This week we did another one night run into Karazhan, with essentially the same team as last week. Doodle had decided to sit out this round, although he did park his Warlock at the Deadwind pass summon stone in case we needed his help. Other guildies also offered their assistance during the course of the run, which is awesome, since you never know when an unexpected family emergency may occur.

Last week, we started with Attumen and carried on through until all bosses were down except for the two dragons. It was fun, it was smooth, but Cassie and I weren’t really happy over how long it took. It was a 6 and 1/2 hour run, which is just brutal to ask anyone to sit still for.

We talked it over, and one thing we agreed on was that, although I know all the fights fairly well, I could work on preparing notes ahead of time with specific tips for classes and time standards and names of effects, so that my initial instructions go faster. Less overall dithering, knowutImean?

So we went over the WoWwiki sections on the boss fights in advance and drew up notes applying their facts on encounters with what I know from first hand experience.

We basically have two choices for these Kara runs; one-night runs or two.

We have preferred one night runs, simply because that means there is only one night of the week that we are not playing with Alex and having fun. We do stuff with Alex all day taht one day, and by the time raid time comes, he is grateful for the chance to watch a weekly movie and chill out for a while. Last night he watched Star Wars: A New Hope again.

Other advantages to one night runs is, we don’t have to worry about trying to form a second group the next night of a weekend to complete the raid and inevitably have to find replacements, and we’re not expecting people to give up two nights of a weekend raiding instead of having a life. 

I hate having to find replacements, because most of ‘the good stuff’ comes in later boss encounters, plus neat battles, and I don’t feel it’s fair at all to have someone come half way and then have to miss out on a boss he or she might really have been looking forward to.

On the downside of a long one nighter… East Coast people on Kael’thas are up WAAAY late if the team is slow, it’s a long damn time to be sitting without real food or liquids, and by the time your team is coming up on the more challenging fights (assuming you are appropriately geared and not in Tier 5 and Tier 6) then everyone is getting dazed and loggy and numb right when they need to be at the peak of responsiveness.

The solution? Hell if I know. I’m thinking in Sidhe Devils that once we have enough for two teams, we may make one team the two-night run, and one just for a single all-nighter, so that people can CHOOSE how they want to play it.

There I go again with that whole ‘choose how YOU want to play’ thing.

Anyway, last night… we were fortunate enough to have the same basic team as last time. Since last week, Shrinnpoof and Falromord decided to come over and join our guild, which is flat out awesome, they are just tooo cool. We’re very stoked. Cassie really likes playing with Shrinn for one thing, and Falromord is a very smart, capable guy. We’re very lucky to have them. So it was 7 guildies, and the team we had from Disciples of Delusion, Morthog, Thunkon and Muchachita. They are all very fun as well, it’s a good group, everyone is a good fit together.

We went in, and I let everyone know in advance that one of my goals was to move as quickly as we could from one encounter to another, as long as we could do so and keep it fun. I wanted it to be smooth, quick, and fun but not rushed. And I wanted everyone to still feel perfectly comfortable asking for a break whenever they needed one.

I THINK that we accomplished those goals. I think the first half still felt a bit too rushed, a little less fun and loose than we are used to, but it was still good. And I wasted time explaining all three potential Opera fights instead of just running in and findout out which we had. Which was Romulo and Julianne, which we nailed.

In technical terms, while we did have frequent single deaths, mostly Windburn the distracted Shadow Priest, we never to my knowledge had a team wipe until Prince. We just went on through nice and smooth and took everything down the first shot, rezzed Wind, and moved on.

When we hit Curator, I believe we were at the 2.5 hour mark. When we reached Prince, I believe we were at the 4.5 hour mark. Started at 7, hit Prince at 11:30. I felt that was pretty good for a one night run.

On Prince, I was going to just assume I was bringing Windshadow to tank, but Cassie whispered me saying that she had seen either Morthog or Falromord had posted in the forums saying they wanted to tank Prince.

