Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm not that smart... really.

Most of the druids I talk to on my server are guildies who are fairly new to level 80 and are still gearing. Their number 1 concern when raiding is mana management, which until now I've been chalking up to their gear. But as I read more and more resto druid guides, I'm discovering that mana seems to be an issue for a lot of experienced, established trees as well.

That kind of got me thinking that I'm doing something wrong, as I don't have mana issues... ever. And I'm not sure why that is. My toon doesn't have huge amounts of int (hence the title of this post ^.^) and my mp5 is good not great, so how is it that I'm not healing to oom when so many admittedly better resto druids are?

Unbuffed I'm looking at 2.3k +heals, 17,000 mana with 241 mp5 (while casting). Buffed and with Flask of Pure Mojo, I put out roughly 2.8 to 3.3 hps single target healing, and 3.1 to 3.5 hps on the raid. My build takes advantage of all the mana saving talents, but so does every other tree I've looked at. So, it must be my healing style, right? Maybe you all can help me figure this out?

Here's my approach...

Regardless of my assignment, I play the role of raid healer (obviously paying more attention to my tank if I'm assigned the single target role). I pre-hot one or two tanks (depending on the pull) then get ready with swiftmend as my first response to burst damage. Everyone else in the raid goes without HoTs... for now. (I'm curious if other trees out there pre-HoT dps targets as well as tanks to start a fight.)

As the fight progresses and the tanks move into their positions, I renew their HoTs and watch for isolated damage on other raid members (such as a fireball from Razorscale.) If I see someone get hit, and I know they aren't likely to take immediate follow up damage, I'll throw a rejuv on them and let it tick them back to full (or get eaten up by a priest/pally heal).

As we move further in the fight I start planning for raid wide damage (such as Kologarn's left arm or XT-002's tantrums) and if I time it right, I can have rejuv rolling on ranged, wild growth ticking on melee, HoTs on my tanks, and a lifebloom for yours truely. That's usually enough to keep everyone up as I cycle back through with more HoTs and Nourishes on the toons taking more hits.

Inevitably someone gets a little too close for comfort to critical, so NS+HT comes in handy (I usually pop it 2-3 times per fight depending on the length). And my favorite heal, swiftmend is plan B should another of my buddies find themselves in dire straights.

It's pretty much rinse and repeat from there. I never put more than 1 lifebloom on a target unless it's a fight where I know my tank will be taking more damage spikes than I can respond to with NS+HT, swiftmend, HoTs+Regrowth, and Nourish spams.

Is that far off from what you all do in your raids? I'll be really upset if it turns out my style is putting undue pressure on my fellow raid healers and my numbers aren't where they should be.

To summarize my approach, I'd say I'm a reaction healer, making sure all my tools are available when I need them, but waiting until after the damage occurs to put them to work.

Any thoughts, tips, suggestions on how I can be more mana inefficient... err... I mean better at what I do?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Group dynamics

Admittedly I play in a *casual raiding guild*. I wouldn't have it any other way. The plus side is obvious from the word casual. We schedule our raids but by no means make them mandatory or issue punishments to those who miss them. It's a come as/when you can and together we'll fight our way through this progression type of scenario. Again, I wouldn't have it any other way. The negative side, however, is that raid success can be up and down (mostly when we're required to pug a few spots to get the thing off the ground), and consistently getting an invite to 10 man Ulduar is never a guarantee (seeing as we don't have the tanks and heals to form two separate groups week in and week out).

My question to those of you in smaller raiding guilds is this... How does your guild handle 10 man Ulduar groups? Do you schedule them on your guild calendar and take the first 10 who sign up? Do you have a set group of 10 that go, and the rest sit on the bench (or pug in)? What about some kind of regular rotation where everyone gets to roll with the guildies... just not every week?

In a previous post I wrote how I used to pug in to Ulduar whenever possible, just to make sure I got my loot chances in every week (back when I was obsessing over my gear score). Now I'm more than happy to sit on the side lines while our newer healers bang their heads against Ulduar, keeping myself available to fill in or fill out a raid when needed (hunting my drake in the meantime). After all, the more geared toons we have, the more successful we'll be going forward. Not everyone shares my view, however, as in recent weeks some people we've geared up have jumped ship looking for greener pastures. I feel no ill will towards those former guildies of mine, but I can't help but feel a bit slighted having helped bring them up then watching them leave before they can pay it forward.

