Last night, the good old Sidhe Devils had another raid scheduled.

In keeping with the ‘limited playstyle’ theme, we had Vault of Archevon and Obsidian Sanctum on the schedule.

A couple nice ten man runs, shouldn’t take too long, and everyone can have some fun and get some loot.

Well, first thing we did was see that Alliance held Wintergrasp, and was due to lose it in a half hour at 7 PM server. So, even though our raid was scheduled for a 7 PM start, everyone that was on went to Wintergrasp Fortress, in the hopes that we’d have time to get inside before we lost it and had to wait for the culmination of the battle.

Thanks to the awesomeness of the guild, by 6:45, everyone that had signed up for the raid was not only online, but had made their way to Wintergrasp and was able to get inside.

We buffed up, got ready… and got an announcement that the instance was scheduled to reset in 10 minutes.

OH SHIT!

Now, I was under the, obviously totally mistaken, impression that once you were actually IN Obsidian Sanctum, they wouldn’t boot your ass out for losing Wintergrasp. Maybe you’d have issues if you died and had to run back, but I guess I didn’t think it through.

So we had 10 minutes to pull and kill the four trash and down the boss, assign loot, and get the heck out of there.

You’ll understand if I’m justifiably proud that our crew did, in fact, accomplish that just fine. A total beatdown slam dunk in your face kind of thing.

And even better, both Tier pieces that dropped, a Mage chest and a Paladin Healer chest were usable by guildies, so nothing got wasted.

I was absolutely delighted. Talk about time pressure!

So from there, we went on to the second half of the scheduled evening, Obsidian Sanctum.

We’d talked a bit about doing it with no drakes up or one drake up, but after we cleared all the trash but the last drake, and discussed it… Graimerin described what he knew of how to handle the extra drake… and our healers had massive coronaries in anticipation. 

I decided that, since some of the folks there hadn’t had a chance to see the normal fight yet, we should pass on it this time. It made more sense to me to do it straight with everyone at least once, to make sure everyone is comfortable with the normal encounter before we ring in any changes. From what I’ve heard leaving drakes alive is quite challenging, and I’m going to respect that.

Again, it went smooth as silk. There was a bobble at the beginning, when I wasn’t exactly sure where the heck the ‘safe zone’ to handle the single-opening Lava Wall was, couldn’t twist the camera angle fast enough to see it coming, and ended up getting brushed by it, but now I know… and will remember for next time.

Wham-bam and loot was had by many. Of course, at this rate it’ll be Christmas before everyone has their Tier gloves, but what the hell. That’s why you can buy them with Emblems of Honor, right?

Well, we did both raids… and it was only 8 PM. A one hour raid night seemed kind of lame, we spend more time on Heroics than that… so I suggested we go on and take on Naxxramas: The Arachnid Quarter.

Surprisingly, this suggestion was met with a certain measure of enthusiasm.

So we headed on over to Naxx, after explaining how to get there for the folks that hadn’t been on last weeks’ failed excusion.

Yeah, that’s right, this would be the guild’s second shot at it, and some of the folks hadn’t been there before. See? We ain’t no hardcore raiders, nope, not us!

Some folks took side trips to Dalaran to pickup Tier items and gems so they could equip their new shinies before the run. So we weren’t even as maxed on gear and enchants and stuff as we could be. What a bunch of noobs.

We went on in, cleared the little spider trash, and faced off on Anub’rekhan.

Now, last week we tried the commonly accepted strat for this boss, which involves the main tank (me) dragging the boss all up and down the right side of the room, hugging the wall on the other side of the green slime trench, while the rest of the raid takes down the adds, and I get some heals.

We met with varying success last week, sometimes I’d die on the run when I got out of range of heals or a healer got silenced, and on our last try of the week we just didn’t have enough sustained DPS on the boss for long enough to get it done and met with the Enrage timer.

See, we have outstanding DPS… but most of it in the guild is melee. Cassieann the Rogue, Razedbarre the Death Knight, Caladorn the Paladin… great DPS one and all, but they have to play the ‘run and catch up’ game whenever switching from boss to add and back again.

We had two ranged DPS, Elystia the Mage and Sinnas the Hunter, and while both are great, Ely was kept pretty busy AoEing the little swarmers that spawn from corpse explosions.

