The other night I went with the guild back to Molten Core so we could all score some sweet mounts and 640 ilevel headgears. There was a bit of excitement in the air before the raid with the old raiders wondering how it would be to go back after all these years.
For the record I raided MC with varying intensity for over a year back in the day. Every guild that raided back then kept going there again and again as there was always someone who needed something out of there. With over 40 people to gear up including backups, normal guild turnover and getting all those eyes of divinity for the priest Benedictions… even the guilds claiming they were not doing it were still going in there every so often.
For many MC was also the only raid they did for the whole of vanilla WoW. Back then you could divide raiding guilds according to whether or not they could clear Molten Core and then whether or not they could clear Vael the guildbreaker. If your guild could kill Vael then you were considered a true hardcore raiding guild and nothing could stop you. Guilds that had cleared MC but not Vael yet were on probationary status, they would either come through and become a top end guild or fail and the raiders would move to new homes to try again. For the rest of the raiders it was MC until the end of times or until you finally lucked out and found the guild that could clear it.
I’m getting off topic here a bit but I want to drive home is that in Vanilla, for the vast majority of players, being a raider meant doing Molten Core over and over until Burning Crusade came out.
Learning to love the burn
It’s 2005, you are a raider and doomed to run MC, a raid that took about a week to make according to the recent Looking for Group documentary. Your weekly raid nights, usually three, might consist of casting remove curse over and over, applying sunders or doing the same simple rotation over and over.
You are a hostage to Molten Core and sooner and later you will come to love it, the videogame equivalent of the Stockholm syndrome. You come to crave Majordomo speech, you secretly hope that someone will blow up the raid with the Bomb, bets are made on who will get punted in the lava by a Surger and you down your beer every time a hunter pulls a pack and cause the raid to wipe.
The other night we were reminiscing about these little moments that helped us back then not go completely batshit insane. We were not celebrating Molten Core good design, we were a bunch of old soldiers swapping war stories, remembering that time a mortar shell landed in our foxhole but didn’t go off. We were remembering how our raid leaders would go insane and start discussion with themselves on the guild forums, about how Emo-tank would quit every so often and about that time when we could hear the rogue pork his girlfriend over teamspeak because he had left his mic on.
So to the people who will experience this for the first time and wonder how we can have fun with this piece of bad design, please bear with us for a little while. We know that it’s horrible, that there’s too much trash and that there’s nothing fun about decursing 40 people every 5 minutes. You are right, it’s utter garbage.
But for all it issues, I will always have fond memories of Molten Core because it brings back the memories of all the awesome people that I’ve met back then, that I suffered with, and that I wish I was still in touch with today.