Slay the Undead or Be Slain by Them

Sooo... Naxx is out and the undead are invading. What have I been up to?

I mentioned previously that I'd bought the materials to buy the raid attunement at honoured level with the Argent Dawn, but I'd heard that the Scourge invasion event was pretty good for reputation so I wanted to give that a go before actually completing the attunement quest. It wasn't really as good as I had hoped, but killing the mobs does give reputation until you reach revered, and teaming up with a bunch of guildies the rep gains kept coming in pretty quickly. I ended up grinding like mad with a rotating roster of guildies for about one and a half days until I hit revered, at which point I bought the attunement for a reduced price and was properly pleased with myself.

The next best thing about the whole event was helping out a guildie who plays a priest and who had been very downtrodden about only having just hit honoured, at which point the attunement was still too expensive for him. I coaxed him into coming along to farm invasions and before I knew it he was farming them harder than I was, meaning that he also managed to hit revered and get attuned just in time for our first Naxx run on Monday. That just made me happy in a "knowing I actually made a difference" sort of way.

In general, the event brought back a surprising amount of memories. I always say that I don't recall anything about the much-praised zombie invasion event that occurred in the run-up to Wrath, but floating citadels and mobs dropping runes? I remember seeing those at the end of BC and farming them in Blasted Lands. Funny how people rarely talk about that part of the Wrath pre-expansion event replicating the original Scourge invasion.

Monday night we went to Naxx for the first time and it went... okay-ish I guess? My guildies had all been going nuts farming herbs for potions in the run-up to the patch, especially with an eye on Loatheb, but I was saying to one of the raid leaders that I considered that premature because we definitely weren't going to get to Loatheb on the first night anyway. I was told not to be so pessimistic. If you'd asked me to bet, I would have hazarded that we'd maybe clear the spider wing on our first night and possibly kill Noth as well. Four of the easier bosses out of a total of fifteen seemed pretty reasonable for our level of casualness.

As it turns out though, that estimate was still too optimistic, as we finished the night with only two boss kills under our belt. I guess it's a plus that we avoided dying to the first trash pull (after this hilarious video made us all super paranoid), but Anub'Rekhan still took us five attempts to down, and was then followed by more wipes on Faerlina's trash. The Grand Widow herself was a one-shot, interestingly enough, but then we didn't have that much time left by the time we got to Maexxna and just wiped on her twice before calling it a night.

Tonight we returned to a freshly reset instance. Anub only took two tries this time, but Faerlina was suddenly a major struggle for some reason and we wiped twice before getting her down with only a handful of people left alive. The raid leader decided that since we were somewhat short on healers it was better to try Noth instead of Maexxna, and we got him down on the second try. The rest was more dying to trash.

And.... I don't know how I feel about all of this!

I know I don't quite share the excitement of some officers who seemed to be having the time of their lives, but I didn't exactly have a bad time either. The company was enjoyable as usual and the general mood positive, and I'm not someone who minds wiping (or else I wouldn't be running the endless progression reset treadmill in SWTOR). Frankly, that one time when one spider patrol after another respawned right on top of our heads after we were only just trying to recover from the last one was friggin' hilarious, and our struggle with the gauntlet to Heigan was pretty epic as well.

Buuut... I hope this doesn't come out the wrong way, but I guess I thought we were a little better than this? I suppose since I joined the raid group with AQ40 already on farm I didn't really know what to expect on progression and my expectations were a bit too high. Seeing us wipe so many times on bosses like Anub and Faerlina does make me a bit worried when it comes to the more difficult fights in the instance. Plus I'm not a huge fan of 30-40 gold repair bills per night. Yes, I'll fully admit it: I'm spoiled as a hunter and used to being able to avoid a lot of repairs by using my feign death ability, but the fights in Naxx make it hard. I just don't like the idea of having to start farming purely to keep up with my repairs. Finally, I'm a bit worried about the general health of the raid group - the roster seemed to have recovered to a pretty healthy level a couple of months ago, but lately it's been feeling somewhat anaemic again, leading to us permanently undermanning things, which isn't helpful when it comes to progression either.

Sooo... I guess we'll see how things go from here. One thing that stuck with me was a conversation we had on the way to Maexxna when we were talking about some of the more hardcore guilds on the server putting in crazy hours in order to be able to claim realm firsts, when the guild mistress said that the difference between us and them was that we were used to wiping. This elicited some chuckles, but there is a truth in there in that familiarity and generally being comfortable with wiping makes it less of a problem in a way, whereas in a guild of min-maxers expecting smooth kills it's more likely to create resentment and drama. Looking at how Naxx has been going so far I guess I'll soon find out how resilient the Forks really are.


  1. Naxx is a huge step up from AQ40. At least that's my impression.

    We had major issues with Faerlina where the mind controlled cultist was losing the MC before we could use them on Faerlina, and in our analysis we realized we were taking Faerlina too far away from the Shadow Priest running the mind control.

    On A'R, the Mages were supposed to babysit the corpses until the scarabs spawn, but after having seen A'R get kited too far away to do both, I just volunteered to give up my DPS and instead do full time babysitting duty, which worked out much better. Our problem was with Heigan, where we didn't discover the little semi-protected hidey-hole until our last two tries. Even then, the gauntlet run kept respawns on us until we were ready. But once we got settled, the dance part was terrible. At least I will fully admit I can't dance, but this was ridiculous. Even putting on the Bee Gee's "You Should be Dancing" and Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance" didn't help.

    But yeah, here's to hoping your guild can weather the initial storm. And that you might be able to fill up the raid with a few puggers who can help out big time.

    1. I think part of the problem with Faerlina on the second night was that our shadow priest couldn't make it, and the holy guild mistress had trouble with positioning and timing. The other thing was the off-tanks dying - we were running with only seven healers I think, which seems all the more insane when I read that people apparently used to take 12-16 healers to Naxx back in the day.

      On Anub it was also mostly the scarabs giving us trouble (though it took the MT a couple of tries to get the kiting just right too). Problem was that as soon as even one person died, we got even more scarabs going all over the place and it would usually snowball from there.

      We had one try dancing on Heigan. One of the tanks did the first round alone to demonstrate it and aced it. Then we got to the phase where everyone's supposed to do it and we died within two eruptions (lol).

    2. The scarabs are easy to control if you assign a Mage to babysitting duty. As soon as they spawn, the Mage needs to cast Frost Nova to freeze them in place so they don't scatter and start munching on the raid. In our attempt, I got pretty good at quickly hitting that Frost Nova and then using AOE to pull aggro. From there, an off tank could gain control and we could burn them down. I'm kind of quirky in that I don't burn (bad pun) with the same desire to top the DPS meters, so giving up my DPS to preserve the raid is right up my alley.

      Holy cow.... 7 healers? We ran 11, plus a Shadow Priest (for Faerlina). And I still felt we could have used 1 or 2 more.

    3. Yeah, we did get a handle on the scarabs that way eventually... but it took a little while.