Kurn's Q&A #26

Tuesday! A day off from raiding, a day to center myself and get caught up on a bunch of things, including weekly search terms that seem interesting.

1) what is raidwalled

“Raidwalled” is when a paladin with the talent Divine Sacrifice and Divine Guardian casts Divine Sacrifice, which activates Divine Guardian. This name comes from the warrior cooldown called Shield Wall, although Divine Guardian will not mitigate anywhere near as much damage as Shield Wall. However, it does affect the entire raid, whereas Shield Wall only affects the warrior.

2) bop remove cleave armor debuff ruby sanctum

That’s an awesome question. Next time I do RS, I’ll BOP an inactive tank for a second before freedoming them to see if that works.

3) do elixir mastery proc on potions

It astounds me that, more than three years since alchemy specializations were introduced, people still don’t get it.

No, Elixir Mastery alchemists proc on elixirs and flasks. Potion Mastery alchemists proc on potions. Transmute Mastery alchemists proc on transmutes.

4) drape of the violet tower holy paladin


Okay, I may have exaggerated. But you have other options.

Fluttering Sapphiron Drape (10m Ony)
Flowing Sapphiron Drape (25m Ony)

And if you got lucky, Ahune dropped Shroud of Winter’s Chill for you and you didn’t get rid of it.

Honestly, I’d rank the cloaks thusly, from best to worst for a holy paladin:

25m Ony then Ahune then 10m Ony then Drape of the Violet Tower.


5) stormbringer gloves

I admit, I had no idea what the hell these were. The 251 Stormbringer Gloves are nice 251-level gloves. I would recommend the badge gloves over them, though, for a holy paladin. The Gauntlets of Overexposure are better — more int, more haste. They’re also available for 60 Emblems of Frost. Ultimately, I like the Unclean Surgical Gloves and the heroic Unclean Surgical Gloves better.

Here’s a comparison.

6) +casting +”beacon of light” +threat

I’m pretty sure that you do get some measure of threat merely by casting Beacon of Light. The Lich King looked at me last night after I cast Beacon of Light on an OT. It’s likely not much, probably the equivalent of a face pull, and would probably need to be done right when the boss becomes active (in the case of the Lich King, for example) in order to cause any significant threat.

Does the mirrored heal from Beacon of Light cause threat? I honestly don’t know. I’ll see if I can figure that one out.

7) any way to parse halion log

I use World of Logs, but the last I saw, it wasn’t able to parse both the shadow realm and the physical realm, since you’re only logging for your active realm.

I love WoL dearly and have no doubt they’re working on this issue.

8) halion beacon of light

What I like to do is beacon the tank here and raid heal, including myself. However, I never, ever hesitate to directly heal the tank, even if beacon is on them. I do this on most single-tank portions of fights. Will the beacon go through the realms? I do not think so.

9) holy paladin multiple beacon

You can have an unlimited number of beacons on a single target. The only limitation is how many holy paladins you have around.

10) is the weekly on the same lockout as the regular raids

Yes. That means if your weekly is Lord Jaraxxus and you go into TOC10 to kill him, you will be saved to TOC10. Same if it’s XT-002 Deconstructor and you go in to Ulduar 25, you are then saved to Ulduar 25.

Updates and Plans

Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another Tuesday here at Kurn’s Corner!

On the schedule for today:

– Q&A post (as per usual)

– More opinions on new holy paladin Cataclysm information (Holy Power, some new cone heal called Light of the Divine or Divinity of the Light or something appropriately paladinesque, the actual name of which escapes me at the moment)

– Responding to comments!

– Possibly going through some parses.

– More running through old-world Azeroth for a future blog post, which, due to technical difficulties this last weekend, may not be up until next week, sadly.

So those are my plans.

My updates are considerably more exciting, at least to me.

Bloodsurge, Kel’Thuzad’s Blade of Agony is mine! Finally, I have a main hand without hit again! I’d been using Rigormortis because it was still an improvement over Misery’s End. More intellect, more spellpower, a wee bit more haste (like, 1). It was nice to have, particularly as the hunter officer in my last guild refused to let me take it for main-spec, since it had hit on it, so even though I was like “but it’s for main-spec!” she was like “you’re paying off-spec for it”.

