Locking it up in an Eye of Eternity PuG
I took advantage of my brand-new alt status to join a Eye of Eternity PuG — or, rather, partial PuG, since a 10-man guild was hosting it. I recognized the raid leader as my sister’s ex-boyfriend’s brother (who I’ve never met in real life, but have raided with a time or two and know to be an excellent tank), so I responded to his advertisement in /trade with the basics. Five minutes later, I was en route to Coldarra for the second time this week.
The hosting guild turned out to be a reform of the one my sister raided with in The Burning Crusade, so there were several familiar faces in the group. One of the druids even greeted me as I joined Vent: “Hey! It’s Mis’s not-so-evil twin!” I giggled … and then promptly informed him that I was every bit as evil as my little sister, thank you very much!
Since PuGs and their requirements — some reasonable; others ridiculous — are a hot topic these days, I feel I should mention that this one did not require players to be “attuned” to the Eye of Eternity (i.e., to have the achievement from a prior raid). There was no minimum DPS stipulation either, but I assume from the brief pause between my initial /tell and invite that the raid leaders were alt-tabbing to Armory.
The raid was assembled quickly. (I’m pretty sure I’ve taken longer setting up guild raids than these guys did their three-quarters PuG!) As soon as the 25th player was invited, summons went out and we all zoned into the Eye of Eternity. Vent info was posted in a /raid warning, along with the admonishment that only raiders who joined Vent would be eligible for loot.
Needless to say, Vent filled up quickly.
The loot rules were announced ahead of time and very simple: main spec rolls, with a one item maximum. There were no minimum performance standards, no items held in reserve and no priority given to guildmembers over PuGs. In other words: no drama.
I could tell right away that most of the players present had defeated Malygos before. Several asked specific questions (“Clockwise or counter-clockwise in P3?”; “Save Bloodlust for two stacks?”; “Who’s healing the air phase?”). Only one PuG seemed confused, zoning into Occulus instead of the Eye of Eternity. He admitted in raid chat that he wasn’t familiar with the instance, but seemed reluctant to ask questions, so I ended up talking him through most of the fight in /party — much to the consternation of a shadow priest in our group, who complained loudly (insofar that you can complain loudly in text…) that people shouldn’t PuG into encounters without bothering to learn them first.
I agree, in principle, but I think the shadow priest was a little too abrasive about it. Then again, I’m a Care Bear … albeit an appropriately evil one. >.>
(That’s Gentle Heart Lamb, for the uncultured among us. She’s technically a Care Bear Cousin — but then, I always liked the Cousins better than their ursine counterparts.)
All in all, the PuG went surprisingly well.
We wiped once, because one of the two Death Knights on Spark-duty disconnected mid-fight. This is the type of thing a decent guild could most likely recover from: if we lose a Death Knight in a guild run, then our raiders take note of it and adjust accordingly. The ret paladin and boomkin take over stuns and snares, for example, or a hunter starts DPSing the Sparks at range so we’ll have more control over when they die, to make up for our loss in control over where they die.
In a PuG, with players who who don’t really know each other’s roles and abilities, an untimely disconnect or death can have a much more devastating effect.
Fortunately, we recovered quickly from the wipe, replaced the Death Knight, and downed Malygos on our second attempt. Loot was distributed (the PuG Priest I coached through the fight won a new robe; grats to him!) and we disbanded on a high note about 30 minutes after forming.
That was all. No horror stories. No Oh. My. God. I can’t believe that just happened! moments. No unnecessary wipes; no cajoling or bullying from the raid leaders to get things done; no squabbling over loot or post-PuG snipping in /trade. Just a solid raid experience, unique only because it was with virtual strangers rather than … virtual friends.
It’s not even blogworthy, really — just something I wanted to commemorate in writing because it was so very different from what I expected (and therefore worth remembering three months from now when I’m resurrecting my /tar desk /cast Bang Head macro in an ill-fated Uldaur-10 PuG).
