Brushing off the dust…

Well, it’s been a while kiddies hasn’t it. What’s been going on while old man Q has been slumbering away…and by slumbering I mean coaching 3 soccer teams and trying not to loose my mind 🙂

Let’s see…

  1. Blizzcon is around the corner (November 7th & 8th in Anaheim CA) – I will be there, roaming the halls with Ceraphus, Xia, Wil, Tristan, Noel, Adam, Fimlys, Vee, and others.
  2. World of Podcasts is also around the corner!! I ABSOLUTELY will be there participating as a panel member as well as meeting and greeting with people and helping set up and clean up. For anyone who backed WoP on kickstarter, thank you. For anyone planning on attending sign up at Eventbrite! Incidentally, I also may have been crazy busy with all the design work for WoP. Stickers, posters, cards, tees….lots of stuff! The  entire WoP planning committee really hammered me, so they are buying all the drinks that night 🙂
  3. TeePublic – I started a tee shirt storefront on Teepublic! I only have a handful of designs up so far, mostly related to Blizzcon attire. Phalanx of Nod, Azeroth Pirate Radio, and The Nexus Podcast are all represented there. Post Blizzcon I will most likely add some additional Blizzard based items like World of Podcasts, more APR, perhaps something for The Sundering or other Catalyst Gaming Media partners. Plus I have a host of non gaming related designs I’ve started including Marvel & DC heroes, film properties like Star Wars, and TV properties like Farscape and Star Trek. stay tuned.
  4. Azeroth Pirate Radio – Ceraphus and I hit our 66th episode and had Vee from Ask Mr. Robot on. A great discussion ensued regarding AMR’s upcoming features for Warlords of Draenor and focus shift away from min maxing around reforging as it leaves the game. Great stuff in that episode. We spent nearly 45 minutes chatting prior to recording, and needless to say Ceraphus was rather sleepy. You may hear snoring in the episode.
  5. Warlords of Draenor and Patch 6.0.2 – So there’s that. Its a big deal. I guess.
  6. HUNTING PARTY PODCAST RETURNS!!!! – So big kudos to the new host lineup: Darkbrew, Solarflair, Artemishowl, Delirium and Bendak. Awesome job bringing this back to life. The hunter community has always been the best part of WoW for me personally, so I am very happy HPP is back. Additionally, welcome back Warcraft Hunter’s Union. Definitely a welcome return to be more active in the community. There is a Hunter gathering taking place at Blizzcon on Saturday night if I am remembering things correctly. Check out the WHU site for more info or contact Artemishowl via Twitter.

I suppose that’s mostly the news from my little corner of Azeroth. If I missed anything let me know.


Blizzcon 2014, the announcement everyone was waiting for.

With baited breath so many fans of Blizzard watched the calendar flip by, day after day, week after week, month after month. No announcement. Nothing. Silence. Then a pop, someone saw an update on the Blizzcon site regarding the terms of service date being changed from 2013 to 2014…could this be it. Hearthstone goes live, Diablo RoS goes live, Heroes of the Storm alpha goes live…still nothing. Most have given up hope. Some were determined to not speak on Twitter again until Blizzcon was announced (See: @Zerenahoofs).

blizzcon 2014
LO AND BEHOLD! Blizzard Entertainment announced today, Blizzcon 2014. The full announcement can be found here. Major points:

  • Tickets on sale May 7 and 10 via Evenbrite
  • Cost: $199 per Blizzcon ticketand $750 for Benefit Dinner ticket (includes 1 Blizzcon pass)
  • Hands-on play time with the latest versions of Blizzard Entertainment games
  • Global finals for Blizzard eSports, including the StarCraft®II World Championship Series Global Finals
  • In-depth discussion panels with Blizzard game developers and artists
  • Competitive and casual tournaments for players to showcase their talents
  • Community contests with great prizes
  • Commemorative merchandise based on Blizzard Entertainment’s game universes
  • More activities and attractions to be announced

Yes, the cost per event ticket went up by $25 and the Benefit Dinner ticket went up by $250. That’s a serious mark up on that, and we could speculate plenty about why – honestly I won’t though, not here anyway. The $25 main ticket jump isn’t that bad, year over year its a minor increase.

I’m less than please with Eventbrite doing the ticketing here. They’ve had past issues, not that it should scar them forever; but Blizzard has proven capable of doing it themselves. Why change that?

