Pull up a chair my friends, and let me share with you a tale of adventure… yes, adventure, but adventure shadowed by woe!
The story may be warmly familiar, but if you stay with me to the end there is a lesson to be learned within.
On an evening much like any other, a small band of misfit wanderers joined together. The purpose of their gathering was to enter the exciting Firelands, land of fun and frolic.
Firelands! A name that once spoke of endless hours of toil and grinding desperation, but now inhabiting that blessed ‘sweet spot’ for raiding; too easy for serious raiding, just difficult enough to need more than one person, lots of goofy mechanics, cool looking transmogs, and the possibility of super-cool rare mounts. Who could ask for more? Do a barrel roll!
Indeed, Firelands is now a place that is a joy to engage, taking only a scant handful of friends to romp merrily among the murderous minions, but having a bounty of potential rewards. Not least of which, of course, is that most wonderful of raid oddities, a Legendary weapon that multiple classes can use, that has little if any element of RNG, and that has so many stages lots of people can be doing it all in the same raid!
These few, these few, this band of misfits had fought together many a time before. MANY, MANY times before. I mean, seriously, that Legendary chain seems to take a coons age to get through.
Moving through that chain is kinda like trying to move a kidney stone. Lots of screaming and yelling, all out of proportion for the itty-bitty thing you get out the other end. And while it’s really important to you, nobody else really cares how the progress is coming. No, really. They don’t want to hear about it.
Of all of these friends that had gathered together, four had been there the longest.
There was Baddmojo, the Rogue, the tank in leather and the queen in red. Known chiefly for his alcohol consumption, Baddmojo could be counted on to be right up in the face of anything you cared to name, first to fight, warbling his mighty battlecry, “Cloak of Shadows, Cloak of Shadows, blood and souls for my Cloak of Shadows!”
Baddmojo is also known as the master of “where did he go, how the hell did he get to the next boss already, I didn’t know you could fly from Alysrazor direct to him, WTF.”
There was me, of course, the Warlock in spite of myself. Ever in pursuit of that next dribble of Smouldering Essences. What weapon do you have equipped, Bear? What’s that, Bear, did you fight a boss with your legendary staff-in-training equipped again? GG, Bear. GG. Did you remember to switch weapons, Bear? Did you, Bear? DID YOU? OMIGOD WHAT IS SO F’ING HARD ABOUT REMEMBERING TO SWITCH WEAPONS, BEAR?!?
By the way, did you remember to switch weapons back, Bear?
Then we had Elynea the fair, Elynea the Deadly Druid, Elynea of the everlasting hunt. Elynea, who has been on almost every single Firelands run with me, and every single fricken time the fire kitty staff has dropped, she has lost the roll to another Druid that came on our run for the first time and never, EVER came back again. And yet, she hasn’t yet killed me with the powers of her mind through the internet.
Tesh, I’m looking right straight at you, buddy. Firekitty staff ninja.
And of course, our course core foursome of diehards would not be complete without Aldyrr.
Aldyrr the Hunter. Trapmaster. Finder of rare pets. Talented multi-tasker and all around great guy.
Or is he?
There we were, once more unto the breach, facing the rocky chunks of magma, flames shooting into the skies.
We were so close. SO CLOSE.
For me, the road had been long, but I was finally nearing the end of the very last collection phase of the legendary questline. Smouldering Essences, that was my game, and the hunting had been good. 208 of the 250 were in my pouch already, and tonight would get me almost the rest of the way. If not tonight, then on our next visit ‘twould be a certainty.
And might not the mistress of chance smile on me yet tonight? The odds were long, but they could fall my way and this could be the very last night of chasing the chain, and the first day of being bound body and soul to the might of a majestic blue dragon for all time.
It could happen. It probably wouldn’t but IT COULD HAPPEN.
Never piss on the fingers of fate, they might wash their hands of your RNG chances for the future. Semper Fidelis. Always Faithful. It could happen. If not this time, then cheer up, next time for sure!
