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Posts with tag raiding

Warlords of Draenor: Blizzard's Group Finder will allow leaders to filter applicants

Blizzard Community Manager Lore has been all over the forums talking about how Blizzard will build their cross-realm group finder. The latest update for the would-be cross-realm raider, world boss killer or PvPer is as follows:
Lore
Quote:

But with OQ you can put restrictions, view how well they've done before, and how well they're liked with the public. Openraid had a reputation how well people liked your raids and gave you upvotes. Is there any way they will add something like that to help people avoid groups lead by bad players, mean leaders or elitist jerks?

We do want to provide some options for group leaders to put some restrictions for who can and can't request to join their group. We don't want to do it in a way that encourages people to be too heavy-handed, but we also want to make the system easy and intuitive to use, and feel it's better for everyone if the system lets leaders be upfront about who they're willing to bring along.

Basically, we want to avoid a situation where you can be invited to a group and then immediately be kicked when the leader inspects your gear and finds you're 10 item levels lower than he or she is looking for (and then have to repeat that process until you eventually either find a group that will bring you or give up entirely). We'd rather do our best to make sure you only see groups that you've actually got a shot at running with :)

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Filed under: News items, Warlords of Draenor

Officers' Quarters: How Blizzard can help guilds adjust to 20-man mythic raids

War barge art from BlizzCon
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.

A week has passed since BlizzCon, but the arguments over mythic raiding's single 20-man size have not abated. BlizzCon has always included controversial announcements, and it seems that the raiding changes were destined to become the big one among 2013's batch.

It's easy to understand why. For current 25-man Heroic guilds, they have to choose between cutting five players from the team or making a bunch of people sit on the sidelines. It's not nearly as bad as the 40-man to 25-man transition, but it still stings.

Heroic 10-man guilds, however, will have it much worse if this change goes live (and it very much seems like it will). It's too early to make sweeping changes to your roster, but rest assured in the future I will cover different strategies for making that transition.

For now, I'd like to talk about what officers and raiders should ask Blizzard to do to help us adjust. Now that this decision has been made, however, Blizzard should not stand idle in this process. They can make this transition easier on guids.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Officers of Draenor

Town square somewhere in Draenor
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.

BlizzCon 2013 gave us a glimpse into WoW's future. As officers, it's never too early to plan and adjust for the evolution of the game. Let's take a look at the some of the issues that could affect your guild next year.

No new perks

It appears that guilds will remain capped at level 25, which also means no new perks. In the systems panel, Blizzard said that they don't see the point of piling on perks. They said, "The system accomplished what we wanted it to accomplish."

That's good news, in a way, for smaller guilds or people who plan to start new guilds in the future. For those of us who hoped for more, it's a bit disappointing.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Major raid changes coming in Warlords of Draenor

During the World of Warcraft - What's Next? panel, Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas unveiled the way raiding will be unveiled going forward. As you can see above, the term flexible raid is no longer used to describe a difficulty setting, and the flexible raid scaling system has been more widely implemented. Here's how it will basically work:
  • First up, the raid finder (LFR) will still aim for a fixed group size of 25 players. However, if you're in an LFR group and players drop before the next boss, that boss will scale to the size of the current group - as an example, if a raid of 25 players is fighting Paragons, then four players drop on the way to Garrosh, Mr. Hellscream (if you're nasty) will scale down to a 21 player size.
  • What we now call the Flexible difficulty will become Normal in patch 6.0 - it will scale just as it does now.
  • What we now call Normal difficulty (10 and 25 man) will scale flexibly and will be called Heroic difficulty. It will scale just as normal does.
  • Finally, Ion pointed out that scaling the most challenging encounters in terms of design requires a fixed raid size, and so, they've chosen that size to be 20 players. This difficulty, analogous to what we now call Heroic will be called Mythic difficulty.
I find it interesting that they chose to lock the most difficult raiding at a 20 player cap - I've always felt that we should have gone 10/20 at Burning Crusade's launch instead of 10/25, but I wonder why they didn't do a 10/20 split on Mythic for the dedicated 10 man guilds. I didn't expect that, but otherwise, I totally called it and I'm definitely excited. (I know for my guild, 20 man Mythic will be a lot easier to adjust to, but for dedicated 10's it won't be as easy a transition.)

