Posted tagged ‘guild life’

So where did Rykga end up?

January 22, 2013

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my guild situation.

Last we spoke, I had caught up with my old guild Conquest and joined socially until the nightmare at work got sorted out.

Since then, I went guild searching at all the usual places. Let me tell you, the market is not the same as it was at the end of Cata! My work schedule does force me to look for something very specific, but still, not a single pitch was made to me. Not one.

Then I went to WoW progress and looked at EVERY. SINGLE. GUILD. in my progression range. Ok, I lie, I looked at every single US server Alliance 25m guild in my progression range.

I found 3 guilds with compatible schedules.

Guess how many of those guilds were recruiting?

That’s right: ZERO.

One even had a notice on their website that they were too full up to be accepting applications at all.

25m raiders becoming extinct, my two asscheeks.

A Decision had to be made

I really wasn’t ready to give up on raiding yet and figured I had decent chances with the two guilds that were accepting “exceptional players”. After a month hiatus, I was anything but exceptional, but a few farm runs could fix that easily.

Still, another idea was growing on me. I talked to some people, sent some emails, did a Mumble interview, took a shot in the dark and re-applied to Conquest as a raider.

Ta-da! Sporting the Tabard of Brohood once again!

Ta-da! Sporting the Tabard of Brohood once again!

I know, WoW blogger gossip fans are loving it. LOVING IT.

You went back to your ex!” (Simply a reference to how I often talk about my guild relationships in romantic terms. Rein in that gossip a little bit, I’ve never dated a Conquest bro.)

Don’t you remember what happened last time?

Believe me, I remember. I remember very well. I can even still work myself into a rage when I think about it enough.

But, you know what? After 2 years it’s time to let go a little bit and get over stuff. I’ve matured, the people involved have either left or matured, and each time I’ve gotten together with the Conquest crew in real life (that’s right, I’ve still being going to their meetups), I’ve had a blast. And seriously folks, there are worse things in life then having your feelings hurt by your WoW guild leadership.

So, how’s it going?

When asked how it’s going by non-guildies, I’ve answered with an “I don’t know“.

Then I wait a little bit as the other person squeals with excitement and grabs some popcorn. That’s when I let the hungry gossipers down with “On a personal level, it’s been awesome.”

Honestly, I’m blown away by how much the guild has grown up. I can still recognize my old stomping ground: the bro feeling is strong (girls can be bros too so it’s good), most of my favorite people are still there (but not all. Kaldora and Evan… I miss youuuuuuu) and many of the indescribable dynamics that make Conquest what it is haven’t changed.

But the things that used to bother me? Most of them, GONE! All the annoying people had left to make their own guild (which apparently crashed and burned just recently, much to everyone’s amusement), guild chat and the forums are very entertaining places, the officers, from what I can tell, are actually doing their job and I haven’t heard childish language, like, at all. (While I don’t get offended easily, I find childish behaviour tiring. If I wanted to be surrounded by 12 year olds, I’d be a schoolteacher.) There are also a few farming projects going on where everyone can voluntarily pitch in, which seems to be really beneficial socially.

It makes me want to log in and get involved and help out.

Raid-wise, though, it’s tough to adapt to a new style, especially when I liked OE’s raids so much. Since joining, I’ve been a diva, I’ve raged, I’ve pestered my healing lead, I’ve waved around the Giant Spoon… (I swear my healing lead must regret the day he promoted me to raider. Even I didn’t realize I was such a handful.) Conquest’s healing team’s only crime, though, is not being OE’s healing team. I’m just not over my romance with OE’s healing team.

I have conflicting feelings too in that I’m new, but I’m not new. I’m new in that I don’t know most of the team and they don’t know me. Some of the raid customs have changed and, as the new person, I would normally shut up and observe for a little while. But I don’t feel new. I know all the long-timers. I know the back-story to almost all the guild jokes (heck, I am the back-story to some of those jokes!). I have way more confidence than I usually do when joining a guild, which might get me into trouble. (Or it might be a good thing, I don’t know. The fight strat threads were so quiet and lonely, ever since I went all Bossy Pally on our Heroic Blade Lord thread, they’ve come alive.)

