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Posts with tag RL

Breakfast Topic: A chat channel with a bank

This article has been brought to you by Seed, Aol's guest writer program that brings your words to Watch for the next call for submissions and a chance to submit your own article. The next new byline you see here may be yours!

When Wrath of the Lich King was first released, my guild was red-hot for Naxx. We recruited. We started a website and started swapping ideas, posting videos, strategies and of course developed some great friendships. Although we didn't steamroll over content like a lot of our other guild peers on the server (a lot of us seasoned players had been there/done that with the hardcore raiding guild scene and were over it), we still went along at a decent pace and were satisfied with our overall progress.

Things were going well. Ulduar was around the corner, and everyone was ready to do a great big cannonball into new content. New strats, pics, videos and posts were going up on the guild forums. People were reading up, doing their homework and ready to roll right into Ulduar. We were getting through the first couple of bosses with no problems, but then we ran into a boss in that my guild failed to read any strats or watch any videos on: the RL Boss.

Our guild could not get past the RL Boss. People were getting married, getting divorced, buying a house, losing a house. You name it, it was happening. As luck would have it, it wasn't our second-tier raiders either; it was the performers that were taking a four-quarter breather from the game.

After a while, the guild leadership just gave up. Any senior raiders who were left started pugging, and there were a few months with absolutely nothing on the guild calendar. There have been a few half-hearted attempts, but those were over before they began. Rumor has it that the GM has put the kibosh on recruitment, effectively making the remnants of our guild a chat channel with a bank.

Has your guild wiped on the RL Boss enough times to discourage any guild activities, even to the point that the guild actually disbanded? What happened?

Filed under: Guilds, Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Breakfast Topic: WoW analogies

I don't know if it's because I blog about WoW, or just because I play a fair amount of it, but analogies between WoW and other parts of life constantly leap into my mind. This happens often enough in everyday conversation that it doesn't even annoy my girlfriend anymore; she's just used to it.

Most recently, I was at a large family event, maybe 30 people. I was noticing how hard it was to get the entire group to do anything - waiting for people to get ready, deciding what to do, etc. I immediately thought of 25-man raiding, with its horrendous logistics. By comparison, a group of 10 people, in raids or real life, is much more manageable.

What sorts of WoW analogies have occurred to you recently? Or am alone in this particular affliction?

Filed under: Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: A change of pace

While I enjoy playing World of Warcraft, there are times when it feels like too much work and I need to take some sort of forced vacation. I got that last week when I needed to take my wife to the hospital and we were both properly pried away from the game. We were unable to play for a few days, she bedridden and I keeping watch in a sad, Internet-less room. It was actually refreshing. I watched some TV and my wife finally started on Brisngr.

As soon as she was up and about again (thankfully), of course, she was right back on top of her game, commandeering the Auction House, performing her usual daily quests, and raiding left and right. In some ways, getting back into Azeroth was theraputic for her (the Inheritance Cycle has been put back on hold). On the other hand, just a few days out of the game and I found it hard to get back into my groove. I've only played one Battleground since we got back from the hospital, one game of Wintergrasp, and not a single Arena match.

Actually, I'd found myself spending more of my online time tending to a virtual pet and lately, a virtual restaurant. I guess being so frazzled over the love of my life made me want to relax a little bit, and I don't want to get into the adrenaline-raising tedium of smashing heads just yet. Maybe later.

How about you guys? How do you find getting back into the game after a short (or long) break? Do you get right back into the action (like my wife) or do you dilly-dally (like me)? When our lives force us to take a short break or change of pace, how do you get your groove back?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Manners

One of my guildmates ninja'd the Large Satchel of Spoils from the Obsidian Sanctum the other day. Technically, it was his run, he organized it, and he was Master Looter. Because it was his run, you could argue, he could do anything with the loot. But that's just ninja talk. The truth of the matter is, my guildmate had no manners. I mean, even fish have manners.

This is an MMO, the central letter there standing for multi-player. This means we play with other people, real people. Real people we need to treat with a basic sense of courtesy. That's one of the tricky things about that little fiasco -- we know our guildie in real life. He's a real person, an affable big fella my wife has described as a teddy bear. The problem is that in the game, 'bear' isn't the four-letter word to describe him. The satchel was just his largest haul, but he's been known to nick the occasional Abyss Crystal from a heroic run.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW as a bargaining chip

My wife is a shrewd little fox. She knows just how much I love the fact that she plays the game with me so sometimes, when we have our little domestic arguments, she makes sure to cancel her WoW account just to drive home a point. Of course, it doesn't mean much since we're both paid up for the next few months, but the message is clear -- "we make up (or you see things my way) or I'm quitting the game!" Of course, we don't reconcile merely because I'll be losing my favorite playing partner, but I have to confess that it doesn't make me happy one bit.

