What Cataclysm is Doing Right

What Cataclysm is Doing Right

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There is much to do about this upcoming expansion pack, more so then Burning Crusade and I dare say more then Wrath of The Lich King. I say this because of the buzz around the net as well as just what I hear walking around my home town. People are excited, hell I know I am. But I think people are more excited about this expansion then the other two. I’d like to talk about why we might feel this way about Cataclysm.

In Burning Crusade we were excited, don’t get me wrong. We had just bested the Black Dragonflight, saved the world of Azeroth from the terrors of an awakening Old God and his minions and layed the Smack down on a mighty Lich and his floating fortress of evil. We were eager to go and take on the the next threat to our home and take the fight right to it’s doorstep! We dove into Karazhan and drove out the taint infesting it, we took on Magtheridon and cut the head from between his shoulders. We beat the naga champion into pulp and took the fight to Kael’thas and his generals, all leading up to taking down the of the betrayer and then saving the all Azeroth yet again, this time from the evils of a freshly summoned Kil’jaden.

Then Wrath of The Lich King was announced. We would be returning to Azeroth full time, albeit the frozen northlands. We stepped foot into Borean Tundra or the Howling Fjord and were treated with lush, full environments to play with. From the very beginning we were taunted by the Lich King. Every step of the way he was there, messing with us, trying to break our minds and bring us into his influence. When he failed to do so he sent his agents to kill us. We cleared the Grizzly Hills and Fought back the corruption in Dragon Blight, we stomped on the trolls pledged to the lich king in Zul’drak and freed the animal spirits from their chains, We took on the Vyrkul in their homes among the storm peaks while making friends with the Sons of Hodir. We broke into the home of the titans and cleansed the corruption from it’s halls and saved the world yet again from an awakening god. We proved our worth at the foot of the Lich Kings citadel and now await the doors to be breached so we can take on the blight of our lands head first.

Burning Crusade:

Burning Crusade did a couple things right, and a couple things very wrong. It was a good time because it was new content. We got to go play in Karazhan which thrilled most people because it had been sitting there for so long. We got our first glimpse and some interaction with major lore characters. Shamans and paladins got to swap sides and new races were introduced (although I still think blood elves won out compared to us blueberries), and we got one hell of a troll instance (I loved Zul’aman). They also introduced arena style pvp with various formatting for smaller more intimate pvp battles. It even allowed you to battle against your own faction! The visuals of the landscape were wild and colorful and they let us fly around on the backs of our own personal griffins. We even got to go back in time and participate in some amazing key events in Azeroth history ( I still hate you so so much Archimonde!)

But for what they did right there were a few things they did wrong. The terrain didn’t blend very well between zones. Good example would be going from Zangarmarsh to Nagrand, the contrast was incredibly violent. This theme persisted through most of the between zone areas, with the exception truly being between Netherstorm and Blades Edge Mountains. Our major antagonist was Illidan Stormrage. He was supposed to be the architect of all the going ons in outland, and yet we saw or heard very very little from the emo elf. When we finally killed him atop Black Temple, I couldn’t help but feel it was a bit hollow. Also at some point focus seemed to shift from Illidan to Kael’thas a little bit. He was arguably the harder fight of the two, he taunted us more then Illidan did, and then tried to summon a being capable of culling all of Azeroth. Blood Elves flowed pretty well into the horde lineup, but Draenei seemed out of place even with the alliance. I asked around for some thoughts on favorite and least favorite things from burning crusade and here’s what I got in reply:

Favs:

Shattered Halls

Heroic Magisters Terrace

Lore and Burning Legion theme

Flying!

Space Goats!

Caverns of time!

