How to Recruit a New Healer in 10 Easy Steps

sydera-post

This is Sydera’s SYTYCB week 2 entry.

It’s 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, and where’s your resto shaman? Oh right, he’s taking three months off raiding to spend time with his new girlfriend, and you need that tremor totem for Vashj right now. What do you do? If you follow these ten easy steps, you’ll be seeing the beautiful banana beams of Brain Heal again in no time.







Auntie Syd Wants UCall me crazy, but I like doing guild recruiting. So far, I have recruited ten total strangers for my guild, Collateral Damage of Vek’nilash, and eight of these new members have become great friends and guildmates. As for the other two, well–you the readers will have the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. How do you tell the truly awesome players who will someday invite you to their house for homemade ravioli from the habitual guild hoppers? This simple list will help you navigate the chaos.

1. Look early and often

Guild turnover is a constant surprise, and you will never be able to predict exactly when you’ll be short-handed. If you’re not recruiting, your guild is shrinking. If you have specific needs, allow a month or so to find just the right player.

Over time, I have observed that my best recruits were rarely those that fit my narrow search criteria. When I tried to recruit a resto shaman, all I found were two wonderful holy priests. Jesmin and Fortitius have since become cornerstones of the healing corps, and as a side note, they’ve both invited me over for dinner! If you find an exceptional player, don’t ever miss out.

2. Build up your guild’s reputation

A guild’s recruitment officer is also its public relations specialist. Start participating in your realm forums–you’d be surprised just how much goodwill you can generate with some friendly, respectful posts. Potential recruits may be reading, so don’t act like a jerk unless that’s the attitude your guild is going for!

3. Search creatively

Almost all recruiters post both on their realm forums and on Guild Recruitment. Those two search options are no-brainers, but there are other tools out there to help you. I use www.wowlemmings.com to sort through the posts on the official forums, and I always write to WoWInsider’s Guild Watch column when I post a new opening. In addition, community sites like PlusHeal or TankSpot often have a recruitment forum. Try to reach the widest possible audience.

4. Write an advertisement with personality

Your advertisement should be both expressive and informative. These two examples, both from Sunwell guilds, show how an ad can reflect a guild’s general attitude.

Sample Ad #1: Relaxed and uncensored

Casual

Sample Ad #2: Businesslike and respectful

Lunacy

“Mostly our raid vent and guild chat is used to discuss non-WoW related things such as affairs with married women, getting your girlfriend pregnant, binge drinking, and other topics. We are looking for highly skilled players that have a good sense of humor, want to progress, and won’t burn out or quit the first time they get to second base with a girl.” “We like to keep a calm and collected raid with leaders who don’t yell at their raiders at every turn, while still managing to be successful. We’ve recently cleared all of Sunwell. We are 6/6. But that doesn’t mean we plan to cease raiding. =)”
I like the irony that <Casual> uses in their description, but as much as I might admire their writing style, I know right away that they’re way too macho for me! The second guild, <Lunacy>, uses a serious tone for their ad, which tells me that they are more hardcore than the first guild. The smiley, however, softens the ad a bit and gives it some humanity. Even though Casual’s ad is more creative, Lunacy’s ad would attract a more reserved player like me.

To sum up: write an ad that appeals to the kind of player you want.

5. Prepare a thoughtful application

Most guilds use an application template. Search around, find one you like, and adapt it to suit your guild’s needs. Provide a link to the application on your guild website, and make sure the instructions for posting are easy to follow. Include at least one question that lets your applicants show who they really are. Collateral Damage asks applicants to tell us a joke. This question is an idiot check, and anything that’s not obscene will work for us. Extra points are awarded for silly–we’re more likely to invite players whose sense of humor matches ours.

6. Know your competition

Find out which guilds on your server are similar to yours, and lurk in their forums if you can. If they are currently recruiting, you should know about it! If you admire something about their organization or application procedure, imitate it! If you get applicants that don’t suit your guild, refer them to the kind of guild they want. In addition, talk to other guilds’ recruitment officers and share information–you may learn some useful gossip.

7. Research your candidates

Inviting new members into your guild is like welcoming strangers into your home. Trust is important–after all, you don’t want them to leave with the silverware in their pockets! In addition to scrutinizing someone’s gear and reputation through the Armory, you can look up his guild history at www.warcraftrealms.com/charhistory.php. You’re checking for one of two warning signs: a list of guilds a mile long, or no list at all. A player with a short record has very likely changed names, which goes right along with guild- and server-hopping.

Remember–if you do the research, you have to use what you learn. Both of my failures in recruiting came from giving a player the benefit of the doubt. When you recruit, go with your instincts. If something feels wrong, it probably is.

8. Contact your prospects personally

One of my recruits, Thunm, told me that he chose my guild because one of our officers took the time to go to his server and talk to him one-on-one. When you see a promising post on the forums, make a personal reply, and follow that up with an in-game contact. Chat over vent, and let your prospects ask questions–they will want to check you out as well.