For parents, World of Warcraft can be a useful bargaining chip for their kids with the parental controls feature. It's easy enough to control WoW time if kids aren't doing their homework, floundering in school, or simply not doing their chores. Conversely, a friend of mine gave his son a WoW subscription when he did well in school. World of Warcraft can be so much fun and addicting that it's often used as a social tool, and it's often upsetting when our friends quit playing the game. How many of us have had friends whose significant others have "allowed" them to play the game after, say, a wonderful date?

I'm not sure if it only applies to me, but because I play the game with many of my RL friends and my family, I use the lure of WoW to full effect. I once had my brother do a specific task for the promise of an upgrade to The Burning Crusade. A little before he finished what I asked him to do, I secretly upgraded his account so he could finally make his Blood Elf Priest. Kind of manipulative, I know, but we did end up having a lot of fun leveling our alts together. How about you? How much a part of your life is WoW and has it ever been used as a bargaining chip in your social life?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Humor

Officers' Quarters: LF Raid Leader PST

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes
Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

A few weeks ago, my first and most important suggestion for casual raiding guilds was to find a committed raid leader. These days, however, good raid leaders are even rarer than good tanks. The author of this week's e-mail asks, What do you do if your guild doesn't have anyone willing to be the RL?

Dear Scott,

[. . .] My guild, Winding Path, came to be during the MMORPG, Asheron's Call, and has been in existence since February of 2000 (3 months after the retail release of AC). We're a family and friends based guild of roughly 85 casual, playing members whose core belief is friends>lewtz. We've gradually worked our way through Kara and are *finally* <whew> making some progress through ZA (slowly, but surely). We have some amazingly talented players, intelligent people, kids as young as 10 who make the adults look like n00bsauce sometimes, and more belly laughs than you can shake a stick at. We may never see Sunwell Plateau until a 4th or 5th expansion ;) , but the points you make in regards to the fun being of the utmost importance was something that I have hammered home in the eight years my guild has entrusted me with the leadership of our family. I thank you for sharing that with the rest of the WoW community, as I fear it is heard far too little.

My greatest issue, however, is one that even after all this time, not even I have been able to resolve. A few months ago, we were forced to terminate the Raid Leader for our guild for several reasons. The biggest issue, though, is that on multiple occasions, he failed to show up for raids without notice, which we forgave and ignored. Unfortunately, the last time this happened, we learned he had actually been playing his Horde character on another server, running Kara with his other guild. Quite a slap in the face, and well--to me, a definite expression of his disinterest in his position as our RL.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Breakfast Topic: WoW outside of WoW

If you're reading this site, I'm guessing that you spend at least some time during the week playing the game World of Warcraft, amirite? But I'm specifically not asking about the time you spend in-game -- but the time out of it. How many times do you spend away from your computer talking to friends about how you leveled last night or the awesome new piece of loot that dropped for you in Karazhan?

For my part, since my best friend recently decided to give in to the addiction (read: fun!) that is World of Warcraft, we rarely have a conversation that doesn't include references to the game. To the puzzlement of our non-playing friends, we'll have detailed conversations full of game references and in-jokes. So I ask you, dear readers, has the World of Warcraft crept into not only your virtual, but also your real life? Have you turned your homework into a series of reputation-grinding quests and do ordinary pieces of punctuation hold new and interesting meaning to you?

[Image courtesy of Tom, who sent it in to Around Azeroth describing this New Jersey quest-giver.]

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

WoW Rewards Visa

I had to check my calendar to make sure this wasn't still April 1st: Blizzard is announcing that you can now get a WoW credit card! It's a Visa that gives you 1% of all your purchases as free game time, as well as a free month with your first purchase. The 1% rewards rate means spending $1,500 with the card nets you a free month of play. There are some other credit cards that give you 1% cash back (or more) on all purchases, though, so this card's strongest point seems to be its attractive designs. Then again, that may not be such a good feature if you don't want to out yourself as a WoW player every time you open your wallet. With no annual fee, I might well pick one of these up myself, if only to use once for the free month. What about you guys?

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Economy

Player ganks woman's character, gets beat up by husband

A Mexican WoW player named Bronco Carson got beat up in real life by the husband of the player he had been repeatedly ganking, as well as a few of the husband's friends. Apparently, he'd been killing the heck out of this woman's character, which is reasonable enough, although somewhat annoying. The woman started threatening Carson at some point, but hey, it's the internet, right? They don't know where he lives.

Wrong! Carson seems to have decided that a good idea would be to give the woman his address and and ask "if her husband was man enough to just come meet me to settle this." Um...bad move, sir. The husband and friends came and beat him up, netting Carson two broken fingers, a fractured wrist, and a destroyed computer and entertainment center. The moral of the story: if you're going to make life hard for someone in-game, don't give them your address and taunt their husband to come fight you. You are not prepared.

Note that this story may well be fake, seeing as how there's no terribly credible source for it -- all the references to it I've been able to find trace back to this story on Fun Tech Talk. Grain of salt and all that.

Just so we're clear, beating people up isn't cool, especially when it's three against one.


Filed under: Virtual selves, News items, PvP

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