The "Wise" Words of a Self Confessed Geek!

World of Warcraft

Social Media + MMO’s = Trouble?

Last week I found myself caught in a very interesting debate about social media (Facebook, Twitter etc), and what lengths guilds should go to implement this form of communication into the guild guidelines.

Almost anyone with a Twitter account has done, you’ve played you’re favourite MMO (in my case World of Warcraft), just couldn’t beat that over-powered DK, or stop someone from stealing your mobs or reported a bug (turned out to be a gnome, but required removal all the same), you’ve hopped onto Twitter and vented your annoyance.

Recently I found myself in a situation on Twitter where a discussion about guilds implementing guidelines about social media should or should not happen. Some had the opinion that for the sake of the guild, the message should be controlled, others thought that they censored at work, there’s no way they should be censored at home, whilst others took the middle ground that censoring is no-go except in certain circumstances.

When I first joined into this debate, I was like “no chance in hell”, but after having a while to think about it, I do think that I’ve drifted into the middle ground. And here’s why. My opinion is their venting your frustrations at certain situations or at certain individuals is perfectly fine, as long as the message is kept vague. Let me give an example

Example 1

Ffs, that Guillin just came up and tagged the mob/stole the ore that he could clearly see I was going for.

Example 2

Jesus H. Christ, what is it withtoday. They are making an army full of male blood elves look masucline. Amateurs!

Now in both of these occasions, it’s the age-old “Name and Shame”. Whilst your complaints might be valid, the words might be true, never the less, by naming the culprits you are opening yourself to retaliation. In the case of a person, it could be abuse/griefing, in terms of a guild it could be a gkick. Critisize a member of your own guild and you could cause a rift, the atmosphere of the guild could be compromised, and rightly or wrongly the guild master could take the opinion that to prevent this it could be best to remove you from the guild.

Take at look at the following two examples, both about the same as what was said before but with slight differences.

Example 1.2

Ffs, I’ve just had my ore stolen again by the same person. I wish some people would show respect and not do that!

Example 2.2

Why is it so hard for some people in this game to show up on time, to be prepared and ready to go?

Now in my opinion both of these are perfectly fine. The venting and the frustration is still going on BUT there is no comment about who it is aimed at. People might have their suspicions but as there is no concrete proof, then I don’t they have room to manoeuvre. Regular Tweeter Lufitoom mentioned a few things recently, none of it named and shamed but certain people found offence and complained to her guild officers. I wont go into detail on that particular topic as the wonderful Oestrus made a very good post on her blog on April 13th about this topic. Her post is called “Follow“.

That situation raised a few opinions from me. Basically someone was tweeting but not naming, yet some people still took it upon themselves to complain to the guild officer. To this I have to say .. If you feel that you have to complain about a Tweet in which you weren’t named, then WHAT ARE YOU HIDING? In my eyes the person who complained obviously did something otherwise they wouldn’t have felt the right to complain. Thankfully I haven’t come across this yet, but if I did, what would I do? Especially if my guild master asked me to censor myself?

In all reality, my response would be

I’m going to carry on doing what I do. I keep my Tweets vague, don’t aim them at anyone and if people feel the need to complain then it’s obvious they have a guilty conscience. Also in future if anyone complains to you in future, tell them it’s a personal issue and send them direct to me.

I wouldn’t want the leaders of whichever guild I’m in to become distracted by stupid things like this. As I’m the one tweeting, then the officers should wash their hands of it, and pass it back to me. If they went to me “We don’t want you Tweet anymore”, my reply would be “In which case, cya”. I don’t however think that any guild would have this stance. Everyone realises now that Twitter more than anything is here to stay and if you stop someone from Tweeting on one account, they’ll just go and make another one.

There’s also the option of “protecting” your account. This would prevent people who aren’t on your follow list from seeing what you are tweeting. Again I wouldn’t do this. For me, I like that Twitter lets you view timelines of other people, and people can see mine. If you want to keep something quiet, that’s what Direct Messages are for.

So far my whole blog has been saying “no to censorship”, however I do believe there’s two occasions where you should censor yourself, and two in which I do think that guilds have every right to put into their guidelines.

1) Say you’re raiding, it’s a rough night and the raid team is getting nowhere fast, so you comment on Twitter.

Had a terrible raid night tonight. The raid team were absolutely hopeless #fail

This to me is not good and common sense should prevail here. Why isn’t it good? Well it could have a demoralizing effect on the team. You never know, all of a sudden a few people might not sign up for the next raid whilst others might flat-out refuse to raid with someone who puts down the team. A guild guideline that states “If the guild has a rough night in a raid then members should not openly criticize the raid team in social media. Instead please sit down and discuss what went wrong and act as a team”.

