Updates, Kills, Nerfs and Stress!

What I like about blogging is that your blog is always there when you want to write. I’ve actually wanted to write a lot in the last week, but I rarely have the time these days. Being a GM means a LOT of your free time (and some of your non-free time!) goes to guild stuff.

It’s not even in-game stuff, it’s out of game stuff. Planning. Reading parses. Dropping notes to people. Figuring out promotions. Oh, and then what to do about Cauldrons? And how can we incent the raiders to give us Lavascale Catfish?!

I have a break in my day today that allows me to post here because a lot of the stuff that’s been consuming me over the last week has been dealt with. Our first batch of promotions went out this morning to those with whom we’re happy concerning performance and if they’ve been to all 9 of our raids thus far. Welcome to Raider rank, kids. :)

Aside from that, I’m pretty pleased with our raids thus far. Every week, we’ve killed everything we killed the week before AND a new one.

Week 1: Argaloth, Magmaw, Omnotron, Halfus, V&T
Week 2: The above plus Maloriak
Week 3: The above plus Chimaeron

And we also got Atramedes to 28% on Sunday. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


We did it with the following group of healers:

2 holy paladins, 2 disc priests, 1 holy priest, 1 resto shaman and 1 resto druid

The individual assignments:
Group 1 – minus the two tanks: resto shaman
Group 2 – melee: holy paladin (not me)
Group 3 – casters on left side of the room: holy paladin (me)
Group 4 – most of the healers: holy priest
Group 5 – mostly ranged on the right side of the room: disc priest
MT – resto druid
OT (double-attack tank) – disc priest

First of all, let me just state for the record that prior to Chimaeron, the last time I healed a GROUP in a 25-man raid was almost certainly on Naj’entus in Black Temple. You know. Back in 2008.

Second of all, huge props to one of our discs for digging up this little nugget of awesomeness from the PlusHeal Chimaeron 10m thread:

Way we did this was to add Low Health debuff to Center Icon on Grid and the other debuff (Caustic Slime) to Border indicator (set the aura to a yellow colour).

That made things SO much easier, at least for me.

So the groups were more or less taken care of. The tanks were more or less taken care of.

How to deal with Feud and the multiple Caustic Slimes the entire raid had to absorb?

Well, I looked at our lineup and I coordinated everyone’s cooldowns/abilities. Like, every single one. I assumed the following:

– Feuds would happen an average of 1m apart with the occasional one 30s after the last and the occasional one 90s after the last
– We would have no more than 5 Feuds

This was sparked by Beruthiel and Vixsin‘s comments on this post of mine (so many awesome suggestions there!!! Thank you, everyone!):

Vixsin: Surviving Feud is all about coordinating raid CDs and having all your non-healers use their group healing spells. Ret and Prot pallies should be hitting HR. Elemental and Enhance Shaman should be dropping Healing Rain. Feral druids should use Tranq. Personal CDs also make a huge difference, along with a raid leader who screams “click the lightwell!!”

Beru: during feuds have them work out a Tranq/ToL cycle. They should not utilize both CDs for the same feud. For example: Feud 1: Druid 1 Tranq, Druid 2 ToL, Beru ToL; Feud 2: Beru Tranq, Druid 1 ToL, Druid 2 heal; Feud 3: Druid 3 Tranq – the other two ToL when it’s up and if it’s needed.

I also seriously considered making two healers be a “Slime Team”, as per Vixsin’s suggestion:

For quick and easy topping, handle “Low Health” like you did Penetrating Cold–assign healers to specific groups. (Priests on ranged, R-Sham on melee).

It was definitely still in my mind as a possibility if what I came up with just flat-out didn’t work. But… it did. And here’s how we did it.

First off:

1) ALL Paladins should hit Holy Radiance when we’re clumped up.
2) ALL Shaman should get Healing Rain down on the clump spot ASAP.
3) ALL Resto Druids should get an Efflorescence up on the clump spot ASAP.
4) ALL Holy Priests should get a Sanctuary on the clump spot ASAP.

