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Posts with tag management

Raid Rx: How to determine healing spell priorities

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poobah of World of Matticus and a founder of No Stock UI, a WoW blog for all things UI-, macro- and addon-related.

Following up from last week's piece on when to wipe, I want to take a closer look at healing priority in Cataclysm. Last year, I wrote an article discussing the different factors to consider when choosing your healing targets.

I guess the question to ask is: Have things changed since then?

Here are all the factors to consider:
  • Inbound heals
  • Cooldowns used
  • Imminent damage
  • Key players
  • Accessibility
There are bound to be others, but that's the main idea. Target priority hasn't changed much in Cataclysm. The question I continue to receive is what a player should actually do in terms of spell use. Let's do some healing analysis, and I'll walk you through what I do. Just do keep in mind that healing can have multiple right answers. Figure out what works for you and is effective for your raid group.

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Dealing with bank inventory management

April's dealing with a problem that I've dealt with many times before: bank management. The other day I posted some tips on inventory management, but bank management is a knot that even I can't quite figure out how to untangle. On the one hand, bank space is supposed to be your refuge -- you can only pick things up out in the field as long as you have an empty inventory space for it. But on the other hand, especially on your main, you pick up a lot of things that seem important at the time -- tier gear, your first trinket, that piece you farmed for months until it finally dropped, that Blizzard Bear that you know is account bound, but you just can't bear to give it up. Stuff piles up after a while, and eventually you're carrying stuff around in your backpack that should really be sitting in your bank... and would be if you had room to keep it in there.

The only real tip I have is that you have to be ruthless -- you'll probably never use those trinkets again, that Tier 0 armor won't ever really be needed anymore, and you might as well eat those Delicious Chocolate Cakes that you made for a rainy day. You might as well use those cooking and profession mats you've got sitting around now, because if they aren't worth anything at the moment, they probably won't be worth any more in the future. And yes, I know you've only got so much Noggenfogger left, but you might as well go ahead and drink it on the next fun guild run. It sounds harsh, but in a game that's really about collecting, we all tend to have a packrat side.

And if worst comes to worst, just create yet another bank alt, charter yet another bank guild, and start filling those bags up also. With all of the junk we've got coming through, they'll probably be full to the brim in no time.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Officers' Quarters: Three questions for Wrath raiders

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

With Wrath nearly in our hands, it's time for us as officers to go over a mental checklist and make sure we're adequately prepared for this expansion. (Please no Illidan jokes -- poor Arthas has no catchphrase and it only makes him angrier.)

I can't possibly tell you what should be on that checklist -- it all depends on the type of guild you run and what your guild's goals are. You do have goals, right?

However, here are three questions that you should start thinking about -- if you haven't already . . .

1. How will you distribute BOE raid drops?

Epic BOE raid drops aren't new. World bosses in Outland had their loot changed to BOE to encourage guilds to go after them. But it's been a long time since most guilds have had to deal with them on a regular basis -- not since Molten Core, if memory serves. They weren't too difficult to manage back then. With 40 people tagging along, odds are someone in the raid wanted whatever dropped. If not, the drops were all class-specific, so the number of people who could request them was relatively small.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Ready Check: Leading the fray

Ready Check is a weekly column focusing on successful raiding for the serious raider. Hardcore or casual, ZA or Sunwell Plateau, everyone can get in on the action and down some bosses. Or motivate 24 other people to do so!

For many guilds, raiding is in a bit of a lull at the moment, with far more focus on the future rather than the present. One of the things that can keep raiding life interesting is to try out different things; play an alt, try a weird setup, revisit old content...

How about a slightly different challenge? Something that will stretch your ability to multitask, to communicate, to deal with people; it'll try your patience but provide immeasurable rewards when that patience pays off.

No, I don't mean running for an election. I'm talking about raid leading.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

Office management, Azeroth-style

Josh had his leadership role in WoW pop into his mind during a job interview, and he channeled that into an interesting little article about how to convert WoW roles into the roles people play around the office. I think he's really got something here-- stay tuned for how you can buy a ticket to his "Management, Azeroth-style" seminar, which will teach you and your staff how to tackle even the hardest raid bosses projects.

