Monday, February 25, 2008


So for those of you that don't know, Linnsey and I play World of Warcraft a bit. We try not to let it interfere with our normal lives, but I just had to post here... WOOOOOO! We downed Vashj!

For those of you who don't play WoW, Vashj is a difficult boss that requires 25 people cooperating very well to kill. You have to down 5 bosses (3-4 hours of work) just to get to her, and then you have a 15 minute long fight to down her. Our guild has been making attempts on her for a number of weeks now, so it's pretty cool to finally beat her.

For the curious, here's basically what happens in the video (it's at 2x speed):

Phase 1:
The fight starts in this phase, and we basically have a couple of people keeping her attention on them while everyone else hits her until she's down to 70% health. Every now and then she casts a damage spell on one person (you'll see a skull appear over their head), and everyone has to get away from them. This is the easiest phase of the fight.

Phase 2:
You can easily tell when this phase starts because Vashj heads to the middle of her platform and blue beams shoot at her from the 4 torches on the platform. She becomes immune to all attacks. The raid splits up here and we all work on different tasks. A bunch of people head to the outer ring of the circle to kill water elementals. Each of these that get through to Vashj increase her damage by 10%. If 2 get through, we're dead in the water.

Another group of people (including Linnsey) start attacking the giant striders and lure them around in circles while killing them. Anybody who gets within 8 yards of one gets hit with fear and is forced to run away at high speed.

The rest of the people (including me) go to the center at kill the nagas that spawn.

Every minute or so a specific monster appears and whoever sees it has about 15 seconds to kill it. From the body they loot an object which has to be tossed character to character to get it to someone standing next to one of the torches. Using the object on the torch removes the blue beam to Vashj.

Phase 3:
You can tell when this phase starts because the fourth blue beam goes down and the music changes. All of the nagas, striders, and elementals up at this time have to be killed, though no more will spawn. This phase is identical to phase 1, except that bats start flying into the room and dropping green crap all over the floor. 2-3 seconds in the green crap is deadly, so it's pretty much a race to kill Vashj before too many of us perish in the green goo.

So yeah, WOOOO!

All Quiet on the Puzzle Front

It's been quite a while since I last posted here, and I think that's largely due to a lack of puzzle events that I have either been playing in or working on. The lack of BANGs has largely meant there are no puzzle events in the "off season". Fortunately, things have been starting up again with Iron Puzzler a few weeks ago, a Midnight Madness themed game in early April, and a BANG-esque game from coed astronomy coming later that month.

Iron Puzzler

Iron Puzzler was a blast, and despite initial worries about changes to the scoring system, I think it actually improved the quality of the puzzles we saw. Despite having no direct penalty for making a puzzle that was way too hard, the double-counting of fun scores assigned by other teams gave a strong incentive to make puzzles that most teams would solve. 4 teams actually finished all of the puzzles before time was called, despite having 2 more puzzles than last year.

coed astronomy did quite well in the event, and we used our winnings to obtain some quality merchandise from Endgame. But, what made me most happy was that both of our clues did so well in the fun category. "Funness" is always so difficult to measure, but it's something we always strive for in our clues.

I'm always amazed at what my fellow puzzlers can come up with in 24 hours. Since only 7 teams were fortunate enough to play in Iron Puzzler, Greg is thinking about using the puzzles in a future event. Unfortunately, this means I can't talk about them, but there were some real gems in there.

San Francisco Game

coed astronomy will be running a walking game in the city on April 19th. I probably won't be too involved in this one due to wedding planning and whatnot, but it should be fun. More details to come later.

Midnight Madness

Midnight Madness, an *awesome* movie, as well as Michael J. Fox's debut film, is also the catalyst that started the game. Or not, if you believe wikipedia. Anyhow, an anonymous team will be running a Midnight Madness themed game on April 5th, and I know I can't wait to play. More info can be found on Curtis' blog.