Worth the Wait
We’d taken a couple stabs at Guardian of the Gate prior to the April patch. We wiped to it quickly enough after 2 or 3 attempts, that we knew it was going to take many frustrating weeks or months for us to get it down. Since anniversary content had arrived and we heard rumors of a coming nerf, we decided to ignore the raid and focus on farming all our other targets including Vulak until the event got nerfed.
Well the nerf went live on April 17, and we returned to the Valley of King Xorbb on April 20. We spent all afternoon working on the first event, getting closer and closer to victory. However, it wasn’t until Hador left the raid that we were able to finally defeat it on our final attempt of the day.
The next day we attempted the second Xorbb raid for the first time, Yymp the Infernal. We weren’t sure what to expect, but it turned out to be very easy and we 1-shotted it with little effort. This event featured fire… and more fire… so… much… fire…
The Return of the King
After 1-shotting Yymp, we spent the rest of the afternoon working on the final raid in the Valley of King Xorbb, the King himself. We made great progress and got him to 22% on our last try of the day, but we ran out of time to beat it on Sunday. We returned Monday and beat King Xorbb on our first try of the evening. It was a really satisfying win on a nicely challenging event with a lot of moving parts requiring solid teamwork.
We were proud to be the 26th raid force serverwide to beat this event.
Farming and attempts at Chelsith Reborn raid.
A Second “First Win”
We’d been working on the Chapterhouse raid for a couple of weeks and were getting closer and closer to victory. This raid has a lot of moving parts, but we felt like we had optimized most of them. Our Friday night ended with us beating Marnek, but due to a tactical error, we wiped to the remaining adds and didn’t complete the event. Painful and embarrassing, but not as embarrassing as getting arrested for fighting over soy sauce. In any event, we went into Saturday very confident, and we put together a nearly flawless run for our second defeat of Marnek and first official event win.
Our complete domination of the event led to excessive achievement spam.
We got some new loot including our third Burden of Truth.
We’re proud to be 23rd serverwide to defeat this event, and now the final RoF T2 raid zone, Valley of King Xorbb is open to us.
More farming of RoF T1 and T2 as we begin our exploration of the Valley of King Xorbb.
Sheex had to take a family vacation this weekend and was worried we’d beat Chapterhouse or Vulak for the first time without him. His fears were well founded. Despite texting his friends during raids to induce a wipe, we made a couple attempts at Vulak and beat him Sunday. We became the second raid force on Drinal to beat him and the 14th serverwide. Sheex missed the group shot.
Sheex missed the spam.
Sheex missed the loot.
Sheex did get to spend the weekend in Tulsa!
With Sheex back, we’ll continue our farming of RoF and working on Chapterhouse.
Another Zone Completed
We worked on the Zalikor raid for a couple weeks before getting it down. It wasn’t as hard as we’d expected, and now its bugged (thanks, SOE!). Not much to say about this raid. There’s a lot of annoying running around, but eventually Zalikor dies.
I missed the spam, but got the loot this time.
We work on Chapterhouse and flag up for Valley. We’ll also work on Vulak to finish off ToV.
Four Raid Wins
I took a weeklong vacation and missed both triumph and tragedy. First the triumph. We had been working on Zeixshi-Kar’s Shard for a week or two when I left, and we defeated it the first Saturday I was gone, January 19.
This win completed Tier 1 RoF for us. Third on Drinal and 27th serverwide. We followed that up by defeating Grelleth the following day.
The following Saturday we defeated Evantil for the first time.
And the day after that, we defeated the first raid in The Breeding Grounds - Velishan’s Revenge.
2 weekends, 4 raids defeated for the first time, and 4 events added to farm status.
Not everything that happened while I was gone was enjoyable, however. During the week, we also found out that Aaniu (perhaps known to some as Klone) and his wife Wearin were involved in an automobile accident. Wearin sustained significant injuries, but unfortunately, Aaniu was killed instantly. Although they were relatively new members of Undivided Faith, they were the kind of people who fit in right away and were well liked and respected. We took the news very hard and many of us dyed our armor dark in mourning. A memorial for Aaniu was created in the yard outside our guild hall. I’m sure Aaniu and Wearin had many friends outside of Undivided Faith. Feel free to stop by the memorial to pay your respects and remember him fondly.
It took a couple weeks for us to beat Kael. I missed it but Draedon was kind enough to provide a group shot. You’ll just have to imagine the spam and loot again.
It took a couple pokes at Crystal Caverns before we could defeat Danela. Far shorter time than it took to complete this update. We also defeated Zlexak in ToV. Here’s the group shot from the CC win. You’ll just have to imagine the spam and loot.
I’ll be brief since this is long overdue. We took a couple pokes at this event before beating it. It’s on farm now. Spam was seen and loot was awarded, but I’ll just stick to the group shot.
Later, we went to the revamped Temple of Veeshan, and gave it a try. Aaryonar gave us brief trouble before falling. We ripped through the rest of ToV, too. Killing 9 other dragons, sparing only Zlexak, Lord Kreizenn, and Vulak. We were pleased to find so much free loot to be had. Here’s the shot of Aary’s corpse. I took a bunch of other shots, too, but just imagine this picture with the other dragon name’s over the corpse.
So we beat Sepulcher 3 while I was gone, but no one sent me any pix of that win (thanks, Drae!). You’ll just have to imagine our joy at finally beating this event. Granted it was the newly nerfed form, but we’ll take it!
Kill Your Friends
We then moved on to Sepulcher 4. It’s the type of event where random folks not paying attention can literally blow you up. Despite the best efforts of those more interested in the football game than following raid emotes, we beat it.
Draedon did send me a picture of this win. Thanks! He also sent me some pix of the loot but didn’t share with me who won, so grats, winners!
