Friday, October 30, 2015

Raiding - it's still going!

I have had a lack of posting lately because I have been unable to connect to the internet on my 4g device on my Surface! Which is a disaster when I'm at work because I can't enter any of the workplace based assessments that I need to do, nor can I upload my Continuing Professional Development activities - and even bigger disaster I can't write my blog LOL!

But, what's been happening...

Raiding is as usual a bit bleh on the Thursday but on Wednesday we were REALLY short of healers because Yuuda was working, Rag had no internet, Nok was tired and it was just me and Bish and we used Owl to heal offspec. It pretty much meant we couldn't do Archimonde but we did do Mannoroth, Iskar, Xhul and tried to do Fel Lord.  It seems very strange that we could do Manny and even Xhul (Xhul was the cleanest kill we had ever done - perhaps having 3 hunters had something to do with it) and then we just wiped on Fel Lord. Like, wiped A LOT. OK, I admit the first wipe was my fault, I got hit by a wave when I had the debuff from soaking. It may have been low powered heals or it could just be everyone has forgotten what to do. Either way Wednesday was a bit of a disappointment. There were some funny bits though - I mean, it wouldn't be a Frostwolves Iskar unless there was one wipe! This time Owl was healing and had the orb and we were yelling to him to dispel and he didn't have it on his bars so we blew up. I laughed and he said that he was quickly trying to find it in his spellbook and it was like trying to dispel....

"With your foot?" I quipped.

"And blindfolded," he replied.

LOL.

When Thursday came around I was a bit late because I had a work meeting. They were scraping numbers for raid and it almost loooked like we wouldn't be able to raid. But we managed to scrape by with alts and we had to beg Crooked to come help from Kilrogg because we just didn't have the heals or DPS for it. I also managed to drag Balkoth into the raid on his horde alt - nobody knew who he was and I told him not to speak because I had no idea whether he would be like other mythic raiders that had come along to "help" us in raid. It's funny, because my friends who have come along to help are all altruistic with their intentions - they want to help, they don't care about loot, happy to take leftovers as long as no guildies want it, don't mind about getting locked out of loot for a boss. And don't get me wrong, I do understand that people give up their time to help and would like to be rewarded for their time but it is always so much less hassle when I bring my friends because they don't mind helping out, don't mind being dropped and don't mind not being asked to come back when we have enough of our own to raid.

So I guess I was afraid that he would say something about our strats, think we are scrubs or make elitist comments. But I should have known better than that because he just quietly DPS'd and didn't say much except "That spirit trinket is an upgrade for my shadow spec!". He did drop a reap in the middle of the room and he piles his reaps in a line rather than against the wall like we do but he said that is what he normally does and I hadn't asked him to stack on the wall. But we got through 6 bosses and I was happy with that. For me it was fun to be able to play with a friend that I don't normally get to play with. I worried that he didn't have fun but I shouldn't worry - he would have left had he thought it was not fun!

I am pretty sure that the Sunday raids will no longer be happening. Thursday is now the alts and casuals day. I might encourage people to bring friends for Thursday - one it will boost numbers and secondly it will make people more likely to hang around if they get to play with other friends.




Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Raiding - So that first Archi kill wasn't a fluke, thank goodness!

It was nice to kill heroic Archimonde again on Monday, and it was a pretty clean kill. Only 2 wipes and this time we had 16 people (though really it was 15 because Crooked had some lag issues and d/c'd in the fire and remained dead for the whole fight). Two conquerer trinkets dropped which went to Rag and Sev. Boots were taken by Dan.

Since my mana regen has started being better, I started using NV instead of Dream of Cenarius and found that my damage has gone up (and amusingly, gives me high percentiles on Warcraft logs for DPS in my spec - obviously not many resto druids are using NV or doing much damage). I am enjoying trying it since I can't ever catch up to Rag in healing because he just leaves me in the dust. Yuuda has reminded me that I should be boosting my healing with more swiftmend/wild growth which I have been very lazy with.

We also did Tyrant and Xhul, and the Xhul kill was probably the cleanest kill we have done.  Adds went down nicely, no shitty fire placements, and nobody blew up the wrong things.  A really pleasant raid week indeed!

Now, the question is, do we still need to do normal Archimonde twice a week if we're killing Archi on heroic every week? I suspect that the answer is NO and in that case, perhaps we can drop the Sunday raid and make the Thursday raid the alt raid/normal Archi since our turnouts are abyssmally low on a Thursday. It really does seem like Wednesday/Monday are our best raid turnout days.

I think if we do that, then it will make Sunday free for everyone which is great. I guess that means that trials will have to come along to normal Manny/Arch on Thursday, which might be good for them I suppose (if they get loot or their first kill) but I don't particularly want to be carrying people who are coming along for a free kill and then skiving off without a word. People like that I wouldn't want in the guild anyway so it might be a good filter.

I am not sure that people are interested enough in their alts to want to bring them to normal Manny/Archi. I am hoping that some people will. All we need is 10 people and we can still raid. I suppose the alternative is to PuG but nobody in the guild would like to play with randoms.

On Sunday we just did normal Manny and Arch and then called it due to lack of interest. Deidrea came for the first time and his healing was dreadful (but not unexpected for his ilvl) but when you look at logs he actually wasn't that bad. Maybe with a bit of work (ok maybe a lot) we might have a replacement for Rag.  But that's just me being hopeful. A duo that were going to trial also didn't turn up (though they turned up at exactly 10pm thinking that it was 9pm so obviously they were not on daylight savings time - I encouraged them to come next week, though I'm not sure we will have a raid next weekend).

