Helya Defeated

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In the past I have talked about our youngest cat Kenzie and her proclivity for playing fetch with rubber bands.  Well the game has changed… and it has shifted from being one of those “once in awhile” things to an all the time thing.  We will often times wake up with a rubber band beside us in bed and her expectantly prancing back and forth next to it waiting for us to throw it.  This morning for example as I got up, showered, and got dressed I threw the rubber band a couple dozen times.  Sometimes she would shift things up and bring the rubber band back to my wife instead of me… but nonetheless it was certainly clear that it was fetch time.  I am wondering however if I can also change the game… and teach her how to fetch things like balls.  The first cat that would play fetch that I had ever seen was Dee Dee the now fat and sassy cat that a neighbor of ours has.  She however tended to favor these foam balls that you could get from PetSmart.  We tried this with several of our cats but it never really took…  however now that the fetching behavior has firmly planted itself in Kenzie I am wondering if we can also teach her to fetch balls.

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We had a pretty great raid night as far as raid nights go.  Some time ago we shifted into having a progression night which is Wednesday and a farm night which is Friday.  On the farm night we attempt to clear Emerald Nightmare normal as fast as we can, and on the progression night we have been working on Trial of Valor with the initial hopes of being able to clear it in time for the launch of Nighthold.  However with the 7.1.5 patch being pushed back… it seems like we have all the time in the world for that goal.  Last week we managed to get our first Guarm kill and we were able to repeat that feat this week…  however it took a few tries.  The part I am proudest of however is the fact that we managed to defeat Odyn this week as a one shot, which given how many moving parts there are on that fight….  I am pleased and amazed and even phase three felt pretty solid.  I think folks finally started dropping things where they should be dropped which allowed the tanks a lot more flexibility of placing Odyn where he needs to be during that final burn.  As far as Helya goes… it still feels like a mess but the attempt where we managed to push her into phase 3 with most of the raid up… we also managed to kill her.  I was recording last night while we raided so was able to pull screenshots of the exact moment she went down and in truth… the raid as a whole was still in a pretty decent position.

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Since we still had a lot of night left to go we went over into the Emerald Nightmare and started working on heroic bosses.  Previously we had made a few attempts on Nythendra and more or less had the correct positioning and such down.  We lost a handful of people between the zone switch because they needed to go for early work and such, and we adjusted a little bit.  The shocking thing is… in theory we made a one shot as we were sorta in a slow wiping state when the boss finally went down.  As you can see in the screen shot my entire team was dead, and I had just literally blown up from the rot debuff when the boss went down.  It was messy… but I will take it because she dropped the best possible loot.  She dropped me an exact upgrade, stat for stat… simply the heroic version of the Insect-Etched Chestplate that I was already wearing.  From the previous encounters of the night I got a few pieces of loot… that I am unfortunately going to have to do some simulation to determine if they are truly upgrades or not.

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There was a bit of back and forth to determine what exactly was our next encounter to attempt.  Some folks were leaning towards Ursoc, but even on normal that is a healing battle to try and keep the tanks alive.  Emerald Dragons however seemed to be a little more attempt-able for the next step… and did not actually introduce any new mechanics.  So we set forth to take down the dragons that used to give us nature resist gear back in the day.  All in all it went pretty smoothly with the first pull almost netting us a kill.  We reached a point where normally we thought we could simply burn them down without doing a tank swap… and because we didn’t swap it stunned the entire raid.  Still kicking myself a little bit about that judgement call, because while I asked the raid…  it was ultimately myself and Art that decided not to swap.  We did however come back and get the kill almost immediately after.  There was a vote to see if we wanted to keep moving… but we were already sitting at our normal raid end time and considering that I didn’t get much sleep last night I voted against it.  I like the way our raid does this thing…  in that if we want to extend and make attempts on a boss after our normal raid end… we simply throw up a readycheck and if anyone… or at least a significant unrecoverable portion says no we stop.  I have to say this whole recording thing is handy as hell because it was super easy for me to pull screenshots of the moment of death this morning.

