Assigning Healing Strategy – Part 4: Addons to Make Raid Life Easy

Assigning Healing Strategy – Part 4: Addons to Make Raid Life Easy

heal-assign

Welcome to the fourth in a 5 part series here on World of Matticus. For the next several weeks, I?ll be covering the rare topic of assigning raid heals. No one really wants to do it but it?s the most important job in the raid and I?ll provide a basic overview of the process and some advanced tips!

In case you missed it:

  1. Week 1: Recognizing Class Strengths
  2. Week 2: Double Shifting Your Healers
  3. Week 3: The Pivot Healer

Yeah I slacked off for two weeks. Bad thing to do when writing a series. But I have an excuse! We’ve called our raids until the start of the school year and I couldn’t very well post healing assignment stuff without actual screenies now could I?

When it comes to raiding addons, players will typically use one or the other. Most players would never dream of mixing and matching addons because it feels redundant, it’s a waste of system resources, and it would add to the overall general clutter of the screen.

For assigning healing, we are blessed with a wide variety of addons to make our life easier than healing a full T6 Prot Warrior with the Bulwark of Azzinoth carrying the flag in Warsong Gulch.

Anyway, there’s a multitude of healing assignment addons that we can use to help quarterback and direct our healers in raids.

But who says we’re restricted to only using 1?

Why not use more than 1 for different parts of the raid?

Before the days of addons and mods and all these funky gadgets that make our life easier, healing QBs used to rely on the tried and true method of pen and paper in order to organized their thoughts. After they’d come to a satisfactory list of who-heals-who, it would then be painstakingly macro’d and transmitted in game in WoW.

Thankfully, we don’t have to do that anymore. And now, onto the choices!

Heal Assign

Source: Curse

Pros
  • Lets healers assign themselves
  • Also allows raid leaders and assistants to assign healers accordingly
Cons
  • Requires everyone to download the addon
  • Command line interface, no GUI

Healing Assigner

Source: Curse

Pros
  • Really easy point and click interface
  • Assignments are saved in case of disconnect
  • Exports to Raid, Guild, Party, and custom channels
  • Can assign the same healers to multiple targets
Cons
  • Can be a bit tedious due to constant switching between bosses
  • Only 10 assignments can be dealt

Heal Organizer

Source: Curse

Pros
  • Drag and drop interface is a nice touch
  • Syncs with MT targets
  • Can assign Dispels if needed
  • Can save healing instructions for later recall
  • Allows people to whisper the heal QB if they forget their assignments (for shame)
Cons
  • Doesn’t seem to be able to handle multiple assignments for 1 healer
  • Requires MT targets
  • Up to 8 targets
  • Maximum of 4 healers per tank

Putting it to use

ho-1I did try using Heal Assign for a while but I quickly shelved it in favor of using Healing Assigner and Heal Organizer.

The two-addon method is especially effective in multi-stage encounters like Illidan and Leo. There are times when you have to change up the tanks or the tanks healers to adapt to the different parts of the fight.

If the bosses have been on farm for a while, then I’ll set up Heal Organizer for trash healing orders really quick. Note how Heal Organizer automatically pulls the list of tanks from the MT list. It saves you the effort of having to pick out specific targets. Each tank is limited to 4 healers. It doesn’t appear to be possible to assign crosshealers . For example, I am not able to assign myself (Mallet) onto Kimbo, Inscrutiable and Artillery.

The raid that this shot was taken in was a Gruul’s Lair pug. The total amount of possible healers we have 13. This is incorrect as we were packing 6 (or it might have been 7). The addon does not  differentiate between specs. In other words, you might end up having Ret or Prot Paladins as well as Feral Druids and Enhancement Shamans clogging up the list. You need to be aware of the individual specs that these players are in order to be effective otherwise your raid will be in a world of hurt (and surprise) when that Feral Druid is assigned to healing.

ha-1

The Gruul’s Lair example

Now that we get to the actual boss, things become a little more complexicated. I have to make sure there’s enough heals to go around. I need to make sure that the right tanks get the heals that are proportional to the amount of damage they take. I’ll end up stacking 2 – 3 healers on the MT (2 direct healers, and a HoT class). In this case, I picked a Priest and a Paladin to take care of our main tank (Kimbo).

