Archive for the “The Guild” Category

As raiding begins to crank up, I find myself for the first time without any raiding options open to me. My main guild’s GM has been more or less AWOL since a year ago, and shows no sign of starting to play again, and a potential "we’re getting the band back together" opportunity appears to have fallen through. So for the first time since BC1, I find myself with no plans to raid, no pressure to hit level cap, no pressure to do anything other than play whatever toon I want for as long as I want. Which is exactly what I’m doing.

highmaul preview There are many, I am sure, that will point out that LFR fills the gap, and lots of my guildies are going that route and are, at least on the surface, quite happy about it.  Personally, I don’t consider "raiding" to be all about the content, and no number of Epics will alleviate the fact that I’m raiding with a bunch of strangers that I’ll probably never see again2. All of my fondest memories of raiding have more to do with the people I raided with than the raid experience itself.  Sure, downing a boss was fun.  But the whoops heard in Vent from nine3 of your closest comrades after hours of study, practice, effort, and wipes is What It Is All About, and anyone that disagrees is just itchin’ for a fight.

This is somewhat liberating, as I possibly change focus and attitude with regard to WoW.  Ever since the breathtakingly awful reveal of WoD and its subsequent consistent misteps, I’ve become somewhat sour on Blizzard games.  WoD is a fine expansion, there is no denying it, but my feelings of loyalty to the brand are greatly diminished.  They will need to do a lot more of what they’ve been doing4 before they win my trust back.

cobraAnd meanwhile, there’s Elite: Dangerous, and it’s shaping up to be something I’ll want to do.  The time I expect it to stabilize after commercial release just so happens to coincide with the time that I’ll probably start to get bored with the tedious Garrison grind and other not-actually-a-daily-in-name dailies. The fact that a game that I’ve wanted for quite some time is coming up to speed in the next two to three months may have provided the final temptation to spring me out of this game.

Or, it may be another Wildstar, and my interest will die a silent death in the dark of night again.  You just never know.


  1. I wasn’t a raider in vanilla. []
  2. And in some cases, that’s a good thing. []
  3. Yeah, we can’t really get 25 going. So we’re scrubs. So what. []
  4. And I must say, they’ve been doing a lot right in the last three months. []

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Last week I killed myself.  I enjoyed it.  I had served my purpose, but it was time for me to go, to make room for myself.

Let me essplain.

Way back in the mists of time, around 2010-2011 timeframe, you may recall I abandoned my longtime guild on Alleria to seek out a more amicable raiding environment. 

I ended up on Azuremyst, raiding with the excellent guild Eff the Ineffable, lead by the dopest of all the GMs, Alas the ever-bubbly and yet fearsomest.  We didn’t do too bad and actually managed to drop the endgame boss for Cata while it was still a thing.

Alas and many others – our core raiding team, really – went off to play with lightsabres, and the new management was unable to hold things together and we stalled out on Elegon.

There was talk at that point of joining Alas and a couple of our other former Effers on another server1 and maybe contributing to the raiding there.  But my broken bandwidth and an outflux of players in the new guild resulted not only in no raids but also in Alas and others leaving the game completely.

An empty guild that has nothing but strangers is no fun, and as a result, Grimmtooth hasn’t been in play hardly at all.  Until today.

killing grimmtooth

Grimmtooth Jr has been holding my spot on Alleria since that day that I moved off to AZ. Every saturday, he runs one quest, to ensure he didn’t get marked idle. He started his own guild, he got a bank, he’d been helping to stash and warehouse stuff for the team, but his services are no longer required.  So I killed him.

And now I’m back where it all began, on Alleria.  I don’t expect I’ll get much raiding done – Jasra’s too much in demand – but I don’t really mind at this point. It’s just nice to be back among friendly faces.  Our little social guild may not be a realm-firster, or even raiding current content with success, but every night you can see at least a handful of people hanging out, doing their thing and having a good time.

It’s good to be home.


  1. I’m deliberately not saying which. []

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Guild business, voice chat.  Discussion: the new talent system.

Me: "They’re not so much talents as much as they are moods."

Alas: "You have to blog that."

Mission: accomplished.

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While hanging out on a lowbie with some old friends1 last night, it was observed that the quality of PUGger had gone downhill quite a bit (we had just popped 15, hit RFC and DM right off.). I was reminded of that conversation this morning when reading this2.

After thinking about it a bit, I reasoned that what had happened was that we had experienced the WoW dungeoneering version of the Rapture, and that we were those that were Left Behind.  In terms of the relevant dogma, then, we’re experiencing the Tribulations.

Only those that are pure of heart, stout of body, steadfast and true, will weather this time, brothers and sisters. But, yea, though the Great Gaming Spirit doth punish us for not jumping to STWOR or TSW, we shall overcome. For on the horizon I see, O Brothers and Sisters, I see a shining light! The Metzen doth bestow upon us our Reward! A bright and shining new expansion. Yea, my brethren, we shall overcome!

/wipes chin

Ahem.

