Posts from the 'Blog' Category
Cataclysm has finally passed us by. The long months of farming Dragon Soul are finally over, making way for the shiny new expansion. Mists of Pandaria doesn’t bother with revamping old zones or streamlining leveling, instead focusing (like a good expansion should) on the higher level/end-game stuff. We’re now just over a week in, and I thought I’d make a new blog post to comment on the state of things before we dive into raiding, give some recognition to awesome guild achievements, and generally update this dusty blog.
So, aptly, we’ll start with day one achievements. Let me start by saying that a group of us would have reached Realm First 90 at the same time, if it weren’t for Blizzard managing to screw up Alterac Valley, allowing players to earn ridiculous amounts of experience per hour (even by losing battles). Once again, we found ourselves able to start levelling at around 02:00 server time, a good 45 minutes behind the front end of the curve. Still, our merry band of intrepid realm-first-seekers pushed on, getting ahead of the curve as we entered the 2nd leveling zone (the Nagrand-esque Valley of the Four Winds).
However, it was Zohryn (now Zogh, resto/DPS druid) who snagged our very first guild achievement, bagging Realm First! Zen Master Skinner in almost no time at all!
With a metric fuckton of preparation and two miners/peons collecting materials for him, Neimi took a short break from leveling to earn Realm First! Zen Master Engineer!
90 seconds after priest Ebrill hit Realm First! Level 90 in GGBlizzard Valley, Stoke snagged Realm First! Level 90 Death Knight, now having 3 expansions worth of class Realm Firsts.
Minutes after that, I myself hit Level 90, getting Realm First! Level 90 Rogue.
Neimi followed shortly with Realm First! Level 90 Paladin, having out-leveled the Alliance competition in the last stretch.
Others came close, with Onida losing out on realm first shaman to another Alterac Valley farmer – consolations to him! Yukela’s attempt to be the first monk at 90 was also thwarted by some buggy level granting from the RAF account, and his competition having some pretty dedicated boosters. Annoying to say the least. Iltharen/Julia’s fishing attempt was close, but no cigar – someone else was lucky enough to grab that achievement. Anyway, on to other things.
It’s apparent that Mists of Pandaria is a completely different beast to Cataclysm. Along with the new lighting engine which makes everything look nicer, the aesthetics of the zones and the attention to detail mean that Pandaria’s locales are the best WoW has ever seen. The levelling is also certainly more challenging – by the time you hit the Dread Wastes, you’ll probably want to team up with a buddy if you’re not a particularly strong self-healer. The zones feel more alive than ever before, and with a huge amount of rare monsters/items to find, exploration has never been better rewarded (there’s even a faction that gives you a mount for exploring special lore items).
While not everyone agrees with the INSANE amount of dailies that one can do, the content is certainly more engaging than Cataclysm’s incredibly linear, often shallow dailies and quest lines. While I find the majority of the dailies more entertaining than Cataclysm’s, a large number of professions rely on these reputations to earn any money. While it lends gravitas to an individual’s achievements in their crafting, it’s a questionable design philosophy. If Blizzard intends alts to farm the same dailies for months on end, I can see people being discouraged from fully experiencing content on different classes. Time will tell.
Until that time, we now have heroic dungeons, scenarios and the incredibly daunting challenge modes to keep us busy outside of raids. The heroics vary in quality – if you ask me, some of the bosses are a bit lacklustre, and Shado-Pan Monastery needs to be cut in half to make two instances. Still, the overall quality of design is far superior to Cataclysm’s mostly uninspired dungeons. Again, the design and attention to detail is better than ever. No question.
The scenarios are somewhere between heroics and group quests, and are relatively fun for what they are. If Blizzard keep adding them, they’ll be a nice filler – although well-geared players will munch through them incredibly quickly. They’re harmless bites of gameplay for when you have absolutely nothing else to do, but still want to play WoW.
Then there’s Challenge modes. Oh, boy, Challenge modes. Imagine BC heroics amped up a few notches and then some. Then add a timer to it, so to get the highest achievement for it, you need to pull fast, CC efficiently and put out a HELL of a lot of DPS. We worked on what’s said to be the easiest one for the last few days, finally getting Gold after what must be 40-50 tries at least. They are utterly bonkers, and the last few seconds of the instance today were incredibly tense. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Gold awards for challenge modes turn out to be the hardest content Blizzard have ever released.