2) You’re raiding and alt-tabbing between Twitter and WoW.

@randomtweeter I’m having a good evening thanks how are you?

<Raid Leader on Vent> “Right we’re pulling”

<You alt-tab into game>

<You do you thing for a bit then die .. Alt-tab into Twitter>

@randomtweeter Good, i’m just playing a bit of WoW

“Why didn’t you accept the battleres?”

<You on Vent> “Sorry I didn’t get it!”

Social media could cause you to lose attention during raiding, and I also think that a policy of no Twitter during raiding could also being acceptable.

Whilst the above two I think have a place in a guild policy, I don’t believe the officers of any guild should try to dictate anything else in terms of what people say. That responsibility should be down to the person who is communicating the message themselves, and therefore any consequences are theirs. It’s about common sense.


Round the Blogosphere in 7 days

Today is the first of what will become a weekly post, where I bring a round up of blogs from the MMO world. This week it’ll be just from World of Warcraft, but if you have a blog from any MMO then please let me know so I can add it in the future.

Dwarven Battle Medic – Day Fifteen: Art, Inspiration and a Desktop BackgroundFannon continues his 20 questions in 20 days series.

Girls Gone WoW – Day 9 – Which race/class combination are you most like in RL?Lumineus , well the title speaks for itself on this one.

Live Like A Nerd – A Game of PuppiesKadomi writes about the new “Game of Thrones” TV show that has just started in the United States.

Muradin Musings – Janyaa … Shadowraven?Janyaa discusses her good fortune in finding a new guild.

The Stories Of O – L2Holy: GlyphsOestrus writes about the glyphs that are available for holy priestsΒ  and when they are best suited to be used

World of Matticus – Matticast Episode 15Matticus and co, use this podcast to discuss “Combat Logs, Healing Meters, and Throwing In The Towel”

The History of Guillin – The Finale

Guillin has travelled from a complete nooblet at the start to someone who has thrown fireballs … okay arcane blasts into the face of Illidan. Now he travels to the frozen lands of Northrend.

The Lich King

With joining Virtus Mortis I had once again stepped into the unknown. Whilst I did a little bit of research into what is what, I obviously didn’t know the mentality of the players or officer. I had played with a few of them from time to time, but only in the briefest of periods, but here at the beginning of Wrath, I had joined them and for the moment there was no turning back.

Having learnt from levelling through Outland, I switched Guillin back to a frost spec whilst I levelled from 70-80. The first thing that was easily noticeable was that quests that required 2 or 3 people could easily be solo’d. This was the first sign of how things were going to be this expansion. I soon got to level 80, switched to the new Frostfire build and started the heroics. “Heroics”, such a loose term in Wrath. Even back in the day when you didn’t have much gear, you could still get through a dungeon without even struggling. Very shortly the assault of Naxxramas 2.0 and Obsidian Sanctum commenced. Sartharion 10 was our first target and he went down pretty quickly.

After the death of Sartharion the focus shifted to Naxxramas. Also to note, after Vesper I had sworn to myself that I wouldn’t become an officer again, but yet again, I found myself promoted. Having ran Naxx a few times during TBC it was decided that I should be the raid leader for it. Due to the number of people we had in this guild we had to stick to Naxx 10 most of the time, with only the 25 man raid appearing once a week, if lucky.

I always remember the most unbelievable of arguments I had with a warrior one week. He had decided to mouth off at the guild both in an application to another guild and in guild chat. When I asked him why the bad attitude, his response was that he thought it was rubbish (not his wording), how I pick the same 10 people everyday and that I should rotate. To this I pointed out to him that in the previous 3 nights, I had used 28 different players, not users with alts, but individual players. He had no reply to this and left the guild.

Clearing Naxxramas wasn’t too much of a problem and shortly before the release of Ulduar, I decided it was time to take a break. I had announced this and logged off. My break last a month, in such time I got hooked on Civilization IV (on Civ games, how much of my life have I wasted on you!). After the month I logged back onto the game and started playing again. The new raid leader informed me that she had established raid groups so I’ll struggle to get a raid for the time being. I thought “well that is fair enough, I’m the one who went AWOL” and I watched from the sidelines as the first team progressed through Ulduar, quite happy with the decision I made and the fact that I thought I had handed over the Raid Leadership to someone who wasn’t afraid of the responsibility.

The guild seemed quite happy, quite content. There was the usual people who want to cause drama. It was mainly those who wanted to raid purely for the epics who kicked up the most fuss whenever they didn’t get selected, but on the whole the guild had quite a nice atmosphere. The era of Ulduar came and went and then ToC appeared. In my opinion this was the most unimaginative raid instance ever devised by Blizzard. It consisted of two rooms, with a recycled boss at the end. He might have had new talents, new abilities, but it was still the same boss in name. With ToC came this expansion edition of Guild drama.

