I think it should go in the record books as the strangest first raid night for a new team I’ve ever seen.

Team Wanda of Band of Misfits met for their first 25 person raid last night, doing Siege of Orgrimmar in normal mode.

I was puttering around in the house, glanced at the time and thought, “holy crap, it’s 15 minutes to raid time! I better log on, I meant to be there chatting a half hour before the start.”

My expectation was that we’d all log in, see how many showed up, and then find out how many spots we had vacant we’d have to fill.

Hah!

I almost didn’t get to go on the freaking raid.

13 minutes before posted raid start (8 PM central time for those interested in these things) and we were only short three people.

Out of twenty-five.

Or were we?

I say short, but I tell a lie, because really the only folks in the team at that point were the ones invited from our own server.

Invites to cross-server folks went out, and at 5 minutes before we were even supposed to start we already had trash cleared and 24 people standing in front of the boss, buffed and ready to go.

One person, only ONE person from those originally expected to attend wasn’t there at that point, and several folks that were on the “Hey, I’d like to go list” were, guess what, online ready to go.

Eight O’Clock on the button and we’re pulling a boss for the first raid night, and at 8:03, the missing person showed up.

8:03.

“Hey, they just logged in, what do we do”, and the immediate answer was, “Sorry, guess you should have been on time. We’re full.”

Tom has adopted a new motto he seemed overly fond of, “Five minutes early is ten minutes too late.”

Harsh? Amazingly enough the solution is within the power of the person to control. If you want to go, you show up early!

It’s not like anyone is being asked to struggle and suffer for this.

You want to talk about suffering to raid? Do you remember raiding in Burning Crusade? Do you remember all of the scrolls, the potions and flasks, the food, the various buff stones and mana stones and sharpening stones and shit you had to bring to be ‘ready’ for each progression raid?

Shall we discuss… attunement chains and keys and resist gear? Shall we? Let’s not.

Somewhere on this blog I once made a list in BC to help folks be prepared and on time, I should go find a link to it, just to have something to point at and laugh.

Better yet, print it out, place it on an altar surrounded by lit candles, play some monk chants on a CD player, get a bunch of friends together and point at it, laugh at it, and thens et it on fire as a sacrifice to the Gods of utter futility.

These days, you just gotta be reforged, repaired and bring a flask. Someone even brings you the best food on a noodle cart, it doesn’t get more relaxed than that.

Next expansion, we won’t even have reforging to worry about. What’s next? Removing food buffs? Removing potions so you’ve only got a single possible flask buff per role, and a health or mana pot per fight?

These days, you don’t even have to sweat repairing first. If you forgot to repair, someone will have a Jeeves. And if you didn’t reforge? Well, you can go kiss my ass, but sure, someone probably has one of those crazy 100,000 gold mounts.

I can’t tell you the last time I saw someone show up for a raid only three minutes late, and be told “Whoops, you’re too late, spot’s already filled and we’re pulling. Other people were hungrier, next time pack a lunch.”

Eagerness and timeliness are a good sign. :)

On the progression side of things, the raid lasted exactly one hour and forty-five minutes without breaks, and we cleared up to and through General Nazgrim. We debated going after Malkorok in the 15 minutes we had left, but Tom felt there was too much trash in the way to get it done exactly by the two hour mark.

You have to give him credit. He may expect you to be on time, but he also respects that when the raid is supposed to be over, the raid is supposed to be over.

First night with a brand spanking new 25 person raid team, everyone early and up for it and 8 bosses down in normal mode.

I’m not all that sharp at times, but even I think this bodes well.

Second raid night is Sunday, we’ve got four hours to kill six bosses.

Somehow, and I know this sounds crazy, but somehow I think we might do it. Maybe, just possible, kind of magic eight ball says all signs point to yes levels of expectation.

Want to know the secret of our success?

It helps when more than half the team are normally part of a 10 person heroic-geared progression team, including both tanks and several healers, and everyone knows the fight.

It also helps when most folks don’t need anything from normal raids, they’re waiting for us to get settled in and begin the heroics. We might on the average overgear normals. Maybe.

My favorite parts of the night were the repeated times Tom would start explaining how we do a fight, and someone would immediately do some crazy shit like drop Rain of Fire on the Sha or wander near a Dark Shaman puppy and facepull the boss.

“Blah blah blah OH SHIT WE’RE DOING IT LIVE GO!”

Really, the only fight that didn’t go smoothly was General Nazgrim. Lots of ravagers up for some reason, and at the end Tom decided to push the kill and keep fighting through Defensive stance when Nazgrim was still at 18% health.

We killed him, but it was a case of ‘last few standing, bring home the flag.’

So. Much. Ravagers.

If World of Warcraft were modable like Minecraft is, wouldn’t you like to be able to swap one thing in a mechanic for something else?

Like, say, swap Nazgrim’s Ravager Axe for actual Outlands Ravagers?

That would be so much fun! Every time Nazgrim gets too much rage, another ravager critter would appear and chew on someone’s face with the Firelands Rageface mechanic.

Can’t you just hear the screams of “get it off, get it off, GET IT OFF OF ME!!!!!”

Also, that would give people a reason to hold a personal grudge against someone else in the raid that stood in the splash and gave Nazgrim tons of extra rage. “It’s YOUR fault I got ragefaced! How’s about next time you get your slow ass out of the splash?”

Such hilarious fun it would be! But at least then you could burn down the extra ravager and move on with your life, it wouldn’t be floating around the whole match.

Anyway, all I can say is, in the words of Shang Tsung, IT HAS BEGUN!

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