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Archive for September, 2011

The Beginnings of Transmorg

September 28, 2011 1 comment

Raz in T6 with Muramasa

I thought I’d just drop this here…I still don’t have the shield, and Muramasa isn’t my first pick for my weapon, but the outfit looks good!

Categories: Paladin, PTR, Warcraft

4.3 PTR

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

I adore Dee so much...Raz isn't the best Paladin...

I’m on the 4.3 PTR (Razíel on Anasterian Horde side) if anyone has any desire to run stuff with me. We’ve been messing around in the 5 mans for grins and know the basic strats (hearing me explain them is amusing).  If you want a place to dink around for the life of the PTR, feel free to shoot me or anyone else a tell and get a ginv. Just mention this post.

Categories: Paladin, Twitter, Warcraft

Firelands Tanking – 10M Ragnaros

September 27, 2011 6 comments

Ragnaros, Lord of the Firelands

Ragnaros, lord of the Firelands, embodies the fury and destruction of the primordial infernos that forged Azeroth itself. Promised the chance to set Azeroth aflame without interference from Neptulon and Therazane, Ragnaros seeks to appease the Old Gods by incinerating the World Tree of Nordrassil.

Ragnaros is a fun fight with a lot of raid awareness required. You need to be aware of your location, the location of your raid members, and be able to move as a group as needed during phases and transitions!

It’s unfortunate that we didn’t have 1-2 more hours on Monday night to clean up our attempts–we could have had Rag dead before nerf if we had just a couple more hours (seriously). Tuesday’s nerfs made the kill bittersweet, but that’s another post for another time. Let’s talk Rag V2.0!

Group Makeup

We’ve run so many different comps on Rag I can’t even remember them all. But here’s what we took in with us to the kill:

  • Tanks
    • Protection Paladin
    • Protection Warrior
  • Healers
    • Holy Paladin
    • Discipline Priest
    • Restoration Druid
  • DPS
    • Frost Death Knight
    • Fury Warrior
    • Marksmanship Hunter
    • Affliction Warlock – Traps
    • Balance Druid

Phase 1

So Phase 1 for a tank is pretty basic. A tank (in this case, me), starts the fight and keeps Rag as he applies Burning Wound to his current target. We allow this to stack up to 3 (you can dodge/block/parry the applications, sometimes enough times that your current stacks will fall off!) before doing a tank swap. You’re keeping 6 yards between you and your co-tank during this time, and remembering to run back in after Hand of Ragnaros is cast.

While you’re watching stacks and doing swaps, your DPS and healers are having a blast (EDIT: I snerked rereading this for my fail pun) behind you, dodging lava waves from Sulfuras Smash, and dealing with Magma Traps, which, when activated, will cause the whole raid to take damage.

Our positioning for Phase 1 is as follows:

It is worth noting that only the tanks and melee will be in their respective positions for any given length of time. The ranged will be moving to dodge traps and the lava waves that spawn from Sulfuras Smash. The ranged and healer placement is a rough guess by me (I honestly have no clue where they stand as I’m staring at magma the entire fight).

Phase 1 ends when Ragnaros hits 70%, and then you get to check out the transition phase!

Phase 1.5 – Transition

The transition phases are a lot alike–there’s a bit more involved with the 2.5 transition, but we’ll cover that later.

Both transition phases have the opportunity to be one of three layouts. I have pictured them all below:

Left Hammer

Center Hammer

Right Hammer

We assign a number to the Sons of Flame so people know what they need to pick up add wise each time. Hence the numbers in the diagrams!

Sons have a buff called Burning Speed. Your goal is to DPS the Son down to 50% health, which is when he loses the Burning Speed buff. For every 5% of their health above 50%, they move 75% faster.

If Sons touch the hammer, they explode with a spell called Supernova. It does a ton of damage and will probably kill most of your raid!

