Archive for the ‘Yama’s Blog’ Category

The Evolution of the World of Warcraft

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Many players have said time and time again: “I wish it was still Vanilla WoW”, “I miss BC raiding”, etc. etc. And I question to why are players feeling nostolgic about old WoW? I think for the most part, many players (and possibly even Blizzard themselves) would say Wrath of the Lich King, the Burning Crusade, and Classic World of Warcraft, are all three completely different games.
I haven’t personally raided or even had the game installed during the time of classic World of Warcraft, however, have played and raided during the Burning Crusade.

Changes From Classic World of Warcraft To The Burning Crusade

What was loss from the transition to WoW’s first expansion most obviously is the 40-man raids. From my understanding of blue posts, this was done because of the Naxxramas incident where only .5% of the world saw the content. It was extremely difficult to get 40 players, and of the correct class raid make ups on top of simply getting 40 people together working in synchronization. Blizzard does not wish for their content to go unseen, which is perfectly understandable.

Stat scaling also changed. Blizzard scaled stats so much that a green from a quest in the first starting zone of Burning Crusade, Hellfire Peninsula, replaced the best item from Naxxramas. This mistake was admitted by Blizzard and they did a good job of not repeating that in Wrath of the Lich King.

Removal of battleground titles and the addition of Arena PvP was introduced. This forced diminishing returns on spells used in PvP and due to the lack of rewards from battleground and caused Arena PvP to be viewed as the only true measure of PvP. This was both a blessing and a curse. The positive effects of arenas is that many players enjoyed the 2-on-2, 3-on-3, or 5-on-5 match to the death. The curse of it however is balancing classes due to PvP inadvertingly changing it in PvE. It did not make a huge impact during the Burning Crusade, however, it will come back to haunt the players of Wrath of the Lich King with the release of completely new abilities and a new class.

Increasing gear availability via Badges of Justice (and through Arena PvP), this, like Arena PvP, was both positive and negative. It helped players to return to raiding quicker to jump the content and negative because it de-valued the hard earned gear of those players in the current content. However, the positive clearly outweighed the negative, as the amount of badge gear did not come anywhere close to enabling that person to skip to the end content immediately, i.e. getting all the badge gear available will not give you the ability to perform to what is required for Sunwell Plateau.

Changes From The Burning Crusade to Wrath of the Lich King

The removal of attunements was made because Blizzard was unhappy with the amount of players not completing Sunwell. This was a dangerous combination with the previous expansion change of increasing gear availability because it enabled players to skip beginning content and go directly to end content immediately. Naxxramas was labelled by Blizzard as the “Raiding 101″ instance in response to the players why it was so easy to complete, and recently they said that they don’t mind Naxxramas to “have it’s run and be turned into a place for just weekly’s.” I have an issue with this because what instance is supposed to be the “Raiding 101″ instance now? So we now have extremely inexperienced players stepping into ICC and attempting content that is supposedly hard when they really shouldn’t be in there. I find this the biggest mistake Blizzard made with this expansion, since you don’t need to be attuned to Trial of the Crusader to obtain teir 9 gear (Triumph Emblems) nor ICC to obtain teir 10 set pieces (Frost Emblems via dailies).

Stats scaling did occur again, but like I said previously, they did a good (or at least better) job of scaling this time around as I used many of my level 70 gear through Naxxramas.

Death Knights. Hate them, love them, or ignore them; they are to say the least an interesting experiment. I personally did not have a problem with the manner of the implementation of Death Knights (Starting at level 55, own zone, etc.), however the impact of this new class with arenas was horrifying. It took a few seasons but things have calmed down now compared to the start of season 5. So cheers for an experiment that didn’t explode back in Blizzard’s face! :D

Normal Mode and Hard Modes (Not heroic mode). The only instance that had this mechanic was Ulduar; where you had to do something special to enable Hard Mode, contrary to what we do today with the simple switching of a setting. I personally enjoyed Ulduar as an instance and find it extremely well-designed. In my opinion, the design of Icecrown Citadel should have followed Ulduar’s example, but Blizzard decided to follow with Heroic Mode.

Heroic Modes. I find this one of the least appealing aspects in Wrath of the Lich King as a raider, because it is simply a lazy implementation and very unimaginative. It’s simply adding in more damage, more hit points, and maybe one or two new mechanics (excluding Professor Putricide and the Lich King). From my experience, earning access to Hard Modes in Ulduar made it that much more satisfying (as it wasn’t always so simple); comparing that to the simple flicking a switch.

