March 16, 2010 – 7:00 am
Alright folks – time for another Ask Anna question.
This one comes to us from Fierine of Wyrmrest Accord, and deals with guild websites, RP, and how to deal with the times when you can get to the internet but not to the warcrafts. (An excellent question, btw. For a similar one, check out this post I did for Arrens’ blog, on keeping RP alive when you’re out of game. It’s not the same, but some of that stuff might apply here too!)
I’m a busy co-lead of an RP guild on Wyrmrest Accord. I love my guildies but unfortunately my RL job and life severely limits my in-game RP time. I am, however, able to RP intermittently on the guild forums throughout the day. Unfortunately, I often feel like I’m talking to myself there. How can I encourage guildies to use the forums more as a means of RP? And what’s a good way to explain forums as an in-character tool? Thanks for your advice!
Covenant of Wyrmrest Accord
Thanks for your question Fierine; it’s a good one.
From my perspective, there’s a few things you can do to be encouraging.
First, make sure people know that forum RP doesn’t have to be huge and involved. In fact, you can use it as a slightly elaborated chat room, where people post a sentence or two and work on a conversation slowly as they have time. This can be a good bridge, since not everyone likes extended writing RP ; it takes a level of presence and writing skill that not everyone enjoys. The Wildfire Riders are largely a community of writers, but not everyone enjoys writing long stories or participates in that way very often.
Some people just really like in-game RP better, and using a short-status forum RP thread or two to bridge the gap can get things rolling without forcing or guilting people into doing things they don’t enjoy.
You may also want to do a little publicity in game (like in guild chat, or your OOC chat channel) about the forums. Sometimes people need to be reminded!
Another suggestion is to create a Current Happenings thread – a single, stickied post for people to post a paragraph or two about what their characters are up to at any given time. This, while not actively spawning forum RP, will help the people that aren’t around as often in game to stay on top of the in game action. (These are also a lot of fun to peruse through later on, to remember where your characters were six months or a year ago).
You can also start some OOC conversations about IC topics; build up your characters a little, brainstorm, and take advantage of the other people’s creative ideas. I really enjoy conversations I’ve had with some of my guildies and writing cohorts about Aely. Sometimes an outside perspective goes a long way. This is also a great way for someone who’s playing a trying/difficult/villainous character to do a little explaining and make sure that IC issues don’t end up bleeding into OOC ones.
Leading by example is another good start – which you seem to already be doing, so here’s your cheerleading team for being on top of part of this already! Having posts to respond to can be a lot of help. Something you might try is a “question of the week” (or of the day even), where you ask an IC or OOC character development question in a thread and see what kind of answers you get. I give you full permission to steal these questions from my Friday Five posts!
Unfortunately though, not every community is built for forum interaction. I’m a member of several forums, and most of them move slowly (if at all) until there’s something pressing going on. The nature of forums is to move more slowly, since people are usually busy at work and don’t always have time to devote to hitting the refresh button on a conversation. Longer posts take time to write, and time can be the enemy here. You can try to jumpstart people’s interest by initiating a big forum RP storyline, but that is a TON of work and shouldn’t be entered into lightly.
So you might do a lot of bull-horn, yelling, handwaving, and cheerleading only to get a lukewarm response.
And that’s OK – at that point I’d suggest looking for other outlets for RP. Realm forums, open RP forums, fanfiction websites and the WoW official RP forum are all good places to look, but there are other options as well.
Like, maybe, starting a blog? <wink>
If you guys have other suggestions for Fierine, please leave them in the comments!
March 15, 2010 – 7:00 am
(You knew it was coming. This is a rant.)
Dear Heroic LFD Puggers:
Let me explain to you some things. First, the defense cap for heroics is 535. With 535 defense, you are uncrittable in a heroic, and it’s quite possible to tank them with less than 535 defense anyway. (The defense cap for raids is 540. We’re not pugging raids. We’re pugging heroics. And I have 563 defense anyway, so shut up.)
Heroics are, right now, easier than they have ever been.
Many of them have been nerfed. Some of them have been nerfed A LOT. Let me refresh your memory a leeeetle bit about things from a year ago, when there were not badge epics and Tier 9 the way they are now, and before the heroics had been nerfed:
- Unbuffed 21k armor, 21k health and 32% dodge+parry is a good target for entry-level Naxxramas. (from Tankspot)
- This guy, who at 565 defense and less than 25K armor is agreed to be geared to MT/OT Naxxramas (though he should get 25K if he wants to PUG it) (from the WoW Forums)
- 23637 health and 21661 armor unbuffed now, 555 defense – “solidly for heroics” (From our friend the Panzercow)
So our friend the Panzercow takes the most conservative stance of the three, but last I checked, Tankspot is a pretty reliable resource for what is and isn’t acceptable for tanking. Looking at Annie’s armory profile, I have around 27K health, 24K armor, and 563 defense. My other avoidance stats aren’t so amazing (about 40% Dodge+Parry), but I’m working on it.
By any measurement that I can find on The Internets, a year ago I would have been OK tanking in a Naxxramas 25 man raid.
Let me repeat: I am not tanking raids. I am tanking heroics.
