Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
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.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
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...
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
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.
Monday, July 21, 2008
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!
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
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.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
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!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Matticus posted about blog identity the other day and after reading it I thought about my own blog. I guess I just picked my own Warcraft identity initially because I didn't know what I was going to end up writing about.
I always wanted to write a lot about pally healing and then eventually healing in general, but I still have to get my priest to 70, let alone respec to Holy first. I'm leveling a druid as feral, which during lunch today hit 15. It's my intent to switch to Restoration, but our guild now has a large surplus of warrior tanks and only one feral tank. No we don't have pally tanks yet. And no, I'm not being lazy by not posting him over on the side bar. He's my escape from everyone when I just want to be left alone, so he won't be making an appearance any time soon. But overall my intent is to get one healer each so that I understand healing to it's fullest.
Anyway, I always wanted to posts informative blogs about healing and paladins and warcraft in general, but there's so many more people that do that already and are more qualified. I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to Warcraft. But I guess I'm just not ready to be able to write this informative stuff yet. Flash of Light hints that the blog is about healing and more specifically pally healing. That's a little misleading so I've changed it back. Who knows, maybe in the future I'll be more experienced that I can do something like that? And if I ever get to that point, I can just start a new blog and look back on this one in embarassment! LOL!
Anyway, I still can't believe there are a few people that read my blog. I suppose it would be cool to have a blog like Big Red Kitty or others, but then again that's not why I do this. I do this for me and for the occasional chance that I might actually say something worthwhile. So if you're one of the few, thanks for reading.
This healer brought a friend over eventually and everything was great. The healer has turned out to be a top-quality player and a great asset to our guild. The friend he brought over has also been a great addition. In the past week, we've had an flood of newcomers to the guild, many of which were members of their old guild which evidently had been dying a slow death, but die hards managed to hold on for quite a while.
It appears that we've unintentionally absorbed another guild and it appears that it was a great thing! The other night we had 22 lvl 70 members online at one point. We've been trying to get people geared and excited for 25 man content for a couple of months now, but we've been unsuccessful. Whether this is due to the fact we are on a Pacific Coast server and at least half of us live in the Midwest or on the East Coast, I'm not sure. We have players from all four major US time zones. Getting a raid together is sometimes a chore.
So where's the time off? Well, we have so many people now that I was able to actually opt out of our Kara raid last night. At first I didn't think I was going to be able to. One of our healers opted to play an alt he's leveling and didn't want to go and the other was non-responsive, busy trying to get an arena team together I guess. So we just had 10 people to go, so I started in. Then at the last minute someone logs in late who wanted to go. I gave up my spot, although thinking back on it I probably shouldn't have.
Earlier in the day we had an officer meeting to discuss issues in the guild. One issue that came up is the frustration we have with being too lenient and I admit that I'm the biggest culprit. We have a tendency to allow people to come late and we still go. It was decided we need to make it known that you show up on time or you don't go. I did kind of want to go, but I wasn't feeling well and my wife was bugging me to go watch a movie with her, so I opted out and gave in.
It is nice to have a night off. Kara has been somewhat frustrating for me. I have yet to be part of a full guild clear, not that I haven't done it before, but I'm always part of the group that is still gearing up. I don't mind helping, because I really don't need anything from Kara, though I can use badges and a couple of items. But when others work it so that they get a geared group to go that also doesn't need anything, yet go for a full clear and not assist those that really need it, it upsets me. They complain about wasting their time and I see their point, but what makes their time more valuable than mine?
Anyway, enough with the QQ'ing. Things are good in the guild. We've got a few issues we're trying to hammer out, but we're almost there. And I never thought I'd admit it, but having a little time off from Kara was a great thing!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
[Warning: QQ in progress!]
I guess let me give you a little background first. I started playing WoW just over a year ago and have had a lot of fun and some not so fun times. I started out with minimal socializing and pretty much leveled entirely on my own. I belonged to a couple of guilds, but honestly said very little and did very little with anyone in them until I got into Outland. Even then initially I did very little with others unless I was asked to come along.
I'm not a social person. Most of my guild mates would disagree. I'm known for my bad jokes (which ironically people laugh at) and am never one to hestitate at speaking up. I've enjoyed the social aspect of the game, but honestly it was easier when I didn't.
I'm currently a Co-GM for whatever that is worth in our current guild. We have three of us, but to be honest it feels more like the GM and I are running things and last night that was expressed to me directly.
Somehow, and I'm not sure exactly how or why, when we merged to form a new guild I somehow became the go to guy for our side. I can only surmise that this is because I'm more vocal in my opinions than the others and so naturally the GM and Co-GM on the other side gravitated towards me. I never asked for this and although I am more than happy to take a leading role as it is very important to me on what this guild is about, I'm tired of being the middle man. Let me explain.
We use Teamspeak. Until recently the aforementioned Co-GM and the GM have often spent all their game time using TS and early on invited me into the chat to discuss initial issues, guild directions, goals, etc. Perhaps this is where it all started. I often log in before the other officers. Regardless of how it happened somehow I became the default guy everyone complains to. Weird thing is, anyone can log into Teamspeak, but they dont.
Several weeks ago we were in Kara when an issue came up. I had to sit and think about what it was just now because I couldn't remember. That's how big it was! The issue was switching people for the Chess Event who needed a loot drop with those who didn't. This was all done privately in whispers and officer chat. I wasn't paying that much attention because I was in a private chat with someone, again can't remember what that was either. It's amazing how these "important" things take up our time! The GM pulled the aforementioned Co-GM, myself, and another Co-GM into another channel within Teamspeak. As I was in-game, I didn't know who got pulled in and didn't notice that one of our Co-GMs was left out. To say the least, this Co-GM was furious! So I said he or she should say something to the GM about that. Did he or she want me to say something? The response I got was very close to "no f#$* it! whatever!" I did say something the next day about making sure to include all Co-GMs and officers in those private chats, to which the response was that it wasn't a big issue and was primarily between the individuals who were involved in talking and he didn't mean to exclude anyone. There was one Co-GM pulled into that chat that wasn't initially involved, but to quote another, "whatever".
