• Dealing With Mutiny

    It’s been a tough 24 hours for the Dambusters. Some prominent members of the guild have been holding separate discussions about their willingness to stay in the guild after I kicked an officer who ‘politely’ spat his dummy out after I called him out for blatantly disregarding my request to stop using the guild’s own Mumble server as voice communications for another video game.

    The issue of using Mumble for another game was actually secondary and didn’t bother me so much, but who was doing it was my issue. The small group of people who I consider friends but who at every opportunity, have decided to go against anything I say around the guild. Certain members of that group have been trying to undermine myself and Spyrot for a long time now and I seen the right opportunity to ask them directly to refrain from doing something I didn’t feel was of any benefit to the unity of the guild.

    They were asked to stop, they heard and they carried on regardless. They caused the issue and when I reared my head about it, Jibbas sent out an officer resignation because he felt “that I no longer feel that I live up to the standards required of the role” (damn right son!) directed at me because I had the temerity to ask him to operate within a fairly requested boundary and call him out when he ignored me.

    Make no mistake, officers who deliberately throw their teddies out the pram in this manner meet a very ruthless guild leader here. Most of the Dambusters never see my mean streak but honestly, I believe that part of my character is an important requirement when leading an active guild because without that, people walk all over you. I was told last night that I had already been too lenient with this small clicky group who seemed to be a law unto themselves at times.

    I already knew this group had been considering leaving the guild but it speaks volumes that not one of them had approached me with any concerns whatsoever. Instead they confided in each other while building up their circle of influence so that when the time came, they had enough backing to go their separate way and feel good about it. Rather than do the honourable thing and leave the guild when they started disliking it, they preferred to band together and try to make others believe in their issues with the guild leader.

    None of that group faced me on my own, they made their new guild and poached 13 of our members up until now.

    At the end of the day, this is a game and I am delighted to see that at least 85% of The Dambusters are true to the guild considering over half the officer team have quit to make a new guild. I roasted a couple of the ringleaders about the way they departed but having now had time to reflect, I wish them all the best and I believe the new guild is already doing well. I don’t expect to see any of our members being rude to our former guildies because their decision to leave is not because of you guys, it’s because of me.

    Sometimes you just gotta eat humble pie and get on with it. This guild has done that before and come right back as strong as ever and with this excellent squad of loyal Dambusters, I don’t see any reason why we can’t crack on with the same attitude and togetherness in the game. We will be recruiting fresh players to join the guild and I think that should give everyone a nice boost.

    I have learned from this that I must not trust people when I see them start to become disillusioned with things around the guild. Certain people are prone to turn on a guild leader if they no longer want to follow the GM and in the end, it’s really easy to play a sneaky game that ends up making the GM look like Mr. Nasty when all he wants is for everyone to play by the rules. From now on, I won’t allow anarchists to operate from the inside circle of the guild leadership. People may pretend to want a democracy but unless the guild is run by close IRL friends, it’s very difficult to have a true democracy.

    There’s been plenty of times when my officer team have made decisions that I don’t agree with fully and I will voice my objections but if I see it does have a benefit to the guild and people really want to push for it, I am well capable of listening and going with the flow. However, I expect my officers to follow me and show an example to the rest of the guild. If an officer blatantly ignores what I am saying (and this ain’t the first time but I let it slide before) then I feel the officer is already bringing the guild into disrepute.

    Officers have much higher expectations than anyone else but they are there because they have proven to be trustworthy and dependable. Nobody needs to become an officer but l welcome people who have a desire to take a lead and show some responsibility in the guild. When an officer changes his/her allegiance from the guild leader to another person then it becomes very difficult for the guild leader but I must make every effort to prevent a recurrence of this phenomenon in the future because it could have been catastrophic.

    The past 24 hours have been difficult for us and I’m sure for our friends who felt like they had to leave to join their own friends. Be sure, most guilds operating in this game would easily have imploded yesterday with what went on but this group is still standing and we will not be beaten down. It’s a fresh start and a great opportunity for players to get a chance to raid and maybe even do some PvP if I can keep my hair from bursting into flames :)

    We still have half of Ironwall and half of Stonewrought 10-man teams here and the primary guild raid leader is 100% behind me as I embark on stabilising the whole thing. The good times will return!

    I hope you’re with us to see the good times return :)


  • Playstyles

    Something a lot of people take for granted is that everyone else who you see in the game have the same obstacles to overcome as you do yourself. It’s not easy to imagine the guy who has no money for a new computer so has to play on his 6 year old Acer laptop and his mouse is broken so he is using the laptop’s built-in trackpad.

    There are people who play on multiple screens over multiple game accounts who operate their own army of a ‘multi-boxing’ team. There are actually people RAIDING heroic end-game content who are completely blind and rely on their guildmates to help them negotiate each encounter but do a brilliant job!

    Whatever your playstyle is, if you enjoy the game then that’s what matters most. Of course some people’s setup can make the game more difficult than it needs to be and there are ways to adjust the game interface to assist with allowing you to get the most of of your own game. Finding your own unique way of playing the class you love the most can be as intricate and interesting as the depth of the game itself can be. The fact that no two people have the very same user interface, hardware layout and preferences for how to play classes makes the whole thing all the more mind-boggling to me.

