Monday night was the first All-Conquest 25-person raid. It was my first raid with the new guild, and in fact, its the first group activity with the new team, since all my focus since the server transfer was power leveling and power turkey-eating.
Short Version: 3 Hours. Sartharion in Obsidian Sanctum Dead. Naxx Spider and Plague wing cleared. Mama got a new pair of boots.
Medium Version: Matticus tells the medium version better, so go read it there. This is my first raid with a brand new team. I had no idea what to expect: from the environment/culture of the raid, from my own personal performance, from the performance and expectations of the players around me, from the mass quantity of new bosses we'd be facing.
Lots of uncertainty. Lots of change. To summarize the end result of each of those uncertain expectations listed above: perfect blend of professional execution while still laughing at fart jokes, piss poor, absolutely stellar, not too bad given the concise explanations from the experienced raiders.
If you're the type who generally loves the ego stroking, I highly recommend raiding with a Hunter who has Balls of Steel for a nice serving of Humble Pie. And, contrary to most historical posts on this lovely blog, no, folks it wasn't yours truly. The other hunter, did well over double my damage output, is carrying the Legendary Thori'dal bow, 4x T6, and everything else level 80 epic already. Just....wow. Out of 14 DPS, I was generally 10th or 11th in DPS. Me thinks hardcore isn't a strong enough word to describe this crew. How's that for a rude awakening for a Night Elf dude/chick alone on a brand new server?
In other news, Mama got the first piece of phat level 80 lewtz off of his/her loot wishlist. Long live the Loot Council. And Long Live the other Hunter and Shammy who chose to defer on the boots, thus making the Council's decision pretty easy.
And I do mean long. And thick, too.
Where to start? Where to start?
How about "at the beginning"?
The big boss man with the corner office at work got a bug up his butt about something. Something that I take care of for him. So my trip home was delayed by an hour and a half. As if you, my precious reader, actually care about my trip home, or my boss's boss's random whims and sometimes agonizing sense of urgency. But I digress.
The bottom line was that I had a very small window of time in which to square away the 101 Details of Raiding, all of which are unfamiliar since they moved my cheese from 70 to 80.
Fiddlin' with Gear
Start with Hit Rating. I'd like to be as close to Hit Capped as I can be. I was still sporting nearly entirely level 70 epic gear. And pretty far from the hit cap for level 80 (296 with no talents, 197 with 3 points in Focused Aim).
So I browse my bank of random quest greenies and bluies that I'd collected along the way to 80. Painful level of detail trying to choose between roughly 25 pieces of gear, balancing across all the families of stats that BM Hunters like, while pushing as far into the Hit Rating as I could.
Not sure if it was the ongoing discussion at BRK about entry-level Hunter melee weapons or not, but I've always hated the look of the Season 3 axe that I've been carrying for nearly a year.
Decided to go for the dual Fang of Truth. This requires Honored with Wyrmrest Accord. I was 450 rep away from Honored. Ok, quick like a bunny, get over to Dragonblight and do that annoying flying dragon fight daily quest. I say "annoying". I actually hate that quest. It reeks of something very grindy that I don't enjoy, is kinda buggy and the interface is sloppy and they just rushed it out the door to make something "cool". Meh. But, in a pinch, I've got no problem with grindy or annoying. Gimme shiny!
Complete the quest, hoping for a nice fat 500 rep reward. Nope. 250. F#$K! Time's ticking!
Some guildies advise me that there's a daily out in Coldarra. Ah, yeah. I remember that one. Harpoon a Dragon. Long ass flight out to Coldarra. Quick quest completion and turn-in.
Ding Honored, ding long ass return flight to Wyrmrest, ding dual Fang of Truth.
Ding Weapon Skill of ONE (1) in 1H Swords. Ding LOL.
STFU with the "dings" already.
Back to the bank. Time still ticking, and invite time is getting closer.
Decided on replacing some of the level 70 PvP gear as a first step towards the Hit Cap. Green chest replaces Merciless Gladiator's, Green boots replace Vindicator's, Blue Fangs of Truth replace Vengeful Waraxe, Blue necklace replaces Guardians. I didn't have anything nearly powerful enough to make me consider dropping my T5 2-piece bonus just yet, but I'm sure that sad/happy day will come soon enough.
An Enchanted Evening
Time pressing ever onward, I venture off to the AH.
These new puppies are gonna need some polish.
Decided to check the price of Enchanting mats. If the cost for 2x Enchant Weapon - Accuracy was reasonable, I'd go for no talent points, and get close-ish to the 296 hit cap. Otherwise, its 3 points in Focused Aim.
Yeah. Lets just say...respec. The mats available on the AH at the time would have put the cost at 1,200g for each Accuracy enchant. 2,400g on some blue weapons? I know I bought a Mini-Van, so you guys already question my sanity, but this just ain't gonna happen.
