Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I've given up on Blogger. I can't figure this out and I don't have the patience to try and get someone over there to help me so I'm just moving. I've set up a new blog using Wordpress. I've found a template that I actually like better than what I had over here and although the blog controls aren't quite as straight forward for someone like me, I'm muddling through and so far happier. Continue reading 'Moving'

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On Hold and Update

I haven't posted in quite some time. Work has gotten a lot busier for me lately and the number of contracts that come across my desk is growing. Guess I wanted more work to keep me busy rather than being bored at work and it finally happened.

I still haven't been able to figure out what's happened to the blog layout. I cannot for the life of me get my side bar to appear and I've searched Blogger's FAQ for help, but to be honest since I haven't had time to post I haven't taken the time to really figure it out.

On the other hand, Maedchen is slowly being geared in Kara. She almost has 100 badges which I've been saving for pants. She has 3 greens left, one of which is the pants. Since one of our GMs kicked our only other Shadow Priest, I'm now the leading Shadow Priest! LOL! Because she's a Transmute Master and Herbologist, I've been able to do dailies and sell a lot of primal mights so she already has her epic flyer which has only increased the rate at which I can farm.

I've also spent a lot of time leveling alts lately. I got a druid up to level 26 and ended up getting a little bored one day so I went over to my level 5 shaman that I haven't played since creating him. Spent two hours doing that! LOL! Anyway, as of last night he's level 30 and leveling up Jewelcrafting and Engineering. We have a serious shortage of those two professions in our guild. I don't care what anyone says, but Exploding Sheep makes Engineering totally worth it! ROFLMAO!!!

Anyway, I think I've gotten somewhat bored of raiding. We have over 125 different toons in our guild with nearly 100 of them being level 70. We have over 70 different accounts and so you'd think we'd never have problems getting a 25 man raid together, but we have yet to have 25 guild members in Gruul's. We always pug a couple.

We also have a serious lack of devoted players that are devoted to really learning their toons. We have a warrior that can't figure out that using up your high-crit abilities at the start of the fight is a sure fire way to wipe the raid by pulling aggro from the tanks. Many, including this one, spend hours in battlegrounds to gear up and rarely run heroics to learn how to raid. They just don't understand the ins and outs of their toons and no amount of advice ever seems to get through. I apologize if he's reading this, because I like the guy, but we have a player who has a dual-wielding arms spec warrior who claims to be able to off-tank. No offense, but I won't be inviting you to tank or dps any progression raids or even heroics with that toon.

Anyway, my focus has been primarily on my Shaman and Druid. I hope to level both to 70 before the expansion and if I get that done and still have some time, I'll probably focus on another toon just to kill some time. Once the expansion hits, the holy pally, shadow priest, druid, and shaman will all be leveled to 80 just as quickly as possible. I'll throw the death knight in there for good measure. I've heard from friends in the beta that the DK is just too cool not to level up to 80. Continue reading 'On Hold and Update'

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Level 70!!!

Maedchen dinged level 70 Tuesday night. I sat out of our Kara and ZA raids to make it happen. Although I had first priority for ZA, I felt bad asking one of the three healers to sit out. On a plus note, they were able to beat the first timer which is a guild first! Crap, I wasn't there!

Now debating whether I should leave her shadow spec or switch to holy. Two Co-GMs want me to stay shadow and I must say I'm a little intrigued with doing so. Probably more to learn than going with Holy considering my pally.

I've been tracking my DPS on Recount and sadly I'm averaging 350-400 dps in only greens and a couple of blues. Why sad? Because we have some guildies that are roughly half Kara geared that perform as well. So I suppose I have the potential to have a strong DPS toon here, although I'm afraid I'll get bored of it. Love healing!

I need to learn how to watch Omen though. As a healer I just ignore it because I've learned how to keep my aggro low at all times even when spamming Holy Light. I rarely aggro anymore even with 2300+k buffed heals and 26+% holy crit. So watching Omen will be a new excercise for me.

I'll see how it pans out. If I don't like it, I'll just respec holy.

On another note: need to figure out what happened to my side bar... Continue reading 'Level 70!!!'

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Being a Team Player; What You Do Affects Others

We recently had an Officer leave our guild. Several of us saw the frustrations building over the past few weeks and wondered where it would lead. The other day we saw exactly where that went.

