Halion Down and the Failure Rate

After about two and a half hours of wiping, we managed to secure the Ruby Sanctum (25). I have to say, the amount of coordination and movement made that fight fun for me to heal. Unfortunately, the logs for that encounter don’t appear to be fully functional yet. But all the mechanics, the moving, and other stuff helped reiterate to me that the encounter designers still have tricks up their sleeve. We were one of the few early guilds on the server to have taken him down (possibly the first, but I’m not sure). I suspect other guilds were working furiously on hard mode.

The trash is a nice reminder that we still have crowd control and Misdirects to start pulls. AoEing stuff isn’t always a solution. Hibernate comes in handy here (and don’t forget to split up the trash).

Every once in a while, I get a question that sounds something like this:

Hey Matt, why does your guild suck?

I usually interpret it as “Why is your guild behind on progression?”

There’s a variety of reasons. The biggest one that hit us a month ago was the attendance boss. I knew that I had a window narrowing to take down Lich King otherwise it would become extremely difficult to get things going again. I wasn’t just happy when we killed him. I was immensely relieved. It was a lot of pressure and weight off my shoulders because a kill, even with a 20% buff, was enough to help us get noticed. With some luck, maybe we won’t get stoned by the attendance boss.

The failure rate

I am personally of the belief that every player has some sort of failure rate. That is, that player has a chance where they will cause a mistake that potentially leads to a wipe. Whether it happens to be awareness, computer issues, latency (or the fact that the latest patch just destroys their computer after an hour), for whatever reason that player is going to screw up.

No, in fact, every player is guaranteed to screw up at some point. What separates them? The fact that some people don’t individually screw up as much as compared to others. For example, maybe one player screws up 1 in every 5 raids and another player screws up 1 in every 30 raids. And we’re talking minor things like not running out of fire, not dispelling an effect fast enough (for which I am guilty of), or not using a cooldown at the right time to catastrophic errors like dropping a Defile in the middle of the room or missing a bite on Blood Queen and getting mind controlled. Failure rates are going to fluctuate among players due to all sorts of factors.

After being a GM for over two years now, I think I finally learned an important lesson.

  • No matter how much gear you give a player.
  • No matter how much coaching and training you provide.
  • No matter how many tips, videos, and suggestions you send their way.
  • No matter what kind of technology they invest in.

There is always a chance that their success rate will not increase at all. Not every player is going to improve.

Right now, I’m in the midst of internally reviewing everyone. I don’t expect every player I have now to stay when the expansion debuts. Some will move on and change guilds to suit their style or times. Others will have to deal with life stuff like getting married or school. I know that I will be committing to another expansion for sure. Cutting players is something that I still haven’t quite properly learned how to do. I know the process. I know the words. I wish I knew where the resistance is and how to lessen it. I find myself reviewing players and raids, who stands out and who didn’t.

You know what I realize?

Unfortunately, it’s always the misplays, misclicks and mistakes that are engraved in the memories of raid leaders and officers everywhere. We’re built to remember when people screw up, not when they excel (unless when they really stand out and shine). Do you find it odd that when things go well, when everyone is executing as they should, nothing is really mentioned of it? It’s like like it’s completely expected. It’s just another typical raid night. Things are as it should be. Accomplishments and clutch plays just seem to be taken for granted.

I don’t know where I was going with that.

Besides, we still have several months until the expansion. Even though it may not matter as much anymore, it’s still satisfying for me to take down this stuff on hard mode. I often wonder what it’s like in top 500+ world guilds at this point in time. Would they still be raiding? Have many players burned out? At that level, it seems to me that players would eventually just get… bored. There’s nothing else left to do in the PvE scene until there are new bosses available.

Then again, I think that is a different mentality altogether. I know I’d like to experience it once but I also know I could never sustain the energy or the time required.

Lodur on “Totem Recall”

Lodur on “Totem Recall”

In case you haven’t heard yet, there is a Shaman Round Table on the horizon. On July 13th the folks over at Raid Warning will be hosting the latest in their series of round table discussions. You may also remember that back in February Thespius and Matticus were featured on Power Word: Fail the priest round table. I am very happy to inform you all that I have been asked to join in on this installment of their series Totem Recall.

The previous class discussions have been great successes and if you want to listen follow the link above.

I’m really looking forward to this. There is a great lineup and there is sure to be a fantastic series of topics for discussion. I can’t wait!

Want to be involved? Submit your questions for Totem Recall on Raid Warning’s Epic Advice thread and vote for your favorites to be answered on the show!

