Can't say I've ever seen this happen...

Posted by Weezzii in ,

So it's Friday night... the blogosphere and twitter are alive with Ulduar talks.
Meanwhile however, I was getting ready to log into L4D for a bit until the evening took a turn for the "weird."

An individual who is the GM of another Horde guild on our server sent me a whisper (let's call him Chuck). Chuck used to be in our guild for about a year and a half between Vanilla WoW and TBC. When our guild took a break in TBC, people split off into many directions. One of the guys eventually made a new guild that was meant to be a "bus stop" for lack of a better term. If people wanted a place to hang out while they figured out what they would do next, this was a good place to do it.

The guild stayed around for quite some time, until Vanquish was pieced back together shortly before Wrath. By this time however, the previous guild had a lot of folks go in and out the door. One of the people who went out the door stole a fair bit of things from the guild bank... and subsequently deleted the toons he did it with so no one could pin it on him--though everyone pretty much knew.

When Vanquish reformed, many individuals that did not come into our guild, formed up their own guild with the intent of raiding--headed by Chuck... with one additional right-hand man. ~fast forward to now.

Chuck disbanded his guild tonight for various reasons. He whispered me to tell me that he knew who stole the guild bank contents from the interim guild.. and he wanted to give the things back to us, so he asked for a ginvite to put a bunch of stuff into our bank, knowing that the bulk of players from that "bus stop" guild (including the GM of it) are in Vanquish now. I didn't think much of it, simply because it was all lv70 stuff.

So I tossed Chuck an invite... standing next to him in Dalaran, I watched him drop a portable mailbox.
--- For those of you unaware, in the event a GM disbands a guild, all guild bank contents are mailed to the GM.
He emptied his ENTIRE guild bank into ours... including 12k gold...not the measly lvl70 items that were previously taken.
Chuck then proceeds to gquit and wishes us well with raiding and mentions that he'll be around if we are ever short a dps.

This presents a peculiar situation.


Sarth 3d (25) Down

Posted by Weezzii in ,

As the title suggests... we killed Sartharion with 3 Drakes tonight -- our first evening of trying, and on just the 8th attempt the night... and with 24 people. Very impressive all around.

We had a few "lol" moments throughout the fight, but one in particular should be recognized.

Jsun (holy pally) Says: "Some of the healers should start dps'ing... we got this"
***MT Dies***

In the end just 13 people were alive, so it wasn't a smooth-as-butter kill, but a kill none the less. Congratulations to all!
ps. Sorry Zonya, Mote, and Val that you couldn't be there. =(


Sartharion & Company

Posted by Weezzii in , ,

Well, we haven't bothered to mess with Sartharion 3d yet (25-person). There's a number of reasons for it that I won't bother going into. Tonight however, is slated to be our first attempts.

Honestly I was rather excited about it... still am, actually. But my hopefulness has gone down slightly. We have 7 healers on our raid team... all of which I would like to have in there, AND all of which have confirmed they will be in attendance this evening.

While I was driving home from the airport this morning though, one of our healers text messaged me to let me know his account had been keylogged. So, first and foremost, that's really unfortunate for him, personally. I'm confident he'll retrieve everything, but it doesn't remove the frustration that it can cause you.

Additionally, I'm not sure if they sold all of his gear (though they likely did), and if that's the case we'll be down a healer for tonight.

Hopefully everything gets sorted in good order for him though.



Posted by Weezzii in ,

The process to finding a WP theme I can work with to modify to my liking (with my limited knowledge) continues. I'd really like to create something I'll be satisfied with, that way I don't really have to think about it much.

I've bounced back and forth between dark and light themes... been doing some testing n' such, and there's no doubt that WP is a lot more powerful. On some themes I find it overwhelming, honestly. There's a lot more going on than I understand how to access or know what to do with--so I'll just have to keep plugging away at it.

