Tag Archives: raiding

I am too old for this…

Yes I am. Current raiding scene is not for me as it seems. I just don’t understand it anymore. I still live in the (don’t know how you’d call it) mindset that when you join a raiding guild with set raiding days and times, you do it to raid. You know, because you are interested in raiding. As in the raiding, really. Not purples or whatever. But the pure fun you have with your guildies when you manage to down and encounter. As well, whenever I was joining a guild, I made myself pretty sure I can match attendance expectations before I even applied. And by match I mean not make sure I can meet the lowest expectations, but to be actually able to attend all raids (barring vacations and unexpected events / emergencies). I came to pretty much every raid I signed up for; can think of only one case when I made up excuse because I really was in no mood to raid that night, more so get shouted at for good or none reason. But I’ve always been there and always ready to raid.

Why am I writing all this? Because I think I really am too old. Attitude dinosaur, if you will. I see it in my guild – I see few of the people around me who think the same, and then many others who actually don’t care that much. Which in turn hurts and makes the game no fun for those like me. Those who actually worked their schedules around to be on time every day, prepared and ready to rock.

Disregarding the guild you are in, be it hardcore, social, raiding, roleplaying, whatever the guild is really, I am not saying you need to devote your whole life to the guild and do whatever you can just to get along with the rules. Then again, in a guild that raids three nights a week, starting a bit later than usual in order to give its members time to sort out kids and some food after work I don’t see why attendance should be a problem if raiding truly is your hobby. But instead people go skipping raids, not caring about sign ups or making up silly excuses over and over again.

By the way, and this should be stated way earlier I guess, this post is inspired, but not really related to situation my guild is in at this moment. We do have ups, we have downs as any other guild and there is summer. There is ICC that has been released what… 8 months ago and raided all over again and again. And from all the mailing and talking and forumeeering I did lately, it seems this is the usual summer-prexpac blues all over the place. But it’s still a thing I don’t really get and I will quote some friends, officers or raiders of guilds all over the scheme of things.

The stomach to actually progress

For me the thing that has held us back here for quite some time, to a much larger extent than ability: attendance, and the stomach to actually progress raid rather than farm. Consider what happened with LK…we got up to him fairly comfortably really, had what…an hour or two? on him, then went like a month before having another go due to two people quitting and attendance dropping off. Again just after we started hard modes, first few fine, once we get roflstomped by Marrowgar once or twice though suddenly noone wants to raid. And yet again just before X and Y joined, we were seeing a situation where peoples attendance was dropping off during learning Putri, leaving progress on him all over the place. This is what needs to be sorted out, as its really costing us progression. We cancel raids or have to fall back on farm content for a reset far too often, and when we dont we inevitably end up having to learn encounters all over again because half the raid from the last time decide to take the night off. Even when we have something down numerous times – Saurfang and Putri spring to mind – when we end up taking a load of off specs and poorly geared people due to shit sign ups, we are always going to struggle.

“The stomach to actually progress rather than farm” – I wonder where this comes from. You can’t quite frankly blame it on people caring only about their gear as there is better gear in heroic modes. I actually think Blizzard is the one to blame here. Their idea of reworking raiding for both the hardcore and the casual probably looked awesome on the paper. Reality check failed a bit. The current rewards for heroic raiding hardly compensate for the extra effort you have to put in (what effort really, most of the hardmodes felt like properly tuned challenging encounters at the 10-15% buff marker). The World of Warcraft community is spoiled in lazy, in my opinion. Let’s go through the Northrend raiding scheme all over again.

