Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Minipost: Raiding - Yay Iron reaver down on heroic!

I ALWAYS forget to take pictures of our kills these days. I need Dragonray to come back and take pics for me :(

On Sunday we did normal and got down 4 bosses.  It was good because we saw the mechanics for the last 2 fights and it was useful to learn it, and they weren't as cakewalky as the first two bosses.  I thought that Kormrok looked a bit hard and wondered how that would go on heroic.

Monday rolled around and we managed 21 people again, which is a nice healthy number.  Rag, Koda, Rowyn/Kaillynn, Bish and I were healing and Yuuda was DPS, so we had enough to throw around. Voe was missing in action and Crusnik is still not around at night.  Iron reaver (which is a SHE by the way, because Siegemaster Martak from Hellfire Assault runs away during that encounter and jumps into the Iron reaver) was our boss that we were working on.  We spent the rest of the night getting used to the mechanics and we had some poor peeps who could not seem to get out of Barrage. We even had Arelion doing a single taunt for one section - there is a part where the tank swap seemed a bit funny and the boss moved around and the melee moved along with it and it just went a bit ugly.

But we kept improving and on our 16th go we got it. Phew!  Aimei thought it was a lucky shot but I think people were improving bit by bit on the fight.

We accidentally stuffed up loot because it was still on group loot instead of personal, so there was 1 item taken with EPGP, 1 offspec item P and 2 leather gloves which got the shard treatment.

After that we went to look at council, and that seemed to be doable, but will just need people to move appropriately and get the dispels just right!  I'm looking forward to raiding on Wednesday night - would be nice if we DON'T have a shutdown right in the middle of raid like last week.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Whaaat?? Being a GM and raid leader can land you a RL job in business?

Kyjenn linked me this article in Forbes titled "7 Ways World of Warcraft Builds Better Leaders".  It was an interesting read, but you have to remember that it's not just talking about any old WoW player, but those who are raid leaders and GMs.  The article is articulate, and the 7 points were also well tied in to real life situations, but I thought I'd add my thoughts to the mix.
  1. Virtual teams and Seamless Collaboration
    Think of a board meeting with members all over the world/country.  Sounds like your typical raid team.  And they're all working together to achieve the same goal.
  2. Digital Communication Channels
    Conference calls are so last decade.  Skype/Ventrilo'Mumble - every company should use them IMO.  And if you can talk and type whilst dishing out orders, aren't you just the little Gen Y genius!
  3. Creating a successful team
    A great team has specialists in it, all with a specific task.  Healers. Tanks. DPS with specific jobs (though that pretty much seems to hunters for EVERYTHING lately). A raid leader/GM needs to fill the team with appropriate members for the task and juggle the abilities of those available to be able to fill those roles.  So... I guess that means since I tend to fill a raid with melee and have 3 druid healers, my team building could use some improvement...
  4. Motivating volunteers
    I think one of the biggest motivations of raid members is that everyone wants the same goals and that we will all share in the spoils and the glory.  Volunteers seems like an odd word to use here.  Every raid member is a recruit!
  5. Taking risks and continuous improvement
    Trying new strats for a raid boss is one way to look at how people tackle a problem. Trying different things and seeing what works and what doesn't is a great learning experience for all members in a team.  Not sure how many times you can wipe and reset an encounter if you stuff up a major business deal though...
  6. Poise under Pressure
    If you can be a good raid leader and not go screaming -50DKP at your raid members then I think that's always a plus. People love those who can keep their heads cool under pressure. However I am unsure how this translates into RL though - how would anyone know that you are a calm and collected leader just because you say so on your job application?
  7. Visibility and Accountability
    This is important in all team things that have rewards and the rewards are distributed. As long as when you're leading you let everyone know beforehand how loot is going to be handled and everyone understands how it works, then it should be better.  Those raid teams that have secret officer/raid leader business that ends up with them taking all the loots tend to do poorly and that translates the same over into RL situations as well.
I think that it's all very well and good, and I can see the advantages that being a successful guild and raid leader would infer upon you, but how does one establish that in a job interview? I think that it would be more useful to say that the skills you acquire from raiding may actually be able to help you in the future if your job requires a lot of teamwork and you are going to be in a leadership role.  But to actually put that on your CV?  Well, to be honest, if you note that in your hobbies/interests that you are a computer game player then I will notice your CV and probably ask you about it, but it doesn't mean that I think that you're a great leader because you say you are a raid leader or GM.  I suppose if I ask about how to deal with certain situations and analogies are drawn between their in game experiences and translated to the real world (with ideas that WORK of course), then I can see how game playing enhanced their abilities to perform in a RL job.

