(Il)Logical Progression

Random Musings by the Truly Random

Does (or Does Not?) Play Well With Others

A while back, I wrote about my first real guild – Lords of the Underworld – the guild, in fact, which I’m still in.  I’ve seen a few guilds come and go around me (R.I.P. Origins of Death, Hello Faded Divinity), but I’m still here in Lords.  Recently, I left Fallout and brought Arhys back to Lords as there was some tension that was being generated over multi-guilded players and the consideration they would receive versus those players who showed 100% dedication to Fallout, and as I stated before, Lords is my guild first.

So, Arhys is back in Lords.

Again – what’s in a Guild Name?  Speaking from the place, now, of being in multiple guilds, and being actively sought out by other guilds and declining, even though I ran with them, at the time, more than my actual guilds…  I can see how that Guild Name can cause tension.

I think a lot of people see the guild as more than just a group of players who come together for a common purpose.  They’re family, friends, and comrades-in-arms, all trying to have fun and play this game, we call World of Warcraft. 

But as you add more and more people to a group, common purpose evolves and sometimes things don’t always go smoothly.

Take Arhys’ departure from Fallout, for example.  I left because the Guild Master there came right out and said he wanted 100% dedication to his guild and that he was going to give priority to those who are 100% dedicated to Fallout

Is he wrong for doing that?  I don’t necessarily think so, since his primary concern as Guild Master should be Fallout.  He owes that to the members of Fallout, so to speak.

Did he wrong me by saying that?  I think he did to some degree.  When I joined Fallout, they were having trouble getting 10 people together for raiding, I was scheduling my day’s activities, including work, to make early raid times, and I was diligent in trying to make every raid I could, and in improving my playing ability and gear, for the success of OUR (Fallout‘s) raids.  To get told “your contribution isn’t enough anymore, since you’re starting to do things with Lords and that’s getting in the way of Fallout‘s activities, so you’re getting prioritized lower” is not something I wanted to stay for.  I felt that Fallout‘s stance was being changed, now that Fallout has enough people to run 10-man content without those of us from Lords, and they could force those of us splitting our commitments to choose, because they had enough new people to take our place, if we chose to leave rather than be ‘downgraded’.  At least, that’s what I gathered from it.

Part of the issue that led up to the split, also, was what characters were being committed to Fallout and their raids.  I’d gotten into the habit of offering up my healer, Taoren, for their raids, because we were sometimes short raid healers for the group, but he’s Lords not Fallout.  It didn’t matter before, though, since Lords wasn’t running anything independent of Fallout, but when that changed, Fallout didn’t have all of my characters available to them and the GM there was somewhat upset about that.  (I think what made things worse was that they weren’t able to bring in particular rogue who was also splitting his characters between the guilds – a Warrior in Fallout, and his Rogue in Lords, because we started running Icecrown Citadel in Lords and he was bringing the Rogue to the Lords raids.)

But was that the real cause of the tension and split between Lords and Fallout?  Before, we had been told “Lords is Fallout and Fallout is Lords.”

I think what really caused the issue was a change in common purpose in Lords.  I’m not saying this was “Lords’ fault” that things ended up the way they are, but it was the catalyst for the events which led to the inter-guild tension and Fallout‘s policy change and my subsequent departure because of it.

We, in Lords, evolved.  We decided, as a majority, that we wanted to raid.  We brought in some new talent to fill some gaps we had in our role pools – and some of these new players are much more focused on raid, driving us as a group to focus more.  We started running things regularly, committing ourselves to more than 2 days a week (Fallout‘s raiding schedule at the time) raiding, and saw success for it.  We lost a couple of our veteran non-raiders, as they felt they didn’t fit in with “the new Lords“.

Is it a bad thing that this all happened?  I’ll go out on a limb and say “No.” 

(Though I do wish we hadn’t lost two of our friends as guildies, but they’re still on the same server and are still friends…)

Why?