First raids released were Naxxramas, Obsidian Sanctum and Eye of Eternity. I enjoyed Naxxramas quite a bit as I haven’t raided it back in the day; Obsidian Sanctum was a bit dull till you tried any count of dragons up – that’s when it became very interesting or frustrating encounter. I loved how the 3D mechanics pushed your ability to play your class and your raid awareness to limits. I never liked Malygos, but it was new concept raid that wasn’t all that bad. Besides, we got lured by Ulduar quite early on. With Ulduar the first change came – hardmodes. People loved and hated them, yet another hardcore vs casual war started but truth be told, it was probably the best instance in this expansion. While triggering hardmodes was a bit clumsy and dependant on how your fight goes, this instance had it all. It was long, it had diversity and it concluded story and lore of many quests and your previous actions. There were fun achievments, there were painful hardmodes, all tuned exactly on the edge of fun-insane. This was, in my opinion, the peak of Wrath raiding. After Ulduar, we got Trial of the Crusader; how can they have released such a shitty raid instance after the awesome Ulduar is still beyond me. They made short, no trash, dull looking instance  that even had PvP combat included and presented that to us in the glorious “there you go, whole new raiding tier” fashion; “and it has hardmodes too”. This instance was a bit of fail, especially beasts heroic. I mean really – you kill Anub’arak on normal and then hit the brick wall that heroic beasts were. The biggest problem to Grand Crusader in my opinion were these hardmodes. They didn’t bring anything new. It just did more damage and had insanely more hitpoints. There was not so much required from you raider wise – you just had to push your buttons faster to dish out the required dps / hps, how we longed after new instance. Then, finally, ICC hit us. And it was not as good as we thought. The gating, the difficulty of some encounters was just stupid. And when the community finally got into the hardmode game, the ICC buffs came and numbed it down even more and normal modes became roflstomp content for like, anyone. Do not forget at that stage a soft gear reset happened and everyone was allowed to get raider gear.  In my books, the events after Ulduar was completed truly ruined any sense of proper raiding in Wrath. You can get everything in pug, so why bother. You can get your T10 without too much effort, just sit and wait and that’s the best there is anyways, why bother. And let’s admit it, raiding an instance for 8 months straight does not really add to the novelty and appeal of hardmodes.

Guns don’t kill people; people kill people

We can’t blame it on Blizzard. All Blizzard did was creating not so great atmosphere and community tools that actually allowed people to turn into lazy tards; so at the end of the day, the blame lies on players again. And there isn’t much you can do about it nowadays anyways. You can’t quite possibly kick all the slackers now, as you either won’t have a pool to recruit from over summer and in expectation of new expansion, or you will recruit but will be pushed way back on progression because you will have to teach the fights to new people all over again. This may of course lead to your veteran core getting pissed off over and burning out faster than you though, eventually quitting, leaving you with yet another newbies as replacements.

I presume the tool that caused this was indeed the gear. As said as it is for me to admit, unless there is huge motivator in gear, people don’t give a damn about raiding anymore. It’s not only stats though – it’s the exclusivity; remember how many paladins on your realm had full T6 before 3.0 came? Remember how many of them had Sunwell gear? I remember. We got exactly 3 retribution paladins on our server with T6 or better. I was the worst geared, but still one of them. I was damn proud flashing my golden rimmed shoulders on my dwarf of doom. The pride came from wearing something a bit more rare than the generic epix. Again, T9+T10 killed this. You see nowadays 15 paladins in just Dalaran bank and all look the same; same armor, same weapons; so not only there is no gear quality motivator anymore for most people, there is no real gear side motivator – the looks.

Bringing the fun into raiding again?

why the fuck some people in this guild seem to treat raiding and playing WoW as some kind of punishment that they try to avoid at all costs, and why does their attendance drop off so much when we actually get to something interesting?

This statement I hold as very true nowadays. And I wonder what Cataclysm will do to the current community. “Merging” 10 and 25 loot tables is a step in good direction, however will Blizzard have the balls to push on harder to make the content like, actually challenging? Or will they still go with their politics of “everyone gets to see content” like the did now? And what the hell was wrong with Burning Crusade raiding progression – “everyone gets to see content, those not so hardcore just a patch later”. From the early promises it actually looks like they might go the “hardcore” way, but I am afraid any anti-crowd decision they will want to force through will be taken back in order not to cause civil war and riots.

They already want a purple pixels to be more valuable. The are unifying 10 and 25 raiding so getting tier armor could be a bit harder. They are implementing a bit more complex guild system to make being guilded and progressing new content more important in the grand scheme of things. They seem to be on a good way, in my books at least.

Uff, what a ramble. And I didn’t really get to say what I wanted to say and I forgot was my original point was supposed to be entirely. Who cares, rite?

So, how does your guild handle the summer and pre-cata blues? Are you going strong or cancelling raids? And what you think is the cause?

PS: I am getting devastated a lot in StarCraft II; so if you face yourself with Terran (yes I play only Terran) called Rahana, say hi and play nice. Imma newbie afterall :)


Gear resets

Because I got some sort of summer flu two weeks back, my Cataclysm testing so far is limited to something like 7 hours total, in which I logged Rahana and spent 10 minutes flying all over Ironforge and visited Ironforge Airport. Created a Goblin Shaman and spent few minutes waiting for Rocket Jump cooldown just tossing around. Logged my Deathknight, specced her and went into Ebon Hold to whack dummies. Without any sort of dps meter. Next log on I went again with Rahana, flying all over Azeroth to visit old and new places and got great twitch to roll new character come Cataclysm to experience the old new content. I did the “CSI: Old Blanchy” quest too. Oh and I rolled a Troll Druid with the intention to level it a bit higher to see the Bear form. He’s stuck at level 4 – but Echo Isles are by far the best (as in colourful, cutest) starting zone out there. Yesterday before raid I logged for quite some time because I was tasked with finding whether Water Elementals are still immune to Frost magic.

