Archive for the ‘Achievements’ Category
If I had a theme song for this expansion, I’m pretty sure it would be Survivor. As we finally stop to catch our breath, I feel like I’ve just gone through nine rounds with Sugar Ray Robinson, and while he won by unanimous decision, I had the victory of being able to walk out of the ring at the end of the fight.
Raiding in Cataclysm has been an experience that has had many ups and downs for me, and as I sit here at the end of it all, I find that I don’t have as much to say about it as I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely have a few things to say, but at the end of the day I find myself exhausted from the journey, and happy to be finished so that I can stop and rest a minute before charging into MoP. However, before I hang my gloves up for the off-season and go drink beer and shuck oysters (wtf…I don’t even LIKE oysters!), I thought I’d give a few of my thoughts on raiding this expansion.
The Biggest, Baddest, Hardest Boss of Cataclysm was Recruitment
Hands down, I think the thing that just about every guild struggled with was maintaining a roster of players capable of meeting their goals. Trying to recruit to keep up with the attrition, especially for a 25 man raid team, was a daunting task that unfortunately doesn’t look to be getting any easier as we move into the Mists. It was also the thing that killed more guilds than anything else, although I think that Heroic Rag is probably a close second for “guild killers” this expansion.
The Best Raid Tier Was…
For me, I think it was Tier 11. My only complaint with the tier was how long it was, and how little time we had to finish it out relative to its length. Ok, and maybe the over use of interrupt mechanics. But overall, I really enjoyed most of the encounters present in the tier and found the level of difficulty to flow pretty well. Even though I hated Ascendant Council with a passion, and wanted to shove a lightning bolt up Al’Akir’s ass, I found most of the encounters to be dynamic and interesting from both a healing perspective and a raid perspective.
The Worst Encounter This Expansion was…
Dude! Read like two posts ago! (I jest…) Heroic Spine of Deathwing, without a doubt. While I was frustrated with the pacing of the Heroic Ragnaros encounter, nothing compares to the tedium of the Heroic Spine encounter. Since I just posted on it, I won’t rehash everything outside of stating that I hope to never see an encounter designed like this again.
The State of Druid Healing at the End of the Cataclysm
At the end of the expansion, I’d probably grade us at a B/B-. As our gear progressed we were a little less constrained with utilizing rejuv, but I still feel like it costs us more to have the output of both Holy Paladins and Priests, and that we were less effective, less efficient and had to work harder for the same results, all while bringing less to the table. However, being a druid at the start of T13 and working through T13 progression was often times painful and frustrating at best. It is my hope that as we see some changes moving forward that help to supplement our strengths without punishing us for them.
Killing Deathwing was…
A breath of fresh air. I know a lot of people indicate that they feel the encounter is somewhat unfulfilling, and to an extent I can agree with them and see where they are coming from, for me, however, I was just so glad that we made it. I’m glad that, despite many struggles, I held in there and that the guild held in there and we pushed through to the end. In an expansion that almost killed us as a guild, we persevered, and I guess that what our victory meant to me was more important that the actual thrill of the kill. If that even makes sense. I’m just thankful that our team pulled together and that we have some down time and some extra time for “fun things” before Pandas take over the world. I’m really looking forward to that.
My Overall Thoughts of Dragon Soul
Unlike some other folks, I didn’t really mind the use of re-hashed scenery. I thought that most of the boss encounters were OK, but none of them were anything that will be retold in my WoW history as I recount my past glories. I’d probably give it a B- if I had to grade it. Some of the zone is colored by non-raid related happenings that aren’t really the fault of the zone, but even setting that aside I just can’t think of one boss in the zone that felt like killing Illidan or C’thun or Princess Huhuran or Nefarian (either time).
