EoTS made its first foray into 25-man WotLK content as a guild last night. Since release there are a few of us that have been running as PUGs with other guilds, but during the past week the officers convened and decided that we should start running our own 25-man PUGs.
First of all, we started adding more active raiding members into the mix until we outgrew a comfortable number for 10s (especially on the tank front) while not having nearly enough for 25s. Asking people to sit out each week for certain wings/instances was not only boring for those who volunteered to sit out, but it also slowed us down to have to break for portals/hearths/summons.
Secondly, running with other guilds and being governed by their often unfavourable loot rules is simply the suck. The worst is guilds that flake from one system to another without notifying the raid (free rolls on everything one night, officer loot for tier pieces and free rolls on everything else the next). There is something to be said for the awesomeness of implementing your own guild’s loot system (especially since I happen to think that ours is pretty fair).
Last night our realm was going absolutely apeshit after the patch, with the Northrend world server crashing every five minutes or so. In spite of being at odds against the server, we were able to (nearly) fill a raid group bound for Naxx consisting of 4 tanks, 5 healers, and the balance DPS. We ran short the entire night (23-24 raiders). We had about 15 from EoTS and the rest were PUGs that we found through trade chat and friend lists. The officers inspected each and every PUG on Armory before invite. We did end up turning some people away for having less than satisfactory gear.
At the beginning of the instance, we explained our loot system, which gives PUGs the chance to receive gear just the same as anyone else in the raid (I may explain our loot system in more detail at a later date).
And then off we went.
We cleared spider and plague in less than two hours with zero wipes.
And then we ran into some major server lag right before Patchwerk. Throughout the entire Patchwerk fight, it took me 1 to 1.5 seconds to see my HoTs showing up on my targets. I’m not sure as to how our tanks even stayed alive, really.
The same went for Grobb and Gluth. Horrible lag hindered our progress, and we wiped unnecessarily because of circumstances beyond our control (lag right at Decimate = dead tanks and consumed Chow).
With fifteen minutes left in the raid after Gluth went down, we did go on to give Thaddius two tries, however, the lag (and possibly some unwary PUGs) owned us hard and we did not make any significant progress on him at all. It also didn’t help that we were running with 24 at this point. From my experience running h-Thaddius, he is certainly not to be taken for granted as not making the enrage timer is easily possible if too much DPS is lost.
We weren’t shy about mentioning that our h-Naxx PUGs were a recruitment exercise, and linked our website for all interested parties. We also mentioned that we would be going back into the instance the next day (tonight) at the same time, and that the previous day’s attendees had priority to rejoin the raid if they were online on time.
Overall, the raid was a very positive experience. It felt good to be running 25-man content as a guild, something that I have missed sorely since the tail end of TBC. Also, for the most part, we had a very positive experience with our PUGs. Maybe thanks in part to the fact that we had the mind to check them our on Armory before inviting them to the raid, we saw very little sub-par performance.
Let’s hope Bonechewer has settled down so that we can actually finish up tonight.
It isn’t standard to start Naxx with 5 healers, but we had a very hard time finding PUG healers. We were shooting for 6, but in the end we only had five. Our composition was two druids, one priest, and two shamans.