Are You Kidding Me?!

Have you seen the test realm notes? Can you believe that they’re doing this to me? This is absolutely outrageous! All that hardwork and then they decide to step on everything I’ve accomplished. I invested so much time and effort in learning my skills!

Of course, I am obviously referring to:

Monstrous Kaliri have learned how to chase players going straight up.

Now I’m really screwed in dailies! Can I get at least chaff or flares or some kind of countermeasures or SOMETHING? Sometimes, I wear my Benediction staff in the hopes that the sparkles that fly out the back end are enough to blind those friggin’ birds.

20 Questions With Big Bear Butt

20 Questions by Matticus

Every week, Matt gets a chance to sit down with a WoW Blogger chosen by his Worg Pup. Find out a little more about your favourite bloggers as he tries to get to know them a little more!

This week, Big Bear Butt of his self titled Big Bear Butt Blogger was cool enough to kick back and set aside some time in his beary busy schedule to answer a few questions.

This has got to be the most important question I’ll ever ask and I just wanted to get it out of the way. Why Big Bear Butt?

Well, I wanted to choose a name that told people that came what they were getting themselves in for.

I play a feral druid, I spend a lot of time tanking in bear form, and when you’re in a narrow instance or up against a wall, your view is pretty much all bear butt. At least, until you swivel your viewpoint around.

Add to it is the fact that I’m a pretty big guy. I was in the US Marines for 8 years, and I was one of the guys that would have to hump the 80 pound mortar plate on the march… okay, you probably have no idea what that means. Ummm…. I ain’t short or narrow, and my bench press is fairly hefty. But I’ve been out of the service now for, oh, wow. 13 years now. It’s been a while. :) So anyway, visits to the gym or not, sitting at a desk playing wow has taken it’s toll on the size of my butt. So I’m a big bear of a man in real life, with a big bearish butt.

And I like to think I have a wacky Monty Python lovin’, Wierd Al and Dr. Demento enjoying sense of humor. So I thought Big Bear Butt Blogger pretty much said it all.

A couple of weeks ago, the first Blog Azeroth community topic was “What did you like most about the class you played”. I’m going to go out on a limb and ask you what you hate most about the class that is your main (in this case, your Druid).

The one thing I hate the most about the Druid, and yes, I do hate it, is the utter lack of individuality amongst Druids in forms. Every Night Elf Druid in cat form looks exactly like every other. Doesn’t matter the level, or the gear.

Deepest and darkest secret about BBB?

I’ve been writing for WOW Insider’s Shifting Perspectives druid column, and they put my real name up there… but it’s not the name I was born with. When I got married, I actually took my wifes’ last name.

There were a lot of reasons for it. Mainly, though, is the fact that I am from another state than Minnesota, and the product of a home that’s not just broken, but pretty shattered. My wife, on the other hand, is Minnesota born and bred, and her entire family, with dozens of close relatives, brothers and sisters and all their extended families, are all right here. Now. Local. And for every special occasion, everyone gets together as one big squabbling but basically happy family.

So I thought nothing whatsoever of casting aside my old name, breaking the chains, and launching myself into a happy life with my new extended family.

And okay, you know me well enough to figure out, I LOVE to see the looks on people’s faces when I tell them what my name is… and my wifes’ name… and my mother-in-laws’ name. Hee hee hee.

When you started your blog, what was your goal? Do you think you have achieved it?

Well, my goal was mainly to have a forum to get up on my soapbox and sound off on whatever in the game I was all worked up about.

My secondary goals were to write posts with helpful tips and suggestions that I’d wish I’d known when I started playing my druid back in the day. And also, I wanted to develop my writing skills through lots and lots and lots of writing. I’ve heard it said by authors I admire that the way to develop your own writing style is to write your ass off. So I am. These days, my main goals are to write frequently, to entertain, and to inform. If I accomplish just one of those, I figure I’m good.
That would be why I post so often. :)

Where were you when 9/11 occurred?

Well, I was long out of the military by then. I was actually at work as an engineer in a PCB manufacturing plant at the time. Not the same one as now. Coincidentally enough, I’d been re-reading Red Cell by Richard Marcinko right around that time, a book by a former Seal Team 6 commander fictionalizing his teams’ exploits as they accomplished theri assigned mission; simulate terrorist atacks agaisnt military and civilian airports around the world to test their security.
From the results of 9/11, you don’t need to guess what his analysis was, years before the actual real event proved him right. I will say, don’t believe anyone that tells you that no one knew the vulnerabilities of our airport security systems that ‘came as a complete shock’.

