The End

12 09 2011

This will be, barring some crazy circumstances, the last post on this blog. It’s been over a year since my last one, and although I’m getting back into blogging, it won’t be here. Instead, I’m starting fresh with a new blog, Unleashed Lightning. Check it out, and thanks for reading.


20 04 2010

Man, don’t you just hate it when your guild stumbles? Fights that you’ve blown by in weeks past come up and give you trouble, and you can’t figure out why. Over the weekend, that was the story of our ICC progression. The first hour and a half were clumsy attempts that didn’t get us out of phase one. Yech.

The last few days, minus Saturday and Sunday, were ordinary. Thursday and Friday both consisted of a random dungeon, followed by a random BG. I know, crazy times. Saturday, things picked up. I logged on around noon, and promptly joined an ICC 25 with some guildies. It was a good run, and we went through the first four bosses without any problems. Predictably, though, things fell apart afterwards. We couldn’t get through Festergut, and I’ve started to realize that it’s a fight where individual responsibility is paramount. People don’t need to think on their own for the first four; they just need to do some minimal movement, and switch to an add when required to. On Fester, movement and positioning is key, and missing a spore can be raid-ending. We had a Hunter who ruined the attempts each time, positioning poorly, not moving his spore, and doing 2.4k DPS. Yeesh. I left and logged, before coming back later in the afternoon and saddling up, once again, for Ironbound Drake achievements. I only need the last two; however, to lock in my spot I needed to be present the whole time. So I demo-gunned through Flame Leviathan (goggles didn’t drop), waited patiently through Razorscale, and DPS’d hard through Ignis and XT. I’ll admit, I was only half-playing through trash pulls, as I threw out a few Chain Lightnings and a Magma Totem before alt-tabbing to surf the web. There were a few highlights from the run, though. Notably, I discovered that if someone on a Mammoth gets Baby Spiced, it won’t scale up, leading to this:

Looking straight-faced and serious. Also ridiculous.

We finished up the run that day with the Iron Council and Kologarn, capping off the two-and-a-half hour run. I ended the night with some BGs before heading to bed.

Sunday, I logged on mid-afternoon for a continuation of Ulduar. Unfortunately, because our group couldn’t get their act together and we had limited time, we didn’t get Mimiron or Freya down. Firefighter is still hard, but Three Knocks is doable. Instead, we took out Thorim and Hodir, along with Auriaya, and looked to finish the run next Saturday. That’s fine with me; it means that, unlike the last time, I won’t miss out on Vezax. Ulduar ended, and after an hour, it was time for ICC progression. Or, in our case, regression. We got stuck in phase one, due to poor movement, adds not being picked up, or main tank dying, not cleansing quickly enough… you name it. Every problem we could’ve possibly had, we had. We managed to pick things up, though. We positioned ourselves closer to our off-tank, so we’d need less time on the move. We called out adds, and I threw out a Thunderstorm to knock them back where needed. We assigned a specific healer for cleanses, and tightened up the entire phase. Finally, we transitioned smoothly from phase one to two, where we died repeatedly. Again. We lacked the stuns, slows, or maybe just the coordination required for the Val’kyrs. Toss in Defile, and we were wiping it up. A lot. We called it eventually after we ceased making progress in phase two. ICC will be fresh this Wednesday, so we won’t be doing any Lich King attempts (probably), but our plan is to get there at the very least. I hope we can pull that off, since we’ll need all the time we can get on Arthas.

Take Heed of the Celestial Steed

18 04 2010

I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but I feel it needs to be said. The big deal in WoW recently: the Celestial Steed and Lil’XT. Blizzard just released both of these, and anyone can buy them from their store for $25 and $10, respectively. Now, had a figure that said the queue for these things was at 140,000. That was a few days ago, which means they’ve probably made five, six, maybe even seven million dollars by now. I’m not even surprised, personally; it’s a really cool looking mount, and a really cool pet. I see the steeds everywhere in Dalaran, and in a raid I was doing, there were five players with them. Five.

What. The. Eff.

