March 19, 2012 – 7:42 am
A friend of mine had a GTalk status that brought me in mind of Sindragosa. While I can’t say I particularly LIKED that fight (any fight where the difficulty is created by making your players unable to play their class half the time is one that I’m going to get VERY annoyed with as a healer), it got me thinking about Icecrown.
In some ways, I feel a little silly – a little like the old granny raider, talking about how things were in my day. But then, Icecrown was really only two years ago, even if it seems quite a bit longer.
For me, what makes a dungeon epic is its ability to suck you in – immersiveness, if you will. The places I remember as feeling truly epic to be part of were all places that were their own worlds – Blackwing Lair, Karazhan, Black Temple, Naxxramas, Ulduar, Icecrown all were like that for me. Thinking back, those were all the “long” dungeons, the ones with lots of bosses and lots of things to see and do. Each had areas that were creepy, and little touches that made them consistent within themselves. They seemed “loved”, as though the developers really got to dig into what they were making. I’m reminded of all the alchemical horrors in BWL, the music in Karazhan (and all the scenery), the screams of Thaddeus’ victims in Naxxramas, the build up to killing friggin ARTHAS (and attempting to save Bolvar).
The dungeons I remember as epic didn’t have to be “hard” (25 man Naxxramas was certainly not particularly difficult), but they all felt like their own consistent zones. And there was a certain, sort of unquantifiable feeling of “Wow, I can’t believe I’m part of this” in each of them.
There was something lost in Cataclysm though, and I don’t wonder if it didn’t go with the larger raid groups. TRI didn’t sustain as a 25 man raid, splintering into three-ish 10 mans, two of which are still going. The core raid leadership wasn’t able to continue with the level of cat herding it was taking to keep people around, and that’s just how the cookie crumbles. (I was one of those people who couldn’t hack continuing to herd cats. Life happens.)
But our 10 man group, as fun as it was, really only tugged at half of the strings that keep me interested in a raid. We were having lots of fun hanging out and killing bosses, but between raiding with a character I didn’t RP with and the general lack of RP connection to anything in Cataclysm, I just never got those moments of epic.
That’s not to say that some of the fights weren’t interesting and fun. The Atramedes fight was really cool. Beth’tilac and Alysrazor were similarly memorable. But thinking back, even the Nefarian fight just didn’t have the same kick (probably partially because he was a recycled boss).
I’ve only experienced the Deathwing fight in RaidFinder, and I honestly think that made it lose some of the edge it could have had. Going on a raidfinder run doesn’t allow anyone to absorb anything about the actual instance – it’s the equivalent of speed running a heroic. You never really see what’s going on, you just pull bosses and roll on loot and try to ignore raid chat.
As an aside, I never did get to run Culling of Stratholme as an RP run, and I think I lost out on that. It’s too late now, with Arthas long dead, but from an RP standpoint, I think it would’ve been worth my time to make sure Aely experienced that.
Somewhere this is all connecting together in my head with the changes to raiding that made a 25 man a much more heroic endeavor to field every week. Maybe 10 man raids don’t ACTUALLY move faster, but it’s certainly seemed that way. I’m no huge fan of large swaths of downtime either, don’t get me wrong. But there was something about needing a large team of people, of having to coordinate those people, and of truly working things out as a team that appeals to me and, I think, increases the “epic” factor. *
And to bring all this back to Sindragosa, there are not any bosses from Cataclysm whose voice acting I remember. I can quote bosses from Molten Core and BWL, from Karazhan and Naxxramas, from Ulduar and Icecrown. (Suffer, mortals…) But if you asked me to quote any of the Cataclysm raid bosses, I’m honestly not sure if I could.
Maybe I’m just not paying enough attention. But maybe my attention just hasn’t been demanded as much.
*As I was writing this, I was reminded of this video – listening to the symphony of raid buffs brings back some really good memories.
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March 7, 2012 – 7:32 pm
Just a heads up that I’ve recently started a new job, and it’s going to take some settling out before I figure out exactly what my gaming time is going to be. (And relatedly what my blogging time will be)
Right now I’m working 9 hour shifts, with a one hour commute each way (plus traffic), so while the job is definitely a big step up from what I’d previously been doing (retail), it’s also a big step down in available gaming time. Especially when you consider my preferred 9 hour shift is 6:30am to 3:30pm, so as to avoid as much traffic as possible. And still occasionally see daylight. *
Anyway – I’m doing a lot of drive, work, drive, cook, eat, clean up, sleep sort of days. I’ve logged on to WoW a few times, but it seems that Mass Effect 3 has sort of taken my community by storm, so there’s been little going on. (Also, my raid has ceased to be. More on that another time; for now, all I have to say is /sadface.)
It’s hard to do much when you only have an hour, so I guess I’m going the route of the super-casual for awhile, both in game and on the blog.
*Basically, I get up at the ass-crack of dawn, and I go to bed at little old lady hours.
February 27, 2012 – 8:18 am
So my recent fascination in WoW is fishing. I don’t know either, usually fishing makes me a little cross-eyed with tedium. But I’m having tons of fun with it. So far I’ve discovered that I can make a good bit of money with it as well.
In the last two weeks I’ve gotten both Aely and Angoleth’s fishing to 525, mostly in Deepholm and Twilight Highlands. The fish that are selling best for me are Lavascale Catfish, Albino Cavefish, and Deepsea Sagefish. While most of my catfish catches have gone to various raid-cooks for creating Seafood Magnifique, the cavefish and sagefish are just straight up auction house fodder. Fortunately, cavefish and sagefish are both fishable in schools as well, so you don’t have to meet the 550+ effective skill level required to not catch junk in Deepholm, for example, to still make a good chunk of money, as long as you’re willing to fly around looking for cavefish pools.
My next fishing project is Annorah, whose skill is only about 315, so she’s going to be catching Deviate Fish until she’s got the skill level to fish in Cataclysm zones. She’s got the cooking recipe already, and though it can take a little time to sell them, they do eventually move on the AH.
It’s a fun little diversion from leveling, which is pretty tedious the 4th and 5th time you have to go through Hyjal/Deepholm. Still definitely want Annalira and Annie Mae to be at 85 by the time Mists hits, and possibly Annata as well, but my inspiration for leveling waxes and wanes, and this has been a lot of fun for the last little bit.
Besides, Angoleth the Angler has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
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February 24, 2012 – 11:18 am
What do Fragments of Val’anyr, Festergut and Rotface’s Acidic Blood, and Eternal Embers all have in common?
I have all of them in my bank.
It seems, you see, that I am fated to be the legendary bridesmaid.
I’m the *second* person in a raid in line to get a legendary weapon. Which, with my raids, means the person who has an assortment of legendary bits and bobs, but no actual weapons. I’m not really too put out about it, since in each instance we either only barely crafted one (Val’anyr) or didn’t actually ever finish them anyway (Shadowmourne and Dragonwrath), but it’s still an odd collection to have hanging around.
At least I managed to get a Rhok’delar! (Which, by the way, I’m super glad ISN’T actually Legendary, because then I can transmog it over my other stuff!) I was second in line to get that one too (or maybe third?), but it required more work on my part than it required the work of a whole raid to gather drops.
I don’t know if I agree completely with BoK that Legendaries cause more trouble than they’re worth, but I know a number of people who hold that view. Maybe part of that is the raids I’ve been part of haven’t had the loot drama issues that seem to come up a lot elsewhere: Zalbuu and I determined who would get the first Val’anyr by having a naked fistfight on the steps of Ulduar, for example, and we only have one rogue in my 10 man raid.
I like the idea of Legendary weapons though – things that are rare and really special to get. I also really like the lore that usually surrounds them – the quest chains are pretty epic. But sometimes I wonder if the Quel’delar model (or Rhok’delar/Benediction) isn’t more sustainable in the long run, and less likely to promote drama. While they do still require luck and/or a raid to get started, they’re largely a solo effort to complete, and they’re not SO epic that you can’t end up with more than one in a raid (Dragonwrath aside). As well, they’re usually replaced more quickly, so there’s less hurt feelings if someone doesn’t get one.
On the other hand, there’s something really special about having one of the original Legendaries. Very few people have the Twin Blades of Azzinoth, and it’s definitely a mark of pride and achievement to have them.
I guess I’m on the fence about Legendaries. I mean – I’ve kept all the various bits of them instead of trashing them, so obviously they hold SOME value. But I really do treasure that Rhok’delar too.