So much to post, so little time.

I have a lot to do in WoW in the next couple of days and I have a huge amount of stuff to write. No joke, I have five drafts to finish up, spanning subjects like Zul’Gurub and its removal from the game to Sindragosa and how I hate that fight and I hate how much I know about it to beta stuff.

I did very little on beta this weekend, but live has had me pretty busy.

Continue reading “So much to post, so little time.”

Applying to a 25-man Progression Raiding Guild

Edit: Just because I talk about 25-man progression guilds in this post doesn’t mean that at least some of what I’m talking about isn’t applicable to other guild environments. It’s just that 25-man progression guilds was what I felt I was qualified to talk about. If you follow this advice, regardless of the type of guild to which you want to apply, they will probably be very happy to see the effort you’ve put into your character.

Okay. It’s a little late in the expansion to talk about this, but I probably should have discussed it before.

Applying to a 25-man Progression Raiding Guild: Do You Have What it Takes?

First of all, I want to say that you should not be afraid to throw in an application to a guild you think would be a good fit for you just because of this post. This post is here to help you apply to a guild where you will not be a drag on your raid group if you get in. Also, it may help prevent your being laughed at, by virtue of helping you figure out how progressed you should be when applying to another guild.

Harsh? Yes. But honestly, sometimes, applicants who are that clueless do prompt much laughter.

While I’m not an officer in my current guild, we all get to see and comment on applications and I’ve been on the officer side enough to know what I personally look for in various applicants. Since I’ve gone through the application process a few times this expansion, I think I’m in a pretty good spot to give advice with regards to applying to a guild. So here’s a checklist to help you see if the guild you’re applying to is really within your reach and if you’re really ready to apply.

1) Are you at the same (or similar) level of progression? What this means is, if a guild is at 9/12 ICC 25 hard modes, are you at that level or ahead of them or no less than, say, 6-7/12 ICC 25 hard modes? In other words, are you no more than a couple of bosses behind and can you still be useful on what they’re working on?

If yes, continue to 2.

If no, please continue reading.

These are things you should consider, based on the above example:

– How far behind them are you exactly? You don’t want to be so far back that they are going to literally drag you through all the encounters they’ve already got on farm only to have you screw up on the encounters they have left.

– Have you done any hard modes, barring heroic Gunship? If not, you probably want to set your sights lower than our fictional guild in the example.

– Are you aware of the differences in mechanics from normal to heroic? (ie: Malleable Goo on heroic Festergut, Vengeful Shades on Lady Deathwhisper.)

What you can do to help your lack of progression not be a liability:

Study! Memorize the strats and videos at Do not say “yeah, I know the fights even if I’ve never done them”. Say something like this, instead, “While I’ve not yet done the heroic modes of some particular fights, I am well-acquainted with the strategies and videos at and know what each fight requires of me in my role. If the guild’s strategy requires something different of me, I will happily do what I am assigned to do.” Of course, if you have no idea what the strats are, do not say that you do. It is very easy for raiders to see which app lied about knowing the fights and it will likely end up in your application getting denied. Progression raiding guilds basically do not care that you forked over real money to transfer or faction change. If you applied under false pretenses, there will be no sympathy.

At this point in the expansion, many guilds are recruiting people who are not up to their level of progression because a lot of their members are burning out or bored or not enjoying the game right now. That means that even if the progression gap seems insurmountable, it is not going to rule you out entirely for the vast majority of guilds. Having said that, I would strongly recommend against applying to a guild that is farming heroic Lich King while working on heroic Halion when you haven’t cleared regular ICC yet.

2) Is your gear up to par? What this means is that your gear should be properly enchanted, gemmed and itemized for your particular class and spec. That means all epic-level gems and not the cheap enchants, unless the cheap enchants are best for your spec. (ie: holy paladins taking the cheap 16 intellect to bracers is GOOD, rather than taking 30 spellpower to bracers.)

Are you absolutely, 100% positive that you have done absolutely everything you can possibly do to improve your gear on your own?

If yes, are you SURE? You’ve checked with Elitist Jerks and various class-specific blogs?

If yes, continue to 3.

If no, please continue reading.

What I hate to see when looking at a new application is “I didn’t get the drops I needed”. The guild you’re applying to will not care about your bad luck or the horribly unfair loot system your previous guild used or anything of the sort. If you’re a holy paladin (for example) with under 500 haste, they’re going to throw out your application ASAP.

What you need to do is make sure that if you don’t have the specific piece you need, that you have the stats that are close to what the piece you need give you. Simple. Don’t blame bad luck if you can’t get a pair of pants that drop when the crafted pants, for example, can be had with a little time, effort and gold. If you think it’s “too much” to spend 8 Primordial Saronites on pants that are very well itemized for your class and spec, then chances are that your prospective guild won’t think that you’re worth “too much” effort on their part.

What you can do to keep your gear from being a liability:

Explain your gear choices in the application. Describe exactly what drops you’re looking for and why those pieces are better for you than others. Explain why you currently have X and Y equipped. Do your research; does your class and spec want its T10 two-piece bonus? Four-piece bonus? You can get your 2/4 pieces all on your own through dailies, VOA and pugs. Make sure you have those pieces, even at the 251 level, before applying.

Do not talk about your gear score. No one cares and you’re just going to make everyone think you subscribe to the notion that gear score means something. (It does not.)

3) Are your talent points distributed properly in your main spec and do you have the proper glyphs? Nothing drives me crazier than seeing someone who doesn’t know how to spec. With a poorly-chosen spec, right off the bat, you will announce to your prospective guild that you have no idea what you’re doing and that you have not done the proper research on your class and spec. Seeing a holy paladin gemmed full intellect but specced 18 points into Retribution makes me want to cry. Make absolutely certain you have a good raiding spec before you apply. Make sure you understand WHY you have that spec. The same can be said for glyphs. Make sure you know what glyphs are best for you to use and get them.

If yes, continue to 4.

If no, please continue reading.

Okay, so you’re not sure that your spec (or glyph choice) is valid or proper or any number of things. Go to Elitist Jerks. Go to Forums. Select your class. Let us pick, for example, Priests. You will see two threads: WotLK Healing Compendium v3.3.5 and  Shadowpriest Theorycraft 3.3 Edition.

The first post in these threads will be chock-full of useful information. That’s the case with most of the class/spec threads. That includes gem and enchant tips as well as spec and glyph advice. Use these specs. Understand WHY you are using these specs and glyphs. Read the tooltips on your talents. Play extensively with a talent calculator.

What you can do to keep your spec or glyph choice from being a liability:

Respec and reglyph. If you’re a disc priest without everything in the lower half of your tree and without Glyph of Power Word: Shield, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re a resto druid without 3/3 Celestial Focus in balance without the haste to compensate, you’re doing it wrong. These builds have been theorycrafted for you — someone out there is flat-out saying “Hey. This is the best spec for this class under the vast majority of raiding conditions.” Why not take advantage of them doing the number crunching for you?