The Shaman was going to be kited by 2 Hunters. Remember the Shaman boss only focuses on one target before he Polys the guy and peels off to another one. I assigned one Paladin to heal both Hunters (Khalis).

Our Mage tank, Sheeptoucher, would be healed by Stupyd, one of our other stronger healers. The rest were filled out accordingly.

The thing about using this mod is that you have to physically click and target members within the raid. Pick the healer first then press Set. Pick their assignment, then click assign. If no one is selected, it will default to either ‘Unassigned’ or ‘raid’. Between this and Heal Organizer, I use this mod more frequently as I’m given much more flexibility and control in what I need to do.

The inability for it to save certain profiles means I have to reconstruct from memory who I assigned to whom last week. That’s the one main criticism I have. It’ll end up taking me 3 – 5 minutes at a time per boss fight.

Tip: Start setting up your healers on the boss about 2-3 trash pulls before you get to the boss.

Raid chat

Here’s what the 2 mods look like when echoed in raid chat.

ho-2 ha-2
Heal Organizer

Includes a built in responder. When someone whispers you ‘heal’, it’ll automatically respond back with who they are supposed to heal. Warning: Feature may be subject to abuse by Huntards.

Healing Assigner

A lot more straight forward, Healing Assigner will simply spit whatever you throw in there out into raid. If someone forgets, you’ll have to hit the “Report” button to repeat their job again.

SYTYCB: Week 1 cuts

I’ve been staring at this screen for about an hour. It’s been blank for the amount of time. I ended up typing, backspacing, and retyping it again from the beginning because I didn’t like how it started. After a while, I realized that it’s not going to matter. Write from the heart, right?

Veleda

Status: Safe

I’m going to give you a chance to redeem yourself. I mentioned in my critique that you laid out the ground work but were a little slow on the execution. Using a sports analogy, follow through on your serve. Your instincts are good. Trust them.

Jen

Status: Safe

While I think you were lacking in several points, I also think that you’ve got an amazing and bubbly personality that hasn’t been allowed to fully develop yet. We’ll see how week 2 treats you.

Rusco

Status: Eliminated

I’m going to have to let you go. Thanks for participating and I don’t want you to be disheartened or anything. You’ve got your own unique style and voice but it’s not something I’m looking for on this blog.

Most of you guys may not know about this, but Rusco has his own blog which he started not too long ago. Let’s show him a bit of support!

Too Many Wordles!

Anna pointed this out to me a few minutes ago, but check out her blog post on it anyway.

More importantly, look at this Wordle:

World of Matticus Wordle

Wyn’s name is bigger than my name. I call shenanigans! That’s inconceivable!

At the public library. Last day of work. Got off early. Going out for dinner (Aunt’s paying). Will be home in a few hours.

I’ve made my decision.

Week 1: Matt and Wyn’s Critique (and a free blog tip)

Week 1: Matt and Wyn’s Critique (and a free blog tip)

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Image courtesy of cnina

I’ll announce the one blogger who gets cut later on tonight after I get home from work. But first, I wanted to go through each of them and talked about what I liked and what I didn’t like.

The week 1 post format I chose is arguably one of the toughest to do. You have to have some knowledge of what you’re writing about, for one thing. Second, your rant has to be able to stir up a reaction. Rants I read are either humorous (designed to poke fun at something) or motivational (designed to get you to get up off your chair and do something). Lastly, you have to get into the “zone”. Great rants are done when the writer is in the mood and it’s hard to get worked up over something if you’re not that kind of a person.

However, spending an hour in trade chat’s usually enough to do it for me =).

