April 25th, 2007

Slave Pens Heroic

In what I think may be a guild first, tonight we ground our way through the Slave Pens in Heroic mode. I probably didn’t have the greatest night, but with MacDougal double-Freeze Trapping, and some great firepower from the others, we managed to take down Quagmirran on the second attempt, after my PC locked up and rebooted on the first. Not good when you’re tanking and the beastie is spraying poisonous green stuff at your party, requiring a taunt every 30 seconds to get it off them. We died quite a few times (and repaired), but really started to hit a groove near the end, and finished full of confidence. After all the jubilation, we shared out the loot, took our Badges of Justice and grabbed a screenshot. It was disappointing to see that Heroic instances look identical to normal ones except when you enter the portal. See the second screenshot below. Apparently many heroics are going to be toned down in the coming weeks, so it’s particularly pleasing to claim this scalp at a time when they are at their most fearsome. Click here for a bigger shot.
McDougal takes down Quagmirran! See Combat text.

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Behold the bear! Click here for a bigger shot.
And the loot, you ask?

by dfv | Posted in World of Warcraft | Comments Off on Slave Pens Heroic |
April 22nd, 2007

Instances#’s 19-29 a catchup…(some photos missing damn it)

Ok,ok, it’s going to seem like I’ve done nothing more than play WoW lately (and that’s partially true), but I have had some serious satisfaction playing these instances. For a number of reasons – firstly, I didn’t think I was a very good player, and after consulting The Uber Druid in our guild, I realised it was partly because I really didn’t know what stats to aim for. Within a few weeks I was rapidly gearing up for a tanking role thanks to the best darn gear listing around (thankyou druidwiki). Second, Kim and I got in cahoots with the dreamteam couple of Thai and Tardin, who could make anyone look pretty good. Lastly, Kim and I are finally the same level (yes, I hit 70 – screenshot below), so we’ve been able to play together a lot more. So, what follows is a summary of events from 24th Feb to the 7th April 2007 in order of occurence…(not recommended to non World of Warcraft players). I HIT LEVEL 70:

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How utterly appropriate that I hit level 70 in Shadow Labs. I remember it feeling more like a relief, and not the triumphant feeling I expected.


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First up, the raid that I missed out on when only level 55 and the too-cool-for-school brigade were going through it weekly. After a guild bikini-run from Stormwind to Booty Bay (how appropriate), a few folks thought it would be fun to go back in and decimate the fiends that had made their lives a misery over previous months. So, I went, and we conquered all…


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OK, on to Outlands again. I have a screenshot here of Mana Tombs, an instance I think I’ve done twice now, but can remember little. I was only a wee level 65 and just starting to realise that I was going to be playing a bear quite a lot in future. I believe it was shortly after this point that I discovered how to taunt. That is incredibly embarrassing.


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I’ve only done it once, and perhaps the loot was bad, because I’ve never been back. Is this the least done instance in the whole of BC or what? Only two bosses and now I look up the loot table and discover there’s an awesome cat-form trinket from the Exarch. I’m going back in soon then! This seems to be the beginning of the Thai and Tardin team photos, and signals a time that Morlucia was not played by son Alex.


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I remember this one – we had a new guildie who named his character after a VL Calaigh car. Hmmm. This was his first guild run, and we did it pretty well. I haven’t seen him online a lot lately, but he was a “player”.


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Without doubt, the most hated of all the instances, perhaps because of the necessity of running it to get your Karazhan key, and because of the mind-controlling second boss, and the healed-by-voidwalkers third boss. Plus, there are some 6 mob pulls in here that are downright scary. Eventually we worked out that if Tardin mind-controlled the first character, then dps’d down the fel hound, I would try and tank a couple, and Thai would alternately fear and seduce two more, we could do it. It still remains the instance requiring the most strict group makeup to succeed. It’s a heartbreaker! And I never want to run it again (but I will).


