A Tale of Two Dungeons: Part 1

As you know I’m a super cool and rock hard level 85 now and doing Heroics (struts stuff around keyboard).

Ok …that was totally for show – I might be doing them but as you’d expect I’m working myself up into a nervous frenzy before, throughout and after. I thought as range DPS I could just stand at the back and basically hit whatever the tank was hitting. It’s certainly what I’ve been doing up until now (although occasionally saving groups from wipes by some pretty dexterous blinking). However, Cataclysm heroics are a whole different ballgame.

It started with an embarrassing fail in Grim Batol heroic. I started halfway through just before the second boss which I somehow managed to survive  but then we faced Drahga and it all went wrong. I remembered from the ordinary version you had to kill the fire elemental thingies  but what I’d not realised was that there was this almighty flame breath thing from the dragon that try as I might I seemed to run into  (I was almost bathing myself in the stuff). And I have the Deadly Boss Mod so there really is no excuse. So I died.  Everyone must have (it’s a blur now)  because I had  to run back in. But I  got totally lost on my way back and nearly ran into a pack of mobs. Oh dear I thought. I need to go another way. I considered for half a second and then spied what looked like a molten lava river below the bridge. I flicked the map open and assessed the situation and then did the only sensible thing you can do in these circumstances. I hurled myself off the bridge into the  molten lava. Do not ask me why. I had a vague thought I could take a short cut through the lava….. Yes this is why husband and I no longer go on  walks together.

As you’d expect I died again. So I then did what all dignified people do at this point- I left group without saying a word. I was totally embarrassed. I sat in the corner licking my wounds for a bit until husband told me to stop as it was putting him off his tea.

“I’m going to read all the strats online & not go in again until I absolutely know what I need to do in every single Cataclysm heroic,” I announced. Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile will recognise these as classic Bravetank words – said after every failed embarrassing dungeon run. But I indeed started reading up on  Grim Batol. But all the reading did was make me more scared at how complicated it was. Groups will wipe if they don’t do blah blah. Remember to do blah blah. Ignore blah blah at your peril.  Oh my  goodness – instance strats are totally boring and complicated to read.

Ok another approach is needed I told myself. You will learn this by going in again and again, learning through your mistakes. Getting better by doing. It was a bit like Robert the Bruce and the spider – although to be honest if I had been in  Robert’s position and in a dark and dingy cave and  suddenly spotted a spider anywhere near me the English would have heard my screams from miles off and promptly come and killed me. So lucky for Scotland I wasn’t there then (thank me later Scotland – a free holiday in Edinburgh will do).

But of course in real life trying and failing and then trying again and succeeding is great.  Doing this in a dungeon is another thing. I mean you try and fail in real life and what happens … Well ok as a surgeon pretty bad stuff I expect. Ok what about a  hairdresser? Well yes that could get nasty too I bet. Ok as a teacher- well it’s only the entire next generation in your hands….

Ok I admit trying and failing in real life is pretty serious too. But in  Heroics it’s worse- I mean they call you noob and stuff.

But even as I ruminated on the issue I knew it was the only way – I had to get in there. Plus my  addiction to valor points needed feeding.  Since I’ve been able to shop at JP and VP quartermasters I have been unstoppable. Even though my JP firehawk set is annoying because I now have a renegade mirror image who appears when I don’t want her to appear and pulls stuff I’m scared of  I do love the gear. So I have to run Heroic  dungeons & I have to run randoms.

So with this in  mind I queued up again yesterday and to my “joy” (i.e. total dismay) I got Grim Batol again. But this time from the start.

I steeled myself. I could do it. The first trash mobs were easy & I found myself somewhat relaxing (by which I mean I unclenched my teeth by a millimetre and finally exhaled). We then had to jump on the dragons. First problem. It was telling me to free them from the net first. That wasn’t in the normal. Anything that takes me by surprise in an instance removes my  ability to think or move my character. This doesn’t make for great gaming skills. I sat there for a second and then attacked the net- feebly- with my staff  as a bludgeon. It didn’t work. I’ll have to use arcane barrage  I thought, but the logics of this bothered me. How could I arcane barrage the net without killing the dragon?  This would defeat the whole purpose surely. By now of course everyone else  was  flying & merrily bombing away- I was calculating the angle of my barrage. Finally  common sense took hold of me. I remembered how WoW actually worked  & shot the net. The dragon  survived (it’s a miracle!)  & I jumped on its back for the  bombing mission.

Once that was over (not sure how effective  I  was – I missed loads because I had my camera angle turned wrong) I landed back with the group. In  fairness they didn’t berate me for the length of time it had taken me to badly complete a relatively simple task and on we pressed.

