Greedy Goblin

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A happy WoW session

I don't even remember when I enjoyed WoW for it's own. The moneymaking adventure itself is not much fun, especially since no one challenges my industries. The fun part is here, in the blog, where I can discuss my ideas with you. It's you, dear readers who keep me in that game.

However yesterday something absolutely unexpected happened: I really enjoyed the game, for long hours. It started as a normal session, my GF and me leveling alts. It's rather her fun than mine, I rather do it as "time together". We not just make quests, but discuss various topics while AoE the helpless mobs down.

We were lvl 74 warlock and 75 shaman. I'm on a pretty non-DPS talent, optimized for voidwalker tanking (for elites) and hellfire-AoE (for non-elites). She is resto.

We still did not completed Nexus. If you are leveling alts, you know why: the good players already at 80, their alts are power-leveled by the guild. So except for a handful new players, those who are in the instance range are complete M&S.

Seriously outleveling the instance, we decided to give it a shot. We gathered a tank (DK, tragedy guaranteed), retri pala and a mage. With some really interesting pulls, we managed to reach Ormorok. The funniest was the paladin attacking the treant all the time during it was banished.

At the boss my GF went bio (announcing it properly), the DK pulled, wiped and left the group. The other two followed it instantly. The recount shown me done 42% of overall damage (640 DPS!), my healer GF was third with random chain lightnings and engineering bombs.

If we were doing most of the work (the VW tanked more than the DK), why not kill the boss?

Since Ormorok is just tank and spank, we did just that. I mostly spammed health funnel, and dotted, my GF healed the void and autoattacked. Not big deal, but we had the quest.

Became bold on our glorious success, we went to the next quest, that requires killing the Alliance commander. He has two cleric adds. They both do decent melee on non-tanks and also cast 1.5 sec healings on themselves and the commander. The commander has melee three-shotting non-tanks, whirlwind and spell-interrupting charge.

There is no written tactics against them with a lock-healer duo. We had to find it out from scratch. It took 2 hours and 13 wipes. Every time we get closer. Every time we came up with new ideas.
  • First I feared one cleric, directly into the next pack.
  • Secondly we pulled them back, they reached us before we were ready.
  • Third time we managed the pull, the VW picked up the commander, I feared one cleric away, we started killing one, the commander whirlwinded us down.
  • 4-7 .times the positioning was good, but either the cleric killed us, or the commander killed the VW.
  • 8-10. times we could keep the cleric from killing us, but we couldn't interrupt enough times to kill it before my GF went OOM. The cleric was always lucky enough to cast his heal while my GF was healing me or the VW, not able to earth shock the cleric. Alternatively the other cleric, who was feared away, ran back, stopped at max range and casted heal on his buddy. His cast was faster than my fear.
  • On the eleventh try we came up with new strategy: instead of killing the cleric, I mana drained him to 0.
  • On the 12. try we came up with the idea that my GF tanks the cleric and I stand at a distance, so I can re-fear his buddy before he gets range.
  • And finally, on the 13. try, the cleric hit the ground. Soon after him the commander followed and finally the feared cleric.

It wasn't a grind. It was challenge.
It wasn't a mindless "follow the raid leader". It was thinking, analyzing, planning.
It wasn't "another farm kill for gear we don't really need". It was victory.

Later we had an unexpected raid with our mains. It was a mindless grind with 0 challenge. Yet it was fun (GF missing, because she was hunting down some fleeing "trashmobs"):


phoenixboy said...

Its the moments like that what makes you enjoy the game. Made remember my first raid clear...good tiems.

Claidic said...

This is what it is like to be a M&S. When you're a M&S, everything you do is a challenge, but if you keep at it long enough you can usually be victorious (because WoW is easy)

Yaggle said...

I hope your GF put a good spanking on those fleeing trash mobs.

Fixee said...

It's hard to remember, in the mad dash to reach your gold goals and the non-stop quest to gain rep and gear on your main, that even if the game isn't that challenging at the moment, it's not to hard to MAKE it challenging.

And it's fun!

I suspect, Gevlon, even if you hadn't succeeded.. it would still have been plenty of fun.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't a grind. It was challenge.
It wasn't a mindless "follow the raid leader". It was thinking, analyzing, planning.
It wasn't "another farm kill for gear we don't really need". It was victory.

Welcome to my world. I am an officer in a fairly high end raiding guild, and this is what keeps me going. Working with the rest of the guild to figure out the new bosses. Working towards stuff like this - except not with just a girlfriend, but with a whole gang of my friends.

