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Posts with tag raiding

Drama Mamas: Progression vs. friends

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 was going to embed this earworm because of this week's signature, but I just couldn't stomach it. I'm not a fan. So I've replaced it with a different earworm. Everybody clap and point now.
Dear Drama Mamas:

I am an officer and tank in a raiding guild with people I've known since mid Cataclysm. I took a break at the start of Mists due to getting a new job, and came back a couple of months ago to find the guild struggling on Horridon in 10N Throne of Thunder. I wasn't planning on returning to the game full-time and spent most of my time leveling and gearing an alt that I was using to fill a spare DPS slot when the guild needed me. I was eventually asked to come back as a full-time tank to help with progression, and since then we've slowly managed to clear normal T15, culminating in downing Lei Shen the first time a couple of weeks ago.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

From 25 to 10, a Lodur Story

From 25 to 10, a Lodur Story
I feel like it's been a pretty big debate since the inception of the concept, whether 25-man or 10-man raiding is the end all be all. Which is "real" raiding? Which is more difficult? Which offers you the most rewards? These questions have almost been a plague on raiding discussion since the option first became available. To be honest, I've never much cared for the debate. I'm the type of person that is a live and let live when it comes to personal preferences in video games.

For me, I've always just been a raider. It has been a huge part of my enjoyment with the game, second only to the story and lore of Warcraft. I've also always been a large group raider from Classic World of Warcraft right up to Mists, but I did always run with a 10-man group right up until the point where 10 and 25 started to share a lockout, just so I could keep raiding and so I knew how to handle both situations. Recently, due to personal scheduling reasons, I've had to make some changes to my World of Warcraft playtime that has resulted in not only me re-joining the Horde, but also having shifted from 25-man raiding to full time 10-man healing on Lodur.

This post is just my opinions and observations based on my own change from 25-man raiding to 10-man raiding. Your mileage may vary.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding

How bad is raiding for melee?

How bad is raiding for melee
It's no secret, I raid as melee DPS right now. It's also no secret I tend to die a lot. Despite constantly rotating in Enraged Regeneration, Shield Wall, Die by the Sword and the draenei racial Gift of the Naaru, I tend to explode. I'm hardly unique in this, either. I see dead melee in pretty much every successful kill, but some fights are really bad. Fights like Kor'kron Dark Shaman especially seem designed and engineered to annihilate melee players, or keep them too busy running away to actually hit anything.

I was talking to Joe "Lodur" Perez about the tendency of melee characters to die on Twitter the other day, and he made some good points about how healers are conditioned to let DPS die. It made sense but it left me wondering if it's more or less of a problem in a particular raid size, if it's universal, if some groups run heavy melee and love it or if it's always better to run high ranged and if so, what can/should be done about it. I don't have a lot of answers for it, but I do think it's a question worth asking. Do raid leaders stack ranged preferentially over melee? Do healers prefer to see a high ranged count in the roster? What are your experiences with the subject as players?

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

Officers' Quarters: A sudden tyrant

Officers' Quarters A sudden tyrant 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.

People change. Their opinions and tastes evolve. Sometimes a guild that was right for you in the past is no longer what you want. That's all well and good, unless this person is the guild leader, and they are bringing the whole guild along for the ride.

Hi Scott,

I am writing because I really need your advice. I am at a point in my guild where I may have to leave and I do not want to.

I have been in a guild for over a year and am now the co-gl. We recently server transferred from a low pop server to a high pop server. We have always been a casual 10 man/ social guild. We did pretty well during DS, but due to some ppl leaving the guild/ raid team we had to stop at the beginning of MOP. We could not recruit on the old server and transferred... And this is when the trouble started.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Flex raiding lockouts changed in hotfix

Crithto explains new Flex raiding lockout
So, if you're confused about how Flex Raiding's lockout system works now, you're not the only one. The forums are abuzz with questions, and today Crithto posted to explain exactly what was up. The persistent pug explained that, thanks to player feedback, there were some changes to how Flex lockouts operate. Previously, the raid based which bosses were up in a given Flex raid on the player in the raid with the least kills, so if you were invited to a Flex raid that had killed two bosses but you'd killed none, those two bosses would be there. Now, that's all changed.
Crithto - I completely misunderstood Flex raiding
Once again, this community has come together in a constructive manner to share feedback and suggestions, and we thank you for that. Let's kick this update off with the most recent change:

