• Simple Change, Big Effect

    *Forewarning, this gets heavy!*

    I have been looking into the guild’s ranking structure for a couple of months now but I had been at a stalemate since the ranks I originally felt needed alteration seemed more important than I had given them credit for.

    As with any big decisions while managing a community of this size, if you are not sure of the change you intend on making then it’s best to give it more time and consideration rather than being hasty with a change that ended up being wrongly implemented or badly planned. I usually prefer to wait and mull it over before being rash, certainly on overall guild management. Seemingly ‘rash’ decisions I do make from time to time to chastise a player for example are rarely unconsidered and are almost always intended to prove a point, I digress…

    A chance chat with our favourite Illia brought to a head a real and tangible reason I could use to instigate a change in the rank system that I probably was going to take longer to decide upon. My initial issues surrounded the fact we have only 10 ranks, I don’t like ‘Air Raider’ rank and that I’m not sure ‘On Jankers’ applies these days in our guild.

    Having taken time to think about these 2 ranks in particular, the more I thought about them the more I realised the guild needs the actual ranks. Jankers is important because it’s basically a timeout spot where an officer can send a player (or usually more than 1 player) who is disrupting the guild chat with unruly behaviour. It’s most often used as a threat and it usually works. I actually think there is an element of shame the rank brings and people who have been plopped there all too often are so incensed by the terrible injustice of it all, that they actually quit the guild in protest. I think there must be a rank there for that purpose so I’m happy I have managed to retain it.

    Air Raider was fine except that the rank name totally sucks so what I have decided to do is basically move all the previous ranks up 1 to meet Air Raider and then filtered them back down, starting with Air Raider being renamed Chief Tech. That filtering alteration affects Sergeant predominantly and the promotion prospects of players in the rank of Corporal to Sergeant.

    Generally speaking, the average Dambuster who joins the guild and plays the game sparingly, while proving their trustworthiness to the guild, will rank up quickly to Corporal and then to Sergeant after some time. Thereafter the only further adjustments possible are to become Chief Tech by appointment from the raid leadership, or by sealing promotion to an officer position.

    Previously, I liked the steady progression of Corporal to Sergeant and then Chief Tech being the pinnacle of a standard, reliable Dambuster. It was actually a more convoluted process of promotions before I introduced Air Raider to the guild and nowadays, with guild bank repairs in danger of at least being reduced due to the removal of the guild’s ability to generate gold from our members’ solo activities in-game, I think it’s now the right time to further compact that standard rank progression.

    Gone are the days of a steady, linear Dambusters career path up our ranks with time and good deeds. Our ranks have more purpose these days and in many ways that’s for the best.

    The single biggest change I have just made however, will be the biggest change we have seen in this guild since the introduction of a raid team, or the 2-tier officer system. It’s a huge change from only a small physical alteration and it’s the demand that Illia made on me that forced it. He made the point that he is always having to log one of his pair of officer ranked characters to do something as simple as to invite a well-known Dambuster’s alt to the guild. I confirmed how frustrating that situation is with Gen who fully agreed with Illia’s concerns. To be fair, this gripe has been a mainstay for Dambusters’ officers for a very long time.

    I logged offline and sat down with a piece of paper and wrote down the ranks:-

    Guild Leader
    Warrant Officer
    Flight Sergeant
    Air Raider
    Chief Tech
    Sergeant
    Corporal
    Dambuster Alt
    On Jankers
    Airman

    After a bit of shuffling, I pulled out Air Raider and moved Chief Tech up into the old Air Raider spot. I then moved Sergeant up to take the old Chief Tech’s allowance and permissions.

    I then added Officer Alt and dragged it up after realising Illia (as Officer Alt) couldn’t demote anyone above himself on the list. At the time of creation, Officer Alt was above Dambuster Alt and below Corporal.

    I moved it up to just behind a Flight Sergeant and gave it basically the same permissions. This means that officers have their main character (only 1 now) in the primary rank of Warrant Officer or Flight Sergeant while every alt assumes Officer Alt rank:-

    Guild Leader
    Warrant Officer
    Flight Sergeant
    Officer Alt
    Chief Tech (Raider)
    Sergeant
    Corporal
    Dambuster Alt
    On Jankers
    Airman

    This is a very simple shift but it makes for a profound change in how smoothly the guild will be able to operate. For a start, officer alts are able to invite players to join the guild. This means that a recruitment officer may now process an application from whichever character they happen to be playing at that moment. It also means that any officer may invite an alt character who is already in the guild. Massive quality of life change right there. They cannot promote but an officer who invites an alt must immediately update the character’s public note to inform the guild who’s alt they are. From there a Warrant Officer or myself will then be able to see who it is and promote them to Dambuster Alt.

