Running a wednesday, sunday, monday karazhan schedule can be stress inducing.
Not so much due to the time schedule, quite frankly, that's working out nicely since we put in the fixed schedule raid nights and times.
The stress comes on the monday night raids. Its do or die night. If you're stuck on a progression boss, you gotta kill him that night before the server reboots and the raid ID resets.
Sure, if your guild raids tues/wed/thurs, and strictly sticks to only those three days, you might experience the same feeling on thursday, but there's something about the finality of a raid ID reset that really kicks in the urgency.
This monday, we showed up ready for Shade of Aran.
If you don't want to read the boring stuff, skip to the money shot.
We had cleared through and including Curator earlier in the week, so tonight we were going straight for Shade and had hopes of Chess as well.
Keep nudging the main tank with a Mithril Spur to keep him moving swiftly through the trash. We need as many boss attempts as possible if we're going to get this one right.
Pretty uneventful clearing up to the Shade, as we're all getting pretty familiar with the trash pulls. Nice.
Boring recap of how the fight(s) went down will follow, but in a nutshell...basic strategy:
1) Interrupt everything. Two warriors and one rogue, each assigned a school of magic to interrupt.
2) Mage do whatever they do. Counterspell? Spell Steal? Not sure, but either way, the mage knows and is ready to do it.
3) Amava to call out on voice when the three special abilities are cast and then gone (and you're free to move about):
a) Flame Wreath, naturally, DONT MOVE A F-ING MUSCLE!
b) Arcane Explosion, run, although it'll feel like you're walking, to the outside of the room. NOW! And don't forget to recall your pets.
c) Blizzard. There's still some holdouts saying we should stand still and just take the blizzard on the chin. Nope, not for me. I'm running, and I can cast some shots while on the move, and then find a spot to stand and pew pew for a few seconds and then move again. Anybody with instant cast spells, FOLLOW ME!!!!
4) Elementals. Warlock to fear and banish two of them until they despawn. One Tank and Rogue go find the other two elementals and occupy them while we fry them.
That's about it.
First try: Nobody believes me that we should move out of the blizzard. We do ok but then die, due to healers having to mop up waaaay too much party damage.
Second try: A nice wonderfully helpful Holy Priest decides to follow me through the blizzard shuffle. As we corpse run, he shares how much better it was running through the blizzard and how much less healing SOME of his assignments required.
Third try: Everybody move through the blizzard as much as you can. Dunno what happened here, I think the tank missed one of the arcane explosions and took massive damage, followed by some of us shufflers getting caught by the blizzard anyways. :-(
Fourth try: Aran had a bone to pick with Amava. He decided to open up the fight by making me eat 15,000 worth of Arcane wonder, thus removing 30% of our DPS from the fight. I don't remember getting caught in an Arcane Explosion, and I think it was un-interrupted Arcane Missiles that nailed me. I can't tell from the WWS report which it was, just that it was from the arcane school of magic. But with a max hit for 9,000, its sure looking like an Explosion.
Now the trash respawn timer is showing about 35 minutes remaining.
I want to try Aran more, as I can feel we're getting close, and just need more experience moving and reacting as a team. Some others are insistent that we go for the Chess Event before the raid resets for the week. That makes sense, hard to pass up 2 badges and some possible epic loot.
Raid Leader puts it to a vote, Chess wins. Ok, I'm game. Let's get some badges and call it a night.
Clear up to Chess. This week, I moved from my usual left-most Water Elemental to a Horsey. Much more fun, as I actually got right next to the king and helped burn him down lickety split.
As the Horde King got down to about 15%, I looked at the trash respawn timer. 15 minutes remain.
So I call out that if we move swiftly through loot distribution, we can take one more shot at Aran.
Some moaning and what not, I think some folks are burned out from the 4 wipes. But, we're still well within our 3 hour window for the schedule raid. In fact, my first Flask of Relentless Assault still has 11 minutes on it, so we're still under 2 hours.
Come on, folks! We're the pioneers!
A little sales job by yours truly, but in the end, wisdom prevails and we head on in.
Fifth try: Everybody stay the F out of the Blizzard. Amava, pay special attention to the 3 special abilities and call them out on voice clearly when they're first cast and then when they're clear. Everyone, listen for the call outs and react accordingly.
Warlock, get ready for the chain fear and banish on the elementals. Yes, I know it'll gimp your dps, but dead boss >> topping charts, says the guy who's on top ;-)
kk. go go go!!!
Not the prettiest fight by any stretch of the imagination. We made it through lots of flame wreaths, arcane explosions, blizzards, water elementals, and polymorphs.
Only a couple of us are still standing. The dead spectators are starting to squee as Aran's health is dropping.
Arcane explosion on its way. Everybody shouts out to just shoot and kill him before the explosion.
No way. 2% of 880,000 health is like 16,000. At 1000 DPS that'll take me too long to burn down before the explosion. I run to the outside of the room, and WHOMP, the explosion stops about a meter away from my feet. Takes some people out with it.
PEW PEW PEW
Real life spectators (one human, one K9) getting antsy. You can feel the electricity in the air.
Corpse spectators getting antsy. A few "come on, kill him, 1% man" shout outs were heard from dead party mates.
Although unconfirmed, anonymous sources have reported that Amava was heard to allegedly have shouted "DIE YOU MUTHA F-KAAAAAAAHH" over voice in response.
Amava's got no mana, dead pet :-( , everything on cooldown, just praying for a proc from Hourglass of the Unraveller or Improved Aspect of the Hawk or anything, just anything to bring this b@stard down.
PEW PEW PEW
Far and away, the single most satisfying boss kill ever.
This one really left us trembling.
Everybody was pretty wired up, so we had to head up to Blades Edge Mountains and kill some dragons to vent some of the energy.