Da T’under King Be No More

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Two posts in one day? What is this?!

As we draw a close to the 15th raiding tier in WoW, I thought it would be a good time to post my thoughts and feelings of how I thought the tier went, as well as a few other things we’ve seen over the past few months.

Starting the tier, I had to finish off my uni work, so I promoted Búllrog to raid leader for <Ex Cineribus> while I raided as a standard player and didn’t have to focus on knowing what everyone had to do and just focused on my own role. He did a stellar job, and we got to 2/13hc before I took the reigns for a short time and took us to 4/13hc before the raid team disbanded and we moved over to our new home in <OMFG Kittens>. Once there, we finished the raid tier on extremely high spirits and ended on a nice 10/13hc with plenty of time to have downtime before Siege of Orgrimmar!

And I honestly can’t say I’ve been happier with my new home!

Raiding

Looking at the raid itself, and from my personal perspectives – Blizzard did a really, really good job with Throne of Thunder. It gave us the return of Jin’rokh and several important trolls in lore in Council of Elders. Of course, the final boss Lei Shen is also a recognisable character from the questing done in Pandaria. So while we had the majority of the raid of unknown/new faces, we can safely tick the box of having bosses in the raid of ones we actually know of before going in – a continuing trend in the next tier!

The storyline for the raid worked really well too. We’re taking the fight to Lei Shen (though I’d prefer to have some Shado-pan accompany us for the first 3 bosses, or pile in after we kill bosses) until we get to the bridge between Council and Iron Qon, where we ended up getting the pathway crumble underneath our feet, to get fed to the beasts below the Throne.

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After fighting our way through the forgotten creations and beasts below the Isle of Thunder (along with a secret from years past) we finally come up against the tyrant mogu warlord and his most prized acquaintances. It is a fantastic story, the aesthetics look amazing, the fights are tuned very well on both 10 and 25 – with 10s actually having the prestige of difficulty this time around! But is it the Ulduar 2.0 we were led on to believe?

Ulduar is still my favourite raid, though Throne of Thunder does come in at third on the list behind Karazhan – but the addition of LFR has somewhat deadened what would have been an awesome tier with being able to run the place multiple times (and getting angry at people for failing mechanics). Ulduar was great because it was so short a tier that you rarely ran more than once per week – you were left wanting more because ToC was released shortly after, that simply provided better gear. Ulduar was FILLED with Titan lore, again another item that leaves you wanting more. Ulduar also provided plenty of achievements that extended beyond hard mode, beyond the standard metas – it kept you coming back again for wanting more. Ulduar was a MASSIVE raid that had tons of potential, and no matter what it always gave people a reason to want to go back and experience it some more.

Does ToT provide the same experience? Thanks to being in a much better guild than where I was back in Ulduar, the completionist side of me has been viably sated for this tier. Similar to Ulduar, the heroic-only encounter provides something that leaves you wanting more information about the Titans, but this time he’s a relatively simple fight in comparison to how Algalon was in comparison to Yogg-Saron (or so I’m led to believe). Is it the fact that I can run the place multiple times on multiple characters, and I’m just getting burnout from the raid? It certainly feels like I’ve been inside the halls of the Thunder King for many more hours than I was inside Yogg-Saron’s jail.

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Non-Raiding

Both the dailies of 5.2 and the weekly of 5.3 have been bearable, the Battlefield: Barrens even continuing my interest on some occasions after I’ve gotten everything I need achievement- or gear-wise from there. I still maintain the best daily hub for this expansion has been the Operation: Shieldwall and Dominance Offensive, with a questline intermittent between dailies at certain thresholds. Although I haven’t been to Krasarang since getting both of my gryphons, it was still an incredible questing experience, as far as WoW goes.

While this hasn’t been a heavy PvP patch for me, it does need a slight mention. With the addition of Deepwind Gorge in 5.3, I have to say I’m surprised I have yet to be motivated enough to get that Gorgeous title. I haven’t really touched much arena since moving to Nagrand, though hopefully in 5.4 with cross-realm arenas, I’ll be able to team up with my old PvP buddies I left behind on Doomhammer.

Preparation for 5.4

Even though there are plenty of resources available on what to expect later on this week, here’s another source for you to reference to in case you get lost on the way to Orgrimmar:

  • Valor points are staying – make sure to cap this week! Though there’s no new gear for valor, upgrades will be available straight away, and the current valor rewards are either changing to Justice rewards, or in the case of the Shado-pan Assault, being reduced by 34% in cost.
  • Conquest points on the other hand will turn to Honor points. Extra honor over 4k will turn into gold.
  • Lesser Charms will be able to be turned into Warforged Seal for use on tier 16 bosses. Mogu Runes of Fate can be bought from the Timeless Isle for 2500 Timeless Coins
  • Once raiding Siege of Orgrimmar you will get ilvl 528 from LFR, 540 Flex, 553 Normal, 559 Warforged, 566 Heroic, and 572 Heroic Warforged. LFR requires iLvl 496 to enter, although the Timeless Isle brings us BoA 496 gear that will turn into an item suitable for that character’s loot spec. The raid unlock schedule can be found here.
  • Crafters will want to hold onto or stockpile Bolts of Windwool Cloth, Magnificent Hide, Trillium Bars and Ghost Iron Bars to create the new 476 PvP gear, or used with 5.4’s Haunting Spirits (Spirits of War) to create 553 iLvl PvE items. Scribes have new glyphs, and Engineers get a new mount, new pet, and more!

So what did you guys think of the last tier? Did it live up to your standards? Did Blizzard bitterly disappoint you again? Are you looking forward to punching Garrosh in the face? I’ll see you later on this week after 5.4 has hit live servers!

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2 thoughts on “Da T’under King Be No More

  1. From a hardcore raiders’ perspective of Ulduar, progressing it and putting in 7 hours a day for an entire week to get Alone in the Darkness 25man down, I can safely say that an eternity could pass and I still wouldn’t want to ever go back there again. Also some of the BiS loot of a hunter was stored inside the 10man heroic modes, so I had to run the raid twice every week for upwards of 23 weeks (if my memory serves me right), that’s worse than anything LFR could do to a player. Being forced to run a 10man as a 25man guild purely for gearing up was not fun. The difference of ilvl LFR gear has now is considerably lower than the difference between a 10man hc item and a 25man hc item. Not only that, trinkets (and indeed all other items) were locked to either 10man or 25man. My armour pen trinket for Ulduar was only located on the 10man version of Thorim, which essentially forced me into running it multiple times a week.

    It was a good raid, do not get me wrong on that, but there were bosses that were not engaging at all, and you could argue they were essentially there purely for fluff reasons, serving little reason to be there other than another venue of loot. Leviathon was an outstanding first boss to begin with, but after that you’re not met with any sort of resistance or engaging gameplay until you get to the Keepers, and then you have Yoggy-bear and Algalon left. That’s only 7 bosses in there that I would deem non-fluff.

    On the point of LFR, it does serve it’s purpose, but in an entirely different way than it was originally presented. I personally think it’s a problem due to how easy it is to max-level a character/alt, thus leading to more and more people having multiple alts, and people put psychological strain upon themselves into thinking they must keep their alts up to a standard akin to their mains.

    In it’s originality, LFR was merely meant for casual players to experience the story and the fights in a watered-down variation while offering slight gear upgrades every now-and-then, a so-called carrot on a stick approach, which has been achieved to a rather great success if I might add, however people have taken it one step further and taken it upon themselves to run it as many times as they can to gear up alt characters.

    You can argue the fact that people wanted more to do in Cataclysm, and the devs answered with more content than we can shake a stick at, but which is the greater evil? Not a lot of content to do, or more content than you can ever complete? Arguably both are as bad as each other.

    On the topic of Throne, every single boss has an underlying mechanic that you could argue draws you into the fight, or adds some complexity on it, but everything I’ve faced thus far has not felt ‘epic’. Killing the bosses we have done currently on HC mode felt like we had achieved something good, but it has not felt anything along the lines of Ragnaros HC, or Spine of Deathwing HC (Still the last boss of DS in my eyes). Personally I would like there to be less bosses, but with more ‘umph’ to them. Dragon Soul was (incoming swear words) a really good raid in my eyes purely because it was bursting with a whole variety of bosses that were completely different from everything else and offered new things to the table. Every boss you killed on HC there felt like you actually did the impossible. Progressing on Spine HC was one of the most brutal fights I have ever experienced and I’m looking forward to the next time something pushes me that far where even a 10 dps difference can make or break the attempt. (I just hope this time around you don’t have to stack ret paladins, mages or rogues, and everyone has their time to shine)

    • You do make some excellent points, especially about LFR’s original incarnation. With the last part about a fight similar to Spine in terms of tight DPS – it’s always going to be a case of ‘which classes can burst in that small window’ or ‘which classes are going to be more suitable for X mechanic’ until you ultimately outgear it or Blizzard places the raid debuff in.

      Does that then take away from the accomplishment because of the impossibility of class balance without homogenisation?

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