While the whole WoW community was all up and arms about the Fireland nerfs, I was too busy having fun with the actual game.

I cannot help but enjoy all the chatter going on on the web about the Firelands now being a joke and the cries from hardcore raiders about how now their achievement has been taken away, blah blah blah.

Really guys, really? No matter what blizzard does it seem that someone will complain, but with all the attention being paid to raids I cannot imagine why so many are so upset.

If you are truly that good and that hardcore you should have been 6/7HM. Even if you were just semi hardcore 4/7 should also have been yours pretty easily. Anyone that completed T11 on heroic should have been working on hardmodes day one (well, I guess week two after pwning Rag)… if you weren’t, then you got exactly what you asked for after Wrath, OMG let me be LEET and better than everyone again! Newsflash! you truly are not, so many d-bags out there are still not 7/7 HM and they still think they are top raiders.

Trust me when I tell you that casual raiders like me (someone that is ok with no doing HM at all) doesn’t care about your shinnies.

I have killed Rag with two toons now, as a healer and as a tank. My big regret is that I did it once with just some people I knew, and another with a total pug. I have been able to put with some of the best raiders in our server and it has been a fun experience. I just enjoy killing things with my guild so much more. We are going to be working on that though. Being able to pug gives me the opportunity to learn fights and mechanics, and then come up with my own strategy with less wipes with my friends.

One interesting thing about Firelands is that most of the encounters are exactly what I expected them to be. Frustrating for no good reason. I have not done heroics yet, but even the normal encounters are so dependent on random crap that it really separates people. Its not just the bads from the good either, it is also separating people by computer performance. A lot of things have a huge lag component. Shannox, you stand on fire and you die… but you have only seconds to get out.

Even thought they are complex, one encounter that I liked a lot was Domo. The encounter is extremely easy for people that have raided for a while, but still challenging. It scales great too, if you have awesome healers you can let something happen more times… if you are great at movement, the same. The encounter is probably one of the best bosses I have seen designed. It is also easy to explain and execute. That is probably my favorite encounter in Firelands.

Rag is probably my least favorite. Not because I died there quite a bit while people learn the fight, but because it is just too much going on. It is not interesting or fun, it is basically a lot of… omg someone messed up, we all died, walk back. There are a lot of defile like situations where one messup will kill everyone.

I have a solid strategy now for that encounter that is a combination of several things that I have seen other people do. The frustrating part is that there is still an element of luck to the encounter. One simple timing thing can be the difference between a wipe and a kill.

One of the things that I don’t understand about strategies for that fight is how people assign DPS.

You have 8 sons to deal with in 10 man and there is always a split depending on where the hammer lands.

S – S – S – S – S – S – (H) – S – S (right split)
S – S – S – S – (H) – S – S – S – S (middle split)
S – S – (H) – S – S – S – S – S – S – (left split)

Most people end up assigning a number to each person and having them kill that sun regardless of split. It always leads to trouble. All the sun run to the hammer and if they hit the hammer they blow up causing a wipe most of the time, if two sons hit it, game over.

The way I will deal with it when I am actually leading a kill will be that 4 people are assigned a side of the hammer. The rest of the DPS will then be cleaners.

The split should also take into consideration DPS numbers and stuns.

S – S – S – S – 1D – T – (H) – T – 2D (right split)
S – S – 1D – T – (H) – T – 2D – S – S (middle split)
1D – T – (H) – T – 2D – S – S – S – S – (left split)

Tanks and top DPS are what matter the most.

When you are learning the fight, this is probably the hardest thing to get consistently. If you work on that first, the rest of the fight can be directed by the RL, however telling everyone what to kill can be a daunting task and what makes Rag hard to pug.

On the second hammer phase you have the added mobs to deal with. As a tank you have to just pick it up, deal with your son, then kill the add. That also takes a little be to get used to if the tank is new.

This is the first time that I actually wanted to write an addon that just slots people for you and spams it so they know where to go.

I still dislike Firelands quite a bit. I hope there is never another raid like this one again. I hope that Dragon Soul is more ICC or Ulduar than ToC. However, I am comfortable enough with it to take groups through it now. It will be nice to get some legendary weapons out of there.