Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Well, its been just over a week since the guild was created in-game. We're very small still, but you've got to start somewhere. We have so much to do now it almost seems overwhelming. Including myself, we already have four of our officers and have already begun the recruiting process for the others.
With all the kids coming and going in my household, both my fiancee and myself being sick, and Canadian Thanksgiving, I've been extremely busy and the guild hasn't grown much. I have managed to dig up enough time to create a guild website and try to get things going on the forums.
I've been trying to stress the importance of recruitment to the other guild officers. So far I've been keeping up posts on both the official Horde Recruitment Forum as well as the official Blackhand-US Forum. This week I hope to begin actively recruiting in-game as well. We don't have a Recruitment Officer yet, so this job falls on all of the guild's officers.
For officer positions, we're still looking for a Recruitment Officer and a Raid Officer. The Recruitment Officer is responsible for all matters concerning guild recruitment and the Raid Officer oversees and schedules all guild raids and is in charge of appointing raid leaders, loot managers, and raid assistants. We're also looking for regular guild members as well. If you're interested in either an officer or a general membership, please contact me.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I have to apologize for my lack of blog posts as of late. I've been sick and the dayhome has been quite busy. We now have a steady few kids coming each day. Today we have seven kids! Good thing there are two of us. I have been trying to figure out video editing program Sony Vegas with every free minute I get. I'm very thankful for the invention of quiet/nap time! Hopefully, I'll have a video to show you guys soon. This also means that we're doing better financially, being able to pay off our bills sooner, which, in turn, means I'll be getting more game time soon (Likely before the end of the month!).
Cataclysm is coming!
It seems like everyone is posting about Cataclysm these days. I don't consider myself a follower but why wouldn't everyone be posting about Cataclysm? I'm sure we're all looking forward to the new expansion not only for new content to explore but also for the opportunity to explore Azeroth again in a whole new way. If I get my gamecard before Cataclysm comes out, I will not be making too many low level alts. I'm going to hold off until Cataclysm hits, so that I can level a new character in the new Azeroth.
I'm loving the new Guild systems Blizzard is adding in Cataclysm. While they bring more challenges to smaller and growing guilds, I see them as an exciting challenge. Guild leveling means every guild member will be able to contribute to the guild by doing the everyday tasks they normally would with their characters; participating in rated battlegrounds, dungeons, raids, completing quests, and unlocking guild achievements. Helping the guild level will also reward the guild member with guild reputation and guild perks. This will, hopefully, reduce guild hopping and encourage bonding and more camaraderie within guilds.
I'm also looking forward to the new guild user interface. It will include upcoming events, the guild experience bar, your reputation with the guild, latest guild news, and major guild accomplishments. The roster will now show player professions as well as their recipes. Blizzard has obviously noticed that people were creating many different addons to hold information just like this. I guess they are paying attention to what their fans want after all.
There have been many different reports of when Cataclysm is going to be released. Apparently, Amazon sent emails out to various sources saying it would be released November 23, 2010. I've seen other people reporting that it would come out on November 29, 2010. Most retailers seem to be posting December 31, 2010 as the date, but I seriously doubt it would be released after X-mas. Blizzard has been silent on the release date but they have posted a rough schedule of upcoming patches suggesting that after patch 4.03 there will be a pre-release patch to prepare for Cataclysm. Since the PTR is on patch 4.01, I'm guessing a November date is more likely for the release date.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Its good to set goals
Throughout this entire process I've been keeping a "to do list/set of goals." It has helped me stay focused (for the most part) and has pushed me forward. Unfortunately, my process has been slowed down a bit because one of our cats destroyed my mouse. He chewed right through the wiring and the touchpad on my laptop hasn't worked properly since I got the computer. So anyway, now that I've completely been sidetracked, I'll return to the subject.
