Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Raiding - A good raid night with 2 new bosses

I was worried it wasn't going to go well on Monday because Koda sent me a message saying she couldn't raid due to family reasons.  However, Cptsars was going to raid today as well as Arelion so I did have a backup healer in the winds.  Two shamans, two druids, a priest and a monk - much better combo in my opinion for healing!

On the weekend we had a new recruit - Antpugga, a guardian druid who did really well tanking for us on Sunday's casual raid and we thought that it would be nice to have a proper 3rd tank for Kromog. No offence to Kyjenn of course... well, maybe just a little bit of fun poking :)

Last Thursday it was late in the raid when we were doing Kromog, and I think Bish was sleepy.  He was doing sleepy Bish healing on the tanks so I had to switch him out and put him on raid and I healed the tanks. So for Monday, I decided to continue doing tank healing with Crooked, and I put Yuuda and Nok on melee, and Sars and Bish on ranged heals.

So Exray, Aimei and Antpugga were our tanks, and it was probably just as well, because even though Ctpsars and Arelion were there, they were playing on the phone 3G so they were a little more spiky than normal.  Also, it was nice having Arelion as DPS because hopefully he could help break the people out of the hands faster.

With the 6 healers I had set cooldowns.  For the first stone breath we didn't use a CD, but then we did Yuuda > Nok > Navi > Bish > Crooked > Sars.  I tried not to have channelled healers cooldowns for breath when we were gripped by hands because being broken out interrupts those spellcasts (unless we got Aspect of the Fox from a hunter). However, when we were going around to do our cooldowns again, we were out by one, so there would be one non cooldown Stone breath that people had to use personal cooldowns for.

It was better, and we obviously did well because we got it down in the end.  There were still a few little stuff ups here and there but I think people were getting used to dodging stuff and knowing their hand positions.  Kelthal had difficulty for a bit, and I did too because he and I were next to each other and kept stealing each other's spots.

Still having issues with DPS hitting the boss instead of breaking people out of the hands, but hopefully next week when we get it down again it will be better!  My healing was absolutely ABYSSMAL but I guess that's what I would expect when I'm doing tank healing.  It only took us 3 goes to get that down, but I was happy to get it down.  Now how lucky was THIS!  There are only two people in the tier ahead of me in EPGP, and both of them coined a tier helm!  So that meant the tier helm was for me, which was great - finally replacing my conquest PvP helm!  I would much prefer the heroic helm from Ko'ragh but I can finally use a two set bonus I guess.  Not sure if it's that wonderful to be honest, but it does give save me some mana and get some big heals out.  I decided that it's time to get Hermes so I can track raid healing cooldowns available.


So Oregorger was our next stop.  We haven't even killed Oregorger on normal as a guild, so we weren't exactly sure how it was going to go.  We tried a few different things, but what eventually worked (Aimei's suggestion after watching Method killing it) was starting tanking Oregorger in the corridor he was in, and have the ranged start close to the second tank, and slowly move outwards, instead of starting outwards and moving in.  That also kept us in range of melee if we needed to as well for the start but it did get a bit hair as we moved further and further away.  Keeping Nok in melee helped a bit.

We also were running around like headless chooks during the rolling phase, and people weren't getting healed, so Crooked suggested two points for healers to stand in and heal all the raid from those two points.  That actually worked quite well.  One point was where the boss started, and the other point was diagonally opposite, about 60 yards away.  Two markers were put for each of those points because at least one of them would be safe to stand in as Oregorger rolled around.

So we were pretty surprised when we got it on our fourth go (and one of those goes was an accidental pull, so really it was 3 goes), and Nok was happy because he finally got a healing weapon, considering all the healing that he's been doing!

Oops I have the date wrong!  Will fix that when I get home!
By that stage we were onto Iron Maidens and having only watched the video once, I was a bit bemused by the whole thing as the raid tried to figure out what we were supposed to do.  We had a couple of pulls and I was sent up to the boat, and my job was pretty easy - just keep the boat DPS people alive so they could kill the guy and then click the bombs and jump back down and avoid more mechanics.  But, a proper look at it next week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Guildleader chores - Why would you recruit another tank Navi?

In my hunt for healers I have been browsing forums twice a day looking for people that I think would like it here.  Most of the ones I see are looking for raiding, serious raiding, and I'm not sure if that's the kind of person I am looking for. Guilds which are harder core than us would happily snap up some of these people, but when I read their forum posts, I see "I am looking for a raid team at these times" and I know these people are only here to raid, and will very rapidly jump ship to another place if the raiding boat starts to sink.

Not what I'm looking for at all. I want someone who enjoys the game who would like to play and likes to raid but it's not their end all be all, and is interested in a long term home with friendly mature people.