This was to be a special trip, my son was joining us after many months away from the game on his mighty Warlock Wooffie, and Elynea had brought her daughter along for her first full Firelands fun.
Also, and this was new, we would finally take a serious look at the Penitent achievement for Staghelm. I was sure, with the proper coaching and the use of /kneel macros we would get that one down, after our many half-assed attempts on previous weeks.
We began to kill the many, many trash needed for Shannox to get riled up, and it was so chaotic with summonings and late visitors and invites and scurrying around that we very nearly facepulled Shannox before I ever knew he had spawned.
Accidental boss kills are never a good sign, but first down and time to get a move on. Beth’tilac next, Bear which weapon do you have equipped? The right one? Good furball, here’s a cookie, keep it up.
Time to face the spider, my son wants to go up topside, being on the spider’s web is something he enjoys and remembers fondly it seems. I say sure, the more the merrier, I watch as it seems the entire group goes up top, and I’ve barely given the trash down below a glare and a scolding before Beth’tialc comes tumbling down, the web… comes tumbling down.
Loot, mount up and almost everyone dashes off to the next boss (magma!) as I swap weapons to my baby-almost-legendary and wait out the 30 second cooldown before I can drain the cold, dead corpse of it’s Smouldering Essences.
12… 11… 10… 9…
WAIT ONE MOTHER (^)*(&^)& MINUTE HOLD THE PHONE WTF OVER!?!
WHERE THE FUCK DID MY SPIDER GO?
I SAID WHO STOLE MY MOTHER FUCKING SPIDER IN THIS MOTHERFUCKING RAID?
I look across the suddenly vacant space in shock, to see a lone Hunter standing there, looking back at me.
Hands full of spider leather.
Aldyrr skinned my Beth’tilac.
SKINNED HER WITH MY SMOULDERING ESSENCES STILL ON HER COLD, DEAD CORPSE.
Spiderthief, I name you. Trapmaster, Pet Finder, and now Spiderthief.
I’d call you a base, deceitful leather whore, but I’m actually afraid of what that would do to search engines and my traffic. Also, Leather Whore sounds like a pretty cool job description now that I think of it, I used to do leathercrafting, some of the stuff people would ask me to make I coulda put that on a business card, “John Patricelli, Leather Whore.”
I turn to my wife, I turn to her and I say, “He skinned her. He skinned Beth’tilac! He skinned my spider! I could have finished the quest tonight but HE SKINNED MY ESSENCES.”
And she looks at me, eyes devoid of sympathy, Cassie looks at me and she says, “Well, there’s a lot of leather on one of those. Also, you never would have finished the quest tonight. Get over it.”
Well, fine, but I can pout and write a really long blog post all about it, can’t I? That’s what mature adults do when they get all pouty over a video game, right?
oh, they don’t? they suck it up and move on? hah, you ain’t been around here much, has you?
Dedicated with loving respect to my buddy Aldyrr, make sure you go cheer him up on Twitter, his handle is @jhdesynz and I just know he’d love to hear from you.
The moral of the story, the lesson, the key thing to take away from all this, is… if you’re doing this chain watch out for your buddies, now that Baddmojo knows Beth’tilac can be skinned he announced he’s going to be using that knowledge for evil from now on, I’m telling you, watch your friends, they’re not to be trusted with this kind of power.
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Following up from my post about the Scourgestalker Hunter armor (black recolor), what pet goes well with the Bear In Black?
According to Elynea, an obsidian kitty from the Molten Front.
The what to the who now? Ain’t that the place with a hundred different spiders, all sharing one thing in common… they’re spiders, as in ew?
I may have to turn in my Hunter card, but I haven’t been spending all that much time hunting rare pets this expansion. I have my Devilsaur, I got Barry the blue Triceratops from the Isle of Giants, I tamed a really pretty rare tiger in Jade Forest that required some fun tracking/stalking skills… yeah, that’s about it.
My pets are like my friends, I tend to hang out with the same ones forever.
