Monday, June 29, 2009

The Emblem Debate

Changes

  • Both the 10 and 25-player instances of the Crusaders' Coliseum drop a new Emblem of Triumph.
  • Any dungeons that previously dropped Emblems of Heroism or Valor, such as Naxxramas or Heroic Halls of Stone, will now drop Emblems of Conquest instead. Emblems of Conquest can still be converted to Valor or Heroism.
  • The Heroic dungeon daily quest will now reward 2 Emblems of Triumph and the normal daily dungeon quest will reward 1 Emblem of Triumph.
  • The existing achievements to collect 1, 25, 50, etc. Emblems of Heroism, Valor, and Conquest have been converted to Feats of Strength since Heroism and Valor Emblems are no longer attainable.
  • New achievements have been added to collect various amounts of any combination of emblems.

Advantages
  1. It will be easier to gear up alts or new 80s.

  2. More people will be running the heroic daily, making it easier to find a group.

  3. Lower raid guilds get a bit of a gear advantage, which could push them to catch up to current content.

  4. Acts as a soft gear reset, hopefully putting everyone into a good position for Icecrown and Arthas.

  5. Simplifies the emblem system into "best" and "everything else". This is very similar to the PvP setup, and should keep PvP from becoming the best way to gear up (for PvE purposes).

  6. Gives people who don't raid or PvP--but who can do 5-mans--a path for gear progression.

Disadvantages
  1. Edge raiders will be required to do heroic dailies--content which they've already done a lot--to maximize progression.

  2. Will cause some guilds to keep farming Naxxramas, instead of pushing on into new content. Old content needs to be dropped. Choosing to farm Naxx over wiping in Ulduar is the wrong choice, if you want your guild to progress. But many people over-inflate the importance of gear and may choose to farm for emblems. We saw this happen with Badges of Justice and Karazhan in the last expansion.

Conclusions

If guilds keep moving forward, using the new badge system to push themselves, then this new system will be a success. The playerbase will be in a solid position for Icecrown.

What's more likely to happen is lower-tier guilds farm Naxxramas incessantly, in the belief that they need gear to progress. Then they will start to lose their best players to the higher tier guilds and fall into decline and stagnation.

I wonder if this system would have been better if it had been introduced in 3.1 with Ulduar. Heroics and 10-man Naxx could have been boosted to Emblems of Valor. The jump wouldn't have been that extreme, and would have gotten everyone used to the idea.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

3.2: Retribution Paladins

Changes

  • Exorcism: Now has a 1.5 second cast time, but can once again be used on players.
  • Seal of Blood: This ability has been removed.
  • Seal of the Martyr: This ability has been removed.
  • Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption: These seals have been redesigned to deal substantially more damage. Now, once a paladin has 5 copies of the debuff from these seals on his or her target, on each swing the paladin will deal 33% weapon damage as Holy, with critical strikes dealing double damage.
  • Art of War: Now only applies to melee critical hits, but will make your next Flash of Light or Exorcism instant.
  • Crusader Strike: Damage reduced to 75% weapon damage to match the new 4-second cooldown.
  • Seal of Command: Redesigned. This seal now deals 36% weapon damage on every swing, and deals substantially less judgement damage.
  • Vindication: Redesigned. Now lowers target attack power, is consistent and does not stack with Demoralizing Shout.

Seal Changes

With Seal of Blood removed, Blizzard appears to be pushing Seal of Vengeance as the sustained damage seal, and Seal of Command as the burst damage seal. SoV needs 5 hits to get the full debuff rolling before it starts dealing damage, but looks to do more damage overall than SoC, especially if you pick up Seals of the Pure in the Holy Tree. This looks like a pretty good design to me.

General Rotation Changes

I'm not really a fan of the direction Blizzard is taking Retribution. I really liked the model of 3 abilities with 6-10s cooldowns. It felt measured with lots of open GCDs to do hybrid things. The upfront burst was a problem, but I think it could have been fixed without moving in the direction that Blizzard has gone.

The thing is is that I like the "few big hits" model. I'm not really a fan of the rogue/deathknight "many small hits" style. It feels wrong and frantic for a 2H weapon class. But it also appears to be the only model that this Blizzard dev team can balance, so all the melee classes are trending towards it. For paladins, that has resulted in Consecration and Exorcism being part of the regular rotation, and a weak, quick Crusader Strike.

