It's over. After almost 3 months of effort, Blackfathom Deep Dish is moving on from Wrath of the Lich King. We laughed. We cried. We took silly pictures. We reminisced about days long gone. And now, it's time to go.
In many ways, we had a much easier time with the content in this expansion. Being able to run 10-man dungeons where the content is actually tuned to the number of people you have is huge. I'm happy to say that, unlike previous expansions, we weren't carried through any of these raids. We did, however, still encounter some problems...
We started, as you might expect, with Naxxramas. I had forgotten just how fun this raid was! Fortunately, unlike Karazhan, you can't skip many of the mechanics in heirloom gear. They don't pose a huge threat, though. We wiped the most (2-3 times) on Instructor Razuvious. Most other bosses required only a single attempt.
Next up, we tackled Sartharion in the Obsidian Sanctum. This was a cake-walk, though we didn't try it with the drakes still up. I think we lost more people to trash pulls than on the boss itself.
After Sartharion, we started to have some problems. Malygos and Onyxia were difficult to keep people alive on with just heirloom gear. Luckily, vendors in Dalaran sell some tier 10 set pieces for gold now. Once we had better gear, these bosses were fine.
Due to issues with having enough raid members available during the summer (and since we'd already skipped ahead to Onyxia), we decided to do Trial of the Crusader next. This took us two days like Naxxramas, but only because we couldn't get Anub'arak down within our allotted raid time. The Faction Champions gave us the most trouble - our average guild member doesn't have much PvP experience.
Once we'd finished with Trial of the Crusader, we went back to Ulduar. We'd already been farming this place on 25-man with carries for a few weeks to help gear up for Herald of the Titans, but doing it at-level is still a different experience. The titans in the hallways between bosses are far more brutal than I remembered...
At any rate, the most difficult boss in Ulduar was absolutely Yogg-Saron. And it was my fault. After about 10-12 attempts, someone realized that I had never talked to the watchers... Once we weren't attempting the fight on hard mode, things went a lot more smoothly! I would like to note, though, that we were getting Yogg below 50% (and most of us still hadn't gemmed or enchanted our gear), so I still believe a better geared and better prepared group could do this without too much trouble at-level. We just didn't want to put in the time and effort.
Icecrown Citadel was next up after Ulduar. We missed an entire week due to low attendance (despite my driving 30 minutes to a hotel with wifi both nights to make sure I didn't miss anything). We did, however, kill all the watchers in the Vault of Archavon during that week after capturing Wintergrasp as a guild. So, there's that.
Anyway, ICC took us a couple of weeks. The hardest fights were Festergut (who is tuned way too hard now) and Sindragosa (simply because phase 2 is still hard for people). Professor Putricide is now tuned way too easy relative to Festergut, which is unfortunate. We cleared up to the Lich King, failed a few times, then took a break for...
Herald of the Titans! I wrote about this separately, so I won't say much here. I do want to note that, while fighting Algalon, we realized just how brokenly powerful fish feasts and flasks from Cataclysm are. We'd failed a number of times to push the Lich King into phase 2 (partly because Rstevoa likes to talk to random NPCs and turned off Strength of Wrynn) before this. Afterward, the combination of the raid buff, the food, and the potions enabled us to get the Lich King down in about an hour. Had we realized just how powerful these consumables are, we'd likely have spent a week less time in ICC (and on Algalon as well).
After finishing the Lich King, we had an off-night we had to fill before doing Herald of the Titans again for guild members we couldn't fit into the earlier run. We used this night to kill Halion in the Ruby Sanctum. With the extra consumables from earlier, this was really easy, but still good fun. The Halion fight is interesting and now one of my favorites (I'd never had a chance to do it back when it was progression content).
Overall, this expansion really does have some of the best content to offer, I feel. Going back through the content was really fun, even if we eventually figured out how to make it kinda easy. I'd recommend attempting the content without the Cataclysm flasks if you want a more authentic experience, but knowing they're there is good. Despite us all having a lot of fun, I think we're all ready to move on. Here's hoping we'll have less roster issues now that the summer is almost over!