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My guild history

Friday, January 11th, 2013

So, I’ve not found anything too terribly interesting on the forums lately, so I decided I would give you a little more back story on me.

I start playing in October 2010, about 6 weeks before Cata was released. A friend told me to start a toon on the Quel’Dorei server and he’d hook me up with a guild. I didn’t know why one should join a guild (at the time there were no guild perks), but I decided “What the hell?” and joined a guild called The Train. One thing I hated was, they were all level 80, so they were off doing level 80 things, and here I was a lowbie, so I really didn’t feel like I was a part of that guild.

At 70 I left The Train and joined a new guild. I don’t remember their name. But I remember thinking, “hey, they’re 70s also! Cool, I’ll have people to play with!” A week later I was 80 and they were still…. 70.

Around 82 or 83 I joined a guild called My Darkness Within. I thought, “I’m almost 85, I’ll be able to raid soon, and here’s a raiding guild wanting me to join them!” So, that’s what I did. I hit 85 a few days later and quickly worked my way up to heroics. I remember one evening we decided to do heroics as a guild. It was BRU-TAL! The tank was not ready for heroics. The guild leader was a warlock rocking a gear score that was a good 7 points higher than mine, yet I was doing three times their DPS. After 2+ hours and only ONE BOSS KILLED, I decided that I would leave that guild. Little did I know I would soon leave that server.

A few days after applying I joined Arete, on the Bloodhoof server. This was my first taste of raiding, and one taste was all it took! We were an interesting guild. Our dps was not that good. But, we rarely took unnecessary damage. Any fight that had a “dps check” was trouble for us. Any fight that was purely execution was easy. To this day I still raid with that mentality: Don’t take extra damage!

Four months after joining Arete some trouble started brewing. Our hunter (and top dps) had a computer malfunction and was out for a couple of weeks to get the money to get it repaired. Shortly after that news our raid leader told us he and his wife (who made up 2/3 of our healing corp) would need to take a leave from the game to deal with real life issues. He handed over control to our main tank, and a few days after that, he announced that work would require him to be out for at least one month. It was too much for our guild to handle, and I left about a week later, with others shortly on my tail.

I joined an Alliance guild on the Khadgar server next: From Dusk til Dawn. This guild was… bad. Yeah, I said it, and I don’t give a shit if you don’t like it (sorry, the guild leader and I didn’t part on good terms). It wasn’t really that they were bad, it was that their raid team was inconsistent. Every night we had a different raid group than the previous night. Every night we had to teach someone a new fight. We were supposed to raid 3 nights a week, but because it took so much time to teach a new player a fight, progress was slow, and we would end up raiding 5 nights a week. This almost forced me to quit World of Warcraft. It was just too much. Three months was my limit, and I told them I was leaving. After a quick fight with the guild leader (who doesn’t know the difference between “bad” and “inconsistent”), I was happily a Horde once again.

Hysteria was the guild I joined. A 25-man. A heroic guild. I had hit the big time! Unfortunately, my computer wasn’t ready for it. I cannot tell you the number of lags, DCs, and just general “bull shit” my computer put me through those first two weeks. So, I spoke with the guild leader and asked him if I could stay in the guild until I could get a new machine. At that time I would “re-apply” to the guild for a new trial. He agreed.

Two months later I had a new job and a nice pay raise. I was able to buy a new computer and I did ask to raid again. My new machine never blinked from the requirements of 25-man raiding. My dps was much better, my awareness was much better. Overall things were going great. However, there were problems that I was not aware of. Apparently there was drama that I was coming back to and that drama quickly spilled over into the raid team.

Only two months of actual raiding (I think 4 months in the guild) and I saw that it was time to go. The leadership of that guild has some serious nepotism issues, and I don’t play that game very well.

But where too? Ah, back to Quel’Dorei. But this, I wasn’t going to join a guild. This time I was going to start a guild! And thus, Horde Empire was born!

