The Sidhe Devils are looking for new members!

News flash, my friends!

We’re looking for new people who might like to join our guild… and who would fit in with our crazy playstyle.
 
We’ve never really looked for more people to join before, although we have extended a welcome invitation to folks that we’ve met in the game that are awesome.
 
Things have changed in the guild over the last few months, to the point where it’s become clear that we really do need to let folks know our doors are open to new players.
 
We have had great friends cut way back on playtime because of work, school or real life pressures, some folks that would like to play more are having massive computer issues, a very few that wanted to raid, and like right NOW, left the guild to go elsewhere, and still others have quit the game entirely in favor of real life friends and hobbies.
 
It happens, and it’s healthy that it happens. People change, priorities change, and that’s what a guild with the slogan “Real life comes first” is all about. While we absolutely miss all the wonderful friends who have moved on, though… we’re still here, playing, having fun, keeping it real. 
 
We have never sought out new players before, we don’t do recruitment, and that means we don’t have new players coming in. One or two, here and there, but over time we have lost a lot more friends than we are inviting in.
 
This is our way of trying to change that a little. What we are doing, is letting everyone that reads this blog know that Sidhe Devils on the Kael’thas (US) server, the guild that Cassie and I are Co-GMs of, is seeking new players to come join in on our fun.
 
Now that I’ve said that, let me get down to some frequently asked, or anticipated, questions and answers.

Applications
 
We do ask everyone, even those people who we personally ask to join us, to please fill out an application.  It’s a VERY short application that just asks you to read our charter, and then tell us what appeals to you about our guild. It’s there so we know that you really understand where we’re coming from, and also to give us some idea of who you are and where YOU’RE coming from. A getting to know you kind of thing.

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…. oh, sorry. Ahem.

Ideal Guild Members
 
We are specifically looking for people that are interested in making the Sidhe Devils your main community/guild to play in. We are looking for new friends to join us, friends that will be as committed to being part of our community as we will be in playing and spending our time with you.
 
We have had a lot of good folks join that play a main character on another server, and are just joining SD to touch base once in a while and say hello. That’s always been fine with us, but those folks aren’t actually members of the community. They are friends passing through and saying hello, but they are not shaping the guild with their actions and creating the shared history the guild has together. 

We are looking for folks that really, truly intend to make Sidhe Devils their new WoW hangout, and that aren’t joining just because they are fans of, or want to hang with, the BBB. Trust me, I ain’t that interesting or funny. 
 
We would like people to have higher level characters when they do decide to join us. Why? Well, we’ve found that starting a level 1 from scratch when everyone else in the guild is focused on playing in the 65-80 range can be really discouraging. It’s boring. You feel excluded. Chances are, you’ll maybe make it to 20 or 25, say “Screw this for a game of soldiers” and go back to your main.

We don’t require anyone be a high level character… it just really will work better for you, since everyone else has someone at least in the mid 60’s. 
 
On the other hand, if you are on another server, and you are thinking of transferring over to join us, we really ask that you don’t do it right away.

Instead, when you fill out an app, start a level 1 alt on the server first. If everything looks all right in your app, we’ll invite you in, and you can get to know folks in the guild for a little while and decide for yourself if the guild seems like a good fit for you. If it turns out that you like the guild and can see yourself having fun there, then hey, go ahead and transfer or make a Death Knight or keep to your alt and go for the long, cold, hard slog to 80 all the way from 1.  Whatever floats your boat.

But at least that way, if things don’t work out, you haven’t moved to Kael’thas and got stuck there.
 
About our totalitarian regime.

We say we put real life first. What we really mean is that your family comes first. If you are playing with your friends in the guild, and your children or spouse or pets need something, then by all means go do it, and we will be patient and understanding. Nobody gets booted because they asked to go afk for 20 minutes in the middle of a raid because their son needed them. It just doesn’t happen. Ever.
 
But that only works so long as everyone in the guild is mature and considerate of others.

It’s never happened yet, but we would certainly have a very different opinion if someone were to bail in the middle of a run without any warning at all because Lost was coming on. Because we would feel it was inconsiderate toward the other players not to warn them that you were planning on leaving soon. Our guildies aren’t afraid to say right up front, “Hey, I only have 30 more minutes to play, is that all right? I have a TV show I want to watch.” “Oh, sure, no problem.”
 
No, really, about our totalitarian regime.

We are not a good place for immature players. Everyone in the guild is a nice, mature, well-mannered individual.

You may doubt this. Others have. Please, don’t doubt it. I’m quite serious.

We don’t care how old someone is, but if you act immature then you will be called on it, and if you continue to act immature then eventually you will be asked to leave.

We’re not talking about being fun, spontaneous, or silly. Heck no. We’re talking about being immature.

To be clear, I define immaturity simply as “Interacting with other people without consideration or respect for their feelings.”

This rule applies to me, Cassie, and to everyone else, not only in our dealings with each other but also in how we interact with other people in the game.
 
We have had people in the past who, over time, have acted without consideration for the feelings of others in the guild. They were warned, and then they were removed. It is not personal, something that immature people never seem to understand. It’s about knowing who you want to play with, who you want to spend your time with… and who you don’t. And we don’t want to spend time with people that don’t respect the feelings of others.

If you would like to spend your game time with other players that can have fun and be goofy… but who are also mature, then this is the guild for you.

