Firelands Nerf comments…

I don’t like saying something that someone else has already stated well enough. So, let me suggest you read these 2 articles instead of me blabbering like a blithering idiot.

Mory has a nice take on Firelands nerfs here.
Lyraat has a different viewpoint here. (bonus, he also has his class feedback comments in the same article)

So, why these 2 in particular? Well, one – hunter friends. And Hunters ALWAYS stick together! ALWAYS! But, two – they have contrasting viewpoints if you really read into the tone. Mory is a progression raider in a 25 man progression guild. Lyraat is casual raider in a 10 man raiding guild. (if either of you feel I am miss-representing – let me know)

This is an important distinction as to how players feel about incoming “nerfs”! One views it as “TOO SOON” the other sees the opportunity to prep for the next challenge.

Let me say….NEITHER IS WRONG! AT ALL! They are both right. But this folks…this right here…is the rock/hard place Blizzard finds itself in. As always no matter which they choose, they are wrong in someone’s eyes. They can’t win. I do pity them…seriously, I do pity Blizzard in this regard.

So give those 2 articles a read, and definitely keep reading them both! Totally worth the brain power.

Q

Making the Transition: Casual to Progression

Or vice versa!

I’ve been around.  I’ve done stuff.  I’ve seen… things.  I’ve raided everything from Karazhan to Firelands.  I’ve raided casually when I felt like it, to hardcore “berated if you don’t show up” heroic raiding.

My experiences are likely unique based on the people I’ve raided with, but the lessons learned are pretty universal.  First, let’s talk about moving from a casual environment to more progression oriented.

Casual to Progression

The biggest difference to expect between a casual raid to that of a progression raid is you can expect that your performance (whether it be healing, dps, threat production as a tank, cool-down use, consumables use, etc.) to be under the microscope.  Mediocre playing likely won’t fly.  You can also expect to be talked to regarding ways you can improve your performance — and not everyone is able to deliver feedback in a constructive way.  It’s important that you have a thick skin if you really want to get into progression raiding.

Here’s some good habits to get into for progression raiding:

  • Optimize your spec, glyphs, gems and reforging.  Everyone typically can use some help in this regard.  Hunters are fortunate and get Female Dwarf‘s optimizer.  Use it. Love it.
  • Read and watch lots of strategies. I prepare myself by watching Tankspot and Learn2Raid‘s videos. Know the fights before walking into them.
  • Spend time with a target dummy.  If you’re DPS, time yourself to 10-million damage on the Raider’s Target dummy.  Most fights in Firelands won’t require more than 6-7 million damage per player, so make sure you’re getting there as quickly as possible.
  • Learn how to read raid logs.  It’s an art, and can be super confusing. World of Logs is my choice.
  • Know your class, and your roles inside a raid.  If you’re a hunter, there’s tons of resources out there to make you a better player. You can find most all of them linked somewhere off of WoW Hunter’s Hall.
  • Always carry your own food.  Feasts might not always be available.
  • Always carry your own flasks.  Cauldrons might be on short supply, or you might miss it.  Best to be prepared.
  • Carry potions.  Lots of them. If you’re DPS, pre-pot before fights it would make sense. (which is an entirely different discussion for a later time)
  • When in doubt, ask questions.  It’s better to ask and prevent a mistake than make one and get reprimanded later.

Progression to Casual

So you’ve figured out that progression raiding is no longer for you.  That may be because you’re not into raiding several nights a week, or if real life has caught up and is demanding more of your time.  Whatever the reason, you’re likely in for a culture shock.  Making the transition to casual from progression is easier from a preparation standpoint, but from my experience, difficult for the mindset shift.  You already have the good habits I’ve mentioned above, but you have to prepare yourself to wipe several times on something easy, expect to hear the fights explained several times, and if you’re recently from a progression standpoint, feel like you’re carrying the raid on your shoulders. (Not really, but sometimes it can feel that way)  Gear will be slower to get, but hopefully you have more fun getting there — after all, the pressure’s off.  Enjoy it.

Ideally everyone finds a raiding team that fits their play style – there’s lots of options out there. It could even be found in some hardcore progression guild’s alt-run on the weekends.  I ended up doing that for awhile, and enjoyed it.  There’s a raid team out there for everyone, it’s just a matter of taking the time to find the right one.

It’s never fair…

So, one of the sticking points with some guild members as of late is our loot distribution method. When we ran 25’s we used DKP, now that we are on 10’s its Loot Council. Some of the raiders call it QCouncil because I run it. Most feel I am absolutely fair about it. I follow an old school thought process of Tanks and Healers first, DPS second, Off Specs third. That’s nothing new there, and I think I am on solid ground (please let me know if you disagree). The next thing I look at is contribution; performance, attendance, etc. Are you a liability to the raid or a benefit? Do you do your job without prodding or do you need multiple reminders as to what to do? Typical thought process there to I think. Lastly, need. I am more apt to give a tier token to the one who has 3/5 and will benefit from the 4 piece, as opposed to the one at 2/5 tier pieces. A 346 – 359, or 353 – 378 upgrade is better than a side grade or slight upgrade. Best in slot items are always a concern as well, wanting to ensure an item that is BiS for one class but not another is considered.

