MMO players have war stories. That bloody battle that finally dropped the rare loot you needed for your rogue. that left you physically ill. We recently asked PC Gamer readers to tell us their best raiding stories, and we've collected some of our favorite memories on the following pages.
There are stories of triumph, stories of griefing, and stories of failure. One player raided with his mom. Another became a server-wide legend... for being sat on. MMOs get pretty weird, sometimes.
How many of these raids do you have your own stories about, too?
City of Heroes — The perfect rez
My most memorable was in City of Heroes saving a Rikti Mother Ship. For the uninitiated, RMS was an open-world Raid against a crashed mothership, but it required a certain coordination and traversing through the entire zone to take out a number of shield generators before the mothership could be attacked directly, a bunch of bombs placed, and then everybody meeting in the center of the mothership to fight hordes and hordes of Rikti, and eventually the Rikti commander.
Well, during one of our runs, it was a somewhat slow night, and the raid group wasn't anywhere close to being full. Nevertheless, we were still grinding things down until the last phase where we were fighting a losing battle in the central part of the mothership. I was playing a Dark/Dark/Psi healer, and the raid group was at less than 50% - a couple dozen folks were KO'ed at my feet, with a number of others that were frantically trying to make their ways back to us, having gotten separated for one reason or another.
Now Dark Defenders have the most powerful group AOE heals, and the only group AoE Resurrect in the game. The only problem, is that the abilities don't fire off 100% as they require you to drain a fraction of an enemy's life force. Well, the raid was about to fall apart, but my team was still fighting. I managed to get myself located so I could hit as many people as possible and still have an enemy within range to suck the life out of for my rez.
The rez went off, and I rez'ed a huge chunk of the raid (15 people I think, the absolute maximum the spell could affect). A few seconds after that, other healers that were rez'ed by me immediately started rez'ing the people I missed and getting our defenses shored back up. After that, we were back in fighting force, and we were able to complete the run successfully.
-- Virtue server
Everquest — The dreaded council
This post makes me feel old - my most memorable raiding story is beating The Rathe Council in Everquest for the first time. For those who don't know this encounter, let me break down the madness: there 12 council members standing in a circle in the middle of a small, wooded clearing which you have to kill in order to spawn the final member who you then kill to beat the encounter.
Sounds easy, right? Hmm, except that you have to kill all 12 within a minute of each other or the encounter resets. Each one the members hit like a Mack truck on steroids and each one had a radiating debuff. Also, if you fought them too close too each other, even just two of them, they'd AoE some nasty s*** and it was goodbye raid. So the strat was to single pull them one by one (good luck), bring the single pull back to the raid party, burn it down to about 10% and then assign them to a tank/healer/dps team which would then position it in an exact spot in the wooded area so as to not be too close to any other council member.
Rinse, repeat with ALL OTHER 11 and once they were all in place, do a final synchronized burn so they'd all die within a minute. Each decent attempt took about 6 hours.
World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade — Saturday morning hijinks
Back in Burning Crusade, my casual Alliance guild on Alleria was planning each saturday morning a Karazhan clearing, made for those who were T5-T6 geared and want the badges, have alts, or just for fun, etc. "Everyone was confy in pyjamas" kind of raid. A walk through the park, really.
That very raid, I was on vacation in my parent's home. Free week-end; so I bring my dwarf hunter into the group and began with my friends the pulls in the stables.
But just in front of the last pull before the boss, my mom calls for help. The "you don't have time to play" kinda help. So I passed the message to the raid... They'd laugh at me, of course. So, they found an other hunter, they made me a portal to Shat'trah, and said "gtfo lol" kinda commentaries on ventrilo.
My best buddy was "The" holy pally. I casted misdirection on him, attack a mob from the last pull (witch were an hard one), and jumped into the portal.
While arrived in Shat'trah, I was laughing my ass out at them until I check the rais party on hub and they were all dying one after another.... I was certain they were ok to manage this but... I was wrong.
After that, raiding was different... I died often lol... We really had a good laugh about that, long years after it occurs....
