Guild Rules – Reloaded

Recently we had a handful of people come into the guild without me having a chance to interview them, while most of our rules and discussions happen in our facebook group now, there are still some people that don’t use Facebook. So to make sure that our rules are clearly stated and everyone has access to them I decided to post them here. I think it is also a good place for my blog friends and the community to see how we run things… also just the merely curious that might wonder here from our recruitment post.

Reloaded is a guild about mutual respect. We all have different goals in the game and there is room for all of us. Even though we are still a casual guild that raids, we do try to perform at a level where there is progression through normal mode into some heroics with a limited number or raid nights (2 atm).

As a guild we have some rules, and we are very welcoming but also strict about certain things. Certain things will get you a warning, but some will get you gkicked faster than you can type /gquit

- Our vent and gchat is a place where we keep it Disney until 10 PM, but even after it is not a place for sailor or trucker talk (and we have both of those in the guild).
- No Race – Religion – Sexual orientation slurs will be tolerated. Remember Mutual respect.
- Do not wear our guild tag if you want to troll trade or public channels. If you want to take on the world and prove them wrong don’t do it with our tag on.
- Do not offer your advice on how to play a class unless the person asked for it.
- Keep posting damage meters and healing meter to something actually amusing or interesting, not to be boastful about your performance.
- Finally the R rule. We don’t use the word Rape to mean we killed bosses or the boss killed us. We also don’t use the word Retarded, find a better way to convey your message.*1

Our current raid schedule is 2 days a week during the week Tuesday and Thursday starting at 8 Sharp. Please be online 5-10 minutes before start raid time, repaired, enchanted and consumables picked up.

FAQ

Why Reloaded?
Because The Matrix was a great movie, and well it fits with the computer geek thing. Your GM being one of those.

How does the Guild Bank Work?
We work in an honor system. Put in as much or more of what you take out. If its something that is highly valued put at least half of the AH gold price in the gbank. You can also always donate raw mats as payment.IE, take cut gems but place either uncut or ore to prospect.

How am I expected to act?
Keep it Disney on Gchat and Vent(See Rules above). Buff people out in the world, be polite in dungeons. Our guild wants to be known as nice people to run with. Sure some might be amazing players, but even if we are not topping the meters we always want to leave a group saying we were good people to run with.

Who are the officers?
We operate without officers. If you need something out of the gbank ask anyone with a higher rank. If you have an issue with another player, try to solve it via whispers. If you need something beyond that, in game mail Logtar.

How do I get promoted?
Our ranks revolve more around guild bank access than anything else. If you want to be at a rank that can access more stuff we ask you to do more things like, craft for the guild, keep the bank tabs clean, etc. Most of the people that you see in the higher ranks have been in our guild for over 4 years and do lots of behind the scene stuff for the guild.

And what about my raid spot?
We are pretty relaxed when it comes to raiding. Talk to Logtar and he will answer all the questions you might have about wanting to raid.

When leaving Reloaded
We understand we might not be everyone’s speed or type of group. We only ask that you let any of the long standing members to know you are leaving and why. We do not promote guild hopping or want to be a placeholder for alts either. Let us know what we can do better. If you ragequit or gquit without letting someone know, don’t expect to be invited back.

Be polite, be mature, participate, be helpful and always constructive and you will have lots of fun.

*This rule is not up for discussion, if you are a person that think it is “retarded” to police people’s speech you are obviously not the kind of person that we want to associate with. This simple rule seems to keep “That guy” out of our guild. It works for us, so either follow the rule or don’t join.

Blizzcon – Warlords of Draenor

When you go to a con it is hard to separate your experience with people from the excitement of just being part of what is being shown, sold, advertised or just free. Blizzcon takes that to the next level because it is a great community mixed in with taking their games further. I would never finish a post if I talked about everything about the con, so I will ignore for now all the personal interactions I had (met so many cool people), the fact that we entered the con with just 3 games they supported and exited with 5… the 2 new ones that I will be an avid player of… and also ignore that tournaments happened there and money was made. I could talk for probably a good month every day about every idea that comes to mind just from 2 days of being there. Keep in mind that Blizzard as a company interacts directly with its customers there… from the dude that answers your tickets to the dude that runs the company. You can shake hands with them.

