I've previously posted about how my guild stopped raiding. About a month ago, I organised a roll call on the forums to see who was still interested in operations, but sadly the result of this was that even if every single person who expressed an interest were to show up on the same night, we still wouldn't be able to field a full team. This put me in a difficult position. I really want to raid again, but I'm not particularly fond of organising things. On the other hand however, I've also had too many bad experiences with guildies in WoW who abandoned ship for progression, and officers who quit without even trying to make things better when the guild was down in the dumps. I'm not a proper officer in BoR, but I'm something. (For a while my guild rank was "Bank Alt" and we joked that I was the guild leader's PA.) I had to at least try to get something going.
So I organised a guild event for this Thursday, well in advance to give people plenty of time to sign up, and with a detailed plan for alternative activities depending on how many people actually showed up. As we did achieve the maximum turnout of six, I decided that we were going to brave Terror from Beyond story mode.
Getting an extra damage dealer wasn't a problem, but finding a second healer was hard. It doesn't help that I rarely meet any healers in my flashpoint pugs because usually I'm the healer. I spammed general chat with "LF1M" for about fifteen minutes but to no avail. Eventually some of my guildies joined in to help as well. That was when my boyfriend suggested that we should offer cookies, because that was supposedly a sure-fire way to get responses. "We have cookies!" two guildies exclaimed in general at the same time... and instantly we had not one, but two applications. Who'd have thought it?
It took us a while to get going, but once we did, things went quite well. The guildies were clowning around on Mumble, and both of our puggers were competent and sociable. I didn't even feel the need to set master loot. As a bonus, our pugged damage dealer already knew the place and soon turned into our de facto raid leader by sharing key information with us whenever necessary. I was very glad about that as it took some of the burden of leadership off my shoulders and allowed me to actually enjoy myself while playing, after I had started the evening feeling somewhat tense about having to be the responsible one all night.
As for the operation itself, my first impression was that it's extremely atmospheric. It was great to finally meet the Gree, and they look about as strange as you'd expect. When you enter the operation itself, you get dumped in this sort of swampy area, with buildings that look very technologically advanced but also decrepit. Ugly little aliens bursting out of the ground unexpectedly only add to the eerie atmosphere. Then, as you advance further in towards the parts where the Gree technology is still intact but malfunctioning, the area takes on a very distinct Tron feel. One has to hand it to Bioware's operation designers: they know how to infuse a place with flavour.
As for the fights, the people who had told me that Terror from Beyond was a return to easier story modes were not wrong. We downed the first two bosses on our second attempt each, and even then it felt like we could have done it on the first try if we hadn't derped around so much (i.e. we initially started the Dread Guard fight with two people locked out, d'oh). The third boss took us a couple more attempts, but again it felt like this was more due to us being klutzy rather than anything else. Unfortunately we didn't get any further than that for the night, as getting the group together and various AFKs and disconnects had taken up a lot of time. But it was good to raid again.
I just wish I had a better idea of what lies ahead.