Archive for the “Guild” Category

Any thoughts I have on my guild experiences, as well as the running of a guild.

As you all know, Sar has come to a bit of a crossroads in her progression. Recently, I was also informed that the guild’s raid times have been changed to an earlier start, which means that it is going to be increasingly difficult for me to make raids on time (since it translates to raid starts being at 11.30am for me, and that is really not practical). So, I have 4 options:

  1. Quit raiding and go back to casual 5 manning and Kara-ing: Not especially appealing to do on Sar, because I can do this on Hermia with much more satisfaction.
  2. Try and make raids: I CAN plausibly make the required raids, but it means that I need to commit hours during the day which I would rather spend doing ‘real life stuff’
  3. Look for a new guild: There are two guilds on Cenarius that raid hours which are fantastic for me (WipE and Demons Downunder). Both of these guilds also have good reputations on Cenarius, so it would certainly not be a matter of the only available guilds being filled with asshats.
  4. Find an alternative to raiding: Start focusing on arena or battlegrounds on Saresa, or make Hermia my main.

Point number 3 is a difficult one a couple of reasons. I am an exceedingly shy person, and I do have trouble getting to know new people. Being in raids with people I do not know makes me nervous, and when I am nervous I make a lot of silly mistakes. This is hardly ideal when you are trying to make a good impression on new guildmates! Also, I have perhaps an extreme sense of loyalty. I feel bad for contemplating the idea of leaving the people who geared me up and helped me along!

So, for now, i think I have settled for point number 4. This means that I am going to spend a bit of time experimenting with different arena specs, but for now am leaning towards trading my cookie cutter Succy Sac spec for a cookie cutter SL/SL spec (because I will be doing 2v2 battles with Kalf, our friendly neighbourhood resto druid). Of course, because I am a total noob at PvP, I am happy to hear tips from some friendly arena lovers out there!

So, instead of working hard for the loot, I will be working hard for the glory! I am not focusing on gear here, instead on just honing my skills and learning something along the way. Perhaps being a bit inventive and creative and coming up with different ways of killing suckers some other undoubtedly nice people. I will certainly keep you all posted.

P.S. My sister is watching Sex and the City… again. She purchased all six seasons, and is currently half way through. I am going insane. Save me!

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Once again, this is something that I (and many other bloggers) have commented on recently. We are at a point in the game where progression is starting to wane for both extremes of the progression continuum. People who are towards the end of their progression (or what would be termed a reasonable end) – this covers all sorts of people ‘gear wise’, whether you be the person in the guild that can’t quite crack Sunwell or the guild who can’t quite field enough men for Gruul’s but has had Kara on farm for months – and people who don’t have the gear to even get started raidwise are all experiencing difficulties in feeling motivated to play their characters.

I myself am in the somewhat unenviable position of having to experience both of these things at the same time. Of course, there are solutions to these issues, but the solutions do not always feel good. Sometimes the solutions are worse than the problems!

First off we will take a look at Saresa. Sar has just about reached the point where it is evident that her guild is not really going to progress any further. I am usually reluctant to make these sorts of claims, but in this case, it is obvious. Other people have come to this conclusion much earlier than I, and already jumped ship. Officially, of course, different reasons were cited “I have issues with some people who have been recruited into the guild”. “There is a conflict between the goals of the leadership and myself”. “I just don’t enjoy it anymore”. While all of these reasons are true, do you want to know what I put it down to?

Vashj.

That nasty lady Vashj is oft referred to as a guild maker or a guild breaker. In this case, it’s clearly the latter. Far be it from me to question the motivation of some people, but guess what, that’s what I am going to do anyway. If you happen to be reading this, /wave, hope you are doing well. Of course, I don’t think anyone on Cenarius reads me. They certainly don’t recognise me! If they did, there would be so many people saying ‘You know that Sar chick? The one who blogs? She is such a total NOOB! Who would read what she writes!?!’ hehe. Anyway, as usual, I digress.

Back to Vashj. Well, our experience of Vashj. As you all no doubt know, Vashj is a tough fight. I have only ever heard one person say to me “Vashj? She’s easy!” Just about everything he says I don’t listen to anyway, because a) I am a total cow occasionally, I’ll admit it and b) This guy’s only experience of Vashj would happen to possibly be in a pug. Now, if he says Vashj is easy, he was lucky enough I guess to get into a pug that knows what they are doing, and have done her before. Vashj is not EASY. Vashj takes massive amounts of co-ordination. Vashj takes practice. Vashj takes a dedicated core of raiders showing up, week after week, to learn the fight and practice it to do their job well.