The guild leader who was become increasingly absent, only appearing once a week at best, once a month at worst, decided to change the structure of the guild and invite/promote some people. This created a huge rift and a group of officer had a massive row with the guild leader. A one night thing I thought, wrong. The next night both sides went at it again, and the next night they went at it again. Tired of drama in wow, I told them I had enough of them fighting like children and I left.

So yet again I found myself guildless, and AFK’ing on Orgrimmar bank, my interest in wow waning, when the guild master of Clarity (a 25 man raiding guild) approached me with an officer to join them. I agreed and proceeded to progress through the ToC and then the first 4 bosses in Icecrown Citadel. Despite this, I wasn’t that interested. The game wasn’t grabbing me, my character wasn’t grabbing me like it normally word, so I decided to do something drastic.

I hit the World of Warcraft Europe recruitment forum and was looking through when I spotted a post from a guild on Arathor EU. They described themselves as a social-raiding guild that had been around since 2005 on the alliance side. Now this attracted me for two reasons. 1) They were on alliance side, and after 5 years of WoW I thought a change in faction might be what i needed and 2) They were a social-raiding guild that had managed to have survived for 5 years. This suggested to me that the guild was stable so I took a chance. I went onto their forum and applied.

A few hours later I got a reply saying that they would like me in the guild but not as a raider as they are overpopulated with mages. I told them that would be fine and I was accepted. That night I transferred Guillin to Arathor and faction changed him to Alliance. When I logged onto the server for the first time the first thing that hit me was just how populated the server was compared to my old home of Darkspear. I whispered one of the officer and joined Order of the Silver Dawn. I was again amazed at the population. I went from a guild that had between 5-20 people online at peak time to a guild that had 40-50 people online. I thought as a social member this guild has a population to actually make that rank work. Later that night I got a whisper asking if i would help them our with their attempts to kill the Lich King. I agreed and was summoned to ICC. Having only done the first 4 bosses in ICC and not expecting to raid I wasn’t prepared, but the officers calmly explained the tactics and we set about fighting him. Half way through the raid I was promoted to “Raid Member”. I whispered the officer who promoted me asking him what happened. His reply was “we can see your dps, we can see you can move. It would be stupid for us to have you sitting as a social rank”.

Recommend all Warcraft fans to read.

We finally killed Arthas, huge cheers went up in Vent when he killed us all at 10% health, knowing that we were going to be mass resurrected by King Menethil and finish the job. The loot was all melee rubbish, but never the less, the Lich King was dead. This to me was kinda sad. Arthas is one of those “likable” enemies. And if you’ve read Arthas: Rise of the Lich King you will probably feel slightly sorry for him.

From there on in my interest in World of Warcraft shot through the roof. Achievements, battleground, heroics, raiding, everything was interesting again, everything was fun. The auction house was lively so was able to always sell stuff on there. It was great. Well .. until Cataclysm hit.

This is the last of the History of Guillin posts. The comment about “until Cataclysm hit” is well documented in a previous blog of mine … “The Great Cataclysm Disconnection“. I still play World of Warcraft but not to the extent I once did, and while still being a raiding member rank in Order of the Silver Dawn, I no longer feel the urge to raid as for me, I do believe that Blizzard got most things wrong then right. Thank you for reading the History of Guillin.

The History of Guillin – Part V

In yesterday’s post we looked at how Guillin levelled up in Outland, before joined a guild and after huge difficulties over came Karazhan. Tonight we look at the time when 25 man raiding became the priority.

Finding myself guildless after the disbantion (is that even a word? I’m using it anyway!), I wondered what would happen next. I was intent on getting to the next level of raiding but with what I perceived to be my best vehicle now gone I did wonder what would happen next. That night I travelled up to Blade’s Edge to do some Ogri’la dailies when I got a whisper off the GM at a guild called Vesper. He explained to me how they are ready to hit Gruul’s Lair and then move on to the bigger raids. I was interested, but the one doubt I had in my mind was their raids time. Being in the UK you’ll be surprised how tricky it can be to find a guild sometimes. Most guilds I see, like raiding from 19:00-23:00 server time, which is 18:00-22:00 to me. Now those times may sound perfect but considering i work 08:00-17:00, and then don’t get home until around 17:45 I’d rather not have to get home, turn on pc, and raid before doing anything else. Anyway, once again I digress. I was told that their raiding time is 22:00-02:00 server time. Whilst this seemed a bit late to me, i thought “why not, let’s give them ago”, so I joined Vesper.

