Saturday, 27 March 2010

Passing Loot

Now with various bloggers running into trouble with their guilds for posting drama seeding posts I hesitate to post this. However, I've always tried to keep my blog private although not to the extent that if they find it they will not automatically be incensed by what they find. I don't even directly link to my guild on the blog just because I don't want any unwise or retarded ranting I do to reflect on them. As a background we use EPGP which we reset at the beginning of each new tier of content.

Let the ranting begin

Basically I'm a little annoyed. Due to a new initiative at work I often have Wednesday or Thursday back at my base site near home so starting this week I was able to attend our thursday raid which consisted of Deathwhisper Normal (lots of wiping on HM DW on wednesday after HM Marrowgar 1shot), Gunship HM (lol), Saurfang on normal, princes HM and tries on BQL again on HM.

At Saurfang, Deathbringers Will drops. A lot of our Mainspec DPS have it so the majority of the rolls on it were Trials/Offspecs. One of our rogues rolls because as Combat it's his BiS too. As a slacker who's been averaging 1 raid a week since TOGC25 this troubles me because I'm on top on prio on EPGP and its my BiS too. It's also an item I've been building my gear around and getting it would enable me to properly pursue my gear progression without resocketing. This will also be the second time I have passed the trinket. Our system also rewards people for their attendance (not to mention we punish people for missing raids and not posting and for particularly retarded mistakes/behaviour) and that is reflected in their availability of gear to them.

Now I know this rogue. I like this rogue and to my mind the obvious thing for me to do is to pass it because his attendance is much higher than me and I reckon I'll only have 50% attendance for the next few weeks and my previous attendance was 25% for the last two months. As I'm mulling this over a minor shitstorm is breaking out on vent because I'm mulling over the decision and have told the officer doing Master Looter to continue going as the Tier pieces being rolled for don't affect the prio of anyone involved.

I got very angry. I am not a fuckwit - in the end I am in this guild for one reason and that is to see us as a whole progress. When I see people getting butthurt over loot it really annoys me given the sacrifices myself and the other officers, not to mention the longstanding members, have put into it.

Whether I choose to take this piece of loot or not, the opinion of certain loudmouths, either on vent or via whisper, mean nothing to me. If the system allows it - the items I win are mine and I have attended the relevant number of raids to win them. I will not sell my priority to the highest bidder nor be influenced by people threatening drama. If somebody wants to tell me what the fuck I should do then they can expect my response to be telling them what to do (fornicate themselves with a chainsaw).

In the end I looked at the information in front of me and I made the decision I felt best suited the Guild.

Congratulation Roguepal bff! My reward was the DPS you put out on BQL you crazy Sonofabitch. We'll get that sparkly bitch next time (0.5% wipe = painful)

/echo out

PS. Fuck the trials it's mine next week muhahahahah

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

From AQ to MH to Algalon to Valithria 25HM - Or how I wasted my Sunday.

The day began on Saturday night actually. Well technically Sunday morning because I'd done what I've been trying not to do recently, which is play under the influence after a night out. Whilst playing with a couple of my guildies I managed to talk about doing an Ulduar achievement run. Yup, some people get drunk and talk about their parental issues or their messy break up. Me, I talk about the silly extra Ulduar Achievements.

I arose late, hungover with a mouth which seemed to feel like a cat threw up in it. Considering I don't have a cat and I've stopped smoking I think something is afoot here! After some morning ablutions I checked my SAN character for auctions, then jumped on my hunter to do the daily. Ah. He's done it, so I checked my alt... and my other alt... and my horde alt. I seem to have managed to do it on all 4 and yet have no recollection. Worrying.

Guild chat pops up and soon I'm on vent chatting shit with everyone and helping someone with mic issues. After a run fails to materialise for the HM ICC10 group I grab the people at a loose end and strike forth into AQ40. My healer friend is levelling a lock and wants to come with us to MH so we agree to go AQ first so she can ding 70 and come along for some levelling gear.

