Well, so far my promise to myself to write new blog posts more often has been working out well. I've almost written as much this week as I did the entirety of last year (and I have to admit, four blog posts over the course of a year is pretty pathetic, which is what I had last year).
This post though doesn't have any interesting anecdotes from our latest release, and in fact isn't even about XNA Game Studio or game development at all!
As part of my exercise of "writing more" one of the things I had to do was go back and see what I was writing about back in the day when I was enjoying my blog posting, so over the course of today I went back and re-read every post I ever made. It was an interesting experiment to say the least, I'm surprised at the number of things I read that I just had completely forgotten.
A couple of the posts I found were related to World of Warcraft, which is what this post will be about. They were about a year apart, and they were each essentially scathing reviews of the state of the game. While I most likely really did feel so annoyed when I wrote them (and had cancelled my account each time), the fact remains I still play the game to this day. While many people bemoaned the expansion and how much it "changed the game", I for one, enjoyed the changes. There is much less of a brick wall when you hit the level cap than there was before, and there are plenty of things to do regardless of what type of player you are or were.
In my original WoW life, I was a "hardcore raider". We raided every day from 6:30 until 11,12, whenever we felt finished for the night. We cleared Molten Core, Onyxia, Blackwing Lair, ZG, AQ20/40, and Naxxramus (although to be fair, I left the guild after BWL). My schedule became to the point where I couldn't meet those demands and amongst other reasons I left that guild.
That began my second WoW life, where I decided to start over on a PvP server. I won't get into my philosophies on the pvp servers because I don't want to be inundated with a series of "l33t speak" that I don't understand telling me how much I suck. I maxed out multiple characters on the pvp server, killed thousands upon thousands of my "enemies" (there were no cross server battle grounds back then), and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the pvp ruleset isn't for me. I am a carebear through and through apparently.
Around the time I was realizing this and getting frustrated though, my original "hardcore" characters had the option to move. My old server was too big and had queue's every night, and all characters were invited to move to another new server. Sensing this was a great time to see if I still enjoyed the game without the pvp annoyance and removing myself from the pressure of raiding constantly, I moved all of my characters to the new server and started playing again. I joined a little guild, had a bit of fun.. They merged with a huge guild and I considered that a big mistake for a variety of reasons. Shortly after that merge, I left the big guild, and reformed the old little guild, bringing most of the original members back.
So now I'm the guild leader of some random guild on a brand new server. We were the definition of casual, and happy that way. Well, most of us were. Some were annoyed we weren't doing the big 40man raids (I'd already seen so much of Molten Core i never wanted to step foot in it again), and they left. The beta for the expansion was just around the corner though, and that's where we all started playing more again. Everyone in the "core" of the guild was in the expansion beta as well.
Once the expansion came out, I decided the name of the old guild was stupid, and we needed to find a much more stupid name to call ourselves, so I kicked everyone out of <Dark Crusade> and created the guild <Less Than Three>. For those who are "unaware" Less Than Three is <3, which is an emoticon for a heart. Naturally, our guild tabard is pink with a heart. That still annoys some people, but eh, I get a kick out of it. So anyways, the expansion came out, and we were invigorated, so many new quests, so many new dungeons, so much to do!
So we all leveled up with varying levels of speed, and ran all kinds of dungeons along the way. It was good fun. Eventually we got to the point where we decided we were ready, we were going to run a "heroic". We were going to collect epic loots and slaughter the place. We decided we would try heroic Slave Pens because at the time you needed revered reputation to run a heroic and that was the easiest faction to get rep with, and on top of that was supposedly one of the easiest heroics in the game. We gathered at the entrance, we walked in, we were ready to do great things.
We wiped on the first pull. Twice. We wiped on the second pull. We were all red before we got to the first boss. We did kill that first boss though before we decided we weren't ready for heroics yet.
Looking back at it now, it's pretty funny, but at the time, the thoughts were "Holy crap, this is impossible." We yawn through most of them nowadays, but I always look back at that first wipe fest with fond memories..
