Category: Guide

Sylvanas, just because.

Sylvanas, just because.

Raiding starts on Wednesday… /sigh Here are a selection of things I could never see again and it would still be too soon.

standinfireDPS standing in the fire. Healers can just heal right through, right? Movement, especially for many casters means nerfing DPS, so why move, even if the ground around you is on fire? I’m DPS my job is maximum damage period. I’m top of the DPS metre so I’m doing it right. Wrong. The DPS job is twofold: maximise DPS while taking as little healing as possible. If healers are expending time/mana on healing you the tank isn’t getting it. If the tank dies because you stood in the fire and got healing instead everyone dies, not just you. So don’t simply blame healers if there is a wipe. If there is a wipe ask yourself: what could I have done better, how should I handle the mechanics of this encounter next time?

whyyoudeadPlayers asking for healing. If you are perilously low on health do something yourself to rectify this. If you’re DPS take pots/health stones or simply die quietly. The healers have addons to make healing everyone, especially those with very low health, efficient and effective. Either you will get healing or you will die because your healer decided that was the lesser of two evils. If your healer keeps going out-of-mana ask yourself why that is? It’s probably because too much mana is being spent on damage that should not be taken. Get out of the fire, getting out of the fire and avoiding predictable damage is your job. If you’re the tank keeping you alive’s a high priority. If your health is low pop all your cooldowns and baten down the hatches the healers are having a tough time. Asking for healing will not help and will not get you healed any quicker. Asking for healing, especially if you’re the tank, will most likely only piss off the healers. Low health? Deal with it. If you died ask yourself: what could I have done better, how should I handle the mechanics of this encounter next time?

wipe2Players asking for tanking. If you’re DPS chances are you nuked too soon. No one has to wait for three sunders any more, but at least wait for the tank to pull…keep pulling mobs out of the tank’s nicely organised pack? When it doubt assist the tank and target his target. It’s not hard and it’s not rocket science. If you’re running away from the mobs you pulled fine, that’s avoiding some melee damage. If you’re running away from the tank you deserve to die. I never want to see another healer or DPS running away back through the already cleared dungeon with a pack of mobs in pursuit followed by a disgruntled tank. If you really want to drop aggro go stand with the tank and stop DPS. OMG I’ll be last on the metre! You will be alive. Let me explain this very carefully for the dumbest amongst you: dead DPS does no damage, does not finish on top of metre. If something went wrong ask yourself: what could I have done better, how should I handle the mechanics of this encounter next time?

Tspirithealerhe DPS is too low for this fight. This is the most annoying statements of all. What does higher DPS achieve? A quicker kill. What does a quicker kill achieve? It reduces the number of cycles of the fight mechanic or in extreme cases prevents the boss from even entering one of their phases. This is just over-gearing the fight. Your raid team isn’t good enough to work the mechanic of the fight so you need to circumvent it by reducing the number of times they have to organise themselves. If you opt to drop your lowest DPS and bring in (better geared) higher DPS then you’ll need to do this forever. If your raid team is so awful at working the mechanic on a certain boss it is tempting to bring in better players, with more experience of this encounter and better gear. If you need carrying on this boss, you’re definitely going to need carrying on later bosses. Plus your ‘weaker’ players, rotated out because of low DPS won’t get gear…in relative terms how much better will these players be at the next boss? A raid team is fighting it’s way up a downward moving escalator. If you make someone miss a boss while you forge on they don’t stay where they are they move down quicker than you move up. Skip them one week for better geared, higher DPS players then you might as well drop them permanently their gear is not progressing with the raid so they’ll always be bottom of the metre.

spirithealer2Furthermore, stating the DPS is too low is piss poor raid leading and playing. How much higher do you think the DPS of the world first guilds is on the same bosses as you? In their gear? A fraction. Just because they’re the best players in the world doesn’t mean they can magical pull gigantic DPS out of their arses. Don’t get me wrong knowing how to play your class and when to pop your cooldowns will get you more DPS, but not compared to gear. The world’s best guilds aren’t the world’s best guilds because they can out DPS you. They succeed because they can organise themselves, cope when things go sideways and always know how to execute a strategy. They work the fight mechanics. “We need more DPS, to stop the boss going into phase x three times.” Bullshit, you need to train your raid team to cope with phase x more skilfully. Method can do phase x all day and slowly chip away the boss’s health until they’re dead. What you’re actually saying is: “We’re so shambolic and god awful we have to nuke hard and try to avoid another repetition of one of the fight phases because our team is made up of hopeless players who can’t learn.” If this is the case, whatever your ranking on WoWProgress that’s not your guild progress your guild is not 8/9 heroic, you’re probably 4/9 heroic and 8/9 carried by players from better guilds. I’d rather fight with my friends to 4/9 than get carried to 9/9 with friends left out. I want my team to succeed. It’s not my team with two PUGs from substantially more progressed guilds.

