Intervention: Raids, Your Friends, and You.

•May 13, 2008 • 5 Comments

It happens to every raider: Your friends want to spend a night on the town and enjoy your company, but it’s raid night and you haven’t told them you’re a Tier 6 bad ass in a virtual world and you’ve got an appointment with 24 strangers to kill some dragon or another. Eventually there is a time when you have to tell your friends that you can’t hang out because you’re a Raider. It’s happened to me a few times, and it’s never any easier to deal with.

Getting my friends to understand that I raid has been a very difficult process. Some of them are former players, and are therefore understanding with my position as a raiding rogue. Others, however, treat my forays into Azeroth as treason, saying that I am putting the game before them. Communication and compromise have helped me deal with my friends who are a little less-than-pleased when I have to leave abruptly to go and raid.

If you’re in the dating scene, it gets even harder. The first date goes wonderfully, and she can’t get enough of you. You start to see each other regularly, but for some reason you can’t talk on the phone after 8:30 on Tuesday or Thursdays and you all but disappear on Sunday afternoon. Some thing’s up, and if you want to avoid any suspicion, it’s best you confess sooner rather than later. Personally, I’ve had a variety of different reactions, and they range from piqued interest to absolute disdain for the game and anyone who plays it. It’s all dependant on the person and how you deal with it. If you’re really lucky, she might even join you in the world of Azeroth!

I’ve even been kidnapped from a raid one night! My friends absolutely refused to allow me to leave them to raid, and being an hour from home, I had no option but to miss out. Although, to be honest, missing 10 hours of Molten Core (and subsequently wiping at least a dozen times on the same trash) was refreshing, to say the least.

I’m curious as to how other deal with their loved ones when it comes to raid time.

Mistakes and how to deal with them.

•May 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Everyone makes mistakes in raids, like forgetting to kicking a certain spell or running the wrong direction on Mother. Such mistakes are forgivable in early raid instances as they have limited consequences, but in later raids like Black Temple and Sunwell, these mistakes can prove very fatal to you and your raid.

The trick is to accept that you’ve messed up and move on. You may upset a few raiders or even your raid leader, but as long as you didn’t “accidentally” ninja all 3 tokens and a random epic off of Archimonde, most mistakes are forgivable.

Step 1: Making the mistake.

This is by far the easiest part. All it takes is a slight lapse in judgement or a forgotten step on a very intricate fight, and all of the sudden your healers are screaming for help, your DPS is crying bloody murder and your tanks are silent. With Anger.

Examples of mistakes include (but are in no way limited to):

1. Switching from bear form to cat form to try and kite Azgalor back to the tanks (Which failed miserably, meaning another 30 minute clear of trash).

2. Getting stuck on a bench just before pulling the Illidari Council (Here’s looking at you, Mallet.)

3. Whirlwinding a pack of sheep.

4. And lastly: Forgetting that your bar mod doesn’t switch when you become a ghost during the Gorefiend fight, and not having the appropriate macros set up. (This was an expensive mistake, to say the least.)

Step 2: Accepting failure.

You messed up, and a few guys are not pleased. There’s no point in arguing or blaming lag (although it is quite convenient), just make a note of what you did wrong and resolve to not do it again. There will be more raids and more mistakes, just make sure they happen few and far between.

This isn’t to say you should just take being yelled at. If there was absolutely nothing you could do to avoid the circumstances that caused you to folley, then by all means, plead your case. Just make sure your unavoidable consequence isn’t “The big bad lag monster” or “Wife Aggro”.

Like I said before, everybody makes mistakes. Just make sure you don’t make one very often or you may end up looking for a new raid group.

Step 3: Don’t look back.

 Nobody likes it when they wipe because of someone else’s mistake. People get upset and take it out on the person at fault. Should this person be you, don’t let it get to you. You know what you did wrong and you know what you’re going to do differently. There’s no reason to beat yourself up afterwards for not doing X or Y a certain way.

Hell, in a week or two you’ll be able to joke about it with your guldies between pulls.

Websites every Rogue should know about.

•April 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while.

