Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (2015) Halonans!

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 December 2014 11:48 Written by HalonaZAT Thursday, 25 December 2014 12:00

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (2015) Halonans!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (2015) Halonans!

“Seasons Greetings!”
Upon reflection, 2014 has been the quietest year in Halona’s history with WoW providing no new major content after 2013 so our players have spent most of the year pursuing other dreams.

The autumn has brought many back to the fold though with the Warlords of Draenor expansion that seems relatively well received in most quarters. How or whether that will translate to any significant raiding remains to be seen but for now, it’s Christmas and the New Year which for Halonans typically means lots of festive celebrating with family and friends.

Wherever you find yourself this year, have a great holiday and we look forward to catching up with you in 2015!

World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor is Live!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 November 2014 02:43 Written by HalonaZAT Thursday, 13 November 2014 12:01

Warlords of Draenor!

Warlords of Draenor!

“World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor” is Live!

Blizzard’s fifth expansion for World of Warcraft, subtitled “Warlords of Draenor,” has gone live and players are now logging in to discover another 10 levels of content. This time round the action leaves behind the East-Asian themes of Pandaria to return to the planet of Draenor that players last visited in the first expansion “The Burning Crusade” but with a twist.

In ‘TBC’ the action took place after the planet had shattered apart. In ‘WoD’ players go back in time to a pre-shattering era. Draenor is still whole and the stabilty of the world’s politics is threatened by a bunch of angry orcs. Same old, same old right?

There’s a lot of changes to the basic game – stats have been ‘squished’ to bring all numbers into a more manageable range, abilities have been pruned to remove or combine things that no longer felt essential and several new items have been introduced.

One of the ‘biggest ticket’ items for many players is the ‘Garrison’ which is a step towards the idea of player housing. It’s essentially a phased town whose state belongs to the player depending upon how much time they’ve invested into the expansion. It can be customised to suit the player’s preferences and ambitions with respect to levelling and gearing and thus acts as an evolution of the Tiller’s farm from the Mists expansion before it.

It’s located in Draenor though so won’t likely be a long term settlement for the player but nevertheless it will help Blizzard prove the concept until such time as they feel ready to build the type of player housing that memorialises a player’s personal in-game history from Classic WoW through to current day, illustrating their top achievments from dungeons and raiding through to PVP and world events.

There’s also login queues to contend with. On the most populous servers of which Halona’s home realm of Silvermoon is one, login queues at the peak times on weekday evenings and weekends is in excess of 90 minutes and is often much longer.

For a subscription based service, it’s a real shame that Blizzard hasn’t developed some form of elastic server capability into their infrastructure so they can cope with pretty much any level of demand. It’s not a new problem after all.

Fingers crossed they manage to improve matters before the holiday season arrives. In any event, it’s gaming’s silly season and with over 10 great games releasing in the next two months, our team certainly won’t have any shortage of alternative things to enjoy.

Game on Halonans, game on!

Merry Christmas Halonans!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 December 2013 02:20 Written by HalonaZAT Wednesday, 18 December 2013 12:00

Merry Christmas Halonans!

Merry Christmas Halonans!

“It’s the most won-der-ful time of the year!”
One of our favourite times of the year is fast approaching, bringing with it many much loved traditions, celebrations and the chance to get together with our families and friends and do “fun stuff” just because it’s the right thing to do! Of course we’re talking about Christmas although we send out festive cheers to all those who celebrate in other ways too. We want to wish you all a very merry time this year and hope you are able to enjoy yourselves immensely.

“Official 2013 Christmas/New Year Raiding Break”
As always, the guild is taking an official break from our normal raiding schedule over the holiday period to allow everyone to lean back, relax and enjoy the full gamut of fun activities without the commitment of turning up to our weekly raids getting in the way.

After all, is “Granny” going to understand that you don’t want to sit down and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” with her because you’ve got to go clear Siege of Orgrimmar or run your dailies to get the loot coins you need? Our case rests! :)

Of course, our schedule will resume early in the New Year – informed rumours are suggesting Wednesday 8th January for our first week back so watch the forums for updates on this – but in the meantime we’ll still be popping into Azeroth, Kalimdor, Outland, Northrend and Pandaria from time to time to run the odd dungeon, revisit our alts or join the many LFR, Flex and friend-of-friend raids we fancy trying.

“What Up 2014?”
As for 2014, our plans seem clear. We have heroic mode Siege of Orgrimmar to tackle and step one along that path is to re-stock our roster with some quality players to replace a few we’ve lost after closing-out the normal mode last month. However, time is on our side and with luck, we’ll have it nailed well before ‘Warlords of Draenor’ is released – predicted to be sometime post-summer 2014.

By the way – if you’re looking for a nice home to go raiding in 2014 or know someone who is, I encourage you to speak with one of our officers sometime. We are mostly interested in players with decent experience (so they can play well) and a well-rounded personality. We’re all mature working adults here in Halona with jobs, lives, families and other distractions so we value most those who can bring both a good game and a sense of fun to our team.

Patience and flexibility are the hallmarks most precious that we look for in those we seek to recruit beyond the default “can you play, do you come prepared” basics. We don’t aim to wipe on content but it happens so it’s much nicer to have rational minds intelligently analysing and understanding what went wrong and communicating that back to the rest of the team along with suggestions on how to make the next attempt succeed than it is to experience explosions of hormonal blood-boiling adolescent-scented rage. Just sayin’!

