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Archive for February, 2010

The wannabe raid leaders

So yesterday partly out of guild and because I had signed up for it I got into the 25 man Icc pug my guild has been starting to put together the last few weeks… only to find out that since I’m leading the 10 mans I would be leading the 25 mans also…. *groan* 

Again we had two wannabes raid leader in the group yesterday. You know kids with loud voices who can’t just shut up and always have a better strategy than yours and just have to explain it to you while you are clearing trash. Because of course if they don’t the raid is going to fail without their infinite wisdom. I had pictures of boiling vats of acid and me throwing people in them running through my head.

Here’s what boggles me… we had a near perfect run with a single wipe on a boss because one of the wannabe couldn’t handle more than one add at a time. We one shotted the rest of the first wing no problem at all and still they felt the need to keep talking,asking for assist and putting their input all the time. Everything is going fine and still they feel the need to keep talking. Either they’re desperate for attention or they have scary trust issues, probably both at the same time I’m thinking. Even when you threaten them they shut up for a few seconds and start again soon after. I swear to god its a living nightmare. It’s even better when you realise they don’t even know how to do some of the bosses.

So to all those wannabe raid leaders who feel the need to tell other players how to play please STFU! Seriously, just stfu. When we’ll need your infinite wisdom we’ll ask you. In the meantime be quiet and take your loot like a good lil’ raider. There’s a reason why your not a raid leader and you keep switching guild and server by the way. It’s because you suck and should first learn how to play before telling other people what to do.

PS: for those wondering I still had fun yesterday.. go figure. Maybe I’m a masochist.

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The long wait

Last week I was writing about how I was starting to feel burned out with WoW and one week later things have not improved.

I’ll admit it straight up, I’m bored at the moment with WoW and MMOs in general. Or rather I’m having a blast in Icecrown citadel but the rest of the game looks so bland right now its crazy. Seriously, if it wasnt for that raid I’d be probably unsuscribing right now or just logging in once in a while to run a few dungeons with friends.

I’ve been running old stuff and doing weird and crazy things to try to change things up a bit but it’s not working great. Sure it helps but still… I’m noticing too that I’m not the only doing weird stuff to try to relieve the boredom, people are working on rare mounts, achievements, pvp, anything to pass the time.  Come raid time we’re all pumped and rearing to go but in between… meh….

As some people suggested I’ve cut down a lot on my playing time, stopped doing stuff because I had to and it’s not really working. Honestly I’m at a loss as to what to do. The fact other bloggers like Pike closing shop because they are bored too just drives the point home.

Or maybe it’s just that February down… I hope it is…

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Plagueworks review

You might remember when I started doing ICC I posted about my impressions of the first wing of ICC and its bosses. Now that I’ve downed two of the bosses of the second wing and have good grasp on Putricide I feel I can give my honest opinions on the Plagueworks. This was from our 10 man group so it’s entirely possible some details are different on the 25man version.

General Overview

The Plagueworks is where you will see if your raid is composed of raiders or if they just want access to easy loot. The gloves are off and your raid coordination will be  truly tested. For me at least, this is where Icecrown really starts to feel like the challenge I envisioned when thinking about the Lich King fortress. Hard and little room for forgiveness.

Festergut

The simplest encounter of the wing but also a big gear/dps check. The mechanics are simple enough so it comes down to whether or not your healer can heal through big damage, if your tanks can take it and if your dps knows how to dps. From what I’ve gathered if you can down Festergut then, gearwise, your good until the Lich King.

Rotface

As much as Festergut is a gear check this boss will test your raid skills. There’s a ton of stuff going on and everyone in the raid needs to be on the ball. There’s a lot of raid awareness required from everyone in the raid wich means some roles like dps will be forced to do things they are not used to like keeping track off the offtank and kitting an add to a specific spot. It is also a good way to see who can remain calm when there’s crazy stuff going all around the place.

Professor Putricide

Take the previous two fights and merge them together. This is both a skill and gear check. On the surface it looks like a simple fact but there’s need to be a lot of awareness from everyone in the raid and perfect execution is the key. Don’t expect to just breeze through this boss as you will need quite a few attempts to master him. personally, I love it!