Anyway, enough with that. I’ll announce the bloggers that are safe and the bloggers that are in the bottom 3. And yes, I did say bloggers. I said underblogger before, but all of you have officially written your first blog post and interacted with your first readers. So no matter the outcome, you’ll still be a blogger in my book.

First thing Wyn told me today: “You’re going to have a tough time – the entries were fabulous.”

The Critique

Joveta: Dear Azeroth, I Hate You

Status: Safe

First up is Joveta. The main issue and problem you’re getting at appears to be in both old world and new world content. This rant felt broad to me in that there didn’t seem to be anything specific. There are lots of examples that could’ve been used in old world design and layout in addition to the experience (Remember the runs to SM or Gnomeregan?). You brought personality into this post. The custom images here were okay, and they did add a nice touch. I’ll warn you that you were right on the line here so I’m hoping you’ll be able to step up your game next week as your status could’ve gone either way.

Big props for interacting with everyone like you did and that’s a skill that a majority of the SYTYCB writers all seem to share: Humility.

Wyn’s thoughts:

First of all, I know how tough rants can be – they come off best when your emotions about the subject are fresh – and we forced the style upon you. Although your writing style is inherently strong, this entry just felt dispassionate to me. I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do with a different style; one that perhaps makes you feel a little more comfortable.

Veleda: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

Status: Bottom 3

Veleda’s first post refers to Guild bank hijacking and this one did fire me up because it has happened to me before. Not only that, my account had been hacked into a few years back so I know what the experience is like. Unfortunately, the fact that I got a reaction is one of the few positive things I can say about it. This post felt more like an essay than a blog post. It’s a lesson that many bloggers early on don’t seem to understand. The first four or so paragraphs were spent laying the setting and painting the picture of the scenario. The post only really got going towards the end and I would have loved to see some more expansion and more pseudo-flaming at that point because I think you would have been able to build upon that even more.

Wyn’s thoughts:

This is not only something that has happened to me, it was HUGE in the Series of Unfortunate Events that murdered my first, beloved Horde guild. (Estimated retail value of stolen goods: 70,000g. Not a typo.) Given my passion for this subject, I was surprised how little I felt coming from you on this. Rather than a journalistic critique of the situation, I think this would have carried more weight with a more emotional look at the anecdote, even interviews from victims of this kind of thing. You do propose a good solution – requiring alts to request membership on their mains first, but it’s lost in the sea of text. To me, the post suffered more because its subject is so hot right now – it emphasised the cooled-off attitude of the entry.

Tulani: The Dark Side – Expansion Syndrome 

Status: Safe

This is the first post that was set up earlier in the week that detailed the looming shadow of… Expansionitus. It’s a common ailment, usually occurs when players become increasingly bored. The first thing that jumped out at me is that my eyes were at east just reading this post. Formatting is an incredibly key skill to have when blogging and you’ve demonstrated an initial understanding of it. Blogging isn’t all about writing. It’s about how you present it. I liked this post not only because of the attention it brings to current raiding Guilds, but because it acts as a wake up call to everyone else. You didn’t just highlight a problem. You highlighted a problem and encouraged people to go out and do what they can. Sometimes a call to arms is what people need to hear in order to get their butts in gear.

Wyn’s thoughts:

Rather well-executed, in my opinion. From the choice of RaWr as your top graphic – in Sunwell, no less – emphasising your frustration to very concrete personal examples, as well as proposed solutions. You make your point well, and with passion. Stylistically, not your strongest piece of writing, but with a rant it’s much more important to grab your readers’ emotion and attention with well-reasoned arguments than to showcase your literary chops. Great job.

Crutch: The Last Piece of Loot 

Status: Safe

This is a good post. There’s nothing really bad about it but there’s nothing that really stood about about it in my mind either. Loot and the RNG system of WoW will always be an issue to everyone involved. There was a nice touch at the end of the post asking for reader interaction and that did open the floodgates as this post is one of the top commented posts not just amongst submitters but amongst all of my posts combined. I felt that you, Crutch, could have improved more and expanded on some of the points.

