“It was an accident, right? You tripped, fell on the floor and accidently stuck your Druid into my raid.”

So, who can guess what movie line I stole THAT from?

Again, as in the last quote in a post I did, it’s one of my favorite movies of all time.

Hmm, okay, one more quote from that movie that might help.

“Head or gut?”

Moving on…

With all the fun surrounding having Blizzard announcements to talk about, I neglected to mention one interesting (to me, anyway) fact.

I raided last week.

Yes, yes I did!

Oh, not ICC or anything impressive like that, although I’ve seen Morrowgar a few times.

But still, I’m talking an actual raid, you know, where it’s not a pug full of strangers in wildly different gear, skill and interest levels.

No, it was a group of people who are friends and know each other, all at an appropriate level of gear, and all (and I mean every single one) who actually tried to play well and showed a lot of skill, going into a place looking for a full clear if they can at all swing it.

We went into Trial of the Crusader 10, and had a wonderful time!

It was very exciting!

No, I’m not expecting YOU to get excited about it. I know most of you who read this probably see ToC 10/25 raiding as being somewhere along the line of dipping your toes in the kiddy pool.

That’s cool. I fully understand. 

For me, the experience had a solid “Burning Crusade” vibe to it.

What I mean by that, is this is a place with bosses and battles that I have long heard stories about, seen people talking about, heard a buzz over in Trade chat. 

Much like in Burning Crusade, when I’d be raiding ten mans and no further, and hearing talk about fishing up the boss in Serpentshrine Caverns, about running back and forth with a Mage tank in Gruul’s Lair, about having to have lots of tanks at various stations in Magtheridon’s Keep.

You hear about the Faction Champions, you hear about the various fights in ToC all the time, and once you finally get in there and see it for yourself, you get to have the reality come into comparison with a place that you imagined, and it makes the whole thing more impressive. More, I don’t know… special.

I’m sure it’s much the same in ICC now, where you see people talk about the Gunship Battle, and rocketpack jumping and all that in chat. You hear that, you get a mental image of it, and then really look forward to experiencing it yourself.

I still remember with great fondness the time I went into Mount Hyjal with Cassie for a retro raid. The recent announcements about Mount Hyjal being an updated raid brought it to mind. 

It was long after Wrath came out and we were OP for it, but it was a place we had heard a ton about when it was meaningful in Burning Crusade, and sounded bloody awesome.

I can tell you, doing Mount Hyjal at level 80 did NOT disappoint. It was still amazingly fun.

Almost as interesting, actually, was finding out that at the time, before all the loot upgrades from content higher than Naxx and before ToC Heroic came out, the Tier helms were actually still very good at 80. Cassie won the Rogue tier helm and wore it for at least a few months.

I went in and ran ToC 10, as I said, and I have to admit I enjoyed it not just because it was all new content to me and really exciting, but also because the group I ran with really did know how to play.

All of them.

Not just 4 or 5 in the group trying their all, and the rest phoning it in because, hey, casuals, so why actually try to learn how to play?

No, everyone worked together, and played their classes well, and as far as I could tell actually used lots of class skills, and not just “hit DPS button, rinse and repeat.”

Even stranger, there were no silly, wierd, or disturbing “What the heck was that” moments. You know what I mean, that moment when someone does something and you just wonder, “What the hell were they thinking?”

You get used to all that in pugs, don’t you? You get used to carrying people. Of seeing someone do something almost unconscionably stupid, something that has nothing to do with not knowing the fight, and has everything to do with being stupid or not caring.

You get used to it when pugging is how you roll, and you have to learn to just shrug and let it go because, hey, it’s a pug.

How much worse if that’s how it is in your guild, because, again, hey, it’s casual raiding with friends, and how do you tell your friend that they, well, frankly they suck? I mean, really, really bad?

You can get so used to it that, if or when you get the chance to run with a group that is, in it’s entirety, well skilled, it’s just like someone taking a heavy weight off your shoulders.  

Yep, it was tons of fun. It was a blast.

Oh, and we cleared the whole place in one night!

Had a couple wipes along the way… and, would you believe it, the group came up with a different strategy each time it happened and succeeded on the next shot?

I could almost get used to this wierd thing I saw.

What the hell do you call it?

Oh, yeah.

Competence.

22 Responses to “It was an accident, right?”
  1. dorgol says:

    ToC10 is good stuff. I especially enjoy healing on Jarraxus and Anub. Sadly, with my PC, Faction Champions is no fun at all (sitting in the corner with 3 FPS… yeah, fun).

