Thursday, January 31, 2008

Transfer Thoughts

*I started typing this post and instead of a few quick thoughts on my new server it sort of became this back and forth tug of war on whether I made the right choice to transfer , so I apologize for the rambling and all the scattered thoughts*

I transferred to Blackwing layer which is one of the “newer” high population PVP servers that I could find. The idea behind going to a high population server is more guilds in 25 man content which means I will hopefully have a better shot of getting into a hard core raiding guild with a level of progression close to what Mal Katai was at.

I wanted to find a guild that was around the same level of progression because I still want the thrill of downing a boss together as a guild for the first time. Being run through an instance that a guild has been farming for weeks is just not fun to me. There were basically three guilds on Blackwing Layer which were close to what I was looking for.
BlackWing Layer Progression

After asking around for a guild that would take a Prot Warrior, Resto Druid, and holy paladin we were accepted into the guild “Strips for Silver” (Strips for Silver/). “Strips for Silver” has cleared HKM, Gruul, Mag, Hydross, Lurker, and Void Reaver which is roughly where “Mal katai” is so it was a good match. Originally we were talking to the officers in the guild “Bleach” (Farthest progressed alliance guild on Blackwing layer) and I think we would have been accepted but then I would have been in the “Farming Run through” scenario, and I just don’t think I would have had as much fun with that. Granted I am a loot whore, but walking around in gear that I didn’t really earn isn’t rewarding. If I wanted that I might as well ebay a character.

My transfer went through Tuesday night so I logged onto my new server and was in awe at how many people were standing around Iron Forge (side note: Logging into a server with your main and having no one on your friends list sucks nuts). The server is seriously packed. I checked prices on the auction house and they were similar to Altar of Storms so I tossed up a few blacksmithing items to see if I could get them to sell. I had these items up for more than a week on Altar of Storms with no luck, but in under an hour I had sold everything I had crafted. The economy is strong on Blackwing so hopefully I will have an easier time of making some cash to handle all my repair bills and weekly respec fee’s.

Blackwing is also in the same Battle group that Altar of Storms is in so it’s possible I will end up in some BG’s with some of my old friends at some point, or end up getting my ass handed to me in Arena’s by these same guys. I have to admit it might have been nice to go to a less competitive battle group to get a higher arena team ranking, but I guess that’s the easy way out and if I did end up with a higher arena ranking I would have always thought about how I couldn’t cut it in a harder battle group.

What I was totally unprepared for and kinda disappointed in was the number of people that can be found in each guild. Tuesday was a raid night for “Strips for Silver”, being my first night and logging in after the raid had started I obviously wasn’t invited but I wasn’t the only one…..
At raid time there were 70 level 70’s logged on and many of them in queue waiting for a raid spot. What does that mean for me being the new guy? I’m not sure yet, the GM had said that their core group was in need of good tanks, so I’m hoping that means I won’t be one of the normal guys sitting in queue riding the bench while others raid. Being totally freaked out by how many people trying to get a raid spot I started rethinking my choice in guilds so I started doing a “/who Bleach”, “/who Bear Cav”, etc. All the guilds were packed like this! That’s why I’m saying I think this server is bloated. There is not enough guilds to support this large of a population. If I cannot get into the main core group of raiders (The GM said that me and the Dirty’s would get spots but this is me being paranoid because I wasn’t even really sure I wanted to transfer in the first place) then I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to do.
Side Note: Tuesday night the guild ran HKM, Gruul, and Mag all in one night and in like 2 hours which I was very happy to see that they utilize their time as much as possible.

Wednesday and Thursday are “off” nights for the guild, which kinda sucks I would rather see Friday and Saturday as nights off. For instance I’ll have to miss out on a TK raid this Saturday because I’ll be over at Dirty’s house watching the MMA fight (Brock Lesnar is fighting, which is going to be awesome). I figure I should be able to raid most Friday’s and Saturdays though since I don’t get out much after having a kid.

Last night being an “off” night I was invited to run in a Kara group. By now you guys know how much I hate Kara but I have to start integrating myself into this guild somehow so I figured this was a good place to start since one of the raid officers was in the group. Later I found out that I was invited so they could just check up on me and Dirty to make sure we weren’t retarded and possibly ruin their raids. I’m happy to say the run went smooth, we did a full Kara clear, and I collected my badges as normal.

The thought is now in the back of my mind that if I cannot be a core member of a guild then I might just possibly have to form my own guild. I have been a GM before and seriously it’s kind of a nightmare, but I’d be willing to do it over not raiding. Then I guess I would have no one but myself to bitch at if the raiding wasn’t going as planned. Anyways, that’s a thought but I’m not sure if it’s one to pursue just yet.

As a recap:
Was transferring the right thing to do? Not sure yet, im still 50/50. I found a guild with a good raiding schedule, good dkp system, and with basically the same level of progression as Mal Katai, so that’s good. The economy seems to be extremely strong so I might be able to actually make a little bit of gold, also good. I had to leave behind some really good friends, which sucks ass. There is also the problem of for such a huge population there seems to be a limited amount of good raiding guilds so the number of members per guild is huge, which may mean I might not get to raid as much as I want, that’s bad. For now I guess I’ll see how many raids I get invites to and how the guild does as a whole. If it doesn’t work out I can always guild hop or even form my own guild, which I’m pretty confident I could easily find the members and be up and going in 25 mans in a very short about of time, so that’s always an option.

Until then though I guess I’ll get some team spirit with “Strips for Silver” and see where that takes me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Good Bye Mal Katai

With much sadness the decision to move servers has been put into motion. Within the next few days or possibly even tonight Raydz will be moving to the Blackwing Layer server. This is a PVP server in the PST time zone. The main reason I am moving is because two of my Real life buddies have decided it’s time to move on and find a guild with a more hard core approach to raiding and since its in PST the raiding times will suit our schedules better since we are more “late night” type of guys. I’m down with the idea of finding a more hard core guild and one of the main reasons we all play wow is because it lets us hang out together, and since recently having kids we don’t get out that much anymore wow is the primary means in which to do that. I cannot let my friends transfer and not transfer raydz, they are my RL best friends and to not play with them would just be a shitty move on my part. For me this is really a hard thing to go through with because I feel like I have made several good friends on my server and leaving means not raiding with these guys anymore, and seriously that can suck my left nut.

I left what I felt is a “heart felt” good bye on my guild forums without getting all queer about it, so I hope it lets all these guys know how much it’s gonna suck not hanging with them anymore. I’m really going to miss all the trash talking and non-gay (well maybe a little gay) bonding we have had on our Kara and ZA runs and even the larger 25 man runs.

Mal Katai as a guild has been a lot of fun and I got to see some new content with them which has been a blast. I think for my friends it will be easier to transfer because they never really connected with the guild as a whole, where I feel I have made some good friends so it’s going to be hard to leave. I hope me leaving the guild doesn’t cause everyone to flat out hate me and if it does then possibly we weren’t as good of friends as I thought, and that would really suck a root. So to all my former guild mates and arena partners it’s been fun, you will be missed, and I plan to keep in touch through alts and stuff to say hi and make sure everyone is doing good.

And on one last parting note I leave you with this.

Your welcome.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A taste of SSC loot

I was finally able to spend some MKP! Friday we formed up a raid and headed into SSC with the plan of killing Hydross and heading to lurker for a progression kill. Our raid got started about an hour or so late due to lack of healers being online which was kind of a bummer, but after waiting a while we finally got everyone on and rolling. We had a little bit of trouble on the trash because the big bog guys were dying in unexpected ways that we had never encountered before ( I’ll be much quicker to jump out of the huge green pool of boiling acid next time), but it wasn’t long till we had cleared to Hydross. Most of our attempts on him looked pretty good on dps and healing we just had some bum luck with honors internet connection. Honors is one of the tanks on Hydross so when he loses connection that’s an attempt breaker. I know the feeling when your internet is messing up and there is nothing you can do about it, that’s a one way ticket to frustration hell. I felt bad for honors because I know it was driving him crazy. After a few attempts his connection held out and we downed Hydross. Hydross dropped a tanking trinket which I actually won the roll for (I was rolling against the guy who beat me out for the Mag t4 chest piece and had capped out his DKP again. If he had beat me in the roll I may have gone psycho, flew up to Canada, and then broke all his fingers so he couldn’t play WOW for a while. True story, I just might have.), but since I had a good roll I’m now I’m the proud owner of a new defense trinket. In all actuality the trinket isn’t an “amazing” piece, I think I’m more happy with the fact I get to use it as a “trophy” that I have seen Hydross down and able to get an item from SSC by using my MKP. After the Hydross kill the raid was called instead of going to Lurker, it was pretty late and I don’t think we had enough guys online to replace all the people that left so I guess that even though it’s a bummer we didn’t get to kill lurker there was nothing we could do about it. I hope tonight we will maybe be going to Gruul’s or Mag, let’s hope everyone brings their “A” game and we can down both bosses in a low number of wipes.

I’m trying to figure out if this trinket will become a permanent part of my set or a situational piece.
It comes with an ass load of defense, here is how defense applies to a tank. (copy/pasted from blizzard)

Defense - Increases the chance of being missed by an attack. - Increases the chance to dodge, parry, and block. - Decreases the chance of being affected by a critical hit. - Decreases the chance of being affected by a "crushing blow". Creatures that are higher level than your character can land crushing blows that deal increased melee damage. The chance of a crushing blow increases as the level difference between you and the opposing creature increases. Players never deal "crushing blows", only creatures.

Looking at my character standing still (not using shield block) this is how I look on dodge, parry and block.

After popping the new trinket here is how I stand (still not using shield block). The chance a mob will miss me, me dodging, parrying, or blocking an attack each goes up 2.76%
So with a single trinket use I have 4 “skills” that go up by roughly 3%

Here is me using the trinket and shield block. I include the picture of using shield block because while I tank it’s the skill that I let take precedence over everything else. I should never have this skill “not on cool down” so most of the time I’m tanking I have a shield block up so this is a more realistic view of my combat table while I’m tanking something.
You can see here that with shield block up my block value is now 42.27% which isn’t too bad.

I think I’m going to try using this trinket over my auto blocker as a “save me” trinket and see how it works out. I had been using my auto blocker more as a threat generation piece for shield slam but in the long run my threat has been “alright” that I don’t think I need the auto blocker as a main piece.

On a side note about threat: After reading some other tanks on I do feel my TPS is down a tad from what it should be so I have been experimenting with different threat generation rotations with still no major difference. My TPS hasn’t been low enough yet that I’m scared about it, but low enough that it’s something I want to improve. I would like to be sustaining 800 TPS easily like some of the other tanks have posted, but the auto blocker trinket really isn’t helping me with threat a huge amount which is why I’m going to try to ditch it for now. I know I can get up to 800-1000 TPS but that’s only on spikes and not sustainable through a whole fight, so I still have some work to do in that area. I am starting to wonder how much my ISP connection and lag are having to do with my TPS.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Amazing Raydz Addon

Yesterday my RL buddy who also plays WOW sent me a link for a World of Warcraft add-on builder which runs inside Microsoft Visual Studio. I have been a software developer for several years now and the thought of building WOW add-ons has always intrigued me, I just have never had the time to really dig in to them. 80% of my time developing is in Microsoft Visual studio so when I found out that there was now a WoW plug in for it, I had to check it out.

I only had about half an hour to mess with the creation of a new add-on before it was time to raid so I whipped up the “Amazing Raydz” add-on. It's really only a "tweeked" version of the tutioral mod but it's sure to be a big hit and one of the top downloads on curse gaming.

Obviously being my first add-on I started with something very simple just to see if I could get it to run in WoW. When World of Warcraft loads up there is a moveable frame on the screen which says “Is Raydz Amazing” and a “Yes” button. I didn’t add a “No” button because it would be a waste of time making it because no one would ever push it. When you push the “yes” button the frame disappears, but I also added the event that every time you switch targets the frame pops back up with new text. The frame is now controlled by this line of code which is found in the “code behind” section of the mod.

RaydzString:SetText("Raydz is more amazing than " .. UnitName("Target"));

So if I clicked on ragnaros (the final boss in the molten core) the add would pop up with. “Raydz is more amazing than Ragnaros” and the button text would be changed to "Thats True". Clicking the “That’s True” button will hide the frame again. Obviously besides the mod reminding you of my amazingness every few seconds it’s very annoying and has to be turned off, it was only created as a test to see if I could make a simple mod.

If you have ever had any interest in learning about creating your own mod’s id suggest learning with this tool since it provides intellesence and has a tutorial in the help section to get you started. It even lets you set a World of Warcraft screen shot as your background so when you develop you have an idea of where you are placing your frame which is really helpful.

Read about it Here. I know I'm going to keep playing with Mod Development. Whats great is that since its in visual studio i can mess with it all day at work and it will look like im doing normal work.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gruul Un-Farmed

Last week I was able to get my 2v2 and 3v3 games in, but as normal we couldn’t seem to get enough guys on at the same time for some 5v5 matches. I really need to stop letting this group slip and work at getting the guys together to make sure we get our points in or if it’s just not possible then I need to bail and find a different team. My 2v2 and 3v3 both went 6-4 for the week, which I’m happy with. Raising the team ratings is a slow process for us but at least it’s going up. After a few more 6-4 weeks I could sit happy with 2 teams being in the 1600’s. To someone who does arena’s and pvp’s hardcore 1600 is nothing special, but it would be an achievement for me since my time is pretty much 85% pve and then doing pvp in my off time. I do really enjoy pvp but I don’t think I could solely do it all the time or i might think about doing it, it’s my guess that I would burn out on that really fast. To argue that though I have never been in a pvp setting of pre-made battle ground groups or with a hardcore arena team, stomping ass in pvp all day long might be fun. I probably won’t ever go down that road though unless raiding becomes completely futile.

(Bitch Session Inc)
Speaking of raiding becoming futile, I want to scream from how much trouble our guild has been having with Gruul lately. For weeks we were killing him like he wasn’t a problem, most of the time it was a one shot and at the very most it was a two shot. For whatever reason now the past several times in Gruul’s layer has just seriously sucked hardcore. Last night we zoned in and killed HKM (It was an ugly kill btw, mobs died out of order and slowly). Then we went to Gruul and wiped on him, I cant remember what % he was at. The next attempt we wiped somewhere around 8% (He was on like growth 15), and then again another wipe around 14% (again a really high growth). I’m assuming our dps was lacking last night with how high our growths were. I don’t know if we’re still going after Gruul with people extremely under geared or if no one was paying attention but last night was basically a waste of a raid night. This means now we have to spend an extra night this week getting everyone back together to go in and finish Gruul when we could be doing something else productive whether that be a progression boss or farming badges (*shudder* I’m so sick of Kara). After our first wipe we farted around looking at Gruul for a long time, again letting any raid momentum we had die. I think the guild sat there and talked about gaming keyboards for about 10 minutes, then everyone had to buff, or go afk, or whatever other reasons. We f*cked around so much we had 3 attempts on Gruul before the trash timer was reset. At that point the raid was called because no one wanted to re-clear trash.

At what point do you “Un-farm” a boss? Wiping on Gruul and leaving without a boss kill doesn’t feel like “farm” status to me.

If the 25 man we took to Gruul last night is now our “Normal” raid group then we need to take a step back and make farming Gruul’s layer our priority again and sadly put SSC in the background until we can gear up these new people. It’s getting to the point that for several of the “geared normal” raiders that if it’s not our “successful” raid group then they are just going to stop going because they are tired of the repair bills, frustration, and the waste of time (this doesn’t include me it’s just what I have picked up from other raiders). I’m guessing this trend is already starting to take root as every raid on Gruul seems like we have more and more “new” people.

I’m not an officer in the guild or a raid leader but if it were up to me a decision would need to be made. So many new guys are not allowed to come to a raid at one time, if we had that many “new guys” because “old raiders” won’t go then those guys need a kick in the ass. If you won’t come to Gruul because you already have your gear and you’re not willing to help others then you’re not allowed to come to Mag and SSC. I go to Gruul even though I don’t really need anything anymore, yes I have the hope of getting his shield but that’s a 2.5% drop rate so in all reality I know I’ll probably never get it. I go to Gruul every week to help out others and because I enjoy raiding (even though the “enjoy” is really getting stretched thin lately with all the trouble we have been having), if others will not do the same then they need to be replaced for Gruul and denied the chance to go to SSC. You shouldn't be part of the “Core” team if you pick and choose raids, you’re either in or you’re out. If we lose a bunch of core guys because they will not commit and we need to take these “new” people then, we take a step back, gear them up, and then begin pushing forward for progression once we have obtained another geared core group OR actively try to recruit some well geared people if we don’t want to spend the time/energy gearing people up. Either way something needs to be done because it feels like our raids are getting worse?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Finally Some New Tanking Upgrades

It’s been a busy week for me at work so I apologize I have not posted anything new in a while.

Last week our Nightbane kill finally produced a shield upgrade for me. This was a nice surprise since I had pretty much just given up on it. I slapped a stamina enchant on it and now I have a better shield and not to mention its much cooler looking.

After our Kara run was finished this left me with exactly 75 badges so I went and bought my leg plate upgrade. This was a much needed upgrade as well and I couldn’t be happier with the stamina these things pack. I would rather have my old leg plate graphic back though; I am not a fan of the whole ZA troll/skull/witch doctor graphic. Which I have commented on before.

More good news is that Friday we zoned into SSC and smacked Hydross with a 1 shot. It was snowing its balls off so half way through the Hydross fight I got disconnected but was able to quickly log back in and resume my roll of holding adds. My ISP is much better than it was in regards to handling weather conditions (I used to be offline for a whole day when it would rain) but it did lag me a bit on Friday. A defense trinket dropped off Hydross which I tossed my MKP (guilds way of saying DKP) at it along with Honorshammer but of course with my luck lately I lost the roll. I like Honor’s a lot so it’s a shame I have to kill him soon, if you enjoy his blog I suggest you read up on it while you can. After the Hydross kill we continued to try to kill Lurker. Despite starting the raid about 1.5 hours late the “raid” as a whole had good energy which was only boosted after a 1 shot on Hydross. We cleared trash to Lurker with no wipes and even got a druid an epic tanking staff and an epic totem for one of our shamans, which was pretty cool. Once we got down to Lurker is when everything turned to sh*t, sh*t meaning people had to start logging, people were going afk, people were jacking around in game and on vent. Any raid momentum we had was quickly lost. We got stuck in a rut of 25 minutes in between attempts because we were replacing people. We kept having to wait for people to fly in and get raid ready because others had left. While we were waiting on these people it’s my thought we should keep giving the boss “learning” attempts even if we only have 23 or 24 people in the raid instead of waiting on others because everyone starts getting lazy and wanting to leave. After waiting so long I feel like the attempts we did get in were only half assed and when a raid slows down like we did maybe it should just be called. Which I hate saying because I think most of you know I’ll wipe on a boss all night for the sake of progression, but if we’re at the point where a lot of people are not really trying it seems like a waste. I do want to finish my SSC thoughts positively though the Hydross kill was handled skillfully as if we have been killing him for months and I’m glad I was there for it hopefully next time we carry that momentum onto Lurker.

While writing this I flipped over to my guild site to check our forums and catch up on anything I might have missed over the weekend. Seems the other main Kara group that runs in our guild has challenged my group to a race with a bet of 200g to the group who can clear the fastest. I’m down to give that a shot, even though the other group leader has cleverly “reserved” all the top DPS for his team, which means…they are really gonna be bitter when my group wins. *Directed at Raistlan who started the bet* I guess Raistilan only thinks they can win if they go in with a stacked deck of all the top geared dps? =P. Soon I’ll let you guys know by how big of a time gap we won by, and if by some horrific chance we lose then I’ll let you guys know how bad they cheated.

Also while I was on my guild forums I was looking at the “MKP/DKP” chart. Our MKP cap is at “5” which is what I have. I have gone on all our raids but 1(missed due to weather) so even though I have gone to 16 raids I’m still sitting at “5” points and still having never received 25 man loot since switching to a “DKP” system. Since our cap is so low this gives the chance for someone to raid 5 times and be on equal ground to roll against me for an item. This sucks for me, one of the other warriors has rolled against me twice now and won both times and it’s very possible that by the time another item I want drops he could be back at his 5 cap and possibly out roll me again like he did the first two times. I had commented before on how the “5” cap will not function correctly “mathematically” when I typed it up though I just didn’t realize I’d be the one getting bit in the ass.
“The second problem is our dkp cap is very low so I’m foreseeing most loot going to rolls. With people going to rolls I feel like we’re diluting the true value of a dkp system. All the people who have crappy rolls will be losing dkp all the time, and with a low dkp cap they will never make significant dkp gains to keep them from always competing with rolls on loot. It’s almost like we don’t need a dkp system if we’re going to do it this way because all it’s doing is going back to rolls anyways.”
I feel what would work best “MKP” wise for our guild is to just take the cap off then as an item someone wants drops they can just “buy” the item with however many points they want to put toward it. Such as I would have 16 points right now instead of 5, if something drops and I want to spend 16 points on a new neckpiece then so be it. I feel like this rewards items to the people who raid the most OR donate the most to the guild to help with potions and repair bills. I do see a problem with someone donating thousands of dollars to the guild to “buy” points but that’s either my problem which means I have to farm more and donate or “donation MKP” would need to be regulated in some way.

And finally on a sad note we had some guild drama this weekend resulting in the loss of several good players. I kinda got the “down and dirty” of why people left and I have no idea who is right or wrong and to be honest I don’t really care “why” all the drama started. What sucks is that two of the nicest dudes on “WoW” I have ever met left the guild along with some others. I’m really hoping this all blows over and they come back even though that is looking pretty grim. Drama can suck my root.

Tonight I hope we go in and Wipe out Gruul and Mag since we havn’t done that yet this week and it would be a big bummer to miss out on free loot. Maybe I’ll win a roll for Gruul’s shield or Mag’s chestpiece if they drop.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Computer

During our Hydross kill the other day my FPS(Frames per second) hit an all time low of 4fps. I decided it was time to finally pimp my body so I could afford a new computer. After letting several old lady’s use my love stick for about a week (wasn’t too bad some were actually silver foxes) I was able to buy a new comp (Old ladies pay the best if you also decide to sell your body for cash). Speaking of old women naked, this reminds me of a joke which I heard once, and it really isn’t that funny but ill type it up anyways.
What’s the difference between an old lady’s boobs and a young chicks boobs? A Navel.
Quick bit of advice though, if you plan to sleep with old women for money. If you spread open her "flower" and it reminds you of pulling apart grilled cheese -- you need to get the hell out of there.

On my new PC I stood in Shatt and with all my setting turned up max I was averaging about 75 fps which is plenty good for me. I didn’t even have to spend a ton of money on the PC. My old PC was always setting me just a little behind the rest of the raid therefore making my tanking skills look slow and I hate nothing more than looking like a douche or like someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. My biggest “tell” that either my pc is running bad or that I have bad lag is when my rage bar is maxed because my computer isn’t registering the key presses fast enough or because I’m lagged and just sitting still. At this point in time there isn’t much I can do to make my ISP work better, but with the new PC I could already tell a huge difference in my ability to pick up multiple mobs and hold them. I was also amazed at how shitty my previous WoW game play was compared to what it is now. I think with a new PC I can expect to see a boost in my Threat and quicker reaction time on adds. Here is a few before/after screenshots.

Flying out of Shatt Old PC:
Flying out of Shatt New PC:
Looking in SSC Old PC(notice i cant even see Hydross):
Looking in SSC New PC:

Monday, January 14, 2008

Raiding Steps

I was thinking about our latest ramp up in progression and realized that while we are still a “casual raiding guild” we have taken a “hare-core” approach to the raids we go on. In every raiding guild I have ever been in the rules are the same, and that leads to boss kills. I’m happy to see we have taken these steps and for sh*ts I thought I would list out what has changed in our guild that I feel has lead to our recent success.

1. The guild leadership has decided on a guild course, progression:
In our forums over holiday break it was posted were going to get serious about progression after the new year. Before the new year there was the occasional talk of progression but nothing ever really set in stone and felt a bit “wishy washey”, since progression has been a decided course for the guild we already have 2 new boss kills in a short amount of time. The officer dedication is noticeable. For example “Pre-Gruul kill” we would do like 3 attempts on Gruul and call it a night it took us several weeks to finally kill Gruul. Since the “progression” course was decided we spent 6 hours (19 attempts) on Mag in one night, that’s why we got to kill him and that’s dedication toward progression we need. Can you imagine how many weeks it would take to learn Mag by only giving him 3-4 attempts?

2. The officers pick a boss and we don’t move on to another until that boss is dead:
I feel like this is the best way to progress. You focus your energy and dedication to one specific boss, after several attempts you develop a pattern on that boss till you kill him. Skipping around on bosses trying out several different strategies seems to frustrate people and in the long run is more demoralizing since it wasn’t just 1 boss that kicked your ass, but several different ones.

3. Tutorial videos and strategies are posted on our forums(preparation):
If your part of the raid group you’re expected to have watched these. It’s even brought up in the raid that you better have watched these or you get the boot. From what I can tell almost everyone has been doing their job and studying up for the attempt. In my opinion having seen all the boss’s different spells/cycles and knowing what to expect saves the guild on a countless number of wipes.

4. Development of a core group(most important imo):
If you don’t have the gear you can’t go, that’s the rule. If you’re retarded, you can’t go, that’s the rule. On Mag and Hydross we took a strong core group and both bosses have died on our first night in there. If you look at last week’s Gruul run we broke the “core group rule” and took a lot of non-core people resulting in a disaster and no Gruul kill. I know that sounds harsh, and some of you may be thinking I’m only putting that because atm I’m part of that core group. That’s not the case at all, I have joined other guilds being under geared and not a part of the core group. Yes, it sucks to not go with everyone and celebrate their victories but the chances to get into the core group come along fairly often. A fact in wow is that core raiders will burn out, quit the guild, take vacations, or get the boot for being a retard. If you’re not part of the core group the opportunities will be there, you just have to be ready to take it. Gear yourself up, pick up an occasional heroic with core people to demonstrate you’re not an idiot, let the officers know how much you want a shot and you’re willing to commit to helping any way you can, watch the strat videos even if you’re not in the core group so that when your asked “Want to come to Gruul?” you can say “Yes!” with confidence you’re not going to bring the raid down. In my current guild I have seen the biggest gap of core-group gear to non-core gear that I have ever seen, this tells me that the non-core people are looking for a free 25 man ride to get loot or their toons haven’t been 70 long enough to get fully raid geared yet. With this huge gap in gear, if we start swapping out people core people for non-core people it makes a huge dent in our raid. I have actually been called “selfish” by a non-core raider because they think the core-group is hording all the loot, I think its selfish they think they should get to go after not putting in the work all the other core-raiders have to make boss kills possible. Stopping a 25 man raid from getting a boss kill because you’re under geared but expect to go is “selfish”. We wasted a good raid night on that Gruul run and have yet to get the core group back together to kill him and Mag this week, unless we do it tonight we wasted a whole week of Gruul and Mag loot because we broke the “core group” rule.
When 25 people raid together consistently you get comfortable with that group and build confidence in each other. Then when you go to a raid you no longer have thoughts like “this is going to be a cluster f*ck”. Instead everyone goes in with a positive attitude and a belief that they will succeed, this makes people play better and try harder which leads to less wipes and boss kills.

5. The development of a “dkp” system:
In our guild it’s called “mkp” but it’s the same principle as dkp and the fairest way to distribute loot. You put forth time raiding and build up points, when your item drops you use your “mkp” like money and “buy” the item you want. You are rewarded for the time you put forth wiping and studying up on the boss fights. With a “dkp” system you don’t leave yourself open to losing a roll against someone who is new to the guild/raid group nor do you have to rely on a “loot council” where they give items to the person they feel deserves it and in some cases that isn’t you no matter how much you think the item should go to you.

6. Apply RL pain to people who mess up(optional):
This is one rule we have not applied yet in the guild but I’m still hoping on it. Have everyone go buy a machine that wraps around your finger and plugs into the USB port. The guild master has control of an application that can activate the machine for a specified raid member. When the raid member messes up the guild master flips the switch and your fingers is “skinned” causing incredible pain. Next boss attempt I bet that person doesn’t make the same mistake twice. Even though there is the chance of losing fingers from infection or dying from blood loss I think the risk is well worth the loot and saved gold from repairs.

It’s my personal belief that if you stick to the steps you will have a happy guild and one that does well in progression. The only thing that can keep a guild from progression is breaking the rules or you just don’t have the gear to support that boss yet(which means your picking the wrong boss to focus on). Follow the rules and your progression is determined by how much you raid, even if you don’t raid that much at least you have the satisfaction in knowing that on your raid nights you can expect to do well.

Hydross Down Bitches

My question last week to “Shouldn’t we kill lurker before Hydross because lurker is supposedly easier?” has been answered. We zone in to kill Hydross Friday, and on the ninth learning attempt we kill him with 16 seconds left before he enrages and 3 seconds left on respawns. I guess it really doesn’t matter which boss we pick to kill as long as we take dedicated geared people. With our Mag kill and now Hydross kill I am really pumped for the guild, I feel like we’ve taken a great step forward lately. I checked our forums this morning and it looks like Lurker is our next target. Even if I hadn’t heard from other people that he is technically “easier” than Hydross I would have little doubt about killing him. Our raids have really stepped up lately and am thankful I get to be a part of the runs.

