The Ghost Walkers Take on Blackrock Spire

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As a wild idea (of which I have many) I set an all Death Knight guild event to get the Jenkins Title. Why? Well pretty much just to get us all together while getting us out of the grind. I’m a big fan of doing something different every once in a while.

So we all flew in to the Burning Stepps and rode over to Blackrock. We blew through the mobs to the Rookery and completed the event to open the doors. Once the even finished and the doors opened, we took out the Dragonkin inside and proceeded to open as many eggs as possible and AoE the lot of them. That was pretty fun actually, hehe.

The sad part is that we got that done pretty fast. That’s when one of our guild members (the Tauren in the picture there) suggested that we take out the boss and get the achievement. I figured, hey why not. It’d been a blast up to this point right?

So we did, and you know what? We got the achievement. Yeah there were some *cough, cough* snafu’s here and there, but we did it. Did we have fun? Yes. Did we have a healer? No. It was nuts! It was almost as much fun as the Molten Core night (I miss my friend that would help me chant out lines from the MCRaiders song at the end of Illegal Danish).

Unfortunately what I found out tonight is that I can tank and I can take charge. We didn’t just mash buttons through the whole dungeon. I called out the pulls, my guild followed the calls, and we made the kills. I’m very proud of these guys and gals. It’ll be interesting to see what else we can accomplish.


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So yeah, no posts in a bit. I still feel like blogging I've just got to find some time. I've been leveling the DK, writing for a friend's blog, and trying out Lord of the Rings Online with some buddies. I even logged back into Runes of Magic just to see what I thought of the game in it's post release state.

I'll have to write up some notes on those games too. I'm still on trial only for Lord of the Rings but so far I like some aspects of the game. One of the things I like the most about it is that it hasn't filled up with folks that log in to find an audience but rather folks that log in to play. It seems like the community there is still very helpful and supportive. The game's also pretty complex so it keeps my attention. Ok, yeah, it has fishing. Laughing

I'm an explorer, it's what I do. I like to try out new things and trying out new games is just fun for me. So I may not be an expert in any one game, but personally, doing the same things all of the time makes me want to drive ice picks into my eye sockets. So yeah, I don't like it much.

Death Knight Follow UP

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Ok so I’ve been getting comments on my post “Death Knights: Dual Wielding DPS Specs” (Link) and I wanted to follow up on that post.

So out of all of the specs listed in that post the 0/33/38 spec did the most damage out of the builds tested. I’m not going to rehash what was said there. I will though mention that folks in the PTR are letting on that this build will not do as much damage once 3.1 lands due to revisions in the Death Knight talent tree that move things around. Those changes aren’t final yet and there’s a lot of testing going on, but as of this post Dual Wielding DPS works fine in 3.0, but in 3.1 don’t expect to see the same damage.

New to WotLK: The Group or How Not to be ‘That Guy’

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Now keep in mind that WoW is not a first person shooter game, and it isn’t a game where you only interact with or work with NPC’s. WoW is a game where you regularly interact with actual people. I know, scary isn’t it? Ok, maybe that’s just me.

So here’s the deal, to kind of make it so that folks work together and are actually successful when they do work together, the classes in WoW are centered around, the proto group.

There’s 3 roles in the proto group. There’s the Tank, the Healer, and the DPS. Each of these three roles has their own job to do in the group.

If you want to make friends and influence people in WoW, you need to know your role.

If you don’t know where you fit in a group and you do all the wrong things, or even some of the wrong things at the right time, you wipe the group, and everyone’s mad at you. There’s also a good chance that if you do it enough times, you’re booted from the group. Now you’re totally ‘that guy’. No one wants to be ‘that guy’. Yes even if you’re not male, you still do not want to be ‘that guy’, trust me.

So now your asking, ok, I need to know my role but which role is mine? Well don’t get you’re undies in a bunch because I’m getting to it. Today we’re just going to go over the 3 roles, in the next post I’m going to write about how the classes fit into the roles. For now though, let’s focus on what are the roles and how they work together to not die, actually kill stuff, and get the phat lewtz.