The transition phase lasts 45 seconds or until the last Son dies. If a Son is still alive at the 45 second mark, he will explode and probably kill someone.

Phase 2

Phase 2 still sees Sulfuras Smash being cast and tanks still swapping due to the Burning Wound debuff. Magma traps are gone, but now you have Molten Seeds and Engulfing Flames to worry about.

Engulfing flames will cover a third of the platform and you must move out of them. Icy Veins has a good picture to describe the different zones in their guide. I recommend checking it out there.

So a pictorial representation of Phase 2:

Once Sons are dead, we are all located on the left side of the platform, as far left as we can get to drop our Molten Seeds.

So, at the start of this phase, everyone is hanging out on the left side, keeping a distance of at least 6 yards from each other. You’re dealing with Engulfing Flames (outlined earlier), so the raid will need to move as one when Engulfing Flames drops. You must be sure to stay spread out for seeds! Seeds are spawned at player locations–as soon as a seed spawns where you’re standing, you are moving across the platform as quickly as you can (in this case, you are moving to the large Diamond on the map). First rule of Molten Seeds: Don’t move until your seed has dropped! The seeds inflict up to 56K in damage each when they land–so you don’t want to stack seeds and explode your raid members by being careless.

So, we’re dodging flames on the ground, seeds that explode, and running across the platform!

When the seeds explode, they spawn little adds that are going to beeline to your raid team. The tank that isn’t tanking Ragnaros can pick them up while your raid AoEs them down. Usually we have done a tank swap right after seeds drop (so we’re in motion swapping)–I pick Rag up when he resurfaces for Phase 2, tank him until seeds drop, cotank moves and grabs Rag, I pick up adds, they get AoE’d down, and then I move to the far RIGHT side of the platform to taunt again.

At this point, your raid team should be a mirror of what they looked like on the left. Everyone is still doing the same thing (dodging Engulfing Flames, spreading for seeds, etc.) until seeds drop. Once the seeds spawn, we’re moving left across the platform to the moon, which you’ll notice is much further up on the platform to Rag. We’ve discovered that Rag will drop his hammer right where we stack. So we all go hug Rag, dodge the hammer, and burn down our adds.

You’ll keep repeating these actions until Rag is pushed to 40%!

Phase 2.5 – Transition

The 2.5 Transition sees exactly the same activity for your raid team. The one difference is that you have some new adds for the tanks to worry about.

During Phase 2.5, Lava Scions spawn, 1 in each of the large circles on the platform. In our raids, I grab one Scion and the other is misdirected onto me by our hunter on the other side. I mark one of the Scions for instant death and the DPS begin attacking it as soon as their Son of Flame is dead.

Lava Scions will randomly cast Blazing Heat on members of the raid, and the recipient will want to run their flames out to the back of the room. Very easy to deal with.

Hammer positions again:

Left Hammer

Center Hammer

Right Hammer

Like the first transition, this lasts 45 seconds or until all the Sons are dead.

Once again, the hammer can end up in any of the three positions listed above. Your team needs to be ready to burn adds no matter where it falls.

And then you’ve just got to push the final 30%!

Phase 3

Phase 3 can pretty much be summed up with Yakety Sax. I honestly have no freaking clue what happens on this phase, aside from Aldous, AKA the Boozekin, telling me that Rag’s balls are involved.

So, how Phase 3 appears to me (and probably the raid team):

As a tank, you’re still swapping on Rag for the Burning Wound debuff. At this point you should only have 1 Scion alive as well, so tanks are swapping mob responsibilities.

We have DPS burn the remaining Scion and then go full force against Rag. Killing the final Scion removes the Blazing Heat debuff from the equation, so you’re only worried about dodging Rag’s balls as well as the ongoing Sulfuras Smash AND Engulfing Flames (as if you didn’t have enough to worry about).

