Sunday, 13 December 2009

Dos and Don'ts of LFG

I've done enough random dungeons over the last few days to pick up 'the Patient' as a title, enough badges to get 4 pieces of T9 and enchanting mats to get them raid ready. So here's my list of dos and don'ts based on recent experiences.

DO: keep yourself stocked up with reagents, water and ammo where appropriate, you don't want to be there at the beginning or halfway through a boss fight missing something vital

DON'T: assume you having a hissy fit and dropping group will make a difference, every time this has happened we've found a replacement and had a fantastic run.

DO: take a few seconds to say hello at the beginning and goodbye at the end, it doesn't take much but just helps remember you're playing with other people.

DON'T: be afraid of the Occulus. Yes it's very different to all the other instances with the vehicle mechanics but even in completely random pugs we're able to complete 'Make it Count'

DO: be prepared to wait for a group if you're dps. This might have just been my experience but it can't take a while for the group to form, which means there's plenty of time to get dailies and quests done.

DON'T: be disheartened if there's a wipe. Playing the blame game doesn't help anyone and there is still room within the game for there to be a random happenstance which gets everyone killed.

If you haven't played around with with the random dungeon finder then at least give it a go once, especially as it should be a fairly painless way to get a couple of frost emblems.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Hitting the Heroics

I have made a decision in guild to switch my main from Crash to Acidlake my paladin who has been so much fun to play as ret both in solo play and in groups.

However given the guild is preparing to hit IceCrown Citadel and I'm still rocking heirloom items and quest rewards some severe gear upgrades will be required. Fortunately the recent change in badge drops and that tier 9 is wholly available from badges means that there is a clear and straightforward route to getting raid ready, heroic instances.

Normally this would have required trying to grab any groups that were forming in guild and possible get one or two done. But given we're now in the land of patch 3.3 and the new looking for group tool.

I'd only had one experience with the old LFG tool when we picked up a healer for heroic Ramparts back in TBC days. It didn't end completely well due to the complexity of heroic instances back then and since then the only random dungeons had done had been pugs organised either through whispers or adverts in /2.

Hoping that I wasn't too undergeared I signed up for a random dungeon looking forward to the possibility of new emblems and a chance to try out running as part of a group with people who don't know me from Adam.

Getting Azjol-Nerub was a bit of a blessing and having completed all the heroics before means I know the tactics well enough to know what to hit and when. We completed all the boss kills without a hitch, including the speed kill achievement on Anub'arak. Achievements appeared, extra boxes appeared to say the dungeon was completed and my collection of badges had increased.

From then on I've been hooked. The simple way of getting to the instance, not quite knowing which one it will be and the extra badges every time it completes mean I can just queue up at a time I'm able to play should I not be able to fit things in around what the rest of the guild is doing.

I'm probably 2 runs away from getting the 'the Patient' title which I shall proudly display in future pugs and have picked up a couple of very nice pieces of T9 ret gear.

The new instances also provide a great way of getting gear as well as containing a fantastic part of the storyline but those journeys can wait for another post.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Shifting the questing paradigm

One of the interesting things about levelling up from the original game and through the expansions is seeing how Blizzard has changed how you go about picking up quests and going through the zones.

From about level 20 onwards you generally find yourself in one or more zones, going back and forth grabbing whatever quests were available and within the right level range. Often this could be quite annoying especially if you have to wait to level before continuing with a quest chain and the constant travelling could really eat into your play time.

Things got worse as you headed towards 60, chances are you'd only be doing 1 or 2 quests in a zone before having to fly/ride off to another zone.

Once you ride through the dark portal things change slightly, suddenly there are entire zones to complete at any one time before moving onto the next one. Each quest hub you approach is suddenly awash with yellow exclamation marks which you can run around and pick up before heading off to complete the objectives. Naturally there will be quests that can be completed at the same time, but you are going to have to figure that out yourself otherwise you may well spend lots of time riding back and forth to the same spot.

