Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Empire Avenue


Recently I've been playing a game called Empire Avenue, and they wanted me to feed this string to their blog munching machine.

Will get some more content out as soon as I can.  I am quite busy.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Hardest Bosses in the Game

Raid Progress 10/25: World of Warcraft

The Hardest Bosses in the Game
By MikHaven (Micaiah Stevens)

The Hardest Bosses in the Game

There are bosses in the game, and then there are the REAL bosses in the game. Even before a guild can meet the first boss in a raid tier there are a few dozen things that have to go right in defeating these ever present bosses.

In response to Ghostcrawler’s blog on the subject of Raid Progression I wanted to include my thoughts as an officer in a semi-casual guild. Semi-casual in this case refers to semi-hardcore. We want to ‘progress’ as Ghostcrawler states.

Attendance Boss

The hardest boss in the game so far, even harder than the Elevator boss is the attendance boss. This has always been the case of wow. In the original 40 raid we could get away with a lot of shenanigans. As the game progressed, raids got more succinct. Various things led to making the attendance boss harder to overcome. Just recently we took out Baradin’s Hold Aragaloth with 20 people. One mistake and we wiped; it took several attempts.  We had to try these man down tactics for a few weeks in a row.  The PVP boss is in itself difficult the more people get their gear, the less they want to help others get theirs.  Gear is a whole another blog post, I'm afraid.  There is little room for error on the other bosses. Not very many people can do a 10 raid heroic with only 9 people.

It really depends on the quality of the players and the gear level. We don’t massively over gear the content so there is various stages to these problems and tactics. Doing anything more in a 25. In the past we have done a few starter bosses in ICC with sub-25 people. This was more due to the fact we couldn’t split into 10s too. Plus we had a pretty useful buff.

In the current progression we simple don’t have enough people on after some people decided to leave the guild. We have to call raids, and split off into 10ms usually only one 10m due to lack of solid healers and tanks. The further we get into the late tier raid the more demanding we have to make our makeup of raiders. Anyone who thinks about playing melee we have to move away from them. We barely allow one melee in a 10 raid. Fortunately for our raid progression I brokered a deal to combine a smaller 10 man guild into our own raid nights.  This eventually wasn't enough, and the guild decided to move to a more populated server, another sad fact. We played on a server with only 3,000 raiders.  They moved to a server with 10,000 raiders, and are doing much better it seems.

Time Wasters

Once we get in the mood to raid, keeping all the shit we have to put up with even to start. We log in fresh and ready to go. Not quite yet. We have to go to the auction house. Pick up flasks and food.

Thinking we are ready to raid the next day; is a disheartening task. Originally when I started the game, I was a Blacksmith/Miner. I had to pay for other peoples mats to get flasks, enchants, and various other costs associated with raiding. I’ve had to level several toons to handle the economics of the game efficiently. Spending several hours farming, often more hours than it actually takes to kill bosses really hampers ones enjoyment of raiding. This cut into other time associated with honor grinding and various aspects. Having leveled a druid to 85, who is an herber/miner just to be more efficient at raiding I have to play a whole new character.  *While the character was fun to play, and is part of the alt-experience.  It doesn't take away from the fact, I am not doing these core tasks on my main, and spend more timing prepping than actually raiding.

You know it’s funny when I watched Blizzard’s 20th anniversary video I wondered what they were thinking when they said they started WoW because they didn’t want to make it feel grindy.  Some grind and prep work is to be expected.  Just is a LOT of work for your average raider.  Its probably why the majority of our raiders don't do it.

Raid Stoppers

Having appeased the attendance boss for now, we come to WoW’s humor of the elevator boss. Putting in silly mechanics to get around seems annoying and aggravates already annoyed raiders. Notwithstanding the impatience of people who don’t have cool toys to play with. I’ve had plenty of time to envy them as I waited for the elevator. Various classes and professions get to do some cool/fun things some to their own death, as the parachute doesn’t come out at the right time.

In fact our guild leader is so adamant against this boss. He claims with various reasons that when he steps on the elevator he falls straight through and dies more often than not. Bugs, and missing the elevator or gravity, I once jumped on the elevator but gravity took my too far to the right, where I feel to my death. Both sides are exposed.

