Reflection on WotLK raiding10/04/2009
I don’t have too well thought-out a post for today, as last night pretty much destroyed my brain. So, instead I shall ramble! Glorious!
Let us reflect on what we had to deal with when we entered Ulduar. We had been pampered by New Naxxramas, especially me as a tank healer. In New Naxx, I barely had to think at all to succeed. Even on Kel’thuzad, I’d just have to watch my feet and then be ready to use Holy Shock on someone when they got ice blocked. The whole experience was mind-numbingly easy. And even if we lost half the raid, we could still win it with no problems. Raiding had become an utter “lawlfest” and we ended up spending more time distributing loot than on fighting bosses. As the healing lead, I believe my assignments consisted of “tank healers heal tanks, raid healers heal raid, NO PRACTICE GO.” Patchwerk was my personal favorite, as I literally did nothing but hit my “2” button for the entirety while gossiping with the tanks and other healers. That mentality of not only supreme ease but supreme -boredom- was lodged in my mind when we stepped into Ulduar.
My nerves got -creamed.- We started while everything was still bugged as heck, which didn’t help, but we had suddenly moved from New Naxx’s low level of raid damage and consistent tank damage into SPIKELAND. All damage everywhere was spikey! Raid damage, spikey! Tank damage, spikey! And things hit hard. Ignus was my own personal hell (that and Iron Council, ugh) with the tank taking huge damage at the same time that I had to use stop casting to not suffer lock-out. XT’s tantrums were hard in those days and Auraya’s cats would kill a tank if they managed to pounce them. Mimiron continued the theme from Sarth with the cool-down rotation and having to move out of the things that would 1-shot you. In fact, dare I say, the whole of Ulduar was like a giant Sarth fight! We were used to having to push ourselves on a single boss a week and then just glide through the rest. But now we had Vezax to frustrate us healers with the lack of mana regen. And Yogg, glorious Yogg, which is an easy fight to heal, but not an easy fight to not kill your (cloud-popping, Sanity-losing, portal-stealing) raid team over.
Ulduar was a challenge. As we started mastering the regular modes and moving onto the hardmodes, we kept that high level of mastery in mind as healers. We had to be at the top of our game. Our skills were sharp, our eyes focused. As a team we had grown together through the difficult times and really had a feeling of each other’s strengths.
The Trail of the Crusader came out and we thought it’d be a continuation of Ulduar. We were ready for another slog, another slow climb of skill. What we got was New Naxx: The Sequel. We were back to the days of “tank healers heal tanks, raid healers heal raid, NO PRACTICE GO.” Even elements that should have been difficult were so simple, like Jaraxxus’s Incinerate Flesh. (Target person with debuff, cast Holy Light twice, go back to chatting in channels.) There was no challenge, we just soaked up loot like it was nothing at all. Even the final boss was an absolute joke. I despaired!
So, what the heck, we decided to step into the hardmode version of it. Seeing as how ToC-25 was such a cake-walk, it couldn’t be that bad, right?
We got -creamed.- Horribly, horribly creamed! The damage done by the bosses was suddenly insane. Everything else was basically the same, but the damage done was easily twice what it was on normal. Yay, you may be thinking, a challenge! But consider it this way: in order to stand a chance in that place, I’ll have to continue to farm the uber-boring regular ToC-25 for gear. Le sigh. Still, I’m glad I have at least a little something to look forward to. And there’s always hope for Ice Crown, right?
(A note, since this doesn’t mention 10-mans at all: I’ve never considered 10-man raids “progression” so I don’t look to them for a challenge. Elitist of me? Maybe so, but part of the challenge of 25-mans is that there are 25 of you to deal with! It’s much more complicated, much less stream-lined. Plus, I’ve found, on the whole, that 10-mans are just way too easy. Even the hardmodes are just not a challenge, with the exception of Mimiron-10. Man, he destroys my world…)