Archive for the General Raiding Category

Making the move

Posted in General Raiding, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Masscis

I think I’ve made it pretty clear in past post that I wasn’t real happy with my raid situation. After FBI tanked, I moved to AA where me and a group from FBI formed their 2nd 25 man raid. In the beginning, things were good. We downed Festergut and Rotface then council. After a few weeks Professor went down. Blood queen followed shortly there after in 10 man. That’s where it stopped though. No more progression, hell we weren’t even trying to progress any more. More than half of the group was original AA alts, who were there just to get gear. They had no interest in wiping over and over on bosses they’ve already downed.

Thankfully, my raiding issue has been resolved thanks to Matticus. I have moved over to the Ner’zhul server and joined Conquest. While I’ve only been in the guild for 3 days, I’ve already gotten a shot at 10 man Arthas and 25 man Sindy. So far, I love this guild. Matticus has created a super professional and streamlined approach to raiding. The raids last 3 hours and somehow they manage to get more attempts on a boss in that time than I ever have in 5 hours of raiding. Extremely impressive.

The down side to all of this…I feel like I’m under a microscope, even though I probably shouldn’t. It’s just such a different situation than what I’m used to. While in FBI, I was THE tank, now I’m that new guy. I went from being the backbone of a guild to being an unknown. I was a loud mouth, shouting orders now I’m being asked to speak up in vent. It’s not all bad though, while it may only feel like I’m being judged by conquest, I’m really judging myself. I’m working harder, really monitoring the raid, my situational awareness and the abilities I use.

As far as the future goes, I’m working hard to get my mage up to level 80 because that’s what the guild needs right now. I think I’ve impressed enough to at least get a hard look at tanking the Sunday 10 man and even filling in for an absent tank in 25 until the mage is ready. Not much will change here on the blog, I’ll keep it a warrior/tank/raiding deal and try to get a more constant update schedule going. I’m actually fighting a post about AOE tanking now, I’ve re-written it 3 times already. At this point, it may make it live just after Cataclysm releases…

The Problem with WoW

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by Masscis

In a series of post, I’m going to tackle what seems like a re-occurring issue…”Is WoW too easy?”

First off, I want to say I have taken a short hiatus from Wow. Some time away from the game to get some time with Star Trek: online, Aion and Dragon Age. This break has to do with me really wanting to play these games a bit but also because of a sequence of events that stems directly from my last post, where I talked about FBI breaking up and our raid team joining AA.

Now, I’m not going to slander AA, they are a great group of guys but I’m not happy raiding with them at the moment. I decided to shop myself around and see if I could land a raiding spot somewhere. In my search, I find that one of the top guilds on the server is looking for a protection warrior. I filled out an app. and waited. A few days later I got a message from the GM saying my app. was denied. At this point, I shrugged and just blew it off thinking I don’t have enough raid experience.

I’m nosy though, I had to know who they picked up instead of me. They did indeed sign a prot. warrior. I compared our achievements to see where I needed to be to gain acceptance in a top guild like that. He has cleared Kara a few times and has a few kills in Black Temple but no clears. So he’s been around since BC. Around the same number of Naxx clears as me and at the appropriate times. That’s where our likeness ends though.

In Ulduar, he’s never killed General Vez. in 10 or 25. He’s never killed Mimiron or Thorim in 25. He has a couple of hard modes achievements but no where near a rusted-proto drake. Moving on to TOC, he’s cleared it in 10 man and 25 man but only gotten as far as FC in 10 ToGC and 0 kills in 25 ToGC.

I’ve cleared Ulduar and have all the 10 man hard modes including the rusted drake. Cleared 10 ToGC in 45 attempts and am 3/5 in 25 ToGC. The kicker is, this dude has a higher gear score than me. They had to have chosen this guy based strictly off of gear score. I can’t imagine his application being more thorough than mine. In the business world, this would equate to selecting a new employee based on where they went to school instead of actual work experience. If you’ve spent any time in the working world, you know degrees only get you in the door and when it comes down to it, employers are going to grab the guy with the most experience…unless they’re cheap and want someone “green”.

In this case, we know this late in an expansion a guild shouldn’t want somebody “green” to step in and tank for them. They shouldn’t want to have to train this guy up.

So, “What’s wrong with WoW?” A few months ago I would have said nothing major. Since I’ve been playing Aion I’ve noticed people who play other MMOs think WoW is for the noobs. I figured it was jealousy, since they’re MMO of choice didn’t have the player base that WoW has. After spending some time in Aion and STO, I realized that they really don’t like us. In Aion, if you ask in general chat where the AH or Auction House is and you’re going to be met with jeers of “Go back to WoW noob”. On the flip side I’ve seen it asked if Aion had “Guild Housing” and a huge discussion broke out on how awesome Guild Wars is…Granted Aion and GW are made by the same developer but still why are we considered noobs because we play the big boy on the block?

There has to be something there. Looking back at my failed app to guild I spoke of earlier, it’s not like the guy they picked had me beat by a lot in GS either. I broke the top 10 in GS for Prot. Warriors somewhere in the middle of Ulduar and I haven’t left the top 10 until shortly after ICC was released. Currently I’m sporting 3 pieces of ToGC gear. At the time of the app, this guy was beating me by 75GS.  The week ICC was released, I was a trinket away from being the top geared prot warrior.

Is this the problem here? A guy with no real raiding experience can come from absolute obscurity and take a raiding spot from someone who’s cleared pretty much all content in an expansion? I believe I’m on the right track thinking this.  Basically what Blizzard is telling us by making gear so easy to get is that our prior achievements mean nothing.

What I think needs to happen to fix this: There are a few routes that Blizzard can take.