    A recent chat I had with my pal Gav at work, who has just started playing the game himself, had him produce
    a few possible subjects for my blog which included:-
    ‘the benefits of using a voice communication system’
    ‘the pro’s and con’s of keybinding and the fact I personally play an unorthodox keybind system’

    I’ve kind of amalgamated these into one by discussing playstyles overall although actually each subject could easily get it’s own blog post. When you consider how your own interface and playstyle actually holds you back and you begin to learn how it can be adjusted to suit your needs, then the game really can take off. When you start being able to set your user interface (UI) up and become proficient with your class, you can then start to homogenise your UI to appear similar between multiple alt characters. As we know, all the eleven classes feel different but when you get deep into altoholism then it helps to have certain similar abilities in familiar action bar (or keybind) locations to help you memorise your characters’ abilities more easily while greatly aiding your ability to speed along the muscle memory building process.

    The game is incredibly complex. To assume the guy next to you, in any given raid group you happen to be part of, is playing his Affliction Warlock the very same way as you are playing yours…with the very same computer hardware, graphics settings and key layout…would be very naive. Hell, it’s highly possible he could be listening to deafening heavy metal music while his mother is constantly shouting at him to tidy up his disgusting mess of a basement bedroom!

    His playstyle, UI, personal attention span and overall setup could be wildly different to yours even tho he is playing the very same class and spec as you. He might not be a he, could be a 10 year old girl playing under the supervision of her single dad. It’s amazing how diverse the game can be when you think of the minute details that go into making up how a given player will operate their class.

    Voice communications like Mumble, TeamSpeak or Ventrilo are very important to the cause of bringing a band of total gaming strangers together to form a collective and let’s face it, otherwise unimaginable failure waiting to happen. Using a VOIP like this for group activity can multiply the chances of a team’s ability to actually succeed in killing a boss or winning a match against another team in a PvP encounter. To have so many roles and playstyles come together for one goal as a team is truly an amazing achievement and to an outsider looking in on teams playing this game, must be a bewildering sight.

    These teams will likely have practiced for a long time on their individual characters so that when they have come together to form a team, they actually make it look so easy and it’s actually something an experienced WoW player will take for granted because after putting I so much time and effort to learn their ‘craft’ it becomes natural to carry out your role and be able to operate as part of an effective group which is led by an individual or partnership of leaders.

    Having the ability to talk in real-time vastly increases the team’s decision making process and allows them to overcome difficulties on an ad-hoc basis which is crucial in raid boss progression, PvP target calling, and general alerting of any situation a team member needs to know about quickly. Additional uses of voice comms could include pre-encounter discussion and strategy, meetings about what members of the team are best suited to which roles (if they show up) and countless other facets of the game. I could go on for hours..

    Understanding that everybody is different and will react differently to certain situations allows us to grasp how to pull together a team while being able to empathise with each member’s own potential set of hurdles to overcome in their process of becoming the perfect member of the group. Helping people through their obstacles wherever possible helps us to build strong bonds within a team (or guild) which is the whole idea after all.

    I find that by learning to play as many classes as possible, even tho I don’t always focus on completely mastering just one, gives me a good overall rounding so that I basically know what each class is capable of. This helps me because I can understand what abilities a team mate can bring to the group but also because I know what an enemy player has at their disposal if I need to be able to counter it.

    I do tend to focus on a particular class but during times of repetition, often the tail end of a content patch then I will usually veer onto my alt characters and that’s just my own play style. Everyone plays a different way and has different desires they want from playing. What is your play style?


  • Ranks in Depth: Airman

    “Airman Welcome to the Dambusters! We really hope you enjoy playing the game with us, if you have other characters in the guild, please let your guildies know and we can adjust your rank.”

    Vastly different to an Airman who in my mind, is all potential but with absolutely zero expectation or obligation. An Airman is the starter rank for a budding Dambuster and right from the beginning of your WoW career you can be glad you found this famous old guild because believe me, for every diamond of a guild like this one, there’s 100+ bullshit guilds out there with no leadership, no care and in many cases, unscrupulous reasons for having you among their ranks!

    An Airman will be expected to ask questions in the guild chat (/g) if they need answers to anything about the guild or gameplay in general if they are a new player. It is encouraged that you interact with your guild mates on a regular basis although it is widely understood that some newcomers can be overwhelmed by the atmosphere and terminology used in the guild chat at times. There are also quiet periods when people are either asleep, AFK or just busy working hard at their own game so the guild chat isn’t always busy. Either way, a newcomer is totally welcome to open up lines of chat or stay as silent as they wish until more comfortable with their surroundings.

    We have plenty going on so please keep an eye on the guild Message of the Day and keep up to date with your in-game calendar for possible guild events you can get involved in as long as they suit your schedule and you fit the criteria set out. You will see people asking for people to join up for dungeon runs, scenario runs, raids, battlegrounds and anything in between and I always encourage people to accept whenever you can but I also expect people never to pester people if they are happy just plodding along on their own.