We have an Officer who complains that the GM and myself made the decisions regarding DKP without consulting anyone else. This may or may not be true based on how you look at it. I informed people we were going to implement it. We took a week to test it out. I badgered the GM and others to help decide what the points were and if we would utilize it in Kara and on and on and on... Did we initialize and start it? Yes. Did I try to include others? Yes. Do people know how to communicate? HELL NO!!
So our Officer believes our geared mage quit last night after I finally enforced the use of DKP bidding on a Tier 4 drop from Curator. Our GM has asked everyone to link what they have and asked people to pass to those who need it most, but he wasn't around last night. So if we do it his way what's the point of DKP? It also doesn't help address the next issue.
We have one Co-GM very concerned about loot beyond Kara and the potential of losing that loot to someone who is currently gearing up in Kara. There is also the concern that we have several geared level 70s who are not assisting in Kara and it is making setting up two Kara groups extremely difficult, which in turn has made progress in Kara slower. It is the belief of the officers that these people will mysteriously have time for raiding again once we get into Gruul's, Mag's, ZA, etc. As such, how do we keep them from reaping the rewards of the hard work the others have done in gearing up and those who have helped along the way? DKP seemed to be the answer.
If we don't utilize DKP in Kara, as we haven't been except to charge the person 1 DKP when they get the loot, then everyone accumulates DKP at the same rate and we're all on equal footing when we get to 25mans. This doesn't address the fear that one Co-GM has at losing that precious loot to someone else that's been getting loot for quite some time as he's patiently waited before he can acquire loot again. There needs to be a minimum charge.
The ironic part here is that I brought this up the other day in an Officer chat, where the GM wasn't present. I said we needed to talk this all out with the GM
and make a decision sooner than later before going much further with DKP. This goes to my argument that people were included, albeit they have a point that it may be somewhat later than they would have liked. Guess what? No one's talked to him.
So here's everything in a nut shell:
- GM complains that a Co-GM runs pug Kara groups with only a few guildies. This makes it difficult to then later fill all spots for our Kara group. He says that f$#%ing s$#% must stop! I say I was informed not to say anything by one of our Officers as it is a touchy subject so he (the GM) needs to talk to that Co-GM. Guess what? He doesn't.
- Co-GM complains about losing a particular piece of loot in Gruul's when we get there to someone who is not a main tank/healer/dps and feels that main tanks and main healers should always gear up first. He has a solid argument as if our regular tanks and healers can't gear up first and lose gear to those who show up from time to time, it'll make progression extremely hard and slow. Also, this is after evidently complaining repeatedly to an Officer before it ever gets to me. I suggest we all talk to GM when he gets on to discuss. Guess what? No one has, though I have mentioned it to the GM and asked him to talk to the others. Guess what? He hasn't.
- Co-GM complains about not being included in guild talks and private chats. Is pissed off, starts cussing behind the scenes, and generally becomes defensive. Suggest talking to GM, even ask if I should talk to GM, to which I get a negative response "no f#$* it! whatever!" I did talk to GM and though inclusion got better, it's still not there 100%.
- Initial push to start using website for raid signups, etc. No one does and even one Co-GM and GM say they didn't because they're always on. No excuse. If Officers can't set the example, no one else will follow. Website becomes fairly pointless. Only reason anything is on it is primarily because I've posted all the news and most items in forums. Happy to do it by the way, but no one's using it.
(Hope they do it soon too! Wanted to level Maedchen this long weekend, but I ain't logging in on toons the guild knows until they get it figured out. In fact, I'm so frustrated and so not having fun, that I may just quit WoW altogether.)
Friday, June 27, 2008
But wait! Out of the corner of my eye I see two words pop up on screen "personal info"!! I've never seen this is the pop-up window before and my heart starts racing! What's going on?! I could swear I saw something to the effect of "transmitting personal info", but I can't be 100% sure.
As soon as I log in, I mention it in guild chat, but no one else seems to have seen the same thing. I immediately go back and change my password completely afraid that I've been hacked.
Now everything I've ever read seems to indicate that people who get hacked are those that answer questionable e-mails, buy gold online, or unfortunately were susceptible to that Flash player exploit, etc. I've never gotten a questionable e-mail claiming to be from Blizzard. I've never purchased gold or power-leveling services. And I recently bought a new computer that was already up-to-date on the flash player. I do however scan for other blogs all the time and visit sites like Wowjutsu, Be Imba!, and Wowhead.
So what happened? No idea. At first I thought, OK if I've been hacked, I've at least changed my password and that's all I can do. If it's more likely that I'm overreacting, then it probably had something to do with the recent Season 2 update. Still no one else saw it. Then on Wednesday a friend and fellow guildmate also saw the same thing as she logged in. I told her to immediately change her password, just in case.
Have you read my last post where I said I was lazy? I really should send a notice to Blizzard asking about it...
Well, OK I didn't finally decide on a name, that's where the lazy part comes in. "Flash of Light" was an obvious choice for several reasons and it appears no one else has taken that name. The Holy Light already exists, but I spam Flash of Light about 90% of the time so it fits more. Besides I'm a Monty Python fan and well "Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!"
The lazy part is creating a banner. Thank you, Pugnacious Priest! I guess the final lazy part is finishing up about 4 or 5 posts I'm currently working on, but getting nowhere with.
OK, maybe I'm not so lazy. Yes, I need to update my toon's pic (wow that's old!) But I have been spending a lot of time on Maedchen and finally got her to level 50 yesterday! Now I need to spend some time getting her herbology and alchemy maxed. I'm tired of buying elixirs for Kyrilean. I've also spent a lot of time posting items and info on our guild website and recruiting tanks and healers. I checked yesterday and we had 48 lvl 70 toons, some of which are alts. Our GM alone has five I think! But in reality I think we've got around 30+ actual different players for those 48. Why can't we get a 2nd Kara group running?! Well, we only have four tanks and if even one doesn't show... So I recruit.
On the plus side, we downed Nalorakk again last night and he dropped Formula: Enchant Weapon - Executioner so I can add another enchant to my list. It was decided that an officer would automatically get any recipe so long as they did not have it before the rest of the members would. This way we can minimize our risk of enchants leaving the guild.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
This past month I've finally gotten comfortable enough to understand how the mouseover macros work and have implemented it in my healing spells and Cleanse. In researching it I stumbled upon some notes about equipping Librams for each of the heals to increase the healing output. For the most part I'd been doing this manually and hadn't thought of trying it in a macro. There was some explanation about difficulties that I still don't understand, but I'm going to find out after what I found out about 2.4.3!!!
