Archive for the ‘Seri’s Corner’ Category

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WoS Goes Archival

May 14, 2010

Given the sparsity of posts around here lately, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to any lingering readers that the time has come for WoS to close its doors. We had a good run, and would like to thank everyone who read, commented, inspired, educated, linked back, guest posted, tweeted and/or snarked with us. The site will remain up for now, as there is still some useful information in the archives, but our guides and such will not be updated as new content is released.

May your mandolins be chubby, your acheesements tasty and your adventures legendary.

Stay frosty, friends, and may the Snark be with you.

Jov & Seri

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Seri sez: Double Ewe Tee Eff

April 2, 2010

Despite the silence here at WoS and on Twitter, I haven’t completely fallen off the face of the WoW-verse. I’m still puttering about, doing my thing as a raider and a GM. It’s been a busy few months, as I have added school on top of raiding 3-4 nights per week and working full time.

As a result, I’ve not been following WoW news (or, sadly, blogs) very closely, but things have seemed surprisingly quiet on the expansion front considering what’s been going on with the game lately. From cooldown reductions to high end gear & crafting mats becoming more accessible to steadily lowering the bar in ICC… it’s like all signs are pointing to an expansion launch coming Real Soon Now™ since this is the sort of thing we saw toward the end of TBC. I joked to a buddy of mine recently that I was half expecting them to just spring it on us one day out of the blue, having hired ex-CIA operatives to organize and run the most ambitiously covert beta test phase ever. Surprise, Cataclysm!

Still, the game industry being what it is… it’s not gonna happen. Of course they’re going to announce it in advance. They want pre-orders. They want hype. They want midnight launch parties and geeks like me having enough advance warning to take time off work to spend the first 48-72 hours in a highly caffeinated orgiastic frenzy of leveling, exploring, and profession grinding in between world server crashes.

So, until that release date is announced we can pretty much assume that the time between whatever day today is and Cataclysm’s launch is going to be measured in multi-month increments. (My current prediction: September-ish.) Why, then, are they in such a hurry to rush us through ICC with this rapidly scaling buff after purposefully slowing our progress via gating and attempt limits?

I’m so confused with all these mixed signals… it’s like prom night all over again. *rimshot*

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Seri sez: Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.

February 18, 2010

So, Jov threatened me that if I didn’t post something today she would post something AS me that would be way more embarrassing than anything I could possibly come up with on my own. Never one to back down from a challenge, I present to you:

Seri’s Dirty Little Secrets

(dramatic music)

I know it’s hard to believe it, but I was once a total noob. Granted, I’ve been playing WoW since 2004 so it was a long time ago. Still, I am reluctantly forced to admit that I wasn’t always this awesome. Don’t believe me? Evidence to the contrary:

  1. My first character ever was a Priest, but I abandoned her around level 20. I know, right? How stupid can you be?
  2. My second character ever was a Warrior. I loved dual-wielding. I also loved the Arms tree. *wince* Yeah, that’s right. I was a dual-wielding Arms warrior. I didn’t know any better!
  3. During my stint as a level 60 raiding Druid, I was probably the only Balance Druid in the game WITHOUT the Moonkin talent after its introduction. Later, I would become (probably) the only Balance Druid in the game without the Treants talent after its introduction.
  4. I once fell off a cliff accidentally, taking my whole party (on autofollow) with me. This ended the long-time debate of ‘If Seri jumped off a cliff….’
  5. Finally, just to prove that even the grizzled WoW veterans among us are still occasionally total noobs… I recently raided for 1-2 weeks with a broken meta gem bonus.

So, fess up. What was your greatest noob moment ever, and how long ago was it?

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Seri sez: Dancing with wolves (or perhaps rabid badgers).

January 14, 2010

There’s something about the Looking For Dungeon Tool that makes me feel like I’m getting back to my roots. It’s kind of like going back in time to roam the prairie with my wild ancestors–complete with mountains of buffalo dung. It’s ancient. Primal. This is healing as I haven’t seen it in many many moons. I’m telling you, it has been a VERY long time since so many things have been “my fault”.

