Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And so I still can not raid

So, I think it is over now, so I can talk about it a bit in my blog.

What it really comes down to for me is late last year I joined a new guild in an attempt to get myself more in the way of raiding experience. It started out pretty well, getting into raids pretty quickly and consistently with the end of Wrath. I even got 11/12 in ICC just before Cataclysm dropped. Now it has fallen apart.

With Cata's drop, initially there was a huge push to get people ready to raid, but quickly there was a break where 4-5 people really had it down and were getting ready to raid quickly. Others, like me either didn't have the knowledge or opportunity to keep up with these 4-5 people. On occasion the more prepared would drag one or another of us through an instance. I was one of those recipients. At the time I thought that people were being helpful and wanted to do this to help fellow guild members. Later, I found out that I was wrong. People resented taking me with them, though it wasn't mentioned to me until other personal infighting occurred. Infighting that circled around me, and caused our original raid leader and one of our high DPS to decide not to raid with the group.

Then, the first raid night came, last Friday night. I was psyched and ready. Very ready for it. I went out bought myself down to almost 0 gold making sure my DPS gear was up as high as possible, fully enchanted and gemmed. I also bought food and flasks for both DPS and heals just in case I needed to jump in and heal a battle or two. The time came, things were ready, people got there on time. We started out with the trash for Blackwing Descent (BWD).

The first mob or two was fine, then we came to the double trash mob that is in the same room with Magmaw. We wiped. Then we wiped again. We wiped a third time. The GL/RL asked me to switch from DPS to try three-healing to see if we could cover the damage. Like a good raider wannabe I switched and readied to heal. We went at it again. We wiped. then we wiped again. For a change we wiped again. At about this time, grumblings began, why was one tank getting Mis-directed onto, and not the other, why was the heals not keeping up. That went back and forth a bit, and we went at it again. We wiped again. At this point a couple of DPS started being very vocal about how things in the heal core was failing. I had recount on, so I started looking at it to see if I could figure out what was happening.

It was taking me some time to look through the data; I noticed one of the healers was really low and was trying to go through the data to see what she was doing. While I was doing that, some of the DPS were jumping on the top healer, though from everything I could see, she was doing great. I hadn't even had a chance to get through the other healer or myself when I saw the top heals make a statement saying she was done, and drop raid. Then she logged off. Her husband/boyfriend (not sure) carried on an argument for a couple of seconds before dropping raid and logging off himself.

Unfortunately, I am not really aware of what totally happened other than there was a fight between DPS and heals. Later I heard that the GL/RL didn't step in and should have. I also heard that it got pretty ugly. At the time I didn't think to look at the scroll back and see what had transpired. Regardless, it was ugly.

On Saturday the guild boards had a note from the GL stating that raiding was closed indefinitely. Then Yesterday a note was added that the old RL would be setting something up for some people. Then last night I watched as the old RL left the guild with a number of other folks because they wanted to raid and the guild would not be raiding in the foreseeable future. I would not be welcome there because of a perceived insult by me to one of the people leaving. That's a story for another day.

I am frustrated. I just want to raid. I am not sure if I am good or bad at it. When I DPS things like Baradin Hold, I am typically in the top 3 for 10 man runs. Also I have healed trash runs of BoT without issue, so I probably don't suck.

I guess it is time to find a new guild. I am starting to feel like a guild jumper.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

While digging through my screen shots this morning from my favorite add on Multishot I found the below achievement that I hadn't realized that I had gotten.

Ready to Raid? Really, cause I certainly don't feel it. The achievement is gotten from not getting hit by the swirly fire things during the Glubtok battle in Heroic Deadmines. Some developer at WoW seems to have made a play on the “don't stand in the crap” mantra of raiders out there everywhere. In fact lately I have actually had to yell at people to stand in the crap on the floor when using effloresence. I guess that is merely another of Blizzard's sick jokes. I can see it now “Hey guys, for years now we have been hearing 'Stay out of the shit on the floor'. Let's give all of the healers a shit on the floor to confuse and frustrate!” This was very quickly followed by “Yeah Bob, good idea!” The Champagne was passed around and there was much slapping of Bob on the back as he laughed maniacally.