    And honestly I think this is one of the strengths of Blizzard’s new raid policy. My PC simply cannot handle ICC25. Can’t. So my raid has moved me to backup and I haven’t ran a ran since mid-December. MONTHS BEHIND, right?

    Even though I’ve been out of the raid scene for 3 months, I know that (when I get a new PC next month( I’ll be able to join a PUG and clear all of ICC10. Even the Lich King (we’ve already had a pug kill of him on my server). So I don’t fret that I’m falling behind. I don’t worry that I’ll miss out on the big finale. Are raids easier? Yes, though they are still more complex than the stuff I ran in Classic WoW.

    This is the strength of the “easier” raids. I didn’t see anything past Kara / ZA / Gruul / Magtheridon in the TBC era. Illidan? I didn’t kill him until nearly year after he was obsolete. I STILL haven’t run Hyjal. But the Lich King? He will die, and it will be at my hand (or at least at the hands of the team I heal).

  2. Klinger says:

    The Last Boyscout, FTW! I love that movie. /sigh

    We need another Bruce Willis – and not the PG13 Die Hard 4 Your PC IS EVAIL! kind….

  3. Naturalregis says:

    I went on a Mount Hyjal run a long time ago… before Ulduar, even. It was moderately disasterous. Especially Archimonde. Fires and flying people everywhere! :) But we eventually got it. It’s definitely an interesting and fun fight. Wouldn’t mind seeing that place again on the mage.
    .-= Naturalregis´s last blog ..Superior Firepower: Arcane Magery =-.

  4. Will says:

    “No, I’m not expecting YOU to get excited about it. I know most of you who read this probably see ToC 10/25 raiding as being somewhere along the line of dipping your toes in the kiddy pool.”

    Actually; and speaking only for myself, of course, I see something like even Trial of the Crusader as a lofty goal, a perch upon which to sit and be proud. Because, you see, for a multitude of reasons, I don’t Raid these days. I can elaborate further if you wish, but for now I’ll just presume you don’t care about the whys of it.

    In the last year, I’ve done precisely two Raids. I did EoE-10 (sort of; another one of those long stories), and Onyxia-10 once each in December. I’ve never so much as seen Ulduar’s loading screen, let alone any of the bosses in there. And so I see those Raids, even the “old” ones like Ulduar or TotC, as big deals. I’ve never told anyone this, but for the longest time, I wouldn’t comment on WoW blogs. There were several reasons for this, but one of them was basically “What will they think of me when they find out I don’t Raid? Will they look down on me, thinking I don’t deserve to play the game?” Since I often see things saying “Oh, suchandsuch was/is easy”, it was easy for me to get into the mindset of assuming people would look down on me for not doing the content.

    It probably doesn’t help that I’ve had some negative experiences with “high-end” Raiders, and that surely has tainted my view of it somewhat.

    So, me? I AM excited for you. Congratulations on getting a good group for it, and for clearing it. :)

  5. Saniel says:

    New content is still new if you haven’t been there before. And there’s nothing more fun than running it with people who are good at what they do, work well together, and are out there doing it because they enjoy it.
    .-= Saniel´s last blog ..The never-ending battle =-.

  6. Vidyala says:

    I love this. And I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t look down my nose on people raiding at any level of progression. Your team just stomped Naxx and downed Kel’Thuzad for the first time? Why the hell not! We had to move “back” a tier several times in our raiding career, because of new teams, people needing gear, experience, whatever. If you went into ToC and that’s new progression for you then kudos to you and not in a patronizing way. There’s PLENTY of time to see all of the content before Cataclysm. It’s people deep into ICC right now who are going to be suffering months down the road when interest drops off. You can only do the same raid so many times.

    The first time I went to ToC I was so freaking out, it was old hat to my guild and I’d never been there. I didn’t want to screw up by getting hit by the beast’s charge, or dying in a fire, or anything. It was exciting! I’m glad you had fun. Nothing beats that feeling of “we did this together” with a competent group of people you can trust.
    .-= Vidyala´s last blog ..Of Tanks and Healers =-.

  7. bigbearbutt says:

    Klinger – Congratulations, madman, you nailed it instantly. As you well know, of course. The Last Boy Scout ftw!

    “Do those pants come with, like, a television?”

    Will, here at least is a blog where you can proudly announce that you don’t raid for whatever reason, or leave the reason alone, because there is a lot more to the game than raid progression.

    I honestly think that the most mature way to play the game is to first seek a group of nice people, responsible people, people who are mature and act in a respectful way, and then play with them in doing whatever the group does as a team, having fun together and sharing experiences.

