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Thread: Blackhorn 10N - Hitting a wall, need help with throughput

  1. #1
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    Blackhorn 10N - Hitting a wall, need help with throughput

    Our raid's been trying to down Blackhorn 10N for a few weeks now with little success. We finally pushed him into P2 tonight--once. Frustration levels are definitely on the rise.

    Here's the log parse from tonight and my armory.

    Our strat, basically, was to have both tanks and melee at the front of the boat, ranged spread out near the back (split was 5/5), moving to soak up small swirlies. We two healed it, with the holy pally looking after the tanks and melee, and resto shaman (me) looking after ranged, mainly.

    Pretty much every wipe was thanks to the boat blowing up due mainly to Sappers getting through, and most player deaths were due to getting hit by charges, or going into Barrages alone with low health. However, I know there were some deaths (and hence wipes) that could have been avoided by stronger heals, which is why I'm here.

    I'm new to end-game resto shaman healing--this was only my 3rd or 4th raid with this toon. Something feels off with this fight, like I'm mainly playing catch-up after each Onslaught. I know some took way too many charges to the face, so there was some preventable damage, but, honestly, I don't think that explains much.

    The pally is out-healing me by nearly 50% (EH) and puts out much higher throughput spikes. And, I did do much higher total healing on Try 6 (the first attempt segregating ranged / melee), but then again the other healer was lower on that one.

    What's going on, here? Are my gear/enchants too far off the mark? (I just dinged a few weeks ago, so I still have some work to do...) I want to find some big fault with my rotation, because that's by far the easiest to fix, so, please, be brutal. My main question is how can I improve my own performance. The raid might be doing n things wrong, but I still want to pull my own weight.

    Oh, as for "rotation" on this fight, I've pretty much been trying to keep Healing Rain up on the ranged, Chain Heal spam after Onslaughts, and (G)HW for spot heals, with as many Riptides as I can muster, although I know I missed a lot of chances for Riptide. Cooldowns didn't get much use, unfortunately. Maybe I need a macro for Spiritwalker's Grace + Ghost Wolf. Spirit Link seems pretty useless on Phase 1, and I didn't have much for mana issues, so Mana Tide would be mainly for others' benefit, but maybe I'm missing something.

    This may be much longer than it needed to be, but I expect you knew that by this point.

  2. #2
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    I've no experience with shammies so can't help you there, fix those 2 missing enchants though. Looking at try9 your dps is insanely low. The DK should be able to handle all the sappers with deathgrip+chains of ice and some help from the ranged dpsing it down. People should be smart and not jump into swirls if they're low on hp as long as you get all the sappers missing a few swirls won't hurt you.

    I've no idea what your mage is doing but 12k dps is sad. In a 5 min fight he should use arcane power 3 times, at the start just pop cds and nuke the shit out of the first elite then use AP around the 2 and 4min mark again. Your other dps ain't much better, specially your hunters they can dps and move at the same time so easily no reason to not be at 25-30k dps.

    As long as the dk handles the sappers, people don't stand in charges and people don't jump into swirls at low hp I think you should be able to get to P2 regularly but your dps should really step it up, people were doing 12k dps in blues at the start of cataclysm.

  3. #3
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    Your prot warrior could use some help. He shouldn't need gag order in a raid spec, and he's skipped deepwounds so thats a lot of damage out the window. He uses Devastate way too much in comparison to other abilities: >90 devs ~10 shield slams and ~15 HS+cleaves on your longest attempt. Rend having an 18% uptime. SHield slam should have about a 1:2 ratio to dev on AoE, and a 1:3 ration on single target. rend should have near or exceed 90% uptime.

    Neither Tank seems on top of the Demo shout/roar debuff.

  4. #4
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    I know you didnt specifically ask for it, but Im going to offer some advice for sappers as a prot warrior.

