We don’t raid on Tuesdays, which means we didn’t get to go in and explore Firelands until last night. I spent a fair bit of time watching people stream on Tuesday, feeling a small pang of regret that we don’t raid on Tuesdays. Needless to say, I was pretty excited about getting into the zone and experiencing the encounters for myself, and had done a whole slew of research. Granted most of what was up at that point was from the PTR, but some information is better than none, assuming to remain flexible!
We tackled Shannox first, and I thought the fight itself was pretty fun. There are a few things that I disliked – such as the completely ridiculous amount of trash leading up to the boss. I mean, is that really necessary? Really? I’m pretty sure we spent more time on the trash than we did on the boss itself. The only other complaint that I have is that if you are near a trap when one of the dogs gets trapped, you end up inside the traps model and it adjust your camera very oddly until you get moved out.
I thought that the mechanics of the encounter were fairly innovative. It’s a little tricky at first, but once you get it worked out, it’s just a matter of making sure people don’t stand in the bad. I did find the healing on it somewhat intensive, and I ended the encounter completely out of mana. Some of that is likely my lack of familiarity with the fight, and needing to time my cooldowns better to maximize my healing.
We headed to Beth’tilac next. Mercifully there was significantly less trash to clear out of the way. This fight was surprisingly much easier than I anticipated it being. It took us about 3 pulls to get our strategy tweaked and net a kill. I think the web mechanic was pretty neat – even though I didn’t get to ride one up! It’s really a shame that the majority of the encounter ends up being a tank and spank fight, as I think they probably could have done a lot more with it (and perhaps in heroic they do!).
I don’t think that I healed as well as I could have on this encounter, and I know that I did not time my cooldowns well. Now that I am more familiar with it, I should have a better grasp on strategizing my heals a touch better. I suppose that should be expected on new encounters, and only some familiarity with the fight will let you know how to best execute. But I still think I could have done better!
After Beth, we had roughly 25 minutes left in our raid. Everyone was pretty fired up, so we decided we’d go take a look at the foot guy Rhyolith. Normally with so little time left in the raid, we’d have called it or gone and done some farm content – but no one seemed to mind clearing the trash and exploring the fight. By the time we got to Rhyolith, we had about 15 minutes left. By the time I got done giving an explanation, we had about 10. We took a handful of pulls to see what he was about – but the combination of it being late and our “driver” not being able to see the foot monitor meant that we learned some about the fight, but did not net a kill. I am looking forward on getting back in there tonight!
As a whole, I find the zone very…plain. I know that not every raid zone can look like Ulduar, but the zone is not particularly pleasing aesthetically. There isn’t a single thing that I’ve seen so far that made me pause for a minute to appreciate the beauty or intricacy of my surroundings. In fact – the zone feels so much like Molten Core that I almost forgot where I was when we came upon our first firelord! (I jest…mostly!) I guess I just wish it wasn’t so…bleh. Perhaps there will be something more, well, interesting as we move deeper into the zone.
The New Spec
I am liking the new spec so far. While I finished Beth’tilac with a decent amount of mana left, I was bone dry at the end of Shannox, so I don’t think I’m ready to move that one point I have in Furor somewhere else until I get a better feeling for the later encounters and the hard modes.
I found that keeping harmony active as a raid healer was somewhat…clunky. Especially during times of burst damage when swiftmend was on cooldown. It felt very awkward to have to work in a way to hit a direct heal every 10 seconds. I am sure that it will get easier, and feel less awkward, as I get more practice with it. At least I hope!
Overall, I was quite pleased with how the spec performed. I’ll have to see if I change my mind after tonight! However, I feel quite positive that it will continue to perform well for me 🙂
Are You Looking For A Home for Firelands and Beyond?
With the challenges all guilds face with recruiting, I would feel remiss if I didn’t at least put a small plug here to let everyone know that we have a few limited spots open on our progression roster! While we are full on healers right now, we do have one to two Ranged DPS positions available. We would prefer a hunter, warlock, moonkin or Shadow Priest – but we will always consider any exceptional application.
If you’ve been here any amount of time, you know that I love my guild to pieces. It’s pretty much my family, and when we recruit we are looking for members who fit well with our family and are looking for a permanent place to hang up their hat. We won’t be pushing bleeding edge content, we aren’t focused on rankings, we move at our own pace and do what we feel is best for our guild. Our goal is to enjoy progression without killing ourselves to progress, and that’s important to us. Nonetheless, we do alright for ourselves and do our best to progress through content while it’s still relevant!
If you think that you might be a good fit for us, you can learn more about us at http://www.monolithwow.com. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask below or shoot me an email!
What were your first impressions of Firelands?