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Not a fluke

Like I said on Thursday, I was concerned the make-up raid scheduled on Sunday wasn’t going to happen. Thankfully it did, everyone showed along with some standbys and on-time we assembled inside the instance.

The menu that night was Heroic Dreamwalker, then normal Sindragosa and Lich King. Assuming we made it to Arthas, this would be the first time we’ve faced him since our first kill a few weeks ago. We’ve been bogged down progressing through hardmodes, and with our two raids a week schedule, didn’t really have the time to get to him on the second night. However, after our amazing showing on Wednesday, he was definitely within reach.

Anyway, Heroic Dreamwalker first. If you’ll recall on Wednesday (last callback to an earlier post for now, I swear!) we had some wipes. In hindsight this was clearly because one of our best portal jockeys was having connection issues and DCing, based on the success we had when he could actually stay on and heal. Last night, we were going through the paces, as I frantically tried to manage adds on my side and keep healers from getting eaten (I think a zombie got through).

I honestly thought we were going to wipe that attempt, we hit the 75% mark–”Press on heroes!”–and then a blazing skeleton got three ticks of Lay Waste off. Miraculously, no one died. Probably thanks to the warbling solo provided by Garrosh. In any case, we pressed on, and before I knew it the dragon stood up and blew the Scourge all to bits.

At the moment we succeeded I felt like I was drowning in a rotting sea of zombie parts, all hope lost. It was kind of amazing seeing the dragon suddenly lift up and end the encounter. Like Gandalf cresting the ridge, but less dramatic, and I don’t remember any white light.

Dorkiest simile ever; I apologize. Either way, it was pretty sweet to one shot the fight after the initial trouble we had Wedne–DAMMIT.

After Dreamwalker came Sindragosa and this was going to be the first time we did her since AVR was broken. As I’ve always maintained, I loved AVR for its ability to put marks on the ground, which removed a lot of the thinking from Frost Beacon placement. … Ok–ALL the thinking. Nonetheless, I read off the beacon placements and everyone wrote it down on a piece of paper in front of them (how… antique) and we got to work.

We didn’t have much of any issue with the beacons and easily dropped her. There was a short hiccup at the end where I disconnected but thankfully I’m not that critical. It was at like 3% and everyone autopiloted the encounter to its conclusion.

Two one shots and we were only like 45 minutes into raid time. That gave us a solid (almost) three hours to go tussle with the Lich King. And, dontcha know it, we one shot him too. Scored achievements for a swath of folks that couldn’t make our first kill, along with the 2H sword and the caster staff. Of course, by the time that was done we still had about two and a half hours left in the raid.

There was some discussion what to do with the rest of the night and we eventually we decided to go to Ulduar and bang out some hardmodes and hopefully grab some more shards for Ildara’s Val’anyr (heh, now that’s a work in progress to say the least).

We ended up getting Orbituary, additional Ignis and XT achieves for those who needed them, and then spent about 30 minutes working on the Iron Council. A lot of people left between ICC and Uld and unfortunately we didn’t have enough folks to push that last 20 seconds of the fight. On the bright side, we did get a shard for Val’anyr, so that expedition wasn’t a complete wash.

One day we’ll finish that stupid mace. I’d like to do it now, but it’s impossible with our two-night schedule to dedicate any time to a raid two tiers back, so the pieces that Ildara has now will continue to rot except for occasional half-hearted attempt to augment their numbers. Even if the mace still BiS, from the looks of it.

At least we’ll be making a Shadowmourne pretty soon! That’s a bright spot on my otherwise abyssal Legendary record.

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One of those weekends, &c.

I had the casa to myself on Friday night and I was determined to over-imbibe that night before I had to trudge off to an… interesting… wedding the next day. To help me along in my personal goals, we convened a drunk raiding night. The initial plan was Blackwing Lair (to get Gulliveig the Broodlord’s head), then BT for rep and a shot at some cool Illidan items, then whatever else we had time for before we pared the raid down to 10 people and went to wrap up the three achievements a few folks needed to get their Uld10 drakes.

Because we were starting with BWL, of course a group of unattuned folks had to do the caravan through UBRS and the Rend event. I don’t know if anyone’s done this lately, but the bane of these trips has been that if you kill Rend before he jumps off his dragon, the event bugs and you need to reset the instance. Thankfully, we didn’t pull that this time!

Once finally in BWL we quickly shot through the whole place in like 30 minutes. My person interest in the place is limited to the remaining three pieces of T2 I need–boots, belt, chest. A few folks needed the achievement, and I think someone else wanted the Elementium. In any case, it was a smooth run and in no time at all we were porting to Shatt and flying off for Karabor.

The transit apparently proved troublesome for a few of us. Those with the Touring Rockets decided to dump their passengers, so while yours truly is like a cat with buttered toast on his back, Anafielle was not as lucky.


I’m currently really liking Black Temple. It’s huge but not drawn out. Boss fights are still somewhat interesting (I say this as someone who never ran the place in TBC), and a complete run has a Goldilocks duration. Plus the stuff off of Illidan is pretty awesome–the blindfold, the shield I covet, the creepy staff, etc. I think it took us about 90 minutes to burn through the place, and once the Betrayer hugged the floor, we decided to dodge to Silithus for an AQ40 run. Because, why not?

Once we were done re-enacting Starship Troopers and I was satisfied with pissing everyone off by constantly asking in a drunken manner, “Is this the gauntlet? How about now?!” we then finally broke down to a 10man to get some folks their drakes. I wasn’t planning for this to take very long, so I told the five that had to drop group to hang around and we’d run Hyjal or something after. 20 minutes, tops.

