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. 

I have it on good authority that once the Hunter has left the ship, the Rocket Pack no longer works.

Gotta love that Goblin engineering, eh?

The second try, we all made it into battle, and we totally kicked their ass.

Like, totally.

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.

Wait, what?

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?

Noobs. Lrn2dramaz.

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!

26 Responses to “Raiding can be fun! Who knew?”
  1. Jason says:

    Great article but I really need to get this off my chest… It’s spelled MARROWGAR!

  2. Pacheco says:

    A very fun time for sure – Yay guild firsts!

    As long as one of the Hunters gets the bow no one really loses because it boosts the guild’s dps as a whole. At least that’s what I told myself when I lost the roll. :)
    .-= Pacheco´s last blog ..ICC U! =-.

  3. Sarabian says:

    Congratulations on seeing the very awesome content in there. ICC is a lot more fun than Ulduar was, and I think harder. I still miss Karazhan and Naxxramas, tho.

  4. Naturalregis says:

    It was an awesome night, that one. And lots of fun!

    Although I think Saurfang took us 4 times. First time, just get used to it. Second time, I screwed up the timing of my taunts. Third time, Raz screwed up the timing of his taunts. But the fourth time, we pulled it together. :P
    .-= Naturalregis´s last blog ..But I’m a tank, damnit! =-.

  5. bigbearbutt says:

    Omigod, you went and infected Pacheco with blogging.

  6. bigbearbutt says:

    Waaaaiiiiittttt a second….. Hello Tauren was there first! Who the heck are these Wayward Initiative johnny come latelies, riding on Pacheco’s tauren tail?

  7. bigbearbutt says:

    Jason… deep breath, dude. Deep breath.

    Okay, ready?

    “Rouge”

    [head explodes]

  8. Naturalregis says:

    Yup, it’s Pach’s fault that we write anything. She’s an inspiration to be a) a better blogger, b) a better cook, and c) a better person. :)
    .-= Naturalregis´s last blog ..But I’m a tank, damnit! =-.

  9. bigbearbutt says:

    @Broken… Oh, go and change your armor!

  10. Minos says:

    The bear Rocket Butt is hilarious, but the other forms get kinda shafted. Can you rocket in tree form with the invisible pack? I DPSed it for the first time this week, and was sad to find out rocketing in cat form shifts you back out to caster form. I’m glad it doesn’t do that when I’m a bear, Muradin could squish me before I even got into bear form.

    I wonder how rocket-friendly moonkin form is, too.

  11. Gaborn says:

    Thanks BBB, love your blog.

    As the MT and raid leader for the Audubon Ballroom, and with Marrowgar as our weekly this week as well. I too led an intrepid group of hopefuls into ICC in an attempt to clear the lower spire yesterday. With my furry butt tanking alongside a prot warrior, we had a similar experience. Stop, explain, wipe, come back, explain again, change someone from melee to casting and succeed. The Gunship battle is a lot of fun, and I think the rocket pack graphic is hilarious. I think we faced Saurfang 4 times before changing a melee to a caster to provide extra assistance with the blood beasts.

    Thank You for confirming that not every ICC is a straightforward clear through the lower spire. You have provided a big morale boost to our guild members.

  12. Kattrinsaa says:

    aargh, you had to bring up the bane to my sanity. (that being wonderpets) i have a 4 year old and a 5 year old. both learned how to turn on the entertainment system by themselves, and know that noggin/nickjr is press one one zero enter. and that the knob for volume can be turned as far right as they want to make sure mommy and daddy get up.

    otherwise, gratz bear, i envy you the ability to get in and play, much less raid.. (for why, check my post)
    .-= Kattrinsaa´s last blog ..Changing directions =-.

  13. Alexis says:

    The gunship Saurfang thing is a well-known bug. It’s not that the taunt misses any more than normal–it’s that the tank taunts him, and then he resets and goes barreling off after our resto druid. Every time on gunship I am treated to the sound of my prot warrior boyfriend sitting next to me swearing at Saurfang for resetting and running after whoever he feels like.

  14. Angie says:

    Sounds like a blast! I love raiding. I’ve only done it a few times, seeing as my gearscore is only 4500 on my huntard and people keep going “No, you. Your fail GS is too fail for [x raid].” I hate people like that. I had the pleasure of getting into a 25-man ICC pug (total pug, too, total strangers), and we kicked Saurfang’s ass in one try. And then I made the mistake of offering to dps for a 10-man normal ICC pug, and they told me I was undergeared… “I went with a 25-man group just the other day and did fine!” (even got some compliments on mah trappin’.) I told them. Skill > GS, right? But nooo. Isn’t 25-man harder than 10-man? So if I’m good enough for the harder one, I should be fine for the easier one. They said something about not having the buffs to boost my dps that high. I raged at the ignorance. Everyone was buffed the same, so the damage ratio comparison between the dps would still have been nearly the same. RAWR. /endrant

    Anyway, point being that efficiency in raids is fantastic! :D

  15. Fangtastic says:

    One thing I’ve learned when tanking Saurfang on my bear is, you don’t want to hit glyphed maul when the blood beasts spawn. :)

    I’m on a break from raiding right now, but I was carrying a stack of maul glyphs with me, dropping the glyph of maul and replacing with growl for that fight. Yes, our taunts can miss (I play horde, so I dont quite understand Alexis’s comment about the gunship and Saurfang? Does Saurfang make an appearance on the Gunship? I have the taunt problem on Deathbringer Saurfang, Saurfang’s son who was taken by Arthas at the Wrathgate – boss #4 in ICC).

