Adventures in Azeroth

It’s a Druid’s World (of Warcraft)

Final Notice – We have moved!!!

This blog will be deleted soon.  We have moved to nedruid.com, transferring all old content.  Please update your bookmark.

If you are the admin of a board or guild website, please update your links.  The feral gear posts, Kara guide and Bartender overview are all on the new site, in addition to plans on upgrades to all those posts and more. 

See you there!!!

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February 21, 2008 Posted by | 1, Attunements, Burning Crusade, Custom UI, Druid Blogs, Druid Gear, Enchants, Factions, Fun, Instances, Interface Add-ons, Must have addons, Online resources, Raiding, Site Meter, Strategy - Balance, Strategy - Feral, Strategy - General, Strategy - Resto, Way off topic, Wordpress, World of Warcraft | 3 Comments

Managing guild drama

The guild I’ve been thinking of joining has a website.  A while back I linked to their guild charter and rules, which I thought were very nicely done.  I haven’t applied yet, but I check out their website once in a while.  Their forum posts aren’t private, so checking out their posts is a good way to get a sense of what they’re all about and the personalities of guild members.

I recently saw this post by the Guild Master:

“I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from different members. Some have been, “we aren’t progressing fast enough it’s these people’s fault!” Some have been, “These people only care about progression! If it doesn’t have to do with a raid they don’t want to help.”

This is going to end but I want to give everyone the opportunity to step and do their part. Something that is very hard for people is to admit they are wrong. No one wants to be wrong. So today I want you all to be wrong. I want you to admit and then to move on in a different direction. What exactly am I asking?

I want you all to blame yourself! Yup, don’t point the finger at anyone else for things you feel are going wrong or aren’t perfect. Find that place where you are personally responsible…and then fix it.

If you are a hardcore raider…change your view. Take this week, hell this month, and say, you know why we aren’t progressing? Because I’m too hardcore. I don’t take the time to play with my friends. All I talk about with people in guild or in-game is raiding. I don’t give people the incentive to WANT to raid with me because I bark at people or I have a tendancy to push people away because I’m blaming them for the guilds problems. I need to take a step back and just PLAY with people and have fun.

If you are a casual member…change your view. Take this week, hell this month, and say, you know why people only worry about progression? Because I’m too casual. I don’t take the time to prepare for raids I sign up for. All I tend to do is avoid raiding discussions. I don’t give people the incentive to WANT to do anything but raid with me because I’m not as committed as I could be or I could just come more prepared and willing to do what is needed when I do raid. I need to step back and be willing to raid.

Do these statements fit everyone? HELL NO! lol. But find yours. Find where you could really make a difference. Be it in taking time to NOT dwell on raiding when it’s going on or taking time and actually prepare for raiding more than an hour before the raid. Be it being willing to move outside your circle of friends and talk and work with others. Be it being willing to wipe here or there to give someone else a chance to be in your group in raid or in an instance. Whatever it is!

Reread the mission and find a way to uphold it. Even the parts you may be uncomfortable with. Our community is YOU. It will only be what you are willing to give. Each of you. Let’s take up the challenge and find our fault and fix it.”

The response by guild members to this quote?  Lot’s of posts directly responding to the GM with things that guild member will focus on doing to get better.  Several of the posters said they appreciated this post getting them back on track.  A few of the guild posters even acknowledged they were probably one of the members being called out and promised to get better.

The more I read about this guild the better I like it. 

Forms Bar

December 4, 2007 Posted by | Raiding, World of Warcraft | 5 Comments

Guild drama hits home. Sort of.

I got serious over the last week or so logging on to get back into the swing of things.  Not quite ready to starting raiding multiple nights a week, but I did want to knock out some quests (STILL not crowned Queen of the Ogres), get used to my new UI and keybindings and just generally have some fun.

I found out my guild no longer exists.

