I Wrote About Healing Trinkets

Go read it on WoW Insider.

In other news, Naxx cleared on 10s. Got Faith Helm. Got my 2 piece. Going to go smash my face on Malygos and collapse. Also about to get my second 80. Good thing I got all this done before my exams.

I think I may rotate myself off of Naxx 10s soon. It’s exhausting enough to run 12 hours of 25 man raids. I don’t know how I’d fair with an additional 6 hours of 10s on top of that. Need to take care that I don’t burn myself out just yet.

Naxx 10 cleared

Is Trade Chat a Good Avenue for Guild Prospects?

Is Trade Chat a Good Avenue for Guild Prospects?

recruiting

I don’t get a lot of email. But the ones I do get are often insightful questions. Heh, sometimes I have to respond to the reader and tell them that an email response wouldn’t do their email justice. The next best thing is to convert their question and topic into a blog post so I can really attack it from all angles.

From Ephii:

I see that you’re posting in trade to advertise/recruit. Our guild is currently recruiting but our members have always felt that spamming trade carries a social stigma of being "one of those crappy guilds." We were the most progressed Alliance guild in TBC until some of our core members transferred off. Our reputation is sterling as the mature guild with players who don’t run their mouths. However, we’re having problems getting new recruits by posting on the realm forums alone (for server recruits). What is your take on posting in trade?

Ephii runs a really cool Shadow Priest blog, interestingly enough. Pay attention to the Healing Macros post.

Back to the question at hand. I can understand why players don’t like to advertise in trade. Trade chat has traditionally been viewed as a place where scoundrels, heathens, morons, and bad players congregate.

So why would I want to advertise my guild there?

Because, like it or not, it is the largest channel in terms of population. Just because you have scoundrels, heathens, morons and bad players running their mouths off in trade chat doesn’t mean that you have scoundrels, heathens, morons and bad players reading it all the time.

I used to think about trade chat the same way. I wouldn’t want any guild I was a part of to advertise there because of the perception that those bad players bring. Why would I want to play or raid alongside these trade chat pollutants, right? Only crappy and unskilled guilds recruit from trade chat. Real good players are the ones that transfer to you off server and come to you directly. With that in mind, I shouldn’t advertise in trade chat.

Why is this wrong?

You have to start somewhere. Unless you’re a top 20 guild, you’re never going to be able to attract top level talent. The only way to attract talent is to prove that you have tenacity to get the job done with whatever members you have at your disposal. At this point, for most guilds, their immediate goal is to attract players. Skilled players come later. Weak players weed themselves out as time goes on.

As GM, my immediate goal is to get into the 25s as soon as possible. I wanted to develop the image and perception that Conquest would be a successful guild. In order to do that, I have to have at least 25 raiders. Without it, my goals are as good as dead in the water. I don’t have the reputation yet to be able to convince or draw 25 players without utilizing trade chat.

Lesson of exposure

One important concept I was taught in marketing is the concept of exposure. If you don’t expose yourself, people aren’t going to know you. If they don’t know you, they’re not going to join you.

Let’s put it this way.

I’m an electronics chain looking to unload some Blu-ray Players. Specifically, I got these kick ass Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player‘s lying around.

Let’s forget the fact that it’s 1080p, HDMI, Dolby Digital, and comes at a low price of only $199. Because it’s not important.

(I can hear the epic sighs and see the head shaking but I’m trying to prove a point here!)

You wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t told you. If I was working in marketing and I wanted to sell as many of these as I could, I have to make people aware that I’m selling these. Why do you think advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry? Companies employ television ads, magazine and newspaper ads, billboards and our most hated enemy are banner ads.

Hell, people call you at 7 PM when you’re having dinner to ask you to buy something. Those guys, I want to shoot.

Everyone is competing for your attention.

We’ve grown accustomed to filtering them out. But if a company can attract your attention for even a few seconds, they’ll have succeeded because they want you to think about them. The next time you get the urge to to buy a product or pursue a service, they’re banking on you to remember it.

Back to trade chat

So how does this apply to WoW guilds and recruiting? It’s the same general principle. People aren’t going to buy stuff if they don’t know you have them. Players won’t apply for your guild if they don’t know you exist. For guilds that are just starting out, trade chat is the biggest source of potential recruits because in my experience there are three types of players:

  • Players that aren’t looking for a raiding guild
  • Players that are looking for a raiding guild, but don’t know it yet because they’re waiting for the right opportunity
  • Players that are looking for a guild

Numbers 2 and 3 are the most important. Offering EST friendly hours was one of the best moves I was able to make because I didn’t alienate players on the other side of the continent. I advertised this in trade and received a number of applicants this way because they weren’t able to handle raiding up until 1 AM or 2 AM anymore. The only reason they stayed in their current guild was because they had little choice.

But by exposing my guild, my days, my times, my goals, and wants, I gave them another way out. Raiders looking to join raiding guilds generally have little to say in trade chat. You’ll be amazed at how many people you can pick up from there.

Realm and guild recruitment forums are nice. But only a small fraction of players check those. In my experience, those tend to be the 3rd category of players.

Although you may hate it, trade chat’s going to be the biggest source of recruits for you. Take advantage of it. Otherwise, you’re going to be waiting for a long time.

For my purposes, I view trade chat as a necessary tool. I don’t exactly have people knocking on my door and I need to spotlight my guild as much as possible. This means plugging it on Twitter, using my blog, advertising in Trade chat, using the realm forums, the guild recruitment forums, my Plusheal forums and so forth.

Where did they come from?

Since my guild is still relatively lean, I still remember where (most of) my players come from:

recruits

When I mean off server, I don’t mean transfer. These are players that were a result of advertising on guild recruitment forums. I probably had around 7ish server transfers (if you include the blog and twitter). Referrals are players that a guild member knows. A Paladin applies, gets in, refers a Rogue and a Shaman and those guys subsequently get in as well. They may or may not have been exposed to trade chat. Had I not advertised in trade chat, the original Paladin would not have known about Conquest or advised his friends about it.

Don’t judge the quality of every player in trade chat by what’s said. Most of us generally keep our mouths shut. Just because we don’t say anything doesn’t mean we aren’t reading.

Gearing Your Fresh Level 80 Holy Priest: Matt’s Recommendations

Here it is, Priests. This is the list you’ve been waiting for. Remember, this isn’t the absolutely best gear you can get at level 80 for pre-raiding. This is the fastest way to get gear you can get at level 80. I’ll provide you with quest options and purchase options. Cheap enchants and select gems will be at the bottom.

The goal here is to get your Priest geared as quick as possible without relying on the RNGness of instance grinding (or at least, running them as little as possible). Means it’s going to rely on BoEs and Quest rewards although I will provide a few choice recommendations for some instances.

