There she was, just lying there, almost peaceful. The anticipation was killing me. We were just moments away from engaging the broodmother of the Black Dragonflight, Onyxia.
When I started playing World of Warcraft six months ago, the one goal I set for myself was to kill Onyxia. I wouldn’t quit playing the game until I did so.
For whatever reason, even without ever seeing her, or even playing the game, I have always considered Onyxia to be the ultimate encounter in WoW. There’s just something epic about a big dragon designed to take on forty level 60 players. Of course, times have changed, and the world has moved on. She’s not the dreaded beast she used to be now that the level cap has increased, and the gear has gotten better. Nevertheless, she’s a symbol of old-school badassery, and I was on a mission to kill her.
The plan for the evening was for our group to finish the final attunement quest in Upper Blackrock Spire. Our group consisted of myself (70 Shaman), Kuarlos (70 Warrior), Insect (54 Warlock), and Anoco (53 Rogue). Our target was General Drakkisath in order to retrieve the Blood of the Black Dragon Champion. We got off to a pretty slow start. Insect and Anoco proved to be very appealing targets for the mobs in the zone, which meant we had to kill everything even remotely in our path.
We eventually arrived at the Rookery, or rather, The Leeroy Jenkins room. I’m not going to lie; I was very tempted to charge in headfirst and run through every single egg. We were already tight on time however, so I decided I’d save that for another day. The room ended up being bad enough even without a tribute to Leeroy, as we were soon overwhelmed by Whelps.
Not long after we received reinforcements, as some other members of the guild had caught up to our point in the attunement quest chain. Joining us were Kalistor (70 Mage), Choober (70 Paladin), and Emer (70 Priest). As a result, the rest of the zone went by rather quickly and we were soon looting the corpse of Drakkisath.
We then headed off to Winterspring to receive our Drakefire Amulet, the key to Onyxia’s Lair. I figured our night was done and was planning to log off, but then I saw “let’s go get Onyxia!” in group chat and we were off to Dustwallow Marsh.
As we zoned in I couldn’t keep from smiling. I was pumped. We blew past the Onyxian Warders and were soon looking down upon Onyxia herself. Kuarlos rattled off a quick summary of the encounter and we charged in.
I was in awe. The entire encounter, from start to finish, was a fitting climax to the entire quest chain. It felt epic, it felt heroic, and it felt like this was the battle to end all battles. It felt how a raid encounter should feel. The only thing that would have made it better would be to do it as part of a 40-man raid of level 60s. That would be amazing.
As it was, the fight went smoothly. Anoco and Insect, the only non-70s in the raid unfortunately did not live through the entire fight, although they managed to stay alive much longer than anyone else predicted. They also managed to stay alive longer than poor Kuarlos, our fearless raid leader. I actually died towards the end as well, but thanks to Insect’s Soulstone, I was able to get back into the fight. Thanks Insect! See… you do have a purpose!
Onyxia eventually fell and dropped some nice loot for the lowbies. My highly regarded status as MMO Blogger Extraordinaire meant I got to have the privilege of looting Onyxia’s head and taking it to Stormwind. Once again, I and my friends were the heroes of Azeroth!
Now that I’ve accomplished the one thing I wanted to do above all else in WoW, what’s next? Well, that one encounter has renewed my interest in WoW like I wouldn’t have anticipated. I’m now even more pumped to hit up some of the old world content, particularly Molten Core and a little elemental named Ragnaros. It’s kind of funny that I’m more excited about doing this “old stuff” more than I am Wrath of the Lich King.