Posts Tagged ‘Opinion

02
Jun
09

Is the End Game the Real Game?

Pictured: The Real WoW?

Pictured: The Real WoW?

So I’m sitting here this morning, pondering what to write for my daily post and looking through other’s blogs for ideas to steal inspire me, when I happen across Mend Pet‘s latest post.  It’s a celebration of the fact that her priest just dinged 35 and that she’s learned one of the basic tenants of priestly SSing.  She also mentions that she’s using the recruit a friend method to level up her little priesty, and I had thought to make a post covering this subject.  But then I got to thinking (a common problem), what’s the point of recruit a friend?

Well, the point is to get you through all those annoying early levels quicker and deliver you as fast as possible into what is commonly referred to as “the end game”.  Of course it stops at 60 and you have to continue on from there at a normal pace, but the point is that Blizzard wants to get you there as soon as possible.  But why?  Why shouldn’t people be able to stop and smell the flowers along the way?  Blizzard may not have done much with the old world in quite a while, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a pile of crap or anything, it’s just, well, old.

Though most people use it to level up alts or the likes of which, the original point of the promotion is to (wait for it) recruit a friend and bring them into the game.  One of my original joys with proto Dueg was the experience of leveling up and seeing all the things that the old world had to offer.  But players recruited via this promotion won’t get that, instead the old world will be a blur of NPCs and cities as they level 2 to 3 levels every hour and are quickly thrust into Outland, never to see the likes of Desolace or the Arathi Highlands.

Understandably, players who have already leveled one or more characters to the top level are going to consider any method that gets you through the old world to be a god send, keeping them from hours and hours of doing all the old shit they’ve already done.  But for the new people, this method puts an emphasis on the end game, getting to the newest then the hardest content quickly and efficiently.  But does this cheapen the old content?  Does this mean that end game is the real WoW, constantly evolving away from where it started and making it’s most current incarnation the most relevant?

To a certain extent this seems to be Blizzard’s goal as they’ve stated many times that they want more and more people to experience end game content and to see the raids.  This makes sense from a  developer’s point of view as why would you waste all this time trying to create these worlds only to have maybe 50 to 100 people see it.  But at the same time, it takes away something from the old game, makes it seem like a faded picture to be glossed over in an old album while you download digital pics onto your comp.

Now this makes sense to a certain degree in that you’re not going have people running Molten Core and Blackwing Lair over and over again when there’s simply no lure to do so other than nostalgia.  Why should the developers be upgrading the old content or improving areas that have had tumbleweeds blowing through them for a couple of years now?  It doesn’t make sense and would be a waste of resources for the most part.  But the emphasis on the end game, wanting to include as many people as possible, are starting to take their toll on the psyche of the average player, making them think that in order to be a real WoW player, you have to be a raider.

Even though Blizzard has made a few concessions to the below level 80 players such as the Argent Tournament and the likes of which, there’s really not much to do once you hit that final level other than raiding.  You can level your professions or get achievements, true, but there’s only limited rewards there and it won’t make your character’s stats the best they can be.  The only way you can truly “level” your character past level 80 is going to be the end game content, raiding and the likes of which.

Now yes, I do realize that there are thousands and thousands of players who don’t raid at all or experience the end game of WoW and they’re a-ok with that.  They’re fine with logging on and maybe just doing some fishing dailies or running some BGs and hey, good for them.  The game is what you make it and any ambiguous ideal of what’s the true game is nothing more than opinion or discussion.  But more and more it seems as though Blizzard is emphasizing the end game and raiding and saying, “This is the real thing, this is where it truly begins”.  

Does Blizzard spend too much time and effort on this or should they maybe focus on other aspects of the game?  Like most opinions, this question is likely to have about 11.5 million different answers.  Some will say the end game is the real game and it’s only right that Blizzard focus on that and could probably do with a little more focusing, because what’s more important than keeping your top players happy?  Others still will say that though raiding has it’s place, it’s not everything and Blizzard needs to spread the love a little more.  No matter what direction you go in though, I think we can all agree on one thing: Though the end game is fun, the “real” game is what you make of it, and it’s different for everyone.

