Archive for November, 2009


Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers’ Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

I feel like it’s been a while since I wrote a column about casual raiding. I posted a four-part guide to making it work back in April 2008. Since then, I’ve pointed most people who write me about this topic in that direction without writing a full column on their questions. A lot has changed in WoW since then! It feels like the right time to revisit the topic.

First, here is this week’s e-mail:

Scott,

First, let me thank you for publishing such a wonderful column. I read it religiously and find the topics and information extremely helpful. I am writing to you with a problem in the hopes you may have some advice.

Let me start from the beginning to give you a more clear picture. Pre-Wrath Currahee had a solid core group of players and we were progressing forward with heroics and beginning to enter Kara. About this time the guild began to crumble as the core players left for raiding guilds that were progressing into further content. Wrath comes out and most of our core players are gone, those that remained leave within a few months after Wrath is released. This summer, the guild leader handed over the reigns to me and left the guild to focus on school as he was returning to college. There was a drop in membership as he left (from about 100 to around 50), though the ranks have held pretty steady, increasing by a few players under my leadership.

Today I am facing unrest in the guild as folks are unhappy that there is “never anyone online”. I do my best to recruit, I have posted on the official forums, setup an account on WoWHeadhunter, I have joined forces with a small guild <Punisher> on my server to run ToC 5-Man on a near nightly basis. As we typically only have 4 members online, we usually have to find our 5th. If they are any good, I ask if they are interested in joining Currahee (no new recruits from this method yet).

Continue reading Officers’ Quarters: Casual raiding 2009

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Officers’ Quarters: Casual raiding 2009 originally appeared on WoW.com on Mon, 30 Nov 2009 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Last week, my guild did something that we very rarely do: we went into a fight blind, without knowing the strategy ahead of time.

It wasn’t really a major fight, or a planned event. We were going through Ulduar, and we got to Auriaya, someone suggested that we do the Achievement [Crazy Cat Lady]. We shrugged and went to try it, not expecting that it would be very hard.

We started with 2 tanks, each tanking 2 adds. And then we started wiping. After a few wipes, we realized that our add tanks were constantly dying at around the same time. Looking up the death meter on Recount showed that they died from a Bleed debuff that was ticking for 20k. At this point, we realized that the Bleed was a stacking debuff. So we tried using 4 tanks, each having one add. This worked a little better, but the tanks still died to the bleed, just a little later in the fight.

So we switched to tank swapping. Two tanks took 2 adds each. At 7 stacks, a clean tank taunted the adds. This strategy seemed more successful, and on the next try the tanks opted to see if they could survive up to 10 stacks, to minimize swaps. However, this made it harder to heal, as both old and new tanks were taking heavy damage. We went down to 4 stacks, and swapped as often as possible. That attempt was very clean and led to a nice kill.

I had a lot of fun that fight. I greatly enjoy working on strats and tweaking them until you get something right. This is the one aspect of Royalty guilds that I really envy. They get to go in blind and form their own strategies for most content.

The immediate question is why not seek out a guild that tries to play blind? My guild explicitly looks up strategies and videos before the raid. This seems opposite to what I like.

The trade-off though is time. If we went in blind, we’d probably be a lot further back than we are now, progression-wise. That [Crazy Cat Lady] attempt was a great deal of fun, but we spent over two hours on that fight. If we had looked it up ahead of time, we would have one- or two-shot it.

Second, you can’t guarantee that no one will “cheat”. If you have a raid group of 25 people–especially people who are enthusiastic about WoW–odds are someone will follow discussions about bosses. They’ll surf forums, or read EJ, or watch videos. Then what do you if the “cheater” contributes to the strategy discussion? Ignoring what she says, just because of the source, seems counter-productive.

Third, it’s already hard enough to find a decent Aristocracy-level guild that matches my schedule and general inclinations. Adding the “doesn’t look up strategies” requirement might eliminate all possible guilds. Especially as such a guild is likely to lose better players to further advanced guilds. Very few people are willing to deliberately wipe when they could avoid failure by looking up the answers online.

Finally, we still haven’t beaten all the content, even knowing the strategies ahead of time. Formulating our own strategy from scratch seems like a luxury when we still need to work on our execution.

