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Posts with tag raiding

Siege of Orgrimmar updating to Warlords-mode raiding in 6.0

Mythic mode raiding will be coming into play a little sooner than previously thought. A tweet by Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas yesterday confirmed that we will be seeing Warlords-style raiding implemented into the Siege of Orgrimmar raid with patch 6.0. The raid structure in Warlords includes Raid Finder, Normal, and Heroic difficulty all available in Flex-scaling formats. Raid Finder mode as it stands today will still be called Raid Finder mode, however Flexible difficulty will now be called Normal, our version of Normal raiding will be Heroic, and Mythic raiding, a 20-man only format, replaces our Heroic mode as it stands today.


While we knew these changes would be coming in 6.0 via screens shown at BlizzCon 2013, what we didn't know is that this format will be applied to Siege of Orgrimmar, as well as all raids going forward into the new expansion. A later tweet by Hazzikostas pointed out that there will be plenty of advance notice before the change goes live, and there will also be more information on the topic at a later date. Considering we're just now seeing patch 5.4.7 on the PTR, we shouldn't expect Mythic modes to be dropped on us immediately.

Filed under: News items, Raiding, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Officers' Quarters: My roommate is a slacker

Rhonin
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.

As a guild leader, it's never easy to tell someone that they aren't pulling their weight. What happens when that person is your roommate?

hey Scott.

few months back, me and my dad revived our old guild, and it went soo good!
within weeks our ranks were swelling with people, having a good time etc
then we started raiding, all was well untill we started progressing properly.

one of my raiders (Bob for this story) has an itemlvl of ~563 yet doesnt pull his weight
as dps (Mage) he tends to slack if he thinks he can get away with it, threatens to get angry etc
if people keep complaining about his damage.

heres the real issue. this raider is my roommate and longtime friend.

Read more →

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Why do we still have separate PvP and PvE gear?

While seeking out questions to a Queue I wrote, I was asked by a Twitter follower why we had separate PvE and PvP gear in the first place. A question I love, and that I wouldn't be able to respond to briefly enough for The Queue. I'm not going to go into a complete, exhaustive history of PvP gear. For starters, I didn't play in Classic, so I can't really comment on the gear then, but I gather that there was a lot more overlap between the two.

Then, with Burning Crusade, back in 2006, the combat rating system and Resilience were both introduced, along with arenas. PvP gear was born. It's been through many different iterations since then -- too easy to get, too hard to get, too bad for PvE, too good for PvE, different effects, stat budgets, you name it. But history, while it merits repetition, shouldn't have too much bearing on this question in today's game.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Blood Sport (Arena PvP)

Ready Check interviews Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas

Eye of C'Thun
This past week the hosts of EU-based podcast Ready Check were lucky enough to go visit Blizzard's offices in Versailles, where they met up with Brian Holinka and Ion Hazzikostas for a lively round of Q&A. The podcast--with attendant full transcript, don't you worry, folks who can't play the podcast--covers a very broad range of topics, and PvPers should be particularly interested in the broad discussion about arenas. Gothiques and Athene bring up some wonderful points about arena queuing, and matching, and the little ways in which the system often results in unexpectedly wasted time, as well as the ways in which not-entirely-honest players can manipulate that system in their favor. Both Holinka and Hazzikostas have insights to offer on these problems, and there's some good back-and-forth about potential solutions and improvements to the existing arena systems.

In addition to the excellent PvP discussions, the interview features some talk of Warlords of Draenor and the future--some of which we've already heard about, but I am so excited for garrisons and a toys tab that I could listen to this stuff all day long. Do you know how many bag spaces I'm going to get back once that toys tab goes live? In the words of the Diablo Templar companion, it will be glorious! There's also some really fun discussion on the philosophy and practice of encounter and mechanics design, and how the WoW team goes about building raids and bosses. This was perhaps my favorite part of the interview, because I am a hopeless PvPer and am much more at home among WoW's raid bosses. In any case, no matter what part of the game you enjoy, there's something in this interview for you. You can check out the full transcript and podcast episode at Ready Check's own website, so make sure to click on over to the whole thing!