AQ was hilarious. Viscidus in particular. You see this boss needs frost damage to kill him after you've got him to 1hp. You use frost attacks and he becomes frozen then the melee shatter him. 12 people, you'd have thought one of us had frost attacks. We only had 1 dk so we sat there for about 10mins while he spammed Icy touch which only the application counted for incidentally because the boss is immune to diseases. He finally freezes and everyone is afk auto attacking so he doesn't shatter. /facepalm. We abandoned it and cleared the rest without issue before hitting MH and picking up our friend's lock and couple other guildies.

Mount Hyjal is always fun. I got Echo his rep achievement after the second boss so i jumped to my Prot/ret pally to pick up tier gear. Cue the end of the run and I have the t6 set bonus. The banter on vent towards the people who can't use tears on Archimonde is always fun too :D

The trouble was that after this people were beginning to drift off and I don't think anyone wanted to do BT or Sunwell. That was when my questionable behaviour the previous night came up. I pointed out we had 2 hours till the main raid and people probably need to sort things.10mins of "oh camman Echo" and we've thrown aside such petty worries and are clearing to Algalon. It's still a tricky fight all considered - with gear the enrage element of the fight was gone completely because we had 4 dps solidly on the boss most of which were doing 7-8k. Two tanks and 3 healers who took a couple tries to get the co-ordination going. We initially had 2 healers but got an ele shaman to play his resto offspec because the DPS wasn't an issue. 1 lucky ranged dps got to kill collapsing stars. Why oh why is this always me? Once I'd sorted the rhythm it was fine in fairness - a key thing if you're ever called on to do this is set a bind to mark the star you're on as skull and then completely hold off killing it if theres a cosmic smash soon or the tanks are low. We downed it after about half an hour and my good female friend who now plays a ret pally was ridiculously happy (even if she spent 50% of the fight dead in the back hole realm).

I realise some people wont have played the fight so I thought I'd do a speed overgeneralisation of it:
  • Algalon hates people with epilepsy, so be sure to turn away at the start of the fight (It's a light show). He's also trying to tell the Titans that Azeroth is totally shit and they should blow it up. Instead of using reasoned arguements you're going to kick his bitch ass to change his mind. Great lesson to teach kids blizzard.
  • You need 2 tanks and they need to manage their CDs well. Algalon also still hits like a truck and is a rogue style mob (dual wield) so your tanks will take a pounding.
  • If you think you will struggle, you need EVERYONE to commit to spending the next 60mins glued to their pc chair. You only get 1hour a week to kill this guy and trust me, when some wanker goes afk after a wipe you will want to kill him.
  • You also need someone who has done iron council hardmode looted the quest item then killed each of the keepers. Chances are if you're ready to do algalon you have all this.
The actual fight is relatively simple (all stats relate to 10man):
  • There are collapsing stars which are losing health. When they die they do a big aoe to all in the raid. 4 Spawn at a time and you have to make sure you kill them one by one because if they are left to their own devices they will all go off at the same time and wipe you. When they die they also create a black hole which is one of the key mechanics of the fight. If you stand in the black hole it puts you inside it (essentially a phased version of the platform) where there are elites wandering about and you take damage from an aura.
  • Now every 90s Algalon does an ability called Big Bang which as you've guessed is a big explosion that hits for over 70k physical damage. To avoid this everyone jumps into a black hole so when it goes off nobody dies. However, if everyone avoids the damage Algalon casts Ascend to the Heavens that pretty much rapes everything. So you leave someone outside to take the hit - either a tank with CD's popped or a shadow priest with dispersion. You also need to move out of the black hole when you jump in because after a few seconds you get ported out to the normal realm again and if you just stand in the hole you'll get re-ported.
  • The only other concept people will struggle with (provided you have a good, stylish, handsome and modest DPSer on the stars) is cosmic smash which is a big fire ability that is used every 25s and hits harder the closer you are to it. Its like a burning circle on the ground only it hits like the fist of an angry god if you're on it. Generally you can take the hit but the resulting fall will kill you, and if someone kills a star just afterwards you'll die.
  • Tanks need to swap or they get ported to black hole land when they get 5 stacks of a debuff the tank does (phase punch) - generally we have the tank that isnt tanking Algalon pulling the floating Living Constellations (annoying balls that shoot you) into blackholes to close them so there aren't too many up. I like to think of it as the title sequence to 3rd rock from the sun.
  • At 20% all the annoying stuff disappears and you get 4 black holes in a square around the boss that spawn adds. Simply have one of the tanks pick them up and go blow any CDs your dps have left to kill Algalon before he enrages.
TLDR: Avoid fire, jump in black stuff to avoid big fire, avoid black stuff the rest of the time and pray you have tanks and healers and 1 dps who read bosstactics.

