Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Raid’

So I’ve joined close to a half dozen GDKP raids now, both ToC and ICC. I’ve gotten really lucky with upgrades for both my mage and my resto druid and think I can speak with a bit of authority on the subject. Since “GDKP” seems to be a search term leading people to this blog, I thought I’d post some tips.

First and most importantly: DO NOT BUY GOLD

If you honestly don’t know why, the short version is that gold sellers are thieves, liars, scammers and hackers. They primarily make their gold by hacking accounts, stealing whatever virtual goods are on them, turning it into gold and sending it to mules. Or they’ll turn hacked characters into botted farmers. Everyone knows someone who has been hacked. My own brother was hacked (he has since admitted that maybe making his WoW login name and his main character’s name the same thing was a bad idea). Friends and guildmates have been hacked. It’s not funny.

Gold selling is not a victimless crime.

If you need gold, go read blogs like Greedy Goblin or JustMy2Copper or Phase3Profit. Spend some time grinding gold. Back in TBC I ran the Sunwell dailies religiously for three weeks to afford epic flight. Since then I’ve learned to use the auction house and my own skills better and can usually show up at a GDKP with about 30k gold for Reversion and me to spend.

Digression over, on with the show.

1. Know How It Works

In general, a GDKP will be a 25 man raid of as much of the top raid as can be reasonably cleared. Whoever organizes it is responsible for raid makeup and must balanced geared players with rich ungeared players. The geared players may be coming for one trinket or just the gold; the ungeared players, for gear and to see content they might not get access to otherwise.

When a boss is downed, the loot master will link the drops in raid chat and then take bids on them using an addon that does the auctioning work for him. The minimum bid may be whatever was agreed upon; 1000 gold is pretty common, with recipes and components perhaps lower. There is also an agreed bid increment, usually 100 gold. You place your bid in raid chat. Whoever has the highest bid, gets the item.

At the end of the raid, the pot is divided equally among the raiders.

There may be variations in these rules, such as penalties for being an idiot, or disobeying orders. There may be rules for what happens if you leave early or are kicked from the raid. Get this in writing; ask the raid leader to type the rules in raid chat before the start, for everyone’s protection. If you have to file a complaint later, having the details in raid chat gives Blizzard a place to start their investigations. If all details are conducted over Vent, it’s just your word against theirs.

2. Know The Organizers

First, you’ll want to be sure the raid is going to get somewhere. It’s no fun being locked to a raid ID that only downs Marrowgar. Look for GDKPs run by the top guilds on your servers. Sure, it’s probably their alts that are going but the alts of top raiders are usually well geared and competent.

Second, make sure you can trust them. If XXArthaaasXX is spamming trade for “TOGC25 GDKP run” and he belongs to “Dæthz Knightz”, be careful. The pots can get really big and you don’t want someone walking away with all the gold. Again, big name guilds usually care about their reputation on server and won’t scam someone without a good reason.

3. Be Prepared

If the guy organizing the raid has been spamming trade all week advertising it and asking you to sign up on the guild’s site or the official realm discussion board, don’t expect to get a slot at the last minute by whispering him. You might get lucky, you might not. Follow the rules, sign up or send an in game message ahead of time. They may ask for armory page, specs, gold you have available to spend – don’t be tempted to lie here. Be upfront. A good GDKP is an ongoing phenomenon and you would probably like to be invited back.

Gather your gold together on the character you want to take to the raid before you go. You don’t want to have to zone out halfway through for more gold.

Act like this is a real raid, because it is. Get your flasks, potions, buff food, gemming, and enchants ready beforehand. Bring gems and enchants for anything you might want to equip right away.

Know the fights. Again this goes with knowing the raid. If you have done the first four ICC fights and that’s as far as the GDKP is going, great. If you’ve done the first four but the GDKP advertises that it regularly downs Putricide, then learn the fights you haven’t seen. Watch a general strategy video and read advice on whatever roles you might be asked to perform. Note: not “what role you normally are”. Sometimes they will ask you to play as your off spec, even if your main is better geared. GDKP runs are about filling holes with bodies, not about letting YOU do what you really want. If you want to run ICC as a resto druid and nothing else, join a guild or pay a guild to take you in that role. If you want to pay money for gear, do what the raid leader asks.

Get Vent, if you don’t have it. Any successful GDKP is going to use a voice server; there’s just no other way to manage 25 people. If you are not at least listening in Vent, you may (and probably should) be kicked. You need to know when the raid leader wants you to move, not just do what you think is best.

Get Deadly Boss Mods, or your equivalent mod of choice. Make sure it’s up to date.

4. Know What You Want

Before the fight, go look at the loot tables for every boss you are expecting to down. Write down a post-it note list of what pieces that boss drops that you want, and how much you want it.

