Many eons ago when I first started playing WoW, when I was well and truely a noob in every sense of the world….my schedule sucked. I was at work until (officially) 1 am, though usually I got off a bit earlier. But I was part of a small RP guild for a long while and thought naively that it wouldn’t be a problem, because I was just having fun, playing around. I seriously doubted I’d even get to the max level of 60. Eventually, however, I did. I did 5 mans, I got my Tier 0 (gogo Power Rangers!) and was trying my utmost for Tier .5 upgrades. But eventually I felt I’d reached the end of what I could do on Endyme. I remember trying to get Endy her Quel Serrar, telling a friend that it was the best I could realistically hope to get…I mean, omg, an EPIC!!11!1!! No, it wasn’t suited to my chosen spec of Holy, but it was it was all I had. Even that took MONTHS, given my horrible schedule. Saturdays were always spoken for, with the table-top RP’ing group I hang with most every Saturday and not many people raided on Sunday. Finally, after 1 abortive try, I got my Quel Serrar was over the moon. After my RP guild folded, I took a month off from WoW, not knowing what lay in store for me, but fustrated because again, my schedule prohibited any raiding and Endy was pretty much done. Yes, there was still Tier .5 to be gotten, but back in those days was hard for me because 45 minute Strats runs were srs business.
I came back and within a day or two of coming back (it may have been that very day), I found myself invited to 2 different friend’s raids. I took a shot with a dear friend’s Onyxia run and a few jokes later saw a /ginvite come my way. It was my first brush with raiding, srs raiding. Though I didn’t get to do overly much, given the limitations of my schedule. Not long after I joined the guild, my schedule changed and I was getting off at 9pm, which was a fair sight better than the previous time. Raiding was fun, and added a new level of excitement and camaraderie to the game. It definitely freshened up WoW for me. We got as far as Chromaggus in BWL before the Burning Crusade expac came out and then folks were leveling to 70 and BWL got left behind.
Time passed, guilds changed and my new guild saw me in a late night raiding crew delving into Karazhan, and a guild merger got me into Tempest Keep, Black Temple and SSC. We were trying Vashj and hadn’t made it quite up to Illy-beans when the Lich King expansion came out. Just before it did though, Blizzard saw fit to nerf many of the instance bosses down a hefty bit (I’m thinking it was something like 30%) and I saw Vashj die. It felt good, don’t get me wrong, but it was done with the help of a nerf that wasn’t there before. Some folks thought it cheapened the whole thing and while I didn’t, I can see the point. I was just happy to see her downed. So off we went, after hitting 80, to Ulduar….
Moar time passed, my server/guild changed and I found a home in a raiding guild about where my old one was in Ulduar and hacked away at that, almost getting to the end (hi Yogg!!) but not quiiite getting him down. But there were more raids to see with ToC and Icecrown. Arthas was finally here, ready to be slain…if only you could get past 11 other bosses standing in your way. Easy right? It took us awhile (and many painful, oh-so-close wipes on Sindragosa), but eventually, sometime in September, I believe, we reached the promised land. And the end goal, for the first time for me, was staring me in the face. Arthas was THE end boss of the current content. But the pressure was on, because the release date for Cataclysm was announced: December 7th. We had until then to focus our time and attentions on our mutual goal of getting Artie down and we did. When patch 4.0 hit, I was wondering if it would help us or hurt us, and it did a little of both. I started to heavily favor my priest, but when it became apparent that we needed Endy’s stun, it was her I brought.
We had a rough time of it on Monday, when tensions were simmering and I had a bit of an…attitude, I guess. I didn’t yell or insult or spout profanity, but I was vocal about my doubts to get it done if people didn’t move out of the bad. I wasn’t the only one to indicate their disappointment and doubts and I was wondering what this meant…if things would implode, or get stronger. I turned my focus inward and evaluated Endy with a fresher eye. Her pants were 251 and a guildie could craft a 264 upgrade for me. A few of my guildmates really came together to help me out with things I didn’t have and I soon had new pants, gemmed and enchanted, and slapped a ‘make me run faster’ enchant on my boots and soon I was feeling ready. I even refreshed myself on the strategery of the Lich King fight so I was on top of it, as much as I could be.
Last night, the RL ended up sitting 2 of our more problematic people. One has a bad computer that cripples her enough to affect her performance when she needs to get out of the bad like, yesterday. She’s a good player, but she just can’t react like it’s needed in that fight sometimes. The other player just…he’s not the fastest and tends to make jokes vs try and improve what he’s doing wrong. I love him to death (both of them), they’re great people, generous and friendly. But they were costing us, at times. Not to say that they’re screw ups, because I make my own share of mistakes and so does everyone else. But in a fight like the Lich King, where situational awareness and MOVING FAST is key, consistant problems hurt us. Off we went, with a third healer (which we sorely needed) and a rogue, for an extra stun. And except for once attempt that went south within a minute of starting off the fight, we got him near, at, or into phase 3 most times.
We were nearing the end of our alloted raid time, but several folks were feeling it and indicating they’d stay for a little longer than usual if necessary. We started off another attempt and got to phase 3 with all of us alive and OMG, I’m in the sword! It was pretty nifty, not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. We were whittling him down, slowly….people were dying, but we were still going. And then a tank died. Eventually the other tank died. This…was bad. Finally, I was healing my ass off and someone said, “You can do it guys, 13%!” A quick look at Grid told me that there were 5 of us alive and 3 were healers. Oh boy. It was a shadow priest and hunter who were the lone DPS alive. Panic didn’t have time to creep in as I poured BIG HEALS into the priest and hunter and tried to DPS Arthas but who knows what I did because soon, I was dead. We all were.
The next few minutes passed in a haze of squeeing, babbling and numb hands. All I could say in guild was “Wooooo!” alot. My hands seriously went numb for a bit. Getting the rez from Fording was the most welcome and awesome rez ever, and then we all wailed on Arthas with glee. I exorcised my heart out and then…he was dead. He dropped a fist weapon and a lovely healing mace. But srsly, he could have dropped jack squat and I’d have been happy. And that was that. For the first time I’ve killed the end boss in current content, without a nerf. And it has been a long time coming. We had a naked party in Dal afterwards, as we had long joked we would. Damorg, one of our HFC subs, joined us in the festivities and a good time was had by all. I feel really, really good.
Kingslayers Endyme, Vasilisa, Iris, Silverbell, Perrsheri, Hakosi, Draconia, Braydenn, Zannt (or however his rogue’s name is spelled….they’re all so similar!) and Sazalsix…we did it!