Least Fav:

Heroic Rep Grind

The SSC lift (I hated that damn thing too, might be worse then door boss)

Arena

All of Hellfire Peninsula

Auchenai Crypts (hated that damn bridge)

Wrath of The Lich King:

Wrath has done a lot of things right. First thing off the bat is the interaction between Arthas and the PC’s. From our first steps onto the shores of northrend the Lich King has been there to taunt us. So much so that when I finally drive a mace through his face atop Icecrown I know I’ll dance a jig, and I think many of you will too. We are driven to want to kill him. In this they learned from their mistakes in BC and did great. The zones looked amazing and the flow between them was incredibly well done. It was very natural flow from say Borean Tundra to Dragon Blight. The quests are immersive and the entire expansion is dripping with lore tidbits, questing gives you story and feels much less of a hodge podge grind. Wrath gate event in the game is amazing, even on the 6th time seeing it.  The instances are incredibly well designed and they brought back one of the most awesome but least experienced instance of vanilla WoW back for everyone to enjoy (Looking at you here Naxxramas!) The daily quests seem less of a grind, and they got rid of attunements for raids and heroics which allows players to experience the content without the soul sucking rep grind. A hero class was introduced for the first time! New Technology was introduced in they way of phasing which was showcased in the Death Knight starting zone but is present throughout the world. It also introduced 10 man raids. Which again allowed further access to content among smaller guilds. Along with these came hard mode encounters and refined vehicle combat. To me this found it’s ultimate purchase in Ulduar, which is a beautiful and wonderfully designed raid zone, and almost ties for first place with me for favorite raid zone (BWL still number 1 in my book) Wrath has done so many things very very right, and very few things wrong. I got some replies to my question earlier to wrath too. here they are.

Favs:

No more attunements or rep for heroics!

Ulduar Hard Modes

Ulduar!

New Pets!

Storyline and Quest integration

Phasing

Least fav:

Sons of Hodir rep grind (pre relic turn in)

Arena

Door boss! (he hates me too =/ )

Quite a difference in lists. Note how short the list of dislikes is. If I missed anything above forgive me, it wasn’t intended to be all inclusive, just sort of a highlight reel.

Lets move on to the upcoming expansion,

Cataclysm

In almost every fantasy novel I’ve ever read, there is a love for home, or a quest to protect home or even the dream of returning home after the adventure is completed. You can see this trend in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, Count of Monte Cristo and various other stories. I point this out because it’s a common theme. This is one of the things Cataclysm is doing right and doing it up front before the game is even released. We are returning home after fighting a grueling war that has taken it’s toll many times over only to find our home ransacked, disheveled and forever changed. Places so familiar to us are being left scarred and broken and lets be honest it gets us riled up. Blizzard is doing something most people never thought they would, in essence they are destroying azeroth, and reshaping it. It is definitely having the desired effect, I could hear it when the game was officially announced at Blizzconm I could hear the whispers around the room and look at all the smiling faces and heads nodding.

We have major lore figures being thrown at us right away, Deathwing not even close to least among them. We see the return of those we thought we had defeated such as Ragnaros coming to burn the world tree in Hyjal and Nefarian back to help his father’s plans along. I also suspect we’ll see Lady Aszhara before too long.

We get to explore areas that have always been enigmas to us such as Uldum (pronounced “Ul-doom” in case  you missed the panel and matt’s report on it) and what lay behind those doors where all those dragonkin came to murder us in Nefarian’s throne room back in the day. We get to travel beneath the Maelstrom and we are promised we’ll be able to fly in the old world now (we get to visit Iron Forges airstrip and the dancing troll village if they are still there!). The gates of the Greymane wall come open and we get to see Gilneas for the first time! I remember sitting in front of the door on my Night Elf hunter when it had the elite furbolg in front of it wondering when I’d get to go play in Gilneas. At this point the tidbits they are releasing feel even more epic then Wrath did. We are fighting to defend our world against a force that was entrusted with it’s safe keeping by the titans themselves. A being so powerful that the earth trembles and ripples with his very power. We are waiting on the edge of our seat to see who lives and who dies in the coming events. As old enemies resurface, alliances are made and the very ground we walk upon is shattered.

In short this expansion is doing what a good novel would do, bringing you back home. In this case though it’s bringing you back home to a place that isn’t the place you remember. By tossing us into this world wide upheaval they are pushing us further into the story. Everyone from RPers to Raiders should be happy with the content that is going to be provided to us. Lore junkies will be turned on their ear and will be foaming at the mouth for more ( I know I already am!). This expansion is setting up with an epic feel to it. Even look at lowering the leveling from another 10 levels to only 5, the emphasis shifts more on content then just leveling. In my opinion that is what they are doing right. They are giving it a feeling of epic grandeur that started with Wrath and seems to have only gotten better over time. I may sound like a fan boy, but as a person who has been reading and writing fantasy stories for a very long time, I’m starting to feel like I’m playing through the events of a book rather than just a game, and that makes me happy and excited to see what’s in store.

