Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Apathy boss

I'm wiping on the apathy boss.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I don't want to leave in a huff

Looking back on my own experience I left my very first guild by changing servers pvp for carebear. I didn't leave in anger.

I left my first guild on a much more hospitable server so I could raid. Once again not in anger.

I left the one place I felt I'd stay because I quit raiding and friends were elsewhere (they had left in anger).

And then finally I did leave in anger (not boiling anger, more like simmering rage) due to guild leader drama.

None of those times were pleasant for me, I don't take kindly to guild hopping. But I am considering a move. I'm thinking about it now because I don't want things to get bad to where I leave in a huff. I also don't want to instigate something to "force me out".

Things are no where as bad as I make them sound. I just know when someone is unhappy with their current situation they look for reasons (often trivial) to make a change instead of owning up to it.

I remember when after joining us for two weeks a mage left and joined another guild because we weren't doing the progression we advertised. I on the other hand continued to stick it out, mostly because of my schedule, but also because I had hope things would be better. 2-3 months later we've killed one or two new encounters?

I hope I've learned something from the mage. I need to access what I really want and whether my current guild can provide it. I need to figure out if I can be content or if I need to chart an exit strategy.

Forcing me to rethink my level of contentment

I don't know how accurate this list is or what will remain for Cata's release, but here's an idea of what to expect:
Level Perk Effect
1 Fast Track (Rank 1) Experience gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 5%.
2 Mount Up Increases speed while mounted by 5%. Not active in Battlegrounds or Arenas.
3 Mr. Popularity (Rank 1) Reputation gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 5%.
4 Cash Flow (Rank 1) Each time you loot money from an enemy, an extra 5% money is generated and deposited directly into your guild bank.
5 Fast Track (Rank 2) Experience gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 10%.
6 Reinforce (Rank 1) Items take 5% less durability loss when you die.
7 Hasty Hearth Reduces the cooldown on your Hearthstone by 15 minutes.
8 Reinforce (Rank 2) Items take 10% less durability loss when you die.
9 Chug-A-Lug (Rank 1) The duration of buffs from all guild cauldrons and feasts is increased by 50%.
10 Mobile Banking Summons your guild bank.
11 Mr. Popularity (Rank 1) Reputation gained from killing monsters and completing quests increased by 10%.
12 Honorable Mention (Rank 1) Increases Honor points gained by 5%.
13 Working Overtime Increases the chance to gain a skill increase on tradeskills by 10%.
14 The Quick and the Dead Increases health and mana gained when resurrected by a guild member by 50% and increases movement speed while dead by 100%. Does not function in combat or while in a Battleground or Arena.
15 Cash Flow (Rank 2) Each time you loot money from an enemy, an extra 10% money is generated and deposited directly into your guild bank.
16 G-Mail In-game mail sent between guild members now arrives instantly.
17 Everyone's A Hero (Rank 1) Increases Heroism points gained by 5%.
18 Honorable Mention (Rank 2) Increases Honor points gained by 10%.
19 Happy Hour Increases the number of flasks gained from using a flask cauldron by 100%.
20 Have Group, Will Travel Summons all raid or party members to the caster's current location.
21 Chug-A-Lug (Rank 2) The duration of buffs from all guild cauldrons and feasts is increased by 100%.
22 Bountiful Bags Increases the quantity of materials gained from Mining, Skinning, Herbalism, and Disenchanting by 15%.
23 Bartering Reduces the price of items from all vendors by 5%.
24 (Spell #83954) (Rank 2) Increases Heroism points gained by 10%.
25 Mass Resurrection (Rank 1) Brings all dead party and raid members back to life with 35 health and 35 mana. Cannot be cast when in combat.

We are legendary isn't listed, but if you have all of the available legendarys (and enough rep with your guild and enough gold) you can purchase an really nice mount (aren't they all?)

Of course this, and recent events in my guild, have forced me to think about am I really happy with my guild and do I want to stay with them? I'm not ecstatic about where I am now but I'm sticking around out of my own apathy. Our guild leadership has been almost nil over the summer.

