Category Archives: Raids

Ahead by a Century

Ahead by a Century

I don’t know why exactly, but I love this song by the Tragically Hip, a Canadian group.

I first heard them, this song, listening to Iceberg on Sirius radio.  After seeing the cool video on YouTube I was wondering if I’d like the rest of their music as much.  (Oddly, sadly, no.  Ahead by a Century remains the singular favorite of mine of theirs.)

“Ahead By A Century”

First we’d climb a tree and maybe then we’d talk
Or sit silently and listen to our thoughts
With illusions of someday casting a golden light
No dress rehearsal, this is our life
That’s when the hornet stung me and I had a feverish dream
With revenge and doubt tonight we smoke them out

You are ahead by a century

Stare in the morning shroud and then the day began
I tilted your cloud, you tilted my hand
Rain falls in real time and rain fell through the night
No dress rehearsal, this is our life

That’s when the hornet stung me and I had a serious dream
With revenge and doubt tonight, we smoked them out

You are ahead by a century
But this is our life and disappointing you is getting me down.

I think the video is great.  Grainy, artsy, dark.  It’s “light” in the right place, when he’s with his girl in the tree, and then dark, and getting darker afterwards, as she’s doing dangerous things and the group is arriving in the car.  And she knows what’s going on.  You see her seeing him begin to doubt and smiling at him to assure him that everything’s fine.  But it isn’t.  She fiddles with her ring.  She knows they’re coming.  Is she ahead by a century in figuring out life’s tragedies?  Or is there something else going on that I’m not hip enough to get?  Regardless, I love the guitar work and the tone.

So, man, what’s this all about?  This isn’t Facebook.  This isn’t a musical interests blog.  This is a World of Warcraft blog.

Well it sure is.

So there I was, dual speccing my third character.  My Druid, Greenclaw.  He’s been Feral for a long, long, very long time.  And there’s this thing with Anzu, and how you need to heal the Eagle totem… I’ve said too much.  Anyway, I dual specced him into a Tree, i.e. Resto Spec.  But I’d never healed with a Druid before.  I’ve got several HoTs, several direct heals, and I took the glyph selections from Talent Chic as well as a tank-oriented healer talent spec.  I dropped some gold in the Auction House for the i187 healing/caster stuff.  I picked up a ring, and then the Argent Dawn ring.  I crafted myself a Faces of Doom for my off-hand, and grabbed the caster dagger from the Tournament quartermaster.  (Sweet that it’s a Darnassian dagger design.)  And also the caster neck and belt from them as well.  In short, I dropped a ton of mats, seals, and gold, to do it as best I could on a short moment’s notice.  I must be resto NOW.  (Actually, in Feral form, as I tried clearing around Anzu’s summoning spot, the Heroic Level trash mobs thrashed me.  Soloing in normal mode was one thing.  Soloing in Heroic mode, in crafted blues and a couple i200 epics?  Very different indeed.)

But, with the advent of the cross-server PUG, maybe I can start from the beginning, Utgarde Keep, something like that, and learn how to heal.

(My wife’s a druid too, so, together, Heroic Setthik Halls, and Anzu, and more importantly, the Raven God as a mount, shouldn’t be impossible.)

Dude, what’s that have to do with the music lead-in?  What does Anzu have to do with Ahead by a Century?

The two are related in that most “LFG’s” I see in general chat are LFG for Heroic TOC.  Where the hell are the regular folks?  The only people raiding are done with Ulduar?  I’ve never even looked inside.  :/

Is everyone ahead of me, gear/progression, by a century?

(How else could I talk about a video I like and dual speccing into Resto for seemingly my own purposes???)

Anyway.  And since life is fairly fun afterall, let me leave you with Vampire Weekend’s A-Punk.  Makes me wish I was back in UofM, Munich Campus, drinking beer in the Boot Room again, this playing on the jukebox…

We were otherwise listening to Men Without Hats’s Safety Dance back then. 

Way before Heigen stole it.

Ah, those were nights!

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Posted by on November 3, 2009 in Druids, Musings, Raids


Back to raiding. It must be another first.

Now Teron Gorefiend, we didn’t kill.  Not this time.

ferox Teron Gorefiend Simulator

With a little practice he’ll be ours too.

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Posted by on April 17, 2008 in Raids


Rage against the machine.

Well, us actually. And he fared none too well.


I didn’t expect to get this far in the game. Tonight the guild took advantage of Blizzard’s largesse and ventured into Mount Hyjal.

Rage Winterchill rages no more.

They say he is the easiest boss there. No matter. It was a fun fight. And now that Chain Lightning no longer breaks crowd controlled mobs, all the waves we fought before the boss were just a monster mash.

And the trash was kind to Stormsoul. I finally replaced my DS3 chest piece, my last blue item, with the Chestguard of Relentless Storms.

P.S. What’s up with the new gear available at the Faction Vendors.  At Honored with each you can pick up a piece of gear.  For Shamans at least, there is an Elemental, Enhancement, and Resto piece of gear available for purchase.  Five factions, five pieces of armor for a complete set.  It matched the look of the Tidefury, but red rather than blue.  Not bad at all if I were still at that stage.  They’re really taking care of the 70′s now.  Did the other classes get something like this?

