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State of the Guild Address 2015
#1
Normally I would wait for our guild anniversary in March to do this, but I\'d like to do this sooner rather than later.

In March this year our guild will be celebrating it\'s 10th anniversary. Absolutely no one in this guild still here was here from the very start, and Benameji and I are the only two who were here from it\'s earliest beginnings (I didn\'t join until June, so technically, he\'s actually been in the guild longer than me). The guild has changed much over the years but we\'ve always kept one thing at the forefront of our minds: community.

One of the earliest traditions in the guild was a weekly guild night, and whether it\'s 5 people or 25, we still keep that tradition up today. When we were purely a casual-social guild with members who occasionally raided, a number of us (self included) fought against the curve to not want the guild to have anything to do with raiding. We lost some members, kept lots of members, but ultimately came to accept Blizzard ideals for raiding to be the mainstay of the game. A few of you have your own raid groups within the guild, while others of you live off LFR because Blizzard too realized that is all that would work for some players.

As Blizzard made some of these changes, some changes can be perceived to have happened in the game that had some negative effects for community. Our parties are just not attended in the way they were back in the golden days purely because there\'s just more Stuff to Do. As more dailies, raids, crafting opportunities, and the abilities to level alts quickly were added, many of us pop on, flip through our alts, do our daily tasks, and then log. Likewise, with recent additions of garrisons, the second \"M\" in MMO is often diluted because we don\'t congregate with other players how we used to.

I still love our guild. I love the sense of community that we still maintain today. However, these things seem to have impacted us as well. Posts to the scrawl are minimal at best. Events are rarely posted, and if they are, have only mediocre sign-ups. Guild chat isn\'t bad, but we\'re all guilty at times of just putting our grindstone before us and toiling away and then logging off for the evening.

We need to spruce up the guild, and as we are a community, I want to come to each of you and find your feelings on the matter.

<h5>What would you like to get out of the guild?</h5><ul><li>Is there something you\'d like to see the guild start doing to have us survive another 10 years of WoW?
<li>Is there something we\'re doing know that\'s negatively affecting your enjoyment of the game / guild that we should curtail?
<li>Is there something we are doing right that we need to push forward into doing more of it?</ul>This is, always has been, and always will be <i><b>your guild</b></i>. Please think about what it means to you and let\'s all help find ways to make it better.
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#2
For me the only negative has been the size and activity level of the guild over the 5-6 years ive been a member (i went away for 3-4 months a couple times i think). I like the character of the membership though and im not sure it would be easy to maintain that of the guild if you expanded quickly. Good players are out there and can be found but its probably not something to do too fast. Id favor doing events that would recruit others and make the guild slightly larger (i.e. if you normally had a cap of 150 technically active members maybe try to up that to 200).

You could also add another tier to membership (something like \"independent\" or \"contractor\") keeping with the italian mob theme) to denote members or even alts who are on very infrequently but not quite on hiatus (I wouldnt mind that for my cairne alts as i mostly use them for storage at the moment). That might help to assess the real membership level since we have 10-20 online most nights.

To address the guild healer and/or tank shortage Id also like to have an all healer or all tank guild night - just make up and level one or the other and roam goldshire as a huge mob (maybe just one class). I think it would rock if everyone had an event where they could practice a role they dont normally do. It would help us understand why those classes can be hair pulling affairs too for those that do them. We could even do this on another server to recruit people here. (maybe an ironman / old school variant too with no heirlooms)

Im a raider and the guild has generally been able to sustain one long term raid team and most of another (but one of the teams invariably has trouble finding enough people to fill all the required slots).
<i>[note edited: I dont mind a challenge but id like to have enough people in place that there is reasonable progression. I dont like beating my head against the wall if there is no obvious progression after 4-5 good attempts due to group composition or a few people being woefully undergeared. My rule of thumb in pugs (not guild runs) was 3 wipes on an LFR boss and drop - that sounds callous but it made a huge difference when I pugged (Id be more forgiving in flex and normal runs - there id probably go 5 or 6 wipes but at that point the group would probably break up regardless). In a guild situation like that id be tempted to run other/earlier content to help people get gear to improve the odds. Sometimes you can punt rather than always go for it on 4th down etc.]</i>

Last expansion i basically gave up and just started pug raiding with the old group finder or 0queue as my item level was well above the guild average <i>(and i wanted to progress through the siege raid as i really liked it)</i> I was reasonably successful (I did kill all the bosses on heroic and picked up the wolf mount before it went away - ( fyi a couple of x-realm runs didnt show up on my raid log for whatever reason). The new expansion pack is not as conducive to this and the raids are more difficult with regard to timing and movement so im not sure i can do that now. I decided to raid again with the guild for that reason and because this xpac I wasnt as in a hurry to progress (I figure the raids will be toned down later on but not for a while)

Guild night for me is generally a fun time - running old raids for achievements (right now the cata raids (soloeable on heroic) or even mop raids are doable with enough people - going by the last few guild nights test runs etc). I generally make it to guild night 80-90 percent of the time.

