I Refuse to Smite.

Smiting is craptastic.

It’s a craptastic spell that has a lame animation. I’m not editing your face off, I’m smiting. Like holy death from above. Sissy slash is sissy.

Now what does Elitist Jerks say?  They say that they don’t know how it’s gonna pan out at 85, but stuff is so easysauce now that we should practice smiting builds. NO! That is the path to the dark side.

Do you think the Lich King is gonna give me a break from pre-bubbling for infest so I can throw a sissy fairy dust slash at his face?  Yeah I think not. We downed him for the first time last weekend and there was absolutely NO smiting involved.

Stay strong, non-smiters! To borrow from Alamo, “Disk Preest is 4 heels.” Focus not on our smites but on our giant penance.

“This isn’t in my contract” – when the raid changes plans, what are your options?

Scenario 1

You sign up for ICC. At go-time, the raid leader announces that there aren’t enough people signed up to do ICC, but if we pull in some casual players, we can do a lower-level instance like Ulduar. Let’s say you HATE Ulduar and are tired of Ulduar and just don’t wanna. You signed up for ICC. It doesn’t matter about gear (let’s say you don’t need gear from either instance) it matters that you signed up for X, and now you are about to do Y.

So what do you do? Do you go along with it because if you don’t, you spoil it for the other 9 people who are fine with doing Ulduar? Do you say “thanks but no thanks” and wander off?

Scenario 2

You sign up for ICC to continue to work on Sindragosa. At go-time, the raid leader announces that there aren’t enough people signed up, but if we pull in casual players, we can make a full raid.  However, you’re not going to try Sindragosa, as originally planned, but instead head to Festergut. Same instance, change of plans in which boss you are going to do.

Has your answer changed? Should it?

The Balancing Act

Essentially you are having to balance the needs of the guild against the needs of yourself. You don’t want to be a dick to other people, but you don’t want to spend your playtime being dragged to stuff that you didn’t want to do (especially if you have limited playtime).

Food for Thought

When you sign up for a raid, do you sign up for the activity itself, and if the activity changes, your sign up is void? Or do you sign up for a time slot, and the guild has you for that time slot, regardless of what you end up doing during that time?

If you sign up for an activity, how much of a change in plans is so much of a change that you are no longer expected to attend under the original sign up?

Does it matter whether some people still need something from the new activity? Does it matter what they need (i.e. a mount versus an achievement?)

If changes of plans were common, would you think twice before signing up for activities?

EDIT: Further reading!

Pocket Heals: “We’ve Not Enough People…We’re Going to ToC” “Wait…What? I Didn’t Sign up for That…”

Muradin Musings: Self-Interest vs. Greater Good

A Messy Workaround for Broken Holy Word: Chastise Mouseover Macros

~Edit 2/28/11: Simple holy word macros work again.~

So… courtesy of Google F. Search and Erinys (who commented as I was writing this, hehe), I have a working HW: Chastise Macro! I looked at all the versions of how to do this and found one that I could understand and use. Murloc Tested and Approved!

Why is this Macro Different from All Other Macros

This macro doesn’t just input commands. It acts, as if you, the user, actually physically “did stuff” with your keyboard/mouse. This macro is as if you did the the following 3 actions:

  1. target (clicking on) your mouseover;
  2. press the action bar button where you have placed your HW: Chastise spell; and then
  3. switch (click) your target back to whatever you were targeting before you decided to chastise.

The Macro Itself

You first have to take chastise from your spell book and drag it somewhere on your action bars.  So do that.  (Where on your action bars?  Stay tuned.)

In macro form, here it is.

/tar [@mouseover,exists]

/click MultiBarBottomLeftButton1

/targetlasttarget

But what does that mean?

/tar [@mouseover,exists] = “Target my mouseover, if I have one”.

This is not like “target=mouseover” because your target will actually shift (momentarily) to whatever you are mousing over, away from whatever you are currently targeting.

/click MultiBarBottomLeftButton1 = “Click button 1 on the Bottom Left Multi-Bar of my Action Bars.”

I admit, I am a fool when it comes to this. You need to put your plain ol’ chastise spell somewhere on your action bars and then call up the “spot” where you’ve put it.

