Category Archives: Random

Highmaul First Impressions

In order to keep putting out something here, and because I’m still nit-picking over my other developing posts, I’d like to give a quick first impressions for Highmaul. Not sure if this will be a regular thing, as I don’t know how much value there is in such posts. But for now it keeps me writing, which I view as nearly always a good thing.

So we took a short poke into normal modes the day Highmaul opened, and then went back and started on heroic Thursday night. So far it’s really hard to judge the quality of the tier, in the same way it’s hard to judge the quality of your bed after you’ve slept on a pile of rocks for a few weeks. Realistically at this point nearly anything would compare favorably to any further time in SoO.

That said, I’m enjoying myself massively so far, despite our struggles in heroic. We one-shot Kargath and 2-shot Butcher in normal, then called it a night 2 wipes into Tectus due to server issues pushing our raid much later than normal. Fresh off of that relative success, we leapt face-first into heroic mode on Thursday, and things did not go nearly as easily. Our average item level is 636 right now, which I figured would be sufficient for heroic bosses, and boy was I wrong. It took us 3 pulls to down Kargath, a mechanically trivial boss, and about a half dozen pulls to realize that we just flat don’t have the numbers for Butcher heroic yet.

I’m honestly a little surprised at the tuning of normal and heroic Highmaul so far. I’m sure it’s partially an artifact of this being the first tier of this expansion, but we had less trouble with early  SoO normal bosses, despite having what I would consider an overall less-skilled roster than we have at the moment. We’ve tuned up our healing roster considerably, but our heal team is clearly feeling the shock of trying to raid in blues for the most part. I can’t hardly recall the last time I died tanking when I was paying any attention whatsoever, and butcher managed to kill me 3 times out of 6 pulls on Thursday.

Despite those deaths, I can say I’m enjoying tanking immensely. While DPS get to have more fun as they get overgeared, pushing for rankings and generally watching their numbers continue to climb, tanking gets considerably more boring as you continue gearing up. For me at least tanking is lived at the margins, while content is still fresh enough to demand constant attention. So Highmaul has been a blast for me so far, having to watch my uptimes on everything roll my cooldowns appropriately. Paladins are also really well designed at the moment when it comes to talent choices, something I’m hoping to do a writeup on here shortly.

So struggles aside I like the bosses we’ve seen so far. Butcher seems to be an effective gear/number check, and our pulls on Tectus were a chaotic mess of fun. Tonight we’ll hopefully make enough progress in normal to give us the gear to continue pushing through heroics. In the meantime, I’m pretty sure it’s time to check my garrison again.


Everything starts somewhere, though many physicists disagree. But people have always been dimly aware of the problem with the start of things. They wonder how the snowplough driver gets to work, or how the makers of dictionaries look up the spelling of words.

― Terry Pratchett, Hogfather

I tend to over-think things. A habit which, judging by the above passage, I would wager I share with Sir Pratchett. So this post has been started at least a half-dozen times, and I have spent sufficient time saying ‘I should blog’ to have pontificated myself breathless any number of times at this point. Nonetheless, here we are and I’m actually getting started. For quite some time now I’ve wanted to put proverbial pen to paper, for a number of reasons.

First and foremost I feel that blogging, assuming I can produce at least one or two posts that help someone somewhere, is a good way to give back to the community that has given me so much. I have benefited enormously from the work of others. As a new raider and raid-leader I have had to learn a lot this past expansion, and I couldn’t have done it without the large amount of help that I have received from the community, whether it took the form of podcasts, spreadsheets, advice posts, or pages and pages of theorycrafting.

In addition I’ve gotten to talk to many of the aforementioned community people whose work has helped me so much, be it on twitter or in person at Blizzcon. They have been, to the last, very kind and accepting, always happy to chat about the game that we all know and love. I have to admit that in the face of such cheerful work and kind representation on their part I feel somewhat compelled to pitch in where I can. If they can put in countless collective hours in order to help me get those progression kills then surely I can devote a few hours a week to possibly helping the next person out. I couldn’t possibly tell you how much time Theck (, Hamlet (, Dayani (, and of course the guys at Convert to Raid ( have collectively saved me but I can safely say it’s a LOT, and those are merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. (Am I allowed to use proverbial twice in my first post?)

Thirdly the blog I have in mind is something I very much would’ve liked to have had available when I first started this guild. In my searches across the wow-related interwebs I have come across precious few details on how people organize and operate heroic (now mythic) raiding guilds and teams. I found it some of the hardest material to locate. While I can’t call myself an expert on the subject these are issues and situations that I deal with daily, so hopefully by sharing some of the details, as well as what has worked for us so far and what hasn’t, I can help smooth out someone else’s journey as they seek to make the transition from What’s a raid cooldown? to Holy crap that boss was easy.

Finally I feel that this will be a useful exercise for me as well. Nothing shows you what you actually know like trying to teach it to someone else. This has been my experience across any of the fields I’ve ever tried to teach. So if I’m lucky maybe some of these rough ideas knocking around inside my head will take a little clearer shape after I try and explain them in a reasonably sane manner to the internet at large.

So now that I’ve justified this whole operation to myself. I’ll simply say that here will be some things that have crossed my mind in the course of my journeys across Azeroth. I hope that they will inform and possibly even entertain from time to time, and thanks for taking the time to read them.