Archive for the “Raiding” Category

I ran the new LFR with a bunch of experienced raiding guildies last night.

I have a bit of a war warning for you. A notice to be attentive on the Twin Consorts.

There is this incredibly fun mechanic in Twin Consorts.

There are four celestial pedestals, one in each corner of the room. On these pedestals is one of each of the four Celestials in miniature, crane for DPS on the boss, tiger to slow down the boss attacks, ox to increase the raids health and dragon to grant health and mana regen.

No Life at 90 once again did an outstanding write-up on LFR mechanics that makes perfect sense once you’ve done it once and have seen what they’re describing. I’m delighted to link to their post, so if you’d like some excellent details on how to do the fights, you can find them there.

I’m here to talk pedestals.

These pedestals are awesome.

If you run to one and click on it, it takes you out of phase to the rest of the raid and bosses, and the chamber clears out to be replaced with a shadowy replica of the room, and seven stars in the center.

You have a pattern appear over your head, and you must run through the stars in the room to duplicate that pattern, starting with the brightest star. If done correctly, you are returned to the raid chamber to the fight already in progress, the celestial appears and the effect begins.

Here is an image from our ten normal run on Sunday to show you exactly what I mean.

Twin Consorts celestial small

As you can see from the picture, there is a little picture over your head that shows the motion of your projected path through the stars. You can also see that I am just completing the “W” path, and the beacon of light over the star that you must use as your starting point.

If you fail to do the pattern correctly, the star that you ran through that was wrong pulses red. You have to start over. If you take too long, then you are booted from the phase just as if you’d done the whole thing correctly… and after a couple of seconds the pedestals all reset and you (or someone else) can try again.

Since I did it successfully on normal, our pre-made peeps on vent nominated me to take control of this mechanic and lock anyone else out from using it at the wrong times. Perhaps my having the lowest DPS among our guildies in the pre-made also had something to do with it. :)

Here is why this is a concern in LFR.

When one pedestal is clicked, the player that activated it is taken out of phase. While in there, nobody else can interact with or use any pedestal.

There is a limited amount of time to correctly do the pattern, and if the person fails they are returned to the raid. But they take no damage while inside, and they are not blocked from immediately trying again.

If you take too long, if for example you just entered the phase and /danced, then at the end of the time allowed you are returned to the raid, where you can immediately click the pedestal in front of you and try again.

I’ll say that again. Whoever is the fastest to click any pedestal when they come to life will be the first and only person to enter the phase, presented with the pattern for that pedestal, and the game waits for you to successfully duplicate the pattern, locking out all others. If you fail, there are no consequences to you the player at all. You are simply returned to the fight.

Once a celestial effect is successfully activated, the player is returned to the raid, and while the effect is live, all the pedestals are inert. So, there is a short period of time you can use to get to another pedestal and be ready to click on it to activate it as soon as the last celestial effect wears off.

There are four pedestals, one for each celestial effect. You can use each effect only once total spanning the night/day phases, and then they all reset when dusk phase begins.

Think about that for a second.

There is a mechanic in Twin Consorts that lets someone click a pedestal, be taken out of the raid area to a special place where there is NO DAMAGE WHATSOEVER, where they can do whatever they’d like until the timer runs out. Then, they are returned to the raid standing in front of that pedestal, which will reset in just a few seconds for them to click it again.

This is LFR we’re talking about. How long will it be before someone simply clicks a pedestal and stands there phased out doing nothing for the entire fight, preventing anyone else in the raid from using any of the special effects while they were at it?

I would strongly have desired there to be an LFR-only lockout, where if  a player goes into a pedestal, when they came out it would prevent them from interacting with any other pedestal again.

That would give eight players out of twenty-five the opportunity to use and experience the phased space every pull, while preventing any one player from bogarting the celestial kingdom.

Maybe it’s not a perfect solution, but I think it would solve more problems than it would cause, and encourage people to learn the mechanic. I’d be happy with it.

As I said at the beginning, our pre-made players nominated me to do all the celestial pedestals, and let everyone know in raid chat I’d be handling it, so not to worry about it.

