Check it out, and enjoy the two other excellent comics on offer this month. Thanks to everyone who supported the Orc Detective and all of the Disciplinary Action comics!
Most guilds out there, even if they want to raid, have gotten just about as far as… Magmaw. The vast majority of guilds haven’t gotten even him down yet.
The elite raiding core of the game may be chomping at the bit for Firelands, but the majority of us are still cooking dinner, dropping small humans at school, picking them UP from school, doing laundry, washing dishes, studying for exams, and, if we have the time, gearing for raids- to say nothing of actually running the raids themselves.
For guilds and groups that are just now starting to look at Magmaw, or have progressed only a few raid bosses into Cataclysm, most raid guides do nothing more than give you a wicked bad case of gear envy.
So for those of us who have more enthusiasm than time, can reliably expect someone to take a bio break to change a diaper, and run their dailies for points once in a blue moon, I’ve compiled a selection of indispensable real-life raid leader- and raider- resources:
1. Boss Blueprint: You’re standing in the middle of Blackwing Descent, trying to communicate to your DPS (who are assuredly not listening) that they need to go THERE and then HERE and then run THAT way when everything turns to steam, when it hits you: These damn colored floor flares are never, ever going to get your point across.
What you need is Boss Blueprint, a drag-and-drop online Strategy creator that you can easily customize and then mail out to your raid team. It’s so easy it’s stupid.
The beauty of Boss Blueprint is that you can do it at work, and then email it to your raiders, who can then look at it at work- which, as we all know, is the only place where any Real-Life Raider has time to think about strategy.
2. Deadly Boss Mods: Everyone on your team should realistically have this. I realize there are some people who get all bent out of shape about add-ons, but… c’mon. C’mon.
When you look up ‘deadly’ on Google, the first suggestion that pops up is ‘boss mods’. Doesn’t that say it all? (PS- I don’t know why almost as many people are searching for ‘deadly women’, but it can’t mean anything good.)
DBM gets you out of the bad, reminds you to stand in the good, and shouts at you when it’s time to run away. Yes, that’s right: DBM is your mother.
3. Boss Loot Lists: Everyone likes to be encouraged to raid, and what better way to encourage your raiders than to remind them the phat lewts they might get their grubby paws on if they can actually remember to make it to the raid on time?
Just go to Wowhead, type in the name of the boss you’re attempting to kill, scroll down to ‘Drops’… and mail that list to your raiders. I guarantee your attendance will improve.
As an added bonus, Wowhead lists a nice, simple strategy for each boss, as well- a guide to create that Boss Blueprint image you’ll be sending around to the group?
For your ease and convenience, I’ve linked the normal raid bosses here:
4. Email and Prosper: REMEMBER: With a group of mature gamers who have complicated lives and not nearly as much time as they’d like, email is a great way to get in touch with them. We can all read email at work. As most of us are blocked from viewing game websites, this is your best chance to get in front of your raid team when they have time to actually listen.
DO NOT put links in your email. If you want them to see anything, copy and paste it. Darned Websense, ruining our fun…!
Don’t overload them with emails, but one before each raid night is great. Include:
- The loot list, right at the top, to get everyone psyched
- A list of every person’s character name and their role, to remind everyone that they are important to the success of the team as a whole
Zacariah – Main tank (warrio)
Zoe – Off tank (bare)
Zebidiah – Healing Zachariah (disco)
Zusterke – Healing Zoe (pally)
Zoot – Healing Raid (tree)
Zounds – Ranged DPS (warlock)
Zeke – Ranged DPS (huntard)
Zabra – Ranged DPS (mage)
Zorym – Melee DPS (d nugget)
Zasha – Melee DPS (d nugget)
- A SHORT strategy (I find Wowhead’s length is good) with pictures you create at Boss Blueprint illustrating each stage or major change.
List people by name to tell them what they are doing at each stage. You may have to replace them, but at least everyone will know who is being replaced.
And when you have an entire raid yelling at a puggee to do exactly the same thing, it will- shock!- occasionally sink in.
Just because you’re not finished with every boss in the game doesn’t mean you can’t raid and raid well. You have the inestimable bonus, with your group, of having actual fun.
Wiping is not fun. Losing is not fun. Knowing what’s going on, what your raid expects from you, and where you ought to be is. As a good raid leader, your job is to make it easy for everyone to come and have fun with you.
