Posts Tagged ‘ Instancing ’

BLA BLA BLA

Blah?

no, BLA!

Battle for Lion’s Arch!

Or – In which the under-appreciated have their day.

Namely protection monks, paragons, warriors, and fire elementalists.

I don’t have any fancy narrative of the occasion like Hunter does. Truth be told I was busy watching health bars and the mini-map. I had no idea the groups we faced were slowly changing composition from white mantle thralls to jade armors and the like.

I’ve found that when prot monking watching your mini-map is every bit as important as watching your party’s health bars. Aegis does no good if half your party is out of earshot.

But back to the BLA. Our healing monk was Ogden, my Ogden in fact. I tend to get a little protective when it comes to heals (o u c wut i did thar?). If I’m going to be protting I want a healer hero built to my specifications (human healers can build like they want, they’re mostly more intelligent than a hero).

I’ve also hear people give warriors and fire eles crap about being useless. Everybody loves an Imbagon (imbalanced paragon) but they work in the shadows right along-side protection monks and rarely get the recognition they deserve.

It’s always: “Hey, that heal came just in time!” or “Nice spike damage that jade cloak dropped like a ton of bricks!”

It’s never: “Man that Aegis really saved my butt” or “Thanks for the warning that the enemies are on fire, I’m not burning as bad!” (‘They’re On Fire’ is the only paragon skill I know)

Warriors and Fire Eles are so passé, so Prophecies. Nobody groups with them anymore.

Well ya know what?

I did.

And I do, and I will again in a heartbeat.

The Battle for Lion’s Arch was a brutal endurance race against nearly impossible odds. We wiped more than once and we used all advantages at our disposal including summoned creatures and other consumables.

Even with all of that it was an exhilarating fight that harkened back to Thunderhead Keep in the pre-nerf days, or of your first time fighting the Lich at the end of Prophecies. It reminded me of the days before heroes when the henchmen were more of a liability than an aid and everyone would rather run a group of 7 than bring Alesia.

The best part was at the end we all gathered around to listen to the end of the story and patted each other on the back. When you run with a group of people who are used to being under-appreciated the ‘great job guys’ ring out with true sincerity. There’s no sense of “Hey congrats but you really know I did all the work”. We’re used to not seeing much direct result from our labors, or getting any credit.

As for me, I’ve embraced the philosophy of Guild Wars 2: “If you have to heal damage taken, you’ve already lost.”

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Terrible Tiger is Two!

Or I will be two come this friday. That’s right, two years ago exactly I sat down to this shiny and unfamiliar wordpress interface and typed my first halting missive to the ether.

Oh how far I’ve come. I no longer blog about my antics in Azeroth. I rarely blog about my antics at all, in fact. I’m producing at least one post a week again (often more) but the Secret Agent Cat is still in a state of slumber.

It is the season of advent, of anticipation and speculation. It is the season of collectively-held breaths and hearts fluttering with desire. We await the sequel of the game we love. If ArenaNet delivers the product we’ve all been hoping for I have no doubt that I will come roaring back to life.

But for now, I will be two.

Tiger’s Terrible Two!

That’s right! In concert with the Relics of Orr guild I’m hosting a party this Friday (time TBD). I would like to get groups together to do some runs through epic dungeons (this all depends on how many people are in attendance.) There will be some small prize give-aways and I may even administrate a raffle.

So bring your everlasting crate of fireworks and prepare to have fun! For full information see my post on the Relics of Orr forum. You don’t need to be a guild member to join or to attend.

Alsoly – What are all the epic dungeons out there? (the 12-man kind) I know of Urgoz, but are there others? (you see how ill-prepared I am for this. Let’s learn as we go shall we?)

I’m Such A Narcissist

Raiding update!

ZOMG I KNOW RITE?!

First off, we were going strong until the 4th, then summer came and crit us hard. We did our best to muster a full 25 last week but this week, again with flagging attendance, we decided to cut our losses and assembled an ‘elite’ team to kill Yogg-Saron on 10-man.

