Strength of Win

5 April, 2010

Temper gets you into trouble. Pride keeps you there.–Unknown

Nearly 5 weeks into the era of the zone-wide Icecrown buff, I’ve taken some time to reflect on how it has truly affected the way that raids are run and the affect it has on progression.


Icecrown Citadel is a series of glass ceilings. There are many guilds bumping their heads trying to break through each of them right now:

  • Sindragosa
  • Lich King
  • (H) Gunship/Marrowgar/Rotface/Council/Dreamwalker/Festergut/Blood Queen
  • (H) Deathwhisper/Saurfang
  • (H) Sindragosa
  • (H) Putricide
  • (H) Lich King

The timeline currently allows guilds 4 weeks to break through each ceiling on their own. After that, the buff will increase and nudge them through. This was evident on our server this week as several guilds broke through barrier 2 and 3 above to step up. Across all servers, everyone moved up together. Our US and world ranks changed very little, which is another indicator of just how granular the skill level is among guilds.

If you’re killing it, chances are everyone else at your level is also killing it.

We like to think that our accomplishments occur in a vacuum, but they don’t. Our accomplishments are grand, and often times astounding for the server that we play on. This is why many of us focus on intra-server progression more so than World or even US rankings. It’s a way for us to get good, fair comparison.

The guilds on your server are using the same forums, same pool of recruits, and have the same server culture. It’s also nice to actually pass your competition on the way to the instance and not have them be some mystical number and fancy name on a website.

Srength of Wrynn has ferried along everyone very nicely, allowing us to progress at a steady pace without doing the work for us. The final goals of Icecrown Progression are very clear:

  1. Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25 Player)
  2. Realm First! Light of Dawn
  3. Leveling Gear

Everyone where we are (in the 8/12, 9/12 heroic mode range) has a high enough raid-gear level to complete the instance. Blizzard only made 4 277 tier tokens available per week (and only 2 of those being realistically accessible). Expecting your entire raid to be decked out in best in slot gear to complete the instance would be folly.

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Stress Relief: A Raid Leader’s Outlet

17 March, 2010

Stress is like an iceberg. We see 1/8 of it above, but what about what’s down below?–Unkown

A leader of any type that attempts to persuade you that he does not experience any stress has cleverly found a way to suppress and hide it.

Handling stress, whether it be something as small as keeping up with your DPS rotation or picking who sits the bench on a given night, is a part of every WoW raider’s daily life. Some find that being able to settle in and perform their role is its own form of stress relief. Others sweat bullets trying to keep the raid alive on a particularly intense encounter.

We’ve all been there. You’ve been working on a boss for a long time. People keep making mistakes, the fight comes apart at the seams at seemingly random intervals and at the most inopportune times. The bickering begins, morale drops, everyone goes away for the evening unhappy.

Maybe it’s the last day before the reset and you need to finish all of the content, lest epics be wasted. Perhaps some of your healing crew is going to be missing due to final exams. These sources of stress can (and will) occur before raids, during raids, and on the weekends when you don’t even have a raid scheduled. Dealing with it all, processing it, and then turning that back around into a solution is difficult, but necessary. You may deal with the situation, but the repercussions and possible future occurrences keep the stress alive and breathing for a long time.

It is a constant goal for self-improvement that I have: keep the raid up and moving forward. If that means a stern Cowher-esque “LET’S GO!” to just getting feedback and have someone other me do the talking after a wipe.

A leader in any capacity, be it a manager, coach, or raid leader needs to find somewhere or some activity where they can get away. A place where they can put everything from their daily routine aside and just let go.

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Join “The Raid.” A WoW Documentary

1 March, 2010

Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another and of strength to be derived by unity. –Vince Lombardi

It’s been a difficult week of raiding so I thought I’d post a little feel-good piece.  My first few posts on boss tactics aren’t quite ready yet (it turns out it’s difficult to explain things without pictures and I need more pictures!).

I recently came across an interesting project that has been backed by Tankspot and got some publicity out there in shoutcast/podcast space on Blue Plz!  A New York film-maker by the name of Kevin Michael Johnson is directing a short documentary on social gaming, WoW, and its culture. For those of us that put a significant amount of our free time into WoW, the theme of this film really hit home.

From The Raid:

Raiding and, more generally, social gaming is something that has become more and more popular over the past couple years.  Everything from WoW’s explosion on the gaming scene to the emergence of browser games like Farmville on Facebook shows that this type of entertainment is something people are really interested in.

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