Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallow's End!

I think it's funny that I get way more into World of Warcraft's Hallow's End celebrations than I ever do into Halloween. Don't get me wrong; I think munchkins in costumes are as cute as the next gal, but since none of those munchkins are mine, I don't live near the niece and nephew versions, and my town is scary enough on a normal night, it's really not my scene. So today I celebrated by eating cookies with orange icing, munching on some off-brand chips, and drinking the next to last cold Dr. Pepper at our office party. It was good times. Only the front office lady dressed up, but that was actually one costume too many. Seriously, she works at the DA's office and she dressed up as a vampire, complete with white make-up and fake blood drips by her mouth. Scary. But not in a good way. Other than that it was business as usual.

When I got home I finished The Last Days, the sequel to Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. Vampires that are really just suffering from parasites. Weird, but appropriate for October 31, I guess. Then I went and killed trolls in ZA--ok, I was not actually responsible for the death of any troll, but I healed those who were. No good loot for me except the 18 mp5 trinket off Hex Lord. But I got some more badges and proved to myself and a few more guildies that I won't suck at this heal thing. Oh, then I got asked about my attitude and Sunwell Raids. Honest answer to that question is, "Um, if there is anyone else online, at all, no matter how bad their gear, or how much they suck, take them over me." But what I said was, "If you need me I'll go." I'm such a patsy.

Wonder if it's too late for the vampire lady to bite me before Monday's raid? Just a thought....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

/sigh of relief

It's not very often that someone in our guild is deserving of a /gkick. For the most part we make room for anyone and are very tolerant. I'm so not saying that we always get along. We don't. There are little squabbles going on constantly, petty animosities repeatedly bubbling to the surface. Sarcasm gets overused. Feelings get hurt. Grudges get held. Maybe these skirmishes are more for the sake of alleviating boredom than anything else. Who knows? Most of the time it just make us better raiders. We strive to beat our nemeses on the damage meter, hitting them where it hurts the most. But once in a while someone comes along that is pure poison. Outhealing them doesn't make you feel better. Outbidding them doesn't give you satisfaction. Their personality is so obnoxious that you cannot ever think of them without cringing. You do not tease them, knowing you don't really mean it. You don't lash out and then immediately wish to apologize. No, every hateful word you say to them comes from the heart, and they revel in making you sink to that level.

We haven't had many guild members fit this description. As I said, we generally manage to work with anyone. If we can't, that fact often becomes apparent during our recruit stage, when both the new members and the guild are checking to see whether or not they fit. There have been a few who slipped through. The pally who seemed nice enough, until he went psycho in gchat. The priest who complained about everything from loot to raid invites and wanted us to worship the ground she walked on. And most recently, a shaman who criticized other members performances, insisted on being lewd and crude in gchat, and reveled in being the guild asshole.

The shaman is no longer our problem. He was removed from the guild tonight after he chose to continue ranting even after our GM told him to shut his mouth. He picked the wrong day to push, as in the past two days the officers had been arguing amongst ourselves about what to do with him. In the end, on the GM's orders, another officer gave him the "it's not us, it's you" speech and /gkicked him.

The sad thing is, no one minded. This man had been in our guild for nine months, had raided with our A Team for almost as long, and not one person questioned the /gkick. There were some whispered comments of "omg!," one person who had never seen the speech before (like I said, we never use it) laughed at that, but no one stood up for him in gchat. In officer chat, yes. His champion left the raid in protest and expressed his displeasure. Another officer was unhappy that this individual was removed when another that he detests has remained in the guild for two years. But there was no outcry of "Why??!" from the general population. No one was surprised. No one was outraged enough (or at least not brave enough) to question the decision. They simply accepted this as the inevitable outcome, long awaited or long expected, and moved on to other things.

So now, as I let out a deep sigh of relief, I also find myself thinking about how and why this happened to us. How can we allow someone to hang around for months infecting us with their malignant attitude? Are we really so desperate that we have to accept the kind of people that elicit nothing but relief when they are removed? Is this a product of apathy or the side effect of democratic management? I don't know for sure. I plan to post more about it later, analyzing where we went wrong and how we can do better, but for now, I'm going to /smile and go to sleep.

Hello Again

This is my second attempt at making (and sticking with) a blog. My first, Valley of Shadow, was intended to be about being a Shadow Priest in the World of Warcraft. For a few days, I posted a lot. Then I stopped. For months.

Now, at the end of October, a few WoW related things have changed for me. I no longer plan to raid on my Shadow Priest. It's not that I don't love her, of course I do. She has traveled with me from noob guild to a raiding guild that finished the Burning Crusade in the top 10 on our server. She has healed her heart out. She has melted faces. But she has served her time. So I'm making a switch.

I'm no longer a fairly experienced Shadow Priest. Now, I am a totally inexperienced Shaman. My Shaman was created a few months ago when some real life friends started playing. I'll be honest and say that this most recent character is at least the third Shaman I started, and the only one to make it past level 14. I might have leveled a shaman without my friends needing help with lowbie zones, but I doubt it. Levels 1-15 were not a lot of fun solo, but were much more entertaining when I was also trying to explain the difference between yellow mobs (you have to hit them first) and red ones (run away!). Although my friends didn't take to the game as much as I had hoped, once I leveled the shaman to 20, I was hooked. I left them behind and kept leveling on my own. Levels 20-40 were still somewhat slow, but having a mount at 30 helped. Once I hit 40 and learned Stormstrike, leveling was a breeze. Now that I'm level 70 and sporting a mix of Karazhan, Zul'Aman, and heroic gear, I've set my sights on healing.

My goal for this blog is to follow the learning curve of a newish character in Wrath of the Lich King. I don't know everything there is to know about my class, but I'm trying to learn. And no matter what, you'll get to hear about my guild, both the good and the bad.