But finally, a weapon with no hit, that has the exact same stats as Royal Scepter of Terenas II. Hilariously enough, both of those items dropped. Since we do EPGP, I rolled Need on both within the mod to assure myself I’d probably get one of them. The loot master was smart because he recognized that if he awarded the sword first, I’d get it (there was virtually no competition for it) and then the mace would be up for grabs and I could not win it because my EPGP priority wouldn’t be high enough after winning the sword. So the sword went to me (and yes, I DO feel like a bad-ass for being able to heal with a SWORD!!) and the mace went to the elemental shaman.

I also picked up the heroic Frostbinder’s Shredded Cape, which I gemmed and enchanted on the spot, meaning that the stupid Flowing Sapphiron Drape is going to go sit in my bank until it rots away into nothingness.

As such, my chardev profile has been updated:


Raid buffed, without the sword, I had 45,424 mana. Granted, the sword is only another 4 intellect, so that’s 60ish mana (not including talents) but good gravy. Forty-five thousand?! That is totally sweet.

I generally don’t get excited about gear. There are exceptions — I love a new weapon, and I love when I replace an OLD piece of gear. I’ve had the Onyxia cloak since early October. Nine months. Very happy to have replaced it. :)

In raid news, there continues to be problems with heroic Sindragosa, but we’re making some progress, at least. I’m not terribly worried, as long as we can get some people (casters!) to freaking stop casting with Unchained Magic.

A Brief Look at Healers and Tanks as Guild Resources

(followed by a brief personal story)

Once upon a time, back before we had discovered Northrend, before we had stepped through The Dark Portal, I was in a guild that was heavy on DPS, short on healers and even shorter on tanks.

The guildies and I always tried to run dungeons together and it wasn’t easy because we didn’t have a tank or we didn’t have a healer. Frequently, we didn’t have both. This is, in part, what led me to create my paladin. I knew I wouldn’t get her up to 60 in time to help with our immediate tank/healer shortages, but I knew that a paladin could supposedly be a damage-dealer, a healer or a tank and was really interested in seeing how both being a tank and a healer worked. After all, I already had my DPS class in Kurn.

When a level 55 prot warrior applied to our guild, we snatched him up, despite the fact he was all of 13. He was the first “real” tank we had, although the guild master was busy levelling his own prot warrior. Sure, we had a warrior who had tank gear, but he was fury and never respecced. Not that we really understood what that meant, but anyways.

Everyone constantly fought over the warrior. Just like everyone fought over a priest who apped a couple of months later. We were slowly getting more healers and tanks who were being constantly bombarded to go do runs. Honestly, it’s a wonder we didn’t wear them out.

But that’s what they were there for, right? The warrior and the priest were guild resources. They were part of the guild, they had chosen their specs and their roles. So we should feel free to at least ask if they want to do X, Y and Z runs, right?

I’ve been a healer, either as an alt or as a primary raiding character, for almost four years. In those four years, I have spent a lot of time trying to balance my desire to heal (or not) versus the requests from the people with whom I play.

What I have learned, as a healer:

1) I am my own person and I am not merely a community resource who is obliged to go on thirty runs a day with various guild members.

2) The guild has a need for me in its primary focus (be it instancing, raiding, what-have-you) so that should be my first priority when doing things “for the guild”. This is all that I feel I am morally and ethically obliged to do. If I have joined a guild which is focused on 10-man raiding, then I should save my timers for the guild, raid 10s with them as I can (which should be most of the time) and not feel obliged to do a half-pug 25-man with them. Similarly, if I have joined a guild focused on 25-man raiding, I should not feel obliged to run 10-man raids at all.

3) I should feel free to take a day off, with notice, if I’m feeling burnt out. One day off does wonders for recharging your batteries.

4) Similarly, I should do something that isn’t typically expected of me every so often. If I’m in a 25-man guild, by golly, I should do a 10-man once in a while, if the opportunity crops up and it’s something I might be interested in doing. One day of doing something different with guildies does a lot for getting to know them and letting them get to know you.

I’ve actually been meaning to post about this subject for a while, now. In my previous guild, the one with my RL friend the resto druid, I was basically expected to do 10s. I hate 10s. LORD, do I hate 10s. But back when ICC launched, I was expected to do them. So I did. I got my extra Emblems of Frost, I got some achievements (Storming the Citadel, Boned, I’m on a Boat, I’ve Gone and Made a Mess) and I got abuse from the MT in 10s the same way I got abuse from him in the 25s. So I basically stopped going after about three weeks, maybe four. Healing with my RL friend in a smaller setting just wasn’t enough to offset the dickishness of the MT.

