Congrats to everyone who participated in Sunday Funday the past couple of weeks. They were rewarded with new mounts, the Grove Defiler, which can be gotten by doing Legion Raid Achievements.

This upcoming Sunday Funday will be devoted to leveling alts to 80 for the eventual Herald of the Titan achievement run. Contact Bulborbish or Orektarg for details.

“Saturday night progression we will be SKIPPING Coven and attempting Aggramar. Aka watch the posted videos in discussion and PM a raid leader if you have any questions.” – Zextol

Can I get a hell yeah?

And congrats to Symderella for making Raider this week! You get to be part of the Raid Team page, have more money to spend on repairs, and access to Raider tabs. There are a number of other potential raiders “on deck” for promotions soon, so be sure to keep your attendance up and you’ll get to be part of the team, too!

Well, not really a ceremony… but we can dream!

Anyways, there is a new guild rank, the ‘Guild Champion’. Think of it as being double the MoD member! Just show up to guild events regularly like Alt Raid Night, Tiv’s Key Night, or Sunday Funday with Bulb, and you are on your way to a new status and guild promotion in game and on Discord! You’ll even get 400G a day repair withdrawal!

Wednesday: Heroic Farming

Wednesday was a generally successful run. We downed 5 bosses in relatively quick succession with one another before banging our heads against Kin’Garoth. We almost 1-shot High Command due to sheer numbers, but we do still need to manage our bombs better. It gets hectic on the second loop through.

Kin’Garoth, of course, gave us some trouble. DPS need to be smarter about moving sooner. Those assigned to purple add also need to remember to switch to red in the second add phase.

Regarding the Master Loot changes, you can see updates to the Rules & Regulations page with a clarification on Master Loot for tier bosses. We’ve also made a few other changes that retain the heart of the rules, while paring down excess verbiage.

Wednesday Logs

Saturday: Heroic Progression

Kin’Garoth was a big struggle for us again. It’s important for tanks to use proper mitigation  and save cooldowns for those big hits of Forging Strike. Thanks to Grim for taking over as the healer on ball-duty!

Varimathras was a struggle as well. Tank swapping became an issue. Remember, DBM timers are likely to be off – you can’t trust them entirely. Communication with the other tank is crucial.

We ended the night slamming our heads into Coven again. This boss is becoming a combination DPS and RNG check. Please practive Heroic Coven in your downtime!

Raid Lead Comments: Please keep the comms clear. We’ve had 20+ raids multiple times now, so commentary during fights is absolutely problematic. We’re going to start coming down on people who keep talking even when told to be quiet. Tanks need us to be quiet unless it is a Raid Lead making calls! If you are not a Raid Lead, do not make calls or talk over the raid leads unless directed to do so.

Props to Wyte for coming to lend us a hand on heals and for killin’ it in spite of being “undergeared” and not having joined us previously. Thank you to the PUG who put up with our many wipes for so long as well.

We welcomed Tiv as a new Raid Leader and Lunzzul as a new Raider. Congrats to you both!

Saturday Logs

Monday: Alt Night, Lots of New Faces!

Monday was a big raid for us – 23 people! Lots of new or returning faces, which was great to see.

Garothi Normal has Decimation issues, but was otherwise an easy kill. Aggramar and Argus we each wiped once. Agg had an initial “whoopsie” for tanks, but after understanding the mechanic, we took him down easily. Argus wiped us once and we took him down the second time. Raid Lead Comments: please be paying attention to the markers on your head. Match them to the marker on the ground in Phase 2. Please move the buffs in phase 1 to the right, and move blight to the back.

Next we tackled heroic Garothi. Raid Lead Comments: Please move Decimation out of the group. DBM is a great tool, but only if you bother to use it!

We actually had three legendaries drop on Monday. Most notably, Zextol got the Amanthul’s Vision trinket.

Monday Logs

More Info for Raiders

We’ve got a number of new things posted this week on the site to help our raiders!

First, we have a new Raid Attendance management system. Take some time to read about what it means and how we track your attendance for Raider status.

I wrote up an in-depth look into Warcraft Logs for DPS (though I suggest tanks and healers reading it, too!). This will help you determine the proper talents, trinkets, and rotation to increase your output.

We’ve updated the Raiding Rules and Regulations so please take a look.

Finally, we have a few Website Changes that include a new Raiding sub-menu to make the raid-related pages easier to navigate, and added a Roster to show off our illustrious Raiding Team. I will be tweaking these two features for the next several days to improve their use.

Made 2 changes to the website today – one functional, one fashionable.

First, I’ve added a new submenu to all Raid-related pages. The raiding homepage, NEW Raid Team page, Raiding Rules & Regulations page, and the Raid Attendance page are all easily accessed from one-another. When you’re on a non-raid page, the submenu disappears to conserve space.

