March 28 2009

The Ghost Walkers Take on Blackrock Spire

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.

March 18 2009

Guild Update: Ragefire Chasm, Wailing Caverns, and Recruiting

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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March 12 2009

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

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.

March 7 2009

The Shammy Twins Hit 40 and Aftermath Prepares for … Gnome Raiding?

Yeppers… level 40 means Mail! Finally a chance to wear some armor that can take a few more dings. I love that. While I’m not leveling quite as fast as I’d like to this weekend, I’m also feeling like ass warmed over due to a lovely head cold I’ve been fighting all week. I give this cold about a 3 out of 5 soggy tissues, it’s tried hard but it hasn’t fully knocked me out.

Creep > Cold = Win!

Once I can push this cold out of the way though I’m looking forward to actually getting some real leveling in. Last week I wasn’t too excited about the whole thing because honestly, I wasn’t sure how things would look for me once I made it to 80. Now however I’ve been reassured by my guild mates that there’ll be some room for me once I get there, but to hurry my butt up there so I can join in on the fun!

That… I am totally stoked about.

Oh and I’m totally stoked about our all Gnome Mage raid on Hogger scheduled for next week. Sound like a waste of time and energy? Well yeah that’s the point. Um wait no, that’s not exactly the point. The point is that we’ve got a lot of new players as well as players who were running Molten Core back in the 8 hour 40 man run days. So we’re setting up events like this so that everyone in the guild can get a chance to hang out in the same place and at the same time. I mean otherwise how else would a slacker like me get a chance to hang out with folks that are usually running Heroics?

So the rules of the game to date are that everyone has to roll a Gnome Mage (gender is a matter of choice of course). Then we’re all leveling these Gnomages to 6 and parking them in Goldshire for the event. Safe to say it should be a total blast. That and it should pretty thoroughly traumatize the population of Rexxar since they seem to have something against Gnomes. I think they’re cute, and according to my Undead Priest, they taste like Chicken Nuggets…. MMmmmmmmmm….

I’ve already made my mini Mage in preparation for the event. I even kind of named her after my URL by giving her the name Creepthemage. Safe to say my guildies (well the ones that have found my blog) had a good chuckle over that one. Personally, I’m still rolling over the rather interesting names adopted by some of the other guildies. Talta, who I run with all the time because she’s awesome, has already created her gnomage too, but she went a little overboard and hit level 8. We talked it over with the event coordinator and she’s allowed to have a level 8 ‘handycap’ for the event. I’m stoked because this means she’ll get a chance to be the big gnome on the block. (*insert unstoppable laughter here*)

No really she was pretty well pummeled when we ran through Molten Core, so I’m pretty stoked to see her get a chance to be the heavy hitter. Well instead of maintaining her current guild forum caption “queen of dirtnaps”.

We’re hoping that this will be a regular thing and be a good way for us all to get to know each other and well keep things that way. There’s a lot to WoW that can alienate guild members. For folks that prefer PvP, they may not spend as much time with the folks working on PvE. For the folks that are leveling their first toon or even some alts, they may not spend as much time with the folks at 80 running Heroics or doing dailies. This is kind of a great way for everyone to let their hair down (or maybe just size down?) for a bit and get a little fun in.

I mean after all, why spend you’re free time (which as a grown up you don’t get nearly enough of) doing something that isn’t any fun?

PS: I’m also using XFire to snag some video footage. I’m considering posting some of these things on my site as videos. That was actually part of what got me into playing WoW in the first place was all of the videos folks were making using the game as a backdrop. Getting video is one thing, displaying it is another. So that’s what I’m looking in to.

Until next time


February 21 2009

To the Dungeons I Have Loved Before…

So while I don’t have a whole lot of news to report on my Shaman twins, I did have one heck of a night instancing. Yes I even went to Molten Core. It’s one of those instances that I’ve heard about, but I never dreamed that I’d actually SEE it. As part of an all Raid group, I not only got a chance to see Molten Core, I got to conquer it!