So there was a guardian druid on horde side Saurfang who was 9/10N BRF.  He seemed to be looking for a more casual and relaxed guild, and I decided it couldn't hurt to have a chat to him, and though his druid wasn't online, I went to WoWProgress to check out some of his other alts, which WERE online.  I sent him a message saying I would like to talk and he waited for me to come out of my arena so I could chat.

I was curious about a lot of things.  How long had he been on Saurfang? Why was he leaving the guild? How long had he been in this guild? Where was he before that?

He had always been on Saurfang, was Alliance and then switched to Horde.  He also told me he had been in three or four guilds in the last year, and immediately I thought OMG he's a guild hopper. I wasn't interested in recruiting a guidl hopper and I told him that, but he said to me that he had left the guilds because he just didn't find them a comfortable fit. He'd had a guild that he felt happy in a couple of years ago but they broke up and since then hadn't found the same vibe since. He also told me that he recently was troubled with visual problems and was waiting for glasses but he was having difficulty seeing the screen, and his raid leader and co-tank had berated him heavily over it and he'd had enough of that, which was his reason for leaving his current guild.

So I went back to WoWProgress and was surprised to see that he was in Illidari Remnants/Omega as the first guild as Horde!  Immediately I was talking to Nath, asking him if he knew this guy.  Nath said yes he knew him, he seemed like a nice guy but had been yelled at by their GM/other tank a few times for being a bit slow on the pickup.  But he said he would recommend him.

"Why do you want to recruit ME?" asked Antpugga.  He had asked me if I needed a tank and I said I did not.  So I told him, that what I was really interested in acquiring was nice people who would fit into our guild.  People who were looking for a home where they could enjoy the game and also enjoy a bit of raiding too!  We love to raid but it's not the only thing our guild does, and we cater for the serious and the casual player but the most important thing was that we try to make a good environment for people to be able to do what they would like.  I also told him that I would not force him to play other specs, because what I care about is what he likes to play, and he could happily tank on the weekends if Arelion got sick of it or even a backup tank for weekdays.  However, we didn't need another tank for weekdays so he would be stuck doing normals on the weekend but if he did DPS then he would be welcome to come and see how he goes on heroic if things worked out.

Ant seemed really happy with that and wanted to join right away, but I asked him if he wanted to just come along on Sunday first to see how it was, and he said no, if Nath and Jazz are there, he would be happy to catch up with them again.  I whispered Nath, and asked him if he thought Ant would like it here.  Nath replied "Why wouldn't he? :D"

So that was that.  I invited Antpugga to the guild and his army of high level alts, and brought him along to our Sunday raid to tank with Bleidd, who hadn't done any of the BRF fights before!  They did quite well and we had a bit of issue with Thogar, but I made Aimei switch over to tank and it was better.  So we did 4 bosses on Sunday with the casuals and alts, and that wasn't too bad.  Ant had a tough job of teaching Bleidd but he did it with aplomb and I was quite pleased with his attitude.  He told me he was happy to be a sub for heroic raiding but he wasn't really fussed about it, but I think if he DPS'd he could find a spot.  Unfortunately, he hates DPS!  Kyjenn thought that was amusing.  "Well, that wouldn't be that different from our GM!" he said on Vent. Oh HA HA.

So a big welcome to Antpugga to our little family.  I hope he likes it here, and so far, he seems to be fitting in fairly well. We all had a giggle about his visual difficulties and joked about sitting on the far side of the room away from his monitor to be able to see things (since he was long sighted).  He told a few dad jokes (groan) and overall he reminded me of Sabrehawk, just the way he spoke and his relaxed attitude.  At least we could use him for our 3 tank fights, right, whilst Arelion is away!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Guildleader Chores - Are Romance and Raiding exclusive?

It's not something I have had to worry about in a while, but having couples is not all roses and chocolates like you would think it is.

I saw this Valentine card on Reddit. CUUUTE!
I was reading the blog of someone who started following me (Naerwen), and she had a post "Being Romantically Involved with your raid team" and her conclusion was that it was a bad idea.
Personally, I believe it has absolutely no place in a progression environment. Just as in a work-place, there is too much at risk for it to ever be a worthwhile investment.
- Naerwen 
I thought about what she said, and having raided with couples before, I can tell you that there can be a little bit of drama.

1. We want to raid together
I can understand that.  You play the game so you can play together.  However, sometimes you have one too many DPS or one too many healers and if you want to sit one out, you have to sit both out. OR you have to sit someone else because you have to keep both of them in the raid (because you only need to sit one out).  But geez, I wish that they would be independent players rather than a unit.

