A question.

Which is cooler?

ToonName, Hand of A’dal


Twilight Vanquisher ToonName

I think that, given the fact that Hand of A’dal was removed when 3.0 came out and that Twilight Vanquisher is now for the previous tier of content versus the previous expansion… Hand of A’dal is cooler.

I’m both, on my pally. But I earned Hand of A’dal by leading the raids that led to that title. I did it with friends of mine. Twilight Vanquisher was the most challenging fight I’d ever done as a healer, though, and I felt like I earned it, and it was snazzy, but it didn’t mean the same as Hand of A’dal.

So I’m still reppin’ Apotheosis with the Hand of A’dal title.

BTW, our Illidan kill is up at warcraftmovies:


Think I’m gonna try to level the shammy a bit. I can’t believe I moved her back to Eldre’Thalas for like, 3 hours of playtime with my brother. Sigh.

General, Yogg and nostalgia…

Been raiding, but I haven’t been playing much. Other stuff is more interesting these days. I think that stems from the fact that my *friends* who play WoW are scattered around various servers.

Anyways, another reset come and gone and another reset without killing Yogg. We have some fights that keep kicking our asses — Thorim’s given us trouble, Mimiron’s pissing us off, and even General is being annoying.

My poor old guild, Apotheosis, had some failings. It did. I’ll be the first to admit it. But one thing our members could do was freaking interrupt casts. Maybe it was how we did Aran back in the day or something, but our melee was fan-fucking-tastic at interrupting things. Of course, our resident gnome DPS warrior, whom we affectionately called Football, was absolutely amazing at his role, which helped. Our enhance shammies were very good and, when we HAD a rogue in the fight, all of them could be relied upon to kick when needed.

So it stuns me when we’re standing there on General and there’s a DK tank, 1-2 DPS warriors, 1 enhance shammy, 2 rogues and a DPS DK standing there and Searing Flames gets off. I mean, really. We even have to have our mage as a backup. Where is the difficulty in watching the cast bar and not using a global immediately before the cast so you CAN interrupt it? It’s a two second cast. It’s not like it’s instant, it’s not like it’s half a second.

Yogg attempts are… interesting. We’ve only had a few ventures into Phase 2, but we’re still getting used to it, I guess. Worst thing ever is people standing in green clouds. This is the part of Ulduar where I’m mostly glad I’m not leading my old guild through it, because we would spawn a zillion extra adds and I AM NOT JOKING. Weird that I’d pay money to have my old guild with me on Vezax and yet I know that we’d spawn too many adds on Yogg to ever reliably get out of phase 1.

And speaking of Apotheosis, it was formed on June 1st, 2007, just over two years ago. Our first Vashj kill was on June 2nd, 2008. I need to finish up the retrospective (of this past year) when I have a chance. Some amazing moments in the eight months we raided/played together before things went to hell.

At the same time, I MUST not be overly nostalgic, because then I’ll start thinking about getting the old crew back together and that MUST NOT HAPPEN because I’ll just be way too stressed out again and it will not be as awesome as I thought it would be, but they’re my friends and I’ll feel obliged to suffer through not being able to kill Thaddius again. Or something.

But it’s still nice to remember the good times.

Off to go figure out where our epic failure on Mimiron was last night. 14 wipes. Eesh.

Ulduar, Reset 3, Night 4 & Reset 4, Night 1.

I REALLY have to make the effort to update this after every raid night, because they really do start to blur together…

We got Freya on Monday. She wasn’t too bad, once people realized they couldn’t kill all of one kind of a mob all at once. They did that the first attempt and blew the raid to smithereens.

Then we worked on Mimiron.

Trash to him isn’t great, but the tram is fun. The worst part of Monday night was, just before our last attempt, the numbskull of a tank decided to pull the bombs just outside of Mimiron’s room INTO THE GROUP who had ALREADY gotten past them. Blowing us up. And then he laughed about it. SIGH. I told the RL that if that guy pulled that shit again, I’d leave the raid. So I hear on vent “enough screwing around” etc. And then I wrote back to the RL “no, not just tonight. I will leave the raid if he does that shit EVER AGAIN.”


