Thursday, April 28, 2011

So, what next?

My posts last week about joining a new guild got a bad reaction.  The guild in question removed me from the process based on the posts so it would seem that blogging a little bit too bluntly about being a new recruit is a bad idea.  The trick is that now I need to figure out where my gaming life goes to next.  There are lots of guilds on my server I could join but none are even close to the progression level I am at and I have little interest in working with people at a lower play level than I am used to doing fights I have already beaten.  Basically everyone in my current guild is done with WOW and raiding for now so unless I want to settle for just a social guild I need to leave my server and find a new home someplace else.  But I don't *want* to leave, dammit!  I have all my alts, all my gold, all my old buddies on my current server.  I know the guilds, the people, the heroes and scrubs.  It feels like leaving home for the great wide unknown and I am very much a homebody - I like being with the people I know in the places which which I am familiar.

The other question is whether or not I should be playing WOW at all anymore.  I have done the grinds over and over, raided every boss there ever was and have logged incredible numbers of hours.  Redcape is very much me in so many ways so stopping WOW entirely would be so very strange.  I remember playing Diablo 2 for a very long time in university and eventually giving it up; when I logged in again 6 months later all my accounts were gone and everything I had ever done was vanished into nothing.  It is a special kind of thing to see that something you worked very hard on for a very long time was entirely destroyed while you weren't paying attention and nothing remains of the goal pursued so ardently.  Only the journey is still there in my memory.

The main thing I am looking for is a really competitive gaming experience I think.  There are plenty of MMOs out there where I can find a competitive endgame but I can't see any reason to explore that... if I want a competitive gaming MMO experience I can just go get one right now in WOW.  Many years ago I played an awful lot of Starcraft so I could try to get back into that in a big way as there is certainly a competitive scene there to be involved in.  I could also look into trying Ultimate Frisbee or Dodgeball or some other sport here but I don't know that I would get the really edgy competitive flow that I get from raiding in WOW.  Pushing my mind and reflexes to the absolute limit is incredible and that experience is something I hunger for - now I really need to think about where best to find it.

I find it so bizarre that I am having something similar to a midlife crisis over stopping a particular video game.  I feel a little bit adrift, unsure of what I will do and which way I will go.  I long for the rose tinted version of days long past and for the security of knowing that I can find my friends any time I want right from my desk.  For many years I have tailored the rest of my life around my playing of WOW, made sure that I had 3 evenings a week free to sink deep into another world.  Now for the first time I really seriously consider leaving that world forever and I find that a disturbing thing to contemplate.


  1. I'm more than a little surprised that they gave you the boot. I didn't think anything you'd posted was out of line at all. But then I don't understand people at all...

    I can't promise end-game competition but a lot of the stuff in FFXI is just designed to be hard and we need more people just playing the game. Beyond that you may want to look into League of Legends. I've been playing it a bit recently with Adam and Robb. It's a DotA style game.

  2. I understand it is hard going from chief to indian. But here are some helpful suggestions:

    (1): No one likes a know-it-all.
    (2): A guild that heavily discourages its members to post on WoW forums probably doesn't want an embedded journalist posting every detail about it.
    (3): It is typically not a good idea to insult a loot system then greatly benefit from it, especially getting loot for 3 different specs when someone isn't even a member.

    From what I observed you are an elite player with an exceptional grasp of game mechanics. However this is a social game that requires teamwork and contribution to the greater good. The blog post on your Bill Gates-level of gold suggests to me an unhealthy obsession with trivial internet pixels.

  3. I thought it seemed a little weird that they booted you, but I guess I can see why they might think someone blogging about the internal politics of the guild would be a problem. Especially in a 25-player guild, I think that suppressing drama is a huge factor in success. While Red certainly isn't a drama queen himself, I think he is good food for drama queens, which is just as much of a problem from their perspective. It's not so much a question of whether his posts were out of line as it was a question of whether they could create factionalism or cliques inside the guild based on those who agree with him and those who don't.

    Of course Red acknowledged that blogging about them wasn't necessarily a good idea, and this post does not suggest surprise at the decision, even if it does suggest disappointment.