Sure naxx is a bit easy, but working with the guild. Its not just about "this is how you kill malygos", its "Ok, so what do WE need to do to kill malygos?" The planning, and strategys... the teamwork, the thrill of the chase and the eventual victory roar on vent when the boss dies.. whether its hours days or weeks of wiping - I don't care.

Its just a shame so much of naxx was such a faceroll, but then again thats reused content from a less complex era. Bring on Ulduar - the challenge, the chase and the victory!

Ben said...

Glad to hear you had a fun time!

Jormundgard said...

Some of my most fun moments were like this. When I was level 60, I would try to clear as much of Blackrock Depths by myself (as druid). My first time as Raid Leader was when 12 of us cleared the snake boss in Zul'Gurub (again at 60). This was a blast because none of us really understood the fight, and were trying all sorts of wacky things. Nevermind that many of them were just bad players doing terrible DPS. But getting it done after 5 or so attempts was a big rush for us.

I do all the big fights now, and they are fun for me, but there is less struggle and more frustration with poor players because I know all the fights are doable. The best part about those early challenges was the uncertainty and eventual triumph.

Saravid said...

Speaking of 2 manning content. Friday night after our 25 man naxx run (my first time in) I noticed I only needed around 800 rep to exalted with Kirin Tor. Rather then try to find a group at 1 AM my DK tank friend and I (elemental shaman) decided to kill the trash in herioc HoL. The first few pulls are pretty easy and the 4 packs aren't bad once I started hexing the ranged guys. We darted around the patroling boss and killed all the trash and we were staring at the boss. So what the heck we gave it a go and quickly wiped when the dk got mortal striked into the ground.

We dropped group and reformed to reclear the trash and when we just had 1 or 2 trash left accidentally pulled the boss with the lightning charge... ouch. So we went back in finished the last trash and tried one last time. After pulling out all the stops including both earth and fire elem totem, army of the dead, and ghoul we managed to bring the boss down with me at about 1k mana after using a mana pot.

2 manning a heroic boss ftw. Is the content too easy? Well maybe but it was still a ton of fun and one heck of a challenge.

P.S. we tried to continue on to the second boss but the elementals are immune to half my spells and killed us. I had allready hit exalted and didn't feel like clearing the slag pit again so we called it there.

Derrok said...

You're a druid (as my WotLK main).
I'm resto main spec with bear off-set

You can solo:
non-heroic TBC dungeons (and a few heroic ones)
all lvl 60 dungeons
a few WotLK non-heroics

Solo <> one-shot... but it can be done. (for a reroll, I even get rep I don't really care about...)Undermanning and soloing instances is one of the funnest things you can do while waiting for content. As gear increases with each raid 'level', you can take on more challenge solo and underman encounters. (4 player Kara or 10man BT for example... undercut even more players for increased challenge)

Being a businessman myself, repairs and consumables are never an issue, and you can just enjoy the challenge. (I actually purchased the traveler's mount so people wouldn't have to go back to a 'town' to repair or get reagents when on a dungeon undermanning frenzy)

Yaggle said...

I always enjoyed the 2-person MMO experience the best. But it only works when the content is optimized for a 2-person team (or slightly larger n00b group). Early days of EQ were like this but they killed that off. Early outdoor WoW was like this sometimes until they mass-nerfed outdoor elites into regular mobs. Nowdays it's either optimized for solo or 5-mans or raids. It looks like you found a little 2-person magic there. I guess if I wanted to find a niche for an MMO to compete with this game, that's one thing I would add, more content for groups of 2-3 people.

Seth said...

thats why i always try to 3man an instance... much more challeging.

Anonymous said...

"Its just a shame so much of naxx was such a faceroll, but then again thats reused content from a less complex era."

Original Naxxramas was rough. The current variant doesn't come close.

Vidi of Kargath said...

3 friends and I played 4 druids (bear, cat, tree, owl, named Veni, Vidi, Vici, and Visi) from level 1-70+ together, 4-manning every instance along the way while at or below the 'recommended level'. It was much fun, and led to a lot of the situations you talk about (though not quite as many wipes). There are rarely published boss strategies for 4-mans, let alone 4-druids -- we'd read up on a boss and the strategy would be "sheep or banish the adds, pally can consecrate to pick them up then AoE them down... and we were (pre-patch) Root-less, relatively AoE less... we had one epic trash-with-accidental-bad-boss-pull fight in which we used all 4 of our battle rezs and each person spent time doing off spec activities (bear popped up and healed, tree got aggro and dropped to bear to swipe and hold aggro while someone else battle rez'd the bear... it was mayhem and it was awesome.

Just because there isn't an achievement and 10 points associated with it doesn't mean you can't try it and have fun. Kudos to you and your GF for figuring it out and having a good story to tell.