  1. Badge gear should be there to fill in the blanks for gear you didn’t get in the last tier of raids. To put in the current tier’s context, no piece of Frost badge gear should be better than a 25 man drop from TOC. Example would be the tanking frost badge cloak is better than the cloak that drops in 10 man ICC when in fact it shouldn’t be better than a cloak dropping in 25 TOC. It’s a fact you don’t need ICC gear to raid ICC, you need probably a full set of TOC gear to raid it. Any pieces that are missing from you’re set should be filled by frost badge gear. The same thing goes for gear bought with badges of Triumph…they shouldn’t be better than gear dropped from Ulduar.
  2. You can’t say that people shouldn’t be allowed to gear up for current content by running heroics. After all, if you been raiding WotLK since it was released…you geared for Naxx by rep farming and doing Heroics. That being said, I’ve got a lot of time invested into my toon. To see somebody who hasn’t put that time in achieve things that I can’t at this time, feels like a slap in the face. This guy took the easy route in my eyes. If Blizzard wants to keep Frost Gear BIS until Hard Mode gear is available, I should have an easier time getting it or the guy that hasn’t raided should have a harder time getting it. I go for the second option…Lets take tier gear for example. Make it actual tier gear. In order to get the tier 10 head you must have the tier 9 head, in order to get tier 9 you must have tier 8 and so on. Of course there would have to be a break somewhere, you can’t expect someone who wants a full Tier 10 set to start at Tier 1 and work their way up…go by expansions and have all the tier gear in WotLK linked in this fashion. Go one step further and do the same thing with badge gear. If you want to buy the ilevel 264 tanking trinket from frost badges, you must have an ilevel 245 trinket (it could be pvp or a caster trinket) which can be bought for triumph badges and to get that one you’d need a ilevel 226 trinket.

Either method you pick would still make it to where someone who is un-geared for the current tier of raiding has to put in a bit more work but can still gear for current content. I know Blizzard is on this kick about how they want everyone to have access to all the raid content and that’s all fine and good but I think “The Problem With WoW” is that they’ve taken it too far and made it to where you have to totally re-gear your toon after every content patch.

The rise and fall…

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on February 11, 2010 by Masscis

This post is more for my own benefit than anything else. Some may find it interesting with the lack of drama on WoW.com these days. *NOTE: I like the way Larisa formats her post, I’m going to make an attempt at replicating her formatting…*

THE BEGINNING:

I was a noob. I’d never raided and had spent around 6 months leveling to 80. I did manage to hit 80 with most of the others coming from BC although I never hit the level cap during BC’s reign. I was in a few guilds on the way up. Most were with RL friends who played, none of them were raiders though. They all played socially. I knew during leveling, I wanted to raid. When I hit 80 I decided to leave my little group of RL friends and find a raiding guild. At this point I had no idea about wowprogress.com or wow-heroes.com. I saw a guild in trade chat looking for raiders so I sent a tell to the GM. I hit 80 while in this guild. While running a heroic, a DK guildmate of mine ninja’d a tanking helm from me. The helm was a huge upgrade for me but he claimed the guild wanted him to tank Naxx, so he needed it. I left that guild that night.

I found Krazy, GM of FBI, spamming trade that same night. After a few weeks of getting to know the awesome members of FBI, I got in my first raid with them. It was an OS 10 with zero drakes up. I was lucky enough to be in the run with the guild’s main DK tank, Port. He was awesome, I explained it was my first time in a raid and he took the time to give me a few hints and tips. He got me to tank Sarth while he collected the adds. The result was the guild’s first 1 shot of OS. He told me to sign up for the 10 man Naxx run on Tuesday and he’d get me in his group.

The guild had over 300 toons at the time and we had no standards for Naxx runs. If you wanted to go, you signed up. Port would invite all who signed up to a single raid and we’d split up from there. Usually into 3 or 4 10 man groups. We’d PUG to fill in the gaps and 9 times out of 10, the PUGs would become new members. In fact, looking at our raid today, I’d say 90% of our main raiders PUG’d with us before they joined.

Port was a great raid leader and tank. I learned a tremendous amount about tanking from him but he had a little secret. He hated tanking. He tanked because he could and pretty much had to. His true love was his warlock. I basically became his project. He wanted to turn me into the guild’s Main Tank so he didn’t have to do it anymore. By the time Ulduar was around a month out he achieved his goal. I was main tanking all bosses in whatever 10 I got put into and also our 25 man. I also was MT for the guild’s first Mally kill.

THE RISE

When Ulduar finally dropped. FBI held a ranking in the low 30’s on server. At this point, we didn’t really care. We just wanted to kill shit and kill shit we did…in 10 man. We had the 4 keepers down and were working on the General within the first month of release. The problem was it was only 1 10 man doing it. The other 2 or 3 10s that we got together rarely got past XT and never past council. Also, in 25 man, we struggled for what seemed like weeks on each new boss. Finally after a month of Ulduar, Krazy called a meeting of officers. While I wasn’t an officer at the time, I was included in the meeting. At the meeting we were instructed to start keeping tabs on raid members and see who’s just not pulling their weight.

Finally after a few weeks of collecting data, FBI began really recruiting raiders instead of casuals. We began replacing some of the “slackers” and it showed in our rankings. Before we knew it, we had 3/4 keepers down in 25 man and Yogg fell in 10 man. Our ranking reached 19th on server and we were starting to turn some heads and the more our rank improved, the better the recruits became. By the time TOC came out we were competing for top 10 on server. We had about 15 people with rusted proto-drakes and were killing bosses in TOC as fast as Blizz could put them out. We even scored a couple server first achievements along the way.

I think the highest we got on server was 7. Some of the top guilds even started shit talking us, which made us really believe we had arrived. This continued throughout the reign of TOC and into ToGC where we got 10 man insanity and ended up 3/5 in 25 ToGC. Good enough to finish tier 9 content in 8th on server. Just as a side note, we play on Hellscream which is one of the top PVE servers around. Usually ranking top 20-30 in the US. The server’s top guild is usually in the top 100 in the world.

The Fall

It wouldn’t last though. In the time while working towards insanity and trying to down heroic FC in 25 man. Krazy’s personal life kicked the guild in the nuts. I don’t know all of the details but I will try to piece together what I know. Basically, as I understand it, he was playing WOW at work. He got fired, his wife left him and took the kids. Instead of backing out of the game and fixing his life, he threw himself even deeper into the game.