I suspect that Warlords of Draenor will have dropped by then. So we’ll have that, Diablo, and Hearthstone in full swing. I presume the next chapter in SC2 the Protoss expansion will be on tap to announce. Heroes of the Storm I think will be close to release if not already released, so there will be that to discuss.

Could this be the Titan/Next gen Blizzcon we’ve all wondered about for years now? Possibly. There will be plenty of scuttle butt and rumors between now and November. Biggest hurdle…getting tickets. Its always the hardest part getting in queue, availability of funds, etc etc.

See you all in Anaheim…I hope!


You cannot ignore the casuals

I’m not going to tell you not to be an elitist. If you want to, go for it; it’s your prerogative. What I am going to tell you is its all about the casuals, yes those people. those filthy, dirty, casual players who are in your game, messing with your stuff, taking your phat lootz.

So, why is it about them? Well, first off change your perspective. Do not look at things as the player (whether you are casual or hardcore)…put on the developer hat. Come at this from the game maker’s perspective. Actually, lets even change it from being a game…its bacon. You are a butcher selling bacon. You have awesome bacon too. Its farm raised local pig, organic and the recipe/process is a family tradition.  Everyone comes from near and far for your bacon. Its that good. But here is the thing…its rather pricey: $15 a pound for this here bacon. Worth every penny!

You have all kinds of customers, some LOVE bacon, they come in and buy 5 pounds a week! Some really like it, but its a splurge for them, they come in once a month and buy a couple pounds to last. Some are just testing the waters, they’ve heard how good it is, but aren’t sure so they buy a half pound and you may never see them again. Others still just cant afford to buy much, so they stop in and buy 2 or 3 slices at a time every couple weeks. You are getting the idea here, all sorts of bacon-buyers, many levels of commitment and purchasing power. BUT…there are 2 things to note.

They all get the same bacon, and they all pay the same price.

I already hear the question, how does this even relate to WoW and thanks jackass, now I want some bacon. Well, first off you should always want some bacon, unless you are a vegetarian; in which case you probably still want bacon but its a dirty secret you keep from your vegetarian friends who also secretly want bacon. Second off, WoW is the bacon. Oh, you guessed that part eh? Well, but you didn’t get the point, because you are still waiting for me to explain it to you. 🙂 Ok, I’ll lessen the snark…

Look, a retailer cannot provide an inequitable offering for a product and service within the marketplace. Its discriminatory. Its illegal. Its a problem. Especially if people realize its discriminatory and choose to do something about it. You as the butcher have to offer the same product for the same price to anyone who walks in…now, you can have your regulars or favorite customers and perhaps you give them a few extra slices for free. Maybe you dont even charge them every so often “Ceraphus, you’ve bought 152 pounds of bacon in the last month…here, have a pound on me!” Or honestly…maybe this mom comes in and you’ve seen her, you know she doesn’t have a lot of money, so you double her order, charge her half, and say “Happy Mother’s Day” as she replies, “But its August?!”, “So it is” 🙂

And that is exactly what Blizzard does with their game currently. The same gear/rewards regardless of the level you complete the challenge on. A conversation on twitter this AM sparked my thoughts about this. Its not a new topic or discussion, and I’ve discussed it before. At the end of the day Blizzard has to be equitable in what products and services it offers, at what level, and to whom. They have 2 roads ahead of them as all retailers do: Offer differing levels of service for differing prices (silver, gold, platinum membership for example); or offer the same of everything to everyone and vary the value of it based on how hard it is to attain. So in regards to raid gear we have LFR, Flex, Normal, Heroic levels of raiding content. Same content, just harder as you climb the difficulty ladder. Accordingly, the gear/rewards are also the same just better as it gets more difficult…LFR=bronze, Flex=silver, normal=gold, heroic=platinum. There are 2 sides to this equation.

First: as the consumer of this service model its equitable. If all I want to put my time and energy into is running LFR, then I can do so and get the same look and feel someone who runs the Heroic mode content. Is their gear better in terms of stats, yes. But honestly the stats only matter to the heroic mode player. If I already had the ability to down my level of content, having more powerful gear doesn’t matter. I had what I needed.