The lowdown on Raiding.
 
We are not a traditional raiding guild. We do NOT ever have mandatory raids that players MUST attend, and when we do post raids each week, we try and make the start and stop times appropriate for a worknight. We also try not to have raids all weekend because we know folks like to do stuff on the weekend out of the house too. Most of you that read this probably enjoy raiding a lot more each week than we schedule. Right now we only schedule 10 man raids for two nights a week, generally Thursday and Fridays. If that sounds pretty boring, I can totally understand. If it sounds like too much, remember again that attendance is never, ever mandatory. 

If we had enough active folks to schedule more raids, and know that a handful of players that DO love to raid would attend a bunch of them, and others that have very limited playtime would still get to attend however many they would want to without feeling pressured, we would totally be open to do that. 
 
We do love to run 5 man heroics and instances, we love to go on ten man raids a few times a week when possible, we love to do exploring and crafting and questing and just hanging out. World Events are often crazy times as folks try to complete all the achievements.
 
We are not looking for any particular class. We’re wide open. Frankly, we just want more active players to come join us. There is plenty of room for anyone and everyone of any class to come and have fun and be welcome.

That being said… yes, I do play a bear tank, and as the best geared tank we currently have, I tend to be one of the guaranteed tanks on every raid. I am totally open for that to change. I have a Hunter, I have an up and coming Shaman that will be a healer… if you are a tank and think you’d never get to raid in this guild, think again. The more the merrier. It DOES work best to have more than one character to play so you can be flexible when someone else wants to play a tank or healer or DPS, however. 
 
We’re social, but we ain’t lazy.

If you’re reading this, you’ve been reading this blog long enough to know that, no matter how social or casual this guild is… we strive to bring our “A” game when we play with our friends. We try and plan our gear upgrades, and we study and attempt to learn how to be the best we can be, within the limits of the content we take on. We take pride in learning from what we do, and working to improve ourselves. We know that we may never be the best geared player on the server… but that nothing prevents us from trying to be the most skilled that we can be. And we also know not to get too tightly wrapped up in the whole ‘best’ thing in the first place. It’s about being the best WE can be, not the best one in the raid.

You can be in the guild and never, ever join a raid, or even a five man run. We have folks that play for fun and the friendship we share, and just don’t want the stress of a group run, or have the time to commit to a set schedule. That’s fine with us, too. Heck, ask any parent of a new infant if they can set aside a solid block of time to raid, and I bet they’d laugh right in your face. Right before they passed out from lack of sleep.

But those of us that do raid, we show up prepared to do our best (on time, consumables, repaired, best crafted gear you can get, gems, enchants, etc) or face some good natured ribbing for it.

And yes, I’ve done it myself sometimes, you get called to raid the night before in a pug, things go bad, you burn through your pots and food, you run out of mats for buffs, your gear is destroyed, and you log out in a funk. The next day, you mess around on alts, then someone invites you to tank a heroic… and when you show up, you’re still all messed up from the night before. It happens. We understand, believe me. It’s all in fun.

But the underlying point of mentioning such examples all comes back to consideration and respect for each other. Many folks in the guild don’t get to run things very regularly. Because of this, a 5 man run can be a very special occasion for some guildies. So we want our group time to be as productive as possible for everyone. 

We never expect people in the guild to go it alone. We love to see people come up with a list of where good drops come from that would help them, and then we’ll help get the groups together to run those instances. We love to see folks that want gear upgrades from crafting… and most of us with multiple toons work hard to learn how to craft the recipes people really want. Most of us would gladly share the stuff we farm to help someone else get the gear they want, so they can bring the bang bang. It’s fun, and helps everyone out in the long run.

Because we are all one big, happy, dysfunctional mess guild. We all hang together.  

Still with me? Wow, you’re just a glutton for punishment, aren’t you?

How to Apply
 
If after all that, you are still interested in joining the Sidhe Devils guild, then check out our Application forum to read our guild charter and view the application instructions.

I really hope to hear from you!

A brief discussion about my attitude (in fun)

Nobody has said so, but I’d like to own up to it right up front.

I DO have an attitude in the game.

There, I said it. And it’s totally true.

My problem?

I have set an expectation, in my mind, for other people to live up to.

And that expectation is, to my mind, very simple.

I expect people to behave in the game as they would in person. I expect people to be polite and considerate of others.

Someone doesn’t have to ninja loot to get on my mental shit list, my friends.

They just have to act without consideration for someone else’s feelings, or be rude or selfish.

Now, maybe a lot of these folks that rub me the wrong way really act like that in person. Maybe if you bumped into Asdjutdx in the Food Court of your local mall, and your clothes weren’t up to his sartorial standards, he’d tell you that your shoes suck, and that you’re a loser, right to your face.

Maybe.

But the amazing thing is, I have been out in public now, walking around in all sorts of public places, for over 40 years… and I have yet to ever have anyone act to my face the way they do in the game, and then pretend like it is accepted, normal behavior.

Amazing, huh? All these rude people in the game, just being themselves, right? It’s acceptable behavior, right? No big deal?

But I’m walking around in the real world, and where are they? C’mon, if that’s how they act all the time, if that’s acceptable behavior, I should have run into ONE of them by now.

But no! Not even in Gamestop or the comic shop! 

Where the hell are they? Shut-ins living in mommie’s basement?