Finally the frozen north beckons and you find yourself on the coast of Northrend with a whole new set of zones to quest through and quest hubs springing up. However this time instead of being awash with exclamation points there are only one or two and as you complete quests you either progress the chains or open up new quests to do. The other main advantage is that when doing quests they tend to be all grouped up in the same area.

Of the three models I definitely prefer what has been done in Northrend, the story lines are much easier to follow and I don't feel I'm wasting time travelling around trying to sort out the best order to do all the quests in. I really hope that Blizzard keep this questing model for future expansions, or indeed find some way to improve upon it.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Hitting Outlands (again!)

My paladin levelling has carried on apace, and in no time I found myself at level 58 and a choice. Stay in Azeroth for the next two levels or head through the dark portal to a land of increased XP and shinier quest rewards.

Unlike a certain shaman who carried on with the plaguelands, I decided to run the risk of orange quests and hit Hellfire Peninsula. It turned out that there wasn't really much of a problem, killing demons and having plate armor meant I ran through the quests in short order and found myself at level 60 and a letter in the mail inviting me to purchase a flying mount and the skill to ride it.

Being able to fly makes a massive difference, no longer do I have to run around avoiding hellboars and questing becomes a lot more point to point rather than following the terrain. Personally this is a good thing, I've ridden around Outlands twice and it was fun at the time, but with the current expansion my sights are set on Northrend so these things that help me get there quicker are obviously a good thing.

I'm still enjoying the retribution tree which puts out a decent amount of damage while being able to stay alive through emergency heals. In fact I'm getting so comfortable with the play style that several of the elite group quests are falling easily beneath my axe.

Just four more levels and I'll but hitting the fjord again, but will also have to fit in levelling professions and trying to get epic flying skill again. Ah, good times.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Joining the fold

I've started levelling another alt. There, I've said it but I don't think there's anything to be ashamed about.

The current state of the end game at 80 for me is either to run heroics repeatedly (all of which I've done) or grind the Argent Tournament for seals (which I've done).

The new raids are interesting, but are kind of a one night deal at the moment leaving any other night I decide to play slightly light on things I want to do. This isn't a rant about what Blizzard have done with the game, in fact I'm very happy with everything I'm able to do compared with the previous expansion. However there are times when I need to try out something else.

So I've resurrected my paladin alt who's currently decked out with a set of heirlooms and is tearing her way through the levels at a terrifying rate. Again it's melee dps but as I've mentioned before on this blog it's the style of play that suits me, and with the added bonus of heals and panic abilities it's very easy to tear through the mobs.

The mount changes meaning I can ride around since level 20 has also sped things up dramatically, no more running back and forth from Tarren Mill to Hillsbrad farm between quests and running past hostile mobs pretty quickly to get to where I need to go.

I have no real plans on what to do once I reach level 80. Though running through things as a ret pally could well be a laugh with the added advantages of plate armor and self-heals.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The end of a long strage trip

Let us go back one year. Wrath of the Lich King is currently in Beta and lots of information has been made available about the new achievement system that has links to all parts of the game. One achievement stands out for doing all the holiday achievements as it awards a shiny protodrake mount which is a 310% speed. As this would be a very cool thing to have I like a lot of others started preparing for what was required.

This post now provides a retrospective of all that I've been through in order to get hold of this great mount.

Brewfest 2008
At this time it's required to drink each brew supplied from the 'Brew of the Month' club so the token grind was there to join the club and make sure that all the drinks would count towards this. Later Blizzard would relax this achievement, a subject I don't want to get into now, but it irked slightly at the time.

Hallows End
'Trick or Treating' and traveling summed up this holiday for me. Killing the Headless Horseman was a trivial requirement after the changes put in in patch 3.0 but getting the Hallowed Helm and Sinister Squashling (something I already had) required either a lucky drop from the boss or a drop from the treat bag. Everything else was fairly straightforward, guild members meant buying wands from the Trade channel wasn't required. This one wasn't a problem, no stress.

