More DOTS! Get those Whelps under control! Deep breath inc! Okay, it’s a wipe.

onyxiaWithout a doubt one of the funnest encounters ever in WoW for me.  I was among one of the first groups to actually down Onyxia several years ago and I have yet to have as much fun in an encounter in WoW since.  I have fond memories of getting people together who weren’t even at the level cap yet, still in their Strath/Scholo sets (before they were revamped), and taking her down.  It took teamwork, precision, people knowing how to play their class, and a little luck to survive the chaos.

Learning the fight and coordinating 40 people to work together was the hardest part.  I remember leading several Ony raids with my guild and watching as people could not get it through their heads that if they did not move when she breathed that they would die.   Watching rogues sit at her tail just to die or get launched into her eggs was one of those “derrr deee derrr” moments.

Onyxia always remained an inexact science for us.  Even when we were all decked out in T1+ it was a challenge when she would pull something random on us.   That’s what I liked about that encounter most though because it wasn’t like Molten Core where the fights were so consistent that I could watch TV while raiding on my paladin.   I had to pay attention.  The adrenaline always rushed when we raided her.

Being the first to take her down on our server and watching the announcement be displayed over chat and her head hanging in Orgrimmar was one of those “I did that!” moments for me.   I think she always represented the type of raid that WoW needed.  It was a very, very quick fight with only a couple dragonkin in the way.  It took maybe 5 minutes to get to her once you start and the whole raid never took more than 30 minutes.   I remember wishing that all raids were like that because having to sit for 5 hours in Molten Core or BWL was such a waste of time.  Onyxia was a quick dangerous kill that gave you recognition and reward.

Now that Onyxia is being brought back to WoW in a new patch, I have mixed feelings.  She has been so degraded over the years.  I remember hearing that Deathknights solo her.  It took FORTY of us to take her down.  She’s coming back with updated “encounter mechanics to be more fitting for modern raiding”.  Blizzard says the deep breath will still be there, but I hope they don’t dumb her down.  The random wipe was important.  People being kicked into eggs was important.  Add more to the fight.  Give her new abilities.  Make her fight more dynamic.  Just don’t touch the spirit of the fight.  Also, don’t disgrace her lair by placing her at the end of some 4 hour raid.  Give her a new spruced up Lair, maybe move it to a new location and fudge the lore like you’re good at, but keep the memories intact.

This is the dreaded Brood Mother, and she’s no one’s bitch.  Remember that.

P.S.  What will they do about attunement?

  • Onyxia, including the long attunement quest line, was quite honestly the best WoW has ever offered. I loved it. What a great story and quest driven exercise just getting there. And once there, oh geez pre-nerfed Onyxia was wipe, wipe repeat but dammit it was entertaining.

    When games try to go for ‘epic’, this is the example I’d like them to mirror.

    What’s funny is, as an encounter and quest line, it breaks so many of the rules as to what should be good. Plus it was buggy as hell at first, but that’s also when it was best.

  • You put Onyxia’s head in Ogrimmar as a Paladin, yet were one of the first to do it?

    But yea, Ony was a fun fight at the time, if a little broken due to get random agro until it was fixed. I remember our guild taking randoms in with us to finish their sword quest, and always watching as they died from a breath attack right as they placed it. Good times.

  • I remember my tries on her aswell. Good old days =D
    Did her a few times on my DK aswell at 80. Not solo tho, couldve easily done that tbh.

    At first I was like OMG not again, rehashing old-content :(. But now im a bit more relaxed. Not going back to WoW tho for something like this :p.

  • That was the good old days and anyone who tried Her at that time will have this unforgettable encounter for the rest of his/her life.

  • @Rog: Heck, when we count the story behind Onyxia it’s definitely the best of WoW’s questing. The attunement for Alliance was far better than Horde with Onyxia standing there. The placement of Ony’s head in Org though was better than Stormwind, since more people saw it in Org.

    @Syncaine: Nah, I was talking about two separate instances. I did Onyxia for the first time as a Horde Hunter and got the server first there. However, my Paladin is where I did most of my hardcore raiding so that’s where I usually reference the Paladin in Molten Core.

  • “but I hope they don’t dumb her down. ”

    Hoooooo boy. Prepare to be disappointed. Ony will be a loot pinata by default, with some idiotic hard mode that they hope will placate serious raiders. That’s the WotLK formula, and I doubt they’ll deviate an inch from it.

    “What will they do about attunement?”

    Attunements do not existing in WotLK. Which is a shame…. they slow the pace of raiding a bit, and stretch out the content.

  • I was lucky enough to be a part of her server first kill on Deathwing. It certainly wasn’t grinding for purples in those days. I even loved the lengthy attunement quest line and the scripted events that occurred along the way. It felt like an epic story rather than a bothersome series of steps I had to complete to get attuned for loot.

