[4.2] Key Removal

EDIT June 29, 2011:  4.2 hit the live servers yesterday, and it appears that Blizzard heard my pleas!  Despite the fact that neither of my favorite keys were listed as ones being kept, I still have both the Essence-Infused Moonstone and the Celestial Planetarium Key in my inventory!  I also had a variety of other quest related keys (including a key used to rescue poor Corki from his prison in Nagrad), which I promptly deleted. ^^*  I’m just happy to hold onto those two as tangible representations of my favorite accomplishments.

Like many others who have written on this subject, I have mixed feelings regarding the removal of keys… I can understand removing barriers to content, especially older content where the grind to access it is now excessive.  Overall, however, I only feel a sense of loss.

I remembered getting keyed for Burning Crusade heroics.  I worked so hard for those and was so proud to finally make it in!  I would run heroic dungeon pugs, and eventually found myself invited to a raiding guild.  When epic Flight Form was introduced, getting keyed for Anzu in Heroic Sethekk Halls was an awesome achievement (before “Achievements” were introduced!).  Now, even though anyone can summon the Raven Lord, I still hold tightly onto my keystone, onto the memories of how happy and excited I was to earn that same keystone and to defeat the Raven Lord.

When patch 4.2 hits I will be so sad to no longer find the Essence-Infused Moonstone sitting happily in my bags.

And then there was Algalon, in Ulduar… My guild didn’t get to Algalon until after we were well into ToC material…but when we managed a 25s heroic kill of the Iron Council and that Archivum Data Disc dropped… I bid the maximum number of DKP points that I could.   The abundance of silly astronomy references in the Algalon fight made that encounter a special treat for me, and I wanted to make certain that I would always be able to go back.  To this day I think I’m still the only person in my guild who has the 25s key for Algalon.

For those who haven’t seen Algalon before, I can appreciate that it might be difficult to find someone with a key who is also willing to go with you.  I can understand why Blizzard might want to remove attunements, and let people experience the older content if they want without being hindered… but that key means something to me.  Sure, let everyone who wants to see Algalon experience the encounter without attunement… but don’t take away my Celestial Planetarium Key.

Blizzard, even if they are no longer of value, no longer needed, please don’t forcible remove things that have personal significance to those who play your game.

Nefarian & Al’akir

I’m still here, still playing WoW! Haven’t had a lot of time to write though, things have been busy and I don’t expect to have much time to slow down and get back to writing till May.

But I did want to mention that we finally did it. We finally cleared all normal mode content, and we have taken out both Nefarian and Al’akir over the last two weeks.

Showing off our brand new Dark Phoenixes!

Al’akir was a frustrating fight, requiring everyone to do everything right and yet balanced around the RNG of phase 1. If the gap in the Squall line is at the edge of the platform and a Wind Burst is being cast, trying to get into a good position to avoid being knocked off the platform by either spell is a challenge. Still, everything fell into place, and we managed, barely, to get our first guild Al’akir kill. Unfortunately, his loot was fairly useless and I believe we disenchanted both pieces. Ah well.

Nefarian was a lot more interesting and challenging. This fight also required near perfect execution, but it didn’t have the same RNG feel to it. Everything was predictable, controllable; it is just a matter of making it all work together without missing a beat. The only wild card is getting everyone onto those darned pillars for phase 2, though even that became trivial with enough practice. I won the t11 hat and now sport my 4 piece bonus. =)

Both kills were sort of a bittersweet moment for me, since we managed the feat in 10s groups. I’ve really enjoyed previous 10s only raids, such as Karazhan and Zul’Aman, but, until recently, my guild has focused on 25s. A kill in a 10s group, even if it was a “first” kill and the group was all guild members, didn’t really count as a “guild first progression kill” until it happened in 25s. Lately, though, the guild has been changing, fewer sign ups, smaller rosters. At first we could support two strong 10s, but even that has dropped to a single 10s group over the last couple of weeks. This time, our Nefarian kill got a screen shot and full billing on the front page.

I’m not really sure how I feel about that. It was exhilarating to get the kills, and I really think the 10s teams who took the bosses down deserve the recognition… but it signifies, to me at least, a huge mental shift in my guild. I’m not really sure where things are headed now, or how I feel about this potential change.

I’ve always been drawn to 25s raiding, having a larger social guild, the challenges of putting together all the moving parts, and the larger group feeling of accomplishment. But 10s have the attractive lure of being easier for us to organize and easier for us to manage. You can really streamline down to the best of your best players and make amazing things happen in a 10s group. Also, we are pretty much guaranteed to have enough people online for a 10s raid, but not so much for a 25s raid anymore. If we decided to officially declare ourselves a 10s guild, I’m not sure what would happen.

It all boils down to recruitment as Cataclysm settles in. A 25s guild doesn’t happen without a lot of work, and I think once May (and hopefully patch 4.1) rolls around I’ll be ready to dive back into that!!