So. Challenge mode pets from Molten Front.
I’ll admit, I went and did a few of the challenge spiders when they were first added in the Molten Front, but I stopped that once Pandaria came out. It didn’t seem quite as sporting, and I don’t like spiders. Also, Pandaria had awesome tracking challenge pets for hunters, so cool.
I must have been too hasty. Obsidian challenge kitty in Molten Front? Totally missed that one.
A quick scan of Petopia revealed that a black gem cat, a rare named Skarr, could indeed be found in the Molten Front.
Kinda pretty. Okay, sure. Let’s do it.
We’re sifting the final embers of a dying expansion now, I’m sure I’ll be able to just pop over to the Molten Front and snag it up. He’ll just be lying there like a diamond on a black sandy beach. Anybody that ever wanted a rare already has them by now, right? RIGHT?
I know tone of voice doesn’t come through very well, so let me explain. That was sarcasm. This too. Hmm, okay, most of this holy shit my entire writing style is sarcasm WTF.
It all started as a whim.
From such flimsy threads are spun the steel cables of obsession.
First, where is Skarr normally found, and how do I get there?
The Molten Front, my lad, where adventure and fortune await! Also, endless dailies to get satchels for chances at pets, let’s not go there.
The route to Skarr is simple indeed. Step through the portal found in Mount Hyjal, gaze upon the lush flame of the rock and flame and see all the flaming flame. And rock. Then head straight across the Alliance staging grounds for the big fields of flowing fire called the Furnace.
Fortunately, I’ve already completely unlocked the Molten Front on my Hunter, bought all the rewards and became bestest of buddies with them. I can just bop right on in, wave hi in passing and ride up the gentle grade of the Furnace.
Ow! Ow! Shit, that’s hot, DAMNIT I’M DEAD.
I guess fire still hurts, don’t it. Screw you and your percentage-based damage mechanics.
Okay, so how to SAFELY get past the fire of the Furnace? I can death run/rez past it, but repair bills are a thing. I’m cheap.
To get safely past the fires of the Furnace, all you need to do is complete the initial four daily quests, turn them in, and then go to General Taldris Moonfall who will offer you two follow up quests; The Molten Spire, and Into the Fire.
Into the Fire is a quest you can take that allows you to escort a druid who will slowly walk up the Furnace, putting out the flames as he goes. Just be patient and follow him from a few paces behind.
Voila! You don’t even have to turn it in, the flames are now suppressed and you can run around the Furnace all day long with impunity. Impunity. It’s like impish exuberance and annoying attitude, but with fewer letters.
Or, you know, you can just deathcharge it and eat the repair bill, whatever.
So there you are, facing the very simple parkour jumping challenge of the amazing disappearing/reappearing floaty rocks.
Yeah, so I died the first time, sue me.
There are two places Skarr can spawn, both of them marked in gold dots of the above map, courtesy of Wowhead. Both of these places are best accessed after you jump up to that floating island on the Northwest labeled Fireplume Peak.
As you can see from the following picture, Skarr appears on floating platforms just like this one.
Skarr also shares this spawn point with a rare gem-pattern crab named Karkin. I’m glad he does, because I was able to test the taming process out on Karkin, who spawned long before I ever saw a Skarr.
So, you see where I’m standing? You see the player out there on the floating rocky bit?
What I found, much to my profound shock, was that Molten Front is cross-server, and the farming for Skarr is still fierce. Annoyingly, trollingly so.
It was a rare stretch of time when there wasn’t at least one other hunter somewhere in sight while I stood there waiting for a spawn. I’d stand there for a few hours, and hunters would pop in and out checking, run past, ride past, jump onto the platforms and sit, stand on top of me, fire their traps onto the platform (including fire and snake traps), flag PvP on the rocky bit, you name it.
Something about all of this took what was an idle whim and forged within me a strong desire to stick with it. I spent many hours over the last few days standing there with NPC Scan waiting to tell me when Skarr appeared. About all I did since my last post, really.
