Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New achievements

No new pets I have STILL been digging like crazy so it's not unexpected to see a few more of those achievements bumping my points up!

I saw a Firelands pug being advertised in trade, so I interrupted my PvP night to go along to snag an achievement that's been bugging me for ages.  It turned out it took FOREVER for them to do it because a few of them didn't listen to what we were doing and kept stuffing up the achievement!  At least now I know what they were talking about, the spot on the side to stand, so if I have to do it again, I know!  After about an hour of stuffing around I finally got my achievement, but I couldn't be arsed staying for the Shannox one - one day I will do that.

Did the last few achievements I needed for all my scenario achievements with Arv and McTacky.  Gosh, this one was easy - why didn't I do it the first time I did that scenario?  We actually had a pug for that (it was just me and Arv) and thankfully the pug didn't seem to mind/care that I ran around collecting the buffs all the time.

Tacky came along for this and I will have to go back and help him with his some time!  So I finally finished my Pub Crawl and got my keg.

Challenge Mode Noobs took this week off Scarlet Monastery and did Scholo for a change and netted a silver!  Arv has a great post on it - I will do mine soon, so you can read (or not read) the noobishness that we got up to in there :)

And a new rare thanks to Ayelena!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday raiding - Durumu blues

It was NOT one of our better raid days.  I am also guilty of being a total numbskull when it comes to doing stuff in Durumu, and we spent all night wiping to dumb things.  Raked miraculously found something else to do again, so he was not there to raid - I swear he is avoiding Durumu!

Lush jumped on Aimei to tank, and he is a lot easier to heal - maybe that was because Disco was healing him.  Disco's healing has really taken off - I asked him, was it because of his new shield? - but he said no, he just added something to his healing repertoire that he wasn't using before, which I suspect was Eternal Flame.

So Asys and Lush tanked, Disco, Bish and I healed, and Moo, Aza, Souglyy, Sabrehawk and Luxy were the DPS.

We started the night with Disco bemoaning the evil GM forcing him to heal.  Tacky said that evil GMs in Frostwolves will always become angry-don't-care-hard-ass-tanks (umm we've only had Tout who was prot warr and feral druid, then Fue who was hunter turned holy pally then prot pally... hmm I see a trend here) and I had to try to defend myself saying we never force anyone to do anything they don't want to.

"But look at Sabre!" piped up Aza.  "He has to go beastmaster or survival depending on what we need for the raid."

"But he has a choice now," I protested.  "We have Luxy to bloodlust now!"

"Sabre did you see that!  OMG crushed!  We have Luxy now so we don't NEED you and your hysteria anymore.... you're just old garbage now Sabre!" Bloody Aza that shitstirrer LOL.

"But he has a choice now!  He can choose not to be beastmaster!"  Which basically came back to the fact that he was being forced to be a particular spec when I had just said that wasn't the case... DOH!

But back to our raid.  Me personally, had major stuff ups like I moved the blue beam and revealed the blue mist, even though it was marked.. WIPE!  Then as I ran the red beam I ran over the red and stepped off it... WIPE!  Then another time I ran the red beam and the yellow beam was there on top of the red as well so double hit of lights... WIPE!

But I wasn't the only one.  The hunters had their share of running the red beams like L platers, and the healers too. Disco and Luxy were blast-off twins on one attempt.  Tanks died.  I just wish that the stupid red beam would pick some melee to run it!  There's nothing like Moo being the driver of the blue beam and he stands around dpsing the boss or scratching his ass.

Aza is invincible most of the time, but not when it comes to the maze!  Not sure if its lag or what, but he and Disco/Bish have their share of maze deaths.  Ugh!  Moo told everyone to stand at the front since it does no damage until the maze is fully formed, and I have found that it's a lot better that way, so I am doing that now as well.

Sabre has become my running partner for the outer maze.  I hate the inner maze, because it takes AGES for it to appear and I feel like the gaze is right on my ass before the maze opens up and I end up getting panicky and running in eyesore trying to find the spot.  At least with the outer maze I can roar and run faster, and Sabre can as well, but it is pretty scary when you can see the beam gaining on you!  It's always a bummer when the tanks are with you though... it means the DPS will start going splat!

We eventually got it late in the raid but it was just sooooo... annoying!  It's not Tortos annoying because it feels more like mistakes rather than RNG but I felt like a real doggy doodoo after that raid.  And I couldn't even find a Warbringer to kill to make me feel better either!

So Luxy and I decided to have a trial run of something silly which I've stuck on guild forums.  She aptly named it "The Faily Frostwolf" and here's a sneak peak - for the rest you'll have to pop over to guild forums to have a look!  She is so talented :D

We'll have to see how many complaints we get before we make more.  But I think it looks brilliant!

Guildleader chores: Updating our raid looting system - should we go to EPGP?

Raid loot can sometimes be a real pain in the ass.  Watching people argue over loot causes grief - kinda like how money is the root of all evil - grief not just to me but to the parties involved.  In a perfect world, nobody would whinge about loot or who deserved what.

