Raid Consumables!

•June 9, 2008 • 4 Comments

+10 Spirit

+20 Stamina

+1000 Tasty!

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WTB Committed Raiders!

•June 8, 2008 • 1 Comment

LFM (or Women, I’m not much fussed). People who are competent. People who know how to play their class and play it well. People who have enough wisdom to not abuse the leader of a raid or a guild when things just don’t work out right. People who are just plain fun to chat to and group with!

Lately, as I have mentioned many a time, we have been having trouble fielding a full 25 man group. Now, I have mentioned the reasons (well, what I think are the reasons) for this, so I am not going to go into massive detail about why I think these people have been vanishing. Today is all about the effects that it seems to be having on myself and my fellow raiders. How to fix it? No fricking idea! But the following story (sit down, grab a coffee, maybe even some popcorn!) is a great example of what seems to be going on lately.

Yesterday, we had a grand total of 15 guildies in the raid. This meant that we had to fill up ten spots with applicants, and people from another guild who just got to tag along for the ride. We ventured into SSC (home of THE elevator, who claimed quite a few lives yet again!), where I think we usually perform pretty well. Sure, we haven’t downed Vashj. However, 5/6 of the bosses are on farm, and we can usually smack ’em down in a couple of hours. Easy peasy. However, we forgot to calculate ‘the pug equation’ *insert ominous music*.

We slowly but surely began (Sar was late due to several bluescreen issues – yes, I know, I need a new REAL computer… or at least a formatting!). Trash was a little messy – nothing major, just slow and painful. No biggie though, because hey, it’s only trash, right? We bypassed Hydross, because his loot is basically poo-on-a-stick, and he is one of those fights where new people have some trouble with the DPS off/No HoTs or DoTs past this point kinda thing. I didn’t much mind, Hydross drives me batty with his colour changes! So off to Lurker we go!

Once again, the trash wasn’t really a big deal. We took a bit of a slowlyslowly approach, which is different, but it worked. I think I died once, out of blatant stupidity (lrn2readOmen noob!), and a couple of others did as well. Jumped on down to Lurker, went through the fight in GREAT detail, with much emphasis on four key points:

a) Spout = Get Under Water NOW!

b) Whirl = take a step back if you aren’t on an island

c) Chain sheep the mobs please, and Do Not Break the Sheep!

d) Please ensure LOS with the tank

Overall, not difficult. Lurker is usually a fast boss where the only interest is racing the others for top DPS. However, yesterday was a different story. Many people couldn’t understand the concept of “Under the Water NOW!”, and subsequently got Spouted into oblivion. Healers forgot to heal the tank *snicker*. Sheep got broken, or forgotten about by mages. Most every rule for this fight was broken, again, and again…and again. Finally, after 3 attempts, we got him down. Huzzah! Off to Leotheras!

On the way to Leotheras, we managed to wipe, or suffer significant casualties on almost every pull. Most of this was because of silly mistakes ‘I forgot to sheep, whoops!’, ‘Oh, I was attacking the wrong target!’. It was still frustrating though to wipe so many times on the trash. I think it was a testament to how boring it was that one of the other warlocks whispered me saying he was bored (and he is a very committed raider!). I replied with the sentiment that I think I would have actually preferred to be in Karazhan on Hermia – my dislike of Karazhan is well known! Spending most of the raid dead on the floor is just not fun.

Finally, we got to Leotheras. Now, to be honest, I expected a couple of wipes here. Leotheras is a fairly challenging fight in my opinion, and it would take us a while to get him. However, we did have a good hour and a half left of raid time. Surely we could do it, right? Well, we put in a good few attempts. It was clear the group had the potential to do it, if only things would just swing our way. However, the frustration clearly won out at the end of the night, which was evident in the explosion that followed from one raider.

Leotheras enraged at two percent, with the vast majority of the raid dead (I think 10 were still up). Most of these 10 were quickly wiped out, but he was taken down to one percent with one woman standing – a paladin healer. Now, it just so happens the paladin in question is also the guild leader. She bubbled herself and hit Leo, while trying to keep away from him. Unfortunately, Leo won out, and we wiped. At this point the explosion happened.

“What the hell were you doing? I can’t believe it, he had 500HP left, why didn’t you Holy Shock? Why didn’t you concentrate? Oh my god, you have no idea how to play! You are an idiot!” While most of us kinda sat there like stunned mullets, he continued his diatribe. She tried to defend herself (I am a healer. I don’t deal very much damage!), but he just continued ranting. At this point some of us threw in a couple of comments – I said something to the effect of ‘look, it doesn’t matter, there’s no sense in assigning blame’, which was followed by other people in the raid asking for him to please chill out. However, he continued ranting, and that’s when things got outright nasty!