The frustration at the end could’ve been expanded more to help illustrate a problem that many raiders are going through: Do I blow the badges, or pray for a drop? Gearing order and choice is another huge dilemma . I can spend some badges now to get a minor upgrade, or wait another 3 weeks to get enough badges for a major upgrade.

Wyn’s thoughts:

Another dispassionate rant – which, by this point, I really do think is a product of it being the first style requested. My Human Priest fought Vashj and Kael with the Prismatic Mittens of Mending from Botanica – because I lost every roll for T4, and the Gloves of Saintly Blessings have never dropped for me, ever. I was very interested to read the commentary around what other pieces eluded players – but I agree with Matt (shocker!) that the strongest point of this post was the overwhelming community reaction. You chose your subject well, and obvously touched a nerve!

Rusco: It’s not you, it’s me. Yea, no. Really.

Status: Bottom 3

You went from STV to Lordaeron to Darnassus down to Silithus with this post. I browsed through the comments and noticed a few people say that this post felt kind of “rantish”. That’s actually the main point. You’re supposed to rant. I liked the tone you brought in and the aggressive personality that you displayed. The main problem was that I wasn’t sure what you were pissed off at the most. Any of the topics from raiding preparation, consumables, and encouraging 1st class raid performance would have been excellent points in their own right.

It looked like what you did here is that you took all of the main points of raiding and scrunched it up into a ball. I felt that it lacked a lot of depth. Lots of potential here but you went off on a wild tangent and that’s where you lost points.

Wyn’s thoughts:

I get frustrated with the lowest common denominators in WoW, too, and my guild has been treated to a front-row seat to my thoughts on appropriate prep for raids on multiple occassions. I still felt like your organization and direction were lacking in this – to me, it feels like you did your initial brain-dump first draft, but never went back to polish up the flow of your thoughts. A good topic, and one near-and-dear to my heart, but I’m quite sure you can execute this better.

Sydera: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

Status: Safe

For not following a typical Matticus like post, I think you did a damned good job, Sydera! You chose a problem that many players can relate to. You mixed a letter post into a rant post which I found innovative. The path of evolution from the Badge of Justice, I felt, you illustrated well. I also loved the references to pop culture like Beverly Hills and US Weekly. The pictures and screenshots you took helped accent your post and break up the monotony the text.

I can’t knock you on formatting on this one because it’s logistically difficult to do something like that. You can’t really put headers or convert this to lists or bullets. I’d like to see some emphasis throughout your posts in the future.

Wyn’s thoughts:

There is a LOT I really like about this post. I liked that you explicitly addressed it to the Badges, so that your readers didn’t feel like they were being accused, I liked your overall humerous tone, and I liked that you made it so personal to yourself and to your guild – both now, and in Wrath. Great job, and, for my money, the best post of the week.

Jen:

Status: Bottom 3

Jen, you went after my own heart when I saw you use my heading formats. I do think this is also the first time in World of Matticus history that a video has ever been embedded that was WoW related. The ones I tend to use are from TED or hockey clips to help make a point.

But, there’s an important reason why you’re in the bottom 3. You failed to cross reference and check your sources. Uber is a word in the German language (I think) which picked up here amongst the community. Gosu, although you didn’t mention it, is another word coined by Koreans in Starcraft. A lot of words we see are unique and strange because they never originated from the English language.

This rant had potential and I’m a little disappointed in the way it ended up.

Wyn’s thoughts:

For me, it was a little all over the place. I’m a grammar-nazi myself, so the subject is fine – but in complaining about non-standard words, avoiding them in your own post is a good idea. Unless you can pull it off with some irony, but I didn’t get a sense of that here. Also, as Matt pointed out, there are a lot of explanations for the sources of this kind of language – and they are very well documented. Disliking their rampant use in an imperfect context is one thing, but assuming they’re made up or a product of shared cultural ignorance is, well, ignorant. I’ve seen you write better, and I know your goofy personality is probably not best showcased in this format. I can’t wait to see you take on a format that better-suits your style.

