- A person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling, or difficult to understand.
- A riddle or paradox.
riddle – puzzle – conundrum – mystery
Those of you who are regular readers have probably noticed that I haven’t been updating regularly. Some of it had to do with my decision to not cover each raid boss for the tier, some of it has had to do with things in WoW, and then there’s been a sprinkle of real life in the mix as well.
You’ll notice that my realm location has changed. You’ll notice that my guild tag has changed if you look at me via the Armory links.
And now let me explain why…
Let me welcome you to the unveiling of Enigma, a Horde raiding guild on Wyrmrest Accord.
What is Enigma? Enigma is the blood, sweat, and tears of a trio of players who are dedicated to the player and the ability to progress through WoW content. We are a guild of adults striving to enjoy all that WoW offers, whether it be raiding, dungeons, achievements, or pet battles.
Our Mission: To foster a tight-knit community and progress through current content two nights a week.
So why am I sharing this? Well, aside from letting readers know where I am now, I also want to open our doors to potential raiding applicants. We raid Tuesday and Wednesday from 6-9p server (9-midnight Eastern). The team is almost full, so there aren’t many spots available!
What we are looking for in a raider:
- 18 years of age, or older
- Thrives on challenge
- Is patient
- Is willing to listen to constructive critism
- Show up to raid focused and ready to perform at their best
- Will push themselves to improve each and every raid
- Enjoys helping others
- Has a good sense of humor
- Is not easily offended
- Is interested in doing things with guildmates (as opposed to joining just for the benefits)
- Strives to avoid drama
- Plays regularly
The details of raiding with Enigma can be found in our Raiding FAQ. Raid team applicants must accept everything outlined in the Raiding FAQ before they will be considered for a trial position. Each applicant will undergo an interview with the guild officers to determine fit.
In addition to accepting the raiding policy, all applicants to the guild must accept and adhere to the Guild Policies. Failure to follow the outlined rules will result in removal from the guild.
If you are interested in applying, please check out our Recruitment page for the application process.
Enigma in 5.2
As Blizzard just announced on Monday, February 11, 2013, patch 5.2 will be dropping by the end of the month. We realize that only a small collection of members who currently make up the raid team will have enough gear to step into the Thunder King’s stronghold. With that in mind, the raid leaders have decided that the raid team will begin with, and progress through, the previously released content before stepping foot into Tier 15. This means that we will be starting in MSV, working through HoF, cleaning up in Terrace, and then evaluating our readiness for the new raid.
Another giant step that I have chosen to take, but one that has never felt more right. If you are looking for a home in WoW full of fun, active, and amusing players, drop us a note. If you’d like to give raiding a go in a solid group who likes to chatter during trash, take a moment to fill out an application. We’re currently looking for some strong DPS, but any class/role is welcome to apply.
Thanks for being here to take this next step with me and my friends, and I will try my damnedest to turn out some more content on…content and on guild leadership in the near future!
I apparently have had my blog closed in my tabs list for a while…completely unplanned! There’s been a lot going on IRL and in WoW, so I’m finally having some down time to actually do some writing! So let’s talk prot as it currently stands in Mists of Pandaria!
I’ve been 90 for a while now, and have wrapped up my 3rd week of raiding Mogu’shan Vaults on Tuesday. My raid team is currently 3/6, while I have gone 4/6 in pugs and have devoted lots of time to Elegon. Prot paladins are at a weird point in WoW, which can make an introduction to the class a touch challenging for new players.
In Cataclysm, paladins were very easily able to to CTC cap. CTC stands for Combat Table Coverage. In short terms, it was your ability to push hits off the table. The magic number was 102.4% and was a combination of the 5% chance to miss, your block, and your avoidance stats. Prot paladins were able to cap easily due to how Mastery worked with our spec. Blizzard decided that they didn’t like how easily paladins reached the 102.4% sweet spot, so they shared that they would modify the ability for any class to CTC cap, making it impossible to occur in Mists.
CTC capping was why you started seeing end-game raiding paladins gemming pure Stamina instead of hybrid gems. We had gotten to the point that we were shedding mitigation stats for avoidance and stamina. Much fun was had in LFR being called a “stamina stacking idiot” by armchair tanks who had no clue how to play the class.
Now, Mists has thrown a wrench into the entire gearing scheme. In the past, Mastery was king for us. We cared little for hit or expertise. Dodge and Parry weren’t bad, but we really REALLY wanted that Mastery. So now what do we look for?
Well, it depends on your gearing scheme. Theck, over at Sacred Duty, has done a ton of Matlab simulations to determine what is going to benefit paladins the most.
We already know that expertise and hit matter. Blizzard told us that with the change to active mitigation (AM), we will value these stats. Simply put, if our attacks don’t land, then we can’t mitigate hits from bosses.
My stat priority is as follows:
Expertise hard cap (5100) > Hit hard cap (2550) > Haste > Mastery > Dodge/Parry
Yes, haste is my next focus after I expertise and hit cap. Why am I stacking haste as a tank? Haste means more hits during a fight, meaning more DPS thanks to Vengeance. Expertise means more hits actually landing, which means we are generating holy power at a regular rate, which we are spending on Shield of the Righteous.
You can choose to swap Haste and Mastery in the priority list, depending on how you are choosing to gear. The lowest priority for you is your avoidance stats. They just aren’t worth it. As Theck states at the end of his post:
Shifting that dodge and parry into hit, expertise, and mastery or haste can reduce the likelihood of 80% spikes by a factor of 3 and that 90% spike by a factor of 100. While we can’t say that this makes you 3x of 100x more survivable, it’s pretty clear that abandoning avoidance is a large survivability increase. You’re choosing to preferentially eliminate the most dangerous events at the cost of a little more throughput damage, and I think any healer will tell you that’s a good trade.
If your mind can take tables and a lot of math, Theck’s post, Damage Smoothing: Expertise, Mastery, and Haste is a must read. Also take a moment to check out the first post on the topic, Avoidance, Mitigation, and Damage Smoothing.
