Tales of a GM (1)

I inherited the position of guild master of Apotheosis back in January of 2008, when our then-GM, Toga, stepped down due to work and RL conflicts. Majik and I had decided to both throw our hats in and so I posted that I’d consider it and then that jackass said “Grats!”. So I became the guild master.

It wasn’t a position I ever really wanted. I’m not even sure I want it now, but I know what I need to do as the GM and I know I can do it well. Add my dedication to this game and, particularly, this group of people, and I know I’ll do my best at this job.

That doesn’t mean it’s not a giant pain in the ass now and again.

Even apart from all the in-game obligations (I’d forgotten about the DELUGE of whispers one gets when logging in as the GM!) which include answering basic questions and checking things like who’s joined, quit and the like, there are all the other little things.

Tuesday, for example, I discovered that one of the guildies had created a pretty bad-ass new logo for the guild. Incorporating the logo into the website and the forum will require reformatting, resizing and I might put my own touches on it as well. It’ll also mean new skins/themes for the website and the forum.

I also had a few questions on the forum from a guildie about our plans for progression and the like, before she commits to raiding with us. (Ultimately, she really liked my open and honest answers and has decided to stick with us!)

Then there was a note from another guildie that had to be dealt with quickly because it was important to me.

In the meantime, I found fixes for the cog wheel bug (when you click something in an instance/BG and get disconnected) and the missing projected textures, as well as two awesome posts regarding raid buffs and debuffs in Cataclysm, so I posted all that information to my guild’s website — and also to my current guild’s website, because I’m a nice person like that.

Then, Majik tells me he’s set up a Vent server on his home network that has a sweet connection (they’re running a TF2 server and such at his place), so we organize the server, start making usernames and passwords and the like…

… whereupon I get pulled into a guild Naxx 10 Undying run, where everyone died on Heigan, thanks to the tank who forgot about the spell casting speed debuff and tanked him on the platform. ;) We cleared the rest of the instance without much else issue and, thank you very much, I can kite zombies on Gluth like a champ as a hunter. (I miss Volley and its lack of a minimum range, but moving while Multishotting is kind of awesome.) It dawned on me that it’s about 100 times easier to kite zombies than it is to heal a bad kiter, by the way. :P

Anyways, after the run, I decided to poke around on the new Vent server Majik had set up and discovered that it has a limit of 8 people for the free server version and that to get more slots, you have to ask to be licensed and you’re given 1000 slots. Which means that you’re basically a hosting provider AND Ventrilo can decide not to give you a license, too. So, that clearly isn’t going to work for us.

So I ponied up and expanded my Vent server from 15 slots to 35 and retooled it a bit to give people more channels to talk in and passworded a few channels. Then I added people’s usernames and passwords to the Vent and then sent everyone private messages with the info. (Edit: This was the easiest and fastest solution by far, but thank you for the Mumble recommendations. It’s on the backburner, but I’ll probably be chatting with Majik about Mumble in the not-too-distant future.)

At some point during Tuesday, I also bumped my brother’s main raiding toon and the designated bank alt to a specific rank that allows him to withdraw basically anything. He’s our guild bank administrator, yay! I also made that rank and the regular Officer rank require an authenticator and then asked the officers to log in on their unused alts to get the 72h timer going on those toons. The authenticator requirement doesn’t actually interact with the account database, but rather checks the flag of the individual toon, meaning all new toons will need 72 hours before they can be promoted to ranks requiring an authenticator. Which sucks. But anyways.

I helped a guildie with her blog (which is not ready for the public yet) by helping her add the WoW Recent Achievements widget to her blog.

I also did a couple of things to do with my toons — transmutes, Icy Prism, some Headless Horseman runs and a heroic on my shaman. Bloody hell, it sucks to not be able to cleanse poisons on the shaman! What, it’s not bad enough that they removed Cleansing Totem altogether, but I can’t even TOUCH poisons now?

Anyways, that’s what I did today. Big day of guild stuff, really, but how much got accomplished? Well, everyone can get on Vent, now. We’ve added another person to our starting roster. Players will have the ability to work around the cog wheel and projected textures issues. Oh, and Kurn got the Headless Horseman’s mount, so there’s that. ;)

What remains: beginning recruitment, working on redoing the website and forum themes to better mesh with one of the new logos, responding to some more PMs from members and making sure people know to check the forums regularly!

And it would be nice to get some RL stuff done and also to post here about: raiding in ICC as a holy pally after the patch (it sucks!), raiding in ICC as a holy pally after the patch AND the buff (we’ll see tomorrow?) , the new beta build and the Holy Radiance change, the Seal of Insight change and the Mastery change.