Here’s the 3 Roles:

  • Tank
  • Healer
  • DPS (which stands for Damage Per Second, but really these are players that do damage)

Ok so how do these roles work together? Well you start with your tank.

The Tank

Tank + Threat + Healing = Win

The Tank is they member of the group that has the toughest armor and usually lands some pretty hard hits. Classes that Tank also have special abilities that increase Threat.

Threat is that part of the game that sends mobs running in your direction. When you’re running around questing solo, you don’t want increase your Threat because you don’t want an entire zone of mobs headed your way right? But Tanks WANT to build Threat because they want the mobs to focus on them. This is because the Tank has 3 things going for them. They have heavy armor, they have someone healing them like crazy, and they have a team of folks standing behind him blasting the crap out of stuff.

It sounds crazy, but here’s how it works. The DSP and Healer in the group generally do not have as much armor as that guy standing front and center. Not to mention the fact that if you’re a casting class, each time you get hit by something it increases the amount of time it takes to get that spell off. So the Tank takes a beating to give everyone else a chance to get some hits in. The downside to this is that if the DPS does more damage than the tank and the Tank doesn’t hit harder or use a Threat building ability soon enough, the mobs will go after the DPS faster than a little kid chasing an ice cream truck, but we’ll get into that later on.

The Healer

Healer + Mana – Threat = Win

While the Tank may have a tough outer shell, there’s still a limit to just how much damage that shell can take before the Tank takes a trip to the grave yard. As we just learned, Tank + Grave Yard = Dead Group. This is where the Healer comes in. The Healer’s main focus in any group is to keep the Tank alive. They may heal other folks in the group as they need it, but their main priority is the tank. End of story, no wiggle room, no exceptions, do not pass go, do not collect 200 silver.

The Healer also does NOT want to generate any Threat. Unfortuntatly Healers generate a lot of Threat because they patch up they guy that the mobs are trying to kill. When you’re taking out mobs you always want to take out the mobs that heal before you take out anything else. Other wise they’ll just keep healing everything you’re trying to kill and you’ll end up running out of health before you run out of mobs. The mobs in the game follow this rule too. So the Healer wants to make sure that the Tank has the full attention of any mobs in the area before healing the Tank and the Tank wants to make sure that the Healer has a full bar of mana before charging into the next group.


DPS + Damage – Threat = Win

Here’s why the DPS is along for the ride. DPS makes things dead, pure and simple. The goal for the DPS though is to try to make things dead before the Healer runs out of Mana. The healer needs Mana to heal the tank. If the Tank gets no heals, the Tank dies. Then the mobs run to finish off the Healer and finally the DPS. Since the Healer and DPS aren’t as tough as the Tank, this would be a very very bad situation.

You’ll also notice that Healing is not part of this equation. Why is that? Well because the DPS shouldn’t need healing. That doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t get healed if they need it, but that for the most part, they shouldn’t be taking enough damage to need healing. Why? Because the Tank should be taking that damage for them, that’s the Tank’s job.

That’s where the ‘- Threat’ comes in. DPS wants to make sure that they do as much damage to the mobs as possible, but they don’t want to attract attention to themselves. Why? Because they are not the tank. When you’re squishy you don’t want something running after you with two blades and a foaming mouth. Otherwise you’ll be on a corpse run before you can yell ‘dang it’.

Where Things Break Down

 Ok so everyone has been in a group that was just awful. Admit it, you’ve seen one. No? Well I’m sure you will eventually. Here’s a few things that usually happen that cause the group to go down in flames.