Anyway, while the 10 of us ran Orbituary, Disarmed, and Iron Dwarf, Medium Rare, Anafielle was passed out on her keyboard. And then there were 14!

Once the Ulduar fun ended we headed over to Hyjal and steamrolled through the place. After Archimonde fell, I realized it was way past my bed time and staggered off to wake up early the next morning, hungover, for my drive to the wedding.

The bug hunt

On Sunday, after having run AQ40 the other day, I noticed my reputation with the Brood of Nozdormu was around 31640/36000, within spitting distance of the next level and putting me one step closer to being able to really start the Scepter quest chain. So I flew down to Silithus to cash in my stockpile of Qiraji Lord Insignias and hopefully push it to neutral. As I was clicking through the multiple goes of the repeatable quest, I watched my reputation slowly trudge up to maxing out Hated.

After cashing them all in I was at 35640/36000. When I was done blubbering like a girl, I went back to farming carapaces.

Finally, 10 agonizing minutes later I had the 200 I needed, turned them and prepared for that delicious green swirl of neutrality.

Wait… that’s not right… Neutral is after… no… not more carapaces… NOT MORE CARAPACES.


I’m not much of a pvper, but when accidentally opening up the pvp window I noticed that it was AV weekend. So, on a whim I jumped into a match which was about to start. Someone asked in /bg who was the tank. Some guy in 232 gear speaks up first, but since I have a chip on my shoulder since the last time I was in AV, I volunteered as well. Some guy must have inspected us both, because he immediately decreed that I was tank.

We zerged right up to Vann, skipping the mage at the halfway point. Looks like Alliance was doing the same, because I never heard them engage our midway guy-person. Like I said, I never do battlegrounds. I don’t know these names.

Anyway, we get to Vann, I check to make sure people are behind me and I pull. 30 seconds later Vann went down, the results screen came up and yours truly was top damage done. Gogo aoe damage on five mobs at once.

Team Rocket Alpha Snowflake strikes back

We run two ICC-10 heroic groups on Sunday, which jokingly have adopted the names Team Rocket Alpha Snowflake and Team Bravo Sunshine Ponies, if I have those right. My team (Alpha) started an hour late because the second tank forgot we were raiding. Ana’s team meanwhile continued their lockout from last week, on time, which had gotten the guild-first kill of Saurfang 10H last week.

Swearing revenge, Team Alpha responded by spending ten attempts on the same fight while Bravo went to work on heroic Putricide. Finally, after about an hour we knocked over Saurfang.

Alas, Bravo managed to match our previous heroic kills (Fester, Rotface, and BQL) and then one-up us with Dreamwalker. While the rivalry flares up I’m just happy the guild is getting these progression kills. I’m a softy like that. Nonetheless, next week Alpha is prepared to take back the crown.

And, in other news, I really, really need to do strategy posts for heroic fights.

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More smooth sailing, &c.

I love Tuesday nights right now. Thanks to the Icecrown buff we are sailing right through 11 of the 12 bosses (which even a month ago seemed an impossible task for a single night), racking up huge chunks of loot, and everyone is in a fantastic mood, joking and having fun.

Apparently our server isn’t doing too well as we head into the summer, one of the major raiding guilds on the server has been completely stalled due to attendance, another from their Shadowmourne guy going on hiatus immediately after getting his legendary (ouch), leading to further hiatuses, followed up by one of the officers emptying out the bank and server transferring.

We’re oddly one of the more active Horde guilds in ICC25 man, which has lead to us getting a few pretty good apps from said disaffected guilds. I will gladly pick those bones, tyvm.


Two new guild in-jokes started up fairly recently. One of them, playing on my quickness to stressing out over the roster and other guild management issues, involves my imaginary ulcer being given the name Frank. So now whenever someone does something death-defying or otherwise gives me a quick jolt of stress I let them know that “Frank says hi.”

The other, actually funny one, deals with Zilga (one of the priests) and her jingle about poor dragon positioning and cleaves–Zilga’s gonna eat a cleave, doo da, doo da. On Spinestalker, the last drake before Sindragosa, I’ll drag it up the steps and chase Zilga around attempting to get it to cleave her. She then proceeds to taunt me with “I’ve been cleaved by better tanks than you!” So that’s our little game now.

Last night I also had the opportunity to bring three new raiders into ICC to try them out and get them some gear (again, I love that buff). One of them, a Rogue, did some ridiculous dps on many fights, placing in the top 5 despite being in 245-251 gear. He then over the course of the night picked up seven upgrades. I expect him to be a beast tonight on our LK attempts.

Also tried out a Demo Lock for the first time, something the casters have been lobbying for forever. Unfortunately our top two caster dps weren’t on last night, so I won’t be able to ask how they thought of having some extra SP.

Speaking of sailing

After raid, Morvain and I dragged a group to Uld-10 so we could finish the last achievement for our Rusted Protos. After one full go across Razorscale’s 10 minute enrage timer and then a minute into the next attempt we finally managed to roast the 25th Iron Dwarf we needed for the achievement.

Done and done.

I finished up the night by dragging a few more people into MC for my weekly dose of disappointment re: Thunderfury. And, of course, alas, no binding. Nordic taunted me with the fact he ran the place this weekend (he needs the opposite binding from me) and the one I am seeking dropped. I died a little on the inside. Ok, understatement–I died a lot on the inside

And speaking of slow deaths, more LK-25 attempts tonight! If I post about the kill tomorrow you’ll know it went well (obviously), if silence … er, send flowers.

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May 26, 2010
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A weekend of achievement

I’m delaying the UI post one day so I can tweak some things tonight. It will go up tomorrow! In the meantime you can see my new UI in these screenshots.