You’re not going to get the boss down in time unless you get some focused fire on his ass, and sustain it.

So I went with the suggestions of a few of you wonderful folks, and decided as Main Tank to try just standing and taking the Locust Swarm in one place.

I pulled and tanked him right where he starts the fight, in the alcove at the end of the room where adds spawn in the green curtains, and when he started Locust Swarm, I just made sure I was closer to the group than he was, kept his back to the alcove, and I ate the Swarm.

It had the advantages that the healers could all be confident they were at a safe max range from me to stay outside the silence, and the DPS knew where exactly they were running back and forth to.

Also, and this was a key consideration for us, as Graimerin the Paladin was the offtank, it left him able to handle his pulls on the Crypt Guard adds while knowing exactly where the range of silence was going to end… with Sinnas there with Misdirect to help out.

The first time we tried it, it went perfect… incredibly perfect. With my gear and our healers I was never in any danger at all of going down from Locust Swarm. It just wasn’t an issue. Nobody else got silenced, and I still got heals when needed, the adds got beat up, and it all went very well… until somehow during a Locust Swarm the boss got taunted off of me… and I was silenced so I could do NOTHING to get it back.

Wipe.

Whoops!

Well, okay, so we went back in, I yelled and screamed and threw a tantrum… oh wait, no, actually I just said let’s try the same thing again… and try really, REALLY hard not to taunt off me this time. Please guys?

And we did that, and it was a slam dunk “nothing but net” crushing of the boss, no deaths, totally owned him.

anubdown0

anubdown2

If you’re curious what a Feral Druid in 100% pre-Naxx gear wore when standing still and eating the Locust Swarm in ten man, here is a snapshot of my list of gear worn at that time;

Of those items, the only one that really embarasses me are the gloves. Instead of buying my Tier 7 gloves, I keep blowing my Emblems on Bind on Account Heirloom items. My Shammy really loves my mace, though.

Ahem.

I am slowly working on saving 40 Wintergrasp Marks of Hnor for the Titan-Forged helm.. but every time I do Wintergrasp, we are defending and we lose. It’s getting OLD playing for the entire run, from start of battle to finish, and lose in the last 30 secsonds and get 1 Mark. Grumble.

So, moving on… we destroyed the first boss. Shall we take a chance and move on to boss two?

I think so!

After killing the trash, we squared off on the second boss.

I described the fight as I understood it from reading multiple strats.

We have a platform, with four adds and the boss, Faerlina. I was going to hold the boss, so the plan is, we mark all adds with a pre-arranged kill order of Skull, X, Star, Circle. Graimerin was going to shield throw on the far left mob, Sinnas was going to Misdirect/Multi-Shot on the far right mob, and that would drag everyone to Graimerin on the left side of the platform.

I would then in mid pull ranged Growl taunt the boss off Grai and drag her over to the right side of the platform.

Near enough for the boss to be affected by the death of an add when Frenzied, not so close to gimp mobility.

Everyone works to beat the adds down to about 15% health, and then all out on the boss.

When the boss frenzies, everyone switches DPS to the next mob on the kill order, pre-marked.

Then back to DPS on boss.

And if you are standing in Rain of Fire, move out.

Ready? Pull!

And yeah, it went about that easy. Everyone was right on the money first time out the gate, and we trashed her crib.

faerlina

Well, hell folks… this shit be ez-mode. Third boss, anyone?

Okay… moving on…

Clear some more trash, take some AFK time to tuck children into bed and feed cats and such, and look at the big ugly spider boss, Maexxna.

I could run down the strat we used, but it was pretty much the normal that can be found many places on the web, I think. I tanked with my back to the rear wall, Graimerin laid down a Consecrate to pick up spider adds on the spider butt, Ely and Sinnas AoEed the spiders when not hitting boss, and worked on un-Web Wrapping folks, and we had great heals.

We wiped the first time when Paraclesis our Paladin healer… and Main Tank healer… D/Ced at the first second of the pull from a massive thunderstorm in his area taking his power out, and we didn’t know… until I died wondering why I wasn’t getting ANY heals.

Oops.

