Honour the game

Stubborn over at Sheep the Diamond  has continued the discussion on the WoW community, and how ongoing issues of asshattery and jerkism could potentially be addressed via finding ‘common ground’ . The most awesome thing I got out of his post was a new response to jerks –  in groups, and in general…

“HONOUR THE GAME”

It’s so simple. Any time anyone is a jerk, just reply with ‘Honour the Game’. You may be mocked, cursed or abused, but it says it all, and it doesn’t invite discussion. Check the post out for a more in-depth view – he says it much more eloquently than I can paraphrase here!

Posts and podcasts and tweets – oh my!

I’ve been sitting on this post for over a week now as I’ve needed some time to formulate my thoughts, but it’s been great to see how the WoW community has embraced this issue in the meantime – there have been posts and podcasts discussing it all over the interwebs.

Twizz from Twizzcast got the heads up on my blog from a listener, and discusses the issue in the last hour of Episode 29 – Icy Veins (you can download it free on iTunes). It seems my experience really riled him up, and he’s calling for a crusade on this kind of behaviour!

WoW Insider got wind of the situation via Stubborn’s incredibly cogent post, and it seems a few of their writers found it story-worthy:

Anne Stickney wrote Should players be in charge of accountability?

Allison Robert wrote Sphere of Jerkitude: That’s it, I’m outta here

Matthew Rossi wrote What does community mean in World of Warcraft?

The comments that follow these stories paint an interesting picture on the state of our community, and highlights that the majority of people are sick to death of fun suckers, that they mostly feel powerless to do anything about it as Blizzard haven’t provided the appropriate tools to deal with them, and that long-term players look back with misty eyes at the ‘good old days of WoW’.

Sure, jerks and asshats have always been around, but the community used to be able to better police itself before the advent of LFD/LFR and cross-realm zones. If you were a douche, you would quickly exhaust your avenues for group play, until you were sitting in a capital city guildless and trolling trade chat because everyone had you on ignore and your bad rep followed you everywhere you went.

So, how can we honour the game?

I’d like to share some things I learned as a baby toon from some great player mentors waaaaay back in 2008 that I feel help me honour the game. It’s these things that seem to be fast disappearing in the wider community, and I think the game is poorer for it.

As a guild member, it’s nice to:

  • Say hello when you log in, and say goodbye when you log off
  • Congratulate people on significant achievements
  • Keep a level head on your shoulders – many guilds have players from widely different gaming backgrounds and skill/experience levels – you’re NOT any better than them just because you raid and they don’t, or you have 300k HK’s and they run behind a tree and hide in BG’s – don’t be an elitist pig to the people you see every day!
  • Bother to get to know people personally – what their interests are outside of WoW, what they do for a living etc. You might find common ground for late night drunken conversations!
  • Ask people in guild if they’d like to do x/y/z before queuing up solo – you never know who else would like to help you out/come along unless you ask!
  • Respond when someone asks a question in guild chat, even if it’s noob/derp/stoopid/lazy (the last one tends to get the ‘Google is your friend’ response in our guild, but hey – at least you bothered to reply!)

As a player out in the big wide world, it never hurts to:

  • Buff a player of your faction when you come across them questing
  • LOOK around you when questing/taking on elites etc – there’s nothing worse than an asshat coming in and tagging your mob, then leaving you to kill it!
  • On the point above: if someone else is in your close vicinity when you come across an elite – WHISPER THEM and ask if they’d like to help out – two makes it faster than one! The other person could well have been preparing to engage when you swooped in on your flying mount (damn you MoP and making baby toons run everywhere!)
  • Respond politely and helpfully when a low level character of your class whispers you, complimenting you on your gear and asking for advice or tips – you never know where a new friendship could begin!
  • Offer to help someone out if you come across them and they’re dying/dead to a particularly curly mob. You might get abused, but you might also make someone’s day!
  • Be polite to players on your server, and foster positive relations between like-minded guilds. For us, this has resulted in a pool of players coming together under the <Insidious> banner after many years of friendship and drunken Friday night joint runs. Sadly, this has also been as a result of some great guilds on Nagrand disbanding, but we’re all on the same page, and that helps keep the game fun.
  • Let the leader/s of another guild know when you’ve had a bad experience with one of their members – you might get the kind of abuse I did recently, but any guild worth its salt will take it seriously and at the very least warn the offending player that behaving in that manner isn’t socially acceptable.

