So with 3.2 rolled out last night, my first trip was to the Curse website to try and get my addons fixed. With only about 1/2 of them working properly, I instead raided with nothing but default raid frames and zero addons. I have to say, I'm extremely impressed with the changes in the default UI over the years. While my screen wasn't 'as' sexy, the only thing I really missed was Bartender. I'd gotten used to having my main abilities up on a separate bar, but it wasn't too bad.
So with all my addons disabled, and my keys rebound, my first stop was the trainer for a quick respec of both my Prot and my Ret builds. Here's the quick breakdown.
For Prot I kept the standard 0/53/18 build - opting to toss two points into Vindication and two points into Pursuit of Justice. I like having the extra run speed for picking up adds and kiting, and since we don't have a warrior in our 10 man group, reducing the mobs AP with a standard judgement (which also slows their attack speed) is pretty nice. Rhidach over at Righteous Defense has a good post comparing the TPS of different builds - look it over if you're thinking about picking up JotP instead.
One major thought - Ardent Defender is ridiculously OP now. No button to hit, no worries about using it early - just fires when needed.
For Ret I consulted with the oracles, and then picked the brain of my resident retadin. Between snarky comments about healing, and hating on the changes to replenishment, old Toby and I (ok, fine - it was mostly him) managed to come up with this build. It loses a little of the raid utility, but it still has Divine Sacrifice. It also seems to hit like a truck. Then again, I may finally be figuring out how to ret. My DPS went from 2500 to 3300 just by spending some time on the target dummy and getting a key upgrade from our resident Doomchicken (mmm - Greatness).
I didn't change what would normally be my healing spec - though I'm fairly certain it will be 51/20/0 by the end. I can still heal passably well in either my Ret or my Prot builds though (for 5 mans), so I'm not stressing it too much. If I can get in a 25 man PUG I might go Holy just to test it out.
Beasts of Northrend
Now for the real meat - the new 10 man raid.
First impression - Grom has about 300k more HP than Varian. I was also disappointed to see the Horde and Alliance on opposite sides of the arena. You'd think that with the threat of both an Old God and Arthas knocking on the door that the Horde and Alliance could come together. Of course, Varain is packing more baggage than a sherpa, and it's not like Thrall is traveling light either.
Second - get on with the show already. Blah, blah, blah. Serious Tirion, shuddup already. Do something useful like finding a way to rez Bolvar. Then we'll chat.
Now the fight itself.
The initail pull starts with one a manguatar or some such. He's got an impale that leaves a fairly nasty DOT on the tank - make sure your tanks switch every 30 seconds. He also throws 'Snobalds' at random raid members. They need to be targeted and killed like Freya's Iron Roots - although there is an achievement to go the entire fight with at least two of them still alive. Maybe next week we'll give this a go. He also throws fire around the raid, and has a knockdown AoE with about a 15yd range. All in all - not a very difficult first encounter.
The second wave has not one, but TWO, TWO HA HA HA HA (sorry, Sesame Street flashbacks there) Jormungers. Once shoots fire, the other poison - and one is kited while the other stays rooted. The most challenging mechanic here is that occasionally someone will get hit with a paralytic poison that has to be 'burned off' by someone with a fire debuff. It's actually a good mechanic - as the whole raid has to watch for it. Also, the fire debuff burns folks around you, so you can't stand in the middle of the raid with it.
We handled the two worms by splitting our DPS between the two, and then killing them together R&J style. We got an achievement for it, and it honestly seems easier than nuking them separately since that will enrage the other one. The armory hasn't been updated yet, so I don't know if that was a world first for 10 man pure guilds or not.
Finally a big ice yeti thing comes out, and he's 'basically' a tank and spank. He will do a random jump to the middle with a ground smash, and then he targets someone and charges at them. You get a speed boost to get out of the way, and if you're successful he'll stun himself on the arena wall a'la Looney Toons bull style. If you stand there and try to eat it he'll one shot you and then enrange and beat the crap out of the tank.
Overall a fun fight. I'm glad it didn't involve any mounts or jousting (I hate the jousting) like the five man does. I'm looking forward to the next boss though, and eventually doing these guys on heroic.
Tomorrow is our shots on Algalon - here's hoping.