Friday night, Mal Katai attacked Gruul's Lair. You can see the entire night in all its statistical wonder here.
First up was good ole High King Maulgar. Once again, we had some new people in the raid, and one of these new people was a Hunter who was assigned to tank Kiggler the Crazed.
Most guilds find having a core group of Raiders who know the fights and strats allows you to move faster and get more done. I'm kind of torn because I was very recently a new person in the guild. I certainly wanted to be in the runs, to be taught, and to be given a chance to show I could contribute to the team. It has been my observation that we have many new people each week. Perhaps this is a "perception thing", whereby I'm seeing more new people than there actually are.
I'm speculating here because I couldn't see everything going on. I kept hearing the raid leader over vent telling people to get Kiggler and Olm under control. At some point Kiggler gets loose and kills some healers and the run out order is given. Also heard over vent that our Mage Tank got a resist on Spell Steal on Krosh's Shield.
So the entire attempt was kind of a mess.
We switch the new hunter to range DPS and put an experienced hunter on Kiggler, and get ready to pull again.
I was on Blindeye. Tohitoplay did a perfect Misdirection and he came running straight at me. I smack him with Judgement of Righteous to establish my ill intentions and begin to move him into position. Then Blindeye stops moving. I'm not sure who stunned him, but now I had to stop, run back up to him, and wait for the stun to wear off. I start moving him again and he's stunned again. I don't typically do a whole lot of threat as I'm moving my target. I wait until he's in position and go to town. Well in my moving in and out trying to position him, I lost aggro to an Arms Warrior.
I was able to taunt a couple of times and try to get Blindeye in position. I got him there enough and we got him good and killed. Next I moved over to help pickup FelHunters on Olm.
Once all the adds were down, we moved to my least favorite part of the fight. Basically it's my job to stand with the raid and wait for High King to do whatever he does to get loose of Brindall's death grip on aggro. Then the tanks taunt him and bring him back to Brindall. Invariably, what happens is all the tanks hit their taunts at the same time, and the last tank to do so brings him back to Brindall. So I wait, taunt, hold him for a half second when one of the other tanks taunts hit him.
We get High King down. I whisper the Arms Warrior and ask for him to give me just a little more time to establish aggro. He apologies. No harm, no foul, boss died.
Then comes a moment I honestly didn't think would come in my WoW carrer. They put me on Gruul. Main Tank.
I was excited, and I was nervous.
The first attempt at me tanking him was a little rough. I had never main tanked him before. I got him into position and started working my threat rotation. Everything was good until the first Shatter. When I got thrown in the air, I lost my bearings. My total concentration was to get on him and make sure he didn't one shot anybody. I didn't realize I needed to move him back to the tanking spot. Our Raid Leader points out that I'm in the wrong spot, and out of range. I manage to get him back to where I'm supposed to be, but then the healers got silenced. I having a serious lack of HoTs and down I go.
Our second attempt with me MainTanking was the only attempt of the night that I could really blame on Class: Paladin. Everything is moving right along when the second or third silence hits. I needed to refresh my Holy Shield, but I was silenced. I start banging away at the keyboard but to no avail. Crush. Dead. Wipe.
Third time's the charm right? I honestly, can't tell you the whole story on this one. Basically, what I saw from point of view was Offtank dies, no one in melee, regular hit, Hurtful Strike. Dead Dwarf.
At this point my Arms Warrior buddy from HKM has something of a connection issue, and does AFK right as I pull. It wasn't working with 25 guys, it wasn't working with 24.
4 attempts and Gruul is still very much alive.
About this time, my healer buddy from the previous nights Kara starts questioning in open Raid chat if a Paladin can Main Tank the fight.
Even on my best day, I'd be hard pressed to argue (as of WoW 2.2) against an optimum configuration for Gruul being Warrior as Main Tank, Druid as Off Tank. But to say that a Paladin can't do it. I had to answer this in open Raid chat. I'm not going to have my Class/Spec questioned without a fight.
So here we go. All of a sudden, Lisa (our GM and RL) and Rob (Mage, Officer) start telling this guy that Paladin's have been main tanking the fight for months. In fact, Everlight just Main Tanked his guild alliance's first ever Gruul kill. It was really good to see I had some support from our officers. Basically they told him to shut it. I guess this guy had been questioning the entire strategy (not just their tank selection) and they were a bit tired of it. You can check Rob's blog for his view of things.
Missdime is still in the instance, rather dead. We tried to get a replacement, but he kept getting an instance full message. So people started getting impatient, so we tried to 24 man. I mean it worked so well the first time right. Shatter owns healers, healers die. We wipe.
We are finally able to eject Missdime and get a replacement. At this point, our Raid Leader decides to switch tanks. I go to Offtank and Raydz (Warrior) goes from Offtank to Main Tank. We try it again. Raydz goes down to a silence and lack of HoTs or lack of healers, I'm not sure which. You have to be very focused as a tank, so I loose some of the situation around me.
We call the raid at that point. Everybody is pretty upset. Pre-BC, I'd hear about guilds busting up over a road block in progression. A lack of success (winning) leads to questioning the leadership and eventually some decide new leadership or a new guild is needed. I hope I don't see that happen here.