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.

Reloaded is Recruiting

<Reloaded> is a casual guild that raids 10-man content. Our main raid team works on current content on Tuesday and Wednesday starting at 8:30 CST. We are looking to start our second team, and also have enough to run T11 and T12 25 mans. We love collecting pretty drakes and achievements.

We have a group of capable players and a friendly atmosphere. Most of us are adults with full- time jobs and we raid with our spouses, so couples are welcome as long as there is flexibility when only one of you is needed. Our goal is to rescue the princess while the content is relevant, but people, real life and relationships mean more than us than loot. While we want you to be able to perform as a raider, it is more important to us that you are a nice person.

We will love some tanks and healers, but all classes are welcome. We like our tanks and healers to love those jobs. It is our experience that when someone is pushed to do something they don’t enjoy, they will not take it as seriously or excel at it. Even if you are just starting out on those roles, we will help you take it to the next level!

Apart from being competent at playing your main spec, we expect the following of all members:

- You keep up with your class changes and see them as a challenge, not a reason to gripe.
- While we encourage alts, you should keep your main raid-ready and make that character your priority.
- Always be willing to look up fights or alternative strats prior to the raid time.
- Always show up repaired, enchanted and gemmed.
- Value people over gear. If you are looking to just gear up to start hardmodes with another guild, this is not the place for you.

What we provide

- Level 25 guild with repairs for all our members.
- Consumables for raids including flasks and feasts.
- Enchants and gems at no cost to our guild members with materials
(sometimes provided if available.) We already have 2/3 of the epic gem
patterns.
- A relaxed raiding atmosphere where we help each other and you will be treated like an adult.
- Frotobaggins always looking to raid every single minute he is online. If you love to raid any type of content he will go with you!

A little about us

is a casual guild in Whisperwind-US (PvE, CST). We recently opened our doors in Whisperwind, but the guild is level 25 and some of us have played together for over 3 years. We like to do old content and help each other get achievements. We like to see content and take raiding seriously, but don’t want to be server first or care if our gear is heroic. We see gear as a tool, not as a goal. Most of us are adults and our median age is 30, but we have people from their mid 20s to 50s in our ranks. We are starting Dragon Soul, but will still like to go to Firelands and complete achievements and hard-modes,
we are looking forward to completing a couple of legendaries for our warlock and mage.

We are a no-drama clique and we want you to become a part of it. We value the social aspect of WoW and like to have a sense of community. We are looking for long-term members who will stick around and continue to
make our guild great to be a part of. We know each other outside the game, and had a chance to meet each other at Blizzcon.

The values our guild adheres to are simple:

Respect “To each other, our server and the WoW community”
Integrity “we do what we say, and do what is right”
Openness “Zero drama and gossip, you have an issue discuss it and move on”
Teamwork “We kill bosses together, but also wipe together”

If you like what you have read here and are thinking of applying or you have further questions, contact Logtar in game (alts: Hollogos – Gatoso). Add me to your real ID (logtar at gmail dot com)

The Bar

The day you turn 21 you are finally able to enter that fantastic place called a bar. Before you know it you become a regular at that local dive. You start to like the people, you make friends with other regulars and before you know it you spend a lot of time at the place. One day you have the bright idea of telling the bartender that you could serve drinks, he takes you up on it and before you know it you are not just the bartender, you are pretty much running the whole thing.

You tell your friends about the bar, and the place start to look packed even on weeknights.

Eventually it seems like the owner is just not that nice, the food is not all that good and it seem like baseball is the only game that is ever on the TV. Now that you mention it, the TV is not even a big screen. So with some of the locals, one of whom has financial backing to put to his words you decide to open up your own bar.

Even though you had been previously practically running a bar, it is not all that easy. You start to let your friends also become bartenders. Most of the crowd you had before comes to the new bar and it becomes a happening place. With the money you start to upgrade the bar, there is not just baseball on the TVs, there is also football, both professional and college. Even once in a while there is basketball. No matter what the season is or what the sport is, everyone seems to be engaged and having fun.

Everyone seems to enjoy the food, everyone seems to be having fun. Times are good and the bar prospers. More amenities, more TVs, more people.

As the place begins to become bigger and bigger your employees ask about security, maybe bouncers that will not allow just everyone in and kick people out. You say nonsense, this is a bar full of friends, there will never be issues. There is the occasional drunken disturbance, but nothing that cannot be easily resolved.

