I logged in this morning after a delightfully confidence-boosting one-shot of Kara last night to see the following thread on the <Unemployed> Forums:
Something Everyone Needs to be Aware of About T6
T6 you say? Tier SIX?!? I mean, I know we just downed Karathress last week, and took an exploratory jaunt into Mount Hyjal… I know, intellectually that Hyjal = Tier 6 content but somehow the fact that I was in Mount Hyjal meant I was now working on T6 didn’t quite click. Until today.
A call has gone out to all guildies high and low to start farming mats. Specifically Primals Shadow and Life, or others that will transmute into Shadow and Life. We’ll also need Fel Hide and I, as a skinner, have decided that’s where I can start to help.
Did I mention how… astounded I am? I mean, we just downed Karathress (I got to be there for that whee) and now we’re charging headlong into Hyjal and soon after that it’ll be Black Temple! Is this what progression feels like? It’s fast, exhilirating, enough to make my head spin! I know, that when I signed on with this guild that I would be getting geared quickly. I was told that as a bear tank it was insanely easy to get me ready for T6 content. (T5 isn’t terribly useful to me) But the sheer reality of the situation didn’t quite penetrate. During my first few runs I was doing a whole lot of “OMG we just downed Curator and I wasn’t screamed at ONCE!” – “OMG I can’t believe I’m in Gruul’s and Mags there’s so many PEOPLE!” – “OMGHOLYCRAPBBQ I’M TANKING AL’AR!” and so on and so forth.
During this whole ‘freak out’ time I was steadily getting upgrades. I don’t think a single night went by where I didn’t get some piece that I needed. In the case of my T4 Shoulders and Breastplate, I got both of those tokens in the same night!
I’ve always tried to hold myself a bit aloof of the drops. I knew I was getting geared quickly and systematically by my guild so that I could be useful to them in the coming progression encounters. I know that once I’m caught up the gearing progress will slow and I’m perfectly OK with that.
There’s a trade-off you get when raiding, I’ve discovered.
You can get gear quickly by running with a guild that has all your needed instances on farm, who know the encounters inside and out. This way is very quick and does grant you needed gear, but you don’t have much opportunity to truly learn the fights. For example: I know certain members of High King Maulgar’s council need to be kited and never touched by melee EVER, but I don’t really know why. Well, I know that bad things will happen, but the consequence isn’t real to me because I haven’t been through the learning process. I was just given a job and trusted to do it. If all you’re after is gear then this is a wonderful way to get what you want. You’ll join a guild, gear up to wherever they are in content, then hop to another guild that has the places you want to go on farm. You’ll get outstanding epics, amazing character stats, and be a very lonely person.
The other side of raiding is the one I’m currently enjoying. I feel like I’m being ungrateful for the speed-gearing process I went through. My beautiful, almost-complete full set of Malorne armor is wonderful, and I love it, but to me it’s just a means to an end. I got my first taste of that end last Thursday.
Thursday was our third attempt on Karathress as a guild. It also took us three attempts before we worked out the kinks and killed him. As a bear with my zomgarmor and my zomghealth I was tanking the shaman. Even with all my mitigation abilities he was still hitting me easily around 3,000 per swing. The first two tries I went down in 6 to 8 swings. It was in this encounter that our healers learned the value of pre-casting. Once they started doing that I stayed alive! It was a beautiful feeling. “Omg, look at my health! OMG it’s a yo-yo! OMG I’M STAYING ALIVE”
After two wipes where my face met the floor within the first ten swings I was ELATED. That feeling of being a part of a group and overcoming an obstacle that had beaten you into the ground before was just amazing. Then, once he died we went into Mount Hyjal to get a first look at everything. We made it to the 8th wave, but when wave 8 hit we still had some of wave 7 up and it was a wipe. That was ok though, because we were just going to take a look.
THAT is why I like to raid. I appreciate being geared quickly, I enjoy being a part of the group on those first kills. More importantly, however, I enjoy being there on the first wipes. I am really enjoying being present as everyone learns the encounter. It makes that moment when 2% ticks down to 1% and then 1% to 0% and the boss hits the floor all the sweeter.