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Slightly Alive!

Honestly, I’m not dead yet!

Lately things have spiralled out of my control a little as my computer seemed to develop several nasty problems after a random crash.  Its meant no end of hassle for me as I use several tools to enable me to be able to use the computer at all with any degree of comfort.  Inevitably, these would be the settings I had forgotten to back up, so I’ve spent several weeks trying to fix things and recreate it all from scratch.  Annoying to say the least.

What this has taught me, or at least I hope it has taught me, is that I can’t afford to forget to back up my settings!

There was something good to come out of all this tedium though.  Finally I was driven to overhaul my WoW UI as I have been planning to do for months.  Several years ago, I worked hard to plan exactly how I would like my UI to look.  In all this time, the actual layout of my UI has changed very little.  Addons have broken and been replaced and the aesthetic fluff has changed, but the bare bones and locations of each element of my UI has remained the same.  In my rush to get back from my unexpected absence from the raid team, I took a little look at some of the UI compilations that others have made and found something that made me smile.  Derevka from Tales of a Priest (on my blogroll still as he’s returned to blogging – Hurrah!) uses almost the exact same layout as I do.  And I don’t just mean a little similar; the position of every element of his UI was in the exact position that mine was! Fantastic!

In an ideal world, I’d have access to the same screen resolution too and just be able to copy things across, but I did have a few other things to take into account because of the ME/CFS that Derevka thankfully doesn’t have to worry about.  I need to have a few more action bars showing as the “brain fog” descends at the most inopportune moments and I suddenly forget all my keybindings.  Being able to glance at them if that happens is a life saver (for my raid that is – I’m a healer).  I also exchanged a couple of addons for similar alternatives that I preferred, but that’s just a preference thing.

So, what does World of Warcraft look like for Dwarf Wench?

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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in World of Warcraft

 

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‘Casual’ raiding is serious business!

There is always much debate around the use of the word ‘casual’ when in WoW circles.  In the past it was often used as an insult to denote guilds/raids/players that lacked a certain level of skill.  In more recent times it has often become a less offensive term used to denote those that perhaps have less time available, wish to progress at a slower pace or wish to spend less time organising events…or even all of the above.

There does seem to be one thing that all people appear to agree on.  Using the term ‘casual’ implies that the person is in some way doing less than one that does not use that term.

Now, I’m not here today to try to convince you that casual (or sometimes even ‘social’) raiding is better than ‘hardcore’ or progression raiding.  That is pointless.  The two styles are vastly different and appeal to people for varying reasons.  I have raided in both types of guild and both have their merits and flaws.  The reason for this post is to try to show that casual raiding is not the easier option that many think it to be and that there is no reason for the contempt that I often see expressed on forums and in chat channels.

As an officer or raid leader in a serious progression raiding guild, there seem to be certain things you take for granted.  You keep a roster of players who all expect to be raiding most nights. You expect them to know the tactics and to keep a certain level of attendance.  You expect to be notified by your raiders if something has happened that will prevent them from raiding as soon as possible so that you can make other arrangements.

Organising events in a social raid guild brings a whole new set of complications.  Here you have to keep a larger roster of raiders to cover absences and that in itself brings problems.  You can be certain that you will have nights when you have double the amount of healers needed and no tanks, or no melee DPS at all.  Some nights you will get huge amounts of people being benched, when the night before you had to pug to fill spots.

If we discard the organisational hassles and just regard this from the position of a random raider, there are still many things to consider.  In the serious progression guild, your main worries as a raider are just being prepared and performing to the best of your ability.  In a socially prioritised raid, you also need to worry about the preparation levels and performance abilities of the other raiders.  The playskill levels here often vary drastically and you can even see vastly different performances from the same player.  Often people don’t choose to be in a casually orientated raid because they can’t perform well enough to be in a more hardcore raid.  They choose to be there because of time restraints, to be with specific friends, because they wish for a more relaxed or jovial atmosphere, or sometimes even because they wish to see the content of the game at a slower pace to avoid burnout.

It may sound strange, but I found being in a progression orientated guild a lot less work to being in a more casual and socially orientated one, yet most people I met in game would believe I was a better player when they saw the guild tag of the more hardcore guild above my head than the more social guildtag.  I never had to be prepared to compensate for an awkwardly balanced raid or for differing skill/gear levels in a progression orientated guild, it was always assumed that everyone was more or less equal and all that was needed was to make sure the correctly balanced raid was chosen from the pool of available players.  There weren’t occasions where you would raid for 3 weeks with no hunters and then find that on week 4 you had 5 of them and no mages.  I like the added challenge of trying to make a non-optimal raid work…it certainly keeps me on my toes!

 
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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in World of Warcraft

 

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