Second, and more exciting, I’ve added a Roster page. This page has a small badge for each Raid Lead, Raider, and their Alts. Raid Leads have red backgrounds (just like in Discord), Raiders have orange background (like in-game and in Discord), and alts have grey backgrounds.

Different classes have matching color names, avatar border, and ilvl text. Clicking on a character’s image will bring up a full view of their transmog in their class hall. Clicking their name will bring you to their WoW Armory page. Hovering over the items will show you their name, stats, etc.

Now, our Raiders have an extra incentive to maintain their status – and up-and-comers have an extra incentive to keep coming.

(Note: This page may load slowly from time to time as a result of API calls to Blizzard servers. This is normal.)

Over the weekend I updated Uro’s transmog on the About the Ministry of Defense page, and added Telanlan and Foxxiê. They now have access to the site to post content of their own.

I continue to try to push out quality of life changes and add new, useful, and fun features to the website for the guild. If you have an idea or a suggestion, fill out the Feedback form and let me know! Is something broken? Submit a Bug Report!

We took some time to tidy up, clarify, and trim down (yes, trim down) the Raiding Rules & Regulations page. We’ve also added a new section on Master Loot for Tier Bosses and made mention of new website features.

Make sure you read over the rules. The heart of the rules remains the same, but it’s always worth going back and making small changes to the verbiage over time.

Just to get everyone up to speed, Tiv was promoted to one of the Raid Leaders tonight. He joins Zextol/Ryzin, Quetzie, and Telanlan as the raid leader team. If you have any questions or concerns regarding raiding, please contact them. This includes questions about how you could perform better, questions about raid add-ons, questions about getting started with raiding… anything regarding raiding in general.

Also, congrats goes out to Lunzzul who was promoted to raider status as well this evening.

Most of the time when we raid, someone ends up running a Warcraft Log (WCL) for us. We’ll paste the link in the #raiding-logs channel and discord, people will glance at their parse number, and move on. But WCL is an amazing tool that can help boost your damage and survivability, if you spend the time to dig around in it. Today I’ll dig into how read the charts to improve your DPS. For Healers and Tanks, you’ll want to pay attention to Method 1 to see how your talents and trinkets stack up with others. Otherwise, feel free to take a nap during today’s class.

Warcraft Logs Basics

When you open up a WCL report, you’ll see something sort of like this. You can click on any fight’s name to see the statistics for it. Let’s investigate Imonar, since he’s a relatively straightforward fight, and is not an easy fight to cheese to pad numbers (we’ll get into how some WCL reports can be misleading later). Click on the Damage Done tab, and scroll down.

Perf% refers to your performance compared to all characters of your class, regardless of ilvl. iLvl% shows how you perform in comparison to those in your ilvl bracket (usually 2-3 ilvls, so 960-962 for example). If your number is orange (95%+), you’re in perfect shape. If you’re purple (75%+), you’re in very good shape. Blue (50%+) is above average. Green (25%-50%) is below average, and grey (<25%) is substandard. Ideally we want people to be purple and up.

How to read your own numbers

Sometimes, looking at the numbers can be frustrating, because you’re not sure what you’re doing wrong or what you can compare it to – doing lots of damage and having grey or green parses can be especially frustrating. Let’s take a look at one of our raiders and see if we can figure out a way to maximize their output (keep in mind, I don’t play any class but druid, so my advice is best taken with a grain of salt into the specifics – but the general info will still be on-point). Let’s tease Lineda today – she gets enough loot drops in a night that it seems only fair 🙂 Click on her name.

Clicking on Lineda’s name will show a graph of HER damage specifically, as well as all her ability casts and procs beneath it. You can see the number of times an ability is cast, the average damage it’s done, crit percent, etc. Her top 3 abilities are Chaos Strike at 20% of her damage, Annihilation at 14% of her damage, and Death Sweep at 11%.

Click on the Summary tab and we’ll get a more in-depth look at Lineda during that fight. Scroll down and we can see her chosen talents and items, stats, and more. There’s other information available as well, but this is what we’ll be focusing on.

OK, so we’ve got all this information on Lineda. But how do we know what can be improved upon?

Easy. We compare it to other Demon Hunters at her level!

Comparing Your Numbers: Method 1

Click the menu button in the upper left. Make sure Antorus, the Burning Throne is selected…look for Imonar, and – opening in a new tab – select the “rankings” button.

Next, make sure you select the proper statistics for other rankings. We want the Heroic boss, for Havoc Demon Hunters, at her ilvl.

The first thing you’ll notice is the top talents, trinkets, and the #1 legendary used by people at this level. That’s good information to keep note of. You’ll want to remember it!

