Row, row, row your boat

•February 25, 2010 • 5 Comments

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.

The above nursery rhyme sometimes serves as a metaphor for life’s difficult choices and I want to use it to refer to the choices you need to take as a guild officer. Lately, It has been rough in game. Not like we progressed our way on to the Lich King all of a sudden, no, in fact we’re still stuck on that Rotface dude (Altough we killed him several times before after hours of wiping). What I ment by rough is that managing the guild has become hard to achieve. I ran arround for a couple of days deciding if my time as an officer had come and if I should say goodbye. The main reason for that is that I feel like I’m not bringing the same solutions any more wich pleases most of our members. At the moment, we need to choose a path wich can have a large effect on our social ingame environment.

I was getting sick of logging into the game and awnsering people’s questions about what’s on the planner, who will raid, who will not raid, when will they raid, when will they continue, etc. On my left side I see a guild that is getting bored of the first 4 bosses in Icecrown and they want to see more. The left side doesn’t care anymore about the badges and the loot, they just want to achieve something and push themselves further to get a new boss down. On my right side I see a guild that still wants to farm those 4 bosses because it brings in their weekly badges, if they are lucky they can loot some new items. The right side isn’t ready for stepping up and evaluating their personal performance. They want to be carried.

I feel like I’m right in between those 2 sides. I’ve saw those bosses aswell, I still enjoy doing them but the element of suprise is gone. It’s farming to me but not to others, they still need this expierience. I see people who aren’t ready to progress but still insist they diserve to be a part of that progress group. It’s like Fugaru is walking with the progress side and as a person I’m sticking close to the people that still need the help. I feel it’s my task as an officer to be there for them. And I know I shouldn’t bother but if I leave them behind, I feel like I’m ignoring our guilds values.

“Not taking decisions is a bad decision” – from the great warrior Sigge

Right,…how do we handle this? I believe most of our guildmembers understand that something needs to be done and most of them understand the dilemma. I’m not going to talk about the details on how we’re handling stuff in the future but I did made up my mind: We’ll take a decision, we’ll communicate it and we’ll listen to people’s comments. Our decision will be permanent and we realize that it’s not the best decision for every single individual. We’re aiming for the best decision that helps the guild.

I came across a very well written article of Ciderhelm, one of the founders of tankspot.com. The article is more an open letter to Blizzard and how he feels that WoW is in need of reinventing itself. He points towards some differences between the hardcore guilds and the more casual player. One comment he made is especially true for our situation:

For me, my biggest frustration and source of burnout in the 99% has been when I have been doing a complex job in an encounter without mistake for hours and days and having to deal with the few who seem to always find new and interesting ways to die.

The issue present for serious gamers in the 99% is that they rarely are given challenges or means of discovering new and interesting ways to play their class or play the game. They only need to be as good as the worst players in their raid, and have little motivation to be better except for personal pride

When I look at our memberbase I see a lot of people that are decent players. With a helping hand, they can do the job. But most of the time they get used to it and forget to stand on their own feet. If you let people figure things out themselves or assign them to a really critical role in the encounter, they might suprise you. And I strongly believe we should do this more often. It will not work for everyone, but it will for the majority of our players.

Our new strategy will be like this: we want to progress and every member can be a part of it as long as they are willing to increase their performance. We’re not pushing people anymore, we’re going to pull people. Right now, we’re pushing people into new content but there is no one in front to open the next door to progress. If the push group can go stand in front of the guild and starts pulling people across the doorstep, I believe we’ll advance as a guild and as an individual.

Let’s see how it turns out, not sure how big the impact will be but I’m sure there will be one. It would be sad if it didn’t had an effect at all, than I really need to reconcider my position as an officer and as a guild member.

Row, row, row your boat,
Gently down the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
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The dwarf is still standing

•February 16, 2010 • 8 Comments

The screenshot has absolutly nothing to do with this post but it was a leftover from my achievement hunt and I found it quiet funny to run arround like that. Perhaps a Goblin could be my first real horde character…

So, we had 2 days in Icecrown before the weekend and on thursday we had some very close attempts on Putricide. We really worked ourself into the fight and after a while we even switched to resto shaman/druid healing combo to have an extra dps and it was still managable to keep everyone up. We hitted the enrage at 30% and decided that we did our best for that night.