I got myself a Rotface and Festergut kill on 10 one week when the hunter officer was hard up for a healer. She’s an excellent player and a really nice person, so I helped out. But that was it. Here I am, with Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) and only 6/12 in ICC 10.

So last week, when my new GM asked me if I’d do her a favour and I discovered that the favour had to do with helping out with an ICC 10 “power group”, I was a little hesitant. On the one hand, OH GOOD LORD, not 10s!!! But on the other hand, a “power group” with good players, most of whom I actively like, none of whom I actively dislike (I honestly don’t hate anyone in the guild)… Four hours. Just four hours to help these people get their 10-man achievements for their 10-man drakes.

I agreed to do it.

What was nice about the GM is that she initially wanted to help me get my 10-man achievements as well. I was like “no, no, absolutely not, ignore what I have or what I don’t have. I have the 25-man drake, I don’t need a 10-man.” I really was there just to help out these folks.

So what did we get done?

Heroic Marrowgar, Full House, I’m on a Boat (I actually, amusingly, already had this), heroic Saurfang, heroic Dreamwalker (on the successful attempt, I dropped my stacks not once, but TWICE!), heroic Sindragosa (oh God, I hate that fight!) and heroic Blood Prince Council.

Perhaps not quite as productive as it was expected to be, but heroic Sindragosa alone is a pretty nice accomplishment.

Marrowgar dropped Corrupted Silverplate Leggings. No one wanted them so I snagged them. I already had Lightning-Infused Leggings, which are virtually identical. But I’ve swapped to the CSL because of two reasons.

1) I like wearing plate. I like mail too, but plate is my preference, given equivalent stats. Another 1000 armor is good! I have a 60.77% physical damage reduction versus 59.72% in the mail legs. Maybe that percent damage reduction only comes in handy on some fights like Saurfang or Blood Prince Council and maybe it’s negligible, but it makes me feel good to know that I’m wearing pants that were actually designed for me to wear.

2) And they MATCH! They actually match my armor! Yes, I am occasionally girly about my toons.

So, what is the point of this post?

Well, I have avoided 10s for a long time, in general. But when my GM approached me to see if I’d be willing to fill in for a healer, I decided to do something unusual for me and help out. Most of the “helping” I do in-game is along the lines of answering questions, like that Mor’Ladim is in Raven Hill or that, yes, you still need to hit Unfriendly with the Timbermaw before you can run through their tunnel without aggroing. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to agree to do so and I figured it would be a good way to get to know some of the guildies better and it would help them all towards getting their drakes.

Did I have a good time? It was okay. I didn’t particularly enjoy having my pathetic magic betray me on what is technically an off-night, but we got the dragon down in the end. What makes it worth it is that, on Tuesday, when most of these people get their drakes, after finishing off a couple more achievements, I’ll know that I’ll have been a part of that.

As someone who is vigilant in making sure I don’t overextend myself, I feel like I did a good job of balancing my guild obligations (25-man raiding), my personal desires to play (not a whole lot this weekend) and being an accessible guild resource. As a bonus, I don’t feel frustrated or burnt out.

End result: it was a good experience, but I don’t know that I’ll do it again and, what’s more, I’m not going to be expected to do so. Win-win situation for me for sure.

Teaching a New Paladin

One of the things I like most about my blog is that I have the opportunity to inform people of my playstyle and commonly-accepted best practices for the holy paladin. And I don’t have to sit down with them and go “okay, so you need to do X, Y and Z and then don’t forget about A and B and C”. I don’t have to look at their parses, don’t have to talk to them on vent, don’t even have to look at their armories unless I feel like it.

It’s nice. It’s a little distant and I get to remain sane, but I still get to help out people who genuinely seem to want to learn.

Discouraged by all the failadins out there, my current GM (for whom my adoration clearly knows no bounds) has decided to level up a paladin for the express purposes of going holy.  She recognizes we can really use another holy paladin for certain fights (heroic Sindragosa, heroic Lich King, heroic Halion) and has decided to roll a paladin, level it to 80 and heal for the guild on this new paladin. She’s continuing to recruit, mind you (WTB holy paladin! And a disc priest, actually. Email me at kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com for details if you’re interested.), but she’s working at the paladin.