Whatever the difficulty is--has something to do with cooldowns I think--that the cast needed to be before equipping the appropriate libram. To be honest, I read through it twice and still didn't understand, but I was primarily only interested in knowing that it worked. I also unfortunately cannot give credit to the appropriate person as I cannot remember where I found this info, so thanks to whomever and sorry. But I was excited and set up my macros:
#showtooltip Flash of LightI didn't even know Patch 2.4.3 was in development. I find out this morning and start reading through some of the cool things they've changed when I stumble upon this little number:
/cast Flash of Light
/equip Blessed Book of Nagrand
#showtooltip Holy Light
/cast Holy Light
/equip Libram of the Lightbringer
Equipping an item will now cancel any spell cast currently in progress.
I've tested it, it works great! Now it won't!!! Crap. /sigh
Well I need to figure out what the issue with equipping the libram before the cast actually is. I think it had to do with some sort of libram cooldown, but I didn't think those had any. Hopefully this is nothing and I can proceed, but my initial reaction is:
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
For the most part, I’ve been working on getting through as much end-game content as possible. I’ve seen all of Kara and have personally been a part of downing every boss except Netherspite, which unfortunately I wasn’t around for, and the animal bosses which I probably will never do. I’ve seen Gruul, but not the High King. Night ended in wipes. I’ve downed Nalorakk and seen Halazzi, but that’s it. Never been to The Eye, Mag’s, BT, Hyjal, or Sunwell. Chances are I won’t see the last 3 before the expansion hits.
Actually I take that back. I suppose I have seen Hyjal. A friend of mine and her guild got really bored one day and decided to run in there to see it. There was only about 20 of us ranging in gear from Tier 6 to blues/greens. We actually survived the initial swarm, but the defenders didn’t. LOL!
In order to do this, I’m actively spending time recruiting and finding ways to motivate others to gear up in Kara. There’s only so much I can do. (Hmmm, there’s a post topic here.)
I’d love to get an Amani Bear Mount, if for no other reason to say I did it. I think we’re all aware that once Wrath hits, this drop will no longer be available and will be replaced with an appropriate epic drop.
I’m determined to get the Champion of the Naaru title, again for no other reason than to say I did it. I guess you will still be able to get it once Wrath hits as long as you don’t hit level 71. This would mean not installing Wrath I guess. I’ve already completed every heroic except Slabs to get it. Trying to gear people up in my guild to get ready for Mag’s and Gruul’s, but I need them to actually log on during raid times. /sigh
I’ve already maxed out all of my professions, including the secondary ones. One of these days I’ll remember to level up my 2H Axe and 2H Sword. They’re already around 365 anyway. I just always use a mace. I’m one point from Unarmed, but never seem to get around to maxing that one either.
I want to hit exalted with Lower City and Shat’ar. I’m revered with both. I also would like to hit exalted with Keepers of Time. Can’t remember what standing I have with them and too lazy to look it up.
I’m working frantically on leveling Maedchen to 70 before the expansion. I’d like to raid with her in Kara if possible too. After last night’s Kara run with a shaman healer, I think Erdkrieg is going to get some play time soon! Maybe I’ll spend two hours a week with him.
I’m not really trying to save money for the future, but its happening. I hit the dailies maybe twice a week. Otherwise I do 3-4 every day, so I’m not gaining money from that. I’m just so burned out from the dailies that I cannot motivate myself to do them. Besides I really don’t need the money. I’m not rich by any means, but I have sufficient to purchase what I need for raiding at the beginning of the week and not worry about repair costs at all.
I’m gaining a majority of my money from farming gems and having a friend cut them for me. I usually spend about 1-2 hours doing this every day. On any given good day I’ll average 5 gems/hour. On really poor days I’ll end up with 2 every hour. The Royal Nightseye is selling well for me. I post it for 75g and get 73g after the AH take. I always get undercut, but mine always sell; always seems to do better during the week especially on Tues/Wed after the Kara reset. The main thing to remember is to not flood the AH or it’ll kill the price and don’t undercut. I was undercut 6 or 7 times when I posted three of these gems the other day. This morning I logged in to find I had sold two and one was returned.
Once Wrath hits, I intend to level Ky to 80, along with Maedchen, and possibly Erdkrieg if I get that far. I want to continue raiding once Wrath hits and I’m really looking forward to the 10man raids. Although I know a lot of people that would call me hardcore, I’m still too casual to put up with egotistical pricks to join a “hardcore” raiding guild. I just want to have fun, and I actually mean it.
I will roll a Death Knight. Oh groan! Yes, I know. Either you’re on one side of the fence or the other about this. I think I’m somewhere in the middle. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be intrigued enough to actually do something with it, but I doubt it. I like healing too much. Besides I have no idea what the Death Knight really entails. I’m not really reading anything about any of it. I don’t understand how people can do the beta testing and then not get really bored doing it all over again. Where’s the fun in that?
So why roll a Death Knight? Well, right before Wrath comes out I’m going to be farming up a lot of mats and/or gold to level 2 professions with him. Sure I might not be able to max them out, assuming that the limit will raise above 375, but I’ll have someone that can do quite a bit and will no longer be required to turn to others. Actually that might motivate me to at least level him to whatever is required to max out the professions.
I don’t know that I’m actually preparing for Wrath so much as just trying to finish up as much as I can before everyone loses interest in Outland like they did with Azeroth.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Finally got Maedchen up to level 40. As slow as the regular mount is, it's such a delight to be able to ride now. I had forgotten how painful it was to walk everywhere. Areas like Redridge Mountains and Stranglethorn Vale are horrible places to have to walk.
Still wondering if I will actually be able to get her to 70 and raid at least Kara before the next expansion comes out....hmmm.
We made our way to the fourth boss afterwards and although we were able to survive, our DPS again wasn't enough to be able to take this boss down. We did manage to get him to under 30% at one point before he started healing himself.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Our GM set up a guild run of ZA to do something new and as incentive for people to start really gearing up in Kara and Heroics. What transpired surprised me to no end! We actually did well for being totally unprepared! Only a couple of members had ever set foot in ZA and half of us aren’t geared for it. In fact, our druid healer isn’t quite geared for Kara yet, but is doing wonderful as he learns his raid heals.
