Posts tagged ‘Guild’
I love Ulduar.
I love the scenery. I love the lore — what I understand of it, anyway (I’ve never paid too much attention to that aspect of the game, which is ironic for someone who considers herself a compulsive role-player). I love the boss fights with their fun, occasionally gimmicky mechanics; the trash pulls that require creativity and thought; the unexpected humor (XT-002′s voice, AoE mobs named Trash and V0-L7R-0N spring readily to mind); and especially the newness of it all.
I love that healing is hard again; that I have to utilize my rotations rather than simply spam Chain Heal on the melee.
What I don’t love — and what actually caused me to end last night’s raid in tears (something I don’t dare confess to the guild-at-large) — was the Naxx-inspired cockiness that we took into Ulduar with us the first time we zoned in, and the inevitable crash that followed it.
I don’t think Ulduar is “too hard.” On the contrary, compared to SSC and TK — The Burning Crusade‘s sophomore tier — Ulduar’s easy modes are… well, easy. Laugh if you like, but we didn’t down Void Reaver the first time we attempted him. It took two days for us to master that particular fight, and we raced the enrage timer every week for a month before we could consider the “Loot Reaver” on farm.
I stopped counting after the first few dozen deaths (and I was playing a warlock at the time, so they were plentiful!), but I rather suspect that A’lar’s trash wiped us more times than Razorscale, Deconstructor and Ignis combined.
So, no, the problem isn’t Ulduar itself.
The problem is that Naxxramas was so easy by comparison to the raids that preceded it that we actually forgot what it was like to progress through new content. Once upon a tier, we congratulated ourselves when it “only” took a week or two of raiding to defeat a new boss. Now, we feel like we’ve failed if it takes more than two or three attempts, let alone nights.
Tensions are running high in my 25-man raid. We’re making decent progress — nine bosses fell (or were redeemed) in our second full week of raiding — but we’re certainly not one- or two- shotting encounters like we were in Naxxramas when it was new.
To be fair, most of us don’t want to. We complained bitterly that Naxx was “too easy”; by the time Ulduar was released, we were desperate for a challenge. (Granted, Sartharion 3D was a challenge — but it was also a hard-mode, so we tended to view it as an encore performance rather than a legitimate step in our progression.)
Still, there’s a difference between wanting to wipe in Ulduar and actually wiping in Ulduar. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to forget that this is exactly what we’ve been crying for, and start to lose our patience and eventually our tempers. This happened repeatedly in Saturday’s 25-man raid, as the same officers and veterans I count on to help me lead when Keaton isn’t around (and he wasn’t this weekend) tore into each other for perceived slights, mistakes, lapses in judgment and even disagreements over strategy. As hard as I tried to run interference — reining in tempers, soothing ruffled feathers, mediating the inevitable disputes privately while remaining outwardly positive — I failed utterly to control the raid and ended the night thoroughly exhausted, demoralized and in tears.
Even Sunday’s Ulduar 10 was rough. We cleared everything before General Vezax in just five hours, with a dozen wipes along the way — most of them on Mimiron. Given that this was only our second week of raiding, I think this is outstanding; GuildOx agrees, and ranks us as #1 Horde-side and #6 on the server (which is pretty awesome, if you ask me). Nonetheless, the bickering that was so prevalent in Saturday’s Ulduar 25 raid polluted our usually relaxed Ulduar 10, and far from enjoying the new content that I claim to love, I find myself dreading it.
Don’t get me wrong: I really enjoy the people I play with. I’ve said over and over again that they absolutely make the game for me, and it’s true. It’s the short-temperedness and the peevishness among my core raid — two very recent developments — that are slowly spoiling the endgame for me. It may be a bit of a cop-out to name Naxxramas as the culprit, rather than the players themselves (or the guild leader who is accustomed to leading by example, and floundering now that she needs to take a more hands-on approach…), but I sincerely believe that the precedent that it set six months ago is hurting us now.
* * *
As I was writing this (in between SQL queries at work >.>), Matticus posted a theory about Ulduar frustrations that has since been picked up by WoW Insider:
Many guilds have forgotten what it’s like to hit a progression wall. Raiders who felt good about themselves and their abilities started having doubts about themselves.
This is what we’re experiencing. Exactly.
For us, the problem lies in the fact that these doubts have manifested as fits of temper — and, in some cases, depression — that are quickly snowballing through the raid. I’m going to have to give some serious thought to combating them, because I refuse to let Naxxramas of all things break my guild six months after we trounced it.
