The Crimson Hammer 2013 Year in Review

Another year in the books, a new year to look forward to.  Lol, wow I really did slack off in the last quarter of 2013, hopefully I can back on the ball and start posting regularly in 2014.  Thanks again to those who’s visited and commented on my blog. =)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Silverlet Monastery

Challenge Mode Noobs.  I think we need to change that name to Challenge Month Noobs, lol.  Whether it’s because someone’s out and we don’t have a full group to run CMs or just having frustrating weeks where we keep missing the silver timer, it seems like it takes a month before the CMN can scratch up a new medal.  It was about a month ago that we got our last silver in Stormstout Brewery and a month before that, it was a silver in Scholomance.  To keep that pattern going, we took on Scarlet Monastery on Saturday, which has been giving us issues for the past couple of weeks.

We had another CMN line up change this weekend.  Voros, a DK and fellow Frostwolf, took Sev’s dps spot for our Scarlet run.  He’s been running in our group lately and even helped Luxy, Lush, Navi and Sev get a silver in Gate of the Setting Sun, which I already had from an SR run a while back.

I also didn’t something different that I had never done before in all of our CM runs…I actually went dps instead of tank!  Yep, you heard that right, no tanking for me this time around.  I’ve been running around the Timeless Isle and LFRs as Ret and having some fun with it that I decided to give the tank reins to Lush’s monk, Aimei, and try dpsing for a change.  I specced into Repentance to give us another CC, instead of using Fist of Justice, which I use while tanking to get two stuns out every minute.

As per CMN protocol, it took us a couple attempts and resets before we got that winning run in, we even managed to handle the trash after Thalnos the Soulrender perfectly, which had caused us so many issues before.  A handful of mobs and a Korloff, Durand and Whitemane kill later, we finally, finally had our silver.

Scarlet Monastery Silver

Scarlet Monastery Complete

With that silver, that puts Navi, Luxy and I one more away from getting our Pandaren Phoenix mounts.  Woo!

So the last silver we need is in Shado-Pan Monastery, which is gonna be the toughest medal to get.  We gave it a couple tries and boy were they rough; Gu Cloudstrike is not melee friendly and the Sha of Violence just gassed out Navi and her heals.  It’ll take us some time and practice to get through, stay tuned for the next CMN update in a month! (or sooner) =)

Lights Out for the Thunder King

Lei Shen

2 pulls….that’s all it took to take down the Thunder King last night.  Makes that 3% wipe feel so insignificant, lol.

We didn’t raid Tuesday night because we were missing Shadeey and Zarm, so we went into Wednesday night with a lot of anticipation and determination of finally clearing the Throne of Thunder and putting this raiding tier to rest.

We changed our strategy a little, opting to start the fight with Lei Shen on the north conduit (Static Shock), instead of the eastern one (Diffusion Chain), and going clockwise, ending up on the west conduit (Bouncing Bolt) before the first transition.

After the first transition was complete, we brought Lei Shen back to the western conduit and made our way around counter-clockwise, ending on the eastern one.  We used lust on this phase to quickly push us to the next transition.  And once the second transition was done, it was a matter of staying focused and out of bad before the big guy went down.

Our first attempt started off great, but Adoe and Shadeey had trouble on their quadrant during the first transition and were soon overwhelmed by adds.  The second attempt was nearly flawless and the fight just seemed to flow smoothly.

Wok and I managed Decapitate and taunting Lei Shen back and forth with ease.  The group handled Lei Shen other abilities perfectly, stacking tight and spreading out when needed, even during the transitions.  I made sure I positioned myself correctly for Fusion Slash on the second phase so I wouldn’t get punted off the edge like a noob, lol.  Wok did die on the last phase but was quickly brezzed and we finally killed Lei Shen with the entire raid alive.

Lei Shen Down

Shadow Rising Throne of Thunder Complete

From left to right: Zug, with Zarm and Adoe behind Lei Shen, me, Sorak, Van, Tyle, Slice, Wok and Shadeey.

We also got a nice Feat of Strength for completing ToT before the patch too:

Ahead of the Curve: Lei Shen

I am really proud of my guild for this accomplishment.  We put in a lot of nights and attempts and used many feasts and flasks to achieve this moment.

Last tier, we missed out on a Sha of Fear kill in the Terrace of the Endless Spring by a week before patch 5.2 hit the servers.  I blame that on our guild meet up in Orlando though, which we totally had a blast at, lol.

Side note: The resort we stayed at in Orlando recently had a sinkhole swallow up part of the complex, which is just crazy and scary to hear.  I blame that on a certain fat shammy panda *cough*Sorak*cough* for loosening up the foundation before he left, lol j/k.

I want to give a special thanks to the other members of SR: Lyss, Psynite, Bocat, Zari, Ryugan and Chewy.  Even though they were not in on the Lei Shen kill, they were all a big part of our Throne of Thunder progression, from our countless wipes and frustrations, like Horridon and Tortos, to our first boss kills and easy ones, like Primordius and the Twin Consorts.

I want to also thank the delay in the release of patch 5.4, without that, this achievement would not be possible.  Bring on the Siege of Orgrimmar, we ready!

