Weekly Digest: Kael Still a Douche, Hunters Saddened, and Mattcast Going Through

What’s Happening in WoW

By the time this post goes out, I will have finished getting the necessary Sporregar rep to transmute Primal Earth to Water on my Paladin. No more spending gold to buy Primals to transmute Skyfire or Earthstorm diamonds!

Kael is still giving us a hard time. I’ve localized the problem down to the transition from Phase 3 to Phase 4 which has been the largest headache. All of us know our jobs and what to do. But there’s a lot of stupid mistakes going around that by themselves are minor. When combined together though, the raid caves.

Thankfully, our GM has publicly called out some of these players to step up their game. Hopefully it will have a desired effect on Sunday.

What’s Happening with the Blog

I’m still hard at work changing up my blogroll. I mentioned it before, but the blogroll will have it’s own page. My intention is to set it in such a way where when it is loaded, there is a different blog spotlighted every time.

Technical problems, but nothing my gnomish engineers can’t fix!

The hard part about blogging is finding interesting topics. It becomes much more difficult when the blogger intends to do a podcast. I am virtually committed to doing a podcast and I have some great ideas to explore. I might even go a step further and turn it into a video cast. We’ll see. I’ve always had a passion for public speaking and giving presentations. I don’t want to reveal too much for now. I don’t like to make empty promises. It’s a fairly monumental project in it’s own right and I don’t even have the technical knowhow on how to pull it off.

Haven’t quite picked a name for it, so I’m going to tentatively refer to it as the Mattcast since saying World of Matticus Offical Podcast repeatedly would get old after a while.

Lots of learning and lots of reading to do in addition to my school work, that’s for sure.

Latest Blog Posts

Trends in the WoWosphere

There’s been a large outcry over Blizzard’s reversal in their stance of the ghost wolf pet (formerly a bug). Others don’t see the big deal.

I don’t have a hunter myself, so I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have been like to lose the ability to tame it. Blizzard’s decision ultimately cost them the subscription of a player-blogger.

Personally, I think it was a combination of things that made him quit.

Past Hits

Past articles that I’ve written that still hold true to this day.

Blog Spotlight

Light’s Grace – It’s a brand spankin’ new WoW Blog! He’s She’s a Blood Elf Paladin (oh great, not another one). Kulrayk, the blogger, followed me on Twitter for some time and we’ve chatted for a little bit. Now he’s she’s decided to create his own blog! Go show him her some support! It’s tough to get a blog going from the start because you often question yourself and wonder if you have the motivation and dedication. All it takes is some readers.

What is Twitter?

I had a few questions about this over the past few weeks about what Twitter is.

It’s a web service that allows you to tell other people what you are doing right this instant and it can be a little active. By having a Twitter account, you can follow other people and find out what they are up to.

Do you use Facebook? There’s a part of your account that says Status (IE, Matt is playing WoW). Same idea.

Anyway, I synced Twitter to my blog so that everytime there’s an update, there’s a new “tweet”. You’re welcome to follow me on it if you use it. The front page also displays the last 3 posts I’ve made on Twitter.

Polls are Closed and the Results Are In

Poll of class mains

Turns out the majority of my readers have Priests as mains! Druids are a close second. Oddly enough, the next class is Hunters. I’m a little perplexed as to why Hunters would be reading my blog when my focus is on Priests and Raid Officering.

Well, who cares?

Glad you guys read all the same!

On a complete different topic, I love Keynote! I had no idea it could do cool graphs like that. I can even export presentations on keynote into flash files and AVI’s! Now that opens up a LOT of possibilities for me here in terms of the next step I can take with my blog.

10+3 Personalities Every Guild Leader Needs Around

Personalities every Guild leader needs

Not every Guildmaster feels this way, but I’m willing to bet many of them do.

Face it.

It’s lonely at the top.

You are at the top of the food chain and there is no one for you to turn to for help. Everyone comes to you for advice or guidance about what to do next. On some days, it can be the most frustrating job in the world. But it’s reassuring to know that you are not alone.

While not every Guild has every one of these, I’m willing to bet they have some of them. They can help take the load off of a GM’s shoulders. They do not have to be officers or anything in the Guild, but that decision is ultimately yours.

The Rich Guy

The Rich Guy

Whether or not he gets his money legally or illegally, it’s nice to have a guy like this around. He’s got more gold then he knows what to do with. He’s got 3 epic mounts. Per alt. He’s a shrewd businessman and farmer where money is not a problem at all.

Why he’s an asset: If someone’s repair bill is too high, he can help spot it. He usually comes to raids packed with every reagent, flask, and potion made. Useful to have around in case that idiot Priest (namely, me) forgot his Flask of Mighty Restoration again.