Returning to the World of Warcraft
Its looking like I won't be able to get enough money for a game card until around the end of September or the beginning of October. Until then, I can at least do some planning and set some goals. I've been giving some thought to what character race and class I want to start out with. I'll be starting brand new characters on Blackhand-US when I return. Hopefully, in the future I'll be able to faction change and transfer my level 80 huntress over and possibly my level 63 priest. I also have some other characters; a level 55 warrior, level 43 druid, and a level 30 mage. All of these characters were Alliance though and as I'm planning on going Horde, I'll likely not be transferring them.
I'm thinking about starting with a Blood Elf Hunter and an Orc Deathknight. I'm choosing a Deathknight mainly because they're the quickest way to make some money early on and I'll need that gold to get the guild underway. Instead of starting other races for my beginner characters, I'm picking a Blood Elf because their starting area will likely be less affected by the changes coming in Cataclysm. I want to wait until Cataclysm before having any Trolls, Taurens, Undead, and of course, Goblins.
Having the guild begun, I can now start recruitment. I plan on using a few different methods to recruit the guild's officers and members. I will post on a large number of WoW-related forums (class forums as well as general forums), including the official Horde recruitment forums and the official Blackhand-US forums. I also plan on making a couple recruitment videos; one to specifically recruit officers and one to recruit the general membership. I will also be recruiting while in-game, using the guild recruitment, trade, and general channels.
I've never made a recruitment video and as such, I've looked into the program(s) needed as well as researched the recruitment videos of other guilds. Sony Vegas seems to be the most recommended program to edit and create the videos and Fraps is the best program to use in order to capture video from the game. I've found some freely distributed music to use for the video also.
Dark Council Short Term Goals
Once the officers have been recruited, we can begin expanding the guild. Holding a meeting over imVox once a week as well as posting on the guild forums, should help us get organized. Some of the things we will need to decide on are:
- What kind of loot system we would like to use,
- Which guild website hosting service we want to use (I've narrowed it down to three that I prefer),
- How many members we would like to have in total (I'm thinking 100 to 150),
- How long will the trial membership be for regular members (I'm thinking 2 weeks),
- And how long the trial period should be for raiders (I'm thinking a month).
Saturday, September 11, 2010
After reading various blogs, I discovered a problem in the guild structure I have. Having separate alt ranks for Fallen, Drudes, and the Haradrim creates an opening for someone to take advantage of our guild. Someone could look up our guild on our website or in the Armory and see what characters have higher ranks. Then they could make a character and say they are said character's alt. In turn, this could leave an opening for them to take advantage of the rank and remove items and/or gold from the guild bank. They could also use the opportunity to sabotage or plant drama within the guild, because they would essentially be posing as an officer. Therefore, I made some changes to the ranks:
- Haradrim, Drudes, and Fallen no longer have their own separate rank for alts.
- There is now one rank for every alt character which holds the same guild rights as Fallen.
- The new rank mentioned will be called Abomination.
I've also altered the blog slightly by adding a picture to each post. This will hopefully make the blog a little more attractive to look at. I edited the posts themselves as well, separating longer paragraphs into smaller ones to make them easier on the eye. Apart from basic blog edits, I've come to a couple important decisions regarding the guild. First, I've decided which realm I will start the guild on. Second, I have decided not to use Ventrilo, but have chosen to use imVOX instead for the guild's voice chat program.
A place to call home
The realm I have chosen as the home of the guild will be Blackhand-US. It was a close race between Blackhand-US and Ravenholdt-US, but I think I've made the best choice for the guild. Blackhand-US has a nice sized population that ranges between medium and high, in favor of the Horde around 61%. There is an average amount of lower level players and a good amount of players with no guild. Both servers have their fair share of QQ and immature trolls, but as I mentioned in my previous post, there's no real way to get away from that.
