What is missing from the Arthas fight?

What is missing from the Arthas fight?

First before I begin I would like to say congrats to Matticus on his 10 man Arthas kill!

Now onto the matter at hand. My guild is plugging away at the Lich King 25 man encounter, our 10 man team is just about to take him down as well. There is a certain sense of accomplishment when you get to the end of not only the content, but let’s be honest in this case the entire point of the expansion! This entire expansion has geared us up for this fight. Egging us on, pushing us to greater heights and taunting us at every turn. The Lich King has been found in so many quests, instances and cinematic events it is impossible to not want to kill him.

When Trial of the Crusader was released, I’ll be honest I was not impressed. In fact I down right hated ToC. I’m an old school raider, I like instances with trash and having to work at getting TO the boss. I mean in every book I’ve read the hero and the villain don’t just run into each other randomly and just go to town. The hero normally goes through various trials and or henchman before they get to the big bad. In James Bond movies, he has to go through the henchman before making his way to the final bad guy for the show down. To me that is what trash is in an instance, it is a warm up but it’s also story fodder. These are the creatures the various bosses thought good enough to guard them from US. So when I walked into ICC for the first time you can bet I was over-joyed at the amount of trash that lay before us. One of my fondest memories as of late was when we were first heading into the Plagueworks, I was flying solo leading the raid that night and we were coming up on Stinky and Precious. I didn’t warn the raid about them at all, instead as we pulled I laughed maniacally at the frantic screams of “HOLY SHIT WHAT THE HELL IS GLUTH DOING HERE?” as the raid wiped. Everyone laughed about it afterward  and I felt happy that there was trash that was actually DANGEROUS if you weren’t prepared.

My guild has fought our way through all the bosses up to Arthas and there is a sense of accomplishment there. The fight itself is amazing fun, if for no other reason than because there is so much going on. So, why then am I feeling slightly ripped off with this fight?

Arthas is one of those lore characters that has shaped this game. Warcraft 3 was a game I played to death and out of it what I got was the setup for World of Warcraft. It was heart-wrenching when Arthas slew his father and you saw the darkness in complete control, it was epic when Illidan and Arthas fought. The story, even though it was an RTS, was colorful and rewarding.

So last night Unpossible was working on Arthas and I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with the fight, that something was missing. After the raid I thought back to burning crusade and Black Temple. The Illidan fight felt epic. The scene opened up with Akama going to face Illidan and speak his peace, followed by him running off to hold off reinforcements and give the group time to deal with Illidan. Partway through the fight, a fed up Warden Maiev Shadowsong bursts in to help try and take down the demon prince. He had wronged her so much that she had to have her revenge. In short the fight felt epic. It felt like great payoff to all the work of getting there. I attribute this to a well designed encounter, but a lot of that had to do with NPC interaction.

When you reach Arthas there is a small back and forth between the fallen prince of Lordaeron and Tirion Fordring. To be honest the back and forth is a little weak, and Tirion is one of those characters I could do without. I mean, of all the people Arthas has pissed-off and messed with over the years they picked Tirion to be the one to confront him. I mean I guess I expected him to be there from the beginning, after all he is the bearer of Ashbringer, but I expected someone faction specific to be there along side him as well. I know Jaina and Sylvanas made an appearance in the 5 mans, but this is the big show, the big payoff. Personally I expected them to be there, or rather someone who Arthas has wronged on a deep personal level to be there.

Before you say anything yes I know the history of what happened between Arthas and Tirion and the subsequent exile. My point though is as fun as the fight is (it IS an amazingly designed encounter), it just doesn’t feel as epic as I think it should.

We have airships right? After we’ve taken down the Frost wing, why not have the ship fly up to assault Arthas only to have him blow it out of the sky? How about King Varian Wrynn or Thrall gets to deliver the epic speech debasing Arthas and spurring us to victory. Instead we get Tirion running forward, and getting hunter trapped.

I still love the encounter don’t get me wrong. I love the fact that there are a thousand things you have to watch for and so many ways you can die. I like having fights that have consequence and Defile is the greatest thing EVER created (no sarcasm on that). I guess in the end I just wish there was a little more NPC interaction at the end to help lend the cinematic / literary climactic feel that the encounter truly deserves.