Here’s the line up for this round table

Joe “Lodur” Perez of  WoW.com and World of Matticus
Rich “Stoneybaby” Maloy of WoW.com and Big Crits
Borsk of Borsked
Jhaman of Castaclysm
Pewter of MentalShaman
Binkenstein of Elitist Jerks
Masanbol of Elitist Jerks

Make sure to swing on by and give it a listen. Should be a great time!

Image courtesy of Raid Warning

Making Dungeons Fun Again

Making Dungeons Fun Again

notank

Want to know a secret? There’s a simple way to make WoW more fun.

Last night I had more fun in a random dungeon than I have for a long time. I was in Stockades, of all places. A Stockades run is usually a pedestrian half hour filled with enemies which aren’t challenging but have vaguely annoying abilities and no loot to make up for it.

The dungeon didn’t magically morph into a Lernean Hydra spitting epics at us. What changed was the group. The tank suddenly left. We were left with a lowish level party of three mages and a priest healer. We also had prison cells full of bad guys cracking their knuckles and asking whether our relatives could stitch this.

We carried on. The three mages had fun using every trick to play mage tennis and help the healer ensure we didn’t become wallpaper paste. The priestie sat there cheerfully swearing as he healed and cackling maniacally every time he physic screamed because he could it saved our clothie hides. Lots of conjured water later we finished the dungeon, all in great spirits.

What does that mean? We don’t need tanks. Nope. Not in 5 man instances.

Right now WoW is based on the ‘holy trinity’ of three roles; tank, healer, DPS. It’s a tradition going back through the MMO and RPG genres. The nay-sayer in me mutters that removing one of the roles would shake the very foundations of the games industry. It wouldn’t; it’s already happening.

The complexity of the roles has been simplified over time. Back in the day groups had to be pristinely organised. Each person performed challenging tasks. Support classes were necessary. Contingency plans were useful if the battle went awry.

It was the case for WoW as much as any other game. It wasn’t long ago tanks alone were juggling single-target tanking on four monsters whilst anxiously watching the one nursing a headache and herding the battle round the confused sheep. Before TBC, I gather, it was more tricky. That type of game play taught players to be creative strategists. It’s in that kind of situation that I met and bonded with my guildmates over hours of wipes and brainstorming.

Things are more straightforward now. More generalised; each of the roles is cut-and-dry in WoW. Tanks are there to hold the monsters’ attention. DPS are there to take them down, usually with little mind of what dies first. Healers are there to keep everyone topped off with heals so huge I’d not be surprised if characters feel like they’ve been dunked in the fountain of youth. Of course, there are fights where there are exceptions – sometimes healers get to top the boss’ health off instead, The roles are plain and appear interdependent.

But the roles don’t need each other to function. Last night my group’s DPS did its job – to deal damage – perfectly fine without a tank regulating us. We just had to be a bit more creative, versatile, and able to think on our feet. These are qualities which haven’t really been challenged in Wrath’s standard system but I’d go as far to say that the creative strategist in me opened one drowsy eye while my mana’ed out mage watched the cooldown on frost nova with her robed back to the wall.

Dare I say it, we also had to work as a team, rather than just have the tank glue everything to himself and everyone else sedately press the usual buttons to floor the next pack. We functioned much better as a social group. Usually the members of a group each have a set task and if something untoward – or just unexpected – happens it’s easy for a group of strangers to feel justified in laying blame on a person who failed or made a mistake with their individual task.

Last night, without a tank and with the group’s tasks shared equally, the potential for blame was removed. Everyone could contribute to everything. Even the healing! Us mages didn’t just sit in the fire expecting the healer to keep us all, four clothies, up AoEing 10 mobs at once. I don’t know if any of us would do that under the standard roles but with that jot of creativity and freedom allowed to us, we did what we could to help tank and heal. And when we did wipe? We all laughed and congratulated each other on a good fight.

So there we go. The roles already look a whole lot different to how they did when they were originally conceived in EverQuest or even Breath of Fire. We just need to take the plunge and get rid of one of the canonical roles. Not much to ask, right?

We’re only talking as regards 5 man groups, here, but just think of the ramifications for raids. What would they be? More creative players graduating from instances and more chaos and raids unlike anything we’ve ever known – I wonder if the outcomes would offset one another. I wonder if WoW could even support such a change, or if it would require a whole level playing field.

What do you think – is this a terrible idea which would do irrevocable damage to WoW, or a great one, with modifications?

