OMG I’m a BoondockSaint BBQ

So you have become a Saint but you have no clue who we are… and well, your time or attention span does not allow you to read our entire history in facebook or the blog, so… here is a condensed lets catch you up.

Since we started we have been a guild about friendship. We had been called the Logtar clique several times, but honestly this is not my just my clique, it is rather a bunch of little groups of friends that like to come together and form kick ass raids. The Tauren Eaters, Gut Busters, The Charlie Mafia, the former guild that could not spell… there are tons of inside jokes, there are tons of stories that we are willing to retell, but overall we are just a group of people that welcome the new comers and want to make them part of this crazy family.

Our common goal is to have fun while playing the game and have gone in many directions during the guilds life. We have raided new and old content, created a horde guild, a lowbe guild, gone fishing, ganking… you name it. We just enjoy playing the game together. We recently completed ToC as a guild and are dipping our toe in ICC. Individuals are raiding with other groups that content and having a blast.

We don’t have many rules, and most of them boil down to common sense. We try to be as constructive as possible with our critisism. We will not carry you through any content, but we will help you to get to the point that you are a contributing member on any group or raid. We hold respect above all, and we see a horde and kill a horde. We do live in a PvP server and will always be Alliance first.

We expect you to know your class or be willing to learn your class. We have officers willing to help you navigate dungeons, meters and bots. We have crafters ready to enchant you and gem you and all we ask is that you have at the very least one gathering profession and contribute with materials or gold to the bank. We want you to give as much as you want, but at the very least to match fairly what you take. We have a bunch of very generous players that keep our GB always full and it is a source of pride for all of us.

Titles are based on what people do for the guild and focused on helping. So you can move up as you help others. That is our only requirement for moving up in rank, be helpful to others. What this means is, answer the call when someone is forming a group for randoms. Its much more enjoyable to run with guildies than to roll the dice on pugging and get Frost Orb ninjas from Sargeras.

So welcome to the new additions to our growing family. Just remember we don’t recruit, the only way to get in is to have a friend in the guild wanting to make you part of the privileged that it is being a Saint.

Reaching the Latest Content

Blizzard has made it simple for the casual player to obtain not just gear but access to content. While I do believe that most high level raids still require above average knowledge of the game and the fight mechanics; in the next couple of months I think everyone that has the goal of at least killing the Lich King should be able to do so. That was not true in previous iterations of the game.

Last week was the first time that I healed the new boss in VoA in 10, but also tanked it on both 10 and 25. I had not been able to do that with Ony when she got her upgrade to 80. I did go in the first week and tried for a couple before she actually went down. It was not until this week that I actually got the Mord Dots Achievement. It felt good to be able to see and conquer new content the week it was released. ICC has been a little slower to progress, but the guild is making progress and we have 3 players going to a 25 every week and they are advancing, and one of our healers in another 25 that is even further. It is only a matter of time until our 10 gets going and we can have the accomplishment down for our guild.

When I started playing in BC one of that things that really bothered me about the game once I started to understand it was that you truly don’t get to see all the game unless you raid. There are tons of content and story lines in the game that you can explore through quests, but he culmination of most of them comes in the form of a dungeon encounter. That cool special mount you want? yeap, you have to go to a dungeon or a raid.

I have heard over and over how even in BC the game was watered down from the days of 40 man raids and I don’t disagree. I don’t find that fair that a game would not give you access to the cool things that were built unless you have above average skill. I think Blizzard is doing a great job of making the game accessible and easy to pick up and level. I even sound like an old timer when I tell my wife that it was not that simple to get a mount and your time walking around in the past was not counted in days but months.

It still does not take away from the game for me in any level. There are plenty of achievements and hard modes that are badges of honor. That and having a guild that has grown at a very slow pace but with players that want to hang out and do stuff together. We have an easier time putting a 10 man on the spot now than a couple of months ago and have completed things that at first seem unsurmountable for a casual guild. Sure, some of it is the access to easier gear and being able to level a lot quicker now, but it still does not take away from having a bunch of people always willing to help one another achieve their individual goals.

I am super excited that I have been able to run dungeons with real life friends, and I know that is only thanks to being part of a great casual guild. I look forward to taking down ICC, and it might not be a world or server first, but at least I will be with a bunch of people that has made every night we play a source of endless jokes and entertainment.

Progression does not mean left behind

After another very fun guild meeting with taking down 25 man OS right after, a group of us started trying to shape our new 10 man group. The next day people logging on see a raid forming and start feeling automatically left behind.

