Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Day 04 – Your best WoW memory

And so on the fourth day we approach one of the ever classic topics, your favorite memory.
This is, truth to be told, not an entirely easy task for a game you’ve played for more than six years. For the very same reason, I'm going to list a few minor ones.

”Oh yeah, let's stomp some Murlocs, that sounds like fun!”
Murlocs are always fun, but a lot of people have painful memories of their first encounter with these fiendish denizens of Azeroth's depths. Including me. Meaning I'm still haunted by the mrruuglglglglgf-sound in my very dreams.

To the outsiders, however, my initial experience with the gits might seem pretty ”likely should've been there”. It mostly involved how I played with four real life friends back in vanilla, and often level together as a group. To be honest, this is truly the force of MMO's.
We were out taking a stroll in Westfall, only in our mere sweet 16's and our current quest was the treasure map of Captain Sanders (Thank you, Blizz, I really love this quest, even now that you've shattered one of my favorite zones). As we padded along the beach, I suddenly remarked to my warrior-friend ”Oh, we should totally tackle that bunch of murlocs!” (hinting at the massive encampment of around nine of them next to us). Before any of us had a chance to intervene, the warrior basically went ”RIGHT! MURLOC STEW COMING UP!!!1111” and charged right into them.

It was a basic wipe, which in itself is not particularly funny to non-masochists. What really made it worthwhile, though, was how everyone was screaming and smashing their keyboards to get away from the horde of murlocs ascending from the beach. With people yelling at the top of their lungs, screaming ”YOU FOOL!” ”MORONS!!” and the like, the warrior angrily hurled insults back ”YOU SAID WE COULD TAKE THEM U FAGGS!!”
So, yeah, I'm still laughing at the scene. All it needed was Benny Hill-music.

”At least the dog still loves me”
Let's have another one like this.
Back in Burning Crusade I was part of a really good and ambitious raid guild for some time, easily clearing our way to Sunwell before falling apart. Our combined raid-guild-dkp-officer-main-tank-warrior (who surprisingly burned out later on) was on the top of his game, but once things went bad he'd often take the blame solely upon himself. Initially everyone would try to calm him down or assure him that we were all noobish amateurs, etc. But in the end people likely had enough and just started rolling with it, often joining in and blaming him for some of the largest disasters in the history of mankind, now that we'd started it anyway.

One particular night on A'lar, things likely got a bit out of hands. People had a great time bashing the poor soul for his mistakes, which suddenly resulted in a very meek and sad raid leader who on vent said ”...At least my dog still loves me...”
Again, nothing in this statement is particularly funny, but once put into context, and half the raid typing ”................” in raid-chat, things really went up to speed. I'm not going to elaborate, but some of those suggestions as to what our raid leader actually did with that dog were varying from downright lame to sick. I have no idea how this stupid dog became the running joke for about a week on vent, but god damn, every time the love-relationship between it and our guild leader came up, laughter was ensured from everyone.

”The Burning Crusade”
It's impossible to be more specific. But I loved TBC so much that I'd marry it. Everything about this expansion was pure genius (well, just about everything...*looks at the attunement quests*). The zones were good, the raids and instances seemed imaginative and the whole concept of a fantastic world as Outland was handled so well.

I loathe Wrath for being nothing but emo and dead snow, and whereas Shadowmoon Valley was just as horrible, zones such as Zangmarash, Nagrand and Netherstorm are honestly the best in Blizzard History, if you ask me. The leveling process (which is sadly way too fast now, if you want to encounter all of Outland while leveling) was noticeable back then but who cared? They were often fun, the new factions made it all worth it and some of them even meant something in the long run as well.

I stopped right before Sunwell in TBC. Never saw it, didn't really mind. Everything up to that had been good, I truly enjoyed SSC and even though Mt. Hyjal could easily have been a bit more imaginative, it felt interesting.
There were issues, of course. Karazhan suffered, in my eyes, for the odd requirements to a 10-man raid. With some setups, it could be really, REALLY hard to beat some encounters. Heroics were great, but some of them came with a frustratingly steep learning curve. I don't want to sound like an entitled casual, because we did complete them all and worked hard to do so. But at times it wouldn't have hurt to have done it a tiny bit faster.

And finally, the grand memory to rule them all:

The downing of Kael'thas Sunstrider

Yes.
My feelings towards this guy are ambivalent at best. I absolutely thought he was the most bad ass character in the Warcraft 3 TFT-expansion. Kael just seemed likeable.
But in WoW he returns as a major douchebag, more specifically he's a boss in Tempest Keep, the old TBC-raid instance.

For those of you who haven't done this fight, you really owe it to yourself to try it out. Even at 85.
There is so much going on here (bear in mind I haven't really tried any raid in Cata, so I'm not out to compare) and with 25 people it's easily fucked majorly up. In a nutshell, you have to defeat his four advicers one by one, before he summons an army of (really hurtful) weapons that must be AOE'd down quickly. Everyone in the raid then immediately needs to pick one up, according to their class, and perform certain duties with it. In the meantime, however, he resurrects his four advisers all at once, and you have to deal with them quickly, before Kael himself engages in the fight.
Once he does, he has several mechanisms. Tanks need to use the special shield to safeguard against his insta-gibbing pyroblasts, dpsers need to lower his shield so they can interrupt his second cast, rogues need to stab mind controlled people with the legendary daggers, casters need to active the buff from the staff, otherwise he will disorient everyone, and so on.

In addition he also summons flamestrikes that will slay moronic mages not moving away from it. And phoenixes. They hurt for a lot of fire damage, and when they die, they spawn an egg that must be burned down as soon as possible, otherwise the phoenix resurrects. Of course, he keeps summoning so you're easily overwhelmed.

When brought sufficiently down, he'll tear apart Tempest Keep and launch everyone into the air, in which you have to swim around to avoid being zapped by others. Getting too close to the ground is bad as well.

So finally, the rest of the fight becomes a bit basic, alternating between gravity launches and blasting Kael.

We spent roughly a month on this fuck. It might sound like a really long time, but the problem was we usually had 1/3 of the raid replaced by new people (since we were a reasonably big guild) who had to be trained up. And it was so annoyingly frustrating.
BUT!
The night we got him, was the best in my entire life of WoW
I still have it on kill-video, I survived all to the end and we got him. I clearly remember our raid leader (with his dog,likely) crying on Vent and how we went to Ironforge to celebrate for half an hour. My entire body was full of adrenaline, I was god damn psyched! I'd been on the edge of my chair, oblivious about the outside world for so long and it finally happened. Everyone was tired then. And fed up with this encounter. And we deserved all the glory we could get.

I don't think I'll ever have such a feeling again.

Stay tuned for the next update!

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