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Mists of Pandaria Raid Content Cleared

We made it! Against the odds, Blackfathom Deep Dish has finally finished all but present-day raid content. Back when Mists of Pandaria was released, I started and quit playing (again) within the first two month or so. Having now been back through it all, I kinda wish I had stuck it out. This was easily the best expansion after Wrath of the Lich King.

The first raid, Mogu'shan Vaults, was simple and fun. Like past expansions, we started with gear from vendors that made some of the mechanics easier for us to deal with. I believe Elegon was the only boss we didn't one-shot. That being said, the fights were still tuned well and we couldn't ignore everything like in Cataclysm.

BFDD kills Jan-xi
Our will is stronger!

The second raid, Heart of Fear, gave us some trouble. Garalon, in particular, appeared to be tuned a bit harder than we'd expected (a few people were having problems with the mechanics, too). We got stuck on Wind Lord Mel'jarak for a bit as well due to the high burst damage that could occur on our tanks if something went south.

It was also around this time that we had to fight a different boss that we hadn't seen for awhile: the roster boss. For whatever reason, September was terrible for us. We went multiple raid nights without being able to get a full 10 people. That, coupled with our slowing progress on Heart of Fear, made me genuinely afraid we might not make it through the expansion. It took shifting our raid times and nights around (and getting a new guild member) to finally finish Heart of Fear.

After Heart of Fear, we tore through Terrace of Endless Spring in a single night. There's only 4 bosses and we had a good turn-out (plus a monk we picked up through the Group Finder). I, personally, really liked these fights...with the notable exception of Lei Shi. Hide is a dumb mechanic and I'm glad it hasn't show up since.

Next, we entered Throne of Thunder. I had work travel that caused me to miss the first 3 bosses, and the next few raid nights again had very poor attendance. Recruitment wasn't working, and we'd already changed up our raid nights and times, so I was worried again. Fortunately, I found three people through the Group Finder one night that not only had the right raiding mentality, but hadn't purchased Warlords of Draenor yet. As a result, we took one or more of them on pretty much every subsequent raid night (whether we needed them or not).

Throne of Thunder was exceptionally good raiding content and, once we had a full roster again, we had a lot of fun. I do want to specifically call out two fights that gave us a huge amount of trouble though: Durumu and Dark Animus. At first, I really hated the Durumu fight. Once we understood how the "colorblind" phase was supposed to work, though, I wound up really enjoying it...with the small caveat that the "colorblind" phase appeared to be really glitchy. We would often have a beam swap between multiple targets, which sometimes would simply one-shot our raid group. It took many more attempts than should have been necessary to kill Durumu as a result. Dark Animus, on the other hand, was simply not tuned well and would often result in our tanks being one-shot by high damage spikes.

Raid attendance got iffy again right as we got to Lei Shen, resulting in us needing two raid nights to kill him. I also became guild leader at this time since Skolor no longer had free time to devote to recruitment and management. We managed to get Lei Shen down, though, with the help of our Group Finder friends. Without them, we simply wouldn't have had enough people. We opted to not re-do Throne of Thunder on Heroic to kill Ra-den, which was a shame, but understandable given the circumstances.

Siege of Orgrimmar went fairly well after Throne of Thunder. We no longer missed any more raid nights due to attendance, and most of the fights didn't take many attempts. Shout-outs to Immerseus (for being one of the most terribly designed bosses of all time), Malkorok (for being glitched and not actually casting his abilities), and Thok the Bloodthirsty (for being actually quite difficult, yet extremely fun), though!

The only fight that gave us a significant amount of trouble in the Siege of Orgrimmar was Garrosh himself. In hindsight, this was mostly due to people being under-geared. Once I got raid members to spend a bit more time farming upgrades on the Timeless Isle, it wasn't so bad. As much as I thought I would hate the Garrosh fight, it was actually rather fun and well-designed. The character himself (and his story) are still awful, but at least he made for a great end-boss!

On the whole, content in this expansion (relative to the last few) was tuned rather well. Fights were still difficult, but achievable, and mostly matched my expectations. Hilariously, though, there were a number of outright bugs that weren't present on older content - and I have no idea why. I would have expected the opposite! In any case, going through this content definitely made me wish I'd re-subscribed earlier to be able to experience Mists of Pandaria at its peak. I definitely got the impression that it was a great expansion (once you got past the horrible gating of everything with daily quests). Sadly, I think Warlords of Draenor needed to be released for myself and others to realize what a gem Mists actually was.

For now, though, the guild is all focused on heading to level 100 and starting present-day raiding. Most of us have already played through much of the expansion (I've done all the raids already through LFR), but a few players have just now purchased the expansion and are looking forward to experiencing the content finally. Hopefully we survive the transition from "guild messing around with old, outdated content" to "progression raiding guild"!