I believe the old saying goes "Some claim that life here began out there." With the 4.2 Firelands patch we've received a new raid instance, new daily quests, new arena gear, new valor/tier gear, and several new achievements. The biggest feature of the patch is the Firelands Raid instance where the last boss is Ragnaros. Yes...the very same Ragnaros that we fought oh so many years ago in Molten Core(but this time he is clearly stronger and more on fire. I guess beating him up and killing his numerous sons kind of pissed him off.
Last week my guild and I took a step into the Firelands to try our luck against the new raid bosses and to see if we could kill a boss or two. What we found was that there is TONS of trash along the way to any boss. There are also some nice BoE epic pieces that drop and a lot of rep to be gathered just by killing trash. In other words, this raid felt like Molten Core part 2. For those of you who have never had the pleasure of raiding Molten Core when it was relevant, let me tell you that it was a long and tedious raid at first. Most people entered MC wearing blues if you were lucky and greens if you had horrible luck with drops. Back in those days, green gear wasn't anywhere close to being as good as the greens of this expansion(Go go "of the eagle gear" for my mage!) Because the developers knew this, they made most of the trash you ran across in MC pretty simple to kill. Granted each type of mob had a special ability that made killing it unique. Lava surgers required you to either spread out or stack in melee(depending on your how your guild did it), Firelords spawned little fire adds that had to be killed quickly or they would spawn more adds, Corehounds had to be turned away from the raid so you wouldn't die from its fire breath or even worse they would fear you into other mobs and Molten Giants required the tanks having their back against a wall or they would get launched when the giant did its stomp.
Well that turned into a wall of text for explanations sake. Why did I go through all that typing to explain how mobs acted in a vanilla raid? Well as we were clearing trash in the Firelands I kept looking around and reminding myself that we were indeed NOT in MC. The zone had an MC feel to it and some of the trash was even the same trash from MC! First mob we pulled was a giant that had a stomp just like in MC, Corehounds still did the same thing, and Surgers are still a pain in the ass for healers. At first I didn't realize the clear connection between the two raids because I was so busy trying to hold agro since I was tanking on my pally but when we cleared our way to Lord Rhyolith there was a gauntlet event at the end of which we had to fight a some large fire elementals. After we wiped due to pulling the entire gauntlet to the fire elementals I realized that my chat was being spammed with a lava spawn splitting into another lava spawn. I watched that fill up my chat for a few more seconds before I realized that I wanted to yell out "Spawn Spawn!" This being what we used to yell out in MC when a Firelord spawned adds. I was so giddy with excitement that I ran into the living room and told my fiancee who laughed because she remembered what an annoyance the spawns were. I started looking at the add packs we skipped and realizing that they were bigger, stronger versions of trash mobs from MC.
It wasn't until these mobs that I realized that the Firelands felt like an updated Molten Core. Even though we didn't down anything that night, I had such a great time that raid. I know that eventually I will get tired of the Firelands but at least for now I will enjoy the raid because it reminds me of even better times raiding. I give the Firelands my seal of approval due to its fun and interesting fight mechanics, its awesome atmosphere, and its connection to MC. I can't wait until we get to Ragnaros and when I do...you can bet I'll let out a fanboy squee. This has happened before and this will all happen again. What was once old is now new and shiny.
So how is the 4.2 patch treating you all?