Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heroics These Days

Last night after work I hopped into the Dungeon Finder.  After the always awesome 35 minute DPS wait (thank God for daily quests), I was put into Grim Batol.  To sum the run up, we wiped at least 10 times, had to kick a Warlock who loves to break CC, had a Warrior quit because someone gave him advice, and I personally went through 8-10 Fish Feasts.  It was the most fun I've had playing WoW in years.

"Say what, JC?  That was fun?  You must be some kind of masochist.  I would have left that run after wipe 2."

I'm sure this is what many people would say.  Especially players who entered Azeroth during Lich King.  I'm gonna let you guys in on what has become a secret:  Heroics are supposed to be challenging.  It's true!  Look-up the word heroic if you don't believe me.  Contrary to what we did in 2009, you're not supposed run through an entire dungeon with your pet on agressive and spamming Volley while watching Hulu in another window.  You remember Volley, right?  Dungeons, especially heroic ones, are intended to be a challenge.  You're supposed to-gasp-have to talk to the other party members!  You might need to make a plan!  You definately have to work together (Warlock).  Boss mechanics are supposed to matter.

And here's the real secret:  It's fun.

I have been slow out of the gate with Cataclysm.  I can't raid with my guild right now due to work.  I have been doing 5-mans, but not every day.  Up until last night my reasoning has been that they are the only dungeons we have for the next couple of years ( Along with the few that will be added-ZG is back!) so no need to burn-out on them in the first month.  After the run I had last night I realize there was more going on than that.  The second half of Wrath made heroics into a grind.  They wern't hard or interesting, but we had to keep running them for emblems.  Total grind.  I used to force myself to knock-out my daily random on two characters, even though I wasn't at all excited about doing it.  That feeling carried-over to Cata.  Until last night.

At the risk of offending the hardcores, last night's run felt like a raid to me.  We had to communicate and learn from each wipe.  We had to eliminate mistakes.  I was peeling mobs off the healer, trapping, healing myself at times to make-up for my own bad positioning, and  Disengaging out of the fire.  It was as close to a raid as I have gotten to do since ICC.  It felt the same anyway.  The final boss was particularly fun.  Get to the swirly spot.  As soon as it was gone I was flinging a Frost Trap down the hall and hitting one of the adds with Concussive Shot.  So fun!  SO much MORE fun than just melting faces.  It wasn't just me.  We were all forced into using our entire toolboxes as opposed to a boring AoE monsoon.  I wish I could remember the other guys' servers and names.  I'd love to give a shout-out.

I can't wait to run another one tonight.  And I hope it's just as hard.  I hope the general population never outgears these dungeons.  If we do, Blizz better keep making new ones that are just as challenging.  They did an amazing job with design and philosophy this time around.  You have to protect yourself, use all your abilities, and understand the fight.  Heroics are finally what they were intended to be:  A decent substitute for people like me who can't raid regularly.  If you like a challenge, today's heroics are as entertaining as 5-mans have ever been in the history of World of Warcraft. 

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