Eventually this new sport starts to become popular. Even though boxing was shown once in a while and people were ok with it, this new sport called MMA is a little more brutal. Some people want to watch it, others don’t even want to look at it. It seems like every night that there is a big MMA event, the bar starts to split into those that have the stomach for it and those that don’t.

Eventually the bar starts to segment itself more and more. It seems like nobody can agree on what music to play in the jukebox, or what sport to watch on TV. The food that everyone was willing to pay for before, now seems tired and overpriced. People are coming for one or two drinks and the place is just not what it used to be.

It seems that more often than not people are in their little cliques and don’t want to associate with each other anymore. The bartenders can see glares from across the room. The complains start to get more and more often. The specials simply don’t attract people anymore.

The owner, financial backers and some of the employees decide that it is better to close the bar and go on their separate ways. What was one the place to be, its simple a place you go out of habit. The big screen TVs are there, but nobody seems to be watching them.

I guess all good things come to an end.

BoondockSaints Forever

As much as I don’t want this to be a MEGA POST WALL OF TEXT, I want this to be one of the last days the BoondockSaints name actually gets used, at least in this blog. Its not because I want to kill it, or bitter about the experience there in anyway. I just think that the important thing was not the name, but the idea I wanted to sell. Time will be the judge of it being a success or a failure for others. I know for me, even though it ended, it was a great success and a good run the 3 years it lasted.

At the beginning of Cata I made a post called Loyalty and Respect, not sure how many people read it back then, but the quotes are still very relevant to this post.

β€œThe greater the loyalty of a group toward the group, the greater is the motivation among the members to achieve the goals of the group, and the greater the probability that the group will achieve its goals.”
- Rensis Likert

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
- Lao Tzu

Before we begin, if you are looking for dirty laundry to be aired here, don’t waste your time. Seriously get a life and go live it. I am not going to call anyone out by name, and I doubt you will be able to tie anything posted here to specifics.

If guilds were to come with mission statements, ours would have been simple. “To have a group of friends that play together, get to see end game content but above all treat guildies and the WoW community as a whole with respect.”

It is easy to point the finger solely at me being burned out as a GM or RL as the only cause for the closing of the guild. The reality is a lot more complex than that. Me getting burned out with those roles was the product of something that we tried to stamp out from day one. Drama.

If I am in a situation where nobody is taking control, I step up, its in my nature. From life and death situations, like when I had to hide my little sister in a closet from some gunmen, to the ending up running a guild because others did not like the place they were at. I will do what has to be done.

I put my WoW personal wants aside, I wanted to become a more serious raider (that never really happened) and decided to play with friends with the goal of simply seeing content.

Bea was part of the Saints from day one even though she did not play. You all have to thank her, because before I even gave into the idea of leading a guild, I sat down and asked her if it was ok. I knew that doing it will require a lot more time from me. She was never too bad with the wife aggro, but now, leading a guild would change things quite a bit. She was cool with it, and I started to build what we have now with less than 12 people.

BDS
(I think, pictured here was not Feylin but Shrev)

We quickly became very successful. Despite the fact that others always wanted to compare us with “raiding” guilds and saw the success in the game in just one of the things we could do a group, we did not set out to have that be the focus. All we wanted to do was help people out, and we did that in many ways.

<BoondockSaints> Guild
We had guild meetings, I sang off key to various members, we made fun of each other, we had inside jokes…

“Bring her closer to the door, I think I am still getting exp!”
“Anything more than a mouthful.”
“Moonya’s Safe Zone.”
“You just raid locked 24 people”
“Did we just clear trash on 25 with 10 people?” (Naxx – OS – ICC – BoT)
“_______ needs Might!”
“Sorry, my cat just unplugged my router”
“Don’t worry, its _______ there is no way he will win the roll.”

Boondock Saints LK Kill
We ended Wrath in a big way. Not only were we able to Kill the LK, but we probably had more Kingslayers before the end of Wrath than most guild in the Alliance side in our server. Just a bunch of casuals got it done.
First Alliance Guild to Level 25!
Cata promised to be tailor made for our guild. And in the beginning it was. Being the first alliance guild to 25 and getting guild achievement points, which I believe we were always number 1 on was fun. We could all do our little part to make things happen.