Raid deaths and getting back to do more attempts is yet another boss we encounter in a raid, before it even starts. Having mastered the elevator boss, and the frogger boss we get to maybe do some attempts. Wiping as a guild, Running back, even Hearthing to repair, Going to respec, and the overall lack of a warlock all add to wasted time and effort that could be focused on progression. Not even including the cost of these wasteful mechanics.

Having farmed the money, I realize money is easy to get, at one time I had over 70kg and rising. However this is not from a few hours a night raiding. This is from hardcore farmer and selling and really working the auction house. Logging in twice a day to set up and sell over 300-1000 items at a time on the auction house a task that would take up an entire raid nights worth of time each day. I am now of course completely broke from raiding supplies, lack of willingness to farm and buying BOE epics. Not wanting to spend that much time on mundane efforts.

RAID progression (4.1 Nefarion)

The Saga Experience; having made it past the REAL bosses in the game working very hard as a guild our guild leader is stretched by the drama that comes with a medium large 25 guild. We as a guild are 9/12 normal mode. We have some people(IE 10ms) just starting to get through Cho’gall. We have gotten him to about 5%. In Conclave, we haven’t had the time or patience to learn a very complicated fight like Al’kir. In BWD we are having trouble with Atremdes, we see a sound bar, but as I can tell you Sonic breath is VERY unforgiving, with the only move quick ability I have is Heroic Leap. I tend to get caught in this quite often. Having very little warning of who is going to be picked next on this and the air phase. I get caught in these two flames and an almost instant death. Nefarion has been set aside so we can get past Cho’gall.

*Having finished the tier of content, we managed to kill all 12 bosses, we had to do over half of them in 10m only. 25 eventually died out.  Once we switched to 10m we got all 12, and started working on heroics, only downing the first boss in Conclave.  As a warrior, melee, I was not included in hardmode content in Lichking, I was only included in the 3.1 tier, because I switched to tank, especially on the fights that require three tanks.  *first boss in conclave we did with 3 tanks*

Missing Fight Mechanics

Honestly when we try and progress to these higher end bosses we just get to see them so little. Either we have to bring in new people and wipe on Omnitron and Magmaw. Or we slow down on more attempts of our 25 progression. We get stuck at various stages in each group. Another problem in our cho’gall is lack of seeing the phase we need to see the most. Little mistakes cause us to wipe early and we don’t get to practice the tougher mechanics. We see the final 25% so little we are just building up to that phase little by little.
A famous example I like to use is learning the dragon Malygos' vehicles. With the daily being broken, and very few groups getting to that phase. You can’t just learn it, having not done it as a guild; most people are unwilling to let you learn new mechanics.  I also surmise the situation would have been reversed had the vehicles been the first part of the fight. *if not faster group breakup*  Switching to 10s has also been a HUGE boon to making progress easier. As you can focus your efforts.
Although we are still shooting for the 25m raids. We are only 1 of 5 25m guilds on Scilla however we are 38th of the about 45 guilds in terms of progression overall. Our progression has been slowed by our continued to work on 25 progressions. The majority of guilds are doing 10s and we are feeling the pressure to break down in 10s.

The attendance and distraction of our 25 raiders is far more unforgiving than a 10. If we don’t have 25 of our best raiders on we have to split into 10s. Which ultimately pisses off those that don’t get a raid spot. In the name of progression we further have to cut this down to one 10 as we simple don’t have the high quality of raider for the progressive fights.  *What we would do was gather on Tues, our strongest night, knock out as many easy early bosses as we could in 25m, and finish the other raid nights with 10s.

Ultimately our desired goal to continue 25s and make progress is limited. Limited in we can’t keep pushing 25 content. It kind of comes down to needing to see the boss in 10 first. We simply can’t call out certain people as the tools; recount is all we have really. Doesn’t include, friendly damage, avoidable damage. There is just no real way to analyze a wipe quickly. One of the few fights we can tell who is doing what. Is magmaw if ranged aren’t putting any damage on the adds we can tell. However a fight like Omnitron every night we reiterate the fact we can’t dps past 50% or will kill the tank.  Who does this when it happens occasionally is extremely hard to tell. Unless someone fesses up to.