But I’m a pretty snowflake and am unique in my style!

No. You are not a snowflake. You are not unique. As soon as you apply to a progression raiding guild, you become theirs. Your spec and style become theirs. You should always endeavour to do anything you can do for the betterment of your raid group. If that means that you are told to stop direct healing tanks as a disc priest and learn to bubble spam the raid, you do it. If that means that you are told to switch from Survival to Marksmanship to eke out just a little more DPS, as the raid has enough Replenishment providers, that means that you read up on Marks and do it.

If you are unwilling to change your spec to what other people of your class and spec have determined is the best for you under the majority of all raiding circumstances, then you probably do not belong in a progression raiding guild. Sorry.

4) Do they need you? Do you fulfill the raid requirements? Related to the above, many guilds will advertise open spots for a variety of classes and specs and then say that any outstanding applicant will be considered. Do not be fooled. This is almost certainly not going to be you if your progression, gear and spec are not amazing or if you cannot make the majority of their raids. Be aware of their requirements: do they require 75% attendence? 100%? No attendence requirement?

If yes, continue to 5.

If no, please continue reading.

The question you should ask yourself is how you can be of use to the guild if they’re not actively looking for your class and spec of toon or if you cannot meet all the raid requirements they ask.

For example, if they are not looking for a shadow priest but they are looking for a moonkin, a shadow priest does bring Misery to the raid, which does the same thing as Improved Faerie Fire. Similarly, a Marksmanship Hunter brings Trueshot Aura which can also be provided by an Enhancement Shaman’s Unleashed Rage or a Blood Death Knight’s Abomination’s Might. Be aware of what buffs they might be looking for that are similar to your own. Be aware of what buffs you bring. If you don’t bring anything to the table that they don’t already have, you might be better off if you keep looking for a new guild.

If you can’t make all the raids required of you, one way you can be extra useful is if you’re more advanced than the rest of the guild in terms of progression or gear. If that’s the case, you can let them know that you’ll be happy to share strategies with them or help troubleshoot the raid group using World of Logs (or whatever parser they use). That way, you can at least be useful to the group while not actually being there 100% of the time.

If you’re not awesomely geared and experienced and you can’t make every raid or they’re not looking for your class, then you might be better off looking elsewhere.

Of course, if you’re a tank and they’re looking for a tank, or a healer and they’re looking for a healer, your chances are better at getting in even if they’re not looking for your particular class, unless they already have two or more of that class in that role. (Or, for example, if they’re looking for a raid healer and you’re a paladin.)

5) Are your goals and ideals compatible with those of your prospective guild? One of the easier things to overlook is whether or not you’re going to be compatible. Do you want to get your drake for Glory of the Icecrown Raider or do you just want Arthas dead on heroic? Do you care about heroic Halion? How about Algalon or heroic Anub’arak? How does your guild feel about these goals?

If yes, please go to Conclusion.

If not, please continue reading.

Basically, even if a guild is otherwise perfect for you on all other counts, you will probably be miserable if your goals and ideals aren’t compatible.

When I joined my previous guild, the one with my RL friend the Resto Druid in it, I knew what I was getting into. I was joining a guild where the leadership was apathetic in terms of morale, where the leadership was insulting and abusive and where I would be held to a very high standard of play with a steep learning curve and a very different raiding schedule.

I knew this. This is basically the opposite of everything I had ever experienced. But I had my RL friend with me as my healing lead and so I figured I could do this. And I did, for nine months. Ultimately, towards the end, I was so frustrated and aggravated and angry with the guild that I had no choice but to leave.

I joined my current guild which is, in a word, awesome. My GM kicks ass. People joke around without being offensive. People tease others because they love them. And yet we can pull it together and get stuff done. My goal was to end Wrath of the Lich King with a guild that is respectful of its members while raiding 25-man ICC/Ruby Sanctum. I don’t actually much care what we do within those instances — I care more about being part of a team. Their goal is primarily to get their 25-man drakes, which means cleaning out all the wings of ICC on heroic and doing a few achievements.

I am content with this because the environment is kind of awesome and I will raid until the release of Cataclysm to help them achieve their goals.

There’s no way around it, though — if you and your guild are not on the same page, don’t apply. Run away. Go elsewhere.


Applying to a 25-man progression raiding guild is like applying for a job. No, really. It is. Make sure your toon is in tip-top shape. Log out wearing your proper gear in your proper spec. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make the most of it. Do not say in your application “I plan to upgrade this enchant tomorrow.” Enchant it now, or tomorrow, and then apply.

Fill out the application forms precisely. Spend time on it. If your application form is more than five questions and you don’t spend a good 20-30 minutes on it, spend some more time on it. Check for grammar mistakes, check for spelling errors. Make sure you’re answering the questions they’re asking and do not give more information than they asked. (Feel free to be detailed in what they ARE asking, however.)

Is this post elitist? Is it snobbish? Does it discriminate? Probably. However, to do heroic 25-man ICC encounters, even with the 30% buff, you have to do things in a way that emphasizes coordination and throughput (either damage, healing or threat) and that starts with relying on your raiders to bring their best to every single raid. If you don’t have the experience, the gear, the desire and the availability, it becomes difficult to justify your presence in the raid.

What brought about this post? An applicant to my current guild who claimed to be  11/12 ICC (is actually 10/12 ICC 10 and 5/12 ICC 25), who was apping as a resto druid or as a moonkin. He was claiming that all he had to do in terms of gear was regem to swap to or from moonkin and use basically all the same gear he does as resto. Including his restoration tier 10. (Right, because you cast Wild Growth all the time as a moonkin and have no use for extra damage…) His claim was that he did “amazing” DPS, but had no logs or parses to back him up.

Upon reading his application, the question I asked myself was, “How on earth does this guy think he even has a shot at getting into a 9/12 HM ICC 25 guild?”

So these were my thoughts about how you can go about figuring out what sorts of guilds are realistically available to you and how you can improve your chances for applying to a guild that has caught your eye. Hope it’s somewhat useful. :)

Kurn's Contemplations on Tuesday

Hello, lovely people. It is Tuesday once again and, once again, I have had a ridiculously low number of search terms I haven’t covered, so, once again, the Q&A post will be put off. Can’t wait for people’s Internet use to go up again…

Anyways, I thought I’d update the ol’ blog with some, well, updates.


You may have noticed I haven’t talked much about Beta in the last few days, not since I hit 83 and got Healing Hands.

Why haven’t I been talking about the Beta? Well, I’m kind of stuck.

Madrana’s 83, which is the level cap, so I don’t want to quest on her, since I’m not gaining any more experience. I would love to do instances like crazy, but the Random Dungeon Finder isn’t working unless you’re already in a group, apparently.

