Tuesday 25 May 2010

Eve Online: The effect of Tyrannis on the economy

Less ISK about

People will be busy doing PI. PI does not generate raw isk for the economy. The time they spend doing PI instead of ratting or mission-running represents a loss of isk that would otherwise be generated. PI seems to be both fascinating and time-consuming (at least initially) so in the short term expect people do be spending a lot of time doing this.

PI also has some isk drains. The installations are (I believe) purchased from NPC vendors. Some ships will be lost as delighted pirates happen across people sitting in an industrial in low sec trying to figure out the intricacies of the PI interface. Most advanced PI products require Capital Construction Parts which will require substantial amounts of asteroid minerals to manufacture. New skill books will be introduced and will need to be purchased by players (or possibly may be given out free in the new PI tutorial). Exporting and importing materials has an isk fee.

Less isk production due to the distraction of PI means that everything in Eve will tend to become cheaper as a smaller amount of money chases goods. There are exceptions to this general deflation.

Mineral price drop

Currently insurance values of ships are based on a series of set notional values for each asteroid mineral. This effectively creates a bottom for the minerals market because if mineral prices drop below the floor people will make ships, platinum insure them, then blow them up. One player is alleged to have blown up 2000 Rokh battleships in a day at 10m isk profit each. The removal of the insurance fraud floor in Tyrannis means minerals can drop in price. Individual minerals may or may not drop as a result of this but overall minerals are going down. They've been trying to go down in price for months, it's only the floor that's kept prices at current levels.

This is separate from my first point describing a general deflation. In other words, almost everything is going down in price but minerals even more so.

Tech 1 module shortage

Missions produce a very large amount of tech 1 modules, the basic meta 0 modules like, for instance, Small Shield Booster I. The drop rate will be significantly reduced to reduce the flow of minerals from this source to the market. However while some modules like ECCM are almost invariably reprocessed some modules are popular and in high demand. When they stop dropping at current rates the prices of these modules and the low end named versions will rise in response to the new scarcity where the demand by players fitting ships exceeds the reduced supply.

This in turn creates an opportunity for new players interested in manufacturing. At the moment it's really not worth making these simply products - the minerals are worth more than you can sell them for. As the supply from loot is reduced prices will rise and it will be worth the while of newer industrialists to make simple modules. This is so evidently newbie friendly and healthy for Eve that I would expect future patches to further reduce and eventually eliminate the drop rate of meta 0 modules.

Plexes may drop sharply

The plex market has bullish for about 8 weeks. The general deflation I'm expecting should reduce the price of plex. Now there are large plex stockpiles and the players sitting on them may be hoping to sell at the peak of the current upward trend. I expect to see players flooding the plex market during the rest of May as cashing in for 320m isk per plex is pretty good (especially when they may have been bought for 250m). I predict that plex will go under 300m during June, probably down to about 280m.

The habit players have of stockpiling plexes and only selling during peaks will prevent this market going as low as 250m any time soon. Simply put if it drops down to about 280m players will be thinking about buying a few billion isk worth in the confidence that the price will rise soon. There are a lot of people paying for their subs in isk so there's really a captive market for this product.

More fighting in nullsec

It's possible that improvements to lag will increase participation rates in the nullsec wars. There's actually a big set of improvements scheduled for some time this summer after Tyrannis plus minor fixes going out with Tyrannis.

More intense nullsec pvp means more people buying plexes for cash and more ships, modules and structures destroyed. There is the potential for enormous strategic gains because of PI. Basically if you have the infrastructure in position quickly to make POSes, SBUs and TCUs and your opponent doesn't he could be in real trouble against a multi-pronged attack.

Thursday 20 May 2010

Eve Online: Corporate friction in nullsec

After an intesting debate arose over on the Mule's site about whether carebears are bad for a space-holding Alliance I'd like to float a few ideas.

