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Attempting Strat 45

Jennie Lees

I've had the quest for the 45-minute Stratholme run for a while now, but never managed to get a group together until yesterday. Having read about the run I was reluctant to try a pick-up group, so I jumped at the chance to join members of my raid group to rescue poor Ysida from the evil clutches of Baron Rivendare.

Most of my usual Strat runs have been slow-paced, with careful pulling and crowd control, but this Strat 45 was very different. Our group composition was interesting; we had a mage tanking, a druid healing, with a paladin, feral druid and hunter as everything in between. It strikes me that an experienced and versatile group is really a must for the challenge, especially a group used to working together.

As far as strategy went for the run, we had just one mantra; kill everything. Sure enough, everything died, and fast -- thanks to extreme dps and AoE. The recent undead-slaying kit from the Scourge Invasion helped, as did +spell damage potions, innervates and a few mana-boosting potions.

Bearing in mind that this group was full of experienced raiders, several of whom were decked out in epics, it's not too surprising to learn that we were successful. For those interested; yes, we looted most corpses, including bosses, and we had one death. It was the first time for several group members.

The run was a challenge -- doing anything against the clock is always exciting -- and a great experience that I'd love to repeat again at some point. However, I'm more convinced than ever that a pick-up group would have trouble with it.

I've been in some great PuGs, but mostly I've been in bad ones. Inexperience, and lack of familiarity with each other, tend to lead to mistakes in my experience -- people not trusting others to do their jobs, for example, or simply not listening or paying attention. People interfering, or shirking their work; people running off in the wrong direction, distracted by guild chat, making bad pulls and failing to cope.

The better PuGs I've been part of could have handled the Strat 45 run with ease, but sadly the majority would have fallen apart early on. However, for any casual players starting to despair; my small guild could have put together an equally competent party without trouble, and we're by no means hardcore raiders. The most important factor, to me, seems to be how well you know the other players and how well you can think on your feet. The underlying distrust in PuGs undermines this, but I think there is hope with a good group -- if you can find one. Good luck to anyone trying it, it was an exciting experience!

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