Meatballs, otherwise known as Living Meteors, will fixate on a player and follow them. If the meteor touches a player, it explodes. So basically, if you get linked, you want to run away from the raid and gently hit Rag’s ball away from you so it will fixate on another player. Make sure you don’t run your meatball into your tanks, your healers, or another pack of DPS. Basically, don’t run it towards ANYONE.

Rinse and repeat until Rag hits 10%, and your loot falls at your feet!

Conclusion

Once you get used to what this fight looks like, it’s pretty repetitive.

A couple things to note:

Our World of Logs can be found here from our kill.

Welcoming the Boozekin

September 14, 2011 1 comment

Make Your Own Caption, Mine are Pretty Tasteless Either Way (Picture by @_Rades)

TTGF raids are amusing. Guild chat is even MORE amusing. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to flip through my screenshots you’ve seen pictures of this newest Blogger, or even heard me yammering about him on Vent.

Late Night Guild Chat...

I give you, the newest member of the TTGF blogging family, Boozekin! Written by our very own Aldous! Aldous is one of our officers in TTGF, our official raid wiper, and my sometimes cotank on trash in Firelands. We’ve also drunk tanked Tier 11 content when we’ve been bored. His boss fight explanations are second to none, and his blog does a great job of capturing the fun and humor that he brings to TTGF.

His blog was born during random chatter last night on vent–at guild member urging, because Aldous is just too epic to be contained in just TTGF. He chose the name Boozekin after a questionable night in gchat that will remain with guildies until…well…until we have another epic quote night.

And thus, Boozekin was born

Rades has been capturing sound clips during random moments in vent, and has been able to provide us with some classic Aldous material:

Many thanks to Rades for hosting these recorded moments!

Be sure to check out Aldous’ blog, Boozekin: Musings of a drunk druid, for regular updates!

You can also tune in to the LiveStream tonight at 10p Eastern for Aldous raid shenanigans (since he’s doing trash with me tonight–not sure if he realizes it or not).

Anway! Raise your glass in welcome to our newest TTGF blogger!

–Miri

Search Term Q&A

September 11, 2011 4 comments

I almost spilled my drink coming up with a caption...so...this is your caption.

So, today’s blog post is going to be in a bit different than anything I’ve done in the past. I spent today combing through the search terms that have sent people to my blog. Most I will try to answer as seriously as I can. The others are things that I read and did a double take on to make sure I read them right.

The  breakdown is as follows:

  • Firelands Boss Related Q&A – broken out by boss
  • Firelands General Q&A
  • Things that made Miri go O.o

So, without further adieu, I give you my VERY FIRST “Search Term Q&A”!

Blogger’s Note: These questions are UNEDITED and quoted exactly as they appear in my statistics page.

Firelands Boss Related Q&A

Shannox

Our Shannox queries seem to be focused on positioning (addressed in my Shannox 10M Tanking Strat) and on dealing with Crystal Prisons.

wow shannox pally cant drop jagged tear stacks

There’s only 1, maybe 2, time(s) that I can’t drop stacks on Shannox. Usually the first spear toss, and then if I screw up and Rip gets the Wary debuff before I can get him into position. As the Riplimb tank, it is my responsibility to help myself and my cotank drop our Jagged Tear stacks.

The Riplimb tank should always be tanking Rip near (but not on!) a Crystal Prison trap so that Rip can be immediately dumped when a spear toss occurs. Keeping Rip frozen in the trap gives both tanks time for their stacks to fall off. If for whatever reason you have a failed trap,  notify your co-tank so they can begin kiting Shannox away from Rip to help with stack dropping. I’ve also been known to run towards Beth’s trash to stay away from Rip so I can drop stacks if I’ve got 5 seconds (or so left). This is usually seen when I’m jumping around far away from the raid.

Beth’tilac

Lots of Beth’tilac questions, so let’s get started!

beth’tilac leaving 2 spinners so healer and tank can get back up quickly

If the theory is to leave 2 Spinners up on the rare chance that a tank or healer falls through the web and needs to get back up on the web during an up-phase, the best bet would be to call for a wipe. If your tank falls through, Beth is going to eat your healer and/or any DPS up on the web before your tank can scramble back up to take her back.