Mini Shammy Update

So the night started out with me running around Elecreep a bit to work on her skinning. It still needs some love but hopefully her skinning’s high enough now to skin in the areas the twins are questing in.

More Instance 101 Action

At 9pm server I coached an Uldaman consisting of myself, Talta, Warrior and a Paladin. The Paladin was kind enough to step in as healer for the night, Talta and I were DPS, and the Warrior was the tank.

There were a couple of times that he lost aggro. I’m not going to hold it against him though, I mean Talta’s about 10 levels higher than the Warrior and I was almost 20 levels higher. For the most part I pretty much just sent in my pet for DPS to keep from drawing aggro and then pulled anything that decided to break away and hit the Paladin and Talta.

We completed the dungeon and even got the achievement for completing it. Best part is that no one died through the course of the whole instance. Considering the fact that I’m running these nights as ‘instancing 101’ it’s kind of nice to know that we were successful in the instance and it looks like we’re pretty successful in getting some positive dungeon experience on folks.

Teufeltanz Jenkins?

So once that was over, we hit the repair guy and yep, rushed to Blackrock Mountain for a little Rookery Action. Hehe, last night about 21 members of my guild picked up the Jenkins title. It was totally awesome! ‘Jenkins Night’ sponsord by Scarybooster was a complete success! Scary picked up the attunement and anyone level 45 or above got a chance to hit Upper Blackrock Spire to get Jenkins added to their name.

Ok so a brief history of what the hell I’m talking about. So to get the Jenkins title you have to complete the Leeeeeeeeeeeeeroy! achievment. This achievement is based on the video of an Upper Blackrock Spire wipe in the rookery that’s fits into the lore and history of those who’ve played WoW in as much as Arthas fits into his frozen trousers. Just in case you haven’t seen the video, here’s it is:

Yep, now that is some classic WoW goodness.

Being a history buff in real life, seeing stuff like this from the old days of WoW not only makes me wish I’d had a chance to play the game earlier, but also really makes you appreciate just how tough the ‘vanilla WoW’ used to be. I mean we had 4 level 80’s in there and once we had the lower level folks sitting outside of the room, we were able to kill the 50 Whelps before I even knew what happened! /sigh

February 15 2009

Shaman Update: Water Totem, Ghost Wolf, and level 21

One of the coolest parts about being a Shaman is the Ghost Wolf form. It’s a spell that Shaman can cast that increases their travel speed by 40%. Sure it doesn’t seem like much when compared to say the 100% of the epic mount (and I don’t even want to think about how much faster flying is, I just don’t >.<). But hey when you’re trying to level up a pair of Shaman to catch up with a guild that’s already starting to get raiding parties together, every little bit helps. 😉

So that would be 6 levels since my last post, not a huge amount of levels mind you, but it puts me right where I wanted to be for the weekend. They also aren’t too far off from picking up mounts. I’ll probably slack on getting them mounts though since it’s going to cost me a bundle just to keep them trained up. I don’t really mind it though since Ghost Wolf form will work just fine for quite a bit.

Also Talta (yes she’s my Mom) has been helping me out with my quests when she’s online too. Thanks to her help yesterday I was able to skin up a ton of leather that I used to help gear up the Shaman twins. Neferati, one of my guild mates, also helped me out for a bit when he logged on. It’s really cool that my guild is willing to back track a little to hang out with me while I grind through these little quests. I’m really hoping that I can push through the next 40 levels pretty swiftly and get into the Outlands (basically where I was when I just couldn’t hang rolling Rogue any longer).

I did return Talta’s help though by helping her find one of the WoW holiday quests that was somewhere out behind Ravenholdt manner. After rolling Rogue, I finally figured out just what that place is for. I’d originally found it while just riding around as Geistig, my Undead Death Knight (one of the reasons I loved being a Death Knight, I could just GO anywhere I wanted and didn’t really get hassled much, well at least not by anything that wanted to continue breathing).