Fortunately NPC Scan has a honking loud klaxon to warn you when it sees a rare, so I could read my book while waiting.
Silly. I must have told myself a dozen times I didn’t really care that much about the pet. I never heard of it before this week, is it really going to kill me to go hunt for a cool spirit wolf like Skoll or Karoma?
I even followed up on that, telling myself that this time was really and truly the last time, by Elune I am leaving Molten Front and this time I’m not coming back, I’m going to go to The Storm Peaks and wait until Skoll appears. If that many hunters are all desperate for the kitty, they can have him!
Apparently, the perversity is strong with this one. I kept slinking back. “Just a few more hours can’t hurt. Who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky.”
I got so annoying about camping for this pet, that while I ran out to do chores Cassie would sit at my desk prepared to tame him should he happen to spawn in those scant few minutes I was away from my keyboard.
I even found myself getting up super early before work to spawn in and see if he was there. Nope, just other hunters hanging around, hoping for rare lightning to strike.
Whether it be Skarr or Karkin who appears, they seem to have about a three to seven hour timer. Not sure if cross-server affects that at all.
I know I saw three Karkins while I was out there waiting for a Skarr to appear. So random is random.
Of course, patience does pay off sometimes. Also, blind crazy luck.
Saturday evening, we were all tired after a fun day out and about, so I offered to run out for Taco Bell. Cassie, darling enabler of obsession that she is, offered to watch the computer for me, but I told her to just log off. If Skarr appears it’s not like someone deserving won’t get it, right? Just as long as it’s a hunter that tames the rare it’s all good.
Just please, not another Rogue killing the rares just to piss of the hunters, which yes, I was privileged to witness during my vigil, accompanied by the broadcast howls of outrage.
I got back with a sack of tacos, only to find that she had spent the entire time watching for Skarr.
No, the kitty didn’t spawn.
I left Beartrap standing there while we went upstairs to eat. I figured even if I missed Skarr, at least NPC Scan would tell me he appeared so I could relax for at least three hours as the timer reset. Right? Maybe I could take a catnap, come back and camp the rest of the night.
HAH I’m too old for that.
I could get up really early before work though.
After about 5 minutes munching on tacos, I darted downstairs to hit the spacebar, make Beartrap hop about so he didn’t go afk.
I saw the klaxon had gone off.
Sure as hell, Skarr had appeared in those few minutes of my eating tacos.
For want of a taco, a rare cat was lost.
Of course, I look closer, and there was someone sitting out there on the platform, someone… looking closer… is that a gnome?
A gnome that looked like a metal cat?
Wait, what the f*&)? HE’S STILL THERE?
There Skarr was, still sitting there and staring right at me, as if taunting me to tame him. Or to show me that I could have had him, but I was a second too slow as some other hunter is taming him right now any second move move move omigod where is the Tame button oh shit where did I move it why the bloody hell did I move it on my bar oh right I put it next to the Counter Shot button HOLY SHIT COUNTER SHOT.
Not that my sudden buck fever was warranted. For what I swear was the first time in three days, there wasn’t another hunter in sight. Anywhere.
Now, there is a trick to taming Skarr, although the Glyph of Tame Beast is a massive help.
You don’t have to be standing on the same platform he is to tame him, you can do it at range. He won’t chase after you.
What he WILL do is cast fireballs at you, and will usually start with a long cast time spell called Fieroclast Barrage. If he gets it off, it stuns you, interrupting your tame, and also every time he gets any spell off, whether it’s Fieroclast or a regular fireball, he gets a 10% cast speed haste buff.
You want to have your Counter Shot ready to interrupt the Fieroclast… but dear god make sure you’ve got it bound on a macro with a /stopcasting on it, or after you interrupt you’ll autoshot him and could easily kill him.
I can’t even imagine the sad, salty tears if a poor hunter interrupted the cast and ended up killing him with an autoshot.
