Sunday, August 24, 2008

Responsible Raiding


I've talked to you before about how tanking is all about controlling each pull, well this goes double for those leading a group or raid. I doesn't however stop at knowing exactly what should happen and what you should do. Oh no if your leading the group whatever the size it's important that you make sure the everyone knows what should be going on.

I was prompted to write this post after being in a couple of 10 man raids where those who were supposedly in charge of the raid did not do this. It is essential that everyone know their role.

Did I stress that enough? Lets try again with bold writing this time.

You have to make sure that everyone knows what the hell is going on and what they are supposed to do! If your not prepared to do this then for the love of god don't wonder around with the little raid leader crown like your doing something.

Yes I know I may be stressing the point a little too much but it's something that I feel strongly about, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't organize a raid if your not going to lead it. Organize it then pass leadership onto someone else and make sure they know they are supposed to be leading. This happens in 5 man group all the time. I lost count of the times I've been invited as the last spot in a party to tank it then had leader passed to me. This also goes the other way, I have on many occasions tanked an instance while not being the leader because I was not 100% comfortable with the instance or I thought that someone else would do a better job. I mean there's not point in me wondering around marking things and asking the party to do stuff if I don't know what the hell I'm doing or if there is someone else in the group who could do it better.

Even when leading a group I will always ask if everyone is familiar with each boss and some of the more difficult pulls. If there are multiple ways to do a pull or a boss I will ask the group which way the want to do it and then give a very brief recap so that everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing. I mean OMG I just wasted 30-40 seconds going over a boss fight, however will we make up the lost time ... oh thats right we make it up by not wiping and having to run back and rebuff (damn I think my brain just had a sarcastic fit there).

It's not a lot I expect from whoever is leading the group. It's simple little things, going over the raid markings and kill order, healing assignments if necessary, special CC duties. Also if you ask someone to do something get an acknowledgment from them. Don't just say it and expect them to do it without confirming it. Did they fully understand what you want them to do?, were they afk for a short bit?, did their doorbell just ring?, did they simply miss the chat or didn't hear you? Waiting for a simple "Ok", "np" or "sure" eliminates all the factors.

So in conclusion to my rant I would like to say that if you don't do the above mentioned things don't go around pretending to lead the group, cuz your just not doing it.


So until next time this is Stuntyone the Incompetent Warrior Ranting off.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Lead a Raid o.O

First off, it's not relevent to the title but has to be mentioned ... SoL got our first kill in Black Temple, Yeah Baby! and for the first time ever I broke 1000 dps on a single target boss fight, YEAH BABY!!!

And just look at all those funky costumes, the guild is really coming along in this regards.

Anyway on to the title topic.

This Thursday a cooperative Magtheridon run was organized between SoL and my old guild, who were having problems getting enough people together for a 25 man raid. The project was proposed and organized by Lady B, who while gathering the people together dropped this bombshell on me. Her reasoning was since she had organized the raid she sure as hell wasn't going to lead it and decided to stick me with the job :(

Having gotten the raid of the ground Lady B decided her work was done and took a back seat for the rest of the night. She promptly handed over the job of organizing the groups to Kitty the new GM of my old guild who did a decent job of it, I didn't do this as I was still finishing a speed heroic Underbog run.

My speed run finished I get a summon and start organizing healing and tanking assignments. I've had the benefit of watching and learning from some very competent raid leader over the past while so I just did my best to emulate them.

The trash on the led up to maggy when smoothly, right up until the point when while dealing with the patrol we somehow managed to pull another group of adds. Being the 4th tank and generally unnecessary I was in a good position and managed to puck them up with a quick thunderclap, the dps stuck to the kill order and the tanks came and picked mobs off me. Due to everyone keeping their heads we managed to avoid a wipe.

Next came big n' ugly himself. Most of us knew that this would be no walk over since the majority of the raid had never been here before, and we only had two warlocks. I started giving a brief explanation of the fight and picking the people to be cube clickers. I picked people be their reliability rather than any other reason. I also didn't pick tanks to be clickers because I wasn't sure what our dps was like and could not guarantee that all the adds would be down before the first blast waves were cast.

The first couple of attempts went as I expected with the raid dieing to blast waves and everyone learned their role in the encounter. What surprised me was how well we did on the channelers,the warlocks did the best that could be expected of them on the infernals as there were only two and the tanks picked up the slack often tanking their channeler and up to two infernals for a short time before the warlocks could get to them.

Then everything clicked, with the clickers anyway. i guess all my shouting of "Clickers to your positions" and "CLICK, CLICK, CLICK" payed off and on our 3rd attempt we got him down to 27%. Only 27% because people had to learn about the falling debris and getting rockshotted.

