Archive for the ‘Guilds You Can Join’ category

Friendly Neighbourly Update

February 13, 2013

I think I used up my periodic word quota. Sorry. No exciting paladin stuff for a bit. I do plan on updating the Holy Pally 4eva series while I’m in the city next week, though. That’s right, I need to drive 3 whole hours, all the way to civilization JUST so I can drink delicious coffee in a trendy coffee shop while polishing up my blog.

But, even when my brain is fried and I’m out of words, I still like to write things, so here we are. I’m writing things.

A Mood Lightening Body Pillow, Just for Vik

My own mood-lightening body pillow, just for Vik!

First off, I wanted to apologize to the people who commented on my last post – I normally answer most comments, but I didn’t get a chance for those. I still read them all and appreciated them, big thanks to you kind people as well as to those of you who left me feedback in other ways.

Those who asked for more World of Logs posts, you will be served. I have a few in mind. In the meanwhile, if you check out the right side of my blog, you’ll see a lot of orange links. Scroll down enough and you’ll find some of my past World of Logs posts. The featured fights are outdated, but WoL really doesn’t change that much so there’s still useful info there. You can also check out Jasyla’s guide to evaluating Holy Pallies with World of Logs (I don’t know how she does it, but she always manages to achieve levels of clarity and conciseness I only dream of). And if you’re really enjoying log parsing, Jasyla has guides to evaluating most other healing classes too.

In other Holy Paladin related news, if you haven’t come across it yet, the Holy Paladin Roundtable is up and available for your listening pleasure! It was an absolute blast to record and Megacode, Gina, Pardeux and Getsu are just overflowing with knowledge and good advice. (I’m there too, but I’m like the n00b that everyone else explains stuff too. Makes for an entertaining dynamic.)

Public Service Announcement: Looking for a friendly 25s guild?

Awhile back, I was complaining on Twitter about how hard it is to find 25m guilds as a healer. It’s like every one is bursting at the seams!

Shortly after, I received a Tweet that Ambermist‘s 25s guild was looking for healers. They weren’t quite what I was looking for and by the time I got back to my computer, it was the next day and it would have been weird to answer. But! In case you are looking for a friendly, laid back (I think!) 25s guild, I suggest you check out Chi Cerca Trova. I don’t know if they’re still looking, but it never hurts to try!

My Own Guild Situation

So things didn’t work out with Conquest. It was disappointing. I really, really wanted it to work, but in life, when you’re given a hard lesson, you better learn from it. Last time I was in Conquest I learned that there are situations I can’t control and that I should walk away before making an utter fool of myself.

Conquest is good people. Their guildies have been in and out of my life for what? 3, 4 years now? They’ve always welcomed me to their raids, their meetups and their Mumble channels. And no one, no one, makes me laugh like my Conquest guildies. I think that when it comes to raiding, though, their values don’t quite match mine.

It’s not a question of right and wrong – seriously, for a guild to have existed for so long and have survived what they’ve survived, they’re clearly doing it right!

But, sadly, for me it came down to the age old debate of friends vs raiding.

This time around, the issue was way, like waaaay too many healers, and the lack of a decent benching system. While the “official” rule was “best raid comp/performances for each fight”, reality was more like “random raid comp/performances for each fight and one spot is always taken, whether necessary or not, by the healing lead.” No matter how well I did, I spent more time on the bench than in the raid (as did most of the other healers), which, for someone who spends all day looking forward to her raid, is pretty tragic. And, as a nice way to put it, the healing lead and I weren’t compatible.

I complained a lot. I brainstormed solutions. I lost a lot of sleep. I gave the healing lead a hard time. I considered going ret. I considered going PvP. I kept my eyes open for heroic 25m Alliance guilds that raided on schedule compatible with my work.

Then out of the blue, I received a pitch on Twitter from a guild who had just lost some healers to real life.

A few hours later, I had interviewed with them and switched my work schedule around to meet their raid times.

Their standards are considerably higher than anything I’m used to and I’m don’t know if I’ll pass my trial – which is why I’m being vague with details – but I’m sure ready to find out.