Filed under: Podcasting, Interviews, Warlords of Draenor

Officers' Quarters: The guy who won't run back

Siege of Orgrimmar entrance
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.

What kind of monster never runs back after a wipe? This week, a guild leader is pondering his options after one of his raiders fails to grasp the teamwork aspects of raiding.

Hi Scott!

In June of 2013, I formed a guild with a few close wow friends, all who were part of the guild we were previously in which fell apart.

The guild has prospered. We started off as a Flex only guild and have come along way since, currently 13/14N. Nine out of the ten raiders are great apart from one, an officer and one of the original members of the guild.

He's a good skilled player but his attitude has left me speechless quite a few times. He has rage quit raids before because we couldn't raid till normal raid time. He has threatened to rage quit raids because he was subbed out to give another raider a chance at loot. He challenges every new tactic we have for a boss. If you don't share his opinion well, ill just say he's headstrong! He never runs back in after wipes either. It got to the stage where I was sick of him but I just couldn't bring myself to do anything about it. He followed me to the new guild and trusted me. I know now that that was stupid to do. I let it go on too long and it has led to some drama.

Read more →

Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Helping a tween tank

Orc tank
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's email is from a guild leader in a delicate situation. One of his younger raiders is holding the guild back, but he doesn't want to upset her. Her highly protective father is also a member.

Heyo Scott!

My problem comes in the form of a raider who's enthusiasm and dedication are impressive, but who's ability are not.

I'm Co-GM of a guild that's been together for about a year. In that time, we've gone from only having one or two people on all day to regularly having 10-15 at any given moment. We raid 10-man normal and Flex mode, everyone in the guild who can make it to raids regularly is happy with the situation, and even those who leave for greener raiding pastures always leave behind their alts because they just enjoy the community so much.

The problem is that we are slowly bleeding away some of our best raiders due to our lack of progress.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Lessons from a guild split

Immerseus
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's email doesn't have a question for me. It's the story of a guild with clashing raid cultures. It includes some great lessons for officers about the consequences of trying to do too much.

In addition to [our progression team] Team Elite ("TE"), my guild ran 2-3 other 10-man teams throughout MOP. The other teams were not as intense due to differing skills and play styles. However some resentment did build. Some players did have the "greener grass" syndrome and wanted to be a part of TE. So when spots opened up, a handful of them ended up moving over to that team. This was the main reason for the resentment. Other raiders saw themselves as "farm system" groups for the "major league" group.

For the record, I was on TE for the first tier only. After I moved to other teams, I really gained the perspective of the other raiders, and I started to feel that resentment as well. I saw a huge shift in attitude from the TE players, even the longtime members.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Why Warlords of Draenor needs a legendary chain

Mists of Pandaria was unique in a variety of different ways, but none quite so unique as its approach to legendary items. While prior expansions offered legendaries in the form of random drops from bosses or craftable items that required -- you guessed it -- random drops from bosses, Mists paved the way for a new type of legendary. It was a legendary that anyone could get, provided they put in the time and effort required to obtain it.

Coming from a long line of raiding going all the way back to vanilla, I have to say that Mists' approach was the best I've ever seen. No more arguing over which class deserved the legendary more, no more officer headaches as they tried to decide who got the legendary first. No more accusations of favoritism, no more guild explosions. Just you, the character you play, and a decision to make: do you go for the legendary chain, or do you ignore it? You choose.

We need this in Warlords.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Mists of Pandaria, Warlords of Draenor

Warlords of Draenor: Flex, Group Finder and Raid Finder's roles

Blizzard Community Manager Lore has been posting about the future roles of Flex, the new Group Finder, and Raid Finder in Warlords of Draenor. You can, as usual, see Lore's full post after the break, but what he's talking about is how, thanks to the success of Flex as a raid system and the resultant awkward position of LFR, a reshuffle needs to happen.