Friday we were supposed to wrap up ICC-10 and finally kill the Lich King. Hell, I even named the calendar event “The Dethroning”. I was going all in on any possible, and probable, jinxes. Unfortunately, raid didn’t happen. One invited person didn’t show and two couldn’t make it. And those in guild were either severely undergeared or all ready saved. To salvage the night we instead went for some good ol’ fashioned Uld10 hardmodes.

They went last weekend (when I wasn’t around) and cleared up to Firefighter but couldn’t down that fight. So Friday we started on Mimiron and after finally managing to scrape up a healer (one of our super geared raid healers came on) we were good to go. We then defied our expectations and easily one-shot Firefighter. The glories of severely overgearing an encounter!

With that easily acquired feather in our caps, we then double backed and opened up Algalon’s lair. Because, why not? We had the keys, none of us had ever seen the fight, it would only take an hour max. Might as well take a few whacks at it.

Algalon is, to put it lightly, a very intense fight. I can only imagine what it was like to do this when it was end-game content rather than the playground of a pack of drunkards. There are multiple counters letting you know when different dooms are going to befall your raid, the least of which was definitely not the Big Bang. The way we ended up handling that was Morvain, the DK, would tank initially then when I picked it up from him, after my first phase punch, the first Bang would occur.

I’d get hotted up and a everyone would go in a black hole and the hit would typically proc Ardent Defender, and the hots would push me back up to nearly full health immediately afterward. The second one Morvain would take, using a guardian spirit for similar effect. The third I would have AD back for, so I’d eat it and maybe pop Divine Protection if I got uncomfortable.

We did a bunch of attempts just working out the various mechanics, usually wiping to some little mistake that would kill someone and then domino effect into a wipe. That would lead to us quickly sprinting back to our corpses ASAP to get another lick in.

With about 30 minutes to go I was getting a bit nervous if we were going to get it that night. Then that attempt everything clicked, I guess, and we pushed it to the sub-20% phase for the first time. Suddenly waves of enemies were appearing and Morvain and I just went crazy taunting as much as we could. In a blur, Algalon dropped combat with us and then went into his monologue. It was pretty cool to get to see the fight, let alone kill it, however cheap the victory might have been.

Also, Algalon is hands-down the most beautiful boss encounter I have ever seen.

After Algalon I started debating with myself which Keeper I wanted to send down for One Light. Normally you’d want Thorim to get rid of the Immortal Guardians, but at our gear levels Phase 3 would probably go by really quickly, and I would be capable of holding a huge number of the guardians. As long as I kept them far enough away to prevent Yogg from getting free heals. I was trying to talk myself out of sending down Freya who would bend the difficulty curve a bit by giving us sanity wells.

I eventually settled on sending down Freya, dooming that lockout perhaps. Nonetheless, during my epic wasting of time up top running back and forth between Freya, everyone continued to clear down to Vezax. Once I got down there we finished off the trash and then went on to one-shot Vezax’s hardmode with little difficulty.

The real challenge was, as I suspected, Yogg. And not because of the hardmode. A lot of us were tired, some of us were clumsy, others rusty. It was pretty late and we kept stalling on the normal mechanics of the fight. People not getting out of the brain room in time and getting mind controlled, not enough dps being done to the brain, etc. If it was earlier in the night, I doubt that fight would have been much trouble. We ended up calling it at midnight, server time because a few had to go.

On the last attempt, as we were wiping, I ran into a portal to check off at least one the visions from my In His House He Lays Dreaming achievement. The wages of being a tank, eh? Certain achievements you usually have to finagle or trick your way into getting, like Hot Pocket or Denyin’ the Scion or Take Out Those Turrets, or snatch them mid-wipe.

Then yesterday was, in addition to Easter, the beginning of Noblegarden. The latter being the last holiday I needed to get my Violet Proto. And of that holiday I only needed three achievements: Chocoholic (I was 25/100 on this), Desert Rose, and Spring Fling. So in the morning I buckled down and headed over to Falconwing Square, which was crawling with pink bunnies darting from egg to egg and I was immediately reminded why I hated Noblegarden so much.

I eventually just camped in one spot in Falconwing that had near me three to four different eggs, and just darted between the four spawns grabbing them as they popped. Eventually my eyes started to bleed, so I bought the Spring Robe for Desert Rose and moved on to Brill, determined just to do Spring Fling and not hunt anymore eggs.

Then I saw how nearly deserted Brill was and what easy pickings the eggs there could be. I found another fruitful camping spot and hung out for a while, getting enough eggs to finally put me over the top for Chocoholic. From there I finished up my epic rabbit breeding journey and then did a quick tour of the various dry spots in Azeroth. Finally I finished up the last achievement of the last holiday I needed for What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been.

I’m so glad that’s over.

… I should do Noblegarden on my druid if I’m going to use him in Cataclysm. Ugh.

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The epic weekend

Over the last two months I’ve been steadily accumulating various pieces of Holy gear. Some spellpower plate offspec drops from ICC-10/25 (gotta love guild only having one raiding Holy paladin), ToGC-10, and the new heroics. Altogether I have a pretty decent set with (pardon the GS reference, I do it just to help you imagine the iLevel) about 5250 gearscore. The one glaring issue with my gear is my offhand. It rates a 10 for RP value, but I can enchant or block with it, so one could say it’s lacking a bit.

Nonetheless, I gemmed everything with int, more of less, then enchanted it and Saturday afternoon I was off to the races to heal my first heroic.