Since our gearing priorities have changed, it means that our gear options are completely crazy too. I assembled a BiS list for Dragon Soul and shared it in this blog. I took the time to assemble a “possible tank gear list” after our first week of raiding, and it’s linked from the Excel graphic on the right. As my guild and raid team have discovered, spreadsheets are my answer to everything! Gear is sortable by slot (at some point I’ll make it sortable by raid boss). Bolded gear is what I am targeting for my BiS list. Items that have been lined out are pure avoidance pieces and should be avoided at all costs. None of the gear on this spreadsheet has crit. I dismissed every piece of gear with crit on it as DPS loot (because it is).
If you have any questions about the spreadsheet, feel free to hit me up in the comments or on Twitter!
This is a bit up in the air right now. My recommendation is to hybrid gem, working to assist in your hard capping of expertise and hit. I’m currently using Guardian’s Imperial Amethysts in my red and blue sockets, and Forceful Wild Jades in my yellows. My gemming will adjust as I reach my caps.
Here’s the list of enchants:
|Shoulders||Greater Ox Horn Inscription||+300 Stamina and +100 Dodge|
|Back||Enchant Cloak – Greater Protection||+200 Stamina|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Superior Stamina||+300 Stamina|
|Wrists||Enchant Bracer – Dodge||+170 Dodge|
|Hands||Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery||+170 Mastery|
|Legs||Ironscale Leg Armor||+430 Stamina and +165 Dodge|
|Feet||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step||+140 Mastery and increased run speed|
|Shield||Enchant Shield – Greater Parry||+170 Parry|
Enchanters should be making sure they are enchanting their rings with [Enchant Ring - Greater Stamina], which adds +240 stamina to each ring. Jewelcrafters will want to be making use of their JC only gems.
Call me lazy, or let me tell you that I have a lot going on during raids that pulls my attention elsewhere, but I use WeakAuras to keep my attacks front and center on my screen so I can be aware of my cooldowns. Theck has been kind enough to keep sharing his WeakAuras strings on his blog. Scroll down to the bottom of his Tankadin WeakAuras Strings: 5.0.5 post for the strings to copy into the addon.
This makes my life infinity easier because I have it right in the center of my screen, so it’s a quick glance to see when I need to refresh Sacred Shield or if wings are coming off CD.
I’m still neutral on a new expansion. I discussed my thoughts at length last night with a guildie and shared that right now, for me, the biggest draw of the new content is going to be the day I step into the new raids. I’m looking forward to strategizing with my cotank, figuring out how we’re going to handle the fights, looking forward to the motivation of downing new content.
But instead of looking forward into the crystal ball at the content I haven’t run yet, let’s look back on Cataclysm in general!
Launch and Tier 11
I don’t really recall Cataclysm’s launch. I wasn’t in an active guild,4 so I wasn’t in any rush to level. I was on a high population realm, Area 52, so I think I actually didn’t bother to log in for a couple days until the initial rush died off. Not to mention that it was in the middle of the holiday season, so I was busy baking and preparing to entertain guests.
I leveled my first Paladin, Valkyrii (my Wrath main), to 85, and then followed up by leveling my hunter, Mirina (my BC main). At some point Raziel was thrown into the mix, along with my Death Knight (Azrael), my Priest (Gabriel), my Mage (Raaena), and my Warlock (Kiiera). To this day, I haven’t leveled the rest of my alts (2 shaman, a warrior, a rogue, another DK (who is now set up for Herald of the Titans), and my druid), because the Cata content got dry very quickly.
I decided that I wanted to go back to raiding (I had taken T9 and T10 off from guild raiding, and instead PuGged through ToC and ICC), so I started looking around. Not seeing many options on realm, I decided to start recruiting. We had almost gotten a solid team, but no one wanted to focus on gearing and I ended up deciding to transfer off the realm.
That’s one of the challenges with large population realms–there’s a ton of people, but there’s also more guilds than you can shake a stick at.
So as Tier 11 approached it’s end, and I still hadn’t started raiding, I began searching off realm for a new home.
I ended up joining TTGF to tank full-time in Firelands. Which, looking back on Firelands, was pretty damn fun. Dog tanking on Shannox, chasing adds around on Rhyolith, and eating Decimation strikes on Baleroc (ouch).
Firelands was a fun tier, but I still have heartburn over the fact that we missed the nerf bat by a week on the raid. We had been working so hard on Ragnaros, and almost had him down. But due to our inability to sync schedules for weekend raids, we missed our chance for our pre-nerf kill.
It was a sad day.
We dabbled with some Heroic bosses, but primarily stayed with normal clears through the raid. The bigger challenge for me was our raid times. I was raiding 10p-1a while having to make a weekly client meeting the following morning, requiring me to be about 3 hours after I went to bed (assuming raid wrapped at 1a). My body couldn’t keep up with the time difference, and I had to look for another place with better aligned raid times (the challenge of raiding with a West Coast guild!).
Firelands was great because I finally got to focus on what I loved doing best, tanking. I had healed in Wrath, dabbling with tanking when my GM was willing to respec to Holy for me tank 5-mans. I was never able to tank in a raid environment (the downside of having a BiS healing set for the time), so Firelands was the first chance I got to fully climb into the tanking driver’s seat and get ready for the ride.
And it was totally worth the lack of sleep to do it!
BlizzCon fell towards the end of Firelands, and I had a blast! I got the opportunity to meet a ton of the folks I get to talk to on Twitter and to spend some time with some of the great WoW personalities! I even got some time to talk to Ghostcrawler himself about tanking at the Charity Dinner (which was super cool as well)!
While at BlizzCon though, I got to meet a ton of members of my future (and current) guild, Enveloping Shadows! It was fun to be able to sit down, drink, and socialize with a large majority of the officers!
Soon after I returned home, I applied as a healer (hilarious, I know), and was accepted. I transferred over a couple weeks later and dove into Firelands with a 25-man team, trying to wrap my brain around healing. I actually healed for our H. Alysrazor kill!
