Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Monday Night Off

Conquest, the Guild, is only officially organizing 25-person raids. It gives the team focus, lets the leaders recruit around a 25-person roster and Raid Composition, avoids the struggles of maintaining two sets of 10 people and the associated agony of managing Raid ID's.

Our official schedule has 4 nights of raiding per week, with a max of 12 hours.

But what do you do when you beat all the 25-person content in the first 7.5 hours during 3 nights?

For us, it meant Monday night off, so there's some time to catch up on a few dailies, farming some extra mats or sellable gatherables, or some heroics, or whatever of a billion and one things there are to do in the game.

Mid-way through a 4-person Heroic Nexus run, I discover they're looking to rip through 10-man Malygos and Sartharion.

Lets give it a whirl.

Malygos, the Normal Mode

All of the players present have beaten Malygos-25, so the mechanics of the fight are well understood. He just hits less hard in Normal, has fewer adds during Phase 2, only targets one player at a time during Phase 3, and generally has less health. But the mechanics are unchanged between modes.

All 10 players are solid performers. Hell, the whole guild is solid performers. Two tanks, Two Healers, Six DPS. No Nonsense.

Not a one shot, but we did make quick work of Malygos-10, for a fun little achievement.

On to Obsidian Sanctum

Then Sartharion.

Sarth has 3 Drakes in his Sanctum. They're trash mini-bosses.

You have the option of killing them before you engage Sartharion. Or you can leave one, two, or all three up. And if you choose to leave any up, you need to carefully select which ones to keep alive, because they each have different capabilities.

The challenge becomes exponentially more difficult as you keep another Drake alive. And more-so in Normal mode, since you have fewer options for toons to give special duties to.

Blizzard has done a pretty cool job of giving raids options for difficulty settings. Sure, Nihilum (or whatever the current name is) cleared OS in the first day of the Expansion. But did they do it with three drakes up? In both 10 and 25? I'm not taking a shot at them, I'm just saying that once you've beaten everything, there's still new and original things to do. /golf clap for Blizzard.

So with the 10 of us, we took our first attempt at 1 Drake up, Vesperon.

And got our asses kicked. Its a little unclear how to handle the encounter, and the literature out there is very limited. Seems that most folks who have completed the "Drakes Up" variations are staying tight lipped. Which is cool as hell, because it means we have to get creative and not just copy technique we see in a youtube vid.

We actually came damn near to killing him before 3 of the players had to leave.

What to do? Find 3 players?

What fun is that? We didn't have guildies on to fill the team out, and why pug it?

So the 7 of us killed off Vesperon and then killed Sartharion in a Zero Drakes setting.

The fight took 12 minutes with 2 tanks, 2 healers, and 3 dps, which is funny as hell, and had us all fiddling with mana issues like never before.

In 25's, you get substantial mana regen from all the buffs and replenishment effects. In a 7-person raid, you get nearly none.

But we one shot Sarth with 7 people, which was pretty fun.

One thing that is nice about the kill is that we illustrated that we could, if necessary, take three people, and assign them exclusively to managing one of the Drakes. That might not be enough, and lots of strategy planning and trial and error are going to be needed, but it is nice to know some of the boundaries.

Tuesday night will be our first 25-person attempt at 1 Drake up.

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