That’s not completely fair.  GuildFu tells me we have 233 members.  All I know is whenever I logged in, day or night, there was at most about 7 other guildies logged in; and I didn’t recognize any of them. 

Eventually, someone I knew logged in and I whispered them to ask what happened.  Seems that our guild leader left to start a serious raiding guild and most of the good players went with him.  Of course that starts a snowball effect with the end result being there is hardly anyone left other than alts. 

As far as the drama part?  You be the judge – it sounds like it was all above board and everyone was an adult about it, so that doesn’t sound very dramatic.  However, most of the level 70’s that are still around say it “came out of the blue” one day and were disappointed that our GL didn’t try to “fix” the guild versus start a new one.  Okay – maybe that counts as a little bit of drama, but probably a stretch.

Personally, I take this as a positive story.  Yea, no one likes to see their guild break up, but given all the crazy guild drama storiesyou read about, I’m kind of proud of my guild that we didn’t devolve into that kind of activity over the breakup.  It wasn’t caused by guild drama and it didn’t generate guild drama.  You won’t read about this kind of thing in the news or on WoW Insider, but there are mature people that play this game.

And I can’t say I blame our guild leader.  While I always felt I was part of a helpful, positive, fun guild, they were a bit lax about raiding.  The normal stuff – people not showing up on time, cancelling without notification, showing up not buffed or repaired, etc.  So I respect our guild leader’s decision to start a new guild that is more focused.  Should he have “fixed” our guild?  Who knows.  I don’t know about your guild, but in ours there was definitely a core of 15 to 20 raiders that were good, then another 20 or 30 wannabes.  Is it his responsibility to train those wannabes or focus on building something great with the folks that get it?  I don’t know there is a “right” answer to that question. 

One comment kind of caught me by surprise.  Both of the people I got my information from (one still in guild, one that moved to new guild), said something to the effect of “I think our guild just got too big.”  What does that mean?  Does the size of a guild have an impact on the seriousness brought to raiding?  I’d be interested in your thoughts on this one.

So where does that leave Amanna?  Well, I had been researching new guild for just this reason the last month or so.  If I was going to get back into playing, I knew I wouldn’t be playing every night anymore, so I wanted to maximize my playtime with folks that liked to have fun and help fellow guildies, but also approached raiding with some seriousness.   I used Jutsu to find guilds on my server that seemed to be at the same content progression as myself, and was checking out some of the guild recruitment ads on Guild Cafe.

Then yesterday I logged in and was talking to one of the people still in the guild that I knew.  She told me about the guild she transferred to (Return from the Edge) and told me to apply if I was interested.  I checked out their guild page and they sound like a good guild.  (If you’re on Eldre’Thalas and looking for a new guild, check them out).  Reasonable size at around 70 currently and focused on end-game content but dedicated to helping others and having fun.  Their current raid schedule is Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.  That may sound pretty disjointed to you, but it’s a perfect fit for me in that my committment to my spouse is to not play over the weekend. 

What really got me is their DKP system.  You can check out the math here, but basically you earn two kinds of points: Effort Points (EP) and Gear Points (GP).   Effort Points are awarded for things like showing up on time for a raid, downing a boss, agreeing to be a sub (AND staying online), etc.  Gear Points are awarded when you get gear during a run.  These two point totals then define a ratio called your Priority.  Priority = EP / GP.  Priority is then used as the determining factor of who gets a drop during a raid.  (EP and GP points are a running total and any point awarded drops off after 2 1/2 months).  So, the more effort you put out, the higher your priority in getting that next piece of gear you want.  Conversely, as you get more gear, your priority drops and players with less gear’s priority goes up.

I really like this scheme.  It appears to get away from one of the main problems with DKP in that the people that raid all the time have a huge bank of points to outbid more casual players.  Also, this guild has a rule that you are only allowed one Priority gear award per run, so they definitely focus on spreading the wealth around.  Combined with both points falling out of your total after a couple months, I think this is a pretty sane approach to loot distribution. 

