Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So we're currently sitting on around 160 Nef wipes. Some P1 wipes, some P2 wipes, and the P3 wipes we get at the moment are generally due to me struggling to get the fire kiting path down (I reset the adds once, get myself cornered, and die).

Since we last attempted Nef (13% on best attempt), I've thrown gold at my raiders (I spent 60k in a single day) on BoEs, maelstrom crystal enchants, etc. We also did a chilled farm run on sunday (5/6 BWD, 3/4 BoT), which resulted in 8 main spec upgrades, and ofc loads of VP for all.

Even with these upgrades, I'm not convinced we can easily take the bastard down. I'm not saying my raiders aren't capable of it. I know they are. It's a matter of morale. You start a new boss excited by your last kill (Al'Alkir in this case), and slowly over time that fades as you focus on the boss, and then after a few weeks of constant wiping, it fades to burnout, irritation, and finger-pointing as people make tiny mistakes and cause wipes.

In the end, I need to balance progression with morale, and right now that's a really hard job. The farm run was supposed to be a morale booster, and I suspect in some ways it was, but I still had raiders asking for a week off.

It's Easter weekend this week, and a coupld of the guys are away. Also, there are 2 nef nerfs coming in 4.1 (one of which is particularly significant), which means if I can, I'd like to put off nef until after this patch.

# The damage of Shadowflame Barrage has been reduced by 15% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).

# The damage of Tail Lash has been reduced by 20% (10-player normal and Heroic difficulty only).

First up, let me say that perhaps these are less "nerfs", and more "rebalancing". It's a publicly known fact that 10 man raids are WAY harder than 25 man raids at the moment. Blizzard admitted this, and every patch contains some or other nerf to 10 man raids in order to bring the difficulty more in line with what 25 man raiders are experiencing. Some 10 man HC encounters are essentially impossible at the moment, which further proves my point.

The tail lash change isn't too big of a deal, but I guess it takes those random P1 wipes out of the equation. The Shadowflame barrage one is what really has me excited. We often wipe in P2 due to the sheer amount of dmg taken, which is why we flat out refuse to do P2 crackles at the moment. This ultimately puts a ton of strain on the DPS, who have to kill nef from around 72% in P3. If we can push a crackle or two in P2, combined with the 13% we're doing already, that should do it.

All of this adds up to the same thing. Week off for all, try the bastard next weekend. As much as I'm a raiding junkie, I can't deny the facts. Besides, it's going to be months before 4.2 goes live, so what's the rush, right?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Guest post on Restokin.com

Lissanna of restokin.com asked for guest posters a short while ago, and I figured what the hell. 15 or so emails back and forth later, my post went live 5 minutes ago.

I'm hoping this gives our guild a little bit of publicity, and perhaps gives me a chance to get more involved in the druid community. Whatever the result, it's been a pretty awesome opportunity. I don't know at this stage if it's a once-off thing or if I'll be involved in an ongoing process, so we'll have to see...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nef on 13%

Last week we had him on 37%, last night our best attempt was 13%. We're getting there for sure. The only question is why don't we have the kill now.

The next idea I have is changing our bloodlust from 30% (the idea being it boosts "execute" abilities), back to using it early in P3. That 37% wipe was without me resetting the adds even once. If we get to 37% and reset, nef will be on say 30% when adds come back up, and then more than enough time to kill before I die... hopefully.

159 wipes and counting...

Friday, April 8, 2011

Gem vendor price change

So if you pay any attention at all to gold making in wow, you know that the vendor price of cut green gems is 9G. Cut Blue gems vendor for 5g75s. You also know that this makes the floor price of a stack of obsidium ore 54G, once you prospect, cut, and vendor all gems (uncut blues I personally keep, cut, and sell at market value for more profit). The corresponding floor price of Elementium ore is 44g (less greens, more blues).

The result of this is that any stacks of obsidium going under 54G, you can buy, prospect, cut, vendor, for profit. Zero risk. Since stacks can go as low as 40G, you're making 14G PER STACK. Since I often do this with up to 100 stacks at a time, it's a fairly reliable way to make gold, provided you have the time to sit and hit your prospect button a few million times.

In any case, this morning's PTR notes mentioned that the vendor price for these gems is dropping to 75 silver.

This is going to flat out destroy this method of making gold. Expect the prices of ore to plummet (oversupply), meta gem prices will drop (green gems worth 9g transmute into meta gems at the moment, work it out based on 75s), the price of enchanting mats will rise (people have been turning cheap gems them into cheap jc items and DE'ing them)... in short, it's going to wreck all kinds of havoc on the wow economy.

Now, I'm not going to say the sky is falling. I'll continue to make gold off JC and inscription. It's just interesting to see how such a simple change, is likely to make so many huge changes to the wow economy as a whole. Personally, I'm keen to see what happens :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Infected Wounds hates me

So I discovered something fairly interesting last night while tanking Nef. OK, while tanking nef adds. You need to keep 6 adds busy, while kiting them out of fire that's chasing you. Seems simple enough. Too bad that on our best attempt ever (37%), one add happened to lag behind the pack, and get hit by fire.