Winters Veil
PvP reared it's ugly head again with the requirement of getting 50 honorable kills while disguised as a gnome. Losing the disguise upon death meant there was queuing for a lot of battlegrounds but patience was the order of the day for this one. Everything else was very straightforward so again no stress.

Lunar Festival
Once again I was sent around Azeroth visiting elders and had my first taste of sneaking into Alliance cities. It was at this point that I realized just how much the Alliance could be jerks by fiercely guarding their Elder. Other than that a guild run through the Northrend dungeons and a pug for the outdoor raid meant this was wrapped up very easily with no real issues.

Love is in the Air
This was the achievement that nearly broke me. Everything was progressing smoothly, I had love fools to pity, arrows to shoot and rose petals to scatter. However I also needed bags of candies to pull the candies from and this would not drop for me. In the end I had to resort, on the penultimate day of the holiday to logging in once an hour on the hour to try and get it to drop. After many hours it did and the relief was tangible. Lots of stress and the beginning of some doubt as to whether it was worth it.

A late arrival to the meta achievement and probably the biggest grind of all the achievements. Everything you required could be bought for chocolates but you also required enough to eat so there was a lot of running around opening eggs. Some music to listen to and a bit of patience and this one got added to the list.

Children's Week
If Love is in the Air made me question the whole thing then this festival ran it a close second. School of Hard Knocks had already been well analyzed and understood just what would be involved. The Alliance remade some ground by helping with the flag recapture in WSG and some creative use of Vanish allowed for a flag capture in AV. As it turned out a lot of patience and a complete disregard for trying to win any of the battlegrounds made the achievement very doable.

Midsummer Fire Festival
More traveling, and more sneaking into Alliance cities. A quest reset by Blizzard meant I had to sneak in more than I expected but did provide extra blossoms for buying things I actually wanted rather than what I was required for achievements. Again just some effort on my part got this one done.

Brewfest 2009
Here we are again grinding tokens for an outfit. For some reason I had to kill Coren Direbrew again but the level 80 version with the gear we're now sporting meant this wasn't really an issue. I am now officially sick of ram racing but I got enough tokens to buy the clothing, got drunk, fell a long way and danced my way to success.

So here we are with a very shiny mount and a heck of a lot of achievements.

I don't regret having gone through with it, other players have gone for the hard mode achievements in raids while others have fought hard in arena matches for similar rewards. This suited the way I play the game and so made sense for me to work towards it.

Would I do it again? This is an interesting question as I have another max level alt and others I could be working on. Having done it once on my main I'm not feeling the necessity to go through it all again. However knowing what I know now means it might be a lot easier the second time, so I wouldn't like to commit myself either way at this stage.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Not going on the raid....

It's not a phrase anyone wants to hear, you've made yourself available for a raid, you've got everything prepared and now the evil raid leader (me in this case) indicates that you won't be going.

A little background, we'd added Trial of the Crusader back on the raid calendar and there were 22 signups. 5 tanks, 6 healers and 11 DPS. Given that we only run 10 man raids it was clear we could run two raids but it did mean that 2 of the signups would not get to go. Our guild has guidelines on how people get selected, generally on based on how many previous raids that person has been on and should someone be excluded they have preference for the next raid they sign up to.

You'd hope with such clear and understood reasoning in place this would be ok with people and they could wait until the raid instance reset and the guild organized another run. For the majority of people this is ok, but there always seems to be a minority who feel the need to vent on the forums that they've been somehow hard done by and why the decision to bench them for that raid was incorrect.

Now it's perfectly possible that a mistake will be made, everyone here is human and fallable, but even if this happens don't go ranting and raving about it. If anything, all this is going to is antagonize those who run the raids and a petty raid leader may put you on the bottom of the list of signees. Fortunately for those involved I'm not like that (though have been tempted) I just write about them here.

As with all things I resort back to my maxim of 'It's just a game' so if you're going to get so bent out of shape about missing one night's instance please realize that this is your issue rather than mine.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Oh gods...

Oh gods what have I done.