Other “rules” and guidelines outlined on the site appeal to me too.  Things like cutting out the profanity in open channels, getting Effort Points for helping out lowbies, and remaining active in the guild.  If anyone is looking for some template guild guidelines, check these out – I like them.

Much of the functionality on the site is provided via a guild website solution, DKP System.com.  Their site isn’t real flashy, but very functional.  If you’re looking for a guild site solution, then take a look at these guys.

I haven’t applied yet (I logged last night with Resurrection Sickness, lol), but plan on soon.  Their Druid recruitment is currently closed, but I was told to mention that I was referred by the person I was talking to.  Either way – I’m on my way and hope to be in a fun, active guild and playing regularly again very soon.

Forms Bar

November 5, 2007 Posted by | Raiding, World of Warcraft | 3 Comments

Kara-better

It’s late and I need sleep, but a much better Kara experience tonight.  Guild got a group together to go back on the key from last week.  Maiden – down on second attempt.  Two epic drops – [That which Amanna can’t use] and [That which Amanna doesn’t need].

 On to Moroes.  Took about 4 resets but we finally got him.  The Pocket watch drops and I’m rolling against only one other, but lose 28 to 50.   Crap. 

Much better experience though.  Good run for our group B and my only second time in (first on Moroes).

Health was up to 16K with all buffs.

Good night.

July 23, 2007 Posted by | Raiding, World of Warcraft | 5 Comments

Karaflop!

Since I wouldn’t want to kill off regular commentor Slipslappy, here’s a brief overview of my initial foray into Karazhan last night.

Gee – is the post title giving it away?

I guess in retrospect my expectations were probably too high.  As I’ve mentioned, I am not in an elite guild.  Adding to this was we are now running two Kara groups, and I was in “Group 2” – read that “N00b Group”.  Our leaders were familiar with the raid, but we had a lot of first timers in the group along with myself.  That also probably means we were on the low end of the gear scale too.

Even so…

I felt we had a tough time.  Ventured in around 9:00 and stopped at Midnight.  What did we get done in 3 hours?  Downed Attumen and wiped once on Maiden.  That’s it.

I struggle a lot with my guild.  I love the fact that they are easy-going, let everyone play as much or little as they want, are for the most part mature grownups and have a lot of fun.  What drives me crazy is how this translates into a lot of wasted time.  Guild rules call for raids to start at 8:45 with invites tossed out at 8:15.  So why the heck did we not even get started until 9:00?  When we’re clearing trash mobs, we almost always have a minute or two go by in between pulls.  Okay, people have to drink, etc. but why are we all standing around?  Mark the next part and pull.   I’ve got into the habit of not hitting Enrage until the mob is headed towards us.  Literally, I’ll hit Enrage when the raid leader says “Ready?”, and most of my rage will be gone by the time he pulls.  Frustrating.

So, anyway we wiped on Midnight/Attumen about 3 times before downing him.  With the fast respawns (and the screwing around), we had to clear back to them every time.  Lots of trash, no good drops, big repair bills.  Once we finally got them down – no good drops for Amanna.  The plate wrists and cloth gloves.  But at least they were down.  We cleared the next room and I got to talk to the NPC to complete the Assessing the Situation quest.

We headed back and went up the stairs toward the Maiden.  Took a while to get there, and wiped on the first try.  Since it was around midnight at this point, the raid leader called it a night.

Hey – don’t get me wrong.  I know we all have to learn and I’d be the first to admit I made a ton of mistakes last night.  It just seems like we bring an instance mentality to raids.  I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

So, have I kept you in suspense long enough Slip?

Not much for Amanna – I just got one greenie via greed.  However, I did make Friendly with The Violet Eye, so once we broke up, I headed back outside and picked up my initial Violet Badge.  That was my main objective anyway.  Getting a ring that gives me 294 armor (1617 in Bear), +27 Stamina and +13 defense isn’t a bad night’s work. 

