Monthly Archives: October 2010
Major changes to every class and spec recently hit the live realms. I’ve been having to deal with the emotional trauma of having my bark ripped away, but overall the rearranging of my talent trees (the only trees I have left, QQ) was not the horrendous upheaval I expected it to be. I did a bit of research and combed various resto blogs in order to make an informed decision as to where to put my talent points. I picked my talents. I continued raiding. Nothing really changed for me.
But very soon we will be experiencing the true cataclysmic features of this expansion. Every class is being overhauled from the very beginning into what I have come to determine is a very streamlined and intuitive new system of progression. You have to admit that, being a 6 year old game, WoW has begun to show its age. There were dead zones in leveling that were painful to slog through. There were class mechanics that seemed outdated and sluggish. Bit by bit the intrepid people at Blizzard have been working to fill these holes in quest progression and tweak class mechanics to work for the modern incarnation of the game, but I think I am not alone in saying it really is time for an overhaul of the game in its entirety.
Thus, Cataclysm. I havent been very active in the beta. I wanted to be. But I got my invite only briefly before the fall semester started and I have found my free time slowly chipping away as research, experiments, and countless projects pour in. I did however get a chance to check out the new goblin and worgen starting zones (both fantastic) and level archaeology a little bit (absolutely addicting). I recently rerolled a worgen druid just to see what had been done with the class for the first few levels. I was also tricked into thinking female worgen were available. Imagine my surprise with Tzipporah the female worgen was a man upon logging in. Anyway.
There are no hugely disturbing changes to the druid class at level one. You start out with Wrath and that’s it. Wrath is all you need to take down the mobs for your first two or three quests. At level 2 you get Healing Touch from your trainer (with an accompanying quest). It heals you for full health with a relatively cumbersome cast time: don’t wait until you’re in the red to start casting. Next you will learn Moonfire, which still operates in the same manner and will still help you tick a mob’s health down. You receive Thorns next, which has been overhauled. It’s no longer a buff, but rather a cooldown that causes damage when attacked for 20 seconds. Thorns is best served as an “oh shit” button now. It’s an extra spurt of damage when you have mobs wailing on you. I found it handy when the respawn timers in the beta wigged out and were on instant mode, which meant I had three or four things pounding my face in at a time.
This is your basic setup until about level 8. Somewhere between those times you get Entangling Roots, which is helpful as crowd control when you have more mobs than you can handle. It’s damage threshhold is very low, however, and even a single Moonfire can interrupt the effect.
All of this magic casting business becomes obsolete when you learn cat form at level 8. Yes folks, we get cat form at 8 now. No more wading through agonizing levels of bear form until level 20. Cat form is available from the trainer at level 8 and comes equipped with Claw and Rake and Ferocious Bite right out of the box. You’re set to destroy your enemies in three hits or less. Regardless of your desired spec, at this point the most efficient kill will be one in cat form.
Unless you severely mess up, there should be no need to heal yourself while slashing things to pieces in cat form. If, like me, you have a tendency to barrel in and grab fifteen mobs without thinking, know that you are equipped with Rejuvenation, which is a heal over time spell that works the same way it always has (shorter duration, though).
At level ten you will choose your primary spec and place your first talent point in that tree. The act of choosing a tree does not bind you; you can opt out and browse other trees so long as you do not actually spend any points. Once you spend a talent point, though, you are bound to that tree until you have “completed” it with 31 talent points. Only then do other trees open up for your spending pleasure. So pick your tree wisely or you will have to pay gold to respec.
If you wish to be a healer, restoration is still your preferred spec. Committing to this tree earns you Swiftmend, a powerful tool at the end-game level. On the live realm right now I am just coming to grips with how my healing rotation has changed, but let me say I really do like the Swiftmend+Efflorescence mechanic. You will not gain Efflorescence until much later in your leveling path, but know that once you spec for it, hitting Swiftmend will cause a circle of healing to erupt at the targeted person’s feet that will heal anyone who steps in it. It’s a tough concept for many raiders to grasp: I kept having to remind my raid that the “druid puddle” was okay to stand in but the “icky goo puddle” from Putricide was not. But for right now at level 10, just know that Swiftmend only works if you have Rejuvenation and/or Regrowth’s heal over time effect active on a target. Swiftmend is another “oh shit” button at this level because using it consumes the ticking HoT and does the amount the HoT would tick for for its whole duration instantly as one large heal. It’s a great way to keep an ally up under heavy damage when HoTs are too weak and Healing Touch is too slow. Get used to using it.