I’ll finish by saying that I love the Plagueworks. While the first wing was somewhat simple in terms of what to do the second one is where you really get to the fun bosses and have to work for your kills.

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Progress at last!

First of all if you have been following the blogosphere you know about the recent Allods s-storm, if not go check out this post by Syp and follow the linkage. My  line in the sand is this: if micro transactions are required to play the game I don’t want anything to do with said game. I get the feeling lots of people have the same.

So this past weekend we tried our new raid schedule of friday/saturday to see if that  would solve our lag problems and allow us to move forward in ICC. Well, it was the right move because not only we’re we lag free but it also allowed us to get Rotface down for the first time on friday night and allow us a full night of progression the following day. I wish I could tell you all we owned the place but Putricide had fun chewing our balls for 2 hours straight and  we had a few tries on Dreamwalker. Still, an excellent raid week for a change.

The wipe counter

Once upon a time when I was raiding in vanilla WoW my raid leader told me that each raid had a “wipe counter” on it. That is to mean that until you would wipe X times in a raid there’s no way you would finish the content. When we had bad nights or  we were learning a new boss he would tell us that we just had brought down the wipe counter by a good number so we had less remaining.

The funny part is that it seemed to work rather well. If we wiped a lot on a boss one night the next we would have one or two wipes and then down the boss. After that we would rarely wipe since there was no wipes left on the counter.

This is how ICC feels once your past the first wing. My guild got the first wing on farm right now. And when I mean on farm I mean we one shot everything in under 90 minutes and that includes the extra frost giant we had to get for the weekly raid quest. We even one shotted Festergut again, a boss wich used to give us trouble. And then we hit Rotface and suddenly we are struggling. Is it because we suddenly started to suck and forgot how to play?

Nope, it’s simply because we know the first bosses by heart and that everyone knows exactly what they need to do. Once we get to Rotface however we don’t know the fight as well, it’s more complex and people are learning what to do. But attempt by attempt we would get him  lower until finally he bit the dust. I was tanking the oozes that night and I can tell you it ranks up there with the most intense fights I ever had to do. It was awesome and it also felt like I was truly doing something challenging so thanks Blizzard for giving me a real raid.

Wipes vs Progess

The following night with Rotface down we spent the better part of the evening dying on Putricide. The fight may seem simple  but its a really hard one in terms of coordination and execution. There’s a lot of stuff to know and everyone needs to do everything perfectly in order to get him down. We started the night with the fight under total chaos and me not totally mastering the abomination control to finish the night with tweaking details in order to get him to phase 3 faster. We managed to get him to phase 3 twice with one of those two times giving us a solid shot at trying to finish him off but sadly our healers weren’t prepared for the tank switch. I’m not angry tough because it just means next time they will be ready.

Over the night our dps wich had taken a huge hit as they were learning the fight managed to get back about 500dps back due to them learning the fight, we would get less and less deaths due to random events and on average Putricide was going lower on each attempt. Sure at the end of two hours people were tired and mistakes were being made but as far as I’m concerned we went from a chaotic fight to a controlled one in a single night. The rest is practice from that point. Some people would call this failing but for me this is progression and raiding… and it’s normal too.

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The story of the rogue who wanted to be king

So we had this rogue recently in our guild (lie, it was not a rogue) who was a good enough member. Besides saying hi he would rarely speak up, he showed up when he said he would be showing up and he was a good enough player (ie he kinda sucked but he got the job done). A dream raider overall.

Precious (that’s what we’ll call him), as a rogue, figured he was doing an essential job and service to our guild and he had hatched this plan for guild domination where we would all recognize his skills, we would make him officer and we would weep tears when he would not be on. But then, like Gandalf getting to Helm’s deep at the last moment(oh yeah! geek time!), Precious would log on and save us from the fiery pits of failure and all would rejoice and sign his name all over Dalaran.

Delusion is a wonderful thing.

The only problem is that unlike Gandalf, Precious cannot self-ressurect and he cannot yet solo a Balrog (Gandalf a shammy?).  Also, he was not so great too wich meant we were the one doing the saving more often than not.

So we carried on with Precious for a while thinking all was well with our somewhat sucky  but not so bad rogue while he was thinking about what pose he would take for his 16 feet tall gold statue we were obviously making.

