Matt vs Monique: Confessions from a Current ‘Core Raider

A few days ago, Monique of Girls Don’t Game wrote a great piece detailing her illustrious history and experience in Death and Taxes. While there’s no way I’d be able to match up to her story, I do feel that I can share with you a few key points in my WoW career that shaped my path in a way that won’t come to an end like hers.

Casual times, hardcore philosophies

As a student that wants to succeed in school, I knew that I had to find myself a guild that raided often enough to get my money’s worth but didn’t raid enough so that I wouldn’t get left behind. A lot of guilds rate their ‘coreness’ by the amount of time they invest in raiding.

I didn’t want a Guild that would go from 6 PM – 12 AM. There’s no way I can sustain those kinds of hours. I wanted a Guild that had reasonable raid hours. I wanted one that wasn’t going to do more than 15 hours a week, tops.

At the same time, I wanted an organization didn’t slack off, that didn’t take a casual outlook on progression, and wanted to excel. I found such a Guild in Carnage. They share the same mindset. We all strive to be the best that we can possibly be.

If it weren’t for the fact that we raid such limited hours on a weekly basis, I have no doubt that we would be in Sunwell right now.

Lesson: The game can be addicting but only if you allow it. I was able to set limits on myself.

Blizzards Intervention

Monique’s story about the world dragons are something to be remembered. They could spawn at any time and players had to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. I’ve never been able to kill one. I’ve tried them several times but the group I was with at the time was never good enough. My group had to bow out to other Guilds that were capable of doing them. They respectfully gave us a few attempts. Quite courteous.

Blizzard seemed to say enough was enough. World bosses don’t appear to be a priority for them anymore since there are only two in the expansion: Doomwalker and Kazzak. I suspect we might not see any in Wrath at all.

Lesson: They smartened up here. It’s as if they don’t want players to overextend themselves too much and drop what they’re doing to go after these world bosses.

Monique’s story is an extreme one. I know if I tried and let myself go, I could easily turn into a player who sleeps when the world wakes up. I used to do that before during the summer months just participating in epic DoTA games. Sometimes I yearn to just go and do it. With 3 high level and well equipped healers, I’d have no problem getting into a progression Guild (especially with overpowered Resto Shamans in high demand). But I also recognize that doing so would conflict with my goals in the real world and it is not something I’m prepared to sacrifice just yet.

I love raiding! I love the thrill of killing bosses! It’s who I am and what I want to do. I may not be as hardcore as Monique once was, but I don’t fit in the average WoW player demographic. Because like Monique, I’m constantly pushing myself and constantly doing everything I can to become better within reason.

Introducing the Drama Advisory System

Introducing the Drama Advisory System

From time to time, I’ll come across various pieces of drama on the forums or in my forays across the blogosphere. Everyone loves a good dramatic thriller, especially if it doesn’t happen to them or to anyone they know. It’s just comedy after that. I like to share them every once in a while, but no tale of drama is the same. Some of them might be relevant to some people. Others might not really care about the nature of what’s being discussed. Being inspired by the good folks at Homeland Security, I’ve created my very own drama advisory system! Before every story, I’ll prefix it with a rating so you can determine if it really is worth your time to read.

Bloggers, feel free to use this for your own purposes (feel free to wipe the link from the bottom if you like as well).

Summer Fun!

Usually, I’d crank out a full-fledged post to tell you what to do, but I’m too busy having fun! So here’s the official press-release from Blizzard.

They’ve added a lot of fun stuff… so what are you waiting for?? Grab some matches, and GO PLAY!!

Update: There is neat stuff dropping off the new boss in Slave Pens – most notably, a very interesting new enchant: Deathfrost. That and the icy-theme of the gear drops seems to be a preview of things coming in WotLK.

Also, some people collect non-combat pets; I collect holliday outfits. I’m pretty pleased with myself this time around.

I decided not to go for the shoulders – I just don’t like how they look.

Luv,
Wyn

Rez Me First!

….Or at least another Priest.

It could be a Soulstone, a Divine Intervention, a vanished Rogue with a pair of cables, or a clever Druid with a well-timed battle rez taken once the coast is clear. The idea is to save the raid the lengthy corpse-run, and to pick up and move on as quickly as possible.