Then we did this:

Feud 1:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier
– 1x Lightwell
– 1x ToL and LB/WG spam, using Regrowth w/ OOC procs and keeping Swiftmend on CD for Efflorescence
– 1x Mana Tide Totem (and again on cooldown anytime we’re clumped up)

Feud 2:

– 1x Divine Guardian
– 1x Barkskin/Tranquility (resto druid)

Feud 3:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier (other disc)
– 1x Divine Hymn (shadow priest with PI and Lifeblood for maximum ticks)

Feud 4:

– 1x Divine Guardian (other pally tank)
– 1x Barkskin/Tranquility (feral DPS druid)
– 1x Lightwell (should be back up)

Feud 5:

– 1x Power Word: Barrier (first disc)
– 1x ToL and LB/WG spam, using Regrowth w/ OOC procs and keeping Swiftmend on CD for Efflorescence (same resto)
– All kinds of personal cooldowns, including Healthstones

I know what you’re all thinking. “Wow, Kurn, that’s some serious overkill and overplanning!”

On our kill, we had 13.3% overhealing. So not a lot of overkill. And while it was a lot of planning, I think it was just the right amount of planning. So far as I can tell, everyone did what they were supposed to do when they were supposed to do it on all 8 of our attempts. We never had more than 5 feuds.

What is something that really surprised me is this:

182823 raid DPS
85376 raid HPS (effective, not raw)
98423 raid HPS (raw)

The average DPS and HPS on a kill, according to World of Logs:
228673 DPS
88908 HPS

I’m pretty sure the average HPS is raw, because otherwise I don’t know how we won, basically. I’m chalking it up to our outstanding healing, which allowed us to overcome the issue of having substantially lower DPS than the average.

That’s the sort of thing that makes a healing lead proud of her team. :)

For reference, here’s what my Grid looked like throughout the vast majority of the fight.

Chimaeron is not for the faint of heart! You can clearly see that five people have the Low Health debuff and that they also have Caustic Slime on them (yellow border). My groups go from 1 on top to 5 at the bottom so there I am in the second position in Group 3 benefitting from Protector of the Innocent. Lord, I hate that talent. Having said that, it was usuallyNOT enough to keep me alive. I had to watch my health carefully, lest I die. And for that fight, I was definitely specced 3/3 PotI. (I’m normally 2/3.)

And speaking of talents. And being a paladin. And such.

There are nerfs a-plenty in the new PTR patch, including a likely live hotfix to our passive Walk in the Light, which now supposedly only adds 10% to our healing spells instead of 15%. I am so tied up in my paladin that I don’t think I have any choice but to continue as my paladin, even if I’m unhappy about a variety of changes. I’m hoping 4.1 will show us more love than 4.0.6 is, thus far.

With regards to stress, I find myself remembering why being the GM sucks. It’s not just the work, although there is that. It’s not just the constant stream of whispers and PMs, although sometimes that does get tiresome. It’s the loneliness. I’m surrounded by great officers and we do a lot of things by vote/committee/etc. I’m not a dictator, I’m not a monarch. I’m the representative of the officers that takes what’s said behind closed doors and announces it. I’m the one who pushes the officers to discuss things. Basically, I’m a facilitator.

But I’m still the guild master. And even though it doesn’t mean a whole lot as compared to my brother or Majik or any of our other officers, I’m still “the face” of the guild.

People act differently around me. I have to wonder how to act around various people. Can I shoot the breeze with a guildie about stuff that’s going on or is that best left within /o? Am I allowed to make mistakes like a moron or is that going to reflect horribly on my ability to lead? It’s as though I’m always putting on a public face that’s there “for the betterment of the guild and the raid group” and I don’t get to relax in-game at all. As such, I haven’t been in-game a lot over the last few days. I’ve been working hard to get all these promotions and attendance things taken care of and help plan out our progression route (right now, Atramedes, Council, Cho’gall, Nefarian and Throne somewhere in there), so it’s not like I’m sitting here doing nothing. Oh, and I’m recruiting, too. (Resto shaman, resto druid, balance druid! Apply now!)

But it’s still lonely.

Toga, one of our officers, was the original GM of Apotheosis when we formed. We signed the charter that Majik bought, decided upon officers and the officers basically voted unanimously (there were like, 10 of us at the time) to make Toga the GM.

