This week we did another one night run into Karazhan, with essentially the same team as last week. Doodle had decided to sit out this round, although he did park his Warlock at the Deadwind pass summon stone in case we needed his help. Other guildies also offered their assistance during the course of the run, which is awesome, since you never know when an unexpected family emergency may occur.
Last week, we started with Attumen and carried on through until all bosses were down except for the two dragons. It was fun, it was smooth, but Cassie and I weren’t really happy over how long it took. It was a 6 and 1/2 hour run, which is just brutal to ask anyone to sit still for.
We talked it over, and one thing we agreed on was that, although I know all the fights fairly well, I could work on preparing notes ahead of time with specific tips for classes and time standards and names of effects, so that my initial instructions go faster. Less overall dithering, knowutImean?
So we went over the WoWwiki sections on the boss fights in advance and drew up notes applying their facts on encounters with what I know from first hand experience.
We basically have two choices for these Kara runs; one-night runs or two.
We have preferred one night runs, simply because that means there is only one night of the week that we are not playing with Alex and having fun. We do stuff with Alex all day taht one day, and by the time raid time comes, he is grateful for the chance to watch a weekly movie and chill out for a while. Last night he watched Star Wars: A New Hope again.
Other advantages to one night runs is, we don’t have to worry about trying to form a second group the next night of a weekend to complete the raid and inevitably have to find replacements, and we’re not expecting people to give up two nights of a weekend raiding instead of having a life.
I hate having to find replacements, because most of ‘the good stuff’ comes in later boss encounters, plus neat battles, and I don’t feel it’s fair at all to have someone come half way and then have to miss out on a boss he or she might really have been looking forward to.
On the downside of a long one nighter… East Coast people on Kael’thas are up WAAAY late if the team is slow, it’s a long damn time to be sitting without real food or liquids, and by the time your team is coming up on the more challenging fights (assuming you are appropriately geared and not in Tier 5 and Tier 6) then everyone is getting dazed and loggy and numb right when they need to be at the peak of responsiveness.
The solution? Hell if I know. I’m thinking in Sidhe Devils that once we have enough for two teams, we may make one team the two-night run, and one just for a single all-nighter, so that people can CHOOSE how they want to play it.
There I go again with that whole ‘choose how YOU want to play’ thing.
Anyway, last night… we were fortunate enough to have the same basic team as last time. Since last week, Shrinnpoof and Falromord decided to come over and join our guild, which is flat out awesome, they are just tooo cool. We’re very stoked. Cassie really likes playing with Shrinn for one thing, and Falromord is a very smart, capable guy. We’re very lucky to have them. So it was 7 guildies, and the team we had from Disciples of Delusion, Morthog, Thunkon and Muchachita. They are all very fun as well, it’s a good group, everyone is a good fit together.
We went in, and I let everyone know in advance that one of my goals was to move as quickly as we could from one encounter to another, as long as we could do so and keep it fun. I wanted it to be smooth, quick, and fun but not rushed. And I wanted everyone to still feel perfectly comfortable asking for a break whenever they needed one.
I THINK that we accomplished those goals. I think the first half still felt a bit too rushed, a little less fun and loose than we are used to, but it was still good. And I wasted time explaining all three potential Opera fights instead of just running in and findout out which we had. Which was Romulo and Julianne, which we nailed.
In technical terms, while we did have frequent single deaths, mostly Windburn the distracted Shadow Priest, we never to my knowledge had a team wipe until Prince. We just went on through nice and smooth and took everything down the first shot, rezzed Wind, and moved on.
When we hit Curator, I believe we were at the 2.5 hour mark. When we reached Prince, I believe we were at the 4.5 hour mark. Started at 7, hit Prince at 11:30. I felt that was pretty good for a one night run.
On Prince, I was going to just assume I was bringing Windshadow to tank, but Cassie whispered me saying that she had seen either Morthog or Falromord had posted in the forums saying they wanted to tank Prince.
Ooops. I hadn’t seen that. So in mid-sentence of arrogantly saying I would change out for Windshadow to tank, I stopped to ask if either of our tanks wanted to take down Prince.
And Cassie was right, Fal wanted to take Prince down. Cool! I’m glad she stopped me. Coulda told me earlier, dangit.
We went on to Prince and got set up, and Fal went forward with Thunkon misdirecting onto him for the pull. The first time we had a slight oopsie, as I did not actually describe how we would do the fight, and that caused one of our ranged DPS to go all-out from the start rather than let Fal build up aggro. So, accidental over-threat, a pull, and a few key people went down in the first few minutes. It happens, and if I was paying attention, it needn’t have.
The second pull went very well. Fal built up strong threat, aided by Thunkon and Wulfa misdirecting onto him every time their cooldown was up, tons of ranged DPS, awesome heals, it was just kickass.
However… we had only two dedicated healers, plus our main tank Morthog the Paladin, helping with heals as he could. When we hit the middle of Phase Two, it just got a little too much, and Fal went down.
If we had a third dedicated healer, I don’t think it would have happened. But at that point we just agreed to bring Windshadow in this time, and finish up Prince, and the bell struck midnight signaling the end of the run.
Mission accomplished, we cut an hour and a half or so off last weeks run. Kick ass.
What better time to have me ask if anyone wanted to go take down Nightbane?
Heck, I figured the least I could do was ask. I asked people to just hit ‘Yes’ on a ready check if they wanted to take on Nightbane. It was unanimous, to my surprise. So, off we went.
When we set up for Nightbane, I was going to have Windshadow for the main tank. I would prefer Falromord take it, as he can stance dance through the Fear effects, and it would give us a second Priest for Fear Ward on top of it. But since this would be the first shot many folks would be taking at Flaming Dragon, we just went with me as main tank.
For the Rain of Bones, we had Morthog to come in and get them focused on him first. The hardest part was trying to heal through the directed flame breath from the air phase with two main healers.
On our first shot, we got him to 50%, but the flame breath did us in.
We regrouped for our second try, rebuffed, and kicked it off again.
On our second try, without any combat rezzes available, without a Warlock or Soulstones, with a Feral Druid main tank, a Prot Specced Warrior on melee, a combat swords Rogue, two Mages, two Hunters, a Prot Paladin doing offheals, a Resto Druid on main heals, and a Holy Priest on party heals, we took Nightbane down with zero deaths.
Zero freaking deaths.
I could not possibly be prouder of the folks I play with. I know Morthog was healing his guts out, but Nasirah and Muchachita did an awesome job healing on that one. My thanks and admiration go out to the whole team.
Oh wait, you want screenie? Yeah I can do that…