Probably the most importance factor to influence my choice was that Raveholdt-US is a RP-PVP realm and while some people wouldn't mind a non-RP guild starting up there, its not what the server was built for. The majority of the guilds I found on Ravenholdt-US were RP guilds and a guild alliance with them would create some unnecessary difficulties. I didn't want to start the guild out with a reputation of going against not only Blizzard's purpose for this realm, but also against the majority of the players and guilds on the realm itself. On Blackhand-US, I found 4 different guilds Demoniac could possibly form an alliance with while on Ravenholdt-US, I didn't find any that fit my criteria.
In the past, I've had experience with both Ventrilo and Teamspeak. While they both offer an acceptable service for the voice communications of a guild, they are also both fairly complicated and can be expensive. I'm aware there are some people who offer free channels on their Ventrilo, Teamspeak, or Mumble servers, but I haven't found any that offer free individual servers for guilds. That is until now.
A voice communications program called imVOX offers guilds their own server for 30 people at one time, for free. As part of this service, you can customize various features (backgrounds, server icon image, profile information as well as personal user photo. As the server admin, you can also create channels, set passwords for channels, and assign admin rights. As a small guild that's just starting out, this is more than ideal. It only took me a few minutes to get our guild server setup and ready for recruitment interviews.
If, at anytime, you find that a server for 30 people isn't enough for your guild, you can always upgrade to an inexpensive Pro account. With the Pro account you can create up to 10 different servers with up to 250 users connected across them in total. This would be ideal for larger guilds who want to have people running 25 to 40 man raids as well as 5 man groups, all at one time. The price imVOX has set for their Pro account is $24.99 per year. That's simply crazy when you consider that the average service offering either Ventrilo, Teamspeak, or Mumble on average cost anywhere between $20.00 to $30.00 per month for only 100 person slots.
Don't just take my word for it though, be sure to check it out for yourself: http://www.imvox.com/
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The past few days I've been continually doing research on which realm I'd like to start the guild on. And while I've had some success in narrowing it down, I've also come to the conclusion that there will be idiots on any server I start on. What I consider as idiotic behavior varies from immature character names, bashing each other in trade chat, ignorant and/or improper use of words like "gay" and "fag" (for example; calling other people "fag" or referring to something stupid as "That's so gay," and intentionally causing drama on either forums or in trade chat. These things infuriate me, but I realize that there is no getting away from it in the game.
Everyone is human and it sometimes takes longer for some people to mature than others. Apart from that, people grow up in various different situations; causing the influence of certain beliefs, etc. on sections of the population. I, personally, am someone who grew up and was raised in a community that inadvertently taunt their children to hate others because they were sinful or not chosen by god. While I grew up that way, I'm a much different person now. I've changed a great deal in the last 10-15 years. So I do realize that everyone deserves a chance to change. I can't be too harsh on realms in general because of the behavior of a few people. With that in mind, I'll return to the main subject.
To review, my four main choices were Blackhand-US, Cairne-US, Ysera-US, and Ravenholdt-US. I've narrowed it down to Blackhand-US and Ravenholdt-US. I've spent some time on both servers via trail account the last few days and have also observed the behavior on the official realm forums. Ravenholdt seemed like the more mature and best choice out of the two. When I was on there today, however, I saw some negative things. I saw someone who chose the name "Dick" for their character and someone else who had "Anusol" as their character name (in case you don't know, Anusol is similar to Preparation H).
There was also a discussion about the show Jersey Shore which was basically bickering over who liked it and others who either hated it or didn't want to hear about it. Now, I don't watch the show and don't really care about it, but that's not the point. The point was how the conversation was started and carried out. It seemed like the person starting the discussion simply wanted to start a pissing fight. It actually reminded me of fights I used to have with my brothers that basically sounded like this: "You're a [insert insulting name]," "I know you are but what am I?" I ended up finding similar things on the Blackhand forums. This was both disappointing and it left me wondering if I would actually find a realm that didn't have this sort of behavior.
