A good question

I had a friend ask a question of me recently that really got me to thinking.

Kind of a simple question, more of an opinion thing really. Carrying on in my best “will you STFU already” traditon of looking way to deep into things I managed to turn this one simple question into a 45 minute discussion. I like to look at things from different angles, to pick things apart and find out what makes them tick. Sometimes it’s a gift, sometimes it’s a curse. Today you will have to be the judge.

“With an expansion coming, should I farm badges for the epics for my current 70, farm and stockpile stuff for once it hits, or just level up my alts?

Now my friend (yes I have friends, quit looking at me like that /huff) is not a raider, he already has several alts. His one and only 70 is a hunter that is mostly used soloing or helping out lowbies in his guild. He is not in a raiding guild, although he does Pug Karazan probably 3 out of ever 4 weeks. His focus is mostly on making the guild he runs (Oops, forgot to mention that) an awesome place to hang out and socialize.

We talked about farming for epics, weather it be in running Kara for badges or running battle grounds for honor. He mentioned he had started doing battlegrounds for the fun of it, then he gout caught up in the gear. He found himself choosing what to run based on which marks he needed for the nest upgrade. He literally had spreadsheets of what to farm and when to maximise battleground weekends and such.

He got to the point that he would look at his “to farm” list and not even want to log in. He took a part of the game he really enjoyed and turned it into a job. He spent what honor he had and threw away the list. As far as I can tell he has not done any PvP since.

Now he is asking if he should do weeks of grinding to farm mats that will likely be outdated right after going to Northrend. I think in his case (and mine as well) farming up a huge stockpile of anything is a bad idea. The way he gets into things he will likely burn out on solo PvE as well and end up quitting the game with a bank full of goodies he will never use.

My suggestion?

Quit worrying about the expansion. Yes it is coming, yes it will change things, no you do not have to be prepared for it in any way. Think about it, do new players stop at level 60 and spend a few weeks farming mats, gear, and rep before going through the dark portal? No one that I know of. Most that I know hit 58, clear thier bags and quest log, and head for Hellfire. Northrend will be no different.

If it is designed to be playable by level 68’s in quest greens a level 70 in thier dungeon set with a couple of epics will overgear it quite a bit. Does he need better gear to be able to level? No. He might level a bit faster, but likely not enough to pay back all the time farming.

Should he farm up a pile of mats for later sale? While having a pile of herbs on hand might help make some auction house cash once inscription goes live, I don’t think it will be as pronounced as when Jewelcrafters were buying up ore for outrageous prices. People learn (usually) from the past, so many porential inscritptors already have a stash of herbs. Once again, not really worth the time invested for the possibility of marginal gain later.

But what am I going to do then? He asks.

How about all those folks you are always rattling on about in your guild? Get together, go run something, do quests, do dailies, do anything. But whatever you do do not make it another job.

Remember why we are all here. It’s a game, have fun

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Will heal for food

When is enough enough? Seems like a simple question right? Well not always. How do you know when there is no hope left?

Rewind a few months into the past, my guild was clearing Kara every week. We were excited and getting ready to move back into 25 man content. Grull was in our sights and we were excited. Morale was high guild chat was buzzing and friendly.

The High King died with a quickness that surprised us all, we moved along to Gruul spanked him hard and went through his pockets for shiny purple loots. Happy and cheerful, we planned to come back after the reset and give him another shot. We even tentatively looked at trying out Mag next week if we had a day left after having another go at Gruul’s lair.

The next week we were able to pound out Gruul’s lair in time to have one night left to try Mag’s. A great try ensued where we learned a lot about the encounter, most had never seen it before. We left for the night with Mag still standing, that would be the last time we failed and left him alive though.

After a few weeks of downing Kara, Gruul’s, and Mag’s lair we were really clicking as a team. We were getting pretty well geared and were now one shotting most encounters we went through. We set our sights on SSC.

Lurker went down on the second night of the first week of SSC, we still got a few wipes but everyone was upbeat and looking to the future. We started talking about trying Hydross or Tidewalker next week assuming we could down lurker on the first night.

