Not A Post About Heroic Ascendant Council

I’m going to preface this post by noting that I occasionally have some pretty bad insomnia. It kicked in last night. I recall glancing at the clock as it said 6:30 AM. I woke up at 8. I’m running on fumes, pure fumes here. No sleep. Just caffeine.

OK. It’s Monday. I’m going to post on something.

Something that’s not H Ascendant Council. We haven’t killed H AC yet, so I’ve felt for the past few weeks, even though it was such a heavy part of my WOW time, that it was not appropriate to post about H AC. Blogging is about talking with authority, and I’m not going to talk with authority about a fight I don’t know well enough to kill.

Really, I’m not. This post isn’t about H AC.

Except that it is. Oops.

This Is Not The Blog Post You’re Looking For.

I had a long night last night. It was a really, really long night of raiding. Alright… so I wasn’t actually raiding for most of it. Look, it’s hard work drinking beers and watching our guild’s internal livestream of more delicious Heroic Ascendant Council wiping. Someone has to do the cheerleading around here. Your favorite paladin tank is just the one for the job.

What? Meloree is your favorite? Oh my god, just shut up. Shut up right now. I am so much cooler than Meloree.

Not A Guide To H AC

Strategy. Settle down kids, and let me teach you how to do H AC, from the perspective of someone who hasn’t even been there half the time. This gives me roughly 50% more experience than most bloggers and 100% more experience than the Wow Insider raid strat columnist, so I figure I come out ahead of the game.

Ignore every strategy you’ve ever read about this fight. There is one simple thing you have to understand about H AC. There’s the raid, and then there’s “that guy.”

You know who he is.

The strat is this: wait until “that guy” doesn’t get targetted by the bad.

It’s more complicated than it sounds. The percentage of the raid that is not “that guy” will slowly rise with time until RNG favors you with the right combination of targets and spawns. Don’t stand in fire in phase 3, meet the nastiest RDPS check / soft enrage of the tier, collect phat loots.

Easy mode.

Unless you’re that guy… or you have a lot of that guys in your raid.

Being That Guy

I have been “that guy.” It’s the most soulcrushing thing about playing this game and taking it relatively seriously, is to deal with those times when you are that guy. It’s so much worse to be that guy, than to watch someone else be that guy. It sucks.

It sucks, that is, if you are the kind of person who cares about playing well. If you’re not, go away. If you never fuck up, go away too. You know who you are.

Farm Night Blues

Take Wednesday night. (our farm night; we farm on wednesdays, unlike you peons who raid on tuesdays).

I was “that guy” all night wednesday. Like I could list them out, but the list of mistakes I made would be terrifyingly long. Let’s put it this way; I clipped an exploding power generator moving a boss… twice. I’ve never done that before. I promise. The first time I at least could mentally blame something; the power generator crept out from under a greenish cloud. The second time, there is no excuse but thoughtlessness, much like the lack of thought within my brain right now. On Chim, I taunted early. Ate a delicious double strike. My ass died. “My ass died” could describe many of the mistakes which is fairly par for the course, as a tank. Luckily it was farm night so I didn’t take all too many asses with me. Well, most of the time. It was almost hilarious except for the part where it was terrible. I hope no one noticed. I hope my raid leader doesn’t read this (he will).

Of course it was an interesting week all around, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who suffered from a severe case of mistakeprone fuckupetry. For example, that Halfus death wasn’t my fault. I promise.

But H AC… was the worst.

Heroic Ascendant Council Is Not About RNG

Don’t listen to anyone who tells you it’s an RNG fest (including me). What it is, is an extreme personal responsibility and raid awareness check.

Phase 1 is nothing special except that you have to slog through it every time you wipe. Phase 2, is like the culmination of everything that makes raiding hard. And then phase 3 just kicks you in the ass and screams MOAR DOTS MOAR DOTS MOAR DOTS until you’re crying for just a little bit more DPS, just a little more, and please don’t stand in the lava seed seeeeeeeeeeeeeeriously…. (Yes, I found lava seed in my own death logs.)

RNG can, and will, make your life more difficult. That’s the point of RNG. It will not wipe you. Only stupid will wipe you. The problem with H AC is that the second, the very same second you stop paying attention to any of the several things you need to be watching, RNG will hang you out to dry and the whole raid will know it.

If there’s any latent badness hiding in your soul, be warned: H AC will rip it out and show it off for all to see.

Last sunday, I wiped our last H AC attempt to a blatantly poorly kited frost orb. It wasn’t my only raid wipe that evening – oh no, it wasn’t, far from it – but it was the worst one because it was the last one of the evening.