Of Progression and Efficiency

I can’t say I was taking a step back in progression because, well, after over a month of hiatus at the beginning of an expansion, a person falls far, far behind. However, I was worried about taking a step back in, I guess, progressiveness.

I’m not the healer who puts out the most hps, I’m not the fastest to assimilate mechanics (I’m not bad, but my age is showing and I’ve become slightly slower than the average progression player) and I have limits as to how far I’ll go to be better (no arena 4 piece for me). But I work best under pressure, I raid to kill bosses, I know my class, I have no life commitments holding me back (other than my work schedule) and, in the right environment, I have military-like discipline.

At the beginning of November, the last time I raided with OE, Conquest was quite a bit behind OE in terms of progression. That made me nervous. I don’t care about number of kills too much, but I crave high pressure environments, and those environments tends to go hand in hand with boss kills.

It’s working out though. Right after I joined, Conquest went from 1/16H to 6/16H, and I’m hoping for 8/16H by the end of this lockout. (Last night a guildie said “have you noticed that since Rykga joined the guild, we’re finally killing hard modes?“. While I had absolutely nothing to do with 2 kills and very little to do with the others, the joke still totally made my night. It’s this new Holy Pally passive, Heroic Aura. Makes your guildies kill hard modes.)

Anyway, the environment is more relaxed, but the level of discipline is totally acceptable.

I’ve also finally started, you know, playing the game. I did my first pet battle, I wrapped up the various Pandarian questlines, I did some rep grinding with useless factions. I even did a couple of quests on my mage. I have more time for me but also, I find I want to play more and just enjoy reading the banter in /g.

There’s been talk in the guild of making 300 food and valor capping mandatory. (Matt even brought it to his blog.) Me, I don’t mind being forced to valor cap and eat 300 food. I eat 300 food anyway: if I could produce enough 2 weeks after MoP came out, there’s no reason I can’t now. I try to valor cap, but when something comes up on Sat/Sun/Mon, I don’t feel guilty about not reaching the bar.

If I suddenly needed to, I would, however I would expect proper payoff. If I’m putting the energy into the game that I would for a top guild then I expect my guild to progress like a top guild.

Going to Ride the Waves

I think that, so far, I’m happy.

I know and accept that the tides might change and I may decide the raids aren’t for me. Or 2 years ago might replay itself as I suddenly become all OCD and start grasping at threads. But you know what? Getting hurt and failures are part of life. Nothing lasts forever and I’m ok with falls as long as the ride’s worth it.

And the Wheel Keeps Turning (Guild recruiters, please scroll to the bottom)

December 22, 2011

A year minus a couple of days ago I wrote a disgruntled-but-still-hoping post about my guild at the time and a few weeks later I gave up and left.

I joined Team Sport as a temporary fill-in between progression raiding guilds. They were aware of this and accepted it. But as I was starting to consider moving on, I decided I kinda liked these people. After I wrote “The 5 Traits I Want in a Leader“, I realized I described Team Sport’s leadership. And when several of my guildies decided they wanted to raid more progressively, I was excited about the project and jumped on board.

So now, nearly a year after I joined, I think we’ve made good progress as a raid team. Raids start on time, or very close to on time. Our pace is much faster (though not completely to my liking). Raid discussions occasionally interrupt the tumbleweed on the forums. And we have a few players who’ve discovered a love of raiding within themselves.

But a bit over a week ago, I realized that we’d gotten as good as we’re going to get. We have a team of good players, as in players who show up and do a good job. Their characters are gemmed and enchanted and we rarely have deaths due to standing in the fire. But for most of them, raiding isn’t a passion.

When I raid, I turn off my phone (unless I’m waiting for an important call, in which case I warn the team ahead of time). I tell friends/guys I’m dating/etc that I’m not available during raid hours. I want 100% of my focus to be on what I’m doing. Then after raids, I review logs and I want to talk about the night.