The issues our guild had I think arose from the fact that we were spoilt. We cruised our way through Serpentshrine Cavern like there was no tomorrow! All of a sudden, we were at 5/6! How the heck did that happen? Then, when we tried Vashj, we all collapsed like a pack of cards. We simply were not used to hours on end of wiping. Some people really didn’t like to learn. Some wanted to learn TOO much, and got into arguments over strats. This resulted in raid fatigue and general stroppiness. It only takes a small handful of discontented people to poison the well, and thats what happened. Soon EVERYONE was stroppy and discontented. Eventually Vashj had to be abandoned. She was causing too many issues.

By this time though, the damage was done. People were bailing on us like there was no tomorrow. Fun forays into Hyjal did nothing to remedy the problem. So, here were are in our current situation. Having to recruit like crazy to maintain numbers. Recruitment also equals training and gearing. This means going back over farm content repeatedly. Your experienced raiders start to get bored, and look for greener pastures. It’s a never ending cycle.

SO, because of ALL this, Sar is in a rut. In all reality, I can not see our guild progressing much further than 3/5 MH before WotLK. Hopefully we sneak a little BT in there. However, most of the time we raid the same old same old each and every week. It does get a little dull. Gearwise, she is stuck. Content wise, I am starting to get bored out of my brain. Especially frustrating is that we are not even attempting bosses very often who drop everyone’s main concern – T5! Now that many mains are bringing in undergeared alts fulltime to raids, well…. I wont ever progress.

Solutions to this – fairly simple. Look for a new guild. This is something that I am reluctant to do, because I value loyalty so highly. I find it hard to abandon the people who have brought me along so far. I would feel horrible! My second concern would be finding a guild that is a good fit. I can be an annoying person. I talk at a million miles per hour, sometimes I forget to push in my tact button, and I am incredibly opinionated. However, I do bring enthusiasm, dedication, and what I believe is a very caring person. And this sounds like an advertisement (Hire a Caring Sar! Bakes cookies! LOTS of cookies!).

The other option is to continue what I am doing and suck it up. Sigh. Sucking it up is getting to be like sucking up one of those super thick McDonald’s milkshakes. So much work! And you get hardly any milkshake! Sure, when you taste it it’s great… but so much work!

Poor Hermia is stuck waaaaay down the other end of the continuum. A tank? In blues? OMG you have a couple of GREENS? Eeeeep! Being a tank in such cridtastic gear means that it is really hard to get a group. When you do get one, often someone brings along a friend to help out (great!) in full epics (not so great). People in full epics pull mobs off noobish furballs like myself. Then they die. Then I get to feel bad! It’s not too great for the reputation when you lose aggro every two seconds! So Hermia has alot of trouble getting groups. It is especially hard when there aren’t that many upgrades in regular instances. There just doesn’t seem to be a great deal of tanking leather. Could just be me. Alot of it also has to do with my self confidence – Sar, no worries. I know how to play a lock. I have been playing one forever! Druid stuff… well, I’m still learning.

Solution to this? Well, I could move Hermia over to Arcis. There are alot of reasons why I don’t want to do that. The people in Dying Breed have helped me so much. I learned heaps from them, and they helped me out with gear, mats, runs, all sorts of things. I also don’t necessarily want to raid with Hermia. I would like a couple of Kara runs, sure, but that would be it. Learning opportunities there would be kinda slim as well, seeing as I would be getting ‘run through’ pretty much. Sigh.

I think there are alot of people out there like this. People who are in a rut. I guess they could take my solution to the problem – keep myself busy with yet more alts! Is it a short term fix? Sure is. Soon enough, those alts will hit 70 as well, and be just like Herm. Well… my priest will have a smidgen nicer gear. The issue is still the same though. Anyone else experiencing the same thing? Or got a different approach or idea? I’d love to hear some feedback!!

Edit: Inspired by me doing my occasional beimba-ing on my characters. Try it!

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Today one of my guildies accounts was hacked. We were in the middle of transferring between Hyjal and Serpentshrine Cavern, when he disappeared all of a sudden, and then logged back on within five minutes. Of course, we noticed straight away because he wasn’t responding to tells, and he dropped from the raid group. So out guild leader demoted him to prevent any access to the guild bank, and we just sat there.

I have to say it is one of the most horrible feelings in the world sitting there, completely helpless, just staring as you know your guild mates things are being sold or deleted. In my usual impulsive anger, I sent a series of abusive tells to the hacker. I really don’t know what I was hoping to achieve with this, and I got no reply, but the venting at least made me feel like I could do something, even if it was tiny. Of course, I got no response back. Perhaps my abuse actually made the hacker feel more inclined to destroy things. If that is the case, then I am deeply sorry. Especially since not all the things the hacker did were at all beneficial to anyone.

