July 22nd, 2011

Oh the pain. The pain.

In WoW, there are some encounters that are sort of like your kryptonite.

I’ve been playing since release day and I can remember several of them. Some of them are personal kryptonite like, for me, the original 40 man Maexxna where I just could not seem to survive getting thrown up on the wall. Every single time it happened I was in that dead zone where you could only be healed with Prayer of Healing and I’d die a horrible death. Most, however, are guild kryptonite. Those encounters which are miserable to learn and more miserable to repeat. Oh, I remember them well.

40-man Gothik the Harvester
Firemaw
Lady Vashj
and the all time champions:
Heroic Sindragosa and my personal favorite Kalecgos.

I should take a moment here to give a shout out to Tanix’ personal demon by the way. I didn’t find this boss quite as reprehensible as he did, but after all…poor Tanix had to lead the three months of attempts on him:

And so we come to our latest in a long line of bedeviling encounters. Normal mode Ragnaros. We spent a few nights on this guy before we recognized that we had a fundamental misunderstanding of the fight. That is, we discovered that we needed to use the new math here. In Ragnaros, 2 > 3. I shall provide you with an illustration.

Having worked that out finally after much due diligence on the part of Tanix scouring logs in WoL (and in the process discovering that he could score a world #2 healer ranking if he banished me to the left side of the room and did all the heavy lifting,) we adjusted to two healers and began making some progress. There were, however, still some issues. Enough of them in fact that some of our members took to strange behavior such as this subtle attempt to disguise one’s self as a guild vault chest:

As you might recall, Ragnaros has visited us before. Back in the early days of our adventuring, we ran into the fine gentleman in Molten Core. He wasn’t nearly the man he is today, however. After a few days back then, this was all that remained of our buddy Rag.

Now, most people don’t know this, but it turns out that Ragnaros is an avid player of the World of Warcraft collectible card game! After being so soundly trounced in his original form, Ragnaros set out to build a better mousetrap, so to speak. He got the idea for something like this:

Now that he had his new hammer all limbered up, Ragnaros apparently decided he needed some new digs. That old musty place didn’t have quite the same appeal and after all, he had to hire a new Majordomo seeing as the last one…well, we all know what happened to him. As a parenthetical aside, my kudos to Blizzard for resisting the desire to re-use “Too Soon.” I mean, it’s about the only thing they haven’t re-used in the last couple of years, but by God they didn’t re-use that. Anyway, check out the contrast.

Old Home:

New Home:

So…new house? Check! New hammer? Check!! But of course, what is all of that without…a new look! Rag went and visited his stylist.

It turned out this all worked well for Rag. If he destroyed one of us, we would generally end up executing the second ability of the above hammer in fine fashion, usually with Herat saying “Stand in the fire.” We stood in the fire a lot after the hammer did its work. And all was right with Rag’s world.

But then things began to go horribly horribly wrong for Rag thanks to two of the most fundamentally important tools in the Grandeur repertoire. The first:

The second would be the threat of this:

For the better part of the last two hours last night, there was never any fail on the Sons of Flame. Not a one reached the hammer. Almaix credited this to partially our use of flares to perfect Sons assignments and partially because “we were all afraid you were gonna start screaming and cause us permanent hearing damage.” I shamefully admit that this has been known to occur in the past.

With the Sons accounted for, we progressed regularly to stage three where two further nemeses awaited us. Again, I shall provide you with graphic illustrations as is my wont.

And, of course, the dreaded WALL OF FLAME!

And so, after much trial and tribulation, I give you our final screenshot of one big ass chest:

Er…um….okay, so I was going through my screenshot folder to pick out the best screenshot to use for the kill and I discovered that beauty above. It took me a while, but I figured out that I really didn’t take that screenshot. You see, occassionally my new kitten likes to play World of Warcraft too. He loved the Ragnaros fight with all the stuff moving on the screen which, as you’ve seen my UI, made it remarkably hard to heal since he sat right in front of GRID. I ended up having to banish him to the other bedroom most evenings. In retaliation, I’m pretty sure he took that screenshot. Be on the lookout for the culprit:

Ahem…as I was saying…the final result of much stress on the part of 10 stalwart adventurers:

As per usual, Teribleterry has done the videographer thing. I happen to think this is an excellent 10 man video for Ragnaros in many ways because of Terry’s position on the fight. You have a good look at everything that goes on. Watch for yourself. Thanks for staying up until 4am and finishing it Terry!

