Our first run with the reformed group was on March 19th. During those earlier stages, our group was small, barely enough to fill a group even if everyone was able to make it. Recruiting for the group was needed. So, whenever we took some unknown people (PUGs) along, we made sure to spam our forum link.
In a timespan of two weeks, 19 people had signed up for the group. In total that is. Not spectacular, but we managed to get groups together just about every week, along with one or two PUGs. This led to a further 18 sign ups in April.
Our first successes came in April. By that time, we had mastered one of the toughest fights in the Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu; Thrang. Our runs turned to a weekly event, consuming everyone's weekend. The runs became shorter too. Those participating knew the fights and my leadership style. It's great to just play in this area, compared to keeping an eye on everyone to see if they are doing their job, not getting all of us killed etc.
Doing the same thing every time can get boring. Fortunately, one of the earliest members knew his way around Helegrod pretty well. Haleabor was quickly named Helegrod Raid Leader. The first time we went in was.. interesting. It was not going smooth. A strange feeling of déjà vu crept into my head.
Credits where earned though. After the first time Haleabor, just as frustrated over this as I, wrote a very detailed guide to the area. We are fortunate enough to have a group which is not too lazy. Just lazy enough actually. Healthy lazy. Not wiping the group lazy. So most of them read through the guide. The next run was a breeze, every single run after that seems to go smoother.
That leaves us at the start of June. We killed everything there is to be kille, save two bosses. They're only the toughest guys in the game, so give us a break. High on our wish list was killing Thaurlach, the Balrog. He is the final boss in The Rift. The other is called Thorog, a cute drake in charge of Helegrod. Some attempts were made at both, without success.
That changed on June 1st. We were gearing up for another Balrog run, not really expecting anything. We managed to survive the first few stages of the fight. When we got to the Balrog, things took a turn for the worse. Several unfortunate deaths left us with only one Minstrel and only one Guardian. Despite the losses, we kept beating Thaurlach. The Valar were not with us that night. With just 6000 morale to go, Thaurlach killed Glathliriel, which ends the fight, killing all in seconds. Saddened, we walked away.
The week after, our confidence was rock solid. We almost managed to get him down last time with a crippled group, surely a full group would do it. Our first attempt that night started badly, quickly resulting in a wipe. After some pep talks, in we went again. He had to go down, surely. The first stages went along without trouble, on came Thaurlach. Having worked it all out, we pulled everything we could. Everyone in the group was paying attention, making sure no one would die of some nasty disease or poison. We were not 12 people, we were one collective, one mind with one thought: kill him.
Balrogs, wicked and foul, have the natural ability to strike fear in the hearts of all but the most powerful. A single mind is quickly turned, the collective desire of 12 not so. Roughly 45 minutes after starting this battle, Thaurlach's corpse lay at our feet. Our first victory over the end bosses was fact. Thorog is next.
At the time of writing, Raids'R'Us has about 50 members and a handful still in recruit status. Looking back on 3 months of Raids'R'Us, I can say I'm proud of what we have accomplished.
I would like to thank all members of Raids'R'Us for their dedication and effort. In particular, I want to thank:
- Haleabor for leading us into the depths of Helegrod
- Joerg for filling in all the blanks when I am not around
- Raukothaurondir and Emerald for making us all a bit wiser on defeating Thaurlach
- Silirien for all her work on the small but important details of raiding, and other things..
- Rafe for being the one who talks back in the same twisted way
...and for bringing us all together, and tying us with common goals
Now please... ninja your [Lash Fragment] and train annother Raid Leader!
I think that you deserve credit not only for taking on the leadship but also for the technical side of things...eg the forum, teamspeak etc.
All in all it's a million miles away from the oringal group (who if you remember needed a sub-alliance even to get a raid) and you should be proud.
I've made many good online friends through the group ..... errgg
One point though...you missed Silirien's contribution to fashion....
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