-Dueg

28
May
09

Horde v Alliance, Let’s Get This Party Started

That looks about right

That looks about right

Yesterday I was sifting through my google reader when this little gem popped up from WoW.com.  In it, Allison Robert (who’s writing style I love, btw) makes a spectacular argument for why Varian Wrynn isn’t just an unfit leader and total jerkface, but also why he’s a fool and how his actions are actually serving to further damage the Alliance rather than help it.  She points out how he’s allowing personal vendettas and his understandably unbalanced emotions to dictate Alliance policy, further fracturing the tenuous peace in place with the Horde.  If you haven’t read it already, I suggest you go read it right now, but be prepared as it’s a long one.

One thing about this article is how it highlights the fact that more and more lately, these two political superpowers are on a collision course to full scale war against each other again.  With Wrynn baying for blood and Garrosh’s growing influence over Horde policies and it’s military, it’s only a matter of time until a small spark sets off the powder keg that is the Horde-Alliance diplomatic relationship.  And on that day, Dueg will stand upon the ramparts, looking down at the milling armies of his enemies, and say, “It’s about fucking time”.

Yes, I’m a warmonger.  I identify with my Blood Elf priest much more than I ever did with my dwarf (or my night elf, or my human) priest and I can say that I’ve grown tired of Varian Wrynn being all emo and whiny.  “Oh, the horde killed my parents, the horde enslaved me and threw me in an arena which made me the totally awesome fighter I am today, boo hoo, woe is me”.  Barf.  Look, the fact is that it’s almost universally accepted that Wrynn, though slightly justified, is a total ass who wants only war.  So c’mon Wrynn, shit or get off the pot.

I’ve also got some ideas for the coming war, which I call Wrynn’s War (you can use that, Blizzard, you’re welcome), such as how to start it and various things that can be done in game.  First off, though I’m loathe to say this as he’s one of my favorite video game characters of all time, Thrall’s got to go.  He’s too wishy-washy and always hemming and hawing when it comes to decisive military action.  It’s noble to want peace, but when it’s time for war you must put away the diplomat’s pen and I just don’t think Thrall can do that.

So I think that the best way to get the war started, and Jezriyah will have to forgive me for this, is the assassination of Thrall by Varian’s agents followed by a surprise attack on one of the major Horde cities.  However, if the Alliance makes the first move, then Wrynn will have an uphill battle trying to convince the other leaders within his faction to go along with it, especially the haughty Night Elves and spiritual Draenei.  So the answer is to have an assassination within the Alliance upper echelons orchestrated by Wrynn in order to make it look like a retaliation instead of an offensive.  The perfect target?  Jaina Proudmoore.  Get her and Thrall out of the way and the two loudest voices for peace are gone.  

You could even spare Thrall and simply have Jaina assassinated by Wrynn who would then begin an offensive by blaming it on the Horde, but I believe this would lead to a power struggle between Garrosh and Thrall.  Thrall will, of course, want peace and most likely try to fight a defensive war while trying to expose Wrynn for the maniac that he is and Garrosh will want to go on the offensive, reveling in the bloodshed like the orc he is.  However, that would weaken the Horde in the face of the oncoming enemy, making defeat and annihilation much more like.  And we certainly can’t have the Horde losing, now can we?

However it gets going though, an all out war between the two factions would mean a plethora of new ideas and mechanics that would be possible within the game.  One idea that I sorely want implemented and would only make sense during war time: Faction specific instances.  Think about it, an instance, raid or five man, where the Horde zone in and all the enemies are Alliance or vice versa.  You must then fight your way to the end in order to bring down an experimental weapon or kill a top army commander.  Raids on cities should also become impossible for the time being as it wouldn’t make much sense for 40 people to stop a war by simply killing the faction leaders.  Maybe extra guards or beef them up so all the guards have boss stats, I dunno.

Fact is, this war’s been a long time coming.  Wrynn’s begging for it and I for one say we should give it to him, bring him down a notch, beat the tar out of him, and all sorts of other colloquial sayings.  What makes me so certain that the Horde would win?  Because if there was a war, the Horde would have to win.  Wrynn won’t be satisfied until every orc and anyone who stands with them is exterminated to the last man, woman and child.  The orcs, who are synonymous with the Horde, only want a place to live, somewhere that they can call home.  Garrosh doesn’t want to destroy his enemies, he wants to humiliate them, prove them his lesser and put them in their places.  Once that’s done, he’ll return home, satisfied that through might he has made an everlasting peace dictated by the orcs. 

