5 June 2008

Skullcrackers to Akil'Zon: ya got nuttin bruddah

The second boss of Zul'Aman, eagle lord Akil'Zon, fell to the unstoppable force of Skullcrackers last night — after a bit of a slow start...

It was our fourth or fifth attempt of the night. Most of us were new to the boss and getting used to the mechanics, so I think we're excused.

This is a fight in which the raid takes a lot of damage and the healers can be stretched very thin. Static charges, gusts of wind and swooping birds wreak havoc at random while electrical storms every minute can quickly kill anyone slow to react. Vampiric embrace can help — the bird attacks shouldn't be an issue for a shadow priest's group — but the damage is hard enough and constant enough to require some pretty nifty healing. Nobody can be allowed to fall below 50% health. I am constantly impressed by our healers.

We collapsed on the tank to get through the electrical storms, ensuring that we were all conveniently centred when the storms struck. It's a good method as it enables you to continue dps without threat issues. If there's a risk it's that a badly times static charge before or after the storm could wipe your group, so you have to be in quick and out quick.

My own performance over the night was patchy. I finished number two on the damage metres but my dot uptime was terrible and I'm sure a better player in my gear could have squeezed an extra 50 dps out of it. On trash it's not so bad because they go down so fast. For the mobs up to Nalorakk I was even managing a sustained 700+ dps. But once a fight goes on longer than, say, 30 seconds, I can easily tie myself up in knots over spell rotations. I have to get much better at watching my timers and much faster at plotting out my priority spells. I ought to write about spell rotations; us shadow priests really have it tough compared to other casters.

Anyhoo, the beaky troll dropped a healing necklace instead of the damn mace so my search for a decent weapon continues. But I am two badges closer to the blade of focus.

5 comments:

Mrs Grievous said...

There's a great mace from Kael in Heroic MgT. Then you could spend your badges on a ring or something. :D

Merlot said...

Thanks for the tip, I'll have to look into that. Although I can't say I'm too pleased at the thought of grinding heroic magister's - 150 badges still seems cheap :P

TKC said...

Hi,

I just rolled in from Resto4Life who suggested you. I've just started a full shadow priest so I've bookmarked the place.

Anyway....
What times are you using?

Also, wait till you get to the third boss in ZA. He is a royal PITA.

Merlot said...

@tkc

I use dotimer and quartz, so I've got timers all over the screen, but I can't get myself out of the habit of watching the target portrait. I need to be able to see the health of the mob and my timers at the same time, so I can make decisions about what to cast next, but I haven't found a way of doing that yet. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. I'm really weak on UI design and would love some pointers.

Chronic said...

Totally agree about the portrait thing - my solution was to move my player and target frames (Ag Unitframes) to the middle of my screen and have my dot timers (I use Classtimer) directly above it. It's pretty close to my actionbars so I can keep myself focused on one part of the screen and have access to my dot timers, my cooldowns, and have some idea of the health and mana of me and my target.

I don't have any current screenshots online but here's one from when I was levelling:

http://chron.ws/blog/assets/chronic/cavalier-ui.jpg