Guild Boards: Please, take one…

 I’m in a decent size guild, close-knit for the most part. I’m a bit of an outsider, since I’m not able to be on as often as the rest, but when I am there, I am willing to help out.

I didn’t look for this guild specifically though, in fact I happened to run with them in an Ulduar run, and had a lot of fun. They were impressed, or at least greatly satisfied with my abilities, and offered an invite after the raid. I was fortunate to run into these good folks, and happen to see a couple familiar faces.

Who's Recruiting?

Who's Recruiting?

However, if you aren’t so lucky, and are looking for a good guild, what options do you have? Well, there are a few options currently available. Also to note, I am not a guild or guild recruitment specialist by any means, these are just observations on my part.

  1. First up, you can hit the Recruitment Forums (AllianceHorde)on the official WoW sight, and look for your realm. Here guilds will post openings and links to their sites. As well as provides ways to contact them.
     
    Pros
    – Guilds can link directly to their guild website, and the folks looking for a guild can see all realms and factions.
    Cons – Guilds must constantly monitor and update these via the forums.
     
  2. Next you can spam Trade Chat with “LF Guild, such and such and such and such”.
     
    Pros – Quick and easy, a simple copy and paste can keep the message going for hours.
    Cons – Not everyone is going to listen. Some folks actually block Trade Chat, because of some of the junk it gets filled with; plus it can get kind of annoying to hear somebody yelling that they’re looking for a guild ever few seconds/minutes.
     
  3. Lastly, you can do the research yourself online, checking guild websites, googling guilds and seeing what’s out there.
     
    Pros – There is tons of information out there, lots of guilds with open policies, and others with open spots.
    Cons – There is tons of misinformation out there, lots of people trying to steal your info, or send you spam, and with WoW being so large now, I’m sure it’s become a very juicy target. As for guilds, they again must monitor this for changes, and maintain a forum/site to make it visible to the outside world.

My concept would remove some of the need and misinformation with these forms of communication. Rather than posting and scanning the recruitment channel or recruitment forums, players could instead view “Job Openings” for the server’s guilds. This could be worked from both sides.

1. Guilds and their Recruitment Officers can “post job openings” onto the recruitment board that would be viewable by other players. Think of it as an Auction House type interface, but instead of listing items and whether you can buy them, it’ll be openings and whether you can apply to them.

I’ve listed some of the options for the applications below some being required others optional:

  • Description of Application
  • Class
  • Race
  • Role
  • Experience (comment section)
  • Reason for Applying (comment section)
  • Other Information (comment section)

2. Unguilded players could then browse the board to find an opening that fits their needs, and apply, in turn sending their application to the guild they chose, and of course you could put in multiple applications.

I do see some issues arising from this in the form of inappropriate material being posted; however Blizzard could control this by providing options for the applications, basically building the applications for the recruiters who could then post them. This would prevent spammers and asshats from posting whatever they wanted as much as they wanted. It could also provide a little bit of information on the guild itself, possibly a new screen providing guild achievements/levels with the new systems coming in Cataclysm.

On the subject of spammers, there would still be the option to report the application, allowing Blizzard to catch them and remove them before any damage can really be done. Currently there is a little bit of leeway in what is seen by other players, an example being the Raid Browser. You are able to put whatever note in there that you want, and anybody using the Raid Browser can see it, so a “comments” section of the application could be used in this way.

Anyway, once unguilded players “apply” to a guild, the application is sent directly to whomever the guild deems as the recruitment officer, in an in-game message, whether it be one person or several. This way they don’t have to leave the game to see new applicants. This letter then could be passed to other folks, but only within the guild. Upon reaching a decision, the original application could then be pulled up again, and approved or denied, in turn sending an invite to the person applying. As the positions are filled, the job postings could be removed, or even archived, allowing for new ones to take their place.

This would work great for those just trying to find a guild to hang out in, or one to raid in.

Now, that was the case for those who are unguilded; however, the system could be used by those who feel like moving from one guild to another. These individuals could browse just as unguilded players would, but if they were accepted, the system would have to notify them that they are forfeiting their current position in their guild before being automatically added to the new one.

As I said, I am not much of an expert on guild mechanics, guild politics, nor guild recruitment. However, I feel that a system like this could be very helpful for those new to the game, and wanting to get in with some folks with similar tastes.

What do you think about an In-Game Guild Board? Would it be beneficial, or to much of a hassle?

Our House, in the middle of our street

Our house it has a crowd /
There’s always something happening /
And it’s usually quite loud /
Our mum, she’s so house-proud /
Nothing ever slows her down /
And a mess is not allowed 

Ah the 80s…. ok, enough nostalgia.