Famous example we had someone turn off the ICC buff, we had the call the raid 2 hours early as there was no way at the time to get it back. We didn’t find out till about 6 months later, when they confessed it was them.  I spent all night pouring over the combat logs.  It eventually came down to two names, but I could not tell for sure who it was.

Normal Mode

Having said all that. I honestly think, Blizzard had to delay Firelands for this very reason. Of the 40+ guilds on our server a few weeks ago only about 4-5 had gotten to the heroic level. And only one has gotten past 3 bosses in heroic. Given a few more weeks and I am sure we and most other guilds will be starting our heroic climb. When 4.1 finally lands we will be pushing a few heroic fights more and more. I surmise thou that when 4.2 finally does land months from now. We and the majority of the guilds on our server won’t have cleared the content. Our 25 will be months away, because instead of doing 25s every night we will have to break down into 10s to see the harder content.

   *This eventually proved to be true, and Morhaime said raiders burn the content too quickly.  This is the high end raiders.  The middle of the road raiders simple don't.

Ghostcrawler asked for specifics. One fight, and please don’t beef up 10. Is when we are doing Nezir(?) the add boss in Conclave. We can stand in the spores in 10, however in 25 melee gets Destroyed. I am talking less than a couple seconds.

Am I prepared?

Once we make it past all the economic work. In comes eventually to the Heroic vs. Non-heroic. Are we Epic yet? One would think given our awesome gear level, I am currently at an average ilevel of 362 with some pvp pieces. However I’ll be the first to admit I am not a rockstar warrior. Similar to the energy drink, or the song Rockstars are the type of people that just sort of get the game.

These are the people who just happen to live close to the server. Have some internal timing mechanism, have an amazing gaming machine. Can afford a decent internet connection. I pay 90$ a month for my internet. All the things that really go into a mmo these days. Things that not very many people talk about. These play large factors in term of quality and skill. In pvp you really can notice the difference when you hit a pummel to interrupt a spell and when the server thinks you hit it. Costing you a 10s cooldown. On Maloriak this can lead to a lot of drama.

The difference is staggering when you really see the contrast. It’s like when you put on a pair of eye correcting glasses. You have to take them on and off a few times to really see the difference. People come in all blues and blow away people in all epics. Certain class choice plays into this. Boomkins and hunters are blowing people out of the water when it comes to DPS. We are not even talking about the 5% difference here. This is not some arbitrary number Blizzard has come up with. Skill is such a large factor, consider for a few moments what it means to kill ICC bosses with a 0% buff and a 25%(?) buff. This is really the difference in ones dps and healing. Not even close to 5% more in the range of 20-30% difference.


Having played a Warrior for over 5 years. I am mostly a DPS warrior, although I get to tank more and more. Melee is just brutal in the game. The starter 5ms were just insane. Having to run out of everything, away from DPSing the boss. The stark difference in sheer dps from a range class to a melee class on the fights we have to move is staggering. They don’t get better on the fights we don’t have to move on, since the range doesn’t have to move more often than not. Our standard loadout for a 10m is 1 Melee. Reading some of the top guilds comments they have commented on the sheer overwhelming hatred from Blizzard for Melee or at least confirming in my mind this overwhelming distaste for my chosen career.

Visual Acuity

As a raider one of my biggest complaints is the ramping up of visual acuity of the game and the players need to determine them in a split second. The simple fact is I can’t turn off player effects. I mean sure they look pretty separated out. But when you’re on the boss as melee all you see is particle effects.
Fireworks when they are spread out and used sparingly are very beautiful when you fire all of them off at once; every second is distracting and unappealing.
On top of this to ask us to stand out of fire, when it it’s a bazillion different colors in haphazard at best. To give a specific example when I first started this expansion I would run out of the green circles from the Druids Effervescent. I imagine my fear of them on the hundreds of boss fights that have used a similar color mechanic has taught me to hate them. Being able to see these effects are still useful. However what do I care about all the pretty lights from the other damage and various spells from other classes especially in a 25m raid.


