Brewmaster Tinvuiel: Insulting Coren Direbrew and disturbing the peace

ScreenShot_092408_225601Today is the start of my favorite festival of the year – beer, oom-pah music, hairy legged dwarves in lederhosen – what’s not to love?!  And today I achieved the meta-achievement for Brewfest, and scored myself the title of Brewmaster :)

Now, you won’t be able to do it all in one day, unless you had completed some of the achievements last year and still had some of the regalia.  I already had two pieces of brewfest clothes sitting in my bank, and so needed 1 more piece, or 100 tokens, to complete the set and some of the achievements.  You can earn at least 147 tokens on the first day.  I also had my Great Brewfest Kodo from last year and was in the Brew of the Month Club, so a couple of the achievements were already filled in.

Here is your guide to completing the achievement over the course of the festival:

Coren Direbrew (provides 40 tokens per day)

Killing Coren Direbrew last year, doesn’t count, you will have to repeat it again this year.  You must be level 75+ to be able to pick up the quest, as Direbrew has been upped to a level 80 elite.  Lower levels can take part in a group, as the fight takes part in BRD with a low instance restriction. But unless friends are running you through, most people are going to want everyone in their group to be 75+ and have the quest, so that the group can kill him 5 times and have 5 lootings of the corpse.  As with last year, he is pretty easy, and is a loot piñata.  Our group 4-manned him easily, and could have three or possibly 2-manned him as geared 80s.

If you haven’t done this before, you may be able to pick up a quest – Save Brewfest! - from Darna Honeybock (a female dwarf) near the barrel thrower for the ram racers in Kharanos (Alliance) or Slurpo Fizzykeg in Durotar (Horde).  Darna didn’t have the quest for Tin, so I headed straight over to Black Rock Depths.  There is a spy in the Grim Guzzler (the neutral tavern part of the intance) who will give you the daily quest – Insult Coren Direbrew.  If like Tin, you have your Direbrew’s Remote (dropped by Direbrew last year) you can teleport you and your party straight there. (Otherwise, use the transporters to your right just after you’ve entered the instance).

The fight is the same as last year, except Coren and the two barmaids are level 80 elites, and the little adds are 80 non-elites.  Coren starts with 3 non-elite adds, you start the quest and you tank aggros all of them.  Other non-elite adds will spawn behind/within the ranged party through mole machines.  Part way through the fight the two barmaids will spawn.  Its an easy tank and spank, just make sure your healer isn’t overwhelmed by the adds and watch for two other things.  First, keep your backpack open and the first space free. Beer gets thrown at you – drink it as soon as it appears, or you get stunned when a second brew is thrown at you. Second, someone (usually the tank) gets a barrel on their head.  This will incapacitate them for a few seconds.  If this happens, make sure the squishies stay away from Direbrew.

The loot hasn’t been updated yet on Wowhead (Direbrew) – but I can confirm that he drops level 80 (ilevel 200) trinkets, equivalent to those purchasable for 25 Emblems of Heroism.  I guess he still drops the mounts at the same low drop rate, plus some updated shankers and his remote, but we only saw trinkets on our first days runs.   They don’t share cooldowns with the emblem trinkets, so both can be equipped at once and can proc at once.

Loot (someone helpfully listed these on wowhead – we saw the first three drop today):

Mithril Pocketwatch

Coren’s Chromium Coaster

Ancient Pickled Egg

Brawler’s Souvenir

Bubbling Brightbrew Charm

Bitter Balebrew Charm

Direbrew’s Shanker 2.0

Great Brewfeast Kodo

Swift Brewfest Ram

Direbrew’s Remote

Down with the Darkiron

The Dark Iron Dwarves will attack brewfest, appearing in the mole machines and trying to steal the three large beer kegs.  To stop them, drink the beer samples on the tables next to the kegs, and hurl them at the dwarves.  If the dwarves are successfully repelled, a cog is left on the ground, which anyone can click on to get the daily quest (and the achievement, the first time you do it).  You don’t have to have taken part in the battle, so look out for the cog with a blue exclamation mark over it each time you are at brewfest.

