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Heroic Spine

41 replies to this topic Started by HardBeatZ, Jul 09 2012 11:35 PM
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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:35 PM

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HardBeatZ
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For those of you that have downed it. Any tips? I'm in two progression raid groups and in both groups we know this is going to be our biggest hurdle in DS, however I want to leap over it as quickly as possible. It just seems to me like our healing just isn't quite there to keep up with the amount of damage going out. In both groups we are clearing the first plate fine and start dying off usually around the second. My question comes down to outside of just managing cool down usage is there anything we can do to make the lives of the healers better? I mean the fight in theory is the same fight no matter what plate you are on, the damage just increases as the amount of health of the player base also increases.
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Posted 09 July 2012 - 11:54 PM

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That strongly depends... Who is dying? Why are they dying? What is your strategy? What we found quite effective for our first kills where I (Warrior tanking the blood) tended to die at the third plate (nightmarish flashbacks of waves of blood start to come up again...!) was to alter our START! The Blood Corruption debuff tends to jump from left->right->left... so we had all our raid stand on the left side while killing those first 4 tentacles while we 2 tanks stood on the right. This way both tanks got 2 stacks of the dmg-reduction. We also found optimising the transition phases to be crucial. If your healers can't handle the AoE coming in from the dying blood (as for us during progression) don't kill too much blood. Sounds simple but requires some training. Just kill enough blood for the add to blow up and tank/kite the rest. In the transition phase (i.e. after the tendon has been killed) have the DDs focus down all the tentacles (or all but one), pop a healing increasing CD (blood DK / bear tank), heal away those nasty healingdebuffs, pop a dmg-reduction CD (Warrior, Pala) and bomb away. Then all run to one side to initiate a roll and at the last possible moment pull all those big nasty adds through the blood. During our firstkill we managed to reduce the blood count back to 0 in the transition 1->2 and to ~7 residues at 2->3. During the third plate your blood-tank will most likely not be able to keep all the bloods on him (esp. during second add) so your addtank will also have some; be wary of this! Don't kill them, just let them be or the add will absorb them. A warrior excells at kiting the blood (jump, charge, intervene, stun of shockwave) and also deals nice damage (rend spread with thunderclap, shockwave) if you have access to that. Hope that helped - if you give a little more info I might be able to give you some more specific tips.

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 12:14 AM

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HardBeatZ
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We've only had one night of practice at it so we probably have things that can be cleaned up.

Here is the first night of logs that we put in basically four attempts, it was the end of the night and we just finished clearing the rest of the instance. I have a bad habit of not logging when we are doing farm content.
http://www.worldoflo...pozqsvnbjjpenf/

From what I can tell, our DPS is doing a good job at killing the tendons, however it seems we may be having issues at keeping the bloods from going rampant. Our healers were definitely taking a beating and that seems to be when things go south. I'm wondering if we should not worry about trying to kite until we get to the third plate. Starting on the third plate then we should maybe consider kiting as our Prot Pally who is doing the bloods seems to not be able to keep aggro while trying to move. In most of the deaths I see burst damage from the bloods, so we may be killing too many of them and not being kind to our healers. I believe we are doing a good job of getting the debuff on the right people at the right times, although I suppose I could be wrong about that.
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Posted 10 July 2012 - 02:09 PM

