Announcing – Big Crits

LichKingby Stoneybaby

First of all I want to say a big thanks to Fim & Nib for letting me shout out to the TNB listeners about the Big Crits show. I’ve always been a huge fan of the show and the work they do for the WoW community. Thanks for keeping us together and more importantly entertained! [Ed: Aww.. Thanks]

As you may have read by now, I’m embarking on a new adventure. I’m starting up a new WoW guild, an end-game raiding guild called Big Crits. We’re going to start with a group of geared and experienced 80s from around the realms and dive in to tackle ICC. Here’s the best part: we’re going to record it all and make a web series about it.

I’ve written a lot on the subject already; there’s the post at WoW.com as well as some posts on the Big Crits blog, so there’s plenty to read if you want to learn more about what I want to accomplish with this show.

I kicked things off with a post on WoW.com and Big Hit Box about this project. It launched with a bigger bang than I could have hoped for, and I’ll tell you the weeks leading up to this I was freaking out.

I’m freaking out because I’m…

  • leaving the realm where I first started playing and leveled all my toons.
  • leaving my guild of 3+ years.
  • leaving a GM that I highly respect and would follow into battle IRL, and leaving the raiders that I love to play with.
  • changing factions and moving to a new realm where I have no friends and no knowledge of the player base.
  • investing a large chunk of cash into a recruitment video and editors for the show.
  • a show that doesn’t even have a cast!
  • a guild that doesn’t even have members!
  • I’M… I’M… WHAT AM I FRIGGIN NUTS?!!`1?!?~!?

Those were pretty much the thoughts I woke up to every morning and went to sleep with every night. When the recruitment video was delayed a week I have to be honest – I breathed a little sigh of relief. I thought to myself, “maybe I don’t have to take this chance. Maybe I can just stay in my safe, comfortable world.” Maybe maybe maybe.

But no. I committed myself to this path because I believe in it. I believe it’s the right time, the right thing, and if I don’t do it I’ll never forgive myself for not trying.

And so I kicked it off.

Since Tuesday night my inbox has been flooded with apps. It’s been an amazing start to the journey. We should have a full guild by Monday and start raiding (and recording) after raid reset Tuesday.

Now the next set of doubts creep in. You know that voice in the back of your head that does nothing but cast face-melting shadows. Come to think of it, taking chances is like fighting a Shadow Priest. There’s DoTs of worry and big critting moments of panic, Psychic Scream, Despair, and the Vampiric Embrace of self-doubt. The questions creep in:

  • What if it’s the most boring group of people ever?
  • What if everyone’s really cool and funny but die in the fire and can’t break 6k dps?
  • What if half the people quit the first week?
  • What if I suck as a GM?
  • What if the gold market crashes, the zeppelins fall out of the sky and Arthas /point /laughs at me?
  • What if…?

What if.

Fugit.

Here in NYC there’s a highly respected CEO whose rally cry to his people through the last few difficult years has been: “lean into the pain.” Make hard decisions. Have tough conversations. Face yourself honestly.

Definitely the hardest part of this journey was leaving my guild <Unorthodox> and those raiders. That was painful and a difficult decision to make. But it had to be done so I had to lean into the pain.

Times are tough IRL for a lot of us right now. I work in tech staffing and have seen and felt it firsthand. My advice is to you, whether in game or IRL is: Lean into the pain. Then buff up, flask up, check your weapons, and ATTACK!!

May all your hits be crits!

-Stoneybaby

Resource Site Spotlight – RaidComp (MMO Champion)

RaidComp1 Hi all, Arth here again, and I’m happy to now be a full-fledged member of the Twisted Nether staff.  Am I staff?  Is that the correct term?  Staff might imply payment, though, so it’s more likely that I’m the equivalent of a tree-cutting orc peon.  But now I’m Twisted Nether’s own special tree-cutting peon.  Zug zug!

MMO Champion is a huge site with a lot of WoW-related resources, but we’re looking at a very specific one today, the Raid Composition tool.  Using this can help you understand your raid group’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as possibly make changes to improve it.

http://raidcomp.mmo-champion.com/

The mechanics are simple: drag a class/spec into the raid groups, and the chart on the right will tell you exactly which buffs you do and don’t have.  Green checkmarks represent “assured” buffs (Ret pallies with replenishment, for example) while a yellow squiggly line indicates that a buff could be present, but won’t always be.  Kings, Might, BoW are all yellow for the same ret pally, since he can only provide one.  Another often-overlooked aspect of raid composition is at the bottom right, which tells you how many potential disease, magic, curse, and poison removers are in the group, as well as a few other useful bits of info.

This can also be a valuable tool for potential or current raid leaders, since a good raid leader knows what buffs each class can or should provide, and can use that knowledge to maximize the group’s potential (or to identify lazy players who forget to buff).  As a l33t hunter, for example, I don’t speak the language of Faceroll, so I need to research the abilities of the lesser classes (i.e. everyone else).

To see this in action, let’s take a look at my guild’s regular 10M, which looks something like this:

http://raidcomp.mmo-champion.com/?c=e5ohf98kj1000000000000000000000000000000

…and is lacking comprehensive caster buffs.  As such, the physical dps in our group really shines. This usually isn’t a problem, but we do have casters that sub in every now and then, and their dps suffers because of this.  25M raids should never have such problems, but maximizing a 10M can be hard if certain buffs are not present.  And this can help you identify those inadequacies, or just play around with groups to see how buffed they are.  I have yet to find a 10M that can cover every single buff, even counting drums/scrolls for things like Kings, Gift, Fort, etc.  Extra points if anyone else can.

Installments weekly.  Stay tuned.  And leave comments!  My self-esteem is a fragile, fragile thing.  I need online validation every time I lose to a rogue on a damage meter (and about a dozen shots when I lose to a DK).


The resource site spotlight is a “weekly” column about WoW resource sites/utilities written by Arthemystia who also sometimes writes for the Warcraft Hunter’s Union. Be it a website or a utility addon, you’ll never look at WoW the same.

Episode 79 – If The Shoe Fits

Another last minute, but no less awesome guest! Molly from the Women of Warcraft Vidcast/Podcast joins us. We talk all about the joys (*cough*) of Videocasting and going back to your roots. The discussion turns to the revelation of some of the changes to stats in Cataclysm and we even talk about what to do if you’re blog doesn’t have any pictures of shoes! All that and more!

SPONSOR

UGT-Servers.comUGT Servers! Ventrillo Servers for Your Guild!

– Continue reading Episode 79 — If The Shoe Fits –

Resource Site Spotlight – Leatrix

Hi all, my name’s Arthemystia (Arth for short).  Euripedes apparently overshot his blogging limits and sent out a call for someone to take over the Utilities blog here at TN.  And unfortunately enough for all involved, I answered the call.  I got my blogging start (and continue to contribute) over at the Warcraft Hunter’s Union, writing occasional pieces about hunter pet tanking.  Yes, pet tanking.  But while I’ll no doubt try to gratuitously drop links to my massively obscure niche of the hunter world in the future, that’s not why I’m here.  I’m here for a trial run at this TN blog, while Fimlys decides if he can abide two straight facerolling huntards in charge of it.  But I love collecting information about WoW and talking about it, as well as hearing the ideas and input of others, so hopefully it’s a natural fit.