So lets get to the meat and just talk about WoW. There are plenty of people out there just gushing about how awesome this is, and how awesome that is. Also plenty of doomsayers. One thing that we need to keep in mind is that everything that was said is subject to change. That said a lot was announced that can change the game quite a bit for everyone. The fact that some statements were made that we are not doing this to dumb the game down it says that they expected that in some level.

So Warlords of Draenor. We go back to outland before it was blown up. It is interesting to me that Cata was all about blowing up a world we already knew to pieces and Draenor is about seeing a world put back together. I don’t feel cheated with the whole back to the future thing, I do feel like there is a lot of opportunity for time travel fun stuff. Time travel has been part of WoW for a long time… I mean we do have a place called the caverns of time where the quests and lore are all about time travel. Heck, even cata involved a ton of time travel. So I am not mad about them using this story telling tool and I am excited to see a brand new world. I am not going to do an outland comparison in my head but just tackle it as a brand new world.

The next big change that is coming and could be significant is their revamp of itemization. Items are way too complicated right now. They always have been, we just learn and kind of ignore it but we all know that warrior on intellect plate. That issue is going away and it needed to. Not just to save people from their noobness but because it really served no purpose other than bloat in the game. Stats in an item need to be interesting and engaging and not be about getting a math degree while you play a video game. The min maxing that the game got to is kind of ridiculous and I know some people enjoy that aspect but if you want a math degree, do math. I was happy with letting software do the calculations for me and I am glad that I am not going to have to check a website to tell me what stat does what til what breakpoint. You get plate, you get to use it. You want to tank, just switch spec… you don’t have to change all your armor just some of the trinkets you use. It make sense, it clear bag space and it will be awesome. They are also simplifying things by making the numbers smaller. They needed to, it was getting way out of hand. I welcome all this simplification and don’t find it to be a dumbing down of the game.

While connected realms were not announced here they are one of the many systems that are going to support the changes they are doing. Even though they keep on saying that population control and faction balance is not why they are doing it, they might eventually have to. For now we should be happy that realms with no people are finally getting some help. While this system might have been something they wanted to do for a while the upcoming raiding changes made it a necessity.

Right now raiding has been in flux since WotLK. We had grown to a place in raiding back then that had flexibility. You could do raid on 10 or 25 and manage difficulty kind of that way. That changed dramatically when Cata came and difficulty went up and lockouts were shared. They admittedly tried to play nanny in some ways so that people did not have to run the same content multiple times… that said it also removed the amount of “content” people had. Slowly but surely since then the flexibility of raiding has grown again and during this patch we have 4 difficulties. LFR, Flex, Normal and Heroic. After the expansion we are going to get that same level of difficulty but we have a curv ball. Group sizes are flexible up until you want to do the hardest mode, the new Mythic. so LFR, Normal and Heroic will be 10-25, and the new hard mode will be 20.

There are many, many reasons for this and here are some of the biggest guesses I have behind the motivations.

25 man raiding was in decline. While many people say that 25 is the way to go, many 25 man raiding teams in all levels of play normal and heroic were just not being able to fill rosters consistently.

10 man tunning was way too difficult and restricting. You had to account for a group like us that ends up with too many DKs and too many hunters. In a larger raid size that is not a big issue, but for 10 man you have to allow groups like this to still be viable. When you are trying to make content that is challenging you have to make things a little tighter and 10 man heroic was really all over the place when it came to tunning. I can tell you this because during Cata I did a lot more heroic pulls than in MoP. The difficulty level at 10 man was just nuts when it came to execution, I cannot imagine now tunning that was.

They were creating more content than before and not able to have people play it. Raids are amazing assets to build, but when a big portion of your player base does not experience it, it does not count as content. Raids are going to be more accessible now by a bigger number of people and that is going to hopefully breathe new life into the raiding and the game.

The biggest problem with MoP was dailies. They were a barrier of entry for returning players and burned out a lot of their playerbase. I know in our little microcosm that it cost us 2 of our regular players. Thankfully daily quests seem to be a thing of the pasts and rewards seem to be easier to get now. I think the changes to itemization and raiding might bring some of them back. I can only hope. In the end, we play this game to interact with friends… that is what makes it an MMO right?