Now, I am definitely not saying that this is the way to handle it. Personally, I would have handled it in a very different manner. However, the leader of a guild is entitled to handle things in this way. He was promptly demoted. In an interesting spin, the husband of the GM (who co leads the guild) promoted him back up. She demoted him. He promoted him. She /gbooted him. Then they both logged.

Clearly there are issues here. The co-GM should not get into that sort of nonsense by promoting him back up. That undermines the guild leader, which is a really bad thing to do. /Gbooting should not be quite so arbitary in my mind. How would I have approached the situation?

We were on vent. Half the abuse occurred over vent. I would have asked the person in question to please sort this out in a different vent channel with the officers. Also, that sort of stuff needs to be taken to whispers. The raid doesn’t need to see it. ESPECIALLY when half the raid is pugs. First and foremost in my mind is ‘always create a good impression of your guild’. I don’t want people thinking the guild is full of asshats.

I would demote the person in question. I would explain to them exactly why they were getting demoted. I would remove all the privileges that are attached to being a raider. No more bringing alts to raids. No more guild funded repairs. Even take away loot privileges where appropriate. Sure, I would be tough. It’s unacceptable to speak to ANYONE in the way he spoke. It is especially unacceptable to speak to the guild leader that way.

The main point of this is ‘Why did this happen?’. What would bring people to the point of exploding at failure? Well, when each week is full of fail, raiders get tired. They stop raiding, or they struggle through out of loyalty to the guild (and in my case, the total utter lack of anything resembling a real life!). Eventually, someone will reach breaking point. If we could just get more cheery, happy, committed raiders, maybe all would be well. In my dream world.

** Oh… the amount of HP Leotheras had left is currently in question. In my mind, it’s a moot point anyway. I could see 1%, I don’t show actual HP figures on my interface. Others said it was significantly higher.

Why T5 clearly is boycotting Saresa

•June 7, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Another day of raiding approaches. One for which Sar is decidedly grouchy, which is maybe not good. Why? Because Sar is also a greedy guts! I learned last night that my guild did a random run into TK yesterday while I was out, um, having fun and stuff. Now, TK is usually scheduled as a Friday night raid, and was for this week with SSC. Unfortunately, they decided to run a ‘current raid content’ raid on an unscheduled night, which kinda ticked me off for two reasons.

1. I figure raids are scheduled at certain times for a reason. Raids which currently count towards attendance requirements, and which impact upon SKG (our loot system, will explain after rant!) are always held on scheduled raid days. This provides raiders with notice for attendance, and does not unfairly disadvantage those others who could not make attendance because there was no warning. Grrrrr.

2. It is more beneficial for me to get my T5 shoulders before my T5 pants going off the SKG system. Why? Well, first we need a run down of SKG.

Suicide Kings

Suicide Kings is a list based loot system. Position on the list is initially set up by random roll (we did 0-500 for non raider rank, and 500-1000 for raiders, to ensure raiders were at the top first). There are different lists for each type of loot (Weapons, Tier, Miscellaneous). If an item drops and you want it, you ‘suicide’ for the item, and the person highest on the list who suicides gets the item, and dropped to the very bottom of the list. Everyone who has attended the raid gets bumped up. If you are not in the raid, you do not move.

Eg: Sample List H/M/W Tier.

H/M/W T5 legs drop.

  1. Sar
  2. Herm
  3. Pete
  4. Fred
  5. Bob

Fred is not in the raid that day. Pete, Bob, and Herm all suicide for the item. Herm is highest, so she wins. She gets dropped to the bottom. The new list is:

  1. Sar
  2. Pete
  3. Bob
  4. Fred
  5. Herm

Clearly, the system attempts to reward attendance. People who are subbed out also get credit for being in the raid.

Implications of this list at the moment for Sar

Currently, Saresa is very high on the list for H/M/W T5. She also has NO T5 gear whatsoever. Most of the people on her list have the T5 legs, or do not want them. She is basically guaranteed the legs no matter where she is on the list. However, very few people have the T5 shoulders. Since she is right near the top of the list, it is highly likely she would get those if she suicided.