    *Told ya this gets heavy didn’t I*

    The other additional quality of life change means that Shethehunter and her newly reinstated guild bank management partner Poca, will be able to manage the guild bank from any character. In addition, any officer on any character can help! They will also always be able to read and participate in officer chat which has been anything but the case until now.

    One more benefit of this system is that guild members will immediately be able to see which officers are online by simply opening the in-game guild pane and checking ranks. All too often we see the question ‘any officers online?’ …and tbh that may very likely still happen lol, but I can guarantee it will be massively reduced and almost all but the dimmest of Dambusters will immediately be able to direct their need for guidance onto an officer of their choice who they can clearly see is online.

    Only now having implemented these changes am I able to see the profound quality if life breakthrough it will have in my officer team. It’s never been on my mind because I have always been able to do all these little tasks since I insist on my alts being Warrant Officer so I may be able to promote/demote and carry out as many tasks as possible while I altoholic my way through the game. I’ve been blinkered and have forgotten that the officers don’t have those priveleges. Until now!

    /Salute


  • Weekly Activity Pre-Expansion Boost

    For the 4 week period of the pre-expansion patch, to help encourage Dambusters to play their intended Warlords of Draenor main character I will be introducing an incentive:-

    1) Level 90 only weekly guild activity prize boost to 3000g for 1st prize, 2000g to each of 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th per week.

    2) each week I will tally weekly activity from the TOP 10 and at the 4th week point, in addition to the weekly prize, I will distribute prizes to that top 10 characters!

    I want as many people gunning for these prizes so 50,000g additional from the guild bank will be awarded to the top 10 for those 4 weeks. Everyone has a chance to get in there so even if you are not in the top 5 for one week, you can still win big if you put the effort in before the expansion launches.

    50,000g big prize to overall top 10 to be provided by the guild bank.

    10,000g per week will be provided by Bigticket and a generous guild benefactor in addition to the usual 1000g from the guild bank meaning 11,000g per week.

    Top 10 for the 4-week period bonus prize distribution as follows:-

    1st – 7500
    2nd – 7000
    3rd – 6500
    4th – 6000
    5th – 5000
    6th – 4500
    7th – 4000
    8th – 3500
    9th – 3000
    10th – 3000

    This may increase as time passes if we are able to add to the current 50,000g pot.

    This venture is not intended for every single guild member and I do realise that some members would prefer a different approach but to make it as simple as possible, as open to all as can be and as trackable as I can make it at short notice, this is an additional bonus and should be a good tool for our guild leadership to see who is playing what class and help us to prepare the upcoming raiding roster.

    There are people around the guild who look to the GM for direction and this is a statement from me about what I hope to see in the lead up to Warlords of Draenor. This activity reward is only short term but it is intended as an incentive for people who are considering what they would like to play, to make their decision and get started with playing and practicing their chosen lead character.

    I am well aware of the opportunity to ‘fudge’ activity points but quite honestly, if someone is online and active on their character then they are likely to be visible to the raid leaders and they are also likely to be getting in good practice on their changed class, and changed game systems.

    /Salute Dambusters and good luck!


  • Rapturous Welcomes and a New Lease of Life

    With Warlords of Draenor coming, we can be sure that the guild activity will take a hefty spike with so many people returning to the game in the coming weeks. I predict a lot of people will already be starting to return since the pre-expansion patch is imminent.

    With the certain explosion of Warcraft activity almost upon us, it is imperative that we are prepared as a guild. We need to be paying a little more special attention to the guild chat because we will be recruiting quite a few new members to the guild as the re-opening of the dark portal motors on ahead of launch day. With Blizzcon and then expansion day coming soon after the patch, we will be certain to see more players back in the game so when we invite a new or returning member, I want to see rapturous welcomes as we are famous for. That big welcome with some light hearted chat really breaks the ice for a new guild member and makes them feel right at home. It’s something I am proud we have as a guild, that warm atmosphere.

    I am clearly deep in thought to prepare the guild for some adjustments I need to make to ensure we stay at the top of our particular curve.  As a guild, we are one of the best for our size at being a community and coupling that social side with end game play. It’s hard to achieve and we do a good job but there is no way I will be resting in the hope things will just stay good, we still have plenty faults and we will get better.

    We all need to keep doing the things that make it worthwhile being here because there are plenty other guilds out there competing for good people to join them.

    It’s easy to discuss what is current and what’s been happening but it’s more demanding and involving to discuss what we want to happen. As with any organisation, the Dambusters must be ready to roll with the times and ensure we are a respected community on our own server. We already know that people in very high places in the Warcraft community at least know of us. In the coming months, it is my aim to continue raising awareness of our guild by making more contact with influential people. In the meantime I am rallying our officer team into action in the coming weeks to make sure we hit the ground running come launch day.  Each of us has our job to do and I am counting on our leadership to take things to a new level by working as hard as ever on their own individual jobs.  Everyone needs to play their own part and if I have covered all operations then we will rock the land of Draenor with our infectious character as a guild.