When you’re done with crafting, dailies, heroics, Challenge modes, scenarios, and there’s no raid on… PET BATTLES. Honestly, I didn’t think I’d get into these, however Blizzard haven’t half-arsedly inserted Pokemon into their engine. There’s a proper questline spanning across all the continents, an insane amount of achievements and rare pets to obtain, and the actual system itself is as addictive as the game it so shamelessly knocks off. I smell a lawsuit, Blizzard.
THC is about to step into our first raid, so we’ll see what that content is like. After all, for most people in The Hungering Cold, raids are the most important part. But I take solace in the fact that there is no way, just NO WAY that it can get any worse than Dragon Soul, can it? Here’s hoping.
Introduction by Meryam:
The Cataclysmic craziness has begun…
And the world will never be the same. Deathwing’s burning rage has settled upon Azeroth, replacing Arthas’ bitter cold wrath.
As Azeroth trembles and transforms, the heroes of The Hungering Cold are seen preparing. They gather resources, polish their gear and sharpen their weapons, to ready themselves against a challenge they have never faced before.
Champions, the road ahead of us will be difficult. The path will be long and arduous, and our journey has only just started.
But we will march together, like we always have. We will face everything, and anything, that gets thrown our way. We will shatter any wall, any creature. Immortal or human, it matters not.
We will not give up, that is not for us, not in our world, for the harder it gets, the more determined we will be, the more hopeless it will feel, the more dedicated we will become, and if we get lost, we will find our way. That is the spirit of The Hungering Cold.
In the end, we will stand tall and proud. We will stand victorious, together.
Deathwing, all your glory are belong to us!
At the beginning of the last expansion, THC was a small guild with big goals, and we definitely met those goals (and then some). Now, we’ve started Cataclysm with a full roster of keen, like-minded players who enjoy raiding together and overcoming all challenges presented to us. I think most of us have been playing insane amounts over the last week or two, but I’ll take a breather to recap the start of the new progression and the impression I get.
After nearly an hour waiting to get onto the server, a lot of us were keen to level as fast as humanly possible, going for those Realm First achievements. Many of those who really went for this had tried beta, so we’d already seen the amazing quest content that Blizzard had prepared for us. The new zones and their mostly linear progression seem to divide people’s opinions – while some enjoy the storyline-based content, others feel the exploration and the freedom in questing has been lost. What we can all agree on, however, is that Gnomebliteration is awesome.
So, our team of mad levellers tried their hardest to go for Realm Firsts, however unfortunately a few of us were thwarted by a handful of Alliance who had managed to get onto the server 30-40 minutes before us. In a timeframe of 14 hours, that really counted, so we lost Realm First Hunter, Paladin and Warrior by a few painful minutes. However THC managed to snag a few of those unique Feats of Strength, Stoke reclaiming his Realm First Death Knight achievement, with myself nabbing first Rogue a few minutes later. On the profession front, our moving paladin Lythena managed to become the first Enchanter on the realm to reach the 525 cap, with help from guildies that were willing to send him greens. Awesome work guys, and bad luck to those who missed out by a tiny margin.
Not all of us were ‘that’ bothered with being so fast, most wanting to enjoy the content at a leisurely pace, but as a whole we were ready for heroics and raiding in stupendous time. Heroics were going on by the evening of the 7th, and a good 3 heroic groups were going the night after. One thing that can be said about early Cataclysm progression is that it is definitely more involved and challenging. The difficulty curve already seems far steeper than Wrath’s heroics, especially for healers. But that didn’t stop us, and by Friday, we’d assembled enough level 85s to go 2-shot Brutall- I MEAN Argaloth in Baradin Hold. We followed this up with a great raid on Sunday, taking down 3 bosses in Blackwing Descent, only to disenchant 2 of our first 15 loots. Typical!
So we’re already on track to steady raiding again, and I hope we can ultimately have as good a time in Cataclysm as we did through Wrath of the Lich King.
You guys rock!
It was almost two years ago… I was on the look-out for a friendly guild to get back into raiding after a relaxing break. Dragonblood Conclave and then Violent Noise have fallen and none of the other raiding guilds felt close to what I was looking for: a new place to call home. Among all the trade nonsense, a to-the-point recruitment ad got my attention: “oh hai there…”
That greeting was -at the time- not followed by impressive achievements or even a promise of the success to follow. It was a plain call to swing by a web site, this web site, where a new community was brewing. I did just that. The effort those people have put into the site, the apparent good taste in design and common sense behind each post got me hooked. I sure was going to follow their progress. A few days later, I decided to give it a shot. I worked on my in-character application for some long hours and posted it, eagerly refreshing the content of the page, waiting for first reactions. After a while I got some friendly replies that only strengthened my excitement about this community.