John Seely Brown, said that he'd hire an expert player in WoW over an MBA from Harvard.  Sounds outrageous?  Well it certainly does to me.
When we look in to the social structures and the knowledge capability, refining and generation capabilities of these guild structures, there is something going on here. These are not just self-organizing groups. Basically every high-end guild has a constitution. The leaders of these guilds also have to do dispute adjudication all the time. They also have to be willing to say, “Let’s measure ourselves.” These guilds are truly meritocracy-based. And so even if you are the leader of this particular high-end raid, at the end you do an after-action review, and the after-action review each person is open to total criticism by everybody else. You can replay the whole thing because basically its all computer-meditated so it can be captured.
Trying new ideas, reworking it until it works, then measuring your performance against others by looking at meters that are open for everyone to peruse and critique - sounds great on paper and hihg end WoW playing does help you but I hope that people don't get the wrong idea and think that just because you play WoW you will be good at teamwork, or that you need to play WoW to get ahead in a business job.

The more practical thing I would be interested in is HOW to use your leadership skills in a game like WoW and turn it to your advantage in an interview.  Merely stating it is not enough - the context for the discussion is not going to arise (unless it's a long interview).  But here is a small tip where you could bring it up.

When your get asked about your strengths and weaknesses then you could mention that you have a penchant for competitive computer game playing.  The strengths of that is that you are good at virtual team building and coordinating large groups to function in individual roles to secure a known outcome.

In the medical field, computer game playing probably doesn't help you much in terms of securing a job, but if people in business think it does?  Well, you will just have to play your cards right to use it to your advantage.

Guildleader chores minipost - And here we are on the Guild bank Gold rollercoaster AGAIN

Last tier was good.  We made money from BoEs.  Guild bank was the healthiest it has ever been.

I am not sure why they decided to go down this rubbishy path again of no income.

Personal loot, which I have decided to put on for 2 weeks to see if we can get as many loots as possible, means that BoEs will be looted by individuals and they can keep them unless I specifically ask for them.

It feels really awkward to take the BoEs from people.  I don't like it, but how else do you make money for the bank?

Everyone said tonight that there was no need to worry about guild money because the bank is sitting on 500k at the moment, which is from selling BoEs during this last tier.  But if you look at progress nights where repair bills start coming out at about 700g and over, with 20 people in the raid, that's 14k bled out on just one night.  If that was three raid nights that's 32k.  A WEEK. I suppose that the guild bank could cope for 4 months without topups, because money still comes in from doing dungeons, raid and challenge modes.

Lissanna of Restokin was quick to write about it, and I agree for a big raiding guild that's a lot of dough to lose.  I brought it up in raid tonight and there were a number of suggestions including donating gold for EPGP (which would work for some people and probably not for others), or doing our own repairs (since we do make a lot of money now in WoD).  However, I like the guild paying for repairs, and I would like to keep it going.

Of course, the other thing is that with master loot I could DE the stuff and sell the shards.  Can't do that with personal loot.

I think with these things in consideration, we will go back to ML sooner rather than later. I had initially been thinking about doing 2 weeks of personal loot, but I have to save for the future! :D

Friday, June 26, 2015

Raiding - Success! How we dealt with Heroic Hellfire Assault

Back we went to Hellfire Citadel on Thursday ready to try Hellfire Assault again on heroic.  I admit that after reading a lot of the negative comments on MMO Champion's forums, I wondered if we would be able to do it. However, my friend Fanglore told me that he was doing it in a PuG in heroic and they got to 50%. Ok, so it's just how WE are doing it that's the problem, I thought.  If a PuG can do it then we can too.  Aimei also said that the more people we had, the harder it was to do.

So at the start of the raid we discussed again the kill order priority. The Felcasters convert to Terrors after a period of time (according to Icy Veins) but they could stay up for a while before they turned into terrors.  We weren't sure if they turned into Terrors after a certain % health but we treated them as if that was how they worked.  When those Terrors were up they did massive amounts of raid damage that needed a healer cooldown to get through and if we had two morphed into Terrors well that was pretty much a wipe.

