How I learned to live without Spirit Link, or a fond farwell.

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I’ve been a huge fan of the spell Spirit Link since it first made an appearance back in the Wrath of the Lich King beta. The spell allowed restoration shaman to link players together, distributing damage among them. The spell was eventually removed due to balancing issues, and I only got to play with it for a few, fleeting moments.

When Cataclysm was announced, the developers made a note that they were going to try to work Spirit Link back into the game. It was a spell a lot of players were excited about and wanted to have in their arsenal. It was a promise to give us something we didn’t have, a defensive cooldown. Shaman throughout the community came up with various ideas on how to balance it and let it come back to the game. I was included among that number. Alas, it was not meant to be, and Spirit Link has drifted off without much of a word about it from the developers.

After lamenting the loss of the spell, I came to a realization. I’ve been healing through the beta both in dungeons and raids and not once did I ever say to myself  “I wish I had Spirit Link right now!”. That exact phrase I muttered to myself at least a dozen times in Wrath. But looking at the way Cataclysm is designed, it is now impossible for Spirit Link to be incorporated into the game. Looking at the damage model for the new expansion it is quite easy to see this. Let me explain a bit here for clarification sake. When I say damage model, I quite literally mean damage model. Everyone is taking damage in Cata. There is rarely instances in a raid where someone is not taking some damage. This is very unlike Wrath, where there were a few fights that had massive amounts of raid damage. Let’s use the new Nefarian encounter as an example. The new fight has you engaging the reanimated corpse of both Onyxia and Nefarian. Onyxia has some fun new abilities including shadow flame (doing her dad proud) and a new electrical charge. Needless to say, she does a ton of raid wide damage. Combine this with Nefarian flying around and summoning adds, throwing his own shadow bolts and you have yourself a recipe for pain.

At no point in this fight would it have been safe to link multiple players together. Simply put, any additional damage on the non tanks would have killed them. Now, almost every fight in Cata is like this. Heroic dungeons feel like raid bosses (at least until we outgear them but still), and raids feel much more difficult. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just an evolution of the game. Players are more accountable for their own health totals than every before, and healers have a whole new set of concerns. With this new model, Spirit Link just doesn’t fit anymore. Players simply would die if linked together. Now you could argue that a defensive cooldown could be extremely useful here, but Blizzard has done us one better.

Instead of a defensive cooldown, we get an offensive healing cooldown. I’m not talking about Nature’s Swiftness here, but our new level 85 spell, Spiritwalker’s Grace. Traditionally the role of a healer is to indemnify. That’s my nickle word for the day. It means to secure against hurt, loss or damage. By this I mean we wait for people to get hurt, or hurt enough and react by healing them in an attempt to bring their health back to 100%. Most of the new healing abilities for the other healers are more preventative. They stop damage from happening. Shaman without the ability to keep damage from happening are forced to be more aggressive healers. This fits really well with the tools we are given.

So let’s take a look at our new cooldown. Spiritwalker’s grace lets us cast any heal while moving. Let me state that again for dramatic effect here, it lets us cast any heal while moving. This means in those fights (read: all of them) that require us to move, we can pop this cooldown and run-and-gun casting our big heals, like Chain Heal, without having to stop. Mull that over for a second. Pretty awesome right? This gives us not only some added versatility, but the ability to manage that versatility. We choose when to use it, which adds that level of healing skill everyone has been talking about wanting for a while now. Sure, we can’t power word: shield someone, but you bet your ass we can drop a nuke heal while on the move! While other healers can throw shields and HoTs while running, we can cast full blown spells. The cooldown lasts 10 seconds, and only has a 2 minute cooldown. It fits really well with our healing style as well. Shaman are not the healers that sit in the back and chant. We are the healers that charge into the thick of battle to drop our totems and throw fire at the enemy while making our own troops whole again.

Honestly I think this new ability hasn’t gotten nearly enough media attention, as players remain too focused on what could have been. It really is quite awesome, and with it I’m no longer pining for Spirint Link. While I  will always remember it with fondness in my heart, I’ve come to accept that its departure was for the best and to move on. So goodbye Spirit link, it seems to me you lived your life like a candle in the wind, never knowing who to cling to when wrath set in. And I would have liked to have known you
but I was just level 70, your candle burned out long before, but your legend never will.

