Monthly Archives: June 2013

Guild Leadership Corner: When does your guild need a day off?

My guild’s leadership decided to give our guild 4 raid days off from raiding over June 30 thru July 7.  This upcoming week has several “real life” holidays for members of my raid: Canada day on July 1 and America’s Independence Day on July 4.  This impacted the likelihood that key raid members and officers would be available, since the 4th of July holiday in particular officially falls on a raid day for us. We gave a similar vacation around the time of the Christmas/New Years holidays, but we haven’t otherwise taken much time off from raiding in the last 6 months. Just like having vacations from jobs is important, it may also be important to give guild members time off from raiding.

However, giving breaks too frequently (and when raiders are available and want to raid) could cost your guild progression speed or members if your breaks are due to burnout and unexpected attendance problems. Breaks based on good officer planning, however, can be beneficial! A recent Officers Quarters article on WOWinsider had really great advice for guilds about how to take good breaks from raiding.

There are a couple things that I think my guild got right with taking our holiday break:

  1. We have already accomplished our main goal of killing Lei Shen on normal-mode and had recently started progression into hard-modes. With the next raid tier still a few months away, taking a break before raiders showed signs of burnout (rather than after the raid was burnt out) meant that we were celebrating the success of our guild rather than failure. In addition, rather than taking a break at a key progression point, we’re taking a break at a time when we have already met our primary goal and are making good progress towards secondary goals.
  2. We planned the break in advance, discussed it as officers, and posted notice to the guild a few days in advance.  We set a firm date of when the break started and the break ended, meaning that it was announced as a “vacation”, and we stayed within the 1 to 2 week time-frame suggested by the WOWinsider post. Thus, we allowed our raid members to make alternative plans with their families during that time. So, I planned a short (2 or 3 day) trip out of town during our raid break, so that I get away from not only raiding, but my normal daily habits as well.
  3. We timed this break around a holiday that was likely to interfere with progress anyway – with multiple holidays and people planning to take off raid nights, a mid-week holiday usually interferes with multiple days of raiding due to vacations people take off from work. While we will often try to raid on holidays, it made sense for us to give extra days off around this particular holiday due to the timing.
  4. Our officers are avoiding running “alt” raids or other organized group content. While some of our non-officer members are trying to organize things to do during our break, our officers and raid leaders aren’t involved in making that happen. This means that the officers get a much needed rest themselves and the “break” activities don’t feel mandatory when they don’t come from an officer.

Does your guild normally take breaks for holidays? What advice would you give to raid leaders trying to balance progression speed with the need for people to have lives outside the game?

Have a great Canada day and US Independence day this week!

Posted in Guild Leadership

The healing mushroom change is good…

The Wild Mushrom healing spell change is good … and you should feel good!

Why did wild mushrooms need a change?

The original intent when asking for healing shrooms was that restorations couldn’t keep up with the burst healing of other classes. However, healing mushroom’s initial implementation left a lot to be desired. The current Wild mushroom spell allows you to plant up to 3 healing shrooms on the ground. While the original intent was to allow for spreading them out, most of the time you just clump them up in one place. Many people have found the current mushroom design to feel awkward. It takes a lot of setup time, and even when they are buffed to do a substantial portion of healing, they still don’t feel right in the current 5.3 version. While we now have a high risk/high reward spell, it just ends up being really frustrating when an encounter doesn’t give you that high reward in return.


Original Healing Shroom problems from my 2012 post:

  • Targeting circle was originally too small: Previously solved by making the targeting reticule bigger. CHECK
  • Shrooms needed to interact better with our other healing spells: Previously solved by changing shrooms detonate to activate harmony. Also, the overall interactions with other spells were increased by allowing rejuvenation overhealing to increase the amount of healing done by shrooms. CHECK
  • Small 6 yard radius was too small: Previously solved by increased radius to 10 yards. CHECK
  • We needed some sort of HOT component on application when dropping the shrooms: Addressed in the upcoming patch (see below). CHECK
  • Three shrooms felt like too many: Addressed in upcoming patch (see below). CHECK
  • Have to target the ground: Many people didn’t like using the reticule to place shrooms on the ground. Addressed in upcoming patch (see below). CHECK

The big 5.4 changes solve the biggest quality of life problems.

Currently in the PTR patch files for the next patch, wild mushroom will now just be one shroom that you place on the ground. No more having to place three shrooms! While the moonkin version may still drop 3 (I haven’t been able to test it directly on the PTR), the resto version of healing shrooms only drops one.

Grow a magical mushroom with 5 health at the target ally’s location. After 6 sec, the mushroom will become invisible. The mushroom grows larger as it accumulates healing power from 100% of overhealing done by your Rejuvenation, up to a maximum of 200% of your health in bonus healing. Recasting Wild Mushroom will move the Mushroom without losing this accumulated healing. Wild Mushroom: Bloom can consume your Mushroom to heal nearby allies. Only 1 mushroom can be placed at a time. Can be cast in Tree of Life Form, Moonkin Form. Druid – Restoration Spec. 40 yd range. Instant.

The THREE underlined sentences are really the important changes. Most of the other changes are just adjustments to balance the amount of healing it does. However, there are two other important change in the above text:

  • If you move your shroom, it doesn’t reset your rejuv overheal stacks. So, if everyone moves, you can replant the shroom with all the overhealing it absorbed and bloom it right away! No longer do you have to be psychic and know in advance exactly where your raid will end up in times of heavy damage!
  • UPDATE: As many people pointed out the text now says “at the target ally’s location”. So, apparently your friends will be growing shrooms out of their backs. It appears to still sit on the ground and require a detonate, but it looks like you will target an ally to drop the shroom at their feet. No more reticule. If you have no one targeted, it drops at your feet. Mouse over macros are still behaving poorly on the PTR, but we may be able to work out some sort of macro to use for people by the time it goes live.

Also, they are allowing you to have the option to glyph for healing Shrooms such that your efflorescence is tied to your shrooms instead of swiftmend:

The Efflorescence effect is now caused by your Wild Mushroom instead of by Swiftmend, and lasts as long as the Wild Mushroom is active.  Additionally, increases  the healing done by Swiftmend by 20%.

This would allow Swiftmend to be a single-target direct heal only, and your Shrooms would carry the HOT component of efflorescence if you choose the glyph. This was something that members of the community recommended early on when druids were unhappy with shrooms mechanics, so it’s neat to see it get implemented. In true Blizzard form, the changes we ask for a year previously seem to magically make their way into the game.

So, in conclusion, if these changes go live, this will solve most of the quality of life problems related to healing shrooms. With all the other great changes they are making for resto druids, this last tier almost makes me wish I didn’t reroll mage. At least my guild’s resident resto druid, Juvenate, will be having fun!

Posted in Patch 5.4, Patches, Restoration Healing Trees, Written By Lissanna

Becoming a WOW blogger and growing the community

The World of Warcraft community has overall had one of the largest and most active out-of-game communities. This community involves blogging, podcasting, forum posting, theorycrafting, and more! I started posting on the official WOW forums shortly after the game’s initial release. By the release of the Burning Crusade expansion, I had joined the ranks of guide writing. My druid leveling guide, that I took over at the start of Burning Crusade (Summer of 2006, I believe), is my longest-running WOW guide. I didn’t actually start blogging until much more recently, in comparison (early 2009, when Blizzard threatened to shut down the class forums and I needed somewhere to host my guides if that became a reality).  While many of you come here to read my guides, I really enjoy reading other people’s blog posts. I can’t do my guide writing without a healthy theorycrafting and blogging community to be part of. So, today I’m going to give some advice to new potential bloggers, to encourage other WOW players to make the leap and start writing!

Why start your own blog?

  • To pass along advice and helpful information to people newer to the game than you. To have a place where you can express your own opinions about the game on a space that you control.
  • As a new player, it may be helpful to chronicle your own learning and journey so that other people in a similar situation will be encouraged.
  • Writing is something required in most professions these days, so getting in the habit of writing and reading WOW blog posts provides skills transferable outside of WOW.
  • To become part of the WOW community outside the game and open up new adventures outside of Azeroth.
  • In the end, the point is NOT to get “famous” from your writing. The majority of blogs have only a small number of readers, and only a small number of blogs manage to reach the point where they get thousands of views per day. So, the important point that everyone says is that (especially at the beginning), it is important to write for yourself and not for fans. However, if you take an active role in the community at large, you are doing your part in making the game more fun for all.
  • As some of the more established bloggers in the WOW community stop posting (e.g., Graylo and others), it is important for new people to come in and take over. So, it really is important to the WOW community as a whole that new people join the blogging community.

How do you get started?