The other thing that needs to be considered is that those Spinners are going to be hitting your ground team with fire–it does result in unnecessary healing, so your best bet will be to continue with killing all the Spinners and hoping that your web team can watch their footing.

beth’tilac + taunt on how many stacks?

The only time a tank should be taunting on Beth Phase 2 is when the Widow’s Kiss is applied to the other tank. When you see the emote go off in DBM, taunt, stay away from your co-tank, and go to town.

Phase 2 Beth’tilax Tanking Position

For Phase 2, we make sure Beth is as far away from any remaining adds, and then our positioning is as follows:

Positioning for Beth'tilac Phase 2

Now, this is a rough drawing. She usually ends up like this for us, but remember, this is just an understanding of positioning. You want your healers/ranged/melee grouped up behind Beth for AoE healing. Usually we will pop a Power Word: Barrier, a couple Tranqs, Divine Guardian, and a Spirit Link at the stack point to heal through the AoE damage.

How to Kill Beth’tilac if your tanks suck

I just had to include this one because my facial expression when I read this was: O.O – If your tanks are having issues with Beth’tilac, there needs to be more investigation–are CDs not being used, are they too far away for healing, etc. Beth is not a hard fight on the tanks, if they are struggling now, it will probably only get worse as you progress through Firelands!

Rhyolith

Not much here,  but let’s address this one:

howto pally tank lord rhyolith adds

For me, it was really discovering a rhythm to the fight before I stopped stressing about the adds. If I recall correctly, the add spawn set-up is 1/ small adds, 2/ small adds, 3/ big add. Rinse repeat. My DPS actually figured it out–I just watch the timers.

The add DPS/healer team hangs out with me on the outer edge of the platform–basically where you buff up before the pull. Our add spawns usually cooperate and pop over near us, so there’s not much movement. If there is, your heal team needs to be VERY aware (and so do you as a tank) that they need to be in motion with their tank. If they tunnel vision and don’t move, it will be a very messy fight.

When the small adds spawn, I’ll usually AS the furthest out ones (running Dazing Shield for this fight) and then Holy Wrath as they get close. Then I just launch into my normal AoE attack rotation until the adds are dead. Rinse and repeat for the small adds.

With the big add, I usually taunt, AS, and am moving to the edge to get in position–I tank the big add as close to the edge as I can so if the leg melee pass close by with Rhyo, they aren’t taking unnecessary damage. Remember to use your CDs (Divine Protection SHOULD be glyphed for this fight), and use Holy Shield as necessary. I try to avoid using Guardian until Phase 2, but if you need the protection, then use it. If you’re dead, there will be no Phase 2. I also call out in Vent to “get away” to my team, and if the add spawns in an unusual location, I will update my healers on where I’m taking the mob.

Remember, clear and quick communication on this fight is for the benefit of all. Your melee are probably communicating leg DPS changes, and you need to message to your DPS and healers what you’re doing.

Baleroc

“decimation blade” “ardent defender”

YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES. If you are the Decimation Blades tank, Ardent Defender should be part of your CD rotation.

You will probably only be able to use it once, if you can use it twice, then definitely–If AD is off CD and you’re about to eat blades, USE IT.

cd rotation for paladin tanks on baleroc

So, my gear list for Baleroc is as follows: Please note, I don’t usually run in an avoidance set and I don’t usually actively collect for it–your avoidance gear will probably vary from mine, but you should equip as many pieces as you can for this fight.

First Decimation Blade alert, I taunt, pop Ardent Defender, Holy Shield, and one of my trinkets, usually the Vial of Stolen Memories. I eat my three blades, and my co-tank taunts Baleroc back.

