Tally HO! and stuff…

I got my very first taste of progression, 25-man raiding last night. When the raid was called early without a single boss downed I walked away with much food for thought.

For those of you who are veterans at 25-man content much of what I say might be second-nature. I’m not, however, writing this blog to be a guide so much as I’m writing it to chronicle what I’ve seen and what I’ve learned.

Back to the raid last night. We weren’t able to fell a single boss.

That ^ right there is a loaded statement. There is much lost when words are converted into text, but no matter how blandly it is said you can feel emotion behind it. Some will be angry and frustrated, some will be disgusted or ashamed. Some few, like me, will be simply thoughtful.

We went in and spent the bulk of the night trying to down Al’ar, the phoenix. It was stated repeatedly that night that this fight is a test of raid cohesiveness. Heading in to this fight I only had one goal. Perform to the best of my ability, and don’t wipe the raid.

I’m pretty sure I only failed at this once. On our last attempt at big and feathery I was afk when the fight began. I’d called it in vent, but it wasn’t an issue. I was back at my computer when I was needed. Al’ar flew up to pelt us with his flame quill attack and I ran to the ramp leading up to platform 4. He flew to platform 4 and I ran (slow, frustrating bear run) up, spamming my feral charge key that for some reason wouldn’t charge me. Once there I tried to gain aggro (despite the fact I didn’t need to) and as a result didn’t get to the edge of the platform. I’m sure you know what comes next.

I was out of line of sight of the healers. So I went down, quickly. I popped my trinket and frenzied regeneration and got to the edge but it was too late. I took a dirt nap and Al’ar proceeded to lay waste to everything around me.

/sigh

The most amazing thing happened. We picked ourselves back up and without very many words moved on for an attempt at the Void Reaver. I didn’t get a single angry growl from vent or snappish tell, nothing. Afterwards I was talking with the other feral tank that went with us about my gear and he did tell me that on that last try it was all me who single-handedly wiped the raid. But, this was said with a laugh and he assured me that everyone does it at least once. While not ok, I was learning, and nobody’s going to rip my face off for it.

Raiding is a commitment. People must make amends to their schedules and be emotionally prepared to tackle these obstacles. When things don’t go as planed, repeatedly, it’s very easy to become frustrated, bitter, and snarky. I saw none of this.

The day after a raid the stats are posted and members are encouraged to discuss. In the short time I’ve been here I haven’t seen the discussions turn nasty once. There’s very little finger pointing and quite a lot of civil, constructive criticism.

I feel like I’m watching a surgeon at work. -> An example, and not descriptive of any particurlar raid:

He sees a sick patient, there is something wrong: the raid keeps wiping.

The patient is coughing, hacking up something yellow: the tanks are going down too fast

The problem is in the lungs or the throat? Are the tanks staying in range of the healers, is their gear not good enough, are the healers slacking?

Once the problem is identified the discussion turns to ways to fix it. Practice runs are set up and the raid is run the next day. Sometimes it’s an individual person causing the problem but I didn’t see much of that last night (apart from my /dur moment on the platform)

This morning my husband asked me how far we got. I told him and he hit me with an ‘aww that sucks’. I asked him why and he replied, ‘you didn’t get any loot!’

Thing is, it’s not always about the loot. For me, gear is only a means to an end. Last night’s run was immeasurably valuable to me. I learned what it feels like to be a part of a 25-man team. I’ve experienced the heady yet treacherous feeling of being trusted in my role without anybody there to hold my hand. I’ve single-handedly killed 24 other people and stood amazed as the expected finger-pointing and lambasting didn’t come. Most of all, though, I think I’ve seen one of the more frustrating sides of raiding and come out with more knowledge, more experience, and more ready than ever to give it my all.

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  • Comments (2)
    • BeerCow
    • July 30th, 2008

    This ^ is why Guin and I do what we do.

    • Dr. Guin Medicine Woman
    • July 31st, 2008

    Wow. That was a really wonderful sentiment. More people should read your stuff for sure.

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