So last week, Centrella (who has been begging me to take another photo in case I whip out her Cher impression again) found herself needing three more Frost badges to complete the 4-piece tier 10 set. And had already done her daily heroic. All I needed was to join a group and do two ICC bosses and I could go shopping! Two bosses. “Shouldn’t be *too* hard”, I thought, “even this late in the evening! To the trade channel!”1 /sigh
Once I discounted the “whisp GS and achiv, not lower spire”2 groups because a) Cent doesn’t have any higher achievements in ICC and b) I object on general principles, there really wasn’t much happening. So I waited. Nothing. Time ticked on. I even attempted to gather a few of the various “<class> LFG ICC10” people into a group but it didn’t quite come together. And then I spotted it: a group who were looking for one ranged. Who were already past Saurfang. Doesn’t matter, think of the badges.
I joined. And discovered one of the people from the attempted traderaid already in the group, and who was memorable because the first thing he’d said to me was “lol I have 200GS more than you”. Which, as it turned out, generally wasn’t enough get him within 1000dps of Cent
“Hmmm”, I thought. “The past few times I’ve done Fester and Rotty, we’ve pretty much waltzed through. We should be able to manage it.” /doh #1
The group then loses a healer while I’m still flying over to ICC so I stand outside for a bit until one is scavenged up. She’s a bit reluctant, apparently undergeared, but agrees to join. With a second healer, we’re good to go. I zone in.
Yes, I said second healer, for a scrabbly late-night pug run. /doh #2
The group assembles at the teleporter point by the comedy steamwalls, and clears trash up to Precious & Stinky. We have a little fun with both, finishing both fights with about half of the group face down, but rezzes are forthcoming and we take the left turn up to Festergut. Some discussion over strategy ensues, as there are lots of ranged. We start. First spores are up, including one on the ranged collapse point (a healer) – great. I die whilst running over. Wipe.
On the run back in, there’s some discussion of whether minimum safe distance between ranged is 8 yards, or 10, or 12. We buff up and try again. Exactly the same thing happens. I take a look at the log, and see that I (and I suspect we all) died to the ticking damage. For extra fun on the run back in, this time one of the ranged turns right towards Rotface instead of left. I was still standing just by the entrance shouting “WRONG WAY! COME BACK” in /ra when she set off the geist alarm. More rezzing. We have one more abbreviated attempt at Festergut (same as before) then conclude we don’t have enough healing output (/doh #3) and deciding to at least try for a single frost emblem from the miniboss on the way to the blood wing.
At this point *I* screw up, persisting for too long in attacking the add that spawns from the back rather than nuking the Vrykul miniboss (/doh #4), and we wipe again. A couple of DPSers head to bed and the remainder decide for one last try (I’m determined, at this point, not to have wasted my lock for NOTHING). We have a last, but ultimately successful go with the remaining 7 or 8 people, claim our single frost and zone out.
A glance at the clock shows 2.45. 15 minutes to lockout reset. So Cent trundles around Dalaran repairing, selling crap and doing chores for 15 minutes, hits LFG at 3am on the dot, has a quick blast through a random HC, collects her badges, shops, adds gems, enchants and JOY OF JOYS no more tier 9 shoulders (oh, and now she’s totally OP).
- There’s quite a jump in difficulty between the first four bosses of ICC and the next three. Within the safe haven of a guild of capable folks, communicating and co-ordinating on Vent, the difference in difficulty is obscured a little – they’re obviously harder, but not terrifyingly so. Running it in a PuG group with no voicecomms, even with a core from one particular guild, makes it apparent just how much more is required of the raid. I now realise why so many PuGs seem to give up at 4 bosses in.
- Don’t join a run in progress (especially if it’s past the first four bosses) unless you already know the group. Or you could end up saved to a stalled and finished raid from which you get nothing, or perhaps a single measly frosty.
- Especially don’t join a run in progress late at night. You’re probably taking the place of someone who had to go to bed. Chances are, unless it’s explicitly a late-hours group, more people will bow out for the same reason the moment something goes wrong. And it’s going to go wrong, because they’re tired already.
- Remember that “add friend” button in the “social” window that you don’t use any more? It still has a purpose. Whilst some of the randoms in this particular group were genuinely “random”, the core of people from the same guild who had organised the run were distinctly not-asshats. They were, instead, friendly and fun, which became more and more evident as people began to drop. I’ve not (yet) spoken to them since, but I’ll be keeping a keen eye open for them if they’re ever looking for ranged DPS.
More on Cent and her phenomenal capacity for loot shortly.--
- Before you ask, I did (and do) always use /lfr to mark myself available but I’ve never had anyone contact me, even when I’ve joined a traderaid for something I’m flagged for. [↩]
- Why do so many of these people spend the *whole* night in trade searching for 6100gs and “achivs”? Surely after the first thirty minutes or so, you’d think they’d switch to “Never mind, I’ll take what I can get.” Surely a slower raid, or one which falters a boss or too earlier than planned is better than sitting by the fountain spamming trade? [↩]