Tobold's Blog
Monday, February 02, 2009

Raids wipe. They have to, because if every raid group would kill every boss without wiping, the game would be pretty boring. So every raid wipes from time to time, but how these wipes are analyzed differs a lot. Ideally people would discuss in a totally objective manner what caused the wipe, and use constructive criticism to do better on the next try. In the real world analyzing what exactly caused the wipe isn't always easy, so many raids either exercise polite silence, or start bickering in the blame game.

Sometimes there is individual blame. The priest getting caught in Heigan's flames didn't dance fast enough, the rogue catching the dragon's breath obviously stood at the wrong end of it, the off-tank getting Sartharion's fire elemental adds hit by the lava adds should have moved. But often the blame belongs to a whole archetype: tanks couldn't hold aggro, dps didn't do enough damage, or healers didn't heal enough. Unfortunately in most cases this is all connected: The tanks didn't hold aggro because the dps started too early, the dps didn't do enough damage because they died from not being healed, and the healers didn't heal enough because the dps didn't kill the boss fast enough and they ran out of mana.

Although as a healer one objects against being blamed so often, there is a kernel of truth in it: If I had endless mana and a spell that healed the whole raid for 10k health every second, we would wipe a lot less often. Just do the Battle for the Undercity event once, where this is exactly the heal you get, and you see how you just can't die if healed enough. That doesn't mean I accept responsability for every wipe, but in many cases the responsability is shared between the various archetypes.

So it was kind of interesting when we tried Malygos for the first time. We wiped like ten times, and never got past phase 2. But in at least twice of these tries we wiped because we had reached the end of the 10-minute enrage timer with everyone still alive. Which means that even if I had healed much more, the result still would have been the same. For once it was really, and proveable, the dps' fault. :) Not that I think they did anything wrong. Most of us still have several blue armor pieces, some Naxx-10 gear, and very little if any Naxx-25 gear. I'm sure we'll down Malygos when we are better geared. You need both skill *and* gear to kill that one.
Pretty funny to refresh your page to see "Malygos" as I am battling him right now. My 10 man pug wiped 6 or 7 times on him, getting to phase 3 every time. On our best attempt we got him to 96,000 HP.

An excellent encounter by Blizzard that certainly requires raid co-ordination, very careful healing - and as you noted, superb DPS.

The raids ability to stack the Spark Buff during phase 1 is a huge factor in meeting the DPS timer, and Death Grip/Chains of Ice is extremely powerful in terms of positioning the sparks.

It is very intersting having raided at 80 with my warrior and now playing my Death Knight, the ability to deal ranged damage, apply DotS, protect my party from spells with Anti-Magic Zone, and heal the raid during Deep Breaths and Tornados with Rune Tap just feels as if I have so much more utility during a complex encounter then I did with my warrior.
At a guess the dps are not getting the sparks consistently enough. It's vital that they stand in the sparkly stuff and ideally you should be using Death Grip to pull fresh sparks to an existing patch.

That depends on the tanking, the tank needs to turn the boss so that the dps can safely stand in the spark patch sometimes.

Another option if it feels like dps is low and healing is ample is to try with one less healer. I think for our first kill we were forced to go with 6 healers, one or two less than we like and it actually helped us rather than hindered.

Best of luck for next time!
Check this out, 42k damage on the tank in 1sec, including a double breath.

ok, granted that I wasn't topped up by healers but this is a bug, not a healing error.
I died during the "Battle for Undercity" event :(
The grey comments panel is a pleasure to read. Much better than the blue imho.
You need to kick the poor DPS players from the guild and get players with better gear.

This is what WoW is about, isn't it. :>
If you're waiping from enrage before even getting to phase 3 then a little bit of better gear really isn't the solution. If theres one thing i've learnt in wrath its that gear really isn't that important. its all about knowing how to play your class. For a good shot at downing maly you want to be starting phase 3 with at least 3 mins left on the timer. a little bit of better gear really isn't going to fix that. Chances are its that your group isn't stacking sparks or your dps just don't have a clue what they're doing. But seeing as you have made some progress in naxx 25, the dps clearly can't be that useless. Maybe you should direct them to elitist jerks?
Agree with the above. This isn't a gear issue - it's almost certainly a spark-stacking issue.

Also, are non-melee people DPSing through vortex?
How are your dps stacking on the sparks? Stacking 2 at a time then blowing Bloodlust + trinkets is a big help.
Malygos dps is in part the tanks responsibility, as good positioning to make sure as much dps as possible is getting sparks is required. Of course, without seeing what your raid is doing, I couldn't say for sure, but it is the tougher fight "as is" without the optional hard modes that achievements provide.
I do not think that you are gear limited to wing this fight. If you can kill Saph, you can kill Malygos!