The position of the hardcore pvpers is summed up by Logan as The Carebear Disease. His notion is that once your elite pvp alliance grows to the point where you start mass recruiting you'll inevitably get carebears and the presence of carebears will cause your hardcore pvpers to leave (and perhaps find a position where they can shoot you out of revenge).

Now Eve is a sandbox game with a player base who are proud that a great diversity of options are open to players. Fleets, unlike WOW raids, are open-ended so you can add an unlimited number of players and, setting the social dimension aside, each extra person, no matter how weak or how casual increases your firepower and your total hit points.

So why the fuck are people emo-rage quitting their alliance, hell even coming back to shoot them in vengeance, when their alliance grows?

The answer is one that will be familiar to WoW raiders who've seen guilds fissure along hardcore v casual lines.


To a hardcore pvper he is an elite hero defending space valiantly against enemies. More he is a veteran and a leader, someone whose words should be heeded by lesser players.

He sees himself as:

However to the player who has just joined the corp and is busy finding his feet in 0,0 he comes across as this:

(for anyone who doesn't get the reference the F13 thread on Derek Smart is an entertaining read).

The disconnect between these two perspectives is what causes space-holding alliances to fissure. The elite pvp hardcore (who see themselves as Patton) find it increasingly infuriating that their calls for everyone to rally and come fight are ignored. The carebears are both appalled and amused that sperglords in their alliance are freaking out in evemails about participation.

The simplest solution, the Mule's solution, Logan's solution, is to never accept non-participation. If you're needed you come. People like this differ on whether it's acceptable to ship down. In my previous corp not only were you required to come you were required to come in a fleet fit battleship. This was a problem for me because I couldn't actually fly any of the fleet fits. It was also, I eventually discovered, not corp policy, just some extremist laying down his own version of the law without reference to anyone else. As a gullible newbie however I believed him and so didn't participate until I had cross-trained.

The problem with elite pvp alliances is they don't ultimately win. This is what beats them:

That's an advert for Goonfleet but it applies to many alliances who take a newbie-welcoming approach. Numbers are very effective in Eve. Large numbers of participating players will beat small elite crews.

The key is to integrate your casuals while retaining your hardcore.

The Goons did this with their rather unique culture. As long as watching alliance members squabbled with each other and posted chat logs of pubbie whines both newbie and veteran united in being entertained.

IT, formerly an elite pvpers' alliance called BoB, is now an effective force of newbies and veterans who are bonded by a belief that they're in the strongest space-holding alliance in the game.

The Northern Coalition blends carebears with pvpers by being primarily defensive. When attacked nearly everyone comes to help but when not attacked almost everyone is happy to carebear and rat and mine peacefully deep in secure nullsec systems protected by distance, intel channels, and the everyone can turn pvp in a pinch mentality. It's simply not worth anyone's time to jump 50 systems to kill one or two sleepy miners then get ganked by a hastily assembled local posse. The NC players simply don't see themselves as "elite pvpers" in the way that people who don't carebear at all and just fly around killing people all the time do.

So while the hatred of non-participants is acceptable in a small elite pvp corp those corps are niche and self-limiting. To grow you have to integrate your hardcores and your casuals, your rich guys who spend $200 a month on replacement HACs with your F2Pers who spend long hours ratting to pay for their subs, your forward planners with the guys who only notice they're broke when their last ship blows up.

It's a cultural thing. It's about deciding that you're ok with not everyone in your alliance being able to play at your high level of personal achievement.

And if you're not ok with that - well don't worry, holding space isn't everything, your pro kill/death ratio will keep you warm out in the cold wastes between the stars.

Tuesday 11 May 2010

Eve Online: Woot, killed a titan!


I was about to go to bed and an Atlas titan wandered out of its safe POS. Beehatch in a Leviathan.

It was a mad experience but I managed to shoot it. We killed it over about 20 minutes while he attempted to log off then changed his mind and logged on to a black screen of death.

Marvellous quote from our fleet commander DBRB:

"Of course I'm excited, I'm eating pizza and I'm killing a titan!"