Friday when I got home I was in a mad scramble to find frost/nature resist gear before the raid started. This has been my biggest “oops” in a while, since I had a few days prior to the raid to be farming the gear. The reason I wasn’t farming the gear is because I honestly just missed the fact I needed it since I wasn’t one of the tanks on the boss himself. With a few freebees given to me from the guild bank and me tearing through the auction house I actually stepped up against the Hydross add’s with 165 nature resist and 155 frost resist (raid buffed). In the grand scheme of possible loot out there, this actually sucks but it wasn’t as bad as I had feared I would end up with and it was obviously enough to get the job done. I have started leveling my blacksmithing again so that I can craft myself the needed gear to make my resists higher and help out our healers more.
I look real g@y in this resist gear.

Speaking of tanking the adds, what a pain in my ass. I was assigned the two adds on the right side and Trelic was assigned the two adds on the left. We would grab our adds and stack them up on the boss so they could be aoe’d down. Seemed easy enough but it was hell holding agro on 4 mobs with all the dps hitting different targets and 1 warrior kept taunting off me for some reason even though he had no resists so that was way confusing.
Besides the adds being a pain in the ass it was a fun fight and I’m happy we got to kill him. Of course nothing dropped I could have used but I was happy to see some deserving people get some nice loot

Saturday night very few of my normal ZA raiders were on so we decided to get a bunch of pugs and give it a shot since the next available ZA night would be after another reset. Eesh what a nightmare, we should have just not gone at all. We killed bear boss but couldn’t make it up the eagle ramp so we called it with just a bear kill. I’m hoping maybe this Tuesday we can give ZA a real shot and beat a boss below the timer and work on the Lynx some more.

The thing about wow is that without body language to see you can never tell is someone is joking or actually being a retard. During our Hydross raid there was this guy complaining that he was being camped and wanted some guildies to come save him. We all said were in a raid and we couldn’t, but he was actually mad we wouldn’t zone out and come help him. I thought he was joking with us at first. The only reason im posting this is because it completely blew my mind. I wasn’t even going to blurr out his name but apparently he is back in the guild or something so I’ll be nice. THIS COMPLETELY BLEW MY MIND
Sorry man - Next time we'll all drop our raid/progression work to come save your ass so you can continue doing whatever stupid shit you were since you are to stupid to avoid being camped.

Our Hydross Kill

Friday, January 11, 2008

Possible Progression this weekend?

Last night I went to Kara. Lately I have been talking about how much I am burnt on Kara and how I don’t want to go, but the place cannot be avoided. The payout in badges is too much of a reward to skip the place. Our run last night cleared from bottom to top (attumen – prince) killing every boss except beast in 4 hours. You can’t say no to twenty something badges in 4 hours. Four hours of no wiping, no stopping, and in a single night is the perfect way to do Kara and just about the only way I can get pumped up for a run. Nightbane of course did not drop the shield I want, I have pretty much given up on that dream. I’m going basically give up on this item and have the approach that if it drops then sweet, if not then he can shove the shield up his gaping skeletal ass and hopefully it will be lodged in there for all time. I did pick up the tanking cloak off illhoof, which i have always passed to druids in the past. I grabbed it because it has more armor,def,and more importantly stamina than my current cloak but i lose shield block and dodge. I'll wear it for the occasions that require more hp than normal but in most cases ill still be using my trusty devilshark cape.(took screen captures off thottbot so it doesnt show my enchants).

I’m at 50 something badges right now and if I don’t get my tier 4 pants this week (those never drop anymore either) then I’m just going to farm a bunch of heroics / Kara next week and then buy my badge pants. Which are better for me anyways but with 75 badges I could almost replace 1 tanking neck and 1 pvp trinket and I’d rather do that. Badges are constantly burning a hole in my pocket, I’m surprised I haven’t spent the 50 I have.

Tonight the guild plans to attempt Hydross, progression is key and I’m pumped for it. I realize now though I shouldn’t have stayed up till 3am server time last night, going upstairs to discover my kid is awake because she is sick, and then only getting her and myself to sleep for 1.5 hours before waking up for work. Now I’m probably going to be a piss ass during the raid and mumbling to myself the whole time like rain man about how someone keeps doing something wrong and is a retard. I have watched the Hydross tutorials, read the strategies, I’m going to hit up the AH tonight for some frost/nature resist gear because I wasn’t aware that the OT’s on adds needed it. I must have missed that the first time I watched the video or I would have been hunting/crafting my gear several days ago. Apparently the “add” tanks are supposed to have ½ nature gear and ½ frost gear on. I havn’t farmed resist gear since I used to tank Rag and BWL which needed a shit ton of Fire resist, I don’t miss farming resist gear at all but i guess it needs to be done. Now i feel under equipped for this and i hate that.

I am confused on why we chose Hydross over Lurker. Seems like Hydross needs more preparation ( resist gear concerns on my part) and we have already gave Lurker some shots which we were starting to get the hang of him. From what I have heard from further progressed wow friends who are currently in other guilds on the server, Lurker is the easier boss to fight in SSC. Guild moral seemed to hit a high peak with the Mag kill, then dropped again with the Gruul run mess, I would choose whichever boss has the best chance of dying and raising moral. Which it seems this would be Lurker? Of course I will go to any 25 man raid anywhere, and since I’m not one of the people who forms the raids I just go with the flow and do what is expected of a tank. I just felt like voicing my curiosity.