The hacker only accessed one of his characters, his main, and screwed with him. He sold off a variety of things from his main set and from his bank, so his main has been rendered essentially useless for the time being. He also dropped his alchemy profession, which I think is really low. Dropping a profession that people have worked at, spent time and gold on and value, for absolutely no profit is stupid and outright nasty. I hate to think that this was caused by my tells to the hacker. Especially since I am unsure if Blizzard can restore professions to a person.

Now, I am not sure why he didn’t try relogging in to boot the hacker off. I am guessing there is a reason why he didn’t, but I can not guess what it could be. He did try to change his password, but had trouble remembering the answer to his secret question (remember, always choose a secret question that you can easily remember!). By the time he got back in, it was too late.

So, in an open letter

Dear Mr/Ms Hacker,

Let’s be honest here. I really have no idea what your motivation is for hacking. I can not imagine that in this era of dailies you are that desperate for gold. I do not know whether you work for an RMT service, or whether you hack for personal gain. I can not fathom what it is that makes you want to steal other people’s things rather than earn them yourself. However, since you have some form of motivation, I would like to address some other issues.

If you hack into my friend’s account, could you please do the ‘decent’ thing and sell all the items? Please do not disenchant things, because it makes it very difficult for people to get items restored to them. I know you do not much care who you hurt, but if you could lessen the impact of these things, then that would be wonderful.

Do you really need to drop somebody’s professions? I assume the only motivation for hacking into someone’s account is profit, so there really is no need to undo many many months worth of work. Doing so is nothing more than petty and malicious. Sure, you may receive some tells from angry guild mates while you are in the middle of looting and plundering. You can’t expect these people to not be angry! These are friends of the person you are stealing from, they will feel defensive and upset. You would not like it if someone was stealing from one of your friends, would you?

Lastly, I urge you to reconsider your reasons for hacking. As I mentioned previously, there are easy (and much more honest!) ways of earning gold, which do not impact on other players in the game. Please remember that every character out there has a real person behind them. Yes, real people. People who get hurt and upset when their things are taken.

Yours Sincerely,

Saresa.

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OK, OK, so I don’t really want to dominate the world. Well, it would be kinda nice… but altogether too much responsibility. My secret ambition is something I have never really discussed much to be honest. My pipe dreams are often, well, exactly that. While I have been lucky enough to see many of them achieved (becoming what I would term a ‘serious raider’, beginning this blog – and still writing it!), this is one that I know will just never happen. Oh, to have My Own Guild.

Why on earth would I want to run my own guild you ask? Well, there are a variety of reasons. The biggest and most selfish of them all is that I am an alpha-female. I like to be in charge, I enjoy being the boss. I also think that I happen to have excellent organisational skills, which in my opinion is one of the most important things to guild leadership. I like people, and I like dealing with people. Guilds are about people.

Many people assume that a good guild leader should be the best at their class. I don’t agree with this. I think I certainly know a lot about warlocks – most of my friends think so too I suppose, because they generally ask me all their lock related questions. I can give fairly sound advice on most matters warlock related. I may not be the top DPS, but I do fairly well for myself all in all. However, I have a rudimentary understanding of other classes. I build upon this understanding through exhaustive research, and through not being afraid to ask questions. In my mind, a good leader is the one who wants to know as much as possible about everyone’s role, and who is willing to occasionally make themselves look stupid to find out the answer.

I also think that I am capable of dealing with drama. Face it, I am going to be working in a profession where I have to see over one hundred hormonal teenagers each day, I had better want to be good at dealing with people and drama! The inner counsellor in me thrives on helping people sort out their issues with each other, and doing so in a manner which encourages and fosters respect.

Now, we all know that no one is perfect. I know that there would be things I would be outright bad at. I am occasionally too concerned with people’s feelings, and when something needs to be said bluntly I hesitate. Conversely, if I am having a ‘wrong side of the bed’ kind of day, I can get snappy, and am sometimes prone to exploding. Gosh darn moodiness!

The biggest thing that stops me from starting my own guild though is that I love the people in the guilds that I am in at the moment. While I would dearly love a leadership role again in Dying Breed, I can easily see why I do not have one. That makes perfect sense. I don’t long for one so much in Arcis, and I can’t really explain why. Perhaps I feel I haven’t paid my dues there or something. If I were to start my own guild, I couldn’t poach people from others in all good conscience. I am completely unsure how one goes about building up guild membership from scratch – I do not know that many people who aren’t happy where they are. The whole situation is positively fraught with problems!

So that is why I will probably never be a GM. No matter how much I want to do it, I just don’t know how to go about it. Especially without hurting those whom you love and respect.

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LFM (or Women, I’m not much fussed). People who are competent. People who know how to play their class and play it well. People who have enough wisdom to not abuse the leader of a raid or a guild when things just don’t work out right. People who are just plain fun to chat to and group with!

Lately, as I have mentioned many a time, we have been having trouble fielding a full 25 man group. Now, I have mentioned the reasons (well, what I think are the reasons) for this, so I am not going to go into massive detail about why I think these people have been vanishing. Today is all about the effects that it seems to be having on myself and my fellow raiders. How to fix it? No fricking idea! But the following story (sit down, grab a coffee, maybe even some popcorn!) is a great example of what seems to be going on lately.

Yesterday, we had a grand total of 15 guildies in the raid. This meant that we had to fill up ten spots with applicants, and people from another guild who just got to tag along for the ride. We ventured into SSC (home of THE elevator, who claimed quite a few lives yet again!), where I think we usually perform pretty well. Sure, we haven’t downed Vashj. However, 5/6 of the bosses are on farm, and we can usually smack ‘em down in a couple of hours. Easy peasy. However, we forgot to calculate ‘the pug equation’ *insert ominous music*.

We slowly but surely began (Sar was late due to several bluescreen issues – yes, I know, I need a new REAL computer… or at least a formatting!). Trash was a little messy – nothing major, just slow and painful. No biggie though, because hey, it’s only trash, right? We bypassed Hydross, because his loot is basically poo-on-a-stick, and he is one of those fights where new people have some trouble with the DPS off/No HoTs or DoTs past this point kinda thing. I didn’t much mind, Hydross drives me batty with his colour changes! So off to Lurker we go!

Once again, the trash wasn’t really a big deal. We took a bit of a slowlyslowly approach, which is different, but it worked. I think I died once, out of blatant stupidity (lrn2readOmen noob!), and a couple of others did as well. Jumped on down to Lurker, went through the fight in GREAT detail, with much emphasis on four key points:

a) Spout = Get Under Water NOW!

b) Whirl = take a step back if you aren’t on an island

c) Chain sheep the mobs please, and Do Not Break the Sheep!

d) Please ensure LOS with the tank

Overall, not difficult. Lurker is usually a fast boss where the only interest is racing the others for top DPS. However, yesterday was a different story. Many people couldn’t understand the concept of “Under the Water NOW!”, and subsequently got Spouted into oblivion. Healers forgot to heal the tank *snicker*. Sheep got broken, or forgotten about by mages. Most every rule for this fight was broken, again, and again…and again. Finally, after 3 attempts, we got him down. Huzzah! Off to Leotheras!

On the way to Leotheras, we managed to wipe, or suffer significant casualties on almost every pull. Most of this was because of silly mistakes ‘I forgot to sheep, whoops!’, ‘Oh, I was attacking the wrong target!’. It was still frustrating though to wipe so many times on the trash. I think it was a testament to how boring it was that one of the other warlocks whispered me saying he was bored (and he is a very committed raider!). I replied with the sentiment that I think I would have actually preferred to be in Karazhan on Hermia – my dislike of Karazhan is well known! Spending most of the raid dead on the floor is just not fun.

Finally, we got to Leotheras. Now, to be honest, I expected a couple of wipes here. Leotheras is a fairly challenging fight in my opinion, and it would take us a while to get him. However, we did have a good hour and a half left of raid time. Surely we could do it, right? Well, we put in a good few attempts. It was clear the group had the potential to do it, if only things would just swing our way. However, the frustration clearly won out at the end of the night, which was evident in the explosion that followed from one raider.

Leotheras enraged at two percent, with the vast majority of the raid dead (I think 10 were still up). Most of these 10 were quickly wiped out, but he was taken down to one percent with one woman standing – a paladin healer. Now, it just so happens the paladin in question is also the guild leader. She bubbled herself and hit Leo, while trying to keep away from him. Unfortunately, Leo won out, and we wiped. At this point the explosion happened.

“What the hell were you doing? I can’t believe it, he had 500HP left, why didn’t you Holy Shock? Why didn’t you concentrate? Oh my god, you have no idea how to play! You are an idiot!” While most of us kinda sat there like stunned mullets, he continued his diatribe. She tried to defend herself (I am a healer. I don’t deal very much damage!), but he just continued ranting. At this point some of us threw in a couple of comments – I said something to the effect of ‘look, it doesn’t matter, there’s no sense in assigning blame’, which was followed by other people in the raid asking for him to please chill out. However, he continued ranting, and that’s when things got outright nasty!

Now, I am definitely not saying that this is the way to handle it. Personally, I would have handled it in a very different manner. However, the leader of a guild is entitled to handle things in this way. He was promptly demoted. In an interesting spin, the husband of the GM (who co leads the guild) promoted him back up. She demoted him. He promoted him. She /gbooted him. Then they both logged.

Clearly there are issues here. The co-GM should not get into that sort of nonsense by promoting him back up. That undermines the guild leader, which is a really bad thing to do. /Gbooting should not be quite so arbitary in my mind. How would I have approached the situation?

We were on vent. Half the abuse occurred over vent. I would have asked the person in question to please sort this out in a different vent channel with the officers. Also, that sort of stuff needs to be taken to whispers. The raid doesn’t need to see it. ESPECIALLY when half the raid is pugs. First and foremost in my mind is ‘always create a good impression of your guild’. I don’t want people thinking the guild is full of asshats.

I would demote the person in question. I would explain to them exactly why they were getting demoted. I would remove all the privileges that are attached to being a raider. No more bringing alts to raids. No more guild funded repairs. Even take away loot privileges where appropriate. Sure, I would be tough. It’s unacceptable to speak to ANYONE in the way he spoke. It is especially unacceptable to speak to the guild leader that way.

The main point of this is ‘Why did this happen?’. What would bring people to the point of exploding at failure? Well, when each week is full of fail, raiders get tired. They stop raiding, or they struggle through out of loyalty to the guild (and in my case, the total utter lack of anything resembling a real life!). Eventually, someone will reach breaking point. If we could just get more cheery, happy, committed raiders, maybe all would be well. In my dream world.

** Oh… the amount of HP Leotheras had left is currently in question. In my mind, it’s a moot point anyway. I could see 1%, I don’t show actual HP figures on my interface. Others said it was significantly higher.

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There has been discussion of this rampant across the blogosphere, and the server. This is just my personal account of the thing which I will term ‘X-pac syndrome’. A syndrome where the server is suddenly empty. Guild chat is quiet, or outright hostile as new recruits clash with the old veterans. Raids are becoming dominated by pugs because people just aren’t showing up anymore. 5 man groups are almost non existent.

I think this all started with the decline of the 5 man to be honest. A while back myself and several others commented on the difficulty in getting a regular 5 man group going. Heroics were slightly easier to obtain, but the focus was solely on badge farming, so it was generally lots of people running the daily, and the easier heroics. People were concentrating heavily on getting those badges for the shiny new gear.

Karazhan has also become something of a curiosity. A raid instance where one now must be over geared, and after badges. No longer is wiping in Karazhan acceptable for many. I don’t know about anyone else, but seeing messages in LFG saying ‘Kara speed badge run LFM. DPS needed, must be in all epics, prefer T5′. T5 for Kara? WTF? This has led to alts being pushed out of the Kara PuG picture in many cases, and left to find guild runs.

Well, guild runs of places are getting increasingly hard to come by. Take the example of my two guilds. Dying Breed has stopped running guild runs of Karazhan, and hasn’t fielded a guild run in at least a month. The sign ups just slowly died as people started to find better things to do on weekends, and possibly got tired of running Kara all the time. Even now, 5 man all guild groups are difficult to get in the DB. There is a big focus on alts, and in a logical (yet frustrating) response to the previous tank/healer shortages, most every alt is a tank or a healer! The other day when I was logged on, we had 3 druids, 2 priests, and 4 paladins online. That was it. Nothing that could field a respectable 5 man! Many people have also taken their mains to raiding guilds in a last ditch effort to see content before WotLK.

Arcis is rocked by the other form of guild meltdown. Raiding guilds are starting to struggle for signups as well, with people just ‘taking a break from WoW’ before the expansion pack. A freeze of sorts in progression has also left many people frustrated, and many have /gquit over dissent about the direction the guild is taking raid wise. The mass recruitment of new players has caused there to be a bit of a gap between the gear we have as well – often fielding a 25 man into Hyjal with half the raid in Kara and Gruul’s gear. I myself still have zero pieces of T5 (granted, I could have had the gloves many a time, but they are a downgrade). New recruits also seem to be clashing alot with the old guard in some cases, which is causing a great deal of drama. (I might post a bit more about my drama-lama experience soon enough!)

The wonder that is dailies has also caused a bit of burnout, with many people spending their playtime doing dailies on all their characters to get gold. By the time they have done that, they are bored of WoW and just want to log. A great reason for me to not do dailies!

I do believe it is a combination of these things which are killing guilds left right and centre. Dailies – Blah. Most content meaning ‘nothing’ anymore? Blah. On my server, if you haven’t basically finished BT and Hyjal, then you are ‘no one’. This attitude from the top raiders does filter down to the rest of us, and yes, it is disheartening hearing that sort of thing. It is also summer for most of you (which makes it especially crappy for me, down here is Oz, entering my winter hibernate in the house phase!), and you all want to go out and enjoy the sunshine, which is always great. I hope you do enjoy it, and I will see you all back again (I hope) when WotLK comes out!