With the notable exception of Keaton, none of my guildmembers are aware that I blog. At least, I think they aren’t. One of my hunters is a frequent commenter over at Gevlon‘s place and occasionally Drotara’s, but I doubt he’s followed the links back to me yet. (Or if he has, he’s been discreet about it, which I appreciate.)
On the other hand, I do know that at least one of my guildmembers also maintains a WoW blog, which he updates infrequently enough that I recently removed it from my blogroll. Nonetheless, I’m scratching my head over his most recent post, which just went up today:
Can someone please give me a home? I need to find a good server.
I know he loathes the PvP server culture, and has tried at least once before to make a home elsewhere. I’m (selfishly) hoping that’s what this is about, because I’d hate to think I missed some bit of guild drama that could be driving him away. I thought we were back on an even keel, but who knows what happens when I’m not online.
Then again, if it is guild-related, then it’s at least something we can work on — in contrast to the over-arching server culture, which is beyond all hope of redemption. I wouldn’t blame anyone for wanting to transfer off; if I weren’t so invested in my guild, I would too! You know things are bad when the #1 Horde guild on the server hosts trade-channel PuG’s for nothing more than the dubious joy of ninja-looting all of the drops to guildmembers who don’t need them (and, in many cases, can’t equip them) over PuG’s who do, and then mocking anyone who dares to complain about it in trade chat and on the realm forum.
Anyway, I can’t comment on his blog because it’s blocked at work, but I’ll make a point of talking to him tonight. In the meantime, I’ll just … obssess quietly over it, I guess.
“Where did all of these priests come from?” —our shadow priest, upon noticing that we were running two shadow priests, two holy priests and a disc priest in a recent Naxx-20 clear
“Well, when a mommy priest and a daddy priest love each other …” —our smart-ass resto shaman (who boils water like a pro!)
“… or get really, really drunk …” —our other smart-ass resto shaman (is there any other kind?)
“We have five hunters, too. Half of the raid is priests and hunters …” —our survival hunter, clearly feeling left out
“Do you want us to tell sexy stories about your parents, too?” —one of the shamans (I can’t tell them apart anymore!)
Yep, still love my guild!
(And still working on a real post. Promise.)
Our Brazilian magelet logged on this weekend to do some serious leveling. She took time off at the end of The Burning Crusade, but is back with a vengeance. (We’ve missed her on Vent! Raiding just hasn’t been the same without her random, pre-pull serenades. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard the Johnson & Johnson jingle, immediately followed by Dory’s mantra — just keep swimming! just keep swimming! — and then some Green Day. All in Portuguese.)
As you might expect from someone new to Northrend in a guild full of players who have leveled multiple alts to 80, our magelet is full of questions.
Should I start in Borean Tundra or Howling Fjord?
… How do you pronounce Howling Fjord, anyway?
For the record, I’m pretty sure it’s fee-yord.
DHETA? Really?! Have all these druids lost their tree-loving minds?
Hey, can someone help me with this group quest real quick?
And, most recently:
Why is there a … leaf … on the guild tabard?
Our American critchicken (who is the process of growing bark; welcome back to /surrheal, Dio!) clued her in:
The magelet said it best:
I love my guild. <3
P.S. She’s a blue-skinned troll mage who shares a name with the Brazilian version of Smurfette. Hence the references. … also, don’t search for Smurfette in Google Images. The 80′s will never be the same. /shudder
Now please excuse me while I carve my eyes out with a spork and rinse my brain with bleach.
Assuming I survive, a real post will follow …
The running joke in my guild is that the Canadians are taking over — so much so that our resident Torontadin recently suggested adding an “…eh?” to the end of the guild name. /facepalm
Between the not-infrequent AFK’s for hockey, endless teasing about maple syrup and bags of milk (NO, I am not talking Tauren!), and the fact that those of us who can remember our very first foray into Karazhan are absolutely convinced that there’s a level 73 elite boot hidden somewhere in the Shade of Aran’s chamber …
Let’s just say that it’s nothing short of a miracle that our guild tabard doesn’t have a maple leaf on it somewhere.
(… Don’t go getting any crazy ideas, now. Yes, Mr. “I-Blame-The-Hunter”, I’m looking at you!)
My guild has always had a “just for fun” rank. It serves no useful purpose, changes on a whim (usually mine), and is seldom occupied for more than a few seconds at time.
Currently, that rank is Fails Frogger. Two nights ago, when our fury warrior and unholy death knight were competing for critter kills in Heroic Utkarde Keep — much to my dismay, gentle soul that I am — it was Evil Rat Killer. And in our Karazhan days, it was I Wipe On Chess… in honor of the time that we actually did. /shameface
It’s a silly little thing, but in some ways, it’s the silly little things that make a guild. The server measures our success in terms of our raid progression — but at a time that trade-channel PuG’s are one-shotting Malygos, our identity as a guild is defined by the strength and character of our community.