To everyone

Don’t be discouraged. You’ve all got blogging potential. The last thing I want to do is kill anyone’s hopes and dreams of being a blogger. My intent here is to give all of you a chance at some exposure to get an experience of what it’s like. Some days you’re getting to get a lot of back slapping and other days you will get tomatoes in the face. If you can take the hits to your pride and confidence and continue to walk with your back straight, that will have made all the difference. I’ve had my share of days where I thought I had written something brilliant only to come back later to see that it had nary a peep.

Wyn’s thoughts:

We really did choose this week’s theme by Matt asking me for a random number. In retrospect, we could not have chosen a more difficult style for the first week. Rants are best when the emotions behind your reaction are fresh – and ranting on command is not easy. Thanks for hanging in there, and we can’t wait to read what you say next!


Free blog tip (and big hint)

I’m sure some of you have heard the elevator pitch. You’re scheduled to deliver a big presentation to your CEO or exec but something happens and you have a minute to go from the top floor to the ground floor briefing your boss about the wonders of your product.

Now apply it to blogging. Our eyes are cued to notice things that stand out. I’ll frequently highlight important terms in my textbook if I know they’re examinable.

If your readers only had 30 seconds to read your post, what is the one concept or idea or message that you want them to take away?

When I’m reading posts, my eyes will slow down and lock onto anything out of the ordinary. A passage that is in block quotes, or in bullet points, or is emphasized is something that has a higher chance of getting noticed. I know most people take the time or book mark the page later to read it in depth, but there are scanners like myself who blitz through a whole page trying to ascertain the gist of a post.

Formatting. It matters.

My birthday’s coming up soon and my eyes are going (On another note, Vegas is legally allowed to bask in my presence).

At the very least, when you’re reading your favourite blogs, take a minute and step back. Don’t read the blog. Just look at the blog. What is it about the author’s style that captivates you? What makes it visually appealing? Don’t be afraid to apply those elements accordingly to your own posts. Sure it’ll take some extra time, but the effort will be noticed.

I’ll announce the cut tonight. Congratulations to the ones that advance to week 2!

An Easy Puzzle

An Easy Puzzle

WoWScrnShot_082808_202939

Using the information in the picture above, can you figure out what happened to my Shaman and why my mind went WTF?

SYTYCB: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

SYTYCB: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

This is a SYTYCB submission from Veleda, one of the top 7 finalists.

veleda-post How broken do you have to be to think that stealing from other people is okay if it’s done through a cartoon interface?!

I have a number of alts scattered across various realms, mostly to socialize with friends that have their main characters there. In some cases, my alts belong to guilds along with those friends, so I see a bit of a number of guilds from the inside.; Recently, one had it’s bank robbed of what to them is a significant amount of material. Unlike the usual situation where the thief vanishes into the shadows, knowing that they’re scum and trying to keep from being identified, the perp in this situation made no attempt to cover his tracks, and even seemed boastful of his misdeeds.

Many of you are familiar, by now, with the scam that involves asking an officer to invite and promote a character that claims to be an alt of another high ranking character in the guild. If successful, this person has stolen the identity of the person in question, and can use that person’s status to withdraw items and gold from the guild bank. This guild had been hit by such a thief a few weeks ago, and had just mostly recovered from that incident when this newest theft occurred.

One way to prevent such a situation is by having the person make the request from his character that’s already in the guild. Assuming an account that hasn’t been hacked (if the account has been hacked, there’s no need to do this identity theft routine), then the person trying to gain access can’t log onto the character they claim to be. Having been burned once, recently, the officers were wary, and asked for just such confirmation this time. Initial contact had come from a character claiming to be an alt of, say, Tinman (not the character’s real name). The officer asked for contact directly from Tinman, and soon afterward received a whisper from Tïnman saying he wanted his alt – the thief – in the guild. Did you notice the change in spelling with the accented I? Neither did the officer. While we can, in hindsight, think of more ways that this could have been avoided, we have a situation where a volunteer officer working in good faith made an effort to help someone he thought was a guildmate, while trying to be cautious.

