I Killed a Dragon, and I Liked It (+ New Writing)

New Writing:

Another of my articles has been posted on WhatMMORPG: The Dark Side of WoW’s 10 Classes. Enjoy.

I Killed a Dragon:

I’ve been doing an awful lot of World of Warcraft posts lately for what’s supposed to be a general sci-fi/fantasy blog, but what the hell, here’s one more.

Yesterday, I did the second half of Dragon Soul via the Raid Finder, and I have to say, it was one of the most fun times I’ve had in WoW — maybe in any game.

As much as I enjoyed the first four bosses, they weren’t the most spectacular fights. I blamed this on the extreme dumbing down they got for the Raid Finder. But the final four encounters were great — thrilling and epic. The storyline of this raid wasn’t as impressive as that of ICC or Ulduar, but these definitely rank among the most fun raid fights I’ve ever done.

Just going through them quickly:

Ultraxion: The one unimpressive one. Visually spectacular, but all you do is stand there and occasionally press the JOLLY, CANDY-LIKE BUTTON.

Blackhorn: Very chaotic and intense. An obvious homage to my favourite raid encounter of all time. Not for the first time, I wonder if Blizzard was reading my wishlist when they designed this patch.

Spine of Deathwing: Riding a giant, cyborg Dragon over the ocean while fighting off his malevolent molten blood and using said blood to blow off giant chunks of his armor so Thrall can rip him in half with the Dragon Soul. What part of this is not awesome?

Madness of Deathwing: Flying from island to island, ripping Deathwing apart one half-melted limb at a time. Insanely epic and awesome fight. Loved every minute of it. If I had one complaint, it’s that it was too visually cluttered. I caught enough glimpses of Deathwing’s ruined hulk to know the encounter could be a feast for the eyes, but most of the time, my screen was just filled by one of his toes.

We had a few wipes, a couple douchebags and asshats, and at least one ninja, but even so, we completed it all in less time and with less aggravation than it would have taken a Trade PUG to fail and disband on the second boss.

My rogue at the Maelstrom in the Dragon Soul raid, about to take on Madness of DeathwingAnd I was able to kill the end boss of an expansion in that expansion for the first time ever. I never even got close to Arthas back in Wrath.

The Raid Finder has exceeded every one of my expectations. This is such a wonderful improvement to the game. There are a lot of decisions Blizzard has made lately that have angered me (I’m looking at you, Guardian Cub), and there was a period when I was feeling very disaffected with Cataclysm, but Blizzard has once again won my devotion for some years to come. Bring on Mists of DrunkenPandaLand!

As for the Dragon Soul’s plot…

Spoilers:

My rogue chilling with the Dragon Aspects in the Dragon Soul raidThe end cinematic did lack a certain oomph, and it certainly can’t compare to Wrath of the Lich King’s spectacular finale, but it wasn’t a bad ending. What mortal Aspects will mean is up for speculation, but most fans seem to think they will still be exceedingly long-lived and powerful — they simply won’t be borderline god-like anymore. Kalecgos would now theoretically be on par with Jaina Proudmoore in the magic department, for example.

I can understand why they took this road. The Dragons were sort of painting them into a story-telling corner. They either have to have the Dragons rush in and save the day any time anything goes wrong, or they have to cope with the glaring plot hole of why the Dragons aren’t saving the day.

For my part, I just can’t help but thinking we’ve played into the Old Gods’ hands. After all, wasn’t Deathwing’s goal to remove the Aspects as a threat? Well, he did.

Perhaps this was the plan all along: send Deathwing out as a decoy and force the Aspects to blow all their power on him so the greatest defenders of Azeroth are removed as a threat when the Old Gods’ real plan is enacted.

* * *

What do you think, dear reader? Have you killed Deathwing yet? Did you do so via the Raid Finder? What do you make of the dawn of the Age of Mortals?

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