I'm a bit late to announce this, seeing as how we accomplished the feat on Monday night, but the Summer of Sindragosa has officially come to an end for my raiding team.
Summer is tough on all raid teams really, and we struggled as much as, if not moreso, than any other typical raiding team.As a reminder, we only raid one night a week, and only for two hours. Monday night the stars aligned so that all three of our healers were there, and everyone in the raid was now familiar with the fight. We normally two heal content, and only use our Third Healer to help us learn new fights, or when the mechanics of the fight specifically call for a third healer (i.e. Dreamwalker). Our successful strategy included our ever-flexible Shaman of Awesomeness in his healing spec, DPSing during the first phase, and healing during the second (with every innervate and Power Infusion reserved for him for his mana reserves).
The Summer and the Roster
To give you some context on how brutal summer issues can be to a raid, let's look at some numbers. When you only raid 2 hours a week, attendance issues are severely magnified, however, due to the fact that we only raid 2 hours a week, it is generally less common that we even have issues in the first place. But even we struggled with the summer blues.
June 7th: Our first attempt on Sindragosa.
Total number of attempts before first kill: 31
Total number of nights we attempted Sindragosa: 5 (total amount of time spent on her is probably around 8-9 hours)
7 Attempts at 20% buff.
8 Attempts at 25% buff.
16 Attempts at 30% buff.
I wanted to differentiate between levels of the buff, because other guilds might have needed 40 hours or 100 attempts to take down Sindy, but made all those attempts with a much smaller buff or none at all, and I feel it would be wrong of me not to recognize that difference.
Now, to look at roster changes. We had two nights of working on Sindy before we began having roster problems, and had a role switch, most specifically of one of our tanks. While this did not have a negative impact on the fight itself, as the new tank is incredibly good, it did cause a lot of slowdown, as we felt that our new tank, who was normally a DPS, had never tanked in ICC, should get a chance to tank through the entire raid up to and including Sindragosa, so we reset. And then we had two weeks of having to sub some people, and getting new people up to speed on the fight and everything that goes along with that.
So let's talk about the healing makeup. Of the five separate nights we worked on Sindragosa, 2 of those nights were with only two healers (however, on one of those nights we had a shadow priest, and that helped). This was not intentional, and certainly not what we wanted, but our SuperShaman went away for a couple of weeks to do summer things and he is completely irreplacable as it turns out.
night 1 (7 attempts): 3 healers. Shaman, Druid, Priest.
night 2 (8 attempts): 2 healers. Druid & Priest. (Shaman on DPS)
night 3 (2 attempts): 2 healers. Druid & Priest. (Shaman out of town)
night 4 (7 attempts): 2 healers. Druid & Priest, but Shadow Priest present (Shaman out of town)
night 5 (7 attempts): alternating attempts with both 2 healers and 3, Druid, Priest, and Shaman. Our final kill had our shaman DPSing during the first phase, and healing during the second.
That means that out of 31 attempts, 19 were with only 2 healers, 8 were with 3 healers, and the 4 most successful (and finally leading to our kill) attempts had our third healer DPSing during the first phase, and healing during the second. You know what this calls for? PIE.
Okay well, I think I've gotten carried away with my entire meta-analysis of our Sindy attempts. There were a lot of factors contributing to our final kill that Fulguralis discussed in more detail. He's great at talking strats, and I'm much better at talking stats, if you will, so I tip my hat (which is the same one he wears) to his discussion of it.
I hate it when our Third Healer is gone, but I hope we are never guilty of taking his flexibility for granted. It's one thing to be willing to switch specs for different fights, but quite another thing to ask someone to switch roles so drastically during the fight itself. "Stay in your healing spec, but do damage that will be inefficient and kill your mana and is completely out of your comfort zone!" I mean, really, who asks for that kind of thing?
Me, actually. And it totally worked. Damn that kid is awesome.
I leave you with the required screenshot of a situation in which I hope to spend much less time indulging now that Sindy has died.