Tag Archives: Warlords of Draenor

Prepping – Not the Doomsday Kind

The success or failure of your raid can be directly attributed to how well you prepare for a specific boss and how well a raid leader prepares their raid.

Why spend time preparing for a boss? This sounds like work, its just a game.

  • Preparing for raids saves lots of potentially lost time wiping to a boss.
  • It saves a lot of frustration
  • Ensures each raid member is on the same page when it comes to the strategy.


There’s a ton of resources available to each raider. Back in my day, we never had strategy websites, friends giving us tips, combat-logging tools, videos, or cooldown spreadsheets.  These days, there are multiple competing websites and guides that explain each aspect of an encounter. There is zero excuse one of your raiders is not ready for an encounter or you aren’t!

  • When preparing for a Normal/Heroic encounter, take a glance at the Dungeon Journal. Blizzard has finally given a good basic overview of the encounter and your relevant job.  Dungeon Journal is more tailored towards LFR/Normal difficulties but it will give you a glimpse of what you should be interrupting, avoiding, tanking, or dispelling.
  • Strategy Websites – Icy-Veins, or Manaflask, Noxxic(Kidding), and a number of others have general boss strats and explanations with videos and diagrams. They go in-depth with bosses of all difficulties and are generally made by people that have experience on those bosses and defeated them. Reading through the strats and abilities on these websites is one of the most useful tools.
  • Youtube – There are so many guide and kill videos available to you. You’ll find any videos with a voiceover explaining each mechanic and how to deal with it accordingly. Click Here  for an example of the video resources to defeating Brackenspore. Just do take note at the date the video was published. Some are from Beta and the abilities have been changed since testing.
  • Get advice from experienced players! If you’re not in a top 5 World guild, you have friends, streams that will share their knowledge of a specific encounter. They’ll give you tips, suggestions, and what worked for them. Save potential wipes by learning from the mistakes of other guilds.
  • Logs Logs Logs. Unless a guild is a top world guild, they have no business making their logs private. Those logs are free for you to look at. Look at composition makeups, how many healers guilds have brought, and which dps are best for that raid encounter. Look at spell breakdowns of healers, ability and cooldown usage. If you’re a priest and you’re only casting 90 Power Word: Shields during a 9 minute segment, and other priests are casting 200, you know exactly why they are pushing those much higher numbers.
  • Once you have your strat planned out, many encounters require major cooldowns to be used at appropriate times. Set these up in advance! Here is our cooldown spreadsheet for Highmaul.  And Here is our spreadsheet for Siege of Orgimmar.
  • I’ve seen Powerpoint presentations for raid strats, and lots and lots of graphics. Use MSPaint if you have any semblence of artistic skills:

Likewise you may want to use a nicer website like

8. And finally nothing beats actual experience on a raid boss. If you played in the Beta, you may have had many attempts on these bosses. Otherwise PTR is great for learning and experiencing new encounters. Many of you raided with Death Jesters last night and tested the first few bosses.


These points are the very basics I would expect of Heroic/Mythic raiders.

Remember that people are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners. Use what resources reflect your style of learning. And raid leaders, remember to adapt your strats, your preparation to all three styles. But nothing will ever be as beneficial as having experience on a raid encounter.

At the end of the day, we’re real people with real lives and limited time. Do what you can to prepare, and understand that you’re wasting the time of 9-29 other people by not knowing the mechanics of a fight.


Gearing Up in Warlords of Draenor

Gearing in warlords

So you’ve hit 100, you’re ready to raid!  Right? Well.., soon. Depending on how much raiding you did in Mythic Siege of Orgrimmar, and how much questing you did in Nagrand, your item level will be a little off.

There’s a myriad of ways to get geared up. Its the start of an expansion, its exciting! There are so many things to do! Hopefully you’ve spent some time accumulating Garrison Resources. You’ve built a Trading Post and Lumber Mill right? Upgrade that Garrison to level 3 and get the right building in there.  For Garrison guides, see our list of resources here: Coaches Corner: Garrisons  or Wowhead’s guide.


One option to gearing up for those of you that like the story line is to finish of Nagrand. There are quite a few high level items as quest rewards and you can potentially get some great followers out of it. The music, the quests, the cinematics, are really incredible with this expansion. Enjoy them.

Another option is to start farming Rare creatures along with all the treasures that are around Draenor. A great add on for these is Handy Notes along with the Draenor Treasures plugin. This will allow you to see where all the Garrison Resources are, where the rares are, and what items(upgrades) they drop. If you’ve done enough questing you should also be able to get the Ashran 615 trinkets. 500 gold each.

Once you’re around 600 item level, and you feel ready to start dungeons, pick up the Legendary Quest  Line from your Garrison. You can start this quest at level 98 but it isn’t necessary to start it that early. Doing just a normal Skyreach, you receive a 640 Ilvl ring. Do it! No slacking!

Running normal dungeons is another good next step.  Blizzard recently lowered the required item level for normals down to 595 instead of 600. These normals drop 600 and 615 item level pieces. And with the upgrades to personal loot, you’re guaranteed an item from the last boss. Run a few normal dungeons and very soon you’ll be 610.