    This guild has always been proud of it’s relaxed, carefree attitude of allowing people to just play their own game without feeling forced into high level PvP or raid content if they don’t wish to join. We also feel strongly that it is our duty to provide our members with group content if they show a desire to get involved so we pretty much cover all levels of play. We have veritable professional WoW players who will level a character from 1 to 90 in a day and then solo arenas 1 v 2 but we also have players who just mosey along doing quest after quest and never really bothering to become particularly proficient in one specific class. We have folk who get bored when they reach level 90 and then just go start on their next levelling journey, folks who just like to cook and fish all their WoW life and people who like to lead naked fun runs in Molten Core and other fine old raid instances.

    We are a guild for everyone, as long as you are nice and friendly and you reply when an officer whispers, then you are good enough to be a Dambuster.

    In no time you will get promoted to Corporal and likely never look back as you become another part of the family of silly people we already have here. Remember that once you are here, any other characters you have are welcome to join. I recommend whispering an officer from your alternate character with a request for a guild invite and citing who you are, and you should be welcomed aboard as per the guild recruitment policies.

    Remember that nothing is expected of you except politeness. Get to know the guild rules on this website, know who your officers are by checking the relevant page and enjoy your own game as much as you want. Responsibility is for the higher ranking members of the guild and if you want to lead then you will soon have chances to prove you’re up for it. On the same token, if you just wanna play your own game with your own little circle of friends then you will fit in just fine around here.

    /Salute Airman

  • Ranks in Depth: Warrant Officer

    As the Ranks page states:

    “Warrant Officer ‘Assistant Guild Leader’ – The nature of this position allows only the very few proven committed officers to assume overall leadership while Bigticket is offline. Only by relentless dedication in the ‘Flight Sergeant’ rank to learn the inner workings of the guild and a burning desire to do all you can to promote the guild will result in your rise to Warrant Officer. Close contact with Bigticket is the only way to this position and any adjustment a Warrant Officer contributes to the guild while standing in my stead remains my sole responsibility since I fully endorse their position. Your utmost respect is expected towards this rank as their commitment to the guild is considered infinite as they act in Bigticket’s name”

    This rank is a statement of total unity between the Warrant Officer and Guild Leader. There are times when a Warrant Officer and Guild Leader disagree about certain aspects of the guild’s operations but as is relatively clear, I have a firm grasp on the direction of the guild so when I don’t need advice then I won’t ask for it. Sometimes that gets people’s backs up but I’m sure my leadership is not really under scrutiny since I have personally orchestrated the rise and rise of this community and I do expect all my officers to follow me when I make certain adjustments to the guild even although they may not always agree at first.

    A Warrant Officer must be my biggest supporter and an avid fanatic of the guild at every turn because the powers of guild control they have fill such a large scope that ultimately a possible rogue Warrant Officer could cause limitless and permanent damage to the guild if they decided they wanted to do so. Because of this, only the most unquestionably determined and proven fanatics of my leadership will ever be elevated to this rank. It could be seen as assistant Guild Leader and often plays that role but as always, the Warrant Officer MUST follow the guild leader. As stated, the Warrant Officer may not always privately agree with what I decide to do with the guild but the person(s) in that rank are there because I know they will always back me up to the hilt in public around discussions at guild level and to their friends privately.

    If I feel that I do not have the unwavering support of a Warrant Officer in every aspect of my leadership then I will start to question the validity of the rank held and may look to make adjustments. Thankfully there have only ever been niggling concerns in the back of my mind and no direct action has actually been taken to counter potential wavering support as yet. This also goes for Flight Sergeant ranked officers who must always portray utmost support for their fellow officers including Guild Leader if they are to remain in the rank for any extended period. I expect heartfelt opinion and constructive criticism at every turn but overall and in public, the officers – be they Warrant Officer, Flight Sergeant or Guild Leader – must always show a strong camaraderie even while a fierce debate could be ongoing privately.

    A Warrant Officer’s role is wider reaching than a Flight Sergeant’s although it should of course be defined and understood by the guild at large. People should see the Warrant Officer as a figurehead of similar stature to that of the Guild Leader and treat them with utmost respect. Remember that the Warrant Officer is in that position because Bigticket trusts them unreservedly to lead the guild when required.

    Being the Guild Leader has it’s perks but there are times when it can be a lonely place where you know that each move can be felt by over 100 people around the guild as it currently stands. As it’s only a game, it would be easy for me to treat the guild as just a toy but I would never do that because I value the hard work you have all put into your own play to help make this community what it is today. I know that it’s only a game but I also know that you guys who make it special are only volunteers so with my Warrant Officers (Spyrott currently) and my Flight Sergeants, we will continue to take your dedication seriously enough to offer you a guild where you can enjoy the fellowship and friendly Warcraft environment you have come to expect.


  • New Era of PvP

    The guild has witnessed an upsurge in PvP of late and I must admit, I’m one of the biggest culprits lol.

    Actually my mind was so far out of raiding by Friday night that I started making glaring mistakes while tanking with Ironwall raid team. I must apologise and although I wasn’t the only one making errors, I freely admit I wasn’t really with it that night but I’m definitely preparing my mind to be focused come Thursday where I hope we have a strong team together and I fully expect us to blow the content away.

