Sanctum of Domination – finished

We did it!

After 86 wipes on Sylvanas and after nearly 2 months we finally finished Sanctum of Domination, Shadowlands’ second raid tier.

A bad achievement screenshot .

Today we had 17 people and not the usual 13-15 – maybe that made the difference, or the practice of the last two weeks, or everyone actually giving their best. It might have been slow but I am so glad that we did it. More relieved than happy, actually.

My first AOTC

This is also my first AOTC (Ahead of the Curve) achievement for killing a Heroic end boss before the next tier arrives, something that eluded me in Castle Nathria, the first raid tier of this expansion, and that didn’t even exist when I last raided in MoP.++

So this was one day after our raid week #21 concluded. We’ll see if we can redo the kill on Sunday, or a bit later.

But… my sub is running out in 8-9 days, so I maybe have 2 raids left. I had acquired a WoW token as a backup plan if it would run out before we’d killed here, but now I’m looking forward to a little WoW vacation. I think I’ve been subbed since early BfA, that’s quite a while, one month more and it had been 3 years. I don’t know when 9.2 will hit, but I plan to come back and raid again with my current guild that I joined in early July, 5 months ago. But of course we’ll see how I’m feeling about WoW and ActiBlizz then, if we will have managed to raid in FFXIV and everything.

++ footnote: Because I don’t like writing wrong things I looked this up. This page on Wowpedia says there were some AOTC achievements in MoP (for Normal), but I have 4 out of 6, jus this one is weird: Sha of Fear before patch 5.2.0 – that patch came on March 5, 2013 – my “Defeat the bosses in Terrace of Endless Spring.” achievement says 2012-11-25, clearly before 5.2.0 but I don’t have it.

Evergreens and has-beens

When changing WoW servers recently (actually I dug out this draft and July 3rd id not so recently) and reserving my old names, creating bank characters and so on, I ran into the 50 character limit per WoW account. I think that’s happened for the first time, ever. 50 sounds a lot, but I’ve started playing this game in 2005, that’s 16 years. So only 3 new characters per year, right?
But how did we end up here?

Well, there’s the server where I started playing in 2005, which also was my main server until 2014, when I stopped playing for a few years. Mostly Horde, and that one Alliance Rogue I brought into the guild I’d been raiding Castle Nathria with recently, back in 2009. When I came back for Legion I started more Alliance characters on the server connected to this one – so basically one realm, but 2 connected realms. 19 on the original one, (now) 12 on the other one.

Then there’s the server I transferred to, 7 characters. And the Horde one where I went to visit those friends, but playing Horde, that’s another 5 characters. So we’re at 43 already.

But now to the outliers. There’s this one Level 11 (ex 24?) Warrior on a German PvP server, where I started to play with some people from another MMO, probably 12 years ago. I guess I can delete that one. Then I have a 30 Hunter (used to be 61 or so?) on Argent Dawn, where some bloggers started the guild named “Single Abstract Noun” – I would’ve saved that one via transfer if leveling was still a thing, but Level 30 can be done in like 5h, so hard pass on 17-25 EUR for a transfer 🙁

And then there’s the server where I had transferred my main over to raid, just before I stopped playing. I had started a DK and a Priest while playing there. The DK reached max level, the Priest only 5x (now 28). I think I transferred my main back for a normal price and the DK when the transfer was marked down, years later. Again, Level 30ish is easy to reach, so I guess the priest will be deleted at some point.

But… if I remember correctly, we had free transfers to that realm, so I brought my Level 19 Twink Hunter. The only Battlegrounds Twink I ever made. Now she’s Level 9 and I surely didn’t play her since 2014 or earlier, and I don’t know if twinking like this still works.

I didn’t go over the top with all the expensive BoEs, but she still had some nice gear.

So how did this post start out as an idea about twinks in WoW and ended up talking more about the 50 character limit? I don’t know.

One noteworthy thing is that before the level squish I didn’t want to delete old characters on random servers because of the time invested. Now it’s so quick that if I don’t have a nostalgic connection… that 10 year old toon can absolutely be deleted without a second thought, but there are just so many exceptions. Maybe the best way is to do it like people who clean up their apartments do it. Take a screenshot, write a few paragraphs in the blog about the story, delete, and go on with your life.

TBC abandoned?

The last update of the WoW Classic (now TBC) group was on September 3rd, and I don’t have high hopes that anything will happen.

