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.
A warped mass of molten hatred and unfathomable power, this formless, mindless horror cannot be stopped. Whatever was left of Neltharion the Earth-Warder is long gone, his mind and soul corrupted and devoured by his Old God masters. All this monstrous being desires is destruction, annihilation, and an end of all things. ~ Dungeon Journal
The first time you complete the Madness of Deathwing it is a breathless experience that will make you play on your toes. In fact, you can read my enthusiasm from when we downed him back in December here in my post entitled “Destroyer’s End.”
The only excitement in the fight for me now is when I forget to change one of my macros from a previous raid and I kill myself. But anyway…let’s talk Madness!
The Madness of Deathwing is a 2 phase fight that involves your raid team, the Dragon Aspects, and Thrall. When you arrive at the Maelstrom, you will discover the 4 platforms that the fight takes place on. Each platform belongs to a different Dragon Aspect and starting the fight with the raid on a different platform than the one Thrall is located on changes the difficulty of the fight substantially. In this guide, I will review the “standard” kill order, but you can always change it up!
Once you “kill” each of Deathwing’s limbs on the 4 platforms, the fight transitions into Phase 2, during which your raid fights Deathwing’s head for the final 20%. Succeed in your attempts and you will officially become the “Destroyer’s End.”
Each Dragon Aspect (and Thrall) provide your team with a buff to succeed and finally banish Deathwing from Azeroth. Their buffs are as follows (done by order of platform, far left to right):
- Alexstraza – The red dragon buffs your raid with Alexstraza’s Presence, which increases your health by 20%. She also casts Cauterize, which damages the tentacles that sprout from Deathwing’s limbs over 5 seconds and reduced the damage taken by the Corrupted Blood.
- Nozdormu – The bronze dragon grants Nozdormu’s Presence, which increases haste by 20%. Nozdormu also creates a yellow swirling circle on the platform, called Time Zone, which slows the Elementium Bolt that is cast at the platform and slows any mobs’ attack speed by 50% when fought within the zone.
- Ysera – The green dragon buffs healing by 20% with the Ysera’s Presence. She also provides a spell, a la Ultraxion, called Enter the Dream, which decreases all damage taken by 50% for 2 seconds.
- Kalecgos – The new leader of the Blues grants the Kalecgos’ Presence, which increases all damage done to Deathwing and his minions by 20%. Kalecgos also buffs the raid with Spellweaving, which causes roughly 23K Arcane damage to enemies within 6 yards, but excludes your current target.
- Thrall – While not a dragon, Thrall’s Carrying Winds will move players between the platforms (sometimes this fails) and increase the raid’s movement speed by 60% for 10 seconds.
Deathwing – Phase 1
The following are the various things that Deathwing will “toss” at the raid as you work your way across the platforms. Each platform faces the same enemies, but how they are dealt with depends on which Dragon Aspect(s) you have left. The order they are listed is the order that they appear during the fight.
- Assault Aspect – Deathwing casts this as soon as the fight begins and looks for the platform with the largest number of players and a platform that still has a limb attached to it.
- Arm/Wing Tentacle – The main attention grabber on the platform, your raid will focus on the tentacle when there is nothing else to kill. The tentacle casts Burning Blood, which causes Fire damage on the raid every 2 seconds. The damage gets worse as the Tentacle’s health decreases, so healers will need to be aware that healing will require more attention the lower the health of the Tentacle. Twice during the fight, at 70% and 40%, the tentacle sprouts Blistering Tentacles from it’s arm. These cannot be AoE’d and they attack with Blistering Heat, an ability that deals 2500 Fire damage every 2 seconds and increases damage by 2 every stack. When Alexstraza is active, she will be killing the Blistering Tentacles for your raid.
- Mutated Corruption – A bonus tentacle that will spawn in the back of the platform. This tentacle is picked up by the tanks and all DPS should switch to it immediately. The tanks swap when the Mutated Corruption casts Impale, but they must use a personal cooldown as Impale hits it’s targeted tank for 400K (physical) damage. Impale is channeled over 4 seconds before the hit lands. The Mutated Corruption also attacks the raid with Crush, which causes 100K (physical) damage in a conal attack. Your raid should spread out and not stack behind each other to reduce the chance of this affecting a large amount of your team. Once the Mutated Corruption is dead, your raid team will swap back to Deathwing’s limb.
