I am convinced that time slows down when you wake up early… and then attempt to go back to sleep. This happened to me today, and between 5 and 5:30 I am pretty sure several hours passed. I kept waking up thinking that surely I had forgotten to set the alarm, and that I had now overslept significantly and would have to rush around in the morning. However I would look at my watch… and see that it was only 5:15, 5:22, 5:26 etc until finally the alarm went off. At this point as a person of reasonable life experience… I know that I am probably far better off just getting up and dealing with the fact that I am awake a bit earlier than normal. Instead I attempted to go back to sleep and I am pretty sure I will now be sluggish the rest of the day. Yesterday was of course an important maintenance day in World of Warcraft because it unlocked both raiding and mythic+ dungeons. I however don’t yet have a proper raid team, and last night represented the first mythic I have done yet. This expansion has been a significantly more casual pace for me… yet still somehow I managed to end up just about as well geared as anyone else out there starting raiding. I did a doublecheck this morning looking at a friend of mine in the warrior class hall and inspecting him… and I am maybe a couple ilvls behind him in total, and he is a serious progression raider. This is absolutely been the expansion so far of multiple paths to the end game… which is ultimately what I always wanted out of warcraft. You can craft your way to madness, or dungeon, or world quest, or raid… but in the end we all wind up in roughly the same destination allowing folks to swap paths at will rather than allowing choices within the first few weeks of a new expansion to forever dominate their fate.
The other cool thing that started up last night was the first of the world bosses. Apparently from this point on we are going to get a new world boss every week, and the first of these was Nithogg, a monster I have slain in so many games with so many different spellings. In World of Warcraft I have a particular vendetta against this creature for doing bad things to my Ravenbear friends. Even though I was reminded during the day… I absolutely forgot to go fetch my re-roll tokens. This time around they are located where the daily dungeon quests used to be during Wrath on ArcheMage Lan’dalock. Similar to the birbfolk in Draenor we can purchase the seals with Gold or Garrison… I mean Order Resources. Once again the prices go up not to subtly nudging you to spend multiple kinds of currency to get them, so the first seal will be 1000, the second 2000 and the third 3000 of either gold or resources. With the absence of Apexis Crystals… or some equivalent currency we are missing the option to buy three of the “cheap” tokens and are going to have to choose either resources or gold to escalate the cost with. As far as the boss fight… I did it a total of three times. The first time I didn’t have any stones, the second I did.. and the third I was testing to see if I could spend more than one token a week. The answer to that last question is no… and as a result I am stuck with earning 60g for my two attempts. It is at this point Tam should be happy because he always complains about my good luck… which in truth is not really a thing, its just that I do a lot of content that can potentially drop good stuff so in the end I get a lot of stuff. The boss itself is a bit boring, and reminded me quite a bit of the zerg dragons of old but mostly the boss is designed to be that. I was not in a proper raid group in any of the three times that I took Nithogg on, and sooner or later enough people amassed that someone pulled and the fight was on, with me furiously trying to dodge lightning patches while obeying the rules of fighting dragons… stay away from the head, stay away from the tail.
The other big happening of the night is that I finally did my first Mythic dungeon. The biggest problem I have had is when I feel like doing something like this… I lack the stalwart team to pull it together (pun intended). There are in truth few of us who are really at “mythicable” level, which seems to be around the 830 mark if you want to be safe. So while we might have 20-30 people on during prime time… a lot of them are still leveling and or gearing. What I assembled instead was a team where myself and the warlock were the only folks safely in mythic range, and the rest of us were a bit on the undergeared side. We felt it, but in the grand scheme of things I think we did just fine, especially considering it was my first mythic to tank, and Grace’s first mythic to heal. The long and short of it is… shit hits really hard. Like from the first trash pack onwards it was noticeable that the incoming damage on my side had stepped up a few notches. It was not unmanageable but it was a constant mitigation tug-of-war with my trying to maintain shield block and ignore pain whenever possible. Out in the world it always feels like I have all the rage in the world… in mythics however I am constantly hoping for enough rage to set up that next active mitigation. What they reminded me the most is the way that Burning Crusade Heroics felt, in that if we wanted to… crowd control would probably smooth out the difficulty curve significantly. Namely I am thinking somewhere around the Shadow Labyrinth difficulty, for those who are long enough in the tooth to remember how that felt the first few times. Our particular run was made harder probably because we had a marksman hunter… which are going to ultimately be the bane of anyone trying to carefully pull a dungeon. All in all we did well enough and other than the final boss only suffered a single wipe, which I found surprising because I was absolutely expecting issues with the serpent. It took significantly longer than your average dungeon, but we were being extremely cautious… which is something we are going to have to pick up the pace for when we start attempting keystone runs.