Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Editing the blogroll

Time to try and fillet out those who are no longer posting and which hold nothing useful anymore by way of links… some of these are just withdrawn blogs now… ūüė¶

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

I Gerald – RIP

27/11/2011 2 comments

If the authors of Righteous Orbs still read this blog, or have anything to do with the WoW universe at all, I’d like to offer them a space here for them to store the adventures of Gerald, the articulate kobold…

Also, the hilarious Charge of the Light Brigade Raid directions….¬†

Because I miss them – whatever the thoughts might be about various political stances, those bits of humour could not fail to tickle

Categories: Uncategorized

How many characters do I need?

To be honest, I know that some may think that having too many characters is excessive.

Up until now, we have had a limit of 50 toons per account, with ten per server.

Until reasonably recently, you could not have horde toon and alliance toons on the same server, same account.

comments that perhaps they will life the restriction on the number of toons per account per server – meaning that potentially, you could have 50 characters slots…

Now *that* sounds appealing. Because at the moment, I have 9 alliance toons at 85, and one at 81 – and one at 20 something who I think I shall delete to make space…. I have 9 horde toons, one at 85, one at 82, and the rest at low levels (this second account is a bit new, so that’s why I have not so many on there. And where do I put the monk?

In the past, I have tried different realms – but somehow it has never been easy to get started there – one of the practical difficulties has been that all the heirlooms are effectively bound to one server, so you have to pay money to transfer a mule across bearing all the heirlooms you think you might need. The other is that, for some reason, I feel more connected to the home server – it seems strange, but I have the feeling that one of my horde toons might meet my alliance toons – because it is the same Stormwind, the same Orgrimmar… I don’t actually play both accounts simultaneously, because I don’t think my computer could cope with it – although I do know of some who do – making levelling characters even more of a breeze than it already is, by tugging them along behind you in dungeons, and making light work of group quests.

Sometimes I just get pleasure out of waving at people I sort of know from my new horde guilds when I am on my ally characters – in a neutral place like Dalaran. It’s completely the inverse of picking on people you actually know and being in disguise so they don’t know it, and really enjoying it (thinking of a The Guild episode here) – although sometimes I think that might have its attractions…

Will it mean I need my second account? hmm – I have not tried playing cross-faction AH games, nor whether I can trade from account A to account B – which perhaps might be something to think about… and now I have actually paid for a second set of game licences, it is only the monthly payment which is the saving… Although there would be the cost of transferring them all from account B back to account A if I did want to close account B…


Tonight is the night for our regular gnome dungeon adventures – I’m hoping we will have enough from the guild – as I am starting to get to like these runs.

I have never played a warrior before, and my experiments with tanking have been somewhat limited. Anklebijter (the team is all-gnome) is now in her 40s – as such, the dungeons have become more complex – and my skills and the rest of our team’s have also increased. I think things are going very fast, and I am slightly worried that I am not learning enough – I am blindly mashing buttons and hoping my taunt is off CD – our mage at the back seems to have a bit of an aggro-magnet quality….

Guild Recruitment and benching

One of the things that must tax all guild manglement is how many balls you have to keep in the air at any one time.  For example, we cannot run progression raids without 10 players being present at the same time Рwe cannot run raids without ten players using toons of the appropriate type and skill at the same time.

Therefore recruitment takes place.

But after a while, it is discovered that recruitment has brought a sufficient number of players to the guild, all with the hopes of being part of the group of 10 Рand yet there are only 10 spaces.  So we need to make sure that some people are happy to sit out.  And that no matter how many geared and skilled toons an individual has, they, as a player, do not get significantly more playtime than the rest of the team.

There is also the slightly tactically difficult position of wanting enough players who are more skilled than others to be in the group of 10 – in order to give the best chances of success, as balanced against getting all the players who are skilled (but possibly undergeared) to be in the raiding group so that as wide a group of players as possible is equipped to play in raids, in the event that the primary players are not.

