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Reflections: The "Naxx DOWN!" Edition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Friday, 02 January 2009 04:43

It's 4 am so I'm going to make this "short" (for me) and edit it later.

People started coming back from vacations on Monday, so Tuesday we put together a Naxx raid. We went in there at 8 am. Took out Spider wing, first 2 bosses in DK wing, then ran through Plague wing. We got The Safety Dance achievement on Heigan, which really pumped us up. Then we went back to the DK wing and 1-shotted the Horsemen!

Well then...it was time to move to the Construct wing. We took down Patchwerk in 5:01 minutes...beating our time from the last time we engaged him by 50 seconds. (Yes, first time we took out Patchwerk, we downed him with about 10 seconds to spare before things got nasty.)

Still on an adrenaline rush, we decided to go after Grobbulus. He had given us trouble in the past, but we changed tactics a little bit. There were a few deaths, but we finally managed to get him down much easier than we ever had before.

It was past midnight at this point, but no one was tired. So we decided to give Gluth a try. It took us a few tries to get the hang of the fight, but kudos to Leo for kiting around the puppy chow, then taking one for the team. Gluth down!

After all that, Thaddius was relatively simple. We had a few technical difficulties on our first attempt (disconnects, etc.) but managed to down him easily on the second. That is the type of fight that the Portents excels at. Such fun!

We then took the portal...into Sapphiron's Lair. I think only Jez had her resist gear on her at the time, so we ran in for gits and shiggles. We saw how the fight worked, but knew we wouldn't get through it that night. We posted a notice that we would be back with our resist gear, and headed out.

But were we tired? Not at all! We saw the Horde had Wintergrasp, so we headed over to the Vault of Archavon and giggled our way through an Archavon the Stone Watcher kill.

By the end of our run that night, it was 2 am and we realized there were only 4 (10-man) raid bosses we hadn't yet taken down.

Fast forward to today. Everyone came prepared with their frost resist gear, and we first headed to Sapphiron. It took us a few tries, but finally downed him. Then came Kel'Thuzad. Everyone agreed that, despite a few wipes as we got used to the fight, he was easier than Sapphiron. What's left? Obsidian Sanctum? We headed over and one-shotted Sartharion too.

We have pictures. Need to find them and upload them, though.

Notice has been sent to Malygos: He's next.

Also of note:

  • Khlarity, Lydra, and Zeeboo all hit 80, as did Grissle's warrior, Calael. Sayriha also decided to get a PA tattoo on her forehead since she's been running with us, so that brings us to 15 level 80 characters in guild.
  • Xendayr, Ailinea, Jezriyah, Leoloren, and Sayriha managed to nail the first successful timed Heroic Culling of Stratholme run. Leo managed a nice roll on the bronze drake mount. Expect to see him flying over Northrend on it soon. We hope to put that one on farm soon.
  • I can't remember all the other Heroic runs we've been doing, especially since there have been multiple groups running at the same time. But let's just put it on the record that Heroics have been happening very often and very successfully. One night, we even had a group (with a few people switching out) that did 6 Heroics in a row. There was much caffeine involved, but it was a great night.
  • I think I (Ailinea) managed the insanity that was attaining the first Ambassador title in guild.  Correction:  Campitor beat me to the Ambassador title, but that's okay.  It's still no modest amount of insanity.  Grats, Camp!
  • A bunch of people are hitting exalted with other factions. A few members are ready to buy red drake mounts for Wyrmrest Accord, but are trying to save the money first.

It's 4:30 now...screenshots coming soon. =)

Last Updated ( Friday, 02 January 2009 16:00 )
Reflections (Formerly "A Week in the Life of Portent Alliance") - The Shiny New Name edition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:08

I figure if this is going to be a regular post, it needed a column name. If you don't like it, too bad. XD

So this past week...our first REAL attempt at Naxx 10-man. Because you have to admit, that first run was more of a, "It's Monday, let's see what repair bill we can rack up before the weekly reset." We're still very pleased with how that Monday turned out, so this past week was definitely an experience.

Today, I'd safely say we can farm the Arachnid wing. The first two bosses of the DK wing are easy. Plague wing was interesting, and when the Haigen dance clicked, it clicked. (Pardon me while I queue up "The Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats on my iPod...I can't NOT sing it when talking about the Haigen fight.) We had some trouble with Horsemen on the first night we tried them, but came back for revenge. Once again, when it clicked it clicked.

Grobbulus was giving us some trouble, but it wasn't necessarily the fight itself that was the problem. Several times we got him really close, then something would happen. Such as, when two of your healers disconnect at the same time.... Sayriha was having continued connection issues, so that's why we called it there.

Next time we go in, we'll be hitting Spider wing, DK wing, and Plague wing immediately. Every upgrade we can get quickly will help the overall raid.

Elairdrin hit level 80 as well, bringing us to 10 individual 80's in guild. He, Jezriyah, Xendayr, and myself (Ailinea) joined a pug raid on Alliance cities and took down King Wrynn and Tyrande. Personally, I usually hate being the aggressors in world PvP, but...come on! If you've seen the Wrathgate event, you gotta admit Wrynn deserved it!

