State of the Raid Update
Uck, I don’t even know where to start this post. I’d like to give a bit of an update about the state of our raid, but it’s been a few weeks since my last update, and I’m not entirely sure I remember exactly what’s happened (or the order it’s happened in) since my last raid-updating-post-thing. It’s so much easier for me to update when we have new bosses down, though those aren’t necessarily the most interesting posts either, are they? Well, here goes nothing.
It’s been a month since getting Staghelm down, but still no Ragnaros kill.
So, four weeks since our guild first Staghelm kill. The lack of progression is not quite as bad as it first appears though – or maybe it is, but in a different way – since we’ve only actually been able to get attempts at Ragnaros the last two weeks. Here’s a quick recap of how things have gone for the last month:
Four Weeks Ago:
Yay! Hooray! Staghelm is down! We’re on Ragnaros now, and boy does it feel good! People are already starting to talk about working on heroic modes, because surely, we are very close to them, and we were bummed that we never got to heroic tier 11.
Three Weeks Ago:
We wipe on Alysrazor repeatedly because the person who normally does the flying can’t make it to raid. Eventually we manage to get her down late Thursday evening, with just enough time left over to go one-shot Staghelm. Despite our struggles morale is high because the Alysrazor ground crew totally has their shit together and we expect to have our flyer back next week. So surely we will get to Ragnaros soon.
Two Weeks Ago:
Our second raid group launches. This means that most of the bench players are now on their own raid team, which is totally awesome for them. However, our regular raid team is short a DPS, because one of our regular DPS is now leading the second group. No problem, right? We’ll bring in a new guy who’s really well geared. Oh, and one of our other regular DPS has to work a night shift so we’ll replace him with a well geared alt. Good to go, right?
The first few bosses go relatively smoothly. Our new Shaman does pretty terrible DPS, but ok, he’s still learning the fights. Erm… the tanks are doing more DPS than he is… but, um, he’ll get better, and we need his interrupts for Alysrazor.
Urrrrghhhh… The pain and misery and screams of agony as we wipe repeatedly on Alysrazor YET AGAIN! Everyone hates this damn firebird with a passion. Tempers flare. Sure, we have our flyer back and he’s doing a great job, but the ground crew is struggling with two new people who don’t know the fight and who are both responsible for interrupts. Oh yeah, and they die to tornadoes. A lot. But finally, FINALLY, the bitch dies. On to Staghelm, who we one-shot the week before. Piece of cake, right?
WRONG! Staghelm should be easy-sauce, but we spend hours wiping on him. We are ranged-heavy, which makes stacking and spreading out a bit more difficult. The new people are low in DPS and slow to move. People are not killing the Cat phase adds quickly enough, so they destroy the tank. When we manage to make it to Cat-Phase-With-Orbs everything consistently falls apart. Regular raid members are starting to send angry whispers to officers expressing their new-found hatred of the new players. Finally, someone snaps and blames the new Shaman in raid chat for his terrible DPS. Other people privately express their agreement, though they agree that pointing fingers in raid chat is not appropriate. The situation is getting ridiculous, and there is even talk of just calling the raid.
That is when the healers ride to the rescue. Having difficulty with Cat-Phase-With-Orbs, are we? Hmm, well, maybe we should just kill him before we get there. This means we need to extend the time we spend in the earlier phases, so we’re going to push 9 stacks of adrenaline in each Scorpion Phase instead of 7, (though we’ll still only push 7 stacks in all Cat phases). Juggling around healing cooldowns should make this possible… Also, let’s blow bloodlust at the top of the pull while we know everyone is still alive, ok?
And finaly, FINALLY, Staghelm dies (only a few seconds into Cat-Phase-With-Orbs). The healers stretched themselves a bit and actually had to work to heal through the damage, and it paid off. (We will graciously accept your undying love and admiration.) The new people also managed to step up their DPS and come within about 2k of the next lowest DPS. Another Flamescythe dropped, and we gave it to the feral kitty alt that was with us, so now the guild has two fire kitties!
So, a frustrating raid week, though ultimately all previously cleared bosses are down. Still no time on Ragnaros though, and people on the established raid team are expressing anxiety about whether having a second raid team will stall the first group’s progression.
One Week Ago:
The raid roster is looking a lot better. Our new Shaman has moved to the second raid group, which works better for his schedule anyway. (We still think he has a lot of potential, but he needs a bit more experience with Firelands. Also, it’s probably best to not put him back into a group where players are frustrated with him.) We’ve brought one of our DPS warriors out of the second raid group and back into the first group. We have our Alysrazor flyer with us, and all our other regular members. Things are looking good.
But first! Our Warlock has been working on the Legendary quest chain and she finally needs to do all the stand-on-your-head requirements with the first 4 bosses. This means we have to pull each boss, let her gather fragments, combine them and energize them in various ways, then deliberately wipe and move on to the next boss. This process doesn’t take very long. We have two wipes on Bethtilac because the first object didn’t energize properly, and two wipes on Alysrazor (the first wipe due to our standard levels of fail). But soon we have all four charged objects.
On to Volcanus, the Legendary quest chain boss! This boss was a total pushover. Extremely easy. We one-shot him with no problems at all. Our Warlock got her temporary title and the first stage of the Legendary staff! It was a great moment, but sadly the boss’s body despawns right away, so there’s no way to get a kill shot. We did get a picture of Moireena with her title though:
Undead Warlocks are Baffled by Flowers.
And they follow her everywhere! Run away! D:
After a brief break to give Moireena a chance to turn in her quests we go back and pull all the bosses for real. And this time we one-shot everything, including Alysrazor! Go team!
On the second raid night we finally, FINALLY get to pull Ragnaros. We spend four hours wiping on him, but we start being able to consistently get to the first transition. The adds in the transition phase keep wiping us though. We obviously need to work on stunning them and getting them down quick. Also, people need to learn to avoid flame wall. Seriously guys, it’s not that hard to avoid…
Once again we have the full team together… for the first night, at least. We run through and clear up to Ragnaros quickly and painlessly. This stuff is on farm, baby! The last hour of the first night is spent wiping to Ragnaros again.
On the second night, we are down a healer. Our Holy Pally needs to work late and won’t be able to make it. We don’t really have any geared healer replacements, so we decide to two-heal it. This also allows us to bring an extra rogue, which should help with add control on the transition phases.
Two-healing Ragnaros presents some challenge. It feels possible, but it’s a lot more stressful than three-healing it. I had a much easier time of it than our Disc Priest though. As a Druid I can pretty easily heal on the move, and I have quite a few AoE healing options. Our Disc Priest doesn’t have those luxuries. He was finding it tough to keep the tanks up, heal the people who were out of my range, and still move to avoid the fire. There were several pulls in which I found myself one-healing the fight because he’d been killed off by a Fire Wall or something. Normally he’s excellent at avoiding The Bad, so it’s pretty clear that he was being stretched to his limit.
Still, healing isn’t the biggest problem. Once again, we’re having trouble in the transitions because adds kept reaching the hammer and exploding. It’s very frustrating. Eventually we give people clear add assignments which helps a lot, though things still go wrong all too often. We also notice a frustrating bug – sometimes the adds will be below 50% health yet they won’t slow down at all! At first I thought people were just making up excuses, but more and more of our players started seeing the same thing happen. My response: “A boss fight that’s buggy? *gasp!* No way!?”
We do start to get into Phase 2 more frequently. Those burning seed things sure deal a lot of damage.
Hopefully next week we will have our full raid team together to work on Ragnaros. Healing will certainly be easier with three healers, though I worry about what that will do to our ability to stun and DPS down the adds quickly in transition phases.