Maybe schools have changed and kids really do act like this to strangers, but that’s NOT how I grew up.

Kids did NOT act like this in my High School. Not with the same sense of wild abandon.

I went to school in downtown Miami, where we had metal detectors and drug sniffing dogs and shooting-related deaths years before Columbine. Violence in schools didn’t just start 5 or 6 years ago, my friends, despite what the media portrays in the States. It’s horrible, but it was a fact of my life growing up, and I daresay most kids who are now my age dealt with it in one way or another. Miami was just one city in a really big country, and those were interesting times to be alive.

If you got into the same level of rudeness in my school that you see in game… and, sure, it happened… the knives came out not long after. You got a lot of shouting and pushing matches, but they were pretty controlled, there were usually ways you could make sure everyone could walk away with respect. If you backed someone into a corner where they had to put up or lose face, well, you knew that you’d better keep a grip or be prepared for the next step. And the next step was pretty damn ugly.

The point being, people ran their mouth in person just like in the game… but they knew damn well what the consequences were going to be. Some of them did it just for an excuse to start shit, but what they were starting wasn’t a flame war via email. And they didn’t pretend it was appropriate behavior. Everyone knew damn well what was going on. Nobody said, “Wait, wut, lol?”

Now, unless things have just totally flipped on their ear since I was in High School, people who act that way in game know exactly how to control themselves in public, because they know if they act the fool in the Food Court they’re gonna get the shit beat out of them by someone that is totally lacking a sense of humor, and is having a bad day.

So that’s the standard I have set in game in all my personal interactions. That people act in the game with the same level of courtesy, consideration, and politeness that they already know is appropriate in the real world.

If the people I meet in game do not live up to that standard… I think of them exactly as I would if they acted like that IN MY FACE.

In other words, as people that aren’t worth a second of my time. People I wouldn’t want to spend ANY time with, now or in the future, in or out of the game. People that, if I someday were to meet them in the real world, would get told the same as I write here… stop acting like a dick and grow up, nobody is impressed.

If you look over things I’ve said about behavior in the past that pisses me off, especially things that probably don’t seem worth mentioning or thinking twice about, that’s where it comes from.

Pure and simple, if you say it in game, but you’d never in a million years say it in public to someone’s face where they could get their hands on you?

Yeah, grow up.

One of the main reasons I left raiding guilds, about equal to the time demands of consistent raiding, is that in those guilds I have been a part of in the past, there have always been people like that. People that are asshats to other folks, and who are not only tolerated but coddled because they are a necessary class or a reliably present player for raids and progression. Or, God forbid, an officer.

Life’s just too damn short for that, man.

Okay?

Yes, I’ve got an attitude. I am fully aware of it. And I consider it to be a personal character flaw for me to be so judgmental. I really do.

But on the other hand… I have my standards for what I think is appropriate behavior. My minimum standard is that you treat other people just like you’d like to be treated.

And I try very hard to only associate with other people that are the same way.

I will end this mini-rant/explanation with a pretty nice conversation I had with a stranger Cassie and I met in Nagrand.

We were leveling my Shaman and her Paladin in Outlands. I was 65 or so, she was the same. We were leveling on our own, but once we had a zone’s worth of group quests built up, we brought our mains over to clear them out. She had skipped Zanagarmarsh to do Terokkar, and I’d gone the other way. We are both in Northrend on these alts now, she dinged 70 yesterday and I dinged 69.

However, at the time we were in Nagrand, and we both had the Ring of Blood quests available to do.

I told Cassie to get to Ring of Blood, I got my alt there too, and then I logged out and got my Druid to run her through.

There was a group there already, a bunch of appropriately leveled characters and a level 80 healing paladin from Green Dragonflight.

They were just hanging out, so I grouped with Cassie, she started the first fight, I went in and we cleared it together. One after another, we burnt through the fights, my Druid and Cassie’s Paladin.

With Cassie cleared, we swapped. I brought my Shaman onboard, she brought her Rogue.

So here are these two Sidhe Devils at Ring of Blood that blasted through it, and they disappear, and moments later, here are two other Sidhe Devils… I wonder what they plan on doing?

Well, I got a whisper from one of the guys that had been waiting, a player named Korso. He asked if we were going to run it again, and if so could he join us? They were waiting for the healer to return, but had no idea where he went.

I said sure, of course. And invited him to group.

I asked the guy what stage of the quest he was on, so we didn’t get out of sync. You KNOW what a pain that can be, when one person starts the fight before the other is done turning in. Then stuff has to get done twice, it’s a mess.

Well, this guy is just… a nice guy. He is patient, he actually types complete sentences, after every fight he rushes back to the quest giver… then STOPS, and types out “okay, ready to go” and WAITS for me to start the next phase.

How rare is that shit? I know!

So we blast through Ring of Blood with Cassie tanking it on her Rogue, and with Korso helping out. It was fun.

Afterwards, I thanked him for not only being a good player, but for being so on top of things, it was just refreshing, especially after so many other pugs lately.He says, sure, anytime, and then I see him /say to the others that had been standing around, ‘Sure invite me to your group again, I’ll still help you guys finish it.”

So the other group came back fro afk and saw he’d done it already… and he said he’d stay and help them finish. He didn’t bail on them. I love seeing that kind of thing, and I noticed and remembered it. “Note to self, Korso is a nice guy.”

What, you folks think I only take note of asshats? Oh heck no, I have a nice person list too!

