Posted tagged ‘Guild’

Karazhan: The Library Trash

June 4, 2008

This is another in a series of posts covering a full Karazhan clear – mostly from a Main Tank’s Point of View.

The Curator is down, and you are ready to tackle the 2nd half of Karazhan. You now face the single longest trash clear in the zone – but know that it is on a long respawn timer, and that once you get it down every remaining boss in the zone is reasonably close.

The majority of the trash covered here is tied to the Shade – although there is one pull that is linked to Illhoof. I always choose to bypass Illhoof, and get the Shade down first, preventing respawns, and to open up the Shade Teleport making run-backs far less painful.

Leaving the Curator’s room, you face a ramp down and a pair of Arcane Watchmen. These are skipable, just hug the corner and you won’t aggro. There is an Arcane Protector that roams just short of this corner, so I always head down first, peak around the corner, and call the raid down once he starts moving away. Once everyone is around the corner, and away from the pair of Arcane Watchmen, setup up the ramp and wait for the Protector to come back.

The Arcane Protectors do have a some slight off-target damage, but mostly a simply tank-n-spank fight. There are two others that patrol close enough to be pulled up to the ramp – just watch that you don’t pull anything else with them.

Next, move down to the floor (or just at the base of the ramp) and pull the pack of Mana Feeders on the right. These are immune to pretty much all magic, and have near random targeting, so simply group everyone up (so they don’t get out of melee range) and beat on them. They don’t do much damage, and are more an annoyance than anything.

Next, pull the Mana Feeders on the left. These come with a Arcane Sentience, which you will kill first. He can put up a nasty debuff, so be sure to have that removed quickly, kill him, and then group back up for the Mana Feeders.

There is another Feeder pull ahead on the left, but you will need to grab two more patrolling Protectors first.

Now you can move up to the curved ramp up. There is another Protector who pats up this ramp, so you’ll need to pull him. There is also a group of Mana Feeders on the corner opposite the ramp. I always do this pull too, since someone strays too close trying to get up onto the ramp.

Up the ramp, you have one final Protector.

Now, you have what I affectionately call “The Blob Room.” If you have a ‘lock, get Detect Invisible up. It’s not required, but it helps.

Just inside the large circular room, you will see a Magical Horror, with two Mana Warps. The Warps can be banished, trapped, off-tanked, or simply help by the main tank. The Horror is the first kill target, as he has an AoE and a nasty debuff. The Mana Warps, just as they die, grow and then explode doing several thousand damage. To avoid this, they need to be feared or stunned when they die. Any fear/stun works, so simply assign someone to take care of each Warp, and then try to time the fear/stun to hit at the right time. They don’t have much heath, so I usually tell people to land it around 20% remaining.

Moving into the room, there is a Spell Shade lurking to the right. These are invisible about half the time, and are annoying casters. Pull, LOS back out of the room, and kill.

The Magical Horror + Mana Warp x3 pull in the middle of the room can be skipped, but I find it easier to just take them. They are always an “accidental pull” risk, and I find it easier to just deal with them.

There is one more Horror+Warpx2 pull on the right side of the room the needs dealing with, along with another Spell Shade, before you take your group in along the right side. Just before the ramp up out of the room, watch for another Spell Shade. He sometimes PATs close to the ramp, and if he does so, just kill him. He can be LOSed using the doorway to the exit ramp.

Starting with this ramp, implement at “No one in front of the tank rule”. I have named every ramp from here on out after a guildie who blindly ran ahead and pulled a group – usually resulting in at least a few deaths.

At the top of the ramp is a pull of four Spell Shades. These can be trapped or shackled. They also put out some serious damage, so tanking them all is not preferable. I mark one to be off-tanked, one for shackle, and pick up two myself. If we have an extra shackle, I’ll use that too. If no shackles, I’ll resort to a Hunter trap. Once I pull, Priests can step up the get shackles off, and then the tanks make sure to pull back onto to ramp so that healers have LOS. These are not easy pulls, so expect them to be chaotic till you get the hang of it.

