Culture Shock

It’s rare that I run across something concerning WoW that, upon first reading, finds me confused as to how I feel about it.

Normally, for good or ill, I read something about WoW and my own feelings on it will be clear to me.

I might very well change my opinion after a lot of thought, of course.

At the moment, I’m right at that point, and it’s all to do with the raiding culture.

Last night, I had an email from a reader asking me what I thought about a recent post from the Tanking Tips blog, called The Road to Content; Reputation vs Gear vs Experience.

The post focuses on describing the things a new tank should take into consideration when planning on becoming attractive to a top end raiding guild; the gear you wear, the experience you develop in tanking content, and your reputation on the server.

The post left me feeling very confused.

You see, I feel the post holds several solid insights into the importance of these three aspects of a player’s raiding qualifications. Well written, thoughtful, you know… a good post.

The quality of the comments to the post also told me that the majority of readers appreciated the subject and how it was addressed, and offered many excellent suggestions and additional advice for how a new tank can develop gear, training and a positive reputation among the playing community as well.

So, what’s my problem, right?

It all came down to the feelings I had when the writer openly discussed strategic planning on joining guilds, with the specific intent of getting as well geared for raiding as possible before swiftly /gquitting and moving on.

Further, it felt that the unspoken assumption was that if your goal was to step up and be an end game raider, a new tank should be willing to intentionally deceive a new guild as to the players’ true motives for joining, because if a guild knew you intended to only remain long enough to gear your toon up, they would not take you in, and you would not get what you wanted.

That’s where my confusion came about.

For one thing, the blog author, Veneretio, stated further on in the post and comments that he didn’t actually approve of that behavior, but that sometimes it was good to talk about bad things. I’d have to say, pretending people didn’t do things like that when we know it does happen isn’t going to make for any kind of realistic dialogue.

Another thing that confused me was that, aside from one commentor, I really didn’t see anyone else that felt like I did about those parts of the post, the parts that felt like the writer was presenting joining a new guild with ulterior, self serving motives as an actual strategy.

Instead, it almost felt that, yes, the commentors acknowledged that doing that was one accepted way of gearing up and getting ready, but that the drawback would be openly developing a reputation as being untrustworthy, and so other methods would work better to develop and preserve a reputation among the community that would make you attractive to a raiding guild, such as running frequent PuGs.

I am not a raider. I never, never have been part of a hardcore raiding guild that tackled content seriously, night after night, putting forth massive effort and hundreds of hours into server first victories.

In reading Veneretio’s post, it led me to wonder if, when thinking of raiding in particular and the game in general, I’m guilty of a failure to think outside my own preconceived ideas.

I have always seen World of Warcraft through the filter of my own preconceptions of what an MMO is, right from the first moment; a place where you can play an RPG with a huge online community, live.

I have built upon those preconceptions on what an MMO is with my own beliefs about just how a person should act towards other people when playing a cooperative game like a tabletop RPG together. Yes, sometimes you get together with strangers to play an RPG, especially at conventions, but it’s still about sitting down and having fun, usually with folks that are either already friends, or might become friends soon.

I guess I could boil my attitude that came out of that to; if you’re going to play a cooperative game, why the hell would you play it with people who you believe that you will be screwing over in order to advance yourself? Why not just play a single player game instead? Why hurt other people? Johnny Fairplay my ass.

When phrased that way, my assumptions are easy to point out. Cooperative. Advancement. Screwing other people over. It’s all based on how I think the game is supposed to be played.

Why should I assume that the game is meant to be cooperative? That everyone else should care about the feelings of other people? Or act towards other players with courtesy or consideration, all friendly buddy-buddy?

Instead of my tabletop RPG mindset, where the team plays together as friends, how about I switch up the analogy?

How about if I look at WoW as predominantly a competition?

A competition such as Baseball.

Yes, it’s a game. There are rules for play, and structure, and people have fun playing it at the amateur level.

But if you truly want to go pro, your goal is, indeed, to do the best you can as a player… but you don’t expect to join one team in a one horse town, and then lead the entire team into the major leagues with you.

No, in this sports analogy, you join an existing team, and the coaches work at helping you improve and getting you set up with the tools to win… and getting you integrated into their team. They teach you the basics.

But if a major league team sees your play, and offers you a job in the majors to see the show, it’s expected by everyone that of COURSE you’ll take the opportunity to bring your play to the majors. You had to start somewhere, right? You had to learn the trade. And you had to develop your teamwork.

I can see it. It makes sense.

Using that analogy, as flawed as analogies are, it helps me to articulate the one thing that I believe remains true, whether raiding or casual.

Bear with me just a moment.

