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Chimaeron and the Quest for One More Tank

March 11, 2011

This week our raids have not gone particularly well.  Sure, we downed all the farm bosses (except Halfus, but I’ll get to that), and made some great attempts at progression.  Still, I feel irritated about how the raids went down, and our Raid Leader was audibly grumpy last night.

The story of this week actually starts with last week, at Thursday’s raid, to be precise.  We only really have two geared, raiding tanks, and one of them didn’t show.  Thankfully one of our other raiders could step in with a tanking alt, so we didn’t have to call the raid, and we did some great work on the Chimaeron fight but didn’t get him down.  However, two hours into our three hour raid, our missing tank shows up and announces in vent that he’s late because he was playing Rift.  Furious whispers flew back and forth between officers and raiders.  Playing Rift?!  WTF?  Wow, that’s obviously an acceptable excuse. So last week’s raiding ended on a very sour note.

Fast forward to Wednesday, our first raid night of this week.  First thing to notice is that the MIA tank from last week is listed as “Tentative” for both of our raid nights, which is how he was listed last week when he decided to play Rift instead.  Uh-oh.  Soon it’s 8:00 pm and everyone is online and in group except for said tank.  Great.  So we get the guy with an alt tank to switch over and tank for us.

As an aside, I should mention that our guild has a policy of “No Raiding Alts”.  This means that we expect people to pick one main, and one role for that main, and stick to it.  This makes it easier for us to figure out rosters, kill farm bosses quickly, and eliminates the headache of deciding whether gear should go to alts or not.  So we do not like asking someone to switch over to an alt to come raid with us, especially since he’s then potentially missing out on gear for his main.  But, it was either that or not raid at all, so we chose the lesser of two evils.

Two hours into raid the MIA tank shows up and says he had to work late.  This may, in fact be true.  But I can guarantee you that all of us thought, “Rift?” in our heads.

Because we were short our usual tank on Wednesday, and because we were going to have a different healer configuration for Thursday, we decided to skip Atramedes and move on to Chimaeron, our current progression boss.  (I know most guilds kill Chimaeron first, but we killed Atramedes.  Since we’ve killed Atramedes three times now, I’m going to go ahead and declare him to be “on farm”.)

I find the Chimaeron fight to be extremely stressful as a healer.  First of all, I’m a Druid.  I’m used to raid healing.  Cataclysm is trying its best to make me into a tank healer, and I’m fighting it tooth and nail, but I think Cata has the upper hand for this fight at least.  Druid healers do not have any good spells to quickly and efficiently heal people up from 1 hp to 10k hp.  All our heals are either too small, too slow, too expensive or too big.  There’s nothing in our arsenal that is “just right”.  The first night we attempted Chimaeron I was on raid healing duty and I was out of mana by the time the boss was at 90% health.  All of the good strategy guides I’ve seen boil down to, “Let the Druid tank heal”, so that’s what I’m doing.

And I’m getting better at it, I really am!  Sure, the tanks died a few times in the first few fights, and yeah, I did get really irritated when someone said, “It would probably help if we could keep both tanks alive into phase two.”  (Really?!  So THAT’S what I’ve been doing wrong then!  I never would have figured that out without you, thanks!) But on our last few attempts I really had figured out what I was doing and both tanks were surviving until phase two when healing is no longer possible.  Hooray!

On our best attempt we got Chimaeron down to 0.4% health.  ARRRRGH!  0.4%!  He should by all rights be dead!  What’s really frustrating to me is that everything was going so well, and then, just as I was about to hit Tranquility to heal everyone up as much as possible for phase two, I died.  So I had to lie on the floor dead as the other two healers struggled to heal people up a bit after massacre, and everyone went into phase two with about 10% health instead of whatever extra amount they could have got from me.  0.4% boss health is like maybe 1 or 2 GCDs from a good dps.  If they could only have survived two seconds longer…

So, yeah, Wednesday was very frustrating.

Then yesterday rolls around, our second and final raid day of the week.  Once again, the second tank is a no show.  Well, at least we only need one tank for Atramedes, so we kill him pretty easily.  After that we decided to just call the raid.  We’d definitely need two well geared tanks for Halfus, so we didn’t get to kill him this week.

About half an hour after we called the raid, the MIA tank shows up and says he had to work late again.  Work?  Rift?  Well, it probably really is work, but how can we know for sure?  Either way, we can’t raid without tanks.

I’m the recruiting officer for our guild, so I’m stepping up my efforts to recruit more tanks.  So, uh, anyone know any tanks that need a new home?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2011 11:17 am

    Hi fellow blogger! As a guildleader and raid assist I would find the no alts policy mind-breaking. Why do you have that policy? We have at least two people in our 10 man that can switch to alts, and it helps depending on who else is online.