I think other restoration shaman will start to feel the same as time spent with the new spells comes.

So what do you think? Still miss Spirit Link? Do you like Spiritwalker’s Grace?

Until next time, Happy Healing!

Embracing the Dark Side

I never thought I would see the day. You know, when I first started this journey on my character, I’ve always envisioned myself as that of a career healer. It was my purpose. I was to heal, to sustain, and to cure players. Restore them back to full health. I have tried the dark arts before but it was beyond my skills and comprehension. And yet, with the guild expanding to a include PvP, I noted we had a fair number of healers already. And so, I activated a dormant side of Matticus that I thought I had suppressed forever. I vowed never to use that side ever again unless I had a significant reason to do so. But the time had come.

I went Shadow.

It was amusing at first. I already had a full set of 264 healing gear and a full set of 264 shadow gear. Within the span of minutes, I turned myself into a potent weapon. For those moments, I was no longer the shield of the guild. I was now the sword. The transferable gaming knowledge I picked up over the past 10 years came flowing back. The art of chain stunning and disabling from playing hundreds of hours of DoTA. The stacking, force firing and position playing from Guild Wars. The willingness to attract the ire of 6 opposing horde players and keeping them busy for that one second at the blue gate graveyard in Strands of the Ancients so that my team mate could capture that graveyard. Everything came rushing back. I was a whirlwind of death. Targets were identified and crushed with ruthless efficiency (unless they were resto druids, then it was just plain ruthlessness).

And you know what I discovered? I can’t get enough of it. Double tapping players with Shadow Word: Death is too much… fun.

Do not worry. You won’t be seeing shadow related posts here anytime soon. I am not quite qualified in that regard just yet. For me, the time has come to learn the dark arts. By doing so, I allow myself to play both roles in our raid as necessary and won’t be quite as restricted when it comes to roster flexibility. I have much to learn.

I will strive to learn everything I can and be the best at it. Yet, I know that it is truly impossible to master something. Here’s the thing I’ve noticed when it comes to trying to master a class. I mean, if I were to graph learning the skills to master a class, I would draw an asymptote. After all, although one can always get closer and closer to mastery, one will never reach it.

Have to admit, it is a welcome pace from healing. Except I have a disgusting 24% hit from all the spirit stuff I’m packing.

Monday Mind Dump: Movember 15

This post is what I like to call a mind dump. There is too much stuff on my mind, so I figured I’d dump it all here so I can make sense of it later. it will appear jagged, out of the ordinary and it might not even make sense.

- PvP division is coming along nicely. Growth’s a little lower than expected, but it’s getting there. Managed to a dominating number of the battlegrounds we have entered so far. However, Conquest is 0-2 in Isle of Conquest. That statistic will continue to irritate me for sometime. Perhaps a 25 player preform of guild members and pickup players might not have enough muscle to swing victory. But being shut out of our island?! This transgression must be avenged.

- On the one hand, I would love to try my hand and leading some preforms. On the other hand, I don’t know if I have the ability or time to with all the other stuff I need to do.

- Thinking ahead to the opening weeks of the expansion. Who is leveling what professions and what recipes are we going to need to progress into raids? Obviously the main enchanting and jewelcrafting recipes will be a priority. There is also the crafted stuff to consider. Under our loot council system, whoever acquires a crafted epic won’t be rolling on the normal raid gear for that slot until everyone that can use it already has it. So if I make a Belt of the Depths for myself, I’ll end up passing on all cloth belts out of the raids in favor of other clothwearers who still need a belt. We need to think big picture on the gear route to minimize any wasting of gear.

- Speaking of professions, I’m not sure how many gatherers we have. That’s going to put a dent in the ol’ Conquest credit card especially if I need to make purchases of stuff.

- The Movember stache is coming along nicely. Sadly, no SS means it didn’t happen.

