Guild Interview: Bannox

With the launch of the latest World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm, War Machine was also proud to announce that we welcomed Bannox; our newest ‘Warlord’ (Guild Officer) who will be fulfilling the role of Recruitment Officer.

Bannox has been a welcomed asset to the guild since joining. He has been filling the role of Tank on our regular raid nights as well as helping new and old members of the guild with quests as we level alts, dungeon runs as well as the regular chat on guild channel and Vent.

I decided to ask Bannox a few questions so that we can all get to know a little bit more about who he is and what his thoughts are.

Tell us about yourself.

I live in Auckland, New Zealand with my wife and 17 month old daughter, who aside from bashing her pudgy little fists on my keyboard, has not really experienced wow yet. I currently work as an analyst for an insurance company… as Nev says, they pay me to research boss fights. Thanks team!

How long have you been playing WoW and what got you started?

I started playing WoW with a friend in vanilla. He brought the game to my attention and we agreed to quest/level together. Unfortunately neither one of us were available to play at the same time often enough and we quickly lost interest (my character then was an Orc Warlock at the time).

I left WoW for a while until another friend and I got talking about RPGs. I mentioned WoW; he got interested, and we decided to roll a couple of Night Elves and level together. To be honest, those were some of the best times I had playing. Neither of us had any idea what we were doing. I still have that character, he’s a night elf hunter who’s level 43 and hasn’t been touched in so long I can’t actually remember where I parked him.

My friend still plays and obviously so do I.

How many characters do you have and what class? What roles do you prefer to play and why?

Mains:

Paladin – 85 (Bannox)
Mage – 80 (Dyna)

Random Alts:

Shammy – 44
Hunter – 43
Priest – 20
Warrior – 1 (Bank alt)

I have a couple of random ones that I have for rolled for one reason or another – the latest being a troll rogue for the purpose of being shot for thanksgiving 🙂

My favourite role is most likely tank. I love the pressure you are put under in that role and there is nothing like standing in front of a raid boss taking the hits with a team of 9 – 24 behind you all focused on the same goal… to bring him down. I intend to have Bannox offspecced as a healer also. I really want to give that a try (at least until it’s obvious I can’t do it :))

What do you think of the new expansion Cataclysm so far?

I think Blizzard has done an awesome job with the expansion. I believe that a couple of the earlier levels are a little too quick but for the most part the new zones are exciting and engaging and the cutscenes really help to immerse you in the game. On a technical note, the launch was about as flawless as you could expect from servers trying to cope with that many players logging in at once – Thumbs up Nerds!  Also, the dungeons, how much fun are they now! Really challenging and no longer a face rolling chain-pull.

What brought you to War Machine over other guilds? How long have you been a member?

I heard Jay was here… 🙂

Actually here is the post from my application on the 23rd July 2010

‘What brought me to War Machine was Cheesburglar’s post on trade. I had been looking for a guild to join that afforded the opportunity to move forward in a fun and friendly environment. Whilst I really enjoy my current guild we are few and our members are more on the casual side than end game content focused. Having said that my ultimate goal is to have fun playing WoW with a group of people that are like minded (and in some cases tolerant depending on learning curves )I am simply looking to stretch my legs with a group of people that can have a laugh. Another reason War Machine stood out was the raiding times. Since I have responsibilities during some of the weekdays your roster suits perfectly.’

I would say that War Machine met my expectations completely. What an awesome group of people we have. (except Xeek… rubbish)

Why do you think you will be a good recruitment officer? What can you bring to the role?

Was I supposed to be a good one? Raks never mentioned anything about that!

Firstly, I think I have a pretty clear understanding of the Guild tenets and in general what a players experience will be once joining so it is easy to see who will naturally fit and not.

Secondly, I’ve done a bit of recruiting in a professional capacity so I’m relatively comfortable in an interview environment.

And lastly, I understand very clearly how one bad apple can spoil the proverbial. Since I am having so much fun here I tend to guard War Machine’s mix of people jealously.

What are you looking for in potential recruits?

Someone who is friendly, fun, likes to put others fun on par with their own, wants to get involved, and are in general… nice peoples….

Really it’s just a personality that fits. As you all know War Machine caters to whatever level of game play you are looking for be it levelling alts, end game raiding, or AH trawling so the interview process is getting to know a person, not really the player. Having said that it’s a pretty narrow gap a person need to get through. The general policy is similar to a quote from the movie Ronin: “When there is doubt there is no doubt”. There’s really no reason to gamble the fun of 30-40 odd players on one person applying if you are not 100% sure they will fit. I think the WM recruitment process has done a brilliant job getting the right people in, so it’s really about making sure we don’t waste that work.

