One of the things we’ve gotten back into doing is trying to schedule a Retro Raid every Wednesday, for no other reason than fun.

It’s an opportunity for anyone to suggest an old school raid they’d like to do… and I welcome guildies that want to lead a raid to step up and volunteer. We have two raid leaders, Graimerin and the team of Cassie and I (Cassie and I count as one raid leader… you don’t want to know how bad I’d be without her research skills and notes), and Pushpin has volunteered to take some on when he can.. but why prevent other people from having the fun and trying it on?

So you might say Wednesday nights are our Open Mike Night at the Sidhe Devils comedy club.

Case in point, next week we have one of the guild founders, Melpo, stepping up to lead a Blackwing Lair raid for giggles.

But that’s for next week.

Let’s talk about this week.

I put a retro raid up for tonight… a little Mount Hyjal action.

Understand, Cassie and I never set foot in Mount Hyjal before. We also never did Tempest Keep, Black Temple, Sunwell, never cleared Serpentshrine, etc…

We never cared to do most of the other stuff, but what we have heard of Mount Hyjal and Black Temple actually sounded fun. They sounded like epic encounters, laden with lore, majestic stories, sweeping vistas, battles worthy of the sagas.

So what if the loot is of no use to an 80… we always wanted to take a gander and see it for ourselves.

So Cassie and I REALLY wanted to finally step inside Mount Hyjal and see it up close and personal.

Tonight, we entered Mount Hyjal, a guild run of 14 folks.

Of the group, only two of us had ever set foot inside, Algernon and Neehi. They provided some tips on what to expect or what they had done before. For the most part, we all read up on encounters from the Wowwiki entry on the raid instance.

We entered with two designated tanks, four healers, and eight DPS. We expected a pretty strenuous battle.

Only a few people in our group had gear from 25 man Naxxramas, most of us are proudly wearing our phat 10 man Naxx and Heroic loot.

We tore through the place.

The first four bosses were extremely cool. We decided on strats, we cleared trash, we saw awesome vistas, and we kicked boss butt.

It was pretty unexpected. I figured we would certainly get past a few bosses, but since we really had no previous experience as a group in there, I didn’t expect to make much true progress towards clearing it our very first night ever in there.

But we never even came close to having a wipe on the first four bosses. We only had two die from Doom on the fourth boss, and the third one died from Doom after the boss had already toppled.

For Archimonde, the last boss, we took a break for treats, to put children to bed, and to pet cats.

Then, we got serious.

It was at precisely that moment that BOTH of our experienced players had to leave the run, right at the same time.

Now, this caused a teensy weensy bit of consternation amongst the group. What did they know that we didn’t? And could we even 12 man the last boss of the Battle for Mount Hyjal, wearing mostly 10 man gear? That sucka was supposed to be a mighty tough hombre.

Granted, the people we have in the guild are wonderfully skilled, dedicated, pay attention, and care about what they’re doing. That’s all great, but there is still such a thing as a reality check when trying to take 12 comparatively undergeared and totally inexperienced raiders up against the final boss of Mount Hyjal in Tier 6 content, cold.

But I asked all of them to read the Wowwiki strat to themselves, and let me know if they were pretty cool with it.

Awesome folks they are, they said yes, and we all worked out a plan.

We went after him…. there was flame crawling across the ground, bodies flying through the air, marks and explosions and great bloody trees on fire… it was mass hysteria!

We wiped the first time in about .2 seconds.

Apparently, we did not prevent him from reaching the tree the first time, because we didn’t know to, like, do that.

The second time, we pulled him to the side of the mountain… and it sucked because he was all up in the foothills amidst the trees, there was poor line of sight, the fields of fire were obstructed, it was a massive pain to manuever, everywhere you looked the flames were all over the ground on the half of the valley we were trying to stand on. We got him to 24% and wiped.

The third time…. ah, the third time.

We pulled him and tried to hold him in the center of the clearing on the other side of some tree stumps.

And, well….

archimonde-1

archimonde-2

archimonde-3

Not too shabby for a bunch of non-raiders, huh?