What should be done in Cataclysm

I am not going to comment on the current Beta build, as that is tentative for change. I am simply going to say what I think should be done.

Attunements should be brought back. Now, when I say attunements, I do not mean long pointless attunements. I simply mean Hyjal-like attunements (Pick up a quest and kill the final boss of the previous instance). Keep gear availability via Badges/Emblems the same. This would make attuning that much simpler. Furthermore, to avoid the situation of: We just recruited this guy but we need to do a clear of the old instance to get him attuned; there are a few possibilities to remedy this that may work. Such possibilities are: Guild Attunements, majority of the raid attuned, Raid Leader attuned, account-wide attunement, etc. The reason I think attunements should be brought back is because it will serve as a barrier for those that have no reason to be in the final instance; and I think we know who those people are.

Hard Modes should return in some form. Rushing to kill XT-002 Deconstructor’s Heart or going through Thorim’s Guantlet, Yogg-Saron’s fight changing dramatically, etc. Those were fun and much more imaginative; such as Mimiron’s self-destruction, General Vezax’s no mana return at all, Yogg-Saron with the removal of buffs, etc.

The reason for this is so there is some differentiation between players (at least some). I believe blizzard went too far in allowing everyone to see content and everyone to get the same gear, that it is time to go toward the other direction and slowly add in restrictions.

How-To: Raid Leading Part II

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Link to Part I.

Last article I wrote had a lot of stress over the point of knowing the instance/boss and memorizing abilities. Now I’m going to go more over the analysis of raids, as that is a huge part of making decisions; decisions that you as the raid leader have to make. What you as a raid leader need to know what to pay attention to.

What the hell happened to me?

Common question when asked, and easily answered, you simple read the combat log. Luckily, recount already has these death reports set up so you can look them up instantly. Simply go to the “Deaths” section, click on a name, and it will show you the last 10 seconds or so of damage taken and healing taken before the death. Very useful and required tool. Stops liars from making up bullshit or saying that it was just “RNG”, or simply lack of heals. Most of the time it was them standing the wrong spot. Combat logs don’t lie.

Damage Meters

You will be wanting to be setting up different standards for guild runs and pug runs. For pug runs, I find that if they are double the tank’s DPS, they are doing fine, and you won’t need to replace them. For guild runs, it’s a bit different. There simply shouldn’t be a huge gap of difference; on recount it should be a smooth “curve” of DPS of players slowly getting lower as you go down the list. If you are not making a DPS checkpoint in a fight or instance (hitting an enrage or soft enrage), then you will need to make that known to the raid and hopefully next pull you will down it. The raid is not the place to be theorycrafting how to increase personal DPS.

A key concept of DPS in a raid: the more of it you have, faster the boss dies, the less time people have to make mistakes, the less damage that goes out on the raid and tank, the easier the encounter is (generally). Unless you’re ranked on World of Logs as #1 as a raid, you can always do better.

Healing Meters

Being the top of the healing meters does not make you the best healer. The way I like to put it is that there is a “healing team” in a raid.

Healing will be stressful under three circumstances (That I can think of):

  1. There is intense tank and raid damage occurring at the same time.
  2. Algalon is a perfect example of this. Raid is constantly brought down to low health by Collapsing Star Explosions and random Living Constellations attacking randomly; with Algalon dual-wielding and hitting like a truck along with Quantum Strike bursts on the tank.

  3. An ability of the boss disables healers or reduces healing.
  4. This is only detrimental when you need the healers to be alive and healing due to other abilities of the fight. I am sure most healers would agree, Sindragosa Frost Tombs and Sindragosa Unchained Magic are the worst, as this can disable four healers all at the same time during a time of high raid damage, and burst tank damage.

  5. High Tank Damage during high mobility.
  6. Healers can’t spam bomb heals when they have to move. Lich King Phase 2 would be best example of this, because while collapsing for Valkyrs or spreading for Defile, the tank might simply die from not receiving big heals from his/her healer, with the risk of out ranging healers.

Of course, any combination of the three will make healing difficult. So, as assignments go, they are at best a guide to what to heal. Healing requires the most teamwork as DPS simply need to make sure buffs and debuffs match. You would be a fool to have your assignments healed and watch someone else die outside your assignment die (or the tank), as the reason for it may be due to abilities. You should communicate this however and ask “Why do I have to cover your assignment? What is causing me to need to heal your assignments?” The more healers talk, the better healing will be, especially calling out when you can’t heal so others can help out.

