Big Crits

So I read Derevka’s post about Big Crits last night and was instantly hooked. I mean, instantly.

I highly recommend you go read Derevka’s post, but basically, Big Crits is a web series about a real end-game raiding guild in World of Warcraft. There are four episodes so far and I adore it.

It’s awesome for so many reasons, but the primary reason is that it isn’t just about focusing on the game and progression and the encounters. With the inclusion of talking heads (you know, when someone faces the camera and speaks their mind, like they do on The Office or Survivor or The Apprentice), they’re not just showing a guild downing a boss. They’re having their actual guild members talk about their actual raid experiences and it’s all woven really well together.

Who wouldn’t love that? I LOVE talking about my raid experiences (as this blog proves) and I love hearing about cool happenings for others. Plus, the talking head segments are comprised of actual video of the people, not the toons.

I majored in Sociology, so I’ve always been absolutely fascinated by the social interaction in WoW. Don’t get me wrong — I still can’t stand stupid people and I would very much like to wipe them off the face of the planet. But how guilds who raid together gel (or not) and deal with various in-game issues is just awesome to me.

The biggest challenges of being a guild master aren’t really the in-game encounters, although I will admit that getting 15 people to know their Bloodboil rotation sucked, just as getting 25 people not to die from air bursts or fire on Archimonde sucked.

But that wasn’t the big challenge. For me, the toughest thing was knowing when to be a hardass and knowing when to be more understanding. (And also, when to stop talking or typing, because I am the most long-winded person in the world.)

A classic problem any guild faces is the following:

A long-time member who is basically universally adored by all guildies for being so awesome in so many ways is, in fact, one of the worst players we’ve ever seen. He has consistently died on whatever progression fight we’re currently on and his death has had repercussions that lead to a wipe. Say that, I don’t know, four of seven wipes on this one fight can be traced back to a chain of events that began with his death.

What do you do? Do you swap him out for someone on standby? Do you bitch him out and tell him to shape up? Do you warn him at all that if he doesn’t do better, he’s on standby? Honestly, how do you deal with that?

Then, assuming you chose the more diplomatic method of getting his class/role lead to talk to him and apologize while swapping him out, then what? Is he going to leave the guild? Stop raiding? Is he going to be disappointed and sulky? What about the morale of the guild and raid team? If the guy they adore is wiping them (but perhaps they’re not aware of that?) and gets swapped out, are THEY going to be sulky because he got sat out?

Here’s a second scenario that has happened to every single guild:

You are in dire, I mean, DIRE need of a specific class/role, to the point that if the one person who does fill that role isn’t there, you can’t do a whole lot.

So you go recruiting for that particular class to fill that particular role. Granted, it’s much easier in Wrath to swap any kind of DPS for any other kind of DPS, so let’s imagine that what we want is either a moonkin or a retribution paladin because we don’t have Improved Moonkin Form or Swift Retribution in the raid on a regular basis. We have a prot paladin, so we have various blessings and we have Heart of the Crusader. We have an elemental shaman who is occasionally not around, but we generally have Elemental Oath and Totem of Wrath.

But we don’t have that pesky 3% haste buff and everyone is getting pissy about it, plus we don’t have backup for that ever-important 5% spell crit, so if the elemental shaman is out, we’re screwed. So ideally, we want a moonkin, but would take a ret pally.

So we go out recruiting for both.

After three weeks of searching and four nights in that period where casters were without their crit buff and still no one had that 3% haste buff, we finally get an app from a moonkin.

He looks awesome.

He is appropriately geared, gemmed, enchanted, specced and glyphed. He’s moonkin and resto, but also has a tank set. He wasn’t significantly behind you in content, just a boss or two.

He’s perfect.

So you accept his app, he transfers, gets a ginvite and then you realize, right smack-dab in the middle of the first raid… this guy is a jerk. I mean, really, no question about it, he’s pretty much That Guy that you want to punch in the face. Maybe he’s told a dead baby joke in raid, maybe he yelled profanity at someone who wiped the raid or maybe he’s just overly superior about his skill and is boasting constantly.