I see a lot of people in the comments above making assumptions on where you are struggling with this encounter...many of which are assumptions made based on most people's errors and experiences with the fight, but very few people providing tips on how to overcome the challenges. So...instead of assuming that your DPS is just horrible and making the assumption that you all know how to play (I think it's a safe bet!) let me give you a few tips that helped us when we were learning the fight.

Ever since BT/Sunwell my guild has run 8 healers. This is something I did not change with wrath. Even though 8 healers aren't needed and we are clearly running "healer heavy", I'm not going to bench people just because the game now decides it wants less of one job. If a task can be completed with 8, we bring 8. Now, on something like Sarth +2 or +3 I do scale down to 7. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if we can do it with 8 healers, I think it is proving you can effectively carry some of your DPS if they are a little low.

When we first killed Malygos 10 we took 3 healers, 1 tank, 1 DK, and 5 random DPS. When first learning this encounter, there are two classes that I suggest having available: a shaman (you just can't get around it, BL is too powerful in phase 1 of this fight) and a DK (death grip for the wayward sparks is also too valuable). Another thing that will help tremendously is if you bring at least 2 ranged DPS. They will be able to focus on the scions in the sky in phase 2 without the need of a hoverboard, and you will find you get out of phase 2 much quicker. We have done it with all melee, but we have to allot some extra time for phase 2.

As many people have said, spark management is crucial in phase 1. We found in learning the fight that our DK had trouble targeting the sparks and getting them pulled to us before Malygos ate them. In looking for a resolution to this problem I found this macro, which has helped immensely:

/targetexact Power Spark
/cast Death Grip
/cast Chains of Ice

Unless it's immpossible, we always try to stay in the same spot, and just bring sparks to us. We rarely pull a spark that is already moving in a good direction to where we are, so that deathgrip is not on cool down when needed. On occasion, we do have to move. As others have said, spark stacking is very helpful in finishing phase 1 quickly. If you do not have a DK in your raid, then the event become more challenging, as your tank must dance Malygos to compliment where the sparks are originiating and it is increasingly difficult to stack the sparks. It is not impossible to win this way, but it does mean that your DPS needs to be exceptional.

A tip to emerge from phase 2 more quickly is to make sure your ranged DPS are helping with the scions in the sky after the two lords are dead. Until you are down to just one scion, there should always be one in range for them to pew pew. Also, always put your burstiest melee up on the first hoverboard, and as more hoverboards become available stack your strongest melee on them with your weakest going up last.

I hope those tips help you progress a little further =) If you are still not meeting the DPS threshold for the fight, and you truly think it's an error of the DPS and not just learning the mechanics, try taking two healers for the encounter (I am now assuming that you have 3). The only tip I will give you right now with regards to phase 3, as you've not seen it yet and haven't really solicited any advice, is find a fixed location for your raid to start and fly at "max range" staying together!

Also, be sure to force everyone to run the Aces High! daily in Coldarra since it gives you the exact drake you use in phase 3. Having everyone familiar with the hotkeys and how heals and DoTs work will really help once you are getting to phase 3 consistently.
I'm directing this comment more towards your early statements in regards to the blame game after wipes. Its a tough thing for many people to take responsibility for wipes, as often they are afraid of being ostracized for it, but what helps is when you have some people in the raid that are willing to admit when they cause a wipe from mistakes. As the main tank of my group, I will always take accountability for a wipe if I caused it, I usually do it as public to the raid as possible whereby I'll say "I'm sorry I messed up such and such..." both on Ventrilo and in raid chat.

After setting this precedence, we have more and more people willing to take accountability for their failures. While this is not going to be a blanket activity for everyone in the raid, the main reason I thought it'd be smart to start doing this was because I want people in the group to know that even their guild master, main tank, and co-raid leader makes mistakes, and has is willing to take responsibility for them. It humanizes the event, and hopefully brings perspective to people.
That's not a bug Jesper. That's someone who shouldn't have gotten hit by the breath, but did, exploding next to the tank 5 seconds later.
In response to Beruthiel above:

If they can kill Sapphiron, it is *feasible* that they could kill Malygos. Sapphiron is an endurance fight; Malygos is a fight with a timer. In the former, your main goal is to outlast your opponent; in the latter case, it's to beat your opponent into submission before he gets pissed and just kills you outright.

In response to Tobold:

This is why there are gear checks; Curator in KZ was one, Patchwerk is another. Yes, skill is the largest factor of a good player, but I support your final statement by saying, "I don't care how good you are. Raiding in greys won't get you through Kel'Thuzad."

It might be fun to try, but your odds of success at level 80 are slim to zero.
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