do_not_push_this_buttonOK I’ll activate the thing that keeps us alive then. Frequently someone has to push a button, stand somewhere, pick something up and take it to somewhere else. This also happens in LFR, often it’s decided that person A will do it. When it comes to it person A won’t and boom everyone dies seconds later. People will quit LFR because someone had the temerity to ask them to do the thing. When I’m in a guild group I never want to hear a silence when it’s asked who is going to do the thing. It usually requires a DPS (since your job is not important, see the last point if you don’t understand that) and usually one with a lot of mobility so they can still do DPS while doing the thing. However, it usually ends up being a warlock with not much mobility, or a mage with even less, volunteering to do the thing because no one else wants to. It’s a combination of bad and lazy that prevents better suited players volunteering. They also want to maximise their personal DPS (at the expense of someone else’s and the overall team DPS) which underlines how bad they are. It’s not complex or controversial: selfish players do not make good team members (no matter how high their DPS is). I think these mechanics in fights can tell you a lot about a person. If you assign doing the thing to the most appropriate character when the player doesn’t want it they probably won’t sign up for the raid next week. You may not see them again until after that boss is cleared and someone else has learned and now owns in that role. It’s possible they may not raid again (this often feeds into people who won’t raid or even join guilds and bitch about elitist, hardcore, inflexible, dictatorial guilds). Shut up and do your job.

spirithealer3The worst thing in any team is not understanding your role. Your role in the raid team is not to get loot from this boss. If you’re a tank your job is to marshal the mobs, keep them hitting you and keep yourself alive. Keeping a tank alive is not solely the healer’s job, tanks have cooldowns, talents and spells to heal and mitigate damage. If you’re top of the DPS metre as a tank, losing mobs and dying all the time you’re doing it wrong. Pick some more damage mitigation talents and tailor your build and performance to the fight. Healers: your job is to keep yourself alive first and foremost. If you forget to heal yourself you’re dead. If you’re dead no one gets heals, how long will the raid stay up? Your secondary job is helping the tank to stay up. If you’re targetting and directly healing a DPS, unless they’re taking damage because they’re doing the thing, you’re probably doing it wrong. Or the DPS is. DPS: you have two jobs. I’ll say that again: DPS, you have two jobs. Job 1) take no unnecessary damage; Job 2) DPS the right target. That order is not a mistake, if you’re taking unnecessary damage you’re probably dying too often too. Dead DPS does no DPS remember. If you’re standing in the fire so you can carry on DPS-ing chances are the healer is struggling to keep you alive when the tank goes pop and the raid wipes. Your DPS decreases in value to the team relative to the amount of damage you take during an encounter. You may top the DPS metre and not be the most valuable DPS.

sh4Especially if you’re not targetting the correct mob. Adds nearly always have priority, that’s a great rule of thumb. If adds spawn during a boss fight it’s usually your job to kill them as soon as possible. They often come in waves and if you don’t get on top of them during the first wave you’ll quickly be overwhelmed. If you’re too lazy or don’t want to switch your focus away from the boss to help with the adds then you’re not helping the team. Don’t point to the lowest DPS and blame them for the teams lack of progress, look at their damage targets. If they’re hitting multiple targets during the fight and all you’re on is the boss, it’s you you’re doing it wrong.

sh5Why are we wiping all the time? We’re wiping because we don’t know the fight and repeatedly doing the fight is the only way to practice your job and learn. Watching a video or reading a guide is all very well and essential preparation, but it’s no substitute for doing the fight and seeing the spell casts. Complaining about wiping in progression raids tells me two things about you. 1) You’re not fit for anything harder than LFR because you don’t like to wipe. Challenging content is not faceroll, it is not easy. So it will beat you. Again and again and again. Then you will learn your job, learn the mechanics of the fight and you will beat it. However, not before everyone has learned their role. 2) You’re not cut out for progression in any guild, you want to be carried by people who will do the thing for you and out-gear the content so you can simply turn up, statically DPS the boss, take your loot. You’re not a team player. If you’re already tired of seeing the spirit healer progression raiding is not for you. Get to LFR.