So what do you think? What was the best and worst of Burning Crusade? What was the best and worst of Wrath? How do you feel about cataclysm so far? Excited, sad, angry? What are you looking forward to the most?

Until next time,

Sig

Image courtesy of memory-alpha.org

SYTYCB: 12 (or More!) Songs for a Musical Karazhan

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This is Crutch’s SYTYCB week 2 entry.

Has raiding Karazhan become a weekly chore? Something you put up with just to get your 22 badges? Have you gotten to the point where your raid instructions for bosses are “Kill stuff heal stuff don’t suck”?

It sounds like you’re ready for Musical Karazhan!

To play Musical Karazhan, get a DJ (yourself, of course!) and nine other raiders into vent (or TS, or the communication program of your choice), but instead of using vent for raid instructions, you use it as a jukebox for the raid.

I recommend using fairly well known songs for trash, music that is either amusing or classic. You want to entertain your raiders as much as possible, after all. If you’d like, you can even take requests!

Most important, however, are the songs you use for bosses. And hey, what would I be doing here without giving you some recommendations?

(Warning: Some of the videos may be NSFW.)

image taken from www.armyofinbetween.com/images/films/ghostbusters.jpg
Opening Theme – Ghostbusters: Get yourself in the mood for some ghost slaying with a little movie classic… because, really… are you afraid of these ghosts?

MidnightTheme to Mr. Ed: I’ve always thought Midnight was the more… formidable opponent. The comparison of Wilbur to Attumen is just a bonus.

MoroesBe Our Guest: Moroes just wants to serve you dinner. Most people would prefer not to become undead first, though. I must admit, however, I always get just a little hungry during that part of the raid. All that tasty looking food on the tables… I think I’d better get myself a pizza.

Maiden of Virtue - Like a Virgin: Surrounded by all of those concubines and succubi, it’s hard to believe that Maiden is still virtuous. However, if she wants to be like a virgin, it’s fine with me.

Opera – Each event requires something a little different. (I can’t quite bring myself to wimp out and provide you only one song…)
Big Bad Wolf – Little Red Riding Hood: Because you’re everything a big bad wolf could want! aaooooooooooww…
Wizard of Oz – We’re off to see the Wizard: (Dark Side of the Rainbow might be a little obscure for most raiding audiences, hmm?)
Romeo and Juliet – #1 Crush: (Bonus points and cookies if you can get anyone to faint by remembering the movie…)

Nightbane - Through the Fire and Flames: You’re almost halfway through! Make sure to give your fellow raiders a bit of a pick-me-up. Although, you might warn them to turn down their speakers a little bit first…

Curator – Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto: We want to thank you, Curator, for giving us our first taste of tier sets all those months ago. Also for making our DPS feel mighty about those amazing crits during Evocate.

IllhoofThe Devil Went Down to Georgia (and there are other versions as well!)

Shade of Aran - Shade of Aran chant: Sometimes, you still have to give raid instruction. Thankfully, in this case, you get the raid instruction and the song at the same time! Of course, if the chant reminds you too much that you’re in Karazhan, you can always try another take on Flame Wreath…

Netherspite - I Swear I Saw a Dragon: With lion’s head and eyes of red, this dragon may be the hardest challenge in a musical Karazhan run. I recommend setting up assignments before you start the run.

Chess EventThe Story of Chess: Learn about why chess was invented, as you take down that cheating Medivh. Don’t cheat when you play actual chess later, cheaters never win! (I mean, just look at Medivh…)

PrinceStill Alive: Rub it in Prince’s face that, even after all of these bosses, you’re still alive. And when he’s dead you will be still alive. Well, at least as long as you don’t get bad infernals.

