Going into the tier I would say we had an idea of what at least half of the bosses had done from very limited low member PTR testing so we at least knew a somewhat decent amount. Normal modes flashed by like they always do in the first week and we arrived at the second week not as ready for progression as we would have liked. With the outcome of tier 14 we entered tier 15 with severely mixed emotions, on the one hand we had cleared the previous tier (just) but we hadn't had a nice break to relax and relieve stress from an extended period of progression. Whilst Jin'rokh went down without much of a problem it was the next boss that would send shock waves rippling through the guild and would take it to the brink.
We began to tackle Horridon and things just weren't clicking like they should, people were making stupid mistakes and the general atmosphere in the raid group after a short period of wiping became increasingly negative. The boss wasn't that difficult so we looked around and were wondering what was going on as we knew our standards were higher than this. Looking back its frankly quite easy to see that grind on Sha of Fear progression had just really taken it out of people, we had gone from solid progression straight back into solid progression and something needed to be done. We got together as a guild and discussed the problem we decided it was in the best interests of the guild if we just cleared normal modes for several weeks and come back to progression when spirits had been restored.
As a guild we pride ourselves on doing everything on our own terms and taking the best interests of everyone in the raid into the decision making process. We could have continued headbutting Horridon with no enthusiasm and I probably wouldn't be writing this right now but considering the results of the tier, looking back with hindsight it looks like we made the right decision. After three weeks we polled general opinion and we knew that we were ready to get back in there
Things got moving quickly after the break and Horridon finally bit the dust (Every time we would kill a boss in the future the tag line would become "Hey guys remember that time we couldn't kill Horridon.) The break and finally getting that stupid dinosaur down really kickstarted things for us this tier and we went forward reinvigorated and with new purpose. Tortos quickly followed straight after Horridon and from other guilds on the realm we knew that Ji-kun was possibly the easiest boss in the instance so that bird was quickly removed from his nest.
The next reset would result in a flurry of boss kills with Council of Elders going down at the start of the reset followed by Megaera and Iron Qon going down in the same day at the end of the reset, resulting in our world rank dropping from 414 to 177. We were overjoyed despite taking a break as we were beginning to sneak into a decent rank position for the time we invested. The next reset followed a similar pattern with Durumu and Primordius going down in quick succession and we were rapidly making progress through the instance.
We then came up against Dark Animus which presented a different challenge from the previous bosses and required lots of tactical fiddling before we started to make progress. After a few tactical changes and with our holy paladin dusting off his shield and tanking we finally defeated the boss after 194 pulls. The important thing to remember about this though is that its not really a large amount of pulls, for the first day or two on Animus most of your wipes would last about 30 seconds so you would easily chew through a large number of attempts. Our eventual kill was world rank 98 on 10 man and our highest ranking kill of the tier.
After Animus we were onto the final leg of the tier with 2 easy bosses and 1 hard boss remaining (prizes for guessing which was which). Twin Consorts went down fairly quickly and after that we moved onto Lei Shen. After the usual endboss attendance syndrome and missing a weeks progression as a result of this we got Lei Shen down after 140 pulls and we knew at this point the tier was pretty much over as we had a monk tank alt standing by for Ra-den which we knew trivialized the encounter.
With the tier over we were more than overjoyed with where we had ended up because in total we had given up about 4 weeks of progression time due to taking the break and a lost week of Lei Shen progression. We knew if there was a strong wind behind us and we could finally get our heads down and get on with a tier we could really achieve something in Siege of Orgrimmar.