Eve Online: The North will rise again!

Exciting times in H-W. It seems this battle is the key to the NC-SC conflict.

I'm quite sure that Pandemic Legion's guerilla actions in Delve helped spur the South into action but a lot of planning and preparation has gone into this assault.

IT and friends absolutely dominated in AU and EU times and held their own last night in US time. The clock is ticking for the key station in H-W, if this siege is successful then a significant part of the North's assets will be lost.

It seems that right now the battle is turning.

We hold the field and finally managed to secure the station so that pilots trapped there can undock. At least 100 pilots were trapped, possibly nearer 200. All the ones who have been online in the last couple of hours have got out now.

We've cleared the warp disruption bubbles from the D7 gate making it easier for us to get people in. They were ROL so I imagine the Russians will put them back up tomorrow.

We're busy destroying Southern assets. There are about 35 Reds trapped in one of their POSes with a large angry mob outside. We have a load of battleships shooting it and are "rapecaging" it. This charming term means putting warp disruption bubbles all around it to make it hard to escape from, like a do-it-yourself gate camp. 924 in local of which 255 are hostile. 176 ships killed in the last 3 hours according to Dotlan and it's been like that all day. If industrialists want to make a killing sell pvp gear near Tribute, especially ammo.

The North hold the field!

Whether we can do enough damage to break the siege tonight I don't know. It seems to take a lot of shooting and many people are running out of ammo. The station says REINFORCED 20h 45 m. I think that means they can start shooting it again at 22.20 Eve time. That's a time when both Americans and Europeans naturally play Eve so it could be very hectic tomorrow evening.

I've had a fun night shooting both ships and the bubbles. I had planned to get sent home by now so I could resume learning at an implant-enhanced pace but I've accidentally and rather unexpectedly survived. Haven't got a killing blow though, I think there's a finesse there that masters of kill-stealing have and I currently lack. Still it's tremendously exciting and not all that laggy for me. Other people have complained of not being able to load though.

Monday 10 May 2010

Eve Online: Pictures from Nullsec

This is just as I arrive in H-W, a system deep in Northern Coalition under siege from the Southerners. My cloak, (my left hand module) is on. I am poised to hit my microwarp drive (F2 key), the right hand module, if something decloaks me. In Eve a cloaked ship will be decloaked if anything comes within 2km. If that happens this ship would very quickly accelerate to 3821 m/s. Cloaked it's top speed is 59 m/s but that's because I have a very crappy cloak.

My overview has 4 tabs and this tab is showing enemy drones, ships and mobile warp disruptors. In fact this particular one shows everything - even a frozen corpse might decloak me if I get too close. The lightning effect in space is the mobile warp disruptors in action - if I decloaked and tried to warp off now it wouldn't work. This is a key feature of null sec combat the bubbles are how you trap people long enough to kill them.

This is a distant view of the bubbles. These bubbles are on our station in H-W. My overview is now using my pvp tab which shows just ships that aren't blue or in fleet as well as bubbles. Because of lag I actually have both my cloak and my microwarp drive on (I was mashing both buttons at once) and get to move around at 350 m/s cloaked. Still I was lucky not to die horribly during the few seconds when, at least from my perspective, neither module was active and I wasn't moving.

The mauve blodge at the lower part of the middle of my screen is a fleet of allied battleships. The red bar is them all firing horrible lasers of death at some poor bloke on the other side. Actually some will be firing weapons that don't have a visual effect but the Amarr long range battleships are certainly popular. At one point during this fight I counted 13 Apocalypses on the enemy side.

I changed sort order in my overview a few times. It's useful to sort by ships for counting. It's vital to sort by distance when navigating a busy area cloaked. All you really care about is what might come close enough to decloak you. At this point I've sorted by name as we were primarying targets by name. Hint: if you're making a new character and might be flying in nullsec don't pick a name beginning with A.

Here's another one showing as many ships as I could fit in one screen shot. At the top is the majority of the enemy including several capitals. There weren't any titans I don't think but there were a couple of supercarriers as well as dreadnaughts and carriers.

Our fleet commander was skillfully warping the fleet onto the field of battle close to a handful of stray enemies at the bottom of the screen so that we could kill them then warp out. Essentially we're picking off ships that are too far from the big blob right on top of the station.

At the top of the screen you can see a couple of purple dots. These are brave or lost souls who aren't with the main fleet. Quite possibly they are people who were inside the station and undocked when they heard on Teamspeak our fleet was outside. They will almost certainly die without escaping the cluster of bubbles surrounding the station.

The Space Tourist died shortly after. I was rather sleepy so when I warped to the gate exiting the system I wasn't instantly ready to press cloak on coming out of warp. I wasted maybe half a second but that was long enough for someone to target me (which prevents cloaking). I burned away from most of them but my untanked ship was killed by long range fire so I waited in the pod too for them to finish me so I could get a fast trip back home.

Eve Online: tiptoeing through nullsec

Reports today rolled in of a massive fight in nullsec, the player controlled part of the Eve universe.

The Northern Coalition (my side) stages from a system deep in the heart of Morsus Mihi territory called H-W9TY. This morning at 8am Eve time the Southern Coalition, led by IT who have a long standing grudge, launched a massive assault. Titans, massive capital ships which are usually used as mobile jump bridges kept safe behind the lines, were deployed. 20 were reported on the field.

I decided to go and participate.

I hummed and ha-ed a bit about whether to turn up in a battlecruiser, a ship to shoot things, or a scout, a safer option.

In the end I fitted a Vigil with 2 named overdrives, a nanofiber structure, a microwarp drive, a cloaking device and a battery. The overdrives and nanofiber make it go a bit quicker, the microwarp drive is a big speed boost at the expense of cap, the cloak is a rudimentary prototype. The ship moves at 59 m/s with the cloak on, 591 m/s with the cloak off and 3821 m/s with the cloak off and the microwarp drive on.

I christened her the Space Tourist and left Jita in this year of Our Lord, 2010.

I autopiloted through high sec while alt tabbed until I got to Torrinos, a system that has a stargate to 0,0. I suspected the gate would be camped. Eventually, and after an anxious trip to the bathroom, I plucked up my courage and jumped through.

There was a gate camp by a corp called Brick Squad with at least 20 ships. The gate was bubbled by a Mobile Warp Interdictor Generator. I sat for a moment thinking. When you jump through a gate you land cloaked and usually have a moment to think. They know you're there though, because the gate flashed.

I decided to sneak out rather than make a run for it. I double clicked what seemed to be a relatively deserted quadrant of their defensive ring and immediately pressed F1 to turn my cloak on. (It's important in that situation not to hit the button twice - there's a 30 second cooldown after you use the cloak).

I trundled towards the edge of the bubble at 59 m/s rather nervously watching an interceptor who was orbiting the bubble at 25 km. If he had got within 2km of me it would have de-cloaked me.

When I was about 24km from the bubble a drake jumped in, belonging to LODRA. Huzzah, saved by the Goons! While the happy campers ate him with cranberry sauce I decloaked and warped to the sun. On the way to the sun I added a bookmark. As soon as I landed at the sun I warped back to my bookmark and cloaked. Then I turned to this page and wrote up my story so far.

62 players in local in EC-, mainly Brick Squad.

Here's a map of Pure Blind, the system I was heading through.

My next move was a bit of a cock-up which I survived by luck. I warped to EWOK gate at 100 in case there was a bubble. There was indeed a bubble but instead of landing 100 km short it wanted to put me 100 past and hit the bubble on the way and dumped me right out in the open 18 km from the gate. Eek! I hastily tried to cloak, it didn't work as I was still officially in Warp even though I was standing right out in the open like a lemming, clicked again and cloaked second time round. But luckily there was no one there anyway.

