Player’s Choice Raid: Your 5 Picks?

Player’s Choice Raid: Your 5 Picks?

Let’s fast forward a few years. The 10th anniversary of World of Warcraft is about to hit. To celebrate 10 years of WoW, Blizzard has decided to create an instance filled with 5 bosses of your choice that have their stats and levels modified to whatever the current levels are. It’s a Trial of the Crusader style of an instance. You’re locked in a large arena with no way out.

It’s you, your friends, and your wits.

You get to pick any 5 bosses from any raid instance or outdoor raid boss in the history of the game.

My picks (Trial of the Insane)

  1. Mimiron
  2. Archimonde
  3. Nefarian 1.0
  4. Professor Putricide
  5. Kil’Jaeden

Mimiron’s been a favourite of mine. It’s like 3 mini bosses in one who then Voltron into a combined beast at the end.

Archie’s a huge headache. It took me a long time to get him down and is one of the most satisfactory kills I’ve ever picked up as a raider.

I’m interested in seeing what a post MoP Nef 1.0 encounter would look like. He gets a refresh and picks out abilities based on class (and maybe spec) during his phase 2. In a way, you get to pick your poison against him based on the lineup your raid brings.

Good news everyone! You get to pass plague around all over again in the level 100 version of the raid against Professor Putricide! Is your raid organized enough to automatically divvy themselves up based on which colour debuff they receive? Do they know who is dirty and who is clean?

Lastly, Kil’Jaeden. The boss I’ve worked on the longest in my entire raiding career. Heroic Zon’ozz was close but came up short. Learning to utilize the pet dragon, the positioning, handling all the incoming abilities was like a symphony coming together and making pitch perfect music.

What about you? Which 5 bosses would make it on your Player’s Choice list?

Help! Need Your Resources and Links!

I’ve been asked by my overlords to compile a large list of resources and links for WoW players. The internet is just too damn large. There’s new blogs starting everyday and sites being abandoned or taken down almost weekly. It’s a little bit much even for me.

So I’m requesting reinforcements!

Blogs.  These are typically sorted by class. But I know there’s a few that write about more than one class. For example, although Restokin closely identifies with druids of the resto and balance variety, there’s some advice on other classes. The stipulation though is that the blog must continue to be active and predominantly about WoW. Last updated 2011 doesn’t count. I won’t care if there’s stuff about the occasional League of Legends frustrations but it’s meant to be list of WoW resources. Even non-class specific stuff for gold and transmog would be welcome as I don’t know much about those either.

Strategy sites. Sites like Learn 2 Raid, Icy Veins, and Tankspot would fit nicely here. I’m sure there’s others out there.

Podcasts. I don’t listen to any podcasts at all. I’ve never gotten used to that medium. I like being able to read, scan, and skim. Can’t really do that with podcasts and I find that I have to listen to a bunch of stuff I have no interest in (such as hunter changes) before we get to the good stuff (raid and healing). However, if you have any favourites, please send them my way.

General news. This one’s more or less locked down. MMO Champion, WoWHead news, and Curse are the big ones.

Others. Character development tools are cool (WoW Reforge, Ask Mr Robot). General recruiting sites or forums. Guild tools. Basically anything that’s WoW related that might not fit other sections. I can create a second category for them.

Anyway, I’d greatly appreciate any resources you can provide. Feel free to comment below or email me as well.

[VIDEO] Mists Beta: Videos from the Vault of Mysteries

[VIDEO] Mists Beta: Videos from the Vault of Mysteries

Managed to queue into the second half of Mogu’shan Vaults on beta this week really late at night. I figured while these attempts were still fresh on my mine, I could at least get some pointers and notes down along with the recorded video. Apologies for the 720p. I found out that my bottleneck’s my video card (GTX 460, looking to get a 670 later on).

Didn’t actually take down Will of the Emperor. Got to within 2% left before the raid buckled. It’s fairly repetitive and you get the idea of what’s going on. I’ll keep making notes and additions with any changes or insights I get later on as we get into the expansion itself.

My favourite encounter by far is the Spirit Kings. Just so much going on with both covering the raid and making sure you don’t get screwed by specific player abilities. Elegon’s a visual beauty, too.

I’ll get the first half of Mogu’shan Vaults up in a few days. If you can’t wait, you can see them on my Youtube channel.

5 Year Blogiversary (And beta keys for you)

5 Year Blogiversary (And beta keys for you)

EDIT: Sorry folks, keys have been distributed out. Thanks for your feedback and thoughts!

