Se7en of my Greatest Vanilla WoW Memories, Part I: “The Essence of Brotherhood” or “There is no School Like Old School”
Note 1: This is a shout out to the old-school. You know who you are. 😀
Note 2: Part II can be found here. It contains our bid to become the richest guild on the server (we did!), and the opening of the Ahn’Qiraj gates. This is a 3-part series.
For a lot of you new kids, Lucifron is but a vestige of a distant past, so obscure now, that if you heard the name, you wouldn’t know who he was, or what his function may be. Lucifron, flamewalker extraordinaire, was the first boss in the Molten Core, and as such, the first raid boss in World of Warcraft.
And it took us four weeks to kill him.
We were a new guild then, and although other guilds on the server were well into the instance by the time we started, it took us four arduous long weeks of learning the Molten Giants, The Lava Surgers and the Corehound Respawn timers to make it to the bastard’s cave in one piece. And then there were the wipes. Each wipe implied fighting through another round of Corehounds, Lava Surgers, and Imps, and if it had been two hours since we cleared the front, the rest of he instance to boot.
Lucifron was a great victory. Not just because we finally killed a boss in the biggest instance in the game, but because it established our identity as a hardcore raiding guild. Confidence soared, additional bosses fell, and although it took us so long to kill Lucifron, it took us only three to kill…
2. … Ragnaros
The lord of fire, lava, and everything in between was a long road. Night after night of clearing bosses, trash mobs, dousing runes and fighting the relentless armies of the denizens of the Molten Core, just to get one goddamn shot at Ragnaros and the tier two leg items he dropped.
Every time we attempted Ragnaros for those two weeks, we didn’t know if we would succeed or fail. Actually that’s a lie. I think most of us were convinced we would fail, but failing is a very important of the learning process. So we gave the bastard his due time. We fought his sons, we got knocked into burning lava, we crafted a million pieces of fire resistant gear. Week after week we butted heads with Ragnaros. Yet oddly the night we killed him, we knew we would.
The previous night of attempts had seen Ragnaros at 1% health before the final wipe of the night. The night we killed him, I prepared a speech to rally the troops. I told them about the importance of brotherhood and all that we had accomplished in our short time together. I reminded them that Razorgore had sat unchallenged in Blackwing Lair for months and his time will come if we down the lord of fire himself. TeamSpeak (yes we used that back then *shudder*) was quiet, but the guild chat pane was alive with rallying cries, with every last one of the 39 people in my group, as well as those sitting outside the instance, and the casual players hanging on to every word. We had worked hard to get here.
We engaged, and without a single wipe, with 18/40 raid alive, we vanquished the fiery demon. We scream in TeamSpeak. We typed in all-caps. Tier 2 (Judgment) Paladin Legs dropped, and although I had the least amount of DKP among the Paladins, every one of the six other Paladins in the raid refused to bid on it. Despite my insistence for them to bid, I took the prize home for the minimum DKP bet, a testament to the camaraderie of our group.
3. World Bosses
We were a raiding guild on Bloodhoof. There were several other major raiding guilds on Bloodhoof on the Alliance, and a few on the Horde. There was MUSA, Harbingers of Death, Crusaders of Aegwyn, and one other guild that was the bane of everyone’s existence. Fury of War was a guild that specialized in dominating endgame content, and rubbing everyone’s nose in their triumphs. They were the top dogs, the unrivaled server champions, they cleared raids faster than anyone else, and they were the first ones to get to, tag and down world bosses.
For those of you that may be new to this, world bosses were a phenomenon that existed in vanilla WoW and to some extent The Burning Crusade. These were raid bosses that spawned in designated locations in the world, free for anyone to tag them. They could never be killed by a party, let alone solo’ed and it took a lot of coordination to get guild members to rally together and go after a world boss because as soon as they were up, it was a race against time to see who could get to it first.
On Bloodhoof, the race was mostly one-sided, because Fury of War would normally get to the world bosses before the rest of the server even knew about it. And if they didn’t have the numbers, the bosses would normally be up by the time they had enough members. So they reigned as world boss killers for a while.
Until Cross of Vengeance decided to give it a whirl.
Over the next several weeks we strategist on how to kill world bosses. We realized that it was a three-step process:
- First, we needed to know exactly when a world boss would be up.
- Second, we needed to rally the troops, regardless of the time of the day.
- Third, we needed to research. This included approximate spawn times, as well as strategy.
To fulfill the first, every member in the guild created alts and we spread them to the six possible spawn locations. Level 1 alts could be used for the stake outs for Lord Kazzak and the four Green Dragons. A mid-level character (40+ – so they’d have a mount – yes, you got your first mount at 40, not 20 in those days), so they could roam Azshara looking for the Blue Dragon Azuregos.
Most of us had exchanged IM contact information, so we created a separate account that everyone added, and that account would “sound the alarm” whenever a world boss was up to everyone online. This would ensure the maximum number of people could respond to the world event in a timely manner.
We figured out that most bosses spawned within a 24-36 hour window of a server reset (or crash), with a few minor exceptions. The only thing left was strategy, and although we could read up on Kazzak, the green dragons had just been released and they were going to be more trail and error than anything else.
By the time we left the server (Eitrigg opened up with free transfers), we gave Fury of War a run for their money. More often than not, we would tag and kill a world boss before they rallied enough people to kill the boss. We even killed Azuregos once with a mere 7 people in the group, and nearly 30 of their members watching silently from their mounts as they followed us around the zone.
That was one of our greatest accomplishments.