Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's that time again...

It seems like the only time I update this blog is while I'm doing laundry. I started a few posts but never really thought they were going anywhere so I bagged it.

And there is news to report... The guild _finally_ cleared Naxxramas. I know, right!!! It took us a total of 6 nights across 3 raid lockout periods, but we got it done. The first two nights were pretty much clearing everything but four horsemen. We had the people to do 4 horsemen on the second night but three pulls from the boss(es) we had three people disconnect and they never came back. So it sat for another night. The next time in, we took down the 4 horsemen in one shot. Everyone did their jobs flawlessly.

So we moved on to Sapphiron... And wiped a good solid 4 times. So we called it... And came back another night... And we took him out in one shot. This was due in large part to a change in tactics... Namely, instead of letting our idiot warrior tank it, I tanked it on my dr00d. With 45k health (it's almost up to 50k with full raid buffs these days), it made things go a lot smoother. So we moved on to KT... And wiped a few times.

So we came back on a Monday and we had the "right" people and... Another one shot.

You'd think I'd be happy... And I am... Sort of. But the next night, we tried for OS 10 with one drake up... And we barely even got off the ground. We have people standing in void zones and getting tail swiped and hit by flame waves. After 3 or 4 attempts, I tried healing it... But our idiot warrior tank turned the boss the wrong way and basically the entire raid got tail swiped and stunned and killed by a flame wave. Ironically, when we finally threw in the towel because it was "too hard", he turned the boss the "right" way. I could scream.

And now that Naxx is clear, people are talking about moving on to Ulduar and they're getting pissy when I say "we're not ready". I say this because, we're not. No amount of gear is going to help if people do dumb things. On the Sapphiron wipes, the idiot warrior tank was told "turn the boss slightly to the right". He turned it about 100 degrees... At least he got "right" correct. So I showed him the line I wanted it tanked on... Same thing. We had one healer die three times on the successful Sapphiron kill - every time by not being close enough to an ice block. On KT, we have one paladin who Failbot saw as failing at Void Zones 6 times - 5 on the night of wipes and 1 on the successful kill. Just last night, we pulled 4 packs of mobs that we generally try to leave up. Someone (OK.. A death knight... One dk did it three times and another got the last group) wandered a little to close or backed into them. And, of course, the warrior tank couldn't figure out how to release his understudy on Rasuvious so we wiped on that a good solid 4-5 times before we got lucky and got him to 4% before he killed the other understudy and we were able to kite him around long enough to down him. Did I mention that the other tank has done this 3 or more times already. He spent most of his time not tanking staring at a wall while my bone shield was down. At one point, I took three rotations in a row. But I digress...

I could go on and on with specific examples of how we're not ready. Fortunately, less radical voices in the guild have been saying similar things. We're back to storming through Naxx. I'm back to cringing when they do something incomprehensible. I'm weaning them off the bear because... He just makes things too easy. It will force them to slow down and figure stuff out. I've started telling them that certain mobs have whirlwind abilities (I should mention that we can usually only field one or two ranged DPS out of 10 because the others are all rogues, warriors, dks or ret paladins) and suggesting that they try to interrupt the whirlwinds so they don't all get instagibbed. In Heroic TotC, I've been insisting that the warrior tank pick up ALL of the adds and not just the melee ones (that actually didn't go over well... He informed the party that he was the tank so we were going to do it _his_ way. I let him. It failed miserably. But we got it after about 6 tries. And then on the Black Knight, you're supposed to kite to _avoid_ the desecrations... Not kite for the sake of kiting and CERTAINLY not directly INTO them). I've been pointing out which mobs can be skipped and screaming into the ether when they pull them. I've been running failbot so they can see why they're dying. I've been actually paying attention to Recount and checking that against their specs. We have one death knight who put 66 points into the unholy tree but without a specific plan. He put 2/5 into important things, but 5/5 into something that is clearly a tanking talent. And when you compare that to the battle logs, he put a point into Scourge strike but only used it 48 times in two wings of Naxx... One third of his damage comes from melee and another 25% comes from Death and Decay (which led to a few early deaths when he popped it first... Still doesn't learn though... "causes a large amount of threat"... /sigh). Sometimes I think I may have to try to teach him a dps rotation of some kind... But other times I say "what's the point? He won't learn". I mean... The guy has 4 pieces of tanking gear, two rogue pieces and a spell power enchant on his melee DPS set.

But it's going to be a long road and I don't know that I'm patient enough to make them into better players. We've never been a guild who told people how to play... But if people want to progress, maybe I'll get some traction to let me set up a "raiding" spec for some of them. Take them to a target dummy and show them how their way isn't working... Like in Days of Thunder. Then again, I may just stop running with them and just PuG everything. It's actually a lot less stressful for me.