A Night to Remember

The Classic Crusade cometh... for sure now, on the 1st of June. The announcement about the release date, accompanied by the news that we'd only have two weeks of pre-patch, filled me with a mix of excitement and anxiety. Less than a month's notice meant that I pretty much had to say goodbye to my dreams of booking a whole week off to binge on Classic BC, but also, my guild still hadn't killed Kel'Thuzad, the last boss in Naxxramas.

We did actually kill Sapphiron a week ago, after some strategic readjustments. After several nights of wiping and making (what felt to me like) very little progress, I was chatting to one of the raid leaders one day and we both independently came up with the thought that being the hopeless casuals that we are, we clearly needed more micromanagement, as the problem was always that people started running around like headless chickens during air phase, with everyone trying to dodge out of everyone else's way at the same time. We had been given vague positions in the form of a dedicated "slice" of the room, the way many guilds do it on C'thun as well, but clearly that wasn't enough. We would need to be assigned spots within each slice as well.

Once that plan was hatched, we spent some time discussing it in the Four Horsemen's room the next Monday, and it ended up working like a charm. It still took us a few tries to iron out the last few kinks of course, but it immediately went much, much better. The "Chronobooner" (as our druid class leader likes to call it) was a huge help as well, as it allowed us to stow our world buffs away while we were learning, and then unleash them once we were reasonably confident in what we were doing for that extra bit of "oomph". The kill vid I recorded makes it all look surprisingly easy, not once betraying the huge amount of predetermined co-ordination involved. (And yeah, I was healing on my pally again on that one:)

We only had enough time left for one try on KT that night, but we were so excited to even be there that we agreed to put in an extra raid day on Tuesday in hopes of killing him before the reset. Sapphiron had felt so tough, more than one of us was probably worried whether we'd even be able to kill him a second time. That extra raid night on KT was interesting and did teach us a few things, but we didn't get him down.

The farm raid on Wednesday was a bit meh after that. The previous week we'd set a new personal record by clearing out twelve bosses in a single night, but that evening was a lot less good and we only ended up killing ten, meaning that we had Loatheb, Gothik and 4H left to do this Monday before we'd even get to attempt Sapph and KT again.

The Monday raid was off to a good enough start with Loatheb and Gothik going down quickly and smoothly, but the Horsemen were quite a mess. I was killed by an early meteor and then accidentally released spirit, so I didn't even see what was happening other than that more and more people were showing as dead in the raid frames and I was sure it was going to be a wipe, but somehow they managed to eke out a win with the last few people standing.

Then it was time for Sapphiron. More core healers had shown up that evening than on any previous night, so I was hopeful that maybe I'd get to dps the fight for a change, but I got conflicting responses from different officers. Eventually it was settled that I could stay on the hunter, but there was clearly still some confusion going on among the leadership as I found myself moved back and forth around the raid repeatedly, and there was vocal disagreement about who should be standing where and whether we should immediately use frost protection potions or not.

We'd stored our world buffs away in the chronos again, which was good as the first try was quite messy, with some people in the raid who hadn't been there on the kill night and were therefore not yet familiar with the tactics, and others maybe just not being properly focused yet.

In guild chat, our bard said that he'd managed to lose his mini map and asked what the keybind was to restore it. "Alt+F4," replied our mage class lead, which was immediately followed by a notification about our bard going offline. People howled with laughter, barely able to believe what had just happened. A minute later our bard came back online and was asked whether restoring his mini map had worked. "Yeah, but isn't there a less drastic way than restarting the game?"

Everything seemed to be going well enough except for some continued confusion about the exact group setups (while the hunter class leader had tried to prepare them in advance, our actual raid comp on the night deviated from the plan and that was causing chaos). Suddenly the raid leader said: "Sorry, I have to go" and started hearthing out. As I've come to consider him a good friend, I was instantly filled with concern. Had something bad happened to him IRL?

But then he continued, saying something about how he was the raid leader and people should accept his calls, but that the other officers continued to argue with him regardless. He logged off moments later, leaving us all in that befuddled and slightly concerned state you experience when that sort of drama occurs and you're not quite sure what just happened. I'd not seen a proper rage-quit like that in years!

