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Raid Wrap – May 8th

May 9, 2011

Mother’s Day weekend is always a challenge for raiding but we managed to produce a pretty solid turnout on both days.

Raid 7
Expert Fire Rift, Expert Life Rift, Baron Krevic
First up the Daily Expert Rift quest (Fire) which was held in Shimmersand without much fuss and in our quest for Corrupted Souls we also spawned an Expert Life Rift in Stillmoor, easily completed. Then we took our weekly foray to the Endless Citadel for the regular appointment with Baron Krevic, bearing in mind that we were only 3 groups. This meant that things took a little longer but the outcome was not in doubt and another 900 Mathos faction was added to the tally.

Next up Greenscale’s Blight and a slightly new look to the shambler  team that we wanted to practice. The trash were kind enough to drop another epic belt which Telk won the bidding for. We also finally hit upon an effective way to handle the four mob trash groups that have been giving us something to think about over the last few weeks. We knew that we did not have the DPS for the Duke fight but everybody was extremely patient as we tried a few pulls with Telk tanking the boss and Goldenpaw & Nefariouss managing the shamblers. After a while we managed to get into a really good rhythm on the transition from the tank phase to the kite phase.

Raid 8
Expert Death Rift, Expert Life Rift, Air Raid Rift
This is our usual day for tackling the rift daily quests and today’s were Death for Expert and Air for the Raid. We ported into Stillmoor and quickly dispatched the Death Expert rift plus a Life Expert Rift for another Corrupted Soul, then headed into Iron Pine Peak to look for a Raid Tear…
As it happened there was a major invasion event happening at the time and we had to participate in that first to clear enough real estate for the tears to spawn. I don’t think anyone was complaining when we looted a nice purple sourcestone each and netted another couple of Corrupted Souls. It took a little time clearing footholds and rifts but we eventually spawned a raid tear. Goldenpaw, who had been diligent enough to acquire sufficient Storm Legion faction to purchase the Raid Rift Husk pulled the pin…and found out that we should have been in Shimmersand…d’oh

So we all trooped off to Shimmersand and quickly found an unattended raid tear which we proceeded to open. The Air Raid Rift is a little more challenging than the Life & Death raid rifts that we had already completed, there is a detailed description in the next section. The other interesting dynamic to deal with (and an excellent reason to bring more than 10 players) is the considerable amount of outside interference that happens from other players and guilds. Sometimes they are trying to help, other times to hinder – every time it is distracting and TDS raiders did themselves credit by sticking to the task at hand. Our final reward, a fight with a bonafide dragon which dropped some items that players actually wanted, Sully grabbing a shard discovery on some swanky leather shoulders.

By this time we were up to 18 players and decided to spend a bit more time trading punches with the Duke. The first couple of pulls Goldenpaw and Nefariouss had to adjust to the much better DPS that we were producing over the previous day and in the end seconded Ruinn in her saboteur spec to assist. We setup, pulled the Duke and quickly brought him down to 86% percent at which point Goldenpaw announces loudly over Ventrilo “OK Ruinn, blow it”. Now being a fellow rogue and respectable gentlemen I knew he meant cast Detonate – however I also understand this crew well enough to know that by now several players would be laughing too hard to concentrate and sure enough we wiped shortly after.

After this we really began to hit our groove and were cruising through the first tank and kite phase, getting people used to the Fluttering Pixies and repositioning for the Cruel Brownies. Shortly afterwards we were consistently through two tank and kite phases and showing people the Devious Fairies with their Fae Barrage, which will be the next stage in beating this fight as our time for the day ran out. Attached is a parse summary of our best effort.

Duke Letareus: 6,197
Lisasmage 782
Sullivan 637
Scarletto 607
Hellagood 594
Gorey 512

Air Raid Rift

Stage 1
There are four storm idols in the centre of the rift which have energy beams running between them laterally and diagonally, these should be avoided where possible. In the centre of these idols is the Air Nexus which has to be destroyed whilst the encounter spawns giant birds called Thunderwing Autarchs. Telk snagged the autarchs as they came and Goldenpaw established ranged aggro on the Nexus and from there we settled into a comfortable rhythm to take it down. The healers did a great job of staying on top of the considerable damage from this phase.

Stage 2
Two giant tempests, called Wind of Chaos, which were tank and spank providing the frontal cleave was avoided.

