Friday Five: Five Easy Tailoring Halloween Costumes

Some of us procrastinate when it comes to Halloween costumes. Luckily, there are a variety of last minute costumes available from your friendly neighborhood tailor..

  1. Simple peasant girl. Enchanter’s Cowl + White Woolen Dress. Accessorize with simple wildflowers.
  2. Farmer. Blue Overalls + Red Lumberjack shirt (shown above on Lina). Add a pitchfork to accessorize.
  3. El matador. Haliscan Jacket + Haliscan Pantaloons + Dress Shoes. Go kill Don Carlos in the heroic CoT Hillsbrad for his hat.
  4. Party girl. Black Mageweave Vest + Black Mageweave Leggings + Black Mageweave Boots. Accessorize with some hard liquor.
  5. Bride. White Wedding Dress was made for this occasion, especially if you are undead. Accessorize with a bouquet of black roses for a suitably spooky ensemble.

BONUS Costume: Soothsayer. Don the pretty robe of your choice + Wizard Weave Turban.

You may be surprised I didn’t put any of my pirate goodies on this list. But that’s because WoWiki has an exhaustive list of pirate goodies. And yes, I can make the Admiral’s Hat if you need one.

Happy Halloween!

Friday Five: 5 Activities to Avoid When the Server is Lagging

  1. Mailing. Do not try to mail anything to anyone. Or to obtain items from your mailbox. The latter can take up to five minutes, and the former can cause you to DC.
  2. Mounting. If at all possible, remain seated with your seatback at the full upright position. Especially don't try to mount in mid-air. Unless you like the prospect of going SPLAT!
  3. Slaying the Northrend Beasts. Everything looks fine. Right until you run away from the nasty yeti, yet end up dying.
  4. Looting. This is not the time to go after a rare item that you have to loot. One false click and that sea turtle or sewer rat can go POOF! in your face. And since you never looted it, the GMs can not restore it.
  5. Auction House purchasing/selling. The loot lag applies here too. But it combines with a case of shopkeeper rage if that bid click is interpreted as a buyout click. Ahem.

Here's hoping this weekend gives us some relief from the lag!

Friday 5: Five Blog Posts From the Past Week You Should Read Today

  1. Horde Leaders Raiding Arthas, posted by Arrens. This gave me a good giggle, much like the bored bosses of Black Rock Mountain piece that went around after BC launched. Made of much win.
  2. Seven Ways to Your Raid Leader's Heart, posted on World of Mattycus, is a good companion piece to the Raid Signups Etiquette 101 post I made this week. If you have some raid members who need to hear second-hand how to behave in a way to not make the RL –and the rest of the raid team for that matter– let them DIAF, now you have some neutral to you places to send them.
  3. Arthas as a Villain on Blessing of Kings takes a look at the watering down of Arthas' validity as a true villain, and makes a good case for some ways we could see that turned around.
  4. 5 Reasons Why You Should Like Garrosh over on WoW Relief is an excellent response to the avalanche of anti-Garrosh tweets and posts over the past week.
  5. Use Your Pet on Aspect of the Hare provides a solid twitter data-sourced case for why hunter's should take that extra bit of effort to use their pet appropriately in raids. Your raid team wants that extra 500-900 dps from them over the course of the night, they really do.

Good Reading: Sawyer’s Guides to Pally Life

As a shadow priest, having a pally tank in a run makes me happy — it gives me free license to mind sear away! Ah, the joys of a good AOE tank…

One of my favorite tanks to run with has just updated her guides over on her LJ for 3.2. They merit a read whether you are starting out on your pally, or looking to be raid ready:

I hope to find some guides like this for my baby mage soon.

Follow Friday Five

I read WoW blogs here and there when things catch my eye on the aggregator feeds, and have a core couple dozen I read regularly. In the spirit of Follow Friday, I bring you five blogs I love reading, in no particular order.

