22 March 2011

Glory of the Outdated Material

Last week I shared how I'm struggling to get into the content of the Cataclysm expansion. Part of my conflict with the new stuff is I'm still really -- and I mean really -- enjoying the older stuff.  Some guildmates and I have been plugging our way through collecting guild raid and personal achievements from the older instances on Friday and Saturday nights.  These runs have been the highlight of my week.

Fixated on the Old
My recent armory achievement feed tells the story; we're clearing Ulduar, Naxxramas, Obsidian Sanctum, Onyxia and even Outland raids. I've always had a bit of OCC on completing achievements, and these off-night raids are awesome from my view to help knock out the outstanding missing raid achievements.  It's pure bonus that some of the achievements reward titles and drake mounts, too.

I've been the one coordinating the raids, and I've been basing that around a few meta achievements like Glory of the Raider, Glory of the Ulduar Raider and Glory of the Icecrown Raider.

What strikes me, though, is the fact that even though we're running older content that we out-level and ou-gear, coordination and communication are still required.  Achievements like Shocking require you all to actually move in the right location.  And They Would All Go Down Together forces you to manage DPS and not just blindly go nucking futs on your damage.  We have been successful with the majority of our attempts (as expected).  What was not expected: we've struggled on some of these achievements.

We missed Shocking in Naxx because we were in a face-rolling mood and didn't bother with even moving during the fight.  No biggie, can be easily accomplished.

But Ulduar?  We actually wiped a few times on Freya and failed on Yogg-Saron because nobody had ever been there (or had been there so long ago on alts that had forgotten the fights).  By the time we got to Yogg, it was late and people were dropping so gonna have to come back for the full clear again.  For me, the Ulduar run was fantastic because I'd never had the chance to progress beyond the weekly raid quests before, so I'd never seen the depths. Plus, anytime you toss in achievements, the fights are just a bit unique.  We were successful with most of the criteria for Glory of the Ulduar Raider, but we didn't quite make Disarmed, FirefighterI Love the Smell of Saronite in the Morning or One Light in the Darkness. These are actually going to require a bit of prep and coordination, so no more slacking with facerolling!

While Obsidian Sanctum hasn't presented any challenges (the Black Drake is on a weekly farm status until everyone gets one), but Onyxia has proven stingy with Many Whelps! Handle It!  We seem to spawn hundreds, but our timing is off with the lift-off. Should be a simple adjustment.

The actual challenges remain with Heroic Lich King and Heroic Halion.  Even though we are 85s, these fights are still a bit of a challenge and require at least a B+ game if not the full A game for the guild. Our failures in the past attempts have been experience and coordination, not gear or skill.

When I stop to think about it, the reason I'm enjoying this stuff is two-fold:  on the one hand, it's stuff I never got to experience but really wanted to back in the day when it was actually new. On the other hand, it's a great time to spend with guild-mates in a bit more relaxed raid environment and farm titles and mounts!