I WAS prepared, oh yes I was, and with shaking hands I began the tame, properly interrupted the Fieroclast Barrage and began taming again, finally catching him.
Lucky, oh so lucky.
Every time a rare spawns, someone has to be the lucky player to be there at just the right time, and this time that lucky player was me.
Allow me to introduce you to my little friend.
I call him Facet.
As you can see, the Eye of Eternity was no match for a talented kitty like Facet.
Elynea was right. Facet really does fit that armor style well.
Also, have I mentioned how much I love the Scourgestalker shoulders on a male panda? It’s so nice to have shoulders that make a panda look muscular instead of tubby.
Thank you for the suggestion on the pet, Elynea. And I totally blame you for the hours I spent obsessing over it. Blame!
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Tonight I’ve checked off another desire from the expansion… I’ve finally replaced the outfit my Hunter has sported from Cataclysm with something new to take into the Warlords era.
It may not be new, but it’s new to me.
I mentioned on a blog post quite some time ago that I liked my Firelands outfit, but I’d love to gather together the black Scourgestalker pieces from Ulduar 10.
I just never did anything about it, because busy. So, so busy.
I’m really glad I did it though, you know? I’ve learned a lot along the way.
Along the way, I learned a lot of things about Ulduar while romping around in the playground of the Titans.
There is a big difference between soloing something and raiding with a team; time on site.
When you’re with a team, the focus is always on moving your ass as quickly as possible to the next fight, and once AT the fight, in killing the boss as quickly and cleanly as possible. It’s all about time management and efficiency. Nobody wants to be that one person that drags the whole team down.
When you’re by yourself, you have all the time you care to take to get screenshots, drive around, mess with different vehicles, poke your nose into all the nooks and crannies and generally be a pain in the ass to the Titans.
Take Flame Leviathan on ten player mode and the trash on the run up.
It is accurate to say the reason Ulduar wasn’t on my roflstomp list was the trash and Flame Leviathan. The few times I’d gone in solo, without any research, the trash took so long that once I got to FL I wasn’t all that interested in figuring out what’s what. Also, I’d always drive a tank, and when you kill the last defender in front of the gates, Flame Leviathan instantly breaks through, aggros on you, the energy barrier springs up trapping you in with him, and you either kill him RIGHT NOW when you’re already wounded or you die before you ever get started.
It’s annoying, and helped convince me to go do something else the few times I tried.
Well, if you bother to do a little light reading on WoWhead, you find out that Flame Leviathan with the towers crushed is easily soloable. Only problem is wading through a half hour of trash to bloody well GET there.
On ten player, if you talk to Brann first to activate easy mode, then get in a tank and set forth to crush all the trash and topple the towers, it’s a long slog to get to the big bad tank boss. It’s really the only hard part, staying awake while slowly crushing trash.
Ah, how nice it would be if your tank SPEED also scaled with your iLevel the way your health and DPS does.
Anyway, I always took a tank to kill trash and topple towers. In a group, that meant other people in turret, or trying to race to each tower and wave of trash.
Running it solo, I found out that when you’re in the driver seat of a tank, you can click on the turret position on the vehicle icon on your screen, and you will instantly move up there. You don’t have to leave the vehicle first!
My biggest annoyance had always been having to chase all them little dwarves in the tank to crush them under my treads. You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but those little legs can move!
Now I know I can drive the tank up to a tower, smash it, then pop into the turret and rocket the hell out of all the scurrying mobs. Saves time all around.
Bonus points, the turret rockets do MASSIVE damage to all the big wandering giants!
So once I learned that, I had an answer for getting killed by Flame Leviathan at the start of the fight, too. Just drive the tank to extreme range (outside the area the energy barrier springs up) and use the turret rockets to aggro and kill the last gate defenders! Boom, they die, Flame Leviathan breaks through the gate, and I can safely drive my tank away to reset.
Beartrap no go boom. The sheer novelty of it.
So, what else?
