GM’s: Do You Give Second Chances?

First, I hope you all enjoyed yesterdays semi-RP post. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at creative writing. Although after I finished writing that, I felt it was a bit unpolished like it had nails sticking out of a piece of wood work without any varnish or paint. I guess my writing’s a bit rusty. Will I write something like that again? You bet!

Several days ago, a former Guildie returned to the Guild. He was a central pillar to our healing corps and we felt his loss when he had left. At the time, he offered no explanation as to why he left or that he had even left at all. Now he has expressed genuine remorse and regret.

So the question I’d like to pose to you is would you allow a former Guildmate back into your Guild if he reapplies? Obviously the conditions will vary from case to case. But let’s assume it’s a scenario similar to this one in which a player ups and leaves without cause.

Arguments for

Everyone deserves a second chance, right? A friend of mine left this very same Guild and decided to reapply again knowing that the personnel now we have now are vastly different then the ones he had a year ago.

Everyone is familiar with the player and knows his habits and abilities. There’s no need to rebuild any chemistry. Old habits do die hard and chances are they’re as familiar with the fights that are being done now so it is not required to "train" them on how to do the same old fights.

Arguments against

If they did it once, they can do it again. Not long ago, a certain Warlock left our guild. This was the second time he did this. Once before when Carnage was in Black Wing Lair, this player went all in on a chest piece and promptly took off a few days later to a different guild on a different server. A few months later during the opening months of Burning Crusade, that player came back again expressing his desire to come back and raid again. When we killed Vashj, he took the chest piece again and took off to a different Guild on the same server.

It’s another get out of jail free card. A precedent like this means that a player can leave the Guild once after getting something they want, hop around onto another Guild, and come back knowing they’ll be accepted. It may not be with open arms, but they will still be accepted nonetheless.

What do you think?

It’s no secret I’m fairly conservative in my thinking. But what do you think? I’ve studied Criminology throughout my post secondary career and the one thing that has been taught to us is that there is no such thing as an ex ex-con. On the other hand, some people do turn a new leaf.

Bruce Almighty 2

Bruce Almighty 2

 

*15 years in the future*

Matticus lounged on the sofa catching the latest highlights on Sportsnet. Those damned Canucks have come close every year but have yet to drink from Lord Stanley’s Cup. He took a sip from his Alexander Keith’s and heard the sound of foot steps descending. A little girl clutching her teddy bear stood there rubbing her eyes.

"Hanna, what’s wrong? Why aren’t you asleep yet?" Asked a concerned Matticus, "It’s late and you have to go to school tomorrow!"

"I can’t sleep!" She squeaked.

"Well come over here to your uncle Matticus and we can watch some hockey together."

Hannah waddled over and climbed onto the sofa. She snuggled next to her favourite uncle for a few minutes.

"Uncle Matt, can you tell me a story?" The little girl asked.

"I’d love to, angel. What would you like to hear about?"

"Tell me about the time you killed that big fish!"

"It was a such a long time ago, Hannah, but if you insist."

*scene fades to Shattrath City*

Act 1

cant-sheep

I was on my first tour of duty with Carnage. I happened to have the night off and I decided to relax by visiting the Shattrath City bazaar. The night life tends to be exotic. There’s all manners of sights and smells to take in and this night was no different. At the time, Carnage was running a joint operation with a couple of other Guilds in the Caverns of Serpentshrine.

Gnomish engineers and researchers of the violet eye developed a device that allowed members of Carnage to communicate to each other telepathically. Unfortunately, like most Gnomish devices, these often had a few quirks and features left out such as the lack of an off button. It was called the Gnomish Communications Handsfree Audio Transmitter (also known as GCHAT). This allowed Carnage to keep each other updated on the various activities they were doing.

Because of this, he knew that the operation was sustaining heavy casualties. The creature known as the Lurker below was giving them a hard time.

"Matt, we just lost one of our medics. We need you in here right now." I heard over my headset amidst the sounds of screaming and battle.

It was Keruen. He was the one running the op.

I sighed to myself. So much for a peaceful night, I thought.

"Understood. Can I expect a summon?" I transmitted back.

"Negative! L Z is hot! There’s too many hostiles and there is no way our locks can get a lock on yo-". The transmission cut off abruptly. He must’ve been shot.

