Halion Dead!

It was cool to get to sub in unexpectedly tonight when I got home. My second shot at him, and WHAM! Dead! Whooohoo!

I had an easy job — stayed out in Phase 3 if I understand it correctly. Ran around and avoided that damn fire that gave me Mount Hyjal flashbacks. Avoided the General Vezax void crashes on the ground. Ran away from the fire circles. Had a great time. Not bad for a Tuesday night.

The King is Dead! Long Live the Lich King!

Last night, after 11 raiding nights, spread out over 5-6 weeks, at a cost of about $1,000 gold to those of us who came most nights (we had a few weeks with repairs turned on which was a blessing, but this is still our RL's ballpark cost), we defeated the Lich King.With 10/10 standing for the ending which feels pretty damn impressive to me for a first kill.

This also meant I FINALLY got to experience the cut scene and the ending of the fight myself. The cinematic was a perfect end cap to the Wrathgate cinematic, and an effective closure to this expansion.

Good job Blizzard. And thank you for keeping one of my favorite characters true to himself to the very end. Sniffle. That's all I am saying about the ending and the cinematic, to avoid spoiling it for anyone. And yes, at the end of the fight, I thanked my guildies for allowing me to make it through that fight to see the conclusion myself first-hand, without having it spoiled.

The spoilers from twitterland prepared me somewhat for the ending but did not totally ruin the impact for me. So that's a good thing. And thank you for Naie after that incident for encouraging me to keep hope alive I could attain my personal goal, retaining the rallying cry I yelled every night 1 of every ICC raid we've done as a team.

It's been a long road to the Lich King. My RL just reminded me it has been 3 tanks, 5 healers, and 10 dps that participated in the learning curve from start to finish too. A huge effort. But we're done. It feels pretty amazing to actually kill the final boss of an expansion before the next expansion (or all its uber talent changes hits — hello patch 3.0 I am looking at you.)

I took a ton of screenshots, none of which I am posting here as most are incredibly spoilerific, like this one. And I sat down on the stairs of the frozen throne for a very long time, and got screenshots there with some of my favorite raiders.

How We Stack Up

Just for fun, here are some statistics regarding our server's raiding progress, courtesy of Guild Progress:

Bronzebeard 
Ranked Guilds: 310
209 Alliance 101  Horde
Icecrown Citadel 10 Boss Kills
    • Lich King 5.81%
    • Sindragosa 10.65%
    • Rescue Valithiria 18.39%
    • Blood-Queen Lana'thel 15.81%
    • Blood Prince Council 18.39%
    • Professor Putricide 19.35%
    • Festergut 39.03%
    • Rotface 33.87%
    • The Deathbringer 44.84%
    • Gunship Battle 48.71%
    • Lady Deathwhisper 49.68%
    • Lord Marrowgar 50.97%
  • Lock Hits Level 70!

    Kandira was 2 bars away from 70 last night when I got pulled in to ICC 10, filling in for a raider’s no show (our three standby folks had also not turned up.) Raid time was followed by dinner, then back to the Outland salt mines to finish up for the big ding.

    I dinged turning in a quest in Shadowmoon Valley, just a few minutes after completing my Outland exploration achievement. My first pit stop was my bank vault, to pullout the materials I’d been saving up for my turbo charged flyer. I was pretty close except in one area — Khorium. Despite having mined a few nodes over the course of leveling, I had only 17 ores and had to buy the rest. OUCH! That’s all we’ll say about that.

    So now the little lock is almost grown up. I suspect that these last 10 levels in Northrend will take a while. I hope she won’t sit out here a year like the poor neglected Alliance toons…

    Ding! Baby Warlock Hits 60!

    That’s right — warlock dinged 60 and got to make her helicopter today!

    The one upside to a weekend shut up in the apartment thanks to the stomach bug that KOd me.

    Believe it or not, she’s my first lock. Which means I also got to enjoy doing the Infernal quest chain for myself as well (I’d helped the SO do that at level in vanilla.)

    So far, I am really enjoying the warlock. And am toying with her being my backup plan should anything horrible befall shadow priests in Cataclysm.

    Baby Druid is All Grown Up!

    Yup, that’s my not-so-little lady. Moments after dinging 80 and putting on all her shiny new clothes that she had banked. Including the Jet’ze’s Bell that dropped several months ago for Guld in the Storm Peaks.