You’d have to understand that, when it happened, TVs were wheeled into break rooms, and we all gathered around. There was hysteria on the TV, and people both in the plant and on TV were sobbing and saying they couldn’t believe it was possible.

And the only surprise I felt was that it hadn’t been a backpack nuke or bio/chemical attack.

I know that sounds callous as all heck, but it’s true. But I come by it honestly.

I entered the Marines in 1986, and I was raised on films such as the Missing in Action series with Chuck Norris, the original Rambo series, Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill, the list goes on and on. Most people think those movies glorify warfare as a living action film full of fun, but to me as a teen growing up watching them, the message I got was that war was a horrible, violent chaotic mess, filled with human frailty, but that it was a necessary thing for an armed force to exist with strong, willing, capable volunteers, to help those who cannot help themselves and to actively work to preserve peace and liberate the oppressed. And that the previous generations of men and women in my country had done their part to step forward, to serve, and to suffer for their principals and stand firm. I felt it was my duty to do the same. With no illusions as to how ‘glamorous’ or ‘exciting’ it would be. Glamorous. HAH!

In the years since, with all the traveling I’ve done in cultures around the world, I think I’ve developed an awareness of how precious and precarious stability can be. And how blessed we have been to have the stability of Canada and Mexico to our North and South, and the massive barriers of the ocean to our East and West to make bringing war directly to our shores a difficult process requiring massive investment of resources.

But when others hate you, for whatever reason, and weapons exist in the world that require little in the way of resources to deploy, well….

When 9/11 happened, my state of mind was; “Praise God that, so far, nuclear, biological and checmical weapons weren’t involved. Thank god.” Followed closely by, “I wonder if those attacks will soon follow. Are they done? And if they do, where?”

I hope that I answered the spirit of your question.

Your blog states that you served in the US Marines. You willing to share any good/humorous stories during your time there?

I assume that the statute of limitations still covers… yeah, okay, so those are out. Hold on, let me think. What can I say that wouldn’t incur legal fines or liability?

Right, okay.

I’ll be nice and limit myself to a Marine story, and not include the subcategories of drinking, practical jokes, drinking, crazy physical stunts… oh, wait, that reminds me. Okay, I’ve got one. And I don’t think I can be arrested for anything in it.

So, I’m in the barracks with some friends, in the desert of Twenty-Nine Palms, California. And there are a bunch of us, and we’re bored, and it’s Saturday morning.

One of the guys has a car, which when you’re all PFCs or Lance Corporals, is a BIG thing. So someone suggests we get a shitload of alcohol, bundle some camping crap into the car, and head for Yucca Valley National Monument for some serious drinking and barbequeing, maybe stay over for the night.

Now, at the time I was the ringleader of our little clan, the resident Game Master of our gaming group. (Hell yes, Marines play role playing games. Best groups I’ve ever had in my entire life were with Jarheads. Intelligent men and women, tactically proficient and possessed of wondrous imaginations and low and evil cunning. God, I miss gaming in the service. Oh heck, where the hell was I? Oh, right.)

Right, I was the ringleader. And I usually organized games on the weekend, followed by everyone drinking, listening to Dr. Demento, and then having a steak and lobster tail barbeque in the beer garden outside. Beer garden? Don’t ask.

So I get us all organized, sort out who is going to bring what, then we hit the package store (where you buy your alcohol on base) and off we go out into the High Desert.

And we drive for miles, and miles, and miles. When we finally approach a likely looking campsite near some particularly fine rock formations, we are waaaaay out there.

As the car rolls up to where we’re gonna park, the engine makes some knocking noises… and then with a loud bang! we watch the hood of the car lift up with the force of a massive blow. The car stops. And I mean, right then and there.

So, we look at each other in the back seat, and then we look at the owner of the car. With a deadpan emotionless tone of voice, I say, “Engine threw a rod, Mark.”

He says, equally emotionlessly, “Yep. Looks that way.”

I say, “It’s a hell of a long walk back to the main road, man.”

He says, “Yep.”

I tell him, “Better carry a case with you when you go. And carry a bag. No littering in Yucca.”

