Starting on Hard Modes

First of all, I want to apologize for the general lack of anything lately. I was cranking out videos as fast as I could during our first few trips into Ulduar, but the past week has had a number of drawbacks. The site has been loading slower and slower and I was in touch with my web hosting so hopefully it’s fixed very soon.

Also I had my Wisdom Teeth out last Wednesday. They never bothered me before but my dentist said I needed to get them removed since the bottom 2 grew in sideways and if they ever had problems they could end up taking my other two molars with them. So I have been feeling extraordinarily crappy and on pain killers for the past week now spending most of my free time icing my face.

My guild decided to make me an officer tonight after one of our other officers decided to quit raiding. So that’s new and exciting.

But the point of this post is that since my guild is moving on to focusing on hard modes in hopes of unlocking Algalon I want to talk about some of the things I have been doing to not only help my guild with hard modes, but also help myself as well.

Hard modes can be generally categorized into 2 groups. DPS races and Gimmicks.

For example Hodir, XT-Deconstructor, Ignis, and to some extent Thorim are encounters where the hard mode achievement is exclusively tied to how fast you can kill things. You could lump Iron Council in that too since it is mainly a tank-n-spank once Steelbreaker is the last one alive.

Gimmick fights are things like Freya, Flame Leviathan (of course), Kologarn, General Vezax, Auriaya,  etc. These fights all involve an added element to the encounter. Whether it is dealing with the abilities from the 3 Elders during Freya, or killing the Saronite Animus during General the fight isn’t exclusively about speed, but also about controlling other elements.

Different strategies on different bosses might call upon you to have a different role. For example, you might remember the fun job of kiting Gluth zombies. Well kiting is not a dead artform for Hunters yet. Depending on the route your guild takes, even on normal modes, you will find yourself kiting Assault Bots during Mimiron or the Snaplasher during Freya.

There are a few abilities a lot of people might be forgetting to use on a number of encounters and I think they are worth mentioning.

The first one is Master’s Call. This ability can be a life saver on a number of encounters. I know there have been times where I was the victim of Frost Nova right before chunks of ice were about to fall on my head. When healers and folks who dispel have other things to worry about, being able to help yourself can be big.

The same thing applies to Mimiron’s Assault Bots. I keep my pet near me so in case one of the Assault Bots root me, as they frequently do, I can free myself if I think I dispel is coming slow.

Master’s Call can also be used to save your pet as well due to the sprinting nature of the ability. Use it to get your pet away from Mimiron’s Shock Blast or Stormcaller Brundir’s Overload.

Another ability that is sometimes overlooked is Viper Sting. There are a couple fights where we can can keep our mana pool almost topped off during the encounter. During Phase 1 of Freya, as you deal with the adds, you can keep Viper Sting on Freya to make sure your mana pool stays filled to the brim. This also applies to the Iron Council as well. 2 of 3 Iron Council members have mana pools which are ripe for the Viper Stinging. :)

Deterrence is an awesome ability for some PvE encounters. It will prevent all kinds of damage. It prevents you from taking any damage or getting launched in the air from Ignis’ Flame Jets. It completely absorbs the damage from Hodir’s Frozen Blows (although Frozen Blows lasts longer than the duration). So far I have found there are very few things Deterrence won’t save you from.

The Yogg-Saron video yielded a very positive response with the commentary so I am going to start recording some fights again, especially as we begin tackling medium and hard modes and provide the commentary with what’s going rather than an audio track. So as we head into Uldauar this week looking to further progress our way to Algalon the Observer expect more videos as I think my mouth is healed enough where I can sit down and narrate them.

Thanks for sticking with me during this slow time!

About Drotara

Drotara (or BehemothDan) considers himself a geek on many levels. A web developer and programmer by trade, he has no shortage of geeky hobbies. When not fulfilling husband and daddy duties, he enjoys WoW, the WoW TCG, Magic: The Gathering, and great board games with friends and family.