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.