My number one rule for anyone who would like to be a better raider and make more progress with their guild is simple: If something went wrong ask yourself: what could I have done better, how should I handle the mechanics of this encounter next time?

headThere’s enough to do in World of Warcraft to keep me playing since I’ve some back. Creating my own parameters and setting my own goal keeps me enjoying what I’m doing. Warlords of Draenor is what it is, it hasn’t changed, the dearth of patch content is still an issue and we remain sceptical about Legion and the future. The game is still there though: WoD raids are still among the best Blizzard have ever made; the excellent levelling process makes raising alts from 90 – 100 a joy; the older expansion content still exists and many; many things are left for us to complete.

So while I’m still annoyed and disappointed by Warlords of Draenor and won’t pay for a subscription myself the core game still interests me and I do have things to do. Indeed the farming of gold to finance my WoW Token purchase each month has become a mini game. What I have learned over the last two months is that if used properly the Garrison is useful and fun. The most important piece of wisdom I can share with you is: Garrisons, you’ll like them more the less time you spend in them. If you’re following my example and hacking your way to 60k gold each month (well that’s the price on Draenor-EU dammit) I’ve got some simple tips.

harvestYour Garrison(s).

One Level 3 Garrison and a good, epic fleet in your shipyard can deliver a couple of thousand gold on a good day (more). These days although not unusual aren’t every other. I’ve currently got three Horde level 100s and their Garrisons are (almost) fully optimized. I can easily turn over 2K a day easily with all three chars, a WoW Token costs 60K, so that puts me right on track to buy the token doing nothing every day except harvest my Garrisons.

Small buildings:

Level 2 Gem Boutique

JCRegardless of your professions you need one of these in all your garrisons. At level 2 you can assign a follower to work in the Boutique. This follower will offer a simple daily quest each day that with reward on average 250G. (That’s 40% of your daily requirement if you have three Gem Boutiques.)

Level 3 Salvage Yard

Literally money for nothing. You’ll potentially get an extra drop, Salvage Bag or Crate, from Follower missions. These contain trash items and green/blue transog/trash gear. Either vendor the gear (for around 25G) or disenchant it and auction the mats. This salvage also has a chance of Follower weapon/armour upgrades. This stuff is great.

Medium buildings

Level 2 Lunafall / Frostwall Inn

At level 2 an NPC inside your inn will give you a choice of three Followers to select from. You can set the Ability or Trait of your recruits and in this way you can fill out your roster with Treasure Hunters. Gold missions from the command table will yield two, sometime more, times the gold due to the Followers on the mission with this trait.

Large Buildings

War Mill / Dwarven Bunker

A no brainer. At level 3 the War Mill will yield one free Bonus Roll Token a week. For Garrison Resources and Iron Horde Scraps (dropping in raids and dungeons mainly) you can get more Follower armour and weapon upgrades. You’ll need these to speed your progress to 675 with all your Treasure Hunter followers. Ker-ching!


Another no brainer: a level 3 Barracks allows you to have 5 more active followers. More active Followers means more Follower missions each day.

All Garrisons have a location for a mine and a herb garden. Ore and herbs are not a fabulous source of gold, many guides advise against levelling and harvesting. However, the gold return : time spent ratio is reasonable. Of course, to get the mine and garden to level 3 you’ll need 3850G and 1500 garrison resources. I expect to harvest a 200 stack of herbs every other day. The value of the stacks fluctuate and different herbs do have different values but for 300 – 400 gold every other day if you struggling to make your target this may assist in avoiding your two final options below. You’re going to need some ore and often a couple of herbs to complete the Gem Boutique daily so mine and herb garden are not bad plans, even if you only harvest what’s required for the daily. Harvesting both mine took me eleven minutes today and I was not approaching it as a time trial.

InnWith my three level 3 garrison and my treasure hunting / questing activities on my other chars I’m turning in 60K every 15 days. I can afford to toss some cash around, I can generate enough gold for my WoW Token in half the time required. So I can put my feet up and not do any of the following:

Cataclysm Raids

If you are skilled and play the right class then I guess you’re solo-ing old MoP raids. I’ve tried Throne of Thunder and found Jin’rokh more trouble than it was worth. For me that rules out the rest of ToT and Siege of Orgrimmar. I believe Mogu’shan Vaults and Heart of Fear are not impossible to solo at level 100. Give them a try I will be. I can reported that as a DPS class with very little mitigation

As for the Catacylsm raids I am happy to report my personal experience is that all are solo-able on heroic difficulty right up to Dragon Soul. Why do you want solo these old raids? Well in a couple or three hours when you vendored the contents of you bags, four or five times, you’ll find yourself about 5K better off. You can run these dungeons once a week, that’s 4 times in your WoW Token period. That’s around 22.5K or 35% of your token money, big hit relatively short time: 7 hours ¼.