It’s not like she doesn’t know how to heal; she’s a brilliant resto shaman. (Fadorable, I’d love to see you both in a heal-off in equal gear!) I think that she’s actually the best class to make an easy switch to a holy paladin — she’s already used to not being able to cast and run (beyond the one instant — Riptide for her, Holy Shock for us) and the gear is similar in many ways. I think she’ll make an awesome holy paladin if we don’t find a second by the time she’s raid-ready.

However, I find myself TOTALLY thrilled at the prospect of teaching my GM the ins and outs of holy paladining. Like, THRILLED. I don’t know why, but I am eagerly anticipating it. To the point where I’ve informed her I will be her pocket tank for her heroics when she hits 80. Maybe it’s because I know she’s already an awesome healer and I think she’ll pick up on the nuances quickly. Maybe it’s because I know that I can mold her into another me. Maybe it’s because I HAVE missed some of this hands-on stuff. I used to be the poor schmoe who would talk to the raiders about X, Y and Z issues, for the most part.

I think it’ll be fun to run around as a relatively geared tank. A huge bonus of this guild is that you get offspec gear for free, so I’ve been saving my Emblems of Frost and already have my 264 helm and shoulders for prot. Looking at chest and gloves next and then probably Pillars of Might and maybe the crafted boots too. So really, given my leetness as a tank (ahahahaha) and the fact that I’ll be pretty geared, I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to tank and watch for her to keep up Sacred Shield, Beacon, etc, and offer tips and tricks and still not die, even if things go south.

In other news, the character profile linked up in the sidebar has been updated since I got my 277 T10 helm. 990 haste unbuffed? Why yes, thank you, that’ll do nicely. ;)

Initial Thoughts: Cataclysm Holy Paladin Talents

My first thoughts:

– Thank God I don’t have to waste 5 talent points for Spiritual Focus anymore. Yay for only needing 2! Less bloat, hooray!

– Yay Divinity in Holy!

– Judgements of the Pure is going to be available to any paladin and HOLD THE PHONE. HOLD THE PHONE. That reads NINE percent haste. Not 15. NINE. Check that, 9 percent. And so the nerfage begins.

– … Divine Light is the name of our big-ass heal? Seriously? Could you really not think of a better name?

– Beacon is only good for Holy Light and Holy Shock redirects. Okay. So basically, I’m going to use it the same way as I use it now; on a tank who is also being healed by someone else.

– WTF, Inspired Judgement heals my beacon for the amount of damage the judgement caused? Really? Is this a “fun” talent?

– At least Illumination returns to the less-bloaty. I still want that 30% bumped back up to 100%, Blizzard. I have not forgotten the Great Illumination Nerf of Burning Crusade.

– Again, Improved Concentration Aura looks fairly lackluster, assuming they don’t change the pushback mechanics again.

– Aura Mastery stays the same. Still want this back to 10 seconds. :P

– Great. I have to spend a talent point to ensure my Cleanse remains as awesome as it is. Thanks.

– Selfless Healer is… blah? I’m saying this with no experience in terms of healing in Cataclysm, obviously, but why not switch this to 3% crit and it buffs you with 3% haste each time you heal someone else? Or something? THAT would be fun.

– Oh, there’s Divine Illumination, sitting at the bottom of my tree. It’s almost like it’s Burning Crusade again! And… WAIT ONE SECOND HERE. 30% extra crit? What?! WHERE IS MY MANA SAVING TALENT, YOU BASTARDS?!

As if that’s not bad enough, we cannot get Divine Sacrifice in Prot.

I suspect most holy PVE paladins will have something like this.

Or this.

Or maybe even this.

But the ret support tree for us is dead and we can’t even grab Divine Sacrifice in prot.

Totally underwhelmed. I don’t even know if I want to play the paladin in Cataclysm. Then again, I looked at the hunter tree. I don’t know if I want to play a hunter, either.

Kurn's Q&A 25

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s time for Kurn’s Q&A! I really do enjoy my days off of raiding. It lets me get all kinds of stuff, WoW, not-WoW, RL, etc, done!

