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Approach to the Blind One: a verse from a guest

The poetic brilliance of my kinmates has amazed me yet again. I have written earlier about our DN and Watcher raids. We have managed to down the Watcher a few times but our plucky new gang of DN raiders have yet to reach the Blind One and seriously take him on…largely because we really needed to be able to fit the raid over 3 evenings (two bosses downed per evening) so scheduling was an issue.

But last night, we managed to down the fourth boss so on Wednesday…the Blind One!

My kinmate, Rhiannon (one of our minstrels), felt inspired to put her feelings into verse.  I feel that she conveys the feeling of excitement, achievement and trepidation we often feel whilst raiding and about to face a true Enemy after a long, hard fought trek.

The way is open
The path is clear
The four are dead
So, have no fear.

The Blind One waits,
For those who come,
So don’t be late!
Let’s have some fun!!

Good luck tomorrow everyone (that bit’s not part of the poem)

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.

Carry On Raid Juggling

No,  sorry, not a post about high jinks and innuendo-filled fun as I recount  saucy goings on behind kinship Raid scheduling; nudge nudge (just google Carry On films if you’re fortunate enough not to know what I’m talking about). Instead, it’s an update on my kinship Raid juggling act.

Well, even though I stated it wouldn’t be, the good old Turtle seems to have disappeared but seems to have been replaced by a 12-man skirmish. Makes sense; raid-sized, anyone can join, can be scaled if need be and has the additional advantage 0f bosses requiring corruption removal with various debuffs to watch.  But the Watcher is still plugging away. We seem to have gathered a determined little group together. It is still a bit touch and go from week to week if it happens as we only just have enough, but we all want to get him down. We know the stages, we just need to get everything just right.

We’re still having a go with both Dol Guldur (referred to by some as Barad Guldur) and Dar Narbugud. Dol Guldur is going strong as expected.  Dar Narbugud is struggling a little.  After running each on different days, I have now scheduled both to run in parallel on the same days (Fri/Sun)…crazy but true!

There is a bit of logic here rather than just a desire for self-punishment. Most kin members only want to raid 2 days a week. On any one week someone going to Dol Guldur, may only be allocated a place on one of the two runs. Therefore on the run they’re not going to Dol Guldur, they can go to Dar Narbugud. Simple.

However due to availability, the need for class balance,  etc it’s sort of working out like that but not quite. Last week we managed to get both going on the Friday; 24 raiders in TeamSpeak, but fell a couple short for Dar Narbugud on Sunday. As a result, we’re looking into forming a Raiding Alliance for Dar Narbugud. We’ve found a likely kinship of dedicated players but too small to raid. They went with us on a few trips to the Rift, we’ve partied together; I seem to remember some dancing on a table in the kinship house….  We’ve various stuff to sort out around how it’s going to work for everyone but it looks good for us both.

The Blind One makes me sick

I tanked the Blind One in Dar Narbugud for the first time tonight. Very exciting, yes. I got myself some tips from one of the kinship guardians;

use fray the edge, go in with sting and guardians ward, shield blow then taunt, threat stance is fine to start but go to block, stick on pledge if there are more than 3 corruptions at 40k and the Blind One begins an induction…gracious, I carefully wrote it all down word for word on a piece of torn envelope I had on my desk.

Then instructions in-Raid; watch out for darklings, keep moving; I’ll be told where to stand by the champ with me ( we use a guardian and champ combo standing on the central island in the first stages). Don’t pass on the eye.

But deja vu, again something wasn’t mentioned.

As said guardian and champion stand on an island with the Blind One in the centre of this gently pulsating membrane (don’t ask). Darklings spawn which you must avoid to stop yourself being sucked into a void (don’t ask). I found the best way to dodge them was to adjust the view point so I was looking down, directly onto this gently undulating surface, rising and falling, like the surface of a gigantic, organic ocean; up and down, up and down. And it made me sick. Seasick. I felt seasick.

You try searching for ‘Blind One seasick’ in the Codemasters forum. You’ll get nothing.

And what’s more, we usually take the Blind One down first time, but tonight it took us a second go. Subjecting me to even further nausea causation. Who would believe it!

At the end of it I had to go and make myself a cup of tea to settle my stomach. Next time I’ll be sure to have cake at the ready too.

A Guardian’s first time in Dar Narbugud

Last night I took my guardian to Das Narbugud for the first time. Yay! He finally managed to get his last crystal at the end of last month which brought his radiance up to 65 which meant he could go.

The day before I read up on the Raid tactics on our kinship website and one of our guardians sent me a guardian’s how-to guide which I pondered. It was all very exciting but I’d tell a lie if I said I wasn’t nervous too. The kin have been raiding Dar Narbugud since mid-August and have now mastered all the first four bosses up to the Blind One. So going in, not just as a total newbie, but as a newbie guardian and therefore less able to lurk at the back, was a bit daunting. Plus the last time I had been on a raid was back in May and that was for the Rift which by that time had become as well loved and as familiar as a childhood ragdoll (if you can compare a raid to a ragdoll…).

Anyhow, I made sure Lhach had all his potions, scrolls and tokens. I also took a look at his skill bars. For some of the fights doing non-damage aggro generation is important so I gathered all those particular skills together so I could spam them easily; Fray, Shield taunt; triggered by my block reaction and Challenge.  I left litany of defence separate because it was yellow and at the end of a bar and I knew where it was! I then made sure that all the single target aggro-generating skills were close for single mob tanking.

And then, into Dar Nargugud. We cleared some trash mobs first, a nice warm up. My fellow guardian helpfully made sure I knew what to pull when and from where. After that, the first bosses…the two Trolls. It was here that damage-based aggro was baaad. Damage on one appears on the other, so aggro and damage control was crucial. But I had prepared so all was well. Everyone else knew what they were doing and it all went as smooth as smooth. I dragged my troll to a spot behind the pillar and stayed there. Apart from the use of the appropriate skills and the need to make sure I had aggro at the start; we left it 4-5 mins before the dps started, it was alright.

That had been the fight I was most worried about and the one said to be trickiest for guardians (pre-Blind One anyway). After that, more trash mobs and I got to use my corruption removal. I love using that. Hitting the mob with my little sting, seeing the countdown icon and waiting to see if it gets it’s timing right, and often it does! The next two were straightforward from my perspective. We didn’t make it to Boss 4 which was a disappointment; it sounded wild, but the run had taken longer than usual. The fights needed to be explained to me of course, but also, because everyone had been before and were relaxed and passing the time, people kept talking during the explanations so they took longer.

But it was all great fun in the end and I can’t wait to go again. And get to see Boss 4 and the Blind One. I just hope our raid organiser sees fit. I’d plead or offer bribes but unfortunately I’m the raid organiser and I know I am impervious.

(one day I’ll write about the joys of raid organising, sometimes known as trying to square the circle but not just now…)

Edit: the next day due to RL issues, the allocated guardian had to drop out so I did get to see boss 4 and the Blind One