So I logged my frost knight, and asked humbly in trade how the hell can I get to 80+ zones. Use the teleport outside Stormwind bank they said. So I did.

Whooooom. Loading screen.

Mount Hyjaal (or how do you spell that). Beautiful zone. It has everything – druids, lore important NPCs, mining nodes, Big Tree of Importance (TM), quests and Twilight occultists (not the movie, the cult).

In my thorough search for a single water elemental (they have fire, earth and wind, but no water on Mt.H.) I picked up a few quests. The usual right-click-don’t-read-accept way as I didn’t want to spoil the lore line for Cataclysm for myself. I did those quests. Two to be precise. And seeing the quest reward shocked me a bit. Here I was, looking at a piece of mail caster gear with hit and crit on it, with about 150+ intellect on shoulder piece. I blinked. Then I blinked again. I sat there, looking at the green quest thing trying to figure what the hell is wrong with that. Then I figured. Rahana’s T10 (264) shoulder armor has about 200 armor and 60 INT less (but 1 socket more). After a while I managed to display ilevel in default Blizzard UI (if anyone knows of any working Beta addons, please let me know). i272. First rewards. Oshi.

I won’t try to hide it bugged me a little (yes, past tense) – after all replacing the set gear and nice purples with very first rewards, expecting to have pretty much 10M BiS by the time Cataclysm ships felt a bit weird for me. Second zone quest rewards, first instance blues would feel more appropriate. We are geared from the final instance for god’s sake, aren’t we? Anyways, as I said, it does not bug me anymore. We talked in guild about it, I did some thinking too and yeah, the complete reset is a great thing.

Complete gear reset is the best gear reset

It actually is. It allows people to change mains easily, it allows your raid squad to evolve and get ready and confident for Cataclysm. It was actually annoying to start doing Naxxramas in Sunwell and some other T6 gear just because the heroic / blue i200 alternatives were either pain to get or not that big upgrade to be worth trying to put together group for Oculus – and trust me, that was near to impossible at Wrath launch. If you think of it, using old expansion gear sucks out half of the fun from preparing for new content. You don’t have to run dungeons for gear, just badges. You don’t get to think about new gear set-up, whether this piece is better or not during the leveling process. You just wait for first raid drops and you perform just well in the raid. That definitely is unhealthy way to sort gear progression.

In hindsight, if we take our experience with Wrath into consideration, the QQ about TBC gear reset was stupid and pointless. Now I understand if anyone is pro raider with Naxxramas on farm, they wanted their gear to represent their feats and pride for as long as possible. Let’s as well admit that the BC visuals were far from the cool visor of grim, gothic looking Naxxramas (or vanilla in general) gear. Replacing your epic sword for some crystalish stick that looks like big dildo sure does feel humiliating, disregarding the fact that it is gear improvement. Then again, I really do think so far the TBC gear reset was the best so far and we can only hope that Cataclysm reset will be the tiny bit better. Better in what? Let’s see.

  • There needs to be a lot of viable gear options in the 84-85 bracket instances. Bringing back D-sets would be just awesome, decking ourselves in blue sets before we set our feet into raids and replace them with !purplz! was probably the biggest thing I missed in Wrath.
  • There must be enough viable options in quest rewards that will actually force us to break our sets early. Because let’s admit it, most of the time it’s not the raw stats, but the set value that is holding us back
  • Community has to start thinking in number values, not colour values regarding gear. That means important is ilevel, not shades of blue or purple. I still recall getting a proper beating for using Spark of Life when Ulduar was out. I was supposed to go and buy Egg of Mortal Essence because it was upgrade. Well, bullshit. Same ilevel, different colour and Spark was actually priceless to me due to the mp5 proc.

Preparing for new gear

The most important task with upcoming gear reset however lies on us. At least I believe so. We need to actually prepare ourselves for the early gear switch so we can move on, not being stubborn asses that insist on keeping their heroic tagged purples no matter what. If you haven’t been to Beta, I can guarantee you will be blown away by the stat increase on the gear. I don’t know what caused it, my guess at long shot would be that the removal of ratings and some other stuff actually moved a bit the budget cost of other stats so the gear really does seem imbalanced and OP at first.

