Archive for Raiding

Something New (for me at least)

Posted in General with tags , , , on December 7, 2009 by Wiredude

As I’m sitting here quite possibly on the eve of a major content patch it’s in many ways a time for reflection. I find myself in a different place than I’ve ever been before with a major patch or expansion being released. I’ve now got 2 characters at the level cap. I’ve effectively (and happily) switched “main” characters, and I’m filling a different role now. I’m in a new guild (been there about 2 months I guess), and my wife is rapidly approaching lvl 80 with her toon as well. Things are just different this time around, that’s the only way I can explain it. Add to that I’m in a different place progression-wise than I’ve ever been before as well.

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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

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

Bringing a gun to a knife fight.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 29, 2009 by Wiredude

I know, that’s not exactly how the line goes, but actually it’s what I meant to say. The other night I filled in on a 10-man Naxx run in-guild. They needed DPS, and I hadn’t had the gold to dual-spec Dreymor (my warrior) yet, so I offered to tag along with my hunter (my warrior just does abysmal damage in prot-spec if he’s not tanking, and they already had tanks). Now, let me say something, I’m a little rusty on the hunter, I simply haven’t played him alot in the last couple weeks. I realized something though. Naxx is easily out-geared. In reality, there’s really only 1 fight in there that doesn’t get a ton easier in there with gear, and that’s Heigan. And that’s only because of the dance. And honestly that’s almost a hardware-check. How well can your computer’s graphics handle all kinds of green gook spraying up? Does it lag? Is your connection less than stellar? Prepare to die!

But what do I mean by bringing a gun to a knife fight? 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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When Good Intentions go Bad

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on October 13, 2009 by Wiredude

I was one of the first to stand up and cheer the way Blizz changed badges with patch 3.2. I know first-hand what it’s like to play catch-up gear-wise, and be stuck with no one wanting to do the runs you need. I still think it was a good thing, it makes getting geared up much easier, it makes it much easier for a new player to be able to participate in content that would otherwise take months of gear-farming to even hope to see. I’m all for making the game more enjoyable for more people.

But I think Blizz made a HUGE mistake in the overall design of all the raid content for WotLK. I’m not talking about anything in a mechanical sense, not so much in tuning eiither. Their mistake was made in the best of intentions, and was done with the intent that people would have the opportunity to get to see more of the content. And you know what, it works, people are getting to see the content. So the mistake isn’t quite so obvious. But in the end, the result was this.

The little guy is getting the short end of the stick again.

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