Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Can Haz Wheaties

I had a bowl of Wheaties this morning, 'cuz its the breakfast of Champions of the Na'aru.

What a hell of a night.

In case you don't want to be crit'ed by my wall of text, here's a taste of what's to come:

  1. Start the night with a lil helping of drama

  2. Delegate decision for Shammy group positioning and get great response

  3. Rocky start with some sloppy clicking

  4. Wipe a bunch of times

  5. Take a timeout to allow everybody to regain some focus

  6. Wipe again

  7. Respec from Shadow to Holy

  8. Kill Magtheridon

  9. Get confused about what his head is for, but WoWHead to the rescue

  10. Visit to A'dal and get Champion of the Na'aru title

  11. Visit to Honor Hold and take screenshots around giant head on a pole

  12. Much Rejoicing

  13. Amava informs DM-topping Rogue that next time, he's on clicking duty, lol

Start the night with a lil helping of drama

Start off with one of our most dependable DPS'ers giving some drama about not wanting to leave the guild, but wanting to run in TK with some other people instead of raiding with us wednesday night.

Not so much.

On an off-raid night, no problem, we may or may not even get to TK before the expansion. But on a raid night? And telling, not asking, but telling me that you're doing this, 45 minutes before our scheduled raid? Go ahead and join your fancy TK friends or guild or whatnot. Then try some baloney like that with them. See how long you last. He ended up not raiding with either group wednesday night.

This kind of stuff is unfortunate, because he really is a big part of the team, and brings tons of flavor to the Guild's culture. Normally very dependable, but sometimes the lure of more advanced content clouds things.

Delegate decision for Shammy group positioning and get great response

Fresh off of the shenanigans, I start forming up the 25-person raid.

The sun was shining and we actually had 4 Shammies with us. Actually gave me some issue trying to figure out how to optimize their positioning in the raid groups, since I know very little beyond the surface of what a Shaman brings to their party, I've had so few of them to work with. So I did what any good leader should do, I made someone else make the decision delegated. I turned to the most veteran Shaman and asked him to suggest which party to put each Shaman in, and provide me a reason for his suggestions. Additionally, he should tell each Shaman what totems they should drop to make his suggestions work.

Was great. He came up with some solid ideas for each player, shared reasons for the decisions, and clear communication to each individual Shaman on what totems they need to drop. Feels great when you can delegate responsibility to people and get strong results. Makes the entire raid work better.

Ultimately, we formed up the raid and got moving 20 minutes after scheduled start time. In cosmic irony, we spent the last 12 minutes of those 20 looking for 1 more DPS only. This, on the same night we have an issue with that one raider earlier.

But, we got the team ready to rock.

Rocky start with some sloppy clicking

Yours truly was the culprit. One time, I stood too close to my cube too early, a Conflagration dropped on me and my cube, killed me, then my backup came to click and she got burned also.

Ouch. And Uggy.

Sloppy start.

Next attempt, I was clicking again, and just taking massive amounts of damage. I'm not sure what was hitting me, because I was definitely avoiding any damaging effects I could notice, but at the moment the Main Tank went down (very prematurely), I was less than 1000 health, and I had just bandaged, health stoned, and health potted, so something is very very wrong. And it wasnt Blast Nova, no ticks of that got off during this attempt.

Wipe a bunch of times

Did a few more tries.

Wiped a few more times. Nobody was saying anything negative, but you could hear the energy level going down in their voices.

We got him down to 14% before one of the wipes. These are pretty long fights. Wiping after 11 minutes of battle is a little deflating.

This is our third night of wiping on Magtheridon this week.

But I give huge credit to the team, because despite the dropping energy level, the tone was still positive.

I had to do something to change the momentum.

Take a timeout to allow everybody to regain some focus

Everybody go, take 5 minutes, do bio stuff, get drinks, punch walls, but please don't break your knuckles, we need your fingers for the next hour or so.

I did a few yoga moves, some of the simpler ones that my still-recovering-from-surgery hand allows me to do.

Pretended to smash my bar stool on the floor.

Got my game face back on.

Oh, and this time, lets have Amava NOT be a clicker. She's clearly mentally challenged in this capacity.

Wipe again

Not being a clicker, I was free to do full DPS. This is just plain old FUN. Clicking is stressful, and leaves me out of range for Mend Pet for lots of the fight. Standing basically in one spot and pew pew pew'ing is nice.

