Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Rough Start, Epic Finish

This ever happened to you: You read a blog post or forum post, not giving it much thought, and then something happens, and you remember reading it, but just vaguely. Then you go back and (hopefully) find it and read it again. Now, it makes more sense because you've just experienced the very subject matter for yourself.
Well this happened to me last night. Weeks ago, I was reading World of Matticus. He had a post called "Dealing With Raid Hangover". I read it over, thought it was a well written piece (as most all of Matt's writing is), but didn't give it much more thought.
Until last night.
We were to start the night with good ole Bagtheridon. I call him Bagtheridon because Mag drops 2 bags now, a bag of gems and a 20 slot bag. Mag has been farm content for us even before 2.4 and with the nerfs to the encounter, he was even more of a loot piƱata.
Last night we wiped repeated on the big ole lizard. We had one wipe due to a clicker getting disconnected from WoW in mid click. We all saw him over there but no beam was coming from his cube. By the time someone did get over there, it was too late. We had another wipe when a clicker was killed mid click by a cave in. It was just crazy stuff, and at least with the first wipe, just bad luck.
Instead of continuing on Mag, we moved the raid to SSC. We really wanted to get some progression shots at Fathom Lord. He's seems very killable for our raid.
A new problem surfaced for Mal Katai as we reformed the raid for SSC. We have officially solved the attendance issues.  In fact, last night, we had too many raiders who wanted to raid. We had 47 people online as the raid invites started. Now in my mind, this is a good problem to have. However, our Raid Leader overinvited and left out some people. Worse, she had to remove a couple of people when she realized that we didn't have enough healers in the raid.
She was getting about a million whispers and people who didn't get invites were upset. I can't imagine what she must have been dealing with. I remember running some raids back in Heroes and having to make those "you go, you don't" decisions. If you've never been there, let me tell you, it's a horrible feeling for a raid leader, especially when Toon A, B, C are all really cool people and good players. I believe she is going to have to come up with some sort of system of who goes and who doesn't. We got the basis for that system with MK Core (Core gets invites before non Core), but I'm not sure how many we've got in the Core.
I don't envy the job Dora has. She catches everyone's flak (including my own), and loves us nonetheless.
We got our raid formed up and went to Hydross. We wiped twice on Hydross before getting him down. One wipe I caused because of a random disconnect just as we needed to transition him to my element. I ran a full complement of diagnostics on my modem and connection. My ping was always good and my upload and download speeds were in the normal range. I can't nail down if it's a Blizzard server thing or a my ISP.
We managed to kill Hydross. I was taking some heavy damage early on. Luckily for me, Brindall (Nature MT) noticed I didn't have my Frost Aura up. That was easily fixed.
From there we went on to Lurker. I could really do with about 1 or 2 less platforms of trash groups before him. It's the exact same trash group over and over again for 6 platforms. I've moved from tanking the Vashj Honor Guard to tanking a Shatterer. I have a Warrior on the Honor Guard because they like to Intimidating Shout from time to time, and I'd rather have a Warrior there to stance dance it.
We did pull off a 1 shot of Lurker. Something happened on Lurker that surprised me and scared me a little. We were all under water for his breath weapon attack. I look at my raid frames and see Celoria, our incredible Resto at sub 50% and going down. I land a couple of Flash of Light heals on her, but she is still low and losing life. So I que up my biggest heal (Holy Light Rank 11 I believe) , it lands and I que another. I literally felt my arm muscles tense up as if I was physically pulling her up and away from certain death. The strange or scary part to me was that it felt really good. I was like "Oh, yeah! Pulled you from the brink of death! Oh yeah! /flex" (I said this in my head and not over vent).
This brought a real and frightening realization to me. I enjoyed healing, but 40 mans Flash of Light spam burned me out. I should ask Banana Shoulders or Shadow and Light if Paladin healing is still a Flash of Light "Walking HoT" kind of thing in 25 mans.
So I'm going to do two things. First, I'm definitely going to work on my Resto Druid when I get the chance (he's about 21 I think). Out of the 3 other healing classes, Druid appeals to me the most because of its versatility, and ease of leveling. I tried a Priest but never really enjoyed it. I tried a Shaman and it was fun (much more enjoyable to me than the Priest), but I preferred Feral to Enhancement, so I'm going Druid.
Second, next time I respec for PVP, I'll try it Holy.
Lurker was dead, but it was starting to get late. Undaunted, we decided to go try Tidewalker. It would much easier on Thursday to get some solid attempts on Fathom Lord if Morogrim was dead.
Our Main Tank healers were a little shy during the Murlocs so we lost Blankz (Feral Druid Main Tank on Tidewalker). We try again when someone healed my Warlock. I tried to heal others in the raid but I didn't get the Murlocs under control until it was too late.
Our 'last attempt' of the night we actually got him to around 10% or so before we wiped. At 20% we move Tidewalker up into the hallway so get away from the gobules he summons. I have much less time to pick up the Murlocs at this point. We lost Blankz, but managed with Rogues evasion tanking for several percent before one of the Warriors picked him, but got crushed.
It was very, very late at this point but we decided to give one more try.
When I get healing aggro on the Warlocks, it takes 3 Holy Lights cast on my Warlock. With our new position at sub 20%, I can get off 1 maybe 2 before the Murlocs are on me. So this time at 20%, instead of trying to get healing aggro, the Raid Leader had all the healers pile up on me and I laid down my Consecrate. This was working well when I heard that CHUNKED sound that windows makes when it hits an error. My WoW locked up and I got a message box on my screen.
"Error in WoW.exe. Pure Virtual Fuction Call."
I'm a programmer in real life, but haven't the first clue what a Pure Virtual Function Call is. I listen helplessly on vent as one by one my Mages and Warlocks die. Tidewalker was at 1% but it was just down to our Paladins, Priests, and Warriors. Then just our DPS Warriors and 1 Shadow Priest were alive.
Then we wiped. But Morogrim fell! I haven't done the WWS stats yet, but our Shadow Priest reported he killed him with a Shadow Word Death.
It was an evening with a rough start, but an epic finish.
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