It’s not that running raids with Fallout wasn’t a good part of my experiences in WoW.  But right now, I have more people I would call ‘friends’ running with me.  A great friend of mine transferred to my server, and now, partly due his first (on my server) guild’s problems, he’s now raiding with me, and that’s a blast.  One of my other close friends gets to raid with us again, too, having been generally excluded from the Fallout raids since she never chose to move her character to that guild.  It’s really awesome having three close friends in the raid, instead of just one.

But, close friendships even cause problems in raids.

Why? 

Because as is human nature, I’m going to stand up for my friends first.  I’m going to try to rationalize why my friends deserve a spot in the more serious raid group, now that we’re trying to run two groups in one week.  Fortunately, there haven’t been too many times where this has been an issue, but we’re getting more people who want to raid in our guild, so it’s bound to get rockier in the future.

Despite that, I’m loyal to my friends first.  Those three that I run with will always get more from me than the other six.  Does that mean I won’t do anything for the other six?  No.  What it means is that given a choice when doing something mutually exclusive (such as giving a recommendation for a raid spot), a member of my “Three Amigos” will get my consideration before the other six.

Just like how the two couples within the other six people will give their significant other support over the others in the group first.  I expect that. It’s human nature.

Does that make them bad people?  Does that mean they don’t play well with others?

I don’t think so.

I would hope, though, that the good of the entire group and the good of my own personal relationships won’t be at odds.  So far, I’ve been lucky enough to say that it hasn’t been an issue.  Will it always stay that way?  Only time will tell.

But, to tell the truth, my friends will always come first.

Does that mean I don’t play well with others?

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

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March 8, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rumors of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated… Except on Arhys!

Hello all,

For those that continue to look around here, as I can see there are a few still, I must thank you for taking time to look at this dusty ol’ place. Life has been busy, and I’ve been working and raiding so much that I haven’t taken time to write (or comment, either – I need to kick my shoes off and give Larisa a piece of my mind soon – I’m out of practice.)

I am going to try to get back to putting stuff on this page – so much interesting news is out there regarding WoW and the other things that I try to cram into my packed life.

But for a quick update:

  • My mage finally hit 80.  Cherudim (Cairne – US) is now playing around with the big boys and girls, rockin’ Arcane and Frost specs and even sniffing around a little in ICC.  It’s nice to be able to just go out and blow stuff up without as much of the raid’s weight on your back, unlike healing and tanking.
  • Saying that – Taoren, my original Shaman, is back and main again.  Running Resto and Elemental, he fixes stuff and breaks stuff, depending on the color of the name in the plate.  If it’s green or blue, it gets fixed.  If it’s red, it gets broken.  It’s been a fantastic run in ICC – we’re working on Wing 2, and we’re farming Wing 1 – and feeling ok doing it.
  • Arhys, my Death Knight (the dead guy), is back from the dead and deader than ever, having tanked the first wing of ICC successfully.  Although he’s still undergeared, at least it’s been proven that he might have more than a snowball’s chance in Molten Core of tanking instances for the guild.
  • Guilds have come, changed and gone recently.  Arhys is no longer part of Fallout, having rejoined his roots in Lords of the Underworld.   Lords of the Underworld has evolved and is now running regular 10-man content, including ICC, and are still pairing up with Fallout, currently, for 25-man content (currently ToC). 
  • I also wish the best to the remnants of one of our orignal coalition guilds, Origins of Death, which, while the guild is no more, still remains the source of many of my friends on Cairne – US.  I have not gotten to run with many of my friends for a while, since we’re all doing guild-based activities, but it’s nice to say hi and chat from time to time when we’re not busy at the same time (which is rare).
  • As mentioned above, Lords of the Underworld is now primarily a 10-man raiding guild.  Many thanks for making that possible must go out to our new raiding and upcoming members who are bolstering our numbers, providing for roles we were short on, and motivating us to push on in progression.  Thank you all!
  • And last, many, many thanks must go out to those who have remained in Lords, working to better themselves in the quest for becoming strong enough to be a raiding guild.  My gratitude must go out to Thallya, Maupzor (aka Jonasventure), and Ebonaxe for their continued enthusiasm for the guild.  Further thanks must be given to our Guild Mistress, Bypolar (actually, our GM is Killerfrost, but that’s one of her characters, too), for trying to keep us all moving, and for having created a network on Cairne strong enough to help us evolve into a raiding guild.