Head

Cowl of the Vindictive Captain (81 Spellpower): It’s the quest reward from doing the Utgarde Pinnacle quest: Vengeance Be Mine! Lack of Spirit on this one, but doubles as a potential DPS helm. No Crit either.

Frostsavage Cowl (81 Spellpower): Same amount of Spellpower as above. Contains PvP stats like resilience. Not completely optimized for PvE. Does have Crit. Opt for the cowl if possible.

Neck

Titanium Spellshock Necklace (49 Spellpower): First piece of gear with a socket! Epic quality. Downside is that it could cause a dent in the wallet. No Spirit on this one either. Decent amount of Spellpower and crit.

Amulet of the Crusade (40 Spellpower, 10 MP5): Remember those Scarlet Crusade you banged up back in Dragonblight? Here’s the Admiral. Comes from the Icecrown chain quest: The Admiral Revealed.

Shoulders

Mantle of Electrical Charges (60 Spellpower, 51 Spirit): Comes from doing the instance quest in Halls of Lightning: General Bjarngrim.

Back

Wispcloak (59 Spellpower, 20 MP5): Craftable by tailors. The tailor must have run all the normal dungeons and defeated all the end bosses in order to unlock this recipe. Doesn’t have Spirit but has a decent amount of MP5.

Shroud of Dedicated Research (46 Spellpower): Purchasable from Archmage Alvareaux. He’s the Kirin Tor quarter master. Must be Honored with them in order to purchase.

Chest

Moonshroud Robe (105 Spellpower, 89 Spirit): Ouch. Just wait until you see the mats required for this bad boy.

  • 8 Moonshroud
  • 6 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
  • 1 Eternium Thread
  • 1 Frozen Orb

Moonshroud’s going to be the tough one. It’s going to take Tailors around 16 days from start to finish assuming they blow their own cool downs. You can cut it down to 8 if you do some tactical trading here and there by exchanging cooldowns with other players.

Bauble-Woven Gown (81 Spellpower, 68 Spirit): Comes from the other Utgarde Pinnacle quest Junk in My Trunk. Great alternative to the Moonshroud Robe if you don’t feel like breaking out the coin bag.

Wrists

Ancestral Sinew Wristguards (50 Spellpower, 27 Spirit): Slap on the Wyrmrest Accord tabard and start grinding your rep with them as much as possible. Contains a nifty Blue socket for more delicious Spirit gems.

Gloves

Moonshroud Gloves (76 Spellpower, 67 Spirit): This is the second and final piece of the Moonshroud “set”. Not as expensive as the Robe, but can be pricey:

  • 4 Moonshroud
  • 4 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
  • 1 Eternium Thread
  • 1 Frozen Orb

Gloves of the Time Guardian (60 Spellpower, 51 Spirit): Comes from the Caverns of Time quest: A Royal Escort. Are you prepared for the “Arthas yapping” boss? Again, another cheapsauce alternative.

Belt

Fishy Cinch (60 Spellpower, 51 Spirit): Make friends with your fish pals, the Oracles. There’s a few dailies you can do start with there. I don’t have the time to work on doing dailies with them yet.

Deep Frozen Cord (61 Spellpower): Plan B is to just hook yourself up with a tailor and make this BoE purchase. No Spirit. Has some crit, however.

Legs

Frostmoon Pants (61 Spellpower, 68 Spirit): Finally, daddy’s got a new pair of pants! This one’s from our tailoring friends. Unfortunately, it does eat some expensive materials.

  • 1 Moonshroud
  • 6 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
  • 4 Iceweb Spider Silk
  • 1 Eternium Thread

Feet

Aurora Slippers (60 Spellpower, 51 Spirit): Like the Frostmoon Pants above, this will eat up one of your precious Moonshrouds. Again, see your local tailor and skinners.

  • 1 Moonshroud
  • 4 Bolt of Imbued Frostweave
  • 2 Heavy Borean Leather
  • 4 Iceweb Spider Silk
  • 1 Eternium Thread

Rings

Ring of Temerity (54 Spellpower): A blue zero mana regen ring coming from doing the Oculus quest: The Struggle Persists.

Lion’s Head Ring (55 Spellpower, 20 Spirit): Decent spellpower and spirit from running the Gundrak quest: For Posterity.

Weapons (Staff)

Malygos’ Favor (314 Spellpower, 95 Spirit): This is the normal mode staff drop from the Oculus off the last boss.

Sempiternal Staff (314 Spellpower, 53 Spirit): Drops off that Infinite Dragonflight bad boy Chrono-Lord Epoch in Caverns of Time: Stratholme.

Staff of Draconic Combat (408 Spellpower, 69 Spirit): See if you can get your hands on that beauty. It’s a Heroic drop from the Cache of Eregos in the Oculus (last boss). It’s the bigger brother to Malygos’ Favor.

Weapons (1 Hand)

Flameheart Spell Scalpel (355 Spellpower): It feels really weird to use a weapon with hit rating on it due to the waste stats. But there aren’t any alternative daggers from quests or vendors. Purchaseable at Kirin Tor – Revered from Archmage Alvareaux

Netherbreath Spellblade (355 Spellpower, 26 Spirit): However, if you run Heroic Utgarde Pinnacle and get lucky with Skadi the Ruthless, he just might drop this sword-like dagger for you. It makes me look dashing on my Dwarf.

Gavel of the Brewing Storm (355 Spellpower): More reason to make friends with or scaly friends. The Wyrmrest mace is purchasable after hitting Revered. Fail with lack of mana regeneration, however.

Weapons (Off hand)

Handbook of Obscure Remedies (59 Spellpower, 38 Spirit): For the low cost of 25 Emblems of Heroism, you can pick up this sweet offhand from the Emblem vendor.

Wands

Purifying Torch (26 Spellpower): Argent Crusade, at Revered, will give you access to their torch.

Wand of Ahnkahet (33 Spellpower): If you feel comfortable, run Heroic Ahn’Kahet and try your luck at getting this wand.

Rings

Ringlet of Repose (43 Spellpower): All you gotta do is run Halls of Stone. It’ll drop off of Maiden’s little sister who happens to also be a Maiden.

Titanium Spellshock Ring (49 Spellpower): This epic level ring has zero mana regen but it does have a gem slot. You can opt to stuff in a regen gem of some sort or resort to it a spellpower red gem to ramp up your amperage. Up to you.

Spectral Seal of the Prophet (51 Spellpower): Head over to Drak’Tharon Keep and toggle it onto Heroic for a challenge. With luck, this will drop off Tharon’ja (Prophet).

