Down, but not out.

I know its been close to a month without a peep from me. I kind of feel like a slacker, but not really. Work has been hectic to say the least with various web development projects hitting high points prior to year end. My home life has been busy, but to be honest with both my wife and I working full time and three kids – its ALWAYS busy! Recreational Soccer ended rather abruptly with both Team England and Team Netherlands being knocked out of the playoffs. However, competitive soccer has begun for my daughter, and my oldest son is in full basketball season swing (both of them are really quite good at their respective sports)!

Now, as for WoW world…hmm. That’s, well, its been disappointing. 6 of us server transferred to a 25 man raid guild with the hopes it would be a permanent and stable home for us. We helped two casters finish their legendary staves which felt great. We ended our 25 man group at 2/7 heroic and hit 3/7 heroic after downing Majordomo Heroic in a 10 man group. It was getting a little frustrating with not having enough bodies on some nights and on others people simply derping at various moments. But honestly…its not unexpected, at least not to me. Its the norm. Its what happens in the overwhelming majority of guilds. What happened next however is not expected…

The GM/RL decided to step down. He was done. He and one of the legendary toting dps left to join a 25 man guild on another server who were 6/7 HM. The other legendary wielder left to go to a similarly progressed guild. Another officer left to go play with a different guild on the server – again more progressed than we were. The current GM is not a stable raider due to her home life being complicated with a newborn (I’ve been there…its tough). I just can’t help but feel used here. Like my 5 friends and I were used as fill to attain the gear folks needed to lead them on to bigger and better things.

Now DO NOT get me wrong…I don’t begrudge anyone playing as they see fit within the game. It’s their $15 and they can go where they choose. But, this didn’t taste very good in my mouth. I am torn at staying within this now somewhat sundered guild. Those remaining are indeed trying to put pieces back together. I’ve help build guilds before, even helped raise them from the ashes. Its a hard road to sow, and I am not sure I have it in me. Additionally, there were 4 hunters on the 25 man roster…at least 3 of us are left (not sure on the 4th as of yet). A 10 man raid is not going to carry 3 to be honest, let alone 4 hunters!!!

Should I stay, should I go? I pride myself on playing a hunter since day one and never taking a break from the game. Always raiding, even if its been far more casual than hardcore at times. Hey, I practice what I preach…its all about SURVIVING WoW!!! I just don’t know if I can survive this. Not in the raiding/contributing sense.

I’ve been leveling another hunter (shocking I know) along side my spouse who has opted to play the game. It’s been fun, teaching her and learning quite a few things from her on how new players view the game. Revisiting old content has been great too. I’m just hitting Zangarmarsh which was always a favorite zone from BC. There’s something revitalizing about leveling a new toon without the aid of heirlooms and the large bank account of a main. It’s challenging again in many ways. I like it.

So, I’m a little tired. This has been a draining year of WoW. We’re coming into the holiday season when my play time normally dips. What shall I do? Anyone looking for a Survival Hunter? Am I gun shy now that if I do go somewhere I will find myself in this again…left holding broken pieces because someone else breaks the toy?

I know I’m not the only one who has gone through this. Why do we as players do this to one another?


Bang head here…

So what do you do when you find yourself banging your head over and over again on the same issue? Well, there are multiple options ahead of you…the least objectionable in my humble opinion? Move on.

Yes, that’s right. GIVE UP! Concede defeat. Move the frell on!!!

Ok, so I do not mean do the above and never return. What I mean is to move on and try something new. Circle back again another day. When you are finding you can’t over come a hurdle, its best to back off and try something different for a time. That is certainly not going to solve the problem, but it will ensure you don’t become stuck in quicksand.




Our raid team was at a roadblock with heroic Lord Ryolith. You can argue that its too little dps. Not enough hps during phase 2? Perhaps the positioning is off? Maybe the steering is faulty? RNG?!!? Does it even matter at this point? Reality is we weren’t getting it. There are 2 choices when you are in this situation, and we’ve all been here, you can forge ahead and keep slamming your head against that wall; or trying something different. Take a break from it.

Now personally, I like the notion of changing gears and doing something fun! Real life example: Your work team having issues, in-fighting – go for ice cream! Take them out to play mini golf. Watch a movie. Even just a simple lunch break out of the office or after work round of drinks can be enough to snap people out of their bad mojo and get things moving in the right direction.

The issue we’re talking about here is “state of mind”. You need to clear people’s heads and continuing to another challenge may not help matters. In game I like to think of FUN things to do that will clear heads and restore a sense of fun. Raid on a capital city anyone? Maybe old school raids? Perhaps a specific achievement run for folks? A mount run of some kind? I could go on, but you get the idea.

In short you need to determine what your raid group needs to unwind and settle their thoughts. Allow them to clear their minds and refocus their energies to the proper course. Our raid team hung in there slamming their heads. We downed him last night. Everything finally clicked and we managed to finish him off in good order.

This doesn’t always work, but it did this time! 🙂

To sum it up…finding yourself hitting a wall with leveling, raiding, PvP, any in-game challenge? Step back. Walk away. Do something else for a minute or hour, or day. Try to unwind. Try to take a break. Try to do anything BUT what you were doing. Clear your head and thoughts and then come back ready to roll. Being refocused and engaged on your task will lead to success. Trust me on this one.


Why so quiet & New beginnings…

So I ramped up with a number of posts over the last couple months, and now have been fairly quiet. Life had caught up to me a bit. Soccer playoffs are upon us for the next few weeks, Blizzcon is fast approaching (still struggling with going or not), home life has been chaotic to say the least.

In short, I am sorry to those who I have sucked into my swirling vortex of doom. I am sorry to those who expect a good read surrounding the drama within WoW and I haven’t supplied it in good fashion. I am especially sorry to friends and family who I have angered and hurt in various ways with my selfishness and poor judgment.I don’t expect anyone to forget my poor behavior, but I do ask that you forgive me.

So, now that I have eluded to my own personal drama….how about some WoW talk!!!!!

So I and a handful of guild-mates server transferred to Zul’Jin to 25 man raid with Way of the Warrior (Atilanta – Priest, Asripper – DK, Azariel – Mage, Phatkow – Druid, Artemis – Hunter, and I). Third week in…so far so good. I have not been in full attendance for raid the last couple of weeks due to some RL conflicts, but have been on for the majority of raiding time. I had attempted the Rag fight previously a handful of times, but this one was my first kill. Felt good. Plus, our shadow priest Missarie finished off her legendary quest line for Dragonwrath, Tarecogosa’s Rest. Congrats to her and the guild on a great accomplishment for this tier of content.

We are working on heroic modes now. Shannox was fairly straightforward. Ryolith has been a bit of a thorn to this point. I am confident though this week Shannox, Ryo, Alysrazor, and Bael will all go down on HM. I will admit to being pessimistic about Beth HM, but we shall see.

WotW is currently running with 4 hunters. 3 MM and my little old Survival-self. Interestingly enough I am the least geared of the 4 of us, and find my dps numbers hold their own. Are they usually ahead of me, yes; but not as far ahead as one might expect. Additionally, some fights I am ahead of some or all of them – again just confirming my experience-based opinion that it’s really about an individual’s comfort with their spec and the forgivingness of specific fight mechanics. So far, a lot of fun! There are some personality conflicts in the group, but nothing earth shattering. I agree with most of how Theryc (GM/RL) runs the guild as well as the raids (though he allows non combat pets out during raid…dude I so hate that! J). For my part, I like the group. Strong leadership is a great foundation, a core of players focused on a singular goal helps solidify that foundation.

So what should one do when finding yourself in a new guild like this? Well, Borsk over at has a great piece about this very subject. I will focus on one particular piece he mentions…”Shut your damn mouth!” In part, one primary reason we moved to WotW was the great conversations and dungeon runs I had with a number of the players there. We were all open and free with our conversations and there were no guarded or secretive portions of our personalities. Simply stated, “What you see is what you get”. So, for my part, they saw my sarcastic, snarky, self-deprecating self and they all liked it. I saw some of the same with certain people, in addition to the serious “Let’s get this done” side of others. A great combo to make me feel it would be a good raiding home. We often speak about our guilds as family, or extended family. Some times this is true, but that’s usually after a long honeymoon of in game time spent with one another. I personally am not there yet with WotW and no one ever should be when only a few weeks into a new guild. So my snark and sarcasm toned WAYYYY down and made way for something entirely different. Quiet. Silence. Guarded. I don’t want to rock the boat. I don’t want to touch a raw nerve with anyone in particular, so I try to be diplomatic and politically correct. Sometimes the sarcasm comes through, but most times its only something small and fairly non-descript. I’ve been whispered numerous times by new and old guild-mates asking, “Why are you so quiet? Is everything ok?” Well aside from my personal life being very strenuous and trying to sort that out, my in game life has been turned upside-down. I’m on a new server, with a new guild, with new people who I don’t truly know. It’s a good time to be QUIET. Understand the lay of the land, who is who, what people’s likes and dislikes are. Being quiet is prudent.