Is WoW even fun anymore?

Yes I am one of those people that is playing Heartstone and loving it. But this blog is about WoW so lets get to it. Is WoW fun to play anymore?

I completely despise many aspects of the game now, from anything that makes me grind to anything that wants me to group with random people. A game that used to be social has become one of the most antisocial games that wears the MMO tag. Grouping with people lately has made me remember why stopped playing FPS, the constant trolling and racist language seems to have come to WoW groups and it is starting to basically make it unbearable to do the things that I loved to do in game. It is not only toxic players though, it is also the game itself that really unveiled the mouse wheel it turned into. Features like challenge modes, proving grounds, connected realms and flex raiding almost feel a little too late.

I have chronicled here the demise of our playing group. We used to have blast during Wrath and then cataclysm showed up and broke up our play style. We used to be very happy to grind dungeons together for alts but the comeback of difficult dungeons made it so you would only go to heroic dungeons with certain people or pug it for the “luck of the draw” buff. You had to basically stop playing with your friends because they could not be “carried” through standing on poison from a snake. We used to love tearing up a dungeon even if the person behind was just the one picking up loot and getting their new shinnies. Challenge modes would have been great to have back then so that heroics could have remained a true group activity and not the time consuming sink it became.

Remember proving grounds did not exist there, so if you did not have an activity where you could take players just relearning their class (which seem to happen after every patch) they felt left behind. We cannot take someone not producing to a heroic dungeon while they learn their new rotation anymore, don’t even ask about raiding.

Connected realms did not exist so the separation of playing capabilities along with the migration to higher populated realms meant that eventually we made the same move and left our original sever behind for greener pastures. A great move I have to add because playing in a dead server can be soul crushing.

The during Cata LFR was introduced and probably did the most damage to the community by allowing everyone to raid without commitment and plenty of anonymity. Stressing the speed run mentality even more nobody had time to explain a fight, worse nobody would take the time to talk through someone’s rotation anymore (go check out X website is as far as anyone went anymore… me included).

I was not one of the people that felt that I had nothing to do in Cata, in fact I had plenty to do running LFR on multiple toons and loved the expansion towards the end. Hated firelands for many reasons but loved DS.

Flex raiding did not exist so only those good enough to raid got the chance to and everyone else was pushed to do LFR. This holds true until today, we don’t have alt raids anymore everyone that does not make normal or flex night goes straight for LFR.

I know that the dailies in MoP did a lot of damage to the game and Blizzard really burned people out (at least 3 of our long time raiders up and quit the game because of it.) but the amount of trash in raids also made it so. I see no reason to have as much trash as there is in raids today other that to artificially slow down your progress. We are advancing in the raids but not because we are becoming better and better at earlier boss and getting more gear but because we are saving lockouts. A raid now had to be split into night and being able to raid once a week and progress is unrealistic for a group not pushing heroic content. There is no way to really do speed runs to gear alts or people coming back into the game… remember it is not just about gear either but giving them a chance to test their skills again in a more realistic environment than LFR. I would love to have a ToT night to gear people or just for fun, but the amount of trash in that place makes it really not time effective. Instead we push people to “repair bill island” to get their catch up gear.

Then it hit me this week. I have heard about it before from others and articles I have read, but it really hit me. WoW is just not a friendly game for newcomers anymore. I saw it myself in a lower level BG. No explanation of anything only *expletives* and insults with zero direction. Anyone coming into the game now and doing a group activity would see just people being horrible to each other instantly. To me that is not much fun. I am not going to make excuses for blizzard anymore on this one… while the community as a whole could help with this we don’t have the tools to remove the toxic players from the game or mute them permanently not just with an ignore feature but with a “flag as unfriendly or toxic”

I hope that connected realms as it is being rolled out helps with some of this and makes community a thing in WoW again, because just like the low pop realm I left was basically ruined by the toxic people it seems the game as a whole is being invaded by d-bags. And that my friends makes the game simply not fun anymore.

Good time to come back to the game?

Even though most of the details about how to gear up are neatly put together here, I wanted to write a post since a couple of people have asked me about the game lately.