If you want to be a fluffy laser-chicken, then the balance tree is still your desire. I’ll admit I have not yet figured out just how lunar and solar power work, though I spent a while on my level 67 balance druid destroying practice dummies in Ironforge trying to rectify my ignorance. Oh well. At this level it isn’t important anyway. For choosing the balance tree you will be awarded with the Starsurge spell, which is basically just a decent nuke on a 15 second cooldown. Use it when it’s available.
I chose the feral tree, because I very much like the worgen druid forms and it is still the easiest way to level in my opinion. Choosing the feral tree awards Mangle. Mangle is the bread and butter talent of every feral druid. It is integral in both kitty DPS and in tanking. It used to be the 41-point talent in the feral tree, which meant leveling druids had to wait until level 50 to earn it. It was a long, arduous, painful trek to 50, but once you had Mangle you became an unstoppable killing machine. Now, feral druids gain access to Mangle at level 10. You can take claw off your bars now. It’s useless. Spam mangle. If you want to get fancy, toss in a Rake too. But two Mangles and my target is usually dead. Cherish it. It used to be so much less fun.
What should you spend your first talent point in? It really doesn’t matter much. For Balance I recommend maxing out Starlight Wrath first, as faster cast times mean more casts before your target gets up in your face. For Feral I recommend Feral Swiftness, as it’s really useful in cutting down travel time and nothing else is really more useful right now. For Restoration druids I recommend Blessing of the Grove, as you will still be questing at this point and the damage boost is going to be useful. But really, for all trees, you can take any starter talent and be fine.
Stat desires are mostly the same as they were before. Restoration and Balance druids will still want to look for gear with intellect and spirit on it. In the early levels this may mean taking cloth pieces because your bonus from wearing all leather will not be available until level 50 anyway. Go for intellect/spirit cloth if you find it, especially from quest givers if the leather item is an agility piece. For Feral druids, look for agility and stamina and to a lesser extend strength. As you level up you will want to take agility instead of strength always, but at the lower levels I found more strength pieces than agility ones. It’s not a huge loss yet.
Enjoy the new streamlined leveling experience; it’s certainly been a blast for me. Remember that you no longer have to train every even level for new ranks of spells. Your spells auto level with you every level. You only need to train new spells.
I did a wee bit of recruiting for my guild recently. Let me start by saying that truly effective recruitment is an art form and truly effective recruiters are a dime a dozen. There are a dozen different types of media available to the guild recruiter these days, and my aim today is to talk a bit about what works…and what really doesn’t. I’m also going to delve a bit into website layout and how it can help or hinder any recruiting methods.
The Good, the Bad, and the WTF Stupid
In a sense, guild recruitment is like job recruitment. You put word out that you are seeking an individual to fill a spot on your team, and interested parties respond. If you’ve ever done hiring for a business, you know that the specifics really matter when you are trying to recruit that perfect someone to balance out your team. You wouldn’t start a job search by saying “so we need someone who can work well”. It’s vague and unprofessional and doesn’t lend its self readily to finding excellent people. Yet I see so many recruiting ads that use this very same method, and it’s high time someone told them why it doesn’t work. Sure, it may bring in people, but are those people you actually want in your workplace? Likely not, because those individuals looked for a more qualified position. They made that judgment based on how the job position was presented.
The same principle applies for guild recruitment. Regardless of the caste of player you are looking for, you need to narrow down your search. You need to present the qualities you are looking for in a clear and concise manner that allows people to say to themselves “yeah, I am that person” or “no, this isn’t for me”. Let’s take a look.
Bad: we are looking for a fun and casual players.
Why it’s bad: This tells potential recruits absolutely nothing. Everyone thinks they’re fun! Everyone has a different definition of casual. You can save this by adding more definitive language.
Good: We are searching for generous, easy-going, and mature players who would like to enjoy a casual, low-stress raiding environment.
