Hammer Log 29 January
I learned that Tuesday night was sort of their farm night and Thursday was more about progression. I knew that meant there was a chance that I would be asked to sit out so I tried to mentally prepare myself for that. I still have blue 630 legs, cloak and trinkets. I could run LFR and see if I could pick up those pieces,but even with LFR pieces I'm not sure it would close the gap. In an effort to make Normal and Heroic raiders feel like they don't need to run LFR, the gear gap is pretty substantial. You get a 640 for LFR and you get a 670 for Heroic. If I didn't get an invite, I'd try to find a PuG running normal and make sure they were using Personal loot.
I checked my Garrisons and I saw I had two missions for Trinkets, one 630 and one 645. Trinkets are some of my worse pieces. I was still using a blue from Nagrand that thankfully got upgraded to a 608 epic from the War Mill. I put my best team together (Olim, Lantesstor and Kaz) and gave them the best pep talk I could but the General still only gave them a 83% chance of success.
I hopped on TeamSpeak to see if I would get an invite, and even if not, it was probably a good idea to hang out and be with them even if I wasn't in the raid and I'd be close at hand in case they wanted to bring me in at some point. I was pleasantly surprised to get an invite right off the bat.
We engaged Kargath again in case we had new people or anyone from Tuesday wanted to coin him. I wasn't sure how many bosses I would see so I burned my seal.
After I used my roll someone pointed out that it might be a good idea to save seals for next week when Blackrock Foundry opens. I had to agree and didn't use anymore seals the rest of the night.
My DPS started out pretty good. On the first trash pull of the night I hit over 20k but as the fight wore on my DPS kept going down as I moved around to avoid mechanics. Most of their DPS finished above 20k while I sat more in the 15k range. I know I was making rotational errors but I'm not sure how much of it is 'learn to play' and how much is 'get better gear' especially a weapon (640 LFR). I don't know if they log or not , but I didn't hear anyone talking about logs after the fight so I might need to log for myself so I can see what I need to do to get better.
I'm also not entirely sure about my talents. After all the advice I had read on MMO Champion, Icy-Veins and elsewhere, I went with Sanctified Wrath and Final Verdict instead of Holy Avenger and Seraphim since that was supposed to be better sustained DPS while Holy Avenger worked better for burst.
I'm also not sure what to do about my Legendary Quest ring. I've got the 680 Prot , 640 Ret and 640 Holy rings. Should I change the 680 over to the Ret version and go with a 640 Prot version? If I get called on the tank I want it to go well so I want that gear to be really solid but I also want to do as best as I can in my current role as melee.
With our warm up exercise done, we headed over to Butcher. I was assigned to my spot and went to town. Butcher is pretty close to Patchwerk kind of fight for melee. On the upside, Butcher was a fairly mundane one shot, on the down side, I only managed about 15k. Then it came time for loot and I saw he had dropped Heroic Warforged Plate Boots, a Tanking ring, and something made of leather. I don't know what slot it was because I stopped reading when I saw 'Leather'.
Dirty Casuals uses a Loot Council and a special addon called RCLootCouncil to manage it. When something drops, you use the addon to hit MainSpec/Need, Offspec/Greed, Minor Upgrade or Pass. I passed on the leather whatever it was. This ain't Vanilla.
I'm always worried about asking for loot early on in my tenure with a guild but both items were going to be nice upgrades for me and with a Loot Council the guild had complete control over who got what. This is actually my first experience with a Loot Council guild so I was curious how it would go.
For the guild, I am main spec Ret, offspec Tank and that's exactly how I responded. Main spec on the boots, offspec on the ring. I fully expected that they would give the loot to more established members. I was already doing better than I thought I would be going into night by virtue of the invite alone. To my surprise, I was awarded the boots since they provided me with the largest upgrade.
That made my night right then and there.
We pulled up to Tectus next. This has never been one of my better fights regardless of spec. I made sure to switch to the adds when they spawned and tried to stay out of as much of the bad as I could. I still think like a Tank so I concentrate on surviving over everything else and it's probably a more conservative play style than most DPS players. We made it through Tectus but it was my worse showing of the night on the meters.
Our next target was the Twin Orgon. This is another fight I struggle with. It's mostly the fire from Quake and sure enough I got myself boxed in and got too many stacks. I saved my own behind with Divine Shield but the second time it was still on cool down and I was toasty. Somehow, the raid still managed to kill them even without my stellar DPS. The loot included a plate chest that was a decent upgrade from the LFR one I'm sporting. The Loot council said that both the Holy Paladin and I had the same upgrade. They were going to let us roll it off, but I dropped out and told them to give the Chest to the Holy Paladin. I had already won the boots.
The Bosses left were Ko'ragh, Brackenspore and High Imperator. All three would represent a progression kill for the guild and we opted to go after Ko'ragh.
My job on Ko'ragh is fairly simple as melee. I spread out for Expel Fire, make sure I don't go in too early when he goes into the middle for his little break time and try to hit him with everything I've got. I know I lost some 'uptime' on him being overly cautious about going in too early. I really didn't want to mess up the people getting the shield. We made several solid attempts and most of our problem was controlling the balls. The mechanic is reminiscent of the Blood Prince Council fight from ICC. After a couple of attempts, I found out we had a new person 'juggling'.
As the fight wore on, people were getting one shot by the balls dropping. We talked about using personal cooldowns and I once again regretted the Developer's decision to make Devotion Aura a Holy only thing. It's little things like firing off a Devotion Aura to help the raid that I enjoy. This being DPS thing is definitely going to require a new mindset.
Our new ball guy learned quickly and the next attempt was going better. I made sure to put up an unglyphed Divine Protection each time I saw the balls drop. (What is this New Year's eve?) We were close and if we could push him into the middle one more time, we had it. The raid buckled and people tried to stay alive long enough for the DoTs to finish him, but Ko'ragh wasn't going down that easy. We wiped at 0%. He had maybe 500k left?
We knew we had him and pulled again. The attempt went well but attrition started whittling away at our numbers. It was another close call but this time in our favor. Ko'ragh was no more. He dropped the Bracers of Mirrored Flames and once again the Loot Council awarded them to me. I felt a little bad for taking two pieces of loot but the Loot Council explained that most of their core had everything they needed from Highmaul.
In one night I had gone from 1/7 Heroic to 5/7 and picked up two pieces of heroic gear.
I got back to my Garrison and the trinket missions had completed. I nervously hit the accept button and waited to see if my pep talked had done the trick. It had! Olim, Lantestor, and Kaz had completed the mission and I had a 645 trinket. I activated for Ret and replaced my 608.
I really liked the vibe on vent all night. This felt like a really good group. Once the raid was over, I started making preparations to transfer.