Terrace of Endless Spring Complete!

Finishing the Sha of Fear

After wiping all Tuesday night to Horridon the Horrible, SR went back into Terrace of Endless Spring last night to finish what we started a while back, the Sha of Fear.  Our problem before was killing the pandas in gazebos in time before the second team got sent away, but we just didn’t have enough dps or they would get healed too much by the healy orbs.

We tried to killed the Sha before patch 5.2 came out for a chance at the Feat of Strength, but we ran out of time.  I blame that on an awesome guild meet we had. =)

After 5.2 hit, we received a 10% buff to the Tier 14 raids.  The panada adds were much easier to kill and although we had a hiccup on our first attempt, the second one proved no contest.  I think we had only 6 or 7 Ominous Cackles before the Sha of Fear went down for good.

Tier 14 Complete!

Shadow Rising Terrace of Endless Spring Complete!

And for killing all the major Shas in Pandaria, you’re rewarded with a nifty title, the Tranquil Master.

Arvash the Tranquil Master

Tranquil Master

So with that, all of Tier 14 raiding content is now complete.  Shadow Rising is the only guild on Drak’Tharon with completed MSV, HoF and ToES raids.  DEFAULT, FTW! lol

Not sure if we’ll go back to do any heroics, I think the Throne of Thunder will keep us busy for a while.  Great job again to everyone, now let’s go kill us some trolls and dinos!

Terrace of Endless Spring – Punishing the Protectors

Ready to Punish

The Protectors of the Endless is the first fight in the Terrace of Endless Spring, a council-type fight involving three bosses.  Just like the Assembly of Iron in Ulduar, depending on the order you kill the Protectors, you can obtain different parts of an achievement, Power Overwhelming, and even get a different level of loot, called Elite.  Elite loot is item level 503, which falls in-between normal (496) and heroic (509) raid loot.

Since this was our first night, we decided to use the normal strat.  We started using three healers, but after hitting the enrage timer a few times, we went with two and managed a kill for a good start to Terrace.

The easiest combination and order to kill the Protectors is Protector Kaolan first, followed by Elder Regail and Elder Asani last.  We split the bosses up at the start, with Wok tanking Kaolan and I tanked Regail and Asani together.

It is important to keep the bosses out of the Cleansing Water pools that spawn on the ground so that they don’t get healed.  For the tank that has both Regail and Asani, try to interrupt their Lightning and Water Bolt spell as much as possible to help mitigate the raid damage.

Healers or anyone who can dispel, must do so on raid members that get caught in Lightning Prisons, as they will get stunned and take damage until they are freed.

Protectors of the Endless

When Kaolan dies, the other two will be healed to full and gain a damage increase and new abilities.  Elder Regail has an ability called Lightning Storm, where he creates 5 waves in a ring around him that does a lot of damage if you stand in it.  The key to this ability is to get close to the outer edge of one of the waves and quickly move in once it passes.

Elder Asani’s new ability is called Corrupted Waters, where he summons a globe.  This globe always appeared in the middle of the room for us, but I’m not sure if it spawns anywhere else based on where Asani is standing.  Anyways, once the globe is destroyed, it will grant all raid members close to it an attack or healing speed buff called Purity for 20 seconds.  Cleansing Water pools will also still remain, so make sure you keep the bosses off it.

Once Regail dies, it’s just a dps race to the finish.  Asani will continue to use Water Bolts and Corrupted Waters, so keep interrupting the bolts and destroying the globes.  Cleansing Waters again appears during this phase, make sure to keep Asani out of it.  Adoe mentioned about a stacking damaging debuff that is applied to the raid during this final phase, so help your healers out by using any cooldowns, cookies, pots, etc.

Overall, this was a pretty simple fight, the mechanics aren’t too difficult to execute.  I think once we get more kills on these guys, we might try our hand in changing the kill order a bit for a chance at some Elite loot.  We put in some attempts at Tsulong before we called it a night.  He’s a little bit more complicated than the Protectors, but maybe we can get him down tonight.