This, to me, was more fun than Naxx, to be honest with you. The raid was full of amazing imagery, great encounters, fun mechanics, and good times. It didn’t take that long to do, and while there wasn’t much of value in terms of loot, the experience was awesome.

And yes, that is my Spirit Beast, Moonlight, at level 79, getting a taste of Archimonde.

Turns out he tastes a lot like chicken. Who knew?

We’re gonna do it again in two weeks, and maybe after that, if we get the turn out, hey… maybe Black Temple?

Oh, and while there isn’t MUCH of value, there is still some.

Now that dual specs are live, those of us that play the more relaxed game have toons that could stand some loot for an off spec. Others have toons still leveling. And others have toons that actually CAN use upgrades from there.

Case in point, it turns out that the Tier 6 helm that Cassie won for her Rogue last night, the Slayer’s Helm, is an upgrade over her old helm. And it looks right wicked, to boot.

She also got the Claw of Molten Fury, which she took as an RP piece. It looks dead sexy. Hopefully the off hand version will drop too, some other run. Wouldn’t that be cool?

Seriously, we are still doing other stuff that is current content, we have Naxx Spider and Plague scheduled for tomorrow, and Construct and Military for Saturday.

It’s so nice to see something fresh and new to us, though. Something that doesn’t have the smell of desperate struggles for progression and a confirmation of digital self-worth surrounding it, like Ulduar does at the moment.

Hmmm… will we someday be Sunwell raiders? While the rest of the WoW universe destroys Ulduar on hard mode?

Ahh, how I love the thought.

32 Responses to “Retro Raids… just because!”
  1. Ruune says:

    Sounds like you all had a great time, Wind. I always thought Hyjal sounded right cool and your experience has certainly shown that. Here’s to more great fun raiding with the Devils (and an acknowledgment that working through naxx now will hopefully have less of the painful general chat).

  2. Moondancer says:

    Congratulations to all!

    I didn’t think the Sidhe Devils would have a problem in there. You are a bunch of talented players. I’ve run with a few in-game. It was definitely great to see the achievement appear in Guild Chat. It made me proud of my guildmates. Who knows, in two weeks Deimonia, my Affliction Warlock might be able to join the rest of the guild in Mount Hyjal. Outside of the Northrend raids the rest of the raids are new to me. I didn’t start playing WOW until last year.

    I’m hoping I can make Melpo’s old world raid next week. Since I decided to start on the Kael’thas server fresh I really haven’t been able to run with too many Devils in raids and instances but I enjoy chatting with the Devils in guild chat. Although I haven’t grouped with a lot of the Devils as I level, I’ve enjoyed the experience. The Devils are a bunch of friendly & talented players. Faydre and I have run several lowbie instances together. He makes a great bear tank. It will be nice to run things with the other guildies too. :)

  3. HP says:

    I still need Archimonde for the achievement! I hated him so much in TBC!!!

  4. BlueTiger says:

    My guild have a on-calendar old-school-raid set for Mondays (this monday: Zul’Gurub – the only hickup was with 8 players, some very much Leroy-material when they can get away with it, and me the only healer around….not that they hit that hard but when one warrior and druid is down one path pulling all the tigers and the rest is back still skinning – it get’s kinda sweaty) -we’re hoping to’progress’ into the TBC raids soonish.

    Just gotta report about the Naxx-run last night – we were one healer short so we pugged one and Oh My Effing…. We are a casual guild, we’ve done Naxx every week more for a couple of months, but really only cleared it twice, but we got the strats down and know what to do (except for me, first time healer in there, yikes) but still – that does not mean we want to rush through everything, run run run as fast as we can and that we never ever die on bosses! We got knocked on our butts at Maexna (twice I have to admit, I was not prepared for the on-storm of damage on the MT with the enrage) and for that, the pug-healer Lol’d and left.

    thankfully, we got a priest healer from the guild that just came online and we cleared Maexna and proceeded to make things short with the guys in Construct. I personally blame the Pug-healers attitude (“dudes..just nuke all the time.. I take down Ulduar bosses faster than this”) for the wipes :)

  5. dkoDaKid says:

    Man, how I wish I didn’t work on Wednesday nights!