On his way out he left a message for the guild expressing his frustration that many are not prepared for heroics, let alone raids. In his opinion, many are attempting difficult content without regards to abilities, gear, group make-up, buffs, etc. He expressed his frustration at those who unwittingly bring down others by not being prepared and waste the time of those who are geared. One of his complaints was evidently the 10g repairs required before even getting to the first boss in a heroic. As a clothie, this may be a valid concern, but don’t ever make the mistake of complaining about a 10g repair to anyone in plate! Remember, 10g is one daily quest which isn’t a whole lot in the grand scheme of things.

Regardless of how the officer left, which wasn’t shall we say professional, he does have a point. There are many people in casual raiding guilds that aren’t ready. Part of the responsibility rests on the officers’ shoulders and the majority rests on the player.

How do we fix that? The old adage that “knowledge is power” applies. There are so many resources available to us that it’s a crime to not take advantage of what’s available. There are links to so many websites that will assist you in enchanting, gemming, and evaluating your gear, evaluating your talents, or even blog sites such as World of Matticus and Resto 4 Life for healers, Big Bear Butt Blogger for Feral Tanks, and Big Red Kitty for hunters just to name a few. There’s dozens of sites out there and each one of these has links to more. After a while you’ll find what’s useful and what isn’t.

But what do I look at, you might ask? Well here are a few tips:


In my guild, the officers have noticed that some of the talent builds we’ve seen on our members are what we might consider...odd. Although many of us have little understanding of other classes, there have been a few raised eyebrows from those that do. If you haven’t looked at your talents in a while, visit some sites dedicated to your class to see what’s out there. Just by redoing your talents, you may find that your heals, dps, or tanking abilities will increase dramatically. What worked while you were leveling up is not necessarily going to work as well in raiding. What works in PvP, almost never works as well in PvE, and vice-versa.

Give it a chance. Find something new. Try it out. If it works for you and you’re happy, great run with it! If it doesn’t work out, try something else till you find what does work. Everyone’s play style will be different and the so-called “optimum” builds may not really be that “optimum” for you.


In every guild I’ve been in, I’ve seen a lot of linking loot that members find on other players they happen to be running past. This can be a great tool for motivating guild members as to what awaits them, but it can also be detrimental when that player focuses on trying to attain that gear without having a plan. I’ve seen players pass on obvious upgrades because they believe that they may as well wait for that piece they’re after, not realizing that the small upgrades get you to the larger ones eventually.

Research your gear upgrades. The WoWArmory has the ability to search for upgrades and this is a useful tool. The only part I don’t like about it is the inability to exclude certain categories, such as Sunwell. There are other websites out there that do allow for this though.

Another great resource is AtlasLoot. If you don’t have this add-on, I recommend you get it now. Hell, I DEMAND that you get it NOW!!!! Best thing in the world is to know what gear could potentially drop so you know what to look for. This speeds up raid times while distributing loot allowing your group to down just “one more” boss before the end of the night. Remember, one more boss is more badges and a couple more pieces of loot that will assist the guild in running it even better next time. (I swear if I have to sit through another 5 min loot distribution routine in Kara again...)

AtlasLoot will also assist you in knowing what badge gear to go after. This add-on has the ability to create a wishlist by holding Alt and clicking on the item. There’s a wishlist button at the bottom. No more will you have to spend several minutes at the badge vendor to search for the item you found the other day and can’t remember how many badges you need.


Know which heroics/raids you are capable of and which you aren’t. Did you know that Slave Pens, Underbog, and Ramparts are considered the easiest heroics? How about Mechanaar being the easiest after that? Did you know that Heroic Magister’s Terrace is the hardest? Did you know that even regular MgT is the equivalent of some of the regular heroics? It’s amazing how few people I run into even realize that the difficulty differences that exist between the regular instances translate even more so in heroics.

Know which heroics/raids require what types of CC and how many you should bring. Karazahn has 3 types of CC that are effective: priests can shackle, hunters can ice-trap, and warlocks can banish the few demons that are present. Knowing something like this can prevent you from making the mistake of bringing Rogues for the sole purpose of CC. I’ve actually participated in the Moroes fight with only one CC because someone wanted to bring their alt in. It wasn’t pleasant.

Pay attention in heroics and raids. You may never know when your knowledge of another class’ responsibilities will come in handy. There are certain mobs in Slave Pens that can’t be sheeped. Know which ones? Ever been in a group that relied on sheeping only to find out too late that it was resisted and you wiped? Personally, my biggest regret was not paying attention to what others needed to do as I now run these instances.

Know the advantages of group make-up. When does it make sense to have more melee than ranged dps? What classes should be grouped together on raids? Want an example courtesy of BRK? Look here for some of the responses.

Point is there’s a lot of different ideas and information out there. Use it.