At that point, Proving Grounds are your next path. You’ll find your Garrison Commander can teleport you there, or go to a class trainer. You receive a decent weapon from doing Bronze Proving Grounds but Silver is necessary in order to queue for heroic randoms. You can only queue for the spec that you have completed in Proving Grounds. So as a healer, I can’t queue as DPS unless I complete Silver DPS challenge.  Running Silver is generally easier than any heroics you’ll have to face so for those that are coming back to Warcraft or trying to master a new spec, play around with them. Try Gold and Endless!  You’ll get an awesome title for completing 30 waves of Endless.  For really amazing players that don’t believe they need the 610 Ilvl, there are some pieces you can buy with gold (Ring of Trials) or Honor(Ashran) to bypass the 610 Ilvl requirement. I would recommend players to gear up properly and work their way up.


After Proving Grounds and the ability to unlock Heroics, start your Heroic Dungeon Grind. Now there’s a few things you should be doing. Firstly make sure you’re on the section of the Legendary Ring to do specific dungeons. You want the Core of Fire, Core of Life, and Core of Iron. While you’re gearing up through Heroics it makes sense to knock those out of the way. Use every upgrade you can even if the stats are not the best for your spec and class. Remember that gear will change based off your spec. So you can also easily gear your offspec while gearing your main. Don’t forget to be excellent to each other. Many people are doing these dungeons for the first time, help make the experience better by communicating and asking questions if you’re not sure how to handle a certain boss.

That Legendary Ring that you’re working on should be 680 after completing the quest line. You can do it within a day easily! At the same time, if you’ve been leveling your followers in your garrison as you’ve been leveling and running heroic dungeons, they often give you quests for blue upgrades. The missions you receive are based off your follower level and item level. So a numberof level 100 followers will give you access to 615 items. If you upgrade those followers to 615, you’ll have 630 missions. At 630, 645 missions and so on. Again the best ways to gear up your followers are through a Salvage Yard(level 2) and Dwarven Bunker/War Mill(level 2).

For those of you that love to mindlessly grind, there is an option for you too! Apexis Crystals! At level 100 we get a choice of dailies that usually reward 800 or 1000 Apexis Crystals. These crystals are using for purchasing 630, 645 and higher gear, as well as being a currency for one of your roll tokens. There is usually a 40man raid group farming them at the Pit in Frostfire Ridge. They also drop off most rares, can be found in your work orders in your garrisons, and are bonus objectives on quests. Turn these Apexis Crystals in to the bird npcs in Ashran near the Inn.

For those of you that are moneybags… there are a ton of 665 epics on the Auction House and the price is continuing to drop everyday. In addition crafted gear is now available on the auction house and through your professions. You can craft gear for yourself even if you don’t have that profession. Just use the appropriate profession building in your garrison. Though it will take longer if you don’t have the profession. Garrison invasions few people are doing these days. Essentially there are 6 types of garrison invasions – where enemies attack your base and you must defend. The better job you do defending, the better the rewards. Achieve a gold reward and you have a chance at a 645 item. In order to trigger these invasions, you need to grind and farm out enemies of that specific invasion. For example: killing enemies in Shattrath will trigger the Shadow Council invasion. Killing high level enemies in Shadowmoon will trigger the Shadowmoon invasions. Highly encouraged to do these as a group and its way more fun that way.

Molten Core LFR! Yes for those of you that want to experience a somewhat authentic Molten Core from vanilla, then single queue for it… Otherwise come to my weekly Molten Core run on Sundays. End resultis a guaranteed 640 helmet, and a Core Hound Mount. You also have a chance at a rare unlimited flame transmog as well as a pet. A good run takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete. A legitimate LFR will take around 3-4.

Challenge Modes! These are much more difficult than heroics where crowd control and finesse are important. Standing in the bad will not only damage you, but kill you very quickly. These are scaled to 630 item level. So if you are 640, your items are scaled down to 630. But if you are 615, you gear is NOT scaled up to 630 and instead you will have a difficult time completing them. I highly encourage everyone to make stream groups instead of PuGs. Use our FORUMS to create groups, leave your battletags and find likeminded, competent people that will make the experience enjoyable rather than a 4 hour pain train.

And finally, prior to stepping into Highmaul for the first time, the first world bosses will be available on December 2nd. Great chance at high level gear and for those non-raiders, a good opportunity to use those weekly rolls.


Twitch Tv Highlight:  Coaches Corner  Gearing in Warlords of Draenor

Preparing your Roster for Mythic Raiding

Blizzcon 2013: Blizzard announces one high end difficulty that will only be 20 players: Mythic.

25man guilds everywhere were rejoicing,  I was ecstatic.  One size for all!  A smaller guild means less logistical issues,  less headache.

For every person at that convention center that day that was elated at the news, there was an eerie quiet from people that were in 10man raid teams.  They weren’t sure what to make of the change.  The enormity of the announcement was only beginning to sink in. And at once there was a communal 10man thought of,  ‘holy crap, we need to recruit at least 10 more people.’

For TBC the 25man change was announced and I knew it would be good for the game. Running a 40man guild was a nightmare. It was more than a full time job. We ran with roughly 55 players during Vanilla.  And managing each person’s schedules, late logon or early logoff times, a modified loot council/dkp tracker for each person, and the eventual personality conflicts in a large active guild would allow you to put your Guild Master position on your resume.

Many guilds thought back then, like many are thinking now, that it is a good opportunity to trim the ‘fat.’ What that means is that many in leadership want to make their roster a bit leaner where every person is pulling their own weight and there isn’t anyone being carried by the other 24 or 19 players.


I firmly believe that simply cutting players is not the way to go. That is to say, for a 20man team, you do not tell five of your raiders that they will no longer be raiding. Yes you need bloat and you wouldn’t have just 20 on your mythic roster anyway (more likely 25).


During the start of every new expansion there is an influx of players and people quitting the game due to natural attrition. People move on with their lives, get older, have kids, realize that WoW is a timesink…. Whatever excuse you want to make up for leaving the game. It happens to every guild. That influx of players or the guildies that are coming back to the game should not be used to battle the natural attrition of your guild. Few of them will actually stick around. They quit for a good reason. Garrisons and lack of flying will not bring them back.

You should go into the next expansion with a decent amount of bloat on your roster. Expect people to hate the game, get bored, and you will also find the ones that are simply not cut out for raiding in WoD. Those are the ones that will cut themselves and make your job as officers and guild leaders much easier.

When determining the size of your mythic roster, consider factors such as your progression goal, your composition, how many days you intend to raid and the chance that people are absent on a given raid night. I’m sure Theck could write a formula for it.

If you’re raiding 2 days a week, your roster can likely be on the smaller side (23) people due to it being easier to set aside two days a week to raid, compared to a heavier schedule of 4 days.

Keep in mind attendance policies, a potential ‘bench.’ Some guilds require 95% attendance, which means you miss at most one raid a month. Smaller rosters also allow you to pool your loot/gear to fewer players, increasing the relative power of your guild.


Undoubtedly the guilds that are going to have the most difficult transition will be the ones going from a 10man heroic to 20 mythic. And to get to that roster size you have to double your playerbase.

Well what easier way to do so than merge with another guild? It’s the quickest method as well as most appealing. You assimilate another guild, give one or two of their officers an officer position in your guild and you’re done! Right?!

Mergers are a bad idea. And that is speaking from watching a majority of guilds fall apart due to merging. While they look appealing and often guilds that merge may see a surge in progress, most of them(not all) are doomed to fail. Why? Well cliques form: while its one guild under one banner, it is still two guilds. The guild members still only play with their previous friends and are hesitant to reach out. This is also one of the reasons that guilds are hesitant to take group apps. Sometimes the members from one of the old guilds don’t like the new raid leader’s style, personalities clash, and people realize the grass is not greener on the other side.

Don’t get me wrong, a merger approached properly can be successful, but it is a tremendous risk when most fail.

So how should you approach recruiting for your 20man roster from a 10man? The same way you formed that 10man. You brought in likeminded people. You made friends and bonded with that small core. It was a tight-knit group. Well build on that, recruit slowly but look for the same quality players you have in your 10man. That way you ensure every player in your guild is on the same page and you avoid those merger troubles.

The downside of this method is that there will come a point where you have 17 or so people on your roster for a 10man team. Your team(and I use this word on purpose) need to realize that everyone will need to sit out on some bosses. And your team, should know that your goal is to have 20+ people on the roster. While you are farming bosses now, or progressing, every player will sit some bosses. But when WoD arrives, they will all be in. If your team can get over this hump until WoD, you’ll have a solid core going into the expansion.


A great tool for looking at your roster is Guild Audit. Simply put in your guild’s information and it will sort your raid roster. It will take a little time playing with it so your entire roster is represented on it. But it is a great tool that currently shows the exact ilvl of your guild and is more accurate than something like WoWprogress. You’re able to track your players progress upgrading their gear(irrelevant in WoD), as well as their enchants and gems.

But use it to determine the balance of your mythic roster. Yes some classes will be incredibly strong, maybe you want to capitalize on that? Thinking about loot breakdowns? Maybe you have too many leather dps, or too many healers.

Here you see an example of the Guild Audit screen.


You see the name, spec rank, ilvl, percentage of upgraded items, and any reg flags. In this screenshot it shows that Prime is missing a gem in his gear. While the armory is buggy, and some of the information will be changing in the coming months, use this tool.

And here you see a more important breakdown of your raid roster.


This will help you maintain a balance of the right heal and dps classes. Maybe you’ll want to stack those warlocks that are so strong each.

Beyond that, ask advice of other guild leaders that have been around for a while, see what they’ve done in the past. Find out what worked and didn’t work for them, learn from their mistakes so you do not repeat them. Grow your guild slowly, steadily and with quality people, and cultivate a positive atmosphere where you expect the best of your mythic raiders.