Hit the Lights

Hey everyone.

I just wanted to write a quick blog entry about why we’re closing up shop.

When Asimi left, as sad as I was that he was leaving, I was also very excited, because I thought we could take the show in exciting new directions. But, after last week’s show, I quickly realized that I couldn’t dedicate the time the show required, as well as fulfill all my other responsibilities, and maintain my insanity.

So, unfortunately, I decided to call it quits, at least for now. Perhaps in the future, once my schedule settles down a bit, we can come back and reconsider doing the show. Maybe those exciting ideas and directions can one day take shape. But for the time being, I have to focus on the Convert to Raid community, my raiding commitments, and my personal life. And, as I said in my previous blog, real life comes first.

That said, I want to say thank you to Asimi, for giving me a chance to experience the podcasting life, and to Moodahla, for being a terrific co-host with lots of ideas and information. I may not have captained the ship to the promised land, but I did at least dock it safely, to perhaps one day set sail again.

Please feel free to follow us and keep in touch with us, and ask us questions if you’d like – we all love the WoW community deeply, and want to see its members succeed in their endeavors.

Take care. We’ll see you all down the road.

– Knate
@Knate_CTR

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Avoiding Raiding Burnout

Raiding is, in my opinion, the most fun thing you can do in World of Warcraft. You get to spend several hours per week beating up bosses and taking their loot with 9-29 of your friends. It’s a cooperative team effort toward a common goal, and when you finally earn that kill you’ve been working on for hours, weeks, or even months, the feeling is incredible.

However, with all things, you find your enthusiasm for the activity ebbs and flows. Sometimes, you just need a break.

If you need a break, take a break

Taking a break is one of the easiest things you can do to get your enthusiasm for raiding back. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all.

Now, when I say “take a break”, I don’t mean taking extra breaks in the middle of raid night. Doing that is disrespectful and disruptive to your team,  and being absent for a pull means your team may be counting on you to perform a role that you’re no longer present to perform.

What I mean by “taking a break” is taking a day, a week, or even a month off, and communicating your intentions to your raid leader in advance. It’s okay to take some time away. You should let your raid leader know – out of simple courtesy, if not respect – that you’ll be absent, when you’ll be absent, and for how long you intend to be absent. This way, your raid leader can plan around that absence in whatever way necessary (finding someone to cover your spot, reassigning your responsibilities, etc.)

Remember that Normal and Heroic difficulty raids in Warlords of Draenor now scale boss health and damage based on how many players are in the instance. This means if you need to miss half of a raid night, you can leave early or arrive late and not kneecap your team’s momentum. They should be able to carry on with or without you.

Focus on what’s really important

The biggest rule of playing any game, especially an MMO like World of Warcraft, is that real life needs to come first. If you have real life things that need taken care of, and it means you’ll miss a raid night, take care of the real life stuff first. Have to work late tonight? Does your child have a recital or some other special event you need to attend? Is it your anniversary? Take care of these things, because neglecting them can have dire consequences, which may cause you to not be able to play the game anymore.

Be mindful of your mindset

When you think about why you need a break from raiding, it’s important to consider your own feelings in that equation. We don’t always think about why we feel the way we do, but listening to that inner voice can give you a better sense of your mindset, and if you need to make some changes to your play time, or even your real life.

I’ll give you a personal example (which is probably an extreme example of raiding burnout), without going into too much detail for fear of being completely self-serving.

Late last year, for reasons I won’t go into, I began suffering from panic attacks, and having severe bouts of depression. I was having more and more difficulty keeping all my emotions and problems straight in my head. I didn’t have any enthusiasm for raiding – it was a personal struggle to simply log in for raid every night, and there were several weeks I just didn’t show up for at least one raid. I’d spend the nights I was raiding whispering a friend, telling them how much I didn’t want to be there. At point, I applied to another raid team, without much enthusiasm (I think part of me was using my raid team as a scapegoat for my unhappiness, and I was thinking the grass was greener on the other side.) One night, I raided for 30 minutes, before abruptly leaving for the night.

I finally decided that I needed some professional help, so I sought some out, and in the meantime, I told both of my raid teams that I was taking some time off to deal with some personal issues. One team is my “relax and blow off steam” raid team, so I came back after a one week hiatus. The other, however, I missed nearly 3 weeks of raid with, because that team focuses on much more serious progression than I could get myself motivated to participate in.  Thankfully, my enthusiasm returned relatively quickly, and I could get back to spending time doing an activity I love with people I like.

The point of me telling you all this is that, had I not started examining my own mindset, I would not have recognized something was wrong, and I would have probably fully burnt out on raiding, and maybe even the game, altogether. But by taking some time away, I realized that I really did enjoy spending time with the teams I was running with, and that I did want to keep being there. Going forward, I’m sticking with both teams, but I’m going to make sure I address the real-life stuff when I have to.

