Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guild Loot Systems

So, I've been thinking about various loot systems used by different guilds, and trying to figure out what really is the 'best', if there is such a thing. It all really came to a climax tonight when Essy went to Kara with another guild. She was on standby with one guild, but they didn't need her, so when a friend was having internet connection problems, she stepped in on his behalf. She saw three events - Shade of Aran, Chess and Netherspite. There was some confusion on what loot rules applied, since she was not part of their guild, and it turned out she was not permitted to roll when Drape of the Dark Reavers dropped. She was told that Mr.X would be allowed to pick up an item first, and she could roll on anything after that. So, Mr.X got the loot and on we went. The Chess event only dropped plate items, both of which were sharded. Then we went to Netherspite, who dropped Skulker's Greavers and Mithril Band of the Unscarred. The rings Essy has are better but the leggings would have been a substantial upgrade. She asked again if she could roll on the legs, and was told, no, another rogue would be getting them.

Essentially, this guild's loot rules are members first. I can understand this in a way. However, Deressy's guild has different rules, and I agree with them too. In her guild, anyone in the raid has the ability to roll on items. There is no member/non-member distinction. Sure, someone may be running Kara over and over for a single drop. I've seen this happen, actually. In one case, a hunter had been running Kara weekly for over 7 months for the chance to pick up Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix. This hunter was not in our guild, and yet when it dropped, not only did she get to roll on it, but she won it (she was ecstatic). But essentially, anyone who is spending the time and money to raid with us (once they've come in, they are saved to the instance and essentially can't go in elsewhere) is eligible to roll, as if they were a guild member.

Our guild did recently make a change to a rather interesting/odd set of rules - I have been worried it would be hard to enforce, and I've seen a certain amount of exploiting of the rules, but in reality, there have been no "real" problems. In each night of raiding, each person has 1 need and 1 greed roll available. Then, if any item is going to be sharded (no one needed or greeded) then anyone who can use the item has a "free roll". If you roll and lose, it doesn't count against you. The idea is to keep one person from walking out with all the loot. For the most part, this system has been successful. (One of our guild members even went so far as to give away the T4 helm he had just won to someone else who had been trying for it for several months longer).

But then there's also the issue of folks (we had one recently) who join the guild, come on one or two runs, pick up a bunch of loot and then quit the guild. How does a guild prevent this? I'm not sure other than making people wait for loot, but that won't keep them from quitting once they *do* get it. And often it's the newest members who are most in need of new gear. Some guilds, particularly those who have progressed beyond Kara, farm Kara and take new members in there for the specific purpose of gearing them up.

To a degree, I think the loot system a guild uses is somewhat indicative of the character and values of the guild itself. While dkp systems might make some of the issues go away, smaller guilds and/or smaller runs (Kara, ZA) might not find dkp worth the hassle until they get into 25-man instances.

I'm curious what other systems are out there, and how successful they've been. If you have a system that you use, please post the details in a comment. I'd love to hear how it works and how successful it's been for you.

Labels: ,

Monday, January 28, 2008

Humor in WoW

I was sitting here thinking of what to blog about...I seem to put a lot of posts up of raiding. But there are so many things that happen daily and much of it is hilarious. How much will be funny to you? Excellent question. Here are a few of my favorite moments in WoW (in no particular order):

1. Raid on Silvermoon - my friend Coco invited me along with her guild (the now-defunct Fate) to raid Silvermoon. I brought *zul and our pally tank, Lup. There were about 40-50 Alliance and wow! What fun!

2. Raiding on Coffee - a couple of weeks ago, our warlock/pally decided to make coffee for the raid. We raid on Friday nights. It was *extremely* obvious when the coffee kicked in. He went from " it's time to move on to the next boss." to "Well,ICAN'TBELIEVEWEJUSTDIDTHAT!OMGTHATWASFUN!LET'SDO
MORE!PRINCE!COFFEECOFFEECOFFEE!" *zul even went out and bought him some Black Coffee for the next raid.

3. Bye bye Imp - this one is rather recent and one of my favorites! So, we were fighting Maiden - two druid healers and the pally tank in his healing gear to dispel the Holy Fire she does. Our warrior off-tank was tanking Maiden. People call our their names when they've been Holy Fired so the pally knows who to focus on. All of the sudden, Tom, our warlock cries "SHE HOLY FIRED MY IMP!!" There were a lot of laughs and Lup said "I'll dispel". Of course, it was MUCH too late - holy fire on an imp means instant death, pretty much. But hey, at least that was one less *player* that got holy fired! I wonder...what if we all brought out our non-combat pets...? Nawwww...