After careful consideration of the feedback you've shared, and after weighing pros and cons of the Flex mode system that came with Patch 5.4, we've decided to change how raid progress is saved. At patch launch, entering Flex mode SoO was based upon who had progressed the least. For example, a raid of 11 players entered SoO and downed 3 bosses on Tuesday night. Wednesday night, all 11 come back together to continue but decide to bring along 4 new people. If the raid had queued together, they'd have had to start the raid over from the beginning because those 4 new players weren't flagged as having downed the first 3 bosses. Our original intent was to err on the side of making sure no one in the raid would miss out on a boss that they still needed to kill.

A hotfix applied this morning, however, takes a more traditional approach to raid lockouts by basing boss progression on the group leader's status. In other words, if the raid leader faced 3 bosses on Tuesday and decides to continue where he or she left off tonight, anyone who joins the Flex raid--even those who have never set foot into SoO--will begin the instance at the same point where the raid leader finished on Tuesday. This system is more straightforward and understandable for much of the WoW raiding community, therefore Flexible raids will no longer be based upon the least progressed member.


So there we have it - the community's voices have been heard, and the Flex boss lockout is now based on the raid leader instead of the least progressed player. Hopefully that will make Flex raiding less confusing for people.

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

Gaming For Good's Siege raises over $2M for Save the Children

Well-known PvPer Athene made his return to WoW this weekend with GamingForGood's The Siege. A plethora of top streamers did independent fundraisers, including Athene himself and his colleague Reese. Athene tells us in the video above that they had set a goal of $500,000, and were amazed to hit over $2M over the weekend. They extended the goal time and time again, and hit it.

There were several great events, but a huge highlight was the Throne of Thunder 25-man heroic raid race, which tens of thousands of viewers tuned in to watch live, along with several Blizzard Community Managers and Lead Encounter Designer Ion Hazzikostas. World First EU guild Method took on the US guild Midwinter in what turned out to be a pretty close race. Method led out strong, pulling an early lead on Midwinter, which they held solidly until a wipe on Dark Animus suddenly put their advantage at risk. Midwinter had a great chance to take the lead, but unfortunately also got grounded by the garrulous golems, and wiped.

More excitement followed as Method had a big early error on Ra-Den, allowing an orb to hit the boss, but somehow recovered to win by approximately 2 minutes. If you want to see what the world's best guild can do, you can check out the video here.

Filed under: News items, Raiding

Blizzard reveals Siege of Orgrimmar raid schedule

Next week, we hit Orgrimmar as the Siege begins. And Blizzard has just revealed the release schedule for the raid as a whole.

Next week, on September 10th, we get normal mode opening and Flex Raiding opens wing 1, the Vale of Eternal Sorrows. Heroic opens on the 17th (requiring a Garrosh kill on normal to unlock it), along with Flex wing 2, the Gates of Retribution, and LFR opening wing 1. This keeps the previous intention of unlocking Flex faster than LFR and staggers the normal and heroic releases as we saw in previous raids this expansion.

For the complete release schedule, we've reproduced the Blizzard post behind the jump. I for one am very much looking forward to the Siege.

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

Bottom-line expectations for raiders in World of Warcraft

Bottomline expectations for raiders in World of Warcraft DNP
While the shape of raiding has changed drastically since World of Warcraft debuted in 2004, you'll still find that raiders in any raid group -- even other players in a Looking For Raid group -- expect a certain level of preparation, game knowledge, and social savoir faire from everyone participating. Players who trip blithely and cluelessly into the LFR or, worse, a raiding guild have no one but themselves to blame if the experience explodes in a messy, contentious drama bomb.

But isn't there a place for new raiders? Isn't the LFR supposed to be a casual, drop-in experience? Absolutely -– but that doesn't mean you can expect to stroll in with zero preparation or forethought. A game that's been running for this many years develops a higher bar for entry-level expectations. It's OK to head into a raid with no raiding experience, but you may find yourself dropped or mocked if you blunder in completely unprepared. Comport yourself with aplomb with these bottom-line expectations for anyone who wants to raid in World of Warcraft.

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Officers' Quarters: A runaway success

A guild and fireworks
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.

Many guilds struggle to find recruits. The guild in the email below is not one of them. In fact, if you're looking for someone to blame about your recruiting difficulties, you might want to look at these guys. With seven raid teams and chapters across multiple games, this guild leader's problem isn't too few players, but too many.