I messed up and did Firelands on 10 man difficulty today, it took 35 minutes and yielded 1251G.

Bastion of Twilight on heroic difficulty took 23 minutes (including travel time) and yielded 1253G.

Blackwing Descent on heroic was all over in 15 minutes but did yield a surprising 1511G.

I completed Dragon Soul heroic in 36 minutes (up to the ‘loot ship’, skipping Spine and Madness) for a whopping 1642G.

alex1 hour 49 (109 minutes) to farm 5657G. That’s a respectable 3114G per hour.


Thanks to that ridiculous and useless Legendary Ring quest chain, farming out LFR for 900 stones, 33 tomes and a severed arm is an unfortunate necessity (if you’re into that kind of thing). LFR – whatever else you think of it – is a great source of gold. As Raider Finder is such an awful waste of time and a cesspool of the dregs of the player base, I urge you to only consider farming it on Wednesday, immediately after a the reset.

On a Wednesday raiders and competent players dip into LFR if they need to. In MoP Thursday and Friday were also viable for this purpose. These days with the halving of subscriber numbers and the further attrition we can now only guess at (Blizzard will publish no more subscriber figures) during the long final patch content desert, LFR is not worth venturing into after Wednesday each week. Your mileage may vary, you might get lucky, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Highmaul, Blackrock Foundry and Hellfire Citadel contain 15 wings between them. At 154 gold per wing that’s 2310 simply for getting through each wing, after your share of looted gold and the sale of any epics you won but don’t need you’re going to have ground out about 4k gold. If you have the stamina you can do this on multiple chars. Personally I can only bear to go in to grind out my legendary bits. With three chars at different stages of the Legendary cycle the upside is that at it’s worse I had to do Highmaul on one character, Blackrock Foundry on another and Hellfire Citadel on the last. The characters have moved up pretty much together and now I don’t need to even queue for HM and this week I got my last of 900 stones so BRF is finished too now.

This month I intend to finish levellingsleeping-on-piles-of-wow-gold-620px at least two more Horde characters: the Death Knight and Paladin. The garrisons should then quickly be able to deliver my WoW Token gold with very little outside effort. Then I can concentrate on having more fun, I’m even considering raiding again. Maybe with the Alliance.

This may seem like a large investment in gold generating activities just to get enough for WoW Tokens so I don’t need to subscribe until new content is released. However, no new content is coming until the next expansion and it’s unlikely we’ll see that before September, eight months from now. I’ll be utilizing this time to learn new gold farming techniques for when I’m too busy in Legion (fingers crossed) I’ll share anything simple I find. Anything complex you’ll be looking to someone else for help with.

For Bond he could’ve sampled a fart and looped if for three minutes for me.

Addons are a constant quest for perfection for me. I like addons that do one thing perfectly, and only one thing. I often find large addons that do several jobs, but that’s invariably a hammer to crack a nut. You don’t use the full range of their functionality so that’s a waste of good memory that could be powering the game engine. Small and perfectly formed with a low use of precious system resources is what I look for in an addon. I’ve made a couple of changes to my list of essential addons this week, today I want to talk about Chat Management and WIM (WoW Instant Messenger).

I’ve liked and used WIM for a long time now, but if addons have taught me anything it’s nothing lasts forever and something better is often just around the corner. When you get a whisper it grabs that ‘conversation’ and puts it into a separate, Instant Messenger style, window. The beauty of this is when someone whispers you while you’re AFK or very busy healing heroic Stonecore. You come back to a window with their whisper in it, without it all the party, trade and guild chatter would’ve scrolled the whisper off the top stack and you’d never know you were whispered at all. It features a useful URL grabber and you can toggle the opening of multiple WIM windows, for each whisperer, or to keep all whispers in one tabbed window. It works, but it is a bit of resource whore.

OK, I admit I kinda missed some of the interface changes that Blizz implemented recently. So I was pleasantly surprised to discover some of the chat functionality Blizzard have implemented.

Social Pane

Selecting IM style will allow you right click on a whisperers name or on the [Party] text before a party members name and select Move to new window.

A new tab opens on the chat panel.

You can drag that tab and move the separated whisper window to any part of the screen.

OK it isn’t perfect. I would love if there was an option to automatically open all whispers in a new tab and of course there is no URL grab functionality. However, being able to isolate a chat channel: party; raid; guild; trade in the same way as I used to do with whispers in WIM is a real boon and offers enough for me to retire WIM. Eventually someone will extend the default interface for me to include the features I’ve mentioned, assuming some addon developer hasn’t already.

Nothing would surprise me less.

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