9. Make a good offer

When you invite a new guild member, do so in good faith. Try not to recruit positions that involve lots of bench time or poor prospects for loot. In short, make the kind of offer YOU would want to accept. I see many guilds make the mistake of thinking only about progression or about their longtime members–remember to make your new guild member feel welcome.

10. Follow up!

Congratulations! Your guild has a new healer, and you are the person she knows best. Serve as her mentor, and check in with her often. If the guild isn’t happy with your recruit’s performance, be the one to explain why. If it seems that the guild is a good fit, be her champion when the officers vote on whether she should be promoted to full member.

Always remember: Be honest, both with yourself and with any applicants you talk to.

The more you know about your guild’s personality and style, the better you can describe it to your potential recruits. You don’t want to be one of those lolguilds that advertises in general chat with really original lines like: We haz guild bank and taberdz, pst for invite!

And most of all, don’t panic! The right person for your guild is always out there.

Sydera

SYTYCB: 10 Silly Timewasters

crutch-post

This is Jen’s SYTYCB week 2 entry.

There is lots of expansion talk right now and with Arthas looming in the not-so-distant future you might be thinking where should I be spending my WoW time?

Do I need to get all my alts to 70 so I have an army to fight the Lich King?

Should I be preparing and gathering to level professions immediately so I can have the first flying carpet on my server?

Are there achievements I would like to have in place before Wrath hits (collecting mini-pets or grinding reputations to exalted)?

While all of these things are fun to do and can help complete some of your WoW-related goals, sometimes we need to be a little silly.  Here is my list of random things to do in WoW that will not progress your character or accomplish anything productive goal-wise. These are purely time-wasters.


Play With NPCs


If you see a pair of NPCs having a conversation, join in! They really don’t mind and it is entertaining for you and everyone around you. You can also slow walk or “RP walk” if you see a group of them going somewhere. I have found they never go anywhere exciting though, and normally end up vanishing into thin air.


Easter Egg Hunt


Have you visited Ophera Windfury or Haris Pilton lately? Blizzard has a great sense of humor and they have hidden pop culture references throughout Azeroth and Outlands. Just spend one hour in Un’Goro Crater and you will see plenty of references and spoofs of old console games.


One-man Bosses


Tanks get to be in the bosses’ face all the time where casters and healers have to take a backseat view to the action. So if you want to see what the boss looks like when angry and what kinds of goofy facial expressions he makes then pose as a tank. I am not saying one-man bosses you KNOW you can kill. This is to one-man bosses for fun and screenshots, not achievement. Be prepared for repairs.


Show Off


Ride around Shattrath on your armored netherdrake or stand in Stormwind with your new shiny epic. If you are the type that thrives on attention and the accolades from others, then this is the time-waster for you. Make sure you answer all whispers with “oh sorry, I was tabbed out” even though you were sitting there just basking in the adoration.

Toon Watch

Do you ever go to the mall and just watch the people shopping? This is similar; watching what goes on in your capital city can be a riot. Seeing how many people try to jump to the very top of the Stormwind fountain can keep you entertained for at least 10 minutes. I don’t think they realize how silly they look. Thanks for the laughs, fountain jumpers.

You Shook Me All Night Long

There are plenty of fun things in the game that can shape-shift you. This can be a noggenfogger party, a furbolg party or a ninja party. Be creative. Make sure everyone brings their favorite mini-pet and vanity items. Hellloooo brewfest pony keg!

Become a Regular

Stay at the same inn every night, or even find an empty building in Ironforge and call it your home. I chose to become a regular at a tavern where everyone knows my name. Who knows, they might start giving you a discount.

Suicide Jumps

This could be considered practice for the new achievements, but I’ve been doing this for a long time just for fun. It certainly helps if you have a way of surviving the fall, for example Priest’s levitate.

Give Me My Greypics

I do not consider myself a role-player, but I do enjoy collecting costumes or sets of grey gear. Instead of chasing epics that will be replaced eventually, why not chase grey sets? It can be fun and your guild can get involved in trying to find certain set pieces you are missing. Caylee is modeling the lovely crochet set.

/join trade

This might be torturous for some, but if you want hear more about Chuck Norris, murlocs or anal [insert spell here] this is the best way to get all of that in one sitting.

Enjoy the game you play. If you do not enjoy dailies don’t do them or find a way to make them more interesting. If stockpiling mats makes you yawn then stop it. If you are not enjoying the game, why are you here? What time-wasters or fun things do you do in game?

Time you enjoy wasting was not wasted. John Lennon

SYTYCB: 12 (or More!) Songs for a Musical Karazhan

crutch-post

This is Crutch’s SYTYCB week 2 entry.

Has raiding Karazhan become a weekly chore? Something you put up with just to get your 22 badges? Have you gotten to the point where your raid instructions for bosses are “Kill stuff heal stuff don’t suck”?

It sounds like you’re ready for Musical Karazhan!

To play Musical Karazhan, get a DJ (yourself, of course!) and nine other raiders into vent (or TS, or the communication program of your choice), but instead of using vent for raid instructions, you use it as a jukebox for the raid.

