Hidden Hard Modes: An Introduction

20 March, 2010

Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable–Patton

The title of this post may be initially confusing, so I’m taking this opportunity to explain the motivation behind this next series of entries.

“Borsk, hidden hard modes? Does this mean that there really is a boss behind that door if you take a left at Sister Svalna?”

Not exactly, but you’re welcome to try running into the wall until it opens! Raiding guilds across the globe formulate strategies and tactics for taking down raid bosses. When you look at an achievement list, that’s what you see. You get a list of what they killed, what loot they got, and how many times they’ve done it.

If these were the only bosses raiding guilds had to kill, everyone would be done with Hard Mode ICC25 by now (ICC10 man at least). It turns out that there are a lot of other fights you don’t see.  Raid Leaders and Officers battle other, hidden, bosses on a nightly and weekly basis.

Unfortunately these folks don’t have many places to go and watch a video (with techno music!) portraying, for example, an effective recruitment post. The only way they truly get a sense of how to handle these “encounters” is to see them, probably slip up, and then gain a lesson learned for next time.

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Now With 5% More Fiber

3 March, 2010

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. — Gen. George S. Patton

The buzz this week, other than the Lil’ XT, is the activation of Strength of Wrynn/Hellscream’s Warsong.  As everyone knows by now, this is (initially) an extra 5% damage, healing, and health.  This buff by the end of the expansion will reach 30%.

It should be noted that talking to your faction leader and removing the buff will take it away for the entire reset. So be warned, there is no turning back (for a week at least) if you choose to go in without your King.

Blizzard’s continuation of using the “lore” of the Ashen Verdict to enhance and expand ICC is very solid.  Giving players a small boost is a better direction than their former model of cutting off whole limbs of bosses to allow raid groups entry into the later portions of raid zones with little more than a foam sword rack.

Five percent isn’t going to let trade chat PUGs kill The Lich King (or even Festergut, most likely).  What it will do is push guilds stuck at a particular point in the instance over the hump.  Very small execution mistakes aren’t nearly as magnified.  A little bit later in this post I’ll do a quick comparison between this week’s clear to last week’s Tuesday’s clear.

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You’re a bad healer because…(Part 1)

15 February, 2010

Good healing isn’t about preventing a fall,  It’s about bracing for impact.

This is part 1 in a series on healing (and more specifically raid healing).  Part 1 will focus on what it takes in a person to be a great healer.  Part 2 will focus on the tools of a quality healer.  Part 3, Fights that tend to give healers fits.

You can google “wow how to heal…” and find 2.8 Million results. No really, go google it, you’ll find plenty of resources trying to teach you how to be a more effective healer and how to not look like a complete fool when trying to get a regular raiding spot as a healer.

First let me give you the perspective not of a healer, but of a raid leader.  As everyone knows there are 3 types of people in a raid: tank, healer, DPS.  Tanks and Healers each have a job with a binary result.  Either someone lives, or they don”t.  You either have enough healing to keep everyone alive, or you don’t.  There is no surer way to have a guaranteed raid invite (or to be kicked quickly) than to be a healer.  Quality healers that know their stuff and actually enjoy healing are the rarest Warcraft players out there.  If you find them, you don’t let them go.

Healers don’t need gear.  They don’t need spreadsheets.  Good healers need a raid frame setup, a brain, and a set of balls.  Healers and tanks can’t distinguish themselves by healing more or tanking harder.  We only get credit for being exceptional, and even then it’s kind of a wash.

Saving The Day ™

There’s always that scene in a disaster movie where an unsuspecting nameless pedestrian is walking aimlessly as the city crumbles around him.  The Hero of the story is running around looking for his lost son (or wife or daughter) and sees said pedestrian walking just 15 ft beneath a concrete overhang about to collapse (they’re probably holding a baby).  He takes a glance at the concrete, a glance around to see if anyone else is there to help (there never is), a glance at the baby, and then quickly runs over and tackles them out of danger just as the two ton slab falls and crushes the side walk.

The man gets up and yells at the Hero, “what the hell did you do that for-“before glancing at the wreckage where he used to be standing.  The Hero mutters a “you’re welcome” before jogging off to find some other random victim.

That is good raid healing in a nutshell.

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