Pandaria, her hills of gold, in dark and mournful times of old, did once a hopeless horror hold.
When from her sacred veil did spring, with storm and flash, a monstrous thing, his name Lei-Shen, the Thunder King.
His thunder boomed across the land, and none who dared and fought could stand, against the iron tyrant’s hand.
A palace grand, a walled domain, such mighty works born of his reign, built by slaves, their hearts in chains.
But seasons change and tyrants die, his fury spent in times gone by, the thunder slept beneath Kun Lai.
By Zandalari hands he has been taken, by Zandalari voice he has awakened.
Exhumed’s heroes came to pwn, the Thunder King’s gone, the Thunder King’s gone.
Last week my guild, Exhumed, killed the Thunder King, server 21st, EU 7880 and world 12474. In the grand scheme of things nothing fantastic but for a guild that raids for only 6 hours a week in a casually hard-core style I’m proud as hell of the 14 guys and gals that got us the kill. It means that we’ve got the “Ahead of the Curve” achievement for the 2nd straight tier and something that we were not able to do at all prior to Mists. Sure were rocked in Dragon Soul but that was only AFTER the nerfs came in and we took Deathwing HC down literally 2 hours before Mists launched.
Heroic modes now await us until the Siege of Orgrimmar arrives to occupy our attention and that is something of a dilemma for me, not because I don’t think we are capable (our blitz through the first 11 bosses in less than 3 hours this week is proof that we are more than ready) but rather the way Blizzard has the HC bosses tuned. The order goes something like:
Jin’rokh the Breaker (1st boss)
Ji-Kun (6th boss)
Horridon (2nd boss)
Tortos (4th boss)
Iron Qon (10th boss)
Council of Elders (3rd boss)
Twin Consorts (11th boss)
Megaera (8th boss)
Durumu the Forgotten (7th boss)
Primordius (8th boss)
Dark Animus (9th boss)
Lei Shen (12th boss)
This means that for optimal progression you need to waste a lot of opportunities especially this late on in the tier of killing HC bosses. I am likely to not bother attempting Ji’kun heroic because we could spend time more wisely by going straight to Horridon after Jin’rohk dies on HC mode despite the fact we lose HC tier legs. Likewise once Horridon HC dies the council at 6th toughest doesn’t seem worth passsing by to go to Tortos HC because of the HC tier gloves there.
All in all the HC progression should be linear if the instance is linear. However that begs the question should raids be linear (as every raid instance in Mists has been), winged like Naxxramas and ICC was or more freestyle like Ulduar and Firelands was?
My personal preference is freestyle like Ulduar/Firelands it means progression in HCs can be more illogical without the need to kill normal mode bosses get to the HC boss you want to try next. I also prefer this layout for normal modes as it gives you options to vary the route you take and if there are a few “optional” bosses along the way it allows you to miss them out completely if nobody needs loot from them and therefore gives you more time to work on progression.
If you were able to design your perfect raid what style would you have? Would you bosses rise in difficulty in a logical order on heroic modes? Would you have optional bosses in normal mode?