A Call to Arms: Herald of the Titans

CALLING ALL ADVENTURERS, ULDUAR AWAITS!

Many moons ago, I used to lead runs for this little achievement called Herald of the Titans. It was great fun; I’d bring a group of at-level, at-gear players in to fight the awe inspiring Algalon, in pursuit of a pretty awesome title and Feat of Strength. I had retired these runs a while ago after getting dozens upon dozens of people their Algalon kill, but the time has come to once more venture into Ulduar. Back by popular demand, I am once more setting up runs for Herald of the Titans!

So what exactly is the Herald of the Titans achievement?

Designed to mimic the experience of Wrath-era raiding, Herald of the Titans is a Feat of Strength with some pretty stringent requirements. In order to earn the FoS, players must defeat Algalon the Observer in 10 man Ulduar:

  • At level 80
  • With armor item level 226 or below
  • With weapons item level 232 or below

Effectively, you have to recreate a character as it would have appeared in Wrath (although, you can bring a class that wouldn’t have existed during that time, they just have to follow the aforementioned guidelines). Your reward for completing the encounter as it was designed to be approached is a pretty spiffy title – Name, Herald of the Titans – as well as a shiny new Feat of Strength! Pretty nifty, huh?

This brings me to the Fussypants Herald of the Titans runs!  The preliminary deets are below.

Where: Nesingwary/Nazgrel/Vek’nilash US, Alliance Side
(You are not required to level your character on this realm cluster, but I would highly recommend doing so since I have stockpiled a great deal of foods, enchantments, and other raiding materials to use during our attempts)

When: TBD, depending on the availability of the team(s)

Who: YOU! I’m looking for anyone interested in achieving this Feat of Strength!

IMPORTANT NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A LEVEL 80, GEARED OUT CHARACTER AT THIS POINT IN TIME. I AM ONLY ASSEMBLING TEAMS RIGHT NOW.

Will you answer the call to defeat Algalon in the depths of the titan city of Ulduar? Please fill out the Google form and join this Discord so I can start to organize the groups!

If you have any questions, feel free to message me on Twitter @thefussypants, on Discord Fussypants#4821, or by email thefussypants(at)hotmail(dot)com.

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Farewell to my Heralds

The final group!

The final group!

Citizens of Dalaran! Raise your eyes to the skies and observe!  For the very last time in Warlords of Draenor, our world’s destruction has been averted in defiance of our very makers!

Algalon the Observer, herald of the titans, has been defeated by our brave comrades in the depths of the titan city of Ulduar for the eighth and final time.

Cold logic deemed eight runs too many. Cold logic, however, does not account for the power of guild dedication!. It’s up to each of us to prove this is a Feat of Strength worth obtaining! That our titles… our titles are worth earning.

Man, I couldn’t say goodbye to my Herald of the Titans runs without quoting dear ol’ Rhonin.  Don’t worry though, unlike Rhonin, I can keep the speech down to once through.  With the final group defeating Algalon on Wednesday, <oTQ> has officially ended our Herald of the Titans runs for this season.  And because of the upcoming changes to set bonuses in older expansions, the Wednesday run may have been our last run… forever.

Herald of the Titans has been my pet project for almost two years now.  I’ve leveled up three different characters, cleared Naxxramus for gear more times than I care to count, and helped get over 50 people their Herald of the Titans title.  It’s been a long, sometimes frustrating, but overall, incredibly rewarding journey. And I have to admit, a part of me will always love the Algalon encounter.  Except the Cosmic Smash.  Screw the Cosmic Smash.  But every other part has a special place in my heart.

Herald of the Titans was really my first experience organizing and executing a large scale group activity.  At first it was just guildies but in time, it grew to include other friends, acquaintances, and eventually random people who’d heard of the runs.  I quickly found the best ways to get key details out to people (bold, change the color, and jack up that font size) as well as the importance of keeping my master posts up to date.

I also learned how to deal with failure.  Our first couple of runs actually ended in wipes for 3 hours, something that I had definitely not expected or planned for going in.  There are ways to keep morale up and ways to encourage improvement and those first couple of runs were an awesome teaching experience.

And finally, I got to meet and interact with all sorts of people.  Good friends who I got closer to. Guildies who I didn’t know as well before the runs and became friends with after.  People who joined our guild because of Heralds.  Twitter folks who I’d never gotten to play in game with before. And all the random folks who stumbled across the page after googling ‘Herald of the Titans runs’ (we were one of the top hits!).