I ran to the Scryer armory and grabbed a mace and a shield off the weapons rack. The Scryers and I had an understanding. The Shard of the Virtuous sat holstered and the Tryptech shield was placed firmly on my back. I placed two fingers in my mouth and blew causing a distinct shrill. Nothing happened at first but she was coming, I knew. Sure enough, the majestic gryphon gently landed in front of me and lowered her neck. I climbed onboard and grabbed her reins.

"To Serpentshrine. They need us, my friend." I whispered into her ear.

Her powerful wings flapped once and they shot up towards the sky towards the Zangar marshes away from the forests in Terrokar. He looked back down at the sight of the city growing smaller before turning his face forward to where his friends needed him most.

"There’s no time to waste. The Nagas below can’t reach us at this altitude, but there’s too many of them. I’ll have to do a HALO jump." 

The gryphon chirped her acknowledgement and continued her ascent. It felt like an eternity. GCHAT was quiet. Quick inquiries generated no responses.

A squawk caused me to look up. We were approaching the drop zone. I patted the gryphon and stood up while she slowed her speed. The superstructure of the drain below was enormous. One wrong move and I could end have impaled myself. Open my chute too early and the nagas can shoot me out of the sky. Open it too late and at this speed the water could very well behave like land and kill me on impact.

My mount squawked again. It sounded like she was impatient for me to get off her back. I smiled inwardly and somersaulted backwards into the large lake that was 30000 feet below. The ground was getting a lot closer and a lot bigger. Dots turned into large snakes. I didn’t have a choice and I yanked my cord. I felt the lurch of the chute seemingly carry me upwards and slowing my fall. The naga patrols weren’t looking up thankfully.

Act 2

 

I landed into the water and unhooked my chute. The great thing about it was that the chute dissolved in water so there would be no signs of an intruder. I swam into the main sewer line before emerging out into another cavern. There were no guards in sight anywhere. Our forces must have steamrolled them early.

I pressed onwards into the largest cave and entered the lift. I mentally conjured up the image of a lightning bolt in my head and had my palm out facing forward in the event I ran into unfriendly stragglers. As I stepped off the lift and crept onto the raised platforms, I noticed there were many corpses everywhere. Nagas were torn in half or had huge holes in them. Bog lords were partially incinerated or dismembered. I figured that following the trail of corpses would lead me to the expedition.

As I approached the last known position of the team, I felt a cold ring upon my neck and heard the locking of a rifle.

"You have five seconds to identify yourself before I separate your head from your body." Spoke a voice from behind.

I knew that voice anywhere.

"It’s Matt. Authentication Charlie Zulu Alpha."

It was Blori. He took his finger off the trigger and pulled his gun off my neck.

"Welcome to the Suck. We’re in the middle of regrouping. Let’s go." Blori said before moving ahead of me.

I could tell by his tone that he was extremely pissed. I stayed close behind him and let him take the lead. His rifle was out and he was constantly scanning. I never liked this place very much. It smelled too much like fish.

He raised his hand and I almost bumped into him. Instantly I crouched and rolled to my left behind a pillar while he took position on the right with his rifle leveled. I looked over at him and he mouthed the word "patrol". I peeked over and sure enough, two nagas wielding there tridents were slithering through the platform. Blori held up two fingers and brushed them across his lower lip. I raised my eyebrow in a "You sure?" kind of manner. He nodded. I closed my eyes and began to course electrical energy throughout my body.

I stepped into the open and unleashed a bolt of lightning that hit the right naga. The force of the bolt caused him to fly back and almost fuse into the wall before he slid down and slumped unconscious. Meanwhile, Blori stood up and dropped the other naga effortlessly with a few well aimed shots. Blori leapt up and kicked the tridents away from the oversized snakes while I kept myself charged up.

"Clear hallway. Let’s move up. They’re dead." He announced.

A few minutes later, we approached the rest of our unit who had been revived and were making preparations to have a go at Lurker again. The Mages, Hunters, and Warlocks stood on the outer platforms ready to unleash pain. Rogues and Warriors knelt prone surrounding the water while the combat medics (Priests, Druids, and me) stood on the outer edge

Act 3

"Start fishin’. Let’s get this guy down so we can go home." Keruen sighed exasperatedly.

Lines were cast and a few sagefish were caught. Suddenly the cavern trembled and a large sea monster erupted from the water and locked onto it’s closest target: Blori.