As for the Art of War change, I don't think it makes much of difference. Ret crits a lot, so it should be available whenever it is off cooldown. It will be used a lot less in PvP though. I don't think this change will result in any extra thought or deliberation on the paladin's part.

Vindication

This is a good change for Vindication. It becomes useful in PvE, provides another alternative to Demo Shout, and let's the warriors do more DPS. All good.

Conclusions

The Ret changes are probably mathematically sound, and will probably result in Ret doing the proper amount of damage in PvE, while reigning in their burst in PvP. However, I'm not sure I will like the resulting button-mashing playstyle. It just doesn't feel right for a 2H class.

3.2: Protection Paladins

Changes

  • Block Value: The amount of bonus block value on all items has been doubled. This does not affect the base block value on shields or block value derived from strength.
  • On-Use Block Value Items: All items and set bonuses that trigger temporary increases to block value have been modified. Instead of increasing their block value amount by 100% like other items, they have all had their effect durations doubled. This applies to Glyph of Deflection, Gnomeregan Autoblocker, Coren's Lucky Coin, Lavanthor's Talisman, Libram of Obstruction, Tome of the Lightbringer, Libram of the Sacred Shield, the tier-8 paladin Shield of Righteousness bonus, the tier-5 paladin Holy Shield bonus, and the tier-5 warrior Shield Block bonus.
  • Blessing of Sanctuary: This blessing now also increases stamina by 10%. This effect is not cumulative with Blessing of Kings.
  • Righteous Fury: No longer has a duration or mana cost, remaining until cancelled or death. Also cancelled when a Paladin activates a different talent specialization.
  • Seal of Vengeance and Seal of Corruption: These seals have been redesigned to deal substantially more damage. Now, once a paladin has 5 copies of the debuff from these seals on his or her target, on each swing the paladin will deal 33% weapon damage as Holy, with critical strikes dealing double damage.
  • Shield of Righteousness: Now deals 100% of shield block value as damage instead of 130%.
  • Ardent Defender: Redesigned. Currently, any damage taken by the paladin while at 35% health or below is reduced. Instead, any attack that would reduce the paladin to 35% health or below has its damage reduced. In addition, once every 2 minutes an attack that would have killed the paladin will fail to kill, and instead set the paladin's health to 10/20/30% of maximum.
  • Vindication: Redesigned. Now lowers target attack power, is consistent and does not stack with Demoralizing Shout.

Blocking

Blocking becomes a bit better, though Shield of Righteousness is nerfed slightly. The real problem with Block though, is that it just isn't as attractive as Avoidance.

Blessing of Sanctuary

I guess Blizzard is trying to set up a system where the first paladin does Kings+Sanctuary, while the second paladin does Might+Wisdom. This change does solidify Sanctuary the priority blessing for tanks. To be honest, the real issue is that Greater Blessings are done on a per-class basis, but the desired order depends on the specific spec. The real problem with Sanctuary is that it makes handing out Blessings more of a hassle.

Actually, you know what might be cool--but possibly overpowered--is if Sanctuary wasn't a separate Blessing, but rather an Improved Blessing of Kings. If you had the Sanctuary talent, your Blessing of Kings gives the 3% damage reduction. It's potentially too good, but this would make handing out Blessings so much easier.

Ardent Defender

This is a major change. I think the "unleapfrogable" nature of the new Ardent Defender is possibly too good. It's the equivalent of just getting 10% more health. I'd be somewhat surprised if this went Live as is.

The automatic Avoid Death is cool. The only issue I can see is not knowing whether the effect is available or on cooldown. This could be important for coordinating external cooldowns. If the effect is on cooldown, you might need to call for a Hand of Sacrifice to survive a burst of damage.

Other Changes

Righteous Fury becomes more stance-like. Seal of Vengeance becomes stronger, but this is balanced by the Shield of Righteousness nerf. The Vindication change allows a Prot paladin debuff the mob, freeing up a warrior or warlock to do more DPS.

Conclusions

Overall, Protection doesn't change that much. Blocking becomes a bit stronger, a Protection Paladin effectively gets more health, and she obtains a new cooldown and debuff. Coupled with the Death Knight nerfs, this should leave paladins in a decent position.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

3.2: Holy Paladins

Test Realm Patch notes are available. There's lots of changes, so I'll take them one section at a time.

Sometimes I feel that no one at Blizzard plays a paladin. Then I see patch notes like these and I know that no one plays a paladin. These are the changes which effect Holy Paladins.

