Long time no post!!! So, its been a while since I posted. I know I know. SLACKER! Actually the dearth of activity from me has been 2 fold.
First, BUSY BUSY! My work life has been atrociously hectic. My home life has been more so. Multiple large scale web projects being pushed at work with overlapping deliverables and time lines coupled with Coaching Competitive Soccer, Basketball clinics, and a kitchen remodel = me feeling like a whirlwind (plus there’s this little project I started with guild mates called Azeroth Pirate Radio…more to come on that).
The second part of this though has been lack of inspiration. As many of you know I usually write from strife and drama. Surviving WoW has always been about dealing with the day to day issues we all face in dealing with one another within the World of Warcraft; remove that from my day to day guild life and you remove the majority of my source of inspiration. While Phalanx of Nod is a great guild filled with some great people it is not immune to stress or drama. I’ve seen g-quits since I’ve gotten there. We’ve had blow ups and accusations of inappropriateness or bad behavior. Yeah, not unlike any other guild I’ve ever seen to be honest.
But, lately there has been some rumbling. Right direction, good enough success, can this be better, should it be better…well, let’s discuss a bit on HOW to deal with this.
So, like any guild it tends to consist of like minded people, usually a core of folks who are in similar life circumstances or perhaps have common goals within the game. That said, as you venture out further from the core group of people the differences become greater and commonalities sparser. At this point folks should remember something very important. The foundation. Its all about the foundation of the guild and players really need to bear this in mind. Also understand that if the foundation of the guild is strong enough, its like a mountain. Good luck trying to move it; but honestly, why try?! If you come to a casual guild don’t try to make it hard core. If you go to a hardcore guild you cannot feign min/maxxing in an attempt to make things more casual. It won’t work. It will only frustrate you and others.
These are common sense sort of things, but really…common sense is rarely common. Yes, I hear it now, “But if things could be better shouldn’t I try to change them to make it so?!” There is some truth and value to this approach. Yes, if the hard core group is getting burnt out, then perhaps some lightheartedness can bring brevity to the situation. Loosen things up for a little bit so that people can become re-energized and re-invigorated and ultimately re-focus on their common goals again. Same can be said for the casual side of things…if things are too lax too loose, it can hinder moving forward. A complete lack of discipline can lead to frustration that you are stuck in a rut; truthfully you may in fact be stuck.
But look carefully at your situation. Analyze and determine if its the guild that is need of changing or if it is you in need of a change? Let’s look at some simple steps to follow:
- Discuss. This is not bitching and moaning late in the evening post-raid with a select few folks in mumble or through whispers. Discussion is an act or instance of discussing; consideration or examination by argument, comment, etc. Please note that argument here does not constitute yelling, screaming, name calling, and blame-casting. Its a sharing of thoughts even if not necessarily positive thoughts, but done constructively so as to inform. Essentially, its getting out where everyone stands.
- Debate. Yes, you will need to debate various positions. Find validity in each others perspectives. First you found out from what direction each person is coming from. Now you are going to understand why. See their direction as objectively as you are able. Now all of you can do the following…
- Find common ground. Decide now where the common place is. This is not about ideals necessarily…its a video game. We are all here to have some fun to various degrees, we may differ though in what we define as fun. Find the common ground. You now know where each other is coming from, you know where your common ground is, now you can…
- Explore solutions. This is really important. Complaining you don’t like a situation but having no discernible solution in mind is just not constructive. If you are prepared to bring a complaint to the table, bring a way to fix the problem as you see fit too. And please make it constructive, “If you just left the guild, problem solved” is not a constructive solution.
Remember, whispering behind your guild-mates backs how awful you think things are is not helping you, them, or anyone. If you truly value the guild as a whole and they value you in return then everyone should be open to a healthy discussion and sharing of ideas and opinions that will hopefully lead to stronger bonds and a more rewarding WoW experience for everyone involved.
Though sometimes simply leaving and moving on is the best solution available, do not assume its the only one. And if you choose to make this your ultimate solution, leave gracefully. No back handed compliments, no negative critiques or commentary. Simply leave, quietly. Say thank you for whatever time you spent and experiences you had and move on.