Next expansion if Luxy returns then I will ask her to heal because it seems that lack of heals is an ongoing thing this expansion, despite everyone else's best intentions to heal!

Monday, October 26, 2015

So I gave in and built a Barn in my Garrison

So it's the end of the expansion and I still did not have my Pygmy Cow because I couldn't be bothered to build my garrison on my alt, and was being stubbornly resistant to building the barn on my druid because of my warped sense of morality - as in trapping fellow brother and sister beasts for their fur and meat. On a druid it just felt wrong - as I employ their forms as part of my druid's abilities - but if I was on my warlock alt I was totally fine with that. After all, sucking other people's souls to get magic abilities is fine with her, so skinning a few animals and slaughtering a few others isn't much of a drama.

So I was faced with this tiny dilemma - level my alt, or do it on my druid.

I started on my warlock.  I built the barn and looked around on the ground - no milk. I had read that you could destroy the barn and make it again to see if the milk spawns - some people said they had success with that after 4 or 5 goes - so I tried doing that.

No luck after the third rebuild. So it looks like I would have to start it on my druid after all.

So I thought I'd try two rebuilds and see if there was milk - no, there was no cup of milk on the ground. So I then went on the laborious task of getting the barn up to Level 3 - just waiting for the 50 work orders to kick in. And then, I guess it's just a matter of sitting down waiting for that milk to appear. Is it there all the time? Do I have to check daily? I saw lots of people writing about elaborate ways to get up into the top level of the barn to get the milk, but with flying now readily available all those things are moot. What if I sit there for days and STILL don't get my Pygmy cow?

I miss my Auction house already. Yes, yes, I know that it's just one simple portal away to Warspear, but it was nice running around from my bank in the garrison to the Auction House. Perhaps I like the garrison more than I thought.

Come on Pygmy Cow. I'm really looking forward to meeting you.

However, I am still really, REALLY, REALLY against building a lumber mill in Navimie's Garrison. That's definitely something for Minndy to finish off. Once I change her barn back into a lumber mill again.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

We get Terky! But does that mean they're going to put Tyrael out there somewhere too??

On the weekend Wowhead reported that Terky was now live and when I logged in on Sunday I was inundated with tells from my pet friends Jazeel and also Yuuda telling me to go get my Terky.

Terky was previously only available with an iCoke Taiwan promotion.  It was one of those pets that nobody on US/EU servers could get.

Both of them tried to tell me where it was, and I thought OK, it's that island at the bottom of Borean Tundra.  I can do that.


When I got to the point, I shouldn't have worried, there were people all around the area, floating on the sea or hovering on their mounts in the air.


I dived under the water to see if I could see this cave they were talking about.  Both Yuuda and Jaz told me it was hard to see, but I found it quite quickly.  Cymre has a good video on finding it. It kinda helped that there was a ton of people floating around in the water around the area, though not sure if they were AFK or something. But you can see there are some weeds and a broken pillar near the entrance of it.


When I got inside. there were tons of people inside.  Why were they standing around?  The egg was over on the ground and easily clickable (you can see it there on my left - white with blue spots), and didn't seem to be on a spawn timer.  Fortunately nobody was being a troll and sitting on it or putting some other stupid item on top of it.


So I got my egg and my pet, and I'm pleased as punch.  That brings my unique pet collection up to 746!

So it makes me wonder - what other pets are they going to make obtainable now? They used recruit-a-friend to get some of the other pets that were strange overseas promotions (Zipao tiger, Golden Pig, Silver Pig, Jade Tiger).  Does that mean soon they will make a Mini-Tyrael pet you can pick off the ground from somewhere? The thought of it does horrify me considering how much it costs to buy the card! The market for that card would drop a lot if that was the case!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Raiding - The inevitable wane of interest

Now that the goal of our guild has been achieved (which is the downing on Archi on heroic) there was a definite decline in raiding numbers on Wednesday.  None of the regular hunters came, and Nok, Bish and Duck had to drop from raid at varying times for varying reasons. Dan was still at Uni. Very threadbare indeed. Quad had come to the conclusion that playing mage wasn't as good as playing his hunter so he has decided to finish the rest of the tier on his hunter.

Our Mannoroth kill was messy, to say the least. We even wiped 2 times with people dying at strange times. On the kill attempt, we had 2 healers die in Phase 3 (Rag and Bish) and I was healing on my own.  Everyone was dangerously low, I was struggling to keep everyone up and even a tranq wasn't enough.  Aimei had died as well and we had 8 million to go and I was going to rez Rag but ended up getting Aimei up instead.  Not long after that Kyxyn died and there was hardly anyone left to kill Manny, but we managed to just scrape it with more than half the raid dead. Phew! This did not bode well for Archimonde. We were already borderline with 13 people trying to do Archimonde and we had some pathetic first few attempts and then one decent attempt. Yuuda said that if we made no mistakes, we could do it.  However, when we dropped to 12 we knew we couldn't get a kill with that, so we just went back and did the second level bosses instead.

So we got all of them down except Xhul. I was happy because I got my heroic warforged weapon off Zakuun! Thanks Yuuda for passing! I wonder if we will be able to do Xhul tonight. We will not have any hunters (Thursday is a bad day - lots of people late to raid and some can't make the raid) so it will be tight. I have wondered if we should PuG in some people but really, what's the fun of that - I like playing with my guild, not a bunch of random people.

