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Officers' Quarters: Defeating the needies

Officers' Quarters Defeating the needies MONDAY
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.

We've all been there. You invite new people to your guild. They seem like they'll be a great addition to the roster. They ask for help and you gladly offer it. They ask for more and you give more. Then they promptly ride off into the sunset. This week, an officer wants to know how to avoid being the victim of these players.

Hi Scott

We're a friendly, mainly social guild with helpful officers and roster. We occassionaly meet some seemingly cool, nice people that I or the officers warm up to immediately, chatting in vent, etc. They might jump right in to be active in guild chat, and otherwise give every indication that they are mature, responsible and ethical. Every now and then I guess I'm too trusting, and extend help to some of these people in the form of time, guild bank items, and even gold, and then I log in and see they've left the guild without so much as a thank you. Mind you, some of these people have accepted some rather expensive help from us. So I've decided that no matter how nice you seem, or how much any of us may like you or know you, you will have to have been in the guild a certain amount of time before getting any bank items or money, etc. say, over a certain value maybe. I'm just not sure what the specifics on this rule should be, or what else we should do to protect ourselves from these kinds of people. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
pj

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Reader UI of the Week: Figuring out what is wrong

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

From time to time on Reader UI of the Week, I like to take readers' user interfaces and give them a bit of a face-lift and help everyone learn from the experience of looking at their UIs with a little bit more clarity and substance. This week's fixer-upper comes to us from Essmanna, a poor, distraught mage, who just cannot figure out what to do to make her UI look the way she wants it to. Maybe we can help put this mage on the path to interface enlightenment.

Things are not hopeless for you, Essmanna. We are here to help. As a DPS class (and a mage, to boot), your UI needs are not going to be as extensive as, say, a healing priest. One of the best things you can do for yourself when first starting out changing your user interface for the better and spending the time learning the ins and outs of the whole ordeal is to start with a relatively simple and less demanding class. That's not an insult, I promise. Mages work well because they are very straightforward.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: Working with non-widescreen monitors

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

Another day, another call for help from a community member in need. What are we to do, ladies and gents? Not help out this poor soul? Stand idly by when one of our own is in need? No. That's not what we do. We are a loving and caring bunch, a proud and patient people, who take in those downtrodden and emerge with happiness and love in our hearts. Or whatever.

Lellee is asking for help. With a non-widescreen monitor and certain UI principles set in stone, we have our work cut out for us. But using solid UI-building tactics and moving out of comfort zones, I think we have the ability to turn this UI into something more akin to the solid and suave-looking examples that this column has showcased before. It just takes time, patience, and a little bit of planning. At this point, it isn't even the addons -- it's all about what you do with them. Read on, champions!

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Reader UI of the Week: A call for help from Understud

Each week, WoW Insider and Mathew McCurley bring you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which spotlights the latest user interface addons. Have a screenshot of your own UI that you'd like to submit? Send your screenshots along with info on what mods you're using to readerui@wowinsider.com, and follow Mathew on Twitter.

One of the more difficult types of user interfaces to address is one in distress, not necessarily because of the lack of skill of the UI's creator but mostly because he or she might not know what questions to ask. When someone asks a pointed question about an addon recommendation or UI fix, there's usually a definitive answer. What can I do to fix my UI?, however, is a different beast of a question altogether. What needs fixing? What do you feel is broken? What if things just work, but you don't know how it could work better because of the lack of knowledge?

Understud's UI could use some work, which is why the short but hopeful email that was sent to me caught my eye. If this column is about anything, it is about helping people gain ideas and knowledge and what the WoW interface is capable of. Understud needs help learning and understanding, while at the same time, he seeks to benefit from the generals -- UI-building tips that span all user interfaces. Let's see if we can help him out, because if there is one thing we do here at Reader UI of the Week, it's care.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, Reader UI of the Week

Patch 3.3.3 addon survival guide

In a perfect world, patch day would be a day when we all get to sit around and do nothing as perfect new content is added to our already expansive world. The reality of the situation is that we live in a harsh, untamed and annoying world filled with Lua errors and user interface masochism. Here are a few quick tips for surviving patch day when it comes to your addons and user interface.
  • Step 0 - See if any of your addons have a "day of" update. Mod and addon creators have been working with PTR code to, hopefully, make sure their addons come ready to roll with Patch 3.3.3.
  • Step 1 - Enable out of date addons. For minor content patches, most of the code should still be perfectly usable. Many addons will have updates available day one, but to hit the ground running, you'll want to load your out of date addons if an update isn't available.
  • Step 2 - Disable any addons giving you Lua errors and make note of those disabled. If addons are still giving you Lua errors that are affecting your gameplay, disable those addons so they do not interact poorly with other code. Check for updates when you can, and remember to re-enable any previously disabled addons.
  • Step 3 - Update DBM/BigWigs/DeusVox. Your raid leaders will thank you. This is especially important for raids that run on Tuesday, so update your raid warning addons early. Don't be that guy. You know who that guy is.
  • Step 4 - /framestack. An incredibly powerful diagnostic tool is the /framestack command. Typing in this command will bring up an interface window that will display information on any addon or user interface module that the mouse pointer is hovering over. Use /framestack to diagnose user interface problems or to figure out what addon is controlling what portion of your UI. You will save yourself a lot of headaches remembering what the name of the addon was that you use to track your buffs, or what addons are hovering over other, possibly hidden, modules.
There you have it. A quick and easy checklist to, hopefully, get you going on patch day without too much hassle. Remember to keep your most important addons up to date, and keep your profiles saved. Happy patch day!

