Weekends are Bad
One strong constant in my life is that weekends are bad for me when it comes to making plans. This is counter-intuitive since for MOST of the living world… weekends are the time they can regularly commit to doing stuff. The truth is that weekends are really the only time that my wife and I are both together and pointed in the same direction for any lengthy period of time. During the week she has a mixture of responsibilities, commitments, and spur of the moment activities that often times keep her from getting home until eight or nine in the evening. Whereas I tend to have a fairly predictable schedule, that gets me home by 5 pm CST most nights. This means that the only time we actually get to do anything as a couple is on the weekends, and as a result I have tried really hard to be pretty sparse with committing myself to things that occur on Saturday or Sunday. I am already breaking that rule heavily with the recording of AggroChat Saturday nights… but generally speaking by the time our 9pm CST start time rolls around we are home anyway. There however have been a long list of activities that have happened on Sunday and Saturday afternoons that I have flaked like mad on. There was the whole pen and paper role-playing game that happened at 2pm CST, that by some freak occurrence I managed to make four or so of… before life caught up with me and I started being unavailable. Then similarly I thought “Sunday is TV Night” and started trying to raid with my friends Horde side… only to find that I am just barely making it into my chair some nights before Walking Dead. As it gets nicer outside… we push back our range of activity further… so pretty much the entire summer months are a no-go for planned activities on the weekend.
As a result I thought I was pretty much done raiding in World of Warcraft at least until Legion hits. Then my good friend Carth decided to pull together a casual raid group and after everyone voted on the best day of the week… I lucked out and it landed on Wednesday nights. This is pretty much the perfect raid night for me, given that my wife is already committed to church that evening and I can pretty much do whatever I want to do without causing a major imposition. Last night was the first official outing, and we planned on raiding from 7:30 pm cst to 10 pm cst but wound up going a little over due to the overall successes of the group. We absolutely had a few “ringer” dps in the mix, but even accounting for that… I think we did really well. For a bit we would end up having to pug some people… but we managed to pull together a 10+ player team. The roster was super comfortable and included so many long time friends: Carthuun (on Aalis), Tick (on Taavish), Giulietta, Kylana, Edana (@catinglasses), Jasmynne (Carth’s Wife), Bleddwen (@KerynWeylan)…. with myself and Damai tanking and a mixture of ringers that cycled through for which I don’t know all of the mains from Praetorian Guard.
We did significantly better than I expected on our first outing. We managed to clear up to Iskar in a single evening, and the only boss we really struggled a bit at was Kilrogg. That is pretty much the first fight where the mechanics really start to matter, and as a result it took us two attempts for folks to get the whole visions thing down solidly. On the second go however everything seemed to just work like plan. It was a bit messy at the end, but any kill you walk away from with a victory is a good kill in my book. The awesome thing about all of this as well is that we got a lot of gear for people who needed it. Bleddwen one of the two healers… that was quite literally drafted last night on the spot… walked away with I believe eight pieces of gear. Our other healer walked away with three pieces, but one of those was a tier set piece. I managed to pick up my first piece of tier gear as well, and I am hoping next go round Kormrok will be nice and drop the Warrior piece so I can throw on that two piece bonus. As much as I loved raiding with my Horde side family, I have to say it felt good to be Belghast again in a raid. I mean I have done Gladiator dps for awhile now, and it is really fun… but what I mean is Belghast the tank. It kinda felt good to go back to my roots with the character that was my main through most of those really memorable fights.
It doesn’t hurt that the folks that we raided with… are for the most part the folks I play all of these games with. The two healers we had… have healed me many times in Final Fantasy XIV so it felt natural to see that relationship shift to World of Warcraft. The awesome thing about this as well is that it seems like we have two tanks and two healers locked down solidly. That means we probably need a shift healer and potentially a shift tank to fill in the gap, but otherwise we have a really solid team. There is a certain amount of learning mechanics on the fights, like Iskar… but I forsee us being able to start Heroic before too long. It would be amazing if we could push through it as well and get folks some Moose loving. In any case it was a nice, relaxing and casual raid night, with the folks I probably would have been hanging out with anyways. The only gotcha seemed to be that we were having trouble with our normal Teamspeak server, and as a result are probably going to be migrating to Discord for next week. I had been wanting to give Discord a real world trial, and this seems as good as any time. I love the concept, and I just wish that it were a slack plugin rather than a completely separate application. For text chat purposes, I still like Slack and their notification system just works better… however for voice… at least based on testing last night Discord is seeming to be the new way to go.