Guilt and Glory of the Firelands Raider

One of my favourite memories about Burning Crusade is also one of my most guilt-inducing memories about Burning Crusade. I led Apotheosis to Vashj and Kael’thas kills before the Hand of A’dal title was no longer obtainable. Bear in mind that these were fights that we worked on seemingly forever. With a roster that was ever-changing and ridiculously low attendance “requirements”, it’s a wonder we made it through 4/5 Hyjal and 5/9 Black Temple before 3.0 dropped.

But we did it. We worked hard at getting Vashj down three times and Kael died twice, I believe it was.

One of my best moments was getting one of our rogues, Kut, his Hand of A’dal title. Kut had been around in Tier 4 and parts of Tier 5, but had a demanding schedule of work and class and, honestly, having him there for both a Vashj kill and a Kael kill was just flat-out luck, it feels like. I did what I could to work around his schedule and it paid off with Kut, our token “lying dead in the fire” rogue, getting his Hand of A’dal title.

The flipside of that is that we didn’t get Majik his. Maj had his own conflicts with raiding and such. We did get him a Kael kill, but the one night we’d set aside for Vashj for a fourth kill… things just didn’t click. We couldn’t get her down again. Our second-ever kill of Vashj was a 1-shot (seriously!) but we couldn’t close the deal on what was to be our fourth kill. And so Majik, and a couple of others, never got their Hand of A’dal titles.

Thus, Hand of A’dal is both one of my best moments and one of my worst.

Tonight, Apotheosis starts in on Glory of the Firelands Raider achievements. Well, that’s a bit misleading. We’ve already accomplished most of those — all six heroic bosses required? Done. Share the Pain? Done. Only the Penitent…? Done (and easily repeatable if anyone’s missing it). Ostensibly, the worst is over.

So I’m faced with a list of 32 people who could possibly be at the raid tonight and only 25 spots to give out.

One thing that I was pretty clear about was that the Raider-ranked people would be given priority on the first reset, but then there’s the group composition to think about. I’m basically going to have to sit a tank and a healer who are Raider-ranked and pull in at least one (perhaps two) Initiates who are DPS.

Plus, if people are causing our failure on Alysrazor’s Do a Barrel Roll! then I’m going to have to sit people and pull in others.

All of it together combines to stress me out just a wee bit.

Now, I know that I’ll be able to get most people their achievements and mounts and, barring catastrophic failure, my own achievements and mount are secured. But the important thing to me is that people not be left behind on this particular set of achievements. Yet, due to 4.3 likely coming out on November 29th, I fear that some of our Initiates who don’t have Alysrazor, Shannox, Beth’tilac or Rhyolith on heroic won’t get theirs. And that sucks. And of course, if anything goes seriously wrong with an achievement (I can foresee SO many problems…) then it’s possible we could screw it up this week and screw 10ish people out of their achievements due to a lack of time.

Ultimately, we didn’t have the news that 4.3 was likely launching on November 29th until November 10th, by which point we’d already killed Shannox, Beth’tilac, Rhyolith and Alysrazor on heroic, so we couldn’t go backwards, revive them and spend last reset doing achievements.

Instead, we repeated 6 heroic boss kills (including our second H Baleroc kill) and played with Heroic Ragnaros and that, essentially, will mean that the majority of us have gotten all the upgrades we can possibly get (barring possible Baleroc and Majordomo heroic loot). In short, the guild is probably stronger for spending last week clearing 6/7 heroic modes and we’re probably better prepared for 4,3’s raid because of it, but it might be at the cost of getting some of our newer people their meta achievement and their mount. Which sucks. And that’s why I mentioned the Hand of A’dal title to start out this post. We literally ran out of time before the title was no longer available and that’s why Majik doesn’t have it. I’m hoping 4.3 is delayed just one more week so that we can finish out the achievements and get one more 6/7 HM reset in, but if that doesn’t happen, then, once again, my guild will have literally run out of time to get some people some achievements.

Second-guessing myself and my decisions (and the decisions of the other officers) does us no good, but it’s still disappointing to know that, if the patch does drop on November 29th, we had the opportunity to do the achievements last week and didn’t. I guess it shows that I value the people in the guild more than the gear, and that’s probably a good thing, but I probably won’t feel great about things unless 4.3 comes out on December 6th.