  1. Too Many Annas. I'm not an RPer, which is a key focus point of the blog, but I love reading her thoughtful, well-written blog regardless. Great archive articles on shaman healing too. Whenever I see a twitter link to a new post, I happily click through.
  2. Pink Pigtail Inn. As a former journalist, I can relate to her occasional curmudgeonly annoyance with what passes for "journalism" on news sites sometimes, and enjoy her musings on things like how often Yogg Saron dies daily or the return on investment from your $15 per month versus all the other  entertainment out there, this site almost always gives me something to think about.
  3. Pugnacious Priest. One of the more prolific priesty bloggers I read. I wonder what she was drinking when she wrote the Crazy Cat Lady's personal ad. And I mean that in a good way. And her Ulduar cheat sheet for Shadow Priests means I don't have to write one myself. Huzzah!
  4. The Greedy Goblin. The first thing I learned from this site, back in the day, was to *always* got to Halaa and check the crappy weapon vendor so I could buy and DE his green weapons and make a tidy profit. After that I was hooked on coming here regularly to see if there were any fine tunings I could do to help finance my pricey professions or my big splurges (mechano hog, mini pets.) I don't always agree, but I always leave with food for thought/profit.
  5. I Like Bubbles. At this point, I can not count how often this lady has made me laugh out loud while reading my twitter feed. the blog is like that too, with many a rant thrown in for good fun. And the Flow Chart Fridays are not to be missed.

And after typing this all out, I see we are estrogen-heavy on this list, which was not by design. Just means the ladies are ruling this Follow Friday. have a good one!

Mark Your Calendar: September 19 is Pirate Day!

Pirates hold a special place in my heart for many reasons (i.e.Captain Jack Sparrow, my guild name, etc.) And apparently the same is true of Blizzard as well: September 19 is Pirate Day. Go check your in game calendar if you don’t believe me.

Coinciding with the annual Talk Like a Pirate Day, it’s unclear what the day’s festivities will entail exactly, tho there is a new achievement for carousing with pirates: The Captain’s Booty. So save up your rum…and get your pirate costume ready….ARRRRRR Mateys.

P.S. Landlubbers should brush up on their pirate lingo over the next month.

9/19 UPDATE: Talk to a pirate in any capital city (sadly, none in Dalaran) for a 60 minute pirate costume to get youself in the mood.

Forums Food for Thought

Sometimes, it not that others missed your point. Often, it's that they don't agree. And that's OK.

Just because you feel strongly one way about something doesn't mean that's the truth; it's just how you feel about it. And that needs to be enough for folks.

You can talk until you are blue in the face, but you can't necessarily change anyone else's opinion.

o·pin·ion  (-pnyn)n.

1. A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof.
2. A judgment based on special knowledge and given by an expert: a medical opinion.
3. A judgment or estimation of the merit of a person or thing: has a low opinion of braggarts.

You can, however, be quarrelsome and annoying to the point that your guildies don't especially like you.

Friday Five: Five Character Naming Conventions That Drive Me Batty

  1. Characters with their class in their name. You know… elspally, elspriest, elsdruid. Because your class isn't apparent when we mouse over you or anything.
  2. Characters with their function in their name. Bonus points for when the name has class and function (druidhealer, shamheals). Double bonus points when the person's name has heals in it yet they are dps or a tank only, not a healer.
  3. Intentionally misspelled names "because it was taken spelled right"
  4. Names with special characters. You do realize no one will ever type you out a mail, yes, ever, don't you?
  5. Anything that references Legolas involving an elf.

BONUS GUILD NAME PET PEEVE: Unintentionally misspelled words in a guild tag. Especially when it's a guild with more than just your bank alt. For shame.

Managing Expectations: the Guild Application Process

If I've seen it once I have seen it a few dozen times: person goes through application process, person joins guild, person immediately starts complaining that guild is not meeting all their personal needs. Drama ensues. Person leaves guild with many hard feelings all around.

And it really should never happen if both the applicant and the guild are honest and paying attention in the application process.