    In the past few weeks I’ve geared up Bigticket(BM hunter), Pished(Resto shaman) and almost fully geared Snøøzz(Subtlety rogue) and I’m now onto gearing up Bearsden(Resto druid) which I gotta admit is hilarious fun!

    Thing is, I know the hunter well and can do a lot of damage and also use the hunter’s considerable toolbox to avoid the majority of incoming attention so it really feels like a 1-man army at times. I can take on 2-3 people if they are not expecting my wrath to descent upon them. I fancied learning to play resto shaman in PvP because I have always known them to be an absolute nightmare to kill and I’ve always fancied being hard to kill again since the old days of healing PvP on my discipline priest Bunnyboiler and holy paladin Caledonia. I might return to them one day but having played random battlegrounds, taken help from Cryomaniac in 2v2 arenas and then rocked the healing in some glorious Dambusters rated battleground runs on Friday night I realised how incredibly powerful that restoration shaman can be. There were times when our team were simply untouchable and as we co-ordinated changing tactics on-the-fly to sucker punch our hapless opponent teams at the perfect moments I felt it click together. That gave me enormous satisfaction and I’m sure I’m not alone in that!

    I realised how much I enjoy being the healer in a battleground where you are very much the fulcrum of the group who rely heavily on you staying relaxed, calmly pumping out the right heals at the right times, using your big cooldowns when they matter most to affect the outcome of a particular bout at a flag, base or choke-point.

    Starting on the druid this week, she already feels powerful and ready to heal well and that’s with only a couple of pieces of actual PvP gear equipped. This is gonna be a lot of fun I can tell. The rogue is actually really difficult to get to grips with but as it nears full gear, I can feel my damaging blows becoming more effective and my ability to lock someone down is improving too. I think the guild has seen a shift towards people enjoying more PvP and I am happy about it. Anything the guys do together gets my vote and it’s something I’ve been searching for in the guild for some considerable time.

    I do think finding a different night would be better otherwise it could just be a case of grabbing a team together whenever it suits. The more people get into it, the more players will become available for rated battlegrounds on an ad-hoc basis but ideally we need a better time than just whenever Ironwall raid team finish on a Friday night. That certainly took the edge off raiding for me and I’m now mindful of that so I expect to focus in. 25 man last Thursday was excellent but I was just healing on my monk who got some nice gear, however in the 10 man team as a tank the margin for error is a little finer and mistakes become more obvious.

    I’m of the opinion that if neither raid team plans or expects to be able to kill heroic bosses on a Thursday evening then we really owe it to the guild to carry on running 25 man. 25 man gives more people chances at bigger leaps of gear upgrading and also allows us to include a few fringe raiders who would otherwise miss out on running with either of the 10-man teams. Flex is still the option for people to gear up on a Wednesday evening but a lot of us are getting beyond the flex to the extent that those 25-man normal runs are something really valuable to the guild overall.

    All that said tho, the primary objectives of each of the 2 10-man teams must come first and if that means Stonewrought want to do some heroic progression then the rest of the guild must accept that. I would say that since we did start pulling these 25-man runs, we have proven that with the right hunger and attitudes in there, we CAN and likely WILL be doing mythic content come the next expansion, maybe even in the pre-expansion 6.0 patch!

    People cannot be blamed for seeking additional enjoyment in a game they pay monthly for so a bit of PvP as the doctor has ordered seems like a perfectly viable distraction from the fact that we have been running predominantly normal mode farm content for the best part of 4 months and with no new raiding on the horizon and an as yet unclear indication on Warlords of Draenor’s impending beta test (let alone actual release) then it’s totally understandable that people can get bored in the meantime. I would personally rather see people take on new projects in-game than slope off to other IPs such as Titanfall, Elder Scrolls Online, Diablo 3 etc etc. Some guys even unsub which is their own choice but I’m just happy that I feel absolutely zero burnout with the game and am only too happy to venture into other areas of the game long before considering any boredom as a reason to put my feet up and await the next expansion.

    For a start, I simply don’t have that option so I’m glad I don’t feel the need since without a dedicated guild leader, as with plenty other guilds, The Dambusters would be in deep trouble. Thankfully that ain’t happening.

    To surmise, I’m delighted we can pull teams together to do the same things still after this long and although we may not always agree or approve of certain choices others in our guild might make, we are great for sticking together which we truly showed last Friday after a despondent feeling after some sub-par performances in our raid. We really did pick it up after a little bit of AFKing, maybe a little sulking and we soon realised that we have a strong enough bond to pull it together and by heck, we rocked some socks!

    TARGET CALLING yeah baby!


  • Starting Out In WoW

    Those good old days….
    Wearing cloth on my warrior until level 31, boasting about my MP5(mana regeneration per 5 seconds) on my hunter when hunters used mana, picking armour favouring ‘armor’ value above any other stat….the list goes on.

    When you’re just starting out in the massive and ever expanding World of Warcraft everything is a little scary but super exciting. There’s a tension as you play, a realisation that if you stray out of the small safe areas, you are liable to be hammered into the dirt at any time by NPCs or opposing faction players. Since you’re not generally out to do anyone any harm in the game at this stage, it can be quite a daunting feeling to be overwhelmed so quickly and be forced to corpse run to find your body and resurrect when that’s not something you are used to doing yet either.

