Sunday, January 30, 2011

Preview: Rift Beta 5

"We're not in Azeroth anymore."

This is the tag line in a tv spot commercial for Rift, a new MMO from Trion. Rift is set to release here March 1st, 2011 and FI had the privileged to check out Beta 5 and give out some keys to our readers in the process. Being that I've been following the development of Rift since E3 2008, I was very excited to get my hands on this puppy. Now that the extended beta is over and I've had a chance to sit down I figured I'd put some thought into Rift and it's development thus far. I didn't have the opportunity to do everything I wanted to do, but I will comment a bit on what I did experience.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Raid Building 101: The Balancing Act

Raid Building 101 is a weekly article detailing the finer (and sometimes the not so finer) points of building and leading a successful raid group. Be it a world first or super casual, Raid Building 101 has something for you.

So you have your raid posted, people signed up and everyone wants to go. Everyone knows what your raid is about, but now you have to decide who gets to go and who gets to stay. This is a lot harder than you think and no matter what you do someone will be unhappy and stuff will happen to screw up the balance you have created. The mantra I go by is simple: You can’t please every single person, but you can make everyone angry by trying to please a single person.

How do you choose?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Holy Moonglow, Batman - How I did my Lunar Festival

Hearthing to Orgrimmar, I talked to the Lunar Festival Herald, who tells me that the Lunar Festival has begun, and sends me to the Valley of Wisdom to seek out the Harbringer. The Lunar Festival Harbringer, it seems, has an affinity for the Lunar Fireworks, and asks me to launch a few off for her. Buying the fireworks from the vendor standing close by, I receive a Lunar Festival Invitation for my troubles. The Harbringer tells me to stand in the pillar of light to her right and use the invitation in order to be teleported to Moonglade--the hub for the Lunar Festival activities for all of Azeroth, and to speak with Valadar Starsong once I arrive. Before standing in the light, though, I stop and speak to Darkhorn the Elder. For paying my respects, i receive a Coin of Ancestry, awarding me the achievement A Coin of Ancestry. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rift Beta Key Giveaway!

For some of you who may be following other MMO's besides WoW, Rift is a new MMO from Trion that is coming out soon. It's looking very nice and has many people talking. If you'd like to check out this new MMO Ferocious Inspiration can help you out! We have 20 beta keys to give out to our readers for the next beta starting on Jan. 25th and running to Jan. 28th. If you'd like a beta key please leave a comment on this post (using an email address I can reach you when you do) and I'll hand them all out!

Leveling Chronicle | Day 2 -- Levels 5 - 10

Welcome to my leveling project! After examining a few of the zones looking for my next blogging project, I starting thinking ... why not do A LOT of the zones in one monster of a piece. This way, I can examine all my old world favorites, a few of my not-so-favorites, and examine just how well Blizzards new breadcrumb system works out over the long haul. When I approached Titleist with this idea, he thought it was a wonderful idea. This project allows me to stretch my writing muscle and cover a topic that I have a true passion for--World of Warcraft.

Last time in the Leveling Chronicle: DING--5
With my fifth level obtained, it is time to return to Zen'Tabra to complete my first day with the learning of a new batch of Druidic Abilities, in this case Moonfire and Thorns.
Five Levels down......80 more to go.

And now for the continuation:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Leveling Chronicle | Day 1 -- Levels 1-5

Welcome to my leveling project! After examining a few of the zones looking for my next blogging project, I starting thinking ... why not do A LOT of the zones in one monster of a piece. This way, I can examine all my old world favorites, a few of my not-so-favorites, and examine just how well Blizzards new breadcrumb system works out over the long haul. When I approached Titleist with this idea, he thought it was a wonderful idea. This project allows me to stretch my writing muscle and cover a topic that I have a true passion for--World of Warcraft.

I, Changelingz of the Darkspear Tribe, awaken to being my stalwart adventuring on the Echo Isles. Turning to Jin'Thala, he tells me how he feels the time has come for the Rise of the Darkspear from the ashes of the past, and that he sees in me the future of my people. He directs me to Zen'Tabra in the Training Grounds, to begin to Learn the Basics: Hitting Things--namely Tiki Targets that are all around us.

Raid Building 101: The best laid plans

Raid Building 101 is a weekly article detailing the finer (and sometimes the not so finer) points of building and leading a successful raid group. Be it a world first or super casual, Raid Building 101 has something for you.