Why not just wait and see what drops? Several reasons. First, you want to make a mental budget. If you know the one item you really really want drops from Marrowgar, then if it drops you can spend as much as you want on it, and if it doesn’t drop, go ahead later and spend money on things you didn’t care as much about. On the other hand, if you really want a Gunship drop, then don’t blow all your money on Marrowgar.

If you have an offset that you are thinking about gearing: again, prioritize. Don’t spend 10k on a drop from Marrowgar if your main set might get three or four drops later. But if a piece is going for a song, bid on it! I picked up Niebulung, a caster staff for my offset the last time I ran ICC for the minimum bid because no one wanted it.

A word about BOEs: some bosses drop loot that is Bind on Equip, not Bind on Pickup. Check these while you’re researching. If they happen to be best in slot for you, be prepared to spend a lot of money because chances are, some capitalist on the run will try to buy it to re-sell on the Auction House. Is that person you? Make sure you know what it’s really worth. Don’t spend 2k on primordial saronite if they usually sell for 1800 gold; don’t spend 12k on Marrowgar’s Frigid Eye if it sells for 6k. And remember that the heroic version of the BOEs are NOT BoE; don’t bid on one if you can’t use it! The raid leader will probably hold you to your bid…

5. Bidding strategy

If you’re like me, the moment you see that one of ‘your’ items dropped, your adrenaline kicks in. Forget about the boss fight, this is the real action! Your heart races, your hands shake, you start messing up as you type – and all of a sudden you just bid 18000 gold instead of 1800. Ooops. Or you mistyped and whispered your bid to your friend. Even more oops.

By having your priority list mentioned above, you should have an idea of how high you are willing to go. Start low, see what competition you have. Prices will pretty quickly get to the range where people who don’t want the item that much drop out. Then you either win, or get into a one on one bidding war.

Don’t go over your budget. Make your highest bid amount mentally and stick to it. Conversely, don’t take yourself out of the game prematurely; if you were willing to spend 5k gold on that hat, bid 5k!

If you see a bidding war forming up, you can try the “money dump” method; bid something like 2/3rds of your ‘high bid’, if that will take the amount a good bit higher than where it currently is. This shows your competitors that you are serious, that you have at least that much gold, and that they’d better be serious if they want to compete with you. Psychology is a weird thing. If you sloooowwwly creep up to, say, 5k, in 100 gold increments, you are much more likely to bid 5100 gold than if the price goes from 2k to 5k instantly.

Don’t be afraid to go for broke. Unless you screw up royally, you are going to come out with 1/25th the pot – that’ll at least be repair costs for you until you can earn a little money back. Again, don’t take more gold than you’re willing to spend. Don’t borrow gold from a friend; that’s a good way to ruin the friendship. Borrow gold from your spouse or partner, yes, if you can’t give that money back then you have more problems than I’m going to talk about ;-D

Final Notes

GDKPs are a lot of fun if they’re well run. I highly recommend them. Remember that the other people on the raid are coming for gear or cash, not just the pleasure of your company, and treat them that way. Be respectful and honest. Don’t waste their time; time = gold on these runs and if you waste time, you may find yourself out in the cold.

Read Full Post »

Raid Night

So it is Friday and that means raid time!
We don’t talk about our guild much but Analogue and I are in Meridan. It is the number one progression raiding guild on Ghostlands. We are not raiders though. We are ‘friend’ invites meaning we are friends of one of the raiders, a long time gaming friend of mine. So we don’t get in regular guild runs but we do get into alt runs sometimes. Also, as Analogue has mentioned we get in the GDKS 25 man runs when we can make it. Those are great.

But we are still left wanting more. So, off and on for the last few months we have been organizing our own pug/alt runs. We try hard to not step on any guild toes, mainly going on off nights for the progression groups and being sure to tell everyone it is just an alt run. We usually get somewhere around half guild or former guild in our pugs.

The last two times we have been making extra effort to turn this in to a more regular thing. We are starting to get people we know and have run with on a ‘invite first’ list as well as checking with them in advance to see if they will be on. With the ICC buff at 15% and climbing it is only a matter of time before even a pretty rough pug will have a shot at Arthas. We want that sooner rather than later.

It is an interesting experience and has given me a lot more practice running raids. Because we are getting more ambitious we need to get more serious with planning and execution. Last week we screwed up our make-up and ended up with far to little R-DPS to down Saurfaung. It was kind of pathetic really but it happens. In retrospect we should have spotted that right away and swapped a melee for another ranged.

Hopefully this week we can down Dreamwalker again and be back to new fights.

