Archives for August 2007

Never Allow Loot to be Wasted

Last night in Magtheridon’s Lair, the [item]Crystalheart Pulse-Staff[/item] dropped. During the bidding phase, it was put up for a minimum of 30 Dragon Kill Points. I placed a 30 bid. After the first round, the highest bid was 30 which I assumed was mine. But just to be on the safe side, my second round bid was 37. At the end, I got the staff with 30 DKP (my original).

I just had this feeling that no one wanted it. Either that or they were busy saving up their DKP for something else. I was frightened that a weapon like this would get wasted and today I wanted to write about the importance of not allowing loot to rot.

Don’t ever be afraid to roll need on an item or bid DKP on an item. If it’s better then what you have, then whisper it to an officer so they can take it into account. There is no sense in replacing someone’s purple items with more purple items when there are other players wearing blues that would benefit more from it. It defies logic and common sense. Every piece of gear no matter how minor or insignificant an upgrade is still an upgrade. That extra 17 spell damage could go a long way in a 30 minute fight.

What is the premise behind World of Warcraft? Once you get to 70, you get the best loot possible, to go into a dungeon to get even better gear to go into the next level dungeon to get even BETTER gear to get into the next highest dungeon. That’s the game in a nutshell.

Skill can only get you so far. Everyone needs better gear. No guild is going to progress if loot continually gets disenchanted. Yet a lot of people pass and hoard DKP for that one weapon or chest piece that will drop off this boss later on in the instance. Guess what? If Vashj drops your chest piece, and you’re still on Fathom-Lord with gear that you can use getting sharded because you’re too greedy, you’re not getting that chest piece anyway.

Anyways, let’s get back to my new staff. A lot of priests prefer a mace/off hand combination because it allows for flexibility (And [item]Light’s Justice[/item] + [item]Aran’s Soothing Sapphire[/item] is just a freakin’ awesome combination). I originally had the [item]Gavel of Pure Light[/item] & [item]Signet of Unshakable Faith[/item]. Let’s compare the stats shall we?

With the Light’s Justice and Sapphire combination, I get:

514 healing (assuming +81 Healing)
43 Intellect
16 Stamina
20 Spirit
8 MP5

The Staff gives me:

463 healing (assuming +81 healing)
50 Intellect
51 Stamina
16 MP5

I lose 51 healing and 20 spirit, but gain 7 int, 35 stamina, and 8 MP5. There’s a lot of discussions out there between the advantages of Spirit and MP5, but I’ve always leaned towards MP5. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I used that gun so much in counter-strike. But that stamina is such an increase that cannot afford to be wasted especially in end game instances. Instead of being 3 shot, now I have a chance of being 4 shot. That one extra shot could mean the difference between a kill or a wipe.

Furthermore, with the acquisition of the staff, I no longer need to compete against another healer for Light’s Justice. In this manner, our healers can proceed to get geared up much quicker. There’s less Kara runs that need to be done. The Guild progresses at a quicker rate. That’s what we all want. My goal is to see Carnage in the Sunwell before Wrath of the Lich King is released. Chances of that happening? Eh, I’d rather see the Spice Girls make a come back. Oh, wait a minute…

My definition of a good Priest

I wanted to respond to Ego’s Post (and try out this spiffy trackback function). She asked for player’s definitions of a good priest. Amazingly, gear was not on the list of responses that he had received (although I would argue that it is still somewhat important).

This is what he’s got:

“Timing, attentiveness, and care”

“fast reactions, the ability to prioritize between healing dps and keeping the MT up. Ability to remember encounters and boss events that can kill a tank in a few seconds.”

I daresay that sums it up fairly well. But I wanted to add more to this discussion. Healing a party is one thing, healing a 25 man raid with spells flying off, ceilings caving in, and murlocs running rampant throughout the area is another (Tidewalker sucks). I consider myself the Roberto Luongo of the raid . Just like Robbie Lou, I need to hit that save when your raid needs it the most. A timed Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, Renew and max rank flash heal spams will almost always do the trick.

But here are some other things that I feel good priests bring to the table:

Awareness: Did you ever wonder how Gretzky scored his goals and set up the most beautiful plays? It’s the simple fact that he was aware of where his teammates were, where the opposing team was, and who had possession of the puck. How does this apply to WoW? Be aware of where you are, what’s going on, and where your raidmates are. If the boss fears, apply fear ward. If everyone in your party is taking hit from an AoE, start casting prayer of healing. If you’re taking on Nightbane and the ground’s on fire, move! I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve had to yell at a fellow priest because his eyes were too busy glued onto the side of his monitor at his raid frames and wasn’t noticing that his feet was on fire. These kinds of things kill you.

