Matticast Episode 2

Welcome to Episode 2 of The Matticast. This week Matt, Borsk, Kat, and Brian discuss:

  • How to spend those first Valor Points
  • How to deal with a guildie who is not enjoying their class (or what to do if that guildie is you!)
  • Are Druids and Shaman really not useful in High End Raiding
  • Community Responsibility to the Average Player

Don’t forget you can send us your questions or topic, and be sure to checkout and participate in the listener topic every Wednesday.

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Raiding: It’s a Team Sport

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This is a guest post by Thespius.

If there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s actually having fun playing WoW. I wasn’t around for "Vanilla WoW", but I am a 3 year veteran of the game. WoW is my hobby. I take it seriously, but it’s still the place I go to "escape". I’ve been in leveling guilds, raiding guilds (hardcore and casual), PvP guilds, and guilds with friends. When it comes to raids/groups, I’ve learned one thing that I bring with me at all times:

"How do you make the best party? Simple. Bring friends."

I don’t mean only invite the exclusives (guildies, RL friends, etc). It’s called the WoW Community right? How does one become a "friend"?

I tend to gravitate towards people that are positive and contribute to the group/raid’s success, not take away from it and hurt morale. Anyone that’s been in a raid knows how much smoother it runs when everyone has a positive, goal-oriented mindset.

Yes, this can be tough through wipe-fests or newer players in the mix, but there are numerous ways to contribute to keeping morale and spirits high: Attitude, Willingness to learn/help, and Courtesy among them. If everyone involved puts in that little extra effort, it keeps the fun alive.

Attitude

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t cry over spilt milk. Don’t get pissed if you wipe. This has caused me to stop raiding with a group more than anything. Most of us aren’t in the "uber-leet" guilds and are going to have problems along the line of progression. The best way to always handle it, in my opinion, is to shrug it off:

"We lingered a little too long before starting Phase Two of Mimiron. It’s all good. Keep at it, and we’ll get it next time." (In my mind, even the top guilds could perform even better if everyone focused more optimistically than pessimistically.)

How do you make sure you’re making the best effort you can? Take the time to do it right the first time. The easiest way to waste time and boss attempts is to rush through them. Mark your targets, /readycheck, communicate. Our paladin tank (an ex-Army Ranger) always reminds us: "Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast. Fast is deadly." Truer words were never spoken. Be focused, but not rushed.

Once you get that in place, HAVE FUN! It’s a game. We all play it to enjoy it. I love joking around in raids–as long as it doesn’t distract from the raid itself. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone may share your brand of humor/sarcasm. Pay attention to the reactions of others and be mindful of possibly "crossing the line". If you want the raid to continue to go well, avoid making comments that can make it go sour really quickly. I know I’m a stronger healer when I’m having fun.

Negativity is going to breed more negativity. Even an optimist like myself is going to fall victim to it. It’s easier to make 5 people mad than 2 people happy. I actively take up that challenge to keep the raid’s spirits up. That’s my "hard mode" – Get through the raid night without people getting up in arms. I tend to call myself the "Guild Politician." I try to keep everyone happy. I’m a healer in game, and a healer by nature.

Willingness to Learn/Help

We all had our first toon. Mine was a Human Warlock (the original "Thespius"). I stepped into the world of Northshire Abbey and had NO idea what a spell was, or Intellect, or even that I would eventually battle with Talents. After playing this game for 3 years, I’m still learning new things every day. I personally love how this game is constantly evolving. New mechanics introduced, new thoughts shared. In this, I know I’m not perfect.

Avoid elitism. Be confident, but not pompous. I think when it comes to healing, I’m pretty confident. Am I the best? No. Do I think I’ll ever be the best? No. Do I strive to BE the best? Of course. I do that by staying open-minded, listening to those around me, and paying attention to the online healing community.

If I encounter someone who seems to be struggling with kill order, or threat, or healing "rotations", I could choose one of two ways to proceed:

  1. [Party]: HAHA!!! THIS N00B DOESN’T USE RENEW!! HAHAHAHAHA WHAT A LOSER!!
  2. [Whisper]: Hey, I noticed you don’t utilize Renew a lot. Is there a reason why you chose to do that?

I hope everyone can see that the second option allows room to suggest a change rather than belittling the person for not knowing. Who knows? Their reasoning may be solid, and may open your eyes to a different style that you can build on. I hope that others would exercise the same kindness if I’m having trouble with something. Remember, optomism over pessimism.

Courtesy

This is where you can make a raid stronger or label yourself as "selfish". A chain is only as good as its weakest link, right? We’ll start with the basics:

Make sure you’re not going to have to go AFK a bunch of times. Obviously extenuating circumstances arise (family, roommates, etc.). Ready to go means a stock of snacks/drinks and an empty bladder. We’ve all been there.

If you do have to go AFK, make sure you have clear communication with the raid leader that you’re gone. Raid Leaders, make sure you’re paying attention (or delegating that responsibility) to chat/vent to see who needs a momentary break. If you MUST go AFK, try to save it for a good downtime in raid. If the whole raid is going to take 5 minutes, go restock your supplies and empty the bladder, even if you don’t NEED to. Get back as soon as you can, and make sure people know you’re back.

