Hard Modes are Hard

26 10 2009

Yesterday was our weekly ToC 10 man, except this time, we finally got around to trying out hard modes. It’s something we (admittedly) should have done awhile ago, since everybody’s geared and good, but we never seemed to have the patience to sit down and try it. That changed yesterday, as our core 10-man group and new tank gave some serious attempts in ToGC 10. Our first attempt on the Beasts was pretty bad; a healer got surrounded by fire and died, we didn’t kill snobolds fast enough, and our tanks and heals weren’t prepared for the damage. On our second try we picked up the DPS and focused, but we still couldn’t avoid the fire perfectly and the snobolds were still causing problems. Our third attempt, though, saw things come together: our DPS was coordinated, every snobold went down, the tanks stayed up without trouble and we took out Gormok with time to spare. Things hit a hitch with Acidmaw and Dreadscale, though, when our MT got the poison and our new tank couldn’t get over to cleanse him in time. Our tank went down as we burned down Acidmaw, and turned to focus fire on Dreadscale. He went down quickly too, leaving us with one tank for Icehowl. Without the speed buff, this fight is much more nerve-wracking, but everybody was good, and we avoided taking hits on each Massive Crash. On his final charge, though, he took out a healer, and enraged on our last tank. A well timed Tranquilizing Shot from our hunter took away the enrage before he could kill the tank, and we burned him down to end the fight. My shoulders didn’t drop, but I ended up getting passed the cloth Icehowl Binding… very nice. It’s ilvl 245 gear, making it a huge upgrade from my Naxx 25 belt.

We’d seen success pretty quick on the Beasts; that changed when we ran up against Jaraxxus. Wow… this fight is way, way tougher than the normal version. We spent the better part of two hours on this, wiping as we tried to get the mechanics down. Killing the portals/volcanoes is a tough DPS race, and our first attempts had us losing that race a few times. Soon, we were destroying them before a second Maiden or fourth Infernal could emerge, but a DPS or healer would often get swarmed by the Infernals and die; or, instead, someone would make a mistake and stand in fire, perishing that way instead, and knocking back our chances of success. We got Jaraxxus down on our last attempt before we were going to call the raid and do normal mode, in what was an admittedly poor start. For the first time of the night, I didn’t move when I got the Legion Flame debuff on me, and I died before I knew what was going on. I took a b-rez, just in time for another one of our healers to die… he was rezzed too, and we continued on. Our DPS was good, and people were spreading the fires away from the raid; even our positioning was better, so his chain lightning had a minimal effect. After dying early, I’d made sure to stay even more aware for the rest of the raid; whenever I got kissed, I immediately threw out a lava burst if I could since both the cooldown and debuff were eight seconds. Near the end of the raid, we came extremely close to failure; a second maiden somehow appeared after we closed the portal, putting a further strain on the raid. We burned one down fast, then another, just in time for infernals to spawn. At this point, we destroyed the final volcano, and switched back to burn down Jaraxxus instead of dealing with the Infernals, in a move that paid off and got us the kill. The Firestorm Band dropped, and I decided to pass it to a guildie that could use it more (the same one had passed me the belt). With Jaraxxus down we went back to normal mode and flew through the bosses, downing the entire instance in around 30-40 minutes. I’ve gotta say, the hard modes are really challenging, but also a ton of fun. With the new belt, I’ve also got an average gear level of around 230, and I’m considering crafting some bracers and a cloak to replace the gear I have right now. It would put a dent in the Mechano-hog fund, though, something that I’ve already put off for too long. Decisions, decisions…

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