Changes

  • Mana Regeneration: All items that provide "X mana per five seconds" have had the amount of mana they regenerate increased by approximately 25%.
  • Replenishment: This buff now grants 1% of the target's maximum mana over 5 seconds instead of 0.25% per second. This applies to all 5 sources of Replenishment (Vampiric Touch, Judgements of the Wise, Hunting Party, Enduring Winter Frostbolts and Soul Leech).
  • Lay on Hands: The buff from this ability now reduces the physical damage taken by the target by 10/20% instead of increasing the target's armor. (I assume this is Improved Lay on Hands)
  • Sacred Shield: When a paladin casts Flash of Light on a target with this buff, they also now place a heal over time effect on the target, healing that target for 100% of the Flash of Light amount over 12 seconds.
  • Judgement of Light: Now heals for 2% of the attacker's maximum health instead of a variable amount based on the spell power and attack power of the judging paladin.
  • Beacon of Light: The healing amount on the Beacon of Light target is now based on the total healing done (including over-healing) instead of the effective healing done. Radius increased to 60 yards. Multiple Paladins can now have this active on the same target. Buff indicating a player is within range of the Beacon target is no longer displayed.
  • Divine Intellect: This talent now gives 2/4/6/8/10% increased intellect instead of 3/6/9/12/15%.
  • Illumination: This talent now returns 30% of the mana cost of the spell instead of 60%.

Mana Regeneration

Major reductions in mana regeneration. Our regeneration from critical heals is halved. There is about a 20% nerf in regen from Replenishment and the change to Divine Intellect. We do get an increase in effectiveness from mp5. On the whole, mana conservation and controlling overhealing will become a lot more important. I don't think that Holy Light will be able to be used as heavily as before.

However, I think this is a good thing. I called for Illumination for Holy Light to be cut to 30% back in December. We've been ignoring mana for too long, and it will be good to have to consider it once again.

Beacon of Light

First, let's get one thing straight: This is a complete buff for paladins. The new Beacon effectively doubles paladin throughput.

However, it's also a terribly stupid idea which doesn't actually solve any problems that paladins were facing.

In my experience, the fights where I feel the most constrained as a paladin are fights like Mimron Phase 2 or XT's Tantrum. Fights with a lot of raid-wide damage. The new Beacon does not really change much for these fights. It also doesn't change much for the 3rd or 4th paladin healer in a raid. Those paladins are still useless and can't really contribute. Tank healing is already been taken care of by the first couple paladins. I know that having 3-4 paladin healers is not ideal, but it is a much worse position than having 3-4 of any other class.

Second, it changes the dynamic between healer and tank. Paladins will be tank healers who never, ever cast heals on the tank. We heal the tank by not healing the tank. Even if everyone else in the raid is at full health, it is better to cast a heal on a random DPS than it is to cast it on the tank.

This is just wrong. I like casting heals on the tank. I think that going from spamming heals on the tank to spamming heals on everyone but the tank is just stupid, and not in line with what a healer should be doing.

Honestly, I don't see how Blizzard can manage to miss the mark so completely. We're fine as tank healers. Our problem comes when when the tanks are already being taken care of by others. If that ever happens, our usefulness goes to zero. The new Beacon does nothing to rectify that situation.

Other Changes

The other changes are pretty decent. Imp Lay on Hands gives another cooldown that's useful all the time. The new Flash of Light/Sacred Shield interaction adds some more ablation on the tank, while still preserving the doubled throughput. Judgement of Light is reigned in, and now will probably be cast by Holy paladins, allowing the Rets to maintain full Wisdom uptime. All good tweaks.

Conclusions

Mana regen changes hurt but are necessary. Beacon changes are a buff, but are stupid and miss the mark. The other small tweaks are good.

Ad Infinitum Recruiting

I don't often do this, but summer is here, and my guild could use a few good recruits. I'll put up the blurb:



<Ad Infinitum> was formed three years ago on the premise that raiding smart could be just as effective as raiding a six day a week schedule.

We see end game content and do hard modes while maintaining a schedule that allows time to do other things. We manage this by coming to raids prepared and ready to accomplish our goals. Fundamentally, we believe the most efficient use of our precious time is to prepare for content through discussion and theorycrafting before we even enter a raid zone.