Technically, the 5th year anniversary of the blog is tomorrow. In previous years, I’ve always wanted to offer something back to the community as a way of saying thanks for sticking around and your support. This year, I actually do have something I can hand out.

10 Mists of Pandaria beta keys

I know it’s late, but that’s why I wanted to get this post out a little early to maximize time. If you’re interested in a key, drop me a comment here or email me (Contact form at the top).

Tell me what part of the expansion you’re looking forward to and what topics you’re interested in reading about from Joe or myself.

Do me a favour, and double check your email. If you’re on Twitter, put your username there so I can reach you that way as well. I’ll pick get in touch with winners sometime tomorrow morning.

After you’re done with your response, I highly recommend you visit TwizzCast and give my buddy Twizz’s podcast a listen. A public thank you from me to him is in order as without him, I wouldn’t have any keys to give away.

Five years. That’s a long time. That’s 5 years of me keeping you occupied during your coffee breaks at work (or just your work in general). I feel bad for slowing down your productivity :(. But really, thank you to everyone for reading the posts here, sharing your perspectives, and being awesome in general.

I deem you all honorary bros.

P.S., If you haven’t stopped by my Youtube channel recently, I’ve uploaded 3 MoP raiding videos from Mogu’shan Vaults in LFR if you’re interested in seeing what you’ll be up against. You’ll be able to see examples of me standing in bad stuff while wrestling with text messages from one of my Resto Druids Disappointed smile. Not intentional, I promise.

Question: Guild A or Guild B?

Question: Guild A or Guild B?

I am a terrible blogger and lost the link to this self post on r/wow. But, I thought it was a good question since there’s bound to have been other players in similar situations.

So I have been faced with a problem and thought I should ask for some advice.

Since the start of cataclysm I have raided with a guild that was fairly progression drived (downing final bosses in a raid before next patch and even working on progression). When DS hit, we hit the ground running. After 4 months or so of raiding we got our rogue his legendarys and then the group kinda fell apart. I wasn’t ready to be done with raiding just yet so I pugged a lot for 8 weeks or so and got my tauren holy pally well geared. Enough so that I found a new guild that was still doing heroic progression and joined them. Now after 3 weeks in this new guild, my old guild decided to start running again. I plan on raiding with them come MoP, so they want me to bring my pally back and continue progression. But I don’t want to leave the guild I just joined without a healer. I have a disc priest in the old guild that I have been healing with, but it makes our comp less than optimal. Any suggestions on what I should do?

My initial thinking is to analyze why the first group ceased running. Depending on the reasoning, it could happen again and you might find yourself hung out to try. If it’s due to players losing interest or the leadership losing interest, you’d better be careful because there’s a chance that it’ll happen. One common trend I notice about certain players is that their interest level is up there when it comes to raiding content, but once they hit a progression wall (or if they’ve beaten the progression wall), they’ll stop showing up and lose interest until the next content patch. Repeat that for the next tier.

I personally hate people like that.

You end up equipping them so that they become an asset and then they take their leave costing you time to train up and gear a replacement. Call ‘em yo-yo players.

But I’m digressing.

If you don’t think  they’re going to lose interest or anything like that, then by all means resume progression since it seems like you’ve had the most fun. If you can’t say for certain that they’re not going to bail out on you, then I’d stick with the second group since it seems that they’re a little more stable and established.

Secret option C? You could double dip and play both your Priest and your Paladin, but you might find yourself burning out twice as fast and reducing your overall effectiveness to both groups. But, that largely depends on your gaming stamina and interest levels anyway.

Have any of you been in a situation akin to this fine fellow? What did you end up doing and how did it turn out? What would you suggest that this person do?

Lodur on Twisted Nether

Well folks, looks like this Saturday I’ll be joining the folks over at Twisted Nether for fun and shenanigans. You should make sure you free up some time and come join us, I know I would appreciate it. Taken right from their website

 

  • When is it?: This live show is scheduled for Saturday, April 14th at 8pm PT (11pm ET). Not sure what time that is for you? Use this handy-dandy time converter!
  • Where do I go? To participate on the live show, you will need to go to the TNB Live Show page to connect with the stream. See, totally easy. If you are having issues then go to the Ustream page. Don’t forget to register/login to UStream so you can chat with us!
  • Some general ground rules:
    1. Be nice. If you say very inappropriate things be aware you will be kicked from the room. We are doing this to have a great time, come with a beer, come during a raid, come how you wish, just don’t come to cause trouble.
    2. You may ask questions to the participants during the show, but we reserve the right to use them if and when we can. We will be monitoring the chat room and if we can we will use the comments during the show. We love that you are with us, but we will have to weave them in. Even if it isn’t asked, we all appreciate your questions!

So be sure to stop by and spend some time with us!

The Burden of Leadership, Lodur bares his thoughts

There are a lot of folks out there that think being in charge, or in a leadership role, of a guild is a big fun thing. You get to set permissions, invite, kick and all that other cool stuff! Truth is, at least for me, it’s another job. Being in charge means that, like at every other job, you are responsible for those beneath you and how they perform. On top of that you become involved in the day to day running of something larger than yourself. This is especially true if you are among the leadership of a raiding guild.

After leaving Unpossible after 5 long years, I had put the officer mantle in the laundry bin to be cleaned pressed and put under glass. Circumstances did not allow me to leave the mantle alone for long, and I find myself in a leadership role again. Over the last two tiers I’ve had a lot on my plate between being in game, my podcast For The Lore, still consistently writing for WoW Insider, and also writing a novel that I’m submitting for publication consideration in the following weeks. On top of various other personal things, it’s been a hell of a long year and I find myself with an over abundance of ideas on the topic of leadership in a raiding guild. So, bear with me here, because I’m about to dump my thoughts a little.

The burden
The wear and tear
The hard choices

Truthfully it wears on you over time. You have to make a lot of hard decisions that are not always easy, and certainly aren’t popular with everyone. Lets take on the topic of friendship in real life, and raiding in game. I’ve talked about it before, but it’s something that keeps rearing it’s ugly head over and over again. Being someone’s friend does not make you immune from being included in those hard choices a competitive raiding guild faces. This includes officers and the rank-and-file of the raid team. Sometimes,  you have to look at someone’s performance, and if found wanting must bench them or otherwise remove them from a fight or raid, until performance can be fixed. It’s for the good of the entire team, and the progression of the raid, and ultimately if that’s your goal that’s what matters most. Don’t take it personally, it’s not a slight against you as a person, it’s just that the numbers aren’t where they need to be. I’ll use myself as an example here.

Firelands was not very kind to restoration shaman. The fights were ones that didn’t let us take advantage of our strengths and as a result other healers tended to do better than us. In our raid team, there were many fights where I would sit myself for the other healers because they were that good and the numbers worked out better. I did the same thing with the second restoration shaman in our group. Do I think I’m a crappy healer? Do I think the other restoration shaman just sucks? No, I don’t, it was just better numbers to configure our raid healers a different way to optimize success.

When you have to bench someone who is a friend of yours, especially in real life, sometimes it’s hard for that person not to be upset by it. I understand that, I get that, but it’s not personal. It’s not that they aren’t your friend, or that you suck at the game, it’s just that things needed to be done a different way. It’s not an easy decision to make, but sometime’s it’s the necessary one You have to separate the leader from the friend when those decisions are handed down the same way you would if your friend was your boss at your 9-5 job. It’s not easy, but it is what it is.

A sellers market
Make your own choices
Evaluate your position

There’s a saying that “it’s my game time and I’ll play how I want to play.” That’s all good and true, I mean you are paying to play the game. Consider, however, that you might not be in the best place to play the game the way you want to. A progression raiding group is going to be looking for a pretty solid set of criteria.  These include, but are not limited to the following

  • Are you willing to change your spec, gearing, chants and reforging to a more optimal setup?
  • Are you willing to play a spec you don’t normally play?
  • Are you willing to be benched if it’s for the good of the team?
  • Are you open to criticism about your performance and information to help attempt to improve your output?

If you answer no to any of these, then you should probably not try to get into a progression raiding guild. If you don’t want to budge on how you play your game it’s just not the right environment for you. Blizzard has made a big deal out of “bring the player, not the class, or spec or cooldown” etc. For the most part that’s true, but when you’re edging into hard mode encounters, or sometimes just a normal encounter in itself, and you want to get through it quickly and efficiently, then it simply isn’t always the case. See above where I benched myself for the good of the raid on a fight. No matter what, there’s always going to be an optimal setup. Whether it’s a raid full of paladins, or nothing but druid healers in a group, there will always be a tweak. Can you do the fights without the optimal group? Sure, but it becomes harder and harder as you progress through content. Sounds counter intuitive, but I assure you it’s true.

