To run a guild is to run a business

Had another rainout again at work, thus we weren’t able to set up our equipment for the day. So I spent my time there with my clipboard and pen out writing as I was inspired by the business I was in.

Throughout your travels in World of Warcraft, all of you will have the distinct pleasure of joining organizations known as Guilds. The purpose of these Guilds will vary. Some will be a small group of friends who have decided to officially band together. Perhaps it is a straight up PvP Guild dedicated to the utter annihilation of the Horde (Or Alliance depending on your faction). However, I believe a majority of Guilds have the intent to tackle end game raid bosses and instances. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a stats somewhere to prove me wrong :D.

A lot of Guildmasters feel stressed about running their guilds. There’s many different things to micro manage and a lot of interpersonal relationships that need to be maintained and balanced. It helps to remember that your Guild operates as a business. It IS similar to work (and others say it IS work), except it is way more fun!

Hogwash you say? My Guild isn’t at all like that?

Perhaps not. It’s true that you aren’t being paid in greenbacks, but you are rewarded with drops, gear, & recipes. Anything that makes you as a player that much better, I consider payment.

Guildmaster: He is the Captain of your ship. She is the CEO of your company. The direction your Guild proceeds in is based on their decision. They decide the schedule of the raid and who gets to attend. Guild policies regarding player behavior, item drops, and disciplinary action belong to the GM.

Recruiting Officer: Typically a position held by one person, I have seen it manned by two players. They are the Human Resources manager within the Guild. They are in charge of hiring (/ginvite) and firing (/gkick) of of personnel. Good HR managers are blessed with excellent instincts. If the guild needs a healer or a DPS caster, they will start headhunting until they find a player that matches the need.

Guild Banker: Most cases, this is also your Guildmaster or another designated officer within the Guild. You can think of this person as your CFO or game accountant. If resources for enchanting or crafting are needed and you are unable to farm (as a Priest, I know I can’t anyway), this is the first person you turn to. In raids, any drops which are used for crafting are usually sent to the banker for Guild needs (Profit)! The next upcoming patch has been confirmed to contain an actual Guild bank.

Now that we’ve covered the essential people involved, let’s talk about the main operations of a raiding Guild. You will raid anywhere between 2 – 6 nights a week from 6 PM to midnight. Sound familiar? Similar to work, no? In addition to that, most players will be farming outside of that time to get mats for potions and mana oils and such. That’s a lot to accomplish in a typical day. Most player’s are not able to handle it and just want to have fun. I guess those are the casual players who may not see as much end game as they prefer.

As a GM, if you approach your Guild as a business perspective, it will help make things easier. Set a role for the Guild. Set a quota that you want to achieve. You want this boss down by this day or week. Lay down the law if you have to. Businesses have different policies about that. Most importantly is communication. Without that, your Guild isn’t able to compete in the harsh rigors of WoW.

iMoved, Diablo 3, and more

I’ve picked up shop and moved over to my new domain! Welcome to the World of Matticus. It’s got a much better URL then before along with a new host. With that in mind, I would greatly appreciate any donations as I am but a student. All donations go straight towards my hosting.

Now comes the unenviable task of modifying my facebook blog import settings. I apologize for the flood that you’re about to receive in your news feeds (if you haven’t disabled them yet).

What I hope to accomplish on my site is to begin first by establishing a resource for Priests. Drawn from my own personal experiences, I hope to help educate and add to the many different Priest guides in existence. I’ve always taken a liking to playing a healer. I think it’s because I never trusted anyone else. Not to mention there’s a nice little power trip going when the fate of a player decides on who you target. I don’t think I’ve ever played a DPS class in any MMO’s I’ve played. I created a Monk in Guild Wars and a Dwarf Minstrel for Lord of the Rings: Online. My WoW characters consist of a Priest, Shaman, Paladin, and Druid (YES DAVE, IT’S MY DRUID!). So yes, I do love to heal.

My second priority after that is the Blizzard gaming scene. Starcraft 2 is on the horizon. Blizzard also has a third unannounced title in the works but there are some indications as to what it could possibly be:

Following that, who knows? I’m a big hockey guy. I love my Canucks. I’ll even blog about them as the year progresses. It’s my intent to maintain one new post per day. But know that the topics will range between World of Warcraft, hockey, and ways to improve ourselves as individuals. That ranges from some pointers I picked out from my former Human Resources boss to different tips on throwing a memorable and enjoyable party.

On that note, feel free to take a look around and enjoy what I have to offer!

Meanwhile, I need to focus more on how to implement collapsible categories.

Either go big or go home!

This is a message delivered to both people and players who believe they can get away with doing nothing.

The people believe they can show up and ride on the backs of others to gain what they do not have the right to gain.

