And, let's be honest, I was a little nervous. From every blog post I read, from all the chatter on Twitter, Heroics in Cataclysm have more in common with the nightmare days of the Burning Crusade, than the facerolls of Wrath.
Sunday morning. A druid doing dailies. A guild heroic run looking for just one DPS to make it an all guild group.
Reader, I joined them.
It did not go well.
The random number generator through us into Grim Batol, a dungeon I've yet to run on normal, let alone Heroic. The trash - wasn't too bad. We had a single death in the entire run to the first boss, despite the ineptitude of a confused druid meaning that the bombing run was less effective than it should have been. But the boss. Oh, the boss. After half a dozen wipes with little sign of progress, we called it. And I'm going to call it as my fault. I'm not used to DPSing in instances, I'm not used to Heroics, and I'm new to the dungeon. It wasn't to be.
We hit the RNG again, and dungeon findered our way into Throne of the Tides. This one I have done. And the trash went swimmingly again. But the first boss saw our little part-time boomkin spread over the floor by a whirlwind. And that was that. At this point, I bailed in favour of a better-geared and more experienced guildmate, and they went on to clear the instance.
At this point, I wasn't feeling great about my readiness for Heroics. And that was just super timing - because tonight was guild Heroic night. In the build up to starting raiding next month, we're having a night a week of Heroics, just to help the old gearing-up. The group formed, with me in my familiar healing role, some well geared-guildies and one slightly under-geared warlock. And off we went to Vortex Pinnacle.
The trash went down pretty easily. That seemed familiar.
We got to the first boss. That seemed to be familiar.
We one-shotted him. That most certainly wasn't. (And we were ahead of the other Heroic group at this point, which was satisfying).
The second boss? Down on the third attempt.
Another couple of wipes on trash between there and the end, and the we engaged the windmill for the final boss. Half a dozen wipes, mainly due to casters getting caught outside the magic, sparkly triangle. A final attempt, when I finally, completely ran out of mana, with my potion and Innervate blow, with the boss at 5%. The result?
My conclusions? Yes, Cataclysm Heroics are hard. But they repay skill, organisation and persistence. I felt way more comfortable as a healer than a DPS - but then I've been healing instances for five years, and barely ever DPSed seriously. We were on Vent, we had a skilled tank, and a DPS who could guide us through the fights. It was good natured, and we persisted and saw the results. Yes, gearing does play a huge part. Our under-geared Warlock was getting brutalised compared to our well-geared Mage. That's life. Some more Heroic and Justice gear will give us a little more room for error.
I think I enjoyed tonight's Vortex Pinnacle run more than any single Wrath Heroic I ever did. And that, I think, is rather the point.