This weekend was a welcome back weekend in World of Warcraft. It was a pretty busy weekend for us socially so we didn’t actually get that much done, but since I’m not Token-subbed at the moment it allowed me to join my husband in progressing some of the 8.1.5 main story. It gave us a chance to do some emissaries for gold as well as a warm-up to being back in the game.
Blizzard it seems hasn’t listened to complaints about locking story behind dungeons, for the Horde side we had two raid-only quests to complete, one for the Vol’jin story and another for the war campaign. Apparently our Alliance mains won’t have to do the raid at all for the equivalent story updates; at this stage in the expansion the story is so Horde-focused we decided to play those characters as the priority.
I guess I should be thankful that the LFR difficulty exists now to allow progress past a raid without having to invest a lot of time and effort in finding a group. It also means for a non-raider you can complete the quest step without a huge amount of stress or mechanic-learning preparations. LFR also allows you to queue for a specific ‘wing’ of the raid – a big time saver over doing a whole 9-boss raid for one quest: in this case we needed to do the last third of Battle of Dazar’alor to ‘kill’ Jaina Proudmore.
I’d be lying if I said it was a particularly enjoyable experience. I went in with my husband and another guild mate; my husband has raided for years now and knew all the strategies for this raid. Still having him keeping us alive doesn’t prevent the other players from slowing things down. Things proceeded pretty well until the Blockade boss: there is a raid-wipe mechanic if the elemental boss at the end is not defeated in time. One wipe wasn’t that much of a delay, though you do have to repeat the fights on the boats as well.
It was the final boss of the raid, unsurprisingly, that caused the group some issues. Mainly because a hunter twice triggered Blood Lust from a pet way too early in the fight and that prevented us from using the ability to prevent a wipe when Jaina tries to freeze everyone later on. That wasted quite a lot of time and soured the mood in the raid chat as well. Thankfully we got her down on the third try. I was getting tired of dodging all the bad stuff while trying to heal (there is so much movement in WoW raiding), it makes me wish for a decent move ability. I doubt I’ll ever want to raid in this game, but if I were to I’d want to have my monk levelled for it so I could roll around.
We’ll try and get some dungeon runs in later this evening for a dose of more relaxed small group fun. If only Blizzard would make a 5-person version of the raids, I’d be a lot happier with these types of story-progression road-blocks.