The thief was invited and promoted on the belief that he was Tinman, and promptly withdrew the maximum amount of high value items and gold that he could, before quitting the guild. While this is a significant and demoralizing loss to this guild, there wouldn’t be a rant here if this was the end of the story. Unlike the gold farmers and other thieves, this character didn’t just vanish into the shadows. They’re still on the server. They were, in fact, seen to be in another guild. Reportedly, when the GM of the guild that was robbed contacted the GM of the new guild to warn them, he was laughed at. It seems this character is a long-time member of that guild, and periodically goes to steal from another guild. They all think this is great fun, and part of the game. Excuse me?! Just how broken do you have to be to not realize that’s wrong?

One complaint against video games is that they glorify violence or other anti-social behaviour, and thus might encourage more of that in real life. I think this has mostly been shown to be poppycock, as most people are quite able to distinguish between actions in a game and actions in real life. They simply don’t bring game appropriate anti-social behavior into real life, for the most part. World of Warcraft isn’t a zero sum game, at least with respect to other players. Yes, we sometimes kill and steal from NPCs. We even go against other players in PvP situations, but those are voluntary and even the loosing side gains honour or arena points from the encounter. Our advancement in the game never requires that we penalize other players for their participation.

So when players steal from other players, they’re no longer operating within the bounds of the game, even if it looks like cartoons. I would hope these people don’t think it’s okay to walk down the street in real life and lift someone’s wallet. How, then, can they think this is okay? How can they brag about it?

Is Your Blog Dead or Alive?

Is Your Blog Dead or Alive?

blogalive.001 Note: Statistics may be grossly exaggerated. Or even entirely made up. Who knows?

I’ve started to hijack the TnB blogging space. I don’t have a set schedule or anything and these types of posts take an insane amount of inspiration to write. Anna’s been really good at covering the technical aspects of blogging. My role there is to be the coach and make sure you actually do it.

Matticus the… Motivator? Hmm.

SYTYCB: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

SYTYCB: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

sydera-post

This is a SYTYCB entry from Sydera, one of the top 7 finalists.

Dear Badge of Justice,

I hate you. You ruined my virtual life. You made me dread logging in to my favorite video game, and you even made me resent my in-game friends. You made me wish 5-mans had never been invented. Because of you, I heard Aran’s voice over and over again in my dreams, saying “Torment me no more!” Now I understand exactly what he’s talking about.

At first, you didn’t seem like such a menace. There weren’t many of you. Before Patch 2.4, I didn’t find you on every piece of road kill I came across. When I did manage to collect a few of you, there was usually something I could buy. But one fateful day, we heard that a foxy new Draenei, Smith Hauthaa, was coming to town with a bag full of goodies. On that day, the World of Warcraft changed forever.

mobadgesI used to think I was in a normal guild. We ran SSC and TK three nights a week, and we looked pretty damn good in our Tier 5 gear. However, when the official news about patch 2.4 arrived, everyone’s priorities suddenly shifted. On off nights, everyone used to level alts, PVP, do pre-mades, or even make the occasional run on Halaa. We used to have fun.

Patch 2.4 produced gear spreadsheets and a magical number called “total badges needed,” which for me was 485. Suddenly, O Badge of Justice, we needed you! Everyone began to bemoan how far behind they were in collecting you. The guild turned into a virtual Beverly Hills where everyone watched everyone else to see who was ahead and who was behind. Our three-day raid week turned into seven, and suddenly the officers had to schedule heroics every day, all for love of the mighty Badge of Justice. After raids ended, at 1:00 a.m. EST, we started running the daily heroic, forgoing blissful slumber to tangle with Underbats and Tempest-Forge Patrollers in the darkest watches of the night.

hauthaaFinally, that witch Hauthaa agreed to take you, precious Badge of Justice, in exchange for purple pixels the likes of which had scarcely been seen outside the walls of the Black Temple. Set bonuses were broken and the beauty of Blizzard’s tier designs were scarred by mismatched thread, metal, and baubles. Badge of Justice, you made me ugly, worthy of the fashion disaster page in US Weekly. Just take a look at the skirt you made me wear – it’s made of skunk hide, latex, and paper clips. At least I can mask its hideousness with my tree form.