I’m going to start my stint here with an add-on that has had a profound impact on my recent gaming.  Our game lags for one of two primary reasons.  One is graphics: our system can’t handle the load, be it in a populated city, 25M raid, or massive AoE zerg (I’m looking at you, Phase 2 Onyxia).  There’s no easy fix for this, provided your in-game graphics settings are suitably low.  You’re computer just needs an upgrade, be it RAM, processing speed, graphics card, etc.  The second reason for lag is latency, which is either a slow response time from your computer, the server, or both.  And this we CAN fix, unless of course you’re just using lag as an excuse:

cat_on_keyboard

Enter latency fixing add-ons, the most popular of which is Leatrix:

http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info13581-LeatrixLatencyFix.html

Basically many computers are like your guild’s DK: functioning well enough to play, but still doing their job wrong.  The site itself puts the process sufficiently into layman’s terms, with an amusing dialogue in which your PC is played by what I can only assume is a loyal but stupid clone of the golden retriever from the movie Up.  But in a nutshell, it changes the way your PC sends and receives information so that it is more conducive to gaming.  This is not a WoW-exclusive addon, affects your entire computer, and does not need to go in your WoW addon folder.

That isn’t to say it changes other aspects of your computing; I have yet to notice any difference with my regular internet connection, but have seen huge strides in WoW.  What once used to be an excellent latency rate for me (100-ish, spiking to well into the thousands if I was unlucky) is now just a myth.  I have yet to see my latency above 100 in the couple months I’ve had it installed, it’s routinely between 20 and 50, and the infamous "lag spike" is a thing of the past.

So if your latency is regularly colored red, do yourself a favor and try this out.  The worst I’ve heard from friends and guildies who use it is that they see no change in gameplay.  But for some, myself included, it’s been a godsend.

Be sure to keep tuning in, either to continue standing in awe of my writing prowess, or to cry as someone less hunter-ish takes over full-time.

(Editorial Comment: Please make sure, since this is not a WoW addon, to virus check and only download this application from a well respected source. Keep up with news about this addon in case of any breach, etc. Non-WoW Addons can and have been a source of Viral attack. This said, there has been no information [at publication date] that this addon is harmful in any way)

The resource site spotlight is a “weekly” column about WoW resource sites/utilities written by Arthemystia who also sometimes writes for the Warcraft Hunter’s Union. Be it a website or a utility addon, you’ll never look at WoW the same.

Shared Topic: Positive Random Dungeon Stories

Guild drama and angry PuG stories getting you down? Take your mind off the bad stuff with last week’s sunny Shared Topic: Positive Random Dungeon Stories. Suggested by Zan of Altoholic Anonymous, this topic is all about the good experiences we’ve had with those random strangers from other servers we’ve encountered on our dungeoning adventures.

We’ve had the new Dungeon Finder for about two months now and there are plenty of horror stories floating around. There’s tanks and healers feeling abused, not queuing, people feeling generally disenchanted about the whole thing and a whole lot of mean nasties flying around in the dungeon system.

Where’s the love? I know there have to be good positive warm and fuzzy experiences going on in the random dungeons as well. Have you helped or been helped by a total stranger in the random dungeon systems? How did you help? Let’s share some stories of those positive, feel good, experiences. Don’t have any stories? Go get some.

(Note that the suggestion was made back in January, hence the “we’ve had LFD for two months”.)

Sharing their happy tales are:

Zan from Althololic Anonymous (And the Shared Topic suggestion was inspired by this post of his.)

Lissanna from Restokin

Gypsy Red from Mischief, Magic and Rocket Science

Poneria from Fel Concentration

Saithir from Angry Dwarf

Jaedia from The Lazy Sniper

Rajjs from The Angry Alt

Ophelie from The Bossy Pally and the Giant Spoon

Shintar from Priest with a Cause

Gothmogs from Emerald Dreamers

Apparently, contrary to popular belief, good PuG stories aren’t a rarity at all!

This week’s Shared Topic is another social one, but instead of WoW and random in-game strangers, we’re invited to talk about WoW and random out-of-game strangers. Ever overhear a conversation about WoW and felt the irresistible urge to join in? Write about it and participate by checking in on Blog Azeroth.

Other upcoming topics include:

Would you post your blog link on the WoW Armory?
World of Awcraft: your in-game moments of awe.

To participate these or any other Shared Topics, come visit the Shared Topics forums at Blog Azeroth.

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