Posted on | May 30, 2012 | No Comments
Unity Path has ceased raiding in the World of Warcraft – our final raid was 30th May 2012, after a period of farming the existing content for everyone’s mounts, gear and personal wish-list of achievements. We signed off from Cataclysm with the expansion “done” – and can rightly say “game over”.
This was our fourth raiding campaign, going from 40-man in Classic, to 25-man in Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King and lastly to 10-man in Cataclysm. We’ve seen all the flavours and seen the game change over the last seven years. As a group of players, we felt that the a fifth campaign would be a step too far – the motivation to see through another 18 months in the Mists of Pandaria just wasn’t there. We’ve been Rank 1 on Earthen Ring for the last four years, and the effort to continue to beat all comers is substantially different to accepting that getting a server second kill is adequate. For us, it’s flat out – or not at all, and it was best to make that choice sitting on top of the tree.
We’ve seen many changes over the last seven years, and those changes were not always the best. Whilst the game has improved for the casual player, for the end-game raider it has – in our opinion – been the reverse. There were some fine encounters in Cataclysm, but the zenith of end-game raiding was in Sunwell Plateau and Ulduar – nothing in Cataclysm got close to those standards. Based on the continual push to gift the more “casual” raid teams kills on a plate with all-too-early instance nerfs, and a general lack of engaging content, we didn’t think that Mists of Pandaria would be the place for us until 2014 when the final boss would likely to be killed.
It was not without pain that we took our decision to retire “on top”, but it was the right one. We wish those that follow us, and take the crown on Earthen Ring in the next expansion will defend it with the same honour and commitment that we did. To put that amount of time into a game, for so long, is not without personal consequence.
Posted on | February 28, 2012 | No Comments
Whilst the effort taking down Spine was considerable, the blur of long raids and late finishes continued with it’s counterpart. We got two solid nights on the same reset and made the decision that this was a technique fight, rather than an increased gear check. This wasn’t an easy decision but one which ultimately proved to be correct – with us killing it on the final night of the reset, before a further 5% nerf.
For a 15 minute fight, it goes surprisingly quickly – but to summarise the fight, it’s all about Platform 4 and the final 20 seconds of Phase 2 – not unlike the pinch-points seen in Spine. We were consistently getting there after four days and had some near misses the night prior, but we put the expansion to bed on the 6th pull of the evening – with literally only a second left before the adds cannoned into the boss and we were sunk.
The pressure was considerable, not because of the fight – as Spine was definitely the firmer challenge – but because holidays had been booked in December for March which would have compromised the set up during the next two raiding resets. And with the incoming 5% nerf, it was likely that would have been too long to take the Realm First spoils. That was the real story of this fight. The restructuring forced on us after Blackhorn had not been anticipated, but worse than the event itself – it looked to be coming back to bite us at precisely the wrong time. In a testament to the membership, everyone looked down the barrel of the gun and pulled long hours and re-arranged their lives not only for Madness but also on Spine for the subsequent seven week period. It was probably the cleanest and purest period of raiding we’ve had in many years. Nothing else mattered, only the final result. By any and all means necessary.
And so, the Cataclysm was completed. The group finished Dragon Soul again as first on the Realm, with a WoWProgress score of 33333.33, and a 10-man ranking of World 429 and an overall ranking of World 643. We finished the expansion taking five of the six raiding Realm First achievements, only just missing Sinestra.
It wasn’t always an easy ride, but it was a memorable one. Sometimes for the wrong reasons, but more often for the right ones.
Posted on | February 22, 2012 | No Comments
This was always mooted to be the hardest fight in the instance, and it didn’t disappoint – taking a solid six weeks of effort, and most of the pulls in the last week bombing out after 11 minutes in the final 30 seconds of total chaos. Any one of them could have yielded the kill – that it took many to get the final result was a demonstration of the increasing pressure of the fight.
We arrived well before the 5% instance and 15% tendon nerf, and we found it difficult to consistently hit the burst requirements on the tendon. However, given we’d had to restructure the team immediately after Blackhorn, we didn’t think it would be impossible with practice and a bit more gear. However, the nerfs hit a little too hard we felt – tendon damage was no longer a problem and it became significantly more comfortable overall. We probably took a little too long getting properly onto the third plate proper, but overall it was a good, solid effort of ever increasing progress. Landing the final bit of damage on the final tendon was a trial however.
This now brings us but one boss away from completing the expansion. And with holidays booked for people at the beginning of March, the pressure is well and truly on to deliver.
Posted on | January 19, 2012 | No Comments
After Ultraxion, this fight is definitely more like it.
Phase 1 and the opening two minutes of Phase 2 are genuinely tricky at the gear level we reached the fight at – the last bit of Phase 2 isn’t in the same league although it’s still a challenge towards the end for the healers. Our tactics didn’t really change over the learning period, you just had to get better at the execution – even so the RNG nature of some of the aspects of the fight, coupled with the fight being generally buggy as hell lead to a lot of expletives.
From lurking around World 1100 for the opening fights, we came in at around 775 for this one – so a better fight and a better performance from us. And with it, we’re onto Spine of Deathwing and the final stages of Dragon Soul.
Posted on | January 5, 2012 | No Comments
For all the talk of this fight being a nasty gear check – well, it wasn’t.
Definitely the easiest fight other than Morchok, we rolled up to this thinking we’d have a bit of a nibble on the last day of the raiding week following the Hagara kill and got to within 1% of a kill within around 15 pulls. It didn’t take long to polish it off the following reset. A little disappointing for a mid-Tier boss.
Posted on | January 1, 2012 | No Comments
Happy New Year! And we kicked off with putting Hagara down.
This is definitely a healer centric fight due to the big scary damage numbers, whilst DPS requirements are only significant in the ice phase as you want it over with as soon as possible. However, on balance, it’s certainly a touch easier than than Warlord Zon’ozz and we had a good 15 seconds left on the clock at the end.
Posted on | December 22, 2011 | No Comments
In something of what’s becoming standard practice in the opening bosses, we tried a tactic which looked good on paper – but just didn’t work well enough. The efficiency just wasn’t there to make the numbers square. A good re-think and a complete change about saw the boss go over on the following night.
However, this is definitely a cut above the opening two fights in the instance and certainly a gear check.
Posted on | December 15, 2011 | No Comments
It’s a quite pleasing fight, with all three arms of the raid tested, although we made a bit of a meal of it in hindsight as we got one part of the mechanics of this fight wrong, and wiped quite a lot for 2 days unnecessarily – and then it twigged and the boss went over quickly the next day.
Posted on | December 7, 2011 | No Comments
Like we always seem to do, our Heroic campaign in a new patch got off to a slow start – mainly because we used a strategy which worked perfectly well on the PTR, but didn’t work at all on live. By the time we wrote it off and used something slightly more sensible the damage was done and we were well off the first kill pace.
However, it’s likely to be a long campaign – albeit with Xmas and it’s variable attendance slap bang in the way.
Posted on | December 1, 2011 | No Comments
Unusually for us, we completed the previous Tier with time to spare – so we had a fairly relaxing time until Patch 4.3, and promptly had it all cleared in around 5 hours. You can’t say much about Dragon Soul, other than it’s certainly got potential and the scenery is (to my mind) better than Firelands.keep looking »