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Myrmidon · Baron von Puttenham · Icrontian

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  • d&-Mirste, Glorious (raid) Leader, presents General Raiding Policies 'n' stuff (circa 8/2/2015)

    I went back through our backlog to look for raid policy stuff, but it was all scattered about. I am putting this here for any new folks that are jumping in during my reign of terror, so please point 'em here. If you're reading this FROM THE FUTURRRRRRE, it may not be relevant - depends on whether or not I'm running stuff.

    Hello! That's all the small talk I have time for. :)

    Timing
    We raid on Sundays at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern, and on Mondays at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern. We raid mostly until enough folks get too tired to continue, and that's fine, that's all fine here, how are you?

    Loot and gearing
    I am starting another thread to discuss loot. I prefer master loot, some folks prefer personal loot, I would like your opinion.

    As for rolls, if we ever do loot manually, it will be in a 'rolls rule' sort of format. I'm skipping out on loot council for a couple reasons - for the most part, most of us want our buddies to succeed, and I have found over time that people tend to be pretty good about sharing loot. I want to keep it this way. I don't want to prioritize people that are 'better,' because that's demoralizing to people who are trying but just not as talented. Everyone deserves that lottery-winning feeling. You helped down the boss, you get an equal shot at the goodies.

    Additionally, BoEs will go on a need > greed basis. If it's an upgrade and you need it, you get first dibs. If you plan to sell it, wait for the greed roll. A common response to this includes "shouldn't the guild get this for the money?" Tragedy of the commons be damned, I trust the lot of you to assist the guild with money when we need it. @primesuspect will alert us if it gets bad, and we'll do guild dungeons or donate. I usually run things on the honor system, and I will continue to do so until tragedy of the commons rears its ugly head (here's hoping it never does)!

    Finally, if you win a piece of loot, there are two things you need to know:

    1. I don't tolerate any 'begging' for loot to get passed on. None. No coercion, no whispers, nothing. If someone mentions that it might be a better upgrade for someone else because they don't think you've noticed, that's fine... but you are under NO obligation to pass it on, and you are under NO obligation to feel bad for keeping what you won fair-and-square. I won't have any hurt feelings because you were forced to give a piece up. Yes, we will have days where someone sweeps the board with the loot - and the people that swept the board will come back and help us get more, and they won't roll on the stuff they already have! And you know what? If they don't come back, you won't remember it a month down the line anyway!
    2. If you want to pass loot on to the next person who needs it, I absolutely encourage it. I think it is a wonderful thing to do, and I think you should be thanked out loud for it. I find that Icrontians tend to do this more than not, and it is absolutely awesome. This is the one major reason I'd rather do masterloot - I get to see shows of generosity like this.

    Philosophy
    The general raid plan is to attack raiding from a cerebral perspective - we're not running day-in-day-out to push muscle memory and burn you out on content (this is a game, not a job). Instead, I'm going to push you to think and come up with new ideas. I want you to rearrange your UI, find a better way to be a little bit quicker, cleverer, etc. I will ask you from time to time to look through your spellbook and find a way to use those stupid, niche spells you don't like. I will insist on weird strategies that don't make sense for anyone but our raid comp.

    I cannot do that alone, so I also insist on a lot of chatter. If you have an idea or strategy, don't be silent. Don't pussyfoot around trying to hint that you have an idea - just spit it out. I promise you that if someone is being rude about your idea, I will give them all sorts of trouble for it. If you get hate-whispered for it, say something. I don't put up with bullying even a little bit.

    Between being cerebral, a small raid slot, and insisting on chatter, there's one thing I really love in raiders - that's raiders that pick up slack. If you're a dps class that has spot-heals, throw a heal out when it's necessary. If you don't know when it's necessary, then I think you've just found a way to improve! Personal damage-mitigation cooldowns? You can never use 'em too much, but you can definitely use 'em too little! And let me tell you - I ADORE dual-spec raiders.

