Last week I had the opportunity to do something that I’ve been avoiding since the release of Wrath of the Lich King: raiding with my Rogue.
I’d logged off my Priest for the night when my roommate asked me if I’d come in and help him finish Ulduar 10. While I had been raiding ToC with my guild some old WoW friends had organised an impromptu Ulduar raid. I was excited for them – most of them were experiencing Ulduar for the first time. Of course I was happy to help.
By 11pm – when they asked me for help – they had defeated most of the keepers and were absolutely thrilled by their progress. They had successfully beaten most of the bosses on their first attempt, aside from a small hiccup on Hodir (but it is kind of hard to describe good snow vs bad snow). I wasn’t nearly as surprised as they were. They were friends, were used to playing together and were being led through by an experienced, and patient, Elemental Shaman who knows Ulduar inside out. Plus, they all had pretty nice gear. So there was absolutely no reason to think their first Ulduar raid would be disastrous.
Cassandri was already saved to Ulduar 10 so I had two options left open to me:
- Log into Lathere’s account and play her extremely undergeared Shadow Priest
- Log onto my BC main, a Rogue, also extremely undergeared
I was kind of excited by the prospect of playing Lathere’s Priest. First off, I’d love to get her some decent gear. And secondly, I thought it would be fun to play something I know really well, without the benefits of good gear… and possibly without even being hit capped.
Unfortunately, I soon discovered that Lath no longer uses the same password for World of Warcraft that she used to (damn you Battle.net). So the only thing I could do to help was to offer up the services of my Rogue on one proviso: nobody was allowed to make fun of my gear.
Since the release of Wrath of the Lich King I’ve been avoiding my Rogue. I’ve tried, and failed, in the past to maintain two raiding characters at once. It may sound strange but I feel that if I log onto Chriara and set a small, short term goal (for example, doing the cooking daily quest), that I might end up setting another goal, and another until I find that I’m farming Emblems and pugging raids for gear. And I know that for me, that path lies major burnout.
So I put off leveling Chriara to 80. I made excuses not to join heroic runs. I refused to complete the Storm Peaks quest line to unlock the Sons of Hodir reputation grind. I rarely skinned my kills because leveling Leatherworking seemed like too much commitment. I even put off buying her gear.
I haven’t read one article about Rogues since Wrath was released. I knew that there was a couple different hit caps to look out for: a hit cap to never miss with special attacks, a hit cap to never miss with poisons and the (impossible) hit cap to never miss with white auto attacks. Oh yeah, and an Expertise cap. I didn’t know what talent spec performed the best in raids. I didn’t know what weapons suited what builds.
But the important part is… I didn’t want to know. My head is filled with enough Shadow Priest stuff, thank you very much!
That said, I had made a very small amount of effort after doing my first and only heroic and purchased some stuff for Chriara (fortunately for this late night Ulduar raid). I re-talented to something more suitable for raiding. I was happy with my talent build – Combat Swords, nothing exciting, I know. I’m capable of 2k DPS without buffs. I’m pretty proud of that.
I knew that most of the members of this Ulduar group couldn’t care less about my gear. They were happy that they were all raiding together again and succeeding. And inviting me to raid with them was probably much more appealing than pulling some stray out of Looking For More. Plus they were getting pretty darn tired and knew that they might not actually complete the run. It’s bad form to PuG someone under those circumstances.
So, after agreeing not to grief me about my gear, they summoned me right down to Mimiron (yay for Warlocks). The single pugged member of the raid – a DPS warrior with attitude – had a bit of a go about my level 70 items but we all ignored him. Then I remembered …
I’d offered to fight Mimiron as melee.
So our Shaman buddy is doing his best to explain How to Mimiron (and probably going into way too much detail) and I’m thinking back to how our melee-ers in Vitare went when we were learning the encounter.
Shock blasts aka dying for not running out in time.
Oh yeah, rockets.
Yep. I’m gonna die.
How in holy hell do you do Mimiron as melee? How do you know when to run out? Is it a cast bar? Is there an emote?” I frantically whisper one of the Rogues from my guild to ask for some advice. I’d already heard of Cloak of Shadows, but thanks for trying anyway Vip.
I start to mentally revisit my long history of failing-at-running-out. Including how often I died to Prince Malchezaar’s Enfeeble back in the day (it scares me that I didn’t need to look up the name of that ability – I still remember it). I have a long history of failing-at-running-out, you know. Fortunately Failbot hasn’t been around the whole time and doesn’t keep a detailed history of my failures.