We were seconds into the fight before the entire area lit up in brilliant flashes of light as spells of all variants were cast. Another Shaman had activated her Earth Shield on Blori. I activated my own Earth Shield on myself.

Sure enough, I felt Arcane Missiles whiz by my right ear. One of them even hit my own shields!

I turned around. It was Vanessa.

Ugh. Friendly fire never was friendly.

I knelt and lowered my profile some more while yellow beams coursed from person to person renewing their stamina and vigor.

Unfortunately, others weren’t as lucky. Raeve, one of the rogues, took an arcing smash and crumpled. I sensed that he was still alive but there was no way he would be able to contribute anything to the fight anymore.

"Hunters, trap. Warlocks, fear. Mages, muttonize!" Keruen ordered. A quick glance around showed nagas slowly being polymorphed into their soft, cottony cousins. Lurker was focused on Blori and ignoring everyone else which was a good thing.

"Bruce! What are you doing?!" I heard a yell and looked over to where he was.

The elemental shaman was unloading lightning bolts like no tomorrow.

Except he was on the wrong target. He was bolting the sheeps.

"Why are you killing the sheeps? You’re supposed to be on Lurker!" Screamed Raeve.

"I-I, erm, well, n-no one told me that. A-a-and I th-thought that the m-mage was going to l-l-lose control of his sh-sheep." Stammered Bruce.

The distraction proved fatal. We had sustained more casualties and the raid was going to buckle. I reached into my pocket, grasped my Ankh, and uttered a few words. Blori was thrown clear off the platform and Lurker continued to thrash about and kill off the rest of the strike force in a matter of seconds. I absorbed a hit and collapsed to the ground without moving.

After a few minutes, my ankh glowed and my body was encased in a warm light. I opened my eyes and looked around slowly before pushing myself off the ground. I drank a large jug of milk before resurrecting the rest of my company.

"Bruce, do you realize what you were doing?" Blori asked firmly.

"Well, yes. But I-"

"Good. Don’t do it again. Just focus and stay on the boss."

"I only wanted to help the mage because he had an unshee-"

"No arguments. Just do as I say." Blori said gritting his teeth together.

"I mean I don’t think I did anything wro-"

"I’m going to ask you one more time, Bruce." Blori was on the verge of losing it.

"That’s insubordination! Listen to your commanding officer for once and just do as he says." I roared. I never really did like Bruce.

"Look, I’m only trying to expla-".

"Get out of here. Get out of my raid. As far as I’m concerned, you’re done. You will not be raiding with me ever again. You’ve been relieved."

"Now just wait a minu-!"

Bruce disappeared as he was being summoned back to Shattrath. GCHAT notified me that he was no longer a member of this organization. The reason? Being disruptive and a failure to accept responsibility.

The rest of the night was uneventful. We killed Lurker right after that with no further problems. A few nights later, the Carnage strike team ascended Mount Hyjal and killed Archimonde in a Bruce-less raid.

His last words to the Guild?

"I predicted this 2 weeks before you did it… you guys are scrubs… remember I am in elitist jerks on my main. Good luck, scrub."

Elitist Jerks would never accept a player like that. His raiding career has effectively been ruined as all reputable organizations have been notified.

After I returned to Shattrath, I received the following communiqués.

unleashed

But he’s gone now, and that’s what matters the most. Bruce was so paranoid. He felt that the leaders were out to get him. It wasn’t just one person who felt that way. Most of the players did. He even thought that this pickup raid into SSC was orchestrated with the intention to oust him from the Guild. I highly doubt anyone would go through such an elaborate setup. Bruce had dug his own grave from the start. His poor play and inability to remain accountable for his equally poor decision making contributed to his ejection from Carnage.

I looked over beside me. The little girl had fallen asleep.

To Each Our Own

This is a guest post from Softi.

I guess you could say Matt and I are pretty much opposites when it comes to, well, everything! He’s a guy, I’m a girl. He’s Canadian, I’m Scottish. He’s raiding high-end instances, I have about a million alts and I’m unable to put the time in for much raiding at all. But I can’t help but really enjoy chatting to the guy, even if he does insist on calling me ‘Mom’ all the bloody time!

So I thought I’d see if I can help him out with a guest post while he’s busy with his studies. There’s another difference – Matt’s at university with a great sense of self discipline, I’m a stay at home mum who can’t stick to any sort of structure or routine to save myself, and oh I have tried!