Then the most entertaining event of the night happened. Our fury warrior had to go to work so we picked up a friend of lady B's a hunter to fill his spot for our last attempt. he was in the neighborhood so he got an invite and made his way down ... and wiped the raid.

Thats right he gets pugged into a 25 man raid is there for all of 3 seconds and wipes it.

How you ask?

He had been doing some PvP and had forgotten to take his pet off aggressive. So upon entering maggy's chamber his pet promptly lays into the first channeler it sees starting the encounter with the raid half buffed and nobody ready or in position. The entire raid started roaring their heads off with laughter. made all the more funny because scant minutes before we had been jokingly bad mouthing the "huntards" and explaining why all blame, no matter the situation should be appropriated to them. Truly it was a classic moment that I will remember for a long time to come.

Anyway we recover from our wipe and set into our final, final attempt. we only get maggy to about 50% this time due to one of the clickers dieing at an untimely moment. In the end almost everyone had a great time, and I want to give my heart felt thanks to those who did not need maggy for their title or gear but still came along anyway.

... oh and next time get some other poor sucker to be the RL.

So until next time this is Stuntyone the Incompetent Warrior signing off.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I's Been Doin Some PvP

First off I should talk about why I've been doing a lot of PvP lately. It's because I wanted a sword. In this case the Merciless Gladiators Greatsword to replace my axe.

For a long time I've been told that the best weapon for arms dps is a two hander sword, but I'm one of those strange people that just cant take something at face value. Oh no, I'm one of those annoying people that wants to know why something is better before I change. Also is a seeming downgrade in weapon really going to increase my dps?

So I sat down and did a little comparison of the bonus for using axes and the bonus for using swords.

Axes: 5/5 In Poleaxe Specialization gives you a bonus 5% critical strike chance. With 2/2 Impale this is the same as saying it gives you a 5% chance to do an additional 120% damage and with my meta gem this is increased to 123%. Pretty cool eh?

But lets take a look at swords.

Swords: 5/5 in Sword Specialization gives you a 5% chance to make an extra attack. This is the same as saying it has a 5% chance to do 100% extra damage.

But thats not all, these bonus attacks also has a 30% chance (my unbuffed crit) of doing an extra 123% damage. You do the math and you'll find that this already puts swords ahead of axes.

But yet again thats not all, this added bonus actually scales with raid buffs. In a raid my crit is ~5% higher meaning these bonus attacks have an increased chance of doing 223% damage instead of 100% damage. Pretty spiffy right?

But whats this? Theres more?

Darn tootin' theres more. This ability procs off any attack you make, this includes Pummel and Hamstring. These low damage attack also benefit from axes ... but seeing Pummel crit just makes me sad (Oh yay I just hit an 80 damage crit /cry), but with swords you just made at the very least another 100% weapon damage.

This is really cool because there are times you will be asked to interrupt spells and if you play a raiding arms warrior you will know that there is that spare rotation where both Mortal Strike and Whirlwind are on cooldown. Normally you would use this to refresh your Battle, Commanding or Demoralizing Shout. But what if these still have plenty of time on them? Throw in a hamstring for good measure, it costs bugger all rage and your doing nothing better with that time so why not chance an extra attack.

I don't know if it procs off intercept, but it would be really really cool if it did :)

There is just one problem with using swords that I'm having big problems getting used to.


Before I was all like "STUNTY SMASH!!1!1!eleven".

Now I'm all like "STUNTY ..... slice ??? o.O".

I'm telling you it's just not the same and I don't know if I'll ever recover.

Anyway back to PvP.

It all started a while back when a warrior on my server Khir found out about my blog and has been pestering me into being a better warrior ever since. In fact just today he found the one + attack power gem on my gear that I had somehow forgotten to replace with + strength.

Anyway a while back he found out that I suck at PvP, and very kindly took me into a few battle grounds to show me the right way to do it and later on he led a few premades for my guild (who for the most part only PvP when necessary). Ever since then every time I go into a battle ground I'm starting to enjoy it more and more (mage's still scare the pant off me though). Infact I started enjoying it so much that when I had my think about swords and decided I really wanted one I went out and ground twice as much honor as I ever have in one day.

I'm telling you my brain nearly exploded. And do people you ignore on other servers stay in your ignore list? If so mine must be damn near full ... again.

The thing is I'm starting to enjoy PvP so much I might even start taking arena seriously.

So until next time this is Stuntyone the Incompetent Warrior signing off.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lots of Stuff.