On Tuesday night, as we were waiting on some afkers in between wipes on Ozz’nozz, I wiped away my tears of frustration and gave my raid leader my two weeks notice.

It’s not about “good” style or “bad” style, it’s about “different” styles

Talking about our guild situation with black-and-white thinkers can be quite amusing. Going afk mid raid? That’s “bad”. Oh, but baby aggro involved? Then that’s “good”. Spouse aggro? Some say “good”, some say “bad”.

Me, I say I don’t have a spouse and I don’t have kids. I totally understand those who have to put their spouses and their kids before the raid. If I had a spouse and/or kids, I’d put them before my raid too. In fact, I would judge someone negatively if they were jerks to their families while playing a video game.

But I don’t have a spouse or kids. I‘m not ready to put other people in front of myself, thus I choose to be single and childless at this point in my life. It’s all about the social contract and I find myself wanting a social contract for other single and childless people.

It’s All About Soul

I love raiding. I had to put up a big fight at my job and negotiate to have raid nights off.

I look forward to my raids all day. I can’t wait to jump on the computer and get ready to go. I eagerly await my raid invite and let everybody know if I find it doesn’t come fast enough.

During raids, any interruption is a tragedy and, while necessary, breaks kind of annoy me. I pee before the raid, why doesn’t everyone else?

After a raid, I want to talk about it. I want to comb through the logs and find all the nitty gritties that’ll help me perform better next time.

If you suspect that I become impatient with those who don’t share my enthusiasm, you would be correct.

Now, that passion does waver. It’s usually dependent on what’s going on in my real life. When my real life was overloaded, I was so grateful to have a team who understood irregular schedules. I loved having a team that wouldn’t notice if I didn’t have time to study the boss fights before the raid. It was a relief to have frequent breaks to take care of real life stuff mid raid.

But, as soon as my real life stabilized, I found myself being deeply jealous of guild working hard modes. And of 25 man guilds. That’s when the cravings for something more took over.

I’ll miss the people

I’m so afraid that my guildies will read this post the wrong way. I really hope they don’t, because this is the first time I decide to move on from a guild with zero hard feelings towards anyone.

They were (are?) fantastic to be around. I couldn’t even say how often I’ve spit beer all over my keyboard from laughing too hard. The sports talk (and the subsequent discussions of the appropriateness of sports talk during raids), the serenades on vent, the guild cheers… I don’t think I’ll ever find a guild that comes close in term of atmosphere.

You can tell they really enjoy each others company, and care about each other as people. I remember one night, one of our players was having a really rough go. He asked to be sat, but the team refused. They wanted to be there for him and cheer him up, even if it meant wiping all night. It was terrible for progression, but so heartwarming that even I was moved.

Another memory… At Blizzcon I got cornered by The Feminists. (I describe myself as a feminist but I’m not well versed in the more scientific side of the movement and The Privilege still confuses me.) We got into a talk about guilds, they were telling me about how they had to reform their guilds to be more respectful toward women. I so proud to be able to tell them that my guild was already great when I joined and totally didn’t need any reforming. So proud.

All joking aside, I did really appreciate being treated as “one of the team”. Despite being the only girl in the guild at the time (over the course of the year, there have been a couple of wives/girlfriends and another girl who’ve logged in a few times and maybe did one raid with us; and Valithria who comments here sometimes logs in and says hi as well, but I’m the only regular, and the only raider), I’ve always been treated with respect. There’s even never been issues with hatespeach, and girlfriend-ranting has been kept to a minimum without any input from me.

It’s actually pretty cute that the rare times I say/do anything remotely girly or sexual, my teammates get all confused, as in “it…it can do that?”.

I had left my previous guild for a myriad of reasons, but the one that cut the deepest and still hurts today was gender discrimination-related. So being valued as a player and as a member of the raid team, without gender interfering, has become something that I don’t take for granted.

Toward the future (or If you are a guild recruiter…)

When I announced I was leaving, everyone was super nice and supportive. A few people even asked to come with me (this is how great the team is, it’s hard to keep us apart!).

