M’Pocket Tank and I finally, finally, finally 2-manned Onyxia. Oh yeah! Down with you, my lady (and, no, I don’t say that to all the girls). She’s handed us our arses crispy friend the last time we tried and, truthfully, it took us another 3 attempts to perfect our technique. But we got there in the end.
It helped that I purchased a shadow wand on the AH before we went in, which increased my average damage from 3 (yes 3) per hit to around 250 per hit. Okay, so I’m never going to top a DPS meter with that but it still represents a significant improvement over stabbing her in the toenail to death with a lollypop stick. 2-manning Onxyia for a tankadin and holy priest is basically a fight of attrition: damage is much less important, (as long as you’re doing slightly more 3 per hit admittedly) than survivability. Phase 2 was always the sticking point for us. We’d get burned, overwhelmed, and usually I’d run out of mana, before we could whittle her health from 64% to 40%, which is what it takes to induce her to land again.
For our first attempt this time round, we thought I should concentrate on DPSing in an effort to get out of phase 2 a quickly as possible. This turned out to be a really stupid strategy because I ran out of mana and then Ony slabbered us mockingly. Once I was re-assigned from primary DPS to keeping everyone alive, we did much better. By now, I was getting really good at dodging fireballs and M’Pocket Tank was whelp collector extraordinaire. We were feeling pretty positive, all things considered. Until I mis-positioned and got Onyxia’s breath attack full in the face. Would you like fries with your chargrilled priest? So much for over-confidence.
On our third attempt we remembered M’Pocket had a fire resistance aura, which meant that the breath attack had a slightly better chance of not one-shotting me instantly if I screwed up. The bottom of my cape got a bit singed but I managed to run in mostly the right direction during the breath attacks this time round. Yay! Between causing damage, avoiding fireballs, keeping health topped up, collecting whelps, and not having our faces melted, we somehow got it all together and we romped into Phase 3. From there, it was easy. Victory, precious 18 slot bags, and a cavalcade of now useless epics were ours. Ours!
I’m so glad we did it, and before 80 as well.
I’m actually significantly less well-equipped than I was the last time we took a shot at Onxyia, due to the idiot-disenchants-all-his-stuff fiasco. The ironic thing is that I’m poorly geared but what I do have is incredibly well augmented. Normally I don’t bother with enchanting or gemming while levelling because you know you’re going to discard Sanguine Robe of the Cold Whale for Upbeat Tunic of the Chilly Dolphin 10 minutes down the line anyway. But in order to compensate for the general shiteness of my equipment, everything that can be enchanted is enchanted, everything that can be gemmed is gemmed – and all the very best my meagre resources can manage. The WoW Gods are laughing at me. I can hear them.
In other news, I’m currently grinding rep for the Guild Killer title, having joined yet another inevitably doomed guild. It was entirely an Act of Whimsy on my part but since I have had equal misfortune with Acts of Whimsy and Acts of Research, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Prettiest Elf was messing around in Hellfire Peninsula a few days ago when a message went over General that made my mustachios stand on end and my monocle jump right out of my eye.
This was the message:
Excuse me, but has anyone seen a fel reaver recently, please?
Astonishing, isn’t it? Full sentence. Punctuation. Deployment of the word ‘please.’. Will wonders never cease?
As it so happened I had seen a fel reaver recently so I whispered back with directions.
“Thanks so much” came the reply.
And I thought that was that, day brightening, assuredly, but fleeting.
An hour or so later, a recruitment message went out over the chat channels. I didn’t really pay much attention, other than to note it was at least moderately coherent, but then I recognised the name. It was the polite person! I whispered for more information which is usually the point at which the recruiter devolves in a blithering moron before your very eyes but we had a perfectly nice and perfectly sensible conversation about the guild and its aspirations, so Tam and M’Pocket Tank signed up. It’s a very small, starting guild and it may crash and burn, in tears and politics and ineptitude, within a week but who knows?
Our interactions thus far have been broadly positive. Also the spread of levels is quite varied. Usually when you join a new guild there are 80s and 20s and nothing in between, so being in your mid-70s is a sad and lonely experience. We boast a handful of 70s, M’Pocket Tank and I at the highest end of them, making us the default heavy hitters, which is a bizarre feeling since normally we are normally useless newbies.
And the other thing that gives me a strange fluttering sensation that may, dangerously, be hope is an already evident culture of willingness to do “group things.” Polite Person confided that she wanted to do “everything” hinting at a WoW temperament to match my own.
Since, M’Pocket Tank and I were headed there anyway, we did a guild run of MagT (non-heroic) last night. Of course, we had no excuse not to succeed, M’Pocket Tank and I being 78 a piece, and the rest of the team ranging between levels 70 and 75. But it’s still an unforgiving instance, and it felt like an accomplishment, in developing a sense of guild unity if nothing else.
I find guild runs rather nervous-making. If you’re with a dreadful PUG you can just spit curses and exit stage left in high dudgeon and, perhaps, a puff of red smoke. But there’s a sense of investment in a guild run. Ideally you want a situation in which nobody thinks anybody else is an arse. And whereas in a PUG I have no compunction whatsoever in saying “You see that act of gross stupidity in which you’re currently engaged? No, I don’t mean your life, I mean having your pet on aggressive in an instance, or using deathgrip to pull off the tank, or using misdirect onto the mage, or whatever else it is you’re doing. Stop it please, and right now, or there’ll be no healz for you.” But if you’re running with your new guild you don’t really want to behave that way. Ideally you want to form good relationships with these people, not piss them off.
Thankfully, everyone was moderately competent, and it was genuinely fun. I’d temporarily forgotten the joy of the 5-man, but now I’m full of enthusiasm again. And I don’t think I was an arse, although I did end up, de-facto, leading the run. If I’d known I’d have prepared better but at the very least I could still remember vaguely how to handle the bosses from the last time I did MagT. I didn’t heal especially well, however, because I was too busy overseeing strategy, spotting issues and angsting. We made a big mess of Priestess Delrissa because the DPS leapt off their leashes too early, and we ended up in a bloody ruck right between the pillars for maximum LOS inconvenience. I managed to heal through it (somehow, although I nearly killed myself a bunch of times) but afterwards I was debating whether or not to say something and, in the end, I did. I was super-fluffy about it (not my usual style at all) but nobody spat in my face and the DPS really did make an effort to contain themselves during future pulls, which made our progress much smoother.
I feel quite strange about leading runs. Unless you’re a group of friends who know each other really well, I think you do need someone to do it. And the problem with thinking that you need someone to do it is that it usually ends up being you. Still I suppose it’s better to be default-guy than the alternative. The few players I’ve encountered who actively want to lead runs, and be recognised as the person who is leading the run, tend to be exceptionally unpleasant people, committed to crushing the fun out of the game at every possible opportunity, and turning the rest of you into soul-less husks whose only function is to support their gameplay.
I think I tend to go too far the other way. We wiped on Kael a couple of times and I swear to God I turned into Henry V.