Wipe Prevention – (n.) – \?w?p\ \pri-?ven(t)-sh?n\ – the concept of having at least one raiding member with the ability to Resurrect other members still alive after all other raiders are dead, and the boss or mobs have reset.

Because the entire purpose of wipe-prevention is time-efficiency, it has always frustrated me when the player charged with reviving the raid seems to have no concept of whom to rez first, second, or last. It gets worse when no one else in the raid seems to know what to do, either. After my guild’s last efforts in Sunwell, I decided to write a quick tutorial:

Always resurrect other rezzers first

This is the most crucial point, but even within this simple concept, it makes the most sense to pick some rezzers over others. Three classes have out of combat resurrection spells. Priests have Resurrection, which costs 60% of our base mana. Shamans have Ancestral Spirit which costs 72% of their base mana, and Paladins have Redemption which costs 64% of their base mana. It makes sense to pick up your Priests first, since they will be able to resurrect the most people without having to stop and drink. Remember that HEALER doesn’t necessarily mean REZZER. Druids can obviously not help here, but non-healing Priests, Shamans, and Paladins should. Don’t let them be lazy.

Personally, 60% of my base mana is 1,500. My Shammie brothers-in-arms’ rezzes cost as much as 3,000. I only have to drink to the point where I have 3,000 of my mana back and my regen will allow me to chain-cast rezzes without stopping until the whole raid is up. It makes more sense to pick me up than to pick up an ele shaman with only 250 mp5 and a 9k mana pool.

Resurrect raiders who need to do extra prep second

This means warlocks who need to summon healthstones and demons, Hunters who have to revive their pets, and buff-classes who will need to fill their mana in order to buff. (Mages, Druids)

Last are classes with little prep

Rogues who may need to apply poisons, non-buffing (usually feral) Druids, and Warriors.

Other speed-recovery pointers
  • Once their summoning duties are over, warlocks should drink to replenish their mana, rather than distracting the healers by life-tapping.
  • Group-Buffs should be done as soon as a given party is fully rezzed.
  • If one raider is doing the bulk of the rezzing, another member of their class should take over their buff-assignment (where possible), so they can drink and be ready to go with the rest of the raid.
  • All raiders who are NOT rez classes should eat their buff food and replenish their own mana as soon as they have been revived – this is not the time to take a bio-break or grab a snack.
  • One of the macros I posted in my UI series is my Rez macro. It casts rez, whispers the recipient, and plants a message in my guild’s healer channel to let them know my target. This avoids wasting time while two or three people try to rez the same target.

That can sound like a whole bunch of rules, but the underlying principle is very simple: Rez the people who can help get the rest of the raid up as quickly as possible first. Rez the people who need time to get ready second. Rez the people who need the least time last. You can save enough time this way to get in more attempts, avoid re-clearing trash, or keep a night of farm content from drawing out much longer than it should.

Luv,
Wyn

I Hate Unannounced MIA’s

As I write this, I’m currently “borrowing” the internet connection of a neighbor. I wanted to update you all on what has been an extremely eventful (albeit fairly painful) week.

  • I injured my lower back earlier this week which had stopped temporary production of posts.
  • I received a text message earlier yesterday that knocked out my ADSL modem (cellphone, bad phone filter, etc.). A tech is being dispatched at some point later this afternoon or early during the weekend. Depending on how quick they can diagnose and troubleshoot the problem, I may not be able to make the WoW Insider show.
  • Wynthea’s boss doubled her work-load then went out of town, so she’s been out-of-commission.

Just wanted to keep you apprised. I haven’t quite disappeared off the radar yet.

On another completely different note, if you possess a router that has wireless capabilities, please do the following:

  1. Disable the wireless aspect if you don’t have any wireless devices

  2. Change your password to something that isn’t: password, admin, nimda, apple, your birthday, or your street address backwards.

All the best!
– Matticus

LF Free Agent Resto Druid

Carnage has a position open for a free agent Resto Druid. We’re literally on the cusp of killing Illidan. Hyjal is on farm status as well as the first 8 bosses in Black Temple.

