Sunday, 31 August 2014

So I was a Raid Leader

It was 9:00 pm on a Saturday Night. A crowd of people logged in for the Guild Flex raid. But there was no sign of Navimie or the others who would usually start the raid.

At 9:10 I joke in guild chat that Luxypie or Ravzz should start the raid since they have seniority (they are Hunting Pack and I am Scouting Pack guild rank).

At 9:14 I invite Luxypie and Ravzz to group without asking first. The both accept my invitation. Promote them to assists.

At 9:15 I say in guild chat that anyone who wants to come to flex type '1' in guild chat or whisper me.

And already I had made two critical mistakes that I missed until much later:

Mistake 1: I assumed Luxypie wanted to come to the flex raid that night (she didn't), but Luxy being a nice helper went a long with my assumption instead of correcting me. I apologised afterwards, but I was oblivious at the time.

Mistake 2: Morzierz (an officer) was on an alt called Moztingo. The alt has a normal alt rank and not an officer rank. I didn't notice this fact and Moztingo was invited along with everyone else who whispered me or typed '1' in chat.

After inviting everyone we noticed a problem, of the twelve people wanting to go we only had one tank (Kahrax) and 2 heals (myself and Ravzz).

After waiting to 9:20 for a solution, I queued us for SSO Wing 1 Flex (instead of the usual started with SSO Wing 4 Flex). And I found myself leading a Guild Raid for the first time in eight years.

Leading a Flex raid is simpler than a normal raid. There is no loot to deal with and no DKP/EP is awarded. So it was smooth going. We one shot Immerseus & Protectors with Ravzz solo tanking. (At the start of Protectors I said "don't' throw the thing to the healers" and forgot to add "also don't throw the thing to the tank" as well. So Ravzz ended up getting a Mark of Anguish, oops.)

We stopped Wing 1 at 9:45 we stopped there since we knew Norushen required two tanks because of the Self Doubt stacks.

Luxypie asked a tank friend Tankazz/Shadowdk to join as a second tank (I was still obvious to my first mistake at this time), and someone asked their friend Jazzard joined as a third healer. I give the Navimie preamble about the Frostwolf raid is for fun and not drama and not to say anything mean to anyone in raid chat.

We also decided since we now had the numbers to just start on Wing 4. At 10:00 we had cleared to Blackfuse.

And we wiped. Since I had no idea how belts worked I was unable to explain it very well and Gunsnßowses who hadn't done belt before didn't know how to get off the belt. I blame myself for the failure to communicate anything useful to Gunns.

Haev and Luxy take over belt. We wipe again. This time I hadn't been telling people to kill the crawlermines! Brae has to leave the raid, as announced at the start, to take the son to a comic con. Souglyy and James joined on some alts at this time.

Third attempt, crawler mines are destroyed, the belt team is wonderful, the raid kills Blackfuse! It is now 10:30.

Next we clear trash and reach Paragons! Paragons was a one shot. We didn't know the kill order, so someone googled it. I dusted off my old /run SetRaidTarget("target", 8) macro to apply {skull} to the mobs as they were announced in Vent. Some of the Paragons have very similar sounding names, but I was accused of being racist towards Mantrid for saying this.

10:50, we head down 'Rough-Hewn Passage' to Garrosh. As we head down the death tunnel, I rearrange the groups for left side/right side split. We do wipe when we accidently get two packs at once, otherwise the tunnel was smooth.

As we reach the end of the tunnel Navimie logs in. Ravzz goes DPS and Navi joins as healer. Navi then fixed up the groups I made. It is 10:59 and we do our only attempt on Garrosh for the night. We reach the last phase of the Garrosh fight but we just didn't get him down.

11:14, Navimie calls a ready check to see who wants to continue, some people need to go to bed, so the raid ends.

So some observations on how I did.

