Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Odds and Ends

I haven't had a lot of time to post lately. Here's a quick round up of what's going on.

The Guild

This is not going so well. I haven't really been able to get past the 10-person mark in recruiting. So I've decided to merge with another guild on my server. They run MC with about 30 people, so the 5 or so people in my guild will be a good addition to them. I doubt I will be able to make their raid times, but at least my guildies will land in good spot. Hopefully it makes sticking with me for the last three weeks worthwhile.

I attended part of an MC raid with the prospective guild. They're pretty good. We did Garr with 30 people and 2 'locks, which impressed me. I've seen a lot of guilds not even try Garr with less than 4 warlocks. I'm not so much impressed with the kill--you should be able to kill Garr with 30--as with the willingness to actually try the fight with a non-optimum raid.

Plus their loot system is amusing. It's Fixed-Price DKP, only the price is a percentage of your DKP. Person with the highest DKP gets the item. So a piece of Tier 1 costs 25%. It's pretty crazy, and I'm still pondering the ramifications.

45-man Baron

I tried a 45-man Baron run for the first time on the weekend. It's a lot of fun. We didn't make it, but we gave it a good shot. We fought a couple of groups that we could have skipped, didn't really balance mana usage well, and had a bit too much downtime.

And honestly, me healing with my crazy 5/11/35 spec probably didn't help. I really need to get some gold and respec. :)

But still, it was crazy fun, and I'm really happy that Blizzard put it in. It's a solid, worthwhile challenge for 5 people.

Alterac Valley

I hit Exalted with AV over the weekend. Got my [The Unstoppable Force] and [Don Julio's Ring]. I'll probably pick up [The Immovable Object] when I get some cash.

This is the first reputation I've gotten to Exalted. Personally, I loathe grinding, so I never get anywhere with reputations.

Lightforge complete!

Also, I went on Strat Live run on the weekend and Lightforge Boots dropped. So I got the last piece of Lightforge that I was missing. Technically, I have 5/8 Lightforge, and 3/8 Soulforge, but it's all good.

The line between casual and hardcore raiding

Xias and Doeg asked about casual and hardcore raiding a couple posts ago.

Personally, I think that a guild cannot be all things to all people. You have to choose what you want to be. This means that occasionally you will have guild members leave your guild as they seek out things you cannot provide. If half the guild wants something and the other half wants something different, you need to pick a side.

If I was the guild leader, I would pick the option that I personally wanted. If you pick something that you are unhappy with, it will manifest in how you run the guild and poison your efforts. So in the case of the guild split, I would be proactive, choose someone to run the other side and split the guild into two. Being up front about everything allows you to maintain good relations with every one.

As to real life relationships, it's very common to have a husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, or family in the same guild. So you do have be careful. Kicking a spouse will probably result in the other partner leaving. If you are fair and even-handed though, people will respect the decision you make.

Personally though, "not skilled enough" is not a kickable offense, in my mind. I think that, for the most part, innate skill is overrated, and you can always teach people to improve their play. Far more important are qualities like reliability, and low-drama.

But that's just me. I've never actually been in a guild with players who did not have some skill. I have been in guilds with people who went afk all the time, constantly asked questions about loot, or refused to buy Greater Blessing of Salvation.

On the scale of problems a guild member can have, being unskilled is a long ways down the list.

But that's just my opinion. Wanting to be in a guild with a lot of highly skilled prima donnas is another option. Honestly, you'll probably progress faster, if you don't blow up first. Doesn't sound like a lot of fun to me though, but it's your $15/month.


  1. Real life relationships can cut the other way. When I divorced my wife we were in the same guild. Not long after she left.

  2. Sorry, but it has to be said...

    If you can't kill Baron with a 45-man, you lose at WoW.


    Zank you, I be here all zee week.

    (Typo will probably get fixed soon then this comment will make no sense.)

  3. Naw, those adds are a bitch. And they always go right for the healer. ;)

  4. I'm a relatively new reader of your blog, however, I have read everything you've posted to date. And I like most of what I've read.