Where do you all stand on this? Where does loyalty end and ambition begin for you? If a guild fits your play style but not your schedule do you move on? Is it more about playing with people you like or people who match your skill? Are guilds just a way to progress through the game, or are they more personal than that?

Personally, I'm in my guild because I enjoy playing/talking with everyone in it. I'm sure if I ran off to go join a hardcore group I'd earn newer flasher sexier gear, but it wouldn't be nearly as fun or satisfying as progressing with my friends. In a "what have you done for *me* lately" society, am I the only one who feels that way?

Just curious.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Confessions of a tree...

Okay, I have to come clean. I bent the rules a little at the office, and now my work place’s cyber police have come down hard on yours truly. I admit that I log on to do a teensy bit of blogging at work from time to time. Nothing major of course, just a link fix here, a Freya guide there, you know… little stuff. Unfortunately, the powers that be discovered my minor infraction and have decided to essentially execute my blog!

I’m sure you’re all saying to yourselves “What, Beck?! That’s not fair!” with genuine shock and awe. But it’s true. Twig Heals is now blocked by websense in my office. /wrists.

What this means is…
1. Word of my blog’s existence will have to travel outside of this building if anyone is ever going to read it.

2. Those coworkers of mine who did read my blog will now have to get their lunchtime WoW fix elsewhere.

3. Any innocent office blogging bystanders with serious, forward thinking, relevant, and important blogs hosted on blogspot will now be joining Twig Heals on websense's death row.

4. Finally, and most importantly, I have nothing to do at my desk except work. All day! Every day!!

Yes, this is a sad day for Twig Heals. But there is some silver lining. Those of you computer savvy enough to find a proxy server not blocked by websense on your office PCs will still be able to visit Twig Heals (or any other website) at work. And for the less daring folk out there, Google cache’s webpages and makes them available to you in their search engine. These cached pages are basically snap shots of the website and are often viewable even though websense has the site blocked.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you all an update. Power to the people! Down with websense!! And I’ll talk to you all… after work.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Healing on the run: Freya

If you've been pulled into an Ulduar group, but you haven't had the time to watch the vids or read the blogs, here's a quick reference guide on what you *should* know about the Freya fight. Good luck!


Phase 1:

Where to stand - Where you stand depends on which adds you're fighting...

Elementals - Stay away from Storm Lasher's AoE and always in range of your assigned tank.

Lashers - You'll be stacking on the main tank to AoE them down.

Ancients - You will need to run from mushroom to mushroom as they spawn and despawn or else you'll be unable to cast.

What to watch for -

1. Adds! Freya begins phase 1 basically invulnerable because of the 150 stacks of Attuned to Nature buff that she has. The buff increases healing done to her by 4% per stack and can only be removed by killing the 6 waves of the adds that she spawns. Understanding the three types of adds and killing them in the 60 seconds allowed (before the next wave of adds arrives) is the key to completing phase 1.

- Type 1 - Elemental adds - These three elementals each hit very hard and must die Romeo and Juliet style (within 12 seconds of each other) or else they will respawn the others. See below...

-- Snaplasher - If you're healing the snaplasher group, beware it's stacking buff. As it is attacked it will increase its damage output by 10% for each stack it gains, so the damage spikes will get bigger and bigger on the tank until all dps stops to let the buff wear off.

-- Storm Lasher - If you're healing the storm lasher group, you'll be healing against AoE damage. Only a tank should be near this add while your ranged classes dps it down. Roll your HoTs and then help out the rest of the raid.

-- Ancient Water Spirit - If you're healing the Water Spirit group, give your tank plenty of overheals. This thing hits hard and hits often. It will also randomly charge at someone in your raid. You'll be in the best position to see when and where this happens, so healing that target is also your responsibility.

