HoTs and DoTs: A Restoration Druid and Shadow Priest

Priests have all the Personality

Suzushiiro in the opening credits of Big Crits

Suzushiiro (Holy Priest) in the opening credits of Big Crits

Are you watching Big Crits too? (Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)

Big Crits is a newly formed 25 man World of Warcraft raiding guild. And everything that happens in the guild raids is recorded and edited back for us to watch as online episodes: an inside look into the running of a raiding guild.

I thought the show would be like watching a cross between an instructional how-to video with the occasional argument recorded over vent thrown in. Deep down I didn’t really think that a guild under that kind of pressure and exposure would be able to function as a hardcore raiding guild and be successful. Is the priority the show or the raiding?

Excellent raiding, in my experience, is rarely accompanied by guild drama. And wouldn’t the guild drama be the part that makes the show interesting?

To make a long story short, watching the very first episode answered a lot of those doubts. And it’s fascinating to watch. I love the raiders. I love the web-cam style confessions. I’m already attached to the main cast (not everyone in the raid group has their own “talking head” moment to talk directly to the camera and their audience).

I really respect what these guys are doing. Nothing captures what it’s like to be part of a raiding guild as well as this series does. The chatter on vent that kicks immediately after the opening credits make me feel right at home – it sounds and feels like every pre-raid chatter I’ve ever heard. And is, of course, totally forgettable. There’s the subtle, awkward conversations that we’ve all heard before:

I mean this in the nicest way possible. But… Whornnie could you do more threat?
– Episode 3

I’m tempted to send a link to this series to some of my friends – the friends of mine who theoretically understand that I play World of Warcraft, but don’t really understand what that entails.

I went out for dinner with a bunch of people I’d never met. Strangely enough it came out in conversation that one of the guys at the table was taking his new girlfriend to his mate’s place the next day. And the boys were planning to play Dungeons and Dragons. What really disappointed me (and my expectations were very, very low) was this response:

“Oh my god. Don’t you have to dress up like a wizard or something?”

It’s one thing to vilify a game for being geeky or nerdy, but there’s no need to turn it into something it’s not. If you’re into Dungeons and Dragons of course you’re into cosplay. And in turn you must be into roleplaying. And World of Warcraft is the same again, right?

What I’m trying to say is that so many people have a black mark next to the words “World of Warcraft”. And yet they have absolutely no idea what it is, and what it isn’t. And still they go around, convinced, that they have it all figured out.

Anyway, back to Big Crits.

Even if I wanted to apply, talk to my web cam and be part of the show, I can’t. Not just because they’re Horde (really, what were you thinking Stoneybaby?). Not just because they raid my time 10am Saturday and Sunday (believe it or not, I can’t play WoW all weekend). I can’t apply because they have a Shadow Priest already. And he’s pretty damn smart:

… it’s not just people geeking out in front of their computers. There’s more to it. I think people are afraid of what they don’t understand.
– Furioso, Shadow Priest

Smart guy, huh?

Big Crit’s Discipline Priest, another one of the main cast members with her name in the titles, is Jadeice. Jadeice seems to be struggling a little bit. She’s well spoken and I have this feeling that she comes from a guild in which she was one of the core members of the team – someone who everyone could count on. We actually don’t know much about her yet, she’s only had a few talking moments.

Unfortunately Jadeice was that person. The member of the raid who just couldn’t seem to pick up Sindragosa’s Frost Tomb mechanic and, instead of getting away from the raid and standing in the clear upon impact, managed to wipe the raid by entombing everyone around her (See Episode 2, 6.30 minute mark and then Episode 3, 7 minute mark). In Vitare that person is Citadel (but we forgive him because you can’t really expect much from a Ret Pally, right?). I’ll bet there’s a special person who has that label in your guild too.

Jadeice was swapped out. And they got their first Sindragosa kill as a guild. Ouch.

I mean, I know it probably wasn’t just me… but… they one shot it. I don’t know.
– Jadeice, Discipline Priest

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you are the only person in the team who can’t seem to cope. I’m still convinced I’m the absolute worst person in my guild at dealing with the Lich King’s Defile. I offer to sit out that fight pretty much every week.

But my favourite cast member by far is their Holy Priest, Suzushiiro. This guy makes me laugh absolutely every time. He’s determined to top healing meters and just gets that little bit crazy when he covets loot. He’s always hilarious. Here’s Suzushiiro’s explanation of Sindragosa:

…if they cast too many spells they blow themselves the fuck up. As someone who likes to whore healing meters it’s kind of annoying.

