Wednesday, October 21, 2015

What is Your Favorite Post- WotLK Raid?

I saw someone post this question on the MMO-C forums and as I do not post there and I thought this would make an interesting topic, I stole the question to answer it myself here.  I guess it makes sense because I do tend to babble on and instead of boring people there I can bore the people that came here, sorry.

The reason I think this is a great questions is because all you ever hear asked is what your favorite raid and most of the time you would hear either Ulduar or Kara as the answers.  Some people might have other favorites, but usually number three ends up being icecrown citadel.  All three are from wrath or before, so having a question about favorite raid after wrath is a fantastic question.

For the record if you were to ask me over all my answer would be Ulduar.  I could go on and on for days about the things I liked about Ulduar from the fights themselves for the most part, to the lore, the art, the scale, the wings, the activated hard modes and the ability to tailor the difficulty of a fight in multiple different ways without the need for 4 separate difficulties like we have now, just to name a few.  But enough about me talking about my favorite raid of all time and on to talking about my favorite raid in the post WotLK world.

This was a question that surprisingly was a hard one for me to answer.  I went over the raids in my head thinking about the looks, the feel, the fights, the mechanics, you name it.  A raid is more than just a raid if you ask me, there is much more to them than poking a few bosses with a stick until they fall over dead.

After my own personal soul searching on which raid hit a cord with me I could still not come up with a decision on what my favorite post WotLK raid was.  I was stuck with two raids in mind and I could give neither the edge.  So I will give you my favorite two raids post WotLK.  Remember, this is just my opinion which of course is greatly influenced by the raid groups I was in while doing them of course.  Because remember, a major part of enjoying a raid is being in there with people you enjoy raiding with.  Or at least it is to me.

Blackwing Descent:

This was the first raid that popped into my mind when the question was asked.  Even after evaluating what I liked and disliked about the various raids over the years it stayed at or near the top of my list.

We can even remove the fact that this raid gets some points from me for offering the best title ever in the history of the game.  When you defeated Maloriak on heroic you received the temporary title of name, slayer of stupid, incompetent and disappointing minions.  Does not title not describe our entire lives playing this game perfectly or what?  What we do is go into a raid and slay stupid, incompetent and disappointing minions, as well as their bosses.  I have never been a fan of long titles but this is one I would proudly wear if it were a permanent one.

The zone was well designed.  It looked like we were getting into an area of blackrock mountain we had yet to explore and  we had already had so much history there.  Including hiding in the very entrance we would use for that raid later to get all the mobs there for the last fight of blackwing lair.

The narration from Nafarian when we moved from one disappointing minion to the next was a great piece of voice acting and was humorous as well.  I think it fit the feel of the zone perfectly.

As for the raid itself the fights were all interesting.  The only fight I really did not enjoy much Magmaw, and it is not like I actively hated it, it was just the one I liked least.  Perhaps it was because when the expansion launched I was stuck taking it, or perhaps it was because when we found another tank to do it as the token hunter with the skills to do so I put myself on bitch duty the entire time, which while fun, does get played out after a while.

This raid also happened to include my favorite fight ever in the history of the game as a tank.  I loved tanking the adds on Maloriak.  I know if you would ask 100 tanks about it 99 would say they hated it.  Well congratulations, you just met the one that loved it.

It was my favorite fight ever as a tank and I would gladly do it again.  It helped even more that as a warrior I had some skills I could play around with that allowed me to keep the adds slowed near indefinitely.  So it was a game of keep them together, keep them slowed, and whatever I do, do not let them touch me... ever.  I told the healers, do not worry about me while I am kiting adds, I won't need any heals.  It made for a fun and unique challenge and I soaked it up.  It is the only fight ever I actively wanted to tank and would switch off my main to do so.

The last fight in the raid, against the previously mentioned Nafarian, was quite the challenge for my guild, more that suitability for a mid level guild to have a straight forward challenge to end a raid.  I think it was the challenge that made me enjoy it so much.  A worthy opponent indeed.

If there was anything I think I disliked it was that there were so few bosses and the fact that some of the trash was actually harder, much much much harder, than the bosses that were behind them.  And yes, I am talking about them darn dwarves in front of Atramedes.  We must have wiped 20 times on the dwarves but one shot the boss.  As funny as it might sound, that experience is also part of why I consider this one of the best raids since wrath.  Because we really had some fun with those dwarves kiting them all over the place.  It still brings a smile to my face just thinking about it now.

