5 Things Jack Bauer Taught Me About Raiding

5 Things Jack Bauer Taught Me About Raiding

Jack Bauer 
Photo courtesy of Kiefer-Rocks

I’m into the whole action hero counter-terrorism deal. I read a lot of Tom Clancy  (Rainbow Six) when I was younger. I like to play special forces oriented shooters when I’m not playing Warcraft. I check out 24 every so often when it’s showing on TV. Jack Bauer is one of my favourite fictional characters. Hell, if I could have the guy as my Guild leader, I’d be all over it. I mean sure he’s a little intimidating, but if you can look beyond his torturing and his willingness to kill, he seems like a nice guy that gets things done.

He’d roll a Warrior, I bet.

There’s a lot of important lessons you can find from his quotes throughout the years and I feel that raiders would benefit from it. Potential new raiders would also benefit from the wisdom of Jack Bauer. So what is he trying to tell you? What is he trying to say? I will do my utmost to translate his words into something you can understand and interpret.

[to Audrey, who was held by the Chinese for a few months]
Jack Bauer: I know what it’s like to feel like it’s never going to end.

Welcome to raiding. It’s a huge time investment. You almost never know when it’s going to end. After a while, you’re going to wish that it will end especially on marathon nights when Guild leaders are in their "just one more attempt" mood. There will be nights where you will wipe repeatedly for a long time and it really is going to feel like it’s never going to end.

But hey, Jack Bauer was in a Chinese prison for 20 months. You’ve only had to wipe on Kael for 6 hours. Suck it up and move on, soldier.

[from Season 5 preview]
Jack Bauer: If you don’t tell me what I want to know, then it’ll just be a question of how much you want it to hurt.

At the top of my blog, there is a banner with five glowing words that encompass the overall principle that I hold dear not just in Warcraft but in life: Power Through Knowledge and Reason. Only with knowledge can one understand power. But only with reason can that power be used wisely. There are some things that players must know when raiding. There are gimmicks, traps, toys, and other random garbage being thrown our way. We have to know what they are. If we don’t know it, then we can’t prepare ourselves for it. If we don’t have a clear understanding of what we need to know, then it will hurt us big time.

Jack Bauer knows just about everything. If there’s something Jack Bauer doesn’t know, he’ll torture someone until he finds out. You just have to get off the couch and do a bit of reading and watch some videos.

Nina Myers: You’re lying.
Jack Bauer: Yes I am. But you’re still going to have to trust me.

Trust is a hard thing to do in a raid. No one likes to trust their fate on the ability of other players. If you’re like me, you’re a control freak and you want to be the only factor that affects your own fate. We don’t have that luxury in raids. I don’t deliver my promises all the time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust my ability as a healer. Could you imagine what raiding would be like if no one trusted each other? Tanks would constantly break CC targets because they didn’t trust hunters to control them. Priests would bust fears on nearby mobs. Mages would blow ice block and blink cooldowns because they wouldn’t trust healers to keep them up. Nothing would get done! Sometimes you have to place your e-life in the hands of others to get what you want: phat lewt.

Of course, Jack Bauer doesn’t trust anybody. He doesn’t trust his friends, coworkers or his own government. Unfortunately, none of us are skilled as Jack Bauer when it comes to getting things done.

Jack Bauer: That’s the problem with people like you, George. You want results, but you never want to get your hands dirty. I’d start rolling up your sleeves.

Raiding has some seriously enticing rewards especially to those that want to be the best. But you can’t just waltz in there and expect to get things handed to you. You have get down there and do the work on your own. Skill and talent or hard work and effort? I’d rather take the latter, personally. You can’t expect to stand there and spam one button to do the job, unless you’re a Resto Shaman. Going AFK isn’t going to cut it either. Raiding means that you have to seriously raid and work hard. Often times, it isn’t the most glorious of roles but someone has to do it.