Enchanted Wire Stitching (46 Spellpower): Say hello to Meathook! This ring drops in CoT: Stratholme off of Meathook. Don’t worry, you don’t have to set it to Heroic.

Trinkets

Soul Preserver (75 Spellpower): You’re undoubtedly going to run Stratholme a few times. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get this trinket off the end boss. It will certainly help with the mana problems that most Priests have at this stage of the game.

Mercurial Alchemist Stone (59 Spellpower): Alchemists may wish to consider using this stone. It should last them for a while. In theory.

Talisman of Troll Divinity (73 Spirit): A whopping 73 Spirit on one trinket? Hell yes. I was lucky enough to get this on my first run through Drak’Tharon Keep. The use effect will be a big bonus on fights with enrages or massive damage spikes. The net effect is that your target (or targets) should see a bonus to their healing received by ~290. Usable every 2 minutes.

Enchants and Augments

Helm enchant – Arcanum of Blissful Mending: Another reason to knock out the Wyrmrest Temple rep first. Obtainable at Revered.

Shoulder enchant – Lesser Inscription of the Crag: Sons of Hodir provide this one. Scribes need not worry about grinding their rep here. This area is only unlockable after doing a massive (and epic length) chain quest. With enough dailies, Greater Inscription of the Crag becomes an option.

Chest enchants – Greater Mana Restoration would be the call I’d make here. Mats are a bit on the expensive side so make sure you get yourself a decent chest. Enchant Chest – Major Spirit is a decent and cheap enchant to toss onto a blue for the time being until you replace it.

Cloak enchants – If you can afford it, go for the Wisdom cloak enchant. Make sure you have a damn good cloak to go with it. Otherwise, for the low low price of 6 Infinite Dust, you can get a little extra Speed. Tailors get the option of further enchanting their own cloak with Darkglow Embroidery.

Bracer enchants – Superior Spellpower is what I would consider for a top end Wrath level item. I wouldn’t use it on anything less than an epic quality due to the cost of the mats involved. Go ahead and stick on BC level enchants on your blues for the time being.

Glove enchants – Exceptional Spellpower is a (relatively) cheap glove enchant you can toss onto your mitts. Spellpower gets increased by 28.

Belt – Eternal Belt Buckle: Yes, there is an augment for belts. It is not an enchant but it’s not any less important. Hit up your local auction house or blacksmith and make sure you get one of these belt buckles! It adds an extra gem slot to your belt! This could make or break your meta bonus! Get one!

Leg patches – Opt for the Shining Spellthread first. Once you get a real set of pants, upgrade it to a Brilliant Spellthread.

Boot enchants – Greater Spirit is the main boot enchant of choice. For any sort of resist boots, you may wish to opt for Greater Fortitude.

Weapon enchants – Several interesting choices here at your disposal:

  • Exceptional Spellpower: A good starter choice for Priests in terms of economic impact. Should be affordable for most players.
  • Exceptional Spirit: Slap this on a mana regen weapon of your choice. Or even keep it on your main weapon of choice. You can’t go wrong really.
  • Mighty Spellpower: Exceptional’s big brother Mighty increases your spellpower by 63 (compared to the 50 that the big E provides). 13 Spellpower. Can you justify the mats? If you can, go for it. It’s a tough pill to swallow though, early on in Wrath.
  • Major Intellect: Although it’s an old school BC enchant, I’m wondering if it’s worth putting on a high intellect staff for the purposes of mana regen. Perhaps you could macro a weapon switch with Hymn of Hope so that it could provide a little bit more extra juice.

Gems

There’s a lot more options for gem configurations. I’ll list all of the useful ones first.

Red

Runed Scarlet Ruby (19 Spellpower)
Purified Twilight Opal (9 Spirit, 9 Spellpower) Purple gem
Luminous Monarch Topaz (9 Spellpower, 8 Int) Orange gem
Potent Monarch Topaz (9 Spellpower, 8 Crit rating) Orange gem

Blue

Sparkling Sky Sapphire (16 Spirit)
Purified Twilight Opal (9 Spirit, 9 Spellpower) Purple gem
Misty Forest Emerald (8 Spirit, 8 Crit) Green gem
Seer’s Forest Emerald (8 Int, 8 Spirit) Green gem

Yellow

Brilliant Autumn’s Glow (16 Intellect)
Luminous Monarch Topaz (9 Spellpower, 8 Int) Orange gem
Potent Monarch Topaz (9 Spellpower, 8 Crit rating) Orange gem
Misty Forest Emerald (8 Spirit, 8 Crit) Green gem
Seer’s Forest Emerald (8 Int, 8 Spirit) Green gem

Your gem configuration is going to largely depend on the meta you want to go for. You may have to switch to hybrid color gems instead of pure color gems in order to activate it. The general rule of thumb for entry level Priests is to go for mana regeneration and spellpower. This early in the game, you’re going to want to take a hard look at your Spirit and mana regen so that you have the capability to sustain yourself in raids.

Meta

Bracing Earthsiege Diamond (25 Spellpower, 2% Reduced threat)
Ember Skyflare Diamond (25 Spellpower, 2% Intellect)
Insightful Earthsiege Diamond (21 Int, chance to restore mana)
Revitalizing Skyflare Diamond (8 MP5, 3% increased crit healing)

I’ll pick Insightful Earthsiege. Reports say that the proc gives 600 mana. No doubt it has an internal cooldown.

Sources: WoWHead and WoWWiki

Last updated

November 27

Healing Naxxramas – Gothik the Harvester (10 man)

Healing Naxxramas – Gothik the Harvester (10 man)

gothik 

When you enter the room, half the raid goes to one side, and the other half stays. One room is deemed “live” (the one you enter) and the other room is deemed “undead” (the room on the right after the gate). Mobs that die on the live side respawn on the undead side. Ergo, you have to kill the mobs twice (their alive versions and their ghostly versions).

As the AoE healing Priest, I set up shop on the undead side with 4 other players. This resulted in 2 healers, a tank, and other DPS on the live side.

I suggest setting up Melee DPS on the Undead side and caster DPS on the live side.

You spend ~3 minutes killing the various waves coming in. After that time has passed, Gothik then teleports down to the live side (first room) and you can engage him. Then he switches to the other side and the undead group engages him. He keeps doing this back and forth. There are no waves for you to worry about at this point.

At 30%, the gates open and both groups can engage him without worry. He should go down without further difficulty.

Make sure the live side groups and the undead side groups are coordinating and communicating. Live side does not want to overwhelm the undead side!

