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Cimorene reports on-location at the Scarab Wall!
Watchers correspondant Cimorene was on the scene early February 21st to cover the long awaited Ahn'Qiraj gong ringing ceremony. For all you Watchers unable to attend the 6 hours of madness last night, I've tried to document all aspects of the event so that you can get a pretty comprehesive picture of what went down.
The gate is sealed... but not for long!
The past month of endless farming to push along the war effort finally paid off, and the server only awaited Tregga to bring hte Scepter of the Shifting Sands and finally open the gates, unlocking Ahn'Qiraj for Cenarius server.
A huge crowd had gathered to watch the event unfold. Were I not still at work, I'd have been there too. Luckily Cimorene was present to capture the moment.
A hordie says: "argle bargle snap!"
Almost an hour earlier than expected, Tregga arrived. Fearing the server would crash as more and more people showed up, he surprised everyone and rang the gong early.
The gates opened and the Qiraji poured out:
Oh noes! Anubi!
Way to train the whole zone, Tregga.
The hundreds of people present for the opening were enough to do serious damage to the initial waves of Qiraji troops. Though most Watchers were still offline, Cimorene, Deline, Xiath and a few others were present to put up a fight.
Cimorene Moonfires a Warbringer to his knees.
Cimo considers poking a Warbringer in the foot, but decides against.
After the initial invasion force was defeated, a great number of players vanished into the newly opened dungeons. This was good for decreasing lag in Silithus, but bad for the life expectancies of those who stayed outside.
I logged on, and quickly realized we didn't have nearly enough people in Silithus to fight the endlessly spawning Qiraji.
We can take them!
If they weren't defeated outside of Ahn'Qiraj, the enemy troops would travel up the roads and attack Cenarion Hold! I rode to the town, hoping we'd have better luck fighting there than we did out in the desert. Thankfully, the soldiers that we spent the last month making bandages and picking flowers for were there to help defend.
Better make good use of the 800-freakin'-thousand linen bandages we made, punks.
The resulting battles in the town were extremely chaotic (and laggy!) and hard to photograph with any quality.
At one point I climbed the city walls to get a good look at one of the invaders.
After nightfall, a fight broke out just southwest of Cenarion Hold. Seconds after taking this screenshot, I was brutally murdered and corpse-camped by a Warbringer. kkthnxjerk.
Outmatched, Cimorene, Deline, Nooly, Gary and I flew to Tanaris. We had heard that Qiraji crystals had appeared there, and we wanted to check it out.
Also, the combined forces of enormous elites and crippling lag were pretty effectively driving us out of Silithus.
The crystals that had appeared all over Kalimdor where essentially Qiraji generators. They slowly spawned soldiers of various levels, from fairly weak bugs to elite anubi and officers.
The mobs were roughly comparable in level to the area in which they spawned, so the Qiraji in the Barrens were only about level 25. All of them generously dropped greens and blues of appropriate level, as well as Brood of Nozdormu rep.
Whisperings of C'Thun
When we arrived in Tanaris we found that the five of us were quite capable of defeating the lesser forces there. We managed to clear the crystal south of Gadgetzan.
In the process, we learned that C'Thun, an Old God and the leader of the reborn Qiraji, could project his power through the summoning crystals.
This resulted in Mind Controlled madness! I personally slaughtered a few people while under the influence, including several Watchers and a hapless hordie. If only I hit so hard when I was sober!
Notice Carwin in the lower right corner, howling as he runs wild with teh bugs.
The Mind Control served two purposes: To create extreme chaos, and to discourage crystal-camping.
Back to Silithus
As time wore on, more and more Watchers arrived. Soon we had a 10-person raid force! We returned to Silithus to lay the smack down on the troops that had earlier rolled us.
Missed me! You'll pay for that sucka.
How you like me now that you got no FACE!?
We had an awesome time running around Silithus clearing crystals. Through superior strats, we even managed to kill one group that was clearly intended for a raid twice our size. Unfortunately we waited way too long to loot the General's corpse and it poofed. But whatever, it would've been vendor greens anyway. The experience was still more than worth it.
One of the crystals we pwnt.
One of the anOObie we pwnt.
At around this point, Jorren claimed he was being "harassed" by "a miniature pig-headed d0rf creature and its flying goblin of love." Personally I think he's totally nuts.
Colossal insects had emerged from each of the three main hives. These were beyond our abilities, but were still fun to look at.
Colossus of Ashanti.
Colossus of Sora, Donald and Goofy.
Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj
Finally after hours of fighting the Qiraji advanced forces, we had drummed up a Watchers raid of 17 people!
Thus emboldened, we blasted through the now-open gates of Ahn'Qiraj and stepped into the smaller of the two instances: The Ruins.
We had no clue what to expect, and it was getting late, so our hopes were modest: Kill a few mobs and see what all the fuss was about.
I'd say that reports of AQ20 being "easier than ZG" were exagerrated. The trash mobs, at least, are definitely a step harder than the trolls and snakes inside Zul'Gurub. Still, we developed strategies and pushed much deeper than we had dared to hope.
Soon we were face to face with the first boss of the instance: Kurinnaxx, his Centipediusness.
At this point we were down to 16 folks, and half of our gear was so broken that we were fighting naked (for once, not by choice). Still, we gave the bugger (ha!) a shot.
"Mom says to just whack it on the nose and it'll go away."
Still, learning is as learning does! Or some such thing.
By now I'm sure the war is over. The instances remain open, but the soldiers, crystals and mind controls are gone forever.
Thank you to everyone who showed up to make this such an awesome event. Such large Watchers participation really let us all experience the chaos to the fullest, and made the event FAR more fun than I expected. Had I been running around solo the whole time it would have been a different night entirely.
We'll be back to AQ20 some day soon... but for now ZG and UBRS await. See you Wednesday!
|22 Feb 2006 by carwin|