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Firelands Aftermath: For the Horde

Article originally posted on Manaflask

Nü talked to For the Horde's Guildmaster Buschii and they discussed what exactly happened to them during Firelands and how they plan to go forward.

Please introduce yourself to the Manaflask Community!
My name is Stefan, I am studying architecture and I am from Rheine in North Rhine-Westphalia. My in-game nick is "Buschii" and I've been a member of For the Horde since Vanilla and the guild leader since the middle of The Burning Crusade.

During Firelands progress, For the Horde lost some ranks. How come?
There were various reasons. Some important players had off-times due to exam stress or sickness. In addition, our set up is pretty small and it wasn't easy to build up an ideal one, e.g. for Ragnaros. We had to get by with not ideally equipped alts and so on.

Another reason surely is that we only raided from morning to night the first couple of days. We did not want and could not do this for weeks. This is, of course, a disadvantage compared to other guilds that - even after 5 days - started raiding at 11 am and continueed raiding late into the night.

What were the expectations for the progress cylce?
Everyone playing in For the Horde wants to play on the front lines. So, our expectations were high. You know that a lot of things can happen during the progress phase. However, you hope for the best. Our goal was to be on the front lines and maybe to achieve one or two world firsts again. But as already described, it wasn't meant to be this time.

At which boss did you notice that things went different than planned?
The first few bosses went well. The first problems occurred with Baleroc. We surely could have been faster here, however, we still did well. The same applies to Majordomo.

Unfortunately, things didn't work out for Ragnaros. Especially phase 2 caused problems. We tried many different tactics but nothing was working. Right at the beginning, we had the idea to bomb the small adds, but the DPS wasn't even close to be enough. So we threw away that idea. For almost a week we tried different lineups but they didn't work well.

If we had spent more time on the "bomb tactic" we might have been a few days faster.

When we found the right way for phase 2, we had DPS problems in phase 3. Some players even wanted to try Ragnaros with two (!!) healers. We were able to make phase 3 after some exercise and fine tuning.

Phase 4 was more or less try, try, try, hoping for the "lucky try" where there is no bad luck.
 
What's the most absurd tactic you've tried?
Well, I have to go into more detail, because there is a general thing that annoys me.

In my opinion, it's absurd to be forced to develop strategies for various bosses in the last instances that push for a raid with as few healers as possible, because otherwise you won't be able to manage the DPS requirements. In Firelands, a 25 man raid boss was defeated with only one tank. Blizzard needs to take action here. Blizzard designs bosses in a way that makes a lot of new content gear necessary in order to manage the DPS requirements for hardmodes. Guilds avoid this by removing tanks and healers from the set up. In addition, you can defeat a lot of bosses with only a few healers when you have enough exercise and when you're lucky.

As already said above, we had problems, in part, with Ragnaros due to DPS and some asked if we could try it with one tank and two healers. In the end, we defeated Baleroc, Majordomo and Ragnaros with 4 healers. Majordomo, we even raided with only one tank. And right at this point, Blizzard has to make changes. In my opinion, a 25 man raid consists of at least 2 tanks and 6-7 healers.

 How would you compare the Firelands with the previous raids? (Especially the end boss!)
All in all, the Firelands is a very challenging raid. You can compare it a bit with ICC, disregarding the try limit system. The first bosses were defeated pretty easily and all of the top guilds were facing the end boss very quickly.

But I think that Ragnaros is more challenging than the Lich King. This is because of the longer combat duration in the last phase. If you play for 12 minutes without making any mistake and wipe in phase 4 due to bad luck, it's just an unfortunate combination. That's the reason why I enjoyed the Lich King more.

In which way does the summer time affect the morale of players?
Raiding during summer comes with different problems.

People are more testy and the concentration is not the same. I can imagine more pleasent activities than spending hours and hours in front of the computer at 30 °C.

How are you preparing for the upcoming Deathwing progress?
Of course, I have to refer to our recruitment here. We'd like to reinforce our set up.

It should be added that we place a higher value on well equipped alts and that we want to clear the Firelands hc twice a week in the near future.

Which roster changes are going to be made?
We are searching for good players. The class doesn't really matter at the moment. That's why I can't really say if there will be roster changes. If you think you're good enough to play in For the Horde, just apply!

How difficult is it to find new players?
Thanks to Ragnaros, we're getting a lot of applications at the moment. That is because this encounter is a "guild killer" at which a lot of guilds break up as their setup is simply not strong for the boss in the hardmode. Apart from that, we haven't received any appropriate application for ages. It's just hard to find players that fit well in our guild. However, I am more than optimistic that we will be able to strengthen our set up for Deathwing and beyond.

What classes are you currently searching for?
All classes. Specific classes we are looking for can be found by clicking the recruitment tab.

What are your expectations for the upcoming progress?
I hope that Blizzard is going to design strong encounters in a way that class, especially DPS, stacking is completely senseless. I can't really imagine they will, but hope dies last.

Apart from that, I am looking forward to varying encounters with lots of new abilities. I don't want "vehicle fights", however, the Deathwing encounter partly seems to go in this direction.
It would also be cool if Blizzard allows players to test only the normal modes on the PTR this time and if the Dungeon Journal could be reconsidered and revised. It just spoils too much at the moment.