    Both adds drop, I pick up the first add that drops and mark him with a skull. DPS starts focusing him down. He should either be dead or close to dead before the sapper drops. DPS turns to OT's add and focuses on him. They switch to sapper when he comes out. The MT (who now doesnt have a add to kill) has a focus macro which consists basically of...

    /tar Sapper
    /cast Charge

    When sapper is down and reappears and the icon lights up, he needs to spam it. The charge will stun him, follow it with a shockwave when he starts to move, and when that drops off, hit him with concussive blow. Seriously, it he isnt dead by time concussive blow wears off, your group is hopeless. The tank should be able to get off a shield slam and HS with no problem between charge/shockwave.

    Sappers dead, tanks switch side, repeat.

  5. #5
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    IMHO this is the toughest fight on 10 man and it takes a bit of getting used to. We one tank the adds with a warrior and have our DK tank run around getting as many little swirls as he can. Our make up is normally Warrior/DK - tanks; 2 Shammies and Pally - heals (although we've been two healing it lately - I'm the Pally heals); Hunter, Rogue, Warrior, Shadow Priest, Mage (this last slot depends on who's on could be a Mage or a Boomkin or another Shadow Priest).

    The range goes on the dragons; the melee focus down the Dreadblade first then the other Elite; there is no reason for people to be hit by the charge anymore, the path is really clear now; the healers also help with the little swirls (I'll pop Divine Protection, glyphed and take some my self); but people have to make sure they're topped off before they stand in them. When the sappers comes down, you can see where he lands and the DK drops DnD in its path then Death Grip, Chains of ice, hunters can put Frost Traps in the path, and I stand by the door playing defensive back ready to stun if it lives that long. Sapper when it's out gets priority. As the fight progresses, you'll get a sapper(s) when the big swirl hits - Death Grip is your best friend when this happens.

    As you down things, remember you want melee dead before the last drake - the boss pulls when the last drake is dead; so time it.

    At that point it's just everyone burning and watching out for Shockwave (range should drive off Garoina fast). Shockwave hits hard, people have to be aware.

    As of healing, avoidable damage needs to be avoided you have to stress this to your raid. I heal on a Shammy too and as soon as you get into the big swirl start casting Chain Heal, don't wait for damage to hit. What tend to happen is either people stay bunched and someone gets hit with a charge right after the swirl hits, or the tanks bring in a Dreadblade facing the raid and a cleave hits. Personally, for my shammy I gravitate to Mastery once I get haste to 918 for the extra Earthliving tick; but I know Shammy's who go for Haste over Mastery. Don't forget your Spirit link for when times get tough. You have your 4 piece use Spirit Walkers grace when you what to push out the heals. I prefer Power Torrent over Heartsong, especially since you have the Heart of the Unliving (that thing is just unreal for mana regen, my Disc Priest has it and I can get to about 6k MP5 in combat with it).

    Don't get frustrated, it's a dance. Sappers and swirls are the big issue on the fight - get past Phase 1 and Phase 2 is really cake -tanks taunt at three stacks of Sunder, people watch the crap on ground, casters keep distance to keep from getting silenced and your good.

    Lastly, I've have your warrior tank re-think his gemming and spec. Yellow - master; Red - parry/mastery; Blue - mastery/stam. That should get him CTC with out food or elixir. Also, as mentioned, Deep wounds and Incite over Gag Order; Cruelty and Blood Craze.

    Hope this made some sense.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukahna View Post
    What's going on, here? Are my gear/enchants too far off the mark? (I just dinged a few weeks ago, so I still have some work to do...) I want to find some big fault with my rotation, because that's by far the easiest to fix, so, please, be brutal. My main question is how can I improve my own performance. The raid might be doing n things wrong, but I still want to pull my own weight.
    It seems like your raid has some issues it needs to address, but the others in this thread have covered it fairly well. As far as your own improvements, here is what I think:

    For normal mode, you have a TON of spirit, I would stark looking into reforging a bunch of that away. As a point of reference, my shaman has just under 2500, with HoU, so that's quite a bit of secondary stats you have just sitting around.