Yes, that’s right: My fault. Because, somehow, every failure on the part of a random instance group is the healer’s fault. The tank dies… healer’s fault. The DPS die… healer’s fault. A tree falls in China… healer’s fault. Don’t get me wrong; there are shitty healers out there. Gods bless them, they provide countless hours of entertainment for me and Jov. But there are a lot of things that can go wrong in a pug that are NOT the healers fault. Perhaps:

  • A shitty tank.
  • An undergeared tank.
  • An undergeared shitty tank.
  • Overzealous dps.
  • People standing in shit.
  • Pulling when the healer is drinking or low on mana.
  • Pulling when the healer is afk.

Let me give you a tip: If you’re struggling through an instance and you’ve been through more than one healer… you’re not just having a string of bad luck. Someone in your party is a moron. Maybe several someones. Maybe… maybe it’s you.

Haha! Yeah, not likely. You’re reading World of Snarkcraft, which puts you ahead of most of the slack-jawed mutants in LFG. Therefore, my enlightened brethren, remain alert for signs of healer abuse and vigilant in the preservation of healers’ sanity. After all, it’s only a matter of time before they burn out and roll a pure dps class. Make it your goal to stave off the inevitable while you can.

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Seri sez: The Best of 2009

December 31, 2009

Hello dear readers! (Hopefully there are some of you left.) Matticus mentioned recently that he’d like to see some blog posts with links to what we consider our best content of 2009… since it’s easier to regurgitate old content than it is to come up with new content it sounded like a good idea to me! ;)

I hate to actually try to rank things in order of most to least favorite, so these are largely chronological. First off is my rant about the oh-so-downtrodden Discipline Priests of Azeroth. I’m pleased to report that while Discipline has become a popular and accepted spec I no longer worry about some sort of hive mind developing.

Next up: Life with Jov. If you liked this one, you’re in luck… I’ve been saving up lolcats for a sequel, but you’ll have to wait for it. Okay, maybe I’ll show you one.

Just to prove I really can be productive, I updated my guide to applying to a raid guild for WotLK. 9 months later, it’s still mostly applicable. Feel free to post a link in your guild applications forum.

My L2WWS series was pretty popular; feel free to check out part 1 & part 2 in the archives. Part 3 never came to fruition and probably never will. I’ve moved on to World of Logs as my raid analysis tool of choice… perhaps you’ll see a new series in the new year!

Because I still bump into a lot of Priests that don’t “get it” I feel I should also mention my post about gearing for Discipline vs gearing for Holy. It’s been a while since I revisited it but I *think* the stat priorities are still generally right.

In April, we hit a nice little milestone: 1,000 comments!

When the cat’s away, the mice will play… Seri provided some “tips” for officers with absentee GMs.

In June, we debuted the best series of posts we never wrote: Tea with Zusterke Parts 1, 2 & 3. I’m told that Zusterke has been working on a new series for us but.. I’ll believe it when I see it! (Please Zus, can I see it?)

Later that month, Jov abandoned me for a whole week.

A few weeks later, we debuted our first (and only) Real Raiders of Genius video. Yes, that really is us doing the vocal work. No, I won’t tell you which is which.

As the year progressed and the expansion matured, Jov learned that it sucks to be so awesome. Even in new content, these days, we’re down to bringing 5-6 healers instead of the 7-8 we started the year out feeling like we needed.

As we got closer to Blizzcon, the next expansion was the talk of the town. Rather than predict what might be announced at Blizzcon, Seri decided instead to predict what absolutely would not be announced at Blizzcon. Her predictions were 100% accurate.

Jov picked a fight with Amber of I Like Bubbles. Hilarity ensued. (P.S. Happy Blogiversary, Amber!)

In September, WoS turned 1 year old and celebrated with fantastic giveaways! Please note: all giveaways have ended so if you comment hoping for a loot code you’re out of luck.

Seri treated everyone to a very special rant about Varian Wrynn, based on experiences in Trial of the Crusader. No one seemed to get the title’s pop culture connection, which she is still sad about.

Last but not least, one of the best moment’s of World of Snarkcraft this year (in my not so humble opinion) was Jov’s letter to Father Winter. I’m pleased to report that she did, in fact, get her heart’s desire.