Why it’s good: This tells a potential recruit a ton about what you’re seeking. They know by the language you use that you are not a hard core raiding group hell-bent on world domination, and they can guess that you value integrity and friendliness over hard numbers and gear.
The kind of language (grammar and spelling, too!) that you use will determine the kind of players you attract with your ad. Using leet speak or short hand may save space, but it is also going to attract immature players. Using a more professional tone will catch the eye of a more mature, responsible and enjoyable person.
Let’s take a look at a few guild recruitment threads I yanked from the official forums. I am going to leave guild names out because the focus here is not to upset or hurt anyone, but to objectively analyze what is being said and how.
The Good: (Name removed) is a newly formed guild on (removed) that is building toward being one of our realm’s top ranked guilds. We believe that adults who live lives outside of this game can come together a few nights a week with a common goal and shared determination to take on this game’s challenges at its peak level: Heroic mode raiding in a 25 man environment.
While we have high expectations for our raider’s performance levels well have even higher expectations for their personal character. We expect our members to be highly motivated, self determined, enthusiastic about not only their personal progression but the guild progression as well, and strive for nothing short of excellence in all aspects of this game.
If you feel that this type of raiding and guild atmosphere may be what you’re looking for, whether it be due to a change of pace or a complete fresh start in a new guild that is being built from the ground up, we encourage you to read on and visit our website for more further, detailed information.
I want to point out that not only is this a very well written ad, it is also descriptive and informative. It doesn’t leave you with many questions, and it details exactly what type of person is wanted for this guild. It uses full sentences, excellent grammatical structure, and correct spelling. It appears professional, it gets the point across without a lot of fluff, and it targets effectively the player type this guild wants in their ranks. Bravo.
The Bad: we are looking for all classes and specs.
We do pug non lvl 60 players who want achieves.
We are looking for members to fill our ranks and raid spots.
Eventually we would like to be able to run content with LITTLE TO NO non >lvl 60 assistance.
You do not have to be lvl 60 to join and you are welcome to join with a toon you are lvling.
It is mandatory that your toon have their exp frozen at 60 to stay in the guild.
We run all classic content and gear restrictions are as follows…ONLY CLASSIC GEAR.
Being this is a Twink guild you may use any enchantments you wish to use.
This ad is fairly poorly written. Its structure does not scream mature or competent (but neither does it give the impression that the poster is a complete idiot, either). It’s fairly brief and leaves a lot to be desired. Really all I got from this ad was that it is for a level 60 twink guild. I know nothing about the community they support or what type of player is being scouted for. Do they accept recruits based on age? Maturity? Random roll of the dice? It’s not a horrendous ad, but I wanted to point out the flaws. Just cleaning up its structure and format would do wonders. Remember that professional ads beget professional responses.
The WTF Stupid: (Name removed) is a new guild we are looking for great people we are always active and very friendly we hope to raid when we get enough people have gbank and tabard!
I didn’t actually copy this from the official forums (thank god!). Rather, it is an amalgamation of recruitment spam I see in trade chat on a daily basis. Let’s start with the basics. Poor grammar. It’s one long run-on sentence that never actually makes a point. It asks for “great people”. Everyone thinks they are a great person. This doesn’t narrow down the search field by any means. It claims to be active and friendly – two traits EVERY guild will tout. This doesn’t set it apart from any other guild in the game; it’s a generic cop-out for putting any real information out there for people to assess. If your guild is new you may still be feeling out who and what you are and what your focus is, but you shouldn’t be actively recruiting until you know that. The guild mentions wanting to raid with enough people. That’s a worthy goal, but it takes more than just 10 warm bodies online to successfully raid. Again, without a clear picture of what you want and who you are as a guild, recruiting worthwhile people is going to be hard. And finally, every guild has a damned bank and a tabard. It’s not a selling point. Don’t even mention it.
Let’s recap. You want to use language that adequately reflects the maturity and professionalism you expect in your guild. You want to give people enough information that they know exactly what you are looking for in an applicant and what is expected of them in the guild. Stay away from vague language and cliched sentences. And finally, give your prospective applicants a place to find more information. Providing the guild website address is preferable.