2. What happens when one leaves...
I have that situation now.  One half of a couple left the guild for better raiding opportunities, but their partner stayed here.  I was anxious because I thought that she would leave also, but she seems to want to stay so far - though I am not sure if it is because the guild that her partner went to had no room for her and she's just biding her time or because she really wants to stay.  Either way I am glad she is staying and it's good to have her around, but there is always that possibility that losing one means losing both.  In fact, even now, I'm still expecting her to drop the "leaving bomb" any time now.

3.When they're fighting, it affects the whole raid
I have had couples before arguing and then brought their shit to raid.  Or one of them logged off because they were shitty at the other and then the other was upset and played poorly.  People think it doesn't happen to them "because we're not like that, we're in love, we'll be fine!"  But believe me it does.  Naerwen said the same thing... but slightly more colourfully than me.

4. And after they break up...
Does one half of a couple really want to stay in the same guild or raid team as another after they've broken up?  It usually means one or both leaves the guild - especially if one of the finds another partner (and even worse if they find another partner IN the guild). Drama drama drama.  So that happened recently - one of our returning members was the ex of another guildie who brought her new guy into the guild BUT the drama was on her side, not his.  She ended up leaving because she found it too hard seeing him every day, and he ended up leaving anyway because he went to play with old friends.


For the most part, couples in the guild represent very little drama to me - that might be because of the members that we attract.  Jazz and Nath, for example are a strong solid couple who like to raid together, but they would be more interested in raiding NEW content together, whereas when we were swapping people in and out for gear, they were happy to have one or the other in raid for farm bosses. Luxy and Rav are in the guild but they don't raid together but that doesn't seem to bother her at all. Koda and Guns are another couple where Koda raids but Guns doesn't but whether he is in a raid or not doesn't seem to bother her.  Then there's Neri and Disco actually can't raid together since they have children to look after and when one raids, the other tends to be looking after kids.  Not that either of them are on much lately...

My husband has just come back to do social raiding, and I admit I tend to overlook his raiding oversights - such as unenchanted gear - because it is social raiding after all.  For main raiding, that would be unacceptable. However, he has had his on and off time and if he decided to quit the game I wouldn't stop playing, and if he quit the guild... well that would be awkward but certainly wouldn't be going anywhere (if anything it would have been something that I did as GM that would cause him to quit anyway).

There are heaps of examples of when couples work in raiding and when they don't. But in general, you are more likely to have problems when:

  • New romance
  • Skill level between the couple varies
  • More ego-centric attitudes (eg. I only want to raid if the other is on and if they're not then I won't raid, or loot focussed)
  • Friction between the couple (eg whose turn it is to do chores, gametime vs coupletime, being dragged into the game just to please the partner) or other history of relationship issues
  • Jealousy of any type in either couple
And most of the couples in the guild are not any of these things. Relationships of trust, independence and also of equal enjoyment (or at least, the understanding of having their own time in game) of the game mean that couples are not necessarily a focus of drama, but actually can bring a great feeling of balance and harmony to a guild. But I do keep an eye on every new romance that buds in the guild - because from experience, that has only led to trouble.


New Of Fun in Darkmoon Faire

Interest in Darkmoon Faire has been revived with a slew of new achievements, a new game and not to mention a whole bunch of heirlooms to buy if you're too cheap to use gold to buy them!

Dubenko, that nemesis of Akabeko and mine, has changed a little bit, and also has been given a new achievement - Triumphant Turtle Tossing - landing all 10 rings from one turn on Dubenko.


Dubenko moves a lot now, moving fast and slow, but runs back to the same spot each time. Luxy told me the trick - watch where he runs to and keep your ring there, and when he runs away, throw the ring as soon as he turns to run back to the middle and it will land on him.  Worked a treat!  


Originally, I had these dreadful graphics issues when I started the game (with the 10 lines stretched across the screen) but a reload UI fixed that up.  On getting the achievement, you get a new toy, Darkmoon Ring-Flinger, which does this:

Image from Wowhead.com
The Darkmoon Tonk also got a new achievement - hit 45 targets in one turn.  So I haven't gotten that yet but I saw a few people getting it, Luxy included.

Then there was the race itself!  You get a practice run then a real run and it's not that easy to get it in 11 clicks!  My best so far is 12, but I just need to work on getting my movements all perfect!


There are a lot of achievements associated with that race.  It seems like you can have a different racing mount at different times.  I managed to snag a couple but the achievement that comes with a toy still eludes me - for now.  I was racing around with Crooked and Mctacky - Crooked got his, and Tacky will probably have his by the time I wake up tomorrow.



I guess now I have something to spend all my tokens on - Heirlooms! But what I'll use them for?  I have no idea... though it turns out I have 15 of them somehow... and at 35 I get another achievement, so I guess I'd better keep collecting.