There's been some changes in our guild with GMs stepping down one of whom happened to be the raid leader. Obviously this left a void and in the hope of trying to preserve the work that had been done over the last year I may have put my name forward and agreed to organize the attendees for each of the raids we've got on our calendar.

Now the only complications that there are include the fact that other officers at the moment are pushing to have a committee choose the signups which I don't believe will work with the way our guild runs and we're looking to start having official runs (rather than guild pugs) into Trial of the Crusader while still working towards clearing Ulduar.

The trick, when it comes down to it, will be trying to organize raids which all members who want to can go on, and that also maintain a good chance of defeating the encounters and not have a frustrating night running up repair bills.

Over the next few weeks we'll see how well this works out, whether the guild copes with me doing this organization and whether I'm able to cope with organizing it.

May the Earth Mother be with me.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

I remember this place...

After a serious case of real life kicking my backside up and down the corridor of my office I've managed to get back into playing a bit and hitting some raid groups.

Having slightly burnt out grinding the Argent Tournament to get the Crusader title it's been nice to play at a slightly more relaxed pace. The badge changes have meant that there are plenty of groups forming in the guild to do daily quests and it's been possible to catch up with gear and then start boshing my way through Ulduar redeeming the keepers and generally seeing the bad guys off.

Mutilate is still proving to be a lot of fun though I have switched my offspec back to combat swords, currently I'm using some rep reward swords but I'm hoping for some drops which will make it more raid viable, especially for fights where different poisons or the combat abilities are required.

Our guild is about to start scheduling runs into Trial of the Crusader and I'm feeling good about trying my blades in there and hopefully picking up some shiny new ones.

Not entirely sure what direction (if any) I'm going to take with future posts so they might be random ramblings or they might have some kind of theme. Hopefully there'll be a few readers out there to find out.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Can we get some adds with a little less whirlwind

Rounding up and AoEing trash in instances and raids isn't a massive problem for rogues these days, no cooldown on Fan of Knives and a couple of slow daggers means we can easily keep up with mages and warlocks.

However there is a certain ability that warriors are fond of in PvP that several trash mobs are also keen to use. I'm talking about Whirlwind, something that will kill me 9 times out of 10, and quite frankly it's getting on my nerves.

I'm not talking about remove the ability, that would be unnecessary, but can we stop giving it to trash mobs that the tank expects to round up and be burned down at the same time.

Reasons are this:
  1. When doing single target dps, Quartz will show me when whirlwind is being cast and I can run the heck away.
  2. When mobs are being tanked away from each other, a mob spinning around is a good indication that it's performing whirlwind.
Problem when 4 mobs are grouped up on top of each other, and the marked skull doesn't whirlwind chances are the rogue is going to die.

This came to light the other night when we were attacking the military wing in Naxx. Our melee DPS included me and 2 death knights and unless I got lucky with evasion or the healers were on the ball I died on nearly every trash pull compared to the plate wearers who laughed it off. This slows the raid while I'm rezzed and buff up and quite frankly annoys the bejesus out of me. In the end I resorted to try and train ranged skills and this isn't fun.

I mention this now because of the Razorscale fight in Ulduar which has Iron Dwarf adds during the air phase and the highest priority one to kill does a, guess what, whirlwind attack. At least this one we should be able to run away from, but that still limits dps on a fight that relies on killing things quickly.

This is probably a personal moan, and I expect QQ comments should anyone choose to do so. But when raid trash is designed to be rounded up and killed en mass it seems slightly unfair that classes with low armor that need to stand in the middle (I'm including Arcane mages in this) can be killed very quickly because one guy decides to spin around with his big sword.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Patch 3.1 Fallout

The big patch has landed (and was quickly followed up by a smaller one) which has brought many changes and additions to the game. Here's a quick run down of the major ones that have affected me and my thoughts.