Just because he’s rich doesn’t mean he’s generous. Ask nicely.

The IT Specialist

The IT Specialist

He works at a web hosting firm in silicon valley. Or maybe he’s a QA tester at Microsoft. Whatever he does, it’s nice to have the IT specialist around. They are generally soft spoken and tend not to like having leadership positions. Count on them to be extremely intelligent and knowledgeable.

Why he’s an asset: The Guild website is down again and you do not know why. You ask the IT Specialist to take a look. Five minutes later, it turns out you installed the Shoutbox incorrectly. Not only does he fix it, he comes up with a new color scheme for the site that’s more visually appealing, applies a security fix for the forums preventing all those pesky spam posts, and grants membership access to those 40 new members because you forgot how to do it.

You can count on him to help you with Addon installation and configuration.

The Analyst

The Analyst

He spends most of his time reading up on various blogs and sites to learn how to make your raid more optimal. He’s just graduated from college and is in between jobs. He’s got more rings under his eyes than a jewelery store.

Why he’s an asset: Not only does he know how to parse WWS reports, he knows how to read them. After every raid, he will stay up until 3 AM trying to determine how the tank got crushed at the 0:11:46 mark of the Lady Vashj encountered. In other words, he can take numbers from WWS and translate them into something meaningful you can understand. If you can understand the problem, you can fix it.

May get mom aggro once in a while.

The Mom

The Mom

The Mom can instantly sense when something is wrong in the Guild. Her gut feelings are more in tune with the emotions of a player. She knows what to say at the right time. Nothing relieves a tense moment then a calm soothing female voice (that applies in any situation though, really).

Why she’s an asset: She’s able to pry the deepest and darkest thoughts of a player in the Guild. She can silence brushfires with a few tells. She can break the will of even the most devoted gquitter and persuade them to stay one more day. Even though you can’t see it, you can almost see the sad puppy eyes on the screen when she asks you what’s wrong. She’s an excellent sounding board if you need to vent your frustrations because she will actually care.

We love you mom.

The Accountant

The Accountant

He tracks the gains and losses of a Guild in terms of both gold, loot, and manpower. He’s sharp and knows what everything is worth. He can also be known as the IT guy since they are typically good with computers.

Why he’s an asset: He keeps a record of everyones DKP purchase in the past year. He’s able to remember who what what loot when. He makes sure everyone who has attended got the DKP they deserved. Loot will always be accounted for when he is handling it. If there is a discrepancy, he will look into it, fix it, and adjust everyone else’s DKP accordingly.

He also saves you $10 a month on Asprin.

The General

The General

He’s served in the Gulf war. He’s a retired military General. When he barks on vent, everyone listens. He commands the respect of his subordinates and the Guild. He knows when to push his luck and when to cut his losses. He has Murphy’s ultimate law tattooed on his forearm: If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. He has contingency plan after contingency plan filed in his brain in case things go wrong. In short, he’s your raid leader.

Why he’s an asset: He researches every boss thoroughly. He combs through videos and strategies trying to determine the strengths and weaknesses of bosses. Then he tailors these strats to work with the resources and personnel that your Guild has in order to successfully down that boss. He will do what it takes to get the job done in a timely fashion. If something bad happens, you can bet he’s already thinking of a way to salvage it.

If you want results, he will deliver them.

The Optimist

Optimist

Nothing can bring down the Optimist. He’s always in a good, cheery mood and it helps rub off on everyone. He’s willing to help people any time. He’s a genuinely kind person who has no hidden agenda and has nothing but nice things to say.

Why he’s an asset: He can help the raid stay cheery and positive. When he joins the channel, he makes everyone in it smile. His “can do” attitude helps provide that last spark of energy to down Al’ar on the last attempt when everyone is weary and frustrated.

He doesn’t care about the destination. He cares about the journey.

The Mentor

The Mentor

He’s a walking encyclopedia of information. He loves to patiently teach people how to do things. He wants to relax and take it easy for a while but doesn’t have any problems with providing wise advice.

Why he’s an asset: He’s been everywhere and done every quest. Twice. He knows where every mob is. He’s memorized all the mats required for every enchant and where to get the necessary enchanting mats. He doesn’t need WoWHead because he IS a WoW Head.

It takes 8 seconds to look something up on WoW Head. It takes 1 to ask a question and receive an answer.