Strange Brew

Drink all the brews listed for the Strange Brew achievement.  All are available from the vendors at brewfest.  I particularly liked the Mudder’s Milk – a reference to Firefly, one of my all time favorite TV Shows.

The brewfest diet

Eat all the Brewfest diet food listed.  These can all be bought from the vendors.

Brew of the Month (requires 200 tokens)

If you joined last year, you should already have this achievement.  Otherwise, you need to save 200 tokens and purchase the Brew of the Month Club Membership and complete the quest.

Disturbing the peace (requires 250 tokens)

Wear 3 pieces of brewfest regalia and /dance while drunk in Dalaran.  You need to purchase a brewfest hat; shoes or boots; and dress or regalia.  It will cost you 250 tokens in all.  Go to the inn in Dal, buy 4-5 alcoholic drinks, drink until you get the emote you are smashed, then slash dance and try not to fall over.

Drunken Stupor

This is the same as the old Going Down? achievement, accept you need to be drunk when you do it.  I jumped off the tower to the side of the elevator tower of the scryer terrace in Shattrath.  Even if you’re Aldor the robots don’t bother you there.

Does your Wolpertinger linger?

If you don’t have the pet from last year, just do the quest to get one.  Tip:  speak to the quest guy, who will give you some glasses you can use to do this and the pink elekk quest (do this one too – its not an achievement but awards 40 tokens).  The glasses make you drunk, without having to bother drinking, lol.  And even better, when you take them off you are instantly sober.

Have Keg, Will Travel (requires 2 tokens)

You no longer need one of the permanent brewfest mounts to achievement this one.  I was lucky enough to get a Kodo last year, so I’m all set.  But if you don’t have one, you can use either fresh or preserved hops to transform your mount into a kodo to get the achievement. 20 fresh hops cost 2 tokens.

Ram racing

This is not an achievement – but you need to do the ram racing to get the tokens.  There are a couple of training quests before you are let lose on the daily barrel run.  For this you need to ferry barrels, back and forth along a course in kharanos or outside Orgrimmar.  You get 2 tokens per barrel.  The trick is to keep your ram at a gallop the whole time, and never let him get exhausted, plus to also take the shortest route possible.  To do this you need to ride close to at least two of the four barrels of apples along the route.  These give the ram more energy.  You see two buffs, a circle (green = trot; gold = canter; red = gallop) and a ram with a number – if the number gets to 100 you get an exhausted ram for several seconds.  Hot key the ram reign to a button, smash it for all you are worth, and race up and down, taking your ram close to at least 2 barrels as you go.

Barking

They’ve changed this slightly from last year. Its now easier, as you only have to get around the flags in the time, not back to the vendor.  Once you get to the last flag, the quest is complete, and you can dismount from your ram and hand in later.  Pick up the Barking quest from any of the three vendors.  He gives you a ram, you need to race around Ironforge/Orgrimmar on it, past the flags at 4 locations.  In IF they are in each of the quarters.  I found if I kept my ram at a canter the enter time, he didn’t get exhausted and I did the quest in the time.  There are no apple barrels for refueling for this one.

Besides the achievement you might also want to collect tokens for other items.  Pet collectors will get excited by the new non-combat pet Pink Sized Pink Elekk, which costs 100 brewfest tokens.

And there you have it – your guide to Brewfest!  Have fun becoming Brewmasters.

tin2And why was I so interested in doing Brewfest so quickly?  Well…  for me it was the last part of the meta-mata-achievement What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been.  So after killing Coren Direbrew there was a very nice reward sitting in my mail…. a violet proto-drake :)  I’m one happy Brewmaster today – cheers!

The Adventures of Piratejoe (Part 3): Soloing Onyxia

pjonyxiaUntil recently, I had never ventured into Onyxia’s lair.  Being a BC baby, I’d missed out on many of the Azeroth raids.  I wanted to be able to see Onyxia before Patch 3.2 came out, and the old Onyxia became no more, being revamped as a level 80 10 and 25 man raid.  I had read that she was soloable by a level 80 (and even by epic level 70s who really knew their stuff), so I thought I would give it a go.

