Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Garrison Pet Battles - Their Majesties, King and Queen Floret

This Royal Duo are typical Draenor Sproutlings that pack a BIG PUNCH!

I admit, I did think initially that a couple of water attacks would do it, but their hits can be really huge, especially once Righteous Inspiration goes out (and they do a bit of Righteous Inspiration trading between the two of them).  I had tried the Pandaren Water Spirit + Chrominius combo but I couldn't quite get that to work, then I tried some magic pets so that I wouldn't get 1 hit with an Inspired attack, but that didn't quite work for me either and and went another tack.

These are their attacks:

The team I beat with consisted of Ruby Droplet and a S/S Death Adder Hatchling.  I had another pet in the team but it never got used.

Ruby Droplet: Acid Touch, Bubble, Drain Blood
Death Adder Hatchling: Poison Fang, Puncture Wound, Blinding Poison

I started with Acid Touch, and then used Bubble and then Drain Blood.  That got my health back up by about 750 and by that stage they had used Righteous Inspiration and the Inspired attack was still blocked by bubble.  I then switched to Death Adder Hatchling and Blinding Poison, then followed that with Puncture Wound and then used Poison Fang and then switched back to Ruby Droplet, who fortunately still had a block up and the next attack was blocked and I put another Acid Touch, followed with Bubble and the Drain Blood again.  By this time one of the royal duo had died and I applied another Acid Touch to the other and switched back to my Death Adder Hatchling and Blinding Poison, Puncture wound and then Poison Fang and they royal pair were defeated! Fortunately for me, the Floret had used a Righteous Inspiration when I applied Blinding Poison so I was not killed with the next hit - phew!

The beauty of the Garrison pet battle daily is that I can try it again - but I still couldn't get success with my Pandaren water spirit and Chrominius.  I look forward to reading other people's strats and trying them out!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Guildleader chores - Raid planning

Wowhead and MMO-Champion are telling us that raids will open on the 2nd December, which means that the first raid of WoD for Frostwolves will be on the 3rd December.

That's only 9 days away!

Gearing up for me hasn't been a huge issue, though I have been impressed with how fast some of the Frostwolves have geared up.  I think a lot of them are raid ready, and I see lots of people doing heroics, even the more social players.

Within Frostwolves there are two tiers of raiding - the serious raiders, who are keen for progress and want to raid 3 days a week, and the more relaxed ones, the ones who have told me they're happy to be subs, but would like to raid more casually. And a lot of people seem to be afraid of being the "casual" group though I can't imagine why - it doesn't mean that there won't be good players there, it just means they haven't got the time commitment to play 3 days a week and once a week is very doable!.

Kyjenn has been very keen to play lately, so I thought I would harnass some of that energy (whilst he still plays!) and put him to work.  I asked him specifically if he would mind running the once a week raid on Sundays.  I brought it up at an opportune time because Hwired asked me to put him as a backup tank, and I didn't want him to be on the subs list because he's at the bottom of the list for subbing into main raid and I know if I don't give him some raid time he'll just stop playing and Hwired is good value and fun.  So I asked Hwired if he'd like to tank with Kyjenn on Sundays once a week raiding and he seemed keen for that.  Hwired also asked if Roshii could raid with them - and I think that it would be great except Roshii didn't think he could raid because of work.  But maybe he could make it once a week - and I think that the Sunday casual raid could be a really fun thing if it gets going and serious but casual Frosties want to raid!  I have great hopes that the Frostwolves raiding feeling will be really strong in the Sunday raid - I might go and give them a hand too just to get in on the fun raiding if there's room!

I have seen some really good numbers coming out of players who I thought were a little less serious about raiding, and I am looking forward to seeing how that translates in the raid environment.  There is still a lot of concern about meshing together as a team, and I hope with all my heart that all our raiders will bring a sense of fun and excitement to the raid, and hopefully leave behind elitist and finger-pointing - because that is NOT what this guild is about.  I have been rehearsing to myself what I will say on the first raid night and what I expect from our raiders and I hope that the relaxed feelings we had whilst doing Siege of Orgrimmar will continue into the current raid team.  It's so hard to explain what I mean, but for me, raiding is not just a bunch of people thrown together to kill a boss - I REALLY want to foster that team feeling, that everyone is having fun, that nobody is looking down on other raiders or making it unpleasant by harping on about their mistakes or their damage.  Yet at the same time I want everyone to be doing their best because that's how we succeed!  It sounds so idealistic and I am really worried that my ideals will not translate well and the great raiding we had in the last expansion will not be here in this one because people are not on the same page.  But I am going to try my best to force the issue and MAKE it happen!