    And for tree mana in ICC, Ephemeral Snowflake for the win! A gorgeous trinket out of HHoR, the stats are:

    Equip: You gain 11 mana each time you heal a target with one of your spells.
    Use: Grants 464 (14.15% @ L80) haste rating for 20 sec. (2 Min Cooldown)

    Zero direct spellpower, but delicious mana return and amazing burst haste for when you needed. I have Vuhdo set to trigger trinkets for me and it does this whenever I cast nourish or swiftmend. That means that for light raid damage my cooldown is not used, and when shit hits the fan, this tree can pump out heals like no tomorrow (for 20 seconds, but thats often enough!).

  16. Joar says:

    As a confessed altoholic, I have to admit that I’ve also found myself slipping into the occasional ICC raid lately and *cough* actually enjoying myself.

    And I absolutely share your love of iLevel 200 Trinkets on my druid! lol
    .-= Joar´s last blog ..Warlock Tier Set Pieces =-.

  17. Nimizar says:

    @Fang: as far as the gunship goes, I believe Saurfang is to the Alliance as Muradin is to the Horde.

  18. Haupt says:

    That hole brute force Kaelthas….been there, then the 10K DPS mage get mind controlled…bad things happen…. very bad things. Not to self when we go back someone is picking up the dagger

  19. Hendryx says:

    So, you like Regrowth, huh? Well, I understand why you’re using it, but I would council against such a strategy. It’s one of the reasons you seem to be having mana problems.

    Instead of Regrowth, I’d suggest a Nourish->Rejuv. It’s faster, less mana, and does what you really want to do better. I generally use Regrowth as a tank HoT.

    Also, I try to position myself between the tanks and some of the ranged, so my Wild Growths, when cast on myself, have a chance to hit nearly every one in the raid. When you start doing that, you’ll want to WG on cooldown. Beyond that, I try to blanket the raid in Rejuvs, keep Regrowth on the tanks, and spot heal with Swiftmend and Nourishes.

  20. Naturalregis says:

    @Fang – I’m not glyphed for Growl and I didn’t have any growl issues the next time we went in there. What seemed to be my issue was that I was taunting too early, trying to anticipate the Rune of Blood debuff on the other tank. It worked much better AFTER the debuff gets placed on Tank #2. That said, I also made the mistake of mis-timing my glyphed maul to hit a Blood Beast once or twice. :P Fortunately it didn’t take long for our dps to fix my silly mistake. :P
    .-= Naturalregis´s last blog ..But I’m a tank, damnit! =-.

  21. Fangtastic says:

    Just out of curiousity, what sort of spell power do you have? I find that with raid healing, rejuv alone at T9 isn’t enough and regrowths are often needed for folks that took a little extra damage (and are likely to again soon).

    I keep regrowth, rejuv, lifebloom x 3 and nourish on tanks.

    With better gear, I see WG and Rejuv taking over the brunt of the raid healing I do. Druid healing methods have evolved with gear for me.

  22. Rob says:

    Thanks BBB, now i’m insanely jealous. I can’t get ICC10 done on my horde toons to save my life; mostly i go in with my DK tank. idk what it is about that server. My Alliance server (where i have a nicely geared tree), its usually not a problem.

    Anyway last night, figured go in, try to get it down. Couldn’t even get past marrowgar. I did get some rep and the friendly ring. So, it was worth it for me. But lord. You are kidding, can’t get through marrowgar? The dps despite doing 6-7k each, can’t get into his hitbox? The healers can’t heal? The bone spikes can’t be brought down? Gah. Oh well.

    Previous attempt? I have avg ilvl 245 gear. “You aren’t geared enough to do ICC10 first few bosses with a 10% buff” says the ICC25 geared tree healer. You are shitting me. Okay, fine whatever, disband raid.

    Attempt before that? Got through marrowgar/deathwhisper…Couldn’t get past the gunship. “oh we are supposed to heal the tanks?”. Agh. I just can’t stand it.

  23. Rob says:

    @Fan

    For raid heals, i do regrowth/WG. The issue is the spikey damage. Rejuv is great, efficient spell, but the first tic takes..what 3-5 seconds? An eternity in raid time. I’m not saying remove rejuv from your cast bar, but by and large those tics dont help much. Unless its marrowgar during bone storm, or festergut (where everyone gets a rejuv/regrowth set, gotta love 5000 hps on that fight). Don’t worry if the raid isn’t taking alot of damage, you aren’t trying to beat meters (RIGHT?). If the raid/tanks are dying, then look at the bigger picture. From my experience, the shamans, paladines, etc. will top off the dps long before your rejuvs even notice they should be healing the target and not sitting on their ass.

    For tank heals, always make sure you have 1x LB 1x regrowth 1x rejuv. That should take 6 seconds or so. At that point cast nourish, not before. (wonder if HT is more efficient than nourish at that point?).

  24. SpookyCrisp says:

    I have it on good authority that a noob lock can totally pwn strategy.

  25. Cathy says:

    I enjoy raids with folks I know and when it isn’t too serious. Thats not to say I don’t want folks doing their job but if its too intense, its just no fun. I tend to use rejuv and wild growth and love the Ephemeral Snowflake trinket with nourish if the tank runs into issues. It’s a lifesaver but does suck alot of mana. Great for an accidentally double trash pull or during an enrage. I keep the tank as hotted as possible throughout the fights and try to stay out of trouble myself:)
    .-= Cathy´s last blog ..Blonde PVP moments =-.

  26. Aur says:

    Nice job in ICC! BTW, in absence of a rogue, a lock can pop the traps from a safe distance using Eye of Killrogg. Kinda takes the fun away from the body-trip method though!

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