That is where the happy story ends, and the sad one begins.

Why even bother going into it?

It is simple, I blog because it might be useful for someone else in the future. Maybe, just maybe a future guild master can use it to prevent what happened to us from happening to them.

When you take on responsibility in any situation, complaints will come your way. Your skills to lead are constantly questioned, but seldom do you get solutions or alternatives. “You are doing it wrong, but I don’t know or would want to do it right” was very, very common.

We had always had the issue of cliques. My big mistake was to not take swift action, but I never wanted to seem power hungry. Our officers did not have a lot of responsibilities, and that was the result of drama from the beginning that was dealt with. We tried to make people address all the officers with issues by opening officer chat for everyone to post, but only officers to see. It was hardly ever used.

I tried to correct issues by taking on the problems myself under the delusion of being able to help people with the root causes. That never helped. The issues would stay dormant until they would once again rear their ugly heads.

Cata has been content low. Until we got the molten front, unless you were a raider or could do heroic dungeons… you were still dealing with the same content over and over. You grinded rep quickly and were done. Tabards made it that you only had to quest in that area until you got the tabbard, then go grind the dungeons some more.

People started to get separated by those that could do the tougher content and those that chose not to (not always because they could not, some simply chose not to.) That started to create separation.

My other big mistake, specially with raiding, was that I tried to make people be something they were not. You can take a slow group with a medium group and find a happy middle. You can do the same with a fast group and medium. I am a mediocre player at best, but I can hang with some of the better players. However, more advanced players will not want to kill the same thing over and over… and slow players are easily discouraged by deaths.

When you spend all you week in game feeling like you are grinding, things start to get stale fast. This expansion felt a lot like grinding for many… so bored people means more drama. Couple that with our server being just horrible when it came to population and the perfect storm started brewing 2-3 months back.

The Z dungeons were released at the end of April and people started to divide. From the “I can’t do Z dungeons crowd” to the “I don’t want to die 50 times” the guild started to fragment. Those dungeons really hurt the guild. To some (including me), the rehashed content seemed very gimmick driven… as I have experienced all over. Instead of running things together, we all started doing what we could do, and also most started to do whatever they wanted to do.

There is nothing wrong with playing your own game, you do pay for your own account. It did start to kill the essence of the guild. Instead of taking people for the 300th time to Halls of Reflection to get that drop, people would get on grind groups to finish whatever it is that they were doing. If you were not lucky enough for that, you would then wait on que… silent guild chat… gratz addons being the only chatter we all saw.

The raiding woes were only part of the problem and not really the center of the disintegration of our quilt. The seams were our relationships, the help we used to lend, the fun we used to have. I was also guilty of not wanting to get in vent… our daily chats became less often… we would talk to each other when one of us was being ganked. Ask anyone that took a break and came back recently and they will tell you that just our guild chat was night and day from days past.

Then little by little the anger from people started to creep up, it was not just from raiding either. People would ask for a hello and we were all too busy running something, person would take it personal and “rage disconnect.” Person would ask to group up, but everyone was already busy or qued. We did not wait for each other anymore. The new goody bag made it so tanks were rewarded to que by themselves. The sense of community being lost all over wow had finally made it into our guild as well.

In the mean time drama started to grow even larger. The trolls in our server were also getting bored and starting more drama than usual. The whole server being a ghost town started to affect the economy of even the Saints. We had been shielded from it by having everything available to us. Even the usual farmers that would keep us supplied just flat out quit farming. It was bad when bots would outnumber players in a zone like uldum (5 bots to 1 or 2 players,) but you know you are in trouble when not even bots are farming in your server anymore.

I decided to pull the plug before the infighting began. Before the finger pointed tainted what we had all built. Before you could end up angry at anyone else and lose a group of friends. This was the better way. You can see the lines that were already forming in the guild as soon as you see where everyone ends up. Think about that for a second and you will see that even though we all had the same tag, in many ways most people had already moved on.

Are there true bystanders in our guild free of fault in all of this?

I could tell you dozens of little stories on how I failed to be a better leader. How with a swift kick I could have avoided X amount of drama. But I was not about that, the guild was not about that. The guild was to be a place where you felt included as long as you wanted to be and did not trow tantrums. All that does not matter now.