Second Decimation Blade, I’m going on the assumption that AD is NOT off CD. If it is, then use it again. Same with the trinket. If it’s NOT, then I pop the Moonwell Phial, Holy Shield, hit Divine Protection and I may pop Guardian of Ancient Kings for good measure.

I usually only see 2-3 Decimation Blades a Baleroc fight now. You should have no issue timing your CDs to have them available for each.

Just remember, your block does NOTHING for you on Baleroc as Decimation Blades cannot be blocked. They can be dodged or parried, so adjust your gear as needed. Usually on Baleroc, my block falls to around 53%–once I pick up some more avoidance gear, that number will continue to decrease.

Using this theory, my health may only plummet once over the course of the fight due to a blade not being absorbed, dodged, or parried!

Alysrazor

Lots of Alys questions! Let’s get this started!

hop during tantrum on alysrazor

Can’t say I’ve ever done this on purpose. I’m also not sure why you would. Use a feather, if you can, use two for the speed boost. You should be aware of your bird approaching Tantrum status. Be near a worm (but not too close that you’re taking Lava Spew damage) so that when Tantrum pops, you can pop Holy Shield, maybe a Divine Protection (which should STILL be glyphed), to help reduce the damage of a Tantrum.

how to avoid fire worms on alys

Here’s a drawing of roughly where I stand (Diamond) for Phase 1. I honestly have no clue where my co-tank stands, because I don’t pay attention. If you are at just the right place, you won’t be hit by the Lava Spew!

Phase 1 Rough Positioning

You’ll want to keep your Hatchling fairly immobile because you are working to maximize your DPS. I try to limit my movement as much as possible, only moving to eat worms. I find that this position gives me the least amount of movement during this phase. Once your DPS gets really good on the Hatchling, you’ll probably start eating worms just to get them out of the way, Tantrum or not. I usually will have my Hatchling eat a worm at 70% if he hasn’t Tantrumed yet, another at 50% and then the final two at 30% and 15%. It really depends on how good your DPS is though and if you are confident that you won’t need the worms later.

tankadin dps roation for alysrazor

alysrazor paladin tanking tips

Two questions, basically asking the same thing, so let me outline how I do Alys–first with gear and buffs, then my rotation.

I’ve already covered the gearing and consumables I use for tanking my Hatchling in my Alysrazor 10M Tanking Strat guide, so I don’t feel there’s anything greater for me to cover. But, the rotation I can definitely share!

You should be able to get a full stack of Holy Power before your Hatchling even hatches–in order to to this, go join your melee DPS on your side of the room with their Blazing Talon Initiate. Our add is usually dead slightly before my Hatchling spawns, so I’m able to get into position with a full 3-stack of HP. As soon as the bird hatches, I pop Inquisition for the bonus damage, then immediately cast Divine Plea and Avenging Wrath. I can also use the Deathblood Venom I highlighted in my strat guide. Remember though, you are allotted only one Deathblood Venom per fight! I have swapped glyphs around so I’m using Focused Shield and Crusader Strike for the bonus damage. I perform my normal tanking rotation, spending my 3 HP on Shield of the Righteous (and ONLY when I have 3 HP), and using Avenger’s Shield whenever it’s available (either by normal CD or Grand Crusader procs).

If you stick to this for every Phase 1, your Hatchling should be dead in no time, and I usually have 10-20 seconds to jump around like a fool before Phase 2 starts.

Firelands General Q&A

There was just one thing that I thought was a great question and wanted to address. Simply because when we got to this point, my raid team would have loved to have known what to do. Instead we winged it, wiped, and then learned from our mistake. My goal is to help others avoid wiping on this pull!

Blazing Monstrosity Strat

Honestly, I had to go look up what the Blazing Monstrosity was when I saw this. I scuttled off to WoWHead, and low and behold, there was a picture of a mob that gives us much humor each time we do the pull.

A Chicken on a Chicken...