Anyways, that is just my thinking about how we should look at it. Gear reset is coming and there is nothing you can do about it. My question though is – how long do you think will the T10 set bonuses outweight the raw stats? And I am not interested in numbers, more likely the feel of it. Seeing the starter gear, I expect Rahana to be in brand new green/blue gear halfway to 83 latest.


This just in – raiding in Cataclysm

Almost late to the party! Yesterday evening the so far most nerd-raeg causing news got published. At first the whole quote was copied over, but the post got a bit lengthy so I picked out just the most important stuff, the full blue can be found here.

Cataclysm Raid Progression Refinements

Dungeon Difficulty and Rewards

  • 10 and 25-player (Normal difficulty) — Very similar to one another in difficulty; drop the exact same items as each other.
  • 10 and 25-player (Heroic difficulty) — Very similar to one another in difficulty; drop more powerful versions of the normal-difficulty items.

Well, I was expecting many things come Cataclysm, but definitely not this. And I am not sure I like it. Strange coming from a strict 10M raider who is most of the time pissed about the current 10 vs. 25 situation, isn’t it? Because at first glance, this right here looks not only like fix, but like a complete paradigm shift. The question for Cataclysm now stands, why would any raid 25 men anymore? But before I answer that one, let’s look quickly on other interesting points.

One ring to drop from all, one raid to loot them

Okay. So there we go, we will be getting the very same loot from 10 and 25 modes (and hardmodes respectively). The loot tables are supposed to be identical both to contents and item level. I must say, I love the change. The worst thing about strict 10M raiding as it is now is the lack of gear options, or better to say, the sight at 25M raiders and their options. And I am not talking about wearing less powerful gear. I am talking about the simple fact that we lack some gear options from current tier, that we lack choices (the all-xpac caster trinket shortage in 10M comes to mind). I am glad this is being adressed and that both 10 and 25 raiders will have the same options – it should as well ease the BiS discussions and logistics across the board. And they have the same ilevel, which should make raid progression smoother, as there will be only two versions of items (2 ilevels if you please) so there won’t be any more unbalanced advancement to higher tier of raiding, which I believe can only help in balancing the encounters even better, not to make them trivial. Want an example? ICC10.

There were essentially two gear groups entering ICC10 – the 25M (and hardmode) geared and those 10M strict geared. Let’s leave the mixed be for now. So, for strict 10M guild, many of the encounters were hard. Actually as hard as progress bosses should be and besides for exceptions, the difficulty remained raising with attained gear (Sindragosa / LK with i251). However, with i251 in most slots and some crafted / badge i264s most of the content is somewhere on the easy-trivial scale (talking pre-buff here). And for the hardcore 25M raiders, it was just plow through instance to get some practice ground right from the start, which only springs discussion about “lol ezmode content”. The long phased gating did not help either. Having only two ilevels dropping, you can make these transitions better. You can easily look at stats and tell what % of raiding community has ilevel A, and how many do have ilevel A+ and scale fights accordingly.

As much as this choice sounds interesting, it’s really only going half the way. So far it would mean that 25M raiders have double gearing up options which in the end again diminishes the encounters very quickly – quicker gearing up means early access to hardmodes and better gear and completing the raiding tier, hungering for new content. Such thing as well naturally makes the lower level  a “lolcontent”. Then again, if both normal and hard modes are built around the same item level and thus qualitative difficulty, it’s all fine and dandy. However, Blizzard too the one step forward and said that raids will share lockout in both sizes. What does that mean? You can raid only either 10 or 25 version of the instance per reset. Hardmodes will be done in the same way as in Icecrown Citadel. This my friends is a way to proper 10 and 25 raiding differentiation and can finally mean neither of those is frowned upon. Now it will be your choice of preffered content and you will not have that many opportunities for direct comparison. And I believe this will even out the 10 and 25 raiding numbers. However, one big question comes to mind…

Why would anyone raid 25M in Cataclysm?

For for the very same reason they do it now. For the very same reason that always springs in any 10v25 discussion. For epeen. Epeen that you managed to get more people work together, that you handled the logistics and that you managed to get 25 people online. For pure love and preference of crowded content. For the same reason stricters raid 10 now. Because we do love the format, nothing else.

Sure, there will be decline in numbers as loot centered players will obviously move to 10M guilds, getting gear even “easier” way than ever before (yes I do agree logistics around 25M are way more demanding) and there can be expected quite some decline in numbers as people will create small groups of friends to raid content together, especially if this “content difficulty likeness” will mean that the rewards from the guild leveling system will stay somehow the same between 10 and 25 guilds (so far the concern was that 25 guilds would be able to earn points at double speed for PvE content compared to stricters). But I definitely do not see that as a bad thing. More like balancing of numbers. Which is  a good thing. None of the big leet guilds (sorry guys) will disband over this to create small teams. Those guys do it for the epicness of the content and epicness of the raid size. And those things will stay.

