14 February 2011

Achievement Farming: ICC

Older content-based achievements are like used cars. To some, a used car is just that, used. To others, it's still a great vehicle that has new-to-them features.  When it comes to achievements, I'm a used car shopper: I still think achivements are worth it even though they may be in older content. The content is often totally new to me, and I enjoy exploring it even when I out-level it.
A few other guildies are joining me in casually pursuing the Glory of the Icecrown Raider and claiming the Reins of the Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher. As a bit of background, we were successful in actually defeating Arthas before the release of Cataclysm. There were two 10m teams going during those last few weeks prior to the release, and I had characters on each of the two teams. I was successful on my priest, but I had an unexpected conflict the night that Pea's team successfully earned their Kingslayer titles
Well, Saturday night accomplished that in an absolutely entertaining achievement fest. And yes, we did overgear and out-level the raid, so of course it's nothing to brag about. However, it was a ton of friggin' fun and for those of you looking for some guild bonding time, I highly recommend the exercise!
In the 10m group, there were seven of us that had cleared all of ICC on at least one character. Three folks never had to opportunity. We were able to complete 9 of the 12 boss-specific achievements (missing the Blood Council, Sindragosa and The Lich King fights) in about 4 hours. Also, for the characters there for the first time, it was impossible to complete Lana'thel's achievement. Also, we attempted everything on regular mode with plans to return on heroic mode.

Fights and Tactics


Achievement: Boned
Difficulty: Easy
You still need to be on your toes just a bit with the bone spikes, but with level 85 DPS, these went down so fast it was nowhere near as critical as it was at level 80. We still had everyone switch over to spikes, but they died in 1 seconds of the required 8 seconds most of the time. Also, we're only 7 strong at this point in the night, so we single tanked and dual-healed.

Lady Deathwhisper

Achievement: Full House
Difficulty: Medium
Usually, the raid had to leave up a single version of each kind of mob spawned during the encounter. That's the elegant method. Our method? Brute force. Again, we single tanked (now had 8 raid members) and the tank's duties were to run around the room gathering up the adds that spawned and keeping Lady D's attention once her mana shield was done. DPS essentially focus on burning down Lady D as quickly as possible. We had a few deaths on this fight, as the adds got a bit overpopulated and the shrek was still able to one-shot level 85 healers if they took aggro.

Gunship Battle

Achievement: I'm on a Boat
Difficulty: Easy
In hindsight, we wasted effort doing this one by actually coordinating who jumped across. We ended up killing 4 battlemages. Our raid makeup was still 8 at this point, so the tank actually jumped the first two times with a rogue DPS. I pet-tanked the adds on our boat with Shermanator the Beetle (parked in center on aggressive with auto-cast Growl, ShellShield and Thunderstomp). The rogue used vanish to remain over and help with DPS, and I hopped over for 3 and 4. Saurfang's axes still hurt, and both tank, rogue, me and another ended up dying before our gunners could down the boat.
I argue that we beat it for real, but even so all 10 members got the achievement. That's odd, because 6 of us already HAD the achievement, which makes me suspect "bug"!


Achievement: I've Gone and Made a Mess
Difficulty: Easy
This one was over and done with in less than 2 minutes. We were able to burn down Saurfang before he spawned the third set of bloodbeasts. Our ranged switched over to the beasts when they popped, and we also added 2 final members to the raid so we did actually have 2 tanks swapping on Saurfang. Otherwise, this one is simple.


Achievement: Dances with Oozes
Difficulty: Easy
Not a whole lot of elegance to this one, either. Essentially, allow the little oozes to spawn and stay stuck to their initial target. If possible, try to spread out so that being next to someone doesn't actually allow the little oozes to spawn. It's essentially a DPS race to get Rotface down before a big ooze has a chance to form and reach 5 stacks where it can explode.


Achievement: Flu Shot Shortage
Difficulty: Easy
We used to dance around and collapse on spores... Here, just stand, shoot and loot.  This one was a joke.

Professor Putricide

Achievement: Nausea, Heartburn, Indigestion ...
Difficulty: Easy
The only trick to recall in this fight is that your DPS (especially ranged) does need to switch to the oozes when they pop.  In our fight, the 2nd tank controlled the abomination and just sucked up slimes. We got a green ooze at the end of phase 1, an orange ooze and then 1 final green ooze at the end of phase 2, and then popped heroism and burned down the Professor for the achieve.

Blood Council

Achievement: The Orb Whisperer
Difficulty: Medium
You would think that this one would be easy, but we struggled. Ultimately, we passed this and just got the kill, but here's where we struggled: Blueberries all dying and threat management. We had a tank on Keleseth to grab the blueberries and the other tank grabbed the other princes. We got bounced around a few times due to proximity, and it just caused confusion.
Next time, the plan is this: hunter/warlock ranged tank Keleseth. Dedicate a tank to each other prince. Spread out. Manage the beach ball and then profit.  My thinking is that there is no need to complicate this and just allow one person to manage each boss, because there is no issue in healing or DPS, it's simply a matter of controlling the fight.  Stay tuned on this one, as I expect to get it next time!

Blood Queen Lana'thel

Achievement: Once Bitten, Twice Shy
Difficulty: Easy
We had eight members who had already killed Lana'thel and either had been or not been bitten.  The two that had not done the fight were the first two intended targets. To ensure one of the two of them got bitten first, all other DPS waited to do any damage until the first bite was out, and then it was open season and directing the next bite sequence.
This requires two separate runs, so those that were'nt successful will be next time as we control who gets the bite.  Plus, I'm kinda looking forward to seeing the recount with the damage boost from being bitten!

Dreamwalker Valithria

Achievement: Portal Jockey
Difficulty: Easy
We ran 1 tank and three healers. The same priority for kills exists, as those blazing skeletons still do output some damage, but all in all this is just a matter of ensuring that three people go in the dream every time using a different portal.  Our third portal jockey was our mage, who LOVED the spellpower boost from the green balloons! The only requirement here is making sure all three portals are consumed each time they spawn.


Achievement: All You Can Eat
Difficulty: Medium
This is the final phase of Sindy's fight were you use the ice tombs to clear the debuff.  With having a few team members who never saw this fight in WOLTK, this will take a bit of practice to get the dance down. It boils down to using the tombs placed in the right areas to hide behind to clear stacks before they exceed 5.

Lich King

Achievement: Been Waiting a Long Time for This
Difficulty: Hard
At this point, we were getting tired, so we didn't feel like messing with letting the plague stack that high. When we do, our strategy will be to monitor DPS on the Lich King so that he doesn't drop below 70% before the plague has stacked that high.  It's going to be a bit of hanging out and chatting while cleansing.  Once it stacks, then the fight goes on as normal.
One note on this fight; the defile / val'kyr phase is still a bit of a challenge and if you're not on your toes you will still wipe.

Thoughts on Heroic

The next attempts will be on heroic mode. We should get both the Blood Council and the Blood Queen achievements regardless of regular vs heroic, but my gut tells me that we'll need to come back and do Sindragosa and the Lich King on regular mode for the two fight-specific achievements. Although, we may not, so we'll see.

Addon Help

Finally, for the achievement junkies out there, I was not prepared to track our progress as I did not have an addon installed to track if we failed the achievements during the encounter. Next time, I'll give RaidAchievement a shot and see how it goes. I really like the idea of knowing if we fail an achievement so that we can wipe and restart instead of waiting another week. If anyone has any other suggestions on either tactics or addons, I'd welcome your feedback!