Since we can’t read Korean, and are Horde (LOK’TAR OGAR NO LAME ALLY PARSES ALLOWED), let’s look at Uorokku’s WCL information. He did 2 million DPS – almost twice as much as Lineda. We can see what he’s got for talents and trinkets to the right, but let’s look more closely. Just like before, select his name, and make sure you’re in the Summary tab.

Right off the bat, we can see what the two have in common, and what’s different. Look down at the items. They both have 4-set, so that’s can’t be the discrepancy cause. They both have the same trinkets and the same legendaries. Looks like Linea is doing a lot right so far!

Taking a loot at talents, though, you can see that the first 3 talents are different. Some talents are very dependent on playstyle (for example, as a Druid I take Renewal, even though most people suggest Displacer Beast), where others can change your rotation or strongest abilities. I don’t know Demon Hunters. But seeing a discrepancy like this, you can ask yourself: Is this a defensive talent change? An offensive talent change? Am I hurting my DPS by taking something different in this talent tier? Consider how even a movement ability (like Displacer Beast for druids) might help your DPS by creating less downtime.

Right, let’s see what his Damage Done graph looks like.

Wow, that’s very different! Lineda’s top 3 abilities were Chaos Strike at 20% of her damage, Annihilation at 14% of her damage, and Death Sweep at 11%. Uorokku’s Annihilation is 47% of his damage – 3 times as much damage as his next ability, Chaos Strike. Finally, his third damaging ability is Eye Beam, at 10% of his damage. Lineda cast Annihilation 36 times, whereas Uorokku cast it 118 times.

Generally when something like this happens, it means that your rotation is off. On this fight, Lineda might be best off prioritizing Annihilation as a spender. “But how do I know when I should be casting it? What do I need to change up?”

On the top right-hand side of a WCL report, you’ll see “Tables” “Timelines” “Events” and “Queries”. Click Timelines, and scroll down.

You can see his whole rotation throughout the entire fight! You can then compare it to your own, and see what you’re doing wrong. Maybe you’re using the wrong spender or builder? (Spenders use resource; builders add resource.)

Now, this was all for damage. You can also compare buffs and damage taken this way, but I won’t be getting into that today.

Comparing Your Numbers: Method 2

There’s also another way to compare your numbers. It requires a little less work, and comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

In the top-right hand corner of a WCL report, you will see a “Compare” option. At the bottom, You can search for “similar” parses. You can decide whether you want them to match the raid size, ilvl, fight length, and more.

This will bring up a whole list of parses, and tell you how much of a match they are to your own parse. You can then click on one of these…

…and, in spite of the language barrier, see about the same results: Annihilation should be cast more frequently. You can dive into this view a lot more as well, but I won’t be covering that as much – it’s very similar to the previous method discussed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Method of Comparison

Comparing yourself to the top overall parser (method 1) isn’t always a good thing. Some parses are easy to cheese. For example, top parses on Hounds and Coven often stack the bosses together to get insane cleave damage. But that’s not exactly useful information for us. So, you’ll want to compare yourself to parses who aren’t doing that – and generally, Method 2 won’t have that issue.

Method 2 has problems where there’s going to be more people who have crappier trinkets, substandard legendaries, and missing 2 or 4 set bonuses. As a result, they may have totally differnt rotations or goals, depending on what your BIS legendaries, trinkets, and 2/4 set bonuses are. They get matched with you because of fight duration, raid size, etc. But it’s good for easily looking at stats to make sure you’re on the right track.

You’ll want to look at the best of the best to see what you should be aiming for in regards to gear fairly often. What are the best legendaries? What are the best trinkets? What talents are the most popular? (Just again, be on the lookout for cheesy suggestions)

Check Yourself or Wreck Yourself

Every fight is different. AoE fights, heavy movement fights, single target fights…they will all require different trinkets, talents, and legendaries. Just because you have perfect gear for Imonar doesn’t mean your setup is perfect for High Command! Check yourself on each fight to see what you can improve. Learn from the best your class has to offer. Join class discords and read their FAQs and resources. There’s a ton of resources available out there. You don’t have to do all the work figuring it out yourself. Be lazy, but be resourceful 🙂

Take it Easy

Chances are, you might have to change up your rotation, talents, or on-use items if you want to be putting out more damage. It’s going to take a while to get used to these changes. Don’t sweat it. Nobody is perfect. Spend some time practicing on dummies in your order halls. If there’s another member of your class & spec in the raids, tag-team with them to share resources and practice skills together.

And as always, I’m happy to help anyone with questions on WCL, how to analyze, and more.

What’s next?

First, I’ve added a new post category on the website: Player Performance. I’ll be adding posts to this category like this lesson and the Potions of Prolonged Power analysis. If you don’t want to follow all the Raid posts or the Announcements, you can still keep an eye on this category for gameplay advice!