Dear Scott!

I am longtime WoW-player (since patch 2.4) and reader of WoW Insider. This site is my favorite place to read news and articles about a game. Most important is that audience of readers is quite nice and constructive. It is always nice to read. This is one of the reason, why I ask for advice here.

Currently I am leader of WoW-wing in middle size MMO-community, there are 250+ members. Half of our members play Guild Wars 2, another half plays WoW. Now we experience some growth problem...

Initially it was planned to create PvE-oriented guild with at two raid teams at the best. We were recruiting mostly via our blogs. First raid team managed to clear MSV in three weeks in February and started to progress further. More progress, more people came to us. We were not hardcore or even semi hardcore raiders. We raid two nights a week, six hours in total. It is quite casual from my point of view, but seemed like we attracted an attention. Number of members started to increase pretty fast. Before the end of the April we had four raid teams and plenty of socials, who did want to raid, but anyway had a good time in game.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Ghostcrawler on availability and the Siege of Orgrimmar

siege of orgrimmar
Ghostcrawler has recently confirmed, via Twitter, that the Siege of Orgrimmar normal mode will be completely open the first week of the new patch.


Or at least that is, as he says, "the plan", and as we all know, plans can change! As twitterati chou explained in his question, there seemed to have been some confusion about the availability of the different wings of the Siege of Orgrimmar at launch. Let's hope this clears all that up. You could potentially even kill Garrosh that very first week! ...If you're prepared enough!

Filed under: News items, Mists of Pandaria

Low level dungeon and raid scaling technology complete

Low level dungeoun scaling technology completed
Blizzard's Game Director Tom Chilton and Lead Content Designer Cory Stockton have really gone out on a limb with interviews at Gamescom, spilling every bean and answering every question with the transparency and openness we're coming to expect from new look Blizzard. One question they were asked related to the up-scaling of low level dungeons. Tom responded as follows:
That's something that we did actively work on and certainly the technology is pretty well in place at this point. We were also hoping to get the dungeons to a point where they were scaling, however we didn't actually end up coming up with a reward scheme that we felt fit correctly.

I think it's important to remember that today, players can go back and do old content by soloing it and they usually do that to get the transmog gear, and I think if they were going to to go back and do it as a true 25-man raid of Black Temple, as an example, they'd would have to feel like they were getting something that was useful for it as well as transmog gear, and we still have to figure out what the right reward scheme for that is.

We don't want it to compete with the new raid in terms of getting you the best possible gear, but at the same time, it has to be worth something. So that's something we haven't really resolved yet, so we won't be seeing scaling raids until sometime in the future.
So what do you think they could offer as a reward for redoing old content "properly", in an upscaled raid or as downscaled characters? I feel like points, Valor, Justice, whatever, would be a good reward, along with the transmog gear and pets, but maybe also a low and random drop-rate of Garrosh-style heirloom weapons. What's your take on it?

Filed under: News items

Officers' Quarters: Loot system for mounts

The Clutch of Ji Kun mount
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.

One situation that officers and raid leaders are frequently unprepared for is a rare mount dropping from a boss. Many times, players aren't even aware that specific bosses drop mounts, because they drop so rarely. Without a specific policy in place, you have to make one up on the spot -- which is not a great idea. One guild just ran into this problem, and they want to know the best system for mounts.

Hi Scott,

Last night the officers of our 25-man raid group encountered a bit of a dilemma. Heroic Ji-Kun dropped the Clutch of Ji-Kun mount and we, the officers, had to decide how to deal with it. We use the EPGP lootmaster system, but didn't have any rules in place for how our raiders should roll on the mount. After a brief discussion we decided that we would just put a free roll for all players of Raider status and it would go to the highest roller.

Other officers began to bring up valid points for the future, the next time a rare mount drops. What sort of requirements should we put on who is allowed to roll on mounts the next time one drops from a boss? Most of the other officers are saying "Raider" status, at least 1 month with the guild, and 90% attendance should be required before we roll. I felt the attendance clause was a bit strict, because it's not a combat item and it doesn't enhance the raid's performance in any way. The others feel that we should be rewarding people for having good attendance, which I feel is a valid point.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

How long is too long for a raid?