Of course, he’s topping damage, CCing appropriately, helping out on decursing, innervating and tossing battle rezzes as needed. In short, he is a freaking excellent player. He’s pretty much the opposite of our first example.

Within a week, you’ve heard about 12 people complaining about this guy, but you’ve killed two new bosses, largely because of him. His role lead has tried, without success, to rein him in a little bit, but he’s still mouthing off in raid, if not in Vent, and it seems like he just doesn’t understand that his comments aren’t appropriate.

So what do you do, as the guild master or member of the officer team? Do you decline his application and remove him from the guild? Do you warn him that the previous action is a possibility if he doesn’t stop being such a jerk? Do you try to appease your guild members individually and asking them to be patient? Do you hold on to the jerk until you get another moonkin or ret pally app? Perhaps more importantly, is being a jerk who helps the raid to excel such a horrible thing after all?

These are the real challenges in running a guild. It’s all about taking actions for the betterment of the guild as a whole while simultaneously trying to achieve goals as a raiding group.

I really think Big Crits is going to bring up these kinds of issues. They’re common problems, but everyone has a different opinion on how to deal with them. This is what is going to make this web series fascinating to me; how others deal with problems I’ve dealt with within this incredibly rich game world.

So go watch Big Crits from Week 1 (they’re up to 4 now)! Let me (and, more importantly, the guildies themselves) know how you liked it. :)

Soon…

Soon, I shall have a post with two video guides in it.

1) Strat Live, minus Cannonmaster Willy

2) How to get the Key to the City from Strat UD without having it to begin with (ie: from Strat Live)

Freaking video files are huge. WTB larger hard drive, PST.

Hell, a non-fail computer would be nice. ;)

Redesign Done

Okay, so the redesign is more or less done! I currently have no links to other blogs posted, but that’s more a function of the fact that my links section was woefully outdated, so I’ll take some time and fix that up and get them up soon.

The polls should work, but the poll archive link will not go away no matter what I try to do. Which wouldn’t be so much of a problem if there was actually an archive to link to.

As to the small google ad over there, I’m already blocking uncool sites, but over the next week or so, please do copy the URL (don’t click on the ad! Right-click, copy link address!) and use this form to help me block more evil advertisers. That is available up at the “Bad Ads” link in the top right and the link directly below the ad itself. You shouldn’t see too many questionable ads of other sorts, though, since I was able to filter them at a category level. Sadly, gold-selling ads, etc, fall under “video games”, and it doesn’t make sense to block that category on a site that is, you know, dedicated to a video game. ;)

Anyways, if you see anything else that’s broken or looks icky, please do let me know!

ETA: Some display issues in Chrome that I may or may not work on at some point. Also, the ads are now starting to show spiritual healing ads. Ahahahaha.

ETA Again: Fixed the Chrome issue. It was displaying the page’s title as text on the page, offsetting the entire header. I moved the wowhead script below the title tag in the code, et voila.

Wow. Just… wow.

I’m exhausted. I spent over two hours writing up all the fail I witnessed from the holy pally app during last night’s ICC 25 raid, which I then sent to the healing lead and the raid leader.

He was in for five fights, all heroic: Marrowgar, Deathwhisper, Gunship (I was swapped out for that), Saurfang and Blood Prince Council.

Some choice bits of information I’ll share with you:

1) He never used Sacred Shield. At all. Oh, wait. He spammed it… on Lady Deathwhisper. Like, not on that encounter. On the mob. Which means that he was mind-controlled when “he” used it. NO other use of it at all.

2) He cast Holy Light 158 times total on four logged bosses. In comparison, on those same bosses, I cast it 619 times. He cast Flash of Light 625 times to my 125. He is gemmed straight-up int, specced the way a HL pally would be, glyphed the way a HL pally would be.

3) He consistently ignored healing chat/assignments, would screw up his beacon and judgements.