I will continue to work on new material for this blog – I miss the expression dearly.  Expect to hear more about WoW, Lords of the Underworld, and other things new and interesting… (i.e. Final Fantasy XIII, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks, to name a scant few).

Hoping to be back and better than ever.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

March 3, 2010 Posted by | General Musings, Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s in a (Guild) Name?

For those of you who might have read this blog before, you know that I went from being a Soloist to an Ensemble player (groups), and onto joining an Orchestra (guild).  My team has been, since the switch from that failed attempt at trying to motivate a starter guild, Lords of the Underworld.  Many of my in-game friends are there, and I enjoy doing things together with them.

However, as also indicated previously, Arhys became a level 80 Death Knight, and has since started raiding.  Naxx25 and Uld25, mostly, with some attempts at 10-man Trial of Crusaders thrown in for fun (? – I think that’s what it’s supposed to be called – I call it repair bills.).  My guild has tried to help those that wish to raid get to raid gear level, and tried to assist with development of both player and spec, and for the most part, we’ve been successful.  We have 5 raid-quality players, over 6 characters, and we’re getting pretty good, I think.  At least, we, as a guild, are holding our own in raids now.

We’d been doing raids with a coalition of three other guilds on a regular basis, in order to get regular 25-man groups put together.  This was my introduction to Naxxramas (I hadn’t even done it 10-man before I started the 25-man raids), and I was learning as I went along.  My Guild Master had promised the Raid Leader on my first night (I was the first one after her to get brought in) 2K DPS, and I didn’t fail her, though with not much safety margin.  I’m grateful she didn’t tell me until AFTER the raid that she’d promised that.

So, fast-forward about two months or so of consistent weekly 25-man raids.  For the most part, things seemed to have been working out, and everyone should be happy, right?

Not quite.  See, we, as a coalition (and I use that term much more lightly than I did before), are having to change up our plans on how to handle the raid.  Why?  Because two of the guilds aren’t talking to each other now.

Yes, folks – we have inter-guild drama at its finest.  Accusations of recruiting from the other guilds.  Disagreements on progression vs. reward for how to handle lock extensions and the likes, now that Patch 3.2 allows raid groups to lengthen the reset timers on raids.  Confusion, overlap, and irritation at cross-guild pickup groups.  And people plain out just not getting along.

Personally, I wonder why people take this stuff so seriously.   I guess there’s an emotional attachment to success and progression, and some people take it more seriously than others.  I hear a lot of talk about guild rankings, gear rankings, achievements and other stuff that will improve with the success of everyone in the group, but many people involved don’t want to wait.  In fact, there’s guild competitiveness within the coalition, and not all of it friendly, or at least that’s what I see.

And to me, the whole thing sucks.  There are people I like in all the guilds we run with, but with two of them not speaking to each other, it feels like I have to choose sides, or at least tread carefully.  My guild has tried to stay out of the whole thing, but it doesn’t feel like something that can be completely avoided.  It’s definitely been trying for the Raid Leader, who I’ve talked to on numerous occasions regarding this stuff.  It’s also been a bit trying on me, not to try to slap people around and say “Pull your heads out of your asses and let’s just raid!”, since I know people in the guilds involved, and I’ve been explicitly instructed to “Stay out of it,” since we really don’t want our guild to be in the middle of the whole thing.

So, that brings me to the underlying question for the day – What’s in a (Guild) Name?

Why is it that the guilds involved in our coalition had to start comparing themselves to each other outside our raids in a fashion that made them compete and foster animosity, rather than looking at each other as a good group of people to run with?

Why do people have to have an us vs. them mentality when it comes to these guild tags? 

