Monday, February 2, 2015

Meeting the Dirty Casuals

Congratulations to New England for winning the Super Bowl. As a fan without a particular rooting interest I thought it was a great game.

Hammer Log 27 January 2015 continued

I was really starting to wonder if perhaps my situation no longer lent itself to raiding. Maybe it was time to become one of those solo/alts/old raids/pet battle players.

I remembered hearing about a guild on Twitter called The Dirty Casuals. They were a multigaming group that played WoW, Wildstar, SWTOR and other games. I checked their raid schedule and not only do they only run two nights but their times are mostly workable for me. I contacted them through Twitter and got signed up on their site. They also have a closed Facebook group that is fairly active.

They use Teamspeak. One thing I’ve done in searching for guilds and pickup groups is encounter about every VoIP service out there. I’ve used Vent, Mumble, Teamspeak and even something called RaidCall. I jumped on their Teamspeak to say hello but they were in the middle of the raid. They asked if I wanted to come for their Imperator kill.

Would I like to come to an Imperator kill? You betcha. The problem was I was Prot/Holy at the time and they had their tanks set. They suggested I come as Ret but I didn’t want them to have to wait for me to port to Thunderbluff, respec, redo my keybindings, UI, etc. I told them I could come as Holy but it was the weakest of my three specs. They said sure. I got a summons and zoned in. I had only ever tanked the fight before so they quickly explained about how they handled Branded. The big thing was not to step on a mine. They had gone the entire night without a wipe and wanted to complete a clean Normal run.

Hey, no pressure.

I set up my Beacons and built up some Holy Power as we got ready to pull. I started healing and something started to form at my feet. I let the cast finish and started to move.

That, ladies and gentlemen, was a mistake. Sort like calling a pass play on the 1 foot line with 30 seconds to go in the Super Bowl.

The mine blew up.

I owned up to my mistake and apologized. Way to make a first impression.

The group managed to recover and we progressed through the encounter. They had marked their main healer with a raid marker and I stayed close to him except for one phase where I needed to spread out. I checked Skada and I was pulling about 12k HPS which is better than I’ve had done in LFR or heroics, but I wasn’t close to any of the other healers who were all north of 20k.

They did manage to one shot Imperator and I manage to stay alive for most of it. They still had some time so we zoned out and reset it to Heroic. They live on a PVE server so it was much less of an adventure than when we did the same thing with Cafe Soma. They let me stay in the raid as they got ready for Heroics. We defeated Kargath but it was a little tight and we wiped on Butcher. The raid leader determined everyone was getting tired and losing focus. They were already past their end time for the night so they called it.

I could tell they had a really positive vibe on Teamspeak. They seemed really comfortable with each other and they all sounded like they were enjoying themselves as we cleared content.

Afterwords, I talked to their recruitment guy. I told him that I would main spec any of the three Paladin specs they needed. Oddly, he asked what my preference would be. My preference? I figured my best bet was to be honest with him. I enjoy the tanking. I knew they had at least two really good solid, geared tanks. Everyone in the raid is pretty much kitted out from Normal plus a good smattering fo Heroic gear. I’ve got maybe two pieces from Normal (gloves and belt) and nothing from Heroics. That Heroic Kargath was litteraly my second time killing the guy.

He told me that they had 2 Warriors and one other tank, maybe a Death Knight, but he wasn't sure. They didn’t have any Tankadins and one of their Warrior tanks was itching to try out Fury some nights. He offered that I could consider myself main spec Retribution with a Protection offspec. They would try to work me into the tanking rotation as opportunity provided and my gear level increased maybe starting on a farm night or something.

I didn't have to worry about Holy anymore. I could go back to being Prot/Ret. Okay, Ret/Prot but one thing I've learned is that Tanks want breaks (some longer than others). If I stick with it and perform my role well, be a consistent raider and good teammate, I have to think my opportunities will come.

I came away incredibly energized by the night. That more than anything else told me that going Ret/Prot was the right call. Holy doesn't get my juices flowing the way Prot does. I went back to Thunderbluff and dumped the Holy spec. I’m sure if that if Holy was what it took to get a solid raid spot I’d learn to like it, but my passion is tanking.

I spent some time studying up as much as I could on Ret. It's a little more complex than I originally thought. I really want to make a good impression the next time I raided with them.

If the next raid goes well, I’ll transfer to Hyjal and become a Dirty Casual.

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