Failing at Sarth + 1 drake

Last night, our guild attempted to do OS + 1 drake up for the first time. It was a spur of the moment decision by the raid leader after clearing VoA 10.

It was full of fail 😛

I would imagine that our experience would be pretty common among the many casual guilds that now proliferate in WoW. Our raid leader suggested this because he had heard from our friend Psin that Sarth + 1 drake is quite easy, and apparently he had also pugged it before. However, in practice we never got past 10 seconds of Vesperon landing.

Was it because the encounter is too difficult? Many casuals who are happy with the direction Blizzard has taken with WotLK would probably say the difficulty of raids in TBC was just too high, and they don’t have the time to play 8 hours a day to get gear etc etc etc.

Why did we fail Sarth + Vesperon so horribly? As I see it, there were many reasons. After the first 2 wipes, me and my wife could clearly see that there was no point in continuing, and all the subsequent attempts proved us right. And no, it wasn’t gear. So, here’s my own post-mortem of the fight.

1) The biggest reason why we failed was because frankly, “we were not prepared” Our raid leader’s strategy was “pull it and try”. He’s the sort who does not like to read and plan because its too much effort. When told that we have to practice and read up to do Malygos-10, his response was “ok lets not bother with that”. So no one in the raid knew what was happening, the Vesperon tank didn’t know where he should tank him or when Vesperon landed, people didn’t know whether they should enter the portal, etc etc.

2) No attempt was made to correct mistakes. After each wipe, we just rezzed, buffed up, and pulled again. This is like running headlong into a brick wall, hoping that eventually the wall is going to break before your head does.

3) We were not a team, we were a group of 10 individuals. This is related to point 2) in that we did not work together to find out what was going wrong and how to correct it. No one talked about what was causing problems for them, no one offered tips or ideas.

4) Many people were not focused. It was obvious that certain people were doing other things at the same time, such as reading comics, working on job applications, doing some work at home. After a wipe, some people would go afk and say “just tell me when we’re pulling”.

5) DPS was poor for the level of gear we had. As we are a casual guild, we have quite a few players who quite simply do not seem to know what they are doing. There is a fury warrior with 4 piece t7 doing 1600 dps. I did that as an elemental shaman in my quest greens and blues 5 mins after reaching 80. My wife’s warlock did that level of dps at level 76. Another ret pally with naxx-10 level gear was hovering below 2000. However, its hard to tell them how to improve because in a casual guild, they are more likely to just stop playing. Besides, it works in Naxx so obviously there’s nothing wrong with the way they are playing, right? Right???

*Edit*
6) We tried this with 2 healers. In retrospect, 3 would have been a lot more comfortable, compounded by the fact that a lot of people weren’t focused and were taking fire wall damage. But this isn’t as immediately solvable and lessens in importance the better the raid plays.

These are problems that are in a sense inherent within the culture of a really casual guild. They are not easily solved simply by playing more i.e. they were unsuccessful in TBC raids not because they didn’t have time, it was because they didn’t want to be successful.

So now our guild officially fails at sarth + drakes, and it’s unlikely that anyone will think about improving so that we can kill them. After all, it’s optional so average people like those in our guild aren’t “expected” to kill them. Not that I really mind, because frankly I don’t care about killing sarth + drakes either. But should Blizzard nerf sarth + drakes so that we, and other casual guilds like us, can down them too?

That’s what they did with Naxx after all, and that was a good decision right? Instead of asking us to improve, they should lower the difficulty to suit us since we’re paying customers!!! *rolleyes*

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