The Trouble with Raiding…
Sometimes I just curse my luck.
Last Friday, my new guild, Memories of Xendor (or MOX), put together a 8-man Hardmode Denova run for those of us who were on and not part of their regular teams. They’re a World-class guild, having gotten the World 3rd completion of Hardmode Terror from Beyond, and their progression teams are sharp and dedicated. I believe our team is going to be a regular raiding team at some point, and while we’re probably not going to be a progression team – I don’t think that most of us who are regular on this new team (which I’m hoping will be MOX Sapphire – since any Magic player who’s been studying the game seriously knows that the Sapphire is the best Mox) will be able to dedicate serious progression time to the game the way it would need to be done – we are shooting for having a reliable, regular raid team.
Given that MOX Sapphire is in its infancy, we’re a pretty motley crew of participants, most of whom still need to finish getting our top-tier gear. Still, while we have some great players in there, we’re struggling – Hardmode Denova has not yet been completed, and we’ve only run very limited Story Mode (normal) Terror from Beyond. And there are some things about resuming regular raiding, especially since I’m not raid leading at this time, that are frustrating.
I believe some of this stuff will work itself out soon, but it’s been a while since I was just a raider and not a leader and what has been given up by not taking up the torch for this new group is becoming evident. Further, just raiding regularly has shown me some frustrations that I hadn’t thought about in some time.
Back to Friday – we ran Denova with a pretty ragtag group, including one person who had nearly no experience with group content. We get in and things seem to look like we’re going to have a smooth start, but one tank-swap mishap late in the fight and we wipe, with Toth and Zorn nearly dead. And that was the best attempt we had, up until we had to swap out one of the healers when one of our starting healers had to leave, and then we managed to complete the fight. I think it took us about two hours to finish that first boss.
And the fun didn’t stop there, we proceeded to have a comedy of errors on the next boss encounter – Firebrand and Stormcaller – and we did not get them down. Tanking errors, mechanical errors, equipment errors (lag/disconnects), and such filled our attempts. Not once did we actually meet the enrage timers, so whether DPS was an issue or not wasn’t even apparent. Our healers were the sharpest aspect of this fight, and other than trouble getting under the shields during the Defensive phase, I don’t think they made any serious errors. Wipe after wipe, we continued at this for two more hours, until we called the raid due to time, with nothing to show but repair bills for the fight.
Saturday ended up being Story Mode Terror from Beyond, since we had a completely different set of people on, and I actually was asked to heal it, given the lack of guild healers on at the time we started. I think I healed it ok, though I had a couple of sticky spots, which my partner, Cronoan, was able to cover. The majority of our wipes were not healing related and I think that gave me some relief, though I seriously need to work on my healing. In any case, no Hardmode Denova on Saturday.
Sunday came around, and the group decided to resume Denova, except they decide on a time when I can’t be there. Not a huge issue – I felt a bit miffed that I couldn’t be there, but that’s just how it was. I don’t think I would have thought much about it, if it weren’t for the results.
They downed the damn second boss despite some serious errors, in two attempts.
It turns out they had to swap out a couple players for that run. One of those new players apparently had made some pretty bad mistakes, but our healer, Cronoan, managed to pull him out of the fire through excellent healing and timely reactions (Extrication), and they defeated Firebrand and Stormcaller in two attempts.
Two attempts, with a DPS botching up somewhat badly.
It’s just bad luck, I know – I did my part on Friday for two hours, but the encounter went undefeated until the next attempts that I wasn’t part of. But it’s the fact that despite the botches, that the aforementioned DPS player was rewarded for two attempts’ worth of effort that I didn’t get for two hours of effort that is frustrating. I felt I did my role well on Friday for that fight, and the person who didn’t on Sunday walked away with the rewards.
It’s one of those frustrating things about being a raider, rather than a leader, that you can be left out of attempts because you’re not automatically at every raid. Further, it’s about collective success – the group did better as a whole on Sunday than they did on Friday – and that can be frustrating, if you’re only there for the night when the group is a bit more off. On Friday, our group brought their “B” game, even if there were some “A” games mixed in, but on Sunday they brought their “A” game, despite a “C” player in the group.
It sucks, and yeah, I’m a little frustrated about it. It’s part and parcel, though, of being three time zones away from the majority of players.
Hopefully, this week’s raiding will be better. Our raid leader is going to seriously gearcheck people before we run, which should help. The majority of our group was there for Sunday, so they know they can get through at least the first three fights. And people in our group did get some gear from Sunday’s successes, which should help this week’s run.
I hope everyone brings their “A” game this week. I know I try to every week, and I know others do too, and I would like to see us getting the results that reward the “A” game. We definitely should be making progress every week, not getting stuck on the boss we downed the week before.
So, the goal for this week? Three bosses for Friday’s raid. Toth and Zorn (in an hour tops), Firebrand and Stormcaller (in two attempts?) and the Minesweeper boss (which I have yet to do on Hardmode). We should be able to get those down in one session with as much experience as we have on the first two encounters.
I won’t be satisfied with less.
Should I be?
My 2 yen,
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