Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 06 – Your workplace/desk (photo and/or description)

So here is the battle station! Pretty basic computer station, nothing to special. I am rocking the n52te gamepad and a microsoft sidewinder mouse but for the most part my computer set up is far from hardcore gamer. As with any right and proper mancave, I'm sporting the stylish wood paneling (maybe one day I'll get around to changing that, bah) and various assortments of posters collected mainly from my college years.

This is where I get shit DONE like a BOSS.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 05 – Favorite item(s) in game

I feel like I'm kind of cheating on this one. So much so, I'll actually include a jump. Now I figured most people would post some cool item, either a drop they pined over or a quest reward that is awesome, amazing, or spectacular. I'm about to drop an item that is none of the above. In fact, it's not even something you can technically obtain in game. It is..... it is.......

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 04 – Your best WoW memory

My best WoW memory. That is fairly difficult to nail down. For the sake of entiretly I think I'll talk about some of my favorite WoW memories and maybe in that process I'll figure it out for myself.

One of the earliest awesome memories I had was hitting the level 70 cap. I would have to say that was my real first accomplishment (or feeling of accomplishment) I experienced in game. The grind to 70 was very and very hard, especially for someone who had yet to develop a desire to run instances. I think all throughout my first 70 levels I did maybe 2 instances, one being WC (and still was a wipefest) the other being Underbog. Getting to 70 via questing alone was quite a feat back then, the experience cap had still not been lifted at that point. As I level characters now using BoA epics with XP boosting qualities and a lower overall experience cap, I remember less than fondly the feeling of wanting to claw my eyes out from level 66-70. There were times when I seriously said "fuck this game" and just took a few days off - leveling was just that painful. I contribute some of that to not really knowing how to play that well (I would only do green with the occasional yellow quest) and to questing mainly alone. You can bet your ass when I dinged 70 I did a little dance.

Another awesome WoW memory I have would be killing the Lich King for the very first time. I'm sure you are thinking, why is something that common a fond memory? When I first killed the Lich King that 10 man group was the very first group to kill him in our guild - to me that means something. Back then my guild was running two 25 mans and four (sometimes six) 10 mans a week. To be the first 10 people with that title and that achievement felt good. At the end of that fight when LK kills us all, the roar that came from vent and myself was deafening. This isn't to say that subsequent  first kills are not as satisfying, but something about being the first 10 people to kill the expansion end boss just puts a smile on my face.

Day 03 – Your first day playing WoW

Today's post will be short and sweet.

I'll be dead honest, my first day playing WoW is foggy at best. I do remember I tried out a warrior before finally settling on an orc hunter. Back then you did not start with a pet and my first few levels were painful to say the least. All I could do was sting the target, concussive, auto the thing to death. Rinse, repeat.

There is something I do remember very vividly about my initial WoW experience, that was the shear vastness of the game area. Like many other people WoW was my first MMO and while I played other RPG games with large worlds, nothing could compare to this feeling. When I came to the realization that there was more area OUTSIDE of the Valley of Trials and yet more still outside Durotar I was in awe of just how awesome this game is.

I often talk to my gaming friends about loosing that awe factor. While I still have lots of fun playing WoW, nothing can compare to those first few weeks  / months of initial exploration and realization. I guess ignorance is truly bliss.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Raid Building 101: Crime and Punishment

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.

We’ve talked about bringing up the right kind of Raid Leaders that buy into the type of raiding experience you want to have in your raids.  What about Raiders?  What about those that refuse to conform to your group and are outspoken or even rude to you or other raiders?  Every guild should have its own rules on what kinds of actions during a raid result in what kinds of punishment, but if not you should make some to keep things running smoothly.

What kind of punishments does your guild use?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 02 – Why you decided to start a blog

Day two is upon me! Wow that went fast. Sometimes I wonder if there really is 24 hours in a day or by some sick consequence my days are shorter then previously advertised. Oh well, I guess there is no reason to complain so I might as well jump right on in!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 01 – Introduce Yourself

Well it seems like the best place to start with introductions would be at the beginning.

My WoW adventure began in February 2008 when I decided to buy a new computer. I went all through college with the same old Sony Vaio (purchased in 2002) and it was starting to get outdated. I ordered a new Dell desktop and when it arrived I was super pleased. It had been years since I had a decent running machine that could handle the graphics of modern games and websites. Up until this point I mainly gamed on consoles (PS1 and PS2) and had grown very fond of the Final Fantasy series. FF7 was really the first game in general that enthralled me. Many of my friends were table top gamers as well, and I played Magic: The Gathering with them but I never really delved into the D&D world. Now I had the opportunity to get involved in a game that I hated on (but secretly wanted to play) for a few years, World of Warcraft!

20 Days of WoW Blogging Challenge!

should have taken the turnpike.....
I'm a busy guy. Real life has me pulled in multiple directions between being a professional, husband / father, and being a blogger. World of Warcraft has me pulled in just as many directions. Between being a raider, member of senior management, forum administrator, and writer / editor it sometimes seems like I never sleep. While I wouldn't have it any other way sometimes that means some areas get temporarily deprioritized. Blogging about WoW is one of the more fun hobbies I engage in but is also (sadly) one of those things that gets put on the back burner from time to time. 