This fight is beautiful and a hell of a lot of fun. The voice acting and the Lore is actually really good. Its one of the few times when I've killed something in WoW and it actually felt like my silly nelf was actually a hero as opposed to a tosspot with a bow and a wild animal who assaults innocent monsters for their things. You also get a bitching Title - Starcaller Echo on 10man or Echo, the Astral Walker on 25. I've linked the serious bosstactics below, do check out the dialog for when you defeat him. See what I mean? Listen to the sound file its really really good. I've also included a shot of the light show below. Forgive the shitty UI its from our first pulls aaaages ago.

Just after we kill him, those of us who are members get dragged into the main raid to go do some ICC25HMs. Unfortunately we had a bit of an issue due to a load of people geared and skilled enough having RL emergencies/conflicts so we had a slightly weakened raid groups that could clear normal but would struggle on HM. I offered to sit out due to my inability to raid recently as a result of a very busy job.

We weren't sure we had the raid available but after some intense officer discussion went in and knocked over festergut and putricide on normal then decided to have a crack at Valithria mainly to learn the HM fight and get some practice. 10 tries later our pallies have sorted their coordination, the hunter channel is full of positive discussion about our kiting and the raid is actively troubleshooting the things holding us back resulting in a kill great success! (People keep calling it a kill - if you're killing valithria "ur doin it rong")

All in all a busy day and surprisingly rewarding day, even if now my hand hurts from over playing. I also seem to have some enthusiasm in guild for the Ulduar nerd run next week. So we're going to give it a go and knock over as many achievements as possible.

/echo out

Friday, 19 March 2010

The Drama Llama and the Fixed (well almost) Mic

First of all there's something I'd like to get off my chest. This is obviously regarding a topic many in the WoW blogging community will know about so I'll dispense with drawing further attention to it other than the below.

Crankyhealer - I enjoyed reading your blog and considering there's very few blogs I actually check up on I'm saddened by the fact you've decided to leave the blogosphere. Your idea, which you've been held over a barrel for, was a little misinformed. The way I feel you've been treated by the community, however, is wrong. I've really enjoyed your writing and I think perhaps other people could have exercised a little discretion before posting. I hope in the fullness of time you do come back. *Guilt trip*

In other news I got off my arse after c. 3 months and fixed my soundcard and mic issues. It was actually refreshing logging onto vent and being able to respond to the banter. I'm still having driver issues which is leaving my mic volume very low but I'm working to resolve this and should be shouting happily at people standing in fire in no time. Incidentally not being able to "vent" on Vent was one of the reasons I picked up blogging.

Being back on Vent also brought up a rather surprising, and possibly worrying topic. One of the newer players to join our guild mentioned the first time he heard me a couple months ago. He'd joined a Ulduar 10 achievement run to get people the Rusted Proto Drake. I'd got mine a while before so was just along for the minor "stand on one leg while playing a banjo and killing the boss" style achievements as well as lending a hand. Basically we were on Mimiron HM and people kept dying in the fire (oh god the fire). As we were explaining it, and motivating people I was using my normal tactic of trying to make it funny so that people remember it. Well apparently he wrote down what I said and had it by his pc - he can't remember it and has since lost the scrap of paper but it did involve lesbians and fire.

