Last night, we managed to convene again and go back to the task of building a working team. Again, we had no specific rating goals set, we were primarily interested in improving teamwork.
Considering that, the evening went extremely well, Steptoe and Sons moved from 1440 up to 1507, with a nice 7-3 win ratio.
Highlights of the Evening:
After last week, we had identified druid-based teams as well as two-healer teams as one of the harder matchups for our warlock / mage / pallie trio. So when the gates opened on a Lordaeron match and a druid + shammie showed up on Proximo, I started to feel queasy. A couple of seconds later, the third member unstealthed… and another druid revealed himself. It was our third game, and we had just won the first two. I really thought we’d bite the dust with two cyclones, tremor totem, earth shock and basically enough healing potential to simply brush off everything my DPS partners would throw at them.
Except that one of the two droods went tree form. A perfectly-timed banish followed by a quick bursted powerplay on the second druid and it was 3 vs 2 before the banish was over. Recast banish, the shaman took a bit longer but with two CCs available for one lone druid, DoTs and a bunch of ice cold gifts took care of the blue health bar. The rest came to its logical conclusion a couple of moments later.
Of course, in the 1460s ratings, the opposing team may very well have been freshly minted and have the kind of coordination gaps we had just a week ago. Still, the shammie had spent most of his few live moments trying to get close and personal with our cloth wearers instead of trying to keep the second druid alive through the first’s banish.
And then there was another totally epic fight, one of our last ones when we were close to 1500. We were matched up against two locks and a healer (I think it was a shammie). The first part was extremely hectic – I was more or less perma-feaered, and bubbled very early on in order to buy our mage a few precious seconds. We took their healer out, but only seconds later, I bit the dust myself, overloaded with DoTs. Two locks against a lock and a mage, the latter was at 30% health. He went down a moment later, and Steptoe was alone at 60% against one lock with 80% health, the other one with 20%.
In an amazing display of level-headed gameplay, Steptoe first took down the half-dead one, dropping to 50% himself in the process, while his remaining opponent still sat at 80%. And then, the race of the dropping healthbars started in earnest. In an excruciatingly slow process from the viewpoint of a dead team member, the opposing warlock’s health dropped at a slightly higher rate than Steptoe’s, overtook (I think “undertook” is more like it) him just below 10%… and at long last, after a good minute believing we’d get our fourth loss, the other one went down while Steptoe won the game with barely a sliver of health left himself.
There also have to be some. Our three losses were mainly due to poor communication and lack of focus – one match against a priest / mage / warrior combo we probably could have won with proper CC trading and bursting the warrior down after their priest had blown his trinkets. Of course, that’s with 100% hindsight. I definitely have it easier. My own options are often to select when to trink / bubble out of CC, which one of my partners to BoP, and positioning myself so that I can keep my two partners and their pets in the game. I only have to worry about a Hammer of Justice every other while and an Arcane Torrent when appropriate (though a well-placed Hammer of Wrath has helped a couple of times).
In conclusion, we had a great run evening. When we reached 10, Steptoe’s connection now sat at around 1500ms latency, which basically removed the choice of continuing for the night. Instead, we quickly grabbed a tank and another DPS to go and kill the first boss in Heroics Mana Tombs, since our mage needed one lone badge to purchase an upgrade he was after. Which he has done.