In-game, things are slogging forward. We've got a lot of raiders that are bored, like many other guilds out there. Some are leveling multiple alts to pass the time and others are just finding various things to stay occupied. Thankfully, we've only had 1 casualty to the "I'm bored" disease... hopefully that will be the only one. I'm encouraging many of our players to even start playing Left 4 Dead with some of us. While you may not be logged into WoW, it's important to keep the connections in the community intact while we wait for the new content we all crave.


Blogger ---> Wordpress

Posted by Weezzii in , ,

I'd like to make the move to Wordpress. To be perfectly honest there's a number of really small things that bother me with Blogger... but being that I was just testing the waters a little bit with starting to blog, I didn't know if it was worth my while to go straight to Wordpress.

I do enjoy it, and I'd like to keep it going... so I think I will make the move to Wordpress. The current theme is okay, but not exactly my cup of tea, so I'm looking for something new.

If you've come across any WP templates you think are nice, let me know... I'll be searching too (also any suggestions/comments for the future look is cool too).


World of Jewelcraftingcraft

Posted by Weezzii in ,

Leiandra made a post on Thursday concerning the lack of epic helms available for non-engineers and non-plate wearers. I've expressed my befuddlement concerning professions a number of times in conversations on ventrilo... and today it continues.

Of course the perfect world of crafting professions involves a sweet and tasty balance between money-making capability and out right usefulness to your character and/or raid/pvp team.
Without a doubt, this would be extremely difficult to achieve (if it's realistic at all). Balancing them for PvP usage probably being the most difficult of all tasks.

Personally, I'm glad LWing, Engineering, Blacksmithing, and Tailoring do not all provide epic helms. If you can achieve the exact same thing in all professions, then just remove them and put one crafting profession in the game as a catch-all. However, everything should provide usefulness on equal ground.

I commend Blizzard on the added uniqueness of gathering professions. It's nice to see small gains coming from that side of the house. I think the crafting side of professions could have had a little more thought put into it (in the big picture).

Across the board, I guess everyone should be a Jewelcrafter. There is simply no other single crafting profession that can match its usefulness. Being a JC, you have gems at your disposal even by simply buying ore off of the AH, and then just prospecting to at least match your money spent... or even triple it. Certainly non-JCs can attempt to mimic this activity by communicating with friends or guildies, but that's not the point of this... and for some people that may not be easily done. Gems are constantly in demand by every lvl80 player in the game. Sure the demand may go down at times, but you can count on it going back up at another time. New raid instance? Gems in massive demand... New arena season? Gems in massive demand... Been a while since a new raid instance or arena season? Gems are in demand (people getting alts into raids/arenas at that point).

Additionally, JC's have some very nice trinkets for self-usage at their disposal. They may not represent "end game" trinkets, but they're a very nice additive to the profession that some people will use for quite some time. Besides these trinkets, JC's can also craft some groovy rings and neck pieces that are desirable for a number of classes. Once again... they may not represent "end game" quality (can I say "end game" with the current content released? probably not), but they are still solid upgrade choices for many individuals.
Now, onto the bread and butter of the decision to be a Jewelcrafter -- JC only gems.

You can't beat them. You are allowed 3 JC-ONLY gems that fulfill the color requirement of a given socket.. allowing for easy gain of socket bonuses and meta-socket usage. This is H-U-G-E.

First off, the JC gem of any given type is superior to its "normal" counterpart.
For example.. the normal [Delicate Scarlet Ruby] versus the JC-only [Delicate Dragon's Eye]... or even [Solid Sky Sapphire] versus [Solid Dragon's Eye].
This is a pretty serious discrepancy. Some argue that this is a comparison between blue gems and epic gems... and the blue gems will be replaced by future, epic gems -- much like we saw in Hyjal/BT.

Unfortunately I can't find the reference, but I remember seeing somewhere that the +16 stat gems will be +20 stat gains when the next tier of gems come out. GREAT! ...but still more than a stone's throw from the JC-only versions. Factor in having 3 of the JC-only gems... and (in the current game) this difference is going to be 16x3 = 48 stat points... versus the JC-only 27x3 = 81 stat points -- totaling a 33 stat difference (and a 21 stat difference after the new epic gems come out). That's a fairly significant boost from an already strong profession.