    Speaking of picking up slack, you may have noticed that I tend to dominate the microphone. But I don't have to! I love when people step up and 'run' certain sections of the raid - every timer I don't have to watch is a little more attention I can focus on solving problems elsewhere. You wanna coordinate the healer chatter? Please do. Wanna coordinate ranged movement? Go for it!

    Your name will probably get mentioned at some point. And it will probably be in the context of 'such-and-such, you're doing it wrong.' It will also probably be publicly. Please, please, PLEASE do not get upset or offended. Damn near every one of us knows every one of us. Most of us have attended each others' weddings, birthdays, parties, whatever. We are not trying to make enemies on the internet, we are just trying to progress, and more viewpoints involved in the problem solving process are better than just mine. Suppress any hurt feelings and remember - the people talking to you want to see you succeed, not make you feel bad. They like having you around. We're all in this one together.

    Don't feel bad mentioning someone's name if they're doing something wrong, too. Keep it clean, keep it friendly, and don't make 'em feel bad - remember, these are your friends, all you're trying to do is get them to raid better. Add positive comments when you see anyone doing anything awesome or pro-social. If you notice someone is going too hard on someone else, say something. The worst thing that ever happened to me in this raid was when I was calling out a problem I saw and the guy took it personally - but nobody warned me that he was irritated and that I wasn't sensitive enough, and it led to hurt feelings. It sounds corny as hell, but it's legitimately on all of us to make sure the air stays positive.

    Having said that, you are NOT allowed to call someone out on a grievance. I don't need that aired over mumble, or over some public channel. If you don't like something raid related by all means, speak... but if you have a problem with someone else and it's going to cause a fight, you tell me. If you think what you're going to say is going to make someone mad enough to leave, you tell me. If you are being chewed on by someone, you tell me. If you instead air something publicly, you bring everyone down, you cause people to choose sides, and you create a general crappy environment. Come to me instead. I'm here to be the bad guy when I have to. You are here to have fun. See? Your job is way better. Why would you want my job?

    Above all, remember that this is just a game. When life calls, life calls. You wanna take a hiatus? Go for it - we'll be here to get you going again when you come back. Just keep in touch - what's the point of WoW if you don't get to keep the friends you've made?

    primesuspectSazbeanTeramonaRahnalH102JBoogaloo
  • Supar Sekrit Heroic Sekrits

    Yeah right, you wish.

    My thoughts about our direction, how great you all are, and why I'm posting this at all. Skip it if you just want to get to the good shit.


    Heroics are tuned to be hard the whole way through - even if you overgear heroics, they are still tuned to be very difficult. Normals, which we're used to breezing through, are completely different - overgearing them means we walk into a fight like 'what up, I got a big cock' and buy all its shit from the thrift shop, but there is no such situation on heroics. @Hydrar‌ is exactly right when he says every member is running at 100% capacity in heroics - and if you're not, you wipe.

    That means it really falls on the bleeding edge of what we can handle as a guild.

    It's no secret (supar sekrit) that we are not a hard-structured, dedicated raiding guild - and I don't want us to be. We are a collection of thoughtful, skillful individuals (Fallout uses the perk 'gifted' to suggest someone that is innately skillful and didn't need to work hard for their prowess) and I think that's a huge boon. We take breaks. We live other lives. We don't raid seven days a week to get where we are. We're here to play with each other and generally enjoy ourselves, not to sacrifice time and sleep for a couple higher numbers on our character sheets.

    For heroics, this may present a bit of an issue... because we need those couple higher numbers. For heroics, we can't breeze by with 'good enough' gear or skill. Every one of us has to be at 100% - not just a dedicated few. I don't think that's a problem, and I think we can do it with a gifted group... it just means we need a little augmenting.

    (Aside: it is important while reading this to not get set on 'downing heroics.' We can have fun just attempting a few times, then moving on).

    Now, barring ilvl requirements, I will not prioritize pugs over guildies. What that means, though, (and what this long-ass diatribe is leading up to) is that we are on the honor system for heroics. If you want to down heroics, there will be no iron hammer - you will only be on your honor to do your best. If Expo Communism, ICHQ beer rules, and the 'distinguished gentleman/lady' badge is to be believed, we are a group that is very good at giving back 'on our honor.' Every one of you cares about everyone else, and I know for a FACT that more than most of you are worried about being 'the weak link.'

