The Collective Aha Moment & Two Reasons I Hate Firelands

The Collective A-Ha Moment

One of the most insightful comments I’ve seen came from Emmalise on a post I wrote last February. She talked about how she likes the teamwork aspect of raiding, how rewarding it is when 25 people all team up and get a boss fight. A week of wipes and frustration and let’s-try-this and what-about-that pays off when suddenly it all clicks. I call it the collective a-ha moment, and it’s an important part of why I raid, too.

For each player, there’s a different “epic” in the game. Maybe your epic is getting the best gear and flexing in the middle of Stormwind. Maybe it’s making such a name for yourself in PvP that the other team runs when they see your nameplate. For me, it’s raiding. It’s learning and progressing and coordinating. It’s the collective a-ha and the achievement (the kind you feel, not the kind that makes glowy swirls on your screen, though I like those too).

Why I Hate Firelands: Reason 1

I returned to Warcraft this past fall. I’d stopped playing in May-ish and missed pretty much everything from May to August. I rejoined my guild and found that they needed me almost right off the bat because of the difficulty of recruiting for 25-mans on our server. It took me a little while to get a grasp on my moonkin-ness again, but that was nothing compared to the Firelands learning curve.

By the time I came in, most of the place was on farm. They were working on Domo, I believe. I had never even seen the instance, and I had to follow the color-coded dots of my raid members to find the entrance.

To them, these bosses were thoughtless fights. They’d done them many, many times before, and it was old hat. For me, I was completely lost. I had read strats to prepare myself, had even watched a few videos, but until you actually do a boss fight, you don’t really get it.

The best way for me to learn a boss fight is to learn it as a new fight: to struggle through, figure out what works and what doesn’t while everyone else is doing the same thing. As it was, I was learning on my own, and I was like an awkward cheerleader in a dance line: always one step behind the rest. The whole thing was extremely frustrating, and I only kept coming because I knew it would get better over time. I still never fully grasped the nuances of a lot of the early fights in Firelands.

No one likes to feel like the slow one. No one likes to feel left behind. It’s not unfair that this was the way it was, but that doesn’t mean it felt great.

Reason #1: I missed out on the collective a-ha moments, and I felt awkward and out-of-place for most of the instance.

Why I Hate Firelands: Reason 2

Practically every caster in the guild was at some point in the progression of the legendary staff. There was a mage who was supposed to be getting it next, but he stopped coming, and suddenly I was being given the pieces for the first quest. This was, as I saw it, probably my only opportunity to ever see a legendary. I knew that on the totem pole of legendary staves, I was at the bottom, but I was hopeful nevertheless.

It took me a while to get all the Embers. My husband asked me to take Tuesdays off for a while to watch Biggest Loser with him, but I jumped on every time I could, and eventually got all of them.

I had basically bankrupted myself early in the expansion on two DMC:V’s for myself and my husband, and because I had stopped playing, I had never made the gold back. While I was collecting Embers, I was also diligently farming when I could for the gold to buy the items I would need for the staff.

I paid the 9k and completed the first quest and the next couple. I one-shotted the Nexus event in a moment I can only describe as freaking awesome. It came time for me to collect the foci from the raid.

We went in, and they were wearing down heroic Shannox while I ran around collecting shards. I got them, formed a focus, and I put it down, the spear hit it–and me. I never got healed and died right next to the charged focus. I asked for a rez, but my mic was broken and no one saw it in raid chat. By the time I got rezzed, the focus was gone, and the boss was dying. I was really upset.

But we moved on to Beth’tilac. I had read about this boss, but I had misread about the number of shards that drop. I collected three, but it took me so long that by the time I got up and put it on the web, Beth’tilac was coming down for the last time.

At that point, the raid gave up on me getting the rest of my foci, and wiped out the instance without looking back. I felt like an unimportant idiot. Mostly, I felt extremely disappointed.

The following Tuesday, Dragon Soul came out.

We went into Firelands last night to help other people do steps to get their staff. The race to get through Firelands as quickly as possible is not conducive to the step I’m on, and I’m not on anyone’s priority list for the staff.

Months ago I realized I wouldn’t ever see it completed, or at least not until late MoP when people get bored and I can maybe bribe them to help me. However, it’s still a disappointment, and going in there, especially to watch everyone else get their staff, is like salt in a wound.