Second: as the developer I do not need to code multiple loot tables with all kinds of different gear. I can make it the same table of items, but make it scalable. Altering the stat amounts with a formula so that everyone gets the same item, just slightly more powerful based on the challenge. MUCH easier for maintenance. Everyone is happy, and more importantly I cannot be accused of discriminating against the more “casual” player and that I favor the elitists.

Well, not everyone is of course happy…because its WoW, and its Twitter, and its the internet. So, if you are peeved…if you are asking “Why should Blizzard care about the casuals?!” Well, first off don’t be an elitist douche. Second off, Blizzard cares about the casual player because there are A LOT MORE OF THEM. A FREAKING WHOLE LOT MORE!!!! Additionally, casual players from a marketing profile traditionally have more disposable income than non-casual players. Blizzard wants them happy, they are the bulk of their user base. Also, they cost less to maintain the relationship, but pay the same price as everyone else. They make more profit off casual players per head!!! OF COURSE Blizzard and any developer for that matter wants them happy.

If you got the whole point here, then good. You are looking at this issue holistically when it comes to the health of the game. If you don’t get the point or are still in your head trying to argue against it, then congratulations you are an elitist. I’m not judging you, you can be an elitist all you like. Just understand the rabbit hole that leads down.

Personally, I want everyone to have this good delicious bacon right here. Buy what you can afford, come as often or as infrequently as you like. There is always plenty of it. Its always the same price for everyone who walks in the door. And in my world, we pay it forward. I remember when a customer pays for their bacon, plus the person behind them. I notice when one customer allows another one to jump the front of the line because they are in a hurry.

Azeroth Choppers

Azeroth Choppers, hell yeah!

So Blizzard announced a new web series based off American Choppers, Azeroth Choppers.

Azeroth Choppers

A new web series is set to premier tomorrow 4/17 involving Blizzard Entertainment and a very well-known motorcycle designer! Paul Jr, formerly of the hit TLC show “American Choppers,” and Blizzard will have a themed bike build-off. The basic premise of this series pits two teams up against each other in order to create an amazing World of Warcraft themed bike. The winner will be chosen by the WoW community itself in a winner take all-event and be featured as an in-game mount.

Grab a front-row seat for the ultimate road showdown! Legendary custom motorcycle designer Paul Jr. has assembled two handpicked teams of bike experts to bring to life a pair of asphalt-kicking chopper designs inspired by World of Warcraft®’s two warring factions. Joining each crew on their epic quest are members of the World of Warcraft development team, on board to help to infuse the essence of the Horde and the Alliance into each bike. In the end, only one chopper will reign supreme as the undisputed king of Azeroth’s roads in a winner-takes-all showdown voted on by World of Warcraft players around the globe.

Let’s be clear…I love this idea. It takes one series I always tuned in to watch and a game product I love and mashes them together. I will stipulate, I fell off of American Chopper when the power struggle between Paul Jr and Paul Sr began to overtake the bike builds. I tuned in to see great design and fabrication, not emotional fights and a father-son battle royales. To top it off the series teams will be headed up by one of my favorite artists in the world in Samwise Didier and none other than Chris Metzen. Again, a little disclosure…I am not a fan boy of Metzen, but I do have respect and admiration to him as a leading creative force in all things Blizzard. I think his public persona is just a bit over the top in self-love and ego..but yeah, he is personally responsible for so much of Warcraft & Starcraft that I still have to tip my hat to the guy. Any who…this really makes the series more fun to watch in my opinion. We will see a pair of bike fabricators led by each Blizzard persona with Paul Jr as lead judge/host plus getting to see the final results voted on by the WoW Community and added as a mount in-game!! What is not to love?!

Oh, that’s right….outrage. Because people always have to be outraged about something, right? Well what’s the outrage over? The usual stuff, which honestly I won’t get into…feel free to do a Google search on the storied history of complaints regarding Blizzard and their game and story development. You’ll find it. I of course will add my usual counter to the ongoing complaint department, why are you still playing the game? If you don’t like an artist, why buy their work and hang it on your walls? If you don’t like the food/service at a restaurant, why would you keep going back again and again? Additionally, every time a change is made it’s never enough. The wait-staff at Blizzard has re-fired your meal 100 times over and brought you a fresh plate trying to address the last complaint you had and yet you still can’t stand it, you still find fault. At some point someone would tell you the problem is you. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not…personally, for me, at some point I would just accept it’s not a fit for me. I’d stop playing, stop buying their products, stop supporting at a game developer that doesn’t suit my needs.