I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as I did. It’s always fun to look back. :)

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Seri sez: I beg your indulgence.

December 11, 2009

Did I miss another one? It’s been pretty hectic for me the last few weeks and I haven’t had the spare brain power to blog, as evidenced by my recent string (is two a string?) of missed Thursday posts. I hope to have something for you next week. In the meantime… here, have a holiday recipe from my dear friend Mayada:

Spirited Pecans

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Praline Liquor
1.5 Cups Sugar
3-4 Cups Pecans
Candy Thermometer

Directions:

Spread out a long sheet of parchment paper (about 2 feet) on a flat surface

Mix the Liquor and Sugar together, then stir gently over high heat until the syrup reaches Soft Ball stage on the thermometer.

At that point, dump the pecans in and keep stirring until everything is covered and the coating starts to look grainy. Dump out onto the parchment and cool.

If you make a bunch at once and don’t want them all out, throw ‘em in the freezer!

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Seri sez: Raid progression in 3.3 — The shot heard ’round the world.

November 19, 2009

Yesterday, Blizzard announced their plan for opening up Icecrown Citadel in 3.3. While I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think, “Wow, this is going to be extremely unpopular with the top raid guilds.” However, I have to admit… this wasn’t exactly out of the blue. Blizzard has been firing warning shots across the bows of said vessels for the last year, introducing a lot of changes that have been less than popular with the ‘serious’ raiding population. Unfortunately, now it seems more like they’re shooting to kill.

Let me outline, in brief, The Plan™:

  1. Icecrown Citadel (ICC) will not be fully open immediately at patch launch. Instead, its four sections (The Lower Spire, Plagueworks, Crimson Hall, and Frostwing Halls) will open independently with one or more weeks in between. Each section contains several boss encounters, plus trash.
  2. Sections 2, 3 & 4 each contain a ‘final’ boss that must be killed in order to unlock the Lich King encounter for that raid instance.
  3. Raid teams will have a limited number of cumulative attempts to defeat these bosses as well as the Lich King.
  4. The number of attempts starts small (5) but increases to, eventually, 15 once all the content is released.
  5. Heroic modes are toggled on/of on a per-boss basis, but are not available until after the Lich King has been defeated once on Normal mode.
  6. At some point after ICC is fully unlocked, the number of attempts per week will gradually increase.
  7. Also at some point after ICC is fully unlocked, an instance-wide buff that increases the raid team’s damage/healing/hit points will be introduced. This buff will also scale up over time, essentially ‘nerfing’ the instance to make it easier to defeat. This buff can be disabled.

So, basically, it’s Trial of the Crusader plus Algalon plus Sunwell with an added sprinkling of magic ‘make the casuals happy’ dust. Pardon me while I bash my head repeatedly against my desk.

Ok, moving on.

Blizzard seems to be attempting to put the brakes on raid progression in ICC, for reasons that I can only speculate upon. What cracks me up is this, which is a direct quote from their announcement:

“We believe a staggered release of the content will allow players to experience Icecrown Citadel at a sustainable, measured, and ultimately more enjoyable pace.”

Wow, really? Since when did it become Blizzard’s job to determine what sort of pace is most enjoyable for me? What’s next, timed raid instances? You have 2 hours to work on this raid instance today… really, it will be much more enjoyable for you that way. Call me paranoid, but the code already exists in the game to despawn bosses and teleport people out based on a timer. (VoA, anyone?)

On the whole, I really am discouraged by this announcement and concerned for the health of already-struggling raid guilds around the world. Long-time raiders seem to be becoming more and more disenchanted with raiding and the game in general, and while I’m not usually one to go all Chicken Little I would definitely say there has been something of a mass exodus going on. For the last year, Blizzard has made great strides toward bringing endgame content to the casual player. (Something that has not been terribly well-received by the raid guilds.) However, with ICC it seems like they’re shifting from bringing the casual players up to raid level to bringing the raid level down to them. The repercussions have yet to be felt, but I worry they will be significant.

