Monday, June 23, 2008

The Second Kill Curse

My guild is awesome. Granted that is my opinion, but it's still true. Although my guild is awesome, we do not excel at all things. We talk about pancakes too much. We place too much emphasis on boobs. Our guild chat occasionally drifts into the land of all things BSG. These things make us who we are, even if they don't necessarily add to our awesome factor.

We also suffer from the Second Kill Curse. For as long as I have been in my guild--actually longer as I raided with them as part of a raiding alliance before I joined--the second kill of a boss has usually been more difficult for us than the first. We often manage to kill a boss soon after we set our sights on it. Somehow everything comes together quickly--the right people, the right strategy, the right execution. We walk away thinking "That's it? That was too easy." Many times, we find out on our next attempts that we were right. It was too easy. We end up spending a night wiping repeatedly for various reasons. Maybe we don't have the same group of people. Maybe we get unlucky with the randomness of the mechanics. Whatever the cause, our struggles to win the second time are magnified by the fact that it seemed so easy before. The Second Kill Curse.

Reliquary of Souls was my most recent experience with the Curse. We stepped into the gauntlet for the first time during one of our regularly scheduled Monday raids. We'd read up on the strat and intended to be there the week before, but last minute cancellations had sent us to Mount Hyjal instead. On that particular night we didn't kill the three headed monster in one try, but we did walk away victorious before the end of our allotted raiding time. And it seemed simple. Nothing to it. Evasion tank. Interrupt. Kill. It was easy...that night. The next week we spent a full night and a half on the fight--continuously wiping. We didn't have the same people, in fact I was playing my rogue so interrupts weren't perfect. We kept pulling aggro off the tank in Phase 3, subjecting everyone to Seethe. Our healers couldn't keep up with the damage. Although we tried to keep from pointing fingers, everyone was secretly blaming everyone else. Why was this so hard?

Exactly a week after our first "easy-peasy" kill, we downed him for the second time just as everyone was about to give up. Don't get me wrong, that's not always the case. There are times when we read up on a fight, give it a couple of tries and experience the "Ah Ha!" moment where everything suddenly makes sense to even our slower players. The hardship on those fights is found in the struggle to down the boss the first time. The second kill will be easy because we can explain the one thing that makes the fight beatable.

But for the fights that don't have an "Ah Ha!" moment, we are often left with a second kill that makes us scream at the computer (hopefully not while hitting the push-to-talk button). I don't know how to break the Curse. I just know it's real.

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