There were a few problems, though. 1) I didn’t know anyone on the server. My friend quit the game, so I couldn’t even get him to help me out. 2) I SUCK AT TALKING TO PEOPLE! Hard to get people to join you when you can’t talk to them. But one day fate smiled on me. I spoke with a person who joined my guild. I cannot remember her name, but I do know that she quickly started recruiting people. By the end of the week my small one-man guild had turned into 60 characters! Slowly some started to leave. Then more. And finally I was left with 5 people. Me, a very cheerful priest (yeah, I still remember you :) ), and three real-life friends. Most times I was on by myself, so I did what I could do alone. I PVP’d, I did dailies, I leveled alts. But finally that raiding bug started to bite again.

In December 2011 I saw a request in trade chat: LF1M DPS DS Fresh. I asked if I could join and I was invited. I don’t know what it was, but something about this group made me feel at home. We had a great time working through several of the bosses and I was invited to come back on Sunday to finish the raid. Sunday evening I was on and things continued to get better.

After speaking with the raid leader, I decided that I could join Unchained. I gave over control of the guild to a one of the three amigos and I joined this new group.

I wasn’t on their main raid team. I was an alt. I would go on their Thursday night alt runs. But hey, I was raiding, so I didn’t care. As the main team quickly progressed through DS our group slowly progressed a bit each week. Before long I had my 333 gems and I was off to the next collection quest. They had several rogue alts in the guild and each of them allowed me to get my daggers before them because my rogue was my main.

Two weeks before I would have all my gems Diablo III was released. I needed 12 gems. I pugged one week, killing 5 bosses, and thus receiving 5 gems. The next week I BEGGED my guild to join me, which they did and I was able to get my daggers. This was the last time I would see any of them for over a month.

In July some of my guild members started coming back. During that time I had pugged I don’t know how many DS runs (I have a LOT of characters!!!) and I was starting to get to know some of the other guilds on the server. Finally one of the members and I started talking about usurping guild control since our guild leader hadn’t logged on in over two months.

Around the first of August I logged in and found the guild leader logged in. I laughed a bit. Damn, he must have known what was going on. He told me that he logged in to do one thing. A few seconds later and I was the new guild leader. Um… yeah. I was shocked too!

I quickly asked a few people to be officers and we started to create a new culture for our raid team. We’d had some structure, we’d have rules, an actual loot system. The whole nine yards. We finished 5/8 H DS, and I KNEW we were a better guild than that! I was going to prove it.

During this time we were told that our main tank was leaving the game and I decided I would replace him. So, I switched my main from my rogue to my DK (DarthDecay).

Tier 14 is rough. And it was very rough on Mutiny (we changed our name, as a means of proving that we were going to be a different guild!). It took us a lot to get a kill each week. Then we ran into Elegon. Damn I hate that fight! After a few weeks of hitting that wall we went to Heart of Fear and got a few kills.

It was time to go back to Elegon! We quickly went through each boss that night, and when we got to Elegon we discussed a slightly different strategy. Our first pull it seemed to work, so great. However, a little rust and we wiped to a simple mechanic. Attempt number 2 was a little better, getting to phase 4, but not much further.

During our third attempt of the night we realized the strategy I put forth was wrong and in the middle of the fight abandoned it. It wouldn’t matter. We were on auto-pilot. It was getting late, we were getting tired, but everything seemed to click. A few minutes later and Elegon lay dead at our feet.

The next day 6 members of Mutiny left Quel’Dorei to join a 25-man guild. I saw that they’re getting kills, and I couldn’t be happier for them!

I took part in a merger between Mutiny and The Council, but I didn’t feel comfortable on the server anymore. Mutiny was my home, and it was gone, so I decided I would leave too.

The Zul’jin server is the home of Evocati, a great group of raiders. I have been honored to play alongside these guys for the last three or so weeks. I’m currently learning more and more about my class and how to play at their level (and that is a feat all its own!)

I’m not sure what will happen next. For now, I’m here. Tomorrow, who knows?

So, there it is. A history of my guild life.

Is it time to end the LFR?

Monday, December 17th, 2012

When the LFR was first introduced in the PTR notes for 4.3 I have to admit, I was very skeptical. I mean, the LFD is generally considered one of the most convenient, but worst, additions to the game.

Allow me to take you back in time.

