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Reflections: The "Spider SQUISH! ~8~" edition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Tuesday, 08 September 2009 13:16
Spider SQUISH! ~8~

It's Tuesday maintenance, so it's update time!

Raid group 1 went in last Tuesday into normal Trial of the Crusader (the new T9 raid content) and got all the way to Anub'arak. I'd like to say it was easy, but it's not. However, it IS fun learning new mechanics, like the Champions fight. If you say you're a raider and you don't like to PvP, well, here you really have no choice. It's like the Priestess fight in Magister's Terrace...only on crack. Don't like PvP? Too bad! LEARN FAST!

Don't get me wrong, it's still a fun raid! And Tuesday night, the only thing keeping us from taking down Anub'arak was a hard stop since it was a school night for some of our members. We would have loved to have pressed on for another half hour, but we did the right thing in calling it a night.

We went back on Thursday with our can of Raid (c wut i did thar?), but...the floor was filled in and the NPC to start the even was nowhere to be seen! Apparently this was a known bug, and you had to petition the GMs to reset it for you. So we went to Ulduar instead and decided to try our hand at some hard modes.

Flame Leviathan +4...wow. We had done +1 before, but skipping right up to +4? Yikes! We gave it several good attempts, but then decided to back it off a notch. We went back and took down the towers of Freya and Mimiron, and went back to FL with Hodir and Thorim still up. Flame Leviathan went down on the first try. We've extended the lockout timer, but next time we go in, I think we're going to give +4 a shot again...and if that doesn't work out, we'll see how +3 goes.

We didn't pull off Heartbreaker on Deconstructor, but we were also coming up against the Clock Boss and had to push through. We continued in, downed Kologarn and Auriaya without problem. (We already have Disarmed on Kologarn, and when we got to Auriaya we knew we only had one or two shots so we didn't try for Crazy Cat Lady.)

Saturday's raid time had to be rescheduled to Monday, but Leo and Ygd went in to test if our ToC instance was reset. It was, but they got it to bug again. Leo sent in another, very detailed ticket of what happened, and thanks to that, we got sent to priority in the ticket queue if it was to happen again. Huzzah for being able to reproduce exactly what happened to help Blizz fix it!

Last night we were chomping at the bit. Poor Anub'arak didn't stand a chance. We one-shotted him with no deaths. MAJOR kudos to the healers on Phase 3. That was intense!

Peccator walked away with a new shield, I won the Robes of the Sleepless, and some leather DPS shoulders dropped.

After that, we went back to Ulduar with it set in our minds to work on more Hard Modes. Hodir was next.

Let me just say that when circumstances hate you, they REALLY hate you. We got close on SO many tries. For example, our first attempt was right on target, but then Lynnloren (our main tank healer) disconnected.

That said, when things work out, they REALLY work out. We finally got "I Could Say That This Cache Was Rare" with 30 seconds left on the clock.

Did we crank out the DPS? You could say that... (because I can! ;) )

Hodir Hard Mode DPS Recount

Raid Team 2 has also been in Ulduar, and I know they're up to Auriaya. (Not being on that team, I don't have the details...but that's what Comments are for!) We're hoping to start doing 25-mans soon.

People have also become more interested in PvP. We already had Maenus as our token guild Arena junkie. Loth, Pakhet, and Thuryn have also started a 3v3 team, and others have gotten into the PvP spirit. There is often a large representation of Portent Alliance in Wintergrasp, and groups have been queueing up for battlegrounds together. Part of this renewed interest in PvP is in part thanks to being able to buy epic (uncut) gems with honor, and it doesn't take long to get the honor needed for a raw gem. But you can't deny the adrenaline rush of a good fight! It's pretty addictive!

Up this week: More ToC (we're looking forward to trying the Heroic 10-man) and Hard Mode Thorim and Freya. Groups are always running the daily heroic dungeon, so many members already have a piece or two of their T9 gear. And with the summer coming to an end, it'll be nice having people on regular schedules again so we can plan our time and focus on getting ready for 25-man raiding!
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 08 September 2009 13:18 )
Reflections: BLIZZCON 2009 REPORT! "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" edition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Tuesday, 25 August 2009 16:47
Blizzcon, folks! BLIZZCON!

