About a week ago, I actually went into the secret fortress of Icecrown Citadel with a good bunch of blokes, hoping to find out the truth behind this raiding thing.
Along the way, we discovered rockets that stick out of furry Bear butts, the dangers of dancing too close to the edge of Gunships, and what happens when you don’t have maxed Hit Rating on your Taunt mechanic when fighting Saurfang.
I went on this run as a healer, and it was very exciting. After all, this was raiding. The big “R”. This is what the game is all about. This is where we seperate the noobs from the leet. Prime time.
Or, in the words of Ming-Ming, “This. Is. Sewious!”
We went in looking for a fight. The group had consistently taken down Morrowgar, but being all friends, most of whom know each other in real life, their focus is more towards fun together than on progression. I know of plenty of times on raid nights they’ve had 8 or 9 able to be there, and rather than pug in an extra stranger to get a serious raid done, they just give it a shot on theirown.
Regardless, they’ve got the skill, they just hadn’t taken too many shots past Morrowgar before then as a ten person group. This was the night they were hoping to really push the envelope way up into the far right corner. You know, that place where they cancel your ass.
I was really looking forward to seeing it for the first time as a healer. In the past, as a tank, I’ve found having the chance to observe in person the action from a distant vantage point very valuable. Healers get to see a lot, most especially what kind of damage people are taking, and where people are standing, and what adds spawn from where, and what AoE pops up, and slime trails, and frost paths, and etc.
I was one of three healers for the ICC 10 run. One Shaman, two Trees, no waiting. I was supposed to focus on party heals.
Yeah, okay. Like I’m going to sit there and NOT throw some HoTs on the two tanks when I get the chance.
The group composition was kinda neat, since we had 3 Hunters, Bear and Paladin tanks, and a Warlock and Shaman as additional DPS.
Yes, that’s right. Three Druids, three Hunters, two Shaman, a Warlock and a Paladin.
Makes for interesting buff combinations. On the other hand, we certainly had lots of Runescrolls of Fortitude and Drums of Forgotten Kings handy, so what the heck.
Morrowgar happened to be the weekly boss, and went down with scarcely a moan. In fact, Morrowgar doesn’t cause nearly as much angst as doing the trash leading up to him without a Rogue to check for traps.
The excitement that comes from having someone run in for a planned group pull, and body-trip the land mines on the way in is AWESOME.
Adrenaline junkies, take note. That’s the good stuff.
“Here we go, here we go, pulling, OH SHIT WE HIT A TRAP, RUN, RUN, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!”
Good times, good times.
Morrowgar went down, and there was much rejoicing.
From there, we went after Lady Deathwhisper, and the Zuggers were in new territory where boss kills in ICC were concerned. They were all primed, and ready to give her a whomping.
The first time we went after her, there were a few learning curves all around, but it was awesome seeing how so many Battle Rezes plus the Shaman Ankh helped us towards the end when it all went wahoonie-shaped.
But we still all died.
For myself, I found that it was actually easier to use high Mana-cost Regrowth for general party heals due to it’s duration, spot in Rejuvenation when needing an extra kick, Wild Growth on tank groups and a fast pop of Innervate on meself 1 minute in.
That let me launch a ton of up-front healing while the group got settled in and worked through any jitters or confusion. With the Innervate getting me charged back up, I was able to coast on spot party and tank heals for the next 2 and a half minutes of cooldo, burning down the adds.
As the fight wore on, the intensity of outgoing heals increased, my Mana began to really drop towards the bottom, and while a carefully timed Potion kept me in the bottom 25% of my reserve, Deathwhisper’s Mana Shield finally dropped, and I was perfectly poised to have Innervate ready to go again for full Mana right as everything went into overdrive.
Sadly, as I said, we all died anyway.
But the second one, ah yes, the second one went smooth as clockwork. Regrowth is a major Mana investment, I know, and isn’t very cost effective in healing done, but it really does allow you to have a few extra seconds in there to get spot Rejuves on while ignoring some of the group.
