Monday, January 18, 2010

Herald of the Titans

"Now that is a title worth wearing!" I exclaimed amidst a jubilent group.

Saturday evening, some people from my guild, as well as a few of their friends, got together for an Algalon run.  To be honest, as we now usually wear gear two tiers or so above that level, it was considered a farming run for those who still regularly ran in Ulduar.  As a matter of fact, I was the lone person without the achievement in the group.  So for them, just gathering together to defeat Algalon would be no big deal.

But this run was special.  None of the gear we wore was to have an item level higher than 226, except for weapons, which could be 232.  As I had happened to save my Ulduar staff and my tier 8 gear, as well as my trinkets and idol from that time, all I had to do to prepare was pick up some gear readily available with badges, which I had aplenty.  This meant that none of us would have the advantage of outgearing the instance in which we would be facing the Heroic Boss.

To complicate the issue, Algalon is a boss with a deadline:  a raid may only attempt to defeat him for one hour from the time the encounter is first started.  (On the bright side, this meant we knew we would not be wiping on him all evening.)

I will not go into the minutae of the fight or the strategies involved.  It is simple enough to look them up and read:  Algalon the Observer Boss Strat .  But I will say that we wiped.  And we wiped.  We kept getting close to defeating the boss--very close indeed--but we continued to wipe.

Finally it came down to the wire:  we had time for only one more pull.

The encounter went well.  The raid members moved to minimize damage, and no large mistakes were made.  Everyone phased in and out of the "alternate universe" correctly, following the established strategy.  The Moonkin Druid took down the adds correctly, and the tanks taunted at appropriate intervals.

Finally, in phase 3 of the encounter, our Cat Druid (Neph) died.  We knew we would need all the dps we could muster for this encounter, and so the raid leader asked me to battle rez her, which I did.  Shortly after that, things went crazy.  Both our tanks suddenly died, and with our eyes partly glued to the tiny amount of health on the boss' life bar, the rest of us frantically worked to complete the encounter.  Then, to our dismay, it looked as though we had hit the enrage timer, and we all dropped . . . but so did a reward chest . . . and the achievement "Herald of the Titans" flashed across our screen.

In bewilderment, we saw Neph standing there, very much alive.  We realized that at some point, she must have been sent to the opposite phase, and as we were dying, enough of the boss' health was depleted to complete the encounter.  (This boss doesn't actually die . . .)  And then Neph phased back, giving us the one person alive at the end of the encounter to make it count.

Words cannot describe the adrenaline rush and the elation felt by the entire raid, as pandemonium reigned (or as much as pandemonium can reign when there are only 10 people involved).  I'm not sure how much the people in guild chat understood the rather disjointed snippets we typed, but I'm sure they all understood one thing:  we were bouncing off the walls.

Interestingly enough, although I like collecting titles, I don't frequently wear them. But this title is one worth wearing.

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