Through my talks with various other Rogues, I’ve come to realize that perhaps not all of them understand what makes a raiding Rogue “Good”. I covered the basics before, but I think a list of resources would be beneficial. It’s up to players like Bruce to use them, however.

Shadowpanther.net – I use this as a sort of “Gear Checklist” while raiding to see if those Bracers or that Mace truly are an upgrade, or if my DKP can be used elsewhere for greater effect. There are some tough decisions you will have to make every once in a while, but in general you should roll on what would benefit you most.

Elitist Jerks – This is a link most any class could benefit from. There are class discussions for all classes and they go as far as determining the optimal stats to choose at a certain gear level and beyond. To be more specific, every rogue should read through this thread.

Keep the blades sharp and the blood flowing,

-Deidrich

Raid Night 1: My Kingdom for a Rogue

•April 17, 2008 • 1 Comment

Tonight we’re raiding Black Temple and I figured I’d try a posting style that my friend (and healer) Mallet introduced me to: Live Blogging!

I’ll be updating this page during downtime in the raid.

Tonight we’ll be throwing ourselves at the dread guild-stopper: Gurtogg Bloodboil! Expect a lot of frustration and…

Never mind, looks like we’re clearing Mount Hyjal tonight.

9:04: Invites have been out for 34 minutes, we’re still missing 5 or so raiders.

9:06: Executive decision passed down to ditch BT and head for Hyjal.

9:24: First Pull…

9: 42: Winterchill down. You have no idea how handy those PvP Trinkets are in this fight.. Pop it during Ice Bolt, Ice Block and Win. He Dropped a [Tracker's Blade] and [Bracers of Martyrdom].

9:49: Second Round commencing!

10:10: Anatheron Down! Dropped [Don Alejandro's Money Belt], [Hatefury Mantle], and an Epic Gem Recipe.

Rogue Tip: It was mentioned prior to the fight that Vanishing or Feigning Death may interrupt or cancel the casting of ‘Inferno’ on yourself. After testing this myself, I can say that Vanishing WILL interrupt the first cast of inferno, but Anatheron WILL RECAST Inferno on you when he sees you again. This can be useful for buying yourself some time, I guess but ti would be best to save it for a more important occasion.

10:23: Lots of waiting around for.. who knows what.

10:30: 3rd Wave Has Commenced.

10:55: [Belt of Seething Fury], [Valestalker Girdle] dropped by Kaz’Rogal! Note: Resisted or Missed ‘Distracts’ are a horrible thing when using them on a 25 Man Boss.

11:00: Got subbed out for Bruce. Missed the Azgalor fight (Bawww..) and the trash (YES!).

11:40: Stepped back in and did 1 attempt on Archimonde, wiped and the raid was called.

Not really an eventful night. But I did hit Exalted tonight so I should probably go get my Ring from Scale of the Sands.. Good stuff! Come back soon, I should have another post coming within the next few days!

5 Signs That You’re Doing It Wrong

•April 1, 2008 • 1 Comment

I’ve been playing this game for quite some time now, and through the years the game has changed substantially. Game mechanics, new stats, new tricks to use, but one thing has remained constantly the same: Some people just don’t know how to play! And so here is a brief list of things to look out for as a Combat Rogue (This may apply to some other specs, but I haven’t played them enough to be able to blog about them with confidence.)

1 – Slice and Dice is not up 100% of the time

If you spend more than 1 second in a fight without SnD up, you’ve failed the rogue community and you’re free to leave the game. This ability is essential to your DPS and if you’re not having trouble keeping it up you can either A) Start using more combo points for SnD, or B) Reroll another class.

2 – Dry Blades!

As a rogue, never leave the house without your poisons. I carry a stack of every kind of poison on me at all times, out of habit. But as a general rule of thumb you’re going to want to carry Deadly Poison, Wound Poison, and maybe Crippling and Instant Poison on you at all times. You never know when a Boss fight is going to require you to trounce his attempts at healing or when some pesky Troll is going to try and escape your blades.

3 – Adrenaline Rush and Blade Flurry are not on cooldown.

If you are not using AR and Blade Flurry constantly, you are also gimping your DPS. Now, I say this with a word of caution, because if you decide that popping Blade Flurry and running into a group of Sheeped casters is a good idea, maybe you deserve the consequences.