1) The Squishy Tank – If you’re in a fight and the Tank is taking a dirt nap after three blows from the boss, chances are you have a squishy tank. Tanks need to make sure that they have a lot of armor and a lot of stamina. Stamina goes right to the health bar. The more Stamina you have the more hits you can take without hitting the floor. Tanks can usually also use talents that keep them alive longer, shields, +Defense, and other stuff like +Block etc. If you’re a tank and you’re taking a lot of damage in dungeons, take a look at your gear and spec so you can beef yourself up to keep yourself alive.

2) Out of Mana – Running out of mana at a crucial time is every healers worst nightmare. There are things however that healers can do to help them out too. First of Intellect, you want to have a lot of Intellect, this will give you a fat and happy mana pool to draw from and give you a chance to keep plugging away. Spell Power, you also want to look for gear that gives you + Spell Power. While yeah it looks like that stuff is helpful for making big booms, it’s also good for heals. Healing spells are spells too and when you lump on the + Spell Power it helps you to squeeze a few more points of health out of every heal. So if you heal bigger, you don’t have to heal as often. Healers can also conserve mana by using quicker heals that cost less mana. While they’d have to cast these more often, they’ll still be able to heal over a longer span of time, and sometimes that’s what matters.

3) The Tank Pulls – Ok so we know that the Tank is the one that goes in, gets the mob’s attention and tries to keep it right? So what happens if someone else gets the attention first? Well then the Tank has to work extra hard to get that attention away from whoever managed to torque the mob. We also know that the Healer’s main focus is keeping the Tank alive, so if the DPS folks start taking a lot of hits and a lot of damage, chances are the healer may not be able to heal them AND the tank too. So it’s a good idea to let the tank do their thing and then hit the stuff the Tank is hitting.

3) Pulling Too Soon – So chances are even if the Healer is careful with their mana and has all the Intellect they could find, they’re still probably going to run low on or out of mana each time the group enters combat. This is just the nature of the game. This means that the Healer’s going to need to stop and take a drink (likely some of the DPS will need to do this too). So if our Tank decides to go ahead and get the next group nice and angry before everyone is ready, well things will get real ugly real fast. Remember (Tank – Heals) + Grave Yard = Group Dead. There’s times that I’ve played a healer where I’ve actually let the Tank sweat it, and held off healing until I was done drinking. I figured, hey if we didn’t make it HOPEFULLY he’d get the message. Let me tell you he did.

So to all the Tanks out there, If you want your bar to stay green, make sure that you’re healer’s bar stays blue. Got it? Good.

4) Pulling Mobs Off the Tank – This is usually where DPS ends up taking a dirt nap. The folks rolling in to be the DPS of the group aren’t set up with a ton of hit points. That’s just fine, they aren’t supposed to have a ton of hit points, that’s the Tank’s department. They still need to have a lot of life, but not as much as the Tank. Every once in a while though the DPS hits the wrong target or lets out a spell that hits more than one target. If the Tank hasn’t had a chance to get these guys good and angry, then they’ll run right after whatever hit them.

Wrapping it Up

Ok so these are really just the most basic bits about grouping. There’s really a lot more to playing your class in a group. There’s all kinds of resources out there though that will help you pick the right talents and use the right spells or abilities. I always encourage folks to take a look at blogs and forums that focus on their class to get the real scoop from folks who play one class exclusively. In my next article I’ll go over classes and how the classes fit into each of these roles. So for folks that aren’t sure if their class is right for them or they’re still picking out a class, that will hopefully be a helpful article for them.


WotLK Newbs: 80’s to the left, thier alts to the right, and me in the middle as a newb…

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Ok so my blog has been pretty, well, squishy so far. Lately though I’ve noticed that there’s a real lack of content for a whole set of folks playing WoW, the Post WotLK Newbs. Why should I write for these folks? I mean is being a newb now really any different than it was to be a newb in BC or in Vanilla WoW? Actually yeah.. it is.

So in Vanilla WoW, life was different for Newbs. I didn’t get a chance to play WoW during the vanilla WoW days, but I know a lot of folks who have. I’ve listened to their stories and I’ve gotta say that the game was a lot different for folks just starting out back in those days than it is now. There was only one ‘world’, there were only 60 levels to the level cap, there were more folks to group with at lower levels, and Auction House prices were a little more reasonable (for the most part).