    (Side note: you're not. None of you are the weak link. You're all fucking awesome. If this is striking your 'weak link' reflex, stop it. In b4 @Tushon‌ 's "Thanks, coach").

    So with that Mighty Ducks preamble out of the way, let's get down to biznass:

    My plan is to run heroics on Thursday and Sunday with a 'voteskip' option. This way we have fun doing new shit, but still progress AND acquire gear (at a slower pace) for people. It worked beautifully for Thursday.

    Some things you can do to get to 100% (step out of your comfort zone!):

    1. Pug the shit you don't have. We'll do as much as we can Thursday and Sunday, but maybe Monday you could pug one boss or so. Don't get overwhelmed trying to pug ALL THE REST OF SoO... maybe just one boss, and maybe just one hour. Be comfortable, don't burn out. Prioritize your gear - try to eliminate PvP gear as if it's 540 gear, not 550. Trinkets and weapons are crazy important.
    2. I know we're all doing Ordos and celestials, but if you're not, do Ordos and celestials. Tuesdays these groups will take anyone.
    3. Valor. I'm at full 553 + lots of warforged on my tank and dps sets, and I'm still only at 561. My heals set, which still has a flex ring, has benefited from valor for weeks and is 572. OQ yourself a heroic scenario group and cap your valor each week... it goes really easy if you do one per day.
    4. Your character - know it! Every ability should be on SOME bar somewhere. I keep my healing addons ready as a dps, my tanking macros available as a healer, and my strength cloak handy as a tank if more dps is needed. Abilities you forgot you had or for other specs sometimes come in REEEEEAL handy. Ice floes if it means you're not casting dry ice lances, defensive stance for calamities, evasion for accidental add-tanking, mass dispel to help healers, etc. Also check for something you've missed... I have a 3-minute cooldown ability that, when in dps spec, has an added benefit of dispelling someone - this is something I could be using to help healers!
    5. The fight! When I explain fights, I usually try to give it an overview, then talk about the most relevant stuff, then get into the least relevant stuff (I figure by the end, people aren't listening, so I get the good shit out first). It's for a reason, though! I DO talk about low-relevance stuff because the people who ARE listening might say 'oh shit, that is the perfect time to use this ability I never touch!' Most guilds cannot handle the crazy shit we sometimes do - taking a hybrid healer, for instance, or sending strange comps to norushen's other realm. If you know the fights in-and-out, you might have a brilliant insight.
    6. BE SELFISH WITH THE !VOTESKIP. Don't refrain from voting to skip because you think other people want to stay. If you are getting burned out, you're not at the top of your game. I want us to leave raid night in a good mood.

    Remember: it is okay to fail on heroics, it does not represent a dead end as it does in normals. We had a wonderful time yesterday and didn't down a single boss. If you're sick of a boss and need some progress to get back in the groove, voteskip it!

    E: took me three damn tries to find the spoiler tag...

    ChoochTiberiusLazarusRyderJBoogalooprimesuspectRyanFodder
  • PvP for dummyheads

    As we all know, we are predominantly a PvE guild. And that's okay. But there's a whole facet to this game we've been missing, and as they say - Azeroth's a book, and those who don't travel read only one page.

    ...Not so sure that's a relevant saying...

    In all seriousness, one of the things I am supremely grateful for was the privilege of doing a small amount of arena with @SpencerForHire‌ during cataclysm. At the time, I was strictly PVE - partially because of ranked anxiety (LoL players know what I mean), partially because of Fear-Of-The-Gear (would I have to lose and lose and lose just to get the gear to even play?). Spencer pressured my ass into giving it a shot, and I'm glad he did - it was loads and loads of fun, and I have memories I won't forget.

    Anyway.

    Since none some of you have displayed an interest, and since I love to hear myself talk some have displayed ranked anxiety and fear-of-the gear, I would present to you: a PVE guide to getting in on PVP.