I’m actually really proud of Talta. She’s leveled up to 54 now and as a clothy even (Mage)! I’ve helped her out here and there but not really as much as I’d like to. That’s part of the reason I’d suggested she join my current guild . Since it’s on a Central time zone server, it’s a lot easier for her to find folks that are online the same time she is. It can be kind of trying for me at times though (since I’m in the Pacific time zone), but I’ve solo’d quite a bit so I’m sure a little more wouldn’t kill me. This also gives Talta some folks to reach out to when she’s stuck on something, otherwise she’d just be waiting for me to log in.

It’s also fun to watch just how much she enjoys the Holiday quests and events in WoW. We really had a good time doing the All Hallow’s Eve quests. I’d been too side tracked with my own projects lately though, and I’ve been missing out on just hanging out with her and having fun doing some of these sillier and just fun quest lines.

Sometimes I’m pretty bad at being a daughter and at just being a friend. It’s really easy to get sidetracked and so focused on personal goals. That’s true in game and out really. I’m just glad that I did get a chance to hang out with Talta, even for a little bit today. Since we live pretty far apart, this is one of those ways that we can still kind of hang out and stay in touch. Sure there’s the telephone and e-mail, but it’s really not the same as running up behind something that’s attacking your Mom, clubbing it upside the head and then throwing a heal. It really says, ‘hey, I care about you.’

Ok, yeah I know it’s weird, but I’m weird.

So over the next week I plan on trying to get the Shammy twins to 30 or at least close to 30. Then hopefully next weekend I’ll be able to push for 40. If I can keep up that pace I might be able to hit the Outlands in about two weeks. Seems like a lot of time, but compared to the amount of time it took me to get Auslander to the Outlands, that’s practically a blink of an eye. Keep in mind too that’s also taking a slightly slower pace, and spending more time offline. I’m kind of getting that good old “you’re spending too much time on the damn computer again” vibe lately, and yeah, that’s never a good thing. I’m not just getting it from outside, but also from myself. I think I just pushed too hard to try to level Auslander. While I don’t think I’ll be happy with myself until I get at least ONE toon to the level cap, I really don’t want to just try to grind away at it playing a class that I don’t really enjoy.

As it is, today was the FIRST time that either of the Shammy twins have died. For some reason the death statistics haven’t updated in the armory. It’s kind of cool to play a class that I can just keep alive, and the resurrect via the other one if things start to go south. The funny part is, I’m not sure that I’ll stop playing both Enecreep and Elecreep once I hit 60. I might just continue to dual box for a bit longer. Sure I won’t get the xp rewards any longer, but so far it’s been kind of interesting being my own group so to speak, hehe.

Also I know that I haven’t posted the talent specs that I’m using for these two or the info on Shammy weapons. That’s partially because my head’s been in a fog all weekend and I’ve had a hard time pumping out all the mist and getting the place dried out. Safe to say I still haven’t found a definitive Elemental leveling spec for Elecreep. I’m probably just going to have to go with something here soon and post what I have regardless.

Well until next time!


February 12 2009

The Votes are in, the Die is Cast, Creep Rolls Shaman

Arguably, I like the fluidity of the Druid and I think with more time, it’s a class I’d really enjoy. Thing is I don’t really have a ton of time what with working and well you know just plain living seems to take up a stupid quantity of time. Anywho, I’d been contemplating rolling a Shaman for my guild for quite a while. I’ve also done everything I can to keep myself interested in playing Auslander my Rogue because I didn’t want to come off as an Alt-a-holic in my new guild. When Aus hit 61 though, I realized that I just couldn’t hang anymore. It’s not that I don’t think Rogue is an awesome class, it’s just not exactly what I’d like to play.