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Are we on to Netherstorm already? Oh no, the Shattered Halls pics are also missing. Aargghhh! What was I thinking – why didn’t I just copy the whole screenshots directory for safety. Anyhow, this is the beginning of the “beautiful instances” as Kim likes to call them. All purple and white. And pretty tough unless you know what you’re doing. Around this time, we found not a lot of other guildies on this part of the Arcatraz quest chain, so Diablos started to become a regular fixture. His trademark “instance cleared” guild message is in the shot. Do you like the loot? I got the Moonglade piece, but next time, I’d love to have a crack at the rogue trinket (The Abacus). How about the great name of the boss – Pathaleon the Calculator. I must must must go back in here soon – there’s a nice cape also.


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The dream team does it again – on the next night? Diabs does
his signature thing, and Kim and I must have just become officers because there’s some pale green officer chat (before we changed it to blue). Interestingly Menicatros signals that he might raid with someone else because of the healing pallies/druids (which healing druids – I can’t think of one), and a month later, he’s gone to another guild.


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To get everyone back into raiding practise, the officers organised a run into that most famous of tough 40 man instances. With about 27 of us. We wiped a couple of times, and some harsh words were spoken on the Voice channel when less disciplined folks did their pew-pew at the wrong time. I remember being assigned the orange disk to tank (3rd tank) and being very stressed about it, especially when my target was the first to be taken down with dps. On a couple of pulls I spent some time trying to regain threat/aggro, so it was a little humiliating at times. We did all bosses except the last two, because we hadn’t completed a quest sequence. I just love how you can see everyone’s names in my “Grid” utility at the bottom right. Those that hadn’t left by this stage of the night anyhow.


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I look upon this fondly because I was so open-eyed and innocent at the time. I had no idea it was an outdoor instance, and somehow thought the portals were physical holes in the ground. Thank goodness Kaellan came along and directed traffic. When I died with the final boss at 5%, Kaellan jumped into bear form and finished things off. He loses points for not wearing the CotF tabard though. Since then, I feel like I’ve run this countless times, with a hit rate of about 70%. Reminder: Never take a protection pally in here unless you have uber-dps. I have never failed it when Thai and Tardin came along. This is another instance that shows up the weaker part members, as if you don’t take the elites down quickly, the poor warlock has to mop up as best he can. My greatest nightmare is being asked the “take the adds” in this fight, so it was hilarious to see Antheriel squirm when asked the same a few night back.

by dfv | Posted in World of Warcraft | Comments Off on Instances#’s 19-29 a catchup…(some photos missing damn it) |
April 17th, 2007

A terrible day really

I was in bed by 11:30pm, but a hard ride into work today and a slightly earlier start than normal has proved my undoing. I’ll begin with overall tiredness causing me to open a large can of sardines and spray sizeable gobs of oil (think 20 cent piece sizes) all over my work shirt at lunchtime – down the left sleeve, up to my neck and to the belt. Completely undisguisable. I have a spare shirt, so visitors at the Travel Lodge adjacent to my office window may have spotted some raw male torso if they were glancing my way around 12:15. So, heading into various Chemists and Photo-Labs in the city, seeking a seemingly impossible red-backgrounded passport photo for my Indonesian Police Permit, I soon come to the conclusion that it just isn’t possible unless I buy a red towel somewhere. I falter when I find a place that can do a blue background (apparently used for Indian passports) and using the Hollywood blue-screen theory that if I photoshop the pic, it will be easier to change blue to red than white to red, else risk turning my eyes into fireballs, I buy a CD of the image, and forget to get my $23.95 recipt. Then, stupidly, they print me out a set of blue-background shots anyway – ones which show stinging eyes needing a decent sleep, and a chin tucked in ridiculously, trying to avoid flash glare. No I won’t post it here. POSTSCRIPT: I got a red background!

Since I was so far into the bowels of the city by this stage (and hopelessly late on my lunch break) I decided to use my birthday present $50 Dymocks Gift Card on two books that I carefully selected over 15 minutes (Grushin’s “The Dream Life of Sukanhov” and Sebold’s “Austerlitz”). Then I found I was in Reader’s Feast, not Dymocks, and had to leave them at the counter. Heck they’re virtually the same anyway. I decided it was really time to curl up under my desk and sleep for an hour to right this awful wronging and avoid the now inevitable bike accident on the way home – but I came back and wrote this and drank a rare soft drink. Wish me well on my journey home tonight. I will be riding extra carefully.

by dfv | Posted in General | Comments Off on A terrible day really |

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