Evaluating Your Performance

Aily Post in Raiding

Warning: I am going to pick on Darklogix in this post.

DPS meters can be dangerous tools. Its hard to tell the ‘gotchas’ of a fight, so to speak sometimes. Getting targeted with a boss ability may sometimes mean you need to move and that resets your cast. However, they give a good barometer of where you should be.

What I would like to do is take all of the parses within a certain ILVL range of a specific fight with a similar raid comp, and plot the dps values for a given class spec, and consider anything outside 1.5σ as a defect.

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to that kind of data. But what I do have is our parses on warcraftlogs.com. Darklogix does the logging, so I’m going to pick on him.

I’m going to look at the Fallen Protectors fight. It has the least RNG of the fights we can cleanly log. It shows who is good at handling cleave also.

First, I want to warcraftlogs and looked up what fire mages do on protectors:



Oh good. Fire mages can do 951k dps on that fight! Lets see what Darklogix did:


Oh, he did 302k dps. We can assume from this that Darklogix is only doing about 30% of the DPS fire mages are capable of.

But that’s not fair. Flêks has an ilvl of 587 compared to Darklogix’s 577. Flêks is a Troll and has the berserking racial. He is also on a team that kills the entire fight in 3m 36s compared to our 7m 31s. That really changes the equasion a bit.

So to get more fair, I start scrolling down the ranks. What I’m looking for is a mage that’s close to ilvl 577, on a team that took about 7 and a half minutes to kill the fight.

Here we go:


Niios has a 576 ilvl, much closer to Darklogix 577. Niios’s team killed the fight in 7m 20s. Very close.

What isn’t so close, Niios did 408k to Darklogix’s 302k. 33% higher DPS. Orc racial vs Worgen Racial for fire mage, Worgen comes out ahead. It’s outside of the range of what I would consider a RNG issue. So now that we’ve found a more sane comparison, lets dig down into it and see what makes this thing tick.

If you click on the players name and bring up their damage list, I like to compare them side by side like this:


Click to embiggen to see what I’m looking at here.

First off, I can see that Niios’s raid uses hero up front, whereas we’ve been using it on the 2nd Sun phase. I’ve been considering moving it to the 2nd rook phase actually to minimize the impact from the barrels, but it means that Niios damage is higher partially due to being able to stack cooldowns right up front.

Second, I look at abilities. Niios and Darklogix both cast a similar amount of Pyroblasts. However, Niios is using Living Bomb, and Darklogix is using Nether tempest.

I’d like to state that both of them have decent uptime on bomb, it could be better, but looking around at other fire mages 85-90% is about what most are getting. However, even though Niios uptime on his bomb is lower, he is doing way more damage with living bomb than nether tempest is doing. This suggests that Darklogix should be switching to Living Bomb. In fact, that would give Darklogix over 12 million more damage over the duration of the fight.

Lets look at another ability. Combustion. Niios is WAY better at using Combustion than Darklogix. I know there is some RNG here, but it is 22 million damage vs. 4 million damage. 80% uptime vs 22% uptime.

Now I admit, I don’t play a fire mage, but that seems pretty glaring. There may be a valid reason for it, but these are just the things standing out to me.

If you add the 12 million gained by switching to living bomb to the 18 million gained by better usage of combustion, that’s 30 million damage, or about 67k dps. That gets Darklogix a lot closer to Niios’s numbers.

Now lets look at buffs by clicking the buff tab.

Right away I spot a difference: Darklogix is using Rune of Power instead of Invoker’s Energy.

I’ve looked around and all the top level Fire mages and they’re all using Invoker’s Energy. It gives you more mobility and allows a higher uptime. Despite that, he has a pretty good uptime on Rune of Power, but he’d be better off using Invoker’s Energy. Arcane Mages use Rune of Power because they need to stay at max mana as much as possible to take advantage of their mastery. Darklogix needed to recast rune of power 14 times over the fight, vs 7 casts during the fight to maintain 100% uptime on Invoker’s.

Another thing the buff screen tells me is that it wasn’t RNG that allowed Niios to cast Pyroblast more. In fact, Darklogix had 91 pyroblast procs and Niios only had 74. This reinforces that Darklogix needs to get better at using Pyroblast to raise his damage.

