Saturday, October 24, 2009

Guild Blues, Gear Scores, Mechanical Boys in Metal Underpants


You know how when something just absolutely shaking hits you, you feel like the world just stops and time comes to a crawl?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 – some time around 6:00 AM EST
I had gone to bed early feeling odd and woke up in the morning. Following my normal routine. I go use the restroom and sit down before my pc to check out the guild forums before breakfast. Mostly to check for new applications and see if the officers have posted anything of interest. However, I was rocked to find a note from the one person in the guild I would never have expected this news from…

My right hand man and bro who has really helped me stay sane through everything and helped run the guild came to the overnight decision that it was time to move on. Or maybe move on. His folks had asked him to house sit for them and he’d gotten to thinking about his bday next week and where he was going in life. He’s about as old as I, which is in the late 20s. He’s working as a professor at a university and a writer. So he said he needed to step away to focus on life.

My first reaction of course was tears and shock. He’s my best friend in a way. And knowing how his last break went, I didn’t anticipate I’d hear from him ever again. Additionally, I was also led to self blame since our last conversation had amounted to him telling me that raiding wasn’t as fun right now because I was worrying about things too much (about the other officers not helping much with the guild, and various members giving trouble, etc).

So I write a very emo posting in response apologizing for playing a role in him leaving the game. And he ended up getting on vent a bit and talking to me to try to reassure me that it was him and not me. (Cheesy eh?) I did my best to assure him that I understood and supported him in needing to get things going in his real life. And he logged. Supposedly his house sitting ends at some point today. I’ve no clue if I’ll hear from him about anything. If he’s really going to pull away from the game and try to avoid getting involved again, I’d assume he’d do his best to avoid the forums at least…

Thursday, October 22, 2009 – some time around 6:00 PM EST
I am told that our Spriest in the guild has decided with the letter from our priest announcing he was leaving was a sign that we weren’t really going to be seeing Ice Crown and that he wanted to see content and was planning to Faction Change. I was frustrated, but what could I say? I didn’t see it as a huge loss. I was insulted that he thought we wouldn’t see the content certainly.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 – some time around 8:00 PM EST
I am told by our last DK that he is interviewing for a job in a few days and that if he gets it he will no longer be able to raid. I wished him luck but I was sighing a bit. Just another person probably thinking of going triggered by the officer leaving.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 – some time around 9:00 PM EST
I was feeling encouraged. Some of the O’s had taken the effort to communicate throughout the day on the forums. But if I’d thought about it, I would have wondered at why they’d not gotten online when they’d said they would. Rather, when raid time came up, our MT and husband of an O got on and told me his wife (one of our dps) wouldn’t be on tonight. I was fine with that. But then he went on to say that she would no longer be raiding with us. And that he himself would only raid with us until we possibly had a replacement for him. And that our priest’s message had been what had led them to make the final pull away.

Thursday, October 22, 2009 – some time around 11:00 PM EST
We are taking a 10 min break and I go to read the officer forum to see our female officer has written a lengthy goodbye to the officers. Her husband takes the time to reply… and then I see another officer has written his own goodbye during raid announcing this was his last night as well. In fact, the night before he had been talking to the spriest about the first officer’s departure and had decided then to do it. He had been pondering it a while and looking for the opportunity to pull away. Probably between them both, this was an encouraged action. But he wanted to focus on real life and move forward in life. He was finishing college and needed a job. So what could I say?

The raid was poorly set up. People were missing. Our elemental shaman was out, his dad was in the emergency room. Our ret paladin went afk and never returned. (Found out later, he dropped his laptop and he would be unavailable to raid a bit). Dps was low. People were dcing. We barely downed the first boss of the hard modes of TotGC. When we tried the second boss, we just continued to wipe.

I had no words to encourage though I attempted to crack jokes. But I was so shell shocked by all the news of my friends and officers stopping the game that there was little else I could do without crying. So I call of finishing TotGC work and have us go to Onyxia. We down it and then I finally break down and announce to the raid that this would likely be the last raid we have for a while.

I cried and thanked everyone for raiding. I fully expected that they would all be dropping the guild to find other guilds. Really, I’m still waiting now. But I received so many encouraging whispers and people telling me they would stay with the guild. And I decided I would try to rebuild.