I do not play a healer as a main, but from the healing I’ve done on my alt, this is what I’ve experienced, and I would love to read opinions about healing assignments from a real healer to help me out so that I can become a better raid leader. :)

Of course this communication will be lacking if at all present in pugs. At that point, simply get more healers in a pug than you would in a guild run, and over-assign tank healers, and simply check the tank death report (if he happened to die) and blame which ever healer(s) were not spamming him.

Rebirth and Soulstones

If needed, you should assign soulstones, as many warlocks like to soulstone themselves. You shouldn’t be planning on deaths (unless it’s part of the encounter like Hard Mode Iron Council), but generally healers and/or tanks on tauntable boss fights are usually the most common choices. You do not want to soulstone someone who consistently died on a fight (as it’s most likely a waste); this may seem obvious, but I’ve seen many people soulstone people that usually die every fight. You want to remove them from your raid. I’ve personally have had poor foresight for soulstones, and they usually end up being used for wipe recovery (put it on a healer that ended up rezzing most of the raid).

Rebirths should be used if the fight is still viable and able to be downed. In a pug, you should be calling these assignments up. In a guild run, your druids should be talking to each other and doing it, but if not, do these yourself. You should have a cooldown tracker for this to know who’s rebirths are up and who’s are down.

You should never have to use Rebirth in first 15 seconds of a fight. The only exception I would make is where it takes a very long time to run back to the boss (more than 5 minutes) or you need that person to even do the encounter (especially if you are on a tight DPS timer).

Trash

This exception of “long run time back to the boss” leads to the next concept that escapes many guilds even. One minute of raid time = Twenty-five minutes of people’s time. Do not have your raid idly stand around while you do loot from the previous boss (this goes for guild and pug runs). Constantly pull.

Do not let a pug or a guildie hold up a raid (when they go back to re-spec or whatever). Not only is this disrespectful, it is wasting time at 25 times the normal rate.

Life is Chaotic (Non-WoW Related)

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Disclaimer:

This following blog is completely unrelated to World of Warcraft or this guild. This blog will also require some knowledge of higher level mathematics and/or science. If this blog goes well, I’ll be writing these non-WoW related blogs maybe monthly or every other week, and give a little more other than just WoW.


What is Chaos?

Chaos Theory, simply put is any “dynamical system that [is] highly sensitive to initial conditions.” The other property of Chaos that is much more intriguing is that “chaotic systems are deterministic, meaning that their future behaviour is fully determined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved.”

How can that be you ask? How can something be determined but unpredictable? One of the most famous examples of this would be the Mandelbrot Set. This set is simply a set of points. Nothing more complicated than that.

The “black” parts in the picture you see is in the set, and the colored parts are not in the set (you don’t need to worry what the colors mean). As you “zoom” into the edges of the set, it gets exceedingly more complex and does not simplify, unlike “zooming” to the edge of a triangle or a 500-sided shape that eventually becomes a line. You can watch some of these zooms on youtube (and enjoy the song! :D).

Determinism Without Predictability

Now, the rule (just one rule) that determines whether this point is in the plane or not is described here in more detail, but roughly: Take a point, ‘c’, and calculate zn+1 = zn2 + c, (the output of this equation is the new input), and does zn as n goes to infinity go to infinity? If it doesn’t, it’s in the set; if it does, it’s not in the set.

And that’s it! An infinitely complex set described in a few simple steps. (Crazy eh?)

This rule stays the same, so everyone is able to create the same set over and over with their own personal computers (deterministic), but if asked to predict whether a particular pixel will have a “mini-mandelbrot” set or not, without ever zooming there previously, no one will be able to answer you (unpredictable).

How is this related to life?

It does in a very profound way. Life is deterministic, yet unpredictable. It is the perfect description! Life is deterministic because of what science has shown, yet they can’t predict weather with 100% certainty. Weather, Economics, Physics, Biology, Society, and almost anything you can think of is chaotic.

Why do I bring this up?

I was watching physics documentaries on the meaning behind the universe on youtube (particularly Unification; having a set of equations the explain the very small, quantum physics, and the very large, general relativity, at the same time, since currently they are separate and create nonsense when combined).

