Sunday Night Fights – ICC Makeup Night!

I know that the first expansion raid is now live, and there is just a ton of stuff to do in the game right now.

Despite that, I’d like to get back to doing Sunday night cross-server fun stuff for those who are interested.

Before we leap into something like Ulduar or Sunwell, there is one thing that I want to do first.

I’d like to get an Icecrown Citadel makeup night done.

While many of us who were taking part of the last Icecrown Citadel raid completed the runs and got our Drake mounts, not everyone could or did. They didn’t abandon us, folks had real life stuff that came up, missed an achieve or two.

This weekend, I’m going to plan for a night of ICC 25 person Heroic mode and Achievement makeup raiding.

For those who are willing to join me, we’ll do our damnedest to get folks the Achievements they are missing for the 25 person drake mount.

This makeup run is for the benefit of folks that were taking part and weren’t able to complete it because of vacations or schedule conflicts, but there were only, at most five folks in that situation.

Let me tell you, EVERYONE is welcome to come, including folks who never went before.

I know we won’t get everything done in one night from scratch, but if you’d like to go, you would be very welcome.

The more the merrier!

I am sure some of the folks that were part of our last team and completed the achievements won’t be wanting to come. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d think there will be openings. It would be one thing if we were all bored, but with all the tasty new candy in the game to devour? I expect there to be many openings. My real concern will be not having enough folks to get the Heroic versions done.

The day and time will be Sunday October 7th, forming the group at 10 minutes prior to 7:00 PM Central time. I’ll be on before that of course, but once 7 PM rolls around we’re lighting some undead dudes UP.

The only requirement? Be Alliance side on a US server, and either be a Battletag friend of mine or be the Battletag friend of someone who is coming.

If you are not my Battletag friend yet but you’d like to go, make sure you send me a friend request before the end of the day Saturday at BigBearButt#1737.

If you wait until Sunday and there is a problem, it’s a little too late then to really work through it back and forth. If you’re gonna try and go, do it before Saturday night.

Word of warning, I have found one bug with Battletags. Sometimes people send me an invite, and I don’t get it account-wide… it gets sent to only one character, and which one can be random. Yeah, no shit. I actually flipped to a different server to look at an alt and found a friend request on one there. From like weeks before, too. So, if you send one, and I don’t respond within a day, it is NOT because I don’t like you, it is because i didn’t get it. Send me an email at to give me a heads up to hunt ‘er down.

Thank you, and I hope to see you this Sunday!

Should I upgrade to OpenRaid?

I’ve heard of OpenRaid on Twitter before, but it took posts by Thunderspank and Navimie to get me to look into it deeper.

OpenRaid has both a European and a US server setup, and from the account setup process, is as near to perfect as I can imagine. Whoever (or whomever) are the creators behind it have done an amazing job, and have my utmost respect.

I created an account there and setup my Alliance Hunter to see how it goes, and step by step it’s just so professional, it encourages you to feel that this will be a good experience.

I was a bit confused for all of two seconds as it said I could not see cross-server raids in the list, until I remembered, oh yes silly Bear, need to add the Battletag into the account. Ah, there we go!

Oh my, that is a lot of raid activity in there. So much to choose from, so many possibilities! And they even have Ventrilo support for official OpenRaid events for communication.

With such a powerful framework in place for organizing and recruiting for cross-server raids, the question arises, why am I trying to do it with scratch pads, duct tape and baling wire?

So I wonder, can anyone give me some pros and cons here.

Should I switch to using OpenRaid to setup my fun run Sunday raids? Or keep doing it all by the seat of my pants with personal invites to folks that set up battletags ahead of time?

I know one advantage. If I use OpenRaid, I’d be able to see, live and in color, who had signed up for a given night, on what characters/roles, and others could do the same.

The disadvantage to that same line item is, if you sign up with a specific character, you feel like you’re losing some of the flexibility that a more personal raid has to swap to whoever we need, or do multiple different raids in the same run (like our Sarth +3s, followed by ICC).

Give me you datas. What do you think, what has been your experience in OpenRaid to date, and what do you think the pros and cons of switching to that structure might be?

Icecrown Citadel: A Surprising Finale

Our merry little band went into ICC 25 person Sunday evening for the last official night of achievement runs. If a member had been fortunate enough to be able to go every week, then this would be the last run for the last achieve… before we do a makeup week, anyway.

As usual, we started a half hour early to pop off some Sartharion with all drakes up, and it started things off with a big surprise.