The Connected Guy

The Conneceted Guy

Quite frankly, the connected guy is… well connected! He has friends in high places. He has enough contacts to make a drug cartel jealous. He’s got more names and numbers memorized then a phone book. He’s a great people person because he can connect with them easily. Similar to the Mom, he’s able to tell the good crowd from the bad and sweet talk players into helping him out. He could be your recruiting officer.

Why he’s an asset: Your tank didn’t show up. A couple of well placed calls, and he’ll deliver an even better tank because that tank owes him one. He can hook up one of your guys with a Soulfrost enchant AND knock off 20% from their price. He’s established a rapport with top Guilds and fine craftsmen. He can pull in a favor at a moment’s notice and help pull in the elusive 25th man. He can hook you up with a spot in the elusive 400+ resilience PvP group.

Great for recruiting because he knows a friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s moms nephews dad’s son who has an awesome Priest looking for a Guild and happens to be on your same server.

The Brawler

The Brawler

He has your back in a fight. If you need air support in the Outlands, you can expect him to bring the rain. He thrives on PvP. What makes you cringe will make him grin. He is a literal lightning in a bottle and if the opposing faction gives you trouble, he will respond with lethal force in kind.

Why he’s an asset: Opposing faction at the summoning stone? Call up the Brawler and him and his band of cronies will secure the area for you and your raid. Someone giving you hell on an alt? Let him know and he’ll grab a large slurpie and camp the poor guy until you’ve leveled out of the area. He knows everything there is to need to know about PvP.

You do not want to get on his bad side because he is the reason why ESRB added the M rating.

Honorable Mentions

The Altaholic

He works from home managing his own business. He has a wide array of alts to choose from because he can multitask so effectively with his job. He loves the game and has maxed out his character slots.

Why he’s an asset: Need a tank? No problem. Want to gear up a tank? He’ll switch to his Priest. Need high performance DPS? Choose from his Rogue, Mage or Hunter. This jack of all trades can fulfill any purpose you need in a pinch.

The only thing separating him from running a 25 man raid with 25 of his own accounts is because the police tagged his house as a grow ops facility due to his power bill.

The Motormouth

He talks. A lot. He loves to hear his own voice and that of others. He’s also really annoying. But you have to put up with him around because he’s your MT’s younger brother.

Why he’s an asset: There’s no other available MT.

The Loser

He gets confused over everything. He needs his hand held in every dungeon. He accidentally wipes the raid because thought Vashj was friendly.

Why he’s an asset: He’s so loveable because everyone can’t help but feel sorry for him. He also sets an inadvertent example for the rest of the Guild on why they shouldn’t stand in melee range of certain Naga.

Um, guys? These walking fish cleave!

If you can find and earn the loyalty of players like these, you can expect a well streamlined guild equipped to tackle any day to day problems. It’s never a dull moment with diverse players like these around. The best part is that they just do their jobs so naturally without you having to ask. If you put them in positions where they have an opportunity to grow, watch them take advantage of it and slip into their roles with ease.

Do you recognize any of these players in your Guild? Are you one of these players? Do you enjoy having them around? I know my Guild has everyone but the Optimist.

House Cleaning, Podcast Possibilities, Ret. Paladin Help

Nothing much today. The idea well is running a little dry. Wanted to do a bit of housekeeping and maintenence here.

Blogroll

Besides, I need to work on finishing up this blogroll. I feel guiltier and guiltier with each passing day looking at my inbound links compared to my outbound links. I plan on reorganizing my entire blogroll into an epic sized blog roll. I will finish this thing by Friday after combing through Google Reader and adding and removing links.

Podcast

This has absolutely nothing to do with World of Warcraft.

If you’re into Starcraft custom campaigns and the like, head on over to Campaign Creations. I helped keynote a 20 minute discussion with their admin (Lavarinth) and one of their leading project designers (Iskatumesk). Topics revolved around their custom Starcraft campaign competition (with prizes), upcoming features, and other stuff!

So if you’re into Starcraft, give it a listen since I’m the one hosting it.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a podcast for a long time. The only thing holding me back is mostly technical. It’s the audio conversion and the effects and the like. I might even go as far as creating a monthly or maybe even weekly video explaining boss encounters from a healing perspective such as how to assign your healers, how to handle certain parts of the event and so forth. There’s only so much detail that staring at text can do. Even watching first person videos can’t give you the overall picture because it’s from one person.

What else could I do? I’d love to audio interview certain players or bloggers and find out what makes them tick!

Again, nothing concrete but definitely an idea I’m mulling over.

In the mean time, check out the cast. I need to get better at speaking. But we are our own greatest critic, right?

Expanding the Frontpage Tabs

Right now, the main page tabs have only 2 choices: Priest related and stuff for Raid Officers. I’m going to expand that sometime soon with my personal favourites and most popular. CSS styling is quite annoying, however.