    As for Jack Layton, good luck in the election on Monday, but I'm not sure you're winning my vote with this post. Telling someone you don't know that you think their hobby betrays a mental illness is kind of a long shot. If someone makes a post about a video game that mentions skipping work, sleep and meals to play the game, suggested that real-life relationships have suffered because of the game, or implies that repeated attempts to stop playing the game have failed, then perhaps you can make that leap. "That guy has a lot of gold," however, does not really qualify as an "unhealthy obsession." It's just someone doing something they like to do when they have time to do it. Making WoW gold isn't even that big a time investment if you do it well. I know you are from an older generation, but for someone who is counting heavily on youth vote for his crack at being prime minister, you should have a more open mind to this kind of thing.

  4. @ jacklaytonndp

    First off, it is hard or some people going from chief to indian. (Now that is a non politically correct statement if I ever heard one, but I will use your words.) It isn't hard for me to go from chief to indian, in fact in both my application and my interview I made it clear that doing so was a plus.

    1. I posted my thoughts in my own personal space in an honest fashion. I also gave well thought out, useful feedback on a raid situation. When my feedback was dismissed with silly and incorrect arguments I described why those arguments didn't work. That isn't being a know it all.

    2. This is totally valid. While I think secrecy is a poor choice of lifestyle I entirely accept that some people want to live that way. I don't.

    3. This is total BS. Every single piece of gear I got was being sharded otherwise. Are you actually suggesting that loot systems other than your own shard gear their recruits need just for spite? I got lucky but it has nothing to do with me liking your system or not.

    It is common for ignorant people everywhere to insult those who have a greater or lesser level of commitment to a shared activity. We both perform repetitive actions in WOW for trivial internet pixels all the time while raiding but because I also enjoy making gold you see fit to suggest mental illness on my part? For shame.

    There seems to be an assumption being made that somehow a lack of subservience on my part is equivalent to being unable or unwilling to follow orders. I did follow orders willingly and without complaint as I have no issue with that. I do have an issue with mandated silence, servility and awe.

  5. I'd just like to point out that being critical of something is not the same thing as insulting it.

    I also have never understood people who seem to think gear should be denied to applicants just for the sake of screwing them. Certainly you should give loot to actual members over an applicant and I think everyone understands that. But the idea that you'd rather shard something than let a new guy have it just boggles my mind. We used to shovel loot into new people who didn't end up making the cut and some people would express outrage that we geared out some dude. But it didn't hurt us in the slightest and could have helped a lot if we'd kept the guy. Having a geared member is worth an uncountable number of shards since those are just money which is exceedingly trivial to make in WoW.

    But then maybe making money is just for elite players and the social butterflies need every scrap they can get to survive? After all, having gold seems to be a strong indicator for mental health problems...

  6. Definitely shocked that you were kicked, especially considering what you bring to the table in regards to knowledge, experience and, hey, you're a great guy, too!

    However, what I can understand are there are those personality types who don't see transparency as a virtue. As I recall, CP was very much "under the radar" and, as a group, seemed to entirely keep to themselves. From that perspective I think you were booted not as much as for the content but even for the act of blogging itself. Regardless, if that is the policy it clearly is divergent from your own personality and the group wasn't a good fit.

    That being said you did mention that you are looking towards other games, which I think might be really welcome - not just for yourself, but perhaps for your entire social circle. I know Tess and myself would love to be able to game with you guys again, but its a matter of finding that "new" game. WoW was a danger to us as we were too likely to get hooked again, but we'd certainly be open to nearly any other title.

    I'd definitely be interested to hear what you decide to get into. We're trying out Rift right now, if anything just to level characters - I have no idea what the plan is for "endgame", if we even bother. As Zig mentioned there's League of Legends which I'm fairly tempted to get into. All the better and more likely if they release a Mac client. But regardless, I'm definitely going to check back and see what you decided on :)

  7. Heh, not sure if I could do that one, personally. The graphics are just so dated...

  8. Meh, graphics have rarely been the tipping point for me in terms of wanting to play a game. I've always preferred FFXI's graphics to WoW's graphics though I imagine some of the newer stuff must blow them both away.

  9. League of Legends is actually a pretty fun game. There is "theorycrafting" involved in terms of team compositions/item builds/rune builds/etc, but it is a very competitive game. The learning curve is pretty harsh.

    Sorry to hear about you getting kicked out of the guild, it sounds like the comments, however constructive they might have been, were unwelcome as the strats were already pretty much in place...

    One thing I would suggest is to try to join a guild before Firelands and help with theorycrafting with the members on the first kills.