I recommend using fairly well known songs for trash, music that is either amusing or classic. You want to entertain your raiders as much as possible, after all. If you’d like, you can even take requests!

Most important, however, are the songs you use for bosses. And hey, what would I be doing here without giving you some recommendations?

(Warning: Some of the videos may be NSFW.)

image taken from www.armyofinbetween.com/images/films/ghostbusters.jpg
Opening Theme – Ghostbusters: Get yourself in the mood for some ghost slaying with a little movie classic… because, really… are you afraid of these ghosts?

MidnightTheme to Mr. Ed: I’ve always thought Midnight was the more… formidable opponent. The comparison of Wilbur to Attumen is just a bonus.

MoroesBe Our Guest: Moroes just wants to serve you dinner. Most people would prefer not to become undead first, though. I must admit, however, I always get just a little hungry during that part of the raid. All that tasty looking food on the tables… I think I’d better get myself a pizza.

Maiden of Virtue - Like a Virgin: Surrounded by all of those concubines and succubi, it’s hard to believe that Maiden is still virtuous. However, if she wants to be like a virgin, it’s fine with me.

Opera – Each event requires something a little different. (I can’t quite bring myself to wimp out and provide you only one song…)
Big Bad Wolf – Little Red Riding Hood: Because you’re everything a big bad wolf could want! aaooooooooooww…
Wizard of Oz – We’re off to see the Wizard: (Dark Side of the Rainbow might be a little obscure for most raiding audiences, hmm?)
Romeo and Juliet – #1 Crush: (Bonus points and cookies if you can get anyone to faint by remembering the movie…)

Nightbane - Through the Fire and Flames: You’re almost halfway through! Make sure to give your fellow raiders a bit of a pick-me-up. Although, you might warn them to turn down their speakers a little bit first…

Curator – Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto: We want to thank you, Curator, for giving us our first taste of tier sets all those months ago. Also for making our DPS feel mighty about those amazing crits during Evocate.

IllhoofThe Devil Went Down to Georgia (and there are other versions as well!)

Shade of Aran - Shade of Aran chant: Sometimes, you still have to give raid instruction. Thankfully, in this case, you get the raid instruction and the song at the same time! Of course, if the chant reminds you too much that you’re in Karazhan, you can always try another take on Flame Wreath…

Netherspite - I Swear I Saw a Dragon: With lion’s head and eyes of red, this dragon may be the hardest challenge in a musical Karazhan run. I recommend setting up assignments before you start the run.

Chess EventThe Story of Chess: Learn about why chess was invented, as you take down that cheating Medivh. Don’t cheat when you play actual chess later, cheaters never win! (I mean, just look at Medivh…)

PrinceStill Alive: Rub it in Prince’s face that, even after all of these bosses, you’re still alive. And when he’s dead you will be still alive. Well, at least as long as you don’t get bad infernals.

What songs would you add for Musical Karazhan? Perhaps you want to extend this to SSC/TK, or even MH/BT? Share with us your song ideas, so that all of our future Musical Raiding may be a triumph!

SYTYCB: The Humble Checklist

SYTYCB: The Humble Checklist

veleda-post

This is Veleda’s SYTYCB week 2 entry.

This post is about lists. Yes, don’t worry, Matt, there’ll be an actual list in here, too. But first, I want to sell you on the virtues of a particular type of list — the checklist.

You’ve got a flying mount, right?

In flight training, pilots have the use of checklists drilled into us from the beginning. It doesn’t matter if you’re a student pilot who has yet to solo, or an airline pilot with thousands of hours logged. Almost any repetitive series of tasks is done with a checklist. You might think that after doing the same sequence every time we fly, we’d be familiar enough with the routine that we wouldn’t need the list to remind us. But it’s that very familiarity that is in some ways the problem!

Huh? What? Where was I?

Flying, like WoW, can have many things interrupting you as you try to do something. Sometimes, you just need to talk to someone else, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s Air Traffic Control on the radio, or the whisper you just got from a friend in game that you need to respond to. You’ve paused your tasks, and when you pick them back up, where were you? You have many memories of doing these tasks previously. But did you just do it?! Have you marked it as complete on the checklist? If so, you’ve done it, and if not, you haven’t.

But… But…

Okay, you say, but WoW is just a game. Why would we need checklists there? Because there are many times we, too, have to go through a number of repetitive tasks, and we sometimes do them when we’re bored or tired or dealing with several other things at the same time. The most useful place in WoW that I’ve found checklists is in post raid restocking.

Are you the weakest link?

I suspect most people have been in a raid when someone has indicated they’re out of some consumable they need to continue to contribute effectively to the raid. Perhaps they want to borrow mana potions from others in the raid. Or, they might need a portal to a city and a summons back, so they can buy some reagents, or ammunition. This interrupts the raid and makes everyone else wait for the person that isn’t prepared, at best. At worst, they might not have noticed the lack until the pull, and have just wiped the raid because they didn’t have something that they needed.