There was the elevator boss and the humor that came from that, watching the mage jump and slow fall to his death pulling Nef, or trying to save himself at the last moment blinking back to the ledge.  Or people who looked like they made it and still managed to die, or the first time I ever saw someone take a resurrection while on an elevator and then appear where the cast finished, not next to the person that cast it, and end up dying all over again.  Good times, good times.

Now, as I wrote that, I do believe Blackwing Descent wins, the other raid that had tied it in my mind no longer does.  As I wrote more and thought about the good times, the fun fights, and everything else that happened when Blackwing Descent was out, the other raid just can not compare.

In case you were wondering, the second one was going to be Blackrock Foundry.  Hey, I guess I like the motif.  I liked the wings, the design, the layout, the story that fit with the expansion, the bosses, at least most of them, and the progress through it.

What had ranked it so high on my list until I started writing about Blackwing Descent and noticed that was indeed my favorite was the fact that there were so many new and innovative fight mechanics in it, or at least not ones that had been over used.

I liked the moving floors, even more after being on bitch duty doing belts for over a year in SoO because I got to see everyone else do it now.  I loved the trains.  Sure it was a set pattern, sure you could download an addon to make it a non issue really, but it was a great new type of encounter that I really enjoyed.  I liked the beastmaster fight that was really a council type fight but presented in a different type of way.  It also reminded me a little of Ulduar hard mode activation.  Depending on which mount he went to first he had different abilities through the battle, so you could fine tune it to your raids strengths.  I could go on and on like balcony jumping and hands and bomb dance and so forth, but no need to.  I guess Blackrock Foundry will be my #2 post WotLK raid.

I find it kind of funny that my two favorite raids post WotLK are from the two worst of the three expansions since, my opinion of course, but it goes to show you that even if I like raiding, raiding isn't the be all end all of the game.

So what is your favorite raid in the post WotLK world?


  1. I know I will get huge disagreement on this, but I would have to say Firelands, although Dragon Soul would be a close second.

    The Firelands fights seem ridiculously easy looking back on them, but as you say much of raiding is about the people and groups, not so much about boss mechanics. And Firelands was where I finally started to understand the power of my hunter and the fun a close team could have. True, we almost disbanded our guild over Ragnaros, but I still look back at that time as some of the best raiding I have done. The team was inexperienced, but we learned together, and our RL -- who has long since quit the game -- was the best I have ever seen. Each night, he would announce the f**k-up punishment for the evening -- might have to recite a poem, or dance naked in the Dwarven District fountain afterwards, or call the RL "Your Majesty" for the remainder of the night, sing a Madonna song, etc. It was all fun, and we loved it.

    I was relatively new to regular raiding, had been a fill-in for quite a while and was newly promoted to core team member as well as hunter class lead. I was determined to not let anyone down, so I knew those fights inside and out before I ever stepped foot in them.

    Shannox taught me to chain trap and sharpened my awareness of every team member's location and situation. Our RL's constant nagging to "Slow Riplimb!" became a running team joke that was our standard response whenever he quizzed us on any boss mechanic.

    Lord Rhyolith and Beth'tilac taught me how to maintain dps while almost constantly on the move. Alysrazor showed me that utility raid duties could be fun.

    I liked the outdoor setting of the raid, the fact you could earn currency to spend on useful gear at the vendors by the door, lots of other things. But mainly I like that it was pure unadulterated fun for the place I was in at the time, and it made me feel good about myself as a hunter.

    1. if anyone says a thing, I will poke them in the eye with a pointy stick. : )

    2. Seems a great many people liked firelands. I loved the rep runs, the trash farms and such. But over all once you were done with rep from them and not farming for drops, all that trash just became annoying. It was too much. Awesome at the start. Annoying when you are doing it for the 30th time.

  2. none of course, well..., maybe one... Kara : ) , but CONGRATS on posting something.

    Out of the funk?

    1. Kara is my all-time favorite. That place is magic!

    2. Kara had its downfalls too, like getting lost and being kind of small in some areas, but I agree, it had that awesome look and feel that really helps it last the test of time.

  3. So what do we have, Cataclysm's 5 raids (well, 6, if you count Baradin Hold), Mist's other 5 and Warlord's 3.

    The one I liked the most is the one where I felt the encounters fit me the best and there's one specifically I felt was designed with a protection tank in mind - Throne of Thunder.

    But if I was looking outside of "which raid I liked the best because I was OP", I'd say I liked most raids.

    Blacwing Descend, I was actually there a few days ago and was looking at it how great it was designed trash-wise and boss-wise. Trash itself was unique and fun and not overly repetitive like in most raids. Even though the raid itself could have gotten the rehash feeling, I didn't have it. And those adds on Maloriak - yeah, crap. As a paladin, I had to tank the adds because at the time protection paladins didn't have interrupts. Gathering them was simple enough for a paladin with hand and avenger's shield (even if they were small little red adds with red health bars on red floors), but surviving was another story - and that's because I had to count on our hunter's traps and so on, not having much in the kiting ability department. Nefarian, though, cool fight. Still on adds, but I was amazing at them I must say haha (mobs where undead).

    Bastion was meh but some encounters pushed my limits.

    Firelands was bad. Really bad. Mostly because of the trash. Worst trash after Dragon Soul's dragons before Ultraxion. Encounters themselves were okish, but all that fire theme wore me down.
    And DS... DS was underwhelming. Spine was a stupid repetitive encounters and the craptonne of adds where destoying my shield. And I did it so many times, 38 times. 38 while it was current. I can't even judge if it was any good, I need more time to forget how many times I've done it.

    MOP's encounters, I loved most of them. I loved the fantasy of the places and the bosses, many of them were unique and never seen before mechanics and some quite hard on heroic (Vizier Zor'lok comes to mind and that other one, Amber Shaper Un'Sok).
    Well, Siege I didn't like. Some encounters where cool, but I started disliking doing the bosses over and over. That's what happens when you have too many bosses in a raid. And I actually don't find the mechanics very interesting either, I think I didn't like the foundry feel.

    And then there's Warlords. And that foundry feel never left. I absolutely dislike every raid. And I think Highmaul is one of the most uninteresting and uninspired raids up to date.

    Maybe I'm unfair to WoD, but that's how I feel right now. Maybe things will change when more time has passed, but I doubt it. I dislik them so much that I don't even bother with the names of the bosses and I'm the kind that absolutely knows all the boss names from Heart of Fear and all the Paragons and so on.

    1. You are a paladin tank, of course you loved ToT with the number of bosses you could one tank or basically ignore mechanics on. It was a great tier to be a paladin tank.

      That is why I liked Mal as a warrior tank in blackwing. I could keep them slowed all by myself with my abilities and that is what made it fun. I guess you did not have a warrior or a DK tank because I think DKs could keep them slow themselves as well. I do remember doing it as a hunter however and having to keep traps running for the tank, so I know exactly what you are talking about. A bad hunter that is too slow on the trap, or has bad aim, and your live just became a living hell, for the next 6.2 seconds that you live that is.

      Interesting to see you liked the same one I did as well. Thought I was alone enjoying blackwing. Most people think it was too hard coming from wrath, I think it was just right.

      It seems a lot liked ToT when looking around. Not sure what the attraction is to it. I liked some things about it, but not enough to place it very high. Might contend for #3 however post wrath.

      I think everyone, even not wanting to, has so much WoD hate brewing right now, it is hard to make a fair assessment. Even more so when you are upset with the expansion as most are. Time might help.

  4. Mine is Firelands but that's only because it was the only one I consistently raided at a higher level than lfr post wotlk. I got to run it on heroic every week with an alt group farming legendary parts and mounts. Everything else I ran maybe once or twice on anything above lfr except soo just because it was out so long. So it is about the people and the experience not the raid itself.

    1. If that is the only one you really ever raided normally it makes sense it would be your favorite. Just blowing through things doesn't really create lasting memories in my opinion, but working hard on them does.

      However, everyone I have ever bought to ulduar or kara that was not around back then all end up loving the place. Even blowing through them. The common line is "this place looks awesome, it must have been really fun to raid". Well yes, yes it was.