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Thread: Heroic Lich King Strategy Notepad

  1. #11
    VI Officer - Forum Admin Khrash's Avatar
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    Most people say, in Phase1:

    You need either a Hunter or a Rogue to remove Frenzy
    OR
    You need a Holy Paladin to heal through it.

    Just been doing some reading and that's what I see. They say it is doable without a Rogue or Hunter, but then they say you definately should be using a Holy Paladin.
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  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khrash View Post
    Most people say, in Phase1:

    You need either a Hunter or a Rogue to remove Frenzy
    OR
    You need a Holy Paladin to heal through it.

    Just been doing some reading and that's what I see. They say it is doable without a Rogue or Hunter, but then they say you definately should be using a Holy Paladin.
    For sure; Kath and I spent a while discussing this and setting up his weapons/macros/power auras. He'll be able to /focus the first Horror spawn and once the second spawns, he'll target that one and stay on target with me. Double-anesthetic with a shiv > focus macro should allow him to automatically remove Enrage from his target with white hits and shiv off enrage when focus casts it.

    We shall see, but it sounds promising and fairly simple.

  3. #13

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    A few more thoughts:

    1. Soul Reaper

    Due to threat issues, it seems clear we cannot continue using Intervene as our cooldown for Soul Reaper throughout the entire fight. Because I'll be soaking Vile Spirits so frequently in Phase 3, Intervene is still the only option for Soul Reaper during Phase 3, but Phase 2 I think we should try a taunt/cooldown method.

    Soul Reaper is every 30 seconds, and Khrash and I have reliable 2 min cooldowns (he has one and I have two), so every fourth cast we'll still need to use Intervene, but that should greatly reduce the threat drops during this part of the fight.

    For those that forget, when Soul Reaper hits, it will add a 5 sec debuff, that will do a huge hit when it expires. It also increases the Lich King's damage for a few seconds after expiration, so hence the need for cooldowns. Therefore, with this method, the basic order is a loop of four Soul Reaper casts:

    1. Khrash uses Divine Protection.
    2. Kulldam taunts Lich King and uses Last Stand + 4-piece absorb (which will give me about 100,000 HP in actual health plus absorbs) while Khrash gets healed up from the big hit after the 5 sec debuff. This should provide plenty of time for healers to heal Khrash up and throw some heals on me before Lich King can deal 100k to me. Khrash immediately taunts Lich King back after the 5 sec debuff expires.
    3. Kulldam taunts Lich King and uses Shield Wall + Trinket (40% damage reduction means 108,000 HP in equivalent health, plus some extra avoidance). Again, should allow plenty of time for healers to get Khrash back up to full before he retaunts.
    4. Khrash soaks and Kulldam Intervenes, as usual.

    I've updated the DBM-Icecrown mod with warnings to help Khrash and me know which cooldown and if there's a taunt for any given Soul Reaper.

    Again, this is only during Phase 2. Once we're into Phase 3 I won't be able to use my cooldowns on anything other than Vile Spirits, so we'll have to use Intervene only for Phase 3 Soul Reaper, but hopefully threat will be fine at that point.

    2. Bloodlust

    I've watched basically every HLK10 video I can find at this point, and everything I see indicates once we get to that point, we'll be hitting Phase 3 well before the 10:00 mark, meaning Bloodlust since we normally use Bloodlust right away, it won't be available again until well into Phase 3.

    This is an issue I think due to Raging Spirits going from Transition into Phase 3. We'll have 2 alive for sure (likely both near max health since we lose a bit of DPS due to extra orbs), and it's important we kill Raging Spirits, as we only get 75 seconds max of DPS time on Raging Spirits before the second wave of Vile Spirits is activated and I'll have to do my first soak. They have 1.2m health each, so if we assume 2 full health Raging Spirits, that's 2.4m to do in 75 seconds. That's a fairly low DPS benchmark when nothing else is going on (a bit over 6k per DPS), but we'll still be dodging Defile and such as we go in and out of Frostmourne during this time, and we'll also lose DPS time moving Lich King back and forth as well.

    Long story short, I think we'd be better served saving Bloodlust for the second Transitional Phase, just prior to Phase 3. Obviously it will extend Phase 1 slightly, but not significantly enough that it matters (we're already barely getting our 3rd Horror at 72-73%, so as long as we don't go too long that we see #4, I don't see it mattering).

