First Kill of Nefarian (10n)!

Last Updated on Friday, 1 July 2011 11:27 Written by HalonaZAT Thursday, 30 June 2011 11:30

Halona is an Alliance PVE raiding guild on the Silvermoon-EU realm. Practicing the ‘ZAT’ approach to raiding, 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…

First Kill of Nefarian (10n)!

First Kill of Nefarian (10n)!


Patch 4.2, known otherwise as the Firelands patch, was released this week bringing with it numerous subtle changes to the raiding landscape. All first tier Cataclysm raiding encounters were ‘nerfed’ to allow them to now be more easily ‘puggable’ by the general community whilst various classes received ‘balancing’ tweaks that will potentially shake-up some of the class-rankings on various performance charts.

New content has appeared in the form of a quest chain launched via the capital city boards as well as new raid and dungeon encounters. Then there’s the dungeon journal which brings guides to these encounters into the game for the first time. However, this author cannot comment further on any of these unfortunately since all in-game time since the patch’s release has been split between our guild’s raiding endeavours and ensuring our addons (we have four now) are properly updated for the patch. At it’s peak, we’ve been testing updates of Recount as they were released mid-raid and providing feedback to confirm that bug-fixes worked. (Since two of our addons depend upon Recount, it’s self-interest that motivates us to do this!)

As a result though, we cannot indicate at this time how the Dungeon Journal will affect our ZAT aspirations over time or report whether the quest chain is any good or not. That will have to come later.

What we can report on today though is our completion of the normal-mode, 10-player version of the Blackwing Descent raid instance. We cleared as far as Nefarian on the Wednesday evening and spent a short while learning the encounter, coming close on a couple of occasions.

Thursday evening therefore began with Nefarian and after a single wipe born out of clumsiness (it happens!) we managed to kill Neffy once again on our second attempt. We hope he’s getting the message because this whole business of having to rekill bosses that were previously beaten is tiring at best.

Aside: We had to kill Onyxia as part of the Nefarian fight but didn’t we sever her head and hang it from the Stormwind gates several years ago?

With Nefarian killed, we spent the rest of the evening in the Bastion of Twilight instance and managed our second ever kill of the council before arriving at Cho’gal. Having never attempted this encounter before, we had enough time for a single pull which we used to learn more about the encounter’s mechanics. We managed to get the boss down to 48% before losing the plot, not bad for our first effort.

No doubt we’ll be back to trouble Cho’gal further in our next raid but for the moment, we’ll leave you with the gallery of images above to enjoy. Congratulations all!

Blackwing Descent - Nefarian - 10n - Action 01

Blackwing Descent - Team Photo 01

Blackwing Descent - Team Photo 02


Blackwing Descent - Loading ScreenBlackwing Descent - Map 1Blackwing Descent - Map 2

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First Kill of Chimaeron (10n)!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 March 2011 12:01 Written by Broliant Monday, 14 March 2011 11:30

Halona is an Alliance PVE raiding guild on the Silvermoon-EU realm. Practicing the ‘ZAT’ approach to raiding, 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…

First Kill of Chimaeron (10n)!

First Kill of Chimaeron (10n)!

 

Epidemic is back!!! That’s right folks, everyone’s favourite tanking Death Knight has finally managed to return to the raid team after spending a few months touring the globe. And on his first night back after hitting the level-cap last weekend the team pulled out all the stops and managed to drop Chimaeron for the first ever time. All FBK and ZAT and OMG across the board – three players were alive when the boss died and neither a tank nor healer counted among that three. To call it close would be an understatement but a kill is a kill is a kill. So go team – “Halona for the win!” as the kids would say.

Many thanks to Sal for switching to his priest alt on a few attempts to let us test the “Four healers?! No Wai!!” theory (result: disproved) and to Banasea for leaping in to replace Xen when the raid ran past the normal end time… yes, this was indeed an “injury time” victory. Thanks to everyone in the team on the night in fact. Our kills are really satisfying when they are earned the way we earn them – our tactics are our own. Now it’s time to find out how the rest of the world is killing this boss… and seriously, we *must* have missed something on that whole “double hit” mechanic… surely losing a tank so easily should not be the expectation.

So now, we’re onto the final boss of the instance. Check out the screenshots by clicking on the image above (like you always do, right?!) to see a couple of snaps of what’s “coming soon”… the Orb of Culmination that activates Nefarius who in turn activates Onyxia. Are you ready to “run to the center” or lose your “50 DKP minus?!”