It’s been a fantastic two years.  However, like all things, this chapter is coming to a close.  To all of those helped supply the runs, to those who kept coming on the runs to help me fill the occasional open space, and to those who got their titles through the runs, thank you.  Thank you for coming along for the ride, for gearing up your characters, for maxing out those gems and enchants, and for watching out for the Cosmic Smashes.  And congratulations, Herald of the Titans!

 

(Editors note: Because Yotaan and Fussypants are going on vacation, there will be no blog post next week.  We will be back at it the following week however, just in time for the alleged prepatch drop!)

Heraldic Invitation

WoWScrnShot_042615_173134Many months ago, I blogged a bit about an event I ran with my guild by the name of Herald of the Titans.  Once again my guild is running groups through for the achievement, and I wanted to open up the invitation to all my readers!

The Herald of the Titans achievement requires some rather specific situations.  First, all the 10 people in the raid group must be level 80.  No level 100, not even level 81.  You’ve gotta be level 80 on the dot.  Secondly, everyone in the raid must be wearing ilvl 226 or below gear.  And while all of this is active, you must go and defeat Algalon the Observer in Ulduar.  Basically, you complete the fight at level and at gear.

So why would someone want to go for such an achievement? Well to start us off, it’s not actually an achievement, its a feat of strength. And as everyone knows, that’s 3x more fancy.  But on top of that, you also earn the Herald of the Titans title.  And bragging rights! What’s more for there to ask for?

If you are interested in joining the event, shoot me an email at thefussypants(at)hotmail(dot)com and go to our guild forum pages for more in depth information.

We currently do not have a run date because people are still leveling and gearing up but when such a time comes around it is my priority that everyone who wants to gets a run.  The event is a ton of fun and I would love to play the game I write about so often with my readers!  Come join us!

Now, onto other business!
WoWScrnShot_100115_184024The vote was in, and Yotaan and I have started leveling our Ironman toons! I am playing a goblin hunter by the name of Greedypants and he is playing a tauren druid by the name of Bullsmack (isn’t that such a great name!).  And yes, you should all feel bad for voting warlock because warlocks are icky and gross.  Thank goodness hunter beat out by one vote!  Mages forever!

Currently, Yotaan is level 5 and I am level 2 so technically he is in the lead.  However, I’m just letting him wear himself out before sweeping in and taking the prize! Totally!

We will keep you updated on our exploits as we level!

Times Change

Times ChangeIf you had told me a year ago that I would be raiding current tier progression, I would have looked at you and laughed.  If you had told me a year ago that I would be the officer in a guild 900 strong I would have shook my head and told you no way.  If you had told me that I would have tanked current raids, led three groups successfully to their Herald of the Titans achievement, or fallen in love with the monk class I simply would not have believed you.  And yet here we are, a year later.  And all those things are true.

A year ago, I was a part of a small but cheery little guild.  While it was full of wonderful people that I truly enjoyed playing with, it just was not a good fit for the way I played the game.  A year ago I was an average pug healer.  Occasionally I would have some really good plays but I wasn’t much special.  I wanted to raid more than the pugs I could get into, but I didn’t think there was a guild out there who would want me with my unpredictable schedule.  A year ago I was terrified of tanking.  I couldn’t even lead a dungeon at max level, let alone tank any raids.  A year ago, I restricted myself to what I had at that time.  I rarely went far beyond my comfort zones and I hesitated before most opportunities.

What was that thing Garrosh said in the cinematic?
Times change.

Today I am a proud officer in <Of The Queue>.  I have successfully lead a number of events.  I have tanked all of Highmaul, most of Blackrock Foundry, and a bit of Hellfire Citadel.  I have become a much better healer, capable of using my cooldowns and abilities in a raid environment.  I am in a raid group that is 7/13 in Hellfire Citadel and progressing rapidly.  And I now rock a mistweaver and brewmaster monk as my second main.

So many times we stop short with what we have.  We are so afraid of change and of failure that we don’t move forward.  What we have is good enough, no need to desire more.  But the world out there is boundless in it’s opportunities. Even if we fall, we can always get back up again.

Have I had my fair share of failed ventures? Absolutely.  I worked so very hard on things that completely fall through.  I’ve said “Good enough” instead of finding ‘best’. I’ve let fear keep me from trying new things.

