Saturday, January 30, 2016

PvP - Our first guild RBG win!

With the change to conquest and with so many people wanting to PvP we decided to see whether we could get a guild rated battleground going. We managed to get 8 people together on Friday PvP night and pugged the other two to see how far we could get.

One of the pugs said "Wow, nobody in this group has any rating." Well, we don't RBG, that's why. This was our first go!

Our group consisted of Sev, Shab, Crooked (on Evident), Jazz, Nath, Sars, Tyefoods and myself.

We did our best to formulate plans, and with half of us on Discord and half of us not, the voice co-ordination was good, but we had to type to get the others to know what we were doing. Our first BG was Eye of the Storm and we managed to hold our two bases ok but couldn't control the middle, but then the fight turned around when Jazz and Nath assaulted Mage Tower and that threw people into a bit of a tizz. We managed to control 3 bases for the last part of the game and in a panic the other team capped the flag giving us the opportunity to grab it. Capping that flag won us the game!

For some of our guildies it was their first rated BG win, which was exciting! We queued for another after that which was Silvershard mines, and we did ok at the beginning, but by the end we were getting overwhelmed by the other team. I thought we were going to lose that game but suddenly Tye capped his cart and we won another!

That was 1200 conquest from just two rated battlegrounds. Wow. So much conquest! And we earned the guild 1500g.

We then lost the next two, as we came up across highly rated teams - a Silvershard mines and a Temple of Kotmogu where we were absolutely destroyed. It felt frustrating, but obviously they were very coordinated teams as their interrupts and focussing was very good. Crooked said that those last two rated battlegrounds were what he imagined RBGs to be like, and I guess in higher end RBG it is. Everyone would need to be on voice chat, and calling out targets. But, we're just casual PvPers, wanting to have a bit of fun, so we called it quits after that.

Crooked said that if you read about RBGs then you see lots of people whinging about kick bots. I had no idea what that was. But once I went to the forums to have a look, it was basically some third party program that would interrupt you as soon as you cast - and here I thought that was just excellent gameplay on their part?! Apparently using kick bot is a bannable offence.

So, it was quite easy to cap conquest after yesterday (I was already capped) but with arenas and Ashran as well, you really don't have to do much to reach cap. My Ashran attendance has dropped sharply now that I've finished my Nemesis, and I'm glad to say that I haven't needed the Ashran conquest to help me reach my cap. Nowadays I go in there trying to get bloody coins and every now and then I might get a couple.

We wound down with some normal BGs as well, and having Ultra healing on his shaman was just amazing. Why can't he play THAT toon during raids?? :P

So here's hoping that PvP Fridays will continue being popular. Damasu logged on super late so he missed all the RBG action but I did a few arenas with him (as BOOMKIN no less) and I played like an absolute noob but we won a few games so I could at least go to sleep with some sense of satsifaction!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

PvP - 26 January Conquest changes: For better or for worse?

After Australia Day there were some 6.2.3 Hotfixes and the conquest changes were rather interesting.

Conquest point acquisition has increased by 50% across the board, with changes such as:

  • Winning the first Random Battleground match of the day now awards 225 Conquest Points, and subsequent victories award 125 Conquest Points (up from 150 and 75)
  • Winning a Rated Battleground match now awards 600 Conquest Points (up from 400).
  • Increased the amount of Conquest Points awarded to the losing team in a Rated Battleground match based on performance.
  • Winning a Skirmish Arena match now awards 40 Conquest Points.
  • Winning a Rated Arena match now awards 270 Conquest Points (up from 180).
  • Ashran quest Slay Them All! now awards 300 Conquest Points (up from 200).
  • Ashran Dominance now awards 750 Conquest Points (up from 500).
When you first hear of the changes, you think "Oh, that's great! Now I don't need to do as much PvP to cap for the week!"

Then you think about it a little and there are a lot of small things that may or may not amount to something due to these changes.

People will cap faster. Which means, there may be less teams to play during the week because people have capped already and aren't in the pool are arena teams to play with. Who does that leave? The hardcore rating teams who are going to cream you as they try to go up the ladders. It could be quite daunting for the casual arena player.

Not everyone likes arenas, and there may be a larger interest in casual battlegrounds now that there is an increased conquest for winning. That's good for my PvP buddies because we like to do BGs when there are more then 3 of us.

It sounds like Ashran is a good place to cap a new toon's conquest when trying to catch up, so you could spend all day in there (if it was a decent Ashran) and get a really good slug of conquest. This may stimulate more interest in Ashran.

The rated battlegrounds may make a whole lot more of YOLO teams which means we may be able to scrape together a RBG team. Even if you lose, you get conquest, but now you can even get more conquest. And, if you put up a bit of a fight you can a decent lot of conquest! If you cap a flag as the losing team you get 100 conquest for that, and if you lose a game 2-1 you get 100 points for not letting the other team get the third flag. You also get 50 conquest points for every 150 resources you earn in other battlegrounds, so it sounds like it may be worth getting a rated BG in if we have more than 5 people so that even if we lose we still get conquest.

