My Armory page went off the deep end.

Here’s a screenshot of Optiq’s Armory page after the Realm Merge with Malygos last night. It since has been updated to look correct, but kinda cool to catch this weird in between state of my character.

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OM vs. The Fallen Protectors 10N

Just a quick shout out to our group, Often Misquoted on US-Icecrown! We aren’t lighting up the progress charts yet, but it’s progress for our little slice of the raiding world. Very proud of this groups patience the last couple of months and looking forward to progressing through SoO.

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Raid Team thoughts for 6.0

With the recent news of changes to raiding at this past weekends Blizzcon, raid teams are freaking out…well, some are and some are welcoming the changes with open arms.

As there is already a multitude of responses to the raiding changes and how they will be affecting the overall raiding universe, I will just be commenting on how this potentially affects my group (and others with similar structure).

To get right to it, the big changes to the raiding structure are the following:

Raid_6.0

For our group, the change will be going from a current Normal (10) in 5.4 to the Heroic (10) in 6.0. From what I’ve gathered so far, this will be a slight bump up in encounter difficulty, but we’ll have to wait and see it how that unfolds.

One of the big questions with this change that I have to face as a Raid Leader and Guild Leader is what will be the size of our raid group once we are raiding in 6.0? Will we go to 15? to 20? to 25? With the new raid encounters being cross-realm accessible, our raid team will be able to benefit from raiders we have been running with in current flex groups. I’ve already had cross realm players message me about being part of our group in 6.0. Recruiting has already started for the new sizes and raid teams need to be thinking about how big they want their group to be. I’m certainly glad to no longer have to worry about dialing in a group size to only 10 and having frustrated players sitting the bench. Or the reverse of having too few and not getting raids off the ground.

With the cross realm accessibility being part of the new raid structure, it certainly will make coordinating raids a bit more complicated. Particularly, in the scheduling area. Currently, cross-realm raids can use OpenRaid to address this, but there doesn’t seem to be any new changes to the in-game calendar to include cross-realm invites. They did announce a new in-game interface allow for raider browsing similar to Oqueue, but I didn’t note any scheduling functionality. Will raid groups have to use their own system for scheduling or will they have to use third party systems like OpenRaid?

There will be more updates to come on the raid changes in the coming weeks and months and I hope your raid team has already started working on addressing the changes. Raiding in 6.0 already sounds very exciting to me and am looking forward to it.

OpenRaid, pt.2

I’ve been leading and participating quite a bit on OpenRaid the last several weeks and after my last post, I wanted to add a few more thoughts.

1.) Flex is NOT LFR

I’ve been in several Flex groups where raiders request a full explanation of the fight before the first pull. Doing your homework ahead of time as a raider is extremely helpful for the raid leader and the group. Seriously…go watch video’s or at least read the in-game Dungeon Journal.

The key issue with this is if the OpenRaid event is posted as Intermediate, the Raid Leader is expecting you to at least know the fundamentals of the fight and be able to adjust to how the strat they want to perform is different than what you are familiar with. They don’t plan on explaining every mechanic of the fight and want to keep the run moving along at a good pace.

A prime example, as a Raid Leader, I’m not going to explain every synergistic mechanic of the Paragons of the Klaxxi fight in SoO. There are so many mechanics in that fight that even the FatBoss video of it comes in at a staggering 29:07 long…and that’s the short version of it.

If the event is posted as Beginner, then you will need to prepared to have lengthy set up times before each pull, as raiders get familiar with the fight and have explanations provided. This type of raid is for teaching and not speed.

When picking an OpenRaid event, be sure you know what the level of the event is at and be prepared accordingly. You don’t want to end up in a run that is going too fast or slow for what you can handle, especially on new content.

2.) Flex still requires strong Raid Leaders (and an even stronger supporting cast)

Flex groups require Raid Leaders…and strong ones at that.

Herding 24 other cats still requires a raid leader who can keep the group focused and on task for a Flex run. At this point in WoW’s raiding life span, raiders expect clear direction and timely adjustments after each pull. If these aren’t happening, the group tends to get chaotic and becomes harder to manage.

I’ve been fortunate to have three very strong raiders in our guild who help keep our Flex runs on task. Two of them are tanks and the other is a ranged dps. These tanks are excellent at keeping a steady pace through the instance and getting to the next boss pull after a wipe. Our dps guru keeps the damage players on the right target for each boss fight.

These three act as our Field Generals who actually make the raid hit on all cylinders. My job then turns into making strat adjustments and handling the overall group performance.

Having four people in the group on the same page and in command makes handling the raid much easier, which in turn helps us kill bosses and clear the instance in our set amount of time. I know I’m lucky to have this group!

Overall, I’m still enjoying OpenRaid and it has become my replacement to LFR (at least on my main). I hope you all have great experiences in Flex and be sure to thank your Raid Leader!

OpenRaid – An Intro

For those who might not be familiar with this site, but OpenRaid is a forum that provides cross realm raiding support for World of Warcraft.