Krazy has always been a bit of a hot head and on occasion would throw a tantrum on vent if we wiped where we shouldn’t or somebody was slacking. It usually worked though, he’d yell and we’d get a kill. We began to joke that we weren’t really raiding until we got yelled at.

He used the game to get away from the divorce but instead of leaving it in the real world, he brought in game with him. His tantrums increased and the moral of the guild as a whole diminished. I think the breaking point was a ToGC 25 where we had a “guest”. This was no ordinary PUG. He was a good friend of many of the guild and GM of one of the guilds that were ranked above us. Krazy absolutely blew his shit on vent in front of this other GM and began ranting and cursing at one of our top healers for no apparent reason. No more bosses were killed that night. Most logged off immediately after the raid ended.

In the days that followed that incident, I began getting tells asking if I was leaving the guild. It seemed like nobody wanted to be the first to leave but everyone wanted to stick together. The officers decided to put some pressure on Krazy to see if we could get him to leave the game for a few weeks to get his life in order. It was met with a stiff “fuck you, this is my guild. I built it, I’m going to run it as I see fit.” I knew at this point it was over, it was just a matter of time.

Upon the release of ICC, we rolled in and quickly put the first 4 bosses on farm in 10 and 25 man. We managed to keep our ranking in the top 10 and it seemed like we were going to clear the place despite krazy. When the plague wing was released we hit a brick wall in progression. To date we have not killed Festergut in 25 man and not downed Professor in 10. No bosses are down in newer wings. Our ranking slipped to 19th on server and Krazy flipped his shit once again. He went on some rant that pretty much ended in him saying if we didn’t kill Festergut and Rotface in 5 attempts, nobody would get any DKP for the night. This rant occurred before we even stepped foot into the raid, needless to say everyone was on edge from the get go.

Flash forward to Rotface. 2nd attempt he falls. Move to Festergut, 1st attempt we get him to 5%. 2nd attempt Krazy dies on the pull somehow. Shortly after another dps dies. We asked a druid to BR Krazy and Krazy to BR the other dps. Krazy took the BR but didn’t rez the other. The attempt ended in a wipe and when asked why he didn’t BR the dps, we got no reply from Krazy. It was then that we realized that he had dropped to another vent channel to talk with his new “girlfriend”. The raid leader “death gripped” him back to the raid channel and gave him a lecture. Krazy in typical fashion began to argue that he didn’t need vent because he knew the fights. He then began to pout. We put one more attempt on Fester that ended with him about 75% and we called it.

The “core” raiders all logged onto alts, got in a group and later into another guild’s vent. We discussed the situation and decided we were done raiding with FBI. We knew we had a solid raid and wanted to keep them together. We discussed the idea of starting our own guild or merging with another. By the end of the weekend, it was decided that we would merge with another top 10 guild, Athena’s Avatars. We would become their second core group. We’d have our own raid, leaders, loot system like we were our own guild but have to ability to pull their alts into our runs to fill in any gaps we have.

THE FALLOUT

The following Tuesday, everyone logged on and /gquit. The carnage was amazing. I was one of the last to quit because I just wanted to watch the fall out. FBI went from a strong 350 plus members to 77. Of the 77, only 27 are level 80, about 10 of them are alts and the other half are either inactive or never raided.

For the core group, we managed to keep about 20 of us together and move to AA. In the process, we lost our top dps rogue. Also, AA’s core group has begun picking our top guys to join their 1st core. We’ve lost our #1 dps to them, our warlock and it looks like we’re losing our best paladin tank.

Personally, I’m not going to sit by and watch our best members get picked off one by one. I’ve got numerous applications out atm. I guess we’ll see where I go from here.

My Eleanor

Posted in gear, General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2010 by Masscis

If you’ve seen “Gone in 60 Seconds“, you know it’s a movie about stealing cars. Memphis is a retired car thief who returns to the car stealing game to save his brother’s life. There’s a bad guy who’s going to kill his brother if he doesn’t steal 50 cars by some random deadline. The cops are aware that Memphis has returned to town and are sniffing around, so the crew decides to steal all 50 cars in 1 night. They research the cars and give each one a lady’s name. Eleanor was the name given to the 1967 Shelby GT 500. The crew said Eleanor was Memphis’ Unicorn.

Why am I going into detail on a movie the majority of you probably saw 10 years ago? Memphis was the king of thieves. He could steal any car…except when it came to the Shelby GT. It has a direct correlation to the World of Warcraft and our pursuit of Phat Loots. What’s the first thing that we, as raiders, do when a new patch comes out? Yeah, we go look at the new loot that’ll be dropping in the new dungeon. You update Rawr or a spreadsheet or you may write it down on a napkin. Don’t lie, you look at the loot then try to figure out how to kill the boss to get said loot.

I’ve played WOW for about a year and a half now…I’ve been at the level cap for around a year. Do the math…that means I couldn’t have raided in BC. My experiences with loot began at 80. I knew I wanted to raid, I knew I wanted to tank. I did what any want-a-be would do, made a gear list. #1 on that list….The Red Sword of Courage, which I believe is still one of the coolest looking weapons in wrath. Anyway, I started running heroics crossing out pieces on my list 1 by 1 until only 1 remained….yep, the Red Sword of F-ing Courage. 10 days in a row I had run Heroic UP and still it evaded me. It had become my first Unicorn. That mythical piece of gear that evades your grasp until you’re sure there’s some sort of conspiracy against you. There are times when you believe even wowhead is lying about it’s very existence.

Finally after 13 straight days of running the dungeon, I looted the boss and there it was…my Eleanor. I was ecstatic, all that work had finally paid off…yeah, I was a noob. I had no idea that it was just the first of many. That unicorn was quickly replaced by Essence of Gossamer (10 runs to get) which was replaced by Last Laugh (17 runs) and Wall of Terror (never dropped for me). Then Ulduar came out and with it, you guessed it a new unicorn. Heart of Iron was the tier 8 version of Eleanor. It took me 13 runs to see it drop, lucky I had the dkp to win it.