A lot of people were still unsaved and waiting for a fresh run in Icecrown, hoping to get some more badges and loot. Enough people are willing to help but most of the time we lack healers and/or tanks to get the train going. I silently offered to go as tank with Masiv, my old dwarf friend. He was always the first to lead in Naxxramas and Ulduar but Icecrown was unexplored teritory for him. Apart from that, it has been several months since I switched to Fugaru for full time healing. An occasional run in ToGC was the last we saw from Masiv.

I was a bit shocked of his gearlevel. The notorious addon called “GearScore” gave my pala tank a 4.9k. Ouch, that’s so painfull. There is not a chance I would ever get into a pug if I needed to whisper that to the raidleader. I had lot’s of triumph emblems for him but I used almost 50 frost emblems to buy Primordial Saronite to upgrade Fugaru’s boots. And there weren’t a lot of options to upgrade from Triumph. I was glad I had the T9 2 set bonus and bought the hands aswell, it should gave me an extra socket.

My cloak was still something I picked up in Naxxramas 25 and it seems like the only upgrade is in Trial of the Crusader or saving for Frost emblems. Ah well, let’s just see how it goes. After all, I got 3 good healers to rely on. My co-tank was Estme, a protection warrior. She had more expierience in there and was also far better geared since she plays that one as her main. I decided to let her do the hard work and I would go “OT” for most of the pulls.

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Achievement hunting

•February 11, 2010 • 6 Comments

Hey there, how are my fans doing? Actually, I’d better write “fan”…

Achievements! Those tiny boxes you see flashing at the bottom of your screen every time you completed something special. Well, special…you don’t really need to do a lot of stuff to earn your first achievements. Level untill 10, explore your starting zone, get a vanity pet, etc. It’s all fairly simple.

I never really focused on those achievements. I do believe it’s a nice addition to the game because a lot of people are now exploring a part of WoW that otherwise would have been forgotten and left to rot. But Blizzard does a nice job to keep all of their content alive wich they created during the years. Every day, at least 1 raid is formed to visit some old raid instance like Mount Hiyal or Molten Core. I wasn’t really a dedicated player during the release of those places and now you get a chance to see them. I was in a “Battle for Mount Hiyal” run this week. It was pretty nice to see how the encounters were develloped during those days. I can imagine how 40 players had struggled weeks to get to the final boss.

Some people spend a lot of time to farm those achievements. It’s like they are addicted to that popup box. I sometimes ask myself how bored those persons must be if you see a achievement announcement every hour. It actually requires a lot of planning and research, especially if you start to go for achievements that require some more work or multiple players to help you.

I was browsing my screenshot map last night and realized that I had earned quiet some achievements myself the past weeks. I’m still leveling my warlock and I do that by joining random dungeons. It gives me some decent gear that helps me level, you get to see dungeons you’ve never been before and every run is 25% of your expierience bar. After every dungeon, I got an achievement. But than came Black Rock Depths. Damn, the time I have spend in there, exploring every corner, opened every door, downed every mob,…just to have some idea of where we were in that huge instance. The only time I did get an achievement in there was when Pieonhere boosted me and Holymojo’s druid. A dangerous place to walk thrue.

There is a lot more to come after the break…

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L2Wipe

•January 28, 2010 • 9 Comments

When I’m raiding, I’m usually the one leading the raid. That means I’m the busdriver. A large part of my task as a raid leader starts hours before the actually forming of the raid ingame. Based on our raidplanner, I have a pretty good overview on who’s available for raiding and who will eventually be given a spot to raid that night. That allows me to think about strategies well beforehand. When I read about encounters, I’m not planning our strat with terms like MT or OT but I put names on them. When I see ranged dps in the startegy guide, I know that means a mage, a warlock and a balance druid. All this kind of thinking and planning saves time during the raid. Practicly all of the assignments are in my head, others just need to execute it.

Beside me, there are some other people aswell who are able to lead a raid succesfully. A lot of stress falls of my shoulders when I know a raid is in good hands if I’m not the one leading it. That doesn’t mean that every raid I lead is always succesfull. I got lot’s of examples where the bus wasn’t able to get going at all or I can tell you stories about bus crashes. What I do notice is that in raids where I need to be silent, we’re having a harder time in executing a fight as it should be. We had a weekly raid in Ulduar, Ignis was on the wanted list. We had a massive wipe, we even lost people on trash… It’s not like we were running with alts, no. We all had our mains in there, characters with full badge gear, expierience in both ToC 10 and 25 and some of us had allready down 4 bosses in Icecrown.

We wiped because there was a lack of communication, better yet, no communication at all. There was no healing setup wich caused people to die in Ignis belly pot. Dps died a second after the tank pulled becuase they were to trigger happy. Adds weren’t taunted after they got molten so they headed for the raid. Well, you get the picture. Everything what could have gone wrong went wrong. And on our second attempt, no one is standing up and offers himself to take things under controll. A simple “Can you make sure that people in the pot stay alive” would have been sufficient. Or a small reminder in raidchat that the adds needed to be taunted again after they got molten since they loose aggro. It’s not that I do this things on purpose in order to make everyone pay their repairbill at the end of the raid. It’s actually very painfull to see everyone suffer from a bad raid.

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Poo-poo?

•January 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

It was time to take things a bit more seriously. Rotface had caused many wipes and at some point, Kilroy wasn’t even able to pay his repairbill anymore, go figure how much we must have wiped on him this week. Than again, Kilroy might be just poor…let’s stick to that.

I head for the tankspot forums where the comments on the Rotface video guide had reached a 5th page. I’ve started to read all comments and found out that the application of infections by rotface weren’t based on boss health but on an actual timer. After 2 min 53 seconds in the fight, every 6 seconds, a player would get infected. This was our panic moment during our previous attempts. We needed to do everything about it to maximize our dps time during those first 3 minutes in order to minimize the ooze flood.

And that was the only thing we changed actually, just let the first 4-6 infections drop of by themselves and just stand still to dps and heal as long as possible. Heroism was used from the start. It was the third evening we faced Rotface this week but the second attempt was the right one. Boss went down with a smack. In the final 15 seconds, we lost 2 people and Kilroy even managed to die after the boss was down due to the ooze explosion. Ouch, even more repairbill.

This time, I’ve succeeded to start recording at the beginning of the fight so I got the whole encounter on video. Take a look at the result after the break.

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Festergut down

•January 22, 2010 • 1 Comment

Just a fast and short update: Oldtimers downed Festergut for the first time last night. And we only need 1 practice attempt because the second one was spot on! He didn’t seem that hard but I must say, our execution and coordination was flawless. I didn’t expect him to go down that fast and forgot to turn on my recording program. I realized at 20% that we were going to take him down so I only have the final piece of the fight on tape. I will upload it if I don’t have another chance to down him next week.

For a full kill screenshot, click below:

We tried Rotface aswell but he was slappig people every single attempt. I really am a sucky healer during that fight. We go in again next monday, hoping to reach Putricide aswell. Wish me luck, I hope I will not need my Reincarnation a lot.

A Gnome’s night out

•January 20, 2010 • 3 Comments

Tuesday night, the final IC pugs are made and most of them fail because all of the good characters are saved. Players eiger for their frost emblems are looking for an Ulduar group in order to complete the weekly raid quest. And what does a gnome do a tuesday night? Well he makes his way to the city, hoping to pick up some girls. Ow yeah, I got some crusader love last night, crusing arround in Ironforge City. And all of those poor teenage Death Knights who can’t afford to gem their gear were drooling all over my driver.

Gratz to Tzuk√© for finally completing his chopper. That’s something he sended me youtube video’s about even before WOTLK came out, go figure! Also, for all the hackers out there, it’s no use to hack his account because he’s broke again, stop waisting your time. If you really want to hack something, check out Gnomubica on the armory…