Matt told us a couple of months ago why he plays WoW, so I thought I’d tell you how I came to find the game, although you might want to go get a cup of coffee first, or hot chocolate… diet coke maybe?

The hubby, who will be herein known as J, started playing the game not long after the EU release, around March 05. We’d just got married, I was heaving around a bun in the oven, and as you can imagine,didn’t have much money to do, well…. anything, and evenings were oh so long and oh so boring. I was a MMORPG widow you see. Before he got WoW J would spend hours playing Star Wars Galaxies (I still shudder when he talks about it), and I would sit watching TV being bored out of my head.

Anyhoo, one night he was working late and I figured after I’d watched some TV (again) that I’d have a try of that stupid game of his and see what it was all about. He’d told me that druids changed into animals. Great! I thought, I love animals, that will be so cool. So I rolled a Night Elf Druid, and after about 5 painstaking minutes of trying to come up with a name, I figured hey, why not try my own, so Marylin (now known as Softthistle) was born.

Almost 5 hours later when J came home, I was still playing. He asked where his dinner was and I think I probably grunted at him that he could do it himself cause I was busy (oh the shame!).

A few weeks later my character had overtaken his in levels and I was playing more than ever. J was not amused at me playing on his account all the time and stopped playing. Typical of course – I was better at levelling so he gave up *sigh*. So I took over his account completely, he had deleted his character and claimed he’d not be playing again, the tables had turned. He was now the WoW Widower, and I was the gamer.

GAMER… me? I have turned into a gamer. Over 3 years ago I started this game having never dabbled in more than playing The Sims every now and then. Now I even blog about WoW, well… I attempt to anyway. J eventually gave in and came back to WoW, of course I had to buy him a new account as by this time we wanted to play the game together. He’s still playing now, not *quite* as enthusiastically as I do, but we will play together once in a while, and at least when he’s talking about the game I now actually know what he’s on about!

I guess when it comes down to it, maybe Matt and I aren’t so different after all. We both play WoW, we both love writing, and we both blog about Warcraft. Who’d have thought that a game could offer the chance of meeting so many new people? Not me, or not until now anyway!

Great news, Good news, Bad news

Quick hits here, guys. Had an extremely eventful Sunday.

Great news: I’ve acquired my Stanley Cup Rings (RE: Band of Karabor) x 2. They’re both fully enchanted.

Good news: My Guild apparently killed Archimonde.

Bad news: I wasn’t there when they did it.

Really bad news: Apparently the Apostle of Argus dropped.

Just when you think it can’t get any worse: It got disenchanted.

EDIT: My Guild’s a bunch of practical jokers. *whew*. What’s worse is that now I’ll have to endure the gloating from that OTHER healer. Yeah, you know, the furry one. To which I’ll retaliate with songs from West Side Story.

 

 

 

Excuse me while I go cry myself to sleep.

Quick Hiatus

I can’t keep it up anymore. As a result of school and other obligations, I’m taking a quick few days off. There’s a mammoth assignment due on monday which consists of me creating, designing, and writing (surprise!) a blog on cognitive science, cognition, and psychology.

If you’re curious as to how a blog gets started from the ground up, you can check out the Cogs Blog. We’ll see how much crap I can get done on it within 2 days.

This is followed by a political science exam on thursday.

I’ll be back in three days.

A Response to Tobold: Another Guild Recruitment Perspective

A Response to Tobold: Another Guild Recruitment Perspective

late
Image courtesy of Avolore

I read a great piece by renowned WoW blogger Tobold about guild recruitment and how they don’t look to hire players, they hire avatars. He writes that high end guilds don’t care much about the character of the person who is behind the avatar and that jumping guilds is almost expected in order to progress.

First, I’d like you to read what he has to say before you come back and read my responses and explanations behind how my Guild operates.

Done?

Excellent!

The Professional Style

Another follow up post courtesy of Two and a Half Orcs nailed it perfectly when it was written that we take two extremely different approaches to Guild progression and to raiding.

Now, a Guild is an organized group of people. I think we can all agree on that definition. What separates Guilds from other Guilds is the reason why the Guild is formed in the first place. Loyalty is an integral part of any kind of organization be it sports teams, businesses, or what not.