We wave and take off… and Cassie Rogue Evasion-tanks Durn the Hungerer with me as heals.

Yeah, that’s right. Cassie took down Durn. She’s a badass.

Anyway, so lately we’ve had a lot of folks playing their alts just like us, right in the “Welcome to frosty Northrend” level range. Probably as many as 10 of us are all at 68 – 72 on various characters, scattered between Borean and Howling Fjord.

Yesterday, I get a whisper out of the blue. It’s from Korso, who I see is now also in Northrend. I think it speaks for itself.

korso

See?

I’m not unique or crazy, and my expectations are not over the top or unrealistic. Because there’s an entire guild of folks with the same values as me right here, and I bet there are plenty of other guilds just like us on every server there is.

It’s amazing how much fun you can have when you decide you are only going to play with people that all feel the same way.

You don’t HAVE to put up with asshats just to have fun in a video game.

This Bear wishes you get well!

Some of you may know the wonderful, irrepressible Shrinn. Here is a recent photo;

taz

Shrinn is a truly wonderful person, a great person, a loving, friendly, funny and sometimes silly but always wonderful lady.

Well, lately Shrinn has been suffering a great deal from headaches, migraines, very bad pain in her head.

taz_x-ray1It’s been so bad that the doctors have been poking and prodding her and running tests. And they don’t think things are all okay, but they don’t know what exactly is the cause.

I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to have a bunch of quacks running endless tests, and then saying “We’ll let you know what we figure out in a few weeks. If we remember to tell you.”

Okay, it might not be that bad, but she is still waiting, not so very patiently, to find out wassup.

Now, this is pretty bad. Constant pain piled high with added uncertainty are enough all by themselves to make you feel sad and depressed, aren’t they?

But it gets worse!

You see, a while ago, Shrinn’s computer died! It sat back and gave her a big, fat raspberry!

taz2

Oh yes, yes it did!

And so, Shrinn has been suffering this pain, and at the same time, she no longer has a way to escape into the wonderful world of WoW… unless she borrows Graimerin’s computer.

And he has it set up all wierd and goofy, and it drives her nuts, and makes her head hurt worse. So she ain’t been doing that.

tazheartsNow, they are going to get a new computer soon, tax season and tax refunds are almost upon us… and Grai loves Shrinn very, very much and has promised, PROMISED that her new computer is going to be a screaming monster that will blast through WoW like a tornado.

He was muttering words like Quads, and pentiums, and gigs and stuff like that… I am a poor man myself, and have an ancient and lumbering behemoth I’ve been upgrading bit by bit for over 6 years now, so it all sounds like black magic to me.

It does my heart good to know Grai is going to carry on the tradition of husbands whose wives get the massive screaming PC upgrade for WoW and leave us with the dregs, though. It gives us something to grump about as we sit in the digital sports bar in Stormwind’s old town on vent and drink Dwarven Ale.

Anyway, this isn’t a plea for you to send them money.

What I hope for is that everyone would just stop for a moment today, and each of you in your own way offer up your own thoughts or prayers that Shrinn may learn from the tests that there is nothing serious going on here, that in fact it’s just something silly, and that everything will work out just fine.

I know it may seem silly and strange to a lot of folks… but sometimes, when you’re in a bad place, and feeling stressed out and down…

Just knowing that there are people who really do care, and who wish you the best, can help to remind you that you’re not all alone.

And if you’d like to, please take the time to visit Shrinn’s blog and say hi, I’m sure she would love to hear from you.

God bless you Shrinn, from the home of Bear, Cassieann, Alex, and three cute but annoying cats. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Get better soon!

taz-1

Ask the Bear: Halp! I want to run something!

I had a nice email this morning that aked me a non-Theorycrafting question. Since I am, to be clear, a little tired this morning (and hoping to write a PBeM update when my brain clears) I thought this was perfect to break the blog ice.

Hello,

I was hoping to get your advice on a matter of guild behavior.

I was part of a tiny guild that never even had the numbers to run Kara, and only managed to make it into a five man once or twice a month. Eventually folks in the guild pursued different priorities, and the guild split apart. Recently, I was approached by the guild leader of a fairly large (160 member) guild. I let him know that I had zero raiding experience, but that I was very eager to learn. He was fine with this, and I joined up. Both the guild leader and the few guild members I’ve spoken with seem like decent people. As far as I could tell, these guys ran instances and raids regularly, but were a bit aimless in the days leading up to Lich King, which seems about par for the course.

Now that Lich King has been out for a week, what’s become apparent is that despite their large guild roster and regularly having 10-15 members online at any given time, there’s only one specific group running instances together. I expressed an interest in getting involved in the runs, even letting them know that I had a couple of alts I could bring instead if they worked better, and was told (not by the guild leader, who’s been somewhat absent as of late) that there would really only be room if I was a healer, which I’m not. When I joined, I was given the indication that there would be multiple scheduled runs each week, but so far, I haven’t seen that, at least not beyond this one group. Even if only 20% of the guild roster is active, that would seem to leave dozens of toons trying to get into runs, but only this handful of folks appear to be cooperating. Everyone else seems to be more or less left to soloing or running with pugs, which I dread (I’m somewhat introverted and I just tend to dislike pugs – one of my biggest reasons for wanting to join a large guild was so I could avoid the pugs). In addition, because the “elite” folks are able to grind instances, they’re pretty much racing ahead of everyone else.

So I’m in a guild that has at least 5 times as many toons in it as my old guild, and I’m actually running less that I did before.

I kind of get the feeling that the only way I’ll run with these folks is if I’m one of the first to 80 and they need more numbers to fill out for raids.

Being the new guy and all that, I don’t want to make waves, and I’m trying to be patient and wait it out at least until I can get the guild leader’s perspective on this, but it’s frustrating.

So, what is your take on this? Should a guild with dozens of active members have multiple organized runs set up so that everyone can get involved, or do all guilds tend to “clique” and this is business as usual? Am I right to be frustrated by this? Is it up to me to try to organize a “B Squad” run, even though I’m so new? Am I just in the wrong guild?

I’m a decent player, I’ve geared about as well as I can for someone who almost always only solos, I don’t have a ton of experience grouping but I can hold my own and I really want to learn and I have no problem taking reasonable criticism and advice. I just want to find a solid group where I can run a few times a week with a couple of alts and start seeing some raid content, but it seems like I’m having no luck finding that situation.

Any advice?

Thanks.

Thank you for writing in, Mr Anonymoose!

I’m sure we’re going to have some excellent suggestions in the comments, but let me give you my take on what you’ve described.

Now, it sounds to me like you’re in a guild with lots of active folks, and that’s great.

But you’re seeing a trend that there is only one group running instances together, and only that group is active in running stuff at the moment. They play together, they’ve been doing it for a while, and when you’ve asked to join into their group, you’ve been told that they pretty much stick together and could only use a healer once in a while.

Now, you didn’t actually say that there have been any raids where you are being excluded. It sounds to me more that this is just you wanting to run instances… and asking to join the only currently active group, and being rebuffed.

My take on the core issue here is… are you standing back, waiting for officers to organize runs for you to join? Are you being passive?

And if so, is it because only officers are allowed to try and organize a group?

If the guild is as active as you say it is, my advice is to ask an officer if you are allowed as a member to try to organize a group of your own. 

Take the initiative to try and form your own group from the many other active players you mentioned.

Speak to an officer about posting runs on the forum calendar or whatever other scheduling service your guild uses. Explain that you’d like to try and get a run started. Whether just a simple run for one purpose, or a regular event with 5 folks.

If your intent is to get a group for regular runs, say so up front. See if others are also being passive, wathcing and waiting for someone else to take the lead and get it going. 

The biggest challenge in getting a run started is usually having enough active players in the guild who are all online and have the time available to do it.

If you already have a bunch of folks active, and they are used to having no structured runs available, they probably log in when they feel like it… but if you get a run scheduled in advance, they have a chance to see something is coming, and hey! Maybe they can then set that time aside and be there for the run. Some folks you rarely see online may come out of the woodwork to join in, once they know there is something special to do.

If you have a goal, like accomplishing a particular instance or getting rep or a particular drop, say so. Other may share your goals, and will be happy to join you.

Remember, for most folks, it’s not a question of your gear or capability when deciding to run with you. It’s not an attempt to exclude you.

It’s simply how well they know you.

If you are new, and have been waiting for runs to be scheduled for you to sign up… the very best thing I suggest you do is take your fate in your own two hands, and MAKE something happen. Take the initiative. Get to know people, and let them get to know you, by requesting officers put up runs YOU want to do and hope to get more players for.

The more you play with people in the guild, the more you will become a member in spirit, and not just in the tag over your head.

Now, if you make the effort to try and get things started… and you are discouraged from doing so by officers or the guild leader… then you have an entirely different situation.

And remember… be polite, and be nice about this. There is no reason why you should feel excluded or slighted when a group of friends that have regularly run together haven’t opened themselves up to make a place for you. If they bring you into their runs, then one of their friends is going to be benched. And if they still don’t know you yet, it’s silly to expect taht top happen in early days.

No, get a different run going yourself, and meet people in the guild, get to know folks, and form your OWN circle of friends in the guild that enjoy doing things together.

I bet that some of the folks in the other group will join in when they aren’t running something, and pretty soon you’ll find that you’re having too much fun playing with all your friends and having shared experiences to worry about inner circles or cliques.

And then, once the time comes to raid… why, everyone will know who you are, and you’ll be just one more active friend of everyone else in a guild that is doing lots of fun stuff!

Cassie’s Post

Today I’ve “stolen” the day’s posting spot to talk about something that has me a bit sadden and also annoyed.  It’s a mini-Cassie rant. 

I haven’t posted here in a while and have actually distanced myself a bit from the public side of things to just immerse myself in the game and try to have fun.

But I feel like it’s time for me to share some stuff going on and how it’s affected BBB and I because it’s our blog and we get to share what we’re thinking.  :)

I have avoided bringing this up even in our guild because I didn’t think it was important to share or something that I was obligated to do.  It was part of my private game playing and enjoyment.  Something I believe that I have a right to enjoy.

Several months ago here on the blog (the last time I actually posted in fact and did because someone was kind enough to ask what I was up to since I had been so quiet), I mentioned that I had an alt that I was playing with to see if I liked before deciding to bring in to the guild.  That was one of my first mistakes because people decided that apparently it was a silent challenge from me to guildies to track me down.  Several people have worked hard to track down the identity of my “secret” alt and gleefully share that they have “outed” me, so I guess it’s time to talk about it.