I’m pretty sure Toga has never forgiven us for that. ;) I thought that as the primary raid leader back in BC, I got a lot of whispers and messages. I thought wrong. When I became the GM when Toga stepped down midway through SSC due to RL stuff, I was flooded, inundated. And I realized that I was the go-to person people would come to about stuff that would impact their raiding.

“Kurn, I can’t go to the raid on Tuesday, I’m sorry.”
“That’s okay, thanks for letting me–”
“My mom’s… well, this is hard to say, but…”

And the person would launch into an extremely personal story that I didn’t need to hear. I mean, you can’t make the raid. Okay. Thanks for the heads up. I don’t need to know more.

But I knew the people coming to me with these things needed to tell me. There’s something about telling someone you kind of know over the Internet some personal things, so you can vent about how you’re feeling without any RL repercussions.

This is when I realized that I needed to start sharing my WoW stuff with my RL friends. One of them is extremely kind to listen to me babble. She knows the names of many of my guildies, past and present. She doesn’t play at all and has no interest, but when I told her I got the Kingslayer title, back in the day, she was thrilled for me!

I also talk to my RL Friend the Resto Druid, because it’s always nice to have an objective opinion from someone who knows the game and how guilds work, first-hand.

So it’s lonely in-game sometimes, but, thanks to some of my awesome friends, I get to vent to them about the in-game frustrations I have and no one in Apotheosis needs to be witness to that. Which is probably a good thing.

Anyways, invites in less than 6 hours. I need to comb through the Atramedes log from Sunday and figure out why it looks like I failed so badly the parse doesn’t seem to be picking up various things and counting others as double damage and the like. I’ve been very pleased with WoL in T11 content, but DAMN, Atramedes is messy as hell.

Sorry for the long-winded update, but not writing for a week totally meant this was going to happen sooner or later. ;)

12 Replies to “Updates, Kills, Nerfs and Stress!”

  1. The change to Walking in the light is just an adjustment due to Conviction not working correctly until recently. Now that it is correctly applying 9% increase to all our heals it makes sense to lower our output. The real nerf is removing the effects of Aura Mastery with Crusader Aura . So long holy powered turbo boost.

  2. I’d recommend to avoid separating yourself as much as possible from the non-officers. Sure you need time away or in O-chat to figure things out, but otherwise relax and be yourself. It’s a freakin’ game!!!

    Also, try to get some officers or “non-com’s” to take on some of the whisper load. Other trusted people can filter chatter for you or handle loot and invite spam while you’re busy leading the actual raid.

  3. Heya Kern. Glad to see a post. :)

    I just wanted to relate a bit to your stress. I’m also the GM of a large guild (about 300 members), so I can understand the constant request for your time and energy that it can have. Ignore my tidbits if you want, for I probably have a terrible grasp on your day-to-day in your guild, but I wanted to put it out here anyway.

    To frame the post – my guild operates a little differently than Apotheosis. As GM, I have the final say. Period. This sounds harsh, but the beauty is no issue should ever be brought to me. I have two outstanding Admins that work “under” me. A “Team Admin” and a “Guild Admin”. Each Admin is responsible for different facets of the guild (Team Admin – PvP/Raid teams, Loot Systems, Raiding Organization; Guild Admin – Recruitment, Public Relations, Events, Accounting, Technology). Each Admin has the sole power to recruit Officers that report to them to fulfill one of their tasks. The Admins handle everything (I say this but I like to keep my hand in every cookie jar). What this has done in our guild is made it so the “face” of the guild has now been split depending on who’s realm it falls under. It took a little while but the guild has naturally shifted to the proper Officer or Admin regarding their concern. I had to do a few, “That’s nice, thanks for the heads up. I’ll relay this to so-and-so, please make sure to let them know in the future,” or a “I’m not too sure about that, ask so-and-so, they’re the one leading that project.”

    An extra bit is this is our guild 2.0. Much like Apotheosis we raided in BC. Very hardcore. I did everything then and our downfall was me burning out. This revamp in organization has taken a huge load off of me. It let’s me be involved where I want to be without having the public responsibility.

