Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Twilight of the Lich King

The eponymous (heroic) Lich King is quite the bugger, even if pugs are defeating his lesser non-heroic doppelganger daily.

Still, there's really not much left to do for the 1000+ guilds that have been raiding Icecrown for many many months now, and that have completed all but the most difficult of encounters available.

What is there to occupy our time?

This week is the last my guild will raid until we're all 'fresh' new level 85 characters, ready for the new challenges the Cataclysm will bring us.

We've been essentially messing around with achievements, battling the ennui and lack of focus rampant in Wow raids these days (nights).

Sure, a while back I posted our server-first Grand Crusader, which was still somewhat of a challenge even if it was a tier old.

Sure, we 'Observed' the Fall of Algalon and accomplished the mount-related Ulduar achievements, even if they were two tiers old.

But one achievement had still eluded the vast majority of guilds out there, hanging out like the lowest yet heretofore unobtained fruit on the Forbidden Tree: the Immortal! Yes, random pugs have been doing Undying on various alts (I have that title from the one and only attempt I made on my at-the-time terribly undergeared resto shammy), but the Immortal has been foiling guilds for almost two full years. The guild I raided with two years ago was able to accomplish all the achievements in Naxx25 prior to the release of Ulduar save one: the Immortal. On our very last week prior to Ulduar, we had made it through every boss without a single death to Sapphiron. And, wouldn't you know it, we were at about 50% when my mouse died, shortly followed by the agonized cries of 25 raiders when Hine expired prematurely.

Thus it was with some trepidation that our undermanned (19 raiders, but almost all mains) Monday night group entered that vile pyramid in the sky.

Fears which turned to groans when we stood before the Silly Taunt Boss (Razuvious), and our ice mage summoned his pet and it was inexplicably set to aggressive. Sure enough, the botched pull resulted in a clothie getting one-shot and having to run out. Thankfully, the instance can be reset if you run out before killing any bosses.

The second time the pull went reasonably well, but the poor priests, long unaccustomed to the silly mind control mechanic of the fight, missed a taunt and a caster pulled agro, once again resulting in a clothie insta-gib.

Groans and frustrated expletives burst out via Vent, with some questioning the commitment of others, and general dissatisfaction was expressed. The GM asked if we just wanted to give up, but Hine and others said, 'there's no reason we can't do it.' Whereupon I discovered Hine had 'entered to many instances recently' to partake. So, I flew around the carrion fields below Naxxramas, pretending to be one of the elite drakes circling the instance, until, thankfully, the Instructor got his own lesson in Threat and all the clothies survived. Since I still couldn't enter; I had to wait while the 'scary' bosses were challenged next, but the IceTomb Boss and the Swirly Circles of Doom On the Floor Boss were vanquished without incident. I wouldn't say the mood was jubilant. I wouldn't say the mood was expectant. But at least my 18 intrepid colleagues might have started to think, 'maybe we can do this, after all.'

We trudged through the Construct Quarter, where the Big Tank n Spank (dps check? um, check.), the Slime Slobberer, the Doggie, and even the Electric Charge Boss expired without much fanfare. The latter boss elicited some concern, but rather than risk crossing charges, most of the ranged simply spread out and stood unmoving, ignoring the charges and leveling their lethal attacks in an iconoclastic manner.

We sludged through the Arachnid Quarter, where very little resistance indeed was offered by its denizens. The Ubiquitous Beetle's shell was simple to crack, the Widow's candles blew out with a puff, and the Not So Itsy-Bitsy Spider's webs proved little challenge.

Next we finished off the Military Quarter, where Gothik's spawning adds laughably died in pitiful piles of corpse dust, and we rode herd on the Horsies Of Something Supposedly Scary, being careful to not clump up on the One that Chains Lightening in Bad Ways.

With growing confidence, we hastened to the Plague Quarter, killing Goat Head Guy before he ported, Dancer before we crossed the floor more than once, and yes, the Healer Interrupter before he prevented much healing at all.

We battled the killer foes of boredom, lack of focus, and low motivation, and came up.... interested, focused, and motivated enough, if only just.

Not only that, but we defeated the Ledge Boss, the Frogger Boss, and Most importantly of all, the RNG Boss - that final boss that had always managed to fell mice, disconnect tanks or otherwise torpedo the success of so many raids in the past.

We Did It!!!
Of course, just like this tale, the achievement was more than a little anticlimactic, and rather than the typical jubilation at overcoming a difficult challenge as a guild, by far the most prominent emotion was relief.

But, we got 'er done, in these Twilight days and nights of the Lich King. We got 'er done. And I'll wear my Immortal title with pride, no matter when it was obtained.