5.10.11

Drama, Drama, Drama.

In keeping with my current trend of ranty posts (current meaning within the last month and trend meaning 2 posts), I'd like to talk about loot whores, guild drama, and ragers today.

THE TERMINOLOGY


Nerd Rage - When a nerd video gamer gets extremely angry and starts yelling after losing or experiencing the tiniest disturbances.
Drama - A way of relating to the world in which a person consistently overreacts to or greatly exaggerates the importance of benign events. Common warning signs/ risk factors of drama or a dramatic person are:
  • Having one supposedly serious problem after another.
  • Constantly telling other people about one's problems.
  • Extreme emotionality or frequently shifting, intense emotions.
  • A pattern of irrational behavior and reactions to everyday problems.
Loot Whore - A player in an MMO game or any game for that matter, that consistently wants any and every item that has even the most miniscule value to him or her.

Yes, I did use Urban Dictionary for all of those.

THE STORY

Last week, we were doing our normal 10 man Firelands run. The group always makes very smooth progress, especially with the raid wide nerfs, so we blasted through Shannox and Beth'tilac. Old Smoulderbutt dropped a pair of BoE plate boots for us, Arachnaflame Treads. With critical strike rating and haste on them, they were pretty clearly dps boots.

Our policy on BoE drops, since the beginning of the guild and especially since the beginning of patch 4.2, has been if a player IN THE RAID needs the BoE for their MAIN SPEC, they can have it. However, BoE items were not to be given to players for their offspecs or alts. This has pretty much been a given, although we never had an official loot rules list posted anywhere.

Stupid us.

Our warrior tank rolled on the boots for his dps offspec, which he rarely used. In fact, there was only one fight he would dps on and that was Majordomo. So we didn't let him have the boots, opting instead to use them to help gear up other people's mains for the second 10 man we've been trying to get off the ground.

At first, it didn't seem like anything was wrong. We killed Baleroc without incident and made our way over to Rhyolith, wiping heroically on the stupid gauntlet trash like usual. (Don't ask me how we still manage to do that, but it usually happens.) As we made our familiar death run back into the instance, our warrior tank queued his mic.

He gave us a good, 45-second long speech about how he should receive those boots and it wasn't fair that he was here every week but never got any gear and he shouldn't have to work to gear up other characters for a second raid. Then he left the raid, logged off of mumble, and logged out of the game, leaving us in a stunned silence.

5 minutes later, he logged back into the game, made a similar speech in guild chat (talk about airing your dirty laundry), and quit the guild. He then proceeded to log onto his alts...and quit the guild.

Well, then. We were stuck at Rhyolith with no second tank, nobody online qualified to take his spot, and only 3 bosses down when we normally clear 6 in a night. Over a piece of gear. We had had problems with this tank's attitude before, but nothing of this magnitude.

WELL FUCK...NOW WHAT?

Funnily enough, after about an hour of hard thinking (which required oiling some cogs in some heads, lemme tell you) and juggling of specs, we still managed to get our 6 farm bosses down that night. Unfortunately, the next night we were unable to go back in and work on Ragnaros as not only were we missing a tank, one of our healers wasn't able to make it, nor our mage. We almost could have made it work, but decided it wasn't work the hassle and we wanted our full, main group to work on the big baddie behind the two Magmaws.

Tonight is the first night we'll be trying out a new recruit to the guild, another warrior tank named Church. Coincidentally, his first name in real life is the same name as the tank that ragequit last week. Hopefully, everything goes as planned - we do have a healer who will be late tonight, and one of my fellow officers (Severin) may or may not have game time tonight.

But as Severin often (like, ridiculously frequently) says, "It is what it is."

And we'll keep raiding, keep pushing, and keep killing.

Rawr and stuff.

28.9.11

Gamer: The New Spoiled Brat


A lot of stuff has been revealed by Blizzard these past few days. We've seen tier 13 sets, rogue legendary dagger lore, maps and new models for NPCs inside the 5-mans and Dragon Soul raid, etc etc etc. I personally follow MMO-Champion, but I know lots of WoW fansites and information sites are posting this stuff as fast as they can. We've got nice PTR videos and previews of some of the new mounts coming in 4.3. Obviously some people love the new mounts, dungeons, and gear sets, and some people hate it. That's fine.

What's not fine is every single video I watched previewing mounts and Void Storage had things like this in the comments:

"Blizzard's seriously run out of ideas when they're letting us have major lore characters as mounts. I just hope when they make Deathwing a purchasable mount from the Blizzard store, he at least can carry 2 people."

"Ya know Blizz this would have been cool two years ago."

"Cool, another re-skin."

"I don't mind a cost associated with it but 100g per item better be a PH price cause that is retarted if you are going to use transmog very often"

Really guys? Really? I'm appalled. We're practically being showered with things we've asked for, and all you can do is bitch about how it's not good enough.

We wanted to be able to change the way our gear looked, we got Transmografication AND Void Storage to hold all our crap. "It's too expensive."

We wanted more mounts. "They're too plain, or they're reskins, or they're just not good enough."

Want want want bitch bitch bitch. There's a reason for you to hate everything and to blame the Blizzard employees for it.

The world we play in, the one we TAKE FOR GRANTED, that world is the carefully constructed child of hundreds, probably thousands, of artists, writers, 3D animators, musicians, composers, software engineers, producers, designers, and so many more. They work HARD on this stuff, and you look at it and say, "You didn't try. You're lazy. This isn't good enough." Do you even know what kind of work has to go into something as expansive as World of Warcraft? Can you fathom the kind of debates they must have when trying to please 11 MILLION players? The poor CMs on the forums and GMs in the game that must get screamed at by players who feel they've been wronged?