Remember those puppies? You saw them down below. Apparently they’re meaner now. We might have to do something about that next week.

July 13th, 2011

A few movies for you.

Our intrepid adventurers have been hard at work with Sony Vegas and the like chronicling our path through Firelands normal mode kills. I thought I’d throw these up to share them with you.

Alysrazor by Ashlynne, formerly Morgan the Worgen. (This is one of the more amusing vids you might ever see, particularly if you’re an old fucker like me.)

Here are three by our usual videographer, Teribleterry. Please note that Terry has established a PayPal fund to buy him a bigger harddrive…something possibly on the order of 11 terabytes to save all of this raw footage.

Beth’tilac:

And Alysrazor from the ground point of view:

Finally, Majordomo:

Enjoy!

July 8th, 2011

So yeah, I guess I lied.

Remember when I said I’d take screenshots of dead mobs? Um. Well. Zestrenocya is apparently a synonym for failure. I forgot yet again. I do have a screenshot though of….something.

See, F11 is my whisper key for officer channel in mumble. Which, if I move my hand too far over, I sometimes get the next bank of keys which has the print screen button in it for taking screenshots. I’m pretty sure that’s how we got that masterpiece. Anyway, in terms of in-game screenshots, that’s all you get. For the rest of this post, you’re going to have to make due with my poor substitutes.

So anyway, on Wednesday we went over to visit the dude in front of the gate. Um. Jesus, I’m getting senile. He’s named Something-or-other. BALEROC! That’s it. He didn’t much make an impression and went the way of the dodo bird with only a few attempts. All he left behind was this:

After that, Thursday came around as we added an extra day to our week. My wife was none too happy about that, let me tell you, but it did give my new kitten three more hours to sit here at my computer desk and play with pens, which are his new favorite toy. Anyway, we went to play with the birdy again. After many unfortunate encounters with the fiery tornadoes and repeated incidences of me screaming in mumble “DONT KITTY YET HERAT!” we finally achieved this fine end result:

After that we moved onto Majordomo Staghelm which featured an absolutely awesome cut scene of a bridge forming in front of Domo’s lair….no doubt done by the bridge forming specialist over at Blizzard who previously brought you the formation of Vashj’s bridge in Serpentshrine Cavern. That must be a cool job. Dude sits at Blizz development all day just waiting for someone to stop by and say “JACK! Get to work! We need a bridge cut scene!” I bet I could do that. I wonder how much the bridge guy gets paid. Hope they have good bennies.

For those of you who don’t know, Majordomo Staghelm turns into both a scorpion and a kitty cat. I couldn’t really decide which substitute screenshot to use, so I went with one of each. I present to you dead Majordomo substitute screenshots 1 and 2.

We paid a visit to Mr. Ragnaros after all of that, but after one encounter with the sons recklessly slamming into the hammer, we called it a night. Back with more on Sunday after he’s toast.

July 5th, 2011

Screenshots are hard.

Very hard actually. So hard in fact, that I forgot to take screenshots of our last two dead monsters. However, the internet has provided these fine substitutes and illustrations for your entertainment.

First we went and hung out with Beth’tilac. Which, am I the only one who keeps wanting to call him Similac after the baby formula? I have to find cool nicknames because they changed out Anthicryst or whatever during development when they realized that everyone, myself included, was going to call him The Antichrist.

Anyway, as I mentioned, screenshots were lacking last night so allow me to illustrate:

After we stepped on the spider, which was actually a bit easier than learning how to kill the crocodile boss in Maraudon, we went over and had some fun with Lord Ryolith the Ponderous. The best comparison I can make to working on this boss is you know how you watch those 97 year old ladies trying to park their ’87 oldsmobile by backing the sucker in? And you think you might be 97 yourself before they finally slowly back that fucker into the spot? Ryolith is sorta like that. You see him heading for the active volcano. You know he’s going to run it over. You just aren’t sure if it’s going to happen before you’re ready for the retirement home.

