Somewhere along the way of our super fast leveling we seemed to have missed the fun of something not being an easy push over. Gone are the days of having to battle for every scrap of experience we got because there is no way we would ever run out of quests to do to level us up as there are so many that offer so much experience for so little effort to level us to max level as fast as possible.
With the loss of the time taking factor to leveling the true challenges, even if they are not really all that difficult, are all gone. Don't want the challenge of facing Omnis and his entourage then you just avoid him and come back when you hit 90 and can demolish him and all his cronies in less than 30 seconds, like my hunter does now.
Somewhere along the line we forget that the challenge was fun. My main, the first one I leveled on that first day, was so far ahead of the pack that I had all the rares to myself. Hence the reason I had the glorious achievement so quickly. The only rares I did not see while leveling were in the jade forest, because everyone was there, but I got each and every other one while leveling.
They were all hard fought battles. While there were a few I might consider push overs even at level there were none that could not have taken me out instantly if given the chance so they still needed perfect, or near perfect, execution. One mistake and you are dead.
How often do we come across that in the world while questing? Even more so, how often do we come across that with the rares as a hunter? Not all that often but Omnis was one of those unique challenges that could get any hunters blood pumping, even if I knew I had him the whole time.
So lets join a level 89 hunter doing his quests in the dread wastes when he notices something, or someone, in the distance, someone by the name of Omnis Grinlok. As soon as he does so, the hunt begins.
In search of... Omnis Grinlok.
Now I had done this before on a level 89 hunter on day one of the expansion, so I had some experience with it but I also had become a little cocky about it being my first hunter is now over geared and I can take them out so fast I do not often think about strategy any more so needless to say I made some mistakes which prolonged the fight and I took the pull for granted. Meaning, I did not trap one of the many adds that he likes to travel with.
I did, however, plan my attack. I picked the spot on his route that had the least amount of mobs that would pat through it and started to clear it, waiting for him to come around. Why clear the non-aggressive animals you might ask? Because I did not want to accidentally aggro them with AoE, they do seem to have a habit of walking right through the battle field and I did not need more mobs to fight, I would be pulling enough to begin with. So start the counter now, as this was all part of the search for the kill.
In the time it took him to make his path around I killed everything I thought might be an issue. Remember, he does like to jump around a lot and he puts a vicious bleed on my pet which means if I want my pet to tank I was going to need to use some tricks to kite with pet management once in a while. This means I needed a nice big clear field. It also means I did not loot anything. Not sure if it is rumor or if it works or whatever, but I have always believed unlooted mobs take longer to despawn. Longer to depawn means longer to respawn and thus less likely to become part of the battle.
I put my pet in tenacity spec knowing quite well the amount of damage that the grinmister could put out and sent my pet in completely forgetting that this guy hits for a ton and my pet is not a level 90 pet like I am used to and lets not even mention there are 4 mobs along with the rare that I had to deal with as soon as he reached my target area.
It was battle time and my pet went big and red and I multi spammed as fast and my fingers could tap the keyboard. The first couple of shots were on the rare but after I got my pet a nice aggro lead on him I switched to an add. Oh my god, multi spam did nothing, the adds are barely hurt. Crap, I was expected near death. Mistake #2, thinking I would do more damage then I actually do. That with mistake one of not trapping one and this was going to either be a very long fight or a very short one.
Well, near death happened, just not to the adds on the opening multi spam, to my pet tank. That near death was shortly followed by the actual death. I called stampede, and as anyone that reads my blog knows, I have my stampeded set up as a defensive cooldown when out in the world. This means all tank speced, all with taunt on, and all ready to buy me some times, as that is what defensive cooldowns are supposed to do.
I feigned and revived my pet and sent him back in, the stampede held them long enough to get things back in order. I did a misdirect and multi to get some aggro back on my pet and started to single target adds, all of which were still alive at this point.
One add down and my pet dies again. Time to take the chance, I am max range, as I usually try to be on a fight like this and hit revive hoping that I can get it off before they start eating my flesh for lunch. They reach me and I hit 50% fast, but my pet popped up and I feign again as he picks them up and I make my distance from them again. I have spirit bond on while questing so my life is a non-issue, I will be full again shortly, the only one that needs healing is my pet and I keep mend pet rolling as if my life depended on it. Which it did.
Another add down and a third follows shortly. One more add to go and I start to think, I do not remember it being this hard last time I did it. Like I said, how quickly we forget how fun this stuff is. Just as I am finishing off the last add I noticed, to my dismay, that in my efforts to get away I moved out of my preplanned route for the kiting. I did say I made a few mistakes didn't I?
One of the big stone giants saw me and decided to come play. Crap. I let him beat on me until I finished the last add off and then hit misdirect and did a jump turn disengage on the stone guy and fired a few arcane shots to get him off my back, literally.
