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I went back through our backlog to look for raid policy stuff, but it was all scattered about. I am putting this here for any new folks that are jumping in during my reign of terror, so please point 'em here. If you're reading this FROM THE FUTURRRRRRE, it may not be relevant - depends on whether or not I'm running stuff.
Hello! That's all the small talk I have time for.
We raid on Sundays at 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern, and on Mondays at 6pm Pacific/9pm Eastern. We raid mostly until enough folks get too tired to continue, and that's fine, that's all fine here, how are you?
Loot and gearing
I am starting another thread to discuss loot. I prefer master loot, some folks prefer personal loot, I would like your opinion.
As for rolls, if we ever do loot manually, it will be in a 'rolls rule' sort of format. I'm skipping out on loot council for a couple reasons - for the most part, most of us want our buddies to succeed, and I have found over time that people tend to be pretty good about sharing loot. I want to keep it this way. I don't want to prioritize people that are 'better,' because that's demoralizing to people who are trying but just not as talented. Everyone deserves that lottery-winning feeling. You helped down the boss, you get an equal shot at the goodies.
Additionally, BoEs will go on a need > greed basis. If it's an upgrade and you need it, you get first dibs. If you plan to sell it, wait for the greed roll. A common response to this includes "shouldn't the guild get this for the money?" Tragedy of the commons be damned, I trust the lot of you to assist the guild with money when we need it. @primesuspect will alert us if it gets bad, and we'll do guild dungeons or donate. I usually run things on the honor system, and I will continue to do so until tragedy of the commons rears its ugly head (here's hoping it never does)!
Finally, if you win a piece of loot, there are two things you need to know:
The general raid plan is to attack raiding from a cerebral perspective - we're not running day-in-day-out to push muscle memory and burn you out on content (this is a game, not a job). Instead, I'm going to push you to think and come up with new ideas. I want you to rearrange your UI, find a better way to be a little bit quicker, cleverer, etc. I will ask you from time to time to look through your spellbook and find a way to use those stupid, niche spells you don't like. I will insist on weird strategies that don't make sense for anyone but our raid comp.
I cannot do that alone, so I also insist on a lot of chatter. If you have an idea or strategy, don't be silent. Don't pussyfoot around trying to hint that you have an idea - just spit it out. I promise you that if someone is being rude about your idea, I will give them all sorts of trouble for it. If you get hate-whispered for it, say something. I don't put up with bullying even a little bit.
Between being cerebral, a small raid slot, and insisting on chatter, there's one thing I really love in raiders - that's raiders that pick up slack. If you're a dps class that has spot-heals, throw a heal out when it's necessary. If you don't know when it's necessary, then I think you've just found a way to improve! Personal damage-mitigation cooldowns? You can never use 'em too much, but you can definitely use 'em too little! And let me tell you - I ADORE dual-spec raiders.
Speaking of picking up slack, you may have noticed that I tend to dominate the microphone. But I don't have to! I love when people step up and 'run' certain sections of the raid - every timer I don't have to watch is a little more attention I can focus on solving problems elsewhere. You wanna coordinate the healer chatter? Please do. Wanna coordinate ranged movement? Go for it!
Your name will probably get mentioned at some point. And it will probably be in the context of 'such-and-such, you're doing it wrong.' It will also probably be publicly. Please, please, PLEASE do not get upset or offended. Damn near every one of us knows every one of us. Most of us have attended each others' weddings, birthdays, parties, whatever. We are not trying to make enemies on the internet, we are just trying to progress, and more viewpoints involved in the problem solving process are better than just mine. Suppress any hurt feelings and remember - the people talking to you want to see you succeed, not make you feel bad. They like having you around. We're all in this one together.
Don't feel bad mentioning someone's name if they're doing something wrong, too. Keep it clean, keep it friendly, and don't make 'em feel bad - remember, these are your friends, all you're trying to do is get them to raid better. Add positive comments when you see anyone doing anything awesome or pro-social. If you notice someone is going too hard on someone else, say something. The worst thing that ever happened to me in this raid was when I was calling out a problem I saw and the guy took it personally - but nobody warned me that he was irritated and that I wasn't sensitive enough, and it led to hurt feelings. It sounds corny as hell, but it's legitimately on all of us to make sure the air stays positive.
