Heralding a Titanic Achievement

This Saturday past, a small team of individuals from Immortalis and Dark Glare journeyed to Ulduar with a very specific mission. To defeat Algalon the Observer in 10-player mode without anyone in the raid wearing any equipment with an item level higher than is available in 10-player Ulduar.

From Immortalis: Aecus, Gracewondira, Mirthe, Sherrim, Virmagnus, Zelcandor and Ðaz.

From Dark Glare: Arahnis, Sanye and Vyssele.

Each of us determined to become a Herald of the Titans.

Even before patch 4.0.1, this was a difficult achievement. All raid members needed to be intimately familiar with the fight. All raid members needed to have armor of iLevel 226 or below and weapons of 232 or below. Getting the gear is the hardest part for most people going for this achievement. Many of us had saved our gear but we still had to farm for the one or two specific items that would make it all work.

Post 4.0.1, this achievement is actually harder. Tank threat and survivability isn’t what it used to be. Healing has changed. Some of the older gear just isn’t optimised for DPS output as it once was. Add to this the fact that a graphical bug makes the floor stay blue in color instead of black, the Cosmic Smash ability is near impossible to see. To say that we were nervous is an understatement!

And on top of this, patch 4.0.3a loomed on the horizon, mere days away. When it arrived, this achievement would be gone forever. So, with time against us, we gathered what we could and headed to Ulduar with grim resolve. Saturday, November 20th, our last chance to do this.

After some issues, we got into the groove of the fight, wiping relentlessly, rushing back to our corpses and buffing up with one eye on the timer, watching it tick down from 1 hour… to 30 minutes… to 15 minutes…

“Two more attempts left.”

Said with professional calm by Arahnis. We all resigned ourselves to the possibility that maybe we wouldn’t be able to do this and buffed up for our second to last go.

This time though, things went well, everyone survived to Phase 2. No-one dared to look at Algalon’s health as we focused on downing him. Then disaster. Some Collapsing Stars died and exploded, killing healers. A Cosmic Smash did away with some DPS. And then Big Bang hit with no Cooldowns available for anyone. We frantically made some plans over vent to survive this and then the surviving members of the raid stepped into Black Holes and prayed.

As we all phased out we prepared to continue and then… everything despawned. Algalon could no longer be targeted. A moment of confusion set in as we wondered if we’d wiped or the fight bugged or what… and then with flash, it happened: 10 people received their Herald of the Titans achievement!*

I can’t describe the feeling of doing this fight like this, in lesser gear. It’s not just hard, it feels impossible. The damage Algalon puts out is insane. There can be no loss of focus. There can be no bad luck. There can be no mistakes.

It was an utter rush of a fight and I really hope Blizzard implement more of these in the future.

To celebrate the defeat, we blitzed through the rest of the instance and while Arahnis, Sanye and Virmagnus had to leave, Christol joined us to clear the rest of the instance and complete a whole bunch of other achievements including the elusive If Looks Could Kill and a Champion of Ulduar title for all 8 people!

Congratulations to everyone who came along and a huge thanks to Arahnis, Sanye and Vyssele from Dark Glare for joining us for an incredible afternoon of raiding!

* Technically 9 people got the achievement as Virmagnus disconnected just before the fight ended but a GM ticket resolved that just fine!