Enter the Circle of Healing Podcast

I mentioned it briefly before, but it’s official now. There is a new World of Warcraft podcast in town. I’ve always had my sights set on expanding to podcasts and videos. Dawn Moore, the host and producer (Spiritual Guidance on WoW.com, discipline) will be regularly joined by Kinaesthesia (vodka’s ace priest, holy) and myself (some guy with multiple blogs, who plays both).

Now to be fair, we’re all priests. There will be times where we make efforts to discuss healing from perspectives of other classes. I suppose you can call us the Circle. Or something. Once get a little more established and comfortable, we’ll be bringing in some guest healers and specialists.

We’ll be recording new episodes twice a month.

What this podcast is

  • Healing discussion: We’re going to be talking about healing stuff. Expect to hear our thoughts and opinions about any and every aspect of healing.
  • Question and answer: Have a healing question? We might have a healing answer. These can either be fictional or real. But we figured someone out there will benefit from it.

What this podcast isn’t

  • It is not a WoW news show: Don’t expect us to be providing news or opinions on general WoW changes. There’s enough podcasts out there that do that already.
  • An update on our lives: We won’t be talking about what we did today or that week. We’re trying to keep a tight schedule so it’ll be straight to business. Although random interjections and tangents may occur, it won’t be a regular occurrence.

Why you should listen to it?

  • How many other WoW related healing podcasts can you name?
  • An educational experience (we hope)
  • Stuff that no other podcast has
  • Kinasthesia’s wit
  • Dawn’s on it
  • Me being… me (that’s not a selling point, is it?)

Oh but don’t take my word for it. Here’s what a former guildmate of mine had to say about it:

“Great insight from some of the game’s leading minds in Priestlyness. Hoping to hear more from them in the future!”

- Infiniz

Okay, enough of that. You want to listen to it and you want it now.

Episode 1: Introductions

Introductory podcast where we discuss our backgrounds, our thoughts at the current state of the healing priest (comforts and discomforts), and these blue posts about healing.

Mirror 1: Circle of Healing Podcast
Mirror 2: World of Matticus

Episode 2: Priests, Masters of Tangent

Big news for this episode? Cataclysm priest talent previews are available. I know that I didn’t put up a post yet detailing my thoughts on it, but you can hear my take on some of the talents here.

Mirror 1: Circle of Healing Podcast
Mirror 2: World of Matticus

The site for the podcast itself is still being developed, but the podcast episodes themselves were ready. Figured we may as well push them live.

Remember, we’re just starting out. Feel free to hit us with feedback, what you liked, didn’t like, want more of, and healing questions are always a plus.

A movie list for Matticus

So, this isn’t a sweeping post about movies Matt is in or can quote. This is favor I’m asking you, our readers.

It has come to light that there may be a series (read a lot)  of movies from the 80′s and 90′s that Matt has not seen.  So Here is a quick question for you. If you were to make a list of MUST SEE movies from the 80′s and 90′s what would you suggest to someone? Help me make a list of movies that Matticus MUST see :)

Thanks for your help!

 

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?

With a Little Help From My Friends…

With a Little Help From My Friends…

Thank you!

As many of you know this blog has been around for over 2 years now. We could not have done that without you, the readers. With a love for the game we all play, and your continued readership we remain one of the oldest blogs on the subject out there, and we are not showing any signs of slowing down. So I’d like to take a second and thank you, all of you for continuing to come to the site, and our sister sites of PlusHeal and NoStockUI and sharing your thoughts and offering ideas.

Now for a little announcement, as of today I am submitting the papers to be considered for the Official World of Warcraft Fan Site program. My thinking is that Matt has put so much work into not only this site, but many others, that I believe it’s about time to be added to the list. That brings me back to you, our readers. Today I have a question for you.

Since we’ve been around for over 2 years, we’ve quite an archive of posts and conversations. So I ask you the reader, What is your favorite thing about World of Matticus? This can be a post, or a series of comments, or an idea that was discussed. Did WoM help you down a boss or provide any tips or tricks that helped you out? Anything at all really, I just want to know your fond memories of this site.

Feel free to share, I look forward to seeing your comments on this one.

Sig

Image Courtesy of http://4.bp.blogspot.com

Want More to Read? Try Google Reader’s Bundles

Want More to Read? Try Google Reader’s Bundles

g-bundle

Google Reader comes with subscriptions for many different topics on the internet. These are called bundles. These bundles can contain a varying amount of feeds from blogs related to that topic. It’s useful if you want to find a set of blogs to help fill up your reader but you don’t happen to know which blogs are good (or blogs that even exist!). Bundles tend to provide a nice place to start.