Characters

So Valoray (my Retribution Paladin) now has Thunder. What enchants would you recommend? This whole DPS thing is a little strange to me. I’m not used to seeing 4 digit crits.

It’s strangely satisfying!

The Chain of Progression in Raids

Raid members ready to go and do something

In case you’ve ever wondered what raid bosses and instances to do in what order, I’ve compiled a list here from Karazhan onwards. This list is aimed mostly at Guilds who have started raiding and aren’t sure what’s best for them or their Guild. Obviously you can do them in any order that your Guild likes, but there are some bosses which should be done first before going into other instances.

Edit: Rankings are based largely on difficulty level and convenience for Guilds.

Karazhan

Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Opera, Curator, Shade, Chess, Prince.

Once you’ve taken down Prince a few times and you think your 10 man team is up to snuff, you can go proceed to go after Nightbane, Illhoof and Netherspite.

You’re also ready to start tackling the first 4 or so bosses in Zul’Aman.

Mallet with a wolf

At this point, your Guild is now officially ready for the 25 mans. Your first 25 man test?

Gruul’s Lair and Magtheridon

Take down High King Maulgar then follow up with Gruul. Once you’ve gotten them down easily, consider going after Magtheridon.

Magtheridon himself

There’s quite a few Guilds that I know of that have completely skipped Mag in favour of launching right into TK and SSC thinking that Mag is too much of an effort required. To them, I say Mag is a piece of cake compared to boss fights at the Tier 5 level.

The reason you go after High King, Gruul and Mag is that these 3 bosses are idiot checks for your Guild.

Can the people in your raid handle being in the spotlight with important jobs?
Can your warlocks enslave and kill simultaneously?
Is your mage quick enough on the spellsteal?
Do your healers trust each other enough to not overlap each other and just do their jobs?

For Gruul, the question you want to ask is if your raid members are able to work together and cope with shatters. Are the tanks geared enough to do their job? Do players know how to run away from each other?

As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of Guilds skip Mag initially. Don’t be one of them. I highly advise giving Mag a few shots. Here, you’re testing the discipline of your raid and the endurance of your healers. You also want to discover how quick and effective your DPS is in a 25 man unit. Mag also sets your guild up to have 4-5 skilled and geared tanks. Once you get past the initial phase 1 hurdle, it’s up to the healers and your 10 volunteers to click cubes. If 10 people can’t click cubes properly and time it, you’ve no business being in SSC or TK.

Tier 5 Instances (SSC and TK)

There’s essentially 2 ways you can go about it. You can go into SSC and clear straight to Lurker. The alternative is to crash TK and bring down Lootreaver Voidreaver followed by Solarian.

Hydross in SSC

While your working on those 3 bosses (in any order), your tanks should be gearing up for Hydross.

Now at this stage, I suggest working through the T5 raid’s in an order like this:

  • Voidreaver/Solarian/Lurker
  • Hydross
  • Tidewalker
  • Fathom-Lord
  • Leotheras
  • Al’ar

At this point, you’ll be at the coveted 5/6 SSC and 3/4 TK mark. Take your pick between Vashj or Kael.

I’d say give Vashj a couple of shots but that’s because I find her a little little easier as compared to Kael who I think is a whackjob.

T6 Raids (Hyjal and BT)

I don’t have a clue here. I heard it’s Rage Winterchill and then straight into BT for the first 3-4 bosses.

Does anyone have an idea of what should come next?

Chamber of Guilds: Integration of Cliques

Chamber of Guilds meetingI recently stumbled upon a forum thread on WoW’s Guild Discussion forums about an organization called the Chamber of Guilds. Curious, I decided to go check it out.

So what is it?

Roundtable is a cross-server, cross-faction guild that allows past, present, and future guild leaders and officers to get together and discuss any issues that they may be experiencing and see how other guilds deal with it. Everything from guild involvement and events to instances and loot is discussed. This is more a “Chamber of Commerce” type situation where we exist to provide information and discussion. How you apply that to your Guild is completely up to you.

Turns out their next meeting was on Sunday the 13th and I signed up for it to learn more. Think of it as an online conference involving GM’s from a variety of Guilds around WoW. Every 4-6 weeks, they all gather up on Ventrilo to discuss topics that are of interest to other GM’s. In these talks, GM’s share their experiences and solutions with other GM’s so that everyone learns.

Boy, what an experience! Even though I wasn’t a GM, I’m technically a recruiting officer for Carnage. I’ve certainly been in my fair share of senior positions in other Guilds.