It took some time to get to the first boss, and we wiped a couple of times I think. All in all the pulls weren’t that bad although they hit hard. By the time we got to the boss learning to heal that fight was a little difficult, but after the 2nd wipe we had it down. Once we figured out the tanks were switching as the boss changed forms and were able to hold the aggro accordingly, it became easy to focus on that one tank. Excitement coursed through my veins as I saw we were starting to get the hang of it and really beat down the boss!! Unfortunately, my mana was starting to get low and I had already used a pot 3 times, then I heard the other pally announce he was out of mana and the druid chimed in right behind him. I looked at the boss’ health at roughly 28% and thought, dang we almost made it!
We did get the boss down to 23% before all 3 healers were drained and the tanks started to fall. I couldn’t believe it though. We actually managed to take the first boss to 23% on our third attempt!!! And to top it off we didn’t even have our top DPSers in the raid that night!! Wow!!! The entire guild should be excited about this!
Seeing new content was a blast! Knowing that we’re actually making progress is a huge boost for me! The prospect of knowing we’re progressing is the motivation I needed to help with my burnout problems. I can’t wait for our next attempt!
But what does all of this mean? Well, if I activate a couple of the add-ons I can show you what all of it is.
So what are my add-ons? I've got:
Bongos3 - my action bar add-on located at the bottom. I've got it full expanded to 120 buttons. Do I need all of them? No, but having the ability to put the items used for daily quests at the bottom has made doing dailys much easier. I use the same layout for each of my toons, but have character specific key bindings to make things easier. You'll notice I have my pet bar above my bag bar which is to the right above the main action bar. My menu bar is located in the center and my class bar which for my pally is my auras, is above and to the left. I've also got my stats bar to the bottom right. All of these bars are customizable in size and location. My action bar is one bar of 120 buttons. This can be broken up into multiple bars in whatever number of buttons you prefer and located all over your screen. It is highly customizable. You can also turn them off, but I keep the pet bar on for events like Chess in Kara or the Sunwell quest where you take over the ravagers.
Metahud - my range indicator. This is the add-on with the rounded bars to the left and right of me. The two green bars are my own health bar and the health bar of my target on the outside. The blue bar to the right is my mana bar. The mana bar of my target will appear on the right to the outside of my own. The options allow you to change the locations a little. The health/mana totals are also shown at the bottom of these bars including percentages. You'll note that I am casting Flash of Light with 0.7 seconds remaining shown above my mana bar. It's also shown just above my buttons, but that one is part of Bongos3.
VisualHeal - is located just below my menu bar and on top of my action bar. On my previous computer it was above the menu bar, just below my feet. I've forgotten how to move it. What does it do? The screenshot doesn't do it justice, but imagine my health being at 50%. When I begin casting a heal spell, it will show in a lighter green color the estimated health gain I will achieve from the spell. This works for any target.If you begin to overheal, the health bar will extend to the right past the bar length and show up red. Just a handy tool I like to use, but probably not necessary. It does not seem to take into account crits, because I've been at 20% and cast Holy Light on myself only to show it going up to around 50%, but then maxing my health out on a crit.
X-perl - is my Unit Frames add-on. If you're a healer and aren't using some kind of a unit frames add-on you are doing yourself and your raid a large injustice. I'm told that Pitbull is also an excellent add-on, but it is so highly customizable that I can't figure it out. You'll notice that my character frame has my mana/health with percentages, my buffs underneath me, and a casting bar. The target is next to me also with a lot of information. I also have target's target enabled, which I've moved to the right of the target. All of these can be moved to any location of the screen you prefer. One of the best advantages I've got enabled is the ability to see debuffs I can dispell. The party/raid member's bar will light up a light blue to show me they've been hit with something I can Cleanse. Sure helps being able to get that debuff off the tank who's about to take massive amounts of poison damage I can avert by dispelling it.
The party bars are underneath mine and I've located the raid bars around myself in the center of the screen. Does it get difficult to see sometimes? Yes, but I have to have them there in order to quickly see the health bars and also be able to see what is going on around me. A healer standing still and not noticing that rocks are falling, the blizzard is coming, etc. will die fast! The shaded roll area is where the items to be rolled for will appear. You'll also notice a cross right above my head. That's the Aggro alert. I always move it to the top of the screen, but it always seems to reset there. If you pull aggro a bright red Aggro alert will flash in it's location. Once you lose aggro it will turn green.
Recount - the damage meter. Mine is currently located to the right and turned to the Healing Done page. If you haven't used Recount it's much more than a damage meter. Besides showing heals, it'll show rezzes, dispells, etc. DO NOT KEEP THIS TURNED ON DURING A RAID!!! I only turn this on at periodic times of the raid like after boss fights or at the end. It gives great information and can show the last 5 fights or the entire total since joining the raid. I like to see who I'm healing the most and what spells I'm using on them. It'll give a breakdown and I can see how I'm progressing. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN COMPARING YOURSELF AGAINST OTHERS!!! A little competition to motivate you to get better is one thing, competition to make sure you stay ahead of the others for the sake of being "the best" can get the raid killed! The ultimate goal is to keep the raid alive. Nothing else matters! If you do that, you could be "the worst" healer in the entire raid, but you did your job and can be proud of that!
Omen2 - the threat meter located under Recount. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A THREAT METER, QUIT NOW!!! No, seriously make sure you have a threat meter. If you're not sure how to use it, because it can be just a little confusing trying to figure it out in the heat of battle, make sure you talk to someone or do some research. They're really easy to understand once you actually know what you're looking at. I've recently acquired the Gavel of Naaru Blessings and noticed that my threat from heals has jumped up quite a bit, or at least I'm pulling a lot more aggro than I used to. More on that on a later post I'm working on.
I've got more add-ons that you can see, but primarily they are things like Gatherer, Atlasloot, Deadly Boss Mods (which is another that's required by my guild for raiding), Auctioneer, etc.
For healers I recommend HealPoints and RatingBuster. RatingBuster isn't healer specific, but it helps you know what you're getting from that +15 Intellect and +20 Stamina.
Friday, May 30, 2008
We’re all seeing more and more evidence of burnout. Burning Crusade has had its heyday and people anxiously await Wrath of the Lich King and I’m one of the many.