The skirmish conquest is interesting. When the Skirmish weekly event was on, I noticed that we got a little bit of conquest for winning a skirmish, which never used to happen before. It makes doing skirmishes more worthwhile now, especially when you want to try out something new and don't want to lose rating over it.

We've had lots of interest in PvP Fridays now, with Jazz and Nath occasionally coming along as well. That will mean we have Shab, Sev, myself, Dan, Crooked, Jazz, Nath, Sars coming along - that's 8 people potentially! Two more and we'd have enough for an RBG! I think that it would be easy enough to pug the last two or we could even find friends willing to PvP with us. If only Damasu was around on Friday nights! Then we'd have 9! However, with Damasu having a new baby (and doing his fitness/sports training stuff on Fridays), it's hard to get something up and running with him which is a bit of a shame, since he's an enthusiastic PvPer. Maybe with time he will be able to play with us more.

Overall, the changes are good for the casual PvPer. I think that it might encourage more casual PvPers to get into PvP, but the downside is that people will drop out of the conquest earning race earlier so it would be more beneficial to do arenas earlier in the week. For those chasing mounts and ratings the changes won't mean much.

The changes aren't live on US/Oceanic servers but apparently they are live on EU servers so it won't be long before we get to see these changes in action. Can't wait!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Guildleader Chores - Is now the time to recruit seriously for Legion?

Recruiting at any time is a pain in the ass for most guilds and officers, but I am wondering if this is a good time to start picking up people for Legion.

And I don't mean picking up the large lot of disgruntled players whose guilds have collapsed and are looking for a new team. I'm talking about picking up returning players whose are guildless and looking for a new home.  That's the kind of player that seems to be wandering around at the moment.

It's actually a good time for me to pick up some more casual players. Our guild has been a bit light on the casual players this expansion and I feel like they add a more social feel to the guild. At the beginning of the expansion there were tons of them - so much so that people were overwhelmed with the sheer volume of members and tended to retreat into little groups and not socialise outside their groups. And many of them were short-lived also - and we also couldn't accommodate many into our raiding schedule because we were just too full. I fully admit now that I did not enjoy that aspect of our guild in the early days.

But now, there are quite a few people picking up the game - there are new players, looking for a friendly home where they can learn to play quietly in peace, with other nice people around that they could ask advice from.

In the last month or two we have had a number of new members - interestingly, a large number of Death Knights. Is that because they start at level 55? But if you look at the new DKs in the guild we have 4 - Fynol, Mauve, Celaena and most recently Arthix. However, there is a curse that overshadows the Death Knights in the guild... they all suddenly disappear or stop playing or switch mains! We also have a running joke about DK's who smoke (because of one DK in the guild who was notorious for constantly needing to go for a smoke whilst we're doing trash) - and it's such an injoke now that I ask every DK who joins if they are a smoker.

I have been trying to be very strict though with the people I invite to the guild - just the other day a new member said something that was very awkward. The player in question was surprised that I was of asian origin, and asked for further clarification, and then said they were glad I wasn't an asian from a particular country, because "I'm not racist, but I hate all -insert-race-here- because all the ones where I live are f-wits."

I said not to say that again, and they tried to justify themselves about how it wasn't racist and I said enough, and then Crooked even said "When Navi says stop, I think you should stop," and then they kept going saying that we were being childish by not listening to their reasoning. I said that it is one of the guild rules NOT to have any racist talk, and they kept insisting that it wasn't racist, but Kyxyn stepped in and said firmly "We've asked you not to say it, because that talk is a guild-kickable offence. This is your last warning." And that was the end of that. Obviously I am too soft.

After that, I have done my best to clearly outline to every potential new member the kind of behaviour I expect from a Frostwolf, and I the rest are much more meek and mild, more wallflower than singing sunflower. I have always been very firm about guild rules, but perhaps I should be more firm in will as well, using more stick and less carrot.

Celaena and her partner, Reyuk, are the only two who currently have the potential to be raiders. Their story is interesting because she originally applied through guild finder some months ago, and we had a chat, and after some discussion she decided that she would stick it out with her current guild - not because there was anything wrong with our guild, but because I chatted to her about her circumstances and didn't want to rush her and gave her some suggestions on how to make her situation better. She even thanked me for being so friendly and it obviously left a good impression, because later when the guild she was not turning out as she had hoped, she came back to me because she thought we were a nice guild. Celaena is a relatively new player and still learning her way around the class, and I hope that either of our DKs (Duck or Dan) could give her some useful tips on how to perform her best in raids.

