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Posts with tag raid-leader

Poll: The worst boss of tier 14

Poll The worst boss of tier 14
Don't pretend you didn't see this coming after the earlier poll asking about the best boss of tier 14. Where there is light, there is shadow, and just as we love to discuss the best of a raid tier here at WoW Insider, we find ourselves duty bound to also talk about its bad sides. What was your worst boss in tier 14?

For me, again, just expressing a personal opinion, not a statement of fact, the worst bosses were the worst bosses thanks to either mechanics which I found gimmicky, or fights that seemed overly long and sluggish. Leaping to the head of the pack for my worst boss in the tier, then, is Amber Shaper Un'sok. His random transformation of players into vehicles with, as you'd expect in a vehicle, completely revamped abilities, is frustrating at best. In fact, I say it's random, but it isn't. Almost without exception, Un'sok has a remarkable ability to target the player least equipped to deal with a sudden transformation into Lord Ryolith. If the vehicle was something that could be targeted, or selected for a specific player, it would be fine, but that isn't the case. He is, therefore, number one on my worst boss list.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Poll: The best boss of tier 14

The best boss of patch 50
As patch 5.0's raids' glory days draw to a close, it's time to look back on the first tier of Mists of Pandaria. No, you're right, it's highly likely that a lot of players will not yet have completed this tier, maybe not even seen the latter half, but most will probably have made it through the Raid Finder, at least. So, as we stand on the brink of embarking on a new patch, and new raid content, what has been your best boss in patch 5.0?

For me, and of course this is just my personal opinion, based on my experience and preferences in bosses, there are a few contenders. I actually like a lot of the fights in the earlier part of this tier, maybe because we're used to them so they're more relaxed, but I like to think that it's because they have mechanics that are innovative without being gimmicky, and because the fights don't last forever. Some of the Terrace of Endless Spring fights seem to last about a week, and maybe it's because I'm healing, but that isn't a characteristic I particularly enjoy.

For me, as a shaman healer main, the best boss contenders are the following. Gara'jal the Spirit Binder, because the Spirit Realm health knockdowns, plus mana regen buffs, mean I can blow the top off the healing meter as mastery kicks in and mana becomes a non-issue. Pure /flexing, I know. And I must admit that it's pretty terrible on the raid finder.

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: Backseat raiding

Two vrykul on a chopper
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Raid leading is never an easy role in the best of times. When players start to question your decisions and argue with your strategies, the job can take on a whole new dimension of hassle. That's the case in this week's email:

Recently drama erupted in my guild which I felt had been brewing for a while now. My fiancé and I joined a newly formed guild and it was known at the time, we went through with the GM how we were not a package deal and if one of us did not make the cut that we were okay with it. The only thing we requested was fair treatment.

Shortly before cataclysm I was asked to be an officer, due to some qualities I had shown during raids, namely not being afraid to speak up and ultimately voice who had made the mistake thus creating more accountability ... I took over raid leading and led the guild to a double digit us ranking according to Wowprogress.

During this time drama began to brew, two players one of which was new ... and one of which was a founding member started a campaign which I could clearly see to discredit and argue strats I had prepared as well as judgement calls I made on the fly, it all escalated when one of those wanted to argue the raid comp and then in turn that my fiancé should be the one sitting not the new mage who was a recruit (and dating one of the other core raiders) despite the logs showing that was not the case. The gm wanted me to do it to appease them and I refused, the raid ended up being called.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Patch 5.2 PTR: Breaking Jin'rokh the Breaker

Patch 52 PTR Breaking Jin'rokh the Breaker
I headed back to the patch 5.2 PTR recently with Lore from TankSpot, and members of his guild Months Behind to test the first boss of the Throne of Thunder, Jin'rokh the Breaker. We had an entertaining time, at first, as can often be the case on the PTR. The developers had ported all the testers into the wrong part of the raid, so we set off exploring, and found a geyser that transported us all up to Lei Shen, who, while he happily continued his RP, refused to engage us in combat. We couldn't get to Jin'rokh at first, but a swift disband and regroup secured us entry into his room.

