While many guilds are taking a break from raiding all together, EM has SLOWLY been plucking away at the Lich King. I say SLOWLY because we seem to have this curse. (Not that I really believe in those but it is the best way to describe it.) It befalls us every time we reach the final boss in a raid. Suddenly our healers begin to lose their internet connections, our dps to have hardware issues and our tank's work schedules become such that they have NO idea if they will be able to log on or not. To say that it severely hampers our progression would be an understatement. Many guilds our size have chosen to send members to other guilds to get themselves a "King Slayer" and start doing the lower spire heroic fights for loot. That just isn't our style.
Over the years we have had many (those who value the kill more than the fellowship) who reach that point in the progression, leave us for other guilds so they can get that final boss DEAD sooner. I don't hold that against them. As I tell my children, "patience is a virtue which must be LEARNED." Yet a core of us persevere. To us, it is WHO we defeat the final baddy with that matters, more than WHEN he goes down.
Many of us started out gaming with more "Hard Core" time abilities, but as age and responsibilities have caught up to us, we have had to adopt a more "casual" approach. That doesn't mean that our persistent dedication has died. It just means that having a consistent raiding group is often little more than a dream. We have many individuals in our guild whose abilities FAR outweigh their gear scores. Yeah, loot is great, but if you haven't figured out by now that those pixels have a VERY short shelf life, there is little anyone can do to help you.
Last night when we finally downed Arthas it was despite one of our healers AGAIN losing her internet connection (What is UP with Comcast in Florida?) and us having to bring in someone who had NEVER seen the fight before, talking him through as we did it. We also did it while consuming WAY to much caffeine to counteract Daylight Savings. Two of the members were unable to cheer for fear of waking the newborn sleeping in his bassinet between them. Many of us had to keep our own celebrations muted to not disturb our own sleeping children. I was so proud of them I thought my chest would explode.
To be honest, I have been feeling somewhat ambivalent about killing Arthas. I can't really express WHY I have felt that way, but I really had no motivation to kill him personally. However to take him down with that group of people was fulfilling. Next week we will be back at it. Now the focus will be working on heroics and to get those who have yet to get him down a chance at him. We still have two healers who desperately wish to see him DEAD. (The one who lost her connection last night and another who has been with out HIS internet for over a MONTH as a result of the summers hurricanes). There are of course others.
Many seem to feel that when you take all the buffs now available the final fights in ICC only require you to walk in and breath for the bosses to go down. Sadly, while they are MUCH easier than they were originally, they are by no means EASY. You can not do ANY of the upper spire fights by standing in one place and Pew Pewing at the boss. We had one of our EXTREMELY casual members with us the other day while we were working on LK. Part of me could only laugh and the other part wanted to bang my head against my desk as she went on about how she wanted to get the Lich King down for her achievement and she couldn't understand "Why we hadn't done it yet." She then proceeded to die within the first 30 seconds of every attempt and kept asking "What killed me?" The concept of Infest was to much for her, let alone the Necrotic plague.
I LIKE final boss fights where the mechanics are part of what make a fight difficult. Even now if you are level 80 and go back to Serpentshrine Cavern and try to go after Lady Vashj you still have to deal with the Tainted Core mechanic which means you can't just run in there and zerg her. Cata is rapidly approaching and with the new guild achievements many will be revisiting those old raids including good ole Arthas at level 85. It will be interesting to see how well people handle those mechanics because while it WILL be easier to burn through the various phases, will people be able to zerg him or will they all get blown off the frozen throne? It will be interesting to find out.