Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Raid Project II: Ulduar

So in a previous post I had stated the fact that I felt that as a guild I could officially place the "Done" stamp on Nax 10. This left me with one question, what to focus on next? We have around 40 - 45 level 80 characters within our guild. The problem is several of these are on the same account, while others rarely log on and show little interest in raiding. (Which since we started as a casual guild focused on PVP, I have no issue with their lack of interest.) So we could look at trying to form a 25 man Naxx run, but honestly I do not have the patience to organize 25 people for a run. Not to mention that we have a problem with folks staying on for the whole run. This has actually been a blessing as we are capable of rotating many members into a run and this has increased the gear of the overall guild.

I had considered looking at focusing on doing Maly 10 and perhaps chasing the OS with drakes up. Both of these are good options, but rarely worth focusing on for our schedule raids. So then I got to thinking about where Ruhtra should be. In all honesty, Ruhtra is at a point where he is rather bored and definitely looking for a challenge. As I looked over our guild roster I noticed other members who are in the same boat as Ruhtra or even more gear. So this led me to think that with the five to six main raiders (and by main I mean those who have been on here for quite some time taking the lumps to learn these runs in PuGs or alternative groups) and I realized that we could make the difference and that the time was now to push MAS into Ulduar. Which is exactly what we are going to be doing every Saturday.

The first week I posted for an Ulduar run, we had a good response from those who I selected to come on the initial run; however, the run fell apart and I did not wish to grab PuGs to round out a raid that was supposed to be for the guild. Then my schedule change hit at work and I was unable to really focus on some of these things. It was slightly before my schedule was to change that our former raid leader returned and has been on regularly. He has a strong desire to raid and so he and another member approached me about scheduling two raids. The first was to be on our old raid night and would continue to be Naxx 10. I was fine with this and agreed. I posted it and passed moderator status to the two members. I am happy to say that the raid went on as schedule and even Ruhtra made a guest appearance at the end of the run, although he was tired and ready to pass out.

The second raid they requested was Ulduar. This fit perfectly into my plans for where I wanted to take the guild. I agreed to schedule the run and posted it for Saturday. My schedule has me off on Saturdays and this was perfect. Instead of selecting those players who were geared to put out the best numbers and met what most people consider to be the minimums for raiding; I instead opened the run up to all level 80 characters. In all honesty I was inspired by the Greedy Goblin's post about downing Ulduar in blues. (I apologize I do not have a link up, but I will go back and look for it and update it as soon as possible.) So, we ended up having one tank on at the start of the run, but this did not matter to me. We rounded up all the guild members who were on and level 80 and headed for Ulduar. Now we cannot resist any PVP opportunity so some Alliance players did die as were waiting to enter Ulduar, but that is life on the PVP server.

I really was just hoping that we could down Flame Leviathon without folks becoming discouraged. We tried to place the higher geared players in the siege vehicles to get maximum hit points out of these. Also, those who were better geared had some experience in Ulduar. Without going into too much detail, we downed Flame Leviathon on the second attempt. I am going to try to keep my pride down, but that was damn impressive for a group that only had four or five people who had been in Ulduar and none of us have ever led a group there. We next targeted Razorscale. Now at this point we had to ask the last DPS who joined to step out so we could bring in another one of our main tanks. With the switch we then hit Razorscale with some solid efforts. We ended up wiping on Razor but regrouped and through some extremely solid game play managed to take Razor down on the second attempt as well. You could hear the excitement in vent and people were generally excited about how well the run was going. The next on the hit list was the robot. I was somewhat worried here as we are not always the most coordinated guild on the earth. As was par for the night we wiped once but then pulled ourselves together and ripped the screws out of that annoying machine.

I was absolutely surprised and happy with the performance of the guild and the fact that we went in raw and unchallenged in both leadership and skills and managed to perform beyond the expectations that I had. I will admit openly that I understimated our abilities and to that I apologize. If you were to look at those who went, you would see they are geared well but not nearly well enough to perform as solidly as they did. I think what this speaks to is the fact that if you have a good solid group of people who understand their classes and can follow directions and adjust their mechanics on the fly that you can take down this type of content. We are walking proof of that. A couple months back when I started trying to get us into raid shape I truly did not know where we would end up or how well we would perform. Three months later all I can say is that I am proud of those who have stayed with us and those who have joined and contributed, without you all this would not be possible. Again I thank you all and I look forward to raiding with you all and seeing how far we can go.


Edyion said...

I think the biggest surprise for me is the fact we didn't slow down one bit other than the 15 minutes it took to work out the tank issue. Everybody was focused and adjusted on their own, which is good considering it was me that was giving the crappy instructions on fights. Showed that at least a few did some sort of research before we went in there. If we can keep people moving in the raids we shouldn't have too many issue from what they proved.

Nymeros said...

One, no matter how much you criticise your instructions, Edy, you have two things going for you:

A.)You DO know the fights, even if you act like you "just know how to dps them". You have a good memory for some of the nuances of bosses that lots of people just overlook.

B.) You may not realize this, but you have a very clear distinguishable voice over Vent. I am able to hear you clearly and never have to think "Did she say Might or Light?"

I'm so very pleased with our Ulduar attempt, unlike our Naxx attempt(see my rant on blog). In hindsight, after thinking of the raid and some things I may have missed in the heat of the moment, I'm more inclined to agree with Art's assessment of what he saw.

Looking forward to our week of raid attempts that has been scheduled. I think we can really start to see who has the energy and dedication to do the content.

And yes, any significant breaks in time kill raids for me, and for lots of people. On the whole, I don't think there should be more than 10 minutes of down time per hour. More than that and I lose patience with the raid. I'm glad the people there WANTED to be there and didn't have to be dragged there unwillingly. Made it much more enjoyable.