So I could go quest on Kurn, right? I’m only level 81 and 3/4. But the thing is, Kurn’s stuck on a bugged quest in Vashj’ir (Still Precious, if you’re curious — no naga currently drop the pearls!). I’d rather not skip the content in this sub-zone and move on, because I’m enjoying the feeling of completing the subzones and continuing this storyline. Again, can’t really do instances… I could go do Hyjal on Kurn, but I figure I’ll be doing Hyjal and Vashj’ir enough times on live when Cataclysm drops, so I’m just sort of waiting for Blizzard to fix a few things in a new build.

God, I hope they drop a new build soon. Like, today. Tomorrow. Yesterday…


I went to a private, all-girls’ school for eleven years, from Grade 1 through to Grade 11 (which is our last year of high school in Quebec). Somewhere along the way, somehow, I obtained these things called “leadership skills”. I was never, ever a leader back in school. I shied away from positions of authority, I never liked being the one people looked to for decisions or depended upon to make decisions.

But in every circumstance since my high school days, I have found myself gravitating to leadership positions whenever it’s clear that whoever is currently leading is not doing it well.

And you know, I’m not terribly bad at being a leader. I’m good at allocating resources, scheduling things, thinking inside the box and then outside when it’s required… Sadly, I’m one of the better leaders I’ve encountered out here in the real world. It kind of sucks, because I really don’t like being a leader.

What I prefer is to be led by a competent leader.

If the leader is not competent or if I am not being led appropriately (not being used to my full extent, not being given clear instructions, etc) then that’s when my leadership skills step in and want to usurp the leader’s position and just DO IT BETTER.

Why am I talking about this? Because it’s basically describing my leadership experiences in WoW.

How did I get to be a raid leader/officer back in my old, old guild? I asked questions, I educated myself and then I educated others on why, precisely, they wanted to do Zul’Gurub and Molten Core.

How did I get to be an officer/raid leader/healing lead back in Apotheosis? It’s because I took initiative to help form the guild, it’s because I knew Karazhan and I researched my ass off for Gruul and Mag and everything else. I had learned to allocate healing from my short stint in another guild and applied it to Apotheosis and that basically meant that I was just doing healing, period. And I was okay with that, because there just wasn’t anyone else I trusted at the start to do healing, except for our awesome priest officer, who was, unfortunately, MIA more often than not.

How did I get to be healing officer in my Bronzebeard guild? The healing lead (and GM) stepped down from raiding/playing altogether for a long while and I was the noisiest healer of the bunch, so they were like “HEY YOU! Here! Do healing!”. I wasn’t being led properly, so I became the leader.

How did I get to do healing for a period of like, 3 months through Sindragosa (reg), LK (reg) and 8/12 ICC25 HMs? My friend had basically deputized me before she took time off, but I still had to earn my “position” in that I was CONSTANTLY talking to the raid leader about healing and such. Why did I do it if it made me miserable? Because no one else was going to be able to do it, barring the RL, and having been a RL and healing lead at the same time, I basically don’t wish that upon anyone.

So it’s nice to be in a guild now where the leaders work hard. I might not always get a precise healing assignment, but I know I’m on the tanks. My healing lead listens to my feedback (and the feedback of others, I would imagine) and sometimes strats and assignments are tweaked. Sometimes they’re not. But at least I have an idea that he’s listening.

My GM is awesome, as you guys already know. I don’t envy her the position, nor the work and time and energy she puts into the guild. I’m sort of dreading being in that position with Apotheosis in a few months. I think I’ve learned a lot about the workings of guilds in the last year and a half, though. I always go into a guild with the attitude that I will be there forever (or at least until the end of the expansion) and, barring seriously bad conditions (continuously cancelled raids, abusive environment, etc), I WILL be there. While I’m in any guild, though, I find that I’m soaking up all the little things to do or not to do if (when) I find myself back in the position of GM.


Re-learning some of these fights with a new guild isn’t easy. My current guild is struggling on Putricide and I don’t really know why. I got caught by the Gas Cloud last night on one attempt and I was like “WHAT THE HELL?” because I NEVER get caught by that thing. I realized that it hadn’t been slowed. Sure, I wasn’t in an ideal position for the possibility of being targetted by it, but, by golly, I had a head start on the sucker!

So I mention to my GM that I’d been caught because it wasn’t slowed. She countered that I didn’t move fast enough/was in a bad place.

Of course, I looked up the logs.

[22:22:53.499] Gas Cloud’s Regurgitated Ooze fades
[19:22:55.251] Gas Cloud Gaseous Bloat  Madrana 17373
[19:22:56.582] Gas Cloud hits Madrana Absorb (574)

Okay, so it only took it two seconds to catch up to me, but I was right; it wasn’t being slowed. My GM later mentioned that she was aware of the slowing issues but honestly thought I was right next to the Gas Cloud and that’s why I was hit. I maintain I’d have been able to get away since I was the second target and the thing should have been almost dead, but anyways. The point is that — the Gas Cloud was not being slowed.


The Abomination has a lack of energy.


Druids aren’t keeping Rejuv up for Revitalize procs, disc priest isn’t keeping PW:S up for Rapture procs.

But on the bright side, we’re doing less dying to Plague?

I don’t know, it was a tough reset, I guess. It feels like there are too many little mistakes being made by too many people, which includes me. I’ve eaten some Malleable Goo, I got hit by the Gas Cloud, I’ve died to Unbound Plague because I didn’t pass it off when I should have.

I’m learning that heroic Putricide is actually a lot harder than it was when I first learned it. It was an easy fight to learn for my last guild, but, for whatever reason, it’s a lot more challenging for this guild. I’m okay with that, and getting to P3 and getting him to 7% or thereabouts this reset was great. I just want that momentum to continue.

Anyways, that’s about all for my deep thoughts right now. Hopefully we’ll get something going on the Beta soon so I can post more.

And who knows, maybe a new Holy How-To soon, eh? It’s been over a month since my last one!

Raiding on Live, Updates

I’ve been in my current guild now for seven weeks. Throughout that entire time, I have basically been the only holy paladin. More to the point, all the holy paladin apps have pretty much made me want to cry.

We’re talking people specced into Retribution for support even though they clearly have all intellect gems, we’re talking people with under 500 haste, we’re talking the Drape of the Violet Tower… There has been all KINDS of failure. It’s so varied, but the end result is the same — sucktastic is a generous word for most of the pally apps.

Coming from a more progressed guild with what is more or less a set roster (you are expected to make every single raid for its full duration unless you give notice and even then, it’s frowned upon to take too many nights off) to a guild who hadn’t gotten Dreamwalker healed on heroic yet, with a very large roster, in comparison, has been an interesting experience.

I knew that I could help them with Dreamwalker. I knew that I could help them repeat heroic Saurfang. I knew that I could help them with Lady Deathwhisper. God knows I’ve wiped enough to Putricide and Sindragosa that I can certainly offer my experience and brain to the raid leaders.

On the first reset, bam, Dreamwalker healed to full. We’ve done her on heroic every week since except for when we got them Portal Jockey, I think. (I say “them” not to set myself apart from the rest of my raid group but rather because I already had it, as well as all the other required achievements for my 25-man drake.) That’s satisfying.