I was already at Wyrmrest Temple, and I began inviting to the raid group from within the sanctum, hovering just outside the portal to the raid instance.

As the invites went out, the airspace within the temple sanctum grew crowded with raid members.

Wait a minute…

Holy shit.


We formed a cross-server Alliance raid group, and while in the open world, as a member joined the group, they joined the real world environment we all shared.

The cross-server zones are active with patch 5.0.4, and one of the side effects is to allow cross-server raid groups to meet in the real world, not just in a raid instance!

You know what this meant?

We can use the summoning stones in a cross-server raid to summon people!

That was just… that blew me away.

Do you remember my one big complaint? That with the loss of “Have Group Will Travel”, cross-server raid groups like ours would be hosed, unless they put the summoning stone inside the instance?

Well, Blizzard went me one further, and let cross-server raid groups meet wherever the heck we want… as long as it ain’t in a capital city.

Any world zone that can be cross-server, is now effectively a shared zone for your raid.

Totally flabberghasted. Didn’t see that one coming!

At any rate, last Sunday a week ago we cleared all of ICC 25, up to the Dreamweaver, in preparation for tonight. A little over an hour later, and the Lich King lay dead (re-dead?) at our feet, and for many of us, the final achievement was finally won.

My thanks to all of those who came with us, who forged a group out of such wild, untamed creatures as us Hunters and Druids (with the token class here and there. We even had Thelandira on her Warlock last night!) and brought us to victory.

It was a long time in coming, but here they are, your Glorious Icecrown Raiders!

Once it was all over, someone had the brilliant idea of taking advantage of the new cross-server zone and raid thingie phenomena to go do a flying mount photo shoot outside the gates of Stormwind. Elwynn Forest was host to a lot of frozen chickens tonight!

Other players started getting in on it, which is fine, but we wanted just a few more with the team, so Laia, our long-suffering and masterful main tank (and Guardian Druid) found us a nice ledge just off to the side, and so there we perched… and I see someone managed to get a big frozen chicken butt in the picture. Sigh.


This marks the successful completion of the first ever BBB Cross-server Raid of Awesome People… or CRAP, for short.

This was so much fun, I think we’re going to keep doing these on Sunday evenings, for as long as folks are interested in showing up.

Next Sunday, we will be doing a one-shot, a blast into Ahn’Qiraj 40, to kill that bastard C’thun.

The week after, we will be doing a single makeup run of ICC 25 for a few of the achievements some folks are missing, such as Neck Deep in Vile.

Here is a new announcement for everyone!

If you have not been a part of this series of runs and would like to be involved in the future, simply send me a friend invite at my Battletag, BigBearButt#1737.

There is no obligation… but I do intend to do Ulduar 25 full achievement runs in the very near future, and after that and we’re all level 90, who knows? Do I see some Bastion of Twilight? Some Firelands?

Just not Heroic Spine. Dear god, no Heroic Spine.

Something old, something new, something not too tired, something quick to blow through?

Congratulations, my friends.

Tonight, we accomplished something that took effort, planning and persistence, and it really paid off. Thank you to everyone!

Hi ho, silver frozen chicken butt, and awaaaaay!

The Journey Is Almost Complete

Every Sunday evening for several weeks now, I’ve been getting together with a group of good folks across multiple servers, plugging away at the achievements for Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25 person).

The journey has been a lot of fun, and I’ve learned a lot about how the whole cross-server raid thing works along the way.

Did you know that you can’t use summoning stones in cross-server? The trick to cross-server grouping is that since you’re all on seperate realms until you step foot into the instance, anything you try and do from outside the instance only applies to folks on your own server. Summoning Stones are not in the raid instance with you. So, summoning methods only work if done from within the raid instance, and even then, you have to be near the instance portal. Blizzard changed things a while back so you can’t just bring folks right to you if you’re deep in the dirt. You have to surface to breathe the fresh air, then pull the people in to meet you.

Works great when almost everyone has Have Group, Will Travel to summon the raid to you, though.

Good thing there weren’t any plans to take that away or anything.

Oops, oh, right. They ARE taking away HGWT. They are replacing it with… Ride Like The Wind, faster flight path travel time by 25%.