In the sports teams, when you join the minors, everyone knows that the hope is to someday be good enough to join the majors. Even if you’re playing in a sports bar team with the logo of a local barbershop on the back of your jersey, if a scout said, “Hey Mikey, you’ve got a hell of an arm, I think you’ve got what it takes, want to come start for the Yankees”, the rest of his team isn’t going to say, “Dude, you wouldn’t have gotten the skills without us. We just got you trained up, and we need you to stay here so we can crush the Malibu Bowl Bouncers in our bar league next week. ”

I think that, with the attention that is given to world firsts, server firsts, professional gaming league events, even Accomplishments, and the entire raid setup in place… it’s actually a realistic expectation that players, a majority of players, would have that same point of view.

A guild can represent a team, and for many players, perhaps your fellow guild members are not necessarily friends, but teammates.

Some teammates might be jerks, but hey… if they’ve got one hell of a pitching arm, it’s not like you’re going to bench them if you want to field the best team you can.

And let’s face the truth. Some teams are recognised as being more successful than others… and the dream of many players is to someday make the majors, whether that means being in the number one raiding guild on your server, your battlegroup, or even in the guild that are the the world first badasses of the universe.

Got it? It’s totally not how I have ever internalised the game before in all these years. Never. That’s my blindside, I didn’t ever look beyond playing with friends as being the core of the game for me.

But now that I’ve made that analogy, here’s the problem I’ve got… if you act as though you believe that others do not, and will not, understand your joining a guild, playing with them, getting good, getting geared, and then leave immediately, and you decide that you want to do that anyway so you’ll have to deceive them, then you’ve shown that you are deceptive and selfish in your dealings with others.

If you acknowledge that in order to get what you want, you must conceal your true motives from others, deceive them as to your intentions, and attempt to find situations where these actions will not be made public to the teams you do someday hope to join, then you’re not playing as though you really believe that WoW is a sport, and your actions are still inappropriate. You are acting as though you do understand that, no matter how you feel about what you are doing, the community as a whole will disapprove. But you’re gonna do it anyway.

You can bitch about it all you want. That’s the way it is. If you know your behavior is viewed as being wrong, and you do it anyway… the results are all on you. You have made the choice to play the way you want, aware of the potential consequences. Don’t hate the game, yes, hate the player.

I will continue to believe that, whether WoW is a cooperative game of leisure among friends or a sport played by competitive cyberathletes, if you intentionally deceive other players so that you can get them to give you what you want, that’s poor character, and it’s poor sportsmanship.

I know in my guild, if someone asked to join and told me as the guild leader that they wanted to raid, loved to raid, and hoped to advance to a more progression focused guild, but would like to play with us while they gained experience, gear and skill cause they like palying for fun with friends along the way… I’d say it depends on the person, and if the person is a friendly person and treats other guild members with consideration and courtesy, then okay.

I CAN make that claim, and stick to it. Because I already have done just that, a long time ago, and he’s still in the guild on one of his non-raiding toons.

We have a member in our guild that has been in Sidhe Devils for well over a year. I won’t say his character names, but he’s a really great guy.

One of his characters is in Sidhe Devils, and he logs in once in a while, says hi, chats, hangs out a bit.

But he’s not on often, because he is a raider, and that’s where his focus in the game is. And 98% of the time, he’s in the hardcore raiding guild he’s a member of on my server, and he’s raiding.

If he ever decided to finish leveling the one character he still has in our guild, and started signing up for raids, so what? Sure, come have fun with us.

And if loots drops, I’d certainly not say, “Well, we’d better pass to someone else that might stay in the guild.”

In fact, I’ll go one further. If he came to me and told me, “Hey, I’d like to begin hardcore raiding with my other character, they’ve got a spot just waiting for him, can you help me get prepared because they don’t ever run the earlier content and expect me to be ready on my own”, I’m much more likely to start helping get him IN runs to gear him up, or even get runs started just for him.

Why?

Because it would please me no end to help a proven friend who has always been open and honest with me to have the opportunity to achieve their goals in the game, if I can.

Because he’s a friend first.

When someone does the same thing, but hides it? Conceals their intentions, runs stuff with the guild and pretends to be all about the friendship, but as soon as they’re main gets as geared up as they could possibly get from the content you’re running, they take off for a guild that raids harder content? Buh-bye?

Yeah, you call them a snake. Or an asshat.

It’s not what they did, it’s all about how they went about doing it, and what it says about them as a person.

I think the post on Tanking Tips is outstanding. It really made me think, made me look at how I view the game, the stereotypes and preconceptions I’ve fallen into without questioning it.