Know Your Toon

You’ll often see requests from friends and members about whether or not they should switch out certain pieces of gear or what badge gear they should go for. I’ve often been asked by someone looking at badge gear as to whether they should buy A or B first. The issue isn’t so much about which piece as both are generally needed and obvious upgrades. The issue and question is what does your toon need?

Every class/spec has certain stats they need above all else. It’s your responsibility to find out what that is. This information is freely available on websites and from opinions within game. Know which stats are most important and in which order the importance should be placed.

Here’s a major problem I’ve observed in my own guild regarding DPS players. It makes me cringe when hearing about a DPS player wanting to stack crit to get the most damage possible. Why? Because first off, anyone relying solely on crit to deal damage is going to be ineffective and low on the DPS report. First, you have to be able to hit the guy. All your stats should be working towards that and making sure you can’t miss before concentrating on crit. Also, crits are great but only after the tank has gained enough aggro. Someone who tries to get as much crit early on in a fight as they can is asking to die. Dead DPS is NO DPS!! (I'm speaking to you Mr. Mage, who always wants to start casting before the pull so the spell hits instantly after the tank pulls!!! Wiping the party/raid is not the way to increase DPS!) We’ve all heard it, we all know it, but some people get too excited and forget. The DPS player that concentrates on steady damage will out damage the one who focuses on critting, guaranteed! Know where you should be stat wise.

Be Courteous, Be Responsible

The Officers of any good guild, as well as its members should be taking an active interest in helping others and advancing their progress. But it’s often hard for anyone to approach someone and try to give them advice. So for those of you on the receiving end, remember it’s more awkward for someone to approach you than it is for you to hear it.

Please be courteous and learn all you can about your toon. What you know or don’t know affects more than just you. What you do to prepare affects more than just you. Every action you take in a guild has the potential to affect a great many others both positively and negatively. One of the most devastating effects a casual guild faces is attrition. Casual guilds will often attract geared and experienced players looking to potentially lead others or just for a more relaxed raiding atmosphere, but they will often leave if others don’t attempt to improve and make progress. Each one that leaves then makes it that much harder for the guild to stay together.

Be courteous of others and responsible for your place in the guild. When you do that, even casual guilds will thrive.
Continue reading 'Being a Team Player; What You Do Affects Others'

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gruul's Lair; What Not To Do In A Raid!; and Forgive & Forget

We attempted Gruul's Lair for the first time last Tuesday and it wasn't great. We were using Teamspeak and unfortunately the person's computer wasn't capable of handling 25 users with success. The result was a garbled mess that very few people could understand.

But the real reason for attempting the raid was to get a feel for where we needed to be. We currently have 59 players in our guild with 97 toons at last count and I think close to 75% of those being level 70. So there's really no reason not to be able to do 25 man raids except that we have had a hard time loggnig the right people in at the same time.

Well, aside from the communication problems, we had ppl not paying attention in raid chat and were filling it up with clutter. We did make it to High King with relative ease, but coordinating 25 people, only about 5 who knew at least one way to approach the fight, became a chaotic mess. But here's WHAT NOT TO DO IN A RAID!


If you're in a voice chat program with 25 people listening in, make sure when you're in another chat program that the appropriate one is muted before making negative comments.

Perhaps people didn't approach the raid with an attitude that this would be a learning experience. Perhaps they thought it would be free loot. Perhaps they still don't realize how undergeared they are even for Kara. More than likely it's all of these things.

We had one hunter get so frustrated that he evidently was talking to someone in voice chat and started saying "These assholes..." when talking about the two raid leaders not listening to his advice on how to approach the fight. Ironically, he's also one of the most undergeared we had there and although he acted like he had been in there a hundred times, his gear didn't show it. In fact, one officer recalled him mentioning something about running it a lot, but when we finally called the raid the hunter asked "Are we moving on to Gruul?"

Now I don't know how many of you might understand how Gruul's works, but the door to continue is locked until you down High King. So my response was no we can't. His sarcastic comment was "Can't or won't?", to which the other officer responded "Haven't you run this a hundred times?" Anyway, the hunter was then kicked from the guild after the raid by another officer who tried to settle down, but couldn't. Due to the poor voice chat only about half the raid heard what the hunter had said.

Moral of the story: Keep your cool or keep your mouth shut!

Forgive & Forget

The following day the hunter contacts our GM with a story that he was over at a friend's house and while he was in the bathroom his friend began to mess with his game by purposely stating those comments for us to hear. Evidently he's done this before on XBox360 and supposedly his friend and he sound a lot alike.

So we gave him the chance to explain his story to all officers and I spent several minutes listening intently to see if I could tell a difference in voice from what I remembered. There may be a difference, I don't know. Bottom line, we decided to give the guy a chance.