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There are four tips to this fight that must be adhered to if you want to succeed: 1) Get the damage reduction buff set out this way: force the first two on your tanks (one each), then casually let one float around to everyone else. If one lands on your tank for a 2nd one, let it expire. The goal is to get 1 stack on your tanks before the first plate ends, and that gives your group plenty of time. However, if everyone doesn't have at least 1 by the time you perform your flip after the second plate, people are going to be hurting. 2) Cooldown management should be very simple...they need to be used when performing a barrel roll as this is when you should be slaughtering any remaining bloods. Divine Hymn, Tranquility, Totem, any tank 4 piece bonus, etc. When your amal tank gets comfortable with his role, he should be listening for DBM's countdown to the roll. When the group runs to the side to initiate the roll, your tank should be in the middle of the spine. You should start staggering CDs...defensive CDs reduce the blood burst damage and healing CDs get rid of healing debuffs remaining. When the DBM timer gets to 3, the amal tank should move from the middle of the spine towards the group collecting all of the blood residue. He should arrive to the group just as the barrel roll is performed removing all remaining bloods from DW's back and leaving your group without any debuffs and in great condition. Mind you, this type of roll is only performed twice (between 1st and 2nd plate and between 2nd and 3rd plate) so while it seems like it's crazy, it really isn't that bad. All of your important AoE CDs are on a 3 minute cooldown providing ample time to get them up for the following one. 3) Dispel duty should be on your Priest who can glyph a heal with it. If you don't play with a Priest, your weakest healer should be on dispel duty. Hopefully it isn't your Paladin, because Paladins are wicked for this fight. Don't forget Hand of Sacrifice on Amal tank, Hand of Protection for casters, and all the other wonderful tools they have. Resto Shaman's Totem CD is unparalleled during the barrel roll transitions as effective healing is still performed despite the healing absorption debuff. 4) Relax...while this fight is difficult, it's monotonous as well. All you have to realize is it's the same exact thing as normal except you take more damage, have to do more damage, have to be cleaner, and 1 healer has to handle dispels. You just do 6 lifts. Also, no talking in Mumble/Vent unless you have valuable information to provide. If someone is on back up duty for grips, it helps to announce a grip is coming in 3 seconds so he can prepare. If a healer is popping a potion of concentration, the other healers need to pick up that slack. If the dispelling healer is gripped, another healer should be ready to pick up the dispel duty. Stay relaxed, perform the fight as normal, and realize that once you down it, you're basically done with this expansion. Cheers, and good luck. If you post your specific group comp, I can help you with CD timing and raid assignments.

Edited by Zagam, 11 July 2012 - 01:11 PM.

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:02 PM

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However, if everyone doesn't have at least 1 by the time you perform your flip after the first plate, people are going to be hurting.


I hope to god you mean "all the tanks", since the time between debuff applications is very long. Unless there's something I don't know about how it works, getting everyone a stack of the damage reduction buff would eat up far too much time.

Edited by Stoove, 10 July 2012 - 06:03 PM.

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:03 PM

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I hope to god you mean "all the tanks", since the time between debuff applications is very long. Unless there's something I don't know about how it works, getting everyone a stack of the damage reduction buff would eat up far too much time.


No, I meant it just as I said it. My healers focused on getting 1 to each tank by frequently dispelling until it landed on the tanks. Once each tank had at least 1 application, the healers didn't dispel it once it turned into Blood Corruption: Earth to save mana. For example:

Tank 1
Tank 2
DPS 1
DPS 2
DPS 3
DPS 4
DPS 5
Healer 1
Healer 2
Healer 3

Priority would be Tank 1 and Tank 2...they should get debuff 1 and 2. Debuff 3 will randomly hit anyone...and should be left to expire on who it lands on, no matter who it is. If it is Healer 2, leave it. If it is Tank 1, leave it. However, if another random debuff lands on someone already with 1 stack, dispel it until it lands on either: 1) a tank with only 1 stack or 2) someone without a stack yet. Once a tank gets 2 stacks, the debuff should be dispelled from him for obvious reasons.

Tanks don't take tremendous damage until the 3rd plate and they already have an enormous number of cooldowns and mitigation methods to survive the early damage. You won't be wiping to Spine due to tank damage...you'll be dying to AoE and raid damage as well as mechanic blunders. If your tanks are dying before the 3rd plate, they need to brush up on their tanking skills or your healers are rather lack luster. Mind you, I pulled this fight off at the 5% nerf and we never once had a wipe due to a tank death.

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:54 PM

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I hope to god you mean "all the tanks", since the time between debuff applications is very long. Unless there's something I don't know about how it works, getting everyone a stack of the damage reduction buff would eat up far too much time.