First, Mists was bad for alts. It was extremely difficult to play a alt during the start of this expansion but they have gradually made things easier for alts. Also while the story was very engaging for your first character the quests really did not bring anything new the second time around so there was tons of burnout. So if you leveled during the start and kind of got tired of dailies, it is the perfect time to catch up.

The story has moved forward and in a week or two you can catch up not just gear wise but story wise as well. Domination front and then the Thunder isle will not just take the story further but it will gear you up quite a bit. Also the barrens are a good catch up but there is only a week left before patch. Also a note is that the battlefield barrens is going away forever after the patch drops, so if you want the title and the pet this is the last chance to get it.

If you are thinking of coming back to the game I would suggest that you get your 90 and start domination front and then the thunder isle. You will quickly catch up with the story and be able to gear up. I would also suggest you hoard all the Justice Points and Valor Points until after the patch in a couple of weeks. Once you have gone through that content you can jump into LFR and finish up your gearing. I might be running some older raids next week prior to patch so people that just came back and have not seen it in anything other than LFR can get the experience.

A couple of key things to keep in mind is the introduction of coins in the game. There are now coins that you collect to turn into tokens that give you extra rolls in the current raid. Also the old coins give you extra rolls on the old raids. It can feel like another gate, but for all content it is truly a quick way to catch up. There is also a new loot scenario that will fill up your coins quickly so you can do the old LFR and get tons of loot pretty quickly(see this guide for more details on that). You get one key to that loot scenario minimum every week, if you are lucky you can sometimes get more.

So TLDR get ready to go kill Garrosh!
Garrosh Must DIE

Wipe Threshold

A while back I wrote a post called “The Raider Code.” Back when I wrote that post LFR was not what it is today and we did not know how much it would change the game. My wipe threshold used to be in the 100s because I used to not mind at all teaching the fights to other people. Today raiding is a different game. Nobody has the patience to learn a fight anymore. There is a video of it, there is LFR, there is just one wipe. There is no wipe Threshold, bosses should just be dropping at the sheer size of our purples. I see people geared better than me under performing all the time, and I asked myself why is the gap so big? I think the answer is LFR.

Cataclysm started to create the division between people that enjoyed learning mechanics to kill bosses and people that would just rather not die even once. You can be very good at WoW, good at questing, good at gathering, good at the auction house; but just like with any other skill practice is what will make you good at those things. I like raiding, I have done it since late BC and had plenty of chances to die because of mechanics. However, the learning curve was different for me than someone that started raiding in this expansion. I have died to mechanics over and over before, so I know that standing on something that makes me lose health will kill me. I have done content when even a couple of second of standing on something or not reacting to means everyone dies. Those mechanics are things I do without even thinking now, but not everyone has had the same number of wipes I have. Another factor is computing power. I was reminded of this not too long ago when I had to play WoW on a 2 year old laptop. The game has changed so much in this last couple of years that it almost feels unplayable. I say almost because even though I would not dare to raid on a slow connection I was able to complete an LFR. That is where my issue comes with the game today, LFR is killing the game for me.

I used to be content doing normal modes most of the time and heroics when I could get a group going that wanted to wipe a little more. Today, that same group can only do normals. Its weird but content has become so challenging that to have progression rate of any kind the mechanics have to be super complex on the surface. I would not say challenging because in reality none of what we see today in LFR or normals is really challenging with a group of seasoned raiders, however to think that someone that has been only raiding LFR can do normals is unrealistic.

A lot of people that used to play before are now content only seeing bosses via LFR. That alone poaches the numbers of normal raiders everywhere. After a couple of weeks of clearing an instance or completing the part of the legendary quest they need there is really no incentive to keep playing. Better gear with a little more stats is not enough. Being able to upgrade that gear with valor is not enough. There is really no intensive for someone to wipe 100 times trying to do a boss in normal if they can just go to LFR and LOL 6 Deternimation stacks DERP!

Raiding used to be an exercise in learning mechanics at a certain pace. Some guild could do 30 pulls in one night, others only 10… now most groups are tired after just a handful. Why would you want to have a repair bill if you can just do LFR? It really makes no sense to wipe over and over for just a little more item levels and stats. I really can’t argue with that point and sometimes I question my sanity for trying to still raid normals.