The answer is no. Every realm will have something I don't like on it. Every realm will have people that won't like me. I need to approach the realms like everyone has to approach life; there will be people who don't like you and the vise-versa, but you can't let that discourage you. Everyone is different and instead of being discouraged by that, we need to embrace it. So, with that being said, I'm not going to judge the realms too harshly when it comes to what I may perceive as idiocy.
Before I continue I just want to make sure those reading this aren't thinking I'm some sort of stuck up snobbish type. I'm actually pretty easygoing and flexible. I know I make mistakes and am far from perfect. I know there will never be a perfect guild and I'm not aiming for the perfect guild. I just want to have fun. (Cyndi Lauper anyone?) I think I'm going to take the rest of the week to decide which of the two I want to pick. In the meantime, I'm also going to be looking into other guilds on both servers to try and see if they could be possible allies and I'm also going to be looking into voice chat programs that are used for WoW. Stay tuned.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
In order to decide which realm I'd like to start the guild on I need to answer a few questions first. I've done some research on the web and found various reasons for playing on particular servers. The main reasons people choose the realm they play on are as follows:
- They know people who play on said realm, usually being either friends, family, or both.
- The server is in the same time zone they want to play in or even located in the same city they're in.
- The realm has a population they like, whether it be low, medium, or high. Realm population can effect how long you have to wait for battlegrounds, instances, or queuing to log into the server.
- The realm has a really cool name. This is probably the least important thing, but at the same time, its what guides a lot of noobs to pick a realm. I admit that its what guided me when I first started playing.
- The server has a good, fair, or poor economy. This factor can be very important. While you don't want to pay 20 gold for a low level green item, it can benefit you if you are the seller of the items.
- How is the community on the realm? Is it drama-prone with constant bickering in trade chat? Is the trade chat filled with references to all things "anal"? Does the server have a cool vibe of helpful and kind people? How is the QQ on the realm?
- What type of realm is it? Normal? PVP? RP? A mix? This is another basic area that highly influences one's choice in server.
- As mentioned above briefly, queues also influence a players choice of realm. Do they have to wait a long time to get into a Battleground, Instance, Raid, etc.? Are there enough players around their level to group with for harder quests?
- Success in both raid progression as well as PVP progress are also a factor for some players. Have the guilds on the server progressed through the deepest, darkest, and nastiest raids? Do the Horde or Alliance constantly win in Wintergrasp or other Battlegrounds?
- Does the Battlegroup the realm belongs to have a good reputation for hardcore raiding, PVP, or positive people?
- Are there a lot of noobs or lower level characters? (After all, a person with a level 50 character can still have no clue how to play the character). This can be good and bad, it all depends on perspective. Do you want to help teach and mentor new players in the game? Would you rather only play with people who know their characters inside and out?
- Each different type of server also has its own issues. For PVP: How nasty is the ganking, camping, and so on? For RP: Are there a lot of guilds and players that actually roleplay or is it an aside?
- How are the other guilds on the server? Are they elitist and arrogant? Are they made up of a rude bunch of brats? Or are they easy-going, helpful, nice, and respectful of everyone?
- One might also want to know how many guilds on the realm are recruiting and what kind of guilds are recruiting.
- Are there a large number of people complaining about lag, constant resets, login queues and other technical problems? Some realms just aren't as stable as others.
- Players might also be interested in how old the server is. Older realms might just have more experienced players.
- Another thing players might want to look at is how mature the server is. Some say PVP realms attract rambunctious younger players, while RP realms attract more quiet and mature players.
Looking over the list, I can come to a basic conclusion of what sort of things I'm looking for in a realm and then go from there. Knowing people on the server whether it be family or friends will not effect my decision. When I first started playing it did because I had family and friends playing on certain servers. I even bought the European version so that I could play on the EU realms with some of my European friends. But now my closest friend is probably going to quit WoW when Cataclysm comes out and I'd rather not play the game with family anymore (too much drama... perhaps a story for another time). I have other friends who play on various other servers, but my hope is to recruit them to the guild and persuade them to at least make an alt to play in the guild. My hope is to make some new friends with the new guild, so I'm not depending on my other friends.