Sorta like this poor guy:

I will endeavor to take real screenshots next time. Last I saw there was a big bastard with swords standing in front of a gate smushing a bear. I’m sure it’ll all come out okay though.

See ya next time.

July 1st, 2011

Huntard Down!

So, welcome to Firelands. I guess it’s a proper noun right? Or would it be firelands? Nevermind. Stream of consciousness late in the evening. All I know is I’m happy we got more than two recycled troll instances this time. Although I guess we got a recycled final boss. Am I the only one who thinks if he says that Molten Core was only a setback when we get to Rag that I’m going to do damage to my monitor? That joke got old about the 33rd time Blizz used it. Anyway…onward.

So when we killed this guy, the first of our normal modes in the new raid instance, I had to consider. First, I had to consider “well, it’s a hunter…not all of them might as easy as this, so maybe I should do full kill posts for all of them.” Then I had to consider “how in the name of hell am I going to do TWO posts for each mob, one for the normal mode and one for the heroic mode?” So that made my decision easy. Full posts for heroic modes only. Thus, I present you with first boss kill in Firelands: Shannon…er…Shannox.

Sorry, I got confused by the name there. Shannon was a girl I once knew. She went down almost as easy as a hunter does. Shannox is a hunter. Anyway, you understand my confusion.

I have to apologize for the lack of awesome screenshots. I meant to take a few while we worked on the fight so I had some action shots, as it were. (Good lord, did I just talk about “action shots” after talking about a girl who went down easy? Sorry.) Anyway, I didn’t get any shots of the fight, but I did manage to find a suitable substitute….

Shannox’ adds are cuddly little things aren’t they? Back with more stuff soon.

May 26th, 2011

I’m tellin’ ya, they’re all inbred…

Honest to God. I was sitting here and thinking late yesterday, after Theralion and Valiona went gently into that good night, as it were. Has anyone else noticed that dealing with the dragons in World of Warcraft is like trying to navigate the family tree of a backwoods Kentucky shit-kicker clan? Consider these two and how they bicker as soon as you walk in the room.

Dig the spelling of “favoured.” Apparently, they’re English dragons. Very highbrow Blizz. It would be cool if they wanted to have tea.

You don’t fight that much without some sexual tension. I mean, just listen to the two of them. They’re called the twilight flight and the female of the pair is constantly screaming “ENTER TWILIGHT!” I’m telling you guys, she’s screaming at Theralion, not us. If you have any doubts, lemme give you the reference manual for this topic. Read this, then get back to the rest of the post.

I mean, the only one who’s clean is Nozdormu, and who knows what his bronzeness does in terms of exploiting the space-time continuum. He could be jetting off to the War of the Ancients to score with some of his ancestral bronze dragon trim the way we jet off to Vegas. But hey, what happens in the war with the Burning Legion stays in the war with the Burning Legion.

Of course, if my understanding of the whole aspect thing is right, then Nozdormu is like the father of all the bronze dragons. So if he were jetting off to get some, he’d be diddling his daughter…probably his dead daughter if he went far enough back in time. So he’d be a pedophile AND a necrophiliac in the exchange. See what I mean? The whole damn thing is confusing.

I know just how to handle this.

We in the grand old U. S. of A. have an icon available to sort out just these sorts of sordid issues.

JER-RY! JER-RY!

Springer could turn this into a full show no problem. I mean, if you’re gonna do a show that uses topics like “Mississippi Cornholers and Their Custom Ford Pick-Ups,” what’s a little dragon incest? I even went so far as to make a nice graphic for Jerry to use for the intro. He could fit it right across the bottom of the screen

I’m sure this would pull in massive ratings for Springer. Americans love the dirt. Plus, if these two bicker the way they do when faced with the threat of stalwart adventurers bent on their destruction, think of how bad it would be on stage with their seedy behavior laid bare for all to see. Fortunately, at Springer, Jerry always has the muscle standing by to keep things calm.

Is it just me or does that guy on the right look like a young Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with hair?

