Posts Tagged ‘Icecrown Citadel’


End of the road

September 28, 2013

So, this week I wrapped up the seemingly endless quest for Shadowmourne on my hapless death knight. I had a pretty good shot at it, back when Wrath of the Lich King and Icecrown Citadel was the current raid content; I was with a hardcore raiding guild back then, and finished most of the quest line with them. When that guild burned down, fell over and sank into the swamp, I went through several raiding guilds with softer, chewy centers, and got jerked around every time. I even left the Daily Kos guild this year when their raiding officers proved to be just as cliquish and backstabbing in that regard as anyone else. Shocking?…not really. But this summer I learned how to solo more of the content, and picked up the last of my soul shards this month. After being rejected by everyone else, I just kept mugging Marrowgar until he gave me what I wanted and begged me to stop. I’d feel bad about it, except that he’s only a bunch of pixels (much like my orange axe).

I have the option to go try to whack Arthas one more time and get a chest of super-rare loot for it, not sure if I will. But since Wrath was wrapped up, I haven’t had the same urge to play and raid and max-out and test myself in the game like I used to. Having tried the hardcore thing may have contributed; more likely, it’s having been through so many raiding guilds, trying everything from no-frills raider to officer/raid organizer and back again, and always finding it unsatisfying in the end. It may also be because Blizzard has picked on melee classes forever. And it could be because my death knight’s story seems played out; even if he has gone from a Tauren to a Night Elf to an Orc in the process.

I’ve got one of every class on our server now at this point, and not being terribly interested in tanking and healing, I’ve been exploring my ranged classes. Mages are often showered with love from Blizzard, although maximizing the output of my fire mage is supposed to incorporate the somewhat puzzling Alter Time ability. Perhaps less complicated is my hunter, although he’s only level 80 now; have to see how that works later. But it’s promising. I may end up going back to the class where I started, way back in 2004, although my original nelf hunter is languishing on some other server than our ‘main’ one, Kilrogg.

Whisperclaw, contemplating the Storm Peaks on his way to 80. I’ve gone back and forth on questing vs. dungeon crawling, but lately I’ve been questing. I think questing on the wolfie was the first time I finished the dwarf questline out of Frosthold and saw the lore about Muradin. That may change as I leave the Wrath zones for Cataclysm and Pandaria, since the older xpacs are still my favorites, flawed as they were. Why, I can’t say. I suspect that I am just getting old and set in my ways, even virtually.


Nothing lasts forever

February 15, 2013


I realize that most of my writing lately has been focused on the issue of gun control, and in particular it’s been a relentless attack on the NRA. I don’t expect this to go on indefinitely. Sooner or later, something will actually happen in Congress, and either this issue will get some action or nothing will happen, like usual. Then it will be done for awhile. We’ll go on battling the NRA, we’ll go on looking for House seats and states where they are vulnerable and attack them. But the federal push must end for awhile in time. We will be lucky if the current sense of momentum lasts until some legislation gets passed – in either the House or Senate, even – much less something getting passed and signed into law by the President. I write about guns, now, partly because I have always been interested in something getting done; but partly because something could happen, right now, in a society where usually nothing (or less than nothing) good gets done about gun violence. Now is the time, to do something, and to speak out about doing something. So I write, and speak out, and more.

Life goes on, though, and there will be other things to talk about. And while WoW is once again the MMO I’m playing, I still have LOTRO and SWTOR and could get back into the Secret World anytime, since all three of them are free to play now. And I’m not even playing WoW that much. I’m having as much fun devising stories for Werewolf, and for the venerable old WoD chronicle of Morgan and Joshua, the characters Sue and I have been playing off and on since the late 90’s. Or reading and writing on Daily Kos, for that matter.

Raiding in WoW is interesting enough I suppose, and Sue and I are leveling another pair of newbies, this time to take in the Pandaren experience and some different parts of Azeroth that we didn’t check out in Cataclysm. It has its moments, but I don’t feel the same sense of connection, the drive to excel and raid hardcore and build a crew of support toons to take my death knight to the top. So instead of the usual screenshot of some dead raid boss or achievement, I have a picture of Tindalos in the goofy goblin-esque rocket (that looks more like a bomb with a seat) that he picked up off a Blingtron. It’s at least as interesting as the (looking-for-) raids and rep grinds and gear. And from the drop rate, it’s at least as rare as anything I could possibly get anywhere, so…not bad!