- Elementium Bolt – The Elementium Bolt is slowed by Nozdormu’s Time Zone, but without the golden circle, it comes crashing into the platform and deals roughly 390K Fire damage to all players in range. The bolt will continue to pulse 390K Fire damage every 5 seconds until it is destroyed. It is recommended to focus the bolt as soon as it appears so it can either die before it hits the platform or soon after it lands. If your team can move quickly from the bolt’s landing location, they can reduce the damage they take when it collides with the platform.
- Hemorrhage – Once per platform, Deathwing’s tentacle will hemorrhage, causing Regenerative Blood to spawn. Bloods gain 10 energy every second, and when their energy reaches capacity, they heal themselves back to full. These are a high priority to kill with AoE because they are also casting Degenerative Bite, a stacking debuff which causes roughly 1500 Shadow damage every second for 10 seconds.
- Cataclysm – Deathwing will begin channeling Cataclysm as time progresses on each platform. Cataclysm is basically a hard enrage timer that is pushed back every time a limb is destroyed. If you fail to kill the limb in time, Deathwing will 1-shot your raid.
Once you destroy the limb on your platform, Deathwing becomes stunned and 20% of his health is whittled away. This is how Deathwing is at 20% health when you enter Phase 2.
Deathwing – Phase 2
Once your team lands on Ysera’s platform, the DPS race is on. Your raid will begin to attack Deathwing’s head, trying to deal as much damage as they can until the following adds spawn:
- Elementium Fragments – Three fragments will spawn in a 10-man raid. They will spawn at various spots on the platform, sometimes grouping up, sometimes spread out. Your DPS must switch to them immediately and burn them down. The fragments will debuff random members of the raid with Shrapnel, a spell that deals roughly 200K of unresistable physical damage. When players are targeted by Shrapnel, it is best if they make use of Ysera’s buff to Enter the Dream.
- Elementium Terror – Two Elementium Terrors spawn on the platform and must be picked up by the tanks. The melee attacks apply the Tetanus debuff onto the tanks, which inflict roughly 60K physical damage and an additional 20K physical damage every second. The Tetanus debuff stacks, and thus the adds must be killed off quickly to avoid the loss of a tank.
- Corrupted Blood – Applies a debuff that inflicts Fire damage on the raid every 2 seconds. When Deathwing hemorrhages at 15%, 10%, and 5%, the damage done by Corrupted Blood is increased.
Here’s how I handle Madness:
- Platform Order:
- Ysera (where you land)
- Nozdormu (left)
- Alexstraza (more left)
- Kalecgos (all the way right)
- DPS begin work on Limb.
- DPS/tanks switch to Mutated Corruption when it spawns.
- Tanks swap when Impale goes out.
- DPS swap to Elementium Bolt when it spawns.
- Finish off Bolt, finish off Mutated Corruption if it’s not already dead.
- AoE Regenerative Blood when they spawn.
- Kill Limb.
Platform 4 is handled a bit differently and is usually dependent on your raid’s DPS:
- DPS land on platform and stand around until Mutated Corruption spawns.
- DPS kill Mutated Corruption.
- DPS kill Elementium Bolt.
- DPS stand around and /dance while they wait for the Regenerative Blood to spawn.
- DPS kill Regenerative Blood.
- DPS kill Limb.
- Raidwall each time an Elementium Bolt gets ready to land.
- Cooldown order for Impales (note: these CDs allow you to take no damage from the impale, resulting in much love from your healers):
These are my picks, YMMV.
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!
When Deathwing first channeled the Dragon Soul’s power against the other flights, the massive energies that were unleashed threatened to break apart his very body. Rather than forgo this weapon, he had adamantium plates fused to his scales to hold his body together. Later reinforced with elementium, these plates are now his weakness–the sole vulnerability to Deathwing’s lethal presence. ~Dungeon Journal
I’d be lying if I said that this fight was fun. I think a good amount of my delay in writing this guide has to do with just how boring this fight (and Madness as well) is on normal. Anyway, I’m I completionist and I have two fights left to cover, so let’s get through Spine of Deathwing. –M
Spine is exactly what it sounds like: the entire fight takes place on Deathwing’s back, during which you’re loosening (and removing) the plates that hold his body together, while killing the various things that spawn from his back.
