…could actually be pretty fun?
Never mind a 3 hour long EE Deathwyrm!
So a couple days ago or so, I had been posting for some raids on Meredithium/Seraphemia. Of course, the moment I switch to Sera, things start to look a little ugly… it did not help that Sera was already nearly half the DPS of the group, so the DPS red flag was frantically waving once Sera was out of the picture.
While I was happy with Sera’s performance in LH Shroud, it usually is a bad sign. Normally, I don’t have to worry about putting that much DPS but I think group composition, in all of the raids we were running that night, just was not cut out for it.
Afterwards, we had ran a DOJ and FOTP, which were mostly fine. Once we got to EE Deathwyrm, that was the interesting kicker.
I personally am not super familiar with the mirror puzzles like Andy and Psy are, but I’m definitely catching on and learning. This run, I was able to get through them fairly quickly, and there was not too much pressure as we had someone else shadow me to learn it, and the rest of the party either did not know it or did not really care that I was sort of taking my time. At the same time, I also had to explain the raid and what I was doing over voice chat to someone else who was totally new to the raid. Despite these, it was manageable and I think I explained to the extent that I would like, even for the end fight as we shrined up. However, our luck with the intersection rooms (we got Jump + Red/Green Light) was a foreshadow for the things to come…
As soon as I try to assign roles, it was very strained as I only have Koko to depend on as a capped character with actual DPS. Thank goodness he was on his rogue, or else I am not sure if we would have even succeeded! I was at first our tank, and Koko was going to drop off the Kulds. Thing is, neither of us ended up with the same roles at the end of the raid. In retrospect, I think I should have been more aware of our group composition and capability, and organized roles a bit better.
Almost immediately after a few folks head into the shadow realm, the group starts falling apart. Because of the separation between our healers and the others, the few who entered through the portals ended up wiping, without even being able to kill the beholder and helmed horror. I got a tell from Tala about the situation, and so I had to rearrange positions to the worst possible scenario: our new guy, the Favored Soul caster, was in charge of tanking the dragon. In my mind, I had to give the role to him because not only was he spending SP to heal me, he was also capable of DPSing the dragon down, so it would be more efficient that way if he took the dragon himself, freeing my position to go help elsewhere, where he would not be able to due to being new to the raid. Despite being new, he was the only option. Of course, there were little things I noticed about his tanking method; he was in the spawning corner by the south lever which made it slightly harder to tank, while he could have been tucked away in one of the column crevices across the southern wall. When I advised kiting if he was taking too much damage, he almost immediately died. To which I kind of felt bad bringing up that idea in the first place.
Moving on, he took charge of the dragon’s agro, but there was also the other issue of Kulds not being properly dropped. For about 70% of the fight, Kulds were a major issue, and I ended up having to grab agro and hang from the stone ledge – which was highly inefficient. Our poor healers (aside from me when I tried) – one Favored Soul and one Cleric – had to drink so many potions to keep us alive. Towards the end I tried to reimburse, but no one would accept! Haha. Anyways, the Cleric was often away for a majority of the end fight due to getting stranded in R/G room for a while, but they eventually came back. While they did a superb job healing us, I often had to call out for them to heal me or Mez, so I felt like it was a bit hard to delegate that without sounding bossy or anything. Of course, they were so very kind in doing as I asked!
There were several instances where we were close to a full wipe, about a total of 3 or so. Being separated from the main group did not help things when we were trying to destroy the real phylactery – and DPS was very slow so it would take a very long time. At the first instance, when we were getting overwhelmed by too much trash, I called it as the raid leader to retreat and recuperate – grab as many soulstones as you could, raising the important people (healers), and run.
For future reference… never linger if you are outside on the temple floors. Aurgloroasa dragged us back maybe 2-3 times, and people were so befuddled. However, I had noticed that two folks in the shrine room remained there – so I told folks to retreat there as fast as possible. Sure enough, we finally regrouped there safe and sound, waiting out our many death penalties and rebuffing to the best of our abilities. During the hectic tanking, I had also bought SP potions too, which I reluctantly purchased (although looking back on it now, I have no qualms anymore).
One instance I clearly remember was when we all wiped but the two in the phylactery room and I almost knew we were going to have to give up then. But right then and there – lo and behold, they got the right phylactery! A new surge of hope shot through me, and we were all so happy. We desperately tried to revive each other, and regrouped once more.
To wrap the story up, I actually enjoyed the raid, in a twisted way I suppose, haha. The thing is, we were all so determined to make it through, even though there were so many close calls. No one dropped or commented negatively that “we couldn’t have done it” – because if we had, I think we really couldn’t have. There is that certain psychology in gaming and groups. But it was that persistence that drove us to grit through, and we certainly paid the resources for it. It was not the cost that mattered, but the experience; and somehow, I managed to yet again lead through a raid that may have been bitterly painful, but still ended in a successful completion. Almost never does that ever happen – the last I recall was an EE FOT raid years ago.
After the raid, I went to sleep easily, thinking back fondly upon it. Another favorite part about the raid was that we were so resourceful – very rarely, do we get to utilize a challenging near -stalemate in any quest or raid that requires us to stop and take a moment. The fact that our SP was in jeopardy (despite SP pots from the store) caused us to be more resourceful and tactful; a couple of us used our Xachosian Eardweller to create some SP munchies, I used my stack of GH scrolls to pass buffs to everyone, and our Fighter even used his Eternal Wand of Cure Minor Wounds to patch up folks in the waiting time. Honestly, this is the sort of experience that was reminiscent of the pre-MoTU days, or the “Golden Era.” And it’s made me realize, I love to be resourceful and the thrill of “barely surviving” is what I love about this game at its core.
Running these raids lends me to know more about myself as a player, honestly. And you know what? I’m extremely stubborn towards success, almost to a fault, yet somehow these near impossible situations, seem possible.
Keep up the Good Fight.