Thursday, October 23, 2009 – some time around 1 AM EST
I’ve got my officers in vent with me in another channel and we say our goodbyes and I give them a very depressed and crying goodbye. And another officer says that without his brother and sister-in-law playing and with the content being so boring for him that he would be breaking as well. I had no energy to respond.

The wife officer commented the night felt like a bad break up. Indeed, the entire thing reminded me of it as well. The heartbreak and sorrow. I’m sure we’ll all still be friends. But we’ve played closely together for almost 2 years in some cases. People I’d come to rely on and depend on. People who had been my eyes and ears and legs. Who had helped me get through the departure of the last GM when I was put into this position. Yeah, that had been in decline from some.

The betrayal in a way is very potent as well. I’d had no warning. And suddenly they’re all just dropping the bomb. The guild members had no warning either. I’ve had a mix of whispers from the guild. Asking why, how and whens. Feelings of shock and betrayal. And all I’ve been able to assure them with is that I and three other O’s were staying and would try to rebuild the team again and that we’d keep moving forward as best we could.

I was up till 5:00 AM speaking with members. It was a very long and emotionally draining night. And throughout the day I was blessed with the encouraging words and whispers and emotes from the members as they would log in and see how things were going or asking about things after reading a post I wrote up clearing things up on our forums about it.

October 24, 2009
So here I am, sitting in game pushing my recruitment macro. Hunting for new members to replace the ones who’ve left. A new MT, 2 mages, a hunter, a spriest and a disc priest. People who did so much and will be hard to replace. Especially the Main Tank.

I’m not sure what I think about everything at this point. I feel it would be such a betrayal to end it. Even with myself feeling so discouraged and torn about playing now. But giving up now would make me feel like I’m just doing what they did. I feel I made a commitment and it may be an obligation in a video game, but I take my word serious too. And I want to see us through to Cataclysm. Whether I’ll continue past that, I don’t know yet. Who knows, maybe they’ll all slowly return.


So until today when I was forced to sit in trade hunting people for the guild’s raid roster, I’d not realized this new fad of taking people to raids based off their “Gear Score.” All gear in the game has a number and people look at the numbers of your gear and your average is the score of the gear. Ideally, it means you’re in a certain tier of gear.

So as I’ve been sitting, spamming my recruitment macro in the trade channel, I’ve gotten whispers from people. They present themselves as candidates based upon the number of their gear. I find it nice to read but the numbers mean very little to me. What about their itemization? What about their actual skill? A person can easily grind up the gear for a ‘score’ people have stickered to a raid or instance but gear is nothing if you don’t know how to utilize it. It means nothing if you’re stacking your gear totally wrong. And it means nothing if your spec and rotation is wrong. Not to mention there are pieces of gear someone may use that are equal or better than some higher ‘scored’ gear.

When did this ridiculous practice begin? Why do people simply not ask for stats or stop being lazy and armory someone for gear. I’m hoping this is just a fad.


I’ve been so depressed recently and with the release of Astroboy I found myself desperately hoping for a movie that would lift my spirits. So I went this afternoon around 1:00 to see it with my folks. Unlike the last movie I saw, the movie was very family friendly and feel goodish. I left much happier than I had felt going in.

I’ve got the astroboy remake series box set. I’ve not seen the classic series. But the movie was still good to me. The animation was very clean. Character designs were very good. And the story was adult but childish in appropriate parts. It was easily appealing to all ages.

The story starts with typical idea of a single parent working and neglecting his child. And then great loss and realization of what was missed. There was a very deep adult story ton of love and acceptance. Not judging others and loving them for who they are. Kindness, honesty and self sacrifice out of love. It was really a wonderful move with campy ending that made me chuckle.

Definitely a movie I’d highly recommend. I’m probably going to see it again! And if I can get a hold of the soundtrack, I’ll definitely be grabbing that up too. And now I’m on an astroboy kick. Trying to watch my boxset of the cartoon remake. And I’ll probably turn to hunting the classic cartoon on youtube much later too.

I’ve had a lot of downy things happen this week and everything feels way too serious and dark for me. But I’ve got wonderful people behind me and I will rebuild.

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