    I agree with Keen, the one-off boss encounters fit my playing style much better than lengthy raiding forays. As a matter of fact, spending five or six hours raiding four nights a week is what drove me away from WoW. I enjoyed raiding when it was about beating new content, but as soon as it became logging hours for DKP I got jaded.

    I quit playing WoW a couple of years back, but I’m glad they’re making Onyxia relevant even if it can’t be as good as my memories of the fight. It’s better than having some level 80 death knight solo her.

  • Ah that makes sense, although it must have been odd going from a multi-purpose class like the hunter (assuming you did the pulling and CC on a raid) to the one-click-forever healing of a pali, not to mention the inherent ‘easy mode’ of Alliance dwarf priests. Ony was a bitch for Horde compared to fear-ward Alliance.

  • The whole point of this revamp is that it allows them to add something new to the game in between patches without actually having to do much work. All they have to do is rebalance the stats on the items and on a single fight, and there’s instant “new” content. Moving her lair, adding an attunement questline that has nothing to do with the current plot of the game, acknowledging in any way that she has gained 20 levels, or expanding it to a 4 hour raid sprawl would all defeat the purpose.

    One other change (besides the lack of attunement) is that I’m guessing that the place will not be tuned for any significant fire resist gear. Maybe my old guild didn’t know what we were doing, but I thought that I would take noticibly less damage if I had at least some FR on. (Then again, spell power wasn’t really available in pre-raid content back then, so it was just a loss of some Int.) That’s not so much the direction that the game goes these days.

  • It’s going to be the exact same fight in the same looking lair.

    With some more dynamic things to do other than wanding for 25 minutes. (LFM Ony, 80 DPS MAX!)

    There is no lore contradiction, since it doesn’t effect the lore at all. It’s still the same story, just spruced up to level 80 like everyone on the forums have been saying they should do. Blizzard’s even using the same item models, and T2 helms, which a lot of people are happy about.

  • Those were the high times for me as well in WoW. Pre-BC was a fantastic experience.

    I think the last time I logged on was about 6 months ago to see if I would like it again and I noticed the groups LFM not only ask for your build now, but your combat stats before joining…..


  • Definitely a cool idea but nothing would ever make me go back to WoW. Kudos to Blizzard for bringing back old content!

  • onyxia’s already made a revival once.. as solo gold for all my 80s. until they nerfed the old world boss gold drops =( mean old blizz

  • When I told this to friends, I was greeted by complete skepticism and disdain. Many of my friends still have haunting nightmares of how completely they ruined the fun and awesomeness that Naxxrammas was when it was still a 40 man instance.

    While I truly expect Onyxia to not be the last revamped instance we can expect to see (yes, I believe we will see a revamped AQ40 at some point) if it is to work it will need to include some of the things that are now missing from the game.

    Namely the attunement questline needs to be reintroduced. Somehow bring back Lady Prestor. Rework it, retune it and give us epic raid involving questlines that mean something again. It is sad that Bolvar is “dead” and we can no longer stand next to him as he fights off Ony’s minions inside the keep, but they need to do something.

    I am less worried about them ruining a fight which was fairly chaotic and fun the first time around. I am more worried that they will fail to take the time to replace the storyline and give us a reason (besides loot) to once again venture into the instance.

  • I wonder if they will revamp some of their old instances to “heroic” level 80 mode, too.

    It is quite smart, a lot of content and fun for less work on their part. Green Armadillo already said it, I just want to second him.

  • pre this pre that,, first this first that.. its always best… people always remember fondly of their “first” and its the best and have foggy recall over what sucked about whatever the topic…

    Pre CU/NGE SWG, pre velious EQ, pre AC expac, pre shadowlands AO, pre trammel uo, pre Eve online whatever.. Team fortress classic forever!! best ever etc /rolls eyes… devs cannot do anything new and people say it’s better…. oh well i am ramblin

    that should be your next blog topic Keen

  • heh Keen no i guess I would have a different blog then… but that could work

    /goes to buy a Palm Pre cause it just has to be better than the Iphone or Blackberry 🙂

  • I really don’t see how they can go wrong with this – even if they simply boost the numbers to Level 80 values and leave everything else intact.

    Deep Breath will probably be more clearly defined as the tactic to survive it in the past was simply “run to the edges”. Hopefully it will require more careful positioning this time around.

    Looking forward to it, everyone loves this kind of brief monster kill.

  • @Andrew
    “loot pinata” Wahahahha. Never heard that term before…very nice.

    Oh ye good ole’ days! Brings back good memories…Oh wait, I was the one always getting hit into the eggs…baaaah!