When: Wednesday, Sunday, Monday (as needed); Invites 6:45pm PST, First Pull 7pm PST.
Where: US-Lethon[PvP] Server
Who: People who are Achievement Driven and Progression Oriented
http://www.wowprogress.com/pve/us/lethon/rating.ach

Things to consider:
- Gear: Be prepared for T8 Achievements and Hard Modes
- Know your role: Our standard is set high. Raiding is not a tourist attraction. Raid members not only understand but can explain all details of an encounter. Trials are called upon in raid to explain boss mechanics so be ready for pop quizzes.
- Attention to Detail: We raid for 4 hours a night. Be as mentally fresh, focused and excited at the end as when we started.
- Connection/Hardware: Is your connection reliable? Do you get more than 15 FPS? Do microwave ovens disconnect you from the interwebs?
- Attitude: Raiding is a team sport with egos checked at the door. We have honest, direct, and productive conversations about raid performance.

Apply:
http://ai-lethon.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2974

Openings:
Druid (Balance) - medium
Druid (Restoration) - high
Hunter (Survival) - high
Priest (Holy) - high
Shaman (Elemental) - medium
Shaman (Enhancement) - medium
Shaman (Restoration) - medium
Warrior (Arms) - medium
Rogue - medium
Deathknight - medium

Contact:
Tanks: Trixie
Healers: Aibe
Caster DPS: Bannination
Physical DPS: Rukei

God Luck, We hope to see you there
~ The Officers


We're a pretty decent guild. You're expected to know how to play, know your basic theorycraft, gem/gear properly, etc. We're not a Top 100 guild or anything, but the people in the guild do care and try hard. We do try to stick pretty close to the 3 nights per week + 4 hours per night. We're generally good about starting on time and finishing on time. We don't like unnecessary AFKs, but we have a break in the middle. Raiders are expected to use a Flask and stat Food at all times, even on farm bosses.

Lethon is a PvP server, but it's a fairly quiet one. It used to be low-pop, but was a Recommended server for a while, so it is now medium to high-pop. The Auction House is pretty wacky, but you can find most things you need. It's Pacific Standard Time, and the majority of the guild plays on Pacific time.

Loot system is DKP with English Bid. That's like a standard Auction with multiple rounds of bidding. There are three pools of DKP: Normal, Tier Set, and Vanity. Main-spec before Off-spec, Pawn (our Raider rank) before Members/Trials.

A final note: we aren't joking about "Trials are called upon in raid to explain boss mechanics so be ready for pop quizzes." Before a boss, especially one we haven't done before, the raid leader will sometimes call on someone to explain the fight. That person is expected to give an overview of the fight, the main boss abilities, and the general strategy. So you should have either read up on it earlier, or have enough wit to pull up a browser window with WoWWiki. You don't have to get it perfect, but you shouldn't go in blind.

If this sounds like a guild you'd be interested in, you can apply at the link above. If you have questions, feel free to ask in the comments, email me, or roll a character on Lethon and bug an officer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Paladin Mount in 3.2!

From the Under Development page:

New Mount: A new Argent Crusade paladin-only charger will be available.

Exciting!

Rumor identifies this as the possible new mount:


Looks pretty good.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Brute

Here's a neat little web game: My Brute.

It's silly and fun. It's basically a Pokemon-type game where you have a fighter and the fighter fights duels. It levels up and gets weapons and abilities. The graphics and style is very well done.

However, look at the sign-up process. It's elegant and streamlined, and is quite beautiful. If you're looking at making a web game or RPG, take a look at what these people do. They don't require you to sign up ahead of time, signing up is done after the fact.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A Classic

I was wandering around YouTube, and came across this classic video. Old-school paladins should remember this.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Cooldown Rotations

One of the current controversies in the tank world are tanking cooldowns. These are abilities which greatly reduce the amount of damage taken for a few seconds. Though originally created as emergency measures--Shield Wall originally had a 30 minute cooldown--Death Knights were given cooldowns that could be used multiple times a fight. This meant that if a fight had a predictable spike in damage, the Death Knight could line up their cooldown to mitigate that spike, making them much easier to heal.

Since spike damage is generally what kills tanks, this made Death Knights the tank of choice on such fights. The other tanks had their cooldowns improved to match the Death Knight. However, the Death Knight still has the best cooldowns, and is often considered the best tank because of this. Paladin tanks, who only have one cooldown, are considered the worst.