What songs would you add for Musical Karazhan? Perhaps you want to extend this to SSC/TK, or even MH/BT? Share with us your song ideas, so that all of our future Musical Raiding may be a triumph!

SYTYCB: The Humble Checklist

SYTYCB: The Humble Checklist

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This is Veleda’s SYTYCB week 2 entry.

This post is about lists. Yes, don’t worry, Matt, there’ll be an actual list in here, too. But first, I want to sell you on the virtues of a particular type of list — the checklist.

You’ve got a flying mount, right?

In flight training, pilots have the use of checklists drilled into us from the beginning. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student pilot who has yet to solo, or an airline pilot with thousands of hours logged. Almost any repetitive series of tasks is done with a checklist. You might think that after doing the same sequence every time we fly, we’d be familiar enough with the routine that we wouldn’t need the list to remind us. But it’s that very familiarity that is in some ways the problem!

Huh? What? Where was I?

Flying, like WoW, can have many things interrupting you as you try to do something. Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone else, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Air Traffic Control on the radio, or the whisper you just got from a friend in game that you need to respond to. You’ve paused your tasks, and when you pick them back up, where were you? You have many memories of doing these tasks previously. But did you just do it?! Have you marked it as complete on the checklist? If so, you’ve done it, and if not, you haven’t.

But… But…

Okay, you say, but WoW is just a game. Why would we need checklists there? Because there are many times we, too, have to go through a number of repetitive tasks, and we sometimes do them when we’re bored or tired or dealing with several other things at the same time. The most useful place in WoW that I’ve found checklists is in post raid restocking.

Are you the weakest link?

I suspect most people have been in a raid when someone has indicated they’re out of some consumable they need to continue to contribute effectively to the raid. Perhaps they want to borrow mana potions from others in the raid. Or, they might need a portal to a city and a summons back, so they can buy some reagents, or ammunition. This interrupts the raid and makes everyone else wait for the person that isn’t prepared, at best. At worst, they might not have noticed the lack until the pull, and have just wiped the raid because they didn’t have something that they needed.

I sleep now?

If, however, you have a checklist of everything you consume during a raid, you can use that to restock right after a raid, so that you’re always ready to go. You might be tempted to wait until just before you’re next scheduled to raid to take care of this, but I’d caution against that. Some consumables might not be available at all times, so it’s better watch for them early. And there are the opportunities that arise unexpectedly. Do your restocking right after a raid, and your character is ready for anything the next time you log in.

Making the list

So, here’s a generic restocking checklist, that you can use to build a list customized to each of your characters.

  • Repair your gear

    It’d be awkward to charge into battle in the future only to have your armour fail you because a strap that was on it’s last legs broke.

  • Replace ammo

    Particularly for hunters, who should always completely refill the largest quiver or ammo pouch they can carry. Other classes that use a ranged weapon to pull, check your ammo level to make sure that will still be useful.

  • Replace reagents

    Many classes need reagents for the abilities they bring to a raid. My shaman only has to deal with Ankhs, but other classes will want various other things for the abilities they’re counted on for while raiding. Figure out how many you might need on a bad night, and set that as the minimum.

  • Buff food

    No matter what you do, there’s probably a food that gives you a buff that helps you do it better. For my hunter, that’s warpburgers or grilled mudfish. For my shaman, it’s golden fishsticks. If you’re a hunter, don’t forget to add Kibler’s Bits, either, to buff your pet.

  • Replenishment food and drink

    Food for health, and drinks for mana, between fights. Many raids will have a mage make a table that provides conjured mana biscuits, but you shouldn’t depend on those. If you find yourself in a raid without mages, have enough to keep you going. Naruu rations are the best way to go, once you have SSO rep for them. Again, hunters also need pet food, to keep their pet happy through the raid.

  • Healing potions

    Sometimes, the healers are busy working on others. If you can use a potion to stave off death until the healers get around to you, that’ll keep you in the fight longer.

  • Bandages

    The biggest bandages you can use, which should be the biggest ones in the game. Same rationale as healing potions, but with a different cooldown timer, so they can be used if you recently used a potion.

  • Mana potions

    If doing your job requires that you have mana, you probably are going to be carrying some of these to help you out when your mana gets low before the end of the fight is in sight.