I’m excited to see where this goes. If I fail my trial, I’m thinking I’ll learn to PvP. I love learning, and I’d have plenty to blog about. But, really, I’m praying that I won’t nosedive into, oh I dunno, a Wind Bomb on Wind Lord (which I have only done once in the many times I have done that fight!), and that I’ll find a compatible guild to spend a good chunk (if not all) of the rest of my WoW playing time with.

Wrapping up Cataclysm

September 22, 2012

Not long now!

I’ve procrastinated tons and now I’m stuck with a long long to-do list:

- Collect 24 dailies to turn in
– Tune up my ret gear to make leveling faster
– Pre-order MoP
– Install MoP on my desktop and laptop
– Fix my laptop’s WoW UI

I think the only thing I’ve done so far is prepare enough food for me to not have to cook at all next week. (Why am I not surprised that food was my top priority?)

How do you measure an expansion?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

-“Seasons of Love” Rent

So many bloggers do their expansion recaps and it’s interesting to see who uses what as their expansion milestones. Some measure their expansions in class changes, some in game changes, some in tiers.

Me, when I think back on Cataclysm, the first thing that comes to mind is my guild chronology. I suppose then, that I follow the song and measure my expansion in love. Erm.

The Beginning of Cataclysm

Shortly before Cataclysm, the GM of my guild at the time asked me: “What are your plans? Are you staying with us? Will you still be playing your pally?”

I told him his questions were silly. I’d been happy in that guild for over a year. There’s no way I expected my feelings to turn very sour, very fast.

But they did, for a list of reasons too long for me to write out. So long, in fact, that I’m pretty sure I don’t even know all the whys to my change of heart.

I left, was devastated, held my ground, tried not to make an ass of myself (I slipped a few times), licked my wounds, checked out different raiding styles, got to know my inner-raider better, moved on, became a more grown up person.

More or less in that order.

I made up a lot of excuses for my not throwing much of a hissy fit. Mostly noble bullshit like how “I’m not like that” and “I’m going to be the bigger person” and “I learned my lesson last time”.

Yeah, that’s right! Bullshit!

The main reason I restricted my hard feelings to private conversations and comments on other blogs was because I didn’t want to burn my bridges.

Yep. Just in case I could be “just friends” with my ex guildies later on. It’s been a good plan so far. Since leaving the guild I’ve had good times with them at Blizzcon, in PuGs and occasional real life meetups. I’m proud to say I have the best ex-guildies in the world. So yeah, my advice to anyone grieving after a /gquit: never ruin the potential for perfectly good friendships down the road.

Those friendships might be a worth a lot more than your passing frustrations.

What else happened the beginning?

I remember there being a lot of bosses in three (four?) different dungeons. I liked that. On the progression race, having a lot of bosses clearly favoured guilds who raid more hours, but on the “I get bored of the same thing real fast” race, it was very satisfying. We didn’t have to start with the same boss every raid, or even the same dungeon. I like variety and I was served.

I remember the heroic 5s instances being a bit more challenging than we were used to. I liked that too. I didn’t find them particularly hard, even in PuGs, (maybe us holy pallies were just OP at the time), but they did force me to use all my spells, my teamwork skills and my favorite muscle, my brain.

Speaking of pallies and spells, the beginning of Cataclysm brought us Light of Dawn and Holy Radiance. Stirred us up a bit, after single-target healing for so long. I found we were still the most ideal single-target healers, but at least the addition of multi-target heals gave us the opportunity to take single-target healing vacations and try something new.

Then the middle of Cataclysm

I gave casual raiding a whirl. At the same time, I gave 10s raiding a try. Not that 10s are necessarily casual (apparently you get things thrown at your face, even through the computer screen, when you say offensive, sizist things like 10s = casual), this just happened to be a more laid back group who also did smaller sized raids.