    That does make the game go wobbly shaped when the guild you’re in or the group you are with has drama, or when you get to know some of the people better and see the warts under the surface makeup, but that’s life. Point me towards any group that doesn’t have people with issues. I’d like to see them, and test them for pods or mind control rays.

    Maybe the best bet is to find a group of people who are all crazy, but are crazy in the same direction as YOU are.

    Solo play is fun, but there are tons of great solo games out there. Dragon Age: Origins keeps getting named, but there are tons.

    The specific draw for why someone plays an MMO should be the multiplayer aspect of it, at least to some extent. Maybe you see it as a way to play strictly with your loved ones/family, or your real life friends. Maybe that means you’ll NEVER see content that requires more than three people.

    That’s good. Because as long as you start with surrounding yourself with good companionship, and as long as you try to be a good companion yourself, then the game will be what it should be; a fun place for shared experiences.

  8. Andy says:

    Will, if you ever get the chance, you should definitely go to Ulduar, it’s a great raid. I actually think it’s harder than ToC, overall, as a lot of the fights have quite complex mechanics (the four Keepers especially, moreso if you do them on hard mode). Plus of course it’s not set all in one big round room – the architecture and general atmosphere of the place is great – similar to HoL and HoS, but on a grander scale.

    I honestly think that the most mature way to play the game is to first seek a group of nice people, responsible people, people who are mature and act in a respectful way, and then play with them in doing whatever the group does as a team, having fun together and sharing experiences.

    That’s exactly why our guild has a “casual raid” thing going on where we do older instances like Ulduar, Naxx or even Sunwell, and then we also have a Friday night “fun raid” – Tempest Keep, Black Temple, Zul’Gurub, basically anything that even a fresh level 80 way over-gears. Often we wipe on these older raids purely cos we’re not anywhere close to min-maxing, just having a laugh.
    .-= Andy´s last blog ..Addon: NeedToKnow =-.

  9. Rob says:

    I’m envious. I did ICC10 with 7 other guildies and two pugs. The pug people were pretty patient with us..the guildies, it just took a while to learn i guess. During marrowgar they would just be running all over the place, all over. Didn’t matter how often I told them “behind marrowgar, in his hitbox”. Its just that after bladestorm they ran around like clueless people. Lady Deathwhisper, i have no idea how that fight works yet. I mean i sort of get it, but i dont REALLY get it. We got her down….somehow…. I think we all died and she somehow fell over dead due to that last dot. It was pretty miraculous. Gunship..Gunship! The easiest boss in wraith, imo. Couldn’t do it. Tanks kept dying left and right. Oh well. We’re doing it again this friday (hopefully).

  10. Sarabian says:

    I’ve been to ICC enough to down the first three once and see the 4th. I recently became the raid leader for our guild’s 3rd 10-man group and, with the gear and experience levels of most of the group, we’re starting out doing Ony10 and ToC10. Know what? It’s fun as hell because we have people that know their characters, play them to the best of their abilities, and …. here’s the real gold lining – they want to have fun.

    That’s what this “game” is all about for me. If I don’t see the top content (and I never do until well past it’s expiration date) I’m happy. I get to play with people that like to have fun. We’ve wiped because we were all laughing so hard the tears blocked our vision. GREAT raid! Wipe in a heroic for the same reason? You betcha! Anyone complain? Oh, no. We laughed about it for days. Would I trade places with someone that clears top end content routinely and always is in the highest level gear? Nope.

  11. Naturalregis says:

    Rob – Yeah, we got hung up on Lady D. We’ve only been there once, so the mechanics seem all crazy to me. Our hopes are to actually figure it out and maybe make it past that this weekend. We’ve finally got Marrowgar sorted out, for the most part. :P
    .-= Naturalregis´s last blog ..Superior Firepower: Arcane Magery =-.

  12. Thomstel says:

    So I read through BBB’s post and read through the comments and one thought kept sticking in my head: “Why can’t I play on a server with awesome people like these folks?”

    And then I thought: “Hey, crazy idea, what if all the intelligent, grounded, wanting-to-have-fun crowd DID play on one server together?” Does anyone else like the thought of having folks like us (want to have “fun” first and foremost with our gaming time) just “take over” a server out there and have a couple nights a week when we all log in and have as great a time as we can?

    In that vein, I have been trying to get a few friends to commit to a Friday-night alt-only all-goblin guild dungeon…thingie…when Cataclysm hits. Something similar to that, but maybe don’t wait 4-5 months to get started :)
    .-= Thomstel´s last blog ..I am GLAD I’m not Tree today =-.

