Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Joy of Making Legendaries

This weekend I finished my first legendary weapon – Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings. Playing a mage I couldn’t equip it of course – and even less use it. Strictly speaking it wasn’t even my property, but that didn’t make any difference. I was just as happy about this weapon as our priest Ostaker, who actually held it in his hands.

A long term project
Adrenaline has been working on this mace since Ulduar came during the spring 2009. Lately our Ulduar runs have been few and far between, and before that we we used to extend our saved instances in order to work on hard modes, rather than farming the place for fragments. That’s why it took us so long to get the 30th fragment and finally forge it together in the gap of Yogg-Saron.

Nevertheless it was clear from the beginning that this project would go on until the mace was complete. More than once has our guild leader reassured the chosen mace owner that he would get his Precious eventually. Leaving it unfinished was out of the question – even though more than one in the guild felt that we were over and done with Ulduar – especially with the arrival of ICC.

This Sunday time had come to make the final push to put it all together. We had a saved clearance up to general Vezax, and killing him was a quickie, even though I must admit that I ate far more shadow crashes than I should have. I suppose I can blame my lack of recent practice on that encounter, which is even more true about the following Yogg-Saron encounter.

I wasn’t alone in being ring rusty, I dare say. And the thing about this fight is that it’s so very much about control, precision and technique, and so little about gear. Even though we’re currently raiding two tiers above the encounter and have an average gearscore number far beyond what’s requested in Ulduar, it doesn’t help much if you accidently spawn adds in phase 1 or if you fail to keep track on your sanity in phase 2. Turning down the help from one of the watchers (Hodir I believe we picked), which is required for the making of the mace, definitely didn’t make it any easier.

We had to re-conquer this fight once again, getting reminded of all the things to keep in mind (and they are quite a few) until we finally got the hang of it, two hours into the raid.

Farewell to Ulduar
Words can’t describe the relief we felt as we saw Yogg go down. Ulduar had been awesome in every way – and for a good reason picked as the best raid instance in the PPI list of 2009. But now we were done and over with it, and you could hardly think of any more worthy end of it.

It was in this very moment that Ostaker started to say on vent that he couldn’t see any item on the corpse. During the fight he assured us that he had thrown the thing into the mouth of Yogg, not only once but several times to make sure it worked. But had it been enough? What if he didn’t complete the quest after all? It would have been the most epic fail you could think of. I started to make feverish calculations on the chances we had to convince a GM that our priest was entitled to get the quest done.

We all held our breath for a few nervous seconds. But finally, when all other items were removed from the corpse for disenchanting, he could loot it (and receive a well deserved temporary demotion from raider to “muppet”). However this wasn’t quite the end of it. It turned out that we had to go and make one finally Iron council kill to get it all done, and so we did, and Adrenaline had acquired our first legendary item.

I don’t care if there already might be better healing weapons available in ICC. I don’t care if killing Yogg+3 isn’t the most impressive of achievements these days. Because the true feat of strength in this is not the kill in itself, but that we have kept the guild together for such a long time, through progress and through difficulties, never giving up, never forgetting about our promise.

Shadowmourne next
Someone nominated Val’Anyr for the title “guild drama of the year”, and it’s possible that it’s been the case in some other guilds, but definitely not in ours. It has never been a source of envy and split – rather it’s the opposite. It’s something that unites us and glues us together – the very symbol of our common efforts.

Now the mace is done and we’re rapidly progressing on our next legendary weapon – Shadowmourne. A few days ago our chosen axe wearer (picked through normal dkp bidding, in case anyone’s wondering) had come to the step where he needed 25 primordial saronites to complete the quest and move forward.

If we just would have waited for them to drop in ICC, this would indeed have been a painfully slow long term project. But lo and behold, what happened? People in the guild started to donate saronites to speed up the process. And the willingness to donate was so big that you actually had to be very quick if you wanted to have a part in that weapon.

Legendaries in Cataclysm
One legendary weapon done and the next one on its way. It won’t be completed tomorrow, but it will one day. I know it and everyone in my guild knows it.

And it gives me such a fuzzy feeling in my stomach.

I hope they’ll create another legendary in Cataclysm. If it would be something a mage could find useful – the better. And if not – I can live with it.

The greatness in legendary weapons doesn’t lie in the stats or the ownership. No, it’s all about the process of making it. A lot of blood, sweat and tears will be shed over this axe. This is what forges a guild together, this is what distinguishes Adrenaline from pugs and "want-to-raid-one-day" guilds.

With Shadowmourne in our hands we will be stronger than ever.


Kromus said...

I wasn't in this raid, but was awesome in gchat afterwards!