One of the advantages of vent is that it's so fast moving that I can unload whatever bullshit in my mind and it wont be there in posterity to embarass me unless somebody is recording - which, and i ferverently hope this is the case, is not a regular occurance in my guild. I've heard myself during bosskills and thankfully the people recording tend to keep me off of the final video (Yogg Saron I believe was a mixture of tentacle rape and anal sex jokes). Plus my voice sounds to me, when played back, like Mike Meyers was trying to do a Fat Bastard/Shrek accent and ended up bringing in some Canadian/South African. I've yet to inflict this on SAN members yet but it's only a matter of time.

As a thought for the day - Whats the stupidest shit you've ever heard anyone say on vent?

I'll start with "Wait I can use my mouse to run?" (name witheld - guildie of mine who is amusingly clueless about certain things within wow)

/echo out

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Whiny Post Day

So apparently this is the day we're allowed to whine. At the risk of sounding like an elitist fuckhole I'm going to talk about DPS. DPS are the irresponsible children of wow. They rarely have any real responsibility other than to do "good" for their gear level dps, and not stand in bad. If they fuck up the raid might wipe, but not that second. I am a DPS and other DPS who play terribly annoy the hell out of me.

I fucking hate carrying people. I really do fail to understand how some people can grasp the relatively simple mechanics of this game. I've played typically high dps classes, and also the ones that have been considered lower and yet I've never been so godawful I've been asked to leave a raid group. I'm not blowing my own trumpet here, I routinely play with a range of players some of whom are such good players that their alts actually outplay our mains and show us up. What I'm trying to say is that if you're playing WoW then you're connected to the internet. You have access to google. Do the fucking research - there's a lot of resources online if you can't do it yourself. I'm a retard too, but I'm not a completely lazy one.

Take playing a hunter. I play semi regularly on my hunter (not as much as I want to - thanks work!) and raid occasionally. I do pug TOC25 every so often to try and pick up the belt from anub and I'm constantly thrown by how many of my class play terribly. It's not just the obvious raider pet peeves like standing in bad etc, but more their gear choices, specs and rotations. I'll quickly state I don't view BM as a "bitch" spec and to be honest generally play BM in these pugs. Now this often results in comments from the other hunters generally about how badly I'll do. Due to my lack of raiding, my gear isn't much ahead of theirs. What they've picked up in new ICC gear compares to my TOGC25 gear. Yet generally, and yes I'm generalising because you can't have a good rant without unfounded accustions, the quality of the players shitting on my BM spec is bad and I'm above them by 2-3k dps.

It happens with other classes I've played like blood/frost DK, Ele shaman, Balance druid and arms warrior. Not all of them are ez mode, yet theres always a simple few rules that people forget.

1) Gearing - Lazy gemming, lazy enchanting, stupid stat choices (expertise? are you fucking kidding me?)
2) Speccing - Don't assume what you are playing now is optimal. Read your patch notes.
3) Rotation - Again, I'm not hunterjesus here. I rely on people a lot more patient and analytical to do the theory crafting, then through a process of elimination work out what works for me.

Now of course if I can, I'd raid with my guild because I know people are there for a reason and have raiding rank because they've proven they don't need hand holding. But do you never look at the people below the tanks in Pugs and ever just think "How? How is this a problem for you?". It really does remind me of the video someone made near beginning of TBC in Gruul. They took a  hunter with a macro bound to every key of their keyboard being played by someone literally bouncing their forehead off the keyboard. They still managed a respectable place on the meters as I recall.

So to all the people out there being carried. Pull your finger out. It's all your fault.

/echo out

Friday, 12 March 2010

Zen and the art of Drunken Tanking

Now I apologise in advance for this but there's a good reason behind it. You see the thing is I have a theory regarding tanking. Given the title of this post I'm sure a lot of you can probably guess what I mean.

Tanking while drunk makes you a better tank

It was a subject that was brought to my attention recently. Having discussed this with guild tanks ages ago in possibly every end game guild I've been in it was something that isn't new to me nor to the bulk of people who play wow. Doing a little research produced some quite hilarious and worrying results. A thread on the official forums had a worrying number of tanks who, if they attend most of their guild raids, quite possibly have drinking problems. I even seem to remember a tank from the Horde faction on my server who once said (and I'm paraphrasing because my memory sucks):

"Tank x boss? But I've never tanked that sober before"

Alcohol as a performance enhancer isn't a new concept in terms of the internet. Many programmers will swear by drunken coding for example. In terms of anything else like driving, running or anything that requires coordination it obviously sucks.