Mhorgrim over at The Rusty Blade picked up an idea from Spellbound to have a 20 day blog session highlighting some fun and unique WoW topics. It seemed like a great idea to help curb the demotivational demons from getting to me so I'll pick it up as well. The topics are after the jump.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Raid Building 101: A Family Affair

ah family, how embarrassing
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.
I’ve talked a lot about in game things having to do with raid leading.  There are also a lot of external influences on a raid leader and on the raiders themselves.  Friends and peer pressure can play a role in how you raid lead or if your raiders sign up, show up, and perform during the raid.  External factors can be hurricanes, power outages, and computers going up in smoke.  The most influencing factor to me and a lot of my raiders is family.

How do families affect you and your raiders?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Warrior tanking thoughts | Before the raid

Warriors are the quintessential tanks in the World of Warcraft. We have no gimmicks, have no special OMG abilities, in fact, we have almost nothing except our swords and shields to help us fend off attacks. We don't heal ourselves like the Paladins, we don't spread diseases like the Death Knights, and we DEFINITELY don't transform into furry woodland creatures like the Druids. With our role as being very basic, it would make sense that we were over-utilized and could be seen all throughout Azeroth in annoyingly high numbers. It is my experience though, that this is not the case. Warrior tanks are an alarmingly small percentage of the active raiding tanks to be found cutting their teeth against such foes as Nefarion and Cho'gall in today's end-game encounters. In fact, in my own guild, of the 9 active tanks we have as their main toons main spec, only two of us are warriors. When you increase that to include alts, only 8 warrior tanks emerge.

In this article, I am going to try and explain just how I go about fulfilling my role as a warrior tank, from talents and glyphs to enchants, macros, add-ons (for raiding) and anything else i feel is pertinent to what I use in my role as the lone warrior tank for our raid slot.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Raid Building 101: When you have to MacGyver it

call it? hell no.
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

We’ve talked about most aspects of raid leading up to this point but one of my favorite parts of raid leading is finding creating solutions around issues that arise either from raid composition being weird, people disconnecting, or having people leave a raid early.  The best term I can come up with is to “MacGyver it.”  When making a change because you either figure out a way to raid or cancel the raid actually works out it can become quite entertaining.  Have you ever had to “MacGyver it”?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feral Tanking | Understanding Dodge vs Mastery

When gearing and itemizing bear tanks, there are a few defensive stats we look for. With the release of Cataclysm, what used to be the bear holy trinity (effective health, dodge, and armor) as been extended to include Mastery as a mitigation tool. Blizzard has done a nice job, in my opinion, of making mastery (and the ability it affects) not be so imbalanced that bears stack this above all else. Of course the argument remains that we still only stack stamina but that is not entirely true either. Is stamina is our best weighted stat? Of course it is and for tanks to desire as much of this as possible isn't necessarily a bad thing. The point is, as a whole mastery has been a sort of Pandora's box for Blizzard; in a game where they struggle around balancing classes this loose cannon variable had the potential to make or break a class in a heartbeat. For bears, it seems to be moderately balanced at this point in time and today we'll go more into detail on how it effects us.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Raid Building 101: Dealing With Loss

I thought it was a power up!
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.

As I’ve stated earlier the biggest boon to your raid is a group of friends that join the guild and start raiding with you.  They already usually know what they are doing and enjoy raiding.  I also stated that you should split them up if you can for different raids and not let them constantly raid together.  There is a reason for that.  What happens when one of them gets very mad or feels like they got the bad end of a deal and leaves with all of their friends?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

PTR 4.1 Warrior Changes

Having successfully avoided the nerf bat in 4.0.6, we Warriors have been riding pretty high on the hog. While we may not be the self-healers the Paladins or Blood Death Knights are nor are we as unique as the Feral Druids, we still hold the line as the quintessential tanking class in World of Warcraft - and we hold it with some style. Patch 4.1 has some interesting changes in place for us, some of which I am happy about, and at least one has had me QQing in guild chat ever since I saw it.

Let’s dive right in, shall we.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Patch 4.1 Druid Changes

Updated for 04/25/2011

It looks like 4.1 is out on the PTR right around the corner with a whole truckload of changes across the board. I'll try and briefly cover some of the druid changes here, but to be honest there are not too many to report and it looks like it's heating up now!. I will say that what we have to talk about is substantial and of course I'll find something to complain about. In addition to these changes to druids, this patch is bringing with it a few new 5 man heroics, ZA and ZG! YIPE!

First of all, the full list can be found here. I'll just be covering a few items I think are note worthy. It is also worth noting that I play a feral tank and my secondary spec is feral DPS. I have played resto and balance, however not this expansion. Any commentary I make on changes to those specs could be completely and totally off base. If so feel free to correct me. Secondly, please understand that this is a PTR build. Even though Blizzard is notorious for never listening to players and/or PTR data, the changes here are subject to change at any time. In fact, I'm almost count on some of them to change. The first iteration of druid changes included ONE change that was nominal at best. Since that time there has been some additions to the druid section, including a nice little buff for feral tanks. Let's begin with the few major changes for druids specifically.