Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cue the Final Fantasy "Win!" Music

I had a great night last night, and I'm gonna tell you about it.  If you don't want to know, be a grinch and go away.

It all started off with a super powered run through Halls of Lightning for the Heroic Daily.  Three pallys and two druids, all overgeared.  We churned through it in under 30 minutes.  Piece of cake.

Then I moved on to my guild 10-man raid.  Let me back up a little before I get into it.

So I made a raid report a couple of weeks ago with the intention of making it a kind of ongoing thing, something I could write about on (at least) a semi-regular basis, probably because failure is not something people like to write about.  The trips that followed my last post about it were rife with issues and mired in mediocrity.  One night we downed only the Northrend Beasts after wipes on both Onyxia and the Beasts.  Another we got through Ony and Lord Jaraxxus, but could only throw ourselves at the faction champions a couple of times before we ran out of time.

So after the last run, I asked if a schedule change would help, and with some responses in the affirmative, we decided to move the next one to a Tuesday night, after the raid reset instead of before.  Little did I know how much this would work to our advantage.

Several folks who had been mostly bringing alts were able to bring their mains, and some who weren't able to go on Mondays showed up.  We had a whole Epic Adventurers raid for pretty much the first time since three of us decided to start running our own guild raids.  Ok, we started out with one former EA member in the raid, but he was replaced after Jaraxxus due to power failure, and he counts anyway.

We also changed the raid order - more than a couple of us need upgrades primarily from the second half of ToC, anymore, so we went with that first instead of Onyxia, with the plan to go get her if and when we churned through Anub.

The raid composition broke down like this (both before and after the character switch; we replaced a feral druid dps with another feral druid dps!):

Tanks (2)
Bear Druid (ME!) and a DK

Heals (3)
2 Holy Paladins and a Priest (Disc I believe, but may be Holy)

DPS (5)
2 Hunters, 1 each Mage, Warrior, and Cat Druid

We one-shotted both the Northrend Beasts and Lord Jaraxxus - our crew had been through all of these enough times that all we needed was a little communication amongst the tanks and healers and everybody else filled in perfectly.  We had a good showing the first time out against the Faction Champs but couldn't do it, decided to change our strategy a little bit and failed miserably, went back to the first method and powered through.

Against those champions, we were facing the tree druid, the disc priest, the enhancement shaman, the mage, the warlock and the rogue.  I stayed in bear form; I am not convinced that I shouldn't have gone cat, or traded out to resto and let one of the healers DPS, but it worked.  The DK pestered the shaman the whole fight, our hunters put their interrupting pets on the priest to start, our mage did his best to keep the lock and/or mage polymorphed.  Our kill order was druid, priest, rogue, warlock, mage, shaman.

Not sure if that's the best order but it worked for us.  The reason we had an issue the first time around was that our priest got rogued 3 times (2 battle resurrections).

We moved on to the Twins.  I was a little nervous - the only time I had ever even seen the Twins I was on sub-par hardware that was video lagging to the point that I couldn't do anything about the orbs, and ended up disconnected most of the fight, on top of having a bad connection because I was in a hotel.  So I let my co-leader, who has cleared ToC10 several times on non-guild runs, describe the fight.

We wiped once, because I'm a Fail Druid and started before everyone was ready.  Really, my OT said "start it up" and I brought them out and ran in, and pallys were still trying to get buffs up, healers were on the wrong side... it was just plain bad.  The second try was flawless.

I was extremely excited at this point.  We had started late and had barely been going for even an hour and a half and had cleared more than I'd ever really seen in ToC10.

I actually did a reasonable job explaining the Anub fight myself, although my DK reminded me that I'd left out one of the most important things - RUN AWAY from the little adds.

Our first attempt met with failure after a healer went down at the beginning of one of Anub's above-ground phases... the other druid battle rezzed but I mistimed my OS button and went down.  It didn't help that I hadn't done a good job of running away and had more than a couple stacks of the debuff from the little adds.

Our second attempt saw my first ever clear of ToC10...  The phase 3 damage/survival race was a little rough - we lost 6 of our 10 people and ended with a healer, both tanks, and one dps standing.  Pally healers aren't the best bet for that phase, but it worked out in the end.  I properly timed my emergency button that run, and we pulled it off.  Only a little over two hours on the entire run, and time for Onyxia.

Then we went and beat her down, and even had time at that point to go whack the VoA10 loot pinata.  Two hours and 45 minutes, 20 Emblems of Triumph and a few Conquest, a whole pile of loot, and a very satisfying night for all involved.

As always, thanks for reading.  I know this isn't the most useful of posts but success is fun to write about....

See you all on the flip side!

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