Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Tools Of The Trade

Before you begin leading a guild there are some tools and attributes I highly recommend you possess: Courage, motivation and passion are always important, but this chapter is more focused towards stuff like mods and even the in-game interface that will help you on the way to becoming the Ullteemaet Geeld Mastah!11

As you may have already realised, this chapter isn't all that serious or important. Blizzard have done a grand job at implementing a wide range of interface options and add-ons to help guild masters. Little things like Message of the Day and the Calendar can go a long way when used effectively. These other applications listed below will probably give you only a slight increase in efficiency, but sometimes that little extra can go a long way.

Deadly Boss Mods are a great example of getting a big result out of a small thing. Do you really need to know the exact number of seconds before your battleground starts? No, because you should always be prepared to fight. Likewise, any idiot with an ounce of competence can see who turns into an ice block on the Sapphiron fight without it having to be yelled in your face. To me, DBM users have always appeared to be a bit on the slack or lazy side. I use it myself, especially when I can't be arsed sustaining constantly high levels of energy when tanking for a PuG. So while there may be a feeling that this set of mods makes everything a little easy, there's really no reason not to use DBM. After all, what's the harm in having something that makes raiding (and some aspects of PVP) easier? Just note that observant, focused folks shouldn't need it as much as the idiots. As a guild leader, you wouldn't normally brand yourself as someone who needs such help from a mod, but remember that half your time in raids will be spent running through tactics, dealing with drama and delegating loot. Anything that makes the actual fighting aspect easier should be welcomed, as it allows you to focus on more pressing matters. Mods such as this are built to take the strain off those with pea-sized brains, or players who are just distracted. Don't be like I was. Don't snub DBM off without trying it out; you may find it makes life a lot easier for you.

Auctioneer (and its many, many accessories) is also a good mod to consider. Basically, it scans your server's auction house, finds the median price for all the items on it and then makes suggestions for what you should do with your own goods. Usually this involves putting junk up for only slightly more than you'd vendor them for, but extra money is extra money! It's dough you can put back into the guild. Whether it's dumping it in the bank, or giving it out to specific needy individuals, having money will naturally empower you and people are more likely to respect you if possess more cash than the average guild master. This is a bit of an over-simplification and it's likely people will only suck up to you in vain hopes of getting their own grubby hands on some of your fortune. All the same, Auctioneer is a very useful mod, especially considering how dynamic most server economies can be. Auctioneer always you to keep up with the competition, and is vital if you want to sell stuff on a regular basis.

Recount is often used by overly self-conscious DPSers to make sure they're not doing less damage than the bloody tank. Even if they're performing badly, it allows them to form a pre-emptive excuse as to why. These range from blaming it on their talent build to server lag. This doesn't mean that an intelligent guild leader can't make effective use of it, though. Recount doesn't only measure overall damage output of the raid, but also tracks average damage per second. This allows you to see who inflicts constantly high amount of pain upon their enemies, and who feels they can just nuke on the main bosses and then retire. I'm against party or raid leaders singling out people low on the meter and shouting at them to step up their game, but you should observe which members are falling behind and aim to gear them up, or force them to respecc appropriately. Furthermore, Recount is a great way of measuring the success of other classes. Stuff like overhealing and interrupts made are also tracked. This means if you keep wiping on certain bosses and don't know why, this mod can help you see where the raid is going wrong.

If any of you feel like I've missed out any essential add-ons, then feel free to plug them in the comments. In my next article, I intend to detail how guild leaders can rely on in-game resources to make their lives a little easier.

To summarise:

  • Deadly Boss Mods can make raiding on the whole a lot easier and allows you to multitask.

  • Auctioneer can make you rich, providing its used well.

  • Recount provides quantifiable evidence as to who is slacking, and who is playing well.

All the mods and screenshots here are properties of their creators.

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