I was trying to make a case for raiding as frost. We all agreed that this was not the best idea, but it was not all about the damage output back then. Luckily Anubelle and Jomotei, although I could sense they had some doubts on my choice of spec, decided to offer me a spot. One of the best times I had in-game began.
Rules were clear, yet not really needed, raiding was fun, progress was impressive. From a guild of 7 at the start of Wrath (yes, an instance group with a couple of back-ups), without any realm and -of course- far from any world ranking, straight to prime raiding guild horde side, a close realm second and worldwide top 400. And all this progress with just three raiding days per week. I call this impressive and challenge you to disagree.
I feel grateful for all the fun I have had over the past two years. I truly want to thank Anubelle and Jomotei for creating this awesome guild, Anubelle, Jomotei and Apteryx for making sure we all have a great time raiding and of course each and every one of you for making this the greatest community to be in.
High Warlord Niove of The Hungering Cold
So I thought I’d write a song, and I came up with most of this in the shower. I present to you a song to the tune of ‘Still Alive’ from Portal. Original song is at the bottom for reference!
(The Lich King is) Still Alive
- a spoof song by Jinjiro
This was a wipe night,
I’m making a note here, SLIGHT PROGRESS,
It’s hard to say I’m feeling satisfaction.
We do what we must, because we can.
For the good of all of us,
Except the ones who are dead!
But there’s no sense crying over every mistake,
You just keep on wiping till you run out of… fish?
And the raiding gets done,
And you move to Yogg-Saron,
While the Lich King, he is still alive!
I’m not even angry,
I’m being so sincere right now.
Even though you stood in traps, and killed me,
And blew me to pieces,
It threw me outside the frozen spire.
And as I fell, it hurt because, I knew that you were dead too.
Now the val’kyrs fly out in a beautiful line,
But you’re out of melee, you can’t kill them in time,
So it’s bad you got dropped,
Now the Lich King can’t be stopped,
By the people who are still alive!
Go ahead and leave me,
I think I prefer to stay outside,
Maybe you’ll find someone else to stun them,
Maybe a feral!
That was a joke, HA HA, fat chance!
This is why we rogues are great,
We’re so damn good at these stuns,
Look at me still talking when there’s raiding to do,
Now your disc priest’s grabbed, so I’m glad I’m not you,
Off the platform you must run,
With your rocket boots for fun,
That’s assuming you are still alive!
And the Lich King, he is still alive!
He’s laughing at us and he’s still alive!
He feels fantastic and he’s still alive!
And when we’re wiping he’ll be still alive,
And when we’ve wiped he will be still alive!
Still alive… Still alive!
The path to the Frozen Throne was arduous indeed, and yet now that we can scale the icy summit in less than 3 hours, we face the greatest challenge of all. The battle against the Lich King is a hard one, certainly the toughest challenge since the days of 40-man raiding and the insanity that was C’thun. The fight mechanics create a setting in which one individual mistake can set off a chain reaction that ends almost inevitably in a wipe, since this is a battle where the classic RPG trinity of tank, healer and damage-dealer needs near perfect co-ordination. The Lich King heroic encounter pushes everyone into individual tasks that are, in their own way, vital to the success of the raid. Brilliant in design, brutal in execution.
So slowly but surely we have pushed on, perservering through wipe after wipe, steadily improving and realising that victory is within our sights. It felt good to get to Phase 3, didn’t it? I certainly felt a sense of approaching a finishing line as we battled that second round of Raging Spirits. It justified all those other wipes, the discouraging nights where no progress seemed to be made. Suddenly we were ‘here’, looking at the last hurdle with grim determination and a spring in our step.
Old enemies are seeming to pose no problem recently, one benefit of doing battle with the cold-hearted monarch of the damned and his minions. Yogg-Saron keeps rearing his ugly toad-face, and we keep stamping on it, providing several of the luckier members of the guild with shiny new flying mounts, tokens of their increasing prowess. Yet our greatest enemy remains alive, and in the coming weeks we must find the will and the determination to keep thrashing at Arthas, hounding him until we taste the victory that we will have earned.