Also, please forgive me a moment of smuggery, but I called it.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Raiding, BlizzCon

Officers' Quarters: Creating a casual raid team

Officers' Quarters Creating a casual raid team MONDAY
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.

This week, a former officer gets sucked back into a leadership role in a new guild. After a bad experience with her previous raid team, she's debating whether or not to bring casual raiding to her new home.

Good morning Scott:

Early this year, I wrote to you about a problem I was having with a fellow healer in my casual raid group.

Since writing to you, and receiving your awesomely helpful answer, I tried to work with the guild. I worked with the troubled healer to get their overhealing numbers down, educated and trained the raid leader, trained replacements, and finally stepped down - both from healing and from being an officer. I just couldn't find happiness there.

But I was happy with my decision.

In late 5.3, ready to progress towards something new, I found a new server and faction changed my characters. At a friends request, I parked myself in a new guild to help level it up.

Said friend accidentally mentioned my previous officer and raid experience and the guild leader promptly bumped me to an officer position... and has been asking me to start and lead their (very casual) raid team.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

OpenRaid adds new features

OpenRaid
For those who haven't tried it yet, OpenRaid lets you create and join cross-realm raids for everything from achievement runs to Siege of Orgrimmar flexible raids. It serves the same purpose as the oQueue addon, but with the added option of scheduling events ahead of time. I've joined quite a few flex raid groups through the site and have had success in most of them, including some Garrosh kills.

OpenRaid has just launched version 2.2, adding some nice features to an already great site. The biggest feature is the new "Quick Raid" tab which lets you see raids happening at this very moment who still need more players. Previously, this type of group forming was done in the chat room, which could get a little hairy when you had thousands of people spamming the groups they're looking for. Chat is still there for those who prefer it. Quick Raids work much like existing OpenRaid events except they aren't planned ahead of time.

Event creators will see a new option for repeatable events, which can automatically invite the same people if you want to do the raid again. Head over to the OpenRaid site to see the rest of the new features.

Filed under: News items

Officers' Quarters: Tanksplosion

Officers' Quarters Tanksplosion MONDAY
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.

A good tank is a precious resource to a raid team. Few players want the responsibility and the pressure. Those who not only want it, but thrive in it, are rare indeed. This week's email asks, what do you do as a guild leader when your tank goes off the deep end?

Hello Scott.

Im a long time reader and I have implemented a lot of your suggestions in my own guild and it has helped sort out many of the issues, but I once again find my self at a crossroad and I have many doubts on which road to pick.

In many of your blogs, you talk about the behaviour of one member within a guild, that is having a very negative effect on the guild as a whole, and Im sorry to say, that my problem concerns one such individual. [...]

This guy is our guilds main tank, and he does suffer from the old: "I'm a tank, so therefor I AM GOD!" complex, but we can deal with that, since it has been contained to his tanking and not spread to the rest of the guild.

That was untill a few months ago, when things suddently took a turn for the worse.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Is your guild bank going dry?

Is your guild bank going dry
I raid with an extremely generous 25-man raiding guild that is chugging along quite nicely through the Siege of Orgrimmar. They are kind enough to provide not only guild repairs, but potions, flasks, and feasts -- now noodle carts -- as well. The guild is pretty good about keeping everything managed, and raiders do a pretty good job about keeping the guild bank filled with materials for all the stuff that the guild supplies on a typical guild run.