Now interestingly on Thursday (which is typically our worst raid attendance day), Ultra, Owl and Aza turned up to raid.  We were doing normal Manny and Archi and then doing stuff with alts in 1st level heroics, so it was a bit flaky (and of course my DPS was dreadful so I went back to healing because they were struggling on Assault).

We had a long chat with them after the raid to find out what their intentions were, and they seemed keen to raid. Kyxyn is hoping that we are looking at a change overall in the attitudes with raiding, so with three extra ranged we will be able to do Archi again.  The more people, the better it will be.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Now this is a fun Hallow's End

I have often said how much I dislike my garrison and how I dislike how I seem to spend so much time in it, but it has surprised me how much I enjoy decorating it with these Hallow's End decorations.



So far I've put the spiders/capturable pets, the ghostly costumes and the pumpkins. I think the pumpkins are great, adding a whimsical feel to the place.

You have to do these dailies out in Shadowmoon Valley by Socrethar's Rise, and they're pretty easy.  Even if there are a fair few people there, the mob spawn rate is fast and you can get it done pretty quickly.




The good thing about the spiders, maggots and rats  all over my garrison is of course an excuse to do some pet battling. I have had a fun time battling and catching things again, looking for a different breeds and maybe get lucky and get rares. So far, none have popped up, but I think I have enough upgrade stones to buff my new pets if I need to.


There is also a rare spider beside the herb garden that can drop a toy bag of spiders. There was a bug in the early days where people kept killing it and not picking up the loot and apparently there was a possibility you could get the rare toy bag of spiders after repeated killings. But they soon fixed that up and we're back to killing it once a day for a chance at the toy.


I was also delighted to see a scarecrow Pepe costume - look for Pepe in your garrison! Think Hallow's End thoughts, that's where you'll find him. I went to raid last night with Scarecrow Pepe on my head much to Sev's bemusement. You even get an achievement - A Frightening Friend.

I don't have my Headless Horseman mount still so I will try again this year but I'm really not fussed. It is a cool mount but now I have flight form back, who needs mounts?

I wondered if I should get the Lich King Costume... however, I might buy some of those Naga masks with my Hallows End currency and boost my intellect a little :)

So is everyone else enjoying Hallow's end too?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Raiding - Finally Ahead of the Curve!

Tanks: Aimei, Kyxyn
Healers - Navimie, Yuuda, Punchynok, Rag
DPS: Sevrus, Crooked, Lushen, Duck, Dan, Darkness, Quad (now renamed to something else I forget), Voe, Kelthal.

We had some good attempts - there was another 2% wipe in there - but it felt a bit more controlled than previously. Everyone was doing quite good damage and we seemed to be consistently getting to the infernals stage but that bit always seems like chaos to me.

With a warlock it was nice to have a gateway one way and a roar going back. With 2 druids we only had enough roars for 2 trips back and by the next one everyone had to run on their own. The bit I find hardest still is spreading out after the run for the Shadowfel burst, because trying to spread out, yet stay in range of tanks can be tricky. One time I was with Crooked and we ran together no matter how much we tried to get away from each other and we both got felbursted (is that even a WORD) and caused a wipe. Another time, I thought I'll be clever and hang back a bit and let everyone run past me, but I wasn't the only idiot with that idea - Rag has hanging back too. And of course, guess what happened... Doomfire fixated on him and the orb was on the far side of Archimonde and the fire went back through Archi and the melee to where we were standing. I remember HK yelling "OMG who did that!" and I was feeling super relieved it was Rag and not me!

We were pretty good on the Nether banishes too - very rarely did people miss them and the composition was good. In the attempts that night we had some issues in there with the orb - Kyxyn got knocked back by it and died which was the cause of one wipe. I thought I was doing a stellar job slowing it with Faerie Fire and kiting it around until Aimei told me he was the one slowing it.

Our kill attempt was a bit weird, we were killing things a bit slower than we were before. We actually had a 5th lot go into the zone when Archi was low and I went in again for sacrifice (I had gone in on the 4th banish for the sacrifice but the boss wasn't low enough to die) - basically the sacrifice group is composed of 3 players so that the Archi doesn't heal himself because we ignored the banish. I was running around trying to avoid the orb and kill the big shadow thing and I could hear everyone else on vent getting excited adn next thing you know - screen goes black and we're outside and achievement pops. Woo! I was sad that I couldn't see what was going on outside, but at least there is a video of it - Darkness made one:


Ecstatic was a mild word for what I was feeling. I was so happy - this fight which had been causing so much friction in the guild lately was finally over! Cheers all round to the raid team for finally pulling it off and getting that kill!

I rolled the gloves I wanted, Yuuda and Sev rolled belts, Rag rolled his Ret weapon, and heroic trinkets dropped which went to Kyxyn and Nok. The rest of the night was spent cleaning up the rest of Hellfire citadel but nothing could quash my mood. YAY! We did it!

In total, the guild did 83 wipes on Archimonde which is better than what we did on Blackhand (which was 156) and according to Ask Mr Robot at our item level the number of wipes should be about 20, but I don't mind - it's dead!


Naturally after the conclusion of raid, our question was - what do we do now?

I have said that we are not going to do Mythic. Which is true - we will not be doing Mythic as a guild. I haven't got the inclination nor the patience to recruit heavily to make a raid of 20 people - and not only that, it is unlikely that any of the players we would recruit would be long stayers. People out there looking for mythic guilds are generally looking for a raiding team and kills rather than a home to belong to, and that's not who we really are.

