Sunday, 27 September 2009

The end of a long strage trip

Let us go back one year. Wrath of the Lich King is currently in Beta and lots of information has been made available about the new achievement system that has links to all parts of the game. One achievement stands out for doing all the holiday achievements as it awards a shiny protodrake mount which is a 310% speed. As this would be a very cool thing to have I like a lot of others started preparing for what was required.

This post now provides a retrospective of all that I've been through in order to get hold of this great mount.

Brewfest 2008
At this time it's required to drink each brew supplied from the 'Brew of the Month' club so the token grind was there to join the club and make sure that all the drinks would count towards this. Later Blizzard would relax this achievement, a subject I don't want to get into now, but it irked slightly at the time.

Hallows End
'Trick or Treating' and traveling summed up this holiday for me. Killing the Headless Horseman was a trivial requirement after the changes put in in patch 3.0 but getting the Hallowed Helm and Sinister Squashling (something I already had) required either a lucky drop from the boss or a drop from the treat bag. Everything else was fairly straightforward, guild members meant buying wands from the Trade channel wasn't required. This one wasn't a problem, no stress.

Winters Veil
PvP reared it's ugly head again with the requirement of getting 50 honorable kills while disguised as a gnome. Losing the disguise upon death meant there was queuing for a lot of battlegrounds but patience was the order of the day for this one. Everything else was very straightforward so again no stress.

Lunar Festival
Once again I was sent around Azeroth visiting elders and had my first taste of sneaking into Alliance cities. It was at this point that I realized just how much the Alliance could be jerks by fiercely guarding their Elder. Other than that a guild run through the Northrend dungeons and a pug for the outdoor raid meant this was wrapped up very easily with no real issues.

Love is in the Air
This was the achievement that nearly broke me. Everything was progressing smoothly, I had love fools to pity, arrows to shoot and rose petals to scatter. However I also needed bags of candies to pull the candies from and this would not drop for me. In the end I had to resort, on the penultimate day of the holiday to logging in once an hour on the hour to try and get it to drop. After many hours it did and the relief was tangible. Lots of stress and the beginning of some doubt as to whether it was worth it.

A late arrival to the meta achievement and probably the biggest grind of all the achievements. Everything you required could be bought for chocolates but you also required enough to eat so there was a lot of running around opening eggs. Some music to listen to and a bit of patience and this one got added to the list.

Children's Week
If Love is in the Air made me question the whole thing then this festival ran it a close second. School of Hard Knocks had already been well analyzed and understood just what would be involved. The Alliance remade some ground by helping with the flag recapture in WSG and some creative use of Vanish allowed for a flag capture in AV. As it turned out a lot of patience and a complete disregard for trying to win any of the battlegrounds made the achievement very doable.

Midsummer Fire Festival
More traveling, and more sneaking into Alliance cities. A quest reset by Blizzard meant I had to sneak in more than I expected but did provide extra blossoms for buying things I actually wanted rather than what I was required for achievements. Again just some effort on my part got this one done.

Brewfest 2009
Here we are again grinding tokens for an outfit. For some reason I had to kill Coren Direbrew again but the level 80 version with the gear we're now sporting meant this wasn't really an issue. I am now officially sick of ram racing but I got enough tokens to buy the clothing, got drunk, fell a long way and danced my way to success.

So here we are with a very shiny mount and a heck of a lot of achievements.

I don't regret having gone through with it, other players have gone for the hard mode achievements in raids while others have fought hard in arena matches for similar rewards. This suited the way I play the game and so made sense for me to work towards it.

Would I do it again? This is an interesting question as I have another max level alt and others I could be working on. Having done it once on my main I'm not feeling the necessity to go through it all again. However knowing what I know now means it might be a lot easier the second time, so I wouldn't like to commit myself either way at this stage.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Not going on the raid....

It's not a phrase anyone wants to hear, you've made yourself available for a raid, you've got everything prepared and now the evil raid leader (me in this case) indicates that you won't be going.

A little background, we'd added Trial of the Crusader back on the raid calendar and there were 22 signups. 5 tanks, 6 healers and 11 DPS. Given that we only run 10 man raids it was clear we could run two raids but it did mean that 2 of the signups would not get to go. Our guild has guidelines on how people get selected, generally on based on how many previous raids that person has been on and should someone be excluded they have preference for the next raid they sign up to.

You'd hope with such clear and understood reasoning in place this would be ok with people and they could wait until the raid instance reset and the guild organized another run. For the majority of people this is ok, but there always seems to be a minority who feel the need to vent on the forums that they've been somehow hard done by and why the decision to bench them for that raid was incorrect.

Now it's perfectly possible that a mistake will be made, everyone here is human and fallable, but even if this happens don't go ranting and raving about it. If anything, all this is going to is antagonize those who run the raids and a petty raid leader may put you on the bottom of the list of signees. Fortunately for those involved I'm not like that (though have been tempted) I just write about them here.

As with all things I resort back to my maxim of 'It's just a game' so if you're going to get so bent out of shape about missing one night's instance please realize that this is your issue rather than mine.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Oh gods...

Oh gods what have I done.

There's been some changes in our guild with GMs stepping down one of whom happened to be the raid leader. Obviously this left a void and in the hope of trying to preserve the work that had been done over the last year I may have put my name forward and agreed to organize the attendees for each of the raids we've got on our calendar.

Now the only complications that there are include the fact that other officers at the moment are pushing to have a committee choose the signups which I don't believe will work with the way our guild runs and we're looking to start having official runs (rather than guild pugs) into Trial of the Crusader while still working towards clearing Ulduar.

The trick, when it comes down to it, will be trying to organize raids which all members who want to can go on, and that also maintain a good chance of defeating the encounters and not have a frustrating night running up repair bills.

Over the next few weeks we'll see how well this works out, whether the guild copes with me doing this organization and whether I'm able to cope with organizing it.

May the Earth Mother be with me.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

I remember this place...

After a serious case of real life kicking my backside up and down the corridor of my office I've managed to get back into playing a bit and hitting some raid groups.

Having slightly burnt out grinding the Argent Tournament to get the Crusader title it's been nice to play at a slightly more relaxed pace. The badge changes have meant that there are plenty of groups forming in the guild to do daily quests and it's been possible to catch up with gear and then start boshing my way through Ulduar redeeming the keepers and generally seeing the bad guys off.

Mutilate is still proving to be a lot of fun though I have switched my offspec back to combat swords, currently I'm using some rep reward swords but I'm hoping for some drops which will make it more raid viable, especially for fights where different poisons or the combat abilities are required.

Our guild is about to start scheduling runs into Trial of the Crusader and I'm feeling good about trying my blades in there and hopefully picking up some shiny new ones.

Not entirely sure what direction (if any) I'm going to take with future posts so they might be random ramblings or they might have some kind of theme. Hopefully there'll be a few readers out there to find out.