Even so, we had an arms Warrior that wanted to fight me for them, without actually activating them.

Yep, that fast.

At the beginning, I took the Tiger and activated it. Our intention was to use the Tiger in night to slow down the green mists that put you to sleep, give you a chance to duck away from some of the AOE damage.

Then I would leave them all alone until day phase, where I would in sequence use Crane for the direct DPS against the Sun boss, Dragon for the healing and mana regen because OMIGOD flame buff and ignored Ice Comets, and then I’d ignore Ox and just DPS.

What actually happened was, I activated Tiger, and then proceeded to DPS. While doing so, I kept an eye out for the pedestals, just to see if anyone else intended to play with them.

I saw the arms Warrior go over to Ox, and sure enough, he clicked it and vanished. After a while, he reappeared but there wasn’t an Ox. He failed to activate it.

Then he vanished again.

Huh. Well, let him play say I, because we weren’t planning on using Ox anyway. Who cares, if he wants to learn the mechanic instead of DPS, well, it’s LFR.

Day phase hit, and now we needed more celestial action, so off I went to get the Crane, and look at this, I’m in a race to activate it before the Warrior got to the Crane and clicked it first. Will he activate it if he goes inside? Do I risk it?

I won the race, activated Crane and came out, to rocket off towards the Dragon.

From that point on, I was in a race against the Warrior to see who would reach the pedestals first. Fortunately, I had the advantages of Engineering rocket belt and Burning Tendrils to get to the next one before the previous effect wore off, and I knew when I would be coming out and which ones were going to be dead.

Mind you, we had announced in raid chat that I was going to handle the celestials, so not to worry about the bloody things. And the whole time this is going on, I’m DPSing at range on the run while getting to the pedestals while the Warrior is just running around screwing with the corners of the room, accomplishing nothing, hoping to get in before me.

I managed to get them all anyway except for Ox, and then DPSed until Dusk, where I was under strict orders to activate Crane immediately to get maximum DPS on both bosses at once.

I got that off, but before I could reach tiger, in my Warrior buddy went.

In my defense, I had to avoid some Flames of Passion to get there, that routed me around the long way. Pedestal Defense FAIL!

In he went, but if he activates it, it’s all good, right?

Nope, no effect. Out he comes, accomplishing nothing, and there I am frantically clicking the dead air.

I’ve got Tom cranky on vent wondering where the hell his Tiger is, and I’m all “Damnit, give me just a sec here” and I managed to get in and get it done.

So, was the Warrior trying to get practice on the mechanic, and just really bad? Or was he trying to afk out of the run and screw us over at the same time?

I couldn’t tell you, but the effect was the same, and he might as well have just died on the stairs with the other three who got locked out behind a wall on the pull for all the DPS he did.

So, you’ve been warned, right?

Twin Consorts; because trolls didn’t have enough ways of being a pest before.

4/17/13 – updated with added picture

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Progression.

It means just one thing – moving further than you’ve gone before. Or does it?

In World of Warcraft it’s usually used to talk about raiding, but it’s not just what boss you’re on.

I’ve been raiding on my Beastmaster Hunter now for a few months, and I’m fortunate enough to be playing with a team that has been able to successfully (and repeatedly!) kill all the bosses in Mogushan Vaults.

So, progression. We started with no bosses, and kept working on them one at a time, getting better each week until now we’re able to clear the entire raid instance in a single 2-hour run.

Some groups out there are far further along than we are, killing bosses in harder raids or heroic modes, and some folks out there aren’t yet as far along as we, still working on earlier bosses.

S’all good.

The fact remains, we have progressed and succeeded. We haven’t fallen apart, we haven’t had a lucky kill that we can’t duplicate, we’re still moving forward.

I’m very happy about that.

But that doesn’t mean everyone in the team is happy.

It’s about expectations.

Last night we had a rough night in some respects. There are bosses we have on farm that we usually one-shot, well we had some wipes to ‘em. We still killed them, but it slowed us down more than expected.

I could tell it was disheartening. I could feel it, some folks felt we WERE moving backward, falling behind… losing progression.