We thought that perhaps we could go back and finish off mythic Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry and tackle HFC when the cross realm hits. There might be another guild out there that has 10 people and wants to get some mythics done later - and that might be a good option if both guilds get along, but I know that those sorts of alliances can be tricky.  But with personal loot, drama over drops should be a non-thing.

But, that's thinking too far ahead. For now I will just be happy that we have our achievement and wonder how many people are going to be taking a break from raiding now that we have killed Archi. A lot of our guildies stayed to kill it with the guild and now that they've gotten it they will need a well deserved break.

And yes, I know that I will have to face this problem in 2 days. We'll just see what we have then! Well done Frostwolves!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Navi's BETTER hints for "I found Pepe" Achievement

It's great that this achievement is finally live and we can get our Pepe costumes. However, the hints that they had for it were too hard for me! Here are the official hints:

Talador - Sir Pepe is a knight, you see, but every warrior needs a rest. You’ll find him half-asleep right now near a pile of amythest.

Gorgrond - What killed these iron hordies, you thought you knew—but alas, you were wrong. Turns out it was the stealthy Ninja Pepe all along.

Spires of Arak - Pirate Pepe flew down south to visit his feathered friends. You’ll find him there relaxing in some arrakoa ru-ins.

Nagrand - This Pepe will be easy for anyone to spot. Viking Pepe always thought his dancing moves were hot.

It was way too hard for me! So if you want to find Pepe without having the coordinates linked to you like they are on Wowhead then follow my subsequent clues! And dont' look at my pictures unless you really give up. I'm not going to list co-ordinates - you can find them on Wowhead here.

Talador
Hint 1 - The race that reveres this purple gem, Pepe can be found amongst them.
Hint 2 (big spoiler) - Near Auchindoun upon a chest, he's in a tent and not a nest.


Gorgrond
Hint 1 - Where Gronns will crush the Iron Horde, Pepe's hiding, rest assured.
Hint 2 (big spoiler) - South of the Pit within a tent, this Ninja bird some time has spent.


Spires of Arak
(To tell you the truth this was the easiest one for me. I think I just got lucky! And the clue was quite good)
Hint 1 - I haven't made one because the official hint was good.
Hint 2 - Upon a rock and in plain sight, he watches sea both day and night.


Nagrand
Hint 1 - A challenge made! Let's all go fight, Near this arena, just out of sight.
Hint 2 - The Ring of Trials will test your pluck, but nearby goblins dance amok.


I noticed something when I was in flight form with Pepe - Pepe was sitting on one of my claws! Not in my claws clutches but actually on my it. I thought that was rather cool :) (another thing to thank Ancient for)


Yay, achievement done! I am a bit ashamed that I had to look up the places where they were because the hints were too hard for me - if there is anyone out there who wants to do it themselves without coordinates given to them then hopefully my hints will be a bit useful!






Saturday, October 17, 2015

Patch 6.2.3 - Has it come too late?

Interestingly, after posting not that long ago about the mythic woes, Blizzard announced that Patch 6.2.3 will be making its way to the PTRs shortly.

But, is it too late?

Cross realm mythic raiding - it's coming.  It was just like at the end of Siege of Orgrimmar. This will be great for all those people who would like to get mythic HFC done. All those smaller guilds might be able to pug some players and finish mythic bosses. However, the damage has been done - a whole lot of people have quit playing because they were unable to finish the raid with the raiders that they had.  Will they be enticed back with this patch to finish the tier off? It will be great for those remaining though - and I think if I was Blizzard, I'd rather help out my loyal players who are still playing than worry about those who have already gone.

I also noticed that if you kill Heroic Archimonde then we will be eligible to get a mount.  That's exciting for mount collectors. I didn't realise it would be that moose mount though. Ancient expressed a bit of sadness that she wouldn't be able to get it and have to save for a heroic Archimonde carry.

Arena season 2 is ending. Ever since Shab moved to alliance my enthusiasm for arena has dropped significantly. I haven't even done 1/4 of the games that I need for the mount this season, whereas I had finished my 100 games on all the previous seasons. There was a new mount this season, a Vicious War Kodo, and as a tauren I feel that it is an obligation - no, a necessity! - to get this mount. But in 2 weeks will I have the stamina to grind out 75+ games to get the mount? Actually that's 75+ WINS, rougly double that if I went to get the games done.  Ashran has done a great job of capping my conquest so I have been a bit lazy with getting my arena done. I also haven't gotten my 27k conquest points achievement yet, but I am 2 weeks off getting that (especially with the bonus conquest event this weekend) so it's not too big an issue (as the patch hasn't made it to PTR yet so I will have at least 2 weeks before it drops). So should I drag Crooked and Sev for a buttload of games to get our mount? Or should I pug it?

Valour upgrades are back! I'm not sure how I feel about that - I guess it's so everyone can upgrade their gear to get that kill. I'm not sure if I will be doing it, because it means running dungeons all the time to get valour. It will make it a lot easier for guilds working on bosses to get through them. I am hoping we won't need them, but hey upgrades are upgrades - maybe we can work on old mythics for fun.

And more timewalking dungeons - this time with a chance to drop a mount! I'll see how I feel, but I think I COULD be enticed to do a few. I'm not a huge fan of doing the old dungeons, or any dungeons at the moment. But at least the old instances are getting a workout!