Filed under: Add-Ons

Drama Mamas: Suicide threats

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

Warning: This week's topic is very much on the serious side and has nothing to do with WoW except that it occurs in-game a lot. Because it brings up some sensitive subjects and is very close to home for me (as you will see), I may be very heavy-handed with the moderating. I would appreciate it if you kept all of the comments constructive and non-trollish so I don't have to. Making fun of me, Robin, is ok though. I'm already laughing at me, so you can only laugh with me.

Drama Mamas, I recently went to ToC5 with my RL friend, and in the party there was a mage. A very chatty mage. I humored him and chatted away. Today the guy whispered me and talked about wanting to do some instances etc.. Nothing out of the ordinary, I guess. I think he said something about not having any friends as well. But later the same day, he started talking to me about how he hates his life because he has no friends, and his girlfriend just broke up with him.. He actually started talking about wanting to kill himself.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Blizzard and how they deal with ninjas

Wojtek sent us this thread in which he posted a long series of emails between him and Blizzard about the ninja of an Onyxia Drake. There's a lot of back and forth, but eventually, the bottom line is that Blizzard was not able to help him, whether that's because he didn't have the information right, they couldn't find what they needed in the chat logs, or they just didn't want to. Later on, the thread is locked, and Wojtek is given the usual feedback address for the GM actions.

So what does all this mean? We've heard in the past that Blizzard will occasionally help with ninjas, and we've even heard unofficially that if you get the main looter in a PuG raid to state the looting conditions ahead of time, Blizzard can go back, look that up, and then reward loot based on who really deserves it. But of course, all of that is unofficial, and there are so many variations and issues in situations like these that there can't really be a hard and fast rule -- sometimes Blizzard can help, sometimes they can't.

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Filed under: Items, Blizzard, Raiding

The Explain-o-matic will explain your macros


This is actually a really cool idea for a site -- Fitzcairn's Macro Explain-o-matic is basically a web script that reads WoW macros, and will go, line by line, through them to put exactly what they do in plain English. Sure, odds are that if you have a macro already, you probably have some idea of what it does, but if you've ever wanted to learn how to write macros, or aren't sure exactly what the macro your friend emailed to you is supposed to do for your character, you can just throw it in a text field, and then Fitzcairn's script will break it apart for you.

The site will even let you save (with a permalink) and email any macros you punch in -- though I couldn't find a way to browse them, maybe Fitzcarin is working on that. There are lots of resources online to find macros, but not so many to explain them well, so the Explain-o-matic is definitely worth a bookmark for the next time you need a little help.

[via Twisted Nether]

Filed under: Patches, How-tos, Add-Ons

Officers' Quarters: Unsocial


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

What does your guild mean to you? Is it a community of like-minded players enjoying the company of their peers, helping one another to meet goals, and overcoming challenges together? Or is it simply a means to an end, a treadmill of raid attendance and loot rewards, where you slog through the necessary steps but never feel any real companionship with your fellow raiders? Some guilds start off as the former -- a fun, social organization -- and then end up as the latter -- a tier-set assembly line. This week, one officer wants to know how this can happen and what he can do about it.

Hello Scott,

I'm facing a dilemma that I'd like to share for a possible "Officers' Quarters".

I am an officer in a medium-sized European raiding guild. We have always been proud on our mature and social playerbase. It is one of our spearheads to provide fun raids in a relaxed atmosphere. But lately, the social aspect has been degrading. Ever since the launch of Wrath and people rushing to level 80 something has changed. Where TBC provided a challenge and a common goal to work towards (mainly progressing through the different raid instances) Wrath has left us with a lack of common binder.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

WoW.com FAQ is up and running


First of all, I need to thank each and every one of you for participating in our Beta launch, and providing your comments, bug reports and suggestions. Keep them coming!

We have had many questions today, which has helped us refine our Help Guides, and prompted us to write up a FAQ. Because this is a Beta test, you can expect that we will add to it as the site develops.

We would also like to request that before you send in your questions and bug reports, you check out the aforementioned official FAQ to see if we've already written up answers.