And… I don’t know how you Healadins do it. I mean, it’s generally pretty straightforward: Sacred Shield and Beacon the tank, Flash of Light for the little, steady damage intakes, Holy Light for bigger hits. Beacon is doubly awesome because I can generally ignore the tank and just heal the rest of the party. I find myself consistently forgetting to pop cooldowns or remembering to occasionally judge to keep Judgements of the Pure up. Stuff to work on.

All in all I healed four or so heroics this weekend: UK, OK, ToC, and HoS. Each was pretty easy (I didn’t have any of the hard ones, thank god) and no crazy wipes except for in Old Kingdom when the tank pulled a huge pack of spell flingers and everyone died in about 3 seconds. I barely had time to urinate myself. (Sorry, gross joke.)

It was interesting seeing heroics from a different point of view. In Halls of Stone we zoned in and I started blessings and the tank just up and took off. I’m sitting there blinking and yelled “hey wait for meeeeee!!” while running far behind without even Pursuit of Justice to help me catch up. Damn inconsiderate tanks. The Brann event was a little more lively than any of the boss encounters I did before, just had the aforementioned tank Beacon up and kept HLing anyone who stood in the beam.

Tons of fun overall and has definitely shaken up heroics for me. I’m tempted to start doing my daily random as heals, but I’d like to get an actual shield first before I expose myself to the piercing gazes of full pug groups.

More Uld10 hardmodes

Partly spurred on Tijeras’ recent scoring of a Rusted Protodrake, and thus my incessant nagging to do so, a group from my guild got together again to start work once more on Uld10 achievements.

We started with Orbituary for those that didn’t have it, which was a total breeze. I completely wrecked the dps chart on that fight with my Demolisher tricked out by my 264 gear. Flame Lev never had a chance.

Razorscale’s dwarf cooking wasn’t really seriously attempted. Although funny enough, all this time I assumed the counter reset every week or something because my total was always zero. Just turns out I’ve never managed to roast any dwarves before. I got three last night.

For Stokin’ the Furnace I single tanked Ignis and we got him down about two minutes into the fight. Heartbreaker went similarly well. Ditto I Choose You, Steelbreaker, who we killed before I even got to explode. I just DI’d a healer to defuse myself.

At that point we started racking up sigils from the wing bosses. Hodir was pretty straightforward. Thorim was interesting to say the least. With two healers, one in the arena and one in the gauntlet, right at the end a chunk of the gauntlet team bit it but two of the survivors (just dps) managed to make it back to the arena with Sif. Poor Ildara then went on the single-heal the second phase while I single tanked it, Unbalancing Strike and all. I think she nearly had a stroke by the time Thorim dropped.

Freya was a bit more tricky, with a couple of missteps thanks to your truly starting to feel the effects of my chain chugging drinks during the raid. At this point I was about half way through a bottle of gin (I like to drink like I raid–with class–ok?) and getting a little sloppy. The first attempt I got too close to the shore trying to kill a tree and managed to pull the adds on the opposite side. The second try we had to reset because a few people died during phase two. The third try we knocked her over easily and scored all three versions of Knock on Wood.

After Freya we dug in for Firefighter, which eluded us the last time we tried Ulduar hardmodes. The good news is, last time we failed miserably to fires, and this time we got Mim to 10% on our best attempt, which was also our last attempt. That was also the attempt, I’m told, where during P4 I yelled out “he’s spinning up!” ran directly away from the boss, banged a 360, and then ran right back into his Laser Barrage. I have no recollection of this.

We had to call it after Mim because one of the dps had to go, but it was then drunkenly decided in officer chat that we’d go try Undying with whoever was left… because why the hell not? And we did a lot better on that than I expected, managing to get all the way to the second boss before someone died.

No reason to continue we left Naxx and the soused express rolled on to Wyrmrest to do Sarth+3. I barely remember the fight (my gin-life-force nearly extinguished) but apparently we killed him.

And then, because dammit, we were drunk and the world was our oyster, we should go do ToGC-10. So we did, and by some alcohol-fueled miracle we completed the place with 43 attempts to go. No mad skill unfortunately, but we did it nonetheless. I think this was also the first time we’ve done it with three straight healers (rather than making a healer go dps, or switch out for one, like we did when learning the place months ago).

I passed out sometime after that, though truth be told I barely remember anything after Naxxramas. It was a good night.

Some honest-to-goodness ICC progression!

After shaking off my hangover, Sunday night was spent rerolling the Wednesday crew back into Icecrown Citadel to finally bring down Dreamwalker and get some cracks at Sindragosa. We experimented a bit with group make-up, initially trying two tanks, five dps, three heals but that wasn’t working as well. We then swapped some specs around and went two tanks, four dps, four heals, which was getting the dragon up a lot faster, but the adds were taking a lot longer to die. After a few more close attempts (with one at 92%) we then tried me single tanking, five dps, four heals.

Single tanking Dreamwalker wasn’t so bad, the only thing that really needed to be tanked were the Aboms. We settled on a kill order where dps would burnt Blazing Skeletons when they appeared, then Aboms, then Suppressors, then anything else still up. A hunter was in charge of kiting any Zombies. Towards the end it was getting really hairy, we had two Aboms, a Zombie, and a few casters on me. It looked like we were about to wipe. I had no idea what the dragon’s health was at but imagine my surprise when in my darkest hour suddenly Dreamwalker stood up, bellowed, and nuked every add. It was pure awesomeness.

Great encounter. I enjoy it more now that we can actually kill it.

It was a fun surprise after Dreamwalker when we got into that weird hallway with the giant circle room and cobwebs everywhere. It was obvious what was going to happen. I still feel like I wasn’t prepared for all that trash though!

Only downside to our inevitable victory was the healers that kept running back into the room to skin the spiders. Bad healers.