  6. Seleria says:

    A little off-topic…

    Guildie and I decided to run Kara tonight for Mongoose after I was inspired by your post previously. We decided to improve our chances by going twice–once with my tank and his healer, once with my healer and his tank.

    We are both now proud owners of Mongoose enchant. What’s up with that droprate??

  7. Nighthawque says:

    Oooo Sunwell, can’t wait :)

  8. BBR says:

    Sunwell should certainly be doable.
    It’s slightly harder than ulduar, and will require some more movement and such, but heck. You’re level 80 and will crush the place.

  9. Kaitus says:

    Damn. I’d love to join you guys there, I just have to lvl up that damn hunter now.

  10. Kattrinsaa says:

    BBB if you haven’t poked your nose into uldar yet you should.. just for the pleasure of loading yourself into the basket of one of the machines to let the driver bearapult you. (well, he could catapult you too.. up to you.)

    I’d love to see a video clip of a flying bear.. :-)

    We had similar fun with hyjal, but took 25x 80′s… the cake is not a lie….
    we had enough time left after that to tackle Black temple, (in our 3-4 hour window) and if not for an epic flail disconnect, I would have the acheivement for BT…

  11. kakura says:

    MH and BT are great fun to run your way through. There’s lots of cool stuff that you’d otherwise not get to see in there that is almost trivial with level 80s.

    Sunwell is a different story. Sunwell is still hard, even with a full bevy of level 80s. I’ve done it twice, and both times were quite challenging with quite a few wipes.

    It is, however, an amazing instance to look at. Just getting to see the entrance animation of Kil’jaeden is worth the price of admission.

  12. ARA says:

    Sounds like so much fun. I’m jealous – I have never killed archibaby. I’m glad more people get to see dungeons now – its totally unfair that some of the best designs & content in pve was limited to such a small segment. Go to BT too. Oh… and funny swp story: when we did it at lvl80, I spent about 10 mins going through the Kj strat with people, worried we’d instawipe on phase4 or whatever… Then, it turned out to be more or less pure tank & spank for a couple of minutes. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Yeah I dont advise doing Ulduar unless youre naxx geared: it really is significantly harder than naxx; there’s no point struggling on it unless you’re group is geared up. (having said that it is a beautiful instance too)

  13. Adlib says:

    Hyjal is so awesome! Glad you got to see the Archimonde fight. I’ll bet my guild wiped 250 times on him during TBC before we got him down. The feeling when that bubble appears and you know you’ve got it is the best feeling ever. He’s just an epic and imposing boss that is one of the best fights ever, in my opinion. :)

  14. Rathshag says:

    Ah, a job well done! Big grats ta all them Sidhe Devils.

    Vyprania is really hopings ta get our RL avatar sorted out enough fer ta makes the next run!

  15. Wingscribe says:

    Great post!

    As someone who soloed too much of the game, the concept a retro raid night is just awesome…forget the gear, just getting to experience the content sounds really good to this guy…

    …oh, and there is that little matter about achievements…I guess they matter to some…

  16. bigbearbutt says:

    Thanks for the nice words, everyone.

    I wanted to just drop a note, about why I post stuff like this. It’s not that I think we’re all leet and stuff.

    It’s more that I think that, if 12/14 of us at level 80 can get together, without previous experience, and down Archimonde without significant issues, then I want to post that and encourage other players and guilds that may not be hardcore raiders or pushing progression themselves to get out there and try it and see.

    The point of the game is to have fun, at least it is for me, and the point of this blog has never been about me tooting my own horn, so much as encouraging other people to have fun on their own.

    Kakura is right, there is a ton of great, fun content out there that passed most of us by for many reason… and now, if you have a group that could do a 10 man, you can go back and see some of it firsthand.

    It’s really worth the effort.

  17. Kayeri says:

    Ah, that sounds like just plain fun times… Wish I could make a copy of Kay to bring over just for the fun!