At this point my pet is hurting and my mend pet is just not keeping up. I fire off an ice trap between me and the mobs and put my pet on passive to get him back to me. A little tip for people that might not know this trick, masters call will get your pet back to you instantly, like faster then fast, split second instantly. This is important because the second you put your pet on passive he would be dead from a hit from behind. So it is all about timing you have to do them as fast as humanly possible or you go from saving your pet to a dead pet. Either way, that ice trap was going to give me an assist. If it killed my pet I had slowed them to try and revive it, if they did not kill him, it slowed them so I can kite while letting the debuff fall off my pet and letting the mend pet work.
At this point I had my readiness back for a while, yes the fight was already that long. I did not use it however because the bodies I killed earlier were all long gone, so long gone that even stampede was about to come off cooldown and you could never be sure when they would come back and possibly enter the battle. I was doing this whole thing defensively. I did not want to switch to offensive now, defensive had been working thus far even it things were going really slowly.
After my pet was ready to fight again I took his growl off and sent him back in while I did a little kiting. When he was fully healed and ready to tank again I gave him the rare and I took the stone guy. We sort of split up somewhat but of course stayed close enough so I could heal him. The rock guy would just not die. I hate this level 89 quest gear DPS, the rock guy should go down in 10-15 seconds, what was taking him so long.
At one point we switched, so the debuff had some time to fall off and I took the rare and he took the rock guy finishing him off. Thank you, finally it is me and the rare and as we all know a hunter and a rare one on one means a dead rare, even for a bad hunter right? Well, even a decent hunter is going to have issues when they make mistakes and I made another one. Namely not turning off thunderstomp when it was no longer needed. Guess what my pet did? Yeap. Add two turtles and a crab to the fight.
Don't worry, I got this, was all I could think. Going offensive now, but not full offensive, saving stampede. Blew my cooldowns and readiness and cooldowns again and just like the original pull, it did not quite have as much effect as it does on my geared hunter but at least it hurt them enough that it was manageable. Killed one turtle and then the other when my pet died again.
Stampede once more to save the day as I feign and revive my pet. Not sure exactly what that crab is eating but he was hurting my pet more than the rare was. I think popeye was sharing his spinach with him, he was on steroids because as soon as my stampede pets went away my pet went down again. Yes again, no stampede this time, no readiness to call an extra dire beast or something and I could not exactly stop and let them beat on me like they did last time. If that crab can take out my pet that fast imagine what he would do to me?
So kite time it was, I actually let the boss get to me a little here and there, it was the crab that was my issue here and when I controlled him it was about how to get things right again. I was losing life fast, so fast in fact that even if I disengaged and ice trapped to slow the rare he would kill me if he were to beat on my while reviving my pet again and that would mean the crab would get free. So I did about the only thing I had left as an option and that was pass aggro to whatever I could that would not make me reset the battle. Dire beast and snake trap here we go.
I popped the beast, dropped the trap a few steps behind me over my shoulder and hit disengage and then feign death, just for a split second so the beast and the snakes could get aggro over me. I popped back up and fired one auto shot. Enough to put me back on the list but not enough to pull aggro back and started to revive my pet. The beast and the snakes kept him busy for all of three seconds maybe, but that was apparently all I needed. My pet returned to life just as he was about to lay a hay maker on me. I managed to kill the crab this time, by kiting it, I kept my pet far away from it. Don't know what the hell that crab was doing but it was not very nice to my pet, that is for sure.
We are back to where we are supposed to be. Some of the non-aggressive animals have returned and did join battle and are once again sitting there unlooted so I should be able to kill this guy in no time being it seems I have things well in hand.
I spoke too soon as there was a human paladin that decided he was enjoying the show. Maybe he was waiting for me to die so he could take the kill and was getting a kick out of me going through all this hell but he got bored after the 10 or 12 minutes this was going on so he wanted to finish it.
Not in the way you might think, by coming down and helping me kill it. Nope, he wanted the kill for himself so he went up on that little mound right there where all the lizard dudes are and grabbed 6 of them and bought them back with him to me and bubbled. Thanks to blizzard and their all mighty awesome design team they all went for me instantly even if I had not hit them at all.
Son of a B. I had the dude under 50% now, this fight was over, it was just me and him. It was all easy street from here on. Thunderstomp was off so no more non-aggressive adds. The rock guy was dead so even if I went all the way to the wall again he could not join. There was nothing that could mess me up now, outside of myself, which if I had not made some mistakes this would have been over already.
Time to give up, rolling on over 15 minutes now if you include the clearing time I did before the pull. Nope, I am a hunter, I never give up, I just kill whoever gets in my way. I trapped one of the mobs that was staying at range and turned my pets stomp back on and started to misdirect multis again.
Those lizards do not mess around. At this point I had absolutely zero focus on the rare, these guys were going to rip me and my pet apart. I tabbed around killing healing totems and interrupting what I could with silencing shot, intimidation and scatter shot and rolling mend pet like a mad man. With the exception of a few shots here and there this is all on fluffy, he is all alone fighting these guys. I am working control the best I can.
The paladin came back, probably expecting to see a dead hunter and a rare he could kill but when he returned flying over me there were three dead adds, two I was working on, and one trapped. I knew he would try it again and I was too close to that little village, if he wanted to bring mobs to me I was going to make him work for it this time.
I ran as far away as I could while still being in range of the fighting and stopped healing my pet. He landed in the little village and started aggroing mobs again. My pet died quickly once the ticks of mend pet stopped rolling on it and I started to revive him as fast as I could. I could see the paladin with mobs on him actually fighting them, probably he figured he needed to keep them engaged if he wanted to get them all the way to me as I did move quite a bit from that area he was taking them from. Could his bubble even be off cooldown already? Have I really been at this that long? Why is Omnis still alive? Why does it look like he has gained life?
This time him trying to mess with me worked for me, not against me. Thank you mr paladin that tried to kill me. I revived my pet, he ended up with the mobs he was pulling to me and one of the mobs that he delivered to me the first time. I am sure that was not his intention. He just gave in and killed them. Maybe his bubble was not off cooldown and he noticed it. Maybe he could not drag them to me as I kept moving away. Maybe he had a moment of decency and realized that being a dick is not how this game should be played. Whatever the reason, I am glad he did not bring me more and took one of his friends from the first time.
I finished the adds I had and used some of my previously mentioned fancy dancing like the passive masters call move and doing a little kiting to take the pressure off my pet once in a while when suddenly three lizards appeared out of nowhere and I do mean nowhere. I do not recall a pat coming by here. I do not think the paladin found another way to bring mobs because he was still flying over me probably taking in one hell of a show and I doubt it was anyone else as the area had been pretty empty with the exception of some gnome that passed by earlier picking herbs on my battle field and the paladin.
Either way, I have all my cooldowns ready, Old Grinny is under 10% and those lizards are not going to stop me from my rightfully earned kill. No more multi target BS for me, it is burn time baby, just need to lay that multi to get them on my pet then I have to burn that last 10% with everything I have and some.
I pop all cooldowns and forget the mend pet because that will be a wasted cooldown now, I have a plan. My pet goes hog wild on them and lives long enough to at least use all his bestial wrath for its full duration and some extra too boot. Now they all come for me so it is stampede time once again. I call them, feign, and let them get to work while I revive my trusty companion once more. Thank god this is not vanilla because he would have abandoned me with the number of times he has died this fight.
As soon as my pet pops up I wait the 6 seconds I need to and I hit bestial wrath as it is back now and then my readiness and cooldowns again. This is why I basically let him die. I knew this was what I wanted to do. It was the all or nothing moment. On that burst phase the rare finally died, Omnis Grinlok was laid to rest. I finished off the lizards after with much less effort than the entire fight took even if my pet almost died again. I mean like less than 10% life when the last one went down close to dying type of death.
The paladin flew up to me an clapped. I looted and was rewarded with the golden fleece for my efforts but of course it did not drop a piece of gear I could use. You noticed it never drops anything you need when you need it but once you don't it will? In a moment of shame I must admit that to add to all the mistakes I made I did that entire fight with my pet hat on and not my helm. Oops. That is what you get when you do not have helms show.
My biggest reward of the whole thing was the fun I had doing it. Sure, it wasted a crap ton of time. Sure I screwed up more than a few times making it more difficult on myself. Sure, I had one of those moments that show was a shitty community this game has when they would rather wipe you than help you. But hot damn it was exciting. It was fun. It got my heart beating in over drive more than a few times because I refused to die and I knew I had to think fast to figure out how not to.
This is what the game is about, or should be about. These are the moments that make someone fall in love with the game. These are the moments that in a few weeks I will completely forget about, but at least thanks to this blog I have a record of it I can come back and get a smile reading.
I'll forget about it just like I forgot about doing it on my first hunter. I forgot how fun and exciting the leveling process could be if only there were something challenging in it. Sadly I hit 90 less than 30 minutes later. The next time I run into Mr. Grinlok I will probably have much better gear and he will not even give me enough trouble to notice it. In time I will have so much gear that he will be about as difficult as a tauren picking an herb is difficult.
This reason, this excitement, this is something you can only have while leveling. So when someone asks me why I think it should take longer to level I will say this is why. This is what makes people fall in love with the game. Not the end game. The end game is for the addicted, to keep us paying the subscription fees. It was during the leveling process we fell in love with the game.
The search for Omnis Grinlok was a success but more importantly, the search for what we all play for, a reminder of why we play, was also a success. Damn, that was fun.
Opportunity cost - I was badly ill in Sunday-Tuesday. You can guess how badly from the fact that for the first time since 2007 there was no blogpost on a workday (yesterday, ...
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