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Posts Tagged ‘ICC’

Reversion and I spent most of the weekend raiding on our SAN alts (see previous post) and Sunday late afternoon logged into our somewhat neglected, well geared mains – the eponymous Analogue and Reversion. I was in the mood to run ICC 10 so I asked Reversion to scavenge us a raid while I played with the Nomster. She is better behaved for raiding if you wear her out first :)

Well he started asking in guild and lo and behold, a number of raiders had tertiary alts they wanted to get some badges on. Before we knew it, we had 9 of 10 slots filled. All we were missing was a second healer. Nobody in guild volunteered so we decided to pug it.

Reversion started asking, and got two nibbles; a druid who said he had experience healing tanks in raids, and a holy priest who was lightly geared. He asked me to decide, and I picked the holy priest. I like healing with a different class than I am. Plus we already had three druids in the raid…

We get in, start clearing trash. The guild clears trash faster and more aggressively than any pug I’ve been in, so it keeps you on your toes healing and today seemed especially bad. I thought it was just because the other tank wasn’t turning the Servants of the Throne around. I keep an eye on the priest’s mana bar; with only 4800 gearscore, his mana regen might be weak and I’d need to toss him an innervate. It didn’t get very low though, and I kept having a hard time healing. When a pair of frost giants appeared, we wiped – more or less; I managed to escape but almost everyone was dead.

I started looking at the healing meter. And something was very, very wrong. I was at the top, as I expected – with 70% of healing done. After that the pugged priest was at 15%. The shadow priest was at almost 12% just from Vampiric Embrace! This didn’t seem right.

Well, maybe he was using a lot of bubbles and it wasn’t showing up right on the meters. He was holy, not disc, but who knows. I told Vuhdo to display for me the Power Word: Shield and Weakened Soul debuff on raid members. Oh, there was – one shield, briefly, on one tank. And thirty seconds later, another – on himself.

No, I was starting to suspect our problem lay with the healer.

I started giving him specific instructions via whisper, fight to fight – “Ok, you keep [off tank] alive”, knowing Reversion and I could coordinate his cooldowns and my Oh Crap moves and be fine. It worked, more or less, but the numbers on the meters were staying where they had been and I was working harder than ever to keep everyone alive.

We got to Saurfang, killed him. Fortunately the Mark went onto one of the tanks, something I find is a lifesaver when the healing is underpowered. Better to have all the heals going to one person than split among three.

Saurfang dropped the healing staff, Mag’hari Chieftain’s Staff. I’ve got that; I use it sometimes. The pug healer and a couple dps rolled on it. Reversion asks in the raid whether it’s main spec for the healer – who had lost the roll. No reply. So he gave it to the winner of the roll.

We go into the Upper Spire. Pug healer dies in the mist, releases. I charge merrily along healing as we pull trash. All of a sudden we notice something is very, very wrong. Well first, it’s been a good five minutes and there’s no sign of Pug Healer. Second, the tanks now have only 50k health.

It sinks in as we look at our buffs. The Strength of Wrynn – our 20% boost – is gone.

Suspicion immediately falls to the pugged healer. “Did you talk to the king?” we ask him. No response. The raid decides we’ll leave the instance, wait half an hour, and hope the buff comes back. We remove the pug healer and troop outside.

There were two schools of thought on this; some thought he was just so stupid he managed to remove the buff from us while trying to get upstairs. I thought he might have done it on purpose because we didn’t give him the staff. Either way, we weren’t playing with him again.

Half an hour later, the buff is back. Slowly we re-form the raid. This time, a guildie volunteers to heal – a holy paladin! Huzzah! We end up pugging in a rogue for some dps since one of the earlier group had to call it a night, and we set off to kill some abominations.

Boom boom boom – and a surprise for me, the Plague Wing achievement. Apparently Analogue had only downed the Professor on 25 man. Turns out it was my paladin who had done it on ten man. Heh! It’s always funny when you get an achievement for a fight you know pretty well.

We were getting tired, and sloppy, but we went to the Blood wing and I got another first, this time a real first: Blood Princes and the Queen. I’d seen the Princes but only to wipe; Reversion had finished Blood Wing previously, so now I’m caught up. My personal progression in ICC is 10/12!