My teammates were tons of fun (I do mean to crash their Mumble parties sometime in the near future!) but I learned pretty quickly that casual raiding is not for me. When I do something, I do it all the way. And while my pathological attachments to guilds may lead to believe otherwise, I’m not really a social person. Raid time is for raiding. Not telling stories, not waiting for people to log on, not reforging gear (unless there’s a strat change) and certainly not for going to the bathroom. I raided with them for about a year, but after some soul searching and a few entertaining (for everyone else) yelling matches between me and the main tank, I decided to be “just friends” with that guild too and move on to a more compatible team.

This is a good place to plug thoughts on 10s and 25s

Opinions on 10s vs 25s and on “the death of 25s raiding” never cease to be shared.

To me, it’s a personal thing. I’m a 25s raider. I like the occasional 10s as a side-raid to get to know my guildies (and more importantly, to get to know what my guildies are like when they’re drunk), but my little raider heart needs the beat of 24 teammates. I gave 10s a fair shot with Team Sport, but I missed having a large healing team, I missed being a single link in the chain, I missed the complex strategizing, I missed the large-scale wack-a-mole of 25s healing.

It’s not about what’s “harder” (I’ve found difficulty to depend more on who my teammates are rather than on my number of teammates), though I did wish 10s and 25s were treated like separate entities within the game. After all, the style of raiding is so different.

On those epeen sites, you can see the decline of number of 25s guilds. On recruitment forums, you can, however, see that there are plenty of 25s guilds. More guilds, in fact, then actual raiders. 25s raiding is not dead. Yet. Maybe one day Blizzard will decide that having a 25s tuning isn’t cost effective. I’ll totally understand and not be angry. However, I suspect that I’ll also stop playing WoW on that day.

What else happened in the Middle?

Heroic Ragnaros was a badass and gave lots of players nervous breakdowns. But not me. I was in a normal mode guild when the content was relevant. And when it stopped being relevant, I couldn’t really find the motivation to do extra hours when I could be doing so much fun stuff IRL.

There was a lot of questioning as to why Heroic Ragnaros was so much harder than final boss Heroic Madness. I question this questioning. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Heroic Madness is accessible to any somewhat disciplined raid team. Thus, for the first time, many, many players were able to end their expansion with a satisfying “I killed the last boss! On Heroic!”. And customer satisfaction is an important goal for a business, no?

I think it was a smart strategy to make the bragging rights boss (HRaggy) different than the satisfaction boss (HMaddy).

Also in Firelands, there was a lot of anger (and in my case, annoyance) when Blizzard decided to nerf Fireland by 20% in one go. I didn’t understand that one. The nerfs were supposed to accomodate guilds like the one I was in: normal mode with a slow and steady progression. Thing was, we were progressing just fine. We weren’t sick of the instance yet, we had to work for our kills but we weren’t discouraged either. Then Blizzard came in, yanked out the carpet, took away the discipline requirements for the bosses. We didn’t progress much faster after the nerfs, really. Once you take away the discipline requirements for a normal mode guild, you take away the discipline. Instead of killing bosses faster, we just goofed off more.

In the End of Cataclysm

When I left Team Sport, I went guild shopping which was scary and hard work. (I do have a post about it, but I never got around to finishing it. Post writing is also hard work.)

I did, in the end, find myself a home. I love my raidmates, I love the leadership, I love the raiding, I love my healing team, I love my fellow holy pally. They do tend to raid a tad early (I spend the beginning of my raids changing out of my work pants, stuffing my mouth full of food and trying to not to autorun into mobs), but otherwise I’m very happy.

I hope MoP does not have the same effect Cataclysm did.

ps. Important! If you are guild shopping and suspect your raiding interests to be similar to mine, I encourage you to check us out at http://www.occasional-excellence.com/ We still have a couple of open spots for MoP!

What else is at the End of Cataclysm?

Dragon Soul brought us LFR. I liked LFR. Early on, spending an extra night running it was tough, but I did like having it available if I missed a raid. It also made gearing up for my guild change much easier.

While, yes, the fights were stupidly easy and your LFRmates stupidly…stupid, I really didn’t mind LFR and I was glad to have that opportunity.

