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Posts with tag stress

Raid Rx: How to stop worrying about healing

Every week, Raid Rx will help you quarterback your healers to victory! Your host is Matt Low, the grand poohbah of World of Matticus and a founder of Plus Heal, a discussion community for healers of all experience levels and interests. Catch his weekly podcast on healing, raiding and leading, the Matticast.

Annnd the BlizzCon hangover continues. I think we should have two BlizzCons a year. Perhaps one out in the east (or maybe a separate one in Europe)? I think it'd be neat! But alas, I'm digressing. This week in how to maintain your healing sanity, I wanted to discuss a problem that most healers have experienced at some point in their healing careers. Ever go to bed sweating stressing about your healing? Felt particularly bad about your performance because you just kept dropping the ball? Have that sinking feeling in your stomach after a particularly bad night?

If this happens to you consistently, then you just might be suffering from worry!

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Filed under: Raid Rx (Raid Healing)

Officers' Quarters: Burnout already?

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 now from No Starch Press.

In the emails that I've been receiving lately, I've noticed a disturbing trend: Many guild leaders are finding themselves burned out right now. On the surface, it doesn't make much sense. After all, the expansion is only a few months old. Many guilds are still progressing through tier 11, earning new perks every week, and looking forward to all the great new content that future patches will bring. How can so many guild leaders already be burned out?

A few factors are feeding this trend. The first is the insanely long gap between the release of Icecrown Citadel in patch 3.3 and Cataclysm. The Ruby Sanctum was hardly any help to keep raiders interested during this time. Most of the guild leaders who survived that period did so by constant recruiting, merging with other guilds, or working diligently to keep players interested in raiding; all of these are high-stress situations.

Then Cataclysm released, and rather than breathing a sigh of relief, these guild leaders now had a whole new ball game to contend with. They have had to ensure their raiders or PvPers were prepared for endgame content in which the gear curve was suddenly much steeper than it had been since the early days of The Burning Crusade. Raiding guilds have had to make tough choices about the size of the raids they would coordinate and how they would deal with gear in the new loot paradigm. Once those guilds made it into raid zones, they found themselves up against bosses much tougher than those in Wrath's first tier and completely unfamiliar to most players -- unlike those in the endless Icecrown runs we knew by heart.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Officers' Quarters: Be kind to your tanks and healers

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 now from No Starch Press.

If you've queued as a DPS for the dungeon finder lately, you've probably marveled at the estimated time and wondered what happened to all the tanks and healers. Maybe fewer players want to tank when crowd control is necessary; maybe fewer players want to heal when mana must be managed. Maybe it's the fact that gear is more critical at this point in an expansion, so people are shy about signing up for those roles. Or maybe all the tanks and healers are skipping the unpredictable dungeon finder crowd altogether and looking for guilds to join.

Whatever the cause, dungeon finder queues for DPS are absolutely brutal at the moment. If you don't want to wait 30-plus minutes for every run, you're going to need tanks and healers in your guild who are willing to run heroics. You may wonder, why wouldn't they be willing to run heroics? After all, the content is fresh, the upgrades are flowing, and most people still need justice and/or valor points.

The question isn't so much whether they want to run heroics; the question is whether they want to run heroics with you, right now.

This week, I'm going to focus on what players and officers can do to avoid stressing out your tanks and healers and help them to enjoy the game along with everyone else.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: Healers, are you anxious about Cataclysm content?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

I'm a healer. Just a healer. My guildmates have two characters, three, four or more. I've got an addon that does nothing but tell me who someone is when they sign in so I don't have to tax myself connecting one druid to another paladin. Me, I've just got a priest with a full set of healing gear and a solid set of DPS gear, if the need arises. Like many other healers out there, I've gone through heroics and raids; even ICC doesn't pose all that much of a challenge anymore. When you know what's coming and when, it's just a matter of hitting your marks.

Now the whole world is changing for all of us. The banal, practiced and frankly monotonous task of keeping guildmates and PUGs alive is going to go the way of the dodo, for at least a good long while. Challenge will be in the air again, and maintaining resources will be an issue for the first time in memory since my guild first cleared Iron Council.

For some of us, and I imagine this includes myself, this is going to be quite a shock. Unless we're in heroic or hard mode raiding content, we've been able to put tape over our mana bars. Now the tape's coming off, and I'm about to be pressured into a triage mentality I don't remember ever having to maintain. Either someone was topped off or dead. Only two possibilities, only two states.

I'm very much looking forward to the pressure to maintain an even shade of gray, to keep everyone between those two absolutes. I'd love to know how the rest of the healers are feeling about the cataclysmic shift in technique that is about to be gifted to us.

Are you anxious about healing in Cataclysm content?
Yes, I have doubts about how quickly or how well I can learn the new style.2824 (28.5%)
Yes, I have doubts about other players' ability or willingness to adapt.5209 (52.5%)
No, I don't think it'll be all that different.464 (4.7%)
No, I'm confident everyone will make any necessary changes fairly soon.1423 (14.3%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Officers' Quarters: LF guild leader PST

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

Some guild leaders think we are irreplaceable, but few of us actually are. Who will carry on the Torch of the Damned if we can't fulfill our duties? I know exactly who would if I ever had to stop playing. But some guild leaders aren't that lucky. Caasi is one of them. She wrote me this week to ask what she should do.

Erro thar.