You know, I've never come across a GM in the game that brushed me off, or made me feel like I was wasting their time. Even when I had stupid questions, or made silly requests (GM hug!), they were endlessly patient, endlessly cheerful, and endlessly helpful. If they weren't sure on something, they let me know and apologized. How often must they get cussed out by players who are frustrated or having a bad day and expect a GM to pull out their God Mode and fix it for them? Heck, I'm embarrassed every time my DBM auto-responds because to me it sounds rude. But they don't care - I even had one /cheer at me because I defeated whatever boss I was working on. And that's awesome. Every GM I've talked to made ME feel important.


The GMs do what they are PAID to do - to provide excellent customer service. To make the customer feel important. I'm sure there are bad apples here and there, but I've never actually HEARD of a GM that was rude. There's plenty of people that will say they're useless, but I'm almost positive these are the people making insane demands.

I'm not saying I agree with everything Blizzard does. I hate the Firelands nerfs. I hate my tier 13 set. I think it's ugly as all hell and I'm insanely jealous of the other classes, especially mage, priest, and warlock. The clothy sets look amazing this tier. I hate rep grinds, and questing through Northrend, and how ugly tier 9 was and the stupid ToC arena raid, and the tiny amount of background draenei have, and gnomes. I really really hate gnomes. There's tons of random things about the game that irritate me. But there's so much that I love, and that's what I focus on.

They're trying to crank out so much content to keep all of their players happy, from the solo player, to the achievement whore, to the casual raider and the hardcore, there really is something for everyone. I mean, they even made it so you can see your equipped ilevel along with your overall ilevel! Those lazy bastards!


So instead of dwelling on everything you OMGHATE about this patch or this game, can't you get excited about the things you DO like? And if there's nothing you like, why are you still playing? Why do you even CARE?

Image of item level courtesy of Matticus, from World of Matticus, Plus Heal, Conquest of Nerzhul and other stuff that I don't keep track of. He is awesome, though.

11.4.11

Enhancement Shaman on Ascendant Council (BoT): Tips/Tricks


Note: This is not a complete guide to the boss fight, if you'd like a real guide please visit Tankspot.com or other such sites. This is merely tips and tricks an enhancement shaman can use to help keep their raid alive and maximize total raid uptime.

Phase One: Ignacious and Feludius

The usual strategy is to have melee dps on Ignacious and ranged on Feludius. However, in my guild I usually dps Feludius because I have the best interrupt in the game. This reduces a lot of random outgoing damage from Feludius's Hydrolance, which helps keep people alive and save healer mana. Good awareness will help you here, as Feludius also casts Glaciate which will kill you if you don't run out. You'll need to keep a good eye on both bosses health and slow or stop dps accordingly. Also, don't forget about Aegis of Flame and the interrupt that needs to go out. Usually I don't switch to Ignacious unless my dps is really needed to burn down the shield, but my guild does 25 mans and 10 mans may be different.

Phase Two: Arion and Terrastra

For this phase, you'll want to dps Terrastra unless Arion is way ahead in health. Remember, when Terrastra has Hardened Skin, they'll absorb a lot of damage until the shield is broken, in which they'll take a big hit. If Terrastra is already a bit low and has the buff on him, slow or stop your dps and possibly work on Arion. If you can interrupt the Harden Skin cast, do it. It's a pretty quick cast so be ready for it. There's really nothing too special you can do here as an enhancement shaman. If you see your group is a little low or healers struggling, use a 5 stack of maelstrom on chain heal. Usually there's a lot of movement in this phase, so Healing Rain is not necessarily a good choice unless you have everyone stacking up.

Phase 3: Elementium Monstrosity

During this phase you can help your healers out a lot. There's going to be a lot of damage going out, so as things progress start using maelstrom stacks on chain heal. Again, with all the movement Healing Rain isn't a good option. Another tip is to wait to blow Heroism until the Monstrosity is down to at least 20%. Blowing it right away is okay, but waiting that 5 or so percent really helps the healers. They're able to get more healing out with the haste buff when the damage gets a lot higher.

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I'll answer the best I can!

5.4.11

We're Just a Couple of Misfits


This is a BlogAzeroth Shared Topic by Kamalia from Kamalia et alia.

Do your alts know each other?

I have a confession.

I'm a secret role player.

My main toon and high level alts are all on a PvP server. There's absolutely no RP there. There's only raiding and PvP and farming and grinding and all that fun stuff and there's nobody pretending to be their own characters. I have a few random lower level alts on different PvP servers.

And then there's Earthen Ring. Earthen Ring is my dirty little secret.

I first rolled a night elf priest named Dainz on Earthen Ring back in Burning Crusade as a joke. My server was down and to kill time I thought I would go poke fun at all the RPers. I know, I'm a jerk.

I quested quickly and made my way to level 10 to get out of the starter area. After that came the death run through Wetlands to Ironforge. Taking the tram to Stormwind, I put all my clothes in my bags and proceeded to run around naked, dancing and emoting with anyone I saw RPing. Most of them ignored me, some came out of character long enough to whisper me to go away. I found it all very hilarious until one of them actually included me in their role play.

As soon as that happened, I unconsciously started coming up with a background story for my little naked priest. She was an outcast. She had been tortured. She was well meaning but totally bonkers. Little tidbits and random things that kept building every time I revisited that server.

I now have a death knight (named Gneisha, surprise surprise) over there specifically for role playing.


Yes, her guild is Demon for Hire. I had a huge fit of giggles when I made it.

Ever since then, I tend to make up little bits of backstory and personality quirks for my characters. In my head, Gneisha is an outgoing, vivacious little vixen. Yes, a vixen. She's sexy and she knows it! On the other hand, my druid Ðainz is somewhat shy, very soft-spoken and kind. The paladin, Shreya, is brave and a bit reckless, but very just.

As for if they know each other...

I'd say Gneisha and Ðainz know each other, considering the amount of mail that goes between the two. Shreya doesn't know them, but has heard of them, and they've heard of her. Gneisha is the most prestigious of the three, having raided the most and possessing the best gear. Ðainz has been slowly getting into the raiding scene, while Shreya still isn't sure what she wants to do (i.e. she's hit level 85 and has both prot and holy gear, but neither sets are good enough for heroics). Giving my characters a bit of personality makes them a lot more interesting to play.

