Kara, Kara, Why Ya Buggin?

After a very frustrating couple of days in Kara (more on that in a bit), we finally got ourselves back in gear last night: one-shotting Aran and downing the Prince. And finally, after about 6 months of my guild being in Kara, we saw a healing weapon drop for the first time: Light’s Justice. I was able to roll on it along with our priest. He won. Too bad for me, but a boon for our raiding group, which is what matters anyway. (And for the best, too, since I’m hoping to get the Nightstaff with its +55 Spirit.) I didn’t go home empty-handed, though: Prince also dropped Jade Ring of the Everliving and Chess dropped Forestlord Striders. I’m figuring that once I get either a mace or staff from Kara, along with the +81 healing enchant, and Essence of the Martyr I’ll be able to break 1700 healing, so here’s hoping for a lucky drop soon.

Like I said, we had a very positive night compared to the runs that had come before. Thursday night we one-shotted Illhoof, went to Aran and wiped and wiped and wiped and wiped and wiped and had to throw in the towel because it was too late. Very disheartening. We hit Attumen and Maiden Friday night with ease, a little morale booster there. Went back in on Saturday to Aran: again, wiping on the elementals. We would have kept going, but people started dropping and we discovered that there were server problems. Strange thing about that was some of us (myself included) weren’t dropped. So that ended that run. Last night, then, was a much welcome change of fortune for us.

How was your weekend?

Gnarled Ironwood Pauldrons

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After about three weeks of saving badges from Kara, I was able to get these shoulders on Friday. Not a bad deal that 60 badges can get you shoulders that are better than T4 and almost as good as T5.

Gnarled Ironwood Pauldrons
303 Armor
+21 Stamina
+23 Intellect
+26 Spirit
Red Socket
Yellow Socket
Socket Bonus: +7 Healing
Increases healing done by up to 73 and damage done by up to 25 for all magical spells and effects.

Shoulderguards of Malorne (T4)
284 Armor
+19 Stamina (-2)
+23 Intellect
+19 Spirit (-7)
Blue Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +3 Spirit (-7 Healing)
Durability 70 / 70
Classes: Druid
Requires Level 70
Equip: Increases healing done by up to 68 and damage done by up to 23 for all magical spells and effects. (-5 Healing)
Equip: Restores 5 mana per 5 sec. (+5 MP5)

Nordrassil Life-Mantle (T5)
314 Armor
+26 Stamina (+5)
+27 Intellect (+4)
+16 Spirit (-10)
Blue Socket
Blue Socket
Socket Bonus: +7 Healing
Increases healing done by up to 77 and damage done by up to 26 for all magical spells and effects. (+4 Healing)
Restores 6 mana per 5 sec. (+6 MP5)

Plus with the Gnarled Ironwood, you can get the socket bonus with a Teardrop and Luminous. The socket bonus for the T4 is hardly worth getting and to get the T5 socket bonus you’d have to use blue/purple/green gems which would disallow using the powerful red healing gems (unless you’re not worried about stacking healing.) Furthermore, if you’re using a Bracing Earthstorm Diamond as your metagem, you have to keep the correct ratio between red and blue, thus throwing another complication into socketing these tier shoulders.

Overall, these badge shoulders are definitely a desirable piece of resto druid gear and relatively easy to obtain; especially in comparison to having to 25-man Gruul’s or TK and hope that the token will drop and then be lucky enough to win the roll.

Those Antlers are Quite Droody

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There it is, my T4 helm: Crown of Malorne.

We got our second win over Prince last night, took three tries. First time we had good infernal drops but lost the tank in the second phase. Second time was bad luck with the infernals. Third time worked like a charm: good infernal positions, we healed tank through the second phase, I was able to battle rez the one melee that we lost so at the end every one of us was standing.

No meta gem yet for the helm: I blew my gold this past week leveling my Leatherworking to 375 so that I can make Windhawk Hauberk, but once I’ve run a few dailies I can see about getting that meta slot filled. Bracing Earthstorm appears to be the obvious choice.

In this picture, too, you can see the Forest Wind Shoulderpads that dropped from The Curator this past week.

Also, I’ve started compiling WWS reports for our guild. That is such an awesome resource to see exactly what you are doing in a fight. The damage meters are nice, but WWS reports let you isolate and focus on specific fights. And it’s not that hard to do (check out BRK’s post on how to WWS).

Another Night in Kara

So the first time wasn’t a fluke: We downed Aran again last night in two tries. The first time we wiped because of bad timing: The flame wreath came up right after our mage blinked out of Aran’s slow and so he set it off. And it’s certainly a good thing to have four druids in the group because battle rezzes and Tranquility are a huge help in this fight. And with that fight, I hit Exalted with The Violet Eye.

As well, earlier yesterday I broke down and spent the 35 badges I had saved on these:
Gargon’s Bracers Peaceful Slumber

Put a Royal Nightseye on them and as soon as I can corner one of the guild enchanters I’ll get the +30 Healing enchant as well.

I had originally been saving up for Gnarled Ironwood Pauldrons and so was hesitant to set myself back to nothing with buying these bracers. But after doing some research, I discovered that these are the best bracers that I will be able to obtain (see here). I’m not heading to SSC (Grove-Bands of Remulos) or Hyjal (Rejuvenating Bracers) and the crafted BOE (Bracers of Renew Life) has neither Spirit or a socket.

Illhoof Down

Just a quickie here: On our second guild try, my first, we downed Illhoof Monday night and with 8 players at the end. I was sacrificed when Illhoof was around 25%, then our shammy got hit with the next sacrifice. Got Cord of Nature’s Sustenance. The tough part for healing this fight is keeping the sacrifice victim alive: and I don’t have a good strategy for that. Probably takes more practice and alertness. I wasn’t the designated sacrifice healer (and be sure to have one) but I would throw an instant HOT to help out, but usually in vain since the person was dead before I could even get an instant on him. Luckily, we had three druids and so our combat rezzes were very helpful in this fight.

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Curator is Down

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It’s funny how something that had been so frustrating and seemingly difficult suddenly becomes easy as pie. We went in against the Curator last night and brought him down without any deaths. The key seems to be your raid’s formation: keep casters and healers spread out in a semicircle at the end of the hall. You need about 10 yards between each other to avoid transferring the flares’ arc damage. Also, this helps melee chase down the flares easier since they’re in a more centralized space. Take down the 10th flare before turning to the Curator in his evocation phases: as tempting as it may be to jump on him, that 10th flare must be out of the picture. It’s not a hard fight once you figure it out. And (drumroll please) Gillir got his Tier 4 gloves, very lucky indeed: Handguards of Malorne. And another bonus, Gift of the Wild III dropped from a trash mob.

Yet Another Kara Post

We got the Big Bad Wolf for the first time and he was a tough fight. On a third try we got him down with only about 6 folks still alive; in fact, I actually died at the beginning when I was Little-Red-Riding-Hooded and promptly squashed. Yet, my bad luck turned into good fortune when these dropped: Earthsoul Leggings.

One thing to remember about him is that he will briefly target whom he is about to debuff, then turn back to his previous target, then transform the victim. Pitbull makes it easy to spot the next target because the unit frame will turn red. In fact, I spent my dead time calling out targets over TS (had to be of some use, ya know).

The Curator is giving us a heck of a time. I’ve read all the strategy guides I can, but any words of advice are welcome.