I sleep now?

If, however, you have a checklist of everything you consume during a raid, you can use that to restock right after a raid, so that you’re always ready to go. You might be tempted to wait until just before you’re next scheduled to raid to take care of this, but I’d caution against that. Some consumables might not be available at all times, so it’s better watch for them early. And there are the opportunities that arise unexpectedly. Do your restocking right after a raid, and your character is ready for anything the next time you log in.

Making the list

So, here’s a generic restocking checklist, that you can use to build a list customized to each of your characters.

  • Repair your gear

    It’d be awkward to charge into battle in the future only to have your armour fail you because a strap that was on it’s last legs broke.

  • Replace ammo

    Particularly for hunters, who should always completely refill the largest quiver or ammo pouch they can carry. Other classes that use a ranged weapon to pull, check your ammo level to make sure that will still be useful.

  • Replace reagents

    Many classes need reagents for the abilities they bring to a raid. My shaman only has to deal with Ankhs, but other classes will want various other things for the abilities they’re counted on for while raiding. Figure out how many you might need on a bad night, and set that as the minimum.

  • Buff food

    No matter what you do, there’s probably a food that gives you a buff that helps you do it better. For my hunter, that’s warpburgers or grilled mudfish. For my shaman, it’s golden fishsticks. If you’re a hunter, don’t forget to add Kibler’s Bits, either, to buff your pet.

  • Replenishment food and drink

    Food for health, and drinks for mana, between fights. Many raids will have a mage make a table that provides conjured mana biscuits, but you shouldn’t depend on those. If you find yourself in a raid without mages, have enough to keep you going. Naruu rations are the best way to go, once you have SSO rep for them. Again, hunters also need pet food, to keep their pet happy through the raid.

  • Healing potions

    Sometimes, the healers are busy working on others. If you can use a potion to stave off death until the healers get around to you, that’ll keep you in the fight longer.

  • Bandages

    The biggest bandages you can use, which should be the biggest ones in the game. Same rationale as healing potions, but with a different cooldown timer, so they can be used if you recently used a potion.

  • Mana potions

    If doing your job requires that you have mana, you probably are going to be carrying some of these to help you out when your mana gets low before the end of the fight is in sight.

  • Elixirs and/or Flasks

    Which of these you prefer will depend on your specific needs. Sometimes, it makes sense to use one or two elixirs, and other times, the right flask. Elixirs are generally much cheaper, but they don’t persist through party wipes, so if you’re working new content, they might end up being more expensive than flasks. Make sure you have enough to get through a raid.

  • Weapon buffs

    This can be something that buffs the weapon, such as sharpening stones or poisons, or it can be another way to give you an unrelated buff, such as with superior mana oil.

  • Scrolls

    These can be pricey, but unlike an elixir, you can use a scroll to boost a stat while using a flask. Figure out if any scrolls are worthwhile to you, and make sure you have them stocked.

Checking it twice

vrc

Once you’ve got the list made, find a handy way to go through it after each raid. Ideally, you should have a way of keeping track of where you are on the list. You can print it out, and either check or cross off completed items, or follow while sliding a ruler down the list. You can use a to-do program on your computer to build and check off the lists as you go. I’ve recently taken to using one of the free to-do programs available for the iPhone to go through my restocking lists.

Are we there, yet?

Well, now that you’ve got raid restocking checklists for your characters, you can checklist other things. You might have a ready checklist for any given raid. It’s embarrassing to be on Nightbane’s terrace only to realize that you all left your summoning urns in the bank. Once you’ve harnessed the power of the humble checklist, such moments can be a thing of the past.

SYTYCB: Week 2 – The List

This week’s blog posting format, with some special dice rolling help from Anna, is the list post. It should be a little easier for the bloggers to do now compared to week 1 when I dropped the rant bomb on them. However, while it’s easier for them to produce something, I think it’s only going to get much more difficult for me to judge and critique them accordingly.

An excerpt from the EMail I sent out:

The list post is my baby. I don’t think I’d be far off from the truth if I said that it’s one of my signature style of posts ;). Again, like last week, you think up your topics and your points… I’m expecting top quality stuff here. You guys know who you’re up against and what everyone has to offer.

Examples of lists:
13 Things Every WoW Player Should Know How to Do
9 Traditional WoW Posts (with examples!)
11 Excuses: How to Tell the Real Life Professions of Your Healers
20 Characteristics of a Mature Guild Member
10+3 Personalities Every Guild Leader Needs Around

Note, I couldn’t think of any other lists that were off site off the top of my head so I poked around my archives.

Remember length doesn’t matter but you do want to provide enough to show that you’ve put some work into it instead of just randomly listing stuff. Think to yourself how you can not only list your points, but elaborate on them further.

In the critique post, I mentioned that you should look at different blogs and authors and find out what makes them so appealing to you and that you should try and emulate their style. Use their elements. Take that extra step. The rant post, while not the best week 1 post, helped demonstrate to me who’s a writer and who’s a blogger. The bar has gone up.

A successful list post provides just enough information but also leaves the option open for readers to comment and contribute, to agree and disagree, etc. Look at each other’s critique that Wyn and I wrote and see if there’s anything from there that you can apply.

Speaking of List Posts, I said that I had trouble scouring the WoW blogosphere for list posts. If you have any that you’ve written in the past that you’d like to share, please leave a comment with a link! I’d love to check them out and read (or re-read them) again!

3 more upcoming posts today at 6 AM, 10 AM, and 2 PM.

SYTYCB: Week 1 cuts

I’ve been staring at this screen for about an hour. It’s been blank for the amount of time. I ended up typing, backspacing, and retyping it again from the beginning because I didn’t like how it started. After a while, I realized that it’s not going to matter. Write from the heart, right?

Veleda

Status: Safe

I’m going to give you a chance to redeem yourself. I mentioned in my critique that you laid out the ground work but were a little slow on the execution. Using a sports analogy, follow through on your serve. Your instincts are good. Trust them.

Jen

Status: Safe

While I think you were lacking in several points, I also think that you’ve got an amazing and bubbly personality that hasn’t been allowed to fully develop yet. We’ll see how week 2 treats you.

Rusco

Status: Eliminated

I’m going to have to let you go. Thanks for participating and I don’t want you to be disheartened or anything. You’ve got your own unique style and voice but it’s not something I’m looking for on this blog.

Most of you guys may not know about this, but Rusco has his own blog which he started not too long ago. Let’s show him a bit of support!

Too Many Wordles!

Anna pointed this out to me a few minutes ago, but check out her blog post on it anyway.

More importantly, look at this Wordle:

World of Matticus Wordle

Wyn’s name is bigger than my name. I call shenanigans! That’s inconceivable!

At the public library. Last day of work. Got off early. Going out for dinner (Aunt’s paying). Will be home in a few hours.

I’ve made my decision.

Week 1: Matt and Wyn’s Critique (and a free blog tip)

Week 1: Matt and Wyn’s Critique (and a free blog tip)

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Image courtesy of cnina

I’ll announce the one blogger who gets cut later on tonight after I get home from work. But first, I wanted to go through each of them and talked about what I liked and what I didn’t like.

The week 1 post format I chose is arguably one of the toughest to do. You have to have some knowledge of what you’re writing about, for one thing. Second, your rant has to be able to stir up a reaction. Rants I read are either humorous (designed to poke fun at something) or motivational (designed to get you to get up off your chair and do something). Lastly, you have to get into the “zone”. Great rants are done when the writer is in the mood and it’s hard to get worked up over something if you’re not that kind of a person.

However, spending an hour in trade chat’s usually enough to do it for me =).

Anyway, enough with that. I’ll announce the bloggers that are safe and the bloggers that are in the bottom 3. And yes, I did say bloggers. I said underblogger before, but all of you have officially written your first blog post and interacted with your first readers. So no matter the outcome, you’ll still be a blogger in my book.

First thing Wyn told me today: “You’re going to have a tough time – the entries were fabulous.”

The Critique

Joveta: Dear Azeroth, I Hate You

Status: Safe

First up is Joveta. The main issue and problem you’re getting at appears to be in both old world and new world content. This rant felt broad to me in that there didn’t seem to be anything specific. There are lots of examples that could’ve been used in old world design and layout in addition to the experience (Remember the runs to SM or Gnomeregan?). You brought personality into this post. The custom images here were okay, and they did add a nice touch. I’ll warn you that you were right on the line here so I’m hoping you’ll be able to step up your game next week as your status could’ve gone either way.

Big props for interacting with everyone like you did and that’s a skill that a majority of the SYTYCB writers all seem to share: Humility.

Wyn’s thoughts:

First of all, I know how tough rants can be – they come off best when your emotions about the subject are fresh – and we forced the style upon you. Although your writing style is inherently strong, this entry just felt dispassionate to me. I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do with a different style; one that perhaps makes you feel a little more comfortable.

Veleda: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

Status: Bottom 3

Veleda’s first post refers to Guild bank hijacking and this one did fire me up because it has happened to me before. Not only that, my account had been hacked into a few years back so I know what the experience is like. Unfortunately, the fact that I got a reaction is one of the few positive things I can say about it. This post felt more like an essay than a blog post. It’s a lesson that many bloggers early on don’t seem to understand. The first four or so paragraphs were spent laying the setting and painting the picture of the scenario. The post only really got going towards the end and I would have loved to see some more expansion and more pseudo-flaming at that point because I think you would have been able to build upon that even more.

Wyn’s thoughts:

This is not only something that has happened to me, it was HUGE in the Series of Unfortunate Events that murdered my first, beloved Horde guild. (Estimated retail value of stolen goods: 70,000g. Not a typo.) Given my passion for this subject, I was surprised how little I felt coming from you on this. Rather than a journalistic critique of the situation, I think this would have carried more weight with a more emotional look at the anecdote, even interviews from victims of this kind of thing. You do propose a good solution – requiring alts to request membership on their mains first, but it’s lost in the sea of text. To me, the post suffered more because its subject is so hot right now – it emphasised the cooled-off attitude of the entry.

