July 7, 2010

While the Rats are gone, Hawk and Lor live on in different forms. For new “stuff” about their return to WoW, direct your browsers to:


We’ll see you there!

– Hawk


Adios, amigos.

November 24, 2009

Well, the Rats have spoken. The move is on to bigger and better and more raid-like things. Lor and I have removed ourselves from leadership, and left you in the capable hands of Bright and the rest of the leadership team. Lor will be remaining in the Rats,  Hawk will be heading out to new horizons. Thanks for the last 2.5 years, and we wish you all the best as you move into Raid Guild Land.  Enjoy the experience!



Hawkwind and Loralia

To Raid, Or Not To Raid…

November 23, 2009

We’ve run a couple raids. We’ve had a little success. We’ve brought in a whole bunch of really good people, so we decide to hold our breath and make the plunge from “casual guild to “casual raiding guild”…

And, all of the sudden, we’ve got more issues than Cher has surgeries.

What is it about Raiding that creates such strong, polarizing opinions? To some, it is of no interest. To others it is a facet of the end game, no more and no less. And to a certain contingent, it IS the game – everything else is just the slog that must be endured until you get to the stuff that matters.

Well, we’ve dicovered that final contingent within our ranks. In spades. And our attempts to incorporate raiding into a part of the Rats’ normal existence is suddenly being questioned from all sides – and not from those who wish we hadn’t done it. Oh, no. The questions all around us are about whether or not we are doing this “right”.

We have questions about attendance. About content. About which add-ons are “required”. About A-Teams/B-Teams/Z-Teams. About how long we can wait until we can replace someone who doesn’t show up on time. About how many times someone can cause a wipe before they can be replaced. About minimum gear levels before an individual can be “allowed” into certain instances and raid groups.

In short, a WHOLE bunch of questions about how to differentiate the Rats “haves” from the Rats “have nots”. A very active and vocal group of people wanting to know how they can set themselves apart from the rest of the guild.

“Ah”, but these people answer, “It is about performance. Your performance must be EXACT, or your raid will not be successful. These fights require precision. And timing. And perfection.”

See, I used to spend a lot of time at a place that had these requirements. It was called WORK. I don’t WoW to WORK. I spend time with the Rats because there is a big group of people here who I enjoy talking with, spending time with, hitting new milestones in the game with. The descriptions I am getting of these Raid expectations is not of a group of people enjoying each other.  It is of a project team working to beat a deadline. I’ve run project teams several times. It isn’t by any stretch of the imagination what I would call “fun”.

So, here is your opportunity. Convince me I am wrong. Show me how we, as a guild, are going to benefit from a subset of our guild getting to tell everyone else why they don’t belong in YOUR raid. ‘Cause, currently, I am finding nothing at all attractive about this aspect of the game that seems to mean so much to some of you.


– Hawkwind

Our monthly Officer’s meeting has created some new developments, further shaping our guild’s progress into RaidLand! We have decided to embrace a more structured approach to our raiding, and starting as of today, the following changes have gone into effect:

1. We will now be running 3 “raid nights” each week. One of these will be a Progression Raid, in which we continue to move forward through our current raid-of-choice, attempting to clear each one as we progress forward. Our current active Progression Raid is Ulduar, and we will probably open the guild doors to Onyxia before real long. Our second night per week will be a “farm” raid, wherein we take the lesser trained and equipped members through raids we know well in order to get them experience and gear. Our final raid night per week will be an “open” night, which will vary between what needs we have and what troops are available.

2. Our official guild raids will be led by one of three official raid leaders: Teufelhunden, Paxten or Urfeck.  A guild sanctioned raid must be led by one of these 3, no exceptions. We have been suffering from “too many chefs” syndrome, and all decisions made pertaining to a specific raid will be finalized by the raid leader.

3. We have yet to determine which 3 nights of the week will be set aside for raiding. This is everyone’s opportunity to tell us which nights work better.  Get a vote in now, or forever deal with the consequences of a regular raid scheduled over the top of Monday Night Football/Grey’s Anatomy/Etc.

4. Raids will begin at 730 pm ST on week nights and end approximately 3 hours later. During the weekends raids will probably last up to 4 hours depending on which nights/days we choose as a guild.  At 7 pm ST raid leaders and officers and GM will meet to hammer out details of that particular raid (loot master and such).

5.  Because we have so many 80s available to us and because we all like to start on time, if you are 10 minutes late then your spot will be given up to somebody else in the guild.  If however nobody else is available then we will pug the spot. No more than 3 spots will be pugged.  If more than 3 spots have to be pugged the raid will be canceled.  And it will be all your fault….boo hiss boo hiss

I hope that this will get most of us on the same page.  We’re developing well as a guild, the progress has just been amazing.  So please comment and list your 3 night preference.



PS – we are looking into a new website that will hopefully allow us all to contribute and be much more powerful than what we are using now.  Stay tuned for more details to come!


November 12, 2009

Last night the Rats finally did it.  We finally killed the beast in the belly.  Long having been the death and completion of all the wings, but never have the Saffron herb dragon been killed with all Rats.  Congratulations to us all. And then we went on to kill KT ~ with only 3 wipes…but still getting it done!  *sniff sniff* I’m so proud of us.  *sniff*


I must say the throne was rather comfortable.  I think I should keep it as my personal seat and all Rats must now bow to me!  Mwahahaha….erm umm.  Ok, maybe not.  But still a good time.  We’re getting better all the time. And everytime it will get easier.  Thanks to everybody!