So let’s get this show on the road!  The time has come to stop pussyfooting around and finally put sword to bone.  Blizzard’s done so much to promote animosity between the leadership of the factions lately that anything less than total war would be a let down.  Hell’s bells, I think they should devote a full expansion cycle to Wrynn’s War (again, you’re welcome, Blizzard), with war instances and maybe a couple of new Wintergrasp type zones in the middle of both continents from the old world.  The only trick would be to make it so that it’s not simply a venue for PvP but also a way for PvEers to get their war on for their factions.  No matter what happens though, for Dueg it comes down to three little words:

For the Horde.

-Dueg

27
May
09

Are You Ready for Ulduar?

He was not ready

Not ready

So last night I was chit chatting with a friend who mentioned that their last guild was still struggling on Saphirron, wiping four times before finally downing him.  The first thing I said after reading that sentence, without even thinking, was “They’re not ready for Ulduar”.  But what exactly is “ready for Ulduar”?  What makes a guild worthy of the purps that flow like honeyed wine from Ulduar’s vaulted chambers?  The question is more complicated than it first appears.

I’ll admit that the first reason that I said that without even thinking was that I truly believe that any guild ready for Ulduar should simply not be wiping on any fight in Naxx.  I’m not saying that only those with the immortal title are truly ready, but keep in mind that even the easiest fight in Ulduar is more complicated and difficult than anything you’ll see in Naxx.  Even Kel’Thuzad is somewhat precious in comparison to what you’ll face in Blizzard’s newest raid instance, though he’s not exactly a cupcake or anything.

Beyond simply not wiping, the fact is that Naxx, as the introductory raid for Wrath, should be somewhat of a litmus test for your guild.  You can’t declare yourself ready for the most difficult content before you are ready for the easiest, plain and simple.  The mechanics you learn are the equivalent of placing a bunch of cut outs of feet on the ground in order to learn a complicated dance.  They show you how to move and where to place yourself when the time comes for the real thing, making you better at what you do.

It’s also not just the average ilevel of your gear which will give you an indicator of whether or not you’re ready to face down the bosses of Ulduar.  Good gear only makes your abilities stronger and more capable of handing damage, but it doesn’t improve you.  Even if you’re wearing BiS in every gear slot, it won’t mean anything if you die within ten seconds of a boss pull.  If you don’t know where to stand and when to move, you might as well sit the raid out because you’re worse than useless at that point, no matter how awesome your staff looks.

Your achievements and/or previous boss kills are also not a good barometer for whether or not you’re ready for the next tier of content.  So what if you have A Poke in the Eye or Sarth 3D under your belt?  If you got those achievements while lying on the floor because you couldn’t be bothered to learn where to stand during certain phases, then you’re not ready.  Experience is a good thing, and any raider should want to experience all the end game content.  But it’s not everything, it won’t make you into a better raider unless you’re willing to learn from it.

So what does make you ready?  What is the benchmark?  Well, there are certain signs to look out for, but for the most part it has to be done on an individual evaluation of each of your raiders.  A guild where the top healer in Naxx can’t seem to stop casting when Ignis’ flame jets go off, wiping his raid because of a school lock, is not going to go very far at all.  If a majority of your DPS can’t learn when to stop attacking one target and quickly move to another will also generally go down in flames.  Your raiders have to know how to raid in Ulduar, you can’t just go through the motions.

Good leadership is also infinitely important during those first few forays into the new raid instance.  Weak leadership who is unwilling to call out raiders for stupid, easily avoided mistakes will see those mistakes over and over again.  They have to be willing to single people out, point out to the rest of the guild what is and is not acceptable and in extreme cases, even sit people.  They can’t be concerned with whether or not the guild likes them or wants to be their buddy, especially not if the guild is looking to progress beyond 3.0 raids.  