Then came patch 3.2 and with it TOC and of course a new unicorn….Satrina’s Impeding Scarab. This ones a little different, see the unicorns in the past were mine before they dropped. I either was the only tank that needed it or had the dkp to get it. After 13 Faction Champ kills, I have seen the Scarab drop twice. The first my off-tank had 5 more dkp than me and won it. The second was this past week. My guild had an alt/new 80 TOC 25 run. I volunteered to tank it for a chance at the trinket. Guess what…it dropped…guess what else…I rolled a 14 off-tank rolled a 22. Since it’s now old content, dkp doesn’t matter, all loot was open roll.

This newest Eleanor has by far been the hardest to swallow. Twice now, it’s been in my grasp, yet has failed to land in my backpack. It makes me wonder if she will show up in ICC…as of now, no gear really jumps off the page as “I gotta have that”. Most of the really sweet gear is either from badges or craftable. Although, I can see the tier armor tokens being a pain. This tier I’m running with 2 shaman, 2 hunters and another warrior. I’ve already lost 2 dkp battles for a token but at least there’s more than 1 boss per week that drops them…I guess.

Lets hear it, what’s your Eleanor? I know most tanks I talk with have a problem upgrading shields. I’ve been fortunate in that respect, for me, it seems the fabled unicorn will always be a trinket….maybe this one will take the scarab’s place?

WTF, wow.com?

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by Masscis

I read wow.com pretty much every day. I usually check it a couple of times a day and usually enjoy most of the articles. The ones I don’t like, I usually skip over and don’t give them a second thought. So far, it’s only Wed. and 2 articles have really pissed me off this week.

The first isn’t so much the article but the fact that the moron writing it has no clue about anything PvE. First off, I’m kind of indifferent on PvP. I enjoy it on my DK and my warrior. I’m not a fan on my mage though. I also love random world PvP. I, along with a few of my guildies, will flag ourselves while standing around the summoning stone for raids. We had some epic battles in front of Ulduar when a horde guild would show up for their raid. At times it’d be around 25 vs 25 right at the steps of Ulduar. It was awesome, of course our GM would get pissed because sometimes the fighting would go so long that we’d be starting the run an hour plus late. That being said I have never stepped foot in arena. I have said time and again, competitive PvP should be skill based. I can’t laugh because I pwned some noob that has a 1,000 less Gear score than me. I don’t find that funny or fun. When I want competitive PvP action, I switch over to Halo or Call of Duty or some other shooter where skill is the only difference between players.

Enough of my views on PvP, none of our views can change the fact that WoW is a PvE game first. The current version of Pvp is tacted on. It was added later in the games life….battle grounds then later arena. That being said, I’m not going to hold it against anyone because they like arena. It’s your game, play it how you want. At the same time, leave me the fuck alone.

It becomes a problem when your game starts affecting my game. Which is where the wow.com article chooses to go. The following is his list of suggested nerfs and tweaks to make prot warriors stop killing his little harmless mage.

  1. Nerf Protection Warrior’s damage
  2. Remove the silence from Shield Bash and Heroic Throw. Also, make Gag Order and interrupt instead of a silence.
  3. Something about how they need to make every thing like Spell Reflect..
  4. Cut the stun duration of Concussion Blow and Shockwave by 1 second.
  5. Shockwave should apply DR to itself.

#1 we do too much damage. Um, last I checked, the paladin off tank that I’m beating by over 1,000 gear score is doing roughly 500 more dps than me in raids. It’s actually more than that but I want to play it safe since I don’t have a screen shot to prove it ATM. On a normal boss fight, I’ve seen him hit 3.4k dps where I’m doing just over 2k…2.5 if I’m lucky. He averages around 3k. If they reduce my damage, it’s very likely on a boss like Festergut who has 40 million HP and a 5 minute enrage timer…I’ll get sat for the DK/Pally tanks who can add that little extra damage, even though I’m the better skilled and geared tank, yeah, that’s the game I want to play. If you read the comments, the readers say it’s because Prot Warriors have found a loop-hole that lets them do crazy damage by stacking ArP to get to 100% armor reduction. There you go, nerf ArP, leave my WIS (Worst in Spec….I just made that up.) damage the fuck alone or better yet, buff it where I can keep up with the pally and DK to make up for my unfortunate loss of ArP. Gonna cost me a fortune to re-gem all that gear…oh wait, yeah, I don’t use it, nevermind.

#2 He wants to pretty much destroy Heroic Throw. This would absolutely cripple a prot. warrior in today’s PvE content. How the hell am I supposed to entice that mage to get in the group with the rest of mobs so my group can kill him? C. Christian Moore thinks I should just “run up and tank it”….read the comments, he actually said that. The dude comes off as ignorant and whiney. He obviously has no clue about anything PvE related and I’m ready to bet that his mage got owned by a prot warrior before writing this article. Really, make it an interupt. So instead of being able to use to actually pull a caster, I would need to face pull the caster, wait for him to start casting then HT to interrupt the cast….or, I could call for CC on it. Yeah, then I’d be known as the only tank who has to use CC in a 5 man….I can hear the QQ in LFG now, “Woot!! we got a tank….oh shit, a warrior, we don’t have a mage. Shall we kick you or do you just want to leave?”

#3 Apparently the douche…I mean writer knows how to avoid spell reflect, because he said we should have more. We need to be more defensive….whatever.