The first thing I noticed was how populated the guild was. It wasn’t overly populated but seemed to have the right number of people to launch an assault on the 25 man content. I was thrown in the deep end with Gruul, not knowing exactly what I was doing I was assigned as the mage tank for the first boss fight. After a bumpy few tries, we finally got them down and Gruul fell pretty quickly and a few nights later Magtheridon followed (as soon as people remembered to click the boxes).

After about two weeks of this it was decided to go and take on SSC and TK. For those who raiding the Tier 5 content in TBC, you’ll remember that for the first boss in TK all you needed to remember to do was to, well, basically, turn up. He fell quickly, Solarion took us a few nights, but soon followed. Al’ar took us a week to kill but we managed it (was a pretty reluctant boss fight, as well, the boss is so pretty!). At 3/4 in TK we turned our attention to SSC, it was a fairly smooth path, within a month we had ourselves at 5/6 with only Vashj remaining.

Lady Vashj

Vashj … Just that name, brings back memories of incredibly long nights, wipe after wipe, over boiling frustrations and “extended breaks” during raids.All in all, it took us 2 months to kill her. We’d clear the other 5 bosses in one night then spend the next 4 raid nights banging our head against the walls in her lair. Nothing seemed to work. The strategy we tried was to create a chain of players from the steps to the towers that needed turning off with the orb. It didn’t work, you could guarantee someone would get smacked, and of course, when part of the plan goes down, some people just can’t “think on their feet”. It was then when I said “let’s just have one person at the tower that’s going to be turned off. Someone call where the orb is and I’ll get to the tower that will be needed”. After some deliberation, the officers agreed and we went ahead with it and that night for the first time we had reached the final phase, a few days later and Lady Vashj was dead. All in all I think it took us about 10 weeks to kill her. It’s the sort of time period a lot of people wouldn’t have the patience for anymore, and to be honest, I don’t think I would have the patience for it either now.

Kael’thas Sunstrider

Kael’thas. Now Kael’thas, this was one of those occasions where I hated being at work. With Kael’thas we spent a month on him, slowly getting him down further and further, when one night we got him to 15% we thought “tonight will be the night!” but I didn’t see it. And why didn’t I see it? The official line was that I got disconnected, couldn’t log back on and therefore missed the fight where he died. The real line? Well you see, when you’re tired you tend to close you eyes and … Yeah, I fell asleep. Was so annoyed with myself. One of the players knew, and had a good laugh about it. Even to this day she makes sure to remind me every so often. But that little incident was merely a setback (I had to get that in somewhere!)

Actually doing our month of Kael’thas attempts, two very important things happened. The first thing was that I was promoted to officer in the guild, the second thing was that Blizzard had just removed the attunement to the Tier 6 content. As you can imagine, quite a few of the players didn’t want to keep wiping on Kael’thas when they could get easy epics off Najentus. This sparked a series of heated debates both in Officer chat and Guild chat. I took the position that we shouldn’t skip content. That we should finish off the Tier 5 bosses before we went to the next tier. Thankfully, the guild took the decision to go with that opinion. At the end of it, in hindsight, everyone was happy we did because after killing Kael, there was a massive sense of achievement in the guild.

So we took on BT and MH and I must admit, I was utterly surprised with how easy these two raids seemed to be when compared to the previous one. Even Archimonde and Illidan didn’t seem as tricky compared to Lady Vashj and Kael’thas. After a few weeks running Mount Hyjal thought I started to get bored. As a mage, trash pulls consisted of aoe, aoe, oh and did I mention aoe? The most exciting part of that raid was seeing who would get to the epic mining nodes first, not for the gems as they had to go in the guild bank, but for the grey items, which at the time gave you silly amounts of money for a grey item. Black Temple on the other hand I throughly enjoyed. I thought the look and character of the place was superb and bosses seemed unique.

Before I mention the defining moment in our Tier 6 raiding I feel i must mention that also Zul’aman appeared around this time, and thus the famous timed runs. To which I managed to snag myself the Armani War Bear (I know Blizzard are ripping off the Armani War Bear in 4.1 but it’s still a nice accomplishment). That mount I tend to use more than most mounts as it’s fairly unique in comparison …

Anyway! The most defining moment in Vesper’s tier 6 raiding, was what now appears to be the first glimpses of the so-called “Wrath” mentality in players. A number of raiders decided they didn’t want to raid anymore as it wasn’t guaranteed that bosses would die that night. So after a mini reshuffle and recruitment, weeding out those who didn’t have the commitment for progression fights we carried on and managed to get through, killing Illidan.