And in other WoW news, my poor death knight still has the quest to acquire Shadowmourne. And while the Wreck List hasn’t been much help (on their last legacy raid into ICC, I was on and they left me out), I’ve discovered that he can actually solo the first boss in ICC-25. And on my second try, he got another shard. So, hey, only 37 more to go! Off a boss with a chance to drop one for each kill, one try per week. Well, at least it’s inevitable now. It may take another year but I don’t think the game can stop me now unless they nerf DKs.

Something to pass the time.


The fatalistic raider

November 2, 2010

Work is busy and getting worse (as my next weekend is getting cut in half, a day off delayed), so I’ll have to shoehorn something in here…not enough time in the day, sometimes.

With about a month to go until Cataclysm, I watched my last chance to score the orange axe before the xpac go down the drain. A pug raid leader just decided to screw me over…not much reasoning behind it. I was briefly amused this past week when that raid leader pugged his way into our horde guild’s futile attempts at LK-25, and the officers decided they’d rather boot him than watch me step out. I probably saved the bastich some repair bills. Well, it’s not like I asked them to kick him from the raid for me. But they couldn’t pay me to go raid with that other guild, and now that fella knows it.

What’s life without consequences? The lot of the typical moron/slacker, I suppose. But it’s just a game!

Meanwhile, I continue to look for decent pugs for the DK to gather shards. He doesn’t have enough now, and he can’t, by the numbers; but I may get an opportunity to finish it during Cataclysm. No way to tell. So I might as well get what I can.

Anyway, the hordies are committed to trying to put LK-25 down. For some reason LK-10 Kingslayer just isn’t enough. And they thought the 4.0 changes would make it a cakewalk, but it hasn’t been. The raid seems more broken than ever. Fortunately, the fail seems to revolve around the healers, lately…they have trouble with healing, with dispels, with keeping the tanks up…everything. And the raid has always, already, revolved around these divas. Having already tailored everyone else’s performance to suit their needs, there isn’t much else they can complain about.

On the bright side, it makes for less conversation…and so the rest of us pay less and less attention in between wipes as the healers ponder their failures. I think this week, I’ll keep a book handy.


We should form a club!

October 8, 2010

Well, at least stuff like this reminds me that we’re not alone in our misery, heh. That may be too strong a term. But one of my favorite WoW blogs I Like Bubbles (now with less bubbles, but that’s ok) seems to chronicle the adventures of the horde guild we’re in.

It hasn’t driven me to drink, but then I don’t drink booze.

Actually, the grind on Sindragosa-25 wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Most of the raids I went on seemed to learn about chained ice tombs before too long — with the exception of a few morons, and then I suppose the RL is tasked with deciding what to do about those. Once the raid could reliably reach the last phase it was just a matter of learning all the ways one could screw up, as usual…times 25 raiders.

Now the horde guild is tackling Lich King 25, which is probably worse. And I’m not taking my death knight on them either. I’m still going on the raids with a decent alt, my rogue; but the DK is on his own adventure in futility.

I’ve done the math. I know it’s unlikely to impossible that I can gather 50 of these shards before Cataclysm hits. I now have three; I’d have to pick up about six a week for the next two months to make it. But what else do I have to do right now? Not even bother? Go fight LK-25 over and over on the DK instead? Go fish? So I might as well try. All I can do is fail, which I expect from the get-go.


Progress on Sindragosa. heh

October 1, 2010

In contrast to my last week’s fretting over the Shadowmourne quest, we’ve spent time this week just dying over and over on Sindragosa. Sue has remarked how the zen of not caring makes this bearable. Sure, we offer a bit of advice here and there, but mostly I’m just laughing at the variety of slapstick ways in which we wipe on the fight. We’re being destroyed repeatedly by what seem like relatively simple tactics. But getting 25 random folks (well, probably ~15-20 reasonable sorts and ~5-10 morons) to do it right…it’d be painful to watch if I cared.