I’ve also been a key part for heroic Saurfang kills, taking on the first two ranged marks, for the most part.

I helped them to retool the Deathwhisper strat to one that worked twice before people seemed to stop caring about adds and Vengeful Shades. (Which is roundabout the time we lost the one decent healing priest we had, who wasn’t all that decent, but hey, Renewed Hope and Mass Dispel are nothing to sneeze at.)

It’s been a really good experience for me, learning how to integrate myself into this team that hasn’t had a single decent holy paladin for months. I cannot imagine how they did half of what they did without a holy paladin, much less two.

It’s been pretty clear to the leadership, I think, that we need a second holy paladin. Certainly my GM has been recruiting like crazy and levelling her pally alt with the intention to switch over if we can’t find someone. I mean hell, I’m good, but I’m not a miracle worker. I can’t imagine really working well on heroic Sindragosa without a second holy paladin.

We’ve done a LOT of heroic Sindragosa attempts to try to get us used to the mechanics, if nothing else. We’ve had a lot of practice on things like Frost Bombs and Ice Tombs and Unchained Magic (I think I may be the person currently in the guild who has spent the most amount of time in her life with her pathetic magic betraying her.). This is good stuff, I’m GLAD we usually take a few whacks at her on heroic to make sure people understand the mechanics. You never know when you’ll get lucky on an attempt, either.

Still, we were definitely lacking a holy paladin and really, a decent discipline priest. We don’t even have a holy priest right now and just pulled a disc priest app in this week (who is doing AWESOMELY and we’ve only raided with him once!).

Last week, we brought in a holy paladin app, who learned of my guild’s need for a holy paladin through this very blog.

I was totally excited… until I realized his internet was lame, meaning that he couldn’t stay connected through Marrowgar. He got disconnected and couldn’t return and we didn’t see him again until the weekend and he explained his internet issues. Thankfully, the internet issues turned out to be something that was more or less temporary and not even his fault. We raided together on Monday for a little bit on heroic Putricide until the battlegroup died on us and it wasn’t enough for me to really make any kind of judgement on how this guy was doing.

I have to say now, after raiding with him for just over three hours on Wednesday night (we called it early after getting Halion down), this guy is the real deal.

We got heroic Lady Deathwhisper down for the first time in a month. The pally app ate one Vengeful Shade at the end of our first (of two) attempts and that’s it. He cleansed at least adequately, used cooldowns appropriately and healed like mad, which is what you need to do on LDW.

And then, after way too long, I got to heal Saurfang with another holy paladin. I asked the healing lead if he would mind if the two pallies took care of the first four marks and so when he gave out assignments, he told the other pally that I’d explain to him what it was we would do. It was spectacular. The first attempt was hilarious, actually. The first mark got killed by a blood beast and then our healing lead rezzed him. Whoops.

Our mulligan out of the way, we got ourselves organized and blasted through Saurfang in just over four minutes, with only five marks, which is a first for us, I believe. I think we usually get six.

It was awesome; the pallies took care of the marks, there was great uptime on beacon and judgements of the pure… We both used BOP on casters pre-first mark, he even found time to hit DS/DS at the Frenzy and also bopped one of his marks again. Win all around.

To Blood Wing, where I may throttle most of my fellow raiders if I get thrown across the room on Council again. Seriously. The guild’s major flaw (every guild has one, IMHO) is that they are very bad at range issues. That means that we get people hurled across the room due to Empowered Shock Vortex, we occasionally get people chaining Ice Tombs on Sindragosa, people dying to Bloodbolt Splash on BQL. You know. That kind of stuff.

Still, craziness ensued and we WON. What happened?

The Keleseth tank died. He didn’t have enough shadow orbs on him and had literally 98 stacks of Shadow Prison on him, plus Keleseth was basically wailing on him… so the Valanar tank picked him up — and was one-shotted by an empowered shadow lance or something. This is bad. That was my tank who picked him up and then died. I hate losing my tanks. So I did what any good paladin did, I swapped to the last tank and healed as best I could. I was low on mana, Divine Plea was always on cooldown… But the pally app, whose tank it was, had no issues and basically was the person responsible (well, along with the tank) for bringing the Council down.

Way impressive.

Off to BQL where the app unfortunately got penned in by some DPS and died to a Bloodbolt Splash (see? That was totally foreshadowing up there!) but got a battle rez and still managed to get his DS/DS and Aura Mastery off for the second fear.

Add to that the fact that he LISTENS with regards to beacon/shield/judgement/aura/blessing assignments… Uses his cooldowns…


As if I didn’t love raiding with this group before, I now get to raid with them plus someone who obviously has a similar mindset to me when it comes to holy paladin healing. It’s pretty glorious and, assuming his internet issues are more or less resolved, it’s going to be a huge benefit to the guild to have him available.

Also, I didn’t mention this last week, but I FINALLY picked up Heroic Marrowgar’s Frigid Eye. Here’s my chardev link which is also linked in the top-right box here on my website and that’s updated as soon as I get a new piece of gear. Check the updated date to see if I’ve gotten any new loot lately. :)

I should get back to beta and try to get through to level 83. Talents are seriously busted this build, though. I can’t learn Art of War in my ret spec no matter what I try. I mean, if I have the talent preview on, I can click three times on it and pick up my other spells, but because it won’t learn Art of War, I cannot get more than 19 talent points in ret that way. I had to go learn Pursuit of Justice and 1/2 Eye for an Eye or something in order for my talents to “stick”. If I had to guess, I’d say things are more broken today than they were yesterday. Alas, such are the highs and the lows of beta. :)

A Brief Look at Healers and Tanks as Guild Resources

(followed by a brief personal story)

Once upon a time, back before we had discovered Northrend, before we had stepped through The Dark Portal, I was in a guild that was heavy on DPS, short on healers and even shorter on tanks.

The guildies and I always tried to run dungeons together and it wasn’t easy because we didn’t have a tank or we didn’t have a healer. Frequently, we didn’t have both. This is, in part, what led me to create my paladin. I knew I wouldn’t get her up to 60 in time to help with our immediate tank/healer shortages, but I knew that a paladin could supposedly be a damage-dealer, a healer or a tank and was really interested in seeing how both being a tank and a healer worked. After all, I already had my DPS class in Kurn.

When a level 55 prot warrior applied to our guild, we snatched him up, despite the fact he was all of 13. He was the first “real” tank we had, although the guild master was busy levelling his own prot warrior. Sure, we had a warrior who had tank gear, but he was fury and never respecced. Not that we really understood what that meant, but anyways.

Everyone constantly fought over the warrior. Just like everyone fought over a priest who apped a couple of months later. We were slowly getting more healers and tanks who were being constantly bombarded to go do runs. Honestly, it’s a wonder we didn’t wear them out.

But that’s what they were there for, right? The warrior and the priest were guild resources. They were part of the guild, they had chosen their specs and their roles. So we should feel free to at least ask if they want to do X, Y and Z runs, right?