The first boss as you know is General Umbriss. As we approached that area one of the group said, “Mage sheep the purple thing.'” I immediately froze. What bloody purple thing? I got ready to look up “purple thing Grim Batol” on the internet but there was no time. I searched around the dungeon panic stricken- shit I needed to sheep something. I didn’t know what, I couldn’t see it. I randomly targeted something that looked vaguely purple but luckily I hit my mouse wrong  (all fingers and thumbs by this stage). We hadn’t actually even started on the boss yet. There was no purple thing. Eventually I came to my senses and  typed  “What purple thing?” “The one that comes with the boss,” was the answer. Hmm. Ok. Still didn’t really know but I decided the only thing for it was to attack the boss with the others but keep my eyes peeled for anything purple. So we started on the boss and  I kept looking when suddenly lo and behold a purple trogg appeared. I have never been so happy to see a big purple thing in my life  (insert own lewd joke  if you like). I immediately sheeped it. I felt so proud. I had been given an instruction and had carried it out unquestioningly.  Never had I been so happy to act like a mindless drone.

The second boss was fine. I even avoided the cave ins. Amazing.

The third boss got me scared. This was the one I’d died on. But I remembered the adds. I remembered the flames. I remembered to blink into and past the flames. And amazingly I did not die. YES!! I yelled at my monitor – adrenaline now really  pumping. Was this Heroic actually doable?

We progressed onto the last boss. Slow down the add on the left I was told. Oh God it was purple thing type instruction all over again. What left? Whose left. What is this thing you call left? But eventually I saw the adds emerge and I slowed one on his way to the eggs. BUT THAT’S ALL I DID. I didn’t realise it was slow then kill. I just thought I had to cause him some inconvenient mobility difficulties. I then stood in the wrong place during shadow gale & died. The thing ended as a wipe.

To be fair though they all just patiently regrouped. I ran in and again almost got lost. It suddenly occurred to me though that they were already at the boss. How could this be? I was running past the dragons at this point. I noticed I could jump on them. I started to put 2 and 2 together (chimps would have picked this up quicker than me). Still not trusting my Columbo like deductive powers  I asked the group, “How do I get to you?” “Use the dragon and jog a bit,” they said. So I did and I got there. After that the tank gave us clear  instructions. Me & a pally DPS were to slow AND kill  leftie add and the other DPS was to do the other. Made sense to me & so we did it. I also stood in the right place during shadow gale (basically threw myself at the group figuring that wherever they were standing was ok- I was too stressed to be able to identify the safe spot myself) & we downed him!!!! Grim Batol Heroic was complete!

I was over the moon. I thanked them profusely for their patience and they were lovely in return. It was a really good experience looking back but absolutely terrifying throughout. Bit like life  🙂


23 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Dungeons: Part 1

  1. I have many times wished for a molten lava river to throw myself into to spare me the embarrassment of making people wait, and wait, and wait while I try to find my way. I totally understand. I would have jumped with you.

    I’m glad your second try was successful, more points for a quartermaster shopping spree!

    1. It’s horrible isn’t it when you know they are waiting & you can’t find your way back. I’m glad it isn’t just me it happens to – although in all the groups I’ve been in it only ever seems to be me!!

  2. Congratulations! You have completed possibly the most difficult of all of the Cataclysm Heroics.

    Once you can do Hour of Twilight Heroics, jump right in! They are much easier.

    1. That’s good to know then. What about raids – are the mechanics all quite complicated there? Can’t imagine what it must be like getting 10 & 25 people doing the right thing at the same time.

    1. Thank you. It really showed though the difference a good group can make. I wish you could select more options before randoms including “I am a beginner and want a group that are willing to guide”, and other people could select “I know these dungeons and I want to help others.” Then group members could be marked in some way to show their level of knowledge etc. Someone like me would show up with a big question mark above my head for example!!!

  3. God it’s nice to hear you describe my problems in a dungeon as if you’d had them as well. Wonderful.

    As to the spider, hit it with an arcane blast of whiskey and then slice and dice with your skean dhu (?that daggery thing you carry in your socks or would if you were a Scot and not in leek country).


    1. It’s good to know other’s have my problems too – when you’re in the middle of some dungeon crisis you feel very much alone! I never knew that dagger was called skean dhu! We Welsh have nothing equivalent – leeks don’t quite match up do they!

  4. Tactics can sound so complicated sometimes! I have the same problem as you. What I usually do is I look up the tactics and then I have a paper next to me, where I have written down the tactics very simply, like this for example:

    Boss1 -> Tank and Spank. Watch out for AoE (purple),
    Boss2 -> Kill adds first. DPS boss. Watch out for Front AoE.