- Read a nice piece on playing to win versus playing not to lose. Good subject to explore later on. It compares taking risks for big gains versus staying steady and making safe decisions. Do you push DPS to phase Lich King early so you don’t have to deal with Defiles or Valks (and consequently risk getting them at the same time?) Or do you wait for them to spawn, then deal with them, and then push into the next phase? At what point do you slam the table and push or stay conservative and wait? It’s like playing a an Eye of the Storm. Does your preformm go for the 4 capture or play in a map controlling manner with 2 points and continual flag running?

- Also in the middle of reading a book about being clutch and how people perform in high pressure situations and why other people choke in those types of situations.

- Helped someone move over the weekend. I’m buying a 1 floor place or a place with an elevator. 3 floors is not fun.

- Guild rank restructuring has been complete. We’re pushing 10 slots as it is. Makes me wonder if another one is going to be added in the future. Anyway, here’s a quick breakdown.

  • GM (That’s me)
  • Officers (My awesome team)
  • Loot council (Decider of loot)
  • Raider (Raiders on the starting lineup)
  • Red shirts (Trials and players working on cracking the starting lineup)
  • PvP Commander (Preform leaders)
  • PvP Troopers (Rated BGers on the starting lineup)
  • PvP New Guys (Awaiting evaluation to see if they’re in the top 15)
  • Civilians (Socials, alts, friends, no obligation to raid or PvP, just a place to hang out
  • Normal (One of the few ranks that doesn’t require a radiation suit)

- Eyelids are getting real heavy now.

- Comparing 10 man vs 25 man healing. Not sure if you read my post on WoW Insider yet (you should), but if you’re not into reading, at the very least check out this legen …(wait for it)… dary video. Conclusion? If you’re not great with periphreal vision and standing out of stuff, 10 man raids are the way to go for you. There is more healing that needs to be done and you are triaging (tree-aging) more often. Be comfortable with players not at 100% health. On 25 though, it is much more chaotic. I didn’t know as much raid damage going on because the city was getting cleaned up right quick. But if you can manage those, the kidnapper will be blindfolded again.

10 man vs 25 man healing

- Skyline wasn’t that great.

Special Delivery: Roundup Of This Week’s Best WoW Posts

The last couple of weeks have seen the blogosphere gently swaying from side to side during the wait for Cataclysm, like a drunken llama on a narrow fence. A couple of weeks ago the blogosphere leaned more towards the healing type topics. Last week it loosely double-focused on healing and guild organisation. And now this week… well, this week we’re wobbling decidedly towards the guild organisation side of things and away from healing, although not entirely, because if we do that we might loose our balance.

Why, you ask?

It’s likely because as Cataclysm draws close we’re looking at restructuring our groups of seasoned (and I’m sure not inebriated) warriors so that we can meet Cataclysm’s challenges. And at the same time there’s not much new to say about healing now that the patch has been and gone, until Cataclysm itself hits and we wake up to find our healers at the top of the DPS charts.

…Oh! You meant why the llama analogy? I don’t know. Someone gave me caffeine. And it’s Saturday. But I bet you kept reading. Anyway, without further ado here’s this week’s MMO Melting Pot-sque roundup ‘specially for WoM readers of the healing, leading and guild related posts from around the blogosphere. Albeit with a distinct shimmy towards the latter.