The Delicate Art of Delegation

The Delicate Art of Delegation

Last night, I wrote a heartfelt post detailing my trials and hardships in the captaining of Conquest. While I believe the crew is just as (if not more) important than the captain, all executive decisions regarding which way the ship is going rests on his shoulders. I’ve been in guilds where there were co-GMs are multiple leaders. It resulted in a lot of indecision and little progress. That being said, if there comes a time where a significant choice needs to be made, what I’ll end up doing is gathering up my senior staff. I’ll give them some time to illustrate their case for or against. I’ll let them talk it out while I listen and deliberate. But once the time is up, a choice has to be made.

Learned about that from Tom Clancy’s Executive Orders (Jack Ryan). Great book, by the way. I’ve always loved military thrillers.

I noticed a trend that emerged in the majority of the comments.

Joveta says:

“You probably -shouldn’t- be Healing Lead on top of everything else you’re doing. Delegate delegate delegate!”

GoW says:

“please, use your Officers as much as you can.”

Starman says:

“What I found is that having a really good 2nd in Command that you can split the pre setup check list with helps a TON.”

Tatiana says:

“Use your officers. Delegate. You do not have to carry the entire load.”

Lakland says:

“Also- delegate, delegate, delegate! You are raiding with (some) very competent folks. My guess is more than one or three of them has the capabilities to raid lead themselves. Take advantage of their skills and step back – captain the ship.”

Now how exactly does one go about doing that? I can’t simply just ask a person to do something. I don’t know if they’ll even like it or more importantly, want to. I don’t want people to chop wood for me or to cut and shape sails. I want them to yearn for the open seas.

Self motivation is the way to go.

But I do need to have clear cut positions and roles. I’ll see to it that every major position can be fulfilled by 2 people in case 1 person won’t be around.

Let’s use corporate analogy. I’m running out of sailor ones. Not everyone here is technically listed as an officer. But their roles are important, all the same.

Matticus
Position: CEO

Purpose: Makes guild level decisions in regards to guild directions and objectives. Responsible for day to day affairs and overall raid strategy. Plans raid schedules. Oversees preliminary raid preparation and post raid activities. Serves on the board of loot directors.

Sydera
Position: CFO, Human Resources, Director of Restorative Operations

Purpose: Handles matters pertaining to personnel and guild applicants. Oversees guild finances and resources. Quarterbacks the healers. Serves on the board of loot directors.

Kimboslice
Position: Director of Strategic Operations

Purpose: Contributes strategy and tactical approaches to bosses. Also acts as DPS quality assurance. Raid disciplinarian. Quarterbacks the DPS. Heroism caller.

Assuming he stays up longer than 14 seconds against an undercard.

Ice
Position: Lootmaster

Purpose: Ensures all things shiny go to the proper players. Handles the looting of greens, blues and epics. Serves on the board of loot directors. Battle res organizer (assuming the CEO or Director authorizes the use of a Battle res in an attempt, more on this in a future post).

Hassai
Position: Tank

Purpose: Sets the overall pace and speed of the raid. Has been granted full autonomy and discretion in terms of trash pulls. Knows when to pull and when to hold.

Briolante
Position: Tank and Technical Director

Purpose: Handles any unforeseen or unexpected trash mobs. Oversees the guild technical infrastructure which includes the guild website and forums.

With that, I do believe that just about summarizes my staff. I have no doubt that as time goes on, some of their roles will begin to mesh and evolve. Perhaps new problems will occur and solutions will be needed. That does not necessarily mean I have to overthink it or issue out another promotion. I think I’ve got a great team here with their roles properly outlined.

As an aside, it’s course selection time. I wonder if I would benefit from a business management course.

Probably not.

A Healing Druid’s Naxx-25 Shopping List

A Healing Druid’s Naxx-25 Shopping List

As many of you longtime readers are now aware, I have joined forces with Matticus and Conquest for Wrath of the Lich King. Matt is a hard taskmaster–even before we started raiding, he gave us homework! The nerve!

However, as a veteran of too many years in graduate school, I LOVE homework. Here is my Naxx-25 wishlist, dressed up pretty for the blog.

This list is as exhaustive as possible given the current information out there about Naxx. Given that it’s early, the loot table could be subject to change. The following list isn’t personal, per se–it’s a list of all the best stuff out there for restoration druids. I have divided it by bosses, using the typical order. There are many items that are shared across several bosses, particularly necklaces, rings, and cloaks. In that case, I’ve listed them only under the first boss who can drop them. This, dear reader, is your Naxx 25 Resto Kit–use it as a guide for all your holiday DKP purchases.

Anub’Rekan:

Swarm Bindings
Well folks, these are your bracers from Naxx-25. The selling point for this item is the spirit. Now, the crit is less optimal for us, and I wish I had a talent to turn crit into mp5. However, from here on out, you’ll be choosing between the lesser of two evils on your gear–heavy crit or heavy haste, neither of which the resto druid wants to stack to excess. For my Naxx-25 kit, I’m largely going to ignore these and work to get items that give me a solid amount of regen while casting. That means lots of spirit, but also some mp5, as the return on spirit is less than in post 2.4 Burning Crusade content.

Grand Widow Faerlina:

Chains of Adoration
This neck has a decent amount of mp5 and a healthy dose of stamina as well. It’s not perfect, but it will work for any healer. Most of your gear as a druid will have spirit, and in my mind it’s good to plump up your while-casting regen with just a little bit of mp5 as well. That said, this item is available from several bosses and I might let shamans and paladins take it first.

Seized Beauty
This item, like the Chains of Adoration, is available from multiple bosses, and it is likewise a multi-purpose item. I like it better than the neck, mostly because I’m used to having mp5 and not spirit in my ring slot. Once again, something you can feel safe passing on the first couple of times until the mp5 junkies in your healing team have one.

Tunic of Prejudice
This item is simply great. Where I can, I’ll take haste over crit. The druid healing spells that can crit are few: Healing Touch, Nourish, and Regrowth. However, if you can get enough haste, you might be able to take some points out of Gift of the Earthmother and put them elsewhere. I would personally rather have mp5, but in this expansion, mp5/spirit items seem to have gone the way of the dodo.

Maexxna:

Cowl of the Perished
The best feature of this item, aside from it’s cool name, is a whopping 72 spirit. It has crit in an equally stunning amount, so I might let a boomkin have it first.

Mantle of Shattered Kinship
With haste and spellpower, this is another decent buy for a resto druid. However, if you’re bidding, bid low, and if you can pass, you might want to do it. It shows up not long before the shoulder tokens, which will get you something better. However, if you’re not a set bonus junkie, take it and let others have the token.

Shawl of the Old Maid
This is another multi-boss, multi-purpose healing drop. The spirit will serve a druid well, but I might let holy priests have it first, as they will get more mileage out of the crit.