#4 & 5. This is where I start to understand what he is saying. Concussion Blow, 5 second stun. Shockwave, 3 second stun. Gag Order/Heroic Throw/Shield Bash, 3 second silence. That’s 14 seconds I can keep a mage locked out of casting a spell. Notice, he didn’t mention Revenge, which would be another 3 second stun. He obviously plays a caster who wouldn’t proc Revenge by getting a swing dodge, parried or blocked and since he mentioned mages a few times in the article….I assume he plays a mage. Now, like I said, I don’t arena but is 14 seconds enough to kill a mage when he should have a healer in his group? I mean, this is an arena team we’re talking about right? Their healer can keep mage alive while the other dps maybe focus your healer or the warrior….IDK. I guess what I’m getting at is we all play by the same rules, rogues can stun lock you to oblivion…I know, they’ve done it to me. I’ve mentioned before that I played Halo semi-professionally. The whole game was about tactics. They do this, you do that to counter. Is the prot warrior taking out your mage that big of a deal if you take out one of their dps in the process?

Regardless of the point he’s trying to make, the guy made himself look like a fool, insulted 90% of the commenters of wow.com and maybe even got blizzard’s attention to up the already incoming nerf. All because he doesn’t know a thing about PvE content. Bad move bro and WoW.com…I think it’s time to find a new PvP writer.

Ok, the warrior thing pissed me off, more the way the writer talked to the commenters than the actual article. I wasn’t planning on writing this, really I wasn’t…I have a nice article on UIs and addons almost ready to go, I was going to finish it today but instead you get a bitchfest….today I read the new Guildwatch. Come on now, it’s guildwatch…the funny as shit drama section (didn’t realise they had more than just the drama section to tell the truth) was awesome. How can you not like reading about how absolutely retarded some people can be. Man, I loved that column. Now, apparently WoW.com is going “PC”, no they haven’t banned macs, politically correct….or as Walton and Johnson put it, they have furthered the “pussification of america”. Basically, they don’t want to hurt peoples feelings anymore because they called them out on guildwatch. They claim, it’s to bring the community together. What the fuck ever, give me my drama back. I would sit there and read that column for days….really, I’d leave my browser open so I could pick up where I left off the day before. It doesn’t get any better than that shit, from the vent recordings to the ninjas….who doesn’t like reading about douchbags getting caught?

I’m on the verge now of taking them off my reader…probably won’t happen because they’re still valuable to read about class and dungeon changes that may or may not affect my raids. Anyway, how do you feel about these issues? Are you a mage that gets pwnd by prot or a prot warrior facerolling your way to a new drake? Gonna miss your weekly injection of drama?

The Burn

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2010 by Masscis

My typical “wow” night starts off with me logging into my bank alt. I collect the gold from the previous days auctions, returned items and new stuff to auction sent from my various toons. Then I start a full AH scan using my AH addon. At this point I usually pull up the net and read some blogs or watch a movie of a boss kill or something until the scan is finished. I post whatever new auctions need to go up and buy some gems to cut if the price is low enough.

Then, I log over to Mandalus. I pick up the JC daily and knock it out real quick. At this point, I either choose to tank or dps a random for the frost badges. If I feel like getting on my alts as quick as possible or I’ve got a raid coming up, I tank. If not, I pick up the fishing daily and que for the random while completing that daily.

Before the LFG tool came out, the decision was whether or not I felt like doing the fishing daily. Now though, it seems more and more, the decision is “do I feel like tanking”. I like leveling my mage because it feels like that’s what a video game should be. Mindless repetition, blowing off steam….killing shit. When I tank, I have to be ontop of my game for the most part. Mostly because of M&S DPS that can’t follow my lead.

I am fully capable of leading a group. I don’t really like to but I can and have done it successfully. In my guild, I’m one of those elite ranks….not quite an officer/raid leader but more than just an average raider. My GM wants to make me an officer. The problem with that is that I would pretty much be pushed into raid leading on a weekly basis. I don’t want to. I do enough leading just tanking.

Deathwhisper is a perfect example. I like to LOS pull the trash in her room. Yeah, that usually takes about 5 minutes to get everyone from in front the door to stack on the Star or whatever icon I have on my head at the time. Really, how hard is it to just stand here and let me bring the trash to you? Why do I have to ask 10 times to get everyone where they should be?

This is it for me, this is what’s going to burn me out from tanking…As it is, I don’t want to lead, so when I step up and do take control of the situation…please follow me. It’s not that hard.

It’s not just the raids, the random pugs are worse. I usually just mark a skull on your first target to kill. Kill that one first, by the time it dead, I’ll have solid threat built on everything else and you can pick whatever you want to kill. Yet these boneheads will just randomly pick a target and blast away. Hunters won’t MD, mages won’t ice block….whatever, from now on you die if you pull something before skull is dead.

When I’m DPS, I don’t notice the idiots. I don’t. I don’t have to deal with them, I just hit the ability that heals me, then hit the one that spins me in circles and hit the one with a cast bar when my addon tells me to. Oh and HS over 50 rage. That’s my dps rotation. That’s all I think about….target skull>heal thingy>spin thingy>heal thingy>instant no cast thingy>cramp your finger thingy>start from beginning. On a boss I do the same but add in the 2 that make me do big recount numbers….

Tanking is more like, ok where’s the caster…mark skull….wait the hunters got his mark on “not skull” ok, switch skull to where hunters mark is. Charge skull>shield slam>switch to caster>heroic throw>TC when caster gets to range>intervene mage because he’s not hitting skull>target mage>cast vigilance>switch target to skull>taunt because hunter won’t feign death>shield slam>try to get everything in front of me and shockwave>TC>repeat until everything is dead>get whiskey>spill some trying to get back before rogue pulls the next group>get yelled at if someone dies….

I really can’t decide if tanking is worth putting up with this shit. Don’t get me wrong, tanking is fun and what I want to do when everyone in the group is working together. Trust me mr. 10k dps….I’ll vote to kick you in a heartbeat if you can’t follow suit. I have no problems with a guy learning his toon, doing 1.5k dps and doing what he’s supposed to. I’d much rather have him over the L337 DPS that hits everything but skull guy.