Maybe it’s because I have very little disposable income, but this just seems really, really dumb. $25 for an in-game horse. A cool horse, admittedly, but one whose uniqueness is diminished when everyone around you is riding one, and one that people will tire of, just like so many other mounts. I remember when I though I’d never stop riding my Great White Kodo. Then, I thought my new Hawkstrider was really cool. But that couldn’t compare to a Wooly Mammoth! That, however, wasn’t nearly as cool as my Black War Raptor. Which in turn wasn’t nearly as cool as my Thunder Bluff Kodo. However, once I started riding that I remembered my Great White, and promptly switched back to my old favorite. Only to abandon it to the badass status symbol that is the Mechano-hog. The story’s the same with my flying mounts too. I quickly replaced my Amber Drake with a Red one, only to change that in for a Hippogryph, before finally settling in with my Red Proto Drake. Even Ruby, though, will probably see a lot less airtime if I can manage to get my Ironbound Drake. For me, Lil’XT is a much cooler choice. It’s a pet, sure, but it still has XT’s voice, and even his abilities. Gimmicky, sure, but not no less than the mount. I won’t be buying either because I simply don’t have the cash, or even the need for either of these. I have flying mounts; I have pets. I don’t have the cash to throw away on items that I’ll end up replacing shortly anyways. I guess what I’ve been trying to get at, in a really roundabout way, is that buying this is dumb. It’s expensive, it’ll get replaced, and it’s something you can’t take out of the game. I know that others will disagree, and that they’re entitled to their own opinion.

But that doesn’t mean theirs is right.

April To-Do List

17 04 2010

Keeping with tradition/laziness/forgetfulness, I’m doing this mid-month again. First, March:

  1. Hit 1800 in 3s – Yep
  2. Go 10/12 in ICC – See above.
  3. Get Jabba to 20 (at least) – He’s 24 at the moment

So, not bad! The goals for April:

  1. Kill Sindragosa
  2. Kill Arthas

Short and sweet, and Sindragosa has already been slaughtered (yay, alliteration!). Arthas is looking to be predictably ridiculous, but if can get through phase two we’ll be through the worst of the fight. Hopefully, we can get it down.

Practice and Progression

15 04 2010

So, I definitely jynxed myself on Sunday. Our main tank couldn’t make it back in time to raid after a lacrosse tournament, and we decided to do a fresh run instead. We also ended up having to run with a couple guildies from our non-core, with our replacement pally tank being in mostly t7.

It was the smoothest run we’ve ever had.

We got started forty minutes late after trying, to no avail, to save our former raid so that we could start on Arthas come Wednesday. We couldn’t get any alts saved, and then we realized that the tank/raid lead we were missing could fulfill the same purpose. Dur. So, we strove onward, with comfortable one-shots through the first quarter. I was waiting pretty anxiously for the Plague quarter, though; our offtank’s gear might not hold up as well there. Truth be told, he did die once on Festergut, although his role was quickly picked up as our feral druid went Bear form and off-tanked in his stead. We one-shot Fester and Rotface with our Pally OT, and then Bear-tanked Putricide. Although my Kilt didn’t drop (seventh time a row) I actually got the Ether Soaked Bracers from Rotface. Cool. We moved on after that to Dreamwalker, where I went Resto and we plowed through the boss, with myself and our pally healer hitting around 14k and 18k HPS respectively. We had twenty minutes left and we hurried over to the Blood Princes, where we tried a new tactic primarily because of our undergeared off-tank. Rather than 3-tank the fight, we 2-tanked. We had a DK strap on tanking/PvP gear for our ranged tank, and then had our MT pick up both of the other bosses. This freed up a ton of room to maneuver in, and our healers only had to concentrate on healing two tanks intead of three. I got to be in charge of keeping the bombs from dropping; compared to ranged tanking, this was cake. Our new strategy ended up working great, and just like that, we had another one-shot. Our time to end the raid was approaching fast, but we decided to go on for a single attempt on Blood Queen. We figured out the order we wanted, started off, and took her down without a problem. So, in the space of two hours, we killed all ten of our usual bosses, with a less-than-ideal comp. I think the pace we moved surprised all of us; had it been a normal raid night, that would’ve meant we still had two hours for progression. At that point, though, we finally called it. I was proud of my guild, and the progress we’d made since the start of ICC.

I did just a little bit more that night before hitting the hay. The run through ICC 10 had given me an unexpected boost in both gold and Frost emblems, and I got down to crafting my Lightning-Infused Leggings. I spent two hours spamming Trade chat looking for four Primordial Saronites and then a crafter to make the Leggings. I finally got ‘em made though, and I’m happy I did:

Four down, one to go.