Before the LFD was introduced in patch 3.3 players would huddle in Orgrimmar and Ironforge spamming trade chat looking for people to join them in their next dungeon run. During this time one key idea was both born and raised: Community. You see, you couldn’t possibly act like a jack ass because you wouldn’t be invited to go on dungeon runs again. You built a reputation, and we, the community, policed our game very well.

You were a ninja? You’re getting kicked and probably not invited again. You afk every 5 seconds, kicked. Just plain bad at your class? Most likely a kick, though the punishment was less severe, as people would eventually get better through repetition.

Then the LFD was introduced. All of the sudden your community didn’t matter. I could click a button and voi la, I was in a dungeon with 4 people I’ve never met and would likely never see again. I ninja’d something? So, I’ll never see these people again. Since it takes 30+ minutes for DPS to get a dungeon while taking a tank/healer less than 2 minutes, the tanks and healers could hold the group hostage by going afk whenever they wanted. What were you going to do, kick them? Then you’re waiting for another several minutes. The tank is bad? So, can’t kick them if you want to continue playing.

To make a long story short, the LFD has all but destroyed the community that World of Warcraft was supposed to offer, it has created a caste system where the tanks and healers stand on top throwing around their queue times like Zeus hurls lightning, it has created an environment where there are no repercussions for bad behavior, only a ticket to a GM which may or may not be read.

Now we come to 4.3 and the LFR system. “Hey, the LFD system has been a HUGE success that everyone loves, let’s add 20 more people to that equation!” Seriously, whatever developer thought this up should be kicked in the balls, HARD!

As I said, when I first read about the LFR system my first thought was “This is going to be ugly!!!” And, to my pleasant surprise, I was wrong. Dragon Soul LFRs were a breeze to get through, people generally wanted to get in and get back out. But it wasn’t all sunshine and kittens.

“LTT” – Looking to Trade. “Let’s make a deal.” Those are the words best used to describe the LFR system in Cataclysm. Why? I’m a rogue. Therefore I roll on the Vanquisher token. So, I talk to all my druid, mage and DK friends and together we run the LFR. Now, I have 10 people rolling for me, versus your single roll. They trade me the item and then later in the run I say, “LTT Shoulder Token for < insert weapon here >“. Hey, if they want that token, I already have it, and I’ll take either. Or, I roll on every item in the run just in case I win one and I’m able to trade it to someone else.

It didn’t take long for the LFR system to devolve into chaos. People would roll on everything, the idea of “Need vs Greed” was out! It was “NEED! I NEED IT ALL!”

When they announced the loot change to the LFR that was coming in 5.0, I jumped for joy! I had made a post on the forums that simply said, “Make the items in LFR NON-tradeable.” I knew that would stop people from rolling on everything they could. Instead of just taking my advice, Blizzard went a step further. You can’t even roll now. The game does it all for you behind the scenes. Damn I love that!

However, this has created a new problem. “I never win anything, so why should I try?” I have run into more bots in the last few runs than I ever saw in Cataclysm. Hey, their chance of winning is about 1/6, which is about 15%, so why should they give more than 15% effort? This has created an all new problem, one that I predicted some time ago: LFRs are failing at an alarming rate.

In the last week I’ve seen more wipes to simple things than I ever saw in Cataclysm. I have seen more bots, which of course healers can’t distinguish when they’re looking at a bar (not a knock on healers), so they “steal” mana from the rest of the group because all the healer sees is Someone in Trouble. They don’t have a way to see This is a Bot, DO NOT HEAL! This past weekend alone I was a part of 10+ wipes on Tsulong. Tanks that don’t know what they’re doing pointing the dragon at the raid group, people standing in the “light” instead of simply moving, adds getting to the boss, dispels not getting cast.

Why should anyone try? They have a 15% chance of getting a piece of gear, their chance of getting a piece they can use might be even less (take my 15% chance of getting gear, factor in the boss’ table has 3 pieces for me, I have two of them already leaving only a 33% chance of getting something I can use, IF my 15% comes up….).

So that’s my question: Has the LFR run its course? If all it’s going to be is a waste of time, why do it? This weekend it took me over an hour to get into an LFR. Immediately the tank said he didn’t want to run the entire place and left, meaning another 15 or so minute wait for a replacement. For what? To wipe on Tsulong….