Healing has become a very thankless and unappealing class. There are simply not enough heals to keep raids going.
On chimmeron we use 8 healers. We have to pull out all the off-off specs we can muster.
I honestly think they need to boost healing, make it more fun. Figure something out. Allow more specs to heal. I choose a warrior, but I honestly wish I picked a paladin. Having the choice to do multiple roles would make for more interesting choices. Maybe allowing gear to be distributed to our alts somehow might work as well. Something just needs to be done to address this problem.

End Thoughts

I realize this is a LOT to take in and covers a vast array of principles and mechanics. I wanted to break this down into bullet points, with similar thoughts. I know specifics are helpful and most of this covers a broad overview. Raiding is a very complicated business. There are arguments on both sides of the coin for what I may call out as black and white. Overall the game is fun, however I think it could be a lot better, and maybe make me want to play a lot more, and not just log in to raid.

*will post these at a later date, my blog site doesn't like words bullet points.  *Never could get the bullet points to work.  Maybe when I convert them somehow I will.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Warrior – Why Didn’t I roll DK?

Intro to MikHaven’s Warrior Blog

Hello my name is Micaiah, and I play MikHaven a human warrior on Scilla. I guess now that you know my name and server your off to check his armory, feel free. I am a dps warrior in the guild Saga. I have a secondary spec for tanking, and a trinary spec for PVP. I am not the best person in PvP, never making any top ratings, however I’ve been pvping since they had ranks. Knight-Lieutenant Boyah!

I’m going to focus on DPS, will talk about tanking quite a bit. PvP could almost have its own blog. If you’re interested in the warrior as much as I am. This is the blog for you.
"Wait - Weren’t they going to change that so I didn’t have to respec so

Sources – Check your Sources

I know Ghostcrawel doesn’t like to talk about numbers, but I feel as a DPS obsessed person, I stare at recount all day. I know I’m not the top dps, on quite a few fights, and I know I could improve. However will get into these reasons later.
*just call me the debuff bitch*
Eon Blue Apocalypse

I wanted to start a blog about my warrior, I’ve been thinking about this for several months. I love my warrior, but I can’t say I played him since beta. To be honest in beta, and early release rage felt horrible.

I started a Paladin instead. A few months later, I meet a friend who wanted to start a toon on Wildhammer with some friends and play, so I started up my warrior again on Wildhammer. This was clear back in original WoW, with MC, BWL and dreams of Naxxramas.

I recently moved him to Scilla, where the lag is horrible, but quite a few of my WoW friends decided to move. While the lag is horrible, I’ve been having a lot of ups and down. Currently I’d say I’m in an upswing. However I’ve been concerned about my warrior, ever since I started getting more information about him, sometime in Early BC, once I hit 80 and was gearing him up.

Leveling my warrior was my first biggest concern, and still is; an idea I don’t relish doing over again, even with all the changes to the warrior. The only thing that saved my health bar was I got to level with my priest friend. Together this combo, healer & tank/dps make for some pretty amazing experiences. However now that we are moving on, I find myself cold and alone, and my health bar dropping faster and faster these days.

My guild is currently on the last boss in Trial of the Crusader(25), the regular version of Anub’arak(Alliance). I believe this weekend we will down him. I have fully cleared 10 ToC, and working on Heroic 10 with my 10 man. Currently our guild has two 10s and we are trying to vary them up, but it proves to be hard a lot of times to do.

Titles are Titles and Important

*23 and counting*

The biggest thing about writing this blog, and thinking about it, was coming up with a good title for it. I’ve been thinking a LOT about Ghostcrawel and I’ll be making reference to him constantly I hope. The main focus thou will be game design and about his take on the how you can’t compare your class to other classes.

I am sure this will change over time, but if you’re interested in the warrior

I will also be referencing Landsoul’s spreadsheet as it’s the dufacto warrior guide on gear. While the dps numbers may be irrelevant for some in this blog I’ll hopefully be talking about specific numbers with SS’s of Recount data, and in depth discussion about the warrior and ultimately how I feel they are doing, and what could be improved. STARTING with the du du du 'The training dummy'.

If you are interested in the warrior as much as I am. This really is the blog for you.


Ghostcrawler/ Greg Street - http://www.wowwiki.com/Greg_Street