Case in point…we have a Honda Odyssey in our house. We have 3 kids, a dog, I coach multiple soccer teams – we need the space. BMW doesn’t make a mini-van, also I happen to think their vehicles are way over-priced. Does this mean they make bad cars & SUVs, no. I am under the impression that folks that own them swear by them, but the company does not make a vehicle that suits our family, and I am less than enamored with the pricing structure of their product – simply not worth it in my book. So, is the solution my constant derailing of BMW as a worthless and disappointing car manufacturer for not offering vehicles at a lower cost? Do I spend my time decrying them as marginalizing families for not having more family friendly vehicles in their lineup? No. I simply don’t shop for or buy a BMW. Simple as that.

I do not NEED a BMW, I NEED a car. One of the positive aspects of a capitalist society is having multiple alternatives in the marketplace to offer me a choice in my car buying. Same can be said for video games, and the flagship of Blizzard – World of Warcraft. There are other MMOs to play. There are other game developers from which you can purchase products. Also…hint hint…you do not NEED a video game. You want one. You want a game that matches your play style, your personal ideologies, your persona; you want a game that reflects YOU. Funny, so do I…so does everyone. Therein lies the rub, as a developer Blizzard is making a game a world they like. One that they choose to share with us in hopes we will like it too. Granted they look for feedback to sway the needle slightly one way or the other to shape and mold the world in which we play; but how far can you expect them to go? Not very in my experience.

So, outrage over Azeroth Choppers makes no real sense to me. It doesn’t affect or change the game play of World of Warcraft. It’s an ancillary viral marketing campaign. If you don’t like the idea then don’t tune in. If this turns you off from the game, then so be it. I doubt that you were headed down any other path than un-subbing anyway. And please do not espouse to me how this is alienating half the player base. Unless you have actual data that shows this you are grasping at straws at best or worse yet using anecdotal evidence to make your argument (You used a personal experience or an isolated example instead of a sound argument or compelling evidence). Don’t do this. You can use anecdotal evidence to form your own opinion, you can use it to shape your constituency, you can use it to illustrate your opinchopperion or perspective…but it’s not a basis for a logical argument. Just don’t.

I’ll be tuning in tomorrow, and to each episode. I am a motorcycle fan and love the fabrication and design process. I happen to think OCC (by extension Paul Jr.) has made some of the coolest bikes on the planet. I’d love to see one in WoW. That is all this is about. No more no less.

Sometimes a chopper is just a chopper.



Team Horde
Team Horde is led by Warchief Samwise, aka Sam Didier, who’s spent his entire career in the entertainment industry. Sammy’s first job was in cinema . . . as usher at a local movie theater. There he spent countless hours perfecting his art on candy order forms and bathroom check sheets. It was a bold move, but Samwise left behind the spiritually rewarding job of sweeping up filthy movie theaters to join Blizzard Entertainment in 1991 as one of the fledgling company’s first artists. Samwise is also the lead singer of Blizzard’s in-house band, The Artists Formerly Known as Level-90 Elite Tauren Chieftain.

Joining Samwise on Team Horde are Gary Platner and Jason Hutchins.

Gary Platner is a lead environment artist and former stand-up comic (he even got paid once!) who’s been training Krav Maga for about four years. He loves training, sparring, and getting kicked in the head by his fellow students.

Jason is a senior game producer who’s living the dream. He married his high school sweetheart and enjoys the finer things in life: cars, cocktails, guns, motorcycles, and food. Not in that order and never all at once.

For the Horde!


Team Alliance
Team Alliance is led by Chris Metzen, Blizzard’s chief storyteller. He’s filled countless roles at the company over the years, seamlessly transitioning from artist to game designer to voice actor and writer. He’s the guy who’s been creating the characters and worlds that millions of gamers have grown to love. When he’s not psyching up a packed BlizzCon® crowd from the main stage in the Anaheim Convention Center, he can often be found reading and writing comics or riding a dirt bike.

Joining Chris on Team Alliance are Terran Gregory and Monte Krol.

Terran Justice Gregory (yes, that’s his real name) is an associate project director, dedicated Gnome enthusiast, and filmmaker who lives and dies for the Alliance. Terran is a huge World of Warcraft lore nerd who was the player behind Kyle’s mage in South Park’s “Make Love, Not Warcraft” episode.