    • March 11, 2011 11:27 am

      Well, this isn’t a policy that I came up with, I inherited it when I joined. :) But the way it was explained to me was basically as I explained it above: it easier for us to figure out rosters, kill farm bosses quickly, and eliminates the headache of deciding whether gear should go to alts or not.

      In my former guild, we didn’t have this rule, and toward the end of Wrath we had a lot of people who seemed to decide they could bring whatever toon they wanted to raid, whenever they wanted to. So they would show up on whatever alt they felt like bringing that night and say, “Oh, yeah, I’m raiding on this toon today.” They didn’t ask, they just assumed they could and that we’d make adjustments to accommodate them. The mentality seemed to be, “The raid can easily carry my alt through ICC, and I want to gear up my alt, therefore I’m bringing my alt.” Of course, when a few people started doing this, everyone else wanted to do so as well, and gear up their alts too. This often meant that it took us a lot longer to clear the first three wings because the alts weren’t as well geared or as well played, so by the time we got to progression bosses we didn’t have many attempts on them. It was very irritating, especially to those of us who HAD to play our mains, because otherwise there wouldn’t be enough tanks/healers.

      So this was a policy that I approved of when I joined, because of my past experiences. However, I agree that perhaps this current policy is too strict, and we might want to take another look at it to make sure it isn’t doing more harm than good.

  2. March 11, 2011 2:14 pm

    Ha ha ha, I love unsolicited advice like “It would probably help if we could keep both tanks alive into phase two.” That stuff makes me laugh so hard. It’s like what do you think I was doing?!? God, everyone should be forced to roll a healer.

    • March 11, 2011 2:59 pm

      Yeah, it’s the same guy who told me about a week ago that I should really be using Lifebloom so that I can get Omen of Clarity procs. REALLY?!?! Thanks for telling… no, wait. That’s what I’m doing ALREADY! XD

  3. March 11, 2011 2:31 pm

    Chim is a tank/healer check. Primarily healer. What our healers have done is keep the druid on the tank (I actually prefer tank healing as a druid now) and the other two healers (a priest and a shaman or a holy and disc priest) keep the raid alive.

    During the feud phase the healers rotate the big healing cooldowns. One feud will see tranq being used, the next will have divine hymn, etc. We also have warlock cookies (go me!) and each dps is required to bandage themselves each feud. I found the cooldown on bandaging falls off each time feud comes up.

    RNG is a bitch on that fight at times too.

    I am going to have to start recruiting for our guild too. We have about 10-12 people who are geared to raid. We have no back ups if someone can’t raid. The funny thing is we have our tanks/healers covered (almost all officers sadly) but then lack dps when roles have to change.

    We also have nothing but pally tanks. Go figure.

    Anyway, good luck! :D

    • March 11, 2011 3:07 pm

      Thanks! That’s pretty much the strategy that we are using too, except we have a different healer composition. We have me (Druid, of course), a Holy Pally, a Resto Shaman and another Druid that I recently recruited. Having two Druids would be problematic on Chim, and I’m honestly much better geared, so the poor new Druid is sitting out Chim until we get it down. I’d love to find a good priest healer to round out our roster.

      Our Shaman was having some trouble keeping his group alive this week, (I was in his group), but he realised after raid that he could have been using a better combination of spells. So I think we should finally kill Chim next week. Fingers crossed!

  4. March 11, 2011 3:25 pm

    I’ve had lots of issues with attendance but pretty much all of it has been well laid out ahead of time. Two weeks ago I had a healer just not show up. I panicked, tried to replace her from guild, had no luck, finally we pugged in someone who didn’t suck too badly and when he had to go there was a guildie available. Whew! My missing woman appeared the next day and asked if I’d gotten her message that she couldn’t raid; a family emergency came up and she texted a guildie who… didn’t tell me. Not someone in my raid, and I guess he didn’t feel it important enough to pass on, but I was really mad at my raider until she told me what had happened.

    Our in-guild friendly competition raid is missing a tank so my husband is tanking for them on his OTHER druid tank (yes he has two druid tanks at 85 in the same guild) but hopefully they can resolve that situation soon. Our problem has actually been dps and not tanks and healers, which seems like an easier problem to solve but… kind of isn’t….

    • March 11, 2011 3:33 pm

      It’s funny that I’ve had two comments from people in guilds who have tanks and healers but need more DPS. Another friend of mine is in the same situation. It’s crazy! Currently my guild has a couple extra DPS, but the most we’ve ever had to bench at once was 3.

      I’m kinda hoping that the Rift fever will die down in a couple weeks so I can snag some players when they come back looking for raid spots. One can always hope, right?

      • March 11, 2011 3:50 pm

        Well, our raid has the advantage of me starting with one healer and two tanks (me; my husband and brother) and going from there.

        Don’t underestimate using the blogosphere to recruit players! Repgrind recruited us over to Crits and Giggles six months back and we haven’t looked back since!

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