Was looking forward to doing this and it would be considered progression for our "Casual Guild" and attempt at 25 man raiding. So the weekend Gruul's Lair was on the Calender. I'm going to be straight up and say it wasn't good and if I can use a much better word to describe it if I can, the attempt or various attempts I would say it overall suck raid wise! Needless to say I was both disappointed and frustrated to some degree being there.
The raid had been on the guild calender for about 2+ weeks, we use Group Calender for raid and Heroics etc. Yet their were members in guild that did not seem to know we use a Group Calender even though the message of the day MoTD indicated Gruul was on the Calender. Less than half the people had signed up for the raid. So when it came time for the raid it was a challenge find enough members signed up to fill out the raid quickly. Though we had 30-35 members on line that are all 70's not all were gear qualified to attend the raid but we had enough for a 25 man eventually all the same. Actually I've never seem that many people online in the guild at any one time, at most 17-20 maybe. Over half the members I 've never seen before myself or first time seeing them logged on in quite a while.
The raid was on the calender for 7pm server time or 9pm my time. I logged in 30 mins early and filled my bag, got all my consumables and everything I think I would need and then made way to Blade Edge Mountain (BEM). Their were members at the time still running instances, or starting runs for the MidSummer Boss. Hell I was even asked to come help a group do the holiday boss in SP. I declined on account I had to be ready for the 25 man raid. Made it to BEM and at the Instance entrance for Gruul. Their was one other person their a guild Warrior. Raid time came and went still only 2 members was there and ready to go. So I started forming up the raid in the mean time to see how many we would have. Eventually people started logging in, showing up or finished their previous instance and either showed up on site or wanted a summon. It seems a casual world at best.
Lots of time was spent forming the raid, asking people if they wanted to attend the raid or if the qualified to go which consumed quite a bit of time. Some didn't even know where Gruul was or that we even had a raid planned. Hell half the raid I didn't know myself or never seem them before the raid. I got all the guild members that had signed up for the raid first then eventually passed it to the guild GM to fill out the rest of the raid when he showed up. Its hard to tell in short time if members were geared for the raid as well, not seeing many of them before. After taking some time doing that and organizing the numerous raid groups which was a challenge as it was hard to tell exactly who were healers from dps. Eventually zoned in the instance.
We cleared the trash which was easy and made it to HKM. So obviously the fight had to be explained of course. Took forever to explain the fight! Our Guild at this time don't really have a "Raid Leader" per say to lead the raid and for strategy and speak with one voice with assignments. Many had no idea how the fight went. The funny thing was several days before the raid I myself had researched HKM & Gruul and posted a write up of the raid on the guild forums for others to read and get a idea of the fight, strats and how its to go for the raid. Not many seemed to have read it, even less members let alone raid members visit the guild forums. So we wasted quite a bit of time trying to explain the fight and getting various tanks their assigned boss add and groups assigned to the adds. It took so long to explain the fight that the trash re-spawned before the fight started and we had to reclear the trash. Eventually the Mage Tank pulled. The Hunter Misdirects did not go well or as planned and we wiped real badly.
Raid recovered and we restarted and wiped and wiped on what seems non sync initial pulls. Seems tanks were not getting their assigned Boss add or the wrong tank was getting the wrong Boss add. At one time I had 2 Boss adds since I was on OLM, at other time I got no Misdirects, either way we wiped silly. King Maulgar was all over the place as the tank on Maulgar could not get into initial position before the dps started on him and thus was all over the place. Some members were just not doing what they were assigned to do, some not paying attention either. Eventually I was assigned to tank Blindeye (Priest) in the far left corner opening up into the room, and we pulled and that seemed to have being the best raid attempt. Blindeye was easy to tank as he spent more time casting it seems. However right before Blindeye went down the MT went down on Maulgar. King Maulgar came over smacking everyone and the raid was wiping faster than a landslide.
I really don't remember how many times we tried maybe 4-6 at least. I'm sure but enough I had to repair my armor at around 20% or so. It was disappointing and frustrating to say the least. The guild has enough geared Tank for the fight, We have way more than enough DPS, We probably have enough healers which I'm less certain of because I don't see them all that often as dedicated healers logged on so less certain of that. However for the raid I think we had 8 healers or so, though I think we need at least 9 for the progression raid. At best I just had to laugh a bit to have some sense of sanity and call it 25 man raid practice and paying some price for a 25 man attempt. But thats allot of wasted time on everyones part as well as wasted consumables and repair bills.
However we have enough people I think that we can do HKM in one shot if everyone brings their A game to the raid, knowing what to do and need to be done, being prepared and ready to make a serious attempt. I'm always their ready to give my best effort, many other members are as well but I'm not sure of the entire guild raid in their commitment for serious 25 man progression. Which is the frustrating part.
On Saturday we had another scheduled 25 man raid for Gruul's Lair which was on the calender as the previous attempt. At the time of the scheduled Raid I don't think their was even 11 members logged on. Yeah its a Saturday and people probably have better things to do and it being summer as well. Either way people just didn't show up. Life in a Guild that's all about being Casual and wanting to seriously raid, some wanting the loot, some wanting to raid for fun and something different, few wanting to raid for serious progression seeing content and few willing to make a commitment for put forth the effort for serious raid progression. Yeah that's life in Casual city and at least the one I currently live in. But for how long!
In the end looking back at things it hasn't taken me long to figure thing. I can say I'm not very fond of 25 man raiding either, I much prefer 10 man raiding. Much easier to organize, lot more personal and fluid, easier knowing all your group members and easier to work with and for other reasons. But its raiding and it is what it is in the end 10 man or 25 man dealing with other members that show up or don't show up and put forth their best effort for the sake of the entire guild raid. I can understand the frustrations of many real Raiders who's efforts are hamstring by their own Casual Guild and Attitude. Will we ever see SSC for any real guild effort? I'm not every optimistic at this point!