Fishing dailies
Having leveled fishing up to 450 trying to catch the rat and fishing up all the coins in the fountain it's quite nice to have something else to fish for with random rewards. There's only been three of the five quests offered so far but I've received the jeweled fishing pole, the weather beaten fishing hat, a new fishing line and some vendor trash which has netted a tidy sum.

Dual Specs
I've purchased this for Crash so far, which does provide a slightly pricey achievement. I've stuck with an assassination spec for raiding and have a subtlety one for mucking about in PvP and soloing. Personally it's just a nice thing to have, but for classes which can do more than one thing it does add an extra dimension to putting groups together and changing group makeup once you're in the raid.

Assassination Spec
The two big changes I've noticed are the Hunger for Blood change, which is a blessing given how much I hated having to try and remember to refresh the buff within 30seconds. Now once a bleed is there I can put the buff up and given Rupture up almost constantly it's less of a problem to refresh it when I have spare energy. Secondly the changes to poisons to proc based on weapon speed rather than a flat figure means it's possible to use a 1.8 speed dagger in the main hand again rather than trying to find the fastest available, and not necessarily finding them in the raids we're hitting as a guild.

Subtlety Spec
I hadn't played subtlety since TBC when I spec'd for a blast at the battlegrounds to grind honor for the season weapons when they were the best available to the 10 man raider. However now for soloing and hitting battlegrounds or WinterGrasp it feels really good. Premiditation, Ambush, Eviscerate is generally enough to reduce most mobs to tears if not kill them outright.

Our guild is clearing Naxx fairly regularly now and so far we've had one night to have a play around in this new instance. The Flame Leviathan fight is an interesting diversion and we've managed to down Razorscale. However the lack of spawns in the air phase of that fight means I don't think we've done it properly, but at least know what not to stand in and the tanks know what to do during the landed phase. This appears to be a tougher raid than Naxx which means hopefully the challenge will remain for longer. Plus there's always the hard modes to beat once we've killed the bosses on normal.

Argent Tournament
I loved the Isle of Quel'Danas when it opened, especially considering the Blood Elf lore surrounding it, and worked hard to get to exalted with the Shattered Sun Offensive in order to purchase the title once our server unlocked phase 4.

The new tournament appears to be more of the same and I'm eagerly working my way through the quests. So far I've managed to become the exalted champion of Silvermoon and am currently working on Thunder Bluff as I need the most rep with them. Once I've become a champion with them I'll move onto the Trolls which should then net me the Ambassador title while I work my way to the Crusader title that I really want for when we face Arthas.

Non-combat Pets
Finally the Horde have a way of getting hold of some pets that were only available to the Alliance. The Westfall chicken is obtained by buying the seed from the farmer in Brill and then spamming a /chicken emote at a nearby chicken until the quest becomes available. The Sprite Darter Hatchling is another kill grind through Feralas. This was a lot quicker and easier than any of the dragon whelps, twenty minutes of running around and the egg dropped.

I'm planning to write some more posts about my experiences on the bosses in the new raid as and when we hit them.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The one where Crash writes a catch up post

By the Sunwell, where does the time go when everything appears to be happening at once.

Real life has been intruding quite a lot recently which has meant I've not had the time to write as much and playing has been mostly in fits and starts as and when time has allowed.

Some notable stuff that has happened:
  • I finally got round to sticking my head in Obsidian Sanctum and have defeated Sartharion.
  • I've defeated every boss in Naxxramas, and picked up a piece of T7.
  • Chef Crashandburn has been seen around the place adding cooking, to the list of professions at 450 (Skinning, Leatherworking and First Aid being the others).
  • Medrare has dinged 80 and has successfully tanked a heroic, grabbing a staff at the same time.
I've been hitting a few achievements as and when time allows, plus I need to stay ahead on points against a certain obsessive shaman, but at the same time taking a relaxed approach given there isn't a set of holiday achievements to grind for the shiny mount.

Our guild is moving on to attempt Malygos at the moment, and once I get another couple of upgrades then I'll be aiming to stab the big blue a few times.