Finally, it was time for Sindragosa… and what a fight that was. We didn’t have enough time to get some serious attempts in, but honestly, it didn’t seem that bad. The only hard part seemed to be dealing with the awful, intense, bellowing, Scottish woman that was apparently trapped inside her. That voice was terrifying.

I’m half tempted to extend the lockout next week and just jump right back to her. I don’t know if I’ll be able to get people to go for that, though.

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Months behind, but we still had fun

Late Friday night a couple of us were online and bored. After throwing out a couple of options someone suggested a good old fashion drunk raid, and the responsibility was passed onto me to decide where to go. After some thinking, I decided that we’d finally put to rest an old bugbear that’s haunted us since 3.1: Yogg-Saron.

You might recall from my 2009 in review meme response that my biggest disappointment from the previous year was that the guild never killed Yogg-Saron, mostly because our raid organization was a little more than slightly askew back them. Now, months behind, we were going to do something about it. The plan was to skip worrying about achievements, just go in, kill Yogg, and get out before we all passed out from lateness and alcohol poisoning.

And thus, with a gin and tonic in one hand (yes, I have the drinking taste of an elderly British colonialist) and a mouse in the other, I headed into the titanic prison for the first serious raid in a long time.

This rules were simple, generally following the old Naxx rules: socials after boss kills, when a green dropped whoever won the disenchanted mats could instruct someone else to drink, if you died you drank, if you were b-rezzed you had to finish your drink before you accepted it, if you looted a gray armor/weapon you drank.

We took a pretty direct path, rolling over Flame Leviathan, downing the hard-mode XT somewhat by accident, dropping Kologarn while attempting to solo tank it and skip adds, then killing Auriaya and Hodir (drink if you forgot frost resist gear! … and everyone drinks) in short order. On Thorim we accidentally did the hard mode, even while splitting the group down the middle regardless of how much dps was on either side.

Nordicslayer, usually a dps warrior, and he of not-so-Undying fame, tanked the hallway. Towards the end someone warns him not to stand in the runes being cast and he calls out in vent, half-panicked, “no one said there’d be voidzones!!” He was playing to his reputation, but definitely one of the funnier moments of the night.

The funniest, hands down, though was in Freya’s room. At the entrance, someone of course let go the guild motto of “It’ll only take twenty minutes!” We all laugh and start clearing. Finally, after slogging through all the trash and a somewhat messy job on Freya an achievement pops up. Con-speed-atory, what the hell is that? We all click it and the description comes up: “Defeat Freya within 20 minutes of the first creature you kill in the Conservatory of Life in 10-player mode.”

It actually took 20 minutes. I had to excuse myself so I could go convulse with laughter in the other room. I almost lizzed a little.

Once we got to Mimiron, one of the warriors dc’d and I brought in Falowin to replace him. We engaged Mimiron and were doing great until phase 3 when a shockwave finished off three melee too slow to get out of the way. Thankfully, we probably had twice the raid dps we needed and easily dropped him.

Then is was down to Vezax who was mostly a joke. By this point I was sporting a fantastic buzz and really enjoying the colors and lighting. In short, my tanking was getting somewhat sloppy. But, I was having a great time.

And then we walked over to Yogg-Saron, ran in, and in a huge clusterfrak wiped spectacularly. Like someone flipping a switch, I immediately sobered up in nascent panic.

My dumb, drunken idea was to solo tank it, and that generally worked with a little finesse. By the third attempt I had managed to harness what little buzz remained, allowing me to slow down time and dance among the green clouds under Sara. No one tripped any extra clouds aside from myself right off the bat and we pushed it to Phase 2 nice and clean. Then we moved fluidly as a group, slaying tentacles like a Lovecraftian gardener, and the melee hopped into the brain room when the portals appear. Unlike the first attempt when half the melee couldn’t find a portal and then those that did eventually came our mind controlled, this time they maximized dps on the brain and came out ready to go back in.

The time between brain attacks was minimal because dps was blazing fast, and before I knew it we were on phase 3. I quickly remembered what little I knew about the phase and attempted to pick up all the guardians while keeping my back to Yogg when possible. Falowin counted off health remaining while I jumped into a sanity well and panicked over the flocking numbers of guardians. Suddenly a wave of calm washed over me when the numbers hit the single digits, and finally the Beasts with a Million Maws slumped over. I had killed a god. I was like a Ghostbuster.

Anyway, it was a great night. We had lots of drunken fun, managed to snag a (sadly and hugely late) first kill for the guild, and scored a lot of shards for the guild bank. Most of all it was laid back and truly enjoyable. Something I don’t really get often in the high stress, progression-esque 25mans.

Now, back to the hard modes.

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January 11, 2010
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Wait a minute, I remember this nonsense

So there we were, in the mountains. Ulduar, to be precise. The mission was to continue our lockout from two weeks ago and finally finish the damn place once and for all. As I have recounted in the past, our history in that place is a bit checkered. Between the endless weeks of attempts to kill Thorim, and the most hellish night ever on Vezax, we hadn’t even seen Yogg in a 25man context.

That was all going to change however.


Actually, no, I lie. No change yet. Instead, true to form we headed into the Conservatory of Life first to knock off one of the two Keepers we needed to drop to head into the basement. “20 minutes, tops!” the rallying cry went out. Ahem.

Once we were done with the six or so wipes we suffered in that room we then one-shot Freya. I tanked all three of the elementals, which might have been a bad idea. Snaplasher still hits for a ton, so sadly I needed to bubble and beg Pain Suppressions for those moments.