- Type 2 - Exploding Lashers - These little nasties have an aggro wipe which makes them very difficult for the tanks to pick up. For that reason, the party usually stacks in one spot while they're AoE'd down. Individually they don't hit very hard, but when they die they do a fairly strong AoE attack which can get out of hand if too many are dying at once. Get those HoTs rolling and prioritize your healing targets while you fight to stay ahead of damage spikes.

- Type 3 - Ancient Conservator - This add has an aura that prevents all casting and attacks unless you're standing under one of the mushrooms that spawn while he's up. The mushrooms start small, grow and then disappear in a short amount of time. Do your best to stay in range of your assignments as you move from one mushroom to another. Also, the Ancient will place a debuff on one character (called Nature's Fury). This debuff causes AoE damage to anyone near the player affected. Keep an eye out for the player affected.

2. Lifebinder's Gifts - Throughout the fight, trees called "Lifebinder's Gift" will grown around Freya. When they're fully grown they will heal Freya and any adds that are up until it is destroyed. Who ever is assigned to down these trees will often be running out of healing range to do so. Keep an eye on them and prepare to run to their rescue if they should pick up an add while they work.

Should I freak? Hell yes! Phase 1 of the Freya fight is an ability check on everyone in your raid... including healers. You'll be changing gears with each set of adds, and there will likely be some carry over from one wave to another, making your job that much more challenging. Pay attention and heal your branches off!

Phase 2:

Where to stand - Stand with the ranged group so you all can move as a unit when seed bombs come out. (~Tip courtesy of Averna)

What to watch for -

1. Seed bombs! - Freya's main attack ability is throwing seed bombs at the raid. They're easy to spot and should be avoided at all costs because they hit very hard. If someone gets hit, they will need huge heals... if they survive.

2. Lifebinder's Gifts. - These trees continue to grow during phase 2 and will still need to be destroyed immediately. Keep an eye on the toons who run out of range to down these and pray that enough dps survived to this point to beat the enrage timer.

Should I freak? Nope. The hard part is over. Watch where you're standing and throw whatever heals you have left on the raid. The enrage timer is pretty easy to beat even with a battered and broken raid group.

Stay focused and enjoy your tier gear!

Friday, July 10, 2009

For Blood and Honor: XT-002 Deconstructor

Tazanian walks ahead of our group because it’s his duty. Whatever fiends await us must first meet with his sword. The last of the true knights of our realm, he absorbs the wrath of any evil he must, so that the rest of us don't have to. I walk ahead of our group for entirely different reasons, doing my best to keep pace with Taz while observing the rag tag band of heroes trailing behind. Tales of Ulduar will be told long after we leave its black stone walls. Lore will be built on our triumphs. Legend will be made of the great feats witnessed here. But, the memories I share of this colossal dungeon in the northern peaks will be of the unique faces now meandering behind me and the one stoic paladin who marches ahead.

"Let's move it up." Taz declares over his shoulder, causing the uneven gait of the raid to straighten. Kwaggmire, a good natured death knight, weaves his way to the front of the pack pausing once to tell Whippet a joke, and then again to wack Bloogan on the helm, forcing it down over his eyes. "This place makes my head spin" Kwag says looking straight up. "I know the feeling" Bloogan replies, still readjusting his head piece. Their smiles set against the blackness of this hallway illustrate the kinship of war better than this druid's words ever could. "Feast is down." Taz announces from the threshold of the next room. "Eat up."

The scene around the fire and feast reminds me of home. Laughter fills our little corner of Ulduar, and as the light-hearted ribbing dies down, Tazanian rises to his feet. All eyes turn to watch as he steps forward into Deconstructor's room, taking his position and unsheathing his sword. His line in the sand has been drawn and we all know in order to join him we had best be ready to fight. One by one faces grow intent and focused. I rise and take position to Taz's right. The familiar feeling of confidence comes over me as I see Elissis take her position to his left. Turning my eyes to the front I'm almost certain I catch a glimpse of Akulu stealing a kiss from his wife. Quickly shifting my eyes back reveals no evidence of such, save the growing smile on Elissis' face. "Let's get a ready check." Akulu orders now standing at Taz' side. I pull focus on the group of bots guarding the entrance... even less certain of what I thought I just saw.

The courtyard we find ourselves in features scrap heaps in every corner of the room. The bots, mecho-spiders, and various other mechanical nasties that greeted us at the entrance now lay in pieces under our feet. At the far side of the room, alone atop a platform, stands the gateway I traveled so many miles through the storm peaks to see. Blood boils in my veins, pulsating behind my eyes, as I remind myself of who waits for us on the other side of that door. Freya's fate will soon be in my hands, but for now she will have to wait... a stinking pile of metal stands in my way.

XT-002 Deconstructor stomps deliberately at the back of the room, challenging us to approach. Without hesitation Taz charges at it head on, and I scramble to catch up. The piercing ping of steal on steal rings through every inch of Ulduar as Taz' shield stops Deconstructor dead in its tracks. At once I realize I'm late to this fight. Our bravest blood elf stands unflinching at the sight of XT-002 raising a fist... and I'm out of range! Now sprinting forward as fast as my roots will take me, I see little Elissis slide to a stop at Taz' heels casting her bubble an instant before the fist rains down. For what seems like an eternity, Elissis and Taz stand alone against the steel giant... and they're winning!

The rest of the raid arrive at XT's feet with a barrage of attacks sending it into a tantrum. Moments later, sparks fill the air, angry bots emerge from the scrap heaps, and Deconstructor's mechanical heart falls from its chest. For a moment I stare past the sparking heart at the gateway behind it. Rage takes control. Moonfire, wrath, starfire... I light into Deconstructor's heart with a lust for blood. Moonfire, wrath, starfire... I start to chant to myself with every cast. Get... out of... my... way. Get... out of... my... way!


Imphyy and Kjeldoran jog off to clean up what's left of the scrap bots in the room, Akulu sifts through Deconstructor's remains, and I stand panting in place. "What happened?" I hear a voice say. Unsure of whether it was my own, I pretend not to have heard it. My composure returns and I shift myself back into tree of life form. "Let's move it up." our stoic paladin declares over his shoulder as he makes his way up the steps to the gateway. I jog up behind following his lead. Tazanian walks ahead of our group because it's his duty... I walk ahead of our group for entirely different reasons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Twig heals: Get started raiding resto

I have a dream that my resto children will one day live in a realm where they will not be judged by the color of their gear but by the skill of their character.

I have a dream today.

Make no mistake, gear does not make the druid. There are some benchmarks you'll want to reach before stepping out of heroics and into 10 & 25 man raids, but in the end, it's your skill and your talents that will make or break you as a raiding tree.

Most new level 80s who want to raid come to me with the same question. "What gear should I be wearing?" My first response is always "What ever gets the job done." And it's true. Enchanted, buffed, and talented, a druid wearing mostly blues, with 14-15k spell power, can handle healing through naxx 10 pretty well (despite what some raid snobs will try to tell you). Without the gear enhancements and just the build, heroic dungeons will be challenging, but certainly do able in your quest blues. It's all about what tools you have and how you use them.

If you're looking for a pre-Naxx loot list, check out HoTsTree list here. If you're looking for a bare bones make the most out of what you've got type guide... keep reading.

First things first... here are some benchmarks to keep in mind.

Heroics - 1.2-1.4k bonus healing, 11-12k mana, 175 mana regen (while casting)
Naxx 10 - 1.4-1.6k bonus healing, 13-14k mana, 215 mana regen (while casting)
Naxx 25 - +1.6k bonus healing, +15k mana, +255 mana regen (while casting)

Those numbers are not set in stone, however. The more experience you have healing, and the more familiar you are with healbot, grid, or other healing addon, the more you'll able to get by with lesser stats. Don't be like everyone else and get caught up in the numbers. Jump into a group and see if you can get the job done. If you can, great. Enjoy your new loots. If you cant, don't worry. You're just going to need to upgrade a bit.

For those of you who need a little help with your gear, let's see if we can cut some corners to get you where you need to be. Here's where you start...

Step 1: Grind some daily quests.

