Sunday evening, one of the guys who regularly runs our guilds' raids posted sign-ups for an exploratory Naxxramas run for this Wednesday. Given the pains of getting into Karazhan, I didn't expect anything out of it, but after Tuesday's impromptu 9-man Sartharion attempt (all three drakes down before the tank had to leave - they're going back this Sunday to finish it, but I have to work), and after all the reports on how easy Naxx is supposed to be, some people were very optimistic.
I have qualms about raiding this early into the expansion, but mostly because when we were raiding five nights a week, if I wasn't working on those nights, I was raiding five nights a week. We're a casual guild - seriously, no one has to raid, you can raid with whatever spec you want as long as there's room for your role (tank/heal/DPS) (although if you don't meet minimum requirements for your role, be it survivability, heal output, or DPS #'s, you may not get to go), and raid progression is not the core purpose of the guild. But it doesn't have to do with the health of the guild - it has to do with my time. If we're raiding, I'm probably raiding. And I still have to finish Zul'Drak, and I haven't touched the Storm Peaks or Icecrown.
(Well, ok, I went to the Storm Peaks specifically to get the Scrapbot, and I've been to the Halls of Lightning twice, but those don't count.)
I keep thinking that I haven't replace much of my gear, but once I started enumerating in my head what I was running with last night - new engineering goggles, Kirin Tor honored shoulders (ugly as they are >.<), a level 78 leatherworking crafted chest my brother sent me when he was skilling up, level 74 BoE bracers of which two dropped my first time through Drak'Tharon Keep, belt from the Violet Hold, pants from Loken in the Halls of Lightning, one ring from a quest in the Borean Tundra, another from a quest in Drak'Tharon, a quest trinket (with an emergency heal!), the halberd from the Ring of Anguish (alternately, the harpoon from the Kalu'ak for raiding, for the hit raiting), and the gun from Loken. That leaves my neck and cloak from Karazhan, my PVP boots, and the other trinket slot, which is most often nowadays occupied Madness or the Mark of Conquest.
I don't get rid of trinkets. This has been running me into some space issues, with the prolificness of trinkets as quest rewards in Wrath, but I decided if it's something I'm not going to use and there are non-trinket reward options, I'm going to take, say, the plate piece to sell. I'm mostly using the Darkmoon Card: Madness for soloing (although, looking at my armory, I apparently wore it through Naxx), since the proc buffs are kind of neat, and the stamina doesn't hurt for soloing, and what else am I going to use? More crit rating? Madness is fun, and the /emote proc is awesome. (This is madness!)
The Mark of Conquest is a level 62 trinket bought in Zangarmarsh for Hellfire PVP marks. I use it for raiding (and usually instances), because the mana it returns is approximately the cost of a Steady Shot. It procs a lot, and if I get pressed into melee, it still procs, but with a health return. On top of that, it has a small AP bonus. It is one of the most useful trinkets I've ever owned - I got it around level 63 or 64 and have used it consistently since. Yes, it's a level 62 trinket. I raid with a mana intensive spec and rotation, though, and I need all the mana return I can get.
As for the actual raiding - we went in last night about 9:30 EST and walked out at midnight with the spider wing cleared. We probably could have gone faster, but halfway through our Anub'rekhan attempts, our main tank got an emergency call from work, and we ended up having to swap out for the paladin tank that had rolled out earlier. Yes, still a few days shy of Wrath being out a month, we had rollouts for our first Naxx attempt. Rollouts for tanks and healers. And here I was worried in the back of my mind about not touching my priest yet.
I had gotten my ass handed to me while we were doing the drakes at Sartharion by one of the phenomenal BM hunters from Daughters of the Horde in terms of the damage meters - on the drake where I put out 1700, she put out 2200. O.O The numbers for me in Recount for the bosses in the spider wing ranged from about 1350-1550. Trash numbers, since Volley hasn't been nerfed yet, hit upwards of 9950 and 11000 on individual AoE pulls, which was very amusing; they pulled my overall average up to something like 1600 for the night.
Anub'rekhan was the most difficult for us - mostly in figuring out how to control the little scarabs and to survive the locust swarm (healers had to learn where to move to not get silenced, and I switched to dropping frost traps to slow the little bugs down so we could grab them better). The Widow we one-shotted, with most of the 15 minutes we spent on her spent explaining how she worked. Maexxna was two-shotted, since we didn't realize at first where she would be throwing webbed people. (I died on our kill attempt - getting webbed at about 8% meant people were a little more interested in killing her than busting me out, plus I got thrown way far away from the rest of the DPS.) Mostly tanky plate and cloth drops.
I have 6 Emblems of Heroism. I still haven't run a heroic. >.>