Atain Command Style vs McTacky Cooperation Style:Playing as McTacky as the raid leader cooperative and friendly and getting feedback and not assuming it was someone else's problem. During this run I was announcing things like 'Shockwave, watch your feet' & 'Crawler Mines are up' & 'move out of the fire'. Whereas back in MC & ZG on Atain I'd be no-nonsense commanding people and tunnelled in on damage meters and not the mechanics of the fights. Back in the MC days it was more about wrangling the large crowd instead of being good on the technical aspects of the fights. On McTacky during the raid today I even said 'good hustle' after the group managed to deftly deal with a pack of adds we didn't expect.

Knowing the Fights:Honestly I had no business leading the raid into Wing 4 if I didn't know things like 'how the conveyor team works exactly' or 'what order do we kill the paragons in' or how may times to we swap colours before we don't go back to the centre in phase 2 of Garrosh'? It is all well and good to say things like 'stay out of the fire', but that simply meant I knew some of the mechanics, but not enough. Luckily I wasn't stupid enough to fake it though my ignorance, and I just flat out admitted I didn't know these things. The raid cooperated, we found the answers and we got though it.

Helpful Luxy:Luxy was way helpful, more than I realised during the raid. She got us the second tank, she saved us on conveyors, used a repair bot at Garrosh. All for a raid she didn't even want to go on! I don't want to trivialise the efforts of the rest of the raid, they all came together to get I though the four kills we did and compensated for my shortcomings in knowledge, but Luxy is way too helpful for her own good!

Self-deprecation humour:I did too much self-deprecation humour at my own expense during the raid. It ended up sounding like I was fishing for complements when I wasn't. Luckily I smarted up and eased up on it in the last hour.

Confidence:When we were killing stuff I was too confidence in myself. When we were wiping I had lost all confidence in myself. I needed to be in more of a middle ground. Wipes happen and clearing mobs happens, it isn't anything special and I probably wasn't the cause of either.

What should a Raid Leader Do and Not Do?During a run with no loot, no EP, and zero drama between people, what is a Raid Leader supposed to do? Explain the boss fights? I did that poorly. Keep the raid moral up and moving forward? I managed to do that. Analyse what went wrong and create a plan to deal with it? I managed to do that.

Ghostwolf Rank:
It was suggested during the run that the Shaman be given their own rank in the Frostwolf guild list (we had a lot of shaman in the run). Then it was suggested the rank be called Ghostwolf. I don't think we'll be moving any Shaman to this rank, but that rank name was brilliant! (the existing ranks in Frostwolves are wolf based - Alpha Wolf. Beta Wolf, Hunting Pack, Scouting Pack, Frostwolf, Pup, Sheep).

I probably missed some stuff, but I am glad I didn't post this right afterwards and instead reflected on what happened. I am proud of myself of getting the raid together and got it moving ahead despite the shortcomings, but it was my own shortcomings that held us back in the end. I got everyone else doing 100% and I wasn't giving it my own best. (I'm sure I wasn't healing to by potential because I was too busy seeing what everyone else was doing!).

This isn't a cry for complements or sympathy, I think I did okay. Most of this is just me figuring out where I can improve in case I raid lead again within the next 8 years.

Most of all I just hope everyone who came had fun, which is the most important thing!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Countdown to Warlords of Draenor (41 week update/12 weeks to go!)

My Holy Item Level is now at at Heroic average! Only Twelve Weeks to go!

Important Stuff to do:
● Get Holy Item Level to over 566 (564 567/566) Complete!
● Get Ret Item Level to over 553 (545 549/553)
● Proving Grounds: Proving Yourself: Gold Healer
● Proving Grounds: Proving Yourself: Gold Damage

Old Raid Stuff to do:
Glory of the Cataclysm Raider (20/24)
● Get Shado-Pan Assault to Exalted (Revered)
● Get all Burning Crusade Raid Pet Drops (6 8/10)

Pandaria Quest Achievements: 1 Left
● August Celestials - 1/3 3/3 (Complete)
● Sunreaver Onslaught - 16/18 17/18

Misc Stuff to do:
● Do [The Longest Day] Achievement
● Get all Argent Tournament Mounts (12/15) (400 Tokens)

Jewelcrafting Recipe Collection: 7
● 1 Rep (Aldor), 4 Raid (Sunwell), 1 Dungeon (Old Hillsbrad), 1 World Drop (Cataclysm)

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Atain vs The Bronze Dragonflight

"So you want me to travel back in time and kill my parents?" asked First Sergeant Atain, "yeah, that sounds absolutely safe!"