From this, we learn that Jack Bauer is like most people. He rolls his sleeves up. Except when he rolls his sleeves up, it’s because he doesn’t want to get blood on his shirt.

Jack Bauer: I like working with you, Chase; you’re a nice kid. But don’t you ever come into my office and talk to me like that again, do you understand me?

There’s a certain kind of unspoken rule that needs to be followed when raiding. You should never openly question your raid leader. If he asks for help or suggestions, that’s okay. But never, ever override or tell others to do something else that the raid leader has already committed the raiders to do. That is a big giant no-no. You don’t talk to him in a condescending or disrespectful manner either. Because at the end of the day, he’s still your superior. If you want to continue raiding with the Guild you’re in, you better be able to follow those rules or else you won’t be in that Guild much longer.

Jack Bauer doesn’t take crap from anybody.

The Ego Has Landed

Uber Priest blogger Ego has converted from WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress. Congratulations on the move =)!

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks and your RSS reader.

She now has her own corner of the Internet at egotisticalpriestdotcom.

Addon: Don’t Be a Friend, be a Shaman Friend!

Addon: Don’t Be a Friend, be a Shaman Friend!

At first glance, most players might not recognize what that is. As Shamans, we have a huge variety of tools at our disposal to deal with buffs and spellcasts. Jin was sporting a spiffy addon throughout WSG weekend and I had to ask him about it. It’s called Shaman Friend. Basically, it outputs selection actions into party chat, raid chat, say chat, or raid warning.

Totally handy for PvP action. I wonder if there’s something like that for Priests.

Features

I pulled this list right from the Curse description.

- Alert if no Elemental Shield is present in combat
- Alert if no Weapon Enchant is present in combat
- Show total Windfury damage on screen with crits/misses
- Show buffs removed by Purge and/or broadcast the buffs to the chat window
- Show spell interrupted by Earth Shock and/or broadcast it to the chat window
- Show a message when Lightning Overload procs
- Show how the duration of Frost Shock on your target are affected by Dimnishing Return and showing when Diminishing Return goes off.
- Show when your Grounding Totem absorbs a spell
- Show when one of your T5 bonuses procs
- Option to select which sound to use when notified (or turn it off completely)
- Can print messages in MSBT, SCT, Parrot and a few others.
- Show a message whenever you cast Bloodlust/Heroism or Mana Tide
- Separate frame allowing for easy Earth Shield tracking and recast

So what’re you waiting for? Go grab it now!

Weekly Digest: New Loot, Handling Raid Hangover, 20 Questions with… Matticus?

What’s Happening in WoW

We killed Gorefiend a week or two back. In the next two weeks, I picked up an Amice of Brilliant Light, Angelista’s Sash, Boots of the Divine Light, and a Cowl of Benevolence. Those are big stamina upgrades for me. I rotated out my wings in favour of chain heads on my shoulders. With the exception of the Amice, the boots and cowl have been gemmed and enchanted to provide an additional boost of stamina in the event that extra health is needed in favor of healing. Now I’ve got two sets at my disposal depending on the circumstances.

Picked up Vindicator boots for my Ret. Paladin. This brings up my hit rating to 97. Think that’s a bit much? I’ll have to find someone with the Surefooted enchant to place on them boots. No point in putting on Boar’s Speed or Cat’s Swiftness since I already have the talent speed increase.

What’s Happening with the Blog

I’m working on a new version of my blogroll that I mentioned yesterday. Maybe just some more cosmetic changes and I’ll leave it at that. I’m at a complete loss as to how to even organize the entire thing.

Oh, and I apparently hit the 500 post plateau a few days ago. Here’s to more posts for the rest of the year =)!

Latest Blog Posts

5 Barriers of a Raid Healer

My 5 part series for this month looks at the problems that new raid healers may come across.