Of those who wanted to come along, one, I think, has pretty much the same goals I do. So here, it is, Holy Pally and Mage/Warlock (he says he’ll play either character, but I think he secretly prefers to be a warlock) looking for guild!

Demographics: I have a strong preference for 25 man Alliance (I prefer 25s, and I don’t want to loose my achievement points…), my friend doesn’t have a preference as long as the raiding and the people are good.

Schedule: I’m West Coast and often work evenings so schedule is usually the limiting factor for me. I can raid after 9pm PACIFIC any night, and after 6 pm PACIFIC on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. I believe my friend is available after 5pm pacific any day, and would prefer a team that doesn’t raid too late. 2 or 3 raids/week seems to be ideal to both of us.

Progression: As two people coming from a 5/8 normal Dragon Soul, 1/7H Firelands guild, we’re obviously not the most geared people in the game. But we’re both fast learners and dedicated players. We run the LFR, cap out our valor points and read our boss fights. We’re disciplined during raids, communicate well and drink up constructive criticism like it’s lifewater.

Environment: We’re coming from a very tight knit guild, so we’d both feel happiest in a guild where the teammates are also friends. Both of us being about 30, we’d like to play with people about our age and maturity level.

Ideally, we’d like to find a home together, but if our dream guilds end up being separate, that’s ok too. Bonus: a guild who takes both of us, may also get a kickass resto shammy bench-warmer.

The 5 Traits I Want in a Leader

July 19, 2011

Sitting on the fence, trying to figure out what I want from my gaming, now that I almost have the time to play and play hard, I’m constantly asking myself the question: “What do I want?” The answers used to change depending on my mood, but lately they’ve been converging.

I want in a guild:

- A project. Or rather, the opportunity to become involved in a project. I’m not vain enough to expect, or even want, to waltz in and take over an established group. But I do want to eventually be actively involved in pushing a group forward.

- A leadership team I trust and enjoy working with.

Why I want this:

I’m a good second. I’m not a visionary, I’m not a dreamer, I’m not someone who sees big. I am, however, easily influenced by other people’s visions and big dreams. I also really like planning, sorting, organizing. I like making dreams, other people’s dreams, a reality. (I missed my career calling, I should have become an investment consultant.)

I’m also not a passive player. Oh, I’m a little passive when I’m new, or when I don’t intend to commit. But once I’ve claimed a home, I’m one of those people who need to speak their mind, need to know everything and need to have a hand in everything. I don’t expect to control everything (despite being a bossy pally), but I’m at my happiest when in the eye of the storm. I lose interest very fast in “This is how things are and this is how things are going to be” environments.

Looking back at my guild-dating history (following my decision to regard my relationships with guilds the same way normal people regard their relationships with significant others. Not to be confused with dating-guildies. Which I swear I have never done and don’t plan on doing. Flings in foreign countries and Blizzcon dates don’t count. Yes, I like starting rumours.), what seems to have made or broke the relationships was always whether I subscribed to The Vision. If I could find A Vision.

I use the general word leader intentionally, instead of GM/GL, officer, healing lead, tanking lead, raid laid. To me, a leader is someone with A Vision and the ability to conjure that Vision in others. Sometimes leaders have official titles and roles, sometimes they’re just a face in the masses who happens to communicate good ideas well.

So then I pondered about those leaders I wanted to follow, those leaders who I followed then stopped and those folk who I never really thought of as leaders. What makes me believe in a leader?

There are a lot of bloggers who are guild officers and who offer advice from their experience. But you don’t often get followers who explain which traits attract their respect and, um, follow-ship. So here are the things that make someone a leader to me:

1- Communicates Well and Regularly – This is Number 1 for a reason: I can’t support something if I don’t know what I’m supporting. I constantly need to know what’s going on, not because I want to be annoying (while I do quite enjoy being a pest, my curiosity is not driven by my pestyness). It’s that in order to decide whether I’ll support and believe in an idea, I need to know the what, how and why of that idea. The leaders who’ve earned my respect are those who can answer those questions, and use those answers to convince me that their idea is a good one.