Stage 3 (timed)
Stormlord Aelaas and Stormlord Zeluus who had to be fought by the pillars requiring good awareness by everybody. These mobs must die within a short time of one another so we burned Goldenpaw’s target down to 10% before dispatching Telk’s target and finishing them off. This at the same time as the mobs were teleporting and other players were training mobs through us and trying to disrupt the encounter.

Stage 4 (timed)
Quite a straightforward timed stage with six groups of five mobs (a good mixture of melee, ranged and caster) which had to be pulled and killed.

Stage 5
A dragon, Ruciath with 1.3MM hitpoints and a considerable frontal cleave plus some adds and a knockback. The damage was heavy but manageable and the fight required about six minutes of steady progress to take him down on the first pull.

The Q-Tank

Having the versatility of the soul system has intrigued me with regard to the various roles and therefore we scheduled a private session where 4 fellow guildies Lisasmage, Silverpaw, Iluaxe & Sullivan cheerfully humored my first attempt at tanking. Even though I had not attempted this in many years of MMO playing I now had the sudden urge to give it a go.
I had diligently geared up during the previous week and secured sufficient Toughness and Endurance for the chosen zone (Iron Tombs) but my concern (rightly) was the art of pulling and managing aggro. On the trash mobs it was the former that gave me the most anxiety, especially trying to relocate ranged mobs away from patrol areas. Once we hit the named Broodmother Venoxa, we managed several times to get to the third lair @ 33% but one of the adds or the boss would always break loose at that point and squash the healer. I was surprised at how unfamiliar everything felt, it was like trying to write left-handed, you knew what to do and how to do it but everything felt cumbersome and awkward. I would really like to persevere but I am worried that I will run out of volunteers to group with…

Fortunately the imminent raid and my preparation for the Air Raid Rift meant that we only had an hour or so, watch this space over the coming weeks for Scarletto the Spatially Unaware Tank.


Raid Wrap – April 30th

May 2, 2011

Raid 3 – 22nd April
Akala, Baron Kevic
Again we lined up in Shimmersand for the weekly quest on Akala and for some reason she proved a little more troublesome than the previous week. So we really had to knuckle down and get serious on the healing golems making sure we destroyed them both. Once we started doing this the fight duration went down from about 10 minutes to 3 minutes and thanks to some better positioning and solid AoE tanking by Goldenpaw the small golems at the end proved to be no more than an annoyance.
Next up, Baron Kevic who was quickly and easily dispensed with before we headed into Greenscale’s Blight for another appointment with Duke Letareus.
We made some great improvements on the Duke, moving through two kite phases and getting him to 38% on our best attempt, where we were also tracking well against the enrage timer before the ground borne fairies did us in.

Oh and the most significant update? Sullivan hit 50!

Raid 4 – 23rd April
Raid Rift – Death
This event started with an Expert Rift for Life & Death to warm up before we commenced our second ever Raid Rift – Death (more details below) which we fully completed at the first attempt.
Next up we decided to take down a few trash mobs in River of Souls to see if we could get one of the very nice loot items that drops in there. The zone provided the added bonus of awarding +Mathos faction for mob kills which was certainly an unexpected bonus. We cruised around here for an hour before finishing up and we did manage to get one epic drop which The Wimpy Dirge was fortunate enough to win in the DKP bidding Spike of the Soulless

Let's stick an arrow in it and see what happens...

Raid 6 – 30th April
Raid Rift – Death, Baron Kevic
Due to several players being unavailable including yours truly, Raid 5 was run by Glad and they managed to scope up some Corrupted Souls doing Expert and Major rifts.
The next day we managed to line up 17 players for a more regular day of raid havoc. First stop the Daily Expert Rift quest, being Air was held in Iron Pine Peak where we had no trouble defeating Adain & Co.
We then switched over to Stillmoor and spent a solid 30 minutes chasing an available tear to open the Daily Raid Rift quest which was the same as last week – Death (a detailed description to follow). After we demolished Luthas Darkblade for the second time we picked up the Herald of Discord quest and flattened Baron Kevic. We finished up spending an hour in Greenscale’s Blight where we scored another epic trash drop, a nice caster belt. We did not have the full complement of players that we will need to down Duke for the first time so we focused on nailing the first kite phase transition.


Death Raid Rift – Terror of Undeath

Stage 1: Four groups of three (Dark Cabalist, 2 x Iron Bodyguard) tank and spank, use multiple tanks if damage is spiking. These all have about 90K health.