Our guild, being so old went to DKP a long time ago, and we still use it today.  It used to be Fue and Lush's job to keep the DKP updated and it's annoying having to try to remember who turned up, who got what, enter it in etc when I would really rather be catching up on my arenas or killing Warbringers.

Over time people have commented about why we should be using other methods like Loot Council or even just rolling because now that we're just in 10s, there aren't that many people to argue over loot against.  However, Loot Council has its own problems because even though you'd want it to be fair, there will always be the disgruntled person who thinks deserve something more than someone else and the person to point the finger at would be whoever distributed loot.

When I was on Eldre'thalas levelling my paladin (yes OMG I have an alt that is level 20!) guild chat would be full of EPGP stuff.  I didn't understand it but I knew it was something to do with loot.

A screen capture of the mumbo jumbo I was wondering about
It looks like a whole lot of mumbo jumbo to me.  It's an add-on - I went to go try to read about it but it was pretty confusing!  Luckily Matticus has a post on it with an interview by Valen who clarifieds a lot of it for us noobs who are simple minded.
Sometimes known for being somewhat “mathy,” EPGP tries to provide a fair, transparent, configurable, deterministic, and reasonable loot distribution system. The word “fair” is somewhat ambiguous when it comes to handling loot, and is highly subjective. Can loot systems be fair to every member of a guild, and to the guild itself? Probably not, but when people think about fair loot systems, often words like “unbiased” are used, with sentiments of objective, even distribution. EPGP provides such features.
I like fair. I like maths.  There dislike unfairness immensely and anything that is open and transparent is good so nobody feels like they're being shafted.
Many familiar loot systems, such as DKP and its variants, use a single point pool, whereas EPGP uses two. Those two kinds of points in EPGP are in the name — EP and GP. EP, which stands for Effort Points, encapsulates the contributions of a raider to the raid (primarily attendance). GP, which stands for Gear Points, encapsulates the loot a raider has received from the raid.
So that explains what EP and GP are, but not really what they MEAN.  I'm getting to that bit.
Dividing a raider’s EP by their GP determines a raider’s Priority. When a piece of loot drops, the player who is interested in it with the highest Priority gets the loot along with the Gear Points the loot is valued at — there is no randomness or rolling in EPGP. This therefore increases the player’s GP, which lowers their priority once the division takes place, putting them below many other players (depending, of course, on the other players’ EP and GP values).
Am I losing you yet?  So as you keep taking stuff, your GP increases, so EP divided by GP becomes smaller and smaller, putting you lower on the priority list.
Left unchecked, EP, which grows as raids are attended, and GP, which grows as loot is received, would increase unbounded since neither are reduced inherently in the loot process. Instead of spending points, both simply accumulate. To prevent infinite growth, EPGP uses the concept of decay — at the start of every raid, or every raid week, or any other interval, everyone’s EP and GP are reduced by a fixed percentage. This results in EP climbing quickly at first, but then eventually sloping off towards a natural cap. GP, on the other hand, tends towards zero as it accumulates only when loot is rewarded rather than every raid.
So that is a clever part of it.  You can't just hoard it forever.  It tapers off - kind of like how your conquest caps taper off if you don't keep playing to keep your points up, even if your rating for ratedBG or arena is very high.  I like this concept, but it's a little confusing.  So how much does each item cost in terms of GP?
By default, every piece of loot has a fixed cost across all guilds and servers, based on the slot it is used in and the item’s level (aka, ilvl). Deep inside the game, there are formulas used to determine how much of a each stat such as Haste Rating or Intelligence a piece of gear has; this formula is based on the ilvl and slot, so, for instance, an ilvl 359 two handed sword has more strength than an ilvl 359 one handed sword or ilvl 359 ring. EPGP uses this formulation to derive a price for each piece of loot, normalizing around a chest piece with an arbitrary cost of 1,000 GP. Weapons cost more than 1,000 GP since they have a bigger impact than a new chest, whereas rings, carrying smaller item budget, cost less.
Like how iLvL is calculated as different items weigh differently with stats.  That's cool.  Because someone might take a ring and neck and someone else gets two pieces of tier and yet they get a huge upgrade for the same cost of DKP as the smaller stuff.  I think that's good.  Here's an example of value of items from WoWWiki.

quipping SlotSlot value
Head, Chest, Legs, 2H Weapon1
Shoulder, Hands, Waist, Feet0.777
Wrist, Neck, Back, Finger, Off-hand, Shield0.55
1H Weapon, Ranged Weapon, Wand0.42
EP is more fluid; typically guilds award EP based on attendance, both who is present at the beginning of raid and who is present throughout its duration. Even players on the bench receive EP and thereby loot opportunities when next they are in raid.
That's important to me.  I need to reward people who sat out to make sure we don't get dropouts from being denied a raid spot.  And also for the volunteers too.  So how does it look in action?  Velen used his guild as an example.
- 15 minutes before raid starts, a decay of 7% occurs- on time bonus of 1250 EP awarded to each member of raid- every 15 minutes therafter until end of raid, 300 EP is awarded to anyone in the raid and on standby- at end of raid, another 1250 EP bonus is awarded- some guilds opt to award EP when bosses die- small fixed weekly amount of EP for consumables donated to raid
To keep track of all this there is an addon - EPGP addon - which puts all the EPGP stuff in game rather than externally like we do on the website.

