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The Lieutenant of Dol Guldur is dead!

Huzzah! At long last my kinship has managed to kill the Lieutenant in Barad Guldur. In fact we have now done it twice. Not in hard mode yet, but, after all the work the Raid group has put into it, a great accomplishment whatever. Afterwards, half the raid was so numbed we didn’t want to leave. We weren’t sure exactly what proved the final ingredient. We had had a break over Christmas, were we still fresh from that? People knew what they were doing and responded promptly and efficiently to the eye debuffs. We’d worked out where we should run and the direction. We had a caller to remind people. Perhaps it was a mix of all of this.

Once the fell beast was felled, it was a tense grind down. Everyone was silent, hoping that no-one would make a mistake; hoping they would not make a mistake, ‘God this is tense’, as one of our hunters remarked halfway through. Too right!

And what was nice was that I felt that it was truly a kin accomplishment. I may have mentioned before that we have two raid groups, one that focuses on BG and goes on Friday and Sunday and another that has a wider brief, most recently Helegrod, but the other raids too. That week, this group had attempted BG as well and had downed the first two bosses. They had then passed the locks onto the Friday/Sunday group who had been unable to go on the Friday. Therefore without the other group, which comprised additional kinmates, Sunday would not have been possible and our victory could not have happened (this group also went on Sunday to fight the LT and managed to get the fell beast down). First kills are a triumph for those there, but they do not happen without the support and contribution of many not actually present (at least in our kin).

So, cheers all around!

The Battle for Barad Guldur (epic poem)

Well we finally made it to the LT again this Sunday. Two weeks previous we had our attempt thwarted by Durchest, in the end we had another go on the Sunday and then went to Helegrod, last week a massive Server fail prevented us logging on on the Friday so again we missed out. We still didn’t get him down but the fight feels more controlled and it will only be a matter of time.

But anyhow, in the meantime, Rhiannon, official poet-in-residence, has written another poem for us all to enjoy. If anyone wishes to take it away and set it to a rousing tune for your Raid group to sing in TeamSpeak (substituting names as appropriate), feel free.

*sits by the fire and taps a steady rhythm on her war drum*

Through the doors of the dark tower,
Everyone’s mood can be so dour.
A tank goes left and one goes right,
Run in!  Run out!
Fight, Fight, Fight!

Call your targets, front and back.
Left behind and the world goes black.
All these goblins!  More than a few!
Lightning! Lightning!
Pew! Pew! Pew!

Uruks to the front of us,
Wargs to the rear.
Quick, Beoras needs a beer.

Now Rhiannon’s shrieking,
So, you better be DPS traited.

Slowly, slowly up the stairs,
Torvik’s voice is starting to wear.
Time ticks on.  Has it been hours?
Fellowship manuever!
Power! Power!

The final staircase looms ahead.
Idris really should be in bed.
Two final suits!  Lag!  Ack! We’re doomed!
Mez that warg!
Boom!  Boom!  Boom!

Uruks to the front of us,
Wargs to the rear.
Quick, Beoras needs a beer.

Now Rhiannon’s shrieking,
So, you better be DPS traited.

Now it’s time to face Durchest.
Is that dwarf really wearing a dress?
Suit squares off on curse-ed three.
Fear pot! Fear pot!
All to me!

Soldiers coming one by one.
Lighting torches just for fun.
Remove corruptions immediately!
Burn him down!
NOW you can pee.

Uruks to the front of us,
Wargs to the rear.
Quick, Beoras needs a beer.

Now Rhiannon’s shrieking,
So, you better be DPS traited.

I bet you hope this song is done,
Well, like the tower it’s just begun.
The elves move in and set up camp.
Loot coin!  Loot coin!
Head up the ramp!

Even minstrels need a break.
And for the reader’s sanity’s sake.
I’m pausing here now don’t be stunned.
I’ll be back!
Run!  Run! Run!

*puts down her drum and disappears into the gloom*

In spitting distance of the LT – Not!!!!!


We wiped on Durchest Easy Mode this evening. Yes, after downing him more or less weekly on Hard Mode for a while. The damage he seemed to be doing seemed to have increased massively. Is this something since F2P? We are not sure. Reading the forums, other kins have reported a similar experience. But others have been fine. We managed to clear him last week but of course didn’t check the combat logs to see what damage he was doing.

We are now thinking of having another go on Sunday; see if we get a repeat and revise our tactics. Feelings are mixed. We could just go and have fun in Helegrod. An attractive thought. But I would also like to try and find out what went on tonight. Have we actually got a problem that could keep us from the LT or were we just very unlucky.

We’ll see what everyone thinks.

Us after Durchest tonight


In spitting distance of the LT

Last night we took the Fell beast down twice. And got the Lieutenant (LT) down to 300k. I feel we are in spitting distance of getting it.

