Last Minute Molten Core

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.

MCRF_1HourWait

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.

MCRF_10minwait

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.

Into Molten Core.

First view of Molten Core

First view of Molten Core

I had actually been to Molten Core once before.  Way back during the Wrath of the Lich King era our group tried to do it as a four person effort, but the whole thing just wore us down.  It was a long haul.  And, even tuned for LFR, it is still a long haul.  Part of the reason I decided to make the effort was that I watched my daughter go through it earlier in the week.  Her group went two and a half hours by my count. (Which didn’t stop her from telling me my group was “slow” when she came by to look over my shoulder.  Impudent child!)

Over all, the Molten Core LFR aligned with my past experience with the Mists of Pandaria LFR groups.  Basically, if you get just a few people who know what they are doing and who will communicate what the rest of us need to do, things tend to go pretty well.  There were only two wipes during the run.

We got in and were having problems killing the core hounds.  As somebody was trying to explain how we needed to AOE to kill them all at once, or as close to all at once as possible, or they will just revive, somebody managed to pull Lucifron and his entourage, which left us all dead.

This will end badly

This will end badly

Not an auspicious start, but we got back up and, armed with the knowledge about the core hounds, managed to kill each group… including a double pull… without breaking a sweat.  Likewise, Lucifron was dispatched and Magmadar was put down with minimal losses.

Bad dog!

Bad dog!

Earl was online and I told him on guild chat that we had wiped on the first boss already.  Having been through the LFR himself, he suggested I get used to it.  And I did die a few more times.  At Garr… I think it was Garr… we didn’t kill all the trash around him and I got knocked back into a couple of them just moments after somebody said in group chat to not turn your backs to the trash or you’ll get knocked back into them.  I was still digesting that as I was flying backwards to my death.  But the fight went okay.  We won.  I got a ress.

The whole group wiped again further down the line when, while clearing more trash somebody tagged Baron Geddon as he ran by.  That was clearly going to be a wipe.  The tanks tried to hold him for a bit, but he had already stomped out enough people that we were clearly not going to make it.  The wipe ended with one healer a couple DPS running down the cave trying to kill the last couple of trash mobs before we died.  The trash were chasing the healer, we were chasing the trash, and Baron Geddon was chasing us.  We all died in the end, but we got the last trash mob, so at least we were ready for the next fight.

Baron Geddon returns to his patrol after killing us

Baron Geddon returns to his patrol after killing us

Our next run at Baron Geddon was a success, and from there on out we rolled on without a wipe.  I died on Shazzrah, but was ressed right after the fight and we moved on.  Bosses fell before us.  A number of people by that point were saying that this was the best group they had been in for the Molten Core LFR.  There are a couple of rare drops off the final boss, so we were lucky enough to get some repeat players who could guide us through things.

Golemagg the Incinerator

Golemagg the Incinerator

We finally stood before the penultimate boss, Majordomo Executus, where somebody explained exactly what we needed to do… kill the healers, then the other mobs, ignore the boss… and it went off without a hitch.

The secret to the Majordomo fight is ignore the Majordomo

The secret to the Majordomo fight is ignore the Majordomo

That unlocked access to the final boss, which sent us running back around the instance.

Headed to Ragnaros

Headed to Ragnaros

There we met up with Majordomo Executus again, who summons the final boss, Ragnaros.

Here we are

Here we are

I moved around a bit, not sure where to stand.  It did look as though being knocked into the lava was going to be a thing however.  I found myself a spot on the periphery and waited for somebody to summon Rag.

Protective eye wear in place!

Protective eye wear in place!

I was hoping to get a decent screen shot of Ragnaros, but there was a bit of a problem with scale and me being melee DPS.

Hrmm, I think I need the fish eye lens for this...

Hrmm, I think I need the fish eye lens for this…

I was not able to get a picture of him… or at least all of him.  So, instead, I have a screen shot of Lil’ Ragnaros, one of the pets I got as a parting gift when WoW Magazine folded up shop after five issues.

By a tiny, little fire be purged!

By a tiny, little fire be purged!

The fight itself was straightforward.  Beat on Ragnaros.  Get out of the lava when he knocks you back.  Beat on Ragnaros some more.   We  were warned well in advance that he would disappear at one point and we would face a wave of adds, so when that happened we took it in stride.  Then it was back to beating on Ragnaros until he died.  Achievements all around.

MC_achis

There were two achievements, one for doing the raid and another feat of strength achievement for doing the special anniversary version.  I also got one more achievement.

MC_9KAchi

That is the achievement for passing nine thousand achievement points.  I always laugh at achievements for getting achievements.  The meta achievements are okay, but the “here’s a medal for getting so many medals!” thing seems a bit silly at times.

Then we were standing around what is maybe one of the most iconic early raid group scenes, Ragnaros’ hammer.

All that remains

All that remains

Many a guild in vanilla posed proudly by that hammer.  However, this being an LFR group, people just said thanks… or nothing at all… and left.  Almost everybody had disappeared before I could move around for a different shot.

The hammer stands alone

The hammer stands alone

And that was that.  I am sure SynCaine will tell me that what I experienced was nothing like vanilla WoW, which is fine.  This was a tourist run, not a hardcore raiding experience.  I enjoyed it.  I saw the sites, experiences a taste of the fights, took my pictures, and went on my way.  I am very much the MMO tourist at times.

And, while I did not luck out and get either of the rare drops, I did get my special helm, the Crown of Desolation, and the core hound mount in the mail.

On the core hound

On the core hound

The crown, a gem with a fiery halo, is nifty, but I think I prefer the look of my engineer’s goggles.  Since they are both item level 640 (and the goggles can be upgraded to level 655, once I upgrade the barn in my garrison to level 3 so it will generate savage blood, just to loop back to something I mentioned earlier in the post), I will likely stick with the specs and put the crown in the bank with all of my other “I’ll never wear it, and probably won’t transmog anything with it, but I still want to keep it” gear.  I think it is sitting next to Whitemane’s Chapeau.

