Yet more in my 'casual raiding' line of posts.
To rehash: Knights of Utopia -- small casual raiding guild.
Raiding highlights to date: Almost full Kara clear in 3.5 hours (minus the dragons.)
Individual raiding highlights: A good portion of our active raiders have participated in some way or another in Magtheridon and Gruuls and a small portion of our active raiders have been in SSC, TK and ZA.
The plan: Start progression in Zul'Aman this last Sunday.
The people: Posolutely the warrior tank, Owaru the paladin tank, Boon the paladin healer, Orzag and Kiljara the priest healers, Neshura and Wolfinme the hunters, Ravensfire the rogue, Harikin the mage and try to find one more DPS (preferably a warlock.)
And... we know what happens to the best made plans, right? Posolutely went into ZA, thinking that the reset timer would allow him to go with us on Sunday. Not...
So, Posolutely the warrior tank came as Absitively the warlock. Kiljara the priest came as Kathe the bear tank. And we pulled in a friend of Abs, another paladin healer.
Our plan: 2 hours. 2 bosses.
We almost did it!
We had a few trash pull mishaps, namely on the stairway up to the bear boss, Nalorakk. But we were able to one-shot Nalorakk. (The fact that he's considered the 'easiest' boss of ZA nonwithstanding... we one shotted Nalorakk.)
Kathe tanked the troll phase and Owaru tanked the bear phase. We had one hairy moment (get it, hairy?) when the troll resisted my taunt, but Owaru was able to do something (I dunno what, he's a paladin... it's a mystery to me) and I was able to eke ahead and get its attention.
I had to pop out of bear form and heal a time or two. I had to innervate one of our priests. But when all was said and done, we had a dead Bear Lord. Not a dead bear tank.
The Akil'zon gauntlet had us wipe I think three times before we got the maneuver down pat. (And by this time, the pug healer disconnected (before the gauntlet, but after the Bear Lord)without warning... and yes, the person knew this was a progression raid and wipes were inevitable, and yes, the person knew that regardless of how well we did, it would end at 9pm or after Akil'zon, whichever came first.... so we had Harikin the mage step out and come in as Yorkshire the priest healer, and we grabbed another rogue from our guild to come DPS for us, Gobblez. (Timmay! Gobblez! TIMMAY!))
Alas, we did not get Akil'zon down. Kathe slapped on healing gear and helped keep the raid alive. We were debating whether this dropped us too low on DPS. We were going to swap her out and bring in Kikidas (rawr! Kikidas eat Eagle Lord. *nomnom*.) but we wound up running out of time and had the gauntlet respawn.
On Azil'zon our biggest problem was coordination of the Electrical Storm collapse. Too early and we were getting eaten by Static Disruption. Once we called it too late and someone didn't collapse in time... and guess who the storm was centered over? We also had a bit of a difficult time with the birds. We had our warlock try to dot them up as they flew by. We didn't (and we thought of this afterwards) have the hunters also hit the birds a time or two. Next time...
We got him to about 50% though, and for a small guild that on the WHOLE hasn't ever fought him before... not too shabby, IMNSHO. I think if we hadn't had the gauntlet respawn right around 9pm, we'd have done it. Our best attempt at him was our last attempt at him and it was also the attempt where the collapse didn't happen quite right and the raid got wiped.
By the way -- when you're tossed up in the air, druids can catform once released from the storm and avoid taking any fall damage (even if you're a healer and not a feral druid pretending to be a healer, you get reduced fall damage, so still worth it to shift.)
Now, here's the problem with being a small guild trying this out. I'm going to name our top DPSers (by top DPS, I mean people who consistently come in the top 4 and 700+ DPS average) in the guild, and I want you to pick who you've discovered, by my posts, is actually one of our tank or healer alts!
Ravensfire, Dhark, Neshura, Tasogare, Absitively, Kikidas
That's right! Of those FIVE DPSers, only TWO of them are not usually otherwise occupied in a tank or healing role! Ravensfire and Neshura are the only two of KoU's top DPSers who isn't usually required to fill a healing or tanking role. What this means is that even though if you put all five of us in a run together, put in two tanks, two healers and one other decent DPS, we'd slaughter your world... what it really means is we have two 700+, and a bevy of up and comers who average 400-500.
So likely, we're going to be in Karazhan yet more, getting them the gear and experience. We also need to do Netherspite and Nightbane, since those are coordination-listen to the raid leader call instruction fights, and we need more of that experience for ZA and beyond. This isn't necessarily a bad thing for Kathe, since just about all of her upgrades will come from badges (or PvP)... but it can be frustrating! Especially since we ate the Bear Lord. He's nothing more than a juicy bear burger to us now. (And yes, I had to put a wowhead link in here. Because I can, damnit.)
Off to more fun Alliance PvP with Kathe the Resto/Balance druid! WOoooo... *cry*