There is no attunement to get into Onyxia’s lair.  The nearest flight path is Mudsprocket in Dustwallow marsh, and from there just ride on to the cave and go through the iron jaw like gate.  You will of course, need to be a raid group (min level 55) to do this, although the other raid member does not need to be with you, or even in the same zone.  In fact, I got Anelf to create a horde Death Knight, just so he could join a raid with me, so I could solo Onyxia.

There are only a couple of trash mobs before Onyxia.  Clear them all, including the one standing near the door, that you can actually bypass, as if you don’t there is a chance they will add during the second phase of the fight.

The Onyxia fight has 3 phases.  It too me 3 attempts to work out phase 2.  Phases 1 and 3 were really easy.  My successful attempt took about 25 minutes, as a Prot Pally, though I think I should be able to do it in less next time.

Phase 1 100% health – 66% health

A fairly simple tank and spank.  She had a knock back, so try to tank her with you back to the wall, and not too close to the whelp eggs that are located to the left and right of the entrance.  If you get knocked into the eggs, whelps will spawn and you will need to deal with them too.  As an AOE Prot Pally, this is not all bad, you can use the whelps to regen mana/health if you need to, although for part 1, I didn’t find either a problem.  Most of the damage is fire damage, so I used fire resistance aura, blessing of sanctuary, and judgement of wisdom.

Phase 2 66% health-40%health

At 66% health Onyxia becomes airborne and summons whelps.  You need to continue to DPS Onyxia down, reducing her health to 40% to get her to ground again and enter phase 3.  This was by far the hardest stage for a melee class.  She does quite a lot of damage during this phase (mostly from fire balls), but she also moves around.  I found it hard to stay in range for all my main DPS skills, and often when I did hit something, I would get an error message saying that I was facing the wrong way.  Not continually DPSing also meant that I was not regenerating health and mana as fast as I normally would, so I was having to heal myself a lot.  I found a good tactic, was to switch to targeting the whelps and AOE them down, before turning back to Onyxia, every time I got very low on mana/health since this helped me regen mana/health quicker than when I was targeting Onyxia who keep moving out of target range or behind me.  Just persevere, use your bubbles, lay on hands, and potion if you need to during this phase,  and DPS her down as quickly and effectively as you can.  I don’t feel the expert yet, and would like some better tips if anyone has any, but feel confident I could do it again, and much better next time.

Phase 3 40% health to dead

After Phase 2, Phase 3 is cake.  She is on the ground during this phase, and doesn’t summon adds, unless you get feared into them.  She doesn’t have a knock back, but does have a regular fear.  Took a little while, but once I got to this phase, I was always going to win.

pjonyxiaheadGreat fun, and epic battle.  You get a feat of strength achievement, plus about 57G, several blues and purples, Onyxia’s head, which starts a quest, and an 18 slot bag.  Once you are done, click on Onyxia’s head to start a quest, and take it off to Orgrimmar or Stormwind.  You get your head placed on a spike at the gate – it makes you feel so proud :D

The Adventures of Piratejoe (Part 2): Faction Change

factionchangeYou have probably all seen Blizzard’s Faction Change Service by now, for $30 you can change your character from alliance to horde or vice-versa.  Your $30 also includes customizing your character, so if you wish you can change your name and sex too.  You will of course be changing your race and physical features.  If you want to change more than one character, you must pay $30 per toon.

The Faction Change service does not include a class change.  If you are currently an alliance paladin you will convert to a horde paladin.  You can select any race that is open to your class.  In the case of the Paladin (prior to the Cataclysm expansion anyway) you have limited options on the horde side.  As a Dwarf Paladin I had to become a Blood Elf Paladin.  However, if I were transferring from a Blood Elf Paladin to the alliance I could have chosen between a Human, Dwarf or Draenai.  Similarly, as a warrior making a faction change from alliance to horde I could have chosen any race but the Blood Elves; and from Horde to alliance I could have chosen any race, as all can be warriors.

To start the faction change click on the advert on the WOW logon page or go to the official website.  Your character must not have any mail in his or her mail box (or on the way to his or her mail box), and must have been logged out for at least 20 minutes.  It is a one-way switch only.  You can only make the character switch every 60 days.  If you decide you made a mistake and want to change back, you must wait 60 days and then pay another $30.