And that was that.  Like the MoP LFR stuff, I was glad to have done it once, but I am not sure I would want to invest in another long wait in the queue for another two hour run.  But I got in and did it before it went away.

Addendum: More last minute that I thought.  It seems the events shut down a day early.  That will probably lead to Blizz extending it a week.  We’ll see.

Addendum 2: As predicted above, Blizz fixed the problem and extended the anniversary event for a week, so it now ends on January 13th. [North America only.]

11 thoughts on “Last Minute Molten Core

  1. SynCaine

    What you experienced sounds nothing like the real MC.

    .

    Actually its not that far off, minus the dozen or so wipes to learn each boss and generally each new setup of trash, plus the half-dozen or so wipes on previously conquered content each night because derps will derp. But that little aspect aside, you wiped in the spots most common with wipes, and it sounds like the mechanics of MC were largely left unchanged.

    They should do anniversary BWL, just to see how often people would rage out over the first room, or derping on Vel.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Isey

    I don’t see why they don’t leave it in, most accounts I have read people have enjoyed it, even though there were some different challenges with it. I am only saying that selfishly because I still haven’t bought WoD yet (but suspect I will at some point) and I’d like to do it again. Unless the whole point of it is to help drive sub numbers with the new expansion launch.

    Oh, Syn – you forgot to mention the 5 minute Paladin rebuffs…. that was a thing, wasn’t it?

    Like

  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Isey – One of my potential predictions for 2015 was that Blizz would either bring back MC for the next anniversary or redo another classic raid for a special anniversary treat. Or maybe both. But then I left that one behind as I had 20 already and wanted a nice round number because… round numbers.

    And don’t get me started on five minute freakin’ buffs. Not only was I playing a pally back then, but EQII had similar five minute buffs back in the day. I never want to go back to that!

    Like

  4. Talarian

    Super interesting read! My Molten Core LFR experience mirrors your own pretty well, except for the last minute thing. A fair number of wipes at the beginning, and then as folks got more cautious and gelled, fewer wipes (though every boss came with at least 1 regardless).

    Your experiences in heroic 5-mans and Silver Proving Grounds further solidifies a point that’s been percolating in my mind. I wonder if Silver is hard enough?

    Heroic 5-mans are decently hard this time around. Not Cataclysm hard, mind you, but not that far off. For those of us who are experienced raiders, we can do those mechanics backwards, forwards, sidewards, whatever. For many others, this is not the case.

    I just healed a 5-man with some guildies of mine the other day, and while I love them to bits, they just did not have the DPS to take down the 3rd boss of Heroic Slag Mines (which is a DPS race). They were all short a good 30% – 50% each (especially considering they were already like 630 ilvl, or near it). After our 6th wipe, I had to break it to them that sorry folks, but you just aren’t pulling the numbers (they had the mechanics down pat, though).

    So clearly throwing together folks who can barely clear Silver wasn’t sufficient to defeat a heroic 5-man (even in a guild group with better communication!), which makes me think that as a gating mechanism, Silver PGs requirement is not difficult enough and/or not able to teach you the right skills to survive in an environment like heroic 5-mans.

    Like

  5. SynCaine

    @Isey – Horde side here, so we didn’t have any fancy fear ward ezmode, or OP Pali buffs. We just had derp shamans showing up and taking up a spot without adding much of anything. 1 Priest, 8 Shamans? Sure we can attempt AQ40 guys, it will go great (wipe on the first boss 10x and call it a night, hoping the shamans stop showing up. Spoiler: They didn’t).

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  6. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Talarian – Actually, the instance we were running was Slag Mines, and we made it through the third boss on the second try. We failed the first time because I jumped the wrong way and died, but we nailed it on the second try. I was the middle DPS for the fight. I got kicked after the first wipe on the final boss. I suspect that it was not just because of my failure to heal the tank, but also because my DPS was lagging on that fight. When our regular group did that instance in normal mode, we beat it with four players by just kiting the boss out of all the gunk he drops. We had to, our DPS was all melee. For that heroic run, the DK tank sat still and I spent a good part of the fight jumping out of the gunk (and healing myself and then the tank) while the ranged DPS just sat back and nuked.

    The joy of melee DPS. I am going to switch to my hunter, I swear.

    Like

  7. Lafe

    Not to nit pick, and I’m sure it’s just a typo, but work orders take 4 hours each. Not 3. Also, the work order achievement is account based so you can shorten the time if you have an alt with a barn.

    Actually you seem to have gotten really lucky on the queue time. I had to queue twice (first one turned into a wipefest on the core hounds).

    Average queue times:10-15 minutes.
    My queue times: 4 and 3.5 hours.

    Like

  8. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Lafe – Yeah… a typo. I surely wouldn’t have simply not checked up on that and just quoted the last time duration I happened to see. A typo is plausible.

    I have one alt that has a barn as well, but I had to sit around and wait for the queue on Vikund, so he now has plenty of tapped animals to process.

    Like

  9. bhagpuss

    “And don’t get me started on five minute freakin’ buffs.”

    Probably just as well you didn’t stick with GW2. Our buffs are measured in seconds. They stack duration so everyone stands in a huge dogpile to “stack” them for looooong durations like, oh, I’ve seen nearly a minute and a half once….

    I thought it was insane at first but now I’m programmed to accept it. Not like it.

    Like

  10. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – After dealing with all those “good until cancelled” buffs in EQII over the last month, even hour long buffs in WoW are making me a bit surly, so clearly GW2 would be an issue.

    Like

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