So, now might be a good time to boost guild numbers, but I don't think that recruitment now will reflect on any raiding numbers in Legion. Even Crooked commented on the people online - on quiet nights, we used to have nobody on but now with all the casual players, we now have more people on than we used to. It's no longer a ghost town when raids aren't on. I think I like this change.

I will have to put a cap on new recruits when the expansion hits, I think. Just to stop us from being overwhelmed with people, and making our current guildies feel uncomfortable. I think we'll do 3 a week, at the most? Or is that just a silly idea? In some ways, I think it's a bit like how people feel about Syrian refugees - everyone agrees that they want to help, but when refugees flood the gates with huge numbers, everyone gets a bit frightened and threatened and cliques form - the refugees stick together and the original countrymen stick together. If a few refugees came at a time, it would be easier for them to get to know the people already there, and for people to get to know them too and be part of a community. If you let many in at one time, they will tend to stick together and not mingle with everyone else and in return not everyone will want to mingle with them. Which is exactly what happened at the start of WoD!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Raiding - Ooh, first Mythic Tier!

Last week we did so well on Kormrok that we were pretty sure it was going to go down on Wednesday.

And we weren't wrong.

Interest is picking up for mythic, with a huge show of people from the Frostwolves side - so much so that we didn't have room for everyone from Onineko. There were 15 who showed up!

Xyn and HK of course, and Bish, Yuuda, Rag and me were healing. Sev, Lushen, Duck, Dan and Voe were there too, and even Crooked, Aza, Exray and Ultra were there. Phew!

I was a bit worried that we couldn't do it without Angry, but we coped ok. CTwin, Pharo, Nova and MX had to sit out, but Sonu, Ang, Nez, Peggy and Yog came along.

Hellfire assault seemed a bit messy to me. We had a wipe then a kill which was rather messy with tons of dead people on my side, and it was just lucky those stupid cannons kept shooting.

Iron Reaver is less traumatic now with people better at dodging the Barrage. Not perfect, but better. Still room for improvement. At least I didn't die to it this time.. I think.

So, do you think my guild would let me take a picture??

"Go and get a photo of a kill we've done before, and pretend that it's the mythic kill."
"Photoshop it, nobody would know the difference."
"You're wasting time taking a photo when we could be doing trash heading to Council!"

Whatevers! I took this lame-ass picture. At least I got one.

Lootwise we had Conq and Protector tier helms drop, and a number of other items picked up by various people. It was nice to see tier. It felt buoyant, uplifting, hopeful. People liked raiding - the excitement was there, maybe they all felt as I did, they wanted more. Perhaps now everyone was finally feeling the same as I had been, wanting to raid, enjoying the challenge and being a part of something together, like we had always done. I felt like my guild was coming back, and it was a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling.

I did feel bad about one thing. CT had asked if we could do 2 days a week, but I couldn't promise that and even with OpenRaid we weren't getting much interest. I am not sure if that was part of what made our own guildies rally to raid, or whether it was because we were on the verge of killing a new boss, but for the first time we had to sit people out. Some good people. And I can understand the feeling of disappointment - having been there for all the previous raids and now not being able to get into the run? I would be a bit sad too. However, if the run was being run by a guild, as it is now, then I wouldn't feel bad about sitting out for their guildies - if I was a fill in. But for Onineko, they weren't fill ins. We had an agreement. Yes, I know they mentioned they may not be able to keep their part of the agreement (as in they may not be able to field the 10 players now) but did that mean we just shut the door?

It's different for the others, who have no ties to them, but they are my other guild - albeit a shitty alt's guild, but they are my friends - and I feel bad about it not working out as intended. What would I do if it was reversed? I would probably let my guildies go who really wanted to go and I'd sit back and fill in if they still needed spots. I would probably try to ensure one officer went along to make sure the others were behaving themselves. However, most people don't tend to go regularly with other guilds except Crooked when he was doing Archimonde, or maybe Aza/Exray/Ultra who go with their friends in other guilds. But none of them have been doing Mythic on their "mains" so I haven't had to worry about guildies being saved.

It's natural for me to want to include my own guild, however, and I don't think I could be criticised for that. But sometimes, finding the right and fair thing to do isn't as straightforward as one would think.

But, next week is coming and we will be looking at Council properly. I admit that we went in there with no idea of what was going on (and I was given a marker for stacking and I ran like a headless chook all over the place and totally screwed that up), but I think that we'll do a bit better next week after we all have a look at it (and Kyxyn gives me a run down in his nice calming voice, and I'll pretend that I understand whatever the hell is going on!)

Monday, January 18, 2016

When did they take "Show me your Moves" out of the "Glory of the Pandarian raider"?

Sars told me earlier this week that "Show Me Your Moves" had been removed from the Glory of the Pandarian raider achievement. That achievement is the bane of most people, because it's so hard and you have to do it in a group of 10.