I’ve continued to leave that alt out of our guild for several reasons.  I’ve shared before that I started playing WoW to deal with the incredible and sudden loss of my father in 2007; a loss that occurred a mere 17 days after the loss of my last remaining grandmother.  In 17 days, my mother lost her 93-year-old mother and her husband of 50 years that she had been with since age 14.  And my siblings and I lost the father that we adored and that held us all together.  That period changed our family forever and is something that we all continue to struggle with on a daily basis.

I started playing around with the game because I needed something to escape into when the pain got too bad.  I had always hated the game with a passion.  I can’t tell you how many fights BBB and I had about his time playing “that damn game” (as I referred to it back then).   When I started playing, I played solo until level 69 when I finally joined our former guild with BBB, and honestly I joined mostly because I felt bad having him bring his guildies in to do instances with me when I wasn’t a part of their group. 

My style is to be a loner in the game, focus, get things done and go on unless it’s an instance or group quest.  And in those times, I’d ask BBB to bring one of his max level characters to slaughter the instance while I joyfully gathered up all the loot. :)

Over time, I began to play in more social ways and to talk with people, especially after we invited others to join us in forming a new guild that would be different from others. But there are still many days that I don’t have the energy to handle anything else other than my own thoughts and continued grief.  It has nothing to do with not liking people or not wanting to be a part of the guild, but instead, it’s about trying to keep my sanity and figure out how to go on day to day in the changed family and reality that I have now.

In the past month, two people have gone to the energy of looking at what lower level/old world zone BBB happened to be in, deciding that he must be there for a reason and that they have a right to know what that reason is, doing a /who in that zone, and identifying the character that had a similar name to my others (since I created the character my second week in the game and abandoned until a few months ago).  And having that secret knowledge on their own wasn’t enough, one whispered me and said “gotcha secret alt!” and the other whispered BBB to comment on how high a level my secret was already.

The amount of effort people seem to go to in order to track our every movement is something that bothers us more than the reality of someone knowing the name of my secret alt.  It’s the feeling of intrusion in to our lives at a time that we clearly wanted to be alone and playing with just the two of us that really saddens (and ok, angers us as well).

I know both people probably thought they were just joking around and having fun, but the reality is that it wasn’t fun for us.  The first one, to his credit, did come back and apologize after BBB went off a bit on my right to privacy. 

But it still took a little bit away from the game for both of us.  We’ve already on bad days in the past few months considered shutting down the blog and even walking away from the game for many reasons including:

* Those people who track our every movement and who comment/judge either in game or on their blog or other people’s blogs about every guild decision that we’ve made and what they personally think about it (without offering any solutions or what they’d like to see instead or taking any initiative to make things better/different/etc)
* Those that feel they have the right to second-guess, correct or otherwise be obnoxious about each and every raid leading decision BBB makes on a run
* The constant reality of knowing that if we go on an instance run or raid, our every action will be watched, judged, posted on a blog or two, and that if we make any mistake or are in any way not perfect, it will be commented upon, remembered and brought up endlessly to point out how we failed or didn’t do our job that one time.

As I told the first person that “outed” my alt, the feeling of living in a constant fishbowl day in and day out gets draining at times and takes away from the enjoyment of our game time.

So why do we go on? Why not just walk away or transfer somewhere else where we can be totally anonymous?

The reason we keep coming back to is that we’ve met some incredibly great people during our WoW journey.  People that aren’t great because of how they play the game or how high their DPS is in a raid, but because they are truly nice people; people that we would love to sit down with and chat totally outside of the game.  For example, people that have already responded to BBB’s post about Child’s Play with incredible donation offers for a raffle event to benefit a charity we love while giving fun stuff to people they’ve never met.  It’s because of the wonderful people that we haven’t said “screw this” and shut everything down because of the smaller minority that are negative or downright nasty in emails, chat, behaviors, etc.

That’s something that we have to deal with since we do put ourselves out there publicly and because we chose to start a guild (something that grew much larger than we ever imagined it would and that has it’s own stress/issues in our lives – but that’s a post for another day.) :)

Whether it’s a game or not, I think we all need to remember that we are dealing with real people out there that have real emotions and thoughts about interacting with us, and think about how we are portraying ourselves in those interactions.

If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for taking the time to read about what’s on my mind!

Personal is not the same as important

Well, yesterday was a very sad day in the life of the Sidhe Devils.

One of our long time members and dear friends, Doodlebug, decided to leave us for a while to take a break.

To travel the lonely trails as a wandering ronin, guildless and hunted by ninjas, his only companions the wolf at his side, and the baby in the cart he pushes along those dusty roads…

Wait, what?

Oh, sorry. Lone Wolf and Cub flashbacks.

Anyway, as Doodle leaving kinda came out of nowhere from my perspective, you can imagine that I was confuzzled.

So I sent him an email, letting him know that I hoped he was all right, and assuring him that we were all really going to miss him. He’s always been a bright light of joy and fun in the guild.

When I logged in during the afternoon yesterday, he came on and we partied up to chat for a bit about how he was doing.

One of the things I was hoping to find out, beside how he was doing and if there was anything I could do to ease his stress levels, was whether or not something I had or had not done in being the Guild Leader had either contributed to, or directly led to his desire to leave.

Contrary to popular belief, I don’t think I have all the answers, certainly not about running a guild. I don’t know it all, I just do the best I can from one day to the next, taking things as they come, trying to anticipate potential problems and work to prevent them, but mostly just improvising as I go.

If it weren’t for Cassie, who does 90% of the actual thinking and work involved in running it, I’d look more like the idiot I am.

But I do worry about the things I could be doing or should be doing. Are we too hands on, organizing stuff on the calander? Are we not active enough? Do we give players enough space to do what they actually want to do when they want to do it, or do we give them too much wide open freetime, leaving them bored off their ass?

In the end, Cassie and I have pretty much just decided that trying to have a couple guild events on the calander each week that people are welcome to sign up for as THEY choose, and making sure everyone knows that if they do want more events, or want to do something specific, all they need to do is take the personal initiative to say so, and ask for it to be on the calander, is enough.

We hope it’s been working okay.

Well, in talking to Doodlebug, while chatting about this that and the other, he asked me a very good question on how I decide to act with people that are causing problems.

Apparently, it wasn’t an issue with him, but he couldn’t figure out why we took action on some things, but then on others I seem to just let it go on and on and on, bugging me.

In the past I’ve chatted with Doodle on voicechat, just venting a bit about something I’m cranky about, or stuff that’s irritated me lately, or whatever. So he knows when I’ve been grumpy about something once in a while.

And he asked me yesterday, “If someone in the guild has done something that’s really irritated you, why don’t you just boot them? Why do you put up with it?”

It’s a good question. I’m the Guild Leader, right? So if someone in the guild did something to irritate me, I could boot them from the guild and be done with it. Right?

Well, no. Not really. I think that it would be immature and asinine. 

I stole the title of the post from Terry Pratchett’s character Carrot Ironfounderson, but I think it’s true. I’m responsible for leading a group of people, and when thinking about an issue, “Personal isn’t the same thing as important.”

Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t think so though. 

There are two different kinds of issues that I think need to be dealt with in two very different ways;

  • Something that only affects me.
  • Something that affects many members of the guild.

If it’s just something that is bugging me, but nobody else either notices or cares, then I blow it off. I may vent about it for a short time to a close friend, but that’s about it. Not everybody gets along. Sometimes, people just say things or do things that will rub your fur the wrong way. Life sucks, get a helmet, as Denis Leary would say.

If it does seem to have some kind of animosity behind it, if something that seems a little mean-spirited keeps going on, then I’ll certainly approach them and talk about it, try to figure out what’s going on. But to take some kind of banhammer /gkick action? Nah, that’s incredibly inappropriate. 

But what about something that affects the fun of the group?

If there is something going on with someone that is hurting the fun of a large number of guildies, then it’s a different story. An issue that affects the guild as a whole needs to be identified, and corrected. Period.

Everyone has a right to enjoy playing the game. It’s only a game, after all. If it’s not fun to play, if you find yourself choosing not to log in to play your game because there might be someone online that you don’t want to deal with, or who hurts your feelings or makes you very uncomfortable… that’s an issue. A big issue. And hopefully it’s the kind of thing you can trust your guild officers enough to tell them about, before you drift away. 

Now, maybe my approach to things isn’t the best. Rather than confront someone right up front on a first time issue, potentially hurting their feelings over what may be nothing at all, I’ll instead talk about it to other guild officers first, see what their thoughts are, and generally wait and see if maybe it was an isolated thing, or to see whether it becomes an ongoing trend. Was it just the one time? Did they just have a bad day? Will the person approach anyone else and bring up what happened themselves, showing personal responsibility and maturity, or will they pretend nothing happened or do they act like how they are treating others is actually appropriate?  

Maybe it would be better to simply confront the person, the very first time, get everything right out in the open. I know I’ve read some things that suggest it is.

But I think that, if you were having a bad day, and you were just cranky, and maybe you still are, and you know it but you’re all mixed up inside, then being confronted about it right then is probably not going to help at all.

I just prefer to have a ‘cooling off period’, where guild officers can have a chance to discuss things first. And you know what? On those rare occasions where there might have seemed to be an issue… in most cases, a week passes, and nobody even remembers it happened. It was a bad moment in a day in the life, and you moved past it. And nobody got all argumentative and huffy and defensive and proud.

Arguments for and against, really.

I don’t think of myself as a babysitter. I expect everyone else in the guild to act mature and responsibly. I will NOT be big daddy bear dealing with childish cubs.

I’ll give someone a lot of chances to deal with things on their own, because who the hell am I to deal with it for them? All I’m responsible for is making sure no one else gets hurt by a guild members’ actions, and to be available to talk to if someone chooses to seek out someone out on their own.

If things go on long enough, and a behavior or action continues to hurt the fun of the group, if it does become a trend, then it becomes time to discuss what course of action to take, to make sure that the fun of the group is not screwed up because of one person.

That’s it. Once it becomes an issue that affects the group, and more than once, then it’s time to address it in some way.

In our guild, of course, there’s also another level to look at.

We’re a guild that is based on being social and having fun together, keeping in mind that real life comes first.

So the core playstyle, the foundation of the guild, is to have fun doing what we all like, and hanging together and chatting together and generally having fun. We can get goofy in chat, and have fun, and frequently people pop in, play for 15 minutes, then announce it’s time to go take the kids to Cub Scouts. It’s what the heart and soul of the guild is all about.

But there are also those of us within the guild that like to occasionally get our raid on.

