Archive for February, 2010

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.