I've actually used Earthen Ring and its RPers as a testing ground for stories I write. The very first character I RP'ed with, the naked priest, has actually become a main character in my current endeavor, although she remains clothed. The inspiration I can get from just walking around watching other people RP or interacting with them is really cool, and I've decided if I actually do end up finishing this story and getting it published (miraculously) I'm going to dedicate it to the entire Earthen Ring server.

29.3.11

8 Raiding Rules You Need to Know (As Melee)

As a melee class, there are a few special rules we need to follow to be the most helpful to the raid. If you follow these (and believe me, they're pretty easy), you should die less and everyone will love you. Except that one guy. But he's a douche...

Ahem.

Don't stand in fire.
I know, I know. We can beat this one to death, but nevertheless it's still one of the most important rules of raiding. You may be tempted to stand in it for "just a second" to get that last hit on a boss before you move, but don't. Your healers will hate you. You might die. And you just look like an idiot. Just. Don't. Do. It.

Wait for the tank. (dpsing before boss is in position)
Tanks have to establish some aggro, and with Cataclysm it takes a little longer than it did back in WotLK. This is especially true if they need to move a boss into position, such as Cho'gall or Atramedes. Dpsing early may cause you to pull aggro and die very early on in the fight, which basically makes you completely worthless. Either you'll do no dps (because you're dead) or they'll need to waste a battle rez on you that should be saved for tanks and healers. It's very annoying to your tank, who has to work harder to gain aggro, and your healers, who will have to use healing cooldowns on you if you happen to live. Just wait for the go ahead from your tank or raid leader, and you will live longer and do more dps in the long run.

Don't break CC.
This is very annoying. If there's any sort of CC near you, you should be using NO AoE spells. Broken CC can easily wipe a raid. The only type of CC you won't break is banish, and even then you should pretend and practice not AoEing.

Expertise/Hit Caps.
Look up your class and find out exactly how much hit and expertise rating you need to be capped. You will do more dps, your CC abilities won't miss, and overall it's just better to be capped.


Positioning.
Generally, you want to be behind the boss. Bosses can't block or parry from behind, only dodge, so as long as you're expertise and hit capped, you shouldn't miss on your special attacks. However, on some bosses, dpsing from behind isn't an option, such as the two dragons in Bastion of Twilight. When dpsing Theralion, the usual strategy is to have all melee dps stack on the tank. This means you must dps from the front, and you will be parried and lose some dps. However, staying alive will increase your dps, which wins in the long run.

Interrupts.
Melee all have some form of viable interrupt that you'll probably be asked to use at some time or another. Always have this in an easy to reach keybind so you're ready if you need to use it. Missing an interrupt on bosses such as Halfus (Shadow Nova), Omnotron (Aracanotron's Aracane Annihilator) or Cho'gall (the add's shadow thingy) can equal a raid wipe. Know the cooldown of your interrupt(s) and if you need help with them, ask your raid leader to have someone else backing you up.

Work as a team.
It's never good to forget that your raid has to work like a team to down content. Even if it seems like you're carrying the dps meters, remember that you can't kill a boss on your own. Acting high and mighty will only make others mad at you - nobody likes a snob. You don't want to lose your raid spot or the respect of your fellow raiders because you forgot that you're not the only one in the raid.

Blow damage reducing CDs and healing spells if you need to.
This is a big one. A lot of dps will be so focused on their own rotations, positioning, and interrupts that they'll die to a boss's AoE. A big example of this is Chimaeron. Enhancement shamans can be the most helpful to their healers here (read this post to find out how), but other classes such as rogues and death knights can use abilities like recuperate or death strike to alleviate some of the healers' stresses. If you find yourself kind of squishy, level first aid and bring bandages to raids.

Hopefully this will help you stay alive longer in boss fights and boost your dps to boot!

26.3.11

Surprise Me

A friend of mine and his guild recently transferred off their (very) dead server of Drak'Tharon to Stormreaver. I rolled a death knight named Vindin over there and joined their guild as a friend. I'm slowly leveling, and as I don't have a main or anything over there, I'm starting with no gold and no BoAs. I hit level 60 fairly quickly, but didn't have nearly enough gold for a flying mount (only had 100g or so).

While running around handing in quests and selling grays, a level 70 pally opens trade with me twice. I think he's accidentally doing this, so I close it and continue emptying my bags. Then he spoke.


That was the most unexpected and coolest thing that a random person has ever done for me in WoW.

So thank you, Lokisk of Stormreaver US. You are awesomesauce.

14.3.11

Skills to Pay the Bills

This is a BlogAzeroth Shared Topic, posted by amaranth608 from Specced for Drama.

What is your favorite profession and why?

I'm going to have to say my favorite profession is a toss up between Alchemy and Herbalism.

Yes, Herbalism.

I find running around picking flowers to be soothing. I also get a little thrill taking a node from under a hordie's nose. I even picked up Herbalism on my druid so I could farm faster (she has 310% flying while the shaman only has 280% - plus flight form = overpowered)

Alchemy is great because I can make my own flasks, potions, and transmute meta gems and truegold for money. The extra stats and length of flasks is awesome, too. Flasks from our guild cauldron last three hours for me! Not to mention the Flask of Enhancement that I can pop in arenas or when I just feel like getting an edge in random heroics without popping a full blown flask.

Plus it gives me this mad scientist feel. I get the image of my shaman cackling to herself in a corner while glass vials clink against each other.

Hee.

9.3.11

Face Smashing Tools

This is a very belated response to a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, "What is your favorite weapon?" posted by Dangfool. I originally came across the topic on Fannon's blog, Dwarven Battle Medic.