Another truth here is that right now it’s a sellers market. What do I mean by that? Cataclysm has royally screwed recruitment over pretty badly. Finding new members to add to your guild  can be a pain and prove rather difficult, especially when you’ve something specific in mind. It’s not that “beggars can’t be choosers” or anything of that nature, but a progression raiding guild might not be keen on accepting that applicant in normal Cataclysm blues and can’t spell their own name when the group is trying to kill heroic Deathwing. There’s a guild for everyone out there, and you need just look if you want to play a particular way that you aren’t allowed to where you are.

LFR
Doing what it takes
Better for the guild as a whole

This is something of a recent development, and something that irked me a little bit. A lot of guilds out there do LFR weekly as a group in order to obtain set bonuses for raiders, gear up new recruits and sometimes just to get a feel for the fight. It makes sense really, it’s an easy way to gear up and see the fights, and still have a bit of a safety net. Hell, my guild even did it for a few weeks to get some set bonuses in action. As a group we were going to go in, and just pound out the 8 bosses on LFR and then go back and do normal raiding. With the raid as geared as it was, LFR should have been easy and would do nothing but help everyone.

What got me about it was that some folks just simply said no and refused to participate in the LFR runs, even if it would help them and the raid as a group. I understand having a preference, I myself am not a huge fan of LFR any longer, but even I showed up for those runs because it allowed people to gear up, see fights and did nothing but raise the entire guild higher and help with normal raiding. What got me was that those same people wanted priority on invites to the normal raid, and expected to get the normal equivalent gear. When neither happened, they complained.

Not going to say someone should be forced into doing something they don’t want to do, but the way it was handled was bad. Immaturely logging out, refusal to listen to reason, and claiming that there wasn’t anything in it for them so they wouldn’t do it. Even when it was needed most, refusing to help the guild by tagging along. Like above, you have to be willing to give a little, especially in a group who wants to accomplish progression raiding. Sometimes you’ll be asked to do something you don’t want to do to help the group. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet, and if you can’t, then maybe you’re in the wrong place.

In the end

This is what’s been on my mind for two tiers now. Working out ways to do what needs to be done, and convey that the decisions aren’t personal, that the raid group as a whole is a larger organism thriving on everyone in the group working to the same means. It’s hard sometimes. It’s frustrating, and borderline infuriating some nights. But, it is what it is. At the end of the day, it’s the officers who bear an incredible amount of burden. Now, I’m not quitting or burning out mind you, just needed to gather my thoughts and get them out “on paper” so to speak. I appreciate my raiders and the ones that not only give me their all but also do more than that. The ones that send me funny tells in raid to keep me laughing or just making sure we’re progressing, I appreciate their actions and what they do for us the officer corp, and for the raid group as a whole.  Sorry for the brain-dump folks, but hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the skull of ol’ Lodur here.

Admit It: You Get High From Being Clutch

Admit It: You Get High From Being Clutch

gs-save

Ever wonder what it’s like to feel “high” in this game?

This is one of those methods.

I’d wager that Holy Priests get a bigger kick out of it then the other healers. Unlike the other clutch healing abilities, Guardian Spirit has two key effects: It offers both increased healing received on the target and the ability to grant a second chance in case the target dies.

Usually, when Holy Priests burn Guardian Spirit, it’s meant for the extra healing because of some massive amount of incoming damage.

But if tank health, your global cooldown, your lag and your reflexes all line up, then you just made a great save. The rest of the raid might not be aware of your efforts. But who cares? Deep down inside, you are the one that made that save and salvaged a possible kill from a definitive wipe.

It’s one of the best feelings in the World of Warcraft. I’ve never been able to score that feeling of satisfaction playing other healers. Sadly, whenever you do pull off the save, it ends up being a wipe. Seems rare whenever such a tank save results in a kill.

In any case, a new year means new responsibilities for people. Players have new priorities in their lives (or other games). My guild’s looking for 2 healers. I’m not picky on any classes. Yes, we’ll even consider Priests even though we have 3 right now. I would genuinely like the services of a Holy Paladin and a Resto Druid.

How to Lose 14 Players in One Night

It took the guild 3 years, but it was bound to happen sooner or later.

I just lost over 14 players from my raiding roster.

It started out as a simple personnel disagreement. There was a quiet debate raging within me for some time. On the one hand, I understand the strains of progression raiding and the impact it can make to a roster especially on the drive to having flawless raid nights. We all want a mistake-free raid group with players who can ace every obstacle thrown at them.

But does that mean putting up with personalities you don’t agree with all the time? The game was getting to the point where it was no longer fun for me.

