Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rally the Troops!

As previously discussed, I've been doing 25-man raids for a few weeks now with our raiding partner. Once I was comfortable enough -- having seen all the fights with the exception of Kel'Thuzad more than once -- I started putting out feelers within the guild for running our own 10-mans. I didn't want to be the raid leader *and* guild leader, but no one else was stepping up. Response was lukewarm, but I got enough feedback from within the guild and from our other, smaller raiding partners that I put an event on the in-game calendar.

(As an aside, that's really a pretty good tool. I wish I could use it for all my raiding sign-ups but our allies mostly use web-based tools. We used to use a web tool ourselves, but when the former guild leader flipped his wig and shutdown our website with little to no warning and refused to transfer ownership -- oh look! another topic for another day! -- we switched to the in-game tool. The timing was pretty good. It also allows people you don't want to have access to your website to have access to your raid calendar. Anyway... good job, Blizzard.)

Last Monday was our first joint run. Things started off badly. During the week, I had gotten 2 tanks lined up and had 4 -- count 'em *four* -- healers lined up in case there were drop-outs, no shows, or other issues. I had a DPS-spec'd Shaman and a Shadow-spec'd Priest also willing to go and re-spec if needed. Twelve (12!) signups in total and I had 3 other people on the standby-but-not-signed-up list. Woohoo! I could manage nearly 50% attrition and still get the raid going.

Paging Mr. Murphy! Mr. Murphy to raid day!

About a day before the raid was set to go, I got messaged in-game by one of the tanks that they didn't think they could make it. They were going to try, but couldn't be sure. Well... OK... I've still got my main tank lined up and I *should* be able to find an alternate OT. In an absolute *worse* case, I could swap to my druid. By no means ideal, but it could be done. That day I put some more feelers out on some allied forums to try to replace a tank.

For the raid, I was hoping to stay on my hunter because given my rapid acquisition of Naxx25 gear, I knew we could support a few undergeared DPSers and still get by. It wasn't like we were all going to go in with quest greens and blues. Hopefully, we'd get those new folks some gear in the process.

My hope was to get 6-8 guild members into the run and then fill the holes with those left. I was also hoping to pull in some new-to-raiding folks and get them some gear and enthusiasm for the process.

At a half-hour before raid, I started forming up the group. My tried-and-true fellow hunter (FH) and all-around good guy was first into the raid.

FH: Um... bad news, the MT was on earlier and can't make it tonight.
Me: #*(&@(#&$(@&$%#@!
FH: Want me to start looking around?
Me: I had a couple of alternates. Going to try to find them.

/Tells and channel hopping ensues and I miraculously find two tanks. One is probably overgeared for 10-mans, the other will re-spec and off-tank, but has enough gear to be fine. Phew!

I start looking at my sign-ups and looking at who is only. Of 12 signups, 6 are online.

Me: (#@(*&#@(!&@#

Warlock joins. Shadow Priest. Start hitting up my alternates. Holy Priest comes over. He's overgeared, too, but the raid panels are growing and if they're willing to come, at this point I just want the raid to go off. Second healer, another Holy Priest shows up. Death Knight added. Holding the last spot for the GM of the other guild. He's a mage. The decurses will be nice for the Sarth trash. Wait. Wait. Can't wait anymore. Tanks have a Boomkin in their guild who wants to come for Sarth, but can't stay for Naxx. Add him and let's go.

We got the raid going -- finally -- and it was a bit anti-climactic. What I had hoped would be a raid filled mostly with my guild, ended up as 4 from mine, 3 from another, and 3 from a third. All good folks and we worked well together, but only one member of my guild even needed 10-man gear, really. We managed to blow Sarth away quickly. We replaced the Boomkin with another Shadow Priest (4 priests total) and moved on to clear out Spider Wing. With the exception of Maexxna, everything was a one-shot and pretty handily at that. The big spider caught us at a bad time on a couple of web-wraps, but she went down on the 3rd try.

Two more 10-mans on the schedule this week. Time to rally the troops again!

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