To calm down the waters, 25M are supposed to drop more items per boss kill as well as more badges, to compensate for the logistics issues. So it’s not really that same and it still should allow you to gear up at higher speed than 10M guilds, which is only fair in my books.

New “badge” system in Cataclysm

Seems badges are getting the boot in Cataclysm and probably will go to Totem Heaven where they will rejoice with Fred and Tremor Totem. The new system is supposed to be points based, but is pretty much the same as it is now. Just points and not badges. Big deal.

Hero Points — Low-tier, easier-to-get PVE points. Maximum cap to how many you can own, but no cap to how quickly you can earn them. Earned from most dungeons. (most like the current Emblem of Triumph)

Valor Points — High-tier, harder-to-get PvE points. Maximum cap to how many you can own, as well as a cap to how many you can earn per week. Earned from Dungeon Finder daily Heroic and from raids. (most like the current Emblem of Frost)

So to compare it to current situation – any kill that is below current progression tier will yield Hero points, current raid tier and daily / weekly will yield Valor points the first time you do it that day / week. The most interesting change comes with the conversion though:

When a new tier of raiding gear is released, your higher tier of points will be converted into the lower tier. For instance, if a new tier of raid gear is released, your Valor points will be converted to Hero points. Of course that means with these new releases you’ll always begin without any of the higher tier of points, and thus be unable to stockpile them.

You know what this change essentially means? That you won’t have to spend 10 minutes every time you want to buy gems just by trading badges. Hooray!!! Nothing else. Don’t whine, it’s the same system as it is now. And there is one more change to come in Cataclysm that seems very appealing to people short on time:

To explain the reasoning for the weekly cap on points for the higher tiers, this is to provide flexibility in how players choose to earn the points without feeling like they have to do all of the content as often as it is available. If your Valor income from raiding is sufficient, you may not feel the need to run Dungeon Finder every night, or perhaps even at all.

I am not sure about the cap in reality and how it plays out, but I really like the idea of not having to log on every day for daily just to not fall behind on gear progression.

What gives?

I must say I like the concept and for me it is really a good step forward. I understand 25M raiders might be and will be concerned, but I believe this is a change for good things and I am very eager to see how it is when it comes live.


Restoration Shaman series…

You can always find posts and articles stating that “this healer class sux” and that everyone should abandon it and go roll druid/paladin/priest/shaman. Don’t trust those posts. All healing classes are equal to the point they all excel at something;  the important thing is realizing this fact and finding and improving the areas of play where your class is good at.

For this reason, I decided to write lightweight, easy to understand and not-so-serious guide about shaman healing. The very first part of the guide will try to present you reasons to roll a healer. But not only that, to roll a restoration shaman.

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Icecrown citadel is…

Conquered. Well, sorta. At least the four encounters available to date were downed yesterday by Cute Poison. And man, it was a ride. It was one of the messiest raids I’ve done in last weeks, we got very, very familiar with the floor all over the place and we had fun.

The idea of the run was to go in blindfolded, with the littlest clue about the instance possible. All I did was briefly going through TankSpot videos fifteen minutes before raid to see how the fights look in general. And the whole evening reflected such preparation – bosses were casting “that ability”ies, everyone was supposed to be aware of “that crap” and so on, you name it.

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Your mileage may vary – 3.3 around the corner

Since Bouboille posted this on MMO-Champion on Wednesday, the whole community started buzzing and talking, getting back to life (which was greatly described by Larísa). It seems 3.3 is coming. And if not after the weekend, then soon for sure! Although I feel like even today is not soon enough. Anyways, I briefly mentioned the LFG system overhaul that I am looking for, let’s take a closer look on that and on the changes that us restos are anticipating.

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What happens in PuG, stays in PuG: 10 versus 25

So, after technical hiccups this weekend I can post again. Yay. This week’s WhipSiP (What happens…) will be about the differences in 10 versus 25 man raiding, why it brings so much e-rage whenever both “hardcore” types of raiders meet heads-up on game forums and hopefully we will discover some new and interesting things. Are 25 raids more hardcore and harder than 10 raids?

There are often threads on MMO-Champion getting out of hand dealing with how content is easy and they often end up in taunting others to prove their skills with achievements and even further, with mocking those that do not raid 25 content. Because, you know, any scrub can complete 10 raid. Well, it ain’t that simple…

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