So, a few more weeks before big changes. Frostwolves, we need to get that Archimonde kill!

I can't help but wonder, if this patch had dropped earlier - or rather, some of the contents of this patch had dropped earlier - whether a number of raiding players could be saved, or kept interested in the game. I think most people will agree that it seems worse this time around than previously, in terms of numbers and guilds collapsing. The only problem I see with cross realm things is that if you see them in group finder, you must have already killed that boss already to be able to join the raid. I was more hoping that two 10 man guilds could come together and do mythic content. Because that would be a feat of cooperation, and I always like hearing about those sorts of stories than about the PuG who didn't care who they did their kill with.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Raiding - Archimonde almost and unwanted drama

We decided that we would NOT do normal Manny and Archi on Wednesday because Wednesday is our best raid turnout day, and instead we focussed on heroic Archimonde.

Danleet messaged me asking what we were doing and I said we are doing Mannoroth heroic, so hurry up! He was going to be late so he was rushing home and I said that I would "accidentally" cause a wipe or two whilst he hurried home. We also had our new DK, Roflchops, coming along tonight.

Turns out I didn't have to do it, the tanks did it all by themselves.

First attempt Kyxyn got knocked off the platform. Second attempt Aimei got knocked off the platform.  The Felseeker was too close to the tanks and punted them off, so everyone had to be reminded to be on the BACK leg.

By this time Dan got on and we got going and had our best, cleanest and fastest attempt on Mannoroth.  That was quite good. AND I got some gear! I got the tier chest (sorry Dan!) and I rolled heroic warforged Thumping Demonheart Fetish, so I was thrilled to bits.

Then we went to Archi and overall the night felt better than previous nights. We had a 3% wipe but it felt a lot better in terms of overall execution and plan. I don't know if it was because we had more the 15 in the raid, but it just felt more controlled.

Unfortunately the great raiding was ruined by guild drama with one of our raid members unleashing abuse on another. We were all very unhappy with what happened, and a warning was given, but I am particularly disappointed because I emphasised with the new members that we have a nice raiding environment and THIS was not nice. What could I have done to prevent this happening? Should I have given warnings earlier? All this weighed on my mind as we discussed with the culprits what had occurred and then the officers had a big discussion on what should happen in the future.  An action plan was sorted out and we agreed to stick to it. But in truth my heart is heavy thinking about it - not enough to make my real life miserable, it's just something for me to have my thoughts dwelling on (which would otherwise have been occupied with birthday cakes and food for my son's birthday this weekend) - and I am ashamed that a bad example has been set for our new members.

But! I have new shiny clothes to play with so that cheered me up. And of course, thanks to Crooked, I have some retail therapy as well. What did I buy? Well... the newest plushie is out! #IfoundPepe

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Guildleader chores: Changing mindsets - how do you move players from fixed mindsets to growth mindsets?

It's interesting when Kyxyn talk late at night about things. We both have occupations where we have to teach others in real life, and it's interesting when we discuss the difference between teaching children/adolescents and adults.

And, not surprisingly, that conversation washes over into our World of Warcraft dealings - how do you tell someone that they need to improve or make suggestions about how they could improve? They Kyxyn brought up the twotypes of mindset and I realise just how much we see that in game and it started me thinking about what we can do about it.

In my guild, we often pussy foot around people who aren't doing as well and hesitate giving advice to them about how they need to improve. I fully admit I get the shits when people who don't play a druid healer tell me how I should be healing, but when another druid tells me how to play I happily listen to their advice. That is probably why I dislike having to tell someone about how to improve their gameplay - firstly, it is very common knowledge that I have no alts and play no other classes, so me trying to give advice on anything is usually met with a bit of "what the hell would you know". And I don't blame them, because it's true. I don't know anything.

When you read the kinds of mindsets there are above, most people would like to think they are of the Growth Mindset. I know I would like to think of myself there too. A fixed mindset can be what is limiting a person from success.

An example of fixed mindset - one of my guildies would complain every time there was a change to their class. Their DPS would drop and they would say it was because Blizzard broke the class. What they hadn't really tried to do was use the new changes to try to improve their gameplay - they were playing the class how they used to play it many years ago and it wasn't working like it used to. That class was actually doing very well on some fights and when the person was told this, they would get angry as if they were being accused of being a bad player.

Or how about this:

  • "This boss is too hard, it's geared towards encounters with more than 20 people."
  • "You can't do this boss with this many melee."
  • "We can't do this boss without a paladin healer."

Sound familar? Know people in your own guild like that?

Kyxyn has been looking at logs a lot lately, using them as tools to compare himself and others with what others of the same class are doing. He has been doing that with everyone else as well. I realise that he wants everyone to perform to the best of their potential because that is what teachers do, but not everyone likes being told that they could reach a better potential. Some are happy with what they have chosen as their talents and find it confrontational when offered other options when compared to other players.

What he asked me, was how can we make it part of our guild culture to be able to receive feedback about our performance without getting offended - and striving to improve?

I had to unfortunately tell him that his constant comments on how to improve to people were a little too frequent, and came across like nagging so that every time he wanted to speak to someone, they would immediately get their back up, thinking he was going to nag them about their DPS again. He wanted to know what he could do so that wouldn't happen.