He says, “Yep. Damn it.”

So off he went, with a case of wine coolers, to go flag down a ranger. Which he did, eventually.

In the meantime, heck, we had food, alcohol, and lots of free time. This was years before cell phones, so nobody had any way of getting the word out but by walking. Fortunately, it was Saturday, so we had two days to figure out how to get back to base before we’d be missing a movement, namely Monday morning formation. No worries.

Well, at the time I fancied myself a fair free rock climber. I went out fairly often, and enjoyed taking a camera with me to take shots from “How the hell did you get there” angles. I didn’t have any gear with me, but some of the rocks out there were pretty easy grades for a novice. I left the other guys to their drinking, and headed into the rocks.

So I went on in a little valley twixt the steep walls of rock, picked an approach, and started climbing. And the rock out there is nice, there are frequent and easy to reach handholds, indentations, fissures, you name it. I was just climbing to have fun, stretch out a bit. I was wearing jeans, combat boots, and no shirt, because I thought I was quite studdly, and I wanted to get some Sun for a tan.

I am sliding around a steep grade, feet inching sideways on a narrow crack as I work my way over to where I can see the way up is going to be easier. I’m a long way up, but it’s cool. I am pressed flat against the rock, arms spread wide and hands out, kissing the rock good and close, just kinda inching my way sideways.

As I go across this flat steep face, the rock is pretty gritty, and it’s suddenly smooth. It’s like sandstone, with a very fine grade of loose grit on the surface. And I start to slide down.
I force my body closer against the rock, I’m desperate for the rock to love me long time. I mean, I am seriously bear hugging this rock in a way that should require a marriage license and a hotel room.

And as I slowly slide down, I can feel a tugging on my pants as my belt is scraping along the rock. And then, suddenly, hella pain. Somehow, I make myself stop dead, possibly through heretofore unknown psychic powers, I don’t know.

What happened is, the belt buckle post grabbed on the rock, and my belt worked itself free, and the buckle, looped through the belt, came out of the sheath, but was still caught in the belt, all tangled up.

Oh, did I forget to mention that I was an amateur real-life leatherworker, and I’d hand-stitched my woven belt? And I’d used a belt-buckle palm dagger (what is known as a push knife) as the buckle with a sewn in sheath? Sorry, that must have slipped my mind.

Yeah, so the belt buckle came undone, grabbed on the rock, twisted on the leather looped through it, and pointed itself up… into my stomach. Braced agasint the rock.

And I was slowly sliding DOWN the rock face.

Yep, paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it?

So, let’s recap, shall we? I’m way up a rock face, I’ve got a dagger sticking into my stomach, I’m wearing no shirt, and I’m starting to slide down. And as I slide, the dagger is digging deeper.

Now, I calmly access the situation. I am not panicking, but I am 100% aware that I am the stupidest person on the face of the planet, and I’m about to die, die by being stuck with the dagger I myself spent hours crafting into a belt, and the worst part is I have 6 Fosters Oil Cans at the camp that I’ll never get to drink.

Such are the thoughts of a single Marine. Just so you know.

Obviously, I didn’t die. Sorry to break the suspense, but I thought I should mention that, just in case you were getting worried.

Instead, I kept on hugging the rock face fiercely. I slowed my rate of descent, kind of hoisted myself by the skin of my forearms straight UP and then inched the rest of the way onwards to my destination, since I had traveled a hard way up, and then eased my way back down to the bottom of the gulley.

When my feet touched down on soft desert sand at the foot of the rock, I gently pulled the dagger from my stomach, I unthreaded my belt from my pants, and then I threw the entire damn thing with all of my might as deep into the rocks as I could possibly get it.

I assessed my injuries. I had a nicely bleeding, seeping really, hole in my stomach, and the skin on my inner arms, from my wrists to my elbows, was gone. Sinmply gone. my inner forearms were raw exposed meat from being abraded against the rock to stop my slide.

So.

I walked calmly back to camp, and I’ll be perfectly honest here… I derived a certain sense of satisfaction, knowing that my reputation as a bad ass was going to be ramped up a few notches by walking out of the desert covered in blood. Kind of a consolation prize for being a galactically stupid moron.