  • Elixirs and/or Flasks

    Which of these you prefer will depend on your specific needs. Sometimes, it makes sense to use one or two elixirs, and other times, the right flask. Elixirs are generally much cheaper, but they don’t persist through party wipes, so if you’re working new content, they might end up being more expensive than flasks. Make sure you have enough to get through a raid.

  • Weapon buffs

    This can be something that buffs the weapon, such as sharpening stones or poisons, or it can be another way to give you an unrelated buff, such as with superior mana oil.

  • Scrolls

    These can be pricey, but unlike an elixir, you can use a scroll to boost a stat while using a flask. Figure out if any scrolls are worthwhile to you, and make sure you have them stocked.

Checking it twice

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Once you’ve got the list made, find a handy way to go through it after each raid. Ideally, you should have a way of keeping track of where you are on the list. You can print it out, and either check or cross off completed items, or follow while sliding a ruler down the list. You can use a to-do program on your computer to build and check off the lists as you go. I’ve recently taken to using one of the free to-do programs available for the iPhone to go through my restocking lists.

Are we there, yet?

Well, now that you’ve got raid restocking checklists for your characters, you can checklist other things. You might have a ready checklist for any given raid. It’s embarrassing to be on Nightbane’s terrace only to realize that you all left your summoning urns in the bank. Once you’ve harnessed the power of the humble checklist, such moments can be a thing of the past.

An Easy Puzzle

An Easy Puzzle

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Using the information in the picture above, can you figure out what happened to my Shaman and why my mind went WTF?

How Fast can you Kill Curator?

Curator speed

One of the funnest encounters for me in the game is when I get to see big 4-digit numbers scroll up through my screen. As a healer, I hardly ever see that. So it’s definitely a pleasant sight. I posted a cropped version of a kill shot I took of Curator several weeks ago because we killed him in a ridiculously fast amount of time. My personal goal is to see this guy dead before the 2 minute mark. If you’ve ever played Mario Kart, you’ll remember that the game had a function called Time Trial. I wish WoW had something like that. Then maybe we could all get funky titles based on how fast we blitz an encounter.

So how fast can you kill Curator?

Group Makeup

    Protection Paladin (Main tank)
    DPS Warrior
    Feral Druid
    Enhancement Shaman
    Hunter
    Resto Druid
    Warlock
    Mage
    Holy Paladin
    Resto Shaman

General Tips

  • Blow cooldowns at the 10 second to evocate mark
  • Drop fire elementals at the base of Curator
  • DPS down the sparks until the last one, then let it free. Group should be geared enough to withstand 15 seconds of that free spark.

Oh and you know the cardinal rule of bragging and SS or it didn’t happen. Photoshopping doesn’t count either, you crazy people!

Guest Post: A First Look at a Feeder Guild

This is a guest post from Galadria. She represents half of the knowledge from the Light and the Dark.

We’ll start with a sample scenario. You are a member of l33t Guild, part of the raid core. Your guild is farming the lower bosses of TK/SSC and trying to down Vashj and Kael to get into Hyjal/BT. Since most of your raid core doesn’t need gear out of T4 content, it’s basically PUG. Whoever can throw a run together does whenever they happen to be in the mood. Since the raid core doesn’t want to have wipe fests, when they do farm that content (for badges or off spec gear) they tend to do it with each other so they can blow through it quickly. One day JoeRogue; who has been raiding in Kara for a while and gone on a few runs of Gruul and Mag, asks that oft dreaded question in Gchat:

    “How come I never get to raid?”

This sets off a fevered discussion with much flaming from the raid core and much grousing from lower echelons of the guild. The core raiders don’t want to hear it, they’ve put in the time and effort to be where they are. The lower ranked players feel shafted, they never get a chance at better gear or to show the raid leaders that they can play competently.

Overlooking the fact that there seems to be a bunch of whining, it shows a problem I think a lot of guild at this level have. The guild is split between those that are part of the progression raiding and well geared, and those that are just getting Kara keyed or just out of Kara, and learning how to raid. These two groups have different needs from the guild. Both groups need structured, scheduled raid time for their level of content, lead by a competent RL to make things go smoothly. They just need different content.