From this room, you have a ramp down to Illhoof’s trash. The room has a pairs of casters on the left, and a caster on the right, each with Imps paired with them. I assign my offtank to the right side of the room, I take the left side, and have everyone move it together.

In this room, there is a bookshelf that can be opened to allow access to Illhoof.

Up the next ramp is the final pull, another 4x Spell Shade group. These are spread around the room, so some creative camera work is required to get them marked.

Once they are down, you are now at the Shade’s room. You also have easy access to Illhoof. I’ll cover both later, and both are technically optional, but the Shade is far more important than Illhoof, as his death opens up a teleport and removes a large amount of trash.

If you can’t get the Shade down, you can continue on to Chess without taking any more bosses (simply another dozen mostly-quick trash pulls).

The first few times through, the Library Trash can be painful, and the run-backs are brutal, but with some practice these pulls are are manageable. Once you get this down, the rest of the boss fights come at you pretty quickly.


Guild Alliances

February 11, 2008

Now I’ve heard more about the guild alliance candidate – a way to help break into the 25-man content. Talking about it I was struck by how much my perspective has changed in the past several months.

This past summer, when I was a newly minted officer and a newbie raid organizer, I stumbled across a recruitment post from another guild. It said all the right things, and they were trying to recruit for Gruul’s Lair. We wanted to go there as well, so I suggested an alliance. It was well received, my counter-part in potential-alliance guild and I chatted and got along great. We both went to our leadership. 20 minutes on ventrillo later and everyone was happy.

Seemed like a good match.

We’d do a joint 25-man run – ignoring the fact that they were more progressed that us, and they couldn’t clear the 2nd half of Karazhan yet. This Gruul run was the first major melding of the two guilds – aside from my wife helping them out on a night of Shade wipes. My wife warned that they were a bit different.. a little less disciplined, more rowdy, and certainly not ‘family friendly’ on ventrillo. That was the first inkling that I maybe should have investigated the guild more – *but* 25 mans good! Epic loots! New content! Progression!

Not so much. While we did learn a lot about the fight and the pull, we didn’t have much success that night. Everyone was still excited, so the muttering about how ‘different’ they were quiet..

Then the ‘proposal’ came – wouldn’t it be great if we were one big family? How much easier would raiding be that way? Loot for all! How about all the raiders come join their guild?

This was met with raised eyebrows. The Guild Leader – a better man than I – took the proposal to the guild, and it was largely shouted down. Suggesting leaving the casuals out was a clear error. Past that though, the guild cultures were too different, and few of us were willing to give up what we had. Also, it was pretty plain that the motivation was to gain complete control and to be able to pick and choose which of ‘our’ raiders would go – something that an alliance didn’t allow. And thus ended the alliance. Sure, it lived on in name for a long while after, but the chat channel emptied quickly and ne’r more did the two side meet.

Strike one.

A few months later, I’m now entrenched as Raid Leader and a senior guild officer, we were masters of Karazhan, and looking to move on. Time for another guild alliance. This time, we had a contact. A class leader that many of us new from a former guild. They had some experience, but most weeks could only muster 10-15 raiders. Could we bring the other 10 to 15? Voice chat went well, and we agreed to use the signups on their website for our first run.

Odd thing though.. 10 or so of our members signed up, and only two – the two we’d spoken to on Ventrillo – from their guild did so. So, when the word came that they had instead decided to disband, it was not a shock. Slowly the story trickled out – they were having major drama between the raiders and the casuals. /gdisband. We made a half-hearted attempt to recruit their former members, but to the raiders we weren’t a step up, and the casuals viewed us as the enemy – another groups of raiders wanting to push them out.

Strike two.

Now, we are running two Karazhan groups, and looking to fill the last couple of spots for Gruul. An enthusiastic member has a friend in a guild that is much like us. Still not sure how it will turn out – we’re working to setup a heroic run where I can feel them out. The difference now is that while I can still see the potential, I can also feel the shadow of the drama-to-come. I’m no longer young and falling in love for the first time. Is it too early to ask for a pre-nup?