4) Speaking of judgements, he judged 12 times on those four bosses. Bearing in mind we wiped twice on Saurfang before getting him, that’s 12 judgements in 6 boss encounters…

5) Did I mention that he missed beaconing me on Saurfang? He beaconed my direct-heal target instead and healed the tanks instead of Mark 4 like he was supposed to. Props to my RL friend the resto druid and some quick-thinking priests for keeping my ass up, given that I was Mark 2.

6) Speaking of beacon, he ignored 4 requests to beacon the DK tank on Blood Prince Council, instead deciding to beacon the warrior tank.

7) Speaking of Council, guess who was almost always in range of me during Empowered Shock Vortex AND who got 6-8 Shadow Prison stacks on five occasions during the fight? That’s right, the pally app.

8) Speaking of crowding people, he also crowded two healers and a moonkin on Saurfang and ate extra boiling blood because of it. Thank you, dipshit, for increasing Saurfang’s blood power.

9) Speaking of Saurfang again, he let a tank die through not healing him when he was supposed to be, then let HIMSELF die with the fourth Mark by … not healing himself like he was supposed to be!

10) He wanted to be in for Gunship so he could get Althor’s Abacus, which is a trinket that has 0 int, 0 haste, 0 mp5 and 0 crit. Way to be.

11) He wouldn’t STFU about loot. He actually asked, in raid chat, after a regular Conqueror’s token had been awarded to a priest, if he could have it instead. And when I got the Rot-Resistant Breastplate and Holiday’s Grace, asked me what my gearscore was now. OMG, stfu, you stupid dumbshit app who is giving ALL PALADINS a bad name.

I’ve recommended his app be closed ASAP. I would rather be the only holy paladin than have to deal with this fucktard. If it were just one thing or the other, I could attribute it to nerves or anxiety. But some core issues with how he plays the class, some basic awareness issues and an unhealthy fixation on loot makes him NOT what we’re looking for.

Potential Downtime and Redesign

Since I’m not sure exactly what percentage of my readers actually visit the site (averaging about 100 visits a day) and what percentage read from an RSS reader (no idea what this number would be like), I’m not sure if you’ve noticed that my blog site here has become extremely cluttered. It’s not unlike my real-life spaces, to be honest! I guess I carry my clutter everywhere with me. ;)

My front page has my twitter feed, random polls I put up from time to time, achievement feeds, category links, links to other blogs, armory links, all kinds of stuff. It’s feeling a little much and it certainly could be organized better. So, at some point in the next week or so, expect the layout to change significantly. Expect me to break something at some point. Expect the blog to be inaccessible sometime. I’m not sure anything will break, nor am I sure it’ll be inaccessible, but whenever I’m confident that I won’t break something, I do. :P

I’m also planning on putting in some code for some Google text ads, primarily to help defray hosting costs, but also because I’m interested in building up the site a bit more and if I’m going to put in more energy than I currently do, I’d kind of like to see if I can get any returns on it. I rather suspect that advertising on a personal kind of blog is kind of frowned upon in the blogging community, because I don’t see a lot of it. That said, I thought I’d throw in some very simple advertisements while doing the redesign and if my traffic drops substantially because of it, I’ll remove it. My overall goal is to share information about World of Warcraft from a variety of perspectives (but obviously the Holy Paladin perspective tends to be the main one these days) and to share my raiding experiences. That does include random daily frustrations, annoyances and the like, but also the awesomeness of progression. When we get LK heroic down on 25-man, I’ll be posting about it, that’s for sure. I plan to write about Ruby Sanctum. I plan to write about Cataclysm.

I plan to write about a lot of things and for quite some time, so if advertisements will prevent a significant amount of people from coming here and reading all the stuff I’ve written or plan to write, I’ll drop them from the site.

In the month of April, I had 4532 pageviews from 2729 visits, for an average of 1.66 pages per visit. Average time on site was 2m22s. So we’ll see if any of that drops for June or so, eh?