Your character must be over level 10.  I thought this was strange.  Who would want to pay $30 to transfer a character under level 10, except for a very involved role play scenario maybe?  It only takes a couple of hours to get to level 10.  With the speed of leveling now, I wouldn’t consider this for a character under level 60 or 70.

Because the service is so popular at the moment, I got a lot of “Server Busy” messages when trying to do my transfer and had to keep trying.  You obviously need a credit card, but the process on the website is quite simple.  Error messages may occur for things like mail in the characters mail box.  If this happens you have to log back on to the character, clear it up and then wait at least 20 minutes before trying again.

It says the service takes several hours (although there is a note when going through the transfer to say it will currently take several days).  It took just over a day to transfer my character.  I’d read elsewhere that you could play the character during that time, but in the transfer information it stated that you could not.  I didn’t try as I didn’t want to disrupt the process.  When the transfer is complete you get an email, and an icon appears next to the character on the log in screen.  This little square has the red/blue horde/alliance logos.  You click it to complete the selection of your new race and customization.

Tips – things to do before you transfer:

  • Make sure you character does not have anything in their bags or bank that you want to stay with another toon in your current faction.  E.g.  I had some cloth I mailed to my tailor.  I also had some bind on account shoulders, I have no idea what would have happened to them if I had tried to take them across, so I decided to leave them with my main faction.
  • Make sure you give your character anything you do want them to carry across with them.  This includes money, supplies from your other trade skills you won’t have access to anymore, and maybe stuff for new alts on your new faction.  I sent Hollie with some bags, and a couple of blue items for the hunter alt I might create over there.  I also gave her some potions from my alchemist, and food from my chef.  I made sure her armor was enchanted.
  • Think about taking some extra faction stuff with you that you won’t have access to on the other side.  This may be for yourself, or to sell on the AH for a profit.  Things like cooking recipes, non-combat pets, etc.  I didn’t do this, and wish I had.
  • If you are into achievements make sure you have the achievements for completing Stockades or Ragefire Chasm before you transfer.  Both are required for the classic dungeon master achievement.  I forgot to do this, so Piratejoe will have to try and get into Stormwind if he wants the achievement.
  • Similarly, catch a fish in Stormwind or Orgrimmar if you don’t want the hassle/excitement of running into an enemy city just to fish for an achievement.

Can you think of any others?

Transfer Complete – things to note

When your character is transferred many things will stay the same, you won’t lose the items in your bags, bank or money for instance, or most of your achievements or titles.  But a few faction-specific items/achievements will change.

  • Any faction specific mounts will change.  On the official site it shows how they have mapped factions – Stormwind –> Orgrimmar etc.  My goats changed into chicken mounts (yes, I know they have a proper name).
  • All my non-combat pets stayed the same except for my argent tournament squire who changed into a gruntling.
  • Important!  Your Argent Tournament achievements and rankings get completely reset and you have to do it all again from scratch.  Hollie was exalted with one faction and working on her second, but had to start from the beginning.  She lost her “Of Ironforge” title and didn’t get an equivalent horde title until I had worked through the dailies.  However, I kept my squire/gruntling pet, my axe (although it got converted to the horde equivalent), and any spare currency I had.  This latter item was useful, I had some of each type of tournament seal, meaning it was quicker for me to work my way through the ranks again.
  • I power leveled Hollie pretty quickly to 80, so she didn’t have masses of achievements, a couple that I did have around the fire festivals switched from the alliance to the horde equivalents.
  • The FAQs on the official site tell you about some of the other stuff like flight paths (depending on your level it calculated how many you should have and gives you the appropriate ones for your new faction).
  • If you are a real achievement/questing junkie, you will be pleased that you get to do all the quests for your new faction from the beginning.

Conclusion:

All in all the process was pretty smooth, and I’m glad I went ahead and did it.  The only negative, was the resetting of my argent tournament ranking, which I didn’t realize would happen at the time.  Some people may think it a bit expensive, and maybe it is, but for me it has opened up new aspect of the game, now that my chosen play-style has changed for a while.  You may have many reasons why you want to change, as long as you are sure about it, go for it and have fun :) .