I've been playing WoW since 2006 and started my own guild in July 2007 and, at times when RL does not allow enough time, I have handed the guild over to a friend. As it stands there is currently two 2ic's and various raid and class leaders. It has generally gone smoothly, starting off as a leveling guild and then moving on to (very) casual raiding. We didn't get to do much of TBC raiding due to most members leveling slowly and only starting to play the game in TBC. We are up to TotC standards but have encountered a raid and guild breaking issue.

When the Australian DST changes kicked over our raiding teams were pretty much split. This has meant that raiding stopped for around 6 weeks causing quite a few of our main raiding team to leave. During that time I took over main guild leadership to try and kick people back into gear. Things were working well enough until I realised that I had over committed myself both IRL and in game. I was fast heading to "SCREW THIS GAME AND YOUR STUPID BLOODY ATTITUDES" before I realised that something needed to be done.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

WoW Insider Show live at a special time tonight

Because I'll be out of pocket this coming weekend (and by "out of pocket," I mean driving a Uhaul with all of my earthly possessions in it through the Rocky Mountains), our podcast is going live at a special time this evening -- we'll be on the air over on Ustream at 6pm Eastern time. I can't tell you exactly who'll be on with us, but it'll have all the things you've come to expect from the show: some silliness, your emails (email if you have something to tell us), and lots of insight about the latest news out of Azeroth. This week, we'll talk about shady Arena team ratings, the controversial change to Bestial Wrath, the Abyssal Maw and what we know of Cataclysm's dungeons, and if we have time, we'll talk about how being in a guild can actually make you calmer.

Sounds like a packed show, no? That's because it is. And if you can't make it to listen live tonight (you can jump right after the break if you like for another embedded feed), then worry not, because as always, we'll have the show on the iTunes feed for your listening enjoyment. But if you are around, do stop by -- I'll guarantee it'll be a good time. See you this evening!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Humor, WoW Insider Show, Cataclysm

Study: Playing in a guild actually lowers stress

A new study done by researchers at Australia's Queensland University of Technology says that spending time online playing World of Warcraft with others can actually be good for your mental wellbeing -- within moderation of course. Researcher Huon Longman studied WoW players who played alongside guildies in game, and found that players often shared their real-life concerns with their virtual associates, which resulted in lowered levels of "anxiety, depression, and stress." In short, it seems that when you build relationships and share emotions even with people online, it can help you deal with problems in real life as well. That follows what we talked about earlier this week with Dr. Hilarie Cash -- games like WoW can definitely complement real-life relationships and actually help you relax.

But only when used in moderation -- Longman also found that 10% of the sample he studied played considerably more World of Warcraft than normal, and that those players not only didn't experience a bigger benefit to their wellbeing, but actually experienced more "negative psychological symptoms." A good balance of virtual and real life can have a lot of benefits, but falling too much into virtual life can actually cause more problems psychologically, according to this researcher's work. Obviously, this is one study of many about how playing these games can affect how we think, but the results are definitely reflected in experience: in-game relationships, used in moderation, can definitely help you deal with the real world in a healthier way.

Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, WoW Social Conventions, Virtual selves, Guilds, Blizzard, Raiding

15 Minutes of Fame: Tanking with a panic button

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

It's always fun to indulge in WoW talk with fellow players, but our favorite interviews for 15 Minutes of Fame happen with people for whom WoW opens doors – whether as fun and frothy as indulging another hobby by crafting a replica of Booty Bay entirely out of Legos or as meaningful as being able to game in a non-threatening, non-judgmental atmosphere among like-minded friends.

This week's featured player exemplifies the power of WoW to energize and empower people's lives. MMOs can make wonderful outlets for disabled players, who find online camaraderie and 24-hour access amenable to their unique needs. Kalzedhan Hurenfal of Feathermoon-A US not only games "around" his limitations but in fact focuses his crosshairs dead on them: he's a tank with a diagnosed panic disorder.

Kalzedhan suffers from a handful of debilitating mental disorders that keep him socially paralyzed, homebound and unable to function in a productive work environment. Yet through WoW, Kalzedhan not only has been able to re-engage in relationships and personal achievements – he does it in the hotseat as a tanking Warrior.

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Filed under: Features, Raiding, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Wednesday Night Live!

Blizzard is at it again and so are we! We'll be live blogging the stress test event part deux tonight, on the scene with both Alliance and Horde characters. Be sure to give a /wave to any "Insider" you see walking around. We'll be trying to stay where the action is – be it in arena's attempting to best our own 8-1 record, or watching the GMs hand out more 'phat lewts'.

Right now the server is up and running, quite smoothly actually. Keep an eye out here and we'll keep you updated with the latest!

Check out after the break for all the action.

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Filed under: Realm News, Patches, Events, Realm Status, PvP

Breakfast Topic: Relieving stress

Usually we think of WoW as a way to relieve stress that we acquire in real life. Yet sometimes stressful things happen in WoW, and we need to find ways in real life to relieve them. I find that whenever something like this happens in the game, from battleground whining and insulting, to trouble finding good roleplayers, it does me a world of good to write about it on WoW Insider in some constructive manner. Not only do I address the problem in myself this way, resolving my own attitude towards it, but I do something that, I hope, helps other people who are experiencing the same problem in their own gaming as well. Many WoW players have blogs of their own, and I presume writing there has a similar effect.

What do you do in real life to relieve stress from WoW-related problems?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

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