Back in March… or April, whenever it was… when we were working on Putricide for the first time and wiping endlessly on him, I would drive home from work at the end of the day and say to myself “this night can only end two ways–one is with Putricide dead, the other is with him alive for another week.” It was initially a mental exercise meant to brace myself for the inevitable disappointment that characterized those interregnum days.
Then, of course, one day I posed that question to myself and the former outcome was the one fate handed to us. Putricide was dead, and the renaissance of ES began.
I revived the exercise for our weeks of learning the Lich King. It was hard fought, but after about 4 nights of solid attempts spread out over a month (so it goes with a 2 day raid schedule) we finally nailed the guy to the way. The exercise metastasized a bit from devouring my attention on that long car ride home up 95 to on a bike ride I would take after work in the local cemetery.
I know that sounds creepy, but paved roads and no cars. Win-win my friends. And it’s quiet. (Ba-dum-bum.)
But I digress. I dwelled a lot on the fight and the viability of victory, and eventually inevitability won out. Like it usually does. And as we started working through hardmodes I didn’t really need to spend a lot of time agonizing on possibilities, because we usually downed new hardmode fights the first week we tried them.
Things changed of course with Heroic Sindragosa, which took us about four weeks to eventually down. A pretty epic ride, and you can bet that old saw came back in full force. And then after Sindragosa, I revived it for Putricide, but prematurely. It took us 57 attempts to kill Heroic Sindragosa. It took us only 16 to kill Putricide. And that’s with 11 of them being done with a suboptimal strategy.
An amazing turn around between the two fights, I think.
When we stood there in front of Putricide last night, I articulated a new strategy and some tweaks I wanted everyone to operate under. This is in addition to a commandment to download and install an addon called Plagued that tracks through /yells about someone’s head if they have the plague and counts down until they need it taken away from them. Last week, we were making people with the plague go to a safe spot.
This week, I told everyone to spread out, stay put, and put on their raid awareness hats. People were to call out in vent when they were taking it from the plagued person. Everyone needed to be cognizant of where those massive red yell bubbles were.
Other tweaks: pets had to be on green slime whenever up, and the DKs were taking turns popping armies onto the green slimes during transitions, for extra damage soaking.
The first attempt with this new strategy, we got Putricide to 50% before wiping, beating our previous record of 51% by inches.
Our second attempt we got him 12%.
Suddenly everyone was energized. We hadn’t even seen phase 3 before on heroic, and suddenly we just coasted right in to it. The raid was infused with equal doses of terror and excitement.
We proceeded to do a few more attempts, each time hitting phase 3 with ease and wiping due to the soft enrage. Something had to change. On the last attempt, I made a risky decision: when the orange slime comes down in the second transition, rather than hanging back and waiting for it to pick a target, melee go in and start wailing on it. In the attempts thus far, orange was up with at least 20% when Put activated, and we needed that dps time on the big guy.
Luck shined her golden countenance upon us, the first target orange picked was at range. My gambit succeeded. Orange died right as Put activated. Everyone was alive. It was go time.
We started rounding the outside of the room, and Put’s health was steadily dropping. We lost a few people here and there, but everyone was focused. We were going to make this happen. Suddenly I heard that a healer had died, and I popped a cooldown, and then my assigned raidwall.
We held it together as the numbers. Tank swaps continued until I believe Nordic drew the last tanking turn with 3 stacks at around the 2% mark. We held it together–along with our breath–and finally push the fight over the finish line. Putricide keeled over and coughed up his purples.
No Last Word, unfortunately.
After the exhilaration wore off, we trucked over and up to Arthas and did the Been Waiting a Long Time for This achievement to begin the long march for getting everyone their 25man drakes. A necessary, if not annoying, first step.
Oh, and duty and tankadin camaraderie compels me to congratulate Ana on ranking #57 on the Festergut 25H dps ranks for prot pallies. She’s been working really hard, and I’m sure in the next few weeks she can place even higher!
Ultimately, I think my favorite part of the night was right before LK when one of the dps said “I totally called this last week when I said Rhidach was going to come up with an amazing strat and we’d kill him easily.” That was a much needed confidence boost after the stomping my RLing ego took the other night.
Apparently some of them have faith in me, haha.