I told him that regardless if his story was true or not, the majority of the guild were not going to believe it, the officers included. I'm one who's generally willing to give someone another chance, in some cases several chances. Everyone says something stupid from time to time that they don't mean. This hunter was going to have to spend some time gaining the trust of the members and officers, but if he was willing to work on it I would vote him back in. We'll see if it was a wise decision

I also mentioned that he may not agree with what the raid leaders were doing, but when it comes to organizing 25 people, everyone has to listen to the appointed leaders regardless of who stupid they think it is or chaos ensues. I explained our purpose that night was to see where we stood and what we needed to do to make things work in the future. It was never about downing High King, though we did think we had a good shot at it. We were short two healers, but given the right make up and gear we could have done it still. There were issues with people listening, which was in part to the voice program, but instructions were issued in raid chat that still weren't followed

This was a learning experience and in general enjoyable for most. (To be honest, I was bored to tears because most of it was sitting around waiting for the raid leaders to decide what to do

Gruul Revisited

On Saturday our GM organized a joint run with another guild that is in much the same boat we are, supposedly in that they don't have enough of the right geared people to run 25 man raids. (I actually want to look into this myself, because quite frankly I think we might be better situated than they. I was told today we were offered an invite to join their guild yesterday. No offense, this pally ain't going anywhere!) They brought half the people and we brought half. Ironically, we brought all the tanks which may be why they have a hard time running stuff

For the first time in a long time, I was not the most geared healer in a raid. That was weird, but man was it a weight off my shoulders! There were two holy pallies from their guild that were more geared than I, as well as a priest. I think in all we brought 4 healers and they brought 4. Anyway, I got assigned to raid heal which was an odd decision in my opinion as a couple of tanks didn't have a pally healer, but who am I to question why

OK, I usually avoid bragging, but screw it! At the end of the night, I had the highest overall healing by a good 200k and even on a couple of the individual boss attempts had the highest. I also was #6 on the overheals and around 30% so I felt real good about that! Not sure how that happens when assigned to raid healing and the tanks are taking the most damage, but it happened

Anyway, we got the loot and one of each class token dropped. Yours truly rolled against one of our rogues to win the Tier 4 shoulders. Everyone from the other guild passed. The other two tokens were also won by members of our guild in addition to the other piece of loot. So we cleaned house. We continued on to Gruul and had asked that some of our members pass on Gruul loot to allow the other guild to get something

Unfortunately after several wipes we gave up when members of the other guild started to leave. We got him down to 25%, 12%, 2%, and 14%. I can't remember the last attempt, but it went up as people got tired. The 2% fight was very disappointing since we had just lost too much dps near the end.
Continue reading 'Gruul's Lair; What Not To Do In A Raid!; and Forgive & Forget'

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Zul'Aman: 2 more bosses!

Guild firsts! We're excited!!



Continue reading 'Zul'Aman: 2 more bosses!'

Friday, July 11, 2008

Now That's a Raid (Drama Notwithstanding)!!!

Last night was an off-night for raiding, technically speaking of course. Our raid nights are supposed to be Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 6:00pm server. Invites go out at 5:45pm and first pull is supposed to be no later than 6:15pm. The problem with casual raiders is we rarely get that done.

In all fairness, last night was unchartered territory for us. I've mentioned that we've been recruiting fairly heavily and have in effect absorbed another guild with some fairly decent players. We actually had enough healers and tanks to run two full groups...and we did!

Needless to say the excitement level was pretty high! We've discussed running 25mans for some time now and the fact that we had enough for two full Kara groups without pugs is amazing!

So everyone who wanted to go was invited into the raid group. We had at least one person question whether they were ready to go, which they aren't, but we needed to fill a slot. Besides it's lower Kara and anything would be an upgrade to replace all the greens and blues she had. She got at least two pieces.

Our GM started moving people around to figure out if two groups would work and then consulted a few of the officers. We felt that it was good and started to proceed when the drama hit.

A few people kept mentioning that they wanted to run a full clear tonight and wanted to make sure they were in the group that did. I replied saying "Everyone wants a full clear.", to which several people laughed.

Several things have to be taken into consideration on a night like this.

First, this wasn't technically a raid night, but we always try to accomodate people if there are a sufficient number ready to do something. Tonight was no different and when the excitement started to build that there was a small possibility of running two groups, we did try to accomodate that.

Second, not everyone was going to have the most ideal group. We had two ways to go about this. We could load one group up for a full clear and the other group with the remainder and pray to the gods of Azeroth that they could down Attumen or we could divide up and hope that both groups could get fairly far. We opted for the second choice.