An Observation of the expansion
I think I’ll conclude with one last observation. For me, everything about this expansion felt very rushed. I felt pushed into new content before I was ready. I felt that content came out too quickly for a large majority of the playerbase. I felt like I was moving on Blizzard’s seemingly rigid time table, which was disconcerting when it felt like a little more time was needed. And as we come upon a new expansion, with an unknown release date and a beta that hasn’t even started yet – I can’t help but ask “what was the rush?”. Would adding another month of T11 progression have been a bad thing? Would another month of Firelands have let more of those 6/7 guilds push into 7/7? Granted, I don’t know Blizzard’s reasoning for their time table, but sitting here at the finish line, I do believe that I would have preferred a little more time at the start of the race than at the end.
Regardless, I’m weary, glad for the rest and so very proud of our team!
388 pulls. That was the final number. It included every pull that someone face pulled Rag. It included every pull someone was in the wrong gear. That included every pull that we took before the Great Firelands Nerf (roughly half of them). Most of the kill was a blur to me, partly from the cold I had been fighting all weekend, but partly from the shock of realizing that it was finally over. I had to pinch myself this morning just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming again.
I’m sure there are those of you who are thinking “thank fucking christ, she will finally start talking about something else”. And you are right, I likely will. But before I get there, I do want to take a minute to reflect on things from the other side of the fence.
But, before we get into that I want to offer out some deep felt thank yous. First, to my guild. Has it really been seven years? Regardless of our struggles and our shortcomings, you guys are part of what makes kills like this worth fighting for, and victory taste so sweet. The experience wouldn’t be the same without you. Next I’d like to give a huge thank you to Vixsin and Derwent. You both offered strength and advice when I needed it most, and there aren’t words to express my gratitude or to thank you enough. And lastly to everyone here who stayed along for the ride and offered kind words and encouragement. Every bit of it helped, even if I didn’t tell you at the time.
Let’s move onto those reflections, before I have to grab a tissue. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s get a little personal today. I’m going to talk to you a little bit about work. It’s something I don’t really do because I try to bifurcate my personal life and my professional life so that they don’t intersect with each other outside of the office. But I think there are some similarities with recent events that have occurred in both that I think are illustrative of a challenge that I’ve been handed since the nerfs with regards to raiding. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s Monday again. And today definitely feels like a Monday. Honestly, I think the only thing that is getting me through today is the fact that I know we have Shadowmourne chest goodies to pass out tonight, and are bringing another group of contest folks in for our Lich King kill – which is always extremely rewarding for everyone involved. So what has Beru been up to lately? Let’s find out, shall we?!
10 Man HM Lich King – I officially hate this fight. It has gone from fun, to frustrating, to completely un-fun for me. At one point in the raid last night, I quite literally wanted to cry out of frustration. What I used to find “challenging” is now just 2-3 hours of high key stress. Last night we pushed into phase 5 a few more times, and survived harvest soul a few more times and worked on dealing with the Vile Spirits. We got him down to 27%. We are so close to a kill. I have no doubts that a few more times into phase 5 and we will see our kill. But oh Christ, that means more attempts.
So what’s the problem? It’s the fight itself. I know that I’ve mentioned it before, but I am two healing it with a Disc Priest. I do not recommend doing this if you want to keep your sanity. Every pull I am keyed up. Every pull I almost lose a tank. Every pull I struggle with keeping my mana in check as I try to manage everything from a healing perspective. Every pull I am quite literally on the edge of my seat hoping that I can keep it together. And I’m going to be honest here, if we don’t get it soon I just don’t know how many more pulls I’ve got in me before I completely lose my sanity.
I think part of our problem is that we only see the fight one time a week. So it takes us roughly an hour to “relearn” what we worked out last week. Then we have an hour where we have some great progression attempts. And then our attention starts to decline and we take steps back in progress, which is understandable because of the level of constant attention the encounter requires each and every pull. After talking with Brade this morning, and looking at our absentee list for our 25 man roster for the week, and seeing that we are out two main healers and a main tank – we may make an exception this week and not push HM RS as was originally planned and give our 10 man team more time with HM LK.