Sounds to me if we try to get one stack one everyone before the first roll then we have a 12 minute fight before it even starts :/ Unless I'm missing something.
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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:07 AM

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A debuff is applied by a spawning amalgamation. So theoretically you could just kill the corruptions over and over, roll off the amalgs and repeat. This way you can apply 2 stacks on everyone in the raid before even really starting the encounter. We experimented with this a few times but just felt it to be too annoying to bother and instead polished up our regular strategy which got us the kill. I agree, that average tank damage is negligible until third tendon, but there are some rather nasty spikes. Like in the transition, when you pull 3 amalgs through blood and get 3-4 9-stack amalgs hitting you (or 2 if the other tank taunts 1-2 off). If however you want to distribute debuffs in the raid I would recommend giving the first one to eleshami followed by healers (just the way pseudoaggro works the shami has a LOT of it ;-)) Also, if you only spent a few tries on him, don't worry so much :-) It took us ~120 wipes to kill him; admittedly a few more nerfs are out now, but still... he does need some getting used to.

Edited by Astropolix, 11 July 2012 - 12:09 AM.

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:57 AM

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I'm not debating the fact that it's useful to have the debuff on tanks, nor that the debuffs should be left on whoever after that.

The problem I have with your comment, Zagam, is that you appear to be advocating not rolling until everybody has the damage reduction. Like at all! Exactly the same way HardBeatZ seems to be interpreting this;


Sounds to me if we try to get one stack one everyone before the first roll then we have a 12 minute fight before it even starts :/ Unless I'm missing something.

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:08 PM

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I'm not sure if something has changed (I've not killed H Spine in over a month) but I don't remember the debuffs being limited to an Amal spawning. I wasn't indicating you should prepare everyone with stacks before rolling...that would obviously extend the fight to unreasonable lengths. The fight doesn't start until the 3rd plate anyways...that's when the damage comes. I remember our attempts where our dispeller happily announced that he had successfully got 1 stack of the debuff on every person while we were doing the first burn on the 2nd plate. Mind you, I've never healed this fight, so I'm going on what he said. By our method, we killed all 4 Corruptions at the beginning, waited for 2 Bloods to spawn, then rolled. We then killed another Corruption to spawn an Amal (5) and performed the fight mechanics. For the 2nd Tendon burn, we killed yet another Amal (6), killed 2 more Corruptions, spawned 2 Amals (8), and then rolled. Then we killed the remaining Corruption and forced the 9th Amal to spawn, so perhaps my healer was overzealous in saying he had 1 on every person by forgetting one person. If this is how the debuffs are applied, I would still adhere to my strat of trying to get 1 on every person before the barrel roll between plate 2 and 3. When the 2nd plate is lifted, the 10th and 11 Amal would spawn, so this would be a good time to get the 2nd buff on your add tank. Your Amal tank really shouldn't be taking much damage, and if he times his cds correctly on barrel rolls and when the Amal hits 9 stacks for what should be a very brief time, the 2nd buff won't make much difference to him. The way we controlled the Blood's Burst damage was by slowly 'passively' AoE'ing with our Warlock casting Shadowflame on the adds and our Frost DK casting Howling Blast. This made the number of bloods not as high, but still damaging. Nothing a decent group can't handle at the 25% nerf level. I modified my original post to reflect this discussion. Thanks for clarifying that mechanic for me.

Edited by Zagam, 11 July 2012 - 01:11 PM.

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:52 PM

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I wasn't indicating you should prepare everyone with stacks before rolling...that would obviously extend the fight to unreasonable lengths.


