Never Allow Loot to be Wasted

Last night in Magtheridon’s Lair, the [item]Crystalheart Pulse-Staff[/item] dropped. During the bidding phase, it was put up for a minimum of 30 Dragon Kill Points. I placed a 30 bid. After the first round, the highest bid was 30 which I assumed was mine. But just to be on the safe side, my second round bid was 37. At the end, I got the staff with 30 DKP (my original).

I just had this feeling that no one wanted it. Either that or they were busy saving up their DKP for something else. I was frightened that a weapon like this would get wasted and today I wanted to write about the importance of not allowing loot to rot.

Don’t ever be afraid to roll need on an item or bid DKP on an item. If it’s better then what you have, then whisper it to an officer so they can take it into account. There is no sense in replacing someone’s purple items with more purple items when there are other players wearing blues that would benefit more from it. It defies logic and common sense. Every piece of gear no matter how minor or insignificant an upgrade is still an upgrade. That extra 17 spell damage could go a long way in a 30 minute fight.

What is the premise behind World of Warcraft? Once you get to 70, you get the best loot possible, to go into a dungeon to get even better gear to go into the next level dungeon to get even BETTER gear to get into the next highest dungeon. That’s the game in a nutshell.

Skill can only get you so far. Everyone needs better gear. No guild is going to progress if loot continually gets disenchanted. Yet a lot of people pass and hoard DKP for that one weapon or chest piece that will drop off this boss later on in the instance. Guess what? If Vashj drops your chest piece, and you’re still on Fathom-Lord with gear that you can use getting sharded because you’re too greedy, you’re not getting that chest piece anyway.

Anyways, let’s get back to my new staff. A lot of priests prefer a mace/off hand combination because it allows for flexibility (And [item]Light’s Justice[/item] + [item]Aran’s Soothing Sapphire[/item] is just a freakin’ awesome combination). I originally had the [item]Gavel of Pure Light[/item] & [item]Signet of Unshakable Faith[/item]. Let’s compare the stats shall we?

With the Light’s Justice and Sapphire combination, I get:

514 healing (assuming +81 Healing)
43 Intellect
16 Stamina
20 Spirit
8 MP5

The Staff gives me:

463 healing (assuming +81 healing)
50 Intellect
51 Stamina
16 MP5

I lose 51 healing and 20 spirit, but gain 7 int, 35 stamina, and 8 MP5. There’s a lot of discussions out there between the advantages of Spirit and MP5, but I’ve always leaned towards MP5. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I used that gun so much in counter-strike. But that stamina is such an increase that cannot afford to be wasted especially in end game instances. Instead of being 3 shot, now I have a chance of being 4 shot. That one extra shot could mean the difference between a kill or a wipe.

Furthermore, with the acquisition of the staff, I no longer need to compete against another healer for Light’s Justice. In this manner, our healers can proceed to get geared up much quicker. There’s less Kara runs that need to be done. The Guild progresses at a quicker rate. That’s what we all want. My goal is to see Carnage in the Sunwell before Wrath of the Lich King is released. Chances of that happening? Eh, I’d rather see the Spice Girls make a come back. Oh, wait a minute…

My definition of a good Priest

I wanted to respond to Ego’s Post (and try out this spiffy trackback function). She asked for player’s definitions of a good priest. Amazingly, gear was not on the list of responses that he had received (although I would argue that it is still somewhat important).

This is what he’s got:

“Timing, attentiveness, and care”

“fast reactions, the ability to prioritize between healing dps and keeping the MT up. Ability to remember encounters and boss events that can kill a tank in a few seconds.”

I daresay that sums it up fairly well. But I wanted to add more to this discussion. Healing a party is one thing, healing a 25 man raid with spells flying off, ceilings caving in, and murlocs running rampant throughout the area is another (Tidewalker sucks). I consider myself the Roberto Luongo of the raid . Just like Robbie Lou, I need to hit that save when your raid needs it the most. A timed Power Word: Shield, Prayer of Mending, Renew and max rank flash heal spams will almost always do the trick.

