Slow days…are slow.

*yawwwwn*

So, my guild has gone 8/8 regular mode. We’re not the “Hard modes must be done!!!” kind of crowd, so what’s there to do to fill the WoW time? No, we haven’t given up on Dragon Soul, there are plenty of things to still do there including getting our Rogue his legendary. But the question remains, short of continuing to beat ourselves against the same content over and over again…what is there to do?

Well, for one…ALL the previous content!!! Sure some of the much older content from Vanilla and BC is completely solo-able, but most Wrath raid content is not, nor are Tiers 11 or 12. And to be perfectly honest, there are some nice rewards for players out there to be had.

  1. Transmog Gear: There is gear a plenty available that is absolutely stunning to look at. I am especially fond of anything from Ulduar. I happen to be particular about Mimiron’s Repeater.
  2. Achievement Points, Mounts, and Titles OH MY!: Now, I know not everyone cares about APs, but I am a total achievement lover! They are there for the taking. Additionally many meta achievements still carry various titles and mounts upon completion. Including the beautiful Ulduar proto-drakes.
  3. BiS gear: No, Ulduar and ICC do not have usable items, but heroic modes for T11 and T12 could in fact still provide upgrades or even BiS items based on class & spec.
  4. Development: Some of the encounters can be difficult to still over come even if out-geared/leveled. They can be great opportunities to allow some folks to use alts, try out a new spec, or a new roll. Want to see if that Holy Pally really can tank in Prot…run them as MT in BoT or BWD before heading to DS.
  5. PvP: Doing guild BGs can be a lot of fun, especially with having a more organized team.
  6. FUN!: Seriously. Its fun to sometimes kick back and beat the snot out of some of these old instances. Our 10 man had about 45 min left in raid, so we knocked out Naxx40, MC, and BWL in quick order. MC was particularly fun where essentially 2 people ran to each boss and then we all met up at Rag. I think MC took us 10, maybe 15 min in total. it.was.fun!

I know, not all of these kinds of things are everyone’s cup of tea, but if you give some of them a fair chance you may find them enjoyable…more so than you’d have thought. You’ll notice I did not suggest leveling an alt. At this point, most players have had more than enough opportunity to level additional toons and classes. While getting a 5 man guild group together to Dungeon run can be fun, I really was focusing on what your raid team can do in lieu of the same raid zone over and over again.

What will you be doing with your raid group once you’ve completed your benchmark for progression?

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

The story of 3 raiders, who do you choose?

dogs - gotta love emWe play with all kinds of players in this game. Some choose to PvP exclusively, others raid only, and still others just run heroics casually and work on achievements. Individuality is a big part of WoW and Blizzard has done an excellent job at trying to appease various levels/styles of game play. Bravo for that Blizz.

So, here is the story of 3 raiders in any average guild…we all know these 3 people.

  • Mememe – the greatest ever Hunter anyone has ever seen. Just ask him.
    Mememe is good. He is actually very good at his role and class. Asks for very little. Doesn’t throw fits of rage or anything when he doesn’t get something like a new helm. He’s a good enough person, not overly mean or anything. BUT…always a “but” right…Mememe farms BOE’s to sell. Mememe rarely runs alts or lesser geared players through anything. Mememe does not come to the fun raids (farm raids, achievement raids, etc). Mememe constantly explains how awesome he is, he performs and doesn’t disappoint in progression…but that other side of “guild life” is lacking.
  • IamtheAWESOME – plays a DK and knows everything about what everyone else SHOULD do with their toon.
    Constantly grates and annoys by telling everyone else what to do when and how. Consummate expert on everything….everything except their own damn toon! In defense, he doesn’t overtly ruin the raid by causing a wipe, but doesn’t help or add to it by very much if at all. Completely expendable from a player stand point. Always willing to level or gear one of his 93 other toons. Ask him to leave the raid for any reason and be prepared to get a whole lot of lip as to justifying why he didn’t or did do what you are pointing out. “Hey, you have the lowest dps, I need to swap you out.” “WOAH! My cat was humping the radiator in the other room and a twig broke outside…wasn’t my fault!!!”
  • Thenewguy – new guy in the guild playing his warrior.
    Truly happy to be here, wants to help any way he can. No arguments, no drama, no fuss. Super flexible…tank? sure. DPS, fine by me. Admits his own flaws and asks what he can do differently to improve. Wants to raid if he can, but doesn’t want to push anyone out. “I’m always here for fill if you want me…just ask!” Gear drops…”Give it to that person for off-spec, they are a main raider, not me” Selfless. Ask him to step out for someone else, “Sure, thanks for inviting me guys, had a blast!” Will pvp, raid, achievement run, gear any and all other guildies if he can help!

Who do you like? Me, I will take raider 3…give me 9 or 24 of them and I would have the happiest guild/raid ever. No drama, no problems; just a solid group all willing to help one another and have fun!

I know this is total fantasy “pie in the sky” type stuff. I know this is blasphemy from the eyes of the top end guilds and raiders in the world. None of the above 3 are bad people per say, nor are they necessarily the greatest ever.

I am at the point in my game play where success is not measured by progression or gear scores…its in drama & fun. As in how little drama there is, and how much fun we’re having. I want to enjoy my time in game, I want to play alongside people I wouldn’t mind having a drink with too. This game is coming to a close all too soon, and I would like to have some friendships that last to the next digital adventure or even into the real world from all of this.

Anyone agreeing with this or am I totally on an island here? Hello? Wow…its freaking dark in here, and that’s a really loud echo. HEEEELLLLLOOOOOO??!??!

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.