And since we’ve mentioned “WoD” in passing, it’s worth noting we’re already discussing how we plan to tackle the next WoW expansion and the changes it brings to raiding structures. The highest tier currently is ‘heroic’ and in WoD that becomes ‘Mythic’ with a fixed size requirement of 20 players. As a result, we’ll be scaling the guild up to be able to run Mythic content and therefore expect to have a roster size of around 20 regular core-team players with the over-fill needed to cover absences nicely fitting into the 25-person limit of normal/heroic difficulty content via the updated flexing mechanics.

“The Credits Reel – aka: 2013 in Review!”
Finally, it would be remiss to close-out 2013 without giving a nod of appreciation and thanks to all those who’ve worked hard to make Halona successful throughout the year. As the year began we welcomed new officers Valkorien and Niavern into the fold to pick-up the reins from our outgoing legacy guys and they hit the ground running at full-speed.

Soon after Sacratus joined the “Towers of Power” (as we jokingly refer to our home) and quickly became the foundation upon which our raid-team rebuilt itself. As the year progressed we dissolved the old GM position, created a new raid-master rank and welcomed Purebritish and Firr to that role as we experimented with some revisions to our traditional management structures. This all seemed to work quite well and raid progress remained steady despite the turbulence caused by a player-population that becomes ever more fragmented and various server woes (login queues are now a fact-of-life) which added to our workload. More recent reshuffles have added Sertorius (aka: ‘Sir-Tee-Us’!) and Tedex to the Raid-Master team ready for the 2014 session to come.

Aside: We have a fantastic player called Secretone. As in “Se-cre-tone”. Apparently there’s a campaign going on to change the way we pronounce it to “Secret-one”. As if! :)

In amongst all that, people had babies, moved house, lost and gained vital internet connectivity, started new relationships, ended old ones, changed jobs, switched careers, realised dreams and began pursuing new ones. The drama of life happened and as the year ends, we’re all still standing, smiling and having fun!

It’s important to note all of the above because without the hard work and efforts of our officer and raid master teams we wouldn’t have been able to go raiding together throughout the entire year. So – huge, huge thanks are offered to our sterling officers and raid masters for everything they’ve done in 2013 to make Halona better, best and brilliant!

And equally important is to recognise and thank all our non-officer/raid-master members for their contributions throughout the year. The proper life-blood of a raiding guild is its members. Most often that means those stalwart regulars that “just keeping showing up and bringing an A-game week after week” but it also means those less regular or non-raiding members who may not drive the raiding endeavours forward as strongly but otherwise bring personality and flavour to the guild, making it a much “fun-er” place to be. (Hey! Nobody promised you grammatical correctness here!) We’re truly glad to have you all as members and look forward to seeing you again throughout 2014. For now though, accept our thanks for the great contributions you’ve all made in 2013. We thank you one and we thank you all!

“Closing Thoughts!”
As noted, 2013 has been a relatively fun year with some good successes achieved despite various struggles along the way. Our management team of officers and raid masters is working well to drive our raiding forwards and 2014 promises a number of interesting things to come. We may begin with the semi-familiar in SoO Heroic but we’ll be ending with a new expansion, 10 whole new levels of quest-able content and revised raiding mechanics across the board. There’s no shortage of things to think about!

But 2013 was ‘yesterday’ and 2014 will be ‘tomorrow’ and ‘today’ it’s simply time to sit back, relax and celebrate. “It’s Christmas Baby!” and that means our very best wishes go out to all of you, members old and new, friends, family and anyone who happens to stand in front of us to be completely honest!

Merry Christmas all and have a Very Happy New Year!

First Kill of Garrosh Hellscream (10n)!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 November 2013 02:28 Written by HalonaZAT Sunday, 17 November 2013 11:30

Halona is an Alliance PVE raiding guild on the Silvermoon-EU realm. They regularly recount their newest ‘First Boss Kills’ or ‘FBKs’ through posts like these. Read on to find out which encounter has just been defeated…

FBK - Siege of Orgrimmar - Garrosh Hellscream - 10n

FBK - Siege of Orgrimmar - Garrosh Hellscream - 10n

After extending the raid-ID on the Wednesday and practicing for the entire evening, Sunday’s raid began in good spirits, confident that a kill was in the cards. With minor roster alterations from the previous raid, a few practice attempts were required to bed everyone in and then it got serious. Attempts progressed further into the fight until it was just a matter of solving the final last phase burn cycle without wiping.

In short time, the kill was achieved and with the additional honour of a handy achievement for ‘throwing 18+ Orcs under the bus’ so-to-speak. This kill unlocks the heroic mode which will add some interest to proceedings but Halona have now completed the full content of this expansion with no new raids on the cards until the next expansion. Well done everybody and a tip-of-the-hat to all who have been involved in our efforts to date.

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First Kill of Paragons of the Klaxxi (10n)!

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 November 2013 12:25 Written by HalonaZAT Wednesday, 30 October 2013 11:30

Halona is an Alliance PVE raiding guild on the Silvermoon-EU realm. They regularly recount their newest ‘First Boss Kills’ or ‘FBKs’ through posts like these. Read on to find out which encounter has just been defeated…

FBK - Siege of Orgrimmar - Paragons of the Klaxxi - 10n

FBK - Siege of Orgrimmar - Paragons of the Klaxxi - 10n

Following recent successes, Halona elected to extend the previous weeks raid-ID this week to provide more time to practice the later encounters and were immediately rewarded with some excellent new progress when they killed Paragons of the Klaxxi on their first evening. One more to go now with Garrosh offering the final non-heroic challenge.

Siege of Orgrimmar - Loading Screen

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