So it turns out I actually have completed it now, and I have a mount to show (even though I am missing one).

According to the date, I finished it in 2013! I might have finished all the others around then.

So this is the mount - the Heavenly Crimson Cloud Serpent. Reminds me of Rudolph, with his face so bright, won't you guide my way tonight!

Our goal tonight was to get the Ashes, Ashes... achievement from Blackhand.

Ashes, Ashes... - Blackhand
Defeat Blackhand in Blackrock Foundry after catching 20 Falling Ashes on Normal difficulty or higher.
This achievement looked tricky. Falling ashes are only found in Phase 3, falling out of the sky slowly around the edges of Blackhand's crumbling platform. I had never noticed them before, and there were a lot of theories about how the achievement should be done. I had a picture of it below.

So you can see from the picture they fall at the edge. Most people describe their success with stacking the whole group at an edge - it has often be found that if one ash falls on one person, everyone else around gets it as well. It's not very reliable, because people describe needing to be all the same height for everyone to get the ash to count.

I can see why they say you have better success with more people. The more people standing there, the faster you collect ashes.

We had two healers with the tanks who did their best to keep them alive as they got punted all over the place. One handy thing to know was that if the tank had agro, and got booted off the platform, they were ported back up to the platform again (unlike everyone else who falls off to their death). It was mostly making sure everyone else didn't get shot off the platform or get everyone else shot off with them.

We tried a few different things - copying Gamon's appearance so that everyone would be the same height. That didn't work so well. Then they tried copying Crooked's appearance since he was tall but that didn't seem to work either (as Crooked got the ashes but nobody else in the bunch did). In the end they all copied someone who wasn't in the bunch - Aimei - so everyone was a short panda - and we had a lot more success with that. We managed to get 20 ashes but then failed to kill Blackhand, and that at least rallied us, knowing we could get the ashes, and a few goes later we did.

Now it was a bit dark, but perhaps that's best. This mount (Gorestrider Gronnling is really ugly in my opinion). The less you see of it the better. It's the reward of Glory of the Draenor Raider.

So that was great! More achievements! Good work Frostwolves :D

Friday, January 15, 2016

Raiding - Turning to OpenRaid to fill our mythic quota

After the meetup some of the guys who had been reluctant to raid said that they would like to come to some mythic, so I thought that sounded positive. A bigger pool of players! How exciting.

On the OTHER hand, some of the members of Onineko were feeling a little blue-balled because 2 hours of mythic wasn't enough and they would like to do more. Obviously I have no issue with doing more, but it's hard to drum up enthusiasm for one night in our guild, how hard is it going to be to get TWO?  A few of the Onineko players had lost interest in doing Mythic already and as a guild they decided to go play some other games to pass away the time till Legion.

It was time for plan B - which was to try OpenRaid as a solution.

It had been discussed already, but after hearing that we decided to get onto it right away. We had 2 days notice and so we put an event onto OpenRaid.

However, it's a bit confusing because the times are all weird unless you login. We had a few signups and none were oceanic raiders.

When the time came, only one of them was online! We took them, and just as well - we managed to fill the raid with 20 people, with only one person from Open Raid.

The PuG, Mucholoco, was actually really great. He had everything ready to go, including Discord and Exorsus, but he didn't speak at all - I suspect because he was from a non-English speaking background, as he was from a Latin American server.

Hellfire Assault was uglier than normal, but Iron reaver was heaps BETTER than normal. We got both of them down and got to Kormrok halfway through the raid, and then started the Exorsus fun as we tried to figure out how to use the addon. I admit that I hadn't known why we had the addon, just that it was needed for Kormrok.

And, after doing Kormrok, now I know WHY.

See these swirly things? Well if you don't stand in the swirly then residue will be on the ground and cause you damage when you stand on it. If you stand in the swirly the residue only splashes on you and none on the ground. Here is what the ground looks like if you DON'T soak your swirlies.

Exorsus raid tools gives you this grid so you can assign players to go stand in certain pools. Every player in the raid has to have they know where the pool is.

You get a little arrow that tells you where to go when the time comes with distance and it goes from red to yellow to green the closer you get.

We probably spent 20 minutes going "I can't see my arrow", "How do I turn on the arrow?" and we had some small set backs, like when CTwin decided to clear all the assignment Kyxyn had set up, and when nobody except Sevrus realised that he wasn't assigned a position. However, after the first fail attempt, everyone got the hang of it (and it helped that we go to the same spot all the time) and we did really well on our first night on Kormrok (though everyone says it's quite easy).

Duck and Anghelz were running around doing runes, but Duck doesn't seem to look at his health and so he died way more than Ang. However, once they had a healer it was heaps better.

We did have some really good attempts and I think we will kill it next week.

