Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Raid Project: Week 5

Wow, it has been a while since I last posted. I apologize for this. My grandfather had been hospitalized and between checking on him and taking care of the every day things it left little time for blogging. However, it is Tuesday and that means another edition of the Raid Project. We always begin our raiding on Tuesdays because this allows a lot of time to regroup and attempt to finish off the goals that we had set. For this particular week, I had decided that we would run for speed/momentum. We have waisted a lot of time in past weeks by having to stop after trash pulls and wait on members to do whatever. So this week I was determined to keep an uptempo. However, some personal stuff came up and I was unsure if I would be able to attend the run or not. I spoke with our tank who had been handling the main tanking duties for each of the previous four weeks and let him know that the run needed to occur and to maintain a moderate pace.

I was able to make the run though so I logged on in time for the raid and was completely aggrevated by the numbers that were on. We had an overabundance of guild members who registered for the run, yet for some reason over half of them had things come up or just did not show. I will say I appreciate the two members of the raid who signed up and then had to back out and was kind enough to notify me prior to the run. I went ahead and started forming the raid up. We were sitting for over an hour trying to wait for different members when finally I had enough and grabbed a couple PuGs and proceeded into the Spider Wing. I did not want to start in this wing as we have destroyed it and clearly could stand to move on somewhere else. I did have to go there though for the sake of the time of the night. I have to work days currently and did not want to remain awake all night raiding, especially due to a lack of commitment. We downed the wing in no time at all; however, I needed to leave and left it up to the raid whether they would like to continue on.

The raid decided to continue forward and I passed raid lead and master looter to our main tank. I was confident in the raids ability to go on and clear at least another wing. We had a guild member log on who was able to step in and provide some solid ranged DPS which allowed one of the ret Paladins to switch over and heal. The raid moved into the Military wing. They proceeded to encounter some difficulties on Instructor Razuvious, but managed to down him after a few wipes. They then proceeded to slam into a roadblock on Gothik. From what I gathered they were not split in a good method and it caused a pretty nasty wipe. It sounded as if it was a little tense and the raid decided to call it for the night. I will admit I was disappointed that they had some of the issues that I heard of after I left, but it was not entirely a surprise (we will get to that later on).

The week progressed on and it appeared as though the raid would not be picked back up. Well, Sunday arrived and there was a strong core group of our raid members on who wanted to continue the raid. I agreed to run (although in truth I did not want to run) and joined the forming raid. I was passed lead and proceeded to round out the raid with a couple extra PuG members and we brough back a Hunter from the Tuesday run. The raid decided they wanted to hit the Military wing again. When we got to Gothik I devided the group by putting our PuG Hunter on the dead side with our off tank and my wife's Paladin and our own Warlock. I brought the rest of the raid over to the dead side with myself. We destroyed Gothik in no time at all and proceeded on to the Four Horsemen. Here we were in a rough spot as we had a lot of people doing stuff they had never done before, but isn't that the point? I want to not only get people clearing Naxx, but I also want them to learn how to do different things in the raid so that they can always find a PuG if they need to.

I took our guild Hunter to the back with me. We put our PuG Shaman healing our main tank up in one corner and left my wife to handle healing the raid on her Paladin in the other corner. I am proud to say that we had no issues here and proceeded to down the Horsemen with out any major concerns. We then decided to head into the Construct wing. We hit Gluth and once again wiped. At this point we lost our PuG Shaman and one other member. I went and found another Shaman for healing and we added a friend of the PuG Hunter to the group and made some minor adjustments on strategies and managed to down Gluth on our third attempt. I was absolutely happy for the members of the raid and the guild especially as some of them were really feeling discouraged. We then downed the rest of the wing and set our sights on the Plague wing.

Now if you have followed the previous four weeks, then you know that we have wiped without fail on Heigen. We hit Heigen with a vengeance and proceeded to bring him down to around 30% but once again we went down. It was encouraging though since we had our off tank handling the fight to get experience and a few others managed to survive the first dance. We regrouped and made some adjustments and made a second attempt. Once more we wiped, but I really feel that one was more to random bad luck such as some members having lag. The mood of the raid was going down quickly. You could tell by the reaction to what we were trying to explain to the raid. Now as a side note when I first did this boss, the PuG raid I was in wiped fifteen times in a row and each wipe made me that much more angry because they kept talking about how easy it was, yet for some reason none of them were capable of staying up either. We downed it and a few more runs later I was able to see the path open up to me through the dance. I marked myself with a raid icon, not because I am great, but because I do tend to stay up through the dance. We hit Heigen this time determined and we took him down. It was the single greates relief I have felt since trying to organize these raids. We then proceeded to finish the wing off and prepared for our final two bosses.

It was getting late (extremely late) and our off tank needed to head out. We decided we would do Saph and KT with one tank. A lot of folks were not sure on this, but we felt compelled to try. Saph is easily a single tank fight and we showed this to be true by one shotting him. I believe we did not even lose anyone on this fight. Prior to the fight we brought in a friend of our main tank who had a shadow Priest. I was feeling very hopeful at this point that maybe just maybe the guild could get their first complete Naxx run. We headed into KT and proceeded to explain the fight. There was definitely some raid members who you knew did not quite get it, but we did not want to lose the momentum and we charged in. We picked up the banshees and burned them down. I left the healing for phase one up to my wife's holy Paladin and the Shaman we picked up and proceeded to use exorcism and holy shock to blast banshees from range. With 2100+ spell power, you can put a hurt on those particular mobs. When phase two began I focused back to healing and tried my hardest to monitor everything that was going on. Calling out for heals when we needed quick response from the Shaman. The good part about both my wife and I healing on raids is that we can communicate quickly by just speaking to each other. The raid leadership monitored the ten yard range very closely. We did lose one member who did not pay attention to the range and got too close to the healers. I chose to heal the healer rather than wipe the raid from one DPS who was careless. With only one tank, we tasked our hunters to misdirect the adds onto the tank and they did it perfectly.

In the end, everything came together and the core members of our raiding team in MAS accomplished the goal that I had set out for them. We downed KT. I personally feel a since of accomplishment since so many of the guild members expressed a desire to raid. Over these five weeks we have had a lot of challenges because of a lack of dedication; however, we have six to seven members who remained dedicated and through their commitment, we were able to establish MAS on achieving one goal. It really showed that our previous raid leaders simply failed in the roles. I do not want to sound mean or belittle them, but I am by no means a hard core raider. I was, however, willing to schedule weekly raids and simply show up and group us together. I put a little time in talking with the members who would be key in the progression and also studied some fellow bloggers and WoW Wiki. The end result? We cleared Naxx 10.

So what is next? That is a great question and deserves an answer. As the summer is nearing completion, my personal goal is to find a member of our raiding team and start to have them take over leading the raids. It is not that I do want to stop raiding, but as the year ends, tax season approaches and that is a nightmare of any professional in the financial or tax industries. I also do not want the raiding to end and so I am going to continue leading the raids until such a time arrives that I feel confident in a new raid leader. I think the goal for MAS as a whole in raiding is to put Naxx on farm. We have over 30 level 80's at last count. We have the number, but need the dedication so I shall continue to focus on the weekly runs and foster the attitude of expectency and hopefully increase the number of members who are on adn wanting to raid. So in the end, the Raid Project has not ended, but truly now has just begun!

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