The people who do not put in 100% effort when they are most counted on.

The people who simply are not dedicated to the responsibility that they have been entrusted with.

Who the hell do you think you are? Who are you to join an organization and expect to get handed rewards without pulling your share of work?

Here’s some news for you. Communism is dead. Capitalism is now the norm. If you do not work, you will not survive. They tried that years ago and they failed. Society is based on the premise that you work for what you earn. Without that simple basic principle, life would be virtually non existent. Not everyone can be a professional slacker.

Even in World of Warcraft this simple principle rings true. Work hard and bring your A game. If you don’t pay attention, the boss does not go down and you will waste the time of 24 other people in raids. Then you will get promptly replaced. If you want the rewards, you must work for it.

In hockey, players lay down everything for a chance at cracking the top lineup in the hopes of playing in the real league that matters. One cannot constantly rest the efforts of a key player like Roberto Luongo and expect to coast to success. Life is a big team game where you will be relied upon to work with friends, allies and even enemies towards common goals. If you do not embrace this skill, then you will not get through life easy.

Psychology has a term for this. I believe it is called social loafing. It is the concept wherein the more people that are involved in a task, the less effort everyone contributes individually. If two people deliver a 100% effort to lifting a log, then 10 people will deliver 10% effort each simply because they believe it is not necessary. But imagine the power that all of us can bring to the table if we all contributed 100% to the best of our ability the task at hand. Imagine the combined strength if we all give our best. Stanley Cup’s are awarded to the most deserving team in the entire league. Loot drops from bosses to Guilds who work together with no regard. No one relaxes. No one is ill prepared.

Even the Spartans recognized this important concept of cooperation. The positioning of their personal shields was designed to protect the man next to them.

We would do well to remember that.


Ouch! A Lesson in 5v5 Arena Combat

Main Entry: are?na
Pronunciation: &-'rE-n&
Function: noun
1 : an area in a Roman amphitheater for gladiatorial combats

Main Entry: 1team
Pronunciation: 'tEm
Function: noun
4 : a number of persons associated together in work or activity: as a : a group on one side (as in football or a debate)

When Blizzard first introduced Arena into World of Warcraft, I did not have the time or desire to compete. I only had a Priest then. I knew I would get my ass thoroughly handed walking into combat with the lack of survivability in my gear. I took a new approach and leveled a Shaman. I’ve always wanted to create one but I had no interest in rolling on the opposite faction to do so. Burning Crusade solved my dilemma. A Shaman brings a lot to the PvP circuit in comparison to a holy, dwarf priest (at least MY holy dwarf priest). I could cultivate my Shaman from the ground up instead of having to slowly and meticulously migrate my PvE build priest to a PvP build priest. A restoration Shaman offers much more survivability and utility then my Dwarf priest would have been able to. Besides wearing mail, Nature’s Swiftness and Earth Shield are a staple and a godsend.

I signed on with several long time friends in the creation of our main circuit: 5 v 5 Arena.

Presently, from my observations, there are two distinct types of teams: A 3DPS, 2 healer type and a 4DPS, 1 healer type (Also known as gib). The team I’m with runs the former as I’m not sufficiently geared enough to sustain a team on my own.

We feature 2 Warriors, 1 Paladin, 1 Mage, & 1 Shaman (me). Two Warriors bring two Mortal Strikes to the board applying pressure to two separate targets (Casters or healers). The mage brings CC. The Paladin brings durable and resilient healing. I bring spell interrupts, heals, and Heroism.

After a few forays in the five’s arena, it didn’t take me long to figure out that I would be the main target. This week we ran into some difficulty against several teams. After taking down notes, I’m beginning to see a pattern emerge which needs to be broken.

Match 1: Warrior, Warrior, Shadow Priest, Shaman, Druid
DPS pressure was applied onto their Shaman. Kaliburn (our Paladin) got repeatedly mana burned.
We were caught off guard as Demi, one of our Warriors, randomly rushed up and started to DPS before the rest of us were prepared.
Their Druid kept repeatedly cycloning and CC’ing either myself or Kaliburn as much as possible.
Eventually, their Shaman dropped, then their priest, then their warrior, druid and other warrior. Not a bad start, albeit a shaky one.

Match 2: Shadow Priest, Warrior, Warlock, Paladin, Elemental Shaman
This was the first real instagib team I’ve played against. Sixvisix, one of our Warriors, went down super fast due to line of sight issues. The map was on Lordaeron and that stupid tomb was in the middle. Kaliburn was unable to heal him as well. I’ve never seen a Warrior go down that quick before. Demi advised him to slap on a shield and sword and switch to defensive in the event he noticed his health dropping super fast until his health became topped up. I didn’t even have time to get Heroism up that fight. The best I can do is drop a Grounding totem and hope it mitigates something really bad. I’m contemplating Earth Shield on Six, but Earthshield costs a hefty 900 mana. I only have about 8.6k. That’s over 10% of my resources. With Six down, it didn’t take much longer before the rest of us dropped.