Anyways, thanks to everyone for reading and I hope you’ll be reading for quite some time. :)

Kurn's Q&A #18

Welcome to Kurn’s Q&A! This week seems to be focused on heroic Putricide and the Unbound Plague. And no wonder people are searching for information on those. The heroic Professor Putricide encounter is one of the more difficult ones I’ve encountered this expansion, primarily because you need to heal a lot of damage, do a lot of damage and avoid a lot of damage. It kind of sucks that way, but I think you really feel good about yourself when you get ‘er done.

1) “unbound plague third phase?”

Oh yes. Indeed. It’ll spawn somewhere in phase 3, probably about 30 seconds in or so. And it’s NASTY, trying to pass that off, while dodging goo, slime puddles and OH, doing damage to the boss or healing the LIVING CRAP OUT OF THE RAID.

2) “parry haste” “heroic saurfang”

Nope! Check out this site for a confirmed list of who has parry haste enabled or disabled.

What you’re probably witnessing and thinking is a parry haste is his Frenzy. He’ll Frenzy at about 25%.

3) “avr in 3.3.5”

Gone! Or, at least, broken. Say bye to pretty pictures on the ground and amazing radiuses like those for Unbound Plague!

4) “can you pass unbound plague while bubbled?”

I know you can GET Unbound Plague while bubbled. So when it comes to passing it, I would presume so.

5) “does divinity work on judge of light”

Not the way you think it does. Check out my experiment here.

6) “how to see unbound plague without avre”

With great difficulty? ;)

No, seriously, there’s an animation for it. It’s a black, swirling cloud that you can see pretty clearly in this TankSpot video.

Note that this probably requires you to turn up your particle density. I play with my particle density all the way down and don’t see this at *all*.

7) “ignoring unbound plague”

You don’t exactly want to ignore it, because it will kill you if you do. After about 10 seconds, pass it off to someone. Do not take it back, due to the fact that you’ll have a debuff on you that will cause more damage if you get the plague again. In a 25-man scenario, though, it’s easy to go through several attempts without ever picking up the plague. There are just a lot of other targets available. It’s probably the one heroic mode that might actually be easier on 25-man than on 10-man, although 10-man still gives you plenty of room to maneuver. Maybe we’ll call it even.

8) “seal of light vs. seal of wisdom and icc 3.3.3”

Seal of Wisdom if you use Holy Light primarily and Seal of Light for Valithria Dreamwalker/if you’re a FoL paladin. Along with their respective glyphs, of course!

9) “tightening waistband vs lonely noble holy”

Given the 10-man regular version of Tightening Waistband, the 10-man heroic version of Tightening Waistband and the Belt of the Lonely Noble, the choice is clear: 10m-heroic TW has more haste. If you’re more of a FoL paladin already at 676 haste, go for the Belt of the Lonely Noble for the extra crit and loss of mp5. Of course, Belt of the Lonely Noble is BOE and is a solid piece anyways.

10) “will bubble remove emerald vigor”

This is actually a wonderful question. Emerald Vigor and Twisted Nightmares are technically *debuffs*. I don’t tend to bubble during the Dreamwalker encounter, though. I think I might have done so once and I’m pretty sure I would have noticed if I lost my stacks. So I’ll say no, it won’t. But take that with a grain of salt.

Oof.

Thank God Tuesday is our day off. I am totally burnt.

We spent half of Thursday and all of Sunday and some of Monday wiping to heroic Putricide, whom we’d gotten down precisely once thus far. He finally went down again tonight, which was nice, but boy, talk about a herculean effort.

We spent some time with heroic Sindragosa, which is nightmarish as always. Finally, we decided to stop wiping and just do it on normal so we could get to the Lich King with plenty of time to do our last achievement for Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25). (Incidentally, I got a GM to confirm that Neck-Deep in Vile (25) is required for this achievement! Good thing we got it done last week.)

That last achievement was Been Waiting a Long Time for This. I don’t even actually know how we did this, but I do know that I was totally out of mana moving into the first transition phase. I learned early on as we were learning (and wiping regularly on) Lich King that meleeing Raging Spirits during transition phases isn’t the safest way to regen my mana, but, by golly, that’s what I did tonight.