We didn’t fall apart into whining and finger pointing. We dug in and went again. And again. And we succeeded, killing them all and ending the day with another complete clear.

not just a clear, but the last fight of the evening on Will of the Emperor was also one of our smoothest ever. The timing on the end phase was freaking perfect. Not a close one, not a squeaker, we destroyed Will of the Emperor.

What was the progression that made me happy? We didn’t kill any bosses that we hadn’t done before, and in some respects we were slower than usual.

The progression came from doing better on the fights that we have the least experience in. Sure, some of the early ‘farm’ fights were flopping around, but Elegon and Will of the Emperor were great. Better than we’ve done before.

On a purely personal level, I had a great night.

I’ve been trying to do my best as a Beastmaster Hunter on these raids each week, and my DPS has been okay, even good, but I’ve always felt that I was not coordinating my cooldowns and priorities and Focus management quite right. I could do better.

Last night, on every pull I tried my hardest to nail down my timing, figure out where I wasn’t hitting the right transitions.

Frostheim has said it before, and it is so true, we have a lot of buttons to manage. A lot of things to prioritize, and every attack or cooldown you use is a GCD that means everything else waits a skosh.

Last night my goal was to get every single one of them perfect. To have my Focus at the exact point that the moment Kill Command or Glaive were up, I was using them, no moments wasted. Cobra Shot used only as much as necessary to get the Focus needed, and no more.

No wasted GCDs. Uptime of the best shots. That was the goal.

I’m sure most folks don’t think it’s that big a thing and do it as a matter of course, but not me.

I worked hard on it, and I had a few good runs last night where I feel I nailed it. And I also learned what was working right and what rhythm helped me move in sync with my cooldowns.

At one point, I used all of my utility, did everything I was supposed to do, hit every point and ended with 86k DPS for the boss fight. I was so damn happy with myself, I had to whisper a friend, bursting with excitement,  “86 freaking K freaking DPS, bitch!”

Keep in mind, other folks in our group regularly have higher DPS that I do, and last night was no exception. Monstre alone came in and did over 250k DPS on one of the fights last night. So I’m not whispering because I’m el numero uno head honcho. I was genuinely delighted because it wasn’t about being better than someone else, it was about setting a new bar for me to reach. A damn good bar. I played in the zone, as perfect as I could, and THAT was where I was at. From now on, that is the new goal for me to try and beat, and every fight I’ll still be looking at my abilities trying to see where I can switch something or prioritize something to do better.

Bosses were going to die anyway. In reality, I probably could have been half drunk and pushing buttons randomly, and we would have still won, and at about the same pace.

My progression, my satisfaction was in doing better than I had ever done before, and that left me on a natural high.

Well, goodie for me. I talked to one of our raiders a little later, just a quick chat about next week, and she seemed really down. I was genuinely surprised, we cleared all of Mogushan Vaults, whole thing in two hours. Sure, could have been faster, but in my book that ain’t failsauce.

I’ve been in first half LFRs that have taken longer than that, no lie.

But they were still down about it. Sounded kind of bummed. And that comes back to expectations and what progression means to each of us.

Just because I’m happy we cleared MSV, and just because I had a good time because I felt I was improving my skills and refining my technique doesn’t mean other people in the raid group had the same goals… or the same measure of success.

If your goal is to reach a certain point, clear a raid just so you can have a certain number of attempts on one difficult boss you’d like to get past before the new patch reduces the challenge, then anything less than meeting that goal is a failure, isn’t it?

What if you have your heart set on reaching Garalon? You don’t expect any difficulties in getting there, you’re not concerned with the old stuff, you have your sights set on this one goal. Get Garalon.

If that’s what you need to feel you have progressed, then not reaching that goal will suck. It will be a big downer, because you failed to reach that goal when you expected to.

Same raid team. But some are going home happy and others are going home depressed.

It’s just something to think about. Everyone has their own goals and definitions for progression and success, and while you are focused on trying to meet your own goals, it’s good to take a look at what the goal for your TEAM is, and do your best to make that happen too.

If your goal is to be better at your own role in the group, but other people in the team have the goal of reaching Garalon, then part of being a good teammate is doing what you can to help the whole team get all the goals met, not just yours.