It’s frustrating to see.  People who worked cooperatively the week before, can’t seem to do so, because of a few people ‘changing sides’.  People who can’t seem to be adult about it – and the majority of the people in our raids are adults – who can’t just let grown people make their own decisions over which group they want to be a part of, laying down “It’s us or them” style warnings to the Raid Leader, in regards to which guilds are to be part of the raid force. 

It’s just sad.  It’s a game.  We all used to play together rather peacefully and friendly. 

I guess, when your guild is being called out as ‘not the place for me, I fit in there better’ there are those who only hear ‘there… better’ and fill in the rest.

I want to say “Stop all this crap, and let’s just raid and have fun.”  But that isn’t going to happen.  We’re already dividing up our raid times between the two guilds – one for Uld25, as they’re more progression based and one for Naxx25, since they’re fine with running it and gearing up more of their newer people.  I just want to raid, since it’s all fun – I have a blast in both areas.

And luckily, I get to play in both – I’m still pretty close to the center, as my guild is trying, and as the Raid Leader’s guild is trying.  But I can’t say it hasn’t affected us either.

Because, while, as a player, I’m still Lords of the Underworld, Arhys is not.  He is now part of Fallout, the guild that was running our raids.

Why?  To ensure that we’re able to be called upon for raids as much as possible. 

Why?  Because to more people than I’d like, that tag means ‘you’re eligible’. 

Has this affected Lords of the Underworld yet?  Yes.  Questions are already being asked.  Time is already being split differently.  It’s much, much harder to communicate and keep us doing things together.

I just hope it’s worth it.  All I know is, if I see this killing MY guild (Lords not Fallout) I’ll do what I can for it, first.

Because those people are the primary reason I’m still playing and trying to have fun.  Because without them, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

And where’s that?  A relatively decently geared level 80 Blood (DPS)/Frost (Tank) Death Knight who was able to put out 4K DPS in Heroic ToC 5man, with little trouble.

Though, I long for the days, sometimes, where we’d just get the guild together to go off and own Zul’Farrak or some other lower dungeon, to get someone’s alt a piece or two.

We’re no longer there, though.  We farm Heroics, now.  We are constantly trying to upgrade our main characters.

We’re constantly looking at the next boss fight for our raids. 

Not everyone is able to participate.  (That’s the hardest part of all.)

Can we ever go back?

I don’t have an answer for that, but sometimes I wish I could.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

September 9, 2009 Posted by | Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Value of Being Social

A little while ago, I wrote a rather lengthy response to Larisa on The Pink Pigtail Inn regarding a post she had on how being social has affected her experiences on WoW, both positively and negatively.  Big Bear Butt always talks about “all the asshats” he has had to deal with in Pick-up Groups (PuGs), and Gevlon is constantly talking about how to be an individual, and how the majority of players of this game are Morons & Slackers (M&S) especially in the ‘social’ guilds.

It’s interesting, I think, about the sheer gamut of ideas that people have about what is fun and what is not, and how being social interacts with those ideas is even more interesting.  I do think that it’s a rather individual choice, but the fact of the matter is that in this game, one is always being social, even if one is not talking to another person directly.  Even Gevlon, in his own individual manner, relies on the social nature of WoW in order to make his money and get his gear, and I’m glad to see that he’s at least come up with one value that a guild might have, even to him (not that it’s enough for him to consider being a regular guild member of any guild at this point, as he feels extensive social contact leads to drama…  He’s right, but the value of the social contact is worth potential drama for some people, perhaps?).  

Previously, while not to the same extreme, I was like Gevlon.  I felt that anything I wanted to do in WoW, I should try to do myself – anything less than that was like saying “I’ m weak – I can’t do this alone.”   I’d done a few groups in the past, with mixed results.  My first instance ever, The Deadmines, was, in retrospect, a boost, as a 40 Warrior ran a group of us through it.  I remember the run pretty well, but I still really don’t know how hard the Deadmines were at that time (this was just a few weeks after WoW went live), nor did I learn anything about group dynamics except “Enchanters would roll Need on everything, since they ‘need’ the mats from disenchanting.”  (My mage lost a nice blue staff to a rogue who ended up just Disenchanting the damn thing, to my dismay, that run.)

