Monday, March 21, 2011

The Great Race

Last Wednesday night, we had one of "those" nights.  It was a night where, due to Spring Break, midterms, and various other outside reasons, (illness, etc.) we only had 21 people show up.  (I can't remember the last time this happened.)

Unfortunately, while we can 24-man some things, it is a little unrealistic for us to expect to 21-man most encounters.

With the new raid lockout system, however, all was not lost!  It became quickly apparent that with the numbers and roles which showed up, we could break into two 10-man groups and not have to cancel raid.  With this in mind, and a volunteer from the dps to sit, we broke up into two groups, each containing two tanks, three healers, and five dps.

The guild master offered a challenge:  each group would go to the Bastion of Twilight, where we had already killed the first boss.  The first group which downed the final boss of the instance would be awarded 25k gold from the guild bank, split 10 ways.

I'll be honest:  I didn't hear the challenge.  So I had no idea we were in a race until one of the people in my group commented that we were ahead of the other group.  "We aren't in a race," I laughed.  Someone fervently answered, "Oh, yes, we are!"

I had always heard that 10-man was more difficult than 25-man, so I was interested to see how it went.  As it turned out, we downed the dragon twins without too much trouble.  It was the first time I was the guidepost for the ranged, so that was interesting for me.  ("Oh, I have to lead instead of follow?  Gotta pay more attention.")

Council ended up being a bit more challenging.  We wiped once because we had been a little nebulous on assigning the cleanses, but once we got that figured out, things went more smoothly.  Well, they went more smoothly until our Holy Pally died in the last phase, then our other Resto Druid, along with a few dps.  As it turned out, this happened just as I had popped Tree of Life form, so I screamed a little inside and started tossing Lifeblooms and insta-cast Regrowths.  ("D*** the mana!  Full speed ahead!")  Somehow we succeeded.  Laughing, we rezzed the dead and prepared to face Cho'gall.

Here's where we found ourselves stuck a little.  The big kicker:  we had no hunter or mage, and there are little adds which need to be slowed.  (We had one wipe purely off "someone pulled aggro at the beginning and found himself flattened," but most of the trouble was with the adds.)  Finally, someone realized that the rogue could poison the adds with Tricks, which made all the difference in the world.  After about four or so wipes, we finally took down Cho'gall with what seemed to be relative ease.

The biggest difference for me between the 10- and 25-man raids was the amount of mana used.  In Cho'gall, for instance, although I was practicing triage healing, I innervated three times, popped my trinket as often as it was up, and consumed a Potion of Concentration.  (With an Alchemist Stone bonus . . .)  I heard the same thing from the other healers in both groups--we were all running out of mana by the end of the encounters.  I'm not exactly sure why, as we had a slightly higher amount of healers in 10-man, percentage-wise.  Perhaps it's because we had a vastly higher number of tanks, percentage-wise, requiring much more tank healing.

Some say the groups were inequitable.  They probably were.  In our group, the only person who could slow the adds was the rogue.  In the other group, there was a rogue, a mage, and a moonkin with a knockback.  However, our group consisted of people who had been raiding a while and knew the encounters, while the other group did have a couple of people who were relatively new and slightly less geared.  But the competition was not the most important part of the exercise.  The most important part was that we did not cancel a raid night.

Of course, finding 2.5k gold in my mailbox the next day was also welcome.

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