The major issue I have the approach these scientist’s are taking is they are assuming there is a fundamental unit of matter (either it be quarks or strings). Why is this problematic philosophically? This would mean that given a powerful enough computer/calculator, you can predict the next steps of the universe indefinitely. (You have one full state of describing the world, you can calculate the next).

This is a very gloomy view on life, however, if we think of matter organized chaotically, which most of nature is, (DNA, Broccoli, Snowflakes, a Peacock’s Tail, Leaf Veins, Spider Webs, etc.), then this eliminates the issue previously given: there is no such thing as the smallest piece of matter. This idea I’ve searched around, and no one thinks that this is the case, which I find somewhat disappointing.

We Need to Change How We Think

This idea that you break down something into its smallest part and have a complete understanding of anything is foolish, because that is not how life is and nothing suggests that. I do not think that even if String Theory or Loop Quantum Gravity (two Unification Theories currently being researched) is proven to be true, it will not give you a full understanding of the world. It will simply give you a “higher resolution” of the set that we call life, but not what we are looking for (which, following the analogy, would be the “rule” that describes the Mandelbrot set).


I only bring up the issue with physics, but I can discuss how people in all the fields previously listed, but then I’ll end up writing way too much, but…

What do you think? Did this blog change your view on the world? Do you think I’m talking complete bullshit? Do you think I’m on to something? Do you need or want more explanation on the ideas here (since I tried to summarize complicated ideas in a mere matter of lines)? Share me your thoughts!

WoW, A Competitive Game?

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Many people get upset and nerd rage when they PvP in World of Warcraft, but should they really?

  1. First of all, WoW is a game, and you should enjoy it.
  2. Second, keep in mind WoW PvP is a team game; against comparable players, you can’t win outnumbered. So what should you do as a team member? Help each other out. Tell them what they could have done, what needed to be done, and come up with a strategy next time you go in to try.
  3. Thirdly, and Blizzard acknowledges this, they are constantly attempting to balance classes when it comes to both PvE and PvP. It is not a perfected system, and simply will never be due to the dramatic changes occurring every major patch and expansion.

Don’t get mad, get glad!

Half of the game is in your mind. Being confident is half the battle; if you don’t think you can win, you probably won’t. Being angry doesn’t help either. Nerd-raging at your teammates won’t help them feel better either nor perform better.

When you’re low rating or with any new team, don’t expect to be 2000+ rating off the bat. Gear does play a role, but as most people will support, gear comes second to knowing how to fight. Until you reach 2000 or higher, you are going to be simply be playing the classes (different people, but same team compositions). It’s going to be a test of knowledge of PvP. Do you know how to beat a drain/beast cleave/wizard cleave/etc. team?

Eventually, you start playing against the players rather than playing against classes, since when you queue, all you get are the same people over and over. At that point, remaining calm is even more important, as you need to start dealing with psyching the other team out and coming up with unexpected strategies. Just like most competitive games.

What does a low rating mean?

It simply means you have quite a bit to learn or that it isn’t your type of game. Is this a bad thing? Maybe, but probably not. I’ll try to put it in perspective:

Many of us have played Super Smash Bros. (and it’s sequels: Melee and Brawl), but do you play that competitively? There’s a huge community dedicated to just Smash Bros. competitive play and casual play. There are also tournaments hosted by Major League Gaming for Super Smash Bros. So, if you are not able to rank competitively in Super Smash Bros, does that mean you shouldn’t play it at all or ridicule those who play poorly? I find that rather harsh, and unfortunately that’s what many people who play WoW PvP seem to do; ridicule those that can’t PvP as well as they can.

What does a high rating mean?

Owning in World of Warcraft PvP in your own battlegroup means as much as owning in your local 30-50 team tournament of any competitive game. Sure it’s an accomplishment, but it’s nothing compared to those competitions where you win thousands of dollars. So sure, you’re a big fish in your small pond, but that’s all you are.

So is WoW Competitive Play?

Many of you know the huge hype Starcraft is (at least in South Korea), and the pros in that game are treated as celebrities, and make almost as much as pro sports players in the USA. So how does that relate to WoW? Simple, popularity as a competitive sport.

Games are considered competitive when there’s a lot of people willing to compete and a lot of people willing to watch. If there’s no one willing to play, then there’s no competition, and if no one is willing to watch, no one will care.