    Experienced players often take for granted the skills they have learned through being ‘ganked’ and learning the hard way that there is a carefully planned technique to finding the right spot to resurrect by using obstacles in the surrounding environment to get away from your heartless predator. In fact, if you die and rez enough times, you can actually resurrect a little closer each time towards the safety of a nearby friendly village or town before slipping away undetected if you just resurrect at the furthest extremity of the allowed circumference boundary around your lifeless corpse. A bit of practice in evading comes with experience as with anything else. Be sure tho, if your sad bastard of a corpse camper wants to make your life a misery, sometimes it’s best to just log out while you’re a ghost and create a brand new character :)

    …which brings me to my next point. As a beginner in this massive game of depth, community and minute detail, it is advisable to try out as many of the 11 different classes as possible before deciding on what suits you best as you forge out your future in the game. Name your characters with the express intention that they will be yours forever because if you fall in love with that class, you could be seeing that name a lot in your WoW career. Experienced players take great care in naming their newly created characters because they can imagine the depth and the effort that will go into nurturing that budding world beater.

    Finding your way in the game will inevitably mean meeting the best and worst of the people the game harbours. There’s the pleasantly mature and respectful young teens to the rude, obnoxious and downright arrogant elitist early twenties who you might surmise are angry because they failed to make much of their life so are just bitter little keyboard warriors. There’s the 15 year old brat that joins a group just to create havoc and waste everyone’s time. You know, the type that just wants to watch the world burn and then there’s the guy who would devote all his time to help you learn the basic aspects of the game so you may find your own way. There’s single mums who will ask for your Facebook, there’s psychos who will pick on you because you only hit the boss with 3 counts of ‘shield of the righteous’ and who knows your class inside and out and feels the need to tell you how much better he is at the game than you. There’s even grade A celebrities like Vin Diesel who raid progression. All these delights are yet to come but in your arsenal is the ability to ask for help, look around the community for people who set up to help beginners.

    This game is good, but it’s longevity is easily stifled if you don’t find friends to enjoy it with. I always say you play the game for the enjoyment of it but you stay because of the friends you run with in there. Those friends are what keep people returning to the game. The game is easily done solo and some play for years while barely interacting with others but the depth of your involvement really depends on your ability to find that group you just click with.

    There are numerous sources with good tips on how to make regular gaming buddies who have similar interests to you within the game. This is an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) so it really is designed to be played with others.

    Finding a guild is a different ball-game. A guild is like an association and all too often these days a new player will get spammed with guild invites until they simply accept one of the spammers’ invites and get on with it until they find their feet in the game. Well my lovelies, by reading this, you have an advantage because you don’t need to join those spam inviting guilds who simply don’t care who they get, you are just another number on their roster to boost the GM’s ego.

    What you want to do is use the link above to discover the best ways to find the right guilds. The best guilds do not need to spam newly created characters to buff up their roster numbers. The best guilds are known through the community, they advertise for the people they want by using the proper channels meaning that people who look for a guild using the proper channels will find them. This is the first stage filter to avoid attracting tradechat trolls or any other undesirables who are unlikely to fit with the guild’s community. I’m assuming any self-respecting guild will have a devoted leader who cares about the types of players the guild attracts. In The Dambusters for example, we don’t care how great a player you may be but we do care that you’re a good human being who will try to help your guild mates when you can.

    Your best chance as a new player is to learn the basics of the game and how to manage your user interface to make it work for you and your computer. Use the online resources available to you in the multitude of websites listed here and make the right friends who never tire of answering your certain endless questions. Remember that your chosen guild will have people there who will feel nostalgic about the questions you must ask and although people will be busy playing their own game, in the right community you should be encouraged to group up with more experienced players and learn from them.

    At the end of the day, learning to use the multitude of resources and being able to google ‘where to find Kodo eggs in Westfall’ for that annoying quest you can’t manage to complete is somewhere everyone has been and you really just have to go through it and create your own path and experiences as your adventures continue. Soon it will all just click. You will know exactly what youtube videos to watch, what websites are to your liking and we will all be a little bit jealous of that feeling of adrenaline you still have as you wander the world soaking up the amazing places and creatures that create the backdrop of an immersive gaming experience. I miss that feeling when I ran from Elwynn Forest where the infamous ‘Hogger’ hangs around down the crocodile infested river and down through the winding pathway of the old (it’s been reformed since the shattering of the Cataclysm) Stranglethorn Vale getting my ass handed to me on a plate by big gorillas every step of the way until I reached Booty Bay, crossed on the boat into Ratchet in the old expansive Barrens as I searched for hordes to kill.

    Those were the days, I ended up stood outside the gates of Orgrimmar and got smashed to oblivion by the first horde that spotted me lol. You need to make your own way and learn for yourself. Everyone plays this game slightly differently and at max level, there’s just so many different paths to choose from which allow for fulfilment for a wide variety of different people.

    /Salute to you on your adventures!

  • Gold DKP Run

    Recently, The Dambusters have been getting involved in the GDKP raid set up the excellent Gostoza of Dimensional guild every Saturday evening and I attended the latest gathering. It’s a 25 man normal Siege of Orgrimmar run where every item that drops is immediately put up for auction to the group with minimum bids starting at 10k which often rises to 30k, 40k or even 50k+ at times resulting in a massive prize pot by the end of the raid which is then divided up between the mainstay players who attended the majority of the night.

