Friday, March 27, 2009

Played Lately: World of Warcraft

  • My adventures in PuG raiding continued last Sunday with an evening raid into the Naxxramus Construct Quarter. I know I said I wasn't going to raid, but the invite was right there. How was I supposed to say no? Actually, pick-up raiding is just about the most I'll be looking for. No raiding guilds for me!

  • Back to my story. Much like the Sartharion raid, I asked if there was a gear requirement and instead of an answer I received an invite to the raid. I took off from Dalaran and flew for the first time to Naxxramus. It's hard to describe the combined feeling of unease and excitement as I flew over. Joining a raid means there are a bunch of other people who need you to carry your weight, something I haven't done much of since The Burning Crusade. In a ten player raid, there is even less slack for failure. Also Naxxramus is a huge icon in World of Warcraft. It has gone from the pinnacle of raiding in basic game to the starter raid here. But what player hasn't heard of Patchwerk or the Four Housemen or Kel'Thuzad? It reminded me of my first time in Karazhan, my first and favorite raid.

  • When we finally had ten players together, we started on the construct quarter, a wing full of abominations and slimes. There was very little trash to kill, evidently an improvement since the level 60 days. Then before long, the first encounter with Patchwerk. I was so excited to have such a famous boss as the first on our list. Food buffs and elixers in place, I did my mage thing, slamming Frostfire Bolts weaved with the occasional Scorch, Living Bomb, or Pyroblast. One thing I love about raiding is that I have to use so many more spells than just blasting the baddies down. It took a few minutes — long mana draining minutes — but we downed Patchwerk and I got my first Emblem of Heroism from Naxx.

  • The next fight was the less notable but more interesting Grobbulus. This monstrosity took four tries before people got the hang of not standing in the clouds. The way I typed that sounds silly, but there is a lot more going on with these clouds that takes some getting used to. One interesing mechanic in the fight involved Grobbulus hitting people with his Mutating Injection. That is another way for him to spread his clouds around. I got a couple compliments on my ability to drop clouds in nooks between other clouds then blinking out of danger. It was very nice to hear.
  • Grobbulus was also where I got my first piece of Naxxramus gear. I won the roll and received the Handgrips of Turmoil. Even without socketing a gem, they are better than the previous gloves I was wearing. It stuns me that a PuG raider like myself can end up with three epic items. (Come to think of it, the socket is still empty. Wonder what I should drop in there.)

  • From Grobbulus, we moved on to Gluth. His fight isn't hugely complicated. He has an enrage ability that a couple classes have the ability to dispel. That seemed pretty easy. He also can eat zombies to heal himself. That was much more interesting. Someone in the group (not sure who it was) collected all the zombies, then we blew them up as a group when they tried to get to Gluth. Lots of fun and we did it on the first try.

  • The final fight was with Thaddius. We made several attempts, only one of which could be thought of as an actually attempt since people either missed the jump or didn't get into tanking position in time. The one good attempt went well until we discovered one of the healers didn't understand the charge mechanic. That wipe pretty much ended us for the night. So I didn't get to finish a wing or see the proposed Military Quarter. Killing three bosses on my first night was a lot of fun and I hope to see the place again sometime. Mage LFG for Naxx 10 or 25!

  • As an aside, I just discovered that one of the new pets available in the new patch will be an enchanted broom. Ever since I rolled my first blood elf, seeing these brooms sweeping up Silvermoon was one of my favorite sights in the game. If this is true, I'll never need another pet again.

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