The server timezone and location don't really mean a lot to me either. I'm fairly flexable when it comes to timezones. I'm in Edmonton, which is in the mountain standard timezone. While I think it would be cool to meet and play with some others from the same city, its not a high priority. With that being said, I do plan to advertise the guild to people in some facebook groups and one of those groups is specifically for my city.
Realm population is one factor I am considering. I'd rather not the start the guild on a full, high, or low populated realm. Full or highly populated servers often mean waiting in queue to just log into the realm. I'm looking for a medium to high population which will weigh more on the Horde side. Most of the realms I've been interested in for this guild have around 60 percent Horde, which is fine with me.
The realm name really has no influence in what realm I pick now even though it was probably one of the main things I was interested in when I first started playing the game. I would also find myself picking random realms with the odd technique of closing my eyes and then picking whichever realm my cursor stopped on. Kind of a goofy way to pick a server, but it worked for me at the time.
The economy of a realm does carry some weight for me, personally. I like to use the AH to its full extent. I like to be able to buy low and sell high. Its always nice to have some money in your pocket for goodies like mounts, vanity pets, and gear. While economy is important to me, I don't focus on it too much simply because the economy of a realm can go in waves just like it does in the real world. By the way, I thought I'd mention that economics aren't all that interesting to me in real life. Its odd that I'm fascinated by the economics in the game though.
Community is a huge factor in my decision. I don't want to play on a realm that constantly has people bickering, making fun of others, being judgmental of others, complaining, or making up childish jokes about all things "anal". Besides being more of a boob chick than an ass chick, I find respect and maturity to be very important to me. I can't stand ignorance and while there will likely be some of that on every realm out there, I'd prefer to be on a realm where its minimal. People saying things like "That's so gay," or being racist and/or prejudice in anyway make me want to stay away. The "ignore" function can come in handy when necessary. I really want to be part of a community that helps one another and not only respects one another but also understands the meaning of common courtesy. Call me an idealist but its what I want. To quote John Lennon, "You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one." :)
A Battlegroup's reputation, a realm's raid progression, or how bad-ass their realm is for PVP, really have no influence on my decision. These things simply aren't important to me probably because my game play doesn't focus on any one of these factors. As for there being a large amount of noobs on the server, I'm perfectly fine with that. While noobs can sometimes be an annoyance, one has to remember that they were once a noob as well. Part of me likes to mentor and help out new players while I also want times to just solo and not have to worry about showing a noob how to do something. I think its the difference between teaching someone to be independent or dependent on you.
I usually pick normal PVE realms to play on. When I was a noob, I tried playing on a PVP server and during one of the world holiday events a high level player ganked me and I was only level 7. After killing me the first time, the high level player camped and waited for me to respawn, then when I did, he killed me again. It was very frustrating. I have more experience now in the game but even so, I still carry that memory in the back of my head that makes me want to avoid PVP servers.
For Demoniac, I want to be able to make alliances with other guilds on the server. Therefore, it is very important to me what kind of guilds are on the realm. I think it would be ideal to group up with another guild for things like instances, raids, etc. to help each other out. I would rather not be around guilds who think they're all that and a bag of chips. Arrogance and Elitism are complete turn-offs for me. I've been on a realm (Khaz Modan) where there were some very arrogant players who were constantly criticizing other guilds in trade. I want no part of that.
With all these things in mind, I need to determine which realm fits closest with my needs.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
I've been doing some research and have come to the conclusion that Hydraxis might not be the best realm to start the guild on. Various people on the official forums have said that its not a very good realm for Horde. I also got a trial account to check out the realm first hand. I wasn't impressed. As such, I've been trying to find a new realm where we could start out. I want a server that's at least slightly higher in population on the Horde side. I've looked at the Warcraft Realms website to try and help with that. I'm also looking at the official realm forums, checking to see first hand (via trial membership) to see how many low level players were just starting out, checking to see what the population was like in the busiest (non-WOTLK) cities, and checking to see what kind of quality and traffic the trade channels received.
