Blizzard has had a few things going on to celebrate the World of Warcraft 10th anniversary. You got a molten corgi pet just for logging in during the anniversary period. (November 21 to
January 6th now January 13th, see addendum at the end of the post.)
There was also the special Southshore vs. Tarren Mill 40 vs 40 battleground. I played through a few of those, was on the winning side my first time out, so go the achievement and the “Tarren Mill Terror” title right away. And, I must admit, despite my skepticism about this being able to bring back the ad hoc PvP battles that used to rage where Horde met Alliance in that zone, it was actually pretty fun.
When the goal is just to kill the other side you tend to end up in two big groups with people trying to run out and snag people, with the road running outside of Tarren Mill being something like the line of scrimmage. It worked and felt chaotic enough. In that first match we were absolutely stomping the Horde for a while, then ended up chasing them well past the road and into the area where the guards roam. They jumped on us and suddenly our big lead fell by the wayside until we got everybody back on our side of the road again.
Another anniversary event was a special Molten Core raid. It was the classic, 10 boss, 40 person raid redone for level 100 players… well, level 100 LFR players… with some special drops at the end and a mount in the mail for everybody who got to the end and killed Ragnaros.
That catch was that you had to get to level 100 and get your item level up to 615 before the event expired… and it expires on January 6th, just about 24 hours after this post should go up, if I read things right.
Not that getting to level 100 is that hard… I managed to meander there with a month to spare… but the item level aspect takes at least a bit of effort, and after the first few weeks of Warlords of Draenor I wandered off to winter in EverQuest II for a while. So I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to give the whole thing a go. I ended up at item level 614 with about a week to spare largely due to my garrison followers picking up items, my engineering goggles, and a couple of lucky upgrades on drops. But that wasn’t enough, so I slouched forward into action.
I ran through the Proving Grounds and got my silver rating for DPS on the first go. It actually didn’t seem like that big of a deal, which appeared to be a good sign. Maybe I had actually, you know, learned to play after all these years.
With that in hand I was able to queue up for heroic instances. However, those did not go very well… or, rather, they went exactly as well as heroic instances tend to go in my experience. I have no achievements for heroic WoD instances because I did not finish a single one in four tries. But I only needed four incomplete tries, as during the fourth instance an item level 630 cloak dropped, which was enough to boost me to 616. I didn’t even mind when the tank kicked me from the group after we wiped on the final boss… on our first try… because I did not keep him alive after the healer went down. I had my item, so good riddance to all that.
I got up Saturday morning, logged into WoW, and queued up for Molten Core. The queue, was predictably at that time of day, a bit long. I was going to wait for an hour or so.
I did my garrison routines, ran out and did the fishing daily, trapped enough game that I should be able to get the achievement required to upgrade the bard to level 3 by next weekend (125 work orders required for the achievement, they take 3 hours each (well, actually 4 hours each, as somebody noted in the comments), and you can only stuff 19 in the queue, so it takes a while), and wandered about while waiting for the instance to pop.
I did get a bit concerned at one point when the queue started showing very short average wait times.
I am going to guess that the person who did this queue timer previously did the timer that estimates file transfer times in Windows explorer. I did have a moment of “something’s broke, I had better leave and queue up again,” but decided I had better not. And a few minutes later the queue eventually popped and I was in.
More after the cut because of too many screen shots.