Blizzcon Predictions from Bloggers and the WoW Twitterati!

Blizzcon Predictions from Bloggers and the WoW Twitterati!

Whelps, Blizzcon’s just about here! I decided to activate the crystal ball that is the WoW community in an effort to predict the news, events, activities, and happenings that would unveiled at this years Blizzard convention! You’ll hear it from from the 3 of us along with other bloggers and the chemical catalyst that is the WoW Twitterati!

Dying for the return of Starcraft: Ghost. With the merger with Activision, wouldn’t it just rock to see Ghost on the CoD 4 engine? We know that dual talent specs will be explained more. I think we’ll hear a lot more from the class designers regarding design choices and intents for the various classes. I’m hoping for first shots of Arthas in Ice Crown but I believe that’s unlikely to happen. Will definitely be paying a lot more attention to the raids and dungeons aspect of the convention. And it won’t be Blizzcon without Starcraft and Diablo related news! I’ll have multiple split screens set up so I can keep track of everything.

Here are Sydera’s guesses at the announcements that might be made at the druid class discussion.

“Many people are concerned about the size of the big bear butt. We are as well, because we play druids, and we can’t tank half as comfortably as we’d like with big fuzzy in our faces. So, we’re instituting a new, improved, Slim Bear Butt form. Just apply a minor glyph, and your bear will morph into a lean, mean, streamlined-rear machine. The graphic comes with black and yellow bicycle shorts to further hold in bear cellulite. And remember, you can only eat [Raw Carrots] and [Celery Stalks] in Slim Butt Form. Side effects of this form include nausea, dizziness, and increased irritability. Those mobs had better watch out! They look tasty.”

“Now that we’ve removed the 20% snare from Tree of Life, many of you Restos will never see caster form again–at least not while you raid. So, to respond to your aesthetic concerns, Tree of Life will shift colors every season. Shifting days will be tied to the closest Tuesday to the equinoxes and solstices. We are removing the Rotten Broccoli coloration entirely. Spring Form will have yellow-green leaves with blooming pink flowers, while Summer Form will be deep green with [Shiny Red Apples], Autumnal Form will have brilliant orange-red leaves that drift, one at a time, to the ground, and Winter Form will have no leaves at all, just a dusting of sparkling snow. We would like to thank Sydera for repeatedly posting this idea for us on the suggestion forums. We really could not have thought of it ourselves.”

“We have recently heard that druids are quite proficient at 2v2 and 3v3 arenas. In fact, many in the gaming community consider druids’ mobility to be overpowered for arena. So, just for druid arena players, we have decided to implement Potted Plant Form, a new shapeshift form that all druids will gain at level 80. Druids will no longer be able to heal in caster form or Tree of Life form in the arenas. Instead, they must use their new healing-specific arena form. In Potted Plant Form, which looks just like a window-box full of geraniums, druids’ mobility is reduced by 100%, but their healing is also increased by 100%. Their resilience is buffed by 400%, but they cannot cast Lifebloom at all while shifted into Potted Plant Form. We think that the introduction of this new form will be exciting for players, particularly the forum trolls that haunt the druid class forms, making whiny emo posts every time some Druid-Warrior combo beats them in 2v2. Just especially for the arena druid, we will also be introducing the [Glyph of Potted Plant Form], which will attract cute little butterflies and chipmunks to your pretty red flowers. The butterflies and chipmunks apply a stacking spell haste buff of 10 spell haste per critter, which can stack up to 10 times.”

Possibly another expansion after Wrath (unlikely to hear about it). Definitely hear more about Starcraft. The healing trees of all classes besides Priests will be removed and Priests will get a tanking tree :). Murlocs will be a playable race. Alliance and Horde will, for the first time ever, be able to talk to each other. Full slots of legendary grade items (On a side note, why aren’t there any legendary items aside from weapons?).

Other Bloggers

Joveta: I predict a big announcement that’s non-Wrath related.  Maybe a date for the new Starcraft or Diablo (or both!).  (It is Blizzcon, not WoWcon, after all)

Veneretio: My prediction is that the new spec system will include a sandbox area where you can pre-build specs and save them. This in conjunction with a single click respec feature would allow for easier, safer, faster respecs for maximum level characters.

Seri: Lots of wrath promo. New pvp info. Dual spec ui teaser for post-wrath. New Diablo info. Maybe a demo. Class panels with lots of QQ. Photos of drunken fanboys with devs and CMs. Pin the tail on the Tauren.Felicia Day sighting.

Lassirra: Naked Gnome races and Murloc rodeos!

The Twitterati

@Medros wow 4.0, updates on dual spec and dance studios, and general fanboi craziness

@shinmeko Blizzcon predictions: Alex and I get drunk, Felicia Day stuns nerds far and wide, and Starcraft never gets released.

