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Posts with tag Friends-and-Family

Officers' Quarters: Friends and family

family of dwarves
Every Monday, Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership. He is the author of The Guild Leader's Handbook, available now from No Starch Press.

Many raiding guilds have a rank called Friends and Family that indicates someone who is just that, rather than an active raider. Having such members not only broadens the community, it also improves the social aspect of a guild. But as we all know, friends and family can also be a headache sometimes. This week, I'm featuring two emails: one about friend drama, another about family drama.


Recently I transferred servers and joined a new guild to get a fresh start after a 3 month break from the game. My goal upon arriving at my new server was to find the right guild, I spent weeks searching for the perfect guild (it would be only my 3rd guild in 6 years) a place that had a little of everything. After much searching I found that guild. It was a community, a family that does tons of things together, a place that isn't only about the progression but about doing things together. It's an atmosphere I love.

Shortly after joining the guild, two long time friends from my previous guild returned to the game. I have become very close with these two people and enjoy playing with them, so I convinced them to server transfer. These friends had been hardcore raiders since vanilla and GM and officer of our previous guild before taking break. I had some reservations about them joining my new home because I knew their reactions from lack of power (due to a failed guild merger) but they are really nice people and I really wanted to play with them again.

A week or so after they joined the complaining started.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm press beta invites going out

The wave of Cataclysm class changes being announced this week seems to be a harbinger of things to come -- it appears we'll be skipping the normal semi-public Friends & Family Alpha phase completely and moving right on to open beta! Blizzard PR has sent out several pre-invites to members of the media for the Cataclysm beta. These are confirmed not to be phishing emails -- they're definitely the real deal.

In the pre-invite email, Blizzard says that they're gearing up for the Cataclysm beta, and that a account is required to participate. Members of the press with a BNet account who received the email can then sign up for the invite pool.

What we don't know: when it's happening. Press registration for the beta is open until April 15th, but Blizzard specifically states that they have no start date ready to announce. We'll keep you updated with more information, including the beta launch date and any new info that comes out of the beta, as soon as it becomes available.

Right now, if you are not a member of the press and get one of these, it is likely a scam. Practice safe browsing.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: News items, Cataclysm

You are not invited to the Cataclysm alpha

In the wake of yesterday's rumor that the Cataclysm Friends and Family alpha will be starting this Tuesday, January 12, we should expect an increase in scammers trying to get your account details by offering phony alpha invites. We saw a lot of these for both Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King as well, and some of them were very well crafted.

At this phase of Cataclysm's development, though, it will be comparatively easy to keep yourself safe. Since this is a friends and family alpha, if you don't have friends or family that work at Blizzard, you will not get an invite. Therefore, anyone offering you one is trying to pull a scam. Basically, everyone who's going to be getting legitimate access to the alpha should know who they are already. Everyone else, sit tight and stay tuned to for the latest on WoW's next chapter.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it. Nothing will be the same. In's Guide to Cataclysm you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion. From Goblins and Worgens to Mastery and Guild changes, it's all there for your cataclysmic enjoyment.

Filed under: Expansions, Account Security, Cataclysm

Unofficial Cataclysm Alpha/Beta FAQ

From what we've seen, WoW: Cataclysm is pretty far along in development. Blizzard had a lot to say -- and show -- of the game's third expansion at BlizzCon, and every new bit of info we've been able to wrangle since then tells us that the game is chugging towards the fabled Friends & Family Alpha, full steam ahead. We don't have a solid date, and likely won't until it happens, but it's coming.

Now, when the Alpha starts, Blizzard tends to keep a tight lid on information coming out of it -- even the testing period's very existence -- by judicious use of NDAs and cease-and-desist orders. It's possible that we won't even be able to give you information that comes out of the alpha. But all of that goes away when the closed beta starts and everybody can't talk about it enough.

So, what happens if you happen to come upon an alpha or beta invite? Well, there's a few things you should know. The first -- is that you're a lucky duck. The rest -- we've assembled in this handy guide, readable in its entirety after the jump.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, News items, Cataclysm

Forum post of the day: Friends in low places

How much can you determine about someone from their guild tag? Andrys of Arathor believes that she should be able to rely on someone's performance based on the guild they're in. She's disappointed that she invited a low DPS player because of a guild tag. She then checked the armory profile to see that the player was ranked 8 in the guild, presumably a friends and family rank. The post finished with "Boot your friends."

I've been watching this thread for a couple of days, and am surprised it hasn't gotten more attention. Klepsacovic of Zul'jin pointed out that guild ranks are listed on the armory, and the OP should have checked there. Some people are in the habit of checking the armory for any potential groupmates? I am not, then again, I don't check guild tag either when PUGging. To me bad players can come in many flavors, tanks that don't pay attention to mana, low DPS that are not interested in constructive feedback, loot ninjas, unpleasant people, and anyone who refuses to follow directions or kill order.

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Filed under: Guilds, Instances, Raiding, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Forum post of the day: Cliques aren't just for high school anymore

I was under the impression that the purpose of a guild is to have a group of folks that you enjoy playing with and have common goals. It's a good way to share the game with friends and family, in addition to experiencing new adventures and progressing together. Triamala of Blackwater Raiders fears that such actions are seen as cliquish, causing drama amongst the ranks.

In a post in the Guild Relations forum she said that a previous guild of hers feel apart because of cliques and her current guild is facing the same fate. Members of her guild apparently get up in arms if she runs instances together with her husband or other friends. In a later post she admits that she is closer to the officers than other guild members because they've been playing together for quite some time.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Forums, Forum Post of the Day

Blizzard deals Alpha leak site a potential killing blow

The Wrath of the Lich King Information Wiki, the primary source of leaked information from the friends & family Alpha, is currently not hosting any information on its site. Reports say that the WotLK Wiki team has been served a Cease & Desist order by Blizzard's legal team and given stringent restrictions on hosting Alpha information. A brief message on the site explained how the site administrators were contacted by a legal firm. The issue dealt with a few key points, such as the site referring to themselves as the "Official WotLK Alpha Wiki" despite not being endorsed by Blizzard; not having a copyright on any of the information, necessitating the inclusion of a copyright line to the main pages; and an order to remove all of what Blizzard considered "over-the-line" content such as leaked screenshots.

The WotLK Information Wiki formerly had detailed information on the spells and abilities of the new hero class, the Death Knight, as well as new 51-point talents for most classes. It also hosted and updated a copy of the latest build of the Alpha client, and showed previews of numerous models in the expansion such as speculated vanity pets and armor sets. None of this information is currently available, although the site's message states that they are "having a little trouble" and "hopefully will be back shortly". The current refuge of Alpha-hungry players are in an IRC channel called #wotlkwiki in, where the header cryptically (or not-so-cryptically) states that "THE MEN IN SUITS, THEY TOOK THE WIKI ON VACATION TODAY. Might return tonight."

If the Alpha wiki team succeeds in conforming (or going around) the rules laid by the intellectual property firm, it might return to serve up information sometime soon. We'll keep a close eye on these developments; whatever happens, we've learned that it's tough to keep a good secret from getting out.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

WoW Player Stories updated: Military stories

I'm not Val Kilmer, either.

The official World of Warcraft Community site has updated its Player Stories section with two new stories from military personnel. Both are short and easy reads, so I'm not going to spoil them here for you. They're kind of heartwarming, and help put WoW in a little bit different light. The stories definitely show another side of why some players play the game.

It's pretty easy for some folks to forget that there are people on the other side of the computer. Real live human beings, who have friends and family. And, for some players, the whole reason they're sitting down at the computer in the first place is to get access to those friends and family. And, remember, even Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says one of the great things about World of Warcraft is its social experience.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, News items

Blizzard: Sharing Wrath data is "extremely offensive and inappropriate"

As if there was any doubt, Nethaera has posted that Blizzard considers the sharing of any Wrath of the Lich King alpha information "extremely offensive and inappropriate," though it's a good question as to whom that is, other than Blizzard themselves. Here at WoW Insider, our policy is not to rehost or quote any leaked alpha information, though as a service to our readers, we've been linking to other sites where it may be found. But is it within Blizzard's rights to lash out at anyone who does host or discuss leaked alpha information?

As copyright holders, they certainly have ownership of any notes, updates, or models released, so it could be considered a violation of copyright law to rehost the information. But to really get to the center of the problems behind this leak, you have to realize where it likely came from: the Friends and Family Alpha release. A little while ago, Blizzard distributed the client for Wrath to a number of their "friends and family" -- probably a group that consisted of employees and their WoW-playing relatives, as well as likely some folks at Vivendi and Activision, other Blizzard partners like Upper Deck and Figureprints, and probably a number of high-end raiding guilds who've done a lot of pre-beta testing for Blizzard before. Somewhere in there was someone not quite as trustworthy as Blizzard thought (odds are that Blizzard at the very least collected a signed non-disclosure agreement from everyone that they sent the client to), and that person uploaded or otherwise shared the client, against the agreement.

Cut to a few days later, after that person shares it with another person, who shares it with one more person, who then uploads it to a popular bittorrent filesharing site, and suddenly everyone's got access to everything in the Wrath client, and even if they can't play it, they can still datamine and grab information.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Expansions

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