More perspectives:

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Seri sez: WTB Holy Paladin, Tree & DPS!

November 12, 2009

It’s been one of “those” weeks for me, so I didn’t have a post prepped for today. Instead of throwing something lackluster together, I’ve instead decided to use/abuse this space as a recruitment platform. Why? Because Wowlemmings.com is starting to invade my dreams…

What we’re looking for:

  • 2x Holy Paladin
  • 1x Resto Druid
  • 2x DPS

We’d be particularly interested in an Elemental Shaman. Other than that, anything is fair game. (However, any Rogue/Warlock applications would have to be exceptional.)

These are core raid team spots! Our raid nights are: Wed/Thu/Mon 6-10pm CST (7-11pm EST).

Note: We are currently running from 6:30-10pm on a trial basis. This may become our schedule on a more permanent basis, but we won’t know until we get a better idea of how it works out.

<Axiom> has been raiding on Scarlet Crusade since 2007. Throughout that time we’ve been something of an enigma on our server… we’ve never participated in realm progression threads, just quietly rose through the ranks to compete with the top guilds on the server over time. We cleared all 25-man TBC content prior to WotLK and have cleared most of the 25-man WotLK content as well. We’re 13/14 Ulduar, have crafted Val’anyr, and have completed a couple of Ulduar Hard Modes. We clear Trial of the Crusader weekly, and have been making steady progress chipping away at Heroic Beasts when possible. (Unfortunately, we don’t always have 25 raiders available on raid nights… that’s why we’re recruiting!)

We’re a friendly, if rowdy, bunch. We cuss (a lot) and poke fun at each other constantly, but we’re pretty good at pulling focus when needed. We have raiders ranging in age from 17 to 40-something, with a quirky blend of students, slackers, professionals and homemakers. We also have a pretty high ratio of ladies to gents… a running joke on our server is, “Where are all the women? Oh right, they’re in Axiom!”

Axiom is a great place for someone that takes raiding seriously but doesn’t consider themselves a hardcore raider. (I’ve commented before to applicants and friends that we aren’t a hardcore guild, but we are a successful guild.) We do monthly reviews of all raiders and like for our raiders to be constantly looking for ways to improve. At the same time, we recognize that RL is important and encourage all of our raiders to lead healthy and fulfilling lives outside of the game.

What are we looking for? The ideal candidates will be right at our level of progression, available all three of our raid nights, skilled/experienced with their class/spec/role and geared in ToC/Ulduar 25-man gear with epic gems, best in slot enchants, a solid raid spec, good glyphs and a can-do attitude. We’ll consider exceptional applications from candidates that aren’t quite at our gear level… entry level Ulduar is about the minimum we’ll consider. Come to us with a positive attitude, enthusiasm for raiding, appreciation for off-color jokes and a snarky sense of humor and you should fit right in.

Self-centered narcissistic cockweasels need not apply. ;)

Visit http://www.axiom-sc.com and apply today!

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Seri sez: Exit, Stage Left! (No, not mine.)

November 5, 2009

Don't be a pussy.Burnout. It happens to everyone. Sometimes it sneaks up on you and whacks you with a cartoon-sized mallet. More often, the slide from contentment to disinterest is rather gradual. There are ways to combat it: Scaling back your play time and/or guild/team responsibilities, gearing up and swapping to another character, taking a night (or a few nights) off… but what do you do when you realize that it’s time to call it quits? If your answer is ‘disappear without a word to anyone’ I have a few choice words for you.

I get burnout, I really do. I’m not immune to it myself, either, and I try to take nights off when I feel like I need them. When my raiders come to me and say ‘Seri.. I need a break’ my first words are usually ‘Ok, how long do you need?’ no matter how much it may hurt the raid team to be down a(nother) member for a couple of days/weeks. I like to think I’m a pretty reasonable person, and I like happy well-adjusted raiders. Unfortunately, sometimes people ask for a week off and simply don’t return… or, worse, just stop signing up for raids without a word to me (or anyone) about why. I’ve seen this behavior from extremely dependable/reliable raiders that I’ve known for ages, and I just don’t understand what is so difficult about contacting someone to tell them you’re not coming back.

