(Well the second really – our first was about a month ago, and we’ve not been back since so it might as well have been the first).
We weren’t really sure how the group would perform, so we chose to do the first boss from three of the wings, rather than focus on a specific wing. The plan was:
Instructor Razuvious – because we did him two months ago and the two tanks had learned how to coordinate the two mind controlled Death Knight Understudies, so this was a chance to get a quick loot drop and (more importantly) to gauge the group DPS. If we were capable of getting close to 12,000DPS without the tanks contributing, then we could go and try Patchwerk who is a simple DPS race.
The healing on this one is a bit weird – our shammie (Thepatient) got to raid heal, while Anelf and Neombra (our Disc Priest) just focussed on stopping the Understudies dying. Its the first time we’ve had a resto shammie on a guild raid, so it was fun (for me – Anelf – the resto Druid) to see how his heals combined with the others. (Mana regen and total healing output weren’t an issue, so overhealing or overwriting heals wasn’t something we needed to care about).
Tinuviel was less happy about this fight. This was her first raid fight in MM spec, and her DPS was significantly lower than in her recent Heroic runs and on practice targets (only about 1,800). The other (BM-Spirit Beast) Hunter in the raid also appeared to have slightly lower DPS compared to his usual. (Note – lower in absolute terms – not just lower relative to the mages, who were very nicely buffed by the shammies). And this on a fight where you just get to stand and shoot. Tin is now trying to work out what was the problem in that particular fight, and will be writing her own post about it when she has time to study the raid stats. (She’s working today, so doesn’t have time to do any tests). She seemed to be critting a lot less than usual – maybe she was just unlucky with the RNG over that fight.
Patchwerk – We easily hit the DPS target on Razzie, so Patch was our second target. Again, a point and shoot for the DPSers, and a gear check in terms of tank mitigation, healer output and DPS output. For this fight, Tin abandoned her macro and moved to manual shot threading, and moved up to about 2,500 DPS. The other Hunter also improved significantly. Tin’s macro was working fine in Heroics and practice, so its not clear whether that was an issue or if there’s something about Razzie that gimps a Hunter.
In any case, Patch was toast.
Anub’Rekhan – We briefly visited beetle-boy on our first run, but it was after learning the Razzie fight where we’d wiped a few times as the tanks were learning their dance. We were feeling jaded, so we tried the ‘stand and fight’ tactic – trying to heal the tank through the Locust Swarm. We wiped very quickly and called it a night.
This time we were better geared anyway, but we used the kiting technique. Tinuviel got the job of running ahead of the tank on the kites using Aspect of the Pack to keep him out of trouble. This turned the fight into a cakewalk. Even the one kite where Tin got stunned by a loose Scarab while in Aspect of the Pack didn’t cause a problem. (Now I see why people normally hit this guy first).
So that was it for Naxx night 1 – our three planned bosses one-shotted, and a slightly better geared group at the end. Hopefully we can go back tonight and try out the rest of the Arachnid Wing.
And watch this space for Tinuviel’s Hunter analysis of the fights.
Raid Planning – advice sought?
Finally, a request for your help …
Our guild hasn’t been raiding recently. Our Guild Leader and his wife (who did a great job arranging our raids in BC) are expecting their second child soon, so they can’t spare the time to do everything that’s needed to pull together a regular raid group. Tin and I (and three other guild officers) have now taken on the role of raid organization. This Naxx run was the first one we’ve organized.
We’re already realizing what a hard job it is. Telling someone they can’t come because their gear or DPS isn’t good enough yet is stressful. (I tend to worry that someone might react badly to being told that. Although, in reality, people almost always take it well when you explain the requirements in a constructive way). But the thing I’m finding hardest is telling someone their gear is fine, but they weren’t selected just because there was a lot of competition for their place and someone had to miss out. (For example, we have a lot of good mages in our guild, but you can’t completely fill a raid with mages). Its not the person’s reaction – its how I feel when I’m telling them 🙂 .
Soldiers of Fortune are a casual guild. We don’t recruit for raiding, and we certainly don’t kick people for being bottom of a DPS meter. But a good number of guildies want to raid, and we want to include as many people as possible – we don’t want people to feel they have to move to a raiding guild to experience raid content.
We want to be successful. And we measure our success on three criteria:
- Success in the raid (i.e. downing bosses) – No-one will want to come raiding with us if we’re spending all night on graveyard runs.
- Making raiders want to stay in the guild – That means spreading the raid slots around as many people as possible. This is a balancing act, because too many changes make it hard for the group to learn to work as team, but too few changes will leave some people feeling excluded.
- Growing our raiding pool – Helping people who want to raid (but don’t have the gear or experience yet) to get to a level where they can come on the raid and make a valuable contribution. We hope to soon have more than one 10-man raid group, and then to move on to 25-man raids.
So, dear reader, are you in a similar position? Can you offer advice on raid planning tactics that work in a casual guild? If so, we’d love to hear your comments on what has worked (or not worked) for you.