Then we had the discussion of extend or start again? We had enough for our mythic cache, so people thought we should extend. There were the hunters who still needed something from the Iron reaver so they wanted to start again. We were going to extend but really, we would only get one new boss kill next week so we might as well do the first two again (since it seems like we're going a lot better with it now) and get that Kormrok kill now that we know what's going on.

So OpenRaid didn't really provide much for us except one player who was a great addition to the raid. I think that if we are still struggling for numbers, we can try putting it into Group Finder in game and see what we get much luck that way.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Frostwolves Sydney Guild Meetup at Star City

I was really pleased that at least 12 people showed up for our Star City meetup! I was a little bit salty that Voe, who had asked me "when are we doing a meetup", and Rag who has asked for a specific weekend didn't show up, but I had enough of the others show up that it was still a good afternoon out. Bish also piked at the last minute (citing work) but I was surprised (and delighted) that he might have shown up that I wasn't super disappointed in the end (just mildly disappointed)

Aza and Ultra had flown from interstate and stayed in Darling Harbour. I picked them up on Friday and had some difficulty at first locating them at the airport as my directions weren't as obvious to them as they were to me. I had told them "Exit building and head towards oncoming traffic direction." Of course they read that as "walk into oncoming traffic", which sounds like a dreadful thing to say, but taken totally out of context. Airport traffic only goes in one direction and I was parked at the beginning of the aiport, so if you follow the traffic going against it, you will find me. Eventually I found them and we headed out for some lunch in Darling Quarter.

On Sunday it was a rather warm day. Pizzaperta Manfredi was outside the casino facing Pirrama road and had a very casual feel about it. We moved some tables around one of the umbrellas (which provided much needed relief from the blazing hot sun) and ordered some pizzas and heavily overpriced drinks and then chatted for a few hours. HK and I were there, with Aza, Exray, Consti (not Octavius/Constantine, it was one of Exray's friends who flits in and out of our guild), Yuuda and his girlfriend, and Koda and Temperence (who was taking this photo and so Duck and she are both inserted into the picture). Tout also made a visitWell, I superimposed Duck's toon onto the picture of the yellow duck Koda put into the photo haha.

After pizza we went to have some Gelato at Messina and then we headed home. It was nice to catch up and chat, talk about WoW, and I'm not sure if it's just meetup excitement but Ultra, Exray and Koda said they would like to raid. Koda said she would like to do heroic again (she did it prior to the patch and thus doesn't have a mount) and I said if we can keep numbers up then we can hopefully get everyone in the guild through Archimonde as long as they have a decent ilvl.

So when is the next meetup? Well, I would like to head out to WA one day for a guild meetup. We do have a few guildies there - and maybe there will be some conference I can attend at the same time and make the trip tax deductible!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

PvP - Shab is back!

Shab is having fun playing his mage on Alliance, but he does still like playing with us. However when he plays druid, the only option to arena is me going to Boomkin and we all know how disastrous that is. He moaned that he wished he had his mage again, but he hated levelling.

So, I got him a boost for Christmas. Well, actually I got him a gift card and hoped that he would buy Legion with it, because a boost cost just as much.

So, behold the new Shab! Pretty much the same as the old Shab, just a bit undergeared.

He got straight into it and we even did some arenas. Shab, Crooked (on Evident) and I won a few games! I was happy, got my rating up, and an enthusiastic partner to PvP with. I showered Shab with lots of love, including two Champion's Honor and some enchants.

Even Crooked is less reticient about arenas lately. I think he was just happy just to have some wins under our belt. I was especially pleased to take out two different God comp teams (so called God comps because shadowpriest/frost mage/resto druid is a chain cc combo that wins because cc chains mean someone is gonna die). Crooked and Shab managed to interrupt the chain CCs with counter cc's that put them out of whack. Either that or they were just lousy God comps lol.

PvP night was great, with a full team turnout for BGs. Jazz came to PvP with us and she was scary, doing lots of damage! Looks like her baby is sleeping well and she's getting some of her life back! I think I was super surprised to see Jazz doing stuff without Nath!

I think if Nath is not working we may have another PvPer on our hands!

Also, Sars has started playing again - who knows how long that will last, but while he's, here may as well take advantage of that, right?

This all looks good if we get to 10. I've been wishing for a 10 man Frostwolves RBG team for 4 years. Maybe 2016 is the year of the Frostwolves RBG? Well, I won't get my hopes up TOO high, but the idea of it is enticing. Often I get excited about things that never eventuate, but it's a little bit like dating right? It's the chase, the dreams and the hopes that are the exciting part. And dreaming is hope - and without hope, what is there to play for, right?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Raiding - Blackrock Foundry First 9 Meta-Achievements Quick Guide

Thursday had a great turnout with enough of us to do the meta-achievements for Blackrock Foundry. I already had a few from previous runs but for completion we did all the achievements.

