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.

cropped-nerbian-entrance

So how do you know who is worth saving, and who is just a junk player?

As an answer here is a story about somebody who wasn’t worth saving.Many years ago (back in the Burning Crusade days) I met a guy in real life who had been an outspoken, rude, painful, and at times outright vile player in my guild at the time. I really didn’t like this guy much (I had him on ignore for a longtime) but he was one of the few who decided to meetup in real life. As I looked around the room to find folks who might be in-guild my eyes past over him. As a person he was totally nondescript and harmless. It was almost like he’d used charisma as his dump stat. Once we started talking he became almost sycophantic in his conversation manner, and I realised that he was no more than the rest of us, but he was also burdened with being potentially powerless in real life (imo).

Meeting him and seeing that the cliche of zero-life-gamers can be true changed my attitude toward how to talk to people in game. It also changed how I perceive the issues and drama around managing people in an activity where they are volunteering their free time – which fundamentally what is happening in game.

Despite his manner I wasn’t doing myself any favours by being affected by his manner. In fact being affected by his online persona was exactly what he was working so hard to achieve. Randy Delux said on the Instance podcast many year ago – “Don’t mud wrestle a pig. You just get dirty, and the pig likes it.”

So since that probably obvious discovery, I try to stay neutral with everyone. That means the officers are judged with the same rules as the recruits. Both get the love and attention they deserve. In fact it goes across most friendships IRL now too.

The end answer to my question was don’t try to save anyone. Set your conditions and expectations for interaction, and enjoy the time in game.

I don’t think anyone has the right to tell me what to do in game, as such I don’t really have the right to command anyone in the game either. I have asked, requested, and at times told people what the ramifications of their choices are, but it is always their choice.

Aside – If you think your choices are being taken away in-game, then look at the wider picture to see where you really started loosing control of your situation. It won’t be at the time you’re forced to raid, or forced to leave a guild.

It was long before that.

Funny how reflection posts tend to be long-ish. I’m looking forward to having fun with the guildies over the ramp up to WoD, and then through the next expansion. My home time might be a little more focused and less trips away, which I hope also means more time online at night.

cropped-wall5-1680x1050.jpgHappy killing, TyphoonAndrew

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4 thoughts on “A reversal of the blogging mirror

  1. It isn’t too early to recruit for WoD but since you’re cutting back your raiding, it is for you… you won’t really be able to appeal to anyone if they want to be raiding and you aren’t and you aren’t giving them the opportunity to see your guild in full flight. You’re also risking losing folks who do still want to be raiding but don’t have the opportunity to with you. No clue if this is viable but if there are other friendly guilds on the server in a similar situation, see if you can put together a hybrid cross-guild run to keep those who would like to keep raiding occupied while they’re still in the guild. My personal stance is that I generally won’t join a guild just for a raid but I know a lot of folks don’t share that (and not a lot of guilds do, either, if you want to run regularly, you have to join the guild). A guild-sanctioned cross-guild raid could sidestep that but wouldn’t be effortless or entirely risk-free and wouldn’t help with recruiting but could with maintaining. I actually see things like this on my server at times, the top guilds all know and are mostly friendly with each other and will occasionally bring alts to each others’ runs if there are bodies needed.

  2. I have to be diplomatic about about what I say because I know there are a few people in the guild who could easily read my blog and I don’t want to risk offending people.

    I think the important thing, as you say, is to never let anyone make the choices for you. It is a game you pay money every month to be part of, therefore – you spend the money however the hell you want. Would you pay to go a movie if you were being forced to watch something you didn’t want to see? I know I certainly wouldn’t. That being said, I think people should be able to act at a certain level and respect each other on a basic human level – I don’t understand the need to be rude or troll or just cause drama – even if you are a no-lifer. I will never understand it, but I am not one of those people so I guess that’s like trying to understand an arsonist or a murderer.

    Anyway, I hope we still get to do some stuff before WoD 🙂

  3. We are already pondering recruiting again, and also looking to play along side another group from time to time. The key factor was letting the raid team know that too many have left for us to be able to raid Heroic regularly now.

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