I understand having fun, but purposely wiping the raid is the lamest of the lame.

Anyways, Mimiron to phase 3, nearly phase 4, on the first night of attempts. Not too shabby.

Of course, last night was Tuesday, so it was back to Flame Leviathan and everyone else.

Last week, they killed Ignis after I had to leave the raid, so when we did him last night, I got two achievements:



That’s always nice. :)

We did FL, IG, RZ, XT, Iron Council, Kologarn, Auriaya and Hodir. 8 bosses. No wonder I was so exhausted I nearly fell asleep while trying to write this up last night.

When Hodir died, the priest lead wasn’t in the raid. Which is good. Why? A Fragment of Val’anyr dropped.

And guess who’s second in the guild for the crafting? That’s right. Me.


So, hooray for that, I guess. Now that I have one, they basically HAVE to keep giving them to me if the priest isn’t in the raid. ;)

Tonight, Thorim (where I will doubtlessly be running through the tunnels, because I don’t SUCK), Freya (which isn’t a very difficult fight, to be honest) and Mimiron.

It’s nice to get through to new content on the second raid night of a reset, to be honest. In Apotheosis, as much as I loved my guild (and I really did), there were weeks where we wouldn’t get as far as we had in previous weeks. I really don’t understand where we would lose all this speed. Our raids were always glacially slow except in Hyjal when, you know, we couldn’t be slow. And then eventually we mastered BT trash and powered through that stuff, too.

Ugh, I’m seriously beginning to wonder if I’m cut out for this cog-in-the-machine thing. I like it, but it has its own frustrations. At least I KNOW the frustrations that come from being a leader… Whatever else I do, I have GOT to stop daydreaming about the BC days and wishing we could put THAT team, more or less, into Wrath content. It’s hard, because I KNOW we could do better on some things than my current guild. We just didn’t have the people, ultimately.

And it still makes me sad. :(

Ulduar, Reset 2, Night 5 and Reset 3, Night 1.

Well, I can definitely say we’re improving.

Got Hodir down and got an achievement:


We basically ran into Hodir’s room on Monday and one-shot him. There was some excellent hand of sacrificing by the pallies, a pain suppression by a disc priest app, judicious use of Guardian Spirit… It worked well. :)

Then we were miserable on Razorscale for a while, but got him down and then went to play with Thorim.

It seems to me that Thorim is a fight best attempted with the raid leader being very familiar with his or her raid members, their capabilities (both in terms of class and personal strengths) and weaknesses. Our regular RL wasn’t leading on Monday for some reason, so we had some regular member lead us through Thorim attempts.

I asked about healing assignments.

Dude didn’t even know who in the raid was a healer.


Still, we got Hodir and Auriaya down that reset, both of which were new, plus all the other bosses we’d previously killed (FL, Razorscale, XT, Council, Kologarn), and got some experience on Thorim.

Tuesday, we walked in and did FL, XT, Council, Kologarn, Auriaya and Hodir. In just over four hours. So we’re learning! YAY!

Auriaya continues to be a fight that bores the crap out of me, but if I don’t pay attention, I die. Still, she dropped Greaves of the Rockmender for me! I was the only holy pally in the raid at the time. (Another pally got the same helm I got last reset off the Council, so they’re getting geared. It’s good.) I lost a whopping 55 haste by swapping out Poignant Sabatons, but I gain more crit and intellect and only lose something like 6 +healing. Still, I like my haste. What the hell is this MP5 BS? At least the boots have a yellow socket, so I could drop a 16 int gem in there without worries. Hooray for the 2mp5 from the socket bonus and the 22mp5 on the boots. I’ve just added about 30% of my total mp5 from that acquisition.

They are, however, ugly as sin.