    It’s a fantastic concept and the guild have made friends with quite a few folks from running the raid regularly. There are some really great people pulling this together with the prime objective being to bring the community together while offering the incentive of a lump of gold and a chance at some nice loot to keep people in the run who may otherwise quit, go afk or get up to other shenanigans all to often witnessed during what is essentially a pug raid.

    The concept is hardly new, I knew of GDKP runs during Icecrown Citadel and there is likely to have been similar iterations long before that. What’s nice is, there’s no animosity among the leaders of these raids, everything is done fairly and openly with no concerns raised for potential ninja attempts at the pot by the leaders.

    You can join as a ‘booster’ or as a ‘buyer’ but only if selected for a place by the raid leader. A booster is someone who is very well geared and capable of clearing the raid with enough proficiency to acceptably be able to help ‘carry’ potentially undergeared players who will be looking to pick up auctioned loot. A buyer may be well geared but not proficient enough in the raid to be able to carry others. On some occassions, a buyer may even have very little gear and be totally carried through the raid but with the express condition that they must bring a lot of gold to the raid and bid on every possible upgrade that suits their class.

    The raid leadership use a public TeamSpeak channel although I did offer our Mumble server to them for use and I might officially offer the group an opportunity to use our Mumble again since there was a random trolling issue with the TeamSpeak channel they were using which was far from ideal. We have space on our 50-man server and since a bunch of my guys run the GDKP raid regularly, the team would be welcome to use our Mumble. We may even make more friends around the community after the raids are done and people remain a bit longer to chit-chat with our legendary guild members :)

    I believe the final pot at the end of the Klaxxi fight was just under 600k meaning between 24 of us shared about 25k each. After that, some left and some switched characters and we went on to blow down Garrosh Hellscream with ease. That was actually my first 25 man normal Garrosh kill and it was nuts at the end but great fun. If I’m honest, Caledonia doesn’t like playing ‘off-tank’ to lesser geared Death Knights but that’s not because my tanking partner Teranier didn’t do well, he was excellent but really only because I wanted to impress with the paladin’s awesome healing powers when loaded up with all that Garrosh vengeance.

    I am sure the lasting impression our tanking and healing skills displayed will no doubt ensure Dambusters will continue to be welcome on Gostoza’s GDKP runs and I’m sure the Dambusters will continue to impress the wider community with our fun loving nature and appreciation of other good people of the game. I made a friend in Yke who seems to be a friendly player and although I didn’t manage to get onto the raid’s TeamSpeak chat, the other guildies were literally gushing about her attractive sounding voice haha. I will take their word for that but most importantly for me is that our guild members are out there enjoying themselves, being proud ambassadors to the guild wherever they go.

    Here’s to more community gatherings, and MORE GOLD!


  • Warlords of Draenor Planning

    It’s early yet with the upcoming expansion not even in public beta but this hasn’t prevented some members of the guild from thinking ahead to what we hope to achieve in Warlords of Draenor. This guild will be as strong as ever when the new expansion hits and there’s no harm in putting our heads together to come up with a few plans in an attempt to keep people motivated to play right up until the day Pandaria takes a back seat on Azeroth.

    I personally have no intention of taking any breaks from the game anytime so it’s in my own interest to make my own plans to satisfy my own character needs. You Dambusters will also no doubt have unfinished business about the game. Now is a good time to be running for achievements you haven’t attained yet, finishing off quest lines if you want to complete Pandaria’s lore achievements etc.

    For me -and notable others- a recent upsurge in PvP activity has really revitalised my love for my hunter and PvP in general. Now is the perfect time to get into season 15 because since it’s so early in the season, nobody is fully geared with the Prideful ilvl 550 set, a very select minority have the conquest weapon thus far although many more will by cease play on Wednesday night, including myself and some other hardworking Dambusters. So, we are all still easily within arm’s reach of anyone starting out for the PvP season so if it’s something you’ve been wanting to get involved with, now is a great time to start.

    Having just free-boosted 3 new lvl 90 characters and geared them via Timeless Isle, my rekindled love for smashing faces on Bigticket has come at a busy time. I now find myself loving random battlegrounds, arenas and kicking butts outside the horde PvP vendor on my own, ofcourse Timeless Isle is a total playground for a well-geared beastmaster too.

    Anyway, regarding the future of raiding…
    It’s apparent to me that both raid teams are lacking in attendance so as far as I can tell at this moment, we will continue down the route we are heading with the 2 current teams and then see how we get on before thinking much more about Mythics. The other thing is that I will need a raid leader partnership with suitable motivation and dedication to pull any forthcoming Mythic team together from the 2 heroic(currently normals) teams. Right now, there is nobody in the guild with the amount of time and raiding brainpower needed to set up such a determined 20 man team with the social Dambusters excellence I need of such a leader.

