Monthly Archives: December 2011

When You Love a Paladin

Higher Authority has a rule in its charter:

Do also keep in mind that every guild member must have a pally alt. While we don’t expect that alt to be in the guild, or on Ysera, or even an alliance toon (and we won’t verify its existence) we will tease you mercilessly if you don’t claim to have one.

GurdridThis does, in fact, go for the officers, who all have pally mains. I’m not sure if Suthine has a pally alt currently, but Suthine used to be his alt.  Sonaira’s pally alt is now a Hordey. Like Taoiseach, she got converted as soon as she had her second paladin to 85.  But being the Guild Leader, there’s a bit of overachievement that seems to have to happen. I now have 3 paladins.  My newest one is Gurdrid.

Gurdrid is a departure for me. I’m leveling her Prot. Her personality has already started to come through. Being a dwarf, she’s rather no-nonsense. But, she has her quirks. Her cousin is a hunter (yes, I do give my characters history. No, I don’t RP.) and she has started to seek out rare beasts. So far she hasn’t hunted them exclusively, but since she’s not yet into her 40th season, I think it’s understandable that she still wants to learn her skills first.

I’m loving protection. I’m loving instant dungeon queues. I’m loving taking almost no damage in the world. I’m loving soloing 2-man yellow quests (Myzrael, I’m looking at you). I’m taking to tanking prot better than bear tanking (I still haven’t tried warrior tanking, or DK tanking).  I generally don’t even mind the go-go-go DPS.

Very First Rare KillShe already has quite a collection of rare kills to her name.  Early on, in Dun Morogh, she ran across Timber.  Timber probably set her on the path of hunting rares.



Grizlak died before I got a good image.

The Mosshide Chieftain

In Loch Modan, she found the kobold Grizlak, and the gnoll Sagepaw.  Wait, does that make her the leader of the Mosshide? Eek!




In Wetlands, she found three rares: Leech Widow, Gnawbone and Mirelow.





When she moved on into Arathi Highlands, her luck continued with finds of the ogres Ruul Onestone and Foulbelly; as well as the troll Numar the Slayer (or should that be slain?) and the kobold Geomancer Flintdagger.






Almost immediately after arriving in the Hinterlands, she located Old Cliff Jumper, marking her second worg kill.

(note: pics added 1/3/12)

So They Don’t Play WoW Any More…

For the record, this is a rant.  It’s something that I’ve seen come up several times recently, both around the blogosphere and in my personal interactions.

Why do people who don’t play WoW any more have to talk about that fact?

Plain and simple – if you don’t play any more, why are you still so invested in your status as a former WoW player that you have to bring it up? My nephew brought it up a few weeks ago when he mentioned that he was downloading some new game via Steam.  The Noisy Rogue (whose blog is on my sidebar) loves to rant about lots of things in the game, yet he doesn’t actually play WoW  (much) any more.  To be fair, I think the Noisy Rogue blog is a rant blog, but he amuses me often enough that I keep reading him.

I suspect that this is a two-fold social issue. The first part is WoW’s reputation. It has had a huge market share for 7 years. There have been numerous news articles about people who have gone too far in the name of something in the game, or have become addicted to it; and I’m sure that many have heard about much of the drama that occurs in guilds… seemingly primarily in raid guilds, though I’m sure other types of guilds have their fair share.  Thus, being a former WoW player is like being a former smoker or alcoholic to some. You went down that road, but you got out. And now, you’re a survivor (of a sort).

The second part of it is  more sinister – at least on the individual level. I think that many gamers, particularly hard-core gamers, need to be better at something than someone else. MMOs bring out the competetive nature of gamers against each other instead of the game. If you then consider the concept I mentioned in the first part: You went down that road, but you got out; then you’re better than the people still playing because you got out. Thus there’s a little tiny bit of desire to poke the “I’m better” aspect.

And the corollary, Why do former hard-core players have to remind us that they’re now casual?

This also shows up with former hard-core raiders and PvPers. They often site the reasons they don’t do the raiding any more as being akin to growing up. Sometimes it’s true – one of our guild members is about to have his first child. He may be playing a lot less because of it.  But sometimes it’s not precisely the truth.

MMO players (as a group) either love or hate WoW. If you’re in the haters camp, it’s either because the game is not for you (fair enough), or the game changed for you somehow during its life and you stopped playing because of it. For many folks, Drama has driven them away from the game entirely, putting them squarely and irrevocably into the hate category.

Personally, I think of this as one of the most annoying drama-making aspects of the game, and it’s not even a part of the game. It’s in the community, and I believe that it is a huge detriment to us. While it’s certainly not the only problem the WoW community has, it’s definitely high on the list of problems.

