Patch 3.1 for World of Warcraft went live on the European realms today. For a change, I actually let the background downloader do its thing over the last couple weeks which meant getting the patch was hardly a headache at all. But like every major patch day, there’s always a headache.
My guild decided to head into Ulduar 10 tonight with hardly looking up any information at all on any of the encounters. 2 or 3 of us had basic knowledge on the first boss; the Flame Leviathan, so we did our best to try and explain the tactics to those who hadn’t read a thing. The instance itself is actually rather pleasant on the eyes and is one of the best looking instances to date. Sorrounded by the beauty we started moving up the gauntlet to get to the boss. We weren’t entirely sure on the towers but we destroyed them anyway to be on the safe side. This also gave us an oppurtunity to get used to the vehicles and the slaughtering of Iron Dwarfs is never a bad thing.
Since I had a basic grasp of the fight, I was in one of the Siege Engines. These are literally the tanks for the encounter (I made a funny!). It’s a rather simple fight in using the SEs to kite and interupt the boss whilst choppers slow him down with tar and the Demolishers hurl players on top of the boss to stun him… or something. Our first try resulted in not only a wipe, but a nice 2-3 hour wait before the servers welcomed us in again. We had been waiting for Ulduar for the last 2 months or so like the rest of the server, who we were now waiting with just outside of Ulduar. We had 1 or 2 players go offline but most of us hung about waiting and hoping. I spent the time watching Hot Rod again.
We finally did get back in with replacements and had to reclear the gauntlet, although we did so a lot faster than our first try. This time we wiped at about 3% or something so we were sure we’d get him on the next go. The next attempt was absolutely flawless. The trash that shortly followed, was not. The Molten Colossi look fairly harmless, but after a wipe that took us by surprise and took less than 10seconds, we knew Blizzard had stepped the game up. It’s been months (actually, an expansion pack) since we had interesting trash in raids and it was muchly welcomed. We got the trash down a try later and also cleared our way to Ignis. After a wipe or two, people had to go and the raid was called. I didn’t take any loot away with me tonight, but I took away something else.
What I took away from the raid was giddy excitement. Although our guild and most of the server struggled to get in to the raid, there was excitement about hard content. We had one or two players in the raid who were used to Naxx wtfpugpwnage who weren’t used to wiping, let alone on trash who needed a bit of a kick up the bum. It will be a struggle to have the place on farm, but that’s the point of it. Vaelstraz (The Guild Killer) isn’t my favourite WoW boss because he’s easy and we one shotted him. He’s my favourite because it felt like we were hitting our head on a wall for 2 solid months before we downed him. We don’t remember the things we roflstomp, we remember the difficulties.
There’s a lot more about the patch I want to talk about but it’s getting late. I’m genuinely excited by the new content and I look forward to the struggles ahead. And as JFK said:
“We don’t do these things because they are easy, we do them because they are hard.”