I get very attached to gear rather easily. I love things that look epic, and replacing my epics with quest greens while leveling to 85 was a sad experience. I saved most of my level 80 gear, and sometimes run old stuff to get tier tokens and weapons so I can put them on and AFK in Stormwind and feel cool. (Even though I'm not.)

Generally, my soft spot is staffs. Any staff that just has a really awesome model I want to keep. My druid still has Origin of Nightmares from Naxx 25.

She also owns:
Twisted Visage (Ulduar 25)

Grand Marshal's Glaive (honor points)


Lupine Longstaff (ToC) and Shaft of Glacial Ice (ICC).

My shaman is carrying around Staff of the Plague Beast from Naxx 10.



I also like weapons that match, such as Aegis of Damnation and Hammer of the Astral Plane. I find both of these to be incredibly ugly, but they match! And that is cool.



P.S. Yes, my druid is wearing gear to match the level of the weapon she's modeling in each picture. I'm that much of a nerd. And I kept/farmed up that much gear. Yes, her bags are pretty much full of random junk.

8.3.11

Death to the Ugly Guy!

For a few raid nights now (probably at least 3, I think it's actually 4) we have thrown ourselves against Cho'gall and hit a solid wall. Lots of wiping.

I mean, LOTS OF WIPING.

We usually raid for about 3 hours 3 nights a week. So 3 hours full of Cho'gall smirking at us while we died lovely, horrific deaths was very frustrating to say the least.

I'm happy to say that we put together a 10 man group today, a day we don't usually raid, and wiped that smirk off his face. Also poked out his many, disgusting eyes. Ew.

Basically this is a post patting myself on the back, with a bit of bragging to boot. Even if Cho'gall decided not to drop a tier token for me.

(Jerk.)

Nefarion, you're next! I foresee many wipes in my future!

P.S. Drop my tier token, you hooker.

5.3.11

Problem Raiders: Should you give them an ultimatum?

Before I dive into the meat of this, I'd like to point out that I am not a guild master, merely an officer. I know different guilds handle problem raiders in a variety of ways, and this post is merely my opinions. If you disagree, I'd love to discuss it :] But flaming isn't tolerated and, as usual, will be used to toast my marshmallows.
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Problem raiders. Most guilds have them at one point or another. They come in all sorts of lovely (and by lovely I mean horrible) types. How do you deal with them? Here's a couple suggestions you can use to help alleviate your guild and raid of this phenomenon.

The Low DPS: These guys can be the hardest to deal with because a lot of the time they're genuinely nice people. Of course, sometimes you get the ones that just won't take your advice out of pride and get very nasty when you point out their mistakes, but most of the time, to me at least, the guys with consistently low DPS aren't jerks. The best way to come at them is politely. First, give them a good inspect and try to see if perhaps their spec is off, or if they're gemming wrong. Ask them if they're hit/exp capped. Find out their rotation. Their low DPS might be because they're stacking the wrong stat, or using the wrong rotation, or simply dying really early in the fight from standing in the goo. Work with them to fix it, especially if they reliably show up to raid.

Sadly, sometimes people are just bad no matter how much you work with them. At this point you have to make the hard decision to bench them or not.

The Whiner: We've probably all been this person once or twice, but a consistent whiner can bring an entire guild's morale down. Whether they bitch about loot, guild rules, raid times, or guild rank, it gets old very fast. Try to nip it in the bud early - whisper them and try to find out what's upsetting them. If the problem can be easily fixed, do it. If they continuously whine, you'll just have to tell them "This is the way things work. It's worked out pretty well for us for awhile, so unless you have a constructive suggestion to change it, please stop whining about it." Either they'll shut up or they won't, and again you'll have to make a decision to bench or guild kick them.

The Bad Attitude: This person is a lot like the whiner, but more aggressive. They might not complain about specific guild things, but more general things like "I'm so bored. I don't want to be here. I could be doing better things right now." Again, send them a whisper and try to find out what the problem is. Give them the benefit of the doubt at first - they might have had a bad day at work/school/etc. If they consistently have a terrible attitude that they're very vocal about, send them a firm message that they need to quit it or there will be consequences. Consequences can include benched for the night up to a guild kick. Decide what's best for your guild.

The Random AFK'er: This guy is really annoying. Pulling trash? AFK. Ready check on boss? AFK. They might even go so far as to mute Vent/Mumble (this has happened to me). Here I say go with the three strike message. The first random AFK let slide, maybe with a mention that they should let you know they're AFKing. The second ask them to warn you before they AFK. The third, give them a firm reprimand, especially if this is all in the same night. After that, start the consequences. A raider that's AFK most of the time is a worthless raider and a person who is always ready would be better to fill the slot.

The Unprepared One: Unprepared means they don't have flasks or buff food (if your guild doesn't provide it), they didn't repair before the raid, or they don't have the proper gear with them if you need them to switch specs. They also might be consistently late to the raid or never bother to try to learn the fights beforehand. They're usually a time sink as you wait for them to log on, or get their gear together, or go repair (if you don't have repair bots), or buy flasks/food/pots. Again, I suggest a three strike system. An unprepared raider is nearly as bad as an AFK one.

The Meter Whore: They spam the DPS or healing meters after every fight, boast about their position on the charts even for trash pulls, and constantly put down other raiders. Their ego is bigger than your entire raid put together. The problem with these guys is they love topping the meters so much, they're more likely to tunnel vision and make a mistake and get themselves killed.
Example:
Back in ICC, we were working on Rotface, we had a pally healer who was pretty damn good. He thought he was godly though. He got the debuff, ran out, stopped, healed the tank, died. We asked him why he didn't cleanse and run - his response was if he stopped healing the tanks they would die since he was carrying the heals. He really thought he was the sole reason the tanks were alive. /sigh

Meter whores are another one that's hard to deal with because they do tend to be exemplary players. However, constant meter spamming and putting down other players will also lower guild morale. If you see other players getting frustrated and fed up with the meter whore, politely but firmly tell them to stop the bragging. If they refuse, start the consequences.
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In conclusion, should you give a problem raider an ultimatum?