Before I could finish this post Theydrin actually posted something that is very true… the server, the toons, the tag under your name matters NOT. What matters is the friends that you made. Quit thinking of what the guild was, enjoy the game for what it is, and cheerish the relationships that you made. Move forward. All I ask of you now as your former guild leader is keep the Saints spirit alive. Treat others with respect, it really matters in the game and also in life.

After about 3 weeks of stomach pains over this decision becoming final and trying to see if there was other options I feel a sense of closure. I know that many mistake my decision to not discuss some details out in the open, or with even the whole guild as not being transparent. Trust me when I tell you that it is tempting to just let everyone know exactly who leaving the guild hurt me the most, or how someone’s words affected my decision or didn’t but it really accomplishes nothing. I want to leave all of that stuff behind and I ask that you do the same. What is done is done.

All I want to remember now is the good times, and how a group of very diverse and different people were able to play an online game together for 3 years! Here is to all the good times, all the laughs, all the jokes, all the friends we have all made. The tag might be gone, but all the relationships, which is what is really important, should still be there for all you. Thanks to every single one of you! Thanks to all the Saints past and present.

THE END

PvP Meeting

Why WoW is losing players

I have debated whether or not I should post this for quite some time. Its a very touchy subject because I don’t want to send the wrong message to my guild. So I start by saying that the opinions here while coming from your guild leader, its from the point of view of a player.

I love playing WoW. I think it is one of the most complete games, but what makes it even more compelling beyond the great development effort that goes into creating fresh content it is the community. However, the community is losing members faster than I have ever seen, and not just in my very low populated server but all over.

I real a lot of blogs, not just about WoW but other subjects. When it comes to WoW most of the people that I loved to read are gone or have switched to other games. Once you start losing people that support the community beyond the game, you start losing players as well. I am not a doomsayer and when Rift came out I was very much a defender of WoW and blizzard. However, the more time passes, the more I think they are failing to provide a service for most people.

The reality of what is going on right now is that trying to please everyone with this expansion they ended up screwing everyone over.

Firelands is a big failure in my opinion, as well as the molten front. Not even when I was going back to grind some rep for an alt did it feel like I was simply grinding. The firelands raid has done nothing but highlight that the raiding in this tier is at best annoying and at worst a waste of time. Some of it feels so out of touch with what makes raiding fun that I wonder if any of the developers are actually playing through the game. Raiding always felt like leading an orchestra… now it has turned into an exercise of paying attention to an endless amount of things that can kill you, but can be easily trivialized by either knowing the fight well or gear trivializing it. It brings down the replay value of that aspect of the game a lot.

If I did not play with a group of friends that I enjoy quite a bit and make me laugh every time we get together I don’t think I will be playing this game anymore. I feel like I have seen the content I wanted to see, and even killing Deathwing does not feel like something I would enjoy if I am going to have to dodge fireworks that I cannot even clearly see.

Most casual players that don’t raid have already stopped playing. They did everything that there was to do, and the ones that continue to play are doing so via alts. It is not like back in the day that everyone had tons of stuff to do on their main… now almost everything feels like an endless grind and when you do get the rewards they are not that exciting anymore.

Blizzard had the opportunity to do so much, but instead of making some things excellent and well polished; so much of the game feels incomplete. Guilds hit 25, and even those weekly challenges are not something that we are having to coordinate to do as a guild, they just happen on their own. PvP is so all over the place and unbalanced that fight are either done in seconds or take 30 mins + or until someone simply gives up. So I see more and more people kind of think the game is not fun to play and I really have nothing to point out as a fun thing to do… I used to be full of, have you tried this? this quest like is lots of fun, this class has some new cool mechanics… this is where you find x or y and it will make things awesome.

Maybe I am completely crazy, but I think that if raiding was a lot more like the mega man series, where you would find things along the way that would really help you with other bosses it might change the game a bit. Right now there is no reason to get more gear because the gap between normals and heroics is too big, and for non hardcore raiders the grind of learning a fight and then having to deal with the annoyance that it was the normal now double in damage and with more “pretty lights” just feels like an insane endeavor.

I really hope that the next patch comes out soon, because even though I have only raided 4 bosses in firelands, I am sick of the color palate already.