    My personal favorite part is in the raids. I am not the Raid Leader. However, you’ll find me doing healing assessment/assignments every raid and giving instructions during encounters. My help is accepted but the raid lead calls the shots. It let’s me still be my “leader” self but now I have people in place to keep me from over-extending.

    Food for thought. I don’t expect you to revamp your system or anything I just wanted to share my story in case you might find something that would help take a bit of the pressure off of you. It’s heartbreaking when someone so enthusiastic and involved starts to feel burdened by their role… especially one they clearly love.

    Keep it up, Kern! Your guild is doing fantastic and I always look forward to your posts. :)

  4. As a note from a non-GM, non-class-lead who somehow has ended up being the unofficial healing class lead who also does all of our healing assignments for 25s (and the 10s I am in).. despite having never played either a resto druid or any kind of shaman.. I appreciate the posts where you note how you set up group assignments! I’ve hesitated to put our druids on tank heals mostly because of the above ‘really should have leveled one’ reasoning, but aside from that I feel reassured! This is similar to how I’ve often set assignments up, so now I can fret less that I’m doing it all wrong and no one’s had the nerve to correct me!

  5. Personally, boss, I feel like you’re totally real and approachable and have no problems shooting the breeze with you. Yeah, you’re the head honcho and the face of the guild, but you’re also, y’know, a real person who messes up sometimes and has bad days and great days and isn’t always the omgbest at everything, and I think that’s GOOD. The GM in my last guild, while I was just a friend of a guildie and not an actual raider, was… kind of removed, at least from the non-raiders, so until very late in the game (ie – right before I transferred Lis over to E’T), I didn’t feel like I could properly chit-chat with him. Join in on the teasing if other people started it, maybe, but not just… “hey, Ak, how’s your day been?”, and it really made me feel a little… I don’t want to say unwelcome, but a bit STIFF around him and anyone in the guild I didn’t know. It would’ve been nice to feel more comfortable around him, because he’s a pretty nice guy once you get to know him.

  6. I’ve never been a GM or even officer myself, but I’ve spent a lot of time having fun doing all sorts of nonsense with GMs in previous guilds

    Be it it harassing the opposing faction’s city in the middle of the night (having 40-man raids organised to stop 7 of you is very fun), alting, running 5-mans or old content with them are all good ways to buddy up with GMs. Anything relaxed and carefree is a great way to do it. :>

    Also, Grats on Chimmy!

  7. Gratz on Chimaeron, we had our first kill on him as well recently and holy cow, once everyone used things in the proper order, the boss was super easy!! We kept one tank with the healing/dmg debuff on him and the other tank would taunt before double attack. This allowed the tank hears to focus mostly on just one tank, the one taking the double attack, and the debuff tank so long as we kept him at 50%, was easy to heal. (2 tank healers both Paladins with Bacon on tanks)

    As for being a GM, been there done that, judging from your post, you take great pride in your guild and I hope they (your guild) can see this.

    This goes out to all of the GM’s out there, it takes a special kind of person/people to be good GM/Council, and you all should be given a standing applause for all the hard work and time spent to form and administrate a successful raiding guild. For without them, we would not have raiding guilds and we would all be forced to PUG, and we all know what would happen then.

  8. Grats on the Chimaeron kill. Aren’t you supposed to get a “not-protected-by-bile-o-tron” debuff on your raidframes anyway? Atleast I always have. I’ve found Chim not all that stressful to heal with that indicator. A sentiment that may very well change when we try hc chim this week.
    On a different note, the paladin nerfs have been warranted. They put out vastly superior HPS along with priests when compared to druids and shamans. An issue that shines through especially when you’re running 10mans with just one of the two top throughput classes. Paladins will still be more than fine after the patch. And as was mentioned before, the Walk in the Light change will mean very little towards throughput, given reasonable uptime on Convinction HPS will probably be increased if anything, but we’ll see.

  9. Two questions:

    1. You haven’t group healed on your paladin in ages…is there a reason you put the druid and priest on tank duties and gave both the paladins group assignments?

    2. Why is it that you hate PotI? Did you mean to say that you love it? Cos I can’t see what the downside of it is.

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