It’s definitely been interesting to raid with both my guild, Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas, and a guild I was in for the tail end of Wrath, Choice of Skywall. I’ve learned a LOT about both Firelands and about being a holy paladin. I’ve learned a lot about being a raid leader, guild leader and healing lead. I’ve learned a lot about being a cog in the machine and being part of the rank and file.
I spend, well, I guess it’s about 15 hours a week raiding. In truth, it’s probably three hours or so too much, but nine hours isn’t quite “enough” for me, and 6 hours of raiding as “just” a raider isn’t anywhere as taxing as 6 hours of raiding as any kind of a leader. So I’ve spent a lot of time raiding Firelands over the last couple of months and have learned a lot.
What’s been the most valuable thing about this whole deal is that I’m learning from my own mistakes that I make in various raids. In Apotheosis, I’m guilty of spending too much time looking at the rest of the raid — cooldowns used, who’s dead, etc, and my healing suffers. In Choice, I’m guilty of spending a little too much time tunnel-visioning, so while I have great healing, I do occasionally get beaned by some environmental hazard.
I’ve also learned a lot from each raid and brought what I’ve learned to the other raid. For example, Choice did Baleroc before Apotheosis did, so I was able to take their strategy and refine it to suit my group. I was also then able to take stuff from Apotheosis raids and let the Choice leadership play with it as they saw fit. (They totally use our 1-8 naming of Rag elementals, which I like to think are thanks to me. ;D) Apart from the cross-raid knowledge, it’s always an amazing feeling to know that you helped a raid group do something, you know?
I mean, sure, I was dead at the end of both of the Apotheosis Ragnaros kills, but I knew I’d worked hard to get us there. For Choice’s first kill, I was one of three healers standing, there was one tank left and a sudden calm descended upon me. “We’ve got this,” I felt. I just felt it and knew it. I popped my Angry!Man (Guardian of the Ancient Kings) right as he came off of cooldown and proceeded to heal the crap out of the sole, remaining tank. (And as I did so, I couldn’t help but think, “Man, Kal would be proud of me for using him twice in one attempt!”)
The tank died shortly after, due to a meteor, but another couple of seconds of DPS and Rag was defeated.
So Apotheosis defeated Ragnaros again last week and tonight, Monday, Choice defeated Rag for the first time.
Both guilds are poised to play with Heroic Shannox this upcoming reset.
Despite my grumbling about heroic modes and such, I still do them, and heroic modes are where guilds go to raid when they complete regular-mode content, so that’s where both Apotheosis and Choice are headed.
I cannot WAIT to see the differences between the approaches to Shannox on heroic mode, can’t wait to see the mistakes both groups make and can’t wait to see how both guilds eventually down him.
I enjoy being a part of both raid groups very much and while my overall loyalty has to be to Apotheosis (both because I’m the GM and because I love my guild), healing with Choice makes me feel accomplished in a different way and allows me to relax in a way I can’t do with Apotheosis.
And hey, Rag down on normal for both my paladins, Ragnar-O’s for both my paladins… that definitely does feel pretty good. :)
PS: Don’t forget to check out Blessing of Frost, just released Episode 32!
PPS: Majik has a Twitter! Follow him @Majjity!
PPPS: I have two posts coming this week: one rewritten Holy How-To and another one about healer evaluations. Stay tuned. :)