Category Archives: The Five

5 Tips for Every Raider

“Five Things” returns with a post inspired by my GM (/RL/Overlord), Boomslang.

I’ve touched on similar topics before, like applying to and impressing your guild, but this is going to focus specifically on raiders. There are different classes, different roles, different buffs and rotations and responsibilities, but there are some things all raiders need to do.

Best. Edit. Ever. Thanks, Goph.

1. Learn the Strat. If you raid regularly with your guild, you know which bosses are progression. You know which bosses you’re comfortable with and which still give you trouble. It’s your responsibility to learn everything you can about these fights and your role in them. Chances are, someone in your guild has posted links to boss strategies and videos in your forums, but if not, there are lots of websites out there with guides and videos.

Not only can you learn the basic boss strat, there’s also usually information out there about how you can maximize your class’s or spec’s performance on the boss in question. Look for “<insert class here> POV” videos to see how other people playing your class are doing the fight.

If you don’t run with a guild, it’s still worth learning the basic strategies for PuGs or LFR; believe me, your group will appreciate it. This goes doubly for LFR tanks.

Strat sites: Tankspot, IcyVeins, Learn to Raid, Manaflask

Hey, could happen.

2. Show Up (or notify!). If you commit to raid, it’s like an appointment or a date. Hopefully you wouldn’t assure your boss or significant other that you will be there at a certain time and then not show up, so don’t do that to your fellow raiders.  Sometimes real life happens. If something gets in the way of you making it to your raid on time, let someone know if you can through an in-game message or a post on your guild forums.

If it’s a short-notice emergency, at least touch base with your raid leader afterwards. “Sorry I didn’t make it to the raid; we lost power for 4 hours because a giant ninja panda karate kicked down the power plant,” is fine (as long as it’s true…).

3. Know Your Class. Some guilds are going to require you to perform at your absolute A-Game best. Some aren’t. But pretty much every raid you go to you are going to be expected to play your class appropriately. You might not know everything yet or you might not have figured out how to execute everything perfectly (and that’s okay), but you need to have an understanding of your basic stats, rotations, gear choices, and utilities.

If you want to be an okay raider, you can stop there. As long as you’re fulfilling your role adequately, you’ll probably be fine, at least for a while. But if you want to be a good raider, keep learning. Don’t get too satisfied. Find out how to maximize your dps, how to use your cooldowns in each boss fight to maximize your survivability, or how to conserve mana while still keeping the raid or tanks alive.

I’m not where I need to be dps-wise. I’m not where I want to be, and you can be sure I’m going to keep finding ways to improve.

Basic class guides: ElitistJerks, Noxxic 

4. Know the Loot Rules. It seems so minor, but I’ve seen more outbursts over loot than probably anything else in the game. If you’re raiding with a guild, chances are they’ve posted the loot rules somewhere. If you can’t find them, ask someone! If you know how the loot’s going to work before you ever get started, there won’t be any surprises.

If you’re running with a PuG or have been picked up to supplement someone else’s guild, clarify the loot rules beforehand. Open rolls? Is anything reserved? Is it okay to hit “disenchant?” Save everyone some drama and find out.

5. Be a Team Player. It sounds trite, but trite doesn’t mean untrue. You are one of 10 or one of 25 raiders. If you could solo the bosses, you would, but you can’t. Be respectful of your fellow raiders. Don’t publicly insult them. Don’t act like you’re the best thing that ever happened to them. Do what you can to help them. Let them give you advice without being defensive. If you have a problem with something, go through the proper channels. Don’t stir up unnecessary drama.

TL;DR: Be the raider you want everyone else in your raid to be. 

Thanks @__ashima and @aerix88 for suggesting Noxxic and Manaflask (and the other sites you mentioned!). Our guild resource guide is coming along nicely. ❤

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5 Events that Moved Me

I don’t have any problem admitting that I’m a big softy (insert moonkin joke here!), and yes, there have been moments as I journeyed through the World of  Warcraft that brought tears to my eyes. Having battle rezzed the Five, here five WoW moments that moved me:

WoWWiki User Zima Stonehammer saves Sharpbeak.