But your foul deeds did not stop there. After our guild’s greed was finally satiated by hundreds of those twisted blue tiles, we turned to hills of Mount Hyjal and the dark corridors of the Black Temple for our next challenge. We killed bosses, and we wanted new rewards – but guess what? Because of you, Badge of Justice, we disenchanted the items won from guild first kills. The great pieces of T6 loot, once the stuff of legend, were left to rot. My heart wept for the Kilt of Immortal Nature, for the Guise of the Tidal Lurker. Their beauty went to waste while you triumphed.
Meanwhile, I continue to find you on nearly every raid boss in the game, mocking me. Endless copies of you fill my bags without purpose. I can no longer sell the gems you would procure. I need no Moonkin gear, and you won’t let me transfer you to my warlock alt, who might appreciate your charity.

gerasAnd now, what do I hear? In Wrath of the Lich King there will be not just one descendant in your cruel lineage, but three, one for each new tier of raiding. Can it be true that we will have to collect your kin at each level of our future play? We raiders do not need you. We could get the regular gear out of 25-man instances. Yet, some will always look to you to gain an advantage, and as long as I feel any loyalty for my guildmates, I will be in your thrall, for what group can succeed without a healer? I will run Naxxramas until my branches fall off, even as my guild kills Arthas.

Badge of Justice, I curse you and all your relatives. You wasted all my free time and took the “casual” out of my casual raiding guild. Now, just when I have almost recovered from your foul influence, I hear that you will again blight the landscape of the much-anticipated Northrend. I, for one, will not be glad to see you.

Love and kisses (not),
Sydera

Insight into the SYTYCB Selection Process and Important Question (see end)

Before I crash to bed, I wanted to take the time and answer and address a few things. We all know who the top 7 are. But what happened to the rest?

Why you were rejected

I know most of you would be okay with not getting the call back for the next step in the process. Both Wyn and I went through all of the entries many times. I know I wouldn’t like it if I got a term paper back with all red marks and slashes without remarks and critiques. I’m going to attempt to do the same here.

Wasn’t taken seriously

For a lot of you, I could tell the interest level just wasn’t high enough. It was blatantly obvious to me that you just decided to submit something on a whim. There wasn’t enough thought going into your submission and it didn’t seem like it was something that you really wanted to do. Yes the question and such was for fun but that doesn’t mean I’m not serious in looking for another writer. I’m not going to take someone whose going to apply and then figure out that it’s not something that they want to do.

Language or writing challenge

This is more of a technical thing than anything else. As a blogger, clear communication is a requirement. I know there was at least one submitter whose English was not their first language. I can’t fault them for that but I can’t take them on either. For the rest, minor things like uncapitalized I’s or “urs” or other signs of unprofessional use of the English word is not something I’m looking for. Obviously there are going to be exceptions, but when you’re trying to make a first impression it better be a damned good one and I just didn’t get that feeling.

Nothing special

At that point in time during the initial selection process, there many good posts. However, there were extremely few special posts. The 7 underbloggers that are competing right now not only submitted a post, they wrote a Matticus styled post. They took the bar and they popped Heroism, Winterfall Firewater, and Noggenfogger to set the bar even higher. An example is that I had 1 blogger attach images to her submission to help illustrate a point. Another blogger was aware that I had extremely aversive and allergic reactions to wall of texts resulting in immediate program shutdowns (thankfully, Wyn has developed an immunity to them). Ergo, they spaced it out accordingly and added emphasis and other formatting wonders.