In dungeons/LFR, things go more smoothly if you:

  • Say ‘hey all’ and ‘thanks for the run’
  • Don’t start pulling before the group has zoned in/healer has switched specs/druid has done symbiosis (that 5 minute cast kills me) >.< A quick ‘heya – all ready?’ really does set the tone for the run, and makes it more pleasant for everyone
  • Ask if people know the instance BEFORE you pull – you never know what experience the pug you’re in group with has
  • Take the time to explain a basic mechanic that avoids a wipe
  • If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all (I’ve been guilty of responding to trolls in the past out of pure frustration, but my most recent approach has been to wait for the inevitable group kick then grin wickedly to myself)
  • If someone asks a question in a group, don’t respond with ‘DERP NOOB’ or even worse – silence – try and help them out. We were all new players once!
  • DO NOT QUEUE AS A TANK IN PVP GEAR!!! I’ve seen it so often, and my mana pool as healer off-spec hates you for it. Yes, you DO have threat issues, yes, you ARE going down like the proverbial sack of shit when you get hit by a mob, and no, your gear IS NOT just as good as PVE gear! On this point, always make sure you can see your healer’s mana – when they’re empty and you continue to pull then say ‘OMFG WHERE’S THE HEALS’ you’re not going to win friends and influence people.

As a raider, you should always:

  • Be prepared with your own flasks and food, just ‘in case’
  • Listen to your raid leader, and restrict ‘feedback’ to your guild forums unless asked directly
  • Research progression fights or at LEAST run LFR (a more recent tool) to have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into
  • Research your own class and spec, gemming, enchanting and reforging – it’s not everyone else’s job to tell you how to play your toon
  • Be ready for a well-timed joke that gets everyone laughing after the 50th progression wipe – it can break the tension and help lighten the mood, often with great results.

I’m sure there are plenty of ways of honouring the game I’ve forgotten about so I’ll pass it over to you. How do you honour this game we all love?

On being irked by jerks…

Yes, yes I do.

Well I’ve been busy plugging away at raiding and gearing and dailies and everything else that goes with MoP (hence my lack of blogging), but it appears that no matter what you do in Azeroth, one thing remains constant – asshats.

In a recent Sha run I was putting together, I had the great displeasure of encountering a member of a new guild on Nagrand, Vault Hunters. This ‘warrior‘ joined the run as I was putting a shout out in trade chat, and a few pugs in the group asked for a brief run down on boss mechanics, as they hadn’t done it before.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in plenty of fail Sha runs, so I responded with ‘sure – once the run is full I’ll fill you in’ – after all, I’d rather one-shot the boss than wipe and have it tagged by the Horde on the corpse run back!

From this seemingly innocent and helpful response, aforementioned warrior pipes up in raid chat with ‘you just dps the boss – it’s not hard’.

Mhmmmm – right.

I continued to fill the group, as the warrior repeated himself a number of times – overandoverandoverandover again. I decided to respond politely with ‘well there are a number of people who have asked for a rundown, so I will be explaining basic mechanics. I prefer not to wipe because people don’t know what to do, and it doesn’t take long to explain. If you don’t like it, you’re free to leave – your choice’.

‘YOU JUST DPS – IT’S NOT HARD!’

*remove from group*

Alot of ‘thank god for that’ comments in raid chat. Within seconds, what do I get?

WARNING: Offensive language!

Just – wow.

I responded intelligently, and then put them on ignore. End of the story? I think not!

This asshat then took to trade chat, and abused me for an hour. I had them on ignore of course, but the abuse was so bad that people from other guilds were telling the guy to STFU. Now I know you’re probably thinking I shouldn’t have responded to this vitriol at all, but after the carrying on this person did in raid chat, I was getting pretty pissed, so figured a basic response would get them to bugger off.

As a female, I took great offence to the word used, so I did what is commonly perceived to be the ‘mature’ thing in an MMO -I did a /who and looked officers up on armory. Luckily (or so I thought at the time) one was online, so I whispered them to confirm this, asking ‘hey there, are you an officer?’.

Officer: ‘Of what?’

…..

Me: ‘your guild?’.

Officer: ‘so are you gonna have a cry to me about one of my guildies? You need to get a life, take a break and realise this is just a GAME.’

Me: ‘…… errr forget it.’ *ignore*

No asking what the issue was, just straight out abuse right off the bat. Charming.

After this, I sent an in-game mail to the GM, explaining the situation so that they knew how their players were interacting out in the world. There was no demand of a gkick, punishment or the like – just a factual account of the situation and an explanation of why I found the situation so offensive.

(As an aside, you do NOT just dps the effing Sha – Icy Veins wouldn’t bother to post a STRATEGY on it if you did! Yes, it is relatively simple, but you still need to stay out of Bitter Thoughts, break MC targets and move away from other players when you get Growing Anger – DERP.)