In the brief

Server: Ner’Zuhl (West Coast, PvP, PST Server)
Guild Name: Carnage
Website: http://www.carnage-guild.org/pn/
Raiding Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM, Sunday: 3:30 PM – 9:00 PM [Note that times are subject to change] That’s under 13 hours of mandatory raiding a week

Faction: Alliance
Progress: 5/5 Mount Hyjal, 8/9 Black Temple

What our Guild can offer:
* A relaxed and fun raiding environment
* Adult, mature players to interact with
* A great sense of community and belonging
* Ventrilo

Ideal Candidates:
* Are mature, over 16 years
* Possess a working microphone and are not afraid to use it
* Possess a stable internet connection and a raid capable computer that will not explode
* Skilled Player: Skilled in the class that you play
* Excellent Attitude: No negativity. A positive personality that synchronizes with the rest of the guild is an asset
* Should be geared in T5 level/Badge epics

Note: If you need gear from Karazhan, this is not the Guild for you.

UI Requirements:
Omen
CTRA/ORA2 (For raid querying only, you can use whatever raiding interface you like)
Deadly Boss Mods/Bigwigs

We are looking for:

Healer: Part time position available for a Resto Druid.

Once again, contacts: Send in game messages to Mallet, Maeve, Rackham on Ner’Zuhl. Alternatively, you can create an account on the website, and post on the Recruiting Forums.

Renew Your Interest in WoW

Renew Your Interest in WoW

Image courtesy of hbrinkman 

There’s been some general apathy going around the WoW community. A lot of players have gotten bored of the game or aren’t quite sure what to do next. It’s as if they’ve reached a roadblock in their WoW career and there’s no where to go, nothing to do, nothing to talk about.

Does this sound familiar?

I could come up with a few ways to beat back this wave of depression, but I was beat to it by PTD a few weeks back (and his post was even highlighted on WoW Insider)! There are some fun activities that you can do but the secret is that you’re better off playing with friends. WoW is a social game, remember. I’m lucky that I’ve got a great group of friends both within the guild and outside of the guild that I can hang out and blow up BGs with.

If you’re absolutely bored with WoW, then you may as well call it right now and not waste any more money playing something you don’t really want to play. Wait for the expansion when everyone resets. Kick back and relax for the summer.

On the other hand, maybe you’re bored of the players in your Guild. I know in hockey, sometimes the stars get bored of playing in their current team for so long that their performance suffers. Sometimes they need a change of scenery. A trade can work out for both parties involved and help jumpstart their career again. Perhaps it’s time for your relationship with your Guild to end and for you to move onto another organization if you’re feeling the depression. It’s not what you do, it’s who you play with. I’ve seen several bloggers uproot themselves from their original servers and transfer elsewhere.

As the months have passed, I’ve noticed several former prominent WoW bloggers disappear off my radar with absolutely no notice at all whatsoever. I don’t know whats happened to them or they’re even still around, but I wanted to take a moment and recognize their contributitions to our awesome community while they were still here. Since they haven’t posted in such a long time, it’s safe to assume that the blogs have been all but abandoned.

Girl Meets WoW – Awesome blog from a progression oriented mage. Last posted April 29th.

The Light and the DarkOne of the early Priest blogs that fell victim to that of real life. Last posted March 4th.

Trollin’ – 
- Another Shadow Priest blog that I’ve followed for the longest time. It had a lot of mathematics in it which made my head spin. I’ve seen Trollin’ around the area though. I’m not quite sure what kind of shenanigans he’s up to at at the moment. But he’s out there lurking!

Outsourcing Your Raid Instance: Pros and Cons

High end raiders will reach a point where they can’t seem to make any further progress in the week. Maybe their raiding week ended early and there’s a day or two left over with a few bosses remaining. In some cases you might encounter a situation where a more progressed Guild comes up to you and requests to take your instance.

Why would a Guild do that?

Both parties could benefit out of a mutual arrangement. Here’s a few reasons:

The Asking Guild

  • No time needed to clear through trash
  • Specific bosses available

The Receiving Guild

  • Some form of compensation for their instance being taken
  • Experience gain for a few members if an agreement is reached where they can raid with the Asking Guild

Things to consider

There are a few ethical obligations to keep in mind. Usually an asking Guild will go to the guild leader and ask them for permission and try to reach a deal. If they’re not able to, they might turn to other members in the Guild in order to hijack their instance.

