A week behind…
The first week in which the Lich King was released, we had a very successful week as a guild, killing all the new bosses, and snagging a world 73rd kill on Sindragosa. While this was the highlight of the week, and we were done raiding on Wednesday afternoon for the entire week, we still had 10 mans to go. While we understand that 10 mans are an integral part of raiding progression for a 25 man guild, and that the gear out of the hard mode 10 man instances is very beneficial to the guild, we had some faults in our raiding design. Over the past few months we have picked up a handful of exceptional players, increasing out raiding corps well beyond 25. This led us to attempt 3 10 man raids with mains. We quickly found out that healing balance issues were hindering progression.
You are not seeing things, that is four paladins in the front!
Last week, the officers in my guild discussed a different path forward, and one which was inspired by the elitism of a few of our guildies. We have a small contingent of very talented players with quite elitist attitudes. They have, over the past few weeks, created a rift in the guild which needed to be stopped. With respect to 10 man raiding, the major problem was that we were missing specific healing and tanking classes to make 3 groups possible. The elitist group had these deficiencies in the form of extremely geared and talented alts. However, they were unwilling to help the guild by sacrificing their own personal ambitions to help out our main raiders. The officers decided as a result that we were going to drop 10 mans from the organized schedule.
Everyone was free to go as they pleased, forming their own 10 mans, and running in cliques and groups to kill the Lich King. Unfortunately, in their shortsighted thoughts of gearing their alts and getting titles and achievement points, the elitist group neglected to see that their mains would be left behind to fend for themselves. The officers arranged their own 10 man group and headed out to have some fun.
Raiding is Fun?!?
The thing that I neglected to mention about the 10 man that I ran with last week, which included some of our best raiders and all the officers, was that we took three of our best healers, and both our Main Tanks. What goes around comes around. Well I have to say that two bosses into the instance, I was having more fun than I have in a very long time raiding. No one was bitching and moaning, no one needed to be carried, and with the skill level of all of the players in the raid, no leadership was really needed beyond leading by example.
Our dps was stellar, our coordination was top notch, and bosses died hard and fast. Pretty soon, less than two hours after first pull, we were standing face to face with the Lich King. We knew what to expect out of the first three phases, as we had seen it in 10 mans the week before, and in 25 man that week. What we didnt have was a coordinated plan on how to deal with Defile and the Valks. That plan came quickly and decisively. Phase 1 was pretty easy, people learned how to move with Necrotic Plauge quite fast, the AoE damage on the adds was impressive, including a whopping 7k by yours truly in effective health gear. Phase 2 was also a simple exercise. The only thing we needed to fine tune is when the off tank peeled the Raging Spirits off of me so that I could re-engage the Lich King on the transition.
Defile and Valks
Defile was the thing which gave us the most trouble. We had a few wipes and we had a few completely covered platforms. After coordinating rotations and movement strategies, we came back with a vengeance, and plowed into phase 4. This is where the first bug happened. On our first glimpse of phase 4, our off tank, who was handling a few adds from the ledge phase, was ported into Frostmourne and the adds immediately aggroed our healers and one shot them. Since this happened, it is my understanding that blizzard hot fixed the issue, however it was very frustrating for us. After a few more learning attempts on Phase 4, figuring out how we were going to handle the vile spirits, and just suriving the damage, we found ourselves face to face with a boss at 11 percent.
We called for a burn, and I even popped wings and started hammering away as fast as I could, and instantly I was dead! The boss was at 10%, and the lore began. We had did it, we had killed (or almost killed) the lich king. A complementary free dps burn from 10% to 0 later and we had epics and a shiny new title.
Thoughts on The Lich King
I found the fight very fun, and quite challenging for a 10 man. I am curious to see how long it takes some strict 10 man guilds to kill him, because we were all decked out in 264, and still had quite a hard time with him. He was regularly hitting me for 35k plus during phase 1, and even more in P3 with his Soul Reaper ability, which leads me to believe that this fight is an everything check, tank check, dps check, healing check, and coordination check. All in all, a well designed fight. While about 1200 guilds have killed him as of today, he is not bleeding edge progression, however he is still quite the challenge.