When Cataclysm launched I set a goal for myself to complete the raid content while it was current. I came very late to the raiding scene in Wrath of the Lich King, and missed a lot of really great content. I did not have the chance to clear Naxxramas or Ulduar while they were relevant, and still haven't made it back there to run them for nostalgia reasons. I didn't want that to happen to me in Cataclysm.
We're getting there. The last couple of weeks have seen very good progress.
Shadowgarde is now 8/12 in current tier content, having downed Ascendant Council for the first time last week. We had a couple of good looks at Cho'gall last week as well, even though they ended with some embarrassingly quick wipes. Only Nefarian & Cho'gall remain in their respective instances; then it's on to Throne of the Four Winds, which we haven't looked at yet.
It's nice to be able to see that the realization of my goal is in sight. There is still a long way to go, and three of the four encounters that we have remaining are the most challenging of the expansion, so, like the Dwarfling, they're not likely to go down quietly. But the end is within reach, and that feels pretty good.
For my part, despite the changes to my life, I have managed to attend my raids and keep my focus well enough, although I have hardly been at the top of my game. Lack of really restful sleep and a hell of a lot of distractions (most due to the relatives that have been visiting us non-stop; welcome to Hotel Fannon) have made things harder on me. I'm still managing to get the job done, but I don't feel like I've been playing with the same level of skill that I was before.
For example, last night on Magmaw and Omnotron (which are admittedly farm bosses for us now) my use of cooldowns was very spotty. Ooops. Nothing earth-shattering or anything and no healing-related wipes, but hardly efficient and I expect better of myself. I did much better once I realized that I was playing lazy and the pulls of Maloriak and Halfus were much better.
Tonight we'll be tackling Atramedes, Chimaeron and Ascendant Council, and hopefully we'll have enough time to get some more attempts on Cho'gall. Time is going to be very tight, however.
As I mentioned previously, our Raid Group has a hard time cap; we're done at 10pm server time, pretty much no matter what. We have managed to squeeze a lot into those 5 hours per week, but we're beginning to run out of time to work on the progression bosses because we're spending all of our time downing the 8 bosses just to get there.
It's a hard choice: Extend the lockout to work on progression or continue to reset so that we can get the gear. As of right now, the gear wins out, since a majority of our raiders still need a significant amount of upgrades. I have yet to see a single piece of Plate Healing gear drop yet, for example, and I know that there are others who have been RNG's bitch as well. The Resto Shaman that we don't have has been making out like a bandit, however. Maybe that's another reason that I decided to level one.
Luckily, there is lots of time. With Blizzard's decision to delay the next tier of raids until patch 4.2, we have at least a couple of months before we move on to another raid.
But the goal for this tier is progressing nicely: 75% of the way home, and still going strong.