Act 15 The Right Way To Kill a Dragon
Since I managed in the T6s clear, I thought I would be fine to raid normally. I signed up for the next raid, and it was Nidhogg Ex.
I remembered joining for the Nidhogg Ex last year not long after I joined Syncademy. I still remember that on the clear run, Cure used healer LB3 when Akh Morn was in mid-cast. As a result, Nidhogg didn't aware that the 7 of us were revived and didn't target Akh Morn at us. I was never able to stop talking about this. I was so impressed at that time, because I didn't think it could be done that way. Normally if you use healer LB3 at that phase, Nidhogg will just kill the rest of the team before the animation lock is over.
Obviously, I talk of Cure as if he is some sort of urban legend. However, it was totally possible it was just dumb luck.
Once more, he was in my team except our job switched. That time he was the AST and I was the SCH.
I was quite certain that at least half of us had done this fight before. Two of us seemed to be totally new. So we opt for MIL with echo. Initially some of us got killed on the divebomb, as a result the dps was too low in the add phase. Tanks also need to sort out their CD usage with the adds. It took us a few runs on this.
Then, as expected we had to relearn how to deal with the fangs. The usual problem with someone took more than one orbs and die, people with wrong colour debuff come to the stack. At this point we started getting echo stack, which makes things much easier. The part I find difficult was the second fire ball pattern on the last phase. The truth was I never got much chance to work on it.
Even back in 3.x, you really only see this mechanics when in first few clears of this fight. I remember back in those days, most of the farm PF either had a good team to skip that phase, or they were so bad that people can't even get pass the fang phase.
Back then when Nidhogg Ex first arrived in 3.x, I was trying to prog this fight as a tank. I decided to challenge myself and set the condition that I won't clear this fight until I can clear this as a tank first. It went very badly for me as a noob tank. I was struggling to grab tether from people. I also remember counting to 3 on the add because the tank buster had no castbar but can one shot you. I never got my clear as a tank and the whole experience was horrible. I think Aelia reminded me at one point that we managed to get to a 5% wipe, but I wonder why I only remember the part that I kept joining those PF that got nowhere and never clear the fight as tank no matter how hard I tried.
Eventually I just went back as a SMN and my static carried me. I still remember we got a SCH on PF but he kept dying to mechanics. We ended up in telling him to play a DPS class and our raid leader Freya played SCH. The SCH book dropped in the first clear, and he asked the rest of us if he should take the book or leave it to that guy.
Back to now, we kept wiping until there was only 10 minutes left before we had to reset the instance. However, we were sitting on a 25% echo stack. At that time we have already seen everything, so it wasn't difficult to kill the boss before we got kicked out.
Obviously we were not satisfy with only clearing it with echo, so we went right back in to do MIL with no echo.
The problem became apparent that our SAM kept dying to mechanics. It really wasn't a problem when there was Echo. Between the two healers and our SMN, we just rez him and kept going, while Laetitia reminded him on the mechanics he died to. I think he was learning and improving, but it was a real struggle without echo.
In the end we decide to lb2 on the fang to make sure we pass the dps check. Even so, when Bart lb2 the fang, it was a hair width away from exploding. In our final run before the raid time was over, we managed to kill the boss once more.
Finally there is one raid that I don't feel that I got lucky. The fight was very tight. The SAM was dead four times but more on the later phases, the rest of us were really pushing hard to get pass the finishing line. I was skeptical that it would work out. When it did, it was very satisfying.
A while ago, Annabel asked why do I went in to some fight MIL with echo instead of just have no echo (ie MINE) from the beginning. I think I have a clear answer. I always sign up for event as a healer, because it puts me in a better position to recover a bad run. However, at MINE level, sometimes it is just too difficult if someone insist on committing suicide or run around killing other people. The truth is, I am just not good enough as a healer to reliably recover mess up at MINE level.
I think, Nidhogg Ex is a unique fight which is not easy for one person to wipe the raid, unless you were colour blind and didn't soak the orb when you have red tether. Therefore, this particular clear on Nidhogg Ex MINE with one guy died 4 times is partly because we did well, partly because the fight designs in a way that allow us to do this.
Things will be much more different if this were Zurvan Ex. Someone can drop the ice in the wrong place in southern cross, someone can aim wave cannon at the team, someone decide to walk to the wrong spot in the broken seal, the person who tether with the tank didn't keep close and land both a DoT and effectively put the tank at risk. In this case, one person alone can wipe the raid.
Then, a lot of the ARR primals are very difficult at MINE level, and the tank/healer mechanics need to be done correctly or else you won't get anywhere. I have seen tanks got one-shoted at max HP. Often at MINE level, it was not possible to save a tank who didn't use CD. Unless you memorize the whole timeline of the fight, there was no way to aldo fast enough. Obviously it is a better challenge if we just do MINE. However, echo stacks saved me from getting blamed in situations that I had very little control over.
Sadly, I have also been on the other side as well. I remember when I resub in December, Syncademy was doing Sigmascape. If I recall correctly, the day when I resub, it was the last party to get people clears on O5s and O6s. I did watch a video, but there were way too many mechancis to remember all in one go. I managed to cleared both fights with them, but definitely not with good understanding on what really going on. Then we continued into O7s training. The next raid day we cleared O7s. I remember everything just went south in the last phase. I had no control of my character because of the confusion debuff, I was next to the wall of death and have a proximity marker on me. On that clear run, I died 3 times. In the end when we took our group picture, I honestly considered that it was a walk of shame.
That time, the person who saved the day was Kaidden. He popped in our voice channel and asked for a sub because someone had internet issue. I joined his group in a heartbeat so that I can do the mechanics again. We went in, one shot the boss. Well, I still died once, but it was a much better record.
Someone once compare to some of the Syncademy events as "trap parties that you can't get out for two hours". I often wonder if it is worse to be in a trap party that someone just wipe you over and over, or you find out that you are the trap but there is no option for you to apologize and just get out.
Honestly, I think the latter is far worse.
Table of content of this series is here