Sindragosa puts a Frost Beacon on the Ice Tomb targets about 5 seconds before they get entombed. Since Ice Tombs not only damage their targets, but also everyone else in a 10 yard radius, it’s important for the ice tomb targets to move away from all non-targets and from each other. After 20 seconds, she’s dropped all her bombs, lands and resumes Phase 1. At this point, the entombed players start to take damage from asphyxiation. Players are freed from the Ice Tombs by destroying them (~450k HP). They should be damaged to about 10% while she drops the bombs, and quickly destroyed after the fourth bomb has exploded.

A couple things that kill us here: failing to break people out of these tombs (they are getting better at this), and mainly the ‘chain’ effect of ice tomb targets being too close to other raiders and tombing other folks — sometimes lots of them. If it happens again I will have to take a screenshot.

This ice tomb issue becomes more difficult in a later phase of the fight.

Phase 3 starts when Sindragosa is at 35% health. She becomes permanently grounded, and continues all of her abilities from phase 1. Although she stops casting Frost Bombs, Sindragosa continues to cast Frost Beacons and Ice Tombs, which players must use to control her new ability, Mystic Buffet. One stack of this debuff is gained by all players in her line of sight every 4 seconds. Each stack increases magical damage taken by 10%/15% (10/25 player).

In theory the marked raider moves to near the front or the rear of the dragon, clear of the raid, and gets tombed. We then use the ice-block as described to block line of sight, drop our Mystic Buffet, and then break it. In practice, the raiders are having a rather hard time moving from one side to the other; from hiding behind one block at her head, to galloping across the fight/raid to get tombed at her back feet. My favorite wipe on Wednesday was the guild leader dropping a tomb in the middle of the raid. Kaboom, ice cube tray! Such a good thing my voice chat is push-to-talk. They would not appreciate my hysterical cackling.

Not to mention a sizable chunk of the raid either not managing their Mystic Buffet or, apparently, ignoring it entirely! The healers complain so much…I don’t know why they don’t add an extra one, have a dps swap to healing for the fight. It’s been suggested and ignored, of course.

Anyway, I offer advice that mainly gets dismissed, so I just go about my Frost Infusion quest and dps away, routinely one of the last to die. After spending about 3 hours just wiping on this fight on Wednesday, I have to wonder how tonight’s raid will go. If at all.

On Wednesday, one of the better raiders flat out refused to go. On account of him not needing anything from that fight. It was amusing watching the social pressure tactics in action, the frustration evident in the raid leaders as the guy steadfastly refused to be social, helpful. I guess he hit his limit. I would consider doing that myself, were it not for Sue wanting to go, and me wanting this quest done. If they do get it done, I intend not to miss it. After that, the chips — and the Shadowfrost shards — can fall where they may.

Saturday morning edit: As has become typical, events progress in unexpected and amusing ways. The Friday pugs were surprisingly competent for the most part, possibly leaving a few of the regulars embarrassed, if they still have the capacity. The raid actually downed Sindragosa on the 4th or 5th try. And somehow I was the only Shadow’s Edge wielding fanatic to complete the frost infusion quest. I think the tank lost his to the infusion timer. They want to extend the raid again to focus on Lich King-25, which puts me in an odd position for next week. Time marches on.


Imminent cataclysm

September 21, 2010

I’m expecting an interesting couple of raiding days with the DK this week, thanks to the ambition of our raid leader. After watching them struggle for weeks to down the Blood Queen again with the RL (and later, a second aspirant) trying to complete their Blood Infusion quests for Shadowmourne, they finally finished it last week. I was participating in the raids too, of course, but that quest is one I’ve done months ago.

In spite of my advice that the dps-lowering debuff from the axe makes a tough fight tougher, that we can barely drop her as it is and the group needs more practice…these two yahoos exhibited zero patience in practicing the fight, training and gearing their fellows, or any other positive virtue that I could identify. And so we’ve spent the last few weeks wiping, lots, on the Blood Queen. Toward the end of that joust with a windmill, I think we clocked in around 3 hours a week of straight BQ attempts and wipes. Like an hour and a half a day.