I proceeded to borrow a buddies’ shirt to wrap up my arms and stomach, after pouring beer all over my arms to try and wash away sand. I’m intentionally trying not to think about how bad that hurt.
I kicked back, had a steak grilled over an open fire, and drank Fosters for the next 8 hours or so, until Mark came back in a park ranger truck, and we carried our happy butts back out of the desert, and I made my way to the base sick bay.

And as I walked into sick bay on that Saturday night, contemplating how to possibly spin what happened so I wouldn’t look like such an incredible dumbass on the inevitable after action report… some corpsmen rushed a guy past me into sick bay on a gurney. And the guy’s mouth was covered in dried blood.

It looked like the guy took a punch in the mouth, but the corpsmen seemed VERY anxious to work on him, so naturally I asked at the counter what was up with him.

Turns out he’d been drinking with his buddies in the desert (surprise), saw a rattlesnake, and decided to show what a badass he was by biting the head of the snake off.

Except the snake chomped his tongue GOOD. And even though he succeeded in biting the snakes’ head off, the fangs wouldn’t release.

I stopped worrying about the reception my story was going to get. Apparently, on a base full of Marines in the desert on a Saturday night, my story wasn’t even gonna make the top three.

What is the one addition or change you would like Blizzard to see done to Druids in general?

I touched on this earlier. I’d love to see Blizzard introduce the ability to expand the appearance of our forms. There are so many different ways it could be done, like simply having different basic skins available from your trainer to choose from when you can train the basic shapeshift skill, and make you have to respec to change your appearance. Or allow us to choose to display some kind of morphed armor, an admittedly difficult thing to do that I would hold out no hope for. In a perfect world, we would be able to choose our tribal Druid tattoo in forms, and customize our appearance in terms of mane/hair style, bulkiness of body frame, and then choose from colors, patterns and eyes.

Whose teddy bear is that in your blogger profile?

Why, that would be mine, thank you. That is mine. My wife asked me for a list of things I wanted for Christmas a long time ago, and one of the things I found was that bear on a cafepress store, and I told her I wanted it. I don’t know if you can see, but the shirt says “I’m in Bear form”. It sits on my headboard. When I made my Blogger profile, I needed a photo, and I immediately grabbed my bear. Cassie took the picture.

What’s in store for readers of BBB in the upcoming year?

I purchased a domain, www.thebigbearbutt.com, and I’m planning at some point to go to a self-hosted site using WordPress as the framework. I’m moving ahead slowly on getting some t-shirt designs worked on, and I’m going to continue to write in the exact same way as I always have. At this stage in my life, I regret that I may be unable to change. If my readers are hoping for maturity and growth in the next year… I’m sorry. Ain’t happening.

Considering the weird crap you throw up on your blog, why do you think people still bother to come back? (Thanks to BBB for suggesting this question when I was stuck on number 20)

Well, I think it’s because I post regularly, I say what I think, I try and have a sense of humor, I do try and post informative info scattered amongst the jokes and ramblings, and I’m honest about what’s going on with me and Cassie and the game.

Also, I actually do see the people who come to my site as friends, and I think that comes through. I’m not running a business, although I certainly wouldn’t mind making enough money to support the blog, as long as I can do it on my terms. No gold sellers! Grrr! I do this for fun. That being the case, I assume people who are coming to read what I’m writing are, themselves, in some sick way, having fun.

Or, and this might be just as true… I am insane, and you are all natural-born enablers. Shame on you.

Either way, I’m damn happy with the people that read, and especially the people that comment. I have some of the smartest, coolest commenters on the planet. My Addon article alone, I had TONS of helpful suggestions of addons that improved my game experience immensely. So much for me teaching anyone else something.

Speed Questions

Imperial or US Pint?
If it’s a Guinness, any pint will do.

Biggest criticism you always hear as a player:
You tank so well I’m getting bored.

Bears should be able to sport visual armor: Agree or disagree?
Agree, damn straight.

As a Druid, the next animal form you want is to be able to shift into:
A Mount for other players to ride. Seriously! Unicorn FTW!

Most annoying nickname:
Wow, I got some great ones. BBB, Tri-B, B^3. Love em all.

In your opinion, AWOL stands for:
A Waste of Life. “Doomilias is AWOL again”. “No, Doomilias is AWOL, still.”

Guns don’t kill people, but ______________ do:

“Guns don’t kill people, but I do”.