I’ve been a healer, either as an alt or as a primary raiding character, for almost four years. In those four years, I have spent a lot of time trying to balance my desire to heal (or not) versus the requests from the people with whom I play.

What I have learned, as a healer:

1) I am my own person and I am not merely a community resource who is obliged to go on thirty runs a day with various guild members.

2) The guild has a need for me in its primary focus (be it instancing, raiding, what-have-you) so that should be my first priority when doing things “for the guild”. This is all that I feel I am morally and ethically obliged to do. If I have joined a guild which is focused on 10-man raiding, then I should save my timers for the guild, raid 10s with them as I can (which should be most of the time) and not feel obliged to do a half-pug 25-man with them. Similarly, if I have joined a guild focused on 25-man raiding, I should not feel obliged to run 10-man raids at all.

3) I should feel free to take a day off, with notice, if I’m feeling burnt out. One day off does wonders for recharging your batteries.

4) Similarly, I should do something that isn’t typically expected of me every so often. If I’m in a 25-man guild, by golly, I should do a 10-man once in a while, if the opportunity crops up and it’s something I might be interested in doing. One day of doing something different with guildies does a lot for getting to know them and letting them get to know you.

I’ve actually been meaning to post about this subject for a while, now. In my previous guild, the one with my RL friend the resto druid, I was basically expected to do 10s. I hate 10s. LORD, do I hate 10s. But back when ICC launched, I was expected to do them. So I did. I got my extra Emblems of Frost, I got some achievements (Storming the Citadel, Boned, I’m on a Boat, I’ve Gone and Made a Mess) and I got abuse from the MT in 10s the same way I got abuse from him in the 25s. So I basically stopped going after about three weeks, maybe four. Healing with my RL friend in a smaller setting just wasn’t enough to offset the dickishness of the MT.

I got myself a Rotface and Festergut kill on 10 one week when the hunter officer was hard up for a healer. She’s an excellent player and a really nice person, so I helped out. But that was it. Here I am, with Glory of the Icecrown Raider (25) and only 6/12 in ICC 10.

So last week, when my new GM asked me if I’d do her a favour and I discovered that the favour had to do with helping out with an ICC 10 “power group”, I was a little hesitant. On the one hand, OH GOOD LORD, not 10s!!! But on the other hand, a “power group” with good players, most of whom I actively like, none of whom I actively dislike (I honestly don’t hate anyone in the guild)… Four hours. Just four hours to help these people get their 10-man achievements for their 10-man drakes.

I agreed to do it.

What was nice about the GM is that she initially wanted to help me get my 10-man achievements as well. I was like “no, no, absolutely not, ignore what I have or what I don’t have. I have the 25-man drake, I don’t need a 10-man.” I really was there just to help out these folks.

So what did we get done?

Heroic Marrowgar, Full House, I’m on a Boat (I actually, amusingly, already had this), heroic Saurfang, heroic Dreamwalker (on the successful attempt, I dropped my stacks not once, but TWICE!), heroic Sindragosa (oh God, I hate that fight!) and heroic Blood Prince Council.

Perhaps not quite as productive as it was expected to be, but heroic Sindragosa alone is a pretty nice accomplishment.

Marrowgar dropped Corrupted Silverplate Leggings. No one wanted them so I snagged them. I already had Lightning-Infused Leggings, which are virtually identical. But I’ve swapped to the CSL because of two reasons.

1) I like wearing plate. I like mail too, but plate is my preference, given equivalent stats. Another 1000 armor is good! I have a 60.77% physical damage reduction versus 59.72% in the mail legs. Maybe that percent damage reduction only comes in handy on some fights like Saurfang or Blood Prince Council and maybe it’s negligible, but it makes me feel good to know that I’m wearing pants that were actually designed for me to wear.

2) And they MATCH! They actually match my armor! Yes, I am occasionally girly about my toons.

So, what is the point of this post?

Well, I have avoided 10s for a long time, in general. But when my GM approached me to see if I’d be willing to fill in for a healer, I decided to do something unusual for me and help out. Most of the “helping” I do in-game is along the lines of answering questions, like that Mor’Ladim is in Raven Hill or that, yes, you still need to hit Unfriendly with the Timbermaw before you can run through their tunnel without aggroing. I didn’t feel a lot of pressure to agree to do so and I figured it would be a good way to get to know some of the guildies better and it would help them all towards getting their drakes.

Did I have a good time? It was okay. I didn’t particularly enjoy having my pathetic magic betray me on what is technically an off-night, but we got the dragon down in the end. What makes it worth it is that, on Tuesday, when most of these people get their drakes, after finishing off a couple more achievements, I’ll know that I’ll have been a part of that.

As someone who is vigilant in making sure I don’t overextend myself, I feel like I did a good job of balancing my guild obligations (25-man raiding), my personal desires to play (not a whole lot this weekend) and being an accessible guild resource. As a bonus, I don’t feel frustrated or burnt out.

End result: it was a good experience, but I don’t know that I’ll do it again and, what’s more, I’m not going to be expected to do so. Win-win situation for me for sure.

Teaching a New Paladin

One of the things I like most about my blog is that I have the opportunity to inform people of my playstyle and commonly-accepted best practices for the holy paladin. And I don’t have to sit down with them and go “okay, so you need to do X, Y and Z and then don’t forget about A and B and C”. I don’t have to look at their parses, don’t have to talk to them on vent, don’t even have to look at their armories unless I feel like it.

It’s nice. It’s a little distant and I get to remain sane, but I still get to help out people who genuinely seem to want to learn.

Discouraged by all the failadins out there, my current GM (for whom my adoration clearly knows no bounds) has decided to level up a paladin for the express purposes of going holy.  She recognizes we can really use another holy paladin for certain fights (heroic Sindragosa, heroic Lich King, heroic Halion) and has decided to roll a paladin, level it to 80 and heal for the guild on this new paladin. She’s continuing to recruit, mind you (WTB holy paladin! And a disc priest, actually. Email me at kurn [at] apotheosis-now [dot] com for details if you’re interested.), but she’s working at the paladin.

It’s not like she doesn’t know how to heal; she’s a brilliant resto shaman. (Fadorable, I’d love to see you both in a heal-off in equal gear!) I think that she’s actually the best class to make an easy switch to a holy paladin — she’s already used to not being able to cast and run (beyond the one instant — Riptide for her, Holy Shock for us) and the gear is similar in many ways. I think she’ll make an awesome holy paladin if we don’t find a second by the time she’s raid-ready.

However, I find myself TOTALLY thrilled at the prospect of teaching my GM the ins and outs of holy paladining. Like, THRILLED. I don’t know why, but I am eagerly anticipating it. To the point where I’ve informed her I will be her pocket tank for her heroics when she hits 80. Maybe it’s because I know she’s already an awesome healer and I think she’ll pick up on the nuances quickly. Maybe it’s because I know that I can mold her into another me. Maybe it’s because I HAVE missed some of this hands-on stuff. I used to be the poor schmoe who would talk to the raiders about X, Y and Z issues, for the most part.

