Archive for June, 2011


OK, now I’m happy

In a post last week, I mentioned how we were 11/12 in current tier raid bosses, and how I felt like we hadn’t accomplished our goals.

Now there is a huge weight off my shoulders.  In preparation for tonight, we cleared the first five BWD bosses on Thursday, setting us up for a big finale to the current tier of raiding.

Our goal: in a single night before patch 4.2 lands, learn the Nefarian fight, practice it, and defeat him.

Our result: success!

It was a really tricky night.  We ended up with a very melee heavy raid with only a hunter and a mage for ranged dps.  That meant that pushing two crackles in Phase 2 was out of the question.  Instead, we decided to go with no crackles in Phase 2 and pushed quickly to Phase 3, starting Phase 3 with Nef at about 75%.

At our normal raid quitting time we had gotten Nef under 10% and we could taste victory.  Typically we are strict about ending raids on time.  However, that quitting time is largely because of me, being the old man of the group and also being on the east coast of the US, and usually having to wake up at 5:30 AM.  Today, though, I am on vacation, and so I gave my ok to push on and the rest of the raid enthusiastically agreed.

A couple of attempts later, we managed to burn him to the ground.

As old as my guild is, this is the first time that we have cleared all raid content before it was nerfed or we outgeared it.  Its a huge moment of success in the history of the guild.  Normally I don’t brag on the guild in the blog, but I’m exploding with pride and I just have to let it out.

Most of us got our fancy new titles, and we were also able to purchase our Dark Phoenix Mounts.

Now we can happily move on to Firelands raids, satisfied with our current progress.

I also feel like this is a success for casual guilds.  The current raid tier has been widely discussed as being too hard for casuals.  My guild does have a core of pretty intense players, and that core is the engine that drives our raid team.  But overall we are a very casual bunch.  Our raid composition changes from week to week.  We have no attendance requirements.  We /roll for loot.  We have a mostly open admission policy with no applications.  We have people from age 12 to 60+, and maintain a family-friendly atmosphere.

Because of this, I take pride in our success.  We’re certainly not the only casual guild to succeed.  Seeing as this is the only guild I have ever been in, its the only one that matters to me.

Happy patch day, everyone!



CC change in patch bothers me

We went into BoT this weekend.  The first few trash pulls there require some CC to make them manageable.  We had two hunters and a shaman in the group, and they were very good about counting down to coordinate their trap launchers and hex.  Both traps hit simultaneously, and then the remaining mobs in the group ran toward us where they were picked up by the tanks.  It was perfectly executed.

As of this coming Tuesday, such coordination won’t be necessary.  In patch 4.2, most forms of CC won’t cause the mobs to pull.  The hunters can launch their traps at their convenience, and the pack of mobs will stand there and wait to be attacked.

This is called a “quality of life” change.  It doesn’t significantly affect gameplay, and it makes a frustrating part of the game less so.

But it bothers me.  The Twilight’s Hammer lackeys are just going to stand there chatting while, one-by-one they are frozen in blocks of ice or turned to sheep and frogs?  That’s ridiculous.

You can say that a lot of the game is ridiculous, of course, and I wouldn’t argue.  For whatever reason, this one gets to me.  I think that, five years ago, if my first foray into raiding had us freezing and sheeping things while the rest of the mobs were stupidly oblivious, it would have made a poor first impression and possibly changed my whole outlook on the game.  (keep in mind that when I started raiding, using Sap would knock a rogue out of stealth, resulting in a body pull)

Clearly, this change is intended to make pug groups easier to run.  Its very hard to coordinate CC without voice chat.  I see the usefulness for it as a game mechanic.  However, its a step toward silliness in the name of convenience.



What will happen next?

I am curious what everyone thinks.

As we know, Justice Points are easy to get, while Valor Points are much slower.

In the upcoming patch, the current iLvL 359 Valor Point gear is being changed so it can be bought with Justice Points.  That means that, a few weeks, people will be able to gear up to 359 epics with at least their 2-piece T11 set bonus with little trouble.

My question is – what will they do with that gear?  I’m not talking about the guilds that have currently cleared most or all of the current content.  Obviously, they are going to move into Firelands raids.  I mean the vast majority of guilds that have not yet cleared most of BWD, BoT, or TotFW.

Will they gear up and then work on clearing the remaining T11 content?  Or will they gear up and then go directly to struggle in T12 content?  I am honestly not sure.

