With the Dragonflight pre-patch event in full swing and the expansion release in just a few days, I thought I’d talk about how Shadowlands season 4 went. I already blogged about Heroic: Fates of the Shadowlands Raids. Now let’s look at m+ and RBGs
I mainly played Sotiros, my resto shaman again. We didn’t go for Keystone Hero this season, so it was an easier season. I had a 2229 rating, which is mostly the +16 to +18 range.
I barely played Devee, my holy priest. Maybe I’ll play him more in Dragonflight! He had a 1481 rating and was missing a lot of scores.
Mooglegem and I earned the Vicious Warstalker mount this season in rated battlegrounds. The win rate was fairly even, and I earned an extra Vicious Saddle too.
Back in mid-August I earned Fates of the Shadowlands Raids, and a couple weeks ago I earned the heroic variant. Once we earned our Jigglesworth Sr. slime cat mounts, we promptly jumped off Oribos!
While most people reading this likely understand the fated system, for those of you don’t, this was the first time Blizzard used something like this for a raid season. Rather than using new raids or even just updating an old raid (like Naxxramas and Onyxia’s Lair level 80 versions), this season involved scaled up versions of all three Shadowlands raids. Each week, one raid would be “fated,” scaled to current ilvls and with additional affixes to change things up a bit. Most of these affixes boiled down to being buffs, but some did cause issues on fights that were positionally difficult. The affix on each boss rotates each time the raid is fated as well.
Each boss could have one affix when the season started and later it was changed to two out of a possible four.
Chaotic Essence: Someone must interact with it to make it hostile. When it’s hostile, it keeps summoning little adds. Every little add that’s killed grants a stack of a damage, healing, and absorbs buff. The adds do damage, but it never felt like it mattered.
Protoform Barrier: This appears as a buff on the boss. When dispelled, it creates an add that’s attackable and shares a big absorb shield with other enemies. When it’s killed, it mirrors the damage done to it to the boss and gives a damage bonus to players. (There’s also a second add that healers can heal to reduce the absorb shield.) This was usually not a problem, but if the group is near a wipe, the boss is almost dead, and then a Protoform Barrier appears, it can cause a wipe.
Reconfiguration Emitter: An add casts raid-wide damage and gets a stacking damage buff over time. Once it casts or is interrupted, it’s attackable. When it dies, it increases player stats based on its power level. This never felt like an issue.
Creation Spark: Players get debuffs that will create circles on the ground when dispelled or expired. Standing in one gives players a mini lust. Every circle that doesn’t have a player standing in it will explode with raid-wide damage. This can be deadly on heavy movement fights.
Here’s Delillidan (Elias), me, and Mooglegem (gem) on our mounts!
This fated system certainly seems designed to extend the life of the content without heavy development. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I enjoyed the season. However, the fated rotation adds difficulties. During the first three weeks of the season, my raid group spent the first raid night of the week doing normal and the second doing heroic. On the third week, I had to miss the second raid night. While I earned my normal achievement and the mount, it means I missed heroic fated Sepulcher. In the following weeks, my raid group decided to raid just once per week and stick to heroic. Three weeks after the previously missed Sepulcher, I had to miss raid night once again – which means I once again missed heroic fated Sepulcher. Yes, it’s on me for missing raids. But bad timing with a schedule plus the fated rotation can really hurt things.
I did manage to do some pugging to get my heroic fated Sepulcher of the First ones done. Now I’m Sotiros, Hero of Fate!
Now that we’re a couple days into Shadowlands season 4, I thought I’d talk about how the last season ended. I successfully reached my three goals – 3k m+ rating, Ahead of the Curve, and the Vicious PVP mount.
I definitely spent more time on mythic+ than anything else in Shadowlands season 3. I ended the season at 3017 rating on my shaman.
Here’s the breakdown from raider.io. As we were unlocking portals, I had timed a couple +20 fortified keys but no tyrannical, so I really thought tyrannical was going to be the harder one. Somehow I ended up with a lot more rating from tyrannical than fortified, which I didn’t realize until working on this blog post.
Not the most exciting screenshot, but this is when Shadowlands Keystone Hero: Season Three popped! Like last season two, I main’d restoration shaman. I also earned the rest of the dungeon portals this season that I didn’t get last season, and we made sure everyone in our m+ group got all the portals.
I also played holy priest a little. My goal was just 2500 rating, and I got that done without much stress!