Remember, one bad or ill moment can condemn you in people’s eyes. Regardless of how stellar you may have been prior to the one incident. Sometimes our last impression is what leaves a lasting impression.
So, we are running a little Christmas/Holiday contest on the Geekslap Podcast!
Send firstname.lastname@example.org your wildest christmas story for your chance to win a WOW Cinder Kitty!!! You know you have stories!! Share them!!!
We want to hear from you! We want to give you a FYRE KITTEH!
Kind of says it all doesn’t it? Frostheim from the WHU, Hunting Party Podcast, and WoW Insider put forth a little collaborative effort in the hunter community to produce the next Hunter song…
Hunters Are Just Awesome – Boom De Yada
Hunter community song with music & sound design by Balthazar, and singing by prominent members of the hunter community.
You can head to the official WHU You Tube Channel to find past musical and video endeavors.
Also, I know I haven’t been here much lately. Work and RL has been murder. I haven’t been raiding/playing WoW regularly to be quite honest with limited time to log in. Things should clear up after the Holiday season!
‘Til then, Happy Hunting folks!
So Ceraphus and I were racing to 90 together. We made it to 90, but not the Realm First DK and Hunter as we’d have hoped. We were the first two guild members to hit 90 though, so there’s that small feat. Now I must say there were some serious positives about grouping with a partner, but some downsides as well.
- As a Hunter/DK combo we could swap between the tank and dps roles fairly seamlessly. Both of us were equally capable of holding aggro on a mob and allowing the other to blow it up based solely on the situation. Additionally since we do not share the same stat priority we never competed on the gear drops we came across.
- Generally we ran with Free for all loot and simply grabbed what we found and sorted stuff out as we went. I used FETCH to its fullest, though I did find when we had wrecked large packs of mobs, it was easier to simply AOE loot one mob as they were all dead at my feet regardless.
- Good fun!! We were both exhausted from playing non stop, but we both kept in good spirits. Folks kept jumping into Mumble randomly and some commented the next day that we were a bit testy. Honestly, it was more us busting each others chops for the laugh more than actually being angry or aggravated with one another (there were a couple things though, nothing deal breaking see below).
- So much lethal DPS! Our ability to pull mass amounts of mobs was used to its best potential. His Deathgrip and my long range multishot were excellent at gathering large packs. Our mass aoe (a lot of it from my combo of Explosive trap, Snake trap, and multishot) was put to good use. Thank you Blizz for removing minimum range!!!
Ok, the bad…
- Nesingwary quests TOTALLY slowed us down. That entire quest line is so dependent on random spawning/drops it took far too long to complete with far too little reward.
- Copter quest at the beginning….ugh.utterly.painful.when.done.en.masse.
- Gathering!!! Sorry Cera, but continual side trips to gather minerals as a miner were occasionally annoying for the non-gathering partner. This said I know his complaint would be…
- Pet Taming!!! Yes, I kept wanting to stop and tame various beasts that I wanted to add to my stables. This annoyed my non Hunter partner. I tamed one new cat model, and then held off figuring I can do that solo.
So in the end, we played straight for about 24 hours. We got close to 90 with no real stopage….I was 1 bar from 89 when I logged off around midnight. He had hit 90 and was a few bars in when he logged shortly after me. Next morning we both casually continued our climb to 90. He hit first around mid afternoon, I hit it early evening. Definitely fun. I would do it again in a heart beat.
Next up for me is leveling my Warrior up at least a level or 2. I got him to 86 rather quickly, but he needs more work. My hunter is a JC/LW, my warrior Talthius is my gatherer. He has mining/skinning and I need to simply farm mats for Q to level his primary professions up. Scenarios and Heroics are up next for my Hunter as I am at the iLevel minimum for Heroics. I’ll post again at the end of this week on my thoughts of the MoP content to date.
Folks, if you feel like you “deserve” more in the game because you play more hours, have more achievement points, or killed some monster before anyone else…the short answer is NO, YOU DO NOT.
There is no debate. no argument. no rational viewpoint. no. no. NO!
