Hitting The Proverbial Brick Wall

if i remember it correctly, it’s been more than 2 months when the shores of Northrend were opened to the legions of adventurers before our guild fully cleared Naxxramas on the 10-man version.  then another month, or so, to start clearng Heroic Naxxramas.  it was late march when Bisdak finally cleared the latter.  but then this is just the beginning.  the easy phase, so to speak.  it is like a bonus stage, a gift from Blizzard to the rowdy and mostly poorly geared denizens of Azeroth.  there will be more to come. a string of other heroic level raiding dungeons that won’t be too forgiving as the halls of Kel Thuzad’s domain.  other guilds have breezed through Naxxramas on both versions since December 2008.  i wonder how they do it so fast?

now, it has been more than a month since the latest raid dungeon has been discovered.  far north, up on the mountainous areas of the Storm Peaks, the door to the Secrets of Ulduar has been found.  yet again, lots of guilds have breezed through it to what seemed like just over the night.  and this one, Ulduar, they promised you a more difficult fight.  and indeed it lives up to its promise.  right from the get go, you will be on siege engines battling a full batallion of iron dwarves and giants.  and at the end of this area, there waiting for you is the Flame Leviathan.  a mechanical behemoth that looks so indestuctible, it just overwhelms the newbies.

Ulduar is an amazing raid level dungeon.  definitely a better scenery compared to the boring and gloomy atmosphere of Naxxramas.  it has lots of open landscapes in the beginning.  so you can use your land mounts to get to areas fast.  the fights are more stylish or gimmicky.  certainly the bosses are harder.  and my god, you even wipe on trash mobs if you are not so careful.  we’ve had many bad pulls, good  recoveries from it, and a thousand wipes.  LOL! but that is where the fun is in the game.  these are just the trash pulls, mind you.

The Siege of Ulduar

Flame  Leviathan, XT-002 Deconstructor, Razorscale and Ignis the Furnace Master.  these are the first four.  i think we’ve cleared these bosses in one night.  wipes were a given.  not too bad.  but then we had to combine forces for this.  our best tanks and healers, and our very-well geared damage dealers (DPS).  3 healers for starters.  that’s how we rolled. some fights are just too healing intensive, plus it’s still a learning phase, and so 3 is what they recommend for noob Ulduar raiders.

The Antechamber of Ulduar

in the antechamber, Kologarn is up first right up straight when you enter it.  don’t get surprised when you see him.  hahaha!

then we hit our first brick wall.  the Assembly of Iron or Iron Council as some would call it.  this is a 3-boss fight composed of Steelbreaker, Runemaster Molgeim and Stormcaller Brundir. no matter what we did, they always get the better of us. we tried Auriaya afterwards.  again it was a loss.  her pussies (she has 2! hehe!) massacred us.  and so our seemingly indesctructible dream team had to disband for that week.

the next try on the next week was better.  we went past the first four bosses like it was easy mode (well it is! 10-man should be).  this time we made sure we left the council dead.  and so we did.  we 2-shotted Auriaya too, and skinned her cats alive.  poor kitties. meow.. .

The Keepers of Ulduar

Hodir is said to be an easy boss.  we didn’t find him that easy at all that night.  perhaps for those still learning, a 2-set frost resistance (FR) gear is a good option.  this fight is intense.  and you would see your health being sucked away fast without FR gear. Hodir was another brick wall.  our hopes of clearing past him ended.  and for getting our morale high again, we massacred the hell out of the horde in Wintergrasp right after that.  hahaha!

it’s been 2 weeks then that we haven’t stepped into Ulduar. until last weekend.  i think we only wiped 2 times on Hodir before he called it a good fight  and threw in the towel.  woot! first tier set for the raid.  the leg armor dropped for the DKs, druids, mages and rogues, as usual.

Freya was up next.  oh my god, she isn’t what i expected her to be.  just the same as Hodir, the mobs around her will get you if you’re not careful, but at least it doesn’t chain pull groups of mobs.  i think the worst trash mobs before a boss are the ones before Hodir.  for the unwary, you could pull up to 3 groups of mobs along the way.  so always go in carefully.  for Freya, you have like a dozen mobs around, and 3 mini bosses that drop Emblems of Valor just like in the Obsidian Sanctum. she drops another tier set.  hurray!

Thorim was a piece of cake.  ahem! we failed on the first try because we didn’t find the lever to open the gate to him.  so we waited too long and Thorim’s hammer was beating our guys in the arena.  after that, it was almost an easy tank and spank.  so for the group who goes up to him, there is a lever on the left-side of the gate that you have to pull for it to open.  we didn’t notice this at first from the how-to sites and videos.  the mobs that lead to Thorim upstairs don’t hit hard at all.  we hugged the left wall on the hall just before where Thorim stands.  pull him and everyone should jump down and join the rest.

Mimiron for me is like the Patchwerk of Ulduar.  though the comparison is not even close.  i’m saying this because the tank has to survive from being one-shot by his blasts.  but it’s not like you have to stand there and take in the hurtful strikes.  for one, a shock blast is like crazy area of effect damage within a 15-yard radius.  i don’t think it can be healed through.  so everyone has to run away including the tank when Mimiron starts casting this.  the tank also has to survive a 5-second plasma blast that deals a ridiculous amount of damage as well.  only the player who has aggro will be targeted by plasma blast.  watch those land mines or it will one shot you if you step on too many.  DPS him hard.  this is just the first phase.  there are 4 phases in all.  the other phases is just as crazy as the first.  you have to watch out for a lot of things like exploding rockets, a laser barrage that goes around the room like that ability from  The Lurker in Serpent-shrine Cavern.  then he spawns different kinds of  mobs in the third phase.  you have to DPS it down, collect some magnetic cores to help you bring down the ACU.  the last phase combines all 3 phases as if it’s not hard enough already!  and you have to kill the feet, body and head of mimiron within seconds of each other. we wiped like 10 times, or more, on mimiron alone before we finally brought him down.  we had to sleep for a night before we brought him down too.

The General

General Vezax is another hard-hitting boss that is also a test for mana users. There are 3 groups of mobs in front of General Vezax.  And 2 elites standing beside him that engages when the first and last group of mobs are killed.  the mobs might overwhelm your raid if you’re not familiar.  so sometimes, old-school crowd control (CC) techniques will work.  have your rogue, if you have one, sap a mage.  your shaman can hex another humanoid.  i guess mages can polymorph too.  don’t use AOE  damage or you will break CC.  Vezax might involve some kiting, killing some saronite vapors for mana regen and avoiding shadow crashes.

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if i remember it correctly, it’s been more than 2 months when the shores of Northrend were opened to the legions of adventurers before our guild fully cleared Naxxramas on the 10-man version.  then another month, or so, to start clearng Heroic Naxxramas.  it was late march when Bisdak finally cleared the latter.  but then…