Well, fortunately Nighthawque was online, a Resto Druid healer I’ve mentioned before, and we were able to ask him to come in.

15 minutes later, we tried again and had massive success.

arachnidachieve

I want to reiterate that these were not ‘by the skin of our teeth’ wins. These were ‘everyone is alive and at full health and close to full mana’ wins.

It’s pretty crazy.

So I want to thank everyone that took part in these raids for preparing their gear so well, for knowing how to play top notch, for being so damn good, and for making Naxx look so ridiculously easy.

One of the things we have to decide now, since we aren’t a raiding guild, is to what extent we follow this up.

Do we have two raid nights on the calander each week? We had one scheduled for Thursday, a work night, and didn’t get enough to sign up. I hate the thought of having them on both Friday and Saturday, since hey… I HOPE normal people are going out and having fun or doing something other than gaming all weekend long. And I don’t like the idea of scheduling things when I would expect most folks would normally be making other plans, since then they might feel pressure to log in instead of log out and dance party.

See, we aren’t a raiding guild. We are a friends guild where the first rule of law is, Real Life comes first. The second rule is, friends come before loot. If you want to raid so bad it’s burning a hole in your gut, and playing with friends is a secondary concern to seeing the content and getting phat loot… well, there are a lot of raiding guilds out there. We aren’t going to change our focus.

Sure, friends come first… but we all also love to see new content and get phat loot of our own. So, I guess the question is going to be… how many nights per week do these friends of ours, who put real life first, want to commit to going and doing raids?

And how will we know if they are signing up for raids because they really WANT to, or just because they feel pressure to help the guild?

ARGH!!! There are days when being a guild leader is a pain. We have a huge night of victory… and all I can worry about the next day is trying to schedule enough to keep everybody having lots of fun, while not scheduling TOO MUCH!

26 Responses to “A marvelous night of raiding success”
  1. Seleria says:

    I’m sure you’re not asking this, but… I personally think your best approach to Naxx scheduling would be to take turns on the quarters. You obviously can do well on Spider Wing now, why not grab that and keep your strats fresh… but how about adding construct quarter next week? Once you get it down, I know we clear it in 3 hours. That seems well within the time-frame for a casual guild’s availability, at least imo.

    Congratulations on your success :D. That locust swarm sure is a pain in the butt :P. Our tanks are generally pallies… so your strat of “just take it to the face” isn’t viable for us. I’m jealous!

  2. Piper says:

    I’d suggest keeping the Friday/Saturday night run focused a guild-only run if possible. That way those in the guild that want to run, but have to deal with real-life know a run is available for them. :) Then I’d suggest scheduling the second run (your Thursday night example) as a tentative guild run, but label it as a tentative guild-sponsored run. Obviously you would give your guildmates first chance at a spot, but if you have spots available you could encourage people to suggest friends of theirs that would like to go.

    The main thing is to just try some different combinations and see what works. It won’t always work every week — and that’s ok — but at least the possibility of a second run is on the calendar. Guildies can then decide if they want to adjust their schedules for it or not.

  3. Eberron of Boulderfist says:

    Pro-tip, which you prolly figured out, pop your barkskin a second before locust swarm hits and it becomes even more of a joke. I was able to eat 25 man locust swarm tanking him for the first time and I haven’t looked at the other strat since.

    As for “our tanks a pallies” I’d be really, REALLY surprised if that was the case. Anub hits like a creampuff.

  4. Dirz says:

    I here ya:) The joy of a good raid is followed by the nervousness off ‘Are we doing enough/ Are we doing too much? And “What are our progression goals?” ties into it as well.

  5. Ratshag says:

    First off, big hairy congo rats ta you and the raiding Devils!

    What Kinnavieve done experienced, both in Naxx and OS, is, the fights is almost tests of coordination and teamwork, rather than gear checks. As ya saw with Anub, once ya got the right plan fer yer team, the boss is gonna go down. Couple of exceptions, like Patches, but fer the most part once folks get a few tries under they’s belts, the rate at which ya can progress is gonna go up fast. I dunno what a good balance fer raiding schedules is – bugger, I can’t even manage me own schedule – but yer gonna get ta see it alls. I promises.