If you must leave for the rest of the night, give as much notice as you can. This allows the Raid Leader to decide how to proceed. If you consistently bail at the last moment, it’s likely you won’t be asked back. It also puts undue stress on the raid, dampening the mood. Remember, easier to promote negativity than positivity.

However, I try to be most considerate about loot/upgrades. I serve as my own loot council. If there’s someone in the group (yes, even a PUG) that could use the gear more than I could, I’ll gladly pass to them. That gesture is usually a huge comfort to people, and promotes the Team environment I’m trying to build. In our raids, we give PUGs equal shot at gear. In doing this, we’ve created a great little niche of people to pull from when we need subs. We’ve also gained a few new guild members because of it.

Throughout all of this, our guild and its members have the reputation of being the best to run with. Why?

  • Our attitude is positive and team-oriented. We’re out for everyone to succeed, not just the individual. It makes every run fun and memorable.
  • We take a proactive approach to helping those that need it. We don’t belittle people for not being familiar with a certain aspect of the game. It allows for people to be honest about not knowing something, or being open to suggestion.
  • We exercise courtesy with everyone we play with. People know that they’re not going to get "screwed over" in a Team Sport run. Anyone that contributes to the run’s success should be rewarded.

Just mind the bad apples in the game, because they are out there. Keep your heads up.

Would You be Interested in an all Healer Community?

EDIT: Nevermind! It’s been brought to my attention that there *is* in fact an all healer community in existence that’s been around under my nose for the longest time. Light Natured forums appear at first glance to be what I’ve been looking for. The community forum’s been broken down by class and has some extra sections devoted to general discussion and UI’s and such. How I’ve never found this place, I will have no idea. Obviously I didn’t look hard enough =). They need to do a better marketing and promotion job. I guess I’ll have to flex my blogging and WoW Insider muscle and raise some awareness. I do seem to be suffering some performance issues on the forums. They do take a while to get into the different sub sections.

This is one of the few pleasures I get from blogging. My interaction with readers sparks ideas. Sometimes they’re bad, sometimes they’re good, and sometimes I come up with a “EUREKA” of an idea that would’ve done Archimonde Archimedes proud.

Tonight I had a discussion with neutralise as we were discussing the impact of a raid wide Prayer of Healing. Somehow, my brain went off on a tangent. I wondered if there was a community or forum specifically devoted to Holy Priests who would discuss their trade (similar akin to the Shadow Priest.com forums). After some quick searching, Twittering, and general asking around, I was amazed to discover that there wasn’t a community already in place.

Not only that, there doesn’t seem to be places for Resto Druids, Holy Paladins, or Resto Shamans specifically either.

The only place that I know of that represents anything close is the Elitist Jerks forums. I’m not going to lie. Every time I go there, I feel fairly intimidated. There’s also a lot of information to wade through to get an answer you’re looking for.

My vision

Seeing as there doesn’t seem be a local healer community, I thought to myself why not start a healer community?

Financing is not a problem. One of the reasons I run affiliate advertising on my blog is so that I can take what I earn and invest it directly back into the community. Heh, like it or not, money makes this world go round.

I’m picturing a discussion board where healers of all shapes, sizes and progression levels can:

  • Exchange ideas and tips amongst individual classes
  • Ask for help and advice during PvE content
  • Discuss upcoming healer changes
  • Interact with other healers overall
  • Come for early advice and support on getting started with end game

I’d handle the maintenance and logistics of the project myself including hosting, software and such. The design and structure would be an interesting challenge to undergo.

My obstacles

Moderation - It’s a no brainer that a community like this would most likely attract some big time morons. As much as I’d like to, there’s not a chance in hell that I’d be able to completely police the place. I’d have to realistically turn to volunteers that have proven themselves fair and in possession of a back bone.

Structure - Organization of this community would have to be done properly. Like boss fights, it’s one thing to know what to do. It all comes down to execution. If I can pull it off right, I have no doubt it would be a great community. Done incorrectly, and it would just be another failed startup project. Razorbax suggested a Forum/Wiki combination but I have my reservations about that. I could go forums first and then “immortalize” epic posts after into its own Wiki for easier navigation and access.

By the way, that quote Razorbax listed? Not me.

I swear.

Name – You guys might think this is silly, but the name is important. I don’t simply want to create forums and slap World of Matticus forums on it. A day might come where I won’t be around and it’d be nice for this community to be able to stand on its own. I’d sponsor and support it, but it should have a distinct brand of its own. The challenge here is to think of a name that’s catchy, easy to remember, and isn’t already registered on the WHOIS database.

Interest – But right now, I’m getting ahead of myself. What’s the point of establishing a community if there’s no one interested in it? I ran it by the night owls still awake in BA chat, and they seemed receptive and encouraging of the idea. Still, I’d rather ask you the community in general and get your thoughts.

Any ideas, feedback, questions, or comments would be welcome. But do answer the poll first below =).

Would you participate and be interested in a community aimed for healers?

  • Yes, absolutely! (92%, 82 Votes)
  • No, not really. (8%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 89

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