Stage 2: Four orbs that need to be deactivated and four Dark Attendants standing next to them – these things hit like the proverbial truck, send in one player to deactivate the orb and pull the attendant away from the orb. We had heard that moving the attendant back to the orb after it has been deactivated would decrease the damage but never observed this happening. Next to a ‘live’ orb the Dark Attendant hits impossibly hard. They have 292K health.

Stage 3: The Flesh Terror, kill him and he splits into two. This will happen four times until you end up with small flesh terrors which explode when they die. Obviously keeping the number of exploding mobs to a minimum is important so the DPS need to be disciplined about staying on the correct mob making sure that each part of the Flesh Terror is totally destroyed before starting on the next. This is made more interesting when other players are wandering past and start shooting the wrong mob! This step is on a 12:00 minute timer.

Stage 4: Deathly Energy x 8, these are tank and spank after the pull has been successfully made and that is the tricky part because these mobs will stun the tank and then charge a member of your raid. This also makes it interesting if you grab more than one. Each Deathly Energy has 88K health.

Stage 5: Le Boss – Luthas Darkblade (1.2M health). This is a single mob, he will spawn adds that will explode after a few seconds so kill then fast or kite them away from the tank to avoid spikes. There is also a stacking debuff that he will place on the tank which reduces incoming heals, this can (and should be) dispelled / cured.

Cucumber sandwiches with Alsbeth the Discordant

April 19, 2011

Raid 1: 15th April 2011
Akala, Baron Kevic, Life Rift Raid

We started the day in Shimmersand and everybody grabbed the weekly quest to defeat Akala and earn some plaques. The fight started slowly as we did not seem to be able to apply sufficient healing debuffs to prevent the golems bringing her health back up. So quickly we switched to Plan B which was to burn down one of the healing golems before it healed the named. This led to a steady reduction in her health and at 30% when the smaller damaging golems started spawning we were cruising along.

Boilon rounded up the adds, and we toasted them along with Akala for a first pull win.

Instead of running back to turn in we ported to Stillmoor, grabbed the Herald of Discord weekly raid quest and headed up to Baron Kevic who had foiled our undermanned attempt a couple of weeks earlier. This time it was the Baron’s turn to taste defeat as we cruised to a straightforward win with Telk leading the charge on keeping the adds at bay. At this stage we had uncovered enough Corrupted Souls to be able to start a Raid Rift and we sensibly decided to go with the flavour that matched the daily quest, in this case being Life.

Life Raid Rift – Growth of the Aelfwar

Stage 1
A giant wolf, Caine the Wild, which spawned four elite strength wolf adds at 75%, 50% & 25% – pretty much tank and spank if you can round up the adds and stop them eating your healers.

Stage 2
Two big spiders, Bilevenom Sentry & Bileborn Venomjaw which spawned smaller elite spiders when damaged. Boilon pulled the Sentry off to the side and Goldenpaw focused on the Venomjaw first, when the Venomjaw and adds were down we repeated the dose for the Sentry.

Stage 3
Gnarly treant mob, Vinsula Deadgrowth who spawns two adds – Gnarled Sentry and several empowering growths which we quickly killed before their purpose became apparent.

Stage 4
Single boss, Earl Aelorwin who had a really vicious DoT called Poison Spit. There were also Engulfing Spores that would surround random players preventing them from accepting heals. These had to be destroyed asap.

Final Stage
The main boss was Marquis Valone, who went through several incarnations from wolf to spider to treant as we burned him down. The last phase included another round of Engulfing Spores. We also destroyed the Glowing Spores as they spawned.

After we finished distributing the loot, we headed back into Endless Citadel to zone into Greenscale’s Blight for the first time as a guild. As expected we could not take the trash for granted and the two cat, two satyr groups certainly made us think a bit. We then had a chance to spend 20 minutes warming up with Duke Letareus to see how the encounter started.

Raid 2: 16th April 2011

Another session in Greenscale’s Blight and we had to burn down the trash again on the way to Duke Letareus giving us about 90 minutes with the boss. This time we started focusing more on the transition from tank and spank to kiting him through the shambler goo.

On about the 4th attempt we managed to get Duke Letareus down to 75% completing the first kiting phase. After that we had trouble synchronising the onset of Furious Wrath with killing the first shambler whilst also trying to understand the process for dealing with the adds.

We finished up by completing an Expert Death Rift and banking a Corrupted Soul for the next weeks Raid Rift attempt.