Eventually, yes. What the ultimatum is depends on the what type of raider they are and what works for your guild.

26.2.11

No Resilience? No Problem!

Last night I discovered something.

Enhancement PvP.

Oh.

My.

God.

I've never been much of a PvPer. I don't keybind enough stuff, and I use WASD to move - although I'm getting better at using my mouse to turn. I might go cold turkey and bind A and D to strafe and force myself to use my mouse to turn, but we'll see. That would open up Q and E for cooldowns. But anyway.

My shaman has one piece of PvP gear. It's Vicious resto gloves I won out of BH because I was the only shaman there. I don't even have a trinket. Pretty much all the PvP I've done has been on my druid as resto, and I'm not particularly great. I tend to live for a long time if I get focused, but I'm chalking that up to resto druids are ridiculously OP. Seriously. PvPing as melee has never worked for me because I had problems getting close enough to people.

But last night, my boyfriend wanted to do 2's on his warlock (who is decently PvP geared with over 3k resilience) and he doesn't like doing healer/dps 2's teams, as they're slow and don't have much burst (he's affliction). So I went on my shaman - full PvE gear/spec.

The first few games were about 50/50 win/loss, as I can be really easily blown up. I decided to respec my resto spec to PvP enhancement, switch out a couple glyphs, and put on my stamina Alchemist stone.

As it turns out...

I blow bitches up. I do have really decent PvE gear, which definitely helps, but I've never had so much fun PvPing. I still die really fast if I get focused, and I really need to build a PvP set, but holy crap. PvP Enhancement is SO MUCH FUN. I've been running battlegrounds today to build up enough honor to buy a trinket.

Fun Fact: I always ride my Celestial Steed in battlegrounds. Why? Well, how often do you see that mount and think "noob"? Then if said noob runs up and kills you, wearing 0 PvP gear...

Yes, I am trolling battlegrounds with my sparkle pony.

22.2.11

7 Embarrassing Raiding Blunders - Solved!

We all have that night. Whether it's your trial run with a new guild, or you're a veteran raider, there's that night where you're just making mistakes. And it's really embarrassing. Here's some common and mortifying mistakes and how you can fix them.

Standing in Fire
(or void zone, or other thing you shouldn't be standing in): This can be really embarrassing - I mean, Blizzard even made it a loading screen tip! But everyone does it once in awhile. The big question is WHY did you stand in the fire?
Did you tunnel vision? Make sure your not just focusing on your own rotation and dps - a dead dps does 0 dps.
Can you not see it? You might need to turn up your settings a bit, or turn on projected textures. Maybe you have an addon blocking your character's feet. Play around with it.
Are you lagging? Try clearing an addon's cache, or turning them off entirely. I know things like Cellular, Recount, and Gatherer will dramatically decrease your performance if you haven't cleared them recently, or have them on for raiding. If it's not your addons, check to make sure your computer isn't running a virus scan or update. You can also try rebooting your router. And make sure your roommate isn't downloading porn during raidtime.

Not running out when you get a debuff on you: This can lead to more than your death, depending on the debuff. Think things like "Swarming Shadows" from the Blood Queen Lana'thel fight, or "Lightning Conductor" from Electron on the Onmotron Defense System. Standing near others while you have these debuffs causes extra raid damage to go out, putting more stress on your healers and potentially killing more raid members. So what happened?
Did you not see the debuff? Make sure your debuff bar isn't covered. Enlarge it or move it so you can pay better attention to it. Make sure your boss mods are announcing when you get a certain debuff.
Did you tunnel vision? See above.

Dpsing the wrong target: This can really hurt your raid's chances if your doing it on a fight like Omnotron Defense System or the Ascendant Council.
Do you not realize that you're on the wrong one until it's too late? Make sure you can see your target frame very well and it lists the name of your target. You can try enlarging it or moving it.
Did you not hear the call to switch? If you're playing music or have a TV on, turn them off. You raid leader low? Turn him up or ask him to talk a bit louder. If you're getting distracted easily, try clearing everything off your desk and removing other distractions from the room.
Did you tunnel vision again? See above.

Missing interrupts and killing the tank/etc: Arcanotron packs a nasty punch with his arcane blasts, and Halfus with his shadow nova. Why did you miss the interrupt?
Did you not even cast it until it was too late? Check your latency. If you're a bit laggy, ask to have someone else take over interrupts. Make sure your target's cast bar is big enough to see and not covered by anything. If the target is casting too fast to interrupt, make sure they don't have a buff that's causing it. Have a mage spellsteal or a shaman purge if this is the case.
Was your interrupt on cooldown? Coordinate with other interrupters so you don't all blow your interrupt on the same spell.
Did you cast at the right time but your interrupt missed? Get hit capped! I know shamans need to be spell hit-capped (17%) for theirs to hit 100% of the time. Depending on your class, yours maybe different.
Tunnel visioning? See above.

Starting to dps before the tank has proper threat, pulling aggro and killing yourself/others: This is especially bad if the boss has a cleave or cone breath attack. You always want to make sure the tank has the mob in position and a decent threat lead before you go all out.
Did you blow all your cooldowns right away and pull aggro? Jumping to the top of the dps meters right at the beginning of the fight doesn't matter. Don't pop your cooldowns right away, give the tank a good 10-15 seconds.
Did you pull threat on a trash mob and die? Ask the tank or raid leader to continually mark or call out kill targets. Consistently marking a skull will help make the trash go down smoother since everyone will be focusing on the same target.