Tulani: The Dark Side – Expansion Syndrome 

Status: Safe

This is the first post that was set up earlier in the week that detailed the looming shadow of… Expansionitus. It’s a common ailment, usually occurs when players become increasingly bored. The first thing that jumped out at me is that my eyes were at east just reading this post. Formatting is an incredibly key skill to have when blogging and you’ve demonstrated an initial understanding of it. Blogging isn’t all about writing. It’s about how you present it. I liked this post not only because of the attention it brings to current raiding Guilds, but because it acts as a wake up call to everyone else. You didn’t just highlight a problem. You highlighted a problem and encouraged people to go out and do what they can. Sometimes a call to arms is what people need to hear in order to get their butts in gear.

Wyn’s thoughts:

Rather well-executed, in my opinion. From the choice of RaWr as your top graphic – in Sunwell, no less – emphasising your frustration to very concrete personal examples, as well as proposed solutions. You make your point well, and with passion. Stylistically, not your strongest piece of writing, but with a rant it’s much more important to grab your readers’ emotion and attention with well-reasoned arguments than to showcase your literary chops. Great job.

Crutch: The Last Piece of Loot 

Status: Safe

This is a good post. There’s nothing really bad about it but there’s nothing that really stood about about it in my mind either. Loot and the RNG system of WoW will always be an issue to everyone involved. There was a nice touch at the end of the post asking for reader interaction and that did open the floodgates as this post is one of the top commented posts not just amongst submitters but amongst all of my posts combined. I felt that you, Crutch, could have improved more and expanded on some of the points.

The frustration at the end could’ve been expanded more to help illustrate a problem that many raiders are going through: Do I blow the badges, or pray for a drop? Gearing order and choice is another huge dilemma . I can spend some badges now to get a minor upgrade, or wait another 3 weeks to get enough badges for a major upgrade.

Wyn’s thoughts:

Another dispassionate rant – which, by this point, I really do think is a product of it being the first style requested. My Human Priest fought Vashj and Kael with the Prismatic Mittens of Mending from Botanica – because I lost every roll for T4, and the Gloves of Saintly Blessings have never dropped for me, ever. I was very interested to read the commentary around what other pieces eluded players – but I agree with Matt (shocker!) that the strongest point of this post was the overwhelming community reaction. You chose your subject well, and obvously touched a nerve!

Rusco: It’s not you, it’s me. Yea, no. Really.

Status: Bottom 3

You went from STV to Lordaeron to Darnassus down to Silithus with this post. I browsed through the comments and noticed a few people say that this post felt kind of “rantish”. That’s actually the main point. You’re supposed to rant. I liked the tone you brought in and the aggressive personality that you displayed. The main problem was that I wasn’t sure what you were pissed off at the most. Any of the topics from raiding preparation, consumables, and encouraging 1st class raid performance would have been excellent points in their own right.

It looked like what you did here is that you took all of the main points of raiding and scrunched it up into a ball. I felt that it lacked a lot of depth. Lots of potential here but you went off on a wild tangent and that’s where you lost points.

Wyn’s thoughts:

I get frustrated with the lowest common denominators in WoW, too, and my guild has been treated to a front-row seat to my thoughts on appropriate prep for raids on multiple occassions. I still felt like your organization and direction were lacking in this – to me, it feels like you did your initial brain-dump first draft, but never went back to polish up the flow of your thoughts. A good topic, and one near-and-dear to my heart, but I’m quite sure you can execute this better.

Sydera: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

Status: Safe

For not following a typical Matticus like post, I think you did a damned good job, Sydera! You chose a problem that many players can relate to. You mixed a letter post into a rant post which I found innovative. The path of evolution from the Badge of Justice, I felt, you illustrated well. I also loved the references to pop culture like Beverly Hills and US Weekly. The pictures and screenshots you took helped accent your post and break up the monotony the text.

I can’t knock you on formatting on this one because it’s logistically difficult to do something like that. You can’t really put headers or convert this to lists or bullets. I’d like to see some emphasis throughout your posts in the future.

Wyn’s thoughts:

There is a LOT I really like about this post. I liked that you explicitly addressed it to the Badges, so that your readers didn’t feel like they were being accused, I liked your overall humerous tone, and I liked that you made it so personal to yourself and to your guild – both now, and in Wrath. Great job, and, for my money, the best post of the week.

Jen:

Status: Bottom 3

Jen, you went after my own heart when I saw you use my heading formats. I do think this is also the first time in World of Matticus history that a video has ever been embedded that was WoW related. The ones I tend to use are from TED or hockey clips to help make a point.

But, there’s an important reason why you’re in the bottom 3. You failed to cross reference and check your sources. Uber is a word in the German language (I think) which picked up here amongst the community. Gosu, although you didn’t mention it, is another word coined by Koreans in Starcraft. A lot of words we see are unique and strange because they never originated from the English language.

