Click, Click,… Boom

Last week I stumbled across a great post on Achtung Panzercow entitled… The Tao of the Click.  After the rough week we had last week, I had almost decided to craft my own post called The Tao of the Clunk.  We were having one of those weeks when nothing really seemed to be going right.  We were short on healing, we were down a tank, and we were having to scrape hard to pull together 25 smiling faces to raid each night.  It very much felt like we were clunking along trying to get a break.

Over the tail end of the week and weekend we put much of effort into trying to smooth out some of our attendance.  I got the fun job I wrote about earlier of trying to help bring up a few of our wayward dps.  Through a good deal of adjustment, mobilization and some luck we pulled out one of our best performances thus far.  We managed a second Flame Leviathan one-shot and our very first Razorscale one-shot as well.

Gears Meshing

Last week it felt like at several points we were close to reaching that illusive click moment.  We understood the strategy for Ignis and would have promising starts, only to have things fall apart quickly.  When a key player would get placed in the pot it, a ripple effect would ensue.  After a short period of time we would get behind and start reliving the Lucy in the Chocolate Factory episode.  We had some fundamental issues with each aspect of the fight from healing, to add management and even shattering.  For the most part the movement would go smoothly, but players not stacking would often cause a scorch to go down in unexpected places, making it extremely hard for the add tanks to get the constructs molten.

We are one of those raids, that when we finally understand the fight it just happens.  It is very much the click moment that Panzercow talked about.  We needed the weekend to ponder the fight; what we were doing, what we could do better, and what elements were simply out of our control that we would have to adjust for accordingly.  When the pieces all fall into place it seems we move from impossible to farmed in a moments time.

So after two nights of focused attempts, we stood preparing for the pull.  Players executed, adjusted, and we managed to get him down to 40% on our first attempt of the night.  When we pull a single phase boss like this past 50% I know without a doubt we have the stuff to beat it.  It is just a matter of tightening things up and paying closer attention.  The second attempt starts rather inauspiciously with healing falling behind and me, the main tank, dying. 

Click

ignis_down This I think served as a much needed wake-up call to the entire raid.  In a moments time we were flying without a safety net, we had to be flawless now.  Admirably that is what happened.  Each and every player dug down into that intangible stash of grit, and pulled out an amazing performance.  Every single player kept their heads down, focused and lean, only paying attention to the job at hand.  Communications were quick and efficient, and directions kept clear and precise. 

I sat there watching helplessly as my raid learned how to conquer the fight.  I can’t pretend that these kind of things just happen.  I could tell that our members had pondered the fight all weekend long.  Each and every member did something, even if small, to improve the previous weeks performance and pull out the victory.  We downed Ignis, before the nerf, and that is something Blizzard can never lessen.  In fact we somehow managed to get the Shattered achievement in the process.

ignis

WorldcarverGirdle of EmbersIntensity

In other news we got our very first Fragment of Val’anyr from Razorscale.  It went to Elnore, our healing officer, and was very well deserved.  I hope they start coming more regularly so we can be close to crafting one by the time we down Yogg-Saron.  It was yet another week without a Titanguard drop, so once more I was both bummed and annoyed at the same time.  In pretty desperate need for a modern era tanking sword, so I am hoping that Ulduar stops being an ass soon and drops me one.  I let the only Last Laugh go uncontested to our second tank, because by similar bad luck she was still tanking with Red Sword of Courage from Utgarde Pinnacle.  Being a good friend tends to bite me in the ass in the long run, but I can’t change who I am.

Twisted Nether T-Shirt Contest

The good people over at the Twisted Nether Blogcast are hosting a T-Shirt design contest.  The hosts are resolved to attend blizzcon and want a nice shirt to wear showing off the website.  I decided I would throw my hat in the ring and try and cobble something together.  If anyone out there is feeling artistic its to support a good site and they are offering some nice prizes including a 60 day wow game card for first, and your choice of a common TCG loot card for second and third places.  The monstrosity below is my submission.