Tanks will speak of the "zone" they reach where everything became simpler. Kind of like Zimmerman's valley if you've ever read the Terry Pratchett book Thief of Time. A brief explanation of this is below. Also go read some TP - it's incredible.

He [Zimmerman] is credited with going deeper and further into Time than any history monk before him, with the exception of Wen himself. Zimmerman could slice Time into thinner and thinner slices, passing through regions of great temporal instability until he reached the deep, but stable, zone known to the Monks as "Zimmerman's Valley" in his honour. Once in the Valley, a monk who can stand the extremes of cold and scarcity of useable oxygen is capable of travelling further and faster than ever before.

Now this is all well and good if this theory holds true. But speak to anyone of drinking age (in the UK this is around about 12 if my town is to be believed) and ask them about the nights they managed to balance their drinking into the perfect equilibrium of being fun and sociable without being a dickhead. Most people will admit that it can be tricky and once they've gone so far its easy to keep drinking and end up with some worrying photos to explain the next day.

In terms of tanking it's something I've experienced in both lights. I'd come in from a night out and was moderately inebriated and ended up in a karazhan pug as a druid tank. I'd run the place to death before but never tanked it and even though it was a late night run people commented that I'd been quite good. On the other hand I've played drunk before and it was godawful. I was overpulling, not waiting for healer mana, singing on vent and running into and getting stuck on scenery.

There's a beautiful parallel from TP regarding Zimmerman again that I believe illustrates this:

Zimmerman predicted that there would be another stable region even further down the Time Slice than the Valley. According to Lu-Tze, he was doing just fine looking for it, right up until the moment he exploded.

Dont drink and tank kids. It's not worth the explosions.
TLDR: Don't over do it or you'll play terribly. In fact you might just THINK you're tanking amazingly.

We're finally at the reason for this post. I came in drunk last weekend and I was a very bad tank on my prot pally (now 71). Sorry to the players in the pug group on rampage battle group in that auchindoun instance for the wipes and sorry I fell asleep logged in.

Seeing as inebriation is todays theme, has anyone else found evidence to support or refute this? I'd be interested to read your comments - considering the propensity of the Guild Members of Single Abstract Noun for cocktails I'm pretty sure there's a rich seam of data out there :P

/echo out

EDIT: I did it again this weekend... Sorry people in Utgarde Keep.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Achievement Whoring

Given I've little time available to raid at the moment I've been looking at what achievements I'd like to focus on completing. In the beginning I was whoring achievements like nobodys business. The crazy lust for more nerd points took me all over the game. Over time the frenzy died down and I was left with a silly total and a load of half finished things glaring at me.

So, here's my list that I'm focusing on:

The dalaran ring - I've had the gold for a while. I just can't bring myself to spend that much gold. I need to just sack up and do it. I've more or less paid for every other expensive achievement in the game (both 16k mounts, the 9k mount, all other purchasable mounts and pets, the haris pilton bag etc etc) so why do I need gold for really, my raid gear is as good as I can get it and fully enchanted and I've already ground everything I want on my alts.

Higher Learning - The last 2 books I need never seem to be up. I check everytime I log in.

75 pets - at 72 atm. Too cheap to buy the next 3.

100 mounts - at 90something and waiting for the pvp change so I no longer have to go to WSG. Also doing the argent dailys for marks. I think a couple zg runs, doing one of the achievements below plus the pvp should get me it.

Tabards - 17/25 again waiting for pvp change.

Frostbitten/Bloody Rare - Have npc scan up all the time. Fighting back tendency to fly endlessley from zone to zone. I've got a self help group of other people who share spawns with each other. So far we've marked off a couple by giving each other the heads up.

Reps - Wintersaber Trainers - I got halfway through and then boredom took hold and I couldn't do it. I don't have THAT far to go. Timbermaw gets done with Wintersaber, so it's really Hydraxian Warlords, Cenarion Circle and Zandalar tribe I should focus on. Which would take me a lot closer to the exalted title, and also give me a couple others.