@isheepthings from the blue feeds it looks like they will hash out a bit more about duel-spec mechanics. rest will be d3 news.

@Laikia i have a sneaking suspicion we’ll all be a tad disappointed. But maybe a release date for Starcraft II

@honorshammer Tigole or Kalgan will make an offhand comment in one of the class Q&As that will get disected for days and days on the forums

@roflwolf  I predict there’s a potential for getting felicia day’s autograph… assuming I can rely on my friends… so, probably not. lol! Otherwise, it’s going to be E3 w/o the competition… whatever that means.

@eliah No big announcements. Overpriced collectible crap. I will stay up late posting.

@IcE_IcE_Luwin Jessica Alba will reveal she is a hardcore WoW player (plays a female dwarf priest)

@justanna  someone, somewhere, will murder a murloc horribly. I predict chalk outlines, as this becomes a new Blizzcon trend.

Image credits: mmagallan

Priests, WotLK, and Wyn’s Thoughts

Priests, WotLK, and Wyn’s Thoughts

crying-woman 

My first reaction to the news was utter, stunned silence. Anyone who’s ever been on vent with me (or listened to a certain blogcast) knows how rare that is. There were no words to encompass my shock and depression.

“Why?” I will be asked. “Racials were so stupid. We were the only class that had to worry about what race to roll to THAT extent. This will make things much easier.” Perhaps. But I am a Priest-class enthusiast. I have two level 70 Priests. One Human, one Troll. I have a handful of Priest alts just to experience the flavor that their new spells give. (Starshards is so Pretty!!) I am not a role-player, but I would find it impossible to not spend so much time with someone without learning a little about their personality, and I somehow don’t think any of my Priests will be the same without abilities shaped so directly by the life-experiences they had before I met them. How can you be a faith-leader for your faction, a student of the Light and Shadow, without developing a few personal opinions?

And so it is with a desperately heavy heart, a crinkle in my nose, and tears in my eyes that I say farewell to Hex of Weakness and Shadowguard. Admittedly, Renwein will not miss Feedback – we didn’t use it much – but Wynthea will no longer mock Paladins and less-gifted Priests as they attempt to dispel the curse preventing their heals’ full value. No more will I have a funny little purple satellite for company, which had a clever habit of proc’ing Shadow Weaving and Blackout when I was Shadow-spec’d. Maybe I’m taking it too hard. I probably am. I just looked forward to levels 10 and 20 so much with each new race…. and now it won’t matter. My lowbie Priests will be deleted, since they serve no purpose.

Frankly, this latest blow to my class-pride hits a little harder because of how I feel about Priests’ role in general. Go dig up your classic-wow handbook. The one that hasn’t been updated, that still comes with the game. See where it describes the classes? It talks about Priests being the premiere healers in WoW. That’s why I rolled my first one 3 years ago. It’s why I’ve stayed with the class for so long. Other classes can do other things – Paladins and Druids can also tank, all the other healing classes can Melee DPS, and Shammies and Druids both can caster-DPS as well. Sure you can go Shadow – but Blizz has pigeonholed Shadow Priests into raid utility and mana-return. (In my opinion, if Shadow Priests were supposed to be competitive on DPS, Mind Flay would have a 40 yd. range like everyone else’s bread-and-butter spells. Among other things.) Shadow Priests have to fight tooth-and-nail for every scrap of damage and respect they get. Holy Priests…. well, we were what the class was originally designed to be. That’s why classic Tier sets were all Holy-based. Priest was synonymous with healer.

But now, Druids are gaining a circle-of-renew. Paladins if glyphed properly will be able to AoE heal. Shamans have raid-wide utility, in addition to the original work-horse AoE heal. And Priests? The spell we and our raids have come to depend on is being given a 6-second cooldown. (That’s right, all the new patch notes show that that abominable nerf that went away on the Beta realms is BACK and going LIVE.) Take a look at the new Priest Healing spells: we get TWO.

Divine Hymn – You recite a Holy hymn, causing the closest 10 enemies within 0 yards to become incapacitated for 20 sec., and heals the closest friendly targets within 0 yards for 4506 over 6 sec. 20% of base mana, 1.5 sec cast, 3 min cooldown.

and our 80-point talent: Guardian Spirit – Calls upon a guardian spirit to watch over the friendly target. The spirit increases the healing received by the target by 40%, and also prevents the target from dying by sacrificing itself. This sacrifice terminates the effect but heals the target of 10% of their maximum health. Lasts 10 sec.

All our other talents are focused on increasing the amount healed by spells we already have, or the speed with which they are delivered. (oh, wait, that got nerfed a bit, too.)