1) does sacred shield use gcd

Yes, it does. That’s why it’s very important not to refresh your Judgements of the Pure, your Sacred Shield and your Beacon of Light all at the same time. That’s three GCDs (3-4.5 seconds) of not healing.

2) “drape of the violet tower” vs. “heartsick mender’s cape”

I’ll be talking about the 251 version of the Heartsick Mender’s Cape here, just because it’s more accessible than the 264.

Heartsick Mender’s Cape, on paper, a little worse than the Drape of the Violet Tower. On paper, it loses 8 intellect, 8 stamina, 3 mp5, 8 armor, 12 spellpower and a whopping 52 crit.

The Heartsick Mender’s Cape, however, has 45 haste.

Even though it’s a lower item level and is missing out on 8 int and some crit and spellpower, the 45 haste makes this godly compared to the Drape of the Violet Tower.

The Drape has one other thing going for it — accessibility. 50 Emblems of Frost and it’s yours. Too bad it’s not a great choice. Heartsick Mender’s Cape is a little deeper into ICC10 than many pugs go, unfortunately, but it’s still way better than the Drape.

3) baltharus the warborn armor debuff

Wrong boss. It’s General Zarithrian that has the armor debuff and that, my dear readers, is called Cleave Armor.

4) heroic putricide is fun

I really do enjoy it. Malleable Goo can still kiss my ass, but I really like the plague.

5) holy paladin which gem for lockjaw

Brilliant King’s Amber or Brilliant Dragon’s Eye if you’re a JC. Unless you’re running Flash of Light style, in which case a Runed Cardinal Ruby or Runed Dragon’s Eye.

6) holy vs. disc heroic putricide

I like disc. Not only do you keep the 3% damage reduction buff up by casting shields (Renewed Hope is hax!) but you also have the ability to mitigate a CRAPTON of damage in P3. And believe me, you NEED to mitigate a crapton of damage in P3.

7) lay on hands glitch 13 min cooldown

The only way you have a 13 minute cooldown on Lay on Hands is if you have 1/2 Improved Lay on Hands in the holy tree as well as the minor Glyph of Lay on Hands. It’s not a glitch, you’re missing a talent point in that talent.

8) marking vengeful shades targets

Nope, sorry. They are not targettable. Period.

9) putricide heroic army of the dead

I am normally not a fan of “army of the nub” as I call it, but it’s GREAT on Putricide on the second transition phase to help improve DPS and to help eat up the Ooze Explosions.

10) sanctum guardian xerestrasza despawns?

Yes, she despawns after a soft reset of the instance (30+ minutes with no one in there).

Difficult raid.

Last night was a difficult raid. One of our raid leaders couldn’t make it, another couple of officers couldn’t, which somehow left me as not only the sole holy paladin, but the only paladin, period. With the bug about Drums of Forgotten Kings (you can’t gain this buff if you have any existing paladin buff!), we ended up going with Battle Shout and Mana Spring totem, as well as kings.

As the lone paladin, I was also the only one judging and I had to decide if light or wisdom was going to be more beneficial to the group. We tried Dreamwalker (so my judging is very temporary anyways, literally judging to get my buff up and that’s it) and Sindragosa and heroic Putricide (and regular Putricide) and regular Lich King. I elected to judge light in all of those situations, for better or for worse.

Anyways, we had a rough raid but I helped the guild get Portal Jockey (25), which I got two months previously, to the day. We tried a bit of All You Can Eat (25), which is pretty much my most unfavourite achievement ever and I think people got the timing of it down for the tanks to be able to switch okay, but we had people iceblocking others and such.

Then we tried Heroic Putricide. Honestly, not as good as last Thursday, but not bad. Everyone’s getting a lot better with the plague, but people weren’t running away from the gas cloud, people weren’t stacking up for oozes. So we killed him normal mode and then moved up to Lich King.

I don’t know if it was just that it was the end of the raid or what, but we didn’t get him down. Raging Spirits killed three people in the first transition on the first attempt (including me!), Infest got others… We lost our priest on that first attempt and he didn’t come back, so we tried five-healing with me, two resto shammies and two resto druids. Infest is painful in general. :(

So it was a rough night but the thing about it is that I still enjoyed myself and we still accomplished something and practiced for other stuff. No LK down? Meh, we got Portal Jockey instead. No heroic Putricide down? Meh, we got some good practice with the Unbound Plague. No All You Can Eat? Meh, we practiced that and made some progress.