United Nations

After a whole day of running heroics, I finished things off with a few dailies this morning.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the Dark Phoenix Hatchling…

…requires guild exalted reputation. *sigh*

I can only hope it’s being fixed in patch 4.0.6, like the Armadillo Pup.

Goal: 55 Exalted Reputations before Tuesday

First of all, this isn’t as crazy a goal as it might seem.  Leiyan is currently sitting on 53 Exalted Reputations. Yup, 53.

Additionally, I’m about 3k rep from finishing Therazane (I should actually hit exalted today after the dailies, but I don’t really consider a reputation finished until its 999/1000 Exalted), and halfway through honored with the Wildhammer Clan.

After I knock those two reps out, I plan to go back and finish up Bloodsail Buccaneers (I know, I know, if I was a REAL pirate I would have grinded High Admiral “Shelly” Jorrik all the way up to exalted back during Wrath of the Lich King. But I didn’t…oh well!), fix my Goblin rep AGAIN, max out Baradin’s Wardens, and max out my guild reputation along the way, bringing me up to a total of 58 exalted reputations.  After that I’ll probably bite the bullet and look at two of those PVP reps just to bring myself to an even 60 exalted and maxed out reputations.

I’m not sure where or why I caught the Reputation bug.  I know it was sometime early in Wrath of the Lich King I decided that I simply NEEDED the “Insane” title.  That took me over a year to complete and I still proudly wear my title.   I don’t think I’ll be changing it for a while yet.

Obviously, I’ve never really been in a big hurry to max out reputations. I want them, I really really want them, but I don’t really care if I get it tomorrow or next month…or even next year!

But now, suddenly, I’m in this huge rush to hit 55 Exalted Reputations… because the Guild Achievement “United Nations” is bugged.

“United Nations” requires that your guild have 55 Exalted Reputations.  I, probably like most people, assumed that you needed 55 unique Exalted Reputations across the entire population of your guild.  Well, I figured, this wasn’t a problem for us.  I already had 50 exalted reps going into Cataclysm, someone in my guild was exalted Scryers (I was Aldor), someone else exalted Frenzyheart (I have Oracles), and then our real achievement nut had the 3 PVP reputations all maxed out while he was working on the various PVP achievements.  Between the four of us we had 55 exalted reputations easy, and that was before counting any of the new Cataclysm reputations.

Then we found out that in order for your reputations to count you needed to have Revered reputation with your guild.  Well, ok.  We still -have- the achievement, it’s just delayed a little.  The person with the 3 PVP reputations hit revered a few weeks ago.  The “United Nations” achievement sat at 47/55 exalted reputations, the exact number of exalted reputations this other player had.

A few days ago, I hit revered with the guild.  The “United Nations” achievement jumped…! But only to 53/55 Exalted, which, coincidentally, was exactly how many exalted reputations I had.  Obviously the three PVP reps earned by the other player weren’t impacting the achievement anymore, otherwise we would have had at least 56 Exalted reps between the two of us.

I checked Wowhead and, as it turns out, others have reported the same problem.  “United Nations” seems to only count the one person with the most exalted reputations who also is revered with the guild.  I would call this a bug, since instead of letting everyone in the guild have a chance to contribute, the achievement rests squarely on the shoulders of one person.

Well, in my guild, that one person is me.  At least until the achievement is fixed.  I’m almost certain it will be, eventually, although it’s probably not a high priority for Blizzard.  Still, it seems that the patch is almost here, it could be this Tuesday for all I know, and though United Nations hasn’t been mentioned anywhere in PTR notes… it could be stealth fixed.  And so, I want to hit 55 reps before Tuesday, before a patch can potentially come in, fix the achievement, and hand it over to my guild without so much as a ding to let anyone know it had happened.

Maybe it’s selfish, but I want to see the Wildhammer Clan exalted achievement come up on my screen and then, at the exact same time, see the guild United Nations achievement appear and know that I’m the one who did that. (On a related note, I’m deeply disappointed that there is NOT a personal 50 or 55 exalted reputations achievement.  I guess they don’t want to encourage individuals to spend that much time grinding achievements?  Perhaps since they removed a few reputations (Zandalar and Shen’dralar for example) its not possible anymore to achieve these high reputation numbers when starting from starch?)

I guess part of the reason I want to lay claim to this one achievement as “mine” is because my guild is chock full of active east coast players (I live on the west coast).  It’s super cool that we are leveling as a guild so fast, maxing out every single day… but we usually hit our daily cap by the time I get home from work.  I don’t think I’ve ever even seen the guild actually level.  One day its level 10 the next, level 11.  Is there any flashy message on the screen with sound and everything?  I have no clue.

I’m sure a lot of people out there are in the same boat regarding guild experience… but the United Nations “guild” achievement can be mine.  It will be mine. Just mine.

I sure hope everyone in my guild enjoys their free Dark Phoenix Hatchling! =)