Fain Would Lie Down - Beastlord Darmac
Defeat Beastlord Darmac in Blackrock Foundry on Normal difficulty or higher after causing him to mount each beast first:

Dreadwing Mounted First slain
Cruelfang Mounted First slain
Ironcrusher Mounted First slain
This achievement needs to be done on 3 separate occasions, because it is one where you have to have him mount a different mount first, which is a tank controlled event. When the tank moves close to one of the beasts then Darmac will jump on it. When the mounts die, Darmac gains the abilities of that slain mount for each of the subsequent mounts which is why we normally do Dreadwing last, because the fire from Superheated Shrapnel is difficult to deal with for a lengthy fight. However, when you're overgeared for it, the encounter is easy, just heal through it and dodge as much as you can. The most embarrassing thing about this fight last Thursday was that I was lecturing everyone about not getting pinned and yours truly got pinned like a true noob. Man, I NEVER get pinned! I felt absolutely ridiculous!

Some people got their achievement then (we did Dreadwing first) because we had done it the other ways for previous attempts. For those who hadn't, at least we had done the least common mount first done so it should be relatively easy to get the achievement.

(Pop Culture reference: "Fain Would Lie Down" is a line from the poem Lord Randall, that has 4 verses and "Fain Would Lie Down" is featured in each verse.

"What became of your bloodhounds, Lord Randall my son?
What became of your bloodhounds, my handsome young man?”
“O they swelled and they died: mother, make my bed soon,
for I’m weary wi’ hunting, and fain wald lie down.”

Lord Randall was poisoned by his mistress and is dying. And so the hunter dies with his pets - hence the name of this achievement. In the poem, his lady love fed him and his dogs poisoned eels, which is why the achievement icon has an eel.)

There's Always a Bigger Train - Operator Thogar
Engineer the ironic demise of an Exulting Wind-Up Train Wrecker in Blackrock Foundry on Normal difficulty or higher.
My favourite achievement in Blackrock Foundry! This achievement does not require the boss to be killed, just the Exulting Wind-up Train Wrecker, which is the Wind-up Train wrecker after he has just destroyed a Toy Train Set. He is exulted for only a short period, so I you have to do it about 10 seconds before the train comes out to run over him. I did it on the first train to come out, so the track closest to where we entered the room. I put the train down, then waited for the door to open, then put down the Wind-up Train Wrecker, who blew up the Toy Train and turned all red and angry and then BAM! Steam rolled by a train. Luckily Luxy wasn't online because she always d/c's whenever I do that achievement. So we got the achievement and we killed Thogar in record time, before the first split. Phew.

Be Quick or Be Dead - Iron Maidens
Defeat the Iron Maidens within 10 seconds of each other in Blackrock Foundry on Normal difficulty or higher.
It was just a matter of whittling down all the bosses whilst everyone was on the boat. The damage is negligible now, especially on normal. We didn't send a healer up to the top, we let the DPS deal with it (and it felt like they were up there for AGES). Marak went up and we worked on Sorka and Gar'an at the bottom. Then we just healed through it whilst they burned lust and tried to kill all 3 within the 10 seconds. And it went well.

(Pop Culture reference - Be Quick or Be Dead is a song by the heavy metal band, Iron Maiden. Appropriate, for this fight!)

Stamp Stamp Revolution - Hans'gar and Franzok
Defeat Hans'gar and Franzok in Blackrock Foundry without any raid member being crushed by a stamping press on Normal difficulty or higher.
This was the achievement I was dreading the most - how would we get people NOT getting hit by the stamping press? It was one of those achievements where you thought you couldn't bring someone who had lousy raid awareness, much to the frustration of the group.

However, what we found was that we almost killed it without anyone getting stamped - but if we could kill it just before he started stamping maybe we could do it. So we stopped healing and everyone went DPS and we hit lust as soon as the hot plates came out instead of at the start, to see if we could kill them before the stamping began. And we managed to do it!

The Steel has been Brought - Flamebender Ka'graz
Defeat Flamebender Ka'graz in Blackrock Foundry without killing Aknor Steelbringer on Normal difficulty or higher.
Another one we had done before, which is quite easy. Just keep Aknor Steelbringer alive for the entire encounter - usually just means tanking him off to the side. And everyone gets a new follower!

Would You Give Me a Hand? - Kormrok
Defeat 10 Grasping Earth hands within 5 seconds and then defeat Kromog in Blackrock Foundry on Normal difficulty or higher.
Good AOE and everyone clumped together when they are trapped by hands makes this achievement easy. Probably the hardest part is getting everyone to hold back and then burst all at once, because some enthusiastic people will start and then you won't get 10 die within 5 seconds. Easier with more people in the group too.

