After a long, long run of tear-out-your-eyes boring old content farming, we (as a guild) finally stepped into ICC-10.  It’s still very new for me right now, so I’m in this kind of weird state where I haven’t actually formed a real opinion of the experience overall, but, nevertheless, I’ll share with you my first impressions.

I apologize in advance for the randomness, but…this is the internet, so *shrug*.

The good

a. The gunship battle is incredible fun.  Savethefails mistakenly triggered it early the first time and we all died horribly thereafter as we ran around like chickens with our heads cut off (hilarious!), but once we got the hang of it it was a blast.  Seeing the Horde ship fly in with Muradin yelling (Ulduar and HoS spoiled me for dwarves narrating instance and raid events — they are just too awesome to hear over the comm) at us to get our butts in gear…  Really epic.

b. Trash.  Trash means greens for DE and possible BoE epics, so I love trash.  It’s refreshing to see it again after months of boss loneliness in TotC! Plus, all the mobs in ICC grant you rep with some faction you can get neat stuff from; as much as heroics got boring fast, I did appreciate using them for rep grinds, so I’m pleased to be working towards something again (besides downing the next boss). 

c. Getting useful badges again.  So many of my little-played alts have full-on heirloom gear, and that’s a bad sign — it means I’ve been doing less-than-optimal content for a really long time.  But not any more!  ICC bosses drop Emblems of Frost, which must otherwise be acquired through the weekly (only 5, and only once per week), VoA (assuming you ever nail WG down at a time when you can get into VoA), or by running a heroic every day (difficult when you have time constraints IRL or no real drive to heroic dive).  Suddenly that fourth piece of T10 is not so much the stuff of dreams…

d. The raid group seems to have a bit more energy now that we’re into something new.  People talk on Vent — not a lot, sure, but it’s better than silence — and actually express joy when a boss goes down.

e. No incredibly annoying boss mechanics (yet).  That is…with the exception of phase 2 on the Lady, where occasionally one of the adds turns into some mutated fellow that the tank has to kite around but keep threat on.  That’s upsetting.  That aside, though, I rather enjoyed the fights (especially Saurfang, where we had a somewhat less-than-ideal class makeup to work with where the Bloodbeasts were concerned and yet still managed to do well) and am looking forward to seeing some new, original boss mechanics in future wings.

The bad

a. Because everything is new, the raid leader talks over the bosses in-game all the time and I (as a result) haven’t yet had the pleasure of actually hearing any of them speak.  I like boss speech, I dunno; it’s just one of those things I always look forward to when we do new content.  This becomes incredibly important in cases like, say, downing Saurfang — I’m sure something Ultra Mega Important was going on between the NPCs after the battle went down, but I could not hear a peep over the loot raid warnings and the people asking about whether or not what dropped was an upgrade.

b. Really short distances between bosses.  This is more a matter of personal preference than any kind of legitimate concern, but, there’s something about walking into a raid and being able to SEE the first boss RIGHT OVER THERE that just makes me raise an eyebrow.  What happened to suspense?  Anticipation?  The presence of trash at the start got me hopeful for a bit, but afterwards it felt like a string of bosses.  There was a bit of a jog at the top of the elevator after the Lady, but still…  Maybe I miss Naxx.  Or Kara.  I’d like the building to feel more like a building, but, at the same time, without boring the crap out of people with endless trash.  Tricky…

c. The traps in the room before Marrowgar (if I remember correctly — which I may not).  That’s just…ass.

d. I wish I didn’t have to go to my specific tier vendor in order to repair.  I mean, there’s a guy using an avil & hammer RIGHT THERE.  Does he just not like the way I look?

The ugly

a. Everything that drops in ICC is an upgrade for at least half the raid.  This is awesome, to be sure, but it also means we’re likely to have to wait a while before we can move to another wing.  That’s a shame, as I’m afraid this first wing will get boring quickly once we’ve covered it for a few weeks, and there may or may not be time to try our hand at the next before the summer rolls around.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed — I’d like to check out those plague bosses!

b. Rogue T10.  Hahahahahahaha, suckers!