To bring this back around to a Tiny Guild, just for a moment… one of the big advantages of a tiny guild is that you don’t have to deal with it, unless you seek it out. Bar none, the biggest advantage of a tiny guild is that what is expected of you is what you put out there as what you will do. If I say I don’t want to do something, I probably don’t have to.

Sure, I could work very very hard and get a really big guild, but then I’d be running a guild that’s going to have personalities that clash, and when you get clashing personalities, you get drama. People bring their personal drama to the officers, and the whole problem snowballs.  So, I run a tiny guild which has people who are generally capable of dealing with each other well, or at least not causing drama because they don’t get along.  And things are pretty happy. 

All in all, I wish people would just take a moment to realize that this is a game for some and a hobby for others. Hobbyists will always put more time into their activity than non-hobbyists. And sometimes people’s interests change. Sometimes that means playing a different character or faction. Sometimes it means playing a different game, and sometimes it means not playing games any more.  Is that really such a big deal?

Guild Perks – A Better Way

First, I’m going to give a shout out to a couple of folks for talking about guild recruiting and such, that gave me this idea… Shintar at Priest With a Cause, and Cymre over at Bubbles of Mischief  talked about the Guild Finder Tool, which got me to thinking about guild recruitment, which I don’t really do. But there have been plenty of other people talking about the slog for new recruitment, and many folks blame it on guild leveling.

It’s been a year since guild levels were implemented, and Higher Authority is level 9.  Since we’re a tiny guild, I actually think of that as a bit of an accomplishment, but others… may not.

We don’t have the best perks, like Have Group Will Travel, Bountiful Bags, or both ranks of Mr. Popularity (speaking strictly from the non-raider, non-PvPer point of view).  I really feel sorry for new or small PvP guilds, they have to get to level 13 to get their really big perk, Honorable Mention.

Does this kill recruiting? Possibly. We’d like to think that it doesn’t kill recruiting of quality players who are more interested in the guild atmosphere than the guild perks; but I’ll posit this: Devilmaycare, a warlock who doesn’t care to be a raider, is looking for a small guild to be a part of. He’s hoping to get some guild 5-man action, but also solos quite a bit, and he’s only level 72 so far. He’s seen a couple people from Higher Authority around, and also a group from Azeroth’s Bad Boys. He looks both guilds up on the Armory. Azeroth’s Bad Boys is level 14, Higher Authority is level 9. Who’s he going to try first? Even if he’s looking for a guild based solely on atmosphere, he’s probably going to hit up the Bad Boys first, and if they pan out… Higher Authority doesn’t even get a shot at him.

So I would posit that the higher level guilds get more recruitment not because people necessarily want the perks, but because people want active guilds. You can have 5 people logging on and hanging out and being very active in game every day, and if they don’t happen to be doing the right things, they’re not levelling their guild. Or, how fast can they actually level their guild, especially with both personal experience contributions and total guild contribution per week capped, is just going to be lower. So… you need more people to gain momentum to level faster to get more people… but how do you start? That’s the problem now, getting started.

While those last two paragraphs may have sounded like a digression into recruiting, it actually comes around to the point I’m trying to make quite neatly. If people are going with higher level guilds because they have (or are closer to) the perks the player would like to have, then why not give the guilds the option to cater to their hoped-for clientelle? Let’s give guilds talent trees. While ultimately, at level 25, all guilds will be created equal in terms of their perks, maybe letting the guilds decide (to some extent) in which order they get them could help recruiting.

Here’s a simple talent tree, with our current options.  If you look at the first tier, you see right away that the leveling guild is going to pick fast track, the raiding guild is likely to pick Mr. Popularity to get their members a jump on their reputation grinds for those librams and (whatever the head enchants are called), and the PvP guild is going to jump on Honorable Mention. At level 2, the guilds have identified themselves.

Similarly to player talent trees, the guild leader wouldn’t be able to choose any tier 2 options until they are level 5 (three points spent in previous tiers), so each new tier would open at levels 5, 8, 11, 14, 17 and 20. So, yes, Mass Resurrection would be available to level 20 guilds. Is that so bad?

Here’s a comparison of what Higher Authority has, and what we might have under the system I posit:

  Current Model Potential Model
Level 2 Fast Track (Rank 1) Fast Track (rank 1)
Level 3 Mount Up Mr. Popularity (Rank 1)
Level 4 Mr. Popularity (Rank 1) Fast Track (rank 2)
Level 5 Cash Flow (Rank 1) Cash Flow (Rank 1)
Level 6 Fast Track (Rank 2) Mr. Popularity (Rank 2)
Level 7 Reinforce (Rank 1) Mount Up
Level 8 Hasty Hearth Mobile Banking
Level 9 Reinforce (Rank 2) Hasty Hearth

That’s an awfully different look, don’t you think? We wouldn’t have Reinforce at all, and instead would already be supporting our reputation and profession grinds. And that might make our little guild more appealing to Mr. Devilmaycare, if the level 14 guild picked all things to support a PvP or raiding environment.

