This was more of an “about time” feeling then a “YES, WE GOT IT” feeling. I always knew Lei Shen was within our grasp. But something always came up that got in the way of really getting it. We yo-yo’d from wiping on first intermissions to 2% wipes with a debuff stack of 110 on the final phase and back. The attempts were never really ever consistent but I did what I could to try to keep the groups static and in the same positions. The lineup shuffled from raid to raid, but if even 18+ players were in the same spots with the same players, they would be able to get used to it.
I had set a target deadline of being in hardmodes in May. We killed Lei Shen on 25 just before June.
Oh sure, we killed it a couple of times on 10 man late at night before the raid reset. But I don’t consider progression kills on 10 man as progression kills for the guild. We’re a 25 man guild, first and foremost. If we don’t kill it with 25 players, then it never happened. I have no qualms if the team wants to go in to get practice on a progression boss on 10 man or try to squeeze out loot, but it means nothing.
I tell myself that the delay could’ve been attributed to newer players coming in. Some of them weren’t even equipped to properly do the content yet sporting LFR gear from the first Mists tier. Have to factor in the time training and showing new fights. I put these recruits into the frying pan on the nights our veterans are unable to show. But no, as much as I want to blame real life, I can’t.
Jobs, relationships, and school will always remain a constant factor. Unless I suddenly inherit millions of dollars and buy my own raid team, it’s nigh-impossible to expect everyone to make commitments. People get sick. There’s explosions at work. Imminent wildfires about to engulf the home. I can’t help but be bitter and curse the dice of real life rolling against me and my team. Must be punishment for the times I’ve gone to the casino in the past.
It’s your job (as a GM) to foresee these problems and account for them. Stomaching the occasional 1 – 2 player absence is doable. Raiding with an almost 20% deficit from a roster is just not going to get the job done on an end boss. Oddly enough, I was quite amazed at the play and effort of everyone when we raided short handed. It’s as if players automatically knew that they had to step up to really offset the players that weren’t here. They played their asses off and we pulled off some kills that were really close shaves (I didn’t think we could do some of them but was delightedly proven wrong).
Although, I bet the 5.3 item upgrade had a slight boost in there.
In the end, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t get this kill for our previous main tank.
I regret not being able to kill it for Haddion and Sweet who were claimed by real life.
Players that were with us from the beginning of this tier deserved to at least see this guy go down before retiring but we could not finish and limped over the finish line.
Did I not say the right words enough? Did I not make the necessary enough adjustments to our tactics? Did I get caught blindsided by attendance problems again? Probably a combination of all of the above. It’s easy enough to look back and dissect what went wrong. The solutions are so easy in hindsight. I look at myself right in the eye when I’m in front of a mirror. You know what I see? I don’t see a field general. I see a guy who loves the game and his guild, but that’s just not enough. Not anymore.
I’m pissed off at myself more than anything else. But there’s no time to feel angry and sorry.
Heroic raids are coming up and we have some serious catching up to do.