However, two healer classes, Priests and Paladins, also have cooldowns that they can use to mitigate spike damage. Holy Priests have Guardian Spirit, Disc Priests have Pain Suppression, and Paladins have Hand of Sacrifice (coupled with Divine Shield to keep the paladin from dying). Instead of just relying on tank cooldowns, you can set up a cooldown rotation with your paladins and priests to help mitigate damage.

Personally, I find cooldown rotations a lot of fun as a healer. It gives you a chance to coordinate with your fellow healers. It adds a little extra spice to healing, and saving a tank from death with a well-timed use of a spell which is not spammed is fun. Honestly, that's the most fun as a healer, using a spell at precisely the right time to save someone.

Tanks have tanking rotations, where they trade-off mobs. DPS have interrupt rotations, as they trade-off interrupting spells. I think adding cooldown rotations for healers would add a little extra element to the game. It's something more than healing spam, and requires us to work together a bit more.

I think Resto Druids and Resto Shamans should each get a cooldown (like Hand of Sacrifice, etc.) so they too can join in the fun. Then I think that the number of cooldowns the tanks have should be reduced, or the cooldown timers greatly increased so that they go back to being emergency buttons. That should reduce the disparity in tanks, while improving the gameplay for healers.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ask Coriel: Prot/Ret Viability

Kevin writes:

Iv been thinking about this type of hybrid for a very long time, one that stacked shield block and anything with a high amount of strength. As a prot pally who isn't trading avoidance for block (yet) I can hit pretty hard with Shield of Righteousnouss. The person in the following video is using the ideal gear, but he is full Prot.



see that 13k crit at the end? take that value and multiply it by 9% from Vengence, 3% from Sanctified Retribution, 3% from Crusade (6% in most PvP/PvE situations) as well as a 20% stat reduction on theh enemy and you pretty much have a 1 shot spell. Of course this damage would be reduced by a high amount of resil, as well as other spells, but this is still a really high value. It might even be considered a decent PvE spec by some (off tank/dps). Now that dual spec is out however, it pretty much eliminated all hybrid specs, because they are not needed any more. Personally, I enjoyed playing hybrid specs because of the different style of play they offered. This is one of the few specs that I havn't seen, but I am eager to try when I get the correct gear. Any thoughts on if this hybrid would be accepted into PvE? I estimate you could push around 3-4k dps in the right gear.

I'm not seeing how your PvE DPS would be so high. You're missing a basic attack in Hammer of the Righteous. Yes, you would get very high Shield of Righteousness hits, but I don't think it can make up for missing an entire attack.

I'm looking at one of my Prot Pally tank's WWS. HotR contributes 17% of his damage, and SoR contributes 21%. You'd need to almost double the possible SoR damage to make up for the loss of HotR, and I don't think the few extra points in Ret will do that for you.

Personally, I'm not sure that this would work. An extra button to press--to fill up empty space in the rotation is huge--and is a much bigger advantage than extra damage talents. This concept might be fine in PvP, where burst is very important, but it won't be good for sustained PvE DPS and threat.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Shroud Loot System

Runycat, from Unbearably HoT, has an interesting overview of her guild's loot system: Shroud Loot System. I haven't looked at a loot system in a while, and Shroud has some interesting properties that are worth examining in detail.

This is a quick overview, so I'm going to ignore off-spec loot for simplicity's sake.

Description

Shroud is a loosely-coupled DKP system. Earning DKP is pretty standard. Points are awarded for whatever the guild thinks is appropriate. Runycat's guild primarily awards points for Time Spent Raiding, but you could easily award points for Boss Kills or whatever other metric you deem appropriate.

Spending DKP is where the system gets interesting. When an item is up for distribution, a raider may choose to "shroud". Of the raiders who shroud, the one with the highest DKP gets the item and loses half her DKP. If no raiders choose to shroud, interested raiders can roll for the item. The raider with the highest roll gets the item and pays a standard fixed minimum fee.

Here's a quick example: Coriel has 500 DKP and Kent has 600 DKP. If an item drops and both raiders shroud, Kent would win and pay 300 DKP. If only Coriel shrouds, she wins the item and pays 250 DKP. If neither raider shrouds, both /random. Coriel rolls a 84 and Kent rolls 22. Coriel wins and pays 10 DKP for the item. If Kent had rolled higher, he would have paid 10 DKP for the item.

Main Insight

The main insight of Shroud is that there are three values of loot:

  1. Sexy loot - this is loot that is greatly desired. For example, Tier sets and Best-in-Slot weapons.

  2. Everyday upgrades - these are items which are upgrades, but which a raider doesn't get excited about. She''ll take it to keep it from being disenchanted, but isn't really going to care if another raider gets it instead. The majority of loot in the instance falls into this category.

