As you probably know, Stormshaper was rolled with the intention of me going back to the start and enjoying the game over again. I had got bored with endgame raiding and the tedium of farming materials for fish feasts, analysing peformance logs, looking at gems and enchants and raid composition so that I could eek out the smallest DPS gain and get further into the Icecrown Citadel grind.
Very quickly, she went through the levels, out to Outlands, then on to Northrend. She hit 80, she farmed heroics, and now, she has done all that, and the 10 man raid content is open to her.
One of the most interesting, and still difficult challenges in 10 man raiding is the Obsidian Sanctum encounter with Sartharion, where you leave the three other drakes alive.
Okay, when I say difficult challenges, I know that leading edge raid teams did this stuff over a year ago in gear far inferior to the gear that drops now. Stormshaper is head to foot in tier 9 and people did this in tier 6 and 7. To those players, I say “Well done”. But this isn’t a leading edge player’s blog. I’m not IMBA in any way, shape or form, I just play the game for enjoyment. So for me, and the many other players who aren’t leading edge, don’t have state of the art systems, spend hours optimizing and tuning their PC and internet connection and can’t donate huge swathes of their time to hone their skills, OS10 with 3 drakes active is still a tricky thing to go for.
Well, last week, we went in there and we came close several times. But we just fell short. 300K short, 100K short, 90K short. Each time improving, each time getting closer. We knew that we’d do it this week, it was just a question of keeping our heads and focussing on the job.
In the week since Stormshaper first set foot in Obsidian Sanctum she’s improved her weapons and now has a Nighttime equipped in each hand. She also opened up the Sons of Hodir daily quests and has the entry level shoulder enchant, The Lesser Inscription of the Axe in place.
All these small changes have combined to give a significant boost to her base DPS. I’ve also been using Rawr to test her gemming requirements so some subtle re-gemming has taken place, which again, will improve her DPS. Reading that last sentence back, you can see that I’m falling into the same trap that I fell into with the Hunter and the Death Knight and the Warlock before her, but for some reason, whether its the class, or the play style, or the guild I’m in, I’m finding all these things to be less of a chore with Stormshaper.
Anyway, away from the theorycraft, tonight we went into OS10 and were determined to complete the challenge.
Our raid was made up of one warrior tank, one discipline priest healer and 8 DPS. Stormshaper the enhancement shaman, a hunter, four death knights, a warlock, and a paladin.
First run – wipe with 300K health left on the boss.
Second run – wipe with 110K health left on the boss.
Third run – wipe with 600K health left on the boss. The flame walls came and caused havoc and we died very, very quickly.
And so it continued. Close, closer, closer, but still not there. Until the 7th run of the evening, and then……SUCCESS! Lucky seven, and what an epic success it was.
Tenebron had been causing havoc when he flew down to assist Sartharion. He would zoom in and take out the healer pretty much instantly. With no healer and two bosses, the raid would collapse very quickly. To overcome this, one of the Death Knights decided that he would stand close enough to the healer when Tenebron came down, he would taunt it away from the healer as far as the tank, who would in turn Tenebron off the death knight and onto him. In effect this chain taunt would end with the tank having two bosses on him for a few seconds.
With the rest of the raid concentrating on Sartharion and never moving off him, the hope was that our DPS output would be enough to bring him down before Tenebron could kill our tank. On previous two attempts using this strategy, we came close, then it worked. Like clockwork. It was a strategy that was brilliantly executed by the death knight “bait” and our warrior tank.
My job was to bring Heroism, totems, spirit wolves and the flame elemental. Heroism went about 15 seconds into the fight, knowing that its 30 second buff would take us to approximately 45 seconds. All three drakes come down about 1 minute 30 seconds into the fight, so by 45 seconds we should have made a significant dent in Sartharion’s health as Tenebron, the first of the drakes arrives.
Stormshaper lasted until the boss had about 60K on him. Some other DPS fell by the wayside around this time too. A mix of the flame walls, and the flame elementals that spawn from that took care of them. But Sartharion’s health kept falling. 60K, 50K, 40K…..20K the healer died…..10K, 9K, 8K the tank fell…….come on, please, come on, a Paladin, swinging away, strikes the boss once, twice, the paladin falls, Sartharion falls first! Achievements filled the screen as the realisation hit home. We had achieved our “Of The Nightfall” titles.
It was marvellous.
Oh, and the reins of the black drake fell too.
As Stormshaper is an alt, I decided that it wouldn’t be fair to roll on the reins, so it was left to the mount collectors in the raid to roll for it, and poetically, the Paladin who’s last swing dealt the killing blow to Sartharion the boss won the roll and got the dragon. All in all, it was a great way to end a brilliant and very successful raid.