People look at this game as somewhere to unwind, relax. They don't look at it as a place where you can improve your social skills, your teamwork skills and even work on addressing your shortcomings and learning to overcome them. If I said that to my officers now (or future officers) that my goal was to help every guild member to be the best that they can be by helping hone social skills, team work and provide support and encouragement in those areas, they would laugh at me and say they play this game to have fun, and not be a job - after all, those are the sorts of things you have to deal with in real life and you are trying to escape them by playing games!

However, I hate wasted opportunities. And there are so many opportunities to gently nudge people in the right direction to be better. And some of them have succeeded... others still need work.

So, now we are back to trying to nudge the people with fixed mindsets to recognise them and WANT to change into a growth mindset. I don't want to give you all the gory details of how I want to insiduously do this, because then people will recognise that "Navi is going to try to one of her mind game things on me," and then none of what I plan will work!

Firstly, I focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each person. Everyone has a strength. You just need to be able to recognise it and use it to your advantage. Each guildies has a different strength - be it a great healing/DPS output, excellent at mechanics, good at explaining, following instructions. And everyone has a weakness too and those need to be recognised as well - lack of patience, easily frustrated, slow to move out of mechanics, tunnelling, poor commnication.

Next, positive reinforcement should be the start of every conversation. For example, I would say "OMG, your damage today was heaps better!", "Your healing was really good that attempt compared to the last one!" or "You were so much easier to heal today, it was great!" People love being complimented, rather than launching straight into the negative.

The next part is trickier. When is the right time to start giving the not so good news? For me, it depends on the person. Some guildies ask me for improvements - those ones I would tell them straight away what I need them to do. Some players do better when you tell them to focus on a particular task - absorb all these swirls, heal this player. When giving a task, they can focus on it and not have to worry about other things going on in the raid. With other players, I find it's better to continue stroking the ego a bit before I switch tack.

I often play out my own shortcomings as a way to make it seem like I'm not a know it all. I'm very good at pointing out my mistakes anyway. I might mention a part that I found difficult and then see what the person says in response. After that I make the comment where I want improvement. And I only make a comment about ONE thing I want to improve at a time.  There may be 6 things that need to improve but people feel better when they can master one thing and succeed than if they attempt to master 6 things and fail.  Slow steps. Very slow steps. Well, that's the plan anyway. I'll see if I can actually accomplish this. It's easy to talk about it, less easy to execute.

Moving from the fixed to the growth mindset can also be a self awareness thing. Recognising the fixed mindset and growth mindset thoughts in your own head and choosing between them will also benefit the player in the long run. I can't make people to do this but I frequently do it to myself.  For example:

Fixed mindset thought: I suck at DPS. I'm only going to DPS when nobody else is around because everyone is going to laugh at me and tell me I suck. I'll just stick to healing because I'm good at it.
(I can see everyone laughing at me because unfortunately this is the truth. However, I do try and improve but I need more opportunity to practice)
Growth mindset thought: I need to practice DPS more. The next opportunity I can take to practice I will take it so I can try to get better. I have to learn to watch for the solar and lunar eclipses better so I don't waste DPS!

Fixed mindset thought: It's not my fault. It's Blizzard's fault for breaking my class or making paladins too powerful and I can't keep up in heals.
Growth mindset thought: Which part of this fight are my heals going to be useful? Perhaps if I conserve mana for the later part of the fight where bigger output is needed I can be of more help there when everyone else is out of mana.

Kyxyn recommended me to read things by Carol Dweck. If you're interested in trying to get yourself out of the fixed mindset, hit her up on Google. I found it very enlightening.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

True or False: "Blizz killed 10 man guilds to appeal to 0.07%"

This capped thread on the forums caught my eye because I was wondering what they were talking about.

The nuts and bolts of it is that this 10 man raider is upset that 10 man groups are unable to do mythic raiding and that catering for a small amount of the WoW playing population - essentially, 20 man raiding guilds - hurts the population in general.

What I found interesting was the comment that "all those tight knit social bonds have been destroyed after they were built up for years." This is referring to the tight knit bonds of a 10 man.

When we started this expansion, we had come from doing Siege of Orgrimmar with 10 players to suddenly having a lot of people. A number of the players who did some of those 10 mans did not like that and wanted to have the "small" group back. The dynamics were good with that group, they said. Players were better.  You knew who everyone was.

How quickly people forget how miserable it is when you have to sit people out. Obviously we had the goodwill of others sitting out for bosses they don't need but that isn't always the case. Sometimes people felt like they should sit out to make sure there was no drama.

I love how flex was applied to normal (now heroic). It meant that we could take everyone. No more sitting out.  It was brilliant.

But then, came the mythic factor.

We were doing that level of difficulty in MoP on a 10 man level.  Actually, we only did that for Siege of Orgrimmar.  We did do some heroic level stuff in Cataclysm too in 10 man.

But we haven't done any mythic this expansion, and to be honest, I didn't want to. I still don't want to now.  The flexibility is gone, and suddenly raiding will become a chore as we try to balance the numbers and the classes and the ranged/melee and we don't even have the numbers right now. I LIKE doing heroics, because that's fun and it fits in with my life timetable.