First Alliance Guild to Level 25

First Alliance Guild to Level 25!

The Saints did it. For months now we have been quietly getting ready for this goal, to be the first guild to hit 25. Another guild that did just a little more grinding that we did and got it first in the Horde side of our server, but we won the race on the Alliance side by days, possibly even a week or two. However, no guild in our server has as many Guild Achievement points as we do! :) You guys are AWESOME!

Ranks

Ever since the new guild leveling feature was announced I knew that we would be excellent at it. Our guild has been able to do amazing things by just working together and at the same time having fun.

I am still tired by some of the grinding we had to do :) but it was all worth it :)

We have about 15 lions now, and next week that number should hopefully double! You have to be Exalted with the guild to claim the price. The perks don’t stop there though. Mass resurrection is a blast of an ability, and plentiful bags is also making it sweet to farm.

I would like to thank all the officers and most of all our members that put in an extra effort this week to achieve this goal. While the end result is sweet, the journey was the most awesome part. We are very proud to have accomplished this as a group since this is not something that just a few did! we all had our part on adding to this awesome accomplishment! Congratulations Saints! and THANK YOU!

Cata So far

I know I had promised to talk a lot more about Cataclysm since it was released, but truthfully I have spent more of my free time actually playing. I think this expansion is a mixed bag for all types of players. Many are going to hate the changes, but blizzard really tried to please almost everyone… which is a very hard thing to do.

As a guild master I think they did an excellent job with the guild leveling system. Never before since the inception of the guild have we bee more motivated than every day when we hit the experience cap. Its a common goal that has been growing in popularity as we become one of the top two guilds in the server to always reach the next level. Top on the alliance side and neck and neck with a horde guild.

As a raid leader, the content is fresh and does not feel rehashed. Every fight has its own unique twist, and the ones that are somewhat complicated because of multiple abilities seem to have a mechanic to make it possible. The enrage timers have not been too constrictive and everything that we have learned we have been able to down. The stuff that we have struggled with have been things we don’t get to practice or things that we just attempt after a full night of raiding. We are getting quicker and quicker with the initial bosses which will help speed things up a great deal in the coming weeks.

I have leveled almost all my toons to the cap now, the experience buffs from the guild make things very easy which is convenient, but also sometimes makes it feel too quick. Being able to level just using the dungeon system makes it that you don’t get to quest unless you really want to.

I have a couple of alts ready to level as soon soon as we reach our guild cap and we can take the time to enjoy the quest lines a little more. Everything seems fresh and new and I seem to never have enough time to do all the things that I want to do in game!

The Dark Side of WoW

Cataclysm is an amazing expansion, I have not had this much fun with the game EVER! All around the questing is just very well built. The dungeons are beautiful, the new mechanics are challenging, plenty is broke with the classes, but time will fix all of that. We even managed to down the new boss in Tol Barad in our first visit. Things are going well… well so it seems. The best thing about WoW is that is an MMO and people make the game enjoyable. Having an awesome group of people to play with makes it a wonderful experience… but the moment you step out, the moment the game changes and it turns into a very, very frustrating experience.

Blizzard decided that healing was too easy and decided to go back to making it challenging again. They are sticking by their decision of making things more challenging and while I respect that, well it has also made for some horrible interactions with people. I hear stories every day from guildies having horrible times in heroics. Even though my healer is past the gear level for heroics I stay away. I run heroics with my tank only with guildies and gave up trying to have people CC in pugs.

Sometimes you get into a group and everyone does what they are supposed to, but the norm right now is that one person will not do what they are supposed to and ruin the experience for the rest. Most people got used to the pace of chain pulling heroics during the last part of Wrath and expect that same speed out of a heroic dungeon. I think people don’t realize that heroic is not a 15 minute burn through bosses run, but a couple of hour commitment to team work and execution.

As a guild we have completed most heroic dungeons. Some people have already done them all and are even working on the achievements. I personally have stepped back and been working on reps and professions. I think that we will run a lot more heroics in the coming weeks and probably stay away from pugs as much as possible.

The anonymity of being behind a keyboard miles away makes people say some nasty stuff. Try to not take it personal and stick to your friends when running things for the time being. Its a nasty world out there at the moment and until people start to slow down in heroics, I think more and more people will find them to be a source of frustration rather than the source of sun they should be.