Plus I still have comments to get to.

6:47am. Bedtime. It was a productive guild day, but boy, it felt like it was never going to end.

Hug your guild master today. Chances are, they deserve it.

16 Replies to “Tales of a GM (1)”

  1. Thanks for the post! It sounds pretty similar to what we did really, only we got most of it done during work and just sorted out the last details in game :P (Two girls as co-GM leads to a LOT of time wasted at work chatting about guild stuff.)

  2. *hugs Kurn*
    Yes your tank may have forgotten wtf he was doing w/ Heigan, but is that better or worse than loosing 2 players right off the bat in P2 of Kel’thuzad because they weren’t paying attention and died in a void zone?

  3. I don’t mean this to try and butter you up, but honestly, you are the best GM I have ever had. You really care about everyone and try to make it a pleasant environment for everyone and while at times that means being stern with a couple of us, including myself, haha, it still works. :)

    Grats on the awesome new mount and here’s to more awesome times in Cataclysm with you as a pretty cool GM.

  4. My polygon enhanced, in-game Dwarven life partner brings up a good point there, Kurn. That double void zone death on KT was pretty priceless – lol

    On a side note, I have also been hearing rumblings of a new audio service called Mumble – I know a few people in the Beta brought it up, when I was trying to form a raid during testing times. I would ask if anyone had a Vent we could use as a group and a few people chimed in with “No, we use Mumble.”

    I don’t know too much about it and it sounds like the Vent issue was resolved positively, but it may be something to mentally bookmark and possibly use later.

    You were going to bed this morning at around the time I was waking up for work. That is freaky!

    Get some rest, boss. You’ve earned it! :)

  5. You sound like a very dedicated GM. I don’t think I could ever do that.

    Thanks for all the links to my buffs post. My views have tripled since yesterday.

  6. You definitely should check out mumble, I’ve only fooled around with it a little so far but i recommend it highly. There is hardly any delay in mumble when speaking unlike vent, and if you host it you don’t have to pay to expand the slots past 8 people.

  7. I’ve expressed interest in trying Mumble with my other guild (don’t worry, I’m divorcing — er, leaving — them when Cataclysm drops, or shortly before) but I suppose it would be worth mentioning that I’d be willing to look into paying for a Mumble server if we decide we like it.

    Hit me up on the forums or in-game to discuss it at length, as this is definitely not the proper place for it. ;)

  8. Wow… so much work! I always feel like even leading a (side, NOT guild) 10 man raid is a pain in the ass… weekly forums posts about strats, scheduling, the whispers, the forums PMs, the roster drama, scheduling, scheduling…. but I feel like I have like 1% of what a GM deals with! You guys are truly a breed of masochists quite apart from anything else – and hopefully your guild loves you and doesn’t tease you quite as much as we tease poor Rhidach :D

    I can’t help but see a comment above about Mumble. I’m sure Rhidach will throw a post up about it sometime, but we recnetly switched to Mumble when our Vent server went down. I for one have fallen in LOVE. It’s a million times better than Vent, from sound quality to lack of lag (!!!) to volume moderation.

    It’s just great. I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear Putricide, Sindy, Lich King callouts when the person actually says it instead of a half second or second later. Highly recommended.

    Umm… anyways… good post :)

  9. Setup Mumble…. unlimited users, better latency than Vent… automatic voice normalization (no one is too loud or too soft). Its easy to setup, runs on windows and linux (for the server). Has clients for all platforms… I can’t give it enough praise.

  10. Jen – Yeah, there’s also the work that goes into drafts of policy posts, which I then ask for my officers’ input for. I maintain that I’m not the supreme overlord of the guild, but a facilitator for all the officers and guildies.

    Most of the time, anyways. But if you show up to Black Temple without your Shadow Resist gear because you didn’t even do the attunement quest, then I’m a huge bitch. ;)

    Dayden – aw, thank you. :) I’m not sure if the Heigan thing is better or worse than the void zones. Although I liked Toga’s excuse. “I was typing!” Regardless, I have not laughed at a Heigan wipe that bad in a really long time, so thanks for the chuckle at least. :)

    Osephala – You know what’s tragic? My current guild’s GM is the best one I’ve ever had and she blows me out of the water. :) I hope to bring some of what I’ve learned from her back to Apotheosis.

    Oestrus – The void zones were humourous, to say the least. I just loved how Dar was like “MOVE HIM!” and everyone else was like “what, no, it’s fine”, hahaha.