But there were only a couple weeks left in Firelands, and then we headed into Tier 13…
Tier 13 started with some healing fun, but before Christmas I had swapped back to Prot almost full time. I’d heal as necessary (I do actually have a pretty nice healing set on Raz now…and a pretty nice Ret set…and yea…), when we managed to be short a healer.
Tier 13 was the first time that I can say that I tanked an entire raid, start to finish, on all difficulties. I got to down Deathwing on Heroic mode several times!
Tier 13 was interesting…I went from 25-man raiding back down to a 10s team. I watched as we were almost barely able to fill a raid towards the end of the tier. I watched people decide to “retire” from raiding, shrinking our pool to the point that we were pulling in non-raiding guild members that we hoped could hit buttons or soak an Hour to pulling in people like Rades once Dragon Soul went RealID wide.
Rades has bailed my ass out repeatedly. Thanks dude!
Since we got to the point that we were clearing H. Dragon Soul in 2 hours, we had a lot of time to fill. ES took some time to backtrack into Tier 11 and clean house in H. Bastion of Twilight, capturing our first guild Heroic clear and downing Sinestra, to heading to Throne of the Four Winds and cleaning up H. Al’Akir. We went back to play in Blackwing Descent, but still, to this day, H. Nefarian still isn’t playing nice…maybe at 90.
Cata, while not the most “thrilling” expansion to me (I still haven’t quested through all the low level content), brought about a lot of changes in my play style. I’m back to raiding full-time, having an integral spot on a raid team, having a raid team that I usually love signing on to hang out with (usually because some nights I’m just not in a mood for people).
As the clock ticks down, I spent time cleaning out Raz’s bank, taking some time to gear my unplayed hunter (she went from 333 ilvl to 375 last night thanks to guildies carrying me through dungeons), and playing around. I haven’t been online much in WoW lately, but the past couple days I wanted to go back and play the content. I pulled people through dungeons, both guildies and PuGs, for the shear fun of seeing how fast we could clear the content before I never set foot in them again. I’ve run ZG, ZA, and even multiple Deadmines. I even did a full clear of H. Halls of Origination yesterday afternoon!
To me, that’s the perfect send off. Remember what you did in this expansion, and run it with the people who bring you joy in the game world, and in turn, energize yourself for what’s right around the corner.
In less than 15 hours MoP is live…I wish everyone the best with leveling! I’ll see you in Heroics soon!
With Mists of Pandaria releasing on Tuesday, many people are trying to figure out how to level as quickly as possible. This means that they might not always be reaching for the healthiest of food options as they search for quick and convenient eats.
One of my big hobbies outside of WoW is cooking. I love entertaining friends and family and cooking memorable meals for their taste buds! I regularly Tweet what I make for dinner (with pictures), so people can live vicariously though them!
That being said, I’m very focused on making meals that are healthy and satisfying.
As I pondered what I would fix for MoP leveling, I decided to share my recipes with everyone for meal ideas!
The recipes below are conducive to making ahead of time, and then are easily able to be pulled out of the fridge or freezer and into the oven. That way, all you have to worry about doing is pulling the food out when it dings!
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!
I grew up on these and they are so good! Lots of flavor! I usually serve them with minute rice and some fat free refried beans. They are great on their own if you don’t want to deal with sides.
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (you can shred this too. I usually boil the breasts and let them cool. Then cut them into thirds and shred up the meat)
- 2 cups light sour cream
- 1 can Cream of Chicken soup
- 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped onion (can be fresh or dried)
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
- Flour tortillas
- Combine first 9 ingredients, mix well.
- Place a heaping 1/2 cup of chicken mixture inside each tortilla.
- Roll and place in baking dish.
- Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle tortillas with remaining 4 oz cheddar and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- I usually get 4 pans of 4 enchiladas out of this. These freeze very well. If frozen, let them defrost in the fridge before baking. Number of enchiladas will be based on how full you fill the tortillas.
You can never go wrong with a crock pot! Crock pot cooking was my convenient way to make dinners when I knew it would be a long day in the office. Here’s a chance to take advantage of the slow cooking method while you instance or quest your way to 90!
- 2 lbs chuck roast, fat trimmed
- Small red potatoes, whole, or if they are larger than bite size, halved
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and cut into big chunks
- 2 large onions, peeled and cut into eighths
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1 package Lipton Onion Soup Mix
- Season chuck roast with salt and pepper. Place in bottom of crock pot
- Surround roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions.
- Add in Cream of Mushroom soup and Lipton Onion Soup mix packet.
- Add a touch of water to crock pot.
- Turn on low and let cook 8-10 hours.
- If you’ve got the time, gently coat the roast in flour, salt, and pepper and sear in oil in a pan on all sides before adding it to the crock pot. This will create a nice crust on the meat.
- If you don’t have a crock pot, sear the roast (as outlined in the first bullet) and place into a dutch oven type pan. Add ingredients as listed and cook at 350° for 4-5 hours.
- The soup gives a creamy gravy for the meat. I like my roasts done this way, but if you aren’t interested in a creamy sauce, feel free to skip and add in beef broth in place of the water (use a touch more due to lack of moisture). Same with the Lipton packet, use if you like!
Cream Cheese Chicken
Courtesy of my cotank, this recipe is sure to be a winner! Lots of flavor and another convenient meal from your crock pot!
- 4 chicken breasts brushed with butter or lightly coated with cooking spray
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup sherry
- 2 Tbsp Italian Dressing mix (Good Seasons)
- 1 package light cream cheese
- Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
- Cook on low 6-7 hours.
- This can be served over rice or egg noodles–since we’re looking for quick and easy cooking, I’d probably fall back on Minute Rice because I don’t have to babysit it once the water boils.
Chicken/Pork Rice Casserole
Another old family recipe, I’ll be making this Monday night in preparation for dinner on Tuesday night!
- 1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix
- 1 soup can full milk
- 1 soup can uncooked long grain rice
- 4 chicken legs/thighs or 4 bone-in pork chops
- Preheat oven to 350° and butter a 9×9″ pan.