Your dps just really sucks: Nobody likes coming in on the bottom of the damage meters. If your dps is especially lackluster, try to figure out why.
Are you using the wrong rotation? If you have a raid mate that's the same class and spec as you, ask them about their rotation. You might be doing it completely wrong. Try out different combinations on the test dummies until you find something that works for you.
Are you reforging/gemming/enchanting wrong? Look up guides on sites like ElitistJerks.com Make sure you're getting hit capped (and expertise capped for melee).
Is the fight really not optimal for you? Some fights just aren't good for certain classes. Movement fights suck for melee. Stand-there-and-hit-it fights are awesome for melee! If you only really suck on one or two fights, this is more likely the problem than bad gear or poor skill.

Not knowing the fight at all: If you don't know the fight, you're much more likely to die to something silly, or make a mistake that causes a wipe.
Have you never seen the fight before? We've all been here and it's okay. Prepare as much as you can by asking your raid leader which fights they plan on doing. Watch videos and read strategies about the fights.
Did you not listen to the explanations? Get rid of unnecessary distractions, turn off music or TV, turn up your raid leader.

Sometimes you just end up having an off-night where you're making a lot of silly mistakes. If this happens. suck it up and ask to get replaced. Your raid leader will respect you for that. Take a bit of a break, watch a good movie or read a good book. Have a relaxing bath or shower and a bowl of ice cream. You'll feel a lot better and be ready to tackle the next raiding night.

14.2.11

A Slap in the Face

My guild's website is generally my responsibility. I post the most, I start the most threads. You'll see my name everywhere. I'm basically the main moderator. Before I ever was promoted to officer, my GM came to me and said "think you can keep the website interesting so people use it?" I was up for the challenge and have been ravenously posting things, pictures, starting new threads, etc, ever since.

As such, when my guild started recruiting recently, I did my part. I made a front page post about it, including classes/specs we were looking for and a bit of our background. I also spruced up the recruitment section of our forums. I re-did the guild application, made sure there were links to the post about our loot system, guild rules, etc. I completely overhauled the guild rules so they weren't so tedious to read, shortened them up, trimmed a lot of the extra fluff, and updated them to our current rules and raiding systems. They're also more of a pleasure to read as I tried to make them lighthearted and funny. I'm a writer at heart, so this kind of thing is actually fun for me.

So it's really really frustrating when out of the (so far) three applications posted, it's obvious to me that not one of these people actually read the guild rules. (I included a line in the rules that says they must include a reference to it so I would know if they actually looked at them or not.) They didn't skim the tips I provided on how to make your application look better, or at least didn't follow them. It's all there to help them look better to us, and really takes about 5 minutes tops to read it all.

It's even more frustrating when I pointed this out to another officer in my guild, and she just said that asking well geared people to read over things like guild rules/etc might be offensive to them because they're already geared. That was like a slap in the face. It's just guild rules! It's mostly stuff about our raiding team, how we do loot and stuff. You'd think that would be pretty important. In my personal opinion, it just shows laziness and inability or unwillingness to follow really simple instructions.

Since then, I've trimmed the rules a bit more and did some highlighting and bolding for those that just skim them.

But it's still extremely frustrating. It's like all my hard work trying to make these things really easy and fun to read just get overlooked, and it makes me feel totally unappreciated, even within my fellow officers. It's like pulling teeth to get feedback on anything I write. Nobody even uses our forums half the time, no matter how hard I try to keep it interesting, not even the other officers. Sometimes I feel like I've been given this responsibility because I'll do the least damage there or something.

Ugh.

/rant

10.2.11

Melee on Atramedes - Turning Down the Suck



Atramedes is a blind dragon in the Blackwing Lair raid instance. I've noticed that a lot of melee seem to have some difficulty with him - there's a lot of things he does that you need to avoid. You also will have what is called a sound bar during this fight. It, obviously, tracks how much sound you're acquiring. If you get 100 sound, Atramedes will know exactly where you are and brutally eat your face off, resulting in your death. This is not the desired outcome.

For most people, anyway.

The way my guild does this fight is we have all melee stack up on the left side of the room (as you walk in), and all ranged on the right. Usually we put 1-2 healers with the melee and the rest in the ranged group. Atramedes is tanked in the middle, head facing the door you walk in from. We have a hunter mid-direct pull onto our tank, then run back into the ranged group.


The most important part of this fight is tracking your sound bar.

It looks like that. The blue center will grow or shrink depending on how much sound you have. You MUST make sure that your sound bar is visible! If certain elements of your UI are blocking it, you need to move them.

The second most important part is avoiding anything you can that give extra sound. Some things are unavoidable, such as Modulation. Modulation looks like large rings, a bit like a sonar, and fills the entire room. As for things you CAN avoid:

Sonic Breath: "Cast at the highest sound player. Does 15,000 damage per second and adds 20 sound per second. Follows the player faster the higher their sound is." This happens on the ground phase. Depending on what boss mods you're using, you'll probably get a skull or x above you're head. At this point, you need to run away from your group - my guild has them run counter-clockwise, while everyone else takes a step or two in the opposite direction.


Anyone in either the melee or ranged groups can get this, so be ready to run.

Sonar Pulse: "Sends discs of sonic energy flying around the room. If touched inflicts 5850 to 6150 Arcane damage and adds seven sound."



(Yes, I'm dead here.) These are REALLY easily avoided. The easiest way to do it is to stand at maximum range then strafe to the left or right to avoid them. And his hit box is MASSIVE.



That far away I can still hit him with all my abilities and have fair warning when discs are going to come at me.

Air Phase: This phase only lasts 40 seconds, and for that full 40 seconds you want to be constantly moving around the outer parts of the room. Atramedes will be dropping fire on the ground, and more sound discs. The difference here is these sound discs don't move but they do have a sonar bomb that falls into them, and if you're standing in it you gain a whopping 30 sound. He'll also cast Roaring Flame Breath, which is a lot like Sonic Breath. It will target a player and follow them, leaving fire on the ground and speeding up. If you get targeted, you'll want to save any speed boosting abilities for when it really closes in. This breath will target the person with the highest sound going into the air phase, but once someone hits a gong it will then target that person. You shouldn't be hitting gongs unless assigned to it.