    So that way, I can quickly glance at the paper and get a reminder of what the boss does and what I have to look out for.

    1. This totally reminds me of when I was going to do a very complicated-sounding raid boss for the first time and was petrified. It involved switching to different mobs at various times, and watching out for different mechanics from each. I took a marker and wrote up crude but effective giant notes to myself that said something like:

      X: RUN WHEN HE CASTS ______!
      Y: INTERRUPT ______!

      It DID work. Hah.

  5. /hug

    Grim Batol is terribly annoying and in fact I’ve experienced wiping there in randoms with everyone already geared.

    One thing that helped me when I was first learning the dungeons was an addon that would quietly tell me the strategy for each boss. All my research kind of ran into each other in my head so I needed a quick reminder when we were actually at the boss.

    I forget what the first one I used was, but Rob Boss Mods is pretty popular. http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/robbossmods1

    P. S. I think the purple thing is called Malignant Trogg. You can do a /tar malignant trogg macro if you’re so inclined.

    1. Thank you. It helps to know other groups have struggled with Grim Batol too – even well geared groups. Thank you for the add on suggestion as well. That sounds like something that could really help me.

  6. Thank you, thank you for so completely describing my experiences and emotions doing heroic dungeons. I feel so much better knowing I’m not alone 🙂

    1. Thank you too – your comment helps me realise I’m not alone either!! I just never seem to meet people like me in game. Everyone I meet is either so absolutely perfect I’m in awe or so badly behaved I’m in horror! No one displays my level of well meaning incompetence! 🙂

      1. If there are 2 of us with this level of well meaning incompetence (I love that way of describing it btw) then there must be more out there somewhere. Maybe we need to start a club or something. 🙂

  7. Grim(m) Battle… Auuughhhh…!
    My main is a warrior tank. I tank raids. Gladly! If you give me a voice server, I’ll even pug raids. I don’t mind going into LFR to tank.
    Just please save me from the “original” cataclysm heroics. I don’t like them, but I know I have to revisit them all for certain achievements so I can get that mount some day.
    I don’t like those heroics, because so much can go wrong, and if something goes wrong, it’s a wipe – and then they all point either at the tank (sometimes rightfully so), or at the healer.

    I like the strategies over at icy-veins.com – they’re broken out into “Overview”, “Tank”, “Heals”, and “DPS”, and that cuts down on a lot of fluff that’s just confusing 🙂

    On my Disco-Priestess (thanks to all my guildies!), I was able to skip all the original cata heroics. I did a few regular instances and then jumped into the “HoT” heroics.
    I still want to try to heal Zul’Gurub and Zul’Aman, but that’s personal. I actually like Zul’Aman!

    As to raids, I personally consider that easier. You usually have a good amount of people you know with you (Guild!), everyone expects to die, has to work together, and has some voice chat, which really helps coordinating things. “Whoops, I totally forgot to do X” is a valid explanation of why everyone meets at the nearest repair shop.

    Oh, and on running back and finding your way? If it’s not ToC, then you need to leave a breadcrumb trail out for me. It takes me an “above average” time to find my way around instances. And please, stop with the “left/right” stuff unless you’re saying “coming from X, turn right at Y”… 😀

    In short: You’re not alone. A lot of us experience the same problems as you have, to one degree or another. Most are afraid of telling others about them… just because of some unruly snot-nosed bullies who have no patience and an abundance of insults.

    1. Thank you. Not come across Icy Veins before. Good to hear raids are easier. However, although I’ve signed up for a guild raid next Friday I think I might need to withdraw my name- after yesterday my confidence is lower than zero! I think I need to do more heroics first – even the Cata ones. The MMO melting pot very short guides have been helping – even though I nearly died looking at them on my phone while still trying to play the other day!

  8. I know how you feel. I did them as healer with guild groups at the start of Cataclysm but it was like I had never done them before the times I did them as DPS. I’m a decent healer but as DPS? Meh. I’m very good at doing the wrong thing because I’m flailing around.

    If you like short and to the point information about dungeons, I like the guides on this site: http://www.mmomeltingpot.com/2011/08/quick-strategy-guides-all-cataclysm-heroic-dungeons

    1. I really like these & since you posted the link I have used them on the last few dungeons. They have really helped. Thank you. Just need ones now for helping me find my way into the instance!!

  9. Great read!!

    I’m looking forward to reading more. We’ve all been here at some stage and this will relate to almost everyone. See you in game.

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