I think it’ll be fun to run around as a relatively geared tank. A huge bonus of this guild is that you get offspec gear for free, so I’ve been saving my Emblems of Frost and already have my 264 helm and shoulders for prot. Looking at chest and gloves next and then probably Pillars of Might and maybe the crafted boots too. So really, given my leetness as a tank (ahahahaha) and the fact that I’ll be pretty geared, I’m fairly certain I’ll be able to tank and watch for her to keep up Sacred Shield, Beacon, etc, and offer tips and tricks and still not die, even if things go south.

In other news, the character profile linked up in the sidebar has been updated since I got my 277 T10 helm. 990 haste unbuffed? Why yes, thank you, that’ll do nicely. ;)

Guilds and Relationships

By special request, here is a post about guilds and the relationships within them. Thank you, Majik, for the prompt!

A guild is a weird thing. It’s a tag, a chat channel, a list of ranks, a collection of junk (and money) in a bank.

It’s also a collection of people.

There are all kinds of people in a guild. You have your GM (or GMs), your officer(s), your raiders, your friends, your alts and pretty much everything in between.

Even weirder, guilds are different things to different people.

To some, it’s a tight-knit group of people who’ve known each other for half a decade who are single-mindedly going about their declared purpose and vision. To some, it’s a loose collection of people, filled with strangers you’ll never really get to know or talk to before they just stop logging on or decide to leave. To still others, a guild is an online place for real life friends to meet up and chat. To others, it’s a home for bank alts and a repository for all the junk this game requires us to use.

As if those descriptions didn’t make guilds sound weird to begin with, there are hundreds of variations between those types (and other types I didn’t even dare to mention!) that make guilds unique. There’s the business-like guild, where you all log on almost in unison, do your raid/PVP/RP, then log off again, only showing up again some 20ish hours later to repeat the process. There’s the social guild, where everyone knows everyone else and people call out toon names in guild chat akin to people shouting “NORM!” on Cheers.

Today, I thought I’d talk a little bit about some of the relationships within a relatively typical raiding guild. We’re talking about one that isn’t 100% business but isn’t 100% social, has a mix of people who know each other from RL or for many years and new people as well.

So here are some relationships that I’ll examine.

1) The Romantic Relationship

Just about every typical raiding guild has a couple in it. You might not know about it, you might not be privy to that information, but there’s almost always a couple. The couple may pre-date the game or may have been formed once the two participants met in-game, in that very guild.

In general, this is cool. Who am I to judge if someone finds their soulmate through this game? There are stranger ways to meet someone.

It becomes uncool as soon as it starts affecting the guild. This usually happens when one of the participants is a guild leader (officer or GM) and the other is, shall we say, not a very talented player. (For some reason, this is typically a male guild leader and a female player, giving women everywhere in WoW a bad name. :P)

In the hopes of impressing his or her newfound love, the guild leader campaigns extensively to allow the player into raids, using a subpar spec and gear, or might just award them loot or such in a less fair and transparent guild.

Actual example of this:

Guild Master L fell for a new priest we’d recruited, O. O was, back in those days, a shadow priest. You know, back when ALL the priest tier gear was +healing and there was absolutely no second kind of tier? (As an aside, I did some Naxx 60 when I was 70 with my RL friend the resto druid and a friend of hers, who was a shadow priest. The friend rolled on some Tier 3 token and then was like “Uh. Where’s the shadow set?” when he got to the tier vendor. Not joking!)

Considering our old guild had a severe shortage of these elusive things called “healers”, we tried to get O to swap to healing. She refused for a while and then, when she finally caved, she INSISTED to Guild Leader L that she be his healer. Period.

Never you mind that THE BEST PRIEST of that era was in our guild (we miss you, BW!) and the healing lead at the time. Never you mind that this awesome priest had Benediction and some Tier 1. Never you mind that O had mostly the Devout set and was still trying to figure out what the hell Greater Heal did. She wanted to heal L.

When she was not only not allowed to heal L and only L (she was given a group to heal, if I recall correctly) and, worse, was not in his GROUP and, even worse, the resident (female!) warlock WAS in L’s group (hi, imp buff? How are you?), she threw a fit.

She eventually gquit.

L talked her into coming back. Whereupon she promptly threw another fit. And gquit. Again.

The officers as a whole decided we were better off without her.

Which led to L making me the GM and gquitting himself and starting up a new guild with O where they could be their lovey-dovey kissyface selves.

Of course, if you have a couple that doesn’t expect special favours or extra loot or anything of the sort, that’s a lot more workable for the raid and may actually not cause any drama whatsoever. The L/O scenario isn’t even a worst-case situation. L could have easily gkicked everyone, retained control over the guild and reinvited her.

2) The Relative/Pre-Existing Real-Life Friendship

Similar perils exist in this relationship as in the romantic relationship. Relatives and RL friends obviously prefer to play together, most of the time and may make demands upon guild leader friends/relatives.

Actual example of this:

Picture it. Early summer of 2007. When Apotheosis was clearing Karazhan regularly with one group, we started looking at rosters for two groups. Being the kind and benevolent raid leader at the time (God, I miss having Toga be GM) I did what I could to balance the groups to respect pre-existing friendships or relative relations.

My brother and I were at our parents’ cottage one weekend when I’d finally set the rosters.

“What the fuck?!” he exclaimed, “Why the fuck am I stuck in YOUR group and I’m not in Majik’s group with Pal?!”

I sighed. “Because, dear brother, you and Palantir are the only two in the guild who can currently summon Nightbane.”


“So you can’t lock yourselves to the same instance.”


“Look,” I said, “each group needs 1 MT, 1 OT who can DPS, 3 healers and five DPS. There’s the list of 24ish people. Do what you can to make sure people raid with their relatives or BF/GF or their friends.”

“FINE,” he said, grabbing the papers from me.

Over an hour later he came back to me, threw the papers at me and said “I give up, you win.” The groups he’d come up with were exactly the same ones I’d come up with.

Of course, our preference wasn’t necessarily to raid together. But we put the good of the guild and the happiness of our guildies ahead of our own desires.

In fact, my brother and I don’t always get along when we play together.

Actual example of this:

One night, back in 2006, my brother came over for pizza and WoW together, since we were raiding Molten Core that night. At one point, we were yelling at each other in officer chat, in /raid, over vent AND IRL, all while sitting in the same room. I can only assume it had something to do with people not looting their Ancient Core Hounds, or not stacking up for Lava Surgers, but I could be mistaken.

3) The In-Game Friends

This category of relationships consists of those people who have played with each other in-game enough during some of the formative moments in their WoW lives. I’m talking about those people you met in Zul’Farrak, after you spent forty-five minutes looking for a group and you had two people to replace in that time. Those people who stood at your side at the temple steps or helped you summon Gahz’rilla, chances are, those people became your WoW friends for quite some time. (My ZF buddy, who remained on my friends list for years, was Mikezanze, a great paladin who eventually healed in Apotheosis during BC.) Generally, they’re people you might not be guilded with or see all that often, but you try to run with them if you can.

