Weekly Warcraft Wednesday
If you’re a regular reader of Weekly Warcraft Wednesday you may have picked up on a growing frustration I had. You see, I’m enjoying the latest World of Warcraft expansion just fine, but there simply isn’t a ton that you can do in WoW without a group. My wife and I really enjoying playing together, but two simply isn’t enough to accomplish much. We level up together, we do daily quests together, occasionally we PvP together. We can’t raid as a team of two though, nor can we run through dungeons. Those activities require at least 3 more players, and we simply don’t know a lot of people that play anymore.
Given all of that, I had begun to get frustrated and complacent. I enjoy playing my druid, and I’m eager to get some better equipment for him. I’ve done LFR pretty much every week that it’s been available, and I have a good portion of the gear available there. I’ve tried using the new premade group finder to find groups for the normal version of the raid but I got declined every time (my item level wasn’t high enough, I suppose). I felt stuck. I had no way to raid without biting the bullet and joining a guild. So, this past week that’s exactly what I did.
I joined my current guild on Tuesday at about 5:30pm and got invited to raid that night at 7:00. It was an interesting experience to go from having no guild to being in a raiding guild in about an hour and a half. I suppose that’s how things go these days though. We began a fresh run of Highmaul and managed to clear the first four bosses without issue. Brackenspore proved to be a little much as one of our tanks was experiencing some serious lag and having trouble properly countering some of the bosses abilities. In one night I ended up getting a ring and a weapon and was quite pleased with my performance. Then came Thursday.
Thursday night we focused on killing Ko’Ragh. Now, I’m completely aware that normal Highmaul is not exactly the pinnacle of all raiding, but it’s the farthest I’ve been this expansion, and it’s been fun and interesting getting there. This particular jerk makes everything much less fun though. As a new-ish healer, I was completely caught off guard by the amount of movement and coordination this fight takes from a healing perspective. More than one I died during the encounter because I failed to move while trying to heal myself of someone else. It was a constant struggle to decide whether to stop what I was doing to move away from a damaging ability or finish casting the heal that a party member desperately needed. After two hours and many attempts I’m sad to say that we left Ko’Ragh undefeated. Many an attempt ended with me literally pounding my head on my desk. The worst part…on one of our last attempts he killed our last player while he had less than 2% of his health left. There is nothing more heartbreaking than grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory.
All in all though, I have to say that I enjoyed my first week being back in the raid game. I went back and watched a YouTube video about Ko’Ragh so I’m more familiar with the fight now. Hopefully my performance will be better and thus help the group a bit more. I’m confident that we’ll get him at some point, and I’ve struggled like this with bosses in the past (I’m looking at you ping-pong boss from Dragonsoul) so this isn’t completely unfamiliar territory. My hope is that once we we’re able to clear the normal mode version of the raid that we can begin to work on the heroic mode. I’d love to get some of that sweet, sweet gear.
In addition to all that, I decided to switch out my second spec from balance to guardian. I’ve never been tanked as a druid, but my wife was interested to try healing in some normal dungeons. To make her feel a bit more comfortable I figured I’d go in with her as a tank. That way she’d be able to avoid some of the nightmarishly awful tanks I experienced. Going guardian spec was a change I didn’t expect to like, but almost instantly fell in love with. Not only was it easy to understand, but it still managed to provide a nice bit of damage while tanking. Running as a tank and healer we were able to join any dungeon with nearly instant queue times, and even when we weren’t in dungeons, being a bear helped to group up lots of mobs for daily quests. As reluctant as I was to lose my balance spec, I don’t think I’m going to look back anytime soon.