Anyway, finally around November of last year I decided as a guild we needed to start doing more, and that meant Karazhan. As I stated earlier, we are an extremely small casual guild, but I figured that doesn't mean we were bad players (half of us came from the hardcore raids back in the day), we were just not focused on being #1 anymore. When I say small though, I mean not even large enough to run Karazhan (ie, less than 10 players keyed). We had all the core classes covered though. We had enough tanks and healers, all we needed was DPS classes. I figured we could just find random pick up group (PUG) members to fill out our DPS slots, and that's what we started doing.
We had some success too. Soon we were killing multiple bosses and things were going well, when we eventually hit a brick wall. We had gotten to the point where we could take just about any random PUG and clear through Curator. When I say any random PUG, i mean just that as well. We've had a PUG who did half the damage I did (I'm the main tank). We've had a PUG who went out of his way to break any crowd control that existed. We've had a PUG who decided to use his pet to pull a group of mobs that weren't even in the same room as us. Actually, that was all the same guy. He didn't understand why I didn't invite him back next week because of how awesome he was. Where was I? Oh yeah, brick wall. Shade of Aran was our brick wall.
This is what Shade of Aran had taught me. At the time, the majority of our raids were made up with 8-9 guild members and 1-2 PUGs. I learned that we could 8 man every boss up until Curator, and that we could 9man Curator. I also learned that a random pug in all greens who doesn't understand the need to stand still during Flame Wreath is a recipe for disaster. Unlike any boss before it, Aran punishes players for doing things wrong, and if there is one thing you can count on a pug doing, it's "something wrong".
So, I started trying to recruit players to help us out. I talked to all of the PUG members we had with us that went well, but most of them were in established guilds and were with us on an alt for easy/free badges and loot. The ones interested in joining were the ones who were horrible. This is where I learned that I am a horrible recruiter. I simply cannot do it at all!
Which brings us to this extremely long winded post! Consider this my last lame attempt at recruitement. Our raid times are pretty inflexible (given our small size and the schedule requirements of some of our members), but our normal raid nights are Friday and Saturday nights, from 8pm to Midnight pacific time. We have killed all of the bosses in Karazhan with the exception of Prince, Nightbane and Netherspite (see my note on pugs above), but hope to have those done soon.
So, if you're interested in raiding Karazhan (and eventually Zul'Aman soon) on those days, and random other dungeons throughout the week (all in the evenings, we're all at work during the day you know), you should contact me! If you're a warlock, even better, since all our current warlocks are alts of characters already in Kara and some bosses (I'm looking at you Illhoof) could really use a warlock. I really don't care what class you are though. Do you want to tank? Awesome, that means I could bring an alt sometimes. Want to heal? I'm sure our healers would like to bring an alt sometimes too! Got DPS, that's awesome, we always need DPS.
Now, we're a pretty accomodating guild for the most part. I'm entirely too helpful for my own good most times. Given the extremely public nature of this post though, I'm going to have to be a little more particular on the things I am looking for. I understand the concept that beggars can't be choosers, but I don't feel like being taken advantage of and helping someone get ready for raids with us just to have them disappear. If you want to create a new character on the server, we'll help you level up when it's convenient for us, but it won't be all that often. I'd much rather if you were already level 70 and keyed. If you want to tank in Kara, you'll need to be uncrittable, and have a minimum of 12k hps and 12k armor (20k if druid). If you want to heal, you'll need at least 1000 +heal, and preferably more, along with a decent mana regen and mana pool. If you want to DPS, I hope you can sustain 400+ the entire run.
To be honest, I hate putting any kind of preconditions on it at all. However, i think what i have is pretty reasonable. I don't care what class you are, what spec you are, so long as you are a good player, you'd be welcome. So after all that, if you're still interested, you should contact me, either here on these boards, or in game. We play on the Eitrigg server as Alliance, and you can contact any character that starts with "Miller" in the guild <Less Than Three>.
We have a web site as well at http://lt3.darkcrusade.org (as you can see our old guild name remnants still exist), but it's been flaky the last few days to say the least. Hopefully it is resolved soon.
P.S. How sad is it that I'm posting a recruiting post on my blog? I almost feel dirty.