Posts Tagged ‘ Achievements ’

In More Ways Than One

On this day, one year prior, I started Secret Agent Cat. I inagurated myself with a rampling post and an assurance that I had no idea what I was doing.

Lots of people celebrate their blogaversary, but this one to me means more than you might think.

I’m a notorious procrastinator, and have a terrible habit of starting things I never finish. My webcomic has languished for months, my garden wasn’t planted this year, the kitchen’s dirty, I’m not exalted with Silvermoon yet, I have 40g to my name, and I still haven’t asked for time off in August so I can go visit my family.

But this… though there’s been hiccups and even a recent slow-down, I’ve managed to keep up with my ramblings for a whole year now. I can’t hardly believe it, it doesn’t feel real. I don’t feel accomplished either. I’m happy, but more in a “Huh, well whaddya know” kind of way as opposed to a “Hurrah I did it!” kind of way.

I’m a notorious coaster, one of the lucky few who could zone out in class all day and still ace tests. An A and B student, with honors, who never really had to try all that hard.

I trained myself to coast, trained myself against commitment and against stick-to-it-ivness. This blog is standing as a testament that I can do better.

It’s encouraging, that I’ve come this far.

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And Here We Separate the Men From the Boys

Or the Women from the Girls in the case of myself and miss Warlock.

What am I talking about? Why… This of course!

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The screenshot was taken by our hunter who’s got a snazzy little addon that takes screencaps whenever he kills a boss, gains an achievement, or levels up. I think it was called something like Scattered Shots, or something. Either way, there it is!

I don’t have my own screenshot because I was too busy squealing and hyperventilating and shaking and by the time I remembered “osh*t screencap” the achievement had faded away.

Here’s the break-down:

We did the bulk of Naxxramas with only 9 people. First we went and killed Razouvious, then we went and took out the Plague quarter, eager to get Heigan out of the way. Next we took a break and breezed through the Arachnid quarter. Actually, that wasn’t a breeze, we had some unfortunate AFKs and we were trying to take things carefully. Trash was done messily but everybody smartened up right quick for the boss kills.

Next we sauntered over and laid the smack down on the Construct quarter and finished up the night back in Military with Gothik. By this time we were debating how we wanted to handle the Horsemen. We knew we could 8-man it, but we were going for Undying so we really wanted another healer for insurance. So, we called it for the night.

Tonight, we went back in with our extra healer, stapled him to a tank, and got down to business. Melee was forbidden on Zeliek and there was much calling out of void zones on Blameaux just to make sure everyone was on their toes.

Once they were dead we moved to Sapphiron and we all donned one pice of Frost Resist and had our Pally toss up frost aura. We weren’t taking any chances. In fact, both the rogue and I (only melee apart from the tank) had to make sure to stay on our toes and out of the blizzards, sometimes even running away from the dragon so that we didn’t get hit. There was one rough moment early on when a blizzard rained down on a group clustered behind an ice block during the first air phase, but our healers were able to valiantly struggle through.

After the dragon came the moment of truth. Would we be beset by lag and find ourselves in failure, or would we be able to rise above, pull together, and claim our titles?

Well, you already know the answer, so I’ll let you know how the fight went.

As per usual, I would be off-tanking this fight. Bell (warrior tank) and I kept the incoming Abominations under control until about 30 seconds before KT popped, then it was all me. The last thing we wanted was for him to have to juggle and Abomination and worry about stacking as much threat on KT as he could.

After that I stepped back and spent most of my time in bear form and kept Faerie Fire (Feral) up on the boss. It’s much easier to keep 2 people in melee apart from each other than it is to keep 3 people far enough apart. Once again, plan for problems, plan for people to get confused, and do your best to make a situation where problems can be fixed on the fly.

Then, 40% came and went and the big bugs came out and it was my turn. I picked one up quickly and had the other mis-directed to me. I had a minor heartattack moment when I’d been tanking for a few seconds and realised I’d forgotten that I needed to pay SPECIAL attention to void zones. I immediately strafed to the right and acertained that no, I’m not in immediate peril (giant bugs wailing on my face not withstanding).

Tanking the adds can be tricky for the sole reason of the void zones. Even if you can outlast the bugs, they get to be so large that you can no longer see your character and if a void zone pops underneath you… well, you won’t see it. So what I do is whenever DBM tells me one has spawned I look around for it. If I don’t immediately see it I strafe. More often than not it’s somewhere I didn’t look and strafing wasn’t needed, but sometimes it is, and it’s those times that can save your life.

So then, after what seemed like an eternity, I happened to mouse over the boss and saw his health was a mere sliver of its previous robust glory. My pulse quickened and my fingers flew. I reminded myself to keep watching for void zones and I prayed that I didn’t get ice-blocked.

And then….

The Undying.

It felt amazing. It’s the feeling I used to get on a first kill back in BC days. It felt like the first time we killed Rage Winterchill in Mount Hyjal. After weeks of working, we’d finally done it!

THAT, my friends, is what true progression feels like. I miss those edge-of-your-seat fights where you hope and pray that everyone has brought their A game and that maybe, just maybe, tonight will be THE night.

And when it is?

Ooooh baby you’re on top of the world.

Monday Moooosik

And Pandora makes a come-back! Here’s the first three songs that rolled up for me this morning, my rating, and my thoughts.