Not sure what I’ll be able to get done around Ye Olde Corner today, since I have some RL stuff to attend to, but we’ll see. Should get a Q&A up later tonight, at any rate. :)

Guilds and Relationships

By special request, here is a post about guilds and the relationships within them. Thank you, Majik, for the prompt!

A guild is a weird thing. It’s a tag, a chat channel, a list of ranks, a collection of junk (and money) in a bank.

It’s also a collection of people.

There are all kinds of people in a guild. You have your GM (or GMs), your officer(s), your raiders, your friends, your alts and pretty much everything in between.

Even weirder, guilds are different things to different people.

To some, it’s a tight-knit group of people who’ve known each other for half a decade who are single-mindedly going about their declared purpose and vision. To some, it’s a loose collection of people, filled with strangers you’ll never really get to know or talk to before they just stop logging on or decide to leave. To still others, a guild is an online place for real life friends to meet up and chat. To others, it’s a home for bank alts and a repository for all the junk this game requires us to use.

As if those descriptions didn’t make guilds sound weird to begin with, there are hundreds of variations between those types (and other types I didn’t even dare to mention!) that make guilds unique. There’s the business-like guild, where you all log on almost in unison, do your raid/PVP/RP, then log off again, only showing up again some 20ish hours later to repeat the process. There’s the social guild, where everyone knows everyone else and people call out toon names in guild chat akin to people shouting “NORM!” on Cheers.

Today, I thought I’d talk a little bit about some of the relationships within a relatively typical raiding guild. We’re talking about one that isn’t 100% business but isn’t 100% social, has a mix of people who know each other from RL or for many years and new people as well.

So here are some relationships that I’ll examine.

1) The Romantic Relationship

Just about every typical raiding guild has a couple in it. You might not know about it, you might not be privy to that information, but there’s almost always a couple. The couple may pre-date the game or may have been formed once the two participants met in-game, in that very guild.

In general, this is cool. Who am I to judge if someone finds their soulmate through this game? There are stranger ways to meet someone.

It becomes uncool as soon as it starts affecting the guild. This usually happens when one of the participants is a guild leader (officer or GM) and the other is, shall we say, not a very talented player. (For some reason, this is typically a male guild leader and a female player, giving women everywhere in WoW a bad name. :P)

In the hopes of impressing his or her newfound love, the guild leader campaigns extensively to allow the player into raids, using a subpar spec and gear, or might just award them loot or such in a less fair and transparent guild.

Actual example of this:

Guild Master L fell for a new priest we’d recruited, O. O was, back in those days, a shadow priest. You know, back when ALL the priest tier gear was +healing and there was absolutely no second kind of tier? (As an aside, I did some Naxx 60 when I was 70 with my RL friend the resto druid and a friend of hers, who was a shadow priest. The friend rolled on some Tier 3 token and then was like “Uh. Where’s the shadow set?” when he got to the tier vendor. Not joking!)

Considering our old guild had a severe shortage of these elusive things called “healers”, we tried to get O to swap to healing. She refused for a while and then, when she finally caved, she INSISTED to Guild Leader L that she be his healer. Period.

Never you mind that THE BEST PRIEST of that era was in our guild (we miss you, BW!) and the healing lead at the time. Never you mind that this awesome priest had Benediction and some Tier 1. Never you mind that O had mostly the Devout set and was still trying to figure out what the hell Greater Heal did. She wanted to heal L.

When she was not only not allowed to heal L and only L (she was given a group to heal, if I recall correctly) and, worse, was not in his GROUP and, even worse, the resident (female!) warlock WAS in L’s group (hi, imp buff? How are you?), she threw a fit.

She eventually gquit.

L talked her into coming back. Whereupon she promptly threw another fit. And gquit. Again.

The officers as a whole decided we were better off without her.

Which led to L making me the GM and gquitting himself and starting up a new guild with O where they could be their lovey-dovey kissyface selves.

Of course, if you have a couple that doesn’t expect special favours or extra loot or anything of the sort, that’s a lot more workable for the raid and may actually not cause any drama whatsoever. The L/O scenario isn’t even a worst-case situation. L could have easily gkicked everyone, retained control over the guild and reinvited her.