Best saturday morning ever lol
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King — Dreamwalking
Back during the Wrath of the Lich King, my husband and I had joined a raiding guild that was "trying to get a second group started". They weren't trying particularly hard, though so mostly, we were sitting back and cooling our heels. Then one day, the main raiding team's healadin left after a few bosses.
I feel I should offer a little background here. I hadn't raided in wow, not anything more complicated than 10 man leveling dungeons. I hadn't raided in general too much. But I played the healer, my husband played the tank and together we worked damn well together--especially in that era. So when they turned to me and said "hey! Can you fill in?" I leapt at the chance--though made sure they knew that I was hardly experienced.
"It's okay," they told me. "We've never managed to down Valithria Dreamwalker before. We just don't want to stop playing yet." So into the depths of the Lich King's lair I went, for the very first time.
I should explain Dreamwalker. She's a great big sleepy dragon who's injured. You heal her, rather than DPS her. The rest of the raid fended off monsters and villains while one healer--ideally a healadin--went through their own private song and dance. Every now and then, Ms Dragon would open a portal into the Dream. You'd have to enter this portal then FLY around her, collecting as many glowing orbs as you could before returning to the real world... then you would unload every heal you could on the dragon (and as a healadin, there were a LOT of heals you could unload.) until the portal opened up again. The orbs granted you a stacking buff to your healing abilities. So you wanted to collect as many of them a possible, and definitely NEVER miss a portal when it opened. Meanwhile, the rest of your party fights increasingly harder and more vicious monsters, until they explode at some point.
So there I was, facing off with her the first time. We failed. Try number two. We fight. I fly, I heal my little heart out. The rest of the raid goes down. The monsters are coming for me. I fling one last heal out, as their claws rip my tender Draenei flesh from my bones. I die.
The dragon stands up. We had won. We beat her! My second try, and we beat her! After they'd spent a few weeks trying to pass the encounter with the other healadin.
I felt like the best damn healer in the world.
Lord of the Rings Online — Sat on by a Balrog
This is about the raid as well as the story afterwards that was caused by it. Probably the most unforgettable raid I've done was The Rift of Nurz Ghashu in Lord of the Rings Online. It was one of the last raids in the vanilla for the game called Shadows of Angmar, though I had first done the raid many xpacs later at level 100 which was the max at the time. We had made it through very quickly and fairly easily and made it to the final boss Thaurlach, a balrog.
I was assigned to tanking him while everyone else completed the rest of the side mechanics to the fight, when suddenly Thaurlach grappled me over to the platform he was on and did a strange sitting animation killing me instantly. A few raid members asked how i died so quickly and some other guy in the raid laughed and said HE JUST GOT SAT ON BY THE BALROG. Many more chuckles spread throughout the raid group as I was rezzed and continued tanking until we killed him. I was made fun of some more about being sat on before everyone left the group.
Due to our server being small and LOTRO having a World channel where everyone can talk, word of me being sat on spread like wildfire and eventually people started remembering me as the guy who got sat on by the Balrog. People eventually gave me a title that was something along the lines of Seeker of Dark Places. I think the trend happened for a couple weeks or even a month before people started to forget about it but there were a couple of people that would bring it up a couple of times even after the servers for the game merged together. The raid and the joke were lots of fun though and I feel like it'll be a story to laugh at again if i ever find the people who raided with me that night.
World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King — Invincible
So here's my story. Our 25 man raid team was built on the first year and half of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion of World of Warcraft. We'd spent weeks upon weeks of bashing our heads against Ice Crown Citadel at its released, slowly drudging through the each wing, each boss fight in heroic mode until we hit the proverbial road block of Arthas himself at the end. We were making progress on the kind of the undead as time went on, and on one particularly good pull we thought we were going to take him down. We only had two deaths so far and still had a single druid capable of resurrecting if needed, so things were looking good.
That is until the said druid got hit by a massive lag spike and was abruptly disconnected from the game on his end, but his character was still standing there in the game. As he struggled to log back in, the Lich King targeted the druid with a move called Defile, which places a puddle under the target's feet and grows in size and damage every time it deals damage to a player. Needless to say, the puddle damaging a player that could not move out of it would have caused it to grow the size of the battlefield and kill us all.
