Monolith entered the 25 man Ice Crown Citadel last night for the first time. I had spent hours of time preparing for the first four encounters in the zone, and trying to remain reasonable set expectations at killing the first two or three bosses. When we entered the zone, I asked the guild to focus and take the zone with a vengeance.
And we did just that. No boss took us more than a handful of pulls, and in our 3.5 hours of raid time, we cleared the 4 bosses available to us. remember above when I said I was hoping for 2-3? Yea, that was a lie. I was trying to convince myself that it would be just fine if that is all we got down. But I knew that deep down inside that I wanted to have the wing cleared or I’d probably be disapointed…I just wasn’t admitting it to myself😉
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We have always looked at Monolith as a family. We celebrate successes together, we struggle through difficulties together, and we grow as a group together. Like all families, we have people who will grate on your nerves, like your annoying Aunt Martha who thinks that the only way to do something is her way, and will tell you about it until you feel like you are going to puke. Sure…you want to tell her to just shut the fuck up, but instead you politely smile and nod as she speaks, as if you really care, all in an effort to keep the family peace.
Why, you might ask, am I talking about my Aunt Martha? Well, we had to let someone from our family go last night.
I’m sure you are thinking “so what, people get kicked from guilds all the time”. That might be true for other guilds…but we really do view our members as part of our family. We have not guild removed anyone outside of their trial period in…well, it’s been so long that I can’t even recall when the last time we did it. It was a difficult decision to make, and one that saddened me quite a bit. However, when all is said and done, I really think it was probably for the best and that ultimately we made the right decision.
Let me spin the tale of Chas (I have changed the name of my guildmate for purposes of this post). Read the rest of this entry »
We missed the first round of 25 man 310 speed mounts for our guild by not focusing on The Immortal early enough. This was 100% the fault of the leadership, we made a mistake. We told ourselves that we wouldn’t make that mistake again with Ulduar. We nearly had to eat our words when they announced the release of 3.2 and we thought they would be removing the drakes, with us only part way through the hard modes. We nearly had to eat our words as we came to realize how challeging the hard modes were for us as a guild and grew uncertain at our ability to finish what was needed for the meta.
But we weren’t going down without a fight. We’re stubborn that way. When so many other people gave up on the zone, we went back every week and poured our blood, sweat and tears into what we had remaining to complete. And you know what? It was worth every second of time we spent in the zone post 3.2. Perhaps we are “months” behind, and I will admittedly state that the 245/258 gear helped with some of the later hard modes immensely (good god, the people who did things like Yogg 1, Freya and Firefighter 226 gear…how?!?! /salute).
But none of none of those factors make our victory any less sweet :) Celestial Defender Beruthiel here I come!
Daelo has just given us some insight on how things will work with Ice Crown Citadel. It is a very interesting read, so if you haven’t had the time to read over it, I would recommend giving it a gander.
I will repost one of the more interesting things in Daelo’s post below:
The first section that opens will include the Lord Marrowgar, Lady Deathwhisper, Icecrown Gunship Battle, and Deathbringer Saurfang encounters. Progress beyond that point will be prevented for several weeks. Then the Plagueworks will open with Rotface, Festergut, and Professor Putricide becoming available. After another period of time, the Crimson Hall will open and you can then fight the Blood Princes and Blood-Queen Lana’thel. The final Frostwing Halls unlock then occurs after that, making Valithria Dreamwalker, Sindragosa, and the Lich King available. We believe a staggered release of the content will allow players to experience Icecrown Citadel at a sustainable, measured, and ultimately more enjoyable pace.
There are other elements that gate access along the way. Players may not attempt any Heroic versions of 10 player encounters until they have defeated the Lich King in a 10 player raid. Similarly, players must defeat the Lich King in a 25 player raid before they can attempt a Heroic 25 player encounter. So players must master every normal difficulty encounter in Icecrown Citadel before attempting Heroic difficulty.
The Lich King may not be attempted until Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, and Sindragosa are defeated. Furthermore, the Heroic difficulty of The Lich King encounter may not be attempted in any week unless the three aforementioned encounters have been defeated in Heroic difficulty that week.
Interesting. So, Blizzard is going to be gating the content, similarly to how Sunwell and ToC were released. Not only that, but you won’t be able to do hard modes for what appears to be months after the first batch of normal mode content was released. Blizzard is definately forcing a progression chain with this release format.
What do I think about it? Well, I think I like it. Maybe. I think that as long as the encounters are engaging and challenging enough to warrant an average progression raiding guild the amount of time given to clear the content it’s going to work out very well. But I do have a fear: what if the content is as face-rolly as ToC was? What if it only takes us a night or two to clear everything. What are we supposed to do then, while we wait for the next portion of the zone to unlock?
In addition to the tiered release of the zone, we will be seeing a return of limited attempts:
The Ashen Verdict provides reinforcements and material for players to assault Icecrown Citadel, but this support is not endless. Raids will have a limited number of attempts total each week to defeat the four most difficult encounters in Icecrown Citadel: Professor Putricide, Blood-Queen Lana’thel, Sindragosa, and the Lich King. As these boss encounters are unlocked, the number of attempts available per week will increase. The initial number of attempts provided for defeating Professor Putricide is only five. When Blood-Queen Lana’thel unlocks, the amount of total attempts remaining will increase to 10. Then when Sindragosa and the Lich King unlock, 15 total attempts will be available to defeat all four bosses. After a raid has exhausted their attempts for the week, the Ashen Verdict must withdraw their support and the four most difficult bosses all despawn and become unavailable for the week. The limited attempt system is a feature of both Normal and Heroic difficulty.
Ok, I’m going to start out now by saying I’m not a fan of the limited attempt methodology. I understand why Blizzard is implementing it, but I also pretty firmly believe that it hampers a good number of guilds that don’t need this kind of artificial choke point. (Hi…we suck at faction champs, we know this, please punish our further progress in the zone because we can’t PvP, thanks!). One thing that I am pleased about, and I think assuages some of my concerns with this system, is that as time goes on the available number of attempts increases.
I guess generally, I think the system is going to work well, if it’s been done properly. I also think that Blizzard is absolutely buying themselves time with tiered release of the content. It definitely has the feel of Blizzard deciding when we will see things, and how long it should take us to get there. I don’t necessarily think that this is a bad thing, per se, but if they have overdone it, I think people are going to be frustrated.
So…now the million dollar question: When is it going to be released? Well, here is my take on it. I 100% believe that the 3.2 protodrakes are going to be removed with 3.3, as new drakes have been added to the 3.3 content. Blizzard has already stated that they will give us a month’s notice before removing the drakes. To date we haven’t received that notice. Therefore, I think that it is highly likely that there is at least a month before we see 3.3 release. (Yes, I know the downloader is available already, but we’ve seen downloaders available well ahead of patch dates before). Of course that puts us right up at Christmas Holidays. Will Blizzard release a major content patch right before the Holidays? Your guess is as good as mine.
So, here is my best guess: The patch is either going to hit on December 22 OR not until after the New Year. I, personally, find it unlikely that they are going to unleash a major patch that will hinder their employees ability to enjoy the holidays. So I think we are going to see it some time around January 5, but I wouldn’t take that to the bank. I’ve been wrong before, and I’m certain to be wrong again!
What do you think? Do you like the tiered release? How do you feel about the return of limited attempts? What is your guess for a release? Inquiring minds want to know!
*Updated to reflect 11/18 datamined informtion for Shadow’s Edge and 11/19 for Shadowmourne. Updated information is courtesy of mmo-champion. Updated information will be notated in Orange.
Orange does strange things to people. It always has, and it likely always will. In order to prevent any sort of drama that tends to follow the orange pixels around, anyone that intends to step foot into Ice Crown Citadel should start thinking now about how to award the newest legendary, Shadowmourne.
Right now we know very little about the weapon itself, and if it’s very much like Val’ynar we won’t know much more about it until the time is upon us to make the decision to award the weapon. Great…once again we need to semi-blindly pick a good candidate without all the best information to base the decision. Bleh. Well, let’s review what we do know about Shadowmoune:
- Shadowmoune is a two handed axe. This will limit who may wield this weapon to 4 3 classes: Death Knights, Paladins, Warriors and Hunters. However, based on the proc (explained later) we can effectively rule out this being a hunter weapon (more on this below). *edit: Datamined information confirms that this weapon will only be equipable for Warriors, Death Knights and Paladins.
- The weapon proc is stated as such: “Your weapon swings have a chance to drain a Soul Fragment from their undead, demon and elemental victims. When you have acquired 10 soul fragments you will unleash Chaos Bane, dealing 6849-7560 shadow damage split between all undead, demons, and elementals within 8 yards. *edit: “Your weapon swings have a chance to drain a soul fragment granting you 40 strength. When you have acquired 10 soul fragments you will unleash Chaos Bane, dealing 1900-2100 shadow damage split between all enemies within 8 yards”
- The language “your weapon swings” I think pretty clearly indicate that this is intended to be a melee weapon, and effectively rule it out as a stat stick for hunters. Feel free to disagree with me on this, but I am willing to bet that hunters will not be on the class limitations of the weapon.
- It seems from the pretty cool lore behind the weapon that there will be quests involved to upgrade the weapon to its maximum potential. My guess is that there will be three stages/quests for the weapon. Some of the things stated about Shadowmourne:
- To contain the energies that dance across its cold edges, Shadowmourne must be hewn from piles of impure Saronite: the hardened blood of the Old God, Yogg-Saron, treated only by master metal-shapers.
- To fuel its power to kill, it is vital that Shadowmourne be drenched in the souls of the most potent servants of the Scourge as they are slain, one by one, with the unfinished blade.
- To help break through the Lich King’s armor, Shadowmourne is to be adorned with fragments of the Frozen Throne, originally crafted by Kil’jaeden out of the ice from the Twisting Nether.
So, how do you decide who gets this weapon in your guild? What is the best way to go about making this decision? Let’s take a look at some of the things that Monolith is looking at in making our decision.
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Running a guild is more than just recruiting (oh god), leading raids and dealing with bullshit. One of the most important things that comes with running a progression raiding guild is making decisions on prioritizing content. Now, if you are in a cutting edge guild, it’s pretty easy, because you just have to push to the next thing available. However, not all guilds can be cutting edge, and not all decisions can be so black and white. For those of us still trucking along with Ulduar when ToC came along, we had a decision to make: Keep at what remains in Ulduar or can Ulduar and focus solely on ToC.
There are plenty of guilds that opted to never step foot in Ulduar again, and just focus on the ToC content, and that is fine, if that is what worked for them. We decided, however, to take Monolith in a different direction, and it’s this decision that I’m proud of, and think that we “got right”. Read the rest of this entry »
Attempting to teach forum decorum on the WoW forums is an act in futility. I know this. Yet there are certain things that are so damn tacky, that I can’t help myself. I reach out my hand, filled with cookies for the trolls, and open my mouth (or keyboard, as it were!). There was an incident that warranted exactly this response on our realm forums the other day.
Like most realm forums, ours has a “progression” thread that is updated with varying regularity to inform others of the progression of the various raiding guilds on the server. People tend to post their accomplishments in the thread so that the owner of the thread can update their progress. Personally, I think it’s kinda neat to keep track of what people on the realm are doing, so we participate in adding our progress to the thread.
One of the more progressed alliance guilds on the server recently was able to add Hard Mode Twins to their list of achievements. Like all of the other guilds, they went to the forums, posted their accomplishments, and moved on. But here comes the part that pisses me off…some asshole, on a level 1 alt comes along behind them, quotes their post and then adds his own commentary of “i hear door strategy is hard lulz”. Grrrrrrrrrr. Read the rest of this entry »