To solo Flame Leviathan on ten man mode, all you have to do is get in a Devastator (one of those catapult thingies), drive it just inside the gate area, then hop out and get in the other, drive up and park right next to the first. You get two in 10 man mode, and they have a purple barrle catapult mode that does massive damage to FL. You just start shooting Flame Leviathan with purple barrels from the first Devastator until you run out, then jump out of that Devastator, run over to the second one, hop in and finish him off.
My hunter is only flex geared, and I was able to destroy Flame Leviathan with only one Devastator before running out of purple goo to shoot, so the second one is really just a “I missed a few shots” backup. It’s really that easy.
Suddenly, a whole new world of soloing awesomeness was opened unto me. With the Flame Leviathan barrier become nothing more than tissue beneath my feet, there is a whole raid to wander around in like a lost cub looking for honey.
And all the bosses were easily soloed, right up until Thorim. But more on that in a bit.
I took my time wandering around, and I did no research at all on the bosses. Hard modes? Just do what feels good!
Like killing each of the Iron Council one at a time, and damn that little dwarf I left for last is a baddass little prick, grrr, THERE! Oh, there was an achieve for killing him last, okay.
Or Hodir. You kill him without ever stopping and you’ll get an achievement for not getting all frosty, JUST like when killing the last boss in the Nexus. Plus kill him quick enough and there is bonus loot. Who doesn’t like bonus loot?
The most fun was getting to Mimiron and hitting that gorgeous, big honking red button. OMG that red button, who can resist it’s siren song, it’s sensuous allure. I want to do bad things with that button.
I learned three very, very important things soloing Mimiron after getting up close and dirty with his button.
First, self-healing abilities are awesome. Instead of Iron Hawk, going with Spirit Bond for the constant self-healing is overpowered and makes a huge difference.
Second, you have to spread your DPS on phase four across all three units so they die within 10 seconds of each other. Somehow, over the years I’d forgotten that fact.
Third… don’t kill the little fire extinguisher bot dudes. They’re just trying to help in their little halon way. If you DO go kill-crazy and shoot them as fast as they appear… well, don’t bitch about all the fire covering the floor, it’s your own damn fault.
On the subject of Mimiron… the tram! Oh my, that tram! I’d never actually taken the tram before, I’d just teleported straight to Mimiron’s launching point. That was a place to explore all on it’s own. So cool!
So much of Ulduar is just… well, neat. And pretty.
Thorim is the only real pain in the ass, because while a SKILLED Hunter can apparently solo Thorim, I found it to be too damn tricky to run back and forth from arena to tunnel trash and back, trying to keep from resetting the attack and dying to a ball of bloated boom boom lightning. Also I’m too lazy to buy or make speed pots, apparently.
The thing with him is, someone has to stay in the main arena room while someone else opens the gate and runs the tunnel gauntlet to get up there behind Thorim and push him over the edge. Kinda hard to do that solo. It can be done! Just tricky. That whole skill thing.
So if you really need to kill Thorim, the General and Yogg-Saron in Ulduar, you’re gonna want a buddy. I’ve been really lucky in having friends come join me for that last bit while I was in there, so it was easy to finish it up.
Me, I really needed to kill Yogg each time. I wanted his pants!
Last night, we killed Yogg, I stole his pants and I put them on immediately. They may have been dripping in green ooze, a bit smelly and tinged with crazy evil, but darling they look FABULOUS.
I can see making Ulduar a regular thing. Just gonna need to find a friend so we can always kill Yogg. I’m sure he’s got other goodies we can wear (after wiping away the goo).
I’ve wanted to complete that Hunter set for transmog a long time now, and there is something about it that feels perfectly balanced to me. The Firelands set makes a dramatic statement, but the shoulders are very narrow compared to my big bear belly. I look at it, and I look… fat. Which is a totally acceptable look for a bear, really!
The Scourgestalker set, on the other hand, has imposing shoulders that make the whole thing very… solid. Those padded shoulders, they have such a slimming effect, don’t you think?
