Chimaeron and the Quest for One More Tank
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?