    And bear, don’t be embarrassed about the gloves. Alts need luvins too, and yer gear is still ahead of Kinna’s. Bosses is dead, yer alive – gear’s okay.

  6. Amplexis says:

    I feel your pain with the scheduling around a casual guild. we have something similar mostly friends and family. a few of our members just pug when they want to raid and that works for them, but it can be a problem too (like them no being available for guild runs even though they want to go). I wish raids reset on thursday isntead so that I could schedule a guild run on friday and sat and have the rest of the week to pug it if it fails. good luck, I know it will work out for you eventually.

  7. Seleria says:

    Anub might hit hit like a creampuff, but that silence kinda hurts things :D.

  8. Ruune says:

    Was great fun as always Wind. Don’t stress too much about the scheduling, we will work out what works best for everyone and just enjoy the chance to play a game together and check out the content.

  9. krizzlybear says:

    Anub is a fun fight for mages. Blast at anything that moves, nova those beetles in place before they scatter and WTFPWN with blizzard.

    Fun times.

  10. Sidtreefish says:

    Fantastic work on the bosses! It’s good to see Non-raiding guilds do well in Naxx, and for alot of peoples first time to do well too. Great work! I wish you all the best in future raid adventures!

  11. Kattrinsaa says:

    Speaking from the perspective of a former guild leader, instance run scheduling is the biggest pain for a casual/casual raiding guild. Some people will value the opportunity to see the new content and get gear over hanging with their friends. others will hang with the friends but slowly get annoyed at the speed of progression. others could care less as it’s about the friends for them.

    I would try to keep it down to 2-3 days in a week, the guild im in now, only schedules 25man content but we do run 10 man stuff as well whenever we feel like it. a couple weeks ago, I raided every night of the week and just kinda burned out.

    What we usually have on the schedule now, is OS25 and spider wing on tuesday, then on thursday we take on military and plague, friday is planned for construct and the upper floor. Grobbulus and Gluth are usually the ones that stops us in our tracks tho. Thaddius is really fun on 10 man, haven’t seen on 25 yet.

    Grobbulus is really hard for a melee heavy group, so keep that in mind bbb. Also, it’s highly recommended to have everyone buy/make a frost resist set for that dragon upstairs.

  12. Brolden says:

    What I might suggest is… I recall you mentioning a guild website, find days and times when your guild members can as a majority all get on around the same time and if they would like to raid more often, less often stay how you are doing it. I did that with my old guild, it worked out well for a bunch of casuals to get together on good times for the majority and raid.

  13. Koch (Aszune) says:

    Congratulations on the first quarter – it was all we managed when we started in January. From our guild I can say that a very relaxed raiding can work fine. We are so many people that we currently run four weekly Naxx (10) groups – and no one has the intention of going for 25-mans yet. We have lots of spotfillers: Each of the groups has a theoretical core of 10, but on average I’d say only 8 of those are actually on.

    While we try to balance “roles” (2 tanks, 3 healers, 5 DPS if we can) sometimes that doesn’t work out. But that doesn’t mean the fights are over, really. There are some bosses you can do with a suboptimal composition.

    By the way: We also go for the “take it like a man” approach on Anub – and as a warrior tank I have to say the 17.000 damage per second near the end of Locust Swarm make me worry. As long as your healers can work with it, it’s not too much of a problem, though :)

    Oh… raid times. We used the “one day a week for four hours (20-24)” approach initially. We now changed that to “two days from 20 – 23 plus ‘I wants more loots'” time. Basically … if we are close to a boss or want to give it another shot at 11, people are still willing to go. With a little bit of luck (Oh hey – it’s a dragon – anyone got any forst resist? No? Okay … shall we just see what happens – the raid only lasts for 10 more minutes anyway?) we actually cleared Naxx twice now. With breaks for icecream, babies and bedtime stories :)

  14. Gowron says:

    In my experience, people will be wanting to raid more, because they will be getting bored with heroics. But you will notice that by just looking at the sign-ups for you raids. If you have no problem filling raids, schedule another one…

    (ps, frost-res gear isn’t really neccessary for Sapphiron, Druid-tanks may benefit from them due to high stamina, but you’ll be gimping dps to much, maybe one/two pieces with frost-res gear on first tries, but if you have got good healers, you’ll be part of the ‘Hundred Club’ in no time)

  15. Silm says:

    Sounds like you guys had a great time, and congrats on all the loots!