    The person I’m looking for could well be right in our ranks or they could be someone we have yet to meet. I have my eye on a few potential mythic raid leaders but I am looking for people to come to me at this stage with plans for the future. It really needs a partnership who get on very well and have plenty of time to put into planning and orchestrating such a team. As I said recently in a pre-meeting discussion on mumble: raiders will need to be clearing WoD heroics in the first tier of the new expansion before the guild can consider mythic level raiding.

    At the time, I suggested that raiders would have to be able to do both heroics and Mythics in each lockout week and although that might still be the case during heroic farming times when the mythic team might be in it’s infancy, but of course the heroic team will need to be back-filled with new members as the more determined mythic team members push more away from the heroics and onto full time mythic progression.

    This is all just a theory when we still need a leading partnership for such a venture but it’s no way beyond our capability to set that up. Time will tell, the commitment of the raiders will shine through and the guild will continue rewarding hard working and friendly people as much as we can. What is for sure is that there is a definite appetite for Mythics within the guild so it’s my job to do my best and pull it together if possible.

    I’m looking forward to our upcoming guild meeting at the beginning of April because we have a lot to talk about regarding our future and how we plan to maintain the excellent standards set by our officers.


  • Why I Don’t Burn Out

    I’ve been thinking (and tweeting lol) about the phenomenon of ‘burnout’ in the game of WoW. Mostly my thoughts about the subject revolve around the fact that I just don’t get it, why people burn out. Why do they quit the game? I’ve never personally felt the need to just quit for an extended period so why do others quit?

    Of course each individual has their own set of circumstances under which they play the game and everyone plays the game differently. What’s going on in real life often governs the amount of WoW time you are allowed (or you allow yourself) to play. But the way you play the game has a marked bearing on how long you will play the game too.

    Someone who plays 24/7 for months on end, grinding and farming or raiding and gearing up, or doing PvP or whatever else it is they decide to do, will most likely hit a brick wall of pain which just sucks the interest and motivation right out of them. We have guys in the guild who are like that and fair play to them, they play either all-in or not at all.

    All or nothing mentality is easy to admire because it’s the display of total commitment for the period they are in the zone and since World of Warcraft releases content in chunks as it does, the all or nothing type of player has no problem fitting in with WoW’s peaks and troughs of content.

    People burn out because they just love it too much, put all their heart and soul in and invariably they get tired. It’s human nature. Imagine the most delicious chocolate cake you could ever think of and you get to eat it until you are full up every day of your life. What a great thought, that delicious cake every day, wonderful…..but after months of eating a big piece of that lovely cake every day, you’d get tired of it and want to try something else, maybe even just another flavour.

    It’s the same with WoW if you overindulge. Some can conceivably play for hours every day and enjoy the thing just enough but not destroy their life in the process, therefore it fits in with their real life schedule. Others decide to sacrifice large parts of their real life sociality to play the game but can happily manage that. Some can only manage to play bit-part for a few hours per week and never really get into the thick of the game. The people prone to burnout will munch that lovely chocolate cake right up, every day until they just get so sick of chocolate that they quit eating until there’s a new version of chocolate cake out with a layer of strawberry jam in there. They’ll recall the good times of the first few days of eating large wedges of that delicious cake and the nostalgia will bring them right back in where they will delve headlong into that new cake version and lose themselves in the overwhelming emotion of it all :)

    I play the game with a different mentality to most although I disguise it very well. I am sure I come across as the most committed guild leader around and I am exactly that. What’s different is that I’m an excellent actor. I’m not saying all I say and do is an act, no way! What I’m saying is that although I show all the symptoms of a devoted and deeply entrenched WoW addict, actually I am anything but that. I have a clear mind as to what I am trying to do with the guild as you all know which sometimes gets displayed as people who cross swords with my vision and plans might be brushed aside if they don’t fall into line with the way I see the guild.

    I commit just enough to the game in time and consideration to ensure that the guild is really taken care of but it doesn’t detract from my life. What I want to do in life, I do. The fact I live where I live and I work where I work means that I do have spare time outside the job to give to my hobby and with a clear mind to operate with in the guild, I can make seemingly tough guild decisions without worry.

    As the guild leader, you start to understand that the people of the guild are crucial but ONLY if they are operating with the flow of your own vision for the guild. If they are against the way you want the guild to be then there’s an opportunity to relay that conflict of interest, illustrate how you view things and await the guild member’s ability to conform. I am very lucky that everyone in The Dambusters is there because they share the values I’ve instilled in the guild and you all have your part to play in maintaining that trend as time goes by. You all respect my leadership and it shows clearly because although you can often get emotional about the way things are going, you all get on with it when it comes to the crunch and you see that even if you disagree with me at times, it works out.

    I have that ability to be overpowering if I feel the need to make my point but I also have the ability to ask for help when I need a little bit of feedback. It’s important to listen to the community and to be able to communicate my views clearly for everyone to understand if they have enough interest to actually take time and read it.

    Almost 5 years of leading this guild and not a moment of burnout has provided the guild with an unmovable force for dedicated direction. Since I have my trade career behind me and the support of my family to fulfil my hobby within a schedule I can manage, coupled with the ability to play the role of guild leader while not forgetting that it’s just a game and I’m not really the boss of anything (proven daily in game when I display shining examples of the fact I’m a professional NOOB) gives me a great platform to be the committed leader the guild needs to remain strong.