Battered Hilt - Just for the achievement really. I think its a sidegrade overall maybe a mild upgrade.

PVP - I simply don't at all yet there's so many I could pick up.

Raiding - I got bored and theres a load of silly little achievements I never did on both 10man and 25man. I'm certain I could get people to show up its just getting the wherewithal to kick people into doing it. I also need to start getting people into the mood for pimping the new drakes.

I don't really know why achievements hold such a sway over me. Is anyone else a bit OCD too? I stopped actively farming them when Wrath raiding picked up (around Ulduar) and now the only use I tend to have for them is the status symbols like the 310% mounts or the titles.

The only trouble is the status symbols become devalued over time. The first time this happened was the For the Alliance and the black warbear. We formed 3 raids - literally 115-120 people (basically the raid squads of the 4 big guilds on the server) and swarmed the horde leaders one at a time. Considering the Leaders were 80 and we were 70 and our tanks had a running back in from death rotation, it was a big undertaking. It was also something to hold over the horde and over the next couple weeks and again at 80 we formed defence raids and kept trying to stymy them. One of my favourite wow memories. As soon as 80 hit any tard could halfass a raid together at 1 in the morning and get their bear..

It used to be that having the rusted drake was rare, and then as gear progressed more and more people were picking them up. So we took down Yogg on 1light to get the ironbound drake and slowly that's being eroded too. So once we get the new ICC ones within a couple of weeks as they add the aura to make the bosses easier they'll become more and more common.

Of course I'll probably manage none of the achievements listed above because I'll be tempted to head back over to Single Abstract Noun instead. If you aren't feverishly levelling a character over there and neglecting your main, what achievements are you after? Or even what achievements are you most proud of getting?

/echo out

PS: I missed out on immortal too fyi - ffffffing lag on sapphiron the week before they ended it and it was the last achievement I needed for the black drake :(

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Elder Echo's top 10 dungeon tips

As my contribution to the Elder Blogging Event started off by Khi at Tree Burglar I decided to put down some of my general dungeon tips. In wow years I'm probably about middle aged and given my extensive range of alts I often have

Now a lot of bloggers have spoken about playing their alts and getting whinged at or told off by other people who think they can tell them how to play. Allow me to state firstly that I only give people tips when their playstyle is causing the party problems and secondly that I generally always try to do it via whisper.

That said playing on my balance druid and healing from said spec in randoms to get groups means I spend so little time actually doing any healing that I'm noticing what people are doing. So without further ado, here's what I've been trying to politely ask people do properly. So help be a constructive party member and don't do/ help out the newbies yourself!

1) Stop pulling shit that is miles away from the tank - this is fucking obvious. In addition to this let the tank get the initial aggro as they are more likely to hold it if you do.

2) Paladin tanks, stop casting exorcism when tanking groups of mobs. Your health spikes because WHILE CASTING YOU CANNOT PARRY, DODGE OR BLOCK! Ahem

3) All tanks - learn how to move with mobs. I understand that for many of you, the random dungeon system is first step you will take into tanking. That said, an important point to remember is that you lose a whole lot of avoidance if the mob isn't facing you. From behind you cannot block/parry/dodge, this is also the reason melee dps attack Bosses from behind.

4) Put your buffs up at the start and then renew them without asking. There's nothing more frustrating than having to wait for the one person who is too cheap to buff.

5) Look at mana levels. If your healer's mana is low then pulling more mobs is a guaranteed wipe unless they manage to pull something special out of the bag.

6) Hunters, please turn growl off. I know your pet can tank but its easier for the tank to pick up the mobs if they don't have to worry about your pet stealing one while they aren't looking. Its also a focus loss, so your pet will in fact do less dps while growling.

7) Warriors, hold off on charging in if you aren't tanking. Yes it gives you rage but it often prevents the tank from pulling stuff back. Wait for the tank to stop moving, then charge.

8) DKs, use Death Grip sparingly. Helping a tank out by pulling a caster into melee range is useful. Pulling a mob out of the pack is not.