We're consistently clearing heroics with guild groups. Utgarde Pinnacle went down with only 2 deaths. We've been really close to getting the timed event in Culling of Strathome too, once even rounding the corner just to see the boss wander off.

Team Level Appropriate also did a successful Deadmines run.  It came together a little slow at first, but Defacus helped out with the warlock summons so we didn't all have to run out there.  I still don't understand why a level 58+ Alliance Death Knight thought I would be dumb enough to accept their /duel with my little 21 holy priest.  *shakes head* Anyway, we pirated a kitten and a parrot.  All is good with the world when you can save fluffy animals.

RP results in some interesting screenshots/blackmail. This time, Leo was the victim. XD

Things are going to slow down a bit this week due to the holidays and travel, but I suspect PA members will run some more heroics and accomplish other things. (Which reminds me, I'm just a few thousand rep from Exalted with UC and getting my Ambassador title... Note to self: finish UC rep when back from the in-laws.)

Hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday!

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:18 )
A Week in the Life of Portent Alliance: The "We Raid Wrath!" edition PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Tuesday, 16 December 2008 12:56
Some of this is going to repeat last week's late post.  But hey...why not?  I'm trying to catch up here....

The good thing about wiping in an instance or a raid is that it usually makes the participants hungry for revenge.  So that's what we tend to do.

Heroic Culling of Stratholme?  Done.  And if Arthas would shut his fool mouth, we probably would have gotten the timed event too.  As it stood, we missed it by a few minutes.  We tend to gripe that he's a typical Alliance paladin.  (Blood Elf paladins don't have to talk.  Their looks speak for themselves.)

Heroic Violet Hold?  Done.  We even got the voidwalker boss and the water elemental.  The voidwalker was easy.  The water elemental gave us some troubles as we tried out different strategies, but we eventually got her down too.  Again...wipes make us want revenge.  After that, taking down the dragon was simple.

We also took out Heroic Nexus, as reported in the previous post.  Note to everyone who attempts it:  After killing Keristrasza, some of the dragonkin repop.  They decided Sayriha was a tasty snack as we headed for the door.  And at that point, a group member had already hearthed out.  Now we know.

I understand an attempt in Heroic Occulus didn't go as well.  But there's a sign hanging in there somewhere saying, "We'll be back.  -Portent Alliance"

Team Level Appropriate blasted through Wailing Caverns on Sunday.  We got started a little late since some of us (*guilty look*) weren't aware that we'd be doing the run yet, and hadn't picked up the prerequisite quests.  Once again, the instance was easy, but maintaining mana pools is not.  That will come with time and gear.  Next we either need a lock or to run/ghost walk our naked butts over to Alliance territory to hit Deadmines.  Since most of us have played only Horde or baby Alliance alts at most, this will be completely new.

Finally...Naxx last night.

Now, we've heard the rumors.  "Naxx is a loot pinata."  "There are Heroics that are more difficult than Naxx."  "The hardest part about Naxx is gathering enough people."  We've found these all to be true...to a point.

Again, we have 9 people at 80, and Sayriha joined us again.  The cool part is we don't just have a full 10-man, but a pretty well-balanced one at that.  The biggest fear is having some combination like 5 hunters, 2 locks, a ret pally, a feral druid, and a mage....and no healers.  Instead, we consisted of a feral druid main tank (Canivoris), a prot pally secondary tank (Xendayr), two holy priests (Sayriha and Grissle), a resto shaman (Campitor), a ret pally (Maenus), a unholy death knight (Leoloren), a beastmaster hunter (Jezriyah), a fire mage (Ailinea), and a boomkin (Thuryn).  Thuryn had a hard stop due to RL appointments, and we replaced him with a beastmaster hunter friend of Sayriha's (Tribus) from Warpath.  We didn't plan to have (or worse, require) people level up their mains to have a balanced group...it just all worked out that way.  (If we did end up with 5 hunters, 2 locks, etc. etc. then we would have just dealt with it until we had enough alts to rotate around.  We're in no rush.)

So yes...we have enough people.  And we still have quite a few members who are closing in on 80.  Are Heroics more difficult than Naxx?  From our experience last night, we think so.  We've found Heroic trash that was harder than most of the Naxx trash.  Even the time we had two groups add on us in the Death Knight wing all was easily handled.

As for loot pinata...yes and no.  No only because we were learning the strategies.  I hate calling something a loot pinata even if we are whacking blindly at it.  Our main target of the night was to hit the Spider wing.  The bosses?  1-shot, 2-shot, and 1-shot.  I think in another round or two, Spider wing will become more like we're school bullies beating up the bosses for their lunch money.

For gits and shiggles, we decided to take on the Death Knight wing.  We had one wipe on the Instructor as our tanks were needing to figure out the icons for the mind-controlled trainees.  That cost them some precious time when they needed to switch.  However, the second attempt was no problem.