Now fast forward to the Burning Crusade expansion. Everyone runs for level 70. The Burning Crusade adds two new elements to the game Dailies and Heroics. These are two great new features that give players something to do aside from raiding and PvP once they get up to 70. There’s also a lot of gold to be had in them there Outlands! With shiny new gear and all this new content, folks pretty much abandoned the old world for the Outlands and never looked back. Sure they’d level an alt once in a while, but why go through all that grind when you can just hang out in Shattrah City and show off all your awesome new gear and yep a flying mount!! For folks that started the game post Burning Crusade, you now had 70 levels to catch up on, an inflated server economy because people would rather spend gold than have their main set foot in the old world, and aside from Barrens Chat, the Old World seemed bleak and empty.

This is where I entered WoW. I spent a lot of time questing solo and since I was solo leveling a Priest, I’m really surprised that I didn’t quit the game all together. I did make friends when I first started out. In fact my first 5 minutes in the game I made my first WoW friend ever who invited me over to the Horde side. Once on the Horde side I found another friend that I ran with for a few months. Once my real life friend found out I was playing she let me know which server she was on and I re-rolled a priest to compliment her hubby’s Warrior and her Mage. My buddy followed me over and rolled a warrior, but these two classes were just so annoying to level that we just eventually gave up. I quit the game for a while and he went back to his old server. When I got back to the game I got back to leveling that Priest, this time solo of course. It wasn’t fast leveling that’s for sure and it took a lot of strategy to complete quests without spending most of my playtime in the graveyard. My friend and her hubby helped me out and chatted with me when they were online, but they were almost to 70 so I didn’t see them very often since they were leveling in the Outlands. There was also only one way to get in and out of the Outlands making it a bit of a hassle for higher level folks to get back into the old world. Since there was so much to do at level 70, there weren’t a whole lot of folks rolling alts and since I started between expansions, there also weren’t a whole lot of folks starting up the game for the first time, so the old world was pretty lonely. Actually once I even made it up to the Outlands, they were pretty empty as well.

In rolls WotLK. So many sweet new features, more accessible end game content, new dailies, new flying mounts, achievements, it’s almost a whole new game. Now all of the folks who were 70 rushed up the 10 levels to get to 80. They whined a bit, but once they got there they were gearing up for end game content, doing more dailies, leveling trade skills, whining about being bored in the new Shattrah, Dalaran. Blizz did make it a little easier to get in and out of Northrend, but there’s so much to do out there, why go back to the Outlands, and so many of those folks spent so much time on the old world content that they aren’t going back, well unless they need to hit the auction house of course.

I’m feeling for folks who are starting to play WoW now, or started playing around the time the expansion hit. Now it seems like things are even more expensive since there seems to be even more gold in the new continent. Leveling has been toned down so it’s faster to get to 80, but there’s two problems with that. First off trade skills are problematic because chances are you’ll level out of a zone before you gather enough materials to get your trade skills high enough for the next zone. Less quests are required to get to the next level while that means dealing with fewer of the ‘get 50 ears for Zul’tan’ style quests, it also means less coin. This can make it a lot harder to pay for class training, travel, and mounts (training and the mount). It also makes it easier to skip group quests. If you can get the xp elsewhere and it’s too much of a pain to get a group together, why bother finishing those quests? Problem is that grouping for dungeons is a great way to learn how the skills of one class work with the other classes to take down the bosses. Without this experience there’s a ton of people that are getting up into the end game content and basically doing all the same things they’d do while they were running solo. That just doesn’t work and ends up leading to a string of wipes and a lot of wasted time (ok granted there’s probably also a lot of folks that just didn’t have the patience to get ready for and raid in the BC expansion that are now running amok in WotLK and making us all look bad).

So safe to say WoW is slowly becoming a game that’s really unfriendly to new players. Yeah the recruit a friend program is really helpful, in that it gets you to the level cap faster, but think of all the content that’s getting passed up on the way to 80.

Tired but Inspired

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So while I’m pretty worn out tonight, I did want to get a quick post in on what’s going on and some ideas for upcoming posts.

I’m going to work with Skeleton Jack posting about leveling builds for Death Knights. I’m pretty excited about it, it’s actually got me back into the game a little. Now I’ve got to focus on leveling Geistig and hopefully getting some raiding in (or trying to) before the next patch goes live. I want to get some real experience in with the Death Knight Dual Wielding DPS build. =Somehow I don’t think I’ll even make it to heroics by then. Partially because I’m also going to do some research on leveling builds over on the PTR and I’ve got guild mates to help out. It’s what I do, asking me to stop that would be like asking me to stop breathing.

Speaking of helping out, I want to do a series of posts for the benefit of folks who started the game around the time that WotLK was released. It seems that there’s lots of material out there on raiding, but what about folks who rolled their very first toon the day the rest of us were rolling Death Knights. Well I figure that it wouldn’t hurt much to throw out a few posts on how to get the most out of WoW (and maybe even enjoy it) even if you haven’t been playing WoW since the beta.

Well gotta get some sleep, night all!

Guild Update: Ragefire Chasm, Wailing Caverns, and Recruiting

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Last night a few guild members and myself took on Ragefire Chasm and the Wailing Caverns. While they're not the hottest dungeons in WoW they were a great way for us to all get together and start to see how we're going to work together as a group.

As guild leader it was a great way for me to see who prefers which types of roles so that I've got an idea of where we have gaps in play styles. At this point I'm pretty sure that we've got a member who'll work out as the tank. In the DPS department Azmim's re-roll as a Mage is working out for her so that's one.

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Blogging, the Maddening Hobby

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So today I saw there were some updates to (which is the underlying blog publishing engine of Creeping… here) so I decided, hey, let's load 'em up.

And I blew out my blog… AGAIN…

I really need to stop experimenting with my blog. It really just ends up costing me a whole bunch of time that I really don't have.

Safe to say this means that there was no leveling tonight and also no more work on the guild front. This of course really makes me cranky because there was stuff I wanted to post to the new guild site, there was stuff I wanted to do for work (yeah I work after hours) and other stuff. What did I end up doing? Rezzing my blog.

Safe to say I've learned a few fun lessons about SQL server and IIS that I'll be taking note of for future reference. Honestly I should probably just migrate over to WordPress, but hey, there's a lot about that I like. Ok the fact that my comments don't work and it's about as sassy a dude with Main Tank Syndrome, I can slap in new pages from Windows Live Writer, I've finally set it up so that It'll display videos, and I've finally got a twitter panel!

My god… this is what blogging will do to you. Run, run now while you still can!!

No seriously, there's something nice about being able to finally publish some of my writing. I don't receive a lot of press about it. You won't see Creeping featured in WoWInsider or even on one of the technobable blogs. Nope for the most part I blog because its a safe and sane way to get some serious venting on when I need to, and since I have the mind of a steel colander, it's a great way for me to keep notes about specs or just about how I tweaked that one thing that one time… You get the picture.

Now hopefully over the course of the week I'll be able to get some posts in about my new guild Ghost Walkers and about working on my Death Knight. I'm looking forward to helping some friends work on some new toons. Azmim even re-rolled as an Undead Mage recently so I'm looking forward to trailing behind her with Tanzengeist and keeping her alive. Hey, keeping Mages alive can be a challenging and rewarding past time. At least it has been so far. While that will mean less time spent on leveling my Death Knight, honestly, I'd rather spend my time combing the Barrens with friends than questing Solo or begging for group spots so close to the top of the food chain. Maybe it'll be different once I've spent some more time back on Uldum, and I run into folks I'd met before my exodus.

Wish me luck as I'm off to find something else to destroy just by looking at it. Seriously, I'm about two steps away from calling myself Medusa.


Back to the Death Knight

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I can’t really explain just how much I missed being a Death Knight. For me it’s not the power, it’s not the name, it’s just the underlying creepiness of the class as a whole.

If you can’t tell by the name of the blog, I’m a fan of creepy.

Gesitig is practically a poster child for creepy and I’m loving it. Running around, slicing mobs in half, just a gal and her ghoul. Life is good.

So Azmim was questing in Stranglethorn Vale so I figured I’d help her out. She’s a Priest so she just attracts trouble, I mean lets face it, mobs will walk through walls to get at a Priest. While out there killing the piraty lads, I felt bad as we were about to start killing in the same direction as a Troll Hunter out that was out questing himself.

Since I could take on the whole beach all on my lonesome (with the help of my ghoul of course) I figured it was time to earn some Karma points and ask if the Hunter wanted to join Azmim and I so he’d get credit for the kills as opposed to angrily waiting on re-pops.

Surprisingly enough the Troll Hunter was actually ok to run with. He tried to take stuff out along with me and Azmim and I helped him out on a couple other quests as well. He even ran back to give Azmim a hand after she made a few friends… Which is code for “uh oh the Priest has aggro”.

It’s kind of weird to be back on Uldum for a matter of hours and I’m adding someone to my friends list. Can’t say it’s going to be like that every day but who knows.

I also know that I need to do a little leveling with Geistig, she’s 75% to 73. Ah only 7 levels away from 80. My that’s refreshing hehe. I know they’ll be slow going, but it takes a load off.

Oh and on a PTR note I’ve been reading about the Dual Wielding nerf coming up in patch 3.1. Well it’s not surprising that Blizz wants to nerf it, I just don’t get why they give us the option to do so and then hamstring it. Seems pretty weird to me and I know weird, trust me. I really only had time to test out a Frost spec and an Unholy Spec. I also haven’t glyped Gestig very well, nor is she level 80 so the picture I gathered is by far not a glowing example.

I can say that out of the two trees though, the Frost tree was getting consistently higher numbers per hit when Dual Wielding than the Unholy spec. The numbers weren’t consistent though with what I was seeing when I switched over to a two hander. Bleaaarg. Seriously, I just don’t get why people insist on shredding my favorite things. Oh well. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to get Geistig up to 80 and test out the uber DPS Unholy/Frost spec before the patch. After the patch, well I’m gonna have a LOT of research to do to make Dual Wielding viable let alone competitive.

There’s some folks that are worried that Death Knights will get not only get taken down a notch, but well several notches. Honestly, I’m not too worried if Blizz beats Death Knights black and blue with the nerf bat. I will probably still play a Death Knight, I just love the class. Then again I like all of the more fringe classes, Shamans, Shadow Priests, Affliction Warlocks, all of the class and talent combinations that are pretty well frowned upon at end game. Or well used to be, now Shamans and Shadow Priests are doing pretty darned well. In the end though no one really knows what’s going to happen until it does so I’m not going to sweat it. I’m just going to have fun and maybe put my two cents in once in a while.


Know When to Hold ’em, Fold ’em, and to Just Walk Away

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Sorry I'm not going to be my chipper self today. I left Aftermath yesterday. I saw some problems with the guild and evidently I'm the only person that sees said problems so instead of bashing my head against a brick wall (which tends to make quite a mess), I decided to leave.

I didn't leave a nasty note, I didn't leave a heartfelt goodbye. I just logged on at 3 in the morning and /gquit all of my toons. No explanation, just pulled a ninja vanish (minus taking any loot with me of course, I'm not that much of a jerk).

Why just vanish? Why not plead my case? Why didn't I bring these things up before just going poof?

I did bring these issues up and I never saw any change (Link) on my blog here and directly to the guild leadership. I tried to actively make changes and was never positively backed by the leadership. In fact I just made folks nervous. When I was running my newb school instance events there was room for worry that the level 80's would just get asked for instance runs. I'm sorry but I RARELY ever saw folks actively soliciting for instance runs in Guild Chat. Even when folks knew that they could come to me for help they only asked for it when they really needed it.

One of our newer members just the other day needed to complete some quests in Gnomer. No one offered to help him, no one likes Gnomer. I HELPED. Even though I was halfway through making my own breakfast, I logged over to my level 63 Death Knight and I helped him complete the instance. This guy isn't new to WoW, he wasn't looking for some power leveling, he just wanted to complete some quests in a hell dungeon and none of his guild members would help him out.

The other night one of our members needed help completing quests in Uldaman. He sent a whisper to me directly. I don't know if he posted a message in guild chat, and I don't think he'd had a chance to post a request in the guild forums. I've been through that instance so many times now that I should have it memorized. I helped him complete the quests with my shammies who were just high enough to be in the friggin' dungeon. We died once but thanks to Reincarnation we didn't have to corpse run.

Why am I bringing these up? Well because there are level 80's who are sitting around Dalarian BORED. Probably not so much in our guild but just in general. Here I am trying to level a toon to 80 so that I can participate in the end game activities, but I'm taking time out from that to stop, log over to another character sometimes, and go through instances a lot of times that offer no XP for me just to help these folks out. I'm not a level capped toon that's done with dailies and about to log out because I can't get into a Heroic. That's why I'm bringing this up.

Do I believe that we should just run all of our players through instances. No I don't. But I do believe that this is a good way to educate members about what's happening in the dungeons as you go through it AND it's a good way to get to know WHO THE HELL'S IN YOUR GUILD.

I ran lowbie instance nights where I helped folks learn how to instance. I taught them to keep an eye out for the green/red/whatever stuff and that they need to get out of it when their health is going down. I made them decide who was the tank, and helped that tank work through their skills so that they'd be able to grab and maintain aggro. I helped DPS learn that you let the tank get aggro first, that it's best to hit what the tank is hitting, and not to AOE unless the tank has the full attention of all the mobs. I almost cried the day that one of our Pallys killed a totem without my prompting. He not only knew what a totem was, but he killed it, instinctively. I was so, so very proud.

This stuff doesn't mean anything to a guild I guess. Helping folks that are actually new to the game doesn't mean anything in comparison to downing Naxx. I mean it's not as if the WotLK end game wasn't conquered the first week after the game was released or anything.

Before I left I really felt as if the folks that were level 80 looked down on me. I felt like they looked at me and saw 'slacker'. I mean they were already level 80, what the hell is wrong with Aus, why can't she level one toon to 80.

Every time I felt that way I worked harder on leveling. I set up a RAF account and dual boxed Shammans just to try as hard as I could to FINALLY get ONE toon to 80 so that my guild members would take me seriously, so that my words would have weight.

I left Aftermath because my words had no weight. I left Aftermath because even though I volunteered to be an officer, I was made a Veteran the day two other members were made Officer out of the blue. I left Aftermath because I kept seeing players either leave when they hit 80 or re-roll because they were told that they would have to get better gear if they were going to participate in end game activities with THEIR GUILD.

Last night I left Aftermath because of a post on our guild forums. The post was inspirational in nature. The post was supposed to say 'look guys we can do this'. Well, at least that's what the post said if you were level 80 and part of the raiding crew.

If you're a member who's running with two level 40 Shamans, the post said that the guild would help out folks in the Outlands and in Northrend, but the guild leadership is tired of level 50 dungeons. I haven't even hit level 50 yet. That was like a punch in the gut. That post was like saying, hey if you're 80, come raid with us. If you're 60-70, we've got your back. If you're less that 50, well just get to level 60 and we'll get your back.

There were other forum posts in the Aftermath forums that were like this. They were meant to be informative or they were meant to be inspirational, but really they just came across as exclusive or scolding. I was the one that heard the rumblings of guild members who thought that they're a little too old to be scolded (most of the guild is between the ages of 25 and 45). I heard rumblings of folks that felt like there was an exclusive clique forming in the level 80's group despite the fact that there was just a small group of level 80's to begin with. It just didn't look good that specific members of the guild were assisted to get the gear they needed to meet the raid leader's requirements, while other members of the guild were told that their gear wasn't good enough and that needed to be fixed before they'd be able to raid with the guild.

When I tried to talk to the guild about these things, they dismissed them. I think they kind of dismissed me in the process, not taking me seriously because I'm not level 80, I'm not raiding with them, and I'm not seeing things from their perspective.I was however seeing things from the perspective of about 75% of the guild members. You know, the guild members that hadn't hit 80 or who had re-rolled after hitting 80. Guild members who'd started with the guild and didn't get ignored when they needed help with quests in Gnomer. Guild members that had run with the level 80's once in a while in guild events and feel like they knew them.

That recent forum post, that was the catalyst for my exodus, also mentioned that folks needed to communicate more, to speak up when they need something. Well, when you either feel like you're going to be scolded or ignored would you speak up? If you feel like you only know one maybe two members of your 70 person guild would you speak up?

This is the reason I left Aftermath. I left because the guild I helped to found, had meaning. The guild I helped to found was a guild based on people. Evidently I founded a guild where we would raid together. I neglected to see that the rest of the game's activities were not included in the guild charter.

So now that I've burned a ton of bridges and feel like I've been the bad puppy who got the newspaper across the nose, what can I do? Well I'm going to be on Rexxar for the rest of this week. I intend on leveling my Shamans high enough to create a Deat Knight on my RAF account so that I can run a Death Knight with Talta.

After that I'm going back to Geistig, that's right I'm going back to the Horde. After this experience with the Alliance I can assure you that my Alliance days are quite over. I'd prefer to spend the rest of my days unable to level over 30 and be forever bombarded with Barrens Chat than to spend more time on the Alliance side. This will also mean going back to being a guild leader. I think this time, I'll just take it slow and see how things go. I also intend on moving Strategiest and Kleineubel to Uldum as well. That way I'd be able to swap out as tank, heals or DPS as I choose. I am not giving up on being a Shaman however. Though Tanzengeist (the original Tanzengiest by the way) is only level 27, once I've capped my other toons she's on my list as well. I'll probably run with her every once in a while to help out Talta's Priest, Rogue or Mage.

I learned a lot as a member of Aftermath. I'm looking forward to applying those lessons in Ghost Walkers. I also want to start back up my newb school on Uldum, see if I can't get folks trained up on how to be a party member so they've got the basics before heading off for raids. I don't regret the time I spent there, though I'm kicking myself a little because I could be 80 and part of this magical end game that seems to consume these folks so much. 

I mentioned to our raid leader that I felt that Aftermath had potential and it'd lost that potential, it went raiding. Why would I say something like that? I mean we were successfully raiding ist't that success?

No, we had a chance to create a guild that wasn't cliquish, that wasn't all business, that was just as much about the players as it was about the game. The guild lost that to my perspective. That is what I was most upset about.

If nothing else though I guess the lesson of the tale is this, words are powerful. People forget that it's not so much what you say, but how you say it. You can tell someone something that they may not want to hear, but if you tell them in a way that isn't demeaning, scolding, or aloof, chances are that they'll listen. If they don't that's their problem. COMMUNICATION doesn't just mean typing some words off the cuff and trying to get by with it. Communication is an art form. Writing means taking a bunch of letters and putting them together in a way that it builds a picture in someone else's head. If you give them lousy schematics, they're going to build a lousy house. So please folks when you write, take a sec to look it over and make sure that what you're saying actually means what you say, and that the way you say it conveys the meaning but doesn't do it in a way that puts the reader on the defensive or just makes them want to ignore it.