What do you think about the encounter?

So with that I bid you all a good day, hopefully next week I’ll be writing you as King Slayer Lodur. Until next time, Happy healing and may all your heals be swift and your mana plentiful!

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About Lodur

Lodur is the right hand shaman to Matticus on World of Matticus, and a recruiting officer of Conquest and Co-Host of For the Lore podcast. Read more of his works at WoW Insider.

Comments

  1. Deandre - Dalaran says:

    I was listening in on vent during another guilds ICC, they got up to Arthas for the first time and as things are happening the very first thing I heard someone say after they started the event was, “Tirion is a noob, he doesn’t even have a PvP trinket equipped.”

  2. Hah, someone said that in my raid too, Deandre, that’s funny.

    Lodur, you said “My guild is plugging away at the Lich King 25 man encounter, our 10 man team is just about to take him down as well.”

    So you haven’t yet been on a team that’s actually got to the end, am I reading that right? I agree the beginning is a bit weak. But the ending makes up for it. It felt plenty epic to me, anyhow. 🙂 But I haven’t done the other fights you mentioned since I only started playing when TBC was winding down and TLK was about to be released.
    .-= Vidyala´s last blog ..Yes, I will murder those men in cold blood to avenge your son (again). =-.

  3. @Vidyala Actually I HAVE seen the end of the fight. I have seen what happens and my opinion remains the same. I’ve seen the final 10%, the final “cinematic” and I still give it a resounding MEH.

  4. I’d have to say “WAIT! Don’t judge it just yet”

    As a fellow WC3 and Frozen Throne nerd, I totally agree that more interaction with other characters would have been even cooler. It would have been cool to see someone like Sylvannas harass Arthas during a phase transition or something, while you deal with the Raging Spirits.

    Although more lore characters would have been cool, the first time you get that 10% RP, it feels pretty awesome. The 10%–> 0 portion of the fight (especially in 25 man) really “makes” it for me. Be sure to zoom your camera out and watch what’s going on. The Terenas RP, the Tirion RP, the swirling souls…We all know what’s going to happen, but it’s no match for seeing/doing it in person

    I definitely advise playing that last 10% with game sounds on (if you don’t all the time). Arthas’ comments over the top of the Spell Effect and game noises enhances his final moments, and really drives home exactly what you’re doing.

    Good Luck with the LK! You’ll get him!
    .-= Canes´s last blog ..Zug Life > Disconnects, Tail Swipes, and RNG =-.

  5. To each his or her own, I thought it was a suitably epic ending to an expansion where the whole thing was more or less building up to that moment. Unreal Realities just re-posted some machinima the other day that put everything together:

    http://unrealrealities.com/?p=3133

    Watching the whole thing sequentially gave me chills. 🙂
    .-= Vidyala´s last blog ..Yes, I will murder those men in cold blood to avenge your son (again). =-.

  6. I agree and disagree… I think it would be pretty cool to have a bunch of lore characters there when Arthas dies…

    But then.. I also like the fact that we are the heroes of the day. Tirion’s greatest champions and soldiers. The greatest fighting force in the world.

    At the same time… there is no glory in what you do there. Its a duty. It is a glorious battle for sure… but you don’t just fight for glory.

    Battling the Lich King reminds me a lot of the Warcraft 2 cinematic of Lothar breaking into Karazhan to kill Medivh. The greatest sorcerer in the world wasn’t killed on some huge battlefield… it was in his own home by his own friends and it couldn’t have happened any other way.

    Likewise it is only at the frozen top of the world where the Lich King could be killed, not out of sense of revenge… but out of necessity and requirement.
    .-= What’s my main Again?´s last blog ..Stress and Relaxation? =-.

  7. Arthas was the central focus of WC3. So… here’s my idea of what’s missing.

    1. Arthas interacted with so many characters in the WC3 games, Tirion was not one of them. I don’t particularly mind that Tirion IS there, but I do mind that he sits trapped in a block of ice for the entire fight. The Lich King is an uber powerful entity, and the culmination of Horde, Ally, Argent Crusade, and Knights of the Ebon Blade efforts was to be this encounter… but in the end, none of the important lore characters involved really make a difference. When you fight a boss and you’re fighting alongside a powerful lore character, it makes the encounter feel more epic. Maiev, despite being fairly minor compared to all of the characters in Arthas’ story, helped seriously contribute to the Illidan fight, and made the encounter epic.