In other raiding news, a lot of people have been complaining about LFR Molten core and I have not stepped foot in there yet - I have scheduled a guild run next weekend and hopefully that will be ok - I am sure I can drag up 40 Frostwolves!  I wonder if we have to queue it as LFR?  The complaints have been that it's very LONG and that people don't know what they're doing, but I am hoping that having it as a guild run will remove a lot of those issues.  And it's a good opportunity to see what some of these raiders will be like before the real raids on the 3rd.

A couple more pieces to go (ring and hat) and I will be fully 630.  Only a few more heroic dungeons to go!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Guildleader chores - From a Pack to a Horde and how we are going to raid

This past week has seen a massive increase in our guild numbers.  There has been a lot of concern flying around in the guild - many people don't know who all the others are, and how they are related to whom. In fact, the only person who knows who everyone in the guild is me.

Obviously there has been a lot of concern about who is going to raid and what is happening with raids.  I tried to reassure most people but they are still concerned - so I thought I would make a blog post to reassure them (and myself).

So here is a little flowchart of how everyone is related to whom.  Doesn't it look pretty!

When I look at it this way, it doesn't seem like we have that many people.  I look and I think, most of these people are not intending to be 3 day a week raiders.  Maybe some casual raiding which is very easily catered for on the weekend for those who are inclined.

So, how am I going to sort raiding?  There have been a number of queries.

Are we going to have two raiding teams?
What we are going to have is one serious raiding team, which does our usual Wednesday, Thursday and Monday, from 9pm-11pm.  I do not want to run a second raiding team at the same time as I believe that it causes division within the team.  There will be feeling of one team is better than another and inevitably leads to guild splits.  I told everyone who joined in 6.0 and WoD that we don't have raiding spots and there may be some sub spots and more casual stuff on the weekend and if they weren't ok with that, then they shouldn't have joined!  I wonder if our ranks will think a little after that, but in reality, I don't think so.

As it stands, these are the raiders:
Tanks: Aimei, Exray
Healers: Navimie, Morzierz, Ravzz, Koda, Baconofswag
DPS: Sevrus, Azadelta, Luxygaga, Jazzbangers, Nathamanz, Lushen, Dragonray, Crooked, Kahrax, Eq, Tenshi, Souglyy, Vexil, Haevela, Sars, Shoushiro, Duck, Alca, Una

Subs and keen to raid: Brahski (DPS), Amayeti (Heals), James (Tank), Moopiex (DPS), Biship (Heals), McTacky, Kelthal, Disco (DPS)

Are we still doing Flex/Normal on the weekends?
We probably won't be starting that until we are solidly doing weekday raiding for 2 weeks so I everyone can have a feel for what raiding as a group is like.  I did like how we had a casual once a week normal/heroic raiding, so I think that would be great for those who are more serious about raiding.

There are a few people who are tagged as purely social and I think that Saturday "social" normal raids when we are well established will be fun for them but as I said, I don't think we will do that until we are into doing heroics.

What happens when it gets to Mythic?
It will be a long time before we get there. Our guild has never been a Mythic guild and by the time the next tier comes we will be still doing heroics, I suspect.  But we may be surprised!  If we do get there then those with the best attendance, performance and good team attitude will come for progression.  As stuff becomes farm then we will substitute the rest of the raid team members in.

Can I raid with my friends in other guilds/servers?
Yes, of course you can!  Since we can do it as many times as you like, you can do the same raid a few times (except Mythic of course).  However, if you are constantly unavailable for our raid times because you're with others then your priority for a raiding spot will probably be downgraded.