1. Saving Sharpbeak (The Hinterlands). I did this quest while leveling Ambermist back in the day. It was pre-BC, so my husband dragged his level 60 mage out to help me through Jintha’Alor. I did not expect Sharpbeak to tug at my heartstrings the way he did when I saw him in that cage, and I “aww”-ed hardcore. Then UK said, “Oh, you’re going to like this, turn your camera around and look over there.” As Sharpbeak–rescued, reunited, and happy–flew off into the sunset, tears welled up. It was a good moment. Note: According to Wowhead & WoWWiki, this quest is no longer available, but you can still see Sharpbeak (now a mature gryphon!) helping the Wildhammers in the Hinterlands.

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5 Things I Want From My Guild

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but everyone is talking about Cataclysm.

The new guild system is among the most talked about changes coming soon (if you haven’t heard about it, I encourage you to check it out). This, along with the new shared lockout between 10- and 25-man raids, has caused a lot of people to take a step back and consider their guild situation. Those who haven’t previously been members of guilds are considering finding one, and guilds are in the process of determining what the expansion holds for them.

For many reasons, I’ve actually been thinking about guilds for the past six months or so, even before everyone started hypothesizing about guild changes. That thought process boils down to this–the five things I want from my guild. Continue reading


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5 Things You Should Know Before You App

There are a lot of tips to applying to guilds. If you want an overall guide, check out 10 Tips to Successfully Apply to a Raiding Guild over at HotsandDots.

One particular item on their list stands out to me right now, though; and that’s what I want to focus on: Do Your Research.

I have seen applications that were well-written and honest, but completely unraveled with a second glance, all because the person who applied didn’t do their research first.

Here are 5 things you should know about a guild before you apply:

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5 Ways to Fail at Lich King

the five

For the past few weeks, my guild has been trying to down the Lich King on 25-man. Like many guilds right now, we are experiencing a lot of pre-expansion burnout. A lot of our raiders have left for one reason or another, and some choose not to show up for reasons we don’t always understand.

When we do have a full raid, we head to the Frozen Throne. We’ve only made it to Phase 3 one time. Sometimes it’s an issue of timing and practice; sometimes it’s an issue of negligence and complacency. Regardless of the underlying issue, though; the symptoms are the same. In my first “Five” since my hiatus, I present to you the 5 ways to fail at Lich King!

*Note–While I won’t be mentioning anything I would consider a spoiler, I know there are those of you out there who want to go into the Lich King fight with little to no knowledge about the experience. If this describes you, read on at your own risk!

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5 Things About Loot

TLBC: The FiveThere are few things in WoW as desired, discussed, and controversial as loot and how it’s distributed.  Loot discussions have come up in every guild forum, realm forum, and officer chat.  If you haven’t seen one yet; trust me, you will.

So here are five things to keep in mind when you’re thinking about loot:

1.  It’s About Guild Progression if you are in a raiding guild.  PuGs exist to help individuals improve themselves; guilds exist to help a group of like-minded players achieve a common goal.  This is a distinct difference.  If you are in a raiding guild, your goal is to see all of the bosses as quickly and efficiently as you can.  Gear is a means to an end.  Granted, I think we all want to see our characters do their best in the best gear we can obtain, but in the end, gear upgrades exist to help our guild move further into instances.

This is something that has been woefully forgotten across the board.  I’ve seen it in my guild, and I’ve talked to many people who echo my sentiments.  It seems like a lot of people are all about gearing themselves and improving their personal performance.  They’re cutthroat, greedy, and thoughtless.  Yes, there are plenty of people I really like who have turned into loot whores.  I still like them, but these traits apply to them, too.

For instance, let’s say a nice trinket drops.  It’s an upgrade for you, yes; but do you ever inspect the other people rolling on the item?  Do you check to see if the other druid (who’s there almost as often or more than you are) is still carrying around something from Ulduar?

I want to have awesome gear, but I also want to kill bosses.  If passing on that trinket and giving it to consistent raider who needs it more than I do helps us achieve that goal, then so be it.

TL;DR: Don’t be a loot whore; consider your guildies and how gearing them up will help you progress.

2.  What are the loot rules? It’s an important question, both in guilds and in PuGs.  If you care about loot at all in the raid you are about to get saved to, you need to know what to expect.  Progression raid loot is loot council-based for us.  Those who need an item put their name up for consideration.  The loot council (comprised of both officers and raiders) then choose the person they think will benefit the most from the item (in theory).  Main spec takes preference over off spec, and Raiders take priority over Initiates.  If you don’t know the loot rules for your guild, you should ask.