    I spent a while getting her dual spec purchased, and gemming an enchanting everything, then hopped into the LFD finder, with my pocket priest healer. After a few successful runs where I did respectable DPS (nice to see druid AOE in the 5s can do so well), I even set my priest go, and did some on my own.

    Later this week, I’ll need to dig through the interwebs to find a good Boomkin and Resto spec, and for some ideas on spell priorities. It has, after all, been over a year since I’ve had a max level druid to DPS with.

    In other alt news, I cleaned up the mage’s teribad spec, and finally took her to CoS, netting her a Drake (I actually won a roll against another person. For serious!) Her DPS is much improved. Yeah!

    And finally, took the shaman in to one of our alt ICC 10s. Was somewhat amused that we got the Saurfang speed kill achievement on our alts. Somewhat less amused to note that certain alts with a ton of ilvl 200/219 gear did higher DPS than better geared mains of the same spec have done in there. Cough.

    Happy Monday, and Safe Travels!

    Nothing Says “Happy Anniversary!” Like a Chopper

    Today is our six year anniversary. Since tonight’s a raid night and Monday is always one of the toughest work days of the week, we celebrated with a fabulous dinner out last night. So, in the spirit of celebrating a day early, I gave my guy his anniversary gift in game a day early: his very own Chopper.

    It was a little less than a year ago that he finally got his first chopper made, on his gnome warlock. The same day he made mine if memory serves. I remember us saving gold up and counting our coppers from every auction that came in as we worked towards the goal of getting to make them. I want to say he got maybe a few weeks use out of it before I made the decision to make my horde main my primary WoW time focus, turning the page on three years of Alliance raiding and fun that felt increasingly stale for me by that point.

    Once it was clear my heart was set on playing horde, he rolled his DK, Guld, on my new server. And the rest is history. It took me a year to save up, and took a sneaky guildie accomplice to craft it for me last weekend. It makes me happy we can now be our own little motorcycle gang of two again. Riding around Dalaran and raising hell.

    RAWR!

    Long Weekend Update Grab Bag

    Alts and Achievements

    Slowly but surely, I keep pushing my alts up that leveling hill. My warlock hit the big 4-0 on Monday, which meant…PONY!! The druid actually hit 78 too, but all she got were some feral talent upgrades she’ll never use.

    😉

    Anexxia got her Love Fool title while my shaman got started on it, and I tried to make a small dent in the Elders achievement as well. I get a little restless doing an achievement as unwieldy and far flung as the Lunar Festival with its trekking across the globe to honor the Elders. So I have combined it with outstanding area exploration and herbing. I do need to give props to Blizzard for replacing the TB Elder with Ezra Wheathoof. It was a classy touch.

    Raiding

    Raid-wise, we had a good attempt on Putricide in 10 (40% when most of us in the team had not seen him), and in 25 we got Festergut to 9% which far exceeds our prior attempts. It took a while to get the spore management flowing properly, and we had to suspend attempts while a raid member had an extended work-related AFK. But our final attempt showed we can do it if we get folks to show up and focus next week. It was a positive end to a week that found folks expressing frustration in our forums RE: the lack of progress in ICC over the past month.

    Personally, I would, of course, like for us to progress more quickly. And I also get frustrated when folks haven’t come to raids prepared (i.e. both knowing the strats and having their flasks/food.) And I understand how it can feel annoying when folks get caught up on fight mechanics that seem simple.

    To be frank, given the turmoil we had earlier this month with all of our raid schedulers quitting that task, a healer and DPS giving themselves a multi-week time out from raiding and a tank and DPS leaving the guild entirely, I am happy we have tread water. And I am confident as things have stabilized that we can and WILL do better.

    Furthermore, the guild’s charter is to be inclusive with the raiding, which is always going to mean a slower pace. But since we don’t even have a Cataclysm BETA in place, we are looking at not having another raid to conquer for what? 6 months? Thinking back to the end of BC, folks got to where they could get in BT (or not as the case may be) then defaulted to running their myriad alts through Kara. I personally ran and geared up 4 toons through there and made myself thoroughly sick of it.

    We’ve got plenty of time to conquer the Lich King. And unlike Ulduar, which only 1 10-man in our guild completed, and only one time at that, we won’t be running up against an easy loot pinata raid with better ilvl gear.

    We have time to work on this and to improve. Folks just need a little patience.