I hit burnout a few months ago, so much so that I seriously considered quitting until the next expansion, but held on and found new things to keep me going. I rep’d up to exalted with Aldor, Netherwing, and Sunwell, maxed out my Fishing skill, devoted myself to starting a new guild, devoted myself to getting its members into raiding, and finally got 150 badges to buy my Gavel of Naaru Blessings which in turn boosted me over +2000 bonus healing unbuffed. Trust me that last one was draining. I was only able to average 4-5 badges/night maybe 4-5 times/week. So it took me a month to get all those badges. I’m sure some of you out there got this in a couple of weeks. To get all the remaining badges items I can use, I need just over 500 badges. Oh the pain!
So why the burnout? I think it’s mostly because of the daily quests. I go in spurts, primarily because I don’t absolutely need the money. If I drop below 1000g, then I hit them hard for a couple of days until I’m back around 1200g. If I’m above that, then I see little need to do daily quests because I’ve already gotten my epic flyer, what else do I need?
I’ve told myself to get the money to help a few friends get their epic flying mounts, but I don’t have enough motivation to keep at it and my own alts aren’t anywhere close to 70. I also want to collect all the enchants I possibly can and that’s expensive, but most I don’t absolutely need. Someone posted Vitality the other day at 1200/1400. After it didn’t sell he posted it at 1250/1500 the freaking #@$^@%&!!! That’s one I desperately want in my collection!!! But again, I refuse to pay 1500g for an enchant that I can probably get for free with tip and my own mats and did on my current boots.
So what do I do? Well, I do the fishing daily every day. There’s the cooking daily, but I only do the soup and the mana berry quests. I don’t have the motivation to do the others, because I usually don’t do the quests in Skettis or Blade’s Edge anymore. I finish the Netherwing quests only because I spend a lot of time mining nethercite for the chance at gems. I fish a lot for food buffs to put in the guild bank and for Motes of Water. But even now that’s getting old.
Running Kara is keeping me from getting too bored, but we can’t do that every night and we do plan on getting into ZA this week for a little peek. So to combat the burnout I’ve started spending time with Maedchen again. The part I hate about leveling is in the beginning. Every quest seems to have you run all over and kill x number of mobs, the only problem being that you have to kill about 30 of them; or a drop quest where the number of drops is high and the drop rate low. I don’t remember it being this bad in later levels, but I’m old so maybe there’s a few holes in my memory. However, I’ve gotten her from level 25 to 29 in the last two days so I’m pretty happy and excited. I’m sure I’ll spend an enormous amount of time trying to get her to 40 this weekend because I hate walking. With the guys from the other part of the guild merger having so many level 70 toons, it’s motivated me to get Maedchen to level 70 as soon as possible and to start poor little Erdkrieg up again. I spent one night with him and got him to level 5.
I love healing and if you notice a trend here, I’m leveling a Shadow Priest that’s intended to switch to healing once I get to 70, but we’ll see what the guild needs. My little level 5 Shaman will be next, again with the intent to make a healer at level 70. I’ll then start a druid after that and somewhere in between I may do something with a Death Knight.
The Death Knight. Lots of emotions out there about this one and I laugh at most of them. Sure there’ll be a lot of DKs running around, but do you think I’m going to abandon my pally healer for a death knight after all the time and energy I’ve sunk into him?! HELL NO!!! My current intent in rolling a DK will be just to check it out and to level up two more professions. Another reason to start saving money, I guess.
So I guess through all that rambling, my way to combat the burnout is to play the alts. Wonder what others do?
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
We’ve got a few people back in the old guild that didn’t move over because of the holiday weekend, but I expect that to change here in the next couple of days. Actually I expect whispers tonight when I log in about how lonely they are over there.
Our new guild is ICESTORM and comprises members mostly of Dominion and Crazy Club. There are a couple of others including our friend who pushed for this merger. Given the right conditions we may find ourselves with enough people to run two Kara groups which we’re excited about. We believe we have enough geared to run ZA this week and at least attempt the first boss. That’s a little iffy as many of our level 70s are alts of some of our new friends. But I believe tomorrow we will at least take a peak in there.
So far things seem to be going well, but as with any changes there will always be concerns. We were asked to select two people to be co-GMs and two to be officers. This is to give our previous guild equal representation and speaks volumes to me as none of us requested this. Soon after we selected and the promotions went out, a member of our old guild logged in and immediately asked in guild chat how one particular person got to be an officer. She was mortified and didn’t know how to respond so I explained the reasoning.
There's also concern about access to the guild bank. One of the many things we're working on, but some are hesitant to deposit items when they have no ability to withdraw and rightly so. Members, including Officers, are locked out of the bank right now until we figure out how to set up the tabs and control who has access to what, but access will be given. Can you imagine only a handful of people trying to handle withdraws for the entire guild?
There will always be jealousies and envy as we make and implement the changes in the new guild, but those are the growing pains that we all have to bear. Fortunately I believe that we will have very few problems and anyone who takes issue with the changes is one that’s probably more worried about themselves than the guild anyway.
That’s a big thing about these guys. They are definitely about advancing the guild and not in the way that most people think of raiding guilds. They want everyone to have the opportunity to gear up and see all the content. They understand that in order to advance to Gruul’s, Mag’s, and ZA that we have to have people gear up in Kara. From time to time we can take some of the undergeared through and still succeed, but even small upgrades in Kara will advance the cause of the guild. They all have alts that aren’t Kara geared and mains that are beyond that, but they aren’t worried about running Kara repeatedly or even sitting out until everyone has what they need, including just farming it for badge upgrades.
We’ve got a lot of work to do including discussing; bank tabs and access, ranks, Kara groups, progression raids, new website, heroic runs, rep runs, loot rules and DKP, etc. I’m excited that there’s actually a raiding guild out there with my goals; to raid with friends and just have fun.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
- Doesn’t bother them if alts, low levels, non-raiders, etc. are in the guild.
- They currently have 6 members. Although they seemed to forget one because of a crazy work schedule right now that keeps him away.
- They seem to be excited about the prospect of having us and our mutual friend come aboard. They also expect he will be bringing more of his low-geared buddies he’s found along the way.
- They admit they don’t know how to manage a guild and are making it up as they go along.
- They have experience in some areas, but admitted that they don’t have experience everywhere.
- Our officers will have officer status in their guild. (Ironically, although this was a concern of mine, their initial response to my question about what they saw in store for this guild made me forget to even ask. And damn if that doesn’t make me feel better!)
- Their former guild is falling apart. They aren’t sure of all the details as to why, but their theory is that the leaders and high-geared people do not want to spend the time going back through Kara, Gruul’s, and Mag’s to help those that need or could use gear from those areas. They are focused on progression only forgetting that even slight upgrades make a big difference in SSC and Hyjal.
- Comments about alts in their former guild lead me to believe that they think the same way we do. Alts take second chair to any main in the guild.
- Their goal is to raid and help anyone else along the way.
- They want “to start over.” This means they want to spend as much time as it takes to get everyone geared in Kara and heroics before making a large push in progression. That said they expect that progression runs will be during the week and farming Kara on weekends.
- They expect anyone that has to sit out of raids to hit heroics for badge gear. With regards to Kara, several of them will opt to sit out in favor of others because they need absolutely nothing from there except badges.
- I didn’t touch on DKP or loot much, but they pointed out that one of them lost out on an upgrade because he opted not to use all his DKP for an item which would have resulted in a +60 damage increase. Another lock won it with a +16 damage increase. It was felt that the Raid Leader, GM, or someone should have asked the other guy to pass because it would have benefited the group a lot more. It didn’t sound like they had absolutely locked in on any kind of a loot distribution method, but it appears to be need then greed. Also, they pointed out they don’t want to pigeon hole some items as a definite class/spec item and if it’s an upgrade for any class/spec, they can roll for it. Didn’t quite understand this comment and didn’t ask too much. Might be the idea of a healing staff going to a caster because the +dam is still a better upgrade given that no healer needs it for example.
The great thing is we’ll get our friend back in our guild and we’re excited to have him around again. He’s also met a lot of people in running heroics over the past several months, so we expect he’ll bring some with him. With any luck we’ll have at least two Kara groups running this week.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Are Guild Mergers Good Things?
The reasons for guild mergers are probably as plentiful as sand on the beach, but our reason is simple; we want to raid. We have tried recruiting and when we still weren’t able to get people to commit to the times, we saw those people leave. So our members are understandably frustrated and looking for alternatives.
Is a guild merger a good thing? I suppose that depends on who you ask. I want to raid. I’m already geared beyond Kara. There are not enough members to advance to 25man raids. There are not enough geared well enough to enter ZA. If merging with another guild gets me into either of those, it’s a good thing, right? Based on those criteria alone, yes.
But are guild mergers good things? Would this guild merger be a good thing? What makes a guild merger a good thing? How do you make it a good thing? So many questions plague my mind.
Our First Potential Guild Merger
I spent two hours in voice chat the other night discussing the issues that would arise with a potential guild merger. I asked all the questions about philosophy, goals, attitudes, etc. to get as much information as possible to avoid potential problems.
It became readily apparent that this wasn’t a guild merger, although the GM kept referring to it as that. I finally pointed out although we have more members, it was us joining his guild and therefore not a merger. He admittedly agreed because ultimately we were going to do things his way. I had little issue with this other than making sure that our leadership had some voice in his guild, which was agreed to.
Through all the questions I asked, the gist of it came to this:
- Raiding was top priority. If you don’t want to raid or can’t, you don’t belong.
- If you aren’t about the team and are out for your own personal advancement, you don’t belong.
Where do our non-70s stand, whether they are mains or alts?
- If they are level 65 or above and working hard to get to 70 and show desire to raid, then they are welcome.
- Non-level 70 alts will be invited to an Alt guild.
- And the comment that killed the deal, “for this guild merger only” those less than 65 would be allowed to join.
I’m all for a raiding guild. That’s what we started Crazy Club for, but I’m also not going to abandon my friends just because they can’t or don’t want to raid.
Know Your Philosophy
My philosophy is “If you want to raid, great! If you don’t, fine. I won’t kick you out of the guild. You’re welcome to stay. Who knows? Maybe someday you will change your mind and want in. I’m not burning that bridge with you, because I may find that I’ll need you then.”
Everyone plays this game for fun. It annoys me when people recruit with comments about being a fun-loving guild or that they are about having fun. Of course they are!
“Hey, honey! [sigh] I’ve got to go play WoW for a couple of hours.”
Yeah, how many times does that happen? Of course we play for fun. Who pays someone to do something boring or to be miserable for hours on end?
To me fun is having a group of people you like to hang out, raid, and experience new content with, etc. It’s not fun when some of those people are asshats that complain, whine, gripe, moan, carry on, and yet won’t lift a finger to do something about it. Let me restate that, “WON’T LIFT A FINGER TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!!” If you don’t like something, do something about it! Make yourself useful, quit pouting!
Unfortunately, my philosophy wasn’t marrying up with the other GM’s philosophy and the merger didn’t go through.
Wait a minute! Ky, you said “First Potential Guild Merger.” There’s another?!
Second Potential Guild Merger
Funny you should ask. Yes, there is a potential guild merger in the works right now. Based on several factors, I am very wary as to how this one might roll out; in large part, because it wasn’t initiated by anyone within our guild.
Wait?! Someone outside our guild and not part of the other guild started talks about merging our two guilds?! Yup. LMAO!
Last week we were unable to get a guild run for Kara together and found ourselves unsaved on Monday evening. We were invited by a friend of ours to run Kara with some of his friends and were asked to fill in certain slots. Guild drama ensued as people logged on and saw we were in Kara without them.
After the run, which was painful in places and we still haven’t figured out why, I was later informed that evidently a couple of the players we were with had asked for this to evaluate us for a potential guild merger. The conclusion; even with the dumb mistakes and constant wiping on Maiden, it was very positive.
The information I’ve received is incomplete and skewed at best. This guild is a top ranking guild on our server raiding SSC, TK, BT, and Hyjal. They’ve recently dropped in rank, but are still one of the top guilds. Is this an indication of guild drama within? They have been courting my friend to join them for some time now and he is keen on joining with them. Two minutes later, the story is that they are even willing to leave their guild to start a new guild with us.
Wait a minute! Call me skeptical, but what top ranking guild is willing to disband their guild to join up with a few unknown players, only a few of which are geared enough to do content they are?
I did some research. I looked up their guild on the armory and they are large. Sorting through the level 70 toons, they have 4.5 pages listed there, whatever total that is. The toons we ran with were rank 6 and 7 in their guild indicating that they probably aren’t officers.
The promises are these guys are geared and experienced and that there are 5-10 of them wanting to start this guild, so obviously it’s not the guild itself that wants us. But later on it was also stated that a few aren’t geared. So I’m thinking its people of a similar mix as our own guild. Also on the plus side, if we start this guild our friend, who we’ve admittedly tried to get to join us in the past, will be joining this one.
There are a lot of advantages to starting a new guild with these guys, but all the same questions from before apply.
Merging: Questions to Ask
- How many of them are there?
- How many of us?
- Would they be interested in just joining our guild to avoid having to pay for a bunch of bank tabs, etc. with the understanding that we will reorganize ranks, guild leadership, etc. as we all agree to?
- Guild leadership?
- Who will comprise the leadership?
- What is the expected guild leadership?
- What are their overall philosophy, goals, and expectations?
- I want to ask the question “What’s the most important thing you want from a raiding guild? And the answer cannot be to ‘have fun’ as no one would play the game if it wasn’t to have fun. And only one item per answer, not multiple ‘To see new content and to gear up’ type answers.” A single answer really shows what they’re after. Then have everyone whisper me. It’d give me the general idea of what kind of people we’re dealing with.
- Are they casual?
- Are they hardcore? What is their definition of hardcore?
- How do they handle wipes and mistakes?
- Raid expectations?
- Raiding times?
- Set groups? Signups? Alternates?
- Raider priority?
- Less active raiders, where do they fall?
- Specific gear requirements before attending?
- Gearing up? How will the non-geared be assisted?
- Loot distribution? Spec, off-spec, disenchant? DKP? Or some other system?
- Will everyone from our guild have a place and a home to go to, including the lowly level 15 main and how will they be treated?
- That when people talk about “having fun” that they mean to hang out with people they like and play the game to play the game; not for loot, not for badges, not for gold or any other goal they have that may be affected positively or negatively by the gear, skill, class/spec, or even personality of the people in the guild.
Given that everything goes over smoothly and everyone agrees that the merger will be beneficial to all in all aspects, there’s a good chance for a merger here. But what’s next?
We are currently working on setting up some form of chat to discuss a potential merger. The question is whether to start initial chats to get a feel or just jump right in and have everyone there that wants to be a part of the chat?
Although I suppose I’m as excited as the next guy to things getting decidedly better with raiding, I’m probably more wary than any other right now that’s aware of the merger. Why do they want us? Are we a means to an end? Will they genuinely been interested in our members' welfare and advancement?
We stand to lose people without the merger and we stand to lose people with a merger. Finding the right balance that benefits the majority in the guild is the tricky part. Guild mergers have the great potential of good, but good for whom?
Funny thing happened to me the other day that just had me in hysterics. A friend of mine sent me an IM and prefaced it with “i really shouldn't say it because your ego is already too dam big”. Enter fits of laughter.
What she was referring to was running a 5-man instance with another healer the other night. In the guy’s defense his main is a DPS machine and he’s spent time trying different things with his healer that included trying out the other specs. Overall their run was somewhat of a challenge for her and without me there I guess things didn’t go as smoothly as she’s used to.
Enter my ego. Yes, this makes me feel pretty good about myself and everyone likes compliments on how they are doing. Fortunately, my ego isn’t quite as large as her joking might lead someone to believe. I’ve always thought that I was a decent healer, but reading several blogs and seeing what others are capable of I often see my shortcomings as a healer. I suppose that’s a good thing to keep me from getting too overconfident.
It got me thinking though, “What really makes a good healer?” I remembered reading a post from Matticus about what makes a good Priest and headed on over there to refresh my memory about what it said. The four main points are awareness, perserverance, precognition, and preparation.
This is the one thing I struggle with more than any other. It’s the one thing that more healers have a problem with than any other single responsibility they have. It’s difficult to focus on every single health bar in the group and be aware of what’s going on around you. As you concentrate on one section of the screen your eyes focus intently to the exclusion of all else.
I’m reminded of wiping on Nightbane 6 or 7 times before either taking him down or calling it quits because one priest couldn’t watch to see if he or she was standing in Charred Earth. I’d spend a few of my heals trying to keep the priest alive while the tank dwindled.
I think this goes without saying. Once someone gives up mentally, it becomes nigh impossible to win at that point.
This is something I’ve gotten pretty good at. Knowing how much you’re going to heal for on average is important. I know approximately what my Flash of Light heals for and also how often it crits. I know what my tanks are capable of sustaining and how long I have to heal others, also being aware of whether or not I’ll have to then hit the tank with Holy Light for the big heal. In general I know that with one tank I can start to hit Flash of Light when he reaches 94%. Anything more is a waste. With another tank I know that I can start at 96% because the average damage rate is going to get her down to 92% by the time my heal hits. This has changed over the past few months as I used to have to start heals almost immediately upon her taking damage. Adjust accordingly.
As a pally healer and spamming Flash of Light, I know that I can usually afford to waste a heal on a potential overheal in given situations like clearing trash. Better to waste the mana and keep the party alive than be stingy.
I also know which DPS in the group are good at watching their aggro. From time to time they’ll take damage from obtaining aggro or getting with AoE. It’s important to know which ones back off and can wait on that heal and the ones who just aren’t aware and continue to get pummeled. This goes two ways, sometimes you have time to heal that guy. Other times…you just let him die and hope he learns his lesson.
We all joke about it, but no one ever seems to learn. How often have you heard the following?
- [after 2nd wipe]: “I gotta go repair.”
- “Anyone got a mana pot?”
- “No mage? Anyone got extra food?”
- “Sorry can’t summon. I’m out of stones.”
Show up prepared! I bring 60 Golden Fishsticks, 300 Symbol of Kings, 10 Super Healing Potions, 30 Super Mana Potions, 30 Elixirs of Healing Power, 30 Elixirs of Draenic Wisdom, and 20 Superior Wizard Oils. I sometimes bring Superior Mana Oil as well. Overkill? Yes. When am I ever going to be in a raid for 20 hours straight? And if we wipe enough times for me to go through 300 Greater Blessings, we're either really stupid or drunk. But I'm prepared and that's what counts. I often can go the entire week without going back to the AH, but sometimes I gotta give my surplus to others and better that than the headache of having someone hearth back for supplies.
Aside from the items that Matticus mentions, I would have to include heal and attitude as the final key points to being a good healer.
"Well Ky, we're talking about healing of course heal is important. You're being redundant."
Let me explain.
I have been in so many raids where people don't do what they are supposed to do. I believe they get bored. Want examples?
- The rogue stealths around while everyone buffs up because he justs wants to see what's out there. Whoops! He was spotted and we're all dead. Stay with the group, please!
- The mage begins casting his most powerful spell because it has a 6 sec cast time before the tank pulls so that his initial spell will hit shortly after the tank aggros. Whoops! The aggro from the spell created more threat than the tank had gained yet. Mage dies, tank scrambles, healers try to keep everyone alive in the chaos. Be patient, quit trying to be tops on the damage meter.
- Holy Priest gets bored during trash pulls and whips out his wand to DPS for something more exciting to do. Wait don't pull next group! Damn these pulls are harder than normal, I used a lot of mana! I gotta mana up again?! What's going on? Pull your weight, do your job, don't put the burden on someone else. You're not as mana efficient as the Holy Pally? Well don't save all your mana at the expense of his. Be a team player.
OK so all three of these examples are personal examples and yes I'm a little bitter about a couple of them, especially the last one. Just do your job and stick to that. Let tanks do their job and DPS do theirs.
Finally, perhaps the most important trait for a good healer is attitude. It is my opinion that we will always be the first scapegoat for blame with regards to wipes. We have the immense responsibility of keeping the group alive and responding to others' mistakes that lead to potential wipes. We are the last line of defense in determining success or failure and that's a responsibility that weighs heavy on us.
Keep a positive attitude! Don't let the blame and criticism get to you; your focus will change to the negative and you'll be less effective. Don't let self-criticism get to you either, that's just as detrimental, if not worse. Learn from mistakes, whether your own or not and you'll find that you'll be a great healer.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
There was a time when I would happily send the report and not think anything was amiss. Recently however, I have begun to cringe any time someone asks for that report. I even found myself last week refusing to acknowledge someone who had asked because I didn't feel like directly lying about having it.
What's wrong with damage meters? Nothing. It's the person evaluating what the damage meter says that's the problem. Be wary of anyone asking to see the damage meter. Chances are, he or she already has one and wants to brag about it. They already know they're at the top of the list and just want the recognition that they are on top of their game. In fact this last week our friend Jim posted it himself without even asking anyone. Imagine my surprise as he was at the top of the list.
Also, damage meters don't tell the whole story. Just because someone has the highest damage doesn't mean they have the highest dps. How long have you been tracking the information? How many bosses or trash mobs are included? The longer the tracking the more accurate the average, but only if the fights are similar in nature. Boss fights and trash mobs are two completely different animals. Although Recount now has the ability to report by each fight too, at least giving you the ability to separate some of the info.
So is all of this really bad? It's bad enought to get you killed. I was in an instance some time ago and we had someone in the group who was determined to be tops on the damage meter, so much so that he kept asking if anyone had one. When he saw he wasn't at the top, he started pulling stupid stunts. On each pull he'd start casting spells a little early just to gain a couple of seconds. His spell would hit after the tank had already attacked, but the aggro wasn't high enough and I spent my first few casts using Holy Light to save his butt. That spell is slow, mana heavy, and with the tank struggling to gain aggro, nearly cost us our lives in several occasions. After each battle I'd have to pause to consume food to regain mana and health. Very ineffecient use of our time.
Let's look at heal meters for a minute too. Almost two months ago, I found myself at about 1200 bonus healing. I have a priest friend who was around 1800 bonus healing. When grouping for Kara, I found myself constantly monitoring the heal meter to make sure that I was on top of my game and making sure that I was going to do as well as her given the difference in healing. It wasn't long before I realized, that I was constantly beating her in total healing. And not only was I beating in total heals, by the time we were done with the raid I was beating by almost twice the amount, if we went long enough. Wait! That doesn't make sense! I have 600 bonus healing less than her, how could I possibly be beating her?!
I spent hours trying to figure this out and only a few things came to mind. First, as a healadin I have the ability to spam Flash of Light until the cows come home. At the time it was healing for roughly 1000 and critting around 1500, if I remember correctly. So these aren't big heals and they only cost me 180 mana. When buffed I was around 9700 mana, so given the right situations I could heal forever. But even that shouldn't account for being a priest who has larger heals, only cast fewer times, right?
Second, because Flash of Light costs me so little, I would top people off after trash mobs just to keep the progress moving faster. My mana regen was fast enough that by the time we pulled I'd be back up to 100%. But even then that would only account for maybe 10k heals after each trash pull. I haven't done the math, but that should in no way account for twice the heals. I would think it might just catch me up.
I even discussed this with a few friends and couldn't figure out what was going on. The only other solution would be that my friend was spending time in combat not doing anything. So I watched and that wasn't the case. I did discover that she would switch to dps with her wand if the group took little damage and I was more than capable of handling it. Still, that shouldn't account for the difference either.
I've spent weeks trying to figure this out. I even went so far as to ask my friend's boyfriend if I was doing something wrong. I hope he didn't get the wrong idea, but I started to really worry that maybe I was doing something wrong as a healer. Maybe I was overhealing or being mana inefficient.
Bottom line, I have no freaking clue as to why the differences. And you know what? It doesn't matter. We both do our job and the raid succeeds and that's what matters! I've finally chalked it up to the differences between priest and pally healing.
I never used Recount before 2.4, but SW_Stats hadn't been updated when it came out, so I switched and I'm glad I did. Recount has more modes of tracking information than SW_Stats did. It's cleaner and sleeker too. As a healer, I've found that the ability to track overheals is a nice feature. Although it gives me a sense of when I'm being inefficient with my heals, I'm sure the party would rather see me overheal than wipe.
So take all those meters with a grain of salt. Watch yourself! Don't become obsessed with being the top dog. Use it for what it was intended; to better yourself. If you're the Affliction Warlock that is the #4 geared person in the group, you probably have a major problem if you're #8 on the damage meter of a 10-man raid in Karazhan with 2 healers. Come on! You should at least be beating the tank!! (Yeah, I know. I should probably let that go, but it still kills me! LOL!)