Friday, December 24, 2010

Heroics...Raids...Reputation... and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

First, Merry Christmas (Eve) to everyone! I hope your holidays are happy, healthy and filled with family (or, if family isn't your cup of tea, may you only see they for a day and not two weeks in a row).
I'm finally home for Christmas this year after being away for two years!

Let's get to it.

It's two and a half weeks since Cataclysm was released and where am I? In a pretty good position! I cracked exalted on my first target faction for a new belt (thank you Hyjal) and I'm six thousand rep out from my epic shoulder enchants. I'm burning through heroics and participated in my first Cataclysm raid (10man version), and Apotheosis has now killed Argaloth (in Tol Barad) and Magmaw!

My first heroic was Stonecore on December 14th. Holy crap, was I afraid. Luckily I'd gone in there with my boyfriend who acted as my support system when I was screaming at/swearing at the computer.  (Maybe not so lucky for him...). We entered the dungeon through the random queue and discovered that we were right at the first boss. Great, no trash to deal with.

What I didn't know was that the tank had just spent time explaining the fight to the last healer and ranged dps who apparently failed spectacularly. So I drink my elixirs, get my food buff and ask for a few tips (run out of pink spikes, avoid burrow, live through adds, heal) and we get started.

WOW. I was not expecting so much group damage, and eventually I got smacked in the face by the burrow ability because I was too busy gawking at my EMPTY mana bar and wondering how to heal 5 people from 20%. I apologized and got the old "dot dot dot" from the tank. The boomkin in the group stood up for me, saying I was probably watching the health bars and freaking out (excellent observation Mr.Kin).
The tank tells me, and I quote, healing is hard now. Really? No shit, I replied. Yes shit, my main is a resto druid. Good for you. Why aren't you healing this run then? Oh right. You're tanking. Shut the hell up and do your job while I do mine.
I get another "dot dot dot" from him so I pulled up my socks and told him I was ready when he asked.

The second time was much better!  We killed Corobus and made our way to the second boss and at some point the asshole tank left and we got a great Prot Paladin who didn't rush through pulls like a maniac.

There are some rock guys on the way to Slabhide that have this "Quake" ability. This ability hurts. And apparently there is a way to avoid it; you jump! I'm not kidding either. The melee dps told us that if you jump while he casts Quake you avoid the damage altogether.

We killed Slabhide on the first try thanks to the moonkin's great explanation. Really cool mechanics on that fight, very enjoyable!

We blew through trash on the way to Ozruk, and I remembered someone in guild saying something about how it would be a painful fight until the dps/healers realized they needed to DoT themselves to remove the paralyze debuff. So another explanation of the fight, and we killed him in two shots! More cool mechanics, I loved it.

The last boss in Stonecore is High Priestess Azil. She drops void zones, summons adds, lifts and drops your tank (interuptable!), and drops boulders on your head if you don't watch. Excellent. The adds hit hard on a cloth wearer, and it took us a few tries to get it right, but you can run the adds through the void zones to help kill the adds and shrink the bad shit on the ground. Eventually Azil died and I completed my first heroic of Cataclysm! With 3/5 being PuGs no less. I felt pretty good.

Since then I've completed every heroic dungeon save Blackrock Caverns, Grim Batol and Vortex Pinnacle.

I participated in my first Cataclysm raid on the 21st. This was designed to be an exploratory raid to check out various dungeons and get some experience with the bosses. Ten of us suited up and went to Tol Barad to kill Argaloth (who is a lot like Brutallus, but less of a badass). We ended up one-shotting him for a Guild Run achievement and we moved on to Blackwing Descent to kill Magmaw.

Well, it didn't go as smoothly as Argaloth. The ranged groups have to avoid this pillar of flame thing on the ground that will spawn parasites and infect anyone caught by it and cause them to spawn more parasites. I personally got hit a few times, but after seeing it I managed not to get hit after that. There were others who got hit more than I did. We had to worry about the chains to hold the boss down, and there's a pretty nasty debuff that goes on the tanks.
So I used my cooldowns; I dropped Barrier a LOT, I used Pain Suppression on the tank with Mangle, I used Power Infusion on myself, I managed my mana, used fiend if I needed and hymned.

After various attempts, I was asked to sit out to give another healer a chance to get some experience. And they ended up killing Magmaw. I was pretty upset, but I said my congratulations and listened in while they goofed off with the Omnitron boss-council thing.