2) The Relative/Pre-Existing Real-Life Friendship

Similar perils exist in this relationship as in the romantic relationship. Relatives and RL friends obviously prefer to play together, most of the time and may make demands upon guild leader friends/relatives.

Actual example of this:

Picture it. Early summer of 2007. When Apotheosis was clearing Karazhan regularly with one group, we started looking at rosters for two groups. Being the kind and benevolent raid leader at the time (God, I miss having Toga be GM) I did what I could to balance the groups to respect pre-existing friendships or relative relations.

My brother and I were at our parents’ cottage one weekend when I’d finally set the rosters.

“What the fuck?!” he exclaimed, “Why the fuck am I stuck in YOUR group and I’m not in Majik’s group with Pal?!”

I sighed. “Because, dear brother, you and Palantir are the only two in the guild who can currently summon Nightbane.”


“So you can’t lock yourselves to the same instance.”


“Look,” I said, “each group needs 1 MT, 1 OT who can DPS, 3 healers and five DPS. There’s the list of 24ish people. Do what you can to make sure people raid with their relatives or BF/GF or their friends.”

“FINE,” he said, grabbing the papers from me.

Over an hour later he came back to me, threw the papers at me and said “I give up, you win.” The groups he’d come up with were exactly the same ones I’d come up with.

Of course, our preference wasn’t necessarily to raid together. But we put the good of the guild and the happiness of our guildies ahead of our own desires.

In fact, my brother and I don’t always get along when we play together.

Actual example of this:

One night, back in 2006, my brother came over for pizza and WoW together, since we were raiding Molten Core that night. At one point, we were yelling at each other in officer chat, in /raid, over vent AND IRL, all while sitting in the same room. I can only assume it had something to do with people not looting their Ancient Core Hounds, or not stacking up for Lava Surgers, but I could be mistaken.

3) The In-Game Friends

This category of relationships consists of those people who have played with each other in-game enough during some of the formative moments in their WoW lives. I’m talking about those people you met in Zul’Farrak, after you spent forty-five minutes looking for a group and you had two people to replace in that time. Those people who stood at your side at the temple steps or helped you summon Gahz’rilla, chances are, those people became your WoW friends for quite some time. (My ZF buddy, who remained on my friends list for years, was Mikezanze, a great paladin who eventually healed in Apotheosis during BC.) Generally, they’re people you might not be guilded with or see all that often, but you try to run with them if you can.

4) Those Friends With Whom You Run

These are the people in your raid group, generally (or PVP group, arena team, what-have-you) whom you see often in-game and have developed a genuine friendship. You may know their real names, they may know yours, and you feel relatively secure in the knowledge that they’re not going to show up at your front door with an actual axe with which they would smash your face in.

These are the people you chat with on Vent or in-game well after the raid or whatever has ended. These are the people you do stupid things with at 2am. These are the people who make you laugh so hard you feel like you’ve done fifty situps.

Ideally, these are the people for whom we’re all searching, if indeed someone is searching for people as a reason to be in a guild and to play this game.

In my case, these are the people like Majik, Tia, Crypt and Tan and many others from Apotheosis, with a sprinkling from my Bronzebeard guild and maybe even some from my Skywall guild will join these ranks.

These are the people with whom I want to play the game. I don’t want to play in Cataclysm without Majik and Daey, Toga and Shadow, Euphie and Osephala, Fadorable and Kaleri, just to name a few. (NO, Sham, I did not forget you. ;))

There are other relationships to explore; the relationship between a guild master and his or her officers; the relationship between guild officers and their raiders; the relationship between a guild master and his or her raiders.

But those examinations will have to wait until another time. I started writing before I’d really found a point to my post and I found it when I hit point 4. I love this game, yes, but it’s the people who make it worth my time and make the experience something memorable and special.

Feel free to regale me with your tales about the relationships in your guild.

(Oh, and because I was lacking a conclusion for a while, here’s Majik’s suggestion for a conclusion: “conclude that majik is just the greatest thing since sliced bread.”)

(ETA: “Wait. Can you make it conjured sliced bread? Pleeeeeeeease”)

Victory, for now.

As the official blue post says, the new forums will not integrate people’s real names.