This made me wonder what is expected of guild leadership? I've never cared to find out before because whatever is expected is more than I could personally muster the strength to do (which is also why I usally cut guild leaders a lot of slack). I found a wealth of information in the Guild Relations forum. Skimming through it I see:
Distribution of information (lacking big time in our guild)
Sense of community (our guild is spread out over other guilds so not really)
Recruitment (I don't think anyone does this other than "my uncle wants to play with us can he?")
Website (we have a website but it is hardly used) and within the website - forum (not used to the extent other guild use them), calendars (a chipmunk could plan our calendar) guild news (blank), dkp database (haven't seen one in months).
Real world costs (now here is where I assume someone is paying for everything and I have to admit I haven't donated).
Time We have multiple people who "lead" our guild, RL friends, I get the feeling they don't have time lately but once again it's been summer, etc. so I understand why. But to be honest I don't know the real reasons.

Before I go any further let me revisit those items pre-summer, when things appeared to be going okay: Distribution of info still lacked, sense of community still lacked but not really guild's fault I guess, recruitment was still bad, website was worse than it is now, I assume someone paid for vent and website since it was always up and our guild leadership was more active.

So looking back, things weren't all that great back then either, but since summertime attrition hadn't bitten us we were oblivious to the lack of leadership.

I'm a casual player maybe that means as a result I'm at home with a casual guild with casual leadership. But just like a pug that has any hope to succeed, at least someone has to be on the ball.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Those orange items

Matticus asked what other raid guilds do with the vanity items that come along with killing the Lich King with a Shadowmourne wielder in the raid (or maybe it only drops once when the person completes it I dunno).

Here are the goodies:
* Reins of the Crimson Deathcharger - A brand new mount that looks like the Death Knight's class mount.
* Muradin's Favor - A 10-minute Frost Dwarf transformation.
* Jaina's Locket - A portal to Dalaran on a 1-hour cooldown, you finally have your own pocket mage!
* Tabard of the Lightbringer - A tabard with a very shiny on-use effect.
* Sylvanas' Music Box - A music box that plays Lament of the Highborne.

I enjoy thinking about what to do with this stuff because I have as much chance getting any of it as I do winning a million dollar lottery. There's no stress in our guild over who gets what because we can't kill LKlite let alone heroic LK.

Knowing one of our raid leaders, he'd keep it all for himself or give it to his girlfriend. Other guilds know what I'm talking about!

When you think about it, it's a downer to be at amateur raiding level where you never see legendaries. Instead you get teased with shards.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's like I wrote it myself

It no longer surprises me to find blog posts elsewhere with sentiments so close to my own. WoW has millions of players so there is always a chance to find someone in similar circumstances.

Due to a very weak showing for our latest scheduled raid, some of us in our guild are discussing our plans for the rest of Cataclysm. When thinking about this, Keeva of Tree Bark Jacket hits on several points that resonate with me. I was going to highlight specific parts but realized most of it would be highlighted! The biggest point I agreed with her on is this:

Basically, when attrition rears its ugly head during times like this (pre next expansion) I don't think its a good idea to burden your core raiders with keeping the boat afloat.

Many guilds and guild officers act like it is a badge of honor to suffer through the rough times, re-recruiting, pugging in people, waiting for 30 minutes to see if more will show up. I've been there more than once and it sucks to be the ones standing around like you've got nothing better to do. But you have this crazy sense of loyalty to 'be there' for your guild.

I think Keeva has the better option. Stop pushing it. Let your guild have a break! If there are a few who want to keep pressing on, let them be the ones to find another guild to do so.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hot buttons on action bars

Some would say God has a way of doing things but in one day I came across a political reference in two very different blogs. One was WoW related - Big Bear Butt and the other was let's just say as far from gaming as you can think of. What would be the opposite of gaming....hmmm.

Anyway. BBB's was made in the past few days while the other was made a few years ago. The coincidence is that I came across them at the same time. I don't necessarily read BBB's all the time and I only recently came across this other blog.

Whether it was divine intervention or not, it got me to thinking why besides the fact they are hot button issues themselves they provoke responses.

