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WoW Reflections 2008

snoopy
Larisa over at The Pink Pigtail Inn reflected back on her year. It’s a few days later and already into the new year so I’m a bit behind, but hey I was on vacation and too busy not doing anything important to read up on what people were writing about and way to busy to worry about what I should be writing about. Ironic that considering I had more time to blog than ever, but it was all spent goofing off. By the way, Call of Duty: World at War…AWESOME!!! There’s just something rather satisfying about setting someone on fire with a flamethrower*. Oh and if you think the average WoW player is a complete @$$, just play CoD on XBox360…

So what about 2008?

Blogging

The first thing that comes to mind is that my computer died in January. OK, technically my wife’s laptop, but we only had one computer capable of playing WoW. I used our old computer to then get my WoW fix by searching the internet for anything WoW related.

tandy1000hxWould you know that I had no idea people spent this much time blogging about WoW?! Hell, I didn’t even know what a blog was! (Yes, I’m old. I still remember the Tandy 1000 being the elite computer of it’s time.)

When I found out people blogged about WoW, I thought it was pretty cool. I even thought that I could do that myself. Boy was I an idiot! So I decided to try it out. At least it gave me an outlet during the 2.5 weeks waiting for a new motherboard.

Blogs also provided a way for me to figure out how to truly play the game. Up until this point I had done a poor job of figuring it out on my own. I had leveled a primarily protection spec with a mixture of ret and protection gear. I switched to holy because my guild needed a healer and did a poor job of that. It was only through the blogosphere that I really started to get a good understanding how to play my toon.

Regardless, my blog has gone through some changes and I’ve started to focus in on where I wanted it to go. If nothing else, I got better at posting more than three times a month. 😀

Heroics & Raiding

raidIn 2007, I was working on my first toon and getting to 70. So it was 2008 when I first really started running heroics and working to get into Karazahn. It was February I think the first time I had a successful stab at that place. We poked our noses in for fun in January.

The first few times in Karazahn were breathtaking. The raid was so much fun, the atmosphere just amazing! It was then that I got hit with the raiding bug. Sure I want the loot as much as the next guy, but being in an instance with people that know what they’re doing and are there for fun is what I like about raiding**.

Our progress in Kara was slow as we finally were able to get it on farm, but had trouble as people left and were replaced by people that again needed Kara. We finally graduated into Zul’Aman, but ran into troubles there as people thought they should also be part of that group that either weren’t ready, prepared, or even capable.

Finally, after a few long, grueling months we entered our first 25 man raid and encountered Gruul. Soon after the guild started to experience some success as people realized we were capable of doing this large encounters and loot was being distributed to pretty much everyone who showed up. Most of the officers after grueling months in Kara and a couple of months in ZA were geared beyond these early 25 mans.

We were even fortunate enough to get Void Reaver down before the nerf patch, but didn’t get as far as we hoped in Hyjal or Black Temple. We were definitely on our way, but the expansion hit and it all fell to the wayside. Definitely not going to let that happen this expansion.

Guilds & Friends

friendsI’m definitely not one for guild hopping. In 2007, I was invited to a small guild (<Azure & Gold>, I think) when I was only about level 15. At that time, I barely understood what a guild in Warcraft was. Later on as the guild didn’t go anywhere, I left it for a larger guild with a 12 year old GM of all things. Amazingly, he never seemed to cause any kind of drama or act like ‘a kid’. Burning Crusade had already been out for about 8 months and I was slowly making my way to 60. I picked up the expansion and left the guild when they made it clear to others in the guild that they (he and his brothers) weren’t going to be getting it. (Later on I saw the kid at level 70, so his parents must have caved.)

It was at this point that a friend of mine from the first guild had found <Field of Honor>, a small guild with a few level 70s. It was here that I found my home. I made a few close friends in this guild and a good majority of us have remained in contact with each other in some way, shape, or fashion. Several of us are in my current guild <ICESTORM>.

I’ve experienced bumps along the way trying to get into a raiding guild that fit what I was looking for, to finally helping start and run one. That in and of itself has been a trial as frustrations build and then are alleviated only to build up again.

So <ICESTORM> is my home and with any luck it’ll be the last guild I ever belong to. It started in May and so far has remained alive and well. We’ve had our ups and downs and it almost disintegrated a couple of times, but since about September, it’s been stronger than ever, even with recent drama…

Drama

no-dramaAs much as I’d like to claim there wasn’t any, there was. As much as part of me says don’t dwell on it and don’t post it here, because drama is always negative, there is a point to doing so if for no other reason that it’s been eating away at me for several months and I need to release it.

When <ICESTORM>was born, the idea was to create a raiding guild that was about the guild and not the raider. The idea was to promote guild progression by awarding upgrades to those that not only deserved it, but needed it so that progression could and would continue. A few of the founding members were upset from a previous guild where one of them was not awarded an upgrade that went to another member with more seniority***. As I recall, the upgrade awarded the senior member an increase of +4 spell damage and would have given our founding member +20 spell damage. (Numbers could be wrong, not sure anymore and it’s all secondhand info as I wasn’t there.)

We’ve had officers come and go and although the ones that left, with very few exceptions, none of them should have been officers in my opinion anyway. Most have left because things weren’t quite hardcore enough for them, we refused to /gkick people that weren’t up to their standards, or they didn’t get invited to the raid they wanted.

<ICESTORM>was founded primarily of members from three guilds. The founders from the guild with the aforementioned loot problems have pretty much disappeared. Although behind the scenes and not generally known, all of them had real-life issues intrude and their time in WoW dwindled. The guild progressed as we worked hard to increase our numbers and work on our raiding. When a few came back several months later, they seemed to feel they were entitled to getting prime raid spots and making the large guild decisions. When we didn’t allow it, they left. Unfortunately, one left in such a huff that he told our current GM that he should never have given complete control of the guild over to him. It was good for a laugh.

I’ll never understand people that think they’re ‘entitled’. If I disappear for even a month, I don’t expect that I automatically get my raid spot back if someone else has worked hard at replacing me. I may be Co-GM, but someone else earned their right to be there while I was gone and it isn’t fair for me to expect to kick them to the curb because I’m an officer.

Even More Recent Drama

I probably shouldn’t air some of this, but some time has passed now and I suppose there’s a little bitterness in the way it all happened and I think I really just need a way to vent this as we purposely don’t dwell on it online or in vent, except someone occasionally laughs at how these guys still haven’t recruited anyone else into their raiding guild of 5.

We recently had three officers and a couple of other people leave our guild to start their own. One was a former officer before leaving the guild and then returning after the expansion. She was the one that wanted to /gkick 80% of the guild way back when.

Another was an officer that in my opinion was only out for himself. It’s unfortunate as he is a fairly decent tank, although he thinks he’s the best. He may be geared, but he was a pain to heal because he’d take huge spike damage at random times, something our other tanks don’t. I’m told this is an avoidance issue. How do I know he was in it for himself?

Pre-expansion we were running Black Temple and a nice healing ring drops. He’s on his alt and wants to roll for it obviously. According to our loot rules since we needed his healer, he gets to roll as a main. I asked everyone to pass, if they would, to one of our newly dinged 70 healers as we had a major healer shortage and needed geared healers to finish whatever we could before the expansion. Keep in mind this is late October, I think.

Everyone agrees to pass and our new healer gets the ring. Our officer whispers in officer chat that will be the last item he passes on as he will soon be starting a new job and won’t be available for raids until the new year so it’s his last chance at loot. I respond that’s even more reason for him to pass since he won’t be around to help us finish the last few raids before the expansion. Dead silence. Btw, he never disappeared and was the first level 80 in our guild.

Another officer was way more hardcore than our guild is capable of being. It wasn’t that I disagreed with him, but if we were to have that kind of guild we’d have to kick more than 80% of our members. I told him so before he left.

One member was a pain. She had a habit of not making herself available for raids, but staying online and playing in battlegrounds the entire time. Once she ran ZA and got what she wanted, she never helped run it again. After hitting 80 and gearing up she once again disappeared and didn’t help us gear up the new 80s, but magically appeared on Tuesday nights to run Naxx. Used to think she really knew how to play her toon, until our first time in Naxx she admitted that her Hit Rating was around 90 and she was missing 50% of the time. She was one of our first level 80s and had a huge headstart on gearing up and still not hit capped or anywhere close to it.

The final officer was an absolute surprise to me, though reflecting on it I wonder if it should have been. The guy is really laid back and I really like him. He was well liked and well respected by all members and officers. He did whisper me our last time in Naxx together where he was really getting upset by all the wipes at Globbulus because two members couldn’t remember to run away and drop their poison which was killing everyone. I was upset too, but maybe he was more upset than I thought. In fact, looking back I don’t remember ever seeing such harsh words from him before. Something must have been boiling.

After he left I asked why and it appears that he didn’t want to get caught up in the drama going on between those other four and our GM. Evidently our GM said some pretty harsh words to them after they left and were telling him he was a pretty poor GM. The irony is that everyone in our guild loves the GM even when he calls people out for not being ready or doing subpar on raids. The guy is a natural born leader and treats people with respect…except when they start bashing him and he’s drunk. 😛

He also claimed that he personally gets 2-3 requests to join their new guild on a daily basis, but the Armory (although slow to update sometimes) still doesn’t report anybody else except the 5 of them and their alts, and that they were avoiding recruiting members of <ICESTORM>, contrary to what I’ve heard from our current officers and raid members they like who say they’ve been offered spots already.

The sad thing is that he mentioned he was going to try these guys out and implied that he might look at coming back, but I think he upset a lot of people by the way he left and although we’re pretty good at forgiving people, this might have gone down really badly for others.

On A More Positive Note

a-funny-music-note1Things have gotten really better as we progress. We finally had enough to pug a 25 man Sartharion raid and get the first two bosses in Naxx, although it was called due to time. Now the holidays are over, we’re positive we’ll get full guild runs. 10-man Naxx will be cleared most likely this next week and our 2nd group is getting started. It’s an exciting time for our guild!

Some people were concerned about losing a tank and healer in the recent drama, but no one’s irreplaceable. Funny thing is I think it’s made the guild a better place. A lot of the drama and negativity seemed to begin with those that left and the guild seems a lot tighter knit group than before. Because officers left there was a lot of concern by our members. We called a vent meeting and explained what happened and generally told them one of the reasons they left was wanting us to become more hardcore which we weren’t inclined to do. I think explaining that we weren’t going to /gkick some of these guys for not being the absolute best really helped morale.

We’ve offered to help those that need help learning their rotations, what gems to buy, what enchants to get, how to find upgrades, etc. All we ask is that they do what they can to learn because we can’t do it all for them.

So to answer Snoopy’s question..because it’s so much fun! Happy New Year everyone!!!

*No I’m not a closet psychopath…I think.
**People who don’t know what they’re doing or refuse to learn or pull their own weight upset me. People who are there only as long as it improves themselves and only worry about what loot they get, again upset me.
***Not going to argue that you could say this guy was in it for himself either. It can be argued both ways based on more info which I do not have. More than one side to every story. Bottom line, it should go to who needs it more to help the guild progress faster and I think our loot rules allow for that to happen without giving preference to officers.

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