(Yes, I spell Saviour with a U. I’m Canadian. Let it be.)
I have been playing World of Warcraft fairly steadily since October of 2005. That is nearly seven years. It is very, very, very rare for me to achieve anything for “the first time”, these days. That’s to say, while I can kill a new boss for a first time, I’ve killed plenty of new bosses for the first time. While I can kill a new heroic boss for the first time, I’ve killed plenty of new heroic bosses for the first time.
This tier has been a challenging one for me, and for my guild. Released just before the holidays, the normal modes of Dragon Soul seemed pretty elementary to those of us in Apotheosis. It took us three weeks to clear all the normal content, and part of that was Spine and Madness each taking a week out of us, plus roster issues due to holidays.
Roster issues. Never in my life have I been happier to have had an overflowing roster going into a tier of content. We have lost: Kamilla, Huntertoga, Hestiah, Mabriam, Tiandrina, Xmolder, Daey, Arolaide, Murran and Dar since the end of Firelands. That is 8 DPS (all three of our warlocks and a legendary mage) and 2 healers. And none of them jumped ship to another guild, those are all people who just decided to stop raiding. I feel most comfortable with 33-34 people on a roster for a 25-man raiding guild. We have been running with around 28-29 people. It’s not always been easy for us over the last few months.
But we kept at it.
Heroic Morchok, Heroic Hagara (server first!), Heroic Yor’sahj, Heroic Zon’ozz, Heroic Ultraxion, Heroic Blackhorn… then Heroic Spine of Deathwing and finally, Sunday night, Heroic Madness of Deathwing.
For the first time in my WoW career, I have cleared all heroic content on the current tier. (4/5 TOGC, 11/12 H ICC, 7/13 H T11, 6/7 H T12 and now 8/8 H T13.)
It’s definitely been an uphill climb. Sometimes, it’s been uphill in the snow (yes, hi, main spec healer doing offspec DPS and main spec DPS warrior tanking bloods for Heroic Spine? A night of work on Heroic Madness with 0 main spec tanks in the raid?). Sometimes, the attendance boss would rear its ugly head. But we usually worked it out and at least got something done, even on those sketchy nights.
This is the reward. Saviour of Azeroth. 8/8 HM. And we did most of our progression at the 0-10% nerf level. While it took us a while to get Spine down (and up to the 20% nerf), we would have had it with another week’s worth, regardless of the increase to 20%. And Madness is just such a joke after toiling forever on Spine.
But it’s such a relief to get it done. We’re not done raiding, but the tough stuff is over. One more heroic clear to ensure everyone gets the title/achievement, then over to “fun” achievements to get the Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider meta achievement and drakes and all that other jazz, before resuming heroic farm.
In the meantime, my “real” life has been competing with WoW stuff during almost the entirety of Dragon Soul. My grandmother broke her hip on December 21st, was hospitalized and only returned home two months later. I started my final semester of university in January. My father was hospitalized in April. I had two killer exams on the same day. I took a couple of raids off with Apotheosis and didn’t raid with Choice on my baby pally for about two weeks in there. The time off did me good and I haven’t spent a ton of time in-game since my exams ended. The time I’ve spent playing WoW has generally been raiding and the rest of my WoW-related time has been spent either podcasting or planning out raid stuff or recruiting. (Apply now!) Obviously, I haven’t been blogging and I’ve barely touched beta (though I really ought to) and I won’t be spending a lot of time playing Diablo III, although I did start a character this morning.
The good news is that my father’s out of the hospital and doing pretty well.
My grandmother’s hip isn’t what it used to be and she’s still struggling at home, but she’s applied to a senior’s residence that is pretty swanky, so we’ll see when they have a spot available. Until then, I’m still playing errand-girl, since I live two floors down from her in the same building.
So real life is settling down a bit. I passed my exams and my classes so I should be graduating on June 18th.
Things are better. I hope to be able to sit down soon and spend more time on this blog with you all than I have over the last month. :)