Shortly after that day our healer said they couldn’t make the default day of the week anymore due to other obligations and so we settled on a “let’s ask around Friday or Saturday” and you can guess how well that worked with the one person with kids usually doing family things and none of the others being motivated to actually ask every week if everyone was free.

My Druid is still at 69 and maybe I should simply log in at some point before Endwalker launches and get those few missing points of experience, but on the other hand I’m not sure I’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of it. My Warrior is at 66 and without the group I don’t want to continue anyway, so that’s a moot point – and the Rogue I pushed to 52 when TBCC launched… well, nah.

Meta: started tagging all the classic posts with the WoW Classic tag now, at least all 2021 posts, might go back in time to do the rest.

WoW anniversaries

I just logged in and in a spam of login and addon messages I didn’t see why a guildie jokingly? congratulated me. After scrolling up I saw the […] has earned the achievement [WoW’s 17th Anniversary!] and of course I had to dig into the achievements pane now.

Congratulations for paying month after month!

17 15 12 10 9 16 14 8 7 6 5 4

Wait, why aren’t they sorted?

17, 16, 15, 14, _, 12, _, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, _, _, _

So the first missing one is the 13th, that would be 2017. The second one is the 11th, that would be 2015 and then 2007, 2006, and finally 2005.

This surprises me a little because I’ve taken a lot of WoW breaks over the years and mostly hadn’t payed a sub uselessly, but on the other hand I’ve been playing for a long time, so especially the first 3 missing made me curious.

So let’s look at post history in the WoW category first:

In September 2018 I wrote “So either I’ll buy BfA and play WoW in early October,…” but I only came back in January of 2019 and I think I’ve been subscribed since then. But I had completely forgotten about the “free up to Level 20” thing, so that probably explains why I have the 14th anniversary.

Next up (in reverse chronological order) I wrote a post titled WoW Legion: 10 weeks in in November 2016 where the 12th anniversary would have to have happened.

Intermission: The WoW token went live in April 2015.

Now it gets a little mysterious. I subscribed in December 2014 for WoD and did not continue after a month. Either I still got the 10th anniversary achievement (unlikely) or the “log in sub 20” thing went live before November 2014.

And then I seem to have mixed up dates, I stopped raiding during SoO, that was in spring 2014 (not 2013) and then I had a half-year break until WoD.

Good old shows me as Level 25 in October 2005 and Level 40 in December, so I was most certainly subscribed and actively leveling, but no clue why I didn’t get that one. But searching on wowhead seems to point to the 4th anniversary being the first one with an achievement.

The Burning Crusade launched on Devember 5th, 2006 and I was subscribed for that, but I don’t know for sure if I was on a break the month before. Unlikely though, with the hype for the first expansion.
Again, warcraftrealms has me guildless in October 2007 and guilded in November, as I remember that time (my original guild had imploded in the summer) it’s also unlikely.

So, what did we learn except that I played too much WoW in my life? Keep a blog and a few links to a few fansites it’s not problem to trace back your steps for the last 16 years.

Sanctum of Domination, week 14 + 15

Week 14 was unexciting, a few more tries on Sylvanas, a little progress, but no kill.

Week 15 Sunday saw us a few people and a raid leader short, so we started a fresh instance and cleared 7 bosses. Tuesday wasn’t good, we spent 2h wiping on Fatescribe (would’ve been our 2nd kill), with the best try being <1%.

On top of that, and not because of recent events our raid lead stepped down, didn’t sound pissed or burned out, simply being in a rut about the game in general and not wanting to raid. I think he had cleared Heroic in a non-guild group and in general is one of our best players and one of the few? ex-Mythic raiders. Bit unfortunate timing, in that we didn’t kill Sylvanas yet, but we actually had enough time. Oh well, I think we will manage to get over that. I personally would be a bit disappointed if this was the second tier of this expansion where I’d be just shy of clearing Heroic.

Sanctum of Domination, week 13

Sunday was weird. We had 8/10 Hc down and it was decided to extend. Our main tank had abandoned the Kel’Thuzad-skip quest so there was some lamenting and trying to share (doesn’t work) and banter about how he should not worry and we’ll simply not kill him. Then he died on the first pull without it being even a close call.

Then we continued on to Sylvanas, that was a bit harder. We always lost at least 2-3 people in phase 1 to the chains, sometimes to stupid stuff. In P2 we were often too slow so she cast Ruin when we weren’t in range yet.

