Everytime I write something like that, I expect to have the site spammed by dog lovers.
Bearwall #2 incoming!
I’ve been accentuating the negative a bit lately, asking recently for your stories of the grouping behavior that you hate the most.
Now it’s time for me to begin collecting the results and preparing for voting season.
In the meantime, let’s get some positive waves rolling here, and think about the fun stuff!
Yes, the word “anti” is in the title. This is a positive post, damnit!
Moriarty and his negative waves are verboten!
I’d like to hear about what behaviors you LOVE in groups, the things that just make you damn happy to be with the folks you are, and NOT in a pug.
Those special things that just leave you thinking, “What a great run”, or “What a great guildie”.
To kick things off, I’ll share a story of my anti-pug, from last night.
Last Friday, after the Onyxia run, I had to leave, but the rest of the guild group were still rarin’ to go, so they went on to clear Obsidian Sanctum, and a few wings of Naxx10; Military and Spider.
Sunday night, it looked like there were enough folks on in guild to go hang out and have some fun, and a few of them were recently dinged 80s of guildies.
Well heck, there’s more to WoW at 80 than running Heroics and ToC to gear up, right? Why not go do what feels like a ‘retro-raid’ these days, and see if we can finish a full Naxxramas clear for the achievements. If we’re lucky, someone might even get something that’s still an upgrade!
Yeah, I won’t hold my breath either.
On Sunday, we went into Abomination and cleared it quickly enough, but a few folks started feeling sick, hungry, etcetera, so we called it until later in the evening to regroup.
The nighttime comes, turns out that some of the folks are still sick. I threw the finisher up on the guild raid calendar, and let people sign up if interested in a Monday night close.
Monday night rolls around, and sure as heck, we’ve got a full group ready and willing to beat up Heigan and take his lunch money.
We proceeded to one shot Noth, Heigan and Loatheb, and had a great deal of fun doing it. Yes, our gear is all generally much better than you’d expect to see in Naxx 10, but the simple fact is, folks played very, very well. Everything was nice and smooth, explanations were kinda sparse but stuff just went down fast.
For the first time I healed Heigan and lived just fine. Usually, I tank it, and find it insanely easy to not get blown up, but as a healer trying to focus on healing everybody and run at the same time, I usually end up lagging behind and going kablooie. Not this time, sucker! Muahahaha!
My personal standard for professional tanking results in Heigan, by the way, are a tank that moves far enough into the safe zone that pets don’t end up getting blown up, and never get close enough to the pedestal to slow the casters, and don’t end up so far away it’s a constant stress-fest to see if they’ll make it (or be out of range). Olivar was the main tank on Bookley, and he freaking nailed it in all respects. Well done, sir.
After Plague was done, we went in and took on Sapphiron and Kel’thuzad, and by gosh and by golly, again it was a great time. Both one shotted, even though my description of the Kel’thuzad fight consisted mostly of saying, “In phase one we stand in the green circle… melee trash the big guys, Notulil icebolt the skeletons, and hunters, please blow up the banshees. When KT runs in, everyone have /range on to show when you get too close to someone else, melee be careful of voids forming under your feet ’cause it gets hard to see when you’re all closed up, healers watch out for that ice bomb thingie, and Sohle the offtank, just kinda hang out and wait for the two adds and pick them up when they appear. Everyone else ignore them, just keep blowing up KT. Oh what the hell, let’s just do it, seeing it once will make more sense than my description.”
Lo and behold, we blew him up without worries. Go figure.
Loot was had, fun times were shared, off to bed, right?
Nahhh. People still wanted to do stuff. Someone, I think it was Twicefallen, suggested we go do a Mammoth hunt in Vault of Archavon.
Sure, why not?
Archavon was fun and went down in an eyeblink… I love seeing tanks getting lunged and tossed across the room.
Someone then asked, “Are we going to try Emalon?”
Well, again… why the hell not? What’s the worst that can happen… we die? Brrr, scary. Don’t look, kids! Oh, the humanity!
Or the gnomerity. Whatever.
I asked if anyone knew a winning strat, since I had only ever seen it in pugs a couple times when it first came out, and none of those actually succeeded. Nobody was willing to own up to having seen it done in a win.
Yes, my guild for the most part hates pugging raids. For the most part. I’ve been known to occasionally go trolling for blog material.
Well, this time I’m not joking about winging it on strategy.
I say that from the pugs I’d been in, it seemed like one tank grabbed Emalon and drug him to the far end of the room, the other tank grabbed the four adds and took them to the stairs, everyone used /range to make sure they weren’t too close to everyone else, and every ranged and healer spread out across the middle of the room for good LOS on both tank groups.
The idea being, we blow up Emalon until an add gets enraged, and then all DPS destroys that add. I mentioned that I didn’t know if our three ranged DPS would be enough to take down an add in time before he blew up and wiped the group, and Kaelynn said she thought the melee would have to leave Emalon a few seconds early, beat feet to the adds, and help destroy them, so we should call out on the timer a few seconds early before the enrage to give them a chance to cross over.
Olivar/Bookley mentioned that the add would heal to full, grow to giant size, and should become automagically marked with a Skull to help in identification, so that’s the one we should kill.
I think that it was Sohle who mentioned that a new add would spawn after the enraged one died, and asked that Hunters Misdirect them onto Sohle when they did.
Okay, so what the heck. Let’s give it a shot. Everybody ready?
“Sure! You bet!”
Here’s how it went down.
Everybody did everything they were supposed to flawlessly the first time.
No, really. I’m not kidding. Maintaining proper spacing, running to adds early, Misdirecting adds, blowing up enraged adds, killing Emalon, running out of Nova, healing everyone up…
Really. I’m not kidding. Everyone, and I mean everyone… was perfect. On something they had never seen done successfully before.
I’d barely have time to call out “new add up!” and it’d be running right to Sohle.
I swear, it’s that kind of thing that can simply ruin the game for you.
How the hell can you possibly face a pug after that? I mean, really… HOW?!?
It was one of the most triumphant moments of the game for me… and it had nothing to do with loot. Shoot, I don’t even think he dropped anything anyone could use. I think Bookley got some PvP pants. Woohoo.
Nope, it was seeing a group of people who did everything just right on new stuff, because they knew how to play well, paid attention to what they were doing (and not the latest text whisper), and wanted to win. Or at elast not embarass themselves.
Hell, even Jess kicked ass on her Hunter! Go figure!
(I kid, I kid. We expect great things from Jess no matter what toon she plays. Even if it IS a Beast Master Hunter.)
Sure, on content you’ve seen a million times before, you enjoy victory, but you also expect it to go smooth.
On brand new never before seen content, I’m sorry, I don’t care how good you are, I expect someone to zig when they should have zagged. That’s what learning is all about.
Now, let’s not talk about the guild first attempt on the flame dude. Ahem.
I will say, next time, before we go in there, at least ONE of us will have actually read a strategy for it other than “Stay out of the fire”.
That Meteor Fist HURTS.
So folks, that’s my anti-pug story… running with a group of folks that are a dream to see in action.