Despite the title, we’ve actually had very little time for progression lately.
Red Like Roses
As we only raid for six hours per week, planning what we do can be quite difficult. When this raid tier started, it also introduced a new extreme trial to conquer. Cinder Drift brought along stronger weapons than our crafted variety, so challenging it was an easy first goal. It took us an entire week to get four clears in, which was quite a bit less than what I had hoped. Likely one of the core problems there was having to PUG someone on the second day, meaning we lost a bit of the experience going in. These things happen!
Unfortunately, we also only pulled out two weapons for our team during these clears. I was lucky enough to get a drop while I helped out some friends of ours, and at least two others went to the Party Finder to secure their own. We had the option of another night of this trial fight, but some of us had other things to do and it fell apart schedule wise. I’m keeping tabs on that pretty closely this time around, because we were delayed quite a bit. Of course, no one can control every circumstance, and most are reasonable enough. I’ve always told my team that we should prioritize health, family, school, and work. Yet that may also mean finding others sometimes.
As for the encounter, coming from a tank perspective it’s not bad. It’s not the most fun I’ve had tanking, nor is it by any means a difficult fight to challenge. The most frustrating part, especially in Party Finder, comes from people standing where ever for the lasers. This can often end up in covering the safe spots you expected to use. As a result, you get some vulnerability stacks or may even end up dead. I was really fond of the stacking organization that Zahn and his group used, but not everyone does that!
Shock to the System
The second raid tier in Shadowbringers begins with us fighting Ramuh. Or at least, an amalgamation centaur version of him. This fight has next to nothing to worry about as the boss tank, but it does add some mechanics for the party and the other tank. In my case, most of the fight I get to stand there and look pretty. Our team made a ton of pervy jokes about horses, but that’s expected at this point.
I’m glad that I haven’t gotten as tired of Ramuh as quickly as I did with E1S. Eden Prime was an absolute nightmare with their HP% based attacks, whereas Ramuh is just orb coordination. We’ve spent very few nights on the fight thanks to our sparse scheduling and needing PUGs, but I’m still feeling confident about E6S and the remainder of this tier.
Downtime is definitely not new to our team. Between life coming up for folk and roster changes, we cleared E4S about three months later than I had initially projected. Our times and hours aren’t exactly a good fit for most people, so it’s always a surprise when we do get the team filled up. More than likely we’ll clear and farm this tier earlier than the previous. And hopefully the same for the next.
Hot Air Balloons
The second fight in this tier is Furor, where we face against both Ifrit and Garuda at once. They’re very clearly designed by someone who might be not so secretly attracted to them both. This fight on normal mode is already a mess of organization in Duty Finder, and so far that seems to be holding pretty true in Savage. Granted, we’ve been in Furor for… maybe less than an hour total? So don’t take my word as anything substantial here. I shrieked in panic when they fused in normal mode, and I expect to as well with savage.
Compared to Fulmination, Hex and I each have our own little boss to tank for a while. He set himself in charge of Ifrit, so I’ve taken to dance with Garuda. Honestly, I’ve been blessed with the easiest of the two. Both in terms of mechanics and with uptime, as he gets kicked into the air through the tank buster it seems. I’m excited to really start this fight, but first we need to properly clean up Ramuh and get that fight down on a consistent basis. When you have six hours, you can’t expect to progress by spending five on one fight.
With our regular team of eight, I’m absolutely certain we’ll master the first fight and be able to move forward. We did similarly last tier where we spent a bunch of time dancing with the first and second fights. Thankfully, most of that came from the roster swaps and having to re-teach, so we should be even better this time around! That said, I don’t know if I’m looking forward to the portal puzzle of the third fight in Savage. 😨
Return of the Matriarch
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed tanking, having had one leveled since A Realm Reborn. In most cases, when offering my tank to my raid leader though, the response was always the same. “I’m not losing your damage.” For Rainbow Draw, I’m the raid leader–and have proven to be a sound and capable tank both mechanically and in damage. Gunbreaker excited me so much, and it gave Josh a chance to play Samurai and not be essentially the job bitch of the team. Yet I can’t help but feel restrained after a tier of nothing but tanking, y’know?
Recently, I’ve begun to practice both my Samurai and my Dragoon again. While I won’t be able to draw my Samurai out to anything consequential, there’s a slim possibility for Dragoon. It’d take something of a Herculean effort with roster swap necessity, but it’s there and waiting. Getting to play a melee DPS again for roulettes has been exciting for sure. While I’m not overly fond of relying on PUG tanks, who are generally far worse than I could have been, it’s been great to break those chains and soar. It really does make me wonder how I endured raid healing on two characters for two different teams back during ARR.
And hey, we can’t forget all of the lounging around times. Times spent doing nothing, hanging out with friends, are important to rest the mind and soul. Burnout has been one heck of a huge thing for me, and I don’t want to embrace that this early. Especially not when we’ve got a team of such good folks to play with. So remember to take some time and go have yourselves some happy adventures too.