1. Killing Nathanos Blightcaller
Nathanos Blightcaller was, in ye olden days, a (potentially) 40-person outdoor raid boss for the Alliance. He was also a quest giver NPC for Horde, so attacking him flagged you for PvP. Considering both of these things, you can imagine how difficult it could be for Alliance raids to actually down him, especially on high-population servers.
I technically started playing WoW just at the end of its classic incarnation, but didn't have my own account until after The Burning Crusade expansion had released. Nonetheless I stubbornly refused to give up on my old classic quests from high-level zones - quests like the old Crystal of Zin-Malor chain, or everything in the Burning Steppes, the original Pamela Redpath story, and, of course, Nathanos Blightcaller. Nathanos was still a tough fight in those days, though he was soloable by a few classes if you had good enough gear and were a skilled enough player. Three- to five-man kills were more common by that point, so I thought it wouldn't be too hard to put together a group and down him.
Boy, was I ever wrong.
Nobody wanted to touch Nathanos with a ten foot polearm. Every time I asked around - in guild or elsewhere - people said things like, "Are you kidding? Do you know how long it took me to get that dude back in 2005? No way!" And so it went. Eventually, two of my guildmates took pity on me, and at level 70, months after Bolvar had given me the quest to take him out, I finally did just that. It was a sweet, sweet moment.
I promise not all of these memories are about killing NPCs, but, well, taking down bosses is one of the main focuses of the game, so there are a few of them. My guild went through a pretty rough time in TBC: our GM left, we had a number of players go with her, and both our leadership and raiding rosters got really unstable for a while. A main consequence of this was that our raid progression really stagnated roundabout Tier 5. We never really recovered for the rest of the expansion, unfortunately, but getting down Leotheras at last was a big boost to morale.
Leotheras also remains one of my fondest boss memories as a healer, just because his mechanics could be really wacky and unpredictable. He reset aggro often as part of his design, making the timing on casting heals very important. Additionally, if a player failed to kill their inner demon within the given time period, Leotheras would mind-control them for ten minutes. If the raid happened to wipe while someone was mind-controlled, the mind-controlled player would run up to hang out with Leotheras on his platform. It was kind of cute, actually.
3. First Attempt At XT-002 Deconstructor
Okay, I lied, these are all about raid bosses. I guess that should say something about what I find memorable in game! Then again, this one remains firmly ensconsed in my memories for a very specific reason that only marginally has to do with the boss itself.
Ulduar debuted on April 14th, 2009, the day before my 25th birthday. Two days before, on April 12th, I had submitted my entry to the first Blizzard Global Writing Contest. On Friday May 22nd, over a month later, my guild faced XT-002 for the first time, and Blizzard announced the winners to the writing contest. I had taken the grand prize.
Eventually we all did pull ourselves together, and made a few serious attempts on him. We didn't get him down that night, but we did have a lot of fun. It was a great ending to a great day, and I will forever look back upon it fondly.
Your turn, fair readers. Tell us all about your most memorable moments in game. Was it an amazing questline, like freeing Marshal Windsor? Was it gaining an awesome weapon, like Atiesh, or Benediction, or Val'anyr? Was it an incredible raiding achievement, like a world first? Was it the first time you grouped up with the person who is now your spouse? Is it something else entirely, or, like me, are there a host of memories all vying for the top spot? As WoW rapidly approaches a full decade of existence, some of us have truly grown up with it, and we have the memories to match. Let us know what they are, and why!
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion