When Husband and Wife Fundamentally Disagree (about raiding policy)

ArcaneTinkerTank (otherwise known as Gnoble, Husband, and He Who Sleeps On Couch) is dead wrong.  Now what?

It all started when Gnoble announced that he was going to start tracking death rates on raids.  With like, numbers.

I have no effin clue why I blacked out the names since you all KNOW who is in our guild. Duh.

Now we can get into the pros and cons of the policy – but that’s not the issue.  The issue is that he’s my husband and I thought he was being dumb.

I obviously (privately) told him he was dumb.  In fact, I have his ear quite a lot, so I can explain the dumbness – over IM, in the car, during dinner (Mama Murloc is refusing to take sides).  But now what?

You see, if I say nothing on the forums, it looks like I agree with him – not because silence is usually construed as agreement, but because I’m his wife.

On the other hand, posting on the forum is incredibly artificial because… well he already knows what I think.  My arguments have obviously done nothing to sway him from his opinion.  Why the hell bother?

Ultimately I did post on the forums, just a short list of why I think it’s dumb, for the benefit of the other guildies.  And he posted back, a short list of reasons why my arguments are dumb.  It was a pretty dry exchange, since we had already scripted this out long before in our discussions over the dinner table.

However, I did get to threaten him with sleeping in the cat pan (not the couch, the CAT PAN) if this turns into healer blame for deaths.  I am also annoyed because this new “death ranking” doodad has foiled my nefarious plans to let Alas die for her lolwell haiku.

Jin’do has been vanquished by me (and 4 other guildies, but mostly me).

Morehnai promised that he’d help me get Jin’do thoroughly dead, and he stuck by us, even though he wanted to go to sleep last night, to kill Jin’do.  Yay!

Of course, Jin’do dropped crap that nobody needed.  But we finally got the achievement!  And the satisfaction of killing dirty, stinky, pain-in-the-ass CHEATER Jin’do.

Now I can safely NEVER RETURN to Zul’Gurub.  Oh, except I need a wand.  CURSES!

Team DPS and Team Tank Attempt to be Like Team Heal

There have been some discussions in the guild lately about how we can do better raiding as a team.  And when we talk about teams, sooner or later we get around to just how AWESOME Team Heal is.  Because we totally are.

Alas even came in and said something like “they communicate and support each other to get their collective job done.”  But it was hard to hear her over the sound of our own awesomeness.

"There is no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness."

The result of this is a slightly worshipful attempt by Team DPS and Team Tank to emulate us, the awesome team heal members.  This means they have created their own private chat channels for use on raid nights.

And they won’t let anyone else into their secret little channels!  We don’t even know the names of the channels! Oh the horror!  The exclusivity!  The… oh wait, that’s how we run the healer channel.  Never mind, carry on.

I Find ALL the Winners in Pugs: Time To Reopen the Bee Pit

I haven’t pugged in forever, but I did ONE LOUSY PUG last night.  Hey look, I found a jerk, on my very first try.

Apparently I did not zone back in FAST ENOUGH for the tank (who, by the way, was already on my last nerve for failing to wait for mana, even after I reminded him in chat, repeatedly… at which point I was told to “calm down.”)

He’s such a winner, maybe he’s Charlie Sheen.  Oh right, Charlie Sheen is a Warlock.

Jin’do must die. Or Hakkar must be unchained. Something like that.

I am freakin UP TO HERE with stupid Jin’do.  I’ve done all the bosses in ZG like a bajillion times, but every time we get to Jin’do, we just DIE.

Now, this isn’t your basic shit-pug.  This is our crack team of all-guildies on their mains being HARD CORE.  I’m assigned a suicidal bodyguard to keep the spirits off me (Warlock).  The tank also attempts to keep me alive.  I blow all cooldowns (as Alas says, “Blow early, blow often”) and I STILL get my little gnome face gnawed off by evil spirits who are IMMUNE TO PSYCHIC SCREAM.

What. The. Hell.  I swear I need Chakra: Pwn and Holy Word: Win!

It’s not just when I’m healing.  It happens to ALL our guild groups.  All our healers, all our tanks.  OK, maybe Morehnai’s finished once, but other than that…. what the hell, right?

I need help.  WE need help.  It is crushing Alas’s SOUL not to have the achievement for finishing this damn instance.

Thank you for your time.

Test Drive: Aura Frames for Your Buffs and Debuffs

With Satrina Buff Frames looking for an addon updater, I went searching for something new.

Aura Frames is awesome for buffs and debuffs.

Why It is Awesome

1. You can do multiple “containers” for sorting buffs and debuffs. For example, sorting by time is not enough for me.  I created a new container for auras without a duration (pally auras), then buffs with a duration of 30 minutes or more, and then a third container for buffs with a duration of under 30 minutes.

2. You can do frames or bars or both.  I have my buffs in frames and debuffs in bars.

3. You can do junk with dot timers for your target.  I admit, I use another addon for this, so I’m only really focusing on the buff/debuff on self part.

Configuration

OK, getting to the config menu is easy.

General options allow you to hide the blizzard buffs (recommended) and your boss addon bars (DO NOT DO THAT).

Then… you create a container.  Bars or buttons.  Not sure what that third option does.

After creating the container, decide what it will show:

In what order the buffs/debuffs will display

And the layout… like how big the boxes are, etc, what kind of text, cooldown sweeps, and so on.

Move them around…

And set warnings (like expiration warnings)…

Advanced Lessons: Filters

Now comes the fun part.  Filters.  The default options are not that good.  You’re gonna need to go into expert mode.

First up, we’re going to look at my “buffs with a duration of over 30 mins” as an example.  I used the option of “original duration” because I don’t want the buffs to drop to a different category as they tick down.  But you can do it that way if you want and do your containers based on time left.

Now, let’s look at my options for the short buffs:

This one has 2 conditions, connected with an “and”.  You can also do conditions connected with “or.”  In this case, I put “under 30 mins”.  Simple enough…  However, persistent auras without a duration count as zero duration (which makes no sense to me, but whatever).  In order for these NOT to show up in my short-buff bar, I made sure that the original duration DOES NOT EQUAL ZERO.  Problem solved.

Parliamentary Papers

I am such a slacker.

Ok, getting to it…

What Your Raid Leader Really Thinks of You by Meloree at Sacred Duty. So true.  This could only be topped by Killing DPS for Fun and Profit which proves that letting people die is an art.

Chain Heal in 10s: Train your raid! by Rhee at Oh My, Kurenai.  Yes, she’s my guildie.  But she’s also right.  The DPS needs to do what they can to help the healers, including standing closer together when necessary and CLICKING THE LOLWELL.

Quick and Dirty Bullet Point Guide to Tanking the Troll Heroics by Lono at Screaming Monkeys.  He’s also a guildie.  Shut up about nepotism and go read it.

 

Raid Rostering: How to Give 12 People 10 Slots In a Raid

Don’t give us none of your aggravation
We had it with your discipline
Saturday night’s alright for fighting
Get a little action in

Get about as oiled as a diesel train
Gonna set this dance alight
‘Cause Saturday night’s the night I like
Saturday night’s alright, alright, alright

-Elton John Saturday Night’s Alright (for fighting

You worked all week, or went to class and now it is raid night! Oh yeah you are going to get your Raid Boss Punch In The Face on. But wait a second, there are twelve signups and you guys run ten mans. Here is the problem with being a raid leader sometimes, you need to ask some people who want to raid, not to because you don’t have the spots. So how do you tackle this problem?

In Eff the Ineffable we have hit an important milestone about two months ago, we have more raiders than raid spots and that means as a raid leader I realized we needed a system in place to make sure that everyone is treated fairly.  The system I devised with input was to do a “most recent to sit is guaranteed a spot” on content they are ready for. So to put it another way the longer you haven’t had to sit, the more likely you will sit.

The Benefits

If you are in a raid setting where you have conflicting schedules and more participants than spots it is important to make sure that any ten people who form a viable raid are prepared on fight mechanics and have had ample chances to gear up.  But to do that you need to spread the love.

In ICC before we switched servers we hit a point where we couldn’t bring new people because we needed to blow through the first half in one night, but that also meant people  couldn’t get the gear and experience they needed to make sure they could blow through the first half in one night.

By having as much as possible the “who sits” question shared among everyone you get a larger pool of qualified raiders when you start hitting harder and harder content. Obviously raid viability is paramount so if you need a healer take a healer, or if a certain raid night would not be possible without a class who can do a certain ability take that, but by and large you should strive to have attendance by role approximately equal.

That even includes raid leaders. Over the two months  Alas and I have both sat on nights we are available to raid because it is the fair thing to do. This has the added benefit of helping to train more people who are capable of leading raids.

The Takeaway

When I look at Eff the Ineffable’s raid team I don’t see 10 raiders, I see 17 at the moment. I know that not everybody is going to be available for every raid, but I have an obligation to make sure that none of the 17 raiders are left behind if they are willing and able to attend raids. Sharing bench time is just as important as sharing raid time. It makes people have to adjust to new class compositions, which makes them understand the fights in better detail. It makes raiders appreciate the raid time they do have that much more and I think we get better results from it. So if you are leading a program remember to rotate your raiders out and build up your raiding depth as a result.

The Biggest Loser (of Addons)

I run too many addons.  I have issues.  So I’m uh… minimalizing?  Is that a word?

BEFORE

AFTER (you gotta admit, that is a really cute piglet)

Find Out Which Ones Hog

Step one for me is finding out which ones are hoggy.  To do this, I use Addon Control Panel.  You can see usage by hovering over addons.  Maybe there’s a better way?  But this works for me.

Now, don’t be tempted to just toss your hoggiest addons and be done with it.  Remember, 4 addons that you don’t use much can easily add up to the memory usage of one hog.  So at this point you want to simply look at which ones are hoggy and look at these with a more critical eye – but don’t give the non-hoggy ones a free pass.

For me, Grid takes up a lot of memory with all the plugins I use.  However, healing is what I do, and Grid is QUITE important to that.  So, despite the hog factor, it stays.  But if Outfitter takes up just as much space, it goes. I can manage my outfits with the default interface, kthx.

Stuff You Can Live Without

If you’re thinking you can live without it, and it won’t be a hardship, toss it.  Remember, even the little ones add up.

When I say toss it, I don’t mean you have to uninstall.  Just disable it.  That way, if you decide you really DO need it, it’s still there with your settings intact.

Stuff You Use Situationally

When I’m picking flowers, I love Gatherer.  When I’m in a raid, it has no business running.  There are a lot of addons that you don’t want to ditch permanently, but can be turned off when you are in a situation of high lag.

This is where Addon Control Panel comes in.  You can create different sets for different activities.  I have a gathering and crafting setup, and auction house setup, an instance setup, and a raiding setup.  I tend to lock up in raids, so I turn off all unnecessary junk, including any bag addons, mailbox addons, wow instant messenger (surprisingly hoggy), and damage meters. (Just don’t ask me to find anything in my bags during a raid – I’m hopeless with the default setup.)

Trading In For The Smaller Model

Sometimes, I find that I have an addon that has a TON of features, and I don’t use half of them.  In that case, it makes sense to downsize to a less hoggy alternative.

For example: Ark Inventory.  I love that addon.  But it eats memory like nobody’s business.  At Rhii’s suggestion, I am using Combuctor, which uses far less memory, and does most of what I needed.

Another example: Ice HUD.  Incredibly hoggy, and rightly so, because it has a plethora of options.  However, due to bar overload, I ended up turning off a lot of the features.  Why should I pay the memory tax for features I don’t use?  Thanks to Grimm’s guide, I was able to find an alternative that had all the options I use and omitted the options that I never turn on anyway.  (Arc HUD, for those interested. It’s still a bit hoggier than I’d like, but I’m not willing to hack the lua instead of having a control panel for options.)

Invest in Multi-Function Addons

You may be able to use one addon to do the job currently done by two or more, thereby saving space, even if the one multi-function addon is a bit of a hog.  For example, Raven, as recently introduced to me by Leafie, can show dots on multiple targets, buffs and debuffs on yourself, your cooldowns, and procs – in either icon or bar form, as you prefer (for me, this replaced 3 addons).  Fortexorcist not only tracks spells (dots) and cooldowns but also has added functionality for warlocks.  And let’s not even freakin discuss power auras that can do, like, everything.

Can It Be Macroed Instead?

There are lots of (admittedly non-hoggy) addons for selling your grays.  But there’s also a macro that you can use to do the same thing.  Check out the Wowwiki page.  There’s even a macro to swap outfits with your spec (which is what I’m going to be using as an Outfitter substitute).

Further Reading: Our Addon Page for all classes (even stinky DPS) with Links To Guides

The Day Has Arrived for NEW PANDA MOVIE

As you might recall, Twig had a very long phase of obsessive, singleminded love for Kung Fu Panda (the original). So for MONTHS now I have been planning and plotting around the release weekend of… KUNG FU PANDA 2!

This weekend is the big weekend.  Ok, so we can’t go until Tuesday.  But on Tuesday, get psyched, because we will see THE PANDA.

Are you excited yet?

How about now?  There’s a lot of awesomeness going on.

I know you want to RUN to your local theater right now.  It’s ok.  The boss won’t mind.

Omg, it’s le awesomeness!

Holy crap guys, baby panda flashbacks!  Why are you not at the theater RIGHT NOW?

NO SPOILERS! Twig might see!