4) Those Friends With Whom You Run

These are the people in your raid group, generally (or PVP group, arena team, what-have-you) whom you see often in-game and have developed a genuine friendship. You may know their real names, they may know yours, and you feel relatively secure in the knowledge that they’re not going to show up at your front door with an actual axe with which they would smash your face in.

These are the people you chat with on Vent or in-game well after the raid or whatever has ended. These are the people you do stupid things with at 2am. These are the people who make you laugh so hard you feel like you’ve done fifty situps.

Ideally, these are the people for whom we’re all searching, if indeed someone is searching for people as a reason to be in a guild and to play this game.

In my case, these are the people like Majik, Tia, Crypt and Tan and many others from Apotheosis, with a sprinkling from my Bronzebeard guild and maybe even some from my Skywall guild will join these ranks.

These are the people with whom I want to play the game. I don’t want to play in Cataclysm without Majik and Daey, Toga and Shadow, Euphie and Osephala, Fadorable and Kaleri, just to name a few. (NO, Sham, I did not forget you. ;))

There are other relationships to explore; the relationship between a guild master and his or her officers; the relationship between guild officers and their raiders; the relationship between a guild master and his or her raiders.

But those examinations will have to wait until another time. I started writing before I’d really found a point to my post and I found it when I hit point 4. I love this game, yes, but it’s the people who make it worth my time and make the experience something memorable and special.

Feel free to regale me with your tales about the relationships in your guild.

(Oh, and because I was lacking a conclusion for a while, here’s Majik’s suggestion for a conclusion: “conclude that majik is just the greatest thing since sliced bread.”)

(ETA: “Wait. Can you make it conjured sliced bread? Pleeeeeeeease”)

Raiding and progression.

It’s kind of a weird situation I’m in, I keep realizing. My guild is working on heroic modes, right? They were 7/12 when I joined and then we got Dreamwalker that week. (All they were missing was a kick-ass holy paladin, obviously!) Then we did some work on Lady Deathwhisper the second week. Didn’t get her down, but worked on refining the strategy.

The third week, last week, we went out and downed Lady Deathwhisper. And Halion (on regular), too. Then we worked on some heroic Sindragosa. I swear to God, it’s my least-favourite fight in the instance, but I know it pretty damn well at this point. ;)

So this week, we got LDW down again and one-shotted heroic Saurfang for the first time. (The first four marks were all on healers, if you can imagine.) We also got Princes down that night and then went on to Halion.

Last night, though, we were short a healer. We’re seriously in need of a priest and another pally would be great. But one of our priests had his wisdom teeth out or something, so he wasn’t going to be on.

We did BQL, Festergut and Rotface all on heroic with five healers.

And then decided to play with heroic Putricide, which the guild’s never seen before.

I actually really love the heroic Putricide encounter. Malleable Goo sucks ass, don’t get me wrong, but I LOVE the heroic Putricide encounter because I happen to be GOOD at dealing with the stupid Unbound Plague.

In the first night of attempts, and not even a full night, mind you, but we’re talking less than two hours, my new guild almost pushed phase 3.

Of course, it’s going to be HILARIOUS to see their reaction to the insane, incomprehensible amounts of raid damage once we hit ~2 stacks on each tank in P3, ahahahaha. I’m really looking forward to the reactions on Vent or in raid chat, because it’s going to be freaking hilarious. The one warning I gave the healers was something along the lines of “if we make it to P3, don’t worry about me. I’m going to Beacon myself and heal the active tank. Just worry about yourselves and the raid.”

We didn’t make it to P3, but I feel as though in less than two hours of work on him, we did as well adjusting to the mechanics as my previous guild did in about six or seven hours.

I really feel good about the raid group. We did a lot of plague swapping without calling it out and had a few (of our 9? 10?) attempts where the plague swapping was, honestly, PERFECT. We were killing Putricide in my last guild (with AVRE still in use!) and not getting plague swaps that clean.

Speaking of, HudMap on this encounter is freaking phenomenal. I kept messing with my settings and accidentally turned the entire thing OFF at one point, but it does a great job of showing you who has the plague and how long they’ve had it for, which is the difficult part of the encounter. According to the Curse page, it’ll show you who you can’t give it to, too (or rather, shouldn’t, due to Plague Sickness), but I didn’t even see that. I didn’t really need it, given my experience with the encounter, but it might be handy in general.

Anyways. I feel like heroic Putricide is within our grasp. We called the raid a little early last night and left him up for Monday, along with Dreamwalker, Sindragosa and LK. If I were running the raid, I’d spend 2.5 hours on Putricide, then roll through heroic Dreamwalker, regular Sindragosa and LK. Even if we don’t get Putricide on heroic this week, I have a good feeling about next reset.

I think the coolest thing about this is that even though I’m not the one getting achievements like Heroic: Storming the Citadel or Heroic: The Plagueworks… it still feels like progression to me. Even though it’s not new to me, even though I’ve wiped for countless hours on all of these encounters before and then stood in screenshots over their bodies. This is awesome forward momentum. This is progression for the guild. I WANT to get these people their heroic kills, I WANT to get these people their drakes. I want to wipe on heroic LK with these people. I want to wipe on heroic Halion with these people.

I think the end of Wrath of the Lich King will be a great time for me and it is SO NICE to feel that way and look forward to raids instead of dreading them.

An interesting idea.

If you’ve never raided with me, but you read my blog, you already know that I’m long-winded as all get out.

If you’ve both raided with me and read my blog, you know that I’m not just long-winded as all get out, but that I am very detail-oriented and I use that to go through the logs and pick apart where a raid went wrong.

My RL friend the resto druid told my former raid leader that she thinks I might actually enjoy going through parses more than playing the game itself. Sometimes, I think she has a point. ;)

I had an EPIC-length post that I sent to my RL friend the resto druid and my former raid leader in regards to the Failadin who apped to that guild a couple of months ago. You know, the one who only cast Sacred Shield when he was MCed by Lady Deathwhisper.

I actually sent that post to the other GOOD holy paladin in the guild and he was like “… you should do this for a living.” He also could not believe how bad the pally app was, but anyways. ;)

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve sent out a couple of these analyses to the raid leaders and the GM of my current guild, in the hopes of pointing out some issues that they may or may not be aware of, but that I know need to be addressed in order to progress in various encounters. Because they’re SO LONG and SO DETAILED, I’m sure their eyes tend to glaze over. ;)

So my GM snagged me on Vent last night and we had a long chat about going over parses and stuff and we may have found a constructive outlet for my ramblings and my attention to detail and stuff.