You can easily make 100g in a little over an hour once you get comfortable running your Sons of Hodir and Argent Tournament quests. Your Hodir rep will eventually lead to better shoulder enchants and the gold will help pay for some expensive item enhancements, so get to grinding.

Step 2: Join a wintergrasp offensive every so often.

The stone keeper's shards that you get from the WG dailies will get you some head and shoulder enchants right off the bat (while you work on your Hodir and Wyrmrest Accord rep). The WG marks will also give you access to some nice PvP rings to run with (until you can get better PvE rings to drop).

Step 3: Make a shopping list.

Every druid gears up differently. If you PvP a lot coming up to 80, then Gladiator gear will fill some of your slots. If you level up through normal instance runs, then you'll already have some sexy loots here and there. Identify your weakest gear pieces, and then use what resources you have to replace them first.

Step 4: Spend, spend, spend.

Gold is easy to come by now that you're max level. Don't be shy about blowing your bank roll at the AH... several times. Trust me, those blues you're wearing won't look so bad with some enchants on them.

That's really all there is to it.

Now let's get into some specifics.

The item enhancements:

Head - Arcanum of Dominance (+29 sp / cost 40 stone keeper's shards)
or Arcanum of Blissful Mending (+30 sp & +8 mp5 / Wyrmrest Accord)
Shoulder - Inscription of Dominance (+23 sp / cost 30 stone keeper's)
or Greater Inscription of the Crag (+24 sp & +6 mp5 / Sons of Hodir)
Back - Enchant Cloak - Greater Speed (+ 23 Haste / cost $$)
Chest - Enchant Chest - Mana Prime (+6 mp5 / cost $$)
Wrist - Fur Lining - Spell power (+67 sp / cost 1 arctic fur - only for leather workers)
Hands - Enchant Gloves - Major spellpower (+20 sp / cost $$)
Belt - Eternal belt buckle + *Gem of your choice* (add sp, int, or mp5 here depending on your need)
Legs - Sanctified Spellthread (+50 spell power +20 spirit / cost $$)
Feet - Enchant Boots - Greater Spirit (+18 spirit / cost $$)

Aside from the wrist emboss, all of these enhancements are available to anyone who has the currency. If you pick them all up, you will increase your bonus healing by 194, add some nice mp5, and put a little more depth in your mana pool. Not too shabby right? That's basically the difference between running heroics and running 10 man Naxx.

Don't forget the consumables either.

Flask of pure mojo = +38 mp5 for 1 hour (lasts through death)
Flask of the Frostwyrm = +125 spell power for 1 hour (lasts through death)
Flask of Distilled Wisdom = +65 intellect for 1 hour (lasts through death)

And we're not done... spending that is.

You'll notice near the top of every pre-Naxx gear list are craftable epics. That's no accident. If you saved your gold (or know some leather workers, blacksmiths, and tailors) you can pick up these sexies the day you turn 80.

Back - Wispcloak
Chest - Moonshroud Robe
Legs - Earthgiving Legguards
Feet - Earthgiving Boots
Weapon - Titansteel Guardian

And if you're really rich (or have a main with 60 Emblems of Valor) you can pick up a pair of bracers from the vendor in Dalaran that just happen to be BoE.

Wrist - Bands of the Great Tree

The bottom line here is this... Blizzard has set it up so you can jump into raiding immediately. Don't get bogged down with numbers and gear colors. Use these little shortcuts to supplement what you started out with, and then once you're healing comfortably at the higher levels, upgrades will come quickly and easily.

Good luck. And have fun out there.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lumber mill: Tier 9 set bonus

Fresh from the lumber mill:

News on the tier 9 set bonuses:

The resto druid tier 9 set bonus (2) = Increases the critical strike chance of your Nourish spell by 5%.

The resto druid tier 9 set bonus (4) = Your Rejuvenation ability now has a chance for its healing to be critical strikes.

The resto druid tier 9 idol = Each time your Rejuvenation spell deals periodic healing, you have a chance to gain 234 spell power for 9 sec.