Third, even if we tried to get everyone that could stay for a full clear into the same group we probably would have ended up with four tanks, one healer, and five dps all of which probably can't CC in Kara. They wouldn't have made it any farther anyway. I pointed this out too.

That's when the drama hit. One of our members wanted to run with another particular member, but was moved into the other group. She instantly said "This is crap.", proceeds to log out, and then logs on to another toon that's in our guild.

There was some behind the scenes complaining, whispering, and general "WTH's going on?" I whispered her to find out what was going on and she didn't respond. I finally whispered for her to please respond. She did eventually with a comment about how we're breaking up her old guild members that know how to run together and do very well together. Her argument was that we should utilize that advantage and keep them together.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, remember be very careful about how you respond. Try to stop and put yourself in their shoes.

My first initial reaction was to tell her to grow up. I wanted to yell at her as she initially ignored my requests to know what was going on. Besides I was already upset that she quit the raid to log onto an alt when things didn't go her way.

This may sound pretty narcisistic, but I'm going to say it anyway. I've been told that I need to learn how to be selfish. I have a tendency to think of others before myself in the game. Take this with a grain of salt because it's true and it's not. I tend to think long term. I want to start raiding ZA. I want to start raiding Gruul's and Mag's and get my loot there. I want to experience something besides Kara before the expansion hits. Notice all the "I want" statements? The only way for me to do this is to help others gear up, get rep, enchant, gem, etc. I've spent thousands of gold giving guildies free enchants, mats, etc. Yes, I'm not inherently a selfish person, but don't get me wrong I'm still doing it with the hopes that I will benefit later too.

So whenever someone throws a fit, a tantrum, /gquits, or quits a raid because something isn't going quite the way they would like, I get angry. I have spent the last two months generally never getting farther than Shade or Chess just to gear up others. Hell yeah I want my tier 4 helm! Like I said I've spent thousands on enchants, mats, etc. What about the hundreds spent on repairs from continuously wiping? There was a time when I was part of a group that almost had Kara on farm. I've spent time farming fire and water motes for people. I gave someone 12 primal waters just yesterday from my own stash. I might be the only maxed fisherman in our guild. And you're going to throw a hissy fit and purposely disconnect, leave the raid, or /gquit?!! WELL, #$%@ YOU!!!

Sorry got a little carried away.

But I didn't say those things. I tried to remain calm. I waited knowing that she was frustrated because she had hoped for other things. What I did say was, "OK. But this isn't your old guild. We have a lot of new people that need to learn how to play together or we'll never get into 25 mans. Hell, I want to be in [so-and-so's] group, but because of the healer make-up I can't be." This is true, I really did want to be in the other group, but I was put where I was needed.

Shortly after that statement, she logged back over and we went.

Now how do you react after that? There's a good way and a bad way. Shortly after both groups got started I tried to see if I could lighten the mood a little. In guild chat I said "First one to wipe, farms next week." Several people laughed. No one in our group mentioned anything after it, but then again she was in the other group. I can only hope that tensions weren't high over there.

The bad way to handle things is to hold it against her. I'm not saying that we don't have to keep an eye on people who react poorly, but when tensions are high not everyone makes the right decision. But if you're one that makes one of the bad decisions, remember you just showed that your wants and needs are more important than the guilds. You have to trust your officers to know what they are doing is in the best interest of the guild. If you don't agree, feel free to address that with an officer at the appropriate time. During raids is not the right time.

Also remember that just because you made a poor decision, and now may not be viewed as highly as you may have been, doesn't mean that you have to stay that way in their eyes. Do what you can to assist the officers by cooperating and learning to trust them. If you have ideas, share them. You'll be amazed at how little officers know even if they look like they know everything and if he/she is a good officer they will give you credit.

I have yet to get home and check with the other group, but Group 1 only got through to Curator. We one-shotted everything, including Romulo and Julianne (shoulda heard the groans) with 3 undergeared people. Curator was a mess though.

When we got to Curator we ran into a little bit of drama as two different strategies presented themselves. We've got a lot of new people in the guild and not everyone was on the same page. We wiped a couple of times and then tried it another way. That way still didn't work, but it was agreed that our dps was light. Looking at one report for one of the fights, we had a lock at 800+ dps and the rest below 400. We just weren't able to down the adds fast enough.

All in all it was still a great night. We successfully had our first two full Kara groups and I hope everyone had fun! Continue reading 'Now That's a Raid (Drama Notwithstanding)!!!'