Initially, I started using this site as an opportunity for our 10 man normal group to keep raiding when we recently had raiders leave the group. As we are still in the recruiting process (small plug for our team, Often Misquoted on US-Icecrown), we’ve been using OpenRaid to keep raiding. This opportunity has certainly helped keep the group together and progressing through Siege of Orgrimmar. Otherwise, I would imagine the usual fate of 10 man groups would have besieged us and fallen apart.

As with all new things, I’ve learned a couple key lessons that will hopefully make your OpenRaid experience enjoyable and successful.

If you are an OpenRaid Raid Leader:

Use the Info section of the Raid Description to your advantage. Below are some key elements to convey for someone looking to sign up for your run.

  • Be concise on your expectations for what you want to clear for the event (one wing or multiple wings). This should correlate with the Event description.
  • Note the overall time the event is going to last.
  • Indicate the ideal number of raiders you are going to take for the event. This is crucial, as you will be balancing the group total around how many healers sign up.
  • Indicate what you expect of the Damage players for boss encounters and note if you will remove them from the group, if they are unable to meet these minimum damage numbers.
  • Indicate when the final roster will be posted and when invites to the group will be going out.
  • Note what type of voice-chat system you will be using for the event (typically, Mumble or Vent). The details will be posted in the Voice-Chat Information section for all approved members of the Event.
  • Note when Reserve players may be contacted for an invite, if any of the approved players can’t make it or don’t show.
  • Indicate if consumables will be provided or if raiders are to provide their own.

These are some during Event notes for Raid Leaders.

  • At the start, be sure to reiterate the length of time the event is planned on going. If you are going to have a scheduled break, let them know when to expect it.
  • Indicate the minimum DPS you expect from your damage players on boss encounters and be prepared to follow through on removing players from your group. For my runs, I delegate two members of my guild (usually a tank and dps) to watch the numbers and they have assist to remove players from the raid. All in all, there are three of us watching the raid performance and making sure everyone is meeting the expectations.
  • Provide a short strat on each boss encounter. Be brief! I can be long winded and my tanks used cut me off if I went too long. Now I just delegate these explanations to them 🙂
  • Be clear on player assignments and make sure they know what they need to do.
  • Assign a player to be in charge of Hero/Time Warp. Assign a back up player, in case the primary is dead. Be clear on when you are going to call Hero/Time Warp for the fight. The damage players need to know when to expect it.
  • Double check flasks and food before each pull. There are plenty of add-ons to let you know this.

If you are an OpenRaid Raid Member:

  • Be sure you will be able to commit to amount of time noted for the Event. Granted, Flex allows people to come and go throughout a wing, but having some key positions leave mid-event really does make or break a raid. If you do have to leave a raid, be sure to let the raid leader know and not just ninja leave. It’s just common courtesy.
  • Have the voice chat system that will be used for the event set up on your computer ahead of time! Set up the specific server profile well before raid and you won’t have to waste time scrambling to figure it out.
  • If you are required to use Mumble, be sure you know how to set up the Push-To-Talk key! This is one of the most common questions I get as a Raid Leader. Excellent instructions for Mumble can be found here: http://www.mumble.com/support/mumble-server-push-to-talk.php
  • Have your own food and flasks ready to go, even if the event indicates they will be provided.
  • Know the boss fights ahead of time.
  • If you don’t understand a fight mechanic, ASK! If you aren’t comfortable with speaking in front of a group of strangers, then whisper the raid leader. Our job is to make sure everyone understands what is going on, if you don’t let us know, we can’t help.
  • Listen! Every raid leader is different in how they run things and you’ll be better off listening twice as much as talking.
  • Put forth a solid effort! We want bosses to die and get all the great loot. If you don’t give that much of an effort, we all suffer.
  • Have Fun!!!! A well lead and executed OpenRaid event is a blast and you’ll be coming back for more.

OpenRaid provides an excellent resource for players to experience many great aspects of WoW and hope you give many of them a try with this tool.

-Optiq

Patch 5.4 Article Roundup

Posting a list of the 5.4 patch roundup articles that I compiled for our guilds forums. Hope this helps in finding information for all of the new content in 5.4.

Icy-Veins

Prepping for 5.4
http://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/2889-preparing-for-patch-54-siege-of-orgrimmar/

5.4 Raid release schedule
http://www.icy-veins.com/forums/topic/2974-siege-of-orgrimmar-raid-schedule/

Wowhead

Prepping for 5.4
http://www.wowhead.com/news=219297/preparing-for-patch-5-4-guide-gear-changes-removed-content-and-more

5.4 Pet Battle Changes
http://www.wowhead.com/news=219517/patch-5-4-battle-pet-guide-new-pets-changes-and-the-celestial-tournament

Timeless Isle Currency
http://www.wowhead.com/news=219324/patch-5-4-timeless-coins-currency-preview-acquiring-and-spending-coins

Mr.Robot

Top Ten Things to Know for 5.4
http://blog.askmrrobot.com/2013/08/patch-5-4-notes-10-things-to-know/

MMO-Champion

5.4 Patch Live This Week