Perseverance: Never give up. No matter what circumstances, keep trying until you get the encounter down. Nothing beats the feeling of getting that raid boss down for the first time and knowing you played a key role in solving the encounter. Good priests are prepared to die to preserve the health of their tanks. In raids, there are typically seven to nine healers. But there is only one main tank. Even if you’re taking a beating, keep him up as best as possible. Once the tank is down, it’s game over.

Precognition: A little psychic ability never hurt anyone. Time your heals so that they land just after the next attack hits. Try to predict what will happen next so you can get ready for it. Actually, this would apply to any player. Especially in PvP environments like arenas, knowing what move the opposing player will do is beneficial. Knowing that mage’s next frostbolt is about to hit you can be mitigated with a shield on yourself, or a fear next to him. Knowing who your Paladin is healing next can save you precious mana against a raid boss. If your assist window shows three of your healers on the maintank who is at 60% and you were about to heal him too, then you will end up overhealing when you finish casting. Better to move onto the next target and make your heals count. Of course, there is someone who is going to say “but what if those three players weren’t enough?”. To them, I say know your healers and know what they’re capable of. Being aware of how skilled and geared you are relative to other players is a boon.

Preparation: I bring 20 super mana potions, 10 TK potions, and 10 SSC potions. I keep two stacks of Brilliant Mana Oils on me at all times. The Guild Bank supplies me with Marks from SSC and TK so I can turn them in for flasks. I ensure I have a steady supply of Blackened Sporefish within my inventory. Don’t ever be afraid to use consumables.

I could sum up this entire post by simply saying only good priests aren’t careless or lazy. But if I did, I would be careless and lazy.

To run a guild is to run a business

Had another rainout again at work, thus we weren’t able to set up our equipment for the day. So I spent my time there with my clipboard and pen out writing as I was inspired by the business I was in.

Throughout your travels in World of Warcraft, all of you will have the distinct pleasure of joining organizations known as Guilds. The purpose of these Guilds will vary. Some will be a small group of friends who have decided to officially band together. Perhaps it is a straight up PvP Guild dedicated to the utter annihilation of the Horde (Or Alliance depending on your faction). However, I believe a majority of Guilds have the intent to tackle end game raid bosses and instances. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a stats somewhere to prove me wrong :D.

A lot of Guildmasters feel stressed about running their guilds. There’s many different things to micro manage and a lot of interpersonal relationships that need to be maintained and balanced. It helps to remember that your Guild operates as a business. It IS similar to work (and others say it IS work), except it is way more fun!

Hogwash you say? My Guild isn’t at all like that?

Perhaps not. It’s true that you aren’t being paid in greenbacks, but you are rewarded with drops, gear, & recipes. Anything that makes you as a player that much better, I consider payment.

Guildmaster: He is the Captain of your ship. She is the CEO of your company. The direction your Guild proceeds in is based on their decision. They decide the schedule of the raid and who gets to attend. Guild policies regarding player behavior, item drops, and disciplinary action belong to the GM.

Recruiting Officer: Typically a position held by one person, I have seen it manned by two players. They are the Human Resources manager within the Guild. They are in charge of hiring (/ginvite) and firing (/gkick) of of personnel. Good HR managers are blessed with excellent instincts. If the guild needs a healer or a DPS caster, they will start headhunting until they find a player that matches the need.

Guild Banker: Most cases, this is also your Guildmaster or another designated officer within the Guild. You can think of this person as your CFO or game accountant. If resources for enchanting or crafting are needed and you are unable to farm (as a Priest, I know I can’t anyway), this is the first person you turn to. In raids, any drops which are used for crafting are usually sent to the banker for Guild needs (Profit)! The next upcoming patch has been confirmed to contain an actual Guild bank.

Now that we’ve covered the essential people involved, let’s talk about the main operations of a raiding Guild. You will raid anywhere between 2 – 6 nights a week from 6 PM to midnight. Sound familiar? Similar to work, no? In addition to that, most players will be farming outside of that time to get mats for potions and mana oils and such. That’s a lot to accomplish in a typical day. Most player’s are not able to handle it and just want to have fun. I guess those are the casual players who may not see as much end game as they prefer.