In Google Reader, click Browse for stuff on the left pane (highlighted above). At the top you will see Recommendations and Browse. Click the Browse tab. Then click Browse all bundles. There you can subscribe to packages that happen to catch your interest!

If your curious about what bundles I subscribe to:

  • Branding
  • Copywriting
  • Blogging
  • Freelance
  • Hockey
  • Journals (Yeah, the academic kind)
  • Leadership
  • Legal
  • Marketing
  • Psychology
  • Usability
  • Web Design
  • WordPress
  • World of Warcraft
  • Writing

It didn’t actually hit home until I saw it. It turns out my blog is liked by Google enough to be included with their “bundle” for World of Warcraft.

What on earth were they thinking?

I remember Lassirra mentioning this to me last month. Or the month before that. Fascinating! Speaking of which, she’s set up a new layout. Go check her out. The Hunter’s Mark has officially gone environmentally friendly.

To all you young bloggers out there, the key ingredient to blogging is a strong work ethic! Keep writing and success follows.

4 Points of Crisis Management

4 Points of Crisis Management

“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.”
Chinese Proverb

As individuals, we’re exposed to conflict on a daily level. We get into arguments with loved ones. We curse at the guy who cuts us off on the highway. We become angry because of decisions made by other people that affect us.

One of the Criminology courses I’m taking in university is called introduction to policing. Today I wanted to share some important lessons I learned that day. It’s something that law enforcement go through often in their careers. It’s a great skill that benefits all of us regardless of what your jobs or interests are.

It’s about crisis management.

People need time

parabola

See that poorly drawn graph above? The shaded area is a person’s “rage” meter. This is when a person is at the peak of their anger. Give them time to calm down. Don’t rush anything just yet. Some people get extremely fired up at first and their judgment gets clouded. After some time has passed, the “rage” meter will start to decrease and come down.

Watch your tone of voice and conduct yourself appropriately

Many summers ago, I had a job as a carnie. No, I wasn’t the guy that dressed in the clown suit. I was the guy that had to make your kid wait in line in front of that Scooby Doo or Spongebob Squarepants bouncy castle. It continues to be my observation that when a parent’s kids are involved, all sense of logic and reason goes out the window. The supervisor on deck never stopped preaching to us to watch what we say and to not lose our temper. Direct any extremely flamboyant customers to the supervisor. But above all, don’t lose your cool. Because by raising your voice, you’ll only escalate the problem even further.

And no, I didn’t clean up when your kid peed in my ride either. I got people junior and I to do it. Hooray for seniority (and bless the guy that invented Fuh-breeze).

Reflect on what they’re saying and keep talking

Try and understand their perspective. Keep the conversation going. Try and find common ground. Learn to compromise. What exactly is the subject fired up about? Is there a way for you to help and resolve the situation?

Give them space and distance

When dealing with high risk offenders, keep your distance and give them a lot of space. It doesn’t hurt to have a lot of objects (or tables) in the way especially if the person in question is pissed off at you. It just means there’s more crap they have to navigate through in order to injure you. This also means not deliberately trying to set them off even more. You can tell when someone is mad. But you can also tell when someone is downright pissed. They start saying things they wouldn’t otherwise normally say. Their volume and tone reaches heights it wouldn’t normally reach. It’s not a cue to keep pressing their buttons. Its a cue to just stop.

Guest Casting on the Rawrcast

I mentioned Monday that I would be appearing as a guest on the Rawrcast.

Stomp asked me to help her out and solicit some questions from the readers here. I believe the topics will be on:

  • Dual specs

  • Mana regen
  • Ulduar
  • Anything else is fair game
  • Go to this post and flood her comments (or email) accordingly.

    I’m getting grilled tomorrow (Friday afternoon).

Epic Guest Posting Guidelines for the Matticus

Epic Guest Posting Guidelines for the Matticus

SONY DSC

Would the World of Matticus ever feature a guest post from you?

In a word, yes. The first thing you have to remember is that in the World of Matticus, there is but one god: Matticus himself. Guest posts usually happen when I put the word out that I needs help.

In the past year, I’ve opened up guest posting to bloggers and writers that were interested in getting their feet wet. Today, I’m officially announcing the green light for open guests posts as well as setting down guidelines and suggests for writing them. Here’s a few examples for you to consider.