What Applicants Should Look for in the Application Process

So you found a guild you like and you are about to app. Before you do, you need to find out answers to the following if you want to be raiding:

  • Are they raiding? If so, what are they raiding? Is this what I want to be raiding?
  • What is the overall average player skill and experience level? Is this a leveling guild or an end game guild? How do I stack up against their top players?
  • Do their raid times coincide with my availability?
  • Do they actually need another player of my class for raids?

If you don't know anyone in the guild well enough to answer these questions for you, you should be able to answer them through a combination of sleuthing on the guild forums and your realm's official forums, plus using Guild Progress. You should also spend some time talking to an officer to ensure your expectations align with theirs.

What Guilds Should Disclose and Ask for in the Application Process

In addition to the applicant having the responsibility for understanding whether or not the guild has the potential to meet their needs, the guild also has some responsibilities in that area. Whenever someone new applies to a guild, the officers (or the recruitment officer) should:

  • Check out the new applicant to see if their application's content matches up with their character's reality. I recently outlined a few of my favorite applicant fact-checking steps and resources.
  • If the applicant states wanting to raid, will they actually be able to do so given their level of experience and gear and your raid roster? Be honest with them up front to avoid hurt feelings later.
  • Review your website and forums on a quarterly basis to ensure you are not sending mixed signals to applicants. If you were visiting for the first time would you be able to tell what the guild's focus is, and what your level of raiding progress and commitment are?
  • Fine tune your application questions to help manage expectations, and follow up publicly on potentially problematic answers.

Despite everyone' best efforts, even with full disclosure on both sides, you can still have a new to 80 player join the guild and start rattling their sabers over wanting guild Naxx runs despite having been told the guild's focus is on Ulduar. But if you have made every effort to be clear and honest during the application process, it does give you a solid place to come from when you remind them that's not going to be a focus for the guild, and politely suggest they might want to work on their reputation and run some heroics and make a good faith effort to start themselves on te gearing up trek.

DISCLAIMER: Guild Progress like all the other fun WoW Web tools relies on armory data that may not be up-to-date. Your mileage may vary.

Everybody Gets Benched Sometimes…and That’s a Good Thing

I sat on the bench a couple of nights this week, missing out on our second Vezax kill. I missed the first one too because I was out of rotation that day. But you know what? I’m not vexed about it. Because I know I’ll be in there eventually. And I trust that my raid leaders try to pull together the best team for each raid night, including rotating in folks who are less frequent raiders.

And lest you think I am full of hot air, check out this snapshot from my PUG checkers page, which shows the truth in all its glory:



It is important to note that none of my numbers match up. Why? Because I’ve subbed in and stepped out as necessary for the overall progress of the raid and its members. So when I hear folks cry about being sat for a raid here and there, I really can’t help the involuntary /eyeroll.

Sitting People Out — Including Your Best Players– Is Good for Your Raid

A strong raid team has to include backups for every role. Otherwise your MT or primary healer or hot stuff dps go on vacation and there’s no raid that week. Which is not what you want to see happen.

In my guild, we are building a strong core team that is capable of progression while building up our less experienced raiders so we will eventually be able to field our own 25-man raid in-guild rather than in partnership with another guild. And although honestly there have been some folks who whine every time they don’t get to come on a night they’d like to raid, for the most part it has been working out pretty well, because of a few fine points:

  • Raiders state their availability in advance in a public forum with a specific closing time
  • The raid leader then posts a roster for the raiding nights, also in advance
  • Progression nights are not signed up for; they are ad hoc and invites are at the raid leader’s discretion
  • The raid leader has explicitly
  • If you are raid-ready and sign up and do not make it into a week’s raids, you have immunity from being sat out again the following week

These factors are why this has worked for us overall;  the lack of this sort of clear communication is why I have seen it fail in other guilds.

So next time you are sat for a farm night, while some of your less experienced guildies are swapped in — take that time to go do some dailies, or play an alt or otherwise stop and smell the Dalaran roses. Raiding is not all about you or me — it’s about the team. And without all of us being strong, and gaining experience, none of us will be successful.