  1. Indecisivity is Bad
  2. Dealing With Criticism
  3. Recognizing Tunnel Vision
  4. Handling Overconfidence

20 Questions by Matticus

The week before, I interviewed the blogging queen herself, TJ. Last week, Kestrel flipped it around and interviewed me.

Past Hits

Past columns I have written that still hold true to this day.

One Step Closer to the Blogroll Answer

One Step Closer to the Blogroll Answer

I’ve been working on this little project of mine for the past few days and I think it’s time for me to display some of it to you guys. At the moment, my blogroll consists of nothing more than a select few blogs that rotate upon refresh. How my new look blogroll will work is that it will examine the feed URL of any blog and pull the last 5 recent headlines to appear on that blog and display them. You might’ve seen something similar from pages like Alltop or popurls. I won’t deny that I was definitely inspired by those two sites. I’m debating setting up something similar purely for WoW. Of course, there’s several obstacles in the way of that (how the heck do I sort these, how do I determine who gets listed and who gets the shaft, etc.)

But for the time being, you can find a working version of it up live on my blog.

I also need a name for it. It’s not really a blog roll, really. Matt’s ‘Marks? Allwow? Hah, right. Any ideas on names would be appreciated.

Oh by the way, those of you with your blogs listed there, let me know if you want me to take it down. I probably should have asked for permission first but if you do have a problem with me posting nothing more than your recent headlines that link to your blog then I will take it down with no questions asked.
Siha made a nice point that sorting by class may not be the right thing to do as there are numerous bloggers who write cross class. I might just give up and not worry about any kind of categories at all and just throw everything up as a mixed bag.

So, thoughts? Good idea? Bad idea? Could be executed better? Any coding wizards out there that might be interested? Design enthusiasts?

5 Barriers of a Raid Healer – Part 4: Overconfidence

5 Barriers of a Raid Healer – Part 4: Overconfidence

Image courtesy of bewinca

Each Saturday for the next five weeks, I will be writing about one barrier of the raid healer. Healers are often overshadowed and looked over since we are expected to simply know what to do. With luck, this five part series will help you to become a better raid healer whether you are a varsity or a freshman.

So far, I have covered:

Barrier 4: Confidence

“The arrogance of the young is a direct result of not having known enough consequences. The turkey that every day greedily approaches the farmer who tosses him grain is not wrong. It is just that no one ever told him about Thanksgiving.”
Harry Golden

At an end game level, raiding becomes as much of a mental game as it does pressing keys. You as a healer need to take care that you don’t overstep your bounds.

Overconfidence

There are some Guilds that suffer from players who do too little. They don’t bring 100% of their game. They consistently underperform. But then you look at the other end of the spectrum. There are players that exist (like me) who bite off way more than the can chew. I’d like to think that I can heal it all and if I didn’t have a global cooldown, I probably could. The problem is that this is not always the case.

There’s going to be fights in the game where you MUST have more than one healer on one target. Get used to it.

I’ve wiped my share of raids where I thought I could keep a player up, but I discovered quickly that they were taking more damage then I could mitigate and heal through. Even during raid healing, I find that I overextend myself by dropping heals on the main tank, the off tank, AND the hunter that’s tanking the bow in Kael’s room. It helps to swallow your pride once in a while and say that you need an extra set of hands on that one target. .

Tips

Sad to say, there’s not much in terms of advice that I can offer on the subject. It all boils down to you as a player to determine the strength of your own ability. If you know for a fact that you can handle healing, then there’s no problem. But if you’re unsure, it’s best to ask for another healer on your assignment until you can mentally gauge the amount of health that you can restore. If there appears to be no problem, then you’re golden. If there is a problem, at least you have an extra cushion to help you out.

20 Questions with Matticus

Kestrel decided to pull a fast one on me this week and ask me 20 questions. So if you’re interested in learning a little more about the mind behind the blog, by all means give it a read. Although I should caution you that you may find some unexpected answers.