Having said that, you are NOT allowed to call someone out on a grievance. I don't need that aired over mumble, or over some public channel. If you don't like something raid related by all means, speak... but if you have a problem with someone else and it's going to cause a fight, you tell me. If you think what you're going to say is going to make someone mad enough to leave, you tell me. If you are being chewed on by someone, you tell me. If you instead air something publicly, you bring everyone down, you cause people to choose sides, and you create a general crappy environment. Come to me instead. I'm here to be the bad guy when I have to. You are here to have fun. See? Your job is way better. Why would you want my job?
Above all, remember that this is just a game. When life calls, life calls. You wanna take a hiatus? Go for it - we'll be here to get you going again when you come back. Just keep in touch - what's the point of WoW if you don't get to keep the friends you've made?
Yeah right, you wish.
My thoughts about our direction, how great you all are, and why I'm posting this at all. Skip it if you just want to get to the good shit.
That means it really falls on the bleeding edge of what we can handle as a guild.
It's no secret (supar sekrit) that we are not a hard-structured, dedicated raiding guild - and I don't want us to be. We are a collection of thoughtful, skillful individuals (Fallout uses the perk 'gifted' to suggest someone that is innately skillful and didn't need to work hard for their prowess) and I think that's a huge boon. We take breaks. We live other lives. We don't raid seven days a week to get where we are. We're here to play with each other and generally enjoy ourselves, not to sacrifice time and sleep for a couple higher numbers on our character sheets.
For heroics, this may present a bit of an issue... because we need those couple higher numbers. For heroics, we can't breeze by with 'good enough' gear or skill. Every one of us has to be at 100% - not just a dedicated few. I don't think that's a problem, and I think we can do it with a gifted group... it just means we need a little augmenting.
(Aside: it is important while reading this to not get set on 'downing heroics.' We can have fun just attempting a few times, then moving on).
Now, barring ilvl requirements, I will not prioritize pugs over guildies. What that means, though, (and what this long-ass diatribe is leading up to) is that we are on the honor system for heroics. If you want to down heroics, there will be no iron hammer - you will only be on your honor to do your best. If Expo Communism, ICHQ beer rules, and the 'distinguished gentleman/lady' badge is to be believed, we are a group that is very good at giving back 'on our honor.' Every one of you cares about everyone else, and I know for a FACT that more than most of you are worried about being 'the weak link.'
(Side note: you're not. None of you are the weak link. You're all fucking awesome. If this is striking your 'weak link' reflex, stop it. In b4 @Tushon 's "Thanks, coach").
So with that Mighty Ducks preamble out of the way, let's get down to biznass:
My plan is to run heroics on Thursday and Sunday with a 'voteskip' option. This way we have fun doing new shit, but still progress AND acquire gear (at a slower pace) for people. It worked beautifully for Thursday.
Some things you can do to get to 100% (step out of your comfort zone!):
Remember: it is okay to fail on heroics, it does not represent a dead end as it does in normals. We had a wonderful time yesterday and didn't down a single boss. If you're sick of a boss and need some progress to get back in the groove, voteskip it!
E: took me three damn tries to find the spoiler tag...
As we all know, we are predominantly a PvE guild. And that's okay. But there's a whole facet to this game we've been missing, and as they say - Azeroth's a book, and those who don't travel read only one page.
...Not so sure that's a relevant saying...
In all seriousness, one of the things I am supremely grateful for was the privilege of doing a small amount of arena with @SpencerForHire during cataclysm. At the time, I was strictly PVE - partially because of ranked anxiety (LoL players know what I mean), partially because of Fear-Of-The-Gear (would I have to lose and lose and lose just to get the gear to even play?). Spencer pressured my ass into giving it a shot, and I'm glad he did - it was loads and loads of fun, and I have memories I won't forget.
none some of you have displayed an interest, and since I love to hear myself talk some have displayed ranked anxiety and fear-of-the gear, I would present to you: a PVE guide to getting in on PVP.