9) Understanding. If someone is doing something wrong - try and tell them in private first. Often there might be a good reason for them doing something. For example most levelling specs differ greatly from raid specs. So if my druid doesn't have points in certain talents, I for certain know this and know why I haven't bothered taking them. Someone saying "OMFG NOOB USE MF" is unlikely to garner a positive response.

10) Loot. The pink elephant in the room. All I'll say is that the LFD system gives us a lot more gearing options and this loot will only last us so long. It's never nice to have someone be an ass with loot but ignore them and you never have to worry about them again.

/elderecho out

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Guild History

What always amazes me when I play wow is the amount of emotional investment people put into some guilds so that they often become an almost living and breathing extension of themselves. I'm pretty sure that on my main I've been guilded close to 100% of the time since my first guild and it was only reading Tam's and Amber's posts on Cliques and their effects, and then Jen's post on why she loves her guild that the idea for this post really fleshed out in my mind. There's a guy I raid with who loves to talk about the history on our server. As in how and when things happened and all the old drama. I think it's because like me he wasn't in the guilds challenging for server firsts at that time and wants to understand why the raiding scene is the way it is.

Well my story starts as a massive noob to be blatantly honest. I joined my first guild Loyal Hearts at around 30ish on my second character which is my main now. I went back and looked at my first character, a dwarf hunter and it's hilariously terrible so I've left it as a sobering reminder that I wasn't always clad in purpz melting faces. Like most levelling guilds this one eventually died once most of the higher levels hit 60 and joined another guild. Almost 4 years on the old GM is in my current guild as an inactive and still logs on every so often to say hi. I'd come from a background playing another MMO called Matrix Online. I still had friends from that game I'd occasionally see but most of them rolled on another server and I'd put too much work in to move by the time that became apparent.

After a long haitus, where I went travelling and saw a bit of the real world, I came back and started playing again. Dropped the guild which was essentially dead only to be picked up for another on the off chance which saw me introduced to a great number of friends I still see today. Arms Arcanorum was a great place to level but as I hit 60 and started trying to get the guild raiding together instead of with other organisations it got more and more frustrating and eventually I left because I wanted a fresh start to try and get a raiding guild going. A bunch of the people left Arms to follow me to the new guild just as TBC came out. This is when I got the raiding bug and started tentively researching rotations etc. I would I still speak to 5/6 people semi regularly and considering they are internet friends from 4years ago I think thats pretty impressive.

Chaos Ltd as we were called gained a rather poor raiding reputation because we'd gear people and they'd go on and join other guilds that were better progressed. We managed I think server No6 in kara but the leap to 25mans and Gruul proved too trying. My officers and core would be playing well but the 10-15 or so cannon fodder were awful. Our best wipe on gruul was 2% when one of our officers shouted "DI the tank" meaning Lay on Hands and a silly paladin did it - OT dies melee dies, everyone else dies and I die a little inside. We were casual but some drama between me and an officer (D) spread in /g . He kept inviting back a shaman and I kept kicking them. When he removed me from our arena team before the S1 titles so the shaman could get some points I lost it and left.

The bulk of our guild surprised me and followed me to Earth Wind and Firewater (even D with whom I had the argument with) who at the time were similarly placed to us and welcomed the influx of recruits. Sadly the guild hinged around their MT and after making inroads into SSC and TK the guild was disbanded when he stopped playing.

A lot of my friends stopped playing at this time and I joined a more raiding oriented guild called YOGS ,again with D. Sadly missing too many attunements and standing in bad meant I wasn't cut out for them. I was raiding on a terrible machine and after I missed the last kael raid for vials I stopped playing. The one thing that had happened at this time was that I was min maxing for the first time and not making do or slacking.

