Archive for Learning

Raiding 101: Joining a Raid doesn’t make you a Raider

Posted in Raiding 101 with tags , , on December 4, 2009 by Wiredude

Welcome to the second installment of this series. In the first post, I discussed what I feel the role of the Raid Leader is, and why you need one. This post will focus more on what you need to look to bring to the table as a player in a raid.

Joining a raid does not a raider make.

Look, I can wire things in my house, I’m not an electrician. I can usually fix a dripping faucet, or a running toilet, but I’m not a plumber. Just because you can (and sometimes do) do something, doesn’t mean that it defines you. This is both a good and a bad thing really, but that’s an enormous discussion that could better be handled by others. Let’s focus on our specific little corner of (cyber) reality, shall we? Continue reading

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The things we don’t realize we know.

Posted in General with tags , on November 23, 2009 by Wiredude

It’s been said that ignorance is bliss, and sometimes I really do thing that’s the case. I’ve watched my wife play WoW, and it’s really been sort of eye-opening. She just happily runs along, occasionally off a cliff, or sometimes directly into a pack of mobs that all but insta-kill her toon. And she really doesn’t care. Now, as she’s in Northrend, and repair bills are a little bit more, she’s somewhat more cautious, but still, much more carefree than I have ever played. She just has a good time, and if she dies, Oh well. She’s not terribly concerned if she’s doing the most effective DPS rotation she can, or anything like that, if the bad guys are dying fast enough that they don’t kill her and her pet, she’s quite happy. She doesn’t worry about all the little details, or anything like that, she just goes out and has fun. And it’s not as if she stays at stuff easily within her level. She quite often tries to solo things that are a bit higher than she probably should attempt, and honestly, has a pretty good success rate, or at least she usually won’t give up until she’s succeeded. For lack of a better way to say it, it’s often just refreshing and enjoyable to watch the semi-care-free way she plays, instead of the more analytical approach I’m much more used to playing with.

* I should mention that we currently only have one computer in my house, so I cannot actually help my wife run content with one of my toons, I can only sit and watch, and give advice.*

However, with her coming over into Northrend now, she’s finally into the level range where she can really begin doing group runs, as she’s no longer in the mostly abandoned areas of the old world, or Outlands. And all I have to say is “Wow!”

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Playing Second Fiddle (and enjoying it)

Posted in Tanking with tags , , , on November 13, 2009 by Wiredude

Tanking for me is enjoyable. Yes, it’s somewhat more stressful than DPSing, but not in some ways. Yes, I need to be generally more aware of everything, but as the tank in a 5-man run, I get to set the pace, pull when I’m ready (usually), and I also get the satisfaction of occasionally getting to save someone’s bacon. I also get a great deal of satisfaction of executing a pull just how I intended, and making use of the tools I have at my disposal as a warrior.  With ranged DPS it seems all I do is make sure I’m not standing in bad stuff, and make sure I’m not pulling threat.

At times it’s painful too, my first trip through Old Kingdom as a tank was “rocky” to say the least. We died several times, although honestly, I think only once to a boss. I just kept hitting trash pulls wrong, or taking the wrong path, it wasn’t pretty. But I know my next trip through will be alot better, because I can apply what I learned. I also learned something else. The ‘pvp’ phases against the final boss it that fight are stupidly easy for a prot warrior, at least if it’s a primarily melee group. One word, Shockwave. It’s that simple, Shockwave everyone, then straffe (because you can still move at run speed, but not give a rear face to be stunned) away and keep running until Shockwave is off cooldown, rinse, repeat.

Anyhow, I’ve gotten myself geared up (badge-collecting & ToC(5) FTW) to a point where I’m actually ready to start going into some of the more advanced content with my little angry tuna-can. I made my first trip into Ulduar (25) with him the other night, and got to come along as my main-spec no less. Now granted, my guild leader (and the usual raid-leader) is a prot-pally, so I’m not getting to be the “main tank” but that’s ok. He’s good at what he does, and I’ve still got alot to learn, but I’m up to around 40k health in 25-man buffs, so it’s much more the experience that I need to be more ready, not gear.

I’ll also say this, there are some encounters where you just have to do it to understand. Razorscale is one of those. Perhaps my take on things is different, as I’ve never really done melee DPS, but that fight, while not really complex, is a bit more than you expect the first time you’re right in the middle of it. Actually, the add phases are easy, run over to the mole machines, wait for the guys to appear, and Thunderclap, cleave while dragging over to the pile with the other tanks, Shockwave… But when Razor’s grounded permanently, that first time you’re under all the spell effects in a 25-man, and trying to watch to make sure you get to the right place, stay out of her breath (if you’re not actually tanking atm) but are ready to pick her up without having her turn all crazy and fry half the raid… All can say is “Wow, it’s something you just have to do to understand.”

But anyway, I’ve been spending alot of raid time as “off-tank”.  Some people think that’s like a second-string job, but really, it’s not.  It needs to be done just as bad as the boss needs to be tanked, but in some ways moreso.  Alot of times the adds are just smaller, and as a DPSer, it’s often easy to just not notice the add nipping at your ankles.  Also, as the off-tank, you’re more or less the bodyguard of the healers, and we all know how important the healers are.  And lest we forget, we also have to be ready to grab up the boss it something happens to the main tank.

