Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ode to cross realm raids

Anyone that follows me on Twitter knows that I’ve been doing some cross-realm raids lately through the amazing website that is OpenRaid. Here are my adventures so far!

The first group I joined was a not-so-scary five man for the Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub-achievements. Back in 4.1 I only did these dungeons to recover Frostheim's cloak and to see them, and thus I lacked most of the achievements. Summary of the run: All the achievements were oneshot and I got the mount! Positive experience. :)

Next I wanted to do Trial of the Grand Crusader 25. My guild did Anub’arak without me back in Wrath of the Lich King. He has remained a tough boss in Cataclysm too, as he heals by leeching the players’ health (and we have high health now!). This proved to be no problem with Dragon Soul heroic-gear though; we killed him within a minute of starting the fight I think.
The next reset I went back and got “The Traitor King 25”. Eww, scarabs... And I'm done with Trial of the Crusader 25man!

Another raid I never completely finished in Wrath of the Lich King was Halion in Ruby Sanctum on heroic mode, neither 10 or 25. So when I found a 10man going, I signed straight away (I have signed for a 25man next week). I was worried it might be a bit difficult for a PUG-raid still, with the lazer beams and "balance the DPS inside/outside"-aspects. But it wasn't. :) Although... I died. I'm not really sure why, and now is a bit too late checking the log. I was shot 20 yards up in the air (debuff that didn't get dispelled?) and when I landed there was purple EVERYWHERE. And I died. But I got the achievement anyway. I just hope I didn't mess up something, I'll actually look that up before the 25man...

Next time I went to the website I was initially looking for a tier 11-achievement raid, when this raid caught my eye: "A very very fun run to Ulduar 25 man. EXPECT frivolity, expect dirty jokes, expect laughter and expect Voice Chat to be filled with everyone talking over each other." I didn't feel like doing Ulduar... But I wanted to join this raid! So I got two friends from the guild to sign up with me, and last Friday night we went to Ulduar with the great raid leader Elsen, her friends and guildies and other PUGers. I finished my Ulduar drakes a long time ago, but that place have enough achievements for years it seems. This raid gave me about 8 new ones I think. Doing a 25 man raid again was fun. :) Ulduar really is a place of awe. I can still remember three years ago when we took the underground train to Mimiron for the first time... I had a great time doing this social and fun raid, and I plan to join Elsen and the others when they go in next! :)

Now I was really bitten... The next day I found a Firelands 7/7 hc 10man raid. Our guild killed Ragnaros on normal last August, and we did 6/7 heroic a while before patch 4.3 launched. But we never started on Ragnaros heroic, as he was rumoured to be a brick wall. And you shouldn't run into brick walls. I really really love Ragnaros (Cataclysm Almost Mortem), and I really want to get this done before I'm 90 and he's easy. I need closure!

I did OK in the raid I think, despite it being 6 months since I saw the heroic version of the fights. I DPS-ed the right things, I took care of the right adds, I stood close to the crystals and orbs and whatever else they threw at me when I needed to. We oneshot the first 6!

Then there was Ragnaros. I had watched several videos both last year and now, to be prepared. I was mostly worried about phase 4, as it seemed rather complicated. But as a DPS with no other tasks than DPS, phase 4 proved to be the easiest part.

Try 1: 3 people died on Molten Seed. But I felt I had done fine, phew.
Try 2: Ragnaros 14 % in phase 4!!! I’ve seen his feet! And they’re beautiful! (Ehm...) But he finished a cast that the tanks are required to interrupt by placing him in a trap, so we wiped.
Try 3: I died on “World in Flames”. :( How embarrassing...
Try 4: I died on World in Flames again... No no no... How could I?!

In total I think we had 6 tries or something. Several others died and screwed up as well, but I was mortified about my two failures. My heart literally fell down in my stomach. I didn’t backpeddle or anything, there was just so much going on, so I didn’t pay attention to the timer and was wrongly positioned relative to the “safe zones” when the World in Flames hit. There wasn't any blaming or yelling, but I felt really bad. This raid was way out of my comfort zone! And how close we were on that second try... /sob

Ragnaros' feet?