While I admit that my standards are high, I’m not asking you to solo Illidan or do heroic Occulus. What I do want is to illustrate reasons and qualities for a World of Matticus guest post.

Why write a guest post?

Exposure - By writing compelling articles, stories or posts in general on other blogs (not just mine, mind you), you increase your own visibility and exposure. View it as a chance to promote yourself and your work! Now you be thinking to yourself "why write on someone else’s blog when I can augment my own?" I encourage you to think in a different direction. By writing an insanely awesome blog post for another blogger and having it published, that blogger’s audience will want to know more about you and what else you have to offer.

Trial – Not sure if blogging is the right thing for you? At the very fundamental core of blogging is to communicate. You are translating your ideas and visions from your mind onto the screen. Don’t spend time establishing a blog only to discover that writing is difficult for you or that your interest has waned. Do the writing first then build the blog. Try writing a sample post and determine if it’s something you think you’ll enjoy down the road. Web sites come in all sorts of designs and styles. The one thing that all blogs have in common is the display of information.

You’ve decided to write a guest post? Excellent! Here’s a few things you might wish to consider:

Consider the audience

In the beginning, this blog catered towards Holy Priests. As time went on, it slowly included aspects for the raiding Holy Priest. Guild business and leadership was mixed into the blog. A Resto Druid was added. Now it includes material that Guild leaders would be interested in reading.

The majority of readers on World of Matticus are primarily healers, raiders, and bloggers. That’s a pretty wide sphere of influence, if I do say so myself. Keep the audience in mind when you’re writing a post. For example, most healers may not understand certain tanking concepts and you may wish to elaborate more on terms that you’ll be using.

If you’re writing about the nature of Hunters, PvP skills for Warriors, or the latest fashion news on Death Knights, you’ll want to consider another blog unless you can make it relevant for the World of Matticus readers.

What makes this blog appealing for you? Chances are, your answer will be the same as the other many thousands of readers. Browse through the archives to find some of your favourite posts and you’ll get a handle for what works and what doesn’t.

Matticus is beneficial

The one thing I stress most from the team here is to make your information useful. Give the reader something to take with them when they finish.

How does a Discipline Priest react in this raid situation? Did your GM handle a particularly difficult problem in a smooth fashion? Topics like that would be right up the alley in the World of Matticus.

Content in the World of Matticus should help answer problems that players find in the World of Warcraft.

Matticus is professional

I don’t care if you’re on the top 5v5 team in the world, or the best ranked Ret Paladin on WWS. I’m not expecting you to be Dan Brown either.

Sydera, Wynthea and I are really picky. Syd’s a teacher (not high school, but the best one can professionally be). Wyn usually shreds my posts because they’re not technically correct or sound. I harp on the other two if their posts do not look good.

Keep the post as clean looking as possible. White space is good. If necessary, format the post and add images to help spice and liven it up more.

Check your tone. Have a unique style. Make sure what you write can be understood. This isn’t a journal or a computer operations manual. Be clear, be concise. Add some personality. Don’t be afraid to write as if you’re speaking. Be interesting and humorous. Feel free to tell a story to get your point across.

Most importantly, spend as much time on thinking of a title as you do on your post. No other WoW blogger puts as much thought, time or emphasis into post titles as Matticus.

Spell check it.

Fact check it. If you’re not sure about spells or abilities, use WoWHead.

Not all of us are blogging gods by any means (but that Matticus comes close). We’re not the best. We’re only human. Typos will creep in or lawn gnomes will occasionally break a few things. All of us invest a lot of time and care into making our post the best as possible.

Some guest bloggers in the past have been rejected and told to rewrite. Go through multiple drafts. Ask someone in your guild to look it over. World of Matticus does not involve writers who write drafts then immediately publish them. Posts will stew around for days or even weeks if they do’t feel right until a “Eureka” moment strikes.

Sounds great! How do I sign up?

Drop me a line on my contact form. You can include a post within the body of the form there or get in touch with me first and float an idea my way to see how it sounds. I’ll respond with a confirmation and a giant thank you! If I don’t respond within a week, I must’ve not received it or I completely forgot about it. Feel free to poke me with a gentle reminder!

If you have a blog, it’s a good idea to link to your best blog posts. Note that it’s not required that you have a blog.

Image courtesy of Cierpki

Why Loot Council, Matticus?

Why Loot Council, Matticus?

elrond-council

Veneretio: @behemothdan “Agreed there is no perfect system, but there are good systems and bad systems.”