On to other news:

Counting down – approximately one week I guess until my self hosted blog is up and running. Many kind thanks to those of you who have been dropping your entrecards on my site, and applying to advertise. Much appreciated!

Also in the countdown, I have just one assignment left, and then the ‘studying’ component of my degree is basically finished forever. When I hand that in tomorrow, I will be cheering! Three and a half years down, only half a year to go. Then I am an official certified, dignified, bonafide high school teacher! Well, maybe not so much the dignified part, I am still working on that one! Funnily enough, for someone who said they wouldn’t be posting much, I think I actually wrote more this week than usual!

The Dying Breed forum is also back online! Huzzah for me, I can go back to hours of trolling!

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I have always depended on the kindness of strangers friends” (Blanche DuBois)

First things first, I think I deserve a wee bit of applause for remembering to write things down in my ‘WoW notepad’ as I went yesterday. /cheer!

As you all know, I have an enormous list of things which I need to work on to get my tanking set for when Hermia hits 70. Yesterday I decided that I would begin working on those right away, and at least get some experience from the kills that I had to make anyway. So heigh-ho, off to Nagrand we go!

Now I know that lots of people farming in a concentrated area can be a traumatic experience. As soon as the words ‘Elemental Plateau’ are mentioned people begin to cringe. I develop an eye twitch just thinking about it! Well, the area for farming Thick Clefthoof Leather can get pretty hectic as well. So first of all, a shout out to everyone who was farming there yesterday. Everyone was polite, I didn’t notice a single instance of kill stealing/skin stealing (except for one instance where I didn’t see a tauren druid going after a bull. I quickly apologised through the convenient ‘sorry’ emote, and intentionally left the next couple for him. He ‘licked’ me and went on killing).

In a couple of special mentions on the farming side, we have Valcrist, who kindly let me skin all his kills, AND sent me a tell later on with a lovely offer of a pair of the boots that I needed, since he had a spare pair on his rogue. I already had the boots, but it was incredibly nice of him to offer. Two Horde players, Mildrid and Morbidone, who also ‘let’ (in that I couldn’t ask, but they didn’t object) me skin their kills as well. I tried to help out killing their mobs as we went to make things a bit faster and less painful for them.

After a while I proudly mentioned to Whisperel (my favourite leatherworker!) in guild chat that I was nearly done! I had 55 Clefthoof leather, I needed a mere 20 more. Whisp offered some of the leather she had in her bank, but I refused (Whisp and her husband Wymonn already do FAR too much for me – more on that later!), and said it wouldn’t take me too much longer to farm the rest. Besides, when you are getting 800XP per kill, it’s not all that nasty. Well, Whisp pretty much insisted, but I was determined to do it all myself (so I came up with the not so sneaky plan of just farming it all anyway, so she didn’t have to use her personal stash). That kinda failed when I was running around farming, and saw someone killing a few clefthoof. I ran over to see if they may have needed a spot heal, since they were taking on a few at a time, and it was Whisp! Well, darn. She quickly traded me 25 clefthoof leather (more than I needed!) before I could say anything. Since I was done, I traded her all the clefthoof leather back, as well as the other leather that I had gathered over the day – sooooo many scraps! I said I would go rustle up some Primal Earth off Sar (since she is a miner), but Whisp already had that as well! Whisp flew back to Shatt, with me slowly slowly trailing behind… and when I got there, she had finished the crafting and traded the vest and leggings back to me… as well as a surprise of a Stylin’ Purple Hat, which was going to be my next farmed item. Then… I was told not to go anywhere, as Wymonn was logging his JC alt to ‘gem me up’.

Now this is really not out of character for Whisp and Wym. As I have levelled Hermia, I have often found little surprises in the mail, accompanied by ‘Thought this might be useful!’ notes from them. I got my Clefthoof Boots from Whisp before I had even hit the 60 mark, let alone the 70! Sar has also gotten things from them before as little presents. I have never before been able to acknowledge their kindness, and I thought that here would be the best that I can do for now. So, thankyou ever so much Whisperel and Wymonn.

To top the day off, Kalf also got me a Necklace of the Deep (even though I specifically told him not to!). I was umming and ahhing over it since I am saving for my epic flying, so he just went and got it for me. So sweet (and naughty!).

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No no no, I am not leaving either of my guilds, calm down people! However, I was reading one of Matticus’ posts today which uncannily reminded me of my own experience in leaving Dying Breed, and my thoughts and feelings about this leaving ever since. In my opinion, joining a guild is one of the biggest decisions you can make in World of Warcraft – taken seriously enough, it is almost like a marriage (albeit a weird, polygamist marriage in perhaps a cult like situation… again, I digress) where you are absorbed into a new family and made a part of it. Perhaps some people don’t approach it seriously enough, and perhaps some of us take it all far too seriously, but basically thats what it means to me.