Oh, it was awful. I swear, I knew what I was doing. I ran over to the flamestrike and sat on the other side and waited for the orb to come, except that fucker came around the edge and clipped me, and I didn’t even see it coming. I feel like a bad just remembering it. I about wanted to jump out a window. I was that guy. I was that person that no one wanted to see in the raid warning.

The worst part was that my raid leader didn’t say a word and the raid just ended. There is nothing like silence to let you stew in your own regrets.

Bad is the worst disease.

Nothing cures you of bad. No one can make you feel better. No one can tell you you’re not a bad when you’re feeling like a bad, because if you’re smart, you know when you’ve been a bad.

You’re not going to feel any better that night.

The only cure is to be show up again and be less bad next time.

Rocket Boots, I Love You Again

I got the Combo Of Doom last night, before I made my exit for the sidelines. Lighting Rod + Frost Orb. No, we didn’t wipe. I ran around the edge, in a huge curve towards the flamestrike; lighting zapped me, I popped my rocket boots to sprint for the flamestrike … and I made it. Alright, a priest gripped me, but I’d’ve made it without the grip. I really would have. The raid didn’t wipe for like, at least thirty more seconds. But it wasn’t my fault.

I was not that guy. (Well, in that instance, I wasn’t that guy.)

It takes more than one good night to make up for some bad ones, but I felt better about life, the universe, everything, and raiding in general. I know there is not that much badness in me. I have the capability to defeat the bad.

It’s more fun when it’s hard.

Heartbreak Central

We had a .7% wipe late Thursday evening.

It was a good evening for me. I think I played pretty decently – used healthstone at right time, personal cooldowns, saved my own ass with a sliver of health + bubble on the way down from Gravity Crush + wog while bubble was up. I was one of the last alive. I finally fell over. I held my breath while the boss staggered to a stop at 900k HP and then… reset. I was crying, almost crying, that my LOH wasn’t on cooldown, I hadn’t thrown my LOH somewhere where it could have done some use – even on my own ass.

I’m pretty sure everyone in the raid had a spell or two, a personal cooldown or something, a better timed keypress or something, and were sitting there thinking “if only… if only…” That’s what a 900k wipe is. A string of “Oh god, if only” and a sign from God that a kill is within reach if we can just do it one. more. time. please. once more.

“Get that rod out of here!”

The one thing I can say I’ve never, ever done is sit Lightning Rod in the raid. I’ve never done that. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever.

I’ve only chained it back into the raid once I can recall, and it wasn’t my fault whatsoever. And when I say it’s not my fault, I mean, it’s not my fault. I have a tendency to take responsibility even for things that shouldn’t be my fault. So guys, this — it was so very much completely 100% not my fault in any way, shape, or form.

I sprinted to the edge as soon as the PowerAura popped up on my screen, and as I was GTFOing I saw two ranged DPS come over to hug me/ stand in my way. No, there was not a wind/gravity debuff there to explain their presence near the edge.

Y’all, I know I’m a cute and cuddly little dorf but seriously, now is not the time; I am not the inkeeper’s daughter; I’m trying to GTFO here! Go away! GO AWAYYYYYY!

“Take the wipe.”

Sigh.

Conclusion

Yeah, I ran out of cutesy subtitles. I feel the caffeine wearing off. The letters are blurring. My coworkers are telling me to get some lunch and they have really sympathetic looks in their eyes. 900k. Every time I close my eyes, I see 900k. I need more coffee. And I need AC to die.

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20 Responses to Not A Post About Heroic Ascendant Council

  1. Tomaj says:

    Just because you haven’t killed it doesn’t mean you can’t speak with authority on it. :)

    That said, good luck on your next attempts. Ascendant Council – even normal – are a bitch. Never have I hated Captain Planet more than after seeing that fight (and the trash… oh gods, the trash).

  2. Esoth says:

    My number one complaint is still that the visual effects are needlessly excessive. Especially with the airborn debuff – I don’t want to see that. I want a very clear view of the gravity wells (and spawning wells), tornadoes, spawning flame strike, and spawning frost orb, so I can plan my route and my positioning at all times.

    Not that I’m perfect regardless (“Yes! Got that lightning rod out like a champ. I’ll just get hit by the lightning then go back in. Hey why’s that frost orb coming at me?”)

    • anafielle says:

      I remember that. You messing that up made me feel better. “Well, if ESOTH messed it up….” Not better, but… well, no one has been perfect :P

      The effects are excessive. Very much so. For melee range, Eruption and Air Debuff having the same graphic – exactly the same graphic – and a huge, huge graphic under your feet at that – is just so damn stupid. WHY. Sometimes sorting out the mess is an exercise in mental confusion, especially when the idea is to be preemptively anticipating a ton of shit. I wish the graphics made it easier to sort it all out and like you said, plan. I remember on that fight shira recommended to me in tankchat to turn down spell detail (leaving particle density on) and it doesn’t help much, but it does help.

      I will give blizz this. Frost orb spawn is nice and clear. Easy to be super paranoid and think that every frost orb spawn might be mine (so long as I am actually looking for it.)

  3. kiramythos says:

    Having killed Sinestra (103 pulls later…) this week, H:AC is next on our hit list, and this is making me a little paranoid. Personal responsibility in our raid is generally our weakest trait–there is always one person out of position, or who didn’t perfectly understand and didn’t bother to ask, or who just can’t seem to ‘get’ it.

    On the other hand, our overall raid DPS is generally far above other guilds of similar progression; even the five-night-a-week guild that is our only competition on the server (we only raid three nights) generally struggles with DPS checks far, far longer than we ever have.

    And that’s something, I guess.

    • Meloree says:

      Remember all that pain you felt with twilight orbs, and getting people to notice they were picked so that they’d move?

      AC is worse, somehow. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

      • Kerriodos says:

        Well shit, that makes me feel better about it. >.<

        –Kerriodos/kiramythos

      • Meloree says:

        FWIW, having killed Sinestra, we repeat very easily. All subsequent kills have been 3 wipes or less. We have only once done Council on three wipes or less in a much larger sample size. But that might just be us.

      • Kerriodos says:

        Thankfully, repeat kills aren’t usually an issue for us; barring the odd bad night, once we’ve killed a boss for the first time, it’s on farm (though repeating Sinestra this week will be the test of this theory, I suppose).

        I think, honestly, the hardest part of AC for my guild is going to be getting people to understand the mechanics. Once we pass that hurdle, we can ease people into their jobs pretty quickly, but there are always the few people who can’t visualize what we’re trying to tell them to do well enough and need to wipe the raid a time or two to figure it out. And raid DPS is not really an issue that we’ve needed to concern ourselves about, so phase three shouldn’t be too bad once people learn to move for seeds–phase two is the one that is going to give me nightmares.

        Basically what I’m saying is don’t be surprised if you get the odd PM on Maintankadin whining and asking for advice. :P

    • Anafielle says:

      Don’t be paranoid. Everything’s not out to get you.

      Except frost orbs. And tornadoes that sit on top of gravity wells or creep into the center. And raid members that sit lightning rods on top of other raid members. Those are out to get you. Actually, maybe you SHOULD be paranoid… sometimes I think the devs are sitting up there steering the tornadoes and giggling…

      Right. Don’t be too worried. H AC is a neat fight. I actually kind of like it although I’m pretty sure that part of my opinion didn’t come out very well in this post. Mel posted about liking it too. It’s interesting.

      Good luck!

      • Kerriodos says:

        I’m really more paranoid about killing it, because then all we have left is Al’akir, which based on our experiences in the 10 man version… will not be fun. :P

      • Meloree says:

        Yeah, Al’akir 25 is less than fun in P1. After that it’s not too bad, P2 doesn’t change a lot, and P3 is the “you win” phase. I feel like the tuning is a lot tighter than in 10s, though. That’s just my impression/opinion.

  4. Moshne says:

    For what it is worth, you didn’t get sat out because you wiped the raid with that Frost Orb. You got sat because we wanted to change up the number of healers we were running, the timing was a coincidence.

    • Anafielle says:

      I know! They were totally different days actually. Hopefully it didn’t sound like I was complaining about sitting since that wasn’t the idea. It just makes for a better blog post to link it all together.

  5. Saif says:

    I had a similar night, not on heroics or anything, but I swapped to DPS to make room for a spare tank and man, it was humbling to fuck up simple, stupid things I /sigh at people for normally. Pretty humiliating and humbling. It was pretty funny for the rest of the raid to chortle at my misery. Ungrateful bastards.

    • Anafielle says:

      Everyone has good days and bad days. Bad days make for epic blog posts. I was trying to balance the good and the bad… somehow all my posts end up tagged QQ though.

      It’s fun to play another role and get a chance to do all the things you usually just watch someone else do. Definitely a new perspective. I like switching back and forth tbh.

  6. Apollorx says:

    Curse this fight.

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