Monday Musings – 6/7 Heroic and Recruitment Still Sucks Edition   17 comments

Happy Monday, Everyone!  Why is Beru so happy on a Monday?  Well, mostly because after some very long travel I am finally back home.  It feels good to come back home after living in a hotel for 10 days and raiding at the mercy of hotel internet for that period of time.  And believe it or not, it feels good to actually cook a meal.  Eating out really does start to lose its luster after about day four (and the five pounds you add in the time you are gone).  Anyhow, I have some musings to dump out of my head after so much time.  Forgive me if they ramble a bit, but I really need this brain dump.

On Raiding

Raiding has been very good to us as late.  Last week we knocked out Heroic Staghelm.  This week we saw Heroic Baleroc tumble after just two nights of work on him.  Not only that, but the raid team surprised me with a one shot on heroic Staghelm and over 30 seconds left on the enrage timer.  Truth be told, I think everyone was expecting a second Staghelm kill to take a few pulls to shore up and most people were as pleased as I was when we walked in, high on our Baleroc kill, and knocked him out fairly easily.  We had a few deaths at the end of the second set of orbs (I let my co-soaker die :( ) but we pulled it out beautifully.

Heroic Staghelm

Healing Staghelm is a bit odd.  There really isn’t much healing to be done on the fight outside of the orb phases – which are pretty healing heavy.  Other than that it’s mostly just keeping the tank alive and topping up people who took damage from seeds or a leap.  In fact, we have one priest who goes smite spec and DPSes everything but the orb phases.  It hard to tell if I have a good grasp of the best way to heal the fight, as I help to soak an orb, which means I have lower legendary concentration up time.  So it’s hard to tell if I should be doing certain things differently, or if I am doing things properly but see lower healing output than I’d like (comparatively) as a result of lower concentration. 

Last week was my first week at home on the fight, as I was playing from the laptop and travelling last week.  I also died on the first orb phase and had to be rezzed, but I can’t say that it had a huge effect on my mana since the fight has so much down time.  All of this, of course, means I don’t know if I’m quite ready for a video guide yet.  I know how to heal the fight, but of our two kills, I haven’t had a performance where I felt happy with my play by the end of the kill.  As such, I may well wait another week to see if I can shore up a few things before getting a guide out.  I don’t think that a week should make a huge difference (but I could be wrong!).  In the interim, I have included the video of this weeks kill at the bottom of this post.

Heroic Baleroc

This is another fight were I’m not ready to offer advice on yet.  Part of it is because in our healing strategy I have a bit of an odd job.  I heal the melee team for the first two shards (which means I don’t get to power build stacks on the shadow priests), and then I swap to the tanks for the third and fourth shard.  After that I’m supposed to build additional spark stacks “as I can” on subsequent shards, but always swapping back to the tanks for Decimation Blade.  I also rotated with the other druid’s healing assignment if she became afflicted with Tormented, which means she and I would swap assignments while she had the debuff.

That was how it was supposed to work in theory, anyhow.  However, I generally found myself a bit panicked at the tanks life and never really got back to the shards to build up more stacks.  I think this bit me in the ass a bit at the end of the fight, at least mana wise.  Which means that I think I healed the majority of the fight with only 39 spark stacks, and I know I could have done better than that, even just by using smarter healing on my own torment targets.  I’m still trying to work out times that I can sneak a few regrowths in on the two shadow priests at the start of the fight when they are at high stacks, while not letting my shard target die, which is a challenge in and of itself.

Anyhow, I’d like another bite at the apple before I feel comfortable enough to offer advice on this encounter as well.  In rewatching the video of our kill, there are a few pretty glaring errors that I made and would like to see if I can remedy, as well as shore up my spark stacks within my given assignment, which is a tank/raid hybrid.  It’s a bit trickier than being a pure tank healer, and I don’t believe that I’ve worked through all of the kinks yet.  However, I have included the video of our kill from my PoV at the bottom of this post as well.