And here’s another thought? What about giving us 30 perk options for our 24 points? Then max level guilds would not be created equally, and while some perks may become “must haves”, nobody will ding a pure raiding guild for not picking up PvP options. You could add in items like rank 2 of For Great Justice, upping the Valor point drop rate; or a rank for accruing Conquest points.  How about a second rank of Mobile Banking, letting you open your own bank as well?  There’s a lot of opportunity here to give guilds the ability to be dynamic and show off a little bit of their personality in a glance at their armory page.

If you could have Blizzard’s ear about creating a new guild perk, what would it be?

Patch 4.3 from the perspective of a tiny guild

Patch 4.3 dropped on Tuesday, and with it, quite a bit of content – Three new Heroic dungeons, a new raid (the last raid of the expansion) the raid finder, epic gems, the new Darkmoon Faire, void storage and transmogrification were the big ticket items.  There were also a few other, smaller things, like changes to threat mechanics and Chaos Orbs no longer being soulbound.

If you’ve been reading the blog, you already know my guild doesn’t raid, so the last raid isn’t that big of a deal to us; nor, for that matter, is the LFR tool.   The new dungeons, while I’m looking forward to them, are not content we’ll get to very soon. The conversion of Valor Points to Justice Points (a common trend now, each time a new raid is released) is actually bigger news to me, and something I’m pleased about. Kerridwen got new bracers last night, and Shoryl will be getting some very soon, all because my points all got lumped together, making my meager stores enough to actually get somewhere.

Chaos Orbs are a bigger deal for us, since we’re just now getting into heroics, we’ll be able to get some, but better than that, they’re going for relatively cheap (under 100g each) on our server. I’ve picked up the 5 I need for a new sword. Too bad Truegold is still at a premium.     This change will help out quite a bit in the short term as well as the long run, as we’ll be able to give ourselves a leg up in the gear department, making those heroics a lot easier.

Epic Gems would be more exciting if I could figure out whether I have a shot at getting my hands on either the patterns or the gems themselves. I have a maxed jewelcrafter, so it’s merely a case of figuring out where on earth I buy the cuts, and whether we can transmute the gems, or can only get them via raiding (or raider spillover in the coming months).  Either way, I’m looking at it more from the profit standpoint than adding them to my own gear right now. *Note: I’ve learned where to buy the patterns.  Silly Blizzard made Ms Facet hard to see! Now I just need to wait until my server has a surplus of gems.*

Transmogrification and Void Storage I was very excited about before the expansion dropped. I’m still quite excited about transmogrification, though I need to figure out how to convince Sonaira to go to Molten Core so that our reputation remains fairly consistent and I can get the rest of the Lightbringer set.   I also would really like to be able to ‘mog my tabard. Blizz, can I please advertise my guild all the time? Please?

Void storage, on the other hand, is nowhere near as exciting as I had hoped.  First, it is just deep storage. It costs 25g to store each item there. There’s lots of limitations – nothing that’s not soulbound, meaning no simple guild tabards or heirloom gear. Nothing unique, meaning about half of the holiday gear can’t be stored there.  Second, you have to have the item in your bags to transmogrify using it, meaning your items can’t be in void storage at the time of transmogrification.   Sure, I’m going to use it for what I can, because it will free up bag space, but it still leaves a bit to be desired. I’m not asking for the world. I just want to stow old tabards and holiday gear along with my proper pally getup. 🙂

Both of these things still have potential, and we were warned early on that they would be more limited in scope at release than the ultimate plan.  I suppose it is better to giveth than to taketh away.

I am super excited about the Darkmoon Faire changes. the Faire was something that I’d never really bothered with previously. It seemed like a difficult grind of exotic items for minimal reward. Now, it looks like there will be dailies… and I won’t have to track the darned thing down any more! Whoot!

My dear Sonaira, the tank, is generally pleased with the changes to threat mechanics, though she was always a threat tank rather than a mitigation tank, so she’ll have a bit of an adjustment to her methodology. But I have faith that she’ll do a good job. She’s just that competent.   This change certainly means that if the rest of us outgear her because we have more play time, she’ll still be able to hold aggro without any difficulty.

Another minor, generally undiscussed change is the ability for guilds with inactive GLs to take control of their guild. I think Blizz hit on a very good methodology for making this possible, without allowing a bitter GL to tie up control by merely not promoting anyone active to a proper rank. I’m sure adding these mechanics takes some of the headache away from the GMs with petitions for guilds.

This seems to be a nice end of expansion patch all around, though; and I’m happy that I got some new content too, not just the raiders. Blizzard has been doing a better job of providing a wider variety of new content each patch, and that makes this girl happy.