Here’s the issue…loot distribution is NEVER FAIR. Ever. Ever. Ever. Seriously, no matter how fair you make it, someone always feels shafted from their perspective and as a result feels slighted. You hope they see the big picture, but often times they won’t.

The one thing I truly hate is rolling. I hate ROLLING! Why you ask? Hunter A has been waiting for a drop for 3 months. Always performing, always there, patiently waiting. Hunter B joins the guild and comes on a run. “ZOMG BiS RANGED WEAPON DROPS!…roll!” Hunter A rolls a 32, Hunter B rolls a 98. Was that fair? Really, was it? And all of us long time raiders have experienced such a thing.

There are a lot of loot methods available: DKP, EPGP, Loot Council, Suicide Kings (my personal favorite for 40 mans), and the list goes on. If you are in a guild and do not like their method, you are free to start your own guild and do it your way. No one is tied to where they are and everything is “at-will” employment.

For those who feel “Loot Council” is horrible…understand this. If you do not get an item, it doesn’t mean you are hated. It means the decision was made that someone else was the priority. If player A gets something on boss kill one, and then again on boss kill two it does not mean they are the Raid Leaders favorite. Big picture…the next time those items drop, they won’t need them! Items drop off a table…they will drop again, just be patient. And if the raid is progressing, even if you have gotten nothing – THE RAID IS PROGRESSING! That’s the ultimate goal, not your personal iLevel rating.

Have other people had this issue? Have you all also felt the pains of griping, complaining, and finding your name burned in effigy? What do you do as a GM, RL, or Officer? Would you just jettison them from your guild or allow them to stew?

It’s a “teaching opportunity” to be sure, but what happens if they won’t learn?

Q

Updates from the Molten Front…

So we added a new tank to our Raid roster. I guess he worked out well since we had our first Firelands boss kill last night downing Shannox. When we started over at the beginning of July I told people, “We will evaluate everyone for the month of July. No one is safe, everyone should put their best foot forward.” Well, people tend to make your decisions for you. Our raid roster has pared down from the potential of 18-20 players to really only a solid core of 8-10 with the necessary fillers/subs that round it out to 13-15.

These things always work themselves out if just given a little time. One person rages over not getting an item, then you lose that person and his 2 buddies. Another person suddenly has a schedule issue with work or real life conflicts, gone. Another has computer issues, yet another suddenly doesn’t want to raid anymore – server transfer later – gone.

People tend to make your decision for you, if you merely give them the TIME to show you what their made of – petulance, immaturity, laziness, discontent, ill-temper, boredom, cancerous. These are the negatives of course, its not always a bad thing that people leave. Sometimes its easier to let them walk away than have them stew and tensions build over disagreements in philosophy. While some show their bad side, others show their good, even great side! They step up. They make it through the 30+ wipes on one boss still smiling on the other end, ready for attempt 31, 32, 33, so on and so forth.

THAT is where the good stuff happens. Those are the people that begin to gel. Our fellow raiding hunter and I are now in lock step. If the Drone on Beth needs extra dps, she sees me jump on it to throw up a bunch of dots and soak up some Focus; I KNOW she has the Spiderlings in hand for a few seconds for me to help on the Drone. I don’t have to worry about which pet she pulls from her stable overlapping a buff…we know which ones to bring out automatically. We are gelling now. That’s a good thing. I see our healing core doing that too, and I hope it continues throughout the raiders we have remaining.

Some of the bad things from the good people – Old habits. Its ok for a healer to have full mana at the end of a fight if no one died and they managed their mana consumption/regeneration well. People should not be dying on aggro/threat pulls….they should know how to manage it properly. It’s not an AOE fest through Naxx or some BC instance. Drop the bad habits, and let’s improve even more.

And the nicest thing for this Hunter…I got a Lava Bolt Crossbow last night. FINALLY! I refused to buy one. So many friends were trying to farm one and never could get one…I got one.  :)

So that’s a 378 bow, T12 gloves, 378 belt, 378 cloak, 378 bracers, and 378 2H. Not too shabby. T12 2 piece is coming tonight, unless I see a helm/shoulders for 4pc T11, which is still worthwhile. We’ll see. I’m patient.

P.S. I can’t WAIT for Blizzcon!!!!! AMIRIGHT?!?

Q

5 Traits in a Guild Leader at the Bossy Pally

Good read over at The Bossy Pally, Ophelle nails what a good leader should actually practice and emulate; not just in-game folks, in real life too!!! The quick list…

1- Communicates Well and Regularly
2- Sets Clear Expectations
3- Honesty and/or Integrity
4- Knows How to Say No
5- Enthusiasm

You should definitely head over and read the full article!!! http://bossypally.wordpress.com/2011/07/19/the-5-traits-i-want-in-a-leader/