2- Sets Clear Expectations – I want to know what’s expected of me and of those around me. I want to know what my role is supposed to be. I have a pretty good sense of initiative and will jump in when I see a need, but it’s very difficult to be on the same page if I don’t know what the page is. And beyond that, in regular day-to-day guild life, I like consistency, I like when policies are enforced. When I don’t have to worry about expectations, I can focus my energy on things, like, oh I dunno…having fun.

3- Honesty and/or Integrity – I know when I’m being bullshitted. I might fall for it once. Twice if you’ve got that politician twinkle in your teeth. But after that I’ll figure it out. Most people pick up on lies quite quickly and on fake even faster. To be believed in, you need to be trusted. To be trusted, you have to be honest when it comes to matters relevant to the guild (luckily most people don’t care enough about your personal life to keep tabs on those lies unless they’re huge. Note: it is possible to tell the truth and be gentle at the same time!) and you have to practice what you preach.

4- Knows How to Say No – Saying “no” properly has two components. One in actually delivering the refusal and the second is delivering it a way that makes the receiver say “thank you“. Developing skills for both those components is pretty crucial to earning respect. And it’s especially important in dealing with people like me. I offer a lot of suggestions and a lot of feedback. I expect to be listened to. I expect to be listened to, but I also expect to be told “no” when I’m wrong, when I’m unreasonable and when someone has a better idea. It’s also pretty hard to respect a person who lets others walk all over them, who runs from conflict instead of solving it.

5- Enthusiasm – You know those shock value blogs that consist of guild or raid leader bitching about their guilds? And those GM’s who’s #1 advice to new GMs is “Don’t do it“? I love reading those bloggers, but I feel sorry for everyone in their guilds. And I’d never consider joining their guilds. Now I understand temporary frustration and I don’t mind being a shoulder or a pep talker (in fact, I actually really enjoy it), but I want a leader with a generally positive attitude. A leader is someone selling me a Vision. I won’t buy the Vision from someone miserable. If you want my subscription to your leadership, then show me that you’re worth my energy, that you enjoy what you do and that I won’t have to spend my game time nagging you to do your job.

And those are the 5 traits of the leaders I want to work with. I wrote in a gaming context, but I think it applies to just about every group-related part of my life. I tried to avoid the word “like” as much as possible, since respecting and liking are two different things. Generally I’ll like the people I respect as a leader, but there are many individuals who respect people they don’t like. I can, however, like someone whom I don’t think of a leader.

The Elegant Art of Complaining

January 25, 2010

You never know who you'll have to complain to

Sometime back, I received a comment, I can’t remember from whom. He mentioned how many of his guildies were terrible at complaining. Most of the time, he couldn’t even tell what it was they were complaining about. As I thought about it, I realized he was absolutely right. Many of us suck at complaining. Big time. It’s no mystery why: from the cradle onwards we’re told that big kids don’t cry, to suck it up, to stop whining, to QQ moar. As a result we don’t get what we want from life. Our jobs, our romantic relationships (and I know this! People who suck at complaining in relationships always come crying to me – there’s a reason why us crying shoulder types are generally single. It’s called disillusionment.), our social life and, yes, WoW are less enjoyable because we can’t complain properly.

All hail the typical pop psychology intro. I’m going to keep it up, with some…productive? tips to get the most out your complaining. Since this is a WoW blog, I’m sticking with WoW related examples, but, really, talking to humans skills tend to apply wherever you talk to humans.

(more…)

Shared topic: Relationships within Azeroth

November 3, 2009

This is my first time doing a shared topic. If I did shared topics all the time, I would write “as usual, I’m using this shared topic as a starting point but am totally going to derail.” Since I’ve never done a shared topic before I can’t say that. But I’ll derail anyway.

So “Relationships within Azeroth”, courtesy of Naithin from Tank’n’Tree.

