The drakes-as-reward for people doing all kinds of ridiculous achievements always seemed way unimportant to me. In general, I still think they are unimportant. More importantly, in some cases, the hoops through which you had to jump to get them were just INSANE, particularly with 25 people involved.
Take, for example, Glory of the Raider, the original one dealing with Tier 7 instances.
There were a lot of easy achievements as the requirement here, but, among the difficult ones were Sarth 3D, 5-6m Maly and The Safety Dance (no deaths on Heigan in that kind of lag? Please.). And then there was The Immortal. While poor old Apotheosis never even got Thaddius down, much less Sapphiron or KT, I know raids who had one person die unexpectedly on KT every week, people who DCed through Thaddius attempts… These people never got their drakes and I imagine that honestly few people did. The Immortal, and its 10-man cousin, The Undying, were just ridiculous requirements, particularly given the obscene lag Naxxramas suffered in early Wrath. (And no, I never did get my Undying run done.)
So then Ulduar was coming out and the devs recognized that hey, we’re going to outgear all this crap and so they would remove the drake as a reward. Good on them.
And then Ulduar came out and they introduced Glory of the Ulduar Raider.
Honestly, while The Immortal was just dumb in terms of how many things can possibly go wrong, I think that the Ulduar challenges are more difficult. A lot of them aren’t gear-based, but based on co-ordination and a metric assload of cooldowns, which is why these are still attainable. It’s about knowing the fight, knowing what you have to do and sure, your gear now makes it easier, but it’s still HARD.
Some of them are super-easy, like Disarmed, or not too hard with a bit of planning and gear, like Stokin’ the Furnace and Heartbreaker. But Steelbreaker last? Freya with 3 adds? Yogg with only ONE keeper? GEEZ. Having done Steelbreaker last (albeit with my current guild who had practiced it over and over and done it several times before I joined), GOOD GOD, that is hard. I’ve done Freya with 1 add when Ulduar was current content and that was shitty enough for me, thank you very much.
Then, of course, Icecrown Citadel came out and with it, Glory of the Icecrown Raider.
There are 17 achievements in Glory of the Icecrown Raider and four of them include killing all the bosses, save Lich King, on heroic. Which is HARD. Heroic Putricide and Heroic Sindragosa are right up there with Steelbreaker last and what I imagine Freya +3 would be like. There’s just SO much personal responsibility and personal awareness required on everyone’s part in both those fights that if you can get those done, you bloody well deserve a little something to show off.
Of the 17, I have 10 done. The four heroics, Boned (shut up), Nausea…, Once Bitten, Full House, Made a Mess and Orb Whisperer.
This reset, the raid leader and guild officers have decided to work on getting 25 of us our drakes. We are, more or less, the people who have been there since the LK kill who have maintained 75%+ attendence. So we’re going to do a bunch of regular modes slightly differently (Flu Shot Shortage — OMG, Festergut without Malleable Goo again? ECSTASY!!!) and do a couple hard modes this week and save heroic LK attempts for next reset.
This is the closest I’ve ever been to getting a drake this expansion and, like I said, it’s never been important to me, it’s never been a priority. But that the guild is deliberately putting off progress to give us a bit of a break and a bit of a reward makes me feel good. It makes me feel like a real part of the guild, a real part of the team, and it’s based on my dedication, perseverence and attendence, which are all important things to me.
Go go achievement spam. I’m ready to put in the effort to get my Reins of the Icebound Frostbrood Vanquisher. And even though it’s less important than killing the bosses on heroic mode, it’ll remain a testament to all the effort I’ve put into the guild and the game over the last several months.