I know the fight is supposed to be a challenge. But there is a fine line between challenging and poor design. And HM LK, in my opinion, is more of the latter. A fight requiring an almost exact raid composition (which we do not have) is not good design, we should not be at a disadvantage because of our healing composition – and yet we are. We should be able to take 10 skilled raid members into the encounter and have the same challenges and successes with the encounter as any other 10 people at the same skill level. A fight leaving little to no room for even a small error isn’t fun, it’s frustrating. I can honestly say that I will be glad to have this finished for the 12 people that have put the time into this encounter, so that I never have to go back.
I’m sure once we knock out that last 17% I’ll have more thoughts to add, but for now I think I’ll just suffice it to say that I find this to be one of the most un-fun encounters that I’ve experienced in my 6 years of the game.
25 Man Heroic Halion – We have been sort of almost half heartedly working on this encounter. Our raid team as a whole has a bit of malaise floating around, and so we are trying to read the guild very carefully as we work progression. We usually spend about one raid night a week working him, if that, and have started learning phase 2. That is to say that we’ve worked through phase 1 and the transition into phase 2, now we just need to survive phase 2 so we can start learning phase 3.
Personally, I think I’ve come to a bit of a peace with this encounter. I’d love to finish it out before the expansion, and I certainly think that we are capable of doing it. But on the other hand, if we don’t I’m not going to be devastated over it either. We intend to keep picking at it each week and giving it a good effort – but I think that most people feel a bit how I feel.
On the Topic of Feminism and WoW that has Permeated the Blogosphere
I’m not going to be making a post on it.
But Beru, you are female and play WoW, why not?!?! The answer is simple. I’m oversaturated with the topic. I have gotten to the point that 90% of the blogs that are now posting on it, I just don’t read that post. I play WoW as a form or relaxation – and while I certainly have opinions on the topic (and many others), I don’t really want to integrate them into my entertainment. It’s largely the same reason that I don’t see 90% of war or politically driven cinema. If I go to a movie, chances are that I just want to unwind for a bit, or let my mind be engaged, depending on the type of film. I do not want to be preached at while I’m trying to unwind.
In my opinion, and for me (not that it’s the same for everyone), I want to bifurcate these types of issues from the venues that I chose to help me relax. I’m not saying the issues aren’t important, and that there aren’t issues to be addressed. I’m just saying that this isn’t the place I want to address them, if that makes any sense at all. As such, I won’t be saying much more, if anything, about the topic here. If you are interested, there are a plethora of other bloggers discussing it, I’d recommend starting here: http://mentalshaman.com/
Mynn – This weekend as I was camping mobs for Frostbitten, someone said “I’m bored, let’s go do an ICC 10!”, and I was like “I’m in!” – because after days of camping rares anything to get away from it for a bit is good. Surprisingly this was a fantastic alt group, with a main or two thrown in, and we ended up going 10/12 HM (no Putricide) and most of the group just needs Metas and HM Putricide for a 310 drake. I’m hoping to find a time this week to take this group back in to complete this (although it will be two weeks for me, as I’ll need to take Earenn in for bubbles on LK this week, the week after one of the other priests should be able to do the same for me so Mynn can get the achievement!).
It ended up being a whole lot of fun and I’m looking forward to finishing it out.
Elentari – She’s just about ready for Northrend, sitting at level 67. I went back to try and catch her alchemy up – only to realize that I didn’t have a philosopher’s stone. I went to make one – only to find that all of the black vitriol on the AH didn’t have a buyout and was put up for 48 hours (ps…people who don’t put buyouts on things like that suck!). I also need to go and get her potion mastery quest so that I can get it completed before she heads to Northrend. I expect that she will be hopping around Northrend soon enough though J
Nadine – So I finally spent some time playing my alliance paladin yesterday. I managed to get her three and a half levels and she is now halfway to level 64. That means that she only has four and a half more levels until I can start in on the Alliance side Northrend quests, which I’m extremely excited about!