Thoughts on the opening raids of Mists of Pandaria

Mogu’shan Vaults Raid loading screen from Wowpedia

Blizzard released a statement last week in regards to the first raids to be released for Mist of Pandaria:

Vaneras — Raid Releases

We’ve been keeping a very close eye on the feedback players have shared for both Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria raiding. We saw a lot of evidence and heard a lot of feedback which indicated that raid content was a little overwhelming at the beginning of Cataclysm. Our goal is to smooth that out a bit in Mists of Pandaria. Keep in mind, Mogu’shan Vaults opens up one week after Mists of Pandaria launches. And with its Heroic mode even the most seasoned raiders should be pretty busy. Once the raid dungeon has been cleared by a group on normal mode they’ll unlock Heroic mode, a definite ramp up in challenge. Also note, similar to Dragon Soul, Raid Finder mode for Mogu’shan Vaults will be available about one week after the normal raid has been opened.
 Rather than putting a lot of pressure on players by opening up sixteen raid bosses in three separate difficulties upon release of the expansion, we hope you’ll have a chance to really dig into the lore, the gorgeous new continent, the amazing new quests, and all of the other goodies that are far too numerable to mention. Our intention here is not to artificially extend the life of the 5.0 content, but rather to pace it better than we have in previous releases. This is why we noted that a few weeks after Mogu’shan Vaults opens, raid instances Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring will become available. These dungeons will still very much be hot on the heels of Mogu’shan Vaults, particularly for the large majority of players progressing through Pandaria.
Here’s a basic breakdown of the pattern we’d like to follow for all upcoming raids: Dungeon opens on normal difficulty -> Heroic mode is unlocked once normal mode is completed -> the Raid Finder version becomes available about one week after the raid’s initial opening. To review all of the latest Mists raid release details, everyone is encouraged to check out our latest blog, Blizzard Insider #45 – Mists of Pandaria – Raid Preview, which has a wealth of exciting new information.
On a final note, thank you to everyone who has been testing the new content, sharing your feedback, and helping us bring you the most epic game possible! It cannot be said enough, but we genuinely appreciate it. =)

So to be clear, the full schedule for US realms is:September 25: MoP launches
October 2: Mogu’shan Vaults (normal) opens
October 7: Mogu’shan Vaults (LFR) opens, those who cleared normal Vaults can access heroic mode
October 30: Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring (normal) open, with Terrace only accessible by clearing Heart
November 6: Heart of Fear and Terrace of Endless Spring (LFR) open; queuing for Terrace requires clearing Heart. Those who cleared normal Heart can access heroic Heart, same for Terrace.

Heart of Fear Raid loading screen from Wowpedia

How do I feel about Blizzard’s decision?  I actually like it, it allows my guild and I to enjoy the content, without having to rush through to move on to the next raid.  I personally like to get through one raid at a time, only moving on once the final boss has been defeated.  And if these T14 raids are anything similar in difficulty to what we had in T11, it’s gonna take a good bit of time to get through it anyways, lol.

It’s gonna take some of us a week or more to get to level cap anyways, except for Zug (who will be going for [Realm First! – Level 90 Warrior]) and Cayle (who will be going for [Realm First! – First Level 90 to Tank the Floor]), both who will be at level cap by Wednesday night of opening week (hardcore!).  I’m assuming that most, if not all, of our raid team will be leveling our mains first and I would hate to blow through all the leveling content and not enjoying the new zones on those toons.  Our guild isn’t hardcore like your Paragons or Vodkas or Blood Legions (although Cayle likes to think so, lol).

I can see where some may disagree with this.  For example, guilds that hit a wall with an encounter like Atramedes in Blackwing Depths for weeks could start fresh and erase frustration by working on fights in Bastion of Twilight or Throne of the Four Winds.  And it could be this needed break that would be the answer to finally defeating Atra when they go back.  Also, more progressed guilds who raid more than two or three days a week will have more than enough content to keep them busy the whole week.

With the inclusion of a LFR version for all three raids, I only expect to see raiding becoming a bigger part of WoW, with an influx of raiders flocking to try them out.  This could be a good thing or bad thing, depending on how many trollers and griefers are out there to ruin it for everybody else.  I know there still will be horror stories to come out of the LFR runs, but I hope that most experiences will be great and that those peeps come back for more.

Terrace of Endless Spring Raid loading screen from Wowpedia

I’m a raider at heart, it’s my favorite aspect of playing WoW.  I’ve seen a little bit of what’s to come in these new raids and they look pretty sweet so far.   I can’t wait to get into these new raids with my fellow guildies and learning new encounters and mastering mechanics and just having fun (as long as there is no Animated Bone Warriors involved ><).  Oh, and for the phat purplez the bosses drop too, lol.
What are your plans for the new raids if you’re a raider?  Do you like how Blizzard is scheduling these first three?