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Archive for the ‘Raiding’ Category

I’m a raider. That means I have to be on time, be prepared, and, most importantly, follow directions.

In return, though, there are a few things that I want from my leadership, whether in a raid or just in guild chat.

As a note, this is not a list of things I wish my guild leadership would do.  Some of these are things my guild is very good at – others, not so much.  Regardless, with any guild I’m a part of, this would be my wishlist.

Clarity

This is numero uno.  From clear guild policies to loot rules, things need to be spelled out for me to feel really comfortable.  A lot of this is work upfront when creating a guild – what loot system you use, if there are any exceptions, how to move up in guild ranks, etc.  Whatever your rules are, I’ll probably be okay with them – just let me know what they are.

This impacts the raid schedule, too.  For example, if, according to our raid calendar, we’re scheduled to clear Mount Hyjal on Monday, and Black Temple on Tuesday and Wednesday, what happens if we don’t clear Mount Hyjal on Monday?  Are we going into Black Temple on Tuesday as originally planned, or is it more important to clear Mount Hyjal first?  I don’t care either way – just let me know.

Maybe I’m more paranoid that most raiders, but before going into a T6 raid, I skim the bossfight tactics on our guild forum, WoWWiki, or shadowpriest.com – even if it’s a boss we’ve downed several times before.  Having a clear plan for the raid that night helps me prepare as a raider.

Negative Feedback

Auz, from Chick GM, caught me off guard in her post about interviewing recruits. She asks her recruits:

How you you like to receive feedback about your gameplay?
This is for me. Every single raider in my guild has received feedback from me. From “good job” to “dude quit that shit.” Each one of them prefers to get it in a different way. One of my shaman likes for me to call it out in vent. One of my priests gets very defensive if I call stuff out in front of others. One of my pallys likes to hear stuff right then in the raid. Another shaman would rather I give them a short instruction in the raid but always after the raid would like me to explain my feedback in detail. I will have to give you feedback and your preferred way has to be something I can actually do.

The first thing I thought was “Dear GOD this woman is a genius!”  Everyone doesn’t respond to feedback the same way.  Personally, I hate being called out on stuff in front of others.  I already know I screwed up, and I already feel like crap because I caused others to have a higher repair bill or just plain work harder to make up for my messup.  And you know what?  Other people probably know I screwed up too.

I want the negative feedback, but please give it to me in private.

Positive Feedback

Larísa of The Pink Pigtail Inn wrote earlier this week asking, “when did you last tell a fellow player that he’s great?”  It’s a great reminder to thank your fellow raiders (and leaders!) for all the hard work they do.

I LOVE positive feedback.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and really makes me feel like I’m contributing to the success of the group. It doesn’t have to be lavish praise, either.  One of our raid leaders will consistently throw out words of praise like “great shackles,” “good job on that sheeping,” or “nice pickup on those adds, tanks.”  It truly gets the raid pumped up, and we feel like we’re on top of the world.  But the important thing is that this praise can’t be contrived, or tossed out like it’s a formula for success. This praise affects me because I know the raid leader means it.

Respect

Starman over at Casual Raid Leader noted in his recent post that communication can be essential to avoiding burnout.  He comes at the question from a raid leader perspective, but it’s definitely applicable to raiders.  If, for whatever reason, I am unable to raid, I’ll let my raid leader know.  In return, understand that I’m not flaking out – I just need a night off.  I’ll let you know what I need from you – just tell me what can happen, what can’t happen, and why. Mutual respect goes a long way in creating a great raid team.

Fun!

Yeah, remember that part of it?  It’s a game!  Okay, so this part isn’t strictly about communication, but it sure is important.  I love raiding with my guild/raid leaders, but some of my most fun with them happens when we do a 10 man we way outgear, stomp through a heroic dungeon, or just hang out in Vent or guild chat poking fun at each other.  We play this game to have fun, and even though you’re leading a guild, we want you to have fun too.

Communication Series

Communication Part 1: What I Want from Blizzard
Communication Part 2: What I Want from my Leadership
Communication Part 3: What Others Can Expect from Me

Photo Credits: lukasd2009

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Hello, my name is Isis, and it’s been eight days since my last raid.

Hello Isis.

Eight days. *twitch*

Less than a week after our impromptu guild meeting about how we wanted to keep raiding until Lich King came out, people stopped showing up. Three raids in a row have been canceled due to lack of people. Now that there’s an actual date for the release, expansionitis has hit my guild hard.

Maybe I’ll take some of Dechion’s suggestions for dealing with expansionitis.

Guess I’ll go level one of my girls. My shammy and druid have been waiting for some level love.

Image Credits: Christina Snyder

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You remember those books where you made decisions that affected the outcome, right?

