What Do You Want?

What Do You Want?

<The results are in! Scroll down>

Imagine an oversized owl with a golden exclamation mark over her head.

Her clawed feet are a’tappin’. Her head’s swaying round, beak held high. She clearly expects people to stop and listen to her woes. People regularly socialize with oversized owls, after all. Especially any that look like they’re damsels in distress. Maybe not damsels, but distress.

Yep. that thar owl be giving you a quest.

Your quest, should you choose to accept it, is to tell me what you’d like me to write about on World of Matticus early next week. I’ve decided to put my own bonnet with a beehive inside it aside, to ask you guys if there’s anything you’re curious about, want answers to, or generally want to challenge me to make a fool of myself. No catches and few rules. To whit, the rules are:

  • You can submit one idea for an article by posting in the comments of this thread
  • You can suggest any genre of idea but as World of Matticus is focused on healing and leading, I’d suggest going for something heal/lead related
  • You can decide what sort of post it is – whether it’s something you want my opinion on, something you want me to fact-check and answer, or something you want to know how to do. whatever it is, I’ll do my best to answer the winning idea
  • You have until midnight PST on Friday 16th July to post a comment.

On Saturday I’ll do an in game /roll of however many comments this post gets. The number I get in the roll will be the winning comment, and therefore article idea.

For example, if I get 8 replies with a suggestion each, I’ll /roll 1-8. If the roll result is 5, I’ll write an article based on commenter #5’s suggestion. And just to put the icing on the quest I’ll update this post with a screenshot of the roll, so you guys know I’m not pulling some funky owl magic.

So. Let the ideas and challenges begin! What do you want me to write this week? Post before Friday, as this article will self destruct… all right, not really. But the owl will stop peering questioningly at you, then.

By the way… keep this under your hat, hush hush and all… but I’ll also be putting up another brief post later today with some small but happy MMO related news. Keep checking!

Saturday Edit:

So it’s Saturday and the results are in. I took a roll of 1-12 as we got 12 replies (if the result had been a post that was a chat comment rather than an idea submission i’d just have re-rolled). So, without further ado, this is the result:

Image (c) Blizzard Entertainment

Ignore the “X is already being ignored” lines – that’s just what I get when I login. The important bit’s the roll; comment #9 won. So next week, on Jooles’ suggestion, I’ll be writing a WoM article based round this:

The future of healing assignments. Have they gone the way of crowd control due to smart heals and class pigeon-holing? Is it Paladins heal tanks, Shammy’s heal melee, Priests + Druids heal raid forever or is this going to change in Cataclysm? Which way are Disc priests going to go?

See you then!

Your Winter Veil Gift, From Us

Winterveil

Winter Veil’s a’comin! The nights are closing in, the frost’s creeping over the tavern windows and yetis are Icehowl’ing in the snowy fields. It’s a magical time of year that we’d like to celebrate alongside you folks – what better time than to give you a gift? That gift is – a chat by the fireside with each of us. But we need your help to do it.

What we want from you is a topic of conversation. We want you to nominate a different topic to write on for each of us – that is, Matt, Wynthea, Lodur, Thespius and me, Mimetir (Syd is still AWOL being happy and busy, I believe). The topic can be anything at all you like – whatever you want that writer’s thoughts on. WoW related things are a good start for a WoW blog obviously, but as it’s Winter Veil – if you want us to write on something else, we might just do it.

You have until Monday 14th to reply to this article with your topic nominations for each writer. Of course we can’t write on every topic you guys nominate because if we try that we’ll miss Winter Veil ourselves! So once the five-day nomination time is over, Matt will make a list of the collected nominations for each WoM writer and make a secret santa roll to decide which topic we each write on. We’ll each then write an article on our individual topic, given by one of you, and post it up during the holidays.

Sound complicated? Sure, it does a bit. I’m a bird brain trying to explain something, been at the eggnog too much and all that. I’ll give you an example to clear things up.

  • Say six of you nominate different topics for Lodur to write on. That makes six potential topics for Lodur’s Winter Veil-time article
  • Matt takes a 1-6 list of those topics, ordered by when they chronologically appear in the comments on the article
  • He then does an independently adjudicated ‘Lodur roll (/roll 1-6)’ to decide which topic Lodur writes on (this does of course mean that RNG might decide it’s not your topic’s turn this year – but it might decide it is)
  • He does the same for the other four writers – me, Thespius, Wynthea and himself  – and announces the winning topics, along with details of when the articles will go up

Then you watch out over the holidays to read articles on the selection of topics you wanted to hear our deepest thoughts on. You then respond with what you think about your topic and our thoughts. Win.

So how about it? Help us give you something this Winter Veil. What do you want to talk about?

Blizzcon – Open Q&A with Wynthea

Matticus is still finishing up his epic vacation in lovely southern California, and so you’re stuck with me providing as much content as I possibly can for the next couple of days!

(Yes, that means the how-to Disc piece will definitely finally go up. I’m sorry it’s taken so long.)

Meanwhile, the thing on the top of my mind is still Blizzcon, and more specifically Cataclysm. I’m sure you’ve already read all about my adventures, but if you have more specific questions, either about the con in general, or the xpac specifically, I’d love to answer them as best I can. To that end, this post is an Open Thread – you ask your questions; I’ll answer them! Talk to you soon!

