I guess it all started...

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I guess it all started...

Post by Azadar on Wed Feb 25, 2009 11:59 am

I was initially going to say it started in TBC after i returned to Kishi from a hiatus in Imperium. I had lost all sense of fun. Imperium was... Imperium was intense. Four to five nights a week raiding, four hours per raid, farming consumables and gold on the off-nights...

Remember not to stand in the fire! Don't miss that Chain Heal or the group wipes! A high-stress highly choreographed dance of 25 people plowing ahead with seemingly reckless abandon and razor precision. There was constant pressure - 'good' wasn't good. Only 'great' was good. To be great, only 'spectacular' sufficed.

Upon my return to Kishi, i met a group of players that were also very skilled, but yet they didn't take themselves so seriously. They were pushing through raids at a fairly steady pace, but there were jokes on vent during Gruul or Magtheridon... Friday night Kara farming runs - full clears somehow managed despite the fact that on a given night at least half of the 10 player raid group was happily sipping on adult beverages. And yet we were still seeing progression and getting gear and (gasp) having fun! How odd. Yes, we weren't Imperium, but we weren't trying to be.

I'm as guilty as the next person. After being away from the game for a month or so due to some nasty computer issues, i was way behind the 8-ball in both gear and levels, and i got so caught up in the race again that i have to confess that the game had lost its fun for me. Until last night. Pardon a brief digression while i provide a little background:

I met Rackdam when i joined a guild called the Nightstalkers. When i accepted the guild invite (without having even spoken to anyone, just a spammed invite), he promptly greeted me by letting me know beers were in the fridge, right next to the poster of (whoever the flavor of the month babe was at the time, i can't recall). Turns out he had the greeting on a macro. Lol.

To say we were a noob guild would be VERY generous. I don't think one of us was a higher level than about 20 or so. We had a player -Rack- that re-rolled a priest and started over because we - quite literally - had no healers! No tanks either. And that made it very interesting when we decided to start running instances. 4 dps and a priest (Rack) who didn't get a fraction of the credit he deserved for his skill. After all, from Deadmines, to SFK, RFK and beyond, Rack was an ever-present guardian angel, somehow managing to keep a frenetic group of dps-ers alive through the worst of circumstances.

One thing we learned fast was that if Rack said "Charge!! I've got you!!", you just went ahead and bowled into the next group of mobs. After watching this for a period of six months or so, something inside me grew, and i wanted to be that guy, whos group said "If Az says we're good, we're good". I dropped my hunter and promptly began a shaman. By this time, the Nightstalkers was long gone. Many of our members had vanished, the rest had joined other guilds. Rack and i stayed friends.

One of my fondest memories is the time i invited him (a geared and raiding 70) to heal for a PuG in Ramparts. About two pulls in, he whispers me "Az, this tank sucks". I know Rack. He's just some dude i picked up in the HFP general channel. I'll tank it if you want me to. Brought a shield along just in case. "Az, shaman can't be tanks = P". And yet, not two minutes later, Rack had taken command of what was surely a fail group and we were running more smoothly and dropping mobs fast. His first instruction? "Az, you are tank". Lol. We cleared the instance with minimal issues and also ran Blood Furnace with me tanking. I had learned long ago that if Rack said charge, everything would be fine.

Fast forward to my return to Kishi, when i met a tank named Balazaar. My entire 'career' as a healer, i had been seeking the tanking equivalent of Rackdam. I wanted a guy i didn't have to manage threat with. Then, on what was a very frustrating run of Black Morass, we brought in a different tank - Bal. I'll never forget the first thing i heard him say on Vent "Just let me get a couple Sunders in on each fight, then unload. The mobs won't be going anywhere after that." Never were truer words spoken. What a badass.

It was an honor and a joy to heal for Bal. I never opened Omen when i grouped with him. Never worried about loose mobs or catching aggro, and he never died unless i ran out of mana - which seldom happened. And best of all.... HOLY HELL WAS THIS FUN!!

Ok, done with the digression. I returned to find Bal had been claimed by real life. I know we all miss you, buddy... but I supremely miss you. Luckily, i still have Rack, which brings me to last night. (Finally, Lol)

Rack asks if i've done H Nex yet. Nope. I accepted the invite without thinking. Rack wants to run, we'll run.

We get to the instance, buff up and Rack says "Alright Az, show me what you've got. Chain pull everything." You want chain pulls Rack? Careful what you wish for!

During the next half hour, Rack puts me through my paces. We're jumping off platforms into groups of mobs. He's running ahead to mark the next group as we are polishing off the last group. It's a blistering outlay of DPS and aggro moves that leaves me frantic and spamming every CD i have - but with more pure joy than i have felt since the days of running TBC raids with Bal at the helm. Half an hour later, we are standing over the dead body of Cyanigosa distributing the shards, i have a new helm in my bags as well as emblems, but i could care less. All i can think was HOLY SHIT THAT WAS FUN!!

This is a rambling way, guys and gals, of trying to remind you that Raiding isn't supposed to be stressful. Instances aren't supposed to be stressful. THIS IS A GAME!! Sometimes i forget that, and i'm afraid that sometimes some of you do too.

Love,
Az.

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Re: I guess it all started...

Post by Margeau on Wed Feb 25, 2009 1:24 pm

Oh I miss Bal too.... its hard being a warrior tank in a field of Pallys.

Which brings me to my story,
I have put Margeau on the back burner, only running raids with her because I am pretty sure I suck at heroic tanking. Its not fun wiping all the time on the harder heroic instances so I only heal them Smile
But last night the group that I usually run heroics with said that they couldn't find a tank and that I had to bring Margeau. So in my best pouty voice I say ok ......... Sad
Well we bring in Briahna to heal and they suggest Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle. OMG i am thinking, there is no way in hell that we are going to do this.... the thought of runing the gauntlet is scaring me silly and i don't want to pay for all the repairs Sad So we go in and do the first boss with no wipes .... Holy shit this isn't me tanking this group, I know i am hilucinating. As we pull mob after mob and finally get to the second boss and down him I am feeling not so bad, and then i look out the hallway into the gauntlet. Oh shit this is where we are wiping. As we all buff up, i pull a great feast out, thinking ok, if everyone is buffed then it won't be so bad right?
Ok we head in .... with no discussion on who is going to do the harpoons. We are about 8 minutes into the gauntlet and Bri tells us that he has no mana .... I am thinking where is the boss? why is this lasting so long? Why aren't we dead yet? why is the sky blue ...... So i ask who is doing the harpoons?
WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO ONE??????
Yup the longest gauntlet in history, and no one is pulling the boss down. Bri finally grabs enough harpoons(he can't heal at this point, he has no mana) to bring him down and we WIN ... the boss is dead and this is the first gauntlet that i have passed with no full group wipes, mind you its also the longest Smile)
YAHOOO we did it .... we head to the last boss and finish him off in record time .... I think that all the bosses that we downed last night were record times.
So feeling kinda cocky about this victory Bri suggest we do Gundrak ........
OMG, NO the snakes are going to wipe us all and no way i can't do it .... so we head there anyway.

The first boss deosn't wrap anyone but me, i had enough aggro on him so that he stayed on me the whole time and Bri healed his butt off ... BOOM the boss is dead Smile
WOOOT
So we finally get the three mini bosses done and we head to the land of Eck ... I just learned that he was there, had no clue and killed him too, get to the last boss and wipe once ... stupid impales. Finish it and get another achievement .... YAY

So, now i am thinking wow maybe I am not such a bad tank Smile) But seriously i did have to "talk" to the dps a couple of times about their aoe attacks before i get to the mobs . And maybe I will even dust off Margeau's pauldrons once in a while and run more heroics on her, I still need the mount from CoS.

But it was fun last night which is the reason i am writing this story. Heroic tanking hasn't been so fun lately, thus the closet that Margeau has been in, and I am glad that someone got me out of my comfort zone and made me do these:)

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Re: I guess it all started...

Post by Azadar on Wed Feb 25, 2009 2:03 pm

HELL YES! Having a good healer, and not being afraid to put the dps in their place when they get out of hand makes everything a bit smoother, but i honestly think it all boils down (at its core) to the healer/tank relationship. When you two trust each other, it makes for those dream runs of record clears and "OMFG, did we REALLY just do that?". Healer's not afraid to throw out some mondo heals to keep you up cuz they know you aren't going to let them get hit. You stop having to watch your health and can really be focused on face-melting threat... Good damn times. Glad someone else can relate. Very Happy

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Re: I guess it all started...

Post by Nikademus on Wed Feb 25, 2009 5:19 pm

azadar wrote:HELL YES! Having a good healer, and not being afraid to put the dps in their place when they get out of hand makes everything a bit smoother, but i honestly think it all boils down (at its core) to the healer/tank relationship. When you two trust each other, it makes for those dream runs of record clears and "OMFG, did we REALLY just do that?". Healer's not afraid to throw out some mondo heals to keep you up cuz they know you aren't going to let them get hit. You stop having to watch your health and can really be focused on face-melting threat... Good damn times. Glad someone else can relate. Very Happy

I agree with the healer/tank relationship being a big deal, throw in a great dps'er and you have the trifecta!! I was lucky enough to become a part of a special grouping like this. I would not be where I am, without Anyyx and Eljosh. We met when I joined Army of Valhalla, and we started running everything together. The more I ran with them the more I realized that I had hit the jackpot. Everything started coming easy. We worked very well together, we knew what each other were capable of, and we capitalized big time. The gear kept coming and we just got stronger and stronger. We also had a very good crew of players to choose from to be the other 2 in our 5 mans. These players included Thelon, Sweetzz, Voldia, Prote, and Spars. Talk about winning the lottery!! Thelon became a permanent fixture and the 3 amigos became the fantastic 4, with Prote and Sweetzz keeping us in business. We played so well together that we started shying away from running with other people, because when we did, we would end up in Shadow Labs for 6 hours. (wink Anyyx)
We ended up being the only ones in our guild running heroics and making progress. Then one fateful day spars invited us to be pugs in a Magtheridon run with the guild he was in... you guessed it, Kishi!!
If I am not mistaken it was the first time Kishi had downed Mag. We all joined Kishi that week, and the rest is still being written.

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Re: I guess it all started...

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