Guild Housing

Guild Housing

 

Anyway, this post is actually about in game housing. It was inspired by a post this week by Honor’s Code on Player Housing. Yet, I’d like to take it a step further into the realm of Guild Housing. 

He does point out several issues, including space and persistance. Each of them providing a very good point, as you can’t just throw a bunch of houses, especially larger houses for guilds, anywhere on the map, and expect it to not cause issues with the terrain. As for the issue of persistance, and the illusion of a bustling town, I believe that I may be able to have a possible solution for this. 

First we’ll hit the issue of space. I do believe that with the announcement that Azeroth is now “flyable”, there would need to be an instanced area used for the guild housing. The look of a town full of houses would work, with an instance in the center. Possibly providing a few storefronts to further immerse the player into feeling like they were entering a town. However, upon entering the instance they would be brought, first, to their guild’s home/headquarters. This would provide a starting point for them to gather their bearings. It could even be treated almost as apartments, but decent size apartments, allowing them to stack slightly to provide more room. I’ve included a few shots of Gilneas below to show this idea (slight spoiler). It shows how much space is really wasted and could be utilized in an instanced area. 

This gives a bit of perspective on the amount of empty space that can be utilized. With this in mind now, imagine a few streets worth of these buildings, each having a few Guild houses to each section of the building. 

Another solution somewhat going along with this, would be to have a town where the buildings themselves are instanced, each door, we’ll say, is instanced. This would create the illusion of a town or “apartment” complex, where upon entering the door, you would be sent to your Guild’s house. This would provide an unlimited (well dependant on server limitations) number of “houses” for each Guild on a particular server. 

This would prevent the issue of a character, or even an entire guild transferring servers. As there is no definitive “area” that their house would exist, but instead it would be a set of variables that would build it upon entering the instance. 

Just think of walking into your Guild house and seeing your tabard up on the wall, maybe even with some trophy kills hung here and there.

Unending Nemesis Guild House

Unending Nemesis Guild House

 

Sure the image I chose is a bit elaborate, but it gives you an idea. Anyway, what could be included in each Guild House would be a Guild vendor, for the new items that are going to be available through the Guild leveling system. Also included would be a Guild Bank/Vault, simply reusing the guild banks already existing would work, or creating a new model for it even. Lastly, it may be good to include a general/trade item vendor, and even a “bartender” for each House. 

Then, to provide the “bustling town” feel, the center of town could be zoned to have trade chat integrated, and several shops could be introduced in the middle providing a gathering place. Possibly even an auction house and bank. It would be a new Sanctuary type area but more integrated with each guild. In addition I would include the basic Forge/Anvil, Inscription book, tailoring specific runes, etc. along with a Flight Master. Of course to top it off, you would have to have a Guild master and tabard vendor, simply because this would be a “Guild Town”.  I would also say that it would be best for it to be a no fly zone, therefore preventing the epeen birdfest that was once Shattrath. This would cover the issue of persistence, as it would likely be a great location for nearly everybody to visit, with the essentials all being in a central location. As for the size of the place itself, it would need to be fairly large, if not to allow Blizzard to “zone” each section (no load screens, though) allowing for lower lag issues. 

A final suggestion, would be a section of town for those who are not in guilds, still allowing them to use the essentials, but also providing a place for them to look for new guilds. This is actually something I have been thinking about for a while, but that will be another post (sorry). 

Anyway, those are my thoughts on Guild Housing. With Cataclysm focusing a bit more on the Guild structure and social factors, it may be something that Blizzard could look into. Just some crazy ideas that came up while I read Honorshammer’s post. 

Would you be interested in Guild Housing? Would you take advantage of it?

Ahune… gesundheit!

He’s big, he’s cold, he falls over when you sneeze. He is Frost Lord Ahune.

Achooone

Achooone

I know that I’m going to sound elitist here, but please, bear with me. I have loved the addition of Holiday Bosses ever since my old guild of local friends used to group up to do the Headless Horseman. I really enjoy the new ability to group up through the LFD tool to get groups for these bosses; and the removal of the dependancy of multiple runs to get a chance at the good stuff. At one time it was difficult to get a group together for these bosses, simply because somebody was already “saved” and couldn’t summon the boss again.

With the new changes, everybody gets one chance at the “special” drops, including the daily Frost Emblems, but can go back as many times as they want for the other standard drops. This does lessen your chance of getting a “special” drop, but also allows Blizz to manage those drop rates closer. It also prevents groups from dropping someone, simply because they can’t summon the boss, which I feel is a good change and removes some of the asshats from the equasion.