I think there are a lot of things to think about there. The very definition of a great post; one that causes you to stop and think about things in a completely different light.

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31 thoughts on “Culture Shock

  1. Over on Pink Pigtail Inn there was a post talking about the tradition of having to be unguilded to be able to apply to many guilds and it led to a similar discussion about whether you should tell your guild that you are looking at other guilds or not. Many people seemed to feel it was absolutely fine to stay in the guild, business as usual until you have a new place lined up at which point you say bye and gquit asap.

    That way of doing things baffles and saddens me. But then again I have been blessed with stumbling across a social guild when I was a lvl 30+ noob hunter and I’ve never really looked elsewhere. We have grown and changed, but at the core it is about playing the game with people that are having fun. We only recently stumbled into doing 25-mans rather than 10-mans and we’re more about raiding for the enjoyment of it and the challenge of taking down a new boss – hardmodes is not something we’re particularly bothered about. A few months ago one of our officers and one of our best DPS players, posted on the forums that he felt he wanted to push harder with raiding. He wanted to do 25s, he wanted to wipe on hardmodes and that was not going to happen in our guild (well at least it wasn’t back then). He was open about his motivations and in return we were happy for him to stay on and play with us until he could find a new home. If he had needed it – I would have happily given a reference to any guild he applied for.

    But to feel that it would be ok to go behind people’s backs about this kind of thing – I really don’t understand it. Lying is lying is lying. Reflects badly on you as a liar and it’s hurtful to the people you subject to it (I mean look at the traumas Tamarind had with the liar in his guild… 😉 ).
    .-= Tufva´s last blog ..Ulduar 25 clear – just 5 more to go =-.

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  2. Im a competitive person by nature but I’m also loyal. I know I’m not required to be in one guild and I’m free to make my own decisions but while I would love to strive for harder content, I really like the people in the guild because they are truly good people and my conscience would not allow me to use them for my own ends. I’d rather not join a guild or only join one that I feel would be able to give me what I want. It would be taking advantage of strangers because a small guild struggling to get through content is of course going to accept most people because they are trying to build their level of skilled players.

    I think people who do that not only show the type of people they really are, but they are also the ones that have no problem jumping down someone’s throat in a chat room or on a forum but if it was in real life they would be too scared to say anything.

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  3. I occasionally read “The Greedy Goblin” (http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/) for economics / money making background. He actively advocates doing this kind of thing. He points out, quite correctly, that even a guild that claims to be going to advance through all the content seldom makes it past the level they’re currently on.

    From a different perspective, any guild that mostly assigns gear by DKP or other system based on your attendance/performance is really assuming you’re “earning” your gear. And it should be your gear if you decide to leave. But if you’re in a guild who’s “gearing you up” to the exclusion of other characters (or doing loot council to give it to the guildie with the worst gear), then the gear “belongs” to the team, not to you. Participating in that kind of a guild loot system and then bailing out would be amazingly uncool.

    Personally, I really wish we had “Raid Teams” in addition to our “Guild of Friends”. Just like we have Arena teams, etc. I like my guild, but we can’t seem to reliably get Heroics off the ground and have only braved Naxx-10 a few times. But I’ve pugged everything up to and including Ulduar and would like to advance further. I’d like to join a “Raid Team” and stay a member of my guild. Ah well.

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  4. Aye, a split between a “raid team” and the guild would be a great idea. Or multiguild membership.

    I do have to ask, though: If we’re running with the baseball team analogy, who exactly are we competing against, and for what? It’s not like any of us are making a living at this. I know, some people are just wired that way, but I can’t help but think that turning that *drive* to something more… productive… might be a good idea.

    Of course, I have my own preconceived notions about what MMOs are. They run more along the lines of “virtual worlds you can play in with friends”. I’ve written about that more than once. 😉
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..Work and Play =-.

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  5. @ Caelean
    Indeed teams would be awesome.

    To the rest of the post — I don’t understand the baseline perception that to gear up for a raiding guild you have to be a dishonest twit. Not one bit.

    I’ve joined guilds for fun, for friends, for heroics, for raiding, and in every instance I’ve never felt the need to lie about my goals for my character. If I’m no longer happy in a particular atmosphere because I want to be beating my head against a wall in cutting edge content or chilling in more laid back content, I’ve always been comfortable talking to the guild leadership, saying my fond adieu’s and going — but only because I’ve been honest about why I wanted to join in the first place, because I’ve been willing to carry my perceived weight in whatever guild I was hanging out in, and just as importantly, being respectful enough to give notice when I felt that said guild and I were no longer a good fit.