Jin'rokh is the first boss of the new raid, and as such has relatively straightforward mechanics, certainly compared to Lei Shen. Again, I was on my goblin restoration shaman, so view the fight from a healer's perspective.

Jin'rokh's fight proceeds in repeating, short phases. He engages and beats up your tank for a short while, putting out very healable damage. Jin'rokh will place a stacking debuff on the tank called Static Wound, which increases damage taken from melee strikes more and more as it builds. This is apparently designed to force a tank swap.

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Filed under: Mists of Pandaria

Patch 5.2 PTR: Thunderforged items could revitalize 25-man raiding

Patch 52 PTR Thunderforged items offer a six ilvl upgrade in all raid difficulties
Blizzard Community Manager Tyiliru has posted on the community forums with some information on new Thunderforged items, which offer increased item levels.

These Thunderforged items can drop from both Normal and Heroic mode raids, but not from the Raid Finder, and have an item level which is six higher than the standard item level of items obtained from those sources. So, item levels will be as follows:
  • Raid Finder: ilvl 502
  • Normal mode: ilvl 522
  • Normal Thunderforged: ilvl 528
  • Heroic: ilvl 535
  • Heroic Thunderforged: ilvl 541
Tyiliru also adds that these items will be more likely to drop in 25-man raiding, which will lead to 25-man raiders having a slightly increased item level compared to 10-man raiders. Tyiliru clarifies that this is definitely an attempt from Blizzard to offer greater rewards to 25-man raiders, without overly rewarding them to the extent that 10-man raids will feel undervalued.

Ghostcrawler was kind enough to clarify that this was not the unannounced feature he mentioned last night!

Hit the break for Tyiliru's full post. Will this make you more inclined to push for 25-man raiding over 10-man? Is item level inflation getting totally out of hand, and will this really make an impact, given that 25-man raiders already gear somewhat more quickly than 10man raiders?

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Ways to avoid LFR wipes

Simple steps to avoid LFR wipes
We all know that feeling of dread. The one when you zone into your LFR group, and see the aftermath of a wipe. People start leaving, your group that you've waited an hour for falls apart at the seams, and all because of a wipe. It seems that patience, while undoubtedly sill a virtue, is in short supply once players zone in to the Raid Finder. Players leave when wipes happen, and if I put on my impatient hat, it's not that hard to see why with the sheer duration of some Raid Finder battles. Certain fights seem to last forever.

So, how do you avoid wipes in the Raid Finder?

Check roles and readiness

It's often the case that players in the Raid Finder aren't really paying attention just before a pull because of the group waiting while the tanks discuss strategy, or that the tank has zoned in, glanced at their panes, and gone barreling in without paying too much attention to the status of other players. As a result, a ready check is often a great idea. Fire one off just before the pull happens just to see whether people are paying attention, and to say "hey we're ready to go."

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Filed under: Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: Three questions from a raid leader

Officers' Quarters Three questions about raid leadership
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Today's email comes from a raid leader with three different questions regarding raid comps, bank mats, and problem raiders. Let's jump right into it!

Hello Scott,

I am currently a high officer in a a new 25 raiding guild, MT and fairly new raid leader. ... Recently, after a pug for MV, 4 new raiders decided to join our roster, enabling for us to have a full raid group. The issue comes then, in to parts:

Since the problems we've had finding raiders, we were "forced" to take those 4 new guild mates, making a core group not as efficient due to lack of variety, therefore buffs, abilities, cooldowns, etc. How inconvenient truely is this composition with repeated classes?

Furthermore, I would ask you for advice on how to encourage members to contribute with mats, Golden Lotus for example, to the gbank such as other raiding comodities?

Nevertheless, the main reason I was willing to write to you, is the fact that we have two of those new raiders too close-minded.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Elegon, the Raidslayer

Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook.