Further, I can be a bit of a lazy person, when it comes to social commitments.  I always felt that I wanted to do “what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, and how I wanted to do it”, and that becoming overly social, guild or not, would lead to time/activity commitments.  I was one of those who would say, “What do I feel like doing now?”, and go do that, and flit from activity to activity, never really completing anything, but happy to just be doing what I wanted to at that moment.  I’d never thought of myself as the guild type…  How wrong was I?

[/Anecdote below for those who wish to read the full story]

The guild provides more than just a bunch of bodies to play this game with, for groups and instances.   There is, to me, a certain value to the pleasantness of the gaming experience, and until joining my guild, I’d never pursued being social, for fear of everyone in the game being like those on the General channels – all rude, boorish, antagonistic, and perhaps not all that intelligent.  The couple of PuGs I’d played in confirmed that, and so I wrote it off.

Now, being part of a good guild, even if we’re not yet at raiding status, I’m finding that I’m learning how to be a better player.  I listen and try to learn from my guildies, and I try to provide information in return.  They have practical information.  I have theoretical information.  (I try to keep up with theory on WoW more than they do – they tend to get better by experience, and many of them are quite good.)  We build upon each others’ strengths and try to support the weaknesses.  I have goals now – individual goals, but directed towards making myself better for the guild.  There’s value in that – the guild has provided me focus in this game.

I’ve been able to talk to and meet great people – people who I enjoy spending my time with.  Time is an investment, and while investing that time into this game, I’m much happier being social with the others in my guild, rather than just questing forward.  (While Gevlon might say that people who think of other players in WoW as ‘friends’ might need to get out more, I don’t necessarily agree.  It truly depends on the experience and who you meet.)  There’s value to me in the guild, for making my time spent online more enjoyable.

Being in a guild, I also know that there are logistical benefits, as well.  I don’t need to stalk the AH as much, anymore, to buy the things I need to play well.  I can do the Group quests closer to my level, not needing to level past the quests and then go back to them, if I want to finish them.  I’ve got people to share my accomplishments with, which is a good motivator for me, and I enjoy hearing what accomplishments my guildies have done as well.  Yet another benefit.

And, like Gevlon mentioned in his article, the guild master, our officers, and our existing members work to keep the environment clean and pleasant, ridding the surroundings of weeds and refuse (M&S), ensuring our guild activity time is better spent.  Value there, too.

And is there drama?  Sure.  There’s always going to be some drama when people get together on the Internet.  This drama, however, is a very small price to pay for the value outlined above.  If one can keep it that way, then the guild can be a valuable and pleasant place to be, and a good means for self and collective advancement in WoW. 

One can be an island in WoW, but there isn’t much in the surroundings.  I’m much happier now, being part of a group, or maybe an archipelago, and I don’t think I’ll ever try to go back.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , | 1 Comment

How I Learned to Stop Being Solo and Love the Guild

[/anecdote]

I began playing WoW about 5 years ago, and until recently, I’d not really changed my individualistic personality much.  I had friends playing WoW, and I’d run with them a few times, but it always felt like I was obligated to be there, since inevitably if I missed a day, I’d get “Where were you last night, I didn’t see you log in?”  Further, I felt like I always had to lead, possibly because I was more used to the MMO experience (I’d played some EverQuest in the past), which seemed frustrating at times, especially with those friends who wouldn’t play unless grouped.  (In retrospect, though, I probably had done some of that to my more experienced EQ friends, and so, in that regards, I might be a hypocrite, but I don’t think I was actually paralyzed to do anything if my friends weren’t there, I just tended to die a lot more, but I digress.)