Because they did the content where the shoulders dropped, I do not get a shot at those this week. I also did not get credit, which kinda miffs me, being an unscheduled raid and all. However, if we do SSC today (and bother to do all the farm bosses – everyone bar Vashj), I get a shot at the pants. Thing is, if everyone else has the pants, I am wasting my position on the list on an item which there is no competition for. I would prefer to get my shoulders and burn my good position there, THEN get the pants no one else wants. Frustrating, no?

So, yes, I may FINALLY get T5 this week (and then have to farm all the Primals for the spellthread *ew*). But instead of getting 2 for the price of 1, I have to wait again! I guess it’s fair, but annoying since I have just had a run of bad luck with it all.

I am sorry, I have neglected you!

•June 7, 2008 • 2 Comments

Well gee, I missed a WHOLE day of posting. I’m sorry! I still love you, I swear!

Truth be told, I did fully intend to try to squish a post in somewhere. I struggled out of bed in the morning, and turned the computer on. Generally a good time to post (as we speak, I am here in my straggly ‘was out all night’ hair and dressing gown, looking like a domestic nightmare), but by the time I finished reading my immense subscription list, logged in to all my chat services, and began to work on my assignment that was due THAT VERY DAY *sigh, I’m lazy I know* (I had started it the night before, I’m not that bad!) it was much after time for me to go to uni. Bah.

I then had 5 hours of class, followed by a trip to the bar since it was the last day of uni, and that’s what uni students do. By the time I got home, I literally had time to run madly into the house, grab my awesomely pretty silver dress and sparkly shoes, and a curling iron and some make up, and ran back out the door and into the car.

Then, well… I got into all sorts of mischief, but had to pike and go home early since I was clearly so pooped from a couple hectic days! I considered blogging when I got home, but that meant I would’ve had to unpack the computer, plug it all in, and bleeeeeuuuurgh. Waaaay too much effort. So I just went and collapsed into my nice, warm, dry bed. Aaaaah.

So yes, no Sar yesterday. I’m sorry! I am here again today!

– Oh, so you know, I did try asking Kalf in my alcohol induced brainfarting to blog for me. He wouldn’t, because he’d have to do ‘drafts’. What are these drafts he speaks of? Can anyone tell me?

Oh, because it may amuse you, before and after!

Before:

This is not the same night (I had pretty brown curls last night!), but the exact same outfit.  I like it, it’s pretty… until it morphs into…

After

AAAARGH!  /hides

Oooh, new favourite blog to read!

•June 5, 2008 • 3 Comments

So I pretty much never point out blogs in my posts.  That I am doing so shows how much I got a kick out of this one!  Cynra’s writing is amusing and entertaining – read her about me, and you will be hooked, I swear!

Airee.net – the blog you should all read!

I don’t want to say much more, so perhaps you should just go read it to see what it’s about, hey?

It’s awfully quiet round here!

•June 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

There has been discussion of this rampant across the blogosphere, and the server.  This is just my personal account of the thing which I will term ‘X-pac syndrome’.  A syndrome where the server is suddenly empty.  Guild chat is quiet, or outright hostile as new recruits clash with the old veterans.  Raids are becoming dominated by pugs because people just aren’t showing up anymore.  5 man groups are almost non existent.

I think this all started with the decline of the 5 man to be honest.  A while back myself and several others commented on the difficulty in getting a regular 5 man group going.  Heroics were slightly easier to obtain, but the focus was solely on badge farming, so it was generally lots of people running the daily, and the easier heroics.  People were concentrating heavily on getting those badges for the shiny new gear.

Karazhan has also become something of a curiosity.  A raid instance where one now must be over geared, and after badges.  No longer is wiping in Karazhan acceptable for many.  I don’t know about anyone else, but seeing messages in LFG saying ‘Kara speed badge run LFM.  DPS needed, must be in all epics, prefer T5’.  T5 for Kara?  WTF?  This has led to alts being pushed out of the Kara PuG picture in many cases, and left to find guild runs.

Well, guild runs of places are getting increasingly hard to come by.  Take the example of my two guilds.  Dying Breed has stopped running guild runs of Karazhan, and hasn’t fielded a guild run in at least a month.  The sign ups just slowly died as people started to find better things to do on weekends, and possibly got tired of running Kara all the time.  Even now, 5 man all guild groups are difficult to get in the DB.  There is a big focus on alts, and in a logical (yet frustrating) response to the previous tank/healer shortages, most every alt is a tank or a healer!  The other day when I was logged on, we had 3 druids, 2 priests, and 4 paladins online.  That was it.  Nothing that could field a respectable 5 man!  Many people have also taken their mains to raiding guilds in a last ditch effort to see content before WotLK.