Darth Scrapheap

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If appearance systems are the “true” endgame… them I am woefully losing right now.  Last night I managed to push my Deathknight across the line and ding 110, to which I immediately abandoned all attempts at questing and instead focused on World Quests.  For those who do not know when you hit 110 all you need do is walk over to Khadgar and you can start up the madness on your alts without needing to do the faction grind.  Now I look like a random assemblage of crap…  or very much like a raiding dps warrior did in vanilla.  I know that helm is supposed to be menacing and Deathknighty… but it just keeps reminding me of a lizard or turtle… or something similar.  After a round of “complete the gear quests” I am sitting at 795 and I absolutely plan on exploiting the hell out of the Timewalking dungeons this weekend to help push that higher.  As much as I wanted to like the Paladin… it was mostly just a choice to push up so that I could have a miner to feed my engineering.  Similarly I started the Rogue with the thought of pushing up a Herbalist/Alchemist but stalled out because Rogues are squishy and annoying.  Instead I started working on my Deathknight because deep down inside I still have a lot of love for the character… the fringe benefit however is that now I have a reasonable Herbalist as well to at the very least feed my Seed-Battered Fish Plate habit.

In other news we had a pretty good night of raiding with us coming in and killing Odyn once again after a weird off week thanks in large part to Thanksgiving.  It still took a few tries and there are a lot of fiddly bits we can improve on to make it less horrible at the end.  From there we had a crazy pull that never ended because we did not learn our lesson properly and or they said they patched something they didn’t actually patch.  From there we set up and changed a few things on Guarm and had an amazingly smooth one shot…  which is pretty damned awesome considering this was only our second night of attempts.  We then continued on to Helya and by the end of the we were pushing her into phase three and phase two was seeming less suicidal.  All in all I will count that as significant progress, the only negative being there just aren’t that many gearing options yet from this raid.  I am super bummed that I am going to have to miss our now “a thing” Friday night Emerald Nightmare clear this week.  I have a family thing that happens once a month, and this just happens to be that Friday.  Thankfully I think we have more than enough reasonable tanking options to make something work in my absence.  I am just bummed at losing a shot at maybe just maybe getting those last three corrupted essences.

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I also played a significant amount of Final Fantasy XV, and I have decided it is far less a boy band simulator and more Final Fantasy Entourage.  All of that said… I still like it quite a bit and it is absolutely priceless when Prompto sometimes hums the class FF battle victory theme after you finish a combat engagement.  Right now I am heavily engaged in a life of murder-hobo-ry as I am roaming the country side looking for baddies to vanquish and looting interesting cooking materials.  The key take away from yesterday however is that I gave the official Sony PS4 Remote Play a shot and man…  have they seemingly improved it greatly.  Sure there are still moments when it wigs the hell out and you are best to simply hold still until it stops struggling.  Those however are few and far between and for the most part the end result is an extremely smooth play experience.  For reference my PS4 is hard wired into my router, and I was connecting into it from my laptop over the wireless network.  I did some tests in Destiny to see if this was simply a “good enough for an RPG” thing or if it really was reasonable for playing other games.  I could notice a little bit of controller lag while running and doing some patrols… but it was more than reasonable enough for me to play.  I am not sure if I would be willing to go into the Crucible or something extremely difficult, but I had a good enough time killing random splicers in the Plaguelands remotely.  In truth it is “good enough” for 90% of the stuff I do in Destiny and I would absolutely be willing to try something like farming Archon’s Forge while remoted in through the laptop.  It is definitely good enough for Final Fantasy XV which greatly increase the range of play options I have…  and I am going to want to test this theory out on the Vita pretty soon.  I still think the performance of the unofficial “Twisted” Remote Play was better… but he has just been unable to keep it updated to function on the latest version of the PS4 firmware… and the bonus features of playing with a keyboard, mouse and xbox 360 controller simply are not worth being behind in the firmware version especially given that it will bar you from accessing the PSN store.  I am super happy though to see that Sony seems to continue to improve performance.