Communicating with a Prospective Applicant
If someone reads your guild recruitment ad, they will inevitably have questions. You should provide them with contacts both in the game and out that will answer their questions in a timely manner. Do not keep them waiting. Offer them a website address to further their knowledge of your guild. Offer them the names of your guild leader and/or officers so they can get quick answers. Be polite, be professional, and don’t forget to thank them for their interest. If they contacted you, they are interested.
If your guild doesn’t have a website, it’s not the end of the world. But with the plethora of free guild website hosts out there, there really is no excuse for not at least providing a few pages of rules or expectations for your guild – and potential applicants – to easily access.
When you refer an applicant to your web page, they need to be able to see a few things right away: 1) the guild’s rules and 2) the recruitment application. If you don’t use an actual application in that format, that’s fine, but whatever material you require them to submit in order to be considered needs to be listed in a visible location. Do not force your applicants to register with your website in order to see relevant content. While it is probably for the best that only registered users can see the forums, forcing your applicants to register just so they can view a few pages is inconsiderate.
Your website should have a clear layout and an easily navigable outline. If your applicant has to hunt for 20 minutes to find the information they need, they may decide to just look elsewhere. As in, at another guild. Don’t do that! Have important links at the top of the page or at the top of a side bar for ease of access.
You need to clearly state the rules of your guild. This is beneficial for current and long-time guild members as well, but it is crucial in the recruitment process. An applicant can get a decent handle on your guild and how it works by reading these, which may save them time in the decision process down the line. It’s no good if your applicant doesn’t find out about some rule until after they have been accepted (such as a loot system) and then decides they really don’t like it. Having all the information on loot systems, chances for advancement, punishable offenses, etc. up front saves time and keeps the hassle to a minimum.
Applicants should also easily be able to see when your guild raids. Somehow I noticed that a lot of recruitment threads simply dont include this information. That’s alright, but if it isn’t listed on your website either then you have a problem.
Back to the grammar issue: if your guild website is an incomprehensible glut of gibberish and poor English, you’re going to spook any worthwhile applicant. Use proper grammar and spelling and be professional. This is beneficial in so many more ways than just attracting people into your numbers. If English isn’t your strong suit, ask a guild mate to write the information for your website.
There are a thousand ways to advertise your guild. You can post on the official forums, pop up an ad or two in trade or guild recruitment chat, send in a request to WoW Insider, post on a busy fan site…but however you choose to do it, do it right. Keep in mind that if you’re looking for good people, then you need to attract them somehow. Here’s a hint: excellent players do not respond to sub-par, illiterate, or disorganized ads.
We all love patch days. Don’t lie! You love it. The server maintenance stretching through the day. The instability. The glitches! The bugs! The over-powered classes smashing in the skulls of the underpowered ones. It’s a great day to be a WoW player.
I have to admit I did not realize the patch was so close. The day before I was asked “So are you ready for the patch?” and my exact reply was something like “AKGDKJNSYDHALKJDB WHAT”. No, I am not ready for the patch! I did not get a chance to prepare. I did not get a chance to say goodbye to my beloved tree form. I did not get a chance to…I don’t know. I just wasn’t ready. But the patch hit and I spent a good portion of the night downloading it. I will be the first to admit that school is tearing my soul to itty bitty pieces and I have spent several weeks logging on only to raid. Lord knows I would rather be a vegetable in this computer chair than do anything productive in it, but I have two separate research projects to hammer out and the semester is rapidly drawing to a close. In ten years time when I have a PhD and people refer to me as “Dr.” I will be eternally grateful for this grueling experience. Right now I just whine and drag my feet and grumble under my breath and work through it.
Anyway. I don’t see a whole lot of difference between pre-patch druid healing and post-patch. Different spells do different things at different times with different numbers, and I can’t spam Nourish anymore or blanket everyone in Lifebloom stacks. Oh well. We raided ICC tonight and tore it to pieces, got hung up on Sindragosa again but nothing was really fundamentally different. Figuring out when to pop tree form was awkward. I didn’t even use it most of the time – bosses died so fast and most of our healing was over healing anyway. We steamrolled ICC. Used it twice in the Dreamwalker fight. Can’t go wrong with more heals there. Mostly it’s just training myself NOT to hit that button before we engage. I wasted my cooldown several times that way.
