This is my Rose-Coloured Glasses Post on Raiding.
Dear Blizzard – I am ready for Mists of Pandaria now. Really seriously ready.
Now, I will be honest: I have not done many Heroic Modes in Cataclysm, and I feel absolutely no desire to. Tweaked confrontations that double a bosses health and increase the damage output and number of adds to be managed are not my idea of fun, and if that makes me a Raiding heretic, then so be it. I’ll be honest: Cataclysm, while fun, did not tweak my dials nearly as much as Wrath of the Lich King did.
Let me clarify that last statement: The Raid encounters in Cataclysm did not tweak my dials as much as Wrath of the Lich King did. The questing options and different zones? FABOO! The Raids and new Instances? Not so much. I miss those Lich King Raids, tbh. When Ulduar really did take a week to get through, and so did ICC. I dunno. I guess THIS IS MY ROSE-COLORED GLASSES POST!
Having IceCrown Citadel open one wing at a time was really exciting, and the patches that added the different Raid content was, as far as I’m concerned, perfectly timed for a Raider like myself. I’m not hard core, not going 6 nights a week, 4 hours a pop. I Raid with people I have gamed with for, quite literally, years and we all get along and know what we are doing. For being a non-hardcore Raider it was perfect timing that my old Guild dropped The Lich King shortly before Cataclysm came out. It meant that we did not spend a lot of time between getting our titles and the next round of fun stuff to do.
With Wrath of the Lich King dropping when it did, I rushed to 80, ramming myself through Heroics to get geared enough for the first Raid of that expansion, Naxxramas. Toting 187 blues and running into that place was pure awesome. I had a pure DPS class toon, a Hunter (Ponfarr – Mug’thol (US)), and getting those 200s was AWESOME. By the time we had downed Kel’thuzad and everyone had 200s, Flagrant, my Guild at the time, was ready to roll on the new Raid: Ulduar. OMFG ULDUAR!
Ulduar was, to me and a few of my Guildies, the BEST Raid we had ever seen Blizzard put together. Vehicle combat, tiered difficulty, hard-modes that were unlockable and optional mid-Raid, a whole bunch of different areas to explore and what we all felt was a good Raid. Sadly, 200s weren’t enough in Ulduar, we needed to get 213s and 226s to properly roll through that place. Ponfarr was as geared as he could be and was pushing 2,500 DPS in some fights in a mish-mash of 200s and 213s and that was AWESOME as far as most of us were concerned. Sadly, after beating our heads against the wall on Ignis for 6-10 weeks, Flagrant started to break up when some members went to play “Aion” (remember that supposed WoW-killer?) leaving the rest of us to find new Guilds. We did, and I started to level another toon to fill the new Guild’s need. Enter Dreddnought. Dreddnought got to see more Raid content than Ponfarr in short order. The Guild needed a tank, therefore they got one. Ulduar had a couple hard modes I really enjoyed, like XT-002 and Mimiron, and the sheer chaos that was Flame Leviathan, not to mention the sheer madness that was Freya and Thorim. Good times, man, good times. Especially the music that some folks like Vedrim and Mr. Voletron came out with on YouTube (techno remixes of Ignis, Mimiron, XT and Algalon) provided an awesome soundtrack when Raiding in there, and I STILL love going back.
Once at 80, Dreddnought (Mug’thol (US)) joined Ellevehc (Mug’thol (US)) at the front, tanking. I PvP’d with Tamiwi (Mug’thol (US)) in 2s as Resto, but his Primary Spec was Feral (Bear), and as a Warrior/Bear combo we were soon leading Raids with a new Guild, Infinite Destruction (Mug’thol (US)). We rampaged through Ulduar and just when we were getting really tired of it, Trial of the Crusader dropped. Trial of the Crusader was a whole other kettle of fish. Man…gimmicky as Hell, not as well planned, I felt, as Ulduar, but still fun for the responsibilities it placed on DPS, the PvP fight and just the mobility I got to use as Off-Tank.
Enter ICC. The Citadel. Imposing as all get out, massive, dark, foreboding, and just constant chatter from the NPCs in the background. That instance spawned a couple really good mixes from some songmakers on YouTube (Bound By Bone and a couple others that I always wanted to play whenever I was in there). That the different wings of the instance opened gradually, in a tiered fashion was good. While you still had to grind out the first wing every time, being able to choose between Putricide, Syndragosa and Lana’thel added a bit of variety, and dammit, LootShip was just fun as all get out when the graphics still put the rockets on Dreddnought’s butt. It was there that Dreddnought really came into his own, topping out at 65K HP in 251s and 264s. Coordination was key, requiring constant target switching and movement, and we were all on our toes for Defile and Valks. More good times. Still not as fun as Ulduar, but closer, I felt, than TOC had been.
Where was this going? I have no idea. I guess it’s just ramblings on past Raids. I dunno, rose-colored glasses, definitely, I think, but Ulduar…I still get shivers. :-)