How long is too long for a raid
I remember the year I spent in Icecrown Citadel. I'm not really exaggerating - it was from December to December, so about a year total. It was about the longest time I spent on a raid, including the days of Molten Core - for comparison, Molten Core was the only real endgame raid besides Onyxia's Lair from November of 2004, WoW's release date, until July of 2005, so roughly eight months. Interestingly, the Shadow of the Necropolis patch (patch 1.11) came out in June of 2006, so in the year between the first and last raids of classic WoW we saw MC, Onyxia, BWL, Zul Gurub, Ruins of Ahn'Qiraj, Temple of Ahn'Qiraj and finally Naxxramas. All of these raids released between July of 2005 and June 2006. Not all of these raids were replacements for previous ones - Blackwing Lair and AQ 40 were considered 'sidegrades' from each other, at least until one killed C'thun, who until the release of Naxxramas had the best gear in the game. The two 20 man raids, ZG and AQ20, did not replace BWL or evn MC gear, they just provided another place to go.

Because of the way raids were structured back then it's a little misleading to compare classic's raid release schedule with our modern one. Raids were something a very few players overall did - there was no parity between smaller and larger raid sizes, no LFR, no flex (although by the time Naxxramas came out, some guilds were running MC, Onyxia and even BWL/AQ with smaller raids to maximize gear acquisition before heading into Naxx) and the only way to gear up for raids was either to be carried through said raids by geared groups and handed all the stuff they didn't want or need anymore, or to start on the ground floor and run the level 60 dungeons. The design wasn't structured around raiding being accessible or allowing a larger group of players to see these fights - raiders got to see them, and if that was 10% of the people playing the game, that's what it was.

It's interesting to look at how players react to raid content now. A commonly expressed sentiment is that Throne of Thunder, a raid first released on March 5th, 2013, has been around too long and players are eager for new content. This is a raid that has been around for six month, and will be superseded around the time it enters it's seventh. While hardly the shortest time a raid has ever had to be run through, it's not much longer than the initial tier of Mists raid content, either. Mists of Pandaria released on September 25th, 2012, meaning that from October 2012 to March 5th 2013 we only had MSV, HoF and ToES - a time of about five months. What makes five months acceptable and seven months unacceptable? Are two months that much longer to raid a zone?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Raiding, The Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm, Mists of Pandaria

Officers' Quarters: Revisiting my Mists wish list

Fish shrine under a willow tree
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.

In January 2012, I wrote up a wish list of improvements to the guild experience that I wanted in Mists of Pandaria. We're at the point now in the expansion's life cycle where all major features have been revealed. The next big additions to WoW will come in patch 6.0. So let's look back at what we got in Mists and what we're still waiting for.

Wish 1: Treat legendary items as guild rewards, not player rewards.
Status: Granted, in a way

In my original list, I wrote about the drama that legendaries created in guilds and wished for a way to reduce that drama. I suggested that a legendary item should be bound to the guild that helped a player to earn it, rather than the player.

Instead, Blizzard took legendaries in a direction that no one expected: they created a quest line that anyone could complete. In doing so, they took away the drama factor. They released officers from the burden of deciding who would receive a legendary and who wouldn't. For most guilds, this has been a welcome change.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: When your raiders break up

Sad dwarf
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

Romantic relationships sure can complicate running a guild. If you lead a raiding guild long enough, someday you're going to have romantic partners who raid together. Sometimes they meet in the game and develop a relationship. Sometimes one convinces the other to raid with them. Either way, when a breakup occurs, it can have a big impact on your raid team. This week, an officer who lost a raider over a breakup is wondering what to do about it.

Dear Scott,

First off let me say I'm a fan of your column, every time I'm asked for help by an officer or friend I point them to your posts first and my guild even has your blog in our officer handbook. But let me get to the point of this letter, I'm currently an advisor for a small guild of players that moved over from our old guild when they had a fallout with the new guild master (and co-gm). Things have been going well if not great (2 heroic kills ...). However issues relating to guild members dating has often resulted in one of them leaving the guild because the other isn't taking the break up well.

Up until the latest one I haven't been around to talk to the member leaving (player A). Sadly I wasn't successful and he still left however I did find that the other guild member (player 1) wasn't taking the break up well and player A just didn't feel conformable in the guild any more. I don't know what to do, I don't want to lose player 1 if I confront her but I don't want lose player A as well.

Kre

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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