Matriarch’s Spawn
This one is an incredibly cool-looking spirit-haste combo that will have you wishing that offhand items showed all the time. A solid buy for your DKP, so feel good about splurging on this item. Whether you choose to gear for staves or main hand/off hand should probably depend only on what drop you happen to get first. Once you have a decent combo, let others in your raid take these things.

Wraith Strike
Even though this weapon looks really cool, it’s just not made for resto druid. It spends its budget on both crit and haste, making it attractive for both Elemental Shaman and Moonkin Druid. Take it if it would otherwise rot, and if you end up with it, keep it for your moonkin set but replace it when you can with a one-handed mace that has either spirit or mp5.

Noth the Plaguebringer:

Accursed Spine
This one is similar to Matriarch’s Spawn with crit instead of haste. Matriarch’s is better for a healer, but you can take it if it would otherwise rot.

Belt of Potent Chanting
It’s got the ubiquitous crit, but as set pieces aren’t an option for a belt, go ahead and pick it up, especially if your moonkin friends already have it.

Lost Jewel
Even though it has crit, of the rings, this one looks good to me because it’s also got spirit. Also a shared drop, this is one that’s good enough for Resto Druid that I might go ahead and take it early.

Heigan the Unclean:

Cloak of Averted Crisis
Here is another solid cloak that’s shared by several boss loot tables. It’s another decent option–you just have to choose whether you want mp5 or spirit on your back.

Gloves of the Dancing Bear
This is a really nice item with spirit, a red gem slot, and a spirit bonus for socket matching. Even though it’s not a tier piece, it’s really good. My only suggestion is that it should have been named “Gloves of the Dancing Tree.” It does have crit, but assuming that you use the best gem available to you, I think the socket gives the item an edge.

Shroud of Luminosity
This is one of the few non-spellhit items that you might argue is truly offspec for a druid healer. Sure, you can wear it, but it spends its item budget on both haste and crit, which makes it a poor buy for your DKP. Take it only if your casters and fellow healers don’t want it.

Loatheb:

Shoulders token, yielding the Valorous Dreamwalder Spaulders
Of course you will want all your tier pieces. However, I urge you to see them as one option among many. The bonuses–particularly the 4 piece, which plumps up a mostly-unused spell–are just window dressing. They are not obligatory. If you already have something good in a slot, pass to those who do not.

The Impossible Dream
Now, Don Quijote is actually my favorite book. However, I strongly dislike the musical Man of La Mancha, even though I know all the songs. Right now, that horrible ballad is right there, in my head, and in less than 30 seconds I’m going to start singing it and scare the crap out of my cat, who disapproves of off-key arias. Anyway, this is a great item for resto druids. Take it at your own risk–the WoW devs will not compensate you for lyrical madness.

Instructor Razuvious:

Nothing unique from this boss, but there are several items from the shared loot table.

Gothik the Harvester:

Idol of Awakening
While I’d rather have an idol for Wild Growth, Regrowth or Lifebloom, I always suggest that players pick up the available idols whenever they can. Even if you won’t use it now, you might later.

Shackled Cinch
For my money, this is the best resto druid belt in Naxx. Go ahead and pick it up with confidence.

Four Horsemen:

Chestpiece token, yielding Valorous Dreamwalker Robe
Once again, a great piece, but there is another chest option to keep in mind.

Damnation
Something tells me–the name perhaps–that casters will drool over this staff. It will work for healers too. Sure, it has crit, but it also has a really nice helping of stamina, spirit, and intellect.

Gloves of Peaceful Death
These could be nice if you’re stacking haste, but in my mind, the gem slot on the other gloves in Naxx makes them a better buy. These are inferior to the set piece gloves from Obsidian Sanctum as well.

Patchwerk

Boots of Septic Wounds
These are your Naxx-25 boots, unless you want to squabble with the clothies over one of their options for fine footwear. Put them high on your priority list and take them when you can–it’s really your only option in this tier.

Grobbulus:

Nothing unique

Gluth:

There may be inaccuracies about this boss, as wowwiki and wowhead don’t agree on his loot table. This guy seems to be able to drop chest tokens, leg tokens, shoulder tokens, and a whole host of miscellaneous stuff.
Charmed Cierge
If in fact this item drops from Gluth on Heroic, it’s a pretty decent staff.

Legs token, yielding Valorous Dreamwalker Leggings
If you can choose only one piece of Tier 7, let this be your target. There isn’t a good substitute for this item unless your raid can kill Sapphiron.

Thaddius:

Headpiece of Fungal Bloom.
This item is pretty unique, featuring massive stamina and mp5. This isn’t a bad piece if you’re otherwise low stamina and heavy on spirit.

Spire of Sunset
This is the weapon that I personally want the most. I like the haste and mp5–I’m used to weapons with no spirit, so I don’t miss it here.

Sapphiron:

Cosmic Lights
You could argue this one as offspec for a resto druid. With the crit/haste combo, it’s not a great buy, and I’d hold out for a necklace with either spirit or mp5 if I had a choice.

Legguards of the Boneyard
Now, I realize this isn’t the tier piece, but this is a really great item. I’d take it in a heartbeat.

Kel-Thuzad:

Helm Token, yielding Valorous Dreamwalker Headpiece
This is likewise a high-priority piece, as it has the holy grail of both spirit and mp5. If you can help it, don’t miss out.

Cape of the Unworthy Wizard
With it’s high item budget, this piece is a probably the best cloak in the zone. However, it’s also the best for many others. As no cloaks–or armor pieces in general–are perfect for resto druids, just get one of the many available ones at some point and be content with it.

Torch of Holy Fire
Predictably, this end-boss item is also a best in slot for 1-h maces. Take it if you can–but pass to another player with a blue weapon if you have one of the other available choices in Naxx. By the time you hit KT, you’ll be moving on soon to bigger and better things.

Appendix: Obsidian Sanctum

OS is quite an easy raid and most guilds will do it while they’re in Naxx. Here are the pieces you might want to acquire there.
Majestic Dragon Figurine
This is an interesting little trinket to theorycraft with. My instinct says that, with our high cast frequency, this will be excellent for resto druids, but someone with a better knowledge of mathematics will have to graph that out for me.

Illustration of the Dragon Soul
Here’s a dps version of the above. Healing druids could also benefit, but my feeling is that the frequently-casting affliction locks are going to want this one more than we will.

Staff of Restraint
This is a very good, very accessible, nicely balanced weapon. I certainly wouldn’t mind having one!

