Having worked on the current raiding tier for a few months now, I have grown pretty comfortable with most of the fights except for the 3 end-wing bosses. Cho'gall still gives me a bit of heartburn, our two hours on Al'akir this week were productive, but frustrating, and we haven't really even spent any time on Nefarian. But the rest of the content? It's pretty much on farm, and I can yawn my way through it at this point.
So, last night, when we were going in for our second night of Al'akir pulls, we had a last minute drop out, and no one to take his slot except for a pretty under-geared tank in the guild. Rather than go through the frustration of having two people re-spec to accommodate this tank and train him on the fight, we decided to skip the good Caliph.
Since we had this tank and a recently picked up healer who were both a little bit behind us in gear, I thought it wouldn't be bad for them to gather some gear, so off we went to Blackrock to farm some bosses. I also went ahead and swapped to Retribution and let the new guy take my spot in the raid while Issacc continued his duties as per usual. And let me tell you, it was a completely different experience.
Our new tank did fabulously well, but here is my list of screw-ups:
- I had no idea range mattered on Magmaw to get on top of his head, so I failed to chain him. Twice
- Thistle managed to save everyone's bacon by solo-healing Omnitron for the last 25% of the fight when both the other healers bit it in a badly placed Flamethrower. Guess who placed it?
- Maloriak's last phase is a mess for melee. We barely squeezed by on our first pull when I misjudged his hit-box placement and stepped into fire while trying to get through the last little bit of his health and before that, I stood in the back too long and managed to snag one of the big adds. Oops.
Last night really gave me pause and made me think about my latent fantasy of swapping entirely to DPS for the next tier. It was a bit more hectic than tanking, though far less stressful, and my individual performance seemed to mattered a little bit less (except when I was expected (by me (which is weird)) to do a vital task like the chains).
On some fights DPSing let me see the environment in a different, more expansive way, and on others I saw far less. I think I came away after yesterday's raid with a bit more information to make a decision about swapping roles. Melee have it pretty tough and I hadn't really experienced much of that stress as ranged on my Warlock.
Still, my tanking gear far exceeds my DPS gear and unless that changes significantly before Firelands and they at least equalize and we have a very solid and reliable person to take my spot, I expect to continue tanking.
One last thing that happened was that, due to a stuffy nose I was having trouble speaking and asked one of our raiders to go over Atramedes with the raid and she did so with great clarity and helped co-run that fight, and it really took a lot of stress off of my shoulders. It made me realize I have been running nearly every raid I have been in since roughly the time ICC came out and just how nice it was to not run a raid and simply be DPS #6, if even just for one fight.