Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why I wish Firelands was like Ulduar

As we near the release of 4.2 and the new raid content of Firelands, I'm left feeling a small twinge of nostalgia as I think about the awesomeness that was Ulduar.  I'm not necessarially talking about all the fights here, or even the story behind it (because really, it was just kinda dropped in), but more along how Blizzard handled the most important aspect of the game.


What, you were expecting something else?

Honestly though, Ulduar is where Blizzard hit it right in my opinion.  Lore over at The Daily Marmot really hit it on the head this week, when he talks about how great the boss fights were, the trash to boss ratio, and even how they handled 'hard modes'. 

Now I'm sure that my personal experience with Tier 11 content has jaded my experience some, and Tier 10 and 11 were certainly better than Tier 9 (ToC).  I mean, that's where the wheels really came off.  ToC was terrible (it's a circle!), and the fact that you had to clear it twice in one lockout was really aggrivating.  At least with ICC you could turn heroic modes on and off.

Forget Heroic - just bring back Hard

The thing I really liked about Ulduar though, was you could make the fight harder, and it actually incorporated something beyond "hey, here's some adds!".  No, instead you could choose to kill bosses in a certain order (Council), kill off supporting adds (Freya), reach a DPS speed goal (Hodir), or choose to give the boss extra powers by pushing a button (Mimiron).  This mechanic was so much better than the current method of switching it over to 'heroic' and having the bosses hit harder.  Woo-hoo.

Sure, some fights introduce extra abilities, but for the most part, it's just a bigger DPS punch, or possibly an add.  Imagine Halfus - instead of fighting him with all the drakes, you could choose to 'wake' his drakes.  This way you could choose to have none (fine, there's a minimum of three) drakes go active that have to be released and killed, or you can go with all five like you get now.  V&T you could make a portal that siwtches them, I don't know.

What I do know is killing the same boss (esentially) twice just sucks.  Come on Atramedes - at least get some sparkels or something. 

Maybe I just don't know what I want.  Maybe I just want some Ulduar.


  1. I have to agree. Ulduar is where they had it right.

    Example of how awesome it was.

    I just started back raiding.

    We were doing H Halfus last night.

    I was just making sure I knew what was going on. (Only my 2nd time.)

    I asked the person explaining if we could just not kill the drakes and get an achieve or mount or better gear...

    She said "no."

    At that moment I realized that WotLK is long gone and we're in Cata...

  2. That video never gets old.

    One of my favorite aspects of some Ulduar hard modes was you could not fake it. XT's heart, Thorim's hallway, Hodir's race. Sure, those aspects were mostly dps checks but it wasn't really possible to 'barely' kill it. Either you met the height requirements or you didn't. I even found myself in a 10man pug, late in Wrath, who couldn't meet Hodir's timer.

  3. I heartily agree. For me, Ulduar was the high water mark of WoW's raid design. But sadly, Blizzard have openly stated that they aren't willing to put that much effort into each new raiding tier. I don't know why - maybe because getting an OK new tier out the door every 6 months is more important to keep subscribers than getting a really good one out every, say, 9 months?

    Whatever the reason, it's a great shame. Heck, Ulduar even *looked* pretty, how many raids can you say that about?

  4. Ulduar was the shit because of one thing:


  5. I have to say - so far Firelands has done a great job, though obviously the mechanic of the hard mode that I wish for isn't there.

    Of course as one guildy said "ToC would have looked great after seven months of BoT and BWD".


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