It’s taken a while. A long while. The fight requires everyone to be focussed. At any point, someone might get a yellow eye and have to kite the Fell beast. Or after the transition phase when the LT gets off the Beast, they may get the yellow eye or a purple eye. If they get a purple eye, then they have to move from the group as fast as possible before it expires….the purple eye causes much damage and can wipe a raid. If they get the yellow eye then it’s kiting time again, but now they have to avoid the purple eye person, the purple shadow damage clouds dropped by the beast and try to avoid kiting the beast through the rest of the Raid and there is the additional problem of a slow debuff caused by the LT’s corruptions. We have to have people on special corruption remove duty to manage the various corruptions led by the guardian. The ‘slow debuff’ or corruption is the red one which we use a lore-master or minstrel to remove immediately.

Anyhow, at first it took people a while to learn when, where and how to move at various points. It took us a little longer because we use a system of rotation when allocating places so we had a larger pool of people who needed to learn the Raid; and we also had people who could not attend on a regular basis. So, from time to time, progress seemed pretty painful and sometimes we seemed to take a step back.

But yesterday it seemed more-or-less to come together. We did tilt things a little in our favour. Normally we try to bring two from each class (captain, champ, hunter, lore-master, minstrel, guardian; other classes rotating within these if they sign up). This is to make sure no-one is excluded because of the class they play. However, I have started to bring my hunter alt and changed to her from my guardian just before the fight. And last night one of the two lore-masters came on his hunter alt. So we had four hunters. This allowed to bring down the Fell beast much faster with fewer clouds. And then focus damage on the  beast to kill it.

We still got wiped by eyes, we still have a little way to go but it felt more controlled and I think people were getting used to the fight and more confident in what they were doing.

So here’s to a successful attempt next week…(or the week after that, maybe)!

Blind One defeated: a triumph in verse

Yes…the Blind One was downed.

And to celebrate,  Rhiannon has risen to the occasion, once more, and penned a verse so we can all rejoice and share in the triump. Huzzah. It may be a few days late, but an opportunity to exult is an opportunity to exult.

Deeper down and darker still,
We followed blindly, Beoras’ will.
And then when darkness seemed to end
We came upon our sightless friend.

Valiantly we engaged the foe,
Whilst being told just where to go.
The darkness swirled, the darklings swarmed,
Minstrels trapped by tentacled arms.

Once, twice, thrice, we held our breath.
How many of us would meet our death?
In silence stunned, we beheld the gore,
The Blind One finally dreams no more.

Durchest Challenge Mode: addendum: addendum

Durchest Challenge Mode..the levers, this is what we do:

We kill the first five normal adds then dps Durchest down to 100k, then we:

First pull the middle lever – the storm add will appear and when it’s dead the captains use LS + IHW to take some of the huge lightining damage done by the boss.

Second pull the extreme right lever – the fire add will appear and when it’s dead, there will be the fire distributed damage (like after the 2nd add). That’s the me catching fire bit.

Next pull the other three levers – the order doesn’t matter, as all 3 adds are the same.

Kill Durchest

Thank you for that Mr B.

We even managed to do hard mode while simultaneously discussing the current episode of America’s Next Top Model they’re showing on Living TV. Is that what hardcore raiders do? Is it? So are we hardcore now?

Barad Guldur, Durchest and the sooo fabulous Tyra

But we have now also managed HM on the twins. We almost did it last week too but were out by milliseconds, yes milliseconds I tell you (they need to be brought down within 10 seconds of each other). It’s all a bit touch and go at the moment.

Durchest Challenge Mode: addendum

We did try Durchest Hard Mode (or challenge mode) yesterday, and after wiping first, succeeded.  I have done my best to remember some of it.

We used our three tanks (two guardians/one warden)  in front of Durchest. Two of us picked up most of the negative aggro debuff allowing the third (who came in later) to tank more or less normally. This avoided the need for the aggro swap, the point at which the raid seemed to be most vulnerable. The minstrels could focus mostly on the one tank.

This felt quite comfortable for me, I had a -100% debuff and my morale was kept topped up more-or-less constantly, and I felt we could have kept up our little tanking threesome as long as required, more-or-less. This was fortunate as we had some deaths which resulted in Durchest healing himself so it did go on for a time.

I’m afraid I still have little idea as to the order the levers were pulled in, I may try and get this info from someone else.  I do know that the last ones were pulled when Durchest was at particular health levels. Two of  the final ones summoned adds producing a static shock and adds giving lightening damage requiring everyone to aim for max morale beforehand. Nasty.

I was interested reading through the forums afterwards that many groups would not seriously entertain doing Durchest HM without a burglar and certainly not without at least one rune-keeper.  We had neither class and none anyway who are BG-ready, able or willing.

This may have made things more difficult for us but at the same time it shows that there is a bit of flexiblity in group make-up and provided you have the class basics then challenge mode is achievable for Durchest.