This rant had potential and I’m a little disappointed in the way it ended up.

Wyn’s thoughts:

For me, it was a little all over the place. I’m a grammar-nazi myself, so the subject is fine – but in complaining about non-standard words, avoiding them in your own post is a good idea. Unless you can pull it off with some irony, but I didn’t get a sense of that here. Also, as Matt pointed out, there are a lot of explanations for the sources of this kind of language – and they are very well documented. Disliking their rampant use in an imperfect context is one thing, but assuming they’re made up or a product of shared cultural ignorance is, well, ignorant. I’ve seen you write better, and I know your goofy personality is probably not best showcased in this format. I can’t wait to see you take on a format that better-suits your style.

To everyone

Don’t be discouraged. You’ve all got blogging potential. The last thing I want to do is kill anyone’s hopes and dreams of being a blogger. My intent here is to give all of you a chance at some exposure to get an experience of what it’s like. Some days you’re getting to get a lot of back slapping and other days you will get tomatoes in the face. If you can take the hits to your pride and confidence and continue to walk with your back straight, that will have made all the difference. I’ve had my share of days where I thought I had written something brilliant only to come back later to see that it had nary a peep.

Wyn’s thoughts:

We really did choose this week’s theme by Matt asking me for a random number. In retrospect, we could not have chosen a more difficult style for the first week. Rants are best when the emotions behind your reaction are fresh – and ranting on command is not easy. Thanks for hanging in there, and we can’t wait to read what you say next!


Free blog tip (and big hint)

I’m sure some of you have heard the elevator pitch. You’re scheduled to deliver a big presentation to your CEO or exec but something happens and you have a minute to go from the top floor to the ground floor briefing your boss about the wonders of your product.

Now apply it to blogging. Our eyes are cued to notice things that stand out. I’ll frequently highlight important terms in my textbook if I know they’re examinable.

If your readers only had 30 seconds to read your post, what is the one concept or idea or message that you want them to take away?

When I’m reading posts, my eyes will slow down and lock onto anything out of the ordinary. A passage that is in block quotes, or in bullet points, or is emphasized is something that has a higher chance of getting noticed. I know most people take the time or book mark the page later to read it in depth, but there are scanners like myself who blitz through a whole page trying to ascertain the gist of a post.

Formatting. It matters.

My birthday’s coming up soon and my eyes are going (On another note, Vegas is legally allowed to bask in my presence).

At the very least, when you’re reading your favourite blogs, take a minute and step back. Don’t read the blog. Just look at the blog. What is it about the author’s style that captivates you? What makes it visually appealing? Don’t be afraid to apply those elements accordingly to your own posts. Sure it’ll take some extra time, but the effort will be noticed.

I’ll announce the cut tonight. Congratulations to the ones that advance to week 2!

SYTYCB: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

SYTYCB: WoW is Not a Zero Sum Game

This is a SYTYCB submission from Veleda, one of the top 7 finalists.

veleda-post How broken do you have to be to think that stealing from other people is okay if it’s done through a cartoon interface?!

I have a number of alts scattered across various realms, mostly to socialize with friends that have their main characters there. In some cases, my alts belong to guilds along with those friends, so I see a bit of a number of guilds from the inside.; Recently, one had it’s bank robbed of what to them is a significant amount of material. Unlike the usual situation where the thief vanishes into the shadows, knowing that they’re scum and trying to keep from being identified, the perp in this situation made no attempt to cover his tracks, and even seemed boastful of his misdeeds.

Many of you are familiar, by now, with the scam that involves asking an officer to invite and promote a character that claims to be an alt of another high ranking character in the guild. If successful, this person has stolen the identity of the person in question, and can use that person’s status to withdraw items and gold from the guild bank. This guild had been hit by such a thief a few weeks ago, and had just mostly recovered from that incident when this newest theft occurred.

One way to prevent such a situation is by having the person make the request from his character that’s already in the guild. Assuming an account that hasn’t been hacked (if the account has been hacked, there’s no need to do this identity theft routine), then the person trying to gain access can’t log onto the character they claim to be. Having been burned once, recently, the officers were wary, and asked for just such confirmation this time. Initial contact had come from a character claiming to be an alt of, say, Tinman (not the character’s real name). The officer asked for contact directly from Tinman, and soon afterward received a whisper from Tïnman saying he wanted his alt – the thief – in the guild. Did you notice the change in spelling with the accented I? Neither did the officer. While we can, in hindsight, think of more ways that this could have been avoided, we have a situation where a volunteer officer working in good faith made an effort to help someone he thought was a guildmate, while trying to be cautious.

The thief was invited and promoted on the belief that he was Tinman, and promptly withdrew the maximum amount of high value items and gold that he could, before quitting the guild. While this is a significant and demoralizing loss to this guild, there wouldn’t be a rant here if this was the end of the story. Unlike the gold farmers and other thieves, this character didn’t just vanish into the shadows. They’re still on the server. They were, in fact, seen to be in another guild. Reportedly, when the GM of the guild that was robbed contacted the GM of the new guild to warn them, he was laughed at. It seems this character is a long-time member of that guild, and periodically goes to steal from another guild. They all think this is great fun, and part of the game. Excuse me?! Just how broken do you have to be to not realize that’s wrong?