I’m really getting into instancing. I love playing solo, but I like the idea of being able to find a group whenever and where ever or just go it alone if I choose. One thing I like about the Shaman class as a whole is that they just seem to solo really well. They also work really well in groups since their Totems buff the whole party, not just the Shaman.

Now that I’m getting used to having hooves and horns on my in game character, I’ve got to admit that being a shaman has really grown on me. I’ve got some research under my belt now, and I should be able to level these two fairly quickly and end up with a strong Elemental Shaman that will compliment the raiding toons already geared up in the guild.

To make sure that I stay interested in leveling these two, I’ve also set up another experiment. One Shaman I’ve named Enecreep, this one will have an Enhancement tree build for leveling, the other is Elecreep. This one will have an Elemental build while leveling. This should at least keep my attention until these two hit 60, then it’s off to the Shaman gear rich outlands and beyond.


January 29 2009

Death Knight Hits 63 and ‘Lowbie Nights’ Still on!

For the second night now I’ve been running around on Teufeltanz my Death Knight. Basically I wanted to push her up a few levels so that when I help folks out in some lower level instances tomorrow night, it should be a little bit easier. I also wanted to gear her up a little as well.

Tonight I did have a blast helping one of our Priests get into the Outlands. We had a Warlock summon our Priest from the old world to Hellfire Ramparts, got the hearthstone set, and then made two runs through Hellfire Ramparts.

Last night I actually ran through Blood Furnace the neighboring instance a couple of times too, which is part of the reason Teufeltanz went from 60 to 63 in two days. I wanted to hit 65 tonight and all day I’ve been thinking about it. I just didn’t have much of a level frenzy this evening. Partially it’s because I found out that my DPS wasn’t what I’d hoped it would be, so I went an re-specced again. Lannister one of my guildies, hooked me up with a few Death Knight Glyphs and I settled on the Glyph of Icy Touch and the Glyph of Bone Shield. I re-specced Teufeltanz to a similar Unholy/Blood build that I’d left off on when I was leveling Geistig. For now I think I’ll hold off on Dual Wielding until I level Teufeltanz because there’s just so much tweaking that has to be done to boost Dual Wielding DPS while minimizing the incoming damage.

It’s ok though I mean she is using Hellreaver that pole arm alone does a lot to boost Tanz’s DPS. Add in the gear I’ve picked up as I’ve gone along, and she’s pretty well outfitted for running around in Scarlet Monastery hehe.

I know it seems like a bit much, but I want to make sure that Tanz will be capable of getting the job done. I want to make this event go over well and renew some enthusiasm and confidence in the guild. Well for success or failure at least I’ll have given this a try.

January 29 2009

Generally WoW: Taking Action

So when things get hairy people usually have two responses, fight or flight. When the going gets tough you can do something about it or you can turn and run with your hands in the air waving like you just don’t care. We’ve all had times where the run/wave really was the best option, even if not literally hehe. I’m one of the ‘problem solver’ kind of folk. I really like to see if I can figure out how to make things better (sometimes even if they don’t need to be better, that usually doesn’t go to well). This time I saw something that needed some improvement (I promise) and I took action to try to make things better.

WoW is a dynamic game. Sure you can play through the end game, and get the epic lewtz, but really that’s not all there is to the game. There’s a whole world to explore, exotic creatures to meet and destroy, an Auction House to master (more like disaster in my case), professions to level, seas to swim in, just… all kinds of stuff! Since the game has so much to it, it attracts people that don’t all play the same way. I mentioned the other day that I took a test over at GamerDNA, turns out that I’m more of an Explorer/Social type of player. For me having a destination is cool, but I have just as much fun along the way. Usually this doesn’t mean that I have the shiniest flashiest gear in town. When you hear a lot of folks say that the ‘real game starts at 80’ or yak incessantly about the awesome lewt they have from this end game instance or that end game instance, it can make you feel, well that you suck because you don’t have those things. I know I don’t suck, I’m pretty good at being a Rogue. Sure I don’t get in a ton of levels a day, but heh, I spend quite a bit of time making a fool of myself in guild chat. Making a fool of myself though entertains me, and honestly, I can’t say that the accomplishment of having a level 80 toon is all that much better than having a total laugh fest at the end of a very long day.