  1. I do not believe there will ever be enough (there will be some) people willing to play WoW competitively due to the fact I mentioned previously that the classes are constantly being changed and therefore balances must constantly be made. This inherently makes it so the game is unable to have a base skill that everyone can keep throughout the patches and expansions. This is enough to make WoW uncompetitive, but I will move on.
  2. I do not believe there’s enough people to be willing to watch WoW PvP. It is very boring to see another player play the game. All you see is buttons being smashed and the cursor selecting name plates. There is very little in terms of action to see how one would play. Once you have your keys and binds set, there’s not much else to see.

That’s all for now. Check out Major League Gaming and see what games are actually popular competitively (a lot of Halo from my first glance). Also, take a look at this video I found of Kartrider (a Korean Mario Kart-like game) demonstrating no matter the genre or how the game looks, games can be played competitively.

How-To: Raid Leading

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Excerpt from my last blog entry:


I would have to say the largest factor that enabled me to catch up to <Meta> was my ability to read through Wowwebstats (the old World of Logs), effectively, catch mistakes, and learn encounters via abilities, not strategies I read online as most people I think do; using recount for death reports and damage taken, rather than damage done or healing done. The best way I can put it is: raids is basically a Starcraft or Warcraft game where everyone controls 1 character instead of me controlling all 25. So I did my very best to keep track of all of my “units” and make sure they’re all doing what they should be.


If you have never played a Real-Time Strategy Game, then go read the wikipedia article here.

Raid Leading does require a certain type of mind (one that is able to keep track of multiple things going on at the same time), but my goal in this blog is to attempt to come up with a general method of approaching new encounters and what you need to watch out for as a raid leader (or a raider!). This will hopefully help most players become better raiders. So here I go!

The Abilities

Every boss has abilities linked to them. Use reliable website sources to read the tooltip of their abilities. There are only two websites I use: www.wowhead.com and/or www.mmo-champion.com. I tend to use wowhead over mmo-champion just because I find it less cluttered.

  1. Bad results when you don’t read abilities – “Twin Valkyrs will heal each other when they are too close to each other”
  2. Believe it or not, people thought this was true, because Twin Emperors back from Vanilla WoW’s AQ40 healed each other when they were close to each other. The Twin Valkyrs from Trial of the (Grand) Crusader had an ability called Twin’s Pact; unlike the Twin Emperor’s Heal Brother. You can instantly tell the major difference between the two abilities is the range and cast time. Twin’s Pact has an unlimited range while Heal Brother only has a 60 yard range. Therefore, Twin Valkyrs distance from each other has nothing to do with their heal. Also with the 15 second cast time, one would assume you would have to interrupt it.

    Remember: These spells and abilities are cast from the caster’s point of view (in this case the NPC’s point of view) and worded in such a way.

  3. Good Results when you do read abilities.
  4. Most people still don’t know this to this day: Malygo’s Breath leaves a debuff on the tank (or the unit that survives the breath). Here is the tooltip. So, the debuff has a “You are the bomb” mechanic. Since Malygos didn’t cleave nor have a tail swipe, most people could stand far away from the tank and not worry about it, but people were still dying, and using WWS (at the time) or WoL, if you search “Arcane Breath” using the Expression Editor, you will find that pets were being afflicted by this debuff (since they take 80%-90% less damage from aoe hits), thus exploding in the raid. In fact, blizzard had to fix this where the pets would not be receiving a debuff when breathed on (I can’t find the blue post >_<).

  5. A Word of Caution – Abilities will not tell you the entire fight
  6. The understanding the abilities of a boss, I would say is about 75% of a fight. It is only 75% because positioning (as combat logs will not record), will play an important role in a fight. Furthermore, some abilities may not even be listed. For example: Plague Sickness from Professor Putricide is not listed under his set of abilities, which would explain why the raid cannot simply stack and simply let Unbound Plague bounce around. However, it is extremely to look up Plague Sickness on wowhead or mmo-champion after encountering it. Also, Phase changes, Threat Resets, etc. are usually not listed as abilities and you should be aware of that as well.

So, it’s very important for you to read abilities and understand the exact wording of them. I cannot stress this enough. Memorize these abilities; know them by heart; recall them on command. Once you know these, the rest comes easy.

I Know What Bosses Do, Now What?

So this is where the generic plan for most bosses:

Can the raid stack up?

If there is no reason to spread out, don’t! It makes everything easier for healers, positioning, and teaching new players content. However, most boss abilities causes you to spread out. Some examples of these are: Defile (Lich King), Malleable Goo (Professor Putricide), Fire Bomb (Gormok the Impaler), etc. etc.