. . . and of course, the gloves token
Valorous Dreamwalker Handguards

Syd’s Gear Theory

Perhaps this deserves its own post, but I have changed my own personal gear strategy. I used to play in a guild where loot was scarce enough that no one got very much. We were never certain of killing farm bosses, and we had a huge raid roster. These two factors combined to give our guild, overall, a lower gear level than peer organizations and a higher dependence on badge loot. However, with the new expansion and innovations like shared loot, there seems to be absolutely no reason to hold out for the best pieces. My current theory? Think about my guildies as much as myself when loot comes down. With a smaller raid, and a Loot Council to distribute the goods, there’s less reason to make the “smart” buys. I’ll be passing frequently and cobbling a decent set together out of stuff that other people don’t want. Our Loot Council should ensure that everyone’s equipped to play at the proper level.

However, in making this list, I’ve tried to indicate how to intelligently navigate the loot system for people in situations where they have limited DKP or bidding power. These players will have to evaluate items more carefully than raiders in guilds who random roll or use Loot Council. As much as we don’t like to admit it, if you’re playing in a DKP guild, you can end the tier undergeared–despite putting in as much effort as everyone else–if you don’t spend your points wisely. I’m not talking about hoarding here, because hoarding hurts everyone, the player who hoards included. I’m talking about not spending your points on stuff you don’t really need, especially if other players need or want it more than you do. It’s particularly important for new guild members who don’t have a pile of DKP to spend from past raids to make good choices. Since the advent of spellpower, that has become a little harder to do–but this list should help you figure out when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em, so to speak.

N.B. I’ve tried to craft this post as a guide. If I missed something, post a comment and I will gladly update.

Post Raid Reflections, Anxiety, and Member “Poaching”

Bear with me. This post isn’t about anything empirical. It’s not a list post. It’s not an informative post. I’ll even be happy if it draws 0 comments. I’m a little overwhelmed at the moment and it’s an odd sensation. I’m usually in control of myself during raids.

But before I continue, I think I should update you (my dear readers) with the results of tonight’s operation.

I led a strike force into Obsidian Sanctum and into Naxxramas. I could not field a full crew of 25. But I felt that the time had come to give my guild a preview of who I am and what I could do. I had never raided or played with these players before. Some of them had transferred because they were long time readers. Others were recruited on server. There were 19 players with the Conquest banner. We took our Sartharion (35 minutes). We entered Naxxramas and wiped the floor with the entire Spider wing (90 minutes). We entered the Plague wing and one shot Noth before two shotting Heigan. By this time, it was 9 PM and it was time to call it. I ended the night’s raid on a high note immediately after the kill. Each boss so far has dropped 4 pieces of loot. We received 24 items overall and upgraded players. This was a pug raid, therefore pug rules were in effect. This won’t be the case when guild raids occur. I felt that I had to go in there and instill confidence in my guild. More than that, I had to do this for myself. I wanted to see if I could do it.

I figured the barrier tonight would have been Heigan. I thought to myself “Yes we can!”.

On the second attempt, Yes we did!

I picked up the Staff of Restraint from Sartharion. I’ll be passing on every weapon. I don’t know if there are any significant upgrades from here on out (45 Spirit or 63 Spellpower?).

Apparently, we were the 4th Guild to clear out Spider Wing (Alliance side at least).

Miscellaneous thoughts

* On raid leading: It’s tough. It’s really tough for me especially as a Healer. I’ve never truly understood or appreciated the hassles and the challenges it took to engineer a raid from start to finish. I’ve developed an increasing amount of respect for players like Lume as well as my old raid leaders from Carnage, Aurora, and Angelic Advocates (40 mans. Ick).

Is there like a raid leaders anonymous or some sort of leadershipholics type counseling somewhere? I think I could use some.

A raid leader’s job never ends. There’s checks to be made before the raid. There’s enchants to dole out after the raid. There’s the strategy and the explanation in between.

And yet, throughout the night I was slammed with a cocktail of emotions. I was nervous. I was frightened. I felt anxious. Tense. Happy. Disappointed. Unsure. Guilty.

My heart rate was up there. I could feel it.

But why?  Years of psychological study in University has taught me one important thing about human beings every where.

Fear is a powerful motivator.

Fear of a neighboring enemy causes people to take arms and strike first.

Fear of starvation causes people to try their best to put a roof over their head and food on the table.

Fear of failure causes people to reach unreachable levels of performance and drive. It forces students to go through sleepless nights to try and know exam material. It forces raid leaders to check and double check everything. Every success is viewed as routine. Every failed pull or wipe is taken personally as something they did wrong. Every forgotten ability or strategy is a swift kick in their own ass and a muttered curse because they forgot something important.

I’ve led raids before. I was fine then. But I think that was because people were familiar with the encounter and what their jobs were. It’s a fault of mine that I didn’t post the strategy in advance. The flip side? I think I did a pretty damn good job of explaining things and covering the bases as best I could. I couldn’tve done it with Doc, Ice and Hassai as well as the support of everyone else.

Yet I’m still shaking. I don’t know why. I ended the raid at 9. It’s now nearly 11 PM. Yeah I live in Canada and yeah the heater isn’t on. I guess that might partially contribute to the shaking, eh? I think as time progresses, I’ll continue to devise strategy on progression content. But on farm nights, I may have to defer raid leading to other people. There’s simply a large amount of micro managing to do for fight explanations, pull setup and healing assignments. It really does take a lot of effort out of you.

But I’m going to battle through it. I embrace this challenge. It’s what I wanted and it’s what I accepted. I have to put this behind me in order to be the leader that I want to be and am expected to be. I have to accept that I’m not perfect. I have to really understand that this is my first time doing this and that as much as I want to, I can’t do it all as effectively as I like. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t married to the healer class so I could do a better job on raid adjustments. It’s a feeling of helplessness. But I’ll get over it. For the sake of myself, for the sake of my Guild, I have to get over it and I have to battle hard.

Performance, progression, perseverance. Always.

* On raid policy: A lot readers took exception to my zero talk in General chat during raids only. After tonight’s show, I’m going to do away with it. Players were focused. Banter was light. It seems Syd, Doc and I recruited a fairly skilled and disciplined crew. But we’ll see. This was just the first raid.

* On cursing: I need to stop swearing randomly. After someone dies, it’s the f-bomb. After the wipe, it’s an f-bomb. It’s not necessary. I think I’ll replace it with “zoink!” or “squirtle” or “Yaarrrrg!”

* On relaxation: What do raid leaders do after the raid to try to relax? I have this problem where I can’t seem to “take it easy” or “downshift” or “calm down”. Alcohol’s out of the question due to personal health issues (it sucks).

* On member “poaching”: There appears to be a misconception floating around about myself and my recruiting techniques. I’ve been accused of attempting to “poach” or steal members from Carnage in an attempt to “destabalize” my past organization.