    /Salute


  • What class will you play?

    Now is the time to start really thinking hard about what you will be levelling first in Warlords of Draenor.

    Do you fancy a change? Do you like the look of what they are doing with the class you currently play most? Are you a stalwart of one specific class? Are you tired of only knowing the game from the perspective of one or two roles?

    These are questions you might be asking yourself in the upcoming weeks. A new expansion is prime time for a change of heart and a broadening of your horizons. You could be a seasoned pro on a specific class and fancy becoming as well versed in another. Is it possible that you’ve become too comfortable in your current class and although you might be good at it, you might not actually have reached your true potential by resigning yourself to only play that one class pretty well. You never know, after a few weeks with something you’ve never really tried, you could become markedly better than before.

    There are all manner of parameters for making decisions about what to focus on come the new expansion. Number one reason should be about what makes you happy. I am coming from a stand point where actually any of the 11 classes over 34 different specs would suit me just fine. My enjoyment comes from being able to play multiple classes to an average standard. I’m better in some than others but the more I play any given spec, I can usually become pretty decent. I’ve always tried to be a team player, often sacrificing gear opportunities on my current ‘main’ to log a different character and invariably watch as the item I wanted dropped for the character I logged out of. That’s just the way it is, and my enjoyment for being able to switch makes up for that.‪

    In Warlords of Draenor I will be playing a druid as my main unless something changes lol. The lure is that I will still be able to bring all 4 roles but that I can push to maximise my gearing on that one class and all 4 druid specs can benefit from that. I’m not saying I won’t play my alts, I mean come on! but it will be nice to push a single class to a high level if I can. It might be that the druid and I just don’t fit when it comes down to it but that’s a bridge I will cross if it comes to that.

    We have already been posing this question of the guild members, especially the current raiders, but now’s the time for everyone to be thinking about what role they would like to play come 6.0. Do you see yourself switching to melee DPS which is less handicapped in Draenor? How about the laid back ranged DPS if you’ve always been a boss-crotch kinda guy? Healing has changed a lot and I can tell you from my beta experience that it’s really fun! It’s more about prioritising your heals to triage target players than spamming over heals in preparation for an incoming spike. It means that resto druids now have a solid spot whereas before those disc priests and paladins absorbed the planet. Resto shaman was good at the start and the end of MoP and it’s looking strong again in 6.0 so they’re a good bet. Monks…nobody knows, still in the Blizzard food blender getting totally revamped I hope!

    I’m not sure how different tanks are for 6.0 but if you’ve never tanked then what are you waiting for? Scared to lead the line in battle? Meh. It’s actually really easy once you get the basics down. Hold aggro on multiple mobs by tabbing through them and taunt anything not already targeting you, mitigate incoming damage or if you don’t know the fight then just roll your defensive cooldowns when your health starts dropping. Interrupt whatever you can and you’re done! Easy. In raids, watch your debuffs and check your tanking partner’s debuffs, private chat between the 2 of you and build up a rapport. It’s gonna be you guys against the rest of your own team so best stick together lol.

    Whatever you choose to do in the new expansion, I recommend you pick exactly what YOU want to play no matter what you think a team might need. If you’re joining a team then you’re best off playing something you enjoy, especially at the start of the expansion and if your team needs something else then you can always level another later. I would also advise thinking about bringing 1 more alt in a different role up soon after your selected main if you intend to raid with the Dambusters.

    Our raiding through MoP started slowly and has steadily improved, we will maintain our curve and will likely be mythic raiding before too long if we can retain the current nucleus and add a few more little gems to the squad. The more flexible you are, the more likely you will be able to fill a requirement.

    What class will you be focusing on in a few short weeks from now?

    /Salute


  • The Modern Warrant Officer

    With Idioms’ recent promotion to Warrant Officer, it brings an opportunity to re-visit this rank and go over a few points that might prove helpful to the guild members.

    A Warrant Officer is basically an assistant Guild Leader and although I will always generally steer the guild in the direction I feel necessary, the Warrant Officers will oversee a lot of what is going on around the guild and discuss certain matters with each other and myself. The Warrant Officer is a servant of the guild’s members and although they possess prestige in the position, the overall output they provide to the guild proves that they are dedicated conduits for the day-to-day operations of the community.

    Spyrot and Idioms are both hard workers who enjoy being part of the guild. They know their game well and are sensitive to the general feeling of our Dambusters who play in the same areas of the game. There are other officers who I could have placed in the rank of Warrant Officer but from the outset I knew Idioms was a possible Warrant Officer and after a lengthy period of reflection and brief discussions with Spyrot, I have decided to use his community skills and give him the chance to affect more around the guild.

