Friday, April 15, 2011

Three on two occasions

Previously on Three Stooges:
After seriously banging their head on the Lost City of Tol'Vir without seeing a single glimpse of hope on General Husam and later Lockmaw, the worrisome threesome decided to tackle on an old nemesis of theirs. The reason to give up the Lost City of Tol'Vir was due to the fact that even though General Husam was put to rest, the fight felt like sheer effort on luck, with no effect based on the way the three were performing. Lockmaw even more so, and the collective intellect suggested that the main reason to this is the lack of survivability of the lowest common denominator, the Tank.

The old nemesis was... Mr. Sunshine himself, The Lich King in Hall of Reflections, into which the three plunged themselves like vaseline to... well, slided in like... /snap Ouch. Entered the instance like a brave group of - undermanned but severely overgeared - adventures.

For the first time ever the instance felt like it had felt in full group at the glory days of WotLK, when the tank was overgearing the content and AoE ruled the world.

Needles to say, the instance was a breeze and the trio decided to fulfill the one instance needed for the Rogue's Northrend Dungeon Hero achievement: the Halls of Stone, in which he was lacking the Maiden of Grief.

In short, the three went wham-bang through these two instances, gained Guild achievement on one of them and lived happily ever after.

Yesterday, current time (check the timestamp, please)
Instead of taking on the Lost City of Tol'Vir, the three decided to go for the Halls of Origination. Wider selection of nice bosses and sidetracking, the instance 'felt' like a good second choice for the undermanned group.

The trash from the beginning, the menace of an unsuspecting PUG even, was just about the right challenge for the three, so much so that it felt like home after the Lost City of Tol'Vir experience. Even though the Temple Guardian Anhuur requires the flick of a switch - two in fact - it was clear from the first try that this boss was doable. The three stated almost in unison after the first wipe that this one is doable, when they were not in unison with the General Husam earlier, which tells quite a lot.

Temple Guardian Anhuur taught the Healer the first usable spot for the Leap of Faith (or HealGrip): as the Tank had flicked both of the switches, the Healer pulled him up with the Leap of Faith and the slaughter would commence. The point was that this provided the Healer a few moments to heal the Tank up before the damage started raining in and get his stuff on the roll before the snakes came into the show.

After four or five tries it was the Healer who got the honors in letting Temple Guardian Anhuur to rest: the Rogue and the Tank came to the conclusion that the Healer had let them die deliberately to get all the honor and recognition to himself. He even made the point to dance on the dead, mutilated bodies of his companions before resurrecting them. The disgrace!

Instead of taking the scenic route to the end, the threesome decided to take the long route instead and started their way to Earthrager Ptah. The road to good intentions - especially in Egyptian themed instance - is always paved with Scarabs, though.

But the way to Earthrager Ptah - the twin brother of ICC's Marrowgar - was easy enough to clear and fun to run around with the camels provided (tell me there isn't a grande reason to have them rideable over there, please!), and as much as we tried we couldn't make this boss feel as ominous as it should have felt.

Boy were we taken. By the hand, by the feet, by the platter and everything that hurts. The encounter is fun and furious, and it's sad how people just 'ignore' this encounter and go through only the mandatory ones.

It took the threesome around fifteen (15) tries, where in the middle of them the Tank had to go to Stormwind and replenish the potions and flasks, after which he learned a lesson, too. Somehow the Tank had missed the memo stating that the cooldown of a potion starts only after the combat ends, and thus he ended up being potionless in the end because he had popped a Earthly Potion (or whatever) in the beginning.

That resolved, the Earthrager Ptah went down on the third try after this revelation. This time the term 'close call' got a whole new meaning, even closer than the one experienced on Tempel Guardian Anhuur. You see, the damage over time effects left on Earthrager Ptah by the Tank and the Rogue killed the boss at the same second the Healer died. The tank followed the dropping health down from 80k to zero from the ground zero, telling the others the status of the boss as they were too busy in (I hoped to say killing the boss) staying alive.

But hey! Earthrager Ptah was put down by merciless effort and good spirits.

Now the question is why would the Threesome bother to take on so many wipes on this one, but gave up on the Lost City of Tol'Vir. The reason is simple: the Tol'Vir combats didn't show even a promise that something was changing from one wipe to another, while the Halls of Origination encounters showed clearly the difference in changed tactics. The effort - reward - ratio was right, and the encounters really responded to changed tactics.

By far this Earthrager Ptah fight has been the most fun I've had with my pants on in Cataclysm. Temple Guard Anhuur felt like a victory with capital v, but Ptah proved that we can change, adapt and persist.

What the Three Stooges wouldn't do for a few deserved - and poorly documented - deaths?