TLDR – In Summary

I picked on Darklogix here because I knew he could take it and he does have a lot of potential he’s leaving untapped. But I think that’s more or less true of just about everyone in this raid. I just wanted to give some insight as to how to look at logs and figure out what you can be doing to do more dps. Back when we were a 10m team it was possible for me to go through each raider’s log parses. But with a 25m team, 18ish dps per night, that’s a lot of logs to look at.

Check out your own logs and look around at similar people that are parsing higher than you to try and figure out what you can be doing differently. It may be as simple as switching from Nether Tempest to Living Bomb, or it could be playstyle. Whatever it is, lets do it!

Maximizing Raid Performance

Aily Post in Raiding


I have to admit, moving from 10 to 25 was a bit overwhelming at first. For me, it feels like in 10 man raiding everyone has such individual responsibility, but in 25 there’s so many people that that individualism gets a bit drowned out. If a dps dies in 25 it doesn’t feel like as big of a deal. We’ve lost ~6% of our DPS instead of ~16%.

However, the little things DO matter. Bringing your best to each and every pull is what separates top raid teams from those that struggle to finish the tier on Normal.

One of those little things we can do is pre-pot/pot. By that I mean, you use a potion to amp (amplify) your damage before the pull starts so that you can use a second potion later on in the fight. Even on fights we know we’re probably going to win, moving faster through the bosses gives us fewer chances for mistakes.

Iron Juggernaut last night was a great example, just a bit more damage we could have avoided the 2nd siege mode entirely. Even though we still won, it would have been better to avoid that last push.

Let’s do some math: I had Soylentgreen simulate his DPS using Simulationcraft with pre-potting and without. On a 5 minute fight, his simulated dps went from 387,797 to 396,820 (average). That’s a little under 9k. We’ll call it 8k damage to be conservative. Doesn’t sound like much, but let’s put that out to the entire raid. On average we run 2 tanks, 5 healers, 18 dps. If all 18 DPS go up by 8k each, that’s 144k dps. Almost an entire extra person on our team. Over the course of a 5 minute boss fight, that’s 43 million damage taken off the bosses health. How many wipes have we seen where the boss had less than a few million health to go?

That doesn’t even consider that at the front part of the fight we’re also stacking hero, trinket procs, etc. Frontend burst can really be a good source of damage, and adding in the extra bonus of using a pot later in the fight when it makes sense to help push through certain phases.

Many of you are already prepotting appropriately, but some haven’t been and I wanted to make sure we all understand that as a heroic raid team, we expect raiders will come prepared with enough pots to last the evening of pulls. I know it can get pricey but that’s the cost of being a heroic raider. Even on farm fights we need to be in the practice of doing our best… each and every pull. Farm pulls aren’t just for gear, they’re for practice and building muscle memory and perfecting our rotations.


P.S. We’re still recruiting talented experienced raiders!

Malkorok Heroic

Aily Post in Raiding

Here’s some inspiration for you all on this fight.

On dodging the orbs:

On getting to the pools:

Lets assume by choppa he meant void zones.

We’ll get it!

Back in the Saddle …

Aily Post in Uncategorized



I’m still here, Surgery went well. Progression starts again on Tuesday. Hope to see everyone ready to go and down some bosses!

The State of the Order

Aily Post in Guild News, Recruitment
Order of the State?

My fellow guildmates,

This week marks the 32nd week of the Siege of Orgrimmar. In 32 raid lockouts, the Ashen Order has faced many challenges. We started as a small 10 man group, then expanded to 11. We managed to quickly clear the instance, and push about 5 heroics before the holidays. Some of our former members, who we would like to think of as dear friends, left the raid for various reasons, but we made new friends and continued on.

On March 25th, after much preparation, the raid team expanded to 25, and a new phase for the Ashen Order was started. After only 5 raid lockouts, our team pressed far into Siege of Orgrimmar heroics, besting our previous high water mark, claiming 7/14H, Ranked #6 for 25 man teams on Whisperwind.

Not bad, for a late start.

However, there are many challenges in front of us. First of all, we still do not have a stable 25 man team. The current roster stands at 22. A few of those 22 cannot make every raid, not to mention incidental things that come up here and there. Our goal is to be 30 strong for the 25 team. So, we’re recruiting.

Since the inception of the Ashen Order, I have been pretty much solely responsible for recruiting. I welcomed this challenge, and enjoy meeting new people. Its hard to turn people down when they don’t meet the requirements, but its been encouraging the amount of people we have found that are a good fit for this style of guild.

I think however, now is the time to ask for help. I think it’s more difficult to recruit right now than ever before, because moving from 10 to 25 now was a good idea, and many other great guilds had the same idea and are currently converting. Lots of guilds looking. So its a tough gig.

Thankfully, Soylentgreen has stepped up and offered to help with recruiting. I welcome his help and also anyone else who can direct people to our website.

Another way we are gaining new raiders is by gearing up current members of the guild who want to raid with us but are not quite there yet. Last night, instead of pushing heroics, we were shorthanded. We decided to make good use of our time by inviting as many lower geared members as we could and clearing Normal bosses, funneling gear to our guildmates. Making the guild stronger.

The weeks ahead will have many more challenges. As many of you know, I am going to be out starting at around 5/9. I’m having surgery. I don’t know how long I’ll be out, but I expect I won’t be back raiding until about 2 weeks. I will however be accessible probably as soon as a few days out. I may even log in to play, but I don’t want to make a 3 hour commitment to sitting in a chair until I’m comfortable that it’ll be alright.

During my absence, Basher and Blersina (Brandon) are stepping up to lead the raids. They both have my cell phone number and can contact me if there’s any kind of emergency, but I expect everything will run smoothly.

The plan for the next two weeks is to clear the easy heroics, then flip to normal and get our new guildmates as much gear as possible. For the next two weeks, we will go back to a 2 day raiding schedule and just raid Tuesdays and Thursdays with the goal of clearing as much as possible by Thursday night. This will also allow people to honor their mothers on Sunday, May 11th (just a friendly reminder if you haven’t gotten her anything yet 😉 ).

I want to remind everyone that as raiders our goal is still to kill the next heroic boss on our progression table, but to get there, we need to get better top to bottom. We need to be able to farm the heroics we’ve killed, and to do that, we have to have a more solid roster.

I’m writing this blog post to let everyone know that this is still my goal. We’re still recruiting. We’re still building. Pardon our dust, because it can be a bumpy ride. But at the end of the day, I hope everyone is proud of what we’ve accomplished together. I know I am.

Thank you,


SoO Week 30 – Galakras Falls

Aily Post in Guild News, Raiding, Recruitment

Member Updates

Invited new raid members: Cyonn (DK)
Invited new members: Salacity, Poledra, Zhenwu
Left the Raid Team: Katrinka (Resto Druid)

It is with sadness that I announce that Katrinka is leaving our raid team, though with us a short time I feel she made a great contribution. The Ashen Order wishes her good luck with wherever she goes next.

Raid News

This week the team took a stab at Heroic Galakras, and killed it on the second pull!

Next week our targets are still Sha of Pride and Iron Juggernaut. If we have good success we may even try Shamans or Nazgrim.

PVP Team News

I have put up a poll in the general forum fishing for when a good time for a rated bg team would be. We have a lot of interest, its all about nailing down a time for it. Please visit the forum if you’re interested in running rated battlegrounds with the guild.

Recruitment News

This week we are still looking for ranged dps (non-hunter), and now a solid raid healer. Please send anyone who might be interested to the website.

In other recruiting news, due to the recent rapid growth in members of this guild The Ashen Order will no longer be accepting applications for non-raiding positions unless the applicant is friends with someone currently in the guild, until further notice. We need to slow our growth so that the existing members don’t feel overwhelmed with too many new names, and so that the new names get some stability as well. If you have any questions or concerns with this new policy, please let me know at aily@ashenorder.com.

