Act 3: Recurring Scenery
The patch 5.35 dropped and the new relic step was released. Starting that day, everyone went to the relic area and PF has only ad and FATE left. DF queue was so slow. Not only T5-T9 never popped, even Frontline roulette took forever to pop.
As a new AST, I was struggling on pull decent dps. I tried to do the A12s SSS dummy with ilv270 gear, but I can't kill it. I use card to buff myself, stack divination with lady of crown with light speed, and used all shiftcast for dps, but I still can't kill the dummy. One can say that the older job/dummy are not balanced. It is possible, but I was struggling with dps, especially compare to my co-heal. It was not an one off occurrence.
Then the fateful day came when the next A12s run was up.
In Syncademy, every time you potentially will be in a group of different people from last week. Sometimes it is because different people sign up. Sometimes it is because we have multiple group and the raid leads are moving people around.
This time my co-heal was someone named Rina Reena. When we joined the party, he said in the party chat, "I actually have not done A12s before, but I am in the last phase of The Epic of Alexander. I think a lot of the mechanics will be similar."
"No worries." I replied. "We should be fine."
Well, the truth is I was a newbie AST with those shaky hands. I was probably more of a dodgy healer than he was.
Initially we ran two AST, because I really don't have another lv60 job. The first few pulls were horrible. Rina was dying to the gravitational anamony, as this is something not in The Epic of Alexander. Then for some reasons, Amber, our MT, kept dying to tank buster. I was sure that I topped him and put on a shield. In the end I still can't figure out what was the problem, but I just make sure I put shield up and spam Benefic II even if it is going to overheal. Honestly, based on those few pulls, one would think that we had no chance in this fight.
It took maybe 5 or 6 pulls before we started getting ourselves together. We started getting to the inceptions. Then it was 8% wipe, followed by 6% wipe.
The instance needed to be reset. We re-entered. Given that we had more consistency, I suggested we should use the melee lb3 after the timegate phase. Hopefully, we will have a lb1 or lb2 at the last phase. First pull, we hit 3%. The tanks took way too much damage on the holy scourge. One of them died before the tank swap, and the remaining tank died. We wiped.
I remembered many years ago, I use holmgang/ living dead on this and the OT provoke it away from me during Chastening Heat. In this group they had the tanks shared damage, but the damage was really huge at that point.
For a brief moment, I thought of the days when I was raiding with the Improvisors in 3.4. Back then it was Seera and Aelia did the healing. I wonder, just how did they handle this phase.
Second pull, everything seem to be ok. Then we came to the second inception. I had the blue tether with our DRG. I slightly moved out the make sure we all can see it.
"I will be running right as a healer." I said on discord.
I can see that she ran in the other direction. Then sacrament flashed.
"Was I not going far enough? I am sorry." She said.
"Don't worry about it. Let's try to recover." I was quite sure we ran in opposite direction, so I was not sure how I die. Maybe I got clipped by another debuff that has aoe? This mechanics is so annoying because sometimes you can die without really knowing why.
Anyway, we managed to recover and got to the first void of repentance. Then the tank buster came. That holy scourge, and both tanks' HP were dropping like rocks. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I just spam whatever in front of me to fill the HP bar. I think Rina did most of the work here as I was starting to freak out. The tanks got to live for now, but then the second set of void of repentance was up.
The tanks were trying to figure out the position. But it was too late, Alexander was at an angle and casting sacrament. This is the part that if you don't position Alexander correctly, he can blast at the puddle and people can't get close to it to soak.
I can't quite see what happen. I was running away to a safe spot because people are dropping their own puddles everywhere. It was very chaotic.
Err, I think, maybe we are heading for a wipe? Again? What am I suppose to do at this moment? What would a wiseman say to a noob AST like me at this situation?
As Alexander fired screment, a flash of white beam flashed across my screen. It felt like watching a train wrack in slow motion.
But, it was not quite how it ended.
Just right after he fired off screment, Alexander dropped dead.
Yes. He disappeared as the achievement was rolling up in the bloody chat window.
It was the first time, I felt so glad that I was never a healer main in the past. Maybe I always wanted to be a healer, but if I had chosen that path back then, I would have been kicked from any static for freaking out constantly.
You know, it brought back some old memory from years ago.
It was almost at the end of patch 3.3 when Aelia invited me to her static. In those days, I didn't even think I would be good enough to be raiding along side with her and Asny. On one hand, I doubt she was even in the right state of mind to invite someone like me. But on the other hand, it was an honor to be asked by her. I struggle to find the right word to describe it, but at that time it was really not possible to turn it down. But then I didn't realize by taking the offer, I signed myself up for endless amount of stress. I wasn't confident with this game, but it really got worse at that point. My dps was lacking but I can't figure out what to do about it. There was no one I can talk to, and I always had this mixture of feeling between depress and angry. I remember when we first clear A12s back in 3.4, it was probably as scary as today. When Alexander was first down, I thought to myself, "does this mean I finally derserve to be here?"
Then, when our static disbanded, I re-roll as a tank and tried to progress the Creator Savage from the beginning. Clear this fight again as tank, then in Normad I re-roll as BRD, MCH, WAR for this fight. The whole time, I still feel insecure.
Do I really deserve to my clears? Do I finally earn my spot in the team this time?
Since we had time left after we cleared, I suggested we do some A8s. It was the fight that I didn't get to clear with neither Heliodor IKEA nor the Improvisors. I always have in mind that there will be a day I will come back to it again. Even it had took a long time, even if all the faces around me had changed, I will try to come back to this.
I guess my journey has not ended yet.
Table of content of this series is here