Ooops. I hadn’t seen that. So in mid-sentence of arrogantly saying I would change out for Windshadow to tank, I stopped to ask if either of our tanks wanted to take down Prince.

And Cassie was right, Fal wanted to take Prince down. Cool! I’m glad she stopped me. Coulda told me earlier, dangit.

We went on to Prince and got set up, and Fal went forward with Thunkon misdirecting onto him for the pull. The first time we had a slight oopsie, as I did not actually describe how we would do the fight, and that caused one of our ranged DPS to go all-out from the start rather than let Fal build up aggro. So, accidental over-threat, a pull, and a few key people went down in the first few minutes. It happens, and if I was paying attention, it needn’t have.

The second pull went very well. Fal built up strong threat, aided by Thunkon and Wulfa misdirecting onto him every time their cooldown was up, tons of ranged DPS, awesome heals, it was just kickass.

However… we had only two dedicated healers, plus our main tank Morthog the Paladin, helping with heals as he could. When we hit the middle of Phase Two, it just got a little too much, and Fal went down.

If we had a third dedicated healer, I don’t think it would have happened. But at that point we just agreed to bring Windshadow in this time, and finish up Prince, and the bell struck midnight signaling the end of the run.

Mission accomplished, we cut an hour and a half or so off last weeks run. Kick ass.

What better time to have me ask if anyone wanted to go take down Nightbane?

Heck, I figured the least I could do was ask. I asked people to just hit ‘Yes’ on a ready check if they wanted to take on Nightbane. It was unanimous, to my surprise. So, off we went.

When we set up for Nightbane, I was going to have Windshadow for the main tank. I would prefer Falromord take it, as he can stance dance through the Fear effects, and it would give us a second Priest for Fear Ward on top of it. But since this would be the first shot many folks would be taking at Flaming Dragon, we just went with me as main tank.

For the Rain of Bones, we had Morthog to come in and get them focused on him first. The hardest part was trying to heal through the directed flame breath from the air phase with two main healers.

On our first shot, we got him to 50%, but the flame breath did us in.

We regrouped for our second try, rebuffed, and kicked it off again.

On our second try, without any combat rezzes available, without a Warlock or Soulstones, with a Feral Druid main tank, a Prot Specced Warrior on melee, a combat swords Rogue, two Mages, two Hunters, a Prot Paladin doing offheals, a Resto Druid on main heals, and a Holy Priest on party heals, we took Nightbane down with zero deaths.

Zero freaking deaths.

I could not possibly be prouder of the folks I play with. I know Morthog was healing his guts out, but Nasirah and Muchachita did an awesome job healing on that one. My thanks and admiration go out to the whole team.

Oh wait, you want screenie? Yeah I can do that…

nightbanedown.jpg

14 Responses to “Flaming Dragons 0, Sidhe Devils 1!”
  1. Nasirah says:

    Not to burst your bubble B, but… I died at the end of 25% flight phase. When he came back to the ground, I had healing aggro, and he one-shotted me. For that last ground phase, Mucha and Morthog were all that stood between you and a horrible terrible death, and they did awesome.

    So yeah, still an awesome victory on our second try, but not a zero-death one.

  2. bigbearbutt says:

    Really? Then I guess I don’t need you on the next go around, we can just take Mucha and Morthog…

    But seriously, I must have missed that, since I saw nothing but live tages on my raid display.

    Did you try to come back during the fight? Or was I just that out of it?

  3. Nasirah says:

    Nah, it was just some quick rezzing action once the fight was over.

  4. Shrinn says:

    Hey, that Prince fight, i did a total bone headed job of not letting Fal build enuff aggro! I’m a doink da doink! So, i have a trinket that helps build mana as im fighting that i forgot to equip that for Prince & Nightbane also. (nightbane most impotantly) Next time, i’ll remember it. It would’ve really helped! Otherwise, like always when I run with u guys, it was smooth & fun & we always start ON TIME! i love u guys for that :) Till next time!