Now get out there and take down Magmaw!
I took the liberty of datamining some of the items the well-dressed Zul’Gurub NPC native will be wearing in the upcoming WoW Cataclysm patch 4.1.
Disclaimer: This is, of course, speculation and this all may end up differently in the final build!
The renovated 5-man instance replaces the former 20-man raid, and everything’s gotten a visual upgrade. The detailing on the items is beautiful; here’s hoping we get our own PC paws on these in upcoming drops!
Do you play WoW? Do you have a Twitter account? It’s party time!
Join your Twitter friends Friday, March 4th at 5pm PST/6pm MT/ 7pm CST/ 8pm EST for a party on Fizzcrank – US!
We’ll roll some DKs, terrorize the starting area, and then attack the unsuspecting in Alterac Valley in a massive wave of under-geared PHEAR!
We’ll will be on Vent and Mumble; both have been volunteered (thanks to Time Wasted Tuesday and Spazmoosifer!). Vent and/or Mumble details will be /whispered to anyone who messages me in-game, to avoid broadcasting the info all over the internets; I’ll be playing Discopriest.
I’ll be there as an Alliance-flavored @DiscoPriest; see you then!
Do you play WoW? Do you have a Twitter account? Is it party time?
Join your Twitter friends
Saturday, March 5th TBD (see below) at 5pm PST/6pm MT/ 7pm CST/ 8pm EST for a party on Fizzcrank – US.
Take the survey to determine which night we’ll do it at Survey Monkey. We’ll go with whatever gets the most votes!
We’ll have a Vent or Mumble set up (as soon as someone volunteers one) for cross-faction talking.
I’ll be there as an Alliance-flavored @DiscoPriest; see you then!
PS – Please do feel free to steal the Twitter DK for your own blog or website. I made it, so no one will come after you. My gift to the Twitterverse!
Please note that iPads are not able to actually run WoW. What they can do, though, is virtually control a full-sized computer that is running Warcraft using the internet or a local network. This information is current for iPad 1 and iPad 2.
Related Post: Game Review: Warcraft-Like Game Apps for the iPad
I. In Which The Seed Of Desire Is Planted
I recently was overcome with an overwhelming desire to buy an iPad, and I’m not ashamed to say that my almost-sole motivation in doing so came from a WoW Insider giveaway article for a free app, EveryAir, which promised to allow you to play World of Warcraft on your iPhone or iPad. I didn’t win the giveaway, but for a download price of $4.99, what did I have to lose?
I ordered one from the Apple site, filled with monetary guilt and illicit excitement in equal measure.
The big day arrived, and the iPad came in. I tore through the packaging, agonized during the drawn-out initial set-up, and snatched it up the moment the upload was finished.
App store… EveryAir… downloading… downloading… success! I had already installed the EveryAir app on my computer, and it was already running.
I started the app, entered my IP address, and… and… and…! Nothing. The app couldn’t find my computer. I tried turning the computer on and off, turning the iPad on and off, rechecking the IP address, everything. It was- as a friend put it later- made of poo.
I was incensed and, I’m not going to lie to you, near tears.
II. In Which I Spend Far More Money Than Necessary On Apps (So You Don’t Have To)
Over the next few days I tried out a variety of other apps which would at least stream your desktop to your iPad. I had the most success with Splashtop Remote, which was ridiculously easy to set up and fantastically crisp. Unfortunately Splashtop had no built-in mouse or joystick features, so even though I could start Warcraft, and look at it, movement was agonizingly slow and clunky. I never did figure out how to turn around.
In desperation, I tried the EveryAir app one last time… and it worked perfectly! I wish I could tell you what I did differently, but I fear I never did find out. I mined six nodes, Huzzah’d in guild chat and flew into lots and lots of cliffs. Oh, so many cliffs.
I needed to better understand the workings of the mouse/joystick interface.
III. In Which I Stop Flying Into Cliffs
At the top right of the EveryAir screen, there exist three buttons: A keyboard, what looks like an Xbox controller (the joystick), and a min/max button.
The min/max button centers whatever window is open to full screen.
Tapping on the keyboard icon brings your keyboard up; touch the icon again, and it vanishes. The same works for the controller icon. Tap it to show or hide the movement/joystick pads.