    As a feral, you have a great advantage over other tanks when it comes to Anub. When he starts to cast Locust Swarm, shift to cat and run along the edge. You can pop dash if you want to get further ahead, but assuming you’re specced into feral swiftness you can kite him all the way around the room and not take any locust swarm stacks. Make it loads easier on the healers than standing still and taking all of it! Just a tip for a fellow bear!

  16. Tigerfeet says:

    Ya know, it never occurred to us to have the tank just stand there and eat the locust swarm. The first few times we killed him our Main Tank was a Death Knight, and he just couldn’t handle that amount of punishment so we’ve always done the running thing. Once we got to 25-mans, our first few weeks in there he would always die to something ridiculous and I would be the one to pick the boss up… I always did just fine, I think it’s a bear thing.

    As for the taunting of the boss…. yeah, I accidentally did that once, taunted him right before the locust swarm… I was aiming for the add. Since then I always pull the adds with a faerie fire and there’s a misdirect waiting for me. Problem is I got into that habit and it causes some problems during the 4-horsemen fight if we’re trying to swap bosses and I ‘taunt’ with a faerie fire… yea, doesn’t work so well then.

  17. ARA says:

    Nicely done! thanks for a great report. Yep as a bear I usually ignore complex tricks with bosses and just stand there and soak it up. Seems to work a lot better. The number of times we’ve wiped on that fight with warriors “intervening” on 25 man… whats the point when a bear can survive the damage without any of the complexity? Faerlina is the same if you want to go for the achivement – just tank her while she’s enraged the whole time – bears have a much easier time doing this from what I’ve seen.

    Good luck with your scheduling! Glad I’m not trying to run a guild myself.

  18. Copey says:

    I’m pretty jealous bear. I’m in a great guild, but could not log in early enough to actually raid with them. The few times I got pulled into Naxx (they always asked me to come if I was online and they needed somebody) things kind of went like you described. Basically, we talked over strat had some practice runs, and then downed a boss. They now have Naxx cleared, and are working to get it on farm status.

    They are also moving servers to an east coast server. The lag on ours is too much, and we got offered a free transfer to another. And almost the whole guild took it. I can’t make the raid times anyway, and will have even less luck searching an East coast server for pugs. I pugged Naxx last night and it was a fail fest from beginning two end. It’s such a huge difference between raiding with your guild and learning new content, and raiding with 7 or 8 strangers and learning new content. It’s pretty sucky.

  19. Thranathiril says:

    Emblems of Honor eh?

  20. Javan says:

    Grats on a first successful run!

    I’ve gone to a few runs with other guilds as my guildies level up / gear up / etc, and our first true guild run, we also successfully cleared Arachnid Quarter the first time around (we actually managed to 1-shot it with at least half of the raid never having done Naxx (10/25/40) at all), so I can definitely appreciate the feeling of accomplishment getting it, even with a few hiccups as you learn the fights.

    And yes, as a bear tank, eating the Locust Swarm for me, especially on 10-man, is just so much easier. When I asked the main healer, my wife, how healing me through it was, her response was “I didn’t really notice a difference.”

    We’re a fairly casual raiding guild as well, and what we do is schedule a “raid” night, mostly around our Off-Tank, as he has an odd work schedule. For example, this week, Thursday is our “raid” night – what that means is that we’ll plan to hit 10-man Arch, Sarth, and/or Naxx depending on time / people on. After that, Naxx runs tend to be pretty much “do we have the right mix of people on and / or do we have non-guild friends that want to go to fill in slots?” We’ve been pretty lucky in only having to ever truly PuG 1 slot on raids when someone didn’t show or had to leave / etc. It’s harder as a casual guild that raids than it is for a raiding guild, but that’s worked for us so far – and we try to plan it far enough in advance (3-4 days) that folks know when it will be so they can plan accordingly – or let us know in advance if they can’t so we can try to secure someone else who can make it.

  21. Shkam says:

    Hey.

    grats on the kills.

    I wouldn’t worry about your gloves. The only gloves that are better for a bear, and then only marginally are the T7.25 gloves.