I hope that’s the last we’ll hear of this “real name” stuff. I kind of doubt it, to be honest, but I’m satisfied for the moment. I am trying not to entertain any conspiracy theories that indicate this might have been their initial position and didn’t think it would fly, so they pushed the envelope even further and then “compromised” by using this unique identifier thing.

I don’t see how on earth anyone at Blizzard could possibly be so out of touch with the players to think that the Real ID on the forums thing would fly, so I can see where these theories can make sense.

However, I have enough crap in my head that I don’t need more outlandish theories. I’ll take this as a victory, for now, and encourage everyone to respectfully thank Blizzard for listening to the community’s outcry.

Raiding and progression.

It’s kind of a weird situation I’m in, I keep realizing. My guild is working on heroic modes, right? They were 7/12 when I joined and then we got Dreamwalker that week. (All they were missing was a kick-ass holy paladin, obviously!) Then we did some work on Lady Deathwhisper the second week. Didn’t get her down, but worked on refining the strategy.

The third week, last week, we went out and downed Lady Deathwhisper. And Halion (on regular), too. Then we worked on some heroic Sindragosa. I swear to God, it’s my least-favourite fight in the instance, but I know it pretty damn well at this point. ;)

So this week, we got LDW down again and one-shotted heroic Saurfang for the first time. (The first four marks were all on healers, if you can imagine.) We also got Princes down that night and then went on to Halion.

Last night, though, we were short a healer. We’re seriously in need of a priest and another pally would be great. But one of our priests had his wisdom teeth out or something, so he wasn’t going to be on.

We did BQL, Festergut and Rotface all on heroic with five healers.

And then decided to play with heroic Putricide, which the guild’s never seen before.

I actually really love the heroic Putricide encounter. Malleable Goo sucks ass, don’t get me wrong, but I LOVE the heroic Putricide encounter because I happen to be GOOD at dealing with the stupid Unbound Plague.

In the first night of attempts, and not even a full night, mind you, but we’re talking less than two hours, my new guild almost pushed phase 3.

Of course, it’s going to be HILARIOUS to see their reaction to the insane, incomprehensible amounts of raid damage once we hit ~2 stacks on each tank in P3, ahahahaha. I’m really looking forward to the reactions on Vent or in raid chat, because it’s going to be freaking hilarious. The one warning I gave the healers was something along the lines of “if we make it to P3, don’t worry about me. I’m going to Beacon myself and heal the active tank. Just worry about yourselves and the raid.”

We didn’t make it to P3, but I feel as though in less than two hours of work on him, we did as well adjusting to the mechanics as my previous guild did in about six or seven hours.

I really feel good about the raid group. We did a lot of plague swapping without calling it out and had a few (of our 9? 10?) attempts where the plague swapping was, honestly, PERFECT. We were killing Putricide in my last guild (with AVRE still in use!) and not getting plague swaps that clean.

Speaking of, HudMap on this encounter is freaking phenomenal. I kept messing with my settings and accidentally turned the entire thing OFF at one point, but it does a great job of showing you who has the plague and how long they’ve had it for, which is the difficult part of the encounter. According to the Curse page, it’ll show you who you can’t give it to, too (or rather, shouldn’t, due to Plague Sickness), but I didn’t even see that. I didn’t really need it, given my experience with the encounter, but it might be handy in general.

Anyways. I feel like heroic Putricide is within our grasp. We called the raid a little early last night and left him up for Monday, along with Dreamwalker, Sindragosa and LK. If I were running the raid, I’d spend 2.5 hours on Putricide, then roll through heroic Dreamwalker, regular Sindragosa and LK. Even if we don’t get Putricide on heroic this week, I have a good feeling about next reset.

I think the coolest thing about this is that even though I’m not the one getting achievements like Heroic: Storming the Citadel or Heroic: The Plagueworks… it still feels like progression to me. Even though it’s not new to me, even though I’ve wiped for countless hours on all of these encounters before and then stood in screenshots over their bodies. This is awesome forward momentum. This is progression for the guild. I WANT to get these people their heroic kills, I WANT to get these people their drakes. I want to wipe on heroic LK with these people. I want to wipe on heroic Halion with these people.

I think the end of Wrath of the Lich King will be a great time for me and it is SO NICE to feel that way and look forward to raids instead of dreading them.