Wednesday, 30 March 2011

My First Raid Experience in Bastion of Twilight and Blackwing Descent

I was hoping to put a clever title such as: 'When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on,' because raiding is all about perseverance and determination, but sampling my first raid was epic enough without having to think of a clever title. Yes, I have done Baradin Hold a few times now, which I was really excited about at the time, and then people kindly informed me it was "not a proper raid," well, although I don't agree with that comment I can now see where they were coming from when they told me that!

When I put my name down for the alt/social run of my guild, I honestly didn't think that I would get invited along, as although it's an alt run everyone else would have already experienced the instance on their main character and no what to expect. 

However, my name was down for the run in Bastion of Twilight, and I was going to make sure I knew the tactics. I had a week from putting my name down, till the raid took place to learn what to do. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I watched videos, I read blog posts and forum posts and made endless notes and then quick glance notes which I kept close at hand.  I'm glad I read up, I wouldn't have wanted to have gone into the raid unprepared, even though the raid leader did a great job at explaining tactics as we went along. It was also good to speak to other healers, because you can read the mechanics of the fight and know the names of every spell the boss will cast but it doesn't count for experience, something is always easier the second time round, once you have seen exactly how something works.

Monday night (the night before the raid) rolled round and I was thoroughly expecting not to be on the raid, but the prospect of possibly being there meant I had a really restless night, it took me ages to fall asleep, I think I dreamt about causing a wipe, over and over again. People who raid regularly, will not realise or remember what a huge thing the first raid is. I feel like since I started playing WoW my aim has been to raid, to get to the level cap and become the best player I can be. I still have a lot to learn, but to be a member of the top guild on the realm, and to have the chance to raid with these people, even if it is with their absolutely mind blowing.

Tuesday morning rolls around, I spend a bit of time going over my notes and watching the tactic videos again and then I stop with the fear of starting to over analyse stuff, yes, I felt it important to understand the basics, but its also supposed to be fun? 

Tuesday evening approaches, we discover that the raid is definitely going ahead and we get an I flew over the Twilight Highlands and made my way up to the BoT, I grew increasing nervous. I was literally trembling, so much so that I was accidentally pressing other keys because my fingers were slipping and doing silly things like putting a HoT on someone who didn't need it, but I was just blown away by the whole thing. From the way the encounter looked, to watching 10 people work in unison, to hearing the communication, I can understand why so many people love to raid. Just before we entered the raid I had a sudden crisis of confidence, maybe I couldn't raid, I knew that gear wise sitting at 352 my gear was appropriate, so it had to come down to my abilities to get the job done - to keep everyone alive.  I have no doubt that the other healers dragged me through it, they were both druids and I feel my nerves made me slow to react. Husband said to me, you know the tactics, you know how to heal...just go for it and enjoy, you can do it. He was right.

After we cleared the first trash pack, I started to settle in, but as we reached the first boss my stomach twisted into knots. There was Halfus Wyrmbreaker waiting to be killed. Now I was so excited at the time, that I cant remember how many attempts it took, but I think it was two. 

As he went down, I turned to my husband who was tanking throughout the raid and we gave each other a high five, and as I relaxed and laughed at getting my first ever 'proper' raid boss down, I realised that I was on a high and it was great feeling, we had worked as a team and we had defeated him. It was so much fun.

Then even more surprisingly, I received loot: an epic robe - Robes of the Burning Acolyte. I didn't expect to receive any loot, and I wanted to go and raid for the experience and the ability to say 'I'm raiding,' but receiving the loot was very welcome and also from Halfus, husband received some plate wrists. The new robe has boosted my item level to 353 and it was a very big upgrade on my heroic Halls of Origination robe. Both of us receiving loot signalled another high five, and then we both focused back on the screen to move on towards the next boss.

Getting through the trash was proving pretty straightforward and easy and before I realised it we were ready to 'get all up in' Valiona and Theralion's face. By the way, for future reference, Valiona is the girl of the two dragons, the pinkness should give it away :) I did die a few times on this encounter and I think it was because I was reacting to what was going on, and by that I mean that once something was cast I would then respond, and that made me slow, once I started to pre-empt, and watch the casting bars and turn and look at the boss, things went alot better. We did have a 1% wipe at one point and I think it was on this encounter. At no point though did I think that we wouldn't get them down, in fact the wipes made me more determined to perform more effectively and efficiently and pay more attention to what was going on around me.

After we successfully defeated the dragons, it was decided to move on to Blackwing Descent, and I nearly had a heart attack, I had started to make notes and revise BWD, but in nowhere near as much depth as BoT (I have an A4 sheet for each boss in BWD, a whole book for BoT), as we mounted up and headed in the general direction of the instance, I frantically scrabbled for my notes and husband and I were reading over them. 

We arrived, we got stuck into the trash with no problems and arrived at Magmaw.

We cleared the trash in this room without any issues either and it happens to be the only action screenshot I managed to take, and not a good one at that. I was so busy concentrating, that moving my hand to press the screenshot button was not really an option. 

I knew the basic outline of the fight and the tactics were reiterated on vent, we got in our positions and started to attack, but we did wipe. I think he was down on our second or third attempt but everyone except my husband and one other player (or two) were alive. I think at 11% we were a minute away from the berserk, but somehow they managed to beat it.

 We did then move on and have one go at Omnitron, but it was late by this point, and when we wiped, we called it a night.

What did I get from my first raid experience? Well, I loved it. I cant wait until I get to do it again, and I know that next time I'll perform better because, I wont be so nervous. It was everything I expected it to be and more. I can understand why people love raiding, and the hard work I feel I've put in to get to this point, really paid off. I loved how everyone worked as a team, and had a laugh whilst doing it. All I can say is a massive Thanks for the raid leader and members for allowing me to come along, being the massive newbie to raids that I am.

Advice for first time raiders like myself? Know the tactics till the point you are comfortable explaining them to someone else, going into a raid when the nerves and adrenalin is going and to not know the tactics would be disastrous and a massive knock to confidence. If you are unsure as to what you are supposed to do, double check and ask, there would be nothing worse than messing everything up because you didn't know where to stand. I had to double check stuff, and hearing people referred to on vent as their main character, instead of the alt in the raid, was also a little confusing at times, since I don't know them very well yet, but most importantly...have fun.

After we finished raiding for the night, husband realised that he hadn't got his valor points from his daily heroic run, so a guild group got together and we loaded Grim Batol.

As we got to the boss Dragha Shadowburner and he summoned Valiona, I couldn't help but smile to myself and think...I killed you less than an hour and half ago and it felt great...


Janyaa said...

Wow! Grats on your first raid. Getting three bosses down is a great start. Getting new gear is just icing on the cake!

Amanda said...

Congratulations on your first raid :)

Anonymous said...

I'm still looking to get into the current raiding myself, building up my healer to do so, but my mage is currently capable. I'm at work at the moment, and will have to look this post over again once I'm home and can give my undivided attention, however.... damn that UI looks amazing! I want! I want! =Þ

Anyway, congrats on getting in there, and I look forward to giving this post a full read later on tonight.

Kenneth said...

Getting some issues with this comment thing allowing the comment now... attempt #2...

I have officially given the post a full read, and I have to say I have never seen someone prepare so much for a raid. I usually just read what TankSpot has to say, and watch their video. That does it for me, but more power to you if that helps you prepare better for it. The first experience is always a stressful one, at least it was for me.

My first raid experience was in Molten Core, and like my first experience in Blackwing Descent, it was wrought with trash wipes. Now, I could solo MC with my Paladin, and laugh, and then cry, because it's all so pitiful. I mean.... Ragnaros has 100k HP in MC. And now.... well, my Pally has more... *weep*

Ok, aside from that, my mage is geared up for raids, but since the last horribad attempt, I've been focused on gearing the shaman, since we need healers, so my mage will have to sit on the wayside for now, I guess.

Congrats though on the first raid, and on the gear, you are definitely lucky for that combination. If you feel like checking me out, I have a blog at It's mainly about my writing, but I have some WoW threads in there from time to time.

Also, I'd be interested in seeing your notes on BoT and BWD, just because I'm curious to see how you prepared in comparison to my lack-luster 'winging it' of things.

Signed, Dorenduil Silverleaf (A.K.A. Ken)

Ian said...

It was great fun, the Drama guys are really great players and friendly people...cant wait to do it again