Our guild has 3 speeds of players.

Serious raiders that like to get content done but don’t want to deal with the annoyance of a “hardcore raiding guild” that will mistreat their members at the first mistake or kick them out for a no show.

Casual raiders that want to raid, but don’t have the time to commit to set raid days and times.

Last but not least we have the people that play and are not interested on the raiding aspect of the game.

The problem arises when someone from the casual group wants to go do what the serious raiders want to do, but don’t get a spot on a run that they have the time for. For the most part this does not become an issue because several of our raiders are used to pugging and will gladly step aside if a guildie wants to go on a run. It becomes an issue the moment we start saying progression because it means that we are making that raid with the best players available in an attempt at doing slightly more challenging content.

We have several ideas on how to make everyone feel included, but for now we are settling for two 10 mans. One we are calling our progression 10 man which will be doing higher content ToC, TogC, ICC and hard modes. The other one (or two others since we now have plenty of extra 80 alts) will concentrate on gearing people and just getting people familiar with raiding if they are new in Naxx, OS, Vault and Ulduar.

Honjuder had the great idea that we devote one 10 man per day starting on Tuesday to the weekly raid. We will still wait for the schedule to be ironed out and put in game hopefully before the end of this week.

Froto has stepped up to lead our more serious raiders and I will be using my alt to lead other raids as needed. Since some of the content will not intersect, I might even be able to run some of the gearing runs. Simply sign up for the runs and be ready to show us what you can do. The raids at the progression level will be formed to have the best chance to succeed.

So check out the calendar in game for upcoming events and be part of the fun! The key to a raid besides showing up is being a good team player.

Also see one of the officers if you want to schedule other events, we are going to go on another bear run in the coming weeks.

The BoondockSaints

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I don’t think that when we started this guild we realized that we were actually going to progress as much as we have. We have grown in numbers but still have the same family feel we did when it was just a dozen of us. As a guild we have gone six bosses deep into Ulduar and could probably come close to clearing it with the new gear we are all getting. Some of us have finished ToC and even getting into ICC raids. As a guild we are killing trash to get rep and a good number of us have the free rings from there.

We have a lot of fun every night on vent. We are helping people from other guild getting geared and are now on the third wave of 80s. My priest missed the second wave, but is happy healing like some 80 at 75. We are also never short on enchants and gems. More importantly we are never short on people that want to lend a hand.

We also never turn down a good PvP fight. We have made hit lists in the horde side and dominate most of our encounters! (except when we are outnumbered when there is only 5 of us on)

So now what?

Well, for the coming year while we wait for the new expansion and get ready to eventually face and kill Arthras we are going to make Froto happy and raid some more. We took a break from official raiding on December and are going back into a schedule. We are also going to continue with our farming days to keep our bank well stocked with raiding items. I also want to help Aloea and Smidgeon to their achievement seeking goals.

Raid Schedule Jan 2010

Our focus for this month will be ICC rep as well as gearing up the new 80s. Please see Froto about signing up for any 10 mans. We are going to form our 10 mans for success, we will let you know if you are ready and what you need if you are not. Our 25 mans are open to all. Please read up on the fights and watch the youtube videos before going into any raid. We required you to download and install DBM, Ventrilo and Omen if you want to raid. Contact any of the officers if you have any questions.

Raid Start Times at 8:30 unless otherwise posted in the in game schedule.

Sunday – Monday
10 Man – ICC Rep Runs

Tuesday
25 Man – Weekly Raid
10 Man – Weekly Raid

Wednesday
25 Man – OS
10 Man – Ulduar

Thursday
10 Man – Naxx
10 Man – ICC

Friday
10 Man – Naxx
10 Man – ToC

Patch 3.3 LFG

Since I started playing WoW the game went from BC to WotLK and even though the changes to the game were fantastic and big nothing has changed the game like the latest feature implemented. They removed the annoyance of travel to dungeons altogether and let you earn money, mats, rep and emblems for as long as you can stomach it.

Even though there have been about 25% crappy groups, the chances of you having to group with those people again makes it a non issue. Besides the people that don’t know the fights at all, even gear seems to be a non issue in most heroics, minus of course the new content.

At first I though I was getting paired up with people with my same gear level, but that is actually just a side effect of the people on the first night who had downloaded the patch prior or had a faster connection. I’ve had some amazing groups that impressed me by their level of both play and good manners. I’ve also seen the lowest of the low. The question is now, why do I need a guild?