This isn't the end of the usefulness of these gems. These gems fulfill meta sockets and socket bonuses, they become additionally amazing. Most people have to socket 1-2 gems that are not their best choice for their class/spec simply to make their meta work to their advantage. This changes the stat gain by probably about 11 now.. and 7 after new gems are released. So the real numbers are going to be more like a 44 stat difference and a 28 stat difference.

I liked some of TBC's usable items from professions... namely LWing drums and weapon oils. Tailoring was incredibly overpowered for dps casters when TBC came out... and it remains a decent profession, but doesn't offer much flare in the end.

There's more to be said about the professions I didn't mention much above... but I'm out of time for now. If you're thinking about switching to JCing and you can stomach the gold costs to level it... don't wait, just do it. It's going to benefit you for a long while to come.


V-day & not-so-fogotten love(hate) in WoW

Posted by Weezzii in , ,

First of all, let's just lay it out on the table:
You LOVE trade chat. It is the sole reason you play this game. You do not log in so you can enjoy this virtual reality... you have a mission, and it involves spamming the trade channel until your fingers bleed. You LOVE it, and so do I.
We love it just like we'd love a nail gun driving a nail into our armpit. So enjoyable, it's beyond words.
Being that it's Valentine's Day, let's take a closer look at the object of our affection!

LAST ONE TO LINK [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker] gets 10,000 gold! lolol
- Did someone say [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]?
- lmao [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]!
[Enchanting] LFW
[Enchanting] LFW
[Enchanting] LFW
[Enchanting] LFW
ROFL ANAL [Revenge]
- omglmao ANAL [Moonfire]
- ANAL [Love Rocket] lololol
... and the beat goes on.

I've really only played on 3 different servers, and on everyone of them, the same exact thing is going on. It's disgustingly fascinating, really.
So while I'd like nothing more than to explore the amazingness of each of the above examples, I'd like to focus on a different one, not mentioned above.. that has really come into its own since the release of Wotlk.

[2. Trade][Lazerfase]: LFM Naxx 10 // Full Clear // Good Players; Need MT + OT + Healer + 2 DPS

With the exception of the name, that's a quote.
This is an amazing contribution to the Trade channel.
I'm not disillusioned... people don't use the Trade channel for trade-related talk, and to be honest I don't care. But this sort of a statement, to some extent more than the others, annoys the heck out of me on a number of levels.

"Good Players"... this gets tossed around a lot in the LFG circles. If this was CNN there would be a ticker tape at the bottom saying, "News Flash: You are full of shit."
Certainly there can be skilled/good/smart players looking for groups. But this individual is making a pug from scratch... they have no idea what the abilities are of the other individuals in their raid... which I might add, comprise only half of the total number they need to actually get the raid off the ground.

I pug into these groups on my alt Warrior for kicks... and the vast majority of the time, it's slightly more painful than shoving your hand in the garbage disposal.
What are people trying to accomplish by even mentioning good players?
If I'm any player... good/bad/great/awful, am I going to assess myself before sending this person a tell? Am I good enough to join this Trade Channel pug Naxx?

It's Valentine's Day... and you LOVE Trade chat, just like me.

The TL;DR version is provided in video format under "Read More..."

- Word of warning: excessive swearing ahead.


We're not dead!

Posted by Weezzii in , ,

Between being sick for a few days and being swamped with work, but still squeezing in the in-game essentials, this had to be pushed to the wayside. I've got a few more big things on my plate tomorrow and through the weekend, but the worst of it will be over tomorrow afternoon.

ANYWAY... hopefully everyone is looking forward to the much-talked-about dual spec feature. Here's a little Q&A if you'd like to be caught up to speed on what the blues are saying about this feature:

With the next content patch, we will be introducing a number of additions and changes to the game. One new feature in the works is the ability to set up two separate sets of talents, or “dual spec”. While the complete feature may not be immediately available in the Public Test Realms (PTR) and specifics are still liable to change, we wanted to go over some questions with Senior Game Designer Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street to find out more.