After that exhausting raid, I thought it best to take it down a notch, and signed up for a "tier 11 normal achievements"-run. It was nice and calm in comparison to Firelands heroic. We did all the achievements in about 2,5 hours, and had some fun. :)

Check the gnome's helm, staring at me in a creepy way. xD

Did I stop there? No-no, of course I didn't. :) On Tuesday I joined a premade Arathi Basin-group. We were gonna go for Arathi Basin Perfection, an achievement I have on an alt, but that I really want on Lae. Having healers and being organized actually let us oneshot it... So we tried Resilient Victory after. Another oneshot! Organized PVP can be really fun! Although not for the other team I can imagine...

How does it work?

Sign up on the website and claim your character as yours. If you want to do cross realm raids, you will have to provide your Real ID. This will probably change to Battle Tag when it's supported in WoW.

Choose "Raids" in the left menu, and you'll see all raids that you are eligible for, filtered on faction and perhaps item level. You can select "list view", and sort after specific raids as well. If you tag characters as "friends", you’ll see which raids they signed up for too.

Select the raid you want to do, and sign up, with or without a note. In this note you can for example write your previous experience, or if you want to reserve items.

Some of the raid leaders that arrange Cataclysm-raids ask for people that already have the achievements for the hard bosses. Which I can understand of course; these people have already had their progress period on this, now they just want a clean kill and get their mount. And to be honest, not every person in the game is able to do every boss in the game while they're current or semi-current. At the same time it sucks for those of us that really want the achievement; to get that kill is the reason we're at the website in the first place. Look for groups that aren't negative to newcomers that have studied tactics.

The raid leaders confirm the people they want to bring and are then able to see the real ID's. When the raid is about to happen they send out Real ID friend requests to those people, and then invite them to the raid group.

After the raid you'll get a "task" on the website to rate the people in the raid. These ratings are essentially a reputation system, which is great! It keeps people in line, I actually still haven’t met a single rude or obnoxious person. :)

Personally, I've been rating the raid leaders (for their effort) and other people I've noticed (for their performance or friendliness) with max score (limited number of "max scores" available), and all others that showed up with next best score. People that haven't showed up despite of being confirmed to the raid, I've marked with this, and they will receive negative reputation. If I haven't noticed any people in particular, I've actually rated the hunters with max score. ;) I feel hunters start with a negative reputation, so I try to even it out. (Yes, I recognise the lack of logic.)

There has been discussions of implementing a reputation system in-game, for dungeon/raid finder and battlegrounds. After seeing it in use on OpenRaid, I think it could work! There would be potential problems too, it would have to be impossible for "mean people" and troll to ruin others' reputation for fun. Perhaps only recent gains or losses would count?

Who is this for?

Transmoggers, achievement hunters, mount collectors, legendary collectors (there are so many Firelands runs every day!), people that like to be social but don't have a social guild and people that have never seen some of these places. Cause you should all go see all the raids, most of them are really really cool. :) PVPers, raiders, dungeoneers; if you can't fill a whole group to do the things you want to do, try OpenRaid!

I can imagine a discussion on server reputation spawning from this topic, on this I will just say that there's no reason to exclude people that aren't on your server from your friends list. Hang on to the friendly people that you click well with, no matter what server. You can find new friends or perhaps even new guild members with the right attitude.

Final thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, raiding with strangers is way out of my comfort zone. As I sit there watching the screen, waiting first for the real ID friend request, and then the raid invitation, I get freezing cold cause of being nervous, huddling under a blanket (and yes, it's summer, even in Norway). Two minutes before the raid starts I instantly need to pee, again cause I'm nervous! (Sorry for the over-sharing here.) Then there’s connecting to Ventrilo, Mumble or Teamspeak, and saying the first shivering “hi”, hoping to not receive stupid reactions to my female voice. Which in all fairness has been going well so far! 1,5 years of raiding with the same people might have turned me into quite the chicken.

