If you've come here today with the hope of reading the latest tongue-in-cheek "how-to" guide stuffed with dangerously bad advice and ill-informed opinions, I'm giving you this chance up front to run like a fool from this post. My mood towards Warcraft has been worsening the last few days, and I've been on the brink of sending Morty back to the grave indefinitely. To talk about all this will take some back-tracking, some cobbling-together of different things, and certainly some rambling and unnecessary tangents, but if you hang through it with me, I promise some satisfaction in the end. I might not leave you with a sense of heroic triumph, but I'm not going to leave you saying, "Well, THAT wrecked my mood today." You've got Morty's promise on that.
Let's get to it. Roll back the clock to when Wrath of the Lich King was still fairly new - to when the Crusader's Coliseum had just been built and Faction Champions would make even the best-geared raid team cry like a one-year-old with a pamper full of poo. To a time when you weren't even allowed to try to kill Arthas. That was the world in which Mortigan was living and raiding. Early word of Cataclysm back then had everyone abuzz. And Cata was largely seen as a way to make the old zones fun and exciting again. It was going to bring a sense of newness to the game for Alts, and get players back into long-empty zones. There was some talk of high-end content for raiders, but the focus was always on those old zones and getting people interested in replaying lower-level content.
Move ahead a little to November 2009. Mortigan was raiding the Crusader's Coliseum and picked up a Trophy of the Crusade - crucial for getting into some SERIOUS raid gear. But before I could ever put that Trophy to use, I became a father, and decided very quickly to kill Mortigan, this blog, and my twitter account. Better to go out on top, I decided, than fill this blog with messages like, "Well, I don't really play any more, but wouldn't it be cool if when Cataclysm rolls out we could <insert your game fantasy that will never happen here>.?!" I just wasn't up for that kind of lameness.
So for over a year, I was gone from Azeroth, and did not keep tabs on the changes. Apparently, there were a lot more changes than just Cataclysm. I still don't really know everything that happened or why - but some serious retooling went on while I was away, such as the Dungeon tool change briefly discussed in my previous rant.
Jump forward now to the launch of Cataclysm. Word of a major event such as that will reach even those of us deeply stunned by baby-aggro. And now that I've maxed out my Babycare skill and earned the proper Achieve, there is more time to devote to gaming. So Mortigan's grave was dug up, and suddenly there he was, standing in an empty Dalaran, wondering why the portals to everywhere else were gone. Mort found himself quickly disoriented and desperately out of date.
The last few weeks up to now have been spent trying to fathom the following as Mortigan quested to 85:
1. What the heck happened to the Talent Specs?
2. Where are the portals now?
3. What the heck are Justice Points, how do I earn them, and where do I spend them?
4. What is this new LFG Tool and why can't I group whatever I want?
These mysteries are now solved to varying degrees of satisfaction, but the sense of disorientation and outdatedness persist.
It was twitter though that started the recent downward spiral that almost killed Morty for good. I was looking for new WoW Players to follow, and came across @druidmain who was quitting twitter and WoW. Reading her post Why I Dislike Wrath Babies in Heroics was a wooden stake through the heart of Mortigan, this blog, and a large percent of my more crotchety tweets. She basically exposed Mortigan as an outdated product of Wrath, who needed to get with the Cataclysm program or pack it in. And stop whining about why things aren't like they used to be. She had a very strong point, and the effects of that one post will likely reverberate through much of my future posts here. Hopefully I can still be funny, but the fun won't come from "Wish it was the Good old days" foolery.
That Wrath Baby post left me feeling much more out of date than ever. Coupled with the fact that I could not run Heroics with my new guild - and SHOULDN'T based on Druidmain's writing - there suddenly seemed little reason to keep Morty around. It just wasn't fun being out of date, out of place, and left behind. The killing stroke was the fact that I hadn't even SEEN any guildies in the weeks that I'd spent on their server. Morty was done and dead. On the drive home from work yesterday, I made up my mind to finish off Morty once and for all, bid a fond farewell on this blog, and sign out of twitter for the last time. I had other hobbies to consider - photography and music sequencing - which should be able to fill the Warcraft void.
But when I got home, I decided to give it one last shot. Immediately upon logging in, I opened the dreaded Dungeon Tool I so recently bashed on this blog, and set up Morty as DPS for any random dungeon. I decided to follow the sage advice of Reanimatrix and others who advised me to just fess up that I was new to Cata Dungeons before we got started. The worst that would happen is I get booted from the group. Within 10 minutes I received the queue notice, and was teleported to Grim Batol.
The group had already started clearing trash as I ran in. I was a bit nervous, but had my head on straight enough to replace the voidwalker with an instant-cast (soulburned) imp, and cast available buffs and whatnot while running toward the fight underway. I then set about the very familiar task of SETTING CREATURES ON FIRE. No AoE - I'd read enough vague warnings to avoid the Rain of Fire, and just got down to the business of my heavy destruction rotation. As soon as the trash was cleared, I fessed up that I'd never been in Grim Batol. No one cared. "It's pretty easy." was the only thing said. In fact, not much after that was said at all. I've read that the silence is a negative by-product of the new Dungeon tool. But in my nervousness caused by not knowing ANYTHING about the instance (I haven't researched the fights yet), I was happy in that silence. It helped me focus on the job of burning things.
The group was not that well organized. I could discern no method to the order that we killed the mobs. I'd try to wait a few seconds at the start of each fight to figure out who to target first (which helped the tank better establish aggro anyway), but the best I could do is pick the mob who seemed to be losing health the fastest, since it seemed our group was attacking multiple mobs simultaneously. This also prevented my Fear from being effective CC, as often my feared target would take damage and the spell would break. But since we seemed to be downing the mobs fairly well overall, I didn't want to inject rigidness where it wasn't necessary. And since I was the new guy anyway, I thought it best to keep my rant-maker SHUT. We wiped on the first boss, but that turned out to be our only wipe for the night. My green warlock cookies were still warmly accepted, and the Soul Stone on our healer saved the day more than once. I was feeling useful. And of course I kept a close eye on Recount. I had climbed my way into the #2 slot, and stayed there firmly throughout the dungeon. Considering the amount of time I spent in sheep form, stunned into unresponsiveness, or casting Fear on adds, I was very happy in that #2 slot. Grim Batol overall was a heck of a lot of fun. A great instance with no real mechanics needed other than your ability to play your class correctly. And Morty held up his end of the bargain. There was MUCH fire and flame dished out. Crits were taking visible chunks of health out of enemies. The Hurricane enchant I'd put on my Very Manly Staff was paying back in piles of Haste. And my little imp was charging me up with frequent instant-cast Soul Fires - a real treat that I don't see while questing with my Voidwalker. It was a flaming good time!
Sure it wasn't a Heroic. There were no guildies with me. I may never see those people I grouped with again. With the randomness feature, though, who knows. But overall I came to one real conclusion: Wrath baby or not, out of date or not, disoriented or confused, Mortigan nevertheless holds his own, and has a place on Azeroth. So I'll be sticking around, and playing what's available. The Guild, the Heroics, and the Raids can wait. For now, Morty will be running regular instances for justice points, gearing up, working his Alchemy for cash, and biding his time. And when Mortigan's time does finally come, there will be much fire and pain for those in the way.
Mortigan the Cata-Instance Deflowered