Keyboard CataclysmTHE GOOD:
  • Meeting guildies! Ktok, Jezriyah, Wernstrom, Maelyne, Nycodemus, and I went to Blizzcon. Entropus came up on Thursday and had dinner with us. Always fun to put faces to names and voices! (For Jez and Ktok and myself, meeting a few of the Twitter folk as well!)
  • Cataclysm--IT'S ALL TRUE! Really, there's nothing quite as exciting as hearing the announcements in person and seeing the trailer up on the big screen.
  • A WINNER, IT'S YOU! I won a free year's subscription to the new WoW Magazine, Nyco won a free customized shirt or hat from the SwagDog booth, and Maelyne won a Spectral Tiger.
  • Grunty, the Murloc Marine will fight the zergling pet from the first collector's edition to the death. Cool addition! (I still need to redeem my Grunty.)
  • If you had told me 15 years ago when a friend made me a mixed tape of classic rock that I'd hear Ozzy Osbourne play Iron Man live, I would have said you were pulling my leg! Whether or not you like Ozzy, it's still cool to have gotten to see him live!
  • The food at the Hilton. Expensive, but I still haven't found anything I don't like!
  • The costume contest was, as always, amazing!
  • I GLOMPED KAEL'THAS! TWICE!!! Apparently he also played EQ1, and we chatted a little about that between people taking photos of him.
  • "Don't Make Me Get My Main" (by Cranius and Legs, who also did the "Ulduar" music video with Summergale) was the winner of the movie contest. See it below. Laugh hard (schadenfreude?). Be glad we're not on a PvP server.
  • I really didn't need to sit through a million people doing the "Orc Peon" sounds from Warcraft III during the Sound Alike contest. But sit through it, we did. Even Jay Mohr was getting tired of it. (I think he was running out of jokes/funny things to say when YET ANOTHER person would do those sounds.)
  • Line rides. There are always line rides.
  • The swag bag wasn't as good as last year. But considering the money they probably had to shell out to get Ozzy, I'm not surprised.
  • Red-eye flights home. 'Nuff said.
  • Sitting in front of some obnoxious guys for the Closing Ceremonies and the L80ETC (or TAFKAL80ETC)/Ozzy shows. I can't even begin to describe how obnoxious they were. When TAFKAL80ETC began playing, we found out their faction. You guessed it...they were Alliance.
  • Costume snark: Do some of these people actually PLAY the game? Blood Elf ears point UP, Night Elf ears point BACK. And the number of ears I saw on backward make me see red.
  • Dance snark: Do some of these people actually PLAY the game? The number of people doing the human male dance AND GETTING IT WRONG was getting to the point where I want to do the human male dance next year to show them how it's done!
  • Watching three 13-ish year olds headbanging to Ozzy. Or "trying to headbang" is more accurate. I never thought I'd say this but, kids? Watch Beavis and Butt-head and get edumacated.

I'm sure there's more, which I'll add in later. If you went, feel free to comment with your highlights (and lowlights) of the con!

In the meantime, enjoy the winning video!


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 August 2009 16:48 )
Reflections: The PSA edition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 16:12

I was surfing the web, gathering some resource material for the classes I'm taking, when suddenly my computer went crazy.


This all looked really official and scary.  It poppes up a window that looked like something Vista would do, started listing the viruses my computer's allegedly infected with, and then I tried to click out of it to stop them from loading, it popped up another window to install a "WindowsSecurity.exe" file.


Last night my computer DID download and install new Windows updates, but something seemed off.  Wouldn't such an application already be installed?

I was able to close my browser and start it up again.  To test things out, I opened a few tabs, surfed a few links, then went to Google and searched for that site again using the research terms I needed.  (I was researching astronomy stuff for my class...nothing to do with WoW.)  Sure enough, when I clicked on the link it went crazy again with the virus warnings and tried to prompt me again to install this "WindowsSecurity.exe" file.


However, last night we witnessed another person on our sever having their account and their guild bank cleaned out by a hacker, so I went to Google and downloaded AVG free just to be safe.  In the meantime, I went to my Start menu and ran Windows Defender (just the quick scan at first) if there was something that needed to be caught immediately.  Quick Scan found nothing.  I just finished the AVG full scan.  Again, nothing.

I started thinking about the alarm window that popped up, and things were clearly more fishy.  It said the keyloggers were in IE7.  I use Firefox for all my surfing except for class stuff, and even then I only use it to access my class accounts and never surf past the college sites.  The warnings also said my C and D drives were affected/infected.  It said my D drive was an external hard drive...no it's not.  It's my DVD-RW, and it's empty.  I don't have a second hard drive.

Something's not kosher here.  To also want to install an .exe file?  I don't think so.  If I actually was on IE7 and had a second hard drive, the big panic that the pop-ups causes might have convinced me to click the "OK" button to install that .exe anyway.  Bad things could have happened.

I bring this up because I may have stopped a crisis, but after having two of our members hacked, an attempt on a third (that was blocked by his virus scanner as he started logging in to WoW one night and his system flagged that he had a keylogger trying to initiate), and witnessing others on our server being hacked, consider this a warning.