Refer back to Tobold’s blog for a moment and you’ll see an example of a typical Guild ad. In fact, if you browse the Guild recruitment forums right now, you’ll find any number of ads that have the same elements like:

  1. Scheduled raiding days and times
  2. Progression information
  3. Contact information
  4. Class openings

Tobold writes that these ads "do not mention people" and that these upper tier Guilds, such as the one I’m in, "don’t hire players, they hire avatars".

And he’s absolutely right.

Because those are the spots that we have available for raiding.

As a recruiting officer, I have no reason to mention that Carnage is looking for "friendly, intelligent, respectable players". Attributes like that are a given. As a student, when I browse job boards for part time openings, I never see companies advertise looking for "friendly, nice candidate with people skills" because it’s expected.

job-1

In this case, being available from Wednesday to Friday nights 8 PM – 12 PM server time is more important.

Why?

Because you can be the nicest and generous guy in the world. But if you can’t raid on our raiding days, then there’s is absolutely no point at all for us to bring you to our raids.

Am I being an ass with this kind of thinking? No, I’m being realistic. I’m saving time for both my Guild and for you, the player.

The Recruiting Process

In any case, the truth is, the recruiting process is much more refined and filtered than that. I obviously can’t speak for other Guild officers but I personally check out applicant’s as much as possible especially if they’re from another server. Cross server applicants are scrutinized as much as possible. Just like the actual job hunting process, if we find a player that we’re interested in that can handle the basic criteria of availability, class, and gear, then we have a brief interview with that player. I’ve been a carnie for about 3 years, so let’s just assume that I can tell what kind of a personality a player has 9 times out of 10. I like to conduct interviews over vent because their voice can tell me a lot of information that in game chat just can’t do.

Assuming they pass that stage, it’s not quite over yet.

They undergo a trial by fire where we assess their abilities in game. We’re not talking a couple of heroics or some PvP. In my Guild, our business is raiding. So if we want to evaluate a raider, we check them out in raids. What the hell’s the point of putting a recruit through a 5 man if we want to see how he is in a 25 man, right?

 
Image courtesy of BluStu

Accountability goes up

The release of Burning Crusade didn’t fix a lot of issues that plagued guilds during the vanilla era. Back then, there was a progression problem where it seemed only a select few of players could advance. For example, each boss in Molten Core dropped 2-3 items. Raids consisted of 40 players. Assuming you were able to pull off a full clear and that each player wanted to overhaul their gear with epics, this meant each player needed 8 pieces of loot. 40 players multiplied by 8 items is 320 items. As you can see, that’s a lot of gear that needs to be passed around and this is assuming that each boss drops the gear that players need. While it’s true that Burning Crusade did not fix problems of officers and leaders ricing themselves up and leaving, BC made it much easier to spread the loot around and progress Guild members at a steadier and more consistent rate.

By reducing the players required to raid, it increased the overall accountability of each player raiding. Each player has more responsibility and can be scrutinized even more. It allowed Guilds to be a lot more picky and for players to be more competitive. There’s a lot of hockey teams in the NHL but there’s only so many roster slots available. Raid size reduction made it easier for Guild Leaders to find players who fit the mentality of the Guild.

When I raid, I want players who work hard, are situationally aware, don’t waste time, and willing to spend gold to make themselves the best they can absolutely be. Going from 40 – 25 players means I don’t have to find 15 additional players who fit that criteria.

"Guilds do not recruit nice people and then train them how to raid."
- Tobold

I don’t think that’s true. I would rewrite that statement so that it says "Guilds do not recruit nice people and then train them how to play their class".

Raiding requires certain strategies to pull off because these bosses have their own gimmicks and abilities. It takes an insane amount of effort and coordination to kill these bosses. There is an expectation that you have gotten to 70 on your own and that you have done 5 mans on your own and that you virtually know the ins and outs of your class. New raiders that join Carnage are given an overview of the boss and what their role is.

It’s simple logic. If a player doesn’t know what he’s doing, he’s going to wipe the raid. Wiping the raid is not in the best interests of the raid therefore we make every effort to explain the encounter in detail and what their role is whether its to sheep a certain target, or heal a certain player, or move in a certain direction every 30 seconds because the main tank has to move him around.