The Iron Price - Gruul
Collect 3 Pristine True Iron Ores and then defeat Gruul in Blackrock Foundry in Normal difficulty or higher.

Having done this before we had the hang of it, so we found it easy. You get thrown up when he does an Overhead Smash, and the further away you are, the higher you get thrown up. So, figure out which ore you want to get, and get the tank to take it as far away from you as possible. Everyone else has to line in up in a line between Gruul and the person getting thrown up so that the smash will always be in that direction. Keep doing that and win! Healing through the Inferno slice wasn't a problem anymore at this level.

(Pop culture reference: The Iron Price is a Game of Thrones reference - it is a concept in the culture of the ironborn, and their local religion of the Drowned God. Paying the iron price means seizing something from those one has defeated rather than paying or treating for it.)

He Shoots He Ores! - Oregorger
Deposit the Volatile Ore in the Ore Grinder, and then defeat Oregorger in Blackrock Foundry on Normal difficulty or higher.
Another one we had done before, so heaps easier doing it again. HK did get rolled on by Oregorger on our first try so we had to wipe and start again. Here's a picture of our ore-passing path:

You can just see the ore along the back wall between a box and Oregorger, wedged between two rocks. The diamond marker is at the hole where the ore has to be deposited. We trid to kill only boxes on the side of the room away from the markers so that Oregorger would preferentially roll in that direction. It's probably better to run with more healers here anyway because Oregorger dies so quickly and then you can just spend the time healing everyone as they're throwing the ore around. Remember when you hold the ore you can't move (like in netball) and you get an extra action button to throw it up to 20 yards. Someone has to be standing under where you throw it to catch it, otherwise it's dropped and you have to wipe and start again. We had three people assigned to it - Aimei, Crooked and Sars. And when you get to the Ore grinder at diamond, don't throw the ore onto it, there is an action button to deposit it. They shoot, they score!

Ya, We've Got Time - Blast Furnace
Complete the Blast Furnace encounter in Blackrock Foundry after defeating all four Primal Elementalists within 10 seconds of each other, on Normal difficulty or higher.
Patience is the key here! In Phase 2, when you kill a Slag Elemental on top of a Primal Elementalist it removes their protective shield and you can damage them. Get them low to about 10-15%. They will get their shield back up again. After that, you have to wait for second round of slag elementals - get each person fixated by the second lot of four elementals to stand on the Primal Elementalists again. When all 4 are in position, kill the slag elementals. Then when all the Primal Elementalists are shield free, kill them all together. So, to complete it, you need 8 Slag Elementals all together. After that, kill the boss.

Next Thursday, it's time to do the Blackhand achievement!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Valour for Fel Crystals - as it it wasn't already hard enough to get people to turn up for Archimonde

So I saw this on MMO champion today.

Well. If people didn't already not want to raid, they now have even more reason not to.

However, I have to say that 1250 valour is a lot of valour. It's probably an appropriate amount of valour. I struggle to even upgrade all my resto stuff, whereas most people could probably do that in 2 weeks. It would be easier to do an Archimonde than to do 3 mythic dungeons, two random heroic dungeons and one LFR. If you did all the valour activities you could get 3 upgrades in a week.

I think that it's a good way to get your second ring upgraded. I suppose it would be good for those who can't get Archimonde, but it's a lot of work.  I suppose that for those who can't raid, then it's a decent way for them to upgrade their ring.

Unfortunately there is so much angst on the forums about it. People whinging they might as well give mythic warforged stuff to everyone since anyone can upgrade now. It's the end of the expansion! Geez, most raiders would have fully upgraded their rings already.

It's good for people like Xyn, who have extra valour lying around because he likes helping out in Mythic dungeons. I'm just glad there is something he can use it on. Another good thing is that there will be lots of people out there now wanting to do dungeons and LFR. Breathe more life into the remaining content for those completionists.

We'll see what happens at raid next week. See how much it's dropped off. Hopefully we'll still have enough to keep it going.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

First achievement of the year

I thought that with people losing interest in the game I'd have an easier time doing things, get those little achievements out of the way. Boy was I wrong.

I'm almost done with my Wintersgrasp wins. Unlike Ashran, which is way more productive for achievements when the content is current, Wintersgrasp is easier because it's older and nobody hangs out there. Unfortunately for me there was a period where the player with the highest number of achievement points on the server, Robdragon, was also doing Wintersgrasp.

Obviously it's only a problem because I'm horde, and he's alliance.

It wasn't an issue, really. I was only doing WG when I could. What I should have done was wait for him to be finished with his WG wins and come back so I could do it unopposed.

But no, the competitive streak inside me could not let it go that he was in my WG when I wanted to win it, when I only had time for one or two WG a day. He and I would duke it out killing each other, he'd intercept me on the bridge. A few times I would be there as soon as it started, and was bashing away at the walls with my demo, and then he'd come and I wouldn't be able to get the wall down.

