Professions in Garrisons – what do we know?

A Professions in Garrisons question is on, as part of Blog Azeroth Shared Topic.

I noticed – or could not find – any topics relating to the information about WOD!! I don’t understand!!

So with that in mind, here is one of my first questions:

With you being able to build a third profession area – what are you likely to choose? Have you got all professions covered by alts so are just going to focus on money making? Did you take professions specifically for mounts/raiding or some other purpose but didn’t really want to?

Is there a profession you want for specific reasons?

– Dragonray

I thought the professions aspect of the garrison idea was going to introduce a more Star-Wars-ToR-ish feel, where your NPC helpers go off and do mini-quests as part of assisting with professions (official Garrisons source, and the artCraft blogpost). Maybe that was what I wanted, and  I’m almost certain that something I’ll use.

The garrison will also replace some of the daily activity which was part of the Half Hill Farm in Mists of Pandaria. That might mean a work order area like the current daily farming, or might mean a wider approach which is more like your personal home within the game. I hope it is a home within the setting, as it is something lacking from a story perspective.

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They are also going to reflect major achievements, and be “sharable” to others. That is pretty interesting; especially if a degree of customisation is allowed.

In terms of my professions (the question asked in BA) I have almost all profs covered by Alts, but those alts take ages to catch-up to current max. For example the MoP professions have been available for a very long time, but I am still raising my Inscription and Jewelcrafting.

Talk Azeroth had a summary of the recent Blue Tweets on Garrisons too, worth a gander.

Some pretty cool building specs are coming in. “City Portals” is a Mage Tower spec that opens ports to every major city. Source

We should be clear that garrisons is not about decorating and placing furniture. Gameplay is our focus. Source

Buildings need to be unlocked and upgraded to get specs. Mage Tower is no different. Source

We do have Monuments that you can place from achievements. Source

If a garrison helps me, then that is brilliant. Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

Art-ToT

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A reversal of the blogging mirror

Update – looks like the guys who stayed after the shake-up might get some raids after all, Insidious are going to recruit a few folks for ongoing runs. Yay!

Reading about our guild on other blogs is kind of cool. It is odd when I see somebody posting about things that are happening, as many times a World of Warcraft blogger can write all sorts of things, and generally I wouldn’t stop to consider what that is like if it were in my guild. It is different when it is people you know.

Reading about Insidious online is like a reversal of the one-way mirror that I write from. Typically I post without expecting too much feedback. Instead the feedback is the content. I like it.

A fellow blog writer DragonRay recently joined Insidious (Insidous on Nagrand-US) the guild where a few friends and I run most things. I have no real idea if Insidous is different from many other guilds or not, but the way it is run is based upon whoever in the officer or gm is on makes the choices as needed, and we tend to always back each other up. It tends to work because we have similar base values as people, and we’re friends.

Recently several key members of one of our raid teams left for greener pastures, and the second raid team indicated that they’ll return to the guild they quasi-disbanded to join us.

Well fark! That means in a very short period we go from having two darn good 10x man raid teams to missing players. That isn’t great for raiding, and rather than trying to recruit pre-Warlords of Draenor we’ve decided that it is better to have a break from progression raiding.

Aside – Recruiting now for WoD seems premature to me, as so much will change in ways that we cannot foresee. It was the same when we were told of TBC’s progression path through Kara (10s) to Gruul (25s) etc. The mix and grind of guildies and player’s roles was dreadful. I think players have a motivation to get in good with a high value guild early, but that only helps you if you’re actually in the true guild core group, and frankly if you are switching guilds regularly then you’re probably not in any core.

Formal progression raids on heroic content are not planned, but whatever achievements runs, fun runs, or flex-raids are all still a go.

I feel for DragonRay and they guys who joined recently because if the few folk hadn’t left that raid team we’d have had a good go at continuing progression. In her blog post she wrote:

Firstly, raiding…has officially stopped in our guild, little bit of drama I think behind the scenes – which I am not privy to – the joys of not being GM or an officer. So we are basically free until WoD now.  I will still do the raids they have going – if they do achievement run etc…I certainly won’t say no to it.  I missed raid Sunday night due to super busyness and watching for fire news (we aren’t close but at that point a shift in the wind could have done it).

