World Event Overload!

I’m sure I’m not the only one out there feeling overwhelmed by having three world events at the same time.  Mr. Zowy is so fed up with it that he’s letting Darkmoon Fair go this month in favor of the two annual ones.  Between the Lunar Festival and Love is in the Air, I’m all world evented out!

Today’s To Do List: (in-game)

  • Turn in bracelets to all for faction leaders (farmed 3 days worth yesterday)
  • Do Love Daily in Orgri on 4 chars
  • Do Love Daily in Uldum on one char
  • Do Seasonal boss on 4 chars
  • Pull some time out of my backside to get into those dungeons to hunt down the Elders and kill them, then steal their tokens!  (not very priestly, but I did say I’d had enough *smile*)
  • Do DMF dailies on all chars I have time for remembering the mounts and pets are worth it.

Items 1-4 will take up all the time I can be logged in if I neglect house work and play during nap times.  So now I’m faced with a problem.  Do I neglect the Love event for one day to get the Elders out of the way, or do I skip the last 6 elders and do them next year?   Maybe I can ask Blizzard for an extention.  We responsible parents simply don’t have the time! *sad face*

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Darkmoon’s back!

Last night after the raid we were greeted with two things I’d forgotten about.  Love is in the Air world event, and DARKMOON FAIR!

While all my guildies were busy grouping up for the new world event boss fight, I flew over to TB and hopped through a portal, being sure to have all of my quest items in my bags!  I only needed to turn in one for my purpose.

Turned in my Mysterious Egg then ran over to the guy who promised me a mount last month!  I asked him if he still had the one I wanted in the colour I wanted and he did!!!  BAM!  Dancing Bear mount!

Darkmoon Fair Bear Mount

So, what’s the first thing I did with my new mount?  Replaced my mechano hog and ran up and down the fair while doing all the quests!  I also did a bit of ….dancing!

Call me crazy, or maybe it was the late hour, but I couldn’t figure out how to make him dance!  After typing /dance 20 times, I decided to see what his roar looked like.  <spacebar>  He started dancing…  Yeah, makes sense after you know how!

Next thing I’m getting from DMF will be the DMF cub pet, or maybe the turtle since I don’t have a turtle on my priest yet.  After re-completing all those quest item quests, I nearly have enough for it.  Happy Carnivale!

Darkmoon Dancing Bear - Dancing

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GL Guide: Attendance

Okies, so a friend of mine’s guild is going through a rough spot and for once, we aren’t regarding attendance.  What are the differences and what am I, as a guild leader, doing differently to what I’ve done in the past?

Where did all the people go?
We know guilds fluctuate all the time with trends over the hollidays, Start and End of school terms and summer always has an interesting effect.  Lately, all guilds have seen a decline, many good ones have gone bust as a result!  There is a lot of speculation as to where the people have gone.  In our case, we had 3 social members make the move to SWtOR and two main raiders (that we know of) play it part-time.

Are we bitter?  Hell no! But we do wish to know what people’s plans are so we can recruit accordingly so those who are sticking to WoW won’t have to miss raids or struggle gearing up another new member who just returned after a 2 year break. *sigh*   My friend’s guild saw similar numbers of people moving over.  Some let them know their plans, others just disappeared never to be heard from again.

Attendance and Punctuality
Two of the main problems guilds are having at this time is Attendance and Punctuality.   This is a tough thing for a casual guild to address since you’re supposed to be, well, casual! Right? Wrong!

Casual doesn’t mean irresponsible or rude.  It means understanding of the time restraints people have in their lives and trying to get as far in the game in as little time as possible.  My guild raids Max. 2 nights a week for a max. 4 hours per raid.  Because we don’t raid more, we need everyone to be present and prepared to roll at the same time.  Our progression is comparable to many guilds who raid 3 or 4 times in the week.  I like to think this is much thanks to the responsibility and consideration our members have for each other.

What to do?
Many small casual guilds are faced with the problem of missing one or two sign-ups for a raid.  Leaders don’t want to punish those who showed up by calling the raid.  Often, they don’t want to replace the late people with pugs in fear they will be offended and not sign up next week.  We went through this phase for most of last year, and it caused a lot of unnecessary stress!