Thoughts and feelings:

My first thoughts were, "oh no, not more crit." After all, critical strikes are out of your control. You can't save those big blooms for when you need them most, and having a 50/50 chance of Regrowth dropping a living seed on the MT in a "save the raid" situation isn't exactly ideal either. However, looking deeper at the two and four set bonuses, I'm starting to get excited. Not as excited as say my favorite Alliance druid (Quote: "EEEEEE." ~Averna), but still I'm feeling the love.

A 5% boost to Nourish crit makes 3/3 living seed even more of a must have talent. Chances are if you're running around in T9 your guild will be calling on you to single target heal every now and again, so a short cast, mana efficient, direct heal that gets better with HoTs will certainly make your life a little bit easier. Would I rather have improved MP5 or a reduced mana cost on lifebloom? Yes. But Nourish is clearly the tool Blizzard wants us using, and as of now, it's not looking to shabby.

As for the four set bonus, color me intrigued. HoT crit is kind of an insane proposition. I'm very interested to see how often it will proc, and if it procs often (say once/twice every Rejuv) I'll happily file T9 gear under the category of OP. Any more than that and you'd have to call it cheating, any less than that I might be wishing the T9 idol were the set bonus so I can keep my old idol and save some mana. Regardless, I hope a. that HoT crit is the new direction Blizzard is taking for resto druids and b. that it doesn't start and end with this tier set.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

For Blood and Honor: Razorscale

Emerging from the smoking pile of debris, our brotherhood of the Horde ride unabashed into the next Ulduar courtyard. From this vantage point, the massive size of the complex becomes far more apparent. From the west, the molten sting of sulfuric air assaults my nostrils… two fire golems guarding whatever fiery hell awaits our guild. To the North, the unmistakable sound of scrap bots hard at work echoing down a vast hall. My eyes narrow to pull focus on the mechanical silhouettes against the bright glare of welding torches, then grow wider at the first glimpse of the steel giant that stirs in the furthest lengths of my vision. Tales of Deconstructor had not passed through our group unnoted. The feeling of inevitability drapes over me like a shroud. But as the whir of the bots fade into white noise, a far more menacing sound emerges from the East. Large… fiery… wings.

We came upon a group of Dwarves in a state of controlled panic… four turrets sitting conspicuously off kilter at the stair landing. Their plan of attack was unspoken but clear, as was the reason they hesitated. Tools of construction were at the ready on their belts, tools of destruction, however, were not in their possession. Not yet, anyway. My mouth smirked as my eyes scanned from Whippet, to Kwaggmire, to Pinko, to Pothek. "If destruction is what they seek," I thought to myself "this arsenal will gladly deliver."

Instinct had pushed me and my companions to a spot between the Dwarves and the stalking menace in the sky… eyes fixed on the target, the other senses inspected the scene around us. Weapons were drawn, mouths were salivating… and we waited. While confidence had made us bold, conquest had made us calculated… and rightfully so. Elissis, a soft spoken blood elf priest, moves among our hardened group of fighters as our gentle voice of reason. “Let’s get some buffs.” she said plainly as if it were a personal request spoken directly to each one of us. The immediate casting of buffs that followed from the raid very quickly exposed her request as an order, to those who were watching. My gift of the wild had already been given, so I cast thorns on Tazanian… because I know it amuses him. The Dwarves grow anxious with each passing moment, but we continue to wait… patiently and at the ready… for the one who leads us.

Akulu arrives to our group as most rogues of his caliber do… largely undetected. No sooner do I find him at the front of our ranks than do I hear him talking of razorscale and what terrors he brings. I’m growing wise enough not to bother wondering where this rogue gains his knowledge of such things, so instead I turn an ear and listen. Each thundering flap of wings pumps adrenaline through my bark as our guild leader lays out his plan. I take a moment to marvel at the grace of our new found enemy, and just as I wonder if this dragon willingly wears her heavy armor, I hear the Dwarves spring to action repairing those harpoons. It begins!

Dwarven mole machines bore through the floor. I pull focus on Saraella as she races in to meet them. How they fit the heart of a giant in this little paladin I will never know. One mob, now two, take swings at our tanks. I position myself near the center of the circle and cast rejuvenation on Sara and Taz. My spells tick once, maybe twice before Elissis and Alitharina heal those targets up completely. An ounce of relief creeps in as I scan the raid once finding no targets to heal.

