So, last night was rare white elk day, we actually had a scheduled raid.
It was a notable raid for many wonderful reasons.
First, the entire raid was tanked by two people; Suxtobundr, feral Druid… and by Lady Jess’ Paladin tank!
We did Obsidian Sanctum, Abomination wing of Naxx, and then Vault of Archavon…. and you know it’s gonna be a fun night when one of your tanks gets the “Emblem of Heroism” Achievement on the first drake kill in OS.
Second was that the entire raid was healed entirely by Druids. Three trees leafing around in the backfield; Jardal, Faydre and Windshadow.
As Lady Jess said at the time, “I never would have imagined a year ago that someday I’d be in Bears’ guild, and I’d be tanking a raid while he healed it.”
Third, Elystia was back!
I’ve missed her terribly, it’s like having your sister move away. Ely and her hubby Cal have been moving to an entirely new home in Canada, and it’s been a long, hard time for them, living rough while renovations have been done. People move all the time, it’s true, and packing and moving and unpacking sucks… but let’s please have a moment’s quiet consideration for poor Ely and Cal, who had to live with Ely’s neo-luddite mother-in-law the whole time, a lady who thinks high technology is using a phone with buttons instead of a round dial. A wonderful woman by all accounts, but she just doesn’t understand that a person has needs… the kind of needs that only high speed internet can satisfy. She’s had no internet for months!
I’d crack. I’m not even remotely joking. I know I would, because in Pennsylvania when staying at a home that barely had electricity, I roamed the neighborhood looking for unsecured wireless networks to ninja, and spent time at the Public Library every day checking mail.
Oh yeah, it was also a notable raid in that we had the most disturbing vent conversation ever. We were recovering from a trash wipe (those pricks after Gluth, the ones with the knockback from heck, they suck when you’re not prepared to handle two of them at once and aren’t all the way in the room for the first knockback) and Penny Arcade’s latest post prompted a discussion that started with their list of phrases that aren’t dirty yet, but that they anticipate WILL be soon… and from there went on to discuss what a Dirty Sanchez is (and people ignored my advice to NOT look it up on the internet, did it anyway, and went eww… why do people not listen?) and then went all the way to discussing the aesthetic merits of Two Girls One Cup.
Warning; I swear to god, I will banhammer anyone in the comments that graphically describes, or links to, Two Girls One Cup. You’ve been warned. Just drop it. And no, if you don’t know what it is, you DO NOT, DO NOT want to look it up on Youtube.
No, really. Please. Just let it drop. Knowing what it is does not ‘enhance your cool’. In fact, I think I lost a gazillion cool points by knowing what it was… I blame listening to the hip hop radio morning show crew on the way to work. They talk about it on KDWB’s Dave Ryan Show all the time.
Who would have thought I’d end up regretting the day I stopped listening to political talk radio. At least Rush Limbaugh never talked about, or described, Two Girls One Cup.
Okay, anyway, moving past that (shudder)… we did not actually describe what it is, but just the thought of doing so was enough to send terror running freely, carrying scissors handle first, down the halls of vent. People typing in [sticks fingers in ears] lalalalalala and all the rest of it.
As far as the raid goes, I think we had a mostly wonderful time. We had some learning curves, which I think is understandable, but it was all learning the fights, we didn’t really have any gear check issues at any time.
You know when you’re fighting something, and you’re having trouble… you can feel the difference between struggling to win based on being undergeared, or struggling based on coordination and understanding of what to do. You might not be able to pin down who ain’t on the program, or exactly what is missing, but you know there was something that just wasn’t right.
As an example, our first shot at Grobbulus was pretty close, just a few slime add issues and a few bad Mutated Injection blooms… and our second attempt was pure running around like chickens with our heads cut off, blind panic.
You just step back and ask yourself, wtf did we do dere?
And then the third shot goes so smooth it’s damn near a record downing with nobody even mussed up.
That’s not gear, that’s poorly described fights and folks that are seeing things for the first time or working together for the first time. Whoops!
Another example is when we did Patchwerk, a fight that is generally a tank and healer gear check.
You might think, with Lady Jess main tanking Patchwerk, and having just earned her first Emblem of Heroism, that there were issues.
Nah. She was just fine. Neither tank ever went below 75% health for more than a millisecond.
Like I said, we had some fun, we fought our way in, had some interruptions but generally closed escrow.
And then we faced Thaddius. Ah, Thaddius.
I love that fight.
I also loved seeing Jess get tossed across the room over and over. That’s hilarious.
Anyway, I calmly described the entire fight, I walked through what we do for the two mini-bosses, the tossing, the threat pause after a toss, the keeping close to lightning generators, the 3 seconds you have after the mini-bosses die to jump off the back ledge and for the tank to engage the boss, the positions to stand for polarity shifts with Negative to the edge of the ledge in front of him, Positive to the vat behind him, running 10 yards apart counterclockwise around Thaddius like moons orbiting a planet to keep seperation, etc etc.
I was pretty pleased with myself. I think I covered it very well, and I felt the group exuding confidence.
We split into teams, and it was smooth as Babs.
Both bosses were DPSed at a nice, balanced rate, they died together, we gathered and jumped, Sux aggroed as the main tank perfectly on schedule, and I cat dashed to be right on his butt for insta-healing. Everyone hit the ledge, we were just nailing every phase. I felt so proud.
As Sux grabbed aggro and I dropped my first HoTs, Thaddius began casting Polarity Shift, and I prepared the raid for it, calling my reminder out over vent, “Polarity Shift in two seconds, Positive to the front, Negative to the rear, get ready!”
Oh, hell yes I did.
Some folks did what I told them to do during our preparation, and some folks did what I told them to do on vent at the time.
Raid go boom!
What’s funny is, I knew we were doomed as over half the raid went down, but I started the chain Battle Rezzes anyway. After all, you never know.
Well, yes, yes I did.
I, the Big Bear Butt, wiped the raid. And when I say wiped, I mean I am the annihilator, baby. Total and complete destruction.
I’d like to blame Cassie for standing over my shoulder distracting me… but she really had nothing whatsoever to do with it. The fact is, I simply let my mouth run on automatic pilot while my concentration was on positioning, wathcing main tank aggro and position, my position, who was alive and who made the jump, and all the other raid leader crap. Oh yeah, and casting heals.
My mouth apparently thinks we like to put the Positive charges on the edge. Who knew?
Brain was not involved at that moment in any way.
In fact, it took me a second or two for what I actually said to filter up into my brain, sink in, and kinda knock around for a moment, saying “Um, excuse me… you might want to run the instant replay on that one chief, I think there’s a flag on the play.”
On the plus side (sorry, sorry, can’t help it) we kicked his ass the second attempt… and then trashed Archavon and Lady Jess got to be lunged, grabbed and have her dwarf tanking butt tossed across the room. One of those moments that just make you glad you’re a tank.
So, a good time was had by all… I hope it was, anyway. I know I never mind the occasional wipe, I find the moments rather endearing.
If stuff is too damn easy, where’s the sense of accomplishment? The struggle makes victory taste all the sweeter.
Good job, everyone! It was a (ahem) blast!