It also involves a Cliff’s Notes version of the raid analyses. ;)

Also, in talking to her last night, about all kinds of guild ideal stuff, I realized that, if all goes well with the planning of Apotheosis 2.0, I’m really going to miss my current guild. I know that I’m new, that I’ve only been there for three weeks and that the honeymoon period is still going on, but I honestly really like how things are done and the attitudes of people, for the most part. (I think the biggest issue I might have with the guild is that, as a raiding group, the raiders have an occasional tendency to talk themselves out of being able to do something — they can sometimes think they’re going to fail, so they do. I have thoughts about that, too, because it’s the first time I’ve really encountered that sort of thing. Most guilds I’ve been in have either been too cocky or too stupid to realize they “can’t” get something done. ;))

I feel good that Apotheosis will come back and kick ass in Cataclysm. I really do. But if it doesn’t, I think I have a really good alternative open to me. And hey, if it means I don’t have to be GM? SWEET. ;D

And speaking of privacy…

(Edit: Please scroll to the bottom of this post to read my additional clarifications, as well as read my responses to the comments.)

So I was going through my search terms and found this:

“what guild is madrana in skywall”

Not cool, guys.

Is that my bad? Maybe. I mentioned the server names to differentiate between the Hyjal and Skywall guilds I applied to. It doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together, but my issue with this is that I deliberately went out of my way to prevent mentioning the guilds. I didn’t do it just for kicks, I did it because I have respect for the two guilds.

To have someone googling to find out what guild I’m in is a sign of disrespect to me and to my guild. It deliberately goes against my wishes to keep my guild tag relatively anonymous.

So knock it off.

If you already know my guild name, I ask you to please respect my privacy. Please respect my decisions to leave out bits of information like the name of my guild. Please don’t mention them here. Please don’t make me pay $10 for a name change. Please don’t contact me in-game because I WILL tell you to stop and if it continues, I WILL report your ass. I have no problems with that.

If you don’t already know my guild name, I will respectfully ask you to let it go and not go looking for it. If you like my blog, my writing, my thoughts, my holy paladin tips and tricks, you will respect my wishes in this matter.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have to think a bit about posting anything else that’s at all related to guild stuff and my personal raiding experiences. And let me tell you something — that’s not cool. To have to think about censoring myself on my own blog because some creepers out there just HAVE to know what guild I’m in? Definitely not something I ever wanted to experience.

Edit, June 25th

Okay, I’ll admit it was unsettling to see a Google search term so very dedicated to finding me in WoW. I may have overstated my discomfort because I was definitely unsettled.

I also made a few mistakes.

1) In my previous guild, my character’s name was not Madrana. Some tool already had “my” name on that server. So I added a letter to it. As such, I tried hard to refer to myself as “Madrana”. This obviously allowed people to find me much more easily once I transferred, because I reclaimed “my” name. Had I been smart, I’d have used a whole other name entirely, but I was SO GLAD to get “my” name back that I didn’t really think about how many times I’ve used “Madrana” on this blog.

2) Apparently, I misjudged this thing called “popularity”. When I did realize that I was using the same name in-game as I was using to identify my paladin on the blog, I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal. Who the hell wants to track me down? I’m just some outspoken, opinionated holy paladin. You’d think that looking at my traffic stats would help me realize that I actually speak to a lot of people every time I post. But no, apparently 5131 visits and 9551 pageviews in the last month means absolutely nothing to me. :P

3) I posted about my discomfort. It was a natural instinct. A reaction of “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!” and then a decision to write about it to the very people who were reading the blog and subsequently searching for me.

Doing so probably only exacerbated the issue — and this edit probably will, too.

So what am I going to do about this?

Well, the first thing I’ve already done is poured myself a great big cup of “CALM THE FUCK DOWN” and chugged that. :P

The second thing I’m doing is editing this post to reflect my thoughts on the matter now that I’m calmer, and I’ll be responding to comments as well.

The third thing I’m doing is this: explaining, in greater detail, why it unsettled me and why I would appreciate it if you didn’t look me up.

I go to what I feel are pretty great lengths to protect the identities of the people I talk about in my blog. I rename everyone, except pretty much Majik, because he’s just a DK and they’re all noobs. ;) (Thank you for that search term, whoever you are.)

If you were from my former guild, you would know who I was talking about when I said the main tank, the raid leader, the other holy paladin. But the general public wouldn’t know without a LOT of homework and digging. To me, that was acceptable. That showed my former guildies (if they ever came across it) that I wasn’t out to share insider information about the guild or anything like that. By masking my identity, to an extent, and by doing what I could to rename everyone else, I was, in my mind, creating a safe place for me to talk about the trials and tribulations involved in raiding, without ruining anyone’s reputation, without calling people out behind their backs, without all that drama.

It was about me complaining about X person or Y situation and it wasn’t detailed enough to draw identities from it, in my opinion.

The situation suddenly, overnight, became “crap. How do I protect my current guild from identification the way I did my old guild?”

When I say that the GM is an amazing healer, I mean it. When I say that I absolutely adore one of the raid leaders (and still quite like the other), I mean it. But what happens if I were to comment on something else that isn’t quite so awesome?

I was free to do that in the previous guild situation. I felt that 95% of people didn’t know my toon/server/guild name. (Don’t disabuse me of that notion if that’s not the case, please. :P) Now, not only do I actually have guildies reading, which is a whole new dimension for me to deal with, but now some people, probably about 40% (again, don’t disillusion me) of people reading know what guild I’m in. Probably by my complaining about that or asking you NOT to look it up, that number has grown.

Someone who commented on this post yesterday noted that the publish button is called “Publish” for a reason. And it’s true. A lot of bloggers forget that once it’s out there, IT IS OUT THERE. And there’s no real taking it back.

I’m not going to go back and edit out my name or the name of my server. I’m not going to go back and erase this post. I’m not going to do that. Because even if I did, it’s still out there. People have still learned the information.

So it’s less about me being creeped out by being contacted by a random creeper (although please don’t do so. :P) and more about protecting the people I’m playing with. I LIKE these people, you know.

I’m comfortable with my guild identity being a relatively open secret. But that’s the kicker — secret. Any references by others to the name of the guild or any members of the guild will either be edited or deleted, depending on how patient I’m feeling. Let us all ascribe to the rather unlikely concept that I’m in a guild that no one knows anything about. :P

Oh, and possibly what annoyed me the most is that someone GOOGLED that shit. Guys. Really. Google? That’s what the armory is for. Use the armory for your stalking purposes. It doesn’t leave any search engine terms for me to gape at and your curiosity is satisfied and I’m much less creeped out. :P I’m a regular armory stalker and have much less issue being armory stalked by people than someone specifically googling to find out my guild name.

So, once again:

If you already know my guild name, I ask you to please respect my privacy. Please respect my decisions to leave out bits of information like the name of my guild. Please don’t mention them here.

If you don’t already know my guild name, I will respectfully ask you to let it go and not go looking for it.

If you want to know what my character’s gear is, down to gems and enchants, ask me. I’ll tell you. If you want to know what my glyphs are, ask me. I’ll tell you. If you want to know any of my character’s stats, ask me. I’ll tell you.

Let’s just leave my guild out of it, all right? <3