Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Will Level 80 Heroics Be Memorable?

During this weekend's craft-a-thon, I had to level some lowbies up to appropriate Grand Master level (65 for the Inscription/Alchemist, and 60 for the Blacksmith/Jewelcrafter).

Despite some excellent answers from readers to my post about "what's the fastest route", my leveling method of choice remains boosting multi-box runs through dungeons. Whether its the fastest or not, it is definitely brainless, and makes the grind more like playing a relaxing mind-numbing game of minesweeper, rather than fighting with glitchy quests, competing with death knights for spawns, and actually gears the babies up nicely should they ever have to fire a shot in anger.

So I found myself back in Ramparts, Blood Furnace, Slave Pens, Underbog, Mana-Tombs, and Sethekk Halls.

The experience evoked some outstanding memories.

Outlands Heroic Memories, FTW

Heroic Slave Pens wasn't always about 3 badges in 27 minutes. My first run in there was 4 hours of trying to get past the big two-mob pull that's shortly before the first boss. Un-crowd controllable, and we were at a point that the tank really couldn't handle both beating on him, and the healer could't really heal through it. But that run, while somewhat painful, stands out in my mind. The bond forged with the players in there lasted well beyond that saturday afternoon.

Heroic Ramparts. That pull at the top of the curvy stairs with one melee guy and four casters. Hours and hours of trial and error. Certainly not efficient in the Badges per Hour sense, but with the right group of people, and a healthy sense of humor, it was one of the most memorable runs ever.

Heroic Sethekk Halls. First Boss with three waves of elementals. Sure, by June or July 2008, we could burn him down and ignore those adds and the boss would be dead before the adds had time to travel all the way over to the healer. But in the early days of heroics? Took us quite a bit of creativity to work with what we had and make it happen.

So many memorable experiences in those dungeons.

Did you ever kill the fire b1tch in Heroic Mechanar? The first time five of us from the guild killed her, gchat erupted more than on our progression kill against Prince Malchezzar.

Remember when the 7 mob pull in Heroic Shattered Halls required you to control 5 out of the 7 mobs, or else your team would get crushed? Or maybe CC 4 of the mobs while you (hopefully) burned down the non-elites?

What about Northrend?

But what about the Level 80 Heroics?

Is there anything that will stand out as memorable in Northrend?

I've been through them all, except for Occulus.

What stands out?

Ok, so the gauntlet with the harpoons in Utgarde Pinnacle has a certain blend of style and challenge. I've had cake walks through there, a run where we actually 4-manned cuz of an afk PuG pally (thanks, bud), and a few rough runs that had some wipes and adjustment.

The Old Kingdom boss where you get pwned by your GM's alt have to fight your teammates in a 1-vs-4 arena match? Certainly memorable, if still a very sour taste in my mouth from the one and only time I've been there.

Maybe. Maybe that lady who dropped santa hats in Nexus and whips you around on the end of long strings. I'd say that one stands out in my mind, but more for the novelty effect of bouncing around, rather than the challenge standing out.

How about Occulus? For those who have been through the place, it must be memorable, since they'll never go back again. I've had countless people (guild, small but growing list of friends, LFG, /trade channel, PuG'ers from other instances) express their desire to NEVER RUN OCCULUS AGAIN. So I suppose that's memorable?

I'm not knocking the place!

WotLK 5-man dungeons are very cool. I definitely like the visual appeal, the varied mechanics, the creativity behind the dungeons in Northrend. They are real, and they are spectacular.

Culling of Stratholme is certainly entertaining and interesting.

But will an single run ever be as memorable as those Outlands ones?

Is it just because Outlands was virgin territory for me, and now I'm a salty raider?

What 5-person runs stand out in your memory?

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