It’s a gigantic waste of time to pick up a freshman hunter whose still learning the basics of the game like how to trap and misdirect. It holds up 24 other players who want to progress and you’re going to find an impatient player or 5 in any raiding Guild. We pull players out of other raiding Guilds that have disbanded and such because they’ve been proven that they know what to do. While we don’t know that for sure exactly, a quick inspection of loot can tell many things. If a Priest has a Band of Eternity, then we know he was a part of an organization that took down Kael and Vashj which require 25 players to actively take part in. So he knows what the heck he’s doing.

Rejection

Assuming a player isn’t nice, polite and helpful, then he’s out of the Guild. The fact is, Guilds spend anywhere from 9 – 20 hours a week working on bosses. If a player isn’t any 3 of those, why would we want to subject ourselves to 15 hours of playing with that individual? Again, at a job, if an employee is rude, unhelpful, and callous with employees, he’s going to be given the pink slip.

The onus is on the player to prove their asset to the Guild. And what does the raiding Guild do in return? We offer them a chance to raid and tackle the hardest encounters and challenges that this game has to offer.

In closing

winnars

Hopefully the insight I’ve offered will be of value to other players who wonder how and why these Guilds operate. I want to stress that my Guild is not hardcore in the sense of time. We don’t throw ourselves at bosses for 5 hours every week night. We set our standards and expectations abysmally high to weed out the freeloaders.

Building up Guild camaraderie and morale is not a problem here. When you’ve been working on a boss for 3 weeks straight with the same 25 – 28 group of people and he goes down, there’s an immense feeling of pride. Because guess what? You were part of a kickass team of 25 players that were able to coordinate their efforts in beating the hardest boss in the game.

And nothing can beat the euphoria that follows.

Unless you win the Superbowl.

Cosmo Challenge: Your Responses

Two weeks ago, I issued the Cosmo Challenge where bloggers were asked to rephrase titles from magazines and apply it to their WoW blogs. They’ve responded admirably!

16 New and Sexy Additions in 2.4 – Altitis
The "Friendly" Arena Advice You Should Never Take – Out of Mana
12 Ways to Get Ahead in Your Guild – Perpetuusmos Guild
Little Mouse Moves to Make Encounters Hotter – Frost Mage
Be an RP-Sex Genius! – Too Many Annas
How to Get Some Tail – Pure Shock Value
Be a Shamanistic Genius (while you level!) – Too Many Annas

Thanks for participating, guys! I have no idea what magazine to try next. Any suggestions?

Ask Matticus: Should I Leave my Guild?

Cathia recently responded to one of my latest posts in order to ask me an important question:

Hey matticus,im replying not because of iRaid but because i have an question,i role an holy priest myself and i have 1850 bonus healing but i still do kara and grulls only and i realy want more then that.Im waiting for my guild to go for 25 man raids but seems like is going to take more time before they start them.Should i leave them and adventure on an new guild or will that be incorect to them.Thx for your time

Well, you’ve just answered your own question. Your Guild will obviously want you to stay because your healing is an asset. But like you said, Cathia, you want to do more than what your Guild wants to do right now.

So what’s a guy to do right?

I was in your exact same situation almost a year ago. I was stuck in Karazhan and Gruul for about 3 months and I was getting tired and bored of raiding the same places. The first opportunity I had to depart the Guild, I took it and have never looked back since.

You can either stay in your Guild and raid unhappy or leave and try to find a new Guild that will satisfy your craving to raid. But do make your intentions known to your leaders, at least. Try to work out why you’re unhappy and what’s going through your mind.

I’ve got some bright readers here. Why don’t you folks chime in and let Cathia know what you think? Should this player leave for greener pastures?

6 Reasons Why I Haven’t Killed Archimonde Yet

6 Reasons Why I Haven’t Killed Archimonde Yet

archie-sad
Image courtesy of KLatham

Note: If you are against WoW players with elitist attitudes, don’t read this post.

"No sacrifice, no victory!"
Sam Witwicky (Transformers, 2007)

I’m sure you’ve read about some of the frustrations that I’ve had with Archimonde in the past few weeks that we’ve worked on him. I wrote off the first few wipes as attempts on learning. Following one of our recent raids, a raid leader asked me for my thoughts on the issue. At the time, I did not know what to say because I did not put a lot of thought into it. After a few days of reflection, I’ve come up with a list of reasons about what our Guild is missing and why we aren’t getting things done.