But Matt, that is just filling in your blanks, that’s not letting me tell you the real version.

“US Marines. You can run, but you’ll just die tired.” There. That’s better.

One thing you wish you knew about blogging before you started blogging:

How many people were going to expect me to come up with pretty pictures for every damn post. And screw the damn word count, that’s the truth.

David Letterman, Jay Leno, or John Stewart?
Jay is an awesome car guy, but Stewart is evil.

Rejected tag line for Big Bear Butt Blogger:

“This is not the gay porn site you were looking for.”

Shout outs to:

My readers, who leave comments that are frequently better than my posts. Thank you! You guys rock.

Again, go check out the Big Bear Butt’s feral druid blog for tanking goodness and all things feral!

Kaz’Rogal Knocked Out

Kaz'Rogal death by Carnage

Carnage is now 3/5. Azgalor is projected to go down within the next week. Then we might start working on Archimonde or focus on Black Temple.

Phat Lootz

Blue Suede Shoes
Black Featherlight Boots

Poll Results: Over 50% Raid Between 5 – 15 Hours Weekly

If you’re a GM looking to get started on raiding, then these numbers might be something that you will be interested in. Almost 25% don’t seem to be at the point where they are actively raiding. Almost 20% of those polled raid over 15 hours a week.

However, the largest raiding populations raid between 5 – 15 hours per week. These are pretty standard hours for most players who have to go to work or attend school. That’s the kind of length that they’re willing to commit to in terms of purely raiding. It does not include their time spent farming, running instances, or the like.

So be sure to keep this in mind when you are planning out your raiding schedule for the week. Is it representative of the entire WoW community? Unlikely. But it’s a good start.

If you’re a casual Guild that wants to try it out, start out small and aim for about 6ish hours. If they can handle it, then go ahead and ramp it up slightly.

Healers: Simplify Your Healing Tank Targets

New hotness

Nowadays, our raids frequently carry as little as 3 tanks to as many as 5. Keeping track of who’s heaing who can be a bit of a doozy. Even the tiniest confusion or overlap can be wipe a raid. Here’s a quick tip make assigning heals easier.

Old and Busted

In older raids, we’d have only 1 main tank and maybe a handful of off tanks. Jobs back then were pretty static. A set number of healers would overheal the main tank while the rest of the healer benchwarmers and waterboys would keep tabs on the off tanks. It worked fine then because the encounters weren’t that complicated to deal with. But oh how times have changed.

New Hotness

I’m introducing a new concept of mine that I came up with a few months ago. It started when my Guild began working on Hydross. As you know, Hydross requires 2 different tanks to jump and hold aggro on him. It doesn’t make sense to say heal the main tank. There’s only one real main tank. Even then, that main tank might be rotated off to different roles or different mobs depending on things like resistance fights and such. For some fights, it’s impossible and even inconvenient to declare a single main tank. A great example is a fight such as Al’ar where you end up using as many as 4 tanks simultaneously. When you’re fighting Leotheras, half the time you’re healing a warlock who by most definitions would not be considered your Guild’s main tank.

Chances are your Guild’s already doing it. I’m simply putting a name to it.

The Active Tank

I defined the active tank as the player that’s currently holding aggro on the main boss right now. It could be any player or any class on the the boss at any time. It’s usually determined by the target of target window.

An example of healing assignments for Al’ar on Phase 2:

  • Pete the Paladin is healing Tim who is grabbing all the birds
  • Reginald and Riley, the 2 Resto Shamans, will be healing the raid
  • Penelope, Price, and Dominic (2 Priests and a Druid) will be healing the active tank which could either be Tyler, Thomas, or Tootoo

If you’re the healing leader, you’re going to recognize what a pain in the ass it is to tell your healers:

“Heal Tyler, Tootoo or Thomas, whoever happens to have aggro on Al’ar at the moment.”

It’s easier to tell your Priests to cover the active tank. By saying that, your healers should recognize that their job is to heal whoever has aggro on the boss.

I’m always on the lookout for different labels and methods to make healing assignments easier on a raid. Are there other ways that you use or that your Guild uses to simply healing assignments more?

Part 5: Ways to Promote Your Blog

WoW Blogging 101

Due to Chinese New Year festivities, I’ve had to run on a reduced schedule today. Therefore, the only piece I could get up was non WoW related! Those of you that have just started blogging and are wondering how to promote your blog won’t have to look any further!