In the rush to make every spec viable, and to homogenize the capabilities of the classes to avoid any specific requirements for any given raid…. Blizzard hadn’t stripped Priests of what made us special – our flexibility as healers – but added those utility spells to the other healers. This latest news goes further – rather than leaving us with our level 70 spells in a level 80 world, it actively takes away MORE of what makes us unique.

I will continue on. I am still very excited about a lot of things coming up in Wrath. The scenery continues to be beautiful, and Dalaran is the best-developed capital city ever. But now, my unbridled enthusiasm for the xpac is tempered by a sense of loss. I reveled in being the strongest, most adaptable healing class, and the class which, in my opinion, required the most fore-thought, planning, and knowledge of game-mechanics of all. I’m sad that both of the sources of my loyalty to the class are eroding. Perhaps it’s a good thing I’ve familiarized myself with Death Knight mechanics.

Luv,
A very depressed Wyn

The Care and Keeping of Recruits

Welcome mat

One of the best bosses I ever had was fond of saying:

“Expectations without support erode trust.”

My beloved guild lets me handle pretty much anything to do with Priests, without making me be an actual officer. I do the recruiting and the interviews, I give input on Priest-related loot council and raid spots, and make the recommendation for full membership. I appreciate the respect and autonomy my Raid Leader and Officers have given me, and in return I make sure that our Priest-corps is always prepared to do the best we can.

Sydera recently wrote a great article on how to recruit a healer, and the 10th step hit home: Follow up:

Your guild has a new healer, and you are the person she knows best. Serve as her mentor, and check in with her often. If the guild isn’t happy with your recruit’s performance, be the one to explain why. If it seems that the guild is a good fit, be her champion when the officers vote on whether she should be promoted to full member.

This is so unbelievably true, and I think is a huge reason that some guilds experience high amounts of recruit turn-over. They can get players in the door, but one or two epics later, they’re gone again. The reason seems to be that the new raiders never really found a warm welcome, or a sense of belonging – just a lot of high-pressure to perform with little feedback and even less help. Here’s how I avoid turnover with my recruits, and help them realize their Priestly potential.

Set Clear Expectations

This process starts in the interview. Be explicit with your expectations – gear, consumables, punctuality, and attendance. I tell Holy recruits that I’m looking for a Priest to take my place. I want them to out-heal me, to be more familiar with the class and fights than I am, and to teach me a thing or two. If they accept that challenge, I tell them I will help them gear up, adjust their UI’s and learn the fights – and invite them to my guild.

Give A Sense of Structure

Tell them what the Raid schedule typically is. Sure, they may know that you raid M-Th 6-10 server, but if you know that Monday is guaranteed to be a progression boss with no Trials in attendance, tell them. If you don’t know exactly what’s on the menu, at least give them the options for the next day. It could go something like this: “We’ll probably raid Sunwell tomorrow, so be prepared for that. If [Paladin] can’t come, it’ll be BT. You’ll be required for BT, but may have the night off if it’s Sunwell.” That way, they can plan ahead – they may need time to farm shadow resist gear, or different consumables. They may need to adjust their dailies for more repair bill or respec money. Be courteous, and give them the information they’l need to make a good impression.

Make Yourself Available

Let the recruit know when you’ll be available for last minute questions before the raid. Seek them out, and ask them what assistance they need – not if they need assistance. (A subtle but important difference.) Remember, you’re the recruiting officer of the big, scary progression guild – and that can be intimidating, even if the night before you told them to seek you out.

Make Sure They’re Really Prepared

At this point, you know their gear is okay from the interview. But raid-prep can get glossed over. Typically, I ask specific questions about a few things:

  • Do you have enough elixirs, flasks, and mana pots?
  • Do you have enough food?
  • Do you have enough cash for repairs and/or respecs?
  • Do you have enough reagents?
  • I also make sure that I’m clear about my definition of “enough”. Their old guild might have been okay with 10 elixirs and 20 candles. I carry full stacks of 3 kinds of elixirs and 200 candles. Don’t get me started on food, pots, oils, and flasks. The idea is to avoid any lack of communication that could result in your recruit being singled out as unprepared. You know what the expectations are, but they do not. Help them. Personally, I always bring enough consumables to a recruit’s first raid for both of us. If they forget anything or need anything, I want them to ask ME in a whisper, not the raid in vent. These small things matter, and a recruit who is nervous over something as minor as reagents will not perform at their best. Help them make the best first impression they can.

    Raid Mechanics

    Most guilds are pretty good about making sure recruits get a run-down of how the fight is done – even with a basically similar strat, most guilds have a few quirks that should be explained to avoid confusion. What gets missed are the details of how your Raid works overall. Make sure your new player knows any extra channels they should join (class channel, healer channel, etc.), what officer gives out the target-assignments, and how to bid for loot (& whether they’re eligible.) It’s not as big an issue with DPSers, but for healers, give specific healing assignments. “Heal Joe”  may mean something to you, but if it is really Joeblaze, the Warlock tank in Group 4, that could make a difference. Also, if you’re in a situation where tanks are passing aggro – think Netherspite, Hydross, BloodBoil, or Kalecgos – and calling on vent, make sure players know to say their names.”I’ve got it!” wastes time, but “Stefizzle, taunting” means new healers don’t have to guess whose voice goes with what .

    Give Feedback

    I’ve made my position on meters pretty clear. They’re a very visible part of my UI. One of the biggest reasons is that I’ve noticed the best way to improve performance is to give timely feedback, whether positive or negative. With Recount open at all times, I can tell if my new CoH Priest is using CoH 84% of the time, and not using ProM at all. More importantly, I can tell him how to modify his style to improve, right now. I can also quicky find out how much overhealing is going on, whether the right targets are being healed, what was responsible for killing someone, and any other information that allows me to analyse my recruits’ performances. (Personally, I also set the recruit as my focus – I pay attention to their casting bar, spell rank, timing, target, health and mana levels.) Creepy? Sure. Relevant? Absolutely. Telling a DPSer that they need 10k more output to catch up with the mage above them, or a healer that another 3k will top that Shammy gets results. They work harder and faster. When they do well, I’ll also link the meter in the appropriate channel. Nothing makes someone’s day like showing them in the #1 spot to the whole raid. (I usually just link the first or second spots to avoid high amounts of spam.)

    Back Them Up

    Sometimes, bad things happen. Players die, raids wipe – and in the spirit of fixing it, we all look for the cause. Be an advocate for your recruit. It’s easy to blame the new healer for the Tank’s death, but if you know the real problem was something else, speak up. What are sound reasons coming from you may sound like excuses coming from them. On the other hand, If the problem really WAS the recruit, you can help them fix it.

    When They Struggle

    Even the best applicants can turn out to be lackluster players. Be prepared to talk to them, either 1:1 or with your Raid Leader, about their perspective on the problem, and possible solutions. Provide resources outside the game for them to peruse and soak up information. In the end, if they’re not a good fit, or not talented enough to keep up with the content, you’ll both be able to make the best decision – no waiting to “see if they get better or whether they just need a little more experience”.

    If you’ve given them the help, environment, and resources they need to be successful, you can part company on good terms – and they, with a full understanding of your expectations, may even be able to refer other players who would be a better fit.

    And you thought the hardest part of recruiting was finding good players! The thing to remember is that different personality types thrive in different environments. Personally, nothing will make me perform better than a situation where I have to fight to prove that I’m the best – provided that once I’ve done so, the achievement is recognized. Others seem to need a bit more coaching, and relatively well-defined requirements and goals. Tailor your leadership style to their needs; don’t force them to conform to you. Just remember that although their job is to impress you, your job is to make sure that they know how to do theirs.

    Luv,
    Wyn

    Twisted Nether: Wynnicus Podcast Now Available

    Twisted Nether: Wynnicus Podcast Now Available

    wynnicus-podcast

    Clocking in at under 90 minutes, the Bre, Fim, Wyn, and Matt show is now available for download from the TNB website. If you were unable to catch the whole show (consider yourself lucky ^^), you can grab the edited and pared down version.

    Highlights

    • Beta talk (lots of it)
    • Blogosphere highlights
    • Wyn
    • An saga tale

    Don’t miss the epic saga

    A tale of two Priests. . .

    A broken promise. . .

    A friendship tested. . .

    More drama than the loss of a Hunter bow to a Rogue. . .

    A betrayal that no one would have believed possible. . .

    This is the must listen Podcast of the year. If you download only one podcast this season, make it The Twisted Nether Blogcast: Episode 16.

    Note: I ran out of movie cliches. Anyone got any?

    World of Matticus Gets a New Face Lift

    World of Matticus Gets a New Face Lift

    rebirth

    Of course, sneaky tech savvy blog readers (or even Google RSS readers) would have been able to access the blog while I was undergoing upgrades. That flimsy placeholder page does absolutely nothing to restrict people. Need to find me a maintenance mo

    If my blog was my toon, I’d go all out on it trying to maximize rep and getting all the necessary gear to make it better. Looking at it now, I think I did a pretty good job! You can tell what how much a blogger loves their work by not only the way they write but how they present it.

    Let’s discuss the set bonuses features about the new look, eh?

    Front page
    • Same blue Matticus: The blues are staying. It’s the official colors of the Alliance and it’ll be the official colors of Matticus.
    • Featured video: On the right side, Wyn and I have the option of embedding interesting videos there that we think our readers would love. They don’t have to be necessarily WoW related. For example, if you play it now you’ll recognize the tune from the Macbook Air commercial (which I believe is very fitting for the occasion).
    • Individual author avatars: This wasn’t a problem months ago as I was the only writer. But with the embrace of a coblogger and accepting guest posts, identity becomes much more important. Cemented with 110 x 110 pixels of writers.
    • Headline ticker: Don’t miss out on the latest highlight reel posts. You’ll notice the massive billboard-like plugin at the top. It will cycle through 5 recent posts that we think you’ll enjoy!
    • Advertising: Yes, advertising has become a little more prominent. They won’t interfere with the content (due to tactical and strategic placement). However, if you don’t want to be exposed to them, why not subscribe to my RSS Feed or via EMail above instead?
    • Expanded blogroll: The recommended reading on the sidebar has been expanded to encompass more blogs. Criteria? Bribery.
    • Tag cloud: Categories have disappeared from the side. Instead, you can find random “streams of thought”. The cloud functions as a keyword type thing. Actively discussed topics are the ones that are in large fonts.
    • Refined categories: Instead of being on the side, categories now appear at the top beneath the pages. Mousing over them reveals a javascript powered drop down menu that will take you to the posts that match what you’re dying to find out more of.
    Article page

    I’ve not only refined the look of the blog, but I’ve taken care to add extra details to the post pages themselves. Take a gander:

    • Breadcrumb trail: Never get lost again! A breadcrumb trail at the top of each post will let you know where you are at all times.
    • Related Articles: Not sure where to go after you’re done? At the bottom of every post has a list of suggested reading to follow up on.
    • Share this: If you like a particular article or post, why not share it with a friend or guildmate? Supports multiple avenues like Digg, Stumbleupon, and Technorati. You can even share it on your Blogger or WordPress blog (Twitter and Typepad too!)
    • Gravatar support: Gravatar support has finally been implemented. Now you can have your own cool image to help distinguish you from the rest!
    • Comment and trackback separation: In the past, I found it confusing to read through comments and click on trackback links from other blogs. Sometimes I would forget to visit the other blogs because I was so enamored with the comments. No more! When viewing posts, you’ll see the comments by readers first and then link backs from other blogs and sites at the bottom.
    • Commentluv support: Not exactly new, but I never announced it either. If you’re a blogger who posts a comment, the blog will automatically try to pull the latest headline from your blog.
    Temporary
    • Banner and header: That will change. I’m going to try and enlist the design skills and support of the same guy that designed the Plusheal banner.
    • Twitter: I found a nifty spot for it in the top right corner. I did a lot of changes to it but I can’t see the little Twitterbird icon. I hope it shows up. Otherwise people will wonder what that random block of text means.

    Whew. Time spent? Well over 20 hours. Now I can stop tinkering, coding, and tweaking and get back to the real fun stuff of writing posts!

    Actually, I’m late for my raid. Oof!

    Matt & Wyn Live

    We’re about to go live soon on UStream soon. It would be cool if you made a user name, but it’s not required. It just means we address you as “Uberustreamgamer-87277875143742135248624″. Or something.

    How to get in

    Link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/twisted-nether-blogcast

    Password: tnb73

    Then you might have to enter it again.

    Join myself, Wyn, Fim and Bre!

    Podcast over! Thanks to everyone who joined!

    TNB Podcast: Beta Mic Night with Matt and Wyn!

    Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of ages…!
    This Friday night, your bloggers Matticus and Wynthea will be co-hosting a podcast alongside legendary personalities Fimlys (Asleep at the WoW) and Breana (Gun Loving Dwarf Chick).

    When

    Friday, September 5th
    930 PM PST

    Where

    Check back later (on the day of) for live show details. If you can’t make it, the podcast will be available for download in the next week.

    Participate

    There will be a lot of discussion about the beta and we’ll also be discussing your favourite topics around the Internether(tm). However, that doesn’t mean we’re not open to any questions that you might have. Feel free to post comments here or on the TNB post linked above and we’ll try our best to address your questions and concerns. Remember that Wyn and I are both beta participants. She can field the Horde related questions and I’ll tackle the Alliance ones as best as Dwarvenly possible.

    Random Promo Speak by the Voice Over Guy

    In a world where tanks and DPS reign supreme…

    Where heroic healers are almost non existent…

    One Dwarf and One Troll will combine their powers…

    Forming the most unlikeliest pairing since Jimmy MacElroy and Chazz Michael Michaels

    Immerse yourself in the World of Matticus where the impossible becomes possible, where epic mounts are free, and every pun, cliche, and annoying saying will be used and abused.

    Don’t miss this once a year opportunity! Two healer egos will enter. Only one can emerge unscathed. Can even the shields of the Twisted Nether handle the Healpower of this magnitude? Stay tuned and find out!

    Coming this Friday to a podcast near you!

    Week 1: Matt and Wyn’s Critique (and a free blog tip)

    Week 1: Matt and Wyn’s Critique (and a free blog tip)

    954740_54896501

    Image courtesy of cnina

    I’ll announce the one blogger who gets cut later on tonight after I get home from work. But first, I wanted to go through each of them and talked about what I liked and what I didn’t like.

    The week 1 post format I chose is arguably one of the toughest to do. You have to have some knowledge of what you’re writing about, for one thing. Second, your rant has to be able to stir up a reaction. Rants I read are either humorous (designed to poke fun at something) or motivational (designed to get you to get up off your chair and do something). Lastly, you have to get into the “zone”. Great rants are done when the writer is in the mood and it’s hard to get worked up over something if you’re not that kind of a person.

    However, spending an hour in trade chat’s usually enough to do it for me =).

    Anyway, enough with that. I’ll announce the bloggers that are safe and the bloggers that are in the bottom 3. And yes, I did say bloggers. I said underblogger before, but all of you have officially written your first blog post and interacted with your first readers. So no matter the outcome, you’ll still be a blogger in my book.

    First thing Wyn told me today: “You’re going to have a tough time – the entries were fabulous.”

    The Critique

    Joveta: Dear Azeroth, I Hate You

    Status: Safe

    First up is Joveta. The main issue and problem you’re getting at appears to be in both old world and new world content. This rant felt broad to me in that there didn’t seem to be anything specific. There are lots of examples that could’ve been used in old world design and layout in addition to the experience (Remember the runs to SM or Gnomeregan?). You brought personality into this post. The custom images here were okay, and they did add a nice touch. I’ll warn you that you were right on the line here so I’m hoping you’ll be able to step up your game next week as your status could’ve gone either way.

    Big props for interacting with everyone like you did and that’s a skill that a majority of the SYTYCB writers all seem to share: Humility.

    Wyn’s thoughts:

    First of all, I know how tough rants can be – they come off best when your emotions about the subject are fresh – and we forced the style upon you. Although your writing style is inherently strong, this entry just felt dispassionate to me. I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do with a different style; one that perhaps makes you feel a little more comfortable.

    Veleda: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

    Status: Bottom 3

    Veleda’s first post refers to Guild bank hijacking and this one did fire me up because it has happened to me before. Not only that, my account had been hacked into a few years back so I know what the experience is like. Unfortunately, the fact that I got a reaction is one of the few positive things I can say about it. This post felt more like an essay than a blog post. It’s a lesson that many bloggers early on don’t seem to understand. The first four or so paragraphs were spent laying the setting and painting the picture of the scenario. The post only really got going towards the end and I would have loved to see some more expansion and more pseudo-flaming at that point because I think you would have been able to build upon that even more.

    Wyn’s thoughts:

    This is not only something that has happened to me, it was HUGE in the Series of Unfortunate Events that murdered my first, beloved Horde guild. (Estimated retail value of stolen goods: 70,000g. Not a typo.) Given my passion for this subject, I was surprised how little I felt coming from you on this. Rather than a journalistic critique of the situation, I think this would have carried more weight with a more emotional look at the anecdote, even interviews from victims of this kind of thing. You do propose a good solution – requiring alts to request membership on their mains first, but it’s lost in the sea of text. To me, the post suffered more because its subject is so hot right now – it emphasised the cooled-off attitude of the entry.

    Tulani: The Dark Side – Expansion Syndrome 

    Status: Safe

    This is the first post that was set up earlier in the week that detailed the looming shadow of… Expansionitus. It’s a common ailment, usually occurs when players become increasingly bored. The first thing that jumped out at me is that my eyes were at east just reading this post. Formatting is an incredibly key skill to have when blogging and you’ve demonstrated an initial understanding of it. Blogging isn’t all about writing. It’s about how you present it. I liked this post not only because of the attention it brings to current raiding Guilds, but because it acts as a wake up call to everyone else. You didn’t just highlight a problem. You highlighted a problem and encouraged people to go out and do what they can. Sometimes a call to arms is what people need to hear in order to get their butts in gear.

    Wyn’s thoughts:

    Rather well-executed, in my opinion. From the choice of RaWr as your top graphic – in Sunwell, no less – emphasising your frustration to very concrete personal examples, as well as proposed solutions. You make your point well, and with passion. Stylistically, not your strongest piece of writing, but with a rant it’s much more important to grab your readers’ emotion and attention with well-reasoned arguments than to showcase your literary chops. Great job.

    Crutch: The Last Piece of Loot 

    Status: Safe

    This is a good post. There’s nothing really bad about it but there’s nothing that really stood about about it in my mind either. Loot and the RNG system of WoW will always be an issue to everyone involved. There was a nice touch at the end of the post asking for reader interaction and that did open the floodgates as this post is one of the top commented posts not just amongst submitters but amongst all of my posts combined. I felt that you, Crutch, could have improved more and expanded on some of the points.

    The frustration at the end could’ve been expanded more to help illustrate a problem that many raiders are going through: Do I blow the badges, or pray for a drop? Gearing order and choice is another huge dilemma . I can spend some badges now to get a minor upgrade, or wait another 3 weeks to get enough badges for a major upgrade.

    Wyn’s thoughts:

    Another dispassionate rant – which, by this point, I really do think is a product of it being the first style requested. My Human Priest fought Vashj and Kael with the Prismatic Mittens of Mending from Botanica – because I lost every roll for T4, and the Gloves of Saintly Blessings have never dropped for me, ever. I was very interested to read the commentary around what other pieces eluded players – but I agree with Matt (shocker!) that the strongest point of this post was the overwhelming community reaction. You chose your subject well, and obvously touched a nerve!

    Rusco: It’s not you, it’s me. Yea, no. Really.

    Status: Bottom 3

    You went from STV to Lordaeron to Darnassus down to Silithus with this post. I browsed through the comments and noticed a few people say that this post felt kind of “rantish”. That’s actually the main point. You’re supposed to rant. I liked the tone you brought in and the aggressive personality that you displayed. The main problem was that I wasn’t sure what you were pissed off at the most. Any of the topics from raiding preparation, consumables, and encouraging 1st class raid performance would have been excellent points in their own right.

    It looked like what you did here is that you took all of the main points of raiding and scrunched it up into a ball. I felt that it lacked a lot of depth. Lots of potential here but you went off on a wild tangent and that’s where you lost points.

    Wyn’s thoughts:

    I get frustrated with the lowest common denominators in WoW, too, and my guild has been treated to a front-row seat to my thoughts on appropriate prep for raids on multiple occassions. I still felt like your organization and direction were lacking in this – to me, it feels like you did your initial brain-dump first draft, but never went back to polish up the flow of your thoughts. A good topic, and one near-and-dear to my heart, but I’m quite sure you can execute this better.

    Sydera: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

    Status: Safe

    For not following a typical Matticus like post, I think you did a damned good job, Sydera! You chose a problem that many players can relate to. You mixed a letter post into a rant post which I found innovative. The path of evolution from the Badge of Justice, I felt, you illustrated well. I also loved the references to pop culture like Beverly Hills and US Weekly. The pictures and screenshots you took helped accent your post and break up the monotony the text.

    I can’t knock you on formatting on this one because it’s logistically difficult to do something like that. You can’t really put headers or convert this to lists or bullets. I’d like to see some emphasis throughout your posts in the future.

    Wyn’s thoughts:

    There is a LOT I really like about this post. I liked that you explicitly addressed it to the Badges, so that your readers didn’t feel like they were being accused, I liked your overall humerous tone, and I liked that you made it so personal to yourself and to your guild – both now, and in Wrath. Great job, and, for my money, the best post of the week.

    Jen:

    Status: Bottom 3

    Jen, you went after my own heart when I saw you use my heading formats. I do think this is also the first time in World of Matticus history that a video has ever been embedded that was WoW related. The ones I tend to use are from TED or hockey clips to help make a point.

    But, there’s an important reason why you’re in the bottom 3. You failed to cross reference and check your sources. Uber is a word in the German language (I think) which picked up here amongst the community. Gosu, although you didn’t mention it, is another word coined by Koreans in Starcraft. A lot of words we see are unique and strange because they never originated from the English language.

    This rant had potential and I’m a little disappointed in the way it ended up.

    Wyn’s thoughts:

    For me, it was a little all over the place. I’m a grammar-nazi myself, so the subject is fine – but in complaining about non-standard words, avoiding them in your own post is a good idea. Unless you can pull it off with some irony, but I didn’t get a sense of that here. Also, as Matt pointed out, there are a lot of explanations for the sources of this kind of language – and they are very well documented. Disliking their rampant use in an imperfect context is one thing, but assuming they’re made up or a product of shared cultural ignorance is, well, ignorant. I’ve seen you write better, and I know your goofy personality is probably not best showcased in this format. I can’t wait to see you take on a format that better-suits your style.

