Ariciel in the Firelands

So I’m logging in after the 4.3 patch, and find the usual flurry of out-of-date add-ons. Among the out-of-date ones are PowerAuras and Carbonite. Damn. I am using Carbonite mainly for mining on Bannog. The quest helpers were wonderful when they came out, but these days the Blizz standard is good enough. My collection of gather points in Deepholm (soon to be Twilight Highlands for Pyrium), though, is dear to me. As are the little icons that tell me when my various DoTs and effects are about to fall off and to tell me when I am at full combo points and so on. So since this is as good an opportunity as any, I find and install WeakAuras. WeakAuras works a little differently from PowerAuras, and looks a bit more complex, but so far I like it. For one thing, I’ve never been able to get PowerAuras to adapt automatically to what form Ariciel is in, and WeakAuras got that right first go.

So, I’ve just about got my bear icons up and am wondering what to do with my Cat icons, when from across the room comes the shout.

“Oi! They’re inviting you to a Firelands run.”

“Oh. Tanking?”

“No. DPS.”

I look at my empty cat screen, and at all the lovely WeakAuras options… Oh man this is going to suck.


So I get invited to the ITP raid, and bundle into the Firelands with nine big heavy raid-geared players. First, trash. Now Ariciel may be a tank through and through, tough chick as she is, but this is a bit above my tier. Still, I manage to stay out of trouble most of the time and on occasion even pull something like 9K DPS, which for a bear girl with nary a kitty talent to her name is not too bad, especially without my usual indicators. And of course, Ariciel can battle-rez, which is nice.

So we start hitting bosses. First up, Shannox of the Doggies. Cute doggies named Rageface and Riplimb. My job here: Get behind Shannox, hit Shannox, don’t step in the traps. Righto. Shannox is really free with his traps, though. He also plays “fetch” with his dogs while hitting Wolf, and gets right pissed off when you kill one of his dogs. Shannox goes down without much mishap.

Next up, Beth’tilac the Spider. Beth’tilac quickly climbs up a thread, and a few of the DPSes and healers go up to kick her there. Meanwhile, all is not well down below. So you’ve got yer Drones, you’ve got yer Spinners, and you’ve got yer Spiderlings. The Drones are the heavy hitters, the Spinners are medium size, and the spiderlings are, well, lunch to the others. These all come down from various sides to bother you and you nuke them down. They all hit like trucks, but if there’s a Drone up, the spiderlings make straight for it going “Eat me! Eat me!” and won’t even turn round to snack on pussycat. Beth’tilac took a few rounds due to something quest-related and bad luck.

Then, Lord Ryolith. It has been a while since Ariciel had to fight individual body parts. I was on foot duty, and had to hit one or the other of his feet. Apparently, if you unbalance him too much, then he falls over and does something that wipes the raid. At some point, he turns into a burny thing that gets nuked. Next!

Next, as it turned out, was Alysrazor. A firebird. The encounter starts out with Staghelm looking meaningfully at a few doomed Druids of the Talon. You annoy him, Staghelm kills the druids, calls in the bird and the fun begins. There’s Initiates, who cast fireballs. Kill them. Alysrazor lays eggs now and then. Hatchlings come out of the eggs, fixate on someone and keep attacking that person. Hapless DPSes stay away from the eggs. The eggs are for the Owsla Tanks. Meanwhile, Alysrazor goes through different mood swings, up, down, up again. Then, there is a great blast and lots of fiery whirlwinds start blowing round. You run away from them. I’m proud to say that Ariciel was fast enough on her feet  to avoid the whirlwinds. “You will die” indeed. Pah!

Next. Baleroc, the gatekeeper. Get rid of the extras, get rid of Baleroc. I only remember his back. Then he fell over.

Then Major Domo Staghelm. Ariciel never liked him much. He turns into a variety of shapes, depending on how close together you are. Hug, and he turns into a scorpion, scatter and he turns into a cat and puunces on people. Whichever form he’s in, he does more and more damage to you. When the magic number reaches eight, it’s time to change from hug to scatter, then on the next eight, from scatter to hug. Repeat until dead.

Then, we hit a snag on the way to Ragnaros. There’s this piece of trash who floods the place with lava, and get out of the lava onto the strips of non-lava. Sadly, the non-lava strips also hurt today, at which point we declared the encounter bugged and an end to the raid.

So… Thank you ITP, that was a most instructive run, and Ariciel even got a new pair of weergaloos mooie sportpantoffeltjes out of it, and a tanking trinket that will absorb damage if you get poorly.

So where next? Well, first, I tame WeakAuras. This is as good an opportunity as any to do a bit of a review on the rotation, glyphs and whatnot. Which is the subject for another post, I think. Then, I do the same for Bannog and try to get him into something better than these handcrafted bloodthirsty pyrium togs. Also, Griggin needs his on-screen indicators.

Also, people of ITP, I like you guys, and I’m very happy and grateful to run with you, but I will never take Ariciel or Bannog out of Azeroth Buccaneers. For several reasons. First, ITP is, in essence, a raiding guild, with all the rules, websites, politics, don’t roll on this, why aren’t you that sort of an attitude that comes with it. I am devoutly casual and I will not get into Suicide Kings, or for that matter anything more complex than “If you need it, need it”. Second, Azeroth Buccaneers is home. I joined it as my second guild, the first being some random guild whose name I don’t even remember and just joined to keep people from inviting me all the time. They were the AFP gang, and Azeroth Buccaneers will by now be one of the oldest guilds on the server. Yes, it’s small and mostly dormant, but it’s home.

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  • Kayla  On December 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    ITP is a mixed guild. You can join as a raider or as a social, there are many, many social members who don’t raid and any raid runs (especially old content) that have non-Raider Rank members from the guild (or from other guilds) don’t use Suicide Kings for loot. There’s still the Main spec -> off spec loot rules and, usually, a master looter for those and for the more recent content runs to keep things straight. And 5-mans will pretty much be “need if you need it” loot rules unless otherwise declared and agreed at the start of a run (like “such-and-such needs better gear, so this run is to help her gear up, please let her have priority on appropriate loot” etc). Your dear wife should be able to tell you more than me on ITP ranks and membership.

    That said, I’ve only got 3 chars in ITP (1 raiding and 2 social), the rest are in AB (except for my bank alt in the Hamster bank guild).

    • bannog  On December 3, 2011 at 9:36 pm

      I have just the one active character in ITP. Griggin is fine there, and turning into quite the scary Gnome there. But my mains belong in AB.

      • korenmolenvic  On December 15, 2011 at 3:19 pm

        Well, I have done enough of the pointing out of the benefits and so on – and when a man says “definitely no, never” then I have to respect it – even if it is not my preferred solution – especially when that decision does not harm me or any others in any way…

        So Bannog and Ariciel are one guild people, just about 🙂

        I particularly like the Bountiful Bags benefit, but then I am a greedy so and so… Have group and mass res are also pretty spiffy.

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