  13. Steevee says:

    The twins fight (next to last) in ToC is one of my favorite fights in this expansion. There is a somewhat similar style fight in ICC (princes) that is a lot of fun as well. To me, there’s no loss in honor by running “old” content. It is a game. We play to have fun. If it is fun… DO IT! :)

    Just a week or two ago, our regular raid leader was AWOL, so I made an executive decision… We were running Kara!! It was a HOOT! We all got on toons that didn’t happen to have the achievements for Kara and we plowed through all the bosses. Everyone had a blast and it was awesome to see the place again. It is still one of the best raids Blizz has put together IMO. The whole place is eye candy.

    As to the whole 10/25 man raiding… I am an officer in a 10 man raiding guild (Skeleton Crew on Thunderhorn). We CHOOSE to be a 10 man raiding guild. Most of us in the guild are fed up with the drama that seems to inherently come along with 25 man raiding guilds. Standards for bigger raiding guilds just seem to slip (in my experience) in order to keep enough active raiders available to raid regularly. By standards I mean that bigger guilds generally end up having at least one or two asshats in the raids, or slackers that refuse to pull their own weight and are just along for free loot.

    So we as a guild finally come to the progression point where we think it would be ok (maybe even fun?) to run ICC 25 once a week. Our solution? Not to grow the guild bigger, which could require that we lower our standards, but to partner with another solid 10 man raiding guild on our server!

    Once a week (Wednesdays) we form a 25 man raid with this other guild. As we are farther along in progression and gear than they are in 10 man ICC, our guild usually runs the raid. We are completely fair in all loot, so the other guild has no objection to this arrangement. We use 1 tank from each guild and our guild usually provides the 3rd tank for fights that require it. Healz and DPS are split evenly with roll-offs for positions when we have too many peeps online.
    So far, this was been a wonderful arrangement! We all have a blast and both guilds get to experience 25 man raids while keeping their own identity as a guild. If not enough people show up, our guild just runs a regular 10 man.

  14. I hate ToC. Very bitter about that instance. It came out a week after my raid group downed mimiron for the first time… and was the last time we set foot in there :( Then got the joy of farming 10 and 25 regular for months! And hey look we could do that AND hardmodes in separate instances.

    We went from what… 12 well designed bosses in a beautiful instance… to 5 meh bosses in a round room. Oh well… at least ICC is fun.

    Give it a month or so and with the buff you should be able to run through it with your guildies Lots of fun fights in ICC. Not as pretty as Ulduar is but still very well designed.
    .-= Whats my main again?´s last blog ..Its been quite the journey =-.

  15. Naturalregis says:

    WMMA – I think the bosses in ToC are a pretty fun design, but to repeat it as often as you may have; it only makes sense that you would get bored with it. And yes, the design isn’t nearly as nice as Ulduar once you got inside.
    .-= Naturalregis´s last blog ..Superior Firepower: Arcane Magery =-.

  16. Kattrinsaa says:

    hmm, uldar, i’ve seen 3 of the bosses in there, the flametank (awesome fight IMO), the slagpot guy, and the metal dragon. That’s as far as Balance went before my whole family thing put me out of commission. Now, I have yet to finish uldar, enter TOC or enter ICC. But.. Naxx and OS I do know..

    Maybe one of these days, i’ll get a pity run of EOE so I can finish off the norther waste title acheivement. (right now, alternating between jenkins, shattered sun, and of darnassus titles)

    I wonder if my hunter will have to give up his corporal title when the ranks come back to battlegrounds..
    .-= Kattrinsaa´s last blog ..Paw N mouth disease =-.

  17. Fangtastic says:

    Glad its working out for you and Cassie in your new home BBB.

    I have a feeling you’ll really enjoy Ulduar if you ever go in there. Lots of interesting lore, fun mechanics to fights and gorgeous scenery. I took a break from WoW and missed out on it for the most part, but what I’ve seen of Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, Ignis, XT and a bit of Freya – I loved. Ulduar and Kara in my mind are the two best raids I’ve set foot in – lore, scenery and polish.

    They feel like a labour of love on the part of the developers.

  18. Will says:

    Reading my comment, I realize that I left out a pretty important part by trying to stay rigidly on-topic. While it’s true that I don’t Raid these days, it isn’t that don’t have fun in the game. I’ve met some really great people on my server. People that I can both play with, or just chat with if we happen to be doing solo activities. I love doing five-mans, and Tanking them now on my Death Knight is giving me a very welcome and fresh perspective on them as I gear up. I’ve even Tanked a couple of Heroics on him now (relatively fresh 80, and I’ve been farming normal Trial of the Champion for gear), and God help me, I think I’m pretty good at it. It’s certainly fun, at least.