My one big observation of the night was how much harder to build and hold aggro it seems in Kara compared to other instances.  I’ve had no problem in the past holding aggro on instance bosses, in some cases even stealing it from Pallies or Warriors while in Bear.  Last night though, I really had to work to keep mobs under control and track them down from time to time.  Now – I don’t think our group was very disciplined in watching their threat meters, but any observations or comments from you Kara veterans out there would be welcomed.  Are the mobs just that much harder to control in there, do I have a gear issue, or is this just normal? 

There’s always next time.

Forms Bar

July 19, 2007 Posted by | Raiding, World of Warcraft | 13 Comments

Tonight…. tonight…..

KarazhanKarazhan.  Finally!

(Oh, and only one other leather-wearer signed up for raid at this point.  Hope for leather drops!)

July 18, 2007 Posted by | Raiding, World of Warcraft | 10 Comments

Black Temple Attunement – Cliff Notes

The good folks over at Wowhead have added sections for The Black Temple and Mount Hyjal.  My reaction?  “I need to pirate that overview onto my blog and make it look like I’m on top of all this stuff”.  😉

Attunement for The Black Temple:

  1. Complete the Tablets of Baa’ri (Aldor / Scryers) quest line which is a fairly lengthly questline in Shadowmoon Valley which also requires you to find an NPC in Tempest Keep: The Arcatraz.
  2. Complete attunement for Serpentshrine Cavern.  Note: As of June 19, 2007 there is no longer an attunement for Serpentshrine Cavern. The quests have been kept in the game for lore and challenge of the quest line.
  3. Venture into Serpentshrine Cavern and speak to Seer Olum who is located in Fathom-Lord Karathress‘s room and accept The Secret Compromised.
  4. Return to Akama in Shadowmoon Valley.
  5. Complete attunement for Tempest Keep: The Eye.  Note: As of June 19, 2007 there is no longer an attunement for The Eye. The quests have been kept in the game for lore and challenge of the quest line.
  6. Complete Ruse of the Ashtongue by killing Al’ar in Tempest Keep: The Eye.
  7. Complete attunement for Hyjal Summit.
  8. Enter Hyjal Summit and kill Rage Winterchill and loot Time-Phased Phylactery for An Artifact From the Past.
  9. Turn in the linking quests to A’dal in Shattrath City and then to Xi’ri outside the Black Temple.
  10. Xi’ri will give you A Distraction for Akama which rewards you with Medallion of Karabor.

You are now attuned for The Black Temple. 

Looking at the epics in the loot table for the raid made me drool so much I had to clean off my desk.  Enjoy.

Forms Bar

June 12, 2007 Posted by | Attunements, Burning Crusade, Druid Gear, Raiding, World of Warcraft | Leave a comment

Booming it up in Karazhan!

(Amanna says – this is Cybeline’s first post, and an interesting one at that.  Please give her a warm welcome via comments).

I’ve been to Karazhan before but always as the Tree of Life to fill a main healer spot.  It was enjoyable to take Tree form out for a spin and to test out the deep resto talent form — I’ve always had a deep balance spec — but I could barely contain my excitement when the assignments for Wednesday’s Kara runs came out and I was slotted for dps.

The moonkin was set loose in Kara!  Woot!  Or should I say, “Hoot!”

Good preparation for any instance run is key to success and for Kara it is even more so.  Remember to bring plenty of reagents for Gift of the Wild because chances are good that you’ll be buffing both groups.  Get mana pots, whether you make them yourself, have a supplier, or buy them off the auction house.  When you think you have enough, put even more in your bags.  Trust me, you are going to need them especially if, like me, you save your Innervate for the healers.  Finally, make sure you bring plenty of vendor water and/or ask the mage in your raid for lots of conjured water.  I don’t normally need to drink much while questing or 5 man instancing, but for Karazhan it is a good idea to keep the mana bar topped off as often and as quickly as possible so you don’t slow down the progression of the raid.