Requirements

Kara (1-2 nights), Gruul (1 night), Mag (1 night), SSC (probably 2 nights), TK (probably 2 nights). If you stacked groups correctly, you could do Kara in 1 night and Gruul and Mag in the same night. That’s still 6 nights of scheduled raiding! I don’t see many guild leaders (in average guilds) being able to handle that.

As I see it you have a few options:

Option 1

Let the lower level players fend for themselves. They can probably make in-guild PUG Kara/ZA runs without much problem but Gruul/Mag is going to be a lot for some random person with a little initiative to get together. This may lead to unhappy players in your lower ranks. However, since they’re not part of your progression team you may not care if they come or go but I tend to think that’s kind of a crappy way to deal with the situation.

Option 2

Another option is to be up front with this group and tell them that you will not be scheduling any events at their level of progression and if they want to experience that content they should find a guild at their level to grow with. This is tough since a lot of these people will be friends of members of your raid core. I think it’s good to be up front and honest, and you’re doing them a favor by letting them know that you are not able to meet their needs. It can be up to them to find someone who can.

Option 3

What I think is the best option is to establish what I call the Feeder Guild. This can be a separate entity or a sub-set of your existing guild. This guild becomes a leveling and early raiding guild that prepares your lower level players for higher content. This option will take more work at the beginning to get started, but will be worth it in the end.

You’ll need to find someone (or a couple of people) who have the organizational skills and the drive to run the show. This person should be outfitted with the resources and responsibilities to organize your lower level raids for those that need/want them. It’s also a good idea to get a few of your higher level raiders willing to help out. Even a few above level players can make a huge difference in how smooth a raid goes. If you don’t have anyone willing to help, you can consider offering a small amount of DKP for an incentive with a weekly limit.

This is also a great way for your Raid Core to get their alts into the lower level raids. Just about every 70 raider that I know has and alt (or 5) and most of them have been at it long enough to have another 70. They always seem to ask to take their alts on Kara runs. Here’s a great opportunity to get them access into regular runs of lower level raids.

Splitting the raiding responsibilities between 2 groups means a manageable 2-4 nights of raiding for each group.

Each group can also handle loot individually. I know a lot of guilds tend to throw DKP out the window for lower level raids. Then the guy who’s been playing with your guild for a while can get unlucky on a roll and loose loot he’s been waiting for to a guy who just joined looking for some quick purples.

As with everything else, this is a highly personal situation. What works for one guild will not necessarily work for another. You may be really picky about who gets a ginvite and don’t have this problem since you don’t let anyone in that’s not geared well enough. You may let everyone and their dog into the guild, but don’t really care if they get any raid time. If however, you do have a similar situation, consider this solution.

One Shotting Heroics: The Secret

The Dark Knight BatmanThis post isn’t really a response to Brendan’s guest post a few days back. It’s my perspective on the Heroic at Honored issue that was continued by Amava.

As long as you have the desire to progress and to succeed, then I am confident that you’ll do fine in Heroics. Veteran players like myself who levelled to 70 within 2 weeks of TBC’s release ended up learning every encounter the hard way. The first time I did Shadow Labyrinth, it took two hours and trash reclears just to kill Murmer for our one frag. I didn’t even want to think about Heroics at the time.

The Heroics of now are much more manageable than they were before. I’m not going to say easier, because players still need to have a level of intelligence and gear required.

For example, in Heroic Sethekk Halls, the opening pull involving the two ghostly mobs? Both were immune to shackle, traps, and any kind of CC. I remember they would randomly drop aggro and charge our members. It was a nightmare just to be in that instance several months ago. Your tank had to be geared enough to withstand the massive amounts of damage, and skilled enough to hold aggro on two mobs simultaneously. Your healer had to be fast to sustain your tank. Having a Hunter was almost a requirement for Misdirect.

Trash in Karazhan have been nerfed enormously. What once took two nights can now almost be done within three hours. I remember a pack of trash that was outside of Maiden’s hallway leading towards the Opera Event. Those necro’s could not be shackled nor pally feared. You had to have two tanks on at all time getting aggro on both of them simultaneously so that when one tank got frozen, the mob wouldn’t run and charge a random player in the group.