As a GM, if you approach your Guild as a business perspective, it will help make things easier. Set a role for the Guild. Set a quota that you want to achieve. You want this boss down by this day or week. Lay down the law if you have to. Businesses have different policies about that. Most importantly is communication. Without that, your Guild isn’t able to compete in the harsh rigors of WoW.

iMoved, Diablo 3, and more

I’ve picked up shop and moved over to my new domain! Welcome to the World of Matticus. It’s got a much better URL then before along with a new host. With that in mind, I would greatly appreciate any donations as I am but a student. All donations go straight towards my hosting.

Now comes the unenviable task of modifying my facebook blog import settings. I apologize for the flood that you’re about to receive in your news feeds (if you haven’t disabled them yet).

What I hope to accomplish on my site is to begin first by establishing a resource for Priests. Drawn from my own personal experiences, I hope to help educate and add to the many different Priest guides in existence. I’ve always taken a liking to playing a healer. I think it’s because I never trusted anyone else. Not to mention there’s a nice little power trip going when the fate of a player decides on who you target. I don’t think I’ve ever played a DPS class in any MMO’s I’ve played. I created a Monk in Guild Wars and a Dwarf Minstrel for Lord of the Rings: Online. My WoW characters consist of a Priest, Shaman, Paladin, and Druid (YES DAVE, IT’S MY DRUID!). So yes, I do love to heal.

My second priority after that is the Blizzard gaming scene. Starcraft 2 is on the horizon. Blizzard also has a third unannounced title in the works but there are some indications as to what it could possibly be:

Following that, who knows? I’m a big hockey guy. I love my Canucks. I’ll even blog about them as the year progresses. It’s my intent to maintain one new post per day. But know that the topics will range between World of Warcraft, hockey, and ways to improve ourselves as individuals. That ranges from some pointers I picked out from my former Human Resources boss to different tips on throwing a memorable and enjoyable party.

On that note, feel free to take a look around and enjoy what I have to offer!

Meanwhile, I need to focus more on how to implement collapsible categories.

Either go big or go home!

This is a message delivered to both people and players who believe they can get away with doing nothing.

The people believe they can show up and ride on the backs of others to gain what they do not have the right to gain.

The people who do not put in 100% effort when they are most counted on.

The people who simply are not dedicated to the responsibility that they have been entrusted with.

Who the hell do you think you are? Who are you to join an organization and expect to get handed rewards without pulling your share of work?

Here’s some news for you. Communism is dead. Capitalism is now the norm. If you do not work, you will not survive. They tried that years ago and they failed. Society is based on the premise that you work for what you earn. Without that simple basic principle, life would be virtually non existent. Not everyone can be a professional slacker.

Even in World of Warcraft this simple principle rings true. Work hard and bring your A game. If you don’t pay attention, the boss does not go down and you will waste the time of 24 other people in raids. Then you will get promptly replaced. If you want the rewards, you must work for it.

In hockey, players lay down everything for a chance at cracking the top lineup in the hopes of playing in the real league that matters. One cannot constantly rest the efforts of a key player like Roberto Luongo and expect to coast to success. Life is a big team game where you will be relied upon to work with friends, allies and even enemies towards common goals. If you do not embrace this skill, then you will not get through life easy.

Psychology has a term for this. I believe it is called social loafing. It is the concept wherein the more people that are involved in a task, the less effort everyone contributes individually. If two people deliver a 100% effort to lifting a log, then 10 people will deliver 10% effort each simply because they believe it is not necessary. But imagine the power that all of us can bring to the table if we all contributed 100% to the best of our ability the task at hand. Imagine the combined strength if we all give our best. Stanley Cup’s are awarded to the most deserving team in the entire league. Loot drops from bosses to Guilds who work together with no regard. No one relaxes. No one is ill prepared.

Even the Spartans recognized this important concept of cooperation. The positioning of their personal shields was designed to protect the man next to them.

We would do well to remember that.


