Some days, this game still genuinely amazes me.
Back in April, patch 1.2 introduced a tough new world boss on Voss, the Nightmare Pilgrim. I was only ever peripherally aware of his existence, since I knew that he required sixteen people to kill, and my old guild could never field that many raiders even during its heyday. Attempting to kill him was simply completely out of the question for us.
Well, as it turns out my new guild does have the numbers to down him, and even has raids on him on the calendar as a regular event. I was impressed when I saw this and signed up for one, once I had given my PvE gear a once-over to make sure that it was up to the task.
Looking up a brief strategy guide for the boss, I was also surprised to find out that he required a consumable that lasts four hours and costs thirty daily commendations a pop. Whoa! There is a craftable version of it too but my gunslinger will need a bit more work before she'll be able to make it, and there weren't any on the GTN when I checked, so I bit the bullet and spent the commendations. Good thing that I had quite a few of them saved up, though if I was to join for this event more regularly, I might actually have a reason to start doing dailies again.
Originally it was supposed to happen on Sunday, but then it was moved to Monday on short notice as leadership decided that there was too much competition on Sunday evening. Since I was already on Voss at the time and observing said competition first hand, I decided to hang around a bit and watch. There were two Imperial guilds taking turns trying to down him, but failing over and over again. Most of the time I couldn't even tell why. I wasn't the only fascinated onlooker either. A smuggler standing next to me commented: "I have other, more important things to do, but this is just too entertaining." We watched them wipe for over an hour until one of them finally managed to achieve a kill, which prompted us to break into applause.
It's funny that a game that only came out at the end of last year has such incredibly old school world boss mechanics - yet to me personally, that's also a good thing. It brings back memories of original WoW and how I once rode into the Twilight Grove in the middle of Duskwood to find a huge crowd of people fighting and dying there while a giant green dragon rampaged across the clearing. Noob me had no clue WTF was going on at the time, but it was definitely one of those things that left a lasting impression.
Anyway, today we went back to Voss, but as it turned out there was competition even on a Monday. Another Republic guild was already fully assembled, and an Imperial one was still waiting for part of its team to arrive when our own guildies started to trickle in. The first guild got their kill before anyone else had assembled a full group, so our raid leader announced that we were going to wait half an hour for the respawn. Again, antithesis to modern MMO design!
I really didn't mind the wait though; I just sat down under a tree and watched some people duel each other to pass the time, with one of our tanks getting stuck inside a tree as the highlight of the show. There was also some talk with the Imperial guild going on, which I didn't actually see, but I laughed out loud when another guildie commented on the "negotiations" on Teamspeak with the line: "'Do you come here every Monday?' Sounds like a pick-up line." There was a bit of an argument over who should get the next spawn, but our leader decided that the Imps should have the first attempt, and well, if they did get the kill we would simply have to wait another thirty minutes. If they died, we would try after them.
The Imps seemed to be doing fine initially, but barely wiped on the enrage timer. So we made the next pull, but as soon as we had started fighting, they had respawned and were all over us, yelling and griefing us by taunting the boss away to make him reset. They claimed that we were responsible for their wipe because we had interfered somehow. Our response could pretty much be summed up as: "WTF?" We kept spawning the boss, they kept resetting him, and in-between some people were trading insults for a while, but eventually they seemed to give up and go away. Inter-guild server drama!
Sadly, we weren't actually able to kill the boss after all that. We tried several times and always got close, but the enrage timer got us every time. I'm not sure whether we were "truly" off in terms of dps or whether we were tripped up by the fact that one or two people died on pretty much every attempt and then lost dps time from needing to be resed or running back from the medcentre. People seemed pretty disappointed by this failure, as the guild has apparently been able to one-shot the boss in the past.
I'm kind of glad that I'm not dps or I probably would have felt responsible somehow (being the new guy and all). As it was, I only had to suffer feeling mortified when the tank that I was assigned to died twice. All I can say is: holy crap, the Pilgrim's dog does some spiky damage! Full health, full health, full health, hit for thirty percent health, dead. Fuuu...! I'll have to read up on that some more to see if there's anything I can do better. (Knowledge is half the battle!)
That said, I really enjoyed the whole night regardless. It's been over two years since I was in a guild raid that size, where you actually needed things like dedicated healing assignments. And I'm sure we'll see the boss dead (again) soon enough.