For example, the other night we had a player who came to raid without a flask, unable to min/max like we require from our raiders.  When called out, he admitted it and was told that since he wasn’t ready to raid, he had to leave because we had others waiting who were ready.  Now this guy is an OG, one of the guild originals and very good friends with the leadership.  But still, rules are rules and he was punished just like any other member of our raiding team would be.  He didn’t throw a fit or anything, simply said “ok” and left the raid.

So you see, it’s not about gear or experience or any of that, it’s about you, the player, and whether or not you are mentally prepared to be a raider.  A person in all blues who’s never done a raid before in his life but survives through to the end of every boss fight is going to be ten times more useful than a player in full epics who dies halfway through those same fights.  Naxx and OS with no drakes are very forgiving on those who don’t care about proper positioning and raiders can certainly play around in there.  But when it comes time to put your serious face on, you better be serious and you better be for the reals and prepared to dance the dance of boss fights.  If not, then you’re simply not ready for Ulduar.

-Dueg

26
May
09

Power Word: Useless

That shit is hilarious

That shit is hilarious

So anyone who was following me over the holiday weekend knows that our guild finally got a disc priest to join our regular team of healing hawtness.  With pew pews here and laserz there, she wielded the light like a pro and we were finally able to down Mimi 25 as a guild (suck it, you mechano-chump).  However, before the raid, I, being the diligent raider that I am, did some research into what to expect as a holy priest when running with one of our more throughput challenged cousins.

Throughout my research, one major point kept popping up over and over again, hammering home a tip that it seems disc priests are desperate for holy priests to know: Don’t bubble people.  This tip makes sense to me.  Disc priests are the undisputed masters of damage mitigation and PW:S is a bread and butter spell for them.  It also leaves behind a debuff that prevents the person from being re-bubbled for 15 seconds, regardless of who cast the original bubble.  This can cause issues.

You see, if someone has a choice of which shield they’re going to take, they want the one that’s going to mitigate upwards of 6,000 damage (as some disc priest bubbles are known to do).  A holy priest’s shield, on the other hand, has no talent boosts and is a fairly minimal mitigator for damage, usually gone from half a single melee hit of even the trash mobs.  A disc priest also relies heavily on their shield being destroyed in order to regen mana during fights thanks to some talent retooling for 3.1.  So the basic rule of thumb is that holy should only bubble themselves in emergencies and leave the mitigation to the pros.

However, all this sort of highlighted a point for me that, though I sort of realized it beforehand, it had never really been brought home until I started doing this little side research.  Fact is, even before we had a disc priest, I almost never cast my PW:S anyways.  As holy, especially in Ulduar, the spell is almost useless and at best will buy you less than half a second’s worth of time.  It used to be that you could rely on PW:S to hold off damage during emergencies if you had no instant spells ready and the tank just needed that extra couple of seconds for a big heal to land.

But not anymore, really.  With even the trash in Ulduar being fr srs, our shield is gone almost before we even cast it with minimal benefit to whoever receives it.  This fact relegates it to almost being a non-spell for us and with the rise of other spells in an arsenal, such as Prayer of Healing, our version of shield has lost even more capital than it had, which wasn’t much to begin with.  Though the spell is still sitting on my hotbar, I don’t think I’ve purposefully cast it more than once or twice since 3.1 landed, even with the lack of disc goodness that we now have.  It simply wasn’t worth the time or effort to do so.

Nowadays, Holy spec is all about healing muscle, pumping out those big heals and dropping AoE bombs like it ain’t no thang.  On the other hand, Discipline spec is more sleek and aerodynamic, designed to stave off damage and keep people alive as long as humanly possible.  When you look at the purpose of the two specs, you can see why holy would leave their shield out in the rain more often.  You see, when confronted with raid wide damage, our concern is not how to slow it, but how to reverse it.  We want to see big green blobs of number pop up over the raid, not shiny bubbles popping up left and right.  We don’t care how much damage you take as long as it’s not one or two shotting you.

Now don’t get me wrong, PW:S is a real whizz-bang of a spell in it’s own right.  On the extremely rare occasions where I run five mans, I do actually use the spell a lot more regularly as it has it’s places in those sort of instances.  I also do use it in emergency situations, popping it on myself when I need to worry about other raiders and need a quick stop-gag for damage.  But for the most part, the spell sits on my hotbar, collecting dust and looking at me forlornly while asking in a high-pitched, chipmunk voice why I don’t love it anymore.  It’s not you, shield, it’s me.  I’m just no good for you, anymore.  I’ve been ruined by Circle of Healing’s siren song.  But don’t worry, shield, because someone loves you, and that someone is a disc priest.