Oh, Elegon, you magnificently annoying Titan-created celestial Internet dragon. You are far from the hardest boss Blizzard has ever designed, but you require precision in all phases in order to win. One mistake by any member can botch the whole attempt. You are part of the tradition of unforgiving first-tier bosses such as Magtheridon and Blackwing Descent's Nefarian. It's no surprise to me, then, that some guilds are struggling with you. This week, one raid leader is questioning what he can do to improve his chances before his entire team falls apart.

hello Scott,

i really need some advice here. i am a officer and raid leader in a progression guild. i run two raid teams - the second and third for our guild. when i joined here, i came to be with friends, and with the understanding that there was no raid spot for me in the primary team, so to raid i would have to start my own progression group. that was almost a year ago. I already had a group that i raid my primary alt with, a casual fun group that i love, and now this progression group for my main. Both groups joined the guild with me.

so, in a nutshell, here's the problem: I'm not much good at raid leading.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Drama Mamas: The case of the raid leader and his future wife

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

I'm not usually a fan of Coldplay, but my new favorite show, Newsroom, made me like this song. It's also appropriate for this week's letter. Note: You can't fix people.
Hey Drama Mamas,

I'm writing you guys to talk about a situation that is on the brink of breaking open. Just to say ahead of time, this is a situation of a couple who are in the upper ranks. She is an officer, one of two and he is the raid leader.

As the GM, I leave the raid leading to my raid leader. I participate in the raids as well, but I prefer not to be the one giving all the directions in the middle of fights. The issue is his fiance. We'll call her A. Out of the two, she wears the pants. More often than not, she is either talking over the raid leader ( we'll call him B) or running the show through him where the rest of us cannot hear (their computers are right next to each other). This wouldn't be much of an issue, but it undermines the person I put in charge so when he actually tries to lead, our others don't give him the respect and attention he needs. Often times, I will step in and start calling the shots when things get too out of hand.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: 9 warning signs that your raid leader is bad

A raid wipes to the Lich King
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

A good raid leader is the heart and soul of a successful raiding guild. Guilds have been made and broken by these stalwart, savvy, and thick-skinned individuals. A great raid leader is a truly special asset that all guilds seek but few are lucky enough to find.

The rest have to settle for whomever is willing. Unfortunately, while willingness can be difficult to find in and of itself, the role requires so much more than that. Those who fail at it often do so in spectacular fashion. Others are less obvious in their failure, and their raiders suffer for years as a result. How can you tell your raid leader isn't managing the job very well? Read on.

(Also, before I start the list, I want to note that every single item here is drawn from a real example. I've either experienced it personally or I've read about it in emails from you. This column was actually inspired by an email from RBG Leader. Thanks!)

1. Your raid leader is quiet in Vent. A raid leader needs to be the most vocal person on a raid team. He or she has to coordinate mechanics, explain guild-specific strategies, call out for cooldowns and battle rezzes, warn the raid of impending special abilities, get on people's case when they're consistently messing up the same thing, announce breaks, request suggestions, etc., etc., etc. It's not a role for the shy.

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Filed under: Guilds, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

How do you prepare raiders for a new expansion?

How do you prepare raiders for a new expansion ANY
Raiding last week was tough all around for my guild. Between completing all of Dragon Soul on heroic, the release of Diablo III, and the simple nightmare of trying to field a 25-man raid guild these days, it's not easy to keep everyone's spirits high. My guild does a remarkable job with it, but the main issue isn't really the content itself, which we can easily clear. It's keeping raiders interested and logging on so we have a full team to work with.

Mists of Pandaria is just over the horizon, however, and for the first time since I joined the guild, we've got a fairly substantial amount of time to farm until we're blue in the face. Heroic Lich King died at the end of Wrath of the Lich King, but we didn't get more than a few weeks to breathe before we were all hurriedly leveling through Cataclysm and preparing to throw ourselves at the raid grind all over again.