So I missed the announcement, and was shocked when i logged on last night to find barely anyone online.  Such is life of the raid cycle. Unfortunately when you are having to rebuild a raid team some people are more impatient than others.  I feel slightly bad that we had not geared up as quickly as we could, but I can’t force items to drop.

Anyway, suffice it to say I now have free time to get my other toons to 90 before WoD and decide which one is going to get my free boost – I would hazard a guess and say my rogue since I have yet to get one past level 30.

I commented there too as I think it was certainly worth responding to, and to be fair it should could go here too.

You’ve certainly come at an “inward spike” in activity. You’re dead right there was some serious junk happening off camera, and that was finally put to bed recently. Thankfully. All the normal type of things that are seen when a guild has a large amount of real people crunched together for raiding. On the back of that a few key great people said they’d had enough of the to-and-fro and decided to either play less or play elsewhere.

One of the biggest strength the game has is that nobody can tell you when or how you have to play; you get to choose. Then it is also a huge limitation, because the GMs, Officers, and Raid Leads also cannot mandate that a raid will happen.

I’d never play a game where I was forced to play, as that is not a game anymore. It would be work, or torture, or something altogether awful.

Both Raiding and Guild management feel like schoolyard cricket in grade 4 primary school. i.e. you hope every turns up today and plays nice together.

For all that infrequent guff-guff we deal with I still love the people in the guild, and may more who I’ve met along the way. Some of the folks who used to be in guild who left or were removed due to drama are still good people, it just didn’t work at the time.

I can’t fault the folks who left at all because I’ve done the same at other times in my game-life, and I respect their choice. Kind of turning into a longer comment than I intended – what I intended to say straight up was: glad you’re here and I hope you have a ball.

A cynical reader might say, “well as a GM that’s all you’d ever say, it’s empty bullshit”. Well it is not. Re-reading what I wrote afterward I truthfully feel that a lot of the malarkey we’ve faced as a guild was due to people having egos that are incompatible with others. Not that they were crappy people, but that they just cannot get along. Most of those people might be normal in a social setting, but they were pains-in-the-arse at times in a raid context.

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Background Music – Blog Azeroth Shared Topic

The current Blog Azeroth Shared Topic – Background Music is on now (8th to 14th Feb), and its something that factors into how I play.

  • When leveling the first times through anywhere I’ll have the sound off, unless I’m totally solo’ing. When solo’ing I like the music.
  • As above for instances, when in them for the first few times I won’t use the sound so I can concentrate.
  • Solo’ing old instances I try to remember to turn the sound on.
  • If I’m not listening to the music, I’m listening to Podcasts, both WoW related and all the other odd podcasts I like.
  • If I’m on vent I’ll not have the sound on, but sometimes will have both my earbuds from my phone in so I can hear podcasts or different music, and also my gaming headset. It means there are a lot of cables around, but during a heavy wow session I don’t move much.
  • The music I’ve been listening to recently is some of Wagner’s Ring Cycle (an opera), and some 90s grunge music. Both styles are the music of my youth.

Happy killing, TyphoonAndrew

Once again, the sky isn’t falling for World of Warcraft

The earnings call by Blizzard indicates that the subscriber numbers are apparently up slightly from 7.6 to 7.8 million players (reported by wowinsider). Honestly I am surprised it wasn’t a decrease, but also very pleased. In a rough economic climate for game developers and entertainment companies WoW as a game is still doing well.

Consider too that a game charging around USD$15 per month with 7 million players is doing exceedingly well. If another game had that revenue rate for a year the owning company would have very powerful options for what they did next, and what direction they chose to move.

Blizzard have had almost 10 years of good subscriber numbers. Think about that seriously for a minute, how much revenue? And then join me in the hope that they are reinvesting heavily in their next set of games. It was not chance that the Hearthstone Beta was as good as a polished game when the beta started (yes the card balance wasn’t there, but the quality was darn high).