"Can it be this easy?" Glancing up at Razorscale I catch a glimpse of a blue fireball just before its wrath takes a big chunk of my health, as well as my confidence. "Self heal, Beck!" I mutter, scolding myself. "Focus!" Another fireball rains from the sky over my companions… and then another. More adds arrive, assaulting Sara. Luhan and Sunmor mobilize to heal up the damage left by those flaming projectiles. I renew my HoTs on the two tanks in my range and begin to blanket the raid as I notice fire breath scorching the ground around us. Blue flame appears a moment later scorching… me! “Move!” barks Akulu, “Get out of the fire.” There's no need to tell this timber to run from the flame. My roots are already scrambling. Ali turns in my direction long enough to cast a quick heal. "Did she just wink at me?" I blush. Bloogan shouts, “The turrets are up!” almost too excitedly. A moment passes as if Akulu questions whether this course of action is just. His answer follows a moment later with just one word. “Fire.”

As Razorscale is forced to the earth, she receives our full attention. Taz stands eye to eye with the plated proto-drake, taunting her into giving him her best shot. Melee charges in, singeing their eyebrows for a moment as they come in contact with the remains of the fire breath she landed in, but quickly reposition themselves for what can best be described as a frenzied assault. Imphyy leads a ranged attack that lights up the sky with a fire show the likes of which I’m certain our Dwarf onlookers have never seen. I take a moment, with the other healers, to top off our group, then turn and roll my HoTs on our main tank just to make myself look busy. Temptation gets the better of me, as the voice in the back of my mind begins to chant "Moonfire. Wrath. Starfire. Hurricane." I give dps my best shot then unwittingly take a step back as Razorscale takes a deep breath in. "There's no way she…"

Before I finish my thought, a chained Razorscale springs to the air in one mighty leap, the results of which pulling the newly repaired turrets off of their bases. Our raid group is temporarily hurled into the sky by the force of air sent down by her mighty wings. Instinct has me back in Tree of Life form casting wild growth on the nearest tank before any of us fall back to the ground. More mole machines appear, Razorscale vengefully hurls more fireballs in our direction, the dwarves hurry again to repair their harpoons, and the fight continues much like it had before we brought her down to earth. She’s hurt and she’s angry, and if we’re going to live to see the sun set on this day, we’re going to have to pull her down to us once again.

Chaos now reigns in this corner of Ulduar. Fire riddles the ground claiming some of our numbers. Heavy heals prevent whirl winds and chain lightnings from claiming more souls, but the turrets are up, and a much angrier version of our foe is about to reek havoc on this fray.

With no time to destroy the dwarves attacking our main tank, Taz turns his back and resumes his staring match with Razorscale, again eye to eye, this time with adds in tow. Every spell in my arsenal is being utilized now. There are merely moments, not seconds, for me to cast out lifeblooms and wildgrowths between regrowths and nourishes. Razorscale is grounded for good, and is being led by Taz around the room, but the heat from her breath is beginning to fuse his armor. Ome has picked a fight with all the adds now and is keeping them occupied. Sara has positioned herself and is trying to rip Razorscales attention from Taz. The rest of us stand in the middle of this battle field doing our jobs, witnessing this proud beast rage.

Silence comes, at a cost. Those of us left standing quietly sift through the carnage left behind by this battle. Healers revive those comrades who were taken to the brink by Razorscale. The dwarven mechanics stare satisfactorily at their war machines as our proud group makes the way back up the stairs we descended from. Akulu stays behind for a moment, offering a pensive “Job well done.” to his faithful followers.

Back in the Ulduar courtyard, the once thunderous flap of proud wings is replaced by deafening silence. As I bow my head in honor of our fallen foe, a small smile crosses my face. The corner of my eye has caught the silhouette of a scrap bot hard at work. I turn my head to the North, now searching for the mechanical giant that waits at the end of this hall. “Craft away my friends,” I whisper to myself “those are the tools we plan to build our legacy with.”