If you have a weak stomach, it’s best not to think about what you’re killing on his back. It may make you squeamish.
Spine of Deathwing is a single phase fight that you must execute the same strategy three times before you are able to move on to the final fight of the raid, Madness of Deathwing.
Deathwing himself only has one ability that you need to watch out for: Roll. If Deathwing senses that the raid team is standing on one side of his back, he will attempt to roll in order to remove the players from his back. This can be quickly corrected by having your raid team spread out across the middle of his back. When this is achieved, a message will flash on your screen that says “Deathwing levels out.”
The roll is very useful, and you will want to roll Deathwing regularly, usually once each time you release a plate (so three rolls a fight), in order to shed excess mobs from his back.
In 10-man, Deathwing is very sensitive and can roll very easily–so be aware!
When you first parachute down onto Deathwing’s back, there are 4 Corruptions that emerge from his body. While the Corruptions are alive, they prevent anything from exiting the 4 hole in Deathwing’s back, IE, the Hideous Amalgamations and the Corrupted Blood, the two things you need to remove the plates from his back. Once all Corruptions have been killed on Deathwing’s back, another will spawn randomly from one of the holes. When a plate is removed, 2 new Corruptions spawn, but once they are all killed, only one will return.
Corruptions have 2 abilities in the raid:
- Searing Plasma (Physical) – A debuff that is placed on one member of the raid at a time, Searing Plasma will absorb the first 200K healing done on the target, or will expire after 5 minutes, whatever comes first. When the debuff is on a target, it deals 10K damage every 10 seconds.
- Fiery Grip (Fire) – Fiery Grip is a stun that is cast on a random member of the raid (never a tank) which stuns them until the Corruption has been damaged. In order to break the grip, 20% of it’s health must be removed. While a player is immobilized by the Corruption, they take 60K damage every 3 seconds, which makes breaking the grip of utmost importance.
I find that it is easiest to assign a DPS to own the responsibility of breaking Fiery Grip off of players, and then we assign a back-up to that DPS in case they are gripped themselves. This makes sure that the damage meted on the Corruption is controlled so you don’t worry about bursting them down too quickly and gaining an extra Amalgamation. The Corruptions do not have a large health pool, so the grip can be broken with 1 or 2 hits.
When you need to roll Deathwing, everyone dives into a hole previously occupied by a Corruption. While in the hole, Grasping Tendrils appear, which basically locks you in place for the roll. You don’t want to remain in the spot for too long, because they slow all affected players’ movement speed by 35% and cause roughly 3K damage every 5 seconds unless you move away from them. When it comes time to perform a roll, it’s easiest to only “lock in” until you have shed the adds you need to remove and then run out.
Amalgamations have the following 3 abilities, listed in order that they will appear:
- Absorb Blood – The ability only occurs if the Amalgamation gets too close to a Residue from a Corrupted Blood. The Amalgamation is normally kited over a stack of Corrupted Bloods and gathers several stacks at once. Absorb Blood results in the Amalgamation dealing 10% more damage and attacking 20% faster. Once the Amalgamation has absorbed 9 stacks of Residue (thus dealing 90% more damage and attacking 180% faster) it becomes superheated.
- Superheated Nucleus (Fire) – When the Amalgamation reaches 9 stacks, it begins to pulse fire damage to everyone in the raid. Every 3 seconds the Amalgamation deals roughly 15K damage to each member of the raid. Your goal is to activate the Superheated mode when the Amalgamation is at low health to reduce the amount of time you are in this phase.
- Nuclear Blast (Fire) – When the Amalgamation‘s health pool reaches 0, the Amalgamation becomes immobile and begins to channel Nuclear Blast. Nuclear Blast deals roughly 375K damage to anyone within 8 yards and will basically one-shot members of your raid who haven’t moved. Since there is not a lot of space to gather once your team has moved away from the Amalgamation, it is usually wise to use raidwall here to reduce the fire damage. If the Amalgamation is positioned right, (in this case it should be right up against the plate) the explosion will pry up the plate and allow you to enter the first Plate Burn phase.