Tuesday it continued and after 23 wipes we’ve seen P3 for the first time and were at 70% – so this is gonna take a while I guess.

Then again with the weekly reset I should be able to finally get my 262 Legendary before the Sunday raid.

Sanctum of Domination, week 12

Sunday went fine, got six bosses down and nearly got the seventh, but something was just not right. Yesterday we killed the Guardian on the third try, after one silly ninja pull and one weird tankbuster wipe.

Roh-Kalo proved to be a little difficult, but it also didn’t help we had people who had never seen the fight on Heroic and others who’d never done the runes before. Then some WeakAura malfunctions (or people not interpreting them correctly, or both). In the end we settled for the “6 colors and the WeakAura assigns marks the 3-4 who will run”. The amount of spheres going round is a bit ridiculous, but overall we seem to be pretty good on execution once the people have understood what to do and have had a chance to practice once or twice.

Very happy overall. We’re not the fastest, but we’re constantly progressing, I’m just noticing my gear actually falling behind and it could be that I’m the person with the worst iLvl already at 232, and we killed the last boss that drops 239 today.

Sanctum of Domination, week 11

An uneventful Sunday, I had to tank and we got the first five bosses down, that’s one slower than the week before. On the plus side I got a 239 Main Hand weapon.

Tuesday night started with the sad news that my Warlock friend had decided to stop raiding Heroic for now, mostly not feeling good with relatively low DPS and a lot of dying. Which is pretty sad because there was no blaming, and it being actually fine how it is (and not like the damage was the worst in the raid or even miles behind the midfield), and additionally we’re now losing access to health stones and portals and porting people, but at least for now it sounded like a nope :/

When the raid started I was relieved of my tank duty (not without wasting a sharpening stone 30s before the off tank came on) and we killed Painsmith a second time after a few tries (but with a few new people) and then Guardian after a few tries (again, new people). And our raid leader was also not available, so it was a bit of a common effort, led by our second in command shot caller.

Then we had time for a few tries on Fatescribe but that didn’t go so well. Definitely seems to be harder for us than Painsmith, but we only had killed him three times on Normal with all the skipping, whereas we had done Painsmith five times.

Sanctum of Domination, week 9+10

This time I didn’t forget to post last week, it was simply too unexciting. For some reason we didn’t do a lot. Bad setup, many people missing, no prog. Went back to only do KT+Sylvanas on normal on Tuesday and called it early.

This week was good though. Despite some people missing we killed the first three pretty quickly, then had a few wipes on Ner’zhul, we still mess up positioning there. Then we killed Dormazain on the third pull. I think it were 20+ overall, spread over quite a few days. Today we went for KT+Sylvanas normal first, then on to Painsmith Heroic, with a warning that this could be hard, as we had wiped a few times on Normal before we got him down, but the first try looked really good and then he died on the second pull. That was a bit of a surprise. So we had enough time for Guardian of the Old Ones, where the first try also looked quite promising. In the end we killed him on pull number 8, the last one of the night. Oh, and all this while I was tanking the whole week as our offtank was on vacation.

So we’ve jumped from 4/10 to 7/10 Heroic this week and I’m really happy. Could use a few more drops though, 228 in tanking gear and 230 in DPS gear.

TBC continued

It’s been quite a while since I wrote about the TBC Classic group, but that’s because one member was on vacation for 3 weeks and none of us logged in in that time, it seems the general mood is a bit unenthusiastic.

But last night we got off with a late start due to work, then figuring out what to do. We had stopped questing in Terokkar, so we flew to Stonebreaker Hold, grabbed some quests and went to work. Gladly the flood of people seems to have died down and except for one of the Arakkoa settlements it was chill with no people snatching your mobs. But of course we still have the worst quest of them all, the 12 wolf pelts per person. Also I had forgotten to empty my bags and was full all the time.

After around 2h we called it a day, 3 of 4 having dinged 65 and one being very close. So I need to check if I can continue with Blacksmithing to use up the mats clogging my inventory and maybe clean up the bank until next Thursday. And then we wanted to check the Auchindoun instances and run them once, our level permitting.

Overall not too excited, but it was fun enough to continue. Also my Druid is still at 69 and being 1 level from the maximum always annoys me a bit, but the 4 week break was welcome and maybe now is the time to divert a little time to Classic again.