Monthly Archives: June 2011

Welcome to the Firelands!

The Firelands



4.1: Mission accomplished

We downed Al’Akir the other night.  He represented the last hurdle in our quest to finish the current raid tier whilst it was still current…

I didn’t mind the fight, overall it was fairly straight forward once we worked out the positioning on the first phase.  Dodging the whirlwinds seems to be the most important part of the fight, so as long as you stay on top of those you should do ok.

With that fight over, I have taken a limited hiatus I guess.  I haven’t been logging on to level alts, transmute primals or do dailies.  I guess I just needed a limited break from the level of game-time I had been putting in recently.  It has kind of turned into a gaming break really.  I sit down at the PC and look at my list of games on Steam and can’t really find one I feel like playing.  I briefly flirted with Titan Quest and Civilization V then gave up and watched a movie or TV series.

Speaking of which, if you haven’t been watching Game of Thrones then I strongly recommend you do.  It is freaking awesome.  I have read the books and played the board game, simply love the entire thing.   Great stuff.

OK back on topic.

I guess I’m looking forward to checking out the new 4.2 content (although a new Isle of Quel’danas is meh) with the guild. Tackling the new raid will be good fun.

The title of this post indicates what I am most pleased about this expansion. As, at the time, the guild never had a chance to complete ICC at its highest difficulty and was still going through its “Norming” phase, 4.1 represented the first actual raid tier that we could hit head on with a strong raid team of people we had spent time with and new the strengths and weaknesses of.

Our first night of raiding for the expansion way back on January 5 saw us down Magmaw on the last pull of the night.  That was a great start for us and I think provided a good foundation to build our progression on.  The fact we had some success on our first raid provided a sense of excitement and confidence in the group.  This is turn meant we had a reasonable level of participation from across the guild.  We didn’t have to solely rely on the same 10 people week in week out.  Sure we had our core, but with interest from other members of the guild we were able to supplement this quite easily.

From there our progression went as follows:

5 Jan  –  Magmaw

20 Jan  –  Omnotron

25 Jan  –  Lift Boss

27 Jan  –  Maloriak

3 Feb  –  Chimaeron

10 Feb  –  Atramedes

2 March  –  Halfus Wyrmbreaker

3 March – Valiona and Theralion

3 March  –  Ascendant Council

28 April  –  Cho’Gall

25 May – Nefarian

26 May –  Conclave of the Four Winds

2 June  –  Al’Alkir

Considering we raid 2 nights a week for a total of about 6 hours, I think we did ok.  Some big chunks of time spent on Cho’Gall and Nefarian but that’s to be expected.  In case you didn’t notice we also decided early on to try and finish one raid before starting the next, however Nef put paid to those plans for half of February.

Labyrinth of Lost Souls Cho'Gall Kill 28 April 2011

Overall my thoughts on this raid tier are a little mixed.  It was noticeably harder than ICC for a start.  It also over used some irritating mechanics, the foremost of which being interrupts. From Arcanotron’s Arcane Annihilation to Halfus’ Shadow Nova, the Ascendant Councils frost and lightning casts through to Maloriak’s add casts not to mentions Cho’Gall’s adds and Nefarian’s minions it just kept going.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if so many of them weren’t raid wipers if missed.  Being on Saurfang which is an Oceanic server; and being Australian means that I’m playing on a home ping of around 200 (350-400 world) on a good night.  This in turns means that those 1.5 second casts you really have to interrupt are really only 1 second or so. Mashing a button in the knowledge that if you didn’t get the first half of the cast, you ain’t getting it is not fun Blizzard.

Fight wise, the variation was good.  Enough different types of fight that everyone was reasonably happy.  Magmaw for melee, Halfus for ranged, Chimaeron for healers :P, etc  meant that unlike ICC it wasn’t a complete ranged picnic.  This time the other classes were invited to the party.

Dying has its benefits occasionally

The art direction was good as well.  Having the three contrasting raids was great.  I loved the whole city in the clouds thing, really worked.  Guildies expressed similar opinions of those instances as well.  This along with the Blackrock Spire dwarven architecture and the Bastion of Twilight’s cult styling was well done.  Meant that you never really got stuck staring at the same wall textures for months.  Contrast this with the ye olde days of Molten Core and you will see that the game has come a long way in that respect.

My final grade for the raid tier is probably a B+.  It doesn’t have the same appeal or level of quality in my opinion as raids such as Karazhan or Ulduar but it is certainly much better than Naxxramas and Trial of the Crusader.

Till next time,




Panoramas gone wrong…

Sometimes,  when trying to put together a panorama, it goes horribly horribly wrong.

This shot is constructed from 31 images taken in The Throne of the Four Winds after killing Al’Akir.  The problem arose in that I had to take 3 layers of images due to the camera simply not being able to take in the entirety of the towers in a single screen.

Here is what it came out as….

It looks kinda funky, but that wasn’t the look I was going for.  Ah well, back to the drawing board.


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