There’s a bit of activity going on with this pull, so let’s talk chicken!

  • Tanks will be picking up the two Druids of the Flame and tanking them as normal.
  • Two DPS will be running to the Blazing Monstrosities in the back of the room. These adds are able to be mounted like a vehicle and the DPS will be able to control them. Their responsibility is to aim their bird at one of the two egg piles in the room and cast fireballs on the eggs so that the tanks and the remaining DPS and healers don’t get overwhelmed by baby chicken hatchlings.
  • Once the Druids are dead, I proceed to AoE tank the baby chickens as they run into the raid. Just collect and burn them down with your DPS.
  • Once the egg piles are dead (along with all the baby chickens), your DPS can switch to the gigantic birds and begin to burn them down. The bird drivers can also turn their birds at each other and have a fireball battle with each other, damaging themselves so that they die even more quickly. Just make sure they aren’t hitting the raid with the fireballs–you’re trying to avoid unnecessary damage!

Our last Alys kill, one of our healers jumped onto one of the birds and had fun. We barely have any raid damage, so we were able to get away with it <.<

Things that made Miri go O.o

There were only a couple…but…

night elf tied up

Now, I have a TON of hits about Night Elves. Apparently there’s some massive Night Elf fetish for WoW players. That’s great, but, I think they are hippies and will try to avoid ANY references to Night Elves (aside from my experimentation before the Burning Crusade launched…) in the future. I’m a die hard Sin’dorei, so…yea…

But ANYWAY. This string. “Night elf tied up.” :| Just…just damn. I hope you found the porn you were looking for searcher…

Moonwell Chalice WoW Pally Tank

… The Moonwell Chalice and Paladin Tank should never be used in the same sentence. Why anyone would be considering an Int trinket for tanking is of a bit of concern. I’m hoping you were looking for the Moonwell Phial instead!

It’s a Wrap!

So, this actually turned out to be rather long (and it was actually longer but I forgot to save a draft before I did a reboot of my PC earlier). I’ll probably make it more of a monthly feature if the search strings are good!

Hope you enjoyed, and maybe even learned, some additional information to help make you (and/or your raid team) successful in Firelands!

#FURNIE Post

September 8, 2011 9 comments

Nono, not furry, FURNIE. If you have to ask, you don’t wanna know.

Either way, I share some furnie porn for my lovely furnies! I present to you, my new desk!

The Raw Materials

I went to IKEA like a brave soul on Saturday (it may have been Sunday too, I can’t remember anymore) and took on the MASS POPULOUS of (potentially smelly) people.

I was able to locate a desk that made me fairly happy (okay VERY happy) in the fact that it was glass, chrome (SHINY), and HUGE.

I love large workspaces simply because I like to be able to spread out. I’ve got a 30″ monitor, I usually keep a laptop at my side and I like it when I have easy access to my various pens/markers/Wacom for when I get an urge to draw.

So, a new desk that I could have ALL of that available to me? SIGN ME UP! What can I say, I like shiny stuff <.< ALL THE SHINY STUFF (yes, I realize that chrome legs on a DESK aren’t really all that necessary, but…it looked nice in the showroom, so I had to have it)…

More pics:

On It's Back...

Upright and Ready for STUFF

Before the rest of the stuff gets tossed on it.

So there you have it. Furnie porn for my readers. You can’t say I don’t think of you guys!

Categories: Twitter

Visualizing and Achieving Success in a Virtual World

September 7, 2011 3 comments

Screenshot by @outbirk

Today’s discussion topic is going to be a little different from my  normal posts. This is going to be more of a brain dump as I analyze WoW with a management/leadership mindset. There is probably not going to be a start, middle, or end, and some of it may or may not follow any logic. So, bear with me. – Miri

World of Warcraft is a funny beast. It’s been studied by people in many different professions, espousing the logic behind what makes gamers tick, how we work together, etc. Even I have given presentations to my office about WoW and the Flawless Execution process.