So, yeah, we ended the night well. We didn’t slide backwards, we didn’t choke on a boss or hit a wall.

But we ended the night down, because we could have gone further, faster. And for at least one person, we didn’t progress. And that SUCKS.

Next time, hopefully we’ll get it done and meet the goals everyone has, and then everyone in the team can walk away happy, feeling that glow from a job well done.

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I’ve been raiding one night a week with some folks in the guild, I wasn’t able to stay with a weekend team but I’ve been lucky, these folks can raid on a weeknight late enough that my son is in bed for most of it.

How much can you get done in one night a week, though, when it’s just two hours? I say two hours, because we are scheduled for two and a half, but I need a break in there to get my son tucked into bed.

Yes, I know. I’m that raider on your team you would hate. It’s okay for you to tell me you’d hate to raid with someone like me, I know. I know all too well. There you are, your team is flying high, everything is in the groove, you are just getting cooking, and here comes this dude an hour in, “Hey guys, sorry, gotta go get my son brushed teeth and tucked into bed, sorry for the buzzkill. Be back soon.”

Priorities.

I’ve said it before, I may look like I’m logged in for 6 hours straight, but most of that time I’m afk… no, I wasn’t ignoring you, I was showing my son how to make a new design for a paper airplane. Or looking at a cool scene he wants to share from Transformers; Dark of the Moon. Since when does Optimus Prime have lips? Or watching him take on a pet team two levels higher, and taming a new rare quality Tundra Penguin. Those penguins are badass. Or I’m wandering around upstairs, wondering where I left my book. Is itin the bathroom? No? then where the hell… Or leaving the game on to go eat dinner and watch Top Chef or Chopped, because, hey, why even bother logging out? It’s not like there are people waiting in a queue… and ever since Mists of Pandaria released, it takes about 10 minutes for me just to log into the game, what with waiting for shit to decide if the game is up to date or not. Every. Single. time.

Okay, that one time, I was just ignoring you. But I don’t make a hobbit of it or anything.

With all that distraction, only two hours to raid one night a week, what can you really get done?

Well… for starters, you can clear Mogu’shan Vaults and also take down the first boss in Heart of Fear. :)

We’d been consistently clearing the first four bosses of Mogu’shan Vaults, then taking a couple runs at Elegon before switching over to Heart of Fear each week.

Last night, we cleared through Mogu’shan to Elegon as usual, had a rocky start with the first few Celestial Protectors dying inside the ring when Total Annihilation went off… but despite that we still went on to one shot it for our first Elegon kill ever!

I’m not sure how many attempts we’ve had over the last few weeks… maybe 7 or 8. More? Still, I think we were all a little surprised that after a weeks break, we came back and killed it on our first try of the night.

From there, we went straight to our first-ever run at the Will of the Emperor in normal mode, and we encountered the Convert To Raid effect;

“Yay! First ever kill of Elegon!”

20 minutes later…. “Yay! We’ve cleared Mogu’shan Vaults!”

It’s just like the guys at Convert To Raid say… once you’ve got Elegon down, the Will of the Emperor isn’t quite at the same level of challenge.

One thing that’s interesting is we had two healers for Elegon, but Tom had us switch to three healing on Will of the Emperor. He said that the healers may be bored for a lot of the fight, but once Titan Gas hit, they’d be going into overdrive.

True or not, I know that we one shot Will of the Emperor, but I felt we were right on the edge of having enough DPS to handle the adds, but not a smidgen more. I enjoyed how the fight feels, I felt challenged as DPS to get the adds down fast enough to be able to switch to the bosses when Titan Gas comes up without distraction. Hustle your butts! Keep calm and DPS HARDER.

What a crazy night. We cleared MSV for the first time, all in one night, and had enough time left over to travel to Heart of Fear and get a kill in there as well, making it seven bosses in two and a half hours.

All the cool kids may be off doing heroics and nibbling on the TOES, but I’m pretty impressed with our progress. I’ve been in LFR groups that killed fewer bosses in that time.

Sadly, yes I have.