Final thoughts

Burnout is a perfectly normal thing to feel with any activity, but by addressing it as it comes up, you can address it, and maybe even avoid it altogether.

Next time, I write, we’ll look at self-examining your role on your raid team, and determining if the team is a good fit for you.

Archenon poros.

New to raid tanking? Want to give it a try? Let’s talk about how you can!

Greetings raiders!

Tanking! Lots of people want to, and many are intimidated by the role. I want to go over a few quick things that maybe can help you get into the world of Raid Tanking. In this guide I will assume that you have a very basic understanding of how tanking works, but you want to make the move to raiding as a tank. For example, someone who has done 5 man dungeons while leveling, and has really enjoyed tanking, but now wants to join a raid team as a tank and needs to know what steps to take to get ready. If you would like a guide with extremely detailed explanations of every nuance of tanking, check out Icy Veins guide on tanking here: http://www.icy-veins.com/wow/tanking-guide

First of all, Tanking is a very fun and rewarding experience. You are the pivot point that the raid or dungeon hinges on. Do your job well and everyone will be able to tell. The problem with tanking is it has a very high skill cap and learning curve. Simply put – tanking can be hard! With a few resources, a few quick tips, and some patience, it really is easy to be a great tank!

Things that all the great tanks need to be aware of in any given encounter are: Raid and Boss Positioning, Threat levels on the boss and any appropriate enemies, Personal Health Pool, available defensive cooldowns and the best time to use them. Reaction time is also a vital tank factor.

Having a clean UI with all of your abilities in easily accessible and familiar places is a great place to start. A threat monitoring addon is helpful (Like Omen Threat Meter) as well as having a Nameplate addon (Like Tidyplates) to see enemy nameplates clearly. Up to date Boss Mods (Deadly Boss Mods or BigWigs) as well as a DPS/HPS Meter are also two other great additions to help monitor your tanking and the encounter.

A VERY important part of tanking that is often times overlooked is communication. I cannot stress this one enough! Talking and discussing things with the other tank, or with your raid leader, is a great way to gain trust, respect, and to make sure you flow as a cohesive unit. Making sure both tanks are aware when a tank switch needs to occur, or which tank needs to pick up incoming adds, is extremely important to your raids success.

So you are level 100, and you want to raid. The first step is to step into Proving Grounds! This is the first and best great test of a tank. To start, simply go to your Mission Board in your Garrison’s Main Hall and talk to the NPC sitting at the table. The tanking challenge pits you against a series of enemies that will attack a healer NPC that you must protect. To do this you will have to utilize your defensive cooldowns to slow incoming damage on yourself, use AoE attacks to damage the enemies and keep their attention on you, and you will need to use some of your utility moves (Like interrupts, silences, ranged attacks, self heals, mobility abilities) to make the encounter easier. If you have issues completing the challenge, don’t give up hope! These are meant to be a challenge and to help you learn what your role does.  Practice makes perfect!

After completing Proving Grounds on Silver difficulty, you will gain access to Heroic 5 man dungeons. This is a great place to hone your craft and get used to tanking. It is also your first stop on gearing up and getting ready for raid. This is where I would recommend getting used to where your buttons are. Knowing where your cooldowns are located so you can quickly activate them in a fast paced boss battle can be the difference between life and death.

LFR (Looking for Raid) is also an invaluable tool in teaching you about tanking and raiding. Not only is it hands on tanking experience on bosses which you will be facing in your weekly raid team, but it is in a low stress environment where mistakes are forgivable. Make sure you send whispers to the other tank in LFR, so that the two of you are communicating which tank will do what roles, and when tank switches or other mechanics need to happen. Communicate!

Taking a quick look in the dungeon journal at the Tank specific responsibilities is a great way to focus in on what your specific job is on any given fight. Quick and to the point raid video guides are great as well, and we recommend Line of Sight gaming for their Highmaul and Blackrock Foundry Guides (https://www.youtube.com/user/losgamingshow/playlists)

Beyond these tips the last advice I can give you is practice! The most important part of tanking is simply being comfortable with your character and your set of abilities. The best way to get to that point is simply to practice. Do as many Heroic 5-mans as you can for practice. Do LFR for practice. Try to get Proving Grounds Gold!

If you follow these very simply steps, and remember to always be communicating with your team, you will be on the road to becoming an amazing tank! Don’t be afraid to try new things or strategies!