    More importantly, with lust during Transitional, we should be able to easily burn through 3 of the 4 Raging Spirits by the time the first Frostmourne grip happens, which means we'll have 60-65 seconds to finish off the remaining Raging Spirit, which is a much easier ~3300 DPS requirement.

    3. Raging Spirit Tanking Position

    I think we've all seen it forever, but it may be time to give into the pressure and start tanking Raging Spirits facing into the room (toward Lich King) rather than on the edge facing out. We originally faced them outward so that the entire space behind melee was open to Wildhide to nuke orbs, but these days that's not a factor and the benefit to tanking them facing inward are hard to pass up on Heroic -- namely shorter travel distance for melee, no chance of accidental silence hitting random people as we move in, and during transition into Phase 2, I can immediately charge Lich King to get the remaining Raging Spirit in melee range immediately.

    Minor change but worth it I think.

  4. #14
    VI Officer - Forum Admin Khrash's Avatar
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    Suggestion:

    Kheelan go Feral Cat.
    Thawfore go Holy.
    Kilwenn spec in to Replenishment.
    Katheon spec out of Blade Twisting.

    OR

    3 heal it same as above except Kheelan Resto.
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khrash View Post
    Suggestion:

    Kheelan go Feral Cat.
    Thawfore go Holy.
    Kilwenn spec in to Replenishment.
    Katheon spec out of Blade Twisting.

    OR

    3 heal it same as above except Kheelan Resto.
    I'm pretty certain Fides and Khee have both expressed in many ways it is easier with two healers due to much faster phases. Regardless, I personally don't feel that (generally speaking) healing is an issue at this point compared to a number of other things we can fix to lower the damage intake on the raid itself. Perhaps once we get solid into Phase 2 we'll find something that changes our mind (though I'm quite confident both Phase 2 and Phase 3 will require LESS healing than Phase 1, but who knows for sure).


    I had some more thoughts, specifically on handling Vile Spirits in Phase 3. I realized, given the shape of the room (circle), we were wasting a great deal of potential travel space for Vile Spirits by moving from 180 degree locations back and forth. Best case scenario doing that is Vile Spirits must only travel the diameter of the room (obviously slightly less due to the kill area being inside slightly), but if the room is 100 yards across, for example, at best Spirits must only travel 100 yards.

    Instead, I realized if we force them to take a curved path, even slightly curved, we can increase the travel distance and travel time, and therefore force them lower to the ground, before they must be killed. Furthermore, we can better control the locations of Defile, which tend to cast as we are moving to the next location. As we've seen, even on Normal practice, a Defile pool right outside our stack-up position makes it very difficult for the Vile Spirit soaker to find a good spot.

    Therefore, I propose the "Quarters Strategy", as outlined in the slides below:


    The essence of the steps are simple:
    1. We start at our previous stack-up location, and upon Vile Spirit cast, the raid moves only about 45 degrees (i.e. from 12 o'clock to 1:30), loosely spread awaiting Defile.
    2. Once Defile hits, the raid stacks up at the furthest point at the 90 degree mark (3 o'clock).
    3. Vile Spirits will agro shortly, and once they do, the raid immediately runs straight to the final destination (180 degree, or 6 o'clock).
    4. Due to the raid's movement path, Vile Spirits will travel in a curved path trying to take the shortest path toward their targets, which will bunch them up and force greater travel time and distance.
    5. As we're running to the 6 o'clock position, Shamans can still drop Earthbind totems as usual to help snares near the kill spot.


    This process of course repeats from our now 6 o'clock for the next spawn (going to 7:30, then 9, and finally back to 12 o'clock). This should, in 90% of cases, allow us to force Defile into the side areas of 1:30 and 7:30, leaving the large portion of the room free at all times.

    Comments welcome, but I don't see any downside unless my recollection of the timing is waaaay off.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulldam View Post
    I had some more thoughts, specifically on handling Vile Spirits in Phase 3.
    I like the idea mainly for positioning Defile on the edges of the platform. The pathing will buy us a few seconds but it will also get the Vile Spirits down to ground level quicker( I could be mistaken on this but it seems like their pathing to the ground was shorter when we were positioned closer to them). That means they can be affected by Earthbind Totem and possibly even Blizzard faster to buy us even more time. Another option I thought about was possibly using an Earth Elemental to soak one or part of one Vile Spirit spawn. I know it is a 10 minute cast but it might help to buy more time for defensive cooldowns.