Still, fights like this [Crazy Cat Lady] and Al’ar back in TBC, where I got to strategize rather than just follow a recipe, remain treasured moments.

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Reader comments — ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

You know, Archdruid Fandouche Toolhelm Fandral Staghelm sure does ask for a lot of Morrowgrain … So what’s up with that?

Shade: He constructed a World Tree without the blessing of the dragon flights, causing a tree that is warped and corrupted enough that it’s being invaded by harpies, grell and grelkin, and corrupting the furbolgs that are supposed to be living happily on it. A tree that invites the invasion of satyr — and the satyr are referenced in the War of the Ancients trilogy as being products of Sargeras, warping some dude with a god complex.

Silithus? He defended Silithus once, yes — and watched his son ripped apart before his eyes in the process. That broke him. He shattered the Sceptre of the Shifting Sands, the key to opening the Gates of Ahn’Qiraj, when the dragon flights asked him to keep guard over it in the event that the Qiraj returned. He said he was done with the dragon flights and done with protecting the place.

His last words upon leaving the scene were as follows: “My son’s soul will find no comfort in this hollow victory, dragon. I will have him back. Though it takes millennia, I will have my son back!”

You want to know what he’s doing with the morrowgrain? He’s trying to find a way to use it to bring his son back from the dead. He may have been a “leader” at some point, but after the War of the Shifting Sands, everything — and I mean everything — that man does is somehow related to his son’s death.

… well, at least, that’s what I’m putting my money on.

Continue reading [1.Local]: What’s all that morrowgrain for, anyway?

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[1.Local]: What’s all that morrowgrain for, anyway? originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 29 Nov 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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All I can say is, “Mmm, gnome brain.”

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Sunday Morning Funnies: The absurdity of it all originally appeared on WoW.com on Sun, 29 Nov 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Every week, Zach takes you on a guided tour of the Battlegrounds, kind of like how those tour guides take you on a safari. Except that instead of boring old lions or lazy zebras on a savanna, you’ve got bloodthirsty, axe-wielding orcs and stubby gnomes pewpewing laser beams from their fingertips.

So you know a little bit about the Battlegrounds now. The PvP equivalent of dungeons and raids, Battlegrounds along with Arenas cater to those players who enjoy going head to head against enemy players aside from dragons, murlocs, or fires on the ground. In the past few weeks we’d gone through complete beginners’ guides to Warsong Gulch, Arathi Basin, and Alterac Valley. Those were the first three Battlegrounds firmly set in Azeroth.

In the Burning Crusade, Blizzard introduced a fourth Battleground called Eye of the Storm. Set in the tempestuous environment of Netherstorm in Outland, the Battleground looks unlike anything that has come before or after in the game — fighting on asteroids make it literally out of this world. Long after players have leveled past Outland content, the Eye of the Storm is the one lasting legacy of the Burning Crusade that players will continue to experience even after Cataclysm has come out and players level to 85. Hit the jump to find out what this Battleground is all about.

Continue reading The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginners’ guide to Eye of the Storm

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The Art of War(craft): Absolute beginners’ guide to Eye of the Storm originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 28 Nov 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Our podcast (which is nominated for a Podcast Award, by the way — this is the last time we’ll ask you to vote for us over there, since voting ends on November 30th) is headed back to the virtual airwaves as usual, and this week we’re bringing two new voices into the mix. We’ll welcome not only C. Christian Moore, informally known as Colby, to the show (he’s the new author of our PvP Blood Sport column), but also Kelly Aarons, informally known as Cadistra, both of WoW Eh and our brand new comic here on WoW.com. Should be a lot of fun — they’ll chat with Turpster and I about the biggest stories of the past week, including Pilgrim’s Bounty and some superfast cooking leveling, the game’s 5th anniversary and what things were like back when it all began, and this GDKP system everyone’s using, as well as other player-created looting systems.

Sounds like a full show (and that doesn’t even include answering your emails and our other silliness). It all kicks off at 3:30pm Eastern/8:30pm GMT this afternoon over on our Ustream page (or on your iPhone or iPod touch, or just after the break if you want to do it that way) and if you are listening live, don’t forget to show up a little early for the pre-show, and stay a little later for the aftershow. Hope to see you this afternoon!

