Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back of the Class

My name is Jezriyah, and I am a raider.

Not a terrifically hardcore one, but a raider by anyone's standards.  I have 3 scheduled raid nights a week (it used to be 4, but my raid leader is temporarily leading another group as well right now) with a random VoA/ToC run thrown in once every week or two.  I crunch numbers like a motherfucker, or at least bribe Rilgon with one-liners and gnome porn to do it for me.  I know my role, I practice, I work my ass off.  There's nothing casual about how seriously I take raiding in this game.

I raid with nine other people.  Warrior and paladin tanks.  A resto shaman, disc priest, and holy pally healing team.  One arcane mage, one unholy death knight, one balance druid, one frost death knight (occasionally swapped out for a ret paladin) and me, the hunter -- survival when I have to be for replenishment, marksmanship at heart and when I get my choice.

I raid as a solid 20% of the raid's DPS if I'm doing it right, probably closer to 15% when you account for tank damage and the fact that our boomkin is god-tier.  I raid with my reflexes on full twitch and every door between myself and the rest of the house shut.  I raid my ass off.

Mine is one of two ten-man raid groups in my guild.  There are, in fact, 25 people in my guild who can put together a decent raid.  We cleared the Lower Spire on Saturday (and I scooped THE TRINKET off Saurfang) and could have gone a good bit further if we'd had the time.  But that's where it falls apart.  Our two raid teams have ten people each, and we've got three or four other raid-capable people, but putting together the 25-man involved taking one or two people who just aren't ready for prime time.  We can run a 25, but we just haven't got the manpower to run a 25-man progression raid.  And the scheduling differences throw another ugly kink in it.

I raid without the 5% Rampage/Leader of the Pack buff.  I raid without Mangle or Blood Frenzy, Trauma or Savage Combat.  I raid with a single ilevel 277 item -- the exalted Ashen Verdict ring -- and some 264s from the Frost vendor (and THE TRINKET, which was a fluke of that one 25 we rounded up).  I raid with Quel'Delar and non-heroic Njorndar.

I raid with the weight of the encounter on my shoulders.  I raid with the knowledge that if I hang out in a void zone one tick too long, there's only one person watching my ass, not three, and if I keel over we're most likely going to wipe due to lack of damage.  I raid with a back-of-my-hand knowledge of everyone's abilities -- whose damage will spike immediately, whose will build up, who's not good at moving and may need his name called out when he gets a debuff, whose connection is shaky on certain fights (and which) so if they don't respond for a moment they probably need extra heals and protection.  And of course, the immediate recognition of every voice in the raid.  (If you can manage this level of knowledge in a 25-man, good on you -- but I sure can't.)

I raid.  I raid my ass off.  And when I get the Kingslayer title (hopefully sometime this week or next -- we've just downed Sindragosa this week), I will wear it with pride.  And anyone who tries to assert that doing it with 9 other people and a 15% damage buff makes me any less the savior of Azeroth is gonna get my boot up their ass.