The result? Well, first take a look at this video of our Thorim fight last night, shot by a warlock (who has a rather spiffy UI setup I noticed)

Ok, the embed didn’t work SO HERE’S THE LINK LOOK ISN’T IT SPIFFY!?!

You’ll notice in comments towards the end of the fight that Thorim was our third keeper to kill, at only two hours into our raid time. We raid for three hours.

Before this video we had done Flame Leviathan easy-mode in order to get through faster. Then we’d turned around and did XT’s hard-mode (a guild first). We knocked out ‘With Open Arms’ on Kologarn and cringed our way through the Auriaya fight (does anybody like this fight? We don’t).

Then we took out Hodir and were pleasantly close to his Hard-Mode. We lost a ranged dps, who I then had to resurrect, depriving Hodir of both of our tender touches for a few crucial seconds. I’m pretty sure that the difference was enough to make up that DPS, or almost.

After Hodir we paid Freya a visit with her waves and waves of never-ending trash. In 25-man we like to keep the multi-specie groups (those big packs with trees and spirits and a dragon etc) under tight Crowd-Control. This time, however, we Naxx’d them (Gather up and AoE). Only special consideration was to make sure to point the dragon away from anybody important (squishies and the like). Our DK tank handled that and I did my best to pull what mobs I could off of him so he wasn’t getting overwhelmed (though I’m sure if he had to he could’ve single-tanked the lot of them).

After Freya (all bosses were 1-shots and our only wipe was to an unfortunate pull on Hodir trash) we continued to Thorim, above.

That video features our second Thorim attempt.

What happened the first time?

We got Siffed!

The ONLY reason it wasn’t a 1-shot was because of a small lapse in attention by two key players at the same time. A healer stood in the lightning, and I saw the 3-minute enrage warning pop up and taunted Thorim too early. With a healer down and an unexpected tank taking damage I went squish and things fell apart from there. You can hear my frustration with missing Sif on our second attempt too. (I’m the one calling right-left in the tunnel, and berating myself at the end for moving too quickly)

I think having ranged and healers cluster right behind the first boss in the tunnel so they’re that much closer to the adds in the hallway would be valuable. Oh yeah, we don’t tank the Acolytes, we just let them run about as they please. It works very well that way actually 🙂

*deep breath*

Ok, let’s continue.

After Thorim we went and whupped up on Mimiron. I believe he was a 1-shot as well and then… and then… with half an hour left on our raid time the way to Vezax was open to us.

He took four tries. One of the attempts ended in a 3% wipe which was, as one of our DK dpsers put it “Like a punch in the balls”. The feminine portion of the raid agreed that yes, if we had those organs we’d imagine that’s what it felt like.

But it was 10pm, time to call the raid.

We put it to a vote. /readycheck, yes for LET’S GET HIM! and no for ‘need sleep nao!’

The reply was an immediate and overwhelmingly enthusiatic LET’S GET HIM!

So we did 😀

Half an hour or so past raid time Vezax dropped, a Guild first, and the way is open for us to spend our second two raid nights on Yogg-Saron.

Now why can’t we roll up our sleeves and do this on 25-man hmm?

Side Note – I’m not leading raids anymore. That shiz is hard! What was I thinking?

OH OH OH!

(no I’m not quite done yet)

I also picked up Hoperender off of Vezax, replacing Journey’s End for my DPS set. I rolled offspec on it and so did our DK (raid leading) tank. For offspec gear we call for a /roll.

I desperately wanted this polearm and when I called for the roll (and rolled a 31, *groan*) Mr DK-face passed it to me.

What a peach!

3 Hours, 2 Bosses, 1 Ecstatic Tiger

Three Two One licketty split!

They told me so, they told me and told me. We won’t get anything done if we’re splitting up our (already meager) 3-day raid week into 10 and 25-man attempts. It just won’t happen. When you’re trying to learn fights and expect to spend whole nights on one or two bosses it’s unreasonable to expect any kind of progress over the course of one or two nights.

