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Esta Strikes First Blood

Also known as Achievement Night(tm), we picked up a realm first Cretaceous Collector and more. We failed to get any action shots of the evening’s entertainment, so stackable stags will serve as a token of our run and frivolity. Below, Esta tells the story:

DATELINE: WEDNESDAY 29 MAY.

Our reluctant hero, as yet unaware of the fate that lies before him, logs onto World of Warcraft for only the second time from his new domicile. A night of heroic progression is the promise carried by the winds, and his assorted swords and axes are hungering for some Jin’Rokh the Breaker upon which to deliver the unrelenting fury of the frozen wastes.

Carboxylate is invited to group and summoned promptly, as the <Fidelity> collective await the last of our numbers, the immovable dwarf-mountain Hagrim. But it is not to be.

<Fidelity> quickly assessed our situation, and decided that without our stoic bearded lump, we would switch to normal and press Carboxylate into service as a tank. This was somewhat optimistic, as not only had Carboxylate not tanked anything since pretty-well forever, she did not as yet posses a tanking spec. A quick trip to Acherus and one blood specialisation later, Carboxylate is ready to tank practically nothing with no tank gear in her bags and no experience tanking.

After some encouraging words from the raid, Carboxylate decided to have a crack at it. Her DPS gear was, at least, mastery heavy; one of the most important tanking stats for a Death Knight.

Fidelity managed to pick up Lightning Overload quickly followed by a hand wipe, and then returned to down Jin’Rokh without further fuss. Horridon posed a slightly greater challenge, requiring Bioderm to change from his mage to his guardian druid to tank the Zandalari Dinomancers and keep aggro on them with stern looks and harsh words more than any actual attacks. After kind of figuring out what to do tanking here, and a liberal dose of Borgthor tanking Horridon waaay more than he should ideally be doing, and one close wipe to enrage, Fidelity mananged to pick up Cretaceous Collector.

Next up was council, and thankfully Carboxylate was assigned Mar’li the caster, where her deathgrip was most useful and the incoming damage comparatively light. With some tight stacking and swift movement by all, Fidelity picked up Cage Match to give us 3/3 achievements for the night.

Tortos was a straight-forward kill, and the achievement is essentially about doing the fight well, so naturally Velletara had ensured that achievement was collected weeks ago. The fight was two-tanked because Paladin, and in the end Fidelity was victorious.

Thus concluded Carboxylate’s tanking experience. Rocking an impressive 160% mastery, her shields were large and imposing, but sadly only having 20% parry and no discernible dodge, those shields were fleeting. Carboxylate would like to thank Borgthor for tanking more than he should have, and for telling Carboxylate to taunt when required. Carboxylate would also like to thank Noondez for remarkable healing and only doing crazy stunts occasionally, and Kalus for delightful heals and being a top bloke. Carboxylate would like to thank Jondayla, but Carboxylate knows full well that the only heals he gets from Jondy are when he accidentally stands in green circles.

Carboxylate misses Hagrim.

Ahead of the Curve: Lei Shen

I’m a little LOT behind with our boss kill posts, so just a quick one to note the passing of Lei Shen on normal for <Fidelity>. We managed to kill 9 bosses on our first night, get through Qon and the Twins quickly and dispatch Lei Shen by half way through our second night.

We decided to have an early night, but not before celebrating with the Ready for RAAAAIIIIDDD?!?ing achievement. It was a lot of fun to have everyone standing very still  in position around the filth pool in the middle and launch a countdown timer to synchronise the squishing of Ihgaluk Roaches. Despite the “you need 20+” comments on wowhead, 9 was plenty for us.

Last night we headed back into MSV on heroic mode, and added Gara’jal, Spirit Kings and Elegon to our list of heroic kills. It was pretty amazing just how much extra DPS we had, and how that impacted the fights. In addition to the 10% nerf, Gara’jal went from ”we are so $#@%ing close to killing this” before 5.2 to “wha? dead”. Spirit Kings was a fun fight with some less than forgiving mechanics and Elegon got obliterated. I’m really looking forward to getting back in there when we have some more time to finish off heroic Will.

All in all, a great week with the excitement of heroic modes coming up. I’ll be back filling our catalog of progression kills in Throne of Thunder, so keep an eye out for those.

