Archive for Raiding

WOW, What a Weekend!

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 7, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

This weekend was quite possibly one of the biggest in my WOW gaming career.  Okay, so it’s not a career, but you get the idea.  I’ll open up with the big news, albeit only slightly bigger than the other news.  (To me!)

Kered the Kingslayer

That’s right, my ragtag band of merry men (and women) the Dinner Goat crew finally killed the Lich King.  We started raiding as a group in Wrath with Naxxramas and followed through all the way to the Lich King.  We certainly had some bumps and bruises along the way, but the bottom line is we did it!

Grats go out to Jamason, Waspblood, Hoofz, Lissik, Emalie, Koffka, Kalisen, Gruffee, Tolzer and, of course, Kered for owning the Lich King in the face!

The true beauty of the moment was that we did it ourselves.  We didn’t recruit anyone to the guild for the purpose of successful raids.  No one left to go find a raid group that was more skilled.  A group of friends managed to achieve our ultimate goal for the expansion.

While it was a great moment, it was bittersweet as well, for a few reasons.

  1. My wife, Beatris, did not get in on the kill.  She’s been having a very hard time raiding lately, as our son is rarely asleep by the time the raids start.  So my happiness was mixed with sadness for her missing the event.
  2. I didn’t even know what was happening!  I was in Frostmourne when we hit 10% and thought we had wiped.  I knew what was going to happen, but without actually seeing the LK’s lifebar I really thought something had gone south.
  3. Not that this is the most important thing to me, far from it, but there was not even the possibility of loot for me.  You see, I am a Dual Wield Death Knight, and that’s the ONLY spec that 10-man Lich King doesn’t have a weapon for.  Stupid?  I agree.  Of course, the 2-hander dropped, but I didn’t even roll against our Retadin for it.  That would have been quite douchy.

So now our goal is to get all the folks in the guild who missed the kill, but are geared and experienced enough to go in, their Kingslayer title.

Calduin hits 80!

A little background on this will explain why it is pretty monumental in it’s own right.  Calduin was my second WOW character, and first Alliance character.  My first character was a Troll named Kakascha, but I quickly migrated to the Alliance side and created Calduin.

I leveled Calduin to about 30 before I even created another Alliance character, but he was pretty much backburnered at that point.  Not one, not two, but three characters who were all created after Calduin hit 80 before he did.

Poor Calduin sat unfinished at the end of TBC.  A lowly level 67 when 70 was the cap.  /frown  Finally, however, he is at his level cap.  Finally, he has seen some endgame.  (He was in a 10-man ToC last night)  Finally…Calduin has his day.  This is completely true, as he is the character I am playing most, and plan on playing the most right now.

So congratulations to Calduin, my Night Elf Hunter.  You truly got me interested in this game, but over the months and years I had forgotten you.  I ask now, that you serve me well as you did so long ago.  In return, I promise to acquire phat lewtz for you and get you achievements.  I cannot promise you the coveted Kingslayer title, as you are just too poorly geared, but I will work hard to make sure you are ready come Cataclysm.

Having said that, there’s no way Calduin will be my first or even second player to level in Cataclysm.  Those spots are already taken by characters that bring DPS AND utility, such as the Warrior, DK or Shaman.  I will level you though, Calduin, and you will see 85 before the next-next expansion comes out!

Hey Randul, what have you been doing?

Posted in General with tags , , , , , , , on March 16, 2010 by Randul the Dwarf

Thanks for asking!  I guess I’ll tell you since you are so curious.  Is it odd that I’m asking and responding to myself? Anyway, I’ve been up to quite a bit lately.  In game and out I’ve been a very busy little beaver.

I’ll start with out of game, since that’s where the majority of my time is being spent these days.

  • Evan can crawl…almost. So my son is almost able to crawl.  That’s mobility folks, and it is terror on the wow-playing.  Granted he isn’t booking around on his hands and knees yet, but he can scoot and drag like a champ.  Constant vigilance is required to keep this little rugrat out of danger.  Check out this video (Sorry about the bad link before) of my boy cracking up at his juggling daddy…yes, I’m that big of a dork.
  • P90X is hawt. That’s right folks, this flabby gamer is getting into shape.  I’m currently in the middle of week 40 4 of P90X and I’m feeling great.  My pants are loosening and my arms and legs are getting bigger  It’s great!  Why am I doing this?  Well, it will help me with my gaming.  The ability to hit buttons faster and perform for longer periods of time…just kidding.  To be quite honest, I was getting a little big.  I’ve never been a big guy, measuring in at 5’10” 160 pounds for a long time.  I got on the scales a while back and was 175 pounds, so I decided to make some changes.  It doesn’t hurt that I’ve got Flag Football coming up in a few weeks and the beach this summer.  😀  Want more info on P90X?  Go here.

How about in-game?  What have I been doing there?