There is one thing though. They’re easy. I remember when the Headless Horseman first came out, he was a little tough, multiple phases, stun mechanics, target swapping, stuff folks weren’t used to at the time unless they raided. However, as things have gotten more accessible to the casual player, these things have become “nearly” second nature (not totally, cause there are still those who refuse, or just don’t know how to pay attention and get tunnel-vision). But as time and gear went on, we now overgear these bosses so much that they are hardly a challenge any more.

Alright, melee stay with me.... oh wait, he's already dead?

Alright, melee stay with me.... oh wait, he's already dead?

Now, I understand the fact that the gear that is being dropped doesn’t necessarily match the skills that would be required to make the boss harder, and that the holiday achievement whores (no offense) have to get their fill to complete the meta-achievement. However, this does not mean that the boss can’t be tweaked in some way dependant on the gear of the group.

Just think of Oculus/Ulduar/Any Vehicle Fight. The vehicles are scaled to your gear level, meaning if you are wearing an iLevel 277 piece of gear, then you’re seige engine will be able to take a nuclear bomb to the face. Could the bosses not be scaled the same way?

Here’s my suggestion; scale the boss encounter based on the average of the top pieces of gear of the folks in the group.

Example:
Tank’s top piece: 245
Healer’s top piece: 219
DPS 1’s top piece: 264
DPS 2’s top piece: 232
DPS3’s top piece: 232

245+219+264+232+232 = 1192/5 = 238.4 Average iLevel

This could be weighed towards the lowest average iLevel as well, to scale slightly towards the lower geared folks, especially with the current algorythms being used by the LFD tool. It usually groups 1 or 2 lower geared folks with the higher geared folks, which I think is great, cause it helps get them what they need, at level, without getting frusterated from constant failed attempts.

Now, with the average iLevel set, you could then scale the boss’s HP and damage output based upon that level. I do see how the argument could be made that the fact that the Healer has such a low top iLevel that it may make the encounter too hard, but you also have to think that the tank and dps will likely make up for some of that with the tank’s defensive capabilities, and the DPSs ability to burn the boss quicker. In addition, it will again require some folks to actually think when they enter the encounter. This allows for those folks who grossly outgear an instance/boss to have a little bit of challenge, and in turn continue playing the game more. For Blizzard this would be a win-win situation, as more players on means more players eventually will get invited, which mean more subscriptions.

In fact, I wonder if this would be a safe move for any heroic, simply to keep some challenge in the game. I do believe that it would NOT be beneficial for Raids, as they are often tuned to such a point that it wouldn’t be beneficial, especially with hardmodes out there still challenging groups a good 6 months out.

Personally, it would keep things interesting to me. Not to say that I don’t enjoy flying through a Gundrak run for the daily in a mere 10 minutes (yup, did that last Sunday), but it would make the game feel as if it is growing a bit with you.

Eventually it may be able to get to the point that  you would have a plethora of instances to run (each with their own level of gear) all still challenging, strong at the higher level instances and heroics, while tapering only slightly down as the instances get older, providing less difficulty for lower level instances, but not making them facerolls.

I dunno, what do you all think?

Would you enjoy slightly harder Heroics that scaled with your gear? Would you continue to do more heroics or less because of it?

What if? – Arthas: Part 2

Well, we left off with the change in Sylvanas’s life, in the case that Arthas had made different decisions. So today, we will continue with some other lore figures whose lives would have changed if Arthas had made some different choices.

Prince Arthas Menethil

Prince Arthas Menethil

So far, we’ve gone through:

  • Prince Arthas Menethil himself.
  • King Terenas Menethil II
  • Thane Muradin Bronzebeard
  • Uther the Lightbringer
  • Kael’thas
  • Jainia Proudmoore
  • Sylvanas

In this article, we’ll focus on:

  • Illidan
  • Anveena & Kalecgos
  • Dar’khan
  • Jorad Mace & Tyrigosa
  • Ner’zhul
  • and back to Arthas

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What if? – Arthas: Part 1

Good morning everyone…

I have thought about doing a series like this for a while. I’ve always been one to be really into the Lore of World of Warcraft, and as such wanted to think about situations that could have changed.

I’m going to start out this series with a good ‘ol paladin turned Master of the Scourge, appropriate for a Paladin blog :)

Today’s “What if?” topic: Arthas Menethil, Prince of Lordaeron.

Today’s topic started with some incredible fan art from one of my very favorite artists, pulyx. (I hope to get written permission, but until then, here is a link to his DeviantArt page, all credit goes to him and his incredible talent. In fact, all the art featured in this article are by Pulyx! Incredible work).

King Arthas Menethil (by pulyx)

King Arthas Menethil (by pulyx)

What the art above shows, is Arthas Menethil if he had not persued Frostmourne, and instead continued to learn under Uther, and eventual rose to power after the natural passing of his father.

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