Favors Ranged?

Now, this is new for Wrath of the Lich King, as I have never encountered it during the Burning Crusade, is that these AoE effects sometimes have the property of “Will only target ranged units, if there is no ranged unit it will cast it on the melee”. You must know which abilities this property applies to and which it doesn’t. Sometimes the ability will tell you it is only ranged, like Static Disruption, but most of the time it will not. So, from the spells listed previously, Malleable Goo and Fire Bomb both favor range, while Defile is indiscrete in choosing its targets.

Minimize Movement

Now that you know where you have to relatively stand, you should try to have set positions where you don’t need to move….ever. The less movement yields more DPS, more Healing, and an easier time for everyone. Sometimes there are abilities that affect only one person’s movement such as: Necrotic Plague, Unbound Plague, Mutated Infection, Frost Beacon, etc. These types of abilties, I like to call “You are the bomb” mechanic/abilities. You need to GTFO out of the raid, and go where no one cares about you (or to a designated area).

What If We Can’t Stay Still?

There are times where the raid can never stay still, or has very little time to stand still. These high mobility fights tend to be the most difficult (or equilavently, high mobility phases are the hardest phases). But what causes you to move so much? The abilities of the fight (going back to the beginning and importance of knowing the abilities). Some examples of this of where the entire raid has to move is:

  1. The Lich King – Phase 2
  2. This part of the fight forces the raid to spread out due to Defile, but at the same time, players are encouraged to stack for the three Valkyrs that spawn so they go in the same direction (and everyone is able to attack all 3). So you are constantly expanding for Defile, and collapsing for Valkyrs. And as most people would agree, Phase 2 of Lich King is the hardest part of this phase due to this high mobility aspect.

  3. Yogg-Saron – Phase 2
  4. His room is huge and tentacles are capable of spawning anywhere in the room (therefore the entire raid must move toward the tentacles as they spawn). Also, part of your raid must move around Yogg-Saron to enter his mind. This is not exactly a high mobility fight, but rather a “long travel time” effect, but causing the same issues as high mobility fights.

I Know What Bosses Do and Where to Stand/Move, Am I Done?

Nope, not by a long shot. We need to worry about healing. Since you know where tanks are going to stand, the melee DPS knows where to stand, the ranged DPS, and the healers know where to stand (you can have some healers stand in the melee if the boss just has “Range-Favoring Abilities”), then you need to split up the type of healers you need (Raid vs Tank), and assign them properly.

How Do I Go About Assigning Heals?

You assign heals to where the damage is being put out silly! And it truly is that simple. Sometimes you need to be more particular about assignment (as assigning raid healers to groups), but for the most part, you place the minimum about of healers on the raid to keep the raid alive from AoE abilities (oh look, going back to the beginning about knowing the boss abilities), and place the rest on the tank.

If people are dying, as a raid strategist simply look at the assigned person and ask them if they need more help, or what’s going on. I can go further into how to analyze healing meters and assess healers in general in a separate blog.

Now Am I Done?

Nope, last role I didn’t really talk about is the tank. Tanking is really simple in words: If you don’t have to move, don’t. There are times where you do have to move, such as Auriaya’s Void Zones, and if you don’t tell the raid you’re moving, you, not the raid, die. Which is the point of this entire section, you as a tank are responsible for keeping yourself alive. You are the most important person in the raid to keep alive, and knowing where you stand (so healers can follow, or the raid can react properly either it be melee dps following or everyone), whether you are taunting or not so that healers can properly react and heal you with pre-hots and shields, or whether you need an external cooldown to stay alive; the responsibility is on your shoulders to communicate, not the raid’s. When do you know when to move or when to pop a cooldown? From the abilities of the bosses! (Gee, who saw that coming :P).


Hopefully this helps everyone look at a raid as a whole a little bit more and how to go about raids in a new angle. I’ll go into healing assignments and analyzing heals next time, but for now, remember, memorize those abilities and know why your positions are where they are and what to look for.

The Beginning – How It All Began

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This being the first blog post this website will ever see, I think it would just be appropriate to start with the story of MowToW.