From previous experiences, I’m going to define “guild poaching” as the following: Attempting to influence and lure people from one organization to another with intent.

The main reason why I wanted to form my own guild is the fact that it’s a a challenge in the game that I have yet to conquer. I have a different set of beliefs and directions. I did not feel that my past guild shared the same vision that I had. I did not think it was right for me to make such serious and dramatic changes. As a result, I left. I left with friends that I’ve played Counterstrike, Warcraft 3, and other games with for the better part of 8 awesome years. The fact is that I didn’t want to play this game with players who I felt did not share my goals and my beliefs. It’s not fair to them. I don’t want to impose my impatience or my vision on players who don’t share it. As a result, I left to form my own guild and recruit a strong team who did share what I want. Since this is a new expansion with a gear reset, this was the ideal time to do it.

Now you’re aware (for the billionth time) of what I want from this game. Why would I intentionally attempt to steal players from another guild who I felt did not share my same work ethic, beliefs, or vision? Because I’m not. I am not whispering them. I deliberately avoided contact with them. When they approached me, I tried to be as cordial and as professional as possible. I’m guilty for being friends with them and trying to convince them of joining me when I have done no such thing.

I’m not harassing them. I’m not intentionally whispering them. I’m not begging them to quit and join me. That’s not who I am and that’s not what I’m about. Carnage and Conquest are two entirely separate organizations with separate goals. If they wish to apply and join me, they do so under their own accord and their own mindset. I make it clear to them that this isn’t the type of guild that they’re accustomed to. I’ve raised my standards high. I take a no-nonsense, zero BS approach to raids. I believe in swiftness and efficiency. I learned a lot in my time from Carnage from both its successes and failures. I adapted some of their policies because I felt it worked. I’m not going to reinvent the damn wheel. If I like something, I’m going to use it and model it so that it works for me and my purposes.

I honestly don’t give a damn. What’s the line that the Captain of Serenity from Firefly says?

My Ship?

Yeah, My Ship. Not Doc’s. Not Sydera’s. Not Ice’s. My ship, my crew, my way. If you think it’s selfish and ruthless, that isn’t the case. If you think I’m being manipulated or if I’m someone’s bitch, you’re wrong. This is my ship and this is my crew.

I’ve tried to explain to everyone, colleagues, server transfers, and other recruits about who I am and what I believe in. I try to treat everyone the same. I tell them all the same thing that this isn’t a casual raiding guild. This is a progression raiding guild with casual hours. Even though we may not pull 20 hours a week, the work ethic is still high. I constantly remind people of this. Take some time off. Reflect on yourself. Talk to your GMs or friends. But most importantly, find out what you want to do for yourself. In the end, everyone pays money to play this game. I’ve made an unbelievable investment into my guild in terms of ventrilo, website hosting, and other software. I do it because it’s what I want to do and what I believe in.

Should I simply put up a wall that says “No former guildies allowed?”.

No, I’m not going to do that. But at the same time, I’m not going to influence, black mail, trick, or coerce them into joining me because that’s not who I am. If they do decide to apply, then they do so knowing full well the consequences of what they’re getting themselves into. It’s entirely their decision. I wish players would understand and respect that. They have the right. Players aren’t contractually bound to their guilds. Everyone plays in their own self interest. Guilds consist of players with similar self interests because the strength of the group is greater then the strength of the individual.

It’s extremely unfortunate regarding this mistaken perception. I think it’s due to a misunderstanding of communications. I’m not looking to actively recruit people from old guilds or other guilds. All I do is advertise in trade chat that I’m looking for players. Syd handles the off server transfers.

And you know what? My guild happened to clear out Obsidian Sanctum 25 and the Spider Wing of Naxx. Pretty good for “a bunch of trash picked off the streets”, as one former colleague referred to my “ragtag” guild.

So be it. There will be no more reservations. To the players that choose to progress with me, I welcome you with open arms and the spirit of working together once again. To the players that choose to treat me with scorn and hate, good luck with your futures. I hope you accomplish your goals because I am well on my way to accomplishing mine. Attempts to confront me about this is a waste of my time and my energy. I have better things to do like knocking out raid bosses.

Thanks for reading. I’m in quite the mood. Watch what you say in comments, if you choose to say anything. 

Matt’s Monday Cop Out

Not really much of a mammoth sized post today. Today’s a big day for me personally. I’ve led a few raids myself but it was on an interim basis and with people that knew the strategies and their roles. This is going to be the first real raid I lead today. There’s a lot of players that I’ve never played with or raided with yet so in a way, there are two auditions going on:

    • My raiders and how well they can perform and listen

        My ability to lead and adapt strategy on the fly as well as troubleshoot problems quickly

        It’s my chance to earn their respect and for them to earn mines. I don’t have enough to field a full 25 player group yet. But we have enough now that I can afford to pug the remaining few with friends and colleagues from other guilds that I know to be reliable. I consider tonight’s pickup raid a dress rehearsal of future raids. I need to get accustomed to using certain addons and doing any pre-raid prep work.

        Selected reading

        I put the call out to Twitter for some posts because I don’t think I link out often enough. I’m taking the easy way out.

        Dechion: Grinding Fishing and Cooking from 375 – 450
        Stop: How to play a Death Knight
        Behemothdan: The Combat Rating System
        Medros: Memo from God (I like!)

  • Unreasonable Expectations?

    Conquest took its first ever raid foray into Naxx. We didn’t have enough for a full 25 yet (that comes on Monday). I took 10 players and we went into Naxx for the first time. Many of them have not seen the post Wrath Naxx before and some were delightfully surprised at the familiarity that was there. Over the course of about 3 hours, we knocked off the Arachnid quarter, Plague quarter, and Military quarter (and Sartharion).

    Picked up the Gloves of Faith and the new Earring, Spirit-World Glass.

    That’s an early progress report so far. I’m really happy and proud of the way things have been. This may very well be the first mageless WoW guild that I’m a part of. Hopefully, my Monday night op will be able to attract some more players.

    This isn’t the main point of the post, however. We now have 15 level 80s in the guild. We’re going to have 3 more by the time the weekend is over. We are very close to being able to run our own 25 man raids.

    And I haven’t finalized my raid policy yet. I figured I’d put up a draft copy here. You readers appear to know me better than I know myself. You know the kind of crew I want to run and how I want to run it.

    Raid policy

    AFKs: AFKs are going to happen. I ask that you inform one of the raid leaders if you need to take a quick break. Be mindful of where we are when you do take your break. The best times to do it are on initial pulls of trash after a boss or if we’re handling loot that you’re not interested in. Bad times to do it are after Heigan when we have to do a gauntlet pull or when there isn’t much time between encounters. I’ll rotate players out in shifts. When we get to a boss, and you’re still gone, you’re going to have 24 other annoyed players to come back to. We don’t have much time to raid so keep AFKs to a minimum.

