Thursday, July 16, 2009

Essential Tools for Guild Officers: Heart

When my older brother was in high school, he, like almost everyone from small town Texas, played football. To succeed in the sport you normally have to have the 3 S's: Strength, Size, and Speed. He had 3 S's, but not those three. He, and most of his team, were Small, Scrawny, and Slow. They won one game...ok, they had one tie, but in a season like they had, we called it a win. Needless to say, they weren't State Champs, and my brother, who was even smaller, scrawnier and slower than most of the rest of the team, didn't win MVP of the Season. But he did get an award. He got the Heart of a Lion award. He loved the game. He loved his team. He never gave up. And his attitude and encouragement of his friends was amazing in the face of such devastating defeats (and one tie). He had Heart. He wasn't a world-class football player, but he was a world-class team member.

In the 20 years or so since he graduated from High School, our hometown football team got much better. We stopped producing so many small, scrawny, and slow boys, and ended up with a few that have gone on to excel in college ball and even one that is playing pro. We won 4 State Championships and have been to the playoffs almost every year for the past two decades. And yes, that is a picture of a Yellow Jacket, although it is definitely not a picture of my brother. But one thing hasn't changed for the Jackets or for football teams across the still need the guy with Heart.

Winning or losing, you need the guy who stands on the sidelines getting everyone involved. You need the guy that paces in front of the bench wearing his jersey and jeans because he hurt himself last week and can't get on the field. But you can see in his every move that he wants to be out there. You need the guy who's peprally speeches give the great leaders of history a run for their money in terms of motivation. It may be easier to be that guy during the good years, but the team needs him whether they are plowing through games 50-0 or being plowed over 0-50. You need Heart.

Guilds need it too. You need people, hopefully Officers, who have a Heart for WoW. You need people who love to play. Not just people who love to raid or pvp, but love every aspect of the game and allow their enthusiasm to overflow and infect others. If that person can also lead raids, distribute loot, write up strategies on the website or wiki, and bake everyone a cake during a raid, good for you. But even if all they do is quietly encourage others on vent or diffuse arguments on the forums, they are invaluable and shouldn't be underappreciated.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Essential Tools for Guild Officers: Part One

Hi guys! Did you miss me?

I could go into what I've been doing instead of blogging, but really, that would bore us all. So instead, I'll jump into what I hope will become a semi-useful series of posts about what it takes to be a successful Officer.

I have been an Officer in xeno for 1103 days. Which is 157 weeks. Or 26,472ish hours. Or in simple terms, just over 3 years. ( is fun).

Within a few days I had read through the threads of the Officer forums on our site. One of them was the contact information of the other Officers, who all used an instant messaging program called "gtalk". The rest is history. Hundreds of thousands (possibly an exaggeration, but not by much) of chats later, this is still our main method of communication. Sure, during a raid, we use the in-game O chat. Sure, I have the cell phone numbers of almost everyone so that I can contact them by text message if I'm going to be late or, gasp, the electricity/internet go down. But for day to day communication about what we want to see happen with the guild, we use gtalk.

Gtalk is google's free instant messaging service. It can be downloaded and installed on your computer or smart phone, or if you are in a place where that is a no-no, it can be accessed through Which is what makes gtalk perfect for government employees like me. Well except for that small feeling of guilt I have occasionally, but that's easily dispelled when I think about the fact that I could be on ebay or some other website wasting time instead of just discussing guild matters.

When it came time for me to upgrade my old Motorola Razr, my main criteria in choosing a new phone was making sure it was capable of running gtalk. I've had my Blackberry for almost a year now, and I have never regretted purchasing it. Being able to chat with my wow friends keeps me sane when I'm at zoo court waiting on another annoying defense attorney.

It's not uncommon for me to have 2-3 chat windows open with different officers. Of course, we're not always discussing the intricacies of the three tank strategy for Ignis. Most of the time, we're just chatting about various things. But when we are in the midst of a heated debate about policy I know I can hash out my thoughts with any of them before posting on our forums. And, in my opinion, that easy means of communication is one of the things that keeps us going.

So, whether you choose to use gtalk or some other instant messaging program, contact both in and out of the game is essential for Officers in a guild. You need to be able to speak to each other about the big things and the little things and just the every day gripes that will develop. Otherwise you grow apart and start to think you're in this all alone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

File 13

wtb more Ulduar trash.  

I know, you think I'm crazy.  You think I hit my head in a freak accident slipping on a banana peel.  You think I was kidnapped by clowns (not the sad hobo kind, but the creepy happy ones).  And you might be right.  (Not about the clowns; I'd remember being surrounded by big red noses and bright orange hair.)

I guess I should be more specific.  Because in many places there is too much trash.  Is it really necessary to have quite so many freaking flowers in Freya's room?  We get it.  She's a tree hugger.  Can't she just hug the inanimate kind and not so flipping many of the mean flowers.  You know, on the few occasions people have sent me flowers, none of them attacked me and 24 of my best friends.  I'm just saying.

There's also a few too many worms.  I like finding the occasional worm hiding under a rock (or snow drift) just as much as the next computer nerd.  But I don't really need to have those same 24 best friends flying into said drifts and bringing back so many wriggly pals.  One or two, sure.  I'm only asking for a little moderation, here; I'm not discriminating against the no-peds.  

The place I would like to see more trash (just a tad, mind you) is from Assembly of Iron to Auriaya.  And I fully admit that I'd like to see this change purely for selfish reasons.  You see, I often (not all the time because Srom rocks, and even Blue is stepping up to do his share) keep track of our raid points and loot during raids.  And when I do, I generally load the loot immediately after a boss kill and then reload my UI to update the ingame whisper mod that allows people to check their point balance.  My computer is a bit slow to load.  So this process takes a little while.  In addition to running the RP system, I also normally make the healing assignments.  And despite the use of a couple of different mods, I haven't been able to make that quite as simple as I'd like.

I need more trash to have time to do everything.

That's not too much to ask, right?  Just a few more mobs.  They can be simple mobs.  You can even name them "Slowtams" or something.  I'm not that picky.  

I just wtb more trash.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fragments of Drama

xeno has it's first Fragment of Val'anyr

Our discipline priest outbid a holy priest by a tiny (and by tiny, I mean miniscule) amount on Thursday to purchase the right to one day equip a gavel of awesomeness.  A long time ago--back in the MC days--we decided that when loot comes in the form of many smaller drops that need to be combined together to actually make anything useful, we bid on the first piece and subsequent drops automatically go to the winner as long as they are in the raid.

Before you ask, I wasn't in the running.  Our loot is always decided by bid, and at the time I had about 800 points less than those involved in the RP bid war.  I like to pick up cheap pieces instead of letting them be disenchanted, so I'm bad at saving RP.

Here's the situation:  
Both priests have been in the guild for years.  One is a founding member of the guild, and the other has been around since I joined in 2006.  The second one has left us for other guilds (following her husband) and returned to us.  She's always been a priest; the other has been a mage (vanilla), rogue (BC), death knight (early WotLK), and priest (WotLK).

I've touched on our RP/Loot system in the past, but basically you earn points for attending raids, showing up on time, and staying for the hard stuff.  These two priests were neck and neck, the discipline priest edged out the holy priest when he had to miss a raid due to his girlfriend's knee surgery.  So it does totally suck for him that she edged ahead by such a small margin when he was doing the right thing.

I'm friends with both of them.  The discipline priest and I probably talk more now, but that is a pretty recent development.  She used to always be busy with her husband who is also in the guild, but currently taking a break.  He's kinda...hard to ignore.  I've been closer to the holy priest in the past than I am now, but we're still friends and have met in real life a number of times. 

There was a pause after he typed "all" on Thursday, then she followed suit and her "all" beat his.  To his credit, he didn't cause a scene, which is something we all know he's capable of.  Instead, he got really quiet in vent.  I've heard through the grapevine that he may stop playing his priest and try to go back to raiding on his death knight.  I hope that doesn't happen, but if he makes that choice, we will follow our guild policies, founding member or not.  

I'm glad we got a fragment.  I'm glad we were organized enough years ago to figure out how to handle similar situations, so we weren't scrambling to decide who to give it to.  And I'm not sad that the discipline priest won the auction.  I will be sad if a good healer gives up because of a piece of loot.  But I will deal with the fallout if necessary.  Bring on the Drama!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sweet Bye and...Hi

Quick updates:

No, I didn't quit WoW, although it was kinda touch and go there for a while before patch 3.1.  

I ended up spending a week in Texas at the end of March/beginning of April for my Granny's funeral.  Yeah, the one with the lace curtains.  I didn't play at all while I was there, which was actually kind of nice.  I got to do things like help my sister-in-law plan for Vacation Bible School and watch my niece and nephew do cool kid things.  Although I miss my grandmother, the service was actually really nice--my brothers and I sang at the funeral and got two thumbs up from our critic (so the critic is also our father, and he always gives us thumbs up, but this time he really meant it) and even got my grandfather to nod his head to our version of "Sweet By and By."

Before I left, we managed to get "Undying" with our 10 man group, which finished up the meta achievement for two of our members.  Grats to Whammie and Kromise for their Plagued Proto-Drakes.  But Whammie needs to stop posting it in chat or he may have a mysterious accident when he goes to visit the Floridians next week.

Since 3.1, our guild has downed Flame Leviathon, Razorscale, Ignis, Deconstructor, and Kologarn with our 25 man raids, and our 10 man group has killed all those plus Iron Council, Auraiya, Thorim and Freya.  So raiding is going pretty well.  

In real life news, I'm starting the job hunt (with knowledge of my boss) with the intent of moving back to Texas.  First choice is to return to the Lubbock area.  And since it's early in the hunt, that is my focus.  Later on I might settle for anything that gets me back into the Lone Star State, but for now, I'm focusing on being able to move back there.  

I guess that's all for now.  Happy raiding.