They don’t match my outfit at ALL. The old boots did! But ugh, these are as ugly as my stupid Ancient Iron Heaume. :( Guys… I actually miss Lightforge. And Crystalforge. This T8 nastiness better give way to an awesome T9.

In other news, I find myself filing away little bits and pieces of information to use in the future, should I ever lead a raiding guild again. I know, shoot me now, right?

I wish I’d known about Big Brother back in Apotheosis. It lets you know, at a glance, who is flasked (or elixired) and food buffed and who isn’t.

(Names blurred to protect the guilty.)


That’s also just a small portion of the raid, but you can see that 1 DK has a Flask of Stoneblood on while the others have Flasks of Endless Rage and all but one have a food buff. A druid has no food or flask. Another druid has no food. A hunter has no food.

It kind of astounds me because someone ALWAYS drops a Fish Feast. Always. So I don’t get why people aren’t food buffed.

I use Imperial Manta Steak instead of the feast, though. 40 haste is going to do a lot more for my throughput than 46 extra spellpower.

Anyways, the mod would have come in SUPER handy in Apotheosis. Except that this one officer, who rarely ever flasked, would have been gkicked halfway through BT for not flasking on progression fights. His argument was always “but I’m not running out of mana” or “my heals hit hard enough” or “I’m topping healing meters already”. Thing is, if he buffed himself even more, he might have been able to make up for similarly-geared and buffed, though less skilled players.

And he never really understood that.

Note to self: if you ever run a guild again, ensure that all members will use consumables. Period.

And, in still more news, my hunter is getting the thrill of doing Noblegarden. When I realized I’d be raiding on the paladin in Wrath, I decided to do the world events solely on Kurn. Kurn gets to be Kurnmogh the Noble, Eldre Kurnmogh, etc, while Madrana is Twilight Vanquisher and Champion of the Frozen Wastes.

Noblegarden sucks. A lot. I’ve spent about six hours running around Dolanaar and Goldshire, looking for freakin’ eggs. Should be able to accomplish it, but damn, I am not enjoying it. >< Children’s Week will probably be similarly sucky, due to PVP components. Mommy. I am scared.

Strange Sundays.

It used to be that, back in my old guild, I’d have Sundays basically dedicated to guild stuff. From 3-4:30 (and later, 4-5:30), I’d have office hours, where people could chat with me, one-on-one about their concerns about the guild. I was also always available through private messages on our forum, but my office hours meant instant dialogue between me and the person or people in question. And through in-game chat or on Vent.

From 6-7:30 or so was our officer meeting. These meetings MOSTLY petered out after about an hour, but we’d chat a bit after that about lineups and swapping people in and out and stuff like that. By 7:30, most of that was done, people had been promoted or demoted, ginvited or whatever… and it would be time for invites for our raid at 7:45.

The raid would take place from 7:45-11:30, sometimes pushing on towards midnight. After the raid, I’d upload the combat log to WWS to parse, then haul ass to the corner store for a few minutes while it parsed, before it closed at midnight, then would sit for an hour or so going over the parse, either by myself or with other officers.

So basically, from 4pm until about 12:30 or 1am on Sundays, I was all guild, all the time, with a half-hour allocated for dinner between office hours and the officer meeting, which I usually didn’t even make use of for food.

Today, I woke up, worked from 2pm-4pm, sent my supervisor an email, played some WoW, talked on the phone, had dinner, watched TV and played a bit more WoW.

I’m not used to all this time to myself on Sundays. At one point, I was on the phone and went to myself “oh CRAP, I missed the officer– wait. There’s no more officer meetings for me. Huh.”

For the last 3 weeks or so, Sundays have been my own again. The last time Sundays were wholly mine, without the spectre of officer meetings and raids to come was probably in May of 2007.

I have a feeling it’ll take more than three weeks to break myself of the feeling that Sundays aren’t supposed to be mine.

And so it ends.