Ouch! A Lesson in 5v5 Arena Combat

Main Entry: are?na
Pronunciation: &-'rE-n&
Function: noun
1 : an area in a Roman amphitheater for gladiatorial combats

Main Entry: 1team
Pronunciation: 'tEm
Function: noun
4 : a number of persons associated together in work or activity: as a : a group on one side (as in football or a debate)

When Blizzard first introduced Arena into World of Warcraft, I did not have the time or desire to compete. I only had a Priest then. I knew I would get my ass thoroughly handed walking into combat with the lack of survivability in my gear. I took a new approach and leveled a Shaman. I’ve always wanted to create one but I had no interest in rolling on the opposite faction to do so. Burning Crusade solved my dilemma. A Shaman brings a lot to the PvP circuit in comparison to a holy, dwarf priest (at least MY holy dwarf priest). I could cultivate my Shaman from the ground up instead of having to slowly and meticulously migrate my PvE build priest to a PvP build priest. A restoration Shaman offers much more survivability and utility then my Dwarf priest would have been able to. Besides wearing mail, Nature’s Swiftness and Earth Shield are a staple and a godsend.

I signed on with several long time friends in the creation of our main circuit: 5 v 5 Arena.

Presently, from my observations, there are two distinct types of teams: A 3DPS, 2 healer type and a 4DPS, 1 healer type (Also known as gib). The team I’m with runs the former as I’m not sufficiently geared enough to sustain a team on my own.

We feature 2 Warriors, 1 Paladin, 1 Mage, & 1 Shaman (me). Two Warriors bring two Mortal Strikes to the board applying pressure to two separate targets (Casters or healers). The mage brings CC. The Paladin brings durable and resilient healing. I bring spell interrupts, heals, and Heroism.

After a few forays in the five’s arena, it didn’t take me long to figure out that I would be the main target. This week we ran into some difficulty against several teams. After taking down notes, I’m beginning to see a pattern emerge which needs to be broken.

Match 1: Warrior, Warrior, Shadow Priest, Shaman, Druid
DPS pressure was applied onto their Shaman. Kaliburn (our Paladin) got repeatedly mana burned.
We were caught off guard as Demi, one of our Warriors, randomly rushed up and started to DPS before the rest of us were prepared.
Their Druid kept repeatedly cycloning and CC’ing either myself or Kaliburn as much as possible.
Eventually, their Shaman dropped, then their priest, then their warrior, druid and other warrior. Not a bad start, albeit a shaky one.

Match 2: Shadow Priest, Warrior, Warlock, Paladin, Elemental Shaman
This was the first real instagib team I’ve played against. Sixvisix, one of our Warriors, went down super fast due to line of sight issues. The map was on Lordaeron and that stupid tomb was in the middle. Kaliburn was unable to heal him as well. I’ve never seen a Warrior go down that quick before. Demi advised him to slap on a shield and sword and switch to defensive in the event he noticed his health dropping super fast until his health became topped up. I didn’t even have time to get Heroism up that fight. The best I can do is drop a Grounding totem and hope it mitigates something really bad. I’m contemplating Earth Shield on Six, but Earthshield costs a hefty 900 mana. I only have about 8.6k. That’s over 10% of my resources. With Six down, it didn’t take much longer before the rest of us dropped.

Match 3: Shadow Priest, Shadow Priest, Elemental Shaman, Paladin, Warrior
Another fast damage team except they decided on applying pressure on Frostyone (our mage) first instead of me. Frosty wasn’t able to hit his Iceblock fast enough. I truly think in a situation like this, we could’ve won. It’s just a matter of gear. Two shadow priests are quite lethal in tandem. Again, we fell quickly. The worst of the bunch was coming up

Match 4: Warlock, Warlock, Paladin, Shadow Priest, Warrior
Forget Strength of Earth totem, Tremor and Grounding’s/Windfury would be the order of the day. Two Warlocks and a Shadow Priest meant we would spend a good portion of our time running around. A quick NS Heal and a BoP delayed the inevitable. With so many fears going off, the only decent way I can think of surviving is if our Warriors stance danced (Does that even work in PvP?), and if our Paladin glues his ass to my tremor totem. The Paladin can dispel me while I busy myself with healing and E Shocks. I think this was one of our longest matches, but we had no choice but to succumb to the fears and insane damage output by the other team.

There is still a lot more that I need to learn and more gear I need to acquire before I can truly be an asset. By next week, I will definitely have my Season 2 shoulders to go with my helmet. Then I’ll slowly finish out the Chest and Legs before concluding with the gloves. I have a decent shield for the time being, but I’m gunning for [item]Light’s Justice[/item] or [Item]Shard of the Virtuous[/item] so I don’t have to put points in yet. T4 pieces will be converted to Elemental sets.

