Archive for the “Raiding” Category

The truculent ten formed up in front of the gates of Orgrimmar.

There was a bit of a struggle, and in the end we agreed we’d compromise. We wouldn’t throw Mibs out front to check for land mines; we’d throw his imps instead.

Summibs was fine with this. Thanks to some trinket he had called the Unerring Vision of Lei Shen, Mibs claimed he now possessed the power of, what the heck was it… oh, right. “Many imps, handle it!”

So we did. Go ahead, toss an imp. He’ll proc more.

We rolled on into Orgrimmar. What the heck, the place must be deserted, right? Maybe they were all at home, watching Breaking Bad. Let’s face it, if an entire army were camped inside of Orgrimmar, they’d send more than ten of us to deal with it.

At first, we met only token resistance. A couple of blind swordmasters. Well shoot, that just drives home the point, all the ones that could see were watching the TV. How bad could these guys be, anyway?

We all stopped at that, and almost as one, let loose our battle cry and charged. We blew cooldowns, summoned army, unleashed hell and if possible would have had Galactus in reserve ready to eat the planet if we failed.

Hey, turns out, they really were wimps. Who would have seen THAT coming? I still remember the snails. In my dreams, I mean. I still see those slime trails, the never-ending slime trails. The endless, ravaging hunger of the snails. I wake up screaming, soaked in sweat, night after night.

Those damn snails.

Wait, sorry, what? Oh, right. Orgrimmar.

We entered the city proper, and to our shock the place was fully populated. Orcs everywhere! And they had some of OUR people in cages, strung up on poles, spiked and tortured and wailing.

But still alive, damn them, they had some of our people in there still alive, kept in cages like animals.

We leapt into action, charging into the Orcs, tearing them apart in search of the keys to free some of our fellows.

Then someone noticed that the store clerks were still in the shops, the auction house was open, everything was open for business. Well, shit, time to go stock up, me hearties! Yo dudes, chill, we be right back.

“Holy cow!” claimed one Misfit, “there are boxes and crates filled with loot and flasks in these stores! Sack the city!”

“SACK THE CITY!” we roared, and we tore through those shopkeepers like it was the last day of the White Sale at Macy’s.

As we charged into the Auction House, one of the auctioneers yelled “Screw this!” and tried to run for it, moments before he went down under the scrum.

Eventually, we ran out of easy meat in the shops and went back to killing the Orc warriors until the streets of Orgrimmar ran wet with the blood of the Kor’kron.

As I smeared a spray of blood across the front of my robes, I glanced around the carnage. “A damn good thing none of these Orcs noticed us killing their friends ten feet away, one group at a time. If all those Orcs within view of us noticed the screams, splatters, rains of frogs or explosions, they coulda swarmed us.”

Chron was bent over looting a body, and when he straightened up, he announced “I found the reason. Look! They’re wearing iScreams!” It was true, in their drive to be what Garrosh called “truly metal”, they hadn’t just stuck steel plates and spikes all over Orgrimmar, he made his soldiers listen to heavy metal music all the time, too. Even on patrol!

“What the heck could they be listening to that would keep them from hearing all this racket?”

Chron glanced at the iScream display. “Looks like Danzig. Something called Mother.”

“Ahhh. I thought Garrosh only had daddy issues, go figure.”

Once we had killed all the Orcs and looted the buildings, we used the keys to free as many prisoners as we could find that were still alive. To show their thanks, they dropped mystic totems that would, so they said, protect as a bit from poisons or the elements. Then they legged it on out of there.

As the freed prisoners fled, I called out after them, “Hey! What do you know that you ain’t tellin’ us?”

“Enough!” announced Katlyn. “Let’s go inside Hellscream’s little fun hut and drag his ass on out of there.”

As we boldly creeped our way around the blockage to peer timidly inside, I noticed a foul smell, like a Worgen on bath day.

Inside, we saw not Garrosh waiting for his comeuppance but two Dark Shaman mounted on Wolves!

How’d ya git them wolves up ON the high throne, boy? And why ya’ll wearin’ them little shriners hats?

We went tearin’ on outta there, with them wolves hot on our heels.

As we spread out, ready to fight, one of them Shaman yelled out they don’t ask the elements for help, they take what they want.

Well, sure, that might work in the short term, but you know what you get for that, right? You can look forward to having every company picnic rained out for the next seven years. That’ll teach ‘em it ain’t right to mess with mother nature!

Now, two Shaman, two wolves, ten of us. A whole city of space to fight in. You’d think this would be a straight up fight, right?

Like hell.

First, there are these big fat purple tornadoes. Yes, damnit, I know, more purple poo. Then there are small purple tornadoes comin’ out of them big ones. And the big ones slowly move like they’re chasing ya!

Well, okay, so we start over in one corner, wait for some tornadoes to form over there, then run away to t’other side. Fair enough.

And of course we kill the wolves first. Nothing ‘gainst wolves, you understand, but my poor brain can only handle so many things chomping on me at one time. Two targets just seem so much simpler than four.

Okay, so run away from purple, check. Kill wolves, check. What next?