All in all, we’ve had a good couple of raid weeks and are looking forward to allowing Heroic Ragnaros to decorte his floor with our corpses for the next month or so :)

On Recruiting

It still pretty much sucks.  The number of guilds out there looking to suppliment their rosters is enormous.  Actually, what is bigger than enormous, because that is what it really is.  If you head to the official forums and look for applicants, you find that each qualified, potential candidate has THREE pages of people vying for a chance to snag them up for their guild.  Not only that, but many potential applicants are frequently snatched up by another guild in less than a day.  It can be extremely disheartening, especially if you are trying to recruit and make your guild stand out.

The truth is that attrition still happens at any level of raiding, for a wide array of reasons.  And it’s becoming ever move difficult to counter the attrition with qualified applicants who fit well with your guild.  Even moreso if you aren’t on a high population sever that draws in talent.  So difficult.

As such, I would be remiss not to at least mention what spots we have open on our roster.  Right now, we have opened recruitment for the following:

  • One Resto Shaman
  • One to Two Hunters
  • One Mage
  • One casters DPS of any class (Warlock, Moonkin or Shadow Priest)

We don’t over recruit, so all spots are for a core raid position with our progression team.  If you think you might be interested, you can learn more at www.monolithwow.com or by asking me any questions that you may have.  Don’t be shy about applying if you have less experience or gear – we have always been far more interested in the player behind the class than we have in gear.  We can gear a skilled player, but cannot always teach a geared player skill!

On Letting Go

Today I came across a post by Borsk where he talks about letting go of his raid team.  It’s a deep, heartfelt post that I can relate to 100%.  It’s absolutely worth the read, for both weary raid/guild leaders, as well as for members of raid teams who probably don’t fully understand the stress and pressure that come with the job.  I honestly think that many members of raid teams don’t realise how much their actions or off hand comments can negatively affect their raid leaders, and how sometimes it can be that one thing said at the wrong time that can make someone question why they spend so much time, energy and heart in what they do.

It’s not easy to let go of something you’ve held onto for so long.  I have no doubt that Borsk will land on his feet, regardless of what he does, but I can’t help but feeling for him right now.  I wish you all the luck, Borsk.  And let me know if you need anything.

On Alts

I’ve taken to playing me mini-me in our alt runs, since we have another player who enjoys his paladin alt and one paladin two druids is a better combo for healing than two paladins and one druid.  And, obviously, I love druids!  It’s been an extremely enlightening and fun experience for me.  I went into Firelands undergeared (still wearing two or three blue items!).  I have gotten to get a look at the encounters from both a 10 man perspective and as a druid who isn’t geared to the teeth like Beru.  I’ve learned quite a bit from the experience, and have grown as a healer as a result.  I don’t know how many people have the patience to raid on a second character that is virtually identical to their main, but it really is very rewarding and I have learned so much.  I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Also on the alt front, I have some big news!  My fifth character and fourth healer has reached 85!  It’s my shaman Mynn.  I really enjoyed the journey.  I leveled her elemental, and had a blast lava bursting my way to glory, and running around while casting lightning bolts.  I healed every instance on the way, and I am starting to get a better feel for healing as a shaman.  I managed to wiggle my way into a Baradin Hold run yesterday that I had absolutely no business being in (I can’t even queue for troll heroic yet!), but I managed well enough…until I ran completely dry of mana.  Like OH GOD my MANA! 

At some point I recalled that I had telluric currents, but it’s really hard to shoot lightning when there are people in need of heals.  I suspect it’s going to take time to get used to shaman healing, but I’ve had a pretty good time of it so far.  I haven’t had too much trouble in heroics unless the tank is careless and doesn’t let me drink.  Oh, or if I die and mana tide isn’t up.  If that happens, I’m pretty much fucked ;)

On Out of Game Things

The Glee Project finally finished (well, while I was in Denver, but I had to watch it when I got home).  I have to say, I don’t know that I’m thrilled with their “winner”.  That being said, I was really happy with how they treated all four finalists, and think it’s a very cool thing for them to do!  Having been in audition situations before I know that amount of stress and pressure that is involved and it really is awesome how they ended this season.  I’m looking forward to next season!