Perhaps the one thing Blizzard may learn from NC Soft is to make WoW more spectator friendly by adding options to spectate and record matches live. I’d love to watch my own demo’s to learn what I did wrong and how I can get better. The only way to improve is scrutinize your own actions and learn from them. They added replay’s to Starcraft nearly half a decare after it’s debut. For WoW a similar function would be a boon.

Keys to Success

The keyboard is the most important tool in any gamer’s arsenal. It’s important to bind keys to abilities because you can react quicker to keys then to mouse clicks. Ask any player you know, and they will tell you that no matter what platform you compete on (RTS, FPS, MMO), it is absolutely essential to have a quick reaction in order to survive.

I remember back in the old days of Starcraft and Warcraft 2, I would manually click on the build icons to construct whatever units and buildings I need. Not so anymore. As time progressed, I started to slowly adapt to using keys. It was a gradual process at first, and I found I had to mouse over and figure out what key corresponded to what unit. Now it is simply second nature. However good you think your hand-eye coordination is, it cannot possibly compare to a player who is aware of where their fingers are placed and what they need to press.

This essential skill doesn’t even have to apply purely to gaming. Real world applications like Outlook or Word have built in keyboard shortcuts as well. Sure it might take 3 or 4 seconds to press the save button or bold a word. But if you deal with multiple documents all those seconds start adding up. Some of these keys are universal as well.

* Ctrl + S = Save
* Alt + F4 = Close program
* Windows key + D = Show desktop
* Ctrl + B = Bold
* Alt + Enter = Full screen (Some programs)

Those keys are universal. Back at my old job, I noticed the office folks were busy using the mouse clicking and clicking instead of using shortcuts. I guess it’s one technique which they can use to run the clock, but efficiency just goes down the drain.

When you’re mapping your keys in gaming, however, a majority of the time your keys will revolve around your left hand. This restricts the amount of keys you can bind since it would be too troublesome to constantly reach across the keyboard from one side to the other with only your left hand. The key’s that are within reach are: Q, W, E, R, T, A, S, D, F, G, H, Z, X, C, V, B, `, 1 – 5. Throw in the shift and ctrl keys and you get three times the options.

Typically, a player’s movement keys are the W, A, S, D keys. That’s considered the point of reference. With fingers rested on those keys, everything else is within striking distance.

My Shaman’s keys were a mess so I decided to completely reconfigure them. After much discussion and theorycrafting, I narrowed down the list of spells and abilities I would need for PvP.

Nature’s Swiftness
Eartshock, Rank 1
Earth Shield
Windfury Totem
Grounding Totem
Magma Totem
Chain Heal
Frost Shock (Rank 1)
Flame Shock (Rank 1)
Frost Resist Totem
PvP Trinket
Lesser Healing Wave
Healing Wave

The list doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re under pressure from an opposing team, actions needed to be decided quick. So I had to set them up in a priority order spreading outwards.

Anyway, don’t discount how important it is to map keys. Precious seconds could mean the difference between life and death.

Carnage scores shorthanded! (Lurker down)

Lurker 1 – Carnage 2

Those were the headlines last night as Carnage, a special forces guild on Ner’Zhul marched into Serpentshrine Cavern to help prepare for the oncoming winter. Repeated attempts to summon this monstrous monstrosity of a monster failed with various fishermen ill-equipped to lure a creature of this size. But in the end, dinner would be served. Now we look forward to eating fish for a whole year.

Moments before the kill. As you can see, Carnage lost three strategic members during the encounter. But perseverance was in order today. With 2% left to go, we would not be denied.

While the group was busy discussing who would get what piece of the kill for dinner, a secret shot was taken. The skull icon over that one fellow over there indicates he gets first pick of the part.

[item]Bracers of Eradication[/item]
[item]Cord of Screaming Terrors[/item]

Things I learned from my office (qualities, degree importance, salary)

Friday was my last day of full time work at Pacnet. The company had a hiring frenzy during the past few weeks. As the director of human resources, my boss was quite busy calling and interviewing various candidates. But on the last day, I had an opportunity to sit down with my boss and ask her a few questions about the hiring process and the qualities in candidates that she looks for. I figured I’d put some down here on my blog to help you and so that I would not forget (If you don’t write it down, it never happened). I know some of you business majors will definitely benefit from some of this. I can’t remember exactly word for word, but I can relay the general idea of it.

Matt: When you were going through the hiring process, what qualities do you look for in a person?