The Berserkers were an issue for tanks on Wednesday, but now we had the melee dealing with them and ranged were on them also until the Siege tank came out.  We still had adds all over the place and then we finally decided to nominate a main assist who could call out also (Punchynok) and the target switching was better.  Tanks were living longer and for the first time we managed to get to 50% in the encounter.

Then we noticed we had little adds heading up to the cannons and damaging them, because we had a few insta wipes and it was from the cannons dying.  We managed to a really good attempt in but there were SO many adds around.  We had stopped cleaving and gone to single target (as suggested by multiple sites) because we were worried about 2 terrors metamorphing and wiping the raid, but there were so many adds up by the end, it was crazy.  Aza and Owl had been AoEing the whole time and after more then an hour of wiping (but making minor progress mind you), they said that the adds were not going down fast enough because the raid DPS was too low with the single target.

A lot of the mythic guilds had just cleaved the adds down, and now that we had a kill order, we decided to give that a go. Voe had been running the munitions up to the cannons (and needed a couple of heals as he headed up the further the fight went on) and Kelthal had been keeping an eye for stray adds on the cannons - if you just shot them they would come away from the cannons and peel onto whoever aggroed them.

So, on our kill attempt, we killed all Berserkers first, with one focussed but still cleaving.  As soon as a terror transformed that was immediately killed, and it made a huge difference on healing.  Tanks were easier to heal.  All range were pretty good with switching to the siege engines - we tried to have the ranged standing behind the boss (so that the boss was between the ranged and the cannons) so they could spend longer DPSing the siege engines, but I'm not sure if that worked out as people had to move constantly because of bombs on the ground and fire being belched out. Interrupting the engineers doing their repair took us a while to get done well, but once we were onto that it was a good, as people were actually now watching for and interrupting it.

Siege engines are not all made equal!  Crushers were a huge priority for being killed FAST and everyone had to make sure they stayed out of its way as it would kill you if you ran headfirst into it. At least they had no ranged abilities so there was time to get them.  The Flamebelchers and Demolishers tended to wander around the raid a bit (unlike the Crushers who made a beeline for the cannons) and their damage was easy to avoid - mostly fire and bombs on the ground.  As long as it wasn't done around a cannon it wasn't too bad and they went down when there were no priority targets (like Crushers, Terrors or Beserkers) to kill.

Healers concentrated on the tanks when there were 2 or more Berserkers up and the tanks also managed their stacks better, cycling their cooldowns so that one tank held both Berserkers for a period and the other let their Slam stacks drop off and then taunting the Beserkers to them.  The Berserkers were killed faster too, so the stacks and swapping went a lot smoother.

The AoE method worked, adds were better controlled with the cleaves as well as the focussed cleaves that occurred on those adds that were priority target.  I hate to say that Aza was right, but he was, and we managed to get the first boss down.

Personal loot yielded 5 loots for 21 people, with Koda not only looting Gorebound Wristguards but also rolling Flickering Felspark (totally DROOLWORTHY).  Kelthal and Ultrapwnd got Forward Observer's Camouflage cloak, Punchynok also got Gorebound Wristguards, and Fallnapart got Blastproof Legguards.  Owl got Sparkburnt Welder's Cloak, Sevrus got Powder-Singed Bracers, and Kyjenn got Flamebelcher's Insulated Mitts.  It was pretty cool to see people getting loot!

Yuuda came late (but in time for the kill) and we also had Teknoman make an appearance, and I was hoping he would have transferred his mage over by now, but so far he hadn't done it yet.  I am wondering if he is going to, and I hope that he does. It's nice to have a mage.

Hwired and Madcow missed the raid, but Kaillynn was here this time on her priest and she did quite a good job with healing.  My healing was appalling (but Koda was amazing! Rag too, he's always bloody amazing) but who cares, we got it down!!! Yay Frostwolves!

We had a little look at Iron Reaver and we managed to make a dent in it - it seems quite doable if we just move out of the bad stuff and use our healer cooldowns at the right time.  I'm looking forward to more heroic raid on Monday!  And with our recent success, I think we will do normal HFC on Sunday since it's so easy!