    Greens/Blues: All blues get banked and all greens get DE’d. In exchange for that, the guild will attempt to supply whatever mats you need for enchants if there are any available.

    Be prepared: Be repaired! Bring your own consumables. Only you can judge the amount of pots you pop in one night. Prepare yourself accordingly! Don’t forget reagents! We can’t supply you potions or buff food. But we do have Alchemists and Cooks who will gladly cook things and make things for you. If we have any food in the bank, you’re welcome to ask an officer for them if they’re unclaimed. We’re not exactly made of money yet so guild repairs are a no no for the time being.

    Chatter: Keep the raid chatter down and to a minimum. Focus on the job at hand. If there are any problems or issues, message one of the raid leaders. On progression raids, if it’s not important or useful to the boss at hand, then it shouldn’t be said. If it’s a farm night, things will be more relaxed.

    Be on time: First pulls in raids will start at 6 PM on all raid days. Raid leaders will decide what the raid of the night will be. It’ll be posted in the Message of the Day until we develop a set schedule. You’re expected to be ready to pull at 6 PM which means you have to be in the instance and in the raid.

    Strat adjustments: Even leaders will make mistakes. If you have an idea, go ahead and whisper it to a raid leader.

    Battle rez’s and Soul Stones: Hold them until they’re asked for. Leaders will usually give you a target in both cases.

    Raid pace and speed: Main tanks have been given the authority to pull at their discretion. They do not need to seek permission of raid leaders to pull trash. You’re expected to keep up with them as much as possible.

    Ready checks: Before every boss, a ready check is going to be issued. If you’re missing a buff, not at full health or mana, haven’t taken a flask, or if you’re not ready in some fashion, click No and say what’s up. If you need to drink or eat up, that’s okay, we’re willing to wait. It drives me crazy when someone clicks yes and don’t turn out to actually be ready.

    No general chat: Don’t talk in general chat. Period.

    Guild policy

    Raid organization: The only guild sanctioned raids are going to be 25 player raids. 10 mans and other group related activities will be done in what Syd affectionately refers to as the anarchy model. If players wish to organize and set up their own 10 man raids or heroics, they’re welcome to do so. Officers and leaders will not do it for them. Most of the time, various people in the guild will be organizing on the fly runs. It’s a matter of being in the right place or the right time. Feel free to use the forums to set something up further in advance. But I am not going to fit set tanks, set DPS and set healers into group A or group B.

    Why?

    I don’t like forcing players into doing things they don’t want to do. I’ve been in such a guild before where I was “assigned” to groups. On some days, I was tired and didn’t want to raid yet I felt compelled and obligated to.

    Furthermore, perhaps guildies have friends outside the guild that they’d prefer to hang out and socialize with. This is a great way for them to do it without isolating them. The same method goes for PvP. I’m not going to set up guild based arena teams. It’s up to them if they want to do it. 25s are the heart and soul of this guild and it’s what our goals are. Whatever else players want to do? Entirely up to them.

    Sufficiency: Like I said earlier, we don’t have a means of income yet. Players will have to be self sufficient on their own. Enchants are expansive and the guild will try to subsidize that with the greens we obtain from raiding. But it’s ultimately up to players to try to maximize themselves and be the best they can be.

    I know I’ve forgotten a point or two. One thing I learned early on is that it’s impossible to try to plan and account for every little thing that can happen. Sometimes I just have to roll with it and deal with it on the fly. My greatest challenge is that when I’m setting a precedent, I have to be sure I stick to it and not deviate too far from it. I have to remain consistent in my decisions and reasoning.

    The Difference Between Recruiting On Server and Off Server

    The Difference Between Recruiting On Server and Off Server

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    Mages. They used to be a dime a dozen. Our second highest level Mage is Stop (clocking in at a health level 4!)

    There’s generally two places to recruit players from:

    • On server: This is the typical route most guilds will go through.
    • Off server: A little tougher and a little rarer. Players that transfer are generally a good breed.

    I’ve delegated Sydera to the role of recruiting off server. So far, she’s done an excellent job scouting out players and prospects. She’s a lot more familiar with the process and the effort required with offserver players. When guilds recruit off server, it’s a big decision on the part of both the guild and the prospect. Server transfers aren’t free (usually) and it involves a big commitment. The process of speaking to a prospect and then transferring to join a guild could take days or even weeks at a time. But Syd has a good idea of knowing what I want and how to convey it. She represents the guild well in this regard. As a GM, I have to make sure that prospects know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. Things like my expectations, the way loot’s handled, raid times and so forth have to be said and sometimes repeated.

    The worst feeling in the world is for a player to come over here only to find out this isn’t what they were looking for. That’s why I prefer vent interviews instead of in game. You can learn a lot about a person from the way they speak and their tone of voice. All our key indicators.

    Coincidentally, most of the off server players who have applied read the blog. Go figure.

    With regards to the on server recruits, my process isn’t as detailed or thorough. A simple trade chat macro with your guild, what your guild wants to do, raid days and times, along with classes preferred is generally a solid way to go. This way, players get all the basic information. The ones that are interested will message you for more details. The ones that aren’t interested won’t and you’ll end up not wasting time. I like to give players the option to come on vent if they want to discuss the guild more if they have any questions. I think it’s a good way to establish a dialog with them.

    After that, I let them know that they’re a trial and they’ll be evaluated in the weeks ahead when we start raiding. Everyone’s performance will be analyzed and compared to see if anything can be tweaked or adjusted. It’ll continue to be an ongoing process. As much as I hate doing it, I’m going to have to make cuts in the future. I’m not sure if there’s a single GM out there that actually enjoys making cuts from their guild. It’s a dirty job but it has to be done at times.

    But first thing’s first, I need to recruit.

    The difference? One takes a lot more time and energy to invest in and has the possibility of not working out.

    There’s enough of us at 80 now to step into Naxx and OS 10. We’ll be making a run on Saturday. The Monday following, I’m going to try and run a Naxx or OS 25 pickup group. There’s a smattering of guilds out there who have 80s but not enough in their own guild to run a 25 in house just yet. My goal is to work with a few of their players and my players and just get our feet wet so that everyone can benefit from the experience. I’m not sure if this is what Lume had in mind when he mentioned that a “GM should establish themselves and become a visual figure”.

    Either way, it is a start. And it’s either going to work or fail horribly. We’ll find out!

    Now, if I were a guildless Mage, where would I be…?