Willingness to bench players

Remember Bruce? He’s an active member of our 25 man teams. When I mentioned to my raid leader that we should be switching out players that aren’t cutting it, he responded by saying that it isn’t going to work all the time. This is true, I will admit. But this is a progression encounter and we need to bring our best players in at all times. The fact is, Bruce doesn’t qualify as that yet. I respect the fact that he decided to go hemo spec to further help the raid. Unfortunately, I don’t for a second believe the DPS output of the raid has increased to offset the amount of potential damage he can do if he’s not hemo. For a melee player on Archimonde, he has to perform more damage then that.

When we first started on Archimonde, the raid leader said he was going to keep a list of names on who was dying and why. Enough is enough. It’s time to put that list to good use and bench the players that are at the top of the list. I don’t care how good or reputable that player is. If you’ve died many times, then you’re only gimping the raid. Hell, if it were me holding up the raid, I would voluntarily sit out because I know that I suck.

But there are certain players who make me groan to myself everytime they raid with us. It’s because they’re stupid or they don’t listen or they don’t pay attention. I’ve had to mute myself on numerous occasions because I have one hell of a temper. I don’t mind occasional wipes as long as we learn from them and it doesn’t happen again. Those are called progression wipes, and we learn best by experience. Yet if the same players continue to die for the same reasons, why are we bringing that player to a progression raid?

Examples:

  • Players unable to time their air burst tears
  • Shamans who don’t stay with their group for decursive purposes
  • Paladins who can’t seem to listen or understand their assignments

Lag cannot continue to be an excuse

Several of our players were affected by lag issues (no doubt stemming from 2.4 patch related problems). But even before then, some players were complaining about lag affecting their timing. Those players have got to go. We cannot blame all problems on lag. If you cannot compensate for lag, then the law of probability dictates that sooner or later you will get air bursted, die, and subsequently wipe the way. In fact, based on the amount of players that were lagging that day, we should have done something more lag friendly instead. But my point here is the fact that if you’re experiencing connection problems, bow out of the raid and watch some TV.

Healers are being blamed

The whole blame healer excuse also needs to stop. Every once in a while, if it genuinely is a fault of one of ours, I know that our healers are man enough to accept that they had a brain fart and lapsed. But in an encounter with Archimonde that has Doomfires that snake out from Archimonde at a slow speed? We have the best healing corps, in my opinion. Yet a lot of pressure has been directed at us. Statements like "I need heals through doomfire" or "I wasn’t getting any heals" don’t cut it here. As a survival fight, there is no reason for any player to be suffering through doomfire. Healers might be able to compensate for one player getting it, but not when multiple players are getting hit. And they have the audacity to say that they’re not getting the proper heals? Why are you eating doomfires in the first place?

Consistency

In hockey, goalies that are on fire continue to play. Goal scorers that continue to score are paired with the same players. Why? Because of this magical thing we call chemistry. Those same players continue to deliver the same results night after night.

We’ve had nights where we one shot the first 4 bosses in Mount Hyjal with absolutely no problems on trash within the first 90 minutes.

If that’s the case, why do we change up our roster when we get to Archimonde?

The raid leaders said it themselves. This is not a DPS fight, this is a survival fight. We can afford to keep certain classes that might not boost our DPS up a lot because we know they’re not stupid. Instead, we bench those players to bring in players who aren’t as good but we unfortunately need their buffs that they bring to the table. I’d rather take an extra Shadow Priest or a Ret Paladin instead of an Elemental Shaman or Holy Paladin. I know it’s extremely hypocritical for me to say that after I mentioned Bruce earlier above. But that case is an exception. Melee players are the rare few who get to go all out on Archie without much fear of anything happening to them.

I will take veteran experience over buffs any day.

Where’s the focus?

Everyone needs to be present and on the same page. I downshift my focus on trash, but I still go through the motions. However, when we get to bosses, my back is straight, my door is closed, and my cellphone is off. One small mental slip in concentration will result in a wipe. In an area like Hyjal, it is often disastrous.

One of our Warlocks once pulled aggro on Azgalor without realizing it. The raid promptly died and it was 5 minutes to the end of the raid which lead to the raid being called. That’s 30 minutes wasted. For a guild that only raids 11 hours a week, every minute is precious.