    As to Mumble, I’ve heard it too, but I’m unsure as to the server specs that Majik has access to and what goes into installing a Mumble server. I don’t have a problem switching to it for actual raiding when we get there, but there’s too much to go through and learn to make a switch right now. The easier solution (by far!) was upgrading my Vent slots, but it’s definitely something I’ll be chatting with Majik about when I have more free time.

    I find I get most of my GM-esque work done either in the early afternoons or late at night. Hopefully not that late, though. ;)

    Jasyla – thank you! Really, it’s just identifying what needs to be done and doing it. With the right motivation, I know I’m capable of lots of stuff. And this group motivates me. :)

    You’re welcome for the links! I posted them here, on my current guild’s forum and on the Apotheosis guild forum. :) I am horrible at keeping up at things like raid buffs/debuffs and their changes, so I will be referring to them constantly in the early days of raiding, I’m sure! Thank you so much for the posts. :)

    Risotto, X & Will – see above to Oestrus. The easier solution for the moment was upgrading my Vent to 35 slots, but Mumble is something I’m definitely keeping in mind for the future. Just depends on Majik’s server specs and Mumble’s requirements and the like. Thanks for the recommendations, though. :)

    Anafielle – hahaha, a breed of masochists, yup, that sounds about right! Though my guild DEFINITELY teases me. A lot. It’s like a game. Who can piss of Kurn the fastest?! ;)

    As to the work involved, in a way, I think leading a side 10-man is more difficult than taking care of the guild 25s, since you do have to deal with scheduling outside of 25m raid times and trying not to ninja people from other runs and the like. Plus the possibility of cliques and hurt feelings or what-have-you. I abhor 10s, so my hat is off to you for having organized that kind of stuff!

    The thing that I wasn’t prepared for when I became GM, back in the day — and Toga, the previous GM confirmed it with me that he’d experienced the same thing — is the amount of whispers and conversations you have with people ALL OF THE TIME. You log on as your GM toon and BAM, 5 whispers on a good day, 10-15 on a not-so-good day. Everything from “I can’t make the raid tonight” to “I forget my vent info” to “I think our strat for that fight sucks but no, I don’t have any viable suggestions” to “our strat sucks and we need to do THIS completely ridiculous strategy” to “hey, how are you?” to “OMG, please come heal/tank/DPS this dungeon” x5.

    And it’s started up again, which is HILARIOUS, because I’d forgotten about it all over again.

    Love my guild, but I’m definitely going to institute “office hours” again, where people have a dedicated time to talk to me and me to them so I’m not deluged as much. ;)

    Thanks also, re: the Mumble suggestion. :)

  11. http://www.wowhead.com/talent#sMIbzrkuufz0bZc:Vacsdkcmz

    In my ICC10HM raid last night I did not feel that my heals where gimp, still a bit slow, still a bit Proc Dependent, but at least they where not gimp. Still cannot heal through stupid though.. I almost felt comfortable enough to Bacon and forget about that tank, not there just yet though maybe with a bit more haste

    Light of Dawn is bugged on Loot Ship, it will not heal anyone (including yourself) I think it has to do with the ship moving and how it effects where toons are relative to when the spell was cast. Also Light of Dawn heals the Bacon Target for every heal now, not just the first target.

    Overall I am very happy with the changes/hotfixes blizz has made.

  12. You are pretty much the coolest GL ever. Granted, I’ve only been in one other guild that wasn’t RP or social, and I wasn’t raiding, but STILL!


    “Queue for Heroics!” she says. “You’ll be fine!” she says. :P

  13. Palaria – Interesting find about Light of Dawn on Gunship, thanks! I feel better about the pally after doing a couple runs with her and having no real issues. The hotfix is a good one — I don’t feel overpowered, but I don’t feel completely useless anymore. :)

    slice – It was a pleasure! Keep up the great work, buddy. :) And thanks for the well-wishes. I’ll certainly need it. ;)

    Apple – BELT OF THE LONELY NOBLE. I claim immunity! And nope, my GM on Skywall has me beat by a MILE, lady. But I found you first, so you’re stuck here. ;)

    Janyaa – Aw, thank you! That’s really sweet. :)

  14. They’ll just have to do without me, because I wouldn’t want to go to any other guild. ♥ You guys are the most amazing people, and I love how easy it was to click with you all, and all the old crew has been so amazing to us newbies. I was just telling Will on my blog that being in Apotheosis is literally a dream come true, getting to meet Maj and Fog and the people you told stories about from the old days, and being with such an awesome group of people. I honestly can’t think of a place I’d rather be, even if your Skywall GL was a mile better than you. ;) (I don’t believe that for a second, btw.)

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