As I’ve said in a previous post, one of the goals of the guild I’m in is to experience some 25 person content.
We set ourselves the goal of getting into SSC and clearing the trash in there, both to work on getting a 25 person team organized and coordinated, and as a way of upgrading the guilds’ gear a bit.
All in all, it was great fun on a Saturday night!
More after the break, of course.
When talking about progression, the focus is usually on which bosses were killed where. But the fact is, a lot of great profession recipes and epics can drop off of the trash in Serpentshrine Cavern (SSC). And, while it may seem strange, it’s true; if your guild is like mine, you may be kicking Karazhans’ butt, but you have yet to take down High King or Gruul in Gruuls’ lair, Magtheridon, or the Lurker Below or Hydross the Unstable in SSC.
In my opinion, the core concern about attempting to take on more difficult content is not gear quality, but coordination, individual skill and teamwork.
Yes, it’s true that if you don’t have decent gear, you’re not going to go far. But frankly, if you’ve got Karazhan on farm status and the majority of your team are tricked out on the best gear you can get from crafted recipes, Karazhan and reputation/Heroic runs, then you should have no problems in Gruuls or early SSC… at least, no trouble in terms of gear.
So I started wondering how to get the guild together as a 25 person team, and start working on our coordination together. And not just in a fight, but in scheduling and showing up on time, etc. The basic logistics of getting a run together.
And to me, the answer is, get the team together for fights that require 25 players, but will not be daunting wipe-fests that would depress and disillusion the more casual players. Have us take on a bite-sized challenge, before throwing ‘em into the deep end saying “Go carve off some steaks from that shark. White meat, it’s whats for dinner!”
So all week long, our guild leader Whirlish, hammered on getting signed up for the run on the guild website. We were going straight into SSC, not to kill bosses, but to clear the trash around the Lurker Below.
Why show up? Well, besides the chance at epic drops off trash, and the excitement of personally seeing more of the higher level content, there are also tons of recipes that can drop off the trash there; recipes and the Nether Vortexes they require, that could help gear up more of the guild.
How about these for teasers?
- Nether Vortex
- Pendant of the Perilous
- Spyglass of the Hidden Fleet
- Boots of Courage Unending
- Wildfury Greatstaff
- Totem of the Maelstrom
- Serpentshrine Shuriken
- Pattern: Belt of Blasting
- Pattern: Belt of Deep Shadow
- Pattern: Belt of Natural Power
- Pattern: Belt of the Black Eagle
- Pattern: Belt of the Long Road
- Pattern: Boots of Blasting
- Pattern: Boots of Natural Grace
- Pattern: Boots of the Crimson Hawk
- Pattern: Boots of Utter Darkness
- Pattern: Hurricane Boots
- Pattern: Monsoon Belt
- Plans: Belt of the Guardian
- Plans: Boots of the Protector
- Plans: Red Belt of Battle
- Plans: Red Havoc Boots
I know the drop rate on these are way way low, but what the hell, that is a long list of possible loot, right? And no one ever guaranteed you loot, only the possibility of loot. We could get lucky!
We started forming the raid for SSC at 7 PM sharp.
We actually had enough people to go at 8:30 PM.
Then, when two of them stayed AFK forever, we decided, “screw them” and went in anyway with 23.
We had a GREAT time! We kicked the holy heck out of the trash, we saw a lot of the architecture, we moved around and cleared around The Lurker Below, and much fun was had by all.
Thanks to our late start, by the time we started making noises about taking on the Lurker, a lot of folks had to go.
For our troubles, we herbed some giants, and got a Mark of Illidari for the bank.
We also got a healthy shot of confidence that we can do this thing. Hopefully that will spur more people into getting enthusiastic and being on time to make it happen.
The biggest lesson I think we learned? Aside from general organization and teamwork, I think we learned that some folks are NOT meant to walk on ramps in this game.
Honestly, I lost count of the folks that fell off the ramps and got eaten by the fish.
Seriously people, wtf? Stay out of the freaking water!
Oh yeah… I think we need a new rank for the guild…
EDIT: The very first comment got me to thinking there was something that could be added here.
The trash in SSC is hard. The first few times I went in there we could easily wipe on trash.
Still can do.
If you can get to Lurker then I see no reason why you can’t take him, err, it out.
Frankly, this makes me wonder about something. We’ve gotten into the mindset that “We can’t do that until we have x”, whatever X may be. A specific balance of classes, a particular set or piece of gear, whatever.
In HolyWarriors’ opinion, the trash in SSC is hard and needs to be taken seriously. It can still result in the occasional wipe.
For us, we as a guild had built up all that is SSC so much that we went in there gearing up for war, expecting hell… and I have to say, we steamrolled the fights. We crushed them… and died on silly shit, like, oh, I dunno… dropping into the damn water.
There was one battle that we wiped on. Wetook on one of the Underbog Colossus, and we wiped when he kept using his Acid Geyser ability on the clustered casters. For those that, like us, hadn’t seen him before, he can be tanked, but he periodically picks someone at random and turns on them to spew a cone of Acid at them… and they stand still, turning in place to track the target with the cone effect, with insane range. We wiped because of the cone nailing the entire caster group.
As the raid ran back to the instance, we talked about what to do… and decided to try pulling him back to a round platform instead of taking him on a narrow bridge, and have the casters all spread out around him so his cone can’t get everyone at once. When he picks a target, the tank (me) calls out the new target so everyone can get away from the sucker, and the target knows to stand still. (Why have the tank call out his name? Because a tank has the target of target showing… healers won’t see that to know exactly when he switches targets.) And it worked like a charm.
All of that aside, my point is, we went in expecting hell, and were pleasantly surprised to kick ass. Others may go in expecting a cakewalk, and be shocked at how ‘tough’ it is. Perception, my friends.
It makes me remember quite clearly how, not so long ago, I was writing blog posts about how depressing it was to be on Karazhan team 2 and wiping on Moroes and Maiden all the time. It has been a long time since that happened… because everyone in the guild that raids has experienced the fights, understands what they are supposed to do, knows their class well enough to perform their role, and can mix and match well enough to take care of business in there.
Before Karazhan? Well, we played in 5 man instances, and worked to try and understand what we were supposed to do as one of 5 people in the run, and worried about taking on the challenge of Heroics.
The lesson here? I think that no matter where you are in the game, no matter what challenges you are currently facing, the ones you have learned how to handle become ‘easy stuff’ that anyone could do, and the ones you have yet to master can seem like steep cliffs full of fear and trepidation.
But if you take each one seriously, prepare as best you can, work together and give it your best shot, you CAN overcome them, put them on farm, and move on to the next cliff to climb.
But you can’t do it without friends.