Now, I am not saying that all guilds are alike. Dying Breed felt (and still feels) like home to me. My friends there rank up among some of the closest friends that I have in my ‘real life’. Sure, they weren’t progression focused, but they were a close knit bunch of people who enjoyed each other’s company and occasionally going out and kicking some ass. I had been there long enough that I was well known and respected within the guild, people would ask me my advice and opinion, I would ask for theirs, and we would have some very interesting discussions about this, that, and the other (including thirty minute long debates about the ‘awesome’ factor of Vegemite!). When I left Dying Breed, it honestly felt the same as when you leave home for the first time. I know you may laugh at me, but yes, I cried. I felt horrible that I was deserting the people who had helped me and been there for me throughout my time in the game, all for some shiny loots and a couple of boss fights.

Now a couple of my friends at this point had already joined Arcis, and they suggested that I apply for the guild. They (well, Kalf) reassured me that Arcis had a similar sort of feel to Dying Breed, but with a more raid oriented focus. This sounded reassuring to me – I couldn’t bear the thought of going to a guild where the people weren’t friendly and chatty, it would all be too alien and strange to me. Well, he didn’t lie – the guild chat in Arcis is quite noisy during the day, and people are fairly friendly, but the focus of the chatting is not at all the same. It’s kind of like when you go to work – the people are nice enough, but most of your co-workers don’t really care about your real life, so long as you show up and get the job done. There is also a much more competitive and aggressive atmosphere when it does come to performance – rather than alot of encouragement from others, there is direct competition as to who puts out the most DPS, the most HPS, and people are not afraid to comment on anything you do (regardless of how well or ill informed they are). If you screw up, you will be reminded, and not always in a happy joking way either! Everyone is vying for the top spot, because if you aren’t at the top you are open to criticism from the whole raid.

(** rant incoming!! Be aware!! **) A case in point the other day was when one of the paladins of the guild questioned my spec, gear, and spell rotation. Now, I was a bit affronted at the way he said some things to me, especially as he has never played a warlock in my knowledge, and certainly not one to 70 in our guild at any rate. When I mentioned to the guild leader that I didn’t appreciate the way he spoke to me about it (and apparently he was giving some of the other locks a hard time as well, which I mentioned) I was basically told to get over it. That was fine… but then she said “The other locks do put out more damage than you usually, you know”, which kind of got my back up. Just a touch. Not because I would object to them out dpsing me, but because I know it to be untrue. I run my own damage meter in a raid situation, and I also look at the posted ones, and my damage output is generally respectable. I am never first (that position goes to Candi of the uber-DPS), but out of the warlocks I am generally 2nd or 3rd (Ri and I are incredibly close in damage output, although I generally win out by the end of a raid), and generally within the top 7 in the raid. Not great, but certainly not bad. I don’t mind advice, but when this advice is all founded upon something which is untrue… well, I get kinda mad (** End rant **)

So, what is the point of all this ramble? Do I regret leaving Dying Breed to venture into raiding? Truthfully, I don’t. I am not sure what I would be doing now if I was still in Dying Breed, but I certainly was not enjoying Karazhan anymore, and I was getting tired of playing Saresa. However, I can’t say that I don’t regret leaving Dying Breed – ever since I left there has been a constant stream of people leaving to join raiding guilds, and I can’t help but wonder if I kinda started it all (Narcissism is rampant here, I know). Someone mentioned the other day that perhaps if everyone had’ve stayed, we may be in SSC or TK by now. Well, that may be true. I personally believe that we wouldn’t be, because to succeed in those instances you need a dedicated raiding focus, and the attitude that it’s OK to criticise people at any point if you don’t think they are living up to their max potential. That just wasn’t present in Dying Breed… which in my mind, was a good thing. That is the reason why I will be going back to Dying Breed when WotLK comes out, and I probably won’t be leaving again. Sure, I’ll have to listen to my raiding friends gloating about their progress. Well, big whoppeedoodah. I also get to miss out on the immature, epeen stroking conversations that occur in Arcis guild chat occasionally, and WoW can go back to being fun for me, rather than being a job.

Note: This isn’t to say I don’t enjoy raiding. I do. I just don’t like the occasional asshat behaviour that accompanies it. In my mind I guess, a lot of raiders are like doctors – they are ego driven, confident people. That is how they do so well. I also do like the majority of people in Arcis. I just don’t enjoy feeling like I am at work when I am playing.