And don't forget to hop onto Twitter, because we're using our page as a platform for giveaways, news, and launch-related information!

Filed under: WoW Insider Business, News items, Features

WoW Rookie: Help!

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the resources they need to get acclimated. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic.

Do you ask for help from other players in game? If you do, do the other players actually help out – or do they slam you for being a "stupid n00b"? Friendly reader Gisbon wrote in recently to say that while he enjoys helping new players, they don't always pick the best ways or times to ask.

Granted, today's in-game culture is a little different than it was back in the day. In the earliest days of the game, before game information was readily available on the web, players had to ask other players for help in game. If you were confused by a class mechanic, you'd find a higher-level player and send a few whispers. If you were lucky, you'd find someone with time to answer (most seemed to be willing) and at least point you in the right direction. Today, questions to random strangers can net you insults for being clueless – but you could strike gold, too, with some great insights and the beginnings of a new friendship or mentor relationship.

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Filed under: Tips, How-tos, Features, WoW Rookie

Gem Finder helps you find just the right gems

I can't remember if we've posted about the WoW Gem Finder or not, but the last gem list I posted about has gone missing, so if you've never heard of this one, it's new to you. WoW Gem Finder is a quick web tool that you can to quickly find exactly the gem you're looking for -- just choose the colors, attributes, and/or abilities you want from the checklist on the side, and it'll narrow down exactly the gem you want and where to get it. And all the gems link to Wowhead anyway, so even if the little description isn't enough for you, you can go searching for it elsewhere as well.

Pretty great resource for anyone (like me) just starting to pick up epic gear on their latest character and looking into where the gems are coming from. One thing players might still need help with is when to put which gems on which gear (most people wouldn't throw epic gems in gear you get at 61, I'd think, and I personally usually don't bother with anything but vendor gems until I get an actual epic), but that may be all outside the ken of this finder. As a tool to help you find exactly the gem you want, it's a good one.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Jewelcrafting, Buffs, Enchants

Forum post of the day: Random acts of kindness

Of course there's a lot of bad blood between Horde and Alliance, but every once in a while we work together. About half of the times I've done the Ring of Blood quest line in Nagrand I've seen Horde and Alliance fighting side-by-side. There are some other quests that seem to promote this behavior like "Even Gronn have Standards" and "The Skettis Offensive." Some things just bring out our cooperative souls.

Sometimes we just find ourselves compelled to do nice things. Sukalin of EU-Anarchronos told a tale of a complete stranger coming to his rescue:
Just a few minutes ago, I was running down through Stranglethorn Vale on my 20 Warlock, so I could get to Booty Bay and eventually The Barrens to do my Succubus quest. I kept getting attacked by beasts and dying, though.

About a quarter of the way down I was attacked by a tiger and was reduced to about 5% health when a Troll Shaman called Ayisah shocked the tiger and saved me! I was grateful, of course, and expressed my gratitude in the form of emotes - but in addition to that she helped me travel down the rest of the zone by following close behind me on my way to Booty Bay.

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Filed under: Horde, Alliance, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Factions, Forum Post of the Day

Breakfast Topic: Addons requests and recommendations

Lileah on Livejournal was looking for some help with an addon the other day, and her request gave me an idea. For this morning's Breakfast Topic, we're going all out with the addon requests. If you've got a need for an addon (like custom timers, an addon for keeping track of food, or any other weird needs you might have), ask in the comments below, and if you're an addon expert, show off your expertise by letting the requester know if there's an addon that will fill their needs.

And if there's isn't an addon that can do what they're asking, maybe this comments section will be the impetus for someone out there to create one of their own. Think we can find a need out there for an addon that doesn't yet exist? Of course, there are some things that addons can't do (choose targets or spells for you is a big one), but otherwise, consider this thread your clearinghouse for addon service requests.

If you can't get an answer here, feel free to tip us, too -- we at WoW Insider always love finding out and writing about new addons. Whether you need help finding an addon that does what you want or you know of a great addon that could use some coverage, let us know and we'll be thrilled to take a look at it.

Filed under: Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Breakfast Topics

Solving recent connection issues

How many WoW users feel about not being able to connect to the game.Many of us, both in and outside of the United States, have been having serious connection issues with the game recently. Not only can we not connect to the game, but we can't even get on the main World of Warcraft website. This can be particularly infuriating because we can't go and find help. When I got dropped in the middle of Kael'Thas (the real fight, not the weeksauce one in Magisters' Terrace), I wanted to take my computer out to a field and yell obscenities at it about PC load letter.

WoW Insider feels your pain! After all, imagine having to write about WoW only to find out you can't get into WoW.

I wanted to answer a lot of the comments about what people can do. First and foremost, we're not Blizzard. So we can't really say for sure what's going on. We can make educated guesses through. Continue reading after the break for what you can do and where you can go to solve this problem.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, How-tos, Realm Status, News items, Hardware

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