This all came to a head when one day Precious logged a bit late for a raid and we already had a full group with another rogue in it. Precious ask for a raid spot and we answer him the group is full, guild life carries on like nothing happened. Behind the scenes however it’s another story entirely, Prescious is off to the armory to check on the other rogue to make sure he doesn’t have competition. And it’s a moment of joy and happiness when Precious realize the second rogue is less geared than he is.

Reassured, Precious hangs around for the inevitable failure of the rogue so he can come save us. Things take a turn for the worst however when he hears one of the raiders say “Hey Precious, Rogue2 is really awesome, we have to bring him more often!”.

Struck with fear and horror, Precious knows he has to turns things around if he wants to keep his raid spot and this is where a good player would tell himself its time to shape up and show how good he really is. Fight for the title! But no, Precious is way over battling for the commoners for his god-given birthright and he needs to get rid of the usurper another way.

So Precious, trying to look unconcerned, mention in passing the following day that we should be more respectful of the guild ranks and that a raider should have priority over the rest of the rabble. And the guild answers back something to the effect that if you can do the job and your present there’s no reason to exclude someone based on rank…

Damn… Precious plan is foiled, he tried calling on his noble birth but we would have nothing of it. It was becoming clear that he would have to fight for his spot, a battle he knew he would loose if it came to it. After all, he had relied all his life on the fact rogues are a very much needed class by guilds and now he could not not rely on that. His future crown in jeopardy, he had to think fast…

Tomorrow! Hostile takeover or cunning escape plan? Stay tuned!

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Starting to feel the burn

I know all the signs, looking at other games, not feeling like logging in, doing content half-asleep, little stuff getting on my nerves…. yeah it looks like I’m bound for yet another WoW burnout. Yesterday for example I felt more like playing Lego: Star Wars of all things rather than logging on and facing a lagtastic night…. just like what happened.

I’ve been playing WoW since release and have raided since release. I’ve done every single instance so often I can sleepwalk in most of them. I have trouble staying awake while doing my daily Heroic these days. Logging in right now consists of doing my heroic, doing a few dailies, hoping the raid actually starts on time and that we don’t get screwed up by Blizzard.

It’s incredibly repetitive and I’m having less and less patience for when things go wrong, wich is the strongest telltale sign for me of an incoming burnout. Right now, ICC is an incredibly fun raid but all the problems the lag has generated sucks the fun right out of it. I can also see I’m not the only one feeling this way. Most of our core raiders don’t bother logging when there’s no raid. If it had been a guild I did not care about I would have unsuscribed from WoW but I really like them and my friends are playing too so I don’t really want to leave WoW.

I’ve made a list of other MMOs I could try in between WoW sessions to help me not getting burnt out and I’m honestly at a loss. Star Trek Online is not good enough to justify a subscription, I don’t really feel like going back to Lotro to get hit in the face by the Northdowns (suckiest zone ever) andF2P games like Allods just don’t appeal to me…  so I guess I’m stuck with WoW.

That said I think I will try not logging on when there’s nothing scheduled for the next few days. Maybe by forcing myself to take a step back from the game I’ll be able to rekindle the flame…

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No More!!! Enough already!!

Warning, nerd rage incoming!

It’s tuesday and guess where I’m not!  Icecrown citadel! And why do you think?? Because the fricking game is unplayable again!!! Seriously Blizzard needs to fix their stuff right now. No more waiting or excuses or we don’t know the problem. The plane is crashing it needs fixing now! Because of this damn weeklag we have been getting for the past few weeks my guild has lots close to half its raider core. Not directly but close enough. Because of the damn lag we have to reschedule raids, wich leads to people not being able to show up, wich leads to people who could show up loosing spots, or the weekdays raiders have to pug, and etc… etc…

It’s a nightmare and I want it to end right now!

Seriously, if this eventually kills my guild and forces me to start guild searching again because of a technical problem that’s been going on for two wafling months now I will desinstall the game and no amount of werewolves or world-ending dragons will bring me back to WoW. There I said it… I pay 15$ a month and the game should be playable on tuesday and wednesdays. So… fix it!

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