  • My guild finally dropped that giant booger-face Rotface.  I hate that guy, but we’ve dropped him twice now, so I’m feeling confident he will go down every week for us.  SUCH a boring fight for a Main Tank.  “Hai guise, Devastate spam k?!?!?”  At least I get to call stuff out, which has prepped me for my next task…
  • Raid leading Valithria Dreamwalker.  Our normal Raid Leader is also our best healer, so he gets a little busy on this fight.  That leaves me to call out targets and other assorted commands.  We are working hard to get this chick down (I suppose up would be more accurate.) and I think we’ll get her this week.  We are going to change our strategy a bit, because we were DOING IT WRONG.
  • Lastly, I’ve been working on a project I’ve had since I started playing on Malygos.  Daenaran, the Shaman.  He’s now 76 and I think I’m turning into quite the healer.  He’s dual-specced as Resto & Enhance.  I do a random dungeon every day as Resto and quest as Enhance.  I tried Elemental for about 5 minutes, but questing as Elemental is 10x harder than Enhance, in my opinion.  I still think I want to go Resto/Elemental at 80 though.

There you have it folks, that’s what I’ve been into lately.  I hope to be back and writing more stuff, but life has a funny way of throwing you curve balls.  BTW, I MIGHT put some before/after shots of myself on here when I’m finished with P90X, just depends on how sexeh I am.

I almost forgot!  Hi Dawn!  If you show up, thanks for stopping by.  Hope you like my work and feel free to blast me on my home turf.

Been a long time…

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

but I’m back.  Why was I gone?  A few reasons, really.  Swamped at work, swamped at home, having trouble getting my files from home to work and probably a little burnt out to be quite honest.  Not on the game, but  blogging.

Fact of the matter is, I just didn’t have anything to say.  My guild was in a bit of a pre-patch lull and nothing really interesting was going on.

Things, however, have changed.

My little 10-man guild has dropped 3 of the 4 bosses in Icecrown Citadel.  We are going to work on Saurfang tonight.  I believe we will drop him, but I’ll actually go in and try the fight before I make any sweeping proclamations.

We dropped Marrowgar the first week, you know, when he was hitting people like a train?  Yeah, our tanks are geared.

Then we wiped on Deathwhisper for the rest of the night.  We came back, however, and finally showed her who was boss.  As can be seen below:

Let’s be honest here, Deathwhispers little blue ball corpse doesn’t make for the best screenie.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a screenshot of the gunship, but we actually one-shot something on our first attempt!  Craziness I know.

I did get an interesting shot of one of those random occurances that just blows your mind though.  I went afk while flying over Icecrown.  When I came back, I was being beat on by a frost wyrm while standing on this:

For those having trouble seeing, that’s me standing HIGH above the ground on a very thin piece of rock/bone/whatever.  Somehow, I managed to get dismounted by a Frost Wyrm while afk and luckily land on that thing.  One yard to the left or right and I’m splatter.

So I really like Icecrown.  It’s a fun raid so far.  I don’t love that they nerfed Marrowgar already, but I’m happy we did it before he became easy.  I figure we’ll see the difficulty go up quite a bit once the gates open, but for now I’m not finding ICC too hard.  Of course, I haven’t even attempted Saurfang yet.  Hopefully I won’t be singing a different tune tomorrow.

What’s New?

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

It’s been too long since I posted.  I’m turning into one of those bloggers who is inconsistent with my posting.  I don’t like that, but the fact of the matter is, I blog from work and work is nuts this time of year.

Raiding

I did want to give a little bit of an update on what’s going on with me in-game these days.  My guild is farming Trial of the Crusader & Onyxia for mad lewtz, just like everyone else.  There is a very small minority that wants to try Trial of the Grand Crusader, but I really don’t think we are ready for it.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to try it!  I just think we will fail and have some very frustrated people on our hands.

I don’t mind wiping in a raid.  Obviously I like downing bosses and wiping is not as enjoyable, but it doesn’t bother me.  It doesn’t make me mad to wipe on a boss, as long as we are progressing.  There are people in my guild, however, who will stop showing up to raid nights if we wipe too many times.  This is why I am hesitant to go after TotGC, especially without our “progression group”.

With our progression group, I think we’d stand a chance.  We have the dps, the healing & the tanking to get the job done.  Unfortunately, our progression group is MIA right now.  The reasons are good, I’m not blaming them.  New jobs, family issues, etc…it’s just that without our best raiders, we aren’t getting TotGC down anytime soon.

Speaking of our progression group, we’ve stalled out on Yogg-Saron in Ulduar.  Not because we can’t beat him, but because we can’t get the people online to even try.  It’s frustrating, but it’s something we need to deal with.

PVP

On the pvp front, my gear is coming along nicely.  My 2v2 partner and I passed the 1350 hurdle that had been haunting us for a while, and finally got our relentless boots.  We took a small step back this past week and didn’t do so hot, but everyone has their good weeks and bad.  We’ll bounce back and get over 1400 soon.

My current gear setup is as follows:

  • Set Pieces:  4/5 Furious, with the Deadly Helm
  • Cape & Neck:  Furious
  • Bracers, Belt & Boots: Relentless
  • Rings:  Deadly & Wintergrasp
  • Trinkets: Resilience/AP on use & AP/”pvp trinket” on use.
  • Ranged:  Some stupid gun from Ulduar

It’s not bad, I should get my Furious helmet next week.  Hopefully we’ll be getting an 3v3 team going to get a few more points each week.

Leveling

The last thing I’ve been doing lately is leveling my wife’s Hunter Frona.  As of right now she’s about 1 bubble into 79.  I think my wife is going to start playing her now so she can get reacquainted before she starts running heroics & raids at 80.

It’s been alright, but I don’t think I’m going to level my hunter now.  Beastmaster is undoubtedly the most efficient way to level a hunter, but it’s also pretty boring.  Serpent Sting, Arcane, Steady, Steady does not a fun rotation make.  Sure, I’ve got some cooldowns in there, but they aren’t that exciting either.

I think the next character I level will be the Shaman.  I’ve got him to 35, only 5 levels till an epic mount & dual wield.  Yeah, he’s definitely next.

That’s what I’ve been into lately.  Hopefully I’ll have some interesting things to write about soon, rather than just an update post every now and then.

 

Tank Gearing 102: Gearing for Raids

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

In yesterday’s Tank Gearing 101 post, I talked about how to gear for Heroics.   If you look at the gear from that post, you’ll see that the Stamina and Avoidance are still rather lacking.  Today, I will talk about how to use Heroics to get those stats up and prepare for raids.

The general strategy is run run run run run Heroics until your eyes bleed.  Each boss in a Heroic will drop an Emblem of Conquest, which can be used to buy pieces of gear.  In this day of Conquest Emblems, you will be expected to have much better gear just to go into Naxxramas than we had to have when it first came out.

As an aside, you should do the Daily Heroic quest every day you can find the time.  This will reward you with two Emblems of Triumph, which can be used to buy even better gear than Emblems of Conquest.

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Vezax Down

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Last night was Tuesday, which means the Dinner Goat Ulduar Progression Team (D-GUPT, yes I made that up just now) burst into Ulduar with one thing on our minds, clearing this joint.

Well, we didn’t.  HOWEVER, we did make progress, which is the goal of the team.  Last week we downed Mimiron and got two attempts in on Vezax.  I like the way that works out for us.  It allows us to get a look at the boss and then come back the next week and rofflestomp them, which is what we did.

Vezax took us three tries last night.  On the first one, I noobed out and missed the vitally important interupt that I needed to hit.  We lasted about 30 seconds.  On the second attempt, we hit the enrage timer.  We just lost too many dps to Shadow Crashes and we healed him too much with his Mark of the Faceless.

Third time was the charm though, as we got him with around three minutes to spare on the enrage.  Considering our highest DPS pulled aggro off of me and went splat within about 10 seconds of the beginning of the fight, that’s pretty darn good.

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Why I love Raid Extension

Posted in World of Warcraft with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2009 by Randul the Dwarf

Raid extension rocks.  There, I said it.  The hardcore elitists can call me a casual and talk about how they had to clear a raid in a week, while walking to school in the snow…naked…uphill both ways.  That’s fine.  Maybe my guild is casual, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t good.

Thanks to raid extensions, we’ve been able to designate Tuesday as progression night.  I’ve talked in the past about why we need progression night, so I won’t go into it too much here.

If you look at it from a time spent standpoint rather than a weeks spent standpoint, we are doing quite well for ourselves.  We’ve had Ulduar up through Hodir on farm for a long time, but a casual schedule (with casual attendance policies) and new content caused us to stall on Hodir.  Sure, we’d beat him before, but we weren’t consistant and we’ve never beat anyone past him.

In the last 3 weeks we’ve spent approximately 6 hours raiding Ulduar in 3 sessions.  In the first session (2 hours on a Saturday) we cleared up through Hodir with a group of alts.  In the second session (2 hours on a Tuesday) we one-shot Ignis, one-shot Hodir, two-shot Thorim and two-shot Freya.  We’d seen Thorim once and had never seen Freya before.  I count that a success.

In last night’s session, we got Mimiron down after four attempts and put three solid attempts in on Vezax in 2 hours.  I have every confidence that we will down Vezax in our next session and either down Yogg Saron or put forth some serious attempts with him following the next week.

If things go as I suspect, we are looking at a 10hour clear of Ulduar for the first time.  Is that really so much worse than how long it took a guild that raids three, four or even five times a week to clear Ulduar for the first time?  I doubt it.  Yes, my group, as a whole, probably outgears 10-man Ulduar a bit.  Not a lot, but some.  That’s an advantage, to be sure, but I still think that we are accomplishing a lot by clearing this joint.

It’s taken us a while to get this far, but the reason for that is pretty clear.  We are casual.  We have real lives and can’t raid one instance multiple times each week.  We raid ToC, Ony & we farm the first half of Ulduar on alts.  That leaves that one special night each week to clear a raid that, to be quite frank, everyone hasn’t cleared.  In fact, according to wow.guildprogress.com only 25% of the players on my server and 30% of the players in the world have got to where we are.  For a bunch of “scrubs”, I’ll take it.

So congratulations to Jamason, Hoofz, Lissik, Beatris, Pandoora, Bigbeast, Lunityc, Koffka, Ailleyna and of course, me.  We downed a new boss last night, and that’s an accomplishment.