The holiday season always gets interesting for raid teams in WoW. Usually starting right around Thanksgiving and through New Years, raid teams have an ebb and flow which can really screw up progression. The fact that Dragon Soul dropped right after Thanksgiving (holidays and college exams and parties galore) made assembling a regular team challenging. Throw in new game releases and general burnout and you have a recipe for possible disaster.
I moved to a new realm and new raid team not long before 4.3 hit. I swapped my main spec from tanking to healing and up’d my raid size from 10s to 25s. I got to score some Heroic kills in Firelands before stepping foot into Dragon Soul. I spent a couple weeks healing the fights, fine tuning my play style and figuring out how to be most beneficial to our raid team.
On the side, I stepped into LFR to get my tanking fix and grabbed a good amount of loot along the way (at this time, 6 pieces of my gear is from LFR). When I was tasked with tanking for the impending Christmas holiday, I was ecstatic (remember, deep down I will always be Prot). Our bigger challenge: a reduced heal team and lack of DPS attendance. So we downsized to 10s. Well, a 10. Our first week was rocky–we didn’t have a great comp and Gunship proved to be our demise the first night. Since we couldn’t improve on the comp on the second night, I hauled the team into LFR for a quick clear and called it a week.
Going into this week, my adorable cotank and I decided to set a raid based on the goal of progressing. We explicitly agreed that we wanted Deathwing down this week and we would stop at nothing to make it happen. Some things happened that disrupted our original plans, but we formed up and stepped into Dragon Soul on Tuesday night. And we killed. And we cleared. And suddenly, our wall in 25s was dead. Spine was down and it was only Tuesday night, and our raid time wasn’t even over! We stepped into the Maelstrom and gave Madness a couple attempts, discovering flaws in our plans (watching me get 1-shot until we paused and figured that one out) and deciding that we would return the following night and clean up the raid once and for all.
Wednesday night was plagued with issues. One of our healers got called into work. Another was stuck in traffic due to a car fire on the Interstate. Our rogue couldn’t beat the loading screen boss to get to the Maelstrom. And so we sat. For an hour. Watching as our rogue logged in from various PCs, reforming the raid and zoning in and out, trying get him into the zone. Texting our priest to see his progress down the road. In the end, we swapped our rogue for a Boomkin, pulled in Mal on his Holy Paladin, and rotated out a Resto Druid for our Disc Priest (who did make it home eventually).
And then we pulled. And made it to the 3rd platform. We were consistently hitting the 3rd platform, working out CD usage and positioning. We made it to the 4th platform and all hell broke loose. I hit up Twitter, trying to get a better read on surviving the damage. Tweeps chimed in with pointers, which I took back to the raid team and we coordinated what was going to get blown when on platforms 3 and 4.
And then we were in Phase 2. And we were plowing right along. 5 million, 4 million, 3 million, and then we lost the tanks. And then the remaining add was eating through the remaining team. And then we wiped with Deathwing at 2.9M health.
We zoned back in, knowing that the kill was in our grasp and we all agreed to do it better, simply because we knew we could.
And we engaged. We jumped platforms like champs, used CDs like we were pros, and suddenly, we’re at Phase 2 again, and we’re all alive. Our healers are full on mana. And we lit that fucker up. We chained CDs, we perfected our Bloodlust, and suddenly, there was an achievement flashing across my screen and there were yells and screams in Mumble. And then there was elation. And I closed my eyes, and I took a deep breath and realized that we had done it. We lost not a single player on our kill. We performed flawlessly. We were now the Destroyer’s End.
Congrats to Enveloping Shadows on the defeat of Deathwing. I couldn’t have asked to run with a better and more actively participating team as I did this week. Every member of that raid earned that title. Our cheerleaders in Mumble gave us the support we needed to push to be our best. Without them and their words of encouragement, the kill probably wouldn’t have felt as sweet as it did.
Heroics anyone? ;)
- Souldrinker – Raziel
- Ti’tahk, the Steps of Time – Ursal (given to Svenya with 1 minute remaining on the trade window!)
World of Logs report here.