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So my raiding team has had the first fight in Terrace of Endless Spring (TOES, as we call it) on farm for 3 weeks now. The council fight, Protectors of the Endless, features a unique mechanic called “elite” mode. Basically, if you kill the bosses in a harder order, you get better loot. How much better?

ARE MY BOOTS NOT AWESOME

ARE MY BOOTS NOT AWESOME

Normal is 496. Elite starting level is 503. Heroic is 509. Two upgrades on an elite item and it is BETTER THAN HEROIC QUALITY. This is an amazing opportunity for guilds who are behind the gear curve, like our team was. We started the tier quite slowly and with a lot of hiccups. We weren’t showing enough discretion in who we brought, and tried to just let everyone have a try, with the more experienced and geared raiders doing a separate Heart of Fear run. Once we realized that we had more progression in Heart of Fear than in Mogu’shan Vaults, we knew we had to switch things around. We now have training raids for the newer members, and a dedicated progression group…which means we are flying through content, downing at least one new boss every progression night.

But, like I said, we had a slow start, so we’re playing catch-up with gear. And one trick we’ve used is leapfrogging ahead into TOES.

Yes, our server has a lot of raid teams.

Yes, our server has a lot of raid teams.

We downed Garalon last night, but WoWProgress is being stupid and won’t update. Anyways…

As you can see, we downed protectors before we even killed the second boss in Heart of Fear. It’s actually a very simple trick and something I suggest considering if your team is struggling on DPS checks or with gear. Terrace basically won’t let you in if you haven’t cleared HoF yet. The stupidly simple solution is just….clear Heart of Fear.

The thing is, only one member needs to do that. It’s just like switching to heroic modes. As long as the person who has gotten the requisite kill is the first one to enter the raid, the rest of the team will also be able to enter.

For us, we had the fortunate situation of one member in our group being an alt from a hardcore raiding team. They are already on heroic modes and had someone who had to miss a day, so they were happy to bring our rogue (and his ranked DPS – yes, he ranked 113 in the world on our Garalon kill!) along for a HoF farm. Same with our (nearly as DPS-tastic) warrior. So both of them now have a clear of HoF under their belts and we can all progress in Terrace simultaneously with progression through HoF.

Now, I will advise one caveat about this idea – gauge your guild. Some teams might feel offended by a member jumping ship for a week to get a “carry” (although in our DPS’ case, they definitely held their own) to a clear. It might make members feel as if the raid leader has lost confidence in their own ability. Take careful stock of your team and your members before you consider something like this, and decide if it is going to hurt team morale. It is a sort of a gimmicky short-cut, afterall. For many teams, the value of defeating the boss together is more important than advancing in progression – hell, I’d say the same likely will apply to our team for next tier. We just are trying to recover from that initial hold-up at the start of the expansion.

Plus, our raid lead definitely framed it as something to be proud of – we’re basically the only team on our server outside of the top 15 getting kills in TOES. That’s kinda cool, especially for a group that hasn’t started heroic modes yet.

And DO try elite mode. Our first pull, I freaked out, panicking into mumble, “Hey, I think this order isn’t the one the guides suggest…!”

Our raid lead just mumbled “You must be confused321pull!”

After a dozen or so pulls, we downed them (as seen in the video above) – and my eyes immediately widen when I see the loot.

“We did it on ELITE?!” I was stunned. I felt tricked, but also really awesome about the deceit. I felt proud of us – we had not only downed the encounter, but done it far tougher than intended, all unknowingly!

“Did you know this was on ELITE?!” I demanded.

Our raid leader merely chuckled, replying, “Of course.”

“Why?!”

“Because,” he calmly stated, “I knew we could do it.”

Pfffffft. He was right, though – we totally could.

I'm the one on the sandbox horsie >_>

I’m the one on the sandbox horsie >_>

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