Elementium Reinforced Plates
The plates that hold Deathwing together also hide the final add you must defeat (3 times) in order to move on to the final fight of the tier.
Tucked under the Elementium Reinforced Plates lie the Burning Tendons. The tendons are the last thing holding Deathwing’s armor to his body. Once destroyed, the plate attached to Deathwing’s body will fly off and give you more space to continue the battle.
When the Amalgamation explodes, a Burning Tendon is exposed to the raid. The team has 23 seconds to destroy the tendon before it snaps the plate back onto Deathwing’s back and the entire Amalgamation phase must be repeated.
If your team is unable to defeat the tendon in the first attempt, it will not heal up. Your team will need to re-expose the tendon to finish it off.
It is worth noting that each plate contains two Burning Tendons, so if your raid team is unable to kill a tendon on the first attempt, you will want to make sure the next Amalgamation explosion loosens the plate on the same side again.
As I mentioned earlier, this fight is a rinse and repeat fight. The outline below is how we perform the fight each week in all it’s mind-numbing glory
- Destroy 3 Corruptions upon landing (we usually kill top Left, top Right, bottom Right.
- Lock in on the left side of Deathwing’s back and roll him to shake the Hideous Amalgamations loose. Make sure you have the Grasping Tendrils debuff (DBM shows this).
- Kill the final Corruption. Tank picks up Hideous Amalgamation and drags him to the front of Deathwing’s back.
- DPS begin to work on Amalgamation (usually melee). DPS assigned to break Fiery Grip (usually a hunter) performs task and assists ranged with AoEing Corrupted Bloods.
- Once Amalgamation reaches 40% health, Amalgamation tank takes him for a walk to the Residue left by the Corrupted Bloods. 40% is a random goal, but it can be done when the tank and healers are comfortable and done at different times to make sure no bloods are wasted. This is a big deal on the first plate because the bloods spawn so slowly.
- Tank repositions Amalgamation against one of the Elementium Reinforced Plates when 9 stacks are reached and DPS focus the Amalgamation down. All melee and tank run away from the exploding Amalgamation (8 yards).
- Once the plate lifts, all DPS attack the Burning Tendonto release plate. Our CD order for plates is as follows:
- Rinse and repeat. You will only want to have 1 Corruption up at any given time due to Fiery Grip.
- Raidwall each time your team is dealing with Nuclear Blast. Every little bit helps when people don’t move when they need to.
- Try not to fall asleep
These are my picks, YMMV.
Final option is a bit flexible, depending on your gearing and raid. My thoughts:
- Crusader Strike: Valid for fact that fight is a single mob fight. Increased crit results in more damage and a slightly faster boss death. This is good if you need some additional damage on the Burning Tendons.
- Judgement: Totally dependent on if you have the 2pc T13 bonus which grants you an absorb shield each time you judge. Basically you get a larger absorb, which helps to reduce healing required, but I haven’t looked to see how much of a bonus you get. Probably not worth it in the long run, but every little bit helps.
Pick whichever one you feel most comfortable with!
My logic: Focused Shield because it’s a single mob fight. Lay on Hands for the shorter duration (survivability again, but there’s really nothing stopping you from having a shorter CD on this “save your ass” spell). Divine Protection for the magic damage reduction.
So today the changes to the Scroll of Resurrection were announced. If you didn’t know what the SoR was, basically it was a way to lure your friends back into WoW after they had quit for a period of time. You could issue them a scroll and they’d get some free play time. I’ll be honest, I’ve never used a SoR to bring a friend back to WoW. They’ve come back of their own volition, usually to see new content or try out the changes to their class. Maybe they like what they see and they choose to stay, maybe they don’t, or another game catches their eye, and they wander away from WoW again.
Friends who have quit did so because they were hardcore raiders and burned out, some needed to get finances in line. Some of them came back, some didn’t.
The New Scroll of Resurrection
Let’s take a look at what the new Scroll of Resurrection gives you:
Not bad huh? A free upgrade to Cata, a boost of your character to level 80, a free realm transfer or faction swap to play with your friend who brought you back.
Not gonna lie, it’s tempting as heck! But tossing all these freebies at players who quit the game? Free Faction changes? That’s a $30 savings right there. A free server transfer? That’s another $25.
Not a bad deal in the least.