I thought that was the hardest encounter I had ever faced at the time

It’s a habit of mine that I continually forget that heroic instances of post 2.3 are much more different than they were in pre 2.3.

Why Blizzard dropped the reputation level

1: Replay Value

They lowered it because it was difficult for players to find groups for Heroics. Only a fraction of all WoW players are raiding any kind of 25 man content. The 70′s who aren’t are typically in casual Guilds who do not have the kind of dedication or personnel to go the route of raiding but want to have fun doing challenging content. If they’re not interested and don’t have the time to PvP, what’s there left to do? 5 man instances are the only option left in order to acquire gear.

2: Patch Nerfs

There’s been four main patches since TBC was released. In every patch, there’s been nerf after nerf on various heroic instances. Each gradual reduction in difficult increases the margin of error that players have. That means more time to recover in case something bad goes wrong. It means the ability to take in players who have the brains but not necessarily the gear. Grinding to revered would have increased the chance that you would get the necessary dungeon gear to replace your preexisting greens and lower level blues.

3: Player Pool Increase

Even on a server as populated as Ner’Zuhl, it took me a long time to not only find tanks and DPSers, but to find players that had to have the key to go in. Now there are more people running heroics because they don’t have to spend the time necessary to grind the rep to get in. In my opinion, players that were kara geared or higher had no need to run heroics (other then badges for nether’s, etc). What was the point? Having T5 gear is better then badge gear. They could not justify the cost of badge runs with that of raids. Players that were far below that could not keep up with whatever their job was. This resulted in a small selection of players who had the NEED to go in and WERE sufficiently geared to go in.

Now heroics are such a piece of cake. I can breeze through them

What’s my secret?

I run with a Pally tank and a Mage. It makes it so easy for me to blog and read while I play WoW at the same time.

Leaving? But You Just Got Here!

I have often wondered what drives people to do the things that they do. At about 10 PM, I saw someone advertise that they were looking for a healer to help fill out Kara. Nightbane and above were the only bosses left. I opted to join. I had nothing really going on and I was tired of reading. I brought in Saphfira to collect some badges along the way. We wiped three times against Nightbane and then cleared to Curator taking him down in the process.

Here’s where things got eyebrow raising.

One of the mages had to leave.
Then a druid just left the group and hearthed.
Subsequently, we lost a Priest due to a family emergency.
A rogue had to raid in 20 minutes.

WHAT THE HELL!?

I think we did pretty well for the most part. We wiped on Nightbane, people stayed. We killed Curator, people left. When you join a raid, there’s a level of expectancy that is involved. It’s expected that your next 2 or so hours will be free from any other activities or interruptions. Your Guild expects that. Pickup players expect that. What the heck’s the point of joining a Karazhan raid when you have to raid 30 minutes later? These people are on my blacklist and I’m sure they looked bad to everyone else. At least we cleared Prince. Then I checked the clock and it was 130 AM. I fell asleep.

But I didn’t leave my group hanging. I told them beforehand that I could guarantee awakeness until 130 AM. After that, all bets were off. I’m not as young as I used to be. I can’t stay up until 4 AM anymore.

Exam on Thursday and on Saturday. Reduced blogload this week. WTB guest posters.

Matt’s Three Stars: Week Ending November 16

Akil’zon’s Gauntlet, EZ Mode: First star honors, GMW. First star. You are officially my hero(ine). This one gauntlet section alone took 40 gold off me. So what is her awesome tip that vaulted her past everyone else into first place? You’ll just have to click the link and find out yourself. It’s one of those forehead smacking “Oh duh” kind of things.