The Adventures of Piratejoe (Part 1): The RedPill

My male blood elf Pally, Piratejoe, thinks a lot of himself.  He’s cool and sexy. He can solo dragons. He has good hair. And has practiced his jump in a mirror until it looks cool as a cat’s.

However, Piratejoe has a dark secret, one he hopes he can live down with his new Horde brethren….  You see, Piratejoe started life as a buxom female dwarf named Hollie, holliewith cute dimples and a passion for Dalaran Donuts.    But Hollie felt bored with her dwarf body and the well trodden alliance paths that had been too well explored by her taller and sexier sisters-in-arms, Tinuviel and Bluebear, before her.  She wanted to beat her shield with her axe and scream, “For the Horde!”  She wanted to run errands for her hero, Thrall, instead of that insane lunatic King Whiney.  So one night, when she met a Goblin in the pub, after having one too many Darkmoon fizzy faire drinks, she took up his offer of The RedPill*.    The Goblin said she would wake up, in a couple of hours, a new man!

*RedPill may cause unexpected side effects including (but not limited to) loss of friends, guildmates, argent tournament rankings and titles.  Some achievements maybe lost, affects are non-reversible for 60days. Taking of RedPill is entirely at your own risk.

Two days later (and after the intervention of a god-like being to do important things like pick a name, hair style and tan), Hollie woke up in Silvermoon city, with a differently shaped chest and other anatomical parts, and a new name….Piratejoe.  The Goblin was never seen again.  Her Argent Tournament Squire had run off in horror, to be replaced by a gruntling, who seemed quite unconcerned.  Someone had spray-painted her paladin charger red, and swapped her goats for chicken mounts.  The first things she/he did was run to Orgrimmar and buy some cool wolf mounts instead.  Riding round on a wolf, was much more manly and horde-like than a pink chicken.   Her new body was pretty neat, Piratejoe’s chest didn’t flop up and down as he ran, and as long as he refrained from laughing or /dance he was pretty buff.  Summoning his wolf and gruntling, Hollie/Piratejoe shouted, “For the Horde!” and rode off into a red Durotar sunset to explore his new life!!!

In The Adventures of Piratejoe (Part 2) I will cover the mechanics of the faction change plus some tips and tricks (some of which I did, and others I wish I’d thought of beforehand.)

piratejoe

Going solo (or duo)

Going SoloAs Anelf mentioned in a previous post, our foray into running a guild was pretty short lived.

Actually, I’m pretty relieved.   While we have never been in a hard core raiding guild, we have been casually serious, organizing raiding for our guild, and raiding three or four times a week for nearly eight months.  For the most part, we’ve enjoyed it.  We wanted to organize the raids and work out the strategies, rather than been carried through content.  We’ve had a lot of fun talking over WoW stuff outside of WoW, and made several friends within game.

But in RL we have also only used our tent once, and our mountain bikes not at all this year.  Nearly every weekend we have stayed indoors, raiding. [Anelf's comment: That's what we call 'casual' raiding - weird huh! :-) ]. So we decided it would do us good to give raiding a break for a while, and I have to say I’ve been having the most fun I’ve had in a long time in WoW.  Once you get over the hang up that you don’t have to be up there ‘achieving’ at raiding and acquiring the top end gear, there’s a lot of other fun to be had with an eighty.

I’ve always liked soloing, exploring, revisiting old world content, mount and pet collecting, and the achievement system, so there is lots of stuff to do there.  I will be writing another post on it soon, but one of the most epic fights I have had for a while in WOW was soloing Onyxia on my Paladin alt.  I’d never been into Onyxia’s lair before, so it was great fun.  Anelf and Tin then went to duo it (as once Patch 3.2.2 comes out Onyxia becomes an 80 raid instance, and will no longer be soloable).  It was a simple thing to duo with two ranged DPS, one of whom could heal and the other who had a turtle tank. It was harder to solo with the Pally, because of phase 2, where Onyxia is airborne and becomes harder to hit efficiently with a melee class.  Next week I will try soloing it with Tin.