Grats to Team Dippy for clearing the first raid in Mists of Pandaria!

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The holidays are sadly over, and the winter blahs have begun.

You know what this means, right?

The return of the Bear Sunday Fun Runs!

Hopefully the emphasis is on the “fun”.

When:

I’m planning on our first 25 person run of the new year being this Sunday, January 13th, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM Central Standard Time (CST, also known as Greenwich Mean Time GMT – 6 hours).

Who can take part:

Before I get into the details, in order to be a part of these cross-server runs, you have to have your participating character be Alliance, and also be part of the North American/US server group. It makes me sad that I can’t play with so many awesome people I read about and follow from the European servers, but, well, that’s what we get to deal with.

Typical Bear digression wandering away from the topic:

On the positive side, I do get to play with Aussies and listen to their awesome accents. On the negative, well… Canadians.

Just kidding! A lot of my guildies are Canuckleheads, they know I love them and their poutine. Oh, and Canadian Bacon? This just in. IT’S HAM!

I have to be careful not to antagonize the Canadian folk too much. I live in Minnesota, and in the long cold winters, I can hear them up there the other side of Lake Superior, sharpening their ice skates and thinking long thoughts on our bacon. If we push them too far, I can see them sweeping down out of the North with their sharpened hockey sticks poised to attack, ready to eradicate our heretical salty-sweet crispy smoked-pork ways.

What was this post supposed to be about, and how the HELL did I get to talking about a war with Canada over bacon?

OH, RIGHT!

Coming back to what we’re doing and who can take part:

This go around, with successful ICC and Ulduar achievement runs under our belts, I want to bring us up into the more recent Cataclysm days.

Specifically, this week I am putting together a 25 person team to go into Firelands this Sunday to do a complete clear, up to and including Ragnaros.

This first run would be a ‘getting familiar’ run, not a full-fledged achievement run or heroic mode kill. What achievements could be done quick or as part of the normal run we’ll go for, but the emphasis on this first run will be on spending the two hours getting everyone in the team familiar with each fight and understanding the basics.

Oh yeah, and on killing lots of flame-based mobs.

Right now, I do NOT have anyone in the group confirmed aside from Alex, Cassie and myself. Nobody has dibs on legendary questline items, nobody is a confirmed tank or healer, it’s a brand new fresh run starting up as of today.

Now, what makes this run different from previous Bear Sunday Fun Runs is that this is very recent content. I believe it will still be challenging for a group that is not used to playing and communicating as a team, especially once we get into achievements.

What I’m leading up to is the level requirement, and class composition.

For this team, I prefer that everyone in the group be level 90. I’m not going to be a hardass about it, the occasional 88 or 89 won’t be a problem. But I’d definitely prefer most of us be level 90.

As far as class composition, we’ve always been lucky in the past to have a great mix of tanks, healers and DPS players. The only difference this time is, I’m going to be looking to confirm folks in those tank and healing roles before the Sunday night run comes. I want us each to be as prepared as possible for what we’re going to be doing.  

Today Ragnaros, tomorrow the achievements!

Once this Sunday introduction run is complete, the following Sunday runs we will work on completing each of the related Glory achievements. Because of that, I hope that each person who signs up to take part will be able to keep coming back for the next few weeks, so we can get the entire group through as a team.

Yeah yeah, how do I sign up for a spot and a role?

If you are already on my Battletag friends’ list, then just whisper me when I log in this week or email me and let me know you want to take part, and what role you want to play in the team. I will start a list, and it’s a done deal.

If you are in my guild, I will be putting the run up on the calander so you can sign up, and I will be whispering you to see how sure you are you will be able to take part Sunday, and as what role.

And if you are neither of those things, email me at thebigbearbutt@gmail.com and we’ll work out the Battletag stuff so as to be sure to get you in no matter what US server you happen to be on.

Aw shit, legendary drama.

One last thing. If you are specifically intending to take part in the raid to further your progression in the legendary weapon questline, you must let me know IN ADVANCE of the run, including details on how far along you may already be. Emailing me is fine. I will make a list of each person, and figure out by some arcane manner who will go first, and let everyone involved know before Sunday. If you have never started it before and are hoping to do so now, make sure you email me so we can talk.  