    2. From a healer’s point of view, this fight lacks unpredictable damage. If your raid does it’s job, the only truly spiky damage is tank damage. Everything else is avoidable, on detectable cooldowns, or has some visual cue of when it’s about to hit. It’s not really that challenging to heal, IMO.

    Yeah, the last 10% was done well, I will agree to that. The Scourge however is this… mass wave of countless, mindless undead, and I was hoping the final encounter with the Lich King would have us trying to deal with that as well. Instead we get a few adds that need to be OT’d, and a bunch of non-threatening little ghouls.

    Despite all my gripes though, I did enjoy the fight, but as one of those people who feels a little like “what’s next?” with Arthas gone, I was hoping it would have more epicness. Hopefully Cata will resolve this by allowing us to ride on Deathwing’s back while we fight him 😉

  8. I think the main thing that was missing for me was Sylvanas or Jaina being there, especially as they had such a large part in the 5 mans, then just…disappeared and didn’t come to ICC.

    I did however enjoy the ending immensely, and thought the ending cinematic was a suitable finale.

  9. While I do agree the lack of Jaina (I play alliance, not sure how Sylvanas fits in sorry!) really sticks out especially after the excellent use of the npc in the halls of reflection. I kind of feel that the nature of the internet ruined the final 10%. We all have to research this fight and I almost wish that wasn’t the case. The shock value of the entire raid dying doesn’t have the desired effect when you see it weeks in advance on Tankspot.com. So, while I agree with you it feels that it is missing something I honestly think its more the nature of the game and less creativity on blizzard’s side.

  10. This fight added an epic story-wise ending to one part of the mad lore of warcraft. Its just odd that the fight itself doesn’t bring anything mad or epic.

    Me and a freind discussed this and our solution was to just have ogrims hammer fire the main gun at the Lich king and call it a night (Or the Giant alliance bomb)

    I mean seriously a whole expansion they flew around and all we used on them were a couple of rubbish guns on the side.

    The Gunship fight would have lasted about 5 seconds if we just shot it with the main gun, or one of the many other guns or if saurfang just cleaved it in two.
    (That fight is kind of the opposite to the LK fight – Epic and mad, but didn’t seem to fit in with the whole ‘Quell the unrest between alliance and horde’ ‘Horde and alliance working together’ storyline that was going on.)

  11. I think sometimes Warcraft suffers from Crowd (npcs or raid) = Epic.

    Sometimes, the most epic moments in any story can be the silence of two antagonists staring each other down.

    The LK is just *there*. No froofy music, no fancy NPCs, just Arthas. He’s too badass for any of that other stuff. The calm before the storm, if you will.

    Although I will say, it would have been awesome if they saved the cutscene video from the 3.3 trailer with Terenas for the LK fight. Zoning in to see that would have been cool.

  12. Estamoon says:

    I think if King Variann, Jaina, Uther Lightbringer,Thrall and Sylvanas all showed up at the last moment would be much nicer. Especially Jaina, Uther and Sylvanas are deeply connected with Arthas. I am pretty sure they got something to say about Lich King and Arthas. I felt that the game isn’t complete as Lore is kinda weak.

  13. Beverley says:

    Killing Arthas as a healer even in 10man makes your heart beat faster. It is definitely an intense encounter.

    Being a disc priest that can absorb so much damage (I had 1.8 million absorbs on our kill) just makes you feel <3.

  14. Our guild managed to down the Lich King with our first Shadowmourne. I’ll try not to spoil anything, but to put it simply, we got a nice chunk of extra lore from it.

    However, I absolutely agree. I was really disappointed that Muradin of all people didn’t get a piece of Arthas after all the trouble he’d been through.

  15. Canedom says:

    The real epic part of Arthas isn’t until 10%. Of course, you have basically won the fight at this point, I agree that more characters need to be involved though, I mean, King Varian is there in spirit with his % buff, but you know, him and Jaina could do something, especially considering the whole Wrathgate being partly due to Arthas.

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