I am curious though, and the reason for this post is kind of to find out within the player base we have in our guild, what kind of players do we have today?

Making LFR harder or normals easier won’t solve the problem either. I know LFR itself is making me want to stop playing WoW because of the toxic behavior that almost every group has. A tool like LFR should have a ranking system that will allow you to rate other players… then again, they would never do that in WoW.

Team A vs Team B mentality

Something that people misunderstand about this game is that to accomplish a lot of goals there are both controlled and random factors. You can get lucky and gear up a toon in a week (my Bear was unreal when it came to drops of his healing set, but in week 4 of trying to get him tanking gear he is still barely able to do normal raid encounters.)

The part that can be controlled, your rotation, your rep gear, your reforging, enchanting and gemming means a lot. It means the difference between 60K and 100K DPS. Same gear in the hands of someone with a perfect rotation and maximized stats and there is that huge gap.

Our guild has never and will never be hardcore, however the game did shift some of what used to be heroic content to now normal level content. Normals are now LFR in many respects.

Right now we are thinking of progressing through ToT and this does not mean that you have to do it or will be pushed to do it in any way. If you want to play at current level, yes there are simple requirements as to what the math has to be. However, if you are not interested or feel that you should be at that level we are going to continue to run the previous raid and progress through that as well.

I remember in ICC when the whole “gearscore” now “iLvL” started to come up, and it was true, unless you had a certain level of gear AoE effects from the Putricide wing would pretty much one shot you. Nothing to do with your capability at all, the boss abilities just would eat your health up. A lot of people did not progress to EoE and it was partly because there was a boss ability that unless you had 18K health you would simply just die in that Whirlwind, and if you were lucky to have druid healer it could save you but not guarantee it.

ToT is similar to this weird gear gating that happens at time. Horridon, the second boss requires not only a lot of DPS, but tons of gear for tanking and healing… dispels, and disease and just a mess. If a group was doing heroics the last tiers, it feels like a cakewalk, but if people simply did not finish the last tier they will be kind of behind.

I write this so that nobody feels pressure to raid at that level, we will do ToT and complete it with everyone that wants to, that is the goal… but be patient, let me take a group through it first and continue to work as a guild to gear up and get the numbers needed to the level it will work. If you don’t get to a ToT group when we are doing new bosses, don’t feel left out, or team A vs team B, simply realize that we are all in the same team and downing bosses to keep moving means that we will all get there. Just ask the guys that killed the LK with me… we took 6 different groups through that fight when it was out, I hope we can do the same thing in ToT. Just have patience and think of this as a team effort.

The Current State of WoW

Pandaria

Some days I feel like not playing WoW anymore. There are tons of things to do in the back yard, a lot of more reading I want to do, learning another language… the list goes on and on. Then I actually jump into the game and use it for what I have always used it for, catch up with a friend about their week. Since I started playing WoW the social aspect is what has kept me logging in again and again.

I got really close to quitting WoW last week. Weather is getting nice, I just got back from a quick bike ride and I thought, man I really don’t want to log into the game at all. Then I realized something, I was not enjoying the social aspect of the game anymore. The game to me has always been about doing things with my friends, be it raiding, PvP or just the grinding of questing was all done with friends and had a blast. I was raiding with a group I was getting to know and liked, but the format (25 man somewhat progression oriented) and the pace (3 days a week) was simply not for me. I started to dislike the game and it made me take a step back and look at why I was playing the game.

Cataclysm really killed the game for me in many ways. MoP revived it in some ways, but the daily grind killed it for many of my friends. We were left with a small group of people that still wanted to play but simply not the numbers to do so. For a while we struggled trying to do the raid thing until people just not showing up became an issue. We thought a larger group will be the solution but it really was not.

Blizzard is getting better and better about tuning, not just raid bosses but the game overall. It does not take a whole expansion to fix the big issues but rather a patch.

