Friday, November 2, 2007

Level 70 Raid Instances, or "The List Goes On"

Raids are to player-versus-environment as Arenas are to player-versus-player. They're the elite end-game content. This is where you get the gear you've always dreamed of, the drops you've always envied.

This is where I get my phoenix.

*shudder* Oh, so enticing.

The point of a raid is to:
  1. Be very hard.
  2. Require more people than instancing (10-25 players).
  3. Get you phat loots.
  4. Get you bragging rights.
  5. Get you into the next raid instance.
  6. Be challenged learning tricky boss fights.
  7. Have fun with your friends. gives you the current raid stats on guilds by scanning armory pages for guild members wearing armor you can only get in certain raids. For example, by scanning the Zuluhed horde section, you can see that my guild, In Vino Veritas, has supposedly done The Eye. But, actually, it's just one uber-raider who transferred because she and her fiance are friends with Thellys (our new raid leader and my husband's best friend), and she has a piece of gear from there.

Now, you more or less have to go through the raids in a certain order, because they scale up in difficulty. A few are comparable, like Serpentshrine Cavern and The Eye, and you can do those at the same time. But for the most part, you have to get through one to do another. And it takes a while. Months. Especially with a small guild, like ours.

What happens is you go in, you get through the first few bosses, and you get gear upgrades from them (uncommon, dropped everywhere; rare, dropped in instances; epic, dropped in raids; legendary, which require near-impossible uber-tasks to complete). The more gear upgrades you get, the farther into the raid you can go next time because you can kill more bosses and do it in a shorter amount of time. (Shadow priests, like me, are useful because we replenish health and mana, which means less downtime and faster kills.)

Raids need to be coordinated, which is why you need a good raid leader. Our former raid leader (a guild officer and all-around great guy), warrior Fently, stepped down due to less time to play, but he's still raiding with us. He was a fantastic raid leader because he was clear, everyone knew what to do, and he kept us moving quickly and accurately. Thellys is in training and doing his best to fill Fently's ginormous vacant shoes.

Good leadership and teamwork are therefore essential, and we are a lucky guild to have both.

Now, the event you've been waiting for. The list of raids.

Karazhan (10-man): The powerful sorcerer Medivh turned evil and opened the Dark Portal, which gave Azerothians access to Outlands. Karazhan is Medivh's old house, except that all of the old inhabitants are now undead, cursed to live non-life for their master's foolishness. (Moroes was Medivh's butler.)

Zul'Aman (10-man): The forest trolls once controlled the lands reaching out on all sides of the forests of Zul'Aman. But the humans and high elves banded together and almost wiped the trolls out, leaving only the small bastion of Zul'Aman. Now that Lordaeron and Quel'thalas are weakened, the trolls are trying to expand again.

Gruul's Lair (25-man): Gruul is big and stupid, famous for killing dragons, and his seven hulking children terrorize Outlands. Maulgar is the brutish king of the ogres.

Magtheridon's Lair (25-man): Magtheridon is the former Lord of Outlands, a member of the Burning Legion, and the one Illidan Stormrage beat so he could take over. Illidan is using Magtheridon's blood to create fel orcs.

Serpentshrine Cavern (25-man): The lair of Lady Vashj, leader of the troublesome Naga. She oversees Illidan Stormrage's plans to gather the water of Zangarmarsh for the new sunwell. Due to her rabid loyalty to her leaders, she hates the head priestess of the Night Elves, Tyrande, who was shown favor by their queen in their youth. But because Illidan Stormrage loves Tyrande (who is married to his brother), he keeps Vashj away from her.

The Eye (25-man): Home to the crown heir of the high elves, Kael'thas Sunstrider, who renamed his people Blood Elves. He allied himself under Illidan Stormrage in order to rebuild the sunwell so he and his people could indulge their addiction to magic. Home of my phoenix. :D

The Battle of Mount Hyjal (25): A sacred place to the Night Elves, Illidan Stormrage recreated the Well of Eternity here, which was drawing demons to Azeroth. His brother, Malfurion Stormrage, collaborated with great dragons to create the World Tree, which covered the new Well of Eternity. The Night Elves nurtured this tree, hiding the Well, and a mixture of Night Elves, humans, and dragons continue to protect it from the attentions of the Burning Legion. In this instance, you must travel back in time to help the following people defend the World Tree: Malfurion, his wife Tyrande, Thrall (leader of Orgrimmar), and Jaina Proudmore (the most powerful living sorceress, she saw the fall of Lordaeron, the former human bastion and current undead city).

The Black Temple (25-man): The former temple of the Draenei in Outland, and then the headquarters of the Shadow Council, and then taken by the Burning Legion. It is now the home of Illidan Stormrage, current lord of Outlands.

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