The epic battle between Arthas and the BoondockSaints continues. Yesterday, after our amazing Cubby kitty DPS called for just one more try before we called it for the night, we downed him. It had taken us a lot of wipes, more than I would like to remember or pay for, but it was all worth it. We got something a lot more important out of the process than the Kingslayer title, teamwork.
Before I recount the downing of The Lich King I want to share something with you. Recently, a couple of our younger players decided to give hardcore raiding a try. One of them was up front about his desire which I fully supported. While it sucks to have any player leave your raiding group for greener pastures, I think it is great experience for people to see how hardcore really feels. After killing The King last night I got a whisper. The pastures were not greener, the hardcore raiding is too much, and he was wondering if he could come back to raid with us. I said “of course, you were honest with me about leaving and the door is always open for people that communicate their intentions.”
He stated that we do just the right amount of raiding, and even though we don’t raid as much as hardcore people do, nobody feels forced to raid like he is feeling right now. He also said that our family atmosphere is just where he feels at “home.” I replied “well, let me know when you are ready to come home.” I added the following: “The Lick King kill tonight felt awesome because I as able to hear my wife scream out loud in excitement and kiss her while congratulating her as a new Kingslayer.” What feels more amazing as a raid leader is that we accomplished it without having to “OMGNERDRAGE” on anyone and stuck to positive criticism through building the skills of this new 10 man group.
Also, before we continue to talk about the kill, I wanted to thank all the people that helped this group through Sindragosa and many LK attempts. Star, Moon, Froto, Berim, Mel, Juanca, Isa, Jess, Leon (on I think everyone of his toons) and many others made it possible for this second group to get there, and I think they are ahead of the curve on being part of the third group since they have clocked some “flight time” hours already.
Here was our raid composition:
Rextor – Prot Paladin
Theydrin – Blood DK
Hollogos – Disc Priest
Killerkain – Holy Paladin
Stanker – Resto Shaman
Cubby – Kitty
Mime – BM Hunter
Partygirl – Ret Paladin
Stompx – Elem Shaman
Trizilla – Destro Warlock
For the first LK kill I was a part of, we worked on the fight for about a month. We worked on that fight sometimes 4 days a week and the group was pretty consistent. Our healers for that fight were the same classes except that we had a resto druid instead of a paladin. This composition felt a lot easier for the initial phases and a lot more hectic for the later ones.
DK tanks rule this fight because of their “remote” AOE add gathering ability so necessary for many of the phases. If your group has not felt the pain of adds turning around one shooting people or silencing your healers, you have to give tons of props to your tanks.
DPS was actually too high for some of the phases, and as crazy as that sounds the 30% buff now makes this fight a little harder to time properly. You DPS too fast in the initial phase and you might end up with too many adds. You DPS too quickly and you will pull aggro from the tank not so much when he is tanking the LK but when tanking the adds. Our DPS quickly learned to actually stop DPS altogether during some periods of the fight. Its nice to say “guys slow down the DPS” instead of “we cannot do this we just don’t have enough DPS.” You guys do amazing damage.
Most of our wipes came in the toilet bowl frustration filled ability called Defile. The only way to get past this is to practice and get everyone to do their job. There is really no other way to do it. Even if you have a 12K DPS in the fight, when your lose one person you pretty much call it a wipe unless you are in the final phase.
Thinking back on it, we only had one true wipe in the final phase. We had arrived at it before with one player down, even during some of the earlier attempts but the second time we all got there alive we downed him. The timing of the Valks and positioning of where you drop the defile is what makes second phase a roadblock for most raids.
As a team we pushed through many obstacles and adjusted the strategy to serve the group. We started to back each other up and take responsibilities during the fight. In the end the execution felt almost “easy” because we had been preparing so well for it. While there is certainly a little luck as to who gets picked up by the Valks and also who goes into the sword, we managed to work our cooldowns to maximize not DPS but survivability.
I still don’t find this fight “easy mode”, even with a 30% buff. It still requires a lot of teamwork and plenty of skill in every single position of the raid. Again, this accomplishment feels amazing, not just because the end result of getting more people in the guild with the title, but because we did it as a group of casual raiders that don’t have world fame aspiration, nor even fame in our own server. We just want to have fun killing bosses and accomplishing things to share with our guildies that will ultimately strengthen our guild. Today, I am extremely proud to be BoondockSaint.