Ah OK I'm glad we've cleared this up then - your original contribution did seem to indicate that one should aim for 100% coverage of the raid before the second roll - this seems to me to be rather extreme. On the other hand, I can understand how you can get one on nearly every person before the second plate. This is fine :)

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:02 AM

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A debuff is applied by a spawning amalgamation. So theoretically you could just kill the corruptions over and over, roll off the amalgs and repeat. This way you can apply 2 stacks on everyone in the raid before even really starting the encounter. We experimented with this a few times but just felt it to be too annoying to bother and instead polished up our regular strategy which got us the kill.
I agree, that average tank damage is negligible until third tendon, but there are some rather nasty spikes. Like in the transition, when you pull 3 amalgs through blood and get 3-4 9-stack amalgs hitting you (or 2 if the other tank taunts 1-2 off).
If however you want to distribute debuffs in the raid I would recommend giving the first one to eleshami followed by healers (just the way pseudoaggro works the shami has a LOT of it ;-))

Also, if you only spent a few tries on him, don't worry so much :-) It took us ~120 wipes to kill him; admittedly a few more nerfs are out now, but still... he does need some getting used to.


Thanks Astropolix,

We spent another three hours wiping on the fight Monday to end our raid week and we've decided that it's best to work on accomplishing one thing at a time.

1. Our tendon DPS is good
2. Our timing for breaking the grip and killing the Amag is good
3. Our roll has been better, we try to minimize the amount of damage going out during this time, by waiting as long as we can before getting the grasping tendril debuff and getting in the hole.

It leaves us two areas that we need to finish "perfecting" and I think we have a kill very soon.

1. Better kiting with the blood adds
2. Overall survivability after the second plate breaks away

I'm hoping for a kill either this week or next week. Being as we are a casual raid group and take the content as it comes to us and progress through at a steady pass we are completely satisfied that we have made it this far on heroic and will be ecstatic if we can get it down after only our second week of progression on it.

I know most elite raiders will discount our progression on nerfed content, but for us it's the act of completing it that is satisfactory, so here's to this weeks raid. :)
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Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:49 PM

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No one should discredit your kill, even if it's nerfed. I don't think these nerfs are for people who can't 'get over that wall.' Blizzard knows that a majority of players are still only playing due to the fact they agreed to the Annual Pass and are stuck paying. Some, despite of that, have quit all together regardless of financial responsibility. Keeping a group together and raiding is worthy of an achievement in itself. In due time, you will get Spine. Any 'hardcore' raider who discredits your achievements with your group should pull his head out of his ass and mind his own business. If I came across that way, I apologize...I only used the nerfs to explain that my strategy was done at the 5% mark and should be sufficient at the 25% mark. Mind you, this is THE most difficult fight to date aside from pre-nerf Heroic Ragnaros, but it is rinse and repeat material with an increasing difficulty as time goes on. On subject, how many Bloods are you 'kiting' during Plate 3? I think kiting was a necessary evil prior to the lowered Tendon health where tanks needed to assist. When your Blood tank kites, he opens himself to getting hit in the back and losing a few that spawn that will hit your healers. If you're performing your barrel roll to a high standard, you shouldn't have that many Bloods until you hit the 3rd plate, 2nd burn. This is where the fight turns to crap and you basically just do what you can to get that Amal dead and the Tendon exposed. At that point, whatever healer has a CD should use it while the other two and everyone else pull out all bags of tricks to kill that darn thing.

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:52 AM

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Any 'hardcore' raider who discredits your achievements with your group should pull his head out of his ass and mind his own business.

Signed - we ourself are a casual guild that is just developing some very slight progress ambition on one of the worst servers in Germany, so I know where you're coming from ;-)

When your Blood tank kites, he opens himself to getting hit in the back and losing a few that spawn that will hit your healers.

While I agree that kiting is no longer essential now I must object to this. I will admit that I'm kiting a little more loosely now, but for our firstkill I was hit in the back ~10 times over the whole duration of the fight! It all comes down to knowing when to be where and correct usage of your abilities as well as external abilities (runspeed shield, Holy Wrath stun from a DD, ...)
Of course the warrior is the extreme example here, being able to stun regularly, charge, intercept, jump and having a taunt with no cooldown (thx vigilance) make him ideal here... but I feel with some practice a pally can perform quite well, too.