Dealing With Raid Hangover in 3 Easy Steps

“I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.”
Michael Jordan

Does this sound familiar to you? You spend some time cutting through progression content. After a couple of extra shots, those bosses are considered farm content. But here’s the kicker and I guarantee you that it’s happened to every guild at one point or another.

One week, you find yourself wiping on a farm boss repeatedly.

Dealing with raid hangover is crucial because if it is not dealt with, the confidence your Guild has in it’s own ability is going to waiver. If it continues, it’s going to lead to Guild members questioning the Guild itself. The worse case scenario would be those same members leaving the Guild altogether.

And no one wants to lose players because of something that could’ve been prevented.

Step 1: Go back to the basics

Some players take shortcuts during the encounter. They do things that they would not have done if it was a progression boss. On Netherspite, for instance, we’d find ourselves wiping after a couple of phase 2′s because of badly timed netherbreaths. They would wreck our raid and we would give up after 2 attempts and move on to Chess and Prince. Keep in mind that this is just an alt Karazhan run supported by a few T6 players. Naturally most of us were upset because this was a boss that we should not have any trouble with in terms of execution. We eventually changed up our play by running to the far side of the room during phase 2 instead of staying in for his breaths because it was clear that we could not handle it for whatever reason.

We fell back to a strategy that we used the first time we learned the fight many months ago. Even though it took longer to kill Netherspite, we still got the job done.

Step 2: Reassurance and motivation

Supportive words can go a long way in a raid that’s pushing the limit. Your raid leader should be emotionally in tune with the raid to be able to detect the frustration they have and the words to say in order to help encourage the raid to keep going. Simple words like:

  • We did this once, we can do it again
  • Keep your chin up
  • Remember all the phat loot that drops off this guy *links random loot*

On the other hand, I tend to rely on other methods of motivation. If you can push the right buttons, you never know what kind of results you get. In my case, I get super annoyed when my healing ability is called into question. But that’s when I curse loudly and shut up the rest of the raid by being clutch. Coaches use this all the time to stir up their team in order to get them going. The same can be said true of raids. But you can only berate a couple of players so far before they get outright annoyed and leave the raid saying that it’s not worth their time to wipe AND get criticized. I suggest using that sparingly and even then only on players you’ve known for a while.

Step 3: Be like Nike and just do it

You know what you have to do on this boss. You’ve gone over your roles a dozen times with other players and leaders. You’ve killed the boss already and you know it’s no fluke. You have the tools to get through the encounter successfully. Whether or not the boss dies in style is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if the raid is down to 15 players or 5 players. The perception of a raiding Guild lies in their ability to kill bosses. No one’s going to care that it took three healers, a main tank, and that geared Shadow Priest who doesn’t speak an ounce of English to kill Kael. The only thing other players will remember is the fact that you downed a boss.

So what are you waiting for?

Chamber of Guilds – Mar 29: How To Get Players to Turn Down the Suck

Chamber
It’s that time again! The Chamber of Guilds has undergone a recently management shuffle and this will be the inaugural meeting of a new moderator by the name of Gertrudis. Here’s a quick overview of one of their meetings that I have done in the past on cliques.
For those that might not be aware, the Chamber of Guilds is a gathering of some of the top minds in Guild leaders and officers exchanging ideas. This conference takes place both live on ventrilo and in game so that everyone has a chance to participate. Typically, these conferences last no more than 3 hours.

Roundtable is a cross-server, cross-faction guild that allows past, present, and future guild leaders/officers 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.

Date and time: March 29, 11 AM PST (1 PM CST, 2 PM EST)
Location: You’ll need to make an account there first, I believe. But it takes place on a WoW

There’s been several topics that have been posed for discussion for everyone involved.

  • Sharing the load: Creating meaningful officer roles and delegating responsibility
  • What makes a great guild website?
  • Marketing your guild: How to attract the “right” recruits
  • How do I get them to turn down the suck? Encouraging player improvement in the casual raiding guild

All of those are excellent topics and could serve as a future foundation for blog posts for me. I highly encourage you whether or not you are in a position of power to attend the Chamber of Guilds. Meet people and exchange ideas.

