It seems I picked up my Blood-Soaked Invitation at around the same time as a couple more established bloggers (Navimie and Cymre). I thought I’d add to the newbie brawler report! I gained my invitation by camping the faction rares for a while. Long enough, in fact, that Nyxrinne is now sporting half a PvP set, courtesy of a large stack of Honourable Commendations.
First off, the Brawler’s Guild is a lot of fun. Being a little self-conscious of what I anticipated being massive failure on my part, I started fighting early in the morning before work to avoid the crowd, but as other people started filtering through, mostly low-ranking newbies like me, there was no nastiness at all.
In fact, we ended up cheering each other on. Eventually a rank seven priest showed up, working on GG Engineering, and the rest of us paused our queuing to let her spam the fight a bit. Compared to our crocolisks and rams, those guys with their rockets looked hard.
The atmosphere was much the same when I returned in the evening. Most of the combatants piled into groups for buffs, and there were feasts ahoy.
We threw around tactics and tales of peckdoom-related woe. Players showed real interest in one another’s fights, and I ended up chatting for a while with a priest who’d recently played through the place as her monk and had much to say on the matter of melee.
After I killed GG Engineering in the same second the firewall killed me.
Now, I’ve heard it said that the Brawler’s Guild is far easier for casters than for melee, but I find myself extremely sceptical about this. Perhaps it changes after rank seven (I’ve defeated GG Engineering and have yet to attempt the next fight, so my experience is a little stunted at the moment) but I raced through most ranks with little difficulty as a windwalker monk.
The truth is, I still don’t even know what the tactics are for some of the fights I’ve finished. I don’t even know what all of those bosses do. I resolved not to read anything before heading in, so I was mostly picking stuff up on the fly as I fought (and by watching other brawlers).
Specced into Xuen and sporting the Glyph of Retreat, when damage ramped up I was generally able to escape it by having the tiger tank, or casting Touch of Karma. Lacking any knowledge of the encounters, I used my stuns on cooldown for the rounds I one-shot, rather than to intercept certain moves.
I’m not saying I cheesed all the fights, but I beat King Kulaka, Mazhareen and Unguloxx simply by nuking hard and using my most basic survival skills, and it was only when I read Cymre’s account that I realised Kirrawk sends out twisters. I think I must have stun-nuked him too quickly, or dodged them out of habit.
Ready for Raiding mk. III
Habit. It’s something that has become very clear very quickly: being a PvE DPS veteran and thus having certain damage-evasion tactics engrained in the way you play makes life in the Brawler’s Guild so much easier.
I feel this echoes very much my experience of Glorious. As a more experienced player, it’s not too hard to identify the primary skills of each class of rare and deduce a way to overcome them. Most of their abilities carry some trace of past encounters, and overcoming them tends to involve knowledge of three things: how to interrupt, how to move, and how to turtle up and weather the storm.
As a result, Glorious provides a do-or-die kind of training ground for those players who aren’t well-versed in being wholly responsible for their own survivability. Death occurs until you pick up the skills, so eventually people do just that. Even if they have to look up the gimmick online, that’s still good practice for bigger boss fights later on.
This definitely carries on into the Brawler’s Guild. Proboskus even makes use of the jinyu rares’ Rain Dance and Torrent skills, showering the arena with watery death, but all the early fights have mechanics that are familiar to most raiders and dungeoneers. That means fledgling raiders can stock up on invaluable experience, and the rest of us have an edge that helps us to progress at speed.
Not to say there’s no sign of a bait-and-switch approach, mind you. I started my first fight with Dippy the penguin by dodging about as usual, but when I noticed Peck was a move he was spamming, I assumed it was his filler, not his finisher. This did not end well for me.
On the penguin train of thought, my losses thus far:
Dippy x1: See above.
Crush x1: I went waaay too far out of my way to avoid his charges, and thus failed the DPS check. During the second fight I was so hot on his heels I was actually hit by the stun on one occasion, but that proved inconsequential.
Millie Watt x1: She got me with her polymorph! By sheer chance I pathed across a lightning pool, but it took long enough that my health was a sliver by that point. On the plus side, I was edumecated mighty quick by that one.
Leper Gnome Quintet x3: This went terribly more because I nearly killed them on my first attempt than anything else, and thus figured I’d just power through on the second. This was foolishness. On my third attempt I made good use of stuns, snares, heals, threat-drops and speed boosts, but I was unable to down them fast enough through focused-fire. Finally I got them when I added sufficient AoE to my repertoire.
Yikkan Izu x1: Fresh from the leper gnomes, I AoE’d the birds rather quickly. Ouch.
GG Engineering x4: An ongoing mistake I made throughout my first two attempts was to focus-fire the goblin, which meant I interrupted very few of the gnome’s death rays. Even when I alternated between the two, I was still prioritising the goblin, mostly because he stands still more reliably than the gnome, and is thus easier to hit with the bombs.
Attacking and stunning the gnome, my incoming damage dropped considerably, and I managed to down them on my third attempt - only to die in the same instant due to the fire wall.
On my fourth attempt I, er, used Flying Serpent Kick to chase down the gnome after a teleport and, er, zoom-kicked my way into a rocket. Fifth time was just a general coming-together of all the things I’d learned along the way, and a cautious approach to high speed chases.
...I’m really happy with the Brawler’s Guild. I’m loving the chance to put my solo skills to the test, and to compare my performance to others’. I’m proud of my cluster’s community for being such a great crowd to fight alongside. I’m looking forward to the more complex fights now that I’m rank seven - I’ve seen people ghost-hunting with torches, which looks brilliant. (They have all died.)
Participating has actually boosted my motivation in-game as a whole. Over the past week, wanting to slough off the last four blue items Nyxrinne is wearing, I’ve valour-capped her; finished off my Golden Lotus, Shado-pan and Klaxxi rep grinds; kept up with my Dominance Offensive dailies; run through every part of LFR; and finally come to a decision regarding my gearing strategy. (Windwalker > brewmaster.)
It provides a new incentive to level up my alts, too, as apparently the invitation unlocks the guild for all of them. My goal is definitely to blast through the ranks as every class in the game. We’ll see how that goes!