The only other big decisions at the moment are whether I'll go for dual specs on both characters, or just Medrare in case I decide to scratch an itch to try healing, plus working out how the class changes will affect how I play each of my characters. I've avoiding getting too attached or repulsed by any of the changes as they get announced as chances are they'll change before ever hitting the live server.

Catch you soon....

Friday, 20 February 2009

Rogue guide to achieving 'Intense Cold'

The Intense Cold achievement is done in heroic Nexus and is on the last boss Keristrasza. To do this you have to prevent the Intense Cold debuff to stacking to more than two. Normally this isn't a problem as movement will cause the debuff to be removed. However the Crystal chains which you get hit with stop you moving for 10 seconds and can be enough to ruin your attempt.

So if you need to have this on your rogue here's how I managed it in a heroic pug.

Positioning: Like pretty much all dragon bosses in game you want to stay away from the head and the tail as there are cone based attacks around this area. So stick yourself facing the ribs and you should be safe from those attacks.

Movement: A simple jump is enough to remove the debuff so that's all you need to do every time Intense Cold gets applied.

Chains: The first time this gets applied use Cloak of Shadows, the second time Vanish. After this unless you're combat spec'd with Improved Sprint you'll need to hope your dps is high enough to take the boss down before you get chained again. A sub rogue could also use Preparation to reset the necessary cool downs, but as a HfB/Mutilate rogue I was left with just the two and a lot of praying.

Don't be disheartened if you don't manage it the first time you should hopefully running this instance a few times for the chest piece and the trinket. (I have yet to see the trinket drop but the chest piece has dropped every time).

Good luck

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Fool for Achievements

The holiday event achievements have been a great way to experience all the various parts of the events plus there's the titles and the grand prize of a flying mount.

Love is in the Air is in game for just 5 days over the Valentines weekend and has various things that have to be done in order to grab the meta-achievement and the title. This included running a quest chain and then performing various actions with holiday related items. However the vast majority of these items could only be obtained as a random drop from something you could only get one of once an hour.

Time wise this meant this was the least demanding of all the ones that I've done, but conversely turned out to be the least fun. The random nature of things meant that I could potentially have ground a pledge/gift every hour for the whole event and not got everything I needed to complete the meta-achievement.

Now I'm not saying that the achievements should be attainable just by logging in at the right time but I do prefer the concept of being able to work towards something, even if it requires a group for parts of it, rather than just logging in performing a couple of mouse clicks and crossing my fingers.

However as it currently stands this is Elder Merrymaker Crashandburn the Hallowed the Love Fool signing off.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Mistakes Happen

Nobody's perfect!

Right, now that the shock is out of your system let me put some perspective on this possible statement of the bleeding obvious.

Behind every tank, healer and dps character in your raid is a human being hopefully trying their best to complete the encounter, and because they are a human being occasionally they might make the odd mistake or two.

This in itself is not a problem but the key thing is to learn from it. There's nothing more frustrating than wiping on a boss because someone keeps standing in the fire, however this doesn't mean you can call them out on it unless you are 150% certain they are just carrying on with what fails without trying something else.

Conversely if you do make a mistake and realize it, nothing helps appease your raid members than admitting it and apologizing. Trying to make out it's not your fault or it was some random bug can have the complete opposite effect and set up resentment within the raid group, leading to more mistakes and a less pleasant night's raiding all round.

A couple of examples of the positive from our recent raids include:
The MT on Patchwerk successfully picks him up but forgets just how much damage the slime in that room does and proceeds to try and tank whilst standing in it. Within seconds all the melee and the OT are dead but whilst running back the apology allowed us to laugh about it and the next time the boss dies.

Whilst clearing trash I got a bit keen and failed to notice that Tricks of the Trade hadn't been cast on the MT properly. As I opened up with some big damage moves I quickly pulled aggro and died at the hands of the big nasty spider. Whilst the MT was trying to apologize for letting me die (assuming he'd made the mistake) I owned up. While this may have helped my Karma, it also kept confidence high with the tank knowing they had been doing everything right whilst learning the new raid zone.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Don't Panic!

