Archive for February, 2014

At The End of The Day.

foresightdemotivatorWhen I get tired and frustrated with the people I play Warcraft with they’ll often say “Chill, it’s only a game.” Of course, this is right, World of Warcraft is only a game. I think, somewhat perversely, it’s usually these same people who are sniggering about your low DPS or you dying in a fight. The self same people who are quick to jump to play the “L2p” (Learn to Play) or “nice DPS for ilvl ^^” cards. These are usually the same people who have been focusing solely on the boss and not attacking any adds at all, a practice that in Throne of Thunder (Horridon, Tortos et al) became fatal.

In LFR I can sort of tolerate it because it’s clear from experience that people who access that content do so individually, with singular and selfish goals. Indeed, the content is dumbed down to allow for this non-cooperative approach. It’s within a guild environment that I find the elitism and dismissive attitude genuinely offensive.

I’ve said before that there is a guild out there for everyone. It’s true. There are more guilds, especially in the pre-expansion run up period we’re now in, than there are raiders. So there really is no need to settle and not shop around. Use guild probationary periods not to put on a show and exert yourself to get through it. Be yourself and thoroughly evaluate whether the guild you’ve joined is the right one for you.

What I look for in a guild may be very different from what you’re looking for. That’s fine and if it’s the case we should wish each other luck and go our separate ways. What I am looking for is social raiding. I want my cake and eat it. I want fun and laughter and community and I also want progression raiding. I will sacrifice some progression for building a stronger community, but ultimately I want to raid and I want to progress to new content, clear 10 man ‘normal’ and do heroics.

prioritiesdemotivatorIf that’s what you’re looking for in a guild I’ll tell you some things to look out for. Alts have always been a thorny question for social guilds. In hardcore raiding guilds you can have alts wherever you like, but on raid nights you’re on your main, progression raiding with the guild, or you’re out. In social guilds we encourage good people to come and socialise with us and maybe raid. So where a guild stands on having members, even raiders, with raiding mains in other guilds is an important choice. I’ll tell you why: conflict of interest. If you can’t come raiding with us because you’re raiding with another guild then you’re not committed to the guild. Progression raiding requires a degree of commitment and if you want to build a community that has fun and enjoys it’s raid nights, as well as a just having a raid ‘group’, then commitment is much more important.

You can either try to organise your raid nights around the available nights of people who have alts in your guild, rather than perhaps less gear and experienced raiders who have all their chars in your guild. Or you can say these are our raid nights: you are welcome to raid with you main char in this guild on our raid nights, but if it conflicts with your main char’s raiding in your main guild then you can’t raid with us unless we’re short one raider. So people can be welcomed to socialise with you, befitting your social nature, and raid when it suits you, but your priority is to your committed members. Even if they have lesser gear which might slow your progression.

This attitude moves a guild from being a successful alt guild, whose raiding is progressive but sporadic – at the whim of another guild’s schedule – to a guild that develops it’s own members and tries to build a consistent roster. I recently moved from the former, a guild with some very well geared ‘alt’ raiders who couldn’t attend every raid, they had 13/14 progression Siege of Orgrimmar. I moved to a guild that’s trying to rebuild a social raid team, after the GM and officers “moved on”, we will hopefully complete SoO together, gearing each other up on the way, we’re currently 3/14 SoO. A new proto-team – a work in progress.

It’s elitismdemotivatoroften the case that these ‘alt raiders’ come with some baggage. Their fortunes are not tied to your guild (they’ve cleared the content you’re working on now) and neither is their commitment. If your developing raid hits a wall they’ll probably fail to turn up until you overcome your current Tortos and have started free wheeling through bosses again. They’re often arrogant and dismissive of weaker members of your raid team and, given their monumental gear level and farm experience of the content you are on, that’s usually everyone. While they make your raid more progressive they also make it more hostile and aggressive. You may advance to Garrosh Hellscream but who was left behind? Once Garrosh is defeated do you feel elated or do you want to start the heroic content while most of your guild is trying to put together farm runs in normal so they might be able to join you, or moving to guilds with less progression who are interested in them as people as well a raiding ciphers and will take them with them as they progress to new content.

Ultimately the question of alts is a question about whether you’re solely interested in getting deeper into a dungeon and getting more gear or whether you’re interested in the progression of the guild. If there are several alt raiders in your guild’s raid take a look at their ilvl and the ilvl of your officers compared to the rest of the guild. What story is it telling you?