With my previous raid guild, we pretty much called a halt to raids after umpteen Black Temple clears, a few months before Wrath of the Lich King launched. While Sunwell seemed interesting to me, the rest of the guild -- who had all been around far longer than I, mind you -- didn't feel up to the challenge. It does make me wonder, though, how different raid guilds handle prepping for that new expansion experience. Is there protocol to follow?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Drama Mamas: When marital troubles are played out in guild

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

The above video has nothing to do with this week's letter. Deal.
Hello Ladies,

I am a member of a fairly old casual raiding guild. Coming into Cataclysm, our GM/RL left for a hard core guild and leadership was transferred to other officers. There were some hard feelings and it was a very rough patch but we persevered for the most part. We were even able to recruit as our new raid lead, a returning raid team member who had quit playing WOW for personal reasons.

Unfortunately, those personal reasons involved his wife having multiple affairs, some via Wow. Worse, he told quite a few guildies about it when he left. Even more worse, she was a guild member also and as she has communicated, he "allowed" her to come back.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: How to earn respect as a teen officer

Teen prince Anduin Wrynn in Stormwind
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available from No Starch Press.

Teenagers as a whole have a terrible reputation in online games. In WoW, they are blamed for everything that's wrong with the community. People say they have no patience, they don't know how to play the game, they ruin chat channels with mindless chatter, and they're selfish, whiny, lazy, disrespectful, and entitled. Certainly some of the people who fit these accusations are teenagers.

However, not every teenager acts this way, and a good portion of the people who do are actually adults. On the internet, unfortunately, perceptions tend to win out over reality. This week, a teenaged officer asks how she can earn the respect of her peers.

Hello there Scott-

Our guild currently is going through some major issues at the moment when it comes to who shall be running what when it comes to what is occuring in the guild. ... About a month or two ago, our guild leader ... decided to call it quits for the time being, our guild was going downhill at that time, and people starting to abandon us. We reasonably thought that sooner or later this guild was gonna expire sometime in the future, and that nothing could stop it.

However, it came to the point where some of our officers and such managed to pull back the guild together through emails and messages spread across multiple medias. Our guild, in my mind, finally has settled back into what it was before, however without the guild leader to guide us. All of us (the officers) decided to take the role of leader. ... Things were going pretty smoothly.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

How do you feel about warming the bench?

You know how raid nights go. Sometimes you have the bare minimum of people showing up, and you're desperately trying to fill spots. And on some occasions, everyone inexplicably shows up at the same time. When you go from barely scraping by with eight or 22 to suddenly dealing with a glut of 15 to 25, obviously somebody's not making it into the mix. So how do you decide who?

Some guilds simply go by attendance numbers; if you've shown up consistently, you're in. If you just happen to be making an appearance for farm night, you're out. Some guilds pick based solely on performance in the raid itself; if you're consistently pulling high DPS and not standing in fire, you're in. If you can't find your way out of a poison cloud with a map and GPS system showing you the way, you're out.

But what do you do when you're the one being sat?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

How encounter design plays into game balance

Ready Check helps you prepare yourself and your raid for the bosses that simply require killing. Check back with Ready Check each week for the latest pointers on killing adds, not standing in fire, and hoping for loot that won't drop. Questions, comments, or something you would like to see? Email me at tyler@wowinsider or message me on Twitter @murmursofadruid.

Game balance is a very frequent topic when it comes to WoW. With every nerf or buff, there comes a vast explanation from the player base as to why it was and was not justified. Perhaps one of the most common lamentations regarding a nerf that we see is when Blizzard "nerfs PvE for the sake of PvP." While Blizzard does make PvP damage adjustments from time to time, there are far more damage changes that are made due to PvE concerns than there ever has been for PvP. It's an easy fallback to take up; blaming the aspect of the game which you don't actively take part in, yet it would be far more accurate for PvP players to complain about PvE.

There's another trap that's easy to fall into: that PvE balance is easy to do. To be fair, balancing against Patchwerk encounters isn't that difficult, although you'll still never get it perfect, but WoW has only had a single Patchwerk encounter, and that was Patchwerk. For all the damage juggling that Blizzard does, the largest factor in game balance is always going to be the encounters themselves. Each fight has unique mechanics which mingles with the way specs operate and it is that which determines how a spec fairs just as much as any damage balancing on Blizzard's part.

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Filed under: Raiding, Ready Check (Raiding)

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