That’s why last night, despite having the roster for 25, we once again split into tens.

Ya know what? It actually felt really nice!

First we went to Freya, because two or three of the raiders had seen the fight and would be able to help along the rest of us.

I’m pleased to say we only wiped twice. Once was on Freya herself, but the first time was on one of the guardians. I don’t remember his name but he’s the first one you’re likely to encounter, and he stands to the right when you enter the Conservatory of Life.

We didn’t know what he’d do, but as we fought we noticed two abilities, a ground smash, and something to the effect of crushing stone. He also applied a broken bones debuff to the tanks.

We quickly noticed that the ground smash was a general AoE. We had people just stand there and take it, but in 25-man I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that this will be much more deadly.

The ability that wiped us was the Crushing Stone. It pops up a raid warning and tosses the tank back. It doesn’t look like much, but if the tank gets hit after they are tossed back, well, you’ll have a dead tank. So our second attempt on him saw us with itchy taunt fingers and as soon as we saw that raid warning we would taunt off each other. Worked like a charm and in no time flat we had a dead guardian.

The second little surprise of the night was Thorim’s trash. One applies a stacking lightning debuff and the other a stacking physical damage debuff.

The first pack we killed by each tank just standing there and eating it. The second we played ‘catch’ with the mobs. About five stacks in and we’d taunt off each other. Apart from some aggro issues (which can easily be remedied by making sure the DPS knows we’ll be doing this) the pulls went MUCH more smoothly.

While Freya went down relatively easily, Thorim gave us a good deal more trouble. For ten-man, on our successful run, we took myself (Bear tank), a rogue, a hunter, and a resto druid into the tunnel. We’d meant to have one more in there but he had gotten confused the previous two attempts and we noticed we weren’t having any trouble getting through, so for what ended up being our kill shot we left him outside.

Going through the tunnel:

Kill the acolytes first. ABSOLUTE TOP PRIORITY! Then focus down one of the other adds, then focus down the third. When the third was at about 25% or so I would start moving forward towards the next pack.

For the first boss -> Have someone call out to go Left or Right. This is similar to Skadi in Utgarde Pinnacle. When you get into the round room stay towards the centers. The walls are not safe.

When the Acolyte and one extra are dead, and the third is getting close, rush in to engage. As soon as he’s engaged he’ll stop casting his rushing-AoE. Tank him in a corner. Every so often he might rush. He didn’t do this often, and it felt like a glitch, but be aware of the possibility.

For the second boss -> This is a gauntlet in the spirit of Zul Aman. The goal is to make it through quickly enough that you don’t get more than one set of adds.

Pull the first group and kill them in the doorway. DO NOT run in to aggro the group. If you do, you’ll aggro the second group and if you have two acolytes it will be next to impossible to kill them both. ONLY ONE ACOLYTE AT A TIME!

Same rules apply to this trash as the last one. You need to be quick and agressive. Once the Acolyte is down and the extra add is close move forward and pull the second group. The DPS should be able to kill the extra add before you get within melee range of the Acolyte, at that point kill the Acolyte then start backing up.

As you back up the DPS will finish off the extra add. By the time you’re 1/2 – 3/4 the way up the ramp you’ll notice more adds coming in from behind you. There will be 1-2 regular mobs and an Acolyte. The Acolyte always comes last but you ABSOLUTELY MUST kill it first. You’ll be tanking the boss at this point too (to prevent further adds from spawning) and you’ll want to finish off the extra adds before working on the boss.

This one casts bombs

If you’re the bomb you won’t be able to move, so call it out in voice chat or pay close attention to your raid warnings because whoever is NOT the bomb needs to boogie to get away from whoever IS.

Picking Fights with Thorim:

After the second boss is dead now it’s time to really rock. Run forward WAIT! DON’T STEP ON THE CIRCLES! Yeah, they may look like innocent architectural details, the likes of which are peppered all throughout Ulduar, but don’t be fooled. They will own your face. If you step in them it will spawn a purple barrier (a-la Malygos) and you’ll be frozen in place for a time.