Eventually returning to the game, I went casual and messed about with friends. Some old Chaos members had joined a rising guild called Allerian and being hopeful of a spot I applied only to be shot down. The hunter class leader didn't like me from something way back in Chaos where he'd been in my squad and wiping lots of raids. I'd kicked him and he resented me. Once a few more of my friends got in the app got reopened and I was left in no doubt that it was only because I'd had so many vouches that they'd had to accept. I at both stages loved and hated this guild. When the right people were in the raids it was great fun and we cleared most of TK and SSC. When BT and MH came out the old GM came back and it just went downhill.
We got accused of being cliquey which was true in retrospect but it was mainly a shared banter and a hatred of carrying people who contributed nothing and yelled the loudest for rewards. The Hunter CL was still being a massive arse and I swapped between BM and surv regularly because even though accepting me as Surv he decided he wanted to be the token surv hunter and demanded I respec. Then when he didn't show up for raids I'd end up respeccing back anyway.
After about 2 months in the guild I noticed the Gm and his best friend were siphoning off gold (people could buy DKP each month) and craftable mats for their alts which were needed for progression. The trouble came when the GM class swapped twice, used his massive DKP advantage ( he refused to reset the system from kara days because he'd earnt so much) to take loot then class swapped again. He then applied for another guild whilst remaining GM and said he'd still look after us.

My 10man group plus the assorted other friends we played with left in one almighty clusterfuck of drama because of this. All the bitterness came flooding out of a lot of people and I rather unwisely got into a slanging match on the official forums (I'd say I won but it wasn't pretty). It was just before the nerf patch at the end of TBC and somehow we ended up hanging out with a load of the ex members from the formerly most progressed guild on the server. They'd run into Sunwell and eventually disbanded and gone to another server only to hate the guild they merged with and move back. Our guild Rainbow Renegades (with memorable ranks such as "littal rainbow") merged with them and became the guild I'm in now.

I try not to talk too much about my guild. I know some of them read this and if I got into a really big rant I know I'd either cause drama or more likely look like a massive tool. Basically we're Server No2 and from our initial outlook have grown from a casual guild into a lot more of a hardcore presence. I've made a lot of good friends that I hopefully will be meeting up with soon, more so than any guild I've been in.

Our server is small. A lot of the people I've met along this journey to 80 and WotLK I still speak to occasionally or recognise in dalaran. Hell, among the more progressed guilds there's even a kind of unofficial bond, mainly because the /w s for pug raids etc tend to bounce around the same people. It's got to the point that I've tried other servers and because I don't have the shared history or a reputation it almost feels lacking.

So, if you're still reading after this massive wall of text, what's your history? Do you have a chequered past?

Answers on a postcard please (or in the comments)

/echo out

A Confession

I nipped onto an alt last night and I was a very bad balance/resto druid. I was running about trying to get 43 so my friends wouldn't outlevel me so badly that I couldn't play with them when we're all online.

I join the queue for the random dungeon as DPS. Nobody is on so I requeue as DPS/Healer and it still takes 10mins while I run about questing before anything happens.

Eventually I'm in ZF and quest items are dropping. Whilst trying to remain awake healing (seriously I can keep a tank up pulling normally with rejuv) I ask

"Hey guys, could somebody share the quests?"

No response. Completely blanked. I ask again and finally the tank answers

"Because it will take me longer to get the drops"

I'm not so naive to insist everyone I play with isn't a complete fuckwit but this was a joke. If I insisted on that I'd have a pretty lonely time and nobody would play with me either but that's besides the point. Who is that pathetically selfish though? In terms of quest xp in the grand picture the 2 ZF quests that rely on drops are maybe 10-12k each and with the amount you end up running the place through the random dungeon you'll finish it in any case by the 3rd run at the latest. Anyway I reacted completely maturely.

"Pull more. Lets get this done"

Tank runs around gathering mobs. Cat form, sprint,

"Find your own goddamn healer"

I'd feel bad about it but I figure considering most of the rest of the party had the quests too and said jack shit they were collaborators. At least, albeit obnoxiously, the tank said something. I'd also like to think that after that wipe they couldn't find a healer but maybe I'm just being to vindictive.

Now, whats the meanest thing you've done in WoW? It doesn't have to be justified, I'm just curious if anyone else has perhaps "overreacted".

/echo out

Edit: turns out I don't know how to type today. Also preview mode doesn't show shitty layout *angrybear*