  5. ARA says:

    hey grats! And nice nice nice to see a photo of the BBB himself all geared up !!! Bears in skirts ftw! I have the same gear more or less, thats too cool (that’s coz I use your gear list of course).

    I’ve tanked nightbane a couple of times, and with a fear ward, AND the good ol’ Medallion of the Alliance, its been fine. I’ve only poped the trinket once per fight, and the fear wards take care of the rest.

    Prince I love! definitely my favourite boss in there – its even more fun when we all have to reposition ourselves – gives it more of an edge.

    We’ve started Zul’Aman now – quite a bit harder than kara, but totally doable for people with little time to raid – first boss is 15 mins away from the start, trash pulls are short, and you have all the fun of learning new encounters. So far we’ve done 3/4 animal bosses – you can get some nice new leather pieces in there too.

  6. Ishvi says:

    Woo! Total congrats guys! I’m just bummed I couldn’t be there for the fight, oh wells. By the way, I don’t have access to the forums right at the moment (they’re down and I’m gonna lose the comp before they come back up) but I’ve decided to start gearing Ishvi up for haelz too. Still planning on prime tanking, but I want a healer, and it’s either take a whole ‘nother toon to 70 or just find another gear set. :D Anyways, just figured I’d give the holler out so if you see crazy awesome BoP plate pally healing gear drop feel free to be sad for me! Congrats on the Dragon again :D

    ~ishvi/joe

  7. Bee T. says:

    Hi Big Bear. Did you guys improve on your time in Kara from last week. You said it lasted 6 1/2 hours.

    I recently listened to a podcast on tankspot.com by Ciderhelm about running efficient raids and I couldn’t agree more with alot of what he has to say. I encourage you to listen to it here is the link to it:
    http://www.tankspot.com/forums/ts-podcasts/37386-speed-efficiency.html

    I believe that the Guild, raid leader(s) and or tank(s) has to set the pace for the raid. Especially since you’re doing guild runs basically. There’s gotta be clear cut goals/rules and they must be kept. Plus I believe that you should strive for 1 night clears of Karazhan. One of the best examples I can give is the timed chest event in ZA. Imagine if your raid wanted to do the timed chest event but went about it the same way as in Kara. Will that goal ever be meet? I probably don’t think so. And about people wanting to afk or taking breaks I stress that there has to be a limit of breaks and on afk’s. Cause even though this is a game. We all are putting our time into this game. And if people take breaks and afk here and there, though you might not notice it right away. When the raid finished in 6 1/2 hours it probably could have been done in 4 1/2 hours.

    Why run efficient raids like in Karazhan? It will only make you a better player in your role for that raid. It also makes you manage your time really well to. I do my best to judge whether I’m rushing or not. And a good indicator I’ve taken too is I usually check to see that any mana user has at least 70% mana before I pull. Eventually the awe of Karazhan will fade and it will feel more like a grind. But if your raids are fast and efficient you can always push each other to finish Karazhan ever quicker and quicker every week. Plus I’m sure being quick will help in future raids if your guild ever decides they want to progress to 25-man stuff.

    Do you guys chain pull in karazhan? If not I greatly encourage that. Chain pulling will drastically decrease your time in karazhan. For example when you start clearing the mobs to get to Moroes. You can have one tank grab the aoe packs and have the casters and such aoe them down while the other tank pulls the elite pats. Then when they are dead just keep rinsing and repeating and I can guarantee you that room will be cleared in under 5 mins tops.

    Plus looting can be a factor while everyone stands around looking at the purples.

    But in the end of the day it comes down to the players of the raid. The players have to want to better themselves as a player to want to maximize efficiency.

    To end this longer than expected post. When I first went into Karazhan my guild ran it for the first time with the help of a few friends of the guild from outside. A good number of the players were well geared and a bit over geared for karazhan. It took us 6 hours to get up to Curator. Now my best time in Karazhan was 3 hours 6 minutes flat. And that personal best record of mine…It was done with a PUG!