-Darkmaster Delphiki-

Knate: For Great Justice

Hello raiders! I’m Knate! I main a Draenei Paladin in the Convert to Raid mega-guild on Aerie Peak-US. I mostly play Retribution for one of CTR’s raid teams, <Boats N Hozen>, though I’ve been known to do some tanking on the side. I’m also the Lead Raid Liaison for Convert to Raid, which means I handle a lot of the administrative work related to our 50+ raid teams in Convert to Raid.

I’ve been a Warcraft player since Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (thanks to an older neighbor who got me started on true PC gaming) and a World of Warcraft player since 2006, shortly before the Ahn’Qiraj launch event (when everyone was turning in heaps of supplies… so cool!)

My very first toon was an Orc Rogue (gasp!), who I spent an hour learning to quest, dancing with other toons in the Valley of Trials, and, ultimately, jumping around enough to get through the barrier hills around the valley, ultimately falling off the cliff and getting eaten by a crocolisk in the Barrens.

My first real toon was a Human Paladin on Dark Iron-US. My time was spent leveling up, exploring the world, making friends , and being a total freakin’ noob. I hated most dungeon content (it took WAY too long), which was fine, because I usually ended up getting the boot from groups, because I had no idea what my role in a group was supposed to be. I got kicked out of a friend’s UBRS run, and it was embarrassing enough that I didn’t step into group content for another 3 years.

Once I got over my inhibitions about group content, and started finding online communities and resources, my appetite for group content and, ultimately, raiding, was voracious. I main tanked, I lead raids, I was an officer for several guilds and a GM for one, and ultimately found myself joining, and finding a home in, the Convert to Raid community. (Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would end up being a prominent figure in that community, let alone an officer, but that’s a story for another time).

For our show, I’ll be talking about things from a mostly melee DPS perspective, though, I’m trying to get some ranged DPS toons raid-ready so I can talk about them as well.

Outside of WoW, I enjoy video games in general. I’ll play just about anything, and I’ve been known to make many irrational purchases during Steam Sales.

If you’d like to get in touch with me directly, you can find me on Twitter – @Sh1eldbearerCTR – or you can e-mail me at sh1eldbearer.nate@gmail.com.

I hope you enjoy our show, and I look forward to helping you become raiders.

May the Light embrace you!

The panda who throws water at people trying to heal them! Aka Asimi

Hello all! I am excited to to be working on the Casual 2 Raider podcast again and now the C2R blog! I will give a little background about my history. I have always enjoyed games as far back as I can remember. Some of my fondest memories from childhood are sitting in Delphiki’s basement arguing who gets to play as Link in Soul Caliber for the Gamecube. A big gaming achievement I have done is beat Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in less then 45 minutes.

I am a gamer to my core. I play video games, card games, board games, and miniatures games as often as I can. I love to laugh and meet new people. My favorite games are as follows- Video Games: Wow (Duh :P), Warframe, and Shadowrun Returns. Card Games: Dragonball Z, Doomtown, and Pokemon. Board Games: Munchkin, King of Tokyo, and Smashup! Minis: Golem Arcana.

I started playing World of Warcraft about 3 weeks before the announcement of The Burning Crusade.  I started off as a Tauren hunter and it was fun but didn’t really excite me a whole lot. After BC was released I made a Blood Elf rogue and again it was fun but was not really exciting. I decided to make a new character and that was my Paladin who has been horde then alliance and horde then alliance again. I was a Prot Pally and at the time my guilds only tank >.< as we entered Kara. (Yay Morrigans of Chaos!) I continued to tank in Mist on my pally. During that time I had been in casual raiding guilds to the extreme we raid 6 nights a week trying to get sever first heroic Lich King.

At the start of Mist I had been burnt out and decided to take a bit of a break from Wow. During the break I had played games like Rift, DC universe online, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. Shortly after Siege came out i was drawn back into Wow were I joined the Convert to Raid Mega guild on Aerie Peak and rolled my new main Asimi which is a resto shaman and found that healing was totally my niche. I was raiding on 3 different raid teams during siege on 3 different healers (Shaman, Paladin, and Priest). At this time Chriks, Dust, Decebul, and I made Casual 2 Raider to share our love of raiding with the masses.

After Warlords of Dreanor’s release date was announced Casual 2 Raider was put on hiatus and I took a small break from Wow until the release. I am now only on 1 raid team (Cat on Fire) so I can focus more energy into the podcast and blog. I still main my resto shaman and that is not going to change. If you every wanna get a hold of me you can always find me on twitter @Asimi_Shaman and email asimishaman@gmail.com. You can message me about anything game related (Any game not just WoW) and I will always respond as soon as I can.

Asimi >^.^<

What is a Darkmaster Delphiki?

Greetings Raiders!

My name is Zack, but around the WoW gaming sphere I’m known by my shaman’s in game name, Delphiki. I wanted to start off with my first post here on C2R with revealing a little bit about myself, and perhaps what you can expect from my posts.