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While I was soaking in the bath (where I always do my best thinking… right along with sitting on the toilet, but you didn’t REALLY want to know that, did you?) I was contemplating how long it had been since I had indulged in some random guild fun. Nothing serious at all, just some light hearted entertainment to help pass the day along. The last time that we had some fun in the DB (well, that I could participate in) was a few months ago, when we had the 5 man naked ironman. I stole the idea from one of the world of warcraft forums (unfortunately, I can not remember the thread, apologies to whoever’s idea I stole – feel free to take the credit!), and decided to run with it (and being cashed up at the time, even brought various prizes and things, which unfortunately were never given out).

Anyway, the basic idea is that you ‘register’ a team with the organiser (i.e. Me) of 5 players, the composition of which is entirely up to you. Then each team meets up outside Deadmines, and removes all their gear (we allowed tabards to stay on, because they don’t offer any benefits, and hey, we are modest people!), and proceed to run the dungeons, working their way up from Deadmines until however far you end up. The principle of the idea is that it is a race, with the first team to complete a required dungeon – we said Scholomance was the end – winning the loots!

There are of course a few basic rules:

  1. No armor, weapons, etc to be worn at the beginning. You must be butt naked! (Tabards excepted)
  2. The only items you are allowed to equip are items looted from the dungeons as you progress through.
  3. You are allowed to take food/drink, but no consumables which provide a buff.
  4. You can use group buffs of course :)
  5. You can not swap out players throughout the competition.
  6. You must complete all the set dungeons.

All in all, it was pretty simple, and a great deal of fun. We ran short of time (thanks to our screenie obsession!), but got through a few instances, with some hilarious and memorable happenings along the way – 5 level 70′s wiping in Stockades anyone? We swore to organise another, but have not been able to make that a reality unfortunately thanks to conflicting schedules.

Us bare-ass naked outside VC ready to begin! Boy, didn’t we get some odd looks!

Us with our ‘upgrades’ after VC

Our nasty Stocks wipe!

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I was over at BBB’s blog just a moment ago when I came across a post that I think is well worth commenting on. You know those annoying people who ruin the game for you in sneaky sneaky ways? Like stealing your elementals off you JUST as your cast is about to go off? Or pinching your quest mobs, ninjaing your herb while you kill the mob near it? Yeah, he talks about them. However, he also balances it out with a good experience, which is what we all like to see. I found it interesting though that the negative experience came from Alliance, people of his own faction, and the positive one from Horde.

It is oft stated on Cenarius that Alliance has the higher douche bag quotent. The prevailing theory is that the younger, more immature players go Alliance, while Horde has been traditionally the home of older, more experienced players (could also serve to explain why Horde pwn us at PvP, everytime). Now, who knows if this is actually true… I haven’t levelled a Horde to investigate this phenomenon. It does get frustrating though, being grouped with a variety of ninjas, and general asshats. Or having someone from your own faction steal your elemental! We are meant to be on the same team guys! Let’s be nice, hey?

However, I have grouped with many good, friendly Alliance players. As I mentioned in the comments at the bottom of BBB’s post (in reply to both him and Kestrel), like Kestrel, I would take any issues I had about an Alliance player to an officer of the guild. This was not always complaints either. When I was in Dying Breed (before I became a guild-ridden abandoning so-and-so) I was one of the officers there. As a rule (since we didn’t have particular jobs as officers – the DB is a relaxed, friendly guild… somewhat like Cheers, if a guild was a bar) we didn’t have much to do, so I took it upon myself to be the resident PR officer. If someone did something to a guildie that I thought was inappropriate, I’d fire off a mail. However, if someone from another guild did something which was just out right nice, or if they impressed me with their manners, kindness, or just general attitude or skill, I would also send their Guild Leader a mail commending them. I figure doing so won’t only give the person concerned a warm fuzzy feeling, it would also give the guild a positive feeling – that “Yes, we may be small… and there are only, what, 10 million people who play this game… but yay, someone noticed just how awesome we are!” I have always been a fan of building good relationships, and I hope that when people on Cenarius hear the name Saresa, they think “Oh yeah, I know her… she was really polite/helpful/had a great attitude!” (Lets face it… I won’t ever get noticed for my lackluster shadowbolting skills! I don’t give 2 hoots whether people compliment my gear or not… it’s just pixels. Shiny happy pixels. But I digress).

Now, this is not nearly so well worded as BBB’s post. So, if you haven’t read it already, head there. This is more my spin on the whole thing I guess. But anyway… time to share my cutesy-happy Alliance/Horde experience with you!

Dancing Kitties!

We were just wandering around Un’Goro, minding our own business… and decided a dance was in order. If any of you see Croach on Cenarius, tell him Hermia the dancing Un’Goro cat says hi!

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