But here are some other things that I feel good priests bring to the table:

Awareness: Did you ever wonder how Gretzky scored his goals and set up the most beautiful plays? It’s the simple fact that he was aware of where his teammates were, where the opposing team was, and who had possession of the puck. How does this apply to WoW? Be aware of where you are, what’s going on, and where your raidmates are. If the boss fears, apply fear ward. If everyone in your party is taking hit from an AoE, start casting prayer of healing. If you’re taking on Nightbane and the ground’s on fire, move! I can’t count the amount of times that I’ve had to yell at a fellow priest because his eyes were too busy glued onto the side of his monitor at his raid frames and wasn’t noticing that his feet was on fire. These kinds of things kill you.

Perseverance: Never give up. No matter what circumstances, keep trying until you get the encounter down. Nothing beats the feeling of getting that raid boss down for the first time and knowing you played a key role in solving the encounter. Good priests are prepared to die to preserve the health of their tanks. In raids, there are typically seven to nine healers. But there is only one main tank. Even if you’re taking a beating, keep him up as best as possible. Once the tank is down, it’s game over.

Precognition: A little psychic ability never hurt anyone. Time your heals so that they land just after the next attack hits. Try to predict what will happen next so you can get ready for it. Actually, this would apply to any player. Especially in PvP environments like arenas, knowing what move the opposing player will do is beneficial. Knowing that mage’s next frostbolt is about to hit you can be mitigated with a shield on yourself, or a fear next to him. Knowing who your Paladin is healing next can save you precious mana against a raid boss. If your assist window shows three of your healers on the maintank who is at 60% and you were about to heal him too, then you will end up overhealing when you finish casting. Better to move onto the next target and make your heals count. Of course, there is someone who is going to say “but what if those three players weren’t enough?”. To them, I say know your healers and know what they’re capable of. Being aware of how skilled and geared you are relative to other players is a boon.

Preparation: I bring 20 super mana potions, 10 TK potions, and 10 SSC potions. I keep two stacks of Brilliant Mana Oils on me at all times. The Guild Bank supplies me with Marks from SSC and TK so I can turn them in for flasks. I ensure I have a steady supply of Blackened Sporefish within my inventory. Don’t ever be afraid to use consumables.

I could sum up this entire post by simply saying only good priests aren’t careless or lazy. But if I did, I would be careless and lazy.

To run a guild is to run a business

Had another rainout again at work, thus we weren’t able to set up our equipment for the day. So I spent my time there with my clipboard and pen out writing as I was inspired by the business I was in.

Throughout your travels in World of Warcraft, all of you will have the distinct pleasure of joining organizations known as Guilds. The purpose of these Guilds will vary. Some will be a small group of friends who have decided to officially band together. Perhaps it is a straight up PvP Guild dedicated to the utter annihilation of the Horde (Or Alliance depending on your faction). However, I believe a majority of Guilds have the intent to tackle end game raid bosses and instances. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a stats somewhere to prove me wrong :D.

A lot of Guildmasters feel stressed about running their guilds. There’s many different things to micro manage and a lot of interpersonal relationships that need to be maintained and balanced. It helps to remember that your Guild operates as a business. It IS similar to work (and others say it IS work), except it is way more fun!

Hogwash you say? My Guild isn’t at all like that?

Perhaps not. It’s true that you aren’t being paid in greenbacks, but you are rewarded with drops, gear, & recipes. Anything that makes you as a player that much better, I consider payment.

Guildmaster: He is the Captain of your ship. She is the CEO of your company. The direction your Guild proceeds in is based on their decision. They decide the schedule of the raid and who gets to attend. Guild policies regarding player behavior, item drops, and disciplinary action belong to the GM.

Recruiting Officer: Typically a position held by one person, I have seen it manned by two players. They are the Human Resources manager within the Guild. They are in charge of hiring (/ginvite) and firing (/gkick) of of personnel. Good HR managers are blessed with excellent instincts. If the guild needs a healer or a DPS caster, they will start headhunting until they find a player that matches the need.

Guild Banker: Most cases, this is also your Guildmaster or another designated officer within the Guild. You can think of this person as your CFO or game accountant. If resources for enchanting or crafting are needed and you are unable to farm (as a Priest, I know I can’t anyway), this is the first person you turn to. In raids, any drops which are used for crafting are usually sent to the banker for Guild needs (Profit)! The next upcoming patch has been confirmed to contain an actual Guild bank.