    Focus on mastery first, especially because you're two-healing the fight with a Holy Paladin. Don't worry about chasing him on healing meters, you're never catching up to him. Get your haste to 916 for now. While extra haste isn't a bad thing, you'll get more bang for your buck with mastery after that benchmark.

    There's a great reforge calculator at wowreforge.com. Tell it you want to get As Close To 2500 spirit as possible, Haste at 916, and let it do it's thing.

    Please, for the love of all shaman, replace that green gem in your boots, and all your Potent Topaz'. You never want a green, blue, or purple gem. You only want Brilliant Rubies, Reckless Topaz' (Haste), or Artful Topaz' (Mastery). I am lazy, so for my Orange gems I pick all the same ones (in my case, Reckless) and reforge around that.

    I would suggest switching to a Burning Shadowspirit Diamond, that it more personal preferance, but I'll bet you won't even miss the extra 2% mana. And while you may not want to enchant that weapon with it, Power Torrent is going to be better than Heartsong, every time. I have used both enchants on identical weapons, and without Heartsong, I never even noticed it's effect on my mana or sustainability, so why not use Power Torrent for bigger heals?

    As far as your spec goes ... there's not really many fights that require you to move, so you probably could spec out of the Instant Ghostwolf. I know, it sucks, I miss it myself, but it just wasn't meant to be. I would move those two points into Telluric Currents.

    As far as playstyle, I think there are improvements to be made.

    Your Water Shield and Earth Shield uptime are bad, and it looks like you only recast ES once during your best attempt (try #9). If you use Totem Timers, it has a great button for Earth Shield that will let you recast it on the last target, or you can select the other tank to cast it on (as long as they set their roles).

    Cutting ~ 700+ Spirit out, you're definitely going to want to keep Water Shield up as much as you can. I use Power Auras to monitor it, and if I'm ever in combat without Water Shield, it puts a giant Water Shield icon right in the middle of my screen.

    I wouldn't worry about keeping Healing Rain down on the ranged group. They need to be aware of charges coming at them and make sure they get out of the way. You will need to spot heal them as they absorb the little swirlies, but I would use a Riptide, GHW for that.

    I use Spirit Link when we stack up for the Onslaughts. Sure, you can't use it every time, but using it once is better than never using it all.

    Lastly, you are not taking advantage of your 4 piece bonus, which is definitely one of the best 4pc bonus' in the game, I abuse the crap out of that thing.

  7. #7
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    DPS activity is scary how low it is. And it gets worse the longer the fight progresses which is counter intuitive (if I have more things to attack, I'm significantly less likely to be inactive).

    1. Ignore twilight barrage (the small damage on boat from drakes). Given that you're taking a lot of damage from it that tells me your DPS is going out of their way to stand in it. Guess what, this is contributing to their inactivity.

    2. If you have to move, keep attacking. Even if you're attacking the wrong target. It's better to have the wrong target die earlier than it is to not do anything at all. And of your four ranged DPS, have any realized yet they can attack the drakes when the fly over the boat to drop off the melee mobs? I've done 2-3 attacks on each of them before even switching to melee at the start. It's harder to do this on the later spawns but still possible. There is no excuse to not do it on the first wave (if you have nothing else to attack, attack what you can as soon as you can).

    When to move?
    1. When twilight onslaught is cast all DPS, healers, and inactive tank (tanks actively tanking melee mobs should stay out to not cleave people) move into it. If a sapper is out stun/slow it and ranged DPS should be able to kill it with instant casts or larger casts once they are done moving (most of your DPS is ranged).
    2. After twilight onslaught hits everyone spreads back out again. Melee returns to either a sapper or the melee mobs while ranged fans out around the boat to minimize the number of targets that are hit by a charge.
    3. Ranged and Healers: Move to avoid twilight barrage and charge when possible. Melee: Move to maximize DPS activity (i.e. if both mobs charge away from the tank you don't need to wait for it to get back to the tank). Tanks: Minimize movement of the adds so that DPS has higher activity. Inactive Tank: Move into any twilight barrage or twilight onslaught until more melee mobs spawn for you to tank.