Hopefully we’ll have some new bosses to take out in Icecrown tomorrow and invigorate me a bit. Otherwise I may change the name of this blog to Ice Block and start writing about mages….or just wait for Star Wars

What about it? Are you an ex-tank? A current tank getting burnt out? We’ve had tanks just vanish without a word, another who one day just said he wasn’t tanking anymore. He went ret and ended up totally shelving the Pally for a warlock.

Fallen

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , on December 31, 2009 by Masscis

I’ve read a lot of post about how to app to a guild or heard stories of horrible apps. In this post I will talk about the exact opposite. In FBI, I have access to read, approve and deny all applications to the guild. I normally only deny the really bad ones and if I see a real good one, I’ll inform the GM and let him handle it from there.

About a month ago, I logged onto my banker toon and began an AH scan. While the scan went on, I jumped to the guild website to read the aps. We had received one of the most outstanding aps I have seen yet. This Prot. Warrior filled the ap out to a T. I was really excited reading, I knew immediately we had found the one we had been looking for. We needed a tank/dps who could tank 10 mans and dps 25 mans. As long as this new ap was willing to split time like that, it was perfect.

I logged onto Mandalus and immediately KB, the GM, sent me a tell, telling to get on vent. I dropped into the officer’s channel. Immediately KB started talking about the new warrior ap. We discussed it for a minute before Peachh, who’s another tank and also a officer, dropped in. The new ap logged on a few minutes later and was pulled into officer chat.

We talked for an hour or so. I asked questions about his spec, gear, gemming and chanting choices. All were met with well-informed answers and I came away feeling this guy knows what he’s talking about.

Peachh and I have developed a good relationship and a mutual respect for each other. We’re also both clowns who constantly cut each other down…all in fun of course. The app quickly picked up on this and joined right in. I was very impressed, in most interviews the app is nervous and shy. We really got to see this guys personality and it was a perfect fit for our guild.

KB shot an invite, which was quickly accepted. /G Welcome! poured down the chat window. Then it came, KOTOR ROCKS!!! The apps name was Revanx. Revan of course is the sith master mind in the Knights of the Old Republic RPG. My personal favorite game of all time. Revanx and discussed KOTOR and clowned around a bit before it was off to a meeting to talk about how best to utilize our current tanks.

Peachh and I each main tanked a 10 man ToGC run. Mine rolled on Thurs. and his on Sunday. On Friday, we would both join up for 25 man ToC / ToGC along with 1 of the off-tanks from our 10 man runs. We decided to have Revan run with Peachh and I’d take one of the pally OTs on Thurs.

After talking with Peachh after his run. He had nothing but good to say about Revan. It seems as if we’ve finally gotten our tanking rotation down and just in time for ICC to drop. Everybody was pumped. The guild loved Revan and he certainly fit right in.

Then, he disappeared. He missed the Friday 25 mans. Then Sunday ToGC rolled around and Revan was a no-show. We scrambled and were able to get the runs off with other tanks. 3 weeks went by and still Revan had not logged in. He hadn’t quit the guild, just hadn’t logged in.

This past weekend, I see “Revanx has come online” pop up in the chat box. Immediately I “/G Revan…where the hell have you been?”

The reply I got was completely unexpected. “I am not Revanx. Just a friend of his. Does Revan have any RL friends in this guild?” We told the guy that we didn’t believe so and asked where Revan was. I was thinking “hacker” and was about to demote him or /gkick him to protect the guild bank.

The next line really threw me for a loop. “Well, I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news but Revanx was killed in a car wreck 3 weeks ago. His mother asked me to log on to see if he had any RL friends here who need to know.”

Eddie….Revanx. A protection warrior. A proud member of Far Beyond Insanity. Was destined for greatness in wow or anything he attempted in life. He was smart, funny, clever, witty…He had a great head on his shoulders and would make anyone proud to call him a friend. He was killed by a drunk driver. He was 21. I dedicate this post to his memory. The world will darker place without you brother.

Please all, be safe this New Year….don’t drink and drive. The world can’t afford to lose any more great warriors, least we be overrun with paladins. (ok, I feel dirty for trying to make a joke in such a serious post.)

R.I.P. REVANX  10/11/88 – 12/11/09

This infuriates me

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , , on December 8, 2009 by Masscis

I’m pumped for Icecrown. I’m so tired of ToC / ToGC that I could scream every time I see it on the calendar. Tarsus knows what I’m saying. We need Icecrown now and by all reports from Wow.com, it’s coming today.

That’s not what is making me mad though. Read some of the comments in this post. I’m a hardcore gamer…notice I say gamer, not raider. I play all games with the same hardcore, I want to completely dominate this thing mindset.

Zelda, I beat it in an hour. Fresh character to downing Ganon in 1 hour. I would have the white sword before I went in the first dungeon.

I never finished Oblivion because I min/max’d my fireball slinging warrior so thoroughly that nothing could kill me, the game actually became quite boring.

I beat Contra without the Konami Code. Yep, just 3 lives and I didn’t need them all.

I played and was ranked in Chess, Age of Empires and was captain of a Halo team that traveled to tournaments, put on tournaments and was ranked in 40’s (50 max level) on the MLG play list.

In Wow, my guild is ranked in the top 5,000 (at the time of this post) in the world. I’ve got my Ulduar 310% drake. We’re 3/5 in 25 ToGC.

The reason for the diatribe on my gaming history is to show, I am a hardcore gamer. I am competitive to the max. It’s not just in gaming, it’s in everything I do. I’m one of the best in my field. I was selected All-State from my soccer team in high school. We only won 3 games that year. I am still the only person to receive such honors and come from a team with a losing record.

I also have a job in which I put in 45 to 50 hours a week. I have a wife and 2 kids…4 and 5 years old. I do not have time in my day to play video games “18 hours a day”. I have set nights that I raid and I am extremely lucky to have such a wonderful and beautiful wife that “takes care of things” on my raid nights. My raid schedule at the moment; Tuesday 10 TOC, 10 Ony, 25 TOC, 25 Ony. We run 5 groups for 10 mans then combine into 1 25 man for Tuesday night. We begin at 7:30 and we’re done by 10. Thursday or Sunday 10 ToGC – we run 2 10 man ToGC raids. I usually lead the Thursday night raid, it begins at 8 and we’re done at 11 or 11:30. Friday night is ToGC 25 man. We spend from 8 to 11:30 getting our hacks in there.