- Mix up first 4 ingredients in pan.
- Place meat on top of mixture and cover dish with aluminum foil.
- Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Begin checking regularly at 45 minute mark for doneness.
Notes: I’m making mine with pork chops! This would go great with some fresh green beans and a hot roll!
This is probably my laziest recipe on here! But you can never go wrong with a meatball sub!
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
- 1 tsp McCormick Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb 80% lean ground beef
- Spaghetti sauce (homemade or bought)
- Fresh sub rolls
- Sliced mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Add panko, eggs, water, cheese, garlic, parsley, seasoning, salt, and pepper to large bowl; stir to combine. Add beef, mix by hand until just combined.
- Scoop up 3 Tbsp of meat mixture to form balls; smooth by rolling in cupped hands. Arrange meatballs on baking sheet, about 1 1/2″ apart.
- Bake 15-17 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°.
- Heat meatballs in spaghetti sauce over low heat (or put them into a small crock pot with the sauce to warm on low).
- Cut open sub rolls, leaving half of the sub roll attached and line with a piece of cheese (I fold mine in half).
- Spoon meatballs with a little bit of sauce into bread.
- The meatball recipe is courtesy of Wegmans! They are a great grocery store with lots of fabulous recipes and foods! Feel free to poke around their site and gather lots of other yummy meal ideas!
Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili, adapted from Bon Appétit
This recipe came to me from Nyx! It sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1 14.5 oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 lb dried black beans, rinsed well
- 1 chipotle chile from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- Sour cream (optional)
- Green onions, chropped (optional)
- Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, and coriander and stir. Cook together for 1 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, beans, chipotle pepper, and oregano. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until beans are flavorful and tender, anywhere from 2-4 hours.
- After 1 1/2 hours of cooking, add the sweet potatoes, quinoa, and salt. Place the pot’s lid back on slightly ajar and allow to simmer on low hear until the beans are soft and the sweet potatoes and quinoa are cooked through. Add more water if the chili becomes too thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, and green onion.
- Can be made two days ahead. Can be frozen!
Just because you’re leveling to 90 doesn’t mean you need to eat poorly! I hope you enjoy these recipes and find them good enough to add to your collections! Happy dining!
When Enveloping Shadows wants bosses dead, we’ll get bosses dead. Past experience has proven that we can put our minds into this zen state and steamroll through content that we may have been dragging our feet on earlier. ES saw Heroic Zon’ozz and Hagara fall on the same night, completely unplanned, but quickly doable once we buckled down and focused.
Which is why, in the grand scheme of things, our July 31st and August 1st raids don’t surprise me at all.
The Final Countdown
The team showed up, energetic and ready to get more attempts on Heroic Spine. We had been getting to third plate with regularity, but hadn’t been able to hold it all together long enough to beat the encounter. We rolled through 6/8 Heroics, with only a mild hiccup on Skittles (something about a Blood DK out-healing a druid by 80%). The team blew through Heroic Gunship, and our raid leader gave us a quick reminder of our Heroic Spine strat before we were parachuted down onto Deathwing’s back.
We lost a healer early on, but we kept pushing through the plates. The tanks were making changes to our strat on the fly, adjusting as we found rhythm to a fight we’ve been working on sporadically for months. And then, after almost 3 months of beating our heads against Heroic Spine, the DPS popped that final plate off and achievements lit up my screen.
There was a pause for screaming in Mumble, and then we were on the platforms for Madness. And we all paused, realizing that probably no one had looked at the strat. Our raid leader called for a 10 minute break for people to go read up, relax, or see family after our Heroic Spine 1-shot, so that they could come back to their PCs and be ready to push ahead on Madness.
I remember glancing at the clock, my mind still unable to process that we 1-shot Spine, realizing we were about to attempt the final fight of this raid tier, and it wasn’t even 9p.
Descent into Madness
The raid team reconvened, people still in shock that we had 1-shot Spine, and I quickly began discussing survivability with my cotank. We decided to “wing it” and see what would happen for impales as we tossed around cooldown ideas. Our raid leader gave a quick rundown of the fight and we gave it a go (or 5). The beginning fights were discovering just how squishy I was on impales–quick trinket/glyph swapping, and we were back in business. (Quick note: Blood Death Knights are SUCH a broken class. My cotank takes an impale and drops to 95% health while I’m freaking out as the healers are recovering from me dropping to 40%. Blahblahblah nerf DKs =P) When we called our attempts for the night, we were clearing to platform 4 without issue, so we knew we had it in the bag on our next raid night.
The team showed up on Wednesday, ready to take Deathwing down once and for all. Our Holy priest had spec swapped after the previous raid to give Disc a go. Our warriors respecc’d for slows, I tweaked my glyphing even more, and we knuckled down for more attempts. We saw a .5% wipe and knew that we had the fight down. We would have had a kill on that attempt, but one of our legendary staff wielders DC’d on one of the platforms and we just couldn’t recover before the enrage hit.
No speeches by yours truly (running joke from H. Gunship–Miri would give a fail pep talk and we’d down the boss on the next attempt, so the speech became a requirement for H. Gunship kills), instead you could feel the energy of the team in Mumble–they were ready for the kill! We zoned back in, focused, and away we went!
It was one of those moments, just like on Heroic Spine, where the achievements caught me off guard! On Spine I was wrangling bloods and had no clue what the tendon was at. On Madness I was slowing bloods so that we could push more DPS to end the fight. Neither time did I know health percentages, so when my screen lit up with Heroic Madness, I screamed for the second time in two days!
With the entire team standing, not a single death, we beat the enrage by almost 40 seconds! We were ecstatic! We doled out loot (Gurth and Kiril), and in typical ES fashion handed the drake to one of our druids.
We learned Madness, start to finish, in under 4 hours. We beat the tier, the expansion, and we still had hours left of raid. The team was let go early to go celebrate, and I raised a shot glass several times in toast to the team that achieved the kill.