  8. bigbearbutt says:

    Bee T, there are a lot of good suggestions in what you posted, thank you.

    I think you might have read last week’s post but didn’t read this one, since you ask the question of how long it took when it was answered above. But at least you didn’t come right out and say ‘TLDR’.

    To some extent I agree that chain pulling on trash is a valuable time saving technique. On the other hand, we are mostly appropriately geared for Karazhan. Half of the raid is in entry to mid Kara gear. We are learning to work together and are gearing up as we go, using drops and badges all the time. I’m not even the tank except for two fights, Morthog and Falromord are handling those tasks very well on their own. I look forward to the day when Fal can tank Prince solo, and Morthog can take on Nightbane.

    All the points you make are absolutely perfect for a raiding guild. Practising time management, minimizing breaks and frowning on afks, chain pulling and trying to go for a speed clear is very good advice for any raiding guild. Yep, /agree.

    But you do not mention what gear level your PUG was at when you did your 3 hour speed clear. Only Tier 4? Any 25 man content under your belts? If you were in straight crafted and kara drops only, with some badge gear, then the perspective on your accomplishment changes, because that’s some awesome work. Especially for a PUG. I think most folks reading that would expect that either your healers or your tanks were in Tier 5 or even Tier 6, though.

    I know the latest fashion is to place Karazhan in the ‘kiddy pool’ level of content, but it does still take gear and skill. The better your teams composition, gear and skill level, the faster it can go without wipes or unneccesary deaths. Expecting all groups to match the same time standards just isn’t very realistic.

    I guess where I break with it, is that, as I’ve tried to make very clear, we are NOT a typical raiding guild. We have no progression epeen. We could care less about x/x killed in Mt Hyjal or SSC. We are in it to have fun, period. But we do take pride in matching our skill against challenging fights. And I think Nightbane qualifies as a challenge, and damn was it fun to beat that old flaming dragon!

    I personally want faster runs to try and lesson the amount of time that people have to sit down in one shot. I work a ten hour day, and I sit down for a good portion of it. Sitting at the desk for 7 hours, even doing something you love, is a stone bitch when you DON’T have the option of getting up and taking a break.

    As soon as you start trying to control the people in the group in terms of when people can take breaks, ask for time afk, or in other ways force people to sit there when you want them to, I have to say, “No”.

    If you don’t care about the people you are playing with, if they are just there to get you your gear or progression ranking or badges, then I can see wanting to control their actions to fit your schedule. It’s kinda the definition of a raiding guild, isn’t it? You’re there to raid, if you want to have joke around or take your time, go somewhere else.

    But if you’re there because you enjoy playing with the people around you, and you respect them and care for them as friends, then I can’t imagine a single valid reason why I would want to tell them not to ask for a break when, in their judgment, they need feel they need one.

    More than that, I would not want anyone in one of my runs to feel uncomfortable in asking for a break. Because if they are hesitant at putting their own needs forward, then that tells me they are afraid that someone else will be upset or bitchy at their taking a break, and that tells me they don’t feel as valued and respected as they in fact are.

    And that, my friend, is one of the reasons most raiders will say that we would never make it as a real progression guild. We DO take our time about some things. We DO take more breaks or AFKs then a more serious guild would.

    But we also succeed. And we have fun. And, I hope, not a single player in our runs will ever be afraid of speaking up if they need to go to the bathroom, get a drink of water, or soothe their child who is stirring in thier sleep.

    Yes, speed is great. And absolutely yes, I agree that the lessons your progression guild can learn in Kara or heroics or anywhere else can be used as practise for the timed runs in ZA.

    But I think there are other priorities than just ‘how fast did we clear’.

    I think a higher priority than speed has to be ‘did everyone have fun?’