I’m really looking forward to this.

I know a lot of people out there were raiding full time at the leading edge during Cataclysm and are sick of Firelands, but I always liked it, and I know neither Cassie nor Alex were able to take part in a Ragnaros kill. I have to figure we’re not alone in that, so hopefully we’ll have enough folks eager to go that we’ll be able to have a hot time in the old town this weekend.

I hope to see you there!

UPDATE 1/9/13: The tank situation has been covered, as Askevar and Venoym are going to provide the skilled tanking services for the team this Sunday.

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Let’s talk about raiding, and the news coming from all of the Developer interviews.

The feel is, Blizzard is committed to trying to release new content patches every two months or so, and some kind of new raid every four months.

This is coupled with the idea that, rather than nerfing existing raids over time to make them more accessible, they will leave them as is (aside from possible bug fixes).

So, for example, we could see the expansion hit as it did, then 5.1 come along two months later giving us new tons of new non-raid content, and then four months after that the first new big raid. And we’ll ahve two months to say, “Oh nice, a raid” before more non-raid content.

A new raid in four months that has had the mighty word “Ulduar” invoked when describing it.

What does that mean?

I just had the pleasure of running in Ulduar 25 on Sunday night (dear lord, I love seeing Ulduar), so the experience is fresh in my mind.

We have no specifics on what ‘Ulduar’ means in regards to the new raid, but it could mean a massive location with both indoor and outdoor areas, or it could mean 10 to 12 bosses (or more) in different wings to spread things out and vary the feel, it could mean new hard modes… it could even mean that epic scope of architecture and setting.

Or, it could mean the assault on Orgrimmar. Who the heck knows. I’m still thinking way too soon for that. We have a lot more story buildup before that happens. Maybe even another year of buildup. Or more!

But in about three, three and a half months we should get the new raid, whatever it is, and then two months after that, more non-raid stuffs.

That seems like ideal pacing to me.

It’s not enough time for most raiding guilds to get everyone everything they could use for upgrades from the existing bosses, RNG will see to that. But for those folks that may be stuck on earlier content, new raids bring new LFR, new opportunities at more powerful upgrades, and that gives you a built-in buff to clear the content you’re stuck on.

How cool is that? If they can keep that kind of pace up, we will always be looking toward the future, and if we do get down time, quiet time where we’re ahead… then we can run the older raids that we’ve moved past to try for those items that we really wish we’d won.

The lesson we need to remember here is, old raids are NOT dead content. Old raids represent fun opportunities to run with friends when we overgear the shit out of them for transmog stuff. And they are palces new pets and mounts can be added later!

Another point to ponder… at what point does a raid move from ‘current content’ to ‘old content’? When a new full paid expansion is released, or when a new tier of raids comes out in a content patch?

If it’s a content patch, then the new ‘current content’ raids can remain locked to single-realm raiding, while the older ones are broken free to cross-realm teams.

I’m really excited about all of this. Can you tell?

See, I’m in a raid situation where we are still on the first raid instance of the three that are out, but I still think this rocks.

When it comes to raiding, my personal sitaution has had a major upheaval in the last few weeks.

I really tried to maintain the Saturday afternoon raiding, but I couldn’t do it.

What it came down to was, I just can’t lock out a four hour chunk of time on Saturday afternoon every week for the raid. Once in a while was fine, but when you start talking a regular, weekly commitment, that changes everything.

The weekend is really the only time we have to do crazy family stuff… like driving to Duluth to see the aquarium, or hit Chicago, or whatever. Or to do home work, like paint rooms or install appliances to make repairs. Ah, the joys of home ownership.

I live in Minnesota. You’d be surprised how often the snow boss comes out to play. Funny story there, but maybe another time.

Anyway, I just couldn’t maintain Saturday raiding. I had to leave Team Snuffy, with a HUGE amount of sadness. We were really kicking ass, coming together as a team, and while it’s nice to leave on a high note with the first two bosses down in Vaults, it’s still a bummer.