Larísa made an excellent “Why aren’t we over this yet?” post today in response to the perennial debate about women in WoW. I’m not really interested in chiming in (those six little words sum up my feelings on the matter exactly!), but I was somewhat startled to realize that I’m the only female raider in my guild.
You’d think that someone who actively blogs about her guild, and spends significant amounts of time observing and analzying its social and political currents, would be more aware of this.
But, no, it came as a complete surprise … which just goes to show how much of a non-issue it truly is!
Taking a few minutes to look at our roster — and forcing myself to think of our players as male and female, rather than as individuals (which is surprisingly hard) — we have:
- Me, core-raider and guild leader;
- a Marksmen Hunter (and certified altoholic) who raids exactly once a week, because she lives in Australia and can only make our Saturday raid;
- a still-leveling Mage, who joined to play with her boyfriend — a raiding Rogue — and stayed with us after they broke up (he /gquit because she wouldn’t);
- my Mom, still-guilded on her Warlock (even though she now leads a social guild from her new Death Knight main);
- another Hunter, the fiance of one of our long-term non-raiders (who himself was “grandfathered in,” as a member of one of the several smaller guilds we absorbed as we grew);
- our Paladin tank’s sister, who is guilded on a level 20-something so she can keep an eye on her her son (our youngest member at 12, who joined as Friends & Family for no other reason than to share a guild tag with his Uncle); and
- our Holy Priest and healing lead, who is actually male, although half of the guild still refers to him as “her” because his character’s name is Annah and he doesn’t talk on Vent.
And … that’s it.
I guess someone could look at this list, realize that most of our relatively few female guildmembers joined through a real life association with another (usually male) player, and make some kind of inference about women in a supporting role vs. men in an active role and present that as evidence of an in-game glass ceiling.
But that would be silly.
Besides, we actually had a fairly balanced mix in The Burning Crusade. Unfortunately, real life crit us at about the same time the expansion came out and we ended up opening recruitment for WotLK raiding. All of our new applicants were male, so the balance shifted.
And I didn’t even notice.
I received a very nice application from a Willing-to-Be-Holy Paladin at a time that we desperately needed another healer. He had obviously put some time and thought into his answers, and injected them with a fair dose of humor as well.
There were two I especially liked:
Why do you want to join?
I have looked fairly deeply into the guilds on this server, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this one would be the best fit for me based on your ability to have a casual attitude towards raiding, while still progressing well. In the past I’ve played the game much more seriously than I should have, and I think that takes away from the fun of the game. Which is, the overall reason we all play.
I’ll admit, the last sentence (technically, fragment) makes me /twitch. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s comma abuse! (TJ: 1, BRK: 0 … if you’re keeping score.)
Other than that, this is a solid answer. The Paladin doesn’t just tell me he’s done his homework; he shows me, by paraphrasing my guild’s vision statement in his response. His description of the guild is pretty much spot-on: we market ourselves as a casual guild and have a relaxed attitude towards raiding, but still manage to remain fairly competitive when it comes to progression. Clearly, the Paladin has either has talked to someone who knows us, or visited both our website (which describes our philosophies) and the realm forum (where our progression is posted). Either way, I appreciate the fact that he’s taken the time to research the guild before applying to it.
What is your favorite boss fight? Why?
Tanking Hydross the Unstable. I thought the idea of making a whole set of gear for one fight was very cool for some reason. =D The fight isn’t even all that technical, but for me it was very fun.
He mentions a specific boss fight and one of its mechanics, which tells me that he either has raid experience or is able to use WoWWiki or Bosskillers to fake his way through it. (I’m such a cynic.) He also claims to have enjoyed creating a resistance set. If this is true, he’s (1) insane, and (2) the kind of player who is willing to invest some serious time and/or gold in his gear … both big pluses in my book!
The rest of his application is equally well-written, and by the time I alt-tab back into the game, I’m looking forward to talking to him. I open my Social window with the intention of adding him to my friends list, in part to see if he’s online and send him a /tell, and in part simply to stalk him … as I do all applicants to my guild … >.>
Hey, there’s a method to my madness!
If you’re in Storm Peaks, then you’re probably doing Sons of Hodirs dailies, which is good.
If you’re in Hillsbrad, then you might be ganking lowbies, which is pathetic and lame. (Bad Hordeling, no cookie.)
Wait. Where was I?
Oh, right. Adding the Paladin to my friends list.