    I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a healer who was in the same level range as I was while I was leveling my Death Knight. We get along wonderfully, and being a Tank, and queueing with a Healer, is an absolutely incredible thing when it comes to running Dungeons. And if the new LFD has one drawback, it’s that it makes finding friends on your own server that much more difficult. So I treasure those “right place, right time” moments very much. But I digress.

    Sometimes I miss Raiding; I can’t lie. But it’s nice to have the freedom to log in whenever I feel like it, on whichever character I feel like (even though I only have two at the moment.) I can stay on for four hours or fifteen minutes, or go days without logging in, with no pressure, no obligations. I sometimes miss the camaraderie, but I don’t miss the stress of getting everyone together, making sure everyone has what they need, etc.

    I do feel the occasional pang of jealousy, or feel a bit hurt, when I see an old Guildie with a Raid Drake or Title, and they don’t deign to respond to a /wave, or an ingame letter saying “Congrats”, or even just “Hello”. But the positives outweigh the negatives. You’re so very right. Raiding is but one facet of the gameplay experience, and while it isn’t one that I’m experiencing right now, I have so much fun doing the other things that I am, with the people that I am, that it more than makes up for those occasional moments of “what if”.

    And my old worries have long since been quelled. I’ve never had a single negative response from a blogger or fellow commenter after I’ve left a comment on any topic. It was just my own experiences creating a large generalization of everyone who partakes in that activity. It’s a foolish thing to do, I know, but I’ve grown out of that.

  19. Brummelufs says:

    Congrats.

    Goin into any raid with competent people is always a blast.
    Going PuG in an ICC25 last sunday… we ended up wiping on the Lady Deathwisper for 2 hrs since people couldnt focus for 30 secs.
    Took our regular ICC10-group an pulled down 8 bosses in 2 hrs…

    The rest, but LK, will go down come monday ;) So keep it up mate.. you’ll get there if you can keep yer grp together.

  20. For the Pie says:

    Be prepared, that’s my motto…

    And watch out for Satan Claus…

    Once again Websense is fail. Can read but not comment on my favorite blogs during the day.
    .-= For the Pie´s last blog ..Im in your blog, reviewing your headset…among other things =-.

  21. bpmonk says:

    Good to know it’s not just me!!

    My guild was only ever setup as a casual self help group, but we’ve now got enough lvl 80′s with enough decent gear so decided to start pulling together for the Weekly Raid Quests – Anyone in the guild just creates a diary entry for a time that works form them and most of the crew make an effort to be there.
    We did the big dragon in Wyrmrest the other week – the 1st time there for most of us but we’d all read up on the strategy guides so had an idea what we were letting ourselves in for. Unfortunately we only had 7 players on, so had to PuG for another healer and a couple of DPS….

    Well, I sat my big hairy butt infront of the dragon (having cleared the 3 smaller dragons 1st) and we went to work in a concerted effort. We cleared the boss without a wipe, and while all quite proud of ourselves had to laugh at the PuG Shammy Healer who’d joined us (and not died once) with his leaving retort “Fail tanking”

    So it was a significant improvement on my previous raids (which had all been mainly PuGs) and very pleasant – we will be doing this again and following some of the comments here visiting some of the older content that we never saw as we all levelled.

    Power to the Guild!!

  22. Nimizar says:

    Yeah, the new raid structure in Wrath worked out great for our guild, and for me personally. Since I play a fair bit less these days (almost solely on weekends and when I have time off), I’m no longer part of my guild’s regular raiding group.

    However, despite missing most of Ulduar and all of ToC, I’m still able to sub in on guild ICC runs if they need a DPS slot filled and do a respectable job. I was actually part of our guild first kills for Marrowgar, Deathwhisper and the Gunship battle. I was even able to sub in to raids and see several of the bosses in Ulduar, albeit in a very strange order (I think it went something like: Mimiron, Hodir, Freya, Ignis, Kologarn, Flame Leviathan, Razorscale, XT, and I’ve yet to do Iron Council, Auriaya, Thorim, Vezax or Yogg-Saron).

    @Thomstel: I think part of your problem with an idea like that is many of the people you’ll see posting here and elsewhere already have their game time allocated to their current guilds and activities, and aren’t all that interested in starting up anything new that would take away from that. Then again, as BBB points out, sometimes otherwise sensible guilds do implode for a whole host of reasons, so it isn’t a silly question to ask. Best of luck with it :)

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