One complaint against video games is that they glorify violence or other anti-social behaviour, and thus might encourage more of that in real life. I think this has mostly been shown to be poppycock, as most people are quite able to distinguish between actions in a game and actions in real life. They simply don’t bring game appropriate anti-social behavior into real life, for the most part. World of Warcraft isn’t a zero sum game, at least with respect to other players. Yes, we sometimes kill and steal from NPCs. We even go against other players in PvP situations, but those are voluntary and even the loosing side gains honour or arena points from the encounter. Our advancement in the game never requires that we penalize other players for their participation.

So when players steal from other players, they’re no longer operating within the bounds of the game, even if it looks like cartoons. I would hope these people don’t think it’s okay to walk down the street in real life and lift someone’s wallet. How, then, can they think this is okay? How can they brag about it?

SYTYCB: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

SYTYCB: An Open Letter to the Badge of Justice

sydera-post

This is a SYTYCB entry from Sydera, one of the top 7 finalists.

Dear Badge of Justice,

I hate you. You ruined my virtual life. You made me dread logging in to my favorite video game, and you even made me resent my in-game friends. You made me wish 5-mans had never been invented. Because of you, I heard Aran’s voice over and over again in my dreams, saying “Torment me no more!” Now I understand exactly what he’s talking about.

At first, you didn’t seem like such a menace. There weren’t many of you. Before Patch 2.4, I didn’t find you on every piece of road kill I came across. When I did manage to collect a few of you, there was usually something I could buy. But one fateful day, we heard that a foxy new Draenei, Smith Hauthaa, was coming to town with a bag full of goodies. On that day, the World of Warcraft changed forever.

mobadgesI used to think I was in a normal guild. We ran SSC and TK three nights a week, and we looked pretty damn good in our Tier 5 gear. However, when the official news about patch 2.4 arrived, everyone’s priorities suddenly shifted. On off nights, everyone used to level alts, PVP, do pre-mades, or even make the occasional run on Halaa. We used to have fun.

Patch 2.4 produced gear spreadsheets and a magical number called “total badges needed,” which for me was 485. Suddenly, O Badge of Justice, we needed you! Everyone began to bemoan how far behind they were in collecting you. The guild turned into a virtual Beverly Hills where everyone watched everyone else to see who was ahead and who was behind. Our three-day raid week turned into seven, and suddenly the officers had to schedule heroics every day, all for love of the mighty Badge of Justice. After raids ended, at 1:00 a.m. EST, we started running the daily heroic, forgoing blissful slumber to tangle with Underbats and Tempest-Forge Patrollers in the darkest watches of the night.

hauthaaFinally, that witch Hauthaa agreed to take you, precious Badge of Justice, in exchange for purple pixels the likes of which had scarcely been seen outside the walls of the Black Temple. Set bonuses were broken and the beauty of Blizzard’s tier designs were scarred by mismatched thread, metal, and baubles. Badge of Justice, you made me ugly, worthy of the fashion disaster page in US Weekly. Just take a look at the skirt you made me wear – it’s made of skunk hide, latex, and paper clips. At least I can mask its hideousness with my tree form.

But your foul deeds did not stop there. After our guild’s greed was finally satiated by hundreds of those twisted blue tiles, we turned to hills of Mount Hyjal and the dark corridors of the Black Temple for our next challenge. We killed bosses, and we wanted new rewards – but guess what? Because of you, Badge of Justice, we disenchanted the items won from guild first kills. The great pieces of T6 loot, once the stuff of legend, were left to rot. My heart wept for the Kilt of Immortal Nature, for the Guise of the Tidal Lurker. Their beauty went to waste while you triumphed.
Meanwhile, I continue to find you on nearly every raid boss in the game, mocking me. Endless copies of you fill my bags without purpose. I can no longer sell the gems you would procure. I need no Moonkin gear, and you won’t let me transfer you to my warlock alt, who might appreciate your charity.

gerasAnd now, what do I hear? In Wrath of the Lich King there will be not just one descendant in your cruel lineage, but three, one for each new tier of raiding. Can it be true that we will have to collect your kin at each level of our future play? We raiders do not need you. We could get the regular gear out of 25-man instances. Yet, some will always look to you to gain an advantage, and as long as I feel any loyalty for my guildmates, I will be in your thrall, for what group can succeed without a healer? I will run Naxxramas until my branches fall off, even as my guild kills Arthas.

Badge of Justice, I curse you and all your relatives. You wasted all my free time and took the “casual” out of my casual raiding guild. Now, just when I have almost recovered from your foul influence, I hear that you will again blight the landscape of the much-anticipated Northrend. I, for one, will not be glad to see you.

Love and kisses (not),
Sydera