The people who are upset are those who WANT to do mythic but don't want to do it in a 20 man environment. Heroic 10 mans used to be the same as Heroic 25 mans. in MoP and prior. It was cool for the 10 man guilds back then but in reality, it's not fair.  Heroic 25 should have better rewards.  It's harder to organise and maintain.  Sure, it may have been easier too with extra slack in the system, but having to tune a 10 man fight to be the same as a 25 man fight for the same rewards is extra work that wastes a lot of effort.  I can understand why Blizzard took the two difficulties away and made it just one raid size. Only one difficulty to have to worry about and tune, instead of trying to balance it out for a 10 man and a 25 man. I'm trying to think of an equivalent real life analogy - say that I am a chef and I have to cook a special 5 course meal for a group of 10 people and also have to cook that same meal for 25 people.  They're both the same food, and it's a special party course so I have to buy the right ingredients to make exactly the right number.  Now, imagine I want to have an extra SPECIAL dinner course, that includes wine, and 20 souffles.  There is exactly enough wine in 1 barrel for 20 people only, and so that special meal should be for 20 people. Sure, we can have less, but the cost of the meal with wine is $2000 ($100 per person).  If you have less people then that's fine but that $2000 will have to be shared around whoever's left, so each person has to pay more.  But with the regular 5 course meal without the special wine or souffle, we can have some dessert that you can keep serving up (maybe fruit platters) and some beer on tap, so you can bring as many friends as you want.  Ok, a bit of a strange analogy there... but what I'm trying to say is that to get something special then you have to DO something special - and that is make sure you have 20 people who want to come to the party or you can't have this special menu.  And if you want to bring less? Well you can, but it will cost you more.  I guess the cost is the DPS/healing output in mythic so if you have less people you have to put out double the effort of what you were doing previously. And also, the chef is good at preparing for 20 people - they've got the ingredients and timing worked out just right.  Throw in a 10 man party into the mix and now they have to spend extra time getting that set right AS WELL as the 20 man party set - it would be easier and work smoother if they just said we're doing it for a party of 20 and that's it. No exceptions.

Those people who would complain that the game is now "too easy" at the heroic level and need a mythic level to get satisfaction - what % do you think they are?  And what % do you think are the number of people who couldn't get into raids before but NOW they can because of the flexible sized normal raiding that happens now? And that also means that raids can continue if people have a life and need to do RL things and miss a raid day or two or come late - yes that might make it "easier" but in reality, that is the way this game is going. All those hard core players are now grown up with jobs and families and don't have the time to commit to the game like they used to.  The game has to change to fit those people too.  The hard core stuff, mythic stuff, is still there, but surely there are WAY more people in the normal/heroic bracket that need catering to as well.

Those people who are upset with the raiding structure - well they would probably be unhappy either way and find some excuse to complain about something else.  If they had their 10 man mythics they would be complaining that the encounter is too hard or something.  And then they'd still be quitting the game, even if Blizzard had tried to accommodate them.

So, do you blame Blizzard for catering to those small amounts of people for mythics? Those guys who are serious about mythics are willing to pay Blizz for their server transfers and faction changing to get into the teams they want.  And those who are complaining and not giving money to Blizz - well why would Blizz want to cater to you when you are not a customer who continues to support the game?

I think I may get a lot of disagreement but I like the way the raids are set out at the moment. It suits me, it suits my guild. I feel sorry for all that it doesn't suit, but there's no pleasing everyone!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Raiding - I'm not sure I can see that Archimonde end...

There were some hotfixes implemented on Tuesday that made normal HFC a whole lot easier.

Hellfire Citadel
Xhul'horac

  • Voidscribe Aathalos is no longer susceptible to Charm, Possess, or Banish effects.
  • Weaponlord Mehlkhior, and other creatures around Xhul'horac are now immune to Charm effects.

Archimonde

  • We have made a number of changes aimed at reducing the difficulty of the Archimonde encounter for smaller raid groups on Normal and Heroic difficulty, with a focus on the final phase of the encounter in particular. These changes are offset by increased scaling with respect to raid size, so that the experience for larger raid groups will be mostly unchanged.
  • Infernal Doombringer's health has been reduced by up to 15%.
  • Shadowed Netherwalker's health has been reduced by up to 15%.
  • Living Shadow's health has been reduced by up to 15%.
  • Reduced the damage of Wrought Chaos by up to 20%.
  • Reduced the damage of Shackled Torment by up to 20%.
  • Living Shadows now spawn from each Nether Tear at a reduced rate for smaller raid sizes.
  • Added a 3-second cooldown to the periodic healing of Eternal Flame, preventing Infernal Doombringers from healing other Infernal Doombringers until 3 seconds after spawning on all difficulties.
  • Archimonde's health has been reduced by 10% on Raid Finder difficulty.
I haven't done it in a while, so it seemed a lot easier, but also the raid has been doing a lot of Archi without me so perhaps I'm just cruising with the flow.  Anyway, that means a few normal casual raiders should be able to get Archi down.

We did it on Wednesday and since it was now easier, we could bring our casual players along.  There are only two, really - Mctacky and Taxar. Tacky came and got his Archi kill so that was great, and next week Taxar will come.

The raid team has REALLY shrunk a lot now. Constantine left and went back to Ajantis (though I did think that would happen eventually), and Falln is taking a break. Sev was sick yesterday and Bish didn't turn up. So that left raid a little smaller than normal and doing Archimonde didn't feel like we were close to a kill at all - with 14 people it seemed pretty hard IMO!

I was worried that it was me holding everyone back and maybe I was because I am still the most rusty. Healing was still a bit clunky with too many click panic heals and not enough concentrating on putting things where they should be.

I am tempted to go on the recruitment bandwagon... what worries me is the sudden overload at the start of an expansion - I think that perhaps this time around it won't happen like it did at the start of WoD, so that overcrowding of raid will probably not happen again.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How can the levelling experience be better for someone who hates alts?