I never got the chance to experience Sunwell Plateau. Wrath of the Lich King was fast approaching and even with the heavy nerfs to bosses that appeared pre-wrath, Vesper wasn’t in the mood for it. And those that attempted to pug wouldn’t take me, due to the fact I was a mage, and despite the “Sunwelling of Mages” being over, the opinion still held firm with some. I’ve been back there at level 80, and it looked an amazing place, and I wish I could have experienced it at level 70.

It seems like I end these posts exactly the same way, but a change in work hours meant that I was no longer able to raid at the late times that Vesper had to offer so I took the extremely hard decision to leave the guild. Having identified a new guild (Virtus Mortis) I joined them as Wrath of the Lich King launched.

I’d like to finish tonight’s post by talking about the specs used during the Burning Crusade. For I went through so many respecs it was unbelievable (I think my counter is currently standing at 5-6k spent on respecs). I start TBC raiding as a Fire Mage, but after seeing my guild master in Hysteria, thrash me as Frost I switched. I then switched to Arcane and then back to Fire. Once I got two pieces of T5 there was only one winner. For the rest of that expansion I was Arcane.

TBC for me, will never be beat in terms of fun and overall experience in World of Warcraft. Wrath of the Lich King brought on a new mentality, the usual guild drama, and eventually a faction and realm transfer for Guillin.

The History of Guillin – Part IV

So Guillin has successful reached level 60 and had a semi successful, if not short raiding career before The Burning Crusade. Tonight I tell the history of him as he reached level 70 and raiding the new content of the time.

The First World of Warcraft Expansion.

With Diesel having disbanded shortly before TBC hit, I decided the best option would be to level guildless and then measure up my options. So I hit Hellfire, well hitting Hellfire is probably not the right word, more like running through the dark portal and trying to find something to kill. As soon as I got my first quest it was pretty obvious to me that levelling up as fire in TBC era wouldn’t be as effect as it was in Vanilla, so I decided to speak frost. It was with this spec that I levelled up to 70.

Β One thing I should mention is that also when TBC hit, I levelled the new Jewelcrafting profession having gathered the mats needed to get from 1-300. This was probably to be the best decision I have made as even to this day I’ve still got it. It’s lost a lot of its gusto in recent years as more and more people jump on the bandwagon, but I can still take solace in the fact that I rerolled the profession the first day it went live.

Anyway back to the mage and his levelling. As it was obvious that Hellfire was one cramped zone, it also became obvious that I needed to get ahead of the general levelling curve. I would never be one of the first to max level as I value sleep too much and have a full-time job, but I knew if I could even get half a level above the majority of players then the levelling experience wouldn’t be as painful. This I managed and dinged level 70 whilst in Netherstorm.

So at level 70 my first job was to get Jewelcrafting up to 375, and then to get my flyer. These two goals I reached and whilst questing in Shadowmoon I got a whisper from a druid named Starlyte. We got to talking and found out that she was living in the same town as me, and not only that but 8 other people were there from the same town. I told her “thanks for the offer but I want to have a look around before I decide”, well the next day I received a whisper from a mage called Sambora. He was from the same guild as Starlyte and after this I decided “you know what, let’s give you guys a go”, and so I joined Hysteria.

The thing that hit me first was the friendliness in the guild, the atmosphere was always jolly and there seemed to always be a joke going on. Recruitment was strong as we grinded out the normals to get the reputation so we could hit revered. Once we hit revered we were able to hit the heroics, once those were done, it was off to mighty old Karazhan.

Karazhan was in my opinion the greatest raid instance that Blizzard has ever created. I know most will say Ulduar, but for me, for the enjoyment, for the environment, for the boss fights, even the trash, Karazhan was a huge success. We shot past the first two bosses and then drama hit. The guild master went on holiday for 2 weeks and during this time the other officers didn’t pull their weight. No raids were scheduled and the atmosphere started to turn sour. With a souring atmosphere some left for pastures new whilst others didn’t bother logging in. It got to a stage where the guild had dropped from 15 online at peak time, to just 4.

With this, I decided I liked the guild too much to watch it collapse. I contacted a fellow member Nocturna and said would he be willing to raid lead with me. It was the first time ever raid led but it were both agreed that we weren’t going to let the guild fall apart. That night we started to schedule raids and within a few days interest started to perk up again, we progressed further through the raid and when the guild master returned he immediately promoted us to officer rank. This allowed us to go on a recruitment drive, and in no time at all, the guild was stronger than it was before. It took us another 2 months before we had finally cleared Karazhan but my word it was fun. The Opera Event was so amazingly done, and I think everyone remembers Shade of Aran.