First I want to start with an apology for my lack of posting. It just seems that every time I sit down to write a new post it all comes out as gibberish .... I mean more so than usual. The past week has contained a few firsts for me.

The first first, if that makes any sense at all, was a full clear of Zul'Aman. Before this I had only ever killed 3 bosses in ZA and wiped on the fourth. This meant that for most of the raid I was winging it. I barely know the trash up to the fourth boss and nothing about anything after that, and to make matters worse every time we got to a boss, it was always "Ok Stunty is going to tank the boss" and every time I heard that phrase I got this "what the hell is going on" feeling.

In the end we got a full clear with only two wipes, one being on the third boss, meaning we only got two of the timed chests, and once on the last boss. Here is a quick pis of the group standing victorious over the corpse of Zul'Jin.

The second first was SoL going 3/5 in Mount Hyjal. On the trash waves before Kaz'rogal I was running around like mad picking up loose mobs and chasing down Gargoyles and generally having a great time. Then came the big guy himself. For this I just switched into my dps gear and had at him. Near the end of the fight everything started going to pot, caster were blowing up while standing too close to other caster and blowing them up too, the main tank went down, and it looked like a wipe as he went around one shotting almost everyone.

But whats this? Thrall is still in the fight and at almost 100% health, a couple of our druids have gone into cat mode and are hiding at the back somewhere, and Kaz'rogal is at 8%....

Go Thrall GO!!

Thrall and his NPC buddies manage to kill the big bugger for us. At one point it looked bad but Kaz managed to kite himself over to some of the Tauren NPC's and our victory was assured.

So then it was decided to make Thrall an honorary member of SoL, and we threw a bit of a party for him.

The third first was the very next day (yesterday) when SoL went 4/5 in Mount Hyjal. I think the trash waves for this fight have rekindled my flagging love of tanking. It's pure unadulterated seat of your pant tanking. Running after infernals and gargoyles and tanking 2,3,4 mobs at a time, you just grab anything nearby and get it to hit you instead of anything else. Fun fun fun.

As for Azgalor himself, this is one of the only bosses I've found where it's actually fun to be an off tank. He casts that doom spell on people and they come running over to you and die leaving a Doom Guard in their place that you have to tank we ended the fight with each of the three off tanks tanking two doom guards each. What makes it interesting is the fact that the off tanks can get the mark of doom themselves. This meant that at one point I was tanking my Doom Guard, the two doom guards K was tanking and a fourth that spawned when K died, not that easy picking them all up :)

Fortunately K got a Battle Rez and took a couple off me. In the end everything went well and another demon bit the dust, and the first 3 T6 glove entered the guild. One was taken by the happy Boomkin you see below.

In conclusion I will try to post more often over the next week, if for no other reason that to avoid writing such a long post.

So until next time this is Stuntyone the Incompetent Warrior signing off.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

SoL 2/5 In Mount Hyjal.

So this wednesday we stepped into our rotation on T6 content. From now on It will be one week Tier 5 and one week Tier 6, and for the first time ever I stepped into Mount Hyjal as melee dps ... and I loved it.

Mount Hyjal is like a dps warrior dream some true. The trash is mainly pally tanked and the bosses rarely do anything to make you stop hitting them. On the trash I achieved over 1000 dps, a personal record for me on Rage Winterchill I only achieved 850 dps due to him constantly casting Death and Decay right under himself and getting frostbolted for a second time 12 seconds ... 12 seconds, before my trinket cooldown was up and dieing. I'm telling you this guy hates me. On Anetheron I pulled off 960 dps, another personal record for me on single target dps. Now if only I could get a damn Enhancement Shaman and a decent Sword.

Anyway it took us two attempts but the second boss in MH finally bit the dust.

As you can see the Boomkin was late to the party.

After we celebrated for a while someone went and talked to lady Jaina, and she gave some speech about having bought time and pulling back. she then started casting a mass teleport spell, and this being our first time getting this far we all thought "oh cool I wonder where she's taking us" so we all gathered up near her.

As it turns out she just teleported the npc's and left us standing there like fools. Then the trash came.

With cries of "Flee", "Run for it!!", and "F### this I'm porting to shatt" we scattered, eventually the undead cornered me high up in the hills and rather than let them have the satisfaction of killing me I jumped to my death with a cry of "You''ll never take me aliiiiiiiiveeeeeeee!!!". If anyone out there can tell me the correct way to deal with this part of the fight I would be most appreciative. Although the comedy factor of our first time doing it was something I will remember for a long time.

So until next time this is Stuntyone the Incompetent Warrior signing off.