But, we actually lose the primary and secondary clicker for one of the cubes, so I had to Aspect of the Cheetah and run all the way across the battlefield, avoiding frontal cone cleave, and sub'ed in. We wiped anyways.

At this point, its clear to me that our DPS is sufficient. We are burning down 4.75 Channelers before Magtheridon activates, assuming Amava's first or second FD doesnt get resisted. Its strange, how much of a huge difference a one magical resist on a single player can actually impact the raid. One attempt, my first two FD's resisted, and we only got 3 Channelers down before Maggy. On another attempt, my first FD resisted, and we got 3.75 Channelers down. On attempts where my FD works properly in the first 2 minutes of the encounter, we get between 4.5 and 4.75 channelers down.

But I digress.

Respec from Shadow to Holy

Knowing that DPS across the whole raid is sufficient, I decide that survivability is lacking.

I asked our Shadow Priest to spec Holy, and we'd try it with 8 healers.

Seconds before the pull, our new healer gives me a gentle nudge "Amava, you did put a replacement on my cube clicking assignment, didnt you?"

Oops. Thx for the reminder, glad somebody is paying attention.

So I return to official clicking duty.

Kill Magtheridon

Everything came together perfectly.

Good progress through the Channelers, no resists on Amava's FD, good handling of the Abyssals, good healing of the tanks/raid/clickers.

Was one silly Battle Rez that got me a tad irked with my Druid.

We had 5 tanks. Once Channelers were down and Abyssals are de-spawned, one tank was Main Tanking, a second tank was backing him up incase MT died, two of the tanks were clickers, and the fifth tank was simply performing minor DPS on Magtheridon.

That tank died.

Without any instruction, one of the Druids announced that a BRez was being sent out.

I tried to call out "He's an off-tank with no tanking job right now, save it", but it was too late, Druid called on voice AFTER the cast was already committed.

Not happy, but W/E, lets keep the fight moving.

Properly handled the transition past 30%, including a small pause in DPS at the 33% mark to allow a Blast Nova interrupt to occur, and to allow the Healers and self-bandagers to ensure all raid members were topped off before the ceiling collapsed.

And then smooth sailing from there.

Dead boss.

Get confused about what his head is for, but WoWHead to the rescue

He drops lots of goodies.

A bunch of T4 tokens, a 20 slot bag, some plate belt, and a Magtheridon's Head.

Nobody had any clue what the hell this thing was for.

I checked WoW Head.

Ah, turn it in for a ring.

Ok, everybody who didn't get something yet, /roll

Lots of posing for screen shots, including lots of Olympic Tabards and Companion Pets.

Visit to A'dal and get Champion of the Na'aru title

Nothing eventful here, just a little line of text telling me that the Na'aru are big fans of my work.

Then some fiddling with the Interface options so we could all look at our own names and titles.

Mostly just basking in some ego-stroking glory.

Visit to Honor Hold and take screenshots around giant head on a pole

Then we all flew from Shatt over to Honor Hold to let the guy who won the head turn the quest in.

And we all took great joy in posing on our flying mounts around the giant head on a pole.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a screenie of it, but supposedly somebody's gonna post one up on the guild website, because it was nice.

We put all the Swift Purple Gryphons together in front, then all the dark colored Netherdrakes up above, and all the light colored Netherdrakes around the edges.

We're dorks, but it was lots of fun.

Much Rejoicing

Oh, wait, i already covered the rejoicing up above. kek.

I'm hugely thankful at the contribution of each and every raid member. We all stuck together through three nights of wiping on this guy, and only hit pay dirt at the very end of the third long night.

For a casual guild, trying to maintain that level of involvement while facing difficulty is a challenge. The team worked hard, stayed positive, adjusted to mistakes and new strategies, provided feedback, and also joked around a bunch. I'm really proud of my teammates, even the damn Rogue who topped me on the damage meter for the progression kill. I told him that he's being put on clicking duty next time :-) Its good to be the RL.

Seems that a little progress has infused some fighting spirit back into the Guild and our Officer corps. Everybody's gung-ho to get back at some Gruul and more Maggy, with sights set on getting these two into a 1-night affair.

And then the big moment, two weeks out, we're gonna get started in T5 country with Serpent Shrine Cavern.

How long till November?


Kzag said...

Hey Congrats!! Good luck SSC.


Kzag said...

Hey Congrats!! Good luck SSC.


Geek Gmr said...

SSC has a lot of... "fun" fights. Vashj being the hardest.. well most technical.

as a warlock I had a ball.. Tell us what its like as a hunter though eh?