On June 1st, 2007, several former guildies and in-game friends of mine on the Eldre’Thalas server, including myself, created a new guild called Apotheosis. It was so named because Palantir had just had his wisdom teeth removed and he was on a significant amount of painkillers during the officer meeting to decide on a name for our new guild. He flipped through the dictionary and said, in a slightly stoned voice, “Apotheosis.”

A guild was born.

Continue reading “And so it ends.”


I’m sad. I really, really am.

We went into Naxx25 for the first time as a guild on Tuesday and one-shotted all the bosses in the Spider and Plague wings. And Razuvious only took 3 tries. (Our priests had fun trying to learn what to do.)

Where’s the work? Where are the wipes? The heart-breaking, soul-crushing 1% wipes?

I remember spending all night working to get Venoxis down. I remember several nights of Jek’lik and Mar’li getting the better of us.

I remember the amazing feeling of getting Lucifron down for the first time.

The epic feeling of getting Golemagg down when one of the OTs had died and the other dual-tanked them.

Vashj, pre-big boss nerf, dying on attempt #80-something.

THOSE were epic.

I mean, we didn’t even take kill shots, that’s how fast we were going.

And I KNOW we’re not that leet. I know we aren’t. We’re used to each other, for the most part, of course, so there’s that helping us out, but we still had people dead on Heigan. We’re not ultra uber. So it must be that the content is just EASY.

It’s kind of sad. I hope the other encounters are at least moderately more entertaining, if not more challenging.

I have been lax!

Haven’t updated this in ages, but as I discover things about this brand-new reality we’re in, I thought I should share.

In the end, we killed Illidan three times. WOOT. Apotheosis did a great job in the end of Hyjal and BT and though the nerf really propelled us through content, we all learned Archimonde the hard way.

And now, we’re doing Naxx. Well, kind of. 25-man runs are starting up in January, because we’ve got a lot of people who enjoy levelling or whose time is limited over the holidays and we really, really didn’t want to be interrupted by the holidays and New Year’s while trying to push to progress. So we’ve gotten off to a shaky and slow start in the 10-mans, but thus far: Spider wing, Plague wing, Death Knight wing clear and we’ve gotten Patchwerk down in plague. People continue to die to the Frogger event, which is HILARIOUS the first couple times and then just annoying afterwards, and Grobbulus continues to kick our asses, although we’re definitely improving.

Heigan was what I thought was going to be a serious progression block for us. My priest, which was on Proudmoore, was running Naxx most Saturday afternoons to try to get a RL friend of mine Atiesh. Which she got. Not once did I live though the Heigan dance. Not once. So when we were trying it in Apotheosis at 80, I took a buttload of screenshots to demonstrate how to do the Heigan dance. I have entitled it dancing with a nelf. True, I’m mostly dead in there, but I’ve now successfully danced my way to LIVING through two Heigan deaths. And I pretty much have it down, now. Woot! Anyways, I decided to share my strat with you fine folks, if indeed anyone ever reads this, in the hopes of helping the confused or frustrated.

What a long road it's been.

The last few months have been trying. Since summer, we’ve had trouble filling raids more often than not, people dropping off the face of the game, constant recruitment drives, constant pushing.

Frankly, I’m exhausted.

But. It’s been worth it. 4/5 Hyjal and 5/9 BT pre-3.0.2 nerf.

And since then?

– Battle for Mount Hyjal won.

– RoS one-shotted.

– Mother Shahraz down.

– Council down.

– Illidan to 17%.

It’s been worth it.

Let’s do the math. Since June 1st, 2007, Apotheosis has downed:

KARAZHAN (11): Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Opera (all three), Curator, Aran, Illhoof, Chess, Netherspite, Nightbane, Prince.

GRUUL’S LAIR (2): Maulgar, Gruul.

MAGTHERIDON’S LAIR (1): Magtheridon.

SERPENTSHRINE CAVERN (6): Hydross, Lurker, Tidewalker, Leotheras, Karathress, Vashj.