There's another patch on the horizon which does contain some rogue changes. I'm not talking about 3.1 which is so far out there that I'm not going to comment on the changes that have snuck out so far as they'll likely change again (like with patch 3.0).

Patch 3.0.9 is due to hit this week and amongst the changes is a doozy. A 30% drop in mutilate damage against poisoned targets. On it's own this would seem like a horrendous nerf, but whilst Blizzard taketh away, they also giveth. Hunger for Blood is being buffed up to 15% damage increase from 9% and Slice'n'Dice is increasing attack speed by 40% up from 30%.

Now I haven't crunched the numbers so I can't tell you if the damage output from a mutilate rogue such as myself will be the same but I would hope that they would be given I seem to be holding my own damage wise against other dps classes in our raids.

However this could be a buff when we look at the next big raid encounter, Ulduar. The bane of the mutilate rogue has always been the poison immune mob, I'm looking at you here Curator. Now given that the current Halls of Stone and Halls of Lightening instances have contained a light smattering of poison immune mobs it's not a huge leap to assume that there might be some more in the raid instance.

With this change hopefully we won't be at such a disadvantage as our combat and subtlety spec'd brethren. Of course there may still be a lack of damage at which point it might be time to work out a combat daggers spec or try and get hold of some swords and head back to the monotony of combat swords to have as the alternate spec.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

What's important when raiding

Now this isn't a post about how tanks should tank, dps stay alive or healers conserve mana. It's about what you personally get from attending raids and down a boss with 9 or 24 other people. I'm not going to come up with a definitive list but would like to outline a few that I've spotted.

For some people it's all about the loot, what epics will the drop and what's the likelihood of winning said drop with the group you are in.

For others it's about the technical aspects of the encounters, learning how a fight works and what each person needs to do in order to get the boss down, but also to ensure the raid members stay alive and are able to get the job done.

There are those who are interested in seeing content, it doesn't matter when, just that it's nice to see the inside of certain instances and to kill the bosses, maybe for lore reasons, maybe just for the ability to say I was there and got the achievement.

Finally there are those that are there to play with friends, have a good laugh and enjoy an evenings gaming.

I would expect that the majority of players are a combination of all 4, with leanings towards a particular one.

However there are those that will have a very strong leaning towards a particular trait. While this isn't a problem in the general sense, these people will have to accept that not everyone feels the same way. If they don't then friction can arise during a raid, which means a less fun experience for all involved.

I've written this up on the basis of something that happened in the last raid I went on. I won't go into details as I don't think it's necessary but do want to leave with one thought.

Enjoy the game as you want to enjoy it, just don't do it at the expense of others.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Time to switch main?

The rogue has been a class close to my heart. My very first character on a trial account was a rogue, and my first level 70 and 80 character has been Crash (I started playing just after TBC came out so 60 wasn't a massive milestone). However now I've got there and started hitting the heroics and early Naxx I don't find myself enjoying the class as much as I did back then.

It's great to play daggers again, and when soloing I'm an unstoppable killing machine as everything dies whilst stunned, but the constant button pushing to keep HfB up, the lack of AoE when dealing with trash and the feeling that using stealth just hampers dps rather than adding to it means I'm not enjoying the group play as much.

Whilst it's been quiet over the Christmas break I've started levelling Medrare again and am remembering how much fun druid is. Plus as a hybrid class I could tank (which I've done a bit of), dps (rogue with less issues) or once the dual specs thing comes in heal, though Elune help anyone who takes me as a healer initially.

This might make things a bit tricky to start with as we currently have some high level tanks who have been running stuff for weeks and so have lots of the tasty badge gear but I don't think this will be too much of a problem as we go on as there's always plenty of dps looking to do runs.

I'm not making the decision just yet, especially as I'll have to go through the whole levelling and gearing process again, but with the alchemy trinkets available and Crash already able to make nearly all the leatherworking stuff it might be a bit easier this time around.

Watch this space...