My own take on it is that we forget the internet is impersonal no matter how much we pour into them. We might read blogs weekly, forums daily (or heck tweets minute by minute!) but without being a close friend of a person we don't really know them. We spend months (years) depending on them for advice, laughing at a sense of humor we feel we share, collaborating on mutual interests. And all of a sudden you find out they are horde and you're a staunch alliance!

Well, back in the beginning of WoW the last sentence would pack more punch. :)

What I'm getting at is we share something we are passionate about. (Passionate may be to strong of a word here but play along with me.) So finding out we disagree on something as polarizing as politics have become, comes as a surprise. How could we both love this yet I hate that or they hate that. It's our own fault for choosing to be so at odds with someone not of our own party.

If it gets to the point the blog doesn't speak to you anymore it makes total sense to unsubscribe to the feeder or what have you. But if it is just one post, why not continue to enjoy the blog, maybe with a more discerning eye. Otherwise you're just melting all the kindles because one ebook was bad. (Ugh technology you make my bad analogies worse.)

The weakest link

As I mentioned earlier I've lucked up on a decent core group of raiders for 10-man stuff.

When 10-mans were completely different from 25 it was fun to complete them because it was different content. When they became mini versions of 25 they were helpful in getting geared up. Then, at least for me, they became a way to finish off instances the 25-man groups I was a part of were unable to. I didn't get a drake because of Immortal? Oh well, at least Undying was well within reach.

And now Cataclysm puts 10 and 25 on the same lockout with the same gear. I've already co-opted the design shift that what I've done in 10 counts for 25. I used to respect the differences between the two. I was in the camp sure 10s are difficult for their own reasons but 25s are still harder overall. But at this point either we outgear the current instances or we have a 30% buff for the ones we don't. It's not like I'm really doing 25s for some sense of grand achievement. So if I get it done in 10 or 25 it's become all the same to me.

That said, while 10s are easier overall, 10s are also the place where you feel more responsibility for how you perform. Since our 10-man really got rolling I've been thinking about how successful we could really be as a 10-man only squad in Cataclsym - breaking away from the guild we're currently in. I'm a pessimist so its no surprise I lean toward us not being very successful. The reason I think so is we need the support of a bigger guild. Essentially more people to choose from.

On several occasions now it seems like one or two people, different in each case have held us back from completing a specific goal. They weren't asked to sit out, instead they were unable to show up that day and we had someone else come in and bam! success. Well recently I have no doubt I was the one holding us back (hoping to get a chance to redeem myself soon!) So I know what it's like on both sides.

Since we're not a guild of superstars we're always going to have our cases of durr moments depending on the fight. If we were just a band of 10-12 raiders I don't think we would have the luxury of pulling someone else in when our links break.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Leveling brick wall

I have time now to level another alt, but boy has it become a chore!

YMMV but here was my experience last evening:

When I leveled my paladin back around the beginning of the year, horde had instant pvp queues and we won more battles than we lost. I had a blast leveling my paladin.

Cue August 2010, PvP queues are no longer instant and omg do we suck! I'm at a loss as to why horde in this battlegroup is so bad. We own wintergrasp but that is due to our own realm's organization even to the point we get on vent sometimes. Elsewhere? Enter stage left cross realm fiascoes.

So I try out PvE. My horde character is pure dps so no insta-queue for him. Instead I wait 7-10 minutes for the queue to pop only for someone not to accept. Instead of our group remaining intact, it appears to split us up again (although supposedly we stay at the top of the queue). It forms another full group and pops for the second time. Someone else doesn't accept. We go through this 3 times before finally getting to zone in.

The run goes well, we have the random dungeon buff and I swear it seems like they've nerfed the instances in other ways (less mobs?). I'm appreciative of basically what amounts to a multiple mob grind in a group setting. I guess I'm not truly enjoying the character I'm playing. Or simply I have more fun being the one to lead the charge through dungeons instead of being in the herd.

Truth be told, I'm only pushing to level this specific character because he has enchanting and I want to be able to disenchant my own stuff horde side. While it's an acceptable reason to level its not a fun one.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gold cappers bad for the game?

Sometimes I venture horde side and soon regret it a small bit. Why? Because when I go to the AH many of the items are sold by the same person at relatively ridiculous prices. Not only that the AH lacks other items altogether.

My only guess is the horde on this particular server are smaller in population. But part of it I feel may have to do with these few players monopolizing the market.

I hesitate to post this because its all on "feeling" with no proof. It also ventures into some territory I'd rather not inject into this blog.

I "feel" like a few players are buying everything off the market then slowly parcelling it out to the rest of us well. It's like getting more gold (and having nothing to do with all that gold) for the sole purpose of getting more gold. Does it really help the community for players to flip items on the AH? Are we even supposed to care about the community of a game?

I have a choice - to not buy things off the AH. To do without. But in the end it just makes me not want to spend time horde side. That doesn't seem right.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Making Healing Harder?

I just finished reading a blog post about Cataclysm healing.

It sounds like heals are healing for less and as a result mana is at a premium. The blogger suggests dps helping healers out by moving out of fire.

If only it was this easy.

I'm a pessimist. Here comes my doom predictions:

I think dps is going to be irritated. Just recently someone in my raid commented on the days of old where hunters and rogues were expected to bandage. Are we going to go back to those days? It's been a long time since I heard dps complain they didn't get healed and I haven't missed those complaints one bit.

I think raids are going to bring even more healers to compensate. Healers are still hard to find, our recent raid consisted of dps using their heal specs. This also means, unless pure dps have some insane kind of unique buffs, more hybrids being courted. More demand for healers usually results in healer burnout.

I think more of a burden of success will fall on healers. Whether or not dps can avoid damage, healers will be expected to make up for the slack.

So yeah, they are going to make healing harder, but I don't think this is what they meant by it.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It took a long time to get back

A while back, around November 2007, my 10-man raid leader disappeared. This was around the time of Zul'Aman's release. Prior to that I can't remember being so excited about raiding. I was looking up strats beforehand and we were doing well. So well in fact we had reached Zuljin (the last boss) right before our raid leader (and main tank) left.

There have been few times in WoW where I've been so disappointed. I had raided with this player for over a year if not more and poof he was gone. No one seemed to be willing to talk about it either. I know he came back eventually but that bridge was burnt.

Me? I eventually moved on, switching guilds now and again, but also making sure to explain my reasons why to those I was leaving behind. (It has never been about the players - but usually the schedule.)

The reason I bring this up is because recently I looked around and realized I was in another 10-man group that I was thoroughly enjoying and we're actually making decent progress.

The pessimist in me would usually say "and now I'm waiting for the broadaxe to fall". Instead I'm going to ride this wave for as long as I can.

It took a long time to get back to this kind of feeling, I'm not going to wish it away.

Friday, August 6, 2010

In a good place

I've completed some things I never even dreamed of (Kingslayer, small group tanking), things I usually didn't do (full instance clears during their expansion) and usually didn't have time to (cap multiple alts).

This is due to WoW become even more casual-friendly. Some call it welfare others call it "dumbing down". I call it getting to play the game.

Originally (if places like Molten Core and BWL gave titles) getting a title would be as foreign to me as if raiding was a completely different game like EQ. I would read about it but wouldn't know anything of it first hand. Instead this time around I got to clear places like ICC (on normal) participating instead of being a spectator.

While many have complained about the aoe fest of 5-man groups, it enabled me to tank (not on just one, or two, but three different tanks!) without spending time setting up cc (which I've never enjoyed). I may be one in a sea of millions who is sad to hear about a plan to bring back Magister's Terrace-level cc. I'm hoping the rumors are exaggerated.

And normally the time it took to level up and gear my main character left little time to level up alts. Let alone get them geared beyond one or two epics here and there. This time around I was able to level up several alts (even one from scratch) and actually had fun doing so because of RDF and battlegrounds. Being able to put them all in epics was never expected but doing so was an welcomed surprise. Being able to beef up my characters without joining raiding guilds and having to block out places on my schedule made me feel the game was growing with me, instead of me growing away from it.

Yes, I've completed several things in Wrath and I still have other things I can do. While I'm looking forward to another expansion, I'm in no hurry for Cataclysm to get here.

I'm in a good place.

About this blog

"I don't *need* to play. I can quit anytime I want!"

Search This Blog