Archive for July, 2010

08
Jul
10

What motivates you?

Finding motivation…

I wanted to digress from theorycrafting and paladin tanking for another short blurb on something that comes with the territory when you decide to become a tank for a guild or even more so a leader for a guild. I wanted to talk about motivation and what keeps you going when the end is in sight. I am currently having a crisis of commitment when it comes to my guild, it’s overall mission statement, and what we are trying to achieve as a collective group.

About a month ago, one of our officers came to us with the suggestion to recruit a player from TBC who left the guild and later the game for a while. We are currently in need of a few good players and he seemed to think that bringing back his friend to the guild would help bolster our ranks and reinvigorate the raiding corps with a skilled player. What transpired as a result was a less than pleasant discussion between old raiders on whether or not they wanted him in the guild. One of our officers was persistent to the point of frustration, a few of our oldest members thought it was a good idea, while one of our long time members was completely and whole heartedly against it. After weeks of people talking to all the involved parties, a picture of what people thought came to light, and his application was posted for comments from the rest of the guild.

To provide you with a bit of history regarding this person, he was a skilled player who was one of our better rogues during Sunwell. However, he had issues, which he has admitted since then. He created a rift in the officer corps between people who wanted to keep him because he was a good player and people who couldn’t stand some of the things he pulled at the expense of the guild. Fast forward two years. He has been away from the game for some time, is more of an adult, and has admitted his faults. His friends are adamant that he is a better person and would be a quality player for our raiding roster. Some of the current officer corps still is against it, some is for it. Many of the old and crusty raiders are against him coming back, few of whom still raid with us but have stuck around and always have had the best interests of the guild in mind. In contrast, most of the new raiders, who have shaped what the guild direction has become over the past year are in favor of inviting him.

What this has to do with my motivations…

I just wanted to provide you with some context as to what is going on so that you understand where this is coming from. I have over the past month acted as a mediator to this painful and stubborn debate on whether or not this player will be accepted into our guild. There are multiple threads in the officer forums about it, and there is a three page application in our guild forums which contains all positive or all negative perspectives. I personally am conflicted from a different perspective. In Sunwell I was a healer, and I was not an officer. I logged on, played, and logged off. It was a beautiful time where no one was bothering you with issues, and you did not have to worry about drama, raiding logistics, or member turn around. From this stand point, I really dont have any strong opinion of this applicant one way or another.

I remember that he made a fuss when someone else got the first glaive, I remember the fact that he complained so much he got the next two, and I remember when he stopped showing up because it suited him. But, I have also heard countless stories about how he has grown up, changed, and is a better person from trusted sources. This is why I am in the middle when it comes to his application. What pushed me over the edge, and has brought me to the point where I have little motivation to log on any more is the persistance from both sides to either get him in the guild or keep him out. From one side, there is a raider who has been a member of our guild for close to three years, and more than that, a fellow guild member of mine for 5 years, who is adamant about the fact that he will quit or step down if this person is let into our guild. From the other end is the applicants best friend, and current officer of our guild. My fellow officer has pushed this application to the point of no return, making idle threats, talking to each and every one of the other officers about it, and confronting the opposition on multiple occasions.

I personally think that this issue has stressed the officer corps enough that it has taken weeks if not months off of the longevity of the guild in WoTLK. Most of our officers are on our last legs as it is, and this has just made the problems of leading this guild even more pronounced.  I am having a very hard time motivating myself to continue to lead the guild and play the game in its current iteration. There are multiple escapes to this. I can quit the game, but I still enjoy it when I play and when I talk about theorycraft. I could server transfer and join another guild. Or, I could just stick it out. The type of person I am makes me want to stick it out, as I am very loyal and do not leave at the first sign of a problem. However, this has illustrated a glaring gap in our leadership and our guild as a whole, which forces me to want to hang my hat up. I also fear that if the guild has their way, this applicant is allowed in, and a long time member or two quit the guild or the game, that I have failed as a leader. While our guild is on its last legs, failing at encounters which should be one shots, it is still our guild. We are a shadow of the top 200 guild we were at the beginning of ICC, but we are still just as good as any other horde guild on our server.

A way out

In the end it is just a game, and if the game is causing this much undue stress, then its not worth playing, however when I am not dealing with guild issues, it is still fun. I will really have to begin to reflect on what I want out of this game to see if it is worth continuing on. If i could go back to just being a tank for a top guild, worrying about my strategy, gearing, encounter mechanics, and cooldown usage, I would be much happier. However, I have made a commitment to my guild, and I fear that if I break that commitment, I will break the guild.

/end rant

07
Jul
10

Halion Hard Mode

The ruby sanctum has come!

