Thursday, March 3, 2016

4.62. The Worst Encounter in the World

Raid Finder is buried amongst the
new dress-up features of 4.3

Weeks 1 + 2

Night 1 - 8/21/2011
Spent two hours on Heroic: Rhyolith today. Not much changed in heroic. Fragments/Sparks have more health, hit harder. Liquid Obsidian emerges from active volcanoes, and reconstructs Rhyo's armor, but are easily snared/slowed/killed. Superheated comes a bit faster. There's also an eye beam we have to deal with in phase two, but haven't seen that yet. For the most part, inconsequential changes. We'll get this in no time.

Still sifting through the deluge of 4.3 patch notes. Tons of info up on MMO-Champ talking about the new Darkmoon Fair, Transmogrification, Void Storage, Dragon Soul, and the new CoT dungeons. Unsurprisingly, gaming media is glossing over this new "raid finder" addition. Why spend time on that when you can focus on barbie doll dress-up mode? If it gives the same loot (as I suspect it will), it will be the end of guilds and the end of WoW. Blizzard, always ready to put its faith into its community, vehemently disagrees. In other news, water is wet.

Night 2 - 8/26/2011

Two more hours on Heroic: Lord Rhyolith today. May have underestimated how difficult the new heroic mechanics are. Bad enough the gimmick of "attack the left foot, make him turn left; attack the right foot, make him turn right" is less fun and more annoying, but in theory, heroic should not be as hard as it is. Should actually be very straightforward.

Steering should not be as much of a problem as it is. Blizzard even built a custom gauge for the fight, so we can see which way he's turning. Practically a non-factor in normal mode. Yet steering Rhyolith over each subsequent volcano in order to wear down his armor isn't going as well in heroic over the long term. Trying to steer him over active ones while avoiding dormant ones is practically impossible. Eventually, we begin missing actives, and the attempt spirals from there.

Summer vacations are still taking their toll on the roster. Larada's out on account of exams, which sucks, because his mage Doja is one of the top number generators. Boggles my mind how subtle changes do or do not affect our ability to progress. Mangetsu was out the week we killed heroic: Shannox; his absence didn't affect that fight, although in retrospect, we did have one person alive at the end.

Jungard politely reminded me that he is now two months away from his schedule permanently changing. Bonechatters' training is going well. Am confident he'll fill the absence left by Jungard.

Night 3 - 8/28/2011

No training for Bonechatters today, he is out sick. I have to give the kid some formality bonus points. His message read like that of an employee tendering a resignation. "It is with great regret that I must step down from tonight's raid, as I have an ear infection." A far cry from players that simply say nothing and just don't bother to show. May seem silly, but it's the little things that count. Being perceived as too formal isn't the worst thing in the world.

Drecca started talking shit in /general channel today. Had to tell Deathonwings to get out of the channel again. Bad enough /general is a distraction with all the bullshit Enigma d-bag chatter. Now we have to listen to Herp Derp taunts while dying to Concussive Stomp.

The progression team takes a sanity break
from Heroic: Lord Rhyolith, and
executes two achievements,

Weeks 3 + 4

Night 4 - 9/2/2011

First raid of the September month. Have been in Firelands for 10 weeks now. Fourth week on Heroics. Got Beth'tilac, Baleroc and Alysrazor (normal) out of the way quickly, so we could knuckle down on Heroic: Rhyo. Got 3 ½ hours in on him.

No dice.

No ranged officer this weekend, Goldy is out on vacation. Need to get with Goldy at some point. New position at work is sending me out to Cali in order to train the next group. Trip may coincide with BlizzCon. If I can crash at his house that weekend, I may be able to kill two birds with one stone. Would be nice. Save me the travel expense, at least.

Larada still has exams, Dewgyd and Vexx, also out. The new shaman Gharghael would've been great to use. No sign of him, either.

Lexxii was late again. First time it happened, at least she had the decency to text me. Now, not even doing that. She's falling off the deep end. Don't know if this is a result of her breaking up with Bullshark, or her losing the healing officer position. Maybe both. 

Doesn't matter.

End result is she's impacting the raid, and is pissing off the crew more every day. Warning her has no effect. Will just try to get Charcassone, Mortalsend and Syphira a bit more gear, so I can pull the plug on Lexxii.

Thank God the Diablo III beta is about to start. Firelands is buring holes in my retinas. Am getting awfully sick of looking at Rhyolith.

Night 5 - 9/4/2011

Three more hours on Heroic: Rhyo. Still nothing. Dropped it to normal, just to loot him and continue to gear people for their hard work. Amuses me to call it "work." What was Ater's old joke? We're not here to have fun.

Oh, Ater. If only you could see us failing now.