Dragon Soul wasn’t a well loved instance, and I do agree it lacked the epicness of Karahzhan, Ulduar and even Icecrown Citadel or the creativity of Zul’Aman (the original) and Black Temple. I didn’t hate it, though. I don’t think it would be my first pick for a final dungeon, but it had a few good moments. Notably the gamergasms Ultraxion’s Blue Crystal gave me time and time again, until Ultraxion started dying before the crystal came out (damn Ultraxion that minute-man!).

Of Blogging and Podcasting

I do miss blogging. I miss the excitement of watching my stat page, the amusement from reading search engine terms, the delight of discovering new comments and the satisfaction of publishing a Bossy Pally-approved post. And, most of all, I miss the friendships.

But at the same time, I don’t expect a sudden increase in post count. I’ve been having a lot of fun in the offline world – now that I’m no longer a student I’m finally living the life I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid. Between living it up and working a demanding job, I’m just too tired to be coherent. It’s a good thing, mostly, it just means that the blog will most likely keep its current posting rate and its current reader count of approximately 3.

I feel like I’ve grown away from the community too. I still subscribe to a lot of blogs, but it seems that everything I read triggers one of 3 reactions:

1) I’m not interested
2) I’m interested and I’m thinking about it, but I don’t have the energy to write a response
3) I want to throttle the writer and scream at them: “OMG HAVE YOU EVER EVEN LEFT YOUR HOUSE BEFORE!?!?”

I suppose that’s how life goes. You grow closer to some groups and away from others. I do plan to keep the blog somewhat alive, I’m not deleting the personal blog either (it may even get some extra attention in a couple of months when my big big big project/dream comes closer to fruition) and I’ve told Oestrus that I’m not against recording the odd episode of the Double O Podcast.

I think a post-MoP grind episode might be a good follow up to our pre-MoP episode. And who knows, maybe a reader/listener will suggest a topic they’d like to us discuss and we’ll be overcome with inspiration… It could happen!

Some Links

September 11, 2012

Double O Podcast Special Edition

The rumours are true! Oestrus and I got together last night and recorded a shiny new episode of The Double O Podcast!

With Mists coming out in a few weeks and both of us anxious to be raid ready as soon as possible, we thought it would be fun to interview a Realm First – Level 80 feat of strength holder (and remember! While the grind to 85 was accomplished by many in under 15 hours, the grind to 80 took a solid 48 hours, if not more, making the achievement even more impressive).

So! For a tad over an hour, we chat with the awesome Serrath (who, in addition to being quite knowledgeable about productive and healthy gaming marathons, is also a really fun guy. You can’t help but want to be friends with him.) about how to get to 90 as quickly as possible, without risking our health or our sanity.

If you haven’t heard it yet – the Holy Paladin Roundtable

I promised a link and I didn’t deliver… I hang in my head in shame.

Hopefully you’ve all (yes, including non-holy paladins… the awesomeness of the Light must be experience by EVERYONE) found your way to the show, maybe via Twitter, maybe via another blogger. But just in case, just in case you haven’t, before Mists comes out, treat yourself to the sweet delight that is The Holy Paladin Roundtable.

If you prefer a more visual link, consider clicking this:

Big thanks to Walks for the gorgeous collage! (ps. It’s almost scary how much I look like myself and like my character in that image!)

Mists is almost here, have you found your guild yet?

My guild, Occasional Excellence, still has a few spots open on our roster. We’re a high efficiency guild, raiding 2 nights (or 7 hours) a week, but making the most of every second. (And you know that if they manage to satisfy an impatient, detail oriented, perfectionist like me, they’ve got to be good people!) We do 25s, we’re all adults and we were killing Heroic Madness before it was cool.

We’re especially looking for a resto shaman and a shadow priest, but we’d welcome most dps classes (except maybe hunters and ret pallies because everyone plays hunters and ret pallies these days).

Our standards are pretty high, so the application process can be demanding, but, trust me, it’s worth the effort! We’ve got a solid team, a highly organized leadership and a very positive raid environment. And while we only raid 2 nights a week, there are a lot of optional events every week for those who just can’t get enough.