So, benching the ones who need to take their turn so they do not hog the action and/or gear, no matter on what raiding alt, and benching the ones who are not good enough.¬† And there is the rub – why are they not good enough? Why is not all for the best in the best of all possible worlds?¬† Why is it that sometimes you have a fantastic raid makeup and others where you just want to rip the group to bits out of frustration….¬† I reckon there are a few distinct types that end up in a raid – and that it would be great if we admitted that we have all been one or other of these types (possibly not all, but even that is possible) and that none is generally wanted in a cohesive group:

The noob

There is a type that is not good enough because they lack experience at play, or play in the role.  This is a group that can improve, if given advice and encouragement, and possible some tips on how to hone their playstyle.

The runt

There is a type that is not good enough because they are undergeared – this is somewhat harder to judge – sometimes gear makes a lot of difference in performance, sometimes it is key to performance, and sometimes it seems that some can squeeze enormous results out of very little, depending on the class.

The Rebel

There is a type that is not good enough because they annoy, because they say the wrong thing at the wrong time, because they ruffle feathers and generally get up people’s noses – so that no matter how well they perform, the moment they do not excel, they are not good enough, because we can’t wait to point out where they got it wrong, because they have been such a thorn in the side of manglement.

The diva

There is a type that is so prominent that it is like a boil on the nose – something that catches your eye and irritates whenever you see it, and yet, do not underperform, in fact may overperform – but who somehow irritate, and who seem to upset the balance of the group – so that playing in a guild run is either manic or morose, depending on the mood of the diva concerned.

These are all types that you find in a raid, and somehow must accept them all, or refuse to embrace diversity – because no matter how much each tends to annoy, they are all part of the same spectrum – just at different points.¬† To refuse to allow them to play is to limit the range of experience that your guild has.¬† But the interesting part is to make sure that you don’t get all of them at once – that you move some to the easier content – the farm bosses, which will become far more difficult with some of the above present, and thus more of a challenge and less routine, but consequently, refreshingly difficult for those who know the ropes and could sleepwalk it…¬† And bench your more able players for this – reserving them for more complex fights, whether those able players are divas or rebels.¬† And biting your tongue again and again and again…

None of us wants to be identified with any of the four sterotypes above, and few would hope to be any of them – but we all have been, or will be at some time.¬† And each of us longs to be the reliable, yet cool raider who just gets on with the job – and considers ourselves to be so…

The busking, reliable one….

All images copyright Alex Williams from the babybarista website, created by Tim Kevan

Social Cohesion, colleagues, friends

Humanmoose wrote in an entry about having a break from WoW Рand mentioned a lack of connection with the current game and/or players.  I started to make a comment, but then it got a bit long.

I think the thing that makes tight communities is the shared experiences.  That are, more or less, pleasant socially, even if the circumstances may be somewhat trying?

When I was at university, there were some halls of residence that were, let’s say, rather basic in construction – some said that the architect won an award for them, some said that they were built in the 60s with a projected lifespan of 20 years.¬† These halls were far from the attractive Main Founders Hall of residence, which adorned (and still does) the university brochures and website.¬† These halls were made of grey breezeblock, unpainted – some levels were actually below ground, and there were occasional sightings of cockroaches.¬† Those who lived close to each other could share those experiences and felt richer for it – there is nothing like having to go down two flights of stairs, across a long corridor and up another two, just because you had a dull red thumb-length insect with enormous antennae waving at you ominously, to bind you together.¬† And the meetings in the carpark over the persistent fire alarms – and the laughter at the latecomers, the couples, the naked in blankets…¬† for the third time in that cold early morning.¬† Those things give a sense of cohesion.

If your guild is made up of people that you know IRL, then to a certain extent, you may start with a feeling that you have shared experiences – and this may bind you together – but this is not automatic – because people inhabit their avatars and play WoW for all sorts of different reasons and may not behave towards you in game as they might in life, whether there are subtle shades of difference or huge chasms of drama.

If you have all levelled together in Vanilla, back when mounts really were expensive, and you had to run the entire length of Duskwood/Elwynn/Darkshore just to deliver <foo> and then the guy turns round and says “now go back and get me a cherry to go on top of the cocktail that you just made me out of four different types of rarely found berries, and by the way, yes, you will have to fight your way back through bears and wolves that can sniff your approach from huge distances away” and off you trotted, then you each have a feeling of shared experience – that you too, trod this path, and you know *exactly* how much effort it took to achieve something.