    His relatively brief Flight Sergeant role has been nothing short of outstanding, during which he has demonstrated his ability to observe things around the guild, make good judgment calls and mediate in situations which could otherwise have resulted in drama. Like Spyrot, Idioms has his moments where tensions can get to him but with the power of Warrant Officer, I expect both these guys to be aware they have a large influence on the guild and do not need to push that influence any more than is needed.

    Sometimes, it’s best to procrastinate rather than make a knee-jerk decision and with these guys, experience will let them see clearly when to act and when to chill. You only need to look at Bigticket to see an example of someone who can make snap decisions but also to understand that there are times to let it go and make fun of yourself, laugh with everyone.

    Rule number 1 in any organisation: you can’t please everyone. So hold true to your principles and try to be as fair with everyone as possible at all times. If someone is being an idiot, there’s nothing wrong with telling them that but as a Warrant Officer, or a Flight Sergeant, you must choose your decisions wisely. Make decisions quickly on instinct if required but learn when you’ve made an error and try to rectify it with minimum drama.

    These are all basics of people management and we take that aspect of the game seriously in the guild. One thing I read recently from a multi-millionaire’s autobiography was that as a manager, if someone in your company wrongs you (i.e. does something negligent) then by all means they should be held responsible, but don’t punish the rest of the workforce by enacting rules and regulations which hold everyone to account for the failings of 1 individual.

    At the airport when everyone lines up to take off their shoes, did you know that the actual reason for that is that some idiot decided to reach down and try to light his shoes on fire? Now almost everyone going through airport security must take off their shoes and it’s all because of 1 idiot.

    Understandably the repercussions of that ever happening again are terrible for a company who suffers a loss of that scale so they must minimise any risk. But in our guild, it’s not life or death so of course we have some rules to abide by otherwise it would just be anarchy. But in general, our guild members do enjoy a freedom and relaxed atmosphere and it shows clearly with people signing up on the calendar for scheduled events and simply failing to attend on a regular basis. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like that and I don’t approve of it but it’s symptomatic of the casual culture here so we must just manage it better.

    This kind of thing is perfect for our 2 Warrant Officers to get to grips with. These are smart guys with good experience of our community and good ideas to help us move forward. The guild needs it’s GM and I will not be abdicating any of my own influence but I am a keen delegator so I like to encourage people to use our guild’s vision and let them make their own decisions. If I see a pattern which is counterproductive then I will look to correct it.

    I’m hoping not to micro-manage but to allow the guild’s officers just enough autonomy that I can enjoy finding ways to improve the guild as a whole and that’s what I really enjoy doing most.

    Look to Idioms and Spyrot as much as you can and never forget that my door is always open if you feel the need to talk to me direct.

    /Salute


  • Re-affirming That Rule

    Imagine a scenario where Method’s main tank Treckie tells the GM Sco that during progression time, he’s gonna just pug on an alt with Paragon (he has mates there).

    Imagine Sco’s reaction to that for a moment…

    I know The Dambusters are not Method, I know we are an entirely different type of guild but I also know that if we ever have aspirations of being in a higher bracket of end-game play, we should act like the best and give ourselves half a chance of reaching a higher level. There is nothing wrong in setting boundaries which ensure utmost commitment from your raiders in a guild. The Dambusters may have other facets of the game we pursue but our progression raid teams have been held back by a lack of consistent attendance at our raid times.

    Some players have well capable alts, look at my alts? I suggest if you have capable alts that are unused then by all means pug runs to keep them current, just don’t go ahead of your own raid team for the multiple reasons I will explain here:-

    1) Certain members of the team are only able to (or are only interested to) raid with our team and expect that their shared single-mindedness towards driving our specific guild forward should be the only thing pushing them and their team mates. If half the team have pugged a full clear then the glue that sticks a team together comes undone as people start to resent each other. The puggers resent the team because they feel the team are underachieving and the non-puggers resent the team because they feel the puggers are not as hungry for that progression kill as they could be. Friction like this in the team is evident at times and it can break the team up.

    2) Imagine the scenario, it’s getting late and close the the final pull of the night and the team have the current progression boss at a 5% wipe. The raid leader calls last pull and after near perfection an unlucky tank gets hit by a big crit and dies, leaving the team so close yet so far with a 2% wipe! What happens when the raid leader decides that indeed was the last pull of the night since he and one other raider have work in the morning. Understandable, but these guys have stayed late in the past to get the boss down, now both of them have pugged a kill on that particular boss and no longer have any need for gear from the kill. Instead of doing what the other 8 raiders would prefer and try 1 last shot, the raid is called and that brings an end to the week’s raiding. People will feel dejected and dismayed. The 2 guys will be happy because they get the full night’s sleep but they’ve left the rest of the team considering the future.

    3) People can draw the conclusion that having killed the boss already, maybe they got the gear upgrade (whoopty-doo) and maybe they feel all confident (whoopty-doo) but is that additional experience on that boss which the team have already pulled to 2% really going to make the difference? Maybe…
    Is it going to be worth it when the other 9 members of your team (who you’ve sweated guts and raid bottles with) have their nerd-scream moment and you’re only /golfclapping? Wouldn’t you rather have killed the boss and had that special moment with your team instead of with some silent farmers who boosted you on your alt?

    4) If we open the whole thing up to being a free-for-all where anyone in the guild can do whatever they want with regards raiding, our team effort becomes devalued. If 1 player has a solid alt but is asked to play on his main by Spyrot, and nobody has any issue with him pugging a heroic Garrosh kill on his alt, don’t we risk muddying the waters and opening the floodgates allowing anyone else doing that very same thing? Soon we could have a team who can’t be bothered..

    “Hey Spyrot, my alt is 570 (because YOU boosted me) and isn’t saved. My ‘mate’ has offered me a spot in his raid team every Tuesday night, I will stay in the guild but will just be online a bit less often as my love for my alt grows and I stop giving a heck about your pissy lil raid team, ok?”

    That sounds to me like someone would rather we raided more, or that they fancy stretching themselves elsewhere and leads me to wonder if they may be better off just joining their ‘mate’ and giving their 100% commitment to the other guild. It’s that very 100% commitment The Dambusters expects and if your eyes are off looking elsewhere with envy, you’re posing a problem to our team. These may seem like harsh words and you might feel you can easily vastly improve your Dambuster raiding character so that you don’t stand in the shit on progression boss attempts, while also getting boosted by the other guild then it very well may seem tough on you. But remember who has eyes on the bigger picture in this guild and why he feels the need to spell it out. More time needs to be spend during the week learning your class so you are an asset to the team come raid night.

    It’s late in the expansion but I want guts and hunger from our raiders. When you’re not actually raiding with the team, you should be reading that next progression boss fight so you know your job inside out. You need to be studying your class so that you can play it on automatic and pump out your best on every pull. If you are helping the team to wipe, then the team really can’t spare you off raiding with other teams when you should be studying the inner workings of your class and re-affirming the commitment required of an actual heroic raider and not someone who’s only been getting kills because of the other guys in the team.

    We may not be Method, we may be doing the content they did 10 months ago, we may be geared to the teeth but remember last tier we didn’t kill a single heroic boss, this tier we have already lost as much as an entire heroic raid team with the skill and gear to boot, yet we are vastly superior in our progress, albeit the time is long.

    We have the potential to push on as long as we do stick together. There are going to be plenty of open spots for guys who want to work for it and we WILL be raiding Mythics with the rest of the big boys soon after WoD release. To achieve success, we need to all be singing from the same page and it’s my job to make sure we do that. It’s only a controversial rule because we have an open line of communication and we all care very much about the way we play the game. The current policy of asking our raiders to commit to only our team is a strategy for the long term which is commonplace among the raiding elite. You may feel personally hamstrung by it but you can guarantee that our guild are absolutely reinforced by it’s existence.

    People make mistakes, people are not robots and there are plenty of guild leaders who will simply kick people for raiding with other teams while the current team struggles on a particular boss fight due to player mistakes. We won’t kick anyone from the guild for that because your membership of this guild does not depend on your raiding performance. However, your position in the actual team will come under serious scrutiny if we are not killing the bosses and you are off pugging the kill elsewhere.

    If you do not plan to raid with the guild’s progression team(s) then by all means do as you like but if you go ahead of the guild’s progression then don’t expect that to count in your favour come the time you want to join the team.

    If we reach a point where we don’t need to focus up and work hard at it to kill heroic bosses each week then maybe we can relax this rule, but while most of the team only have one goal in mind which is The Dambusters killing heroic Garrosh, I can’t see why any of our raiders have time to be spending with other characters in progression pugs.

    I will see you all in game..

    /Salute


  • Guild Ranking Structure

    Right now, we utilise all 10 available guild ranks currently possible within the guild. Each rank we have demonstrates a difference in the main characters of the guild and also allows us to tie in with guild bank withdrawals. It’s a system that has worked well since it’s initial inception a long time ago but has been tweaked to suit us as we have adapted to the way our members play the game.

    For example, we never used to have a ‘raiders’ tab but of course we found it difficult to partition certain raiding valuables from the rest of the guild who could use those items while only pugging their own raids. We decided to provide just 1 tab out of 8 to be used for raiding consumables but that meant we would have to assign a rank that could access them. Furthermore, the ‘air raider’ rank who’s name is still less than inspiring in my opinion, was afforded a slightly higher guild bank repair allowance to ensure that our raiders were not too much out of pocket for their sterling efforts which do provide a big boost to our guild’s overall reputation.

    The rank of ‘On Jankers’ is also unique in that it’s a special use rank and is rarely used. In fact, On Jankers harkens back to a time when the officer team was slightly differently organised. Previously, Flight Sergeant was a junior officer role and Warrant Officer was a senior officer. Nowadays Flight Sergeant is a full officer and Warrant Officer is more of a depute Guild Master.

    The differences are that nowadays, unlike previously, a Flight Sergeant may instantly remove an unruly guild member as long as the character in question is of lower rank and of course not without reason. The previous situation allowed for a Flight Sergeant to only be able to demote (to On Jankers) but if the member was ranked ‘Airman’ which is actually physically (not theoretically) lower than ‘On Jankers’ then the presiding officer could do nothing except report the incident to me or the Warrant Officer.

    On the other hand, a Warrant Officer now assumes a more over-watching position while also maintaining their default officer role. In Spyrot’s case, he has right to be involved in all things raiding while also maintaining his leadership of the guild’s primary raid team if we are not split into Ironwall/Stonewrought.

    Spyrot will have close contact with myself and our fellow officers at all times and has a superior standing to anyone else in the guild outwith the big-headed ginger-bearded dwarf.

    Where all this ties in, is that the time may have come to do away with the rank of ‘On Jankers’ and create a new rank ‘Enigma’ just for Kvestian! I’m kidding Kvestian, as if I would do that ya dafty..

    But seriously, removing On Jankers as a ‘punishment’ rank would free up another useful rank to use. I’m thinking possibly a tiered raiding rank where the current ‘Air Raider’ could be split although that could have other implications like having to make another raid tab, or the simple fact that it’s devoting yet more guild resources towards raiding.

    We could have another rank which could be used to alleviate the ‘Dambuster Alt’ issue. Part of the appeal of this guild is that the casuals (how dare you be casual?!?) are welcome to have alts here and sit them almost dormant if they want, while enjoying a very minimal amount of repairs/day and guild bank access. The guild rank to bank structure is actually really well intertwined and works very well while we have excellent maintenance from our officers who keep people’s ranks organised and also keep the bank serviced.

    The other ranks of Corporal, Sergeant and Chief Tech represent the general population of the guild gradually fulfilling their dedication to the guild and being rewarded with higher prestige and incremental guild bank and daily repair access.

    This discussion begs a big question to all Dambusters. Keep in mind that I may ignore all suggestions and decide for myself, I could pull the officers indoors and thrash out a solution but for now, I will open the floor to you all:

    What would you do with an extra rank? Let your minds open wide and see if you can come up with some wild ideas in the comments section below. Name and purpose of rank…

    /Salute


  • A Daydream of Horde Side

    Ever since I can remember as far back as Lich King days I’ve always fancied to try horde side. I mean, I have some horde characters although only 1 level 90 and a bunch of lil lowbies dotted around but I have never spent more than a fleeting moment playing horde.

    Occasionally I will get a real ID whisper from someone with a message along the lines of ‘whooo what you doing over there? Spying?’ or something like that. It’s because I have so much vested interest in The Dambusters which makes me feel like a fish out of water in any other place. Truth is, if you were all to leave the guild, I would be totally lost in this game.

    Like anybody else, I dream of joining a big heroic raiding guild where I can excel in just 1 class and get some cutting edge raiding but in reality that whole idea comes a distant 2nd in my priorities which almost completely involve all things Dambusters. When people come to me to tell me that they’re leaving ‘to go help a mate out with his guild’ I’m like wtf man, am I not a mate? Don’t we need your help just as much? I can never leave and I have no intention of ever expecting my guildies to be as rigid as I am but sometimes people should maybe consider what they are actually asking. They’re looking for my blessing to vacate our guild for the benefit of someone else’s half-arsed guild that ‘needs help’. Instead, maybe they should manage their guild better so that it’s not flailing to the extent that people feel the need to come to the rescue, or maybe they should give up and join a proper guild who are more professionally maintained, like The Dambusters :)

    Basically, everything The Dambusters is all about is that way because I have pushed us to being that way. If I felt the guild should become a raiding guild then I would push it that way. I would love to be the GM of a top-100 raiding guild but that would come at a cost of other positives we have as a group. I want personal progress but I am unwilling to accept rude attitudes and elitism which so often comes from filling a team with the best raiders possible. I find it hard to bite my tongue when I hear certain elitist tones and if they start rearing their heads in our guild, you can be sure of a warpath moment from me.

    The Dambusters roots are in being a pleasant place to play and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s a very difficult balance to maintain while trying to contain strong, skillful teams within. It’s not an easy task but ideally we would have a top class group of players who prop up a larger community of people while we all get along together. That 8/14 heroic raid squad should be a source of pride for our guild and the social community we have on whatsapp, overall activity throughout weeks and months should be a source of pride for everyone associated with the guild.

    There’s a reason why people who leave us often return. They seek a dream but find out that actually they desire the things only The Dambusters provide. A strong leadership team who may not be perfect, but they work hard and care a lot. A social community who get involved in chats together in game and on our multiple whatsapp groups. In-game events and parties where people are warmly welcomed and get made to feel special. A growing strength in depth of skill-based team play where people are encouraged (forced) to improve if that’s the game you want to learn.

    These are the reasons I can never walk away, and I will never go off only own to horde side. It’s a pipe dream and we all have them. At the end of the day, it’s important to recognise when the grass isn’t necessarily greener elsewhere. I’m sure a change would be fun for a time but inevitably, I would miss the goings-on here. Maybe one day we will all faction change the guild but that’s another discussion for another time way in the future :)

    /Salute


  • Being Flexible and Dependable

    Well it’s bloody easy for me to sit on my perch and talk about other people being flexible and dependable. Largely, the raid nights were heavily influenced by my own schedule to ensure I at least can always make them. Coupled with that, I live in Saudi Arabia and enjoy a career where I have already done all the required learning, experience etc so that I can happily coast along getting paid a decent wedge and have no real financial worries.

    It’s all very well having time when I’m not working to level a ridiculous number of characters and force them into the raid team on nights where I can just about get away with it. It’s easy for me to do this in comparison to most of you who have busy schedules of school and work which requires you to be really flexible. You have family and friends who don’t understand nor care that you play an online game, let alone approve of it.

    I had a friend visit the house recently and he has never played world of warcraft, has no idea that I have dedicated a specific time to raid with a group of people and he just turned up unannounced to check on how baby Kelso is doing. That’s so sweet and I enjoyed having him over, but he unwittingly curtailed a Normal mode clear I was in the middle of with a lower geared character. Almost everyone who plays WoW has this experience which makes it difficult to be able to commit to being a dependable team player.

    When I talk about a team player, I mean someone who thinks of their raid team when they cannot make it to raid night. Very occasionally, I am forced to work an extra shift which really causes me to pull out of our raid team. If there’s nothing I can do about it but be frustrated then it is what it is. I expect my position to be filled by someone else and I don’t expect to walk straight back into that team the next time they zone-in together. I will however, work my ass off and ensure my raid leader is well aware that I am ready and available the next time someone else has to pull out of the team. Where I benefit, is that the work I’ve put in to multiple characters who I have geared to provide me with a wide array of viable roles from DPS ranged, melee to healing and of course I have 2 well geared tanks and possibly a 3rd which can at least do normal modes comfortably. These are the fruits of my determination to be dependable and flexible. If real life gets in my way one time, my spot gets filled then I am equally willing and able to bring another role if the team needs it.

    Come Warlords of Draenor, there will be serious competition for raid spots and the most reliable, flexible players will have an advantage. I advise anyone with intentions to eventually raid Mythics, to try playing at least 2 different classes and at least 2 specs of each. Try to cover at least 2 different roles from Melee/Ranged/Healing/Tanking and don’t complain to the raid leader if he can’t accommodate you on the one role/class you want to play. You have to get real, what if there are 3 players all playing Restoration Shaman? Who do you think will get the shout to raid? Will it be you? Will it be the other guy? NO, it will be Jolts!

    So think about what classes you want to play in the coming months prior to expansion release and pay attention to what people are saying about what they fancy doing. Take notice and be realistic. If Spyrot happens to say ‘Guys, sorry but Yke is my first choice elemental shaman’ then be smart. Either you must prove that you are better than Yke, or focus on a class which is weak in the team. Of course there is always the possibility the guild could recruit an awesome player in the role you were trying to gear up for. That’s the nature of team sport and I am delighted that we will have good strong competition for Spyrot to select from. I suggest we take the current time to really look into what we want to be playing and try to be as flexible as possible. All the classes are changing for WoD so do your research but remember the fine-tuning of class balance comes at the end of the testing so don’t be too put off by a class that currently appears to be behind and equally don’t be too enticed by a class which seems strong in the current beta build because I can guarantee you will be setting yourself up for a disappointment.

    Go with the classes you believe you will enjoy playing the most and take it from there.

    When I talk about being flexible and dependable as a raid team player, I have left out the importance of being a dependable guild member. As is well known, in this guild we don’t ask for much other than exemplary behaviour, a sense of humour and that you log in at least occasionally. Our rule is if a character is offline over 2 months then it’s an insta-kick, I believe 2 months is really fair especially given most actively managed guilds allow 1 month and are often more strict regarding alts than we are at The Dambusters.

    As you can see, the difference in demand from general guild membership to actual raid team inclusion is vast. If you have your eyes on the raiding prize, the standards are much higher but the difficulty demands that pressure to be there.