    Joining a guild expressly to hop to the next guild can be a good strategy — if you are clear with the guild taking you in that you are seeking to join a different guild if the opportunity arises and you will not disable the team.
    .-= Windsoar´s last blog ..Of Webpages and RSS Feeds =-.

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  6. I suspect it doesn’t happen as much as people think, especially with tanks. How often do high end guilds really recruit tanks? (ans: Very very rarely, on my server at least.) So if you are really this mercenary, you’re looking at applying cross server for the few tank spots that are available.

    It’s almost certainly easier to find a progression minded guild and help them get to where you want to be, is my guess.

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  7. I have used a name other than the one I sometimes post wwith for reasons that I think will become clear in a bit. I hope Our Host won’t mind.

    I concur that joining a guild with the express intention of gearing up and moving up from AAA to AA or A or the Majors (to continue the baseball analogy) is fundamentally dishonest. However, if you want to get server firsts, not to mention world firsts, I’m not sure if there is any other way, alas.

    The guild my wife and I am currently in has had this happen several times over the last year. It’s a big guild, but is mostly casual players so we had a hard time getting 10 man runs of geared players when we joined last year. Early this year some players joined, got geared in heroics, and became part of our core 10 man team doing Naxx. We were about to split into having a second 10 man team for Naxx and every Tuesday were doing OS25 and a couple of bosses of Naxx25, when they all quit to join up with some friends that were into hard modes. It came out that they had planned this all along.

    I was a bit upset, but we closed ranks, built up again to 2 teams of 10 doing Naxx and started Ulduar 10 with the best geared, when one of the tanks got into a dispute with the GL and gquit, taking most of our heals and some key DPS with him to a new guild. I don’t think this was planned, but it might have been. The tank was trying to get the GL to institute DKP (rather than open roll based on spec), wanted to have members be told they couldn’t raid until they got fully heroic/badge geared, mandate spec changes to players, etc. In effect, he was trying to build a guild-within-the-guild. We quickly got back up to a 10 man team, but our main friends in the guild all went with the tank. We won’t join this new guild with our friends since the GL is, IMHO, a snake in the grass, based on some tells he sent me during a raid.

    Now we’re back to Naxx10 at best, gearing up a bunch of newbies. Unfortunately, many of them are really bad players – they stand in the fire, have bad gemming and enchants, never bring flasks and food, etc. So no Malygos for us. No Ulduar past Flame Leviathan. And we’ve got all the gear we can use from Naxx10 except for a helms from KT. Then last night our MT, 2 heals, and many DPS – most of whom are RL friends – quit to form another guild. I’m pretty sure that many of them joined our guild to gear up and get ready for Ulduar. At least 3 of them had stepped away from WoW during BC due to RL concerns and were coming back to join their friends. One or two even faction changed.

    The GM doesn’t really seem to care about all this, as he’s seriously well geared (6-7k DPS) and gets invited to Ulduar, Onyxia, VoA, etc. by other guilds. Given this, along with a thread on the Official Forums that indicates that our current guild is considered a training ground and haven for noobs by other guilds, the wife and I are planning to gquit soon. In the mean time, all we can do is herd new 80s through Naxx10. Sigh. I’m sicke of the place. We’ll probably server change at the same time, since the other casual raiding guilds have raid start times I can’t make. We’ve started a new toon on the target server, intending to apply to a Really Big Guild that has raids at lots of times, and find a niche there. I’m not looking to be l33t. We’re pretty much the definition of casually hardcore – we read class boards and blogs, pay attention to the spec builds on Elitist Jerks, watch the boss videos on Tank Spot, show up at raid time repaired – with flasks and buff food, and stay out of the fire. I want to kill Maygos once. Would like to do Ulduar all the way through. See ToC 10 man. Is that too much to ask?

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  8. When I started raiding back in MC – I was the wet behind the ears nooblet that you’d expect. Magmadar was huge. I didn’t know the first thing about keeping SnD up, or what a proper rogue rotation was. As I started to progress, and learned more, my direction changed. I wanted to hit the harder content – to be that guy with the best gear.

    So I pushed, and I pulled, and I prodded – and when my guild didn’t move forward, I left. I joined another, and another, until I found one moving at my speed and in my direction. And I left them too.

    Now, 5 years later – I’m in a guild with 9 of the folks from my FIRST raid guild. We’ve been friends all this time. We’ve helped each other out, even though we were rarely in the same guild. With the release of Wrath and 10 man content, we have finally been able to reach the top with just our friends.

    Now – as far as the analogy goes, or the process of lying to get geared up – what can I say. I don’t trust people IRL, much less in a game. If you’re buying your gear with DKP though – and it’s not being handed to you or crafted – then I see no issue with it. Sure, it might irk me for a while, but it happens.

    And to be honest – if we were looking for a tank, I’d look at that guy. He had a goal, and he did what he had to do to reach that goal.
    .-= Adgamorix´s last blog ..Let’s talk buffs =-.

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  9. I think it’s about where you move as well. If that baseball player left his minor league team for a slightly better minor league team, I bet some of his team would be pissed.

    I am an officer in a 2 day a week guild, which is generally 10th on our server in overall progress (in terms of casual guilds we are the top on the server though).

    Over the years we have had players leave for
    – *FotM guilds
    – The top horde guild server side.
    – Guilds 1 boss ahead of us that week.
    – Guilds behind us (but that raid 1 more day a week)
    – The top horde guild in the all the US
    – The top horde guild on a more progressed Server (this has happened many times).

    One of our healers left to join the top US horde guild at the time, I was both excited for him and sad, but mostly excited. All of the players that we have had leave to top guilds on other servers we have kept their alts in the guild, and have all left on good terms.

    However players that have left us for anything less than a significantly more progressed well established guild generally get shunned.

    *(Flavour of the month, quality players, but you know for the start it not going to last because every guild that’s ever been formed by those players disbands)

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  10. I hear where you are coming from, Bear, and honestly, it would depend on the player’s motivations in the game. I’m in a 10-man raiding guild with people I enjoy hanging with… Sure things get tense from time to time, it goes with any set of friends. A few months back, a couple of friends transferred back to Doomhammer (I’d known them all during levelling before they left Doomhammer) and they joined a very good 25man raid guild. Well, this guild has had some attendance problems lately and I’ve subbed in on a couple of runs. I’ve done well enough they’ve issued the invite to me to join them. They are nice people and they have fun. I could easily make many friends there, too.

    I don’t have any problems admitting I’m tempted by the offer, too. They also have a need for good tanks, so my husband would be welcomed as well. But the fact is, I like the people I play with… but there’s also all the frustrations that we’ve dealt with lately and wouldnt it be nice to leave those behind… And we’d see more content than we do now. But what about all my friends here? I dont want to leave them, either…

    The fact is, I won’t leave without really good reason. I am VERY guild-loyal and I take that commitment seriously. I’ll just have to be content with being a substitute on the roster… but wouldnt it be fun…

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  11. So, in sports they make you sign a contract to insure that the team doesn’t get screwed. Even in baseball it is against the rules to come and get the coaching you need and then bail immediately. It’s called a breech of contract. The reason they have contracts is so that the team is guaranteed to get some benefit from training you. I think the same would be fine in wow. You need gear? Great sign up for a few month contract. Don’t leave as soon as you get good gear but leave after you have given a little back to the guild. It will make everybody happier.

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  12. Joining a guild to turn it into a stepping stone guild is pure arseholery to my mind. You are using them to gear up, taking loot off them and off people in the guild who could use it for the guild and generally being a self-centred waste of skin

    At the same time, I can understand the frustration of leaving a guild that, for various reasons, will not and cannot progress, especially if youn don’t have strong social ties – but you don’t join it with the express wish to gear up and leave. That’s just selfish and if I were the guild they then joined I wouldn’t want them

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  13. Joining a guild to turn it into a stepping stone guild is pure arseholery to my mind. You are using them to gear up, taking loot off them and off people in the guild who could use it for the guild and generally being a self-centred waste of skin

    At the same time, I can understand the frustration of leaving a guild that, for various reasons, will not and cannot progress, especially if youn don’t have strong social ties – but you don’t join it with the express wish to gear up and leave. That’s just selfish and if I were the guild they then joined I wouldn’t want them

    We’re not a hardcore guild, but we do have very good progress. We have seen people come to us from lower guilds – and we check to see how long they have been in the raid before, check to see why they left and even talk to their ex-gm (we have good relations with many guilds.) and appreciate it when gms do the same with us. If someone joined geared and then left we don’t want them – even if they’ll stay forever more they can never be trusted to think of anyone but themselves. We don’t need that or want it.

    Sadly they do look at the game as a competition – but they don’t realise it’s STILL a team game. And you advance far better if you work with your guild than only for yourself. We all know the guildnhoppers – the ones who have been in 10 guilds in 6 months – we know they’re either shopping around or they’re arseholes

    I’d expect them to put some decent effort into their own guild before looking to hop. If they end up hopping because they’ve worked as hard as they could getting the guild up there and the guild just can’t do it then sure, they will movfe. But joining with the express intention of moving still seems selfish tbh. It’s fine saying “this is minor league and I’d go to the big leagues” but in that baseball team everyone understands this. The same is not true in a guild. If you join a casual raiding guild saying “this is for me, I like casual and playing etc and don’t like hardcore” then they don’t expect you to be using them to get a leg up. It’s deception and using people for selfish gain – and any guild that takes them had better be wary – because they’ll hop the minute a better offer comes along.

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  14. To add:
    If you are deceptive and do this there is no way you can help but screw your guild over. ESPECIALLY if you’re a tank

    We’re a casual raiding guild – but if someone wants to join us we say “sorry we need 3, at most 4 dedicated raiding tanks” if we have thise 3-4 (and lots of alts/offspecs for reserves because that’s the way we do it) then we’re turning down other tanks who want to raid. They’ve joined as dps instead, or healers or have a different main, even one they don’t prefer as much. We then work at gearing those 3 tanks, split loot between them, have kept the number of tanks down so they don’t have to compete as much, we have opened our guild bank to them because, more than ANY other class, the quality of our tanks are a major part of our progress. Tanks are the most essential class.

    And if they suddenly bugger off we have a huge void. The guild has invested a lot in one of 3 essential characters and now we’re down to alts/offspecs/a brand new tank (who we have to build up trust/train/gear). All those tanks who applies are lost opportunities. The guild is going to have their raiding severely messed up and progress set back

    With a dps this is easier. There are many many many dps in a raid. And you can carry a dps – 1 or 2 or 3 low dps in a 25 man won’t make THAT much difference (a heroic/hard mode… less so) even a healer can be propped up by 5 others. The tank? No. All 3 of you have to take what Gormokk the Impaler dishes out. You all have to grab the adds on Yogg Soron. We need you all to be decent at agro on Thorim.

    unless you’re honest with your intentions and the guild has built around them, leaving any guild that has any kind of regular raiding schedule is going to hurt them

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  15. Unless you are a .1 percenter…how you play with the team is a HUGE part of your likelihood to move forward. Every scout on earth depends on the coaches at the lower levels to provide them with input on any prospect, except in those very rare cases where the talent is so amazing that you assume you can just work around the player. And then you recruit them, make sure you have outs in the contract…and pray it all holds together. Milton Bradley is a pretty good example of what happens when you assume team dynamic isn’t an important part of player ability.

    MMOs provide a level of anonymity that isn’t present in any real world analogue. And I just wonder how many times progression guilds hear “oh yeah, I got all my gear from PuGs” and begin to wonder why this guy has, apparently, never been guilded. While their new prospect’s former GL is trying to decide whether or not to say something…

    Personally, I can’t imagine using other people that way. The social and cooperative aspects of being in a Guild (maybe that’s me –my Guild rocks–) are way to important to screw up by jumping ship to get a little bit further ahead. So I have to stick with Bear’s basic premise: just because you aren’t going to know people in RL does not excuse you from behaving like a decent human being when you encounter them in game.

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  16. I think that the problem with the baseball analogy is that in WOW, we are all in the same league. Even the most casual player is in the same game, on the same servers as a casual player. So in baseball, if someone gets called up to a different league you should pat him on the back and wish him luck…but if he jumps ship mid season to a team in the same league just because they have a better record, you’re sure not going to think about him the same way

    Makes you wonder if there would be possibilities in competitive servers. Guilds who want to go for server firsts or #1 spots can play with like-minded guilds. Guildies could end up traded; “we’ll send you a couple rookie healers for that all-star tank and a DPS” and all of that.

    The possibilities are…um…unsettling.

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  17. Any guild worth its salt will have loot rules to prevent someone from doing exactly that. We have a three week trail, ( we would be on his #4 path ) for which you only get loot if no one else wants it, our Gm has been actively encouraging duel specs amongst the raiders so that we do have the back ups, and should never ever have to run retro runs to gear up a tank from scratch.
    You pay for your own enchants, and gems, and flasks so any upgrade costs in that period is your burden, and then when you do roll on a main spec item, to get your next piece in that category ( armour and trinkets/rings are seperated ) the date of your last main spec loot item is used to determine your elligibility in comparision to the rest of the people rolling on that item. So if your going to try and screw us over, your still comitting an awful amount of time to do it, but by then we probably have had our moneys worth out of you.

    Also If you think that Guilds don’t talk amongst each other, realm gossip does happen, and if someone guild hopping for gear at that level it will get noticed, then you still might find a guild that will take you but only because your exactly like the rest of them, and will be forever known as “One of those people” from that particular guild.
    .-= Zahrah´s last blog ..Target Dummys will now heal you with VE. =-.