Of course, finishing off Deathwing once and for all netted many of the raiders their Glory of the Dragon Soul Raider, so we had to go pose for pictures!
It feels good to complete a raid tier when it’s still current content. It feels even better to complete an expansion’s final boss. Wrapping up Dragon Soul gives me closure to move on to MoP–a chapter that I am more than willing to let become a memory. Dragon Soul meant much to ES; our raid team shrunk from 25 to 10. Our raid leaders changed, our comp was continuously evolving. And still we persevered. The team banded together and supported each other through the entire tier, proving that 10 people with goals can achieve anything–even in a video game.
A big thanks and a massive congrats to my raid team. I look forward to us tackling MoP together in the near future!
Thanks to Vosskah, I was given the idea to poll the WoW community for easy, make-ahead recipes to nom on while you level in MoP!
— Vosskah (@Vosskah) July 25, 2012
I’m looking for ALL recipes: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks! Things for solo people and things for LAN parties! If you have drink ideas, I’ll take those too!
If you would like to participate (all authors will get credit for their recipes!), please send me an email and I will start compiling them for a mass post! Please send your recipes to MoPCookingDaily@gmail.com for inclusion! If you have pictures, please feel free to send those along too!
NOTE! The cutoff for submissions is August 15th!
I can’t wait to see (and taste!) the submissions I get!
I’ve been incredibly busy since I came back from travel in April. Work has been a massive time sink–I’ve been training new team members and trying to get better control of my crazy work life–because, well, at some point, I don’t want to be working 12+ hour days.
That being said, I relocated in May, and now spend 14 hours a week commuting (2 days a week). If you ever doubted my sanity, this should erase any question of doubt!
I’m still raiding with Enveloping Shadows 2 nights a week. We are currently wiping on Heroic Spine, and most nights end with me not even able to fathom where our weak point is (I have some ideas, but I’m still unsure). A lot of raid frustration is around the fact that our second staff (AKA, Staff 2.0), vanished from the game within a couple weeks of the team completing the second legendary (Staff 1.0 did the same thing). We currently cross our fingers at night that all 10 will sign on to raid because we don’t have any members on stand by. It’s a touch rough!
I haven’t given Beta much time, which annoys me to no end! I love playing it, and finally feel somewhat in tune with the new Paladin stuff, but I just haven’t had the time.
Most of my free time (what little there is) has been going to Diablo 3, where my Wizard is playing around in Nightmare level. I die a lot, but it’s fun She’s the only character I’ve played in D3, and I think I’ll be taking her up to Inferno before I consider rolling an “alt.”
I’m still on Twitter, though not as much as I was in the past. Usually because I’m so damn busy right now (which I’m hoping will change at the end of the month).
I’ve been studying for my Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and I’m testing at the end of the month. It’s a 4-hour test after 4 days of boot camp, so I’m hoping I can pull this off and cross it off my list before fiscal year ends!
I just returned from a jaunt to NC to do some teaming with my coworkers and meet the engineers who I abuse mercilessly on a daily basis. It was a great time to kick back, play some Kick Ball (yes, there are pictures), Bowl, drink, and eat a ton of sushi! My team is reorg’ing our business focus and alignment, as we are part of a service that no other company can offer to my customer base, so I’ve been doing a lot of design support at the ground level. I took on the massive redevelopment of our internal support space, so I will have my arms full with that for a bit–it’s a godsend that my Director supports my random goals and helps me out when I need it. We’ll see if this paves the way for some new role alignments in the future. I’ve been pondering a relo to NC in the next couple years but if I can put a support structure in place and maintain an escalation point for my greater team from the comfort of my home office (with little to no travel unless management requests), then I will be happy. We’ll see–this is the time where I have more flexibility to push for things that benefit me.
Anyway–it’s safe to say that very few of you give a shit about my private life, but I did want to let you know that I am still playing WoW (though not at the levels I used to, see above for reasoning) and that there are more blog posts in the pipeline!
Last Friday I stumbled into Beta, having to wrap my mind around all the changes I was seeing on my screen. And we’re not even talking talents yet! I haven’t played with a stock UI setup since late Vanilla, so it’s safe to say my mind was blown as I figured out key binds and mouseover macros to get the job done! Once settled, I was finally able to sit down and try out Prot. This will be the first in a series of discussions about the ongoing changes to Prot on the Beta realms, so be on the lookout for additional posts!
In this build I’ll be discussing the spells that have been removed, the new spells we’ve gained, and the glyph changes, so let’s get started!
A moment of silence for these fine souls. I do miss them, and without them, I do feel lacking as a Paladin!
- Divine Guardian – Yep, our T13 4pc is of little use now
- Righteous Defense
- Divine Plea – Holy only
- Hammer of Wrath – Ret only
The New Kids
Not all of these are Prot, but I’m listing all the new options for completeness.
- Speed of Light – Charge style talent without the required target that Warriors have with charge. Also a longer CD than the warrior’s 15 second wait. Uses the same spell ID as the Holy 4th tier talent.
- Fist of Justice – a shorter CD and double the range of Hammer of Justice.
- Burden of Guilt - Judgments now slow the target.
- Eternal Flame – A 30 second HoT that ticks 10 times before expiring.
- Hand of Purity – Reduces damage of periodic effects by 70% for 6 seconds.
- Unbreakable Spirit – When DS/DP/LoH are on CD, spending HP will reduce the remaining CD by 1% per HP spent, up to a 50% reduction.
- Clemency – Reminds me of a Hunter’s Readiness spell. Finishes the CDs on all your Hand spells.
- Holy Avenger – Any spell that generates HP will generate 3 charges of HP for 20 seconds.
- Sanctified Wrath – For Protection, this removes the CD on Judgment when you have wings up.
- Holy Prism – Can be cast on a party member or a mob, which heals or damages (heals friendlies, damages mobs).
- Light’s Hammer – AoE spell that harms mobs and heals your party members.
- Execution Sentence – Damages the mob underneath for 10 seconds and then provides a final burst of damage. If cast on a party member, it becomes Stay of Execution, which heals instead of causing damage.