The Name

Everyone asked at one point what does <MowToW> mean, and this actually goes way back to one of my earliest days of WoW. I was about level 20 or so, Tina (my friend who got me into the game) who was also around level 20 with Sam (Tina’s friend that got her into the game) who was level 70 at the time, was running me and Tina through Scarlet Monastery. Sam, who is also chinese, was a druid and was buffing us, and he said “one mowtow..two mowtow…three mowtow” as he buffed us. So back during Burning Crusade, I was leading one of my guild’s (<PvPers PvEing>) Black Temple runs, and we were missing Mark of the Wild, and I said before we pulled a boss, “Can we please get mowtow on the raid?”, and the response I got was confusion and “What the fuck is that?”, “What the fuck did you just say?”, until eventually “Is that an asian way of asking for mark?”.

So when attempting to come up with the name for my guild, I didn’t want a serious name or idea, like “Reviction”, “Meta”, “Caustic”, etc. etc. that Stormscale was cluttered with. I wanted a fun, inside-joke, name, and naturally, <MowToW> was it. Guild Tabard design came natural, logo came natural, and as Nalera has put it: “This is a good guild to be a druid in”.

How I started it up

The guild I raided with in Wrath of the Lich King before I made this guild was <The Core>, not to be confused with the Vanilla guild, <Core>. My guild master at the time, Harrisons, didn’t do much as a guild master and the guild was basically dying. So in my attempt to keep people from server transferring, I asked if they would stay if I made my own guild, and the train started rolling. Eventually Harrisons did find out and the only way I can really describe his response is apathetic.

During this same time, since <The Core> had attendance issues, I knew I had to get some more players for my initial player base. Luckily, I had my friend back in BC, Ruvmerough, who re-rolled death knight into Darthruv. He had his 10 man guild, <Absolute Zero>, who was close to getting Glory of the Raider, after 2 weeks of attempting to convince him to join the 25 man guild I was going to start up, he did.

So I had my initial player base from <The Core> and <Absolute Zero>; I had enough tanks, healers, and DPS to at least have a raid. So on February 12th, 2009, the guild charter for <MowToW> was made, signed, and approved. The start of the guild everyone knows today began.

How I built up MowToW

I had initial plan set ups: Loot System, Rank Order, Bank Tabs, Raid Days/Times, Website, Application Template, Guild Charter, Vent. I had all these things thought out ahead of time before creating the guild and at least had an idea of what I wanted in each category. Raid Days, Vent, Application Template, Guild Charter, Loot System, and Rank Order; all of these took priority and were thought out quite thoroughly. The Website and Bank Tabs were more of an afterthought and only had the basics done.

During raids, as my friend pointed out to me, my style of raid leading was basically me teaching everyone how to play their class/do encounters. It was definitely not the best way to run a guild raid, but it might as well have been a PuG due to new players raiding together, and whatnot. I continued this habit up until through most of Ulduar. This is by far the hardest part to deal with, because of the incompetence of players is frustrating. But I worked with what I had, and kept pushing through until I recruited players that can replace the baddies (useful tip).

Recruiting was and still is always tough on Stormscale, but as a new guild, I needed ANY small milestone and flaunt it. I’m pretty sure that I spammed trade with a recruit post saying that in our first week as a brand new guild we cleared naxx25 in 3.5 hours and one shot Malygos. Eventually that was changed to 20 manning OS+2D (which at the time, most guilds couldn’t even 25 man). What made this guild finally somewhat respectable is getting OS25+3D 2 weeks before Ulduar was released, and downing it the next week, thus completing all the content available before the next major patch, and keeping up with the “big name guilds” at the time, like <Meta>.

I would have to say the largest factor that enabled me to catch up to <Meta> was my ability to read through Wowwebstats (the old World of Logs), effectively, catch mistakes, and learn encounters via abilities, not strategies I read online as most people I think do; using recount for death reports and damage taken, rather than damage done or healing done. The best way I can put it is: raids is basically a Starcraft or Warcraft game where everyone controls 1 character instead of me controlling all 25. So I did my very best to keep track of all of my “units” and make sure they’re all doing what they should be.

Now what?

I simply kept doing raids, pushing the guild to clear Ulduar and since we were now a running competitor in the Stormscale progression guilds. Pushed to second Horde Yogg-Saron25 kill, First hardmode of the server (Heartbreaker), and from there on, kept ahead of the Horde Progression with only <Meta> and <Reviction> keeping up in 25 mans, and <incoming> actually beating us in 10 mans.

The Future

We still have internal growth to deal with, guild motivation/pride and get people to do slightly more outside of raids. These blogs is an attempt at that, but still have quite a long way to go. Plenty of changes on the website will be made soon, so check often! :)