Ho ho ho, here it is, the second Hungering Blog movie. This time Stoke, Jinjiro and Argha talk about the new patch, our progress and many random things, paired with footage from one of our awesome nostalgia raids!
Taking the road less traveled is often held up as something positive. It’s not. It’s annoying, is what it is. Who do those people think they are? They think they know better than the rest of us? Get back in line, damnit! Conform! Conform!
We have one of those idiots in our guild. Apteryx. He’s a warlock but instead of studying spreadsheets trying to min-max 1 more dps more from his spell rotation, he hangs out in the tank channel. He doesn’t have a tank alt. He has no tank experience. He’s just there, constantly weighing in on tank strategies during raids or volunteering to tank every raid encounter known to man. A typical exchange:
Raid leader: Hmm, we lack a tank for the adds.
Apteryx: I can tank them, no problem!
Raid leader: So who’s tanking this boss?
Apteryx: I can tank him, no problem!
Raid leader: Roses are red.
Apteryx: I’ll tank them, no problem.
Anyway, last Thursday we cleared TotC 25-man heroic and then started somnambulating our way through the normal version when Apteryx volunteered to tank. Again. Our resolve beaten to a pulp by the drudgery of farm content, we thought…fuck it, let’s just let him tank. So we let him maintank Lord Jaraxxus, one of the Twin Valkyrs and Anub’arak. Sadly – from a conformist perspective – the road less traveled turned out to be covered in fragrant rose petals, paved from pure gold and home to the world’s largest collection of chocolate bunnies. We had no wipes, no tank deaths, no nothing. It was as smooth as honey dipped in butter.
Damn it. Now there’ll be no shutting him up.
P.P.S. I had a look at the raid log and during the Anub’arak fight, Apteryx took 12846 damage per second and received 14329 healing per second. For comparison’s sake, our “real” tank took 8348 damage per second during the heroic version of Anub’arak the same reset. Who said normal was easymode?
Now that the celebrations for Anub’arak’s demise have calmed down a bit I thought I’d congratulate one of our members on achieving a very respectable milestone. After getting Resilience Will Fix It on our first try during the Thursday farm raid Molgon passed 10,000 achievement points and became the first member of our guild to do so.
World of Warcraft has been around for quite some time now; 5 years isn’t something to scoff at considering the life expectancy of your average video game. The game’s mechanics sometimes move very violently from side to side, and nobody stays on top for very long. It’s nice to see that some people stay loyal to the same bobbing head that runs from place to place in the middle of their screen for so long.
So to Molgon as well as all the other several-years-old characters in our guild and the players playing them: /salute
While we still have two hardmode encounters to complete in Ulduar, namely Algalon and Yogg+0, we managed to complete the 25-man metaachievement and get our drakes before heroics unlocked for the new raid instance. This was a goal we set for ourselves when we found out it’d take 5 weeks for hardmodes to unlock for the Trial of the Crusader, and thanks to great focus from our raiders we managed to do it.
Blizzard seems to have their patches timed well, since after our last progression blitz on Ulduar hardmodes quite a few of us have gotten somewhat tired of the place.
The normal modes for Trial of the Crusader don’t seem to be tuned around organized raiding guilds, with most guilds getting Anub’arak down very easily. It’ll be interesting to see how guilds like us fare on the Heroic mode though. So far we’ve only had a chance to fool around with Northern Beasts and it seems quite doable for us if we execute well. Hope to have some good news soon!
So the last time we spoke you were battling ghouls,
In a darkened dungeon, next to plagued pools,
And now after the lich, bit the dust like a bitch,
You’re fighting an Old God, you fools.
Part 1 – Dancing Amongst Clouds and… Squid Things.
Who the hell is Sara, and what’s she doing here?
You were certain after all the trials, an Old God would appear,
You beat some giant robots, and some Iron Dwarven twats,
A giant angry dragon, and a lady with some cats.
You’d think for all your work, this god would show his face,
But it seems this cunning Yogg-Saron is gone without a trace.
Yet something ominous seems near,
The hint of darkness lingers here,
What it is, it isn’t clear,
But something fills your group with fear.
You tiptoe slowly forward, unsure and apprehensive,
Everyone alert, your stances all defensive,
Entering the room, Sara hovers in the air,
Quiet, still and smiling as you come into the lair.
Then you hear a deafening thud, the door behind you slamming shut,
Sara gives an evil glare, the tricky little slut!