Important Poll! (Dilemma no. 23)

As those who followed The Book of Grudges will know, I’m definitely the whimsical non-serious blogger of the family, so here’s my current contribution…

This Friday and Saturday I’m going to be meeting some of my kinmates from LotRO (kin = guild and although I always call it a guild, I try and be good on ‘paper’). Met a few of them before, but not as many as will be around this weekend. And, of course, being a geek, the main question is what I should wear that strikes the precise balance between being geek-cool and amusing to me. T-shirt, of course. So here’s the choices, and you get to vote on what I should wear for a LotRO kinmeet on saturday:

Hawaii Five-O (I got lei'd - gettit?)

Sauron gets his Ring

Dragon Quest smily slime

Lost & propaganda

The Quick Brown Fox...

Over to you:

I may be addicted to the readycheck

Any raid or group leader can enter a /readycheck command in WoW. When they do, a box will pop up on everyone else’s screen saying, “Are you ready?” with yes and no buttons. After 30s or so, the raid leader gets a report saying how many people picked yes or no and how many people did not respond.

It has a few different uses. I always run a readycheck before a raid boss fight to check whether everyone is *gasp* actually ready. Before the readycheck we had to just ask, see a few y or yesses and hope that meant everyone else was ready too. I also use it as a general “Are you awake?” check, or “Are you all back from making tea and washing your socks?” check after a break.

Sometimes we use it for general votes. For example: Vote yes to the readycheck if you want to stay past raid end for one more shot at the boss.

Sometimes I just run a readycheck because I can. I have that power!

It’s one of the few WoW UI features that I really miss in other games. Like most of the useful parts of the Blizzard UI, it was ‘inspired’ by addons. This is a smart move. It means that new features aren’t just random, “Hey y’all, look at THIS!” ideas that some developer had in the bath.

The first addon I remember with a readycheck was CTRA which was an incredibly popular raid UI back in the days of 40 man raiding. CTRA had proper support for custom polls too, and I do miss it.

Maybe I’ll dedicate next week’s 10 man raids to the memory of CTRA.

Blink and it’s on farm?

I ran another raid to 10 man Naxxramas this weekend. We had to swap a few people round because some of last week’s raiders couldn’t make it, including our fury warrior who regularly tops the damage meters. So we ended up more caster heavy this week, with two shadow priests.

We cleared the place in five hours. Also picked up the achievement on Faerlina along the way.

Every boss in lower Naxxramas was one shotted except for Gluth, including a good recovery from a slightly awkward “Arrgh, what’s he doing down that end of the platform?!” pull on Thaddius. I was most proud of the crew on the Four Horseman kill which was pretty much a model of calm and control, especially compared to last week’s semi-panicked chaos.

We had a couple of wipes each on Sapphiron and Kel’Thuzad but we did also have three people who hadn’t seen those fights before.

So, my raid continues to impress the heck out of me. Either we’re good or it’s easy, I don’t even know any more! I do also wonder about the Naxx loot tables. At least two thirds of the bosses dropped paladin plate this week. That’s loot that is only useful for one spec of one class. We had to shard most of it because our holy paladin already had it from last week.

My main goal now is to speed things up. Five hours is way too long to spend raiding in one stretch. We’ll probably also poke more of the achievements, but to be honest the only one I really want for my raid is for us all to get Undying (which you get if no one dies in any boss fight).

I opened next week’s raid up to an open guild thread, and hoping at least one extra tank signs up because I’m out at the theatre that night. I asked people to say if they might be free on Sunday instead if we have to change nights as a backup. But I hope they can go.

Oh, and I also picked up a shiny shiny two handed axe that our Retribution Paladin didn’t want. Shiny!!

It’s Big and it’s Blue and it wants to eat us!

Last night we took our first 10 man attempts at the Eye of Eternity. It’s an unusual raid instance and an unusual boss fight.

You zone in to find yourself standing on a platform with the universe revolving around you. In the middle of the platform is an orb with a label on it reading, “DO NOT TOUCH!”. And high above you, a big blue dragon is flying around and shouting intimidating phrases about being the master of this domain. I don’t know why he doesn’t do a strafing run, I would if I was a dragon and spotted a raid zoning in. Clearly this lack of judgement is a sign that he is off his rocker and needs us to kill him.

To be fair, there have been plenty of other quests leading to the conclusion that Malygos, Lord of Magic is crazy and needs to be put down. Draconic mental health care is apparently not very advanced.

OK, maybe the orb doesn’t actually have a sign on it.

In any case, someone with the raid key activates the orb and Malygos notices us properly  (even though he was shouting to us earlier) and decides to get in close and personal.

It’s a three phase fight which only needs one tank (thanks, Blizzard! As if it wasn’t hard enough to find tank spots these days). I’d done some homework by watching videos of the fight, which mostly intimidated me with Ciderhelm’s ability to tank the dragon, swivel the camera around, strafe, kite in a perfect circle, and instruct the raid ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

Fortunately, it is easier than it looks. I’m certainly not doing it as well as he does, but we got the gist fairly quickly. It also helped that we had a Death Knight along to capture sparks but I’m fairly confident now that we could manage without.

It was a fairly short raid. I called it after two hours because I thought we’d learned a lot and made good progress, and there’s a limit for how long you want to spend all trying the same boss (in my opinion). By that time, we’d gotten to phase three reliably on every attempt and were improving the speed of the first two phases.

Phase three is insane. The ground falls away below you and everyone drops through the sky … and lands on the backs of the flight of red drakes that have been sent to help you. So the third phase is a flying phase. Everyone is flying on their drake and circling the injured big blue dragon.

We will need more practice, but the coolness factor is incredible!