After finally completing the 6K Valor Point step of the Legendary questline a week and a half or so ago, the PvP stage that I had been dreading was delightfully easy. It only took two tries at each battleground to get into a victorious Horde warparty. I went in as a healer and attached myself to whomever had one of the orbs (in Kotmogu) or to whichever DPS was closest (in Silvershard), and though I did sometimes suffer from Healers Have To Die syndrome, it wasn’t too bad. Then BTH and I duoed General Twinbraid. That battle must have taken us at least 30 minutes because I used Bloodlust three times! After we missed an interrupt on the call for adds early in the fight and I died and had to ankh, I did most of the fight at less than half mana. Thank the Earthmother for Telluric Currents! The first ten minutes or so of the fight felt pretty epic, but after that, it got pretty boring.
With these tasks accomplished, I was finally ready to venture into Throne of Thunder LFR. I’ve only felt up to doing one wing in any given evening, and I don’t want to do LFR too late in the raiding week, so I only got the first two wings done last week. This week, I started with the third wing, and last night, I did the fourth and final wing.
I’ve gotten one of Wrathion’s T15 MacGuffins from each wing that I’ve run. I’ve also gotten a bracers upgrade that I am using, a chestpiece upgrade that I’m not using (not ready to break my T14 4-pc set bonus quite yet), and three lovely weapons that might get rotated through my Elemental set — between the Breath of the Black Prince and the Eye of the Black Prince, my Sha-touched weapon will be superior for my Resto set for a long time to come.
As much as I agonized over “what am I going to do about raiding in Mists?!” in the waning months of Cataclysm, I have not regretted my decision to not do regular, guild-based, normal-mode raiding in the current expansion. I’ve been grateful that LFR allows me to get a taste of the current raid environments, encounters, and atmospheres, but I haven’t really missed normal-mode raiding.
Until last night, when I did Pinnacle of Storms in LFR.
Defeating Lei Shen only took two attempts. Afterward, the group just dispersed, and seeing Lei Shen lying there, abandoned, made me feel sad, somehow. I found myself missing the whoops and cheers of triumph and the jostling around as the group arranged itself for a kill shot that would inevitably have followed a hard-fought, hard-won normal-mode guild first kill of a boss. The Twin Consorts and Lei Shen fights were crazy and fun — and yes, even somewhat difficult — on LFR-mode… but they didn’t feel epic like my memories of normal-mode penultimate and final boss fights. I found myself missing that normal-mode challenge, the need to wipe and wipe and wipe and wipe and wipe to be able to master the mechanics and the proper timing of raid cooldowns. I already knew that LFR is the “poor relations” of raiding, and I have accepted that — but somehow these two encounters really drove that home for me.