What do you see as a member’s role within the guild?

Pretty much everything that’s said in the recruitment FAQs. Mostly people should try to help others whenever they can and get involved in events when they come up. It’s really up to the person asking for help to decide, “Can I do this myself, or is this something I really need help with?” to ensure we don’t get the needy label (not the achievement Dak – I know you already have it). That’s not to say you shouldn’t have your own time. Everyone should be able to head off and do their own thing whenever they feel like. I also believe the policy of inclusion, not exclusion, this something that War Machine should never ever lose.

Where do you see the guild going in the future? How can we achieve this?

As a whole? I see the guild growing in size, but not too big that it makes things less personal. I would love to see some regular 25 mans maybe every other week, but other than that though I guess it’s up to the players as a whole where they see War Machine progressing. It’s important to remember that a personal preference for game play is never guild policy e.g. I love raiding, that’s what I want to do all day long, but I would never refer to War Machine as a hardcore raiding guild because as a whole it is not. There are a number of people really enjoy raiding like I do but that doesn’t mean everyone in the guild has to follow that same path simply because War Machine raided end game on the last patch. Do what you are going to have fun doing, just do it with WM 🙂

What do you enjoying seeing happen within the guild?

There are a number of things I enjoy seeing (in no particular order)

  1. Members helping other members, when someone needs a hand with something 10 hands fly up for support.
  2. Downing hard bosses for the first time and the supportive reactions from the guild. That is a awesome feeling when you’re in there too… one more for the Machine!
  3. The sharing that goes on.
  4. People off doing their own thing but logging on to vent to talk crap and generally hang out. Man, there have been some crazy discussions there.

What are your recommendations to members of the guild when looking at raiding and getting to know their class and character?

This is a big one and it depends on what level you are looking to take your raiding to but let’s start with the fundamentals:

READ/WATCH THE FIGHTS… I cannot stress this enough. Often the most benefit you will get from a video or a document is after you have already run the raid and can be very specific about watching how they handled a particular mechanic that was tripping your team up. If you are doing a raid that has already been cleared though you should still have researched the fight so when the raid leader is explaining it you know exactly what he/she is talking about without needing to see it for yourself. Also, be specific… if you are a DPS class then learn your role, make sure if you are dual specced you learn both roles e.g. healers to know when the spike damage will come, tanks to know when to switch, etc…

Visit  www.tankspot .com – very good site for learning new content.

LEARN YOUR CLASS… This is a given but levelling a character does not mean knowing how to raid with one. There are often a lot of spells as with specs that won’t work well for levelling but are a must for raiding, especially the group beneficial spells. An example would be Hand of Salvation for Paladins (reduces the threat generated by a target by 2% each second for 10 seconds). I cannot see a time that would be useful to cast for soloing but for raiding, and those that have raided with Treeline before will know this to be true, is a must to maximise DPS or to keep a healer from pulling healer aggro during a specific phase of a fight and maybe tank switching. My suggestion here is to look online at forums and use suggestions but never take one thing as gospel. Also, if you are raiding with someone of the same class doing the same role but you are performing slightly lower then find out why. Look them up on www.wowarmory.com and compare your gears, if it’s not that then look at enchants/gems, if you are still comparable have a talk to the person and try and find out what it is they do different. It might be something as simple as managing cooldowns a different way or using a slightly modified rotation. Don’t beat yourself up about it if you are still lower, sometimes knowing where to stand for maximising caster DPS or surviving through some serious incoming damage is a matter of experience and will come with time. Also, if it is available for Cata, use RAWR. It’s awesome for getting the best out of your character.

BE READY… set aside some time before the raid to go over your character and make sure you have everything you need. It’s not a 5 man normal pug that you can just rock into with full bags and half a stack of buff food. Also, bring anything you can for the raid to use like Feasts of one type or another and spare flasks (although if everyone is taking this advice then you shouldn’t need to). Also remember to bring the necessary stuff for your secondary spec if you have one. You might think there is no way on earth you will be called upon to switch roles but it is totally possible depending on the needs of the raid, so be ready… of course in this case I should really take some of my own advice :). Having said that, if you are running an alt/learning run you will most likely get to do the role you want to do and nothing more.

