Jan 16th 2009 8:49PM My roommate got one of these. Figureprints shipped the figure so that the dome was well protected in the packaging, but the figure was not (the dome comes sealed). It arrived at our doorstep in a battered box and when she opened it up, she found that the figure was - literally - in several pieces. The packaging for these things is hideous. Good luck getting one sent to you in one piece. On top of that, the quality of the pieces we saw inside was hideous. It was made of a porous material and the colors were all washed-out and awful looking, and there was little to no detail.
Maybe worth $50 for the novelty of it, but definitely not worth $130. She got her money back by taking pictures and sending them in, but I would NOT recommend anyone getting one of these.
Jan 5th 2009 5:33PM Like I said, 5 was the /max/ we ever had. More often, we basically had three of us running the raid, but "running the raid" also means more than just the barking orders part. I'm including handling invites so that no one really /does/ sit out twice in a row, taking care of the loot system and managing, in part, individual roles (DPS, Healing, Tanking, etc...).
It actually made things go a lot smoother, from deciding who's sheeping what to handling Paladin buffs. Once done, we never had to coordinate that crap again. Conversely, when we started getting lower on officers, it became a headache again. "Who's sheeping X?", "Why do I have Salvation, I'm a tank!", etc...
At our best, the raid leader didn't have to do that crap, he just had to lead the raid. :)
But, yeah, the greater point is no matter how much you give and how much you do, there are still people who will claim favoritism.
Jan 5th 2009 2:14PM I'll give you the other end of the stick, so to speak. I started a guild to combat exactly what this guild leader did. One of the reasons I loathe guilds is because, nine times out of ten, people start them for very selfish reasons, so that they can get everything they and their close friends want, but everyone else basically, gets second dibs. My idea was to have a much more fair guild.
We had three major policies. The first was that there were certain 'first stringers', people we always counted on. These were mostly guild leadership and the officers. They became leadership because they were 'first stringers', not the other way around. They were the ones who administered and ran our raids, so they had to go. There were a few other first stringers who were just the best of our best, but by and large it was the leadership (which consisted, at it's max, of 5 people). The second was that we would only keep about five extra raiders around at any given time. That meant that a MAX of five people ever had to sit out of a raid. The last policy was that if you sat out this time, you wouldn't have to sit out next time, which meant that people didn't find themselves 'riding the pine' all the time.
It worked great through a majority of TBC, but then people got sloppy, lazy and demanding. When the summer hit and people found they wanted to be outside more and raiding less, we had to cancel raids because there were 7-8 opt-outs. Then, people would argue (for no apparent reason, given the fact that the arguers rarely had to sit out, if at all) that the officers should all have to sit out as well (ignoring the fact that the officers ran and administered the raids - they figured they could do that without us, making us wonder why they needed us in the first place). In the end, I spent so much time making sure everyone else got to raid that I stopped getting to do the things I wanted to do. I didn't have time to farm for an epic flyer (yes, I was in T6 and had the base white gryphon), didn't have time to level and gear any of my alts (everyone else had at least two raid-worthy characters), and sacrificed a great many of my warm, summer Saturday nights for ... nothing. Not to mention the hours and hours I spent (with no help from the guildies) making sure that we had enough recruits to keep raiding.
It's true... give people an inch and they'll take a mile. I'm beginning to think organized guilds and organized raiding with people who are pretty much strangers is a lost cause. Find RL friends and do things with them. They're less likely to call you a bunch of names over a video game considering they have to see you face-to-face afterwards.
Jan 3rd 2009 2:58PM I was actually approached by a Blizzard recruiter about four months ago, so I have actually had to face this question. It wasn't for CS (I'm a Software Engineer), but it was still for Blizzard. At the time, I worked for another large SoCal company that makes MMOs (and not very good ones, if you ask me). I said no.
At this other company, I got in on the ground floor. I worked first as unpaid help, then as a Systems Engineer handling the late-night rolling restarts and patches, then, finally, as a Software Engineer. When I started, I loved the game and anything made by the company. Within a few months, I stopped playing the game because, well, I was just /saturated/ with it all the time. You lose a lot of the magic when you get to Oz, pull back the curtain and find out that the same corporate maladies apply at your favorite gaming company that do everywhere else. Not to mention learning just how fragile MMOs and the platforms they run on can be.
Then, there's the idea of working in the game industry all together. First note... CS and QA get paid HORRIBLY. In order to live in SoCal and work at their jobs, they had to room with one another and eat ramen all the time. Many of my original friends at the company started in CS. What kept them there was their burning desire to move their way into the gaming industry. They all successfully got where they wanted to go many years later, but you have to want to spend your time in the horrible trenches in order to get there.
Secondly, even the technical jobs are underpaid. Perhaps not severely, but unless you're a manger you can bet that doing whatever tech job you do, you'll get paid better somewhere OUTSIDE of the gaming industry. I actually brought up that I thought I was underpaid and was pointed to an article in a game magazine pointing to the median income of people in my position. Basically, I was told that EVERYONE is underpaid.
Thirdly, you have to pretty much give up your life in order to dedicate your life to getting anywhere in the gaming industry. Despite the suit against EA demanding better working conditions, it's considered a badge of honor to spend more time at work than at home when you work on a game (maybe that's why Blizzard has so many nice amenities that are just like home).
I left the gaming industry four months ago, and I'm still tickled pink about it. I'm getting paid more to get back to being a web developer, and I'm working at a company that isn't 'Oz' to me, so when I go home and game, I'm not thinking about the people who made the game or the corporate policies that went into effect to get this to be used over that... I'm just having fun. :)