"Well they aren't technically your parents. They are from different past, you would be safe," said the Bronze Dragon.
"Patricide & Matricide aside, what is a Different Past? The Past is the Past." asked the Orc Warrior.

"There is one past you are from. These people are from a different past," said the Bronze Dragon.

Atain scratched his head. How was an Orc Warrior meant to make sense of the Bronze Dragon's ramblings.

"In your past the Orcs drank the demon blood. In this different past the Orcs didn't drink the demon blood," said the Dragon, "just accept that there can be more than one past."

"Where is this other past?" asked Atain.

"Where?" asked the Dragon.

"Yes. Where is it located?" asked Atain.

"Draenor," said the Dragon.

"I have been to outland, there is no different past there," said Atain.

"You cannot visit this other past normally. You must use powerful magic. In fact the Orcs from this other past are members of the Iron Horde! They plan to invade our Azeroth! We need to go stop them." said the Bronze Dragon.

"People from the past are trying to invade the future? Good luck. We have better technology and higher Blacksmithing Level," said Atain.

"But in the past they now advanced technology as well," said the Bronze Dragon.

"I don't remember advanced technology in the past," said Atain.

"The other past has this technology," said the Bronze Dragon.

"So if I travel to outland I will see this technology?" asked Atain.

"No. Outland is from your past, not this Other Past," said the Bronze Dragon.

"How can you leave something in the Past and not have it arrive here in the Present?" asked Atain.

"The Other Past isn't Your Past. It doesn't come here," said the Bronze Dragon, "that is how you will be able to kill your parents in the past with no risk to yourself."

"And that makes it okay to kill my parents?" asked Atain, not understanding the idea.

"They are like a different version of your parents," said the Bronze Dragon, "many members of the Frostwolf Clan is enslaved by the Laughing Skull Clan on this other version of Draenor, so they are working for the Iron Horde and it may be necessary to use lethal force."

"Version?" asked Atain. It was a word he didn't know.

"A copy, a duplicate, a mirror," said the Bronze Dragon.

"So they are fake orcs then," said Atain, relieved.

"No, they are real orcs," said the Bronze Dragon.

"Impersonators?" asked Atain.

"No, were born with same names as your parents, were married like your parents, look the same as your parents," said the Bronze Dragon.

"That sounds an awful lot like my actual parents then," said Atain.

"The whole world is a copy of the one you know, a different past" said the Bronze Dragon.

Atain sighed. He didn't understand any of this. How can there be two pasts?

"Could you just give me an opponent that makes sense?" asked Atain, "asking me to travel back in time and fight my parents? It is a bit much."

"They aren't your parents," said the Bronze Dragon.

"They sound close enough that it doesn't make a difference," said Atain.

"Well I suppose you could travel back in time and rescue them instead," said the Bronze Dragon.

Monday, 18 August 2014

McTacky Vs The Bronze Dragonflight

Master Death Knight Aloysius McTacky marched into the caverns of time with great purpose. The sand moved away from his boots in fear. The Blood Elf's fury was legendary.

"When we met years ago, you forced me to grind grind grind grind grind grind grind for you to even bother talking to me," said McTacky.

"Later you sent me into the past to stop the Infinite Dragonflight from changing history. You said our past was in danger." said McTacky as black sha anger bellowed with ever step he took closer to the centre of the cavern.

"I was suspicious when I was sent back in time to fight in Old Hyjal where there were no time travellers on the other side," said McTacky, "

"Then you send me into some possible future, where  I find out Murozond, leader of the Infinite Dragonflight, was your father Nozdormu this whole time," said McTacky, "and he was trying to prevent a even worse future."

"Your point, mortal?" asked Anachronos.

"So everything I'd done for you was entirely pointless," said McTacky, "but I let bygone be bygones... Either bad future would occur long after I had died. But I can no longer forgive you!"