Miri’s “Get off my Lawn” Rant…
So here’s why this rubs me the wrong way. Every time we turn around, there’s a “bonus” associated with bringing someone to WoW. Whether it be a player who quit the game eons ago or a new player who wanted to experience the game.
Now players can play WoW free to lvl 20, the $20 purchase of Vanilla WoW nets you the Burning Crusade, and now you can come back and get boosted to lvl 80.
Not gonna lie, it’s better to be a new player (or a returning player) to WoW than it is to be a long-time subscriber.
And this bugs me!
The account that I play on each and every night hit it’s 7th anniversary last month. Over 7 years this game has been paid for. That’s Vanilla. That’s BC. That’s Wrath. That’s Cata. Every single expansion picked up. Let’s not mention that the account has every CE ever produced for those expansions tied to it as well.
I’d screenshot all the Feats of Strength I have on a character I no longer play, but it would take too long to piece together my WoW history in Photoshop. But if you want to take a gander, Mirina, my hunter, was the character I focused on in BC. My original Vanilla hunter and rogue were deleted eons ago, and only my baby druid still remains.
Admittedly, I play WoW because I enjoy it. I’ve RaF’d myself twice simply to speed level alts and get the Zhevra mount (on characters, once again, that I don’t play anymore). I play because I like to raid, because I like to do things with friends, because I like to explore, work on achievements, and in general, immerse myself in the World of Warcraft.
And many will say “well, then you should be content with what you have. You have raids, and heroics, and all the content that’s designed for players at max level.” And that’s great. I, as a player, have that. But so does every other max level player who plays WoW.
You know what else I had? I had a time were I had to buy ammo before raids, and your rep and the raids you were working on determined if you had the best ammo in game. I had to carry my mounts around in my bags, and pets too! I had to do my dailies so I could afford to raid, because guilds didn’t have the ability to skim money off of my kills and deposit it; regifting it back to me as payment for repairs while we were learning fights. I had to pay each time I wanted to change my spec because we could have only one. I had to go tame pets for my higher level pet skills. I had to attune myself to the raids I was preparing to progress in. I could go on and on.Yes, things have gotten better. Yes, the game is much more friendly and open to new and returning players.
But what do I have to show for 7 years in the World of Warcraft? I have Feats of Strength that no one looks at. I have moments like I did in the previous paragraph, where I extol how WoW has changed. But within WoW, what do I have to show for it? Well, I have a couple pets that were there for years 4 and 5. And those are cool. But they don’t go with my character for various reasons. Maybe it clashes with my Transmog, maybe it’s just not something I want to pair with Raz because of his personality in game.
The Missing Link
Blizzard rewards players for coming back to WoW via the Scroll of Resurrection. Blizzard entices you with two-seater mounts to bring a friend to the game via Recruit a Friend. But there is nothing for the WoW Veterans.
This is a topic that has been batted around for years, with people coming up with various ideas. In fact, just last month a discussion was started by Mathew McCurley on WoW Insider asking what a WoW Veteran program would look like.
My favorite option is a token awarded for each year you’ve been an active subscriber. Everyone can earn tokens to spend on a pool of items–it will just take more time for the person who’s been subscribed for a year to achieve all the items that a 7 year subscriber to get. It’s an equal opportunity for all to walk away with something highlighting their time spent in Azeroth.
Or, you know, I would love a backpack upgrade.
Like this blog post! I just posted recently about all the stuff that I owe readers and that I’ve been really busy with real life. And real life has been kicking my ass, I’m not going to lie. Last week was just a package of awful wrapped in awful and I was basically at wits end. I went shopping on Saturday to continue the ongoing process of furnishing my condo (because nothing is more fun than furnishing a place that is hours away from you when you still have a non-stop job AND have another property to keep up with) and basically hit my limit with people interaction at IKEA. How I used to work some of the biggest sales on holidays when I did retail is beyond me. Now, dealing with a crowd of people for more than a couple hours reduces me to a near panic where I just want to flee and hide. (There’s a point to this, maybe, so bear with me) Saturday basically just added to my burnout of real life and I came home to sulk. I was in a foul mood, and tried my damnedest to contain myself on an alt away from my raid team. But my alt is guilded on another realm with other friends who decided to run Sunwell that night. The best thing I could have done was stayed away, but against my better judgement I went, and my frustration got vented against an unprepared group of people (didn’t help that the Light Sunwell chest piece, that I still haven’t managed to get on Raz, dropped that run). I slunk off after we downed KJ, simply stating I needed to go to sleep.
