Last night was not exactly a pretty one for our guild. With Sarth being our only bit of content left for the week the guild gathered up and got ready to try and tackle 3 drakes for the second time. We had a full group and were ready to get the job done, but there were a couple of snags. We had an overabundance of healers for one with 7 along for the ride and had four tanks as we found having two add tanks more effective than just one at keeping the adds off of the squishier folks. Also, one of our top DPSers in the guild was absent for the night due to job commitments and we had to replace him with one of the newer apps, who was inexperienced at 3D and had less than epic gear. We were also missing some of our regular, more geared out dps, but we decided we were here and we were going to give it a whirl either way.
So we clear everything, buff up and hunker down to get to business with our DK tank pulling and the same set of healers on him as last week. The first drake lands and dps goes to work, with us healers doing our usual chaotic healing dance for Sarth 3D. Things are progressing along normally till the first drake lands and the fire wall comes when about five of the dps die. That’s right, five. On the first wall. Our guild leader was not happy, nor was Dueg, but we decide to keep going for the time being anyways. Needless to say the first drake was nowhere close to dead by the time the second came and eventually we had to wipe it up and start over. At that point though, I could tell that this was not going to be one of the more enjoyable raiding nights.
So the second attempt comes around and we go back to work, with this time only a couple of dps dying to the flame wall. Not really better, but certainly more acceptable than five. However, dps is even worse now with the first drake still being somewhere near 25% when the second lands. For anyone not familiar, the first drake should be dead before or very soon after the second drake lands if you want to have a fighting chance. So this results in another wipe and we run out to start all over again. The third attempt is even worse, with the third drake landing before the first one was even dead. As my guild leader put it, “That is fucking horrific.”
So we give it the old college try for a few more wipes, with the first drake always up and with significant health when the second one lands. However, after that truly pathetic third attempt, I knew that unless we did something truly heroic, we were just not going to be doing Sarth 3D that night. After the fifth wipe, the grumblings started to come up with people seeing that we weren’t improving on subsequent attempts and were either static or getting worse. True, we were carrying an extra healer and maybe we could’ve had a respec to help with the dps, but if our normal dps couldn’t even make a decent show of it, what was one scrub dps going to be able to do? After about an hour of attempts, the guild leader said we weren’t going to waste any more time, so we killed one of the drakes, one shotted Sarth 2D and went home. No honor, no glory, and no DKP for a regression fight.
Of course there was a great amount of frustration, with the DPS defending themselves while we tried to figure out where exactly the disconnect was at. Like I said, we were missing a few of our usual dps crowd and some of the people who were there were undergeared for Sarth 3D, which is a very unforgiving fight. Not to mention, we were healer and tank heavy, but the raid was sloppy, people weren’t focusing and were dying to void zones and flame walls, one of the most basic things you learn to avoid in this fight. When we were finally able to down 3D the first time, you could actually see people progressing on each attempt and there was a definite air of improvement along with a sense of “we got this” with each try, even when we wiped. But last night there was only despair and heavy weeping with each wipe.
I knew it was going to be a rough night when I saw who our raid was composed of last night. Not because any of our raiders are bad or don’t know what they’re doing, but we only had about 75% of the raiders who helped down 3D the first time and the rest were our newer members. When our shadow priest was consistently beating out two of our warlocks and hunters on the dps charts, I knew there were other factors going on here. That’s not to knock shadow priests, and especially ours, who I dub Sir Pimpenstien, but fact is, hunters and warlocks are pure dps classes and should always be at the top of the charts if they know what they’re doing and are decently geared. Sir Pimpenstien was in the top 3 for almost all of our fights, a hybrid class beating out no less than four pure dps classes almost every attempt. By those results, I could see that our dps group was simply gimped for this fight.
So now I ask you, how do you think guilds should deal with this? The idea is that anything that’s considered regression such as Sarth 2D will not be worth DKP. We know we can do it with 3 drakes, so why should we ever go back? When Ulduar comes out we’re going to be the same way in that once we handle a fight on hard mode, easy modes simply will not be worth DKP. But some guilds would look at it with a sense of, we’ve proven we can do it, so who cares if we do it every week or not? We’re not one of those guilds though, we truly believe that now that we’ve done it once, we should be able to do it every week and not doing it is a step backwards. Last night we took a big step backwards and quite frankly, it sucked. A lot.