Need I repeat myself?

A day or so later, and after many, many abusive and borderline psychotic whispers from various members of this guild on mains and alts to both myself and other members of my guild (some of which went along the lines of ‘please tell your GM to stop harassing me and my guild members’ and asking ‘is it a woman? It must be a woman’)…

Errrr – what the serious EFF?! Yes, go ahead and report me for continuing to put you and your guild members on ignore…

To which I responded with ignore after ignore. Then their GM whispered me.

Well, at least he was polite…

He went on to tell me the worst offender was a 17 year old kid. Five years older than my own daughter, who would never consider speaking to people in such a manner, and who happened to be looking at my screen on one of the nights I was being sent foulmouthed abuse, which I spoke to their GM about (as she was upset that her mum was being spoken to that way). Apparently being a wow player means I am also neglecting my child…

Oh yes, I am the loser on the internet, abusing YOU?!?!?! Please, do continue!

Now I wouldn’t normally ‘name names’ in this kind of situation, but the abuse didn’t stop after multiple in-game tickets. It has stopped now, but I’m presuming that’s because I spent 2 hours on the phone to Blizzard until I could speak with someone about the situation, and they put in a strongly worded ticket from their end.

I’ve only shown the absolute ‘pearlers’ here, but suffice it to say, I have never experienced this level of harassment in all my years of wow, and if this is how the community is evolving into a ‘younger demographic’, I’m going to need to reconsider where I choose to spend my gaming time.

On a closing note, I have one last, rather hilarious screenshot to share with you…

It’s all good little boy, I don’t need to send it to Blizzard – that’s way too old school. I’ll just share your asshattery with the entire internet instead 🙂

I would advise all fellow Nagrandians to give these douchebags a wide berth.

/end rant

In yo’ face, Garrosh!!!

And the pre-MoP cheev whoring completion hunt continues…

hahahahaha – even on a Sunday afternoon, we can still kill you Garrosh. Your ‘Horde’ can’t save you!

Now I know most people had this AAAAGES ago, but I have a little story about why I only just got mine today… you see, just before Cataclysm hit, Thrall went on a little journey of enlightenment to Nagrand (if you remember), and Garrosh was left in temporary charge of the Horde. We went on our faction leader kill mission, and actually DID kill Garrosh after killing the other three faction leaders, but we didn’t get credit for the kill.

On ticketing the issue, we were told that things were ‘working as intended’, and that we’d have more chances to kill Garrosh during Cata (he wasn’t the ‘official’ leader of the Horde yet >.<). Little did we know at the time, those stinky Horde would be RELOCATING the throne room to the middle of Org, and it would be nigh on impossible to get a kill!!!

I totally spat the chewy over it, and needless to say, never bothered trying again during Cata, as most of the pug groups tend to hit Org last. Nagrand has a lot of players who have Horde toons as well, so by the time groups would actually get to Org, there would usually be a massive contingent ready and waiting for us. With the pre-expansion patch hitting next week however, I wasn’t prepared to go through it all again, as we’re ‘guessing’ the guards will jump to level 90 as they did pre-cata.

Three of our Insidiots were in the raid, and we even managed to gank some ex-guild members who joined the Horde during ICC, so it was a rather satisfying afternoon! Great work Yaguar for your eagle eye in the midst of total chaos, and ganking Tulveli first, and Hydra for giving us the heads up that the run was on. I finally have my Battle Bear – huzzah!!

So now it’s done, and we kicked him in the ass. As the ‘unofficial’ Alliance battlecry goes – WE’LL KEEP TRYING!!!!

The day a ‘careless whisper’ turned into a new friendship

I had the most amazing experience today of my short blogging life! I was whiling away the hours of my Sunday, playing my baby warlock (who has only just hit 85), when I got a ‘careless whisper’ from a baby mage ‘Miniices’ that started the following conversation:

Miniices: ‘hi there 🙂 I was wondering if I could ask a question about one of your guildies?’

Me: ‘sure?’

Miniices: ‘I was REALLY slow 🙂 I was looking for Arkham. Did he log on to another alt? Or did he just go offline?’

Me: ‘lol no he’s offline – why?’

Miniices: ‘ he was there one sec ago >.< damn :)’

Me: ‘Can I help?’

Miniices: ‘lol I’m a fan of his. Well, his blog.’