So for those who like the joking and verbose Q…just be patient. I’ll get around to pissing people off soon enough J. To others, take a hint here…lay low. Listen. Listen. Listen. Get to know who you are playing alongside before you start to reveal all of your less than admirable traits and qualities. Once folks have learned to love you better side, that’s when they may be more apt to accept your worse side.

Firelands Nerf comments…

I don’t like saying something that someone else has already stated well enough. So, let me suggest you read these 2 articles instead of me blabbering like a blithering idiot.

Mory has a nice take on Firelands nerfs here.
Lyraat has a different viewpoint here. (bonus, he also has his class feedback comments in the same article)

So, why these 2 in particular? Well, one – hunter friends. And Hunters ALWAYS stick together! ALWAYS! But, two – they have contrasting viewpoints if you really read into the tone. Mory is a progression raider in a 25 man progression guild. Lyraat is casual raider in a 10 man raiding guild. (if either of you feel I am miss-representing – let me know)

This is an important distinction as to how players feel about incoming “nerfs”! One views it as “TOO SOON” the other sees the opportunity to prep for the next challenge.

Let me say….NEITHER IS WRONG! AT ALL! They are both right. But this folks…this right here…is the rock/hard place Blizzard finds itself in. As always no matter which they choose, they are wrong in someone’s eyes. They can’t win. I do pity them…seriously, I do pity Blizzard in this regard.

So give those 2 articles a read, and definitely keep reading them both! Totally worth the brain power.


The story of 3 raiders, who do you choose?

dogs - gotta love emWe play with all kinds of players in this game. Some choose to PvP exclusively, others raid only, and still others just run heroics casually and work on achievements. Individuality is a big part of WoW and Blizzard has done an excellent job at trying to appease various levels/styles of game play. Bravo for that Blizz.

So, here is the story of 3 raiders in any average guild…we all know these 3 people.

  • Mememe – the greatest ever Hunter anyone has ever seen. Just ask him.
    Mememe is good. He is actually very good at his role and class. Asks for very little. Doesn’t throw fits of rage or anything when he doesn’t get something like a new helm. He’s a good enough person, not overly mean or anything. BUT…always a “but” right…Mememe farms BOE’s to sell. Mememe rarely runs alts or lesser geared players through anything. Mememe does not come to the fun raids (farm raids, achievement raids, etc). Mememe constantly explains how awesome he is, he performs and doesn’t disappoint in progression…but that other side of “guild life” is lacking.
  • IamtheAWESOME – plays a DK and knows everything about what everyone else SHOULD do with their toon.
    Constantly grates and annoys by telling everyone else what to do when and how. Consummate expert on everything….everything except their own damn toon! In defense, he doesn’t overtly ruin the raid by causing a wipe, but doesn’t help or add to it by very much if at all. Completely expendable from a player stand point. Always willing to level or gear one of his 93 other toons. Ask him to leave the raid for any reason and be prepared to get a whole lot of lip as to justifying why he didn’t or did do what you are pointing out. “Hey, you have the lowest dps, I need to swap you out.” “WOAH! My cat was humping the radiator in the other room and a twig broke outside…wasn’t my fault!!!”
  • Thenewguy – new guy in the guild playing his warrior.
    Truly happy to be here, wants to help any way he can. No arguments, no drama, no fuss. Super flexible…tank? sure. DPS, fine by me. Admits his own flaws and asks what he can do differently to improve. Wants to raid if he can, but doesn’t want to push anyone out. “I’m always here for fill if you want me…just ask!” Gear drops…”Give it to that person for off-spec, they are a main raider, not me” Selfless. Ask him to step out for someone else, “Sure, thanks for inviting me guys, had a blast!” Will pvp, raid, achievement run, gear any and all other guildies if he can help!

Who do you like? Me, I will take raider 3…give me 9 or 24 of them and I would have the happiest guild/raid ever. No drama, no problems; just a solid group all willing to help one another and have fun!

I know this is total fantasy “pie in the sky” type stuff. I know this is blasphemy from the eyes of the top end guilds and raiders in the world. None of the above 3 are bad people per say, nor are they necessarily the greatest ever.

I am at the point in my game play where success is not measured by progression or gear scores…its in drama & fun. As in how little drama there is, and how much fun we’re having. I want to enjoy my time in game, I want to play alongside people I wouldn’t mind having a drink with too. This game is coming to a close all too soon, and I would like to have some friendships that last to the next digital adventure or even into the real world from all of this.

Anyone agreeing with this or am I totally on an island here? Hello? Wow…its freaking dark in here, and that’s a really loud echo. HEEEELLLLLOOOOOO??!??!