The Nuclear Clock Is At 11:59

Deathwing is coming. 4.01 is out on the PTR and Boubille over at MMO-Champion has suggested that Cataclysm will be out by the first week in November. The Icecrown Citadel buff is going away, Mankirk is about to embark on a mission of revenge for his wife, and Zul’Gurub will be reduced to ruins, sinking like atlantis along with the tiger mount I will now place next to the Amani Warbear on the shelf of things I wasn’t able to get before they were removed from the game (Tabard of the Protector and the black recolor of the Paladin tier-2 armor set are on that shelf as well).

A long time ago (about 10 months ago) I made a post which mentioned a list of goals I wanted to achieve. I don’t think I was specific about the timeframe in the post, but “before cataclysm” seems as good a cutoff as any. Now, with its release date around the corner, I decided to look back on my old list and see how I’ve done.

– Kill Algalon and get the “Starcaller” title
— This was done successfully, and it was done in a 10man of my friends. My achievements list my Starcaller date at 5/11/10. Certainly not an impressive kill date, but at least we succeeded.
– Kill Algalon in “progression appropriate” iLvl gear and get the “Herald of the Titans” title
— Another success. It took me much longer, but I finally managed to put a near-Best-in-Slot Herald set together after months of Ulduar 25 pugs. We wiped a few times but ultimately completed the encounter before the timer ran out and I got my spiffy title.
– Complete all the hardmodes in Ulduar10 and earn my Rusted Proto-Drake
— The same group I got starcaller with managed to finally complete One Light in Darkness successfully and we got our Rusted Proto-Drakes. I was also able to pug Ulduar 25 hardmodes and get my Ironbound as well, and it is still my favorite mount in the game.
– Complete “A Tribute to Insanity” in ToGC10
— We succeeded in doing this as well, we were the 3rd 10man group on the server to do so, getting it one week after the 2nd group.
– Assemble a passively unhittable gear set.
— All those Ulduar runs, and not one, single, solitary drop of the Unbreakable Chestguard from that horrible cat-lady. I’m very very close to a passively unhittable set, and that chestpiece is basically all that is missing. It’s too bad this whole set will be rendered trash in Cata when all the ratings change and “block value” disappears from gear. I wonder how people will kill Anub’arak 25 on hard without a tank being capable of nullifying add damage (and the incredible health pools healing him in p3).
– Earn Exaulted reputation with the Frenzyheart, Kalu’ak, the Shatar, Shatari Skyguard, The Violet Eye, The Scale of the Sands, Keepers of Time, Sporregar, and Cenarion Expedition (bringing me to 30 exalted reps).
— While I did not get exalted with the Frenzyhearts or the Oracles, I did manage to finish off those other reps listed and a bunch of others and have earned my 40 Exalted Reputations achievement and my nice title.
– Once exalted with the Kalu’ak, level fishing and cooking from 0-450
— I HATE fishing. I just do. It’s so boring, the mechanic is stupid and frustrating, and I just hate it. But, my fishing is above 200, maybe one day I’ll max it out, but I’m not really feeling it. Cooking I am equally ambivalent about. If I didn’t need to do these professions in order to break 9000 achievement points for the feat of strength I doubt I’d ever bother.
– Get my Venomhide Ravasaur mount (yay more dailies)
— Succeeded.
– Earn my 100-mount achievement (currently at 87)
— Also succeeded, with my Rusted Proto-Drake and Ironbound Proto-Drake being 99 and 100. I am currently at 107 mounts.
– Get every Northrend Epic Gem cut (I have 63 of 74 currently)
— Another success that was only a matter of smashing my face against dailies for long enough.
– Complete “Outland Dungeon Hero” (Need Shadow Labyrinth, Auchenai Crypts, Arcatrz, and Opening the Dark Portal).
— I have successfully solo’d all outland dungeon heroics and earned my achievement. The final one was the “Opening of the Dark Portal.”
– Clear Blackwing Lair once
— Its hard to imagine that there was once a time when I had not cleared this instance. I have not been back in months, but, yes, Nefarion is dead to me.
– Farm Blackwing Lair to complete my Judgement Armor set (2 of 8 currently)
— Almost complete. I am missing 2 pieces, the bracers and the belt. Visually, only the belt is visible so I could get away without ever getting the bracers and look no different from a vanity perspective, but there IS an 8-piece bonus.