Ostaker was dead happy on ventrillo that night, and still talks about it now :P

In fact, Hes talking about it now! lmao. Sertiously though, its so awesome, but I too, am sad that Ulduar is over. I miss that place.

Grats Ostaker!

Carlos said...

That is so cool. I think it's awesome you have a guild that has stayed together and got that completed. I find it spectacular that not only you but apperantly others in your guild share the same viewpoint. "It may not have been for me but it makes our guild stronger" That is just awesome. Grats to your guild. I hope you stay together for a long time to come. :)

Klepsacovic said...

Yay, grats to your guild!

Fitz said...

Congratulations to your guild. This is still a very honorable achievement to have!

Tessy said...

I wasn't there from the start but I was there for the grand finale and it really was a truly amazing feeling of joy and team work! I'm glad I was there to be part of it :-)

spinksville said...

Yay congratulations! It's really so cool to have a goal like that which you all can work on together.

But I wonder, would you really want a mage legendary? I was thinking about this, and I dread the idea that they'd ever make another tanking legendary weapon. I'd never be able to skip another raid to go see old friends for fear of missing a possible legendary bit drop. I'd feel pressured to do everything all the time. If I didn't get nominated for it, I'd have to be jealous of the guy who did just because it'd make him by far the preferred tank (I mean, if the legendary was any good). And if I got it, I'd feel bad any time I got picked to tank a fight JUST because of the legendary. And can you imagine the fuss if you decided to take a break from the game for a few months? Or wanted to switch alts?

It just sounds like a lot of extra personal stress. Sure, it'd be nice to be nominated. But I'm secretly glad there was no tanking legendary this expansion. I think I prefer chipping in to help someone else get it.

Rem said...

Very nice post, very nice words. Congrats to Adrenaline - and not on the mace.

Anonymous said...

Grats to you guys.

I also remember reading that the first legendary in the first raid in cataclyzm will be a caster dps weapon... maybe you're next!!

Larísa said...

@Kromus: as someone reminded us: it's probably not quite over yet... There will always be weekly raid quests, luring us back.

@Carlos: Thanks! I'm absolutely certain that we'll be around for a long while more.

, Fitz, Rem & Anonymous : thanks!

@Tessy: ... and I'm glad you're with us now!

: actually you have a point. Thinking about it a second time building a legendary can be sort of stressful. Maybe it's just as good if the next one isn't for me either. I can just imagine what a nightmare it would be to for instance try to throw the mace into Yogg-Saron's mouth and then FAIL. It's an honor but also a burden to be chosen for a legendary.

Culhag said...

In the slim hope that I'd some day get the second Binding of the Windseeker, I was crafting elementium bars a few days ago.

Oh, the joy of making legendaries !

Really, crafting orange stuff, even if it's just metal bars, feels a little special. :)

Jasyla said...

Congratulations to your guild!

It's so nice to hear positive stories about the legendary weapons. A couple weeks after making our first (and only) mace, the priest who got it quit the game.

Same thing happened to our first warglaive from Illidan. Hopefully we have more luck with Shadowmourne.

fallingleavesandwings said...

Yay! Grats! I am sure that this will be one memory for him that will remain long past his career in WoW :)

Cap'n John said...

A long time ago (when 60 was the Cap) I Raided with a Guild called Adrenaline, but that was on Kilrogg. You're on an RP server, yes?

Larísa said...

@Culhag: thanks to those projects I'm starting to get an understanding why people bother to craft orange weapons that don't have any practical use anymore. It's not about the spellpower. It's something else in those items.

@Jasyla: ouch. I really hope that won't happen to us. I actually think the risk is slim, both weapons are hold by very old members.but ofc you never know.

dwings: thanks

@Cap'N'John: hm... aren't you on US servers? I'm playing in Europe. And no, this is a PvE server. And the guild was founded in June 2008... so doesn't quite sound as that. However, judging from Armory, Adrenaline is a rather common guild name.

Cap'n John said...

Yes, Kilrogg is a U.S. server. Currently I'm on Khaz'goroth, an Oceanic server, so I can occasionally hang out with my sister & her husband (that 19-hour time difference is a huge barrier).

Anonymous said...

Wolflore here,
I was very happy to learn that Osty completed the mace. I think is a good achievement for the guild and I was happy to have contributed to that. I am not sure how I would have felt about abandoning Ulduar if I was still in the raiding I would have liked to keep pushing on to get the mounts. I believe that a 310 mount is a great reward that will be useful even in cataclysm. But I think it would a have taken a lot of effort and focus from the guild to get one light in the darkness.