4 – Windfury does what?!

If there is a Shaman in your group and he’s dropping Windfury Totems, it would generally be a very good idea to Remove your mainhand poison. Now, I may be insulting some of your intelligence out there, but this is an easy mistake to make. Just don’t forget to do it.

5 – Eviscerate or Rupture?

As a Combat Rogue, Rupture is your friend. If it bleeds, Rupture it. There is no other explanation other than to say that if this is news to you I shall mock you, repeatedly. Thou shalt only Eviscerate when thine Rupture should fail!

The Life and Times of Deidrich Pt. 3 – Mediocrity and Success.

•March 23, 2008 • 1 Comment

This is the third part of a small series of posts covering my past in regards to raiding guilds. The story so far consists of the horrors and desertion of my first guild. This post covers the tale of my second raiding guild, after a brief rebellion.

Settling down..

After the dust had settled from the impromptu rebellion, the time had come to figure out how the guild was to be run. Did we want officers? Democracy? A council?

I didn’t much care how the raiding was done, as long as it got done. Eventually the guild settled on a Democratic council type system in which there would be no officers, and issues would be resolved among all members. (This system eventually devolved into an officer system later on.)

For the first few months we made solid progress in Karazhan, eventually defeating Prince Malchezaar and continuing oward to Gruul’s lair. Things were running smoothly within the guild at first. People were showing up, raiding, and generally doing their thing. Eventually, a new problem arose:

Commitment.

Raiders were taking off regularly, not showing for raids and even during raids they were screwing up the simplest of maneuvers or orders. It was essentially a repeat of my first guild with a different name. The saddest part? It took me nearly 6 months to realize this.

All the signs were there: We were constantly starting an hour or more late on raids, we had to replace raid members faster than most people change clothes, and we had been stuck on the same (low-end) boss for 4 Months! In their defense, they did only raid 2 days out of the week for three hours, but that is hardly a serious effort in any case.

So, after talking to a few close friends of mine within the guild, I took some time to ponder my next move. Fortunately enough, this occurred during a break from school and over a winter holiday so I had plenty of time to think things over. The thought that I couldn’t shake was “Is this guild really going to kill Illidan in the next year?”. The answer was No, and I knew it.

A week after returning from my Winter break, I had told one of the officers I was thinking of leaving the guild for greener pastures, but I had told him to remain quiet about it. Not even a day later, the Guild Master approaches me with a bold whisper, plainly asking “Are you leaving the guild?”. Just to put things in to perspective: I was their top DPS by a margin of 200,000 Damage on most bosses, and I knew the instances they were attempting like the back of my hand. To them it was like losing a main tank.

I liked the Gm, so I told him as nicely as I could that I was unhappy with the progression and I was looking to put my $15/Month to better use. No frills, no drama, he accepted my answer and wished me luck. I began looking for new guilds to join before leaving the current one so that I could minimize my in-between time. Upon finding one, I swiftly switched guilds and didn’t look back..

To this day I receive whispers from old guildies asking me to get them into my current raiding guild. This specific guild has recently (a week ago from today’s writing) disbanded and split off to join many other guilds.

Disappointing.

I left the old guild and joined a more well known guild on the server that had already cleared most of the way through Serpentshrine Cavern and Tempest Keep. For the first week I was to be put on a trial to see if I was worthy of a raiding spot. I took on the opportunity and was quickly saddened by what I heard.

It sounded to me like a loosely gathered bunch of people dicking around on vent and somehow manging to get through an instance. Another way to describe it would be a drunken frat party for nerds who play WoW. Despite all of this, I was still impressed with the progress I had made that night, considering I went from a guild who could barely down Lurker to a guild who downed 3 or 4 bosses with (relative) ease.

This was to be my first and last raid with this guild.

Literally the day after I joined, a literal shitstorm hit the guild and a key raider had left. For some very odd reason, instead of finding someone to take his place, the guild master and a few others had decided that the right course of action would be to completely stop raiding.

This, of course sent me on my way to finding a new guild.

2008: A Guild Odyssey

I went searching for a new guild with a new slogan in mind: “Raids or Bust!”. I say this because if I wasn’t able to find a new guild to raid with, I was on the verge of just quitting the game altogether.