I also tanked my first few instances with her. The first one I did, I felt a bit clumsy for about half of the zone until I started to get the hang of paladin tanking. And then the next epiphany that I had was “OMG THIS IS SO MUCH EASIER THAN WARRIOR TANKING” immediately followed by “wtf…where is my AE silence button, I want to get these casters in here, oh right, not a blood elf”. Which actually brings me to the next, somewhat interesting point about Nadine…
I am finding that being a Dranaei is…different. Out of all of my characters this is the first one that I have ever felt outwardly…well, Skanky, for lack of a better term. Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent so much time on the Horde that I feel this way, but I have several Blood Elves and I’ve never felt so…well, sexualized I suppose! My Dranaei just seems so, er, come hither, sex kitten to me. I don’t find it disturbing as much as I find it interesting, well actually more bizarre than anything else I suppose! It makes me wonder why female tauren can’t be a bit more feminine…and y’know at least sound like they are female when they talk! Just sayin’ 🙂
I’m still trucking along on my quest for Frostbitten (need 8 more) and Bloody Rare. I am questioning daily what made me think this would be a good idea! I’d also like to pick on a good number of the Ulduar achievements that I’m missing in both 10 and 25 man. Oh – and Earth, Wind and Fire! Yes, please!
Anyhow! That is what has been going on in my corner or Azeroth! I’m still trucking about and trying to get a few things accomplished before Cataclysm Launches! How’s everything going for everyone else out there?
Over the past few months I have received a number of queries from members of our server’s Horde Faction regarding whether or not we, Monolith, were (or would be) offering to sell Lich King titles, as was being done on the Alliance. When I started getting the queries a few months back, I opened it up to the guild on if this is something that they wanted to offer or not. There was some discussion on it, with people on both sides of the fence on the matter, and ultimately it was decided that it was not something that we would offer at that time.
However, I continue to receive queries from people seeking to experience the Lich King, and are desperately willing to do whatever it takes to do so.
Today, someone opened the thread back up for discussion in the forums, so I have been giving it more thought again.
The last time that we discussed this, there were three big arguments against doing so:
1) If people want the title they should earn it. To offer to “sell” it belittles the achievement of all those that spent the time to learn the encounter.
2) Once the buff reaches 30% everyone will be steamrolling Lich King anyhow, and PuGs will be killing good ol’ Arthas with no trouble. It will be available to people if they wait.
3) We, as a guild, need to clean up our performance on the encounter (so as not to embarrass ourselves) before we consider offering this as an option to the server.
I think all three of these concerns/commentaries are viable objections to the question “Do we want to fill this gap” at the time the question was discussed. Two months have passed since we discussed this as a guild; and because I’m still getting queries, I wanted to go back and explore this a little more.
Read the rest of this entry »
Beru Note: I’d like to introduce you all to one of our crazy resident rogues, Rholm. Rholm not only has one “the Insane” title, but is working on his THIRD (dear god…why, Rholm? Why?!?!?!). A while back he posted the following guide in our forums, and I asked him if I could utilize it as a guest post on my blog, as I cannot think of anyone more qualified to give pointers on this crazy achievement than the guy taking his third trip towards insanity. If you are going insane, I hope that you find it helpful!
You probably all know by now of the Insane in the Membrane feat of strength.
I am currently grinding for a third title, on Sholmie this time. Most of the required items are already farmed. The planning and some basic gathering are on the way for a fourth title too; my paladin.
The purpose of my post here is to help some of you who often asked “how to”. I will not write a full guide but simply share my thoughts, experience and opinion on the whole thing. It is a great personal challenge and multiple facets of it can be applied to raiders and even PvPers out there. There is more to be said about it, but too long to discuss here.
You do not need to be a good player, as far as pressing buttons or incredible situation awareness goes. Be a keyboard turner if you wish. However, planning, schedule, daily goals are all key words to work efficiently in order to see the end of it. Lots –and I mean it– lots of dedication and patience are required. It is easy to give up. Your sanity is your end-game boss.
Trust me, the feeling is the same as when you finally beat that one particularly tough raid encounter after weeks or months of hard work. But this time, you won’t see a screenshot with 25 players dancing on a corpse. It is you alone. The pride and feeling of completion. Alone. Read the rest of this entry »