A Shadow’s Crusade in Ulduar

inv_scroll_05Well, it’s about time to make a small recap for myself how I am doing in Ulduar, what progress we made together, and what still is on my “wishlist” from Ulduar. What with the new instance around the corner, I am imagining that Ulduar will soon become Hardmode territory, meaning a lot of learning and little loot, so this seems like the best time for it.

Progress

We’ve managed to reach phase-3 of Yogg-Saron so far, and while there’s a bit of refinement to be had on the General Vezax fight, it all seems to be going well. This week we hope to down Yogg-Saron, and that is when the Hardmode circus will begin, and we can start working on those fights.

Personal efficiency

I am not yet very pleased with how I am doing in terms of DPS. As a clarification, I use the following priorities to determine what I think is important in a raiding evening:

  1. Don’t die from stupid stuff – healers can sometimes not be able to save you if they are very busy, but avoid the fires, use bandages and otherwise don’t be a burden on the raid.
  2. DPS like mad – I am currently at 3.6-4k DPS sustained, but in my opinion this is still too low. I see our DKs and Mages run at upwards of 5-6k DPS, and even though they have better gear than me, I feel there is a lot of improvement on my side.
  3. Secondary raid functions – Dispelling, abolishing disease, proper buffing and fight-specific tasks in some fights are more important than DPS. Even so, I sometimes will help out a little bit if the healers seem overwhelmed or there is not enough time to run dispels on everyone. In my opinion, it takes little effort to PW:Shield someone, so might as well do it if it can save someone’s life.

So, I manage to get #1 down well, in my opinion. It has happened sometimes (On Hodir or Mimiron) that I die avoidable deaths, but I try to minimize those. I generally allow myself one single “slip of concentration” death in an evening, and all my other deaths should have been wipe situations.

#2 is my issue at the moment. I think I should be able to push at least 4k DPS sustained, with my gear, so I am analyzing how I am running my priorities, and if I leave some slack open. For instance, I probably need to DoT up more adds. Especially in the beginning I did not do this, because I felt I may accidentally pull aggro from the tank in doing so, but after running with these folks, I am confident this will not happen. And for everything else, there’s Fade.

Dispelling and Abolishing Disease, #3,  I have covered so far with Mouse-over macros and Grid. It works reasonably well, but while it is easy to do while healing, I find myself a bit distracted while DPSing. For some reason running HoTs on my druid and cleansing is easier than doing the same while running HoTs. Anyway, a point I feel I can improve.

Every raiding night is my trial run again

This is probably my personal insecurity of running with a (relatively) new crew. They are great people and very nice to me, but being a junior member means I feel pushed to do my best every raid, even more so than normally. It causes me a bit of stress and frustration, to be honest, but I take every run as a trial run, and assume I am being watched.

Wishlist

But then I reward myself by checking out what things I would still like to haul out of Ulduar to pimp out my little Shadow. ^_^ Note that these are not in all cases Best-in-Slot items, it’s also about a bit of realism towards what I can gain in a few weeks.

  • Conqueror’s Circlet of Sanctification (Head) – Thorim – I will buy these with Emblems of Conquest if needed
  • Conqueror’s Mantle of Sanctification (Shoulders) – Yogg-Saron – Chances are limited, because this will spark bidding wars, or else I will have to go for the new badge shoulders or another equivalent piece.
  • Shackles of the Odalisque (Wrist) – Razorscale – A bit of an upgrade, but I am willing to get it to get rid of the horrible Spirit on my wrist.
  • Soulscribe (Yogg-Saron) or Guiding Star (Razorscale) – Not the best weapons that can be found, but considering I’d need to go Arena for them, or do Hard Modes, I think that these will be more than worthy upgrades.
  • Ironmender (Offhand) – Kologarn
  • Scepter of Lost Souls (Wand) – General Vezax – Light years ahead of my current wand
  • Eye of the Broodmother (Trinket) – Razorscale – Because….<purr>

To be honest, I think that with these (and maybe the Tier-8 legs to replace my Leggings of Lost Love) would be more than enough to make me ready for anything. And basically that’s what counts. I have been spending some DKP on items with Spirit on them, which few/no people wanted, mainly because it was an upgrade to my older gear. I would rather spend all my DKP on any form of upgrade than hoard them and have poor performance, only to be outbid the moment the really good things start to drop.

Also, the BoE tailoring patterns from Ulduar make for some really, really good belts and boots. But, each will cost 6 Runed Orbs or the like, so that means getting these will have to wait a bit. Once in 3.2 the Emblems of Conquest will be dropping from the sky, I will be able to get my hands on them all that much quicker, however.

Conclusion

I have the basics down, and we’re making good progress. Now comes the time to tweak tactics and make sure I am as efficient as possible. Also, I can be a bit more aggressive about DPS than I currently am. Also, I need to relax and enjoy the raids more, rather than seeing them as pay-per-performance.

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