Get this heavy cow off me
Well, I think that’s what it looks like the dragon is saying, anyway.
That is a Bloodbathed Frostbrood Vanquisher, and yes, that’s the Panzercow on the back of it. The 10-man raid that I tank for made one last run into Icecrown Citadel on Saturday afternoon to clear the final obstacle we needed to get 10-player Glory of the Icecrown Raider…heroic Sindragosa.
I know there are those who are strict 10-man raiders who say that having 25-man gear, as most of our raid did, “trivializes” the 10-man content. I can see that; we can pretty much roflstomp most of ICC on normal, even normal Arthas didn’t give us too much trouble. And the more straightforward heroic-mode fights pushed us a little bit, but still, we were making solid progress toward our raidleader’s goal of getting drakes before Cataclysm dropped. We even, amazingly, downed heroic Putricide after just five attempts. Some of the acheesements gave us trouble (Been Waiting a Long Time For This was particularly annoying) but not too much…we even got Sindy’s acheesement, All You Can Eat, by just zerging her down from 35% instead of actually attempting to do the normal tank-switch method.
Heroic Sindy, however, was a different matter entirely. It’s a brutally unforgiving fight, the already-intolerant mechanics turned up to 11 by frostbombs that can one-shot even the tanks, debuffs that cause casters to asplode, and frost breath that hits like a very icy truck once the Mystic Buffet is opened for dinner. We threw ourselves at Sindy hard week before last, without success. So if we were going to get her before Cataclysm released and everybody quit caring about “old” content, we had three hours on a Saturday to do it.
For two hours and fifty-six minutes, things didn’t look good for our heroes. We wiped, and wiped, and wiped. The best we’d done was get her to 18%. Phase 2, at 35%, was just not working. We couldn’t time the tank transitions right, or I’d forget a cooldown and get ganked by her frost breath, or a badly-timed Blistering Cold would slaughter half the raid, or she’d drop a bomb right on top of us during an air phase…it was always something. None of the attempts had that smooth, well-oiled feel to them that you need to beat a fight like heroic Sindragosa. I was frustrated and absolutely furious with myself. I hadn’t played in several days leading up to the raid and it showed. I made a lot of avoidable dumbass mistakes. I don’t think I actually cost us a kill at that point, but it sure wasn’t helping.
So then, there we were. 4:57 pm Eastern with a stop time of 5:00. The last attempt, on the last boss, on the last day, of the last raid before the expansion. One shot. All or nothing. It looked like fourth-and-11 on our own 41 with one second on the clock…time to load up three receivers to the left and let fly a Hail Mary downfield.
And we did it.
That fight, that three hours of stress and wipes, was, in a way, this entire raiding expansion for me in miniature. Starting off flailing and failing, making mistakes, then hanging in there and keeping on digging, grinding it out, persevering, and at the end, at the last possible moment, somehow it just all comes together.
I’ve always said that the two accomplishments I’m proudest of on Linedan in Wrath of the Lich King are his Loremaster title first and his one Arthas 25-man kill second. That hasn’t changed. This achievement, however–Glory of the Icecrown Raider–is a very, very close third. It took us several months, but our little 10-man raid that ran for just three hours, just one afternoon a week, ended up the expansion as 11/12 heroic ICC. That is an achievement to be very proud of indeed. And this one comes with a big, bony, loud-flapping tangible reminder that I’ll see as I enter the brave new world of Cataclysm.
So to Ghaar, Grizz, Tahlian, Dorritow, Nikara, and all the rest–and to our regulars who never were able to get their drakes, Ghorr, Alanth, and Seijitsu–thank you. It was a privilege to get hit in the face for you guys. See you on the other side.