Monday, November 29, 2010

Damn you Arthas!

So this is the third week on Arthas and he still lives. To be fair the first week we only had a couple of attempts before the raid time was over and we all went to bed. Last week we worked on him for a good hour, hour and a half. Last week we were struggling with phase 2, and getting the Val'kyr's down. This week we have mastered phase 2, killing the val'kyrs with no problem, staying out of defile, but it would fall apart at the phase 3 transition.

I am not sure how I managed to do this, but every single time just before we pushed into transition, defile would drop, and the raid would run one way, I always ran the other. I would get out of range and could never recover from the infest. We would loose 2-3 dps, and push into phase 3 with 2 tanks, 3 heals and 2 dps. I guess you could probably finish him off with those numbers but I'm skeptical.

We have decided to push one more week on Arthas, and do our regular Sunday night raid on the 5th , as well as raid into the night on Monday the 6th. I figure we have to midnight my time Monday if we do not get him down Sunday.

Then I heads out to game stop, pick up my Cata collectors edition, and take Tuesday off, and hopefully the servers cooperate and I get some "me" time with Cata before the wife and kid get home from school.

On the launch day front: Am I being overly optimistic? I really think this will be the smoothest expansion launch to date. I figure, almost all of the expansion data is running on live right now, the shattering has occurred and and everything is running smooth. All that is left is flip the switch to activate the Worgen/Goblin starting zones and the new 80-85 zones.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lich King 10 Still not down.

Well Sunday night came and went and Natural Order's alt run still has not defeated The Lich King. We have now mastered phase one, the phase transition and managed to get almost to the second phase transition. We were killed by a lot of bad luck late in the evening with defiles and early in the evening with Varyklys. We have just about 2 weeks to finish him off before Cataclysm. If we can get the DPS coordinated I think we should be able to get him down this week.

Things I learned on Lich King.

1.) When DBM tells you you have Necrotic Plague, RUN and RUN now. don't finish casting, tont stare at your screen and watch the pretty timer tick. Get over to the ghouls and get cleansed.

2.) Watch your threat. A mage can tank Arthas, for about 1/2 a swing. It isn't pretty. When Omen flashes "High Threat" you can not cast "just one more arcane blast". Because that Arcan Blast will crit for 60k damage and Arthas will eat you.

3.) A mage with a lucky string of crits on a full stack of Arcane Blast can do some SERIOUS DPS in phase one, when it is pretty much stand and fire. Sunday night I was averaging 16k dps during phase one, and settling down to a more reasonable 8.5k DPS for the rest of the fight.

With Cataclysm so near I spend a lot of time reflecting on what I have managed to attain over the last two years in Wrath. At the end of the Burning Crusade I was in Ex Obscurum. We were a close guild, and had some major accomplishments. We were ranked number 3 on our server, the number 1 horde guild. I had successfully killed Illidan and the whole guild was excited for Wrath, and the future of raiding. The only problem was we raided 4-5 nights per week. I was a casual hardcore raider, and after almost 2 years of raiding 4-5 nights per week it was taking a toll on my home life. The wife and I were growing apart (she was working late most every night as well), the boy needed more dad time it just wasn't working.

Wrath launches, I cut back my WoW hours, and I was late to the level 80 party. I missed early raids, in fact I didn't even step into Naxx before Ulduar was released. I finally started raiding 10 mans with pugs and guild alts, and slowly got back into raiding with Ex Obscurum near the end of Ulduar/early ToC. But I was raiding only Thursday/Saturday. Late last winter, Ex Obscurum decided to server transfer and for the first time in my WoW lofe I had no guild for my toons. I spent a few months guildless leveling alts. I got both my Pally and Mage to 80, and found a new home in natural Order.

NO is a much better fit for my play-style/life needs. They have a number of runs every week from Hard Mode progression to alt runs, and it is a "come as you are" atmosphere. You do not have to dedicate your life to every single run every week. Show up when you can and if they have a spot you raid. We run so many raids, both 10's and 25's that if you want to raid on a given night there is usually a place for you. If you miss a raid there isn't 9 or 24 people missing you.

So Wrath is closing, I am so close to an Arthas kill I can taste it and level 85 is looming with a whole new sait of heroics, dungeons and raids.

Here is to the future, and the past. I toast Arthas, Anub'arak, Mimron, Illidan, lady Vash, C'thun and any other boss that myself and a group of myself and 9-39 friends worked those long nights to defeat.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quick and Dirty Video Cataclysm Changes

This is a quick video sped up 2x flying from Bilgewater Harbor to Gadgetzan.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sunday night Natural Orders alt run did something amazing. After only 2 weeks we cleared ICC to the foot of the Frozen Throne. The previous week we cleared through Plagueworks, and Dreamwalker. This week we started on Sindragosa as we felt she was the hardest boss we had left. We spent close to an hour on Sindi, and thought we would be lucky to get the rest of the bosses before Arthas down.

