Last night my raid team went into Heart of Fear. We’re still in progression in there, we’re up to the fourth boss, Wind Lord Mel’jarak. However, one of our tanks has gone on holidays so I needed to pug us a tank. We had a new guildie join us for the run, who on the armory looked perfect gear wise. Despite being very experienced in the LFR it turned out he wasn’t as confident in a tank role as we would have expected. We had a few pulls on the first boss with deaths due to two members having unexpected lag so both decided to sit out and we asked a dps monk and a disc priest to come with us, two players that we have run with once before.
After an easy run on Imperial Vizier Zor’lok we get to Blade Lord Ta’yak. The pull should be simple, take the boss in a straight line from his platform to the door, avoiding his tornadoes with the tanks taunting off each other at set times. However, it became anything but simple, the boss zigged and zagged all over the place due to some seriously strange taunting practices of our fill in tank. I commend our regular tank with his extreme patience and the rest of the teams’ skill in managing to stay in the right place at the right time despite not knowing where the boss would be ending up. That boss went down despite the irregularity of the pull and we moved to Gara’lon, the 3rd boss. Someone who, despite the nerf, still manages to present a challenge to us if everything isn’t executed properly. And it was on this boss that our raid team showed me just why I want to spend 6 hours a week in the company of these guys.
The pulls at the start went bad, if there was a tank mechanic to be obeyed our fill in tank disobeyed it. He was trying, we could see that he was but it just wasn’t sinking in. If he had to be in a specific place, he just wasn’t. We regrouped, I explained the fight from the start, our tank, bless his socks, explained the tank perspective and we pulled again. We died, more than once.
I had a think and realised we probably would not be able to do this so I faced the option of calling the raid early or finding us a replacement tank which at that time of night and facing the 3rd boss probably would have been easier said than done. Then our pull in monk mentioned he could tank this boss, so we had a role swap. The would-be tank would now take the dps role. So we tried again and found that the dps was lacking, and we wiped at 11%. We tweaked what we were doing and pulled and wiped at 2%. We tweaked again, made sure everyone had their pots at the ready and pulled again and we got the boss to 1%. And what was amazing was the team, rather than being annoyed or rude that we had a fill in member who was quite obviously having difficulties, worked with them, offering a bit of advice, lots of patience and a great deal of humour. And we pulled again and the boss died.
The atmosphere when the boss went down was phenomenal, it was almost as exciting as when we killed him the first time. There was a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.The player who was having the issues thanked us and said he truly appreciated seeing the content and that we were incredibly friendly and patient. And that’s what I realised is truly great about our team; we could have asked him to leave and found a dps or tank that could have made our run easier, but we didn’t, we preserved and the sense of accomplishment was just that much greater and we gave someone an experience they haven’t had before. And that, I think, is truly special in this game. It’s not something we would want to do every night but last night it just worked and was good. The way our team runs might not be for everyone but for us it’s great.