    Strategy basic differences on 10 man from 25 man...
    Many raids in 10 man will opt for a single active tank at a time instead of switching which mob you are tanking each wave like 25 man. Using both tanks all the time caters better to a group with more healers so that they can dedicate more healing to each of them. In a 10 man set up where you only have two healers, minimizing the number of targets that require healing is actually better. By having one tank pick up both of the adds in each wave you also trivialize making sure both mobs can be cleaved, without them cleaving other players. You will have both debuffs stacking on you at once, but when the next wave spawns the other tank picks them up and during that time your debuffs fall off. One tank picks up first and third set of adds. The other picks up second and the boss when he comes in. When a tank doesn't have anything to tank, they are free to DPS and they are also free to stand in any twilight barrage or twilight onslaught. While the tank is actively tanking they try to keep the mobs relatively centered on the boat(closer to the front so melee can swap to sappers quickly) so that people can spread out around them minimizing the number of people potentially hit by a charge.
    "In anything, if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you need a montage." /w TankSpot WTB Montage for Raiders.

  8. #8
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    Only thing about ignoring Twilight Barrage is that the dps is low and those things do do a good bit of damage to the boat in 10 man - 200k I think and boat's health is pretty low; I know until we got the dance and down and our dps up, we did need to soak some of them.

  9. #9
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    It's actually a trade off. If DPS is going out of it's way to stand in the barrage and nerfing their DPS as a result, the phase lasts longer meaning everyone takes more damage, there are more sappers, more onsaughts, and more barrages to deal with. Judging by their logs and the extremely low activity of the DPS I'd say their DPS is doing a lot of unnecessary movement.

    Their DPS is low because it's inefficient more so than because they are just low DPS.
    "In anything, if you want to go from just a beginner to a pro, you need a montage." /w TankSpot WTB Montage for Raiders.

  10. #10
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    Thank you all for the amazing amount of in-depth review you've given this. The class feedback will be very valuable indeed--I'll try cutting some Spi and Haste out. I'll push for several of the fight strategy suggestions as well--they make a lot of sense--but I'm new to the guild and not the RL of this team (which itself is new), so I'll have to take a slightly softer approach there.

    We'll be back at it again next Wed/Thurs, so hopefully this all will help our progression. We've only been together for about three weeks, so there are still a lot of emerging playstyles and team communication/coordination to figure out.

  11. #11
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    One thing I noted with the Holy Paladin was that he needs to keep his Judgements of the Pure up for 90%+ to continue to regenerate mana by Judging atleast once every 30-45 secs. Also, it seemed he wasn't using hardly any cooldowns, only Divine Favor.

  12. #12
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    For a resto shammy only use HR for onslaughts and put it down just before it hits and start getting a chain heal off possibly a 2nd CH before people get out of CH range like they should be to avoid getting the group blade rushed. Onslaughts are a perfect time for spirit link totem. For this fight as a resto shammy I like getting to my 2nd haste breakpoint and then going mastery.

    For barrages we found that it is not needed to be soaking those as long as every is stacking for onslaughts and catching all the sappers. Your dk should be deathgripping and chains of icing each and every sapper and all ranged and melee should be jumping on it immediately. Your dk can also be throwing down dnd at about the halfway mark between the front of the ship and the cabin to break the sapper out of stealth, your dps with any place-able AOE's should be doing the same as well on the side that the sapper lands.

    For phase 2 you will want ranged immediately on the drake and burning her down asap even if you have to use lust. Once she flies away stay at about 15 yards from the boss so that you don't get silenced but can still move out of shockwave. Remember the farther you are from the boss the harder it is to get out of shockwave but too close (10 yrds iirc) and you get silenced. Tanks will be tanking big damage so be ready and everyone else will be taking predictable AOE damage.

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