There is only ONE thing that matters here…What do you pay each month for the game. We all have the exact same level of service with Blizzard and are essentially the SAME level playing field as paying customers. Let me provide an analogy here…
3 investors walk into a bank. Investor Bob has $50 million to invest in a brokerage account for this institution to actively manage. Investor Chuck has $100,000 for the same. And lastly Investor Dan has $1,000 he wants to put into a CD. They all are doing the same thing, they want the same eventual result. Give the bank their assets and allow them to grow off the bank’s decisions. The point here is obvious…Bob is going to get some serious attention…serious!attention! The service model the bank will follow will clearly provide more direct one on one service and attention to Bob. Dan is lucky he will get a lollipop at the end of the day…maybe free checks. They all are asking for the same thing, but are in fact PAYING the bank different amounts.
Now apply this to WoW, hell apply it to ANY MMO or game.
Player Bob says, “Hey I am in a World Top 10 ranked Guild! I have 142 mounts, 14,390 achievement points, 22 alts, 9 level 85s, I’ve completed full Heroic mode content before anyone on our server, and I play a minimum of 8 hours per day!”
Player Chuck says, “I play 3-4 days a week. About 3 hours each time. I have killed most of the bosses with my 10 man raid team. we went 2/8 heroics. I have a couple alts. 1 other 85. I am about to crack 9000 aps! So stoked. I have, I dunno…a bunch of mounts.”
Player Dan says, “I play like once a week. couple hours. I have a couple mounts…um, what are achievement points? I dont even have an 85.”
Now the thing here is Bob feels entitled to everything the game offers. He feels he gets more from the game, he is a more valuable customer of Blizzard and feels any changes made should benefit him and his kind, regardless of what it might do to Chuck or Dan’s quality of play.
I know the argument you want to make…Changes don’t matter to Dan, and Chuck will adapt! Its people like Bob who drive the game forward! Its Bob who is driving the bus! He is the reason the game is here! yadda yadda yadda. Here’s the problem folks. There are MORE of Dan & Chuck than Bob. Just throwing an estimate out there (this is not data, just a rough comparative number).
- 10 million players. $15 a month from each of them = $150 million
- Even if the Bob’s of the world make up 20% of the player base (and be honest do you truly think there are that many Dan’s???) = $30 million
- 80% of the player base (the remainder) = $120 million
Now, its easy to say that Blizzard cares for all their players…but the reality is they have to adopt the standard business practice of 80/20. Appease the 80% of the player base and hope you don’t tick off the 20% too much!
So what brings this up? Well, a convo on Twitter between Jasyla & Matticus caught my eye. Essentially Jasyla asked “How hard would it be to have exclusive achievements? You can get the 10 man OR the 25 man achieves for killing bosses, but not both.” The impetus came from this post on “Its dangerous to go alone” by @HamletEJ. Now I am not going to cover 10 vs 25 and all that…honestly he has a nice write up about some of the discussion going on with developers and its honestly very situational as to which is better. Some days its 25, other days its 10. I still personally miss the 40 man days of Vanilla…even for 40 man Alterac Valley (Oh how I miss thee AV). Jasyla’s point though locking out 10 vs 25 rewards so that its one or the other for you…that sparked my interest. I chimed in. A few others did as well including my Hunting pal HoneyTrap. Here’s the thing. You can’t. You can’t. You just can’t. And for the very reaosn from above. Yes, it ties together now…
You see one player can certainly do more in the game and earn Heroic Gear, or PvP rewards, or achievement points based on their dedication and commitment to mastering that particular game play, but you cannot close it off to a player based on something beyond their control like server population and availability of bodies for a 25 man. Nor can you dis allow those with abundance of viable players to not be able to attain something in an additional format when they choose to go 10 and not 25.