Extrapolate that to the organisational nightmare of 40man raids, and the hopeless droprate of essential gear, then by those standards, no-one who started in BC  (let alone Wrath or Cata) knows how hard it could be.  And that shared knowledge binds you.

Come in more newcomers, who have it easier and easier, and who virtually *squander* all the resources at their disposal, and the tight knit feeling disappears, is diluted.¬† And, what is more, you actually have to make it clear what level gear is required in order to run a dungeon, because it cannot be assumed that all will use all their skills to make a group work well and efficiently – the gearscore/ilvl actually wins out against the RP -” just go with the flow – this is a dungeon adventure” feeling.¬† The numbers invade the playing of the game – the maths becomes overwhelming – who thought this was about dressing up as heroes and fighting the forces of darkness?¬† This is about counting, and cooldowns, and itemisation and optimisation…

One of the reasons I like raiding, or even running dungeons, with a guild group, is that you create that shared experience of temporary hardship, through which you must all together battle in order to achieve a solution – that creates a mini bond between you – that if repeated enough times, starts to mean that you are part of a team – and from which conversation might grow, and who knows, something more than being merely colleagues in the internet-dragon business.


Last night, my hunter hit 85, so that makes 5 now at that level.

My shammie is 83, my mage and paladin 81 and my horde lock is 70 – which leaves just my goblin.


I think my current plan is to level the lock, transfer a decent amount of¬† heirlooms to the rogue and then port him off server somewhere else.¬† Maybe I should try warrior one more time…


As far as raiding goes Рwell, *sigh* signup rates are now below sustainable levels Рwhich means effectively that the raid guild is not a raid guild, only a social guild with some good players in it.  The politics behind this are, as can be expected, a mixture of conflicts between Real Life (and what is understood to be a RL emergency) and commitment.  There is a certain amount of illness/work constraints, but that being said, there are just not the numbers to even field a 10 man team.  Consistently, on a regular night of the week.  Some say they cannot come, and then are online shortly after raid start.  Some sign, and then do not turn up, some sign and then unsign for a variety of reasons, some sign and turn up again and again, some do not even sign.  And some are social rank, and therefore not expected to sign.

There seems to be a conflict between being all friends together (and not actually doing anything raiding wise even though labelled a raider rank) and actually agreeing that 10 people can be present at the same time for 3 hours – even for one night a week, we cannot get be sure that we will have numbers.

I have simmered a bit on my fury, and am now in the stage of mild dispair, where I do not know whether I will be raiding on Friday (which is a raid night, and as usual I have signed) not because I might be benched, but because it might not happen.  And I find it far easier to focus on my DPS when I have arranged childcare, arranged food and prepared myself for the night ahead Рsometimes as much as a whole half day before the event.  I perform less well in an ad-hoc situation for which I am unprepared.

I am not sure whether the non-signing raiders know that some of us have to arrange with spouses/SOs/children what times we will be available for raiding, and how depressing it is when it doesn’t go through.¬† And it is, as it was in EO, the responsibility for everyone who considers themself to be on the raiding roster is there to actually make themselves available, for a decent number of scheduled raid days, so that everyone can raid – even if making yourself available does not guarantee a slot in the raid, it guarantees that the raid takes place, and the guild moves forward.

So, either the raiding roster needs to be trimmed to those who actually do sign, or the raid roster needs to  be bolstered by as much as 6 new (signing) raiders to make sure raiding happens.  Obvious spaces seem to be for a hunter, warlock, rogue, holy paladin, warrior, resto shaman.  We probably do not need any tanks (except we have no warrior tank) nor any druids or priests (shadow or otherwise).

There is the uncomfortable reality for some in that internet connections are not sound for at least 2 of our current raiders who would otherwise sign.

I am not sure whether I would get benched if we actually did have more signups РI suspect I would, since our current raids are so empty that there is an over-abundance of shadow-priests Р2 is probably too many for a 10 man.  But if raids actually happen Рthen this is better than no raids happening at all Рat least the guild moves on, even if the individual player does not.

Something that cannot be solved by me wanting it to be – and there’s the rub – I have nothing to build on and nothing I can do to get it moving.

Categories: Uncategorized
%d bloggers like this: