Archive for February, 2013

Guild Poaching: Have They No Shame?

Posted in Uncategorized, WoW on February 13, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Poaching. It can mean a form of hunting, or style of egg. In Azeroth, its the action of traveling to established guilds to try and take players away from their guild, in order to join theirs (usually boasting farther progression or better pvp orientation than the current guild the player is in). It seems that this time of the expansion the envoys of guilds looking to persuade people away are out and in full force. I am not at all flattered or allured by the message sent to me recently by one of those people, and as someone who has recently been the target of one of these attempts and also someone who watched his own guild back in BC suffer the effects of poaching, I would like to share my viewpoint on both fronts of the matter. I will start with my experience with poaching as a guild leader:

 

Serpentshrine Cavern/Tempest Keep/Hyjal Past – Circa 2008

 

Through my travels in Burning Crusade I spent most of my time with the guild Cross of Vengeance over the course of two stints, first as an officer, second as GM, my other guild was Crusaders of Aegwynn. The events talked about occurred over my second stint. Upon moving back up to an officer in CoV, we were having struggles in both SSC with Lady Vashj and TK with Kael’thas Sunstrider. Our GM was looking for ideas that would motivate people to step their play up to clear the final hurdle and down those bosses, and ultimately came up short every time. One night, our GM, I will call him Rentob, and both of his close friend officers were out of town and could not make raid, leaving the keys to me to see what we could accomplish in their absence. I left it up to the guild to decide where we went, ultimately going to TK. Despite having a skeleton crew of 24 people, we managed to down both Void Reaver and A’lar with a few wipes to each. As we continued to attempt to kill Astromancer Solarian, we kept wiping to the detonation mechanic, and morale continued to plummet as a result. Feeling some general animosity between members due to wiping, I decided an impromptu town hall style of meeting was in order for people to clear the air and get their frustrations out, as well as listen to any an all ideas people had to defeating the boss. After a 20 minute recess, we came back and on the second pull killed her to end the raid on a high note. After raid, I collectively asked everyone if they wanted to continue to have those kind of rally meetings where people could express themselves when our GM came back from his trip (we did have a few, but they didn’t stay sustained).

 

Enter the GM – Upon telling our GM what transpired in his absence and how the guild felt it collectively wanted to move going forward, shock and awe is the only thing I could describe what he felt as he suddenly left the guild and went to another guild and took his officer friends and a few others with him, leaving the guild crippled and with a roster of about 14 people left for a 25 man. In about 3 months time, and with the help of some truly exceptional people and players the guild grew back to being the second best guild on the server and defeated both Vashj and Kael before their 2.2 nerfs. I can remember vividly, promising the guild that if they managed to kill Kael and get into Hyjal/BT before the nerfs, that I would sing karaoke over Vent to them, any song they chose (and I absolutely did!). And at that time, the guild had bloomed into having >>38<< raiders online ready to go into BT! One day, our old GM came back and had seen that we had indeed moved forward instead of falling apart, and asked if he could come back to be a part of the guild. I obliged, and being naive, I also moved him back to being an officer, as he still had a lot of people who knew and looked up to him, in the guild. One day, he took exception to what one of the guild members was doing and attempted to discipline him his way, the old way, to which I quickly pulled the chain on him, reminding him that he was no longer the person to do that. This set off a chain of events, and public forum posts which ended in personal attacks and all around ugliness. In the end, he left the guild again, this time for good, and this time, the deviant plan went into motion. He began talking to people in the guild, either slandering my name, or offering promises of better <insert value here> if that player went to his new or other guild. He ultimately succeeded in doing that because of the reputation of the guild on the server being generally disliked from his prior leadership and as well as my reckless and sometimes very ill-advised practices on running the guild. (I was 20, when I was leading the guild, I was very naive and made a lot of forgettable mistakes.) The guild ultimately crumbled, and our last raid was in 2010, killing Maly10 and Sarth10. The guild my ex-GM went to?  Folded up shop in 2009, even with the members they took away with promises of better tidings.

 

Being Targetted By Another Guild (2011 & 2013):

 

Earlier this week, and in one instance in years past, I was sent an in-game mail by a recruiter that their guild was actively seeking shadow priests to progress through content and fill out their raiding roster. They boasted a  strong resume, stating that they had Cleared 6/6H MSV, 5/6H HoF and 3/4H ToTES, a very impressive resume indeed. This left me at a quandary, was I really going to dump 3 years of time and friendship with a lot of people for 7 extra bosses killed? For the allure of pixels which may make my toon better? Absolutely not.  While its nice to be held in high reverence by other people who are e-scouting your toon on the armory, it doesn’t show much about one’s character if they are so easily persuaded away from any establishment, for just a few more pixelated drops or rewards if its a pvp-based guild. I do not know what the social structure is of guilds that are top 50, or even top 25 in the world, and I would like to think they all are similar to Apotheosis, but I know that’s wishful thinking, only because guilds like No Chicks Allowed (Yes, it is a real guild, and yes they are top 50 in the US, and YES, if you are a female, they will not let you in period, no matter your credentials.) exist.

 

Here is my bottom line on poaching, in a brutally honest perspective: If your the kind of person who will leave their guild due to a poacher and is looking for a guild where you can find permanence, do not expect to be taken seriously, as their is a good chance the turnover rate is high due to burnout or people not making the cut. And in the same vein, if your a guild looking to bolster your ranks through poaching standout players from guilds that are not as progressed as you, remember, you pulled them away with promises of better loot/content/what have you, who is to say that someone else wont come along and do the same thing to that person from your guild. Btoom line: Poaching lacks any type of intestinal fortitude and integrity, and you wont find a quality, lasting player through it at all. Don’t do it. Work with the talent you have.

5.2: Lemon Puddin’, Blasphemy, and Free Form Jazz

Posted in Priest, PvE, PvP, WoW on February 5, 2013 by Srsbusiness

Shadow priests are getting some tinkering done to them over the next few weeks in anticipation of the 5.2 Isle of the Thunder King patch. Some questionable, like Lemon Puddin’, and some that are just downright bad like blasphemy (Isn’t that right Leonidas?)

The changes that are affecting  shadow priests in 5.2 are:

–  Halo no longer breaks stealth.

Glyph of Mind Spike now only works with non-Surge of Darkness Mind Spikes.

– Phantasm now no longer makes the priest untargettable by ranged attacks, but the movement freedom effect now lasts 5 seconds.

Shadow Word: Insanity is now Solace and Insanity. In shadow, Devouring Plague increases the damage of Mind Flay by 33% per orb for the next 6 seconds, on targets that are affected by 3 shadow damage over time spells.

 

Originally, Devouring Plague was being changed to have its damage spread out evenly on application and over time. This change is something that I was personally looking for, as it actually came out to be an 11% buff to devouring plague in the long run for PvE content, while the massive burst being taken away was crippling to priests in PvP. On the whole, if you PvP as shadow, your are not too happy about the upcoming changes, aside from the small silver lining of having the bursty version of Devouring Plague back. No longer able to flare out those rogues and feral druids, as well as having your 3 second range protection shell go away, we may become the object of choice for the enemy even more so now!

 

For changes in raid encounters, how you match talents in tier 3 and tier 5 is going to largely matter on how much you want to take chances with RNG based on procs in those tiers.

Earlier in my first review of MoP talents and tiers, I went with Shadow Word: Insanity for tier 3 and Twist of Fate for tier 5 as my choices for best use in a raid setting. As it turns out, Shadow Word: Insanity was a complete nightmare from the start, not being active when it should, being active when it shouldn’t (hello free uses from dead spirit kings), and the damage it dealt was not comparable to From Darkness, Comes Light as gear improved. Twist of Fate was extremely powerful in LFR and in Normal modes, as many additional elements to the fight (that oneself did damage to), and had a good enough uptime to where priests were getting close to 50% active time of 15% increased damage for a fight. However, as we moved into heroic progression, the amount of time and number of elements dying on those encounters severely dropped off, while many encounter have multiple mobs up until the end of the fight. Even for fights like Feng the Accursed, where 75% of the fight is just the raid versus the boss, the amount of Divine Insight procs far outweighed the scant 40-50 seconds of ToF uptime from the adds on the shield phase + execute range.

As of now, I am using From Darkness, Comes Light and Divine Insight as my talent choices for Tiers 3 and 5. There is one predominant reservation I have about Solace and Insanity going forward, and that is the amount of actual usage priests will get out of the buff to MF. Devouring plague lasts 6-6.4 seconds (haste). Since DP is on the GCD, we lose 1 second from the start of MF and then until the first tick of MF, which at 8200 haste, is .77 seconds later. This drops the effective time insanity is active from 6 to 4.23 seconds at 8200 haste, which might be enough to squeeze 2 Mind Flays into. Note: Mind Flay is our 5th highest damaging spell when used with From Darkness, Comes light on the whole.

There are a lot of intriguing possibilities to mix and match for the upcoming patch. I have dubbed these: The Smooth and Flowing Approach, The Cookie Cutter Approach, and the Whack-A-Mole Approach.

 

The Smooth and Flowing Approach:

Smooth, melodic. Follow the beat of the rotation.

Smooth, melodic. Follow the beat of the rotation.

Safe and predictable, this approach conforms to the traditional style of shadow priest, which has been straight forward damage dealing without any hidden cooldowns or surprise procs to manage and balance. Dots refreshed as needed, mind blast off cooldown, DP at 3 orbs, and Mind Flay as fillers, no surprise mind spike or mind blast procs ever to manage. In tier 3, this build takes Solace and Insanity, and in Tier 5 this build goes with Twist of Fate. In execute range, your mind flays will be hitting much, much harder.

 

The Cookie-Cutter Spec:

Gingerbread or Shadow Priest, its all the same.

Gingerbread or Shadow Priest, its all the same.

Because of the way certain abilities work for shadow priests, it is not unrealistic to see this build become the new cookie cutter spec for shadow priests. This build focuses on shadow orb generation and increasing the number of devouring plagues cast in a fight. In addition, it also attempts to take advantage of the 100% damage increase to Mind Flay via Solace and Insanity. Without saying, it takes Solace and Insanity from tier 3, and takes Divine Insight from tier 5. This spec will have it moments on single target fights, but works really well on fights where you can have multiple targets with Shadow Word: Pain on them. The important thing for someone trying this build going forward will be to always make sure that the target they cast DP on also has VT and SW:P. or the insanity buff fails to serve its purpose. Hopefully, they refine Solace and Insanity for shadow a little bit before it becomes live, so that you actually get a full 6 seconds of value from the talent.

 

The Whack-A-Mole Spec:

I Double Dog Dare You.....

I Triple Dog Dare You…..

 

This is the spec that will have you mashing different buttons at any opportune time RNG decides to show up for you. With the change to the Mind Spike Glyph, it becomes almost imperative for people who use From Darkness, Comes Light to also take Divine Insight, as our Surge of Darkness casts now no longer benefit from the glyph. This spec, which takes the aforementioned FDCL and Divine Insight, is a finesse build, which gets better as the number of mobs active in a fight increases. One good result from the mind spike alteration is the change in what buff got consumed if you happened to have Divine Insight and 2 stacks of Mind Melt active. As it stands now, if you have Divine Insight and Mind Melt x2, you ended up eating the Mind Melt stacks and having your DI buff while Mind Blast went on cooldown. This led to the unfortunate occurrence that your DI buff fell off and you lost the proc, which is ultimately invaluable as a direct damage dealer, and also as a shadow orb generator. The Whack-A-Mole  build is the one I use currently, and if Solace and Insanity fares like its predecessor, will also become the Cookie Cutter build.

I do not have FDCL paired up with ToF because if bosses are getting harder in the next patch, with more hp, then ToF’s uptime will drop even further, making it even less desirable. It pairs well with Solace and Insanity because of the constant +15% and then and extra guaranteed 100% to MF, while its on a 15% chance per tick, per VT to get a FDCL proc.

All in all, this is a very underwhelming patch for shadow priests, which didn’t seem like the mechanics, aside from Shadow Word: Insanity looked to be terrible or crazy OP. The DP change was even a net gain for PvE, although their would have been howls of despair from the PvP community. As the gear improves and we get closer to more haste breakpoints, it will be interesting to see which talents become better for our playstyles.

 

(I Still wish our mastery increased periodic shadow damage instead of acting as a Psuedo-Tarecgosa…… *shakes fist*)

 

Oh, and here’s your citrusy dessert:

Only 800 calories, something light for a change.

Only 800 calories, something light for a change.

 

A la mode, because why not?