The raids went pretty well. Saturday we did Noth for the weekly. It wasn’t too challenging. I didn’t really expect a lot of trouble out of Naxx at this point, but even so I was surprised at how well it went because only 6 of us showed up for the run. Despite that it was smooth sailing and easy badges.
Sunday was also something of a surprise. Owing to the poor turnout on Saturday I wasn’t really expecting the raid to get off the ground on Sunday (usually more people show up for Sat than Sun) but we got a group together and went to ToC 10. There were some wipes but we did pretty well in the time that we had, clearing up through and including faction champions. Faction Champions was pretty fun, because on about the third attempt we all decided that I should dispel instead of heal. That actually made the fight fairly easy. Hand of Protection? Gone. Druid HoTs? Sayonara. Divine Shield? Corruption? See you later. I had a great deal of fun just spamming dispel and mass dispel with only the occasional heal during that phase. I felt much more useful than our usual attempts (I get off maybe 4-5 heals and then got locked down by the rogue or focused by a group). There was a bit of settling in while we all got used to each other (we’re adding/rotating new people) but I think the new groups could be a very good thing.
To add to the surprise, I got to go on my first ICC 10 run. I wasn’t expecting to go because supposedly there were 3 healers already signed up and wanting to go. However, come raid time only 1 of them showed up so we were left improvising. The trash clears went pretty well, and there were some fun moments, like when we were trying to find the last trap and the rogue found it about three steps before I stumbled onto it. All in all, though, it went smoothly until Marrowgar. He gave us some trouble, particularly at first, while we were all getting used to the encounter. I know that I, especially, needed a few attempts to get a feel for all of the mechanics he throws out. In the end, though, the biggest difference was when we had all the dps switching to the spikes instead of just the 2 ranged. Once we tried that strategy we downed him in one shot and got the Boned achievement to boot. With that in mind I think next week may well go much more smoothly.
After that, Deathwhisper gave us some trouble too, until we switched up our personnel. We had no magic damage so we traded out a resto shaman for her mage alt and that worked wonders (obviously, due to the mechanics of that fight group composition is important). We downed her after only a few attempts despite having only one magic dps, and even though we were 2-healing this phase I thought we did pretty well. I was particularly impressed by our druid healer and told her as much.
The gunship battle didn’t go so well and we had to call it after a few wipes. A couple of us had to go and I had already admitted flat-out that I simply couldn’t keep the tank up on my own during the jumping phase. It was really frustrating, (and just as much for them, I’m sure) but I threw everything I had at him and he’d always die just as it was time to jump back. I think a third healer would have been very helpful on this phase, or at least a proper tank healer. As a holy priest my tank healing leaves something to be desired, especially since my spec and glyphs are pointed towards raid healing, not single target healing (and it looked like the druid was in much the same boat). Maybe even a few heals from the hybrid dps would have done the trick. At any rate, I didn’t have the throughput to keep him up and there was some grumbling until everyone was nonchalantly reminded that we were still 2-healing that phase and then there was a lot of “oh, well no wonder” from the raid. I guess it’s sort of good to be vindicated, but it’s also a little disappointing that we were healing our little behinds off and a lot of people assumed that we just sucked at healing, instead of finding out what the problem was (which was largely being under-manned, IMO).
Anyway, it was still a pretty good time, despite all of the wipes. I am cautiously optimistic about next week’s run, since we discovered some new strategies that worked pretty well and we’ve lived and learned about bringing the proper group composition (or at least I hope we have). I hope I get to go. One more run like that one and I can get that fancy schmancy rep ring from the Ashen Verdict, which will be a huge upgrade over the dps ring I’m wearing now (because wasted item points or not, it was still better than what I had before). On that subject, I’ve got a hefty handful of 200 and 219 pieces, so perhaps I’ll even get lucky with a drop or two and be able to replace them.