Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I want Shadowmourne too

Way back in Vanilla I got myself an Anathema/Benediction, one of the coolest weapons ever made. I still have it, collecting dust in my bank where it has been the last 3-4 years. Eventhough I didn't raid I got my hands on the materials needed and got the quest done in what was probably one of the most epic moments of my WoW-playing life. I'm not one of those people who will tell you that everything was so much better before. I hated the 40-man raids. I hated the way some specs sucked balls for everything (shadow priest, boomkin/cat druids to mention a few) and how everything was done so slowly. The game is better now. Blizzard have had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and fine tune the game mechanics throughout the 5 year existance. But one thing was definitely better before - the epic weapon quests. The quests for Anathema/Benediction and Rok'delar/Lok'delar are probably the best deisgned quest chains in the game. Not because they're long and tedious (because they are) but because they end in an epic show down, your skills versus the game, and one hell of a reward if you make it.

If you weren't around in those days you might need a short recap on what these quests were all about and what made those particular quests so awesome. The really short version is that you had to collect some really hard to get items. For the Anathema/Benediction quest which was priest only, you needed Eye of Shadow which you either grinded various demons for or bought off AH. I myself bought it for some hundred gs, a big sum at that time. You also needed Eye of Divinity, which was only obtainable from the Molten Core boss Major Domo. If I recall correctly, there was another loot system back then. You didn't have to be there for the kill to be able to get an item. You only had to be in the raid. I remember someone advertising the eye in trade chat and I bought a place in the raid for some 500g. They summoned me in and I looted it from the chest.

Would you believe it, I still have Oil of Immolation in my bank even after all these years. Time to clean up?

To finalize the Anathema/Benediction you needed the item called Splinter of Nordrassil which was obtained through a really epic quest event. In this quest you were supposed to save the lives of some peasants fleeing from a demon. You had to save a certain amount of the total or you failed the quest. In the beginning this quest was fairly easy as anyone could help you do it. Later on Blizzard changed this however so that only other priests could help you out (or if it was the other way around, I don't know, but I had to do it alone the first few tries anyway). This was no easy quest. Those peasants died really easily and the demon could one shot you if you came too close to it. The demon also spawned a bunch of skeletons which of course went to hit you when you were healing. It would quickly turn into a real mess where you would need every inch of your skills to succeed. I remember farming mats for Oil of Immolation which was the only way you could deal aoe damage as a priest back then, no Holy Nova and definitely no Mind Sear was available to me! After some fails I eventually got help from another priest also on this quest, but it was still one hell of an event. Finally succeeding and getting that item was one of the coolest and entertaining things I've ever done in WoW.

I also remember helping a hunter friend with his Rok'delar/Lok'delar quest. That too had to be done alone, without outside help from anyone. You were supposed to subdue 4 elites wandering around in different areas of the world. These elites were really difficult, especially since you had to kill them all alone. That meant even no pet. That meant kiting the damn things for 20 minutes each time! I only helped my hunter friend my keeping other mobs in the area off his kiting track. I couldn't heal him or damage the elite he was fighting in any way or he would've failed the quest. When he finally got those epic gear pieces, he had earned them entirely on his own skill as a hunter.

Since then, nothing like it has come our way. Sure, we got the possibility to collect fragments for Val'anyr, Hammer of the Ancient Kings when Ulduar came. But that was a group effort even if the end result landed into one healers hands. That particular healer didn't have to do anything special really, the Val'Anyr was basically grinded together by a raid and having it doesn't say anything about the player, but more about that players guild. Having Anathema/Benediction or Rok'delar/Lok'delar meant you had succeeded in completing a really difficult task, one of the most difficult things you could do back then, and all alone.

And now we have Shadowmourne. Eventhough the possibility to raid with a good group is necessary to obtain this item, focus still lies on individual performance. Not as with A/B and R/L but way more than with Val'Anyr or Thunderfury. I want this too! I want an epic quest chain of awesomeness which ends with me having to complete the most absurdly difficult event ever and get the coolest reward imaginable, and I want to have to do it alone. It will show everyone out there that I am a great player. Everyone can have a great guild but only a few people are skilled enough to complete that kind of quest. I have seen countless people with awesome gear and awesome items and yet when you put them in a situation out of the ordinary they fail to perform. I wonder how it's even possible, but a guild with patience or a player with connections can make wonders happen. Gear is easily obtainable for anyone nowadays. You have to be slightly skilled to have heroic 25man LK loot, sure thing. But should those items be the only way to prove yourself? Why can't there be solo-quest chains for the rest of us? Make them ridiculously long and difficult, but make them.

I want another Anathema/Benediction quest! It is about damn time.

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