Note: If you're looking for help with Heroic Slave Pens, check out my Quick Tips post.
Monday night saw our regularly scheduled guild trip head into the Heroic Slave Pens.
Our resto shaman decided to leave WoW for the game of Real Life, and our priest is out of the country for a month, so it looked like we would be without a level 70 healer for a while. But luckily, another shaman decided to play WoW again and he also respecced to Restoration to help out with instances.
So, the all-guild group consisted of myself (arms warrior), Zrugpug (newly respecced resto shaman), Snargok (ice mage), Drakgor (arms warrior) and Krunk (combat rogue). A melee heavy group. The kind of setup that Blizzard likes to punish with AoE attacks and auras. And to top it off, our sole healer was wearing several green cloth items since he had never worked on gathering healing gear before. But we were determined to give it a go, and I had every confidence that our victory was assured.
Our initial assault was swift, focused and deadly. Sap, sheep and two fears made the four crab pulls trivial. And the double Coilfang Defender clomps went like clockwork. As I pulled, the mage would grab one with frostbolt and lead him around while the rogue worked him over. The rest of us took care of the other Defender, and we generally ended up killing both at the same time. Maybe not the most efficient method, but it worked.
Mennu was a breeze. Fought him underneath the ramp. My group kept trying to kill the nova totems, resulting in a lot of extra damage (they seem to explode when you hit them, so just moving away is a much better solution). But hopefully they'll get the hang of it next time. He was nice enough to drop a totem and epic gem that our shaman could make use of.
Proceeding onward, we had our first death when the rogue went a little overboard on a Defender, drawing aggro and earning a quick trip to the ground.
Then came Rokmar. This oversized lobster is just a giant pain. He hits incredibly hard, and the bleed that ticks for 1000+ damage just makes things worse. After a couple of failed attempts, I directed the shaman to just heal me, and not worry about the others. This almost worked, except that he ran out of mana just as we were hitting the 20% mark (he has less than 8000 mana currently. Something we need to work on I guess), which led to my swift demise, and the rest of the party afterwards.
Deciding to move on, we cleared up to Quagmirran and freed the caged night elf for our buff. But the plant gave us fits of a different kind. Everything would go fine until he did his Acid Spray attack. As he started, he would switch targets to our other warrior. I would taunt him back, but as soon as the taunt wore off, he would aggro the DPS warrior again, resulting in too much damage spread out over the whole party. We tried several times with pretty much the same result.
After doing a little research, I found out that his acid attack also has a de-aggro component. So, I think what was happening was this: Drakgor (the other warrior), would be near the top of the aggro list, so as soon as Quag did his breath, my aggro drops and Quagmirran switches targets. I taunt him back, but meanwhile Drakgor has a full rage bar and is dishing out heavy damage while I'm trying to regain my previous aggro level. As soon as the taunt fades, Drakgor finds himself the target again and I have to wait several seconds to taunt again (here's somewhere that a protection spec would have a huge advantage). I think what we should have done was have Drakgor just stop fighting completely if he gets aggro during the spray attack. That way I can regain and hopefully keep the plant focused on me for the duration.
Though we had little to show for our efforts besides a single Badge of Justice and large repair bills, it was a good learning experience and practice for future runs. The regular mobs, which are often more trouble than the bosses in heroic mode, gave us very little trouble. Our healer was definitely a bit undergeared for the boss encounters, which we can hopefully remedy before our next attempt.