Usually PuGs are set to a Loot Master, who links the item and then prompts for main spec rolls.  If no one rolls for main spec, that person opens it for off spec and then gives it to the highest roller (whether or not people actually need the item or not is an issue for a separate post!).  Sometimes you’ll get into a group that has special loot rules, such as: “This is mostly a guild raid, and we will be keeping patterns for our guild bank.”  At that point, people who are dissatisfied with the rule can opt out.  Special loot rules should be expressed up front.  If you’ve got a question about anything, make sure you ask, so you don’t get halfway through the run and find out someone else is going to be preferred for the items you want.

TL;DR: Know what to expect from loot before it becomes a problem.

be nice3.  A Little Consideration goes a long way.  No one likes being in a group where one person rolls on everything.  Yes, it’s an upgrade, and that’s awesome (it really is, upgrades make me drool), but if you’re sitting on two new pieces of loot, let someone else have a turn.  Something you might see as a minor setback might really help someone else out, and people remember these things.  There are people I get into PuGs with today that when I see their name, I think, “Cool, that person was so awesome last time.”  Accumulate gear, but be reasonable; there are 9 or 24 other people in your group who are there for the same reason you are, and you can’t solo Icecrown.

TL;DR: Play nice and take turns.

4.  Know Your Role!  Before rolling on loot, you should know what stats are best for your class and spec.  A warlock rolling against a healer on an item with mp5?  Bad.  A healer rolling against a mage for an item with hit?  Also bad.  There are hundreds of resources on the internet to find out what stats (and in some cases, which items) you should focus on.  Do your research, know your class, and roll on the right things.


TL;DR: It’s 5 sentences, don’t be so lazy.

5.  It’s Just Loot.  I know, I can see that look on your face right through the computer screen.  “If it’s just loot, then why did you waste a whole blog post on it?”  Here’s the thing:  loot is important to players.  I think it’s perfectly reasonable to question loot rules, to get frustrated or disappointed with the way loot distribution is handled, and even to sometimes get angry about getting treated unfairly when it comes to loot.  There have been times I have been seething over the way something loot-related went down.

However, is one item worth losing your guild over?  How about a friendship, in-game or real life?  Is it worth earning a bad reputation on your server?  I don’t think so.  If your guild is repeatedly shafting you, then yes, maybe you should bring it up (tactfully), but if it’s a rare occurrence, or a one time thing, respond carefully and try to keep it in perspective.

TL;DR:  There are things much more valuable than epic loot.

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5 Things to Do In Icecrown

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Most of us have ventured inside the looming Icecrown Citadel by now.  Sure, killing bosses is why we’re there, but there are so many other cool things to experience.  Here are five of them…

1.  Spring the Trap.  If you’re lucky enough to be in a 10-man without a rogue, run around between pulls trying to find the trap.  Giggle joyfully when you watch everyone nearby in slow-mo as the giant skeleton comes lumbering towards your raid.  The Plagueworks also has traps that spring geists from behind, but unless your tank pulls the Plague Scientist in the corner back, you’ll probably have a hard time being the one to spring it.

2.  Rocket Butt.  If you haven’t done this yet…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!  Druids are in the awesome position of having rockets on their butts in bear form.  Get to the Gunship, pick up your rocket, and bear form.  It’s hilarious and awesome.

3.  Shoot the Cannon.  Everyone should get a turn at the cannon on the Gunship battle.  That’s all there is to it.  Aim at the Axethrowers and Rocketeers, spam 1 to build up some heat, then bang on the number 2.  Rockets?  AoE?  Pffft, you’re taking down a whole ship!

(I’m in the cannon on the far left)

4.  Typhoon the Beasts.  Even in my guild, where the Blood Beasts are a crazy ranged-dps free-for-all, Typhoon comes in handy.  Plus, how many chances do you get in a raid to watch the adds surf backwards?  I intentionally try to get aggro on the beasts just so I have a good excuse to send them flying across the room.

Best In Show!

My Mageboy & his Ribbon

5.  Get Precious’s Ribbon.  Precious is so sweet, she’s Best In Show!  I’ve seen that shirt drop twice now, and haven’t won it yet.  But my time is coming.  Kill Precious, cross your fingers that the shirt drops, and then roll.  Bright pink?  Check.  Cool-sounding buff?  Check.  Something to dance nearly naked in when you’re waiting for the pull?  Oh yeah.

I could probably come up with 10  easily (record all your guildies talking about “angry poo poo” on vent, for instance), but we’ll stop here.  Good luck to you in your Icecrown adventures!

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