8.5 to 10 hours a week raiding…that’s it. That’s all I do. Now explain to me why the commenters in this post seem to think that “hardcore” means raiding 18 hours a day?

The post itself is news most already know. In the comments hardcore raiders show up to bash the gated content. My stance on the gated content….it’s gay. It truly is Blizzard’s attempt to keep the hardcore raiders accounts active before Cataclysm releases. It happens every patch, hardcore go in, finish raid, cancel account until new content releases. Blizzard doesn’t like this because they lose money. Answer: “let’s not let them finish it for a while”. They can’t make the content too hard, then casuals won’t ever complete it. I don’t like it but it doesn’t affect me, I have yet to cancel my account even in the mist of the boring TOC raids we’ve been dealing with.

The subject of the article is not what’s got me angered though. It’s the idiot casuals in the comments. They’ve down rated every single hard core poster in the comments and are sighting things such as, you play 18 hours a day or it’s only fair because it lets less skilled guilds compete to clear content at the same rate as uber guilds….wait WTF? If you’re fucking less skilled, you don’t deserve to clear at the same rate as someone more skilled. You don’t, you’re not as good as them…that’s it, end of discussion.

In sport, if you lose, you go home you work harder than you did in hopes of winning next time. In raiding, it’s no different. When a hardcore gets his ass kicked in a raid, he looks at his gear, gems, enchants, etc. and sees if there’s room for improvement. Then he looks for new strats online, he watches videos of encounters, examines recount, WWS, etc. Apparently when a casual gets his ass kicked in a raid, he goes to the forums to bitch and complain about the raids being too hard. And complains hardcore raiders are making him look bad. Did I get this right?

My guild has casuals as well as hard core raiders. In my experience, the casuals log way more hours than the hard core raiders do. They have to, to complete all the holiday achievements or to make gold to get their 1,000 mounts or whatever it is.

Tanking Survey: It’s all the rage

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by Masscis

I found this survey by Tarsus at Tanking for Dummies. It was created (from best I can tell) by The Renaissance Man at Children of Wrath. Linedan at Panzercow (wins best tank name ever award) threw in his 2 cents.

What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?

Mandalus 15/3/53 protection warrior. The 15/3/53 spec I use is a slight variation of the “cookie cutter”. I picked up Improved Disciplines and dropped Improved Revenge. IR seems useless to me as a main tank because most bosses can’t be stunned. ID coupled with the shield wall glyph is very useful though.

What is your usual tanking environment?

Main Tank for 10 man heroic/hard mode and regular 25 man raids. There is rare occasion where I will tank adds but one of my strong points is knowing what’s going on around the raid and making on the fly tanking adjustments and calls. It’s usually easier to do this while on the boss rather than covered with adds.

What is your favorite encounter to tank, and why?

At the moment, I’m going to have to go with Fire Fighter, Mimiron’s hard mode. In my opinion it is the complete package for a tank. Kiting, zooming around picking up adds, using cool downs, situational awareness, etc; if a tank fails at any of these aspects, the raid will not succeed. Second is solo tanking phases 1 and 3 Yogg. Warriors shine in this encounter, lots of snap threat, quick movement and even quicker reactions are needed. Coming in a close third would be Heroic Beast. I hear a lot of complaints about Gormuk but once you understand the encounter, it’s not that bad. Once again situational awareness is key, count the snobolds as they jump from Gormuk. He gets a damage buff for each one that jumps. When the 4th Snobold jumps Gormuk will be hitting for 30 to 40k, pop a shield wall and if he’s not dead before shield wall drops….you’re not going to defeat the encounter anyway.

What is your least favorite encounter to tank, and why?

Fights like Kologarn, XT, Lotheb, etc where the fight is just stagnant, no movement, nothing to really account for except threat.

What do you think is the biggest strength of your class, and why?

Definitely movement, warriors are hands down the most mobile class in the game and when used properly can really wow some people. There’s also the intangible aspect of being a warrior and the confidence people have in you because of it. I think the stigmata of the warrior being “the wow tank” lets us get away with a little more than say a druid or a DK. People give the benefit of the doubt to you a little easier than they would another class because of this.

What do you think is the biggest weakness of your class, and why?

I don’t think the warrior has any big weakness and it’s obvious Blizzard agrees with that statement since there’s hardly ever any changes to the class. Heroic Strike spam does suck but I’d rather that then cast an ability and go get a drink… There are a few things that I’m jealous of other classes for, like the pally version of shield block with its 8 second cool down or what ever it is but I have no problems doing my job with my warrior.

In a 25 man raiding environment, what do you feel is the best tanking assignment for you?

I can do it all. I’m most comfortable personally in a main tank role but won’t bat an eye if the raid leader feels the need for me to perform another job…except dps, I hate to dps a raid, it’s boring.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the most?

I think Paladins and Warriors have great synergy, complement each other well and probably make the best tanking combo. DK are pretty strong counterparts for warriors also. The synergy isn’t as great with the missing raid buffs and they are the “new kids on the block” so they have to work harder to prove themselves than a warrior would. This leads them to push a little too hard sometimes and taunt when it isn’t called for or something along those lines. However if you find a skilled player rolling a DK tank, they make strong partners for a warrior.

What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with the least?

Definitely druids. Druids to me feel like they are the economy version of warriors. They have similar abilities but because of the hybrid tax, they just don’t seem to have the bang a warrior does. Take that statement with a grain of salt because I have never gotten a druid past level 10 and haven’t really had a chance to tank with a skilled bear. This is just from what I know of the class and the lack of people who roll bears, in my mind, back up this statement.

What is your worst habit as a tank?