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twitter feed here.

Article image originally on flickr, by id-iom.

Real I.D., Lodur’s thoughts

Real I.D., Lodur’s thoughts

Since it was first announced there has been a wave of people very outspoken about this feature from both sides. People have been arguing the pros and cons of it and some of them are less than rational arguments. So I figured I’d share my own thoughts on it.

First though, here are some facts that you may not know about Real ID

  • Real ID is another name for Dingo, if you aren’t careful it will steal your babies!
  • Real ID promised to buy me dinner, but when the check came its wallet was in its other pants
  • Real ID will walk into a room, let one rip audibly and blame it on your dog
  • BP isn’t actually to blame for the oil spill, in truth it was Real ID. It just blamed BP and ran like hell.
  • Real ID is so fast it can outrun the Flash, which oddly enough is why Flash doesn’t work on your iPhone
  • Real ID assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand
  • I survived Real ID, and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt

I figured a little levity was in order for this one, hope you got a giggle out of.

Honestly though there has been a bevy of ridiculous comments about Real ID to the point I don’t think I hear this much QQ when hunters are nerfed. It seems most of the arguments against it are based off of misinformation. Posts have been popping up every where about it from small blogs to big blogs accross the globe.

Stoppable had a great post about Real ID yesterday explaining some of the misconceptions about the new features. It’s a good read you should take a gander at it. Even Matt offered his two cents on the topic.

Spinks offered a good argument for sometimes wanting to be alone in game and not be bothered by anyone and how Real ID eliminates that. It was one of the better arguments I’ve read against the inclusion of Real ID and it is definitely worth your time as well. Anna from  too many annas has also chimed in on the topic and talked about the opening up of your personal information. It is a well thought out discussion on the negatives of Real ID.

That said I like the idea of Real ID chat ingame. There are actually many reason. First of all is it allows me and the officers in my guild to be more accessible to our guildies. There are times when someone will need an officer but none may be on at that time. As it stands a number of guildies have my cell phone, email, home address, AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ and so forth in order to get a hold of me when needed. I tend to be a night owl, I’m up all hours of the night, but I’m not always in WoW. I do intend to play a lot of SC2 and you bet your arse I’ll be playing Diablo 3. Having a way to keep in touch with guildies and be pegged if I’m needed in game is very nice. Secondly it allows me to stay in touch with friends on different servers and factions. I have friends all over the place, many of my readers here fall into that category. I like being able to send them a whisper and ask what’s up. My girlfriend raids as horde on another server and it is nice to be able to send her a message in game just to say hi. I enjoyed using it in the SC2 beta and it worked really well there.

It is not without short-comings though. First of all, right out of the box it is spam heavy. Pop ups, growl notifications, status spam assail you as soon as you enable the feature. This can be turned off in the game settings, but still it is not a friendly first impression. There are memory issues still. Friends running top of the line PC’s with gobs of ram and terabytes of storage were getting errors about drive space for processing. This needs to be fixed and fixed fast. There are two key binds to reply to someone now in the default UI. A seperate key for chat reply, and one for whisper reply. Heres the thing though, they don’t both work! Chat reply (for chat groups) doesn’t work at all.  Why not just leave it as one key replies to whispers from Real ID or regular friends and leave the chat like a normal chat channel? Privacy mode please. Even on facebook I can turn chat off and have no one know I logged in. Why can’t I do the same here? I can set myself to busy but it’s not the same. Blizzard please add a function where I can turn it off when I don’t want to be bothered. I mean I accidentally did this last night when I crashed but I would rather prefer a button!

Overall I like it.  It is not very different from the battle.net communication we used to track friends back in Diablo 2 (you could add battle.net or user names to see all of their characters) and many of us utilize services like Steam where we can communicate across ANY game in the steam library to our friends, and it was about time that we saw something like this from Blizzard.

I’ll end today with a couple notes about security and etiquette

Friend of a Friend: People right now are saying that the ability to see friends of a friend are broken and wrong and invade someone’s privacy. The truth is though, besides a name you do not get anything else about the person. You do not see their email or anything like that. In fact, you get more information about friends of a friend from Facebook.

I have to give my email out!?: While the system is designed to search for people by email addresses, you can add other people and they cannot see your email. You can have people add you through friend of a friend and they will never see your email, or simply you can choose not to participate. Either way your information is really only accessible if you volunteer it.