    The Guild

    Sorry to hear that things are not going well for you. BTW, I was the one that suggested recruiting 30's - 40's and up on the WoW Guild Relations Forum. I know from experience, 1 year on 10-4, that building a guild is a long and sometimes frustrating process. After a year of what I like to call, passive recruiting, we're 24 members strong. The majority of our members have at least 1 level 60. I've got 3. I learned a long time ago that it is better to have a guild full of people with similar play schedules than to have it full of level 60's that want some epic gear. We had a bit of a stutter in ZG, with regards to peoples expectations, but that appears to be behind us now. If you're serious about building a guild full of people you can rely on then your expectations of level should most likely be left behind.

    45-minute Baron

    I'm not going to tell you to stop healing, I'm not going to tell you not to respec. I will, however, suggest that you concentrate on setting the pace for the group by pulling. I've completed this run with 3 other guildies (Priest, Rogue, Warrior) and a pick-up mage. I'm (5/14/32). The Priest and I alternated pulling. I used Judgment of Light most of the run and everyone attacked my target. We succeeded on our 2nd attempt in blue/green gear with a minimal number of consumables such as Mana and Health pots. Keep trying, you'll get it.

    Alterac Valley

    All I have to say here is..."I love AV!"

    Lightforge complete!

    Awesome! I have to admit I'm a bit jealous. I've been after the Helm for so long now that it pains me to even share the fact that the 1st time I took my Warlock to Scholo the Helm dropped. It was the 1st and ONLY time I've EVER seen it after at least 3 dozen runs with either my Paladin or Druid. However, my guild is so wonderful that they let my Warlock have it. It now sits, never to be disenchanted, in her bank.

    The line between casual and hardcore raiding

    I agree that most guilds end up becoming either "Casual" or "Hardcore". I do believe, however, that a guild can be more resilient and flexible than just being labeled as "Casual" or "Hardcore". I think my guild is a very good example of a guild that breaks the thinking of having to be one or the other. While a lot of "Hardcore" guilds don't consider 20-mans to really be raids, I do. It still takes planning, coordination and teamwork even if it is on a smaller scale than MC, BWL, AQ40 or Naxx.

    Yep, my girlfriend is our guilds MT. She's a Gnome, she's cute and she'll beat your ass if you steal her aggro. I still have the bruises.

    A word about skill. "Learnable".

    Coriel, ever thought about switching realms? If you ever do, please consider Wrath Of Hachiman on Argent Dawn. We don't really RP. Actually, it's kind of a fluke that we're not on a Normal server but we're too lazy to move.

  5. Lol. 45-man Baron. I'm a noob!

    As for healing, the group was Paladin, Paladin, Warrior, Mage, Warlock, so the paladins were switching off healing. The problem was that we were both running low on mana at the same time. But we weren't quite chain-pulling in the manner that we should have been as well.

    As for spec, this 5/11/35 is just an experiment, to see what extreme retribution/damage would look like. It's not that bad, but I don't have the gear to really back it up. Plus it's kind of boring. Retribution is a very passive tree.

    I'll probably go back to Protection. I don't really want Illumination, so Holy is out, and Retribution is too passive. I do want to try a build with Improved Seal of the Crusader, but I'm not sure how the points will work out.

    Also, thanks for the offer, but I've has moved around a lot, and I think my transfer is still on cooldown (Bronzebeard -> Eitrigg -> Skywall). Also, Argent Dawn is EST, and I'm PST. :)

  6. Wolfblaze,
    You pulled the 45 minute with a priest doing the pulling?

    I have been considering that, since I usually shackle pull in strat/scholo anyway, but wasn't sure it was doable in the 45 minute run, because i would be drinking during the beginning of most fights.

    Though it sounds like your priest only pulled on every other pull.. hmm.

    Can you elaborate a little on how that went. We have a practice dry run scheduled for tonight, to see how far we can get, and practice which mobs to leave behind etc.

  7. Sure Yuck,

    I would alternate my judgments as we alternated pulling, I'd judge wisdom on mobs he pulled and light on mobs I pulled. When wisdom was up he would wand for mana and sometimes have to shackle an extra and just watch it. When I pulled he would have to do less healing because everyone was hitting my target. I didn't do a lot of holy damage the whole fight in order to conserve mana and keep exorcism off of cool down for the next pull. He'd pull with Shadow Word: Pain and shackle any extras he could to limit the need to heal.

    Hope this helps. Sorry it's so late.

  8. Er Yunk. Sorry for the misspelling. =(

  9. A good post like always.
    I will agree with what you said about hardcore/casual but I think if you don't clearly define what you are, it can hurt you down the road.

    The problem I see is that alot of casual guilds that raid some become stepping stones for people to join hardcore raiding guilds. So this casual guild is having to always recruit more to maintain the numbers to raid and their progress is gimped because they have to re-gear and re-train people.

    I was reading on the Guild Relation forum a few threads about guild turn-over rates. Be it due to guildies leaving for another guild, another server, or quiting the game this is a problem. I was wondering Coriel what your thoughts were on the matter and if you saw anyway to lower the turn-over rate.

  10. Oh and sorry about your guild not working out.

    I am finding the whole guild thing annoying. I would really like to start a guild with friends from Wow and RL that have similiar goals. But it isn't meant to be.

    What will you do now?

  11. Good article and good comments!

    I'll camp on the last comment -- trying to pull together a WoW / RL guild.

    I had hoped that the guild I'm in would be able to do that. I am a relative noob to WoW, having played about 5 months -- prior experience: Diablo 2 and Neverwinter Nights; WoW is my first MMORPG. My main just reached 49 (Undead warrior), and the highest instances I've run are Ulda (particularly pleased to have been in a party that took down Archaedas in two tries with a party of 4 mid-40s [45-47] and a 39). And I've run ZF a few times (Mara and ST are up next).
    I'm well on the way to establishing that no good blue Plate will drop if I'm the tank in an instance... :)
    And you squishies *deserve* main boss beatdown if you pull aggro off the prot-spec MT!

    Back to the topic of a WoW / RL guild...
    A family member is a WoW veteran, and has a 60 and alts on the server (Horde).
    He got us hooked on WoW, and started a guild for us (Horde) and we reached eight family and friends. That should have been good to ensure us a good solid guild through the level 60 5-mans...
    Looked good up until the mid-30s, then I found the answer was:
    Unfortunately, the wife of the guild master would rather play Alliance on another server, so there went two of our most experienced player / guildies. Another guildie works third shift, so we don't see him much, and his character has fallen way behind. Yet another started WoW over on Khaz Modan and had higher levels over there, and so tends to play over there instead. Another guildie is so busy in RL that it's tough to group with him. You get the picture...

    To summarize, just two out of eight of us are moving forward and are now in the 48-49 range with similar schedules and similar goals. The two of us got tired of asking guildies to run instances with us and being put off, and playing alts while waiting for people to level up so they could run with us (so much so that in that time I've managed a level 39 alt, which is higher than most of the other mains!) It looks like two of us will probably reach 60 running with pickup groups while scouting for a raiding guild for the long term. I found the whole thing frustrating, but what can you do? When you rely on the unreliable, you eventually run out of patience and get on with it.

    Thanks for allowing the rant... :P

  12. Our practice run was ok, i took us about 22 minutes to do 2 bosses, not great. The warrior ended up pulling and i just shackled after the pull, sometimes after a few seconds since i was drinking, as long as no one did aoe it was fine. I don't think it would be possible before the icons. The only problem was pulling gargoyles and banshees since i was drinking and couldn't silence pull. meh unless i just don't drink as much, i tried to drink a little the second i dropped out of combat.

    I just wore all my mana regen equipment I could. Used VE when I could. All in all the main problem was walking into mobs we left trying to not fight them all.

  13. One thing we've found helps is that we send one person to clear the Ziggurots while the rest of the group keeps going. We farm Strath for money after raids and we're thinking to taking some people up on the offer to pay for an escort.

  14. Hi mate,
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    Sam Hyams