Extended maintenance is well underway on US servers and patch 4.0.1 will be implemented on live servers by the time they come back up.
While alternately exciting and depressing, depending on with whom you’re speaking, the one thing the everyone can agree on is that the pre-Cataclysm patch can be described as game-changing.
I both love and hate expansions. I love them because of the new challenges to face and I hate them because I go from knowing basically everything pertinent about my classes to knowing zip. Nada. Zilch. Niente. Rien. Nothin’.
Or, at least, very little. I feel fairly prepared with regards to my paladin, although I’m still feeling “not ready” to let go of my big Holy Lights or my 100% beacons or my 25% mana/1m Divine Plea… But I’m unprepared for all my other classes.
That, however, is a whole other post.
Expansions also mean changes in terms of guilds. Changing toons, specs, even changing guilds. Rosters go through insane amounts of changes between expansions.
Last night, I may have had my last raid with the guild I’ve been in since June. We’ve had a hell of a few months, let me tell you. I joined when they were 7/12 HM in ICC25 and now we’re 11/12 ICC25 HM.
This last reset, Thursday, we finally got heroic Sindragosa. It was the messiest kill ever that involved a bubble taunt by the sole remaining tank and only four people were alive at the end. She had enraged. And yet, she died. Finally. That got most of the raiders their heroic Frostwing Halls achievement, towards their Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) achievement, which is excellent. That’s been their goal for several months and so most of them are one step closer to that drake. Most were just missing Been Waiting a Long Time for This, All You Can Eat and Neck Deep in Vile.
The guild may or may not continue raiding into 4.0.1. I’m personally of the mind that we will not be able to do half the stuff we do now if all healers are as screwed changed as I think we are. Combine that with parry’s nerf (50% mitigation instead of 100% avoidance), (apparently, I still don’t know how to keep up to date on that “tanking thing”…) changes to block (30% mitigation)… I don’t think that getting rid of Chill of the Throne is really going to do enough to compensate. Anyways, it’s possible that I’m wrong and things are not completely borked and we’ll be able to continue raiding. So things are kind of uncertain.
Man, I hate uncertainty…
Anyways, I walked in to the raid last night knowing we had Putricide, LK and Halion up. I walked in there knowing that this could be my last raid with this guild. I have had a LOT of fun with these people. And before 4.0.1 hits, we got to 11/12 ICC 25 HM. It’s not my first time doing these things, but let me tell you something — when we killed Putricide on heroic 25-man for the second time for this guild, it felt fantastic. It was a beautiful kill. 24 people alive (the 25th had the plague and sacrificed himself for us) and some flawless transitions.
It also ensured five more people in the raid got their heroic Plagueworks achievement, including our primary raid leader, who has always been kind and has always listened to my suggestions, even if my suggestions weren’t always implemented. I was so psyched to get this for her that I even did a silly little fist pump when Putricide died tonight and those five people spammed us with their achievements. Even though that was… probably my 7th heroic Putricide kill, it was definitely in my personal top 3 kills. The top was my own first kill, the second was this guild’s first kill and tonight’s kill is just behind those two.
So faced with an ICC instance where we had killed Saurfang, BQL, Putricide and Sindragosa, all on heroic… we had to look at heroic Lich King.
When one of the officers started detailing the strat for P1 and dealing with Shadow Traps, I paused for a moment.
“The person marked will run out and drop it outside of the raid.”
I have spent, oh, about 30ish attempts on heroic Lich King. That’s not a lot of time or energy. It also happened back in May.
But that still didn’t sound right to me. And then I remembered how my last guild did it, how we split up into one melee group and two ranged. Like this (click for a larger version):
So I let the RL and the GM know that I was pretty sure the strat we were about to try wasn’t going to work and why, but told them I wasn’t 100% sure.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, Shadow Trap gets cast and most of the raid goes flying. Hilarious! I wish I’d frapsed it! We lasted 43 seconds. That is less time than the opening speech portion takes. I laughed.
We tried one more attempt on heroic, just for fun, which went a little bit better, before switching it to regular and trying Been Waiting a Long Time For This.
I warned the healers that it was mana-intensive. I even called for an Innervate, which I nearly didn’t get because our bear druid was busy tea-bagging someone who had died. :P (The same thing actually happened to me in my last guild.)
Also a messy kill, but a kill and achievement nonetheless.
On to Ruby Sanctum!
We cleared through fairly easily. And no. The boots did not drop. Which means that Walks and I are stuck with our 245 or 258 Boots of the Courageous or stuck crafting the plate 264 healing boots. Ah, well. Would have been nice to have an upgrade instead of downgrading or staying at the same item level. Killed that dragon 11ish times and still, no 271 plate boots.
Overall, though, a productive night. Got lots of people at least one achievement, got a few people two. Played with heroic Lich King. Cleared Ruby Sanctum.
And through it all, I knew it was a good chance this was the last time I’d ever raid with these people. I knew that soon, it’ll be time for me to lead, to raid with the newly-reformed Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas.
I’m not going to lie — I’ve enjoyed being a member. No leadership responsibilities, no healing assignments. (Okay, so I took over organizing judgements, but when no one’s judging light and you have five pallies in the raid, someone has to!) (Okay, I also organize who beacons who and who shields who with Walks, but that’s just common courtesy so we don’t always overwrite each other, although Walks consistently does overwrite my damn shield on Sindragosa. ;D)
But I’ve also had to rein in my leadership skills a few times and my poor raid leaders and GM have probably heard enough from me to last them forever! ;) It’s a difficult thing to do, keeping your mouth shut and giving another strategy a chance when you’ve seen another one work flawlessly.
Like I said, though, I’m awfully glad that I got to finish out Wrath with such a great group of people. I’m moving my paladin back to Eldre’Thalas as soon as the guild’s leadership calls it an expansion, basically. That could be as soon as this week or next week or the week before Cataclysm launches.
I may have raided for the last time with these people and honestly, while I won’t miss a couple of them, I’ve had a great time. I feel like I accomplished something by helping them get to 11/12 and a stone’s throw from their drakes. So if this is where we part ways and this is where Madrana goes home… I’m satisfied. Last night was a great way to end raiding, if that is, indeed, the end. Some hilarity on LK, some success with HPP and Been Waiting and a Halion one-shot.
And now, it’s the end of the world as we know it and, though I’ll roll with the punches, I don’t quite feel altogether fine.