What a STUPID idea. It’s almost as though someone stopped and asked themselves, “What one quality of game life thing can we change to screw over people who enjoy playing together as much as possible? Ooh, I know, let’s take away Have Group, Will Travel. That way, instead of just summoning everyone to the raid location and getting busy having fun, we can return to the days of blowing a half hour with flying and hearthing and shit waiting for people to get there. Nothing better than standing around for a half hour waiting on stragglers, I always say.”

My suggestion is, take your Summoning Stones and stick them just INSIDE the raid instance instead of leaving them outside. Then they’d actually fulfill their functions for all raid groups, both home grown and cross-server.

What is funny is, I’m writing this without knowing if they already moved the summoning stones on the beta or not. I haven’t heard anyone really talk about Have Group Will Travel since, like, April. Maybe they just moved some summoning stones into instances and raids and eliminated the issue. Got two people in your group that can get there? Then you’re covered.

But then again… maybe they haven’t.

Aside from seeing the truck of stupid barreling on down the road at us, the Sunday night raids have been a lot of fun.

We’ve managed to get every single achievement necessary now, with the lone exception of The Orb Whisperer.

We even managed to get “Been Waiting a Long Time” on our Lich King kill last night, on our first try! I was totally expecting that to take like five tries!

We are sooo close now. Just one lone Orb Whisperer achievement left to go.

The Orb Whisperer has turned out to be the most challenging achievement of the bunch for us. It doesn’t matter how much health you’ve got in your pool when the achievement requires you to kill the bosses without anyone in the entire group taking a set amount of damage in one shot.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re bubbled, either. It only cares that you got hit with it, if the bubble absorbed some it still counts. You need to use the mechanic of the purple orbs on the Kale tank to mitigate the damage from that one effect, and handle all the other spell effects properly, period. No bullshitting around.

Having tons of DPS to burn the bosses obviously helps a lot, because the faster they die, the less dancing you have to do.

Also, having tons of health does help since you can have a much higher DPS to healer ratio in your group. On each of our Orb Whisperer wipes last night, it took longer to actually die when we stopped fighting so we could get a chance to restart it than it did to give it a real go.

Okay, are we clear now? Good.

Now that I’m a few paragraphs farther down the page, I can reveal that I was just playing a practical joke on Matty. I’ve been intending to do this ever since we started talking about doing these achievements. In truth, we didn’t even get to Lich King last night before we were done for the evening, let alone try to give Been Waiting A Long Time a shot. We finished the raid after killing the Dreamweaver. 

But I was telling the truth about only having one achievment left to do. You see, what we really accomplished last night was finishing that pesky Orb Whisperer after all. 🙂 It took us about a half hour of wiping on failed attempts before we got the coordination down, but we did manage to do it.

You have no idea how panicked Matty has been about not being there when we attempted Been Waiting a Long Time. Whisper whisper whisper. I just know that when she read that paragraph up above, the ensuing screams could be received by Curiosity, and damn the silent vacuum of space.

I ask you, if you can’t prank your friends, who can you prank?

But yes, that means that the actual and for true last achievement we as a group need is Been Waiting a Long Time  – Lich King kill.

Sadly, we have come so close, only to have to take a two week break, as the Bear family will be out of town next weekend.

Some folks still need Heroic mode kills of bosses, but we can’t even get that coordinated in my absence due to the second drawback of cross-server raiding… needing to be the Real ID or Battletag friend of someone forming or inside of the raid. 

To be cleaqr, you don’t all have to be Battletag friends with the raid leader. The raid leader can invite one person, convert to raid, check “make all assistants’ so everyone can invite, and then anyone else in the raid can invite people to join, even folks from their own Real ID friends list or just in their guild, no worries, no need to have one single point of failure.

Once Battletags go live in WoW, we could conceivably all share our Battletags on a forum and link up that way regardless of Bear time, but barring that, if the Bear is away, the raid cannot play. 😦

Tt looks like the Mists of Pandaria official release date will come just in time to see a whole passel of people proudly plying the skies with dead drakes. I for one will salute our undead dragon mount overlords.

Once the expansion comes out, I expect to take a bit of a break as I level my Druid (as Guardian) to 90, and start my new Panda Monk,

Give it a month though, and I will definitely be looking to start up another such cross-server raid accomplishment group again. It’s been too much fun not to. Just gonna have to wait until we get settled into the gay ’90s first.

Maybe Firelands achieves and flaming bird mounts? Who could say where the whim may drive us on that fine day?

Been having a great time while we’ve been waiting a long time, my friends. Thank you to everyone that has been taking part, it’s been a blast, every single week.