We are still trucking along with True Blood as well.  Having read all of the books, all I can say is what the fuck is with the Lafayette story line?  Seriously, what the fuck.  The have taken a lot of liberties with the books to date, but this one is just kind of way off of the reservation.  I’m not entirely sure what to think of it just yet.  I guess I’ll just go with it and see where it takes me!

During my travel I had a lot of opportunity to read (like every night after the raid in the hot tub!).  I finished a Clash of Kings and am a good deal into A Storm of Swords.  I’m totally hooked.  The writing is so well done that I can easily visualise everything in my head and I’m completely drawn in.  It’s fantastic!  I am quite curious to see how everything plays out over the course of this book and the remaining two that I have to read – as well as in the final two coming up.

I have a list of things waiting for me to read as soon as I finish, but I think I will keep moving through the books at this point.  Nobody spoil anything for me like BRADE DID!  (Even though he tried to cover it up, I don’t believe that he didn’t ruin something for me down the road here a bit.  THANKS A LOT!).

Videos!

As promised above, here are the videos that I have for both our Heroic Baleroc and Heroic Staghelm kills.  Please let me know if you have any questions about either, I’ll get guides out but probably not until next week after I have another week’s worth of experience with the kills :)

17 responses to “Monday Musings – 6/7 Heroic and Recruitment Still Sucks Edition

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  1. “I honestly think that many members of raid teams don’t realise how much their actions or off hand comments can negatively affect their raid leaders, and how sometimes it can be that one thing said at the wrong time that can make someone question why they spend so much time, energy and heart in what they do.”

    This, a thousand times over. This is what caused me to kill off my 3 year old 25 player raiding guild and turn it into a semi-casual 10 player raid that raids one night a week.

    Realizing that most people don’t understand, and moreover don’t appreciate, the effort that goes into building and maintaining a guild, it’s very much a completely selfless endeavor, and with the environment as unfriendly as it is right now due to the explosion of guilds, it all got to be too much.

    • I think this is something that is equally as common in life as it is in game. Sometimes people are thoughtless without realizing that they are being thoughtless. Or they say/do things that haven’t fully been flushed out and that has an impact on people that they likely don’t realize. However, everyone has a breaking point, and sometimes all it takes is one thoughtless comment to push a person over the edge to theirs :)

  2. H Staghelm sucks. H Baleroc is pretty cool. You are welcome for this insightful comment.

    • The only part of Heroic Staghelm that I really dislike is the orb phases. Actually, only when you get 4 of 6 orbs in one quadrant, and have to try to navigate stacks on people, and the massive cat leaps you get with the orbs because you have so many people concentrated in one area.

      I actually think I like Staghelm more than Baleroc, but I’m not sure yet! I’ll let you know next week ^.^

  3. “Healing Staghelm is a bit odd. There really isn’t much healing to be done on the fight outside of the orb phases – which are pretty healing heavy. Other than that it’s mostly just keeping the tank alive and topping up people who took damage from seeds or a leap. ”

    You must be doing it without Scorpid phases, my guild usually tries to take 8 first time around, something like 5 second time around and so on. I can tell you, if you do that there is LOADS to heal, I’ve never pressed my PoH button as often and as hard as during Staghelm ^^

    • Ah, in heroic we don’t take the scorpian slashes so that we can maintain legendary concentration as long as possible :) Basically, before he hits 100 energy the first time we transition him over to cat. So it means that there are more transition phases, but more periods of time where the raid will have legendary concentration.

  4. Thanks for the kind words as always, Beru. It’s sad for both myself and the raiders that really, honestly, did care and understand the all the challenges involved. It’s those guys/gals that I feel the most sorry for in the long run. Even today people were looking for ways to fix the roster or change some things, but down the road in a month or so I can see this happening again. Eventually it’s just time, and you know it when it gets there.

    • This expansion has been so terribly difficult in so many ways. I’m not really sure if it’s turned out quite how Blizzard “intended” it, but it’s what we are left with, and I don’t know that we can expect any changes in the future to make it better. In fact, I wager that it will continue to be more difficult in coming months.

      Best of luck to you!