  3. Unwanted items - these are items the raider doesn't want at all.

Is this valuation correct? My experiences lead me to believe that it is correct. My guild runs a pure English Bid Auction system. This is the system used by traditional auctions with multiple rounds of bidding and a fast-speaking auctioneer. Not the fastest system in the world, but items end up being sold at their true value at that point in time. What I've noticed is that loot either goes for hundreds of points or it goes for near-minimum. There's not a lot of in-between. As well, it's very few pieces--primarily Tier sets, BiS weapons, and amazing trinkets--that have the sky-high prices.

Shroud handles each of these categories of loot in a different fashion. Sexy loot is distributed in strict accordance with the point system. The person who wins that loot has the most points, end of story. Meanwhile, everyday upgrades are distributed randomly, with minimum points spent.

Advantages

Shroud has all the advantages of a traditional DKP system when it comes to the highly-prized loot. You won't get the case where someone who raids a couple days a month beats a 100% attendance raider on a Best-in-Slot weapon. That type of situation is what causes high-attendance raiders to seek out a new guild.

However, raiders of all attendance levels have equal shot at the everyday loot, which comprise the majority of the epics in an instance. This gives your more casual members a good shot at getting some loot, rather than having all of it monopolized by the high-attendance raiders.

Shroud also avoids the disadvantages of a system like Spend-All DKP or Suicide Kings in that a raider can still obtain smaller upgrades while saving for a prized item. Loot that can be used should never end up sharded with this system.

Shroud also allows raiders to determine what loot is really valuable and what is not. The choice to shroud or not remains with the raider, not the officers.

Finally, since shrouding costs 50% of your DKP, hoarding of points is discouraged and people are brought back to the rest of the group fairly quickly. There are no worries about inflation in this system.

Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage is that the system is complex and that makes handing out loot more time-consuming. You first have to see if anyone wants to shroud. If no one does, then everyone who wants the item must roll, and you need to see who has the highest roll. The amount of complexity is probably unnecessary for a guild where the raiders have similar attendance patterns. A single-bid or fixed-cost DKP system would probably be faster and just as accurate.

The complexity increases even further when you consider off-spec loot. Should you let someone shroud on off-spec loot? Maybe, maybe not. Even without that, off-spec loot would add another round of waiting to the process.

Shroud also has the overhead and record-keeping of all DKP systems, as you have to track points as they are earned and spent.

The final disadvantage that I can see is that a raider might attempt to game the system, choosing not to shroud and betting that no one else wants to roll on the item. Then she gets upset when someone with much lower DKP wins the roll over her. While it is her fault for not shrouding, drama is rarely rational. Indeed, sometimes people get more upset when they are the ones at fault.

Conclusion

Shroud is a decent loot system for a guild with a core of high-attendance raiders filled out with a number of more casual players. It gives both types of players a shot at rewards, ensuring that neither side is treated unfairly. It avoids several pitfalls of other systems--like Suicide Kings, Pure Random, or Pure DKP--that are traditionally used by this segment of guilds.

However, the price that is paid is increased complexity. And you have to wonder if this complexity is really necessary. Shroud is really close to Pure Random, and Pure Random is so much easier to deal with. The real question a guild should ask is how likely is the situation where a low-attendance raider beats a high-attendance raider? How much will the guild care if that happens?

If the guild can handle that situation happening without drama, I think Shroud becomes unnecessary, and Pure Random becomes the system of choice. But not many guilds can actually handle that. And for a more casual guild, losing a raider who is part of the backbone of your raid team can be much more devastating to your ability to raid than losing someone is for a traditional raiding guild.

Yogg-Saron



We finally got Yogg-Saron down on Wednesday this week. It's a really nice fight. It's all about directing the right amount of DPS at the right targets at the right time. It's odd, but it took us a fairly long time, at least compared to the rest of the instance, much to the dismay of our raid leader.

We were having a lot of problems with phase 1, but on Wednesday it just clicked and we nailed Phase 1 perfectly on every attempt. After that, it was just a matter of deciding how much DPS went towards adds and how much went towards Yogg-Saron. I think part of our success may have been that we took two 10-man groups through Ulduar-10 last weekend, and both groups beat Yogg, thus helping us understand the fight in its entirety.

Ah well, now to work on Hard Modes.