If you want to check out the entire boss fight, take a look at this video from Tankspot:








8.2.11

Guild Events - What do you do when your guild is ridiculously boring?

We've all probably run across this before (and if you haven't, consider yourself blessed). Your guild doesn't really do much. Maybe they have a raid team that raids a few nights a week, or a rated battleground team. But what about the nights where there's nothing scheduled, or the people who are in the guild for more social and/or casual reasons? Nobody likes to be left out, and planning fun activities for your guild can keep people in the guild and keep them interested!

Here's a few fun ideas for you GMs or officers out there:

Guild Heroics: Nobody really enjoys pugging, right? Especially not dps! So have a night devoted to guild heroics. Low on tanks and healers? Rotate the dps in the groups so as many people as possible can get at least their daily done. It helps gearing your guild and raises morale.

Crafting/Fishing Parties: This is especially useful if you're going for some of the guild achievements, such as "That's a Lot of Bait". Post times on your calender or guild website. Set a goal for how many fish you'd like caught or things crafted (such as flasks). Now get some prizes together - everyone likes prizes! Recently my guild did a fishing party and we gave away some of the rarer non-combat pets. The easiest way to do this is have your party do a /roll. You can have the prizes go to the highest or lowest roller, or give the prizes away in another way. We ended up fishing up about 3,000 fish in an hour and a half with just 7 people. We also had someone fish up the Turtle Mount after about half an hour!

Raffles: Easy! Just have someone in charge of raffle 'tickets', and keep a list of who bought how many and what their numbers are. We used to do this to promote attendance to our 25 man raids in WotLK. Wednesdays and Thursdays we would sell tickets for half an hour before the raid for 20g a piece. Raiders could buy 5 tickets on Wednesday and 3 tickets on Thursday, for a total of 8 tickets. The raffle was held Thurdays after the raid, and we usually gave away 3 main prizes, and sometimes a few bonus or joke prizes. Good prizes include gems, flasks, buff food, enchants, and gold :)

Casual PvP Events: This I'm going to break down into 3 groups.

Duel Off: Bracketed, single elimination combat. Arena rules apply unless otherwise noted. Pairings are randomly generated. Possible prizes for longest duel, top 3 or 4 people, most exciting duel. Flasks, elixirs, potions, and food buffs are not allowed. Only self buffs. Alchemy “Flask of Enhancement” is acceptable.

Last Man Standing: Takes place at the Gurubashi Arena. 10-20 players enter, one player leaves. Once killed players may not release until the winner is decided. Prizes for the “last man standing” and the two runner ups. Arena rules do not apply unless otherwise noted. Flasks, elixirs, potions, and food buffs are not allowed. Only self buffs. Alchemy “Flask of Enhancement” is acceptable.
Here's a video of a sort of "Last Man Standing" we hosted awhile ago in WotLK. We didn't have very many rules at the time :)



Guild Arena: Teams of 2, 3, 5, and 10 face off in the Gurubashi Arena. Players may not release when killed. However, they may be resurrected if a player can cast a full length rez spell. Arena rules apply. Flasks, elixirs, potions and food buffs are not allowed. Buffs from teammates and alchemy “Flask of Enhancement” is acceptable. A guild officer “referee” must be in both groups to determine nobody releases and runs back. These referees may not be attacked and/or killed. The two teams may be in vent, but must be in seperate channels along with their assigned referee. Can count as practice for arena teams/rated BG teams.

-------------------------------------
Obviously, you can take any of these ideas and tweak them to better fit your guild.

Have fun!

29.1.11

Dear Level 1 Gneisha

(shamelessly copied...er...INSPIRED BY...Fannon over at Dwarven Battle Medic :3)



Dear Gneisha from level 1 - or Dainz, as you were a druid first:

  • Don't be terrified about dying. It's not like Diablo 2 where you lose your gear, gold and experience.
  • Don't get discouraged. You're a slow leveler - it's okay. You'll get faster.
  • You will try tanking, and you will suck at it. But you suck more at kitty dps.
  • The bear dance really is that awesome.
  • Your first raid will be Karahzan, and you're going to love it. Guruth will be your druid tanky mentor.
  • Don't let those jerks from Deus Vox get you down.
  • Join Alt-oholics Anonymous.
  • You'll like healing. Really. And you're pretty damn good at it, too.
  • But enhancement is totally better.
  • One day you're going to be an officer in a damn great guild, you're going to love it, and all the guildies will fear you. It's excellent.
  • You will totally suck at ranged dps.
  • PvP isn't as bad as you think it is.
  • You'll still suck at it though.
Love, Level 85 Gneisha

27.1.11

Chimereon and You, the Enh Shaman

*dances*

"Billy Jean is not my loooover, she's just a giiirl that thinks that I am the oooone!"


Chimaeron!
And how to make your healers love you


Do not accidentally hit Chimaeron before the tank/raid leader pulls. This will lead to an immediate wipe, the wasting of food buffs and elixirs, and MUCH grumbling. Keep your back to him and do not target him if you're having issues not hitting him.

This fight is not a dps race UNTIL the last 20% - phase 2. It is mostly a healing fight. Therefore, you want to keep as many people alive for the actual burn phase. This can be really tough on the healers - they have to keep everyone above 10,000 health (except the tanks, who need to be kept as high as possible). And during Duel, which is where Chimaeron's heads fight each other, they need to try to top EVERYONE off as fast as possible and keep them up. This is a huge drain on their mana, obviously. This is where you come in and help and save the day and stuff.

Enhancement shamans have this lovely talent called Maelstrom Weapon. This talent says:

When you deal damage with a melee weapon, you have a chance (higher than rank 2) to reduce the cast time and mana cost of your next Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Hex, or any healing spell by 20%. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 30 sec.