LFR has been wearing too many hats. It's been end-game progression for some, a gear grind for others, and a way to see the sights of a raid for even more, as well as everything in between. That's a hard act for one difficulty, that is simultaneously too hard and too easy.

But thanks to the runaway success of Flex, due in no small part to group-finding systems like OpenRaid or oQueue, the devs think they can make some changes to the tuning of LFR. The idea, it seems, is that the new Group Finder will make it just as easy to find a Flex group as it currently is to find an LFR one. Then, LFR tuning can be altered, allowing Blizz to "better provide for both the "busy raider" and "sightseer" styles of gameplay as a result."

So it seems likely that, if this remains the case (we're not even in beta after all) LFR will become the tourist difficulty. Flex via the Group Finder, and with friends, will become the new way to get meaningful progression encounters. And that makes sense, given how it'll be renamed to "Normal" come WoD. Hit the break for Lore's full post.

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Filed under: Warlords of Draenor

Officers' Quarters: Humbling Hellscream

Garrosh laid low
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.

Garrosh Hellscream, son of Grom, Chieftain of the Mag'har, Warchief of the True Horde, is no pushover when you meet him in battle. Nor should he be, as the final boss of Mists of Pandaria. He can break your raid team's spirit faster than he nuked Theramore. One such team is fracturing under the pressure of Garrosh and his freaky Old God souvenirs, and their raid leader is asking for help.

Hello Scott!

I am currently the raid leader/GM for a startup guild on a high-pop server. I was able to create a guild, form a raid team, and get them 13/14 very quickly on normal. However, I recently lost my partner tank (I tank as a warrior) due to RL issues, and had a DPS rage quit during our Garrosh attempts. I've converted a dps to tank (he has sufficient gear), and am having trouble finding the right comp/team to get Garrosh down. We rarely wipe on the first 13, but we are having trouble on garrosh.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Siege of Orgrimmar: 14 is not the magic number

WoW Insider posted previously about the changes coming in to reinforce the point that 14 is not some magic number for Siege of Orgrimmar Flex raiding. Lead Encounter Designer Ion "Watcher" Hazzikostas has posted on the official forums once again to clarify that the recent hotfixes reinforce that position.

Watcher
You can read the latest hotfix notes here: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/11944164/542_Hotfixes_December_16-12_16_2013

Fun fact: The hotfix has actually been active since just before the weekend, but it didn't get caught in the prior round of hotfix notes. It's no surprise that it went largely unnoticed, since most all of the abilities with actual breakpoints going from 14->15 are things with very minor impact (Protectors' Shadow Word: Bane, Nazgrim's Bonecracker, Hisek's Multi-Shot, etc.). There are indeed a couple of more impactful breakpoints on Garrosh's Touch of Y'Shaarj and Sha of Pride's Imprison, but those both occur at raid sizes well above 14, and randomization isn't the correct solution to either.

The 14-player "magic number" is actually a fairly interesting social dynamic, since there never was anything particularly special about the number, and now there really is objectively no advantage. As we've said in the past, there's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to form a 14-player raid, but if you're turning away strong players or friends because you're convinced that your raid as a whole will have a harder time, you're making a mistake.

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Filed under: News items, Raiding

Officers' Quarters: Drawing boundaries with a new raid team

Dark Shaman in Siege of Orgrimmar
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 you're both the guild leader and the raid leader of a guild, everyone looks to you to have all the answers. This week, one such officer finds himself tanking for a second, newly formed raid team. He wants to know how he can help without becoming the default leader of the team.

I have a question I would like discussed and I'm sure others are having similar question. I have what I consider a social raiding guild. ... I come from a history of progression raiding from MC onwards and raid leadership since the 15 man UBRS days. My main is Wumper-Saurfang and my guild is Carpe Jugulum. ... We have our midweek (more serious) team, Thursday night team (recently started SoO) and a social Flexi raid on Saturdays. Physically we have too many for a single 10 toon raid, and not enough viable raiders for a 25 toon more serious raid.