In that fight one of the main things is “YOU DO NOT MOVE DURING FLAME WREATH!”. Yeah we spent 4 days straight wiping on that guy. The warlock kept saying “this is pointless, why are we bothering, people should know what to do”. Well she kept on saying that until I showed her log “er, you’re the one has wiped us all night”.Β  For our first few days of attempts on this fight we couldn’t stop him from pyroblasting the raid (which he does at 20% mana), and from summoning the elementals (at 40% health), this basically guaranteed wipe after wipe after wipe. It was then that I came up with an idea. Lets him polymorph us! If we see his mana is reaching the trigger point at the same stage as his health, then we need to stop dps, let him do his things and then carry on. This was widely scoffed at in the guild, but we tried it anyway .. 6% wipe. The closest we had ever been. The next attempt? “You have killed The Shade of Aran”. He was our biggest stumbling block and after he went down, the rest of the instance quickly followed.

The joy of killing Nightbane (we had him as the last boss), was quickly overshadowed as the pressure of trying to convert what was a primarily a 10 man raiding guild into a 25 man raiding guild took its toll. The guild master, after having an argument with a trialist paladin, went AWOL for the next few weeks and upon his return he announced that he had decided to disband the guild. We tried to talk him out of it, to let one of us take over, as this was a good guild with generally a great atmosphere, but he didn’t want to. That night he disbanded the guild.

Even to this day it was the best guild I had ever been in. Even though it had its down moments, on the whole the guild was amazing. Funniest moment? Well there was two.

1) As a rule I’m not an arena player. I hate them. In TBC there were given way too much of a priority. Anyway for the sake of it, I had decided to go into them one night. So myself (Fire Mage), and Starlyte (Resto Druid) joined up for a 2vs2, and low and behold we came up against two of the best geared players on the server, Joddy (Holy Paladin) and Tolbuchkin (A Rogue). They made one fatal mistake. They went after the resto druid and left me, a fire mage on my own. Now I don’t need to tell anyone who played during TBC just how powerful resto druids were at the time. Figuring this to be the case, they thought if they could take out the resto druid then they could take the fire mage down in a few seconds. Just a few problems with this. If you let a fire mage stand still and cast his spells, it’s going to hurt, a lot! And it did πŸ™‚

Fire mage + Free spamming = Dead enemies

2) It’s a Friday night, everyone has had a bit to drink and in the raid somehow the conversation got onto snowballing (not the white snowy stuff), and for a joke someone in raid decided to ask one of our warlocks what “snowballing” was. Well instead of replying in raid chat, she went and replied in guild chat. Queue a lot of “wtf?”. It was absolutely hilarious.

Unfortunately moments like this couldn’t save the guild in the long run and so after the guild was disbanded I once again found myself guildless, but only for a few hours …

I’ve split up The Burning Crusade era into two separate posts to save you from falling asleep (plus i’m already at 1400 words). Tomorrow will see me chronicle my assault through Gruul, SSC, TK, BT and MH (oh with a venture into ZA), all in another amazing guild.

The History of Guillin – Part II

In yesterdays segment I covered my WoW playing days prior to the creation of Guillin, today I write about his journey from a level 1 baby (well if you can have undead babies). Today I recall my memories as I levelled him from 1-60.

So the day before Darkspear launched I had decided that I was going to re-roll yet again, but this time I was convinced to make this character stick. I had already decided to roll an Undead Mage, but what to call him. Previously I had gone with the name “Kaminas” but I decided I wanted a brand new name for me. Now this is probably one of the strangest ways you have heard anyone mention how they chose a name, but I was watching “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (if you haven’t seen it, stop face-rolling with your DK, and go watch it, now!), and decided I wanted a French sounding name. I came up with Guin but thought “nah that sucks”, so after a play around, I came up with Guillin (which is the handle I tend to use everywhere now, and even to this day I am the only max level Guillin on WoW EU).

The day after, the server launched and I logged in. The undead mage was chosen because at that time I was purely horde, and I challenge anyone, even to this day to find a race that has a better casting animation. So started in Deathknell and did the usual quests (wont bore you with the questing in itself and you’ve all been there pre-Cataclysm). I saw a guild advertisement on the general channel from a guild called Serenity and thought “hmm why not”. Nowadays I’d do some research about where to go, but at that point I just wanted a guild. I sent them I whisper and 2 minutes later I was a member of Serenity.

Levelling went as you’d expect from a vanilla experience (I enjoyed it), and unlike most mages I levelled as fire. I chose talents such as “Impact” which back than had a random chance of stunning your target with your fireball. I was definitely squishy but it was fun. For professions I picked up Herbalism and Tailoring and these I stuck with until day of the burning crusade, but we are getting way ahead of ourselves. What I enjoyed to do was to level to x7 of a level (17, 27, 37), and then to PvP to the next bracket (20,30,40). Back then you would get these “commendations” that you could turn in for xp every time you acquired 3. You’d get 1 commendation for a loss, so even if you got thrashed 3-0, 3 times in a row, you’d still get xp, just at a much slower pace then the team what won 3-0, 3 times in a row.

