Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Bear's guide to ICC: Gunship Battle

The Gunship battle is, perhaps, the most fun I've ever had in a single WoW encounter. It's gimmicky, sure. But damn. Fun.

There is some trash leading up to the battle that will need to be tanked. A couple packs of Horde or Alliance battling against each other. They're not too much of a threat. Just hold aggro and you should be good. Focus down the healers first. After the first pack is down, stick around for a second before rushing to the second. You'll get a very nice buff from the friendly NPCs for your trouble.

Once you get to your respective Gunship, there will be an NPC you can talk to in order to get a jetpack. Yes, you heard that right. A jetpack. Drag it onto your action bar and then equip it. (It goes in your shirt slot.)

I should note here that only people intending to jump over to the opposing gunship during the battle need a jetpack. However, they're insanely fun to play around with for a couple minutes before starting the fight and so everyone will probably end up getting one anyway.

Also, a druid in Bear form using the jetpack is, I think, the funniest thing I've seen in this game since Dalliah and Soccothrates in Arcatraz. You will have your raid laughing for a solid 5 minutes as you play around with this.

Finally, I know this is a Druid blog, but I feel this is worth mentioning. If you have any Mages in your raid, make sure they don't use Slow Fall in conjunction with the jetpack. Very bad. Very funny (for the rest of the raid), but very bad.

Ok, back to business. There's a lot going on in this fight. But as a tank, there's only two possible things you're going to have to worry about.

If you are the tank that stays aboard your own ship, you're going to have to deal with a pack of opposite-faction mobs that will drop out of a portal one at a time (3 total on 10-man) and start running amok on your ship. Swipe liberally to pick them up and get them under control and then drag them over near your respective faction captain (Muradin for Alliance, Saurfang for Horde) to make sure they get engaged in the battle. Have your dps burn them down. Watch for runes on the ground that indicate where enemy rockets are going to be landing and make sure you're not tanking in them. Easy.

If you are the tank for the away team, you need to watch for when the opposite faction captain calls for a battle-mage to freeze your ship's cannons. When that happens, jetpack across and grab aggro on said captain then drag him to the edge of the ship closest to yours. This allows you to get heals from healers on both ships. All you have to do is hold him while the DPS that came over with you do their thing. He does Cleave, so be aware of where you face him.

Each time you get hit, the captain is going to gain a stack of a buff that increases the damage he deals by 10%. Eventually it'll become unhealable. I usually pop Barkskin around the 8th stack to get through the last 10 seconds or so.

Once your DPS have killed the battle mage and any other mobs on that ship they've been assigned to kill, you all need to jetpack back to your own. Make sure you're the last to leave or the captain you were tanking will aggro on one of your other away team members and insta-kill them. When you land back on your ship, run as far away from the opposing ship as you can to make sure aggro is completely lost. Rinse, repeat.

Once your raid gets the hang of this battle, it's insanely easy. But it hasn't ceased to be fun yet.

Once the battle has been won, a chest on your respective ship will hold the victory loot. The only 10-man item of interest to Bears will be the Abomination's Bloody Ring. On 25-man we have Ikfirus's Sack of Wonder and they very lovely Corpse Tongue Coin. There's also the Shadowvault Slayer's Cloak which is okay if you don't already have better (though you should).

As with all my boss strats, I'm writing from the overall perspective of a Bear tank and what they will need to do. For you Cats reading this blog, I suggest you check out Dinaer's guides on Forever a Noob. They're written for Rogues but are a pretty good guide for melee in general and his gear drop suggestions (with the exception of weapons) will be spot on for Cats. If I have additional insight, I will try to add it in my blog. Here is his Gunship Battle strat.
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