The World Event

We had many players online for the world event finale and split into two groups, one in Iron Pines Peak & Stillmoor, the other in Shimmersand and Droughtlands. In the Shimmersand group we managed to get to all four bosses and scooted over for the final encounter in Droughtlands. Then we had a mad dash to the roof top garden at the Endless Citadel where Alsbeth the Discordant, Asha Catari and Cyril with the Squirrel debated the fate of  the world over cucumber sandwiches before despawning and leaving 2,ooo Ascended scratching their…heads

"Cyril darling, would you like your cucumber sandwiches avec or sans crusts?"

Iron Tombs Expert

April 14, 2011

This is a first edition guide to Iron Tombs, which will be refined as we get to run it more often.

Broodmother Venoxa
This is one of the new mobs added to the expert version of the dungeon. The encounter requires some movement but is not too testing. There are three spider lairs in the room that will spawn adds as the fight progresses. At 75%, 50% & 25%, Broodmother Venoxa will run to a lair for help and spawn an elite add called a defender. The tank usually sets up near the left hand lair and the healers / dps run to the spot where Venoxa starts the fight. For the first two lairs we stay focused on the named, on the third message everybody apart from the tank will scoot around the corner to avoid the big poison AoE, then come back out and finish her off – easy peasy.

Caor Ashstone
A moderate DPS check, Caor Ashstone has a stacking debuff that will slightly reduce the groups outgoing damage and increase incoming damage. Leave it long enough and you will be overwhelmed. He also places a debuff on the tank which greatly reduces incoming heals and this needs to be dispelled every time it appears. Other than that and a short duration fear on random group members he is tank and spank.


Three Kings – Larric, Derribic & Humbart
First Humbart (warrior) will spawn, then Derribic (mage) and finally Larric (cleric) – each one needs to be dispatched individually before the real show begins. The 4th king Whingealot (scout) is too busy on the official forums complaining about being underpowered in Warfronts. When they all spawn at the same time give your tank a few moments to build aggro and then go to town on Larric first, remembering to interrupt or purge the big heal, second course for us is usually Humbart, finishing up on Derribic. Usually near the end of the third boss a large number of small adds will appear from the sides of the room, we find that these will despawn if you focus on and kill the boss

Bonelord Fetlorn
This is a fun fight that is quite easy once everybody gets into the groove. Once you have cleared all the spectres from the room the door to his chamber should open. We choose to fight him at one of the pillars. This fight always reminds me of Frodo trying to hide from the cave troll in Moria during the LOTR: FotR. There are two emotes with two different effects but both are handled in exactly the same way – hide on the opposite side of the pillar and wait for Bonelord to come to you, reposition & repeat. One emote will spawn an elite add for each person that Bonelord can see, the other emote will place a 10s fear / DoT on each person that Bonelord can see. Hide like a baby ftw…

Ragnoth the Despoiler
The way we tackle this fight is to get everybody to stand near the corner of the platform whilst the tank runs in and grabs Ragnoth where he stands. When Eliam appears the whole group runs to the light for protection from the AoE and then returns to the original spot to ensure that it is always possible to reach Eliam the next time he appears. Rinse and repeat. I found that having the Bard resist anthem running reduced the damage in this fight.

Totek the Ancient
This is not a complicated fight, stay at range to avoid being squashed when Totek pounds the ground, he will also knock the tank around a fair amount if they are not speced to avoid it.


Other News

This week also saw the faux culmination of the River of Souls World Event which was pulled from the North American servers after experiencing non-specific ‘live’ server issues in Europe. At this point Trion comes up with the idea of lets re-package this as a bonus extension and deflect some criticism by giving away very powerful items for the trinket and lesser essence slots.

There was also a woefully weak response to the drastic reduction in the drop-rate of Corrupted Souls which are the consumable required to open 10-man rifts. Accepting that there were some, easily resolved, issues with the farming of these items this represents a broken promise made by the production team before the launch that there would be accessible 10-man and 20-man content following their decision make raid instances purely 20-man affairs.

I feel really sorry for the smaller groups and guilds who were assured of 10-man content at launch, the barriers to entry for 10-man raids are vastly higher than that for 20-man even with the proposed changes. This screams ‘knee jerk reaction’ from a company that has repeatedly stated it would do anything but…

Expert Rift!

March 27, 2011

This weekend, TDS decided to try a few Expert Rifts, using the Malformed Souls that had been dropping from various T1 dungeon runs during the last two weeks. So we formed up a rather strong contingent (14 players for 5-man encounters) and set off to Stillmoor to find ourselves a tear. Expert Rifts can only be spawned at regular minor & major tears, not Raid Tears.

Expert Death Rift (Stillmoor)

When the rift forms you see the layout of a ruined house, in three corners are clicky items which need to be harvested one at a time to start a ring event – one each for the baker, blacksmith and apothecary.  Each corner also offers a nice buff that affects players who stand there, it is possible to organise your positioning so that everybody is benefiting from the best buff for their class. The blacksmith ring event is three rounds of fairly mundane tank and spank mobs and a Cleric Shade. The baker spawns a Warrior Shade in the final round who is a bit more substantial. It is the apothecary however that has the nasty surprise, a hideous ranged scout called a Ranger Shade who can inflict some pretty serious damage. It is important for the tank to shut him down early. This concludes the first stage.

The second stage is on a timer and is a single mob called Golgathon who spawns in the corner you have not yet visited, he has about  160K health and needs to be killed in under 2.5 minutes (roughly). This stage is immediately followed by another timed stage of nine mobs called Golgathon Parts who spawn in four rounds of 2,2,2,3 requiring all mobs to be dead in under 2 minutes.

Upon completion of this round the final boss, Xerus will spawn – simply choose your favorite corner and dispatch him back to Regulus. Xerus has about 180K health and is not timed.

Expert Life Rift (Stillmoor)

The rift reminded me of a circus ring surrounded by three cages containing the mobs for each stage. The first round was several Faeguard Menders and Faeguard Sentinels. The second stage was one of the ubiquitous gnarly tree mobs called Dian Luachra who spawned some adds.

The first part of stage three was Dullan Vie, 160K health, whose special ability seemed to be dying fast (Actually he has one of the suck-you-in-spit-you-out AoEs). This is swiftly followed by two cat like mobs, Aein Sih & Bea Sidhe, also timed, who have about 45K health each.

Final stage, Duke Elisar who mutters some jargon about Hylas and the nobility of the Aelfwar however the subtext was very clear.

“A Level 42!!! You think I am going to stand here and be killed by a Level 42???” at which point he ignored Goldenpaw’s taunts, deflected Boilon’s aggro, laughed at Zecc’s rescue and promptly strode up to Fumeden (Level 42) and one-shotted him, literally marching past about eight Level 50s…

We regained our composure enough to bring him down and scored some more epic loot.

Expert Fire Rift (Shimmersand)

First & second stages were multiple mobs, Gedlo Clanker, Galgen Pack Herder, Gedlo Flamemaker & Gedlo Blastie – about 8 or 9 in each stage.

Third stage (timed), Murganis (205K health) who had a single target channel ability that did damage.

Fourth stage (timed), Gelgen Berserkers & Gelgen Howlers, followed by the final boss – Raexanis (also 205K health).

The first fire rift we were a bit sloppy and undisciplined, although we did have a few Defiants failing dismally at messing things up – this was reflected best in Stage 3 of the rift.

Expert Fire Rift One – Murganis – 1:02 @ 3,348DPS
Expert Fire Rift Two – Murganis – 0.54 @ 3,843DPS

Expert Air Rift (Iron Pine Peak)

First & second Stage, very straightforward trash.

Third stage (timed), Artaer, comes with several waves of  adds called Galebreaker Elite who will heal the named for…lots. They must be killed first and have about 70K health each. Figuring this out first time, during the 4:00 minute window and managing to bring Artaer down from almost 100% health twice was a good effort and we produced our best parse of the day.

Artaer: (02:33) 650,272 @  4,250DPS

Fourth stage (timed) was a fun interlude with masses of solo mobs to be rounded up and brought to the tank for an AoE burn – 40 mobs in total required.

The final boss, Adain (120K health), continued to spawn some significant adds during the fight that had to be rounded up by the OT to stop then killing healers and DPS.


Five Expert Rifts completed, at least two server firsts on the loot and somebody managed to be the first player on the shard to complete the Expert Air Rift daily quest.
Many thanks go out to Goldenpaw, Silverpaw, Boilon, Rainslave & Headache who all donated Malformed Souls and Planarite for the husks in addition to having earned the required faction.

Congratulations to all the loot winners, hopefully we can start 10-man content and Greenscale’s Blight in the near future.

Level 50!

March 22, 2011

Over the weekend, after an 8 hour bout of level cap induced tunnel vision and a barn-storming hour of mob annihilation with Nefariouss, I finally managed to reach level 50. This means that there will be a change in focus from rifting and questing to gearing up and accumulating faction.

Sully, feeling a little concerned that he has not been levelling as quickly as others started a thread letting us know that he fully intended to stay the course. In response Kanno posted this little gem…

Don’t worry a bit, Sully. Ruinn and I in the same boat, so to speak. You are now a member of SUCC.

Slackers University of Constant Catching-up
Our motto is:
Nos insisto ass of plumbum canis
Roughly translated as “We follow the ass of the lead dog”

Live it, love it.

As one of the board members, I welcome you and encourage you to maintain the highest level of whatever you do or not do to ensure your standing in SUCC remains in good standing.

If you have any questions, ask Ruinn

This is what you get to work with as guild leader of TDS…

So we so called ‘lead dogs’, with appropriately covered derrieres, had our first run through an expert dungeon, Foul Cascade, and came away with a first time completion which was very satisfying. A brief description of the encounters is as follows:

Matron Verosa, comes with two adds Lesch & Gurze who start the encounter inactive. The Matron is tanked where she stands until she reaches 80% health at which point she will emote and become inactive leaving your group to tackle Lesch. This mob has a charge & stun ability called Staggering Blitz meaning that everybody should stack up nice and close, the ability can be interrupted (there is an achievement for completing the fight with no Staggering Blitz being cast). When Lesch reaches 50% health, he/she too, will become inert and it is the turn of Gurze to take a beating. Gurze has some significant frontal damage so he should be turned away from the rest of the group.
When Gurze reaches 50%, Lesch once again becomes active and the tank will have to hold them both whilst the DPS burn them down. After that Matron Verosa is a straight tank and spank with some AoE splash damage to keep your Wimpy Dirge occupied.
Goldenpaw Tanking Protip : When Lesch becomes active pull her slightly away from Verosa, because while Verosa appears to be rooted and becomes immune to damage she still swings. I try and park her near Gurze so I can grab Gurze when he becomes active.

Countess Surin Skenobar, is one of the three new mobs in the expert version of the instance. This is quite a fun fight. Periodically (either time based or health percentage) she will start teleporting to random group members and dropping bombs at their feet. If you move away and manage to avoid being blown up, it is quite an easy fight.
Goldenpaw Tanking Protip: If you pay attention you do not all have to scramble you just have to run if she pops on you.


Krasimir Barinov, is a ring event. There are three rounds of progressively more beefed up adds before the Baron transforms himself into something suitably evil and gets smacked down for his trouble.
Goldenpaw Tanking Protip: Before you begin this event, make sure you clear the Warlock and two dog patrol that comes from the bridge as you face Barinov. You can avoid the other two groups and do this pull, but that pat will make you a sad panda.

Sparkwing, is another newcomer. This mob appears to be a large bird of some kind and sports some decent melee range damage. Consequently, we just burned it down from range, minimising the healer stress.
Goldenpaw Tanking Protip: Sparkwing has a stun in his AoE, Paladins can clear this every other time it happens, and it is reported to do big damage. I really haven’t seen the big damage but then again I’ve had great healers so far, so I am betting that it isn’t so much the damage that the AoE does, it is the stun that gets people killed.

Tephra Lord Maficros is the final new addition to Foul Cascade, he will arrive after clearing several (lots) earth trash mobs from the rift surrounding Queen Vallnara’s prison. We decided to leave the death idols alone which turned out to be fortuitous as Tephra spawned with a companion who seemed more content to destroy the idols and leave rather than squashing us. Tephra himself is not overly difficult but there are constant hotspots forming on the ground which need to be avoided as they do damage and can punt you around a fair bit. Dancing around is the main challenge.
Goldenpaw Tanking Protip: Pay attention to the add setting the queen free, you can pull it by accident and that will make for a bad day.  Once the add has freed the queen he completely disappears, and you can move TLM closer to the queen, avoiding the leash point. Don’t pull TLM too far away from your “pull spot” or he will reset, one time at 6k health left, so it can be a heartbreaker…