The biggest annoyance was my internet (which kept cutting out) and a few post-patch bugs that kept forcing people to relog. The loading screen got stuck. Addons were a mess. We’re all a little iffy on what exactly we’re supposed to be doing with our new specs and rotations and abilities. But it went fine. I kept cussing because I would try to stack Lifebloom on two people. And our time-honored guild tradition of battle rezzing our way through a sloppy encounter is no more. Today was truly a day of mourning for the tree druids. But I found that I actually don’t notice that I am no longer a tree. It’s not like I stare at myself during a boss fight. No, my attention is on health bars and not standing in fire and who is where and WHY is that person out of range and a whole mess of those things that I have to look at. I didn’t notice I wasn’t in tree form. I can still whine, it just has less punch behind it because, let’s face it, rotten broccoli is nothing to be proud of anyway.
I fiddled with reforging. I figured I could use a little less spirit since my mana regen is incredible. I am one of those healers the developers looked at and went “WOAH NOW HONEY. You’re supposed to care about mana!” and then started nerfing the crud out of everything blue and good. I do not recall having gone out of mana since…Naxxramas. So while I am nervous about the reported mana issues in the beta (which I still have not checked out; I’m a wuss) tonight I didn’t have a single problem – AFTER reforging a ton of my spirit into haste. Apparently druids now need gobs and gobs of haste so we can squeeze a few more HoT ticks out of our shortened HoT spans. I was never at the haste cap to begin with. I don’t even know how it’s POSSIBLE. I gem for spellpower/haste and have mostly haste gear and have haste talents…and I was still short before the recent patch. Someone enlighten me because apparently I missed the boat on this one. And now the magic number is even higher so in a bid to somehow min/max my lazy ass, I ran to reforge as much of my spirit as I could into haste. Any eligible item got hit with a reforge and as I stand now I am still nowhere near the damned cap. Buh.
I was expecting mana problems after I reforged, but I encountered nothing of the sort. I got down to about 50% at one point – OH GOD NO! – but it refilled before I even really took notice. I suspect this will not be the case in Cataclysm, and as such I’m going to love the ever-loving crap out of my mana as long as possible.
So druids. Not in as bad a place as I thought they would be. I have not tried bear. I will likely not try bear. Not until a few passes go by and the developers have evened things out. I hear threat is hard to come by now. No bueno.
I’d best be getting back to re-specing and re-gearing and re-everything-ing my alts. I have so many. Times like these I curse my altoholism. Good night, everybody.
I think it’s safe to say that Cataclysm will be launching sometime Novemberish. As excited as I am for the new content (beta is amazing!) there’s some things in Wrath that I will be sad to see go, some achievements I still want desperately to have completed, and a myriad of things that I just flat want to happen before the world gets ripped to shreds and everything goes all red and fiery.
Really the top of my list is Kingslayer. There’s nothing higher that I can possibly attain. I’m not a world’s first raider, and I’m not really interested in 25-man content. Kingslayer is the title I will most plausibly achieve with my guild, my skill, and my time. And I want it so badly. We’ve gotten Sindragosa to about 5% or so. But for a huge number of reasons we can’t get her any lower. I feel like if I get in to those reasons I’m just going to fall apart and start shrieking incomprehensibly and wind up wandering the Wal*Mart parking lot at 2 a.m. wearing a cardboard box and a tutu, so I’m just going to say this: we can kill the Lich King. We just really need to revise our practices. In the mean time, I have gone into recruitment druid overload and have been scouring the world (of Warcraft) looking for a tank or two to help us achieve this goal.
Since Kingslayer is kind of an oddity in my list, I’m going to exclude it from the real count down and focus on things that are more on my shoulders than those of an entire guild. So…
Obtain exalted with any factions that may be obliterated in the coming months. This has its own list entirely, but top of it is the Zandalar tribe in Zul’Gurub, which we know is going away and exalted status becomes a feat of strength. I’m revered as it stands now, so this won’t be too hard.
Obtain old world mounts that will be gone come Cataclysm. The ZG raptor and tiger are my priorities, since they will be gone. I have heard mixed things about Rivendare’s mount, but that is also on my list. I will also be looking at seriously attempting to get the Wintersaber mount, too. I’m a mount collector anyway, so this is big for me.
