It’s been over a year of toil, but my efforts have finally come to fruition. From kissing under the holly, to putting out fires, to running around in Alterac Valley with a child whining at my heels, the holidays have been an interesting experience to say the least. I fought fiercely against the random number generator, hunted the elusive female orc, danced around a pole, drank strange brew, fought asshats for Easter eggs, and completed many other unusual tasks. Each holiday was filled with a mix of frustration and amusement, and this last one was not unlike the others.
The Lunar Festival was the last meta-achievement I needed for the grand meta – “What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been“. I had nearly completed it last year, but alas I was not level 80, leaving some of the Northrend Dungeons just out of reach. Jardal and I awoke on Sunday excited to complete our goal — we had only two achievements left: Elders of Northrend, and Elders of the Dungeons. All progress we had made last year on these had sadly been wiped clean. We trudged our way through the depths of the old Azeroth dungeons like Stratholme and Mauradon, finally emerging into the cold, pale sunlight of Borean Tundra. The list of Northrend Dungeons was longer than I remembered — a total of seven in all. We probably could have zerged some of them on normal, but figured we might as well acquire emblems. In hindsight this was probably not the smartest decision.
The last two dungeons we ventured into on Sunday evening found us face to face with two of the worst tanks I’ve ever met in my pugging experience.
The first one definitely takes the cake. Jardal the tree, Barre the warlock, and I landed in Utgarde Pinnacle with a DK tank. According to pocket healer Jardal, he was a very squishy DeathKnoob. He was also one of those tanks that runs like they are a level 60 being chased by a Fel Reaver. He didn’t wait until the mobs were dead – as long as they were at about 50% health he took this as a sign to pull the next pack. We made it to the first boss with no deaths though, so I figured we were in the clear due to Jardal being an awesome healer.
The tank charged down the stairs towards Svala… and kept going. “Okay well he’s probably just trying to kill the adds to save time,” I thought. But he kept going… and going. We arrived at the next boss, and he rounded up the patrol in the room and paused for a moment. Then he charged forward… again skipping the boss. “Maybe he knows something I don’t?” I pondered. I’d never before heard you could skip these bosses, but I certainly don’t know everything. We barricaded down the gauntlet and finally stopped to kill Skadi.
Everything seemed fine and dandy until we were in the next room and the tank failed to pick up all the adds, who went charging after the hunter. I selfishly clicked on the Elder, and the next thing I knew the healer, warlock and I are dead. Jardal soulstoned and instantly got zerged by the vykrul. The tank was still alive and nowhere to be found.
We released, and made our way back through the instance. We were greeted at the bottom of the staircase in Svala’s room by a gigantic Jormungar, that the tank had just begun to engage. Then Jardal got flung onto the altar with a sword floating slowly down towards his weary leafy branches.
Yes, we engaged two bosses at once.
Somehow we didn’t die. It seemed like a miracle. The tank lol’d and ran onwards again, back to the room he had abandoned us in. Looking through our chat logs we realized the reason he was in the instance was also for the elder. He hadn’t seen it where he thought it was supposed to be, and so thought he had to go back and kill the other bosses to “get it to spawn”. We facepalmed, and told him where the elder was. Meanwhile he engaged the vykrul. He didn’t bother to LOS pull, and suprise, we got feared into the other packs. He was too squishy to keep up through this, and we wiped. He dropped group. I have no idea if he found the elder or not, and frankly I do not care.
Halls of Stone was also a treat, although only subtly sour flavored compared to the previous one. The warrior tank was “l33t” and pulled more packs of mobs together than I have ever seen. Unfortunately the mobs in HOS still hit quite hard, and he didn’t bother to communicate that he wouldn’t be stopping – ever – which mean that we all pulled aggro off of him since he didn’t have significant threat on any particular mob. We wiped.
Then we realized the Elder in HOS is just before Krystallus – the “optional” boss. This tank was not the type to do optional bosses. Surprisingly though, after we pleaded with him he headed to the right towards Krystallus. Jardal and I breathed a sigh of relief as the achievement spam rolled across the screen. Unfortunately we had to make it through the rest of the instance before we could see the rewards our our year-long quest.
We died only once more, but was not a pleasant experience. I left the group and faltered my way to the Dalaran mailbox, fighting lag every step of the way. My mailbox was filled to the brim with those ridiculous Elder spam packets, causing it to take even longer to loot my protodrake.
Finally I arrived on the Dalaran landing pad, and mounted my violet protodrake with a triumphant cry. I was weary from the journey, and full of scars both physical and emotional, but it was done.
What a long, strange trip it has been.