Rivers of green slime, and a shitload of sprayed puddles of green poo that start chasing us. Well, of course they do. Because when I think of things that commonly occur in nature, purple tornadoes and green poo puddles just spring trippingly to my tongue.

I discovered a fascinating fact. Those green poo puddles? They can be stunned! And guess which Warlocks knew Shadowfury? Us guys!

Down come the puddles of poo, and wham! bam! stunned by big ol’ circles of Shadowfury so they kept nice, tight AOEable groups. Yummy!

And then the Ashes fell from the skies and the dying started.

These ashes fall down in a line, and from the ashes rise these flame things that, well, if I’m on this side, and you’re on the other side of the line of fire, and you need help?

Sucks to be you, man. Sucks to be you. ‘Cause I ain’t running through that shit. No how, no sir.

We’d be going good, and then there would be purple to the left of us, green rivers to the right, green puddles chasing Pumpken and then two lines of ashes running cross the middle of Orgrimmar.

Then the plaintive calls would go forth from Katlyn and Pumpken and Callaghan, our poor healers.
“I don’t have range on Monstre!”

“Well I don’t have range on Plankton!”

“Buttflame, you’re out of range!”

“Somebody scrape Mibs up again!”

“That’s it, daggertime! Stab ‘em if you got ‘em!”

We tried. Then we came back with a plan and tried again.

The Dark Shaman were patient. They sat there before the entrance to Hellscream’s quarters, watching us as we huddled up and planned anew.

“So, what if we start on the left, let the tornadoes stack there, then shift left.”

Tried that. Dead on the floor.

“Okay, what if we start there, but have two teams, so a healer sticks to a tank and we don’t get split up by ashes.”

Tried that. Nope.

“Okay, let’s try this. We’ll start over there by the bank, walk them across to the auction house, drag them along to the front gates and then back and around, keep ‘em moving.”

Dead as disco, baby.

“Okay, screw it. You know what? Screw a bunch of plans. Pull ‘em and rack ‘em, watch your feet and stay the hell out of bad shit; you’re on your own.”

BOOM! And the Dark Shaman go down.

Well, kiss my ass.

Fine. That’s gonna be how it is, is it? The harder we work at a plan the worse it goes?

Fine.

Well, clearly Hellscream ain’t here, so let’s run on through the streets until we get to Ragefire Chasm, he’s probably hiding down HOLY SHIT RAIN OF FIRE RUN RUN RUN!”

As we reunited at the Troll camp for snacks and free healing, we discussed this alarming turn of events.

“Does it seem to anyone else like the bosses ain’t all that, but the trash in here hurts like a sonnuvabitch?”

“Yep.”

“Uh huh.”

“Brush it off, wimp.”

Monstre once more posed, hands on hips.

“I have a plan.”

“We’ll run through the streets, dodging the rain of fire from those Devastators, and at the end we’ll run into a shop and hide, kill the dark priests inside, safe from the fire overhead.”

Sounds like a plan.

So we gathered our things, ran like hell, dodging fire through the narrow valley, until we got to the aforementioned shop, whereupon we learned two things.

Thing the first. Mind Spikes HURT SON OF A HOLY CRAP DEAD see ya’ll at the campfire.

Thing the second, to quote Monstre, “OMG the fire comes through the roof, you can’t run, you can’t hide, the fire just keeps coming arrggghhh.”

The third time down the valley, we were a grim lot. This time, we were going for broke.

We ran down the length of the valley, and charged full bore into the Devastators, only to have someone call out, “Hey they stop shooting once you get in melee range of ‘em.”

Good to know.

Good to know.

That there, that’s a protip right there.

I stopped, pulled out my charred and blackened notebook, and wrote down, “giant engines of death and destruction stop shooting when tagged you’re it.”

So noted.

We rested for a moment. I started munching on a nice leg of lamb when I heard someone say, and I shit you not, “Hey, that guy we saved is standing here. I wonder what happens if we talk to him.”

Next thing *I* know, that idiot starts running on his own into the tunnel to Ragefire, and half the raid takes off after him, and someone says “I bet there’s an achievement if we can keep him alive.”

Yeah, mission failed. I never did get close enough to see his ass because he just ran past all the mobs crowding that tunnel as if he smelled bacon at the other end.

Whatever he thought he was gonna get, what he ended up with was a chalk outline and a glowing green smear on the floor.

Now, I have my sympathies for those other Warlocks down there. But let’s face it. Whatever it is we are about to face in Ragefire Chasm, it can’t possibly be as bad as having to wade through rivers and lakes of glowing purple poo.

Entering the Chasm, it seemed I was right. Mages, Assassins, Warriors. Finally, a straight up, honorable fight!

It’s like a breath of fresh air. No more wacky sudden-death attacks, no more crazy purple poo… just a straight up smackdown, ten of us locked in mortal combat with General Nazgrim.

I never thought I’d say this, but why does this seem like it might be too easy? My right eye is still twitching at the ashes flashbacks, and I’m thinking this is going to be easy?

Then someone calls out, “Assassins! Don’t let them get behind you, or…”

Yeah. I’ll see y’all back at the campfire with trolls, mmkay?