    To everyone

    Don’t be discouraged. You’ve all got blogging potential. The last thing I want to do is kill anyone’s hopes and dreams of being a blogger. My intent here is to give all of you a chance at some exposure to get an experience of what it’s like. Some days you’re getting to get a lot of back slapping and other days you will get tomatoes in the face. If you can take the hits to your pride and confidence and continue to walk with your back straight, that will have made all the difference. I’ve had my share of days where I thought I had written something brilliant only to come back later to see that it had nary a peep.

    Wyn’s thoughts:

    We really did choose this week’s theme by Matt asking me for a random number. In retrospect, we could not have chosen a more difficult style for the first week. Rants are best when the emotions behind your reaction are fresh – and ranting on command is not easy. Thanks for hanging in there, and we can’t wait to read what you say next!


    Free blog tip (and big hint)

    I’m sure some of you have heard the elevator pitch. You’re scheduled to deliver a big presentation to your CEO or exec but something happens and you have a minute to go from the top floor to the ground floor briefing your boss about the wonders of your product.

    Now apply it to blogging. Our eyes are cued to notice things that stand out. I’ll frequently highlight important terms in my textbook if I know they’re examinable.

    If your readers only had 30 seconds to read your post, what is the one concept or idea or message that you want them to take away?

    When I’m reading posts, my eyes will slow down and lock onto anything out of the ordinary. A passage that is in block quotes, or in bullet points, or is emphasized is something that has a higher chance of getting noticed. I know most people take the time or book mark the page later to read it in depth, but there are scanners like myself who blitz through a whole page trying to ascertain the gist of a post.

    Formatting. It matters.

    My birthday’s coming up soon and my eyes are going (On another note, Vegas is legally allowed to bask in my presence).

    At the very least, when you’re reading your favourite blogs, take a minute and step back. Don’t read the blog. Just look at the blog. What is it about the author’s style that captivates you? What makes it visually appealing? Don’t be afraid to apply those elements accordingly to your own posts. Sure it’ll take some extra time, but the effort will be noticed.

    I’ll announce the cut tonight. Congratulations to the ones that advance to week 2!

    BETA: Well, hello, there!

    BETA: Well, hello, there!

    So, I went to Undercity to see the new skin for Lady Sylvannas:

    WoWScrnShot_082308_121838

    While boarding the Zepplin to head back to Northrend, this little convo took place:

    Name Removed Convo

    I blurred the name, because I didn’t think to ask them if I could use this….. I’ll put it up, edited back in if you let me know that it’s okay.

    Totally made my day.

    If you’re in beta, feel free to say hello! It’s always nice to meet someone that finds value in what we write here.

    Luv,

    Wyn

    Shameless Abuse of Publicity

    Shameless Abuse of Publicity

    Wynthea wants YOU

     

    My beloved guild is currently 2/6 Sunwell.  Although our guild is medium-sized, our raiding core is pretty small. In fact, we have no spares for any of our classes. This is becoming problematic as we work on our progression through Sunwell – vacations, changing class schedules, work promotions, etc… all seem to interfere with raid time. And frequently, if two people can’t make it we’re left without an optimal set up. It’s frustrating to bring in alts or undergeared casual members for progression nights.

    So what, you ask?

    Well… my fearless Raid leader asked me to help with recruiting. So here I am, recruiting with the best resource I have: You!!

    Although some classes are spread more thinly than others, we are looking for strong, full-time players of every class. We figure we have a spot for at least one of each, in a regular rotation.

    A little about my guild:

    • We are <Them>, of Nazjatar-PvP-US. We raid M-Th, 6-10 Pacific Time. (Sundays are flexible.)
    • We are 2/6 Sunwell, with Felmyst making excellent progress.
    • We are relatively hardcore, but certainly know how to have a good time.
    • We use a modified Loot council, with DKP for tie breakers.
    • Thrall is our homeboy.

    A little about what we want:

    • Experienced T6 Raiders, preferably AT LEAST 4/5 Hyjal and 7/9 BT. (We’d really rather have Sunwell-experience, but obviously we’ll gear up and train anyone that shows good promise.)
    • We’re considering taking on all classes.
    • Anyone we DO take will NOT BE A BENCH SPOT.
    • We’re looking for upwards of 80% attendance.
    • Your gear, spec, and attitude should be the best that you can make it. We are NOT looking to simply carry anyone through and give out free epics without effort on your part.

    How you should apply:

    The guild website is here.  Simply post an application with the format provided in our forums. You get bonus points if you put “Wyn sent me!” at the top of your post. (But don’t put it in the title.)

    If you’re a Priest, you get to interview with Yours Truly. Yay!

     

    Okay, shameless plug over – thanks for bearing with me. I hope to speak with you soon!

     

    Luv,

    Wyn