Formerly Ret-Only spells now available for Tankadins:
- Repentance – Current – Beta
- Selfless Healer – Current – Beta
- Sacred Shield – Current – Beta
- Divine Purpose – Current – Beta
So glyphs are undergoing a major rework in MoP and Prime glyphs are basically out. I figured it would be easiest to work with what we will have and compare between current glyphs and what they look like in Beta. I’ve listed the glyphs as they appear in Beta with their spell ID, and what that spell ID equates to on live realms and what the glyph does in Beta.
Mists of Pandaria
|(Glyph of Shield of the Righteous) – Increases the damage of Shield of the Righteous by 10%||Increases the damage of Shield of the Righteous by 50% but reduces the amount it blocks by 20%|
|Reduces the mana cost of your Crusader Strike by 30%||Reduces the mana cost of your Crusader Strike by 30%|
|(Glyph of Crusader Strike) – Increases the critical strike chance of Crusader Strike by 5%||While Avenging Wrath is active, you are healed for 2% of your maximum health every 4 seconds|
|(Glyph of Exorcism) – Your Exorcism causes an additional 20% of its damage over 6 seconds||Your Blinding Light now knocks down targets for 3 seconds instead of Blinding them|
|Increases the duration and cooldown of Consecration by 20%||You can now target Consecration anywhere within 25 yards|
|Your Avenger’s Shield now also dazes targets||Your Avenger’s Shield now also dazes targets for 10 seconds|
|Removes the physical damage reduction of your Divine Protection, but increases the magical damage reduction by 20%||Reduces the magical damage reduction of your Divine Protection to 20% but adds 20% physical damage reduction|
|(Glyph of Judgement) – Your Judgement deals 10% more damage.||Judging a target increases the damage of your next Judgment by 0%, but only if used on a different second target|
|Your Avenger’s Shield hits 2 fewer targets, but for 30% more damage||Your Avenger’s Shield hits 2 fewer targets, but for 30% more damage|
Hammer of the Righteous
|Increases the damage of both the physical and Holy components of Hammer of the Righteous by 10%||The physical damage reduction caused by Hammer of the Righteous now lasts 50% longer|
|(Glyph of Hammer of Justice) – Increases your Hammer of Justice range by 5 yards||Your Holy Wrath now also stuns Elementals and Dragonkin|
|(Glyph of Seal of Truth) – Your Seal of Truth and Seal of Righteousness also grant 10 expertise while active||Increases the instant damage done by Seal of Truth by 20%, but decreases the damage done by Censure by 50%|
|Reduces the mana cost of Rebuke by 100%||Increases the cooldown by 5 seconds and lockout by 2 seconds of Rebuke|
Word of Glory
|Increases the healing done by Word of Glory by 10%||Increases your damage by 10% for 6 seconds after you cast Word of Glory|
Fire From the Heavens
|(Glyph of Justice) – Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Justice by 50%||Your Judgment and Hammer of Wrath critical call down fire from the sky|
The Luminous Charger
|(Glyph of Righteousness) – Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Righteousness by 50%||Your paladin class mounts glow with Holy Light|
Seal of Blood
|(Glyph of Truth) – Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Truth by 50%||Your Seal of Truth now uses the Seal of Blood visual|
The Mounted King
|(Glyph of Blessing of Might) – Reduces the mana cost of your Blessing of Might by 50%||Mounting a paladin mount automatically casts Blessing of Kings on you|
|(Glyph of Insight) – Reduces the mana cost of Seal of Insight by 50%||Your Avenging Wrath depicts 4 wings|
|NEW||Your judgment spell depicts an exe or sword instead of a hammer, if you have an axe or sword equipped|
|NEW||You slow fall during Avenging Wrath|
|NEW||Holy Wrath only affects one target|
|NEW||During Divine Shield, you can invoke your Hearthstone 50% faster|
Lots of changes are going on with Paladins! In the next Beta post, I’ll cover the changes to the timers on our “rotation” and do a review of my current talent choices. I’ll also see if I can have a recording of the newest dungeon, Temple of the Jade Serpent, from my POV.
Not going to lie, I squealed like a little girl when I saw this screen this afternoon.
It got a great response from @Vosskah:
— Vosskah (@Vosskah) March 30, 2012
Then there was the humor involved when I told Mal:
I’m glad to report that my cotank has also made it into beta, so we’re going to go tear up content together!
If there is anything that anyone would like for me to test in regards to Paladins, please let me know! I will be messing around with all specs, but focusing on Prot (as expected).
Posts will soon follow about Beta discoveries!
Like my previous post, Miri’s Thoughts on Guilds, this will be another running stream of consciousness about guild management, leadership, and development. None of this is ground-breaking (at least I hope it’s not), but what I think is “normal” has proven to be abstract to someone else. So, enjoy! ~Miri
Recruitment is a hot topic right now if you check on the forums. Like the end of every expansion, players are hitting burn out and stepping away, using the time between the final content patch (Blizzard has already announced that Dragon Soul is the last raid) and Mists of Pandaria to recharge. It’s a stressful time for guilds when they have to deal with a fluctuation of membership, especially so late in the game; during which they hope they can locate quality members to add to their teams. But how do you make your guild stand out above the rest for potential applicants?
Miri on Guild Recruitment
Recruitment isn’t easy. It can be a long (and arduous) process, truly dependent on how your Recruitment Officer handles things. There could be lengthy applications, interviews over a voice chat, possibly even cross realm grouping to see how well the player performs. It could take 24 hours, it could take 2 weeks. Either way, it needs to be a clearly explained process for any potential applicant. In the past I noted that a guild officer would respond within 48 hours to an application and that we would state then if we wanted to proceed further with the application process or if we chose to thank them for their interest but state our reason(s) for not continuing with them.
It’s not just hard on a guild looking for new players, it’s also hard on the applicants. Depending on the guild, you may have to defend your spec, your gemming, your enchanting, your reforging. You may have to explain your professions and your willingness (or lack thereof) to change them. You may have to explain boss fights and your role in them.