And one last small thanks goes to Final Fantasy 14.  Since most of SR is currently playing that, I’d like to believe they were eager to get back to it, so they all brought their A-game to kill Lei Shen quickly, lol.

Great job guys, I’ll see you next week when we down Lei Shen on Heroic and defeat Ra-den!

…..a pally can dream, right? =P

Brewing up a Silver

It’s been another frustrating couple of weeks for the Challenge Mode Noobs.  After our last silver in Scholo almost a month ago, we decided to work on getting another, this time in Stormstout Brewery.

One of the problems we’ve been facing is our ever-changing roster.  Our group from the start has consisted of me, Luxy, Navi and Lush and the fifth spot has been filled with members of both Shadow Rising or the Frostwolves or friends of Luxy.  Sev has been our fifth for the last couple of runs, so he’s helped out with the consistency a bit.  But in one of the weeks, Lush was out got sick and wasn’t online, so we brought in a few more Frostees to fill his spot, first Moo, then Xyn, but in the end it wasn’t happening and we couldn’t get our silvers in the Brewery.

So last weekend, with a healthy Lush, we went back to the alehouse, determined to finally get our medals.  Ook-Ook wasn’t really a problem for us and Hoptallus would occasionally give us fits, but the boss that gave us the most trouble was Yan-Zhu the Uncasked.

We would get to Yan-Zhu with about 7 to 8 minutes on the silver timer pretty consistently until his alementals spawned.  Our goal was to burst him down as fast as we could before we got overwhelmed with the adds.  For the most part, we did a good job in blocking the healing beams that the alementals would channel towards Yan-Zhu, but if even one of the beams got to him, it would heal him for a lot.  We had some weird things happen, where beams would get through, even though we were blocking them.  Even Sev was using his pet to block the beams and it would sometimes work, sometimes not.  I would try to help by interrupting a couple to group them up to make just one beam, but sometimes the repositioning would put them right up on Yan-Zhu or place me in a position where I was hitting the group with Bloat.  Luxy then suggested creating a square formation close to and around Yan-zhu for blocking the beams without having to move too much and angling ourselves so Bloat wouldn’t hit anybody.

So, in normal CMN style, it took us a few attempts and a couple resets, but we were finally able to claim our silvers.  Go team!

Stormstout Brewery Silver

Bigga Lush, Lil' Luxy, Lil' Arv, Lil' Navi and Bigga Sev

Bigga Lush, Lil’ Luxy, Lil’ Arv, Lil’ Navi and Bigga Sev

That medal puts me at 7 silvers with two left to go (need to do Gate of the Setting Sun again to get the Frostees caught up, lol).  I know we can get Scarlet Monastery, there’s only one trash pull that gives us problems.  But Shado-Pan Monastery is gonna be the big one, we haven’t stepped our Challenge Mode feet in there in a long time and I believe it’s the hardest one to do.  With a couple of resets, we should be able to get that one too, lol.

Scenarios Complete

I meant to post this along with my latest CMN post, but I had to farm for one more achievement to reach my milestone, lol.

It all started a couple of weeks ago, when Navi asked me to help her get the Protected Unga Keg for the Monkey See, Monkey Kill achievement in Unga Ingoo.  We went through several pugs and got all the bosses except for the Keg.  We then brought Cain along for the farming and we eventually found it.

Monkey See, Monkey Kill

I also got another achievement as well as the one for completing 100 scenarios.

The Keg Runner

Queuing Spree

Then it was off to Greenstone Village for quick achievement I didn’t have.

Save it for Later

I’ve never gotten the Crypt of Forgotten Kings as a random Heroic scenario, so Navi queued us up specifically for it.

Heroic: Crypt of Forgotten Kings

Last week was more of the same, this time the scenario we were grinding was the different parts of Binan Village All-Star.  We took Cain with us and later bought Tacky along for the ride.

Binan Village All-Star

With that, Navi finished her scenario achievements, but I still had a couple more to do.  Off to Theramore we went for No Tank You.

No Tank You

And one last one in A Brewing Storm.

The Perfect Pour

Completing all the special achievements from the original scenarios get you another achievement and a nice gift from Mama Stormstout, an Honorary Brewmaster Keg.

Pub Crawl

Honorary Brewmaster Keg

Using the item puts a keg on your back.  It does clash with any weapons or shields you may have sheathed, so it might look funny on your back.

Honorary Brewmaster Keg Image

I actually prefer the Pandaren Brewpack that you can buy from Brewfest.  The keg is bigger and you can actually drink from it and throw drinks to others for them to consume.

Pandaren Brewpack

Pandaren Brewpack Image

So with all those achievements, that got me to 17995 points.  I tried to find a quick one to obtain and thought of ones from Archeology, but I still needed a bunch of Mantid solves to get close to one.

I ran a random heroic on Ras yesterday and got into a really good group that was blasting through Scholomance.  The tank must have needed the achievement from Rattlegore, which is one I needed to.  Woop!

Rattle No More

And with that, I joined the 18,000 point club.

It's Over 18000!

Whew!  Now all I need to catch Luxy is……2000 more….

/facepalm