Now I’m going to get spam mail!!!: Well, you may but you wont get it because of this. There are entire companies that do nothing but plug random combination of letters and numbers at domain names offering blanket statements to try and sell you products or click really bad links. Others buy the information from other websites for marketing. Either way I can pretty much guarantee you the Viagra spam email you got had nothing to do with Real ID.

Say who you are!!: A new pet peeve of mine is people adding someone without saying who they are. I’ve gotten a dozen requests that I have no clue who those people are. I accept that this will happen as my information is highly public thanks to wow.com, World of Matticus and For The Lore.  All I ask is that if you’re going to send the request tell me who you are. I’ve accepted many friend requests on FaceBook that just said “hey I’m a reader from xyz you should add me”. So my rule is no message telling me who you are, I wont accept the invitation. I will be using this rule for Real ID as well. I mean it’s just common courtesy to announce who you are!

We live in a world where our information is readily available for just about anyone if they look hard enough. Take a look at FaceBook, Twitter, and even personal Blogs and Livejournals. We post information about ourselves that just about anyone can see if they want unless we are ultra super secretly careful. Is this really worse than they are? Is this worse than FaceBook ? In the end this is still optional, you can choose not to participate. Simply don’t accept any requests and don’t send any, and everything goes along as normal. This is not the end of the world. Blizzard is not going to sell your information to gold farmers and spammers (they would have long since done that already if that was the case) and the truth of the matter is your account is in no greater danger than it was two days ago. You should still have an authenticator and you shouldn’t respond to those emails from Gnomeregan royalty who just need a little help to get their money out of escrow.

So now that you’ve had a day with it, what do you think of the new Real ID system?

Special thanks to Thespius and my buddy Doug for the comedic help this morning.

Real ID Ain’t For Me

At least, not yet anyway. I just like being able to unplug and do my own thing on WoW without being disturbed. Besides, I’m always idling my guild’s vent server anyway (idling is a term from IRC which means just hanging out). You know how often I get followed around by naked Night Elf Priests who do nothing more than Mana Bonking me?

Anyway, go see Stop‘s post to get the real story on it. But I’m going to swipe his bulleted TLDR version (you’re the best Stop)!

  • People you are Real ID friends with do see your first and last name (the ones set up as your primary contact in battle.net).
  • People you are Real ID friends with do see your character, realm, and zone.
  • People you are Real ID friends with do see what game you are playing – WoW and Starcraft II support Real ID right now. You can safely assume Diablo III will as well.
  • People who you would like to be Real ID friends do need your email address once, or you will need theirs once.
  • People you are Real ID friends with do not see your email address in their friends list, nor do you see theirs.
  • Friends of people you are Real ID friends with do not see your email address in their friends-of-friends list, nor do you see theirs.
  • Read the FAQ before you start freaking out next time, internet.

Anna’s written some of her cautionary thoughts on it as well. Check out Spinks’ post on the subject while you’re at it.

Funny though, my email’s right there on my blog. Twitter’s available. People can find me on Facebook (with minimal effort, but at least include a message or something saying why you’re adding me such as “I read your blog” or “Met you at BlizzCon” otherwise I’m just going to ignore it).

I’m going to let Real ID sit for now as more features and stuff get developed for it. I’ll end up adopting it eventually, I think. Just not right away.

Enter the Circle of Healing Podcast

I mentioned it briefly before, but it’s official now. There is a new World of Warcraft podcast in town. I’ve always had my sights set on expanding to podcasts and videos. Dawn Moore, the host and producer (Spiritual Guidance on WoW.com, discipline) will be regularly joined by Kinaesthesia (vodka’s ace priest, holy) and myself (some guy with multiple blogs, who plays both).

Now to be fair, we’re all priests. There will be times where we make efforts to discuss healing from perspectives of other classes. I suppose you can call us the Circle. Or something. Once get a little more established and comfortable, we’ll be bringing in some guest healers and specialists.

We’ll be recording new episodes twice a month.

What this podcast is

  • Healing discussion: We’re going to be talking about healing stuff. Expect to hear our thoughts and opinions about any and every aspect of healing.
  • Question and answer: Have a healing question? We might have a healing answer. These can either be fictional or real. But we figured someone out there will benefit from it.

What this podcast isn’t

  • It is not a WoW news show: Don’t expect us to be providing news or opinions on general WoW changes. There’s enough podcasts out there that do that already.
  • An update on our lives: We won’t be talking about what we did today or that week. We’re trying to keep a tight schedule so it’ll be straight to business. Although random interjections and tangents may occur, it won’t be a regular occurrence.