Team isn't able to to get ahead of the Sparks. Health was manageable in normal. Now, it's clear we don't have the top-of-the-line DPS that we should. Swapping in what little new folks we have is taking its toll on the bottom line. Damage isn't where we need to be. Blain insists on being the sole tank for Sparks. Can't help but wonder if Amatsu's Pally would be better. Blain isn't dying, but neither of them have a DPS spec, so it's probably negligible.

We need to kill adds faster, but any good attempt we make quickly falls behind after we lose people to random volcano damage and an unavoidable Concussive Stomp. The encounter is wringing the healers out like a sponge.

Night 6 - 9/9/2011

Would really love to know where all my rogues went. Blain has an excuse. The rest of them know when signups happen. Boney, Darth, Randy...they're better than this. Boney claims I did the rotations a day early. I do them the same day every week. Nothing's changed in years. Larada's done with exams, thank God. Meanwhile, Sarge blew his video card. He's out permanently, as he has no means to replace it. One step forward, two steps back.

Got off to a reasonable start, was able to knock out a couple of achievements needed for Glory. Dusting more of the normal drops from Beth'tilac, Baleroc, Alysrazor, and Shannox. We're in that festive fucking spot where everybody that needs an upgrade isn't getting the one drop they could use. Extending the lock is a waste; resetting the lock is a waste. This was a good idea how? Thanks, Ghostcrawler. Thanks for taking a stand and advocating for a bunch of players that have already cancelled their accounts because "Grim Batol is too hard." We pay the price for your hopeful optimism.

More taunting from Drecca in instance chat today. Mr. "10-Man is the greater challenge" hypocrite fails to recognize the fact that HD swept through all the bosses by mid-August. Here it is September and we still can't get past our second heroic. Spare me your ignorance, Drecca. You know as well as I do that if 10 was the more difficult one, you'd be stuck slaving over this insanely tortuous boss. You're no God's fucking gift to WoW.

Hells ranted at me today about the taunting. He's probably got less control over his emotions than I do. I calmed him down and reminded him that we needed him, so he wasn’t allowed to go off on a drinking binge. Nothing is worth that, not even a fucker like Drecca.

Night 7 - 9/11/2011

Twenty hours clocked in on this godforsaken encounter. I want to wrap my fingers around my keyboard and choke the ever loving shit out of it. Maybe if I crushed it tightly enough I'd come out with a mother fucking diamond.

Have now spent more time on Heroic: Rhyo than on Lady Vashj. This is ludicrous. No boss has come close to Vashj-level difficulty in years. Except perhaps Heroic Lich King, Halion and Anub'arak, none of which we conquered. But those were all end bosses. They were supposed to be hard. This is a fucking nondescript walking volcano in the middle of an instance with no lore and no significance. What in the actual fuck is going on???

He actually made it to the lava today and wiped the raid. Steering is a colossal clusterfuck of epic proportions. There has to be a better way than this constant "left foot, right foot" shit in Vent. We sound like a bunch of casuals facerolling across our collective keyboards. Cue me getting on the forums and complaining about "this boss is way too hard." The faint siren of the Wahmbulance can be heard in the distance.

Is this going to turn into some kind of Illidan / Kael'thas level shit?

Fred seems convinced that Drecca is viewing our log history on World of Logs and working out the times of the evening we're attempting specific bosses, so he can taunt us at the most inopportune times. Seems very "conspiracy theory." More realistically, we've got someone feeding him this info, unintentionally or otherwise. I wouldn't put it past a number of our members that might just be messaging him privately. He's phishing them, and they're eating it up, giving him what he wants. Nobody would admit to that if I ever questioned them. Sucks that it is a possibility. There are definitely several people in the roster capable of that behavior. I wish I felt otherwise.

Apparently Blizzard nerfed the drop rate of Smoldering Essences, which is a shame. Goldy was making good progress collecting up mats for the legendary. Too bad. Dragonwrath might have helped put a bigger dent in Rhyo.

Lord Rhyolith makes it into the top five
worst bosses in Cataclysm
(Source: Engadget)

Week 5

Day 8 - 9/16/2011

Week five of work on Heroic: Rhyolith. Three hours today. Nothing. I want to eat a gun. I want to gouge my fucking eyeballs out of my head. No matter how hard we insist that we cannot miss a volcano, we continue to miss them. We drag the fight out. Missing the occasional volcano should not have as much of an impact as it does. Sadly, there's no choice in the matter. This is heroic, we should expect less room for error. It should come as no surprise when we're wiping after missing so many. And yet, it continues. But this isn't the worst of it.