  • Dambusters Guide to Returning Players

    If you have returned from the wilderness of real life after a lengthy lay-off from playing WoW, things will seem very very different. If you’ve never been a member of the Dambusters and you’ve never played during Mists of Pandaria then your return to the game is surely full of apprehension and excitement to learn about all the ‘new’ stuff.

    You could just crack on into levelling up your old 85 (or even 80!) and learn along the way about all the changes to your talents, the stat and rotation differences, the additions to the game like the new Darkmoon Faire, the pet battles, mana pools, the fact that BM is actually the top hunter spec (don’t even make me argue with you lil SV noobs)….

    ….the farm, the zones, world bosses, extra loot chance bonus rolls and how to get them, cross-realm zones, connected realms, the peoples’ legendary, the monk class, real PPM trinkets, linear progression, the changes to professions, the simplified raid buffs, flexible raiding, Raid Finder, scenarios and heroic scenarios, changes to PvP (*cough* I mean ‘the chain CC game’ *cough*), the Timeless Isle and getting ganked by your own faction!, valor of the ancients buff, alt char gearing, button bloat, mana burn being gone!…..and the list goes on and on and on……

    Needless to say, if you don’t have an advisor then you’re gonna be doing a lot of reading on Icy-veins, WoW Insider, MMO Champion and Wowhead. Noxxic is decent but not as good as it was. Ask Mr Robot is good but since hit and expertise will be gone in the next expansion, no point in learning all about that now. There are simpler ways of optimizing your gear and at this stage, you’re unlikely to be doing too much taxing progression raiding. You could form an overly hasty and wrong opinion that too much has changed, you’re all alone and it’s all just too much to take in without all your old friends to guide you through.

    Well my dear, that’s where the famous Dambusters come in. If you’ve never been a member of this guild then your opinion of how guilds operate is very different from how we do things around here.

    In The Dambusters you have a solid support structure and an active, friendly membership who are famous for their welcoming committee and helpful nature while also being a relaxed environment for people who just want to get on with their own game without being forced to sign up to doing stuff every other day. You have the freedom of being able to play the game at any time you desire while having the opportunity to call out for assistance from a lively crowd any time you need. We have an organised structure of officers who all have specific jobs to do and who must focus on being there to aid the guild members rather than acting like they are there to dictate everything to their guildies as if they hold some sort of sheriff’s badge. That doesn’t happen here and if it ever might, it gets stamped out immediately by a multi-functioning communications system which helps keep the guild running smoothly behind the scenes precisely so that the players who just want to play their own game may do so without fuss.

    Guys who might have been in raiding guilds before will no doubt recognise a lot of the raid talk around the guild but unless you are in contention for or are considered part of either of the two progression raid teams then there is absolutely zero onus on you to push towards a raid spot. Unlike a raid guild where likely most members are considered as potential raiders and are often pushed into raiding mentality, this guild has it’s roots firmly in the social/levelling side of the game and will never really change in overall mentality. You may find we have plenty good raiders around but they will never be elitist towards non-raiders and actually I have had to make sure that the very opposite doesn’t happen.

    I take every aspect of guild leadership seriously unlike so many guild leaders around so any unguilded player out there who may be apprehensive about what being in a guild means (from an obligation standpoint) is wrong about what a guild should be. Here, I work my sodding ass off and take it seriously just so that my members get their money’s worth because they are part of a WoW community who does care about our members.

    Who needs to play a game where your supposed friends in the guild only care about themselves or only want to use you?

    Who needs a guild where everything is focused on an aspect of the game that you are not interested in currently?

    What’s the point in having a community that pretends to be together as a group yet always try to outdo each other in order to fulfil some unwarranted personal ego issues which really have no place in a like-minded community?

    When smart people make a new character, they often take time to consider the character’s name because they know the likelihood is that that character might reach end game and you will have to live with that name for a long time to come. It’s the same with a guild, smart WoW players carefully search out the right guild to join in order to ensure immediate and long term fulfilment of their gaming aspirations. The guild works the same way, we often headhunt people who we know will suit the community and any newcomer must apply to join by visiting our website, clicking the link and filling out a quick bunch of simple questions that introduce the guild and the new member. Even Pocahunter had to apply to join before she returned from the desert of splinter guilds, half-assed raid guilds only held together by the stringy elastic 10-man team that runs within and half-committed guild leaders who could quit game on a moment’s notice.

    The Dambusters™ are built on solid rock foundations with transparency and communication at the heart of our community success. We have admirers from around the EU and even in the US, EU players spot us on the forums and pay their own realm transfers to join up with us. That is testament to the way we parade ourselves against the other guilds out there. We are able to strike a balance between different playstyles and activities while maintaining a constant force for good on our server.

    If you have returned from a lengthy absence from WoW and are afraid of getting too deeply involved, make a new toon on our server, click the application link on the home page here and show us your personality fits us. Your next move could make or break your attempts to actually get back into the game so don’t lie to yourself that you just wanna go it alone. That’s only because your past has made it hard for you to start afresh with something new. If you’re back, you need to give the game a chance. Surround yourself with the right friends who want to help you back onto your feet and build you up strong again.

    Welcome home!