I finished Sepulcher of the First Ones heroic on my resto shaman, although the Jailer did give me some trouble. We ended up splitting the raid team into multiple small groups after determining that the fight was easier with smaller groups. I didn’t end up getting my kill until week 19 of the season – 56 days after defeating the previous boss, Rygelon!
This is Carcinized Zerethsteed, the Ahead of the Curve mount! It’s pretty cool.
The Shimmering Aurelid mount was the reward for Glory of the Sepulcher Raider; it’s another awesome mount!
My goal in PVP was to get the Vicious War Croaker, which is the cool frog mount that you can see I earned above. I love the frog animation in which the frog shoots its tongue out to eat the glowing fly! I PVP’d on my priest in discipline.
I ended the season at Challenger II – 1691 RBG rating (also my best) with 45 games won out of 95 played. We also tried 2v2 arena a little, although I like battlegrounds significantly more. In 2s, I ended Challenger I with a rating of 1481 and best rating of 1490 with 20 wins out of 37 matches. Mooglegem and I were expecting to do much worse to be honest, so we were happy with how we did. However, you get much less credit toward the mount while doing 2s, and it caused way more stress. We mostly did RBGs, but it was nice trying 2s.
It was a good season! Now it’s time for season four, which will definitely feel a little different for PVE. I hope everyone has a great season!
On 3/26 we defeated the Jailer in Sepulcher of the First Ones normal! I guess I got behind on updating the blog. It’s a fun fight, but Anduin feels like better fight and something closer to a final boss. Maybe that’ll feel different on higher difficulties.
We’ve moved on to heroic progression and are currently 3/11. Hopefully we push further this week!
This week we got our second Sylvanas kill, which got most of our group Ahead of the Curve, including Moogle! And this time, unlike my first kill, we actually got a group screenshot!
We also did mythic Tarragrue, Eye of the Jailer, and the Nine. These mythic bosses are so much easier than heroic Sylvanas. Is it always like that? I doubt we’re going to push mythic much more, but it was fun to get a little mythic progress. Now that I have tier of shaman healing under my belt, I can say that I definitely enjoy it. I plan on sticking with resto shaman over disc priest next tier as well.
On top of New World launching this week, I also earned Ahead of the Curve: Sylvanas Windrunner. Heroic Sylvanas seemed tuned pretty difficult compared to the previous bosses, and we’ve been struggling for a couple weeks. This week we used a smaller raid group, and it so much easier. The fight is very positional, and it’s much better with a small group. Over the next few weeks, we’ll get AOTC for the whole raid group.
Somehow I forgot to take a screenshot – not that there’s much to screenshot. But I had this clip saved!
We decided to clear normal Sanctum of Domination before heading into heroic. We defeated normal Sylvanas on our fourth raid night, which was in the second week of the raid. In heroic, we’re now three bosses into the raid with The Nine falling this week. As mentioned in the title, there will be some spoilers in this post.
I got the Sanctum Gloomcharger’s Reins on my second defeat of The Nine, which was actually in LFR. I’m not sure of the drop rate, but it doesn’t seem too high. It’s a pretty cool mount!
We’re struggling against Soulrender Dormazain in heroic for now, but at least we’re making progress and getting better. This is a pretty cool fight, and I really enjoy seeing Garrosh again.
Here’s the cutscene at the end of the fight courtesy of wowhead. I think this is a pretty good end to Garrosh’s arc. No redemption. He is who he is, and he does feel remorse for his actions. He goes out fighting and even screaming “for the Horde!”
And then I guess he becomes a pile of ash. Oh well.
And this is how I feel after wiping repeatedly to Soulrender Dormazain in heroic! Okay, actually things have been going well, but I thought I’d end the post there. Happy raiding!
Just because I haven’t posted recently doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy in WoW. Lately Mooglegem and I have been joining PUG rated battleground groups in an effort to earn the Vicious War Spider. Those groups come in two flavors – YOLO groups that fill quickly and are not very good and organized groups that fill slowly, use voice chat, and actually coordinate. Sometimes I might have “played” for over an hour just searching for a decent group, and once I joined one, I’d hope to stay for a couple hours.
Eventually I found steady group that welcomed Mooglegem and me to join them consistently. In addition to their RBG groups, we began to raid with them. Thanks to that group, I earned Ahead of the Curve: Sire Denathrius and Heroic: Castle Nathria! I was way over-geared for heroic already thanks to m+ and had a done a few of the bosses, but trying to find PUGs was always such a hassle that I never got around to finishing before this. It’s been fun raiding again, seeing how the fights are supposed to be done, and getting to know new friends.
The PVP grind took longer, but with a good group, I was at least making consistent progress. And about a week ago, I earned by Vicious War Spider! I’m continuing to do RBGs though because I’m having just too much fun. I used to PVP much more before it took a backseat to raiding and then m+, and it’s been so much fun focusing on it again. Playing with a coordinated group certainly helps! Now I’m looking forward to gaining rating (hopefully) and maybe earning another mount! In the screenshot at the top, I’m enjoying my mount while Moogle is on her IMPOSTER Vicious War Spider! Actually she’s about 10% off, and the rest of the group isn’t too far behind. Soon!
I finished Castle Nathria normal last week by pugging it. I’m overgeared at this point thanks to m+ but wanted to get a handle on the mechanics before starting to pug heroic groups. The raid’s pretty fun, and I think Sludgefist, Stone Legion Generals, and Sire Denathrius are particularly good fights. Stone Legion Generals can seem overwhelming but it’s not bad if people follow a plan. There are spoilers for the outcome of the raid after this.
The Sire Denathrius fight was fun with some interesting mechanics – unburdening our sins, using the mirrors, dodging Remornia. Sire Denathrius was a really cool character with superb voice-acting. I think he has a lot more personality than Prince Renethal, which is too bad. I’m kind of disappointed we defeated Denathrius so soon after his introduction.
After he is defeated, Remornia absorbs him into herself. In an effort to bind him in the blade so he can’t escape, we bring Remornia to Prince Renethal and Z’rali (the naaru from Sanguine Depths) where Z’rali uses the Light to bind and torture Denathrius. Prince Renethal remarks that after “time the likes of which your kind have yet to measure” Denathrius may be released, changed, “his true purpose once again affirmed.” Obviously Blizzard could bring him back if they wanted, but I’m doubtful we’d see it any time soon. Too bad. What a fun character!
Before talking about the raid, check out that skybox in Ny’alotha! It’s really gorgeous!
The five of us who have been actively pushing m+ were geared and had our Ahead of the Curve already but wanted to be sure the rest of the guild could get it too. Carpe Flux Capacitor has a lot of people who have been in and out this expansion (some fairly geared from pushing through +10s) as well as one friend of mine who just recently came back to WoW and was a hard carry. Plus even the five of us had some bosses we still needed. I had never done Vexiona (besides LFR) even.
We did it over the course of three nights. The first night, we cleared the first few bosses without much issue. Unsurprisingly, Dark Inquisitor Xanesh and Vexiona gave us the most trouble. We eventually pushed through Xanesh, which I thought would be the hardest boss, but then we hit a brick wall with Vexiona.
Night two we descended into that pit to defeat Shad’har the Insatiable, Drest’agath, and Il’gynoth. Again, not too much trouble. And we managed to get Vexiona down as well!
On the third night we tackled Carapace of N’zoth and N’zoth himself. It was a lot of fun to be coordinated again in a group. While I’m enjoying m+ and prefer it to raiding now, raiding is a different beast and scratches an itch I’ve had for a while. Everyone did really well, and even my friend who was a carry in regards to his gear had execution down.
Here I am on my Uncorrupted Voidgwing, which now most of the active guild members have too! As fun as it was, getting the group together also reminds me of the most stressful part of raiding – organizing 10+ people.
Hopefully we can follow a similar path next expansion: pushing m+ primarily but then looping back to try the raid before the end of the patch. This patch has been a blast!
Last night we attempted Hans’gar and Franzok for the first time, taking the fight onto their huge treadmills. After a few attempts, we were able to handily defeat the cardio bros.
We pushed deeper into Blackrock Foundry, stopping to struggle against Flamebender Ka’graz. This took a decent number of attempts, but we bent the Flamebender so out of shape that she dropped and gave us her loot.
Our new raid progression was celebrated with selfies! Hopefully next week we can down Kromog!
We made some more progress in Blackrock Foundry last night! Gruul went down without too much of a fight, but then we spent the majority of the night on Oregorger. The problem was just execution, but I think we got it now.
Our night ended with us slaying Beastlord Darmac. Last week we hit a bit of a wall, so I’m glad we managed to progress with two new kills this week. I got some new loot, too!
Blackrock Foundry opened this week, and we had a chance to enter Wednesday night. We were short a few people, but we managed to pug and have a nice time. One boss went down – Gruul. Yay, progression! We put a decent amount of time into Beastlord Darmac, but we weren’t able to defeat him. Hopefully next week!
I really like the look of the raid so far. It’s reminiscent of many past set pieces. Mostly I just like that it feels like such a big, bustling city. It’s pretty cool!
This week was our second week of raiding in Warlords of Draenor. Last week we only managed a single raid night, but we got our full two done this week. We’re 6/7 normal Highmaul; couldn’t quite kill Imperator Mar’gok.
Next week we plan to try a boss or two on heroic and hopefully fully clear normal!
We finalled stripped the mantle of Warchief from Hellscream and liberated Orgrimmar! According to my count, it was on the guild’s 45th attempt.
I’m happy to finally complete normal mode. This might be it for the guild for a while; I know a number of people are looking forward to a break. I think the guild will take a break for a week or two and then see who wants to continue.
I won loot from my bonus roll – a tier token! I turned it in for the fifth and final normal-mode healing tier piece. I don’t think I’m going to use because my off-tier is better in that slot, but I’m glad to have the option
Normally I include a montage of our deaths before the kill video, but with 43 failures, it would take me a while to edit them and render the video, plus it would make the video pretty long. You’ll have to live with the kill video alone. Of course, I doubt anyone really cares to watch our kill videos, so it shouldn’t be a big deal. Unfortunately, I had WoW’s audio routed through my speakers and Mumble through my headset, and somehow FRAPS only picked up Mumble. No WoW audio in this one. Oh well.
You can read more details about the kill on the Carpe Flux Capacitor kill announcement.
Alright! We downed Siegecrafter Blackfuse on Tuesday. Yes, maybe it took 21 attempts, but we killed him regardless. No loot for me, but I’m happy to be continuing forward. The Paragons of the Klaxxi seem complex yet, if LFR and flex’s trend applies in normal, easy. Will we get to see Garrosh Thursday? I’ll find out soon I suppose.
Last night we defeated the Spoils of Pandaria on our fourth attempt. Not bad! It felt like more honestly. The fight went pretty smoothly. I’m glad we’re making rapid progress.
No loot for me, but that’s okay.
We also managed to kill Thok the Bloodthirsty on our eighth attempt. This was a much rougher fight than the Spoils of Pandaria. I think we were healing too long and keeping Thok in that interrupt phase too long. At first we were getting him to around 66% health before transitioning, but maybe that was allowing him to hit the tanks too hard. Honestly, we didn’t have a problem keeping the tanks up in that phase, but a tank would almost always get one-shot in the second interrupt phase. We were probably using too many CDs on the first one. Anyways, once we went with much shorter phases, things went better.
I won gloves that I’m not going to use right now I don’t think but could be useful later depending on how tier works. I also won the tier helm! That’s great, because it would give me four-piece if I choose to use it with the LFR tier legs that I didn’t use yet. Unfortunately, AskMrRobot shows that I’ll take a significant loss if I used the four-piece because I’d be changing from Warforged normal legs to LFR legs. It’s better to use the higher ilvl gear without four-piece for now. I’m hopeful that I’ll get another piece though. If not from normal, even a flex one would probably be great. I have normal chest, hands, and head tier, and LFR legs. My non-tier shoulders and legs are Warforged normal, so we’ll see.
We killed the Kor’kon Dark Shaman as a guild for the first time yesterday! We extended last week’s lockout so we could start right on progression. I even managed to get a warforged mace off my bonus roll – Kardris’ Scepter.
I’ve been complaining a bit because I couldn’t manage to down Garrosh in flex. In fact, most groups couldn’t get past the first boss of Downfall. On Friday I listed myself for Downfall and got invited to a group just for Garrosh. It was super simple, and everything went extremely smoothly. It was a lot easier than most LFR groups even! Anyways, I’m happy to have completed flex.
It might not be guild progression, but I had some personal progression. Pepper asked me to join a PUG for Siege of Orgrimmar, so I decided to give it a go. It seemed like it was at least half of a guild run. We started at Galakras and made it through the Dark Shaman. It was my first time downing them!
It was actually a rather unpleasant experience. They were very rude to non-guildies. I stayed simply because I thought I had a chance at progression. Is that bad of me? Whatever.
Wednesday we had our one and only attempt on Iron Juggernaut, defeating him! It seemed like a strangely uneventful boss. I’d heard it was easy, but after a boss that had a group leaving to do their own thing in the towers on Galakras with comparatively complex mechanics, I don’t understand why Iron Juggernaut was even there! That said, he’s pretty cool looking, so I guess I get it.
You can watch our kill too. I forgot to start the video right at the beginning, but I remembered pretty early. Now that I’ve become the official kill poster on the Carpe Flux Capacitor guild website, I might as well link to our official kill announcement too.