, but then the area would be full and we would have trouble finding a place to stand.

WoWhead suggests that melee make efficient use of space by depositing the patches in a snake-like pattern:  stand in a tight group at the front corner to start, then move back a few steps to deposit a patch behind the first one, then a little to one side to deposit, then a few steps forward for the next patch.  We would be moving in a square-tooth saw pattern.  The end result is that we'd have room for perhaps TEN patches this way (in a 'grid' of two rows of five patches), instead of just three patches.  Much better.

Ranged has much more space to work with so they can use whatever pattern they like.

The adds

The ONLY form of CC that works on them is slows.  So they should be spawned far from the boss and kept slowed the whole time (ideally by a frost mage).

Now, it depends on raid composition, but ideally Ranged DPS should be able to kill the adds themselves, so that melee can focus the boss.  But if this doesn't happen, or if an add is spawned close to the boss, melee will need to swap to the adds as well.

This fight is all about finding an efficient allocation of DPS, such that enough DPS is put on the adds to kill them before they reach the boss, while still putting as much DPS as possible on the boss to get him down before we are overwhelmed by his other mechanics.

When the tank reaches the add, he should call for a dispell, so that the add is debuffed sooner and so takes more damage.

Soaking Ire of the Deep

WoWhead suggests having a small team of perhaps 3 hunters and healers soak the Ire of the Deep circles, as more than that is not really needed.  Having a designated group also helps keep everyone else stacked.  We will experiment with having a small designated team do this next time.

Bloodlust

Best to use Bloodlust after an add has just died as this is when we have maximum uptime of the boss.
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#3
Heroic

Ship phase

The main difference on heroic during the ship phase is that at 50% health, Brother Joseph and Sister Katherine will TELEPORT to the other ship.  A ship without a mini-boss will be bombarded with swirlies.

This means that:

* We need to DPS them evenly, such that they hit 50% at about the same time.  Otherwise one ship will have to deal with both mini-bosses.
* Everyone will need to know how to handle BOTH mini-bosses.

Dock phase

Change on heroic when the Energized Storm add dies:

Normal (reminder):  When the add dies, it will apply a debuff (Storm's Wail) on a new random player.  This player then clears as many Frozen Tidepool patches as possible before moving far away from the boss, because when the debuff expires another add will spawn at the player's location.

Heroic (new mechanic): When the add dies, it will spawn an orb instead of applying the Storm's Wail debuff to a random player.  This orb will pulse ever-increasing raid-wide damage (Unbounded Energy) until it is soaked.  The player that soaks the orb will get the Storm's Wail debuff.

--> Strategy 1:  Pick up the orb ASAP.  As soon as the add dies, a nearby player must soak the orb to prevent the raid from taking Unbounded Energy damage.  This change allows us to choose who gets the debuff -- a player with good mobility and speed should be the first to pick up the orb, as that player will be able to clear many Freezing Tidepool patches and get to the back before spawning the next add.

--> Strategy 2:  Let the orb pulse a little while.  If the raid has very strong healing, we can lead the orb on the ground for a while.  This will do raid-wide damage, but it will also give the DPS a break from attacking adds, allowing for a period of focused boss damage.  We'd need to be ready to use healing cooldowns to survive this, AND be ready to have someone pick up the orb before it deals unsustainable damage to the raid (Wowhead suggests this may be around the 14th damage tick).
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#4
Zlinka, we made several attempts on this fight Thursday evening and were able to get to the elemental on multiple attempts. We started out by basically swapping the normal boat teams with the idea of giving folks who had not fought the other mini bosses some experience at them. Personally, I had never fought Brother and his sirens.

All in all, I felt we made progress on the fight and once we are able to get more attempts on phase 2 I think we can defeat this encounter.
Shantow the Bear
The Ironsong Tribe


"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." King
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