I know that my blog has become a bastion of information for holy paladins, but I’m not just a holy paladin. I’m a guild master, a raid leader, a healing lead and a raider. (WTB a hat with four labels on it so I can be appropriately labelled regardless of what I’m dealing with at the moment.)
I’d like to write about my guild’s first two 25-man raids today, but as a warning, if you’re PART of my guild, please don’t prod me for details about various things and don’t fret if I’ve already sent you a note about something. I consider the issue closed, but I do want to relate various things and I don’t want people getting freaked out because they think I’m still annoyed.
I had a TON of last-minute people to check on before I let them in the raid. Most had been ready for over a day, at least, but there were a lot of last-minute enchants missing, so we got all that sorted and then I dealt with invites (a topic for another day!) and we got started.
The plan was Baradin Hold, if we had Tol Barad, then Magmaw, Omnotron and Halfus, if we did very well. This was very ambitious and basically it was what we planned as a best-case scenario, given that we had little experience with Omnotron and Halfus even on 10-man.
As it turns out, we didn’t have TB, so it was off to Magmaw. One of the best comments throughout the encounter was from a shadow priest who had, not five hours previously, been bitching about my requiring a runspeed boost (unless you rely entirely on Inner Will), either via meta gem, boot enchant or talent.
After about the third or fourth attempt, the shadow priest says, in raid: “Okay, I now see what you meant about the runspeed enchant.” Yes! Justification! haha! I was very amused.
On another note, I find it really hilarious to watch people who have obviously become very attached to their boss mods. They just stood there in the Pillar of Flame. Not to say I didn’t get hit now and again, but it really took a few attempts for everyone to really watch for the swirling orange crap on the ground and to move away from it. Gotta love “old school” raiding, with no mods that are really working the way they did in ICC.
It really didn’t take us too long and we got him down. Then we swapped some people out and headed to Omnotron, which solidly kicked our asses for 9 of our 10 attempts. SO many issues with shields, interrupts, poison bombs… We got them down to 37% as an evening’s best, though.
After the raid, we fixed an EPGP issue which should allow mains to not be in the raid group if they’re on standby for EP awards. I have to say that Dar and Toga are totally kicking ass at being the Lootmasters for the guild. Not only do I NOT have to deal with loot, but they’re doing a great job at fixing things if they need fixing. I really don’t have to worry about it at all, which is a HUGE relief.
Anyways, we had some great discussion on the forums on Wednesday and Thursday to try to identify some of the issues. I LOVE that my guild enjoys discussing stuff on the forums!
So Thursday, the plan was:
Baradin Hold, if we had it, Omnotron, then Halfus and maybe Valiona & Theralion? Again, a best-case scenario.
So I populated the forums with info on V&T before the raid. I had set up a basic raid lineup during the day, complete with swapouts…
… and we had two no-shows.
One was our feral druid tank who, I later discovered, merely overslept. I totally did that myself back in my RL Friend the Resto Druid’s guild, so I was understanding when she let me know what the issue was. One was a resto druid who just didn’t show and I have no news yet as to where she was.
Neither HORRIBLY impacted the raid makeups, but it threw a wrench in my plans for healing setups. I’m a conservative healer and raid leader — I’ll go with more healers and then drop one if we’re having trouble with enrages. So I planned for seven but only took six — since that’s how many were online.
Tol Barad was ours, so we headed out to Baradin Hold and handily one-shotted Argaloth in plenty of time for the enrage. To Blackwing Descent!
My tank lead is pretty awesome. He had planned for the feral druid and the warrior tank to do BH, then he’d swap one out for himself for Omnotron, and then we’d go with three tanks on Halfus, if we got there. As it was, he and the warrior ended up doing both BH and working on Omnotron and it was him and the warrior who had been working on Omnotron on Tuesday, so I really liked the consistency we saw there.
Five attempts in, Omnotron Defense System goes down! Granted, it all went to hell at the end due to Arcane Annihilator since interrupters were dead, but we did it. A kill is a kill!
So we did loot, did a kill shot and then it was off to Bastion of Twilight to take a peek at Halfus.
The trash RUINED us, haha. Hilarity ensued. But we got through it and got Chelley’s Staff of Dark Mending, which went to Num, who you may know as “that guy who does the Blessing of Frost intro”.
Finally, we were at Halfus. The combination we had was the Slate Dragon, the Nether Scion and the Time Warden.
After a few wipes, including a VERY late break (11:26pm, instead of 10:30), where Dar and Toga did some EPGP stuff (the settings had reset or something), we decided on this strategy:
1) Release Time Warden and Nether Scion.