I look for a guild that is interested in building a team for the future. A guild that wants to develop the people it has, nothing is more rewarding for me than recruiting a low level player, with no max levels characters, supporting them to max level and through the gearing process and seeing them access end game content with the guild and become a valuable member of the raid team and your guild community. It beats the hell out of suffering the remarks and elitism of arrogant pricks and the dismissive attitude of, not really bothered, kids. Even if I am trying to deafest Sha and Galakras again and not Garrosh.

If you don’t really know what kind of guild you want to create it’s easy to go wrong and end up with a guild you didn’t want. I did a fast Flex run on Friday with some great guys who really know how to raid and for them a race through flex is like me roaring through a 5 man with my main. I only had a couple of stupid deaths and I also managed to post some respectable DPS, fifth on the metre overall. I guess the results are in: I can play destro, reasonably well. The guys in the fast Flex are probably the best raiders I’ve run with since Wrath and yet they prioritised fun above all. After all, World of Warcraft is just a game. We like to kill bosses, get loot, progress, but at the end of the day we game to have fun. My idea of fun is not clearing 10 man normal with pricks whose raiding mains are not even in my guild.

sacrificedemotivatorMy old guild will get Garrosh down any day now and good luck to them. They have some lovely people, but they also have an unhealthy mix of raiders fit for nothing but LFR content, who have no real concept of cooperative play and what makes raiding fun, and overgeared, arrogant…who believe everyone in that guild is a n00b because if they could actually play their class they would leave for a decent, more progressed guild. They must be having a really good laugh at me. I left for a less progressed guild, in transition, rebuilding it’s raid team. I’m much happier now and having much more fun, which in a game is what matters at the end of the day.

Starting out pet battling.

I’ve been throwing out some high level guides for completing the very challenging Celestial Tournament on the Timeless Isle and overcoming the Pandaren Pet Tamers and Beast of Fable. I thought I’d offer the starting out Pet Battler some simple advice for getting a foothold in Pet Battles and getting started.


As always a small set of addon will make life simpler and some have a very high utility. If you’re concerned about addons effecting the performance of your game you should definitely install the absolutely tiny addons Ampere and Addon Switcher or something similar like Addon Control Panel so that you can load your pet addons only when you’re using them.

Pet Tracker

Map addon that shows spawn point of pets in the selected zone. You can filter by pet name or, usefully, Not Maximised – this shows all pets that you don’t have at rare (blue) quality.

PetJournal Enhanced

Simply expands the functionality of the default Pet Journal, excellent sorting options, display breed ID and is a much have for serious pet battlers.


Creates multiple teams of three pets. Right-click to Rename and Lock team and quickly swap them in. Valuable when, for example, flying around Pandaria doing dailes. Click on the team to load it. Simple to set up, simple to use.


Never capture a grey or white. It seems obvious but to be honest you don’t really want greens either. Sooner or later you’ll have a huge pet collection and be crawling around Azeroth all over again capturing rare upgrades. Start smart and only capture blue pets, your collection will grow a little more slowly but will be of a much higher quality. Try to capture P/P, S/S and H/H breeds if they’re available. Then you’ll have a flexible, high quality collection to be proud of.


Ironically perhaps the best method of levelling pets is not in areas with level appropriate battles. The quickest (and simplest way) to level is in Pandaria against level 25s. My favourite spot for this is behind Mistfall Village in the Vale of Eternal Blossom in a dried up river bed. The opposition is mostly Eternal Strider like aquatics. Start with your levelling pet and try to hit the opponent then swap the leveller out for a powerful 25 next turn. As the pet gets higher and higher in level you can leave them in to fight longer until they begin finishing opponents off. The key is to get as much experience as possible and not get them killed.

Which pets you level to 25 first and how you get them there is essentially up to you. I recommend you use whatever you have available at level 1 and then make you way around the levelling zones in Azeroth increasing the level of around five pets at a time (ten if you can stand it). If you have pet’s from different families level a variety. Capture rare quality pets as you come across them, level your rares and try to level a rare pet from each family as you travel around. As you encounter the recommended pets on this list below make those one of your ten. Take a look at the pet comparison table at the extremely useful and you’ll see why having ten pets is a good idea.

