Okay, so the title says it all. I got my Rusted Protodrake this evening, and I couldn’t be happier.
All ur Protodrakes are belong to me!
Here’s what happened: as any longtime reader will realize, this is the one I’ve wanted for a while. Ulduar is my favorite, and I’ve wanted to do the Rusted Proto thing since I knew it existed. As documented, I had a very, very unsatisfying experience before, when I tried to buy a run from Riot Act. (A guild full of high-caliber players on my former server.) In fact, I’ve not really spoken about it here, but I had a terrible time during that run, and it was one of the major reasons that I transferred servers.
This evening I went in on a run with a well-established raid group in AIE. The run was, by sheer happenstance, the main run for more than a few WoW-celebrities. (Including but not limited to Randy Deluxe and Ravanna.) I needed to do Yogg-1 light for the drake, so that was our only goal. However, the following things transpired:
-Great DPS. That group is full of players that can knock the stuffing out of anything that gets near them. This jumped out at me, I think, because I was DPSing and not doing a good job of it. Druid Southpaw comes to mind as an example, but that’s probably just because I think the name is catchy. In all seriousness, that raid run is crazy-good, to the point where, “Burst DPS vs. DoT/Sustained DPS after a portal” was a serious issue when deciding who did what.
-Awesome music in vent. They play music, and someone DJs. I never did figure out who had that job, but it was great.
-Great senses of humor amongst all members of the run. I made a Glenn Beck joke and it was received graciously, with much laughter. (It was very agreeable, even if it was a left-leaning joke.)
-The phrase “Sandy Bananna.” It came up after a very tame conversation, and was immediately selected to be a member of the fictitious list of things that, “sound like explicit sexual acts but actually are just what they say they are.”
-Tons of goodwill and fun. Maybe it’s just that everyone is easygoing because we’re at the end of a cycle, but it only took three tries to get Yogg 1-Light. That includes me DPSing, which was worth about 2.5k and 1 wipe of 3. (Seriously, I killed us. Those gas clouds are bigger in phase 1 than you think they are.) But on the third time…? The charm! Yogg was dead, I got no less than 7 achievements (that’s not an exaggeration) and a Proto Drake. Very, very exciting.
-A 1-week delay. Why? Because, as I said, Randy Deluxe’s character is one of the main healers for the group. Last week we got to Yogg, were looking at him, when Randy had to go suddenly because…Blizzard actually called him! I didn’t know it then, but it was Russell Brower calling for the special interview for The Instance, episode 200. At the time though, when the raid was called because, “Blizzard is calling Randy so he has to go and we don’t have another healer,” my response was, “No, really… wait. What? That happens?” In fact, as I found out, it does happen. So, we came back and finished off the achievement this week.
-Finally, this is probably one of the few times that I’ll do this, but I have to pop off a bit about the contrast between my experiences. Everyone in today’s run made me realize how great a run can be. This stood in stark contrast to my earlier experience with Riot Act. I haven’t written about it much, and I am normally loathe to feed trolls, but I’ll throw caution to the wind by saying the following: the Riot Act raid sucked; it wasn’t fun; it cost too much; I didn’t get the Drake (although, in fairness, the members of that run would say that is my own fault); I paid 20,000 gold without recourse; it was terrible; and finally, it was so awful that it was a major factor in my decision to transfer! But today… today was great! It really helped me put my experiences in perspective, and, to paraphrase the great writer David Foster Wallace, the folks in that Riot Act run can all kiss my grits, and I wish their in-game characters ill.
So, that’s about it! As ever, we look forward to all feedback.
Edit: If anyone is interested, the video of the kill can be found here. I’m the big cow that looks like his gear is two tiers out of date (because it is), and who also looks like I’m not trying to do anything other than not get in the way (because I was). It wasn’t my greatest performance, but I did contribute, and I feel like I earned the Drake because of it. Good times!