An Ex-Gnome Tank's World

She’s Back?

August 14th, 2009 Posted in Dungeons, General

So Onyxia is to return. The entire WoW community appears to be split between those who are excited at the prospect of battling a foe they haven’t been able to fight on even terms for so long, and those that want the old raids left well alone, there at level 60. Me, I don’t fit into either of those camps.

Having started my WoW career in 2006, about six months before the Burning Crusade’s release, I never got to see much of vanilla raiding – Zul’Gurub a couple of times, maybe the odd Molten Core pug. On the other hand, I did acquire a full set of Tier 0 gear from the 5-man dungeons (which tells you how much I ran those).  In those days I played a rogue, not the warrior that’s so defined me now. Most of the raids I’ve since seen, with the exception of Blackwing Lair, and one thing sticks out compared to the more modern encounters.

Vanilla raids were rubbish.

The only encounters I’ve seen which were at all difficult (and I’m not talking about steamrollering things 20 levels later here) were the Twin Emperors and C’thun. Tactics were at best necessarily simple to cope with the fact that you needed 40 people to all do the right thing. Even the 20-man raids were the same- there was a little more complexity, but not much (and it was usually of the nuke adds / nuke boss again variety).

Vanilla Raids were ugly

Take a walk into Molten Core, just to the entrance, and look at the trash. There’s lots of packs, and they’re almost all identical. Or, walk into Zul’Aman and screengrab a few of the bosses. Now compare them with bosses in Zul’Gurub. The difference is huge – it’s as if it were a different game!

The same ugliness was what greeted us in the first raid of Lich King – Naxxramas had the same treatment that Onyxia is going to get. The same ugly sprites greeted us as we entered the first wing. The same overly simple tactics that were a challenge with 40 men suddenly seemed so much easier with 10 or 25.

This is why, when Onyxia sticks her flame-wrapped head around the door, I won’t be excited. Of course, I’ll run the raids, but given the makeover Naxx had, I don’t expect anything more than a few million more hitpoints and a tendency to hit slightly harder than a pillow. So while Ony will be back, nastier than ever, and I’m sure there’ll be lots of players clamouring for a chance to beat her again (or for the first time), I fully expect disappointment. Some things should stay in the past. Onyxia, I’m afraid to say, along with all the other pre-TBC raids, is one of those.

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