Tiv (Foxxie) and I discussed how many in the Discord are using Raidbots, but don’t have up to date crucible information. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts about improving the accuracy of your Raidbots sims, and how to use Pawn strings to figure out stat weights!

I will eventually take the time to dig into Buffs in warcraft logs…but those are a bigger pain in the tail-feathers to read and organize, so that’s for another day. We’ll call that a “201” lesson.

Want to contribute? We’re always looking for it! Not only is there a Member Content page, but I’d love to have other kinds of analysis and information for guild members to enjoy on the site. Get in touch!

Apologies to Lineda for singling her out without her knowledge or consent. Big fluffy feather hugs!

Credit for amazingly cute Boomkin artwork to Divine Tofu

Just a reminder about some upcoming events you should sign up for on the in-game WoW calendar:

Tiv’s Weekly Mythic Keys: Friday at 3pm server

Sunday Funday with Bulborbish: Sunday at 3pm server

Heroic Tomb of Sargeras Clear with Symderella: this Thursday at 5pm server

As always, Raids continue to operate on Monday/Wednesday at 4pm server and Saturday at 2pm server!

(Author note: This post and the page this post discusses are best viewed on desktop rather than mobile due to the size of the content)

In light of some recent changes and to keep our Raiders better informed, I’ve taken all of the attendance information from May and June and added it to a Raid Attendance page. You can access this right from the Raiding homepage, under the basic rules and to the right of the raid times. This new system has a few bells and whistles, so let’s dive in and see what you can do!

Basic Interface

Attendance

At the top of the page you can select when you would like to see the attendance records. By default, it begins with the start of the raid tier through the present day. The percentage number next to each characters name denotes that person’s overall attendance through the selected date range. Currently, all attendance is logged under one character, rather than per character / per alt. For example, Zextol and Ryzin are logged under Ryzin.

Raid Loot

Beneath the attendance information is a log of all loot received in the current raid tier for all characters, including alts. You can hover over each item to see a Wowhead-esque tooltip. We are unlikely to make much use of this, but it can be useful for tracking what was acquired on a specific raid night, as well as what has been acquired on non-raid nights by members who attend PUGs or LFRs. On a side note, this tracks the final owner of all trades, rather than simply who the item was dropped for.

Player Breakdown

Click on a character’s name in the top of the page to see a more detailed Player Breakdown of attendance. Let’s take a look at our resident Moose Man!

Attendance Stats

On the left you’ll see an up-to-date icon, followed by your attendance stats. These stats are incredibly useful to see at a glance. Remember: 2 weeks of absences is an instant demotion from Raider rank. You need to maintain 66% attendance over a 1-month period to retain Raider status.

Each line in the graph represents a different statistic. The blue line goes to points of your attendance for that raid night. If you were present, you’ll be at the 100 line. If you were absent, you’ll be at 0. If you arrived late or left early, you’ll be at the 50% mark. (Side note: some people who are never absent but sometimes show up late or leave early may have a graph that starts at 40 instead of 0. Be sure to read the left side if you think your graph is incorrect.)

The red line represents your average attendance percentage. This is useful for both you and for Raid Leads to see who has been making progress with their attendance, and see who has been slipping. A person who use to come sporadically but has recently been coming to every raid will have a fast rising red line, while a person who stops showing up will have the opposite effect.

The yellow line represents the raid average for a given raid night. You can see how you compare to the rest of the raiders.

You can hover over each of the lines in the graph to see small dots where attendance has been logged.

Attendance Entries

Beneath the graph you’ll see your attendance date entries. 1.00 means you attended; .50 means you were late or early; 0.00 denotes an absence.

Presently, there’s also a “Dispute” button. I don’t have that option implemented (yet?). It would allow someone to dispute their attendance record for the night, in case I made an error in their entry. At the moment, if you believe that you have an incorrect entry, you should submit a bug report and let me know the date you believe was incorrect. It would help if you had a link to something like this Warcraftlogs calendar to back you up as well. If there is enough interest in implementing a dispute function I will spend the time to do so.

Caveats

I’ve copied over all information from May and June. Attendance records before May are neither counted for nor against you. I am currently not going to mark a person as “absent” until they show up for their first heroic raid (people gearing up on alt nights should not be penalized for not coming to heroic nights twice a week).

For some reason, all dates show as a day after the fact (6/6 shows up as 6/7). Not a big deal, but puzzling. Don’t get hung up over this too much.

If you believe that I have missed logging an alt to your name (it isn’t showing in the loot tables, or I’ve missed your attendance on those days), then you can either submit a bug report on the website, or message me in Discord with that information.

And just in case it wasn’t clear, you do not have to do anything to log your attendance. That is on us (: