Tonight's a bit of a big deal for me and my guild. Tonight is our first official guild raid night of Cataclysm. We've been working towards this for a while now. Obviously ever since Cata dropped. But the last 2 or 3 weeks we took it a step further, spending our usual raid nights (Friday/Saturday) grouping up and splitting off into Heroic groups for gear and practice.
Last Sunday we had a 10-man kill of Argaloth (who dropped nothing useful, the jerk) and a couple nights ago a 10-man team went in to give the Bastion of Twilight a shot. I think it was a good learning night (I didn't participate, but listened to the latter half of the run on vent while they went) that ultimately ended without getting Halfus down.
Tonight, though, is the big one. 25-man BWD. The invite has been on the calendar for 2 weeks. As of right now we have 27 Accepted and 13 Tentative. Somehow we're going to have to pare that down to 25.
(Matticus' post today mentioned streaming raids. His is for recruitment purposes, but I may try and set up a stream before our raid so those who don't get to go can still watch if they want to. I still say raids need an "observer" mode.)
Unlike in the past, where we've mostly gone with a "the first 25 to show up get in" method (with the caveat that we need X tanks and Y healers), we'll be doing some gear checks. Not so much who is the most geared, but who put in the effort. Did they gem and enchant everything. Are those gems and enchants appropriate for the class? How's their First Aid skill? Do they have food/flasks/bandages?
During the Heroic runs over the past few weeks, we've also been keeping some notes on how people play. Not necessarily how good they are, but more how they work in a team. Do they help with CC (including refreshing when needed)? Do they interrupt? Do they help throw emergency heals? Do they do any of this without necessarily being reminded to or told when?
To be fair, as a raid leader, it's also a big night for me. We haven't raided as a guild in a long time now. A lot of our newer members (and there are quite a few of them) haven't raided with me at all. I worry about how I'm going to perform in that role and how well I'm going to be received. (Despite the frequent and flowery sentiments to the contrary from my guildies, I still don't think I'm that amazing of a raid lead.)
I'm also woefully unprepared. I took a quick look at a Magmaw guide earlier this morning, but still haven't researched anything else about the instance. Hell...I couldn't even tell you how to get there.
I didn't sleep well last night. Seriously. That's how neurotic I get about these things sometimes.
At the same time, I'm really, really excited. I love to raid. It's the pinnacle experience of an MMO, IMO. And as Captain Lore (as Cheres has named me) I get geeked out because raids are where a lot of the lore happens. It's the reason I got into raiding in BC in the first place.
I'm also excited that, at least for now, we're able to make good on our goal of being a 25-man raid guild. I know it's the less-desirable option right now. But we're in a place where we may be able to pull it off.
So we'll see how things go.
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