(We then went onto the Twins HM and almost did it…41k each before we wiped..very exciting)

Raiding Crazy

It’s all gone a bit manic on the Raiding front this week in the kinship.  We’ve been to the Rift twice, the Watcher twice, Dar Nurbugud and Barad Guldur. Which makes six Raid Runs since Sunday and it’s only Thursday when I’m writing this.

I don’t think anyone has been to all six but I think a few have managed four or five. And all largely unintentionally. It was just sort of scheduled, we gave in to the excitement and found ourselves swept along.

And we’re doing pretty well too. We’ve never actually managed to get the Watcher on farm status though we’ve now downed him twice. Having been on both runs this week, I feel that we are almost there now, in varying raid group make-ups including alts and brand new raiders. The times we have run DN have gone well as well with a similar mix; as I’ve written before, we are now using DN as an opportunity for those who haven’t experienced the Raid before, to enjoy it and raiding.

Barad Guldur is still proving a challenge, the least of which is getting enough people together to run it. We have just enough to run it twice a week most times but it is touch and go. It only needs one person to have an unexpected daughter’s birthday party (the party unexpected not the daughter nor the daughter’s birthday) or to go on holiday, and the raid is in danger. We are now having to rely on alts much of the time, particularly minstrel alts. Much of it can be put down to BG being a difficult, uncompromising Raid which doesn’t equate to fun for many people. The design and layout also leave much to be desired, for instance I think there are too many, too similar trash mobs (though I find the Boss fights interesting and enjoy the gauntlet at the start still, though I wish it didn’t respawn). All in all, it does put a lot of pressure on a Raid group I think.

But despite this, we are now working on Hard Mode for both Durchest and the Twins. For Durchest we are using three tanks (two guardians, one warden) standing in front, one holding aggro. We’ve managed HM once with Durchest using this technique. I went last week when we weren’t successful but I’m afraid all I can remember is my nose being shoved in Durchest’s groin, squashed in with the other two tanks, and being vaguely aware of the captain pulling torches in a funny order, oh yes and catching fire. I may remember more after this week when we go again.

We’ve made it up to the Lieutenant as well. But so far have died fairly soon after he dismounts from the Fell beast though we are now surviving long enough to be able to try to work out what seems to be happening and to consider tactics.

I’ll write more as we get further and I’ll be getting a poem together about it too for everyone to think about and enjoy. I’m just finishing my Durchest one, then I will be working on a Twins haiku. Lots for you all to look forward to I think.

Barad Guldur revised

So here I am freshish (it’s late, it’s Friday, it’s been a long week; I’m too old to manage fresh), and we’ve managed to down the first two bosses of BG. Incidently this has cleared Boss 3, otherwise know as LT, for the Sunday raiding group which is good. In my previous post we were trying a revised technique for Durchest (Boss 1) that I didn’t know.  Last time I went on a Friday, we used this technique and it didn’t seem to work so I didn’t bother to write about it. Then last Friday we tweaked it (I wasn’t there). And it seemed to go fine. So we repeated it again tonight (I was there). And succeeded.

Up until the fifth add was down, we did it the usual aggro swapping way. Then us guardians were joined by the two champs and the two captains, moving to stand in front of Durchest to distribute the cleave damage. We didn’t need as many as four, but this allowed anyone suffering from a critical to step out and heal up.

And it certainly felt better and more controlled from a guardian’s point of view with fewer ‘knife edge’ heals flying around. I presume from that, it also felt better for the healers too. The perceived threat debuff was lower as well, again leading to a greater feeling of being in control.

We still had a bit of trouble in the gauntlet, getting overwhelmed with wargs. That seems to be a question of luck to a certain extent.

But doing Durchest this way will hopefully mean that we can start thinking about hardmode. Both me and the other guardian were new to the change and it still worked so it looks like it’s feasible.

More Barad Guldur and more poetry

We’ve changed our tactics for Boss 1 in Barad Guldur. The aggro swapping was working, but it did mean that, not only did the healing have to be spot on but we had to be lucky in that two large hits did not land one after another. It also meant that aggro grabbing had to succeed.

So we have now done something else. Not sure what it is yet as I wasn’t there but, from what I’ve heard, everyone felt the fight was more controlled.

All this came after a number of wipes, not only on the Boss but on the gauntlet too. It just seemed that there were far more wargs than in the ‘old days’ . And along with this, at the point where the raid engages with the two armour suits just before Boss 1, we found we were getting Uruks. And more wargs. We were not clear if it was just a matter of us mis-timing things but, as far as we were concerned, what used to cause little trouble was now causing wipes.

But the wipes  did serve one purpose. They served as inspiration and a new poet emerged ‘mewling and puking’ into the world! Yes, arb put pen to paper:

Flaming, nasty suit
We defeated your five friends
then you wiped us out

The Gauntlet went bad
Obviously blame the elves
Not enough hobbits

Although I sense a disturbing anti-elf bent in her words, I think she manages to sum up the disappointment and frustration that we have all experienced when a ‘raid goes wrong’ very concisely.