The evening ended on a lower note when we wiped twice to Dreamwalker; I was tired and just couldn’t keep the raid alive while the paladin was inside. But the second two wings were way easier than the first, because I had an actual healing partner and not a parasite.

So all in all a very good raiding weekend. Stay tuned tomorrow; SAN is going to finish up BWL and I can’t wait.

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SAN Weekend Raiding Update

We were hoping to raid with SAN Saturday afternoon, but we had issues getting people to fill slots, a narrow time window- basically, it wasn’t going to work so we agreed to try again Sunday. Later that evening, Reversion and I signed back on to try to recruit guildies to go visit UBRS and BWL for some classic WoW fun times. We got a great turnout!

Me – Divergent – as the paladin tank
Rev – on Consolidate with leet druid heals
HairyGiblets – the hunter
Daruma and Rogerstring – our shamans
Missholloway – an almost-level-appropriate paladin
Delwyn the Rogue – level 72 at the time I think
Invariant – my 58 warlock on the RAF account, along to give soulstones and that’s about it.

We wandered into Blackrock Spire and headed for the Upper part, slaying all who stood in our way. First notable accomplishment: the whelp room! We turned off Retribution Aura, made the shamans wait to throw totems, I ran around clicking eggs like crazy then we AOE’d and boom, filled Guild chat with achievement spam. Lots of Jenkins titles that night!

We finished tearing along through UBRS and found the BWL entrance. I zoned in, then back out since I wanted us to get the UBRS achievement and we hadn’t yet. Tip: zoning out of BWL and back in sets you at the entrance to BRS and you have to run all the way back…

Anyway, we killed the end boss for UBRS and proceeded into Blackwing Lair. None of us had been here before and we weren’t sure what to expect. We figured out we needed to mind control and have the big dragon kill eggs, but wiped twice trying to get the hang of it. Finally we realized that you really just need to ignore the adds because if you kill them they keep spawning. So I worked my butt off to aggro all the adds, Consolidate healed me, the boss, the raid, whoever, and the guildies took turns mind controlling the boss. They did great, I avoided killing the boss when he wasn’t mind controlled (I think I did that one of our wipes) and with a great sense of accomplishment, he went down.

You don’t have to take my word for it either! Hairygiblets videoed our fight and linked it on his blog: here

Oh, another tip: Our first wipe, we didn’t have to run back because Daruma Reincarnated. Our second wipe, we all died, and Consolidate volunteered to run back. Unfortunately, ALL the trash in UBRS had respawned and he and Hairygiblets had to fight their way back in. It seems like there’s a really short respawn timer. Actually the bosses and stuff were back too. I’m not sure what was going on there.

Having passed the first test, we were ready to see more. So we poked our heads into the next room and found a corrupted red dragon who needed to be put out of his misery. He has an annoying mechanic though; he puts a dot on someone, and after a couple seconds, they die from it. No ifs, ands, or buts. Every third dot goes to a tank… so we had a really limited window to get him down, and we didn’t. Got him about halfway. Unfortunately it was quite late so we called it. Next time we’ll bring more bodies as dot-soaking-targets.

A very fun little evening, though!

Sunday afternoon as promised, guild members signed on. We ended up with only five of us; Divergent, Consolidate, Hairygiblets, Datq the resto shaman and Daruma, so we picked up puggers and went to ICC, with me healing and Consolidate tanking this time.

Hairy got some video from this too.

To summarize, we made trash die, we one-shotted the first three bosses, we went to Saurfang, has blood beast issues like you’d expect with multiple first time people (some of the puggers were new too I think) and then a top dps’er ragequit, and some of us were running out of time so we called it.

Again, this raiding with SAN is a lot of fun and anyone who has a spare 80 or is looking for somewhere to role an alt could do worse than joining a blogger guild. Guild chat is never dull!

