Weekend Raids

This weekend’s raids were interesting. Noth was the weekly again so we all did a bunch of alt runs since Noth is basically a loot piñata and easy emblems are the best kind. I actually managed to get 4 of my 80s through the weekly this week instead of my usual 1, so that’s a bonus.

The ToC run didn’t really get off the ground. We made a few attempts on Saturday, but we were shorthanded. We ended up bringing a severely undergeared druid that just happened to be at the meeting stone, operating under the assumption that some dps is better than no dps. (She wasn’t even fully heroic geared and was doing around 7-800dps when she was alive. Which wasn’t often, because she kept standing in fires (and  I can’t heal through that) or getting one-shotted (nobody can heal through that), and what little time I was able to keep her up was really a drain on my mana, which was a big part of the problem. Despite that, though, there were a few attempts that well could have been successful if not for a mental lapse on the part of a player (never the same one). I was just glad that this week it wasn’t “all eyes on me” after every wipe.

Now, don’t get me wrong, everybody makes mistakes, me included, especially when you go into the fight thinking that you have to play the hero. It’s the classic pitfall of 10-mans. If half the raid is trying to push just a little harder than normal to pick up the slack from underperforming members, mistakes are more likely to happen. It’s this sort of tightrope that makes an already difficult situation even more dangerous, and why some people feel that despite being tuned to a higher difficulty 25-man raids are actually easier in a lot of ways.

Anyway, for whatever reason (well, probably for a lot of reasons) Saturday’s raid didn’t even make it to Icehowl. Sunday we didn’t even make an attempt, because not enough people showed up and very few of us were interested in trying to PUG members again. On the bright side, those of us who were doing the ICC 10 run at noon were fresh and raring to go. It went pretty well, all things considered.

We got off to a bit of a late start because, again, we had some personnel issues. Not everyone showed up and a few were late so by the time we got everyone gathered and ready to go it was nearly 12:30, IIRC. Normally that’s no big deal, as trying to get 10 people together to do something at the same time always has a few wrinkles. However, usually we only have 3 or so hours to raid, so losing half an hour is disappointing, even if not unexpected.

We cleared the trash in pretty good time, and once again, I stumbled onto a trap, only this time without a rogue to save me from stepping on it. I was just looting a mob and *click* here comes the giant skeleton to eat me. Thank the gods for suicidal dwarves with aggression issues.. er, I mean, thank you for the rescue, Damorg. Anyway, we one-shotted Marrowgar and the only death was mine (twice). It was totally embarrassing. On the bright side, despite how it may first appear, I am getting better at avoiding the coldflames. One of those times I knew the fire was coming, and simply misjudged its speed. I thought I could finish off a spell and get out safely, but I was mistaken. The spell got off, but I didn’t make it out. I hit my emergency heal but it was still on CD and *splat* I’m a fail angel.The second time I died I was already at low health (from more than average attention during bonestorm) and though I’d just cast renew, Marrowgar dropped a coldlfames at my feet that I simply didn’t have the reaction speed to avoid. Someone more aware might have made it out, or managed to get off a bigger heal on themselves so they weren’t so low to start with, but oh well, would’ve, could’ve, should’ve and all that jazz. Still, all in all a much better showing than last week, and I’m pretty satisfied with this as my second visit to the raid. I am once again cautiously optimistic that I’ll only get better with more experience (both with this raid and raiding in general).

Deathwhisper went a little better than last week, in that it only took 3 attempts. The first attempt we just went at it with our composition from Marrowgar. On the second attempt we decided to drop a healer for a dps and since we were once again left with only 1 caster, that’s what we wanted. My dps gear isn’t great, but we figured a moderately-geared shadow priest would still put out more magic damage than a better-geared DK (our only other option). So our first attempt with me going dps was a little rough, but much better than the first attempt of the day. We had her down below 10% when we wiped. I honestly feel that we might have completed this attempt with a little more preparation. I had asked before the pull for a quick explanation of the fight from the standpoint of a dps (this being my second week in the fight and the first time as a dps I wasn’t familiar with the fight from the dps perspective).  The DK tank that didn’t get to switch to dps says “the big ugly ones” and then pulls. I don’t know if he was just being impatient, or if he was surly about not getting to switch or what, but if I’d had a better idea what I was supposed to be doing instead of having to learn on the fly we may well have made it. As it was, I had pretty much  figured it out by the end of the first attempt so the second, successful attempt wasn’t filled with a lot of “oh, that one does spell reflect” and “oh, that one is immune” like the first one was. I understand that nobody likes to sit around while they explain the fight to the new guy, but nobody likes to wipe, either, so perhaps it’s just me, but I think a brief update would have been nice. Maybe I’m just getting my feathers ruffled over nothing, but I felt like I was kind of thrown into a rough spot with the expectation that I would fail and I’m pretty pleased that I rose to the occasion. If this looks to be the plan every week I’m going to have to upgrade my DPS set (which at this point is mostly my healing set with enough odd pieces traded out to get to the hit cap). Meaning that I have some decently-itemized i232 gear, but no set bonuses.

Sadly, that was once again as far as we got. We cleared out the trash and discovered one of the new weekly raid questgivers and had time for 3 quick attempts at the mini-boss (we got the rotting frost giant quest) before a bunch of people had to start leaving. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the progress we made in the time we had. We didn’t have an inordinate number of wipes on any encounter and the only one we tried but didn’t complete is the frost giant, who was new for all of us. Hopefully, by the next time we have to fight him, there will be some strategy guides out on the web or something so that we can get a better understanding of his mechanics.

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