So when we pull into H-Nexus, sure, your Tier 10, frost badge, epic’d out the ass DPSy self might have to hold back a bit for me to tank it. And maybe the geared out the arse healer might have to pay attention a little on tough pulls. And no, I can’t pull the whole place at once. But if you will take THREE DEEP BREATHS, we can successfully beat this place. And, considering you have to wait 15 minutes for your next random dungeon, probably in less time than it will take for you to sit on your arse in Dalaran for 15 minutes and re-queue and then wait through the DPS queue again.
Making fun of me, telling me my gear sucks, bitching about having to “carry a tank with your healing”, playing like a total idiot, pulling things ahead of me, DPSing whatever the hell you feel like targeting just because you can? Solves nothing.
I know I’m not Tanking’s Gift To The World. I scrub it up, sometimes stand in it, accidentally miss pats, and sometimes forget to use Vigilance.
But I can tank.
And if you’ll give me half a minute’s chance, I can pretty much chain pull these dungeons (that aren’t ICC of course) and we’ll pwn and get our badges and get on with our lives.
Get over yourself already.
March 12, 2010 – 10:14 am
There’s a lot of turnover in the blogging world. This crazy hobby (sometimes profession) is one that’s hard to keep up with. It takes a lot of time, discipline, creativity, and butt-in-chair time to make it work. I’ve been around for two years, and I’ve seen a lot of people start and fade. But I’ve also seen a lot of people start up and stick with it, and turn into pretty fantastic bloggers. As such, I’d like to spotlight a few new blogs (some aren’t really NEW, but newer to me) that I’ve been reading.
The Physician’s Log
I’ve got to start with Dristanel, ’cause she’s a gal after my own shriveled little heart. Another holy paladin, raider, and roleplayer, she’s been blogging for just a few months now, and The Physician’s Log shows a lot of potential. Dris writes well, and clearly, about raiding and roleplay subjects, and her most recent post – about raid morale – is fantastic. She’s probably best known for the Blogging Secret Admirer’s project that she ran this year at Valentine’s.
Medicina is another blogger after my own heart, with a whole stable full of healers of various flavors and assortments. Her weekly link posts about each class are fantastic, and if you’re looking to be a healer, Medicina is a great place to start for resources. Also? Fantastic priest guides.
There are a few blogs that I read knowing that no matter what shows up, I will end up at least chuckling. Tam and Chas make me laugh out loud most days – a feat when most of my reading is done sitting by myself (it’s always easier to laugh along with others, you know?) While Kumquat the Shaman is probably my favorite post to date (SO EPIC), Tam’s most recent post on pugging, tank entitlement, and the votekick system is a good solid read.
Sedgewick is my dose of raid officer common sense. Though I’m not a guild officer, I do help herd cats for TRI, and Sedge usually has something thought provoking to say. He’s no-nonsense enough to be worth reading but not unduly harsh (in my ever so humble opinion), and worth a look if you are involved in group leading in game.
The Mana Obscura
And now for the left field contender, Mana Obscura is a blog about spellcasters, and a very new recommendation for me (thanks Aoirselvar). But even though he’s extremely new (only a few weeks old!), Gazimoff has been playing since vanilla wow (yay, another old fart like me!), and his posts are excellent. I really hope he sticks with blogging, since I enjoy reading his posts, even if I don’t often actually play spellcasters. AND he’s not opposed to a little RP on the side, so how can I object?
Alright – that’s five. I could’ve easily probably listed another five – but that’s a good post for another week.
If there are great bloggers you think I should be reading, please leave them in the comments – and feel free to plug your own blog! I could use some creative new voices in my feed reader, and you never know, I might just publicly embarrass you in a link love post someday too!
March 11, 2010 – 9:30 am
WoW plushies are awesome. Sometimes they come with in-game pets. Sometimes they mrrgl in your mailbox. But by and large, beyond their awesomeness, nerdiness, and amazing desk decoration ability, they don’t have a lot of actual function. Which is to say, they’re just plushies.
Until now, that is.
I was talking to Linedan yesterday, and he mentioned that his wife had come up with a new and absolutely brilliant use for her wind rider plushie. She had given him some very stylin’ new jewelry: a pretty ribbon necklace – in Horde Red, of course – with a beautiful Authenticator pendant. Now not only does her wind rider have an extremely high quotient of awesome, she will never lose her authenticator again.
I decided, on hearing this, it was time for Murky to start pulling his own weight around here:
And he’s now stylin’ with an Authenticator necklace of his own.
He’s no longer just a plushie – he’s The Powerful Protector of Anna’s WoW Account! (I’m told having an official title makes the job sound impressive. Considering he’s been putting on airs all day, and ordering around the little frog that usually sits on my desk, it’s working. I would get him a spear, but I fear for my eyeballs.)
If you don’t have an authenticator, you really should consider getting one (that link is for the US version, this one is for the non-US authenticator). They’re inexpensive (or free for some smartphones), easy to use, and while they don’t completely safeguard your account (due to a new middleman virus that’s been making the rounds on some of the addon websites), they provide one more hoop to jump through for someone who wishes to steal your account.
As with anything, there is nothing foolproof to a truly dedicated fool, but account security is a major issue in WoW right now, due to the lucrative nature of WoW accounts and the ability to sell virtual stuff for real life money, and taking the steps to avoid a compromised account is very important.
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