PvPing in battlegrounds that were per server was fantastic, you’d know your opponents after a while. The best memory I had of that was that we were 2-0 down, and down to half the players, i went into our flag room and before I knew it the flag carrier was half way up the map. With no way of catching him I just sat down in the flag room, when 2 alliance came. Instead of killing me, they /waved, and sat there in front of me. We spent the next 2 minutes just /hi /laugh /hug. I know that’ll sound carebarish to quite a few people, but because we had fought each other on numerous occasions, there was a certain respect for each other. We knew which way the fight was going to end, and had no reason to be a douche to each other (a spirit that was lost with cross realm battlegrounds)

Best moment whilst levelling up? There was a brief moment when it looked like Serenity was going to fall apart, so I joined a guild called “Independent”. At level 24, 3 of us decided to go to the arena in Stranglethorn Vale. The plan? Protect the guild master from attacks whilst he looted the chest. The outcome? Dead guild master and us two dancing on him. The reply on guild chat. GM – “I just owned Guillin and Ghoul” … I think the following shows otherwise.

That must have hurt!

My brief flirt with Independent ended quickly as the GM said “I’m going to go back to my old game, bye”, to which I rejoined Serenity. At level 28, i was questing in Thousand Needles when I saw an Orc hunter with a boar named … well boar … alarm bells started ringing, so for the sake of it, I whispered “Ni Hao”. No idea what was said next πŸ˜€

Guillin – Ni Hao

Hux – Ni Hao

Hux – Ni ye shi zhong guo de ne ?

I reached level 40 whilst I was questing in Arathi Highlands doing the Stormgarde quests. I was so excited. Had been playing WoW for 18 months or so, and have never had a mount, but wait, I was about 10 gold short. What do i do? Whilst most people carried on until they had reached the 10 gold (which took them to level 42-43), I decided to go do something I spotted earlier. There was a quest in Desolace where you had to collect 5 shrimps, and when you handed it in you got 55 silver. The good thing about this quest was that it was repeatable. So I did that until I got the money I needed.

Travelling the world on this 60% mount was fantastic for me, I had never travelled through Azeroth so fast. Levelling continued smoothly until I hit level 50, and I decided to go to the Western Plaguelands. I must have stayed on the first field for 2 levels just grinding the scourge mobs that spawned there. They spawned fast and there was a lot of them. On one the nights I got a whisper from a guild mate “would you like a hand”, me being the typical me I turned around and said “no it’s ok I’m fine”, but he came anyway. He attacked the next target I was about to kill and some BoE plate epic gloves dropped. Well was I pissed with him. If that happened nowadays I’d be like “ah well, whatever”, but back then I let the poor bugger have it.

But my biggest memory is at level 54 there I was happily questing when a thunderstorm hit my town. I thought “ah wont cause any damage”, but there was a lightning strike nearby, which somehow, fried my network card on my computer. The rest of my computer and all the other electrics (including the router) were perfectly fine, but my network card was fried deeper then a mars bar in Scotland. Luckily I only had to wait 3 days for a new card as my cousin had a spare, so I was back in the game in no time, but now, whenever there is a thunderstorm, you wont find me online πŸ™‚

I continued to quest, hitting 55 and instead of going to the Eastern Plaguelands I took the journey down to Silithus. I was so pleased when I killed my first level 60 mob. It was such an accomplishment for me! And then of course I reached the magical level 60. After 18-20 months of playing this game, I finally had my first max level character. Guillin the mage had reached level 60.

It took me around 6 weeks to get from 1 to level 60, during which I leant that Scorch isn’t a very good nuke when Fireball is in my arsenal (obviously it’s a bit different now), and that having to wait 1 minute for your Pyroblast to be off cooldown, well, it sucked!

The experience at level 60 was amazing to me, only the level 70 experience eclipsed that for me, but the next in the series will be my experiences as a level 60 and a raiding newbie.

The History of Guillin – Part I

To some he’s a very competent to mage, to others he’s someone who speaks his mind way too much, to most people he’s just another character in World of Warcraft, but for me Guillin has always been my main character, ever since I created him in 2006. This is his history. I’ll probably split this up into parts, to keep them short and sweet. Can’t promise they wont be boring, but never mind that! πŸ™‚


So it was April 2005, and at work we had started to sell a certain game. I had never heard of it but was interested in trying out what they call an MMORPG. This particular game was sitting pretty at the top of our PC chart, and it looked quite interesting from the blurb on the back. So I took a leap of faith and purchased it. I wasn’t to know that 6 years later I’d be sitting here still talking about it. That game is the behemoth that is known as World of Warcraft.