I expect that next on their greedy to-do list will be my old bane, Frost Infusion. The one even I couldn’t get done back in my hardcore days earlier in the year. I would be surprised if they don’t gun for Sindragosa now, and as much as possible, until they can get her down while performing the quest. Sadly, if they demonstrate this senseless greed, I will too. If they’re going to punish us all, I may as well take my piece.

I mean, I’ve had the quest for most of the year. I’ve seen Shadowmournes out there and it’s a cool weapon. Even more interesting with its buff and unique graphics.

You can power up sucking out the souls of your enemies and walk around with anguished-looking spirits swirling around you, you’re like a mini Lich King. Sure, I’d like it. But with the casuals Sue and I have thrown our lot in with, it’s not going to happen.

This doesn’t stop them from trying, of course. But they fail to do the math. We’ll have the penalty of questers getting debuffed and slowed, not to mention lowered dps from trying to get breathed on repeatedly instead of killing the internet dragon. Poor dps from us, more stress for the healers, yay! This on top of the fact that the guild hasn’t even dropped the boss once. Difficulties with knowing the fight mechanics and tactics. Always pugging a few people who don’t know the fight or the particular way we do it. I expect we will die. Horribly. Repeatedly. For weeks.

I’m probably being overly optimistic in thinking we can finish that process of pain and suffering in a month, but it could happen. That we might be on to the next step by the end of October. And thencollecting Shadowfrost Shards. 50 apiece, and all three of us would be clamoring for them. I hope we don’t get that far in time, honestly. It’s the sort of thing that could lead to serious drama, injustice, gkicks…like if the esteemed raid leader reaches the pinnacle of greed and demands the first fifty for himself. Would an otherwise friendly-seeming fellow take such a plunge? Would the guild leader and their officer clique back him up? Would they risk friendships and reputations for one last chance at the orange axe?

Ha! Do you even have to ask? Yeah, I’m that cynical.

Cataclysm, you’re our only hope. I’ve heard rumors that it could release November 2nd. That would be wonderful. The sooner the better. It’s either that or bow out of the raids for awhile, let them struggle on in my absence, maybe look up a horde-side raid that sells gear and quest completions…do an end-run around the conflict. Although it would mean bailing on one of my activities with Sue, it might be better to disarm this potential drama-trap.

Turned out to be quite the curse, this axe. Even when I stop caring about it, the drama pulls me back in.  🙂

Thursday morning edit: I’m happily wrong this week; the raid went on going after the blood wing on Wednesday. Although this pissed off a pugger shaman when they didn’t get to see the plague wing (must be some loot they wanted there), we spent half as long wiping on BQ and beat her on the last attempt. So, we’ll probably do some lame tries on Sindragosa on Friday with the whatever-we-can-get pug crowd and fail miserably. Hopefully that trend continues until the end of the xpac.


Pleasant surprises

August 18, 2010

Begging the question of ‘now what,’ I got to tank the entire Lich King encounter on the horde guild’s latest Kingslayer run. Gave me a chuckle yesterday, after not really wanting to tank it, to realize I have ended up tanking the hardest encounters we can attempt — I got to tank Halion in Ruby Sanctum 10s a few weeks ago.

The ICC pity buff allows the healers to keep up a Lich King tank full time, even with him hitting me with Soul Reaper for occasional 50k shadow damage spikes. Of course, I can magic-shield for a ton less damage, so maybe that encounter was made for death knight tanks to shine. Pity it took this long for anyone I ran with to notice.

Since the guild seems interested in continuing the theme of one extended 10-man with lots of hardmode fighting, Sue and I are likely to politely decline and do other things, so more raid-free time on the horizon. Of course, we might just go raid on alts instead, heh. Playing the same characters in the same fights (and dying over and over because of other people) does get old.

I haven’t decided if I miss tanking, or raid tanking, and the associated leadership role. Better at this point, I think, to simply include it in the skill-set. Tanking is a thrill, sure, but dps can be too. I guess that’s what this saga of ‘used to be a main tank’ has taught me.