 

Blackwing Descent - Orb of Culmination - 10n - Activation

Blackwing Descent - Chimaeron - 10n - Onyxia


Blackwing Descent - Loading ScreenBlackwing Descent - Map 1Blackwing Descent - Map 2

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First Kill of Atramedes (10n)!

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 March 2011 11:25 Written by Broliant Thursday, 10 March 2011 11:30

Halona is an Alliance PVE raiding guild on the Silvermoon-EU realm. Practicing the ‘ZAT’ approach to raiding, 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…

First Kill of Atramedes (10n)!

First Kill of Atramedes (10n)!

“There’s no gongs left!” The despairing cry echoed off the walls whilst the surviving members of the battle-ravaged team scrambled for a safer vantage. Nobody dared pause, even for a second, lest the monster overhead gain a fix on their position. That would be obliteration, instant and final.

“I see one” Van rasped, spotting an untouched gong toward the back of the cavernous room. His druidic running mate was two steps ahead of him. Two steps behind the inferno torched their footprints from the marble floors, seeking to catch them and erase all traces of their existence from this place.

“GONG-ONG-ONG-ONG!!!!”

The druid struck the remaining instrument in mid-stride before vectoring around on a path toward the other side of the room. There probably weren’t any gongs left over there either but there was no time now to consider the alternative. Van mirrored the druid’s turn and both strained every sinew and muscle, hoping to stay ahead of the torrent of flame belching down upon them.

The gong’s emission interrupted the fire’s intent for barely more than a second, a ball of molten destruction reducing the device to little more than ashes. It was enough however to give the pair the additional yard they needed to stay alive. “Do… whatever… you… can” Van gasped between breaths, fully out of options now but to run like he’d never run. Next to him the druid’s form melted and transformed, becoming a lithe and athletic panther. The druid roared, urging their fleeting stampede onward in defiance of a certain fate and both gained another yard on the incendiary torment following them.

No more words now, just run and run and run, no time to breath even, just one foot, then the other, then the first again. Keep going. Keep running. Survive.

The first notice that the creature above them had ceased its pursuit came with the cooling blast upon their faces. Air rushed to fill the void left where fire had burned away the very atmosphere through which it had passed. Van quickly surveyed the room and spotted Thorgarn some distance away. The dwarf had been quick to distract the attention of the beast from its previous targets and that was all the opportunity Van needed to rally the troops.

“Throw everything you’ve got!” he ordered and those members of the team still standing knew this was the moment their fate was decided. Either it would fall before them or their lives ended here. There was no time to consider their own fallen, to wonder if they lay merely unconscious or injured or worse. No time to ask if Xen or Jelly or Anguar or Finny would yet be recovered. The only thing they had time to do was fight.

Sal gave their target a taste of its own medicine, unleashing his incandescent attack and Amaly joined with him by adding her own sweet taste of revenge, a literal conflagration of flame to singe the very scales from the back of their foe. Kenjymin let forth a barrage of his arcane art, pushing every ounce of mental power he had outward and toward the now staggering form that loomed above them. Van and the druid concentrated only on keeping their comrades alive, healing where they could though both were close to succumbing from the effort it took, neither one of them willing to fail the other.

An otherworldly cry of moaning despair filled the hall and the monster raised high one last time, attempting to lift itself up away from the source of its torment. It couldn’t find the strength it needed now, its reserves had been depleted and as though at once its force was spent, the giant creature collapsed down on the ground causing the whole cavern to shake with a thunderous tremor. One last wheezing rattle signified the end of its short and tortured life.

It took several moments for the team to comprehend their survival and their triumph. Atramedes, the Blind Dragon, was no more. The team shared a look filled with relief and joy, before they looked for their fallen comrades. It was a relief to them all to find Xen, Jelly and Finny were all still breathing and now that the fight was over, Van was able to find enough remaining holy power to put them back on their feet. Only Anguar remained but despite their efforts, nobody could find where he lay. They scouted the full width and depth of the cavern to no avail, he was simply gone.

“Ssshhh! Listen!” Finny urged them to quiet and the team froze. Blood still pounded in  Kenjy’s ears from the adrenaline of the fight but he stilled his mind to calm his body, not sure what Finny may have heard. A faint dull thump sounded to his left and he turned his head to gaze upon the fallen form of Atramedes. “Over here!” he indicated and stepped closer to the back of the creature’s hind leg, continuing to listen. Another thump, a pause, then another. Kenjy gestured to the rest of the team who were just arriving at his location. “It’s coming from in there, help me lift the leg out of the way.”