Yes we are in the pre expansion wastelands but now is the time to reach for a goal that you could not previously do. It has been since Molten Core since I got in a top in raid when it was still progression content. Now, with all the changes blizzard has made almost anyone has a shot at the end game if they have willingness to do their homework and do some wrangling.

PS: We are still looking for a regular solid tank healer if anyone from Ghostlands is interested.

Read Full Post »

I feel a little epic these days now that I have enough current raid experience to actually have informed opinions on them. I’m not elite or hardcore but I’m making personal progress in ICC whenever we can get in there and I fully intend to take down Arthas. Never been in this position in a raid cycle before. I’ve even got a couple pieces that are BiS!

Anyway I’ve been thinking about this post for a while now but the Cataclysm raid change announcements made it timely.  Personally? I think I like it a lot. I’m going to have to strategize going into Cataclysm to make sure I’m positioned to actually see content as it comes out, but I think between the 10 and 25 man raids dropping the same gear, and the tweak to the gear buying system with points instead of badges, I’ll be able to stay geared enough without having to commit to a hardcore raid.

I hear some doom and gloom from 25 man raider and joy from 10 man raiders, and while I’m not 100% sure things will work out the way the consensus seems to be, put me on the happy 10 man side. I love 10 mans. When it comes to raids, I’m a healer. DPSing raids just doesn’t seem that fun to me. Give me Vuhdo and a bunch of health bars and I’m happy. But as a resto druid, I find 10 mans way more fun than 25 at least right now. In 25 mans it’s – “Analogue, you Rejuv groups 4 and 5, Othertree do 2 and 3″. And that’s it. That’s my job. If I cast anything else except maybe a Swiftmend or WG, I get yelled at. Don’t brez without orders, don’t innervate anyone else without orders, don’t look too closely at the tanks’ health bars because you can’t do anything about it…

But in  10 mans, the other healer(s) and I work together as a real team. I have to know what the heals on the tanks are going to look like so I know when to intervene. I need to watch my partner’s mana just in case he needs my Innervate more than I do. We cover each other’s back – in a lot of ways it’s like the synthesis between healer and tank in a 5 man.  In 10 mans I have to actually think beyond just “don’t stand in the fire, run to that side, avoid the deep breaths”. No I need to know things like “The second mark will be going out any second, I’m going to have to cover that one so the pally can keep up the tank and the first mark, so save the Swiftmend cd for him, oh, and that guy has Boiling Blood so make sure there’s no one around him who needs heals.” And that’s one of the more straightforward healing fights as far as I’m concerned.

So yeah, I’m excited, providing I can get into a fairly regular ten man in Catacylsm. Reversion and I are thinking about that sort of thing now – we’re hoping to establish a regular pseudo-pug for ICC right now. Our pug this weekend was really awesome and several of the members expressed interest in running again. We’d like to build up a raid from outside our guild, since we’re in the position of non-raiding members of a raiding guild that we don’t want to leave.

The 25 mans feel really epic and fun. But the 10 mans feel like I can do a lot more to actually affect the outcome of the raid. And I like that. The idea of having access to the best gear in the raid style I prefer? Pure win.

Read Full Post »

I’m a bit of a control freak.

(Reversion is not allowed to make a comment on that statement)

I’ve always had control freak tendencies. Sometimes they come in handy, like when I was applying to grad school. Or organizing a bookstore run with my younger siblings. All six of them. No surprise it would spill over to WoW; the biggest surprise is how long it took me to roll a healer.

As a Resto druid, my inner control freak is very very happy in 10 man raids. I feel like I’m responsible for keeping everyone alive and I like it. Even if I’m supposed to be raid healing I can keep an eye on the tanks for a good time to drop a Swiftmend or my Nature’s Swiftness + Healing Touch macro.

25 mans are another beast. “Ok Analogue you keep Rejuvs on groups 3-5″. There’s my healing assignment. Drop a WG on the melee if I can spare the GCD. Otherwise, Rejuv, wait for the order to battle res. Drop a hot on the tanks. Don’t even think about Nourish, unless the fight goes to heck and the healers start dropping.

It’s fun, don’t get me wrong. I see more of the fights in 25 man. I’m glad I did Rotface in 25 first; I have a really good idea of what to do in 10 man now. But I’m not in control. How could I be, as one of 25, one of 7 healers? It’s as bad as being DPS. In 10 man, I’m one of two, maybe three, performing my role. I can challenge myself a lot more. Should I Swiftmend the tank or heal up that mage over there that took a few ticks of fire damage before moving? Do I need to focus heal the Mark target? Doing my own thing and actually thinking for myself is an asset. In 25 man, I’m part of a team, greater as a whole than as a part. We can do some awesome things together – but deep down inside I feel insecure.