I don't get replaced. I'm not used to it. I'm not the healer that gets dropped. Especially when I know I'm not having issues with fight mechanics. I got reassurance from my guild leader later on (after which I felt like a child needing to be pat on the back, derp) that it wasn't me being a shitty healer, it was just part of getting another healer more experience with a fight that we'll all see on 25man. Also, if I was sitting you're damn right I would want in, so I appreciate that she paid attention to those who were benched for the time being.

In the end, this is just part of playing with a big group of people. There are other people who are consistent, dependable, good players and we have a pretty full healing core in Apotheosis. I'm just going to have to get used to swapping out, and get used to not taking it personally because I know I'm doing a good job.

I'm really excited about hitting up some 25man raids soon and even more excited because that means more healer spots to fill rather than taking 3 healers with one person having the guaranteed spot. I'm also really excited to be healing with this group of healers. For the most part we're very good, and I can't wait to see how we mesh as a team in the future!

Merry Christmas!


  1. The problem I realized that we would have, once I started assembling the guild, is that being a healer myself and having a following of other healers on my blog means that I will have a lot of very good healers on the team.

    And I definitely don't want to be like the RL we had on BB together, who would let people sit out for weeks or months at a time. I want to give us the best chance of success while letting everyone participate.

    I'll be doing my best to swap myself out too, once we get the fights down, just to make sure everyone gets a chance to get in.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the raid and that you're looking forward to more, especially the 25s. I can't wait to have 5-6 other healers in the raids with me, too. :D

  2. My first Heroic ended up being Stonecore, as well and it left me pretty traumatized. I had no idea that group makeup was going to come into play for certain fights and now I try to think about that, if I have any say in forming a group. I try to make sure I have strong CC, some AOE potential, good melee, good ranged, etc. It's not always possible to cover all of those bases, but I sure do try!

    Having your BF along for support or anyone for that matter is a huge benefit. I know I get Crazy Redhead sometimes from things that I see in PuGs and guild chat tends to be my outlet for such things, though I am working on taking those gripes to Twitter instead (because I worry I'm scaring my guildies) - lol

    I certainly know what it feels like to NOT be that person who gets replaced. I tend to be extremely competitive when it comes to my raid spot and there are some times in the past where I went to some pretty crazy lenghts to make sure I was keeping mine. I have gotten a lot better about that, but I still feel weird not always being a part of the action. I have a lot of trust and faith in Kurn that she will make sure each of us gets an even amount of face time and that nobody feels more left out or has to sit more than anyone else.

    I'm so hungry for 25 man content. Gimme!

  3. Oh haaai!

    @ Kurnzor
    Yar, you have a job that I don't think any of us envies at all. But it is what it is and if you were a tank or dps it'd be the same way (but I'm glad you're a healer).

    @ O
    I think I got very lucky when it came to that Stonecore run, I had some extremely kind and understanding PuGers who were like "you can do it!". Otherwise, I probably would have run away crying, specced shadow and pretended I could dps, hehe. Having Chronis there helped too ;).

    I wish I had a mage or something so I could help out on heroics, with you and the other healers. Kind of sad that the only real way to get some game time with everyone is through PvP or waiting for 25s!

    Speaking of... I agree with you! Gimme 25 man content!

  4. I think part of the reason that first run didn't go off without a hitch was my lack of confidence. I think I rushed into going into my first Heroic. I think I took whoever was the first to say that they wanted to go. I think a number of factors conspired to keep it from happening. I look back at it now and can't believe how ridiculous it all was and now the healing in Heroics flows a lot more effortlessly (except for Heroic Deadmines - that place can die in a fire).

    I have been extremely lucky with PuGs and I usually run with at least Dahrla and we grab one or two more other DPS from the guild and essentially "run" our PuGs. With the exception of the difficult Throne of the Tides run we did (which we did complete, eventually), I have been very pleased with the results and I don't find I'm lacking anything to do.

    I have always defined myself as a 25 man raider. I enjoy 10 mans and I like seeing content any way I can get it, but I feel more like that's what I signed up for. That's my idea of progression. I like to raid and I admit that I don't spend a lot of time in the game doing other things when I'm not raiding. I do my three days, maybe a day of gathering mats or farming and then I log off. I know what I'm here for.