There was one time he arrived as I was just getting into the main door and somehow he hadn't realised that so I won Wintersgrasp and then I had pulled the NPC who had a lot of health and was trying to kill him when he turned up. I couldn't take on both of them so I ran for the portal and managed to click the portal to get me back to a main city before I died. After that he strutted around me calling me a chicken. Technically I was a boomchicken, and I had no desire to fight him (or die for that matter) so I just ignored him.

I did cheat and get Tacky to come help me a few times, as well as Crooked/Evident, and Robdragon followed Tacky and I to Argent Tournament trying to duel. I was trying to pet battle so I pet battled him and lost (he was using Fragment of Anger/Graves/Mechanical Pandaren Dragonling combo which is quite a powerful PvP combination) and then after that he was nice to me. He emoted an apology and pointed to the pets, and I bowed to him and after that, we were on amiable terms. I felt like I should at least send him a pet as a gesture of good will, but for someone who has all the achievements, it seemed weird that he didn't have all the pets which prompted me to think that perhaps he has had them all but he would have sold them more valuable ones for gold.

So finally, my first achievement for 2016 was my 100th win in Wintersgrasp.

Fortunately, the last few were a defending the fortress which was easy when nobody else was around, but I'm glad that is one achievement that's taken me aaaaages to do.

Now to help Tacky get his.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Guildleaer Chores: Happy New Year and my WoW resolutions

It's that time of year for making promises and goals that you probably won't keep, a time to start fresh and think of changes that I want to implement in the guild or to the raid.

Last Wednesday (30 Dec) we managed to scrape together a raid for heroic Archimonde and I felt a little bad because I had to be a little heavy handed with some behaviour issues. But it was with Onineko - whom I have said before, are a much more boisterous guild than ours - and having the "cold iron fist of Navi" (as CTwin likes to call it) put down on someone who isn't in my guild, is a bit like scolding other people's children. It's awkward because it's like a joint raid, but yet it isn't because our guild is quite enthusiastic about heroic Archimonde but not so much for mythic raids so we often have numbers for Archi but not for mythic.

So the person being irritating was drunk and loudmouthed - firstly, sounding a little bit derogatory to people who hadn't done a fight before or hadn't tanked a fight before and I spoke up straight away. Then when they continued I told them to be quiet because it was annoying me and they said that me telling to be quiet was annoying them. They ended up leaving voice chat because I globally muted that person, which may or may not have irritated them, but I'd already said it twice. I told CT I wasn't angry at the person, I just wanted them to shut up because that's not how our guild likes to raid. I can imagine if Kyxyn was there he would have had something to say, but we happened to be without him that day (a day free of tyranny!) because he'd just gotten back from a long-ass drive and was tired.

We also had some difficulty doing Fel Lord afterwards too - wiping because of simple mistakes like not stacking or getting hit by purple stuff. CT said we should do it his way (which he says is the way mythic is done) but I can never remember that way except that marked people go to the other side of the room and everyone else huddles far away from them. In the end we got it, but I think CT and Onineko were unimpressed that it was harder than doing Archimonde.

We brought Damasu along as our guildie who was getting an Archimonde carry and he was lucky enough to roll a win on the staff - which Aza was going to get. However, I had told him earlier that the weapon was going to be reserved for Aza for raiding and though he was disappointed, he understood, and that's all I could ask for, really. Poor Deidria wasn't online so couldn't take him, and I was hoping that eventually we would get all our guildies through Archi. I hope Damasu got his mount...

Now cracking along to my WoW resolutions....

As a guild leader:
  • I will try my best to give forewarning to any decisions about raiding and leave it open to discussion for a few days prior to implementation. No more funny on the fly decisions that end up pissing everyone off, and no introduction of last minute amendments.
  • Discord is now compulsory for those wanting to do the highest level of difficulty of Frostwolves raiding. We are a little relaxed about it with farm content. If Discord is being silly then we will go back to Ventrilo.
  • More vigilance with un-Frostwolf like behaviour from the first outset with a three strike warning.
  • Effective next tier, no more EPGP for raids. We are going to personal loot.
  • I've been thinking about ways to keep guild donations coming and have decided that I may set up 3 tiers of raiders (at the moment we have 2). Hunting pack is our highest level, and Scouting pack our second level. I may make Hunting and Scouting pack the highest level raiders, and change the Frostwolves Pack rank to be the new casual raiders rank.
As a WoW Player
  • I will work on some of those alt achievements. Such as professions, a certain number of toons to max level... I didn't say I'd do them all, I said I'd work on it.
  • I am going to do more arena. I keep saying that, but I will do it!
  • Finish off those garrison achievements. I need to do one invasion a week at least!
See how many of those I can stick to before next year!