Here’s the list of bars from wowwiki:

ActionButton#                Main Bar
BonusActionButton#           Dynamic bar that switches actions based on Forms
MultiBarBottomLeftButton#    Bottom Left Bar
MultiBarBottomRightButton#   Bottom Right Bar
MultiBarRightButton#         Right Bar
MultiBarLeftButton#          Right Bar 2 (to the left of "Right Bar")
PetActionButton#             Pet Bar
ShapeshiftButton#            Druid Forms, etc

Which is nice if you’re using the default interface bars, but when you’re using Dominos or Bartender – which bar is which? I ungracefully used trial and error to find a spot on a bar that worked for me. I ended up with “MultiBarBottomLeftButton1″ which was the first button on “Bar 6″ in Dominos.

Harpy’s Nest has a better way of finding out what button you’re using, but in a pinch, ye olde trial and error works!

/targetlasttarget = “Go back to the thing I was previously targeting before I switched targets to do that chastise thing.”

Although you could have been targeting nothing, in which case, you will still end up targeting nothing. Ideally this should create a seamless experience “like” a mouseover macro, although if you get lag, you may get a “blip” before reacquiring your target.

Sources:

Woe is me, 4.0.3 (it rhymes)

Holy Word: Chastise

Remember how I got the holy word: chastise macro to work in all its various incarnations depending on my chakra state?

Not anymore.

Nope, now when I’m in a chakra state and hit my macro, big red letters on my screen gleefully inform me that I don’t in fact know that spell.

Wait, what?

In fact, when I’m in POH-Chakra and I hit the Holy Word Macro, I get a targeting circle, so it obviously knows what I’m trying to do. I’m obviously trying to place my floor-of-healing-goodness (that’s the technical term). But when I click my mouse to actually place the circle, “Spell not learned”. The hell it’s not!

Skinning

My skinning is 450. Apparently, I now need 470 to skin the beasts in TOC-10. Really.

Everything is Tiny

I mean wtf, I set up all my addons to make my UI the scale I want it, only to have everything shrink. Epic. Fail. (As I stayed up way too late twiddling around with my UI.)

"How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read... if they can't even fit inside the building?"

30 sec Chakra Cooldown is Hawt

On the plus side, right now the only plus side, the 30-second Chakra cooldown makes switching states a breeze, and I’m always in a chakra state if I want to be. I also don’t have to worry about hitting the spell that extends the state because, whatever, I can just re-cast it right when it expires. I can’t wait until they combine the POH and Renew chakras which will make my life MUCH easier.

I got hit by a loathsome disease, but Arthas died instead.

Apparently the trick to defeating Arthas is to infect your disc priest with THE PLAGUE. As I felt like croaking hell on a stick, barely able to wheeze into vent, we killed him.

I’m not sure what was more exciting at that point: the kill itself or the swift and early end to the raid with the promise of imminent NyQuil.

Observe posts from guildmates Alas and Jinx, where screenies abound. I’m gonna get moar tea.

The Raid Drink of KINGSLAYERS!

Getting Your WoW Financial House in Order.

December 7th is coming at you like a fast thing comes at you fast. I’m not into illustrative similies today, sorry. But there are some things you should be doing to prep for the coming cataclysm. This is not about specs, but rather your inventory, professions, and cash.

SELL SELL EVERYTHING MUST GO!!!!

Prices are so low! If you find a better deal, I'll eat my shoe!

Look at your toons bags and banks. I bet there is a lot of clutter in there. Lots of stuff you were going to hang onto for just a little while longer. Now is a great time to get rid of all of it.

  • Remember those iLvl 200 gloves you kept just in case the 219 gloves didn’t work out, and you never got around to getting rid of? Get rid of them. You aren’t going back to them.
  • Those stacks and stacks of chilled meat you kept around to speed up your ability to do the Dalaran Cooking daily. When was the last time you did one of those? Get rid of them.
  • Anything you had as leftover stuff from leveling your profession. For me on the mage this was excess cloth, infinite dust, a lot of greater cosmic essences. I kept a little just in case I got an upgrade, but most of them I sold.

The prices you can get for all these things are dropping, but you might as well liquidate now instead of being getting ready for the expansion after next wondering why you still have chilled meat.

Profe$$ions!

The simple fact is if you want to be taken seriously as a raider, you should have maxed out professions. And if you are trying squeeze that last ounce of damage, healing or survivability you really should do it. For example on the mage I have for quite a while had maxed out enchanting and tailoring. This allowed me an extra 46 spellpower on ring enchants, and I had really good cloak embroidery which was more DPS than any cloak enchant I could have given.  By contrast most of the expansion I didn’t level the warrior’s professions because it always seemed like a huge time sink, but it would have helped if I could have had 3 +51 stamina gems instead of the normal +30 stamina gems. Likewise, having maxed out mining would add 60 stamina. It would have been another 122 stamina which would have been nice to have on some fights.

Don’t forget to have a toon who has max cooking and fishing either. Food buffs are an essential part of any raiders healthy breakfast!

So as I noted above, prices are falling because people are liquidating. Chances are you don’t have that much left to do, why not take the next month and really just concentrate on getting caught up on your professions, and start Cataclysm off right. The further you delay the harder it will seem to get “caught up”. I leveled my Jewelcrafting and Mining on my warrior a few weekends ago from mid 200s to 450 each for some time (maybe 12 hours total?) and no more than 500g.

Cash is King

Get that gold and wear your crown!

Going into a new expansion, you will have lots of unexpected expenses. Training never is cheap, and having a big pile of money to sleep on is nice because when you get that opportunity to get epic flying or maybe some rep gear with nice stats, you won’t have to wait as long to get it. So go forth and make a little pile of cash for yourself and remember to keep those professions maxed.

An Academic Survey of the Politics of Murlocs

It has recently occurred to us that embarrassingly little is known in wider circles about Murloc governance. As our blog name clearly indicates, they do enjoy many aspects of democratic representation, but the details of their governance is not known to many outsiders. In the hopes of educating the noble denizens of Azeroth, I will attempt a summary drawing primarily on the distinguished scholarly works presented in most Azerothian Comparative Government classes.  Readers should be aware there are many more in depth academic studies on Murloc Politics, and many books on the subject are available at libraries in Stormwind, Dalaran, The Undercity, Dire Maul and Scarlet Monestary (though be warned the last two have severe punishments for overdue books).

Murloc Basic Government Structure

Head of State vs Head of Government

It is well known that the Murlocs are Parliamentary in their self governance. So it is important to remember that the head of the government (The Prime Minister) is different than the head of state (In Britain that would be the Queen, in Portugal it is an elected president).  So to simplify matters, think of it like this:

  • The Parliament makes laws, and runs all the ministries and departments of the government; and
  • The President or Monarch runs the military and shows up at state dinners.

The current president of the Murloc government is populist folk hero and former celebrity chef Cookie. There is a challenge to him as head of state, but we will cover that in a later section.

Parliament Structure

The Parliament it is divided into two houses making it bicameral in nature. Each region is represented by:

  • 1 member for the upper house (known as the House of Whales;) and
  • 1 member per 1,000 murlocs in that region for the lower house (known as the House of Minnows).

It is important to realize that the upper house is merely a ratifying body, while the lower house is where most policy initiatives and governance actually takes place assuming no serious objection is mounted from the House of Whales.

Members of Parliment (MPs) and the Prime Minister

Each hamlet or village within the Murloc Nation elects a representative of that hamlet or village to the General assembly, and each MP has a party afilliation. If a single party gains 50%+1 of the overall composition of the House of Minnows, that party leader is now the Prime Minister. However in the event that a party cannot gain that many seats (and historically it has been difficult to do so), the right to form a coalition government is first offered to the party with the most seats. If they cannot form a coalition it is then offered to the next largest party and so on until a government is formed.

Ministries

Once a government has been formed by a single party, or more likely a coalition, the Prime Minister then assigns various Members of Parliament roles as heads of various ministries. Often in a coalition government, the Prime Minister will appoint members from a coalition partner’s party to be a minister in exchange for coalition support in running the government.  Each ministry has particular jurisdiction over certain policy areas, and in policy issues which might involve multiple ministries, the Prime Minister will assign primary jurisdiction to one Ministry with other ministries acting in advisory roles.

Continue Reading »

Coming soon, the progress gap

This happens every expansion. The expansion hits and you have those couple people in your guild who take three days off of work and next thing you know they are max level. Meanwhile you have just found the first flight point in the expansion starting zone. You start gaining a few levels and hit your stride, and they are already running heroics. Finally you hit max level and are looking towards running some dungeons, get some gears and hopefully get into a few heroics. But they are too busy to run stuff with you because they have to raid.

There will be some drama in guild chat and and on your guild forums about paying dues, and hard work, and not wanting to carry people etc etc. Then a few of the powergamer types leave the guild because they are tired of the noobs here. It is as predictable as the sun setting in the west and widespread as people who like Lady Gaga (303 Million views of Bad Romance on Youtube says she has plenty of fans who don’t admit to it).

So you like your guildies, you want everyone to stay friends, how can you defuse this drama bomb before things are said and done which make everyone pissed off at each other?

Step One: Define Goals

Having everyone on the same page helps the group see the direction.

This is not just something Guild Leaders and officers should be doing. There needs to be an open and honest discussion about what the group wants to do.

Most people get to raiding at some point in an expansion so a good bit of the discussion will be how soon you want to start. If you have several people who are ready to go go go, you may help keep people focused on getting raid ready by encouraging people to focus on one toon to start. Alts are fun, but you will hold back your guild if you try to get every alt to 80 before getting any of them raid ready.

Also clearly define what being “raid-ready” means. This might be a gearscore (if your guild is into that). What I prefer is that almost all gear and definitely all the big items come from Heroic dungeons, and if there is crafted equivalents, that is fine too. I am also a firm believer that all raid members should have every enchantable piece of gear enchanted (not the most expensive enchant, but class/spec relevant and preferably from the latest expansion). Also they should have appropriate stat food and flasks at their disposal.

Step Two:  Set a Raid Start Date

Oooooh I can't wait to see the new raid!

From the start time of the expansion you need to have to give folks time to level. Cataclysm comes out Dec 7th, there are plenty of December holidays and vacations which will take people’s time away from WoW. Understanding that, you might set a goal of having your first Cataclysm raid for early February. That gives folks time to level up from 80-85, and gives people some time to get geared up before walking into that first disaster of a raid.

Be clear that people need to raid ready in time for that first raid. In reality you may allow a person into that first raid who isn’t 100% ready, but made the effort, but no need to signal that.

Step Three: Still Have Team Activities

You still need to make sure your team knows how to work together.

Just because you no longer have raid night for raids, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be doing stuff as a group. Try and keep your traditional raid nights on the calendar as something your guild does things on. I suggest use it as a Dungeon and Heroic night. Maybe have a contest on guild points or money raised for the guild bank. Maybe have a profession leveling night with the biggest gains get a treat. Maybe work together to grind on a faction which has a nice enchant.

The reason for these types of activities is that you keep people in the habit of saving those days for WoW instead of joining a bowling league or whatever. Also it gets people to help each other in getting geared up, or practice their rotation, or group play awareness. The more emotionally bonded the guild is into each other’s success, the more they will think of the group instead of themselves.

All that said, there is still the possibility that, for some guild members, the guild collectively isn’t moving fast enough for their tastes and might leave anyway. That is their choice, and that is okay. But if you have these types of steps in place over the coming months you can hopefully make a smooth transition from a leveling and gearing guild into a raiding guild again.

New Grid Menu Structure

Lately I update grid through the curse downloader without even thinking about it because, well, there’s just been a patch. Tweaks are being made every day, no biggie.

Then I opened up the menus and said “ZOMG since which version did THIS happen.”  (Apparently, it’s version 1392, available from Curse Forge.  There’s already a version 1393, pushed while I was sleeping.)

Instead of a long list of options down the side, there’s a nifty intuitive “tab” system across the top reminiscent of the evil Vuhdo.  For those of us who already use Grid as “old hat”, the new tabs are pretty intuitive and a nice improvement. To those who don’t already use Grid, they may make the addon more navigable.

New: configuring statuses.

Old: configuring statuses

New: configuring an indicator

Old: configuring an indicator

Halp! My “Frame” Tab is all wonky (but the others work fine)

Like this?


Apparently there are some kinks being worked out with regard to compatibility with certain grid plugins (known conflict, for example, with GridIndicatorCornerIcons).  If it bothers you, you can disable the naughty plugin or revert your grid version (to 1391 or earlier) until it’s worked out.  (Since there was a new version pushed while I was sleeping, this may well be fixed in version 1393.)

Bad Acts or Bad Admissions

A small sector of the blogosphere is a wee bit upset about someone who behaved jerkishly in a pug and told the story on his blog.  Some are offended by the acts, others offended in the way of telling, and still others are not seeing why the first two groups are that offended at all.

I have behaved jerkishly in pugs.  I can behave jerkishly all I want and never tell you about it.  You’ll never know the difference.  But if I do choose to tell you, I open myself up to censure – either for how I acted in the first place or the tone and attitude I take in the retelling.

We all do shit we’re not proud of, in anger, in emotion… whatever.  And we don’t have to admit to it on our blogs.  But if we do, and people get riled up about it, pro or con.

The criticism may have the effect of preventing the behavior but it for sure makes the blogger think twice about sharing in the future.  Which is a damn shame, because I like hearing stories that are uncensored, real, and maybe not as politically correct as we should all behave.  I may not agree with the actions, but I support the story’s retelling – in any manner that the blogger wants.