For those that might not be able to attend, I’ll be there liveblogging the entire event mostly taking down notes and thoughts from contributors.

EDIT: If you’re interested, you’ll want to look at this thread on their forums for information on how to join.

Matt’s Secret for WoW Blogging Inspiration: Cosmo

Matt’s Secret for WoW Blogging Inspiration: Cosmo

A number of bloggers (RE: YOU GUYS IN THE BLOG AZEROTH CHATROOM) seem to have hit a wall recently in blogging. I count myself extremely lucky that I’m able to come up with stuff that’s fresh, relevant, and original as much as I possibly can. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hit a patch of ice once in a while and go skidding. WoW bloggers want to get that kick ass post out and attract attention but nothing seems to be working and they’re stuck with almost no good ideas!
In school, we are taught to write our thesis statement first as it helps direct the focus of our paper. Blogging is no different other then the fact that we don’t really have a thesis.

But we have a headline.

And the heading is the first thing that everyone reads whether they go to your blog or read from a reader.

One method that could work for you (and has worked for me) comes from a little well known women’s magazine called Cosmopolitan. Like a thesis, it can be difficult to write a headline first before your actual post. The premise here is that your headline looks intriguing enough to attract attention. Anyway, by looking at headlines of other publications you might be able to take those headlines and apply it to your area.

Obviously, any other magazine can work as well. THe next time you’re at the check out counter at your local super market, instead of staring ahead at the guy in front of you or contemplating all those chocolate bars on the side, direct your eyes to the magazine stands instead and see what jumps out at you and catches your attention.

So just for kicks and giggles, I’m going to take the page of the April 2007 edition of Cosmopolitan and “encourage” WoW bloggers to see if they can come up with the corresponding post. It’ll be fun to see if I actually get taken up on my offer =).

Cosmo’s Headline: 50 Things Guys Wish You Knew

Siha, I’m looking right at you as you’re one of the few GM’ing bloggers I know.

“50 Things Guildmasters Wish You Knew”

By all means, the number there is arbitrary. Use whatever value you like, although I have a sneaking suspicion that you can come up with 50 in no time.

Cosmo’s Headline: The “Friendly” Health Advice You Should Never Take

I know Megan’s a big time PvP enthusiast. You willing to try your hand on this one?

“The ‘Friendly’ Arena Advice You Should Never Take”

I know I’ve heard all manners of bad arena tips that were made with good intentions.

Cosmo’s Headline: The Silent Way He Shows He’s Whipped

Okay, Kestrel. I know you’re also a GM with your own flock of geese. How’s this?

“The Silent Way Guildies Show They’re Whipped”

We want raiders to be whipped, don’t we? Who wants a bunch of uncontrollable DPSing players anyway? Surely there must be some obvious signs.

Cosmo’s Headline: Be a Sex Genius!

Oh Anna, this one has your name written all over it.

“Be A Shamanistic Genius”

Surely there must be some tips, tricks, and techniques that you might know of that new, budding Shamans might not. I only found out the other day that Ghost Wolf Shamans can’t be sapped. Or perhaps some quick thoughts on attributes to push for gearwise in Elemental, Enhancement, and Resto as a part of the ingenuity?

Cosmo’s Headline: 16 New and Sexy Hairstyles

Big Bear Butt, I think we could all benefit from your thoughts on this.

16 New and Sexy Additions in 2.4

This is the last patch before Wrath, supposedly. There’s obviously a ton of good things coming out. Let’s narrow it down some and make it interesting, shall we?

Challenge Yourself

What about the rest of you WoW bloggers? Can you borrow one of these headlines courtesy of Cosmo and use them for your own blog? If you can, post it here and I’ll see if I can do a follow up post with links later on in the month.