Just one more Mark, and I’ll be icy-blue all over. The last three days have been sparse as far as playtime has gone; on Monday, I did some 3s (none of us were feeling it, but we needed our ten matches, and we tanked 60 rating), and on Tuesday I logged on for the daily random and little else. I did manage to fight the Lich King for all of thirty minutes on Wednesday so that was a plus. I’d been unable to make our raid time this week, but one of our ranged left a half hour early. So, I got brought in, and we promptly got killed in phase two over and over again. Defileeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. That debuff is terribad. I’m sure we’ll figure it out, but in the meantime… yech. Back to the wipefest that is progression raiding.

Come hell or high water though, I will get Arthas down. Game time.

Progression Delayed

11 04 2010

So, we were supposed to get Arthas this week; it didn’t happen. Not because we weren’t competent, but because we didn’t even get the chance at some attempts. Read on.

Monday and Tuesday weren’t too crazy; all I managed to do were a couple randoms and some BGs. I was looking forward to Wednesday, of course, since it was going to be our first night of serious Lich King attempts. I ended up running late, and texted/called my raid leader to let him know… everything seemed cool. I logged on to find myself as our 10th person, and in the midst of some heavy talk in officer chat. Our raid lead/main tank had had a bad day, and from what I managed to piece together, myself and a few others logging on at the last moment had put him over the edge. He logged off, insisting that a different guildie could tank Arthas. Uh, okay. His loss put us short a tank, and we weren’t going to get anywhere without him. Instead, I took up the task of leading an ICC 25, which actually went really well. We advanced through the first four bosses, and I even got passed  the Amulet of Silent Eulogy from a guildie who won. My luck ran out there though; I came in second place for not one, but two Marks of the Protector. I resisted the temptation to ninja them, though, and they got looted out correctly. We finished up the night with a few half-hearted attempts on Dreamwalker, but people leaving after the first four bosses was enough to seal the deal. Getting the Amulet was a nice win, though, and it’s opened up some new options for gearing up. With that and the hit cape from ToC 25, I’ve started to look at crafting a pair of Lightning-Infused Leggings. Previously, their model was purple, and reminiscent of my t9 gear. Since looking good is paramount to me, I’d just planned to sanctify my t10 legs. However, since 3.3.3 dropped, they’ve had their model changed to that of Shaman t10. The hit/haste combinations on the cape and necklace would work well to replace the hit/crit found on my tier piece. Assuming I end up crafting the Infused Leggings, I’d be up 76 spellpower and 87 haste, and down 59 crit, a tradeoff I’d be happy to make. The material costs mean that I’ll have to wait until next week, but I don’t mind. Once I get those, all I’ll need will be one Mark for full Sanctified t10!

Thursday was pretty sparse for WoW, but Friday/Saturday were a blast. On Friday, I joined a ToC 25 which, predictably, couldn’t kill Anub-arak in one shot; half the raid deserted afterwards. Later that night, myself and four other guildies went to Stormwind, queuing up for BGs and harassing the Alliance while we waited. The five of us killed bankers, auctioneers, players… everybody that got in our way, basically. It was only when they formed up and outnumbered us that we finally fell, but a walk back from the graveyard continued this cycle for hours. It was a good, chill time, and there were a few classic moments there as well. My favorite of the night: a level 15 Paladin came up, and killed one of my totems, flagging himself for PvP. You can imagine how that ended for him. This all happened during a melee by the bridge into Stormwind, and was one of the funnier moments of our excursion.

Saturday, I sat down and leveled Jabba to 24 with the Dungeon Finder and some questing in Ashenvale. Notably, despite the finder being random, we got Stormwind Stockades four times in a row. Not only is that place extremely mundane, nobody drops loot. Greaaaaat. Later on, I got back on Sayis to kill Yogg/Algalon with Sieben for the Ironbound achievements. Except, we couldn’t kill Yogg. In fact, we couldn’t even get past phase two. Our melee seemed unable to get the brain phase down, and we wiped up time and again due to this fact. We called it, and I logged, before getting on later in the evening for a few BGs before bed.

