Kids today, frankly, don’t know they’re born.
Back in 2009, shit broke quite a lot, normally at Patch release. In this case, Wednesday, December 9th was the release of Patch 3.3.0, when you could finally enter ICC for the first time and BOY did everything go BOOM that morning, as the above screenshot attests. It was one of those amazing moments where you see a peek behind the surface of the game. I’ve bugged out a few times inside the UI, but never outside, and my loading screen vanished. I don’t remember how long I had to wait to get in, but my PC got a number of restarts.
ICC was the first time I cared about scoping out boss locations in the real world. It was when many people took Wednesday off so we could run the Frozen Halls on launch. That was a tough trio of dungeons, and still remains my favourites in terms of mechanics. It was also the start of the quest to pick up a Battered Hilt, which I can remember I got lucky with on a roll on that same day. The excitement was palpable: I would have a chance to get a highly desirable item ahead of the curve. It is something of an embarrassment now that I was that person back then but really, there is no escaping the truth. This game has made me a horrible person in the past, a fact that I am very sorry for now.
It is sobering, looking back at the screenshots from December 2009, and realising just how much of my life revolved around the weekly need to obtain loot, how I’d screenshot DPS meters. There’s a lot of shots of character slots too, the ever-present Gear Score front and centre. It all mattered too, so much I can remember the disappointment when gear didn’t drop, the frustration if an upgrade never happened… and it wasn’t just PvE gear either, I was working hard on PvP back then too, so a Vault run after Wintergrasp was as important as the other stuff, sometimes even more so.
There are days, I won’t lie, when I miss that life. It was wonderful to raid and to feel a genuine sense of achievement when we made progress. It was only 10 man back then however, but towards the end of Wrath we were running pick up ICC 25 groups, which worked well, a process that had begun with Onyxia in 3.2.2. However, I can’t remember anything except the bad stuff from that time, which concerns me in hindsight. ICC particularly was not a great time for me, along with the Trial of the Crusader raid. There was a PHENOMENAL amount of loot drama, and many people who really didn’t want to help the Guild’s aspirations.
The problem with nostalgia for many people is their perception, like it or not, is ultimately warped. Normally it is the good that gets exposed away from the bad: however, I’m all arse about face when it comes to Northrend. It was one of the hardest times of my in game experiences, and because I promised myself I’d never write a bad word about the Guild, all I have are my own heavily edited memories of what remained, which in many cases weren’t the entire truth.
Here’s a positive highlight however, courtesy of my husband, who wrote this for the Guild website when we were wiping on Marrowgar:
• Lord Marrowgar will now do significantly less melee damage in both the 10 player normal and 10 player heroic difficulty.
So, anyway, tactics….
Lord Marrowgar is a two-phase repeating fight.
Phase One is the Bone Graveyard phase where the tanks stand on one side of Marrowgar and the DPS and healers stand on the other.
Phase Two is the Bone Storm phase and consists of the duration of Marrowgar’s Bone Storm.
The transition from Phase Two back to Phase One is what will kill most raids. uh huh
Three healers are useful to handle tank healing when a healer gets hit with a spike.
In the Bone Graveyard phase the raid wants to stay close to each other with the melee in the middle, the ranged on the sides, and the healers in-between the melee and the ranged. The healers need to be in range of the tanks, but farther from the boss than the melee. This setup specifically allows the melee to swap to any Bone Spikes that hit raid members near them allowing the spikes to be nuked inside 2 gcds. By doing this you minimise the damage taken by the spike target, maximise the raid’s time on the boss, and minimise any interruption to the melees’ rotations by target switching.
Here’s P1 diagrammatically:
Regardless of how you handle the spikes, the raid needs to spread out as soon as the third spike is killed because the boss is about to transition to phase two.
In the Bone Storm phase of 10-normal, the raid wants to avoid the Cold Fire at all costs. The damage from the Bone Storm is negligible if you have competent raid healing and avoid standing directly under the boss when possible. The damage from Bone Storm is AoE, so abilities like a rogue’s Feint will work to full effect.
In short, don’t stand in fire.
Here’s P2 diagrammatically. Maybe a bit spread out, but it’s not that big a room. Try not to overstretch the healers. Don’t stand in blue stuffs.
The transition from Phase Two back to Phase One is the difficult part, as he does a complete aggro wipe. To transition safely (for those of us who aren’t farming heroic ToC) the raid, except for the tanks, need to stop DPS on the boss when he hits his fourth target’s location. Once the fourth stationary spin is complete he’ll wipe aggro and the tanks can pick him up.
Tanks will stand between the boss the the outside wall, wherever is convenient. Mark the tanks, watch where they’re going, and re-form the T-shape of melee/healers/ranged behind the boss.
Here’s the Second P1 diagrammatically:
Phase Two and Misdirects
The transition and Misdirect love each other. They really do. Tricks of the Trade on the other hand will get a rogue killed because before the boss aggroes your Tricks target, he’ll one-shot you with a 30k Saber Lash.
And now you know.