The Journey into Savage 18A casual scrub's raiding misadventures
The 27th October was Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, and I was able to enjoy a long weekend. I decided to make a final effort to clear Titan before patch 5.1.
After many, many tries, at last I found a party that worked well together and could clear Phase 2 reliably. I mastered the 2nd merry-go-round, the final new mechanic in the fight. Beyond that, there is only a repeat of the 1st merry-go-round and simple raidwide attacks requiring no movement.
On the morning of the next day, the 28th, I decided to push for the clear. I spent several hours in various clear parties, but did not even manage to see Phase 3 even once. Time was running out. Frustrated, I took a short break.
When I came back, there was only one clear party available in PF, and it said that they would use an unconventional strategy - "Y1Y2O3". Generally, I do not join parties with odd variations on common strategies, because of lack of experience. But then I noticed the PF leader's name was familiar.
I decided to take a chance, and joined them. It was the same group of WHM, DNC, RDM and SAM that I met on my successful practice party yesterday!
We assign groups, and after speaking with co-tank, it is decided that I will invuln both the 1st and 3rd tankbusters. This means I cannot invuln the Dual Earthen Fists as I prefer to, and I had been warned that this would severely stress the healers. With an unorthodox strategy and cooldown plan, can we do it? There is nothing left but to try.
NA raiders informed me that Titan must be at 69% or less at the end of phase 1, and 29% or less at the start of phase 3. On the very first run, Titan was at exactly 69% at the end of phase 1 - an encouraging result! After a few attempts, I saw for the first time the enrage of Titan at 4%.
4% is significant obstacle, but there were several deaths that run, and on a clean run we may yet clear. "We can do it," I tell the party, trying to encourage them. However, the next run wipes on an early mistake, and one of the healers leaves the party. We return to PF to look for reinforcements in tense silence...
A SCH joins, and we set off again. However, after playing nearly without mistakes for the whole morning, I start making simple errors in Phase 1 again. I was starting to feel the fatigue from long hours of play, and was beginning to lose focus. In fact, I make a mistake I have no made in weeks - I got knocked off the platform by Titan!
But when I was raised and looked at the boss's HP meter, what I saw gave me hope. 68% at the end of Phase 1! Even with deaths, we were producing enough firepower to clear, and the long transition cutscene reduced the time my weakness debuff affected me in battle.
We proceed through Phase 2 with no mistakes, and Phase 3 begins. Can we do it? I fight on tensely as the first merry-go-round proceeds without error.
Next comes the Dual Earthen Fists. This powerful tankbuster is hard for healers to heal through, because Titan continues autoattacking as it goes off, and the healers must deal with simultaneous movement and area damage. I see that co-tank's HP is low and decide to cast a safety Clemency on him.
But I'm too slow, and my co-tank is K.O.'ed by the tankbuster. Titan turns to me, and I pull the boss back to center as co-tank is raised just in time for the next mechanic.
In the confusion, co-tank and I are uncertain of who should receive the last tankbuster, and both of us pop our invulnerability. Who is tanking? Who is using invuln? I have no idea, lol. With the boss spinning erratically, we stumble on towards the moment of judgment, and the healers strain to keep us alive under the punishing barrage of area attacks that Titan unleashes. "LB," my co-tank says as the enrage cast begins.
And then... and then...!
* * *
A year ago, during the launch of Alphascape Savage, someone posted on Reddit a video titled "Why We Raid
At the time, I did not understand it. To me, it seemed like a bunch of nerds screaming for no reason. OK, so you beat a video game boss. Well done, calm down please.
Well, it was natural for me to think like that. After all, I had never raided in any MMO before, never set foot into Extremes or Savage, and it is hard to describe the emotions you feel from that magical first clear.
I think that in raiding, sometimes the boss is just a formality, and the real enemies you conquer are the human weaknesses of doubt, fear, pride, selfishness and sloth. And for some people, winning that battle in-game can be the first step to winning it in real life.
Hey, maybe in real life you are disabled, or a member of a group that faces stigma and prejudice, but in-game you can be a mighty hero and conquer challenges that few have overcome. And perhaps when people find out who the face behind the character is, it will even change some of their preconceptions and challenge their biases. Magical things can happen within the 40 yalm diameter of the boss arena.
If you are part of a static, the journey to the clear can be one of bonding with close friends. If you are not, I think there is something amazing about joining 7 random people to tackle a challenge few can conquer. I don't need to explain how awesome this
scene was, do I?
(Level 80 MSQ spoilers)
Click to showClick to hide
I understand at last why raiders always encourage others to raid, even though Savage is not for everyone. Please understand them, it's not that they want to pressure you. It's just that when you have stepped across the finish line yourself, there is nothing more you want to do than turn around, hold out your hand to the person behind you and say:"I know how you feel, I once doubted myself too;
You can do it! I believe in you!"
Thanks to people like them and my teammates, and the countless others who helped me, I could walk this journey to the end.
I have you to thank as well, all of you who read my blog and left likes or comments. In the earliest days, there were times when I considered giving up, but I thought "Even if this turns out badly, at least it will be a funny story I can blog about", and that gave me the will to continue.
Because of you, at long last I know:WHY WE RAID