Off-tanking can also allow you some time to observe how your main-tank is positioning a boss, etc.  You can learn alot, and don’t be afraid to ask the main tank questions.  They more than likely spent some time off-tanking themselves, and may well know a few tricks that could make your life alot easier.  I’ve learned something else too in the short time I’ve been tanking.  There’s sort of a strange fraternity among tanks.  Where as a DPS I know at times it’s seemed that it’s more of a competitive thing between players (always friendly in my experiences, but I’m sure not always), with tanks it seems to be more of a cooperative, mutual assistance thing.  So ask questions, and learn not only WHAT other tanks do in certain situations, but WHY, then you can apply it to your own tanking.

But mostly, just be happy playing second fiddle, and learn all you can.  Someday something is going to happen, and you’re going to need to be first fiddle, and if you paid attention, you’ll be ready.

Raiding 101: You need a Leader

Posted in Raiding 101 with tags , , , on November 11, 2009 by Wiredude

“Raid Leader”

The term scares some people, conjuring up images of screaming, ranting, “minus 50 DKP”ing, pretentious, overbearing assholes. Is that accurate? Well, in some cases, probably. I’m sure there are those out there who get all tyrannical and maniacal, and generally just scream and yell at people. I’ve heard stories about that, but I’ve never had to experience it. From my personal perspective, as both a raider, and having lead a few runs as well, if people are behaving that poorly, that you have to resort to screaming and cursing at them, then it’s just not worth it. For all the time and effort that I’ve put into WoW, it’s still JUST A GAME. No, I’m not a hard-core progression raider, and I probably never will be. Maybe at that level some screaming and yelling is in order, I don’t know, but I don’t think so.

All that said, I’ve learned a few things over the last couple weeks that I had just taken for granted most of my WoW career. I also sort of realized a few things that had just sorta snuck into my brain over time, but I didn’t know I had learned.

One of the things that’s really become apparent to me is this. A raid needs a Raid Leader. Continue reading

New Tank PuG Hell

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Wiredude

So I’m working on my freshly 80 tank, and trying to run 5-mans, but right now there seem to never be more than 2 other guildies on. Maybe someone changed the rules of math on me when I wasn’t looking but as far as I know 3 < 5, and not everyone in the guild is 80, or wants to do what I’m doing.   Not saying that I need to have runs all in guild, I’m past that point in my gaming career, I can PuG and not feel bad about it, however being as my tank is a warrior, and theres OMG BADGES! to be had in heroics now, no one wants to have a learning tank, much less a warrior one. Now I could just not tell people I’m new as a tank. I could do that, but the 24k health thing kinda gives it away. I mean I’m otherwise alright, my def is up over 540 now, in fact over 550 atm I think, and you only really need 535 for heroics anyhow.  I still need the shotgun, and the trinket out of HoL, and I’ll be able to get the gun tonight, I finished gathering up mats last night, just gotta find an engineer. I should be able to swap out a few +Def gems for +Stam ones, and that will probably help. But here’s what I don’t get, people have absolutely no patience. Continue reading

Learning and Growing: Part 2 – Learning to Lead

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 19, 2009 by Wiredude

Welcome to the second post in this series, where I’ve been reflecting a bit on how certain things have shaped my WoW career. Last time I covered how switching guilds brought about a big change in both my level of play, and my understanding of the game. Most of today’s post will be about what has sort of grown out of that. So without further rambling…

*** To be fair, things have gone all topsy-turvy since I started writing this series (as you may have noticed in other posts), I’m writing this series from a at-the-time perspective though, just to explain why things may not totally seem to mesh. ***

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Learning and Growing: Part 1 — steppin’ out

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 5, 2009 by Wiredude

I’ve grown a lot as a player over the time since I started playing WoW. A number of things have brought it about, but probably the largest single factor was when I changed guilds back back in March. I’ve learned a lot since then. I still sometimes feel bad about it too, but at the time if seemed like it really needed to happen, and honestly, I can say that I’ve been very happy in my new home, and I don’t think a lot of it have happened had I not moved. I still have a number of good friends in my old guild, and actually I still have an alt stashed there as well, though it’s a toon that I really just use to play the AH. I spoke privately with a few of the officers, and left quietly, no drama or anything, just parted ways.

Things bear a little explaining though, it wasn’t as if I had out-grown my old guild, it was something totally different. I won’t get into any details, but let’s just say I wasn’t happy. I had made up my mind I was leaving, I just wasn’t sure where I was going. I was talking to a friend who had previously been a guild-mate, and was a member of a guild I was considering. I knew some of them, and had done a few runs with them, and was friends with the GM (another former guild-mate), so it would have basically been just a matter of asking. But things never go as planned in my world, ever.

While talking to this former guild-mate, I learned that he was actually about to form his own guild, and that a few of the people I was friends with were coming also. Here’s where things get a little complicated. During the few days it took me to talk with the people I wanted to talk with about me leaving, the main raid leader of my old guild also announced that he was pulling up stakes, and moving on, going to join the person forming a new guild. He’s the helpful sort, always willing to give you pointers, tips, etc. Looking back now, that probably was a major factor as to where I ended up, but at the time, I wasn’t really thinking about it. I talked with these 2 people, got an idea of what was envisioned in the new guild, and decided that I wanted to come aboard. So I joined The Rosuto Samurai on Whisperwind.

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