EWOK was quiet, one other person there and he was blue. Onwards to O-N.

Leaving O-N was another tense moment. I landed, the gate was bubbled, and I saw a load of blue drones, a red player and 2 yellow players. I cloaked and moved away but checking them I saw they were all in Wildly Inappropriate a friendly alliance and they appeared red or yellow because of their Concord security status. I really need to investigate whether there's a way to tell my overview not to bother about sec status and to colour people according to their standing to me.

I uncloaked and zipped through with my microwarp drive on. A member of our alliance was killed and podded the other day by blues, they're not supposed to kill us but everyone is likely to be rather nervous today.

L-T, R6, 3V8, R-L pretty empty 0-2 other players, no bubbles.

4-A had a hostile drake on the exit gate plus there were loads of drones. There was a small bubble but it was not in like with the stargate to stargate route. I landed 3.8 km from the gate, headed to the gate at top speed and jumped. There was not much the drake could do to stop me.

On the other side there was a litter of abandoned drones. About 20, no ships. I guess the drake was the survivor of a small but vicious fight there.

I got safe and then, since there was only one neutral and one blue in the system decided to go back and fill my hold with tech 2 drones. While I was in warp, 2 hostiles jumped in including a player called Lady Scarlet, a minor celebrity poster on the Eve Forums and a member of DICE, one of the corp making up the IT Alliance. I decided sod the drones I'm out of here and warped off.

I let the local intel channel know that Lady Scarlet was flying around solo in that system if anyone wanted a celebrity kill.

X47 was empty, KQK had 5 hostiles from different alliances. I waited at the sun for a couple of minutes and most left. Seemed reasonably safe, they must have been all in transit. I warped to the next stargate and jumped north.

I was wrong - there was a small gatecamp. 3 ships at least one of which had just been checking KQK out. Fortunately for me they were busy ganking a friendly hurricane. I heroically fled preserving my valuable Vigil for another day. /wave to the Hurricane pilot if you happen to read this. Your sacrifice in my cause was truly appreciated.

I went straight for the stargate and jumped into O-Y in the Tribute region. I was getting near to H-W!

O-Y was quiet was was the next system UMI too. I saw an IT stray in F-R and then a cluster of INIT pilots - one in F-R, 2 in PNDN. 15W was busy with 3 members of IT alliance and 11 friendlies in the system. The gates were clear though. Possibly the IT players were cloaked scouts.

3 friendlies in C2X.

Heavy blue presence in MSHD with 2 enemies, again probably scouts. Each from an alliance I hadn't seen so far on this trip: Gentleman's Club and Against All Authorities.

Next stop H-W where the massive fight was. Wish me luck!

I jumped in and managed to get hidden despite a gate camp. Pressing F1 just after double clicking space worked again.

I slowly and nervously worked my way away from the gate. It was a bewildering view of shimmer with all those bubbles. I eventually worked my way clear and was entertained to watch a heroic attempt to solo the gatecamp. Although there were only about 5 ships when he jumped in within 3 seconds a gang of 14 more ships landed and murdered him horribly. I suspect they were in a safe just off grid so the camp looked weak but actually had a large gang just seconds away.

People in the alliance were trying to break into the system from D7. I went there to check it out for them and initially the fight went well. We got about 20 in and outnumbered the camp and killed a few of them. Then a large amount of reinforcements arrived and a few of ours warped off leaving those still in the bubble to die horribly.

The gate camp had 9 large mobile warp disruptors 2 drakes 2 stilettos a dramiel, 2 crows, a rokh and a onyx. I managed to sneak through at 59 m/s. Sovereignty was Morsus Mihi (vulnerable), first time I've seen that.

531 people in local. I joined the Inside H-W fleet and was the 160th member.

We have a lot of enemies here. Cry Havoc, IT alliance, -A-, Atlas, ROL are here conducting a joint operation. On our side I'm seeing a lot of LODRA, Morsus Mihi, Majesta Empire, Own, Defiant, Razor, MH, WI. and our own heroic Wayfarer Stellar Initiative.