You have to be in the same Guild as everyone so you can participate effectively. If you don’t have a mic, you can still comment in Guild chat alongside those speaking on vent.

After a brief introduction by the main speaker (Penlowe), we instantly dived into the topic of the day.

Cliques Within Guilds: Are they a problem?

The main issue here was on the topic of cliques. A good way to kick off a good discussion is with a definition, which is what the speakers did.

Guild:
Def’n: an association of people with similar interests or pursuits; especially : a medieval association of merchants or craftsmen

Clique:
Def’n: a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons; especially : one held together by common interests, views, or purposes

A problem that is a frequent occurrence among Guilds of any size, any level, and any progression is the formation of cliques within Guilds. Typically, these are close knit groups of friends who have known each other for a long time. What typically happens is that there are players who will run with no one else BUT the players that they know and that they trust. Obviously a clique by itself is not able to tackle higher end difficult content which is why they apply for Guilds as “package deals”. Now they could come in groups as small as two or in groups as large as a self sustaining Karazhan team. Depending on the players, this could be a severe problem as they could all refuse to run with certain other players and grind Guild progression to a halt.

This could manifest itself as an even larger problem when such a large group of players could effectively dictate the course of actions a GM could take, particularly when the clique consists of your main tank. I would not be surprised if GM’s have been held hostage in a manner similar to this. I’ve often said before that a Guild revolves around their tanks and healers.

Dealing With Negative Cliques

What was suggested was that Guild objectives be made known to them before coming in. Tell them that you are a casual guild with little to no desire for end game. Or tell them that you are a progression guild which values performance over preference (my personal stance). If there’s any problems or issues that have arisen, it should be “nipped in the bud” (I could not have put it any better myself). Deal with these brushfires swiftly before it grows into a forest fire. GM’s need to be willing to grow emotionally distant and effectively give these players a way out or fire them. Sometimes it pays to be heartless.

Encouraging Cliques to Integrate

1 of the proposed methods that some of the GM’s suggested was to force rotating Karazhan rosters and here’s the reasons why:

  • Players grow outside of their comfort zone and learn to adapt to other players
  • Helps eliminate why cliques exist in the first place
  • Players become more sociable

The downside is that there is going to be a large amount of player shuffling going around so that different raid days can be accomodated for different players. I heard an example from one GM where she had shuffled a student with a curfew and a working security guard who had to do his rounds. Time’s were scheduled so that players who had not had an opportunity to tango with a boss could have a shot at taking him down (IE, Nightbane).

Closing Comments and Feedback

The talks were about 2 hours at max and it seemed like everyone had a good time exchanging ideas and techniques. Not everyone had a mic and those individuals had to type in guild chat to keep up with everything. As a first time participant, I restricted myself mostly to typing in game. From what I know, there are minutes being compiled. I even recorded the entire 2 hour conversation before my power got jolted for a second erasing the first half of the discussion. My plan is to convert it to an MP3 and compress it down to little audio clips for anyone interested in listening. Think of it as audio highlights.

My participation was limited. I was more of an observer than anything. I had a mic active but I felt out of place using it. Actually, I felt kind of intimidated. Everyone in there seemed to literally be a GM and I felt outranked in every aspect.

Maybe it was the fact that I appeared to be surrounded by female speakers =).

Whatever the case, I will definitely be at the next Chamber of Guilds meeting. It certainly makes for good blog discussion. It was made clear to me after the meeting that all leaders and officers are welcome (which includes class leaders, officers, GM’s, raid leaders, recruitment, etc). What do you think about cliques? Do you have any within your Guild?

Caster Weapon Swapper: An Essential Addon for Spellsurge Users

Spellsurge or 81 Healing? It’s a common question that many healers have asked themselves.

Why not use both?

Here’s a description about CasterWeaponSwapper from Curse:

This AddOn swaps weapons based on your current amount of mana, to maximize mana efficiency. With this mod, you can start fights with a high intellect staff equipped, then switch to a +damage/healing weapon for most of the fight, and then switch to a spirit-heavy staff when your mana is low.

This AddOn is unique because is does all this automatically, and without interrupting you with a weapon-swap cooldown. Normally when you equip weapons in combat, you get a 1.5-second global cooldown. CasterWeaponSwapper gets around this by swapping weapons only when you start to cast a spell. This means the cooldowns overlap and you don’t experience any interruption. When out of combat, there is an option to swap weapons whenever necessary, since there is no swap cooldown.