I think this Saturday seems to forming up to be a possible run at ZA again. This place has currently taken hold in my mind as “the place to be”. It will be reset which means another try at beating the timer and possibly getting my guys some better loot. I keep reading that the best way to beat the timer is to actually kill eagle first. He has quick trash mobs and doesnt take that long to kill himself. Once you kill him you have time left over PLUS you are given an extra 10 minutes. Let’s just say it takes 12 minutes to clear trash to eagle (which it doesn’t I’m just padding the time), and then another 7 minutes to kill the boss (also padding my time here) that means we beat him in the timer. We receive 2x the loot, have 1 minute left over (distribute loot), and gain 10 minutes. That leaves us with a cushy 30 minute timer for bear. My group has missed the bear timer by about 1-2 minutes consistently. With an extra 10 minutes we even leave ourselves room for a wipe due to an unlucky taunt resist and still killing him within the timer. This Saturday I guess we can take a vote on which boss to attempt first. Right now im 50-50 either way since we have only just killed eagle 1x, but then again now that everyone knows it, he seems like a cake walk and an eagle kill in the timer means almost assuredly a bear kill in the timer. Beating the timer means progression which always is a good thing. Guess we’ll see what happens, I just hope I’m not back Monday cussing that we wiped on everything 10x or we didn’t even go.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Eagle Dead, Gruul is not.

Tuesday night our guild had the plans to one shot HKM, on shot Gruul, and then move to Mag to hopefully kill them all in one night and spend our other 25 man raiding nights on progression. Sweet plan, dig the idea, other guilds do it so why shouldn’t we. The night turned out to be a huge bust, we had 7-8 new people in the run and I don’t know if it’s rude to say it but I think that really wrecked us. When our core group goes, 1 shot HKM 1 shot gruul. When we start letting that many under geared people go it really causes a huge problem. 3-4 new people, I don’t see that as a problem, 7-8 was just too many. We wiped on HKM several times, and couldn’t kill Gruul, and that’s just insane for our guild at this point. Telling people they are under geared or there is no room for them sucks but stressing out the main core group and pissing regulars off sucks more. I’m not going to bitch about it anymore but Honors does a better job of explaining it than I would, as normal I would just rant, cuss, and threaten to kill someone if I kept typing about it. Honors thoughts on the wipe

On a better note group 2 has finally killed eagle in ZA. We went in to beat the timer on the bear which we almost did but because of an unlucky wipe on the final pull before bear it costs us the timer. Once we have the eagle down for sure we’ll probably be using him to beat the timer, gain extra minutes, then head over to bear to beat him on timer as well. I really look forward to seeing that happen and the extra loot for people. I have a hard time holding the group together in ZA because each boss is only dropping 1 epic, and we still have wipes so people get pissed about the repair bills. Two epic drops per boss would really help encourage people to stick around in ZA I think. If I we can’t beat the timer anytime soon that means I might lose some of my group, in my guild that leaves for slim pickings of people who are geared enough to be replacements. If that happens what do I do then, go outside the guild for people?
Eagle Dead!
Eagle Loot

So far this week I have had a pretty successful run in arena’s. I’m sure this weekend I’ll be doing more and hopefully it stays on a positive note. The more I practice and get advice from other warriors I can see noticeable improvements in my pvp play. I intervene and disarm/hamstring people on my healer regularly now, I taunt pets off my healer, and through gear improvements I’m hitting harder now. I wasn’t learning enough just doing my 10 games per week, by upping my games per week I’m getting the much needed practice, and it’s paying off. It’s still my hope to have at least 1 winning arena team.

Sorry this post is a little short but I’m sick as a dog atm and don’t feel much like typing. Maybe some shots at lynx boss tonight or Kara for badges (would much rather work on lynx but I guess I have to do what the mass wants).
Arnea's so far this week
(thats fine f**kers laugh at my score's, you wont laugh when i find you and r*pe your an*s)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Is 6 hours worth a mag progression kill? You bet.

The guild I’m in (Mal Katai) is often stressed by some of the officers/GM as “casual raiding” but Friday night was nothing but a hardcore progression boss attempt, and it was great. It reminded me of my old hardcore pre-BC guild learning BWL, and I eat that shit up. When you zone into a dungeon with a guild that has the instance on farm it’s fun to see a boss die for the first time. When you go in an instance to kill a boss that nobody has ever done before, learn the fight together, and then kill him it’s so much more rewarding. I’m so glad I was able to raid that night.

My job on Friday was to tank the Warlock on “cube 4” and shield bash his spells, easy enough. He didn’t really hit that hard even when he was at “max” power with the warlocks of 1-3 down. After my lock was down I would go hit up Honorshammer (Pally Tank on Mag) with commanding shout, demo shout & thunderclap on mag. I was also in command of “Cube 4 phase 2” control. The clicking of the cubes is not hard, you wait to see Mag cast his fire spell then you click the cube. Unfortunately this is where we had the hardest problem of the night, but I can proudly say that only 1x in 19 attempts was I ever late on my cube click (the one time I messed up was because I caught a really crappy bounce so a tick of fire got through, which 1 tick really isn’t that bad so not much harm done).

Yes you read that right, 19 attempts roughly 6 hours learning Mag (keep in mind we had no one but 1 guy in the raid who had ever done Mag before, so if you’re thinking to yourself “noobs” you can go F*ck yourself). This is why I say we were hardcore on Friday night. We only lost 2-3 people to wife agro / people needing to sleep for work which is understandable. People hung in there through the wipes, frustration, kept their cool and I can say I was really proud to be a part of that team. After wipe 18 most of the people said they have to go but it came up on vent to give it just one more shot then we’ll call it a night. Good call on the one more shot, we were able to defeat the boss on this last attempt.

The token for my chest piece fell which I decided I actually would like after comparing it to what I had. It wouldn’t really give me any extra stamina but would add some other extra which I felt was worth the MKP. Since several of us have the same amount of MKP it went to rolls. At some point my loot rolling mojo has worn off because I rolled a freaking 3. That’s the first tanking loot I have seen in a 25 man in weeks, and I roll a f$#king 3?! WTFDKDJFLKJSLFJ:SDFDFSFDLKD!!!!. Gruul’s ass better drop that shield or leg token for me this week.

Even though I didn’t score any loot I was still happy to be there. Mag down and I think it has been decided we are going after Hydross next. Any boss the officers would have picked would have been cool as long as we’re trying to progress I couldn’t be happier.
The chestpiece off Mag i hope to get
Us after the mag kill

Thursday, January 3, 2008

ZA Lynx Boss Attempted

Last Night,
DPS Sh*t mostly dropped, no new pants and more importantly no shield for me. My DKP is capped since nothing will drop for me to spend it on.

