Our guild did its first ever one-night Kara clear. This is somewhat of a milestone for us in raiding. More importantly, I think it will help us speed up runs in the future.
We set this up as a guild event. Unlike our usual Kara runs which are filled on a first-come-first-served basis, we hand-picked our team in advance and arranged a start time. That was a little touchy, since we didn’t want to insult the ones who were not invited. In our guild most people know who the “top” players are but there are a couple who really think that they belong in that group even though they do not.
Realistically, we were overgeared for the run. Even with that, most of the drops were taken for off-spec sets and minor upgrades or side-grades.
The run took 4 hours and 43 minutes. That’s nothing great, but we can easily knock some time off that when we get better at Nightbane, who took us three tries. (On a side note – we always need to bring in a pally for that fight. Without a plate-wearing paladin we can’t seem to keep the skeletons off the healers)
I think that this was important for us to do as a guild for a number of reasons…
- We pushed our limits on chain pulling. One of the biggest time drains in a run is when healers and casters call out “Wait! I need mana!” between pulls, even though they still have over 50% of their mana pool. Before we even started the run we told the casters that during trash clears we would be pulling as long as everyone was over 50%. This did not cause any problems.
- We showed that you don’t need to be overcautious – particularly with healing. Usually we go into Kara with three healers. In order to move faster this time we brought only two and added an extra dps. We had done this before, but not at the same time as chain pulling, and never on tough bosses like Nightbane and Prince. Despite some initial misgivings by a couple of raiders, healing was never an issue.
- The speed of the run all depends on the tank. Usually the main tank role is just given to the player with the best gear. It is more important that the tank be able to pull decisively and get a lot of front-loaded threat. That gets the dps going quickly and everything flows from there.
- Druids… I love feral druids. Kara needs two tanks sometimes, and only one tank at other times. A feral druid can be a good tank when needed, and then switch to good dps when able. Paladins and warriors can’t do both roles as effectively without a respec. PLUS the feral druid gives a nice crit % buff. A feral druid makes the run go much faster.
The chain pulling was especially nice for me as a rogue. When fights go on one after another it allows me to keep my SnD going from one mob to the next. That means there is less time used up in building my initial combo points. With SnD already up from the previous kill my dps is high right from the start on the next mob. During the trash pulls before Attumen and later leading up to Maiden I maintained nearly 900 dps. My overall dps for the run was my personal highest ever, I think, and that is without pally buffs or any expensive consumables.
So now we feel more comfortable claiming that we have Kara “on farm.” In the future, this experience will certainly help us do all runs more efficiently.