Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Farewell Northrend

Well, it’s had a good run. We are here at the cusp of a new expansion, the switch set to flip at 3am Eastern Standard Time tonight – and we’ll all begin leveling frantically to 85. Well, some of us will – i’ll be sleeping most likely. Some of us will be driving home from all night camp-outs for Collectors Edition sets. But Cataclysm will finally be here.

Normally I close out an expansion with a picture of something, maybe draw a parallel to some other game. Truth be told, I had been quietly working on a SC2 map of the Frozen Throne (Icecrown Summit), but it’s not finished and I guess now I wont bother. Instead, I will provide you with a screenshot depicting the last Feat of Strength that Critical Mass achieved in this expansion:

A Tribute to Immortality. I can’t be 100% sure but I think we’re the only guild on Stormrage to actually pull this off as a guild.  How fitting that we return to Vanilla in this way, right before an expansion that tries so hard to revisit Vanilla WoW in so many ways.  We even managed to get this after the Mortal Strike nerf to 25%.

And how appropriate is it that the final Feat be received from the raid instance that best characterizes Wrath of the Lich King. Unimaginative design, recycled bosses, frustrating attempt limitations and boss-by-boss “must-have” classes. And of course, you’re compelled by badges to repeat it four times a week until you’re so sick of it that nobody wants to go back even a year later when you massively outgear it. To be honest, it’s a low bar for Cataclysm to clear. Let’s hope somewhere in all that time spent remaking the old world and rewriting our classes that Blizzard learned from the mistakes of the expansion that is officially ending tonight.

Ulduar was, IMHO, the best instance of Wrath.  Icecrown is not far behind, but ruined by deliberate cockblocks and attempt limits and will be remembered mostly for the ridiculous Strength of Wrynn buff that made Kingslayer the new Jenkins.

Cataclysms have a way of changing things. A lot of great folks have come and gone over the life of the guild, many of them growing tired of the game after six years.  It happens.  Critical Mass has changed, yet every time an expansion rolls around, the old faces return to gaze with wonderment at the changes, ask where such and such went, how is so-and-so doing say hello to the new faces.  Each time, those of us that have been here since the day the guild charter was signed are able to fill in our old mates on how everyone’s doing.  Just take a look at our guild roster – all of our Rank 1′s and 2′s have been in the guild for over a year.   There’s more than 10 of us still kicking around the joint as active raiders, a number of which were there on that first day – and if you can’t find the old crew in the top two ranks, you can usually find them on the retired rank, still rolling with the tag, because that’s just how it goes.

Critical Mass is a guild with a lot of history, a strong group of  friends both old and new.  It’s going to take more than some pesky cataclysm to slow us down, and way more than some silly fire breathing dragon to burn our bridges.

So – who’s for some standing in the fire?