On her high horse,


As all good vacations end, so did ours.  And it did on a high note with getting to meet the Colorado Mafia as we like to call them.  We all gathered in a bright and shiny place with burgers and Long Island Ice Teas galore.  I’m sure that waitress in Red Robin will never be the same.  Especially after sharing a rather crude and obnoxious joke with us, but we couldn’t blame her, as we were all rather crude ourselves.  (All except for Amanda of course!)   So if you’ve ever wondered what we all look like:  Here it is: 

Disney Trip 2009 098

Majan, Loralia, Hawkwind, Brightarc, Amanda, and Bojengle

Now I ask, who would pass up the oppurtunity to play with a group like this?  Huh?  Huh?

Not I, said the Rat.  Not I. 

Now it’s time to get to work.  Back from vacation is always the worst.  *sigh*  but I’m glad I went and I’m glad to be home.  I missed every single one of you!

Misty Eyed,


So, in a last minute orgy of destruction before Lor and I run off to visit Mickey and Minnie, we decided to head in Ulduar one more time with all our shiny new gear and guild members and see how we did. The results were awesome. Without a single hesitation OR a single death, we were able to wreak havoc on Flame Leviathan handily:

Flame Leviathan Down


Emboldened by our quick success, we charged forward into the instance to engage the previously undefeated Deconstructor! We cleared trash. We formulated a plan! We charged into battle!

We got our asses kicked.

Undismayed, we attempted the fight again. Once more into the fray!

We got our heads handed to us.

Puzzled, we tried a very complicated strategy involving pulling to one side, aligning ourselves under various constellations, placing ourselves at preceise distances from one another.

And died just about instantly for our troubles.

So, we went back in determined to go back to plan “A”. We moved forward, and were rewarded with the immediate death of our main tank (Me!!) and 3 out of 5 of our DPS. Then something interesting happened: Bo stepped in to the tanking role, our healers changed emphasis, and I will be darned if we didn’t get the dude down to about 30%! After some discouraging commentary about all we needed to succeed was no DPS, we headed back in with our new understanding of healer focus and placement around that demonic giant pinocchio-voiced robot. Here were the final results:

XT002 Down

Just goes to show that there is nothing the Rats can’t do if we stick together and keep tweaking our strats!! Now, we did stick two half-hearted attempts at Razorscale into our closing raid window and were rebuffed, but we now know that the door deeper into Ulduar is open!! Now we just gotta come up with a viable strategy for that Ignis dude…


– Hawkwind

So, the questions keep on a-comin. “Hawk, how do I rokzorrz my class”? “Hawk, how do I defeat a DK in equal combat?” “Hawk, which add-ons are you using”?

The answers are “I don’t know” and “You don’t” for the first two. But here is a semi-short list for the last question.

Short answer:  Omen. Every single Rat who wants to be running heroics and raids is pretty much required to have Omen up and running. Why? Short version – to keep you from pulling aggro off the tank and being turned into a pale, squishy substance. Longer version is that it allows you to plan ahead…try and keep enough DPS or Heals going to stay just behind the tank…max raid efficiency, yo.

Hawkwind’s OTHER recommended add-ons:

Pitbull: Or some other raid UI. Sit down with a cup of coffee/Red Bull/Beer/what have you and really study it for a couple hours. You will be amazed by the amount of info you can customize exactly to your liking. Get all the stuff you want, nothing you don’t want.

Recount: /sigh. For better or worse, everyone wants a DPS-O-Meter. The nice thing about Recount is that you can use it to analyze your own performance. Find out if new talents are working, check on spell rotations, figure out WHY on earth you keep pulling aggro. Great piece of DPS info. Also helpful for the “mine is bigger than yours” comparisons.

Deadly Boss Mods:  Get the info you need and get it now about what that mean and nasty raid boss is gonna do to ya. Pass the info on to the rest of the raid, if you are so inclined.

Titan Panel:  Add a bar at the bottom or top of your screen that will give you info on Gold/Hour, Exp/hour, Coordinates, Ammo, Repair status of your gear and lots more. One of the most helpful add-ons out there.

Auctioneer: But only if you want to make money. Seriously. If you ever sell anything on the AH, you need this add-on. After a week or so of gathering data you will cry in regret for all the money you could have made if you had been using this sooner.

Every single one of these apps came to me via a recommendation from someone. So, how about you Rats? What add-ons can you not live without?


– Hawkwind


84 guild members. When I logged off yesterday morning we were somewhere in the neighborhood of 70, thinking happy thoughts, pleased that we were making some Uld progress and that our numbers were slowly increasing. This morning, 84 peeps.

See what happens when you take a day off?

Seriously, a HUGE Rats welcome to all you new recruits! Give us a couple days to demonstrate our methods and modes of operation, and you will never want to be anywhere else 🙂 In light of the new influx of recruits we will be issuing some promotions over the weekend, so you should have easy access to your Cave Rat (Veteran) and Lemming (Officer) corps as the days go by. Let’s get this Ulduar thing in the bag and get prepared to head into Icecrown when it hits! It’s a great time to be a Rat!

All aboard the RIR train,

– Hawkwind

Ulduar continued

October 27, 2009

The fight for the front section of Uld carries on. We still have not managed to get Ignis down, despite hours and hours of video research…At the point where we came up with a viable solution, the instance re-popped 🙂 So much for progress. Ah, well. There is always tomorrow night.

As always, the Rats remain a shining bastion of the “Friends and Family” recruiting plan. We are joined this evening by Teufelhunden, a current Rat in other guise, and his buddies Letria, Meximelt, and Ragurok; all frequent guests on Rats PUGs and vice versa. Welcome aboard, guys – we’re sure you’ll adjust to being Rats in no time at all…

Is it tomorrow yet? I am SO ready to hand Ignis his head…


– Hawk


Vanishing Dragon

PS – Like the photo with the form of Razorscale evaporating in the background?? Thanks, Bojengle….