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?
Continue reading 'Burnout!!!'

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Guild Mergers: Done

So we did it! We merged our two guilds into one and things so far are going great!

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.
Continue reading 'Guild Mergers: Done'

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Guild Mergers: Update

So I spent a few minutes talking to the members of this other guild. Here are some of the highlights:
  • 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.
Well I’m the skeptical one and boy was I ever skeptical since this was being setup by our friend outside of our guild. No offense intended, but he has jumped around a lot and it was about loot. I want loot as badly as the next guy, but not at the expense of enjoying myself. That said, after talking to these guys, I think they’re the real deal. I spent maybe 20 minutes talking to them and made up my mind. It took me 2 hours with the other guy as I was trying to convince myself it would be good for the guild, only to finally decide it wasn’t.

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.
    Continue reading 'Guild Mergers: Update'

    Wednesday, May 21, 2008

    Guild Mergers: Good for Whom?

    A couple of weeks ago, some of our guild members began talking to another guild about a potential guild merger. We aren’t equipped for 25man raids and have enough difficulties organizing Kara raids. Whatever conversations happened between the other guild and members of my guild is beyond me, but I was eventually contacted by the GM of the other guild. We spent two hours in voice chat discussing the idea.

    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.
    This guy is going to go far. He seems to know his stuff and he apparently knows how to treat his players. As we were talking, he was running low-geared members through heroic Ramparts for badges and gear. He had spent most of the day doing this, paying for all repairs, pots, food buffs, etc. to get his members through this. His dedication to helping his players advance is going to instill a lot of loyalty and dedication from his members. At first glance, this seemed an ideal opportunity for us. I was all for this deal initially until the answer to this question came out:

    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.
    That final comment reinforced where this GM’s priorities and philosophy pertaining to this guild lie. This was a raiding guild and it was going to be about that only. He even stated that he likes to shoot the bull as much as the next guy, but if that’s what someone wanted to be there for; they needed to find another guild.

    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?
    All of this aside, my absolute two primary concerns are:
    • 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.
    Where Do You Go From Here?

    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?
    Continue reading 'Guild Mergers: Good for Whom?'

    What Makes a Good Healer?

    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.

    In Addition

    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.

    Continue reading 'What Makes a Good Healer?'

    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    Guns don't kill people, damage meters do!

    Some time ago I found myself in a heroic instance and like most instances someone inevitably asked "Does anyone have a damage meter?"

    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!)
    Continue reading 'Guns don't kill people, damage meters do!'

    Friday, May 2, 2008

    Things to Remember

    I read World of Matticus on a daily basis. Almost every day he writes about something that I can relate to and today is no different. In yesterday's post Matticus wrote about giving some advice to those just starting out in WoW from a level 70's perspective. Its advice we'd all do well to remember regardless of level.

    Last night's raid ironically showed a lot of these things that need to be remembered.

    #3 – Players have long memories. Don't be an ass or you might regret it when you finish leveling.

    This goes two ways. With regards to Jim, he's an ass. Everyone knows it. He won't be grouping with me in anything anytime soon. Whether he regrets it or not, I don't care. He might not need anything from Kara again, but who knows. If he ever needs a healer, I won't be volunteering.

    Gotta remember my own friends were frustrated and leaving the party like that may be viewed as being an ass. Need to spend more time cooling down or approaching them before leaving. Even though I announced it with what I feel was an appropriate amount of time, need to be more respectful of giving them a better opportunity.

    #5 - Assume the person you're interacting with is the real deal. The game's anonymity aspect.

    This is definitely my view of Jim. He has a big mouth and rarely closes it. I'm all for the joking around and teasing people as I'm known to do it a lot, but there is a limit to how much and with regards to what's appropriate. I hope I know the line.

    #8 - The achievements you accomplish in game are what you make of them not what anyone else says.

    This one relates a lot. I sarcastically pointed out that I wasn't being selfish and was offended at being accused of such. Everyone has things they want to do. I want the next piece of gear, badges, titles, etc. as much as the next guy, but they're hollow and meaningless without getting those with the friends you're with. As a healer I could easily find a place with any guild and get all the things I've been dreaming about for months in a relatively short period of time, but I don't. I made the mistake of going off to help one friend's guild try and take down Gruul without the rest of my friends. I didn't know anyone. I didn't know the boss. Even though it was kinda cool to see new content, it didn't mean crap without my friends there. I found myself bored.

    #11 - Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies on your ignore list.

    I was told I could ignore people. Maybe I should start.

    #12 - The game's loot is not worth getting emotional over. The people are. Don't get the two confused.

    I thought about this because lately a lot of my posts have been highly emotional. I felt I had to support a fellow guildie who defended a raid healer from Jim. I did that by leaving the group after Jim refused to stop. I got emotional, but I don't feel bad about it because I believe I did it for the right reason.

    #14 - Just like in the real world, you don't have to be best friends with a someone to work with them. There are a fair number of people in my Guild who I wouldn't have drinks with.

    I might not have to be best friends to work with Jim, but I'm not being paid to work with him either.

    #20 - The only thing constant about the game is change. There's nothing you can do about it other than to learn and to adapt without complaint.

    Well I'm complaining here I suppose, but he's right. Adapting for me means not grouping with Jim again, even if it were to mean the rest of my guild did. I once compromised my values which lead to my WoW burnout a few weeks ago. I became obsessed about the loot, the next raid, etc. I put those values above what I really liked playing for. I'll not do that again.