It’s decisions like these that I stress out over and probably the fact that I do stress over them means that I’m a decent leader, but it’s definitely an unpleasant part of the job.

7 Replies to “Guilt and Glory of the Firelands Raider”

  1. I sympathize! But, unlike Hand, these mounts aren’t going away! (They still never took out the Ulduar or ICC ones, either). And I think the meta doesn’t distinguish between 10 & 25 lockouts? So the outliers, if it doesn’t work out, could potentially go in as a 10 group on some off-night to finish up. What with a shiny new tier, that could be okay!

    Anyway, best of luck with it! Hopefully everyone can get it immediately and if not, they’ll know you tried your best!

  2. My raid group have the same problem as you do. We don’t have all the achievements yet either, and we are also 6/7 HM (10m), we also need to raid to prepare for Dragon Soul. This is what we have also decided to do.

    I would be happy to have gotten my heroic boss achievement kill in if I hadn’t already had the achievement, rather than work on meta achievements. It’s only fair to get everyone at least that over a 6/7hm raider who wants meta achievements completed. It is a tough pickle to be in with having as many people as you do in your raid group. I am sure your raiders know you are trying your best to get everyone what they need though!

    I’m also even wondering if 6/7HM groups are going to continue working on H Rag once the next tier hits. I’m not even sure if my raid group will be, with the leader pushing to add a fourth day to get a edge in at the start. It’ll be definitely tough to balance out raiding H Ragnaros and progress in dragon soul.

  3. I sympathize. I remember during ICC we had to juggle a bit to get everyone their mounts, but at least we had time back then. We need four more weeks to finish getting our legendary staff due to doing 10-mans and having a couple weeks we had to take off.

    If the patch lands first week of December (since there’s normally a one week break between end of PvP and the next patch) then we will still need one more week to get the legendary. A couple of my guildies have expressed support for finishing the staff, even if it means slowing our start in Dragon Soul, but I’m concerned not everyone feels that way.

  4. Vid – That’s true, of course, they’re not going away, and I will, if I need to, lead a 10-man to clean up a few things, but good Lord, do I ever hate the 10-man format. Plus, it seems a little… what’s the word… artificial, I guess, to clean things up on 10-man. The only significant thing the guild has done in the last 10 months on 10-man was our first Magmaw kill (before we officially began raiding) and our first Conclave kill (before we really spent any time in Throne as a 25-man group). It was suggested by more than a few people that we drop into 3 10-man groups because many of these achievements would be “easier” (and certainly, that’s the case for some of them!) but I nixed it. We are a 25-man guild and it’s just disappointing to drop into 10s, I find.

    Still, the GM will do what the GM has to do, eh? ;)

    Thanks for the comment, lady. I appreciate it. :)

    Aidrana – Most of us are around 380-something ilvl, so one or two more pieces of gear will be nice (and we’ll be able to get heroic glove and shoulder tokens even during these resets) but certainly aren’t necessary. I feel as though we’ve done a fairly good job at gearing most people up, so I think we’ll have a solid base to start with in Dragon Soul.

    As to H Rag… I don’t think most people in my guild are interested. I’ve received a fair amount of feedback that’s about equally divided between “H RAG MUST DIE!!!!!!” and “screw that!”, but there’s a suspiciously quiet segment of the guild who, I strongly suspect, is violently opposed to H Rag and are probably thinking that if they don’t TALK about it, we might not have to do it. ;)

    Hana – How long does it take you to clear Firelands? Is doing it on an off-night a possibility? The legendary staff is a really nice DPS boost, so I’d strongly recommend either splitting your time between Firelands and Dragon Soul that first week or just doing it on an off-night if possible. We’ll be getting our second legendary tomorrow night, assuming all goes well, and I can’t wait! :)

    Good luck to you and your group!

  5. Just adding a small comment here: 4.3 shouldn’t be until Dec 6th. There’s a week between the end of an arena season and the start of the next.

  6. Congratulations! Thanks for writing this up, it gives me some ideas for the couple of achievements we have left to knock out.

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