I don’t know about your guild, but I think it’s fair to say that most guilds have some means of communicating outside the game. Whether that means forums, Twitter or a good old fashioned phone tree… unless you’re shipwrecked on a deserted island, in jail, or hospitalized, you should be able to get in touch with someone. Even if they’re not an officer, they can relay a message for you. Account expired and can’t/won’t renew? Leave a forum message, send an e-mail, tweet, or poke someone on the IM client of your choice. Computer dead? Use a friend’s. Have no friends? Call someone. Don’t have anyone’s phone number? Use an internet cafe. Broke? Find a local hotspot and start asking folks politely if you can borrow their laptop to send a quick message. (Offer to let them watch so they can see you’re not doing anything malicious.) Heck, these days most people are carrying around a cell phone that can connect to the internet. There are ways of getting a message through!

There are so many ways to get a message to your guild that there are really only two reasons I can think of for not doing it: Apathy and cowardice. If you are so apathetic about the game and your guild that you can log off and never look back without giving it a second thought… wow, you really do need to quit the game. If you’re afraid of telling your GM for some reason, take a few minutes to think about why. Are you worried they’ll be mad? That they’ll beg you to stay? Do you just feel so guilty for ‘abandoning’ the guild that you just can’t face it? Get over it. The world (of warcraft) won’t end because you are leaving. If your guild is strong, they’ll make it without you. If they’re not, well, then there are greater problems that you staying would probably not fix.

Now, I’m sure someone out there is going to say ‘What’s the big deal? It’s just a game… I don’t owe anyone an explanation.’ To that, I say: Good riddance, you self-centered narcissistic cockweasel. This sort of attitude is fine for a casual player… the sort of person that joins a guild for socialization, shared resources & occasional heroics. When it comes to raid guilds… you’re occupying a spot on the raid roster. There are people depending on your ass being in your chair on raid nights, and the time that your guild officers waste waiting & wondering if you’re coming back is time they could have spent recruiting for someone to fill your slot.

I know that there are occasions when it is just impossible to get a message out, but it seems in my experience that in most cases people could have easily gotten a message to the officers but they just—for whatever reason—didn’t. So, in closing, I’ll simply implore you all to not follow their example. If you decide to quit the game, tell someone. Don’t leave us twisting in the wind.

Related post: The Ethical /gquit

P.S. <Axiom> is recruiting DPS! Visit our recruitment page for more info and instructions for applying.

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Seri sez: Cross-realm random LFG… wave of the future or business as usual?

October 15, 2009

Trust the computer, citizen, it knows what's best.One of the changes announced at BlizzCon 2009 was the introduction of cross-realm instances. Yesterday, World of Raids posted a preview of the new LFG tool coming in patch 3.3. I logged into the PTR to check it out, but it had apparently been disabled so I wasn’t able to experience it for myself. However, I’m very intrigued by the prospect of being able to queue for a random instance and be partnered with players not only from my server but other servers in my battlegroup.

There are certainly times when I am up for something but have no real opinion what… throwing myself in the queue for something sure sounds better than sitting around twiddling my thumbs. But, then again, I am apparently one of the few people in the world that doesn’t hate Oculus with a burning passion.

I can’t help but wonder if the interface will allow you to queue for raids as well… the current one does, doesn’t it? I’m too lazy to look, and pretty sure no one really uses it to look for raid groups anyway. Heck, in my experience very few people actually use the LFG tool anymore… which is a whole other rant for another time. (Really, it’s an awesome freaking tool… why do people insist on using Trade chat to look for groups?)

There is a part of me that cringes at the thought of joining a PUG raid this way, that doesn’t want to believe that non-heroic raid content has been dumbed down so much that you could actually get tossed into a group with X number of random strangers and actually be successful even in a 10-man. But I have to admit.. I think that day is coming no matter how much I might want to cling to the good ol’ days when those who could raided and those who couldn’t didn’t. (Call me elitist, but… the current evolution of endgame just isn’t satisfying to me. Also a whole other rant.)

What do you think about random instances & cross-realm instancing? 5-man or otherwise.

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