A personal aside, FU Sindragosa. I went in on my Mage for the alt run, to save my lockout in case I can actually make the 25's on Skraps, and this is an ALT run. Probably shouldn't take my main on an alt run. I was targeted for EVERY SINGLE Unchained Magic, but with the patch 4.01 health pool improvement I was able to survive stacks getting as high as 10 without putting any strain on the healers.

The rest of the bosses were a cake walk, and we decided since we actually made it though to Arthas a bit early we would make a few attempts on the Lich Kink himself. We ended up calling the raid at just shy of 1:00 am eastern time, a full 2 hours after raids normally end. Lucky for me and my marriage that put us off just before 10:00 pm my time, and a good 15 minutes before wife agro one-shot me.

The alt run will extend our raid lockout for another week, or two or three if needed. Basically we have committed to getting as many people the Kingslayer title before December 7th as possible. It is looking good for both Skraps and Tharadra to get their kingslayers before Deathwing leaves poor Arthas alone atop his ivory tower wondering where all the visitors have gone. I hear Prince Malchezaar has a weekly poker night Arthas may be able to join.

As much as I am looking forward to the release of Cataclysm and the new leveling experience for my alts, I am really excited about downing Arthas before that happens. This will be the completion of two years of work, and completing a goal I have had since the Fall of the Lich King was pushed last December.

No matter how silly the goal, it always feels good to be this close to completing it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Serious Case of Pre-Expansion Blues...

In the last 2 weeks or so I have been having a really hard time motivating myself to even log in unless it is a raid night, even then I only want to raid about 50% of the time. I have pretty much given up my spot in our 25 man, and only really run the Sunday night alt ICC 10. I guess I would like to maybe try tanking ICC on either my warrior or my Pally a bit, but not really sure.

Over the weekend I picked up the StarCraft 2 Collectors Edition at a local Fry's Electronics. The sticker on the box said $59.99. It was the only one on the shelf with that price, the Sticker said right on it StarCraft 2 CE. When I got to the register, I had to fight with both the checker and the manager to get the price as they said it was supposed to read $89.99. Well after about 5 minutes of fighting that I should have to pay what the box says I walked out the door with a CE for the price of the regular. Yay me?!

Any way, I have been mixing it up pretty heavily between the single player campaign, and the online multi-player matches. I am really enjoying the single player game, multi-player...not so much. I have been playing the "training" league for those of us who never played RTS before, even though I have been playing RTS's since Warcraft. I have had my ass handed to me a number of times. Some of the matches I am killed so early in the game I only have a few marines to protect myself with, and they are rolling over me with whatever the Protoss and Zerg versions of a tank are. How do they do it?

Last night for the first time I was matched with someone who played on my level. It was tedious. We spent hours gathering materials, and sending squads of units to their slow painful death. I would attack his base, take out forward defenses damage a few units, and get all my guys killed. I would then frantically return to my base, pump out units and wait for his attack, where I would barley get enough units together to defend.

We would then move to another resource and gather for a while and start the attack cycle over again. While it was long, and tedious I had a really good time. Finally when all the maps resources were depleted, and there was no way to recover from the loss of units, I was able to get into his base and win.

A far cry from watching the SC2 finals at Blizzcon.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just for fun

If you ever wanted to write a blog post on faction rewards, check out Flameshock.

Also last night was Natural Orders ICC 10 alt run. There was much discussion as to weather they needed a healer, or not. I volunteered to heal on Skraps, even though there is nothing in ICC 10 I could really use this side of the LK kill. After much waiting, a guildie with a semi-geared healer came on, joined the raid and off we went.

Now don't get me wrong I fully understand that damage meters are a pretty lame measure of ones performance, and a DPS that puts out the least DPS could be the most valuable raid member if they are kiting, cleansing or some other vital job that prevents them from standing still and going pew pew.

But last night, for the first time ever I broke 10k DPS. I actually hit 10077 dps on Festergut, and topped the meter for that one fight. I normally hover around number 3 for 10 man, 5 or 6 for 25. I am not the best geared mage in the group, or frankly the best DPS, I am normally a healer remember.

But I was pretty damned proud of myself when I topped the meter for that one fight.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And I Ran...I Ran So Far Away!

I shouted all over Durotar that the end was near, not one damned person cared. Although thes two little ladies were pretty impressed, you could tell by their looks of total indifference.

Monday, November 1, 2010