But what does it all mean? How does this impact or affect a raid team? How can this help make you (or you in turn make your raid team) better players? How can you achieve success as a team? How do you evaluate performance? How do you handle the low performers? The list can go on and on, and I could ramble for hours about it. But the realization that a Raid Leader, or a Guild Master, doesn’t have a WoW job that ends when they end the raid or log out of the game. A good RL and a good GM will continue to hone their craft outside of WoW.

So..let’s talk management and how I handle things.

Flawless Execution

So, the Flawless Execution model is something that we implement at work. It also makes perfect sense in WoW. Let’s break it down:

  • Plan
  • Brief
  • Execute
  • Debrief

I’m going to completely leave out the management speak associated to those four bullet points, but any good GM or RL should be able to look at those points and say “Hey, I do that on progression nights!” A good GM or RL should be able to say that, but it’s even better if your raid team has open (and comfortable) communication to discuss and fine tune the raid’s success. Remember, there is no “I” in TEAM.

Planning

Before any progression night, I go and I watch a video, or multiple videos of that boss fight. I’ll read the fight on WoWHead and on Icy Veins. I’ll make notes about specifics. I look to see if I can find specific fight information for a tank–if I should be swapping gear sets around, if there’s a glyph option I should be targeting, etc.

When we get to that boss in the raid, I’m ready to discuss ideas with my fellow raiders. Is there positioning we should be aware of (Domo/Ragnaros)? Is there something we can practice before we engage the boss (Crystal swapping on Bale)? Are there distance limitations we should visualize (Shannox)?

This can also include diagrams to help the raid understand where they should and shouldn’t be! When researching diagram data for Beth’tilac, I actually learned the spiderling spawn points, which completely changed how I handled the Drones. Remember, knowledge is power. If you’re the only one coming prepared to your raid, you’re probably going to be a fairly unhappy camper by the time the raid is over. You also probably won’t have much success if you’re shouldering that much of the responsibility.

Briefing

This can be as simple as the team agreeing on a strat for the fight. You want everyone on the same page going into a fight–if not, you’re going to have a clusterfuck and a repair bill on your hands fairly quickly. Let’s be honest–we’ve all gone and read a strat and said, “okay guys! This is how we’re going to do this!” I remember us doing it in BC! But that strat worked for someone else. Not saying it won’t work for you–but you know your group’s synergy–you know what works and what doesn’t. If your mage doesn’t have spatial awareness, you probably don’t want to send them up on Alys. Don’t send your mage up just because a guide says they sent their mage up. My strats on this blog are purely me capturing was worked for TTGF. It’s not an end-all-be-all, but a highlight of how we do things. If it works for your team, then great! That means I write stuff at a high enough level that others can digest it and reapply it to their own raid teams. And then my job as a blogger is done.

If your raid team can work out specifics before you even get to the boss, you’re doing well. A healthy guild forum will always have some random thread going about how to handle an upcoming boss fight. With all the tools currently available to WoW raiders, there’s no reason that a lot of these things can’t be figured out early on.

Executing

It’s not just a warrior talent (Execute). The execution phase is obviously important–if all goes well, there’s loot involved! Your goal is to have a clean execution of a boss fight. People don’t stand in bad and die (and thus need a battle rez), healers don’t go OOM. Everyone times their CD usage well (and actually USES their CDs). Now, a clean execution will come with time–as you become a pro at a boss fight–but even the best are still maligned by issues which can result in a messy kill.

Some will say “a kill is a kill,” and that logic is fine. But why do something messy when you can do it well? A good team will work together to guarantee success.

Debriefing

A debrief can take place anytime. It can be short and simple as you run back to your corpse (there have been LOTS of times that you’ll hear “Raz, what killed you?” in vent as we are working our way back to Rag). It can be a full blown analysis on the guild forums after a rough night. It can be an adhoc discussion in vent while running a 5-man. TTGF does all these things–it helps us better understand each other and how we mesh together. If you don’t feel comfortable debriefing with some, or all, of your raid team, you’re not in a healthy place.