The best business model is to include as many as possible at one time. Cry foul that it waters down the product. Scream until you are blue in the face that its catering to the casuals. Decry the developer (in this case Blizz) and cancel your account declaring them dead to you if you must. The game will go on. Why? Because you are in the minority of their player base. Ghostcrawler pointed out something to the effect of: Because you and your friends feel X does not mean everyone feels X. That is the heart of my point here exactly. Blizzard is applying a business model to their decision making ultimately. When they discuss new directions, major changes to gameplay, major design changes, it is always about “What will the majority of the player base think about this? Will they benefit? Will their experience be better or worse?” It isn’t about just Bob….nor just Dan…or just Chuck. Its about Sally, James, Sanjeep, Brian, Christine, Donna, Mike, etc etc etc.
They cannot make it a CHOOSE THIS PATH OR THIS PATH and forever bar one door closed to you forever more based on your decision. That is BAD for business. Plain and simple. Why? Because that would actually hurt everyone.
So there’s this new Expansion launching tonight…Mists of Pandaria. You may have heard of it. Well, my buddy and guild-mate Ceraphus and I will be racing to 90 together. An absolute MARATHON of epic proportions fueled by Mio, Pumpkin Spice Coffee, Pizza Rolls, trail mix, and our geek-drenaline! Yes we got our wives’ permission for this. Yes we have a plan. Yes we will try to be Dalaran Realm first Death Knight and Hunter. Yes we are complete fools.
We have other guild members equally stoked to begin playing at 3 am EST. I don’t think anyone else has the same commitment to “Play until I hit 90″ that we do, but their company whilst on our adventure into Panda-land will be most welcome. As always when attempting such marathon playing times, some simple rules should be followed.
- At least once per hour, do ANYTHING other than sit. Stand, jumping jacks, push ups, even just kneeling while playing is better than sitting non stop.
- Use the bathroom!!! Do not hold it until you are ready to explode. Stop put yourself on follow. Then hit the powder room! It won’t take long and your innards will thank you for it.
- Drink water! Many use energy drinks or soda (not me actually), or coffee, perhaps even alcohol based beverages of some kind…WATER is what you need.
- If you begin feeling shoulder or neck pain, stretch. Don’t wait, don’t just take some Tylenol and hope it disappears….take a moment to stretch.
- If you become so exhausted as to be drooling on your keyboard…take a break. Take a nap. I know it seemingly defeats your overall purpose, but if you are partnering with someone, you will be of no help to them if you are drooling on the keyboard passed out. Better to quickly catch 30-60 min of sleep and get a little recharge.
- Speaking of sleep…sleep BEFORE HAND. Yes, go to bed very early and wake up to start leveling. Get that cat nap in before if you can!
- Use all you little trinkets to your advantage. Empty bags and logs are a no-brainer, but be sure you have your various hearthing/porting goodies. A tabard, ring, cloak, stone, etc. Any and all ways to quickly get back to places. Have your Stormwind cloak that you can use every 60 min? Awesome…set your stone to somewhere in Pandaria and then you can quickly port around without travel time. Mobile banking, Argent Crusadeling, Travelling Tundra Mammoth….all items that can help you speed up your journey to 90.
Remember while some folks will argue against doing this and say you should take your time and enjoy the content, I say I can enjoy it either way. Most folks will take their time on the first toon, but then power level and rush around with subsequent trips on alts through the 85-90 content. Rushing through it now, and then taking my fine time with my alts (advantage of a second level 85 hunter ) does not detract from my enjoyment of new content to see. Make a choice and be confident that you will get the most out of the game either way.
So in the end, we are prepared. Will we become realm firsts? Who knows, we’ll give it a good try though! Look for us both on Twitter (@Ceraphus and @Quoriwow) to exclaim our victory or heart crushing defeat. See you all in Pandaria!
So last post we talked about finding yourself at the top of a mountain of drama that you helped make. Did you deserve it? Perhaps not. But you certainly (in that example) didn’t do your best to avoid it. Its akin to walking alone in a a bad area known for trouble while waving a huge stack of $100 bills over your head and then wondering why you had the misfortune to have been robbed. You didn’t make the best decisions and certainly didn’t set yourself up for success, now did you.
So with MoP fast approaching in about 3 weeks, there will be a whole crop of folks seeking new guilds. Whether it be coming back from a hiatus, new players starting fresh, or perhaps veterans simply seeking a fresh start elsewhere; one should follow a few simple guidelines to seeking a new in game home.