Um, so hang in there. MoP is on the way, and for a brief time we’ll get somewhat less of a dumbed down dungeon experience.

Until the next time.3


  1. Healer, Priest, Disco, yo. []
  2. Near the end. []
  3. After all, what has come to pass, will happen again. But that’s another show. []

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The end of the year has come and gone and Eff the Ineffable is (a) still around and (b) still kicking and © still recruiting. This comes as a surprise to some since things were looking dark at the end of the year. The fact that the Holidays always wreaks havoc on raiding schedules is still an endless source of surprise to many, and when you’re feeling a little bit vulnerable, as we have been, it ceases to be an academic issue.

Still, you have to admit that losing a GM and over half the core raiding team is a pretty difficult obstacle. Throw in the fact that the new GM has some stuff keeping her away from the game for a few weeks, and conditions are ripe for the typical collapse cycle.

Fortunately, there are many things that mitigated these factors. First of all, the new GM was quick to let people know what was going on, so the usual ennui on the part of the rank and file did not occur.  Secondly, we have some individuals that are willing and able to take up leadership roles – interim or not -  and maintain a sense of order that a guild needs to survive.  And, thirdly, efforts to recruit are bearing fruit – whether to get new members, or to build a guild alliance, remains to be seen, but progress has been made and thus far the new faces have been met with amity and approval.

The net effect this weekend was that we actually had to sit some people out for our weekend raiding. Oh, sure, the new faces were a factor, but that’s the point of bringing them in, or getting together, or however you want to put it.

The ultimate result is that we’ve managed to move on to 4/8 Normal. I realize we’re not talking world or even server firsts here, but it is achievement, it is progression, and I don’t think anyone walked out muttering bad things about anything.

As usual, I am not satisfied with my damage output.  There were one or two fights where I did exceedingly well, but for the majority I’m close to tail-end Charlie by the numbers. On the second day, I realized that I had some gemming and reforging issues, which I’m not sure how happened, but even that didn’t improve things much. I have some time this week, so I’m going to investigate a Survival build.  I hear that’s the hawtness these days. Always in motion, the future is1.

So, anyway, the future of EtI is far less full of woe than it once was, and I consider that to be a good thing.


  1. Obligatory required Star Wars reference. Wouldn’t be a WoW blog without it. []

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A quick technical note

If you’re unable to log in to a character, or know someone that is having this problem (i.e. you get to the loading screen and the bar stops around 1/4 the way across), there is a solution.  Apparently any addon using the lib-Tourist library will cause this. Just disable the addon. Currently this includes:

  • Cromulent
  • Fishing Buddy
  • Fubar (not here, but I’ve heard things).

I’ve also had problems with a couple of other programs throwing LUA errors on use or login, but that’s minor.

I’m really amazed that the WoW LUA interpreter lets an addon blow up the whole program like that.  I have two words: error checking. It’s hawt.

A new look

Thanks to the addon follies, and a side trip to the queue to watch The Big Lebowski, the crew really didn’t get moving until ten-ish; since they were right there, Jas, Illume, and Flora got right down to clearing the bank of old yet sentimental wardrobe items, and mogging current gear to their favorite ‘in town’ outfits. 

The biggest disappointment is that at some point I managed to lose Illume’s Abjurer’s Regalia (except the head piece, ick). So we’ll be looking to pick that back up. There is no outfit anywhere that screams "ice mage" quite as much as this set.

Myself, I’m still mulling over things. If mail it is, it’ll probably be bits of the DS3, a sentimental favorite1. There really is no other hunter gear that doesn’t look plain hideous to me, and I can’t really mog my current armor into my favorite in-town duds.  I want something that actually says "woodsman" when you see it. Like plain leathers and a viridian cloak. Research is required.  I’d love to find this in-game.

A somber mood

This patch day is somewhat more somber than past ones, though not as much as the 4.0.3 patch day when I was contemplating a server transfer. 

Now, after a fantastic year (or as close to a year as makes no difference) of raiding a camaraderie with Eff the Ineffable, it appears that is coming to an end. So many of our fundamental supports are leaving to go beat on Boba that we’re already marginal.  With our GM stepping down (she outed it on twitter), the future of the guild looks murky. I was already sad over the departures; this doesn’t help matters.

So while the new instances and the new raid look magnificent – truly, they do! – I find myself suddenly without any motivation to participate. I’ll probably get out of my funk before too long, at least enough to party with the posse a few more times, but it will be bittersweet, I think.

My blood, my cousins, my Calvary
Yeah a piece of them’s gone but still I feel them strong.


  1. Again, except for the helm. Really, Blizz, would it kill you to make something more attractive? []

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alas-means-business "You guys are just … wrong. That’s why I love you." – — Alas, over Vent.

 

I don’t think I need a better introduction, ever.

Despite stooging trash pulls like a boss, we managed to pull off 6/7 FL in less than three hours. Alas is closer to her legendary staff, Nym got her 25th ember/shard thing, and much leather was dropped into the eager mitts of our favorite rogue. I’m sure that’ll just make him that much more uber than I can ever hope to be, but that’s alright.