The beginning of MoP gave us a wonderful new place to discover until the moment we started to play our alts and realized that we had a lot of content to redo with them… the problem was that it was the same content we already did with our main. Cataclysm had done a huge disservice to all of us getting us used to instant catch up for alts, instead we were met with the reality that if you wanted an alt with a max profession you would have to not only get that toon to 90, but you also had to do the whole reputation grind. If you wanted to get that toon ready for raiding… good luck, drops are not easy to come by and the valor gear is double gated (valor points + rep to buy them). It really punished the people that got used to having a stable of max level characters to raid with… I think it hit harder the medium level guilds like ours that relied on alts to do more than just one raid group a week. While you can argue that LFR is for those people, the fact is that LFR unless you have 25 people you know is an exercise in patience… I dread joining LFR… LFR is worse than pugging.

So that burned a lot of people out.

Then this last patch came out and things got a little more stable again. There is no instant catchup like there used to be, but you can very easily jump from regular to heroics to LRF now. The drop rates are way more forgiving and the last 2 rep grinds are almost enjoyable (unless you want to do them on an alt.) This is a great time to come back to the game. In one week of Shield Wall dailies and new Thunder Isle with some luck you can be ready to join a raid team. The story part is also pretty amazing, and if you want to take your time and just do one part at a time it is actually quite a great piece of story telling.

I know this post is all over the place but since I have not blogged in so long I just wanted to put some of it down just to get it out.

I guess what I am trying to say is that overall I am enjoying WoW and mostly because of the social aspect. I still love playing with my friends in a relaxed environment. I am not interested in heroic raiding anymore, just normal raiding seems to be a good difficulty. Getting Firelord or two healing Spine before MoP came out were not the experiences I thought they would be… mostly because I was not doing it with my friends. The most fun I have with this game is downing a new boss with a group of my friends. I have to keep that in mind and continue to have fun with the game, I have never cared about geared and I already proved it to myself that I can play at a more hardcore level… it is just simply not for me. I have a lot more fun making fun of Froto or Kati for standing on something or blinking off the ship :)

Will Challenge Modes Kill Raiding?

One of the features that I have been looking forward to is challenge modes. When it comes to content and lockouts, the game has made it so my friend Froto once he is locked to the instances for the week he has nothing to do. If I did not have alts I would be on the same boat.

I pride myself on being a decent tank and a slightly better healer. We have exceptional players in the guild right now, but we are a couple of people short of a solid 10 man raiding wrecking crew. That said we do have an amazing challenge mode team. We have always dominated dungeons and have been doing speed runs just to compare with each other. Now there is bling involved which will make it even cooler.

There has been a lot of crying from 25 man guilds that not giving them a higher status when it comes to rewards killed them. I did see that in the old server when a belt dropping 3 weeks in a row lead to gear drama and a 25 man groups demise.

I seem to be in the minority with GrumpyElf. I don’t care about gear. I do however like mounts and titles. Gear to me is an annoyance that has created nothing but drama. People seem obsessed with collecting it and when they do, they feel like they are done and don’t want to collect it for others. I think if we all kept our awesome gear for a whole expansion with new content, the game would be more enjoyable.

Gear has become a meaningless grind and I think the fun will be in challenge modes.

I mean, you can get legendaries that the next expansion makes useless. That just does not seem fair after all the work you put into them.

I don’t hope it kills raiding altogether, or raiding guild themselves. I do think that it will be people like me that like the challenge with a group.

The fun in raiding has dwindled for many. Even thought the game has grown to a healthy size, the raiding population at the hardcore level seems to be shrinking. The biggest reason is that not many people have the amount of time or stomach it takes to wipe to a boss 400 times. I however enjoy trying to figure out the best pull for every trash group in a dungeon. I think having hardcore guilds figure out the most effective way to do something takes the fun out of it. Gear makes it so instead of having fun with encounters we want to maximize kills so people get more gear.

I think challenge modes will be happy mediums.

I am still trying to figure out what the right speed will be for our guild. Do we want to be ready to clear regular dungeons and start on heroics ASAP and make that the progression level? or do we want to kill a boss per week and make the content last?

People will have a week to check things out, hopefully I can recruit a couple more people for permanent spots and we will have a raiding meeting to iron things out. I am very excited about pandas and pet battles… but I can’t wait to see what challenge modes will do and how they will change the game.

