I don’t think it ever gets old. Stepping into a new raid encounter is always an experience I savor, and I love exploring new dungeons. Some members of our raid team took a sneak peek Tuesday night, but Wednesday was my first step in to the new dungeons, and Thursday saw the completion of normal mode for our raid team.
I’m glad to have finished the dungeon on normal mode, and am really looking forward to seeing the hard-modes. To be honest, I didn’t expect us to spend longer than the first week getting through the initial dungeon as we had a sizeable gear advantage walking in. However, I am a bit disappointed reading reports of normal-mode groups clearing the content nearly as quickly. While I surely don’t begrudge these teams doing well, I do wonder if they’ll be satisfied with the content this tier when they have to choose between ending at their normal progression point, or moving into hard-modes. Such speculation may be a bit pre-mature, as the fights do become progressively more intricate throughout the dungeon, but it’s a puzzling thought. T12, normal and heroic modes, were a significant challenge to a number of guilds, and I hope that the overall design wasn’t undertuned.
Overall, I enjoyed the encounters, finding the usual blend of the familiar and the new. This go around, it seems that tank juggling will be more complicated than healing teams, as we managed to spend our first night with a single tank for most of the night as we rushed to 7/8 (For a better list of which are good 1 or 2 tank fights, see A Sunnier Bear). We chose to 3-heal all the way, which gave me a chance to experience the new restoration druid changes first hand. The very first thing I did was drop the Wild Growth glyph, and I’m glad I did. I’m finding my overhealing to be stupendous, and mana to be more of a concern than I’ve experienced in quite awhile.
I was hopeful after reading Jaysla’s post of her Tuesday night raid that perhaps my fears of throughput being diminished for resto druids was an over-reaction, but after our 2 days in the dungeon, I’m leaning towards Beruthiel’s assessment. While I don’t feel negligible in any way, I regret that our “role” of pure throughput has been put to the test. While I don’t mind allowing other healers their time in the spotlight (go-go shamans!) I feel silly being the only healer without some kind of neat-o armor buff or mitigation cool-down when I’m sometimes managing to put out more healing than my fellow healers…. and 40-50% of it is overheal.
Although I refuse to leak the cinematic for those (like me!) who haven’t watched it yet, I will mention that you should watch it when you get to it. It was absolutely lovely even if I felt like I jumped into Rivendell for a moment. Although my kill screenshots are rather… shoddy, I blame it on my raid team. Apparently they had all watched the cinematic already, and as the clip came to an end I discovered that I nearly missed the loot being divvied up!
We’ve got one more day of raiding this week which we plan on spending back in the Firelands trying to get that kill of Ragnaros, and perhaps Sinestra if we finally manage to get all our dance steps down. I’m really looking forward to next week, and to see how the rest of the expansion unfolds.