You know, I never thought I would hear myself say this, but: I actually miss trash packs in Raids. Blasphemy! Heresy! Lunacy! I know… They are called ‘trash’ for a reason, right? They are just an annoying roadblock in the way of the epics, right? Perhaps… but I do think there is a good bit more to trash than just being timesink.
My guild has an IRC channel that many of us camp in during the work day, and a conversation that came up recently was about the nostalgia of trash packs. Many people feel that Trial of the Crusader (and Grand Crusader) really was filler content between Ulduar and Icecrown. Coming to a raid and seeing the same room boss after boss after boss, isn’t a whole lot of fun. In fact, it is a little maddening. The only redeeming part of TOC’s design style, was the way each boss entered the room. (With Wilfred Fizzlebang clearly the crowd favorite).I laugh a little every time a Gnome dies.
While watching these brief scenes unfold in front of you, its hard not to view each boss being presented to you on a silver platter. The entire encounter is: Kill a boss, listen brief dialogue, (or Garrosh being a complete cryass), kill a boss, more dialogue, fall through the floor, kill a bug. It just was missing a certain je ne sais quoi.
If you look back to TBC, try to recall SSC, Black Temple, and Sunwell (well, perhaps not Sunwell Trash… /shudder ‘Go go COH spam!’ and ‘Add moar shamanz!!’!) the trash made the entire encounter feel more epic. The dungeon felt like you were battling your way through a fortress, taking down bosses along the way, and having to handle the trash packs in between. It had a storybook feeling to it, far greater than TOC currently.
The trash not only represents that storybook feel to the raid, it also provides some rather important downtime. Pushing for that new boss kill is important, but having it be heavy duty encounter after encounter is mentally exhausting. Trash packs do provide your raid a chance to breathe, take a moment, and recoup. (and perhaps catch a glimpse of that episode of House, Glee, or the game you have on the television in the room – /chuckle). Trash also means a chance for trash drop epics, Gold for repairs, and greens you can DE for enchanting materials. (which is even easier in 3.3 with the new Disenchanting roll system)
Now, of course, trash does come with its downsides: it has a respawn timer, which means if you are working on a boss and you wipe at 5%, but trash has respawned, you might have to reclear 45 minutes worth of trash before you can get that kill. Additionally, and I know most of the healers out there know this… tanks often can be a little zealous when it comes to pulling trash. I know in my guild the priests like to use Prayer of Mending as a ‘leash’. You know, for that moment when you see the tank have aggro on your raid frames and you think to yourself, “Shit, where did he run off to?” *bwooonngggg!* Launch that POM and see where it goes – - – “ahh, there’s that little bastard!”
I, for one, am really looking forward to going back to this more traditional raid design. Let’s charge into Icecrown Citadel, rip our way through the bosses, and trash packs along the way, and go toe to toe with the Lich King himself.
I say: don your coveralls and get ready for some trash!!
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