Step 1: lolwtfisthis
PVP functions using different currencies and stats than PVE. Instead of justice (low tier) and valor (high tier) currencies, they have honor (low tier) and conquest (high tier). Even better, all relevant equipment is purchased with these currencies - you don't need to go grind PVE bosses or whatever and hope for a drop. That means you're currency limited by a weekly cap (which is impossibly high for conquest and nonexistant for honor) and your willingness to do shit.
Also, this is more of an intrinsically motivated part of the game. Not entirely, mind you - carrot-on-a-stick gearing is still a thing - but there are significantly more challenges that are really just for-the-fun-of-it endeavors. Just make sure you understand that going in - the "I raid for gear" mindset some of us have won't be as strong of a driver for PVP... but I promise, it's worth it. Nothing feels better than victory over an opponent that, had you made a mistake, could have beaten your ass silly.
Step 2: overcoming Fear-Of-The-Gear, PVE style
Let's face it. If you don't have a ton of resilience and PVP power but your opponent does, you're probably going to be the carefully-transmogged mop cleaning the floor of Warsong Gulch. But that doesn't mean you have to sit and lose your way up to even having enough honor to having a chance!
Blizzard has conveniently put in multiple PVE methods for you to grind honor... which are actually significantly faster than PVP methods (if your response is 'lol y u pvp then,' go back and read step 1). Some are even worth it just for the geek cred! In order of ease:
There are PLENTY of options to get the gear to pvp without having to sit through that lousy daily 30-minute only-if-you-win random battleground grind (a grind that is much more fun once you're geared, and significantly shitty if you're not!)
Also - still worried you aren't relevant but wanna pvp now? Remember that pvp is won and lost on cc timing - even if your gear is lackluster, good timing and use of cc still means you have a place on the team.
Step 3: Ranked Anxiety
Ranked anxiety is a phenomenon in League of Legends that scares people away from playing ranked games - games where their rating will go down if they lose, and up if they win. People are frightened they 'aren't good enough' and will let the team down. WoW PVP is much more forgiving and makes ranked anxiety easy to overcome by having multiple tiers of PVP. In order of anxiety-inducing:
So get some gear and step on up! Maybe if we get enough people interested, we can have a nice casual way to kill time without having to devote a whole night to raid and worry about ruining it if we don't show up?
So, as of less than 24 hours ago, this is a thing:
This is exceedingly important - about 66% of the web uses openssl.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong (I don't want to fearmonger), but this effectively means if you have ever signed on to a secure website (https, not http... or, in fact, if you've ever passed info over TLS), there is about a 66% chance that this vulnerability existed on that server. And since it's been around for A FEW versions of openssl (1.0.1 was released March 14, 2012 according to my server), it's likely a couple folks have been heartbleeding servers for a long time.
So... your passwords? There is an EXTREMELY good chance that many of your passwords have been leaked in plaintext. Not to mention any security questions - basically anything you've ever typed into a secure webform since this heartbleed bug went into effect is very suspect. A cursory google search suggests steam has been affected by this (though I didn't read any of the posts, just the headlines).
What this means for you right now is a lot, but the consequences may not appear until down the line:
Ergo, next time there's a big corporation hack, your shit will be out in the open within the day.
I would give it about three days - I figure in at MOST three days, every important secure server will have patched openssl (most of them have already done so, I hope). At that point, I'm going to change every password on every website I know of. I would urge you to do the same.
If someone who knows more about security than I do can debunk this, PLEASE do so. I don't want to stir shit up because I understood things wrong.
EDIT: Fixed the date of openssl 1.0.1
ANOTHER EDIT: If you've put any personal info into a secured server at all in the last 24 hours, you're pinning your hopes and dreams on the server admin having updated openssl. It's a safe bet that now that people know the heartbleed bug is available, they're using it anywhere they can in the hopes that a server admin is slow. Don't login, don't logout, just don't do anything that will pass authentication information anywhere for a little bit.
Also, silver (ish) lining... Since this has been out for three years, it's likely that if you weren't hacked in one of the myriad number of security fiascos in the last few years, your stuff wasn't leaked (this bug probably wasn't too well-known until recently). Of course, saying 'I haven't been hacked yet, so my info probably wasn't lifted' is a big bag of security through obscurity... and we all know how that goes down. Change your shit.
tl;dr Wait a few days and change every web password and security question you've ever had. Also, get a password manager.
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