Nethaera: What is dual speccing?
Ghostcrawler: Dual speccing is the ability to save two separate talent specs, glyphs, and action bars.

Nethaera: Why are we allowing players to dual spec after all this time?
Ghostcrawler: We really felt like this was a great way to increase the flexibility available to players and encourage them to take part in more aspects of the game. To use just one example, some players like to participate in both raids and Arenas, which is awesome behavior that we want to promote. But, there are some talents which are more useful in one part of the game than another. Currently, players have to pay respec costs and go through the process of setting up the desired talent spec and action bars whenever they switch.

The new system makes this a much more logical process, saving on time and cost and allowing players to easily move from one aspect of the game to another.

Nethaera: Who will be able to use it?
Ghostcrawler: Players who have reached the maximum level will be able to set up dual specs.

Nethaera: Why do players need to be max level in order to do this?
Ghostcrawler: We didn’t want to burden lower-level players with extra complexity as they’re working to level up and learn their class. But if the feature proves popular we might consider expanding it.

Nethaera: How will you be able to set up a dual spec?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to visit their trainer and pay a one-time fee to be able to use it.

Nethaera: How do you switch between specs?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to switch between their talent specs by visiting any Lexicon of Power provided they’ve paid for the ability to have a secondary spec. Lexicons of Power will be available in major cities, and inscribers will also be able to create a new item that summons one. Anyone can purchase this item, but it requires a ritual of several players to summon it for use by the party. It’s similar to a repair bot in that it will exist in the world for a short duration. It’s important to keep in mind that you will not be able to switch specs while in combat or Arenas. While you won’t be able to switch your spec without the Lexicon, you will still be able to look at your secondary spec whenever you want to.

Nethaera: Will solo players have the ability to switch their specs outside of the cities or will they still need to visit a Lexicon of Power?
Ghostcrawler: Solo players will still need to go into the city to visit the Lexicon of Power to switch their talent spec or will need to get together with other players to summon one in.

Nethaera: Is the item that allows you to summon a Lexicon of Power reusable, or is it used up?
Ghostcrawler: We haven’t made a final decision on that yet, and will be evaluating how it works on the PTR.

Nethaera: Can I respec only one of my talent sets, or will I need to respec them both if I reset one?
Ghostcrawler: When you reset your talents, it will look at the spec you currently have in use as the talent set you want to change.

Nethaera: Will you be able to switch gear easily to match your spec?
Ghostcrawler: At the same time we implement dual specs, we will also be setting up a gear system. The feature is called “Gear Manager.” It can also be used to just swap weapons or trinkets or put on that tuxedo to strut around town. It will not automatically switch your gear when you change your talent spec, but it will allow for an easy gear change between them. The feature may not be fully functional immediately in the PTR, but we’ll have more information to share about it before too much longer.

Nethaera: What about hunters? Often their pet talents are set up to match the talents of the hunter. Will they be able to switch their pet specs as well?
Ghostcrawler: We will wipe the pet talents. However we are going to remove the respec cost for pet talents so that players won’t feel like they need to jump through an additional hoop to respec their pet. In addition, we are going to provide hunters a new core ability to let them remotely access their stable on a long cooldown. This way if their exotic pet heads off to the stable, they will be able to get a different pet. We hope to be able to discuss this new spell in more detail when we get a little further along.

Nethaera: Will you be able to change your Glyphs as well?
Ghostcrawler: Glyphs will be tied to each talent spec so that if you switch between them, so too will the Glyphs. You’ll notice the UI will have changed a little bit so that the Glyph panes show up alongside the Talent panes now that they are associated.

Nethaera: What about hotbars? Will players be able to save them for the talent spec they’re running?
Ghostcrawler: Yes, you will be able to save hotbars and use them with your talent specs. It just saves your bars at the same time as it saves the glyphs and talents. If you want to switch to your other action bar, you will need to change specs.