 

Ultraxion 10 Man Heroic

What a month it’s been, with frustrating little time on progression bosses, but finally the wait is over. Heroic Ultraxion went down a little too easily just after the nerf increased to 10%, making us wish for a full roster in the last few weeks.

Heroic Ultraxion is very mechanically similary to normal. The biggest change, particularly for a 10 man guild, is the number of people who need to soak Hour of Twilight. You need to have two players soak each one, and they get a debuff that doesn’t allow them to soak another for 2 minutes. What this boils down to, is that you need to have 60% of your raid soak the Hour of Twilight.

The obvious solution is just make Kalus (Disc. Priest) go Shadow! So our rotation looks a little something like this:

  1. Prot Warrior, Shadow Priest
  2. Prot Paladin, Holy Paladin (Rallying Cry + Divine Protection + [Glyph of Divine Protection])
  3. Rogue,  Mage (Ice Block)
  4. Prot Warrior, Shadow Priest
  5. Prot Paladin, Holy Paladin (Divine Shield)
  6. Rogue, [Fire] Mage (Cauterize)

We two healed the encounter, leaving only our Restoration Druid, Enhancement Shaman, Affliction Warlock and Elemental Shaman free from soaking duties. Noondez did manage to survive at least one Hour of Twilight with a glyphed Divine Protection alone, but it was a little too close for comfort without Rallying Cry. Bioderm is at the mercy of our healers after using Cauterize to soak, which is a great impetus to keep in their good graces.

The increased number of soakers, and the aditional Fading Light debuff makes the encounter reasonably unforgiving for basic errors with fight mechanics. Unfortunately, at the 10% nerf mark Ultraxion has lost much of the bite that it had in the DPS and healing check areas and it was unfortunate we couldn’t push him over a week or two sooner.

I over allocated the amount of time for Heroic Ultraxion, and after knocking it over, we still had half of our raid week remaining. Much to Noondez’s delight (herald of all things both shiny and achievement oriented) we set to work on the remaining achievements for the raid.

We were happy to get the realm 6th Deck Defender on our first attempt for the week. Although this does require some coordination, any nerfing lets you get away with a lot fewer players soaking the large barrages.

Next up, after the encounter started, Whipshamzin asked if we were doing the Maybe He’ll Get Dizzy… achievement. Naturally we obliged, only to find out that it had already been completed by everyone in the raid. The achievement isn’t a bad way to go for normal in any case, since you need to sit around and wait for enough bloods to spawn before you can rip into the amalgamation. You might as well do a couple of rolls straight up.

Finally, we had come to our last platform (Kalecgos) for the Chromatic Champion achievement. The achievement requires at least 3 weeks of work after the first Madness kill to obtain, since you need to knock off a single platform at a time [yup, Whip, we'll be doing the ones you've (actually) missed again]. The 20% extra damage is somewhat offset by the 10% nerf the raid has received, but missing spellweave did make an appreciable difference to how quickly the Regenerative Bloods went down. Fortunately we have some nice burst AoE, and my habit of maximizing the number of sources of damage into the bloods (Rend, Deep Wounds, Bladestorm, Sweeping Stikes) for psychotic Spellweave numbers did serve to rip them to bits without it. We were rewarded with a Realm 3rd for Chromatic Champion and an early night to boot.

Glory of the Firelands Raider

Jondayla, Moordenar and Kalus on their Corrupted Fire Hawks

<Fidelity> completed Glory of the Firelands Raider this week; the only remaining achievements required after Heroic Beth’tilac were Bucket List and Do a Barrel Roll!.

Do a Barrel Roll! only had the Brushfire and Fiery Tornado components left for most people, but we grabbed the Lava Spew component as well for (the now infamous) Whippy. The hardest part about the achievement was getting everyone to miss that very first tick of tornado. Yes, there were some brushfire mishaps, and the responsible parties performed the obligatory self-flagellation and we went again. Once the tornados were moving everyone was generally flawless… it’s just getting the hang of positioning yourself in the right place before they start coming out, and adjusting as necessary on the fly. It became a little joke when as soon as the tornados started moving I’d utter, “wipe it up”… so much so in later attempts, Jondy would yell across the room, “Don’t say it! Don’t say it!”. It was a great relief when we got it done and then proceded to go one shot Heroic Ryolith (so odd that the fight, RNG and all, seemed like a nice stress release after the achievement).