But I’m making the conscious effort to stop.  I want to experience all that the world has to offer (both in game and out).  Instead of saying no, I want to say yes to new experiences.  Because the world moves and world changes.  Times change.

I have found my niche in the game where I am happy.  I log in and say hello to all the people and I feel like I belong.  I’ve pushed beyond my ‘good enough’ and into my ‘great’. I’ve found friends to support me and taken opportunities that I never would have dreamed of getting.  And most of all, I’ve accepted that it can change.  Everything can change. I won’t be stuck in the past, grasping at the almosts.

So this is my message to you today.  A bit sappy, I willingly admit.  But genuine.  Seek out what makes you happiest.  Times change; let yourself change with them. Find your ‘great’.

Brewmastering

Me and my bull bud

Me and my bull bud, taking awful selfies

I am not a tank.  Have I tanked before? Yes.  Do I have a general idea of what tanking is all about? Also yes.  But I am a tank? No. I don’t have the reflexes or knowledge to tank with any regularity.  The best I can do is a few leveling dungeons. Which is why the story I am about to tell is so shocking (even to me).

As I have mentioned a few times, I am currently running a Herald of the Titans achievement group.  I, Iike I always do, went healing on my monk.  However, so did the majority of the other players who are part of the achievement group.  So when it came down to putting together the 10 man groups, we had plenty of dps, a plethora of healers, and not enough tanks.  Not even remotely enough tanks.

The day of the run came, and still no tanks had appeared.  Instead of postponing the whole group, I bit the bullet and switched my offspec to tanking.  Fifteen minutes later, and we were getting set up for our first pulls.

Now I had never tanked Brewmaster before, ever.  I knew vaguely that they had some sort of stagger ability, and something to do with flying kegs.  Other than that, I was completely in the dark.  I had a decent amount of gear (since I had been gearing up Windwalker and most of the gear is easily translatable) but other than that I was thrown out in the world without a clue in the world on how to Brewmaster.

I hurriedly set up my action bars as best as I could, read the tooltips of my abilities, and mentally prepared for the fight.

A little background on the Algalon fight.  There are a few adds during the fight, but the tank doesn’t really need to handle them.  The boss is hard enough.  Algalon, it seems, was not squished properly with 6.0.  His attacks are incessant and he hits like a cement truck.  Within the space of a few seconds, Algalon is capable of throwing out 44k damage.  And considering the tanks had about 50k health, this makes Algalon extremely dangerous.  Knowing your cooldowns and abilities is a must.  And here I was, a brand new Brewmaster, going in to tank this cement truck.

Unsurprisingly, the first few pulls did not go over so well.  As soon as the tank swap came, Algalon would turn his fist of fury on me, and gnome monk would squish everywhere.  However, I am super glad to be part of a supportive and encouraging team, so we picked ourselves back up and kept at it.

I started to get smarter, building up my Brew stacks so I could pop my Elusive Brew when the boss started smashing on me.  Instead of lasting three seconds, I lasted five, then ten, then until the other tank picked the boss up again.  I was actually getting better at this!

Over the next two hours, I went from completely inexperienced and confused to ‘Hey I actually know sort of what I’m doing’!  As someone with a chronic fear of tanking raids, that was a really empowering moment.  I began to feel that I actually knew a thing or two about tanking.  I began to conquer my fear of being the punching bag.  And while we wiped a lot, I feel like I was actually accomplishing something.

Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful with our attempts to down Algalon.  As we found out later, that fight is now as hard, if not harder than it was when it was current.  We simply weren’t prepared for an encounter as bleeding edge as it was (this is not me making excuses, that fight is more wicked than many of the current encounters I have done). However, we did get it down to 19% and I have high hopes that we will be able to conquer it next weekend.

After the raid, I went and read all that I could about Brewmastering. Unsurprisingly, there were things that I had been doing wrong.  But not as many things as I feared.  As it turns out, I had actually managed to figure out a lot about brewmaster tanking in my first two hours.  Whether that it testament to the ease of the class or my skills at picking up tanking quickly, I cannot say.  But I’m still really proud of that raid.

I’m always looking to improve and expand my interests and abilities in WoW.  Tanking was a huge area of the game that I had barely touched up until now.  After playing for a large portion of my life, its pretty thrilling to discover parts of WoW that I don’t know yet.  Tanking world, here I come!

 

Addendum: Remember to go enter in the contest!