Omg I rediscovered 80s fashion! First padded shoulders, what next, a power tie? Big bow for the hair?
Plus, that eyepatch looks really sweet with it, it comes from a quest chain in Blades Edge Mountains, and of course the Wolfslayer’s Sniper Rifle adds authority.
Now I have the hardest decision of all to make.
What pet can I tame that will look awesome with this set? I can’t run around with a big flame-red Devilsaur! That’s like wearing white leather after Noblegarden, it’s just not done.
I suggested finding a big black wolf, and my son said I couldn’t do that. The wolf would keep eyeing my rifle, and feeling sad.
What pet can I find to accessorize with my new black metal armor?
Oh geez, and even worse, I have to figure out new ground and flying mounts to color coordinate!
I need swatches. Someone get me swatches, this is serious!
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Last night, I lost a good friend. A true friend.
A friend that has been there for me for six years, keeping me safe, always looking out for me, protecting me from the evil that lurks in the dark corners of the world.
My Blizzard Authenticator finally died.
I feel cold and alone, now. I log in and wonder, have they found me? Is this the moment when they sense my weakness and attack again?
Will I find my character standing there, naked, wearing only a cock ring?
I purchased my authenticator in the very first wave when they were released, shortly after the original Blizzard announcement in June of 2008.
In all that time, my little Authenticator remained faithful and true, and served me well, granting me safe access to a world of wonder.
Keep in mind, I am one of the many who have had their accounts hacked in the past. Oh my, yes. Such a lovely little Christmas present THAT was.
Since today brought the announcement of the Warcraft 10th Anniversary and we’re all being invited to take a trip down memory lane, I invite you to click that link to an old post of mine from 2007, wherein I regale you with the drama from my account dickery hackery lock on Christmas Eve, 2006. You might detect a touch of vitriol as I discuss in extremely accurate (and profane) terms my Blizzard customer service experience circa 2006.
Blizzard, you’ve come a long way. But let’s be honest, you had a long way to go.
Love ya. /mucha smoocha
Oh damn, was I pissed. PISSED.
That was then and this is now, and my happiness is brought to you by the letter AUTHENTICATOR BITCHES.
Wait, that ain’t a letter, except by the editor.
I still remember the day the postman rang once, and brought me my little bundle of joy.
That moment is one that can still bring tears of joy to my eyes. Such strong, true feelings.
Okay, so the feelings are mostly FUCK YOU HACKERS DIE PRICKS MUA HA HA HA HAAAAAA. Ha. Ahem.
They’re still feels.
Fortunately, my period of vulnerability will be a short one.
Replacement authenticators are available on the Blizzard store for only $6.50, in stock, free shipping. Yes please and thank you.
You might prefer the totally free mobile authenticator app, maybe you think you don’t need any but hell, free Core Hound pup, why the heck not.
Me, I like the tangibility of my security solution.
I like to have that physical embodiment of solid protection, like a Paladin bubble protecting my account from all the little hacker pricks the world over.
Holding the Authenticator in my hand feels like… victory.
My PSA to you, if you’ve been using an authenticator as long as I have, think about replacing it soon, and ABSOLUTELY make sure you enable SMS protect on your cell phone of choice with Texting plan, it makes updating your account, changing passwords and removing dead authenticators absolutely hassle free. Word up.
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So, there’s this thing. It’s a staff, and its freaking legendary.
You can get it by running the Firelands raid for, well, for like forever. And then a little after that.
You may or may not know that I’ve been running Firelands every single week on Monday night with battletag friends, proving I have an understanding of the meaning of work.
If you don’t know, the formula for work is the amount of force you exert times the distance the thingie traveled in the direction you wanted it to go.
In other words, if you use all your strength to push on a rock all day long and it doesn’t move so much as a single inch, you didn’t do any work.
By that definition, I don’t get any work done at my job. Ever. That fucking boulder goes nowhere.
I’m getting lots of work done in Firelands, though. Every week we move that rock just a little closer to my goal.