Nethaera: Is there a way for players to choose their talents without them being saved? Currently, once you spend your talent point, it’s spent unless you pay the respec cost again.
Ghostcrawler: With the dual spec feature, we are going to allow players who respec to configure all their talents before they get saved. They will be able to allocate the points, then choose if they want to use that as their spec, rather than needing to carefully diagram out their talents ahead of time. This will allow players a little more freedom when deciding on the talents they want to pick and avoid costly mistakes.

Nethaera: Will players be confined to only setting up two specs?
Ghostcrawler: We will be launching the feature with just two specs, but depending on how we feel it works out, we might consider additional specs in the future.

Nethaera: When can players expect to try out dual specs?
Ghostcrawler: Players will be able to try out the dual spec system on the Public Test Realms when they are made available. This has been a pretty big project with a lot of people working toward making it a reality in the game. We’ll definitely be watching the feedback and looking for ways of making sure the system works the way we all envisioned it to.


Defining Success

Posted by Weezzii in ,

I spent the last two days out of WoW a little more than normal--popping in to check the AH or buy/sell for the guild bank and that's about it.
This coincided with some time spent playing Left 4 Dead... mowing down zombies by the thousands in some good old fashioned mindless spraying of bullets in every direction.

Stepping back and looking at your guild or raid team should be done as regularly as any function you perform being in a leadership role. Most of the time you can do this "on the fly" without putting too terribly much thought into it. The longer you are a GM, the more in-line your senses become with certain attitude and playstyle trends as they unfold (or so I would like to think). Occasionally however, it's nice to take a little further step backward (without doing the oh-so-common "AFK FROM WOW FOR 2 WEEKS").
I'll be one of the first ones to admit, I'm not a perfect GM or raid leader. How would one really measure that sort of thing? Defining a successful raid leader... a successful guild master... or even a successful guild?

More than likely, a number of people reading this have answers flying into their heads right now.

Switching gears a bit--
Other than Vanquish, I've really only spent a decent amount of time in one other "structured" guild--which is to say, a guild that was meant to have some direction beyond just "hanging out."
For me, the experience was awful... some of the worst time I've ever spent in this game. Unfortunately, I didn't take much away from that experience. It was just plain bad... and mostly what it proved to do was reinforce a lot of my thoughts/ideas/opinions.
Defining the "worst" part of an already woeful situation can sometimes be difficult, but in this case (for me at least) it wasn't.
The GMs and Officers in that guild thought they were damn good at what they did. Without a doubt, they had confidence in they way they handled business and conducted raids.

I was in that guild for just a few months. For me to say "it was like watching a train accident unfold" doesn't begin to scrape the surface of what it truly was.

[There's bad guilds everywhere Weezzii, what's your point?]
The guild was fairly successful in clearing pve content. When I joined they had just downed Vashj but hadn't managed to kill Kael'thas yet. They went on to push through Hyjal and up to Illidan with decent pace... leading Horde progression on the server for part of it. I was discontented enough being there that I quit the guild when Illidan was the only thing left for us to kill--the last thing in the game at the time.
Admittedly, we had been working on Illidan for the better part of a month and a half at that point. I know that is an extremely long time to be on a single boss, but honestly I don't think in all that time, that we even logged two full nights working on the encounter. I would have liked to see Illidan die, but it ceased to have meaning after a while. Rather than joining another guild to finish off the current game, I quit playing my character altogether and re-rolled onto another server as Alliance.

It's very easy to be disillusioned as a GM/Raid Leader/Officer.
WWS and WMO can tell you a lot of things about your raids and your guild... but it won't tell you a damn thing about how well you do your job, most of the time.

Let me re-introduce the above questions--

How do you define a successful Raid Leader?

How do you define a successful Guild Master?

How do you define a successful guild?

Most generalized answers to these questions leave gaping holes. Something GMs/Officers/RLs need to understand, is that their definition may not be in line with their guild's definition.
I have a lot to say about this topic and I'm sure I'll write plenty more of it.

[My point today?]
If you're a GM or Raid Leader with a throne... set it on the ground at least.

--thoughts/comments/opinionated answers to these questions?