    :) I’m still rockin them, waiting on my token.

    Shkam

  22. Rob says:

    Regarding the guild events, no easy answers here. We now have (somehow) one of the largest guilds on dawnbringer. Our creedo is exactly the same as yours, we’re casual, RL>WoW. Despite have a huge number of people, we have very few tanks and healers (I call this the casual syndrome). So trying to attempt raids/heroics has been a PITA. People simply don’t want to go through the trouble of acquiring another gear set, when there is always someone to carry them through. And this is our ‘adult, mature’ guild. Casuals just want to have fun, forget about that enchanting, geming, pots, food stuff. Too much work for them. Strats? Nah, just get a 80 to blow through the content with you.

    So for your guild to actually show up on time and do the content and make it look easy, well that’s a huge testament.

    We tried two raid nights a week with our guild, discovered people were all over the place as far as ‘best time’. Best time for casual guilds like ours seems to be Sat night at 9pm EST. We also discovered that those who were interested in raiding were much more interested in Naxx than any TBC or vanilla wow content. I’m (and the other raid leader) much more interested in the later so I’m pretty much dragging them through kicking and screaming. We alternate one week new content, the next week old content, and trade off being raid lead.

    Through this we found that a bunch of our well geared 80s aren’t interested at all in this stuff and would even go on guild raids, because ‘we’re too prone to failing’….So yeah, you have to deal with attitudes alot. We’ve already had a guild fracture, i predict more will come, its natural. For casual guilds, expect that alot of people are going to be moving through, gearing up in the guild, then leaving for a raiding guild.

  23. Utter says:

    Well, that does it. I’m pugging Naxx.
    Been worrying that my gear wasn’t good enough and that it would be to much “hardcore” for me, but seeing your list of gear makes me believe I actually have some decent gear (almost the same, except specced and changed for kitty DPS) and should give it a shot. Thanks for the boost in selfconfidence!
    Thanks BBB :P

    Utter = EU-Turalyon

  24. Inzilbêth says:

    If I can offer one slight modification to your Anub’ strat; if you pull her all the way across the room and tank her in the doorway you can in through it makes it a lot easier for the second tank to pick up adds — just don’t back up so far that her hitbox goes out of the room because she may reset.

  25. Etris says:

    Funny you should mention the gear you used for 10m Naxx.

    Something happened to me yesterday that really enraged me. A PUG was being put together for 10m OS, and I asked to join as MT. I mentioned that I have tanked OS in both 10m and 25m. After doing my homework, spending a bunch of cash to level LW from 0, doing a lot of heroic instances runs, and all the other annoying stuff you do to gear up for raids, I feel that I have about 95% of the best feral tanking gear I can get/buy/craft/badge pre-naxx.

    The leader asks me to come to IF for a ‘gear check’ (one of these wonderful elitest player inventions with the advent of Wotlk), he looks at my gear with my self-buffed 34,000 HP and 33600 Armor and asks why I am in my cat gear. I kindly explain that this is some of the best pre-naxx feral gear in the game. He then whisps me the following ‘DPS and resist gear?’ (on the count of my polar boots and belt) and then boots me from the raid.

    I whisper him to get a clue and he replys that I should lookup the druids in his guild for tanking gear. I do and they are wearing almost the exact same set I am.

    The long and short of it is that this was my gear:

    Shroud of Darkness (Gemmed/Activated with Austere Earthsiege Diamond)
    Chained Military Gorget
    Durable Nerubhide Cape
    Trollwoven Spaulders
    Valorous Dreamwalker Raiments
    Bindings of the Tunnler
    Heroes’ Dreamwalker Handgrips
    Polar Belt
    Gored Hide Leggings
    Polar Boots
    Keystone Greatring
    Hemorrhaging Circle
    Essense of Gossamer
    Valor Medal of the First War
    Staff of Trickery

    http://www.wowarmory.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Tichondrius&n=Etris

    This guy hit my ignore list and I won’t be grouping with him again.

    How do you guys deal with people like this?

  26. hydra says:

    Congrats SD!

    The more then one nights raiding is a hard one for your group. What is nice about Naxx is that each week you have a different quarter to chose from. Above all else I think that is the beauty of Naxx as a raid.

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