Match 3: Shadow Priest, Shadow Priest, Elemental Shaman, Paladin, Warrior
Another fast damage team except they decided on applying pressure on Frostyone (our mage) first instead of me. Frosty wasn’t able to hit his Iceblock fast enough. I truly think in a situation like this, we could’ve won. It’s just a matter of gear. Two shadow priests are quite lethal in tandem. Again, we fell quickly. The worst of the bunch was coming up

Match 4: Warlock, Warlock, Paladin, Shadow Priest, Warrior
Forget Strength of Earth totem, Tremor and Grounding’s/Windfury would be the order of the day. Two Warlocks and a Shadow Priest meant we would spend a good portion of our time running around. A quick NS Heal and a BoP delayed the inevitable. With so many fears going off, the only decent way I can think of surviving is if our Warriors stance danced (Does that even work in PvP?), and if our Paladin glues his ass to my tremor totem. The Paladin can dispel me while I busy myself with healing and E Shocks. I think this was one of our longest matches, but we had no choice but to succumb to the fears and insane damage output by the other team.

There is still a lot more that I need to learn and more gear I need to acquire before I can truly be an asset. By next week, I will definitely have my Season 2 shoulders to go with my helmet. Then I’ll slowly finish out the Chest and Legs before concluding with the gloves. I have a decent shield for the time being, but I’m gunning for [item]Light’s Justice[/item] or [Item]Shard of the Virtuous[/item] so I don’t have to put points in yet. T4 pieces will be converted to Elemental sets.

Perhaps the one thing Blizzard may learn from NC Soft is to make WoW more spectator friendly by adding options to spectate and record matches live. I’d love to watch my own demo’s to learn what I did wrong and how I can get better. The only way to improve is scrutinize your own actions and learn from them. They added replay’s to Starcraft nearly half a decare after it’s debut. For WoW a similar function would be a boon.

Keys to Success

The keyboard is the most important tool in any gamer’s arsenal. It’s important to bind keys to abilities because you can react quicker to keys then to mouse clicks. Ask any player you know, and they will tell you that no matter what platform you compete on (RTS, FPS, MMO), it is absolutely essential to have a quick reaction in order to survive.

I remember back in the old days of Starcraft and Warcraft 2, I would manually click on the build icons to construct whatever units and buildings I need. Not so anymore. As time progressed, I started to slowly adapt to using keys. It was a gradual process at first, and I found I had to mouse over and figure out what key corresponded to what unit. Now it is simply second nature. However good you think your hand-eye coordination is, it cannot possibly compare to a player who is aware of where their fingers are placed and what they need to press.

This essential skill doesn’t even have to apply purely to gaming. Real world applications like Outlook or Word have built in keyboard shortcuts as well. Sure it might take 3 or 4 seconds to press the save button or bold a word. But if you deal with multiple documents all those seconds start adding up. Some of these keys are universal as well.

* Ctrl + S = Save
* Alt + F4 = Close program
* Windows key + D = Show desktop
* Ctrl + B = Bold
* Alt + Enter = Full screen (Some programs)

Those keys are universal. Back at my old job, I noticed the office folks were busy using the mouse clicking and clicking instead of using shortcuts. I guess it’s one technique which they can use to run the clock, but efficiency just goes down the drain.

When you’re mapping your keys in gaming, however, a majority of the time your keys will revolve around your left hand. This restricts the amount of keys you can bind since it would be too troublesome to constantly reach across the keyboard from one side to the other with only your left hand. The key’s that are within reach are: Q, W, E, R, T, A, S, D, F, G, H, Z, X, C, V, B, `, 1 – 5. Throw in the shift and ctrl keys and you get three times the options.

Typically, a player’s movement keys are the W, A, S, D keys. That’s considered the point of reference. With fingers rested on those keys, everything else is within striking distance.

My Shaman’s keys were a mess so I decided to completely reconfigure them. After much discussion and theorycrafting, I narrowed down the list of spells and abilities I would need for PvP.

Nature’s Swiftness
Eartshock, Rank 1
Earth Shield
Windfury Totem
Grounding Totem
Magma Totem
Chain Heal
Frost Shock (Rank 1)
Flame Shock (Rank 1)
Frost Resist Totem
PvP Trinket
Lesser Healing Wave
Healing Wave

The list doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’re under pressure from an opposing team, actions needed to be decided quick. So I had to set them up in a priority order spreading outwards.

Anyway, don’t discount how important it is to map keys. Precious seconds could mean the difference between life and death.