Feeling Heroic

Tuesday evening we started with trips into CoT:Strat and Halls of Lightning (wherein Lokin was a jerk and didn’t drop me anything), both runs were quite successful – so we decided to push our luck by venturing into our first heroic. We chose Violet Hold – the plan being that we could see which mini-boss we started with, and get a feel for just how bad things were going to be.

Of the six possible mini-bosses, I’d classified three as ‘preferred’, and three as ‘not so much’. The opening trash waves were not as bad as I’d expected, so we were quickly to the first mini-boss – and we got one of the bad ones. Of course.

It was the Water Elemental – which I’d actually listed as #1 on my ‘do-not-want’ list. /sigh

The problem with him is the knockback. Healer knockback + tank knockback = bad times. The first attempt I pulled him up the stairs to the starting platform – logic being that most of the adds would need to funnel up the stairs to us, and that the enclosed space would help manage the knockbacks. We get him nearly to his enrage that time, before I he dropped me.

Try 2. Re-clear the first 5 waves. The idea came up to tank him down on the floor, so there might be better healer-to-dps LoS. We ended up wiping quickly though, with knockback and positioning problems.

Try 3. I told the group I wanted another shot at him, and everyone was fine with that. Trash waves down, I brought him back up to the door. The healing, I’m told, was very hectic – but we made it to he enrage with just one DPS down and finished the fight off pretty smoothly. Woot! A quick celebration, a resurrection, and just as we started sorting out loot the next portal was open.

The second group of waves came a bit faster, but were manageable. Then out comes the second mini-boss, the Beholder, which I’d had on my ‘good’ list. He puts out a lot of simultaneous damage on the tank, and one other party member. We got him down first try, but lost our healer before the end. This is where to bad news came in. Unlike Black Morass, you can’t run back into Violet Hold if you die. Think about that. With no way to rez our healer, we just waited for the next wave to slaughter us and ran back in.

At this point, we were told that the bosses aren’t replaced with a trash wave when you re-clear – that you have to take them again. With no loot. This seemed so stupid, that I had a hard time believing it. Enough so that I talked to group into letting me see it happen. And it did.

Reclearing all the trash, and the bosses again is certainly annoying. However, the earlier practice seemed to have helped, and we got both both mini-bosses down with only minor problems. The final set of portal waves were quick, but we kept up. The final boss was no a push-over – healer mana was gone by the end, leaving me dead to a DoT just after the boss dropped – but was probably the easiest of the boss fights.

Imagine our surprise as we got two Achievements for the run. The expected Heroic: The Violet Hold, but also Defenseless. Seems that we never thought to use the emergency crystals. Huh. Odd that.

All told, it took about 90 minutes, gave us out first Emblem of Heroism, and let us see our first level 80 epic drop – though that went to a non-guildie (well, she’s not *yet* in the guild. We’ll see..)

For a test run, where we got non-optimal mini-bosses, I’m pretty pleased. Heroics are certainly not trivial, in fact this was the first real challenge I’ve seen in Wrath, but I’m looking forward to going back.

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