Thursday, September 9, 2010

A bit better

Oh my.

I have gone through a grinder and I presume I'm still at one piece. Lack of practise shows -and feels- deep in my head. And partly in my corpse body, too.

You see, last night was the raid night and the guild went to Ulduar 25 for a change. I have decided to give this kind of life a shot and see what the cards hold for me. Staying up late is just a minor repercussion compared to this raging hyperactivity my mind is experiencing. It goes along the lines:
- Did I execute the right skill on that fight?
- Was that really the right decision based on the info I had then, because it sure as hell isn't when I'm looking at it now?
- How could I do it like that?
- What can I do to learn that other thing better?
And so on.

Most of the time I was in my protection spec and in defensive stance (mental note: work out the key layout for prot spec-battle stance!). In couple of fights I had my dps spec and gear on (mental note: badge gear upgrades and practise on this set!), and I even got to tank some fights (mental note: streamline keybinds, pay attention to UI layout, too).

I can see the lure of the dark side raiding, though, a bit more clear now. In ICC25 my computer's performance is too low for the playing to be responsive and controllable enough, but in Ulduar... I could do something and feel I was working with the team and for the team. It was not constantly guessing where I should be, if that attack landed or if I stepped away or in the goo.

This time I had my flasks, I had my foods and I was more prepared and tweaked up. The beginning feels always easier when the encounter is something you know at least adequately, like Flame Leviathan and XT002, latter of which happened to be the last weeks weekly which I tanked succesfully, btw. So tanking the Life Sparks in that encounter should have been easy, but honestly speaking I didn't even remember where they spawned originally! Once I got the grasp of it (thanks to everyone patching my misses) I felt I did it quite properly, missing one which really bugs me (mental note: mocking blow still exists if taunt is on cd).

The first wipe we faced was that with Auriaya and her kittens, but that was because we wanted the achievement and really weren't trying hard enough. And I was the first to die because I just didn't pay attention to my cooldowns just there and then. The second run went smoothly as if everyone had been just woken up.

Kologarn was a blast as the second tank of the colossus himself, even though I didn't find the debuff showing on my screen anywhere (it's on the left side in the middle you idiot! You just put it there SO YOU WOULDN'T MISS IT!!! :P ) so the taunt rotation went a bit awry. But it worked anyhow.

Hodir was our second -and final- wipe, as we tried to go for the heroic one with all sorts of achievements on the way. For this one I changed to my arms/dps set, and boy, was I lost (mental note: dummy): the buttons just were so WRONG! No shield slam, no revenge... Hello, you're holding a two-hander! I suppose I do better damage with my current prot set than with my dps set, so I decided to go with that after this fight. The logs will tell me if I'm correct, but anyhow my dps set requires some badge love. I had even a blue trinket in there, that should tell something!

The only fight I'm really disappointed with was the one with Mimiron. You see, this was the only fight along with Hodir in which my screen froze to ICC25 kind of state, and this resulted a pretty quick demise in the first  Plasma Blast. I think I was one shotted. Never the less, I followed through the whole fight with my face buried beneath Mimiron himself, enjoying the view and admiring the scenery. Just like I'm used to when we're going through content undermanned with my brothers, mind you, so it made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside...

All in all I now understand why Ulduar is referred as being beautiful and well thought instance. Granted my experience of raid instances comes down to ICC25 (being laggy as hell for me), I still loved the feeling of space, epicness and completeness of the place. It has much in common with the scenery and feel of Karazhan in a way, having something new to see behind every corner and imaginative visions here and there. Also there are some great references to Uldaman and other old world instances, which really made me smile on the way.

Now, the next step is to get out of this self-doubt and see what I learned. Now that is a challenge of epic proportions!