I went to bed, my mind racing. I had offended one raid team while trying to hide from my own for our own night of fun runs. I was a mess and I knew it. I popped onto remote guild chat to send a massive apology to my healer who had assembled the Saturday night fun run in guild and told her I just couldn’t handle people and was trying to do the right thing by staying away. She gave me e-hugs and I eventually fell asleep, completely pitiful and wallowing in my own hatred. I even left poor Mal to tank the fun run because I was being my douche-tastic self.
I slept for like, 12 hours, and was still in a pretty frustrated mood when I woke up. And then there was a message asking if I had checked my in-game mail. And I was quizzical, but I hit up the mailbox. There were a couple wrapped packages, and a little hatchling waiting for me. Apparently while I was hosting my own pity party in bed, my dearest Deedle was locating 3 pets for me to hit the 100 pets achievement on Raz…
*sniffle* Did I mention how much I adore my Deedle? *GIGANTIC E-HUG TO MY FAVORITEST MAGE EVER*
And then, while I was still processing that I had 100 pets (and squealing over the Elementium Geode, because damn I like that pet!), Dee sat there and was calculating the easiest way to get me to 9K achievement points since I had declared Sunday to be “Achievement Point Sunday.” And I was going to farm ALL THE THINGS.
At some point, I went full derp and decided that one of the things I needed to farm was the rares in Northrend.
So, funny story here. I farmed up all the Outland rares while I was working on Northrend Loremaster. I mean, it probably would have made a lot more sense to…you know…work on Northrend rares…when I was in Northrend. But, this is me. And as many will attest, I don’t always do things logically. So, I completed Northrend Loremaster and my Outland rares around the same time. I think subconsciously, I was willing to do the Northrend rares because I was trying to avoid Outland. I had 12 characters at max level at the end of Wrath. I did a lot of Outland. I’m good with never going back. But I have to, because Raz never did Outland. And there’s that pesky Loremaster achievement…
Anyway, back on the rambly topic…
So I started farming Northrend rares, and I did pretty decently my first day. Eventually I got bored and wandered away from my PC for a bit, laying down to read some on my iPad. About 2 hours after I laid down, I decided I should be an adult and go grab a shower, but something called to me and I decided to do a quick rare hunt before hopping under the warm water.
I was in Storm Peaks, finishing up my loop for Vyragosa, when suddenly, NPCScan went off.
It was the Time Lost Proto Drake…
It was one of those moments of sheer panic. The moment of “OH GOD I WANT IT WHERE IS IT” to “OH GOD WHAT IF IT’S A CORPSE BECAUSE SOMEONE ALREADY GOT IT.”
My heart was racing, my hands were sweating, my eyes were wide. I started doing circles, trying to find it. And then suddenly, there was an Alliance Shadow Priest right beside me! I took off in the direction I hadn’t been yet, and was spam clicking the alert that NPCScan pops up on your screen. I was close enough to have the mob targeted, and it hadn’t taken any damage. OH GOD WHERE WAS IT!?!? And then suddenly, there it was! The Time Lost was soaring slightly above the ground and I took off after it. A quick Judgement and a fast Crusader Strike and the drake was dead. And I stood over it’s corpse, my body shaking, as I clicked to loot it. And there were the reins. And they were mine.
OMG. I just started NR rares today…I have the Time Lost Proto-Drake on Raz O.O
— Miri (@WoWMiri) March 4, 2012
And then the Shadow Priest appeared beside me…
I quickly looted the corpse and took to the skies, flying quickly back to Dalaran. It was at about this time that Mal woke up from his nap. My heart was still racing, but I managed to form words and show him the drake (which he thinks is hideously ugly, but that’s beside the point).
And the Shadow Priest hovered above, frustrated with my luck.
I wasn’t out looking for it, but I found it. And it made my weekend that much better. But the best part of my weekend? The fact that one of my friends was willing to set aside her plans for the day to help improve my mood.
<3 you Deedle! We’ll get you one too!
P.S. Yes, I know I am DAMN lucky with stuff like this…
I’m still alive, just tossing that out there. Stuff has been a bit crazy IRL, in guild, and everywhere in between. Things I still owe you guys:
- Updated Transmog ideas
- Spine & Madness strats (damn these fights are boring)
- H. Morchok and H. Ultrax quickie guides
- More posts where my cotank makes fun of me
- Miri on Guilds: Culture
- Then & Now meme
- Update on my Heroic 10s team
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I can think of. I’ve been writing a ton, but it hasn’t been blog related, so, sorry guys =\ Work has had me bashing people’s heads into walls and well…raids have been sorta having the same results. Something more like me bashing bosses into walls. And Heroic Ultrax sneaking in a 204K hit that I apparently couldn’t miss last night and went splat to because of an ill-timed Twilight Instability.
Anyway, usual excuses post. Lots of work travel for the remainder of the week but hopefully I’ll find a moment of clarity this weekend to post.
Enjoy the header, this was me on Ultrax last night, bitching about fashion woes, like all good Belfs do!
Also: cute Lofaz and Raz pic (I got “holy crap you REALLY are short” tonight when I shared it).
Quick and adorable post. I mentioned in heroics on Friday night the story behind Raz and my overwhelming desire for an Elwynn Lamb to “complete” an aspect of the character’s RP story. It was a comment made in passing, with no real thought aside from the comedic value of the character (and several unfortunate incidents for poor Kirian and Raz at various intervals in Dalaran).
While I was running a heroic on my warlock tonight, our healer asked if I had checked my mail on Raz this evening and I admitted I hadn’t. She recommended I sign him on before logging for the night and check my inbox.
So I did…and as I stood in Dalaran, I saw a mail from a friendly and fun mage I had run with the night before. And inside the mail, there was a lovely note and a gift wrapped package. My curiosity was heightened as I collected the package from my mail, and my jaw fell open when I saw what it contained. Inside the gift wrap was an Elwynn Lamb, just for Raz. There may have been tears in my eyes at such a thoughtful gesture from a member of Lightninghoof”s RP community. She was promptly tackled in tells with more thank yous than I think she ever expected.
And tonight, I signed off from WoW with a smile on my face. Never forget the community–in your guild, or on your realm. There truly are great people out there!
Thank you again Derodra, your kindness and your quick memory have earned you a spot in my heart and on my friends list!
Earlier this week I was tagged into a new blog meme called “Sixth” by Bulidar of Among the Elements and Aralosseien of Achievements Ahoy! The meme was resurfaced by Gnomeaggedon on the 15th of February and I’m not gonna lie, I was sorta paranoid about what my “sixth” was. But before I share my “sixth,” let me share the rules!
- Go to your image folder
- Open the sixth sub-folder and choose the sixth image
- Publish the image! A few words to describe the picture couldn’t hurt!
- Challenge six new bloggers
- Link to them
Like, Bulidar and Aralosseien, I don’t have sub-folders in my images folder, so I selected the sixth image in my screenshots folder.
And without further adieu, I give you my sixth:
Should I be surprised that it’s Raz? Nope. Not in the least! I’m standing on the roof of Grommash Hold, the building that Garrosh Hellscream occupies in Orgrimmar. It was New Years Eve, and it was the first time since I’ve started playing WoW that I sat and watched the fireworks go off! I was later joined by a guildie, Ursal, for chitchat while we chilled. That week I had tanked ES’s first kill of Madness, and was in a generally mellow mood while I farmed satchels for mounts and pets.
Speaking of mounts. I’d like to point out that I finally got a mount from a satchel last night. I just happened to accidentally LOOT the damn thing from the satchel. What did I get you ask? Oh nothing great–just ANOTHER Green Proto. My anguished yell will echo in the hallways of my home for the near future.
Anyway, enough about my bad luck, let’s pick the next round of 6!
- @Mainfloortank of Dancing Runes
- @Boozekin of Boozekin
- @_Rades of Orcish Army Knife
- @_Vidyala of Manalicious
- @DrunkardRegalia (Dreämy) of Drunkard’s Regalia
- @Vitaemachina (Jadissa) of Yelling on the Internet
I’m eagerly awaiting to see what these folks have for their “Sixth!”
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!