Sound like a group you’d be interested in? Find out more on our website: http://occasional-excellence.com/.

You can get in touch with me via email as well, and add our guild on Twitter: @OExcellence
(Our Twitter page is still a work in progress, but I’m hoping to make it more active soon)

And even if it doesn’t sound like a group you’d be interested in, I highly encourage you to read our About Us page. (I wrote it and worked hard on it, so I want to show it off ^_^)

’till next time!

*returns to the offline world*

Introducing *Paranoid*’s US Sister Guild, *Swords for Everyone*

April 19, 2012

Some of you may remember a post from awhile back, about a guild named Paranoid.

Originally written by D­öra

Paranoid is a guild for the socially awkward, the shy, the people who’d like to raid, but get a headache just thinking about all the things they could screw up. The people who type a message to someone who’s LFM in trade, then backspace, then type, backspace, type, stare at what they’ve written, backspace again and go quest on their own. And if they do press enter, they’re relieved if they get the reply: “Sorry, full.”

It’s been about a year, and I hear that Paranoid is still going strong, which makes me very happy.

I was also very happy to receive an email Paranoid’s GM, Mer, who had fantastic news for those of us socially anxious (and fabulous!) WoW players who live on the US side of the big pond: someone had taken the initiative to start an equivalent guild, on a US server!

Swords For Everyone was founded last week by Cantafrond on Wyrmrest Accord-US. In his words (taken from his recruitment post on MMO-Champion):

Anyone who has social anxiety (or a similar social disorder) who wants an understanding community to play WoW with. If you’re someone who:

– is terrified of public chat channels, including Vent (Mumble, Teamspeak, etc.)
– starts hyperventilating when a dungeon or BG queue pops
– has avoided large chunks of game content because of other players
– immediately logs off for the rest of the day (or week) after a wipe because you fear that it was your fault
– is nervous and sweaty just thinking about applying to this guild
– experiences any other irrational (but entirely understandable) anxiety because of interactions with other players

then you’re probably a perfect fit. There are no specific requirements to join, aside from a completed application.

I don’t play WoW much these days – with my real life, the rest of my gaming and my crazy work schedule, I barely manage my 7 hours of raiding a week, but I am really tempted to level an alt with them, if they’ll let me, if only for a little while.

Best wishes to Cantafrond and the rest of the crew at Swords for Everyone! It’s a wonderful to have a haven like that in our community, where everyone understands what it’s like. And from the enthusiastic chatter in the WoW forums recruitment thread, it seems like SfE is off to a great start!

If you’d like to join, you can post an application on the guild website or contact Cantafrond in game on Wyrmrest Accord.

If you live in the EU and would like to join Paranoid, you can do so via their guild website.

Hope to see many of you there!

(Usually) Attractive Raid Team looking for Likeminded Teammates

September 13, 2011

So you like to play WoW, and you like to play WoW well. And you like to raid. But you’re having trouble finding a guild that meets your crazy hours. Maybe you have an erratic work schedule. Or maybe you’re only available one night a week.

Good news!

My guild, Team Sport, is a group of people who have weird work schedules, who have limits on how much they can play. And we also have members who never miss a raid. What we have in common: the time we have to play, we do our best to make the most out of.

We’d love to have a few more like-minded people to join our ranks. We especially need dps, but due to the nature of our group, there’s always room for another healer or another tank.

Sound like you?

We raid on Tuesday and Thursday, from 5 to 8 Pacific Time on Nerzhul (Alliance side).

We’ve got 4 bosses down in Firelands and we’re working on our Alysrazer kill as well as getting Baleroc on farm.

We play well. We learn fights fast. Deaths to standing in crap are rare. It’s just that with such a tight raid schedule and constantly changing raid composition, progress isn’t just handed to us. I’ve written before about how we’re growing as a team and I’m excited to say that we’re living up to hopes and expectations. (That’s right. Anyone who dares take a random AFK mid-raid without a valid excuse gets to meet the Giant Spoon up close and personal.)