Arcis is rocked by the other form of guild meltdown.  Raiding guilds are starting to struggle for signups as well, with people just ‘taking a break from WoW’ before the expansion pack.  A freeze of sorts in progression has also left many people frustrated, and many have /gquit over dissent about the direction the guild is taking raid wise.  The mass recruitment of new players has caused there to be a bit of a gap between the gear we have as well – often fielding a 25 man into Hyjal with half the raid in Kara and Gruul’s gear.  I myself still have zero pieces of T5 (granted, I could have had the gloves many a time, but they are a downgrade).  New recruits also seem to be clashing alot with the old guard in some cases, which is causing a great deal of drama.  (I might post a bit more about my drama-lama experience soon enough!)

The wonder that is dailies has also caused a bit of burnout, with many people spending their playtime doing dailies on all their characters to get gold.  By the time they have done that, they are bored of WoW and just want to log.  A great reason for me to not do dailies!

I do believe it is a combination of these things which are killing guilds left right and centre.  Dailies – Blah.  Most content meaning ‘nothing’ anymore?  Blah.  On my server, if you haven’t basically finished BT and Hyjal, then you are ‘no one’.  This attitude from the top raiders does filter down to the rest of us, and yes, it is disheartening hearing that sort of thing.  It is also summer for most of you (which makes it especially crappy for me, down here is Oz, entering my winter hibernate in the house phase!), and you all want to go out and enjoy the sunshine, which is always great.  I hope you do enjoy it, and I will see you all back again (I hope) when WotLK comes out!

On to other news:

Counting down – approximately one week I guess until my self hosted blog is up and running.  Many kind thanks to those of you who have been dropping your entrecards on my site, and applying to advertise.  Much appreciated!

Also in the countdown, I have just one assignment left, and then the ‘studying’ component of my degree is basically finished forever.  When I hand that in tomorrow, I will be cheering!  Three and a half years down, only half a year to go.  Then I am an official certified, dignified, bonafide high school teacher!  Well, maybe not so much the dignified part, I am still working on that one!  Funnily enough, for someone who said they wouldn’t be posting much, I think I actually wrote more this week than usual!

The Dying Breed forum is also back online!  Huzzah for me, I can go back to hours of trolling!

Creating your very own warlock

•June 5, 2008 • 1 Comment

So you decided to go for a warlock. Good for you! There are now some important things for you to consider.

1. Race: Which race to play is often decided based on sheer appearance alone, especially for us Alliance warlocks. Whether to go for the majestic Human warlock, or the wonderful juxtaposition of the cute, yet deadly evil Gnome warlock? Essentially, I would decide based on what you intend to do with your warlock. If you want to be a PvP fiend, go for the gnome, with their wonderful Escape Artist ability. That and gnomes are just plain hard to target on the battleground! If you are leaning more towards the PvE aspect of things, then Diplomacy is your very best friend. 10% to all rep gains is a wonderful thing.

If you feel up to going for the slightly more sinister Horde side, then you have the choice between an Orc, Blood Elf, or Undead warlock. Personally, I think the Orc is the best choice, with the combination of Blood Fury (adds to spell damage at the cost of healing received), and Command (5% pet damage increase). The reason there may not be so many old Orc warlocks around is simply because Blood Fury did not add to spell damage until patch 2.0. The formula for working out the plus damage buff is 3+Level*2.

I have a weird dislike of Blood Elves, but I can see Mana Tap and Arcane Torrent being beneficial as well.

Undead warlocks are a force to be feared in PvP, with their combination of Will of the Forsaken (immune to sleep/charm/fear for 5 seconds) and Cannibalise (eating humanoid and undead corpses! Yummy!).

2. Name: What you name your character is very important. The name is the first thing people use to judge your character, and you. Most people feel more comfortable with someone with a ‘normal’ handle than someone named ‘Omgdotpew’. Just the way it is I am afraid. Also, try to avoid cutsey names for your warlock, you are meant to be all evil and mysterious!

3. Appearance: one thing I wish I had considered more carefully. Sar looks, well, kinda dumb. Thinking back, I’d probably go with different coloured hair, and a more wizened expression. If you play a male character, be sure you are comfortable with the idea of a man wearing robes. So many people don’t think of that until it is too late!

There we have it, your baby level one warlock. Have fun exploring the darker side of casting (yes, we are much darker than those shadow priests!).