So you have the approval to create your time slot or raid team, perhaps from reading my last post. You have your core set of raiders who you geared up with in heroics and you are all excited to form your first 10 man raid. What now? This is the point you have to decide what kind of raid atmosphere you want, which may partly be based on what type of guild you are raiding in.

What should be your next step?

Sad day....

Well guys (and gals) today marks the end of an era. I used Jaquelina's WoW Reputation Calculator so many times I couldn't count.....but today she closes her doors. I understand how it is, I mean, sometimes wow can feel like a burden more-so than a game. When you give of yourself (be it blogging, coding, or whatever) for nothing in return you must be doing so out of free will.

http://wowreputationcalculator.eu/

Let this be a gravemaker. Like someone who's life has ended, let's not be sad but be happy! Happy for the good times and the delicious rep calculations she has brought us. Thank her for telling you to not grind that one more heroic (oh god) and do that one daily instead!

Jaquelina - We here at FI wish you well!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Leveling Chronicle | Day 0 -- The Creation Process

Welcome to my leveling project! After examining a few of the zones looking for my next blogging project, I starting thinking ... why not do A LOT of the zones in one monster of a piece. This way, I can examine all my old world favorites, a few of my not-so-favorites, and examine just how well Blizzards new breadcrumb system works out over the long haul. When I approached Titleist with this idea, he thought it was a wonderful idea. This project allows me to stretch my writing muscle and cover a topic that I have a true passion for--World of Warcraft.

[4.2] Paladin Tanking: A Level 85 Field Manual

Since my co-blogger wrote such a great primer for Feral Druid Tanking I figured it should be about time I revisit Paladin tanking. I’ve written a post before about talent specs, abilities, and glyphs, but a lot has changed (and soon a lot more will change). I think it’s time to take a clear look at everything and see what abilities and glyphs have become the staple versus what I thought would happen and what I see coming down the line. [Updated for patch 4.2 including gear list]

Monday, January 17, 2011

Battlefield: Silverpine

I usually stick to the new race starting areas when it comes to my reports, but this zone was far too good to pass up. The Silverpine storyline following the Shattering of Azeroth is, in my opinion, the Sistine Chapel of the narratives that Blizzard has done for the reforged zones. Many of the zones flow better then they did before the Shattering, but none now have had the same depth applied to them as the story-weavers at Blizzard have done for Silverpine.

Now, usually when I evaluate a zone that Blizzard has done, I try not to go step by step through the quests. However, in Silverpine, all the main storyline quests flow one to another, and there are almost no quests that have been installed as "filler quests" and therefore inconsequential to the overall gameplay of the zone. Yes, there are still a few kill quests here and there, but most are to aid in the execution of the story; a story that I am only too happy to relay to you, the avid reader.

Weekly Raiding Status: Last Exploritory Raid Week.

Most of us here at FI are from the Haomarush guild Malice. We have been doing raids the last three weeks to check out all the content to figure out strategies and how we can best get all our raiders geared out.

How did we do this week with our three day raid?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The mind of a mad man....

I decided to scribble down my gear wish list. I'm happy to report I've had the chance to cross some off as well!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Raid Building 101: Creating a successful raid group

Have you ever wanted to create a raiding time slot or team in your guild from scratch? When I say from scratch I really mean from scratch. Perhaps you want to bring back a time slot that used to be there but disappeared because a different group always got the bosses down?

Well, I've done it. I'll share with you what I've learned so you can too.

Housekeeping
First things first, clear this with your Guild Leader. Without the backing of your Guild Leader veteran people will be unable to help you or perhaps refuse to help you.

Second, be prepared for the ups and downs of a raiding time slot. There will be times where you can't find enough people to fill a 10 man raid. People will come and go, perhaps taking with them an entire group of raiders that may seem like your core raiders.

Third, make sure you talk with people in the guild who used to raid in that time slot or would like to raid in the time slot. Do this to make sure any schedule will fit with the most amount of people.

Only once you get the okay the hard work really begins.

Find some core raiders!
What I did was level with a real life friend of mine, which helped a ton. The time slot we wanted to raid in was not a progression time slot. It was more like something for people to do once and a while. However I wanted to raid progression content pretty badly. The best way to create a raid is to do it the right way with no shortcuts.

The best way (and also the most time consuming) is to get core raiders is to make them from scratch.

Try Heroics!
Run heroics with random people in the guild in the time slot if possible. If you are a healer or a Tank, congrats, your job is easier because people get better queue times when running with you. Talk to the people you are doing heroics with and see if they would be interested in starting out a new raid time or filling it out with new people.

Once you have at least one consistent tank, healer, and DPS, you can start trying to create a raid.

Use the alts of good players!
Good players are good players. If there is an awesome Healer/Tank/DPS chances are they are very good at any role. Use their alts in your time slot to fill in holes if need be. Never try to take an alt over a main unless there is a really good reason, like getting bloodlust/heroism/timewarp or a certain buff for the raid.

Start easy!
Don't try tackling progression raiding right away. I ran Kara until I was pretty much sick of it, every week, without getting a chance to run ZA for a long time. The guild was clearing out TK, SSC, and working on Hyjal late at night, but in my early time slot we were just clearing kara.

Gearing up together makes you stay together!
A lot of the officers and Guild Officers of the Guild I am in were the people who first joined the raid slot I was trying to make relevant again. Like me they all were pretty new to the game, didn't know all the mechanics, and maybe had never lead a raid before, but we all knew each other and we geared up together making us more than raiders, but friends. I still raid with the same core people today.

Offer something different for the raiders!
You may not have progression content down or the best records with bosses, but if you have something different, say a sense of humor about wiping, or don't swear and cuss at people, than the other raid time slots people may stay in your raid just for that alone.

Work with people who get alted from the progression raids!
Find out why people get alted from the progression raids, DPS? Environment issues? Threat issues? Attitude? Tell them to come raid with you and you will work with them on it and report it back to the Raid Leaders of the progression time slot. This can get you very geared people into your raid even if they don't need gear to simply work out what may be wrong with their play styles.

Know that the raid slot is more important than you!
In the end, keeping a successful raid time slot going is having trained/found good backups for the major players in the raid. Always take a break here and there to let other people grow into better raiders. How do you know who can raid lead and who can tank/heal unless you raid with them and let them raid without you and get feedback from the other officers in the raid.

As always, humility is the key.
People are taking time out of their days to raid with YOU, YOU get to raid with them. Thank people for coming, understand when they screw up, and don't hold a grudge against people who leave your raid slot. They may come back so you don't want any bridges burned.

I'll write another post later on keep a raid going through thick and thin.

Gordrin is the current raid leader of Guild Malice "Early Raid". He's held this job for the last 3 expansions and is only moderately insane.

[4.2] Feral Druid Tanking: A Level 85 Guide

Faceblocking. What does it mean to you? For me it's my job, a job that I enjoy - a labor of love. Ever since the day my baby druid hit level cap, he was a tank. He was always my well geared and skillfully played alt. Because I spent the last two expansions on all my other toons besides my druid I decided (with the release of Cataclysm) to bite the bullet and take the plunge. Faceblocking to me is now a main spec deal.

Akin to my colleague and raidmate Gordrin's comprehensive post on paladin tanking, I finally decided to sit down and write this guide for the new-new feral tanking. I can say that not a whole lot has changed from my original posts on abilities and talents / glyphs during patch 401 and at level 80. However now that I've had a chance to actually tank some raids and getting a feel for how the mechanics will work, I think I'm sufficiently informed for the level 85 version. Hold on to your furry asses and click for the jump!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Paladin Raid Tanking: A Cata Primer

I'm a couple of weeks into raiding in cataclysm and I'm starting to get a groove going with certain bosses about what to use where. Below are my thoughts on tanking raids in 4.0.3 as well as a few things that any tank should keep in mind when they start raiding.

Play your class!

This was a nice video featured on Wowinsider.com's Movie Watch. It was just good enough I figured I'd share with the FI crowd. If this was not obvious enough, you can probably now tell that I am A] a child of pop culture and B] a closet P!nk fan - anyway this video is fantastic! Enjoy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hotfix Rodeo: One Six Eleven

So I've been eagerly watching for all the Blizzard hotfixes post-Cataclysm release in hopes of finding that ONE gem of a hotfix that makes a huge smile break over my face. I'm sad to report that it's been fairly lackluster as of late, with nothing of real interest happening until today. Don't get me wrong - the list today is nothing to write home about, at least in my opinion, however they are not too shabby either. I can say I am sad to report my raid groups shadow priest will not be getting dodge from food cauldrons anymore - which makes me a little sad.

Anyway the full list here and also the jump!