She’s not going to fucking touch me with it in Phase 1 but in Phase 2, when she starts really doling out the damage, and I’ve got to really push that shit out and more importantly, when Prayer of Healing becomes really good so I can really pull ahead of everyone else on the healing meters … then she’s gonna start fucking me with Unchained Magic.

– Suzushiiro, Holy Priest

And I’m not going to spoil it, but 6 minutes into Episode One I almost spit my drink onto my keyboard.

[youtube tuxFNf4-fog Big Crits on Youtube, Episode 1]

What really worries me about Big Crit is that it follows some of the tricks you see in reality TV. Part of the fun in watching Survivor is hearing the individual competitors confess to the camera – in total privacy – then turn around and behave completely differently in front of their team mates. The show doesn’t go to air until all the decisions and votes have been cast so by that stage what they’ve confessed to the camera and to the audience can’t really get them into trouble.

But in Big Crits… eventually the raiders are going to have to eat their words as episodes go to air. Things that they say to the camera, after raid, might upset their guild members weeks later.

I can’t help but worry that the raiders will find themselves self-censoring, or not being 100% truthful simply because they don’t want to upset anyone. Stoneybaby is taking a different approach, complaining when his officers and raiders do something that he doesn’t like, but then confronting them about it before the episode goes to air. Even so, it’s a hard line to toe.

I have lots of other “favourite” moments from the first five episodes. What are yours?

ps. If you’ve yet to start watching you can subscribe to episodes feed and watch them in your feed reader or watch them on their website.

20 Responses to “Priests have all the Personality”

  1. RedbeardNo Gravatar says

    Thanks for the links, I’m going to have to check this out.

    It’s one thing to vilify a game for being geeky or nerdy, but there’s no need to turn it into something it’s not. If you’re into Dungeons and Dragons of course you’re into cosplay. And in turn you must be into roleplaying. And World of Warcraft is the same again, right?

    What I’m trying to say is that so many people have a black mark next to the words “World of Warcraft”. And yet they have absolutely no idea what it is, and what it isn’t. And still they go around, convinced, that they have it all figured out.

    And WoW has a better rep than D&D does, honestly. I know, I play both.

    What pisses me off is that there’s some bizarre dividing line that says that Halo and Metal Gear and Grand Theft Auto are fine, but WoW isn’t. And the perception that D&D players are all LARPers simply makes things worse. Because, you know, people who play Grand Theft Auto would never go out and shoot up the place, but those WoW people? Sure!

    but we forgive him because you can’t really expect much from a Ret Pally, right?

    Gee, thanks. Quintalan is mightily impressed by that quip.
    .-= Redbeard’s last blog: Choosing the type of engineer to be =-.

    • CitadelNo Gravatar says

      One time! It was ONE TIME! Gahhh…I’ll never live it down.

      My one mention on your most excellent blog is one of infamy and shame. Clearly I need to drop retribution as a spec and go ‘redemption’.

      *goes off to get rid of his title “THAT person Citadel”*

      /hugs

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I was going to reply to say “I’ll stop making fun of Ret Pallies the day that -” and I couldn’t finish the sentance.

      I guess I’ll never stop making fun of Ret Pallies :) Fortunately they’re usually such good sports about it.

      • RedbeardNo Gravatar says

        It’s all the rest of them that make trouble for the few of us. ;-)

        Actually, I only rarely see another Ret Spec Pally in the LFD tool. I know they exist –there’s a few in our guild– but I’m surprised I don’t see more.
        .-= Redbeard’s last blog: Waaaay too Short and Sweet =-.

  2. ShivaNo Gravatar says

    Thank you for this lovely post/review. I am definitely watching this today. Very itnertaining.

  3. ChristianNo Gravatar says

    Been watching all the shows so far, and they are pretty good. I wish they had more of their raiders on camera, but definitely worth checking out.

  4. JenNo Gravatar says

    This is actually entertaining… I never have patience for YouTube but I’m watching ep. 4 right now. I see a LOT of drama happening in this guild – but I love drama!
    .-= Jen’s last blog: The problem =-.

  5. XeppeNo Gravatar says

    Thanks! I hadn’t heard about this. It’s strangely compelling viewing, though I’m not sure it will give healy Priests a good rep.
    Their guild seems to me (and I’ve only watched the first two) to be progressing really well, and yet there is still drama going on. Maybe it’s inescapable?
    It’s very cool that they’re not all teenagers though.
    .-= Xeppe’s last blog: Deus Vox Rocks =-.

