Friday, January 29, 2010

50 Point Thursday \o/

Even though most people's focus in the End Game Zone right now is Icecrown, it's important to remember this isn't all that is difficult or taxing for the Raid Guild who's not grinding through 25 man and waiting for Hard Modes. There's a lot to still do, thanks to the Wonder That Is Achievements. Last night, for instance, I earnt 50 points being awesome:

The dps for Sarth + 3 was very fast, very focussed and (in the end) it gave me another first. I broke 6k single target :O

The fight was 81 seconds. I died, and was looking through the 'what killed me' section of my combat log when Sarth died (hence no screenie, I was expecting to have to go again) First try we managed 14%. I will be making P a stack of haste potions not simply for Festergut in the future...

The Lock won the Drake, having beaten the 99 roll made by the Shaman. It was once of those nights, and we then went on to grab the achievements in ToTC10 in a shamless attempt to make the 10-man Achievements (Strict) numbers look a bit healthier. As of this morning, we're #1 on the Server.

I confidently predict that there will be plenty more Sarth + 3 in the future, a fair few Malygos in 6 Minutes and anything else that we can polish off before someone starts looking at the Ulduar Hard Modes...

So what if it's content out of order? It's fun, that's all that really matters :D

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


So, according to Guild Ox, as of RIGHT NOW, we are second on our server for 10 Man Strict Achievement. We're FIRST on Alliance Side.

It may not last long, but it's fantastic while it does :D

Smart Casual

It is odd how things sometime happen, how minds think in similar ways. My husband's been making 'How To' Video Guides for the Guild (his Gunship one frankly rawks) and at the end of the latest one for Festergut (using Sunday's successful kill) he refers to the Guild as 'Smart Casual.' There's already a Guild with that name on Ravencrest, it transpires, and it occured to me some time ago how much that phrase sums us up as a unit.

The game favours the smart, those who think ahead and plan wisely, it seems to me.

For instance, here is a simple and totally fabulous guide if you want to maximise your honor for the oncoming new PvP season. It is clear, concise, and contains some of the things I'd already worked out but a few I hadn't (like completing WG quests but not handing them in) It's like any of the other myriad Guides you can find, it's common sense, when all is said and done, if you know the game well enough. It is easy to forget how many people are new to Azeroth: the questions I'm seeing crop up in Trade at the moment lead me to realise that there are always people coming to Warcraft fresh, even if I've been here since just after the Dawn of Time.

It should also be apparent that we're in Downtime and I have no idea what to whitter about this morning. As a result, I bring you a picture of cookies, in an attempt to distract you until I do.

Mmmmmmmm Cookies....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Mighty Nerfbat

Once the mortal enemy of the Retribution Paladin, the Nerfbat has a new calling. It's task, to completely belittle the 5 Man Heroic Dungeon!

Here, via, is a list of what we should expect to see completely mullered in the next patch. Those of you of a sensitive disposition may wish to look away, as this isn't pleasant...

Halls of Stone
  • Brann Bronzebeard has been working out, so he'll run faster during the escort event.
Forge of Souls
  • Devourer of Souls will cast Mirrored Soul less often.
  • Trash mob Spell Reflect abilities have been changed. It now has a casting time, and will proc only twice at a rate of 75% instead of 100%.
  • Anomalus will create rifts only once.
Ahn'Kahet: Old Kingdom
  • Elder Nadox's Ahn'kahar Guardian will only spawn once.
  • Jedoga Shadowseeker will initiate her volunteer phase only once.
  • Some trash packs between Nadox and Jedoga have been reduced/removed.
Pit of Saron
  • Dead players are now able to re-enter the instance when the Ick/Krick and Forgemaster Garfrost encounters are active.
Utgarde Pinnacle
  • Players can bring down Skadi's drake using only three harpoons, down from five.
  • Svala Sorrowgrave only casts Ritual of the Sword once, down from thrice.
Vault of Archavon
  • Toravon the Ice Watcher has been added to the dungeon! He awaits your challenge on 10-and 25-player difficulties.
Violet Hold
  • Portals will open faster after Portal Guardians are killed.
It's still unclear whether this is part of a patch that will be applied today in the US (MMO Champion are saying not this week), but it shouldn't be long before we do. If that's the case, EU nerfing would begin in earnest tomorrow morning...

    The Best Day Ever

    I feel at this point I should mention Sunday's Raid.