4. Pukefest in Lower City - I'm sure many of you have done this quest before... It's an extremely LONG quest chain that starts with The Hand of Gul'dan. Somewhere late in the chain, you have to go find a Rotten Arakoa Egg and take it to Tobias in lower city, who promptly eats it. Here's the result:

5. Running Black Morass with a Pally Tank - the picture says it all!


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blog Azeroth

So, if you haven't seen it yet, you must not have been reading your blogs lately. Cheers to Phae, Valenna, Bellwether, Kestrel and Galadria! Blog Azeroth is up and running - a fantastic resource and gathering place for WoW bloggers! If you have a WoW blog (or are thinking of starting one), I encourage you to check it out!



Well, I had my first peek at Zul'Aman last Sunday when a friend's guild was short a healer. They are in progression mode and didn't expect to get past the second boss, but I figured why not?

We had three healers with us and it was a good thing! Those guys hit hard! It was an expensive, learning experience and I had a great time! On one of our tries on the second boss, we had him down to 6% but then on one of the storms someone didn't come in and the whole group got hit with too much damage.

They asked me if I'd come back later tonight, and I said I would. Yesterday, however, I got a whisper asking if I could go in then too. A few negotiations (*zul is heading out of town on Monday and I was looking forward to spending time with him) and both Hunzul and Deressy got invites. It was a very different group of people that had been in with us before (although I heard they went back in on Monday or Tuesday and downed the second and third bosses).

Shortly before heading in, another friend of mine told me to "kiss his frog". Now, I thought that was a bit weird, but I tried it - giving Mojo a was *hilarious*! I was polymorphed into a frog, he ran around following me, asking me "Your lilypad or mine" and throwing hearts my way. Apparently Mojo is a drop you can get using an Amani Hex Stick in Zul'Aman. Yay! Something *fun* to try for. Sadly, I didn't get a single hex stick.

We downed the first boss rather easily but missed the timer. We made a few attempts at the second boss, but for some reason, people just weren't moving quick enough and we couldn't get him down. We decided to try to move on to the Lynx boss. I managed to do a quest turn-in along the way, but before we got to him, folks were tired and decided to call it a night. Bummer.

Oh well...there's always tonight!

Labels: ,

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Race in Kara

So last night, Deressy and Hunzul went back to Kara. There was a bit of confusion as our raid leader had posted two groups, starting about an hour from one another. When he went to delete one, people had signed up for the later group - and so there was a LOT of confusion on the start time. Apoc (the raid leader) actually ended up stepping out of the group to allow one of our newer members, a shaman, to join when he arrived after being one of many confused by the time.

Then Apoc declared a race to Prince - he was going with his old guild (a guild currently raiding in Black Temple). Ha, yeah right. We *did* have about a 10 minute head start, but still. There was also a question of whether we'd be able to down Moroes without Apoc. Not *my* question, mind you, but the tanks weren't sure if they could do it. Also, we had a borrowed healer (one of our guild members had a toon in the guild Apoc was going with) who had never healed with our group before (more on last week's pally in another post).

We had a couple of silly deaths on trash, but no wipe (nice change). Attumen went down without much trouble and dropped his obligatory badge for everyone and a couple of items no one really wanted - Vambraces of Courage, which one of our tanks begrudgingly took, and Gauntlets of Renewed Hope, which were D/E'd.

On to Moroes. We actually one-shotted him, and had no real problems whatsoever. It was a beautiful thing. And we were *still* ahead of Apoc and his group. Moroes dropped Royal Cloak of Arathi Kings, which our new DPS warrior snatched up, and Crimson Girdle of the Indomitable, which went to one of our tanks.

On to Maiden. Our pally tank decided to let the off-tank take care of Maiden and he stepped back and healed a bit, dispelling the Holy Fire she does. Just as we were waiting to start the maiden fight (Lup was putting on his healing gear), Apoc messages me that Moroes is down. Maiden dropped for us in one-shot, too (we're having a very good night so far) and gave us Iron Gauntlets of the Maiden, which our off-tank needed and took, and Bands of Nefarious Deeds, which our warlock picked up without having to spend a roll.

On to the opera event. Now, I've done this maybe six or eight times now, and have seen Oz a *load* of times, and the Big Bad Wolf three times. I have never seen Romulo and Julienne. Until last night! W00t! A couple of the guys that HAD seen it explained it ahead of time so we'd know what would happen. There was a bit of confusion on who spawns first, but since you are only fighting one at that time, it doesn't seem to matter much. For the record, first you kill Julienne. Then Romulo. Then they both pop up together and you have to kill them both within a few seconds of one another. We put all our dps on one, then had the tank hold aggro on that one while getting the other's health down too. One thing we'd do differently next time, is that we got Julienne's health down first. However, she has a nasty habit of trying to heal herself. Next time, we'll do Romulo first and then Julienne - it will probably go a bit smoother. At any rate, we one-shotted the event.

Curator was next. This is the fight I'm probably most familiar with, as it's quite straight forward. He went down rather quickly and dropped Gloves of the Fallen Hero, which our warlock snapped up uncontested, and Forest Wind Shoulderpads. I don't think I've *ever* seen those shoulderpads *not* drop.

We made a couple of attempts on Illhoof, even bringing in a good priest friend of mine when our other healer couldn't stay awake any longer. However, everyone was tired, so we decided to skip on to Aran. We one-shotted Aran, who dropped Pauldrons of the Justice Seeker (which got D/E'd) and Shermanar Great-Ring, which our pally tank picked up with a need roll.

We decided to move to Chess and then call it a night. I was really hoping my boots would drop! My boots serious need replacing - I am wearing blues. I have a couple of purple cloth boots, but they are more spec'd for boomkin than healing. I had no luck though. We D/E'd Legplates of the Innocent and our off-tank picked up Battlescar Boots on a free roll.

Needless to say, we didn't win the "race" but we had a good time along the way. We've got a good bit to cover on Monday night now - and... (YAY!) I can now summon Nightbane! W00t!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Monday Night Clean-up

We recently reorganized the nights and times we raid to better fit into people's schedules. And we just concluded our second week of the new schedule. Essentially, we raid Fridays and Mondays. Friday night, our goal is to clear as much as we possibly can. Monday is clean-up day. No, I don't mean we clean our houses, computers, stray WoW add-ons...we finish up anything we might have missed in Kara on Friday.

Last Monday, we had three bosses to finish - Illhoof, Nightbane and Netherspite. We started with Netherspite and never got him down. It was a bit demoralizing.

This week, we didn't even get to Prince on Friday. Folks were just a bit too tired, so after Chess, we stopped - which meant we had four bosses left for Monday. In addition, we had a brand new healer with us - one of our guild members that picked up some healing gear (that was off-spec for him) on Friday and decided to respec. To be honest, I was completely nervous about running Kara with two healers and one of them being completely new at healing.

Our start was rocky. We wiped a couple of times on trash - stuff we clear every week and shouldn't have problems with. The healing was suddenly very hard for me - indicating we weren't working well together. I can't emphasize enough how important communication is. A quick chat with the other healer, a few directions and the healing was immensely smoother. We still had a couple of bad wipes when he was AFK or got disconnected, but on the whole, he did a good job.

To be totally honest, I wasn't sure we'd get anyone down but Prince (and possibly not even him, with the new healer)...and he sometimes depends on whether the infernals decide to drop on your head and cut you off.

As it turns out, the Prince fight went pretty well. We had some new folks with us, and it was the first time they'd seen the fight. Luprey tanked it this time - he'd never downed Prince before as the Main Tank (MT). On the first try, it was a definite wipe - the enfeeble got about 3 people on the very first one. Second try was also a wipe. The third try, we had it down pretty good. He was at 6% and I was pretty excited, we were all still alive. The roaming axes took out a couple of people and then an infernal dropped on our heads! We had nowhere to go but to Prince, so we moved up (I was the marker, with a big blue square over my head) and stood right on top of Prince and the MT. I couldn't stand the idea we'd have him down to 4% and not down him. 3% I mean. Well, 2% and a couple more people died. Those who were down were hollering over vent to "Do it! You can do it!" "Down the...(use your imagination, this is a family-friendly site)!" And Prince went down! I've got a nice long list of things I'd like to roll on from Prince, but the only thing I wanted he dropped was the T4 Helm. There was no doubt in my mind I'd use my need roll- and I did. One of our new tanks, Bromstein, won the roll. Grats, Brom!

Next, we decided to head down to Illhoof. We had attempted him once before - but at that time we had low dps and essentially no AoE other than our warlock. While we still didn't have a mage with us tonight, we figured we'd try it - we had a shammy, two hunters and the warlock. We wiped the first time - many folks had never seen the fight before at all. Wiped the second. I think the third too (I'm terrible at keeping count on how many attempts we've had - probably a bit of a defense too - it keeps me from getting discouraged). However, we *did* kill Illhoof - we "worked it out" as our raid leader would say. By the time he was down, so was the other healer and several others. A small crew was left to kill Kil'rek, but he went down too! Our first ever Illhoof kill! Yay! The one item I was hoping Illhoof would drop, the Cord of Nature's Sustenance didn't drop. Oh well.

On to Netherspite! Upon arriving in Netherspite's chambers, we explained the fight to all the new folks who had never seen it. This time, we decided to attempt the fight without any of the healers stepping into a beam. Non-mana users were going to be taking care of that beam for us. And you know what? We one-shotted him! Woot! Someone had suggested running through the green beam if you got low on mana, but that was never an issue for me - with the banish phases and everyone bandaging during that phase (although I did throw a few heals on the way to the windows), my mana never got that low. We lost Hunzul early in (he was out of range of both healers), but after another banish, I rez'd him - we were doing really well and wanted the DPS. No sense in saving the battle rez for another attempt. Again, he didn't drop anything on my wishlist but yay! (Hunzul did get a really nice drop though).

Now I was really hoping we'd head to Nightbane next - I was feeling lucky! Unfortunately, we had only one person who could summon Nightbane (and on an alt), so we called it a night.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Bit of This and That and a One Night Clear (Mostly) of Kara

So it's been a while since I've posted - I've actually started several posts that I never finished. Why you may ask? Well, it started with a bit of a frustrating week in Kara. Despite getting some nice loot (Shard of the Virtuous", Ruby Slippers), we had some issues downing bosses we normally down with little or no problem. We got Oz at the Opera again (that wasn't really a problem, other than that it glitched on the start and we had to reset and start it over), but we just couldn't seem to down a couple of others.

Being a relative noob to our guild, I've been (thankfully) rather ignorant of the politics (read: drama) in our guild and prefer to remain so. On Friday night, there were a few things that happened and by the next morning, our main raid leader, shammy healer and mage had walked out. Because of their departure, we lost some others, including another mage/rogue and our main holy priest. Now, I think if they had just left we still would have lost a few, but there was also a big hubub when they left. And of course, that just made things worse.

I hate drama! Have I said that already? But really I do! Part of me wonders if our guild will survive. Part of me feels obligated to stick it out to the bitter end to try and MAKE it work - particularly since a few of my friends have joined there now too. Am I keeping my eyes open? Yes. Am I leaving now? No. Am I stupid enough to think this will be an easy road? No. But I'm not a quitter - once I join something, it is VERY hard for me to walk away. Too bad, really - the easy way out would be to quit.

On a positive note, we did a fairly complete clear of Kara last night - we missed a couple of bosses, but we cleared Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, Opera (Little Red Riding Hood - YAY, it wasn't Oz again!), Curator, Aran, Chess and Prince. We also did a couple of attempts on Nightbane and one on Illhoof, neither fight I'd seen before. I think we could take one or both on another night - we had virtually no AoE - and only one warlock. Our group makeup for the night was two warriors (the offtank was brand-newish in Kara), two shadow priests, two resto druids, two hunters, one warlock and one rogue. The great news is both Hunzul and Deressy (Gloves of the Fallen Defender which I used to get Handguards of Malorne, Aran's Soothing Sapphire and Girdle of Treachery, got some new gear! AND Cianna, one of our friends, got the Sunfury Bow of the Phoenix to drop off Prince that she's been trying for since July!

So Deressy went instead. It was, however, a rather frustrating week there. We downed Attumen, Moroes, Maiden, got Oz at the Opera (again!) and chess. Deressy walked out with some nice new gear - . Not bad, eh?

It wasn't terribly late but a few of our folks had to leave due to early work the next day, so we put the rest off until Friday.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend

It's true, isn't it? I mean, all the commercials say so, so it *must* be true. So from this, we can extrapolate that WoW, like many other folks who operate on the internet, think girls just don't exist on the internet, right? I mean, yeah, they give you free gems once a month (if you are at least friendly with the Consortium) but are there *ever* any diamonds in there? No! I mean, what's up with *THAT*?

Labels: ,