So started our stay in SSC. We were able to clear lurker every week, pretty soon getting it down to a one or two shot. We looked towards Hydross next, but despite our best efforts he was still kicking at the end of the week. Deciding on a different tack for the following week we once again spanked Lurker, and then moved on to try Tidewalker. At the end of the week Tidewalker was still standing and we had nothing to show for our work but repair bills. Such is the life of a raider doing progression raiding.

A funny thing happened over the next few weeks though, after the first night of clearing lurker we started having trouble filling out the group for the progression attempts. Guild chat was getting a bit less chatty, people were getting a bit more touchy. I worried about the future, but kept plowing on.

Looking for heals for kara? Can do. I still need a few odds and ends out of there myself, and you can never have enough of those wonderful badges. Heroic something or other? Yeppers, I can heal that. No I don’t need any of the drops I just want to run something. And guild chat got a bit quieter still.

The next few weeks we scheduled raids, but were unable to build groups when the time came. Those who came on time and ready improvised. We put together on the fly Kara and ZA runs with what we had. We farmed heroics for badges and shiny purple loots. All the while guild chat got quieter, our once active forums started to feel like a ghost town. I thought “it’s just a cycle, summer is coming” and kept plowing on.

Over the next week or two it got quieter and more tense. It seems odd to say you can sense the mood in a room that doesn’t really exist, but it seemed like ther was the proverbial “elephant in the room” that no one would mention. Two of our officers left that week, one quit the game totally the other simply moving on. We put together what I started privately calling “guild pugs” for Kara and the odd ZA, mostly using the forums to coordinate. It became more and more likely that if you tried to split Kara into two runs you would never finish for the week.

Guild chat became even less chatty. Vent was left unused unless people wewe instanceing. A few more people followed the officers example and left. The forums started to pick up again though, but the topics were mostly about how to stop the bleeding and get back to raiding. We talked of regrouping and recruiting replacements. It was a very different place than it had been not so long ago. Though I was all but certain the end was in sight I soldiered on, knowing that we had lost to many already.

Now we are finaly catching up to the present, just a week ago there was still hope. We took a week off of raiding while the guild leader took a weeks vacation. Everyone had a chance to rest, farm up much needed supplies, work on alts, or just take a break. That was the week all hell broke loose.

People were actually talking in guild chat, on the forums, even on vent again. It seemed like things were turning around. Maybe I was right to stick around after all. The forum topics turned darker, fingers were pointed, people were offended by nothing in particular. I guild chat it was much the same, people started out the evening joking around and trying to have fun. By the end of the night we had lost several more players and only had one officer left. Yet out of some sense of loyalty I stayed.

The next day I came online only to find a slightly smaller guild, there were fare the well posts from several folks I liked and respected in the forums. Vent was gone, either disconnected or the password changed. It really made no difference either way. We talked amongst ourselves and someone was able to get a self hosted vent running. We were back in business. We waited for the return of the guild leader to find out where we were going from here.

Yesterday morning we awoke to find the guild website had been shut down. The last remaining officer had transferred with her husband to a different server, leaving an alt in guild to continue running things. By this time the place I had been full of cheerful, helpful people was but a distant memory. It had turned into something odd, like a train wreck you can’t stop looking at. I knew it was over, but I still had friends there. Still I stayed.

Yesterday afternoon I finally made the decision to move. I left the guild I had so enjoyed being a part of, moving to a guild a couple of married friends had just to use as a family bank. They retreated there as well. We will likely have a few more joining us, but will never try to build it into a raiding guild. For the time being at least I will have lots more time to work on my alts.

Even though I have a tag above my head it still feel like I am homeless. It seems odd, but I feel I should be sitting outside the door to Kara holding a tin cup and a sign that says “Will Heal for Food”

 

Looking for a few good raiders….

The raiding guild I run with, Remnants on the Stormrage (us) server is opening up a recruiting window. We are looking for experienced raiders, Kara geared or better for our 25 man team. we are currently 1/6 in SSC with this team.

if you are interested please head over to the Remnants website and drop us an application