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Some tips for warlocks for the Eye of Eternity, since Dagashi asked and I have Malygos on my mind anyway. These are all from my personal experience (I’m not much of a theorycrafter), so your mileage may vary:
- Right before the pull, drop a Demonic Circle next to the orb that summons Malygos. Since Demonic Circle: Teleport is an instant cast, you can ‘port back to your Circle at the start of every Vortex phase and continue to DPS while the rest of the raid is spinning uselessly through the air. Just be sure to watch threat, since the tank will have a hard time generating it while in the Vortex. (Don’t be afraid to dust off that Soul Shatter button and move it back onto your toolbar! The extra DPS time means I’m often threat-capped in this fight.)
- Also, keep an eye on the cooldown on your Demonic Circle. If DPS is slow or if the pull was delayed, then your Circle might expire during phase 1. Drop a new one; trust me, it’s worth the global cooldown.
- Ignore the Power Sparks, especially if you’re Affliction. Unless you’re specced into some bizarre PvP talent that I don’t know about (I tend to ignore those tooltips; sorry!), then virtually everyone else in the raid including that level 78 Dragonhawk (You’d think the hunter who fo’shizzled me on Vent would know better!) and your White Tickbird Hatchling are better at Spark-management than you are. This is because you don’t have reliable stuns or snares to root them in place, nor do you have the burst capability to nuke them down after they’re anchored by someone else. Ideally, your raid will have two Death Knights tag-teaming the Sparks (Death Grip = win!); we sometimes use a boomkin or a retpally. If you absolutely don’t have a choice, then try to trade roles with a Holy Priest. You can probably heal the raid more effectively with bandages than you can control a Spark, and he can lolsmite spam them better than you can anyway.
- Watch your buff bars during Phase 1 to make sure you’re really stacking Power Sparks. Just because there are multiple Sparks on the ground doesn’t mean you’re standing in all of them; you may have to reposition to find the areas where they overlap. (This applies to everyone, not just warlocks!)
- P2 is supremely pet unfriendly. Put your pet on passive if you want to keep it around for buffs, or simply sacrifice it. It’s going to die anyway.
- P2 is warlock unfriendly, as well. Melee get priority on discs, so we’re generally left running from bubble to bubble, DoTing whatever we can reach. Don’t worry unleashing your full rotation on the Scions. They often spin out of range before you can finish it, anyway, and casting that initial Shadow Bolt to get Shadow’s Embrace up does you no good if you can’t follow it up with some serious DoT damage. Just concentrate on getting as many DoTs on as many Scions as you can. I’m one of those spatially-challenged individuals ^.^, but I find that tab-targetting between mobs and channeling Drain Life for a tick or two will help orient me.
- If all of the melee have their discs, then by all means — grab one. You don’t have to worry about breaths or even be healed while on a disc (bonus!) and you can DPS from it even more effectively than those melee types, since you won’t have to waste time chasing mobs through three-dimensional spaace. (Who knows? You could even get an achievement out of it.) We let the melee take discs first because they’re completely useless without them — instead of just mostly useless, like us. 😉
- Don’t panic if your P2 damage trails behind … everyone else. Unless you’re lucky enough to snag a disc, this is not a ranged friendly fight. The point is to survive. (Take heart: gear permitting, you should absolutely dominate the meters in P1.)
- You probably already know this, but the highest DPS in P3 is a simple 1, 1, 2 rotation. Just make sure you have enough energy to get two combo points and a shield up if you’re targeted for a surge.
- If at all possible, make sure that the raid is accompanied by at least one Stinker and either Bombay or a Black Tabby. Watching those two do their thing while all hell breaks loose is pure awesome. (In fact, I’m pretty sure that if that damn cat ever decides to return Stinker’s affections, then Malygos will be shocked into sanity. He’ll submit instantly and Alextrasza will send everyone five-piece T7 in the mail out of sheer gratitude. For reals!)