My 80 Paladin has also gone through some changes, as you will see in the Adventures of Piratejoe Part 1 (coming soon).  My male bloodelf Paladin, Piratejoe, has a dark secret…. he was once a plump female dwarf paladin called Hollie!  Going through a faction transfer has given me a lot to do with Piratejoe, a whole set of different mounts to collect, and achievements to go for.  I am also looking far forward towards the expansion, and thinking of building up resources on both sides, so my goblins and well as worgens will have a sugar daddy to help them out.  Anelf is enjoying leveling some of his alts right now, but I am hoping to persuade him to try duoing some other old world raids with me, and perhaps go mount hunting in ZG and MT :).

Time off

Tinuviel and Anelf will be mostly offline for the next two weeks or so. We have relatives visiting from abroad, so won’t have time to write (m)any blog posts.

GMFD – Handling a Guild Breakup

Wow! I really didn’t think I’d get the chance to write this particular article quite so soon. Last week was a real rollercoaster ride for Tin and Anelf.

Yup – CIPHER has been hit squarely in the face by the drama handbag.

So today – in possibly our last Guild Mastery for Dummies post – I’ll talk about a few important lessons on the less pleasurable aspects of guild mastery. Hopefully our learning these lessons the hard way will mean someone else doesn’t have to. If nothing else, this should be an amusing story for those of you who’ve been following CIPHER’s progress :-) .

Here are the lessons:

  • Lesson #1: Your new guild is most at risk when you’re offline.
  • Lesson #2: The first you’ll know a guildie was planning to leave is when he’s already left.
  • Lesson #3: Don’t expect recognition for your efforts as a guild master.
  • Lesson #4: Be quick to sideline or remove drama queens.
  • To be fair, not everyone behaves in the way I describe below. But these lessons are taken from behavior I’ve seen and heard of in other guilds as well, so I know they are pretty common.

    Lesson #1: Your new guild is most at risk when you’re offline.

    There’s not really much you can do about this as a guild master. You can’t stay online all the time. Its not that things happen while you’re away, its just that people will often wait until you’re offline to act because they don’t want to have to explain themselves to you. Other times, its just that a small drama snowballs because you’re not around to handle it. And if someone is acting maliciously against your guild (e.g. poaching your members) then an absence of even just a few days can be disastrous.

    Our rollercoaster week started with a high. We were on to Hodir on only our second Ulduar run. We’d not downed him, but I could see how we could improve our coordination (particularly healing through the Frozen Blows) to get him next week.

    But Tin and I had some real life engagements to take care of so we didn’t login between Tuesday evening and Friday evening. That’s the longest period (3 days) we’ve both been offline since we took over organizing raids for our old guild back in January. But we have a mature guild, so we knew they could manage without us for just three days.

    We couldn’t have been more wrong.

    We logged on Friday evening ready to start organizing that night’s raid. There were surprisingly few people online. Tin checked the guild activity log. Seven of our 16 raiders had left. We did a /who on the leavers – those online were all in the same guild and in the middle of a Naxxramas run.


    Lesson #2: The first you’ll know a guildie was planning to leave is when he’s already left.

    People don’t like confrontation. You normally have to explain your actions to others in real life, but in a game you can avoid any unpleasantness for yourself by just cutting and running. If the people you dumped get upset with you, you can always put them on ignore.

    In addition to this, many people will freely complain to their friends that they’re unhappy with something in the guild, but they won’t talk to the people who can do something about it – the guildmaster or officers.

    In Soldiers of Fortune, we had an officer who bragged to our guildmaster that he knew someone in the guild was unhappy but wouldn’t tell him who. He wasn’t an officer for long after that.

    The result is that most people who leave your guild will simply /gquit without saying a word. Often they’ll wait until you’re offline before they do it.  The strange thing is that even people who have been very friendly with their guildmates will do this. Its like flicking a switch to turn off those old friendships to make room for new ones.

    Looking at this from the other side, if you’re going to leave a guild then talk to the guildmaster before you /gquit. If you’re polite about it then you’ll go away on good terms. You never know when your paths might cross again, and its stupid to make enemies of your former guildmates when you don’t need to.

    And if you want to leave because you’re unhappy, tell an officer why you’re unhappy – they may be able to sort it out for you.