Obtain any interesting non-combat pets before they are gone. I’m not a huge pet collector on my main – my hunter has almost 100, though – but I want to at least make an attempt to gather the ones that will be going away. Warcraft Pets has some great info on what may be changing come Cataclysm.
Obtain any threatened titles before they are removed. This kind of goes along with reputation goals I have, since they go hand in hand most of the time. I am working on “The Diplomat” off and on. I don’t want to get so close and then have the expansion hit and remove the title for some odd reason.
Complete all of the classic WoW raids. I have a few left for the achievement that I’m fairly certain are going away in the expansion. I want to be sure I get them done! They may be possible to duo with my functionally-retarded ret paladin friend.
See the old world from the eyes of an alt one last time. Yeah yeah. I’m an altoholic. Deal! I have a few alts I truly want to see old content on before it’s gone. There is something about it that is quite nostalgic. It reminds me of when I was young and first saw the world and went “holy crap”. So seeing it once more is kind of important.
Finish the hard-mode achievements for the Ulduar drake. No kidding. My guild started working on this a few months ago and I really hope it doesn’t get scrapped. Starcaller Sylvestris sounds like a really accomplished druid name and I would do anything for that proto-drake. And aside from the elusive Lich Bitch, Algalon is the only other fight I have not seen.
Get the rest of my alts on my main server to 80. I have a 77 warrior, a 74 rogue, a 70 priest (who will likely be banished to another server to make room for a worgen alt) and a 70 warlock. They all need to be 80. It’s partly due to the desire to see them all in shiny tier 9 gear before the expansion, and partly because it bugs the crap out of me to see numbers not matching on the log-in screen. Told you I was slightly OCD.
Stockpile a ton of emblems. I don’t care if I end up with extra and they don’t convert or whatever. I want to have a bit of an advantage as far as the new point system goes. It’s very tempting to spend my frost emblems on T10 gear for my bear spec, but I think it’s a bit late for it to really matter anyway.
Make a crap-ton of money off the auction house. Going to do my research and rake in the dough when the economy starts to shift, and hopefully start Cataclysm with my pockets padded to the max. Leveling a ton of alts is expensive if you haven’t tried it. I like being affluent somewhere in life!
And that’s about it. I have some stuff to get crackin’ on before Cataclysm arrives on store shelves and I think it’s all realistic stuff that I can actually achieve. I finally got my coveted black drake last night from a guild Sartharion and 3 drakes kill. It was a very odd moment. Sartharion down after two or three tries, everyone dies and runs back in. Roll for dragon. Mine is highest. Sitting with fingers crossed in chair about to break a rib holding my breath. Random guild mate who never plays rolls and beats me. Ribs broke in unison. I turn to mush in my chair and grumble to myself (it was supposed to be to myself; boyfriend was holding Vent key so everyone heard what I said and I felt bad). But I was perfectly willing to accept the loss and try again next week. Thing is, I’ve been trying every week for…weeks. I rolled a 99 the first time it ever dropped and was wallowing in the congratulations when ninja guild leader attacked me with a 100 and stole my dragon. He went AFK outside the instance afterwards and ended up dead (don’t know why) and upon coming back I told him I killed him and tried to loot the dragon but it didn’t work. So the running joke is that he stole the dragon with his leet guild leader hax and I’m never going to get the dragon. Except, I haven’t gotten the dragon. And it’s slowly crept towards the realm of “slightly less than fair” because we were supposed to be doing this as a team, running it over and over until everyone had a drake. Except the people who won drakes stopped showing up and helping out. So we had to bring in new people who won the drakes over the people who had been there every time…anyway. I don’t feel more deserving of this dragon than the guildy who rolled it, but I did mumble to myself about fairness and other cliches until my guild leader informed me that the winner had chosen to pass, seeing as she didn’t actually have epic flying. I won my dragon. I expressed my gratitude to my guildy in the form of 1500 gold towards her epic flying purchase. I have a dragon. Look!
*Edit: Aw, it cut off his wing. I’m not competent enough to try and fix it. Pretend he has two full wings.