I must emphasize that one thing I have always been proud of the Portents for is the usual calm-under-pressure and knowing their class.  The second attempt on the instructor had two deaths: Grissle and myself (Ailinea).  Even though our feral druid was one of the tanks, both he (Canivoris) and Thuryn were quick on the battle rezzes and innervates, and we picked up as though nothing happened.  It really was like clockwork.

The next boss (Gothic) was more interesting since Thuryn had to leave.  PA is also apparently marked with a special form of insanity (the Finns call it "sisu" and it means "courage"...but it's still a special form of insanity) and we decided to go ahead and 9-man it.  We had 4 people (Xendayr, Sayriha, Jezriyah, and Ailinea) on the "Live" side and the rest on the "Dead" side.  It was definitely an interesting fight.  He was also 1-shotted.

Tribus then joined us to take Thuryn's place as we headed to the Horsemen.  Unfortunately, that's where the night got long, our luck ran out, and real life meant people had to log for bed.  The main problem we found is just the mechanics of the pally taunt right now.  But Xen is looking forward to the single-target taunt that's coming to paladins, so that should be less of a problem in the future.  (We're certain if he had his warrior to 80, this would be a non-issue.)

So once again, we may have ended on a wipe, but that just leaves us hungry for revenge.  In the meantime, we were able to get 8 upgrades and 2 off-spec upgrades.  I know Xendayr and I were then able to buy some badge upgrades as well.  (A necklace for him, and an off-hand for me.  I also discovered a major belt upgrade from faction with the Wyrmrest Accord.)

The only downside to this novel of a post?

We forgot to take screenshots.
Last Updated ( Thursday, 18 December 2008 12:00 )
A (little more than a) Week in the Life of Portent Alliance - Dec 12 issue PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Friday, 12 December 2008 11:46
What happened to the week?  Pause for a moment and it's gone by.

So this week was a little less intense than last week, but I'd say most of that is due to going back to Real Life after the holiday.  There were still accomplishments, but not quite like the sunrise-to-sunset holiday gaming binges that tend to occur during a long weekend.

We're up to nine solid level 80 players (so far, we don't have Ktok alts at 80 to skew the stats) as Maenus and Campitor hit the level cap.  Several members are still working their way up and are close to the cap themselves.

With Sayriha joining us as friend-and-family, we're going to take a shot at 10-man Naxx on Monday.  We expect to wipe until our gear breaks, but it should be interesting to see what we can do.

Heroics, we've discovered, can run the gamut of "this is a nice challenge" to "how dare we come in here not in full purples?!"  Tuesday night (12/09) we frustrated ourselves on the Snake boss in Gun'Drak, and I think that threw us off our game.  We then went to Culling of Stratholme (which we'd done before on Heroic) and suffered further frustrations at the hands of Meathooks.  So we tried Heroic Violet Hold, and after the second boss (the water elemental) took us down we decided it was really late and we were not in the right mindset that night to do a heroic.  We'll be back, though....

Last night (Thursday, 12/11) we did a Heroic Nexus, and redeemed ourselves.  Sure, there were a few wipes, but they were forgivable.  Some were due to learning how the zone was different on heroic versus normal.  A few were due to reasons out of our control (link deaths/connection issues, etc.).  But in any case, we reminded ourselves that we *can* do Heroics just fine, and the loot was proof.  Of course, the loot that dropped was almost always gear for classes that weren't in the group....

Not ALL of our guild activities were in the high-level content.  Sunday also was the first Team Level Appropriate (Group #1) run.  We created a static balanced group of characters to do dungeon crawls together.  The group consists of an Undead Warrior, a Blood Elf Priest, an Orc Shaman, a Troll Mage, and a Tauren Druid.  So yes...we managed to get one of each race, and they all happen to be female characters.  That was actually not planned!  Anyway, we all hit level 15, got the quests for RFC, and plunked our butts in Orgrimmar to wait for all 5 members to get to the same state of preparation.  RFC was an easy run, although it was not the usual "Blow through it behind a level 70 bovine wrecking ball."  I think the main reason it took longer to get through than expected was...mana pools!  But everyone dinged to 17 by the time we were done turning in the quests.  We really want to hit as many dungeons as possible while we're the appropriate level (hence the group name), and we'd really like to see the Alliance dungeons for a change, too.  Next on the hit list is Wailing Caverns.

Our forum was always a source of information and updates, but lately we've had some more fun activity going on.  Jezriyah started an open RP thread, and Leo's been posting...well...he's claiming he has blackmail, but then he's not making any demands.  He's just posting what he thinks are incriminating pictures.  Lots of laughter over Ventrilo ensued...!

That's all for now.  More to come, and as usual, feel free to log in and post your own personal achievements.
Two more vids PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ailinea   
Saturday, 06 December 2008 05:54

Entropus completed a red quest on his own tonight, so I just had to share the following videos in his honor:







PS--These are some of Nyhm's earlier work.  Check out his latest stuff.  He definitely gets better as he goes along! 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 06 December 2008 06:00 )
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