There are heaps of other advantages - with our current system, if we killed a boss who was hard work and no loot was taken we don't get any DKP for that, which is crap.  With EPGP we will still accumulate points anyway.  One of the disadvantages with EPGP is that new raiders will become equal to long standing raiders quickly because of the decay.

Why has this suddenly come up?  Well, it came up because Asys said a funny comment the other day.  We were talking about ... something, I can't remember what ... and I mentioned that our guild is very old.  As in, we had been a guild with core officers since Vanilla.  2004 or 2005?  Anyway, he said he could tell because when he did our first raid and we mentioned DKP, he thought, wow who uses dkp anymore?

Anyway, it's something to think about.  And will have to discuss with the other officers.  And we'll lose all our officer notes I hear, if we use the addon for EPGP!  I will miss officer notes :P

Monday, July 29, 2013

Kia and Achloryn have a WoW Wedding

Kia's story of how she met Achloryn is no secret, and one of the many romances that I have heard that came from meeting someone in game.   So when she posted this on her blog recently, I was quite excited!

So the tricky part for me was - how do I get a level 1 toon to Grizzly Hills?  I decided to log on 2 hours beforehand at least so I could make my way by corpse running 20 yards at a time or so.

When I logged on I saw Kia on her priest, but she was AFK, but there was also someone else on whose name I recognised - Asherrylie, from Priest All the Things (but who hasn't blogged in a while, and whom I also follow on Twitter), was on and I whispered her in excitement which she responded in kind!  She kindly let me take a picture of her, in Exodar, and then she kindly offered to run me to the wedding spot in Grizzly Hills.  I took a picture of her as we waited on the boat, where it looked like I was wearing her like a hat.

It was an eventful trip.  We rode her mammoth and took the adventurous way which ended up with a lot of deaths.

I got stuck when we were on this bridge!  We were just too big to pass!  I was scared some mob was going to come and massacre me.

Finally, we were in Grizzly Hills.  And oh, this log was a beautiful place to have a wedding!  I logged off there and waited for the right time.   A big thank you to Asherrylie for helping me with that! :) And for giving me a draenei robe to wear for the wedding instead of my awful level 1 starter clothes!

When I logged back in a few hours later, I could see everyone online, but I couldn't see anyone!  I panicked - had I missed it?  But Kia told me that they were on the OTHER side of the log.  I rushed over, but I was too low level to be invited to the raid.  I was attacked and killed by a wolf, and so I was deposited on a rock by Quinasha so I could stay safe and watch the proceedings.  I saw a number of familiar faces, and waved to them all.



Sorry for the screenshot spam!  But I wanted to remember each part of it, so I took screenshots with all the talking and somehow managed to miss the "I do" at the end!  There was drinks and kegs and food and cakes at the end, none of which I could eat but there was dancing and lots of sparkly spell effects.

And here I am with the newly married couple.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Congrats to Kialesse and Achlorynn/Fuzzbum and it was a wonderful ceremony - and my first WoW Wedding!  Thanks for letting me come, it was such a wonderful experience and I have to put all these pics up so I will never ever forget it!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Silly post: Frostwolves draw Navi

Everyone said such positive things about my daughter's bugbear drawing, and Tacky piped up and said that everyone should draw Navi, and I thought that's so cool!  I was interested to see what hilarious or wonderful things my guildies would come up with, and thank you all who drew something!

Tacky sent me his pic straight away!  OMG I am an ANGRY BEAR!

Aza sent his picture of a very good bear!  I never knew he drew!  Now if only my butt was that small!  And the tattoo looks cool!

Disco followed up his Pig with chicken feet with the similarly themed chicken with bear feet.

Casa, a new member but a friend of Neri's from Concur, even joined in and drew me this, which at first I was stumped.  I was embarrassed for not knowing what it was so I asked Luxy.  She said she didn't know what it was either.

"Send it to me," said Aza.  So I did.
"OMG you call yourself a NERD?  And you don't know what that is?  I don't believe you Navi.   That's just... OMG.  If you asked ANYONE - Sev, HK, Tacky - they could tell you what it is.  I don't believe you, OMG."

"Ok, Ok, Az I get it, I'm dumb!  Just tell me what it is!"

"Come on, Navi.  Legend of Zelda?  That annoying fairy who always says hey! Listen!"

Ohhh.  I have never played Zelda but many people have asked me if I named my toon after that fairy.  I had never seen what it looked like - poor Casa she must think I'm so stupid!

Luxy drew me a pic also - and she felt bad because she thought I looked like a pig!  I think I look very Star Wars! :)

Faith was excited to draw me - she took out all her drawing implements wondering what she was going to use.  And look at what she drew!  What a fantastic drawing!