Pros
  • I O U: Good and honorable Guilds will never forget favors and I try to build as much good will as I can. Networking is an important skill to have.
  • Chance at free loot: Who wouldn’t want a free shot at gear without having to spend copious amounts of DKP?
  • Experience gain: You’re able to learn from other experienced players around you in regards to little tricks that can be done to make the encounter go by smoother.
Cons
  • Wasted Effort: Don’t like the idea of clearing all the way to the end boss for another Guild to swoop in and take the kill.
  • Contaminates the Economy: If an item drops and a member from the receiving Guild gets it, it could cause some animosity amongst players in the Guild because they didn’t have to spend DKP for it.
  • Costly: If the instance is given without a GM’s consent, the consequences could be very high leading to a GKick.

As a personal belief, if an opportunity arose where another Guild wanted to take our instance and kill Kael in Tempest Keep and we would no longer be raiding the rest of the week, I would have no qualms at all with giving them our instance. Coming from an Asian family, it’s been instilled that wasting anything is wrong whether it’s money, food, or Archimonde.

So what’s the going rate on Archimonde right now? Would your GM be willing to pay to take another Guild’s Archie kill? If you’re on the receiving end, what would your price or terms be in negotiating with another progressed Guild?

This Is What Happens When Matticus Leaves Wyn In Charge…

This Is What Happens When Matticus Leaves Wyn In Charge…

Matt’s going to kill me for this one, but he’s off studying for mid-terms and left me with the keys. I have a couple of actually informative and opinionated posts in the making, but they’re not yet ready for public consumption – and most people wouldn’t read them on a Saturday, anyway. 

One of the really cool things about WoW is how much time and effort Blizzard put into making our virtual home visually stunning. Most of us probably have at least one screenshot of a sunset or moonrise. Here are a few of my favorite non-landscapes from over the years. If you decide to link to your own in the comments, or click on a link provided, please use caution.

 

I took my dog fishing with me. He’s good company

 

We nearly forgot to loot him!

We all got naked for the Illidan pics – There was a lot of reshuffling and “Can you hold this for me? My bags are full!!”

Very artistic, for a duel, don’t you think?

We Love You Mom

It was one of the other girls’ ideas….. The surprise was that the raid went along with it.

Azeroth from the Spire

That big moon you can see from places in Black Temple is actually Azeroth. You can see the Maelstrom in the middle, there. This is on Illidan’s spire.

 Contemplating Nagrand

Still one of my favorite shots – my human wasn’t 70 yet, and I was puttering around in Nagrand. Yes, I farmed the rep for a real Darnassus tiger.

Tree vs. Spaceman Spiff

There’s a better action shot of this duel… But the speech bubble makes the joke.

Epic PvP

Some back-story here: I met Tras while I was leveling through STV. He’s one of those 70’s that likes to gank all day. When I didn’t see him for a while, I got a little worried about him (I know, carebear.), so I asked a friend to roll hordeside and send him an in-game mail. We started talking on vent, and became good friends. One day, world defense was spamming about STV, and I thought I knew who it was. I showed up to watch the chaos, and a lowbie (no doubt tired of corpse-running) asked me to DO SOMETHING. Nevermind that a Holy Priest in full PvE gear is no match for a Fire Mage atop a yardarm, I went in swinging. I don’t think the lowbie thought it was very funny…..

So I was walking through Shat one day…. and saw this nonsense going on. Proof that Shamans are powerless under a full moon.

 

I raided with stock UI all the way up to Vashj and Kael. No lie. And this was on a 15” monitor. Yeah, I don’t know how I did it, either.

This appeals to my girly aesthetics.

It's a Wipe

Learning Archi is fun. Thankfully, fire doesn’t damage your armor.

 

And that’s pretty much a round-up. There are more, of course, but most of them are more meaningful to the people and guilds that they feature. If you haven’t done it in a while, I recommend flipping through your screenshots. The nostalgia factor is enough to make it worthwhile, and you just might find yourself some new wallpaper.

Bonus: More Matt and Wyn for Your Friday

As per the terms of NAFTA, since I interviewed Auz, it’s only fair that she gets to take a few shots at us as well.

Enjoy!

Also Wyn put up a new poll on the side from a comment that was made earlier applauding the increased Horde presence. To what faction do you swear your allegiance?

Do you consider yourself Horde or Alliance?

  • Thrall is my homeboy. (52%, 148 Votes)
  • I'm Jaina-licious. (48%, 137 Votes)

Total Voters: 285

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