One voice

It’s nice to have 2 or 3 authority players who are leading the raid. But there are times when too many cooks spoil the broth. I’ve seen times where one person said to do this, and another player told that same person to do something else. Both players hold rank in our Guild. We cannot afford to have more than one person directing the play. Uncertainty is going to kill us. Those raid leaders need to get together and pick one person to lead quarterback that play and be done with it. If he’s wrong, then it’s another lesson to add to the playbook. The point is that he picks a clear direction for the player to proceed in with no hesitations.

This is one of my harsher posts and it’s for good reason. But the tone of this post pales into comparison to the moods I’ve felt after some of the recent raids. I’ve tried to structure this post in a way that can reasonably convey how I feel about our Archimonde attempts with some reason and thought behind it. My tolerance level is quite high. I’m not at the point where I’m openly going to criticize my raid leaders (yet). This is just what I think and my vantage point is different than everyone else in the raid.

In review, I believe my Guild needs to :

  1. Toughen up and crack down on underperforming players
  2. Stop subbing out players
  3. Not blame lag
  4. Bring back the focus and turn off the distractions
  5. Have one leader that’s clearly in charge of the operation
BREAKING: Introducing the iRaid

BREAKING: Introducing the iRaid

I’m working frantically on an essay right now which is due tomorrow afternoon, so I don’t have a lot of time. I don’t want to reveal my source about this, but you know how Apple’s opened up their API’s and such for third party developers?

Yup, you guessed it.

World of Warcraft is now on the iPhone. In fact, Apple’s secretly working on a product that completely strips every component they have from the iPhone to create a new device that is far more superior than it’s predecessor in any way shape or form.

This new product is called the iRaid. You people with lives, yes you the ones that bail out at the last minute, now don’t have any excuses to skip out on raiding anymore! With the portability of the iRaid, now players can literally raid whenever they want wherever they want. It’s perfect for players whose lives are way too busy.

On top of that, the interface has been completely re-written. Actually, it’s been completely removed. Now World of Warcraft can be played without having to mash any buttons or observe any tool bars. Everything has been designed with simplicity and automaticity in mind. There are no bars at all, raid frames, or meters to worry about. Threat is automatically calculated and should you hit the cap, then the iRaid automatically locks up preventing you from casting any further spells. There’s a nice heads up display which shows useful information such as nearby players their information, nearby enemies, and their range.

How it works

Using Apple’s intuitive touch interface, players can simply create motions with their fingers to perform certain actions.

For example

  • As a Mage, drawing a circle with the letter "S" inside generates a portal to Shattrath
  • As a Shaman, drawing an "X" over an enemy target will automatically trigger chain lightning
  • As a Priest, drawing an oval creates a Power Word: Shield around the target
  • As a Warlock, tapping an enemy target followed by a fast jab in any direction results in a fear
  • As a Warrior, drawing swirls will trigger whirlwind
  • As a Paladin, drawing a square with the letter "B" adjacent to it activates Divine Shield and your hearth stone
  • As a Rogue, repeatedly tapping anywhere on the screen while adjacent to a target causes your rogue to perform sinister strikes
  • As a Druid, targets you tap on will get moonfire spammed

And it gets better! During raids, all that needs to be done is for you to tape a person’s health bar and it will cast the most mana efficient spell in order to heal that player. Heck, if you’re busy, you can always toggle the "lock" switch which locks your iRaid device and sets it on autopilot. It will not register any taps or presses on the screen and perform the logical actions. The new iRaid essentially RAIDS for you so that you don’t have to do a darn thing!

Chat Interface

The chat interface doesn’t deviate much from the normal iPhone. It uses the same interface which you can rotate in either direction. Based on the nature of the message, the iRaid is capable of determining what chat channel or person to send your message to.

 

Other useful stuff

iraid2The iRaid comes with extra features like a "death time counter". It tracks the amount of time that you spend as being dead so you can prove to the rest of the raid just how useful you are because you spend such little time being dead.

There’s loads more of other stuff, but it’s either still under development or under wraps.

No one knows when this product will debut, but my guess is that we will not be seeing it for a long time. It’s wonderful to see top companies collaborating together and combining innovative technologies and software to deliver even more fun addictions.

In order to maximize space, useless things like calendars, music players, browsers, and the like have been removed. Since the iPhone still has a mic and an ear section, voice communication has been built in to allow iRaiders listen to the praise of their raid leaders on what an excellent job they have been doing throughout the raid.

The all new iRaid: Buying skill is now a reality.