Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Us vs Magmaw

Cataclysm raiding in my guild began last Wednesday with 10 man BWD and Magmaw on the menu. We spend Wednesday knocking the rust off and stretching the ol' raid muscles then came back in on Thursday for a kill. Hit the break for some musings on 10 man raiding in Cata, Magmaw, and Healing.

I have a love/hate relationship with ten man raids. I love the fact that they are relatively easy to put together and don't require near the amount of pre-raid planning of 25 mans. I also love the camaraderie fostered in a smaller group. With fewer people everyone has to pull their weight and a sense of trust develops between raiders that can be absent in larger raids. That leads to the downside. 10 raids are not nearly as flexible when it comes to what classes you can bring and your options are severely limited by the fight mechanics. Bring the player not the class works much better as a 25 man design philosophy.

With the coming of the Cataclysm and my admittedly small amount of raid experience this expansion my initial impression is that 10 man raiding has changed for the better. While I don't like the lockout system I think that it has put 10 man raiding on par with 25 man raiding as far as perception goes. In WotLK 10 man guilds were not seen as equal to 25 man guilds. If this first raid is any indication of the rest of the expansion the 10 mans may be the more "hardcore" of the two options. Boss mechanics are just as unforgiving in the 10 man version and you have a much smaller margin of error.

I loved the aesthetics of BWD and Magmaw was a fun and challenging fight. My only complaint with the raid, and well WoW raids in general, is the respawning trash. I feel the trash adds to the experience but once defeated shouldn't respawn until the next lockout. Trash respawns add nothing to the experience and serve only to slow down a group who're working on a new boss. We killed it once, don't slow us down while we work on its boss.

Magmaw itself was fun and I thought the mechanics were well thought out and challenging. We went with 1 tank, 3 healers, and 6 dps. We had two melee for chains and 4 ranged for burning down the parasites. Hunters are amazing in this fight. Our winning set up had the ranged/healers stacking with the melee on the left side of the boss, the tank on the right side of the boss and the hunter placed out at max range. When Pillar of Flame was cast he laid down a frost trap and disengaged back to the group. Ranged burned the adds and we had a LazorChicken typhoon the little @#$%s if they got too close to the group. It took a little practice but we managed to kill the beast.

Healing wise it was challenging but not difficult. There was a ton of unavoidable raid damage but thanks to the exposed head phase we could regen some mana while aoe heals topped off the raid. We healed it with a Pally, Priest and Shaman. For the raiding shaman Lifecycle Waistguard drops... a very nice piece indeed. Unfortunately something for the lesser classes dropped that night but I'm hopeful for this week. I went in with a Telluric Currents spec and friday's post will go a little more in depth on that.

It feels good to be raiding again. There's nothing like taking 9 buddies to slay a foul worm creature thing. Happy Raiding to all and to all a good fight!

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