Tuesday, 5 January 2010


Finally, after much effort, managed to put together a credible ICC10 raid of main characters from my guild. My previous attempts had been before the Marrowgar 10 bug fix and so I'd just cleared trash before.

We cleared the place in 70 minutes, with no deaths (as in, not one raid member died at any time during the instance). The closest we came to losing someone was due to framerate issues at the top of the elevator before the gunship fight, when our cat druid nearly fell off. It only took 70 minutes because I had to have the fights and trash explained to me each time.

Now granted, everyone else had cleared the place a couple of times before on 25 man, but still. Still...

It now will feel like farming every time we go back there. Can't wait for the heroic mode to be released since the raid damage is really undertuned on almost all the fights. Incoming tank damage is probably ok, especially on Saurfang where you actually feel like you are being hit hard, but since the raid damage is so low all the three normal fights become tank and spank in essence. Ho hum. Perhaps I have got used to doing Ulduar and ToC hard modes, so expect a couple of weeks' work to get each kill, rather than each boss to roll over for me every time.

There is also not enough trash. Trash really gives an instance an atmosphere and a sense of scale - the Marrowgar trash is brilliant - the mobs hit hard, there are difficult casters to deal with who cast an interesting spell, and there is the constant fear of triggering one of the big buggers that lurk at the side. All the time you have Marrowgar grinning at you from the end of the corridor - it's really nicely done. The Deathwhisper trash is disappointing since there isn't much of it and it's all in the same room as the boss. I always feel that clearing trash about 10 yards from the boss (while said boss just sits there like a lemon) lacks a certain something. The high priest mobs are fun though - if they were tied to come both together that would be better, and it would be even better if they were in a smaller space so the bomb debuff they cast was more of an issue.

There is very little trash before the gunships, and none at all before Saurfang. A lack of trash makes an instance feel a bit like a series of loot boxes, one after another.

This comes back to one of the things I've been thinking about more and more recently - Blizzard is trying to make Warcraft less annoying. Trash is probably up there with the levelling process and having to travel for ages to get to the instance. If you remove it, people yell "Great", but then soon get bored of the arcade style content which is on offer. I miss levelling being difficult and time-consuming. I really really miss having to go on a long journey to a far-off part of the world to do an instance (remember doing BFD the first time when you had to travel from Stormwind? This ancient temple on the beach near a forest you'd never been to before. Having to get the tram to Ironforge and then walk to Menethil because you didn't have the flight points?). I also miss raid trash. More trash please.

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