After a hellacious day at work (yes, I work Saturdays, /cry) I got home to a fun day of raiding!
As you all know, Kikidas is not in Knights of Utopia. Her guild was doing a Gruul's/Mag run... on the same day that KoU was going to do their first (disclaimer: the first Kara run under new management!) Karazhan run. Thankfully, the times were different enough that I could make both runs!
Ya'll know me. I'd live in an instance/raid if I could. It isn't about the gear (mostly). It's about the teamwork, the knowledge that I need to do everything right if we're going to succeed, pushing myself to my limits.. the works. For a while, before Boon got into raiding himself, we'd argue a bit about my wanting to raid. He thought that I was in it for the mad epix. I'd try to tell him that it wasn't so.
Finally, delving into the past, I compared it to Final Fantasy XI. (Yes, I just said it, WoW compared to FFXI! Don't have a heart attack, please.)
In Final Fantasy XI, the groups were hard to come by, you had to work your ass off just to kill a regular monster. And then there were skillchains. Skillchains were the key to beating a mob. I don't know how many of you guys remember or ever played FFXI, but a well put together group that was doing skillchains was a beautiful thing, it took SKILL. That's what raiding is for me. It's a measure of skill. It's a test of my skill more so than anything else.
He finally got it the one time he was in a really good raid with me. He said, "Wow. I think I finally understand what you mean.".
So, the Gruuls/Mag run went really well. We wiped once on Magtheridon because one of our cube clickers died and wasn't clear on what cube was now 'free'. We wiped once on HKM because of a shoddy initial pull. Since Resolve doesn't have enough members on its own for Gruul's/Mags, they were recruiting friends and some of their sister-guild members. I got Boon as his paladin and Absitively as his warlock into the group, Orzag a priest made it to Mags, Shougeki a resto shaman made it to Gruuls. Absitively got the cloak from HKM. Boon got the T4 shoulders. Shougeki got the T4 shoulders AND the T4 leggings.
Then we hit Karazhan! The makeup: Annuubis the prot warrior, Owaru the tankadin, Boon the healadin, Orzag the holy priest, Kikidas the warlock, Absitively the warlock, Bigpoppi the fire mage, Kaggomi the elemental shaman, Anolifer the dps warrior and Neshura the beast master hunter.
In four hours, we cleared everything except Netherspite and Nightbane. I know that for a 'badge-run', it would be considered slow. But for a Knights of Utopia run... that's three or four nights of raiding rolled into 4 hours.
We wiped only twice, both on Opera. Romulo and Julianne. The first time, our Romulo tank died because his healer got charmed. The second time, our interrupts accidentally thought the call for 'dps to switch to romulo' meant them, too.
Now, we did stack the deck by taking our best of the best characters. But there were some significant changes from the old way.
1: we kept pulling, one of the old management's problems was taking forever to pull. They'd get to Attumen with only 5 minutes left on the respawn timer. Consequentially, everything took longer to do. They'd wait on trash pulls for everyone to have completely full mana bars.
2: we took people who met a minimum requirement of not only stats, but playability.
3: only two healers, not three. The old KoU would only go in if they had 3 healers. What this meant was that the healer that was on group healing and in some cases, offtank healing, were bored out of their mind. One less DPS also made fights longer.
4: no explaining. People knew their marks. They knew the strats. We clarified briefly. ie: horseshoe vs. clumped on Curator, kill order on Moroes, killing or ignoring Kilrek, etc. This made for a faster run overall as we didn't waste time explaining what 9/10 of the people in the raid knew first-hand. Our one newb to the run was Neshura, and she read up on everything in advance and knew what to do.
When we start to bring our alts in there, Posolutely the warrior, Kathe the druid tank, Dhark the rogue, Shougeki the resto shaman... I'm sure it'll be slower. But hopefully never painful. Slow is okay. Painful is not.
We did switch out Owaru for Shougeki on Prince for extra healing, and Shougeki got the T4 helm, too. (What a lucky shaman, stealing from his paladin friend!)
All in all, in terms of raiding, it was absolutely frikken wonderful. Smooth. Clean. Quick. Skilled.
K want more!