Reason #2: Firelands reminds me of disappointment and failure.

Last night was not a fun night for me. I go because I’ve committed to raid and backing out because I’m a little butthurt would be lame. But I won’t like it.

And you can’t make me.


Filed under Blogstuff, Experiences

10 responses to “The Collective Aha Moment & Two Reasons I Hate Firelands

  1. *hugs*

    I know no one is deliberately snubbing you, sweetie. I think it’s just a case of a ‘OMG get through this as fast as possible so we can wipe out Spine and Madness because no one will show up Monday for a couple of bosses’ kind of thing.

    I will tell you that OWL is 6/7 FL, and you can do those Legendary steps in 10-man – If you’re willing to sit out for a CCT FL run, we can get you in on a Saturday run. We’re not nearly as fast as CCT, and we’ll hold back to ensure you can finish your stuffs.

    • battlechicken


      That would be really great, if you guys don’t mind me tagging along and as long as I wouldn’t be stepping on anyone else’s progress. It’s not even as much about having the staff anymore as it is just getting the opportunity to finish it. If Boom will let me step out of the CCT run, I would gladly go with OWL.

      Besides, OWL rocks. 🙂

  2. Boom


    I was gonna recommend EXACTLY what Ainyan did. So yes, you have my permission to do that. And yes, the reason we flew threw it was simply because we could. The reality is, and this is unfortunate for you because of the step you are on that requires you to do things during a boss fight, but we want the stuff from the dead bosses. I really would love to be able to let you do the steps in 25 man FL, but that would add 30+ mins to the run, and unfortunately with us starting new heroics hopefully weekly, we won’t have time to spare. Get your thing done with OWL next weekend, and I will bump you ahead of IMYC for phase 2 drops. ❤

    • battlechicken

      Yeah, I had no expectation of getting anything accomplished last night, and I wasn’t even really worried about it to start off with. I knew the purpose of the run, I knew it was intended to be fast, and I was ready to just buckle down and get through it as quickly as possible because I am not a fan (see…all of the above). Having the staff thing brought up again pushed my buttons for reasons.

      Thank you, Boom. I’ll sit out of FL next Wednesday, then, and go with OWL on Saturday. 🙂

      • Boom

        no worries. Don’t let it get to you, nobody meant anything by bringing that-incident-that-shall-not-be-spoken-of up. I am not a fan of the place myself, I look at it as a glorified dungeon run more than anything, except with 25 people instead of 5. But we’ll be glad we did it when pushing the harder heroics.

        On a side note I am contemplating heroc rhyo and domo next time depending on how the raid week pans out and their lvl of difficulty and time available. Stupid BiS items stuck in FL……

      • battlechicken

        Might as well. Heroic Rhyo should be a pushover. Heroic Domo–well, I don’t know. It seemed like a hassle getting everyone on the same page for that fight. My question would be how many of the mechanics would be a non-issue and how many still have the likeliness of roflstomping us.

        I promise not to stand in the cat poop, though, if it helps.

  3. Berdache

    Must admit my favourite moments in WoW have been killing bosses we spent weeks / months wiping on. There is something exhilarating about finally everything clicking and getting a bosses down. Good luck and hope you find it in DS

    • battlechicken

      Absolutely! The biggest high comes from the bosses that are the hardest to kill. At this rate, Heroic Hagara might give us at least a little taste of that again! lol.

  4. Jal

    I got them, formed a focus, and I put it down, the spear hit it–and me. I never got healed and died right next to the charged focus. I asked for a rez, but my mic was broken and no one saw it in raid chat.

    Painful. I’ll never get anywhere close, but just the thought of bagging an orange has me sending my condolences. I hate speed running instances (/chat GO GO GO drives me crazy) when I’m still relatively new to them and want to screenshot books or loot mobs, and can only imagine when there’s orange-ige on the line. ;^)

    • battlechicken

      That moment was awful. I can’t tell you how sickening it was to watch it despawn next to my corpse.

      The good news is that I went with a great guild to their 10-man run last Saturday and completed that part. I feel so much better about the whole thing now that I have it the first staff tucked in my bags.

      And yeah, I never thought I’d be going for the legendary, so you can imagine the whole foaming-at-the-mouth thing going on about wanting it now. 😛

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