  18. Awlbiste says:

    Aw man that sounds like so much fun. I want go to! I can’t really raid now but back in BC I started Hyjal/BT and never finished but always wanted to. Too bad my guild raids at times that really don’t work for me at all (that and well, other reasons why I don’t raid with them).

  19. Jive says:

    Totally agree with Libby. I wish there would have been ten man versions of Hyjal and BT, that would have been really fun, I think.

    GZ on Hyjal! I think you guys will have a lot of fun in BT. It was my favourite BT instance, and I encourage you guys to really take your time with it and play with all the sounds up and look around fully in each room. It’s so creepy/cool. Especially Teron Gorefiend.

  20. boojah says:

    The older raid are still fun to me. We’ve gone back and done Black Temple, Molten Core, etc. It’s a blast every time.

    The thing is, Uldar is a blast. The first fight is just about the coolest thing in WoW, IMO. Even if you just go to wipe, it’s flippin awesome.

    The bosses after that? Yeah, they are hard, heck, some of the trash pulls are harder than most Naxx bosses. But I love them too, because it feels like back to old world. You can’t just AoE everything mindlessly. We had to set up traps, roots, stuns and kiting… for trash! I enjoy actually having to think things through and everyone work together. It’s really a fun instance.

  21. Symbiode says:

    BBB, if you want to add a little ‘spice’ to your old school raiding experience, Karazhan is completely doable naked with 10 level 80′s.

    Just ran a very fun run last night doing that, had everyone take off all of their gear (rings, trinkets, everything) and gave them all vendor weapons and shields with a level 60 requirement or lower. The rules were to go in naked with your vendor weapon, and equip anything that drops in the instance as upgrades. No outside gear allowed.

    We one-shot everything but Prince and Nightbane, had to do Nightbane after Prince due to some issues but we got him down. Gonna try ZA in two weeks the same way, should be an experience!

  22. Rob says:

    Thanks for the post B3, hopefully this will encourage my guild to try out T6 stuff. We tried BT a few months ago, and did okay, but it was more stressful. I think now that many of us have some sort of raiding experience the guild can handle ‘harder’ raids like BT/MH. MH is pretty…i wont say easy but doable. Archi may even be easier with less people due to the death issue. But yeah, you kinda have to know to get out of the void zones to tackle those higher end raids. We even had some issues in kara due to people not knowing the fights and not cleansing on maiden for example. Which is fine, becasue for many, it was their first encounter (and it took me months to get the hang of shade, so i don’t hold it against anyone).

    We did try AQ40 for mounts a few weeks ago. Twin Emps are still very hard and a raid killer. Its all about strats and having two tanks, two healers, two speced and shadow resist geared locks.

  23. sweet says:

    Hey Bear! Wonderful post. Archi was one hell of a fight back in the day and it really was epic.

    You gotta get in there and at least try some Sunwell now. I remember when clearing the trash in there alone was a huge deal. And Kalecgos is definitely going to be a challenge. Its not even the gear so much as coordinating the phasing. Good luck, and definitely post some Sunwell pics if you ever get around to doing it.

  24. Ryiana says:

    Salute from a fellow drood :)
    I am an officer in a social guild, never more than 4-6 of us on at any time and the usual group activity is crafting gear for each other (woohoo!). We’ve lost some older members’ mains to progressive guilds, but still keep their alts in house and stay in touch. With my GM’s ok, I recently started “Alt’s Night Out”
    We had a BLAST!
    Posted invites, got responses from some folks we haven’t seen in a long time and ran Strath with alts we never play. Fumbles, miscasts and frivolity abounded, rez’s were plentiful and a good time was had by all. Next one will probably be a LOW level night, bust out your bank alts and run Deadmines or something similar. Brought us back to why we love the game.

  25. Darling says:

    I wish I was on your server and in your guild. I desperately want to do stuff like this but everyone I know is so burned out from raiding that they never want to do anything fun OR they are still obsessed with raiding and… never want to do anything fun. Color me green with envy.