Naturally, being me, I started assuming someone else had done it (because I never make mistakes... clearly...), and asked my holy pally (the only one anywhere nearby) if he used holy wrath or something. Nope, not him, too busy spam healing my furry ass.

Then it dawned on me. Infected Wounds. Guess I'm banned from using Maul and Mangle in P3 from now on.



Well as I said, we're currently working on Nef, and after some extreme wiping, we've made our way into P3. As always, it hasn't been without it's share of laughs.

I learned from Stoneybaby in Big Crits : GM abuse is good for morale. A good tact and a good team is one thing, but if they're not motivated, they're never going to be focused enough to get the job done. So I take the hits, I wear a pink dress, I endure wave after wave of pedobear jokes, because I know it's all harmless fun, and it keeps people motivated :)

I'm not the only one that takes the hits, however. When we first attempted Nef, none of us had read tacts, and we had time for one "ok what the hell why not" pull before the end of the night. My DK tank decided he was going to give us a strat rundown anyway. Halfway through his speech, he said something about tanking "onohksia". Everyone went "lolwut?". "You know, Nefarian's sister". "Dude, it's pronounced 'Onyxia'". This went back and forth for a while, until we decided to just leave him be.

So we click the orb, Nef does his speech, rises into the air, and says those immortal words :


The entire raid almost died laughing.

And so, it begins...

Hi everyone, my name is Garnaph, and I tank in a pink dress. And I like it.

OK, so let me explain. Between pulls, while afk, or just any time we want to screw around, I equip a pink dress and bunny ears for my guild's amusement. Thanks to gear not appearing when you shift into druid forms, I didn't realise I hadn't switched back to my tanking gear on one occasion, and I proceeded to get oneshot by Blood Queen Lanathel. I'll never live it down.

PNV days

So, a bit of background. I started playing wow probably about 3 years ago, through the encouragement of a friend named Apathaia (PvP mage). My wife and I both started in Twilight's Hammer EU, quickly joining Pap en Vleis, the resident South African social guild on the server.

Soon enough, we both picked our mains, and hit max level (70 at the time, as we started late in TBC). We discovered a little thing called raiding, and wanted in. BAD. As the guild only had a single 10 man at the time, we started our own with some friends we'd made while lvling, and we soon overtook the original 10 man, which I guess is where everything started for me.

One thing led to another, and I ended up running the guild. We merged the 2 10 mans into a single 25 for Magtheridon and Gruul. We took a look at SSC and TK before the massive raid nerf hit pre WOTLK, and at that point we took a quick look at MH and BT before the new expansion hit.

Since we'd started so late in TBC, we were ok with missing most of the content, but we didn't want it to happen again. We took our existing 25 man, and tore apart Naxx and Malygos. Unfortunately, being a social guild, there was a lot of pressure in PnV to include more players, and since 25 isn't a number I can change, this became an issue. A second 25 man started up, and everything was going OK, until Ulduar hit.

With patch 3.1 and ulduar, we had a new problem. You had to have naxx gear to get into ulduar, but the second raid team, that was still working on naxx, wasn't willing to give up their best players so we could proceed. I get their point of view, but it meant that no one wins. Ultimately we ran out of players due to the normal wear-and-tear of losing raiders to RL issues, work, moving guilds, etc, and eventually the whole group dissolved. The Mrs and I left, and joined Unforgiven II, a guild where I had some friends, and I heard they had a more serious approach to raiding, something I was very much looking for.

UFII days

I raided the whole way through Ulduar with UF2, ultimately taking down yogg, which was one of the most epic raiding experiences of my wow career to date. Ultimately my time in UF2 came to an end due to older players competing with me for raid spots, and the powers that be made the call I would have also made in their position : go with the founding raiders rather than the new guy.

The Exodus

At that point I started raiding 10 man ICC with some friends, some of whom were in UF2, some of whom were old PnV friends of mine. when UF2 decided to port off the server, I took the opportunity to start my own guild, and thus The Exodus was born.

Now, first up, we weren't named after the world top guild. I knew they existed, but I picked the name for a deliberate reason. I was leaving a guild where I felt I didn't fit in, and so were a lot of my PnV friends. We were all leaving situations that were not ideal for us, and looking for the "promised land" of raiding. I realised in UF2 that if the founders ran the show, then I wanted to be a founder.

We've had some ups and downs since then, but the guild is mostly held it together. Friends from all over have ported servers to join us, and we have a thriving social community, on top of 2 very successful raiding teams. I still run my own raids as "Team Hellscream", and the other raids are under "Team Ghostbusters". The two groups have a very different feel, but both work, which is what's so great about it.

Right now team GB is 7/12, and HS is 11/12, working on Nefarian (or being farmed by him, depending on who you ask).

So anyway, the purpose of this blog is to post my thoughts on raiding, our guild, wow as a whole. I'll also share some of the funny stories of things that happen in our guild, as that's part of what makes this game fun. If it was all serious raiding, I think we all would have lost interest a while ago.