So Tuesday and Thursday are 'quickie' nights in my guild. This is mostly because I manage the calendar and I am lame and sometimes think I am funny. The reason for these 'quickie' nights is the fact that our raider base is spread all the way the hell across America and up into Canada a bit. Most of us are Central time people, but there are a fair few of us on either coast as well. As a guild of mostly (really, all) adults, with jobs and kids and other Responsible Things To Do in the Morning, we have to work pretty hard at finding times that we can all overlap enough to have at least 10 people on and able to raid.
Hence, quickies. The balance is found somewhere among two West Coasters, two Midwesterners and one East Coaster. And there's about an hour in all that overlap that we can head into one of the fast raids, maybe two if we do well.
Last night started off great. We headed out and murdered Ony in one shot, no deaths, no stupid, and a shiny new achievement because for once no one got hit with the deep breath flamey thing. Loot went quickly as always and I looked at the time and then my map. It appeared that we were in possession of Wintergrasp so I proposed that we all hustle our asses out to Vault. Only thing is that when we stepped through my portal to Dalaran there was no "Yay, you have Wintergrasp" buff in my buff bar. Looking again at the map, the dirty rotten horde had control. And we had two options.
"It's EoE or Sarth with a drake up," said I. "And if it's EoE, we're gonna have to lose a tank."
So we voted and shuffled and one of our tanks grabbed her mage and we asked another mage to grab her shaman and headed out to EoE.
Now, in case the two paragraphs above did not make it really clear, we're sort of a casual group with a lot of alts and we still struggle with stupid fights, like EoE and Sarth with a drake up. I think this is mostly because we haven't really tried to master these fights until just recently, and were giving most of our raiding attention to the long raids, like Naxx and Ulduar. But I know if we practice we can usually get something down and on farm status swiftly. Or swiftly for a casual guild. I mean, we went from many wipes a night on Ony to about three to walking in and one-shotting within about a month.
Anyway, I was riding the high and thought that surely we would be able to make some progress on Malygos. We did okay on the first try. DPS was a little slow on the first phase and we failed to get all our melee up on the discs before ranged/healers started hopping on in the second phase. The third phase was an unmitigated disaster.
There must be something hard to comprehend about stay together, omg, I mean right fucking on top of each other and why the hell is someone way off on their own? If you can't see dozens of other flapping wings overlapping you, you're doing it wrong. Also, "Move!" meaning "strafe to the right for a few seconds!" seems to require some additional processing time. About 30 seconds before the enrage, I was alone in the sky. And then I was blasted out of it.
Before we tried again, I made everyone stack on top of me and pretend to be on their dragons in the air. I started babbling the way I do so well when I am tipsy and then interrupted myself by barking out: "Move!" I strafed to the right. There was a pause. And then about half the raid started off and were followed a second later by those who hadn't gotten there yet.
"I think," said I, "that I know why we're dying up there."
We practiced a little longer on the ground and I still wasn't happy with reaction time but it was getting a bit better and we were running out of time. We went into it again and managed a fairly quick burn on the first phase. Second phase was really sloppy and we ended up with a few people dead on the floor because the tank suffered a massive lag spike and couldn't pick up aggro or, indeed, even tell what the hell was going on for a few seconds. As a result, the burn was slow and we had maybe 1.5 minutes before the enrage by the time we hit phase three. It was obviously a wipe but I knew the practice would be good so we hung in there. Not too much later, I was alone in the sky again, facing one pissed off magical dragon aspect. Needless to say, I was quickly dispatched and, God save me, we better have Wintergrasp on Thursday because I don't know if I can grin my way through a whole night's worth of wiping on EoE, no matter how drunk I am.
What tips and tricks does anyone else have for keeping the raid together and reacting well on phase three?