  26. Sinnara says:

    Congratulations! I’m a fan of retro raiding as well. My tank got her Hyjal achievement the night before you guys, albeit cheaply. I came in to just the final boss, my friend was in the group and they lost a couple people right before Archimond (imagine that). Anyway, by the time the boss was down to 12% or so there weren’t but about six people left alive, and from 5% on, I watched my friend (a tree druid) heal the MT (a bear) until Archimonde fell and everybody got their achievement. I love seeing an ending that epic. :)

    Anyway, I’m also a member of a guild that’s too small to run 25man content, but near the end of the TBC cycle, I spent a lot of time on my priest with another guild’s weekly 25man runs and got to see a good deal of the BC 25man stuff. I’ll go out on a limb and tell you that if you like Hyjal, you’re gonna love Black Temple. :) Enjoy, and keep up the good work!

  27. Dahc says:

    Do you do this on Kael’thas?

    I would love to go back and do some of the old raids. If you will take non-guildies, let me know (Dahc), and I can melt some faces or heal with my lazers :D

    Oh and grats on Swift Flight Form! You should try and get Anzu. That is the coolest mount in the game in my opinion. I run Seth. Halls every so often with a guildie for that mount.

  28. tarth says:

    ahhh the good old days of Hyjal/bt, i remember wiping all the damn time on archi due to people not understanding how to use tears of the goddess, also having lag issues on crappy computer all through t6 content, o well i was a shadowbolt spamming lock, and loving it!

  29. Adriamarie says:

    So much of what I have read here could be from our guild. We are a good size and love to play the game. Enjoying questing beyond 80, achievements galore and role play events, along with casual fun raiding, we have a good time. This article has provided a nice boost to the idea of BC and Classic raiding. It has been discussed a bit over the last few months and now I hope it shows up on our calendar! Good Hunt!

  30. Xerxes3rd says:

    A couple weeks ago, 6 of us ran through ZG and AQ20 for fun. After breezing through it, I said, “Hey, let’s try BWL, just to see if we can get past Razorgore.” So we did try it, and we did kill him (quite easily, in fact). And then came Vael. Surprisingly enough, one warrior, one feral druid, one resto druid, and three hunters killed Vael. And it was GLORIOUS. The same group went on to clear the dungeon. We had to all go fetch our Onyxia Scale Cloaks (the feral druid had to fetch his rogue for a bit… anyone who’s ever been past Vael knows why), and we had to read up on a few strategies (apparently getting all 5 types of debuffs from Chromaggus permanently mind controls you), but we did it. It was one of the most fun raids I’ve ever been on (even more fun than soloing Garr in MC).

    After reading your post about Hyjal, we’ll definitely go give SSC, TK, and Hyjal a shot if we can muster up a dozen people!

  31. Morgaine says:

    Gah, and I still haven’t had a chance to go back and kill Archie for my achievement. I still suffer horrible nightmares of doing that place back at 70. Oh please run from the fire, little priests. Please don’t silence all the healers by dancing in the hot hot flames.

    On the other hand, retro raids are a lot of fun. My rogue partner and I (disc priest) have been happily two manning as much old content as we can. We’ve cleared Zul’Gurub, Molten Core, AQ20… Last night we did Kara… We had a bunch of fun with the beams on Netherspite, and getting to play half the pieces on the chessboard was great. The entire night I found myself saying things like “Do you remember the first time we did this and someone moved during flame wreath? Do you remember when we wiped on Prince at 1% because I ran into an Infernal by accident?” It was such a blast.

    We also spent a happy couple of hours killing the first few trash packs in AQ40, just so we could ride around on those red Qiraji battle tanks. Unfortunately we couldn’t two man the Prophet, on account of I would get mind controlled and smite my poor rogue for 10k. However, we make a spiffy looking couple with our Red Bugmountthings, even if we have to go to AQ40 to ride them.

  32. Tatko says:

    And yes, that is my Spirit Beast, Moonlight, at level 79, getting a taste of Archimonde.

    Turns out he tastes a lot like chicken. Who knew?

    Yeah, they say human flesh tastes like chicken. What they fail to mention is that this means chicken tastes like human flesh.

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