I honestly believe that I will be done with the legendary quest, oh, about a week before the pre-expansion patch comes out. We’ll see if I did the math right.
You’d think I know Firelands pretty well, right? I mean, we kill all the bosses in Firelands-10 heroic mode every single week. Sometimes with six or seven of us, sometimes with just two or three.
You’d think, right?
Last night we were doing a special style of Firelands, we ran it in normal mode and focused on getting Elynea through the Delegation questline for the Legendary, gathering and charging the fragments from the first four bosses.
We completed the collecting and killed the special bonus boss, but it might have taken us a few tries to get all the stones we needed from Alysrazor.
See, here’s the thing. No, really, it wasn’t my fault, I can explain everything.
The first time we tried Alysrazor, we were all set and Elynea was raring to get her pyreshell fragments from the eggs. It seemed like the easiest boss of all to complete, because all you needed to do was grab three of those fragments, and one dropped from each egg. There are two eggs per phase, so logically we only have to do two phases of fragment gathering before setting the thing and letting it eat an explosion.
Well, Elynea might have been a tad bit too eager. Maybe. Last boss and all, you know how it is. She was very… eggcited.
There she is, standing in the middle of the area waiting for eggs to fall from the sky, and when they do she is RIGHT on top of them, reaching for the fragments.
Couldn’t actually gather the fragments, though, because there were these damn hatchlings trying to eat her, chasing her all over the place, and she couldn’t lose aggro and my was she getting frustrated at those darn tanks.
Get some aggro tanks, what the heck, amiright?
Except, ha, the hatchlings focus on whoever is the first person they see/closest person to them. They fixate on you, and think you’re the mama. Or want to eat you, whatever.
By the time we realized Elynea was spending her time running around the whole area being pecked to death by big bird, the fragments despawned.
No problem, carry on, right?
Second pass with the hatchlings, everyone but the tanks stand well the heck away from the center, and she gets her two fragments. Only one more to go!
Third pass with the hatchlings, she gets her last fragment, gets all set, waits for Alysrazor to explode… and waits… and waits… and we took too long.
Bird never did blow up.
Apparently, you gotta close escrow on the fire crow before the end of the third cycle.
Too bad we found that out after she combined the fragments and dropped it. So we have to do the whole thing over including gathering three more fragments. And wipe, too, since there ain’t no enrage timer on the big bad bird.
We die creatively (and in some cases exhaustingly), run back in, and there we are waiting to get things started.
As I’m standing there, I’m exploring my surroundings as a bear is wont to do. I’m just lookin’ around at the ground.
I see something shiny there on the ground. It’s so pretty. So shiny.
I move closer to get a better look.
Sitting there on the ground is one of Alysrazor’s feathers!
I mean, look at it. It looks really cool, right?
I look at it, and my thought process goes exactly like this.
“Wow, that’s a molten feather.”
“It’s still sitting there on the ground.”
“It must not have despawned after the wipe.”
“I wonder if I can pick it up and run fast while we wait to start the fight.”
“I like to run fast.”
“What’s the worst that can happen?”
So, just so you know, and I’m saying this in the interests of performing a valuable public service, clicking on that feather is how you start the fight after a wipe.
Go figure, huh?
Who woulda thunk it.
Yeah… I suppose that does make more sense than that a molten feather just happened to still be lying there after the wipe.
Since some people (like Elynea) didn’t happen to be in range when I clicked on that pretty little feather, maybe we might possibly had to run like hell from Alysrazor all the way to the exit of the raid and run out.
Bonus points, who here knew the hatchlings would chase you all the way to the exit portal? Pretty cool, huh?
At least Elynea completed her Delegation quest and can now begin the glory that is gathering all those damn embers.
See, doesn’t that story just make you want to join me every Monday night at 7 central time? Don’t you just wanna LEAP into action?
Oh yeah, in a heartbeat. Sign my butt RIGHT up.
Grats, Elynea! You succeeded despite my very best efforts.
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