  • Ask for consideration and responsibility.  It’s not crazy to ask people to behave responsibly in a game.  Just like in the real world, if they can’t make an appointment, they call to cancel.  Exchange contact info (even if it’s only an email used for game purposes) so that anyone can leave a message somewhere you look often.  People don’t always log onto a guild website, but in today’s day and age, it’s hard not to be able to send an email or text message.
  • Don’t be afraid to pug spots.  We found many of our best members by PUGing.  It is a good way for potential new members to test run your guild and see if your raiding style fits in with what they are looking for.  They are PUGing for a reason and you clearly missed a spot.  You also get to see how they perform and behave.  Are they loot crazy or relaxed?  Do they play well or not quite ready for your level of raiding?  PUGing is a great way to get to know people on your server.
  • Don’t be afraid to call a raid.  By cancelling a raid due to low sign-ups, it brings it to everyone’s attention how important every member is.  Chances are, the guild will discuss and encourage the no-shows to sign up next week.
  • Make your expectations clear.  Something I notice is that people like rules.  We like to know what is coming. Set your expectations, act accordingly, and people will rise to meet them.  If you get into the habit of making exceptions for the “slackers”, the hard workers will see no reason why they should bother trying so hard to do what’s right.
  • Replace repeat offenders.  Do you have someone who is always late, consistently for the past few months?  Ask them what they want, what the problem seems to be.  Do your raid times no longer work for them?  You can look into changing your raid times if it suites the rest of the group to do so, or demote the person to social and start looking for someone who’s able to make the raids on time.

What works for us?
Every guild will have different rules that suites your group of people.  Our guild is made up of somewhat older professionals, students and parents.  People who have lots to do in the real world and little time to play for hours on end.  We also recruit only those who we feel would be a good fit, regardless of how much we need a certain class.  As a result, we keep a harmonious environment of like-minded individuals.

For us, a clear simple set of rules works.  Being reliable leaders who set good examples is the best policy!  In the beginning of our “new” way of doing things, it was painful.  We cancelled a few raids and had some poor PUGs, but after a few weeks, it’s been smooth sailing ever since, something we’re very proud of!

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Much overdue update!

Wow! It’s been a long while! Lots has happened but I’ve not had the opportunity to log in and finish up all the posts I started. *Sad Face*

Since today is incredibly busy for me as well, I’ll paste our latest guild news! (posted 22 Jan 2012)

Our band of Boefjes

After our wildly successful pre-non-denominational-winter-holiday-changing of western calendar-break, we were a little cocky when we returned last week. After a Saturday’s humility raid which included few more wipes than we are used to, we got Deathwing on Sunday!

So, imagine our excitement when we started Morchok Heroic!

We started the fight with 2 tanks, 4 healers and 4 dps! That was weird! Split into two teams (With TeamA on Morchok and TeamB on Kohcrom) we set to work. 1.5 mins into our first try: Wipe! Doh! We made steady progression but TeamB noticed the noobish TeamA was struggling and couldn’t understand what was going on over there! When TeamB had killed their boss but Team A’s boss was still alive as we wiped, we decided to swap sides since TeamA was clearly unable to take care of it!

So, Team B is now on Morchok, Crystal spawns, then another, then another…what the….*Wipe!* Right, we then understood TeamA’s suffering and took a look at how to keep our guys alive. None of the guides mentioned Morchok casts 3 crystals to Kohcrom’s 1-2! Doesn’t seem like that much more, but trust me, as a healer, it is! It was then we decided to put the winning combination of Cas and Kim on Morchok and the two lesser minions on Kohcrom. (Tim on his off spec and Loutokt newly dinged 2 weeks ago!)

Within a few tries to get our CD’s coordinated, both personalities of the boss were dead and all our raiders alive!

There are several remarkable things in our kill shot this time. Tim was drinking while healing, clearly. The bears also seem to be drunk and the Tree has gon Ent on us. Three sensible people can be found in the middle while Cas seems to be warming his nose on Kim’s Baby Blizzard Bear’s backside. The orcs are too sexeh for this photo.

Well done guys!!!!

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Hour of Twilight: One week in (and one day) – Dragon Soul

Okies, so where did I leave off?   Baby goblin was running circles around me and desperately needed my attention.  Since I have a habit of never posting my drafts, I figured I’d just break this up into small bite sized posts.