Several of them stepped forward at once and manhandled the dead weight of the prone leg away from the body. As they pulled it away from the main body Amaly squeeled a delighted noise and pointed, their collective gaze followed her direction to land upon the missing hunter. He was looking right back up at them and he gestured toward his lower torso, trapped underneath the main body of the dragon. “A little help?” he asked of them, a vague smile forming on his lips as he spoke the words. The team let free with a peel of laughter that spoke of their relief to find Anguar was alive and safe.

“Aye, come on then ye lazy crew!” Van stepped forward and prepared himself to heave the creature upward. “Let’s get this slumbering sassenack out from under then we can go home and celebrate. I hear the special today is Dragon Steak monster cuts an’ I’ve got some special brew for y’all, that’ll put hairs on your chest. Even yours Amaly!” Another peel of laughter rang out and the rest of the team stepped forward, ready to help lift the corpse and free their hunter.

The druid punned like no other at the sight. “A hunter trapped. What bitter-sweet irony…”

Blackwing Descent - Atramedes - 10n - Action Shot 1

Blackwing Descent - Atramedes - 10n - Alternative Team Pose


Blackwing Descent - Loading ScreenBlackwing Descent - Map 1Blackwing Descent - Map 2

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First Kill of Maloriak (10n)!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 1 March 2011 11:21 Written by HalonaZAT Wednesday, 9 February 2011 11:30

Halona is an Alliance PVE raiding guild on the Silvermoon-EU realm. Practicing the ‘ZAT’ approach to raiding, 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 - Blackwing Descent - Maloriak - 10n

FBK - Blackwing Descent - Maloriak - 10n

Cheap ‘muzak’ leaked from a floor-mounted speaker whilst the team descended slowly. A small thud marked the elevator’s arrival at its destination and the small band of fighters stepped across the gap onto a balcony that ringed a broiling pit of angry-looking lava. A few unspoken gestures pointed out moving figures that were tracking the path along the balcony and the team struck off together with the clear intention of determining whether those figures were friend or foe.

It was of little surprise when those figures revealed themselves to be distinctly ‘foe.’  However, apart from one humorous moment when the stalwart bear-form silhouette of Ullethese sailed off the platform’s edge after being punted backwards by some unexpected ability, the resistence encountered from these foes was remarkably light.

The first chamber the team encountered was occupied by a giant 20-foot tall rat-monster. In a world of dragons, the seasoned traveller will occasionally come across a champion bearing the revered title of ‘Dragon Slayer’. It is far less common however to encounter a champion with the less popular title of ‘Monster Rat Murderer’. We’re not saying such champions don’t exist you understand, merely that finding someone with useful experience on how to approach killing such an enemy is a great deal harder. The team were going to have to improvise.

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First Kill of the Omnitron Defense System (10n)!

Last Updated on Tuesday, 1 March 2011 11:21 Written by HalonaZAT Thursday, 3 February 2011 11:30

Halona is an Alliance PVE raiding guild on the Silvermoon-EU realm. Practicing the ‘ZAT’ approach to raiding, 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 - Blackwing Descent - Omnitron Defense System - 10n

FBK - Blackwing Descent - Omnitron Defense System - 10n

Like Incan temples, Blackwing Descent combines stone steps and stone statues to fatigue and intimidate its visitors. Luckily, our fitness trainer Alith (hidden title: “Stairmaster”) had us working out all winter to ensure our readiness for just such evenings as tonight. We’d also attended a few “assertiveness” classes given by our fellow member Hetty (nickname: “Don Yogi” – due to his love of mixing picnics and violence) and were thus fully prepared to meet the challenge of fighting short stone statues after climbing tall stone stair-cases.

This however was just the beginning. Reaching the top, our team engaged a sole statue and fought with it. A short while later, a second statue joined in and they discovered that they needed to switch their DPS to the new target, less they do more harm to themselves than help. Throughout the fight other statues came into play although there were never more than two statues active at any one time. Each statue had a unique set of abilities that needed to be observed, learned and overcome.

Eventually, it simply became a question of “can we perform this dance without making an error for long enough to kill the ‘stonies’?” It took a chunk of the evening but we finally did it with some comfort thanks to the sterling work of the raid leader and the assistants.

The combination of a relaxed but focused attitude and a spirit of friendly cooperation ensured that the team pretty much eased themselves into the victory seat and got to watch more loot spill to the floor ready for our collection.

As the team wandered back towards the entrance (nee: the ‘exit’), they noticed the door opposite the entrance was now standing open Immediately behind it was an elevator waiting to take players down to a terrace far below. It was nearly dark by that point however and the Worgen members were starting to look a little bit fidgety so we agreed to come back another day to probe further into the ‘Descent’.


Blackwing Descent - Loading ScreenBlackwing Descent - Map 1Blackwing Descent - Map 2

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