-Dueg

25
May
09

Is WoW too Low Brow?

Pictured: WoW?

Pictured: WoW?

Let me start this post with an admission.  I’ve strayed.  Look, it’s not that I don’t find WoW sexy anymore or think that it’s gotten too old or anything.  WoW’s the same vibrant, sexy game that I have and will always cherish deep in my heart, it’s true.  But still, lately I’ve found myself in the arms of a different game, one that could satisfy needs that WoW simply never could.  Yes, lately my boots have been under the bed of Elder Scrolls IV.

I don’t know how it happened!  There I was in Best Buy, minding my own business in the video game section as I’m want to do when I go to the ol’ double B, when our eyes just locked.  I couldn’t resist her in that cute little game of the year box, with the original game and both expansions included for only twenty bucks.  We tried to play it coy, but before I even knew what was happening, her cellophane was strewn across my floor and, well, let’s just say that I’ve had quite a few late nights lately, if you know what I mean.

However, during my infidelity there was one stark contrast between the games that made me begin to wonder.  You see, super nerds such as myself have usually grown up with their noses deep into the fantasy genre, drinking deeply from the font of the likes of J.R.R. Tolkein, R.A. Salvatore and Robert Jordan.  The thing about writers of this magnitude, however, is that they often write what is commonly considered “high fantasy.”

For those of you not familiar with high fantasy, the best example is Lord of the Rings and the whole Middle-Earth mythos that Tolkien built from scratch.  High fantasy builds on itself, creating lore heavy backgrounds and trying it’s best to not just give you a view of an alternate world, but to submerse you in a wholly fantastic realm.  There’s nothing there other than human beings to remind you of the real world, because fantasy is supposed to be separate from reality.

Now anyone who’s played Elder Scrolls IV knows that this is the type of world you find yourself in when playing that game.  I was thrown into a completely new world, made to explore and find out the rich background and side stories of this digital reality.  It felt like what a fantasy realm should feel like with unbelievable mysteries and intrepid adventuring left and right, allowing me to become Frellen, the Dark Elf Spellsword who closed the Gates of Oblivion and saved Cyrodiil from certain destruction.  Yeah, it was pretty awesome.

But then I come back to WoW.  Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m saying that WoW is the equivalent of a dirty redneck in overalls shaking hands with the president or anything like that.  WoW does have it’s own rich lore and is constantly compounding it through quests and side material for the game.  However, when compared to other games or fantasy stories, you find something lacking in WoW’s make up.  It doesn’t feel the same.  It’s just not high fantasy.

For one, there’s a lot of real world references, somewhat breaking the fourth wall.  Though fun and often chuckle-worthy, these sort of things do serve to highlight that this is a game world, an unreality.  Real life intrudes upon the setting you’ve placed yourself in and reminds you that it is only a game, just a fantasy, something not real.  Though reminders of real life are important for an MMO, by admitting your falsehood through references such as that, you break the fantasy and take something away from the experience.

Then there’s the cartoonish appearance of the characters and world in general.  With large, over exaggerated, almost caricature like architecture, you occasionally feel as though you may have accidently wandered onto a Saturday morning cartoon.  And though it’s not like the characters bear any sort of resemblance to Mickey Mouse or anything, they definitely do not look real.  Even the humans have what I consider a slight, almost anime-ish sort of quality about them.  This only serves to further separate you from the fantasy of WoW, making you feel less connected with the world of Azeroth than you could.

Some might argue that these are part of WoW’s appeal to the masses at large and I one hundred percent agree to that.  Real world references and subtle reminders that this is just a game and not meant to be looked at seriously as most high fantasy works are does add likability to the game.  11.5 million people can’t be all wrong, after all.  But WoW also loses something off the other end, a feeling of submersion and true fantasy that a lot of us nerds, obviously WoW’s base, yearn for at times.  I don’t believe that the game is losing subscribers by the boatload because of this, but I wander at times whether or not WoW could benefit from a little more fantasy at times.