Let's look at one part of this. It reduces the cast time AND mana cost of a damage spell, Hex OR HEALING SPELL by 20%.

Free, instant-cast healing spells. And yes, it does work on Healing Rain.

You can be a clutch component on the fight against Chimaeron by using your full 5-stack of Maelstrom Weapon on Healing Rain, Greater Healing Wave, and Chain Heal. You'll keep yourself alive, you'll keep people near you alive, and you will help alleviate some healer headaches.

The best way I've found to do this is to make sure any melee dps near you are right at the edge of 6 yards away from you. Try to position yourself in the middle. Now, watch your health. If you're below 10k and you have a full stack of maelstrom, blow a chain heal off yourself. This will get you up a stabilizing health pool and will help stabilize dps near you as well. After Chimaeron casts Massacre, drop a Healing Rain or chain heal to boost your health back up.

During Duel, drop Healing Rain on the stacked up raid and start smashing Chain Heal, bouncing it off yourself. You're going to run out mana most likely, but your heals will help bring the entire raid up, and once you spread back out again it's absurdly easy to get a full mana bar again. Before Chimaeron goes into phase 2, try to throw a few more chain heals or Healing Rain (or both) to top yourself and others near you off.

Once Chimaeron hits phase 2, all healing is negated, so go back to your normal dps rotation. Be sure to spam Wind Shear whenever it comes off cooldown if you're a pretty high dps to minimize your threat and maximize your time alive. However, if your dps leaves a bit to be desired, you can actually change your imbue to Rockbiter, and change your shocks to Frost Shock to raise your threat. Sacrificing yourself will allow other, higher dps individuals to live longer, increasing the likelihood of a boss kill. Remember, it's about the kill and the team, NOT about your numbers and ePeen.

25.1.11

How To Be A Good Raider. And a Puppy. Wheee!

SQUEEEEEEEE PUPPY!

Ahem.

Hi! My name is Gneisha, aka Ðainz, aka Shreya, aka other random assorted alts. I am your Blood Queen. Accept it, live it, love it.

THIS IS MY CORNER. YOU HAVE ENTERED MY DOMAIN. PREPARE TO BE MORTIFIED AND RIDICULED.

Now, down to business.

HOW TO BE A GOOD RAIDER

First things first. What the hell are you? Are you a dps? Healer? Tank? Ranged? Melee? Here's a hint - if you're a hunter, and you answered melee, you need to die in fire. And you won't get an achievement for it, unless it's the "I'm a Fucking Idiot" achievement.

What? I can swear! It's allowed. Fuck you.

So figure out your shit. What exactly are you bringing to the raid? And don't say "lol imma tank im teh meatsheild" or "1337 deepz". Nobody cares how big your numbers or your epeen are. I'm talking about YOU, not your character. Pixels are only as good as the person behind the keyboard. As a dps, can you keep yourself alive? Do you use bandages, or run out of AoE and throw a heal on yourself, or use defensive cooldowns? As a tank, can you communicate to your raid mates about where you're moving, what cooldowns you're popping, when you're pulling? As a healer, can you coordinate heals with the other healers to minimize unnecessary overhealing, spread out Beacons and Earth Shields, and manage your mana efficiently?

Know your class. Reading up on sites like Elitist Jerks (www.elitistjerks.com) to min/max your spec, enchants, gems, glyphs, reforged stats and even your rotation could mean a world of difference. If you're stacking the wrong stat, simply switching to the proper one will see an increase in your dps. Using the proper glyphs, and willingness to switch in situational major glyphs for certain fights, shows a dedication to your own effectiveness. Healers and tanks learning how to manage their new spells and cooldowns can make or break a raid.

Know the fights. For fuck's sake, do what you can to learn the fights before you ever enter the raid. It takes 10-15 minutes tops to read up a bit on boss abilities or strategies, or watch a video. Tankspot is a great place to start (www.tankspot.com) Tankspot boring you? Try Yogscast on YouTube. They're absolutely hysterical and much more fun to watch, in my opinion. (www.youtube.com/BlueXephos) Look under their Cataclysm Raid Boss Guides. Not all of them are truly guides, instead are actually beta videos, but they do show the boss fights and give you a nice commentary on the videos that aren't real guides.

Gem. Enchant. Glyph. Reforge. Food buffs. Flasks. If you are in heroic gear, gem and enchant it. It doesn't have to be ridiculously expensive high end Cataclysm enchants. It can be the cheaper enchants. It can be green gems. But do some dailies, farm up some gold, and get your shit raid ready. Got an herbalist and need glyphs? Farm up some herbs and hand them to Acholate. She'll be happy to make you some glyphs. Ditto for any 525 alchemists in the guild. Level fishing and cooking. It's boring, but when you can make your own food or contribute to guild feasts, you'll feel like a million bucks.

Level your fucking professions. Got a profession? Put in the time and effort and level it up. No matter what it is, most of them give nice bonuses and special profession-only perks. The gathering professions not so much, but the creating ones will have nice ones. Archeology is also a nice choice, no matter what toon you level it on. Certain races have a chance to give you some really nice epics. Night elves have a healing trinket. Dwarves have a caster staff, along with Tol'vir. Trolls have a 2-handed dps sword. The best part? It's all Bind-On-Account.

Fed up with the lack of tanks/healers? If you play a hybrid class, make your offspec a healing or tanking one. Learning how to do things other than your main spec can help you see how it is from the other side. It also really helps the guild in making guild heroics, and eventually multiple 10 mans.

A dead dps does no dps. A tank that stacks all stamina and no avoidance is a dead tank. An out-of-mana healer is a dead group. And always remember, if the tank dies, it's the healer's fault (unless the tank is an idiot). If the healer dies, it's the tank's fault (unless the healer is an idiot). If the dps dies, it's their own damn fault.

Basically, if you're dumb, you're dead. And if you're dead, why should we bring you?

Please post questions and comments. Flames will be used to toast my marshmallows.