I would have loved to do all these raids and achievements with my guild! But although they’re all great players that I love to do groups, raids, pvp and socialize with; not all of them like to do outdated content, and not many are obsessed with achievement points. We have done some old raids, but it's been a spur of the moment thing. Our raid schedule is already pretty full, so I don't want to plan too much. It just becomes too much time and effort to commit to all the things. Sure, a lot of us spend a lot of time in-game already, but there’s a big difference between time you have committed to, and time that’s just free to do whatever you fancy at any given time.

As a regular raid leader, it’s been a nice experience to only having to pay attention to myself again in raids. There is no doubt that my DPS and performance in general goes up when I get to focus on my own job, and not everyone else as well. I think I will have to ask others in my raid team to lead our raids now and then, and hopefully I will be able to shut up and not just slip back into the role. :)

So, will I see you there? :)


  1. This is awesome Lae! Finally a good breakdown of Openraid - A guildy of mine has been trying to convinve everyone to get into it since its conception, yet I am yet to jump into the deep end.
    Luckily my guildies (and a couple of the other good horde guilds on my server) are fairly willing to help each other out for old content; now that we are done with DS we have started farming H rag for the mounts and finish of the cata raid metas :) I must say, it is a nice way to relax and have fun, and I assume it would be the same thing through the open raid system - you just get to meet new people!
    Too bad you play EU! :(
    - Quelys

    1. Well, I am thinking of getting an US-account so I can join the WHU-ers now that the game is on sale. :) It would only be some dabbling though, Europe and Lae will always be priority.

    2. Ahhhh, see therein lies the problem.. you still remain an alliance :P
      Dam your space-goat ways!

    3. Don't talk to me about goats troll!!! :p

    4. Touché.. I guess I had that coming..
      Well, let me know when you get your US account, and when you decide to join my battlegroup... and when you do another bg run...

      ...muahaha :P

    5. But do you really mean you don't have a dwarf alt in the WHU-guild? :-O If I meet you in a bg I'll dance on your corpse. ;)

    6. Gotta get me first ;)

      But yes.. that is on my 'bucket list'... I really would like to get involved in the WHU guild, yet I have only (finally) started my army of alt hunters similar to yours. They keep me busy when I am not mindlessly destroying alliance in random bgs :P

    7. We can make them together then. Hit up some Mumble and level away. :) (Dirty horde!)

    8. Sounds good :)
      I'll have to smash out these other two I have going as well.. So much to do, so little time...

  2. Really nice to see a review on Openraid - I was a bit tentative when I first heard about it, but after your post I might give it a try!

    Totally unrelated, but, I love your UI! Is it the size of your screen or the UI? Looks like you can see for miles.

    1. Good if I inspired you. :-) My monitor is 1920x1080, I have view distance set to far and I have all bars and addons as minimized and transparent as I can, don't know if that's it?

    2. That actually does help! My screen is not as big as yours but making the icons/lettering smaller is already helping a lot. Thanks!

  3. Anonymous5/7/12 19:00

    Great post, Lae. I've been trying to get into an Ulduar ach run for the protodrake but for 3 weeks in a row I kept missing them due to work. This gave me the incentive to try harder. We've officially ended raiding heroic DS as it just got too boring doing the same thing for months and with Diablo have been on a bit of a WoW break but this post inspired me to get back into it. :)

    1. Great. :-) We're still plugging away in Dragon Soul. We finally got Spine heroic yesterday! And started on Madness tonight. I really hope we get it while still 85!

  4. Hey Lae! Been a bit busy here so you haven't seen a lot of me lately (like, nothing ._.). I will try to get back to blogging but it seriously costs more energy than I thought and I don't have it at the moment :L.

    Anyway, I also recently found out about OpenRaid. Just wanted to say thanks for telling people about this! It's great indeed!