Now that we’ve covered the essential people involved, let’s talk about the main operations of a raiding Guild. You will raid anywhere between 2 – 6 nights a week from 6 PM to midnight. Sound familiar? Similar to work, no? In addition to that, most players will be farming outside of that time to get mats for potions and mana oils and such. That’s a lot to accomplish in a typical day. Most player’s are not able to handle it and just want to have fun. I guess those are the casual players who may not see as much end game as they prefer.

As a GM, if you approach your Guild as a business perspective, it will help make things easier. Set a role for the Guild. Set a quota that you want to achieve. You want this boss down by this day or week. Lay down the law if you have to. Businesses have different policies about that. Most importantly is communication. Without that, your Guild isn’t able to compete in the harsh rigors of WoW.

iMoved, Diablo 3, and more

I’ve picked up shop and moved over to my new domain! Welcome to the World of Matticus. It’s got a much better URL then before along with a new host. With that in mind, I would greatly appreciate any donations as I am but a student. All donations go straight towards my hosting.

Now comes the unenviable task of modifying my facebook blog import settings. I apologize for the flood that you’re about to receive in your news feeds (if you haven’t disabled them yet).

What I hope to accomplish on my site is to begin first by establishing a resource for Priests. Drawn from my own personal experiences, I hope to help educate and add to the many different Priest guides in existence. I’ve always taken a liking to playing a healer. I think it’s because I never trusted anyone else. Not to mention there’s a nice little power trip going when the fate of a player decides on who you target. I don’t think I’ve ever played a DPS class in any MMO’s I’ve played. I created a Monk in Guild Wars and a Dwarf Minstrel for Lord of the Rings: Online. My WoW characters consist of a Priest, Shaman, Paladin, and Druid (YES DAVE, IT’S MY DRUID!). So yes, I do love to heal.

My second priority after that is the Blizzard gaming scene. Starcraft 2 is on the horizon. Blizzard also has a third unannounced title in the works but there are some indications as to what it could possibly be:

Following that, who knows? I’m a big hockey guy. I love my Canucks. I’ll even blog about them as the year progresses. It’s my intent to maintain one new post per day. But know that the topics will range between World of Warcraft, hockey, and ways to improve ourselves as individuals. That ranges from some pointers I picked out from my former Human Resources boss to different tips on throwing a memorable and enjoyable party.

On that note, feel free to take a look around and enjoy what I have to offer!

Meanwhile, I need to focus more on how to implement collapsible categories.

Either go big or go home!

This is a message delivered to both people and players who believe they can get away with doing nothing.

The people believe they can show up and ride on the backs of others to gain what they do not have the right to gain.

The people who do not put in 100% effort when they are most counted on.

The people who simply are not dedicated to the responsibility that they have been entrusted with.

Who the hell do you think you are? Who are you to join an organization and expect to get handed rewards without pulling your share of work?

Here’s some news for you. Communism is dead. Capitalism is now the norm. If you do not work, you will not survive. They tried that years ago and they failed. Society is based on the premise that you work for what you earn. Without that simple basic principle, life would be virtually non existent. Not everyone can be a professional slacker.

Even in World of Warcraft this simple principle rings true. Work hard and bring your A game. If you don’t pay attention, the boss does not go down and you will waste the time of 24 other people in raids. Then you will get promptly replaced. If you want the rewards, you must work for it.

In hockey, players lay down everything for a chance at cracking the top lineup in the hopes of playing in the real league that matters. One cannot constantly rest the efforts of a key player like Roberto Luongo and expect to coast to success. Life is a big team game where you will be relied upon to work with friends, allies and even enemies towards common goals. If you do not embrace this skill, then you will not get through life easy.

Psychology has a term for this. I believe it is called social loafing. It is the concept wherein the more people that are involved in a task, the less effort everyone contributes individually. If two people deliver a 100% effort to lifting a log, then 10 people will deliver 10% effort each simply because they believe it is not necessary. But imagine the power that all of us can bring to the table if we all contributed 100% to the best of our ability the task at hand. Imagine the combined strength if we all give our best. Stanley Cup’s are awarded to the most deserving team in the entire league. Loot drops from bosses to Guilds who work together with no regard. No one relaxes. No one is ill prepared.

Even the Spartans recognized this important concept of cooperation. The positioning of their personal shields was designed to protect the man next to them.

We would do well to remember that.