But we've had a problem recently that picked up in patch 5.4. Someone mentioned that the guild bank wasn't making quite as much gold as it used to, and player repairs are bleeding the guild bank of gold almost faster than it can be put in. This seemed odd to me at the time, but I re-doubled my efforts to continue sticking herbs, gems, and whatever other useful items I came across into the guild bank, figuring it would all balance itself out. It turns out, however, that we aren't alone with our weird little problem.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Economy

Flexible raiding's magic numbers

Flexible raiding's magic numbers
Blizzard Community Manager Bashiok has blue-tagged an interesting discussion on the US forums today, asking for more feedback on Flexible raiding's numerical breakpoints.
Bashiok
Right now there are some assumptions being made about mechanical breakpoints in Flex, but there are also some valid concerns. The orbs on Norushen for example may need tweaking.

What would be super helpful is if people have examples of breakpoints they think limit them to having a certain number of people, and what those are. It's in everyone's best interests to be able to invite whoever they want, and not feel like they're limited to some number because of mechanic scaling.
The forum thread in questions certainly brings up some valid concerns. Bashiok mentions the Norushen orbs, where going over a breakpoint by just one player can provide a substantial DPS or healing boost for a boss which can prove a tight DPS requirement for some groups. The Sha of Pride's prisons are another one which seems reasonable -- over a certain number and you'll get three prisons as opposed to two, so it'd be easier for some groups to just not bring that one player who tips the balance. What's more, on AoE mechanic-heavy fights like Dark Shaman, simply having more people standing in bad is a problem, if they're not able to put out the DPS, or are failing at mechanics. Crawler Mines on Iron Juggernaut could well be another problem, as could Malkorok's swirls and Matter Scramble in Spoils.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

How do we define 'melee friendly'?

How do we define 'melee friendly' nowadays
This week, we got a special treat - Blizzard released a video with Encounter Developer Ion Hazzikostas (who is seriously my secret crush over at Blizz - my trapper keeper is full of little hearts drawn around his name), Production Director J. Allen Brack and Game Director Tom Chilton (they're dreamy too, but Ion's my fave) and it's got a cornucopia of interesting information in it for you all. However, one line of the interview, summed up by our Adam Koebel, caught my eye immediately.

They realize raids need to be more melee friendly in the future and they are working on it, but they feel that Siege of Orgrimmar is one of the most melee friendly raids in recent memory.

When I first saw this line, I chuckled bitterly to myself. Siege is melee friendly? This got me to wondering how we define melee friendly. Is it just the ability for melee players to contribute solid DPS? Because by that standard, Siege has some good fights for melee - the Fallen Protectors, Sha of Pride, Galakras and even Spoils of Pandaria are certainly fights where melee DPS can contribute a good deal of positive damage to an encounter. Phase 1 Garrosh is a place where melee with good cleave potential absolutely shines. So by that standard, a case could absolutely be made that Siege is melee friendly.

Now, in terms of melee staying alive without making the healers hate every single one of them that the raid brings to the party? Siege of Orgrimmar continues in a grand tradition of blowing up the melee. By that standard, SoO is absolutely not melee friendly.

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

Encrypted Text: Combat and Subtlety under Siege

Encrypted Text Combat and Subtlety Under Siege WEDS 109
Every week or two, WoW Insider brings you Encrypted Text for assassination, combat and subtlety rogues. Scott Helfand (@sveltekumquat) will be your shadow on this treacherous journey; try not to keep your back turned for too long, and make sure your valuables are stashed somewhere safe.

When we last left our devious, poison-festooned heroes, they were assassinating the heck out of every raid boss in sight, much as they have been this entire expansion. Assassination has been the spec of choice for raiders of all stripes in Mists -- but might Patch 5.4 change the balance?

The answer may depend as much on you as on the gifts that WoW's designers wrapped up and handed us for the new patch. Combat and subtlety both are looking like perfectly good options in almost every situation. Unless you're with a group that is seriously trying to squeeze every last drop of damage out of its DPSers, and you're already playing your spec perfectly, your main criteria for which spec to use should rely on 1) whether you enjoy it and 2) whether you've got the right gear for it.

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Filed under: Rogue, (Rogue) Encrypted Text

Officers' Quarters: A sleepy guild leader

Officers' Quarters A sleepy guild leader MONDAY
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.

