Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Calling the stars

Last night was a very good night for me. Not because I raked in a ton of achievements. Not because I was part of a team that accomplished things I honestly never expected we'd accomplish. But because it reminded me that for every night of raiding that frustrates the hell out of me, it only takes one to be totally proud of my guild and my raiders.

We descended back into the depths of Ulduar to once again attempt One Light in the Darkness (10) and finally finish Glory of the Ulduar Raider (10). We started this back in early September. Limited time and emphasis on getting more Kingslayers kept us from really focusing on it, so runs were often spaced weeks apart. That and 4.01 wiped all lockouts clean, so we weren't able to extend and had to start over (even though we were working on Mimiron prior to that).

Mimiron took us a few nights off attempts to get past, as did Yogg. Again, nights that were often spaced somewhat far apart.

Yogg, especially, had been taxing. I'm not sure why. But it just wouldn't come together for us. Last night marked our 4th night dedicated solely to killing the Old God with only Thorim to help us. Thanks to some people (*cough*me*cough*) forgetting that they had to download a 700MB patch before logging in, we got started almost an hour late. That, combined with the here-we-go-again feeling that you could feel hanging over Vent and...yeah. It was not looking like it was going to be a happy night.

Our first attempt of the night got to Phase 3. The transition was a little sloppy and we ended up having two people die and one go insane shortly after, but we got to that point pretty smoothly. It felt good. Instantly you could tell that people were feeling more energized than they were 10 minutes before that.

We released, gathered back up, and went in.

I haven't spent a lot of time on Yogg. Prior to starting this Achievement run we'd managed to kill him once and that was back in March after we'd already managed to collect a decent amount of ICC gear.

Still, in all the attempts that led to that kill, and all the attempts we had on the achievement run, I've never come close to having a full 40 seconds with which to ravage Yogg's brain. But that's exactly what we had the first time we went into the portals on the 2nd attempt. It was glorious. We didn't get him down to the requisite 30%, but we got close enough that as soon as the brain room opened the next time I ran straight to the portals and Beared it up to wait for the Immortal Guardian to spawn at the phase transition. It didn't take long.

After that, it was just slow and steady, make no mistakes.

Two attempts to do something that's been plaguing us for many nights. That felt good.

We completely flooded guild chat with achievement spam. All 10 people in the raid got at least 5 achievements. Many got 6 or 7.

A few of the people in the raid were missing the Razorscale achievement (we skipped it when we started over because it's annoying as hell) so we went back out there to do that.

Then we still had time left, so we figured...hell, why not try Algalon?

None of us had seen the fight before. We had 0 idea of what to expect. I knew there was a 1 hour limit on attempts, but I didn't know if it started when we opened the door to the planetarium or when we first pulled, or what.

We took a quick break while I read up on fight. I explained it as best I could. And then we went to work.

Let me tell you, if you've never been inside the planetarium, you don't know what you're missing. I saw a video of it once. It didn't do it justice. By far the most amazing single room in all of WoW. And that's even before the fight starts. Once it does...oh my.

It was rough at first. Reading about a fight never really prepares you for it. So there were a lot of "oh crap" moments as we figured things out. The hardest part of the fight is that it's impossible to see what's going on. Everything's glowy and see-through and you can't tell where one object ends and the next one starts. Things across the room look like they're on top of each other and things on top of each other are completely indistinguishable. Pain. in. the. butt.

Five minutes after our usual cutoff time and with 15 minutes left on our one-hour timer, we started an attempt that ended in victory. It wasn't pretty. We lost 3 people to the last Big Bang before Phase 2 because they were forced out of the Black Hole realm too early. But as soon as we hit that 20% mark, we went all out and managed to defeat him.

I understand that defeating Algalon at this time and in our gear is not a huge accomplishment. But what I do consider an accomplishment is that at the beginning of the raid night, none of us had ever seen the fight for ourselves, nor did we even honestly expect to be trying. A lot of our raiders are East coasters and were exhausted by that time. And yet we learned it and conquered it in 45 minutes.

I can't tell you what kind of pride that made me feel as a raid leader. Every frustrating moment we'd had trying to get those Rusted Proto-Drakes vanished right then. All that was left was 10 very happy (and very tired) Starcallers.


  1. Big Grz!
    I still haven't finished Uld and its one of those on my list i want to do before Cata.

  2. I wish you all gratz through my veil of tears. Thinking of Ulduar makes me sad.