HR: Seeing as our environment is extremely interactive, I pay a lot of attention to a person’s social ability. I want to see if a candidate will fit in well with our team. To determine that, I’ll ask them a few hypothetical scenario questions. I’m not interested in the answer they provide. I’m interested in how they answer it. Hiring people is an instinctual thing for me since I’ve done it for so long. So if a person dodges or deflects the question, chances are they will not get the second call back. They may take a moment or two to reflect on it (ie, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your last job? If your friends could describe you in 3 words, what would it be?). That’s perfectly alright so long as they answer it.

For example, I know many human resource managers, and 4 out of 5 of them are not suited for the job. Human resources is a field where success depends on your social skills and soft skills. You need to know how to deal with people.

Technical skills are also especially important. In the world of business, you need to have a certain degree of mathematical competency. You need to know how to use a calculator (adding machine). There’s a minimum keystrokes per hour that needs to be maintained. This is tested on after the 2nd interview. English is also a must. Our office is very diverse with employees from multiple cultures. It doesn’t matter what their level of education is, if they’re not able to understand what I’m asking them, then it will be difficult in their working environment.

Show interest in the position you’re applying for but do not appear desperate. Do not beg or plead for the job. Show a strong healthy interest. How would I determine that? Simple really. I ask if they’ve been to our website and if they can tell me what our company does. I don’t expect them to be able to tell me from start to finish how our company operates. What I do expect from them is an answer along the lines of this: “I understand your company processes various foreign currencies from cheques, cash and credit cards for different clients around the world.” An answer that simple tells me that they have visited our website and is familiar with our services. Again, interest must be shown.

Matt: Do you place much emphasis on educational degrees?

HR: Actually, I don’t. Remember that the academic world and the business world are different from one another. Because one candidate has a degree in finance management and another one doesn’t would not rank one higher then the other. I look at the experience they bring to the position as well as other potential assets. But, it also depends on the position they apply for. Something like cheque processing does not require a certificate or a piece of paper that says “I’m qualified for processing cheques”. But a position in our marketing department faces slightly higher demands. While you may not need a degree in marketing, you must show some sort of interest. A certificate would help. But even saying that you’re still studying marketing would be a boon. Marketing is a field where you need to have the experience and the interest in order to be successful.

Matt: One more question, and it’s something that’s stumped me for a while. When do you discuss salary?

HR: Don’t ever discuss salary on the first interview. Allow salary to be brought up by the interviewer. Young people often go into interviews without any idea of what their salary should be. Don’t make that mistake. Do some research. There are lots of websites on the internet with what the average person doing this job makes. So you should have two figures in mind when you’re going in: The absolute minimum salary you’re willing to work for, and your ideal or dream salary. Then you pick two figures in between that. For example, you want to make $60000 a year, but you’re also willing to work for $30000 a year. If the interviewer asks you how much you’re willing to work for, be flexible and give them a range between $32000 – $35000. This way, you don’t overprice yourself out of their reach and you still get a decent wage. You do not ever reveal to them your minimum. Don’t tell them you’re willing to work for $30000.

One more thing, when I placed ads out for our position, I added a note that applicants should specify their salary. Many of them do not. My belief is that I don’t want to waste their time, and they should not waste my time. If a job placement asks you to specify what your salary is, put it down. Surprisingly, many applicants fail to do it. Many times when I phone them, I inform them that they did not place a salary expectancy down.

That’s as much information I was able to glean from my boss, but all of it was useful. Hope it helps!

11 Tips to Throwing a Good Party

I had this idea stewing around for an idea, but it was a matter of finding the time necessary to go out and do it. Contrary to popular belief, I do go to parties and have fun and all that stuff that people do at parties. Yeaaaaaah. I’ve been to my share of good ones and bad ones, and I’m sure some of you can relate to it. Honestly, these are just some minor things that I notice that some people do and some people don’t. The organizers who’ve followed these tips in the past made their events memorable. If you haven’t, now is a good time to learn.

11: Know how to get there

Simple right? You’d be surprised. People plan a party or a get together at a particular location thinking they know how to get there when in fact they don’t. It only takes five extra minutes to jump on Mapquest and navigate with Translink‘s route map. Bonus points for attaching the maps to your invites so that attendee’s do not need to worry. It could potentially save an hour of walking around a dangerous part of town!

10: Activities

Some activities are best suited for certain audiences. Some guys might prefer to watch Borat. Some prefer to watch the King and I. It helps to know the guests that you’re entertaining and what they like doing. Having a Wii handy is always an option and most people tend to have a blast. You don’t want to invite friends that aren’t interested in gambling to a game of poker. Certain athletically challenged people might experience some discomfort playing basketball or volleyball or going swimming (ahem) ;). Yes, it’s difficult to cater to everyone’s needs but there is always a common middleground that can bring everyone together. Some people prefer sitting in a nice coffee shop doing nothing but drinking coffee and chatting (like me)!

9: Invite Conditions

This one is important. To prevent your party from blowing out of control, it’s great to tell people you ask if it’s an open invite or private. Are guests allowed? If so, how many? This saves you from the embarrassing consequence of having to turn away people. If you need to maintain some sort of discretion, this is an absolute must to do. Otherwise, a small get together for a party of four accidentally blossoms to eighteen because a friend didn’t realize it was a private party. Some organizer’s just don’t have the backbone to say no, and if a person who wasn’t originally invited asks to come party, the organizer can do nothing but smile weakly and nod (Rant for another time).

8: Know who is actually going

Facebook‘s event planner is great for this. It allows you to keep track of who RSVP (What does that mean anyway?) and who hasn’t. Having solid numbers makes life so much easier. Should you reserve for 8? 10? 16? Always do last minute checks. Some guests tend to leave things towards the last minute and realize that they have a wedding to go or a graduation to attend and ‘conveniently’ forget to inform the organizer. Follow up on the people who are coming and make sure they are coming. 48 hours before the party is a good time frame. Partygoer’s, same thing applies to you. If you’re listed as going but something happens last minute, TELL someone.

7: Safety and Transport

This one is a no brainer. If there’s alcohol, make sure everyone has a ride home. If not, have them make arrangements with someone to crash at. Party organizers actually have a duty of care to their guests (I’m almost certain there’s a precedent somewhere, I’m just too damned lazy to look it up). If any harm comes to your friends at your place, you could be in a lot of trouble. Strip drivers of their keys and keep them somewhere safe. Sometimes, having Dwight Schrute for a friend comes in handy.

6: Don’t Hesitate to Ask For Help

Who’re you throwing your party for? Your friends. Why? Because they’re your friends. I’m certain they would have no objections to helping in some form another. Girls especially have a knack for decorations, I’ve noticed. Guys, uh, can carry kegs and lift heavy… stuff. Oh, and they know how to work the TV and VCR for those karaoke nights. But really, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s no shame in asking for help.

5: Know the Costs, make reservations

It’s helpful to know the rough prices and quantities that restaurants serve if you’re going out to eat. Some restaurants have certain gratuity fees that are added to the tab if you have more then a set amount of people (ie, 10% for parties over 10). Make sure reservations are set. It’s not fun to arrive at a great place to eat only to find out you’re in for a two hour wait. If you’re unsure of the number, there’s always the internet or the yellow pages.

4: Plan B

This is always a personal rule of thumb for mine. Unexpected things happen. It’s best to expect that. Maybe you’re planning a beach party but the skies look dark and ominous. Go hit the movies instead. Or bowling. The point is you can never be too prepared. If one idea falls through, it doesn’t mean the whole party falls through. You’ll be that much more impressive to your friends when they realize that not all is lost.

3: Quantity

Make sure there’s enough power. Make sure there’s enough chairs or couches or seating room. Make sure there’s enough drinks. Most importantly, make sure there’s enough food. Nothing sucks more then not having enough food around to keep people happy.

2: Scout the Venue

There’s nothing wrong with going a day in advance to a location that you’ve never been to before. Check it out! Make sure it is in fact ideal for the party you plan on throwing. If it’s a restaurant that you and none of your friends have been to, go a week or two in advance and check the place out. Make sure it looks sanitary and has some life to it. I once took a friend out for lunch to a restaurant. She excused herself to go to a bathroom and upon returning commented on the interesting insects she found in the women’s room. Had I known, I would’ve gone to a different restaurant instead. But unfortunately, as it was the women’s room, there was no way I could’ve foreseen such an incident.

1: Be Aware of Politics

Be cautious of who you invite. Just because you invite two people who are your friends does not necessarily mean they may be friends with each other. Be aware of inviting the ex. If you’re going to invite a friend’s ex girlfriend or boyfriend to a party, check with your friend first and see if he or she is comfortable with it. At the very least, they’ll appreciate you asking in advance.

There you have it! Follow this list of simple guidelines, and your friends will love it! You never know what the payoff might be.