The good news is that we got together and did a 25 man raid. I really enjoy raiding (except Kara, at this point I’m so sick of that instance) More good news is that we’re doing Mag on Friday, looking forward to it even though there really isn’t anything on him that I would put dkp towards(possibly the polearm for pvp).

After Gruul I formed up a ZA group.
Disappointing news is we wiped on the trash therefore eliminating a shot at the timer and double the loot. Once on the bear a short “nightmare” began and we wiped about 5x. One attempt it was my fault, I tagged the boss before the druid OT did and I had agro on the wrong phase. Therefore causing me to get the wrong debuff. Druid taunted off me also getting the debuff, in the end causing a quick wipe. My stupid fault, said my apologies, boss reset & retry. Several druid taunt resists later and bad silences resulting in druid deaths = trash mobs and boss reset. That was a kick in the nuts, two weeks before we had the boss almost beat in the count down time. I mentioned on vent that were getting worse in this place and I actually really meant it, I take that on myself also, I messed up once so I’m not without blame. Overall it was blamed on us being rusty to ZA. That maybe exactly the problem, which says to me less Kara more ZA. Some people left the raid from a mixture of it being late and frustration for others. After a short time I found more guildies willing to come which was good news, I would have been very disappointed to of left off on such a bad note. We worked our way through trash and 1 shotted bear boss. That was a good feeling, but still it wasn’t an “accomplishment” since we have already done this several times, I’m dying for some progression.

After bear boss and my need to progress I pulled enough favors from people to stay up late and we headed off to check out the lynx boss. Trash to him is a little longer than bear or eagle but nothing crazy to deal with. At first we were all hanging around the back door (*snicker* back door) of his temple for like 15 minutes not realizing we had to work our way around it. After we figured out we were retarded we were standing in front of lynx shortly after. Along the way to lynx we also found an npc needed for a quest which i picked up a +15 stam gem(pretty nice for free). After 3 attempts at the boss we had him at 50%, but by that point it was 3am server time and everyone was beat. I’m pumped about the Lynx attempts and honestly I feel like ditching any Kara runs in favor of ZA. I’m really glad that what started out as a nightmare run was turned into a satisfying attempt at ZA for me. I realize other people feel like not killing a boss and having a repair bill = fail, but that’s just not the case. There is always a learning curve, and last night I think the group pulled together and did a great job. I'll wipe on a boss all night long if i feel like everyone is still trying and not giving up. Thats more fun to me than killing easy bosses over and over again.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


First off,
Happy New Year everyone! I also would like to add if you have a better arena team than me I hope you choke. This holiday break there was no real raiding going on except Kara so I worked on my PVP pretty much every day. I ran BG’s till my eyes bled and then worked on 2v2 with a pally in my guild till i coudlnt see strait. I think this is the longest stretch of time I have been pvp spec in the last 6 months and its been a mix of fun and frustration. My arena experiences overall haven’t gone very well.

My 2v2 I have chalked up as a team of self improvement and learning. My and Aztk (holy pally) put in about 40 games this weekend of trying different strategies. My 2v2 was around 1560 but now sits at 1440’sh, but I feel like me and Aztk have learned a lot about using line of sight and coordinating pummel/stuns. After a few more weeks of hardcore practice like this I think we can expect to see some true results and maybe a respectable rating.

3v3 started out really well last week, we raised our rating to about 1560 from 1490. It was Me , Oslo(Marks Hunter), and Dirtyoldman(holy pally). Dirty(feral druid) jumped in for a few games and we lost about as many as we won with him leaving us still with a rating of 1560. Then Dirty got his lock on the team (23 resil = not a happy raydz). Ever seen that commercial where Walmart has the falling prices and the money just keeps falling off the board? That’s how I saw our rating. I wanted to light a stick of dynamite and swallow it. I didn’t participate in the games he used his lock on because I knew it was a horrible idea, so it was Oslo, Dirtyoldman, and the lock. The night finished off at 1480, I can’t stress how important resilience is. This week we already got 3v3 games in but those didn’t go well either and it was Oslo, Dirtyoldman, and I. It was so frustrating because we kept playing teams of “rival” this or “duelist” that. Most games it was a flat creaming. Even though several times we only lost 10-13 points per game we kept playing the same teams 3-4 times. It was just insanity, after about 15 games we decided it was too painful to continue. Rating = 1458. We’re going to do some more games later this week or weekend and hopefully get teams more in our league.

The 5v5 team actually came through pretty nice. We went 6-4 for the night raising our rating from 1420 to 1444. Yes I realize it’s still a terrible rating but at least we showed improvement. There isn’t much really to talk about here except our lock did a respec after our first 3 games were a loss and now he is a dps sponge, making it really hard for the opposing team to kill him now. I think it really made the difference since we won all but 1 game after that. Thanks for the respec Splinter!

I had the badges for some new dps bracers that I have been lacking, so I bought them but still need the +str enchant. They were really needed for my grinding set. I’m starting to go broke again and every little bit of added dps helps with farming.

Tonight I’ll be picking up my pvp neckpiece, I put about 14k worth of bg’s in this weekend for it. I can’t wait to have it since it’s such a huge upgrade for me.

I will also be picking up this item for 1000 arena points, it’s also another seriously needed upgrade since I am currently equipping the x-bow from Attumen for my pvp set (yeah retarded I know).

I ran Kara last night from Attumen to Curator and I have to say, I’m pretty burnt on the place. The badges of course are nice and always needed so I’ll keep going but I look forward to 25 man raids so much more now.

This Friday the guild has set aside as day to concentrate on Mag until he is dead, awesome idea in my opinion. The rules have been set, were not leaving until he is dead or until everyone dies in RL at their computers. This is the kind of direction I think we need to set if we do plan to progress. Good call on this officers, can’t wait to kill him.