As always, WoW Wiki's Enchants by Slot page is outstanding. Although their links to each specific enchant are bunk, and you have to manually go over to WoW Head for details. But the Wiki summary is the best launching page I've found.
Settled upon roughly 1,500g worth of enchants, a new Meta Gem, and one or two new regular gems. Annoying as balls to have to buy individually listed pieces of Infinite Dust when you're buying 50 or so, only to have to go to the mailbox and individually click on all 50 again.
Bottom line is I'm hit capped with the 3 talent points, and I'm pretty happy with the balance in my stats, maybe a bit too high on the Stamina for my point in raiding, but whatever. Hopefully the next few weeks will see a full swap out of all this level 70 crapola.
Quick respec to 53/18/0. Not sure if I'm 100% happy with it, but I was in a rush, and its reasonable if not perfect. I sense tweaking in my future.
Fill 'er Up
Time to fill the bags with consumables.
Wyrm Food (+crit), check.
Kibbler's Bits, check.
Mix mash of Outlands potions, flasks, elixirs, and Northrend potions, check.
Heavy Frostweave Bandages, check.
4 Saronite Arrow Machines, check. I have no idea how the change to "Steady Shot now Uses Ammunition" will impact my quiver. (EDIT: 3 hours of near constant firing used 75% of the 24-slot quiver. Upgrading to a 28-slot should eliminate any worry of running short on arrows).
So where's the instance?
Little things you take for granted. Karazhan had this long windy path that takes you right to the raid portal. Pretty easy to find, especially back when you had to do the Master's Key quest chain, since that guided you right to the door.
Where the f is Naxx? Wiki and Head only give some screen shots of what it looks like, and what zone its in, but no specifics.
So I figure I'll hang out near Wyrmrest and work on my Sword weapon skill until invites start up.
They tell me we're going to Obsidian Sanctum first. Ok. Where's that now?
I see all the little mini-map dots representing my teammates, all right on the spot that I'm on. But where the f are they? That stupid Wyrmrest tower....must be on a different level. Check ground floor, middle floor, tippy top of tower. Nobody.
Ok, I'll be the new guy....."so where's the instance?"
Find the crack in the ice and go underneath the tower. kthx.
And all the rest
Lot of build up in this story, but honestly, from here on it, it was....follow the Main Assist (who of course has a ridiculous "é" in his name so I had to ask how the F do you type that accented e so I can make my assist macro, thus cementing my position as team noob), manage your cooldowns, stay out of the fire, and just generally don't do stupid stuff. Every now and again, take a peek at Recount, and cry as you watch the others absolutely crush your damage output. Don't forget to loot your emblems.
The night went exceptionally smoothly considering its the first time most of us have played together, although many of the team used to raid together in a previous life.
Swift pace, effective reactions to mis-pulls or unforeseen pats, concise boss explanations and assignments, and efficient Loot Council activities for loot distribution.
Kicked the sht out of Obsidian Sanctum, Naxx Spider Wing, and Naxx Plague Wing. One-shot everything, until with only minutes till quitting/bed time, we took one stab at Patchwerk and he made Quickwerk of us.
So what's next for Conquest?
Raid ID is due to reset so Tuesday's run will basically be the exact same thing, only focused on more speed. Clear the farm stuff like its going out of style, and have more time in the week for progress. Considering we one-shot everything in the first two wings with only 6 healers, the goal is pretty realistic to fully clear Naxx in our first week.
So what's next for Amava?
Hanging out in vent after the raid, randomly end up with just me and the GM/RL in the channel.
"Amava, you still awake?"
Oh, sht. Time to get chewed out for being absolutely piss poor DPS'er :-( "um, hey, how's it goin" (averts eyes to the ground and kicks stone around nervously).
"What'd you think of the raid? How do you think the officers and I did tonight?"
What now? No beating? or is he just softening me up for the kill? "pretty cool. [this] was awesome, [other thing] was good enough, [yet another thing] could improve, but will surely get better as the officers and the team work work together over time"
"Thanks, keep letting us know if there's anything we can do better."
"Ok, cool. ttyl. Oh, and btw, if you happen to NOT look at WWS for tonight, that's fine by me XD"
Along the way, spoke with the DPS Officer. Nice to hear him reassure me that they're withholding judgment until everybody's on a vaguely even gear scale. Good, because I'm gettin ready to delete my account after tonight's performance, but maybe i'll just log out and go to sleep and reconsider the delete in the morning.
Time to get some Heroic action going and get those next couple upgrades that're right within reach!
Oh, yeah, and while trying to find some Chilled Meat for the daily cooking quest after the raid, ding 400 Swords weapon skill.
Oh oh, yeah, and as always, its a pleasure to have an enchant on the green boots that got replaced who's lifespan was roughly 2 hours from the time the Greenie got enchanted to the time the purple was equipped. I fully believe in the old adage "good things happen to those who enchant".