So I’ve got my reagents, my mana pots, my drinks, my key to Kara, and my +damage trinkets are set to hot buttons.  I’m ready to boom it up.

The first several pulls in the instance are bread and butter trash mobs.  The priests have the hard work in keeping targets shackled until it’s time for focus fire on their target, so my job here is to listen to the raid leader’s instructions and burn down the right target, carefully keeping my threat below that of the tanks.  (During one trash pull in between Attumen and Moroes, I did have a series of chain crits that pulled aggro from the tank…gotta love the way Nature’s Grace facilitates chain critting.  Luckily I am in an awesome guild.)

The first boss battle — Midnight and Attumen — didn’t pose any particular challenge to the moonkin.  Again, listening to the raid leader and making sure to keep Moonfire and Insect Swarm ticking away on the focus fire target were my goals here in addition to staying flexible.  If healing fell behind or if a downed guildie needed a battle rez or if I needed to help decurse the melees, I needed to be ready to drop down to caster form as fast as possible. 

More bread and butter trash mobs lie in wait between Attumen and Moroes…but this time there are some AoE pulls to deal with.  For those pulls, I stayed in caster form.  The mage or warlock in the group are going to burn the mobs down really fast and they are going to need lots of healing.  So I slapped on some Lifeblooms and Rejuvenations as soon as the AoE started in order to boost the main healers. 

There are also a few mobs in this section that cause party members to get tipsy and when they get tipsy, they need lots of healing.  Here I stayed in caster form too in order to quickly give a boost to healing if needed.

And then we were on to Moroes and his party of four.  This boss battle is definitely more challenging than the first with the garrotes that Moroes puts on selected party members.  My goals remain the same for this fight as with Attumen, but it’s a long one so in addition I kept a very close eye on mana consumption.  Here’s where having those all mana pots came in handy.  I didn’t wait to get into a desperate mana situation before taking remedial measures; once I hit 50%, I downed my first pot and kept on dpsing.  (My innervate had already gone to a healer.)  I did get dangerously low on mana by the time we were taking out the final target.  Moroes was long gone at this point and the target was getting low on HP.  So instead of using another pot, I put up a couple DoTs and then ran in for a bit of melee to help finish the last mob off.  (Elune’s Touch procced a few times, too, though I rarely rely on it for mana regen.)

The march through Karazhan continued after the downing of Moroes; on to the Opera Event!

More of the same here with the exception of a few pulls where this moonkin’s heart was warmed considerably.  (Have I mentioned that I am in the best guild?)  This is where the raid encountered some Skeletal Ushers and we paused for the leaders to do some strategizing.  Extra tanking was needed and there was some talk of using me as an offtank.  Eventually the decision was made to have one of the paladin healers take the offtank position while I was to be a main healer until the first target went down and freed up the paladin to return to healing. 

For me, this is what the moonkin brings to the raiding table.  Players can battle over whether or not a moonkin can top the damage charts; sometime I do top the chart and most times I don’t, but I’ll sidestep that issue.  Flexibility and versatility is what I bring to the raid.  In one night, I burned down targets, I offhealed and main healed, I innervated healers, I battle rezzed, and I almost was called on to do some offtanking.

Beyond the sense of accomplishment and the thrill of raiding with my big feathery owl, I carry with me the warm fuzzies from comments made by guildies, among those being the expressed desire never to leave home without a moonkin, the delight in the massive healing crits (I think the moonkin aura helped with that!), and especially the praise from my guild master on how nice it is to have a moonkin in the raid.

P.S.  We did end up making it to the stage where we found Romulo and Julianne waiting for us.  We made two runs at them before the raid ran past its scheduled end, so the doomed lovers will be waiting for us when we reenter Karazhan again.  Parting is such sweet sorrow!

May 8, 2007 Posted by | Raiding, Strategy - Balance, World of Warcraft | 8 Comments