Why you should listen to it?

  • How many other WoW related healing podcasts can you name?
  • An educational experience (we hope)
  • Stuff that no other podcast has
  • Kinasthesia’s wit
  • Dawn’s on it
  • Me being… me (that’s not a selling point, is it?)

Oh but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what a former guildmate of mine had to say about it:

“Great insight from some of the game’s leading minds in Priestlyness. Hoping to hear more from them in the future!”

- Infiniz

Okay, enough of that. You want to listen to it and you want it now.

Episode 1: Introductions

Introductory podcast where we discuss our backgrounds, our thoughts at the current state of the healing priest (comforts and discomforts), and these blue posts about healing.

Mirror 1: Circle of Healing Podcast
Mirror 2: World of Matticus

Episode 2: Priests, Masters of Tangent

Big news for this episode? Cataclysm priest talent previews are available. I know that I didn’t put up a post yet detailing my thoughts on it, but you can hear my take on some of the talents here.

Mirror 1: Circle of Healing Podcast
Mirror 2: World of Matticus

The site for the podcast itself is still being developed, but the podcast episodes themselves were ready. Figured we may as well push them live.

Remember, we’re just starting out. Feel free to hit us with feedback, what you liked, didn’t like, want more of, and healing questions are always a plus.

Yes we did

Yes we did

algalond

Yes, we killed the Lich King on 25.

Yes, it took forever.

Yes, my blogging colleagues here beat me to the punch.

Yes, it makes me sadface, but my pride is at stake and I’ll steal back the blog-first bragging rights when Cataclysm arrives. I refuse to be the last player on the team to take down Deathwing!

Yes, we also killed Algalon on 10 man and got our Starcaller titles.

Yes, I’m recruiting more DPS and healers for hard mode ICC 25s.

Yes, work is owning me (but I got a 20% raise!)

Yes, I want to watch the A-Team.

Yes, Lodur and I are going to BlizzCon.

Yes, I’m looking for another BlizzCon ticket.

Yes, I added a cool widgit on the side of the blog that shows latest threads on PlusHeal.

Yes, I plan on revamping the blogs (note the plural) starting with the footer and about page as well as changing the themes a bit. I wish I had my own designer. I’ll be using the Genesis framework for it from Studiopress, most likely.

Yes, I wish I could get into the beta.

Yes, I saw the Priest previews and will add my 2 cents to it.

Yes, I launched a healing and priest centric podcast called Circle of Healing (podcast) with Dawn Moore (WoW.com) and Kinasthesia (WoW.com and vodka). It’s actually 3 priests discussing healing with potential for guests later. Two shows recorded. Details will come later.

Yes, I need more time to do fun blog and forum stuff.

Yes, I want this expansion to be over!

Why Role Balancing Isn’t Your Average Tentacled Monster

Why Role Balancing Isn’t Your Average Tentacled Monster

tentacle unicorn

Tobold’s post today is a refreshing look at how the holy trinity of tanks, healers and DPSers might be re-balanced. His basic concept is that it should be made more rewarding – more useful – to players to play a tank or a healer, for their own interest. Rather than developers assuming that the laws of odds and sods means that some players will play them because – well, someone has to.

Tobold’s correct in that tanks and healers could benefit from their ability to mitigate being more useful in solo combat. I’m not sure that in order to achieve this it would be necessary to make DPS classes “feel more like the proverbial glass cannon”. Combat could be customizable so that DPSers can still enjoy doing what they do best but tanks and healers can make their mitigation work for them.

Without giving it too serious thought early on a Monday I can think of some brief examples; there could be a mechanic whereby tanks reflect an increasing or scalable amount of monsters’ damage back at them (RPS – reflect per second?). The irritation here is that those monsters who are less damage oriented themselves would take longer to kill. Or there could be an improved “thorns” like mechanic – the idea behind thorns at present being that it does damage when thorns’ beneficiary is hit. The improved version (and the mechanic could be given to any class) could mean that effective use of a tank’s abilities gives him a stacking buff which then accordingly deals damage to the monster – which would stack all the more (and slightly insanely) in aoe/quest situations, probably making it great fun for tanks to quest by gathering all of the monsters on the continent at once. I exaggerate. Slightly.

But what are us healers going to do with our mitigation abilities? Ours is not so much mitigation as reparation. So what, we’d heal ourselves at monsters? Now we get to a deeper layer of difficulty for balancing the roles.