Visualizing Success

So, we’ve walked through Flawless Execution for your raid team–now, how do you visualize that success so you CAN be successful? Do you walk through the fight in your head, do you watch a video and imagine you in it? Do you imagine getting the achievement for finishing the raid tier? Or getting your shoulders or helm to sport proudly in your home city. Only you will know how you visualize success. Set a goal, work towards it.

Achieving Success

The one thing to remember is that you’re on a TEAM. You can visualize your own success, but in order to achieve it, you need to work as a team.  A good raid team will each pull their own weight in order for the TEAM to succeed.

So how do you do that? Here’s how I help out myself and my raid team:

  • I use my OCD to keep the herb tab stocked to the max in our gbank so we always have mats for our Guild Cauldrons
  • I fish up my buff food before raid, making sure I have at LEAST a stack going in to a progression night
  • I carry 2 stacks of all elixirs at any given time
  • I run randoms and cap my VP every week -EVERY DAMN WEEK-
    • I run guildies through Heroics even after I’m capped to help them cap
  • I have all my gear sets organized in my bank and ready to pull for each raid night
  • Keep up with current theorycrafting
    • Proof seen as me leveling JC in 24 hours and spending an evening with a spreadsheet and a calculator determining how I needed to regem

And I still have time to do dumb things, like naked dungeon runs, the ability to write long winded blog posts, and sleep (sometimes).

It could be said that if you’re not willing to exert the effort then you shouldn’t be a raider. I don’t raid “casually.” I raid 2 nights a week, and I bring my focus and my energy those two nights. I bring the best of me to those nights for the 9 other people involved. I hope that they are willing to do the same for me. Just because I went from raiding 25s 4 nights a week in BC, and 10s and 25s 4 nights a week in Wrath doesn’t mean I feel that 2 nights a week is nothing. Would I raid more? Sure. But I don’t have any desire to run the same raid on multiple characters. I did 10s and 25s in Wrath. I saw so much of Maly, Sarth, and Naxx that I wanted to scream as a healer. My mindset is that of a tank–I don’t change roles well!

BUT (getting back on topic here), even if your guild is only raiding 2 nights a week, you should STILL put forth the effort to earn your slot. You should help with mats, or with crafting, or with runs. If you play at odd hours, you should take responsibility to get your VP yourself. Don’t ask your husband/wife/brother/sister/cousin to play your character and gear them. The fastest way to end up on a GM (or RL’s) shitlist is to pull crap like that. Don’t waste my time. I always hated signing on and thinking I was talking to one player and it was soandso’s wife farming for them while they were at work (dead serious, this happened ALL the time). You basically are dead in my mind and the furthest from a raid invite in the future.

This especially holds true if you’re one of the recipients of the Legendary for the expansion. Your guild is helping you achieve an enormous feat–and you are getting to wield a weapon that very few will have. If you can’t make sure you’re helping your guild do the best that they can in raid (mats/crafting/capping your VP), then honestly, you’re not the best recipient for a Legendary. If you can’t be bothered to take care of yourself for a Tier, where your guildies are putting themselves to the max to help you achieve a Feat of Strength, then why should your GM or RL expect you to even stick around for the following Tier(s)? Prove that you’re in it for the long run. Prove that you value the contributions your guildies are putting forth by putting forth the effort to be the best that you can.

In Conclusion

Pull your weight, help out your guild. Research your role, research your upcoming fights, study the outputs (World of Logs funtimes!) of your fights. Make yourself the best player you can, and you’ll always have a place in a GM and RL’s heart.

This post is in no way directed to any member of my guild or raid team–just an overall observation as I watch words fly across my screen via WoWHead, Twitter, and MMO-Champion.

Categories: Raiding, Warcraft
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