The Pointless Debate Around Warden: Gwaendar has an excellent post displaying arguments about the futility of complaining over ‘lack of privacy’ issues in WoW. I agree with you wholeheartedly, sir! Blizzard is a gaming company. They don’t need to break into your computer to blackmail you with your porn stash. It’s unnecessary for them to look up your credit card billing statement (because most of it is involved with WoW in some way or other). If players don’t like programs that add cheat detection to their games, they can simply go play something else. I hear CS 1.6 still has rampant cheaters around. People think they’re so important in this game. They think that the world centers around them and that everyone cares what they have on their computer. They don’t want to be embarrassed or humiliated. Blizz has WAY more important things to do then to snoop through people’s computers. Unless you do something SUPER stupid (like form a plan to blow up Sears tower), there isn’t much that would justify them having to call the FBI. I’m pretty sure you’ll find a clause in the TOS that says they’ll cooperate with authorities if they have to, but it’s like that with any social networking website or service (Facebook especially). They don’t do it because they want to. They do it so they can cover their respective legal ass. You get the number two star in my book, buddy!

What Karazhan Taught Us: Here’s a rather humorous list brought to us by Rohan. These are the important lessons that’ve been taught to us by the various bosses in Karazhan. I think I’ll even expand on it:

  • Attumen taught us gear is important
  • Moroes taught us to have a plan B
  • Maiden taught us perseverance (three weeks on this boss before the nerf, I spent learning)
  • Opera taught us how to learn things on the fly
  • Curator taught us Curse of Doom (an inside joke with a certain warlock who did not realize they had curse of doom)
  • Nightbane taught us synchronized moving
  • Shade of Aran taught us awareness of our surroundings
  • Chess was recess in the school of Karazhan
  • Netherspite taught us the value of strategic withdrawal to strike another day
  • Prince taught us tactical positioning

Third star honors go to you, Rohan! =)

Minimum Class Stat Requirements for Karazhan

A dear friend asked me for some help a few days ago. She wanted to know what the minimum requirements are for new players looking to enter Karazhan. I’m not looking for numbers that will take down Prince on the first try. What I want are respectable numbers that players of any class can shoot for. I’m looking for ABSOLUTE MINIMUMS HERE. These are the kinds of numbers that will down Attumen after one try, Moroes after three, Maiden after two, and Curator after fifteen because they don’t have the gear for it.

These are the numbers that she has so far. Any recommendations or adjustments? I’ve modified the numbers for opinions on Holy Priests and Shamans. When I get a chance, I’m going to begin perusing the blogs of my other colleagues to see if they have any information that I can add to this list. Even a simple confirmation of numbers would be nice to see, so don’t be shy! (Note: Don’t mind the colors. I copied it directly off a forum)

SUGGESTED MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO START KARAZHAN

Warrior

Tank(MT):
12000 Armor, 12000 hp, 490 def., 15-30% Dodge/Parry

DPS:
1700 ap, 70 hit, 33% crit

Druid

Tank:
415 def with 3/3 Survival of the fittest, 12000 hp, 30% Dodge, 20k armor
(As suggested by Karthis)
DPS:
600 dmg, 15% crit (caster form), 75 mp/5, 75 hit

Heal:
+1000 heals, 100 mp/5

Rogue

1300 – 1400 ap, 90 hit, 20% crit
As suggested by mesczante

Priest

Heal:
6000+ health, 7500 mana, +1000 healing, 100 mp5

DPS:
6000 mana, +650 dmg, + 3-5% hit
(As suggested by MK)

Hunter

BM:
8000 hp, 6000 mana, 1450 ap, 17.5% crit, 75 hit

MM:
8000 hp, 6000 mana, 1750 ap, 17.5% crit 75 hit

Shammy

Resto:
950 – 1000 heals, 110 mp/5, 10% crit

Elemental:
+500 dmg, 20% crit

Enhancement:
1000 – 1200 ap, 20% crit, 8% hit

Mage

+600 dmg, 90 hit, 25% crit, 6000 hp and 7000 mana
(As suggested by Calandris)

Pally

Tank:
102.5% Total avoidance (dodge/parry/block)
490 def, 10500 hp, +100-150 dmg

Heal:
1000-1200 heals, 80-100 mp/5, 8000-9000 mana, 15-20% holy crit

Warlock

Affliction: 7000 hp, 6000 mana, +600 dmg, 90 hit

Destro/Demon: 7000 hp, 6000 mana, +600 dmg, 90 hit, 20% crit

Again, your comments and opinions will be greatly appreciated.