Warlords of Draenor requires alot in the way of maintenance to maintain garrisons and to build up materials to craft. I spend 75 percent of the time doing that with my pack of alts now that Tel is capped really other than pvp (which i dont have any interest or room to accumulate pvp gear) or raid gear (my main focus).
Its worth it though as im now capable of turning out any crafted 660 weapon of some sort about 2-3 weeks depending on mats ive farmed/made via daily cds and barn. Ive made 2 so far (tels main hand and naileas gun) Thats a huge dps boost for an alt or a struggling raider who cant get a weapon (my 620ish beastmaster hunter with 660 gun is getting about 14k dps in the first wing of lfr). Its made farming the elites for the barn for savage blood much faster too.

Im hoping the next few game patches make the garrisons a bit more guild friendly (summonable mini bosses i think are on the menu) and alt friendly (blizz is aware the garrisons really arent alt-friendly). Some neat things are arriving next month in the next patch (its on the ptr right now)

If people need help with enchants let me know. My normal rule of thumb for my own characters is to use the cheaper enchants until gear is purple (640 or above) as the purple shards are 1/day cooldowns on each chanter (plus 0.7 (partial shards) or so a day from the garrison shop). I have 5 chanters so I can help there. I dont anticipate gearing up more than 3-4 alts to 100 during the whole xpac as the garrison is a huge time sink. Let me know if you need help.

FYI: I just solod all the cata raids with Nailea today - didnt get credit for two bosses in firelands though maybe due to pet attacking him first or server overload. Its a great way to pick up gold for garrison (picked up 1.5k plus stuff to auction although im a pack rat so i may store the boe purples on my cairne alts). Thats probably a good reason to level 1-2 more alts for more garrison cash etc.

<i>Also id like to note that regardless of gear level, twitch skills or computer speed, there are things that any sleeper can do to make raiding easier - read and watch videos on the instances. Even studying the dungeon notes on the wow menu - (I know i dont read that enough myself). Wowhead is probably my go to source at the moment for game information. icy-veins.com is my go to source for rotations, glyphs and specs. askmrrobot.com for gear evaluation, gemming and enchants (10 dollar fee per year or so is well worth it). Also practicising on the dummies in the cities (dont use the garrison bugged ones) can help - id do that once a week or so just to practice rotations when i was raiding alot (especially if changing rotation slightly due to icy-veins.com info). There are meters like skada (which i use) which dont take up as much memory as recount </i>



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#3
I\'d like tradeskills to be part of the guild again. We used to have Tradeskill Night once a month or every other week - can\'t recall precisely. I don\'t know about the rest of you, but I have toons in the 90s (and lower, of course) that aren\'t even 1/2 way to where they need to be to anything really useful. I remember nights of gathering tons of flowers or skinning or people making things others needed to raise engineering or enchanting, which included going through appropriately leveled dungeons to gather tons of greens and blues to disenchant and whatever else was needed. Sometimes it was just a small group. Sometimes we split off depending on what level stuff was needed. Either way - we were here to help each other with tradeskills.
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#4
Well first off I don\'t see enough licking to greet one another.. Truly we need to make this an every day all day thing. Hah actually most of you now get me before I get the chance :p

In all seriousness there are a few suggestions I have.

First, I agree with Tel on the size and activity level of our guild needing to expand to keep it going. I also agree though that we have a basic standard to uphold and it is hard to keep that if we were to mass recruit like a lot of other guilds. I think a huge reason why this guild has been around for a long while is due to the fact most new members who stay a long time and are active are friends and family members but lets face it, we can only get so many of those to apply. I think some sort of \"spread the word\" event in our guild would help greatly but we also need to put emphasis on the fact that it is a casual guild not a raiding,pvp etc.. guild and sometimes we may seem to not be \"progressing\" like other guilds but thats not the point with us.


Secondly, believe it or not I\'m incredibly shy when it comes to talking to people I have\'t played with for a long time. One of the things that broke me out of this shell though was running random groups throughout the week. Think transmog, old mount achievements etc.. correct me if I\'m wrong but I believe earndric use to run these every Friday and I used to have a blast going and seeing content I was too shy to do when they were new. We did firelands A LOT for example and it was still new enough that it was a very slight \"challenge\" but not so new that it was not obtainable to finish in a run. So think of running some MoP raids now as its been suggested. I think trying to get some of the more shy,introverted members to run these with us would be nice. If it wasn\'t for these runs I wouldn\'t have ever bothered doing new things with people.


