I regret to announce that my planned post for today has to be put back to a later date.
Herding Cats and friends downed Lich King 10 last night. OK, the post title was a bit of a giveaway.
Excuse me a second.
I’m really happy. And really proud of my group. And really excited that we got it. And really, that’s a lot of reallys. Why? Well, any guild leader or raid leader is proud when their group achieves what they set out to do. But I’m particularly fond of my group and I hope you don’t mind me rambling like a proud parent today but it’s true: we’re not your Usual Suspects, and it goes to prove that you can achieve it no matter your setup.
For one thing we’re a casual guild. We only raid one to two nights a week – Sunday and every other Wednesday.
We’re also not a full ‘guild’ – Herding Cats started off raiding as a real life 5 man of friends filling the spots with PUGs. We went hunting for friendly and mature instead of imbah skilled players. We ended up with a network of people to work with – and a core 10 which melded together as a single unit. Herding Cats became Herding Cats and Friends.
We’ve never all been on voice comms. Some of us play in the same room, adding one or two over skype. The rset of the communication has been achieved through everyone working towards clear text communication.
And, like any raiding group, we’ve had our share of drama. We all found it stressful at points, there were clashes and strains. Heck, it was just two weeks ago while we were learning the Lich King fight that one of our Herd Friends suddenly dropped news that he was going to another guild.
Through all that – we achieved – and I’m proud of us. The line up:
Ulram (bear tank) – managed to overcome finding tanking really stressful to do a perfect job with crazy amounts going on – including finding the time to do extra hybrid crazystuff. Also came up with some cunning tactics including the last piece of the puzzle which got us through Vile Spirits to victory. Can put more varied inflections into the word “arse” than anyone else we know.
Ekatrina (paladin tank) – and dedicated co-raid leader. Took to tanking like a foodie to the Fat Duck. Never made the same mistake twice; often didn’t make the same mistake once. Always knew where the fack to stand and tough enough to calmly eat Soul Reapers for breakfast in strict 10 man gear. Came up with the very practical (and immensely satisfying) idea of making us practice the Defile Dance with Tirion Fordring playing the role of Arthas.
Pitil (discy priest) – started out a tad unconfident months ago: ended up as the healer performing the most complex and versatile role in LK fight – and professionally so. Also, our raid’s provisioner of cupcakes/vital provisions.
Gorgakh (resto shaman) – rock solid. Always totally reliable and consummately calm, which in healers are nigh-godlike qualities. Even when he had a kitten attacking his foot.
Thrakha (Fury warrior) – example of what someone *can* do if they really work to be the best. And inspired that in others too, keeping the tanks sharp 😉 Currently to the best of my knowledge raiding with three different guilds at once, with corresponding numbers of fish feasts.
Urkra (Unholy DK) – went from being very unconfident as a wow player to topping our DPS meters and rarely making mistakes and keeping an open mind on play improvement and new tactics. Achieved all that on a non-official Hardmode: completing half of the bosses unable to talk on skype due to playing in the same room as his wife watching X-Factor.
Nergalian (enhancement shaman) – Sharpest reactions of everyone despite a slightly different style of playing – and despite the kitten Conan, slayer of raids. Her bouncy multi-cultural pop music and fish feasts also kept us all going up on the Throne.
Karkass (destro lock) – always cheerful and positive, which is a raid-saver at times. Also, always willing to be flexible on filling different roles, which in turn helped keep us all sane. Karkass’ brainwave of teleporting back from the Valkyr was also something of a lifesaver. Overall: Karkass the Lifesaver.
Simbaria (survival hunter) – having missed most of ICC, he joined us at the last minute and picked the LK tactics up immediately and flawlessly. Impressive.
(Ahem, I’ve been instructed to put this in by Kat):
Mimetir, aka Apeorsa, figured out every fight mechanic first time, bent the needle on the healing meter, pushed through raidleading challenges from a vanishing raid member to general stress levels, and NEVER STOOD IN DEFILE. Seriously, not once.
So what now? A break from raid leading – just a couple of weeks to chill. Then in a couple of weeks we’re all meeting up for a Herd Moot/guild meet, and we’ll look to our next goal then, probably with the help of copious amounts of ale.
This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twitter feed here.