    Step 1: lolwtfisthis

    PVP functions using different currencies and stats than PVE. Instead of justice (low tier) and valor (high tier) currencies, they have honor (low tier) and conquest (high tier). Even better, all relevant equipment is purchased with these currencies - you don't need to go grind PVE bosses or whatever and hope for a drop. That means you're currency limited by a weekly cap (which is impossibly high for conquest and nonexistant for honor) and your willingness to do shit.

    Also, this is more of an intrinsically motivated part of the game. Not entirely, mind you - carrot-on-a-stick gearing is still a thing - but there are significantly more challenges that are really just for-the-fun-of-it endeavors. Just make sure you understand that going in - the "I raid for gear" mindset some of us have won't be as strong of a driver for PVP... but I promise, it's worth it. Nothing feels better than victory over an opponent that, had you made a mistake, could have beaten your ass silly.

    Step 2: overcoming Fear-Of-The-Gear, PVE style

    Let's face it. If you don't have a ton of resilience and PVP power but your opponent does, you're probably going to be the carefully-transmogged mop cleaning the floor of Warsong Gulch. But that doesn't mean you have to sit and lose your way up to even having enough honor to having a chance!

    Blizzard has conveniently put in multiple PVE methods for you to grind honor... which are actually significantly faster than PVP methods (if your response is 'lol y u pvp then,' go back and read step 1). Some are even worth it just for the geek cred! In order of ease:

    1. Kirin Tor dailies. Go check out the Isle of Thunder! Once you've completed the Kirin Tor Assault scenario questline, there is a daily quest that awards valor or honor, depending on your choice... and it's 500-600 honor. You can bang it out in less than an hour!
    2. Tol Barad - This is almost always an alliance win. You get 180 honor per win, plus like 60 per tower or something... which are all but guaranteed!
      2.5 While you're on Tol Barad, be sure to get the weekly quest for an easy 300!
    3. Grizzly hills has a bunch of quests... but they're all over the place, and some require that you find other horde players (so not strictly pve). Plus you have to go all the way back to Northrend... but otherwise, it's an easy 200 honor.
    4. There are three mobs that spawn in the enemy base at operation: shieldwall (you may need to start the operation: shieldwall questline to be properly instanced, it's given to you by scout lyssa at the shrine of the seven stars). Once per day, each mob drops 275 honor, and they might drop less afterward (not sure)... so that's a fast way to make 825. The trouble is, they are heavily farmed and have respawn times of like, an hour. Find the group farming them and join! A good way to do this is stand on a respawn location and join OQ groups until you end up in a server where the mob has respawned...
    5. Dungeons! Justice points convert to honor at a rate of about 200ish per dungeon. The hard bit is of course finding people who care enough to chain dungeons...
    6. My personal favorite - solo 25man Vault of Archavon! Each boss drops a set number of honor that is split between all raid members... but if you're the only raid member, you get it all! 10 man doesn't drop much, but 25 man does. It's something like 180 - 220 per boss, and at four bosses, that's an average of 800 per run! Obviously you can only do it once a week, and it's not easy - you'll need to specifically talent - but think of the geek cred!

    There are PLENTY of options to get the gear to pvp without having to sit through that lousy daily 30-minute only-if-you-win random battleground grind (a grind that is much more fun once you're geared, and significantly shitty if you're not!)

    Also - still worried you aren't relevant but wanna pvp now? Remember that pvp is won and lost on cc timing - even if your gear is lackluster, good timing and use of cc still means you have a place on the team.

    Step 3: Ranked Anxiety

    Ranked anxiety is a phenomenon in League of Legends that scares people away from playing ranked games - games where their rating will go down if they lose, and up if they win. People are frightened they 'aren't good enough' and will let the team down. WoW PVP is much more forgiving and makes ranked anxiety easy to overcome by having multiple tiers of PVP. In order of anxiety-inducing:

    1. A while back, Blizzard added the ability to queue for 'War Games.' These are just-for-fun premade arenas, battlegrounds, what have you - where both teams are pre-built. That means we can all get together in our PVE gear and queue, and play against one another TF2 style. No worries if you suck, you're among friends! We can restructure teams or play around as we desire in a stress-free environment. Got three other buddies? Do a 2v2 arena! Got an odd number of people? Balance the teams and do a 9 v 8 battleground (at least I THINK it supports imbalances...)!
    2. Random battlegrounds! Who cares if you suck, so does everyone else! You'll meet people with crazy strong gear and people with terrible gear here, and it's very hard to judge your actual impact on the game. Personally I hate these, but I think with enough friends, they'd be a blast.
    3. Arena - this is full-on ranked play... but the good news is you're going to lose anyway! Everyone loses. A lot. and your rating can go down, which will cause ranked anxiety for sure. And yeah, your impact can be measured. But you'll never see the people you're running with again, and there's lots of reasons you can lose - class composition can be a big one! just get those losses out of the way and you'll stop being nervous and start playing the game.
    4. Rated battlegrounds! Full-on coordination with ~9 other people, carefully chosen for their competencies and classes? This can be pretty nerve-wracking. But I bet with ten of us, it'd be a blast! Just like raiding, but we get to put arrows in stupid orc faces, yeah?

    So get some gear and step on up! Maybe if we get enough people interested, we can have a nice casual way to kill time without having to devote a whole night to raid and worry about ruining it if we don't show up?

    TiberiusLazarusRyanFodderRahnalH102Teramona
  • Heartbleed and Oh Shit - this is important to everyone.

    So, as of less than 24 hours ago, this is a thing:

    http://heartbleed.com/

    This is exceedingly important - about 66% of the web uses openssl.

    Now, correct me if I'm wrong (I don't want to fearmonger), but this effectively means if you have ever signed on to a secure website (https, not http... or, in fact, if you've ever passed info over TLS), there is about a 66% chance that this vulnerability existed on that server. And since it's been around for A FEW versions of openssl (1.0.1 was released March 14, 2012 according to my server), it's likely a couple folks have been heartbleeding servers for a long time.

    So... your passwords? There is an EXTREMELY good chance that many of your passwords have been leaked in plaintext. Not to mention any security questions - basically anything you've ever typed into a secure webform since this heartbleed bug went into effect is very suspect. A cursory google search suggests steam has been affected by this (though I didn't read any of the posts, just the headlines).

    What this means for you right now is a lot, but the consequences may not appear until down the line:

    1. Any of your passwords that were scooped up by a heartbleeding eavesdropper are now likely part of a dictionary (not Websters', the kind used just before brute-force cracking).
    2. The next time a big corporation (i.e. target) loses their customer's hashed password table, someone's going to attempt to test all known passwords using those dictionaries.

    Ergo, next time there's a big corporation hack, your shit will be out in the open within the day.

    I would give it about three days - I figure in at MOST three days, every important secure server will have patched openssl (most of them have already done so, I hope). At that point, I'm going to change every password on every website I know of. I would urge you to do the same.

    If someone who knows more about security than I do can debunk this, PLEASE do so. I don't want to stir shit up because I understood things wrong.

    EDIT: Fixed the date of openssl 1.0.1

    ANOTHER EDIT: If you've put any personal info into a secured server at all in the last 24 hours, you're pinning your hopes and dreams on the server admin having updated openssl. It's a safe bet that now that people know the heartbleed bug is available, they're using it anywhere they can in the hopes that a server admin is slow. Don't login, don't logout, just don't do anything that will pass authentication information anywhere for a little bit.

    Also, silver (ish) lining... Since this has been out for three years, it's likely that if you weren't hacked in one of the myriad number of security fiascos in the last few years, your stuff wasn't leaked (this bug probably wasn't too well-known until recently). Of course, saying 'I haven't been hacked yet, so my info probably wasn't lifted' is a big bag of security through obscurity... and we all know how that goes down. Change your shit.

    tl;dr Wait a few days and change every web password and security question you've ever had. Also, get a password manager.

    oni_delsPirateNinjaLincGHoosdumBobbyDigicolaRahnalH102JBoogalooErrorNullTurnipPinkBandrikGargoyletrooster89RyanFodderBasil

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