Getting Stuck Again

Cata was a horrible expansion. I could spend the whole post just letting you know how much I hated it for various reasons… but it would be a short sighted. Cata was a growing pain that the game had to go through to put in new systems that will take it to the next level. It is amazing that Blizzard can do as much as they do with such a small group of people. Today the pre-expansion pack is hitting and I could not be more excited about it.

I have been playing on the horde side on a server that is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is small but its nice. People are polite, it almost feels like one big guild. Very impressed with Baelgun. The only problem is that I am still not used to being horde and I love my alliance toons. I also have a guild to run in Whisperwind… and we are recruiting all people!

Things got really quite after our rogue completed his Fangs of the Father. I need to get better at predicting what milestones are coming to make sure another carrot is waiting. We went from a barely able to clear current content group of people to a heroic capable bunch. Not quite able to complete it yet, but close, very close.

I had a lot of decisions to make this time around. From a close guild to us wanting us to merge and form a 25 man progression guild, to just hanging back and becoming an LFR only type of player. Lets not forget to mention PvP which I still plan to do quite a bit of. I decided that our identity as a guild is something that people love and want to continue to be a part of. I am still getting used to the whole Benevolent Dictator type of GM I have become.

I am thinking of switching gears again and concentrating on mounts this expansion. Meaning completing the raiding metas for the current tier as our goal. Maybe even going one goal is a new boss, the next is the meta for another we have on farm. I really enjoy keeping people motivated and things going.

I am also going to have to make some hard decisions about performance when it comes to raiding. I keep on having to fill roles that I don’t want to play because nobody else does. I really need to make sure that this expansion I get people to stick to a toon as a priority, including myself. We need to push, we should have alt raids, but our mains need to be our mains and it needs to be an agreed upon endeavor.

The biggest pitfalls to our raiding last time around was gearing too many alts. We did so because we wanted the flexibility to bring alts in to replace people… in the end it ended up being that once someone stopped playing or rage quit a raid we were left with not just one hole but two big ones.

So as we start this new expansion and look forward to see who will be the ultimate monk, we will concentrate on raiding and achievements. I think it will be fun. I also think that going back and getting the past titles and achievements will have its place. I like being able to have our non raiders taste the cool-aid. This time around though, I am not going to make anyone drink it and they will have to bring their own glass!

End of an Expansion

At the end of BC I was super excited. Achievements were all the rage and I was super excited when my talent tree was redone because I could do a respec for free. My raiding was minimal and most dungeons were done. I was a member in a guild and not a GM. The whole frozen theme was exciting because I had played WCIII.

By the end of wrath I had become a GM. The end of the expansion marked for us the end of ICC… but we still loved going there, getting more people their kingslayer, still going in there for trinkets. We raided pretty much until the week before Cata hit.

Now we are in a new server, done with normal modes and even a heroic. Everyone seems tired of raiding and most of us continue to play to make sure people get their legendaries.

I am not sure if it is the fact that we are better now and conquering the normal mode feels like a completion to some (we had a tank quit the day he got kingslayer back in the day…) or simply that this expansion just took the air out of playing the actual game for most people.

I have always hated questing and by association leveling. I level mostly via PvP and dungeons. I don’t have a desire to take a toon from 0-90… even though I do want a Panda Monk. Am I finally WoW unstuck?

I still enjoy raiding and would love to go back and complete heroic modes in Firelands, but most people want to either play an alt and do the latest and greatest thing. Only those still completing quests in there are really interested, and it seems that everyone runs for the hills when we bring my ever hated raid up.

We have a healthy level of membership right now, but it keeps us at about 15 people logged during prime time but not the same people. I think we are actually hovering around 30 people that play with us… but it makes it hard to plan for MoP. Do we stay 10, do we prepare for 25 just in case that becomes more fun?

I thought I hated 25s after ICC, but 10 has just as many issues. Less people does not mean more issues, it just means that they are amplified. Someone does not show up in a key role, your raid crumbles. 25 seems more forgiving in that sense.

I am almost ready to rate Cata, and for all the good it brought, it also made the bad shine even brighter. I am not done with WoW just yet, but I do think that Pandaland will make or break the game.

I am almost more excited about Diablo than MoP… but that could change as MoP gets closer.