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Raiding with SAN

SAN was supposed to go to Ulduar Saturday afternoon, but we couldn’t find another tank or some dps (only seven SAN folks were able to attend) so we decided to do the weekly, Marrowgar. From SAN, we had:

Me, Divergent, as a holy paladin
Reversion as Consolidate, a feral druid
Harrygiblets the hunter
Enyss the Resto druid
Shifthappens the Resto druid
Edamaxim the DK
and (I think) Norinka the Boomkin

We pugged in another tank, a shaman, and a mage and set off to ICC to clear trash. Whee! Some folks had never been in there, but the SAN folks were all on vent and we had a good time clearing – until Enyss dc’d. We still had trash to clear so we kept going. Then she came back in Vent and told us her internet was dead (she was using dialup for Vent) with no sign of coming back, so we sadly decided to replace her. We decided to go with two healers and the pug tank brought in a hunter friend of hers.

We had some fun with giants and traps and wiped once – heh – but got all ready at Marrowgar. Gave the briefing and went ahead.

Well the bonespikes just didn’t get attacked, people didn’t stack back up after bonestorms, and we wiped. We had at least three people who were new to the fight so I wasn’t surprised. I told people to stack on the tree – Shifthappens was doing a really good job getting back into position and it’s very easy to spot the tree and stand on him. (Note to Blizzard: please let us keep trees around in Cataclysm…)

I glanced at Recount so I could remind people to switch to Bonespikes and I got a surprise: neither pugged DPS had attacked the bonespikes at all. A mage and an elemental shaman, I couldn’t think of any excuse for that since they’d agreed that they understood what they needed to do. Even the new SAN people who hadn’t seen this fight had some damage to the spikes! I called them out specifically and reminded them to switch to spikes and to avoid fire; they agreed.

We went again. THIS time, the spikes died. (Harry had been trying a /tar bonespike macro that hadn’t worked before; this time he switched manually. I don’t know if anyone else had the same problem but the change was obvious). People stacked back up after fires. It wasn’t a fast kill, but slowly Marrowgar’s hit points dropped until at last he was dead.

We were victorious! Loot got handed out and while the SAN folks were eager to continue, the puggers dropped and we couldn’t progress.

I checked combat logs after the fight and guess what? All the SAN folks, even the new ones, had killed Bonespikes like they were supposed to. That mage and shaman? Nope. The mage not at all, the shaman had a little damage against the spikes but not much. Yes they were high on overall dps but they hadn’t bothered doing what they needed to do. Sigh.

So anyway SAN raid group needs more people! We’ve got a really good spread of healers; what we need is another good tank and some solid dps. Ranged or melee. We’d like to do more. Daruma the shaman is about to ding 80 and be ready to raid with us; with just a few more folks we can start working in ICC. If a blogger guild raid sounds like fun, it is! So if you’ve got a spare character lying around, transfer it over to Argent Dawn US Alliance side… or level one up. Plenty of folks around to help you gear up and get ready.

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This weekend I set out to do something new: heal as a paladin. I ended up doing two new things, one of which was my intended goal and the other…

Well, so there I was, logged in on Divergent the paladin. I changed her off spec to Holy a week or so back and I’d been collecting random drops for that set for a while now, so I went to the auction house and started looking to fill in holes. Found a bunch of random blues that would be “good enough” for me to get my feet wet. Couldn’t find a weapon or trinkets, so I started researching easily attained versions of both.

At the same time I’m keeping my eye on trade with the vague idea of tanking a weekly raid group – it was Obsidian Sanctum on our server this week, Analogue had single healed it with Reversion as the sole tank earlier in the week and it had stuck in my mind as a set of fights I knew well enough to feel comfortable tanking. Then I saw in chat a name I recognized as someone who had pugged ICC with Analogue a couple weeks back, an Australian shaman with an awesome accent and great skills. Looking for more for ICC10. Well Ana and Reversion had gone the night before, gotten past Saurfang and had people drop out for RL issues, so she couldn’t go. My mage wasn’t saved, and I’d been thinking of getting her into one, but he was saying that the dps so far all had 5.5k GS and Invariant’s is lower than that. I might convince him that was fine but…

So I whispered him and said “4.8k GS prot pally here. Interested?”

A few seconds later I get the invite. I mention to him that my main had pugged with him a few weeks back (after I got in vent he remembered me) and as the raid was forming, I got Reversion’s secondary druid Consolidate in as healer. Con’s GS is about the same as Divergent’s, and the other (also pally) tank was the same; the shaman agreed to go heals, we had a priest to heal the tanks, and all the dps were higher.

