I returned to Looking For Raid this past weekend for the final Pandaria raid. I had to re-do a couple of the previous raids during the week to get a drop that would bump my item level up to the required 496 for the Siege of Orgrimmar.
As with the earlier Pandaria raids, the Siege of Orgrimmar is broken up into segments. In this case, there are four distinct raids, each with its own bosses. I will attempt to recap my experiences.
Vale of Eternal Sorrows
This was the first on the list, and I ended up doing the bosses for this one… well, not backwards, but not in order either.
When I first queued for it, I ended up getting pulled into a group that had already done the first two bosses. I have been very lucky so far on that front, only once before having been pulled in later in a raid. I have managed to start with fresh groups all other times.
So I ended up coming in for the Norushen vs. the amalgam of corruption fight, in which I managed to hit things constantly and consistently and which was a success, though how much I contributed was, as always, debatable.
That moved us on to the last fight, the Sha of Pride, a fight with a mechanic I never figured out during the encounter. And we had to do it twice, as we wiped the first time. The Sha of Pride helpfully said:
Blame your companions!
Which made it sound like it knew we were and LFR group.
After the wipe I went off to read about the right quickly, but came away no wiser. So I just swung my sword a lot and we won the second time around. We always seem to win the second time if we wipe. But groups in LFR get a determination buff that boosts some key parameters by 5%, so you go in stronger the second time… and, one would hope, a bit wiser.
That done, I had to queue up again and managed to get a group starting off on the first two bosses. Immerseus was fun… probably because I actually figured out what was going on and was able to actively help during the fight.
And then there was the Fallen Protectors.
This was one of the more chaotic fights, in part because it was handled by those who knew about the fight entirely through negatives in the group chat. There are three bosses and numerous adds in this fight, and you have to change targets multiple times throughout the fight. Rather than somebody calling the target for DPS, all I saw in chat were statements to stop attacking one of the bosses.
Get off Rook!
Stop attacking Sun!
Why are you attacking He?!?
I couldn’t figure out who I ought to be attacking at various points during the battle, but I was well informed as to who not to attack. And I was apparently not alone. After the battle somebody said that we managed to drag that battle out longer than he had ever seen. I will compare this to the later, similar fight at the Paragons of the Klaxxi.
That finished the first stage for me and I left the group, dooming some other DPS player to have to play through the last two bosses. Sorry about that.
Gates of Retribution
The second stage actually put us outside of Orgrimmar, which I must admit was pretty cool. It started with a fight over cannons and towers in a battle I couldn’t quite follow. About par for the course when I get into something chaotic. At one point somebody was calling for more DPS at one of the towers, but by the time I got there the sub-group at the tower ran back to the main group. So I went with them.
We managed to win. My comprehension is not required for that.
Then it was off to the front gates of Orgrimmar to face the Iron Juggernaught, a fight that went off well enough. After that it was into what I think of as the main square of Orgrimmar to face the Kor’kron Dark Shaman. We managed to wipe on this one. I gather that the healers all stood in the wrong spot and got died at one point during the fight, which lead to the expected result. The second attempt played out better. As always, we won on the second try. Then we slaughtered the residents of Orgrimmar. The auction house was given particular attention. I don’t know why. Goblin hate? And then it was into the city and down into Ragefire Chasm where we found the final boss, General Nazgrim.
This last fight went very smoothly… at least relative to what I had seen up to that point… because somebody took the time to tell the DPS what to hit during the fight. So we cleaned up adds quickly and the General went down. End of instance.
Since the sections of the raid are divided up, and since I waited a day before I got to this section, I wasn’t quite sure where it was relative to General Nazgrim and Orgrimmar. I guess it was through the door Nazgrim was guarding. Maybe? No matter, we were there and after the first boss, Malkorok, who is one of those raid bosses who appears to spend his days standing in the middle of a giant circular platform. It is just a raid boss thing.
At this point all I remember was that we won and that I managed to not die. Go us.
Then it was on to the Spoils of Pandaria, which I totally remember because we stopped and somebody divided us up into two groups and explained what we had to do to win this fight. It appears that Garrosh and company had been looting the Pandaria and we were going to go get it. Only the treasures were crated up in two location… hence two groups… and appeared to be coming alive, breaking out of their crates, and attacking us. So we ran two parallel fights, which both succeeded. Go team informed!
The final fight was with Thok the Bloodthirsty, a giant armored raptor. And when I say “giant,” I mean that my character, a human male, was about the size of one of his talons. Giant.
This was a very active fight because you have to stay out of Thok’s sweet spot or he will one-shot kill you. I speak as somebody who spent half the fight on the floor dead. I was lucky that somebody spared a combat ress on me later in the fight. Then it was up and back to running around trying to stay close enough to hit him while keeping far enough away to not get popped again. Being melee can be exhausting. I missed some parts of the fight laying around on the floor as a corpse, but we won in the end and on the first try
Somebody will get that reference.