That just leaves us with 1 final event to finish VoA. We were hoping to beat it by RoF launch, but we just ran out of time, so now it’ll have to wait.
The Time Has Come
Why finish the update now – over a month after the fact? Well, Zarax threatened to sue me and report me to Facebook, and since I’m easily influenced by insane, idle threats, I found the time to finish this.
After a couple weeks of work, we finally solved Windsong…
and saw our last spam for awhile…
The Return of Free Loot
Then it was onwards to Sepulcher. There were mobs to balance, DT’s to cure, and portals to traverse, but we beat the first event on our second or third attempt.
Then it was on to event 2 which we beat on our second try.
Then, we ran into the next Chris Black – designed brick wall, Sepulcher event 3. We are working to overcome this now.
Sheex is chief among the Anti-Orbus’. However, there was a brief time when he was an Orbusfan.
This was disturbing and lasted way too long, but fortunately, eventually the natural order of things was restored.
We continue working on Sepulcher 3 in our effort to complete Veil of Alaris before the Rain of Fear comes. We curse dev Chris Black regularly while waiting for the incoming patch which should allow us to beat the event easily.
PS – If I’m not around for the win this weekend, does that mean I won’t have to do the next update?
If you were going to design a raid to maximally frustrate a raid force like ours, you couldn’t get much closer to perfection than Unearthing Alra.
Raid takes place in a resource-intensive zone leading to an extremely high rate of link deaths on zoning into both the static and instanced zone? Check.
Said zone also has an unusually high rate of spontaneous link deaths? Check.
Raid mechanics require splitting the raid into not 2, not 3, but 4 different groups, making it nearly impossible to hide your weaker links and chronic afk-rs? Check.
Raid mechanics include auras that make certain classes virtually required for victory? Check.
Raid design is completely inflexible such that if certain aspects of the raid are not handled exactly as dev intended, there are punitive and raid-wiping consequences? Check.
Raid includes personal emotes that if not followed result in a very high likelihood of raid failure? Check.
Raid “scoring” sometimes appears arbitrary despite multiple changes made to make the raid more understandable? Check.
Raid can be lost purely due to bad timing or luck if the wrong person gets an emote at the wrong time even if they follow the emote successfully? Check.
Raid requires all 4 sides to score well to progress to the boss (and two sides to score particularly well for a realistic shot at winning) thus leading to magnified frustration when a different side fails each attempt for the variety of reasons listed above? Check.
Raid boss portion includes a mechanic that requires semi-coordinated raid movement during a time of high lag in an already laggy, resource-intensive zone? Check.
Aside from all that, this raid was right up our alley! I will say that the only saving grace is that it’s a short raid, so you can get many attempts in each day. Also, by its nature, you may not necessarily die each and every time the raid fails.
We’d been trying this raid for a few weeks and making some slow, but steady progress. 2 weeks ago we were encouraged when we got our first score low enough to spawn the boss and took him to 9% on our first try. We really thought we would win on our next attempt the following week. However, due to the many factors listed above, the next week we were only able to spawn the boss on our final attempt of the weekend, and unfortunately, we could only get the boss to 7% before wiping. This weekend started with a great deal of optimism, but lack of appropriate classes led to failure on Saturday. We were having our usual difficulties on Sunday as well until we finally managed to put everything together on one magical run and saw this…
I’m not going to lie. The final fight was a little closer than we would have liked considering we scored so well on the trials, but the bottom line is we became the 24th raid force server-wide to defeat this raid. (Orbus’ corpse in the foreground makes this group shot so much more enjoyable.)
And we got some nice loot.
And, of course, we got some spam with that win.
Accompanying the spam, you can see the range of emotions that comes from finally defeating an event you’ve been working on for weeks. You see the pure joy of victory, the cursing from the release of pent up frustration, the pride in a job well done, and below, from Monoh, you see the dawning of insanity…
Yes, Monoh, Pillars is now on “FARM MODE” - just like the Trial of Creation from Underfoot, Ritual of Terror and The Torches of Truth from House of Thule, and Time and Tides from Veil of Alaris were put on farm mode previously. It’s a special farm. A farm so special that it won’t begin for 10 years. Mark your calendar, Monoh. 2022 we will begin living your dream. I hope you’re still playing this crazy game. And I really hope Chris Black is still designing raids for it.
And You Thought Berserkers Were Just DPS Whores
Apparently, they are as careless with their channels as they are with their women.
On our march towards the end of Veil of Alaris, we move on to Windsong and Sepulcher where hopefully the raids will be a bit easier until we reach the next Chris Black special.
Memorial Day Weekend Fun
Some folks spent their Memorial Day weekends partying or barbecuing. We, however, spent our Saturday and Sunday on our second and third days in City of Bronze learning The Order of Three raid. Even though one of our tanks decided he’d rather spend the entire time tanning (he’s from New Jersey after all), we managed to get our first win on our third attempt Sunday.
This win got us our first Bronze Fiats and our first VoA T4 loot.
We were the 24th raid force serverwide to beat this raid, which is not too shabby considering that flagging 100 odd toons was and continues to be a long, painful process.
We’ll turn our attention to Pillars of Alra soon while continuing to farm what little content there is to farm in the lower tiers of VoA.
Apparently it is now a badge of honor to hack an unsecured website with monthly page views under 1000, so congratulations to the nameless hacker on his impressive achievement. We thought we’d take this opportunity to verify that we are in fact still actively plowing through the content of Veil of Alaris. We have completed Tier 3 and are about to start exploring Tier 4. In preparation for this, we’ve opened up recruiting to a few more classes. Please go here to learn more about us and what classes we are accepting. Who knows, you just might get lucky…