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  18. How do you find the time to write all of these bearwalls? I don’t even know where to start with commenting to this post. I’ll skip the personal experiences, many others have added their own. I’ll just say this. You sir, are one of the best writers in my feed Reader. Please never stop.
    .-= Maerdred´s last blog ..This healing thing is hard =-.

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  19. I love the idea of a raid team you can join, in addition to your guild. brilliant.

    As far as the analogy of baseball… all analogies, by definition, aren’t going to match the real thing exactly, because they ain’t the real thing.

    But what this one did, just for me, was help me finally make that connection to help me understand the emotional draw of hardcore raiding.

    I now feel myself not just understanding the desire to raid competitively, but could easily see myself assembling a strike force of players whose goal was absolute dedication to the utter destruction of all content.

    It’s not hardcore raiding, it’s competitive team-based gameplay, and I never really emotionally felt the distinction before. I want leaderboards, I want trades, roster substitutions, injury reporting (and I assume grounding rules… but mom! I’ll do my homework later! It’s time to raid!), and by god, gambling!

    Hey, I base my own gameplay on spending my free time hanging out with friends, but I was a frikken Marine… I’m as much an alpha dog competitive bastard as anyone when it’s a challenge worthy of stepping up for.

    Damn, now I’m itching to raid. Just with friends. 🙂

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  20. I am in a solid multi-guild raid team. It’s more than possible. We’ve gotten every boss in ulduar 10 except Yogg-Saron (we’re working on him now) and some hard modes. We clear ToC 10 every week now, and usually have 2 or 3 raids going at a time. We’re close to clearing ToC 25. It’s hard to get a spot but it’s what amounts to an organized PuG and people who are solid raiders are welcome to join us to gear up. We all expect that someone is going to do their guild runs first. There’s quite a few that raid primarily with the team but many who raid only to gear their alts and who raid in the top guilds with their mains. It’s a lot of fun, and I know we’re not the only consistent pug group out there, I’ve heard of a few others. Our method is to use a chat channel to advertise raids, we have a guild for storage, a spreadsheet to track individual performance, and we use forums. I’ve also been invited to a regular PUG for ToC 10 that uses the calendar to organize, something I’d only go to if for some reason I didn’t make one of my other 2 raids. I think the whole concept of inviting back good PUG members to form a loosely allied raiding team has really caught on big on my server, because I hear people talk often about other groups and channels similar to the ones I am in. There’s no expectation that you’re going to stay in for the long haul, though there may not be any guaranteed spots either.

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  21. The addon Group Calendar does give you an option to share it with other guilds. My guild has done it regularly since we’ve formed back in early BC. Back then we had a huge surplus of healers and tanks for some reason so we constantly had to PuG DPS in our guild runs. So we PuG’d out the people who wanted to Raid and other guilds took the group or none at all. It was kind of funny. We were like the specialty store of Tanks N’ Healz where guilds would come and say they needed 3 healers and a tank for a Magtheridon raid and those of us that wanted to just filled out the open spots on the linked calendar. It was a lot of fun and a good way for a smaller guild to get into the 25 man content after Kara and ZA. We can do our own 10 mans now but we still use linked calendars to coordinate with multi-guild 25 mans.

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  22. Consider this alternative:
    You join a mid-level guild to gear up, and after you get your gear and experience, notify the guild leadership of your intentions and stay a bit longer to help recruit another raider and wait for him geared/skilled enough to replace you before you gquit. That way it takes more time, but your guild would be grateful for you to not just up and leave, and you’ll end up with a better reputation when you apply to higher guilds.

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  23. You know .. until reccently I never thought about things like this. My guild’s bank was hacked today. I have built this guild from the ground up, it started as 3 people with a cute idea for a guild name .. and has grown into a guild which is just starting to knock out the 10 man raids like no-ones business. I have truely put my heart and soul into it. I was devestated. I felt like someone took a sledge hammer to what we had collectively built up.

    Earlier today I was helping a lower level friend through an instance, and had just mentioned in party chat how upset I was. And some random death knight they had pugged in for the ride … LAUGHED. Really HARD. At how upset I was over it. They were like “it’s just a freaking game how can you be upset?” It’s not exactly the same thing. But I guess the effect was the same .. I felt totaly blindsided by the knowledge that there were other people out there, that will find something like that .. Funny? That can’t see a guild — and our collective property we accumulate as anything substainal.

    I guess I just wanted to say that we all play the game with the preconsieved notion that to a certian degree everyone else is just like us. That they wont consider your guild simply a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Until today I played with the basic assumption that the friendships people build in a guild, and the things they build up together means something, and that the outside world would totally get why we were upset at being hacked. Much less find anything funny about the situation.

    Early in my wow playing career, I think I did something similiar to my first “leveling” guild. I wanted to raid. And our attempts at raiding in the guild I had mostly leveled/socialized in up until that point just wasn’t making it happen for me. I quit in in the midst of a very heated arguement. And ever after had this feeling of guilt/remorse and upset over how I left. I especially felt guilty once I outgeared my old members and could run raids they couldn’t even come close to. These days I play horde, not ally .. and I’m back in the kind of guild I once left behind. I have an ally alt though I still play .. and they reccently let me come back “home” to their guild. Even if I’m level 15. It’s been a long time. I think it just took me a while to realize that playing with people you like is way more important than playing with people who will get you gear that you like.

    (One thing I think blizzard did right was allow people who can’t raid the hardmodes to get access to hardmode gear — through a hefty time commitment on their part — I really think that them doing that allows people to continue to progress in a guild that might be grinding it’s gears/not getting to end game content or through it as fast as you want. It allows for personal improvement to continue, even if at a slower pace while you wait/help your guild catch up. And thus allows for you to -pug- into higher end raids, to get that experience if u really want, without HAVING to feel like you need to leave the guild ur in, simply TO progress. Because that roadblock is just gone)

    And wow this post got long. I think this post just struck a nerve with me. Sorry I am all over the map in replying to it!

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  24. People who are honest about their intentions are appreciated in my group, and we’re likely to keep them on our pug lists, but we’re not going to invite them. We are committed to OUR vision, and if you just want to whore yourself out for loot, we’re not buying. People leave, of course, and we’re not going to give them crap for it unless they ninja our raid bank on the way out, but people who just flat out say “Yeah, I want in to [Guild A] but I need more gear” … we’re not gaining anything from it, really. Why should we let you in?

    We are, however, a tight-knit group, and we’re running second on our server right now. My experience may not be like everyone else’s. Most of us have been running together since Karazhan, and someone just splitting for phatter lewtz in that situation would leave me feeling betrayed.
    .-= CC´s last blog ..The Northrend Beasts Heroic, or: An Ugly, Hairy Learning Experience =-.

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  25. Leaving your guild does not mean you have to stop being friends. I’m still friends with people I’ve worked with in past jobs. I’m still friends with people I’ve played with in past guilds.

    Sometimes a player is not a good fit for a guild. In the last guild I helped run we had an outstandingly good player, really miles more skilled than the rest. He jumped for the server’s top guild.

    It was a blow but we took it on the chin and wished him luck.

    His new guild was a much better fit for him than our guild, he was clearly at a different level to the rest of us.

    I stayed friends with him and ran some instances with him after.

    A guild is just a chat channel and a raid pool really. Friendship is something different.

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  26. Glad you enjoyed the post. It’s a sensitive subject and I had my own doubts as to whether I even wanted to publish it. Guilds rely on their tanks a lot and losing the best geared one in the guild is devastating. That said, I think whenever such a thing does happen it really does force the guild to grow. It seems like every young guild has to lose a really well geared player before they learn the “all eggs in one basket” approach is foolish. They also have to learn that their raid team is only strong if they’re still strong when they’re missing their strongest link. (wordy, but you get the point)

    I think it’s interesting that you compare it to baseball because baseball even explains the hurt attitude of guilds that lose their teammates. You see while everyone is thrilled for those that work their way up the major league ladder, there are also different leagues that exists where the opposite is the case. Many, in fact. Little leagues, beer leagues, college leagues and more. I’m reminded of my own little league team’s disappointment when one of our two pitchers didn’t play with us one year and instead played with a superior team in a superior league when we were just kids. I’m reminded of my beer league team’s angst when a long time member went on to play in a superior, city league.

    Thanks for adding to my post. You took it to a level that I never dreamed anyone could or would have.
    .-= Veneretio´s last blog ..The Road to Content: Reputation vs Gear vs Experience =-.

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  27. Interesting perspective but this post was too long. Get to the point.

    I liked Veneretio’s article, I would not jump ship to get to the top. I think its more about building a team of players and friends, but I think if the guild you in is not achieving your own goals then leave but don’t burn your bridges.

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  28. Your right 😛 Sorry today I was just not into reading a long post, my eyes hurt, I need more sleep.

    I’m a big fan of your work. I have been listening to you on different podcasts. I am now just listening to your interview on AIE guild podcast. I’m also a fan of Veneretio’s blog and he linked to your article in twitter.

    Looks like you have a great community of commenters on this blog as well. I will check back again.

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  29. I admit, I often get daunted by the length of the posts here, too, and skim or skip them entirely. This topic held my interest more than others though.

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