How are the subscriber numbers generated?

No idea, but I’d bet that whatever sneaky formulas the paranoid types tell us they use to limit the perceived drop were already in use when the last few earnings calls were announced with the decreases, so that means this is a legit increase. Or at worst it a stable period in subscribers.

Either way, the sky is not falling on World of Warcraft. I know that some folks like to think that WoW will die any season now, but I really think that it can decrease for a while before it is really dying, and this recent rise means that it might be a little further away than we thought.

Good. I’ve still got heaps to do. Happy Killing.

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1000 posts. Heck

This is the blogs 1000th post. I do not know really where that compares with other wow bloggers, except my hunch is that many newer blogs whooshed past 1000 a while back because their authors are prolific writers. Good on them. Something to aspire to for me as a hobbyist.

I’ve obviously known that I was getting close to that number for a while, and I’m happy to have stayed with blogging.

The process of writing a post a week or so has helped with accepting and understanding the disciplines involved with regular writing. Distraction, anger, and fatigue can be huge barriers to writing and if it wasn’t for the gravity of work already done I might have stopped a few times along the way.

When it started the blog was about other non-game things like films and books as well; but over time I think a focus improved what was written. This is because I think the reading audience tends to expect a focused set of topics, and those who follow a blog look for material to match what brought them to the blog in the first place. It is a risk to dilute the topic too much.

Because of the computer gamer focus left me without a platform for all my other silly posts, there are two other blogs I write as well. One on nerd and more professional topics and the other for pen and paper role playing games. So I really was past 1000 posts a whole back, but it didn’t feel like 1000 until this blog got there.

So where to for the next few hundred or thousand? Well games for sure. Apart from that I’d expect world if Warcraft to continue to feature heavily, but I can’t help looking at other stuff from time to time.

In fact I hope that stays true forever.

Happy writing, TyphoonAndrew

Who should pay for Guild Vent and Website?

I’m angry about a guild issue, and venting on this blog seems appropriate. Normally I don’t publish guild stuff because it keeps the morale higher and most people don’t need to know. However this scenario is guild wide and I suspect something that other guilds face frequently too.

Basically who should pay for a Guild’s out-of-game services?

e.g. Ventrillo, or whatever voice chat, or the website, or hosting, or whatever.

For our guild the cost of these services has been paid for primarily by the guild officers, with a few donations from some players along the way. I took up the Vent costs a while back from another Officer who had been paying them for years. Another officer has paid for almost all our other web hosting services for many years. Recently I decided that paying for a service that I almost never used was pointless, so I asked for donations and/or other solutions.

I think there has been three donations since then. Not even close to enough to cover any one service, let alone Web and Vent.

A few players stepped up to discuss it, and a few made donations. I really appreciate the time, effort and donations of those people.

The other 12-15+ people in the guild who raid 3x nights a week and use Vent all the time have given nothing. They turn up, raid, and go.

The vent server will stop working any day now because I’ve stopped the account. We are discussing options, but without donations the costs just pass to another of the officers who is being too generous with his money. The silent majority of our raiders who use the service have not helped at all.

I’m angry that others have not donated.

I’m disappointed that other raiders don’t care enough to help.

It would take about a cup of coffee a month from each raider to pay for all our services easily. In fact we’d probably have huge amounts of cash left over. It could be one coffee every three months from each of them and we’d still be fine.

e.g. 20 raiders x $3.50 per quarter =  $280. Even if I exclude the few folk who have already donated or already paid up regularly we could still have just less than $200 to pay for this stuff.

So I have to ask – who should pay? I guess I expect raiders to contribute, but most do not.

Is that view unreasonable?

It is reasonable to be in a guild and never contribute to any of the out-of-game costs?

Should the officers or GM alone pay for all the extra services?

My advice to others is to think about what you are using, who is paying, and what you get out of it.I’m done paying for others to raid on my dime.

Kill everything and loot the corpses, TyphoonAndrew.