In the future, when you’re applying for any kind of a position (even if it’s not a blogging one), try to stand out from the other applicants. Try to attract the guy’s attention.

Axe now or axe later?

It’s difficult to judge the bloggers individually. These guys have done excellent work thus far. Here’s an idea that I’ve been entertaining:

I know I said in an earlier post that I would cut bloggers week after week. But, would it be better and more entertaining for me to keep all 7 of them and then make 6 cuts at the end?

Don’t forget, the last 2 bloggers will be having their posts up later on today.

I’m also toying with the idea of giving my critique and feedback publicly on my blog - via webcam. Yes, I picked up my Logitech Orbit Webcam and played with it briefly. Anyway, why critique on video? Why not just do it as a blog post?

Honestly, I don’t know if I can accurately convey the true meaning of what I want to get across in a simple blog post. I’m afraid that what I say could get interpreted in too harsh of a manner or misinterpreted entirely. The problem with text based communication is that you can’t exactly impart tone, style, emotion or any of that stuff across.

I rarely ask for public opinion. I always do my own thing. When I do ask for your thoughts and comments, it’s usually for a reason. I’d love to hear your thoughts on both the elimination scheme and the critique idea.

(PS, underbloggers you are also allowed to comment. There is no conflict of interest situation here.)

SYTYCB: Dear Azeroth, I hate you.

SYTYCB: Dear Azeroth, I hate you.

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This is a SYTYCB submission from Joveta.

joveta-post The main problem I face being a recent horde-reroll is the fact that my years as Alliance has left me with a pretty full roster of high-ish level characters taking up slots I could be using in newer, greener, hordier pastures. I’m only rarely a quick leveler, so I’m loathe to delete any character I’ve invested the time to drag slowly above the level 40 mark. However, I mercilessly axed all my 20-and-unders to try and get myself the start of a support system hordeside, namely a banker, a goof-off character I can play with my husband, and my current project: the hunter.

My hunter was created with a very simple purpose: to get her butt to 70 as quickly as possible (before the next expansion) and become my farming character. My priest is currently an herbalist/alchemist. I love alchemy and I love the money I make from herbalism. The thought of going Inscription in Wrath, however, is like whispering sweet nothings into the ear of my inner-min/maxer. I want to keep my Redeemer’s Alchemist Stone. I want to continue to be self-sufficient when it comes to my consumables. I also want some of those snacky Holy inscriptions, damnit. This calls for a fast-leveling alt! I know, a hunter!

Azeroth conspires against me, though my needs really are very simple. I want a zone with quest hubs that are logically laid out. I dream of a zone where my time actively questing is not dwarfed by the amount of time I waste in transit. I lust after a zone where I can hunker down and get a couple levels in without needing to hop a taxi twice, or spend more than 20 minutes running in a single sitting.

Azeroth, you suck.

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It’s really hard to work up the desire to level my hunter; I’m spoiled by Outlands. The difference between the “new content” and the old is extreme. Both the Blood Elf and Draenei newbie zones are awesome. Quest hubs are well-designed, enabling quest-batching. With twinked bags, I can go out, clear 4 or 5 quests, and come back for turn-ins at about the time my bags started begging for mercy.

After that, level 20 is a slap in the face. I’m really not interested in (re-)exploring the wonders of Azeroth. I don’t need the guided tour. I especially don’t need to run up and down the length of Kalimdor twice because some idiot-NPC decided he wants the special flowers that only grow over there and if he doesn’t get them, he’s not going to give me the next step in the chain which actually gets me something I might want. If one more NPC sends me to another continent for the next step in a chain I’ve already spent 30 minutes in transit for, I’ll scream.

Maybe I should just forget the hunter. I already know I’m going to have to axe something or pay for a transfer if I want to play a Death Knight. Leveling gathering skills from 0 at level 55 will also suck. However, at least I wouldn’t be stuck questing on Azeroth.