Looking at the other warrior bloggers that have taken this survey it seems they all neglect HS spam. My problem is the exact opposite. I spam it too much. Sometimes I get so carried away with it, I’ll rage starve myself. Jaraxxus comes to mind: Incoming excerpt from an actual raid encounter –  “he’s about to spit green shit….interupt….damn, I got no rage.” *gets hit in the face with green shit*

What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?

Impatient dps. Big problem when solo tanking Yogg. They’re in such a hurry to get the phase down, they won’t let the mobs get to me. I can’t build threat if I can’t hit the mob, I don’t care how good I am. Also, when the dps want to “lead the group” to the next encounter and run square into a pack of trash mobs….I’m looking at you mobs at the bottom of the stairs between Council and Kologarn.

It also gets me when a guy that rolled a warrior back in vanilla then switched his main to rogue or something tries to tell me what I’m doing wrong with my class. Come on, warriors have changed quite a bit since then and I read and study a lot about tanking and being a warrior….just STFU

Do you feel your class/spec is balanced with respect to the other tanking classes?

Yes I do. I think DK and Druid are a tad bit behind and I’m concerned that Icewell Radiance is going to steer people away from Bears a bit more. Other than a couple small tweaks to the warrior and pally classes, I think all the tanks are on a pretty level field.

What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?

Ego and Pride. I live my wow life by the motto “be my sword, I’ll be your shield”. I don’t remember where I heard it but it stuck. Basically, I take it personally when someone dies. I’m the protector of the group, it’s my job to keep people on their feet so they can do theirs. Failbot helps me with this, when they need to move I can call them out when they don’t. I also use the standard Omen/recount so I can watch that pesky warlock creeping up the threat table. Icehud and scrolling combat text help keep my vision centered on the action. My guild also has a WWS feed that I check when experimenting with different enchants, gems or elixirs.

What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have with your tanking class?

People are comfortable when a warrior is their tank. They go in with the attitude that this guy knows his shit. I bring it upon myself to prove them right. There is a new misconception that seems to be arising, one that Pallies are OP and warriors are falling behind the curve. I don’t believe this, they do have some nice tricks but they still have their place and we have ours.

 What do you think is the toughest thing for new players of your class to learn about tanking?

Situational awareness. Seeing what’s going on around them. Not getting “zoned in”. Knowing what to do when something goes wrong and having the reactions to pull off the save. Stats seem to confuse many new tanks as well.

If someone were to evaluate your tanking ability via tools like fraps, recount, and World of Logs, what tendencies would they notice?

I’m very precise in how I position a mob. Almost to an OCD. I put the mobs in the same spot every time and my raiders realise this and expect it. They would also notice, I favor avoidance and mitigation stats over pure stamina. And I spam the crap out of Heroic Strike.

Stamina or Avoidance, and why?

I personally like avoidance. ATM I have 50k HP without stacking stam. Why would I need more. I like avoidance because my face is too damn sexy to be pounded on that much.

All kidding aside, I’m actually at a cross roads here with stats. I have a big problem with people who don’t understand tanking stats and judge a tank based solely off of how much HP they have. With word of the 20% dodge reduction coming in ICC. I’ve begun switching my gearing more towards effective health. EH is not just stamina though. Armor plays a big role in it. Vene has an awesome EH Calculator on his site that I use quite a bit.

That being said, at the current time I’m gemming and enchanting for stamina, armor and agility. Mongoose on my weapon and I’m looking into leveling engineering for the armor enchant to gloves.

Which tanking class do you understand the least?

Other than warriors, I feel I could pick up a Druid and be close to the same level in a couple of days. I, as does everyone, have a DK alt. 3 actually, none of them have gotten past level 65. That being said, I understand how the class works and feel I could probably tank effectively as a DK within a few weeks. Paladin on the other hand….I have no clue. I deleted the 1 pally I created at level 20. All through Ulduar and TOC I’ve had Paladins as my co-tanks and I just don’t have a clue what they’re talking about. It’s all the light this and hand that and being all judgemental. I’ll stick with my warrior, run in shove my shield in someone’s face and piss them off so bad they want to kill me…then call it a day.

What addons or macros do you currently use to aid you in tanking?

Didn’t we do this question already?….Icehud, scrolling combat text, omen, recount, DBM, elkano’s buff bars, bartender. I don’t use any warrior or tank specific addons. The addons I use give me the info I need or the comfort to do my job.

Do you strive for a balance in tanking stats, or do you stack some higher than others, and why?

I don’t think “balance” is possible for tanking stats. I think if you try to mix too many avoidance stats with effective health, you’ll end up being sub par in all categories. Warriors are very gear dependant, which is why we have multiple sets of gear.

What’s wrong with Fury?

Posted in General Raiding with tags , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Masscis

I read a post on WOW Insider last week. It talks about problems with Fury and how whirlwind should be a full blown AOE. The article was interesting….I guess. The comments are what got me, they’re absolutely obserd. Now, I’m not a Fury guy…I’m Prot through and through, but come on. The QQ is rediculous. Almost every comment starts off, the fury warrior in my guild…and ends with bottom 5. Did you ever stop to think that your fury warrior just sucks?

If we’re going by experiences, the fury warrior in my guild never finishes out of the top 5. It’s rutine to see him put up 8k on twins, 7k on Anub….it’s all relative to your situation. There’s nothing wrong with Fury, it’s the guy behind the keyboard. I wish I had some screen shots to show but our warrior has been AFK since the insider post was put up.

It’s just crazy how bad players can cause what seems like a huge part of the population to think a class needs buffing or good players can cause the inverse and make people think a class should be nerfed. I mess with my paladin co-tank all the time, telling him he’s OP when he does a good job. I chid him about how pallies need to be nerfed if I die and he’s able to lead the group to killing the boss without me. It’s a joke to us but it’s going to suck when he gets nerfed because of all the QQ.

Is it ever going to stop or is Blizzard just going to let bad players controll the game and the way they do things? How are the fury warriors in your raids? Is mine just gifted or are fury warriors fine?

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