The AddOn supports 1- and 2-handed weapons, off hand items, and wands/librams/idols/totems. You can set up weapon sets for high mana, casting, low mana, and sets for Druid forms. The casting set will only be used when in combat. The Druid sets will be used while you are shapeshifted into a bear or cat. There is also an option to use the low-mana set while you have spirit boosting buffs (Spirit Tap, Evocation, Innervate, and Aura of the Blue Dragon), and an option to swap between a secondary casting set to proc the Spellsurge enchant each time it is available.

Using CWS

Once you’ve downloaded and unzipped CWS to your Addons folder, you can start using it right away. Make sure you’ve enabled it.

To bring up the main CWS window, type in /cws

CasterWeaponSwapper window in action

Weapon Categories

You’ll notice each set has 3 slots. From left to right, it’s your main hand, off hand, and ranged slot (Wand, Libram, Totem, Relic).

High Mana Set

Weapon you have equipped coming into an encounter of some sort. If you want to seriously push yourself and excel, this is a kind of weapon which has a ton of intellect on it. Higher intellect means larger initial mana pool.

Casting Set

This is reserved for a weapon that you will use most of the time while casting in combat. Most of the time, it will have high MP5.

Low Mana Set

When you get low on mana, CWS will automatically equip this. Now, there’s 2 ways you go about it here. You can equip a high Spirit weapon and sit still for a few seconds while your slowly regen your mana or equip another high MP5 weapon so you can continue to cast while having low mana. I’d say 9 times out of 10, if you’re running low on mana during a raid, it’s at a critical point where you have to keep pumping out heals and you can’t remain idle for too long.

Spellsurge Set

This is reserved for your weapon that has Spellsurge on it. The addon keeps track of Spellsurge’s internal cooldown and swaps accordingly when it’s up.

Sliders

You can use the sliders below to change the threshold to swap weapons. These are the default settings. For example, when my mana reaches 80%, it will switch from my High Mana set to my Casting set. When I get to 25% mana, it will switch from my Casting set to my Low Mana set. Use the sliders to control when you want that to happen.

Checkboxes

Enable swaps: Self explanatory. Either turns on or disables the entire swap mechanic.

Print swaps: It notifies you in your chatbox whether or not it’s switching weapons.

Post-fight reports: Here’s an example:

CasterWeaponSwapper stats

It tells me a few important things like how many times Spellsurge procced and the amount of time I was in the 5SR.

Swap Whenever Needed…: Also self explanatory. It can handle swapping operations outside of combat. My guess is that it defaults to high mana or low mana depending on your current mana pool.

Conclusions and Observations

It’s a top notch addon and one that I’d heartily recommend to any healer who wants to excel at their game and ensure they have the mana they need to heal their tanks. It allows me to focus on healing instead of manually switching to my Spellsurge staff to activate it and back again.

Don’t think so?

I can tell you I’m not the only blogger who feels this way (Speaking of which, it’s been a week and a half, where have you been?).

4 Reasons Why I Rushed to 70 and Didn’t Look Back

I’ve been meaning to write a different perspective after reading these well written posts from Pike, Faeldray, and Nina. With the exception of Pike who has recently discovered endgame, the latter are happily taking their time getting to 70 and enjoying their experiences in the process.

I by no means agree nor disagree. The beautiful thing about WoW is that it can be enjoyed by a wide spectrum of players. They can be casual or hardcore. Male or female. Student or teacher. The waiter at that classy Italian restaurant or the bartender at that shady bar. Blizzard gave us a world. The game is how we interact with it and enjoy it.

One of my first characters was my Paladin. She’s the first healer I had to hit level 60. I never raided with her and it took me nearly 6 months to get her to 60 (not played timed, mind you). Like many of you players who went through WoW the first time, I was soaking the fun and experience. I’m a huge Blizzard fan. I played Warcraft 2 back in the day, tried Warcraft 1, and enjoyed Warcraft 3. I poured over game manuals repeatedly because I wanted to learn more about this world. When WoW was released, I now had the chance to experience Azeroth first hand instead of directing and commanding units from a top down interface.

When I rerolled Mallet and Saphfira later on, there were some things that made me want to max my level out.

Been there done that: Every peninsula, explored. Every crack, investigated. Every instance, run. Every battle, won.

I’ve gone to Silithus, to Darnassus, to EPL and back again. I felt like I had accomplished everything there was to do. I completed every quest.

When I created my new characters, I had no desire to do all of that again. I wanted to hit end game and hit Molten Core and see Blackwing Lair. It seemed pointless to me and a waste of my time. Especially when you have more than 1 character.