Finally, we had a rematch with the newer, tougher Queen Vallnara and after a few attempts the tactic that worked for us was a straight DPS burn. The group stood in the middle of the rift whilst Goldenpaw dragged QV around the outside, stopping to pile on some DPS and then proceeding as she dropped her venom cloud. Sorrow focused on clearing the nasty poison DoT that would appear on players as they were impregnated and Goldenpaw would snag the adds whilst the DPS focused on the boss. We did not get the achievement for killing her whilst there were six adds up, so I assume we only had four or five at the end. The total DPS we had to maintain to make this work was about 1,800.
Goldenpaw Tanking Protip: QV Rotation = Toxic Bolt (Clear from Tank) – Purple Cloud (Don’t be in it) – Impregnate (Clear from the Target), She repeats this about every 5-10 seconds so it is a busy fight.
The closer you can get her to the party the easier it is to pick up the adds, but the more risk you run of dropping a poison cloud on them, so I avoid it and run from platform to platform (backwards) and just target the adds instead, which means group members will need to target QV directly, and not through the tank for this one.


As we turn our attention to the end game we need to start thinking about specifics, and the main thing occupying us at this time is getting sufficient toughness for our tanks to survive in 10-man rifts and Greenscale’s Blight.

The scale works as follows:

  • 50 toughness is the guideline to tank T1 Expert dungeons.
  • 100 toughness is the guideline to tank T2 Expert dungeons and 10-man rifts.
  • 150 toughness is the guideline to tank Greenscale’s Blight.

Therefore, our focus over the coming weeks will be to try and assist 2-3 of our tanks to get the required level of toughness.

We ran another guild event over the weekend, which was unfortunately interrupted by a 30 minute outage,  during which we cruised around Droughtlands and managed to complete an invasion.

TDS administer the "coup de grace" to Kartok in Droughtlands

…and of course no TDS weekend would be complete without a group outing to the Moonshade Highlands pingtest puzzle, which was a snap with a group of five of us clicking the lights. A shout out for Jagers who came to help even though he had already completed it earlier. We managed to secure four purple loots of which Lisasmage nabbed two when the RNG presented Nefariouss (Cleric) with a pair of cloth legs.

The 90% Rift Update

March 15, 2011

There is an old adage that states; “The first 90% of a task will consume 90% of resources, the last 10% of a task will consume the other 90% of resources”.

The Rift corollary being “Getting Runecrafting to 149 consumes 90% of your available components; getting Runecrafting from 149 to 150 consumes the other 90% of your available components”. Such was the frustration level that I even went to the auction house and purchased some more components. Seemingly not a major event, except for the fact that this dirge, in addition to being wimpy, is unbelievably frugal with in game currency (I suspect the dime-store psychologists will have a field day with this nugget). Having suffered the monumental indignity of having to pay for crafting resources, I vowed to avoid making the same mistake again and blasted through Runecrafting 225 with enough spare inventory to supply the Sanctum garrison until doomsday…

Life colossi in Scarwood Reach

Since my last update we have seen a reversal of the decision to reduce experience gains from Rifts which is a welcome change, seeing as I cannot summon the willpower to ride past even one when it opens. The same problem occurs for the invasion events; if that bloody siren goes off whilst I am delivering a crafting daily to a lower level zone I can kiss goodbye to the next 30 minutes.

As I write this I am 90% of the way to level 50 (see adage above) and I although the levelling fare is familiar, the journey so far has been enjoyable. The game continues to impress from a quality perspective, even the parts not seen during Beta. One small gripe relates to the puzzle in the Moonshade Highlands which was evidently not tested by Trion using a proxy server in Melbourne, Australia (a formality for MMO testing imho) – having a ping time in excess of 250ms makes this puzzle very hard indeed.

TDS organised a second day out and managed to setup a full raid in Scarlet Gorge where we battered a few rifts and even participated in some ad-hoc open world PVP. When the Defiant complaints start rolling in I would like Trion to inspect the logs, where the record will clearly show that it was Aainu who was killing all the quest givers at the Scarwood Lift. We briefly discussed the option of trying to capture all the ancient ward-stones in a zone to spawn a raid boss but this is an activity that will require a fair amount of preparation.  

TDS raid stomping Scarwood rifts

These events serve as useful preparation in getting everybody used to the /raid channel, our Ventrilo server, and the various other interface type things that we will come to rely on once we start to raid proper. We also had a lot more participation from some newer members of the guild which gave everyone some time to learn how we roll.

The guild has continued to grow; we are at level 4 and always seemingly waiting for the next round of guild quests to spawn.

Paladin trying to figure out Defiant hairdryer controls

Hopefully, the next edition of the The Wimpy Dirge will feature some expert dungeon action…