For many people, something has pushed them to change things. Maybe they want to progress faster than they currently are, maybe they want to see what a raid is like. Maybe there’s a personality clash or a time zone difference. But no matter what, you have to leave a comfort zone and venture into the great beyond.
I was recruited into my Wrath guild from a Trade channel conversation. When I look back on the entire chain of events, it was rather amusing. I was leveling fishing in Orgrimmar and was being sassy in Trade. It caught the eye of one of the guild’s officers and we struck up a conversation in whispers. It was a great talk and he told me they were looking for a healer and asked if I’d be interested in applying and checking out the guild via some heroics. I agreed and spent all of T7 with them. My guilds for T8 and T10 were me joining up with real life friends for short periods of time before I settled back on my “home” realm and had relaxed fun in PuGs.
Cataclysm saw me join a friend from Twitter towards the end of T11. I remained with them through almost all of T12, only moving on due to time zones killing my sleep patterns. I moved on to another guild that fit my time zone requirements perfectly, and joined a group of people that I knew via Twitter and real life.
Each time I made a move, I had to learn new personalities, I had to get to know new people. I had to learn who was the guild gossip, the guild drunk, the guild freak. Some people are afraid of interacting with strangers and it keeps them in a situation they are unhappy with, or it keeps them from joining a guild at all. Sometimes they they think they’ve found a good place, but later discover it’s not as they get to know the guild’s members.
One of the things I like is on our “About” page for my current guild: not only does it talk about some of the guild’s past achievements, but it speaks to some of the guild personalities. I kept a running “Introduce Yourself” thread on my guild forums where people could post a picture (if they so chose–and surprisingly, I think everyone did!) and talk about their hobbies outside of WoW. Making a thread like that public (viewable only, no posting) to non-members gives them a chance to discover if it’s a guild full of hash smokers or alcoholics or if it’s players who are just enjoying the game and all it’s offerings.
The ability to do cross realm grouping with RealID and the future implementation of BattleTags will make engaging with potential applicants even easier. Not only can you now group with an applicant cross-realm (thus saving them the transfer fee and discovering they hate you, your guild, or your realm), invite them into voice chat, and allow them to truly experience some of the guild in their natural element. Recruitment no longer needs to be a “blind” process in which you hope you got lucky and that the good experiences will outweigh the bad.
It sounds corny, but a guild is a home to me. And I’d prefer to stay there as long as I possibly can.
Why Guilds Recruit
I previously wrote that a guild is like a business, and that a successful guild will operate as such. Every business needs employees to operate. They may be your managers, they may stock the shelves or greet the customers. The employees each fulfill a specific role for the team.
A guild may recruit for their rated BGs team, or their raid group, or maybe just social members. Some guilds prefer to remain small and their recruitment list shows that. A guild may only recruit for their PvE or PvP related aspects. Other guilds may like to have a large roster and will look for people who are interested in socializing in addition to the PvE and PvP play styles. It is truly dependent on the whims of the GM and the guild’s officers to shape the direction that the guild goes.
In the Burning Crusade, a player would join a guild because it was a means of getting into raids, getting regular groups for heroics, and to avoid some of the crafting fees. This is in addition to being able to play with people who you (hopefully) enjoyed playing with. In Wrath, players joined guilds for many of the same reasons, but as the expansion progressed, guilds became less necessary as the content became more and more pugged. In fact, I pugged both of my Lich King kills via Trade because my tiny little guild didn’t have enough geared players to do our own raids.
Cataclysm saw a re-emergence of guild growth, but probably for the wrong reasons. It was even commented about last night while I was running heroics with a player from another guild on realm. Players join guilds now for their perks. I mean, who doesn’t want to run back faster from a wipe? Or have reduced repair fees? The ability to mass rez your group in a Heroic, or summon a friend to you for questing? Being a level 25 guild early on in Cataclysm had huge perks–some guilds were even taking any player who wanted to leech perks as long as they were helping the guild push to level 25. Some guilds stuck to their guns and the guild leveled via the guild roster–and whenever they hit 25, they were good with it.
In some ways, a level 25 guild is a perk that can be used to draw players in via various recruitment methods, in others, it’s a crutch that inhibits guild growth.
Using Perks to Drive Recruitment
In between trash pack pulls in Well of Eternity, I learned a bit about the player we had pulled in to help us cap the weekly guild heroics.
Our healer commented that he had never seen her guild tag before and she stated that they were a new guild with a small roster. We asked what the guild’s goals were and she informed us that at some point, they hoped to raid. She continued the discussion by sharing that it was really hard to recruit to fill out their roster–simply because of their guild level.
The leveling of guilds, while a great concept to unlock perks, makes it hard for any group who reforms (or forms) to get traction in the server community. People don’t want to have to re-level a guild. People want to join and have the guild be level 25 already. I cringe at thinking about ever losing my level 25 perks. It makes leveling a crafter (or a gatherer) even more painful. It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s just that I prefer the quality of life benefits that a level 25 guild offers.
There was one night, months ago, that I sat in voice chat with friends and we were discussing recruitment. And a question was posed that has stuck with me since that night. It had such an impact on me that it was the basis for this post.
What perks do we have to offer to a potential recruit?
It is a simple, yet honest, question. Guilds sometimes lock themselves into the mindset of “well, I recruited you and gave you a slot on my Rated BGs/Raid/Arena team. That’s all you need.” But people who are looking for guilds are looking for more than that. They may or may not admit it, but they want to know what guilds can offer them besides a slot on a team.
Here’s where we go back to the discussion of a guild being a business. When I was getting ready to graduate from college, I began job hunting in earnest. I knew the mindset that I wanted my employer to have (work hard, play hard), but I didn’t want to find a job where there weren’t “perks.” Perks in the business world could be a lot of things: 401(k), health care, dental, and even child care. It could be a large amount of vacation time, it could be a Starbucks in your building lobby. It could be a company car or “Beer and Cookies Fridays.” Business perks can be all the things listed in the benefits package, but they can also be things that define the culture of the company you work for.
