It has been 4 long weeks since I killed Heroic Madness of Deathwing and in that time we have had the new expansion, to level up from 85 to 90, gear up through running scenarios, heroics and copious amounts of daily quests (don't you just love 'em?). But now the dust has settled and normal service has been resumed as we're all back raiding and aiming for progression at our various levels.
The boys and girls of Exhumed have had a fun time overall although it hasn't all been as smooth as I would have liked. Our success at the end of Cataclysm and new shiny content have caused us some challenges, and while those challenges have been the cause of a lot of debate, many guilds out there would probably love to exchange their problems for ours.
We ended Cataclysm on a real high and with a really strong raid team, that made us an attractive proposition to a lot of people who were returning to the game only to find their guild desolate or having found replacements for them leaving them with no raiding vacancies. We also had returners of our own, some damned fine players too I'll add.
At the start of Pandacraft Week 2, we were able to field a strong team to go take a peek at the Stone Guard in Mogu Shan Vaults, hopes were high but due to my desire to go in blind and not prepare we had issues with learning the fight and probably wasted a raid night. Our second night was spent trying to truly learn the fight having read up on strats and watched videos but still the Stone Guard succeeded in beating us down and it wasn't until the 3 visit that we got our kill and just to confirm it was no fluke, we repeated it again this week. Before promptly send Feng the Accursed back into the spirit world for the first time, while our progression is slow in raid weeks we only raid 6 hours per week and so are making reasonable progress in bosses dead per hour.
During the past 4 weeks we ended up with around 50 level 90s and with a few exceptions all were mains and around 25 that wanted to raid which all sounds great until you realise that for 10 man we had way too many DPS and tanks and for 25 man we had too few healers. The officer team debated the options at length and the delay caused us to lose a few players which was a real shame because they were looking like good solid raiders. After all the debating we opted to keep the format that served us well in Cataclysm which is a progression team of 15 players raiding Wednesday and Thursday and a catch-up raid on Sundays for those that didn't raid Wednesday/Thursday and some alts if needed.
We had to make some tough decisions to not put some great players in the progression team and that includes leaving out some of our Dragon Soul team who have are not yet ready to raid. It wasn't easy and not at all enjoyable. But making tough decisions are sometimes unavoidable and I'm sure all raid leaders face this challenge from time to time. Have you had to deal with this issue in your guild since Pandacraft launched? If so what have you done to resolve the issue?
But every cloud has a silver lining. We do have a great progression team and, assuming we can keep everyone on our guild roster, there is no reason our Sunday team can't reproduce the results of our progression team. Also, the strength in the roster means those guys in the progression team will need to keep looking over their shoulders.
In short, I'm in a real sweet place for Pandcraft raiding because Exhumed is in great shape for the coming raiding season. How is your raid team shaping up?