SoO Week 29 – 3 down, 11 to go

Aily Post in Guild News, Raiding, Recruitment

Member Updates

Invited new raid member: Gnomelokz

Invited new members: Bubblestea, Aléssa

Left the Raid Team: Xak

Fairwyn has petitioned to switch from Hunter to Mistweaver monk for her main raiding char. Since we were looking for a full time mistweaver anyway and we had an abundance of hunters I approved this switch. She will still raid with the hunter for heroics for now until her Mistweaver is heroic ready (its close).

Raid News

The team dipped its toes into the heroic pool and managed to down not one, not two, but three heroic bosses our first week out as a heroic 25 team! It won’t be long before we catch up to where our 10 team left off, and from there, PROGRESSION.

This switch to 25 has gone smoother than I had anticipated and I deeply thank everyone for their efforts, its been a good move and will help this guild stabilize moving into WoD. Also, we are going to try our best to get a shot at Garrosh Heroic 25 before the next expansion hits. Stay Tuned!

PvP Team News

Our PvP team got a little boost from adding Bubblestea, a badass warlock who likes to execute fear chains expertly. However, we’re still trying to find a good time to put this, if you have any input please speak up in the forums so we can try to get a rated BG team on the ground.

SoO Week 28 – Putting it all together.

Aily Post in Guild News, Raiding, Recruitment

General News

Last week, we killed everything including Garrosh Hellscream as a 25 raid!!


Well, it was normal modes, lets not get too excited. Heroic will be hugworthy.

Member News
New Raid Members:

New Members:

Please welcome them aboard when you see them online!

The Members Page has been Updated! – Please check out the members page and let me know if there needs to be any corrections. If I’ve missed you I apologize, it may have been an editing issue or a flat out miss. I encourage everyone to send me any kind of flair or updates you might have to help new members to get to know you better. See Basher’s profile for example.

The Raid
After successfully navigating Siege of Orgrimmar with 25 members, we have set our sights on Heroic Siege. We’re now going to resume our old raid schedule, progression on Tuesday and Thursday and cleanup on Sunday. As a 25 team, we plan to take on the Siege bosses in order and not skip around heroics. First up, Immerseus. I hope to push as far as we can before we clear on Sunday.

We are still looking for a few more ranged DPS to round us out, but the heals/mDPS and tanking feel really solid.

On Recruiting: If you’ve applied and you haven’t heard back from me, please email me at aily@ashenorder.com. I’ve added everyone who has applied to my friends list but sometimes B-Net gets screwed up. I always follow up on every application, even if I don’t think it will be a good fit.

PVP Team
We’re still doing rated battlegrounds on Saturdays from 2-4. I’m feeling like this time isn’t a good time so I’m considering other times as we haven’t had a great turnout. Maybe Monday nights would be better? If you’re interested in doing organized PvP with the guild hop on into the forums and let us know when a good time would be for you.

Saturday Flex
The Saturday Flex raid is back on the table. Every Saturday from 6-10p server we’ll try and run a Flex. I might not always run it myself, but we’ll try to have something lined up every saturday to get through the fights. This is meant to be a fun run where we relax the rules a bit, hang out, and get some loot. Alts are welcome as long as they are an appropriate gear level (510 for wings 1 and 2, 520 for 3 and 530 for 4, though this is a guideline and not a rule).

Big Damn Heroes
The Big Damn Heroes Gift Shop has so far raised almost $50 for Doctors Without Borders. I’ll be sending off the donation soon, hoping to hit $100!

SoO Week 25 + 2 : The Big Damn 25 Raid

Aily Post in Uncategorized

General News

Invited new raiding members:

Invited new non-raiding members:

Left the team:

Please pardon the dust on the Members page, I promise to work on it later this week. (part 2, promises with cherry on top)

Raid Team News


This week we’re going 25 and we’ll see what happens.

Its a really big day. It’s been a long and rough journey but I finally feel like the guild is ready to dip its toes into 25 raiding. Hopefully all goes well and I’m reporting a full clear next week.

We’re still looking for a few more however to round out the team. Needs have been updated on the page!

Our Official Raid Team Mascot

Aily Post in Guild News
The official mascot of the Ashen Order raid team

The official mascot of the Ashen Order raid team

Presenting Tennant, the cancer-free Toy Fox Terrier, showing off his official mascot jersey.