So everyone is gushing about the new content... and in the meantime, my guild went to raid ICC last night. Lolwut?
I mentioned before that I managed to complete my Glory of the Icecrown Raider (10 player) achievement shortly after the Shattering, but not all of our raiders did so at the same time, and some were still missing one or two achievements by the time Cataclysm came out. We promised that we'd still get them their bone drakes too, regardless of the allure of the new content. And we did. I'm so glad.
To be honest I was slightly worried because I was sure that I wasn't the only one who wasn't terribly keen on going back to ICC now that we were finally out of it, on a purely personal level at least. However, part of well-working guild is generally that you occasionally have to sacrifice a little bit of your own fun for the good of the other members of the group. Seeing everyone be willing to make that sacrifice and help out with those last couple of drakes really made me hopeful for our future raiding adventures.
As a fun fact, we did not completely steamroll the content. The massive jump in stamina between eighty and eighty-five certainly trivialised some mechanics - for example I saw someone survive one of Sindragosa's frost blasts on heroic mode, which used to one-shot everyone, including tanks. However, going from close to the best gear for your level to quest greens, combined with the massively painful stat scaling, meant that our newly levelled damage dealers often had lower dps than before due to not having enough hit, and our healers ran out of mana after every other trash pull.
On heroic Putricide we even had a few wipes - due to a couple of problems really, but a lot of it was honestly healing fail I think, with all of us either running out of mana halfway through the fight or overcompensating badly (no, I can't heal you now, I need to conserve mana) so that people died. I considered it good practice though, and it was very noticeable that we improved significantly after each wipe.
For me personally I found that the biggest adjustment was to teach myself to not use Renew so much. I was already using Heal on the tank whenever possible, but whenever I saw raiders taking damage from the abomination's aura I was still way too quick to toss a Renew on them. It's just too expensive to use it like that all the time now, plus I was still casting it too early so the last ticks sometimes resulted in overhealing. Dare to let those health pools dip a bit, they sure are big enough for it now.
It was also a good opportunity for those of our raiders who decided to switch mains in Cataclysm to try out their new class in a raid environment where everything was pretty laid back. I for one just howled with laughter when our guild leader, who switched from rogue to disc priest, accidentally life-gripped one of the tanks during a trash fight...
Oh, and if you've ever considered levelling by doing old raids, just for the fun of it - don't bother. Raids have always suffered from an XP penalty, which in the case of ICC was just enough to cancel out the rested bonus I had, but with the recent XP nerfs the amount of experience we gained was just ludicrously low. I think I got 40 XP for killing Lady Deathwhisper. I can get that for picking two bloody Peacebloom.
Pillars of Eternity: Further Thoughts
1 hour ago