I found an "Adds prog" party after work, which turned into a clear party and got the kill!
We actually made it past big adds reliably this time (Titania at 45% before adds and power at ~38 when small adds die), only to hit another roadbump: the 2nd set of thunder tethers. It's the same mechanics as the 1st set, it should be easy, right? But in practice, it comes immediately after mechanics that cause the boss to be off-center and players to be scattered around, which makes it hard for players to pick up the tether. (I only thought of a solution after the clear: put a marker S of the boss, and all except MT stack on it after frost rune finishes. This makes it easy for players to see who has the tether and pick it up.)
The first time, the party was not aware that I would be doing the last 3 tethers on the 2nd set, and we had an 8% enrage. The next time, 4% enrage. Then 2%, 1% enrage! There were always troubles with the 2nd set of tethers. On the final attempt, I was treated to this nail-biting sight:
Let me tell you, no thriller or horror movie will ever come close to that moment when the boss is at 0.1% and you have literally 1 GCD to kill it. (Wait a minute, why has a noob like me seen so many 1% clears and wipes and that ridiculous kill of Absolute Virtue in BA?! Are these things so common?!)
I asked about my DPS and got a disappointing answer: 5k. This is in line with my experience on Seiryu EX, where on a clear party I may lose between 20%-25% of target dummy DPS (good tanks are going 6.5-6.7k). It's obvious I need to greatly improve my DPS, and I can already see many situations where I can make corrections. On the last attempt's tether messup there was one period where I did not attack for like 20 seconds trying to figure out when it was safe to get the teher, haha!
Although my DPS was poor, I think my mental state improved greatly. I was much calmer during the first run, and while I was still a little nervous while waiting in PF, I was not afraid at all once the actual fighting started. I think my experience in BA helped make me more comfortable with high-end content.
The party was really patient and fun to play with. And I had a really great cotank who was also PF owner, who did awesome damage, positioned the boss expertly, and was nigh-impossible to kill. Thanks for the clear guys!