I’ve learn to accept my slacking ways and just push as hard as I can without wanting to put my head through the wall. My guild mates are cool with the fact that I’m not the fastest leveler in the world, they’re even cool with the fact that I want to be a Rogue, which I’m sure a lot of guilds would be looking at me as if I were purple, covered in green slime and had a radioactive symbol stenciled on my forehead (ok Rogues aren’t that broken but I have to have fun somewhere). This is also totally not one of those guilds where I feel like I’m putting up with people, bureaucracy and nonsense just to get a job done. There’s a time and a place for that, it’s called work time, WoW time is not work time so I don’t feel that I should have to deal with that nonsense. On this note my whole guild agrees! None of us want to deal with drama, we’re here to have fun and get some serious butt kicking in on the side. I approve of this, that’s why I left my 72 Undead Death Knight (that I love dearly), a server that has some real life friends on it (who are my best real life friends in the whole world), and rolled an Alliance Rogue. I was even there to sign the guild charter.

It’s a little tough for me rolling on a Central Time zone server, since I’m in the Pacific time zone, a lot of folks are logging off just as I’m logging on. It means that I still have to spend time questing solo, and sometimes when I log out there’s only one or two other folks online. I have to admit though, rolling in the other faction helped a lot, it’s almost like playing a new game and that has kept things a little more lively. I’d started to feel a little isolated though, and losing some folks that play when I play, only made things worse. So I decided that it was time to do something about it. I asked to be an officer in the guild and asked if I could start taking on some additional responsibilities and scheduling some guild events.

Why? Because I want to feel like I’m a part of something again. I also want to help lower level folks in the guild feel like they’re a part of something too. I mean sure, personal gain is cool and all, but it really isn’t the same as feeling like you’re a part of a group. I like the fact that I log in and people say ‘Hey Aus’, I like the fact that folks who need help will send me a tell, I like the fact that I can ask for help and receive it, I also like the fact that folks offer me help with out my even asking at all! To me, it’s this kind of group that makes WoW fun. I want to see the guild be successful and sometimes, just hanging out on the sidelines and crossing your fingers just isn’t enough. So I took the initiative and said, hey, I’ve got time, I’ve got skills, can I help out?

By doing this, it’s inspired other guild members to set up more guild activities. It’s stirred up a heaping batch of ‘cool new stuff is happening.’ I really think that for once, stepping in to help is paying off, instead of well you know, blowing up in my face, hehe. This is a really good guild full of good folks who do have a real life and real friends are more important than a game mentality. I feel really lucky to be a part of it. For the longest time I didn’t think I’d find a guild like this. Right now it’s going through some growing pains. I really feel like every guild goes through this at sometime. But I also know that the foundation that the guild is built on, it’s guiding principals are solid. As the saying goes, if the foundation is solid, everything else can be fixed.

Category: Guild, World of Warcraft | Comments Off on Generally WoW: Taking Action
January 28 2009

Guilds: Guild Evolution

So I’m still in Aftermath, and I’ve gotta say I still love this guild. I think though, we’re about to hit a real trying patch in our guild’s existence. We’ve had a number of level 80 folks join the guild and a number of folks hit level 80. Now a lot of the guild’s focus is no longer strictly on getting the members of the guild to 80, but getting ready to raid.

Unfortunately I haven’t hit 80 yet. Several of the other guild members that re-rolled are in the same boat. With the guild changing focus, it’d be really easy for folks who’ve been leveling like crazy to lose focus and feel like the guild just doesn’t care if they get to 80.