P.P.S.  It would appear all the classes will find this kind of gear.  Each of the factions sells one piece (per spec) of pvp-related (it’s got resilience), blue, level 70, armor that will comprise a set with bonuses.  Each piece is available at Honored with that faction.  My Nelf hunter, who’s done very few instances, is actually already Honored with the Cenarian Expedition and Honor Hold.  That would get him legs and gloves (if he had the cash).  Now I just need to figure the quickest way to Honored with Lower City, Shatar, and the Keepers of Time.


Posted by on March 25, 2008 in Gear, Raids


Woot. Just woot.

Finally. At long last.



Clearing SSC has been easy enough. Killing the Lady Vashj has proven to be a tougher nut to crack.

Well, we finally cracked her.

The Lady V is down.

Kael’thas Sunstrider… We’re coming for you.


Posted by on March 16, 2008 in Raids


Success in other endeavours. (But not in AV.)



I’m glad there’s more than BG’s.

Tonight it was an all but Lady V clear of SSC.

Because afterwards, in Alterac Valley, it was massacres over and over.  Horde would send in two man teams to take the bunkers.  They did, over and over.  We had 5 defending 2 bunkers and 2 graveyards.  In the end Alliance held Stonehearth Graveyard and had earned 41 honor.  Horde had captured everything else before Alliance reinforcements ran out.  Alliance earned 600 honor to the Horde’s 41 or so.  2 wins to 19 losses since I started keeping track.

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Posted by on March 11, 2008 in BGs/PvP, Raids


Two more firsts (for me).

Alar and Void Reaver down.  Nice.  I never dreamt I’d be facing these guys.


Note the Broken disguise.  I’m working for Akama here.


A little freelance work for Akama.

And I much, much prefer the fights in TK versus SSC.  #7 on the DPS charts, so not too shabby.  The fights here much more amenable to an Elemental Shaman it seems, with nothing immune to nature.


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Posted by on February 21, 2008 in Raids


Not bad at all.

So, last night, the start of the new raiding season.  7:30-11:00 Mo, Tue, Wed, and Thurs.  (Of course that’s T, W, Th, and Mo.)

First stop was back to Serpentshrine Cavern.  Last week they’d gone in twice.  Two bosses first night, two bosses second night, the third boss we attempted the second night proving too tough, too late.  Last night?  Two bosses, then the one who’d given us such trouble the week before, Leo the Blind, and then two more.  Five, meaning we’d cleared all but the Lady Vashj in SSC, starting at 7:30, or a little later actually, ending around 10:30, earlier than expected.  Go us!

I’ll back up slightly, and mention that Monday night I was there when we downed the first three bosses in Zul’Aman in an impromptu run.  Bear, Eagle, and Lynx.  I left and they then killed the Dragonhawk boss as well.  And before SSC last night they were back in, not sure how they did.

What’s cool is I’d never been in Zul’Aman before.  Very cool.  Zul’Gurub but set in a tropical-like Oregon.  I liked it a lot.

So, tonight, it’ll probably be Tempest Keep.  And I’ve never been there either.  Sounds like fun.

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Posted by on February 13, 2008 in Raids


I’ve been kind of quiet.

Raids and alts have been keeping me busy.

As I alluded to earlier, I transferred servers to find a guild with friendly raid times in my own time zone. Success. It really didn’t hurt that they started SSC and TK. And very lucky for me that Blackhoof, now called Stormsoul, was SSC ready. My first instance run with them we faced off against the Lady Vashj. It was a learning experience, if you know what I mean. Anyway, this week I got to be with them from the start of the instance. On the first night we got Hydross the Unstable and The Lurker Below. On the next night we got the Fathomlord Karathress and Morogrim Tidewalker. Tonight we will get Leotheras the Blind, and square off against the Lady V again. Now I haven’t been with them to Tempest Keep’s The Eye yet, but they’ve gotten 4 of the 5 bosses down there as well. They are really pushing to get to the Black Temple and Mount Hyjal before Blizzard swings open the gates, so to speak, with the next patch. This is absolutely fun, exciting stuff. I’m loving it because raiding at this level is like raiding Blackwing Lair pre-TBC. And that’s where I’d left off with Darkhoof (aka Blackhoof, now Stormsoul).

They can do near-full clears of both SSC and TK in one night. But this last week’s participation was kind of spotty, enough folks, just not enough tanks or healers. But what did they do in between the SSC runs? Karazhan.