Continue reading Listen to the WoW Insider Show today at 3:30pm Eastern

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Listen to the WoW Insider Show today at 3:30pm Eastern originally appeared on WoW.com on Sat, 28 Nov 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Here’s a spooky looking offhand for current endgame casters. If you have an item you’d like to see here next week, shout it out in the comments below, please.

Name: Mystifying Charm (Wowhead, Thottbot, Armory)
Type: Epic Offhand
Damage/Speed: N/A
Attributes:

  • +65 Stamina, +65 Intellect, +57 Spirit
  • Improves crit strike rating by 57 and spell power by 100.

Continue reading Phat Loot Phriday: Mystifying Charm

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Phat Loot Phriday: Mystifying Charm originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 27 Nov 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Warning: There’s some slightly not-safe-for-work imagery at the opening of this video. I’ve stared pretty intently at the film. And while there’s not much that would directly lead it to an “R” rating, it’s still a little risque for the cubicle farm. Try to watch this one at home.

Bad Romance by Quixotica came highly recommended to me by Selserene. How could I not leap to check out a video with that kind of recommendation? When I viewed the film, I was in no way disappointed. Quixotica managed to create a breathtaking, beautiful video.

Some of the dialogue is a little funny. “Purr for daddy” has become one of my favorite joke-lines around the house, and you can imagine how much my beloved fiancee loves hearing it. But I think Quixotica created this video with that kind of satire in mind, and I think she really drove home the genre and theme of her video. It’s about betrayal and hope, and she relies on a certain level of tongue-in-cheek self-awareness to keep those themes from becoming over-powering. If it had been any more over the top, it would have entered Twilight levels of angsty silliness.

Quixotica should be commended for her artistic vision, and her ability to bring together video imagery with a wonderful soundtrack. I truly hope she picks up a second installment for this video, because I’d like to see where the story goes.


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


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WoW Moviewatch: Bad Romance originally appeared on WoW.com on Fri, 27 Nov 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Two Bosses Enter … but only One Boss Leaves, in WoW.com’s series of fantasy death matches. This season’s combatants come from the original five-man instances of Wrath of the Lich King.

We’ve got adds here, people: it’s Gortok Palehoof (Utgarde Pinnacle) versus Krik’thir the Gatewatcher (Azjol-Nerub). Gortok steps into the Thunderdome fresh from a resounding defeat of Lavanthor, while Krik’thir arrives after besting the Commander Stoutbeard/Kolurg from The Nexus.

Let’s review the ground rules:

  • Assume that the opponents share similar levels, health pools and comparative overall damage output.
  • New clarification: All of the competitors’ abilities, including crowd control and other effects to which bosses are usually immune, work on their opponents.
  • This deathmatch takes place in neutral territory, which shall in no way hinder either opponent from using his usual resources.
  • Don’t get caught up in gameplay mechanics and what actual players might do in each encounter.
  • Don’t neglect style, story and scale.

Let the doors open, and let the contestants come forward. As Dr. Dealgood would say: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls … Dyin’ time’s here.

Continue reading Two Bosses Enter: Gortok Palehoof vs. Krik’thir the Gatewatcher

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Two Bosses Enter: Gortok Palehoof vs. Krik’thir the Gatewatcher originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 26 Nov 2009 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Oxhorn
is usually quite reliable for holiday festivities, and his video The Peace Circle instantly springs to mind when I consider Thanksgiving. “Why Mike!” you might exclaim, “What does a hippy love circle have to do with Thanksgiving?” The answer lies in Thunk’s favorite food — turkey.

As the peace circle proceeds, our Night Elf mediator encounters a painful truth. Thunk loves him some turkey. The caruncles are very tasty, after all. The good news, however, is that Thunk has thoughtfully brought enough for everyone. Even Associate Professor Evil is forced to acknowledge thankfulness for Thunk’s turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Turkey for everyone!


Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an e-mail at machinima AT wow DOT com.


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WoW Moviewatch: The Peace Circle originally appeared on WoW.com on Thu, 26 Nov 2009 12:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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