* Beltron, the Shade King, has left the building! *

Having been the first serverwide to clear Ashengate, and second serverwide to plow under Frostcrypt, Township Rebellion is pleased, once again, to bring home the BEST OVERALL finish for The Serpent's Spine expansion. Having recently celebrated my fourth anniversary with TR, I'm as proud as ever of our raiding team, and the continued tradition of excellence we have amassed over the years and I want to take a few moments to talk about that before our usual commentary on the expansion itself. TR as a whole just passed the two year mark of residence on Luclin, during which time we've picked up the major server firsts in every expansion since our arrival, two expansion end boss serverwide firsts, and several top five serverwide expansion finishes, building upon the legacy we established years ago in Planes of Power.

On to TSS!

Having completed both Ashengate and Frostcrypt, there are a few events worth mentioning. On the whole, it should also be said that while the early on bugs in Ashengate heavily favored "the game" so to speak with broken flags, noncompleting expeditions and the lack of a means to advance progression for awhile, it seems the opposite is true in Frostcrypt. Most of the enduring issues in Frostcrypt seem to heavily favor the players, with multiple events still suffering from script breaks and other mechanisms that allow for and almost promote strategies that easily negate major portions of the intended design. It is our hope that those encounters will be refined to put an end to those shenanigans.

Perhaps the two worst events in terms of risk versus reward, and time spent for the reward, are the Griffon Master event in Ashengate and the Overseer event in Frostcrypt. The Griffon Master, while skippable, in its original state if fought as intended, was way over the top in terms of difficulty -- (its worth mentioning we havent fought it in a very long time). Its craptastic status twin in Frostcrypt, the Overseer of the Crypt event, should either be shortened considerably or given additional loot. Or, build in some type of mechanism that allows for it to be different/shorter once beaten in its original state. Either way, it needs attention. Going on two hours for a single augment is absurd.

The two best fights, Lethar 2 in Ashengate and Lorekeeper Grenwald in Frostcrypt, on the other hand, easily provided the most satisfaction of the expansion upon defeat. Unfortunately, neither of these encounters have stood the test of time and have both been reduced to shadows of their former status with only 2 guilds defeating the original form of Grenwald, and Lethar 2 being changed shortly after our first victory. These two fights were some of the more exciting moments of the expansion for TR -- particularly our first win over Grenwald in its original format, where we had nearly flawless execution to win with 52 standing (with only 6 clerics btw -- I hear the vatican has been doing some downsizing!). We were surprised as anyone when we returned to the fight and could have had a druid tank it as compared to its former ability to really dish out the damage and despite what some others would claim, we would love to see it return to its former glory. As it stands now, it took a very challenging encounter and turned it into a powderpuff. As to Lethar2, we've been focusing on the Frostcrypt side the last couple weeks, but we've heard that he had his wings clipped and will be back to visit with him tonight. Beltron himself was a bit of a disappointment in the thrill factor area, requiring minimal attempts and offering relief that it was now farm time more then sheer joy at the kill.

On that note, we'd also like to congratulate our competitors on being first to complete Frostcrypt, and enduring the early on instance problems on that side of the expansion. While their comments on their website are unfounded, untrue, and unfortunate, their Frostcrypt accomplishments stand on their own, as do ours and we would offer this food for thought:

To paraphrase Winston Churchill:

Act like you have been there before and that you expect to be there again. Don't treat your 10 secs of fame as if its your one and only chance to make an ass of yourself.

Break out the tractors, folks, its farm time!