So we set off. The other tank hadn’t tank any of the fights either. Both healers were a bit less accustomed to their role (the shaman usually dpsed and Rev, of course, tanks)

We get the trash down fairly easily. The usual random people die, get rezzed, spring traps… but the other paladin and I knew to stack on each other for the giants, kept the casters turned away from the raid mostly, and it went well. This was Divergent’s first time in ICC and I was keeping a keen eye on her rep, just waiting to get friendly so I could get the ring.

We came up to Marrowgar, discussed strategy, and started. It went pretty well. The other tank and I had a little trouble moving together out of the flames, but the first two bonestorms came and went without a hitch. And then, over vent – “Guys, I dc’d!”

That was the other tank.

Bonestorm started again as he worked to log in. I followed the boss around, picked him up when he came out of bonestorm and dragged him over to where the other tank stood motionless. He had dc’d, but not disappeared from the instance and worked just fine to soak up the cleaves! We had to stay and get hit by flames, but the healers worked overtime and kept us up until he logged back in.

Marrowgar dropped and the whole raid congratulated each other.

Deathwhisper was really fun to tank. We each would grab one of the adds that appeared at the side and drag him to the middle add, then kill them all. The raid pounded away on the boss. I was impressed how fast they got her shield down, or was it just the change in perspective? Healing raid fights leaves me breathless, spamming keys, desperately fighting to stay alive. Tanking was… suprisingly easier. The boss’s shield came down, and we had to watch each other; my taunts didn’t always seem to hit and I had to be told to move her back up out of the raid. But we got the hang of it, swapped taunts, stayed alive – and another boss went down. Whew.

Upstairs, charge in and kill trash. As the first group dies, someone lets out a whop – “Quest!” The raid quest to kill the rotting giant appeared. Divergent needs all the frosts she can get!

We cleared toward the giant and then another whoop – a trash mob had dropped a BOE necklace. I hadn’t realized 10 man ICC trash would drop the BoEs, I had thought they only appeared in 25, but there they were. The hunter begged, and we agreed to give it to him; it was a serious upgrade and he equipped it right away. Then it was frost giant time. The other tank and I started tanking in the middle of the hallway, but after the healers complained about us getting knocked back out of range (I thought it was fun!) we stood with our backs to the wall. Not as fun, but effective; the giant died and we got badges. Wheee.

I got the easy job on gunship, just stood in the middle and picked up adds. One of these days I’ll actually jump over to the other ship. I’ll probably fall off. Or get stuck over there at the end. I’ve been to ICC dozens of times now and never once jumped.

Saurfang, the fight I’d been dreading. I pulled all my AOE abilities off my bar, triple-checked that I was using Seal of Vengeance and not Seal of Command, and got ready. I tanked first, then the other tank taunted; I stopped my dps for a minute and breathed a sigh of relief as Saurfang changed his attention. Blood beasts appeared, and went away, and died; I didn’t have to worry about it. My turn to tank again; I taunted, the other tank let me have aggro, and we were in the swing of things. I didn’t have to care about blood power or healing Marked victims or kiting blood beasts.

Why hadn’t anyone ever mentioned how, well, easy raid tanking is?

Saurfang died. He died. Destroyer of pugs, we one shotted him. Bane of newbie tanks, I took him on with a gear score most pug builders would laugh at. It felt incredible. And – just a little boring. Don’t tell anyone I said that.

Halfway through the trash to Festergut I got Friendly with the Ashen Verdict. I went downstairs for my ring and while I was gone, someone got too close to a dog and they wiped. I laughed, we went upstairs, rebuffed, and tried again. And another wipe. Ooops.

More carefully this time, we killed both dogs. Then went to Festergut, planned our strategy, agreed I would tank first. We ready checked, I pulled – and instantly lost aggro to a hunter, who died. We fought him down to 30% before Reversion’s tree got Vile Gas and puked in the melee, wiping us.

Second try. Exact same thing happened. But a lot of people were new to the fight, or to their role, so we went back, tried again – and I held aggro. Swapped with the other tank at the right times, dps burned him down and we made it with over 30 seconds to go on the enrage timer.