Liquid Obsidian is always controlled well at the start, then spirals out of control every time we approach phase two. It's a vicious cycle. As Superheated nears, it takes longer for him to transition. Rhyolith is rebuilding armor faster than it can be depleted. This entire ordeal is a textbook exercise in attrition. Sparks die slower, apply more fire vulnerability to the raid. Concussive stomps hit harder, emptying the healers faster. People die, and Rhyolith gets his armor back before we can break his entire shell off and get him into phase two. The one time we actually do make it to phase two, it's our only opportunity to see his eye beams in action. They slice through the raid like a knife through butter. We wipe at 3%. Somewhere in the world, kittens are killed mercilessly.

Only thing keeping me sane is Blizzard's mention of an upcoming nerf. Nothing fills me with confidence more than knowing we are failing so miserably, we have fallen back into that bucket of "can't progress, content's too hard." Nerfs are a crutch. We've pushed through them before. Why we can't now is beyond me.

Day 9 - 9/18/2011

I want to know who is responsible for this boss. I want to know what employee at that billion dollar company thought this was a good idea. Seriously. What drug were they smoking? It kills me that they continue to make claims like "Ulduar was great but practically nobody got to see it." 

Ulduar was nothing. 

Ulduar was enjoyable. Ulduar was some fucking half decent design that any competent guild could execute. This is something else entirely. This is the stuff of motherfucking nightmares. You tested this? You gave this boss the greenlight? You mean to tell me a billion dollar company can axe Starcraft: Ghost after half a decade of work is put into it by simply saying "sorry, not fun," yet give this fucking boss the go-ahead? At what point did design decisions go so horribly fucking wrong behind closed doors?

Am beginning to think Cataclysm was entirely some kind of sick fucking, low budget joke. It's like someone at Blizzard said, "Sorry, we're going to have to reduce your staff for this next expansion," so they just turned over this shit, gave us five levels instead of 10, recycled ZG/ZA, cranked up the difficulty and "merged the locks to reduce burnout" -- just one entire fucking joke of a sponge they are desperate to wring out.

Just watch. They're going to come out and say "Lord Rhyolith was bad design, in retrospect." Mark my words.

Another 3 ½ hours down the toilet. Ater was right all along. We really aren't here to have fun.

adjs f;lkj45 qlkasdjf;laksdjfq ;wlrkj32qkasjd fs;lkdfjqw ;lkejw a;dslfksjdf ;lasd


Anonymous said...

Exceptionally well written post today. The frustration level you felt while ramming your head against this boss comes through loud and clear. I'm trying to remember what heroic was like, barely was heroic raiding at that point. Casual 'fun' guild set their sights on normal and the occasional evening of 'bash your head against the wall repeatedly, you may get a different result this time'.

Cannot count how many times I went apeshit on my keyboard and spelled out your last sentence... ajfkadfklasdjfladskfjds;a.... oh, the memories of frustration. Sometimes yelled exactly that in vent, especially after a 1% wipe.

Keep on truckin.


Bill. said...

Just come to the end of the blog after reading during lunch breaks/downtime for the past few weeks, great read. I personally did Molten Core/Onyxia/BWL Vanilla and up to Archimonde in BC and trivial stuff in Wrath but have been so enthralled in your writting in the content past that, i feel like i played it.

Please continue to crank out content, I look forward to the next update.

All the best.

Pam said...

I have less than fond memories of Rhyolith as well. It took forever for our drivers to learn how to steer, adds were hard to kill, it was hard to heal. We had 40 attempts on it, with our best being 16%. It felt like we were getting a hang of it. Then, only 3 months after Firelands came out, Rhyolith, along with everything else received a blanked health and damage nerf. It took us 7 attempts after that to kill him, the satisfaction of which was quite diminished.

Waerloza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Waerloza said...

I have such poor memories of Firelands as well, as I previously stated. I loved the first raid tier of Cataclysm, well, I thought Throne was blah but BWD and BoT were outstanding raids with good, memorable fights. I also loved the HARD Heroics, but I am probably in the minority on that. Firelands was just so... bad. I know that a lot of the hardcores and world first guilds thought the Heroic Rag fight was great, but my guild just did not like the entire raid. Granted I think we killed only two bosses on Heroic before Dragon Soul dropped, which is a whole other set of issues and garbage.

Cataclysm started so well and ended so, so, so poorly, at least to me. I do not begrudge LFR, it's not for me but I see the value of it for others, but Dragon Soul was a garbage raid with one of the most anti-climactic endings ever. I do love Transmog though, so that was one thing 4.3 got right.

Linc - Lightbearer
Malygos US

Shawn Holmes said...


Thanks for the kind words! I'm sure a good number of gamers can relate to the random text that's typed when a keyboard gets a good smashing.


Glad to hear you enjoyed the story thus far; we're nearing the end!




Don't worry, I still have plenty of time to throw LFR under the bus. :)

Aztek said...

It sounds like your dps was switching between left and right leg to keep him straight. Did you not try splitting the DPS between the legs?