  5. Congratulations on the kills Mono! :D

    And I completely understand where you’re coming from regarding the recruitment. While our guild recently stopped recruiting after finally filling our second 10-man group, it was a pain to even think about. It’s a shame that Llane has become almost dead horde-side. :(

    Good luck on Ragnaros! :)

    • I don’t know that “almost dead” is quite right! I think it’s more than many people are content where they are, so it makes recruiting on server that much more difficult :)

      • Very true. People do seem to be very happy where they are. :) However, the recent outflux of various raiding guilds (Nexus, Ascendance) has made it seem less homey, to me. :(

  6. We’ve done Heroic Staghelm twice now, and the difference is enormous, for whatever reason. Same group comp, first kill hits the enrage and barely kills him, second is a nice and easy almost minute before the enrage. Couldn’t tell you why, other than the dps familiarity with the encounter.

    I’m right with you in terms of recruitment. It really is a ‘seller’s market’ in terms of recruitment. I’ve seen guilds even willing to pay server/faction transfers for people. It’s incredible. I’ve been looking for a capable moonkin for a long time, and it’s like the spec doesn’t even exist!

    • I think probably right now the Moonkin shortage is that everyone is trying to snag up as many as they can for Heroic Rag. We’ve pretty much just asked all of our druids to bone up on their moonkin gear, including our feral, and we’ll go from there! :)

  7. Recruitment is a bitch. We won’t do the real id thing so it makes it even harder since we’re at a disadvantage. It doesn’t help that we’re in dire need of boomkins since the only one we had had to quit raiding due to his course load and schedule this semester. All the resto druids are having to bone up on our balance skills; it’s just miserable to know how competent we are at healing and then see the range of fail as son as we put on our feathers. Hell, I’m excited when I break 20k dps and that’s so pitiful as to be laughable compared to our real dps. It feels like no matter how many places we have recruitment posts, we’re still not getting any applications. I’m sure that most people see that top 10 guilds are recruiting the same classes so why not aim high instead of starting a little lower.

    I’m intrigued that you guys had two resto druids in for baleroc. We ended up with 2x pallies, 2 priests, and a shaman, maybe a druid instead of the shaman for the kill but I forget. Depending on our dps comp and stability 1-2 of the resto druids went balance. What were the other healers you had? Did the healing feel more hectic with two druids?

    • We used 1 paladin, 2 disc priests and 2 resto druids from attempt one until our kill :) I should also probably note that we used two tanks as well.

      Honestly, I think in the long run the healing was really the least challenging part of the fight once you got down to it. I definitely think that not spreading tormented and making sure there was good communication for back up soakers was by far the more challenging part of the encounter.

      We broke it down like this:

      Shard 1: Shadow priest soaks ranged shard entirely. Paladin/Disc priest build stacks. Resto Druid (me) heals melee shard. Resto Druid/Disc Priest heals tank.
      Shard 2: Shadow priest soaks ranged shard entirely. Paladin/Disc priest continue to build stacks. Resto Druid (me) heals melee shard. Resto/Disc heals tank. At about 19 stacks on the shadow priest, Paladin swaps to the tank.
      Shard 3: Resto Druid (me), Paladin, Disc Priest all on the tank. Previous tank priest/druid heal shards.
      Shard 4: Resto Druid (me), Disc Priest on the tank. Paladin swaps back to build a few more stacks.
      Shard 5: Paladin, Disc Priest on the tank. Resto Druid (me) helps with tank, or builds shard staks, whichever is needed. Resto/Priest on shards.
      Remaining shards: Same as Shard 5. Changing only if one of the shard healers gets tormented.

      I was still running at only about 2k spirit, and I screwed up and innervated way late, so I really felt the mana pinch by the end of the fight. I also didn’t stack sparks as well as I could have, which I think would have helped as well. But as for running two druids? I don’t really think it was a huge problem. We had to work hard, but no harder really than any of the other healers I don’t think!

      • Sounds about the same as what we were doing with the shards as far as getting people higher shard stacks. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to be in this week healing for the encounter. I spent most of the time we were learning it waitlisted or playing as boomkin. :)

  8. Pingback: Why I Hate Heroic Modes : Kurn's Corner

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