    Phase 1

    I think the things that bother me most about Phase 1 are our starting position and our setup for Shadow trap movement; both of which affect our DPS. We have consistently had 3 Shambling Horror spawns in Phase 1 but we have been very close to avoiding it by getting LK to transition(usually within 3-4%). I feel that if we use a strategy similar to the strategy used on the Heroic LK video at Tankspot, then we will improve DPS to the point of having only 2 Horrors to deal with. Basically, there are three lines that are followed. One line for ranged, 1 for the Horror tank(the middle line), and 1 for melee. The idea is similar to one of our original strats involving the separation of ranged ad melee but instead of using a semi-circular movement for Shadow traps, we would use a linear approach and we would move in parallel. So, a Shadow Trap on melee means that ranged does not have to move and vice versa. A Shadow trap on Kull means that full DPS can continue. Keep in mind that we still need to stay somewhat close to Kull for Necrotic Plague transfer. I know that Fides usually dispels at the 4 second mark so as long as everyone is paying attention, the Necrotic Plague person should be able to run to the closest Shambling Horror even if Kull gets 3 Shadow traps in a row(unlikely but possible). If he does get 3 in a row then everyone can reposition if necessary on the third Shadow Trap. Even if we are that unlucky, I believe this strategy would help us avoid the 3rd Shambling Horror spawn.

    Other ways that all DPS can improve at the beginning of the fight is to pre-pot. DBM provides a countdown to the start of combat. I haste pot(Potion of Speed) at the 1 second mark which gives me 14 seconds of "buffed" DPS time. EVERY DPS should be doing this. Again, changing the tanking position as mentioned above would also give an extra 3-4 seconds of "buffed" DPS time on LK prior to the first Shadow Trap. If necessary, also plan to pot during the Ghoul Summon before the last Shambling Horror summon to burn LK into the transition. Bloodlust should still be saved for the transition into Phase 3 as Kull mentioned in his post on 05/03/2010.

    Now onto tanking Horrors and Necrotic Plague. I have read the tooltip over and over and it seems to me that I am missing something. Here is an excerpt from the tooltip:

    If the target dies while afflicted or the effect ends, this effect will gain an additional stack and jump to a nearby unit. If this effect is dispelled, it will lose a stack and jump to a nearby unit.

    This question may have been addressed earlier but I forget, does "nearby unit" only mean it will transfer to another Ghoul or Horror? Or would it transfer to Kull if he is the only "nearby unit"? I assume it will only transfer to another Ghoul or Horror.

    So, another question I have. Let's say that Kull is tanking Horror #1 and it is at 3 stacks of Necrotic Plague with 5 seconds left before the last tick hits it for 225,000 damage. Let's say a different Necrotic Plague stack(say a 1 stack Necrotic Plague from a Ghoul that just died) transfers to the Horror(if that is possible). Does the Horror go to 4 stacks and the timer starts over for 300,000 damage every 5 seconds for 15 seconds? If not, what happens exactly? I am just trying to figure out the mechanics.

    Lastly, what is the health of the Ghouls? I have some other ideas but I want to work with the numbers first.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kilwenn View Post
    Another option I thought about was possibly using an Earth Elemental to soak one or part of one Vile Spirit spawn. I know it is a 10 minute cast but it might help to buy more time for defensive cooldowns.
    Earth Elemental is a great idea if we can control it AND it triggers explosions from Vile Spirits. It would suck if it agroed the Lich King or whatever and all the Spirits then blew up on us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilwenn View Post
    I think the things that bother me most about Phase 1 are our starting position and our setup for Shadow trap movement; both of which affect our DPS. We have consistently had 3 Shambling Horror spawns in Phase 1 but we have been very close to avoiding it by getting LK to transition(usually within 3-4%). I feel that if we use a strategy similar to the strategy used on the Heroic LK video at Tankspot, then we will improve DPS to the point of having only 2 Horrors to deal with. Basically, there are three lines that are followed. One line for ranged, 1 for the Horror tank(the middle line), and 1 for melee. The idea is similar to one of our original strats involving the separation of ranged ad melee but instead of using a semi-circular movement for Shadow traps, we would use a linear approach and we would move in parallel. So, a Shadow Trap on melee means that ranged does not have to move and vice versa. A Shadow trap on Kull means that full DPS can continue. Keep in mind that we still need to stay somewhat close to Kull for Necrotic Plague transfer. I know that Fides usually dispels at the 4 second mark so as long as everyone is paying attention, the Necrotic Plague person should be able to run to the closest Shambling Horror even if Kull gets 3 Shadow traps in a row(unlikely but possible). If he does get 3 in a row then everyone can reposition if necessary on the third Shadow Trap. Even if we are that unlucky, I believe this strategy would help us avoid the 3rd Shambling Horror spawn.
    I'd be up for this but the only issue is, when we tried it before, people have a hard time recognizing when a Shadow Trap is near them versus near a different group. A while back I considered doing a custom mod or even modifying DBM to only alert specific players when Shadow Trap was on their group (i.e. If it hits a caster or healer, it alerts only casters and healers), but then we swapped to a single raid position setup so it was useless. I'll look into that again (the only issue is properly getting that event is difficult because there isn't a "Lich King casts Shadow Trap on Kilwenn" type combat log entry; instead he just casts it ("Lich king casts Shadow Trap") and the target must be assumed based on his target that very instant, so it's not full proof (as we've seen DBM announce wrong a couple times).