Thinking quickly (very quickly as I only had a couple of seconds to process that scenario), I managed to save our entire raid with the most "useless" paladin skill in the entire game, a little niche trick called Divine Intervention. DI, as everyone called it, instantly sacrifices the paladin that uses it (me in this case) and places an impenetrable shield on the target for 3 minutes. During the shield, the target cannot move or use any abilities, but is unable to die or be moved either. This one quick action saved our entire group, put really stretched our ability to finish the boss before the time limit, as we were already down two damage dealers and I was a damage dealer myself, as was our disconnected druid friend.
Thankfully after a minute, the druid was able to log back in and used his in-battle revival spell to bring me back to life. With only a few seconds left on the enrage timer, we got to the climatic end of the fight, only for the Lich King to kill us all again as part of the fight sequence. We finished him off and low and behold, Arthas left behind his old flying horse. My guild leader and raid leader, so impressed with my quick thinking, gave me the Invincible's Reigns as a reward for that. And no, the irony was not lost on me killing myself to gain "Invincible".
Dungeons & Dragons Online — Strafe mistakes
By Divij Singh
So, in Dungeons and Dragons Online, (DDO for short), there's this raid called The Vault of Night.
You have to do four quests to unlock it, and the raid itself is composed of two parts.
The first part has multiple puzzles and parts that require coordination. You have to solve floor tile puzzles, you need a rogue to disarm traps, you have to hit multiple levers at the same time, need to split up to go to separate rooms, split up further for various levers to open doors, so on and so forth.
Finally, you fight a massive golem who is immune to all elemental damage (heals from it, actually) and his dogs(who respawn) so your spell casters have to be careful with their attacks. Now, once you begin the fight with the golem, the door locks behind you. So if your party dies, you have to start all over again.
Fortunately, our group cleared the first part of the raid well, and so we all gathered at the end chest. The parts are separate quests, so some people just run the first part for XP. However, the portal to the second part of the raid is at the end of the first part, so if you get wiped out in the second half of the raid, you can't re-enter, as the first part resets.
So, we enter the second part. Now, over here you have to battle a big red dragon. There's a central platform, with three smaller platforms around it. Bridges connect the three platforms to each other, and at one point there's a bridge to the central platform. All of this is suspended in the plane of Night, and if you fall off, you fall down to the planet below and die, with no way of coming back.
So, each of the three smaller platforms has a security pillar, which all have to be destroyed at the same time to unlock the central dragon platform. All the while, the dragon is lobbing fire at you.
So, we destroy the pillars, and on the way to the centre, i get hit by a fireball and die on the bridge. No biggie, another party member comes and resurrect me.
So, with the party member looking at me, I press what I thought was the W key. Instead, I press Q, and strafe right off the bridge into the void below.
My party, one member short, went on to kill the dragon and get some great loot, while my dead body landed in the marketplace.
Guild Wars — Raiding with mom
I have a story about doing an underworld run on Guild Wars 1. I played a necromancer and hands down was the best (and pretty much only) one in the guild. I was also in 7th grade running with adults, including my mother. Yes my mom played in the same guild. She played a warrior.
So we were on teamspeak with the group running around and killing things and my mom wanted to get this run taken care of for her hall. So we grumbled a little and took her along. All I was doing was rolling a heavily extended minion master with as max of minions as possible through the entire thing keeping them alive was a feat of engineering then.
Across the teamspeak my mom spoke up "Hey! Did you see that kill I just did?" To which I replied, "No I'm busy saving your butt from the mob you just pulled our way!" This was typical of our banter back and forth. We went back and forth all through the underworld like that and finished the raid.
Next day, we were both banned from the guild and alliance. Apparently we were "too competitive" with each other. I still find that funny, and when guild wars 2 came out made sure not to be on the same server...just in case.
World of Warcraft — Onyxia wipe
I'm one of those boring people who are always reminiscing about World of Warcraft vanilla with their gaming buddies. My own claim to fame was being in the famous "more dots" Onyxia raid, immortalised on this ancient old meme.