Third: party hardy .. I think trying our best to have guild parties again more often than just our anniversary would benefit people coming into the guild. Even if most don\'t stay there are the select few that will meet our values and love our causal aspect of the guild. I just think trying to throw small parties in major cities may help again with this. With the introduction of garrisons it is a tad harder and I do realize this may not benefit us as much as it used to getting people to notice us but
1. It\'s fun anyway.
2. It is worth a shot, I think the place to go would be stormshield. There are lots of people there standing around and handing in things.

Forth: Guild member of the month. It may be a silly suggestion but it\'s a suggestion nonetheless. I know we do our draws every now and then but it would be cool to have a guild member of the month to be voted on by the higher-ups in the guild or even just Darias could pick. That member could be acknowledged on guild night for things they have done based around our guild and awarded a small prize.

Finally, I\'m not up to par on the newer members. I do know we have had a few join us recently so a suggestion is to make sure these people feel welcome to come to raids, guild night etc.. lets poke,lick,nudge them into doing so if we have to but hopefully they have been getting involved (again I\'m not sure). I was terrified to raid before out of judgement (again I\'m shy, haha no really).. and after doing the transmog runs etc.. I was pulled into raiding during MoP for the first time. This is coming from someone who was around in burning crusade and never did current raids until this point going into Mogu\'shan Vaults but it was the assurance of those raid members that they didn\'t care if I died or even got people killed while I was learning that really got me to join them. We need to reach out to the newer members as much as possible to try and find those that do want to join us for the newer content or even just to help make people feel welcome.
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#5
Lux, we do that with new members. Its called the Mentor program. A mentor is assigned to each new associate. We help out and answer questions. We also, encourage them to speak in guild chat to make friends with the people in our guild. Remember, I was your husband\'s mentor. He did great getting to know folks.


Sleepers, I know that it can be daunting to folks to pug groups or go to an LFR, so on a separate scrawl I am going to ask the raiders in SC to help out fellow guildies by doing a 25 man LFR. I will be posting on a separate scrawl page for volunteers to help out and for guildies to join in to do an LFR run. This will not be a guild night. It will be a raiders night put on by Serenity. (For those of them who can give of there time.)

See separate post- Calling All Raiders.
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#6
As long as any casuals can meet at \"X\" time they can participate in a LFR guild group in my opinion. The problem is the 5 minute late crowd. Once the LFR starts, there is no way to pull in a late person in to the group. Even if the group hasn\'t entered in to the LFR zone, adding a new member resets the position in line putting the entire group at the back of the line again. Having even one healer or tank helps with this but the LFR idea would require that the group starts on time be a hard in stone requirement for the betterment of the entire group. That has been a real hurdle in sleeper cartel groups i was part of in the past.

The whole LFR group thing with casuals always worries me. iLevel does not equate to performance numbers. all pug groups of that size will have deal with the cesspool trolls. We have a lot of members whom work *REALLY* hard on getting gear but when it comes time to perform do so at what is less than the internet accepted average. For me I know this to be because of individual issues, like latency [a huge factor], the computer [another huge factor] and the human element. We are not a twitch guild of 14 years olds. A lot of us have personal challenges with vision, recognition or reaction times. The internet trolls are an unforgiving lot. If we had 15 or so SC members in the group, the group could control the trolling with vote kicking but then, we would be on the same level as the trolls booting people whom do not conform to us.

I wish every one luck if the LFR group idea blooms. There will be challenges.

Vladz
grumpy old Tank
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#7
I may have been lucky so far but every pug Highmaul LFR run in WOD has been a cakewalk (ive done 5-6 now with Telonnar and Nailea both). I notice too that often little effort is made on the mechanics and it doesnt seem to matter much at the LFR difficulty level besides lengthening the fight some. (maybe the next tier will be harder this next month though when it opens).

I did watch videos of each fight for mechanics and i did install deadly boss mods for raid warnings - those help.

Ive only had a few wipes, mainly due to a tank d/c etc.