I don’t know how long you’ll be frozen or if you take any damage while frozen, but you’re loosing precious time. Time during which the rest of your raid is fighting for their lives. The one time we did get frozen it wasn’t very long before the rest of the raid in the arena was dead and Thorim had turned around to finish us off.

So, stick to the edges, and have a druid or rogue spring, or a mage blink, either way, get to thorim as quickly (and safely!) as you possibly can. Once you get to him he’ll do an emote and then jump down into the arena. You should probably follow him.

Now He’s Really Pissed:

Here’s the real fight. He does a debuff to the tanks that reduces their armor by a crazy amount. There’s a raid warning and tanks should keep an eye out for it. Again, itchy taunt fingers are a MUST. You CANNOT tank with this debuff on, trust me, you’ll pancake otherwise.

Ranged and healers need to spread out (within reason, see below). He casts a chain lightning that multiplies in damage every time it chains. Ten yards is fine, range-finders are your friend.

Electric Ant Trails. This is what we dubbed them after a few attempts, and it’s really exactly what they look like. When you see the ant trails (they’re electric and close to the ground) make sure you’re on the opposite side of the boss from them. He’ll send out a shock that covers approximately 1/4 of the room in the direction the ant trails had been headed.

This will one-shot most people, especially if they’re not topped off.

The entire raid needs to stay on their toes. This is a pretty mobile fight but exciting and a LOT of fun when you finally get it right.

At the end of this kill I was breathing heavy, my heartrate was up and I was grinning from ear-to-ear. We spent the majority of the night (close to two hours) working on this boss and when he finally dropped we all felt that sweet sweet exultant taste of rising to and overcoming a challenge that had been so lacking in the Naxxramas raids.

To add the icing on the cake…

THORIM DROPS TIER SHOULDERS! (on normal)

I won them.

Maer might call bullpucky, as I’m on the loot council, and have a thing for shoulder armor, but I can promise that protocol was followed and I was most definitely not abusing the system.

And now, I’ll go take a stroll around Dalaran and allow my new shoulders to have fun mooning people.

The Dedicated Few

Or… The value of Ten.

We’re still fighting the sign-up boss, and this week we found ourselves getting downed by the show-up boss. I’ve made the mistake of assuming that other members are as tenacious, loyal, determined, and thrice-cursed stubborn as myself.

What do I mean? I will raid come hell or high water. If I tell you I’m going to be there I will be there. If there’s even a shadow of suspicion that I might not be there I’ll let you know about it. Every time that’s happened though, I’ve managed to meet my commitments.

Last night we had 25 people firmly rostered, but come raid-time two were missing, and we had no way to fill the gaps, and at our level of gear and performance there’s no way we’d be able to run Ulduar under-manned. And so, we split into tens.

It finally became clear to me that our failings aren’t personal ones. I’m not responsible for these members not showing. I cannot control their actions. Their failure to show, while it affects me (and 22 other people) was not caused by me.

It’s also obvious that to sucessfully raid 25-man dungeons we don’t need 25 people, we need something more in the ballpark of 35. Beyond having a guaranteed minimum of 25 for every raid night, it’s valuable to have the luxury of benching someone who under-performs, or benching someone by way of punishment for unacceptable behavior, or flakiness.

At the moment we don’t have that luxury. We have to squeeze rocks to make them bleed, and bring along every scrap we can find.

No Longer.

Last night we split into 10s. We had some extra, so we asked for volunteers to sit out. Those volunteers will find themselves raiding tonight, and possibly tomorrow night as well.

Last night showed me the value of 10-man raiding. I always knew we would find value in it, but I still rejected the idea. After last night, however, I’m determined to make the best of what seems like a grim situation.