There are a couple cases in Warcraft where you can push yourself harder than required to get a greater reward:

Blizzard is taking these “challenge yourself” instances to new heights with Obsidian Sanctum. In the Black Dragonflight wing of the Chamber of Aspects, you’ll encounter three black drakes, and one bad-ass big dragon – Sartharion.

Here’s where the Choose Your Own Adventure piece kicks in. You can either kill those black drakes first, or you can leave them up, and deal with the consequences. For every drake alive when you pull Sartharion, he will get an extra skill you have to contend with, and it will make things much more challenging. Your reward? An extra piece of epic loot for each of the first two black drakes. If you go to fight Sartharion with all three drakes still alive, he’ll drop the Black Drake Mount. It’s rumored that in the 25 man version of Obsidian Sanctum, he’ll drop a Twilight Drake Mount instead.

SMEXY!

Remember that whole Hardcore vs. Casual thing? This is yet another example that you can push yourself, and have a “hardcore” attitude about completing something in the most difficult manner for the best reward, without necessarily being at the cutting edge of the raiding game.

It’s like a ZA bear mount remix. Those guilds that can really push themselves to excel beyond the required will have their raiders flying around Dalaran on their mounts, preening. I know I would! Add to the rumored mount-collecting achievement, and you’ll have the completionists running this every reset.

I really love the idea of being able to choose your preferred level of difficulty. I had a lot of fun on ZA timed runs (never did get the bear /sadface), but I also had a blast when it was just me and nine buddies, killing animals for the hell of it (sorry DEHTA). It allows people who have a little less time, or who aren’t in a 25 man raiding group, to have visible proof that a challenge was met.

I, for one, am looking forward to flying around on my new drake.

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10 Ways to Annoy Your Fellow Raiders

Or: How To Make an Ass out of Yourself in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Be sure to be afk or be in the middle of an instance when invites start. Bonus points if you’re the main tank.
  2. Be online in Shattrath for half an hour before raid time, and still ask for a summon right before the pull.
  3. Make sure to leave your potions, flasks, buff food, and resist gear in the bank. Request a portal and summon back to get them.
  4. NEVER review the strategy for a new boss. Learn by trial and error!
  5. Go afk during the boss explanation, come back, and say “now what do I need to do again?”
  6. Talk over the raid leader during explanations or during looting. Alternatively, repeat what the raid leader said, using slightly different words. Repeat ad nauseum.
  7. Play the hero! Ignore healing assignments, group placement, and instructions on who is the main assist. Simply do everything you can to pad your dps, hps, or tps numbers.
  8. Post the damage or healing meters during the raid. Be sure to point out how awesome you are. Warlocks and mages: be sure to complete this step during fights and/or trash that requires aoe damage.
  9. Make everyone wait while you decide if you want that piece of loot or not. Be sure to check various class resources to confirm you would or would not like the loot, but do not reference these guides until the boss is dead.
  10. Mages! At the end of the evening, before the raid can click the portal to Shatt, make sure to have another mage put up a portal to Exodar or Undercity directly on top of the first. Repeat with as many major cities as possible.

If you complete these 10 easy steps, I guarantee at least one of your fellow raiders will log off thinking that you are an asshat. Congratulations!

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Now THIS is Casual Gaming

There’s a lot of stigma over the word “Casual” here in the WoW universe (wowiverse?).

Pssst – it’s not a dirty word!

This week’s Blog Azeroth Shared Topic, suggested by the author of Life of a Nin, has us exploring the difference between “Raider” and “Casual.”

Casual has several different connotations that can spring up. It could be:

  • Someone who logs on once a week
  • Someone who plays fairly regularly, but only does dailies/pvp/questing
  • Someone who never raids, but runs 5 mans
  • Someone who never raids 25 mans, but runs 10 mans
  • Someone who raids no more than twice a week
  • Someone who raids regularly, but doesn’t fully consumable/buff/min-max their character
  • Someone who raids regularly, but hasn’t gotten their slacker self into Sunwell Plateau yet

Do you see what I’m getting at? The definition of casual can change drastically depending on where in their WoW career the person considering the question is.

I think Zupa at Automagica! had it right on the Blog Azeroth forums. There are casual players, casual raiders, hardcore players, and hardcore raiders. It’s a continuum, and it’s not fair to label someone as exclusively one or the other.