As Napoleon famously once said, “Time, time, ask me for anything but time!” Sometimes, having a HoT ticking those few seconds longer somewhere else is more precious than gold, if it lets you blow an extra two Global Cooldowns on HoTing someone else.
At least, it does for me, since I don’t have nearly the Haste a raiding Resto Druid should have.
With Lady Deathwhisper down for the guild’s first kill, there was much rejoicing. Cars were flipped over in the streets and set on fire, bottles upended, toasts drunk, and Brokentree woke up the next morning with a strange pair of underpants on his head and a shaved cat hiding in the cupboard.
The awesomesauce epic Bow dropped, and watching three hunters all want it and only one be able to have it hurt. A lot. At a moment like that, you really do wish everyone could have a pony, don’t you?
Okay, great night, grats all around.
Somebody, I think it was Brokentree, had to suggest we go on to the Gunship battle. “I hear it’s pretty easy.”
Now why would you want to go and spoil a perfectly fine victory like that for?
Well, okay. I wanted my own rocket pack!
Now, in Tree form, I don’t get to have a visible rocket pack. This makes me fairly sad. But I did flip to Bear form, and do my fair share of rocket blasts back and forth on the deck.
Now, with this fight, I began to detect the first hints of a pattern.
The Zuggers would take their first try at something totally new, go over the strat, line up, take it on, and then wipe in glorious fashion.
Then, on the second try, down she goes.
Now, the Gunship might have been successfully run the first time, but we’ll never know, now will we?
No, because you see, we had to try nine-manning it.
We WOULD have had ten… but Chawakanda was admiring the view from off the port bow, seeing the sights of Icecrown from the air. She’s always wanted to take an ocean cruise, try the badminton, the shuffleboard, see the floor show, dine on lobster and all those funny little glass bowls with the shrimp with tails on and the spicy red sauce.
Well, she was lost in thought, leaning over the railing… and fell off the ship.
Gotta love that Goblin engineering, eh?
The second try, we all made it into battle, and we totally kicked their ass.
Do you like that descriptive replay? Isn’t that helpful?
Not really much more to say. Go across and kill the Mages when the guns get iced up, head back and repel boarders and shoot hell out of the other ship. Dodge Mortars. Avoid the enemy captain. Rinse and repeat. Next!
So, more loot, and I gots a shiny new healing dagger. Woot! icecrown loot! I iz a raider fo sho!
Yo man, check out mah leet gear score! Pay no attention to the iLevel 200 Trinkets behind the curtain.
So, guild first Gunship battle kill, same night as the guild first Deathwhisper kill. Rock on, right? We bad, we bad, you know it, uh huh.
Yeah, well, let’s go for the hat trick, and a guild first Deathbringer Saurfang kill.
At this point, I know one thing.
There isn’t enough alcohol for this raid night.
On Deathbringer Saurfang, the trend is definitely confirmed.
See boss. Discuss strategy. Attempt boss. Wipe after a solid attempt, screaming and shouting and carrying on. Then do it a second time and make it look easy.
This is a terrible rut these folks have fallen into.
Don’t they know you’re supposed to wipe four or five times, argue strats in heated tones, reference the almighty Elitist Jerks or Tankspot, then bitch at each other for sucking or pulling aggro?
Long story only slightly shorter, yes, we did in fact take down Deathbringer Saurfang.
I even got enough rep from the night’s extravaganza that I could go get my Friendly Ring, and I chose the tanking one. Woot!
Wow. First four bosses dead in ICC, achievements, loot upgrades, rep Rings…
That was pretty cool.
This raiding thing… it’s pretty neat. I’m not sure the Zuggers get the concept, though. They’re entirely too… I dunno, efficient.
What the hell am I gonna blog about, if all they do is just go in and win?
There is a limit to how many bosses they can see and wipe to the first time, you know. How freaking boring!
Oh well, I’m sure something will turn up.
Like maybe we can go into The Eye and try to brute force Kael’thas.
Yeah, I bet that would be awesome!