Instance Benchmarks – Karazhan in single night

Signups for raids this week have been light. For the weeknight run I had just 10 people available for Karazhan. Thankfully, with the GL tossing heals on his alt-alt-healadin we were able to fill to required Karazhan roles. Running with just 2 healers and a whole lot of strong dps, I presuming it would be a quick clear to Curator.

Starting at 7:15, we were on to the post-Opera clear by 8:30. Curator was down around 9:00 – in a single evocation! That left only 4 bosses (+chess up), so we decided to go ahead and see how far we could get by our normal stop time. At 10:00 we were on our way to Chess, and 20 minutes later had cleared the place entirely.

Our setup was stacked with several of the guild’s top-dps, and we set guild speed records on most bosses. The bigger issue was that I was able to chain pull the trash, with the healers never running low on mana. We even took a few 5 minutes breaks through the run – I actually think we could get a serious “speed run” down to close to 2:30 if we really tried.

Near the end of the run, I was struck by how big a change this was. Sure, there were the early nights where we’d spend three hours to not get past Moroes, but much more recently we’d had ~3 hour runs which only seen us go Attumen -> Curator.

I think the difference is partly that we somewhat outgear the zone (although, we did find homes for about half the drops), but more the pace of play. I didn’t have to explain anything on the bosses. I started to give out assignments on the final trash pull, and was done by the time everyone had buffed up. Never pausing for more than the few seconds it takes to mark the pulls helped as well.

That speed carried over everyone’s play as well. Without ever saying “this is a speed run”, everyone was focused. We didn’t have the “quick afk” or “just a sec” pauses – the constant flow of mobs kept everyone “in the moment”, and that made a huge difference. The run was also a lot of fun.

Months ago, I heard of guilds running Karazhan in about 3 hours, and I couldn’t imagine how they did it. We were still spending 5 or 6 hours a week on runs, and I felt like I was pushing the raid pretty hard. Now, even though we won’t do this type of run every week, I’m thinking that our ‘normal’ (a few Vets, and few Newbies) runs could be sped up quite a bit – something that I’m certainly looking forward to.

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