I joined up with the fleet led by fleet commanders Zeturi and DBRB. It was a tense affair of people trying to outmaneouvre the other side. We jumped into a pos, killed a couple of hostiles, had to run, warped in again. There were so many enemies that the FC simply said "lock up all the As, there's only like 5 of them".

I decided to have a little look at the station. There were 6 long range battleships (5 apocalypses and a megathron) and 23 bubbles. As I watched a squad of ships tried to break the camp. Apocalypses, Cerberuses, Drakes, Hurricanes.

Then our main fleet arrived to do some damage. We outnumbered their sub-cap ships and their capital ships were out of position, 400 km away.

Someone asked the status of the D7 gate so I went to check it - it was horrible but people were still jumping in in twos and threes to die horribly to the 16 waiting campers.

I warped back to the big fight at the station. We were chewing through their battleships. The FC was being very careful that no one in the fleet was warp scrambled (no idea how he kept track of that, props to DBRB). The fleet continued to jump in and out.

The game we were playing was get close to some of their long range battleships to horribly murder them before they could bring their capitals over to help. It seemed to be working pretty well as they were quite spread out.

The lag was annoying but manageable for me. These were big fights with hundreds of ships. When I warped in on the largest actions I saw about nothing load for ten seconds then it at last let me see my ship move and a big crowd appeared around me. To be fair I was warping in at 100 and wasn't too close. Friends who were inside the station complained their screen wouldn't load at all.

The margin of course between "manageable" and "unplayable" is whether someone kills you in the time it takes to come out of lag and be able to do stuff. Buffer tanks are needed, a repairer would be almost useless in these conditions. I was lucky that my puny untanked frigate was lagging next to people who were too busy to kill me.

It certainly needs fixing but people who are not playing Eve because of lag are missing out, I think.

If anyone in Eve is interested it's not that hard to do what I did. All you need is a fast frigate, a microwarp drive and a prototype cloak. Cloaking, the skill, now has fairly low requirements - Electronics 4 and to not be a trial player. So if you want to snoop on some of the most exciting action in Eve it's possible for anyone who has a paid sub to come out in something sneaky and do the tourist thing. I didn't even get podded, so I parked my Vigil and went to bed. Tomorrow I'll jump clone home and carry on missioning knowing what I have to look forward to.

Edit: ha ha, got killed and podded as I went off to park up my ship!

Thursday 6 May 2010

Eve Online: what's ahead (in the words of CCP Hammerhead)

I've organised the information from Strategy Informer LIVE's interview with Eve Online's Lead Game Designer, Noah "Hammerhead" Ward into a timeline.

Coming in Tyrannis

Planetary interaction.
-It is abstract, capsuleers will be going down and exploiting all of the planets. It's not currently about ruling over NPCs on planets.
- trial players will be able to manage planets.
- easy to get into with a lot of room to grow.
- lowest level command centre will be cheap.
- video tutorials will be on Youtube and there will be a crash course you can take.
- PI will be in all space including high sec and wormholes. Rewards will be much higher in 0.0.
- basically passive income, once it's set up you have the choice of only checking it once every 4 days to keep the income flowing. You can put more in to get more out, you can play at your own speed.
- possibly trade routes will develop with people harvesting in low sec and shipping it to builders in high sec.
- not intended to be a primary income but you will profit.

No lag fixes in the Tyrannis patch (they're coming in the summer).

Coming in the summer

- lag fixes (major improvements).

- another Strategy Informer LIVE live chat with Noah (hopefully).

Coming in the Winter content patch

- Incarna in its full form won't be ready by the Winter patch.
- They are working hard to release something of value that is Incarna related in that release.
- treaties is short listed. It's a way of giving veteran alliances the incentive to invite noobs into their space and create a win-win situation for both.
- PI will be tweaked.
- EVE gate will be improved.
- new and better effects.
- NPC and mission improvements. More badass boss NPCs.
- lots of small balance fixes.
- T3 frigates.

