So it's been a few weeks since our last outing, and, the day we managed to marshal enough squid to form a raid we cleared the Dread Citadel:
I'm not going to post screenshots of all of the bosses, because quite honestly, they don't deserve it. There's a problem when it takes longer to explain a fight than to do it. There's a problem when you not only 1-shot a boss with 25 people alive, but also manage to get an achievement you never knew existed. Even Thaddius, the biggest squid net in the instance, goes down within half an hour of attempts. Four Horsemen are simpler than Attumen the Huntsman, Sapphiron was done without people knowing what "frost resist" MEANS, and the mighty lich Kel'Thuzad would have died on the first attempt if I had been looking at void zones instead of attempting to cast vigilance on squid across the room.
But this front page update isn't about Naxxramas.
It's about a man named Loken.
Ah, Loken. A hatsmith by trade. The last boss of Halls of Lightning, for those unaware. Danrax and his trusty companion Tom Brumbler have tracked this man across the millennia, battled him across worlds. Together they have succeeded where whole armies failed. Just ask Dan sometime when he's been drinking. He'll tell you a tale and show you the scars. He travels here and there they say, joining channels on vent silently when he senses a Loken encounter to be in progress. He listens, without saying anything, feeding on the tears and failure of squid, chuckling to himself as he pours another glass.
Let me explain to you how a typical encounter with this man goes.
You enter a large circular room with coffered ceilings. A giant model of the world spins in the center, glowing with light, as golems and constructs patrol about. At the far end of the chamber a set of stairs and a pulsing white line lead to a large rune-etched throne, on which sits a man made of stone. He idly taps his fingers as he waits, head leaning on one hand. When you approach, he laughs, and speaks of worlds which he has shattered, whole empires and civilizations of squid turned to ruin. Rising from the chair, he holds up one hand —
— and then you void your bowels, and realize, and unconsciously say out loud: "We're all about to die".
And then, as you hesitantly charge to meet him, one of two things happens: either somebody stands too close when they shouldn't be, or too far away when they should be humping his leg. THAT PERSON becomes a hat, instantly, hitting the ground faster than a holy priest in Primal Mooncloth healing during a pull. Or, in this new age of raiding, faster than Rooraman on the wrong side of Thaddius.
Ah yes, Rooraman. This post is about him too. A man that was once the most powerful warlock in the guild and probably the world, with a throne rivaling Loken's. A man who has seen better days. Now he watches us fight the Lich King's lieutenants, looking upwards from the ground, from the spot generally reserved for Nevvy in raids past. Due to a phenomenon described only as "affliction combos", and having to play from a laptop after his liquid cooling system "drooled", this man can be counted on to be dead every single time, on every single fight.
Well, some say, it's not THAT bad. I mean, how many fights do we realistically go through with having all 25 people alive?
You don't seem to understand. This man is GUARANTEED to be dead. "24-manning every encounter" does not even begin to describe it — this isn't dying once per boss fight, this is dying multiple times PER TRASH PULL. Per pull of ONE MOB. If you were to count, I would not be at all surprised if the inhabitants of Naxx killed Roo 3 times for every one of them we killed. Everything you can possibly die to in that instance, this man has died to. Everything you CAN'T possibly die to, this man has found a way to die to. He dies outside of combat, he dies without taking damage, he dies to HEALING SPELLS, and attempts to resurrect him usually end up autoreleasing him and/or dropping him from the internet.
Back in Burning Crusade, in the days of SSC, we had a running joke about Bear dying 5 times in two Lurker attempts. That, I am sad to say, is nothing now. Now, we raid with 8 druids. EVERY ONE of those battle rezes is used on Roo, every fight. He is given more healers than the tanks, he is given a cane and a seeing-eye dog to guide him around and show him what is bad to stand in, and still, if I turn around for ONE SECOND, he trips and falls and lays waiting for a rez and a repair bot in a puddle of drool.
This man spaces out in the 3 seconds between a ready check and a pull, which conveniently places him in an alcove with a group of angry undead. Needless to say he gets torn into about 15 parts on the spot, and said undead, with pieces of Roo still in their teeth, proceed to wipe us on Kel'Thuzad before he is done making his intro speech. Note that unlike the drawn-out monologues of Kael and Illidan, his speech consists of "Minions, servants, soldiers of the cold dark- obey the call of Kel'Thuzad!".
I can't even find a picture in my collection to describe the level of fail here. Here's one anyway, though Roo hanging in power lines I'd consider a great success compared to some of the things I've seen this man do.
Up next is a powerful dragon man with a beard, who might take a staggering FOUR attempts to kill, making him the hardest boss in the game by far. Stay tuned. I for one can hardly contain the excitement.