  1. Re-Align by Godsmack – Unrated until this morning, given a Thumbs Up – I’ve been a Godsmack fan for a while now. I’ve used the ‘add variety’ button twice on this playlist, I suspect this is a result of my first added variety, the band Loudermilk.
  2. Awaken by Disturbed – Unrated, stayed Unrated – I skipped this. I do like Disturbed, but when their ten-thousand fists CD came out I listened to that non-stop for a month or two. All their stuff tends to blur together for me now so Disturbed is a once in a while type thing, and I wasn’t in the mood for it this morning.
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Metallica – Unrated, given thumbs down – Bleh. I don’t have anything against Metallica, I just wasn’t in the mood for it this morning, maybe with a thumbs down Pandora will get the hint. Plus, the version that rolled up was a live version and I hate listening to live versions (unless I’m there of course)

That’s it for the first installement of Monday Moooosik. As for WoW-related activities, well… There’s only three bosses standing between me and The Undying. We’re finishing up Naxx-10 tonight, so wish us luck!

Last time we were shooting for Undying, when we got to KT I got iceblocked while tanking the two adds. We were also 8-manning it and some of us had forgotten to remove our frost resist. Hopefully this time, packing an extra DPS and one more Healer we’ll be able to set up enough redundencies that we can take out insurance against something unfortunate like that happening again.

Other than those two we still have the 4-Horsemen to take care of. When we did them with 8 people we survived with nobody dying, but our healing shadow priests assured us that it was a very close thing indeed. Once again, we need to do our best to set up redundencies in case someone DCs or gets an unfortunate lag spike.

When we decided to call Naxx last night we went and took care of Gotta Go When the Volcano Blows for 4 people, myself included. I’ll tell you what, when there’s only two* DPS on Sartharion he takes a LONG ass time to kill. First try we got him to about 10% before one of our tanks bit the big one. The second try it was about 5 percent and the last tank was able to hang on until he died.

The healers assure me it was an epic battle. I wouldn’t really know, I was lying on the ground in a pile with three other naked bodies.

Needless to say, they did an AMAZING job. Now I need to make sure to grab my Frost Resist belt from the bank before hitting Naxx again tonight and we’ll be good to go!

*Edited because I can’t count, see comments if you want to lol @ me.

Achievements, Awesomeness, & the Anti-Guild

Achievements

I pulled a very late night last night. I don’t think I was asleep until midnight or somewhere there-abouts. I didn’t even crack open my nightly reading material, just cuddled up with the kitties, shut off the lights, and went unconcious.

The reason why I was up so late has everything to do with my recent aquisition of Shocking, Subtraction, The Dedicated Few, and The Safety Dance.

We were also painfully close to The Undying as well.

We started on Thursday after our 25-man raid completed Heroic: Twilight Duo in record time (one hour, three attempts, one kill). We started with Less is More (I wasn’t present for that one) but then we quickly moved on to Naxxramas.

We killed the Arachnic quarter first, of course. It was clear that our DPS was a little slower than we were used to. We were missing 2, after all, so it was only to be expected. So I pulled a weenie and called it a night and we all promised we’d finish up on Monday.

So it was a long Monday.

Awesomeness

It’s not required to have only 8 people on the 4 horseman fight to get The Dedicated Few achievement.

We did it anyway.

Also, on Gothik it’s quite possible (and actually very easy) to have live-side covered by a Druid Tank, a Pally Healer, and a Rogue DPS. Gothik was the first time the entire run that someone died. We started out with 2 dps on live side and the rest on dead and it just wasn’t enough. We made that one switch and things went smooth as silk. Oh don’t worry Undying, we’ll get you next week.

The only other times we lost people that night was when a hunter who likes to live on the edge died twice to Saph’s breaths, on successive air phases… No more battle rezzes for him. (We’d already blown Undying, so it was occasion for us all to laugh at him). The other unfortunate death happened on Kel’Thuzad.

A bit of a perfect storm blew up to smash our faces into a wall. A few people forgot to take off their frost resist gear and I (who was tanking the adds) managed to get ice blocked and between the 104% ice block damage and the (really freaking big) bugs it was just too much to heal through. So, down I went, and everybody else followed suit soon after.

It was late and we were all making little mistakes here and there. When we actually do start running for The Undying we’re all definitely going to be in a different mindset.

The Anti-Guild

As awesome as it is to be able to say you can clear X content with less than Y number of people is, it always makes me uncomfortable.

For example, we mopped up Naxxramas with 8 people. Eight, hand-picked people. There were two people who didn’t get to come along and share in our conquest, and that makes me sad.

I know it’s just a personality quirk of mine. I want everybody to be able to have fun and to be part of the group. It comes from knowing, in the most primal and visceral of ways exactly what it feels like to be on the outside looking in. I also know that not everyone is up to the challenge a lot of these achievements represent.

I don’t know if <Unemployed> will ever complete the Heroic: Glory of the Raider. In fact, I’m pretty sure we won’t. We’ll try like hell, but I’m not going to bank the farm on it. We just don’t have enough people performing at that peak, and that’s ok. We’re not a hard-core guild. We only raid 3 nights a week and we don’t force people into specific specs. We try to avoid min-maxing and exclusionist policies because, first and foremost, we are a guild “For the Good Times”.

Collecting Achievements is a whole lot of fun, and I love doing it, it just makes me uncomfortable when the call has to be made to take this person over that one. It’s a call I’m thankful that I don’t have to make.