We've heard quite a few times before that WoW can help you on the job, but I don't know that I've ever seen the roles detailed so clearly. Josh says the Main Tank is the outside communications person for the project, and fends off managers and other departments to make sure members can get their jobs done. The Main Healer keeps motivation up rather than hit points, and make sure everyone stays on task and working. And the DPS are the meat of the project, doing the day-to-day damage to accomplish objectives. The idea works pretty darn well, actually-- at least until your project manager starts taunting the CEO and your senior producer stays up late one night and catches aggro. But definitely an interesting read if you've ever been given the task of running a team of people, in or out of game.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding

How to stop Vashj and Kael from destroying your guild

Last week our own Marcie Knox pointed out in her Ready Check column the daunting task that's given to raiders when they face Lady Vashj and Kael'Thas Sunstrider. These two bosses have earned their reputation as a guild killer, and are some of the hardest encounters in the game. While there is a plethora of information out there on how to defeat the technical aspects of the fights, very little is written on the social aspects these fights give us. Examining what can be done to keep a group of raiders together during this difficult time is critical to success.

Lets take a brief look at why these two encounters are so difficult. When it comes down to it, Blizzard is testing our ability to deal with two different skill sets. The first being immediate and unknown change, and that comes with Vashj during phase two and three: which side will the Naga spawn, where will the Tainted Element appear, how many times is your main tank going to get rooted and bat poison dropped on him, which way will the tanks need to drag the Naga around to avoid getting the melee cleaved, etc...

On the flip side to Vashj's unknown factors exists Kael'Thas. Kael is definitely a scripted encounter. We know what order the advisers are going to come up in, we know (sans gaze) where they'll go, we know what Kael will do when he reaches 50%, and we know what order we need to get the weapons down. This fight is all about repetition of a scripted encounter.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Virtual selves, Raiding

MMO players make great leaders

Do you think that playing World of Warcraft has given you leadership skills? A study done by IBM and Seriosity claims:

Hundreds of thousands of players -- sometimes millions -- interact daily in highly complex virtual environments. These players self-organize, develop skills, and settle into various roles. Leaders emerge that are capable of recruiting, organizing, motivating, and directing large groups of players towards a common goal.

Of course, IBM and Seriosity are attempting to sell MMO-inspired business solutions, but the study itself is interesting even to those of us who aren't in the market. In it, IBM and Seriosity suggest that within MMOs, players need to organize in order to accomplish goals -- and the skills of the player who organizes your guild's raids are no different from a manager in a traditional office environment.

WTB: Bag space

In WoW, as with real life, I'm a bit of a hoarder. Give me space and I will fill it with things that might be useful, or perhaps were useful (you never know when you'll need them again). After one or two ill-advised disenchantments, I've started keeping non-replaceable gear around in my bank, and as a druid I have multiple sets of equipment anyway.

Of course, I'm also an enchanter and engineer, so I have to store materials and equipment for those professions -- not to mention a vast number of quest items that are collecting dust waiting for me to finish the quest. Non-combat pets, items useful in certain instances, items useful for PvP, Darkmoon Faire tickets... my bank just isn't big enough to hold it all.

There are a couple of solutions. Firstly, I can try culling the trash and actually getting rid of some of my quest items, disenchanting equipment I haven't used in weeks, and choosing which of my non-combat pets is my favourite.

Secondly, as I have multiple characters (including a bank-only character), I can send the majority of my non-soulbound items to an alt, who can hold on to them or return them in the mail for easier access. I always lose track of who has which items; I used to use the BankItems mod, but I haven't found one that tracks mailboxes yet.

The final option is, of course, to get more bagspace. Not easy when all your bags are 16-slotters already; I've recently finished the grind for an Argent Dawn Supply Bag, and I'm also hoping I'll come across an Onyxia Hide Backpack or Panther Hide Sack at some point. The materials for Bottomless Bag are offputting, though -- twelve mooncloth for two bag slots? I think I'll have to manage.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends

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