For the rest I agree with you again; Our firstkill was all but a clean kill (not sure, but I think our mage was standing iceblocked hoping for the dots to kill the tendon). But HardBeatZ, you can believe me when I say: it was the most satisfying kill of the content! People were literally going crazy in our TS, whilst for madness we only had a short "People, he's going down!...*KILL* Yeah! Nice one!" Hope there'll be more of these challenging fights in MoP :-) And I hope they learned from the errors they made early on this one (before the nerf); hard fights: YES!!! Fights only beatable with a very specific setup (>3 arcane mages with legendary here): NO!!!

Anyway, back to topic: Do you have an addon that counts the number of bloods? Or can you estimate how many you had left after the roll?
Ideally you'd want to go back to 0 after first plate and back to <8-10 after the second plate. Today we had a run where 17 residues remained, because our amalgtank seemed to have missed their puddles. It gave me flashbacks of the old times... the amount of blood I was dealing with at plate 3 2nd lift was just not funny!

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:16 PM

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Haha, our kill was similar. The only 4 left standing alive were me (Warlock), our Hunter, our Frost DK, and our Rogue. When things were falling apart due to the overwhelming number of bloods (>40), us DPS specifically called for healing CDs on us and for the healers to run to the back of DW's back...this 'kited' the adds long enough for us to finish off the Tendon. If you had told me prior to our kill that our healers would be kiting bloods long enough for us to win, I would have told you to quit snorting your cereal in the morning. Winning fights for the first time with the most unorthodox methods is what makes this game shine for me.

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:46 AM

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In today's news....51 wipes, but all that matters is 1 kill! Now to try to figure out this madness thing!!
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Posted 24 July 2012 - 08:23 AM

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In today's news....51 wipes, but all that matters is 1 kill! Now to try to figure out this madness thing!!


Well stuck at it! Think Im going to swerve and aim for 6/8 hc before MoP ;)

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:19 AM

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Well stuck at it! Think Im going to swerve and aim for 6/8 hc before MoP Posted Image


Same! Only downside is that I saved my hunter this week as I didn't think I would make the guild raid... and then social plans changed so now I need to RL from the bottom of the DPS meter instead of the top with my shambolic mage.

It's not really hc geared...

Posted 25 July 2012 - 04:56 AM

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We actually switched to a 2 Tank, 4 DPS, 4 Healer set-up to finally get our kill. We had an Atonement spec Disc Priest adding some hf/smite DPS to the Tendon and Amalg, and everyone pitching in (Healers/Tanks) on the 1st two Tendons. 3rd Tendon we used pots on the 1st Tendon burn and then used Heroism to quickly kill off the last Amalg and finish the Tendon. Our DPS isn't particularly high, so 4 Healers should be viable for most raid comps, providing the DPS are all using the VP trinket and good macros to target and pop cooldowns.

Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:52 AM

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Conrats on the kill, HardBeatZ!

We're still working on Spine HC, but we're getting there. On Monday night we had our second real progress night on it and got to the 3rd plate several times. Some things I found helped a lot;

Taking the time to get damage reduction stacks onto the tanks rather than just anyone. I was dispelling, and I noticed that the attempts on which I got the buffs to the tanks soonest went better.

Saving a healing cooldown for the Amalgamation is a must; we had two Resto Shaman so one SL'd on the roll and one on the Amal burn. This helped a lot, especially on the 2nd and 3rd plates.

One thing that someone pointed out in the raid is that you can trigger the roll without being in the rooting area - we ended up trying to do this and moving into the rooting area at the last moment to minimize the damage taken (this made it much easier on me - dispellers don't get to heal much during the roll phase!).


Our DPS isn't particularly high, so 4 Healers should be viable for most raid comps, providing the DPS are all using the VP trinket and good macros to target and pop cooldowns.


I think this entirely depends on the group - I know that our raid doesn't have a good time with burst DPS (we've got all the wrong classes!) so we absolutely need to go with 5 DPS rather than 4.

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