What about those who are underperforming in raid?
Raiding is supposed to be fun, and I wholeheartedly believe this. However, I expect that everyone should have some insight into their own abilities and capability to raid at our best raiding level.  Raw DPS/healing numbers is one way to look at a fight, but I also look at ability to follow instructions or handle mechanics.  Even I have difficulty the first few times, but I try my best and strive to improve with often amusing results. If someone is woefully unaware of their abilities then one of the officers will speak to them about the concerns and offer tips for improvement and I expect people to be mature enough to accept constructive criticism.

What about EPGP?
EPGP is reset.  It will start again in the new raid week. EP donations will be accepted on Monday night and the Tuesday before raids on Wednesday.  Donations will close at the start of raid.

Well, hopefuly that allays some of the fears and answers some of the questions.  Any further questions put them in as comments to this post guys!  And of course, if you love my flow diagram, feel free to post a comment or even something funny about it :D

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Regrets on rapidly levelling to 100 and some fishy tales

The start of this post is probably a bit of a misnomer.  I wasn't lightning fast, hitting 100 in a day, but I managed to get to 100 by Sunday evening. Considering that 6 hours of playtime was lost because of launch server and instance crashes, as well as the whole server queues debacles, I think that it was much faster than any other expansion I had levelled in.

I have levelled with HK/Aimei every single expansion. The first time I happened to have had a week off work and he had a lot of free time so I had someone to play with.  In Lich King, we just continued the same. By Cataclysm I was getting really lazy and he was driving me around on the bike (yay for 2 player mounts that came out in Lich King) and in Pandaria I was just blindly following and killing whatever he told me to kill. In reality I am a really frustrating person to level with because I often forget to pick up the quest item, or haven't finished the quest and we're back at the quest giver and HK will be like "YOU said you were finished??"  and I'll sheepishly reply "I was finished - with that pet battle!"

One thing I regret is not reading the quest text.  I skimmed it all in my rush to pickup stuff that I feel like levelling was not the immersive lore experience that I've had previously.  Granted, I tended to have a much better feel for the story when I was questing for fun (ie to finish achievements) and not when I was questing to level, so my perception may be skewed somewhat. I wish I had screenshotted more things - including rare spawns, since they are only rare ONCE and then ever after they are not rare ever again.  It was impossible to screenshot them in the launch period with people swarming like starving piranhas over a lone carcass and I think that I might actually enjoy questing with Minndy as she absorbs the zone and the story and screenshot all those little scenes where I missed my moment to screenshot stuff.

Another thing that people have been talking about is what happens at the end of Nagrand. I hit 100 whilst in the Spires of Arak so I stopped questing after that and started hitting the dungeons.  Probably a mistake on my part, as higher level gear drops in Nagrand and I probably wouldn't have to farm so many dungeons if I wasn't lacking so much in my ilvl.

Because I feel this PRESSURE to start hitting heroics, I'm not really doing the things I want to be doing.  I want to explore Ashran more. I want to do BGs - I hear that if you do well in a BG you get a box of loot or something that can contain PvP gear.  I want to go out and pet battle and collect all the pet things! Fortunately I can still use my spare moments to do things like fish and cook, and doing those has made me feel like I'm achieving something.  Fishing for these 100 enormous fish species achievements has been rather relaxing IMO.

And look at the hilarious things that you can get whilst fishing.  These two hats have a 7 day duration and look hilarious when you put them on!

Tentacled Hat (left) and Hightfish hat (right) were fished up by me when fishing inland water. The Tentacled hat was caught in Frostfire ridge as I was fishing for Fire ammonites, and the Hightfish hat in Nagrand.  These hats are GREAT for fishing bonus - they only last one week from when they are caught though, so having them is good for fishing for the achievements as having a fishing skill of 900+ means you'll pretty much only catch Enormous fish. And don't forget to put the right bait on too!  The annoying thing about the bait is that it's unique so I can only have one of them in my bag at any one time.  Would be useful to have  a nice stash of bait for those long hours of fishing.  The plus to all this fishing is rapid levelling of cooking.  I have always fished and cooked hand in hand, so after I do the next round of fishing achievements, some lucky person can use all my fish to level their cooking too :D

Oh, and I forgot to mention the Frostwolves first 3 to 100 - big cheers to James, Luxy and Raverager!  I think that deserves a comic, don't you?  If only WoW Model viewer was working properly!