Either way, though I may spend a few weeks in throes of nerdy passion with this other game, I know that it truly doesn’t mean anything at all.  WoW is still the one for me, the one I’ll always come home to.  Eventually, my Elder Scrolls disk will sit on my CD spindle with Neverwinter Nights, Dawn of War II and all the other games that I have had fleeting trysts with.  In the end, there’s only WoW, patient and understanding of my trifling ways.  

Chicken Butt.

-Dueg

21
May
09

Why Wands Win

Pictured: Your typical super cool wand user

Pictured: Your typical super cool wand user

I’ve decided to do something you won’t see too often around here, hell, almost anywhere on the net.  After much debate and looking at the different options, I have decided that the time has come to give Blizzard some credit, time to actually say thank you.  For what, you might ask?  Well, I’ll tell you, because otherwise my post would be over by now.  So it is with much gratitude and love in my heart that I say, Blizzard, thanks for giving me a wand.

Quite frankly, I love wands.  I think they’re the bee’s knees, the cat’s pajamas and any other sixties nonsensical references you can think of.  They’re the ultimate ranged weapon for the caster and Blizzard is one of the very few games that recognized that and actually placed them in the game as a viable option.  They add a touch of fantasy to what is a comparably light fantasy game, but more than that, they add a great touch to all the caster classes.  Whether Warlock, Mage or Priest, we can all certainly appreciate the wonder that is your standard wand.

However, I was not always part of this camp of wand lovers.  I used to consider them mostly useless, emergency only tools that you would use while waiting for mana to come back so you can kill whatever is whomping on you.  I never used to more attention to what was in my wand slot other than to see what kind of stats it had.  I would then promptly forget it was there, allowing it to lapse into forgetfulness and sit there unused as it wasted away in the mystery spot on my back where I apparently store my wands.  But then came a revelation.

You see, as I’ve said before, I wanted Dueg to level up as a disc priest, so I completely eschewed all other trees figuring I was doing most of my leveling in dungeons.  However, I did do at least a third of my leveling “in the field” as it were, and though I had survivability as a disc priest, my damage output was total crap and I ran out of mana very quickly, causing my costs and downtime to go up as I was drinking quite often.  I was like those people in the commercials, standing in the middle of the Plaguelands shouting, “There’s got to be a better way!”

There is, gentle jerkwads!  You see, out of the three caster classes who use wands, priests are the only one that has a tangible, time saving benefit from making a wand kill.  Some people prefer to burn their mobs down to around 5% and just open up with the wand in order to save mana, no use wasting it on an overkill shot.  However, a priest who’s specced into Spirit Tap (and really, any leveling priest, regardless of spec, should be specced into it), benefits twice as much.  You see by busting out your wand and using that to down the mobs, you give your character a chance to slip out of the 5 second rule before you kill the mob.  Once it dies, you’ll proc Spirit Tap, which doubles your spirit total giving you a huge mana regen boost, meaning you’ll almost never have to sit again, even with chain pulling.

This method isn’t only viable with a wand, of course, but wands are our only weapons which will do good and fast dps, making it an awesome candidate for this.  Of course, it’s not just the utility of the wand that makes it such a great ranged weapon and my personal favorite.  In the beginning, they’re rather lame looking, but as you progress in levels, especially past 40 or so, they really start to become a lot cooler looking.  Then, once you get to the 80′s, the new epic wands really start to outdo themselves with the latest ones from Ulduar looking more like scepters.  Power Scepters!

But beyond simple form and function, which are both win for wands, there’s also the fact that a wand is a sorcerer’s staple for any fantasy genre.  One of the things that drew me to the priest class in WoW is that they aren’t your typical cleric that you usually see in other mmo’s.  They’re a caster class, except instead of casting destructive spells like fireballs and blizzards, they cast restorative spells.  It’s like playing a wizard, only I drop healing nukes.  The wand reinforces this feeling for me, makes me love my priest more.  It just feels right for the class.  So now I ask you, wandys and wandy wannabes, what do you think?  Are wands the beat-all end-all shit of ranged weapons?  Or maybe you’d prefer a nice bow and arrow, you weirdo?

