Friday, April 10, 2009

Hunter Soloing BC Instances

So last night I decided to see what I could manage in the way of soloing some instances. I did a warm-up run of going into BRD. You see, I was still survival raid-spec'd and didn't know how well my pet would hold up without those nice tasty pet-tank hunter talents. Well, BRD was a walk-through. Not surprising since it's level 55ish. I thought about trying the level 60 40man raid Onyxia, but realized I'd probably learn more about pet tanking in a more typical instance setting. So I looked at what 3.0 thought I had never run and decided to try a BC heroic instance. Heroic: Auchenai Crypts stood out. I didn't know it very well. I had run it a few times before 3.0, but I needed the achievement for regular and heroic.

I'll admit, I was a little nervous. I didn't remember the instance or any gimicks in it. And I didn't want to re-spec just for this. Nor did I want to fail. What I learned made me think I may really make my secondary 3.1 spec a hunter pet tank spec.

First up, I chose my thunderstomp pet. Then I went to my bank and fished out my Tier-5. I selected two pieces that seemed to keep my stats at the highest. These happened to be my Tier-5 shoulders and gloves. I made an Outfitter set for them. I emptied my bags of a lot of stuff and headed over.

My first pull was fine. Single mob. My second pull resulted in I think four mobs. Not too challenging. Then I skirted around the mobs and pats. Generally, I'd pull as little as possible. I found some pats to be pretty ridiculously difficult. CC didn't work on maybe half of them. And when you think it's just a pat of two, suddenly four non-elites spawn. While they don't have much health, they do heal and do toss some real damage and DoTs. Thunderstomp wasn't happening fast enough. And to get it to happen more often I had to crit more and draw aggro more. It was not easy. I wiped twice on trash. When I saw pats of three on the bridge plus hidden knock-back guys, I found a corner and let them pass by. ... My thinking was if two become six then three become nine. Probably not quite right, but still easy enough to be patient with.

The first boss was quite easy. He pats a little bit so wait for a good time to get upstairs and into an alcove. My approach was to set a mark on him, flip a MD on my pet, and then wait a few seconds. When the MD had maybe ten seconds left, I tossed my mend pet HoT and sent him in. This way I could let loose on the MD shots and then immediately MD again. This gave him a pretty big aggro boost. I needed the aggro boost so that I could lay into him when I needed to generate health for my pet via the tier 5 two piece set bonus. I kept mend pet up the whole time and burned him as fast as I could. I hadn't read any of the abilities of Shirrak the Dead Watcher before-hand, so he surprised me a little bit. ("Oh! That explodes...")

So I was feeling a bit more confident, and worked my way in deeper. I died again from the trash and had a longer run back... and more waiting for pats, etc. And it was getting late. But I was motivated. And it was fun.

I wasn't using wowwikki, and am still not entirely sure, but I only killed two bosses, although the last boss seems to be a two part boss. I remembered having to clear the entire end boss room. This wasn't especially easy. Pallies would love it. For me, I was still having problems with thunderstomp kicking in and with generating enough focus. I need to control this manually more effectively. Autocast is not where it's at. There were about six large pulls to clear the room. I got better as I went. I tweaked my autocasts a bit more to manage focus. The first two felt much harder. Here's a picture looking backward:

And forward to my opponent:

So, my first attempt on the boss was a little silly. I hadn't remembered his ability. I had thought it was a mind control. I figured that wouldn't be too bad because mind control on hunters also controls the pet. So I'd just be inactive and lose some cooldowns perhaps. Well, I got him to about 10% or so and suddenly I'm getting wailed on by something that looks kinda like me. Well, I decide to burn the boss. I chose wrongly. The add ate me with a couple crits which seemed unlucky. My second attempt, I pop a flask, put in some good ammo, mark him, fire off a MD and wait for the cooldown to get close for a re-application, drop a trap, toss a HoT, and send my tank in. I burn him again, but then this time, I kite the add and kill the boss. Ah! But wait, there's more. The add, or perhaps a second guy becomes a powerful mini-boss and then needs to be tanked and killed. All in all not too bad. Oh! And 61 silver off the boss. ("w00t!") Some more screen shots:

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