This weekend my 10 man raid guild decided that the summer was too good to miss and with Cataclysm just around the corner a break was needed for us all to charge our batteries and be fresh for the next wave of challenged.
I must admit I wasn’t ready for this myself and the announcement came out of nowhere, but as enough of the group had asked for the break to our raid leader he did exactly as I would have so /salute to Posie for doing that. At the end of the day most of the guys and gals of All about Beer are not hard core progression raider types, their attitude to raiding is very casual and focused on having fun although their drive is first class and that is what made raiding with them worthwhile.
It all started in June 2009 when I got dragged kicking and screaming on an alt into Naxx, I was focusing on my mage as the primary alt at the time and I took my bad DPS into Naxx with a group that was completely unknown to me except for Posie (on his priest), Aphra (who I knew as a mage, Xabinkinniel) and Stabbster (an alt of a guidie, Wollo). The rest where in fresh faced raiders ready to learn their craft in Naxx. It turned out that there were 3 married couples in the team and we had a riot. OK progress was made half the team as we downed Kel’Thuzad and went on to slay Sartharion (with all drakes dead). A top night was had but, I had low expectations about things lasting long. How wrong I was to be!
The team we went to raid with changed a little every week but the core was fairly consistant, and to be fair to the guys and girls we soon got bored with blitzing Naxx and my biggest memories of this period were our Malygos fights. Maybe I just blanked the Naxx “experience”. We were of course doing Vault of Archavon each week too (we continued this right to the end).
After after a few weeks (maybe a month) we went for a bigger challenge in the form of Ulduar. Afew of us had were very experienced in Ulduar as we were running it already with Deadwood and whilst it did offer us a challenge, it wasn’t long before we had almost caught up my to the progress on our “mains” as we were working on Yogg Saron by August 2009, just after Deadwood had killed him. Ulduar for me is Wrath raiding, it was by far the best overall raid instance as it provided many tough challenges, gave us very little but very challenging trash and a variety of surrounding. But the best thing was anyone that made significant progress there ends up being a damned fine player, and that was the case for every Beerite.
It was a shame that what followed was Trial of the Crusader, which is where we ended up going in September and that was a bit annoying for me as we still had not defeated Yogg even though the rest of the instance was pretty much a one shot deal. The next 3 months were spent in ToC, visiting the all new Onyxia and more VoA. I am sure there were some more visits back to Ulduar as well but to be honest I spent that much time each week in ToC (out of choice I admit) that the raiding there became very much a blur.
December brought us patch 3.3 and with it came Icecrown Citadel and with everyone in the raid team needing nothing from ToC we waved to ToC and it dullness and ran eagerly into ICC.
After 4 months in ICC we had made reasonable progress and were sitting at 8/12 and I was growing tired of playing the mage and requested a change to my lock, which was good for 2 reasons, I was bored and we had no locks and 2 mages. The request was approved and I moved onto the lock, at first this was a backwards step for the group because my gear was ready for ICC not ready for the point we were at and my DPS was around 3k less than the mage. Fortunately, Posie allowed me the time to get my act together and within 2-3 weeks my DPS was were it needed to be, after some spec changes and some coaching from a few locks I know (thanks mainly to Rixxor and Kalthag).
We made some more progress killing the Blood Princes, Blood Queen Lana’Thel and Sindragosa but sadly the LK still eludes us.However, despite the announced break, Posie has said
“it’s not the end. Some would still like to meet up & slay dwagons! To that end, I offer this Glory of the Ulduar Raider – The objective being to get ourselves a spanking 310% mount AND slap Yog…I’ll be seeing how everyone stands in a couple of months &/or we have a confirmed Cata date. Odds are I’ll try & set-up a few ICC runs to kick Pieking ass.”
So hopefully, there will be 2 more bits of news that comes from my All about Beer raiding. Watch this space…
The whole experience has changed my attitude to WoW raiding and most of all it has given me a whole new set of on-line friends and a set of fine memories of raiding with them and that is worth much more than any amount of loot. I really do enjoy socialising with the All about Beer guys and gals and the fact that it is in a game over the Internet is a minor obstacle and as most are UK based, there is hope that an out of game experience can be had.