Jerry could turn this into a theme. Maybe do the forbidden love show. It’s not as if you don’t see it elsewhere.

(As a parenthetical aside, in doing these posts, I have learned one thing. You really can find EVERYTHING on the internet. I searched “forbidden love pictures” and got 2.9 million images. Many of the returns were not fit for consumption even by the jaded readers of this board. God bless Facebook. Thank you, Mr. Zuckerberg. Now back to your regularly scheduled rambling.)

We’d have to be careful involving Springer though. The guy has a tendency to take things a bit far. Check it out:

Montel Williams could probably do a very sensitive episode of his show concerning Jerry’s…ahem…predilections. I mean, anyone who would put THAT outfit on has to have some serious issues. And just think, the good citizens of Cincinnati, Ohio, elected this guy mayor of their fine city. They thought the Bengals were their greatest claim to shame? I would disagree.

Alas, as with most forbidden loves, the two dirty dragon lovers have come to a bad end. We at Grandeur saw to it in fine fashion. Witness.

But their love persists even in death…

“A glooming peace, this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

–Romeo and Juliet
–Act V, Scene III

From all of us, a special thanks to Almaix for gearing up his rogue in short order to make the fight that much easier on us. We thank you for the hard work and the sacrifice of playing the rogue instead of your main. And, as usual, from the brilliant mind of Teribleterry comes yet another video offering. Kudos and thanks again, Terry.

May 5th, 2011

MST3K!

“What are we watching tonight? What manner of misery are we suffering through this evening? Not that I’m complaining, you know. I love watching these things!”

“Um. It’s called Revenge of the Mad Scientist. I dunno. Might be good. Has a bunch of people I’ve never heard of before.”

“Do we ever watch anything good?”

“You make a valid point. Shut up and press play.”

“Genius eh? Who is said genius?”

“Where’d I put the box? Here it is. ‘LORD VICTOR NEFARIUS presents REVENGE OF THE MAD SCIENTIST.’ Really? LORD Victor Nefarius? I gotta check this guy out on IMDB.”

“He might be knighted.”

“You might be good looking too, but you aren’t.”

“Hmmm…seems he did a lot of work back in 2005, then he sorta vanished. Worked a lot with some actress named Onyxia. What’s with the one word names anyway? Maybe she was his muse….”

“Obviously she wised up and went in a different direction. Professional Sanitation Engineer would be a step up.”

“HA! Oh check this out. The reason he hasn’t done anything in five years is…get this…he was killed, but brought back to life by the aspect of death so that he could complete his important work.”

“So you’re saying he was in rehab.”

“Well Duh.”

“He’s got a few fansites here. They compare him to Uwe Boll.”

“Now there’s a comparison every director dreams about.”

“You guys should be watching this. I think Uwe Boll might be better.”

“…”

“Who’s this guy in the corner with all the little guys chasing him?”

“Not sure of the character. The actor’s name is Cerrus.”

“I think we should search out the rest of this dude’s oeuvre. This is some good stuff. I mean, I haven’t had less of a clue as to what’s going on since we watched that Bollywood musical.”

“Which oeuvre? Cerrus’ or the director’s?”

“Well, both I guess. I mean this dude Cerrus was in The Facts of Life 2: Tootie’s Revenge. That’s gotta be worth watching.”

“Who’s the love interest? She’s sorta hot.”

“Mmmm…some russian chick. Venestia. WHAT IS WITH THE ONE WORD NAMES IN THIS FILM! Are these people all prima donnas?”

“I dunno, but she is sorta hot. But help me out. Why is she a tree?”

“I’m sure it fits with the plot.”

“There’s a plot?”

“Yet another valid point.”

“And the vicious villain is vanquished, the universe is saved, and all is right with our heroes once again!”

“I wanna kiss the chick. She’s hot.”

“She’s still a tree.”

“POOPIE!”

“Why are they rolling? Rolling what? Did it suddenly become a gangsta movie?”

“More to the point, why are they so bad at it?”

“That was neat. We should watch the sequel.”

“There’s a sequel?”

“Yeah. I guess this guy Nefarian doesn’t like numbered sequels though. This next thing is called Double Dragon: The Attack of Valiona and Theralion.”