There are ways to protect yourself.  Ideally, you can have one computer as your gaming rig, and another for web surfing.  Some people run WoW on Linux under WINE.  But if that is cost prohibitive and you don't like jumping through hoops (I certainly don't, even after working for a Linux company), please take some steps to protect yourself.

  • Merge your WoW account with a Battle.net account.  Go to worldofwarcraft.com or blizzard.com and follow the links they provide if you want to be safest.
  • Get an authenticator from the Blizzard webstore.  For just $6.50 you receive a little keychain-like device.  You will log into worldofwarcraft.com, go to Manage my Account, and follow the instructions to attach the authenticator to your account.  Trust me, even if someone gets your account information, they can NOT log in (even to the "Manage My Account") without the authenticator IN HAND...unless they're REALLY lucky with guessing numbers that occur at that very instant.
  • Download your add-ons with care.  Go to trusted sources.  It's better to download your Deadly Boss Mods from the official website rather than Curse.com or any of the other mod repositories, but if you do go to Curse (or other sites) do so carefully.  Hackers target those sites to insert their keyloggers into your system.  Curse does what they can to prevent and stop it, but it can still happen.  I do NOT use the automatic add-on updaters, but manually download everything.  Then I unzip the files, glance over them for anything that looks odd (an .exe file for example), and then copy them into my add-on folder.  It takes a little longer, but gives me some peace of mind.
  • Use a browser like Firefox with the AdBlock add-on.  There have been keyloggers attached to rotating banner advertisements in the past.  Block those from loading and you block a potential backdoor.
  • Know your system.  Again, the red flags went up when I saw it said that the keyloggers were in IE7 and on my D drive.  As I don't use IE7 and my D drive is a DVD-RW, it was fishy enough for me to stop before clicking the "OK" button to install something else that seemed fishy.

Stay vigilant, be cynical, protect yourself.

Reflections: The "Epic Cow is Epic" edition. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 03:36

War cow with war glaive. 'Nuff said.


Udiyvli gets one of the few Warglaives on the server on our first Black Temple run.


Reflections: The "Okay, so I Lied and Posted Much Later" Edition. Now with PicSpam! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Sunday, 31 May 2009 02:52

The Portents have been very busy lately!  When we're not raiding Ulduar, we're doing other raids including Old World raids (MC, AQ40, and BWL will be happening soon), or running dungeons, or doing dailies to pay the repair bills.

This week, we ran through and one-shotted Archavon, Emalon, Flame Leviathan, Deconstructor, Kologarn, Auriaya, Hodir, Thorim, Razorscale, and Ignis (in that order) on Tuesday night.  We just really had it together and as each boss fell, we became more pumped to find a new victim.  This week we're working on the bosses we hadn't touched yet.

Here are a few pictures from our Ulduar progression.  Right now we have everything down except for Mimiron, General, and Yogg-Saron. (And Algalon, of course, but that's another story all together.)

I'm not sure if the dates are correct for the first kills, but they should be close.


Of the front four mobs, Ignis is the only one who gives us any trouble, and that's usually just an issue of luck. Here we are after downing him on April 30:


PA Downs Ignis(10) on April 30, 2009



Kologarn was harder than he is now.  But we killed him before he got hit with the nerf bat. Here we are posing on his face on May 4.

PA downs Kologarn(10) May 4, 2009


Our thoughts on Hodir are simple: Once you figure it out, everything clicks together.  After wiping on him for two days (usually coming up against the Clock Boss more than anything when people had to go to bed so they can work in the morning) it suddenly made sense.  THEN we read other strategies that made him even MORE easy.  Since then we've been able to 1-shot him.  This picture was taken on May 15.


PA downs Hodir(10) on May 15, 2009



The main thing about the Thorim fight is getting the RIGHT combination of people to do the arena and the hallway gauntlet.  After wiping due to playing around with the assignments to get the best combination, we finally downed Thorim on May 25.  The next week? One-shot.


PA downs Thorim(10) on May 25, 2009


Also, Ktok happened to look up while we were posing for our screenshot.  Thorim wears his kilt regimental.


Thorim goes commando!



Freya's fight isn't too bad once you have the phases down.  The mini-phases are a pain since they're random.  But once again, once you figure out the different aspects of the fight, it's not hard to deal with it all together.  This is from May 28.


PA downs Freya(10) May 28,2009


I know I have pictures of the other fights, but I have a ton of screenshots to search through to find them.  Look for them in the Guild Raids section of the Gallery in the near future.

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