The night I purchased it, I got home, put on some Jack Johnson and opened my box. I looked inside and thought “four discs? I’ll install this after I make my account”, so I opened my browser, directed it to the World of Warcraft Europe website and created my account. Then I start to install the game. Yeah in hindsight, it would’ve made more sense for me to install the game whilst I set up my account, but I wasn’t to know that it was going to install longer then it would take to solo burn down a Holy Paladin.

Human Paladin, my first ever character

When it finally installed, I opened the game, logged in. And had a whopping 10 or so servers to choose from. So I chose Silvermoon (remember I’m in the UK so all of these servers will be EU). Next was to select my character, this I chose a human paladin. Why human? Well because I was familiar with that race (obviously). Why paladin? Well I liked the mace he was holding on the character select screen. I entered the realm and immediately thought “you know, this is quite an attractive looking world, now what the hell do I do?” I finally figured out how to do quests, so spent the last couple of hours of that night just slowly completing them. I got the Paladin to level 5 before I deleted him. Even that early there was something about the class that didn’t feel right, it just didn’t grab me.

The next day, still on Silvermoon I created a mage to try them out, that was a lot of fun! I didn’t get him very far again (level 5-6 or something like that), before I jumped ship to try a PvP server, but still I thought “There’s something with this class, I like it!” The problem that would plague me for the next 17 months was that I was one of those players who would jump to another server whenever it opened, so I never got a character past level 36. My most notable characters was a 36 mage on Haumarush PvP (yes with a “u”, that was changed to Haomarush after a while), a 34 druid on Ahn’Qiraj (PvP), 36 druid on Quel’thalas (PvE) and a 30 warlock on Lightbringer (PvE).

Why did I constantly jump to a new server? I liked the new server feel. There was nothing better to me at that time then starting a fresh with different people, from joining a battleground (which back then was only on your server) at level 10, and the highest player would be level 12, and wow was it fun! Getting to the battleground was a little annoying to start with, as you couldn’t just queue like you can now. For horde you had to travel all the way up to the Northern tip of the Barrens and join the queue there. I remember the day that Warsong Gulch first launch. The massive lag in the Barrens and Ashenvale as the Horde and the Alliance both sat there waiting to get a taste of this new feature. But I digress.

The other thing I did was to spend the first 6-8 months of my WoW time on PvP servers. I know I said early that my first two characters were on Silvermoon (PvE), but they only lasted 2 nights. From then on, I was only on PvP servers. I spent the most time on Frostwhisper and finished my PvP server “career” on Ahn’Qiraj. When the next batch of new servers opened I decided to try out a PvE server. And this suited me perfectly. It wasn’t so much the ganking on PvP servers that bothered me, but I found that at the time, the general attitude of players on PvE servers were more mature than on PvP servers (nowadays there’s no difference).

The best time I spent on a server pre-guillin. Was on Quel’thalas (PvE). I had a great time, even to this day it was the friendliest server I had ever been on. My Tauren Druid was haven’t a great time grinding in Badlands (spent 3 nights just trying to grind the damn whelp pet). It was also during my time on this server that Blizzard probably made their first major mistake, but i’ll come to that in a minute. My fondest memory is the entire guild, travelling to Gadgetstan and then running (i was only in my 30’s so no mount), to the Steamwheedle Cartel where we’d hop onto vent and have our own fishing contest. That might sound boring but the banter was fantastic, and was truly a great night.

So what was this massive error of judgement that Blizzard made? Oh yes! Whilst I was on that server someone at Blizzard thought “Ah i know what we can do. Let’s make the LookingForGroup chat channel global.” Massive mistake. For those who don’t know, back then there was no Looking For Group UI at all. All there had been was this one chat channel that was normally only available for you to see if you were in one of the 3 capitals (Stormwind, Ironforge, Darnassus for Alliance and Thunderbluff, Orgrimmar and Undercity for Horde).Β  So how bad did it get? Imagine the spam that used to happen on trade when everyone with an IQ smaller than your local toilet brush thought Dirge spam was funny, and multiply it by 1000. It didn’t take Blizzard long at all to reverse that decision.

My next main character after the druid on Quel’thalas, was to make an Orc Warlock on the new server Lightbringer (PvE). It wasn’t bad, but again the warlock class didn’t click with me. Still I got him to level 30 and then Darkspear (PvE) opened. This was to be my home for the next 4 years. And have my happiest, and saddest memories, in the game, in any game, to date.

Coming up next – The History of Guillin – Part II – The 1-60 Journey.