“Does all that fit on the box?”

“And does he know that Double Dragon was a video game?”

“Who cares, pop that shit in…”

(If you too would like to experience the beauty of Lord Victor Nefarian’s masterpiece, Revenge of the Mad Scientist, you can delve into it below with a single click. Kudos to the editor of the piece, Teribleterry.)

April 28th, 2011

Who you gonna call?

We’re back.

Before we get started, our apologies for the lack of updates. Like many guilds in WoW, we had to do a bit of reorganization these past several weeks, but everything is straightened out now and we’re back working towards new kills which result in more nifty videos from Teribleterry and crazy posts from yours truly. Currently, recruiting is closed as we’re now a strictly 10-man organization, but if you’re interested in us check back periodically to see if anything has opened up. Now, on with the latest from….

GRANDEUR EXTERMINATION SERVICES

So this is a story every man out there should take to heart. You have to be careful boys, particularly those among you who are part of the dating game lest you end up in a situation like…this…

“Now where did I leave that card. I know I had it here somewhere in case the boys got out of line. Maybe next to the rats. Hmmmm….THERE!”

“Ahem, yes, thank you. I…um…that is to say we have a snake problem? You handle snake problems, right?”

“Of course we do, dear.”

“Yes then. Um, my name is Vikki Nefarian? Wife of Victor Nefarian? My husband and I live at 101 Blackrock Mountain Way and there’s a really big snake in the yard? Um. You guys take care of things like that, right?”

“We’ll send a team right out, dear.”

(A few minutes and one casting of Have Group Will Travel later…)

Of course, if people would just keep their pets in the darn house, none of this would happen. But no, this guy had to let his snake out to play in the yard. But that’s no excuse for the villainy perpetrated by Ms. Vashj in this tale of woe. Naturally, Grandeur Extermination Services was up to the task. Moments later, the snake was disposed of and Cerrus, our billing department manager, was hard at work on the invoice.

Needless to say, the man of the house was not pleased.

It may be that we’ll have to send an arm of our diversified company, Grandeur Collection Services, to take care of the bill. But that’s okay. We’ll deal with Mr. Nefarian’s young ward, Maloriak, and take the money we’re owed out of his hide. More interesting for our readers, perhaps, is the fallout from the snake removal.

Is anyone surprised that Vic is a man of the 21st century?

Let it be a warning to you boys. Be careful who you date. She just might hire a group of stalwart adventurers to cut off your snake at the head.

We’ll be back with more soon, but let me leave you with the video stylings of Teribleterry’s latest kill story. See you next time with Maloriak’s head on a platter…

March 4th, 2011

An Obituary from Blackwing Descent

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

–Fire and Ice
–Robert Frost

Heroic Atramedes, the blind dragon who could hear a pin drop, died today after a prolonged encounter with Grandeur’s raiding team. Some might say said encounter with Grandeur’s raiding team was too prolonged. In fact, some might say that certain priests lost more of their ever dwindling supply of hair during the evening as they stood sentinel at the dragon’s demise. In any event, it was an ongoing illness which resulted in his death. Let us take a moment to ponder those things that Atramedes held dear, such as his favorite television show:

So great was the creature’s affection for The Gong Show, this rare item was discovered on his loot table, a picture of his favorite people:

And of course, Atramedes had decorated his lair with his favorite items:

Atramedes also had a favorite song, as you might imagine. Being blind, music and poetry were the things he enjoyed most.

And his favorite band was, of course, the pyschedelic rock band Gong led by none other than Daevid Allen. (I am not kidding. This dude exists.)

For those among you who were unfamiliar with our dear departed, the poor creature may have been visually imparied, but that never got him down. He had a refined sense of smell as indicated here where he can be seen to be scenting the air for prey…or perhaps that was just Moonsilver’s dirty drawers he had picked up…

But most of all, Atramedes had a wonderful sense of hearing. In fact, it was necessary to tread quietly in the beast’s lair for fear that he might hear you and lay upon you the ultimate indignity. Fortunately, those who ventured to visit him were provided with a safety device: the sound meter. Think of it like one of those radioactivity meters that the guys at the nuclear power plants have to wear. Only in this case, the results are a bit more…immediate.