Monte Krol is a lead software engineer who’s even done some writing and voice acting for Warcraft III and World of Warcraft—he’s the voice of the goblin saying “Time is money, friend!” Monte’s also hardcore into 3D printing, recently printing a working six-speed transmission.


Wherein Ceraphus was right.

I whearthstone_release-335x256as wrong. I never have had a problem admitting my mistakes, ever. I make mistakes all the time…doozies too. Yes, its a bit of a punch to the pride to admit when you were wrong, but there’s no shame in it. Hey, I’m not perfect, I’m not always right. No one is always right!!! So, yeah…I was wrong.

Tuesday March 11, 2014 saw the final patch from Blizzard for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft; and boom…live. I thought they would bring down beta for a short time, just a few weeks. Then they would allow D3:RoS to launch and give a few weeks breather until dropping Hearthstone. I figured last week of April, 1st of May. Nope. wrong. Its live, now; and you can get a nice shiny new mount in World of Warcraft too! Just win three matches in play or arena mode with a single class.

Actually, its a very nice mount.
Now, new players understand that you may be playing against seasoned players who have all of their available cards including legendaries that may make it tough to win your three matches. Just keep plugging away, and learn the cards you have and how where the synergy lies within your deck. There are many resources available online to help you build a deck that will work (HearthPwn comes to mind). As always, mileage may vary simply based on RNG/Card Draw. FYI: Card Draw is the ultimate elevator boss in hearthstone….just saying.

So, the game is live. Play away. Get a new mount. Plus alternative card backs, golden hero plates, and generally have a lot of fun playing a great game. I was wrong, I admit it.

What I have to admit…What I hate to admit…Ceraphus was right. His claim was they would patch it and go straight to live…he was right. Its like fire on my tongue. Its more than a bitter pill, its like castor oil. Nasty. Disgusting. Ceraphus was right.

I’m never going to live this down. ugh. Enjoy Hearthstone everyone…I’ll be sobbing in the corner.



Level 90 = 13 lbs of bacon

Yup. World of Warcraft is dead. As a door nail. Doomed. Toast. Gone. History. Spent.


Ok, not really…but when the servers came back up and it was reported out that the boost to 90 feature was indeed available in the in-game store and it cost $60, yeah, minds were lost. The blogosphere, WoWnews sites, Twitter, Facebook, verily the Sochi Olympics were postponed to denounce the horror of Blizzard charging such an obscene amount of real world hard earned dollars for this service!!!

Like I said…WoW is clearly dead.

Alright, I’ll stop. Though you would consider it to be the case based on some of the commentary you see. Now personally, I stated via Twitter that Blizzard is the dealer, and we are the addicts. We’ll take whatever they dish to us and we’ll like it. Of course I was then ridiculed for comparing Blizzard to drug dealers, when in fact that wasn’t exactly my analogy. On Monday mornings many of us state Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts are our dealers, and we the caffeine addicts flock in droves to reap the rewards of the delicious java brewed by some part time barista. No one thinks I’m comparing Starbucks baristas to some seedy alley way meth dealer, so why would you think I felt that way about Blizzard?

I digress from the specifics of that argument, and circle back to my focus…the analogy of Blizzard dealing out delicious digital content and we as addicted gamers to said content. Its true. Argue against whatever shame inducing thoughts or feelings you may have about this, and accept it. Blizz can and in fact does do what they please and we accept it. We always do! Don’t get me wrong, we are the consumers and can help shape what direction they sometimes go. We can do our best to provide criticism and feedback and some times Blizz will heed that advice and alter products and services.

Someone asked on twitter if this was a service that should have been made, my reply: No. The point of the game is to go on an adventure in this expansive world. Instant level 90 negates some of that adventure, potentially all of it. There are a few points and counter points though the essence of this question. Is boost to 90 at a cost of $60 worth it. First lets tackle…

$60 = 15 Grande lattes at Starbucks (~$4 ea.)
$60 = 7.5 Sweet & Sour Chicken combo w/ pork fried rice and 2 pieces of beef teriyaki (~$8 ea.)
$60 = 1 stick – Kingston 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 Desktop Memory (~$53 ea.)
$60 = 17 gal of regular gasoline (~$3.35 per gal)
$60 = 13lbs of bacon (~$4.5 per lb)
$60 = 12 Imported draft beers (~$5 ea.)

In terms of playing a game, $60 seems like a lot, but compared to some real life costs it really isn’t. To be fair, how much time is involved with leveling to level 90? Does it take a week? A month? well, in WoW terms I think Blizzard may feel it takes 4 months of game time. $60 = 4 months of WoW ($15 ea.)

Now, I am going out on a limb here because I have no real data to suggest what I am about to say is true…but I think its a safe limb. I bet Blizz has data/evidence that shows it DOES take the average player 4 months to level to 90. Why? Because they didn’t pull $60 out of thin air. They chose that price for a reason, and personally I think thats the reason! Give up on getting Kung Pao Chicken take out for a month, get a free level 90 instead.

Second objection to tackle…Most people have leveled to 90 multiple toons, THE ADVENTURE IS DEAD.
Wait, “most” people?! really?! Because I have 2 level 90s. I’ve been playing for 9 years, no interruptions. I have TWO. I do not think MOST people are sick of leveling. Perhaps the most vocal players are sick of leveling. Perhaps the majority of hard core players are sick of leveling. Those are statements I can fathom, but the blanket statement that most of ALL the WoW players are sick of leveling…I do not buy it.

The majority of the game’s content is in leveling. The OVERWHELMING majority of the game’s content is in leveling. I will say this one more time….THE MAJORITY OF THE GAME’S CONTENT IS IN LEVELING. Now, its not by coincidence that this is the case. With each new expansion, previous content is now leveling fodder. It becomes absorbed into the vast chasm of “old content”. Sick of leveling are you? Then really you are sick of the previous expansions. How many players flocked to level Pandarean when MoP came out? If the issue was leveling itself, then newly leveled Pandas would be rare, and Blizz would have usage statistics to show this. Sorry, I don’t buy this as a valid reason for the service, especially given that plenty of new content has been made specifically for leveling purposes. Older content has been revamped for leveling purposes. The design thought here is refresh it for existing players to go back and not be bored with it, but also ensure new players have good challenging content in which to fall in love with the game. New players aren’t jumping in saying “Man…I can’t wait to end game raiding, have to level faster!” Just no.

There are so many fast ways to level a toon now. I mean really fast. I’ve seen folks brag at how they got to 90 within a weekend. Is that true or accurate….I don’t know. I just think if you really want a level 90 Blood Elf Warlock that badly, you could power through whatever leveling process you so choose fairly quickly.

Third item to discuss…Boost to 90 is  pay to win feature.
Well….no. Mainly because the new level cap will be 100, so any player will still have 10 more levels to manually level or themselves. Also it doesn’t mean they come fully geared, so again a player has to go earn their gear through dungeons, raids, etc themselves.

Now there have been some other items thrown about:
Quick leveling negates learning to play your class. Well, what if I am paying to get a second end game Hunter? I already know how to play that class.
Buying a 90 gives you a competitive advantage. But, it doesn’t. You still have 10 levels to go. You still have to earn your gear.

I know there are other points to be made for and against this feature being of any value. Personally, I will use the free single use boost to 90, but will not pay for this feature. I am also someone who doesn’t buy pets, mounts, or other cosmetic items (I have purchased a few of them, but not all. and did so only when they went on sale for relatively little expense). Ultimately I think this service and its cost are really about one thing and one thing only…making money. Blizzard has players willing to pay to skip leveling for a number of reasons. Blizzard will make money on this. So whether its worth it for a player to pay $60 for this isn’t relevant, it will be worthwhile for Blizzard to offer the service.

wow_mugI’m ok with this. I’ve said it before, and Im sure I will again. I want my derive/product providers to make money. The more successful they are, the more likely they funnel that success and profits back into the products and services I enjoy. Blizzard, Apple, Honda, Razer, are all examples of products and services I use that have shown continued improvement based on their success.

So go for it Blizzard. Charge $60 for a level 90 character. Charge $100 for a special transmog outfit so your character looks like Chris Metzen in game. Charge whatever for any service anyone is willing to pay for in game. Just make sure you put those profits back into your products, and I am pretty much willing to take whatever you pour into my coffee cup.


Being constructive…its all about the foundation

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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…
  3. 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…
  4. 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.