Wish I could say we steamrolled the rest of the place that easily, but we didn’t. We made two attempts on Rotface, but then people had to go just as I was getting the hang of slime tanking (hard!)

Later that afternoon I played (utterly useless) third tank in a TOC 25 man raid. And Sunday afternoon, tanked Obsidian Sanctum. In between I set up my healing set and did my first few dungeons as a holy pally! Which I intend to talk about in a seperate post, but I see this one is already too long.

But for all that, I like resto druid healing ICC a lot more than tanking it. It’s just more fun for me. But I’d tank it on my paladin anytime!

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Money Talks

… or at least gets you raid invites for GDKP.

At more or less the last minute I managed to whisper the raid leader for the guild-run but not guild exclusive GDKP yesterday afternoon. I told him “I have 30k and I still want Trauma” – Reversion and I have been on this run several times and have made good purchases. I bought Althor’s Abacus two months back, and I still love that proc. Trauma would complete the effect and give me the two pieces of loot I’ve been drooling over since I saw them. Stats are cool and all, but healing procs are sexy.

So I got an invite. Reversion didn’t, sadly, but he was very gracious about me getting to go. I was the only resto druid in the raid. I’ve never been the only tree in a 25 man before. At least I didn’t have to worry about stepping on anyone else’s toes.

The GDKP is a pretty well-oiled machine now. They do Gunship on heroic now, which was actually too bad; Ikfurus’s Sack of Wonders or however you spell that chestpiece dropped and if it had been on normal, it would have been BoE and I was going to try to buy it for Reversion.

We had one wipe in the Lower Spire. We came across the weekly quest to kill the rotting giant, and while we downed him with only a half dozen casualties, for some reason the disease didn’t go away. We all stacked up on each other, all got infected, and all died in a terrible orgy of diseases. DBM went nuts telling us all about it. Wish I’d gotten a screen shot.

I kept sneaking looks at the healing meters and was satisfingly in third place most of the time, sometimes fourth. One shaman and one pally were playing tug of war with me for the 2-3-4 ranking. I know I ruled on the overhealing meter though! Nobody can top a druid for overheals!

Festergut is disturbingly easy to heal as a resto druid in 25 man. I asked for an assignment on him – most of the fights we’d been winging it – and then healed my two assigned groups, dropped WG on melee when I could, and waited for him to drop. I like that fight a lot more on ten man. Actually I like all the fights more on ten man. Seems like the price of “epic big raid” feel is that you feel more like just one cog. Being one of two healers is totally different from being 1 of 6.

Then we were on to Rotface, who I’ve only downed a handful of times and the whole time my hands were shaking because I wanted Trauma. Still, I did my job, I didn’t die, and then when he went down I clicked to look at the loot – and there it was.

They wouldn’t auction that first, oh no. First they had to sell the stuff nobody actually wanted. Then Trauma – “2000” I typed, only to be instantly outbid. It was up to over 10k in no time, so I decided to drop my bomb, and bid 20k. That got some comments in Vent. I explained I’d really been wanting it, didn’t really feel like a bidding war, and asked if anyone was going to try outbidding. They didn’t.  I handed over the gold – 2/3rds of all the gold that Reversion and I have between us – and got the mace.

Money talks.

Was it worth it? Well, I had been keeping a running tally in my head of what my share of the GDKP was going to be. It ended up that I got back more than 5k gold, making Trauma effectively a 15k purchase.

The stats, combined with the Shriveled Heart offhand I’ve been keeping around just for this, are actually worse than my Mag’Hari Chieftain staff off of Saurfang-10. I lose a lot of haste. On fights like Saurfang I’ll probably swap back to the staff. I’ve got to redo my gear a bit to add more haste, I might even need to spec back into CF.

But yeah, it’s worth it. First, because this is that piece of loot – the one you see in the loot table when MMO-Champion mines them and say “That’s mine”. The one that represents something – to me, demonstrated that I have gotten further into cutting edge content right now than at any other time in the game, proof that I’ve invested time and love into my primary spec.

And it works. After Rotface we went and did Putricide. My first time on 25 and I hadn’t killed him on 10. We wiped four times, none of which were remotely my fault. One accident, one person not listening, one person who apparently wiped us on purpose and then got kicked with extreme prejudice. One I don’t know. Final try was chaotic. Adds everywhere – an orange one targeted me and I flatter myself I kited it really well, staying out of ooze and letting the dps burn it down. I got hit by the goo a couple times, my fault, but I was alive when the Professor dropped and I got my achievement for the Plague Wing.

I am now at 8/12 ICC. Months behind, perhaps, but progression indeed.

Anyway after the fight I looked at Recount, at my personal healing. 90% was Rejuv, with ~3% WG (I mostly skipped it because we weren’t staying clumped up very well).  The other 7% was procs – the Abacus was about 2.5% and Trauma was 4.5%. That means a huge chunk of my healing was mana free, GCD free.  It just happened, boom. I love that! Yes, it’s random and I can’t count on it to save the person I need to save, but over a long fight those numbers do add up.

This is why I got the gold in the first place, for gear that lets me see more content on my terms. I don’t need a mammoth; I’ll take the shiny useless purple pixels with a cool proc over the shiny useless purple pixels with vendors attached.

I just wish it didn’t look so much like a feather duster when I hold it.

The funny bit came after the raid, though. Remember I said we kicked someone during Putricide? Well, he wiped us, we looked and realized he was doing less damage than the tanks with a T10 four piece and appropriate other gear, and then he stood there dancing during the first part of the next attempt. So boot. He didn’t get any gold, which was the upfront terms; if you get removed from the raid for being an incorrigable idiot, no gold. Well two hours later there he is in chat, spamming “[Guild Name] will cheat you and take your gold – they kicked me from their GDKP after 8 bosses and I lost 4-5k gold”.

The guild gets a lot of flack on the server because they server transferred in about six months ago, so some of the guild folk are really good at playing with trolls. One of them said something like “Thanks for telling everyone how good our GDKP runs are”. Another pointed out that it was boss 7, not 8 (just trying to be helpful). And more confirmed than yes, [Guild] is made up of cheats and liars and nobody should trust us.

Somehow I don’t think he was hurting our reputation as much as he thought.

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I’m a bit of a control freak.

(Reversion is not allowed to make a comment on that statement)

I’ve always had control freak tendencies. Sometimes they come in handy, like when I was applying to grad school. Or organizing a bookstore run with my younger siblings. All six of them. No surprise it would spill over to WoW; the biggest surprise is how long it took me to roll a healer.

As a Resto druid, my inner control freak is very very happy in 10 man raids. I feel like I’m responsible for keeping everyone alive and I like it. Even if I’m supposed to be raid healing I can keep an eye on the tanks for a good time to drop a Swiftmend or my Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch macro.

25 mans are another beast. “Ok Analogue you keep Rejuvs on groups 3-5″. There’s my healing assignment. Drop a WG on the melee if I can spare the GCD. Otherwise, Rejuv, wait for the order to battle res. Drop a hot on the tanks. Don’t even think about Nourish, unless the fight goes to heck and the healers start dropping.

It’s fun, don’t get me wrong. I see more of the fights in 25 man. I’m glad I did Rotface in 25 first; I have a really good idea of what to do in 10 man now. But I’m not in control. How could I be, as one of 25, one of 7 healers? It’s as bad as being DPS. In 10 man, I’m one of two, maybe three, performing my role. I can challenge myself a lot more. Should I Swiftmend the tank or heal up that mage over there that took a few ticks of fire damage before moving? Do I need to focus heal the Mark target? Doing my own thing and actually thinking for myself is an asset. In 25 man, I’m part of a team, greater as a whole than as a part. We can do some awesome things together – but deep down inside I feel insecure.

Do other healers feel this way? I bet it’s more of a Resto druid thing than, say, a Holy Pally thing. I think we probably are more likely to feel like we have to heal everyone at the same time rather than focusing on assignments, but I might be wrong.

And how, when the tank’s health bar keeps going down, can I NOT heal him?

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GDKP

I think everyone knows what GDKP runs are these days; if not, the quick version is that when loot drops, you bid gold on what you want, high bidder wins, and at the end all the gold spent is divvied out in equal shares to the raiders. Guilds often run GDKP raids for their raiders’ alts as well as a few pugged potential buyers.

Tuesday after the ICC zone buff was raised to 10%, one of the officers of our guild announced they’d be doing a GDKP run of ICC this Saturday. I immediately went to town, clearing out my bank vaults and doing some serious auctioneering. With six 80s between us, Reversion and I have most of the professions covered and mine are especially lucrative; jewelcrafting, enchanting, tailoring, and my pally tank has a glyph business that has been netting us a few hundred gold a week. Basically, Tuesday my mage, who is our auctioneer and has all Reversion’s and my money, had about 14k gold; Saturday we had 32k. I sold a couple primordial saronite from frost badges that my alts had collected but mostly it was bank leftovers, bags, and gems. Also a weird quirk on my server has runed orbs selling for more than 4 times the cost of frozen orbs and I took advantage of that.

Anyway, Saturday rolls around; the raid leader asks Reversion to bring his hunter instead of the druid, which he’s happy to do, and I get an ok to come on Analogue. This will be the first time we’ve actually gotten past Marrowgar on 25 man ICC and I’m looking forward to it immensely. An hour before it’s time to go we hear a horrible thumping and crashing from the garage. We go out and find our washer has walked off the pedestal, fallen on its face, ripped pipes out of the wall and there’s water going everywhere.

Great. The joys of home ownership.

We shut off the water, move the boxes off the floor, start hacking at pipes. Reversion assesses our tools and gear and we make a quick run to Home Depot. Five minutes before raid time, we’ve got a fix that lets us have cold running water, the washer is on its feet and given a tentative “maybe it’s ok” verdict, and we decide to raid.

Marrowgar gets one shot and a pair of caster leather gloves drop, which I buy even though it breaks my Tier 10 2 set bonus; they were just too nice to pass up. Deathwhisper takes two attempts and some nice hunter pants drop for Reversion’s hunter Approximate; we both got lucky and got these pieces cheap as my competitor druid was afk during bidding, and Approximate was the only hunter around.

Then Gunship, and I’m holding my breath the whole time and then it drops: the Abacus, the trinket I’ve been wanting since I first heard of it. The bidding war is fierce but once it gets past 3k gold it’s down to just me and a holy priest; we bid it up to 4.9k before he drops out and lets me have it, telling me privately that if Trauma drops off Rotface he’s not giving up so easily. I tell him it’s on and don’t tell him that I still have close to 20k if Trauma drops and man do I want that mace.

Saurfang gets one-shot. So far the fight that I’ve found the most different on 25 versus 10 man is Deathwhisper; the mind control and the sheer number of adds made that one interesting. Most of the fights are actually easier for me as a healer, since I can concentrate on raid healing and just spam Rejuvs and WG everywhere.

We head to Rotface first. It takes two tries, and the second time we succeed even though one of the pugged guys does not take his small ooze out of the raid – someone managed to pull it out after two minutes. That’s the first time I’ve seen that fight and I enjoyed it even though I ended up dying twice on the second attempt – bad luck with slime puddles.

Trauma, of course, does not drop. Argh. I’d been setting myself up all week but I guess when I’d already got the Abacus I couldn’t be too greedy.

Then we go to Festergut and we wipe and wipe and wipe, mostly by hitting the enrage timer. I end up pulling out my mage, we swap out the worst dps (the aforementioned pugged warrior who didn’t move his slime) and finally – finally – get him down, after a heartbreaker attempt where the last one of us died a nanosecond before he did.

Why am I writing all this up? Because I wanted to emphasize how awesome GDKP runs are for people who have skills, ok gear, and not enough time to commit to a real raid schedule, or just don’t want that pressure regularly. If it had been a “real” guild raid some of the wipes would have been… unpleasant, but because everyone there was a customer as well as a raider, the raid leaders had to put up with a bit of idiocy. The idiots’ gold is just as good as anyone else’s.

It takes gold to make gold of course, but at 80 the gold comes rolling in with minimal effort. Dailies, or auctioneering, or a good profession, add up fast. I’ve never ever bought gold, but I have four characters with dual spec, three with epic Northrend flying, crafted gear, and been a high roller on two GDKP runs in the last four months. And I have a trinket that I’d have given my eye teeth for, a fun afternoon of content that for me was progression, and an achievement in my log.

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