My question is how do I bridge the learning gap in the Thursday raid without becoming a leading participant of the raid? We have a new team that has started with a positive intent, a clear charter and rules. From the midweek (more serious) team we provide youtube guides videos for fights they are coming up to, visual class guides, discussion threads of tactics, approaches and role based discussion. We stream our fights for members to watch (and they do) when we're not recording for guide creation. If I am to get involved in the raid, because I am the GM and raid lead and would be tanking on my second bear, I will wind up taking a lead role within the raid. Currently I fill in as a reserve tank as required.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

The Problem of Raid Clutter

What is raid clutter? Well, it's that mess of stuff that goes on during a raid encounter. It can be a boss, it can be trash, that's not really important. What is important is that absolute mess of spells going off, that can make it almost impossible for you to see anything. As fights get more complex with more encounter mechanics that need to be observed and reacted to, the clutter of modern raiding becomes more and more difficult to deal with. To use one example, the Dark Shaman fight is an absolute bonanza of raid clutter, especially on heroic - even separating the two shaman only means that half the raid gets to deal with tombs falling from the sky and ground effect cones while the other half of the raid has big red circles and purple cyclones. And that's just the boss mechanics - it doesn't take into account every member of the raid casting some form of spell or using some attack or ability, most of which have a visual component.

But don't take my word for it. Blizzard knows this is a problem.
This issue gets frustrating for players because it's not one they have much control of aside from just turning down their graphics settings. It can certainly cause graphical slowdown when fights get really busy, it can prevent you from being able to react to mechanics in time or even prevent you from seeing them. It exacerbates the need for raiding addons that call out mechanics for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, Warlords of Draenor

Would you bring back "boss must die!" quests?

Flame Leviathan
Once upon a time it was common for there to exist daily (for dungeons) or weekly (for raids) boss-kill quests in WoW; think Archmage Lan'dalock during Wrath of the Lich King. User Frozenclaw, over on the EU forums, is wondering just what happened to those types of quests? Why don't we see any in Mists of Pandaria? It would be a great way to drive players to some of the lower-tier raids (such as Heart of Fear or Terrace of Endless Spring) these days, as well as a way to gain some reward for being willing to step into old content.

I think this would be a great idea! I still regularly hit up some of the initial MoP raids for valor and the like, but sometimes the queue times are, uh, depressing. The addition of an extra reward for killing certain bosses might help drive people into these older raids--great if you're trying to gear an alt in LFR, for example--and give them something nice for doing so.

Would you like to see the return of these types of quests? Would you run them if they did come back? What kind of rewards would you like to see out of them?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Potentials and pitfalls of Warlords of Draenor's proposed gearing system

Pally tank bracers
Not long ago Blizzard posted a long and detailed post about the gearing system that they are planning on implementing in Warlords of Draenor. Many aspects of it represent significant departures from what we're currently familiar with, particularly the ability of primary stats to morph with class and spec, the removal of spirit from all but non-armor pieces, and the addition of the randomized tertiary stat system (along with chances for sockets and a higher ilevel). As a result, there has been a lot of discussion, speculation, and debate about how the new system will work, and ways in which it may or may not be an improvement over the status quo.

I personally am excited for the new gearing system, and I'm eager to see how it will work out. I think there's a great deal of potential in it. While we can probably envision endless possibilities as to how the new system will affect gameplay, two major aspects of the change jump out at me in particular:
  • It's extremely friendly to hybrids
  • It's extremely unfriendly to min-max optimization
The latter refers to the fact that whether the gear has a socket, a tertiary stat, or a higher ilevel is determined by chance and there is no guarantee that a given piece of gear will have any of those things. I think there are both good and bad sides to be had here, so let's look at them in a bit more depth.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Warlords of Draenor

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