On the bottom left, you have a movement pad. This works exactly like the ‘WASD’ keys on your keyboard, and will move you front, back, and strafe left and right. You cannot turn your character using the movement pad.
On the bottom right, you have a joystick pad, which basically mimics your mouse.
Touching and moving the red dot will swivel your view back and forth. You can touch-move, release, and then touch-move again in the same direction to swivel your view further.
Tapping on the red button mimics a mouse click.
If ‘left’ is selected, moving the red dot will change your view, but not the way your character is pointed. To select friendly NPCs, and enemies without targeting them, get into ‘left’ mode, touch them with your finger, then tap the red button.
If ‘right’ is selected, moving the red dot will change the way your character is facing. Tapping on an enemy in ‘right’ mode will also auto-attack them, so watch out for that.
To interact with objects like mines or herbs, touch the mine briefly with your finger (it won’t light up, you must just have faith your mouse is hovering over it), ensure that ‘Right’ is selected, then tap the red button.
You can select ‘left’ and ‘right’ simultaneously to mimc holding down both buttons on your mouse; doing so moves and swivels your character, which I personally found rather difficult to control despite the fact that that’s how I move in the game normally.
IV. In Which The Warcraft UI Becomes iPadded
Now it was time to clean up the mess that was my full-sized desktop version of WoW and create an iPad profile that would work with my regular game play.
I intended to use my iPad Warcraft for farming, not fighting, and didn’t want to have to reset my UI every time I switched over from playing on the iPad to my regular computer.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out how to take a screenshot on my iPad, but the joystick controls cover the bottom left and right sections. This is what worked for me:
- Pull up a new Quickslot bar and put the bare minimum of spells- two healing, two fighting- in the center. Leave the edges blank (I still have a few icons to the bottom left, but I don’t need to use them so I left them as-is).
- Change the resolution to 1024×768, the resolution of an iPad
- Increase the UI Scale, under Options > Video >Advanced
- Turn on Auto Loot (Options > Interface)
- Turn on Sticky Targeting (Options > Interface)
My UI enhancements were very minimal; lots of people have cleaned up their UI to play with EveryAir. Some examples are
- The official YouTube video (also includes gameplay in action)
V. In Which You Attempt To Play Warcraft On Your Own iPad
To play WoW on your own iPad (or iPhone, but that would be very hard to see), you will need:
1. An iPad, iPhone, or 4.0+ iPod Touch
2. The EveryAir app installed on your iPad and installed (and running) on your home computer
3. To be on the same wi-fi network as your home computer; that’s right, you can’t play this sucker at work … yet.
4. (Optional) A wireless iPad keyboard. Not necessary, but it sure would help. This will certainly be my next purchase.
5. In the future, an iPad mouse. Hey, it’s inevitable that they’ll come out with one!
VI. In Which I Conclude
Because you can only play Warcraft on your iPad, for now, while you’re on the same network as the computer that is running the Warcraft you’re streaming, the delights of the iPad WoW are somewhat muted. I imagined myself fishing through meetings, mining during conference calls, and crafting while waiting for print-outs, but was disappointed to find out this is not yet A Thing.
Undoubtedly it’s only a matter of time before someone comes out with cross-network capabilities for remotely controlling your computer from your iPad, and until then it’s still pretty dang fun.
I mine while we watch TV, fish when I’m stirring the soup, craft as I’m taking a… er… watching TV also. It’s fun, it’s silly, and my fishing skills have never been better!
Good luck with your own iPad Warcraft adventures, noble heroes, and godspeed!
Disciplinary Action is now Livestreaming at regular intervals. Episodes include:
Watch live or catch up on past episodes at Livestream.com/DisciplinaryAction!
We’re down to our last three openings over at <Waypoint>, A-Medivh! If you’re looking to raid Monday and Saturday evenings at 8pm, we’d be charmed to hear from you. Our apologies, but we are no longer actively seeking applications for slots other than those listed below.
If you feel you have something exceptional to offer – or just very much want to join Waypoint – and are not one of the classes listed here, by all means to drop us a line but do know that, due to the volume of response received thus far, we may not be able to respond to all non-requested applications individually.
Server transfers welcome.
Elemental Shaman: A solid Restoration off-spec would be a bonus.
Mage: Flavor-independent. Must be feisty.
Retribution Paladin: A solid Protection offspec would be a bonus.
Please email disciplinaryaction at yahoo dot com to request an application.