The reason I was out of mana was because of what Necrotic Plague does. See that little bit right there? “The Lich King’s power will increase”? Yeah. See, he normally hits my MT for about 25k before absorbs, blocks and the like.

As we went through the achievement, he was hitting him for 43835 towards the end. No freaking wonder I was oom!

Anyways, we let the plague stack to 30, pushed for the transition and went about our merry way killing him, without quite knowing if we’d done it right or if it had bugged out, since you only get the achievement once he dies.

BOOYA, got it. :) It’s my first-ever “Glory of the something” drake and, might I add, it’s freaking cool looking. Makes me wish I were a gatherer on the pally so I could fly around looking awesome.

That said, it’s been a long raiding week. I increasingly want to wring the necks of half my guildies, particularly the dipshit DK who keeps bitching that he’s not getting kings for some reason and actually spammed the raid with like 10 lines of him saying “kings on dks!!!!” while on heroic Putricide… when he’s the only death knight in the freaking raid. The best part? He HAD kings, albeit the 10m version (someone’s addon was screwy, I guess), so it’s not like he didn’t HAVE the buff.

He released after falling off the side tonight on LK and so didn’t get his achievement, drake or any loot.

I laughed out loud when I realized he wouldn’t get it and really enjoy the prospect that Mr. Asshat won’t be flying a drake for at least another week.

Yeah, I’m mean. I know. But it still made me laugh. :D

Holy How-To #6

Welcome to my Holy How-To for PVE Paladins. This is the sixth of what I hope to be a great many posts aimed at helping holy paladins succeed at PVE content. I will focus primarily on max-level talent specs, glyphs, enchants, gems and the like, including tools, tips and tricks that I use, but I hope to touch on levelling content and advice as well.

Today, we’re going to talk about haste and why, exactly, it is your number two stat if you’re a Holy Light paladin and why ALL paladins need as close to a 1.0 second global cooldown as possible. I was originally going to talk about healing meters and parses and the like, but once again, I had a couple of conversations (hi Saunder!) that abruptly changed my mind about this Holy How-To’s topic. So today, folks, Haste and Why to Stack It.
Continue reading “Holy How-To #6”

Hilarity on Heroic 25-man Putricide

My guild has been struggling on heroic 25-man Putricide. We’ve downed him once. Ditto on Sindragosa, but last night, we were working strictly on Putricide.

Possibly the most terrifying moment(s) of the night:

3 tanks alive

1 healer alive

Putricide at something like 2%

Guess who the freaking healer is? THAT’S RIGHT. THIS LADY. This happened not just once, but TWICE.

For those who don’t know the encounter, P3 gets a little hectic. You have Unbound Plague running around, plus the slime pools, plus Malleable Goo and ALSO the damage from Mutated Plague is just insane.

How insane?

Here’s my death log.

[00:44:21.128] OT Mutated Plague Madrana 6547
[00:44:21.128] Bear Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 6547
[00:44:21.128] DK Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 6548
[00:44:23.615] OT Mutated Plague Madrana 6547
[00:44:24.037] Bear Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 5987 (O: 561)
[00:44:24.058] Madrana dies

That is over 18,000 damage per tick of Mutated Plague at 3 stacks on 3 tanks.

Sadly, I had to run out of a slime pool, so I had to stop casting and we all died, but prior to then? Holy cow, man. Look at some of these numbers:

[00:44:14.430] Madrana Holy LightĀ  OT +8288 (O: 7280)
[00:44:14.738] Madrana Beacon of Light Madrana +15277 (O: 1069)
[00:44:15.140] OT Mutated Plague Madrana 6547
[00:44:15.140] Bear Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 6548
[00:44:15.140] DK Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 6548
[00:44:15.149] Madrana Glyph of Holy Light DK Tank +1001
[00:44:15.149] Madrana Glyph of Holy Light Bear Tank +1001
[00:44:15.648] Madrana Holy Light OT +*2174* (O: 20821)
[00:44:15.960] Madrana Beacon of Light Madrana +19643 (O: 4502)
[00:44:16.392] Madrana Glyph of Holy Light Bear Tank +2777
[00:44:16.392] Madrana Glyph of Holy Light DK Tank +3749
[00:44:17.241] Madrana Holy Light OT +0 (O: 15820)
[00:44:17.568] Madrana Beacon of Light Madrana +0 (O: 16611)
[00:44:18.011] OT Mutated Plague Madrana 6548
[00:44:18.011] Bear Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 6548
[00:44:18.016] Madrana Glyph of Holy Light Bear Tank +1910
[00:44:18.016] Madrana Glyph of Holy Light DK Tank +2579
[00:44:18.375] DK Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 6547
[00:44:18.756] Madrana Holy Light DK Tank +20024
[00:44:19.254] Madrana Beacon of Light Madrana +15574
[00:44:19.564] Madrana Glyph of Holy Light OT +2418
[00:44:20.324] Madrana Holy Light DK Tank +20851
[00:44:20.826] Madrana Beacon of Light Madrana +4069 (O: 12148)
[00:44:21.128] OT Mutated Plague Madrana 6547
[00:44:21.128] Bear Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 6547
[00:44:21.128] DK Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 6548
[00:44:23.615] OT Mutated Plague Madrana 6547
[00:44:24.037] Bear Tank Mutated Plague Madrana 5987 (O: 561)
[00:44:24.058] Madrana dies

Kind of insane, right? hahaha! And it doesn’t even taken into consideration my LOH!

[00:44:10.747] Madrana Lay on HandsĀ  OT +38852
[00:44:11.610] Madrana Beacon of Light Madrana +7245 (O: 33550)

You may be wondering to yourself what the hell is up with me beaconing myself. Good question!

Last Thursday, while wiping to this fight, the other holy pally (the one who is basically AWOL now for a month) and I decided to swap beacons to ourselves after we respectively hit our DS/DS (divine shield/divine sacrifice). We typically hit DS/DS one right after the other. I go first and I hit it after the third tank hits 2 stacks of Mutated Plague, so all three tanks have 2 stacks. This permits me to use my bubble to move to a better location for the last portion of the fight without worrying too much about the tanks being killed while I’m on the move and unable to cast. And once I find my proper position, I cast Beacon of Light on myself and resume spamming the crap out of the active tank.

Works BEAUTIFULLY. I can *just* outheal the Mutated Plague damage if I don’t have to interrupt my casting and move. Highly recommend this to any holy paladin and I’m seriously considering wondering if we should just have the priests raid healing using bindind heal. ;)

From an actual Paladin app…

So we’re looking for another holy paladin, as previously mentioned. We haven’t had ANY apps until this one guy from two days ago, who we will probably trial, because he doesn’t totally suck and he’s already on the server.

Overall, he’s not awful. He has a lot of haste, he’s gemmed all +20 int and 1 Nightmare Tear.

However, he is, no joke, using Bone Sentinel’s Amulet which makes me want to cry. A couple of nitpicky things (spellpower/crit over spellpower/mp5 enchants) and then the other big thing: his meta is Forlorn Skyflare Diamond.

I /facepalmed.

Oh, and his professions aren’t maxed. And by “aren’t maxed”, I mean “Blacksmithing is 132 and he still has Enchanting (at 228) even though he says he wants to drop it for Jewelcrafting.”

(ETA: The necklace doesn’t entirely suck and is likely better-itemized than anything else he could get. I will admit to this. There’s no excuse for the meta and the professions, though.)

And yet, this is not only the BEST holy paladin app we’ve had in months, but the ONLY one.

We’re probably going to trial him just out of need for the second holy paladin and the fact that he’s THERE.

WTB holy pally buddy who doesn’t suck ass. I’m serious. Email me ( kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com) or twitter me @kurnmogh. We’ll chat.