    Anyway, I'll explore it, because I agree that it would benefit our DPS to split up the group a bit more as we were doing before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilwenn View Post
    Other ways that all DPS can improve at the beginning of the fight is to pre-pot. DBM provides a countdown to the start of combat. I haste pot(Potion of Speed) at the 1 second mark which gives me 14 seconds of "buffed" DPS time. EVERY DPS should be doing this. Again, changing the tanking position as mentioned above would also give an extra 3-4 seconds of "buffed" DPS time on LK prior to the first Shadow Trap. If necessary, also plan to pot during the Ghoul Summon before the last Shambling Horror summon to burn LK into the transition. Bloodlust should still be saved for the transition into Phase 3 as Kull mentioned in his post on 05/03/2010.
    Good advice, no reason not to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilwenn View Post
    This question may have been addressed earlier but I forget, does "nearby unit" only mean it will transfer to another Ghoul or Horror? Or would it transfer to Kull if he is the only "nearby unit"? I assume it will only transfer to another Ghoul or Horror.
    It can transfer to any NPC or PC.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilwenn View Post
    So, another question I have. Let's say that Kull is tanking Horror #1 and it is at 3 stacks of Necrotic Plague with 5 seconds left before the last tick hits it for 225,000 damage. Let's say a different Necrotic Plague stack(say a 1 stack Necrotic Plague from a Ghoul that just died) transfers to the Horror(if that is possible). Does the Horror go to 4 stacks and the timer starts over for 300,000 damage every 5 seconds for 15 seconds? If not, what happens exactly? I am just trying to figure out the mechanics.
    I'm 99% certain, if a new application is applied to an existing stack, the stack increases and the timer resets (so goes to 4 stacks/300,000 in your example).

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilwenn View Post
    Lastly, what is the health of the Ghouls? I have some other ideas but I want to work with the numbers first.
    378,000 for Ghoul; 3,000,000 for Horror

  8. #18

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    A few more thoughts that Kilwenn's post made me think about.

    1. Regarding Necrotic Plague management, in my post about Plague, there was one crucial assumption and mistake that I made in order to do any sort of accurate calculation: I assumed all Ghouls would be full health when Necrotic Plague was applied.

    Of course, the reality is that Ghouls are generally no where close to full, and I can often pull Ghouls out of the pack that are teetering on death. To that end, I created new timing tables to illustrate the timing if for the moment, we assume we can pull Ghouls into Necrotic Plague that are low enough health as to be one-shotted by the first Plague ticks.

    6xGhoul > Horror Strategy

    This strategy basically kills as many Ghouls as possible (6 in total) before letting the stack reapply to the first Horror. As you can see, this kills Horror #1 at the 60 second mark. It also kills Horror #2 at the 80 second mark.

    4xGhoul > Horror Strategy

    A slight alteration to the above, this one forces the stack back onto Horror #1 after the fourth Ghoul (i.e. immediately after the stack is high enough to one-shot Ghouls). As before, this kills Horror #1 and 60 seconds and kills Horror #2 at 80 seconds.

