20 April 2009

Owning my mistakes

Time for some naval gazing after a disastrous attempt on the Instructor. This fight is much more appealing in theory than it is in practice. Lovely idea to give priests a novel role in a raid fight but if they wanted to tank, wouldn't they have rolled a mage? Hmm?

Razuvious should be easy.

Step 1. Mind control mob.
Step 2. Cast bone shield and taunt.
Step 3. Repeat step 2 every 40 seconds.

That looks easy, doesn't it? So what's my problem?

Mistake number 1 — not watching the channel time
This is my biggest problem. A minute feels like a lot, a minute is enough to lull me into a false sense of security. A minute is longer than my short-term memory. With the taunt switching every 20 seconds, even in ideal circumstances that means the cast will expire towards the end of only your second time tanking. And circumstances are never ideal. Damage from the knife will push back the channel, the spell will break early.

Solution: drop and recast after every switch. Even if this is overly cautious, it will minimise the risk of mind control breaking during my tank time, and that's a Good Thing.

Mistake number 2 — mistiming bone shields and taunts
Something else that should be much simpler than it is. Neither priest has voice, so we couldn't should out to each other. Trying to track cooldowns while watching the channel time and picking up dropped mind controls is easier said than done. The result? Razuvious either flattens a tank without his bone shield or runs after the dps when both taunts are on cooldown. I'm sure it's easy enough to do this without voice if you're practiced and have modest situational awareness, but I fail on both counts.

Solution: get voice. Strong preference for voice-enabled priests to tank.

Mistake number 3 — terrible positioning
Ok, the big guy is running amok and flattening the dps. Clearly something has gone wrong. He's bouncing around so fast I can't even catch up to him. And there are so many damn melee I can't even see him. But I'm going to fix this, I just have to get close enough to taunt and then... and then I run out of range and mind control breaks and it's all over.

Solution: assign positions for everything. All ranged here, all melee here. If he runs at you, suck it up. If he moves, stand still.

I have to say, this boss would be much easier if the taunt worked at range. You'd be able to position the tanks a couple of feet apart and it would be much easier to see when the switch occurs. Don't player class taunts work like that now?

Also, I hate being in melee. How do you see what you're doing? How do tanks cope when mobs break loose? Do people volunteer for this job?

On a personal note, it feels very, very shit to know your raid is wiping because you — and only you — can't get the hang of something. Tanks have a huge responsibility, and while some players respond well to the pressure, and have the reactions and the sharp mind to deal with changing circumstances, these aren't qualities that you nurture in the dps. My admiration and respect go to the players who choose this path.

I can't wait to get back to ranged.

Blizzard: never ever do this to me again.


Leigh said...

I know the feeling from my first night doing it, 3 wipes later we had it sorted but your quiet right having two vocal priests on vent makes this so much easier. How we do it is as follows:

- I cast Mind Sooth on the leftmost add and wait until Raz is at the back, I move in and MC. The 2nd priest casts PW:S on me, then himself, then casts MC on his mob.

- I wait for the Instructor to run towards me....as me moving towards him ranges my MC and we potentially wipe if the other priest isn't ready.

- I cast bone shield and taunt him.

- When my shield expires the other tank taunts. Even if you have no way to call this being non vocal just look at the opposite mobs bone shield disappear.

- I drop my MC mob at the nearest tank and cast PW:S on my other priest buddy and re-MC the mob.

- I taunt and he drops his mob and casts PW:S on me.

- Rinse and Repeat.

If you have more then two priests in a raid get them to PW:S you on every cooldown to avoid you taking damage and pushback from the knife attack.

As for positioning, we have the ranged stand on the steps and i tank him at the bottom of the steps. Simple rule of thumb if a DPS overaggros you don't run after it because you can't taunt for a start and they are an idiot for overaggroing a mob with limited tanking abilities (yes i am pointing at you soul drain execute warlocks who hit for 11K a tick!!).

Use /focus if you have trouble finding the instructor. I typically /focus the 2nd priest so i can watch his MC bar and his PW:S. Be aware that you need 6% spell hit (~158)...shouldn't be an issue for you but for a holy priest this is the single biggest cause of wipes. Hit capped means MC will not break early save for damage related and range issue breaks.

If your healers are having trouble healing you up after tanking, switch adds. Pick up the spare ones that are being off tanked, it helps relieve the pressure on them somewhat.

Hope that helps :)

grayhammer said...

Same here, was 3-4 wipes before the priests got the rhythm.

Voice chat critical, yes. We had raid leader in one priest role and that helped.

