Monday, April 27, 2009



In other words, "Party is to raid as a hostess is to raid leader".

Not a party as in a group of five people coming together for an instance or even quests. A party analogy to the real world. Perhaps pot luck would do better. Either way, however, my point stands. As a hostess, you plan the event. You send out the invitations, prepare your house and perhaps an itinerary for the meet. You expect people to be there, [in the case of a pot luck] you expect them to bring something.

In that way, a raid leader is like a hostess. A raid leader plans out the expedition, finds the people, arrange a time, expects those who said they could come to come on time, and if not on time, call ahead. In return, everyone else expects the raid leader to be there, have everything figured out, and lead the raid.

But what if that silent contract was broken? As many raiders -- and raid leaders -- know, some raiders can't show up all the time due to family, work, or other business. That is understandable. They notify and sometimes even find a replacement. However, there are also other raiders who simply fail to show. They may have promised up to five minutes before invites to show, but as the raid time comes, there is no sign of them. No word with anyone in or out of the raid, or anyone in game, they're just not there.

Those are the raiders a raid can not afford to keep around. Most raids need someone dependable, most raids need their people that say "yes, I will come" to actually come. The waiting around without any certainty wears on the raid, and the best thing to do is to ask them to kindly step out for someone more reliable.

Another situation.

What if it was the raid leader him -- or her -- self? What if it was they that failed to show? What if they did not send invites and all that they could say to the question of "is there a raid this weekend?" was "don't know" or "too busy right now, ask later"? What if, on the raid night, the raid leader isn't around, hasn't told anyone, hasn't appointed a substitute raid leader in her absence? What then?

It was the situation one of my Naxx10, was to move to Ulduar10 raids found themselves in. She had lead us well for six weeks, then started fading away and leaving the group uncertain. A few weeks later, we were still getting the "I don't know"s and "too busy"s. During this time, I had taken up leadership and made an alts raid for those of the raid members that had wanted to continue and bring alts, and moved it to a different day so that, when she returned, we both could run a raid and keep everyone happy. Sure, it was not as smooth as the mains -- some people had no alts, and, therefore, dropped out, but we did manage to get through it and had fun despite the length.

However, it was this past weekend that we found out the truth. The week before, she had taken her only eighty to an impromptu Naxx, and come the weekend, said eighty was saved and her other character was level seventy-six. That was the week when she said that the vote was "Naxx or nothing" -- we had meant to start Ulduar that week. Naxx it was, and leadership was handed off to me that week, and it took me an hour to find substitutes for the raid leader, her significant other, and two others who wouldn't go if she wouldn't. Last weekend, we asked about Ulduar again, and she said something to the effect of "not this week -- can [Lin] lead it?" She was going to shove raid leadership of a brand new raid instance off to me, with three hours of prep. It was established by the interest the week before that some of the people refuse to go unless she lead the raid, for they were her friends.

I refused.

One of the raid members sent her a tell in query, and found out that she "had little interest in raiding tens", and, in essence, probably won't come back to us. That was frustrating, for, in our channel she was still acting indecisive with her "I don't know"s and "I'm busy"s.

In relation, I thought it fitting of a hostess. A party can not proceed if the hostess is unavailable. If the planner does not plan, how are people to know when and were to be?

For a raid leader to act quite unlike a raid leader without a good reason, it is unacceptable. They have nine [or, in a twenty-five, twenty-four] people looking to them for guidance, and they signed that silent contract to give said guidance when they decided to put together the raid.

So what is to be done? Do we move on without them? Do we let the raid fall apart?

There was enough interest in our group that I am going to attempt to start Ulduar without her, with both the people from the original raid, as well as friends of those from the group.

My worry is that the raid leader's alt is near eighty. What then? Will she have a sudden renewal of interest in raiding so that her alt can be geared up? Are we then obliged to let her join the raid again and take over leadership, for it was once her raid, or do we have a right to say "no, you ditched us when you say no profit for you, why should we gear your alt up"?

In that, I need advice. What is to be done? Have I taken the right steps by moving on, creating another raid out of the ashes of hers? Can I even let her back into the raids and take leadership again? What happens then when she gets bored/out geared for the content again? We will land up right where we are now...


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Where to Now and Raids...

Three-point-one today. Another ginormous "We'll fix it!" patches, where Blizzard admits that their content wasn't quite right and is going to flip every other thing that all classes know around a bit. Oh, and a new raid content to explore and have many wipe fests on. Joy!

Forgive me if I don't sound super excited. I have mixed feelings about the patch.

On one hand, new goals to strive for, as well as the highly anticipated Dual Specs [which my druid and shaman are going to participate in -- resto/PvEferal for Losse, resto/enhancement for Kanta [I have an unhealthy obsession with healing, can't you tell? It's a good thing, I suppose, for everyone else! I'm just glad I can now be resto for my raids and still kill things effectively!]].

On the other hand, learning wipes. I hate learning wipes. I know and understand they're necessary and bound to happen, but, at the same time, I hate it. [And yet, somehow I'm in a raid where we die fourteen times over the span of four hours to kill everything in Construct and Noth. Eight wipes on Grobby-face, not fun! Ah well, they need to learn and have a guide...]

Also, I have only a vague concept of how to be enhancement. I was resto from one to thirty-nine, enhancement from then to about seventy-one [healed off spec for all instances though], and resto from then on, more or less. It's been two or so months since I've hit eighty, and a few more on top of that since I've truly been DPS. So I get to learn how to play enhancement all over again, and remember that button mashing really doesn't do much [never does, but I do it as a bear anyway]. Spec wise, I have the general gist, minus a few odds and ends here and there. Hopefully Stonebaby at Big Hit Box will be able to shed a bit more light on it all.

My mage, for now, will stay her frost/arcane spec. Her Glyph of Frostbolt makes PvP a pain, which is why I will be considering a different spec -- or even the same spec and a few tweaks with different glyphs for PvP. This would have to mean I would PvP a lot though, so it's an entire new dilemma.

Raids! RBD got their first KT kill a while back, and since then, we've been struggling weekly to kill him. Some weeks, we succeed, other weeks, stuff happens and we only have one shot at him or we have to end on Sapphiron. I am proud of RBD, but I think we can achieve more if we can kill during loot, as well as starting on time rather than waiting for all twenty-five, including subs and pugs, to show up. After a few months, Losse is finally feral for them, and she tanks every boss in Construct up to KT himself, where she gets to be on add duty thanks to her better survivability [so the raid leaders say].

Kaizen, Kanta's twenty-fives, got Sarth3D last week as well as the twenty-man Naxx run with only four healers, for which she was one of the lucky four. Her raid makes me cry a bit and wish Losse was with them. Losse deserves all of the best because she's my favorite and first, but Kanta's taking the spotlight. As long as I keep telling myself that at least I get to see the content and take those challenges, no matter who I am on, I am content...

Mel's Naxx10 was two deaths away from Undying this past week, which annoyed all of us. One of them was my dying -- healers didn't heal me through Jagged Knife, and I died -- and the other, because our raid leader stood too close to our healer on KT and she almost blew both of them up. We managed to save the healer but couldn't quite get her... She did, however, go do twenty-minute Oculus and got that achievement with one minute to spare -- it was the raid leader's last achievement needed, and, therefore, we were able to watch the raid leader zoom around on a pretty red proto-drake.

Where are we now?

Waiting for the servers to come up so we can dump our gold into dual specs and start moaning about the server instability that always occurs after a patch, and wondering if raids will actually take place today due to said server instability...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We Did It!

Three real nights of Sarth3D practice, two weeks off for breaks -- we [Kaizen's raid] did achievements in the meantime. Ten hours of pain and suffering, probably around two hundred gold repair each of the three nights... [two-thirds or so of it was paid by the guild bank, so I'm not sobbing too much].

But it was all worth it.

Sartharion with all three drakes up on twenty-five man. It was messy, it took a lot of practice, but, in the end, we persevered.

So now, I have a shiny new title to show off for all of our hard work:

Twilight Vanquisher Nirkanta.

Has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

[[ I lost the roll to the drake by ONE. Now that's something to cry over. That's okay. I saw it was very blue. It's the magey that really wants it... But now I'm off to bed. Seven in the morning and I've been having stomach pains all night. Had to share the good news though! ]]