This is where the aforementioned concept of “their own interest” comes under scrutiny. In my mind a fighter’s – therefore a tank’s – interest in surviving battle is entirely different to a healer’s. The fighter charegs into battle wanting to smash those monsters in. Those fighters who are tanks also happen not to mind being smashed back by the monsters. A healer’s interest on the other hand is to hoppity-skip around the battlefield amidst volleys of arrows and magic from both sides in order to patch up their teammates.

The point at which their interest intersects is in doing what they are good at; and, trickily, those skillsets shine most in group situations when there are other people around to benefit from them. Not everyone can get hit over the head with as much class as a tank; and fighters going into battle alone traditionally aim to kill the betentacled unicorn quicksmart rather than let it try to tear their guts out for longer than is comfortable. As to healers – how many rogues do you see prancing around with happy light beams streaming from their fingertips? Healers like stapling peoples’ guts back in, and not just their own.

The difficulty here is reconciling two different experience types. First, redressing the game mechanic practicalities of playing a tank or healer to make it intrinsically self-rewarding for players choosing to play a tank or healer. And secondly, not amputating the traditional ideology behind the role types. The ideology which makes roles what they are; antecedents of cultural mythology celebrated through oral story telling, written classics, and role playing.

One way to approach this may be to remember that it’s not all about the roles. You can take the mechanic to the water but to make it drink from it – make the water more interesting. Perhaps the quest system could be overhauled – it’s overdue anyway.

Instead of quest givers parroting the a-typical “kill fish because I want their feathers to make a pair of sandals”, they could have a wider, more imaginative range of ways we can help them. Something like, “get from here to there in <insert arbitrary time limit> because, er, I dunno, how do you feel about couriering misunderstood baby murlocs? And do it the way that best suits you. You look healery, maybe hoppity-skip along and do your nature thing. You don’t have to slowly attack/tickle everything to death.”

Tell you what though. I remember several RPGs where us healers were the big guns when our band of heroes were wading through undead. Back in my day, undead monsters really didn’t like being healed at.

What do you think? How do you think class/role mechanics should be rebalanced on the ‘experience type’ graph, and why?

This is an article by Mimetir, an owl (and resto shaman) of a raid leader on The Venture Co. (EU) You can find my twitter feed here.

Article images originally on flickr, by Don Solo and merwing little dear.

Cataclysm Loses its 2 Biggest Selling Points

There’s been a press release announced just minutes ago and if you want to skip the news, then you’ll want to skip out on this.

Personally, I think the loss of Path of the Titans and Guild talent trees were done mostly to shave off development time. Either that, or it just wasn’t working out quite well as the developers had hoped.

Path of the Titans – Gone!

  • Path of the Titans has been scrapped and will not be implemented.
  • Instead Blizzard will focus on improving the glyph system, as they feel it didn’t quite hit the intended goals in Wrath.
  • Glyphs will now be available in 3 categories: Major, "Medium" (PH name) and Minor.
    • Major glyphs are core to each class and will be expected to be used to perform at maximum level.
    • Medium glyphs will be to provide "fun" alterations to abilities.
    • Minor glyphs will largely function as they do today.
  • Based on the mockup shown, you’ll be able to have 3 glyphs of each type at level 85: Major, Medium and Minor.
  • The glyph UI will now display all of the glyphs available to your class, even if you haven’t learned them yet, to the right of the section where you apply your glyphs.
  • Blizzard wants to make glyphs permanent so you don’t have to carry a stack of them around. Simply learn the glyph and then you can swap it whenever you want.

I’m a little disappointed by this largely because I think Path of the Titans had so much potential for the game. Instead, what is going to happen now is that the current glyph system is going to see some additions. Another layer of glyphs means additional customization options for our characters. I liked the idea of going out on some journey to explore and discover ruins that fell under the deity that I followed.

As for the glyph, I’m curious as to what is meant by “fun” alterations. Perhaps something like this?

Major: Prayer of Healing heals an additional 20% of its initial heal over 6 seconds.
Mild: If a target hit by Prayer of Healing gets healed to full, your spellpower is increased by 5% for the next 9 seconds
Minor: Raiditude no longer requires Candles.

It also sounds like Scribes are finished.

Guild talent system – Gone!

Guild Leveling

  • There are 25 levels in total.
  • Guild talents are not going to be implemented.
  • Instead, guilds will be automatically rewarded with perks.
  • Each time a guild levels up they will receive a perk.
  • Guilds gain experience through a member participating in dungeon or raid boss kills, winning rated battlegrounds, completing quests or unlocking guild achievements.