Social ability: I enjoy playing with friends and meeting new players. In fact, if my friends stopped playing WoW and switched to Age of Conan or something, I would most likely do the same. That being said, my friends would level at a super human pace. I didn’t want to be left behind. It’s no fun being level 45 while the rest of your friends are already level 70 and raiding Karazhan. They offer to help you if you’re under attack by opposite faction members, but rarely do they come out. Why?

Because they’re raiding.

I didn’t want to get left behind. So I rushed to catch up to them.

The Holy-Crap-He’s-70-Don’t-Mess-With-Him Factor: You’re in Hillsbrad foothills and you run into a level 21. You squish him. Then a Warrior comes out of nowhere who is level 33 and he stomps you.

And so the chain ganking continues, but there is a limit.

Level 70. While you can still step on lower levels with ease, there IS no bigger fish that can kill you while you’re doing your thing (questing, herbing, etc). There’s no level 75 to gank you in front of Karazhan. There’s no level 80 holding down the fort in front of Tempest Keep. When you get to 70, the playing field is declared even. Victory is decided by skill and gear instead of huge level differences.

Achievement: Perhaps the only instance I will never step foot inside and conquer is Ahn’Qiraj. I’ve been in there a few times and got a feel for the first boss. But I will never know what it’s like to beat the rest of the instance.

That cannot be said the same of the 25 man’s in Outlands. I joined a progression Guild for a reason: Because we all want to progress. We embrace the PvE challenges that Blizzard has thrown at us. Mountains are made to be climbed.

What irritates me a lot is the fact that casual players wave their whole “well u hv no lyfe bt prple epicz” (Don’t worry Nina, not aimed at you =)). I tend to get thrown into that category because people see the items I wear and somehow come to that conclusion that I don’t have a life. Just because I spend my time wiping and working on instances instead of doing 5 mans and daily quests doesn’t mean I’m that much worse of an individual.

I like to have fun and play WoW, too. But just because my idea of fun is different then your idea of fun doesn’t make me any worse. I relish killing bosses with 24 other players. I like figuring out the technical aspects of boss fights and beating them within the rules. I like to make up my own kind of challenges (like time trials on bosses). My Guild comprises of a lot of players from the west coast to the east coast. We can’t devote 5 hours an evening to work on bosses because it’s not possible with our players.

Take an example from GMW. A while ago she made a post writing about the individuals within her Guild. Carnage has some high school students, university students, masters students and so on. We also have adults who are working full time. I don’t know what kind of occupations they have (although that’s a good future blog post, so I’m going to write that one down) but I know someone who works at Amazon.com. Another works at a corporate IT firm.

I apologize for my mini rant, but I’m just tired of hearing it from players in greens and blues who call us with purple wearing players with having no life.

I put in the effort, I dedicated my time, and I play hard every raid. I work hard, I study hard, and I party hard. Why should WoW deserve any less? Our raiding atmosphere is light and relaxed. My one wish is for casual players to experience at least one raid in their entire WoW career to understand what it’s like. You may not enjoy it, you may even detest it. But at least you can say that you’ve tried it.

Minimum Class Stat Requirements for Zul’Aman

Here it is. This is the long anticipated list of the minimum stat requirements you need to do the early bosses of Zul’Aman successfully. Having stats like these should carry you through Bear boss with a little luck.

Guilds attempting to go through raiding should understand the principle of progression. When you’re going through it for the first time, you should have no blues and not need more than 1 or 2 items from Karazhan. You will have acquired all the badge gear that you need and you’ve done Gruul’s or Mag a few times so that you’ve developed some ingame smarts.

As always, this list is subject to change at any time and without notice with your help and feedback.

Remember, I’m only a Priest and a Shaman. I don’t know the other classes as well. Any corrections and suggestions will be valued. All figures are after any kind of raid buffs or consumables and should be used as a guideline rather than a rule. These numbers are based off of observations and conversations with Guildmates and other colleagues who have made progress in ZA.

In Zul’Aman, there is a certain threshold of stats you need in order to survive and be productive. If you can meet them unbuffed, then you’re fine. There’s a variety of consumables and buffs to configure your character to surpass the mark that you need. It doesn’t matter what buffs they are as long as they exceed it. But if you go in there raid buffed and you DO NOT match the stats you need, you will be ineffective.

Let’s use my Priest as an example. I strongly advise anything over 8500 health. I’ve got a Priest that’s 6500 without buffs. Raid buffs he would top out at about 8000 health. That’s not enough. You never know what kind of class make up you will have going in there. You may not have Kings. You may not have fort. Maybe you don’t have a certain flask or something. This isn’t a 25 man raid where you can expect to get every buff known to man. That’s why I created the list with raid buffs in mind.

Do not take Zul’Aman lightly. It drops loot that is on par with Tier 5. The difficulty is about the same as SSC and TK.

Updates and modifications at the bottom of the page

Suggested Composition

2 Well geared tanks, ideally different classes (Pally/Druid, Pally/Warrior, etc).
3 Healers (Ideally 1 Priest for Imp. Fort and Imp. DS)
3 Caster DPS (Warlock, Mage, Shadow Priest, or feel free to toss in a Moonkin and an Elemental Shaman instead)
2 Physical DPS (Hunter, rogue, enhancement shaman, DPS Warrior or any combination thereof)

The DPS part isn’t as crucial. You can mix and match however you like. Zul’Jin has a phase where you have to have some physical damage going in there and when you read about it, you will understand why (phase 3). Bring 3 healers. I seriously recommend bringing 3 healers. You can disregard everything else on this page if you want, but please listen to me when I say to bring 3 healers.

If any player’s health is below 8000 after all buffs are cast, you may want to consider someone else instead.


Tanks

Note: I shouldn’t have to mention it, but as a tank you should be uncrushable and uncrittable at this point.

Warrior

Health: ~17000
Block/Parry/Dodge: A very high number combined. Hoping to find a Warrior to give me an exact figure.

Paladin

Health: ~17000
Mana: ~5000+
Block/Parry/Dodge: ~100% combined
Spell damage: 200+

Druid

Health: ~17000
Dodge: ~40%
Armor: ~30000+ (Thanks Karthis, Argonaut)

Healers

Note: The combined healing output of your healers should be approximately 5000. For example, you could have a Paladin with 1500, a Priest with 1800, and a Druid with 1500. But don’t go too far in the wrong direction. I strongly suggest bringing in 3 healers.

Holy Priest

Health: ~8500+
Mana: ~9500+
+Healing: ~1600
MP5: ~140 while casting

Resto Druid

Health: ~8500 (Tree druids move slow)
Mana: ~9500
+Healing: ~1600
MP5: ~140 while casting

Holy Paladin

Health: ~8500
Mana: ~9500+
+Healing: ~1600 (Flash of Light spam)
MP5: ~140 while casting
Spell crit: 20%+

Resto Shaman

Health: ~9000
Mana: ~8500
+Healing: ~1600 (Rank 2 or Rank 5 Chain Heals)
MP5: ~150 while casting (Achievable with recent Water Shield improvements)

DPS Classes

Note: Caster DPS should be hitcapped (Thanks Trollin’).

Rogues

Health: ~9000+
Attack Power: 1800
Hit: 200 rating+
Crit: 25%+

Shaman

Elemental

Heath: ~9000
Mana: ~8000
Spell damage: ~850+
MP5: ~130 while casting

Enhancement

Health: ~9000+
Mana: ~6000
Attack Power: 1600
Hit: 9%
Crit: 27%

Mage

Health: ~9000+
Mana: 9000
Spell damage: 900+
Crit: 30%

Warlock

Affliction
Health: 10000+
Mana: 8500+
Spell damage: +900

Destruction

See above. Warlocks, comment if it should be different.

Hunters

BM/MM

Health: ~9500+
Mana: 6500+
AP: 2200+
Hit: Capped
Crit: 20%+

Survival

Health: ~9500+
Mana: 6500 mana
AP: 2200+
Hit: Capped
Crit: 40%
Agility: 950+

Druid

Moonkin

Health: 9000+
Mana: 9000
Crit: 18%
MP5: 120 MP5
Spell damage: 900

Shadow Priest

Health: 9500
Mana: 8500
Spell damage: 900

Fury Warrior

Health: ~9500+
Attack power: 1800+
Crit: 40% (That too much to ask?)

Retribution Paladins

Health: 9000+
Mana: 7000+
Crit: 26%
AP: 1700


There you have it folks! Those’re are my suggested stats to get into Zul’Aman. Use it as a guide as opposed to a rule. I’m expecting a flood of comments saying that I went too high here or too low there. Keep it coming! Any updates to this, I will post on the bottom.

Updates:

12/01: Lowered +hit requirements for melee. Equalized mana regen among healers. Lowered health requirements among melee. Equalized tank health. Thanks Mera!

15/01: Added armor figures for Druids (Thanks Karthis). Raised mana pool and healing for Paladins slightly (Thanks Arduanne).

16/01: Split up the Hunters into three different specs. Posted one for survival. MM and BM I’m unsure of, so I’m using existing numbers. Hoping another Hunter can confirm.

14/03: Added fury warriors, Ret Paladins, several stats adjusted for hunters, shamans, etc.