I’ve been harbored in a raiding guild before. I’ve gotta say, leveling in a raiding guild is a lonely and frustrating experience. For the most part unless you’re really low level folks will run you through the first two or three really low level instances, but then you’re on your own. You don’t really have anyone to run with because even guild members leveling alts only run with those alts every once in a while, and chances are, they run with folks they know. You know, they run with the folks they raid with. Well if you aren’t level capped and a member of the raiding parties, no one gets to know you or anything about you. Even typing in guild chat for the most part you get ignored, and for the most part you’re just considered to be someone’s alt. Then you get to live vicariously as everyone posts gear links from last night’s raid in guild chat. Woo hoo.

Lately I’ve noticed that my desire to level has taken a total nosedive. Part of it is due to the fact that the ‘Night Crew’ dissolved. Two of the guys in the ‘Night Crew’ were already level 80 so it was sort of a driving force to get to 80 and sit at the big kid’s table so to speak. Those two members left the guild. The other remaining regular member is pretty much ready to hit Northrend, so hey yeah, not like I’ve got someone to run with in the evenings for the most part.

I’ve also noticed that folks aren’t logging into the guild as much. That’s not a good sign. So I started thinking, why were folks logging in to be a part of the guild. What made so awesome when it first started? Then it hit me! When we first started out not everyone had hit 80 yet and we didn’t have a lot of level 80 guildies. For the most part we had a few folks in the high 70’s but that’s about it. These higher level folks would stop and help out the folks as they were leveling, and let me tell you, that made a HUGE difference. I mean, how nice is it to be able to say ‘hey guys hate to ask this,’ and have a level seventy something say ‘Need help with Dead Mines huh?’ and then run out to give you a hand. We also had guild events organized, such as Lowbie Nights where high level guild members would run guildies through dungeons they haven’t been able to group for, a guild group into the Gurubashi Arena, and even a birthday suit run from Iron Forge to Stormwind!

These events took the edge off the grind. We got to know one another by spending a little time together. I mean in some ways, WoW can be a lot like a cafe. You see people coming and going all the time, and you might recognize some regulars if you go often enough, but you don’t really feel compelled to get to know anyone, you’re just there for a cup of coffee. Guilds can be like this sometimes. When we’re trying really hard to get loot or to get that next level, getting to know the folks in the guild around us doesn’t take precedence anymore. This is about when clicks form and people start to leave the guild.

So what I’m thinking is that it’s time to start bringing back the more social events and to bring back assistance to folks who are still working their way up. Yeah this is going to take time away from leveling my character, but what good will it be to get to level 80 and have no one to run with?

Since I have a Death Knight that’s just hanging about in the Outlands taking up a character slot, I figure, hey, why don’t I bring back ‘Lowbie Nights’ and see what I can do to try and get the guild kicking again. This also lets the folks ready for raiding get back to raiding. I’m actually excited about this! This will give me a chance to get to know some of the newer low level guild members. It’ll also give me a few karma points after getting so much help myself when I started out.

Yeah I know there’s a chance that folks will try to take advantage of the help, but I’ve got a couple of tricks up my sleeve. So since I’m doing the runs as Teufeltanz my Death Knight, I can start to set the expectation that when I log on as that character, I’m here to help. On the flip side that means when I log on as Auslander, I’m there to get some serious leveling in. I think that’ll help a bunch. I’m also a big fan of saying no to folks who are obviously just trying to have the game handed to them. For folks that are seriously working hard at leveling, I really don’t mind running them through anything because I know they’re motivated and they’ve gotta be doing something right or they wouldn’t be completing the quests. I also know that folks looking to have the game handed to them now won’t change that perspective once they hit the level cap. That just has ‘drama’ written all over it and won’t help out the guild.

In the end what I’m really hoping to do is to breath life back into Aftermath. Since the guild started up over the holidays, we all had more time we could dedicate to the game. A lot of us were also all starting at the same time, and that helped out a bunch too. So now that the dust has settled and folks are back to the grind, we’re all starting to go our separate ways and we’re drifting apart as a guild. I think it’s time to get the band back together you know?