Other than the removal of talents, there is nothing new here. It sounds like eventually, every guild will have access to the same number of perks. I’ve got some mixed feelings on this a bit largely because guild talents were another way for GMs to set their guild apart. On the other hand, it also meant that guilds could either be PvE or PvP guilds, and not necessarily both which ran contrary to their philosophies on accessibility.

I’m contemplating a pros and cons post with the rest of the WoM crew here about that very topic.

When I see the word “perk”, my brain shifts to Call of Duty mode. Oh well. No changes to the method by which guilds can gain experience. 

Guild Rewards

  • Guild currency has been scrapped.
  • Guild rewards will be unlocked by completing guild achievements.
  • Rewards will be purchased with gold, and anyone in the guild can purchase the reward once it’s unlocked.
  • Examples: mounts, tabards, heirlooms.
  • Guild mounts will have a flag attached to them that displays the guild’s emblem.

I suppose we’ll be using guild bank money to make the appropriate financial decisions. Riding around a Gryphon with our guild emblem on a flag does sound kind of cool though. Guild rewards sound like another way for guilds to set theirs apart from others. What’s unique is that guild rewards aren’t technically considered raid progression or anything like that. Actually, we won’t know until we know what the achievements actually are yet.

One possible unforeseen side effect? Gold farmers won’t just be selling WoW gold or accounts anymore. Selling guild names and achievements could be another product we’ll be seeing on the virtual black market.

Guild Reputation

  • This is a newly announced feature; players will gain reputation with their guild similar to how other reputations work in the game.
  • As you contribute to the guild by completing quests, killing bosses, winning rated BGs or completing guild achievements, you will gain reputation.
  • The best guild rewards will require having exalted reputation with your guild.
  • Guild reputation is on a per-character basis, so you’ll have to gain rep for each character you have in the guild before you can buy rewards with it.
  • Reputation is not wiped immediately upon leaving or being removed from the guild; this is to prevent losing all your progress in the guild due to someone jokingly kicking you.

Years ago, players that signed on to join my guild were informed that they would have to grind Matticus rep. Now it appears it is a reality.

This does give incentive to players to actually do stuff in the guild so that everyone benefits as a whole.

Guild Achievements

  • These will be integral to the reward and level systems. Completing one can unlock rewards as well as give the guild experience.
  • Guild achievements are earned and owned by the guild, so once it has it, it never goes away — even if all members who participated leave the guild.
  • Even classic raids will help level your guild. A new version of the classic raid meta will become available that guilds can complete.
  • When viewing a guild achievement it will display the members who participated in earning that achievement.
  • To earn a guild achievement you must have 7 of 10 or 20 of 25 players in the raid be members of your guild.
  • There will be realm first achievements for guilds, as well as individual players.

Just when I thought I would never have to go back to take down C’Thun again. Looks like I may have to do it again just for the guild achievement and guild perk.

Guild Window

  • The guild UI has received an overhaul and contains:
    • The guild xp bar and its current level.
    • An RSS-like feed of the latest news for the guild; boss kills, level milestones, etc.
    • Some news like major raid boss kills or level 85 will be "sticky" (this is determined by Blizzard) and will persist at the top of the feed for a while.
    • An upcoming events section that is a snapshot of your guild’s calendar.
    • The most recent perk the guild has earned, and the one for reaching the next level.
    • The guild reputation bar (this is specific to your character).
  • The guild roster page has also been overhauled and now contains a professions display for each member.
  • You will be able to click on profession icons and view the recipes a guild member has, even while they’re offline.

What would be cool is if this guild information can be parsed and echoed into blogs and other areas. Great tool with which we can show off what our guilds have done. The ability to inspect and view what guild members can craft has been a long time coming.

All in all, I’m not completely let down by the announcement. After thinking about it and examining it more from other angles, it sounds like the ideas are still there. It’s just the methodology that will end up being different.

How about you guys? Not happy with the loss of Path of the Titans or Guild Talent points?

Edit: On a completely unrelated note, I’m currently looking for an Elemental Shaman, or a Holy Pally for my guild. Even if you’re not the class or spec but would still like to raid, go ahead and apply anyway.

Kingslayers? That’s Unpossible!

Kingslayers? That’s Unpossible!

I was originally going to regal you with the wild tales of my misadventures through the LFD tool, but instead I am consumed by a  need to share my overwhelming pride.