But alas, none of these defenses could help the poor beast stand against the onslaught of Grandeur’s raid force. However, so valiant was the creature that we gathered about his remains and here, offer a tribute to him in verse.

Let us bow our heads in a moment of silence in tribute to the fallen Atramedes…Okay, that’s enough of that. I hear tell that Lord Victor has a pet snake. Let’s go play with it. MAGMAWWWWWW. HEREEEEE LITTLE SNAKEY! COME OUT AND PLAY MAGMAWWWWWW…..

(As usual, our fearless hunter Teribleterry, he of the wicked aimed shots and the amazing processor speed along with copious video storage capabilities, has once again paid homage to our kill. Enjoy.)

February 21st, 2011

LET’S PLAY THE FEUD!

It’s time for the…

Introducing the GRANDEUR family! Kyns, Tanix, Herat, Sulfate, and Teribleterry! (Well, and 20 others too.)

Ready for action! (Yes, that is my UI. If you make fun of it, I will belittle you in a future post.)

And the CHIMAERON family. Left head, Right head…..er….um. LEFT AND RIGHT HEAD!

On your marks!
Let’s start….
THE FAMILY FEUD.
With the star of Family Feud…RICHARD DAWSON!

(And you thought it couldn’t get any better than Shatner.)
I bet you, like me, have always wondered just who in the hell Johnny is. We’ve heard Richard Dawson talk to him offstage for years, but the guy is never onscreen. Well, we at Grandeur are nothing if not thorough. Here, for the very first time, we have captured a photo of the reclusive Johnny! Witness:

The Heroic Chimaeron fight is very much like an episode of Family Feud. What you’re trying to do is work your way to the fast money round. But to do that, you have to navigate a myriad of issues. We can show you how in face off form!

Top Seven answers are on the board. We asked 100 raiders the following question…

And let me tell you, friends and neighbors, if you don’t think Kyns beat Lord Vic to the buzzer on this topic after this week, you are sorely mistaken! All the man had to do was hear “wipe” and “Heroic Chimaeron” and he had a myriad of options to choose from. Of course, Kyns got the number one answer!

However unusual it might be, getting the right answer in today’s game of Family Feud also results in a strike!

It will not be the last of them. Not by a long shot. In point of fact, allow me to illustrate just how many strikes the Grandeur family uses today.

I wouldn’t leave you without closure. Here, have a look at all seven answers. If you’re a member of the guild, these should come as no surprise to you. There are of course, a myriad of other answers available, but as we all know…the answer has to be worth at least 2 to get on the family feud survey board! With 27 strikes to our credit, we revealed them all…

Eventually, the Grandeur family would prevail and reach stage 2 of Heroic Chimaeron. In an oddly appropriate fashion, this is very much like the fast money round! Except instead of trying to get to 200 points, you’re trying to go from 22 to zero. And you have about as much time. The only bad part is if you screw up, you don’t hear the little buzzer and have Richard Dawson whisper “Try Again” like happened in the real game. Instead, you hear Kyns give a heavy sigh in mumble followed by those immortal words, “Just die.”

Let’s take a look at how the fast money round starts!

For every point you earn in fast money, Chimaeron’s percentage declines by one. If you reach zero, you get those wonderful parting gifts that Johnny told us about. How about we take a look at the final board.

And the final result…

Two down, 11 to go. There is one downside to all this, however. Remember I mentioned that crazy guy in the basement a few posts back? Well, apparently he was really attached to Chimaeron. I guess the sleepy dragon was something of a family pet.

For you hoodoo people, now you have Chimaeron’s truename available if you’re into that sort of thing. Just use your leftover Toy Story dinosaur dolls as a fetish along with the truename “Spot” and you have an instant double-headed dragon servant. As to the rest, we’ll deal with you next week Maloriak. But for now, we leave you with Richard Dawson carrying Chimaeron’s one and only strike. Until next time…

EDIT: Teribleterry has yet again come through for us, and this time we clued each other in on the posting plan. You’ll find the Family Feud theme continues in his fine video work.

Terry…Shatner called. He says all is forgiven.