-Dueg

18
May
09

Being Faithful

More often then not, when someone reaches level 80 they will either join a new guild or are already part of one.  The reason for this is that people will have a tendency to want to explore the end game content.  Not content with simply being a level 80, they will often seek out new people in the form of a guild if their current one is not tackling the more difficult content and join up with a more professionally minded raiding team.  However, though they’re joining a team, an online raiding team is not as a serious as professional teams.  The social aspects of it mean that you’re not just raiding with these people, you’re in a relationship with them.

Like these people, but less creepy

Like these people, but less creepy

This isn’t the tee hee, red in the face as you whisper to your friends at your weekly slumber party kind of relationship though.  It’s more of a casual friendship that you strike up with people in order to accomplish short term goals, such as a bowling team or something along those lines.  These people rely on you to show up at the alloted time and date in order to accomplish goals that everyone has.  Some people are fanatically faithful, showing up for every raid at exactly the right time with extra consumables.  Others are more flaky, showing up late or possibly skipping nights or even a week or so at times in order to take care of other obligations.  They drive you nuts, but what’re you going to do?

There’s also one type of person who will draw the ire of every other raider in the guild if they find out what sort of infidelities are being perpetrated.  I talk of the unfaithful.  It’s only happened once or twice to my guild, but when it does, it immediately brought down the sky on the person who got caught.  What did they do?  They ran a raid with another guild or even worse, possibly a PuG.  One of the biggest rules in our guild is that all 25 man raids belong to the guild.  If you want to raid a 10 man, go ahead and pick up a group for it, but you don’t run guild sponsored raids with other people, it’s just tacky.  Aside from the fidelity aspect of it and expecting your raiders to be faithful, there can be other reasons behind it.

Maybe the perpetrator of this heinous crime missed out on running a raid with us earlier in the week and felt that since he or she missed the first night of the week, that they should run with some other people because they would be out.  This is the most likely excuse most of the time because it’s the most probable scenario that would lead to a raider having to run a 25 man with a different guild.  However, I would say that this excuse is still weak.  Unless we fully cleared the content that night (and that’s something that hasn’t been done since Ulduar came out), there’s no reason for you to ruin your raid ID for the week with another’s guild’s run.  If you missed out on the raid or the first night, you still have a chance to get gear with us on the next couple of nights.  The only way this is excusable is if the person was forced to sit or had a RL emergency and missed a full content clear on that single night, otherwise they need to wait and go with the guild.

Sometimes it’s intentional though.  Perhaps you’ve grown tired of your guild and are secretly shopping around for another or maybe you just got invited by a friend from the game and figured, eff it, you wanted to go now and weren’t going to wait for raid night.  Whatever the reason, you have committed a cardinal sin against your guild.  What’s the big deal?  Well, I’ll tell you, mister, the big deal is that you have just cost your guild an asset for the week.  Every player is an asset that has been groomed and rewarded by whatever guild they’re in, and the guild expects to have that asset available on raid days.  If you’re in the guild and are a regular raider, you are expected to be ready to go on raid nights which means a clean raid ID.

But what’s the social aspect of being unfaithful to your guild?  Well, other than the fact that you now have to miss out on the guild’s weekly run, you will also begin to get a reputation if you’re constantly popping up with other people’s raid IDs.  People will feel a sense of betrayal on you, an idea that another guild or team is more important than your own.  It will begin to poison people against you who before might have thought “he/she’s an ok kind of person” and now think “he/she’s an asshole kind of person” because you’re off raiding with somebody else.  In certain guilds this can even mean the death of a few raid nights if you play a critical role such as tank or healer in a tight membership guild.  Eventually it will end in a gquit or kick.

Of course if you’re in a guild that only runs ten mans or only runs 25 mans then more often than not you’re free to do the other types on your own time with whomever you like.  And there will be the occasional glitch or accidental saving to other IDs if you’re someone who PuGs in their off time often.  But the fact is that being unfaithful is an act of betrayal and one that can cost you your guild and possibly a friend or two.  And if you’re considering running raids with other guilds, you should probably be considering why you’re even in your current guild in the first place.  And before you cheat on your guild, just remember these words of wisdom from my childhood: cheaters never win, and winners never cheat.

-Dueg




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