    To help teach some of our potential future superstars, I will be pushing for our officers to lead teams which should provide valuable gear and experience for budding professionals over the coming months. I want to unearth some little gems from within.

    /Salute


  • A GM’s Eye View

    It’s not easy for me to imagine how things feel from the perspective of a standard guild member who can just play the game as they feel like, no real pressure to do anything except just enjoy their play.

    Almost immediately after starting to learn this game, I created the guild and have been a keen guild leader ever since. I’ve learned this game as the Dambusters big daddy so it’s all I know. When I create other characters on horde side, or other servers and join other guilds, I can’t help but have this sense of loss. It’s an emptiness that makes me feel uneasy and uncomfortable. I don’t want to take over the other guild or anything like that but it’s just not the same. I imagine if I stuck it out a bit longer, give it some effort then I could grow to feel part of another guild but everything in my mind tells me to get home so I can rarely spend any time playing the game elsewhere.

    What this means is that if I actually want to make personal progress in the game then I must make it part of the guild’s policy and ensure I follow it through. I want to raid, I want to play PvP and I like to have friends who share my goals in game. Everybody is different and that variety is a major bonus because it allows the guild leadership team to think together from the perspectives of multiple individuals who collectively bring together those ideas and forge ahead in ways that one individual would struggle to achieve, simply because there are so many facets involved in managing such a community. It’s too much for one person, although it’s good to have one guy who can mediate and have the final say on certain aspects.

    Countless times I have written blogs in the past with the aim of achieving an adjustment to a particular group of people’s outlook. I’ve lost count of how many people have come to me straight after a blog and asked me “was that blog about me?” and sometimes the actions of an individual do inspire me to write a blog focusing on a certain subject, that’s true ofcourse. I would be pretty naive if I didn’t use my experiences with people as lessons for what I would like to happen in the future. Sometimes it’s a positive aspect that deserves a special mention as a possible example to others. Sometimes it’s an example of an incident or occurrence I would rather not see much more of. Every blog subject is an attempt for me to either educate on or bring attention to a particular subject.

    I like to think that I’m in touch with what’s going on around our guild at all times. If I am aware of something that’s happened then I try to use it as a lesson to our members. As I mention, it could be a good thing that deserves encouragement or a bad thing that needs to be stamped out. You can bet your bottom dollar I will act when action is needed and it’s this very learning and constantly adjusting we have done throughout our 5 years in existence that makes our community an advanced social guild where people enjoy their experience of the game.

    We have our raid leaders, we have our events and we have our guild bank, monthly meetings (which we didn’t have this month for the first time in well over a year) and everyone is going about their business as usual making The Dambusters one of the most active guilds on the server, and probably one of the most vibrant guild communities in the entire EU. We have officers performing raid leading, recruitment, guild bank, planning events and our officers are if a very high standard. You won’t find them abusing their given power in this guild, they are approachable (maybe apart from Spyrot the hothead) and they care about what they are trying to achieve. In the end, people still very frequently come to me for information on all of the above. I get questions about raid team inclusion, schedules, the Dambuster Draw, ‘what can I withdraw from the bank?’ The weekly activity prize, PvP, people who want to have more events planned, people who want to know more about Idioms’ Hearthstone tournament (I know right??) and countless other queries and opinions about stuff that goes on around the guild. I even recently got advised how better someone else would have handled a recent officer demotion!

    People expect me to know my business and although very often my answer can be ‘best speak to Spyrot about your raid spot mate’ or ‘jolts would be your best guy to talk to about this month’s draw’ I am usually well placed to offer a good insight to the probable outcome or answer.

    I said at the start that I find it difficult to put myself in the shoes of a non-GM but that doesn’t mean I have no idea what goes on at the grassroots level of The Dambusters. I have eyes and ears in every corner and have been likened to a CCTV van in the past such is the extent to which my feelers reach. I believe I’m an asset to have as a friend in the guild and although maybe I talk too much or appear to give too much away, it’s very calculated and deliberate and the communication overload our guild experiences is a total boon for us and is something which has enabled me to proudly market our name around WoW Insider and Convert to Raid more recently. There are big raiding guilds who know our name and who respect us as a community. We have had members who got glowing recommendations about us from world first raiding guilds because we have built our guild from strong foundations which make us stand out to people as a community who can withstand a bit of drama and come out the other side I damaged and stronger every time.

    I’m not sure how many of you will grasp where I am coming from on this but to summarise, this is a really good place to be and we will only get bigger and better in the coming expansion. We may see disagreements and differences of opinion from time to time but there are big picture reasons for why certain things are done the way we do them. I am always open to hear opinions as long as I am allowed to reply with my own opinions.

    The guild can always learn and adapt to certain things but for the most part, I think you can be glad you are here. I’m gonna recruit some more friends for you and we will have a bawl in Warlords of Draenor!

    /Salute