The other members of the leadership team were clearly taken aback, but quickly recovered and tried to keep things going. We had one more "dry run" on Sapph, which went quite well despite of being two people down, and then took a brief break to fill those two empty slots. Fortunately there were people available, though after what felt like an eternity of waiting, they both arrived in Sapphiron's Lair realising that they'd forgotten their frost resist gear. "Whatever, let's get out those world buffs and go," was pretty much the reaction from leadership, so we pulled him with two people wearing zero FR gear but killed him just fine anyway.

Then it was on to KT once more. We re-bottled our world buffs and had one attempt without them that was kind of "eh", as we didn't even make it to phase three. Then again, we'd already established that KT is a much more forgiving fight than Sapph, one where you can still win even with half the raid dead. As we realised that we only had about fifteen minutes of raid time left, it was agreed to get the buffs out again and just go for it.

The result was an absolutely glorious mess, but we powered through somehow. I have yet to review the video footage but I think I got mind controlled twice and wasn't crowd controlled once (I ended up killing one of our priests too). Once the guardians spawned, they seemed to be all over the place. More and more people went down, including me, with just a sliver of health left on the boss... and then he died, with eleven people left standing (mostly paladins, unkillable bastards that they are).

The coveted crossbow dropped and went to the hunter class leader, but aside from that I didn't even pay much attention to the loot. We'd beaten Classic in time for the pre-patch, and that was all that mattered. I just wish our raid leader could have been there too; he certainly would have deserved to be part of it with how much work he put into herding these cats week after week.

All in all though, it was a night to remember with a little bit of everything that makes Classic Classic: guildies trolling each other, drama, near-wipes and an exciting first kill of the last boss of a raid (and in this case, also the whole of Classic). (Edit: I also made a kill vid eventually.)


  1. Congrats! A few people whose blogs I follow seem to have been a bit taken aback by the sudden immenence of the BC launch so it's nice to hear you managed to hit your marks in good time.

    The most spectacular rage-quit I ever saw was in my first EQ2 guild when, about three or four months after launch, during a perfectly innocuous session doing guild writs in the open world, the guild founder and leader announced he "couldn't do this any more" and quit on the spot. He logged out and was never seen or heard from again. The guild limped on for a couple of weeks as people gradually slipped away to join other guilds or leave the game. His rage quit pretty much killed the whole game for a lot of people in that guild, I think.

    1. Yeah, for as much as we've all wanted BC to come out, the announcement and timings around it were... less than ideal. For anyone with bigger plans for the launch, such as taking time off work, less than a month's notice is not great. And I'm not that fussed about the duration of the pre-patch personally, but Blizzard did previously imply that it was going to be longer and the whole reason they were going to give us access to the new races earlier this time around was so that people could level them up during that time. That's not really happening now unless someone's got time to absolutely no-life it during that period.

      The most memorable rage-quit I've seen happened during a SWTOR raid. We were doing progression on a boss when one of the tanks just suddenly exploded, logged off, and wasn't heard of again. We later found out that another team member had been giving him unwanted advice about his tanking in whispers or something, but it still seemed kind of extreme. I only saw that tank one more time after that, when he logged on briefly several years later and told us that he was playing GW2 now...

  2. Congratulations. I'm happy to see your return to the Classic era was such a success for you. Here's to all the following releases being as much fun. :)

    1. It's certainly been a wild ride! I did not see this coming when I re-subbed for Classic. :)

  3. Congrats!!! I knew you told me it was a memorable evening yesterday, but I had no idea it was anything quite like this!

    That has to have been the nicest rage quit I've ever heard, so your guild is nothing if not polite.

    I am so happy for you and the Order of the Holy Fork!!! CONGRATS!!! YOU JUST WON CLASSIC!!!

    1. Haha yeah, everyone in the guild is generally remarkably adult and civil about personal conflicts. Doesn't mean it wasn't still a shock and a mess to have the raid leader make an exit like that while you're standing in front of Sapphiron.

  4. Congratulations, Shintar! Wow, it will be interesting to see whether your GM comes back for Classic TBC. I imagine quitting in the middle of Naxx only for your guild to go on and down KT without you might be quite a bitter pill to swallow!

    1. He was raid leader, not GM, and he only quit his leadership position, not the guild or the game. He was also surprisingly unbothered by missing the KT kill! Frustration had clearly been brewing for a while and he just needed to get away from all that.