As your friendly local amateur anthropologist, I jumped on this topic. I had this great informative post planned out to help the many people I’ve run into in WoW who were experiencing a common confusion. It was all about how to tell the different between eHarmony and WoW. Unfortunately for people who don’t actually play WoW but use it exclusively to flirt with the opposite gender everywhere, I decided to quit my beloved guild of two years and moved on to a guild that seemed to better fit what I want out of the game. So instead of an lovely, not snarky at all, educational article, you get a sappy post about getting attached to guildies.

Around my family, I’m not allowed to refer to people I know online as “friends”. “They’re not friends, they’re epals” my mother says. I don’t talk to my family all that often, but I’ve been careful to use the term “people I game with”. But are the people I game with friends? I don’t know them very well. I know bits of their personality – whether they’re fast or slow learners, perfectionist or not, quiet or loud. Some of them, I know about parts of their life, I know what they do for a living, I hear funny stories about their kids. And I care when something great or something bad happens to them. After all, these are the people I hear on vent night after night as we fight dragons and sometimes each other. When I was an officer, I’d run down to the library on my breaks to toss some emails back and forth with the other officers. Day after day. For so many hours in our lives, we laughed together, worked out strategies together and cheered each other up when our strategies didn’t work as expected. Whether I really knew them or not, I got attached.

When I said goodbye, I tried to do it the right way, being all polite and offering to pay back anything I owed them. I said we could stay friends. All those things I do at the end of a romantic relationship. OMG I broke up with my guild!

While I knew it was time to move on, I couldn’t stop the memories from playing in my head:
My first raid.
When I was learning to play a paladin and my class leader asked me what stats I was looking for to which I answered “spirit”.
The first time I got through Lurker without being killed by the spout.
The first time I got pissed off that others were STILL dying to spout on Lurker.
When we had a naked dance party in Magtheridon’s Lair for an hour because one of our healers went offline and we had no replacement.
Our drunken Kara nights.
When our warlock put me on ignore for pugging a heroic and I then went out of my way to make sure he died at every opportunity.
My first BG.
Our awful Arena teams (“dead before you are” and “5 dead guys”).
When we celebrated my birthday in Mount Hyjal.
When one of our priests decided she’d teach me to tank in Shadow Labs. In my healing gear.
When I discovered you could ride in the robots on the way to Mimiron (I bet those who were there that night still have my squeals of glee ringing in their heads)

And those are just some in-game ones. Meeting face to face with some of my Azeroth “epals” was also very memorable. For those of you who’ve never met an online friend before, here’s what it’s like: you have a stranger in front of you, that you’ve never seen before in your life. Then out of that stranger’s body comes a familiar voice. That voice talks about familiar things with a familiar train of thought. It’s the weirdest and coolest experience ever.

Less pleasant, but fortunately much rarer, memories occurred too, however, in retrospec, most of the conflicts that happened seem so silly.

Are the relationships within Azeroth different from real life ones? Yes. I find my online friendships to be much more “in my head”, if that makes any sense. Imagination and personal perception have a larger role than in my offline friendships which are more “in my face”. I do much more overanalysing of my online frienships and I get way more anxious about them because there’s so much left to the imagination. But some things are the same. The same personality traits bug me online and offline and the personality traits that I admire are the same as well. I care about my friend’s happiness and sadness the same whether they’re online or offline. I’m just as sensitive to rejection in the online world as I am in the real world. And I can have the same amount of fun with an online friend as I can with an offline friend (however I *do* need to mix it up, too much online sends my imagination into overdrive and too much offline exhausts me!).

As I say my tearful goodbyes to my guild, I’m filled with mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m excited to meet new people and have a refreshing environment. On the other, I’m reminded of the good times, of the caring, of the laughter. I feel bad for letting down those who tried so hard to keep me happy. I even cried a few times yesterday. Yes, cried for probably losing touch with people in a video game. I’m a huge sap, but it’s ok, I’m sure some people still love me anyway.

That’s the story of my relationships within Azeroth. Tune in next time for something a bit less introspective and awkwardly personal.


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