We killed five bosses last night and I believe the second group found similar success. After we took out Auriaya it was 9:15 so we rotated back and took out Razorscale. By that time we had 10-15 minutes left so, instead of going to look at Ignis, we decided to poke our heads into something completely different and ran off to cavort with Hodir’s trash.

We didn’t quite make it to Hodir before raid time and a few people needed to leave so we left it there. Tonight we’re going to start on Freya.

The point is, we saw success. Success for us has been a very fleeting thing in the 25-man arena. My dogged determination to run 25s at whatever the cost has been hampering our progression as well. Now, after one night, we’ve gone as far as we ever have and we’ve got two more nights to raid. Instead of attempting to strong-arm people into doing 25s this week (and taking a further step back in progression), we’re dedicating ourselves to 10s and striving to get as far as we can within a full raid week.

I also noticed a curious side-effect. And no, I’m not talking about people getting to learn the fights and see the encounters. That’s our main goal with rushing through in 10-mans this week.

No, this side-effect is the gearing of off-sets. Almost all of us are fully kitted out in 25-man Naxxramas gear with goodies from Malygos and Sartharion 2D. There’s not a whole lot of upgrades for us in 10-man Ulduar. But for off-spec?

The upgrades are falling like rain.

With the advent of dual spec we now have the opportunity to ask people to run their dual-spec if we need them, and raiders have the opportunity to try out something new if they want.

We’re not shoe-horning anyone into a role they’re not happy with, by any streach of the imagination, but it’s nice to have the option of rotating members to different roles as well as getting them gear within those roles.

Tonight, and tomorrow night I’m goint to see the keepers for the first time. I’m actually excited. Maybe after dedicating this week to 10-mans instead of hoping for 25s we’ll be able to get the sign-ups (and show-ups!) to really sink our teeth into Heroic progression next week.

I Pity The Fools

Just in time for 3.1, <Unemployed> has chosen its new Whipping boy raid leader! I’ll say first that it wasn’t the person I had put my money on (I don’t even know if he applied).

Who was the poor sap who got roped into this gruelling and likely thankless position?

Why… ’twas moi!

I’m not exactly sure what to write about, actually. I remember when I started this blog last summer. I remember talking about my first trials in tanking, the first time I was asked to lead Karazhan.

I remember being terrified.

Since then I’ve seen what raids can feel like both when the leader is pushing forward, making decicive decisions and also when there is little or no leadership and the group is floundering for direction, and everywhere in-between.

I’ve learned that the guiding hand doesn’t necessarily have to have all the answers, but someone DOES need to be in the driver’s seat to keep things moving. The moments before a boss pull are not the time to discuss the merits of various boss strategies and exercise democracy. In the middle of a fight there’s no room for indecision.

If a raid leader makes a bad call that ends in death, then there is time post-mortem to assess the damage and work towards not repeating the mistake. I believe the hallmark of a good raid leader is the ability to admit fault.

I was in a raid once back in BC. We were raiding Karazhan and attempting to take down the Curator. We got to the last 15% and the raid lead called out all in, and told us to ignore the few sparks still left up and wandering around.

Can you guess what happened?

Of course, we wiped, but it wasn’t the wipe that made him a bad raid leader. When we all got back he began screaming over ventrilo at the DPS. “Lowest DPS leaves!” is what he said. Never once did he admit he made a bad call, never once did he acknowledge that if we’d taken the extra few seconds to kill those sparks we would have had a dead curator instead of a dead raid.

It’s no coincidence that I found myself <Unemployed> soon after this happened.

What I found there was a leading style that, while firm, was also fair. Honest mistakes were allowed and it was understood that everyone needed a chance to learn.

Now, the grand adventure is upon us. Together we are about to venture into Ulduar. The instance is new and unknown. Yes, there are already boss strategy guides up online, but none of us have actually seen the encounters, and this week at least we will be mostly hands-off, eschewing micro-management in celebration of the thrill of discovery and the joys that come with being able to solve problems on the fly.

As a raid lead I will read the strategies, but I don’t think I will attempt to micro-manage (well, maybe a little with vehicle assignments). But we’ll be doing these bosses first on normal mode.

Normal mode is very forgiving of mistakes. We will have the luxury of learning on the fly and correcting things as we go. This is leadership I think I can do, a kind of easing into the role.

I love this guild, and I love the people in it, and I applied to be an officer because I knew that (with the support of the other officers when it came time to trouble-shooting) I was capable of being the pace car, of making the calls and keeping things moving and that, fundamentally, is the base value of a raid leader.

I lack an exhaustive knowledge of lots of classes, and I didn’t know how well an arms warrior would synergise with a feral until just a couple of weeks ago. I’m not the kind of leader that has all the answers.

However, I know where to get them, and I won’t lead you in circles if I don’t have the answer to the question you’re asking. That’s the best I can do right now, but I actually do think it will be enough 🙂

On another note:

It’s a curious thing about failure. Sarth 3D remaining unkilled taunts me. I feel defeated, angry, and frustrated. I wait to rail at Blizard for dropping the patch today. I’m convinced that with one more week we would have had it.

But this failure has done a curious thing. I feel galvanized. I’m more determined than every to not let these achievements slip away and I’m sure there are more in the guild who are minded like me.

As we head into Ulduar we are going to push Achievements much more agressively than we did with Naxxramas. Bosses will only be on ‘farm’ when we are consistently downing them with the appropriate achievements.

It’s a brave new world out there and I have every confidence that <Unemployed> has the willpower, fortitude, and general chutzpah required to give these new challenges what for!

Yes, The Wall And My Head Have Long Been Good Friends

And still, familiarity breeds contempt.

Let’s look at some of the points that have been sticking in my craw.

Upon release of The Burning Crusade, once level 70 had been achieved, raiders were presented with:

  • Karazhan : Tier 4, 10-man raid, 9.5 bosses, 2 events, Plenty of interesting trash (CC & tactics required), Located in the Old World
  • Gruul’s Lair : Tier 4, 25-man raid, 2 bosses, Minimal interesting trash (tactics required), Located in Outland
  • Magtheridon’s Lair : Tier 4, 25-man raid, 1 boss, Minimal trash (not much tactics or CC required), Located in Outland
  • Serpentshrine Cavern : Tier 5, 25-man raid, 6 bosses, Robust trash requiring both CC and tactics, Located in Outland
  • Tempest Keep : Tier 5, 25-man raid, 4 bosses, Moderate trash with CC and tactics required, Located in Outland

Totals for raid content on BC release:

  • Number of Raid Instances: 5
  • Number of Tiers: 2
  • Number of Bosses: 24 (9 ‘pure’ bosses in kara, spider & chess=1 boss, opera=1 boss)
  • Difficulty (interest & quantity) of trash: Moderate-high (Highs and lows in each instance)
  • Location appeal: All but one located in Outland, Karazhan being in Old World was a nice touch.

Now, let’s take a look at the Wrath release. Hard modes with different loot will be treated as additional bosses. Because of the extra work for balancing, 10-man raid bosses will count as 1/2 of a boss and will not count as a full extra boss because no new artwork (models, textures, animations, scenery) needed to be created.

  • Naxxramas : Tier 7, 10 & 25-man raid, 15 bosses in 25-man, 5.5 bosses in 10-man, Robust trash but no CC or tactics required, Located in Northrend
  • Obsidian Sanctum : Tier 7, 10 & 25-man raid, 4 bosses in 25-man, 2 bosses in 10-man, Minimal trash with no CC or tactics required, Located in Northrend
  • Eye of Eternity : No Tier, 10 & 25-man raid, 1 boss in 25-man, .5 boss in 10-man, No trash, Located in Northrend
  • Vault of Archavon : Tier 7, 10 & 25-man raid, 1 boss in 25-man, .5 boss in 10-man, Minimal trash with no CC or tactics required, Located in Northrend

Totals for raid content on Wrath Release

  • Number of Raid Instances: 4
  • Number of Tiers: 1
  • Number of Bosses: 28.5
  • Difficulty (Interest & quantity) of trash: Low (Lots of trash in Naxxramas, but no CC or tactics required)
  • Location Appeal: All instances located in Northrend

Now, I realise that a number of my points are personal preference. For example, I believe that being forced to go back to the old world to get to raid content is a good thing. I enjoy connections throughout the world, tying everything together. I also enjoy trash that requires a brain to get through instead of the chain-pull AoE-fest that we are ‘enjoying’ in Naxxramas.

If I were to be as strict on the numbers as I would like (counting 10 and 25-man versions of bosses as one and the same) Wrath would find itself severely lacking in the number of baddies to kill.

But, just looking at the numbers, content proffered in the two expansions upon release seems to be relatively equivalent.

Why then, does it not feel that way?

First, in Wrath, we only have one tier of gear to look forward to, and it’s possible to get almost every single piece from one instance. This is either a good or a bad thing depending on how you feel about it. I’ll get to why I think it’s a bad thing a little later.

Secondly is the trash. Upon the release of 3.0, Crowd-Control died. It was no longer needed. Part of this was from Blizzard’s new paradigm shift of ‘bring the player not the class’ (25-man Razouvious and Faerlina are stark exceptions), and part of it was a conscious effort to make Naxxramas an introductory raid to help newbies get their feet wet.

Those are the reasons, but I don’t accept them as excuses.

For example. The trash in Gruul’s Lair; the entire raid had to stack on the back of some mobs there or they would get charged and wipe the raid. In the Arachnid quarter there are spiders that charge, but this is no more than an annoyance. Nobody dies, and the AoE continues.

If these big spiders hit harder when they charged, requiring that they be sheeped, or rooted (druids can do that indoors now, not that they need to) would help add interest and challenge. It would make the 20-minute achievement more difficult too. If you needed a raid that was geared enough to survive charging spiders so that DPS could be cranked through the roof in order to get through quickly, wouldn’t that make it more worthwhile?

So, back to the numbers

Wrath has more bosses, one less instance. I’m going to tell you that my issue is with variety.

But Tiger! There’s only one less instance! There’s plenty of variety!

NO, there ISN’T.

The vast majority of raiding content in Wrath is in Naxxramas. OS, EoE, and VoA are presented in similar manner to Magtheridon’s Lair and, to a lesser extent Gruul’s (Gruul’s had 2 bosses, remember). Here is your boss, kill him, loot, win.

Imagine, if you will, that BC had just dropped and only contained Karazhan, Gruul’s and Magtheridon’s Lair, and that’s it.

Hmmm, ok, in typical Tiger fashion I’ve realised that that is pretty much what just happened, and it’s not really a bad thing. The problem I’m seeing is that Ulduar will only make this problem worse! Icecrown will then be the icing on the cake that is my dissapointment with Wrath raiding.

All for want of variety.

I made a comment in Vent last night that seemed to be very well-recieved by my guild: I don’t mind banging my head against a wall, I just wish I could bang it on a different wall for a while.

Back in BC, once you progressed beyond Tier 4, if you found yourself getting roflstomped by content you could go and do the other tier of that content. Al’Ar mopping the floor with your face? Go tackle Hydross instead. Leotheras put the bliders on you? Take your tanks and go tackle Void Reaver.

I’ve said before we’re working on Sarth 3D. Our biggest problem is that, after an hour or two of wipes, when we’re getting frustrated and discouraged, there’s nothing else for us to go work on.

But Tiger, Ulduar will have more hard modes! More variety!

How many of those bosses will you need to kill to get to ther bosses? If one boss’s hard mode eludes you, will you have the option to go work on another and come back, or will that chance be lost to you for a whole week?

I think that is a fatal flaw in what appears to be Blizzard’s single-instance tier paradigm. The ability to go bang your head against a different wall is missing.

And that’s why I’m frustrated.

PS – WTB Pally & DK tanks.

No, really, come say hi, please.