… except he’s already there. That’s odd. Where could I possibly know him from?
I’m chewing on my lower lip, trying to remember (and panicking a little, because I have a reputation for a this totally OP memory to protect), when my Shaman officer whispers me. Out of the blue. And in blue, as is the nature of Shamans.
[Shaman]: Hey, did you see that new app? From the pally?
[Me]: Yep. I’m about to send him a tell him now.
[Shaman]: Don’t bother. It’s Sal. I’ve been keeping tabs on him for a while.
[Me]: … By “a while,” do you mean “since he /gquit in a fit of pique after losing the roll on our first Hammer of Judgement to a boomkin; took ALL of the enchanting mats, epic gems and Hearts of Darkness from the guild bank; spelled FUCK U with vendor trash in the Officers’ tab; and then posted screen shots of his handiwork on the realm forum?”
[Shaman]: Yes, exactly.
[Shaman]: He also called your boyfriend fat and mocked you and your sex life in trade chat.
[Me]: Ah, good to know. That explains why he’s on my friend’s list; I must not have noticed the name change.
As a guild leader and avid blog reader, I see this all the time.
It has more forms than a Feral druid:
“My guild won’t let me raid on my brother’s character.”
“My guild won’t let me play my Warlock instead of my Paladin.”
“My guild won’t let me PuG Heroic Obsidian Sanctum.”
And my personal favorite (not to mention the one that inspired this particular rant):
“My guild won’t let me tank.”
First, the idea that your guild “won’t let you ______” is absurd. You pay for your subscription, not your Guild Leader. You control your characters, your playtime, your actions and your interactions in the game. Your guild simply does not have the ability to prevent you from doing something that you want to do, nor does it have the power to force you to do anything that you don’t want to do against your will.
What you really mean by “My guild won’t let me ______” is “My guild won’t let me ______ and still be a member of the guild.”
The difference is more than mere semantics.
“My guild won’t let me ______” suggests that your guild is some kind of totalitarian state that exerts absolute control over you and your actions.
If joining a guild automatically e-mailed your password and secret question to the Guild Leader, and gave each of the guild’s officers the option to take control of your character and your interface at any time, and disabled the /gquit command line … Well then. You might have a case!
But unless my spam filters are re-directing a whole lot of e-mail from firstname.lastname@example.org, it doesn’t quite work that way.
Sure, I can ask my members not to PuG heroic raid zones, but I can’t actually prevent them from doing so. I simply don’t (and shouldn’t) have that kind of power. The most I can do is penalize them for breaking the rules, either by barring them from future raids or removing them from the guild.
“My guild won’t let me ______ and still be a member of the guild,” on the other hand, is a fair statement.
Most guilds have rules. Good guilds publish these rules and make them available, if not publicly, then at least to prospective applicants and current members.
Generally speaking, when you join a guild, you agree to abide by the guild’s rules. You also agree to be removed from the guild if you break those rules. If these agreements aren’t explicit (and they often are), then they’re at least implicit.
Either way, this doesn’t mean that the guild controls you, but that you’ve entered into an agreement with it: to abide by the guild’s rules in exchange for membership and whatever privileges that conveys — from access to /gchat, to help with group quests, to a raid spot and epic loot, depending upon the focus (and relative success) of the guild.
Semantics aside — I said it wasn’t “merely” about semantics, not that it wasn’t about semantics at all! — there is often a reason for the things your guild won’t let you do (and still be a member of the guild).
“My guild won’t let me raid on my brother’s character.”
This one came up last night, when our sole tree (one of only five healers in the raid) asked to play his brother’s mage instead of his druid, because his brother was called into work but still “needed” gear from several bosses in heroic Naxx.
I denied the request for two reasons:
1. First and foremost, we needed the heals! Allowing the tree in question to play his brother’s mage would have forced one of our hybrids to respec (at the guild’s cost) or one of our DPS mains to switch over to a healing alt. I’m not going to force someone into a spec or onto a character they don’t want to play to accomodate someone who isn’t even in the raid.
2. The tree is a much more consistent raider than his brother. It makes more sense from the guild’s perspective to gear the druid who seldom misses a raid over the mage who shows up for one in every three. The guild is not interested in gearing individuals; it gears the raid, so that the entire raid can progress. There was another mage, two warlocks and a shadow priest in the group who would have made better use of any cloth caster drops anyway.
“My guild won’t let me play my Warlock instead of my Paladin.”
I read a post over at Greedy Goblin a few weeks ago that is at least partially responsible for this post. Basically, Gevlon encouraged a friend not only to leave her guild because it “forced” her to play her paladin instead of her warlock, but to steal almost 24K gold from the guild bank to compensate her for the hours she spent raiding on her pally, as well.