One thing to keep in mind was that I hadn’t the slightest idea of the best way to find a good guild. My approach seemed to work fine, however. I searched the World of Warcraft Forums. I put an emphasis on this because the forums can easily be described as the breeding ground of all that is not right in Azeroth.

After a day or two of searching I discovered a guild that seemed promising: They had cleared all of TK and SSC except for the final boss in each. After talking to the guild leader, I submitted an application and waited for my approval. It never came, as I had been rejected for the most useless reason ever: Age.

Resolution!

In desperation I reached out to my next choice on the list of guilds I wanted to join. I quereyed all members of the guild via the /who command, and picked an important sounding name. A whisper or two later and I had the name of the Guild Master.

I had no idea what to expect, so I put on my best attitude and whipped out a thesaurus to use the most eloquent language to try and impress this guy.. I guess it worked because after a few minutes of probing I had been informed that this guild was indeed looking for some new Rogues.

Rejoice! I had a shot! Here’s the kicker though: I had to compete with another rogue for a main raiding spot.

To make a very long story short, I now raid 3 times a week for a total of 11 hours and my new guild is progressing quite steadily in Black Temple and Mount Hyjal.

The Life and Times of Deidrich Pt. 2 – Rebellion.

•March 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

In my last post, I covered my experience with my first raiding guild on Ner’Zhul. After a few months I became highly dissatisfied, especially after Burning Crusade came out and all the things I disliked from pre-BC carried over into instances like Karazhan. However, an opportunity to change all that presented itself and I was all too ready to accept.

Rebellion!

As previously mentioned, I had grown very tired with my previous raid leaders and various raiders. After months of dedication, I was continually bothered by the fact that almost nobody was taking raiding as seriously as I was. Players would not show up, raid leaders would call a raid prematurely, their main raiders failed at everything.. stuff was bad to say the least.

It was February of 2007 and Burning Crusade was coming out. All 9 million members of this guild were clambering over who was getting it and how quickly they would reach 70. But at this point I was beginning to question if I should even bother. I had already spent nearly a year in this guild and raid progression was abysmal. I got over these feelings for the most part and went out and bought Burning Crusade. At first I very much enjoyed the idea of leveling once again, but somewhere in the grind to 70 I lost all interest in playing. In all honesty there wasn’t much to look forward too. A brief synopsis follows:

  1. Hit 70
  2. Attempt to raid
  3. Fail at raiding
  4. Repeat Steps 2-4

Realizing this, I took a 2 month break from the game. But, like any good addiction, after a while, I came crawling back. With a new hunger to play the game, I grinded my way to 70 in a heartbeat and resumed the horrible task of trying to raid Karazhan with this guild.. With the same results.

It’s around this time that a unique opportunity presented itself.. One of the officers hinted at a possible “Rebellion” of sorts. I don’t know how they organized it, but sure enough after a few weeks of planning, a few key players and officers quit, leaving most people highly upset. After hearing about all of this, I decided to check up on some of the players who had quit to see what all the commotion was about.

The players that had quit the guild did so because they were just as tired of the raiding situation as I am. One of the former officers even invited me to join the newly formed raiding guild.

I was hesitant. As much as I hated the guild’s raiding situation, I had grown much too close to the people inside to just up and leave them. After all, it had been a year from the time I had joined to this solitary moment. But, like I mentioned previously, I play this game to raid not to socialize. (Plus, $15 a month is alot to pay for just a fancy chat room)

I underestimated how hard it would be, though. I was worried the entire guild (Over 9,000? Maybe.) would hate me forever. I was unsure how things would turn out. But surely enough, I typed that magical command that guild masters hate and loot ninjas love:

/gquit

And it was over. I got invited to my new guild, much to the surprise of my old and new guild mates alike. I was greeted warmly by the same people I had already come to know and love previously, so the transition was an easy one. I even got a few congratulations from my old guild mates, which I found a bit curious.

And so ends part 2 of my story! The next post will cover the success (or lack thereof) of my new guild, and the Holiday that changed it all! Keep checking up on this blog for the rest of the story as I make time to write it!

 
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