Last night we did an Ulduar 25 man run for some transmog gear for our DK tank (and of course, I got 3/4 of a set that I wanted, so I’ll have to go back to finish my own set too). It made me remember just how much I really loved that instance.
For all the things people hated about it – it’s long, some of the fights were really obnoxious, we were working on it for a long time because of how many bosses there were, the legendary caused drama – I still can’t help but really like going back into Ulduar.
I have good memories of that raid. Memories of having a naked fist-fight with Zalbuu to determine which of us got Val’anyr first (I won the fight, but we decided to /roll because paladins are much better at punching things than priests, and he won the roll. I’m fine with that). Memories of fighting Yogg-Saron, of doing the hardmode fights (Firefighter can still fuck off and die, as far as I’m concerned). Our raid was strong, and we had a good group of personalities, and we were clearing the content even on a casual schedule.
In some ways, going back to Ulduar makes me miss 25 man raiding. I don’t miss the clusterfuck that it was to manage the roster and the subs, but I miss getting together with 24 of my closest friends and doing something that felt epic. Naxx and Ulduar and ICC all felt epic. I’ve not felt that way in awhile.
I’m hoping I’ll start to feel that way about the Pandaria instances. I’ve done very few of the heroics, and it’s all been lightning fast gearing runs. We did clear the first boss in Mogu’shan Vaults this week, and that was definitely a challenging fight to perfect the execution on. (We’d have killed the second boss but our raid leader’s afternoon got interrupted by a Basset Hound. For real. Had to quit early.) Even though we got off to a rocky start (2 last minute cancels or no-shows in a 10 man raid is pretty steep), I had a good time. I’m also terrible, but I think some of that is relearning positioning. I got better as the raid progressed, and I’m sure I’ll do better next week.
I want to feel like I’m part of something epic again like that. Even going back with 7 people and clearing Ulduar, you could feel the power of the instance design (and some of the boss fights will still gib you if you’re not careful!). Yogg Saron is still an epic fight, even if it’s not exactly hard anymore.
I’m not sure I can quantify Epic, as a design element, but Ulduar has it. (as did Ahn’Qiraj, Naxxramas, Karazhan, Blackwing Lair, and Icecrown).
I’m holding on to the hope that I’ll connect to Pandaria that way. I’ve enjoyed the questing content quite a lot; I hope the raids can have the same “wow factor” that some of my fond memories have.
And if not, I still need shoulders and gloves from Ulduar, plus a full set of hunter Transmog gear from ICC, so I’ve got some chances to go back and enjoy those places again, with good friends and less stress than the first go through.
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