First of all, a well played hockey game by team USA and team Canada. I had a sinking feeling in my heart before the puck dropped that this would not be an ordinary game and it wouldn’t be quite the clean sweep as I hoped it would be. When we scored those two goals, the pub I was at erupted into a huge roar of cheers, high fives and back slaps.
When that tying goal was scored with 24 seconds left, I guarantee you the entire country skipped a heartbeat. What an absolutely thrilling game though.
Team USA has nothing to be upset about. They beat the Canadians last week and came close to doing so again during the gold medal game. I truly expect that their generation of players will evolve into a dominating force in the next world competition (by Sochi).
The Holland (Heineken) House had massive lineups during the Friday game. That game didn’t start until 630, but the place was full and had lineups starting at 230 that afternoon. Of course, if you were the bearer of a Netherlands passport, you could bypass the line and enter in for free (resulting in someone else getting kicked out).
I had a friend who works at the games downtown, and he told me that there were lineups at pubs and bars at 8 AM. Either they were full early or they weren’t quite open yet. It was difficult to tell which pubs were already full and which ones were yet to open. Today was the first time in my whole life where I thought the city of Vancouver could actually run out of alcohol.
That same friend got a picture with Cheryl Bernard. Lucky guy.
Alright, down to business. When I got home from the various celebrations, it was fairly late. The 10 man guild ICC run was already well underway and I had no desire to flex the GM muscle to get myself a spot. The healers in there wanted to get some extra time working on some of the progression bosses in there for 25 anyway.
In any event, I was asked by a player in a different guild if I was interested in healing a 10 man Icecrown for them.
On heroic mode.
Naturally my interest was piqued. I hadn’t gotten to Lich King 10 yet at all so even getting a look at some of the new boss abilities first hand alone would be beneficial. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to check it out and get my cooldown for the week used.
“How do you want to handle loot?”
“I’ll take whatever your guys don’t need. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a guest and I’ll be satisfied with badges and taking notes.”
Compelling reasons to cross train with a different guild
Existing player chemistry. It’s not quite the same as pugging as you’re raiding with a different organized group of players. Most pickup groups don’t have that level of precision or familiarity with players. The night before, I jumped into a pug Freya 10 man hard mode (Knock, Knock, Knock on Wood) and while the players in both that group and the ICC 10 man group were of roughly even quality, it was the chemistry that was notable. These guys had played with each other for a long time and all of a sudden, I became the new guy in their group who had a short time to pick up on their methods.
Quality. Generally speaking, raider quality is above average. But that varies greatly from guild to guild. It’s different running with an already established guild on the server compared to running with a guild that was formed two weeks ago. Only you can be the judge of that. At least you can rest assured that players won’t flake out after the first four bosses in ICC are dead (Usually).
Fresh perspectives. I can tell you that watching videos, reading strategies, and whispering people for ideas doesn’t always work. There are communication barriers, misunderstandings, and the like. When that happens, the next best thing is to simply witness how it is done first hand. For me, that’s when things often click and a light bulb goes off.
Obviously, it’s way more ideal to keep raiding with your own crew. Sometimes it isn’t always possible. Gold medal games and closing ceremonies get in the way. Sadly, the only way to get known is to camp trade and join any groups at first opportunity. I usually do this if I know I won’t be around during a scheduled run. At the end of a successful run, I’ll usually exchange contacts with the leader of the group in case we need each other again. If the run wasn’t so successful, then at least I know who not to go with the next time I’m prowling trade chat. I’ve amassed quite a few contacts this way and it helps build up the networking.
After the night was over, I scored myself a nice set of kills and achievements. The hard modes that I thought were hard were challenging, but not quite beyond reach as I had first imagined.
Or maybe I simply just got carried.