2) Kill Time Warden.
3) Kill Nether Scrion.
4) Pop Slate Dragon, kill it.
5) Kill Halfus.
We were using 3 tanks and having them tank the mobs basically on top of Halfus for splash damage, since with two drakes up, he was taking 100% more damage, and that seemed to work well. We got him to something like under 15% and hit enrage. The stun from the Slate Dragon meant that we got free DPS time, though, so we lived more than two minutes past enrage!
This was on our very first try of that strategy, which our tank officer suggested. So we tried to do the same thing again, with five minutes or so left in the raid. It was our last attempt of the night, which we always dub the “INFAMOUS LAST ATTEMPT”. That’s something that dates back to Burning Crusade raids where we always seemed to down things just in the nick of time, right before the end of the raid. I love that it’s still in use.
So we pull. We blow hero. Cooldowns are being used, we’re doing everything just fine. And then, disaster. The tank tanking the Nether Scion basically just DROPPED.
[23:59:48.623] Nether Scion hits Warrior Tank 34188 (A: 13897)
[23:59:50.110] Nether Scion hits Warrior Tank 63193
[23:59:51.620] Nether Scion hits Warrior Tank 68529
[23:59:53.040] Nether Scion hits Warrior Tank 36629 (O: 14474)
That is more than 220k damage in four and a half seconds.
So the warrior tank goes down. Our tank officer taunts the Nether Scion and is dual-tanking both drakes.
We get the feral DPS druid to pop up the warrior tank (yay for Glyph of Rebirth!), who taunts his target back and… I die because I’m watching all this other crap and not watching out for the fireball barrage.
Just before I died, one of the DPS said, over Mumble, “don’t stand in the fire!”
To which one of the healers replied “we can’t dodge it”. That’s about when I died and right about the time when the DPS was starting to argue that because we’d freed the Time Warden, yes, we could dodge it. I could not believe my ears. Were these two people actually debating the behaviour of a mechanic IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ENCOUNTER?
Yes. Yes, they were.
“Guys!” I shouted, “Focus!” That appeared to shut them up.
Oh, look. The in-game interface is prompting me to use soulstone. Why yes, that sounds like an AWESOME idea, so I do believe I will. So I pop up and proceed to spend the next 5 minutes totally freaking out about mana.
At about this point, our fury warrior steals aggro off the Time Warden and drops. I’m thinking he caught up to our tank officer when he was busy with the Nether Scion.
So I’m up, the warrior tank is up and we have a dead fury warrior and no more battle rezzes.
Then, a rogue dies to the fireball barrage.
But you know what? It went beautifully after that. The next death was my brother, one of the tanks, once Halfus hit his berserk.
But due to the stuns from the Slate Dragon, we were able to last another minute and a half, almost, and we got him down!
Once again, the Infamous Last Attempt brings with it success!
We did the screenshot, then handed out loot and thus ended our second 25-man raid night.
I spent the next hour or so doing administrative crap — writing to those who had not shown up, writing to the healer and DPS who had started their discussion as to the fight mechanics IN MID-BATTLE… and then I also did a quick check on a healer of mine who wasn’t ready for January 4th, but assured me she’d be ready for the 11th.
Well, after looking at her gear and rep and professions, I knew she wasn’t going to be ready for the 11th, so I gave her ’till the 18th (as I’m doing with a couple of other people) and let her know to let me know if she’d changed her mind about raiding.
She came back to me and let me know she was sorry, but various circumstances, mostly to do with work and such, were going to make it very difficult for her to get ready for raiding. So she stepped down from our starting roster and may (or may not) re-apply as a raider down the line.
So that leaves me with 8 current healers and another with a deadline of January 18th. The 8 current healers includes the healer who just didn’t show on Thursday. So if the 9th healer isn’t ready by the 18th and the healer who didn’t show ends up not being able to raid, I’m down to 7. By contrast, if they both turn out to raid regularly, I’m at 9. I’m fairly certain I’m going to open up recruitment for another healer (probably a resto shaman), but we’re not at that point yet.
Anyways. This is where my brain goes at 6:30am, when I should have been asleep ages ago.
So far, a good raid week. We have another raid tonight (Sunday) and are probably going to poke at Valiona and Theralion and then either Maloriak, Chimaeron or Atramedes in Blackwing Descent. It’s been a hell of a busy week to be sure, but ultimately, it’s been a very successful and fun week as well. Here’s to many, many more awesome raid nights with these people.
Sunday afternoon, I have my first office hours since early Wrath. Should be interesting to see if anyone drops in…