But we could really use a few more teammates.

Wondering what we’re like?

Our guild is kind of the opposite of other raiding guilds. Most raiding guilds focus on their raid team, with a friends and family rank. We’re a social guild with a raiding rank. Members of the raid team don’t have to be full members of the guild at large, as long as they’re committed to raiding with us. We have no attendance policy: like you, we’re all busy and can’t make every raids.

We’re fairly democratic too, with all important decisions being made through voting. It took me 6 months to discover that we had a GM. We don’t have official officers. Our raid leaders are just members who believe in the team and go the extra mile to make sure we keep killing bosses. Obviously, we’re not for the cutting edge player, but if you’re tired power-struggle-ridden guilds, you’ll feel refreshed by our equality-based and democratic atmosphere.

The general feeling is pretty laid back. We’ve got enough gossip to make life interesting, but in the over 6 months I’ve been in the guild, I’ve never seen any major blow outs (or, really, any blow out that I wasn’t personally responsible for ^_^). The old-timers have been gaming together since they were in diapers (or almost), and our new recruits tend to blend in so well that it is actually pretty hard to guess who is new.

Sound like an environment you’d enjoy?

Get in touch with me, either through email, twitter or whispering Rykga (or Snowfia or Eloïse) on Nerzhul. If you’re lucky I’ll show you my Spoon. Gently. Not the way I show the AFKers. You can also hit up our raid leader Thespius on twitter if you won’t take my word for it. (He has no Spoon though.)

Oh! And of course, check out our website and forums for more info!

ps. We are a sexy guild!

Introducing *Paranoid*

June 29, 2011

A couple of days ago, I was pointed to a post by Döra about social anxiety, and about her guild Paranoid.

Paranoid is a guild for the socially awkward, the shy, the people who’d like to raid, but get a headache just thinking about all the things they could screw up. The people who type a message to someone who’s LFM in trade, then backspace, then type, backspace, type, stare at what they’ve written, backspace again and go quest on their own. And if they do press enter, they’re relieved if they get the reply: “Sorry, full.”

Can I tell how much I wish I’d found a guild like this when I first started playing WoW? Maybe it wouldn’t have taken me a year to reach max level. Maybe I would have gotten to experience end-game dungeons and Vanilla raiding. Heck, maybe it wouldn’t have taken me two years to get over my “never going to play with others” mentality!

This was me

I know I have a couple of readers who’ve mentioned they’d like to be part of a guild that understood shyness. So if you play on the EU side of the pond and you’d give group play a try if it weren’t for those blasted butterflies/stomach knots/icky sweating, there’s a guild out there for you, where you can meet quite a few fellow players who totally get you.

I also got the opportunity to exchange briefly with Döra/Thriftee and Mershelle (an officer and the GM of Paranoid, respectively) and both are lovely ladies whom I’m positive would make for fantastic guildies.

To find them, look up Paranoid on Emerald Dream EU, or drop by their webpage.

Going off on a tangent, I noticed a link on my stats page from a thread on the official forums. “Uh oh” I thought! But it turned out that one of my early posts was linked in the thread that spawned Paranoid. Can I tell you how excited I was? (Except for the fact that it was an early post and my writing back then was atrocious! I cringed so many times rereading that post!)

Being a blogger, I think of myself as a bit of an artist. Like maybe a part time artist. I attempt to turn elements of myself into something somewhat creative in order to share them. Whether or not I succeed is up to the reader to decide. But when a piece I’ve written contributes, however minimally, to something greater, the feeling is incredible. It’s at times like these that I feel like I’ve succeed as a part-time bit-of-an-artist. When I feel like I’ve had a part, though tiny, in making a difference.

Anyway, props to Mershelle, Döra and the rest of the crew behind Paranoid! As you guys (and many of us too) know, WoW is a refuge to a lot of socially anxious or socially isolated (or both!) persons, but quite often we find ourselves just as cut off in the virtual world as we do in the real one. You guys have build a network, a support system, and maybe even a stepping stone for a lot of people. And, to me, that’s beautiful.


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