The finish line is in sight
It’s been a strange weekend here at the Bunker of Love, no doubt about that.
See, North Carolina has been getting hammered by a nasty heat wave. Now yes, it’s the South, and yes, of course it gets hot in the summer. I know this. I’m Virginia-born and -bred, with the added resume entries of surviving three summers near Washington, DC (why did we build our nation’s capital in a bloody swamp?) and seven years in Columbia, South Carolina, a place that you could use for testing manned expeditions to Venus. I know from hot, people.
But you see, the Bunker of Love, nice as it is, does not have central air conditioning. This is a small, old house with “character” (translation: a disturbing number of corners that aren’t 90 degrees) in an older neighborhood. It was built before the word “insulation” entered the national consciousness. Hot and cold just seeps in, despite our best efforts. And what’s worse, our computers are in the only available space for them–a converted sunporch that was added on sometime after the house was built. There are several large windows in this room. They’re old and single-pane. Do the math. We have two small window units (one in our bedroom, and one in the living room behind us) and one box fan trying to push the output of the living room A/C in here. It works reasonably well, as long as the temperature is a more normal, say, 90 degrees. 100 degrees with a heat index over 110, not so much.
And thus it was that on Thursday night, The Anvil spent three hours on Arthas with me as main tank, keeping one eye on the Lich King and one eye on the display of my Logitech G15 keyboard watching my video card temperature skyrocket, while sweating like a pig and trying to hydrate in between wipes. Yes, I know how stupid it sounds talking about sweating my ass off while playing a video game. Remember–I’m a fat white pasty guy, it was pushing 85F in here, and it’s the motherhumpin’ Lich King, people. Things get a little intense even for keyboard warriors. We did make some good progress, with some strategy adjustment on phase 2 of the fight, but we’re still getting our asses kicked by badly-placed Defiles or losing people to val’kyr. We’re consistently getting late into phase 2, and we got to see the 40% transition a couple times.
Friday hit 101 degrees. My wife and I ended up doing something I’m still sad about–we bailed on the raid due to the heat. I take my raiding commitments seriously. When I sign up, I show up, even if I don’t really want to. But with the temperature in the room pushing the mid- to high 80s, and my video card reporting 83 degrees Celsius just while sitting looking out over the porch at Ulduar, we both knew that a couple hours of this, and we’d be not only miserable, but making serious mistakes when we tried Arthas again. I can’t rationalize and say we did it for “the good of the raid” though. Fact was, it was just too damn hot in here.
Now, come Saturday afternoon for the 10-man that I MT on Linedan, the temperature had not abated outside–heading for 100 again. But since it doesn’t get really intolerable in here until about 5 or 6 pm, and the raid runs from 2 to 5, I figured I’d be able to hang in OK on our all-Arthas-all-the-time attempts. (Side note: I love extended lockouts. Awesome invention, Blizz.) So we got to work.
As you can guess from the picture up top, we got the bastard. Linedan is now, at least for a day, Linedan the Kingslayer. (Then I’ll switch it back to Loremaster.)
We got him, in fact, despite most of us never really having gotten good looks at phase 3, the Vile Spirits phase, before. I know that phase 2 is the hard part, and that phase 3 is easier, but still, we wiped a good 10 times in that phase before we worked out a strategy for saving me from getting my face eaten by Soul Reaper. Once we did that? I’m not going to say it was easy, because it wasn’t. But our killshot wasn’t one of those nail-biting super-close shaves. We just…got him. Fairly smooth, no big issues.
That fight is so much easier on 10-man than on 25-man. As are, in fact, most fights that require a lot of maneuvering. To me it seems pretty obvious why. You’ve got the same area of platform to drop Bad(tm) in, but 40% of the people taking up the room. You’re less likely to get a Defile in a bad place, and if you do, you’re less likely to get somebody moving through it or standing in it and expanding it. And yes, I’ll admit, a good chunk of us in this raid are wearing 25-man gear, and yes, having a nice big rack of ilevel 264 stuff does help compared to doing it in 251s or lower.
So now that Arthas has fallen in 10-man, I have one goal left in Wrath of the Lich King for Linedan…Kingslayer 25-man. That’s it. As soon as we get that, I will have accomplished everything I set out to accomplish for him in this expansion. I called it the Four Big Titles–World Explorer, Seeker, Loremaster, Kingslayer. Well, right now, he’s three-and-a-half out of four. We’ll keep raiding after The Anvil drops Arthas, I’m sure of it, and our 10-man is going to start on hard modes in at least a few fights next week. But after I get that 25-man Kingslayer title attached to Linedan’s name, everything else is just sprinkles on the cupcake, and the Cataclysm countdown begins.