Together with the group of friends I raid with we have reached a very delicate point in our raiding experience. We have relieved Arthas of his burden a few times by now and we easily breeze through the normal encounters up until the Frozen Throne. If we were to continue down this path we would soon hit the so called Plateau-effect, which we are still very familiar with, thanks to ToC. So hardmodes it is. The week after our LK kill we tried a few hardmodes here and there gave it a few shots but quickly went back to normal mode. Gunship was a push over as always, and we also managed to bring down Festerface and Rotgut and even Bloodqueen within a week. But we would still refrain from actually trying to progress, that is, working on a boss fight’s new mechanics until we got them down.
And that’s where it became apparent that our raid group had different individual aspirations when it comes to ICC. Some of us want to take the easy route and take few more swings on the LK to get some better gear, whereas others (me included) want to make “actual” progression. At this point, I don’t want to be in our Raid Leader’s shoes. I think he has done a fantastic job up to now, being open to suggestions from everyone and leading us as a group. Sometimes it feels like he could be a little more authoritarian and quiet all the chatter, but altogether I think we have been in pretty good hands. One of the reasons we have been struggling the last week is because everything up to the LK was just far too easy. We got used to joking around during encounters and wiped on trash more than on bosses. The adjustment to new mechanics of familiar bosses brought us back down to the harsh ground that is reality.
We also encountered another difficulty. The fact that raid balance is very hard to obtain in 10man raid groups. We are a very heavy caster group with 2 melee (ret pally, feral druid) and 4 casters (boomkin, 2 mages, shadowpriest). With our boomkin gone for the summer we lost two essential buffs: http://www.wowhead.com/spell=24858] and http://www.wowhead.com/spell=48396. Even tho heroic Blood Queen was more or less on farm for us, we now have difficulty beating the enrage timer with a near perfect run. If it is going to be a permanent problem we will have to consider to a) do it on normal until we have the dps, b) switch specs around and have our Resto Shaman go Enhancement to buff our melee dps, and last but and very much least favorite c) bring in a different player. The last is probably not going to happen unless someone takes a break or quits. We like to do progression, but this is all about playing with the group of friends we have made rather than pushing onward, not matter what.
At the end of last week we all agreed on getting back to basics and to BTFDAGID. with the beginning of every raid lock out our raid leader is going to post the plan for the week and what hard modes we will attempt without calling it after just a few attempts. We will try and get together enough people before the actual start of our raid time to clear trash and be ready to engage the boss once every one has logged on. In addition, we will get back into the habit of recording our attempts using WoW Logs. I think these are some essential steps in making sure that we are once again prepared to tackle the new and challenging without giving up too soon.
My question to the few, the proud, the readers: Would you do it differently or would you add something to the list?