Tuesday June 8th at near 10:20pm est, Unpossible downed The Lich King in 25 player mode. Normally I wouldn’t bother posting something like this as I don’t want to be seen as a braggart, but I am proud of my guild for sticking to it and getting this done. Over the last few months we’ve been combating burnout, illness, freak weather and buggy encounters. It seems to always be the way, we make incredible progress and then Murphy rears his ugly head and we get stymied by random occurrences.

I will say this was one of the more exhilarating kills we’ve had. Wed the week prior we broke early to attempt to buy Blizzcon tickets as a guild, we decided it would be nice to let everyone enjoy the weekend and focus on getting to the convention. On Monday we dove back into ICC and went hell for broke for The Lich King. As we were handling defiles and valks something just clicked. Vent got quiet and everyone was moving in unison. These are what I like to call moments of raiding clarity. This is where everyone is doing everything perfect and the boss abilities are right on time. It is almost like participating in a choreographed dance. It was just as if suddenly everyone got the fight. We made great progress and were consistently pushing into phase 3. Midnight bells tolled and we called it a night, but before we did officers agreed with spirits so high and considering the progress we made that we needed to extend the lockout, get the same raid group in ICC and take the bastard down. Who needed more shards? Badges? Pfft! A dead Lich King is all we wanted. And when the announcement went out over ventrillo you could hear people becoming excited.

So when Tuesday came, we headed in and on our first pull that same magic was there. pushed into phase 3, and we wiped because we weren’t expecting to get there on the first pull. So we head back in our confidences high, and pull again. This time his health gets even lower, we wipe to something stupid, but spirits are still high. We go again and again, each time chipping away at that total health. After a 10 minute break around 10 we come back in, buff up and pull. We get to phase 3, everyone alive and we’re going strong. We’re kiting the spirits, and moving from defiles with expert reflexes, I get picked as the second person to go into Frostmourne and I heal the shit out of Terenas Menethil, I get dumped back to reality and we keep going. His health is dropping lower and lower. The other resto shaman gets picked for Harvest Soul, something unknown happens and he dies. LK enrages and everyone gets tense. Our main tank Woe pops his cooldowns as healers bridged the gap to him and the big heals started raining in. Suddenly he gets smacked hard and goes down. LK is at 14% with a few key people down (healers and high dps) everyone sighs, a wipe is almost called but instead Woe calls out for our OT Theonius to grab the LK fast. He charges over, grabs him, healers switch targets immediately and everyone unloads. Remaining healers go all out balls-to-the-wall with every cooldown and bit of mana they have to throw behind healing. LK at 12%, vent gets quiet again except for the calls from the raid leaders giving terse directions “heal x, move right” LK at 10.5%. Everyone is holding their breath and then you hear the call “Take this bitch down!” LK 10%, he wipes the raid and everyone cheers on vent, a reminder is sent out not to release and we all are whooping and hollering at the top of our lungs. Our mass res comes and we pop yet another heroism for good measure and unload, our achievements pop up and at that moment I could actually hear all remaining tension and burnout leave. A burden lifted from everyone’s shoulders and fresh energy flowing into the raiders.

An early end to a raiding night, and week, but one well deserved. So as of Tuesday we finally start our hard modes. There is palpable excitement as everyone is getting ready and anticipation is high. After all the random things that have gone wrong along the way, I can honestly say this was one well deserved kill for Unpossible. I’d like to thank each and everyone of my guild-mates, officers and everyone in between for continuing to work so hard and to persevere though so much. We’ve been around for a long time, and we have no intention on stopping! We have our eye on you Deathwing, and we must break you!

We all have our obstacles in game. Raid attendance, pushing the DPS envelope, getting that computer to stop dropping you from raid, getting the last shot in to topple that boss at 1% or even overcoming personal and health related issues to play a game you enjoy with people you call friends. Everyone’s journey is different, but when you get to your goal there is no sweeter victory.

With that in mind I’d also like to make a shout-out to Spellbrood. We heard that you have a lot on your plate and we here at World of Matticus want to wish you well in your journeys. Remember, no obstacle is too great when you have good friends to help share the burdens and the good times!

So that’s it for this today, hope you guys enjoyed my little story there, I know my heart started pounding again as I began to recall the events.

Also, Unpossible is hiring! We’re looking for geared and intelligent DPS looking for a fun but dedicated raiding home. Sorry folks we are full up on Death Knights and Priests, but everyone else is welcome to apply. If you’re interested stop by here and take a look at our application process!