I raid three times a week, for 3-4 hours a night, in Mount Hyjal and Black Temple. That’s 100% attendance of my guild’s regular raids. I’ll run a Kara or ZA on the weekend. Several of the high end guilds on my server may well consider me “casual.” And yet, for every raid, I come prepared:

  • I’m on time
  • I have my flasks/oil/food ready (okay, so I slack on the initial trash!)
  • I’ve read the boss strat, watched the video, and gone to shadowpriest.com for tips and tricks specific to me
  • I have my Shadow Resist gear ready, PvP trinket set to swap in, and plenty of Sacred Candles for buffing
  • I already know what loot could potentially drop, so I don’t waste time making snap decisions

So, am I casual, b/c I don’t raid six days a week, or am I hardcore, because of my preparation?

I’m in the middle.

I don’t think “hardcore” vs “casual” is determined by progression – it’s determined by attitude. Not every raider who has killed M’uru or Kil’jaeden is hardcore. And not every person who only steps foot into Kara is casual. It’s all about your mindset. As Blizz caters more and more to solo and smaller group play, “casual” is going to become less of a dirty word.

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I love raiding, I truly do. But sometimes, it scares the crap out of me.

Meet my new nightmare:

The Bogeyman

We had our first night of tries against Teron Gorefiend. If you’ve not done the fight before, the gimmick is that every 30 seconds, a raider turns into a ghost and has to fight Shadowy Constructs. They can hurt the raid (brutally), but only the ghosted player can hurt them. It’s up to that person to save the entire raid from a wipe.

No pressure or anything.

So, try #1. Don’t let me get the constructs, don’t let me get the constructs…
I get the constructs. >.< No big deal, we were in the middle of a wipe anyway, but at least I had a chance to realize my bar mod put the abilities I need to use on my pet bar, instead of my main bar. Good to know.

Tries two and three – I lucked out. We wiped before the rng could hate on me.

Try #4 – Don’t let me get the constructs, don’t let me get the constructs…
I’m the first person to get the debuff! This is bad, I’m the only person ghosted, no one is going to be there to help me, this is all on me… and I choke. Completely. I got one shackle off, a couple of lances to slow them down, but my constructs were rampaging through the raid inside of 20 seconds. I failed miserably.

I hate this fight. I hate screwing up and causing a wipe, a repair bill, and wasted time for 24 other people. I hate that sinking feeling when I realize I just let everyone down when they were all counting on me to do this job.

My guild is great – this was a learning night, and no one was upset about the night of wipes. We needed people to get used to dealing with the constructs. And yet, my twisted little head decides to take this burden on personally – I screwed up, and we would have won if I hadn’t choked. That sinking sensation is driven home even further when someone says “Don’t worry, guys, it’s easy! Play the simulation game and you’ll get it in no time!”

If it’s easy, I must really suck.

I love raiding, I truly do; it’s just that sometimes I feel more like a liability than an asset.

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For my guild, Mount Hyjal is becoming more and more “our instance.”

I’m not sure why that is. Black Temple trash can drag on and on, and it feels like it takes us forever to get to a boss or do any serious killing. In Mount Hyjal, on the other hand, you don’t have a choice – you’re gonna keep moving whether you like it or not!

Last night, we one shot everything up to Archimonde. We’ve done that for three weeks straight. After the raiding slump we’d had a couple of months ago, it’s a great feeling to see everyone online and at the portal, the raid starting on time, and people knowing what’s going on.

Three more people got their first piece of T6, and when Kaz’rogal finally coughed up the Leggings of Channeled Elements, I grinned when our resident drug lord had more dkp than I did – this woman works hard to keep us prepared!

Why I love Mount Hyjal

Tips and Tricks

  • Trash – Learn to love your Shackle! It really helps if priests are given Raid Assistant status so they can mark their own target; it helps prevent overwriting each other and makes life easier for the Raid Leader. /focus is your friend! For bosses that need Shadow Protection, rebuff the raid with your Prayer during waves 7 and 8.
  • Rage Winterchill – Tank and spank! Watch your aggro if Death and Decay lands on the tank. Otherwise, enjoy the smooth ride.
  • Anetheron – Spread out! Be sure to keep Vampiric Embrace up to help your healers, since the Carrion Swarm ability can have a nasty effect on healing output.
  • Kaz’rogal – Pray. Okay, really, learn to manage your mana. Throw on as much shadow resist gear as you can. Mana pot early and often, use your shadowfiend, and make friends with a druid for innervate (remember, if they’re in your group, they get mana back when you have the mana to do damage!). When you’re learning the fight, don’t be afraid to use a low mana cost rotation – just DoTs and Mind Flay.
  • Azgalor – Shadow Resist Gear! Be ready to run out of the Rain of Fire, Power Word: Shielding on the go. Have health pots, health stones, and bandages handy. Shadow priests are at a disadvantage on this fight, since we don’t have the range that other casters do (damn you, Mind Flay!), so situational awareness is key.
  • Most Important Tip – HAVE FUN!

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