Must Haves vs Nice to haves
This is a big deal. You should really separate out into 2 columns what are absolute inflexible NEEDS versus the things that would be nice, but not truly necessary stipulations.
If you truly NEED to be in a ranked guild, then perhaps you should also know you will need to worry about min/maxing your toon and being graded and judged on your performance.
If you NEED a casual environment, then know you cannot stir up drama by whining and complaining that no one cares about heroics.
If your socio-political views are so important to you that you wear them on your sleeve, then do not join a socially diverse guild where odds are opinions will vary along with mileage.
This last one is an important factor to consider. There is nothing wrong with being a Republican, Democrat, Atheist, Feminist, Born Again Christian, etc etc. Any label you choose to wear proudly on your sleeve is not something to cast shame or derision towards; however, perhaps you should bear that in mind when seeking a new guild.
Would it be wise for the card carrying Atheist to join a guild of born again Southern Baptists? Should the dyed in the wool right wing Tea Partier consider being in the liberal guild of left wingers a wise decision? If the guild is comprised primarily of 20 something males, will the feminist be made to feel at home? To all these things, no. Choose wisely.
Do your homework
Read up on the guild you are seeking to join. Gain access to their guild forums. Learn the names of some of the players. Search on the WoW forums, MMO Champion, WoW Insider. See if any of those folks post there. Read what they have to say. Real ID friend one or two of them, use the new battletag feature to your advantage. Run some dungeons. See what they are like. Research them. Roll a toon on that server and look at trade chat, see if they post there a lot. Do they have a reputation. After a week or two, broach a sticky topic. Discuss something political or perhaps hot-button. No, do not start an argument, or blurt out “<Insert name here> is an ass! discuss!” Have a relevant conversation and dialogue and see what comes of it. Better yet, make it about something you know could be controversial but you have no real vested interest in…listen to what your prospective guild mates have to say. Get a feel for their opinions and ascertain whether or not you can acclimate yourself to this group of people and if they can acclimate to you!
If you are seeking a top ranked guild, then chances are none of this matters. An end-game hard core player is more interested in the end goal, not the social aspect of the game. This is not to say they don’t care at all about it, its just the social part becomes the nice to have, not the must have. For the majority of the player base however, that social interaction is more important. Even when they say it isn’t and try to ignore it; it is. It should be. It has a way of making itself most important.
This is not easy. There will always be personality clashes and folks will rub one another the wrong way. Your challenge is to be honest with yourself as to what you are seeking. If you want to raid, have fun, and have some modicum of success in the game whether that be 7/7 normal or 7/7 heroic, you will be best served and set yourself up for best success by seeking out like individuals. Similarly minded and focused players who may not agree on all the details, but do agree on the general picture.
Remember its just a game
If you find those clashes do your best to avoid that one person or two. If you find its a majority of the crowd that is rubbing you the wrong way, bow out gracefully. Don’t blow up or stir up drama just leave quietly and start your search process over again. Remember it is just a game. Its supposed to be fun, if it isn’t fun, you’re doing it wrong. Note I am not suggesting you have any inward reflection and seek to change your ways….although, maybe you should? Ask yourself, is this the first time you found yourself here? The second? If its just a couple of isolated incidents over your playing time, I wouldn’t worry about it. However, if you realize its the 10th time you face this, then perhaps it is you? Are you waving the stack of $100′s? Are you simply not seeking out the right mix of people? If you have found yourself in this scenario more than a handful of times, perhaps some self-reflection will help. Re-evaluate your priorities and list. It certainly cannot hurt.
In conclusion….Well duh, thank you Captain Obvious!
I know I know. This all seems like common sense, but how many times have you found yourself in this mess? How many guilds have you seen go through this? Relationship issues, personality conflicts, power struggles, tyrannical GM despots with delusions of grandeur, many of us have seen it all before and more than once. If its such common sense, then why does it happen at all? Well, because it may make sense, but that doesn’t mean its common. Determine your needs. Find similar minded folks. Be a part of the solution, not the problem. Now, I must remember to take my own advice.