Vitare took a good few weeks to get Mimiron down. It was long enough that our GM got serious about our mistakes and was minus DKPing people left, right and center. For dying to stupid stuff. Like Laser Barrage. Or rockets. Or mines. I think our Restoration Shaman lost nearly 1000 DKP before he got the hang of Laser Barrage. Other casters and healers lost quite a bit of DKP too. And I’m pretty darn sure that a few trial raiders failed their trial period based on their performance (and mistakes) while wiping on Mimiron.
But if melee died to Shock Blast – not running out of range in time, or if they did run out only to hit a land mine and die – they were often excused. It was deemed unfair to punish the melee as harshly since the fight is so much more difficult for melee. And our melee died a lot.
Yep, I’m so going to die.
By now our Shaman, Rummy, has almost finished explaining the final phase of Mimiron and over Vent people are starting to get totally confused “so where do we stand for the first phase, again?”. Since Rummy and I are the only two there who have previously experienced the fight, he very politely asks me over Vent if he’s forgotten anything. I remind him about bombs and rockets. Which he explains. And we run in to give it a go.
By the way, my UI totally sucks when you’re tracking combo points. (Note to self: fix Chriara’s UI)
Sure enough, first Shock Blast and by the time I see what’s going on the cast bar is half way through. I die. “I thought you’d know to run out for that, Cass?”. I stop laughing long enough to apologise over Vent. I told you I was going to mess it up first time, didn’t I?
But now that I know what to do, I’m set. We all run back (because while I was laughing to myself about dying so early, our tank was discovering that they needed something special to survive Plasma Blast), review the strategy and try again.
This time I’m staring at Mimiron’s frame waiting for that cast bar. I can angle myself around so that when it’s time to run like hell I can just strafe right through a gap in the circle of land mines. And I actually remembered to hit Adrenaline Rush and Blade Flurry and stuff! Then our tank died again and we came back for another attempt.
Third time round I’m having a great time. Spamming Sinister Strikes, running out, Cloak of Shadowing, dodging rockets, hitting cooldowns. We get to the second phase – you know, the deadly Laser Barrage one. I’m dodging his rockets, running from side to side to minimise his machine gun fire and then he winds up to unleash Laser Barrage. What do I do? Nothing! I moved like 2 steps and it was over. Just like that. Too easy.
Time for Phase 3. I hacked away at the Assault Bots, remembered that I have an AOE, and did some Fan of Kniving when all the little Junk Bots came out. Oh yeah. Then my roommate – who was assigned to “pick up” the Bomb Bots – got me killed by not standing where he was meant to stand. I made him apologise over Vent. After all, it was totally his fault and I had been having so much fun right up til that moment.
We came back to give it one more go. Unfortunately we didn’t make it very far into the final phase as we slowly lost raid members to rockets and stuff, but we came close. The raid was a little dissapointed at their failure since they’d breezed through all the bosses up until that point. But Mimiron is not a fight you can easily explain, or master, until you’ve tried it a couple times for yourself.
So we logged off for the night.
I couldn’t believe how much fun I had. I didn’t care if we wiped or not. I didn’t care about loot. I didn’t care when other people died to silly things. I was just happy to be doing something I knew well from a new perspective.
But the main thing I learnt that night was this: Mimiron is easier for melee. It’s easy! Having taken both my Shadow Priest and Rogue to that fight I can tell you that it’s not harder to dodge rockets and avoid land mines as melee. It’s not harder to run out in time. It’s easier than avoiding Laser Barrage as a caster and you don’t lose DPS time.
And I realised that auto attack is OP. If you get targeted by rockets as a caster, or need to avoid Laser Barrage, you have to stop casting and move. Sometimes you need to run a lap of the whole room. As a Rogue? You can just keep attacking, shuffling a few steps left as Mimiron turns.
Why did my GM never minus DKP for running out of Shock Blast? Perhaps, as a DPS warrior, he’s more sympathetic to the trials and tribulations of playing a melee DPS? Yeah, that’s what I think. He certainly had me convinced that Mimiron was more difficult to do as melee.
But after that night in Ulduar playing my Rogue I can confidently say that’s just not true. Now every time my GM offers some strange explanation for why we’re wiping and I don’t agree, I say this:
I did Mimiron as melee and it was easy.