Clearly we were more interested in just brute forcing our way through the trash. Sadly, being a tier and a half ahead doesn’t give you as much currency with trash as you’d think it would. Once we actually, you know, coordinated a bit on the pulls, and used some (ahem) CC, the pulls were obviously a lot smoother. Also, it helps when I don’t assume Demo is DC’d (seriously, if we go 20 seconds without him saying anything in vent, it’s safe to assume something is wrong) and pull a different mob nanoseconds before he charges after one of his own choosing.

Mimiron was similarly choppy. It took us a while to get down the hallway because someone started up the tram before everyone was on board, and left myself and the healer contingent behind to rot on the platform. Once we actually grouped up and started the fight, despite warning vociferously about the Shockwave/Nova thing, people still died to it. It’s a ten minute long fight, so I hope they thought about while they did while hugging the floor.

FINALLY after about two hours (two Keepers in two hours! arrgh) we finally got down to Vezax’s room. Cleared out the trash with a liberal application of CC and coordination, and set up for the big guy himself. Interrupt rotations were assigned: three groups of three interrupters basically ordered to get their interrupts off as soon as possible. Everyone is pumped to go…

And then Demo DC’d for 10 minutes. Le sigh.

Alright, well, then he got back. Ok, show time, let’s do this.

First Searing Flames comes up and I’m watching the cast bar and suddenly time slows down as eat decimal on the countdown begins to reduce. Nines become eights, and the numbers to the left of the decimal point get smaller. Oh god, flashbacks. A cloud of red surrounds my field of vision. The blood drains from my face. All I can hear over the ringing in my ears are the screams of pain and horror as a wave of Searing Flames washes over the raid.

Flashbacks. What the flying feck just happened?

Next cast–ok–that was a blip.

Another flame sears us all. Oh god. Interrupters–DO SOMETHING. Anything!

Eventually, Vezax has the compassion to put us down.

Once I’m down having a nervous breakdown on vent, we regroup and lined back up in front of the boss. We rush back in and start going through the motions. First interrupt, group one is up. They nail it. Group two next. Next flames is cast, and interrupted. I breathe a sigh of relief. It’s going to be ok.

We unfortunately wiped on that attempt, cause a few folks didn’t know the deal with Shadow Crashes and mana loss, so burnt out early or got burned up early. Either way, lost a lot of dps early and wiped at 3.6%. Gandy, one of the rogues, actually evasion-tanked Vezax from like 7% to 4%, holding threat only with a wave of the pigtails. Pretty awesome.

Alright, we got it this time. Everyone lines up, charges in. Interrupts go flying. Finally, finally, Vezax drops.


That night the top alliance guild on the server got the server first for Yogg+0. Interesting juxtaposition.

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October 15, 2009
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I raid lead like Anub


Last night was messier than I would have preferred. We started off with VOA25 and burnt down the three guys in there pronto, mostly scoring some pvp crap. Then we hopped over to Coliseum and started to make our way through it.

Beasts went down somewhat okay, but more people died to silly stuff than I’d like. Jaraxxus was a huge cluster-you-know-what. Two dps pulled off of the DK tank and got killed, and a few others bit it from standing in fires or the incinerate AOEs. The entire attempt was a slow attrition on a ranks and I saw the specter of an enrage wipe looming ahead. We probably downed Jaraxxus with less than a minute left on the enrage timer. Sloppy, sloppy kill.

For Faction Champs, we are basically still learning the fight, and it’s pretty difficult so I’m not going to offer any criticisms of our performance. We did kill them all in probably one of the more epic boss fights I’ve ever done. I think at the end of it were were looking at about 11 people left standing.

The order I put forward (and I’m open to suggestions on this) was burn down the priest first, then the druid. The holy pally was being handled by a rogue, so we skipped her and downed the enhance shammy next. Then the warrior (who I hate), dk, and rogue. Back to the pally, then hunter, shadow priest, and warlock.

I spent most of the fight following around the shaman, taunting him when possible, and cutting down his totems. My main goal was to keep him from getting a windfury proc and one-shotting a healer. I used shield tosses and Arcane Torrent to contribute to the healer burn. After the shaman was dead I shifted attention to the melee, trying to keep them occupied and off the squishies.

Like I said, pretty epic battle, and definitely a kill we earned. Thankfully the Champs coughed up the Juggernaut’s Vitality, which puts me at 39.1k unbuffed health. Delish.

Speaking of gear, I’m having a huge issue with hit rating right now. I’ve been eagerly gobbling up 245 gear, but in doing so I’ve been steadily losing hit. Earlier last month I was capped at 263 on the dot, and now I’m at a measly 108. To remedy this I can add 53 with the T9.45 legguards I’ll be getting in 8 emblems. I might have to enchant my weapon with Accuracy too. Considering the threat nerf we’re getting in 3.2.2, I really don’t want to take my chances with suddenly being so far under the hit cap.

But I digress! So after Champs we started up Twins, which was new to some people… with predictable consequences. First attempt was marked by people dying to Vortexes (I so badly want to call them “vortices”) and Twin Pacts going off. Part of that was me being a huge idiot and calling out during a Lightbane Twin Pact, “Everyone grab light and get Lightbane!!” I think I confused the hell out of people and that was not a bubble sundered.

Of course it also says something about the raiders that they didn’t have the critical thinking to recognize I screwed the pooch on those instructions and compensate. One guy even said “What? I just do what I’m told.” Great ‘tude champ. Yer gonna go far.

So first attempt on Twins was a wipe. Second time we were doing well, but somehow it all went to hell towards the end. The DK tank bought it and I ended up tanking the two of them in the center at like 30%. Somehow we lucked out and didn’t have anymore Twin Pacts, and I somehow managed to hold both through a Vortex. It was pretty crazy, but we got them down.