I understand why she /gquit. In her situation, I might have done the same thing — minus the theft, of course.
What I don’t understand is the idea that the guild somehow deserved to be punished for “forcing” her to play her paladin. Far from being forced, she agreed to level a healer and, in return, recieved help from the guild on the long grind from 1 to 70.
Ultimately, she raided on her paladin, saw content, took gear … and, by Gevlon’s account, had fun doing it.
Now, ten levels later, because she thinks she would have had more fun playing her ‘lock, she feels entitled to 24K gold in bogus opportunity costs and the moral high road?
Seriously, this has to be the stupidest thing I’ve read in the Blogosphere to date, and I’ve read all of Renoobed‘s Melvin stories …
“My guild won’t let me PuG Heroic Obsidian Sanctum.”
As easy as Sartharion is, Sartharion + 1, 2 and 3 drakes is still progression.
We attempted Sartharion +1 unsuccessfully in our last two Heroic OS raids. As long as Malygos remains undefeated, the Sartharion achievements aren’t a priority for us, so we gave it three attempts each time — just to assess our progress — before killing Vesperson, downing Sarth in “easy-mode” and moving on for the night.
Still, that’s three more wipes than you’re likely to endure in a halfway decent Sartharion -3 PuG, so I suppose I can understand why some guildmembers would prefer to PuG OS early in the week, /roll on “free” loot (i.e., gear with no GP cost attached) and pass on the weekend run.
I understand it, but I don’t like it, and have made it very clear that anyone caught PuGing Heroic OS will be wait-listed from Heroic Naxx — a much longer instance that’s harder to PuG successfully.
For the most part, my guildmembers support the decision. After all, they want to raid too, and can’t if a handful of members are saved to a PuG ID. Still, there’s a small minority of players who feel the rule is too restrictive, including a certain Death Knight …
And that brings me to my last “My guild won’t let me ______”, and the one that inspired this post in the first place.
“My guild won’t let me tank.”
Shortly before WotLK shipped, my guild’s MT announced that he would be making his rogue his new main. He felt that tanking was ”too easy” in the post-3.0.1 world, and wanted to play something more challenging. Even if rogue DPS was relatively simple to master, he hoped, then the opportunity to compete on the damage meters would at least keep things interesting.
We only had one raiding rogue at the time, and fury warrior who was more than capable of stepping up to tank, although it would have been as fourth tank in seniority rather than first. (Even without our former MT, we had a solid tank corps consisting of a Feral druid, second Prot warrior and Prot paladin.)
Even though our MT’s spot was filled before the change became public knowledge, the moment it did, it seemed that everyone in the guild who had ever had aspirations of tanking spontaneously respecced or rerolled in an attempt to claim his spot. >.<
I might be exaggerating. A little.
The problem I’m running into now is that I have more would-be tanks than the raid can possibly support. I am constantly asking the paladin to respec Holy, the Death Knight to respec Unholy, and the warriors to respec to … whatever it is warriors do for DPS. None of them are thrilled about it, and I suspect they’ll be even less thrilled when I announce on the guild forum that I’m going to start enforcing Main Tank priority on loot — something I’ve never had to do before, because in TBC our tanks were such a close-knit group that they made all of their own loot decisions, largely by consensus, with PR invoked as an occasional tie-breaker.
Now, the junior Prot paladin (who is usually given a choice between raiding as Holy and not raiding at all) is resentful of our Main Tankadin; our Death Knight complains about being asked to respec DPS every other raid (and attempts to organize a Heroic OS PuG week simply so he can MT it …); and the warrior we had initially tapped to replace our MT after he went rogue has bowed out of the competition and is raiding on his Frostfire mage. To top it all off, our real tanks are alarmed by the fact that the wannabes are attempting to bid on tank gear …
If this sounds like a recipe for drama, it is!
What frustrates me so much is the fact that none of these would-be tanks talked to me about their desire to tank — and the likelihood that they would recieve much-coveted tank spots in the guild raid — before they the invested time, effort and gold into their Frost, Feral or Protection gear. I would have been happy to explain to them that our tanking spots were filled, and perhaps forestall this “My guild won’t let me tank” nonsense.
Instead, I’m doing it retroactively, and with as much sympathy and support as I can muster (which, frankly, isn’t a lot).
But, really, why would you assume that speccing tank and signing up for raids automatically makes you the MT of an established raiding guild? Is there something I’m missing here? Or do I simply have “Pushover” written on across my Undead forehead?