Dragon Soul
We have a weekend raiding guild.  Saturday and Sunday only.  Patch day over in the EU is Wednesday.  This means we are always a little behind on that darn progression thing.  This also means we get to see where people are struggling and can adjust before our raid, saving us precious hours; in theory.  Since we only raid 8 hours, including breaks, a week, it all adds up.

What did we see with Dragon Soul?  It looked crazy easy!  OK, maybe not “Easy” but totally doable!  Demon looked at me and said, “Right, we’re going for 6/8 this weekend.” To which I laughed, “Keep dreaming!”  He was right!  We killed 4 bosses on Saturday and 2 on Sunday and had 2 attempts at the 7th.  Why was this so easy?  One acronym: LFR

On patch day, pretty much everyone in our guild who even dreams of killing Deathwing immediately queued for the LFR as soon as they could.  They also kept queuing until their wives, girlfriends and parents were wondering where they’d got off to.  This isn’t something we planned, they did this of their own accord and it seemed to work.  The LFR was a mild, bite-sized version of the real fight and helped them at learning positioning without the frustration of only living the first 1.4 min of the fight.

How did it go?
Bosses 1-4 – Two bosses one-shotted, one boss two-shotted, bouncy ball boss was our most challenging mostly because of dispel timing.  There isn’t really much to say about these bosses.  They are similar to the LFR with slight difficulty differences.

Bosses 5 & 6 – Then we came to boss 5.  Being a Target Dummy with wings, we didn’t expect much of a challenge.  We also didn’t expect the amount of damage done towards the end…or the vitality of getting the heck out at the right time.  Clicking the darn button at the right time was our most challenging aspect.  I wasn’t 100% focused for some reason.  After a few tries, we had to call it, get some sleep and come back the next day.

Next day, we had 2 or 3 people who hadn’t been with us the previous day.  Three tries in, they had the hang of it.  Healers had him on focus.  No one was calling out when to click.  A few more attempts and he was down and we were off to the gunship!

Gunship, how dost thou vex me?!:
The 6th boss in Dragon Soul was our most challenging yet!  Why is this?  Well, our group doesn’t like to move unless told to do so.  Dynamic moving, thinking for one’s self, being aware of one’s surroundings isn’t really our strength.  At least it wasn’t!  We learn new things with every new raid release and in this one, we are learning how to pick up our feet and think for ourselves!  It took us a while but after about an hour of wiping, with progression, we hit a wall.

Suddenly, it wasn’t getting any better.  The Zapper wasn’t dying quickly enough.  We had 4 dragons alive at the end of the add phase or we had all the dragons down but 6 adds running around.  Tanks were frustrated, healers were frustrated, dps were…well they’re dps, what do they think about?

About 2 attempts in, I wanted to go shadow.  I could already see my healing was low for this fight and could be more valuable as dps.  The other healers were nervous and said my healing would be needed in phase 2.  After we hit the firmly placed wall, I decided to go shadow, and two-man heal it.

As shadow, I’m in half healer gear but at least I have two really good dps trinkets.  The problem is I haven’t gone shadow in a while and forget all the nifty little mana regen / dps boosting mini cool downs.  First try, I had to figure out why I was oom only to remember about dispersion.  Second try, I remembered to use my shadow fiend on CD…  Third try, I remembered my rotation a bit better.  Not once did I remember about Evangelism but I will for next week!  Still, my dps was competitive in the end.  Dragons were dying, Zappers were slowed and dead, the ship survived to phase two.  PROGRESSION!  Two more tries and he was dead.  By this time, it was late but we wanted to go jump on Deathwing’s back so we did, instantly barrel rolled and wiped.  We’ll get to him next week!

I believe the LFR is partially responsible for our quick progression.  It’s a nice way to learn positioning of a fight and only small adjustments are needed to get the same results on normal mode.  It feels nice as a casual raider to have a sort of practice ground, then the real thing, then on to hard modes for the real test.  We also have fantastic players of high quality.  There are “better” guilds than us struggling to get where we are, so we shouldn’t forget how talented our guys are, even though we are about as casual as a Jamaican sunrise.

Well done guys! ❤ ya!

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Hour of Twilight Patch 4.3: One week in

Hey guys!  I’ve been taking some time off from writing to get a handle on my physical health and touch base a bit more with the game I love to play so much.  So, in the time since I last wrote we have a new patch (4.3) and lots of posts and discussions regarding this.  Everything from Class Changes to complaints about the Darkmoon Fair. (seriously?)  I thought I’d share my first impressions.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I stopped theory crafting or even looking too carefully at stats ages ago.  We raid progressively but believe skill and a good attitude will bring you further than that extra 3 points in xx stat you could squeeze out by reforging everything.  So I won’t be talking about how to play your priest (or lesser classes) better in that regard, just share some thoughts I’ve been having in the hopes there are like minds out there….somewhere.

Logging in
You may remember how excited I was about the annual pass.  I love testing beta’s and the chance to play Diablo III free of charge was very appealing.  When I logged in Wednesday afternoon, I checked my mail as usual and found a shiny new mount in there!  It was like any denominational, or non, made-up in-game holiday where gift giving and surprises are central!

From that point on, I was in a good mood, skipping and even /cheered.  That’s when my next surprise became apparent:  NEW GOBLIN CHEER ANIMATION! Oh yeah, I was one happy goblin!  I look like this tiny little very happy anime cheer leader.  Love it!  The raid did too btw, great tension dispersion tool.  You can’t help but giggle when out of the cauldron suddenly pops up a cheering goblin telling you things like “Awsome!”.

Around about the time my cheering was making even the critters question my sobriety, I ask a guard where I could find the Transmorph guy.  Found him, took a look at the interface then went to my bank to hunt up the gear I’d so carefully collected.  Here’s what I’ve chosen for my char: Kimzowy

For the moment, I’m going for a winter pixy look.  I’m happy with it.  I would love to do more with her outfits, but let’s face it; she’s a goblin and goblins are designed to pull off every look effortlessly but she sure is cute!

That’s all the time I’ve got for now.  As a reminder to myself, I wish to speak next time about our first weekend raiding (6/8 BABY!), shifting looting systems from T12 to T13 and the general feel of the new pve content.

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The Crazies are coming! Flee?

What do you do with the Crazies?

I’ve been asked, “How do you remain calm and upbeat for the guild when you deal with so much baggage from other people’s lives.”.  Answer:  Definition, Meditation and Perspective. Let me explain:

We all know who they are.  We are all playing with one right now…or recently have.  They can be found in PuG’s, Raids, Instances, flying around Orgrimar or even leading your guild!  These are the guys who should have The Truly Insane awarded to them as a diagnosis and would be proud to wear it.

You have to define your guild mates!  I don’t mean judge them.  I mean look at them with objective eyes.  See their strengths and weaknesses.   Utilize the strengths and fortify the weaknesses.  For example:  My DD (Darling Demon) is a people person.  He LOVES to talk! So I put him on recruitment.  He’s great at it!  He also gets easily stressed in progression raids.  So I ask him not to lead those and try to attend since I have a calming effect on him. Everyone is the same.  Good and not so good sides.

Most people are balanced.  Their down sides are easily balanced out by their good.  But sometimes you meet a person off-balance.  This person takes more energy from you than it’s worth and still demands more.  The key is to identify them, file them under “crazy” and move on to the next step.

Very few people in the world are pure evil.  There aren’t really that many crazies either, just people acting the part.  This is why you need to think and think and think before you act.  Some people are having a bad day…or year.  Some people are undergoing major changes in their lives. Others are simply immature for their age and applied to your guild as the person they wish they were instead of who they really are.  Can happen, but you need to find out and bring it to light.

After you’ve “meditated” on the topic, it’s time to talk to the disgruntled member.  Be objective, understanding but not gullible!  Make sure you understand his/her side of things but remember your responsibility to the group as a whole.  If the member demands things that will hurt the guild or inconvenience other non-complaining members, and is in no other way justified actions, refuse respectfully and explain again what your community is about.  I believe it’s a game.  When it stops being fun, it’s time to re-evaluate where you are.  I use this a lot.

After the talk, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be feeling a little drained. Wondering if you did all you could and said all the right things.  This brings us to the final step:

When you’re feeling the stress of fellow gamer’s, do yourself a favor.  Close your eyes, take three deep breath, open them and look around you….yes, further than your computer desk.  What do you see?  I see my house, my husband and my son.  I look outside and see the city I live in and how much I like it here, but my son is my main source of peace.  One look at him and all the troubles in the world don’t seem so great.  At the end of the day, it’s just a game.

By keeping things in perspective you keep yourself energized to handle any new issues that might creep up.  Remember, as soon as one Crazy moves on, another one is making application!

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