I also wanted to limit the realms to Normal PVE, however @myrandriel via twitter suggested that I try a RP-PVP realm, namely Ravenholdt. I'm not really looking at RP realms simply because it doesn't appeal to me at the moment. However, @myrandriel assured me, "Contrary to popular belief, you don't actually have to RP on an RP realm. And anyway, only like a fraction of us RP anymore." I took a look at the official realm forums for Ravenholdt and was surprised by the positive attitudes and maturity the posters displayed. On most realm forums you see a barrage of posts about how better someone is over another or how so-and-so guild sucks. I was actually shocked to not see any of that on the Raveholdt realm forum. In-game, I saw a similar result. There was no trade chat shenanigans that you see on most realms. It was surprisingly refreshing. Even so, I'm still not 100% sure I want to setup shop on an RP realm.
I've narrowed my search to four realms: Ravenholdt, Blackhand, Cairne, and Ysera. Logging into Blackhand as an Orc Rogue I see 3 others running around the area working on beginner quests. On my way to the city, I don't see anyone but my /who search reveals that there are 11 players under the level of 20. Just outside of Orgrimmar there is the usual bunch of duelers, in this case there were 5. Taking a look around in the city I can see around 10 players that are non-guilded. The trade chat seemed fairly normal with people looking for more for heroics, instances, and raids. There were also a couple people advertising their guild, someone looking for a guild, and another giving 10 gold for charter signatures. According to Warcraft Realms the overall population is about 17, 500 with 61% behind Horde. Its a PVE server in a central timezone and its considered a medium population realm. The official realm forum doesn't seem very active, mostly just people advertising their guilds or selling/trading items.
Next to evaluate is Cairne. In the starting zone there was 16 players below level 20. On the way to Orgrimmar there are skeletons everywhere, which suggests some world pvp. Inside the city there doesn't seem to be too many players that do not have a guild. There were maybe a couple who were non-guilded. While in the city someone whispered me and asked if I wanted to be the GM of their guild. They were also yelling for someone to be the GM of their guild in trade chat... classy. There was also someone who named their character Chucknorrizz...ugh. The trade chat itself seemed fairly normal with the addition of some QQ about there not being enough healers. On the Cairne official forums there seems to be some QQ and immature posts, but overall it doesn't seem very active. The Warcraft Realms site says Cairne is 50% Horde and 50% Alliance with an overall population of around 12,000 and its in a central timezone. Obviously, the stats don't seem to match up with what the official site says (it considers Carine a high population realm).
The Ysera official forums seems fairly normal and are a little more active than the last two realms but only by a couple of days. According to Warcraft Realms, this realm has a population around 21,000 with 61% being Horde. Its a normal realm and its in an eastern timezone. There were 17 out of 25 players in the starting area that were lower than level 20. In Orgrimmar there were only a few players who were non-guilded. Trade chat seemed fairly normal without any major QQ or immaturity. There was a couple guilds advertising as well.
Evaluating Ravenholdt a bit more I found that they are not only fairly active on the official realm forums but they also have some forums devoted especially to the RPers of Raveholdt at www.ravenholdt.us. Warcraft Realms says that it is an eastern timezone realm and its population is around 19,000, favoring the Horde. There were 2 players right away in the starting area, although one of them was named Fistinbutt. I guess there are idiots on every server. While on my way to Orgrimmar, I was messaged by someone. He/she spammed me with the question, "y arent u doin quests," but when I answered, he/she seemed very friendly and told me how great the server was. In Orgrimmar there were a few players without a guild and the trade chat was very active with the usual banter, selling/trading, and advertising.
Right now it seems like Ravenholdt has many advantages over the other three but I'm still not sure. I'll need to determine exactly what the guild needs in a server.