Last night was our scheduled Gruul's run. Actually, it was our first full, guild only Gruuls run. We'd attempted the trash in the beginning once before (a long time ago) but, we didn't have enough people and we were very green (gear-wise and coordination-wise). So, to say it was a wipe fest on the first mob would be a gross understatement. :P We'd also run a couple of 'co-op' runs with another guild on our server and, although we downed the High King and made decent progress on Gruul, the other guild didn't exactly meet our needs. Our guild is a casual raiding guild and, even though they advertised themselves as casual too, they were more lackadaisical in every raiding sense you can imagine. So, after two attempts with them, we decided to dump them, get another guild to merge into us, and do our own 25-man runs.
That brings us to last night...our first 'Official Gruul's Run'. After spending months, and I mean months, running Kara....and remembering how it was when we first started learning the instance, I went in with fairly low expectations. Even though we had all our veteran players (those who started Kara, learned it, got geared up, then began running/teaching others the instance), we still have quite a few 'green' folks. People who had just started running Kara and weren't familiar with everyone's play style, how we operate, how to coordinate, and even still in green gear. So, I went to Gruul's with the expectation that we'd wipe on the beginning trash 1-2 times, down the High King on our 3rd or 4th try, and then get Gruul to around 10-25% before it got too late to continue.
So, it was a nice surprise when we made it through the trash with minimal deaths and zero wipes! There were a few times where agro stealing was an issue, but our warriors and druids were very good at regaining control (Charge!! ftw!)....well, those who died may not feel that way...but, this is my story and I'll tell it like I wanna. ;p
After we cleared the trash, we find ourselves looking at the High King and his Court (Is it just me who sees big Michelin-men babies when looking at ogres?) Tank assignments are given (I'm on Kiggler, as before on our co-op runs), dps instructions, healing orders, MD directives etc. Thankfully tank instructions are always first as I just don't have the attention span to make it to the end…although I did catch that I wouldn’t have a misdirect, but that’s ok, I don’t need one. Thankfully, Druids can generate a lot of threat quickly and Kiggler is the last to die with the exception of the High King.
After instructions and the obligatory ready check, our mage does the count down and I charge in, fairie fireing on the way. I pick him up easily enough and drag him to the assigned tank spot along the wall. Only twice did he bounce me against the wall and run off, neither time did he get very far before I charged, mauled, mangled, and lacerated and then drug him back. Now, being against the wall, you have two viewing options; 1) the inside of your body or 2) the top down view where you position your camera directly above you. Since the funky graphic clipping issues in view #1 annoy me, I always use view #2 in these situations. However, neither of these views allows you to see what’s going on with the rest of the raid. So, while periodically checking the threat meters, I also scan the 5 group boxes to see who all is up and who all has died. None the less, this still gives you no clue as to how far we’ve progressed on the kill order, unless, of course, you have the attention span to make it through the full instructions and memory enough to remember the kill order. So, I was surprised when my target was announced as the next to DPS so quickly into the fight! After he went down and I innervated Ledde (he’s always on my innervate macro!). We all went after the High King and soon enough, we was dead with the rest of the Michelin-men babies!! Awesome!!! We downed the High King in 1 shot with only a couple of deaths. We got Pauldrons of the Fallen Defender and Pauldrons of the Fallen Hero and something else that wasn’t Feral Druid related and not worth remembering. ;) Thankfully, since I'd gotten my shoulders on the first of the two co-op runs with the other two guilds, I didn't have to worry about rolling or spending DKP on these!!! (Co-op runs didn't earn or spend DKP...can you say FREE SHOULDERS?!?!)
On we progressed toward Gruul. We downed the trash in a much more cohesive and coordinated manor than the prior trash. Then we stood gazing on Gruul himself. Baklor, our GM begins giving out the instructions. I hear, “Mooire will be the Hateful Bolt.” And begin zoning as he goes through the pie slice strategy. Then after outlining the positioning, jobs, fight synopsis, etc., we charge in and begin our fight. I make sure that I watch the threat meters so I stay under Baklor (MT) and above everyone else. I also make sure that after I get bounced around, I quickly move back to my 10 o’clock spot so I’m near my healers….all good on both fronts.....unfortunately, I noticed people dieing, and then Baklor dies. Suddenly, I’m MT, but not for a terribly long time, then it’s a wipe. Gruul was at 61%. Not too bad for our first shot. We then start releasing and run back in….only to find Gruuls doors shut!!! NOOO!!!!! We only tried once! They can’t be locked!!!
At this point, I remember that after we told each group where thier pie chart positioning was, we have a shuffling of folks within groups. Even though Minder, one of our Priests, and I said (in raid chat) to point out the group positionings again after the shuffle, somehow, that got overlooked. Our healers were unable to heal some members in their group because they were going to their previously assigned groups pie piece. Oh well, lesson learned. But, even though we learned a lesson, we were still locked out of Gruul’s room.
Ever the adventurist, Baklor suggests that we go to The Eye and give the Void Reaver a try. So, they all hop on their flying mounts…except for us Druids who instantly switch to flight form…and head out to Netherstorm. None of us had run this instance before so it was all new and a definite welcome change of scenery!!! We wiped a couple of times on the trash in the beginning but we quickly adjusted and preformed better as we went along. As we got to Al’ar, my video card drivers started hanging, so as I was logging and re-booting, they cleared his room. Since our goal was the Void Reaver, we skipped Al’ar and continued clearing trash to him.
Once we got to his room and began clearing in there, we did have one more wipe and a couple semi-wipes (people would die and run back in as soon as they could while the remaining people continued to fight). Once the trash was cleared we then began the instructions, “Blah, blah, blah, we have 4 tanks that rotate…Baklor is 1st tank, Mooire is 2nd….blah, blah, blah…..”. (I wonder if I’ll be in trouble when our GM reads this and sees how little I pay attention….) We charge in….or, rather Baklor and I do…our other two tanks were a bit behind but, they made up for it at the end as Baklor went down, then I went down not long after, Slashappy was up next and he stayed up for quite a while, but soon we lost too many to sustain him. When all was said and done, the Void Reaver was at 83% and we were at 0%. Since it was Midnight Central time, we decided to call it a night with plans to continue our 25-mans each week.
Honestly, though, not too bad for our first guild-only 25-man raid night. I look forward to more nights of learning and raiding. As, for me, it’s about learning new instances, learning how to adjust my abilities to fit the instances, mobs, and other players. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll be able to write about that more as I become more accustomed to large raid groups. Since I only played WoW for about a year when it came out, I missed out on all the 40-man raids. So, large group raiding is new to me and I'm looking forward to more.
Also, hopefully, either I'll learn to write shorter stories or get that 'Read more...' code set up in my template. ;)