And then there was the final series of encounters. I queued for this on Sunday and was nearly an hour getting into a group. But at least I got a fresh group. It was a paladin heavy group though, with the followers of Uther the Lightbringer making up a quarter of the group. This was apparently a bad thing, as we had a rough time of it. We got ourselves into the instance and lined up to get to the first fight… I like how the game uses your group in the cinematics integrated with the NPCs… and managed to clear the path there no problem.
Then it was time to jump into a big pipe and drop in on the first boss encounter, Siegecrafter Blackfuse.
That went badly the first time. Again, a lot of confusion and things going on and no real direction to the group. Part way into the fight, somebody asked who was on the conveyor belt… something off to the side that delivers adds… and the resounding silence indicated that nobody was on the conveyor belt. And so there was a wipe
We were not fighting in a nice little circle, the raid just dumps all the corpses there when you wipe, no doubt to aid in clean up. You can see my big pink sword sticking out at about 5 o’clock. (It is the Claymore of the Prophet used to transmog my current weapon.)
The second time through there was a bit of planning up front (a conveyor belt team was picked) so, along with the determination buff, we were able to pound on through.
And then things got a little awkward.
We lost one of our tanks after that fight, so the group was put in the queue to pick up another tank. But it looked like we were queuing for a DPS a the count put us a two tanks still despite there clearly being only one tank. The the other tank left, which appeared to fix the problem, but which left us now queued for two tanks.
After about 30 minutes of this we were back up to a full strength group and were on to the Paragons of the Klaxxi fight.
This fight is vaguely similar to the Fallen Protectors fight mentioned above, in that there are multiple bosses and the DPS needs to be on the right boss. However, rather than retroactive yelling at people who didn’t know what was going on in the first place, somebody took charge and told the DPS just to kill the boss they marked. And then they marked one boss after another and we mowed them down and there wasn’t an iota of drama. As I am fond of saying, it was like we knew what we were doing.
And then we all died to trash in the tunnel just after the fight… TWICE… because LFR.
Such a deal.
Eventually though we made it down to Garrosh Hellscream’s throne.
We got ourselves together, checked buffs, ate some stat boosting food, and generally prepared. Somebody laid down three markers on the big circular floor (again with the big circles), didn’t bother to explain what they meant, and then the fight started.
The first part was Garrosh, who weighed in at a paltry 150 million hit points there, along with some ads. No big deal.
And then, as we wore him down, he suddenly changed and were were pulled into different locations, which were, if I read right, the Temple of the Jade Serpent, the Temple of the Red Crane, and the Terrace of Eternal Spring. Each one involved killing some trash to work our way to Garrosh. Then, after beating on him a bit, we would be pulled back to the throne room, only to be pulled out to another of the locations.
After this Garrosh was transformed into a sha-touched version of himself and then the work really began. Garrosh now weighed in at 567 million hit points and was mind controlling people now and again… I got tapped twice in the first fight… and generally getting out of control. We pressed on, but at around 125 million hit points… or a long way into the fight… the wheels came off and there was another wipe.
My sword… a transmorg job… does make me easy to find amongst the corpses.
Anyway, we had to do it all again, which at that point was really starting to feel like a lot of work. Melee DPS on raids has me running all over and the fight itself ran for quite a stretch. Still, I was there and I didn’t want to have to queue up again to start from scratch, an opinion shared by most of the group it seems, since few people opted to leave.
So we stood up and started over. This time we managed to hang on through the last phase.
And then he was down and the achievement popped up along with my reward, which was actually a decent pair of pants.
Well, decent when it comes to stats… a serious upgrade for me… but they looked like hell. Seriously, I had to transmorg them into something else… anything else… once I got back to town.
But it wasn’t quite time to go back to town yet. There was the end of the tale to see. King Varian Wrynn and the alliance and Thrall back with the leaders of the horde showed up to help tee up the next expansion. Then it was time to speak with Lorewalker Cho who had a quest for me that lead out of the instance and to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms where we spoke to the spirit of the late emperor about what had transpired.
The emperor seemed a little deluded about just how much had changed in Pandaria… the place was still a mess as far as I could tell… but the story came to a close.
I feel like I got to see the finish of the expansion. The closest I have come to that previously was when our group finished off the final five person instances in Wrath of the Lich King. And there we had to leave Arthas alive. Not that we didn’t try to go back and kill him in the five person instance.
But they couldn’t let that happen. We might have to go back and twink through the WotLK raids as a group when we hit 90.
Anyway, while I have always been willing to accept that not all the content should be available to me, I am glad that I was able to go through this with LFR.
Now would I do it again? I am not sure. I think I am done with Vikund doing LFR for now. It is frankly tiring as melee DPS, even if it isn’t exactly the most important job. I might go for it with my hunter at some point. We shall see. But LFR will certainly be on my list for Warlords of Draenor.
Now for some snapshots from the Siege of Orgrimmar, available after the cut.