    I'll adapt by accepting that I might not be able to go on raids, get that piece of Tier 6 gear, or getting that Champion of the Naaru title. Absolute worst case scenario and one I pray never happens, I find other friends to do those things with. I may have to accept someday that those friends value those things enough that they will be forced to continue on without me whether they want to or not. It won't be anything personal, it's just part of the game. Why continue playing if you cannot advance?

    Continue reading 'Things to Remember'

    Vent on Kara (and not the chat software)

    Last night our Kara run was frustrating to say the least. It became so bad at one point that even now after I have calmed down I am considering not playing anymore. Part of me feels it just isn't worth the aggravation.

    As we began to group for Kara I was whispered by someone I'll call Bill. Bill wanted to know who was coming so we could begin finding the remaining fill-ins. He did suggest that we not bring a particular person we had brought earlier this week because we were attempting Nightbane which really was going to require better gear than this person currently has. I agreed that it would be difficult and that I would approach this person, but that I also had been spending a lot of time announcing on my blog and in guild chat that "we succeed together, we fail together". I feel very strongly that the person should have the choice to step aside. If he didn't want to and the others refused to bring him, then I would have to in good conscience not attend the raid. I did not however tell Bill this last part.

    When the person asked me about Kara, I had the unpleasant task of asking him to sit tonight's raid out. I told him he could refuse, but he said he was OK with it. I honestly believe he wasn't. I felt like an ass. Should I have though? I have stated in previous posts that there is the potential for being asked to sit out on a raid due to gear or someone else's need and I realize this is a necessary part of raiding, but I also believe that he helped us get to the point we were at and deserves every opportunity to continue that whether we succeed or not. In the greatest way possible, he accepted to sit out and said it was OK. He didn't complain or throw a fit. He made it was easy as possible for me and I appreciate it. I still feel like an ass.

    We finally got our group together including two others from our original raiding party from way back when. We haven't grouped with either of these two since the unfortunate incident and the GM of the other group, who I'll call Jim, stopped their participation. Unfortunately, this guy was here.

    I've never had a major problem with Jim, but I can't honestly say he's one that I'd normally want to hang out with either. He's got a mouth on him that just doesn't stop. He has a special relationship with one of the other players in giving that guy a real hard time. It sometimes gets verbal and the raid chat fills with insults and laughter. In the guy's defense, I do believe he honestly is just joking around like he says. He just doesn't know when to stop.

    To speed the story along, things got heated after a few frustrating attempts to take down Nightbane. A healer's mortality was the butt of many jokes and one person stepped in to defend this guy. It finally got vocal with yelling and profanities. Both parties egged each other on. One raider had to leave for a prior commitment and another left because of the drama. I finally stepped in and demanded that it all stop or I would leave the raid. The one doing the defending left the raid. As others attempted to find replacements, Jim kept it up. I told him that he too needed to calm down and stop. After he chose to ignore me and keep it up, I left. It all fell apart at that point.

    No person in any group, raid, guild, or other circumstance should have the power to completely control a situation by their leaving, refusal to cooperate, etc. Unfortunately, as a healer, I have that power. It is not something I want to have. I do not want to be thought of as trying to throw my weight around. I don't want to be the guy everyone puts up with because if they don't they're screwed. And tonight was not about that. I felt I gave this guy every chance to stop and he wouldn't. I even stated that I would leave if it didn't stop. I didn't choose a side when I said it, stating that everyone was to stop.

    The part that cut me to the bone was when after I logged onto an alt I was accused by friends of abandoning friends and that this was the second time. I admitted that the first time I did it, I was going through some issues and that was all me. I was also accused indirectly of being selfish and only going to Kara for myself and not the good of the group.

    This second accusation cut to the bone even more than the other because I had not wanted to go to Kara with Jim. I had tried to talk to him earlier in the week about whether he was interested in going and his response was to say the least curt and more than a brush off. I figured after that I was done trying.

    Jim only attended last night after another asked him and because his own guild wasn't going, but he wanted those Tier 4 gloves which he won. But I went anyway because otherwise my friends who had gear they wanted or a particular boss to take down for a questline wouldn't be able to. I'm not saying I didn't want the badges, but I'd have rather run heroics than go with Jim. So I'm still trying to figure out where I was being selfish (being an ass with this comment is another matter). Let me know if you see it.

    I was told I didn't allow enough time for others to defuse the situation. In my eyes, there was no defusing the situation because Jim just wouldn't stop. I tried to stop it so we could continue. He only continued to make more and more comments. I was told I could have put him on ignore. Why should I have to do that or even be expected to do that? He was disruptive to the good of the raid and I don't need the aggravation.

    I've been told in the past by some to put up with assholes to get what I want, whether it's a raid, heroic instance, or quest help. Just use them and ignore what they say. That's all good and said, but why should I? I play to have fun. Running with a bunch of assholes that think they can act however they want, just because they're protected by the anonymity of a virtual avatar, is not something I pay Blizzard to put up with. If others want to do that, more power to them, but I should neither expect nor be expected to do so. I'll spend my time helping friends I know aren't assholes level their toons so they can come with us instead.
    Continue reading 'Vent on Kara (and not the chat software)'