There was some avid discussion in guild vent the other day in regards to the levelling experience. I was about to automatically switch off, because levelling is not my thing.  The whole levelling thing is just a chore that seems to have no relevance or meaning - I suppose it gives you the opportunity to learn your character's abilities and how to play it, but it is so UNFUN to me that doing it over and over to level alts makes me think I have so much more interesting and fun things to do in my spare time.

HK has been doing a Luxy and playing lots of guild wars and he was telling me about how fun it was, even to solo. Gathering in the game is different to WoW - the same node point can be gathered by everyone (in a way that treasures are in WoW at the moment I think) but the respawn time is long - 24 hours. Even when levelling or questing in guild wars, he told me that if you party with someone to help you with your quests their experience or rewards are scaled down to the level of that quest. I guess that means power levelling is out! But perhaps that's a good thing? More time for story then!

One of the ways people level quickly in WoW is by doing dungeons. I can see that would be a way to encourage people to play with others rather than solo playing (this is, after all, an MMO).

Kyxyn was saying that perhaps a good way to encourage people to do the levelling for the story (like other RPG games where you play for the storyline) is to give a bonus XP for finishing the entire zone, rather than skipping around to the next zone that would give you the most XP.

As a reluctant leveller, what would make me most likely to enjoy levelling? I would say, it would probably be a different story.  However, that means I should be levelling my alliance character, but I'm not. Why is that?

I guess it's because I'm not levelling with someone. I like playing WoW because of the social part of it - if I don't have anyone to play with then I get bored quickly. So, you may ask, why don't I just level with someone?

Well, that's because my levelling times are sporadic. Who would want to play with me when I only play at weird times.  And they'd have to wait for me.  That wouldn't go down well.

What other option could I have?

I heard that Guild wars 2 had a very good levelling system for the casual pve player.  End game stuff is PvP and stuff but the levelling experience is supposed to be enjoyable and the graphics are good - way better than WoW. Would having those things change my feelings about levelling in WoW?

I think that if each class had a different story in each zone then that would make the levelling experience more varied. GW2 has a different storyline for each class, which sounds rather cool. And I guess if you had a friend come help you then maybe they could get token XP given to them for helping you but then you can go with them to help them do their quests and have the reverse happen for you. Competing with another person for quest items or mobs sucks - though I admit that's been a lot better in WoW in this last expansion compared to previously.

I do like the level 90 boost that they did for WoD. If they do a similar thing for Legion then that would negate the whole need for levelling. I think I would pay for that, rather than sink my time into levelling through a zone I had done before.  Also from a financial perspective, that would be good for WoW, I think. It would appeal to the casual player who wants to see the new content but doesn't have to grind out 1-100, especially if they only want a short look at the game. WoW has typically appealed to the more dedicated gamer, which is why I think the environment can tend to be more toxic and less tolerant of new players, which is a bit of a shame. So for the casual player who may want to get immersed into the WoW story, perhaps expanding the lore a little more will entice them to play, even if it is for a short period of time. The drawback lately is that the game seems to be so reward focussed that the story seems to get a little lost, and when that happens those who are here for the lore tend to lose interest if they aren't raiding or chasing legendaries.

For those who aren't interested in reading quest lines or story, then dungeons and rapid questing can still be the key to rapid levelling, so hopefully it would cater for those who just want to do the end content as well.

It's interesting that I enjoy games like Last of Us which tells a story, yet I play WoW to reach the end game and it's not the story that entrances me, even though I do enjoy it when I do it that one time. I suppose though, that once I finish that sort of game, I don't tend to play it again - it's over and done. WoW has so many things at end game that I like to play and that tends to hold me in the game rather than going off to experience more story.

I don't know if I will level another character in Legion. I haven't really done it any other time in all the 10 years of WoW, so why would I start now? All I can say is that it would have to take something very interesting to make me want to go through that same content twice.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

I'm back! Catching up on all the thing's I've missed

It's nice to be back. I did miss my computer and writing on the Daily Frostwolf. I did have a great holiday though!

One of the things I did miss out on was Brewfest.  Much to my dismay there was only a few days of Brewfest left and there is not only a new pet but a few new toys to get as well. Fortunately, Crooked told me that it would only take me 2 days to get the 200 Brewfest Prize tokens, and he was right. I got 219 tokens after doing all the quests and dailies for 2 days so that was good.


Darkmoon Faire this week too.  I should do some of that too.

I did manage to get my 5 timewalking dungeons done - though, that was a bit of a chore.  But it's fun I suppose.  I saw that Kyxyn and Crooked have got timewalking sets made - I think I might only think of doing that for DPS, not so much for healing.

Also, WAY behind on my conquest.  2 weeks of no conquest cap! BLEH! I suppose I only need 2 items of gear so conquest is a bit moot really.  I can even buy one now. So really, just one piece of loot, which I can get next week.  However... there is a 27k conquest achievement I need to do....

We did Archimonde tonight and with no Rag healing, it was a bit ugly.  Not to mention I was a bit rusty as well and kept stuffing up my range with Shadowfel burst, and wiped the raid a few times because I was too close to someone. There was a good moment of "rescue" when I accidentally stood too close to Yuuda and we both got the burst and he flapped down so that I landed first and then he landed a few secs later, so peeps catching us on the ground didn't die. But how often is that going to happen!

Not a great foray back into raiding after 2 weeks, but it will get better on Wednesday, I'm sure. I missed you, my dear Frostwolves!