    Of the seven people who left the guild, just one of them sent us an in-game mail. He said in his note that he’d been pugging during the day with a larger raiding guild for a while, and had decided to join them because they could offer him faster progression.

    So he’d been thinking about leaving for some time. And it seems he’d been discussing this with at least two of the other people who left.

    If he’d discussed it with us we’d have seen if we could change our raid or arrange a raiding alliance to accommodate his needs. If we couldn’t do that we’d at least have wished him well and added him to our friends list.

    Although we wouldn’t have wished him well if we knew he was going to poach half our raid :-) .


    Lesson #3: Don’t expect recognition for your efforts as a guild master.

    When someone decides to leave your guild – especially if they’re leaving because they think they can progress faster elsewhere – they will often feel guilty for letting you down. No-one wants to feel bad about themselves, so its natural to invent reasons why you never really liked the people you’re leaving in the first place – putting together several imagined slights and building them into a huge grudge. This will often build up over time – once you’ve seen it a few times you can spot the pattern.

    As a result, people who leave will be thinking about all the things you didn’t do for them, and not about  everything you did do for them.

    Don’t become a guild master if you want people to be thankful for your work in organizing their gaming experience – especially the people who move on. Do it because it satisfies your own needs.

    Tin and I started organizing raids for our old guild because we wanted to raid and no-one else in the guild was stepping up to organize it. We started CIPHER because we wanted to continue raiding, and also create a home for our raiding friends after our old guild wound down. We also wanted to see what running a guild felt like. We didn’t expect any plaudits for this, but even so …

    The guy who sent the note was someone we’d played with for a year. He would ask Tin for advice for his hunter alt almost every week. Two of the other leavers have been with us for about 8 months. We’d organized their raids for them every week during that period – usually two or three nights a week. At least this one guy sent a note. These others said nothing at all.

    This isn’t very unusual behavior. I now understand why Entrigan (our old guild leader) would get so mad at people who /gquit without a word. It feels much more personal when you’re the guild master.


    Lesson #4: Be quick to sideline or remove drama queens

    If you see someone creating small dramas, you can be sure they’ll eventually create a big one if you give them enough time. If you want to avoid those big dramas, you need to act decisively when the small ones come along. This can be hard because you might be dealing with someone you consider a friend, or their departure may be a temporary setback for the guild.

    - If the drama queen isn’t important to the guild, get rid of them as quickly as you can.

    - If the drama queen is in a key position in the guild, find a way to remove them from that position.

    - If the drama queen has some close friends who you think would leave with them, be very quick to introduce redundancy into those raid positions (and then /gkick the queen ;-) ).

    Two of the people who left us had been our main recruiters, and most of their recruits (and some of those who joined us from our old guild) were their friends from a previous guild they’d been in. That accounts for the other four people who left.

    These two had already caused drama in the guild. We didn’t act quickly because  we considered them friends. However, that friendship had started to cool when we refused to take their side in a drama they created over a loot roll.

    We knew there was a significant risk that they’d leave and take their old friends with them. But we were too slow to recruit enough other raiders to mitigate that risk. That was a huge mistake on our part. This being our first raiding guild, we failed to realize the importance of pugging as a recruiting tool. We were doing everything we could to run all-guild raids, so we didn’t have to rely on the randomness of pugs.

    Such is life :-D .

    So there we have it. Four important lessons learned, and CIPHER no longer a viable raiding guild.

    What next?

    First I have to finish counting to ten. (I’m counting really slowly :-) ). Then we’ll decide whether to build again or simply move to a larger raiding guild and let someone else organize raids for us for a change. In some ways, the timing of all this is quite fortunate. Tin and I have relatives visiting from abroad for the next three weeks, so it gives us ample non-playing time to decide what comes next.

    .

    And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank those CIPHER members who have stuck with us. (No roll-call – you know who you are :-D ). Knowing we’re going to be offline for a while, we made sure our remaining guildies knew what had happened and told them they have our blessing if they want to move on to continue their raiding. Tin and I have been very touched by their support.

    A final GMFD lesson is that some online friendships really do mean something – and its when things aren’t running so smoothly that you find out who those friends are :-) .