I digress. My real point here is how you determine that you are ready to raid. I know WoW gives us ilevel to make that determination and the lovers of Gearscore are out there too. I think it's more than that, and I'm not going to put out the standard “experience over gear” conversation. That's annoying and isn't helpful to anyone, particularly idiots like me who have some gear, but no experience in Cataclysm raids. After running a heroic Throne of Tides last night and healing it without issue, I begin to think that maybe it can be done, but I know that 1 Heroic does not make a raider. Maybe If I can pull off healing a Heroic Stonecore then I know I'm ready to raid.

How do others decide they are ready to raid. From an argument that went on in front of me the other night, I don't even think the leadership of GIP has a good way of determining whether or not someone is ready to raid. That friends and neighbors is a story for another day, once a few things happen, including tempers cool and I decide if GIP is the place to stay.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pit Lord Argaloth....Dead

Ok, if you were a member of my guild the other night, and online about 9PM EST, you would have seen ten of us very, very ecstatic. There was much jubilation over our downing of the Tol Barad Raid boss. Now, we have beaten him before but this is the first time that we have one shot him. The other two occasions that I have the pleasure of facing off against this guy ended up in 2-3 wipes before actually beating him down before his enrage counter ticked down. I never realized how fast 5 minutes was until I was racing against a clock.

This guy has 2 sets of phases. The way we did it was pretty simple, we broke the group up into two groups with tank, heals, and DPS in each. We line up on the left and right side of him and the tanks taunt back and forth between him while the DPS go to town doing as much damage as they possibly can. The healers are kept busy with the big bursts of damage he does as well as something that needs to be dispelled quickly other wise bad junk happens.

At 75% fel fire gets cast all over the place. I lovingly call this the chicken with no head phase. During this phase everyone needs to run around the room and avoid the fel fire trails that are being created behind you as you run. In general, I try to run out to the edge of the room and around the back corner, timing myself to get back in place just as the fire ends. If you are ranged during this phase and have cast on the run spells, we try to use them, but other than that it is mostly a bunch of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

Then, rinse and repeat occurs. Taunt back and forth while DPS do as much damage as possible until 25% when the second fel fire phase occurs. Again nothing different to this part.

We do all of this while trying ot ensure that we are complete and done before the 5 minute enrage timer ticks down.

Over all, I would consider this one of the easier raid bosses that I have done, but fun none the less. It drops the same sort of stuff as Vault of Archenon did, so PVP stuff and some tier gear. In general though I do it for the practice of raiding.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Healing Heroics as a Tree

I've been trying to heal heroics lately on Paci in my spare time. Interestingly, I find that they seem to consistently fall into one of a couple of different experiences. Either I have am able to do it, and do it pretty well, and other times I can't seem to do it and either get frustrated and leave, or get kicked out. Reading other blogs, talking to other people, and just sort of ruminating I find that I am pretty much alone in this aspect. Either you can do it, or you can't.

To try to figure out why I am bouncing back and forth I spent some time in the land of Elitist Jerks Druid forum. I've read their resto guide along with a number of post Q&A's. Gear: Check, got it. Gems: Check, got it. Spells: Check, got it. Enchants: Check, got it, though they could use some work. I've never really thought that enchants will be the game changer that goes from making things hard to easy, but it is an interesting thought that I will need to explore further at some point.

Also, I took some time to review the different instances to see if there was anything I was missing in the way of mechanics. Do certain bosses mess me up? Am I standing in the stupid? Is there something I can do that will make it all go away? Nothing immediately pops out there, but it doesn't hurt to do some research now and again. Also it's kind of need to see how people do different things. I have seen in the past raid videos and I think it might be nice to actually get similar for heroics.

Interestingly, thus far I have not found the "magic bullet" that will help me turn the corner on healing, so for now my search continues.