Luv,
Wyn

Matt Answers Your Questions

As surprising as this may sound, I don’t often get a lot of email. Most of them can be easily answered with a few lines and a link. Some of them require much more detailed responses and get turned into posts. The emails that deserve more than a few lines and don’t require posts, I’ll compile together. I’ll end up doing this once a month or so with emails that either myself or the rest of the WoM team don’t get around to answering.

I got into a discussion with a friend the other day about what is easier/harder to play: a tank or a healer – specifically priests and warriors?

He’s convinced that its harder to play a priest (holy/disc hybrid) and I said playing a warrior tank is harder (I have played a disc priest and prot warrior all thru the Wrath Beta and my live priest just hit 80 a few days ago due to tank shortages). I was wondering if you could propose it out to the general community on what they think is harder to play.

Thanks :)

My gut instinct here says a tank would be harder. But then again, that’s because I’ve never really played a tank. I think if I logged around 72 hours on a Warrior or something I might be able to get the basics down. Tanking and healing are on two separate ends of the spectrum that there is just no comparison at all whatsoever. Both call upon different sets of skills. One guy has his eyes glued to his raid window while the other guy is glued to cooldowns and boss cues.

But I’m sure there’s a few players out there that can tank and heal effectively. What’s your take?

I am the Paladin class leader of my guild and main holy paladin. I have been reading the post about healing Sartharion 3-drakes. One suggestion involved having a holy paladin use righteous fury to help pull threat on whelps. It’s not something we have tried yet, as we have been using 2 add tanks and 1 drake tanks. However the idea is definitely worth investigating to see if it could work for us as well. However, I am unsure of the spec used by the paladin healer to survive the adds. I have some ideas, but i would like to see a definite spec that has worked, without gimping the healing output. I think that healing output is less, which is why it was mention, that the add tank healer will need help, but i would like to be clear on the extent at which you sacrifice healing talents, for survivability.

Also did the paladin use any pvp gear for increased stamina?

From,
Psychotaz

I can’t exactly offer much help here. All I know is that the spec did reduce healing effectiveness slightly but not enough to warrant a panic. I believe it involved picking up Divine Guardian (the bubble spec). To really make use of Righteous Fury, the Holy Paladin needs to pair up with and stand on top of the add tank. The first time we tried it, we used it with a couple of PvP pieces to see if it would help increase survivability. But we quickly found out that it was simply unnecessary. Any Paladins want to jump in?

It’s times like this I wish I had a Holy Paladin on retainer somewhere for a consult.

In our guild we have 2 raider ranks:

  • Noob
  • Raider noob

The standard for raider noob in BC used to be that if someone had 90% attendance for 2 months and solid performance in raids, they would become a raider noob. However, since the release of wrath all of our recruits have been of exceptional caliber, now probably 23 or so of our 28-29 raiders all have very good performance and 90%+ attendance. This has been wonderful but leaves us with a problem with promotions, we can either promote almost the entire core of our guild to raider noob (as almost all of them have been here for 2 months+), but that would severely alienate the few who don’t make it up to raider noob.

We could increase the duration (which is what we have been doing), but that would only be a temporary solution. The last option I can think of is to increase the standard for raider noob (only our clutch healers, top 5 dps etc), but this would require demoting some of our existing raider noobs, which hardly seems fair as well (they are all good players). Any advice you have would be much appreciated.

Well, you’re in a bind. There’s no doubt about that. There is a way but it’s going to involve a lot of heart to heart talking with your raiders. Let them know that the time has come to restructure the guild ranks. Be honest with them about it. The good ones will understand and won’t mind the change in title anyway. A rank is a rank is a rank. It’s just a label. It’s how you treat the players that count. Let your guild know what the problem is. Heck, you could make a third tier rank that says Ubernoob that’s nothing but the best and the brightest. But then you’re just adding on another layer on top of that, right?

Are you sure about the alienation problem or is that what you would feel? Remember that no WoW players are exactly alike. How one person could react to an event can be completely different to how someone else reacts. You can either axe all the ranks entirely (and set one unifying rank), set the ranks based on seniority (length of time in guild), or availability of raiding (my preference). A player that can’t make all raids is automatically a sub for me or if they’ve demonstrated inability to make all raids (or have disappeared for extended periods of time). Otherwise, everyone’s a raider. I run a tight ship with 3 other senior staff and a loot council.

At the end of the day, remind your guild about who they are and what they’re made of. You said it yourself. You have 28-29 skilled raiders with an impressive 90%+ attendance rate. A lot of guilds would kill for that. If they’re married to their rank and title to the point where they’re willing to quit over it, then maybe it’s time that they walk (which also solves your rank problem anyway since it’s one less person to worry about).

Is Trade Chat a Good Avenue for Guild Prospects?

Is Trade Chat a Good Avenue for Guild Prospects?

recruiting

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

From Ephii:

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

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

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

So why would I want to advertise my guild there?

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

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

Why is this wrong?

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

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

Lesson of exposure

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

Let’s put it this way.

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

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

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

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

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

Everyone is competing for your attention.

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

Back to trade chat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where did they come from?

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

recruits

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

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