Bucket List was kinda sureal. It was as though Shannox had been to the doctor and had a list of can’ts and won’ts due to a bad heart condition. As I dragged Shannox around, guildies and puppies in tow… I was constantly being screamed at by guildies to STOP! YOU’VE GOT IT. WHERE ARE YOU GOING? I knew that we could shortcut Beth’tilac, but for the others I just wandered around in complete bewilderment trying to follow my frantic guildies instructions, wondering why we didn’t actually have to go anywhere. I mean… Rhyolith and Alice? They are both like, RIGHT…. THERE.

Deep Breath.

The other achievement worth mentioning (if I haven’t already before) is Only the Penitent… purely for amount of frustration caused by doing an achievement that doesn’t even involve a boss. I might write a, “How not to drive your raid leader mad…” guide for this achievement… but right now the memory is too fresh, and I don’t want to break our swear jar… it can only hold so much coin. There are a surprising number of teeny tiny mechanics involved in getting this done, so make sure if you assign someone to research the achievement, make sure they get ALL the information. Yeah, I said it.

We’re stoaked to have our Corrupted Fire Hawks, and looking forward to tackling Heroic Ragnaros in the dying moments of patch 4.3.

Magmaw 10 Man Heroic

After killing Ragnaros on Thursday, Sunday was a relaxing night back in Tier 11. We gave heroic Magmaw a damn good thrashing, and while we didn’t stop for a screen shot, Jondy found an action shot from our attempts pre patch 4.2. Some may assume she’s dead for this photo, but I have it on good authority that she was just lying down for the artistic angle and to prevent camera shake.

We romped through the remaining bosses on normal mode, some of which died surprisingly quickly, even post Nerf. For Nefarian, we wound up our sleeves and grabbed Keeping It In The Family for good measure. One of the (unintended?) side effects of post-patch nerfs is that unfortunately some of the achivements for boss kills become exponentially less challenging when you multiply a gear reset with the magnitude of the nerfs. Was great fun to experience the fight again on our mains, and even pick up an upgrade in the form of a useful token for a tier helm.

Achieve-a-tron

A little while ago, we managed to complete the Achieve-a-tron achievement for Omnitron, and listed on GuildOx as the 3rd guild on the realm to do it. While the nature of the achievement (being individual and accumulative) can make it a little difficult to have a guild run register, we’ll take our little bronze medal and enjoy the company we’re keeping on that list.

The last on the list of most toons requirements was interrupting Arcanotron. Moordenar and I had our work cut out trying to get an interrupt in edgewise past Estadoug who had Arcanotron completely locked down.

http://www.guildox.com/go/g.asp?a=5307&r=Dath%27Remar-us

Halfus 10 Man Normal

After a much steeper learning curve with different drake combinations, it was a lot of fun to one shot Halfus this week, and pick up the achievement The Only Escape in the process.

Guild Level 10

<Fidelity> hit level 10 today! A reasonable feat for such a small guild. We’re also very close to the Mix Master achievement as well, so it’s definitely time to start Chug-a-lugging.

Baradin Hold Guild Run

We got enough guildies online this week to complete our Baradin Hold Guild Run achievement. Surprise, surprise with no Paladins present two Paladin PvP pieces dropped. Some of our alts have had a little better luck in there, so if you’re a holy Paladin looking for a guild, come and have a run with us. Murphy’s law will at least ensure that they rest of us pick up some gear if you don’t.

We were a little short staffed for our first raid week, but we did manage to get a group up to kill Magmaw and have a good look at Omnitron as well.

We’ve set the oven to Cataclysmic.

Set the oven to Cataclysmic

Despite the popularity of our three Engineers’ Goblin BBQs, I had a hankering to get a stew on. So 3500 South Island Iced Teas later, we’d set our oven to Cataclysmic.

I hadn’t seen the design of the Broiled Dragon Feast before I set one down for a quick guild run through heroic Vortex, and was pleasantly surprised with a giant cauldron of slow cooked meat.

Broiled Dragon Feast

http://www.wowhead.com/item=62672