Then the ground fell out from under us and we got to finally face Anub as a 25man raid… and I totally dropped the ball. I didn’t do my due diligence on this guy, neglecting to look up strategies while thinking that it would be a carbon copy of the 10man incarnation. It wasn’t. The enrage timer is much, much tighter and requires a different approach.

Too late did we realize that having dps focus down both Burrower groups each above-ground phase was a bad idea. We spent about three attempts wiping that way, and only on the last one (declared as such because a lot had to scram after) did we obviously have the right approach. We pushed it to phase 3 easily, but then wiped because the DK is squishier than I am. I’m probably going to have to take Anub from him when that phase starts.

At least I know we can easily kill him tonight. A one-shot hopefully. Assuming everyone shows up.

After that disappointing conclusion to the raid we headed over to Uld10 to continue the Hard Mode Party. Our main goal, as you can imagine, was I Choose You, Steelbreaker, which had eluded us last time we tried it.

This time we had the same issue at the start, people didn’t realize Fusion Punch left a dot that needed to be dispelled, so when I blew up and the DK took over he was killed pretty quickly by being falcon punched to death.

The second attempt we cleaned that up but didn’t have enough dps to down Steelbreaker… although we definitely had the wrong approach by bringing me back to life and attempting to do a second tank switch. That just gave Steelbreaker another chunk of health and more damage to boot. To fix the strategy we had one of the healers go dps (so 2 healer, 6 dps) and we resolved to let the DK blow up if that’s what was going to happen.

So the fight starts, we hit phase 3 (side note: the three sweetest words in the English language are “ fades”) and I get my Overwhelming Power. I pop wings, go to town and at 10 secs on my meltdown the DK taunts and I bright for a safe distance. I explode, get a brez, and settle in behind Steelbreaker to do some measly dps and take over Cleansing duty.


At about 10 seconds on the DK’s Meltdown, Steelbreaker coughs up his purples.

I think tonight we’re going to follow up Coliseum with working on the Freya hard mode.

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Summer down!

My favorite season has unofficially drawn to a close. My condolences to everyone who has to shuffle back to school/college/what have you.

BWL. To celebrate the end of summer, along with the demise of Door Boss, I put together a BWL raid on Friday night. It was mostly an achievement run to tick off another requirement towards the Classic Raider achievement, but I also wanted to get the Elementium smelting book for Cendra (to be my reliable Elementium smelter) and collect any ore that would be kind enough to drop. Unfortunately, only one Elementium ore dropped.

We hit a funny bug on Razorgore. Apparently when his MC drops off during a switch, if he has nothing in close range to aggro, he explodes and wipes the raid. This happened twice until we figured out what the deal was. After that I spent the encounter baby-sitting him, and tossing a Hand of Reck on him when MC fell off.

The last time we did BWL we only had four people so Vael was pretty much a no-go. People blew up way too early, and we were still in Naxx gear so we weren’t putting out quite as much damage as we do now. With an additional four people it was no contest. Although of course I still blew up.


It was a fun raid overall, and I walked out with the aforementioned new piece of Ore (bringing me to 5 total), along with the Elementium Reinforced Bulwark, and the Judgement Gloves (4/8 Judgement, now!).

We attempted Heroic TOC 10man last night, but that was a bit of a snafu. DPS was good, but we didn’t have a bloodlust and we kept having Icehowl come out when the worms were at 10-20%. We need to be about 30 seconds faster than we were, which is a pain. I think we can do it, just need a little more gear, a better group makeup, or maybe get fancy with two healers and six dps.

One thing that I think helped healing a bit was we’d start the fight with the DK tanking Gormok, and holding him to four stacks of Impale. Then when I taunted off him, I’d also give him a BOP to knock off his stacks. I’d then hold Gormok to four stacks, and the DK would taunt off me and I would Divine Shield + Divine Sacrifice to drop my stacks and ease up the healing for the closing stretch.

It was annoying that our execution was pretty well-tuned but we just couldn’t kill stuff fast enough. If not for the timed releases we’d be able to do it. But, that’s the point, eh? A challenge to rise to.

Uld10 Hardmodes. After our faceplant in TOC we headed over to Ulduar to stomp our some hard modes for our Rusted Proto Drakes. First one of the night was Orbit-uary which after an introductory wipe we killed it easily the second time. I’m proud to report that I did about 40% of the dps, basically standing still as much as possible and keeping my 10 stack up the entire time. It probably doesn’t hurt I’ve got a lot of 245 pieces to boost my dps.


We then burnt through Heartbreaker and cleared trash to the Iron Council. After downing Molgeim last pretty easily last week we wanted to try our hand at Steelbreaker last. We put in about three attempts before a couple of people had to ditch due to lateness, but honestly it was very easily. The only thing that screwed us up was the first time we were in phase 3 I exploded and killed the other tank (didn’t realize I needed to run for it) and then on our last attempt the tank switch went flawlessly, but then the DK got nuked by three ticks of Fusion Punch. I think I might have been coddling the healers with my self-cleanses.

Playing the auction game a bit. Lastly, in a non-raiding note, I’ve found a new source of enjoyment to the game being a Jewelcrafting tycoon. Once having overcome my crippling laziness, I started buying raw epic gems off the AH and cutting them for resale. Business is ramping up but I’ve already made a few thousand gold, which is pretty nice. I’m attempting to be super careful about not overposting, like only doing three at a time of each cut so I don’t have too many up.