The Most Important Rule in Mount Hyjal

If you ever get to experience the pain of Mount Hyjal, just make sure you follow this very important rule:

Go to the bathroom BEFORE engaging trash.

Oh, and I forgot to include this awesome screenshot:

Anetheron

Yes, we killed Anetheron. We’re sitting at 2/5 Hyjal.

Phat loots? You bet!

Archbishop’s Slippers
Bastion of Light

I picked me up a pair of slippers to replace my Boots of the Long Road.

Responding to the “I Play for Personal Advancement and Gear Argument”

I was going through my dailies this morning (a real life quest involving using all my reagents to create coffee, finding clothes, and reading 20 blogs before going to school) and I came across a post on the Raider’s Progress that was seemingly not happy with Warcrafter.

The reason for their unhappiness?

It has nothing to do with the features of Warcrafter.
It has nothing to do with the information on Warcrafter
It has nothing to do with the analysis and conclusions that comes out of Warcrafter.

It has to do with the attitude and mentality that these kind of services support. That is, emphasizing the person over the player.

The Question

This quote effectively echoes the sentiment of 95% of players in the game [citation needed]:

    the only reason I play is because of gear and my personal advancement. I know it sounds selfish but thats how it is.

That quote was also taken from Raider’s Progress.

That’s fair enough. Everyone likes to feel a sense of achievement. The best way to express that achievement is via the gear on your character. It proves that you’ve done certain things in the game and killed certain bosses. Raiding Guilds are composed of players that want to progress in WoW (Casual and hardcore).

Players that are in the game only for themselves can be detrimental to the Guild they are in. But sometimes, being selfish can be a good thing. If the attitude can be harnessed properly, you can easily turn a player from a loot maniac to a player who will do whatever it takes to get the loot he wants.

So how do you change the mentality of that player who is so intrinsically selfish that he doesn’t seem to care about the Guild?

The Answer

You, as the GM, officer, monkey, murloc or whatever title you may have in the Guild have to make them understand 1 thing only.

Change this:

    the only reason I play is because of gear and my personal advancement. I know it sounds selfish but thats how it is.

to this:

    the only reason I play is because of gear and my personal advancement and the only way I can do that is ensure my guild is also progressing which requires gear.

It’s a real obvious statement, there is no question about it. Make that person understand that it takes 25 people to move forward.In order to that, it needs hard work and effort. I don’t know how many times I can emphasize that.

There are always going to be players that have a “me first” mentality in a Guild. Make them understand that in order for them to get the best pieces of gear in the game, everyone else in the Guild also has to get it at the same rate as that player or else that Guild will not move forward.

Dangle the loot that’s relevant to them in front of their faces. Even they can understand that if they want that loot, they have to kill a boss in order to even get a shot at it. The “me first” attitude is fine if they understand that it comes with patience and effort.

Star Players

In every professional sports teams, there are star players. There are certain names who night after night just seem to deliver their best performances.

The Patriots have Tom Brady, who was able to deliver and lead his team to a Super Bowl choke appearance.
The Penguins have Sidney Crosby, the best overall hockey player in the world.
The Yankees have (had?) A-Rod, who… was probably important for other reasons.

Challenge your Guildmates to be the best they can be. Recount and other DPS meters, used in the right way, can help foster a little of competition. Warcrafter and WWS can be used to show whose slacking and who isn’t.

In my opinion, it’s not about the methods. It’s about the results. Eventually, players will realize that PvP Gear isn’t going to cut it on certain encounters because sites like Warcrafter and WWS will prove that your PvE geared players will eventually top them in damage.

Just remember. If everyone brings their A game to the table, then those end game bosses won’t even stand a chance.

An Epic Gem Loot Problem

I’ve got a problem that I’m hoping an players in MH or BT can address.

It mainly concerns the epic gems from those places.

How does a Guild handle epic gems like that? We were considering using DKP and bidding but all that would do is determine the order in who gets what gems. Obviously we want the epic gems to get slotted into the T6 stuff. We maximize our performance by putting epic gems and such in there. So we were debating setting up a mail order kind of deal where if a player wanted some gems, all he’d have to do is send a request in (verbal or otherwise), what gem, what cut, and what item he was going to install it on. Only 1 gem per order.