This was on Chromaggus EU circa late 2005 I believe. The famous raid leader was a guy called Dives, the guild was "Wipe Club". Chromaggus was a fairly new server, not a launch server and Wipe club were the big boys in town for Horde who only had one or two raiding guilds at the time.
Outside of the raids, Dives was a very chilled guy but had a kind of charisma that drew people around him. Of course as a 15 year old Tauren hunter he scared the shit out of me, and most people outside of the core of officers would keep a low profile. He was one of the first if not THE first to be fully Tier 2 geared on the server, and people would just follow him around like a celebrity.
Remember this was a time when WoW was really separated between the haves and the have-nots, If you had epic bracers you were doing well. I still remember when I first got my Tier 2 epic shoulders on my hunter and people would just gather around to inspect you. You felt like a made man in Goodfellas or something, people respected you and just flattered you incessantly.
Of course this didn't matter to one such as yourself, because you were Tier 2, and they were just a bunch of peasants! Maybe if you were feeling generous you would acknowledge their existence or throw them a copper or two.
My list of memories of this time are way too long to list. It was of course just an awesome time to be playing WoW in general. There was more of a community spirit those days since there was no cross server instancing, so people became well known around the place.
The raids were brutally long and it would take a guild several weeks to maybe even progress on one boss. It was gruelling, and you would sometimes just wipe on trash before a boss even. Managing 40 people was a nightmare so the raid leaders could get really tightly wound (such as dives). When it did all pull together however, it was extremely rewarding.
My memories of Wipe Club in particular get meshed together with the other raiding guilds I played in, but I can still distinctly remember Dives' thick finnish accent with terrible eurobeat in the background.
Anyway, not long after that Onyxia raid, Dives and a hardcore band of followers rerolled onto Boulderfist I believe. He would sometimes log back on, stroll around Orgrimmar on his warrior, saying nothing but causing mass hysteria (as he was now famous from the video), then abruptly log back out. He was quite something!
World of Warcraft — Aggroing half the dungeon
Vince aka Boreas of the Arathor EU Realm
It was right back at the beginning. Definitely no Prancing Pandas, The Lich king hadn't got his Lich on; heck I don't even think the Portal had opened.
While most veteran players were wrapped up in the endless grind of end game, doing the same run over and over and over; we'd taken our time. Me, your Grandma and The Shepherd savoured all the world had to offer, and helped some of the greener players on the way.
And so we ended up with a PUG in BRD. Now there's a reason the phrase PUG ugly exists, but to be fair what transpired that day was not their fault, it just made the end result a lot funnier.
Now the three of us have been working together since killing the many headed Van Cleef. While not the best equipped, we were tight. We'd taken out foes much higher and harder than us, because we could adapt and knew how to use the world to our advantage.
One such tactic was Shepherd's suicidal Mind Control. Lacking sufficient crowd control, Shepherd would control a mob and send him off a cliff or into lava. Sure it offered to no loot or experience, but in a dungeon it would take them out of play for 2 minutes before they respawned. Tried and tested, it swung the battle in our favour before it even started.
And so, we stood on a Dwarven bridge deep under Black Rock with a Dark Iron patrol heading our way. Shepherd did his thing and we watched the guard leap to the Lava below.
Shepherd's Nordic voice comes over the line.
"We're gonna die"
The rest of the patrol lie dead and looted at our feet.
"What do your mean? We're doing fine, the PUGs are in line and the mobs are dead"
Again the Norse god of healing says "We're all gonna die. He didn't hit the Lava, he's on his way back."
I start typing to the PUGs telling them there might be a problem, and we decide to press on.
It took about 10 minutes for the guard to path find his way to us. We were heading to the main city, in one of the small side rooms with small doors, the type that scrap Elves ears as they walk through.
Now some people might say "we agro'ed half the dungeon", but we had Agro'ed half the dungeon. On the way back this guard picked up every mob he passed. A hundred Dark Iron Dwarves, dozens of Stone gollums and fire elementals flooded into this tiny room.
We died, big time. But not as badly as that guard when we tracked him down. Shepherd gave him 3 more lava baths before your grandma caved his skull in with her Axes.