  9. Morthog says:

    Was a fun time. Next time on Nightbane (after reading…) whoever has the rain of fire ‘debuff’ I will BoP hoping aggro dumps to me as skels spawn in addition to consecrate. Personally timewise I think we do fine – although I always feel like trash to attumen takes longer than I expect. It’s kinda the ‘warmup’ however – so perhaps not pulling and AoE’ing 6 at a time is a good thing when starting up ….. Times will only improve as folks know the pulls(in my case)/fights.

    Regarding Prince – I’d certainly like a shot at some point at tanking him down. After the first run a few weeks ago – I’ve done some dodge, hp, and AC upgrade work – and for phase II – as a pally, HS has enough charges to make it through his flurry, Parry gibs won’t be an issue as I don’t swing – HS, consecrate, exorcism should keep threat going. Re-positioning due to any hiccups will have to work on. thanks again for having us -

  10. Nasirah says:

    I think we move through the trash at a pretty good pace. I think the explanations actually add more to our time than the afk breaks do, but that simply comes with the territory of not everyone having the same level of experience. As we work together more, instead of a retelling of every fight before we go in we can cut it to, “Everyone got your Demon Chains macro ready? Okay, in we go!” or what have you.

    To illustrate that, running with almost an identical group as last week, we actually knocked 1.5 hours off our time. We then took that time to take down a boss that most of us had never downed, and many of us had never even seen, so we ended up finishing at 1:30 instead of 2am, but with an extra two badges to show for it.

    I would say that once everyone knows what to expect, we could easily clear the whole place by midnight. Which might not be “zomg look how fast we cleared we’re so awesome,” but a 5-hour Kara would be just fine with me, playing with awesome people who know how to have fun.

  11. Rob says:

    I think this is one of those issues that separate out progression oriented versus fun guilds, as B3 noted. And its not that the fun guilds aren’t legitamite, they are. I was in a fun guild for 6 months or so, and it got to the point where we did 20 hours of kara, widely variable raiding times, etc.

    Anyway, SD sounds like a great group that’s got their act together and can do 5 hour kara clears in mostly T4 or below gear. That takes skill, and skill == fun to me. It’s not fun when you outgear the content by two levels (esp if you still wipe). When i go back to kara on my alt, its very fun to have the changed perspective and know the raid could wipe at any moment because of … some lack of skill or somethign, who knows. Maybe healing aggro, maybe a errand pet. (My pet almost wiped our BT raid last night, on the mob pack just before high warlord – we managed to recover because we’re just that good (well the guild is, I’m not)).

    Anyway! Kara is still fun to me, lots of bosses, lots of loot, good to do no matter your gear level. It’s def. no small potatoes.

  12. Dirz says:

    Wow nice going, good to know EoG had good people:)

  13. bigbearbutt says:

    Dirz, EoG STILL has great people….

  14. Bee T. says:

    Hey there big bear thanks for the response. Let me quickly answer some things and sum my thoughts up cause it’s pretty early in the morning over here. Well in that run I was one of the two tanks. Myself being a Tankadin and the other being a Prot Warrior. Wowarmory has been pretty messed up so I can’t provide a direct link to my character. But my Tankadin is Thojhkaias from Thor’s Right Hand of Bloodscalp US. I do not come from a raiding guild, never been in one before. Thor’s Right Hand is about as casual as a guild can get. Nor do I want to see it become a progressing or hardcore raiding guild. I can’t remember everyone’s gear but I do know that the healers and tanks weren’t in T5 nor T6. We were a mix of tier4, kara, badge gear. I got 3 crafted pieces (goggles/wrist/boots), 2 pvp pieces (MH/Shield), D3 Shoulders, 1 T4 (Gloves, darn helm token refuses to drop), and the rest is badge gear. Experience wise I have never ventured into 25man raid content. Though I’m sure others have that were in that raid. Raid wise Kara and a dash of ZA is the only raid experience I’ve had so far. Anyone who takes Karazhan for granted and being kiddie should seriously try to remember back in the day when they first stepped into Kara. That mentality is pretty bad to have as a player. In the end of it all I don’t see how players can’t have fun and also complete a task at hand like Karazhan in the most efficient way possible.

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