Normal though is a different story lol

If you can get 10-15 to sign up for the LFR event Ill sign up. Personally I think the guild is really too small for a 25 man to work (its been tried many times before with our current membership cap of 150? I dont think its doable statistically with a casual guild at that membership level). Most of the guild is statistically non present much of the time etc (or only on very late at night or at odd hours)

now we could run heroic dungeons and world bosses etc to gear up the newer 100 alts then work up to it. That might work for newer members. And it could be a weekly pre-guild night event etc. We could go for the rare followers too like Leroy Jenkins etc. Most pugs wont do stuff like that. Id be up for tanking heroics (i need the practice) as long as the group understands im not that good at it due to not doing it often and that im kinda slow and plodding as tank - whereas as dps im go go go etc lol

As an introduction to raiding we could just run normal (not heroic) siege and see how far we get. That would be reasonably difficult but would serve as an introduction to raiding and should be fun for 100\'s to do. It will require some teamwork (and again i could practice tanking some in a less stressful environment). I know all those fights very well as dps and roughly what to work for / do as tank, just havent tanked them much at all. and having 8 levels or so on the bosses should be quite a boost. I think a lot of our off spec type tanks (not all tanks etc) are a bit out of practice so a run like that could be helpful (I know it would for me)

Then if both those ideas pan out etc go for the 25 man lfr (or just pug with a 10-15 man group and join others)
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#8
Yes Sidd, I know about the Mentor program which is fantastic and in all honesty there is only so much we can do to make new members feel welcome. I understand too (like with my husband for instance) that some of these new members may not be on a lot so as a mentor getting them comfortable with this guild may be an uncontrollable challenge also.

I more-so meant as a whole for us to make sure to pay extra mind that these newer members may feel shy and to invite them along if possible. This stands for all of us who have been here a while and who are comfortable and social with everyone. I think this may work best when we start doing more things during the week (all the suggestions we have been making will help). For instance, if I\'m going to kill a world boss or make a transmog run and I notice a newer member on to take the time to whisper them and invite them personally. This worked wonders for me getting to know people as a group when I was personally invited along. Dinden, Littlebaby, wholey and upi for instance took the time to notice that I was a pvper at the time and didn\'t really raid at all so they would run arenas with me. Once I was invited to raid Silv noticed I evidently had no idea how to pve in an actual boss fight LOL! so he took the time to teach me personally about my rotations and helped me gear fast.

I know our members continue to be super helpful, thats not changed any but, I also know it\'s hard to time when these newer members will be on while we are getting used to them and their schedules too. With garrisons it\'s admittedly made people keep to themselves a bit more but I have faith that when we start doing more active activities again that this won\'t be the case and it will be easier to encourage these new members to come along.. for now it would be a little creepy inviting someone just to come sit in your garrison and watch you do missions, or intriguing, depends on the member.. lol

All in all I think along with my wonderful mentor Arless encouraging me to attend guild night, answering my questions and chit chatting with me about our Canadian secrets and the other guildies who wouldn\'t take me being shy for an answer and pushing me into trying new things it really helped me feel very welcome and part of the sleeper family.
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#9
I love the mentor program, and I am glad that it works.

I am suggesting the raiding thing as a once a month raid for LFR. It is not meant to be a normal raid, I am only looking to give others a chance to see new content. I know I would not do LFR for a long time, and the first time I did go, they kicked me for dps reasons, even though my dps was in range of others in the raid. If we can get 25 folks we will not have to worry about bad behavior in LFR. Like I said, just once a month. If we get 25 folks who want to go once a week, and everyone shows up every week. Then I would do that. I, however am not interested in running another normal raid full-time or even a twenty five man normal. Serenity is enough for me. LFR runs are not that hard and could be fun. To be honest, I still have not done a LFR yet, as I feel the same as others concerning the harassment we all know exists when you go to LFR.
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#10
Have read and will think about suggestions.
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#11
What are your thoughts on our Facebook page: Do you think it adds to the community or takes away from the community (especially regarding Scrawl posts).
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#12
I use facebook alot as im on there anyways for other reasons. its much faster to load than the website. (I cant even load the main scrawl page now - it locks up frequently even though i have a reasonably fast cable modem connection). Its also much easier to upload screen captures etc. Im off farming weapon crafting mats alot and im not always that communicative (alt jumping etc) so I thought Id explain what im up to and why etc. I figure people can just read it if they want to / skip it etc.

Ill cut back on posts and try to keep them shorter.
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#13
I don\'t use Facebook myself, security concerns and all. I don\'t like their policies regarding the tracking of personal information.

On that note, however, in 6.1 we will be able to Tweet from within WoW. #SleeperCartel might be a good idea to create.
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#14
Great idea Sil!

Personally, as the person who started the FB page, I like it! LOL I see posts quicker and more often there. I wish more people in the guild would join it! It\'s also a good way to keep in touch with old guild members that are still members of the FB group! However, if you guys agree it takes away from this page and it should be done away with, for whatever reason, I\'m okay with that. Whatever is best for the guild in general.
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#15
I never goes to facebook. I use the scrawl because I am old and grizzled.
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