Right now I’m buying the raw gems for about 150-170 gold and then reposting cuts of 210-230, so a slow but steady profit. I find that Bold Cardinal Rubies are selling best right now, but only because I seem to be the only one cutting them at the moment. Today should be a pretty good day for sales with all the raiding and upgrading going on.

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September 8, 2009
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I could say that these modes were hard

I received a foreboding suggestion this weekend:

Let’s go for the rusted proto-drake.

Um, okay, that’s an interesting idea. Sure, we haven’t kill Yogg, but I can’t imagine only one Keeper up would be that much more difficult… right? Oh, we’re screwed.

So that odyssey began last night. And by odyssey, I mean “thing we should have been doing two months ago.” We formed up at normal raid time and entered Ulduar determined to start the arduous process of banging out the various hard modes that make up Glory of the Ulduar Raider (10).

Nuke from Orbit


First on the list would be FL with 3 Towers up. We’ve done this on 25man and it really wasn’t much of any contest. We launched two people at the start, a warlock and ele shaman. They bloodlusted and burnt down the turrets causing a shutdown in record time. I keep a 10 stack of Pyrite up the entire fight and ended up pulling 126k dps. Very, very easy.


We actually already had this one, but a few were itching for the Aesir’s Edge so we decided to do it again. I tanked XT on the northeast scrap pile and just enjoyed working through my rotation. On the first tantrum I did a bubble+div sac to take some slack off the healers and then Hand of Reckoning’d him at the last second of his cast bar and cancelled bubble to repick up aggro.

During the fight the warlock actually DC’d, but the healers kept him alive to the point that when he reconnected a minute or two later he was able to jump back into dpsing. The only hairy part was when a certain warrior may or may not have died twice to gravity bomb-induced void zones. Ahem.

No Aesir’s Edge, alas.

I Choose You, Runemaster Molgeim


This was an interesting fight to say the least. We approached it like normal mode, I dragged Steelbreaker off to the side and the other two were taken to the other half of the room. Once Steelbreaker was down I went and peeled Molgeim off of the DK tank and held him in my spot, while the dps ran over to kill Bruundir. Once Bruundir was down the real hard mode started and the DK took Molgeim off me so I could turn into Capt. Utility Tank.

When Molgeim is last to die, his two big things are: Rune of Death *really* hurts, and adds are summoned. The adds explode it they reach their aggro target, so ranged needs to dispatch them. I attempted to do my part with Cobalt Bombs and the occasional shield toss, but really I spent most of my time dpsing Molgeim. As long as everyone stays on their toes, it isn’t too hard.

With Open Arms


We already had Disarmed, so we figured we’d give this one a go.

This one’s fun. Basically, you only dps the face and try to avoid doing any damage to the arms. The first two times someone got gripped we broke them out, but it was getting kind of worrisome how low the Right Arm’s hp was getting, so we decided to let everyone die if they got gripped. Three dead raiders later, we got the achievement.

Also, in terms of aggro, I started the fight by building a lead with Avenger’s Shield and an HotR, and didn’t use either for the rest of the fight. I didn’t have any issues keeping aggro with shield slam, Judgement, and Hammer of Wrath (when in execute range).

Crazy Cat Lady


This one was a good gear check for me. I insisted we one tank this and made the DK go dps. We used three healers as well, which I initially doubted but I’m glad we did. At certain points in the fight the damage intake got slightly intense (fears especially) and that extra oomph really helped. In the normal “stand still and do rotation” moments, the damage wasn’t as bad. Damn it feels good to be a shield tank.

I Could Say That This Cache Was Rare


The one hard mode I was truly looking forward to, because it had two pretty sexy tank upgrades for me. Of course, of the two I wanted The Boreal Guard more. I’m a sucker for shields.

We already agreed that if it looked like we weren’t going to get it, we’d just wipe and try again. We had a good group, everyone was competent, there’s no reason we couldn’t down this guy.

So the first go one of the dps died early and we decided it probably was going to be difficult to recover, so we wiped it. Then, the second time we got it to like 30% and that same dps along with the Void Zone Avenger bit it to standing in bad runes. Wiped it again.

Last try, right out of the gate everything went smoothly. Ranged was wailing away, I was keeping the threat ceiling high, no one died to runes. Eventually we pushed it to execute range with a minute still on the clock. Holy shite, I thought, we were going to get it. Hodir drops snowpiles and I scramble on one, ready to leap back into the brink. And then Big Wigs flashes on my screen “Frozen: [Warrior] and [Ele Shaman]“. Oh, and the DK dc’d. Dammit.

“Should we wipe it?” someone asks. 8%, 35 seconds left. Hellz no. Burn that mother down.

The remaining batch of us rip through Hodir and we down him with 26 seconds left on the clock. I immediately sprint over to the frozen cache and spot this sexy beast hiding at the bottom. Like some green-clad stereotype, I leaned into the glowing box, reaching in to grapple the shield, and then popped out with this verdant masterpiece held aloft and triumphant above my head. I could say that I was very excited.

Siffed / Lose Your Illusion


This one was a little more difficult than the others leading up to it. Basically, getting to Thorim in under the hard mode time limit means that during Phase 2 you have Sif flying around and hurling frost bolts at the raid, along with other annoying crap (like freezing people in place). It’s just some added chaos, not too difficult in the great scheme of things. All we did differently was Frost Aura went on when Thorim jumped down and everyone was on their toes with dispels/cleanses and avoiding the lightning bolts.

As you can see we had a little trouble with it. The DK tank died so I ended up tanking Thorim while eating Unbalancing Strikes. If the fight lasted a few more seconds we would have wiped, but we managed to pull it out in the end.


Fun fact: Thorim was actually married to a character from some terrifying Japanese porn.

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