Well, here we are again. It's always such a pleasure...to report news of our raid successes :D
After the Spirit Vale and the Salvation Pass it was time to show the Stronghold of the Faithful what we're made off. We laid siege on this place with ten people, blown Xera's stone construction to pieces and saved her for last. And believe me, this group was anything but gentle. They wanted the kill - badly.
But back to the beginning, the raid starts off with an encounter which doesn't really do the name "Siege the Stronghold" any justice. While Glenna laid bombs to open the gates we laid every White Mantle cultist to rest who came close. Including their lap dogs to which they refer as Warg Bloodhounds. It sounds cocky but the encounter really isn't that much of a big deal so we didn't really take a picture.
What was awaiting us after that however is a different story. A magical assembly of bricks and stones which is simply called the "Keep Construct" - and boy, can it take a punch. With around fifty five million health points it would usually take well over ten minutes to defeat this behemoth but with a bit of tinkering you'll leave vulnerable and hit for three hundred seventy five percent more damage! If all up until this point works out, this boss is going to fall over faster than you'd expect. Here you go, the ten chumps right after our first kill:
Yet, we were far from done. We've still had to maneuver through the mad house which is the Twisted Castle but that's barely anything. Can't keep up with the mad house known as TDA. Once we were done we faced our final challenge: Xera. There's not much to tell because the fight isn't explicable. It mostly feels like a bad, chaotic trip with random things going on. Best I can do to describe her is that she's a mesmer on steroids/bloodstones. We are speaking of a severe case of drug abuse here. Visually, this encounter is mental. But enough of that, here's us with what's left of the castle:
And as a bit of flavor since we've finished the raid with all its wings, a picture of us with Xera's resurrection project which she won't be able to finish after all:
That's that but before I leave you here I want to dearly thank everybody who's been involved in this project of ours. It's one thing to finish the hardest content in the game and get your loot but it is another to start from a point with no experience, no gear and no idea what to do but yet keep pushing for victory even when you oftentimes find yourself at your wits' end and feel like dropping it because it's all so unnerving.
I personally thought to myself that I'd probably not get into raids for several little reasons, such as these being time consuming, sometimes even toxic and not worth it in general. That was back in November of last year. I've changed my mind since. At the beginning of this year I became restless, I just couldn't sit around with the ability to give the community the oppertunity to get together and tackle the raids. People asked for it and I couldn't just leave it at that. People who were interested joined, many days were spent organizing possible days and times when in reality people have barely any time to begin with. Four hours over two days per week is the best we've ever gotten whereas others spent their entire weeks raiding. Little time and much to do.
But make no mistake when reading 'I's. The credit to this achievement belongs as much to me as it does to everybody involved. Without them it would have not been possible. Weeks upon weeks we've spent time and time again learning mechanics, encounters, our roles and much more importantly how to work with one another. I believe it comes to nobody's surprise when I say there were very few days when everything ran smooth - not only ingame but also personally.
There were times when I got myself so much into the subject that I lost the winner mentality, when things went wrong but yet, things did not go on halt. People kept pushing for me and I could only return the favor. When I'd rather just spend the evening watching a movie I have to think of how people are actually coming on in their own free time to do this - together. It was not the loot which kept me going, it was the comradery. And while it may not have seemed this way and certainly haven't felt this way at the time I came to realize that I'm loving every single moment I got to do this with you people.
This is what I personally take pride in, and I know it's just a video game but is just as valid, we're not people only here to push through the content. We're a community who spends their free time to enjoy activities and each other's company. While I personally dislike calling myself that, this is what we are indeed: a casual gaming community. And this is fine, we want to have fun and not pretend to get paid. Knowing this and seeing people say they've completed the most difficult content with pride, I can take solace in not only claiming the same but having had the privilige to not have done this with random people, but with friends. People I truly adore and think off as family.
This is what I am proud of.