MAX YOUR PROFESSIONS… this might not seem so important, and believe me I have been lazy with my own, but each profession has valuable buffs to you or even your whole raid. What is the point of having something as useful as a mobile repair bot for the raid if you can’t use it because you were too lazy to level engineering (oops :))

FIX YOUR UI AND KEEP IT UP TO DATE… sometimes this is unavoidable, especially if you are pulled into a raid at the last minute, but on the whole make sure your UI suits you and is all working. The key addons for raiding are DBM (for boss mechanics) and OMEN/SKADA (for threat management). In theory these are all you really need to raid with but in the end you will probably have dozen that you use.

I use the following addons:

  • Vuhdo – Raid Frames – For click casting things like Lay on Hands, Righteous Defense, Cleanse, Decurse, etc… (use something like this a lot if you choose to have raid frames so it becomes second nature)
  • Bartender – Button Mod – I like to clear away the rubbish and have only the most important buttons right where I need them
  • Pitbull – Unit Frames – The functionality for moving around and setting up specific views on your target/self/focus is awesome. I recommend this but there are heaps out there to choose from
  • SBF (Satrina Buff Frames) – At the moment this is a little crap because of the patch but it helps to move your debuffs down right next to your character so you can easily see when your stack of Magical Buffet gets too high :). You could use move anything to achieve the same effect probably but I haven’t tried that yet.
  • ClassTimer – Just helps to keep track of procs, especially good if you’re a fire mage or something that requires dot management – there are heaps of others out there also so use whatever if comfortable.

There are a bunch of others I use too but to be honest most of it is just cleaning up the screen and making sure I have a clear view of what is going on in game. That is very important for raiding.

To add to the above a note on more progression focused raiding:

BE PREPARED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS… Turn on your combat log so you can see how you died and decide if there was a way to avoid it. Be ready for suggestions and feedback. Expect that if your gear is a little lower and you are in a key role like healing or tanking that you may be switched to DPS – don’t take it personally, if a raid leader decides you can’t take the hits it’s for the greater good. Use your downtime between now and the next raid to fix the problem. Research to the point that you know every mechanic of a fight, and put your hand up to deal with things like stunning mobs, but don’t be offended if you are not chosen to do so.

LISTEN TO THE RAID LEADER… Although there are some times when an explanation is just for those that have not been there… listen anyway, there may be something new (especially if there are new classes in the run). Also, if you have an idea on how better to pull a mob of trash or pull a boss and the raid leader has already laid out the plan they would like to run with, just do what they say first. If it doesn’t work, or even if it does, add your two cents in while running back in or on. Once a RL starts to lay out the plan feel free to add concerns if something has been missed, but wait till the end. What will confuse a raid more than anything is too many chiefs not enough Indians. For experienced raiders there will likely be a few members in the team that have raid led before but if it’s not you that night then sit back, relax, focus on your role, add your two cents when required, and let someone else take the responsibility of getting you all through the next boss 🙂

ADMIT WHEN YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE. Many times it is an easy solution like “I can’t heal through that, could I get someone to stun that mob when he enrages please?” To my knowledge no one from War Machine has ever been kicked from a War Machine raid and we all do our best to make sure everyone gets to the max level of skill they can. There is no reason to fear losing your spot but if you notice there is something you are not handling well don’t be afraid to say “I can’t do this bit, are there alternatives?” Even the best raiders have weaknesses in their play style and a raid should be able to adjust for that.

COMPLAINTS… go to the raid leader. Sometimes they won’t do anything about it for a number of reasons, either they don’t agree, it’s not a concern for the immediate fight, do agree but not the right time, or there is generally nothing that can be done till the down time. Also, if there are some complaints about the raid leader that you don’t feel comfortable saying to the raid leader directly then let an officer know immediately after the raid, even if you need to do this by mail. Things can get tense when we are wiping over and over again so sift through what happened and be sure it’s not just frustration that is coming through rather than a real concern. Never ever rage on someone over Vent or in raid chat. A comment like “Please move out of the green stuff” is important to say during the combat if needed but if it’s you they are talking about don’t take offense. Sometimes it can come across as a yell when the s#@$ is hitting the fan and people are getting excited but again it is for the greater good and your healers’ mana that you move. However, something like “Dak you tool… every time a slime pool spawns you’re swimming in it!” is neither helpful nor constructive… notice I didn’t say inaccurate? 🙂

Aside from all the above… HAVE FUN! Remember raiding is one part of WOW but not the be all and end all.

Do you have any other comments you wish to add?

No, except… GET OUT OF MY SPOT!

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