Raids – You will still your guild to run raids. Raids require good communication and knowing people’s play style. Even in the harder dungeons can turn into a wipe fest if people don’t communicate.

Enchants and Gems – Unless you have an unlimited amount of money and a good AH, you will have an easier time getting that shinny new gear ready for raids with a group of good crafters working together and everyone sharing the greens that are raining from the sky.

Fun groups – As much fun as it is to burn through a instance without stopping it gets mechanic and old quickly. Its nice to be able to run with the people you know when they are online. Specially now that we are all going to be so overgeared! Also with partial groups being filled so quickly, you and a couple of guildies can have tons of fun with the LFG system.

Cataclysm – I cannot wait for the new expansion and all the changes that will be attached to guild achievements. Having a solid guild going into the new expansion is going to make it 100x better.

That’s all I have for now. I am halfway to getting my pug and loving the experience.

Gank Fest

Gank Fest

Our WoW time lately has been very hecktic trying to raid casually while we wait for the latest patch which will drop today. Most of us have been working on our alts so we have more 80s that can be easily geared just by grinding heroics, and with the promise of shinny new gear even farming ulduar. Before we get there we get to actually level those toons. My priest is almost capped on both inscriptions and alchemy now and is sitting at 69 at the moment. I will have some time off during December so it might be time to get him to 70 and have some fun healing.

One side effect of having to level toons in a PvP server is the occasional ganking. Our guild has a simple policy “See a Horde, Kill a Horde.” It little by little has made us the target of ganking… however, it is starting to taste less and less pleasurable for the gankers. When someone is getting camped our guild pulls together and heads to that area and kills as many as we can. We do get eventually overwhelmed since our server Alliance to Horde ratio during peek hours is just insane. This was not the case last night. We took over the circle of blood in Nagrand and then moved to neighboring town with little resistance. Actually had fun just killing the ganker.

Then we moved to crossroads and still no horde response. We then got a little greedy and headed to Thunderbluff to 15 man the dude there. That is when Doorhinge showed up (one of the best PvPers in our realm) and I was able to kill him once… then it was all over. We could not get back on our feet and decided to call it a night. It was tons of fun though, and now you know that if you gank one of ours, you will have to gank us all!

Hop Skip Jump

Individuals in our guild have done a lot of content from this last big patch, some even completing raids on the ToC area. Personally I have seen more content than I thought I would see this quickly. However, overall as a guild I think we have skipped too much content.

For me it all started with places that are not warrior tank friendly. Az N and Old Kingdom for example. Both fairly straight forward places now that I am over-geared for them. They are both mid 70 dungeons that should have been mastered before skipping them altogether, but it was a lot easier to do a place I enjoyed like DTK over and over.

Don’t get me wrong, some poorly structured content like Oculus should be skipped, but most of the dungeons that have been designed are pretty good training grounds for future raiders.

Now we have once again started doing the same thing. Instead of perfecting every wing in Naxx we are doing Ulduar and even H ToC raiding. Then people wonder why Ony is such a pain in the butt.

Ony is the perfect example of gear vs experience. No matter how good your gear is, if your party has not mastered movement and position awareness you will wipe there over, and over. It is already being pugged bu some people and it will be farm content soon enough, but the opportunity to learn is missed by just having an overachieving healer or tank or insane DPS “take you” through the content.

Raiding is about team mechanics, but specially about everyone doing their assigned job. Skipping content that shows you certain mechanics of the game does a huge disservice to you as a raider, and it hurt your future performance in a team. Another example of commonly skipped content is Heigan’s dance in Naxx. Overall not a bad fight, but one that people dread because it requires everyone to do something they are not used to doing… moving around.

Before you skip content on try to get into the next new shiny dungeon make sure you are at a point where you enjoy the current content you are geared and experience for. Understanding the fight mechanics is not just the raid leader’s job. Sure its fun to just say, let me know where to stand and I will fire my 9K DPS at the boss, but it does not help the group.

I have been leveling a priest and been loving the experience. As frustrating as it is to be the main target in every PvP encounter, it is also very rewarding to be able to make a difference and “save” things by getting the right heal out at the right time. There are comparable skills like rage management vs mana management, and watching threat… but it also has a lot more situational, like mobs just trowing something at you because they felt like it and interrupting you. That is not even counting someone pulling agro or standing on (yet again) the fire. Its a lot more fun than I thought it would be and will most likely ultimately make me a better tank.