My previous employer had a great cafeteria that I could grab breakfast from in the mornings. There was a 1st class gym in our basement that I could use free of charge. We could have our laundry picked up and delivered to one of our campuses. We could have our oil changed and cars detailed while we worked. Once a month our VPs hosted a party on the front lawn with beer, wine, and a ton of food and music.
Those “perks” were in addition to a great health care plan, vacation packages, and the ability to have a flexible work schedule. The perks were great and even though I’ve moved on, I’ve had nice things to say about my previous place of employment.
Let’s be honest, the perks and the culture (that’s another post for another time) of the guild are what will attract players. As I looked at the Guild Recruitment forums earlier this week, I saw some great examples of guilds listing their “benefits” to try and woo players into applying to their ranks.
Some things I saw:
- “Core” raid slots – this is usually a big deal for raiders who don’t want to have to have a raid team rotation
- Guild Repairs
- Flasks for raids
- Gemming (gems and cuts)
- Enchanting (mats)
Core raid slots, flasks and feasts are usually more raid specific than anything. If you were a PvPer looking for a guild, having repairs or the guild providing the gems and enchants you need for your newest piece of Conquest gear is a pretty nice deal. The list above was compiled from raiding guilds recruiting and it addresses basically anything a raider could need! The only thing that a player would be expected to do with these perks is 1/ know how to play their class and 2/ research the boss fights. The farming, the AH fees, the general “cost” of raiding has been absorbed by the guild, leaving the potential recruit the ability to spend their personal gold as they see fit.
Using Activities to Drive Recruitment
Activities show that the guild is active in other avenues and is a great way to engage players outside of the typical raid (or PvP) setting.
If your guild is primarily PvE based yet members have shown an interest in trying out PvP, schedule a fun PvP night weekly for players to get together and learn how to play each BG in a low stress environment. If your roster boasts some strong PvPers, see if they are willing to coordinate the teams and be a teacher–when you fight in mid, what the objectives are of the battle, etc. It’s supposed to be fun and a good team-building exercise, so the coordinators shouldn’t be prone to fits if a loss happens or something goes wrong. PvP is also great for raid teams to learn to work with limited communication while working with a team of 1-2 people while holding an objective.
Another idea could be an alt night. It could be for any level of alts, but members could help with dungeon boosting or crafting (I’m sure if I had a big and brawny level 85 out killing mobs for me to skin, I’d never fear leveling Leatherworking again!). Each week the “host” changes, so they can get time to get assistance with their alt(s).
I’ve seen groups who do “old school” raid nights. Whether it be for Transmog runs or achievements, assembling a team of willing guildies to go and run old content can be fun for everyone. It could be vanilla raids, or even TK for a chance at the Ashes of Al’ar. It could even be more current content, like T11 or T12 where people want to finish up achievements.
I often see people looking for a player to group up with for “2s for points.” What if you could keep that within your guild? Some players don’t care what their Arena ranking is, but they would like to be able to pick up new PvP gear. Maybe there’s a set night each week that people who want to try and cap their Conquest can sign on and teams are divvied up to get their points.
An interesting thing I saw done in Wrath was “physical” guild meetings in game. My guild meetings in BC were done over Ventrilo, but a social guild that I joined picked a spot each month to meet in the WoW universe. The “meeting” was conducted in both a raid group and in Vent, and throughout the discussion there were door prizes. The prizes were donated by officers and the “leads” of the various groups that made up the guild. A bit of backstory here: there was a small RP aspect to the guild and members were “assigned” to one of four houses, a la Harry Potter. Each “house” had a leader who a player could go to with their problems or questions. The leader may or may not be an officer, but it was someone who was aware of guild policy and was respected by the members. The night that I was “announced” to my house, my leader told me to pick one “wish” I would like granted by the guild. It could be an epic BoE crafted or purchased, it could be help leveling a profession or even my character! The prizes were 22-slot bags (pretty pricey in Wrath!), rare pets, and even 1K gold! It was a fun way to engage new (and old) members in the guild!
These are things that can be driven at the officer level, or can be handed off to other members of the guild who are interested in playing an active role that benefits many. They can be advertised on the guild website, put on the guild calendar, and should definitely be included in a recruitment post! Let people know that your guild does more than raid or PvP! Let them know that there are reasons to sign on outside of a raid or a rated BG. By having events to keep the guild active, more players on your server will see your guild tag actively, see more people on when they do a /who, and may be interested in joining your fun!
An active guild is usually a happy guild. The more people who are on at any given time means that more people are seeing your guild tag on realm. An active guild website/forums shows an applicant that there is stuff regularly happening within the guild. Activities mean that there’s a reason to get involved. Perks show that the officers are interested in supporting and retaining their member base.
Our first impressions usually come from looking–a concise yet interesting recruitment post, a polished and organized website containing application forms relevant to the content and an explanation of guild policies.
Let applicants get into voice chat and into runs with members they would regularly be interacting with. Allow those moments to be unfiltered so that an applicant and get to truly experience the people that they are going to be PvPing or raiding with. Let them truly get to know the guild and it’s regular players so they can determine if they are making the right choice–and so your guild can decide as well.
Keep your guild recruitment activities up-to-date for your members–they may know of people who can fill slots that you have open! Keep them involved in the recruitment process! One of the best changes I ever made was dropping the officer control on my guild recruitment in BC. The officers and I agreed that we shouldn’t be the only ones making the calls about applicants, though our decision was the final one. We allowed our members to review applications, pose questions and feedback (examples of “Oh, you were the person that trade blew up because you ninja’d a ton of stuff from your guild bank and sold it on the AH” was a legitimate response) about the player. Officers are unable to be all-seeing, no matter how many times we tried to be–so utilize your membership to help fill you in!
Hopefully some of these observations will help guilds grow and enable people looking for new guilds to ask questions that may have never sprung to mind in their application process! Best of luck to everyone recruiting for the end of Cataclysm and the launch of Mists!