    It's been a while since I've faced an issue like the one we knew was coming. Repeated wiping on a Boss is nothing new, but the difference with every new instance I find myself entering is the means by which we turn a wipe into progress. Once upon a time it was all about the tactics: finding the right spot, co-ordinating the correct moves. Not so with Festergut. It was nothing to do with the tactics, we knew what to do. It was all about the dps.

    I'll be honest here. I'm not a fan of dps. It makes people do silly things. It's simply a means to an end, a process by which you complete a part of the puzzle. Once upon a time, when there were fourty people in a raid, it wasn't dps as much as it was longevity. Yes, it helped to do the big numbers, and those who did would afford everyone else a measure of slack. Can't do that in 10 man. If you have 3 healers and 2 tanks, you need 5 people who not only bring the big numbers, but who can sustain them. That's a lot of work, not simply on the gear but the rotations and the execution. Well, it might not be for you who's reading this and can do 12k dps on your rogue without breaking sweat, coz clearly you're a far better player than I am. So, let me qualify. It's bloody hard for me.

    Let me show you the meters as we went into Precious and Stinky:

    These numbers made me stop and think. They made me deliberately screenie. They made me realise just how much the game has changed this Expansion.

    At times I pulled out 7k on the trash packs, of course with AoE, but still. 7000 dps. When we finally downed Festergut (and it did take a few tries, for various reasons I will not go into here) we did it with about eight seconds to spare. I'd always imagined that when I was doing these kinds of numbers things would not be alive for very long, but the measure of difficulty with a five minute enrage is such that, factoring in all the movement required in this fight to ensure spore propogation, you are talking seconds before disaster. Needless to say when he finally died there was very little joy or elation. We all knew just how close we'd been to being beaten.

    The game, in this progression form, is a fairly unforgiving mistress. You have to take the pleasure where you can, and I suspect that will come next week when we can come in, clear five encounters instead of four, and be ready to get our heads around Rotface, slimes and remembering which way is anticlockwise... ^^ The loot begins to serve not as a way to improve our Gear Scores but a means by which we find the vital extra damage we need to make it through the next encounter.

    So why on Earth would I consider Sunday, with everything that happened, as the Best Day Ever?

    I play with an immensely talented and dedicated bunch of people. On Sunday, to a person, EVERYONE who engaged that boss did there complete and utter best to kill him. Everyone had made an effort to bring the extra we needed, and it showed. When he did die, the execution was some of the most professional and impressive I have ever had the pleasure to be a part of. For the record, I was #5 on the dps on the boss, but I did what we came there to do. We beat him. He was beaten.

    We won :D

    That's why it was a good day.

    Monday, January 25, 2010

    Don't Go Into the Water...

    Whilst doing my mining circuit this morning, I found myself diving into the water that fills the Weeping Quarry.

    So, just how long has there been a giant Yogg-Saron type pulsating tentacle-type brain thing at the bottom???? Enquiring minds just gotta know!

    Spinning Plates, Guild Edition

    Being a GM is a delicate balancing act. Like it or not, there are days when you are forced to keep four or five issues in the air simultaneously. Sadly I don't have an assistant from Vienna to help me, but I do have a really top team of officers including my Husband who are there to smooth the whole process along.

    The biggest problem on any given day is to make sure people are happy. If I were being paid for this I suspect the days when lots of people aren't enjoying the game experience, for whatever reason, would be a lot easier to cope with. The Guild Improvements on the way in Cataclysm look as if they could give me something to look forward to, and they also have the potential to reward the entire Guild for hard work. It's not going to be about recruiting hundreds of new people to the Guild either: only the top 20 'achievers' each week contribute towards the overall totals.

    As a result of this I'm proposing some fairly substantial changes to our rank system, which I KNOW are going to ruffle some feathers. If I'm honest these changes have been a long time coming. I do not believe it is unreasonable to ask people to make choices in a game, but it is clear from the rapidly increasing number of ninja looter incidents I am seeing on my Server that there are those people who are not prepared to be patient or to share. There also seem to be a growing number of people who believe they have the right to participate without actually making an effort. My Guild are a fantastic bunch, they really are, and I hope they can understand why I'm asking them to consider this with an open mind.

    I feel a lot of changes are coming, which are clearly being aimed to reward those people who know how to get the most out of their playing time, and as a result from their Guild to boot. Let it not be said I don't get how important every single person can be in this process. I hope the changes I'm proposing as a result will help improve the Guild experience for everybody. I doubt it'll reduce the number of plates that need to be balanced, but it should make the process of keeping them spinning a bit less of an issue... :D

    ICC UPDATE: Festergut is down! Server #24th kill. Loot was pants, but we at least know we can do it :D