Actually, scratch that. The game itself was fine. The managing social dynamics and personalities aspect made the game not fun. All I ever wanted to do was kill internet dragons, with friends or otherwise. One of the policies I even had in place for players was that they weren’t required to be friends with everyone. They didn’t have to go to the bar with them or anything. Over time, however, I began to wonder if that was a standard I could hold to myself. I realized that I had a very difficult time doing that because of all the added responsibilities and inter-personal problems that I had to deal with as part of my rank. As a player, in contrast to being an officer or guild leader, the only person you really need to be cool with is the GM. If the GM isn’t cool with you, then there’s no point in being there. This goes hand in hand with the chemistry clause – The right for applicants to be rejected because they don’t “fit” with the guild.

Competence and likeability are not mutually exclusive. The players I’m looking for have both. But it seems that the higher the skill level you go, the more disrespectful people become. Why? I can’t help but wonder if it’s because they believe their skills can give them an excuse to act however they want and get away with it. I don’t want to deal with that. If a player is skilled but not likeable, I’ll end up showing them the door. If a player is likeable but not skilled, eventually a newer player will work their way in and take their spot. That’s just how it is going to be.

Respect the chain of command

For any budding officers out there, this is the most important rule. If you bring up an idea, any GM worth their salt will at least hear you out and weigh all the negatives and positives associated with it. It’s up to you to sell your perspective. But once the decision from the top is made, that’s that. There is no higher authority to appeal to. You’ll have a hard time finding a GM who says otherwise. Do not try to circumvent it even if you know every fibre of your being says it is the right or wrong thing to do. The only thing you can do is look inside yourself and decide if it’s worth leaving over. That choice is absolutely yours to exercise. There’s no contract obligations that force you to stay in a guild.

In this particular case, cliques were cliques. When it comes to social groups like this, nothing’s going to stop people from playing with who they want. Trying to would just cause a social group to leave and create their own guild. This was a scenario I actually had in my mind as a realistic possibility. I don’t take kindly to ultimatums or threats of leaving at all. Given the option between killing internet dragons with people I’ve shared beers and had a good time with versus players who are willing to throw other people under a bus at a whim, I’d rather shoot for the former. I absolutely love raiding but not at the cost of my own mental health. Leading a guild isn’t easy at all when it comes to executive level decision making.

I still maintain that is perfectly possible to raid in a progressive raiding environment with people who you enjoy playing with. I see it in other guilds all the time. It’s my ongoing goal to reach that state, current drama aside. The only thing I can do is look forward and exercise my recruiting skills. And what an opportunity!

The thing about hindsight is that it always occurs after the events. I wish I had gone on offense sooner and made earlier changes. I don’t know if that would have offset the events, but it means I would have been forced to start the rebuild earlier. You always think and second guess to yourself wondering if that was the right thing to do. Or if there was another alternative solution or another way. I can’t answer that because I don’t know. I felt I offered enough of a compromise by allowing a player to stick around in the guild and idle on our Mumble servers even if they weren’t in our raid team any no longer. But that’s not enough.

Regardless, I’m sure they’ll be fine. I know for a fact we’ll be fine. 9 out of 10 rebuild guilds don’t actually make it and I have zero intention of being a statistic.

I also may have made up said previous statistic.

My options

  • Do 10 mans
  • Look for another guild
  • Quit the game
  • Rebuild us back to even strength

10 mans are okay. I could go look for another guild. I could just retire from the game and step down from blogging and writing on WoW Insider.

Or I can pick my ass up off the floor, dust myself off and get back to work. I challenge you to find a GM more determined than myself. Am I saddened? Yeah, a little. Do I feel that I can recover? Oh, you bet I will. This is a great opportunity!

That being said, Conquest is open for business. Firelands 25 man raiding only and we’re presently 6/7. We’re looking for all players in any position. I think we’re stacked on Resto Shamans though. I have almost no melee DPS remaining so I’ll be entertaining Rogues, Warriors, DKs, Enhancement Shamans. Hunters, I have many of. But at this point I just need bodies. I’m interested in any caster classes. I’m also looking for hybrid specced tanks who can double as DPS (a main tank and an off tank position).

Join now

If you have any questions or want to discuss a few things beforehand, feel free to get in touch with me or Lodur anytime.

Matticast Episode 25 – Firelands Class Review, Retiring, and Off-Beat Strats

On Episode 25 of The Matticast, BorskMattKatChase and Brian discuss:

– Firelands Class review

– Retiring Guildies

– Off-Beat Strats

Don’t forget you can send us your questions or topics, visit the PlusHeal Forums, or tweet us with the hashtag #matticast

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