People are more than welcome to PUG runs and raids if they want, I for one think we are all in agreement that if you enjoy raiding more than we schedule, but you also want to be in the guild too, then by all means, I don’t think it’s a problem. Go find a group that you can raid with. We still love you. Why wouldn’t we want you to have fun? 

But when we do schedule raids, if someone signs up for it then they are committing to a certain level of mature play. In a raid, nine other people are also committing themselves to setting aside an evening to play together. For many of us, we actually rearrange our lives so that we can have that time available.

As an example, for Wulfa to raid, Dammy has to watch the Orclette for the night. So Dammy has to give up his own WoW playtime so she can do it. That’s the kind of thing everyone has to choose on their own, in one way or another.

Is the fun I expect to have playing with my friends worth what I’m going to have to do to free up that time?

It’s a big commitment to anyone with a family, and even if you don’t have a family in your immediate daily life, often there are work stresses, school studies to be done, and friends that want a bunch of your time too, especially on the weekend, and all those things that you might be doing, are things you are setting aside for that time to raid with friends. 

So it’s expected that, while the guild is social and casual, if you choose of your own free will to sign up for a raid, you are committing yourself to stepping up and acting in a mature manner, and show respect for your other guildies by being ready to go at the scheduled start time, so everyone can have as much fun as possible in the short time we’ve got. 

And since there are going to be a lot of people depending on each other, it’s very important to everyone that, if real life does come up that prevents you from coming when you said you would, that you make sure you let us know in advance so we can work something out. 

It’s fine that real life comes up. That’s the point of the guild, that we understand that real life comes first.

But, when you sign up for a raid, you are saying that if real life does come up, you will act responsibly and let us know so nine people aren’t sitting on their butts waiting for their friend to show up. 

So there are two different standards in our guild, one for being in the guild and having fun, playing with friends and socializing and messing around. And there is another level of commitment for those folks that choose to sign up to raid.

And yes, heck yes it can cause stress. But would it be fair to boot someone from the guild because they have trouble making raids reliably? Because they are only having trouble with one small, optional part of guild activities?

I certainly don’t think so, not at all. Absolutely not.

But at the same time, would it be fair for the other nine people if we don’t do something abuot it, if problems keep happening without any warning at all? I don’t think that’s reasonable, either. You can’t expect people to rearrange their lives to go on a raid, if the raid consistently fails to happen. So it needs to be addressed.

So it’s extra drama that we always have to worry about, but it’s the price we pay to have fun on our own terms. 

But the rule has to be, if it just affects me, then it’s personal. I have to deal with it as an individual. It does NOT constitute guild officer level business, or guild officer level action. DOES NOT.

If it affects the fun of the group, then it DOES constitute a problem that the officers have to deal with, calmly, fairly, and with more than one opinion in the mix.

I think it’s appropriate. And I think, in the long run, that it is working for us pretty well.

I can wish that it wasn’t necessary to even have to think about that stuff at all, though, can’t I?

ZG is not ZA, no matter what letter they start with!

So this is the obligatory “I screwed up globally”, thanks to a failure to read. And making assumptions. Yay me.

So I was tooling around getting Eastern Kingdoms candy buckets yesterday, when I get a whisper from Shankm of Legendary, asking if I could tank ZA.

Well, our guild has ZA on the schedule for Tuesday night, so I say no.

He asks if ZA will be reset by then.

 Well, I don’t know. It’s Sunday, our raid is set for Tuesday, ZA is on a fast timer reset… well, heck, we have a new Calander built in now, so I’ll check.

I open the Calander, set the filter to “raid resets”, and see each day of the clander fill up with raid names. I see a Z in Monday, click on Monday to open it further, see the Zxxxxx in there, and go “Okay, cool, it resets Monday.”

Yeah, you know where this is going.

I talked to Ordeal, who was inviting for the raid, and said, “Sure, I can go, as long as this is going to be pretty quick. I cannot do a 3 hour run, I have stuff I have to do tonight.”

“Okay, no problem.”

So we go into ZA, and we start the timed events. We quickly breeze through Eagle, Bear and Dragonhawk, but the timer just runs out when we are downing the Lynx. So, three out of four chests for the Timed. Not bad at all, I’m pretty pleased.

I get a whisper from Doodlebug while I’m there, “Hey, is ZA canceled for Tuesday?”

“Nope! It resets on Monday, so I’ll be good.”

“Oh…. oh, okay. Ummm… ok.”

A little while later, someone else asked me the same thing in a whisper, while we are downing Hex Lord… and I replied again, “Nope, it’ll reset on Monday.”

Then late last night, Nasirah whispers me to ask who is going to tank ZA, since we are short one. I ask if Graimerin canceled, and she says, “No, but you were in there on Windshadow today.”

So I get huffy, and say for the third time, “No, it resets on Monday. See, you can check it yourself by going into the Calander, set the filter to raid resets, and see when everything resets. See, I go in, set the filter, go to Monday….”

….

::::::

WTF!?!?!

“And I see that it says that Zul’Gurub resets on Monday.”

“And Zul’Aman will reset on Wednesday.”

……

“So, apparently, I am a dumbass that fails2readcomprehension.”

……….

“Hey, can anyone tank ZA on Tuesday? Oh, yeah? You can? Thanks Squirrelz….”

“DAMNIT!!!!!”