I don’t think our brass have decided on an adequate way of distribution yet. We’re trying to employ a bit of common sense as well since these ARE just gems. Several months from now, we’ll probably have more gems then we know what to do with.

Ideas? =)

Guest Post: A First Look at a Feeder Guild

This is a guest post from Galadria. She represents half of the knowledge from the Light and the Dark.

We’ll start with a sample scenario. You are a member of l33t Guild, part of the raid core. Your guild is farming the lower bosses of TK/SSC and trying to down Vashj and Kael to get into Hyjal/BT. Since most of your raid core doesn’t need gear out of T4 content, it’s basically PUG. Whoever can throw a run together does whenever they happen to be in the mood. Since the raid core doesn’t want to have wipe fests, when they do farm that content (for badges or off spec gear) they tend to do it with each other so they can blow through it quickly. One day JoeRogue; who has been raiding in Kara for a while and gone on a few runs of Gruul and Mag, asks that oft dreaded question in Gchat:

    “How come I never get to raid?”

This sets off a fevered discussion with much flaming from the raid core and much grousing from lower echelons of the guild. The core raiders don’t want to hear it, they’ve put in the time and effort to be where they are. The lower ranked players feel shafted, they never get a chance at better gear or to show the raid leaders that they can play competently.

Overlooking the fact that there seems to be a bunch of whining, it shows a problem I think a lot of guild at this level have. The guild is split between those that are part of the progression raiding and well geared, and those that are just getting Kara keyed or just out of Kara, and learning how to raid. These two groups have different needs from the guild. Both groups need structured, scheduled raid time for their level of content, lead by a competent RL to make things go smoothly. They just need different content.

Requirements

Kara (1-2 nights), Gruul (1 night), Mag (1 night), SSC (probably 2 nights), TK (probably 2 nights). If you stacked groups correctly, you could do Kara in 1 night and Gruul and Mag in the same night. That’s still 6 nights of scheduled raiding! I don’t see many guild leaders (in average guilds) being able to handle that.

As I see it you have a few options:

Option 1

Let the lower level players fend for themselves. They can probably make in-guild PUG Kara/ZA runs without much problem but Gruul/Mag is going to be a lot for some random person with a little initiative to get together. This may lead to unhappy players in your lower ranks. However, since they’re not part of your progression team you may not care if they come or go but I tend to think that’s kind of a crappy way to deal with the situation.

Option 2

Another option is to be up front with this group and tell them that you will not be scheduling any events at their level of progression and if they want to experience that content they should find a guild at their level to grow with. This is tough since a lot of these people will be friends of members of your raid core. I think it’s good to be up front and honest, and you’re doing them a favor by letting them know that you are not able to meet their needs. It can be up to them to find someone who can.

Option 3

What I think is the best option is to establish what I call the Feeder Guild. This can be a separate entity or a sub-set of your existing guild. This guild becomes a leveling and early raiding guild that prepares your lower level players for higher content. This option will take more work at the beginning to get started, but will be worth it in the end.

You’ll need to find someone (or a couple of people) who have the organizational skills and the drive to run the show. This person should be outfitted with the resources and responsibilities to organize your lower level raids for those that need/want them. It’s also a good idea to get a few of your higher level raiders willing to help out. Even a few above level players can make a huge difference in how smooth a raid goes. If you don’t have anyone willing to help, you can consider offering a small amount of DKP for an incentive with a weekly limit.

This is also a great way for your Raid Core to get their alts into the lower level raids. Just about every 70 raider that I know has and alt (or 5) and most of them have been at it long enough to have another 70. They always seem to ask to take their alts on Kara runs. Here’s a great opportunity to get them access into regular runs of lower level raids.

Splitting the raiding responsibilities between 2 groups means a manageable 2-4 nights of raiding for each group.

Each group can also handle loot individually. I know a lot of guilds tend to throw DKP out the window for lower level raids. Then the guy who’s been playing with your guild for a while can get unlucky on a roll and loose loot he’s been waiting for to a guy who just joined looking for some quick purples.

As with everything else, this is a highly personal situation. What works for one guild will not necessarily work for another. You may be really picky about who gets a ginvite and don’t have this problem since you don’t let anyone in that’s not geared well enough. You may let everyone and their dog into the guild, but don’t really care if they get any raid time. If however, you do have a similar situation, consider this solution.