Overall, the week’s been a bit disappointing. We didn’t even attempt the Lich King, I didn’t win a fourth Mark, didn’t get a chance at Reign, and didn’t kill Yogg in Ulduar. Battling through Stormwind, leading a successful ICC 25 and some good times in BGs were upsides, though, and I’m confident we’ll put in some good attempts on the Lich King later today.

Assuming, of course, that we attempt it at all:/

A Quick Rebound

8 04 2010

I got up on Thursday with a pretty cruel April Fool’s Joke (one of our core officers said he was quitting), which I completely believed because a) I’m dumb and b) it was early. It was a relief to hear otherwise, and that was the only thing of note on Thursday outside of absolutely wrecking some BGs. Friday was a good day, though. A couple guildies and I joined an ICC 25, and wow, I had some good luck! No, I didn’t win a Mark of the Protector (I rolled 2nd place again!), but I did get ilvl 264 healing legs, Marrowgar’s hit ring, and even better: a BoE from the raid weekly quest, the Carapace of Forgotten Kings. Wow. The going price on the Auction House was a whopping 8200g. Yikes! I promptly put it up for 8k, and after a few BGs, went to sleep.

Saturday marked the start of Easter weekend, and I ended up spending it at school. Since all my friends were at home for Easter, well, lots of WoW. WoW overload, even. And given how much I play, that says something. I started off the morning with some BGs, and was pleasantly surprised to see that my auction had sold. After receiving the 7600g (the AH took a 400g cut. Daaaamn.), I was sitting pretty at over 17k g. That evaporated when, at long last, I picked up a Traveller’s Tundra Mammoth. That thing is huge and awesome, and having a couple vendors wherever I go has already proven to be extremely convenient. I was spending my time in between BGs doing some quests and farming up Ohsu’gun powder in Nagrand, which meant my bags were filling up pretty quickly. Not a problem, though; thanks to my Tundra Mammoth, I could sell my excess anywhere I wanted. Cool.

16,000 gold later, I'm sitting atop my mammoth. Worth it.

The big deal with Saturday came later in the afternoon. Sieben, one of the better guilds on my server, announced they were doing an Ironbound Proto Drake run. I jumped on the opportunity, and got one of the last spots. Every single raider was decked out in ICC 10/25 gear, and we began to slog through the instance. We spent hours going through, and each boss went down after one or two attempts. We finally called it after downing Auriaya, and resolved to pick up the run Sunday. After grabbing some dinner, I sat down for some more BGs with my guildies. It was a long, but fun day.

Sunday, I actually did homework throughout the morning, then logged on for the mid-afternoon continuation of the Ironbound run. We started off with Firefighter, and yikes… that fight is pretty ridiculous. Even with full t10, I was taking a pounding, and I had my fair share of deaths. I can’t even picture doing that fight in t8, and it took us over an hour before we got him down. On our kill, we got him with less than half of the raid alive; I managed to survive, and I actually popped Lust a second time so that our Brez’d players could use the effects again. It was extremely satisfying, and a very cool fight. We continued onward, defeating Freya, Hodir, and Thorim. At that point, however, my luck ran out: the raid wanted to continue on to Vezax and Yogg, and I had to leave for our progression attempts. It was a terrible feeling, but I left the raid two achievements shy of an Ironbound Proto Drake. I was told they’d be doing another run in a couple weeks, but man. I know my guild comes first, but it was uncool to have to leave so close to success.

This week’s progression, we used a different strategy. We tanked Sindragosa facing the stairs of the room, so we had more room to maneuver around. Additionally, we decided to position both ice blocks in Phase 3 on the left, rather than spreading one on the right and one on the left. We got off to a rough start, but got better and better with each attempt. Finally, two hours in, with two of our DPS down, Sindragosa fell. Our raid was weakening, and with our last gasp we managed to get the kill. That meant, at long last, it was time to face down the Lich King himself. We put in two attempts Sunday, getting through phase one before dying in the transition phase. It didn’t help that most of our raid hadn’t seen the fight, and we were happy just to get Sindragosa down. Afterwards, you guessed it, I did a couple BGs then went to bed. Monday was uneventful, but man, I’ve been busy in Azeroth. I can only hope that we make progress on Arthas, and that I get another shot at that Ironbound Drake.