All in all, I have actually succeded in everything I had hoped I would do fpr the most part. There is no justice in drop rates. I never really followed up on this list or refered back to it at any time in order to achieve these things, they were just things that I knew I would want to do and eventually complete in the natural course of time. Herald of the Titans was probably the hardest because I needed to find 9 other people with gearsets, interest, and ability. Of all of them the 40 Exalted Reputations was the most recently achieved. As far as last-minute goals I’d like to achieve before cataclyms, I have a few new ones:

– Bane of the Fallen King. Honestly, I consider this one already complete. With the gear I have, the simplicity of the changes to the fight on 10man difficulty, as well as the 30% buff, I consider this achievement already completed, it’s more of going through the motions to formalize it.
– The Light of Dawn. Never gonna happen, it’s just not. Even if they leave the title in for this achievement in Cataclysm I still see this as a long shot in tier-14 gear at 85. But a guy can dream I guess. I’m just probably not the caliber player necessary to earn this, and I certainly don’t raid with 24 other people who are. Ironically my old hardcore guild just got the server-first Light of Dawn a short while ago. It was a rather frustrating and jealousy-inducing experience to know that it could have been me in there getting that title. But I was never happy there.
– Icecrown 25man Drake. Again, not likely to happen as I don’t really do 25man raiding anymore. The only hardmode left to clear is Sindragosa, but with Sindra and LK’s achievements standing in my way as well, this is not exactly something I can pug. Blizzard has said they are considering leaving in the Ulduar drakes available when Cataclysm comes out, so maybe I’ll have a little extra time to try for this one as well.
– 5-piece 277 tier. This is something I consider a post-Cataclysm goal honestly, and not something I expect to get beforehand. When we are all running around in deathwing gear, there will be ICC25 pugs and people will be saying to each other “oh man, I wanted that so bad when this was current content” just like they do when things drop in Sunwell and Black Temple.
– Shadowmourne and its box of goodies. I don’t know if the box of goodies will remain in cataclysm, I hope it does. Shadowmourne, depending on how easy it will be to farm ICC25 with less than 25 people to get shards, will really be an inevitability.
– Sulfuras, Hand of Ragnaros. This one is basially already done. I’ve killed Ragnaros 10 times, and he dropped the Eye on my 9th kill. I have all the mats except for the 8 ingots, and they are always available on the AH, but since I’m in no rush, I’m just going to keep farming Golmag.
– Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker. I have the left half, I’m still a long, RNG-grind away I think. But heck, I’ve got 2 more years.
– Some more mounts. Recently I’ve begun farming Magister’s Terrace in the hopes of getting the White Hawkstrider. I need to bully a druid buddy into helping me farm for the Raven Lord mount. A zulian Tiger would be nice, but its already low drop rate is compounded by the fact that the instance is being removed. I probably only have another 20 kills of him before Cata hits.

Perhaps a somewhat less relatable list of achievements to most people compared to my hopes from a year ago, but really the only one I’m motivated towards with any kind of urgency is Bane, not because it promises to be difficult or challenging or especially prestigious, it’s just that I know in my head and in my heart that I can do it, and that my group can do it (if everyone will ever just show up instead of it being 9 people every week), so I want to get it over with.

Cataclysm is going to be an exciting time. I am already giddy from watching myself ride around the old cities and roadways on my Ironbound Proto-Drake. The wingspan of some of these mounts are just ridiculous, and I’m a tiny little Blood Elf, the Tauren mounts are going to be ridiculous. I’m sure when it comes out there are going to be a whole host of new things I’m going to want to do, but as I look back on all that I’ve already accomplished I realize that I’ve basiclly done a majority of three games worth of content in the span of one. Sure it’s much easier to complete Vanilla and Burning Crusade content now, but it still took time and effort. I can’t help but realize it was far, far easier to go back and kill Illidan and Kil’Jaden then it is going to be to go back and kill the Lich King, Sindragosa, and Blood Princes, especially on hard modes, which did not exist prior to this most recent expansion. I wonder if I will have enough to do in the future, since I had so much content available to me having never played the game before Wrath. I wonder if this most recent list will also look quaint in 10 months time as my old list does to me now.

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