    The crucial distinction of these timings and the previous timing tables is that this strategy REQUIRES that we are able to kill the first three Ghouls with only a single-tick of the Necrotic Plague stack. I don't know how likely this is since the first cast goes out on players about 20 seconds after the first Ghoul set spawns, so AE damage alone won't be enough to get them that low so fast.

    That said, we could purposely have some DPS attack the first Ghoul to get it low enough to die to that initial 84750 tick and I imagine the next two Ghouls would be low enough from misc AE to die to the next two ticks after that (170k and 254k, respectively). This would require Ghoul#1 to be under 23% health by the 25 second mark, which is only 11,730 raid DPS.

    The real challenge, I think, would then be figuring out how to get Ghouls into position on me as the OT AND ensure the Plague jumps don't go to the Horror instead. One possibility perhaps is the instant the first Ghoul set is summoned, Khrash moves Lich King away so I can stay at the Ghoul summon area and start AEing to get agro on all the Ghouls. A couple DPS can stay with me on Ghouls (Thaw and Rofl ideally due to AEs from both) to get that first one low while I pickup the Horror. Once the first Plague hits, we still won't be able to ensure it hits a Ghoul (unless the Plague player can be VERY careful about which mob they stand close to).

    If we *really* decide it's worth the trouble, we could take the extra steps to force it, in any number of ways (Concussion Blow on the Low Health Ghoul into a Kilwenn AE root just prior to Plague comes to mind), which would allow us to force that first stack onto the first Ghoul.

    The other option is to have Khrash tank Lich King and the first Horror until the 15 second mark (it would be about 20 second of total tanking time), but that would completely ensure we are able to kill the first 3 Ghouls with Plague only before I retaunt the Horror and get the stack on him. This method would actually probably be the easiest, as since Katheon can negate Enrage entirely, we can also use a cooldown rotation (since we wouldn't need them until much later) while the Horror is on Khrash (Divine Protection > Pain Suppression > Hand of Sacrifice would be enough time).

    Anyway, I feel silly not thinking of this stuff before, but much <3 to you Kil for jogging the brain. If we can pull this off, we can shave 20-25 seconds off the lifetime of our Horrors.

  9. #19

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    This, of course, is a perfect case scenario with one Ghoul plagued at the beginning. We mark the target Ghoul and DPS it down to 50k keeping in mind that diseases will still be on it. Kull taunts it out the melee group with enough time for taunt to refresh. Horror #1 spawns, Kull taunts, Rofl CoI Horror #1, the player infected with Necrotic Plague runs to Ghoul and gets dispelled. Necrotic Plague jumps to Ghoul, Horror #1 gets in range, ranged DPS kills Ghoul to get 2 stacks of Necrotic Plague on the Horror by the 10 second mark. If I understand the mechanics correctly, Kull would only tank 1 Horror with no other player near him. Then it would just be the Necrotic Plague jumping from Kull back to the Horror and the player that gets Necrotic Plague would add a stack to the Horror just like we normally do. As you can see, Ebon Plague helps a lot with this because of the timing of Enrage(I think that is what it is called when the Horror gets to around 10% health).

    At this point, Kull is on Horror #2 and does not have to worry about ghouls. Necrotic Plague will bounce back and forth from Horror #2 to Kull at a minimum of 5 stacks which means that Horror #2 would die in approximately 40 seconds.

    I threw this together at the last minute so I hope the table and my thinking are correct. Obviously positioning and timing will have to be exact as well as Necrotic Plague jumping from the Ghoul to Horror #1 instead of Kull. If I am in error somewhere then hopefully this will spark more ideas.



  10. #20

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    Pretty solid idea there Kil and taking that to the most efficient extreme, we'd be doing 3x Ghoul into Horror (i.e. Kill first three Ghouls with Plague then keep plague bouncing between Horror and myself or Kath after that). This gives us a table as seen below:


    This method would increase the kill time of Horror #1 quite a bit over Kil's original timing using just one Ghoul (death at 55 sec mark). This method would be a 5 sec increase of first Horror death over my proposed 4x or 6x Ghoul method.

    So the trade off we need to decide on is:

    Method A: Horror #1 dies at 60 sec, Horror #2 dies at 80 sec.

    Method B: Horror #1 dies at 55 sec, Horror #2 dies at 90 sec.

    Since we have Enrage controlled, I'd say Method B would be ideal, so kill first three Ghouls with Plague one-shot, then force plague after that between Horrors and myself/Kath as Kil suggested.

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