Me: ‘o.o from his blog? aaah’

At this point, I had a ‘gut feeling’ about who this could possibly be, as the person she was talking about was Mortigen, one of our long-standing officers and author of Typhoon Andrew’s – Eye of the Storm, a great blog with a history that goes back to 2006. I won’t ruin it for you just yet though, as the conversation continued…

Me: ‘well he’s just logged on to another toon, so whisper Diamon’

Miniice: ‘please don’t tell him – I want it to be a surprise!’

Me: ‘no probs.’

Some time passes, and I asked Mort if my hunch was correct in guild chat. I took it by his silence that he was rather distracted with his new ‘friend’, but he had said ‘this is awesome’ so I then whispered her saying:

Me: ‘Mort is quite chuffed’

Miniices: ‘really? I’m so glad!’

This is where it got AMAZING.

Me: ‘Are you Navi?’

Her initial reaction to this was ‘I’m good ty’ and then it clicked for her.

Miniice: ‘oh! You know who I am!!!’

It was NONE OTHER than the wonderful and sweet Navimie, of The Daily Frostwolf!!!!

Now I must admit, I immediately had chills down my spine, as I’m a long-term lurker on her blog, and had only just read about a horrible experience she’d had a few weeks back when trying to contact another of her blogging heroes for Navispam on another server (which I won’t go into, but suffice it to say I ‘almost’ did something I’ve never done before, which is to stand up for a total stranger on the internet! You can read all about it here at the Big Bear Butt – he was one angry bear, who wasn’t scared to call out the asshat involved!)

So I played it all cool, but I had a massive smile on my face as I told her I read her blog regularly, to which her response was ‘NO WAY!!! I’m all starstruck now! Well I must get a shot with you as well!!’

I got onto my druid main and met her and Mort for some screenies in Stormwind, then we went and met her on her Nagrand Horde toon Navimie in Shattrath for further ‘close-ups’ with yet another great blogger, Dragonray of Azerothian Life.

I honestly felt like all my christmases had come at once! A new blogger, meeting two of her own heroes on a lazy Sunday!

Navi switched back to her Ally mage, and we had a long and lovely conversation about all kinds of things, and realised we’re very similar-minded! I invited her to hit me up any time if she wanted to join our guild on her little baby mage, explaining it would be an honour to have her.

Her response?

‘I feel honoured!’

And thus, a new friendship was born.

If ever you happen to come across Navi on her travels, you’ll find out for yourself what an enthusiastic and amazing chick she is. I tip my hat to you Miss Navi, and look forward to chatting with you again next time you’re in Nagrand’s neighbourhood 🙂

Ultimate honour – Dragonray, Navimie and Mort all in the same place!

(oh, and I’ll update with a proper screenshot once I get hold of one – in my excitement I forgot to take one!)

Guild Ox reverts to old ranking system, and I’m stoked!

In preparation for MoP, Guild Ox have announced this week that the ‘points system’ for rankings is being reverted as follows:

Mists of Pandaria is only seven weeks away so we have commenced our preparation.

One of the changes that you are about to see is a modification to the ranking system used by GuildOx. Our recent MoP survey, which had over 2000 responses, gave us much clearer insight into what type of ranking system people wanted. We had close to 80% of people say they wanted a simple ranking system or they did not mind what system was used. We also had many, many comments about people being confused or unhappy with the points system and suggesting some interesting (!) alternatives. Some folk found it too difficult to understand the points system, others did not agree with the encounter points weightings and many were just plain unhappy with guilds that killed bosses after them to be still listed higher in the rankings.

After running with a points system now for some time, we are experiencing the pitfalls that are associated with such a system – mainly the complexity in understanding where you will be ranked and the subjective nature of the points weightings.

Consequently, we are shifting back to the system where you are first ranked on the number of tier bosses that you have killed and then by the date/time of the kill. We will continue to normalize timestamps for heroic content. You will see this change happen early this week so we can test it for MoP.

The bottom line – your guild will be ranked based on the time/date of the last boss that you killed. Simple, easy.

Quite frankly, this is a long overdue and positive change to the ranking system. Our guild <Insidious> stalled in progression due to changes in the raid team, but played a pretty mean game of catch up once we had rebuilt.

We ‘thought’ we had finished 12th in 10 man rankings, only to be pipped at the post by a stinky Horde guild for a final rank of 13th on Nagrand US.

Without Guild Ox reverting the ranking system, we ran a high risk of being overtaken by other guilds with no kills for a number of weeks who had happened to have the right team to kill an earlier boss weeks (or even months) before, which would have given them the ‘points’ to overtake us even 2-3 weeks after our own 8/8H kill.

Kudos to Guild Ox for listening to the masses and making the system based on ‘we killed it 10 minutes before you’ rather than ‘we skipped bosses and killed the highest point value boss first on heroic’!