If you really have no pets buy one from a vendor or off the AH. All vendor pets are level 1 when you buy them so there’s really no reason not to start with one of your race-specific, home capital city pets:

  • Undercity Cockroach – Undead
  • Brown Prairie Dog – Tauren
  • Black Kingsnake – Orc & Troll
  • Shore Crawler – Goblin
  • Golden Dragonhawk Hatchling – Blood Elf
  • Jade Crane Chick – Pandaren
  • Blue Moth – Draenei
  • Snowshoe Rabbit – Dwarf & Gnome
  • Orange Tabby Cat – Human
  • Great Horned Owl – Night Elf
  • Gilnean Raven – Worgen

Recommended Pets

Mechanical – Lil’ Smoky [Engineering]

This is your go to Mechanical pet if you want to collect some and have a engineer knock it up for you. It requires Core of Earth, Gyrochronatom (2), Fused Wiring, Mithril Bar (2), Truesilver Bar so the pet is simple to acquire. As soon as you can lay your hands on a Mechanical or Flawless Battle Stone upgrade it to blue (a rare).

Dragonkin – Emerald Proto-Whelp [Sholazar Basin]

This little dragon hits like a train and it’s well worth acquiring a P/P (see for more information on Breed IDs).

Beast – Venomspitter Hatchling [Stonetalon Mountains]

The Venomspitter has [Brittle Webbing] which causes opponents to damage themselves when attacking, find an H/H and this spider is difficult to beat. Later on add a Widow Spiderling [Duskwood], Twilight Spider [Twilight Highlands] or Feverbite Hatching [Krasarang Wilds] P/P for a punch packing 341 power pet.

If you’re Horde it’s almost worth rolling a human to get a Cornish Rex Cat, or grab an Auction House lot, and stone it (make it rare with a Battle Stone). It also hits for 341.

Aquatic – Eternal Strider [Vale of Eternal Blossoms]

The Shore Crawler from Westfall or Azshara is a good aquatic pet with massive health a great starter.

If you’re level 90 you really want to grind the dried up water channels in the Vale, the P/S breed Strider hits at 273. The Eternal Strider can make a quick kill of many pet families thanks to Pump. Otherwise get yourself a fishing rod and prepare to spend the best part of forever trying to fish up Mr. Pinchy in Terrokar Forest. Alternatively, buy the Magical Crawdad pet from the Auction House. What makes the Crawdad so good is colossal health, a massive heal and a substantial heal over time spell.

Undead – Infected Squirrel [Silverpine Forest]

This lowly squirrel features in my Pandaran Tamer and Celestial Tournament guy. He’s a very useful little guy.

Critter – Rabbit [Multiple Zones]

All rabbits (or hares) share [Burrow] with snakes (Beast) which makes them reasonably strong opponents, grab an H/P or an ultra fast S/S.

Flying – Yellow Moth [The Exodar]

This one is definitely worth rolling a Draenai for! at level 25 it delivers a massive 341 power with a P/P breed. This little moth hits like a truck.

Humanoid – Anubisath Idol [Ahn’Qiraj]

So good I’m sending you to farm the Ahn’Qiraj: The Fallen Kingdom raid instance for this random drop. An immense addition to your arsenal.

Elemental – Tiny Twister [Arathi Highlands]

I found this category quite difficult to fill. Tiny Twister is OK and easy to get early from Arathi.

Magic – Minfernal [Felwood]

OK this is a rare spawn and can be quite hard to get. The Netherspace Abyssal from Prince Malchezar in Karazhan might be a less frustrating farm or the Tempest Keep drop Lesser Void Walker. If you’re desperate and not getting the spawns and drops the Enchanting crafted Enchanted Lantern or Lofty Libram from the Dalaran Crater in Hillsbrad Foothills.

These ten pets will get rolling. When you encounter the level appropriate trainers as you travel Azeroth try to match your pets to the trainers. Use the Comparison Table to to pick breeds strong against the trainers if you struggle to defeat their three pets. Once you get all of these ten pets to 25 simply park yourself in Pandaria and begin leveling the pets you need to defeat the Pandaran Tamers, the Beasts of Fable and finally the Celestial Tournament. Having one decent pet in all ten families will give you a head start and make the leveling of subsequent pets easier and faster.

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