Remember in Wrath as each new tier of raids was released, the previous tier was completely abandoned.  However, raids were easier then.

What do you think will happen?  Lots of people finally progressing in T11, or lots of people banging their heads on T12?



We’re 11/12 in T11 raid bosses!

What does that mean?  It means different things to different people.  Wrath really re-trained me on the meaning of raid accomplishments.  I need to appreciate the game again.

In Burning Crusade, there were not a whole lot of guilds that progressed through all of the available raid content.  Most guilds were Karazhan guilds – staying at the introductory raid level.  Many guilds or guild alliances moved up to Gruul/Magtheridon raids.  Fewer made it through SSC and TK, and fewer still made it through Black Temple.  Simply killing a boss was often a big deal, and clearing a raid tier was a huge achievement.

Wrath changed the paradigm.  With a myriad of ways to get gear, you could skip raid tiers.  Then with infinite tank threat and infinite healer mana most raids quickly became puggable.  Thus, a much larger portion of guilds were able to clear current raid content.  Simply killing bosses was not that big a deal, and clearing raid tiers was ho-hum.

Now things have shifted to a middle ground.  There are still various paths to get gear, so you’re not locked out of any raid content due to gear.  However, the raids are tougher and the game a bit harder, so pugs are less successful and it is harder to carry lesser players.  As a result, fewer guilds are making it through raid content.

I am musing on this because my guild just killed Al-akir.  As indicated at the start of the post, that makes us 11/12 in the current tier of raids.  This is rarified air for us.  Our guild has been around since vanilla, and we have never cleared a current tier of raids before the new tier was released.

So here we stand, one week before Firelands comes, and only Nefarian standing in our way of clearing all available (non-heroic) content.  We have two nights of raiding scheduled before the patch.  One night will be used to clear BWD and do some learning attempts on Nef, and the second night will be dedicated to taking on Nefarian.

What does all of this have to do with Wrath attitudes?  I think that I am not fully appreciative of what we have done.  Inside, I feel like we are still behind the curve, which is a holdover from Wrath attitudes.  I need to let it sink in that we are well ahead of the typical guild here.  Only 24,500 guilds have killed Al’akir, which is less than half of the guilds that have downed Magmaw.

I’m not trying to toot my own horn.  I’m just being introspective.  When we finally killed Al’akir last night, I didn’t yell with happiness, but rather let out a sigh of relief.  Back in the Karazhan days we were all so happy when we killed a raid boss for the first time.  Has Wrath ruined that for me permanently?

I think that if we get Nef this week I’ll actually be happy.


Pristine Hide

With the new tier of gear coming in the next patch, there will also be new crafting patterns.  I enjoy crafting my own leather gear, so I’ll be stockpiling some materials toward that goal.

Except for Pristine Hide.  That’s a random chance drop when skinning, much like Arctic Fur was back in Wrath.  I don’t know about you, but I just don’t see Pristine Hide drops.  I am pretty sure that I have only gotten two Pristine Hides so far this expansion.  I’m not sure how much of that is a low drop rate, my own bad luck, or the fact that I rarely skin anything anymore because I port from SW directly to raids and then back to SW.

Since its a random drop with a very low drop rate, its difficult to farm it.  If you are a leatherworker I recommend that you buy these up at the auction house now if you can get a good price.  Currently they are down to about 250g each on my server.  The cost will skyrocket once the patch drops and the new LW patterns each need 5-8 of them.

Here are a couple of rogue-worthy crafted epics coming…

Clutches of Evil

Treads of the Craft

Also, if you are a LW, your tanks will want you to make them Drakehide Leg Armor, which also requires a Pristine Hide.



Classic WoW:
Dinaer - 11 Assassination Rogue
Cepheid - 13 Prot Warrior
Cartho - 11 Elemental Shaman

Retail WoW:
Dinaer - 120 Assassination Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
Cartho - 120 Elemental Shaman (US - Quel-dorei)
Derence - 120 Prot/Ret Paladin (US - Sen'Jin)
Metius - 120 Shadow Priest (US - Sen'Jin)
Liebnitz - 120 Arcane Mage (US - Sen'Jin)
Darishin - 120 Resto/Balance Druid (US - Sen'Jin)
Fastad - 90 Subtlety Rogue (US - Sen'Jin)
June 2011
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