It’s funny, but I totally kick ass on trash. Give me a boss with … things to do, though, and I’m nuking like a T11 raider, baby.

Yeah, those 4.3 buffs to BM can’t come soon enough.

But what the hell. I may not be top spot on the DPS charts, but I came out of this raid feeling like I didn’t totally screw up. I call that a win.

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I present to you…

WHAT’S-HIS-BALLS

shannox

and …

BALLFACE

rhyolith

At last, according to our raid leader (Alas) at one point during tonight’s raid. She’s waffling on the latter one, though, claiming later in the evening (possibly after a few mojitos) that they were ALL Ballface.

The exact identity of "What’s-his-nuts" is still unresolved at this time. We will, of course, update you as events warrant.

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Last night, Flora got benched so I could participate in a unique guild event.  So, thanks, Flora, for not setting my Cheerios on fire this morning.

AnyHOO.

When the nature of 4.2 and the introduction of a new Legendary staff was clear to us, we actually had a vote ahead of time to pick who would get the staff fragments, should it ever drop for us. Well, it did, indeed, drop for us, and our esteemed GM, Alas, was the designated recipient – a choice I highly approve.

Last week, she obtained the final fragment and thus began the harrowing next steps, which apparently includes soloing a special instance of The Nexus – one of the rare times that such back-referencing happens. I wish I could have been a bug on a wall for that, from a lore perspective.  Alas avers it was extremely difficult1. Well, that’s fitting, it’s a Legendary staff, after all.

Last night’s event, then, was to obtain a branch of Nordrasil that Ragnaros’ chums had obtained. To do this required us to go in as a raid and engage several bosses long enough for her to obtain bits and bobs, and then a new, special boss encounter for the branch.

I can’t speak to the lore aspects, but from a gameplay perspective, I gotta say I like the way this is going. Engaging to the recipient, difficult but not impossible, and engaging to the whole guild. This is a great thing. It promotes esprit de corps, strengthens the whole guild identity thing.

As a guild we chose the one to whom this staff went to, and as a guild we are there helping her complete it. That’s pretty awesome.

I have yet to see the endgame for this from within, but so far, it looks like Blizzard hit it out of the park.

A note: somebody in vent was saying there was like nine months of full clears to go in order to get the rest of the stuff for the final staff. Mathematically, that’s not possible. I’ve seen several people get this staff already – you can’t miss it if you live in Stormwind – and 4.2 hasn’t even been around for nine months. So if you see exceptionally large numbers presented in guides, seek a second opinion. I have reason to believe they are wrong.


  1. I could swear she posted about that, but I can not find it. No link for you. []

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I was quite nervous about raiding Saturday. I’ve been very much so since last time I set foot in Ragnaros’ den. One rarely enjoys something that offers little chance for success. BUT. Gotta pull my weight, or give it a good try, anyway, so tonight I took my second look at ol’ flame-face. No, we didn’t take him down. But, in my eyes, we DID make progress.

We started out unable to handle the Sons at all, but near the end we had a couple of very good and clean Sons phases. Our next challenge is the Seeds – not just the first wave, but subsequent.  We’ve been given our homework assignments. I shall study more.

No, Yours Truly did not top the charts, and he’s not likely to for a bit, but at least I’m in a spec that I like. If I fail at MM so bad that BM does similar numbers, it doesn’t matter – and I can flaunt my exotics around to boot. The upshot is that I did see some improvement in my performance, and that contents me.

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The previous night was far less stressful, though our fight against Alys put me in new and unfamiliar territory – I was the flyer. One of my weak spots is taking a job that HAS to be done reliably, so this will help me deal with it. Right now I’m just focusing on staying alive, no matter how many times I have to pop my parachute.  I managed that on our final try of the night – and we did take her down, so, woot.  Again, homework. What does the flyer bring to the party, and how can I make that more awesomer?

I AM annoyed that my main nuke is down on the ground, though. Maybe I should swap to SV and bring a wind serpent for this fight.  If only they didn’t shrink our stompasaurus down after we tamed him, he’d have a shot at nipping hat her feathers when she did the molt thing.

Speaking of SV – let us not speak long of my performance on Beth.  My secondary spec UI was busted and I didn’t realize it until the battle started. So, I henceforth plan to run at least one day a week in SV spec just to keep it fresh, and avoid such embarrassing incidents in the future.

===

Alas got her final fragment for the Legendary Staff quest! She has a bunch of other quests to do now, and apparently needs to run some Firelands trash to gather other bits. She posted a request on the Calendar for Tuesday that sounded quite apologetic (we get to die a lot, apparently). Silly mage. Once a posse, always a posse. Flora might miss a raid night this week, but it’s well worth it.  How many times in this game do you get to be part of such a thing?  My only regret is that I won’t be able to witness it from end to end. Her own misgivings aside, I’m very excited for her.

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