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.
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?