To begin we have both priests position on steps above NPC tanks and cast mind soothe on the tanks when instructor is in back of room. Immediately both cast MC. Through Vent we know who starts tanking. Bone shield then taunt like Leigh said. RL was calling out when he wanted me to taunt off his tank.

Our two player tanks were poised to pick up the NPC tanks should MC break or run out, etc., or if aggro was lost in switching between NPC tanks. Party healers were on the NPC tanks.

When my MC was down to about 20% I would re-cast it; as noted our party tank would grab it briefly as I re-cast MC.

Valkure said...

I've priest MCed it with my Disc healer wearing her assortment of shadow/hit gear and after two successful runs of it feel pretty confident about it. But breaking in a new co-priest buddy will be rough.

I've had the MT/raid leader call out the taunts before, or someone with DBM and voice does it. My raid leader did it by watching the debuffs on he mobs.

The most frustration I had was picking up my target and then targeting Raz, thus my macro stuck on my bar in easy reach of my fingertips: tar Instructor

In my guild we release after every turn tanking, and then regrab the add. This probably leads to a few more panic moments and some sustained tank damage if he runs about before getting picked up, but it ensures no early breaks gumming up the boneshield/taunt cooldown works.

Anonymous said...

Hm, I have done it for the whole time we were farming(learning) Naxx.
The way we did it was, when Instructor was on the other side, a tank would run in a little bit before me and pick up adds. I would MC one, never ever had Instructor run to somebody else before I could taunt him. During the time I was tanking, other priest would pick up second add. DMB would tell us when to taunt, so when he taunted, except the Target of Target switch, he(and me) had done Raid Warning that he(me) taunted and that its safe for me to release and reMC.
No Vent or nothing, one of the easiest fights in Naxx for me.

MD said...

/cheer Merlot up

We've been there, and I personally know how suck it is to wipe the raid repeatedly. My guild leader, who saw that happened, had me practice "tanking" during our 10 man Naxx just for me to get used and understand what to watch in term of buff/timing, etc. I found it to be really helpful.

Like Valkure, I also found /tar Instructor macro indispensable. So does reminding dps not to do anything until you have at least performed one action against him (and gets to feel how tank feel with an over-eager dps ^^). That way you are not in the pressure to get to him (before he gets to your dps), and you can generally wait until he gets to range.

Other than that, I did mind soothe before pull and redo MC after every tanking.

I'm sure you'll do perfectly soon enough!

xxxiii said...

This fight was stressful the first few times we did it - I didn't have anyone to show me how to do it. I'm very happy to say that it gets a lot easier with practice, and from your stated solutions it sounds like you're on the right track.

We have a rule in our guild. If you can't talk, you can't tank. That applies to all the guest tank roles as well.

Our method is as follows:

I have 3 macros available for this fight:

resets my focus if my first MC target dies). we set our focus to the back 2 mobs.

/tar focus
/cast Mind Control
obvious, right?

/tar Razuvius
again, obvious. simple things. None of them really necessary, but they do help.

the pull: the second Raz hits the back-right mob, our warrior tank charges in and tanks the students. No need to Mind Soothe.

... at the same time, I run down to the corner of the ramp and hit my MC macro and taunt Raz. The other priest casts the shields (for lack of anything better to do) and waits about 15 sec before she MCs.

We tank Raz in the middle. dps is on the ramp. priests are at the corners at the bottom of the ramp. the free students are tanked towards the back and off to one side or the other.

5 sec before my bone shield expires I call out "5 seconds". The other priest then shields and taunts. I wait just long enough to see they have it.

I then run my target away from the group, to the other side of the pit and let distance drop my MC. He then either runs to the offtank, or the dps. In either case he has to get within range of me.

I then hit my focus/MC macro, get in position and watch the timer to pick him up again at the "5 seconds" mark.

rinse, repeat.

BigWigs makes this fight easy, as the boneshield and taunt bars are practically in your face.

Always always drop your target after you're done tanking and renew your MC.

when bad things happen:
Pushback? I don't think I've ever even experienced it on this fight. My biggest concern is that both priests need to be over hit cap.

your MC target dies! Quickly tab to a tanked student and MC. Pick Raz up the second this happens and tell the other guy to release. He can then pick his up again and continue like nothing happened.

DPS agroing off the MC tanks? again, that's never happened to me. maybe I'm lucky. But our taunts and attacks seem pretty solid. Make sure you hit your "1" key to set autoattack on too.

If, for one of the reasons above, you lose Razuvius and he runs up to the dps, they need to know to run down the ramp to you. If someone runs away, chaos ensues, and the wipe is their fault. They've been doing this for 80 levels now, right?