The Journey into Savage 2A casual scrub's raiding misadventures
When I got up at 7am today, I didn't intend to find a learning party. But I can't resist taking a peek in PF, and there's one! I jump in and say hello.
This group was very organized and everyone got in Discord at once. I actually prefer not to have voice chat for mechanics callouts, because I feel that I must be able to do them without anyone coaching me, but I will join if the group is using Discord. There are 3 lala's all with the same last name, obviously friends. There's also a RDM with an awesome One Piece cosplay. There are experienced raiders in the group and they teach, calling out mechanics and briefly describing tactics. We make rapid progress, and it's clear everyone here has some experience before, because everyone seems to know generally what to do.
The Dark Crystal add phase stumps us for several pulls as people figure out where to stand and what to do. This party used the "DPS out" tactic, which gives superior dps but is slightly harder to understand for a new player. It's very easy, actually, as all you do is stand in a fixed spot and run a short distance to another fixed spot. Have you noticed the markers on the floor in Chaos (Normal)? People suspect that they are specifically put there by the devs to guide raiders, because the position and distance are exactly correct for various mechanics.
But eventually we push past the add phase and enter the second half of the fight! This time, we make it all the way to the enrage. Chaos's enrage begins with him casting all 4 of his ultimates in sequence (Blaze, Tsunami, Cyclone, Earthquake), in a process lasting around a minute. They deal heavy damage and apply the Savage-only debuffs. Then a final cast of Bowels of Agony wipes the raid.
The boss is at 9% HP as the first ultimate starts to go off. My heart sinks: it will be very close, if we can make it at all. "Abandon this feeble hope!" Chaos yells, as if the developers have foreseen our desperation.
I have never seen this part of the fight before. First the boss casts Blaze, which causes damage puddles on everyone. Raid leader quickly orders us to scatter.
Then Tsunami is cast. Everyone collapses in and stacks tightly for the water donut.
4%. We can make it!
Cyclone is cast next. In Savage, this not only does damage, but knocks you into the air and gives damage down. I can imagine the evil look in the developers' eyes as they programmed this sequence, drawing out the last frantic struggles to push out as much DPS before the end. The SAM uses LB2.
2%! The Earthquake cast begins. 1%!! We can do this!!
Earthquake goes off. The Savage version applies a debuff that kills DPS if they don't take lethal damage, and kills tanks/healers if they are not healed up to full hp. This is intended to kill the DPS, and leave only the tanks/healers, to further prolong those desperate final moments.
But I don't expect it to be a problem. 1%. Any moment now the boss will die!
No! I'm dead! Suddenly my HP drops to zero, and both healers die alongside me. Only the WAR MT is left standing. What happened?!
It turns out, both healers are out of MP from all the aoe heals they used earlier, and could not heal us back up to full, hence we died. If I had noticed, I could've cast Clemency to save a healer, losing 1 GCD but gaining 8-10 more for the raid as we both continue to attack. But I wasn't paying attention to the healer's status (classic newbie tank mistake) and a chance to save the day slipped away.
When you have done everything correctly and still die to enrage at 1%, you will fully understand why raiders are so DPS obsessed. 1% wipes are heartbreaking and the leading cause of flipped tables, torn out hair, high blood pressure and climate change.
The heroic WAR MT still stands, dishing out damage. Voice chat is completely silent as the castbar for Bowels of Agony creeps towards completion. And then, at 3-quarters full, the screen goes black.YASSSSSSSSSS!
At the end, two chests dropped. That means that everyone had not got their weekly clears, including the raiders who came to teach. You know, they could have made a party with only people who cleared it before and cleared in like 8 minutes to farm gear for alt jobs or something. Instead they choose to spend 50 minutes to teach us. I didn't properly thank you guys since I didn't have my mic, but I really appreciated all of your efforts!
I was so excited I forgot to ask about my DPS. I did ask in an earlier party, and got answers from 4.2 to 4.5k, which is low, considering I am already 13 ilvls overgeared. I played too conservatively, sacrificing uptime and stopping DPS to be 100% sure I did mechanics correctly. But there is no such thing as playing it safe in Ex/Savage. After all, you only trade one kind of safety for another: don't die to mechanics and don't die to enrage!
Even after beating the boss, the journey continues. I need to improve my dps greatly and make better use of cooldowns and party utility. And beyond that, Midgardsormr awaits.
But first, let's play PvP and smash some players to relax!
Onward to O10S! Let's clear together next time!