Coming as soon as possible

PI stuff
- corp and alliance owned colonies.
- linking your colony to others (equal top priority).
- planetary trade mechanism (equal top priority).
- upgradeable planets tied to the Dominion sov infrastructure system.
- orbital bombardment will very likely be in at some point. "Seeing those little nukes on the planets is just too cool not to do".

- Incarna. Incarna is a social experience with more intrigue and political machinations that DUST. It will feature a new character creation system. Possibly with "really nice ass" on female characters. Existing characters won't auto-transform - players will have to create their look by hand.

- DUST 514 sounds moderately well developed although Hammerhead couldn't be drawn on a release date. They aim to create a world class console FPS/RTS/MMO hybrid.  It's a run and gun shooter. It will be console only for the immediate future. A PC version is not ruled out but certainly won't be coming soon.

- small pvp gang improvements.

Coming at some point in the future

- terraforming planets (it's a pipe dream).

- links between PI and DUST514.

- CCP want to create the ultimate sci fi simulator where you can experience every sci fi dream you've ever had. Every movie, book, tv show whatever... we want you to be able to immerse yourself in our world and experience these things first hand.

Saturday 1 May 2010

WoW: Cataclysm raiding - positivity for 25ers

It's been a week of doom and gloom for WoW 25 man raiders as the equalisation of raid loot between 10s and 25s suggest that a significant number of players will drift to the smaller format.

I'd like to talk about some of the positive things 25 man raiders can do to help their guilds when Cataclysm launches.

1) Be positive. 25 man raiding is dying becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy if all of the 25 man raiders go around saying 25 man raiding is dying.

2) Recruit. The best solution to a numbers drain is to find new keen people. I've always preferred to recruit from people I pug 5 mans with - you get a good sense of a person after a few runs. Even if you don't have the power to invite always be looking for people who would improve your raids.

3) Reduce overheads, part 1. Running a raid can be an absolute blast but it can also be really draining because of drama. So bite your tongue on a few issues so as not to burn out your management. Really, would you rather bitch about not getting the dagger and not raid any more after your guild crashes? If loot is misassigned discuss it calmly.

4) Get more professional. Start getting to raids on time, with consumables, and having checked the strategies (if you're in a raid guild that uses offline strategies). If you know you'll be getting home minutes before the raid get this organised the night before and log off at the raid entrance.

5) Reduce overheads, part 2. Don't backseat drive. A lot of times on bosses the raid leader will experiment. being told it's not how Tankspot does it isn't helpful.

6) Be patient. The new expansion will see a core of people hitting 85 fast then running 10 mans. They do this because they don't want to waste a lockout for a week and don't have enough max level people yet for 25s. If you're the 14th person in your guild to 85 it will suck for you because you'll have missed the A team. It will only be for a couple of weeks so don't emo-rage quit and drama bomb your guild just because you miss out.

7) Reduce overheads, part 3. Don't roll on stuff that isn't for you, roll 100-100 or roll more than once. If your guild rolls for loot it's really really annoying to see 12 rolls, one of which is bogus.

8) Consider stepping up. Raid leading has its bad sides but it is awesome fun too. A lot of people feel I couldn't do that. Well, I'm telling you, you could. Maybe not as well as someone else but a hell of a lot better than nobody. You don't need to know strats, know how other people's classes work or any of that. Just use a lot of common sense, discuss stuff you're not sure about with your guild but after discussing it make a firm decision.

9) Thank your raid leader. Appreciation is usually the reason people run raids.

10) Consider rerolling. An expansion is a great time to change your class. See my earlier post about loot distribution. In short if you roll an Alliance Shaman you will get a 25 man raid spot.

11) Consider changing guild or server. You probably won't have to but if you're willing to do so you will be able to find a home.

Good luck to all the 25 man raiders out there! I've no doubt that Cataclysm will be a lot of fun for you.