What I do love, are hard modes. They have become my new passion. I had been of the opinion that I am not leet enough, not hardcore enough, too casual, didn’t play in Vanilla or raid seriously in TBC. I enjoyed the nerfs. I play a paladin. I try to think realistically.
A few months ago I decided I didn’t like that a smattering of my friends were dispersed into different guilds and that we were not able to raid together, logical next step? I formed up a once a week Uld10 (best instance in WoTLK so far imo, and this was before we had ToGC down) for 3 hours and we went in with the idea of first, we will kill yoggy, as we had yet to even spend some quality time on him without pugging in horribad fail, then we’ll take it from there. We go in and clear the entire instance (Alg not included) with a person in full blues all in under 4 hours. At that point we knew that we were going to be able to make a dent in hard modes and we set forward from that week on to work on them! 3 weeks later we began working on Alg. I must say, putting the time limit on Alg did make that fight very fun, and very challenging. Adding to the fact that Alg was quite buggy and would sometimes just despawn, or kill people during big bang for no reason if they were cutting it close with their hopping into holes. This lead us to working around it and being more methodical and diligent in our movements, helping us work as a well oiled machine better. The more challenging the fights, I found out simply required more teamwork. (This being said that we overgeared the encounters, and they were still difficult to us. And yes I know, months behind.) I became very proud with our progress, but after the high that was Alg, we didn’t see much else as a challenge. We had cleared out ToGC with over 45 attempts remaining, and even that was more of a crapshoot in that bad RNG could hose you, and it felt more like the undying runs in naxx that I personally never enjoyed. I understand putting fun limitations on a fight (like the 1 hour on Alg) but no wipes is a little too far past what I enjoy. Like I said, I feel that I am pretty casual.
Of the many things I felt I got out of doing the different hardmodes, I value those experiences that made me a better player. After doing FireFighter, which is essentially the same exact fight as reg but with fire going all over the place, I felt like my awareness for watching multiple timers, healing a raid, and positioning not just myself, but my range tank, mobile tank, heals, and dps as we moved around the room. Working together with the whole raid to take down targets only when we needed them(emergency fire bots), and to unload on the boss at all other times was quite the experience.
The sad part is though, after all of that, the regular ICC modes frustrate me when the only reason we are wiping is because not our whole raid has the experience I had learning more challenging, demanding content. At the end of the day, we are all sitting in front of a keyboard with mouse and monitor and pushing buttons at the right time. It’s not exactly like were pro athletes. But I feel that I gained the ability to basically multitask in the way that the game wants me to, and that is what determines if the raid will win. Can each person in each role of the raid execute their specific duty?
The good news through all of this is that our hard mode group of 10 will most likely begin work on the ICC ones when they come out, as opposed to being drastically overgeared making the hard, less hard. This will again force us to all play at a high level if we expect any sort of success. This excites me. To be a part of a team that works together to achieve.