I wanted to talk about our strategy for the Ruby Sanctum. This past weekend, we took a 10 man into ruby sanctum to kill Halion. We started off on hard mode and gave it quite a few shots for learning. After about four hours, we concceded and killed him on normal, but I have a feel for the fight, and am confident that there is nothing more I need to do to set our guild up for success. The fight is fairly simple in concept, but quite difficult to execute in practice. For those of you who have not seen the hard mode, enjoy my first thoughts on the fight. After I take our guild back in for the kill on hard mode, I will come back with a full breakdown, pictures, and maybe even some videos.

The most difficult part of this fight is that everyone has to have exceptional situational and environmental awareness. We unfortuantely did not have that and the same people kept dying to the same things every attempt.

Phase 1, yawn…

The first phase of the encounter starts when you pull the boss. we pull the boss and put him tangental to the outside of the circle. If you can get the boss up against the flame ring, your doing it right. We basically start the encounter pulling him to the outer ring and then twisting his body and walking him along the ring. The entire raid stands at the back hind leg closer to the middle of the circle. Periodically someone will get a debuf called Firey Combustion, which needs to be dispelled as soon as possible. The trick is that once it is dispelled it drops it unleashes a patch of fire proportional in size to the number of charges present at the time. This means that they need to be placed somewhere other than the raid.

A bug or an issue: When positioning him, it is possible for you to walk outside of the circle on the ground and lock yourself out of the room when the encounter gets going. I did this, and our other tank did this. Do not panic, as the off tank be ready to pick up the boss if this happens and dont panic. You only need one tank for Phase 1, and in Phase 2 the person who is outside will get ported in…

Now that you have him situated, and no one is locked out, you can begin the encounter in earnest. Since the raid is standing on his hind leg, the person with firey combustion should run parallel to his tail and drop the patch of fire at the very edge of the playable area. This fire ring will persist for two more firey combustion casts. This means that you should only have two circles on the ground at once if executed properly. The other mechanic in phase 1 is a meteor which is very easy to avoid. About 5 seconds before the meteor collides with the ground it will have an aura pulsing on the ground which looks like a flame strike or a paladin consecrate. If you do not avoid this, you will die from the impact.

Phase 1 lasts from 100% to 75%, at which time halion will phase and a portal will appear in his place. As the tank you must spam click this and get into the shadow realm first. Once in the realm, you will see Halion standing in the middle of the room, just as he did before you pulled for the start of the encounter. He does not aggro instantly, however it would be prudent for you to run and hit him with a SoR as soon as possible. I usually flip him 180 degrees and have his tail facing the entrance to the instance. This allows for your raid to run directly from where they zone in to his side where they will start dpsing.

Phase 2, and the LASERBEAMS OF DEATH

One of our officers said it best, this phase is completely controlled by the tank. This is because during the shadow realm phase, you will be tanking him while laser beams circle the room. In hard mode, there are four purple orbs that rotate around the outside of the circle. they are 90 degrees appart from each other and will periodically, on a timer, activate and create laser beams which form a cross and continue to rotate. If any member of the raid is hit by one of these they are dead.

In order to get out of this phase unscathed, the tank needs to execute properly. What this means is that you must watch your cooldown timers as well as the orbs in the room. When the beams activate, you want the purple balls to be at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock, and the dragon’s tail should be at noon. If this is the case, all you have to do is rotate slowly with circular strafing motions to stay in between the beams.  If you have executed this perfectly, no one is dead, and the boss was spun on a dime, still standing in the exact middle of the room.

PRO TIP: at the end of the clockwise rotation, when the beams dissipate, take one or two steps back from the direction you came (counter-clockwise). This will align the orbs perfectly for the next beam and you wont have to move until the beams appear.

The other mechanic which is employed during this fight is one similar to Firey Combustion. It also needs to be dispelled ASAP and will drop a shadow patch on the ground. These need to be dropped as close to the outside of the circle as possible, with time being an important consideration. If you can successfully complete this, you should be into phase 3 at 50%.

Phase 3, fire and shadow!

The physical and the magical realm, the fire and the shadow, are in existance in this phase, and there is a catch. You have to balance your dps inside the shadow realm  and outside in the physical realm. If one of the realms gets too far ahead the dragon will take 0 damage, and the other one will hit like a mack truck. The key is to ensure that you are with in a few percent of each other. Sounds easy doesnt it?

Well thats because it is, the hard part is that the fire patches which are present in phase 1 and the shadow patches which are present in phase 2 are in both realms. So if you drop a shadow patch in the shadow realm, it also shows up in the same place in the fire realm. Managing these patches, and controlling dps is the key to successfully completing this encounter. All of the mechanics of phase 1 and phase two are still in effect, the only difference is that there are more patches to avoid and to drop, and you have half the healers in each realm so your tanks will be harder to heal, as they are taking more damage and you have less healers.

You should save your cooldowns for when your healer gets the Firey Combustion, or Similar shadow debuf, as they will be running out and dispellign themselves, leaving a gap in their ability to heal you. I will come back in a few days and give you the run down on the fight with screen shots, more pro tips, and possibly a video!

Good luck everyone!




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