Scheduling raids at a time that's convenient for everyone on your team is one of the toughest parts of raiding. No matter whether you're flexing or taking down Heroic Garrosh, it's an obstacle that every raiding guild has to overcome. But what can you do as the guild leader when you can no longer attend your own guild's raids?

Hello Scott,

I don't know if you've heard THIS one yet! Short and sweet.

Normally, when players and raid times don't fit, the players just go find another guild with raid times that do fit. No hard feelings and I wish them luck.

But, what is a Guild Leader of a dedicated raiding guild to do when the raid times no longer fit my schedule?

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Divided loyalties

Officers' Quarters Divided loyalties MONDAY
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.

When guilds shatter, everyone involved has tough decisions to make. This week, a raider is forced to choose between the raid team he loves and the friend who invited him to the guild.

Just a few months ago, I decided to transfer my secondary character to alliance on my server, because the only friend I have left who plays had an active guild. I was hesitant to play alliance, but it has been working out fairly well so far. I originally wanted to join her raid team, but they couldn't fit me in. But I was approached by the leader of team two to join their team.

I gladly accepted, and we dove headfirst into ToT. Well, last Friday, after we cleared four bosses in SoO, I had to run to bed. After I left, they made the choice to leave the guild. Every single one of them. Now, I don't know the details, save for there had been plenty of behind the scenes drama.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Watcher explains Heroic Norushen changes

This week, we saw a bit of discussion on Heroic Norushen, and the means by which guilds were defeating him. This led to the decision to make some adjustments to the fight this week. As you might expect, those guilds that had already defeated the boss using the 'brute force' strategy (basically, paring down the healers brought to the fight to a bare minimum and overwhelming the boss with DPS) weren't happy at the prospect of having to go back in next week and relearn the fight, since their approach was made vastly more difficult by the changes.

Now we have Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas' explanation of the changes and why they were made, and it's a pretty interesting read if you're into encounter design and its implementation. Just some selected bits of information from the post:
  • Originally on the PTR Heroic Norushen had a 'draw' mechanic that would have prevented the brute-force method, but it was removed because it had bad effects once gear improved, forcing groups to throttle their DPS.
  • The intent isn't to increase encounter difficulty - the problem isn't that the fight is too easy, it's that people are just skipping the mechanics entirely.
  • Going back to reference the Encounter Design Dev Watercooler, Watcher mentions that "a major factor when it comes to deciding whether to make changes to address an unintended strategy is whether the approach actually involves interesting gameplay." - I think it's fair to say that just throwing DPS at it so you can avoid the mechanics isn't all that interesting.
  • The difference between the changes to Thok this week and Norushen in the upcoming reset are profoundly the difference between a bugfix (Thok was always intended to have Acceleration on all difficulties save Raid Finder, it was simply accidentally turned off on all other difficulties as well as Raid Finder) and a decision to change an encounter to close off an approach that was never intended. That's why Thok was hotfixed immediately, but Norushen is being changed with the server reset so it affects all guilds equally.
For more, you can read Watcher's post here on the forums, and we'll reproduce it in full behind the cut as well.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: No leader = no raid?

Officers' Quarters No leader  no raid MONDAY
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.

When your raid leader is absent, does your guild cancel the entire raid? This week, an officer is in a guild that does just that.

Hi Scott,

I've read a lot of your columns and I'm curious if you could offer some advise on how to suggest changes to a GM.

Ok, I'm an officer in a guild that is focused on "casual progression" (if such a thing exists). We have regular raid times and dates that the whole guild is aware of, and use the calendar to build our raid groups. For some background, our GM is also our primary raid leader. When he is unavailable to raid, due to work or life, we typically don't raid. We have two tiers of guild officers, one to focus on class knowledge and guild activities, and the other who are raid leaders. The raid leader tier is short in number because some guild members don't want to lead raids and others because our GM doesn't feel they would be a good raid leader.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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