TEMPEST KEEP (4): Al’ar, Void Reaver, Solarian, Kael’thas.

HYJAL (5): Rage, Anetheron, Kaz’rogal, Azgalor, Archimonde.

BLACK TEMPLE (8): Naj’entus, Supremus, Akama, Gorefiend, Bloodboil, Reliquary of Souls, Mother Shahraz, Illidari Council.

That is THIRTY-SEVEN boss encounters in 17 months, or an average of about 2 bosses a month. Karazhan doesn’t really count, of course, but we all had to learn and farm various bosses over the course of the last 17 months.

We got Illidan to 17% last night. Standing there, looking at him, it occurred to me that we wouldn’t be there if not for every single person who’s every had Apotheosis under their name. Where would we be today if Grim and Guido hadn’t been there with us to clear T4 and the first half of SSC? Where would we be today if Fog and Netsuge and Kaiu hadn’t been there with us, showing up to raids to do whatever they could to help while helping to hammer out policy behind the scenes?

And what about all the new people? Where would we be today without the new folks who took a chance on us, coughed up 25 bucks and transferred?

The answer to all of those questions is… we wouldn’t be looking at Illidan again tonight. We would not be on the cusp of clearing Black Temple. We would not be able to even THINK about saying we achieved our primary raiding goal that we set when we first created the guild.

It promises to be a good evening. Apart from anything else… the zombies are gone. Thank God.

GM thoughts.

More and more, as we push through T6 instances and as we rapidly approach 3.0.2 and the expansion itself, I think that the job of a guild master is to basically be on top of things. All things. But it doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself.

For instance, in a raid, letting someone else do DKP is fine, but confirm they handed it out before you start bids on loot. Or maybe having an officer be master looter but offer to give out the Marks of the Illidari yourself or something like that.

What I’ve found myself bogged down by lately is the details of titles and attunements. With 3.0.2 hitting next Tuesday (probably), and with Hand of A’dal and Champion of the Naaru no longer being accessible, the scramble is on. We did our last Karathress kill on Sunday, followed by 7 attempts at Vashj, to no avail. Only two people need a Vashj vial, basically, so I can’t ask my guild to be like “hey. Let’s go wipe MORE on Vashj just for these two people!”, despite the fact they both were there night in and night out while learning Vashj.

And then tonight, I’m planning on Al’ar, then the first four bosses in Hyjal, to finish off five people’s BT attunements. But one of them has class and won’t be on ’till 9:30 or so and it’s like… crap. I can’t reschedule the kills because of one person’s schedule, because that would mean 2 or even 3 people wouldn’t get their BT attunement done before 3.0.2.

I’m hoping for another Kael kill on Thursday or Monday and then being done with TK as well as SSC, but if we don’t get him down, that’s another bunch of people I’ve let down.

The details weigh on me. I constantly have to reign in my own “but.. but… we have to do it for this one person!” side versus the “I must do what is best for the guild!” side. But really, isn’t what’s best for the guild what will make the guild members feel valued and appreciated? Does everyone just want progress and loot for themselves without thinking about how bad other people feel when they see guildies with Hand of A’dal over their heads, and they don’t have that title?

I mean, I’m even running a guild-pug Magtheridon on Friday to help people get their Champion of the Naaru title, for crying out loud. I haven’t even done the heroics for it and yet I feel obliged to help my guildies who want that title.

I’m even tempted to go back to SSC and Vashj on Saturday, but I don’t think I could get the people.

What surprises me the most, though, is that I feel like I’m the only person who’s keeping track of this stuff for people. All the officers are Hands of A’dal. Most of the regular raiders are. But not everyone is, and, as we approach the patch, I can’t help but think that I’m the only one that cares, that I’m the only one who feels we’re letting people down. it’s not that my officers don’t care, but I don’t think it’s a priority for them. And it doesn’t have to be, I guess, not if it’s a priority for me, eh?