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      You’re probably right about the drama being inescapable. I think things will definitely settle down though. Everyone is trying to find their groove atm.

  6. Furioso SenjinNo Gravatar says

    Cassandri,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    It has been a unique and challenging project. From a gaming perspecive, I’ve had to really push myself to contribute to the raids. When I applied to BC, the furthest I had been in ICC was Rotface and Festergut – fortunately I applied at the very beginning and had a raiding background. Now I’m seeing content I had no expectation of seeing. I’ve had to learn fast and adapt quickly – it’s been quite a challenge!

    From a personal perspective, it was hard at the beginning to record criticism of any of the players. Recording criticisms of strangers is just not something I’m comfortable with. Now, after getting to know them, I don’t have a problem with it because these are things I could approach them with in a raid or in Mumble (a better Ventrilo). If I record criticisms, they are never intended to be malicious or cruel. I like to think others are approaching it the same way.

    Keep in mind, we’re also recording 12 hours of raiding each week and 3 to 20 minutes worth of personal video after each raid. All that is cut and compressed into under 10 minutes of video per Episode (due to YouTube restrictions we can’t post videos longer than 10 minutes). Quite a feat given the quantity of material.

    By the way, the first in a series of interviews with the Featured Players of BigCrits is up. You can see them at http://www.bigcrits.com, or on YouTube posted by bigcritsguild. And if you want to learn more about the GM, the first Big Crits podcast is up and features an interview with Stoneybaby. /shamelessplug

    If you have any suggestions or ideas for things you would like to see, please let us know. We try to be very responsive to input. =9

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I hope to see you climbing those Damage Meters! (Otherwise I might just have to try and sneak in and steal your place :P )

      • Furioso SenjinNo Gravatar says

        Touche’!

        Keep away from my raid spot and I’ll keep prodding Stoney to get Episodes out!

        BTW, I try to update my Facebook page with updates from our raids (about 1 per night). You’re welcome to look me up – Furioso Senjin. I also hear that Stoney has a twitter feed and has pulled people from it to raid 10′s with us. If you find yourself Horde-side on Sen’jin, send me a whisper.

        Oh, btw, Stoney went Horde because he figured Alliance players would faction change…but Horde players wouldn’t. =9 Look at me, I played Alliance since Vanilla.

  7. StoneybabyNo Gravatar says

    I just found your article today. Thanks a ton for the review and praise. We’re having a great time and I’d have to say keeping the amount of drama down to a reasonable and manageable level, but the episodes will still be entertaining. The heat of the moment never fails to bring out different personalities, and I’m no exception to that!

    Keep watching and keep sharing, and we’ll keep producing episodes. If you have any questions or need any more info from us please feel free to contact me directly.

    May all your hits be crits!
    -Stoneybaby

  8. SuzushiiroNo Gravatar says

    Hey now, I’m only meter-crazy when it’s funny. And when it’s a fight that I have a chance of winning meters on. And the line was “whore,” not “hoard!”

    But yeah, thanks for the post. I’ll do my best to keep up the lulz for you guys who don’t find me completely obnoxious.

  9. Furioso SenjinNo Gravatar says

    By the way, there are also podcasts on the Big Crits web site. I can use the plural form of podcast now because Episode 002 is up!

  10. ClickityclopNo Gravatar says

    My god cass, you view of the characters is completely opposite of meI!

    My assessment of the show overall is the same as yours, it’s done really well and does show both progression focus, player interactions via vent as well as guild drama really really well, but I find the priests incredibly grating, well except Furioso (where I agree with your assessment entirely). Jadeice isn’t so terrible imo, but just somehow annoys me (I did feel bad for her for when she felt like the only one failing tho). But your most favourite character is my LEAST favourite, to the point I almost don’t want to watch the show. I guess that’s kinda expected for a crazy OTT character like him.

    That’s me being nice already, I saved the worst of my hate for their holy priest on the guild forum thread :P .

    • CassandriNo Gravatar says

      I’m kind of an oddball myself so I love watching people on the show who are unique – even if you don’t like them.

      I hate shows like Big Bang Theory because the characters are written to be eccentric but somehow don’t really seem real to me. The folks on Big Crits are absolutely real. And you can’t write that stuff.

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