  • Falling Leaves And Wings: Are 25 Mans Going To Be Worth The Effort In Cata? – Beruthiel is looking ahead to Cataclysm and wondering whether it’ll be worth running 25 mans in the new raid setup, even for a guild that specialises in 25 mans. Her worries are that raids won’t be properly balanced and 10 mans will still be easier for the same gear, added to the possibility that 25 mans won’t drop enough quantities of gear to make them progress at a relative speed to 10 mans. An interesting read for any raider, 10 or 25 man’er.
  • Organizing a 10 man team – Aunna’s got a brief if really quite detailed post on 10 mans. Not just on organizing them, though that does make up the latter chunk of her post. She’s also covering the benefits and disadvantages of raiding as a 10 man group, which is well written, refreshing to read and very grounded. Hear hear!
  • What It Takes To Be a Great Raid Leader – This is a great 5-point list for raid leaders by Saga over at Girls Don’t Play WoW. She says that it’s aimed primarily at newer raid leaders but as an experienced raid leader myself I found her post a very interesting read. Her points might seem obvious but they are all core principles of raid leading, some of which are easy to make mistakes with sometimes. Great post, and well timed for when people are organising for Cata.
  • Daily Thoughts: Raid healing – a short post by Sharden over at 15 Minutes of WoW musing on his recent forray into, yep, you got it – raid healing. He’s used to healing as a paladin and not doing the raid healing so much, so trying out the new role on his shaman sounds like it was a fresh experience. A nice read which I bet a lot of us can relate to or remember similar experiences!
  • Syl and Theanorak: Preparing For Healing Changes As DPS – This one’s not directly aimed at healers, but is from a healer trying to help their guild’s DPSers. Syl from Raging Monkeys has written a guide to her DPS guildies prepare for healing mechanic changes in Cataclysm, so they can brush up on their knowledge of what to stand in and what healing to expect. She invites you to use or adapt it for your own guildies, if you think they might benefit from it too.
  • Rules for Raiding – Analogue from Looking For More has posted her guild’s prospective raid rules and is looking for your thoughts on them. They’re covering things like attendence, strategy, tasks – and how raid members should behave in regards to these things. She’s asking us readers if we think they’re reasonable or whether we’d raid under them; an interesting question…

That’s it for this week. In a moment I’ve got to be heading off to do some organisation work for my own 10 man guild, but just before I go – what do you think, this week? Do you have a bee in your bonnet about any of these topics or are you hoping for more posts on a different subject?

Rise of the Super Guild

I’m not sure if this is a developing trend or not of what guilds will be evolving into. I stumbled across a recruiting thread. What stood out for me was that this guild wasn’t just a raiding guild. It wasn’t a PvP guild. It wasn’t a leveling guild or a social guild or a casual guild. It’s a guild that houses multiple guilds within it. It boggled my mind at first because some of these smaller or medium sized guilds would be sacrificing their identity along with other privileges. But the more I read about it, the more it made sense.

The main purpose of this organization is to bring as many guilds under one banner as much as possible. The rewards? Accelerating into guild achievements, unlocks and progression rewards. With multiple guilds within this guild, hitting those rewards and achievements would be amazingly quick. Maxing out the guild experience everyday would be a certainty. I think what I’m witnessing isn’t just an organized guild. It’s an actual raiding alliance. The efforts of one guild would spillover and help other guilds. Those other guilds will also be contributing in their own way. After looking at the infrastructure, the sub-guilds would be able to operate under whatever conditions they desired. Each sub guild had their own raid times, standards, and so forth. Players won’t be forced to raid with each other. But it’s basically like guild <A>, guild <B> and guild <C> giving up their individual tags and merging into one giant super guild. Their sites don’t change, they still use their own voice servers and such. It’s all just under one tag. Everything else is logistics when it comes to ranks.

All of a sudden, catching 100000 fish doesn’t sound so bad.

Anyone find any flaws with this? Does it sound like something you would personally go for?

[VIDEO] A Preview of Cataclysm Raid Healing

Cataclysm raid healing (Watch in a larger resolution if possible)

No post for today but I figured there were a number of healers out there who really wanted to see what raid healing would be like in the expansion. Here’s a video which includes the first two bosses from Bastion of Twilight on 10 man. I narrated the entire video (and if you’re tired of my voice, by all means, feel free to mute the audio) explaining what was going on and what I was doing.

I also learned how to do slow motion action which I’ve put to great effect towards the end. Don’t miss out on Life Grip in action!

Twitter followers get to watch my videos first (along with those who can find the elusive World of Matticus facebook fan page). I usually use them as guinea pigs a litmus test to see whether or not I should publish a video here.

Lastly, the official guild announcement regarding the rated BG team. 

Adding a Guild PvP Division

I suspect that this is an option that guilds have considered at some point. After all, in Cataclysm, one of the methods guilds can gain reputation and experience is through rated battlegrounds and rated arena. It was something I had considered for a while since a good number of players in the guild do love their PvP. But as it is, I do not have the time to organize players and run the necessary strategies for a successful PvP team. Not only that, I’m the last person in the world who should do any sort of PvP. I only have enough time to invest seriously in raiding or PvPing (and I much prefer raiding). What I do have is the resources and the infrastructure to support a group of dedicated players.

Conquest is now expanding

But I found a solution.

A couple of players in the guild were leaders within the QueueQ cross-realm pre-form group. After a bit of discussion, it was decided we would have both PvE and PvP interests in mind. The commander of the PvP team would have complete control of his group. As long as the recruits he selects adhere to the basic standards and ethics of the guild, they would be welcome. Just because one player is accepted into one part of the guild doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be green lit into the other. A raider shouldn’t expect an immediate invite into a dedicated PvP team and vice versa. Obviously on days where either groups are shorthanded, we’ll consider all of our options. Common sense, right?

Naturally there were a few concerns.

What about players who both raid and want to commit to PvP? Would scheduling affect it? – PvP nights would not coincide during raid nights. They would be held on other days to maximize availability. We also minimize incidents of players having to choose between say arena or raiding to get their points in.
What would the voice infrastructure be like? – I had to rearrange and setup a few extra channels. Now we’ve got two battleground channels and a channel called the waiting room. Any player in the waiting room can be dragged up into the battleground channels when players are needed.
Gear acquisition? – There is a concern that PvP players would want to duck into raids, get PvE weapons, and leave. Loot council helps address that. If we reach a point where our progression oriented players don’t need weapons anymore, then we’d be able to work something out. Otherwise, raiders get priority.

Why PvP?

Why not stick to something simple? Why not just stick to one primary focus of the guild instead of splitting it into two? I guess I wanted to diversify a bit more. It doesn’t hurt to be a little ambitious. Even though they’re not players I have any say in handpicking, I trust the PvP commander has the right people skills and instincts. Not only that, I mentioned earlier about the guild perks. Having multiple methods to gain guild experience will be beneficial in the long run.

Additional exposure

Just like how running an alt raid for a guild can help drive additional exposure, running weekend PvP premades is another way to attract attention. With two capable preform leaders, we could fire off two 15 mans and a 25 man raid at the same time.

Now if players ask whether or not we’re a PvE or PvP guild, I tend to reply with both. I’ll continue to oversee the raiding team along with my officers. Anyone inquiring about PvP gets directed to the PvP leaders. This all looks fine on paper. Now it’s just a matter of determining whether or not it’ll work. I’ll never know unless I try. This is a chance to change up guild beliefs and philosophy for a bit. If PvP battlegrounds is something you’re interested, you might want to check us out.

I do remember reading about one other guild that was going to do the same thing. I can’t remember so I at least know that there’s someone out there who will undergo the same types of problems or issues. Has your guild thought about extending into formal, organized PvP?

Special Delivery: Roundup Of The Week’s Best WoW Leading, Healing and Guild Posts

Now that my shiny new Saturday WoM feature has been going a couple of weeks it’s not the exciting new toy it was when I first unpacked it with you guys. You know how it works. So I’m not going to spend half a day explaining how I’m going to link you to the best leading, healing or guild posts from the blogosphere, or that it’s because that’s what I do over on my own site, MMO Melting Pot. Nope, this week I’m going to jump straight into that list.

If you’re cynical and knew I was out ‘til late last night (all right, who am I kidding – early this morning) you might say that I’m not my usual rambly self because most of Saturday’s vanished after a particularly good, tipsifying and long fireworks party. So I don’t have much time spare today. That’s if you’re cynical, ‘cos it can’t be true at all. We all know what happens when boomkins get tipsy, and we can’t have hedges catching on fire from uncontrolled lazering all the time.

So, without further ado or headache induced madness, here’s the best on topics close to your heart, straight from the WoW blogosphere this week.

  • About Vortex: The Structure of a 10-man – an excellent post by Kae at Dreambound about how her 10 man guild is set up. She goes through everything from structure, to policies, to roster, loot systems and more, explaining the thought behind each and how they work out in practice. If you’re starting a 10 man guild or in one that needs a shake-up I couldn’t recommend Kae’s post more as the place to start getting some ideas.
  • I have three posts titled “what’s a casual raiding guild?” – After some abortive attempts Klepsacovic has posted some of his thoughts on defining casual guilds, over at Troll Racials Are Overpowered. He looks at what casual guilds need, just like any other guild, and why they can fail. The post’s short but sweet and it might give you pause for thought to consider how you view casual guilds.
  • Conducting Guild Meetings – Blacksen talks about why regular guild meetings are so very important to a raiding guild, and how to conduct them. He also lets us know what pitfalls to watch out for and how useful long term timescales are when planning in meetings, before going on to look at the same concepts for officer-specific meetings. His thoughts on “groupthink” relating to officers are particularly interesting.
  • Do You Know I Feel This Way? – Analogue over at Looking For More has let us into her deepest and darkest secrets about being a healer. She says early on that she’s going to make some sweeping generalizations in her post and she does, but look beyond those and it’s a thoughtful read for any healer out there. She’s looking at how she feels about healing in general, and her apprehensions going into Cataclysm – are you feeling the same as Analogue?
  • Beta Healing Counterpoint: Fun and Efficiency – last week I featured Vixsin of LifeinGroup5 talking about the new healing in Cataclysm being a good thing. Well, this week, she’s got a follow up, and she’s looking at just how needing to be more efficient healers will balance with our fun-factor. What is “being efficient” going to mean for us, and how does it apply to something as varied as healing? How does it play out in a team-based environment, when we’re all trying to show just how efficient we can be individually? Vixsin’s got thoughts on all of these things.
  • Dual Resto Specs? – Rank 4 Healing Touch is looking at the possibility of having to go dual specced resto to get the most flexibility out of the tree. He’s worried that some resto talents will underperform in some situations, but there seems to be so many to pick up. He seems to be looking for other opinions on how necessary two resto specs might be come Cataclysm, so drop by and let him know your thoughts – this might be quite a salient point come Cataclysm.
  • Why Every Healer Should Care About And Track Shields – this is just one in a series of brief posts Zelmaru’s done on tracking healing-related information, and how to do so using Grid. You can find the rest of the posts on Murloc Parliament in their own special ‘addons –> grid’ category – she’s covered a lot of angles from HoTs to Prayer of Mending. Might be something useful for you there.

So that’s it for this week. I hope you find something interesting there – certainly a good spread of topics to choose from this week.

What do you think – have any of these in particular caught your eye, or are you hoping to see more of a specific topic?

Cap on Rebirth and Soulstone?

Zarhym just dropped a bomb for us raiders. With Rebirth being restored to a 10 minute timer and Soulstone creation at 15 minutes, the devs have decided to add an additional limit.

You can only use 1 Rebirth or 1 Soulstone per attempt on 10 player raids and any 3 combinations for 25.

The design for combat resurrection effects has changed a good deal for Cataclysm, and we want to make sure players are clear on how spells like Rebirth and Create Soulstone now function. Rebirth has a 10-minute cooldown and Create Soulstone has a 15-minute cooldown. On raid boss encounters, you can only use one of these combat resurrection spells (so one Rebirth or one Soulstone) per attempt for 10-player raids. For 25-player raids you can use three forms of combat resurrection per raid boss attempt (so three of any combination of Rebirth and Soulstone). The count is incremented as soon as a player accepts a resurrection, so one can always choose not to accept if he or she wants someone else to get the resurrection instead. There is no equivalent of the Sated debuff (which tracks Bloodlust/Heroism usage), but you will get an error message if you try to resurrect too many players, and we might add tracking to our raid interface if there is demand for it. Outside of raid content, you can use as many battle resurrections as you have available.

Source

As a GM, I have a few issues with this. I understand the design intent behind it so that we’re not using 8 Druids in raids or anything. As it is, I feel that I’m burning through Rebirths more often then I like but I do enjoy having the safety net that they offer. Ultimately, we need to do better.

My question is what will happen with the Reincarnate from Shaman. I remember Divine Intervention was removed as a form of wipe prevention. I wonder if a Shaman will get exempted or it it will count. The limitation begins when a player accepts the resurrect not when it is cast upon them.

I’m hoping they’ll add a tracking interface to it. I had to use addons like RaidCooldowns to determine which Druids busted their Rebirths and who has theirs available. Ideally, the interface will tell me who used their Rebirth so I know who not to call on when I do need one. Speaking of hope, it seems a bit of a stretch, but I  hope our defensive cooldowns will not be limited in the same manner. Can you imagine only using a certain amount of Hymns or Pain Suppressions and Guardian Spirits per encounter? That would be a big problem.

We’re limited on second chances now if this gets final approval. We really need to pick and choose which players to select for a resurrect.

What I did at BlizzCon 2010

Well, I’ve been sufficiently jet lagged for a little bit, but I am happy to say that I’ve fully recovered. BlizzCon 2010 was an amazing time, and I am quite happy I got to meet many of you at the various meetups. For those of you who bought me beer, thank you! For those of you who bought Matt beer, thank you for the free entertainment!

Seriously though it was a great time, and I hope that next year I’ll get to meet even more of you. I got to hang out with Matt’s guild a little bit, and those guys know how to have fun. Never let it be said that Conquest doesn’t know how to party, I will fight you to the death on that one! I got to meet other bloggers as well, and really just had a good time chewing the fat with everyone.

My guildies were also in attendance, and we had something like 22 show up. That in and of itself may have been the most fun. You see, this year, one of our officers announced that he will be leaving us come Cataclysm. Well, at least as far as raiding is concerned. For those of you who have followed me over the years, you may recognize the name. Zabos, our hunter class lead, one of our DKP officers, and guild scapegoat has intentions of leaving us. He’s been around since this game started, and was a founding member of Unpossible. He was the reason for our very first lady Vashj low percentage wipe.  This announcement, of course, made us all very, very sad. So with all the guildies heading to BlizzCon, we decided that we simply had to show Zabos how much we loved him. And a plot was formed. Let me share with you a message sent to all guildies attending BlizzCon 2010 from the guild leader himself.

If you look carefully through the list of people I’ve sent this message to, you may notice the absence of one name in particular. This is no coincidence, and this brings us to the contest itself. This year, I’m going to be holding a competition among those Unpossible members who will be in Anaheim, all of them but Zabos. IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE KEEPING A SECRET, DO NOT READ FURTHER!

Objective: To successfully concoct and carry out a unique and hilarious practical joke on Zabos, in person, in Anaheim.

Group Size: This is a team competition. Group sizes can be anywhere from 2 to 4 people. Prior to the 21st, you must let me know who will be in your team.

Restrictions:
In the interest of keeping everything legal, and prevent any kind of nastiness after the fact, here are the restrictions and general guidelines of the competition:

  • The jokes can not result in bodily harm
  • The jokes can not result in permanent damage to property
  • The jokes can not be malicious in natures: example – no racial slurs, no emergencies in the family, etc.
  • The general tone of the jokes needs to be mischievous. At the end of the day, we don’t want to piss him off too much.
  • Sabotaging another team’s efforts is NOT allowed. The more successful jokes, the better.

Any breaking of the above rules will cause your team to be disqualified.

How Jokes Will Be Judged: In order to receive credit for the entries, jokes must be documented. Judges will need to have visual or audio proof of the jokes themselves. Acceptable forms of documentation are:

  • Audio – recorded conversation from the joke itself
  • Video – live-action video of the joke
  • Photograph – self explanatory. If the joke is staged, a before and after picture for example

This was met with great cheers from the guildies, and the game was on. Teams were chosen and shenanigans were afoot. At least, we started as teams. Shortly after arriving in Anaheim, it turned into a guild wide effort. It eventually ended with a marriage license, a lot of gunk on his car in various NSFW images, and some very, very interesting pictures. I’ll spare you the details for the sake of tact. Moral of the story though, if you intend to leave us, expect to be shown how much we love you… in force.

In the end we had a great time and it was really good to see my guildies face to face. It’s something I know a lot of people take for granted, but putting a face to that voice on vent can be pretty cool. I had met most of the guildies before hand but there were some new faces, and I finally got to hang out with my entire Forest of Win which made me very happy.

So what about you? Any BlizzCon 2010 stories to share?