About a month ago, I was fortunate to run into a certain warlock in Feralas.  She was lower level than the zone, and thus she was having some trouble with a particular quest, and it just happened to be the one I was working on, myself.  I was of roughly the level of the quest itself, and was having less trouble with it, so I had been buzzing around the area, eliminating the appropriate mobs, and staying alive fairly easily, and I think I had zipped by her at one point, and killed one of the quest mobs right near to where she was – not one she was targetting at the time, but one that she may have had her eye on, while dealing with other nearby mobs.

I had noticed her, but didn’t think much at the time, just focusing on the quest at hand.  Then, I got the first whisper of many that would change my life on Cairne going forward…

“Could you please let me have one of those?  I only have 7 minutes left.”

Hmm…  Is this someone who was just trying to get one of those mobs out from under me?  What’s “7 minutes” – the amount of time the player had left before needing to log out? 

I thought, “Ah well, I’ve got more time than that, so…”  and I let her know, “Ok, sure,” and began to help clear out towards the mob in question. I even provided her the coordinates of one of those mobs, to which she told me, “I don’t have coords.”

(Funnily enough, said warlock then Feared a mob in the area where we both were, which was ripe with adds, and I mentioned that “Fearing is probably not a good idea, with all these adds.”  The fact that I was advising her on how to run in this area is still a joke to this day, the reason for which will become more apparent in just a moment.)

So, having cleared out to the mob, I led her to and let her get the quest mob she needed, and all was good.  Right?

15 minutes later, I’m looking around, and she’s still on…  What the heck?  What happened to 7 minutes?  So I ask… and she says “It was the quest timer, didn’t you know?” 

Quest timer?  What quest timer?  I didn’t see one, and told her such.  We talked for a little bit about that point, and went our separate ways…

Until the next day, when I got a whisper from a different character, asking how things were going, and informing me that she was the warlock from the night before.  Looking at her character profile, I read “79 Mage” and laughed about the fact I had tried to tell her a bit about how to play her class.  Fortunately, she didn’t hold it against me, and much talk ensued, some WoW and some non-WoW, leading to… “Want to join my guild?”

I waffled on that, for sure, as is my nature.  I was in a guild already, but it was a startup guild that wasn’t really doing anything much.  We only had 5 regular members, and not much else going on.  I said that I’d think about it, and came up with a few reasons for not leaving right away.  “I want to see what happens with this guild.”  “I want to help them get better, if I can.” And so on…

A week or two later, I was still waffling, but she and I had started grouping together on some of her other characters, doing instances and just in-general chatting away.  Finally, when I hit level  53 or so, she came up with an idea… “When you hit 55, make your Death Knight, and he can be in the guild.”

“Good idea,” I thought. But as I met a few other people in her guild, and got used to playing with others, I found myself rushing towards 55. I felt excited about playing, and energized to make progress. I found myself thinking about how to be a better group player, and not just worrying about how to be a good soloist. “What will I offer to the guild?” flitted through my mind more times than “What quest do I need to do next?”

In other words, I wasn’t even in the guild yet, and I was hooked on the concept. This mage, her guild members (and yes, it is HER guild – I found out after the fact), and just being part of a group regularly had changed my perceptions of what a guild could be, and how much fun it was to not be just by myself, in WoW.

The day I started my Death Knight, I joined The Lords of the Underworld. My shaman has since joined as well. I’ve not looked back since.

It’s been a great experience. I’m not having to think as much about “what I want to do”, as much anymore. I like being a regular, with people saying “Hey, how’s it going?” and actually conversing about how things are going, and wanting to know what’s up. We have Ventrilo, and getting to talk to these people in the game and out, has completely changed the experience, for the better, as I feel like I’m really getting to know everyone. If we ever had a guild meet, for example, I’d try like heck to make it. These people are fun.

And it all culminated, last night after 5 years of off-and-on WoW, in the most fun experience I’ve had in a group. My guildies ran The Ring of Blood for me. Just for me. And I’m supremely grateful.

So, my thanks to my guild master, Bypolar, and her warlock, Çÿñ, for helping open up a myriad of new possibilities for enjoyment in WoW. It’s been a blast, and I look forward to the instance groups being planned. And to think, I’d never have had the chance if I hadn’t been in Feralas at just the right time.