Do other healers feel this way? I bet it’s more of a Resto druid thing than, say, a Holy Pally thing. I think we probably are more likely to feel like we have to heal everyone at the same time rather than focusing on assignments, but I might be wrong.

And how, when the tank’s health bar keeps going down, can I NOT heal him?

Read Full Post »

GDKP

I think everyone knows what GDKP runs are these days; if not, the quick version is that when loot drops, you bid gold on what you want, high bidder wins, and at the end all the gold spent is divvied out in equal shares to the raiders. Guilds often run GDKP raids for their raiders’ alts as well as a few pugged potential buyers.

Tuesday after the ICC zone buff was raised to 10%, one of the officers of our guild announced they’d be doing a GDKP run of ICC this Saturday. I immediately went to town, clearing out my bank vaults and doing some serious auctioneering. With six 80s between us, Reversion and I have most of the professions covered and mine are especially lucrative; jewelcrafting, enchanting, tailoring, and my pally tank has a glyph business that has been netting us a few hundred gold a week. Basically, Tuesday my mage, who is our auctioneer and has all Reversion’s and my money, had about 14k gold; Saturday we had 32k. I sold a couple primordial saronite from frost badges that my alts had collected but mostly it was bank leftovers, bags, and gems. Also a weird quirk on my server has runed orbs selling for more than 4 times the cost of frozen orbs and I took advantage of that.

Anyway, Saturday rolls around; the raid leader asks Reversion to bring his hunter instead of the druid, which he’s happy to do, and I get an ok to come on Analogue. This will be the first time we’ve actually gotten past Marrowgar on 25 man ICC and I’m looking forward to it immensely. An hour before it’s time to go we hear a horrible thumping and crashing from the garage. We go out and find our washer has walked off the pedestal, fallen on its face, ripped pipes out of the wall and there’s water going everywhere.

Great. The joys of home ownership.

We shut off the water, move the boxes off the floor, start hacking at pipes. Reversion assesses our tools and gear and we make a quick run to Home Depot. Five minutes before raid time, we’ve got a fix that lets us have cold running water, the washer is on its feet and given a tentative “maybe it’s ok” verdict, and we decide to raid.

Marrowgar gets one shot and a pair of caster leather gloves drop, which I buy even though it breaks my Tier 10 2 set bonus; they were just too nice to pass up. Deathwhisper takes two attempts and some nice hunter pants drop for Reversion’s hunter Approximate; we both got lucky and got these pieces cheap as my competitor druid was afk during bidding, and Approximate was the only hunter around.

Then Gunship, and I’m holding my breath the whole time and then it drops: the Abacus, the trinket I’ve been wanting since I first heard of it. The bidding war is fierce but once it gets past 3k gold it’s down to just me and a holy priest; we bid it up to 4.9k before he drops out and lets me have it, telling me privately that if Trauma drops off Rotface he’s not giving up so easily. I tell him it’s on and don’t tell him that I still have close to 20k if Trauma drops and man do I want that mace.

Saurfang gets one-shot. So far the fight that I’ve found the most different on 25 versus 10 man is Deathwhisper; the mind control and the sheer number of adds made that one interesting. Most of the fights are actually easier for me as a healer, since I can concentrate on raid healing and just spam Rejuvs and WG everywhere.

We head to Rotface first. It takes two tries, and the second time we succeed even though one of the pugged guys does not take his small ooze out of the raid – someone managed to pull it out after two minutes. That’s the first time I’ve seen that fight and I enjoyed it even though I ended up dying twice on the second attempt – bad luck with slime puddles.

Trauma, of course, does not drop. Argh. I’d been setting myself up all week but I guess when I’d already got the Abacus I couldn’t be too greedy.

Then we go to Festergut and we wipe and wipe and wipe, mostly by hitting the enrage timer. I end up pulling out my mage, we swap out the worst dps (the aforementioned pugged warrior who didn’t move his slime) and finally – finally – get him down, after a heartbreaker attempt where the last one of us died a nanosecond before he did.

Why am I writing all this up? Because I wanted to emphasize how awesome GDKP runs are for people who have skills, ok gear, and not enough time to commit to a real raid schedule, or just don’t want that pressure regularly. If it had been a “real” guild raid some of the wipes would have been… unpleasant, but because everyone there was a customer as well as a raider, the raid leaders had to put up with a bit of idiocy. The idiots’ gold is just as good as anyone else’s.

It takes gold to make gold of course, but at 80 the gold comes rolling in with minimal effort. Dailies, or auctioneering, or a good profession, add up fast. I’ve never ever bought gold, but I have four characters with dual spec, three with epic Northrend flying, crafted gear, and been a high roller on two GDKP runs in the last four months. And I have a trinket that I’d have given my eye teeth for, a fun afternoon of content that for me was progression, and an achievement in my log.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.