This statement was, of course, in regards to a post Syd wrote earlier about her early experience with the implementation of Loot Council. Like good systems and bad systems, there are good people and bad people. Power, when used for good, can be used for great thing. When used for bad, can lead to not so great things.

Before I can go into any greater detail, you need to understand the Matticus Doctrine when it comes to raiding. There’s a specific line in there that effectively summarizes my thoughts on loot:

Loot may not be fair and it may not be equal, but I will do my best to ensure that it is effective and not wasted.

A lot of players will say that LC shows favoritism and isn’t fair. I think that’s a matter of perception. What does fair mean? What is your definition of equal? Can you distribute loot fairly and progress? Can it be done quickly?

When we talk about progression, fairness and equality are out the window.

Is fair giving 3 pieces of minor upgrades to the Mage who’s earned that right after months of raiding and then taking a 2 month hiatus but exercising their DKP option when the tier tokens could’ve benefited the Rogue who is still wearing T5?

Or is fair auto looting a crucial piece to a tank to make progression raids that much easier instead of the Priest who can also benefit?

We’re in the business of progression and that means the players have to trust us. Loot gets distributed with the intent to boost and maximize raid performance. And it may not always be “fair”. This means withholding items from the player who frequently AFKs in trash. This means deciding on the player who flasked, brought reagents, repaired and enchanted and gemmed all of his gear instead of the player who didn’t repair to full, asked for Paladin reagents because he forgot to stock up, and isn’t playing 100%.

Factors include but are not limited to:

  • Present gear
  • Tier token count
  • Performance
  • Attendance
  • Attitude
  • “Clutch”ness
  • Etc.

What makes it work?

In order for the system to work, there’s a few important things that I took into account and into consideration:

Numerous Loot drops: Bosses drop at least four items. It’s not a matter of who gets loot. It’s a matter of when. Everyone’s going to get the gear they’ll need and want fairly quickly.

Accountability: It’s not in my best interest to screw people or my guild over. Why not? I’ve got over a thousand regular readers. I just reached the 1 million page view mark a few days ago. I do have a reputation to keep. I don’t want to be known as someone who constantly loots stuff to his friends or someone who shows favoritism all the time. I want to recognize hard work and effort and I want to reward it accordingly.

Progression oriented guildies: I’ve surrounded myself with players who want to kill bosses. They don’t care about the loot they get. They’re not greedy. They’re willing to share it with others who benefit more then they do. I do not have players who only care about themselves. I do not recruit players who are selfish and greedy and want the best epics in the game just so they can look good.

In fact, the biggest problem is when everyone passes or there is no interest at all. If anything, some of the players are too generous.

Member input: Like Syd said, our players are allowed to give some input into whether or not they want an item. It’s a unique system that has worked out for us thus far.

Sometimes decisions will be easy.

Plate Spellpower? A quick glance at the raid shows there’s only one Paladin. Same thing with Resto Shamans.

What makes it not work?

Human error: This is the biggest strength and also it’s biggest weakness. In fact, I won’t hesitate to admit that I’ve already screwed up looting once. You’ll find out more on Monday night on the weekly Post Raids. We’re all human. Sometimes we all overlook things. We all make mistakes. Once in a while, we’ll make the wrong decision.

Loot council cannot work based on the effort of one person. It can only work with the collective effort and trust of the entire guild. Without it, you may as well just go back to using a DKP system. It’s not the best system nor is it by any means perfect. But perfection was never one of the 3 Ps. It’s the best system for the goals and directions of the guild. Players need to buy into it or else it will end up failing.

Mistakes are going to happen. But if I can maintain a successful looting average of 0.990, I think I’m doing a pretty damn good job. For players that don’t agree with it, then my organization may not be the one for them.

I know some of you have had bad experiences with it. Others aren’t so sure if this is the right system for them. Hopefully my blog can help shed the light and paint a better picture of what loot council can do when it’s done correctly.

Twitterati’s Advice to GM-to-be Matticus

Twitterati’s Advice to GM-to-be Matticus

advice

Let it be known that to me, GM does not stand for Guild Master. I prefer to think of it as General Manager. Sports terms work a lot better for me and it’s something I can handle (though I suppose it is more of a business term). Yesterday afternoon, I lit up a simple tweet:

What advice would you have for up and coming GMs?

The response was absolutely long and enormous (as you can see on the left).

I don’t know if there’s much more to be said after such a myriad of replies.

If you have anything you’d like to add, feel free to do so.

Bonus points if you can match the Twitterati and keep your advice under 140 characters.

Note: Tweetdeck is the official Twitter client of Matticus.