With every door that closes, though, there is one that might be opening if you look for it, and Askevar and Venoym, who recently joined the guild, have started putting together an ‘alt night’ guild raid group on Thursdays.

In other news, Askevar will be on the Follow the Leader podcast in the next show, so make sure to follow them and check it out!

So, with them putting a once-a-week raid up on Thursday nights, late enough that my son is in bed for most of it, this is something I can do if they’ll have me. I know I’m a lot happier with it. :)

The new raid team on Thursdays has a name… I wish I could say I thought of it, but I didn’t. All I did was embrace it, and hold it close to my heart in happiness.

Askevar and Venoyms raid team on Thursdays is called… wait for it…  Team Dippy.

If you’ve ever fought in the Brawler’s Guild, you know what that means.

Yep! We’re sloppy, clumsy, flail around and look ridiculous… but we’re cute and oh so FLUFFY, and if you give us a chance we’ll kill your ass in a heartbeat, sucka.

What a great name.

If anyone has a nice close-up picture of Dippy, btw, please email it to me. I’ll put it on Team Dippy posts. :)

So far, I’ve only gone on two runs with Team Dippy, but it’s been very fun.

The first week, we beat our heads against the first boss in Heart of Fear, and that was great. Yes, we failed to down the boss, but we learned the pacing of the fight pretty well. It’s all about the dance of Attenuation, and I love dance fights. I LOVE dance fights.

I can say that because I don’t have soul-crushing lag. If I did, I would scream in frustration and tear my hair out in clumps. But I don’t, so yay dance fights!

As I say, we didn’t actually kill the boss, but we got him below 15% a few times, and everyone was coming along tight by the end of the night. I’m pretty sure we have that one in the bag, just dangling there waiting for us to pluck it and taste of the… okay, that went to a weird place.

The second week, last week, was Mogu’shan Vaults. I knew the first two fights, and had seen the third once, but when studying the fights I did not take into account the skill level of the tanks and healers.

We destroyed the first three fights, just crushed them. I have to admit I had not watched the Fatboss videos or read the strategies of anything past the third boss, since you know, we only raid for two hours once a week.

Suddenly, I found myself facing the Spirit Kings, armed with nothing but some quick advice from my friends list, and what I had learned by listening to Koltrane, Zhug and Solarflair on the Convert To Raid podcast

Fortunately, JUST that previous week Convert To Raid had gone into great detail on the Spirit Kings fight on Episode 73, so I found myself knowing what the heck to do, and holy crap we killed them!

Team Dippy, rocking the 4/6. It feels good.

Circling back to the point… there are three raids available right now, Mogu’shan Vaults, Heart of Fear, and Terrace of the Endless Spring. And all of them have heroic modes.

The raid group I’m playing with is 4/6 normal in the first raid, with two more raids sitting there untouched, and we have the prospect of another brand new huge raid coming out in maybe three to four months.

Yes, other folks are raiding strong, doing heroic modes, so you’d think there would be panic and disappointment at how far behind the curve we are, right?

Wrong.

Will we be done with the first three raids when number four comes out? Hell no. I don’t care how good Askevar and Venoym are, we have about sixteen raid nights before the new raids are expected to come out.

When it does come out, though, we’ll have had fun, killed more bosses, improved our teamwork and our gear, and learned to do the dance.

When the new raids DO come out, we’ll suddenly have new LFR, new gear opportunities, and that should help us speed up our progress through wherever we’re at.

What I’m saying is, as a player that will be ‘far behind’ in raid progression when new raids are being released, I don’t see needing a nerf to existing content, not when we’ll have LFR to help give us a boost. And we’ll have more incentive to improve, destroy existing bosses, and move higher up the progression to maybe leave MSV behind and focus on Heart of Fear and Terrace.

It’s exciting times… but everything depends on Blizzard following through on this time commitment. If they can do it, then they could be looking at a brand new energy for players in the long term.

If players who left keep hearing how there is new stuff, and more new stuff, and even more new stuff, and LFR to bring them back and get them begun gearing regardless of reputations, then I can see them coming back in droves.

If Blizzard can’t keep it up… well, buzz doesn’t last when the bees get bored.

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