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Hakkar Deaded!
The answer is Yesterday at 8:30 pm!!

So yeah, Hakkar is totally dead. It's downright silly how badly we kicked his arse. We did the obligatory "first attempt ever wipe," and then came back and thoroughly trounced him on our second attempt. Ever.

Click on image for 1280x1024 pic

More details in a minute, but first:

Zul'Gurub was released in patch 1.7, exactly one year and two days ago (9/13/05). At that time, Watchers was ill equipped to handle such an instance. For one thing, we still had trouble filling 15-man UBRS raids. We simply didn't have the numbers. Furthermore, I had an afro and Croy was totally obsessed with John Travolta movies. We were in no shape to lead a trip to Taco Bell, let alone a raid against a Blood God.

We teamed up with Dreams of Ysera - who were also much smaller then - and managed to kill a few of the entry bosses.

The raid makeup of our first ever ZG run and Snake kill.
For the record: Tom, Memnon and Antonin also attended, but left early.

And... uh, I hope that's not actually the way the groups were organized during the raid.

Despite the notable handicap of being collectively clueless, we downed Venoxis, and Horun won a Zulian Stone Axe. Check him out. At the time I made a big deal about it - it was the highest DPS weapon most of us had ever seen drop! I think he's still wearing that thing, too.

But that kill wasn't without the prerequisite Venoxis learning curve! In case you ever wondered what all the fuss was about the "lava donut," check out the damage in the top two lines:

pls2 lava donut

Over the following weeks we killed Snake a few times, and Bat once or twice. We attempted spider twice, Jin'do once, Bloodlord once, but died, died, died.

One particularly memorable Bloodlord wipe:

A Jin'do raid gone the way of most Jin'do raids:

After that, the runs just kinda fizzled out. There was a feeling, I think, that we were over our heads. We couldn't get enough people most weeks (13-man ZGs don't work well), and the weeks we could we suffered from repeated death syndrome. In short: we just weren't very good raiders.


Time passed. Watchers grew larger and more experienced. A few of us picked up some MC epics (Though not many! I doubt there were more than 15 MC items total in last night's raid).

Then something clicked. Some combination of the above factors set our toes on fire, and we exploded back into ZG as a guild on June 14th 2006. From that date on we've killed bosses like they were greens every Wednesday (occasionally breaking for AQ20), averaging a new kill every other week.

The Watchers stand triumphantly in... uh, who's room is this?

We took it slow, and made sure we had our current batch of baddies on farm status (or close to it) before moving on. I wanted to feel like we understood the instance - like we were defeating it - not just bumbling through it. I don't think I was alone in that sentiment.

At some point we also discovered The Pot™

As well as the Lucky Charms Petting Zoo ®

Arma, we need you petting yellow star, fast!

A few highlights:
~ We killed Marli (spider) with 15 people.
~ We killed Bloodlord with 17, with no strat at all, by throwing corpses at him.
~ We downed Arlokk on our second attempt ever.
~ We told Niknak to die, pls, and he did!
~ We slaughtered Hoodoo'd raid members in a "Lord of the Flies"-like blood frenzy, then ate them.
~ We somehow wound up stopping at Nat Pagle's Landing for free alcohol every friggin' time we came within a quarter mile of the place, inevitably training fish up onto the hill somehow.
~ We convinced both Maddog and Branwenn to sacrifice themselves for "the good of the raid," and yelled at them when they weren't getting smacked enough.
~ We wiped randomly to three imps.
~ We tricked Lostris into going out to summon all by himself. Repeatedly.

After we were done with all of that, it was time for the big two-nighter Hakkar attempt.

On Wednesday we cleared all bosses to Hakkar in 2 hours and 20 minutes. It went so quickly that we tossed in a Bloodlord kill just for good measure.

On Thursday we killed Hakkar on our second attempt.

Click on image for larger pic

The fight went fantastically. We cleared up his temple for the first time and were ready to pull 35 minutes after zone in. We did have a fairly detailed strat for this fight - more so than we generally do - but there were still some question marks. We were forced to reset at about 60% through the first fight due to difficulties pulling the sons, combined with a slight problem with the MT's head caving in. Maybe an open-topped helmet isn't such a hot idea.

On the second attempt we killed him with only 2 deaths.

As Tom said: "The thing that strikes me the most about the Hakkar fight is we didn't just down Hakkar, we made it look like we just hadn't gotten around to it yet."

Congratulations everyone! This is the first major in-game accomplishment our guild has achieved, and we earned it! It's proof that we can work through a raid zone as a guild, even while maintaining our casual style and friendly loot rules. When Burning Crusade comes out, we'll be right there in the new 25-man end-game kicking asses and taking epix.

Want more? Check out Memnon's Awesome Post and Phat Lewt Recap here.

15 Sep 2006 by carwin

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