First off Stormsoul got in on a group. We got through the Curator and called it a night. This was the One Tank, Two Rogue run. Anyway, last night the call came out to complete it by downing the Prince. (They’d already gone back in once before and gotten to the Prince, but did not kill the Prince.) When they mentioned the raid id# I signed back up. They were missing a healer. DROOONDA!! :) “Invite Droonda. She’s a healer.” I whisper the raid leader. Droonda’s coming along too. Cool beans. This guild takes the “Tank him wherever, and move to avoid the infernals” approach. This works. (And makes marking the 30 yard person even more important.) I do like the niche better since our first shot at the Prince and upon the first enfeeble, and infernal drops on the group and kills them, a wipe. Second go we had four infernals down, but we never had to move and the Prince dropped like a rock. The Light’s Justice drops. (And some T4 helmet token for Mage, Hunter, and something.) We’ve got two Restoration Shamans along. The first rolls a 27. Droonda’s got it for sure! She rolls a 28. TWENTYEIGHT! woot. Hey, hey! The lovely Droonda, Orc Shaman Princess, has picked up a very nice healing mace.

The other Karazhan run I’d gone on was with Msaker. That’s my “Retired Tank, let me DPS now,” Fury Warrior. Who tried the “Slam Build” with Gorehowl and found it very timing intensive. “Stand still so I can whack ya!” Trouble is Astral Flares don’t listen well. So now he’s the more typical “Fury Build” with Rampage and Flurry and all the good stuff. (And with one more Karazhan run he’ll have enough badges to upgrade The Planar Edge to The Black Planar Edge. That and dagger off the Prince himself and he’s not doing too bad.) Anyway, on Msaker’s run, it was a full clear, minus the dragons, and he made it to #3 on the DPS spot. I’m okay with that, and I’m working on the upgrades to improve that. Right now I’m using the 3 pieces of the Ragesteel set, and still using the Doomplate Chestpiece. Getting the t4 gloves and helm shouldn’t be a problem. (And I might not have mentioned it, but if the guild gets 25 folks wanting to do it, Gruul’s Lair is cleared in half an hour. Stormsoul’s second raid run with them was to Gruul’s Lair where he won the t4 leggings/kilt.)

On the alts front we’re starting a crew of them on Earthen Ring. So far we’re:

Twoaxes (Tauren Warrior) with Fivefaces (Tauren Druid)

Legrim (Forsaken Rogue) with Lamort (Forsaken Warlock)

Kruel (Orc Warlock) with Oggra (Orc Warrior)

Sunblade (Blood Elf Paladin) with Loriandel (Blood Elf Mage)

Zydeco (Troll Hunter) with … someone not yet born

(Yes, I am powerless against the beginning-game in World of Warcraft, and must create Alts to breath. Happily, I’m seeing the end-game as well.)

Anyway, that’s what’s up with me at the moment.

P.S. Let me add this about my new guild. They take the “structured chaos” approach. There is no raid schedule other than “We raid 4 nights a week. Be there.” And then they mention the nights, and the times, the raiders are expected to be present ready to go. There are no more planned runs for Karazhan or the other “Tier 4″ places. These just happen as filler for gearing up alts and new people. They’re very much about learning new content, and their fallback/reward is doing the instances they’re comfortable with. And their raiding times just got even better for the wife and I, being 7:30 to 11. And they’re very good about stopping at quitting time. They do play late, I’ve been there till 1 a.m. once with them, a weekend night, but their raids don’t go past quitting time.

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Posted by on February 11, 2008 in Altism, Droonda, Raids


Before the champagne, a little raid.

Msaker joined in as a replacement for the guild’s 2nd Karazhan run of the week.  Last night they’d gotten the Curator.  Tonight we moved on to the Prince.



I’m the green Orc in the Headless Horseman’s Helm jumping.  That would be Aran and the Prince dead.

(Yes, half the raid bolted for parties afterwards!  :) )

Happy New Years.  And now back for more champagne.

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Posted by on January 1, 2008 in Raids


Raiding, easy mode.

I remember way back when my guild on Smolderthorn first started running Molten Core. We weren’t the first in MC, but we were there with the raiders. We were raiders. That guild moved up to be in the top 3 for progress on the server.

But those first times into MC, whoa. We had the advantage of some strategies that had been posted. So we knew things to do, what not to do. And we had decent gear. But, man, it was tough. Though giants and those dogs, and the imps, my god, the imps. Nevermind the bosses.

But, eventually, we’d gotten MC down to a one night affair, done in under 4 hours. Easy purples.

As of last night there is a new raider in my stable. Msaker. His first foray into Karazhan.

The rest had been there a few times now. Not all geared up. But there’s a few purples, out of Karazhan, on the rest of them. And gear bought with badges out of the heroics.

Anyway, it’s my first time, and I’m the off-tank. That means I tanked Midnight, double-tanked Moroes, and tanked Julianna from the Opera event. I think we had one wipe. Our raid makeup was 2 Warriors, 2 Shadow Priests, a Holy Priest, a Resto Shaman, a Holy Paladin, 2 Rogues, and a Warlock. So we had plenty of shackles, great healing, and good melee DPS. We stopped before the Maiden since they said that required ranged DPS and we had too little of that. No Mage or Hunter.

It was mostly a Rogue night with a lot of leather dropping. (Just like Molten Core!)

But, woot, what a blast. That was a lot of fun. And for my first time I’m certainly glad I got to go with capable and competent people.


Posted by on September 8, 2007 in Raids


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