I have been an avid video gamer since around the time I learned how to walk, beginning with Nintendo classics like Zelda and Dr. Mario. Video games have always been a dear hobby of mine, and that passion was even more so ignited when I discovered World of Warcraft. I started playing at the beginning of Wrath of the Lich King, where I primarily played Protection Paladin. A few months later, I found myself playing an Elemental shaman, and it has been my main ever since. I have always loved themes and classes that could control, manipulate, or otherwise utilize the elements, and so Elemental was naturally appealing to me. I have spent the last few years in game on various raid teams, at pretty much every difficulty. I have been in top 250 raid teams, and had times where I was just an LFR hero. I moved over to the Aerie Peak server a few months after it was announced that Convert To Raid would be moving over there. The prospect of being in a guild with hundreds of other raiders was extremely attractive to me. I have since joined a new guild, experienced the Mythic/Hard Mode race, and drifted back towards a more relaxed raid environment. I enjoy every aspect of the game (Yes even the occasional PvP) especially when it comes to lore and raiding. I spend a large amount of time weekly looking over news sites, tweets, and podcasts, learning as much as I can about the game and it’s mechanics and lore. I also in my free time love to read the Warcraft novels (Especially the ones written by Christie Golden). I have also had a passion for writing stories of my own, albeit at an extremely amateur level.

The origin of my “Darkmaster Delphiki” name comes from two different sources. The first (Darkmaster) comes from the Realm Best Challenge Mode title that a guild group that I was a part of had achieved back in Scholomance in MoP. I often times run the Dark Shaman Transmog, so the title fit remarkably well. The other part of my online handle (Delphiki) comes from my love of the character, Julian Delphiki (Bean), in the Ender’s Game and subsequent Bean’s Saga books.

I was originally approached about joining the C2R team from Asimi, who has been a friend and fellow shaman for a number of years. Asimi shares the same passion and thirst for knowledge of the game that I do, so the prospect of being able to work in tandem with Asimi and some of the others here, really got me excited.

As a contributor to Casual 2 Raider, I hope to bring some informative insight, as well as witty topic discussion, and useful resources to you, the prospective raiders. I have many discussion topics already in mind, and can’t wait to see this community grow and learn with each other. I tend to always be looking for and researching new and fun ways to make myself a better gamer and raider, and my dream is to be able to pass along of lot of the things that I have learned over the years to you. I have a passion and love for WoW that I hope shows in the columns and posts I will put up here. I hope you enjoy the content and musings that I can provide, just as much as I enjoy creating it for you!

I am always available for questions, comments, advice, or anything else you might want to chat about on Twitter @DMDelphiki (www.twitter.com/DMDelphiki) or feel free to email me at DarkmasterDelphiki@gmail.com

See you in Draenor!

Who is Moodahla?

Since I am joining the Casual 2 Raider team, I figured I would start by giving a brief rundown on who I am and what my experience is. Please bear with me as I have never written anything, nor have I participated in a podcast. This will be a learning experience for me even as I am helping others.

To start, I have been playing World of Warcraft for about six years. I was introduced to it during The Burning Crusade. I never got to raid in TBC, however, I reached 70 three days before Wrath dropped. My first raiding experience didn’t come about until Naxxramas. In Naxx I ran a hunter. I fell in love with raiding at that time. I would have to say, it is by far the best time I have had in WoW even to this day. I continued playing my hunter until Ulduar, where the needs of my raid team saw me switch to a resto druid. I fell in love with healing. I thought I had found my niche. This continued through Trial of the Crusader.

In Icecrown Citadel, We had a tank shortage. I volunteered to switch, even though I had never even thought about tanking before. Once I switched and started learning what was expected of me, I couldn’t get enough. As much as I liked to heal, I loved tanking more. I have been tanking in every raid since. I haven’t neglected my healing though. For all of my characters (and I am an altoholic, during Mists of Pandaria I had 13 90’s) I have stuck to healing or tanking. If it could tank, it did. If it couldn’t tank, but could heal, I healed. If it could do both, I maintained both. At the height of my raiding in MoP , I was a member of five different raid teams.

During my time raiding I have picked up a lot of tricks. I have been a raid leader or assistant on most of the teams I have been on. I have picked up a few tricks that I like to pass on. I think that in all of my raiding, as much as I like to raid, I enjoy teaching others what I have picked up and seeing them enjoy raiding as much as I do. So, I am looking forward to passing on what I have learned in the hopes that many more people will raid and enjoy raiding as much as I do.

I am always open, if anyone has questions or comments, I can be reached through twitter @Moodahla (www.twitter.com/Moodahla). I also have been known to stream occasionally at http://www.twitch.tv/moodahla.