  • Phaelia of Resto 4 Life wrote a great introduction to making a WOW blog back in 2008. While some of the links won’t necessarily work anymore, it is a great place to start. There are some things that Phaelia covers that I won’t duplicate here, but there are a few main overlapping topics where I want to share some more specific advice:
  • Importantly, you have to pick a theme (though keep it broad enough that you can have some flexibility in your topics). While it is important that your first 10 posts or so really fit into the narrow theme, you really can post whatever you want in your little “home”. However, some consistency in what to expect will increase the probability of people staying on your blog for longer to read similar posts and want to return for more. For example, most of the early Restokin posts were specifically related to resto and moonkin druids. However, over time I have covered lots of different WOW-related topics (some of my non-druid posts have been more popular than my druid posts!).
  • You have to pick a title for your blog. It should be something “unique” (so, google search the name you want to choose and see what comes up that could draw traffic away from you – it’s embarrassing to find out that you picked a name that is being used by someone else!). You would want to avoid choosing something too similar to a larger WOW fan site, or related too closely to non-WOW websites. I tried out about 10 different blog names before “restokin” stuck. In my case, the blog name and the domain name is the same, so finding the right domain name that wasn’t taken already was also important for me (and I would recommend buying your own domain name so that other people are less likely to come along after you and steal your preferred name). However, now that I’m playing a mage and not my resto/moonkin druid, the theme and my title don’t actually match what I play in-game anymore (awkward!). However, I noticed that no one actually cares if I write about mage related topics on Restokin sometimes, as long as I still spend time following druid mechanic updates and posting druid-related topics.
  • Overall, I would recommend hosting your blog with WordPress. Blogging software has gotten a lot easier and simpler. In general, if you understand enough about computer programming, you can host your own blog using WordPress software (downloaded from If you aren’t really as familiar with how to do that, you can either learn how – or you can have it hosted by The main difference between the two is that hosting your own allows for being able to modify anything (fully customizable theme, a broader range of plugins allowing you to have things like mouse-over wowhead or wowdb tooltips for game spells and items). Having it hosted for you means that a lot of the technical back-end things get done for you, instead of having to worry about it yourself, and it may cost you less to have it hosted by someone else, since hosting it yourself requires more money. We pay a lot of money each year for the space that we use to host my blog, my husband’s blog, my guild forums, and other small sites. At the peak of Restokin’s popularity, we had to be able to survive heavy patch-day hit numbers, which has it’s own problems. My husband does all the technical stuff for Restokin, so I just point and complain when stuff is broken. :)

Once you have your blog, start writing!

  • The best way to grow your blog is to write. Choose a set time each week for your post releases at first – consistency really helps to build momentum. When I started here, I was actually putting up one blog post a day. However, even 1 to 2 posts per week is often enough (and now I’ve hit the point where I miss some weeks!). You don’t have to always keep a set schedule, but if your blog has no content, then no one is likely to stick around reading it. So, building momentum in your writing is very important!
  • Pay attention to spelling and format! You want to proof-read your posts before you send your writing out into the world.
  • Pictures say a thousand words. Thus, it is important to include images on your posts to draw readers’ attention. They can be used to break up text (along with careful use of bolding, bullet points, colored text, and other important formatting tools). However, be careful about copyright problems with some images you find google searching. It is usually better to put in citations to external picture sources (don’t plagiarize other people’s work!), or when in doubt – just stick to using your own in-game screenshots.
  • Be honest and avoid plagiarism. You can write about topics that other people write about. However, make sure that you link back to the original source where your topic idea came from (for example, earlier in this post, I linked to Resto 4 Life who wrote a similar topic a number of years ago, and I still send people to read her post from time to time!). However, if you copy and paste huge chunks of text from another site and put your name on it, then all you will do is make enemies. Also, make sure you are truthful and honest (and yourself!) when you are posting (it’s okay to post under your WOW character name, but importantly, don’t misrepresent yourself, like this person, or it will come back to haunt you). You want to be part of a community, so make sure that your work on your site is your own original writing, and make sure you are positive member of your new community!
  • Spread the word! Once you have around 5 posts, you can start telling other bloggers about yourself. I’m usually happy to add new druid (and mage!) blogs to my blogroll. However, I’ll often overlook someone who doesn’t have any content other than their introduction post, as I don’t know how relevant the blog is if it has zero content.At around 5 posts, I get a sense of how frequent the blogger is posting and the type of content they are likely to keep writing. Before 5 posts, you can still start sharing your blog with your friends and starting to builds some momentum. You can make a twitter or facebook account to go along with your blog, and start using social media to meet new people who may have similar interests and start driving traffic to your blog. Comment on other bloggers’ posts that have related content. If you join the community, it is much easier for the community to support your blog in return.

You can also join sites like Blog Azeroth to get more blogging help and advice! Also, after you start your blog, you can introduce yourself on Blog Azeroth. Happy blogging! If you have questions, feel free to post them in the comments!

Posted in Blog Azeroth, Uncategorized, Written By Lissanna


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