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I looked around for Varian, to get him to beat some sense into the Trolls. We had to fight our way through the beach just to find the Trolls holding the rear area and they didn’t offer any help, and now they expect us to take down the Iron Juggernaut for ‘em? WTF Varian, I thought the idea was we let the TROLLS eat the losses so we can clean up what’s left over?

Varian, shocker of the day, was nowhere to be found. Fine. If we’re going to have to do this thing, then we might as well do ‘er up right.

The Misfits huddled together, looking over the fence at the Iron Juggernaut, working up a gameplan.

“Right. Let’s take a look at what we’re dealing with here. It’s big, so that must mean it’s slow. We’ve got it beat in mobility. What else?”

“Well, you see those vents? Those are for spraying hot oil everywhere. And you see that gleam on the tail?”

“Yeah?”

“Tracking lasers.”

“WTF are lasers?”

“Don’t worry about it, the audience knows what they are.”

“Who?”

“Shaddup.”

“So lasers that chase you around and hot oil, okay. That’s not so bad.”

“And then there is the bomb dispenser.”

“The what?”

“Yeah, see there on the sides. Bombs will drop out and after a bit will blow up everything and everyone. Game over, the end.”

“So, what do we do about it?”

“Not die?”

“Fuck you, Varian.”

“And then there are the big chainsaw blades on the arms on the front, and this massive sonic explosion that will knock everyone back the length of a boomball field unless they have their back to a wall, and the mortar shells that will blow our asses to Elunes Pretty Pretty Palace, and…”

“You shut up too.”

“So, what’s the plan?”

“Run in, spread out, stand with your back to a fence and don’t die.”

“Lols, good one. Okay, but what’s the plan?”

“Pulling in 5… 4… 3… ”

“OH SHIT, HE’S SERIOUS!”

And so began our epic battle against the Iron Juggernaut, or as I like to refer to it, “flamie boom time.”

We rushed the Iron Juggernaut, and we spread out, and put our backs to things, and got down with the beat down, and there was wailing, and running from lasers, and more wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and lots and lots o’ explosions.

Then we died.

The Trolls apparently drug our burnt, wracked and oil-splattered bodies out of the wreckage, because the next thing I knew we were all sitting around a campfire, feeling kind of mellow.

“Dude, the trolls are healing us as we hang out here. Pretty cool of them, man.”

“Put that shit down, it’s not helping you to focus. Plus, they better fucking heal us back up, we’re the ones doing the dying while they beat on the fucking drum. Fine That was a warmup. Let’s do this thing!”

Many explosions and screams later….

“Okay, pass that shit over here. Who needs focus, my spleen hurts.”

“I didn’t know you could feel your spleen.”

“Neither did I. Ouchie.”

“Okay, so what went wrong that time?”

“You know those helpful bombs with the red countdown timer thingies over their heads?”

“Yeah?”

“Those fracking hurt, man.”

“Thanks for the tip. So whatta we gonna do about ‘em?”

Monstre stood up, planted his hands in a powerful pose on his hips, and announced, “I know what we have to do. Follow me!”

Or maybe it was Plankton. I mean Pankration. Yeah, that’s who I mean.

We charged in and got down to business. We got the oil, yeah whatever, and the lasers, run away NO NOT THROUGH THE OIL DUMBASS and we got the mortars and we got the chainsaws and the explosive knockbacks, okay, now there are the bombs.

HEY MONSTRE, WHAT WAS YOUR BIG PLAN?

So there he goes, and he runs at a bomb, and he jumps on it, burying it in the sand.

“Are you out of your ever-rotten mind?”

The bomb goes off, and instead of shattering the team, it just smacks Monstre around hard.

Wait, so this is a case of ‘bouncing betty blows his balls off’, so we bury it in the sand and only one person gets blowed up?

“Hey Mibs, go jump on bombs…. stop whimpering, you’re a Demonology Warlock, that’s like being a lawyer, you can cry all you want when the hurting begins, half the people listening don’t care and the other half think it’s a good start, man.”

Jump, jump you little imp flogger! Jump as though your life depended on it!

So the secret is to jump on the bombs with cooldowns up and just let those best suited to dealing with physical damage eat the big badabooms, huh?

Good to know.

To be on the safe side, though, I think we need to throw Mibs out in front of the raid as we advance. There could be land mines.

Finally, there before us is the wide-open gates of Orgrimmar!

This should be easy, right? I mean, sure it’s a city filled with militant Orc extremists, but it’s not like the ten of us have to kill everyone all by ourselves. We got that big Alliance army, we got a Horde a Trolls, this should be fun. We’ll just swarm in there and make this change happen.

Why is everyone looking at me again?

Is it my breath? I know, but mixing habanero jack cheese, bacon and fried spam sounded like a good idea at the time.

What?

Oh, come on.

Why the hell did we BRING an army if we’re not going to USE the fucking army? What, are we short on peeled potatoes?

Fine, into the dreaded gates of Orgrimmar the ten stalwart heroes go, blah blah blah.

Hey Varian?

Yeah, fuck you Varian.

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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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