"Explain yourself!" demanded Anachronos.

"Oh, I just found out the Warcraft Universe operated in a Multiverse where it is impossible to change the past at all. You only end up creating new timelines!" shouted McTacky, his usual blue glowing eyes turning red.

"Calm yourself least you wreck yourself," spoke the Bronze Dragon.

"Wardens of Azeroth's timestream from all who would seek to disrupt its flow? You mandate is a joke. The battles I fought on your behalf are a joke. The fact there are an infinite number of McTackys out there in the multiverse makes me a joke!"

Anachronos' guards raised their weapons and edged towards McTacky.

"Everytime the Infinite Dragonflight traveled back in time they created a new timeline. For every time I travelled in time to stop the Infinite Dragonflight, I created a new timeline on top of that. So three timelines created by that one event times infinity because of all the other McTackys who now exist!" said McTacky, "it made sense when there was only one timeline."

McTacky unleashed the power of the sha and struck down the dragonkin.

"Stop this!" said Anachronos.

"You drove me to this!" said McTacky, laying the bronze dragon with a single boss mechanic that Anachronos hadn't researched.

The Bronze Dragonflight were destroyed.

"If there is to be chaos, there is to be total chaos!" said McTacky, "may all of the timelines run free from your pointless tyranny!"

But for every McTacky that defeated the Bronze Dragonflight, there was a McTacky who never even considered doing it. Making everything that this Death Knight McTacky had done pointless.

Meanwhile In Another Timeline:

"So Garrosh broke out of gaol," said the Bartender, reading the Silvermoon Times.

"I know," said Master Blood Knight Aloysius McTacky, looking over his wineglass with his glowing green eyes.

"Well the new development is that he proved the existence of the multiverse," added the Bartender.

"Who cares," asked McTacky, busy drinking wine.

"Doesn't that mean all the times you helped the Bronze Dragonflight were pointless?" asked the Bartender.

"What else is new?" asked McTacky, "As far as I am concerned the Bronze Dragonflight and the Infinite Dragonflight are only smoke and mirrors. They never had time travel powers, they could only let us see into the past. Like a simulation."

"That explains everything, including their continued incompetency," said the Bartender.

"Naruu, Dragons, Old Gods, Titans, the Burning Legion. They all claim to be super powerful. But they always lose. If they were really that powerful, they could undo any loss and turn it into a victory," said McTacky, "the only past I believe in is the past we find with our own eyes with archaeology."

Friday, 15 August 2014

Warlords of Draenor: 14 Weeks to Go!

The actual date has been accounted for Warlords of Draenor. 13th November, 2014. Watched the announcement live with some guildies in vent.

To celebrate I am going to list everything I achieved since the start of the Countdown to WoD series began on 9th November 2013.

Important Stuff Done:
● Get Holy Item Level to over 553 & 566
● Obtain Holy Spec Shield instead of Holy Spec Offhand
● Obtain Legendary Cloak
● Finish Siege of Orgrimmar
● Proving Grounds: Proving Yourself: Silver Healer
● Proving Grounds: Proving Yourself: Silver Damage

Old Raid Stuff Done:
● Obtain Shadowmourne
● Collect all Classic Raid Pet Drops
● Exalted Reputation with Hydraxian Waterlords & Avengers of Hyjal
● Finish Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25 player)
● Finish Glory of the Cataclysm Hero

Misc Stuff Done:
● Get all Pristine Archaeology
● Killed all Mists of Pandaria Rares
● Collect all Darkmoon Faire Mounts
● Best Friends with Nat Pagle

Jewelcrafting Recipe Collection:
● Collect all Wrath of the Lich King & Mists of Pandaria Recipes

Friday, 1 August 2014

Birthday Comic!

Luxypie, co-creator of The Faily Frostwolf gave me this awesome birthday comic last year and so I am reposting it!
In the top panel left to right: Xyn, Azadelta, Faithy, Navi, Luxy
Bottom panel: McTacky & some peeps
Thanks Luxypie!