Raid flavored updates: two scoops of Yogg-Saron in a sugar cone.
An ancient evil awake.
Arms like spaghetti.
After stalling on Mimiron for two weeks (and finally downing him on an off-night, something we haven’t been inspired to do since Kael’thas!), my 25-man raid is now reliably clearing Ulduar through General Vezax.
General isn’t quite “farm status” yet: it still takes several attempts to kill him — and even then, only if Keaton is tanking. (Our warrior has a hard time with surges. I don’t suppose anyone has some tips for outpacing them, sans Dash?)
We’ve spent two evenings on Yogg-Saron, and are finally making it into Phase 2.
Phase 1 is supremely annoying. It should be easy. One tank and one healer position themselves in the center of the room. Everyone else stacks by the door, moving as a group and as little as possible to evade the large (=impossible to miss!) green clouds that drift around Yogg Saron’s prison in predictable (=easy to avoid!) patterns. The clouds spawn adds that must be tanked and burst down to a few percent, then taunted to the center of the room and finished off by ranged DPS. This is really important, as the adds explode when they die and deal damage to Sara. You absolutely do not want the adds to die before the tanks have them in position! Otherwise, (1) they explode on the raid and (2) their post-partum DPS wasted.
Touching a cloud causes it to spawn adds prematurely, so if the raid isn’t adept at avoiding Bad®, it can become quickly overwhelmed. Adding to the general chaos is Sara’s annoying tendency to mind control classes that can fear, so it isn’t all that unusual for the center tank or his healer to be feared into the clouds, triggering an add spawn. Sara also seems to enjoyMCing paladins and casting Blessing of Protection on adds, so we’ve starting blowing our BoP’s and similar cooldowns at the beginning of the fight.
… Okay, so maybe P1 isn’t as easy as I thought it should be! Still, if your tanks can maintain a taunt rotation while the rest of your raid avoids slow-moving pools of Bad® it shouldn’t take too terribly long to master.
It took us two days, stretched across two very frustrating raid weeks. It’s not that we aren’t ready to wipe; we are, and proved it over and over again on Mimiron. The phase just wouldn’t click for us — and when it finally did, it unclicked (or clunked) the next day we attempted Yogg and we found ourselves starting the learning process anew.
(In my guild, learning process is a euphemism for epic fail.)
(To be fair, the first half dozen or so second-day wipes were because we an had inadvertantly triggered hard mode. Hint: Mimiron’s pedestal isn’t supposed to be empty!)
The few times we’ve made it into P2 have been chaotic, but an absolute blast. I know I should be disappointed in myself for getting lost in Yogg Saron’s brain and going insane (…twice…), but becoming <Yogg-Saron’s pet> and running around beating my friends to death with a baby rattle is ridiculously fun. So is combing through the World of Logs parse at the end of the raid to see who killed who and giving them good-natured grief about it.
The first time I went insane, I did 3,424 damage to Keaton before the raid brought me down … and look—
—it took a mage and a warlock working together to do it! That kind of unprecedented cooperation almost brings a tear to my eye.
Forget boss kills and epic loot: this is why I raid!
Like my 25-man raid, my 10-man team is clearing Ulduar through General Vezax every week. Although we have yet to down Yogg-Saron, the Old God doesn’t seem to be a priority at the moment: by unspoken agreement — and since we’re all pretty fried from the 25-man attempts — we’ve temporarily shifted focus and are experimenting with hard modes and achievements instead.
So far, we’ve achieved Flame Leviathan with two towers, Auriaya with both Sanctum Guardians, Freya with one elder and Thorim’s hard mode (which involves defeating Thorim while Siff wreaks frost-mage flavored havoc on the raid). We’ve also killed Ignis in less than four minutes, and while Stokin’ the Furnace isn’t a hard mode per se, it does count towards the Glory of the Ulduar Raider meta-achievement we’re hoping to complete before 3.2 is released. We’re currently 3/13th’s of the way there.
10 vs. 25
As a guild, our focus is on Ulduar 25 progression. The current plan is to speed through the first twelve bosses of the instance, eschewing hard modes, to give ourselves as much time as possible on Yogg-Saron. Once the Old God is defeated, we’ll shift our attention to hard modes and the Heroic Glory of the Ulduar Raider meta-achievement. (“Mini-Razorscales for all!” has become our rallying cry.)
Meanwhile, Uld10 is relegated to off-nights — often as an impromptu event organized by whoever feels like taking the initiative at the time. Ulduar 25 always trumps Ulduar 10. (Case in point: when we were “this close” to downing Mimiron-25 for the first time, both of our Ulduar 10 groups canceled their Sunday raids to return to Heroic Ulduar on what has traditionally been an offnight.)
I don’t think it’s possible — or, rather, I think it’s exceptionally difficult and ultimately unwise — to build a raiding guild around both 10- and 25-man content. I would eventually like to develop my thoughts on the subject into a full-fledged blogpost; for now, suffice it to say that the bulk of the challenge stems from the fact that 10 x 2 != 25.
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