And, thanks to my guildies, Jahk, Syrhen, and Cryonic, for running The Ring of Blood for me. I’ll make it up to y’all down the road.

My 2 yen to Bypolar,

Akiosama

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , | 1 Comment

A-Tankin’ We Will Go

About a week ago, I finally unlocked my Death Knight, thanks to a 11,800 XP quest run from one building in Orgrimmar to the bank for a turn in.  Not too spectacular an achievement, that last quest was, except that one of my Add-ons was set up to skip “unnecessary text”, and therefore would jump to my bank bags before I could request to turn in the quest, and since this was a default setting (and therefore unknown to me), it took me a bit to turn in the quest.  I really feel like I earned those XPs.

So, now on to becoming a Death Knight.  My impressions of the opening quests were good – entertaining, not always intuitive (Gotta watch for button changes during quests!), but fun and fresh, nonetheless.  Less of a “go here, kill these, collect that, and return” to the quests, and a lot more “blow this up with a cannon” or “ride this dragon and destroy some ballistae and hordes of troops” stuff.  Very fun, indeed.

Further, I finally found a guild  – Lords of the Underworld – thanks to my new friend and guildmaster Bypolar (Lv. 79 Mage), and her horde of alts.  It’s been a blast ever since, and I’m having a great time playing around on Arhys (dy Lutez), my Death Knight.  (Props also should be given to Lois McMaster Bujold for providing me a terrific name for my Death Knight from a fantastic book – Paladin of Souls.  I hope to return to Chalion soon!)

However, with new progress comes new tasks to learn.  Despite the fact that I have mainly soloed and DPSed my way up to 55 on my Shaman, Taoren (who is boosting guildies and collecting dust, mostly – I’ll have to work on that), I have volunteered to become the guild’s regular tank. 

Why the sudden change?  Because, apparently, we don’t have a regular tank.  Lots of DPS and much of that cloth, it seems, at the high end – the guild ran some upper-end instances last week, with groups of 4 and 5, all cloth DPS, no healers and no tanks, and while they completed the instances, much death was had by all.  As a Death Knight, I can’t heal, but I can tank, so I’m taking it upon myself to become Guild Tank.  (I have a feeling that Taoren is going to end up a Restoration Shaman in the end, but with dual-spec coming up, that might not be TOO bad…  We’ll see.)

So now, it’s all about armor, damage mitigation, learning threat control, and how to read my screen quickly enough to ensure my mates aren’t getting their cloth-wearing butts kicked.  (Not that these cloth DPSs are a bad thing, they burn down real fast, but they also get burned down real fast.)  I’m learning that there are a great many tools in the DK tank’s arsenal, but the shoutout has to go out to Death and Decay, the key to AoE tanking for DKs.

This will be a learning experience, for sure.  I’ve already respecced into a delightful Unholy tanking spec, with a dash of Blood and Frost for additional damage mitigation.  I just installed Omen, one of the standards in threat management Add-on power, and will be using it for the first time tonight.  I finished a very successful run on Scarlet Monastery last night, and without any screw-ups and deaths to Trystine (32 rogue), who I was running through the instance.  I’ll be boosting more in the upcoming days, just to get my rotation down, and to see if I can at least keep my charges alive. I’m reading, reading lots of material on how to tank, and specifically how to tank as a Death Knight – my main source is The Scourge, a great Death Knight Unholy Tank website.  And I’m learning a few things about playing this game – how to read the screen when so much is going on, how to work in a group setting, and how not to panic when the situation gets FUBARed.  Next will be how to do some of this in the BattleGrounds (shudder).

And I’m still trying to figure out how to divide my time between my two characters… especially since it seems the guild would benefit from having them both leveled up.  I have a feeling that one might be the hardest to do.

My 2 yen,

Akiosama

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Lords of the Underworld, World of Warcraft | , , , , , | Leave a comment